xav33 (313) - Midland, MI, Michigan, USA - NOV 10, 2006
UPDATED: NOV 15, 2006 Bell’s Hopslam
12 oz bottle
Packaged 10/06, slammed down 11/06
Medium pour in a tulip glass.
Poured hazy amber with a large frothy somewhat lasting (thanks in part to a constant flow of myriad tiny bubbles) slightly off white head,with a think ring of lacing. Yeast suspends beautifully like Aurora Borealis.
Smelt strongly of grapefruit, spruce, with moderate pepper, barnyard, essence of joy.
Taste was upfront strong bitter ruby red grapefruit followed by a strong piny earthy bitterness on a never-ending finish. If you wait it out it turns grassy, then flowery. Palate was medium bodied, silky smooth and cream, softly carbonated, moderately astringent and light alcoholic warmth.
Overall, everything is amazing about this beer, except maybe the flavor profile. It was so smooth and tasty for its strength it left me wondering where the complexity and promise for cellaring was. Also slightly tasted like pellet hops or hop concentrate, if there is such a thing. I want to love this more but it’s daftly simple for a double IPA and too perfectly balanced when young. I’m torn and confused, intrigued and mesmerized. Damn you Larry Bell, I finally have a double IPA crack my top tier. Excellent work for now, but lets see what you can do for me down the road for the next 5 years. Off to the oubliettes you go, Hopslam. AlchemistZ (493) - Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA - NOV 27, 2006
I must say, finally, a Double IPA with the balance and acidity of an IPA, only in a bigger version. This IS a Double IPA and not a Double Pale Ale like so many interpretations of this style. Dark gold in color with some yeast in suspension (hell no, I did not decant=waste yummy stuff). The yeast actually traps the light a bit and lightens the color. Tons of sweet, fruity malt with juniper berries, grapefruit juice, grass, some pine, honeydew melon, peach and a tonic water, quinine element. Flavor is tasty and not overdone. All of the aroma elements are in the flavor, there are actually textural components from the hops and yeast, there is some alcoholic warmth, a strong bitterness and acidity that is reminiscent of tonic water. The tonic water acidity comes in to the palate at the perfect time to intrigue the drinker into another drink. It cleans things up at the perfect moment to make this a huge beer but one that is incredibly drinkable as well. My first perfect score, and it is well deserved. I salivate just thinking about having one of these when I get home. Beeroness (2) - USA - FEB 4, 2007 does not count
What can I say? I adore this beer. Had it from the bottle. Great rocky head. Glorious nose: Grapefruit, pineapple and orange-peel. In the mouth it was perfectly effervescent and ever so slightly oily. Pleasantly resinous and dare I say seductive? Massive hops well balanced against sweet malts. I don’t want to gush but I could drink this anytime. presario (4916) - Stampede City, Alberta, CANADA - MAR 10, 2007
UPDATED: JAN 20, 2008 My top beer of 2007! Bottle from trade with kmweaver. Cloudy light orange-brown. Big fruity, juicy hop aroma with a hint of bubblegum. Flavour is perfect for everything it’s not. It’s not syrupy. It’s not a BW with lots of hops. The alcohol is very restrained. Just delicious fruity hop juice. Maybe it’s where my palate is but my tongue survived un-bruised. tomaroth (31) - Troy, Michigan, USA - JAN 20, 2008
This is the perfect double IPA - floral, great nose, full bodies, lingering palate - hoppy and bitter. Still missed the honey par, but how can a chowder head like beer virgin slam the beer if he doesn’t like hops...stick with Miller Lite - BONEHEAD!!!!
Acknud (1081) - Morganfield, Kentucky, USA - JAN 24, 2008
Wow. That is about the hoppiest best tasting IPA out there. Heavy citrus and pine nose. Lacing that you have to chip off with a chisel! Very heavy creamy mouth feel and a long lasting bite. brewmaster420 (6) - Canton, Ohio, USA - FEB 20, 2008 does not count
Great beer smells like heaven and tasts like you are in heaven and after a couple of these bad boys you might think you are in heaven flatmatt (1587) - Northville, Michigan, USA - FEB 29, 2008
UPDATED: JAN 25, 2012 Re-rate 1/26/12, on the last couple bottles of my first sixer this year. Well, it’s not uncommon for me to, at times, get to wondering what’s so great about IPAs in general. Every year, this manages to come along and set me straight. So fresh and juicy, so awesome. I upped this rating to a 4.6 last time I rerated it, but it’s about time to max out the rating scale on this one.
corby112 (2804) - philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 4, 2008
Previous re-rate: Re-rate 1/16/09. 12 oz bottle. Pours slightly hazy amber orange with a nice, fluffy off-white head. Aroma is heavy on grapefruit and floral aromas, with some mild honeylike sweetness. Flavor is great, very strong grapefruit hops, with floral hops and again a moderate sweetness supporting them. A bit of biscuity malts are present to underscore the hops, but this one is all about the hops. The alcohol can be sensed very subtly in the bitter finish. Still puts the other IIPAs I’ve had to shame, and as such it unfortunately makes finding a satisfying IIPA all the more difficult by comparison. I’ll have to agree with my earlier review, too, that the label illustration is pretty entertaining. 9/5/9/5/18
Pours a cloudy golden amber with a foamy off white head. Aroma is dominated by citrus and floral hops with a nice touch of maltiness, grapefruit and pine. Flavor once again dominated by citrus hops. Nice malt backbone with hint of citrusy grapefruit and lemon. Alcohol very well hidden. Sweet bitter dry hop finish. Perfection! umphan (2) - Michigan, USA - MAR 14, 2008 does not count
Best beer ever assembled. I’ve got 10 bottles of the first run left in my basement, they age great. This years run says "brewed with honey" on the label is the only real difference. A local place here bought a keg for $220.00 and it could be better off of the tap. I’m not sure though, I bought a case of this years batch and from the bottle to my HQ crystal pilsner glass it smells just as juicy. Enjoy!