Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine and get 12 issues / year of fresh beer content delivered to your door each month.

Already subscribe? to manage your subscription.

Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
99
world-class

3,266 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,266
Hads: 11,678
rAvg: 4.45
pDev: 4.49%
Wants: 2,425
Gots: 2,662 | FT: 64
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Hopslam Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 3,266 | Hads: 11,678
Photo of hoppyhobby
4.82/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours to a two-finger off-white lasting head. The body has a somewhat cloudy light orange color. Excellent lacing which leaves rings around the glass as you savor every sip.

S - Wow...that's hoppy! A magnificent aroma of grapefruity hops.

T - The taste is just as exciting as the aroma. When you sip this one you know you are tasting something special. An excellent ale that has just become one of my favorites.

M - A good hop bite on the sides of the tongue with a hint of honey sweetness on the tip of the tongue.

D - This one may not be considered drinkable by everybody but for hop lovers it's a very enjoyable ale. Definitely worth having again even though it's a bit pricey. (688 characters)

Photo of GrahamWalters
4.82/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to BA backfat for sending this hopslam out to me in the original haiku LIF. As promised, my review. Better late to post than never.

A: A beautiful amber color with a thick creamy white head. Clinging lacing leaves a nice trail that shows where you started.

S: smells of passion fruit, pineapple, and grapefruit. Wonderful nose exploding out of the tulip.

T: Taste is truly exceptional and exemplary for that a DIPA should be. Strong bitterness with great hop flavoring of citrus, pineapple, grapefruit. Big malt backbone really balances this bear out and the honey does its thing.

M: Fairly viscous, but goes down smooth. Perfect level of carbonation.

D: Great drinkability, I wish I had a 6-pack left for tonight. Another beer that hasn't made it's way to MA. (772 characters)

Photo of bigbluebeerguy
4.82/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An aggressive pour into a pint glass yielded a beautiful golden orange concoction of haze that swirled like summer clouds. A massive, frothy white head left great lacing throughout.

The smell is insane! Citrus is dominant, primarily grapefruit, with honey and a pine like spice.

Taste lives up to the smell. The grapefruit comes through, the hops give a huge bite, but the honey seems to keep the zing from becoming too much.

Thick, but smooth in the mouth. The carbonation keeps it crisp and lively.

This beer is very drinkable. Have to remind myself it is 10% ABV. Will try to pick up another sixer before they are gone. (627 characters)

Photo of scifan
4.82/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks like liquid gold when poured into my fav pint glass with a thick dense two finger head.
Smells like I'm in the middle of a hop field. Lots of grapefruity, citrusy, smells with some piney aromas as well. I am also getting a touch of sweetness as well. Maybe from the honey. Taste freakin awesome it's a shame the beer strore had a two six pack limit. This thing is loaded with hops but there not overpowering very citrusy with some grapefruit flavors as well. There is a slight bitter finish but doesn't leave a lingering aftertaste. I should be careful with this stuff it is way too drinkable. I can hardly detect any alcohol. My new love affair with DIPA's is growing with every sip. (691 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
4.82/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On cask last night at Rustico.

Cask Hopslam pours a suffuse orange with a mild haze and not much head, surprisingly so. That, though, is the only disappointing about this beer. On the nose, there's a brilliant hop character, prominent and complex with pine and tropical fruit - pineapple, orange, mango. Just brilliant. On the palate, this beer is just brilliant. All the hops come through spectacularly. Light in body with a bit of sweetness that balances the hops really well, this beer is a treat. The cask conditioning of this beer really takes it to another level with a soft and creamy mouthfeel. And the drinkability? My first pint lasted 10 minutes. (658 characters)

Photo of Zachtheporter
4.82/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into an Over sized wine glass.

Before I even get started I have to make a note that this is one of THE greatest smelling beers I have ever smelled in my entire life. The aroma hits you the very second you begin to pop the cap off the bottle.

A- Pours a Deep hazy orange with a white head. The head retreats in the first 30 seconds after pouring, down into a thin lacing on the top of the beer. There is a healthy looking white ring that forms around the edges of the glass. Small white bubbles can be seen rising in streams from the bottom to the surface along the edges of the glass.

S- A very strong and vibrant smelling beer. It has a very sweet and fruity aroma. Honey blends in with the smell of luscious grapefruit and mango notes. Their are also faint hints of juicy pears, mandarin oranges and lemons. Very citrusy and hoppy. Almost no bitterness to the aroma at all.

T- Incredibly well hopped and sweet without an intense bitter finish. Has some very fruity characters. Starts with sweet notes of mango and papaya from the hops and finishes with the semi-bittersweet taste of grapefruit and pineapple notes. The honey is somewhat noticeable but not entirely. There is absolutely almost no bitter earthiness to the hop flavor at all despite how aggressively hopped this ale is. The finish is very enjoyable sweet and tart for a beer of this kind.

M- Very smooth and medium in feel despite how well carbonated it is. Slightly crisp at the start from the carbonation but finishes very smooth.

O- Going in to this review it was very hard not to be biased due to all of the positive hype that this beer receives, however it is one of the very few that I have tried that has actually almost exceeded it in terms of how much I truly enjoyed this beer. This is the perfect beer in so many ways and I am happy to say it is the first beer I have ever reviewed that I have given a 5. This is an absolute must try for hop lovers and anyone who loves beer in general. (1,997 characters)

Photo of DCDevilDancer
4.82/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Damn!!
HOPSLAM is NOT best young!!!!
Maybe the bouquet is, but that's it. I stashed a case of this year's batch in the back of my fridge upon release. Been enjoying a bottle here and there since. I just finished a wonderful can of fresh Surly Abrasive (I rated it a solid 4.45) and the 4 month HopSlam is blowing it out of the water! Smooth as silk, yet still slamingly hoppy. Honey does things. Hops are sensitive, but that doesn't mean every hop bomb needs to be crushed young. HopSlam, like Ithaca AlphAlphA (another wonderful honey bitter), is terrific with 3-6 months of cold aging. The honey smooths out the booze, and while the shocking bouquet is tamed on the 4 month, it don't matter. It's better.
More cohesive, yet still itself.
Drink Pliny young, every year save some of your HopSlam for Memorial Day! (813 characters)

Photo of AllFineThings
4.82/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Well, this just came in-LOL!

Poured into a tulip glass-has a 2 inch head that settles down to a whisp the aromas hits you squarely in the chin, heavy hops of course and citrus.

Citrus, and spice, and very smooth for a 10% ABV, which is better than many other offerings with that same ABV.

Once again---is very, very smooth, and you could easily lose track of how many you drank-prob a good thing that I had just bought one to try-haha! (438 characters)

Photo of urwithdave
4.82/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a imperial pint glass.
A- Golden orange with a nice frothy thick head. Leaves nice lacing all the way down.

S- Seriously, it is one of the most fragrant beers I have ever smelled. The citus, hops, and floral aromas just jump into your soul. Grapefruit, oranges, pine, and hops dominate. Some alcohol is present but it's masked by the aforementioned aromas.

T- OH MY! Just str8 goodness! The citrus is sooo fresh. A grapefruit/orange taste mixed with a pine flavor and a hint of honey to throw in the mix. OH did I mention HOPS. There is a bit of a spice at the end but there is not a burn, just a hint of spice as if the beer gods are reminding me that this one is 10+ ABV.

M- I want to feel this beer in my mouth as often as I can. It leaves a nise crisp feeling. I know it wants me to drink it. I feel the hops and citrus dancing on my pallet coupled with the perfect amount of carbonation. SMOOTH!!!!

D- I'm almost glad (not really) I can only get this beer a few months out of the year. If it was available any longer I would be broke. I don't think twice b4 spending $57.00 on a case of this beer. It must be noted that this beer is extremely dangerous. It is so smooth that I could drink it alll night long. As a matter of fact, I have. I indeed was slammed. This beer just makes me happy! I can be having a bad day and all I have to do is think about the hopslam that is in my fridge...suddenly, life is good. This one is a MUST HAVE. (1,458 characters)

Photo of iabeerbaron
4.82/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the best beers I’ve ever had! Had this on tap at Red’s Alehouse in North Liberty, IA. Copper color pour with white head and tons of lacing. Floral, citrus, pine, hop smell. Bitter start but a smooth hoppy almost creamy finish. Easy drinking beer and highly recommended! (280 characters)

Photo of strohme2
4.82/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one pours with an orangey, almost light amber color with a decent foamy head. Right off the bat it smelled like a sweet grapefruit. Very appealing. Also detected a citrusy, flowery smell, but man those grapefruits!

Very smooth and drinkable, still more sweet grapefruit and flowery hops taste. I wouldn't put this beer at almost 10% ABV. It tastes strong but not from the alcohol. It's very well balanced.

I couldn't imagine drinking more than two of these and still be coherent.

Hopslam is outstanding on tap and very good in the bottle!! (550 characters)

Photo of ojdidit
4.82/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the most amazing beers I've ever tasted. The stong hop bite is offset by the honey just perfectly. Amazing look, amazing nose, and even more amazing taste.

The citrus smell of the hops is the first thing that hits you, and it hits you hard. If you're an IPA fan, you WILL NOT be disappointed. The taste and the mouthfeel are perfectly balanced for a big double IPA like this.

Save your pennies, $20 bucks for a six-pack. It hurts so good. (448 characters)

Photo of amneziak
4.82/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Five of us passed this lovely beer around the table, and each person gave an immediate "WOW" upon smelling. I can't remember the last time I saw so many smiles around one beer.

Hopslam, the seasonal Imperial IPA from Bell's, is freakishly fragrant. Lots of pineapple, grapefruit, and pine hit you in the face before you can even fully get your nose into the glass. Pineapple Express baby! The beer pours a warm sunshine orange and is mostly clear. With a solid one-finger head and some impressive lacing, Hopslam's aroma shoots right out of the glass upon swirling.

In terms of flavor, it tastes just like it smells - heavenly! Considering its name and bottle label (a man is seen being crushed by a hop flower) it is surprisingly smoother on the palate than you would think. This is in no way to insinuate a lack of flavor, either. In fact, this has more flavor than just about any other beer I've had. It stood up to the spicy nachos I was eating, so I imagine it will stand up to just about anything.

Overall impression is that my mouth is enormously happy every time I take a sip of this amazing IPA. I can assure you that it lives up to all the hype it's receiving, and I don't think it'd be too hard to say this is definitely my new favorite beer. The only drawback is its limited release, so get it fast and share it with a friend. (1,344 characters)

Photo of jt31914
4.82/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank HopSlam and DL '10 in the same day... Can it really get any better (the answer is no)...

A: 1 1/2 fingers of head with great lacing and a pale color with an amber tint, almost sunburn red (like Lindsay Lohan after a long day doing coke at the beach).

S: Smells like cloves, hops, and honey. Just awesome and malty. Complex, full, etc. etc.

T: Hops, cloves, and honey just like the smell. this is just good; it is not an opinion, but a fact. To me this is the Wayne Gretzky of DIPAs.

D/M: I just love this beer; it is my favorite DIPA. Hell, HopSlam is to DIPAs as Family Guy is to cartoons. (600 characters)

Photo of callmemickey
4.82/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

this is one of god's gifts to mankind

A: transparent, golden, copper color... thick off white head.. great lacing.. sticky as all hell.

S: Grapefruit. Honey. Pine. Slight grass notes. Dash of alcohol. Delicate sweet-bitterness in perfect balance... i think i could sniff this beer til it was dry

T: The taste is everything you could ask for from the tease the nose gives you. Grapefruit hop bitterness is ever present, with a sweet honey maltness wrapping its way through every sip. Alcohol is barely perceptible.. The best thing about this beer is the layers of goodness. Each sip is just as profound as the previous.

M: Medium bodied, with a slightly dry bitter finish. Ideal carbonation makes this one a keeper.

D: I'd be a lier if i didn't admit that this is one of the most addictive beverages I have ever consumed. Can someone refer me to the nearest Hopslam Anonymous treatment facilities???

Worth every ounce of effort it took me to get a case of this... its going to take some will power to keep a bottle for about 9 months... (1,041 characters)

Photo of Livelaughlovep
4.82/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

No freakin' kidding!! I can see why it is so loved. This stuff is amazing. The tag is never a cheap one, but I can see a budding romance starting with this stuff.
Out of the bottle, poured into my pint glass... the color is just lovely. A somewhat hazy soft orange, and then a nice tall fluffy head. As you bring it to your nose, scents of citrus are apparent, and then warm summer day - the exact smell of a warm summer day. The hay, mown grass, warmth. The fluffy head retreats to some appreciable lacing. First sip.... Essence of grass, hay, lemons!!! LEMONS!!! and grapefruit. As you swish, and then swallow, more grass comes through, hitting you in the back of the throat with one helluva bitter swallow. That is what brings you back for another swig. I don't taste honey as much as perceive it.
The mouthfeel is medium-bodied, rich and slightly oily on the tongue - it is silky. No real carbonation to speak of.
This evokes summertime fun, with is grassy, citrusy explosion. The ABV is a shocker: You don't taste it. It goes down lovely and smooth. (1,054 characters)

Photo of theboozecruise
4.82/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

awesome, I've been wanting to try this one, so it's time for a review after a while of not writing any.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Delirium tulip... it's a deep amber color with a finger so of white head. Good lacing too... looks like what a DIPA should look like.

The aroma is all hops... a bouquet of hoppiness with just a subtle hint of sweet malt and honey. It's definitely an IPA though, no hiding anything.

The sweetness is a little more present at the front of each sip, before it gives way to a hop assault. It's still very balanced and absolutely delicious.

It's slightly thin, but nothing bad there... good carbonation, hoppy bitter aftertaste but what else would you expect?

Honestly... it's world class. There's a reason it's a 99 (or was at the time!) on BeerAdvocate... awesome DIPA. (813 characters)

Photo of soulfly1492
4.82/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: Bold fruit and American hops. Bittersweet grapefruit and just a little pine. Very resinous. Some clean pale malt in the background. You can smell the hops with your nose about 12" above the glass.

Appearance: Pale gold. Moderately cloudy. Lots of tiny particles in suspension, very uniform. Clean white head pours a moderate height. Good retention and lots of lacing.

Taste: Bold citrus hops. Tons of grapefruit and little pine. Pale and caramel malt flavor nicely present in an attempt to balance things out. Aftertaste is a milder more English style hop flavor and pale malt.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body. Super slick, oily and creamy. Finishes dry from the bitter hops and high alcohol content. Little carbonation.

Overall: Always impressive. One of the best, if not the best IPA. Huge hop flavor, but not overpowering or harsh.

Notes: Package on 2/2/2012, drank on 3/10/2012. (894 characters)

Photo of EStreet20
4.82/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Got my hands on some. Please Bell's come to NJ.

12 ounce bottle, shaker pint glass.

A - Pours out a pale golden color. Tiny bubbles rush up to a fairly sizable white head. Head stays nicely (thank you hops).

S - Big grapefruit on the nose. Some sweet fruit smell as well. Underneath all the fruitiness is a subtle pine tone.

T - Wow. What a great tasting DIPA. The hops are of course taking charge here, but a nice fruity sweetness is there too. This is a big flavored DIPA with citrus/tropical fruit flavors all over the place. Subtle alcohol flavor on the finish, but it's mostly well hidden. A great, fruity DIPA that ends with a rush of dry bitterness.

M - Nice, coating sticky mouthfell to a medium bodied beer.

D - Loving it. The many mixed fruit flavors mix seamlessly with the hops. A very well put together DIPA that brings all the vrashness one expects from the style, but does have a unique feature that almost resembles balance which we all know is not a benchmark characteristic for the style. Just makes you want more. (1,038 characters)

Photo of n811
4.82/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just picked up a sixer of this year's release. Poured into a pint glass, revealing a nice, mellow head and a beautiful light amber color.

The smell of this beer is absolutely out of this world - strong grapefruit and apricot citrusy is up front, with a subtle hint of hoppy piney-ness. Spectacular!

Taste is what I've been waiting for. This beer is so well balanced contrary to the smell. One might expect it to have a super bitter taste given the way it smells (plus the name), but this beer is all about major amounts of hops but enough malt and hops to make things very well balanced. I can't really think up the right words to describe it, but this is one of the best beers I've ever had. The top of Bells' lineup in my opinion. (735 characters)

Photo of davesway10
4.82/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch number 10101, brewed on January 4th, Consumed on January 16th. This is far and away the best DIPA iv'e ever had. I wish I had the palate to describe all the taste sensations and subtleties of this beer but I don't so I won't even try. It is however outstanding. Never was a huge fan of the IPA's but i think maybe this one will get me back in the game. awesome, awesome brew. This puts a new premium on securing some fresh pliny. (435 characters)

Photo of jpro
4.82/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

32oz growler from CBX. Poured into a Bell’s tulip...

A: Slightly hazed gold; cotton white, one-finger head; leaves some pretty heavy rings and patches of lace that fade, but look pretty strong for a 10% ale.

S: Tropical fruit is huge; heavy citrus rind and resinous hoppiness; picking out anything other than hops is tough; mostly just dank, stank hops.

T: Super-citrus; resiny; pithy grapefruit; maybe some honey sweetness on the end; really hoppy, but a touch sweet; no real alcohol presence; bursting with hop flavor.

M: Pretty dense mouthfeel, but not quite full; a touch oily; not as dry as one would expect; no alcohol heat; lower carbonation.

O: For a 10% double IPA, wow! Very drinkable and the ultimate hop fix; had this in the bottle a couple of years ago and it seemed much more harsh and hot back then; great stuff and I suppose worthy of the hype (I guess). (877 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
4.82/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

EDIT: Re-reviewing this on 1/12/11, 364 days and 974 reviews after first trying this, as I feel I have a better palate/ability to review beers. While I'm adding some things to this review, I stand by my original 4.8 review; this is one of my favorite DIPAs.

a - Looks amazing, a great golden color. A little carbonation and a little head, but not very much; gone after 45 seconds or so.

s - Smells strongly of citrus hops, as well as some light pine. Also got a little honey and sweet fruit here. Fantastic.

t - Great taste. At first it was not nearly as bitter as I was expecting. The more of it I drank, the more bitterness I tasted. Again, lots of citrus hops, pine, fruit, and honey.

m - Very little carbonation, light body, very smooth. For 10% ABV very easy to drink.

d - Very drinkable. If you are a fan of hoppy beers, I would highly recommend checking this out; it's definitely a great beer. Can't believe its 10%! (976 characters)

Photo of eternaljester81
4.82/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

New review from the 2011 batch:

When I tried Hopslam after its release last year, it was my first run with the legendary beer. I had only just begun getting into double IPAs, and my palate was anything but prepared for what awaited me. My original Hopslam review wasn't really negative, but in no way represents my thoughts on this beer now. So here goes review number two, one year later on the 2011 batch.

A - A brilliant, golden orange with a thin white head and lacing that clings forever. This is a hard brew to look away from.

S - Oh my, the smell is wonderful. Bell's could seriously turn this into a cologne, as it's a scent I'd happily wear. The nose would be hops overload, but is balanced out by sweet malts and a bit of fresh-squeezed orange juice. Heavenly.

T - If the smell is heavenly, than the taste is downright ready for saint-hood. Someone call the Vatican. No other beer tastes like Hopslam. It's bitter and sweet, floral with a touch of caramel. Hard to describe, and impossible to top.

M - Medium thick, slick and slightly oily. The stickiness coats the entire mouth with it's goodness, and lingers long after the swallow.

D - While the ABV is way up there, the deliciousness of Hopslam makes it hard to stop at one. Only it's limited availability keeps me from drinking more of this.

I can definitely say I'm happy I bought more Hopslam this year, even after being underwhelmed by it last year. My palate has obviously shifted enough to enjoy this beer in all its glory, and I couldn't be happier.

Original review from 1-18-2010 (a B grade):

As a self-proclaimed "hophead" forever on the quest to find my next hop nirvana, I was absolutely dying to try Hopslam. My local beer store had no plans to get any, so I called up the next closest (30 miles away), and they were due for a one-time shipment of five cases the next day! What luck. They agreed to hold two sixers for me, so my dad (a Natty Lite drinker that I'm working to convert) and I made the trip after work. Now, after four bottles over four days, I'm ready to unleash my thoughts on this coveted beer upon the masses.

A - The pour renders a thin white head that quickly subdues into a nice film, with each sip leaving a decent amount of lacing on the glass. The color is a clear gold, and surprisingly similar to Bell's regular IPA, Two Hearted Ale. In a horizontal tasting, the two beers were nearly identical. It's visually pleasing, but nothing outstanding.

S - One nose-full of Hopslam had me absolutely giddy. As mentioned above, I worship at the altar of the Hop-God, and this brew provided a nose full of bitter, pungent hops, backed by a lingering scent of sweet honey. I would happily splash this beer in the appropriate places in lieu of cologne before heading to work, as the scent is simply phenomenal.

T - After the awesome scent, I couldn't wait to taste this immaculate brew...only to take my first sip, and be slapped upside the head with booze. The hops and the honey are certainly in there, but the 10% alcohol simply overtakes everything else. The taste is definitely not bad, but simple disappointing considering the hype, and the notion that this is a hop-bomb. Unfortunately, as the brew warms, the alcohol only tastes stronger.

M - Semi-thick and oily is really the best descriptor for mouthfeel of this brew. Thicker than a normal IPA, but obviously not near the viscosity of an Imperial Stout, Hopslam is right where it needs to be in it's hop-influenced thickness.

D - Even attempting to overlook the alcohol burn in the taste, at 10% Hopslam is nearly the definition of anti-drinkablility. This is sipper, made to be enjoyed over a period of time, rather than a brew begging you to down a sixer over a couple of hours. I've enjoyed plenty of brews of similar strength, that did a wonderfully deceiving job of hiding the ABV, but Hopslam simply is not one of those beers.

As for my final comments, I have to first say that Hopslam may be my most disappointing beer since my inception in the world of craft beer. Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy it, and will have no problem finishing my two six-packs. However, for a beer that is regarded with near "Holy Grail" status, I expected something deliciously, and incredibly (kickass) hoppy, but instead got a beer with a dominating booze presence. You know, I may even age a bottle or two. This could develop into something resembling an awesome American-style barley wine. (4,446 characters)

Photo of johnmichael712
4.82/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The back label of this bottle tells me I'm in for "a biting, bitter, tongue bruiser of an ale". I can't wait.

Appearance: Poured out of a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter. There is no freshness date on the bottle, but there is a batch code (8949) along with a clever picture of a man being crushed by hop cones that is very reminiscent of the Wicked Witch of the West after she got owned by a house. This beer pours a dark, golden-amber color that has incredible clarity when held up to a light. A large, off-white head appears on the surface of the beer and is supplemented by very small, but frequent, bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass. The head has incredible staying power and a thin layer covers the surface of the beer all the way down.

Smell: This beer smells like walking through a hop farm. It has an intensely aromatic, citrusy nose with punch-you-in-the-face aromas of orange, grapefruit, pineapple, mango, papaya, and other tropical fruits. Bell's Hopslam Ale smells like a super rich and acid tropical punch, and has enough aromatic qualities to make Hawaiian Punch and Hi-C go cry to their mommies. I won't be surprised if I never smell an Imperial IPA better than this.

Taste: My first thought was, 106 IBU's? I don't believe it. Followed by, wow, what an absolutely incredible Imperial IPA. This beer starts off with a wonderful honey flavored sweetness and soft, pillowy texture akin to eating a fresh sugar cookie drenched in honey. I have the malt to thank for that. After that, however, the hops kick it into high gear and really bring this one home with an intense hop flavor that screams Pacific Northwest and C-hops. As in the aroma there are notes of orange, grapefruit, and pineapple, and this leads to a sweet, citrusy, and bitter finish. The grapefruit taste is perhaps the strongest, and it brings back fond memories of drinking Ruby Red Grapefruit juice and my grandparent's house during my summers in Florida.

Mouthfeel: This is a very smooth, robust, and full-bodied Imperial IPA. Medium carbonation, but the bubbles are so small and soft that it's really quite pleasant to swirl them around the mouth. No astringency, no watery-ness, nothing bad to say about the mouthfeel of this beer.

Drinkability: Obviously Imperial IPA's aren't the most drinkable beers out there, but this beer still manages to be much more drinkable than some of the others on the market. The honey imparts a smoothness and sweetness that does wonders for the overall character of this brew, and this is one fine, and highly-drinkable, Imperial IPA.

Notes: BJCP style guidelines for an Imperial IPA inform me that this is a "showcase for hops", and I have to agree. Never before, however, have I had hops that have been showcased with this much finesse and beauty. Don't get me wrong, this is still an Imperial IPA that can compete with the best of them in terms of bitterness, but Bell's Hopslam Ale also has enough of a sweetness and smoothness to keep me coming back for bottle after bottle. For a huge malt fan like me, that's saying quite a lot. (3,067 characters)

Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
99 out of 100 based on 3,266 ratings.