Cincinnati goes cuckoo for Hopslam
If you’re into beer enough to know what a double IPA is and are a part of social networking beer subculture, then you are no doubt sick of hearing about Bell’s Hopslam and its release in the Cincinnati market. You know this is a much sought-after Bell’s seasonal release that crams boatloads of hops into each bottle causing its drinkers to experience a hopgasm. You also know this is a limited release, it carries a fairly steep price tag ($18/6-pack), and packs a 10% ABV wallop. If you don’t know all this – then, well, re-read the sentences above.
I’ll admit I’m a part of the hype-bandwagon problem. I’ve been talking about it for the last couple of weeks on Twitter and stalking distribution reps to find out when this nectar hits store shelves. It became especially vicious when Bell’s released bottling videos and a release schedule saying it was heading to Ohio on January 7th. It became hop-fueled feeding frenzy turning the waters hop-green but, alas, it has arrived. Much of the panic is subsiding as lupulin appetites are being satisfied (for now, the hop beast knows no limits).
I’m not going to spend time reviewing the color, clarity, aroma, carbonation, mouthfeel, flavors, etc. You can find that a million times over elsewhere with varying degrees of similarity. I will give a few bullet points for why I really enjoy this beer.
- As an admitted hop-addict, it gives you an in-the-face pungent blast of floral hop aroma.
- That aroma is fully backed by a heavy-bodied, syrupy hop flavor without a harsh, biting bitterness.
- The high ABV warms you nicely and puts you in a happy place in no time at all.
- It comes but once a year, so half the fun is the anticipation and the hunt.
So I pretty much did what I said I wasn’t going to do in providing a nerdy review but bullet number four is the most important point. Beer nerds love the thrill of the chase, the attainment of the unattainable, the bragging rights, the sense of accomplishment, and that brief junkie-like satisfaction when it hits your lips. Case in point, I immaturely texted a picture to my buddy BeerMumbo with the quote “Do I make you horny, baby?” just to be a dick because I knew he hadn’t picked any up yet. It’s all a part of the fun that comes with rare(r) beers.
In the end, find it if you can and enjoy it – otherwise, don’t hang yourself from the rafters because you missed out. This isn’t quite the nectar of the gods but it is damn delicious.
Oh and ask around, there are more than a few people who selfishly hoard cases of it that may be open to bribery.