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Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

3,306 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,306
Hads: 11,959
Avg: 4.44
pDev: 18.02%
Wants: 2,584
Gots: 2,889 | FT: 60
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States | website

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: 3,306 | Hads: 11,959
Photo of gford217
4.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to sholland119 for sharing this one! 12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a hazy coppery orange with a dense white head that shows exceptional retention for beer of this ABV. The slightest swirl of the glass brings the head back quickly.

S: Floral and citrus hops dominate the aroma. Despite the hop dominance, there is a hint of sweet maltiness underneath.

T: Starts off with a hoppy bitterness with major grapefruit and orange overtones with a slight pine bite. But that gives way to pleasant sweetness before the crisp fruity hop finish takes over. Very nice and extremely well balanced for having such a hop profile.

M: Crisp but sill coats your mouth in a prickly hoppy goodness.

D: I was extremely impressed with the beer. I would definitely put it in the top few DIPAs I've tasted. This would be a staple in fridge if I had easier access to it.

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Photo of budgood1
4.92/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pours out a slightly hazed copper colour, with a thin white head that sticks and stays leaving nice rings of lace. stupendous aroma of hops; all citrus all the time...think lemon-lime meets grapefruit punch with an fresh apple kick. a nice maltiness noses it's way in also...wow this smells great! the taste backs up all the lip smacking, juicy fruit hopping that this DIPA is known for. grapefruit rind, lemon zest, orange juice, lime, with an understated honey sweetened herbal tea note that really rounds out the hop profile. it's full of bitterness, but it melds so well into the background, that i almost dismissed the tremendous IBU's. oh yeah, i almost forgot that there is a nice, straightforward, sweet caramel maltiness that holds everything together beautifully. and the honey helps, too, if i already didn't mention that. it's a gorgeous combination. there are some yeasty notes prevalent, mostly due to the bottle conditioning, but i tried not to mix in the dregs. i'll save them until the end. while i can tell this is a big brew full of booze, i can't detect any alcohol related flavours, either. i can only say that this tastes fantastic. big bodied; full, albeit dry mouthfeel. drinks smaller than it should for a %10 ABV beer. finishes dry...thus, drinkability is dangerous. proceed with caution!

wow, what a great DIPA. certainly the best i've had the joy to drink. this particular brew is an absolute crowning achievement in the wide world of hop worship and brewing.

i loved it. so should you.

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Photo of Neehan
4.64/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Finally I was able to get some of this and it was well worth the wait. Medium body with a thin head and a bit of retention. Moving on to the highlights... bam-- what an explosion of citrusy, grapefruit hops in the nose and then again in the taste with bitterness that is very present but not overwhelming. Very light and present in the mouth, making it very enjoyable and present. For the ingredients and the alcohol the drinkability is incredible as well. Here to looking forward to being able to find some more of this.

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Photo of RumRiverWorthog
4.42/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well, I can't be as eloquent as others, and I'm new at this gig. Moving CD's to the IPOD while I type this.

Appearance - Orange/Golden hue, clear body, poured from bottle fairly quickly for a nice 1" head that receded to a white ring over time.

Smell - floral, citrusy notes, like grapefruit

Taste - crisp, tart, with a sting at the back of the throat if you drink it too fast that quickly fades away. nice bitterness, but it's not unpleasant. Leaving the palate dry for awhile, it leaves a dull sensation that you know you've just had a tasty brew.

Mouthfeel - Not thick like a barleywine (my preferred beverage) but it's not watery either viscosity is present. Very drinkable.

Drinkability - last note said it, this is definitely a drinkable beer, if I had a case of this and an open weekend, I'd make sure I couldn't get to my car keys. 10% abv and you really don't realize it as it goes down.

Effect - this isn't a catagory, but I had only 1 bottle left for this review, wish I had another to sample, but I've already went through the rest of the 6pack over the past week. Anyway a guy could review beers for a salary? Ha ha ha..

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Photo of ElGrecoVerde
4.4/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It's bright, but murky. Harsh, yet comforting. Aggressive, and inviting. I don't know how one makes a beer like this, but Bell's has nailed it again.

Aromas pour out of the glass, everything from oranges to flowers. Sweet sugary flavors greet your mouth, followed by an insane hop presence. And yet, the flavors of honey and apples keep the harshness of the hops in check.

It's a perfectly blended Double IPA. And checking in at 10% abv, who cares if you can't drink them all night?

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Photo of Greggy
4.73/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Pours a beautiful orange color, with some very cloudy sediment into a large wine glass, leaving a 2 finger head that slowly recedes to a smaller cap with some great clinging lace on the glass.

Smell- The main component I pick up is the grapefruit. Also, I pick up some aroma's reminiscent of a spring walk in the woods. I can't exactly put my finger on the precise scent, however. I pick up also what seems to be some honey. After a bit of swirling from the glass I get a waft of dole pineapple juice. This nose of this beer, tells me right off the bat that this has some seriously nice balance.

Taste- Initially the palate gets hit with the grapefruit but also some of the pineapple that was previously mentioned is there and a bit of honey/apple. This is probably the most balanced DIPA I have ever had. It has the nice malt backbone but the huge hopiness balances perfectly in my opinion. The finish is semi-dry hopiness with some residual grapefruit.

Mouthfeel- Light/medium carbonation that doesn't get in the way of the main act, the perfect balance of the beer. As mentioned above, this beer has an excellent finish as well.

Drinkability- If I were to guess on the ABV of this beer I would probably guess about 6-7% max, but this thing, being this drinkable at 10%, is dangerous. Not once did I pick up on big alcohol monster creeping in. Well done bells. All I can say is, I am glad I have 17 more bottles until next year.

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Photo of nrbw23
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a nice deep golden orange color that is a little hazy. Nice white head with great amount of lacing.

S- Pine hops, grapefruit and other citrus flavours. Very nice can't wait to taste it.

T- Great tasting. Amazing balance and the hops jump right out at me. Finishes nice and sweet very complex a lot going in this brew.

M- Very nice medium to a little heavy. Good carbonation on this one. Dangerously smooth for a 10% abv!

D- Easy to drink great look and taste. Only thing that is bad about this brew is the price at 15 for a six pack.

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Photo of drunkmonk
4.62/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally getting around to review this, as my stash has dwindeled. Hate to see this go.

A- Honey amber, with a stiff rocky head that gives way rather quick. Wispy thin lace sticks around.

S- Pungent Grapefruit and peaches. Some sweet malts there as well.

T- Citric and fruity hops to start, about mid palate they fade to a nice sweet orange marmalade and then malts and honey come in to lend a nice caramel sweetness. Nice balence of bitteness and sweetness is left on the patlate. Fantastic.

M- Medium and somewhat sticky body, carbonation is on the soft side.

D- Extremely easy to drink given it's hefty abv. The only detection of alcohol is the warming feeling you get. This one is easy to get into trouble with.

A fantastic beer, and a must try for hopheads.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a light orange, with a medium white head with good retention and lacing.

S: Smells very hoppy, citrus mostly, the honey is evident adding some sugar sweetness.

T: Great flavour, the honey and then hops work really well together. Great light citrus, white grapefuit pith and orange oil, with honey sweetness, giving the counter to the hop bitterness a mead-like quality, just really good stuff.

M: Smooth, full-bodied, great carbonation feel, slightly oily.

D: A really good beer, I'm glad I finally got to try it. The honey really takes over the malt character and makes it light enough that the great hop flavour really shines through. Now I know why all the East coasters are psyched out of their minds about this beer.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
4.02/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of a "Michigan Double IPA" 4-pack put together and sold by Merchant Wine in Dearborn Heights, MI. for $13.99; purchased and consumed late March-early April 2008.

Pours a moderate copper-amber with golden and reddish highlights. No head to speak of, but decent stickage.

Aroma is yummy. Not very descriptive, but spot on correct. Hops, fruity citrus sweetness, and tons of floral notes.

Flavor is very nice representation of the style, huge malt backbone standing up to the aromatics coming alive as flavor. Mandarin oranges and hops, hops, hops. Over the top bitterness in the end of the swallow bring the drinkability down.

Mouthfeel is a very solid rich, full DIPA mouth, but the alcohol burn detracts.

A good brew.

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Photo of JEdmund
4.05/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Golden orange, 1/4" head, good amount of carbonation bubbles, clear

Pineapple! And then some orange juice, followed by something sharp--most likely a pine-like hop. It's hops through and through, but not quite as big and overpowering as I had anticipated.

Taste & Mouthfeel
Hops and more hops, with the same flavors present as in the smell (no surprises). Surprisingly, the body is a bit thin, more like an IPA than a DIPA. I expected more of a luscious, creamy mouthfeel; however, the lightness of it makes it that much more drinkable, although the 10% ABV does not. Aftertaste is of apricots, and there's a dash of malt sweetness peeking its head around all the hops. Very tasty. The alcohol was hidden until the last two sips--then I felt just a bit of heat. Just looked at the label and it say's "Ale brewed with honey" which I didn't know until now. That may explain the bit of sweetness I detected.

Hopslam is extremely tasty, but it didn't quite live up to the hype or my expectations (considering how flavorful their IPA is). It seemed like a huge IPA but a small DIPA. This brew has been sitting in the bottle for a few months now and people on this site have been remarking that it's toning down a bit already. So, to be fair, I guess I really need to try this the week it hits the shelves.

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Photo of dnichols
4.32/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to abankovich for a great trade. I poured a capped 12 ounce bottle into a tulip.

A: It poured a light orange colored body with a slight half finger white head that didn't linger long but left a spotty lacing on the side of the glass.

S: It had a dominant aroma of floral hops including pine and citrus (grapefruit and pineapples). There were other ripe white fruits present (white grapes, pears) and some recessive malty aromas.

T: I love a glass of thick, tart and tangy fresh squeezed grapefruit juice for breakfast. This brew reminded me of grapefruit juice. It was tart and tangy without loosing its thick malt base. Well balanced and complex with hints of sweet citruses including oranges and tangerines. The alcohol is very well hidden until it provides a warm clean finish to a high powered brew.

M: It was medium-bodied, creamy and smooth with a warm and clean finish. Nice complexity and wonderful balance.

D: I am not a huge IPA fan but this beer is a great Imperial IPA. I could easily have two or three before returning to styles I prefer taking later into the night.

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Photo of ckeegan04
4.64/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle pured into mug.

A - Tawny dark golden color. One finger head after rather agressive pour, fades quickly. Good lacing.

S - Very piney at first. As it warms it picked up a sweeter smell that I cant quite place. Smells like a candy I had as a kid, but cant remember what. Again, very piney.

T - Pine bitterness but a nice sweet balance to it as well. From the honey? Very even taste given the ridculous IBU's. Great taste.

M/D - Nice feel from the carbonation. One of the best tasting DIPA's I have had. Masks the 10% very well so watch out. Could definitley drink this one all night.

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Photo of Bubba83
4.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle served at 45 degrees into a pint glass.

Excellent color, a dark chill hazed orange with bright orange highlights that runs a gradient to yellow towards the sides. 2 finger widths of head reside on top and seems pillowy in character. Nice spiderwebbed lacing from the rim of head that remains until the last drop.

Smells great, don't pick up much alcohol in the nose, but I pick up beautiful pine and spruce with a smidge of honey, and perhaps some clove as well.

Initially I taste some caramel sweetness which quickly turns into some tart citrus followed by copious amounts of pine. The honey plays nice with the rest of the components and seems there to kind of put everything together. I was worried when I saw it was brewed with honey at first, but the honey is utilized perfectly in the overall flavor profile.

Feels nice in the mouth too. The head is as creamy as it looks, but the beer retains a nice carbonation level as small bubbles run to the top the whole way through. A little prickly at first on the tongue that fades into a nice slick feel and ends wet, not dry.

How can this stuff seriously have 10% ABV? I did not taste the alcohol at all, not even on the swallow. Maybe it's the honey and pine that helps it go down so easy. There is some warming that is just impossible to mask with these higher ABV beers but that's about it...

My first Bell's offering and I am VERY pleased with it. Thanks go to Kegatron for the bottle.

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Photo of jred98rt
4.64/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Honestly, this is my favorite beer. I was introduced to it early in my beer drinking career and still love it.

A: poured into a 0.4l pilsner glass. Head depends on the pour, aggressive pour results in a beautiful head, normal pour results in a minimal head, common to my experience with other IPAs. Rich golden color. Nice and clear if you can avoid getting the yeast in the glass.

S: To me, this beer smells happy. One whiff and all of the trials of a long day disappear and I relax into a semi-solid blob. I'd pay a lot for an air-freshener with this smell.

T: The happy doesn't end with the smell. Beautiful flavor of hops, balanced with a sweetish finish. I've found no other IPA to have this flavor, which is depressing since it is such a limited release. The bottle says "brewed with honey," so I'm guessing that's the secret.

M: Very full mouthfeel. A bit bruising if you aren't used to the hops.

D: Exceptional for a double IPA. Not something you can slam, but with this quality, you want it to last.

I've had early release bottles, post release bottles (the liquor store stockpiles it) and tap, all are exceptional.

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Photo of ChrisBakken
4.57/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of the best beers i have had with the amount of hops. Bell's did a good job! Many of my friends felt the abv was a little strong but i did not notice. I felt Bell's has a very unike flavor and complexity. For people who would like to try a highly hopped ale, this is a good one!

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Photo of Godot
3.98/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a fairly hard pour I got about a 2 inch head which dropped a little but doesn't really seem to be going anywhere. It is a gorgeous copper gold color, rich and beautiful. The smell is floral hoppiness, clean and fresh with a slight sticky sweet character. The flavor is sharp citrusy hoppiness up front, a sweetness develops, then drops right into a lingering hop biting bitterness. This is far from a balanced beer, more like unadulterated hopjuice, but with a name like Hopslam that is obviously what they were going for. The mouthfeel is average, and drinkability is good for a 10% tastebud peeler. The honey added does a little to mellow it out. If you are a hophead this beer is great. I wouldn't call it complex, but it is what it is and I like that.

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Photo of jenbys2001
4.75/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Attractive amber color in the glass with a tiny bit of cream as the head. Earthy, pungent - but not overpowering scent. It reminded me of freshly moved glass. However, there was a distinct fruitiness to this brew. As I continued drinking it, I noticed it smelled exactly like a grapefruit. My husband remarked that it smelled like floral perfume. Super hoppy taste, which I expected, however it lacks that signature bite of many IPAs, making it quite drinkable. The finish is very clean and pleasantly bitter. I found this beer to be quite balanced and delicious.

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Photo of toolbrew
3.97/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured with a thick white head. Nice orange color.

Fruity smell - citrus, pine - sweet.

Tastes about the same as it smells. Not as bitter as expected. The ABV is hidden very well. Good malty character behind the hops.

Great mouthfeel. Goes down easy.

I could and have had lots of these in one sitting. I certainly get my hop fix with this brew. Wish it were around all year.

I think the hops have mellowed out a little as it's March/April, and it was brewed back in January.

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Photo of RedBaron
4.67/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Thanks to BA Marcobrau for the sample)

What can you say about this beer? It is what it is: a hop bomb in a bottle! Humulus Lupulus lovers unite!

Appearance: Fading California sunset orange; wonderful head retention. Good-lookin' beer.
Smell: Wonderful resiny, piney and floral hop aromatics dance in the nose. Good lord does that smell excellent!
Taste: Bittering hops play up front, a nice dose of honey and grapefruit have their turn in the middle, and, yes, an actual malty sweetness hits the back of the throat before yielding to a wonderfully dry finish.
Mouthfeel: Ya know, for a beer seemingly all about the hops, I think the use of honey in this brew, giving an added sweetness to balance the acidity and dryness of the hops, works brilliantly. It claims to be 10%abv, and I'm sure it is, but it does sneak up on you. Very attenuated beer.
Drinkability: High! I'm not sure if this is a fresh sample, but you could've fooled me if not. I'd love to drink this off tap sometime, too. Wonderful beer. Seek it out.

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Photo of Redwood21
4.93/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

ok this beer is best fresh (imo) but i have now gone through a whole case (slowly) and feel apt to both review from past to now.

A: for a 10% beer it holds the head wonderfully and its so sticky. its perfectly white and looks like little snow caps on top of the beer. the color itself is a hazy brown with a hint of rust red

S: floral, wonderful, amazing, best aroma ever... what else could i say. you crack a fresh one and whiff the aroma and you might cry i almost did. as it ages it tapers a bit but this is still the first beer that start to finish i have been able to enjoy the hop aroma even when the glass is empty

T: this is sex in liquid form its smooth clean, yet a little rough and sweet. to be more specific it has a wonderfully herbal think floral for the mouth, with a touch of piney citrusness, only a touch. the hops are so powerful yet completely under control. i often feel dipa's are too tame, or way too rough. this IS the dipa for me.

have i oversold this beer? maybe, but when i look back on this review, ill rem how i felt and when available go buy a case...

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Photo of mgobrew
4.67/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into an imperial pint.

A: Pours solidly and creamy white fluffy foam rises to just short of two fingers that hang around for quite a while. Clear amber dark tan but more reddish than brown. This is a very nice beer to look at.

S: Sweet juicy ripe red grapefruit! Very sweet and powerful like cutting open a fresh ripe fruit.

T: Sweet citrus is upfront and delicious. Definite grapefruit as the sweetness is replaced by the bitter hop bite. The bitterness is overpowering in a good way.

M: Thick and viscous, coats the mouth with a hop napalm that makes you want to chew as you drink.
Carbonation is minimal as the syrupy goodness sticks to my mouth.

D: Amazingly smooth and easy to drink but the warming bitter finish slows the process. Sipping this is pure pleasure. I would say this is definitely one of the best beers of the year so far for me.

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Photo of KBC1
4.92/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Golden/amber color with nice head that sticks around.

Smell: Awesome...strong citrus smell

Taste: Still one of my favorites. This year some of the IPAs and DIPAs I have tasted I feel the breweries dialed back some of the hops due to cost, but not this beer. Great citrus hop flavor, aroma, and bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Nice and smooth and perfect carbonation for style.

Drinkablity: DANGEROUS! Very drinkable. I could drink lots of this, but would pay dearly for it. You would never guess the ABV until it hits you.

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Photo of DavidEddie
4.3/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 8277
Courtesy of drunkmonk. Thanks Joel for my Bell's fix.

Appearance - Golden amber. White head with tons of sticky lacing.

Smell - Fresh ruby red grapefruit, pine, and carmel.

Taste - As it smells, but stronger. Bold grapefruit balanced perfectly with a solid malt backbone. ABV hidden extremely well.

Mouth feel - Creamy and medium. Well carbonated.

Drinkability - Fantastic! Smooth and balanced. Another great one from Bell's!

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Photo of younger35
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received this beauty from both TheodorHertzle and Brent56K. I love Bells and have been excited to try this beauty. Drank from my Stone India Pale Ale tulip.

Appearance- Pours a bright orangeish/yellowish/red with a decent half finger bright white foamy head. The head recedes fairly slowly leaving a swirled cap and thin bubbly collar with a medium to small amount of lacing.
Smell- Deliciously fruity with loads of pineapple, peaches and apricots. A bit of a bready, raw malt underneath but it's covered very well by the abundance of hops. Very fresh and summery, it reminds me a lot of Hop 15.
Taste- Mmmm... Bitter but not excruciating like I was expecting after the nose. Loads of fruit including more of the pineapple and some juicy mango. A bit of dry goodness does cut into the bitterness a bit more. The alcohol is there but barely noticeable and it finishes with lingering fruity bitterness.
Mouthfeel- Medium body with very light aggressive carbonation and a slightly dry, crisp finish.
Drinkability- This is the best beer I've had since I've moved back to Chicago. It's a semi hop bomb, semi a fruity delight! The honey adds a nice touch of dryness in the finish that you really don't expect and it's an all around terrifically done beer. Now I understand all the scramble to snag as much of this stuff as possible! Big thanks again to Matt and Brent!!

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Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
98 out of 100 based on 3,306 ratings.