Back in late January, thanks to the good people over at the Beeradvocate.com forums, I was able to pick up 2 six packs of the limited release HopSlam. As a side note, if you're ever looking to pick up a limited release brew that sells out quickly the BA forums are a great resource, as is The Left Side of the Store, a blog run by Phil Devitt who works over at Lukas Liquor Superstore in KC, MO.
The DIPA style is a uniquely American beer style. It takes the already hop heavy India Pale Ale (IPA) and adds a bunch more hops and just enough extra malt to keep it in the neighborhood of balanced. The Bell's version adds some honey to the malt bill in an attempt to add more balance.
The pour is a bright orange tinged copper color with a fluffy white head. The aroma hits right away, huge hop aromas are a mix of citrus and tropical fruits, like a mix between a mango and a grapefruit. Pine needle aromas sneak out as it warms. On the tongue it's more of the same hop flavors, a little more pine flavor with plenty of grapefruit and orange and plenty tongue burning hop bitterness. Honey and biscuit flavors make an attempt at balance, they mostly fail. The finish is dry and bitter with a spicy burn form the 10.5% ABV. This one grades out at an A-plus.
If you haven't been bit by the hop bug yet, you may want to steer clear of this one. On the other hand, if you associate yourself with the phrase “hop head” then you must seek out this big, brutally bitter beer. I have yet to try a beer that comes closer to capturing the essence of American hops.