Battle Of The Hype: HopSlam vs Nugget Nectar


Today is a very exciting day in the world of Beer Fights. Tonight we bring to you one of those never ending battles of the, “Overhyped” beers. Thanks to our Unofficial Sponsor, Randy, we are able to bring it right into your home. One of the biggest showdowns that people should go out and taste… or maybe sit it out because it is not worth all of the trouble that it takes to get it.

Bell’s Hopslam vs Tröegs Nugget Nectar.
This may seem like an unlikely match up, but there is a lot to these beers that bring them some attention.

Tale Of The Pour

Bell’s Brewery, Inc. Michigan, United States From Tröegs Brewing Company Pennsylvania, United States
January-February Availability February-March
Imperial IPA Style American Amber
10% ABV 7.5%
70 IBUs 93ish
12oz Ounces 12oz
Hallertau Hersbrucker, Centennial, Glacier, Vanguard, Crystal, Simcoe. Simcoe Dry Hop Hops Nugget, Warrior, Tomahawk, Simcoe, Palisade. HopBack Hops: Nugget

Bell’s Hopslam

Bell’s Brewery began its life back in 1983 when Larry Bell opened a home brewing store called Kalamazoo Brewing Company. Bell’s Brewery, Inc. began in 1985 with a quest for better beer and a 15 gallon soup kettle.

Starting with six different hop varietals added to the brew kettle & culminating with a massive dry-hop addition of Simcoe hops, Bell’s Hopslam Ale possesses the most complex hopping schedule in the Bell’s repertoire. Selected specifically because of their aromatic qualities, these Pacific Northwest varieties contribute a pungent blend of grapefruit, stone fruit, and floral notes. A generous malt bill and a solid dollop of honey provide just enough body to keep the balance in check, resulting in a remarkably drinkable rendition of the Double India Pale Ale style.

Tröegs Nugget Nectar

Chris and John Trogner have been working hard to get Central Pennsylvania on the brewing map. Since 1997, these Mechanicsburg natives have been handcrafting world-class beers that combine traditional English brewing techniques with the eclecticism of new American brewing. But how they reached this point is as compelling as where they are headed.

Squeeze those hops for all they’re worth and prepare to pucker up! Nugget Nectar Ale will take hopheads to nirvana with a heady collection of Nugget, Warrior and Tomahawk hops. Starting with the same base ingredients of our flagship HopBack Amber Ale, Nugget Nectar intensifies the malt and hop flavors to create an explosive hop experience.

The Fight

Round 1: Appearance

HS: Poured a very clean, clear golden yellow with a small, white, short lasting head. Nice color for a DIPA. Very attractive. Constant reminder of the carbonation bubbling up the glass.

NN: Poured a nice golden bronze. Quite a bit darker and it falls into the Amber category quite well. A decent sized off white head that had a little more staying power than the Hopslam, though it dissipated rather quickly as well.

Winner: Nugget Nectar. This was a hard choice because they are both great looking beers but Nugget Nectar got the edge due to the longer lasting head. Longer head, is always a plus.

Round 2: Aroma

HS: This beer is bursting with a lot of tropical and fruity scents. Pineapple comes to mind. You can tell there are a lot of hops in this beer based on the nose, alone. It has a very nice aroma profile.

NN: This beer smells sticky. Very resiny, big, and sweet. Floral, caramel, and clean.

Winner: Hopslam. While Nugget Nectar did not smell bad at all, it just could not stand up to the scents that Hopslam gave off. The aroma is a very important aspect to the style that these two beers are brewed.

Round 3: Taste

HS: It came along very light at first, and then that initial, big rush of bitterness. Mango, passion fruit, and that bite that mellows out shortly thereafter. Floral and a tad peppery with a sweetness that rolls along to balance out the bitterness.

NN: This one started off sweet and moved into a huge wave of bitterness that followed grassy, citrus, resiny, sticky, earthy hop flavors. They all melded well together and tasted damn fine. This seems as if it would always be enjoyable.

Winner: Hopslam. While Nugget Nectar was very solid in the taste department, it just could not stand up the the flavors that Hopslam brought about. Maybe it is just me, but great fruity flavors will always out do earthy ones. No one eats vegetables and tropical fruits make everything taste better.

Round 4: Mouth Feel

HS: I thought this one was a bit syrupy for my liking. A decent medium bodied beer that lingered on and on and dried you out as it finished. A nice carbonation level.

NN: The carbonation level on this one was great as well. Almost carried a medium body, but it had a nice mouthfeel, nonetheless. This one lingered, as well, and I thought it was better balanced with the lower alcohol level.

Winner: Nugget Nectar. I guess I may have given this one away a bit in the last little bit. But it is true. I thought this one was superior when it came to the, insert macro beer buzz word, drinkability of the beer.

It looks like the breakdown at this point is Hopslam: 2 Nugget Nectar: 2. Only one more category but it is the moneymaker in any beer. The way you actually feel about it.

Round 5: Overall

Hopslam is a very good DIPA. A lot of good flavors and very well balanced and made, I say but it is not as good as everyone makes it out to be. I don’t understand why people went out and stalked this beer opening day to get it. Is it because it is only around once a year? If this was always on shelves, it would sell better than the Two Hearted Ale, but it would be pushed aside for other beers that are readily available such as, Pliny The Elder, which is also highly sought after but people don’t go all crazy about it.

So, as you probably assumed based on that last little section,

The Winner! Nugget Nectar

That makes it 3:2. I just feel that Nugget Nectar was a well rounded, more solid beer… even though it fits in no style at all. They call it an Amber ale… No way in hell. I think it would be safe to call it a IIPA or something. I bet more brewers will start to do something like this in a while and then we will have a new style war to deal with… I do not want to get started on that though…

I would like to thank you for coming out to this fight tonight. It was truly a great battle and I am wondering what your thoughts on these two beers were. Which did you like better?


Battle Of The Hype: HopSlam vs Nugget Nectar

8 thoughts on “Battle Of The Hype: HopSlam vs Nugget Nectar

  1. So Hopslam was the first of these two that I tried and it was actually my first time having it. I thought it was amazing and def worth the run. The next night I tried NN and thought this is damn good. I tried it again the next night and thought, \”shit, this might be better than Slam.\” If Troegs had the same distribution as Bell's then this would be one sought after beer. It's not worth the trouble and I only say that because I can go to the store right now and pick up a few cases. I think Troegs did themselves a favor by making this readily available and also putting themselves on the forefront of creating a new style. IMPERIAL AMBER IPA.


  2. Thanks for the read! These beers are hard to come by even where they are available, so that should not get to you that much. I had a lot of fun with the pictures on this one. There was more I wanted to do but did not know exactly how to get it done. Cheers!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s