When Ashey’s Ann Arbor tweeted (@a2ashleys) Monday afternoon that they’d be releasing Bell’s Hopslam Double IPA at 4pm, I had no choice but to venture over there for a taste, right?
The description included with the pint (pictured) stated that the hops were chosen on the basis of being very aromatic, though I didn’t think there was a very strong hop aroma. The taste, on the other hand, was out of control. Tons of grapefruit and other citrus flavors from the hops, along with a decent taste of honey, with just enough malt to balance it all out. There wasn’t a strong bitterness either, this was a beer that is primarily hopped for flavor and little else.
I didn’t even realize when I started drinking that it was a 10% ABV beer, because there was no real heat from the alcohol, but it made itself apparent pretty quickly, as I was feeling it halfway through the pint. I typically associate strong honey flavors with high ABV in my mind, so that makes sense. One thing that I really liked about this beer was great color for a DIPA – it’s a little darker than many, but that’s because it had a nice malty body.
In all, this was a very good – though not quite great – beer, although it’s not my preferred style (more on the porter/stout end of the spectrum).