Name: Bell’s Hop Ale Ale
Style: Imperial IPA
“Starting with six different hop varietals added to the brew kettle & culminating with a massive dry-hop addition of Simcoe hops, Bell’s Hop Slam possesses the most complex hopping schedule in the Bell’s repertoire. Selected specifically because of their aromatic qualities, these Pacific Northwest varieties contribute a pungent blend of grapefruit, stone fruit, and floral notes. A generous malt bill and a solid dollop of honey provide just enough body to keep the balance in check, resulting in a remarkably drinkable rendition of the Double India Pale Ale style.“
Now, if you haven’t been able to tell by now I am a big fan of Bell’s Brewery as I have already reviewed quite a few of their beers. As much as I want to spread the love and review some new breweries, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to do a review on one of the most sought after IPAs around. Bell’s Hop Slam is brewed just once a year usually hitting shelves sometime in February and is sought after by Hop Heads all over the world. The beer is brewed with six different types of hops and then dry hopped with Simcoe hops. The massive hops are balanced out with honey to create a great beer. Let’s see how this year’s turned out now that Bell’s starting canning Hop Slam for the first time.
The beer pours a cloudy gold color with about an inch of white head. The hops really come through in the nose with floral, grapefruit and citrus notes. The beer tastes similar to the nose with a big hop punch upfront containing grapefruit and floral flavors that are balanced nicely by caramel malt and sweet honey. The beer is masterfully balanced and full bodied. The balance of the beer make it surprisingly drinkable which is especially impressive when you consider the ABV being 10%.
Hop Slam is one of the best Imperial IPAs on the market, even thought it is only available once a year. I believe it is one of the most drinkable 10% ale out there which makes it easy to start getting tipsy after you down a few. It is one of my favorite Imperial Double IPAs giving you big hop flavor with impressive smoothness. I highly recommend you tried to find it on tap somewhere or grab a can at your local bottle shop.