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Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

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

11,059 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 11,059
Reviews: 3,309
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 9.58%
Wants: 2,247
Gots: 2,281 | FT: 73
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 11,059 | Reviews: 3,309 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of heerboth
2.75/5  rDev -38.8%

Photo of Bluecane
2.75/5  rDev -38.8%

Photo of HitchSlap
2.75/5  rDev -38.8%

Photo of xnapshot
2.75/5  rDev -38.8%

Photo of thegerm87
2.75/5  rDev -38.8%

Photo of beerindex
2.81/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Pours a hazy orange-brown color (almost cider-like) with a modest and quickly fleeting white head that left a respectable lace behind. Smell though was this beer's best selling point. The aroma was heavenly, perhaps the best I've come across of any beer. The smell was of citrus fruits, mostly lemon and pineapple, with a bit of honey too.

With respect to the beer's taste, it wasn't anything to write home about. I picked up a bottle because it is cheap and local, and most people seem to love it. As much of a hops fan as I am, this simply didn't do anything for me. I couldn't detect the honey it was supposedly brewed with. Instead, it had an odd medicinal sort of taste that was bitter in a way I don't expect with this style.

Not something I'd care to drink again, especially when Bell's has much better beers in their line-up, and even better locals brews exist (see: most stuff from Founders).

Photo of ViveLaChouffe
2.82/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

It pours a clear orangey copper with a frothy ivory head. Lots of fine spiderweb lacing. Beautiful smell. Floral and sweet citrusy hops. Hints of tangerine and apricot, orange rind and a hint of alcohol.

In the mouth, the alcohol is quite apparent. Quite hot actually. It is quite sweet but the malt provides very little body to offset the copious amounts of bitingly bitter hops. The hops are pretty unpleasant actually without the malt to offset the spice. It comes off exceedingly harsh. And thin! Long hoppy aftertaste.

Wow, really lacking as a double IPA. It's kind of a mess. Horrendously overrated. A fantastic brewery (the best brewer of stouts in America in my estimation) but this is a beer that is surprisingly lacking in craftmanship and taste. Miss it.

Photo of jminsc76
2.83/5  rDev -37%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

And that friend alex3891 is referring to (i.e., me) gives the HopSlam a comparable rating and review.

It pours a very impressive, large head - thick and bubbly - giving one the impression they may be about to experience something spectacular. The hops swirl and dance as you pour. Excellent lacing down the glass as the head dissipates. The body is a slightly reddish orange and quite attractive. The carbonation dances as you open it up.

The taste anticipation is heightened as the smell is fresh and hoppy, with hints of vanilla and butterscotch. Malty aromas as well. But then I taste it, and, well, not much. As I continue sipping, I hope more will come through than the slightly hoppy and malty flavors that match the characteristics of the aromas, but not the aromas' intensity. It's hoppy, it's bitter, but there isn't a lot of oomph! to it. The taste exists, and that's all it does. There's no punch-in-the mouth the way an Imperial IPA typically delivers.

The sight is exceptional, the smell is as well, but the taste is, well, nada mucho. The only thing truly redeeming this beer from total disappointment is how I feel from its 10% ABV. That makes me rather feel rather benign. And similar to alex3891's review, I too am trying to understand how this beer received the ratings it did. Did he and I drink a bad batch or something?

Photo of guinnessfan
2.84/5  rDev -36.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Tried on 3 separate occasions and finally decided to review.

A: Clouded copper color, with thousands of floaties. Small head, no retention, but decent lacing.

S: Pine and citrus hop smell.

T: Too medicinal and boozy. Sweet and bitter at the same time. It's not the hops, because I love hops, it's that astringent taste that's nasty.

M: Stinging carbonation bubbles from a constant flow in the glass.

D: Not very good. Reminds me of hop-flavored Nyquil.

Major disappointment to me.

Photo of RaulMondesi
2.85/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Wow... Wow... Did Raul just get himself a diet Stone? Mild aroma, thin-ish textures on the tongue, and a taste about as inspiring as a Kardashian having a baby. Raul was stoked on getting hooked up on this through a trade, but for now he will be looking forward to Zombie Dust.

Peace!

*Raul would like to revisit this one. He was just settling into the craft game, and although Raul does remember not enjoying this in the least, he'd like to try it again as his palate had no turned into platinum

Photo of mattm77777
2.87/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle, packaged on 1/11.

A: Very nice orange color. Clear with little sediment. Catches the light nicely.

S: This is where the beer began to disappoint. I pick up an almost vegetable-like odor, rather than the pine, citrus, or even hops I was expecting. There's also an almost formaldehyde-like scent lurking unpleasantly in the background.

T: I like the taste. If this was some sort of an American IPA, or just a regular $7.99 6 pack, I'd happily rate this higher. A nice balance of hops and fruit up front. Unfortunately, as I experience with Two-Hearted, there is the hint of a REALLY bad taste at the end. Like a really poorly balanced alcohol taste, reminding me a bit of nail polish.

M: Feels a little bit like cold milk, nothing extraordinary.

O: A relatively high quality beer. For all the hype, and a $17 price tag for 6, I was extremely disappointed. As my first review, also a little disappointed to have to disagree so drastically with a community that has led me to some outstanding beers I never would have tried otherwise. Bell's Brewery really just hasn't been in my wheelhouse. As referenced above, I always get either some off-flavors or smells with each of the 5-6 beers I've tried.

Photo of Ryan011235
2.93/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a Delirium snifter on 1/21/13

11645 Pkgd 1/03/13

Slightly hazy and browned honey color with a one finger head that starts a quick decline. Soapy retention and some drippy, sandy lace; neither holds up over by the end of the glass.

Hop oils and alcohol are strong on the nose; apricot, peach, pollen, hints of grapefruit and a vague notion of lemongrass. The malts are fairly neutral but in abundance, so there's a lot of sweet cracker and biscuit coming through.

The taste leads off with a moderate pine bitterness which is peppered with citric pith and rind. The hop oils ooze together; picking out distinct flavors is laborious and largely pointless. Similarly, the malts become part of the whole lending a sweetness to the concoction. Tropical booze lasts long on the finish.

Oily. The feel is so oily. It clings across the palate every which way. The body is on the high end of medium but the hop oils weight it down. The carbonation is capable; lively in conjunction with the hops but not sharp.

The first few times I had this I loved it, but year after year I try Hopslam and I keep coming to the same conclusion that it is simply ok. I like to have a pint and a bottle or two each year just for kicks, but plopping down close to $20 for a six pack just ain't gonna happen.

Photo of timobkg
2.95/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured into a small chalice.

Pale golden with a thin layer of foam.

Aroma is strong pine, like I just crushed a handful of pine needles in my hand.

The flavor is piney, and very bitter. I'm surprised as this has the least IBUs of any DIPA I've had, paired to some of the most alcohol. And yet, to me, it tasted overwhelmingly bitter. Maybe it was served too cold, and didn't warm up enough, but I didn't get any honey sweetness from it.

The mouthfeel is very thick, and chewy. Combined with the aroma and flavor, it made me feel like I was chewing on pine needles.

I was really excited to try this beer, as it sounded like a DIPA that I'd love. Sadly, it tasted too bitter and piney, and overall disappointing..

Photo of DaveAnderson
2.96/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is one of the most inconsistent beers I have ever rated. I liked almost everything about 2009 and 2010, except the honey aroma.

Everything changed in 2011, though. Suddenly, I was drinking a near-perfect DIPA. Abundant pine and citrus on the nose, and balance on the tongue.

Too bad I am reviewing 2012, then. I found very little to like about this beer. It looked great in the glass.

But that's where the fun ended. I took a whiff, and was happy to note the absence of honey. But where was the rest? This beer is supposed to smell like *something*, for crying out loud. I was halfway through this beer with my nose buried in the glass before I could sense anything at all.

And where was the balance? There's no sweetnes to balance the bitterness. This might have been OK in an aromatic beer, but not in this one.

Blech.

Photo of Cujo65
2.98/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I look forward this ale every year and while the appearance and pour hinted of its usual, solid taste and finish, I was very disappointed with the batch this year.

The initial taste was underwhelming and it finished like wet cardboard - having to wait a year something I will no longer do especially while other craft brewers are brewing theirs regularly and not have their sit through a pretentious wait...I'd rather spend the extra money and have some Myrcenary from Odell's shipped to me.

Sorry Bell's, my group of friends and I were sadly disappointed. Good luck.

Photo of respyjoe
2.98/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Most over rated beer in the us

Photo of Phinner
2.98/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this and Founders Double Trouble the same night. No real comparison. Hopslam delivers the hops for sure, but the balance was not right. Its not smooth whatsoever; the hops seemed to generate a heat sensation and other off flavors that weren't quite right.

Overall, its a fair DIPA, but definitely not worthy of the hype.

Photo of Namarsha82
3/5  rDev -33.2%

Photo of NilocRellim
3/5  rDev -33.2%

Photo of hatfulofhollow
3/5  rDev -33.2%

Photo of MontereyBay831
3/5  rDev -33.2%

Photo of GOLDENDOMER
3/5  rDev -33.2%

Photo of Beerdy
3/5  rDev -33.2%

Photo of Beercanman1
3/5  rDev -33.2%

Photo of 100200300
3/5  rDev -33.2%

Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
99 out of 100 based on 11,059 ratings.