You got your wallops, smacks, punches, bites, pinches, monsters and things measured by minutes but there's only one slam. And that's Bell's Hop Slam! Those other moves, twist and jump about in their own special ways and do damn excellent almost perfect executions but this is the only reigning champ and legend so far to super, super hop fiends across this great country.
Dark orange and hazy in color. Small head that doesn't hang on long but a decent about of bubbles (not too many but not too little) stick around the edges and a clean even lacing on the glass. The smell is VERY sweet and sour citrusy tang, one of those marihootchie strains that's got it's own name, a walk in a northern Michigan woods on a nice late spring day and a understated malt backbone. Upfront in the taste grapefruit. Before I go any farther if you don't like grapefruit-this isn't for you. Personally though, they're part of my breakfast at least twice so I'm right at home having this as the evenings night cap. That dry sour that gives you pucker power. There's definitely a combination of at least a few different hops given this a distinct character. Crisp with a nice medium body in the mouth. Leaves a slight sting on the tongue that lingers but down the throat is smooths all out with the honey and the malt giving a warm sweetness in the finish with a bit of alcohol burn to remind you that this is over 9% abv and 106 IBU's.
A friend of mine says he wishes that Hop Slam was a year round brew. I'm sorta torn on that idea. I love when these are in season but like too much of a good thing a steady supply of these would be too much. I think Dogfish Head's 60 Minutes does a good job filling the month to month need of a grapefruity tasting hop brew (or stepping up to the 90's if I'm feeling a bit more rowdy) but Hop Slam is a special occasion seasonal. Now, that special occasion only lasts as long as the stock is around but by the time it runs out is a good time to tone it down anyways and give the innards a bit of a break. Yes, I love Hop Slam but it's much better to have it as an occasional fling because any long term relationships with it would result in who knows what kind of messes. The brewery itself warns people that this is a bruiser. I'm still sipping on the first one as I write this and starting to feel pretty well oiled already. Contemplating a second one so I better wrap this thing up before I pop another cap off, get even more oiled and start writing more run on and nonsensical sentences than usual.
Only having it around for a short time each year makes one yearn for it. Absence makes the heart grow fonder don't ya know? Same time next year? For sure!