Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Getting Slammed, HopSlammed

My wife was out of town, so I figured I should get something to eat.  A friend and I traveled down to a local pub, which he said had a good beer selection.  I didn't know what to expect, until I checked it out online.

Bully's Restaurant in Columbia, PA has a great bottle selection,  a pretty good tap selection and some pretty good food (on that day, I had a burger; I took my wife a couple days later and we had a full meal that was just as good).  They have a well put together beer menu, which divides the beers into styles.  The taps have 4 (or so) that are standard, and 4 (or so) rotating.  They also provide a beer tap list, with short, yet complete descriptions (they beers that I recognized were all very accurately described).

They also had a couple specialty bottles (seasonal); which included the Bell's HopSlam.  HopSlam, and Imperial IPA that is bitter like crazy, with a huge hop nose, has a cult-like following.  When released, the bottles are usually bought up quickly.  I had never had HopSlam, but was not going to go on a witch hunt for it either.  It was a pleasant surprise when I saw it on the chalk board as I was walking in.

The beer did not disappoint.  Even though I am in the running for worst pourers ever, the beer gave a nice off-white head that didn't linger around long.  I was surprised it was not darker, but the clarity made up for the color (which isn't a huge issue).  The nose brings a bouquet of hops.  In my mind, it is comparable to Nugget Nectar's aroma, as it overtakes all other senses.

When brought to my mouth, I was actually underwhelmed by hops.  Not because it wasn't bitter or grapefruity.  It was mainly because the malt had such a presence. (I was looking for the hops to completely dominate the malt, but the malt still showed up to the party.)  Sometimes being underwhelmed can be a good (sweet) surprise.

The beer finishes smooth.  Not much of an alcohol burn (only because I was looking for it, did I find it). Overall, due to its 10% abv, it would be an easy beer to drink a couple of, but the alcohol will catch up fast.  It was a great experience to try it, and enjoy it.  Something I hope to have in the future.

Note: Yes, I could have bought a case of it when it came out.  My problem with that is that I would have a case of 10% beer to drink (plus the price).  I am a one beer a night type of guy, and the 5-7% beers are perfect for that.


  1. I'm not a huge hop head, but it is amazing

  2. I agree about the alcohol catching up fast even when you don't recognize it from smell/taste alone. I've been nursing a 6-pack for about a week simply because I only drink 1 beer a night.

  3. I love Hopslam! I bought two sixers this year, but would love to have more. I would have bought more, but with DIPA's, the hops flavor degrades fairly quickly and I don't want to be drinking three and four DIPA's at a time.

    I look forward to buying Hopslam every January, it's one of the seasonals that is always on my shopping list.