Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

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

11,593 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 11,593
Reviews: 3,420
rAvg: 4.48
pDev: 9.38%
Wants: 2,371
Gots: 2,609 | FT: 62
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: 11,593 | Reviews: 3,420
Photo of trill
4.67/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Yet another one courtesy of tayner, the Queen of Beers.

This one comes out a translucent honey with a healthy white head. It certainly doesn't look 10%. The aroma isn't extremely fragrant, but it's quite nice. Sweet citrus, pine needles, honey, and a little bit of hay. The flavor is almost perplexing, with a powerful bitterness on the front of the tongue that disappears from the finish, with some oak, orange pith, and slightly medicinal alcohol dryness. Malt presence is negligible, but not insufficient to back the hops, and the body is thin enough to keep the beer as refreshing as a regular IPA.

Photo of katan
3.97/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

undated 12 oz bottle, id 8285

A - Pours a light golden brown color with little haze. Carbonation is obviously present, but the head retention is very small. Maybe a mm which dissipated to a film.

S - Strong floral notes are quite apparent here. The obvious high hopping rate of noble hops is resulting in a citrus/grapefruit nose. Appealing and fits the style.

T - Starts with a grassy hard hop bite that transitions to a balance of sweet malt backbone, bitterness, and citrus hop flavors. Finishes with the hop slam as the name would lead you to think. The after taste is persistent and sweet.

M - A difficult mouthfeel to describe. It seems to be light and watery at times, while some tacky clinging in the aftertaste.

D - The fact that while this is a nice hoppy beer, but not a hop bomb, has me believing that it wouldn't be difficult to knock one back. The high ABV is a counter balance to this however.

Another quality offering from Bells.

Photo of jeremyd365
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've had this a few times before without yet reviewing it, but I finally popped open my last one from past January '08 (Batch 8283). This is the holy grail of beer! Poured a dark amber-golden with medium clarity and medium to heavy carbonation with a slight white head. The hops are apparent at quite a distance, and once you actually put your nose in it, you've reached the motherland. On the tip of the tongue, the bitter hops are already being absorbed, and upon swallowing, the piney flavor melds with the monster hops to the most pleasurable blend imaginable. It's medium to heavy bodied and a true hop-SLAM, yet goes down smooth and remains extremely drinkable. This seasonal is one to definitely one to stock up on to enjoy sparingly at special moments throughout the year! Thank you, Bell's!

Photo of changeup45
4.74/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewing beers like this one is fun. This is one fine beer. Pours a clear light orange color with a medium sized head. A wonderful grapefruit hoppy aroma. The flavor is grapefruit hops with a good amount of honey and maybe some caramel. Bitter, dry with a pretty clean finish considering the style. Extremely well balanced. This has got to be the smoothest beer with this much alcohol I have ever had. I have got to get more of this stuff!

Photo of phattysbox
4.57/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this from a trade with softcough - thanks Scott!

No vintage, no freshness date. 12 oz bottle poured into Duvel tulip glass. Awesome bright orange color. Poured rather aggresively, but only a 1 cm head that pulls back to a thin lace. Only an island of foam from the duvel etching.

Smells great! Citrus hops abound in this brew; lemony and orange type citrus. Sweet malts and fusel alcohol in the nose as well. Expecting to be slammed by hops - but not quite. Initial taste has a very smooth hop profile which gets stronger going down. Not quite as bitter as I expected, but still really good! The balance is phenomenal as the malts are equally represented. Sweet candy and caramel. Mouthfeel is quite thick and wet. Alcohol is hdden well in the taste but not in the nose.

Seems like the hops may be lower than what I expected, but I think this may be the result of a superbly balanced DIPA, one of the best I ever had.

Photo of johannasclimacus
4.4/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What a tasty and interesting brew! The appearance and smell both hint at a pretty typical, very hoppy IPA. The first taste that I got was citrus hops, but it wasn't as overpowering as I was anticipating. Then the complexity of the honey plus some kind of fruity taste set in, and finally the beer finished with a taste of bitterness. The finish is very smooth and clean as well.

If it were not for the high ABV, I could drink these all night. The beer didn't sit very heavily at all, and overall I would just say that this was an incredibly satisfying experience. One bottle is plenty enough, offering a complexity of flavors, a smooth medium body, and a brief head trip from the ABV to boot!

So far, the best beer I've tried from Bell's.

Photo of treyrab
4.44/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass

A: Caught a case of the chill haze, but fortunately has a beautiful 3 finger creamy white head that tends to stick to the side of the glass!

S: Intense amount of citrus hops along with a light malt backbone that does not combat the hops too well

T: Absolutely phenomenal. Very crisp...the first taste that hits you is the citrus hops. They are abundant, but by no means strong, nor too bitter for a DIPA. In fact, this is leaning more towards the Strong Ale category rather than a DIPA. The finish is very dry and clean

M,D: The lively carbonation is fantastic and the drinkability is high, but after one you are most likely done with this ABV!

Photo of thethrone
4.8/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Pours a hazy golden amber, with generous fluffy head. Thin lacing down the glass.

S - Terrific hoppy aroma. Lots of citrus; smells of oranges, grapefruit, lemon. Also some hint of pepper and spices.

T - Lots of hop flavor, but with a very well balanced sweetness. Alsmost liek a sweet grapefruit. Dispite the hoppy assault on the senses, there is very little lingering bitterness that often overwhelms with other DIPAs. There's some alcohol burn toward the end, but overall it masks its strength well.

M - Medium body, surprisingly smooth given its strength. Perfectly carbonated

D - Terrific brew that I could drink all night every night, if I had too :)

Photo of lpayette
4.52/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Received in trade as a generous extra (2 bottles) from Lofgrep. I'm feeling a bit lazy with regards to reviews, so please excuse my lack of structure and depth in this one.

This beer pours a wonderful golden honey color with a bit of chill haze. The head is ample enough to expell quite an impressive aroma of citrus-thick hops as notes of honey try their best to poke through. Head is nearly two fingers high and produces some nice lacing around the top of the glass.

The taste and mouthfeel is pretty darn exceptional. It seems the honey has added a nice bit of complexity to this one which mixes amazingly well with the massive hop dominance. Hops tend to lean towards the citrusy side of things and are brutal and unrelenting throughout the duration of the sip and aftertaste.

I would never have guessed that this one clocked in at 10% and for that this one gets major drinkability points, as I could drink this like any standard IPA.

Photo of GilGarp
4.65/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received in a generous trade from rnorgart. Thanks! I've been looking forward to it.

Batch #8285

Pours a hazy copper orange color with not much head but good lacing.

Aroma is sweet and hoppy with a definate presence of alcohol.

Flavor is obviously very bitter and very imperial IPA but the experience is unusual in that it goes from sweet to bitter and back to sweet with each small sip. I get the honey up front before the hops kick in and then it finishes malty. I figure this would be quite different if it was fresher. The hop character has probably gotten a bit muted but it's still a slam.

Mouthfeel is to be expected from an IIPA and it's drinkability is very good.

Overall its a great beer and one I look forward to trying at its peak when it's released in mid-winter.

Update:

Now enjoying a much fresher Hopslam a mere 6 weeks after bottling instead of 8 months. Thanks to jdoncbus for the awesome trade!

Batch #8907

Pours into a snifter glass with a hazy orange color and just a little bit of white head on top.

So appearance is about the same but the aroma is much improved. Lots more hops with a definate sweet fruity character and honey.

Flavor is also much more pronounced but still pretty balanced. The huge bitterness from the hops is equalled by what must have been impressive amounts of malt and honey. Lots of nice citrus fruits.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and smooth but the bitterness and alcohol keep it from getting a better score. Very enjoyable but nice and slowly is the way to go.

Overall much improved with nearly 7 fewer months on it than last time. Certainly a classic and worthy of such distinction.

Batch 10100 (bottled 1/5/11 and enjoying it 2/2/11)

Thanks to mn6 for the Hopslam.

Very fresh and very citrusy - I get the grapefruit more than I remember in the past. It's big in the nose and even more epic in the flavor. Such a massive hop hit but yet enough sweetness to not feel overpowered. What a great double IPA!

Photo of mrsoul12
4.82/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The name says it all. Extremely hoppy. Surprisingly drinkable considering the bitterness and the level of alcohol. Some lacing on the glass. Big hop aroma and flavor. Some sweetness balances things out. I would highly recommend this beer to anyone who is into hops.

Photo of Onslow
4.3/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

had at the first ever in history Stumelagram Tasting !! .. what a treat, time to ring that Bell .... funny, it IS very biting ... has a nice abv ... lots of floral/citrus aromas .. tastes fresh, like an apple of hops.... mellow and tasty as it warms a bit ... lots of tasty hops flavours.. good stuff

Photo of bbothen
4.45/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pretty amber/rust color with a picture perfect fluffy head. Nice lacing on glass. This head has some staying power. Leaves a good amount on your upper lip on first drink.

The aroma is awesome. Every tropical hop note you can imagine. Grapefruit, orange, pineapple. Nice sweet aromas as well.

The taste....delicious. Just like the nose, it's an all out full court citrus hop press. The maltiness & sweetness from the honey is just enough to make it not taste like like hop juice.

Feels nice & smooth. Wonder if the honey assists in that? Bitter, but not dry.

Drinkability is right up there with water for me. Everything I look for in an IIPA.

Seek this out. Now. Do it.

Photo of Beerking721
4.79/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorites, the Hopslam is released each year in January and acts to give many something to look forward to in the dead of winter/post holiday period.

A = A rich off/dark amber color with a substantial head upon pouring that settles down nicely as drinking begans. The viscosity level hypes your anticipation that something great is about to be enjoyed.

S = This style of IPA is all "west coast." The nose offers ripe, rich grapefruit that becomes the beer's signature.

T = Requesite high alcohol content blends smoothly into the recessed folds of grapefruit and citrus. This is a bold, hoppy brew that provides an enjoyable taste and long finish without burning your tastebuds off with extreme bitterness.

M = Richness abounds with substantial essence of oily goodness. The high alcohol warms the throat.

D = A destination beer meaning that it's best enjoyed in your favorite easy chair. One leaves you good (and wanting more), two beers and most people should be satisfied. Remember the high ABV because this one can slip by you quickly. If you finish the 6-pack, it will result in a great night - bad morning.

Photo of deepsouth
4.29/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this beer poured a cloudy golden amber with no head.

the taste is BIG hps, citrusy, apricot & honey.

the taste is very sweet and hoppy at the same time.

the body of the beer is medium with low to medium carbonation.

this is a very drinkable beer, but at 10% it would be hard to kill a bunch of them.

Photo of ghostwalker
4.37/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

10% ABV according to the bottle label. Purchased at Red Wagon Wine Shop in Michigan.

Looks like a Pale Ale. Caramel colored with a distinct honey-like appearance. Nice lacing.

Nose is concentrated hopitude, wonderful.

Flavor is intense with power and hops. The 10% is somewhat apparent, this is really a mouthful, but in a good way. The candied hop flavor is spot-on for an IIPA.

Mouthfeel is tooth-stripping and creamy, a great combo.

Drinkability is very good, limited by the obvious power of the brew.

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle > Imperial Piny glass

This is a slightly hazy, orange-hued amber color with a full two-finger deep, dirty-white, compact and dense head that has very sticky rings. Dissipation is slow and even with major foam coverage.

Extremely sweet scented malt with honey and caramel whiff's. Deep tropical fruits aroma's, red fruits, strawberies, watermelon, blood oranges with a mellow, spicey edge. There is an obvious heat tingle along with a semi-bitter, sweet tart candy scent way down. A very bold and complex aroma.

My first impression: Huge depth and perfect balance. The malt and hop balance is amazing, a current of raw honey and caramel makes the malt heady and smooth, not buttery, but sweet. The hops kick in high gear with huge complexity as a tropical fruit srorm rock's the tastebud's. Think: Blood oranges, pineapple and strawberries with an earthy, herbal, hit right at the end. The heat is warming but does not creat an overwhelming bitter hop/heat attack. The flavor's are bold and not bitter overall.

This is a full, heady feeling DIPA with an amamzing crisp bite and very smooth finish.

A beautiful brew with massive complexity and a massive malt backbone to support the sweet, fruity hops.

Photo of DrunkenMaster
3.55/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle at Coles. Hazy orange with a big grapefruit and pine aroma with some sweet pineapple. Not as hoppy as I expected. As it warms up it starts to get a bit hot and boozy towards the end. Meh, a decent example but there are much better DIPAs out there.

Photo of corey0212
4.21/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to moose3285 for including this as an extra in a trade!!

Pours a beautiful honey/orange color, it's nearly glowing in the glass, off-white head fades pretty fast, but leaves a good amount of lacing on the glass. Very sweet nose on this, lots of caramel aroma, plenty of citrus hop notes as well. This is just a fantastically balanced Imperial IPA...with a name like HopSlam, I was thinking "wildly unbalanced", which I'm generally fine with, love the hop bombs. But the balance between the sweet malts and the bitter/citric/floral hops is pretty much perfect. Slight chewiness on the tongue, subdued but lasting bitterness. I like that this is in a 12oz. bottle, keeps things from getting out of hand (with the high ABV). An excellent Imperial IPA!

Photo of chemmie
4.48/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Special thanks to PaulTheBeerGuru for putting this on tap at Underground Bluz in Orlando.

It poured a beautiful golden honey color. If this was in a mason jar, you'd think it was some high-end bee nectar. Holding it to the light, you'd think the gods were shining down on this beer. It's pretty.

The smell is of nice, sweet, hops. Just a little bit of bitter hop smell mixed in with the sweet and citrus aromas. My nose is blessed.

The taste is amazing. The Bell's guys knew exactly what they were doing and balanced this thing perfectly. The super-hoppiness is there, but the bitter kick in the balls isn't. Instead, you're greeted with a delicate sweetness that just rolls right past the tongue and leaves a big smile on your face. The beer is smooth, light, flavorful, hoppy and refreshing, without being too much of anything. For hoppy beers, I would consider this one of the most well-balanced out there.

This is now one of my favorite beers. The drinkability is insane. All of the good things about a super-hoppy beer, but with the ability to drink it all night long. That's a good beer, my friends.

Photo of Jwale73
4.2/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled this at the Eccentric back in May after partaking of several other offerings from Bell's; however, I'm thankful for the opportunity to try this as a standalone. Received this as a generous extra from bgramer (thanks Brendan). Batch 8277 printed on the bottle. Served in my Delirium Tremens tulip. Poured a hazy orange-gold with a one-inch loose head. Cap reduced to half its size within seconds before settling into a thin skim of foam and ringlets. Some strands of watery lacing adhered to the walls of the glass during the tasting. Scent off the cap pop was sweet; however, aromas in the glass yielded a predominantly floral hops nose, with a mead-like quality detectable in the background. Taste consistent with nose, with a very complex flavor profile; both sweet and bitter at the same time. Medium-bodied mouthfeel with a slightly viscous feeling and a light effervescence in the mouth. I'm generally not one for IPAs, but Hopslam is in a category all its own in my opinion.

Photo of SpecialK088
4.7/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poued froma bottle into a snifter

Same story here as Naterock we got this and feel very lucky still got 1 more.

A-Very clean copper nice head and laces throughout the glass.

S-Clean crisp nothing overpowering anything else which is incedible for a double IPA citrus, honey and hops all there and noteable.

T&M-Can't do it justice the blance ond sm oothness of this beer is something that all brewers stiver for and if they dont they should i love saying that this was anything but a typical IPA or double IPA it was incredible. Nice medium body perfect carbonation level for what they were going for.

D-Anywhere anytime if i see it consoder it purchased.

Photo of Gtreid
4.72/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reveiwed on 4-21-08

OH BABY! This beer is a monster! Appearance is almost the same color as a new penny. Poured one finger of head that wilted down to about an eighth of an inch and lasted the entire glass. Amazing retention. Smelled of thick orange and citrus hops, slight pine scent as well. Taste was out of this world, and finished with a sweet honey flavor. Smooth medium bodied beer, that just screams DRINK ME! At 10% ABV, I could not beleive how drinkable this beer was. If I had access to this beer year round, I would never be without one. This is a must try for all you hopheads. Cheers.

Re-review:

Ok, in honor of my 50th review, I am going to review HopSlam again. This has about 5 months age on it. Poured into a snifter.

A: Honey, copper color, that when poured straight down the center of the glass, produced one and a half fingers of sandy white head. When the head fades it leaves behind thick, very sticky lacing.

A: Citrus hops explode. Orange, grapefruit, mango, and tangerine. Sweet malts are hidden but present enough give it some balance.

T: Honey and citrus. Much like the nose. This is almost like drinking orange juice with alcohol. The hops are increadible. HopSlam finishes slightly dry with a very apperant alcohol heat.

M&D: Medium body, and the smoothest beer I ever had the pleasure of sipping. At 10% ABV this drinks just as well as any single IPA out there. With a little age, the hops are a somewhat more subdued than when fresh, but I think this is even better than a new bottle. I am a hophead, and this is exactlly what I want to be drinking. Supurb! Skal.

Photo of naterock
4.7/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I really had to sweet talk one of the guys at the store to let a couple of these go. We found out that they don't put this on the shelf and just split it between the staff. I'm glad all I had to do was TALk him out of it.
A: very clean copper color, light and pale head.
S: incredible aroma of hops. also I smell a bit of sweetness from the honey. smells crisp and bright.
T: Nothing I can say to really encompass the taste, if I could use one word, it would be in-fucking-credible. this is what IPAs strive to be. incredibly balanced and crisp.
M: nicely carbonated and smooth.
D: now that we might be "in" with the staff I hope we can come upon more of this more often. I would always have a couple of bottles if possible.

Photo of PEBKAC
4.26/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nananana-nananana HopSlam!
Nananana-nananana HopSlam!
Nananana-nananana HopSlam!

HopSlam!!
HopSlam!!!
hopslam...

Two bottles from the same batch(8283), from two beautiful & generous traders. One man(artisanbrew), one woman(Dryzga), helping me test the limits of my gluttony... time to doublefist some HopSlam!

Alright, I'll allow a little civility; two tulips. The least I can do. :P

The bottles pour out an orange amber, just slightly murky, just a little irritated by all the commotion. Close to an inch of head across the board, with an uneven layer of pond scum left behind once they settle.

Greasy & yeasty, rich alcoholic fumes, cracker-ish, with of course... the rindy/green/dirty hops. A tingly note of pepper skims off the top as well.

The hops seem to be backloaded, as all the malt & sugar suckerpunches me first. ...& wah?, where did all the alcohol go? Oooh, I feel it in my esophagus... but not on my tongue(so much). A sharp crackermeal-ish, syrup sweetness like I said comes first. Then it gets pretty peppery in the middle. It quits toying around, & in the endgame, it just clamps down on your tongue with a weighted belt stuffed with grapefruit rind, arugula, & a seriously strong pinch of salt I didn't see coming.

I came in expecting something along the lines of Double Simcoe, but the texture is totally different. Very slippery, but very well carbonated. The alcohol doesn't come into play till it's halfway down, which was amazing. Body is no where as thick as Double Simcoe. Probably the only thing they have in common now is price. :P

Tasty. Who's still hoarding some? :)

Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
99 out of 100 based on 11,593 ratings.