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Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

8,768 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8768
Reviews: 3086
rAvg: 4.5
pDev: 9.33%

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:
Brewed with honey. Hoppy as hell.

(Beer added by: beernbbq on 04-14-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 8,768 | Reviews: 3,086 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of russwbeck


3.78/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Hazy yellow pour with a few fingers of white head. The lacing sticks to the glass, and the retention is fine.

S: Getting some hops on the aroma, but the honey and booze sort of take over.

T: The taste is muted. Balanced and smooth, sure, but overall muted. The alcohol is toned down a bit, but the hops just don't seem to be there. Sort of disappointed this wasn't more hoppy.

MF: Medium body with a low carbonation. I will say this is damn drinkable. It went down quickly.

O: Not as good as I had hoped for. It is my least favorite of the three varieties of Hopslam I've had this year (Tap, Bottle, Cask). This was the least expensive, however, at $7 for a 10oz glass.

Serving type: cask

08-27-2012 01:55:32 | More by russwbeck
Photo of brown2cu


3.88/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Darker than bottled; no lacing and the head was merely a sheet of bubbles. This is of course normal for casked beer if I understand correctly.

S: Not as pungent as other forms. Definitely well hopped; however, it seemed to be primarily floral in character.

T: Hops are more assertive in the taste. A lot of citrus, floral, and maybe some mild (very mild) spiciness. Still more toned down than other forms.

M: Definitely more crisp than heavy;Very low carbonation.

O: Glad I got to try a unique version of this wonderful beer.

Serving type: cask

04-10-2012 21:45:19 | More by brown2cu
Photo of jera1350


4.78/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On cask at The Bulldog NE.

Served in a Bell's Tulip a glowing golden orange with a thick creamy head of beige foam that retains until the last sip.

Huge hoppy, fruity sweet goodness in a glass. Lots of hops, citrus and some pine on the nose. Honey sweetness.

Just like the nose. Big fruity hop flavor all the way through. Nice amount of bitterness that is kept in check by some honey and malt sweetness. Nectar of the gods!

Initially the feel was perfect. Halfway through the glass, the carbonation just disappeared. Maybe it was getting to the end of the cask, but it was still fine. Just not as good as when I started the glass.

Overall, this is my favorite beer of all time. I can't get enough of it and was glad to finally be able to try it on cask. I really wish this beer was made year-round. One can dream can't they?

Serving type: cask

01-28-2012 16:36:42 | More by jera1350
Photo of ColdPoncho


4.43/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes, 3-30-11

Was lucky enough to get this on cask at a recent Oberon release event.

A - cloudy amber body, kind of dark and dull, some head, but the bubbles are huge, and not very tightly formed.

S - a little bit of sweetness, and a little bit of citrus hops, everything is quite subdued though.

T - wow! This is really pretty incredible. Big hops just like Hopslam is supposed to have, but there is a great balancing sweetness, making this almost more like an American Barleywine. Its really interesting and complex and tastes great. Very nice

M - a bit flat, but still a good body.

O (D) - It's interesting and very tasty, but not quite the Hopslam that I hope for. It's too well-balanced.

Serving type: cask

03-31-2011 22:08:25 | More by ColdPoncho
Photo of mwa423


2/5  rDev -55.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

a - pours a slightly hazy burnt orange with no head to speak of.

S -orange bitters, lots of alcohol and hints of hopslam's citrus glory.

T - incredibly barleywine like with overwhelming alcohol and a harsh biting bitterness that cloys to the back of the throat.

M - mouthfeel is overly rich, biting and slides down the throat like slime.

Overall, avoid the cask. What is amazing in bottles and life changing on tap is actually awful to drink.

Serving type: cask

03-30-2011 23:11:16 | More by mwa423
Photo of petacutlasaurus


3.43/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on cask at Pizzeria Paradiso. Had a few hopslams during the past couple of months, bottled. Went into Paradiso and found they had it available in a cask, and had to give it a go.

Comparing it casked to bottled, it's pretty much what you'd think. Less carbonation and chill, and thus a little more flavor poking through. All the same, I prefer it bottled. The heaviness of the beer and the intensity of its honey-hopped notes lend themselves to some cooler-carbonated levity. I'm really glad I had the chance to grab this casked, since it really does allow you to get at some of those notes a little more accurately, but the trade off in drinkability I think sends the beer over the edge.

Serving type: cask

03-06-2011 21:36:50 | More by petacutlasaurus
Photo of EricCioe


4.58/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask at Pints & Quarts in Muskegon during a Bell's Takeover the Taps event, 3 March 2011.

This pours orange peel orange with a slight haze, just a ring of head or so. The guy next to me was drinking the same thing, though, and he had a finger of frothy white head that left good lacing, so I think it was just the pour that wasn't great on mine. On the nose the two most prominent notes to me were oranges and honey. It wasn't overpowering in intensity. There was some dry malt backbone lingering under the honey, but it was mostly the citrus aromas coming through. In the mouth, there is citrus, mostly orange but some grapefruit, too. But the real kicker here was honey, an absolutely amazing honey note that hit the tongue right away and stuck around with the bitterness through the long finish. It was medium bodied, not quite as large as I thought it might be, and totally put-away-able. My pint disappeared quickly.

This on cask was one of the best beers I've ever had.

Serving type: cask

03-04-2011 20:28:28 | More by EricCioe
Photo of atsprings

North Carolina

4.6/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask during Flying Saucer Raleigh's 11th anniversary, served in a tulip glass a slightly hazy orange with a thin diminishing head that lasts as a ring. Aroma is a nice amount of citrus hops with a bit of pine and caramel. The taste is a nice amount of citrus hops, sweet malts and slight pine and caramel, nice and complex. The beer is very smooth and easy drinking from the cask conditioning. This is an excellent example of what an IPA should be on cask!

Serving type: cask

02-27-2011 00:18:31 | More by atsprings
Photo of GPHarris


3.73/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

had this from a cask at The Brick Store.

a - creamy off-white head with a duller and darker amber color than others due to being unfiltered.
s - not as hoppy as other forms of hopslam. just the faintest of citrus aromas.
t - same as the aroma.
m - much creamier and smoother.
d - delicious beer but i prefer it on draught or in bottle.

Serving type: cask

02-07-2011 16:02:33 | More by GPHarris
Photo of walteez


4.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served to me in a tulip straight out of the cask at Patton Alley Pub in Springfield, MO on 1/20/11

A: Similar to the bottle - a nice golden orange color, fairly clear but a little hazy. There wasn't much head to speak of but it was a busy night and I think it had more to do with the pour than the beer.

S: The piney and grapefruit notes are ever present - providing all the great smell I get when pouring from a bottle. The sweetness of the honey came through a lot more both in the smell and taste out of the cask.

T: If you think Hopslam out of the bottle is amazing, never miss an opportunity to have it out of a cask. The hops are still there but the honey is spot on perfect. It's much more present from the beginning of the taste all the way to the end. The beer is just a little sweeter all the way through and I loved it.

M: It doesn't fail to disappoint in this category either. The honey lends its sweetness well. It is INCREDIBLY smooth. A normal Hopslam has just enough astringency from the alcohol and hops to leave you feeling a bit dry at the end of the taste... from the cask its smooth seas all the way through.

D: In a packed bar with people lined out the door to get a glass... I managed to snag 3 (and had a Two-Hearted on tap while waiting for the cask to get tapped, just for good measure). It was good.

Serving type: cask

01-27-2011 21:18:15 | More by walteez
Photo of Samalamahamdam


4.33/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was a new one for me. I hadn't had a distributed beer from a cask before. The nose had a very fresh floral hop aroma. The color was a nice gold to amber with a slight haze. The taste was mild bitterness huge grapefruit and smooth finish. It is a great lounge/den beer when you have time to just sit back and enjoy the glass. Velvet Grapefruit....

Serving type: cask

01-22-2011 20:20:38 | More by Samalamahamdam
Photo of jmvecchio1


4.38/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Special thanks to Bell's Brewing and Amalgamated Brewing for procuring a cask of Hopslam for the St Louis area. The cask ran dry in 42 minutes and served more than 200 locals enthusiastic about great craft beer.

The gravity pour of the cask yielded a bright amber color with a thin lacy top (you get a much rockier off-white head off a keg or bottle pour). The smell, taste, and drink off the cask are much more subtle off the cask. Off the aroma you get a beautiful citrus and floral bouquet, but honey is much more predominant than out of the keg or bottle. During the taste you get: honey, grapefruits, hop oil, and a slight hint of alcohol. The hop oil increasingly coats the pallet during the drink. The mouthfeel off the cask is creamy and preferable. The finish is dry and slightly earthy. Overall, this is a well celebrated beer that's worth trying in any capacity (cask, keg, or bottle).

Serving type: cask

01-22-2011 18:26:41 | More by jmvecchio1
Photo of beertooth


4.25/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A not quite 10oz gravity pour from a firkin into a Bell's tulip.

This beer is a deep golden yellow with a few large bubbles resting on the surface. I wish the bartender put some distance between the glass and the cask to give the beer some more foam.

The nose is full of juicy citrus and ripe tropical fruit. Grapefruit pith, mango, sweet pineapple juice, sliced oranges. Without the head it's more subdued than out of a bottle or on tap though. Still, it is a great smelling glass of beer.

The taste follows the nose with waves of bitter grapefruit, orange, acidic pineapple, mango. Very bright and loaded with citrus. The bitterness let's itself be known, but it does not overwhelm. The malt bill is sweet, but not cloying. The honey does a great job of drying out the finish. Alcohol is hard to pick up on, but it's there. The bitter grapefruit coats and lingers after the finish

The mouthfeel is slick and still. It's almost chewy and quite sticky on he lips.

This is a great DIPA and I was really excited to try it on cask, but I think it performs better out of a fresh bottle or on tap.

Serving type: cask

01-14-2011 15:49:13 | More by beertooth
Photo of Seebs847


4.7/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of my favorite beers of all time! I have had it many times out of the bottle but was lucky enough to have cask recently. Grapefruit, grapefruit, grapefruit all the way throughout the tasting. Sweet and sticky mouthfeel with a sweet honey finish. Hazy orange appearance with a smell of sweet hoppy citrus. Overall an amazing offering from Bells. I will be stocking up come january.

Serving type: cask

10-17-2010 00:40:19 | More by Seebs847
Photo of bruachan

District of Columbia

4.3/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

deep gold on this guy coming our of the firkin. a bit of haze mars the viewing pleasure but the froth up there is tight and NICE

this particular beverage smells like superfresh hops. hmmm...who let them in there? grapefruit. sweetness from malts and sweetness from hops, too (i just love that hops have their own sweetness!). you know, the bitterness in this guy is restrained (what IIPA sports a restrained bitterness? i guess it's all relative) so the massive flavor can shine through. i mean, really...this tastes like someone managed to liquify fresh hops and fill this here glass with said elixir

suuuper sweet--mostly from hop. too much for some, i imagine. but not me!

Serving type: cask

04-07-2010 00:15:02 | More by bruachan
Photo of brundo4


4.38/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drawn from a firkin at Macniven's, on 2/25/10. Served in a tulip. Reviewed from tasting notes.

A- Similar to bottled Hopslam. Golden with amber and red highlights. Almost no head, just a slight ring of lacing that is sticky as all hell.

S- Hopslam on steroids! So intense. Heavy hops, grapefruit, citrus, some honey and malty sweetness.

T- Good God. It's like UBER Hopslam. Almost as if it was mixed with fresh grapefruit, lemon and orange juice. So flavorful and intense. Fairly sweet but with enough hops to strike a near perfect balance. Almost with it was just a tad more bitter, but damn near on point nonetheless.

M- Just enough carbonation. Fairly syrupy but not too much. Really just pleasant, like a tongue massage.

D- This was so unbelievably good, but I don't think I could handle anymore than the three I had. But, if you can keep it going, I suggest doing so on into infinity.

Serving type: cask

03-02-2010 20:34:07 | More by brundo4
Photo of EighchBrews


4.53/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This was my first experience with Hopslam. I enjoy cask beers in general so this was definitely a treat. Thanks to the Flying Saucer in KC for this opportunity.

As I approached the firkin, I was picking up the aroma from those who passed by me with their full glasses of Hopslam. So before really getting to examine the appearance I was struck with smells of sweet citrusy fruit. As the bartender handed me my Bell's tulip, I gazed deep into the hazy golden-orange elixir. Being a cask beer their was no head, but only a few soap-like bubbles lingering on the surface. With the beer in hand I began to pick up more of the sweet malty characteristics in the aroma.

The first taste was, of course, exceptional. I immediately knew this beer deserves all the hype it gets. Hops! and a lot of them, but not just the bitterness. Tropical fruit along with some piney resinous flavors. From what I have heard about hopslam is that it contains honey. It is definitely apparent and along with the malt provides the perfect backbone to this wonderful beer.

Cask beer doesn't have the carbonation of other serving styles, but I am a big fan of cask beers so I like that. However, there was a bit of slickness to the beer as it warmed. This is definitely nit picking as it didn't deter me from drinking three of these.

Hopslam is everything I expected and more. For a 10% hop bomb this beer is SUPER drinkable. As I said, I had three of these and besides being a bit tipsy, I felt great. If I had more time and $$ I probably would have ordered another.

Serving type: cask

01-20-2010 22:56:44 | More by EighchBrews
Photo of bigdonniebrasco


4.6/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I traveled 90 minutes, and showed up 3 hours early to try this....

Served in a Bell's tulip at Flying Saucer, Kansas City, MO.

I had waited (not so patiently) for this release for a LONG time! Appearance was a bright amber/orange, with almost no head. I think the previous reviewer stated that "all cask beers suffer from a nonexistent head". I will agree that there was no head on it, but I hesitate to say this golden elixir "suffered" from it.

This is a beer drinking experience that begins with a fruity waft as far away as arms length. The aroma is more reminiscent of a tropical fruit smoothy, than that of a beer.... but then again this is no ordinary beer! Without the punch of added C02 the nose is a little different, heavier on the fruit and lighter on the grass/pine, but like it was said before, just different, not detrimental.

The mouthfeel on this cask version is, in a word "slippery". The hoppy oils are there in spades, along with the hop bite we all showed up for. You WILL notice the malt and honey sweetness more in this "flatter" version than you will from draft or bottle.
I actually preferred the cask serving over the draft serving that I tried immediately after, although only marginally.

For me the drinkability of this amazing brew is actually enhanced when served from a cask. Not something that you necessarily need when talking about a 10% ABV hop-bomb.

I too, would like to thank the flying sauce for getting two of only THREE firkins in the entire state of KS! I'll keep coming back!

And Thanks to my friend Jim and his awesome wife, bro, and cousin for letting me tag along!

Serving type: cask

01-20-2010 01:30:28 | More by bigdonniebrasco
Photo of bhalter8


4.58/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I am reviewing the second pint I had off a cask @ BSP, yummy. The first pint was a little faint in al regards, and the second was far better. Nice vibrant orange color, a bit richer and deeper than the first pour. Little carbonation, its a cask. Lovely floral and citrus hop aroma. This second pint was far better in the hop flavor department. I get a much more pronounced bitterness, but I think the honey sweetness helps balance it out. Also make is incredible easy to drink. Too easy really. I think the middle of this cask was amazing, but also a testament to how cask settle, there is definitely a sweet spot. Off cask, it really opens up the flavor and aroma.

Serving type: cask

05-19-2009 22:23:30 | More by bhalter8
Photo of RustyDiamond


4.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bright orangey apple juice pour at BSP on the Bell's Launch Day. Typical cask-like flatness with just some glistening white bubble film on the flat head. Very nice brightness, though.
Very nice woody, piney aroma with a unusual subtle hint of grapefruit.
As with the bottled Hopslam, huge hop flavor up front. Pungent, tart grapefruit with pine fills the mouth. Lingering, dry bitter. As this baby sits, the honey comes out. Tasty as all hell.

Serving type: cask

05-18-2009 22:52:11 | More by RustyDiamond
Photo of Brew33


4.78/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on the Firkin at the Bell's Eccentric Cafe.

Nice color, spot on for the style. Nice head. Big, juicy hop aroma.... So good. The taste was clean, fresh hop flavor. Bitter but sweet. Excellent. Slight alcohol warmth as the beer warmed. Great beer, seek out if possible. Great on cask, butter smooth.

Serving type: cask

05-11-2009 18:14:04 | More by Brew33
Photo of rhinos00


4.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Was fortunate enough to catch this beer on cask @ the Buckeye Brew Engine. Poured into a snifter.

A- Compared to the bottled and on-tap version, this was one of the more notable differences. Had an absolutely amazing head that just laced the sides of the glass as it was consumed. There was a clear line of distinction as the head sat on top of the body of the beer, almost like someone had a straight edge and just plopped the head right on there. Of course the color was wonderful with nice amber hues.

S- Great scent that resembled a bouquet of piney and citrus hops.

T- Tastes were similar to the on-tap version. Followed the nose with a nice mixture of bitter pine hops and citrus fruit feel.

M- By far the difference maker in this beer. Unlike other versions, this beer on cask had an amazing creamy, full mouthfeel that is wonderfully complimented by its great taste. Just a completely different experience and vastly improved the beer in my opinion.

D- Hmmm....I drank 3 snifter in under a 45 mintues. Probably the most drinkable DIPA I have ever had.

If you get the opportunity, try this beer on cask! It's a completely different experience and puts it in the ranks of PtE and PtY, maybe even better. Of course, if PtE or PtY were on cask....

Serving type: cask

03-30-2009 15:17:59 | More by rhinos00
Photo of ahalloin


4.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

The first of a long line of great cask beers at the "Casks of March" event at Rustico in Northern VA. Had to get it quick because it was gone in 40 minutes!

Poured a cloudy dark golden color with little to no head of only large bubbles. Very opaque in nature, in that it didn't reflect light in the traditional way most beers do.

For a hophead, the aroma was the epitome of a greatness. It was almost like to I rounded up a few varieties of hop plants and then picked off the flowers and mashed them in the palm of my hand while inhaling. Positively breathtaking! Heavy citrus and pine notes, with doses of light toffee as a background. Somewhat medicinal. Almost a peach peel sweet and tart mixture.

The mouthfeel was understandably smooth. Virtually no carbonation. Am I drinking grapefruit juice mashed with pine sap? I mean that in the best way possible!! The taste had that peachy quality, citrus, and a bitter burning sensation through the finish.

Awesome beer!

Serving type: cask

03-12-2009 01:39:45 | More by ahalloin
Photo of Pencible


4.15/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Just had this on cask at Rustico last night for their Glassware Giveaway event. Poured with no head, and was a hazy brushed gold color. Smelled fantastic. Ultra fresh hops, super clean, pineapple dominates, but also hints of pine and sour apple, solid honey sweetness. Taste is along the same lines as the smell. Definitely pure and clean hops, but not the exact flavor I enjoy best in a 2IPA. That's what kills this beer vs the hype for me. It's brewed excellently and tastes great, but just isn't my favorite flavor. Sweet honey malt helps balance the bitterness and makes it easier to drink, but it's still more of a sipping beer. Body was a little thick, but not as much as I was expecting from the cask. Basically no carbonation, and lasting bitterness in the aftertaste. Alcohol is nicely hidden, almost too well. Not sure if cask is worth the hype over regular tap? Overall, this was a pleasure to drink, but still not my favorite beer in the world.

Serving type: cask

03-11-2009 15:58:12 | More by Pencible
Photo of DefenCorps


4.85/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

Serving type: cask

03-11-2009 13:41:38 | More by DefenCorps
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Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
100 out of 100 based on 8,768 ratings.