Beer Squared #6: IPA’s Special Hopslam Edition Pt 2

Posted: March 24, 2011 in Beer Squared, Beer: IPA
Tags: , , , , ,

Round 2.

It has been a little while since we did our first IPA sampling in our special Hopslam IPA series, and we were ready to get back at it. This time, we chose to compare some local IPA’s to the glorious god of the medium: Boulevard Brewing’s Single Wide IPA and O’Fallon Brewery’s 5 Day IPA and see how they measured up.

IPA’s or India Pale Ales came to be an export variety of Pale Ales to be sent to India. They have a very strong hoppy flavor and very bitter which was meant to survive the trip to India from England. In time domestic demand grew for the export varieties as well. (Source) (Note: Hopslam is a double IPA which is hoppier and has a higher ABV.)

We chose to drink the Hopslam last in this tasting session as not to contaminate the others…but I did find myself wanting to finish to get to the Hopslam…

Single Wide IPA by Boulevard Brewing (ABV 5.7%)

Single Wide IPA

Nik: The Single Wide IPA poured a nice head with a great aroma that came flowing right out of the bottle. I didn’t have to wait until I had it in my glass to get a good whiff of it. It has a slightly cloudy look to it. It certainly isn’t crystal clear like a certain other beer… It does have a very strong, but smooth bitter flavor with a slight sweetness to it. I felt that this IPA compared very well to the others we’ve tried.  This was another beer that the more of it I drank, the more I warmed up to the flavor. I would definitely grab another one of these again.

Bob: Boulevard Single Wide IPA has a long-lasting, very nice head that coats glass with tiny bubbles. Pleasing orangish liquid color that is cloudy but not objectionable. Wonderful aroma of flowery, citrusy hops. Strong, pleasant bitterness that carries into a long aftertaste. My everyday go-to IPA at only a little over $1 a bottle in six-packs.

5 Day IPA by O’Fallon Brewery (ABV 6.1%)

5 Day IPA

Nik: I’d drank this beer before, but I think it was after a night of carousing so I didn’t get a true representation of this beer’s flavor. It has a decent head, with a weak nose. It doesn’t have nearly the bitterness of other IPAs nor the smoothness of the others. This is one of those beers where when I tried it again, it really lacked the punch of the first time. I guess it’s because I’ve tried many other IPA’s since then that were just flat out better.

Bob: It has a fairly decent color, semi-cloudy liquid with just an OK head. Nice bitterness, but much less so than the Boulevard. Kind of an IPA for newbies, it seems to be made much milder to encourage American lager drinkers to cross over. Nice, but nothing spectacular.

Hopslam by Bell’s Brewing Part 2 (ABV 10%)

 

Jesus tears.

 

Nik: We decided to compare Hopslam to several IPA’s over a period. I think, for me, it was partly to see if Hopslam really held up as more than just the once a year treat. Its clarity, smoothness, and sweetness cannot simply be matched by any other beer in its class. Yes, it’s a double IPA and yes it’s got twice the alcohol of the others, so it’s not the truest comparison out there, but I cannot get over how much I love this beer. I’ve drank many different high ABV beers before Hopslam, and it’s the same in all the others, the beer tastes heavy. Hopslam doesn’t taste this way. It’s so smooth and light that a person could really wake up to find themselves somewhere they don’t remember going…so beware!

Bob: Doesn’t seem to matter whether we drink it first or last during a tasting session, Hopslam is still the standard of excellence. Unlike many lesser potions, it tastes amazingly good from the first sip to the end of the glass, with complex aromas, tastes and long aftertastes that are remarkably smooth considering its high alcohol content. Truly the ambrosia of the gods!

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