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Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

3,269 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,269
Hads: 11,755
Avg: 4.45
pDev: 9.44%
Wants: 2,497
Gots: 2,712 | FT: 62
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: beernbbq on 04-14-2004

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.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 3,269 | Hads: 11,755
Reviews by HopHed:
Photo of HopHed
4.45/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

APPEARANCE: A bright almost rust orange color, like dark honey, with about a finger of head and light but noticeable lacing.

AROMA: From the second the cap cam off of this thing it was citrus! This beer is almost all hop with a touch, almost an afterthought, of malty sweetness.

FLAVOR: The first thing I taste is grapefruit and citrusy notes. A light honey sweetness and malt sweetness comes in to balance the beer out nicely, and a bit of a dryer finish. The shocker of this? Almost no alcohol heat from this 10% ABV hop-bomb.

PALATE: Definitely a full-bodied brew, but extremely well balanced.

MOUTHFEEL: Sweet, just a touch 'thick' like extremely thinned syrup, but very nice. Lightly carbonated, but the hops seem to just cling to every surface of your mouth.

NOTES: This beer is a sleeper. It does the same thing that Hop Stoopid does to me; makes me want to sit down with a six and go to work. Then, I remember this bad boy is a big 10%.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of yadehtsiyadot
4.96/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Walking home from a hard days work. The sun is showcasing it’s vast array of colors on the landscape before me. Making my way to the stoop of my trailer, the main concern is to get out of these shoes. Plopping down to un-suffocate my feet, they decide to show off a few new blisters. About time for some new boots, I suppose.

Taking a moment to just relax and calibrate myself, my neighbor approaches me. “Looks like you could use a beer”, he says to me.

“You read my mind”, I eagerly reply. “What’d you got to share?”, I say.

“This here is Hopslam”, he kindly answers.

“Hopslam, huh? Never heard of it. Let me take a look. Bell’s huh? It’s been a few months since I’ve had a good, craft beer and I thoroughly enjoy their Two-Hearted Ale“.

“Well, this will make you forget all about Two-Hearted and it’s odd, fishy label“, my neighbor adds with a warming smile.

“That so huh? Well let me get two glasses from the cupboard and we’ll partake“.

“All right, sounds good“, he says in agreement.

Making my way back outside, I pour my neighbor his and then my own.

In each bubble, I can see myself. In some bubbles I am smiling, happy as a kid at Christmas time. In some I am singing, loud joyous hymns. And in others, I am just dancing, without a care in the world.

“This is gonna be a good beer”, I says to myself.

Once my nose breaks the plain of the rim, I am welcomed by the most magnificent aromas. Fresh pine from my hikes up northwest in America. A slight honey scent straight from Winnie’s home.

I start to get excited. My first sip transcends my imaginary being of myself into an altered state of another dimension. I am in a room. Yet it is a room that goes on forever, so it is not a room at all. Up above me, out of reach is a treasure chest. I can’t seem to reach it.

Out from the void, appears numerous pine cone entities. From the cracks of their cones, they are perspiring honey. They assemble themselves in the form of a ladder, forming a perfect ascension to reach the treasure chest. As I climb, each one seems to rub my back for an eternity. The feeling is not felt, for I am not of this body. I make my way upwards, dauntlessly, smiling as I reach the treasure chest. As I approach, it opens automatically.

Inside is a picture of me as a baby. My innocence. I have found what was never taken from me. I have found my Self.

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Photo of bluz4frank
3.53/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First time distribution this year in San Diego, CA. Seond time trying. I honestly do not understand the hype on this beer. It is mediocre at best. No hop nose to speak of and a cloyingly sweet finish. It DOES have a nice appearance. Had a Bear Republic Apex immediatly after and it blew it away. There are so many more easily attainable beers out here in Californa that leave this in the dust.

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Photo of zachpaschal
3.5/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Way overrated and nowhere near the hype. Had 2 of my 6 pack and gave the other 4 away to friends. To each their own. But there are much better beers at a much better price point imho.

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Photo of PaulyB83
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 01/08/15 Poured into a Sam Adams glass.

L- Medium amber, looks like honey, good clarity, two finger slightly off white head dissipated quickly to a ring.

S- Big hop aroma on this beer, hop dankness, mango, pineapple, maybe a little stone fruit, I believe I'm getting quite a bit of Simcoe and Citra here, I know I've read that this is exclusively dry hopped with Simcoe. I swear I can smell a slight presence of the honey. The abv is only slightly present.

T- The dankness comes through more in the flavor, pine that you don't get from the aroma, and then some of those fruit notes come through, finishes with a light bitter bite and a definitely lingering honey flavor can be detected. Some of the alcohol comes through, a bit more than I'd like but only a slight warming on the tongue.

F- Slightly syrupy but a good mouthfeel for such a big beer.

O- An amazing beer that is worthy of hype and one every hop head should try at least once. The honey adds a dimension to it that others do not have, for me I find it takes away slightly from the hops but it still works, it just might not be everyone's cup of tea. Another thing I have found is that this beer is really best within the first couple of week from bottling. I find the alcohol can become more present at about a month, it's the same problem I have with Oracle as well. But the aroma of this beer is up there with all the others, very bright and a definite slam in your face.

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Photo of TCHopCraver
4.62/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a brilliant ruby-gold with a 1-finger head into an over-sized wine glass. Has a crisp, clean look to it. Happy carbonation bubbles running up the sides of the glass show this beer is alive! Very nice amoeba-like lacing.

S: Fresh floral and grapefruit-citrus bouquet fills the nose. There are some sweeter pineapple hints, along with a good dose of honey and just a whiff of alcohol. I could smell this beer all day long.

T: Wonderful balance between hop bitterness and the malt/honey sweetness. Very impressive for a beer this heavily hopped with a high abv. The citrus flavors are just delicious and the finish is a nice, dry hop-honey.

M: Like the label says, a tongue bruiser! But in a "I'll bruise your tongue but then French kiss the hell out of it to make it feel better" kind of way. The lovely hop and malt balance really spreads over the palate for a refreshing and complex feel.

D: For a 10%, big hopped beer, too good! So delicious and well-balanced that I could enjoy several if I didn't have self-restraint.

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Photo of BuckeyeSlim
4.07/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a NB snifter.

A - Beer pours a brilliant, glittering yellow-golden. A two-finger head of very tight, thick eggshell-white foam with a crown of loose bubbles falls at a moderate pace, leaving a thick ring of pocketed lace around the glass. Eventually, all that is left is a solid, thin blanket of sheen across the surface. Held to a full-spectrum light, the beer is a soft, muted sunset orange and somewhat opaque, with a thick column of bubbles rising slowly up the middle. Traces of residual sugars on the sides of the glass linger, but not enough to call them legs.

S - Fresh pine backed by ruby red grapefruit and hints of mandarin orange. Nicely toasted malts and Jolly Rancher sugars push up through the hops on the ABV, which is present without being hot. As it warms, slightly acrid floral notes appear, followed by tropical notes opening up, such as mango.

T - Hop profile shifts to a noticeably more bitter one, featuring dry floral, herbal, a bit of resin, and hints of lemon rind. Toasted malts with notes of light caramels and hints of orange sugars provide a foundation in the background and somewhat of counter-balance, but make no mistake - the hops are the featured act here. The ABV is remarkably well-hidden. Bittering hops dominate the finish.

M - Fizzy, with mouth-filling carbonation. Body is on the light side, but solid. Components are well-integrated and rich with quality. The hops really take hold in the finish, creeping into the back of the nostrils and lingering on the tongue.

O - Better balanced than an all-out hop bomb, this is a big beer that's all about celebrating a variety of nuances various hops will produce, both in the nose as well as on the palette. It's expensive, but worth it if you're a fan of big and bitter. Watch out for the ABV, though; it will sneak up on you!

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Photo of CraigP83
4.6/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Honey, floral, hops, bitter, sticky mouthfeel, a little boozy.it's good but with all the other DIPAs on the market it wouldn't be my go to

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Photo of Garvey
4.88/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

What a great welcome to the Beer Advocate community. Berg77 generously gave me 2 bottles of this to try along with a plethora of Iowa Beer Distro tips and info. I knew Hopslam would be good, but I was beginning to think that it couldn't possibly live up to the hype.

I tried a glass up at a friends cabin this weekend and can say that I would not change a single thing about this beer. Looks beautiful in a glass; I could smell it all day; and it has a perfect balance of sharp, hoppy bitterness and delicate "nectar of the gods" sweetness. Would definitely drink another glass of this liquid gold...in fact, maybe I will today. Thanks again Berg77 for the gift!

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Photo of Critter1594
4.79/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Look: who cares. It is a double IPA it should be cloudy
Smell: heavy hop
Taste: dirty with hops
Feel: appropriate

Awesome beer. Dirty with hops as a double IPA should be.

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Photo of BeersnobRob
5/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Loved everything about this beer. I'll be tracking it yearly.

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Photo of beerbeardguyfromCO
5/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This has been hoppier in the past, but I'm going to let it slide this year. This is the only IPA that really delivers for me, aside from Palate Wrecker. If I could take this beer to bed, I'd divorce my sweet, MPDG wife and live happily ever after even if it means I don't get any more hand-knit orange socks. All jokes aside, (are they jokes, really?) this is pretty much my go-to, so it's a good thing my local beer spot has me on speed-dial and saved me 6 cases.
Fire is hot, ice is cold, Hopslam is IT.

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Photo of El_Farto_Magico
4.99/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer lives up to the hop hype. It makes me want to slap not only my mama, but your mama as well. The taste is out of this world.

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Photo of Smarusich22
3.44/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It was okay, don't think it lived up to its hype

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Photo of tlema1
4.25/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very enjoyable, not worth the hype

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Photo of Renob44
4.48/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This beer is the perfect balance of hops/malt, with a name like hop slam I was scared that it would be way to "hoppy" but the beer itself tasted amazing. At 5.99 a bottle... It's not worth it, but definitely a great beer.

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Photo of LAp
4.4/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle. Pours a deep honey color with a whitish foam. Smells of citrus and honey. Taste overwhelms at first with honey, which slowly gives way to hop. Mouthfeel is slightly thicker than most DIPAs. Overall, very unique for the style. Thicker and sweeter than I would have anticipated. Probably not a beer I'd line up every year to get, but a solid, fresh take on DIPAs.

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Photo of brewqueno
3.93/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

Flat. May not be normal, but mine did not look good in the glass. Taste was too sweet. Mouth feel, again...flat. Thick and heavy... not enjoyable.

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Photo of mrfrancis
4/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear, golden amber with a thick, slowly receding white head.

S: Aromas of honey, caramel, biscuits, herbs, lemon, lime, bitter orange, grapefruit, pine, spruce, and astringent alcohol fill the nose.

T: Notes of pine, spruce, peppermint, sage, kumquat, grapefruit, lemon, lime, and bitter orange spring from a base of honey, cream, biscuits, crackers, and caramel. The finish displays strong, pungent notes of lemon, lime, bitter orange, grapefruit, and herbs before a sneaky, heavy-handed hit of peppery alcohol dominates the fade.

M: Full in body, but not particularly heavy or thick. This ale starts off rather dry for the style before turning resinous around mid-palate. Carbonation is active and firm, yet it is also somewhat delicate. Alcohol is pronounced, lending this beer a fiery bite that is most noticeable on the finish.

O: A nice DIPA to be sure, but I am still not certain that I understand or appreciate the furor that surrounds this beer's yearly release. It is definitely good, perhaps even very good for the style, but I have had ales of this style that are better balanced, more readily available, less expensive, more approachable, and that present a better, more sophisticated integration of bold hop and succulent malt flavors. Then again, judging by the name, as well as the attitudes and preferences of the crowd drawn into Hopslam's oddly rabid and surprisingly steadily expanding cult following, this is a beer for the truly hop obsessed. As if my reviews do not make this clear, I am not one of those guys, at least not consistently. Still, I can appreciate Hopslam for what it is: a big, unbelievably aggressive DIPA for the legion of self-professed hopheads inhabiting the netherworld of American craft beer geekdom.

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Photo of I_imbibe
4.56/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

We were only able to get 1 case of slam in at the shop, and after setting my sixer aside the other 3 were sold before hitting the shelf. First time for me from the bottle, but it tastes just as fresh and pine-citrusy as draft. I love the mouthfeel, really into the carbonation and tight bubbles. Astounding dipa!

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Photo of nmeno1
5/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Awesome! Just awesome. Best smelling beer I have tried. One of the best tasting to boot. Citrus, and especially grapefruit, to me, give this beer a fantastic aroma, and leaves a more than pleasant taste on the palette. Most likely due to the added honey, the bit of sweetness balances the bitterness well. Fantastic beer.

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Photo of Tom_Thivierge
4.7/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

All I can say is Wow. Great overall IPA. Just hoppy enough without going overboard. Just enough citrus without making you feel like you're sucking on a grapefruit. Good color. One finger head. Worth the wait. Glad I got my hands on some this time around. Some say a little pricey, but compared to domestic beer at a bar, I'll take this all day long.

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Photo of 51mmz0rz
4.42/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I am rating this partially as an experiment. I have 2 bottles: One bottled 1/17/14, and one bottled 1/18/15. I'll note the differences here, and give the 2015 (fresh) a rating.

Both Poured into a 0.5L Duvel tulip.

A: No real color or head retention difference between the two.

S (old): Mostly crystal malt aromas. A stiff malty smell.
S (fresh): More tropical fruit.

The new beer is a lot brighter. The old beer tastes more like a barleywine, without any fresh hop character. More of the sweet grain in the old beer.

M: Since the new beer finishes a little brighter, it feels a little less heavy. The hop balance is key there.

Overall both beers are still pretty good, though the old beer does seem a little less interesting, and maybe a little less bitter, the old beer is still pretty tasty.

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Photo of Beerampage
4.47/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Poured one with a good friend.

A: Pours nicely. Sunny orange color and single finger head on top. Awesome.

S: Intense hops. Citrus and Pine. Smells delicious. Malt is sweet smelling which I assume is due to the honey as well. Very fresh smelling. Can I drink this through my nose? Maybe.

T: Bang! If you're a hop head you'll enjoy it alot. Its bitter as hell initially, but gives way to a nice malty sweet finish with the citrus revealing itself along the way. First drink is always a bit shocking. Second one reveals why this beer has such a great following. At 10% you know your drinking a big one. The booze is present, but fits just right with the rest of it. Its big flavor from start to finish, and the beauty of this beer is its drinkability.

M: Awesome smooth mouthfeel. Malty and full. Juicy just like it looks. Carbonation is completely spot on.

Overall: From pour to finish it seemed to last maybe 10 min. Is it allowable to make a 10% DIPA so damn drinkable? Yes! The mark of any good beer is your desire for its next drink, and this one is pure lust from a hopheads perspective. Its a different beer from the start to the finish, and as my comrade finshed one swallow before myself, and he said, "Damn, that was delicious." I think that sums it up perfectly.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.89/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Radiant ripe tangerine with a sparse cloud of fine particulates and a few larger flakes that I hope are hop leaves (the beer murks up considerably with the final pour). The tight-bubbled cap is ivory in color with a faint orange tint picked up from the beer beneath. While there's nothing spectacular about the appearance, it's definitely solid.

The nose is amazing! How in the world does Bell's create beer that smells like hop juice? The aroma is one of the brightest and most purely citric that I've ever experienced in a beer of this style. In addition to orange and grapefruit, pineapple and other assorted tropical fruits burst out of the glass. I'm betting that Amarillo and/or Simcoe are members of the hop bill, along with one or more of the C-hops.

HopSlam is a DIPA as DIPAs were meant to be. In other words, it's a jacked-up, hopped to the gills, high-ABV IPA. There's no caramel malt to contend with and no way to confuse what's in my glass with an American barleywine. I knew Larry wouldn't let us hopheads down. As Two Hearted has proved for years, the man knows his way around a hop cone.

Where to start? The sugar cookie-like pale malt backbone is just big enough and no bigger. It provides a firmness and a solidity that is barely able to withstand the lupulin assault. I think fresh Two Hearted is more witheringly hoppy, but it's a close call. Even so, the 106 IBUs are easy to believe. How can a beer this powerful be this mellow?

Whatever the hop bill consists of, I approve in a big way. I tried my best to determine which varieties are used, to no avail. I don't care if Mr. Bell wants to keep the specific ingredients a secret, as long as he continues to brew this hop nectar; year-round would be preferable. Bitter orange zest, white grapefruit pith, pineapple... they're all still present and accounted for. I haven't had a more drinkable DIPA in a very long time.

The mouthfeel isn't quite as full or as viscous as one might expect for an ale that weighs in at nearly 10%. It's amazingly velvety smooth, though, and I think I prefer it just as it is. In fact, the mouthfeel is one of the biggest reasons why the beer is so damn downable. It's hard to believe that 10 of the 12 ounces have disappeared so far.

HopSlam is a grand slam of a DIPA. It may not be the biggest, the hoppiest, or the most bitter version that I've ever let flood my taste buds, but it's one of the most drinkable. Anyone who considers hops to be the soul of beer, as I do, owes it to himself to seek this one out. I am in awe.

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Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
99 out of 100 based on 3,269 ratings.