Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

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

3,303 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,303
Hads: 11,945
Avg: 4.44
pDev: 18.02%
Wants: 2,584
Gots: 2,871 | FT: 59
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Hopslam Ale Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 3,303 | Hads: 11,945
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.

 169 characters

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.

 638 characters

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.

 284 characters

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

 1,761 characters

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.

 572 characters

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.

 1,652 characters

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!

 1,638 characters

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!

 391 characters

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.

 352 characters

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.

 489 characters

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

 907 characters

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.

 853 characters

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.

 1,121 characters

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.

 160 characters

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.

 246 characters

Photo of BillBabbitt
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Before I had tried this beer, I suspected it was over rated. It pours with a nice head, but as an unfiltered beer it is hazing in the glass. The aroma is good, but unexceptional. So far, not impressed. But the taste, the mouth feel and finish really bring it home. An excellent beer that does not feel like 10% ABV, and in my opinion deserves the accolades.

 360 characters

Photo of TheKlevin
3.47/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

I've never understood the hype, it's an okay Double IPA, but the honey ruins it for me. It adds an almost unnatural sweetness and really turns me off from the beer.

 164 characters

Photo of Sabtos
2.96/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Re-rating as my outlook on this has changed over the years.

The appearance of this beer to me is the most impressive aspect of it. A cloudy yellow to orange top to bottom, it's like a hazy tequila sunrise.

There is a slight hint of pineapple on the nose, then some dog breath. As it warms, straw and oatmeal come forward.

There is no dog breath in the flavor, but pretty bitter and spicy hops do take over, the straw and oatmeal notes smooth it out a bit. Not too much dankness present, but it's there in a delicate way, if you can call it that.

In the past when I had this, I sort of wanted to just spit it out and rub cold lunchmeat on my tongue. These days, a heavy use of hops has become more tolerable to me in certain respects, but this is still a bit overboard. I still think these kinds of beers are on the extreme and a little more balance is my preferred approach.

 879 characters

Photo of Cfred371
3.95/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First time drinker of Hopslam, and came into this one looking forward to a well regarded double. This can was packaged 1/19/2016, so 13 days old and pretty fresh. I let the can sit out for 30 or so minutes to serve around 45-50 degrees. Drank from a tulip glass.

Look: The beer pours a nice golden color, producing a nice inch or so slightly off white head. The beer isn't crystal clear, but light does penetrate through, and is by no means hazy. The carbonation on Hopslam seems to be solid.

Smell: I thought the smell was pretty average: hop dominant with some citrus shining through, and a little bit of sweetness from the malt/honey. There is some earthy/dank aromas in here as well. The smell of Hopslam didn't differentiate itself much, to me, from any other double I've encountered, and was rather disappointing

Taste: The taste is initially the hops making a statement with some slight citrus, the dank flavors, and then the honey and malt start to take over around the middle, balancing the hops quite nicely. I note a little bit of the alcohol, but at 10%, that is expected.

Feel: I was pleased with how full the mouth feel on this beer is, carbonation assisting in a nice smooth, thick beer. Hopslam certainly has some bitterness in the finish, but is balanced with some sweetness at the beginning of the finish.

Overall: This is a nice beer, if not overly sweet. I would suggest seeking it out, and could see myself buying this annually, but there's many greats that are cheaper.

 1,515 characters

Photo of PBIU
3.82/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Very fond of this beer as it was the first Double IPA I tried back in the day. But with some others on this site I think that it could use a little tweaking. Why? Because my palate has shifted and so has the market.

Look is wonderful a honey orange color with lively carb.

Smell is tangerine, passion fruit and honey malt.

Taste goes back to my opening. Starts out great. Slam of bitterness and then where does it go? It is followed up by a huge wave of malt. Lingering sweetnesss but cloying.

Mouthfeel is medium. Alcohol heat warms up in the aftertaste.

Overall I do like this beer but wish it could be amped up a bit now. Less malt and more hop. I am thinking of Double Jack, Abrasive, Dreadnaught. Price point at $17.99 a six pack makes me go...ahem. You can do it Larry! Let's get Hopslam Into the future.

 829 characters

Photo of Trevor11
5/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was lucky enough to grab a sixer of hopslam on 1/28/16 from Crown Liquors in downtown Chicago. The beer was canned 1/21/16 and I tried my first on 1/29/16. Very smooth and balanced with sweet undertones presumably from the honey and bitter finish. Truly well constructed since I had no idea it was 10% ABV.

 308 characters

Photo of jphipps83
4.4/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz can into a snifter.

Beautiful golden hue with a half inch head that hangs around. Citrus nose, good smell. Taste doesn't quite live up to the look and smell. Decently bitter and hoppy, but seems to die pretty quickly. Nice taste, just wish it lingered longer. Feel is what I expected from an IPA.

Overall, really good, but doesn't quite live up to the price tag.

 388 characters

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

2016 release poured into a IPA glass. Aggressive pour which lead to about two fingers of head, but diminished quickly leaving a nice alcohol lacing. The aroma is intense sweet citrus with a slight alcohol note. Taste pretty much follows the nose with bright citrus. Perfect balance of sweetness from the malts and honey. Alcohol is definitely present on the back end along with an astringent bitterness. Overall I can see why this beer has been hyped for so long. I don't think it's the best DIPA I've ever had but it is definitely very tasty. If you haven't had this beer and have the opportunity to try it, definitely pick yourself up some.

 642 characters

Photo of lukesherlock
4.78/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Hopslam

Smell- lovely aroma, crisp, hoppy and very floral and slight hints of pine and honey

Appearance- pours a beautiful deep golden-orange color, nice two finger foam head with lacing, looks like honey 

Mouth Feel- perfectly balanced full-bodied mouth feel, goes down so smooth

Taste- starts off sweet like honey and as it goes down you get the hoppy bite, once again very well balanced

Overall- This beer has lived up to all of my expectations. Almost everything about this beer is perfect to me from the mouth feel to the taste. I will definitely be buying more of this in the future!

 596 characters

Photo of K-Dog
3.88/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Been drinking this since 2008 and every year I like it less and less. Back in the day there was nothing like hopslam and I loved it. The last few years it was way to booze. This year it seems rather bland to me. I don't know of it has something to do with it being in cans this year or what. It's not that is bad but there are so many other choices out there now a days that are cheaper and easier to get. I'll gladly drink the six pack I bought but those who are tring for the first time might be a little dissapointed. Way over hyped in my opinion.

 550 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
98 out of 100 based on 3,303 ratings.