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Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
98
world-class

3,314 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,314
Hads: 11,976
Avg: 4.44
pDev: 18.02%
Wants: 2,581
Gots: 2,904 | 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: 3,314 | Hads: 11,976
Photo of Evilyak
4.23/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

poured the color of golden honey, with a solid head. i would have said that not knowing there was honey in here, but it helps.

smell is hop forward and then some. citrusy.

taste is more bitter than the nose would lead you to believe.

not as cloying as some imperial or double ipas can be.

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Photo of Nhens0016
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ok, so I feel this beer is getting a mixed result. I love IPAs. I love double IPAs. I enjoy the easy drinkability, the flavor profile, and the hop characteristic of the style. This beer is far and away one of the top doubles I have ever tasted. The look is a dark amber color and the smell is citrus and pine. The taste... so this is where I have to pipe up. Some people hate the sweetness that the honey entails. I love it. It cancels out the bitterness that the hops bring but doesn't stop from the citrus profile that the hops in this double are known for. Again, I love it. It is not the double IPA that some might think it is. It is not hop forward like most in this style, but it adds another layer that most don't have. It is one of my favorites. The price point is a bit high but for a once a year release, I can't stop picking up a couple six packs. This is one fantastic beer. I can understand how some might hate the sweetness, but for me, this is a top 10 beer of all time easy.

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Photo of Beers-es
4.46/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 12 oz can, pours clear. The color is...well...honey-colored. Huge 4-finger pillowy off-white head lasts long enough that I'm getting impatient to drink this sucker. Plenty of lacing. Smell isn't huge, but has a lot going on: grapefruit, orange, pine, ripe melon, honey, some toffee malt. Taste gets all that in there, with some sweetness battling it out with bitterness, and the bitter wins, and rightly so. Rich mouthfeel. Great beer.

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Photo of AmeriCanadian
4.55/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Finally got a chance to try the acclaimed Hopslam, and was not disappointed. Look is a copper-ish golden, surprisingly clear given it's unfiltered canning state. Giant, pillowy, white head that lingered throughout its consumption, leaving a sticky film all the way down the glass. Smell is equal parts sweet and dank, with heavy tropical fruit, pine, citrus, honey and clover. First read off the tongue is sweet honey and burnt sugar, with bittersweet grapefruit and pine following, huge biscuity malt and toffee rounding and balancing things out. The flavors come in waves and then abruptly end with just a moderate, pithy bitterness in the aftertaste. Wonderful. Feel is silky and thick, syrupy and coating. About as perfect a IIPA texture as I can imagine. Really awesome beer that's worthy of the hype and very memorable in a crowded category. Happy to add this to a short list of special release beers I'm willing to go searching for each year.

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Photo of THSdrummer
4.64/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy, golden amber with a foamy, good sized head on top. Plenty of lacing left behind. Ripe mango and hops make up the aroma. The taste is a fantastic subtle battle between sweet malt, citrus, and honey, and piney and floral hops. Absolutely superb contrast between the two. Mouth feel is exceptional. It coats the mouth, while still remaining smooth and easy to drink. Overall, this is a fantastic beer. I now wish I had picked up more.

Served in a 12oz snifter.

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Photo of runondirt
4.44/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours vibrant golden out of a 10 day old 12oz can. strong creamy head. strongest side to this beer is the powerful ripe mango aroma which does not fade. the body is not as malty as some have said, in fact quite balanced for 10%abv. as beer warms up it continues to drink pleasantly. flavors are mild pine, rum, sage and honey yes. the hoppy finish lingers. paid close to $5 for this can, pricey, but this one was worth the wait.

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Photo of hophead7117
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This seems much maltier than I remember from past years. Very dark color. Hops are very forward and changes as it warms. I remember there being much more honey in past years. Feel is average. I think I might sit on a couple of these for awhile to see if it changes.

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Photo of Xenoreactive
3.9/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: Like any other malty dense IPA. Some crap beige color.
Smell: Hops, caramel, citrus rind, [insert other grassy or herbal buzzwords that hopheads throw around].
Taste: Lucky to have gotten this 3 days since can date. Delicious, fresh, malty and juicy. Typical East-coast IPA. Citrus, caramel nuts, dried fruit and light hoppiness is well balanced.
Feel: Dense and thick. The flavor profile aligns really well with this texture. Really, the winning grace for this beer.
Overall: I liked it. Hype's lame.

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Photo of THSmusicman
4.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got to try the infamous Hopslam. 12oz can poured into a tulip.

Look: Looks like a typical filtered IIPA. The head is a finger and a half and a nice off-white color which leaves a nice lacing on the glass.

Smell: Smells like an over hopped Bell's Two-Hearted....I pick up a bit of the honey and a nice caramel malt background.

Taste: This beer tastes much better than it smells! Grapefruit, orange, and lemon on the front of the sip with the honey showing up mid-sip ending with a nice, smooth caramel note.

Feel: Feels super thick and pillowy for an IIPA. It's super easy drinking despite that. Wouldn't believe this was 10% if I didn't see it for myself.

Overall: This is a damn good IIPA that I could see myself drinking often if it wasn't so limited and expensive. It certainly doesn't live up to all the hype it gets but I definitely enjoyed this beer more than I thought I would.

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Photo of AndreRus
5/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Probably the best DIPA that I've tried so far. It is a crime that this beer is only seasonal and very limited. Hopslam is a pure hop joy! Because that it is limited and seasonal you'll probably would only drink it super fresh. All other DIPAs should be judged by this one.

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Photo of OompaMentor
4.27/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from can into pint glass-
Burnt orange color with nice carbonation leading to nice head. Hops jump at you on the pour. Balanced malty/hoppy taste - medium bodied.

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Photo of NizzleEGizzle
4.59/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L: crystal clear, somewhere between a russet, gold, and amber.

S: sweet. Definitely get the honey, and cantaloupe, faint clementine/tangerine, some
Grapefruit.

T: sweet, but exceptionally well balanced. This is definitely light honey sweetness, almost honey cake and not syrupy malt. Get oodles of
Red grapefruit. Lots of
Tangerine. Some of that melon that was on the nose. No sign of ABV.

F: nice and balanced, but a tad on the thin side.

O: I wanted to try before I went hard, so I bought two cans despite the fact that my local had a six pack minimum. I will be back first thing tomorrow after work to pick up as much as I can.

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Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.64/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a murky dark orange with a one finger, creamy head. Citrus hop smell with pine and malt smell. A wonderful, dank pine and citrus hop taste with nice malt that allows for bitterness to win. Definite honey on the back end. Bitter funk resonates up the nose. A good, dank IPA.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.59/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beautiful amber color. The head is three fingers high and slightly off-white in shade. While not the densest texture-wise, retention is pretty good. TONS of lacing sticks to the glass, literally tons.

Wow. Smell those Simcoe hops. Needless to say, they pop aromatically with a ton of piny notes, alongside some grassiness. There's a slight spiciness to the hop qualities as well - no real citrus presence, though. Naturally, the caramel and toffee appears vividly, as does some honey sweetness. Clearly, it's not the biggest or baddest-smelling IPA on the market, but it certainly charming taking its own merits into consideration.

It opens up with some piny hops flavor-wise. Throughout the flavor profile, piny, spicy hops seem to dot the palate. Around the middle, a large amount of caramel malt sweetness makes itself known. The flavors end with some honey, apricot, and orange peel. I have to say that this doesn't offer the most interesting collection of notes for a big DIPA (especially one as hyped as this); however, it's compensated by its balanced and easygoing nature.

This is a sweet-tasting beer, but not that sweet-feeling. This is why I like honey as an adjunct - it offers a bold flavor presence while creating a dry finish. And here, it definitely seems to save this from having a syrupy, sluggish palate feel. Carbonation is fairly gentle, given its thick texture.

HYPESLAM HURR HURR~ No, it doesn't have the newest or sexiest hops, but it's a 10% monster that drinks like it's 7%. Seriously, though, the hype for this beer is kind of crazy. It's just a good, highly drinkable DIPA - that's it. Quite a few DIPAs from the DMV region are superior to this, but it's still worthy. If you can find it, that is!

3.59/5: Hopslammable

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Photo of madelfonatree
4.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

January 20, 2016 enjoyed February 6, 2016 in a Hopslam tulip.

Look - I overpoured. Head is white and medium to large bubbled. Body is murky orange. There is a lot of lacing.

Smell - Musty. Honey. Grapefruit.

Taste - Musty. Lemon. Grapefruit. Honey. Malt. Sweet. Orange.

Feel - Santana and Rob Thomas Smooth. There is no alcohol. Watery at that.

Overall - Would I rather have a Floyds? Yes. Would I rather have a Hoof Hearted? Yes. If I was a fifty year old that drank beer by the pack each day, this would be my go to. Honey and mustiness balance the malt so well.

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Photo of ltjska04
3.36/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the can, Hopslam is a nice burnt orange with sticky white head that lasts til the bottom of the glass. It is much hazier than I remember; there's no seeing through the glass. The aroma has medium ripe mango, pineapple, and sticky, resiny pine backed up by a seemingly strong malt backbone with low caramel notes. It doesn't exactly leap out of the glass but definitely smells nice.

The flavor leads with fleeting fruity hops that quickly fade and become replaced with a medium-strong bitterness that lingers. The malt makes its presence known but mostly stays out of the way. Unfortunately the hops don't really pop for me... they're there then they're not. It's a bit of a muddled hop flavor, which could be a result of what the brewery calls "the most complex hopping schedule in the Bell's repertoire." I tend to favor two or three character hops personally so it could just be my bias but I remember this being more hop forward in the past.

The mouthfeel is full with a medium dry finish that is enhanced by the lingering bitterness. A hint of alcohol is detectable but never overpowering. The beer lays a bit heavy on the palate and is filling over the course of a serving; pair that with the double digit alcohol and this isn't exactly a beer to have several of during a drinking session. Overall Hopslam is still a good Imperial IPA but the recipe is showing its age. It hearkens back to an era of bigger, sweeter hop monsters or what I used to refer to as Midwest DIPAs (bigger body, lower bitterness than West Coast DIPAs). For me this was a nice throwback but I'm not exactly chomping at the bit to get to the other five cans.

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Photo of Soneast
4.41/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Been drinking this since 2006, always one of my favorites. I, for one, feel that it has been fairly consistent year after year, and it surely never lets me down. Lots of new beer drinkers think it is all hype, but other than in a few new beer drinking circles, and a buncha threads on BA around January, this beer really doesn't get that much hype. Sure it sells out quickly in some areas, but that's just because people like it.

Pours a slightly hazy, golden-orange color with a 2 finger thick, white colored head that has some great retention, condensing to a thick, 1/4" creamy layer atop the beer, leaving a ton of lace.

Aroma is predominately made up of floral grapefruit as well as other citrus aromas. Quite pungent and fruity, with just a hint of honey-like aromatics.

The taste is a bit more prominent pine-like flavor than citrus, though a nice grapefruit flavor is evident. Just an amazing balance of flavors, the honey lends it a fairly dry finish, leaving a mildly bitter flavor on the palate. *Note honey ferments out completely (ie there is NO honey sugars left in the beer after fermentation). It leaves no residual sweetness, so n00bs commenting on a honey sweetness are just plain wrong. The beer is dry, with maybe a bit more malt sweetness than the average West Coast IPA, but by no means is there any HONEY SWEETNESS!

Medium in body heavy in ABV, Hopslam is a very drinkable beer, almost TOO drinkable. I was surprised that I couldn't detect any alcohol on the nose or tongue considering the 10% ABV. Absolutely look forward to this beer every year...and honestly, it's gotta be one of my favorite beers, period!

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Photo of bgold86
3.52/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from can into 13 oz snifter, nice light amber color. Nose is decently hoppy and piny, just a slight hint of tropical sweetness. Taste is really average, like a semi sweet semi bitter IPA, am very thankful this was a two can limit at my local bottle shop. This beer is not worth repeating, especially with the astounding array of better option available. The definition of a hype beer!

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Photo of Wer34truh
4.22/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy and dark amber color, with a moderate-to-large head.

Smells of sweet citrus, the honey definitely comes out as well.

The taste offers a fascinating interplay between the bitterness of the hops, and the sweetness of the honey-ladened citrusy sweetness. The sweetness has a clear juicy character, with tangerine and nectar being present.

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Photo of Discos2
4.78/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Slightly hazy gold with abit of clarity. Thick off white head with the very heavy lacing.
Smells of fruits;pineapple, grapefruit, citrus. Get a good whiff of honey. Not as hoppy smelling as I thought it would be. Very nice.
Honey comes through in the taste and goes very well with the hop combo. Has a perfect sweetness.
Drinks smooth and creamy. Well carbonated. One could easily be fooled on the 10%abv.
Awesome beer. Not a overly hoppy beer at all. Well balanced and lived up to rep.

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Photo of funkmaster
4.85/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from 12oz can into Hopslam tulip.

A: Nice looking golden color, with a decent 1" lacy head.

S: Citrus & honey

T: There is a lot of citrus flavor in this beer, but what strikes me the most is the bite. I am not sure if brewing with honey gives it this or the high alcohol content. I have had many other Imperial and double IPAs that do not exhibit this characteristic. Definitely my favorite offering from Bell's although Two-Hearted Ale will always hold a special place in my gut.

M: Incredibly easy to drink for such a strong IPA. Feels great in the mouth and the bite from this beer is like no other ive had.

O: This is my favorite IPA. I drink about 80% IPAs so I have had many. I anxiously await the release of Hopslam each year and it is not to be missed. Other IPAs on my list for reference: Ballast Point - Sculpin, Bell's two-hearted, Cigar City - Jai Alai, Tap & Screw - Dr. Kool

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Photo of stompilator
4.69/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured on draft, into a tulip.

A - Pours a deep gold, white head.

S - Citrus, mango, passion fruit, dough, honey.

T - Huge explosion of citrusy hop flavors. A huge amalgamation of tropical notes, from nectarine to mango to orange to pineapple to passionfruit. Highly elusive and hard to pin down, but the magic of this beer is in the sweetness that immediately follows. Fairly clean, bready, slightly caramelly and a wonderful smearing of honey. This creates a soft, decadent backbone for the explosion of hops, with a bitterness that only comes later in the palate, and is just enough bite. Finish is fruity and just a bit bitter.

M - Medium-full body, smooth and creamy.

O - Over-hyped beers and IPA's are huge turn-offs for me, but even going in with negative preconceptions this absolutely blew me away. Far and away the best IPA I've ever had.

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Photo of BladesOfBarley
4.67/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Well, I'm back after another hiatus, and boy I have to say, its great to be back! Tonight, I am drinking Hopslam, by Bells Brewery (a favorite). And I have to say, this beer truly does live up to its reputation. A wonderfully balanced Imperial IPA, I would recommend this brew to anyone interested in the style. Pouring a beautiful, hazy, and golden with a slight orange tinge, this beer comes out with a solid head that never really dissipates, lacing is medium and just right. On first sip, a heavy aroma of alcohol shines through, only to be subdued by loads of citrus, resin, and malty goodness, citrus becoming more dominant as the beer warms. The real star here is the total balance of the flavor profile, deliciously hoppy and sweet, with notes of honey, pineapple, grapefruit and rich resin, with a sturdy malt background to carry it all forward.

Overall, this beer really does get better as it warms (and its delicious to begin with!, and what I would consider a solid intro to Imperial IPA's. Not to bitter and just citrusy and rich enough for the beginning drinker, and a wonderful sipper for the experienced.

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Photo of martinpfal
4.77/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Just an exceptional specimen from bells. Warm golden color with grapefruit nose. The honey sweetness is perfect to balance the hops. World class all the way.

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Photo of simonj01
4.69/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours nice and is hazy in the glass. The smell is fantastic, I could tell it would taste good. Tasted very good for a double. The beer is definitely over hyped and a bit pricey for a six pack, but I am glad I got to try it this year.

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Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
98 out of 100 based on 3,314 ratings.