Back in the days when I was just reading this blog instead of writing for it, I decided that Bell's Hopslam was worth my hard earned money. I based this decision on the stellar reviews written by those who were to become my co-Knights. But a funny thing happened when I got the Hopslam home; I hated it.
That experience has stuck with me, and as a result I try to be as conservative as possible when reviewing a beer. The highest score I've given a beer to date was 4 mugs (Brugge's Quadripple). I gave Bell's Oberon 3.5 mugs, even though it's my first choice when I'm in the liquor store.
So I think it's only right to say that last night's tasting was tainted by 10 or so of BW's mild boneless wings. Although I figured that mild wings would be weak enough that I could shake their taste, I was sadly mistaken. I suppose that rule one of reviewing beer would be to not ruin your pallet... and I failed right off the bat. Please keep that in mind as you read further into this review.
I started the night with a Hopslam (I'm coming around on Hoppy Beers, actually) and the wings, and then moved on to Three Floyd's Gumballhead, our chosen beer. It was hard to decifer the nose on this beer, but I did pick up a distinct hop odor that was strong enough to cut through my runny nose issues. The beer also had a very hoppy front, which might have been shocking had I not warmed up with the Hopslam. The beer was golden and transparent in color, not unlike most standard American beers. I felt that the back end and aftertaste of the beer was almost watery, but that may have been due to the boneless wing precursor. I wasn't very far into the glass before I started belching up the flowery taste of hops.
Although it seemed as if my fellow geeks were very impressed with the Gumballhead, I felt like it was just a fair option, and not a beer I was impressed with enough to give a second chance. Then again, maybe it just doesn't go well with boneless wings. I'd give it 2.5 mugs.