Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

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3,259 Reviews

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Reviews: 3,259
Hads: 11,634
rAvg: 4.45
pDev: 8.54%
Wants: 2,391
Gots: 2,632 | 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: 3,259 | Hads: 11,634
Photo of babyhobbes
4.32/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Another delicious Bells offering. I want to thank my neighbor for this thank you for dog-watching beer. I'm drinking it with her (the dog) right now!

Small, off-white head with a nice amber color. Looks like beer...Smells like grapefruit and hops...or perhaps that is grapefruity hops, eh?

The taste is surprisingly hoppy without being overly bitter. This is even more true when having this on-tap.

This is far too easy drinking and yet, it is so delicious. I could easily have too many, and too many would probably be two. So, it's a good thing I am at home.

If you have a chance to try this on-tap, definitely do so. In the bottle it is great but on-tap it is much different. I found it much more hop scented with less bitterness. (It's funny how sometimes bitterness and hoppiness are not the same.) It's much smoother on-tap, too. (840 characters)

Photo of Darien
3.98/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Beautiful two finger head with a slightly hazy light amber body.

S-Very citrusy and hoppy

T-It's not called hopslam for nothin, very citrusy hop flavor and very bitter. The hops seem to linger on the palate for a while. No taste of alcohol either shockingly.

M-Just enough carbonation, has a slight bite to it, medium bodied.

D-If you're a hophead check this one out, tastes great and smells great also. (409 characters)

Photo of asabreed
4.79/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: A lighter copper color with some amber highlights, bubbles shooting toward the top, and a head that leaves some chaotic lacing throughout the glass, like little spiderwebs in circular layers, which happens more toward the pour and less throughout.

Smell: Easily one of the best hop aromas from any semblance of an IPA. Huge malt sweetness, enormous citrus punch, dripping pine sap, and complete balance through and through. Seriously, if this were a candle, and the aroma could come through as well as this, I'd be lighting them up all over the place. Wonderful and almost ineffably effervescent.

Taste: At 10%, I don't understand how the balance is this good. Toffee, caramel, lemon zest, earthiness, pine, grapefruit rind, bread crust. Visceral, balanced, malty, with the extremely balanced and drippingly resonant, piney, and citrus hops. Just awesome and something I want to return to over and over.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, medium-bodied, and nothing to complain about, with carbonation that makes its presence known from the ongoing of the first sip to the last of the swallow, all the while contributing to the flavors making their way across the vastness of what the palate proves to be able to recognize.

Drinkability: I don't know if Bell's needs to just do the worthwhile brews or not, but lately those have been the best for me. And this may be their best. A deliciously balanced hop attack, with way too much to admire, and much to look forward to, at least from my end, when it's released each year. It's pretty expensive for a 6-pack, from around $12 to $15, but it's worth it, and I'll continue to buy it when it's available. Does anyone else think it's time for Bell's to start releasing some vintage and special bombers? Stick to the craziness, Bell's... as the experience is much more worthwhile. (1,863 characters)

Photo of JohnnyDuvel
4.54/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This may be the best smelling beer I've ever had! The grapefruit aromas could be detected several feet away. Pours a golden, almost orange color - small head. Taste is fruity and hops, hops, hops. Lives up to it's name. Ultimately, it's on the bitter side, but quite drinkable nonetheless. This is a terrific beer (made by a terrific brewery). Keep 'em coming to SW Fl., Bells! (377 characters)

Photo of dancinwillie
4.02/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

a: slightly darker than your average peach. 1 finger white head that seems to be holding up pretty well.

s: grapefruit, with slight pine and spice. also hints of floral aroma.

t: floral and citrus up front, and perhaps a bit o' honey. good flavor from the hops, but I am not picking up much malt. It doesn't seem unbalanced, though I would'nt mind just a bit more backbone. picking up an almost minty taste towards the end, although very slight. I love tasting grapefruit in ipa's and iipa's.

m: it almost seemed a little flat for the first few sips, but then the carbonation seemed to kick in. mouthfeel seems a little heavy in a good way, but not quite thick.

d: overall, a pretty high drinkability. my bottle says 10% abv, and I really taste no alcohol. I could get myself in a lot of trouble with a beer like this, if I wasn't careful. another delicious offering from a great brewery. (892 characters)

Photo of thirtysixbelow
4.17/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a - slightly hazy burnt orange color with a 1.5 finger head that lasts a good while for 10.5% abv

s - floral, citrus, and a little bit of spice

t - my palate isn't very good at detecting various hop flavors yet. I get some citrus and flower flavors up front. I'm pretty sure I can taste some malt even, maybe caramel. The hop punch is there, but not so bad I can't drink it. Very well balanced with the malt flavor that I wasn't expecting to be there. This is the first IIPA that I have had where it isn't a struggle to tolerate the bitterness. Either I am developing a taste for it, or it's well done.

m - smooth texture with a decent amount of carbonation. I've never had a high abv beer with good carbonation, but this is pretty good.

d - this is high abv and intense in flavor. I was expecting something that was going to be hard to drink, but I think I'm getting used to hoppy beers. I really like the citrus and flower characteristics of IPA's so it was worth it for me to try this. (995 characters)

Photo of sjohansen
4.55/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a ruby colored amber. Hazy with a one finger cream colored head. Disappears quickly, but leaves sticky lace all over.

If you're a hop head, this is what heaven smells like. Piney, citrusy hops. As it warms, there are rubbing alcohol notes, which you have to expect with a 10% abv kick.

I had this on draft and it was slightly different. Definitely more sweetness and honey notes from the draft, the bottle is all hop kick. As it warms, the true balance comes out. It gets extra sweet on the front of the palate, but remains chokingly bitter on the finish. The sweetness, definitely from the honey, battles valiantly against the punch of the hops. It loses the battle, but is effective in creating a combination of sweet and bitter not seen since General Tso's Chicken.

The mouthfeel is not syrupy or slimy like other strong DIPA's. It is excited, and smooth.

I love this one. Surprisingly it was not ruined by all of the hype (and there certainly is enough of it.) As far as pushing limits, this is a winner for finding some way to balance the generally overpowering hop characteristics of other DIPA's. (1,113 characters)

Photo of Sconnie
4.62/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a serious beer. Smells like strong citrus hops with a bit of sweetness. Initial hop bitterness gives way to a bit of sweetness at the end to balance things out and give a nice aftertaste of not-overly-bitter hop flavor. Really good stuff. You can sense the honey. Very balanced for an imperial IPA. The alcohol is well hidden (I had no idea this was 10% abv until I read the label), but with alcohol that high, this is a once an evening drink.
I truly believe that Bells is one of the best breweries in the country right now, and this beer helps prove my theory. (571 characters)

Photo of GRPunk
4.54/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle (Batch ID 8277) poured into a tulip glass.

A- It poured golden/peach color with about a 1/2 finger off-white head that became a good lace that left some nice sticky spots and a medium-heavy carbonation.

S- The aroma was complex. It was sweet and floral with citrus tones that reminded me of grapefruit. As it warmed, the scent became something of a ripe peach. Very different than other beers I've experienced.

T- There was more complexity in the flavor. It had plenty of sweet malt to stand up to the oily and earthy hops.

M- It had a medium foamy carbonation with a pleasant hop tingle.

D- It's a nice smooth sipper. The 10% ABV is well hidden. If it wasn't for the dizzying effects, I couldn't have been convinced it was so strong.

Overall- It's a more balanced beer than the name would suggest. The big grain bill brings some equity to the big hop addition. (874 characters)

Photo of Shaw
4.92/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

It's great that we're getting such heralded beers as Hopslam in Florida. At about $17 a six-pack, it better be worth it! ;-)

Pours a light amber in color, typical of the style, with a thick off-white head that doesn't disappear. This head stays about a half-inch thick in my glass.

The smell is phenomenal. Incredible aromas of citrus hops mix with an aroma that I can only compare to pineapple. This is the hoppiest-smelling beer yet and one of the best-smelling beers I've had.

The taste is fantastic. It's like liquid hops. The citrus and vegetable flavors mix with a nice sweetness from the malt. There's a honey flavor, too, which is easy to credit to the honey, except that my homebrewing experience with honey is that it adds dryness, not a honey flavor. I'm surprised that the IBUs are so high. This actually doesn't taste harshly bitter. This beer is more about hop flavor than hop bitterness.

The aftertaste is all about hops. It's like having a hop pellet rolling around in my mouth. I almost feel like I could blow a hop smoke ring after a sip of Hopslam.

There is a nice warming alcohol effect after swallowing. This beer is obviously strong, but not a fusel alcohol bomb.

The body is glassy, thanks to the high alcohol, but there's plenty to chew on.

West Coast brewers, watch out!

This is easily one of the best beers I've ever had and shoots right into my top five. (Currently tied for No. 1 with Rogue Imperial India Pale Ale.)

A masterpiece of hops. (1,477 characters)

Photo of shadow1961
3.87/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bell's Hopslam Double India Pale Ale pours two creamy
fingers of foam over a cloudy peach colored brew. The
nose is big juicy grapefruit. The flavor is big fruity malts
up against those citrusy hops. It finishes smooth but a
grapefruit rind aftertaste lingers. Mouthfeel is round-ish and
crisp due to those hop additions, and all that malt and hop
action completely covers up the 10% alcohol by volume-
which only makes itself known as a warming sensation. If
you like Bell' s Two-Hearted, you really need to try the
Hopslam- it's bigger, and more West Coast. Tasty! (569 characters)

Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.84/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Body is transparent bright amber and pours with a very small foamy white head that dissipates almost immediately after the pour. A thin collar remains the whole way down. No lacing is left behind in the glass.

S-Nose is bright and blooming with citrus (mostly grapefruit) hops. Behind the citrus hops is a less prominent character of refreshing piny hops. Deep in the background is smooth caramel malt to balance out the hops.

T- I wish this brew tasted exactly as it smelled. Initial flavor is somewhat subtle and consists of mostly citrus hop flavor though both piny hops and caramel malt can be detected in the background. The citrus piny hop flavors strengthen for the finish. What is left to linger is some piny hop flavor, a very subtle flavor of caramel and a residual rind bitterness that is greater than moderate. The residual bitterness-to me- is borderline cloying.

M-Medium carbonation and smooth oily body that is full of hops. This is the kind of mouthfeel I wish were in every DIPA.

D- This is a very enjoyable DIPA but it didn't do anything magical for me. It would be near perfect if it tasted exactly how it smells-but it doesn't. The flavor is pretty good but didn't blow me away. The ABV is very well hidden here. The strengths definitely lie in the smell and mouthfeel of this one. Pretty good brew overall and one I will have again. (1,361 characters)

Photo of bboven
4.81/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow.

The only un-great part of this beer is the appearance. I realize that there is an enormous dry hop addition, which I thoroughly enjoy later, but The beer loks like a half-pound of light caramel candy melted into a pint glass. I'm looking at it ad thinking there is no way I can stomach this beer. But the finger-high, wicked-consistent head and thick lacing remind me that it is indeed a beer.

The aroma is high alpha hops, Chinook, maybe Warrior, that earthy, dirty hop aroma that is so indicative of that northwest hop circle.

They say it's brewed wit honey, though I'd love to believe they achieved the sweet maltiness with barley alone. That's upfront. You would think with such a high hop aroma, this one would twist your throat with bitterness, but it doesn't. There's a little jab on the way down to remind you that hop is in the name, but, it doesn't fight.

The carbonation on this is so great I'd swear it was casked if you gave it to me at 55 degrees. Sticky and drying at the same time, but did I mention the carbonation? I'm a proper carbonation nut, and this beer has it.

Other than a rather unattractive body, this beer is perfect for the style. (1,184 characters)

Photo of tprokop7
4.89/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Sephiroth for the chance to try this one, after a great trade from the Midwest. Poured into a DFH pint at 40F.

A - Pours a light copper color, with just a bit of cloudiness. Offwhite head to about a finger and a half, and quickly dissipates to a thin layer.

S - Holy crap. I smelled the hops from two feet away. I can't remember a beer with this strong of a hoppy aroma. Once it settles a bit, the aroma is sweet and citrusy with very pleasant bitterness.

T - The flavor of this beer, and one would hope and expect, is dominated by the hops. It's wonderfully bitter, starting with citrus (orange peel, mostly) and running though a bit of sweetness to a nice floral, piney finish. A hop-lovers dream.

M - The carbonation is a bit more than average, and feels great running over your tongue.

D - Too drinkable given the ABV!

I was excited to try this, and after trading for it I am not a bit disappointed. (920 characters)

Photo of bobbyc881
4.65/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Finally got my hands on some of this. Pours out a very nice orange, lively carbonation, lingering off-white head that sticks to everything. Smells very nice. Hoppy (standard citrusy/piney American hops).

Taste-- Sweet god, hops! It's almost like I got slammed with them... weird. For a very short period of time sweet flavors dance around on the tip of the tongue before getting obliterated by the oncoming Bitter Train. Leaves extremely pleasing hop flavors all over my mouth... citrus, sticky pine, etc... The carbonation certainly enhances the impact. Sticky malt backbone (barely) keeps things in check. Finishes bitter, with noticeable enough alcohol to know it's strong. An absolutely brutal hop assault that makes hopheads orgasm and lesser beer-folk weep. (765 characters)

Photo of doppelmeup
4.42/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a lemon-yellowish gold into a pint glass. Inch thick creamy head that slowly settled.

Great aroma. Very citrusy/grapefruity with some cut grass. Also a slight sweetness in the aroma.

Taste was great as well. Bitter hoppiness nicely balanced by a complementary malty sweetness. This beer tastes good!

Mouthfeel is very smooth. The hops hit first but you get a nicely cleaned palate after each sip.

Overall, this beer goes down far too easily for its high ABV. Be careful! This is also on the expensive side (I paid $3 for a 12 oz bottle) but I wasn't disappointed. A little expensive to drink all the time, but was a very nice treat! (643 characters)

Photo of SIRIUS2
4.62/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a 16 oz. mug at Old Chicago in Okemos, MI.

A: Orange gold in color, hazy, with a thin white head. Quick head dissipation and good lacing.

S: Sweet floral hop abundance! The aroma coming out of this mug was awesome!

T: Hops dominate this brew through and through, but not necessarily all bitter. The initial hit to the senses is definitely a hoppy bitterness, but there was a short burst of identifiable maltiness before it swings hard to a bitter floral hop finish with a wonderfully long hop linger.

M&D: Medium to full bodied with medium carbonation and excellent drinkability. From the beginning of the experience this brew just screamed "fresh" hops. Fantastic. (679 characters)

Photo of Minkybut
3/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured this brew into my tumbler at 50 degrees. The beer was musty smelling and had a really thin head. The beer was a little bit cloudy and smelled really hoppy. It tasted really hoppy also as it is suppose to. I thought it was kinda grassy tasting. I did not like the beer but hop heads will go for it for sure. A great crisp summertime hop beer if you like that kinda thing. Not buy again (393 characters)

Photo of donteatpoop
3.38/5  rDev -24%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a re-review. I've purchased a bottle this year and found my prior review to be way off from my current tastes. But that's what happens when we expand our palets, tastes change.

Anyway, this poured a nice pale amber color with a thick white head atop the brew. Smelled of pine and wildflowers.

Very hoppy, as to be expected. I split it with my wife and she liked it a lot, but for me the hops were almost too much and took on an almost soapy characteristic.

I get what all the ravings are about though, for hop heads this is like a dream beer. I'm a fan of hops, but not to the extent that I'd be seeking this out again... though maybe. (646 characters)

Photo of vtfan77
4.02/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Quick note before reviewing: I went to the website and entered the batch number just for kicks (I know this beer is fairly recent because it hasn't been long since I bought it), and the number came up as invalid. I noticed the site has been revamped recently, so maybe they're still having some issues with it. Either that, or this is a counterfeit beer, and my whole review is a lie. I'm hoping for the former.

A- Golden orange with a decent yellowish-white head after a vigorous pour.

S- The aroma hit as soon as the bottle was opened. Fantastic hop smell of oranges and flowers with a nice underlying sweetness.

T- Nice resiny hop flavor backed by a substantial malt presence. The hops are huge, but they are balanced out by the underlying honey-like sweetness. Of course, the hops still clearly have the upper hand. The bitterness is substantial, but not overwhelming. The only thing that mars the flavor a bit is the alcohol, which seems quite strong at times. The ABV is a little over 9%, but if I didn't know better, I'd guess it was closer to 11 or maybe even 12%.

M- Pretty full-bodied; you can tell you're drinking something substantial. Carbonation is fairly low, but still present.

D- The drinkability takes a bit of a hit because of the alcohol and the overall richness. Some people I've talked to said they finished bottles of this beer in just a few minutes and that the alcohol was well-hidden, but that hasn't been my experience. It takes me a while to finish one, and I typically wouldn't want another after that (although there are definitely exceptions to that).

This is a very good beer and a great example of a Double IPA. It's just not the best one I've ever had. The flavor and aroma are very good, but it doesn't hide its alcohol well, and that hurt it some, in my opinion. Still a great example of the style, and I would suggest buying some if you get the chance. Recommended. (1,909 characters)

Photo of ejquin
4.72/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Yellow/orange with a nice white head. Good lacing.

S: Nice grapfruit hop aroma with a pineapple/mango element as well. Really delicous smelling.

T/M: Very crisp and clean. Semi dry. Starts off with some carmel malt and brown sugar. Then hops explode, though not out of balance. Hops very piney with grapefruit and a pineapple note. Again, very clean finish with almost no perception of alcohol. Caremel malt comes ut as it warms and hops fade slightly.

D: Off the charts. You could down a sixer of this without even thinking. And then you'd be out of commision for a few days. This is the most drinkable 9% abv beer I've ever had.

Ovr: I'm a big fan of DIPA's. I love the carmel quality the malt and alcohol add to balance the hop attack. This beer is very straight ahead. It's crisp, clean, has a great hop presence, is balanced almost perfectly, and adds something with the pineapple acidity. Maybe my favorite DIPA. (925 characters)

Photo of Pauly2X
4.67/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- One finger head faded quickly, deep relatively clear copper hue.

S- Strong yet pleasant citrusy hop aroma.

T- Nice hop flavor up front balanced by a good malt sweetness in the middle followed by a great hop bite and slight alcohol warming note in the end.

M- Light but not to light, very smooth.

D- Good thing Mike Roman got two kegs of this.

A simply fantastic IPA. It really focuses on hop flavor rather than just being an IBU delivery device. (453 characters)

Photo of ajr24
4.8/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz'er poured into a pint glass... Pours a hazy gold, ambery color with a pretty thick and creamy white head. The head lasts all the way down for the most part, and leaves a bit of lacing. Smells of powerful hops, and it's really a great character, citrusy, bitter, and mellow, with some fruit. Tastes... well like a hopslam, great blend of hops in this beer, and the honey adds a flavorful undertone. Relatively carbonated, very fresh and "energetic" mouthfeel. This beer is damn tasty and drinkable, I'd have no objection to crack open one after another. But 9.3% ABV would get involved... (593 characters)

Photo of Mudpuppet
4.32/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to TheodorHerzl for the chance to try this.

A- Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Brooklyn gold rimmed flute. Pours a hazy orange w/ yellow highlights. A 1/4" head receded into a white lacing on top of the beer.

S- Really nice hop nose. I get a lot of orange, fresh orange. Some evergreen scent with a nice malty background.

T- At first you get the hops. But I have to say the is very well balanced w/ malt. Cirtus, some definite pine tree with a nice sweet caramelly malt background. Very well executed beer from Bells.

M- This is a bit thick but I think this style asked for that. Medium to low carbonation.

D- Okay for 10% beer this hides the alcohol well. I really like this beer. I was expecting blow-your-face-off hops but I got a very balanced and delicious beer. (781 characters)

Photo of bkilpatr
4.09/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. 02/21/08. Batch 8277

When I bought this, the guy at the store said this one is "very hoppy, very strong". The bottle lists it at 10% ABV, so he's right on at least one part.

Poured an orange-amber color, with about a finger and a half of head that quickly dissipated. Intense smell of hops, very fresh and smells crisp.

The taste is of even more hops. VERY hoppy beer, probably the hoppiest beer I've had. Store guy is 2/2 now. Light citrus taste, but overpowered by the hops. Low to medium carbonation, very bitter, and I can taste the alcohol. Drinkability is alright, but definitely not something I could drink more than one of.

I'm not usually one for overly hoppy beers, but for what it is, this one is pretty decent. (771 characters)

Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
99 out of 100 based on 3,259 ratings.