The Gavel Slammer… wow, this one was impressive. Admittedly, I’m starting to type this review as I’m enjoying it, because with 17.4% abv, I just might not be able to type when I’m done. If I’ve done my math correctly, this baby has almost as much alcohol as a 6-pack of Miller Lite, in one bottle! It’s also worth noting that at $12 directly from Hoppin’ Frog, this 12oz bottle of beer also costs more that a 6-pack of Miller Lite. But it was oh so worth it! Gavel Slammer got its name because a beer that packed this kind of punch was illegal before the efforts of Hoppin’ Frog to get Ohio House Bill 37 in 2016 passed. This bill eliminated Ohio’s law that had limited beer to 12% ABV.
I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while, I’ve been impressed with high ABV beers before, and when I learned of this one, I knew I had to try it. I’ve talked about it numerous times with my buddy Josh. He swore up and down that it tasted like raisins, I didn’t get that taste. This beer presents as a heavy looking pouring, jet black beer with no head. The smell gives it away, it smells powerful, really powerful. Gavel Slammer, at least this version, is aged in whiskey barrels, and you get that feeling/smell upon opening the bottle. That all said, the aroma isn’t overpowering, it just lets you know what’s going on. Upon first taste, you don’t (at least I don’t get) Josh’s raisin taste, but what you do get is a crisp beer that tastes of cocoa, licorice and whiskey. The finish is a bit harsher than what I generally prefer, but again, this baby is a 17.4% ABV powerhouse. The finish definitely lets you know what’s going on with a more than slight boozy taste. In the end, I’ll certainly have this one again, and I can’t wait for Joe and TJ to try it out too. Could I drink it all night, hell no, I’ve had half the glass and I’m toast!