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Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

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

3,266 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,266
Hads: 11,679
rAvg: 4.45
pDev: 4.49%
Wants: 2,427
Gots: 2,662 | FT: 64
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 3,266 | Hads: 11,679
Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

lots of initial head on pour on orangey brown. I grabbed this as an IPA, and then I find out quickly its a double hophead and higher alcohol than I expected. Its a bitter, sucking the leaf sucking the lime hop delivery that works and is satisfying aftertaste, not in your face or substantial malting as in other DIPA. My tongue was frozen later on. Good carbonation. Good but overated. (385 characters)

Photo of spycow
4.23/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a Duvel Tulip.

A: Pours a copper color with a slight haze. Leaves a small head with a nice lacing in the glass.

S: Unbelievable smell. No doubt the hoppiness is there. Strong smell of fruits and herbals. Something tropical, citricy and slightly sour (but pleasant).

T: Absolutely lives up to its name. You can really taste the earthy hops, the citrus and tropical notes, with a hint of a nuttiness. Tastes complex but very smooth and the strong alcohol does not overwhelm the taste. Typical of a good hoppy IPA it leaves an unbelievable aftertaste after each sip getting better and better.

M&D: It really coats your mouth with a smooth, oily like feel. Excellent feeling as its not that carbonated and really just right. For an imperial IPA it is very drinkable. You could easily drink several but the strong alcohol could sneak up on you if you are not careful. Easily that good.

An excellent version of the imperial IPA. A little pricy $15.99 for a 6-pack but well worth the price if you like a hoppy IPA. Highly recommended. Like many of the other Bell products...all really well brewed. (1,123 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.39/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to ehammond1 for sharing this one at MrVonzipper's tasting!

Bottled 1/6/12.

Pours a slightly hazy orange with an off-white head that fades to an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of grapefruit, citrus zest, tropical fruit, and some sweet honey. Taste is of grapefruit, citrus zest, tropical fruit, honey, alcohol, and malt. There is a sweet candy flavor on the aftertaste with a mid bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp but slightly sticky mouthfeel. Overall, this is an extremely good DIPA that lives up to the hype surrounding it. (660 characters)

Photo of t0rin0
3.9/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle brought by azagthoth yesterday.

Pours a very pale color and moderately hazy, not a good start. Also, nice tall white head, decent retention and lacing.

Aroma is very nice but at the same time a bit offensive. There is a ton of grapefruit but also a good amount of alcohol in the nose. Also, some sugary smells are apparent but I don't think that's malt.

Flavor was interesting for sure. Very sweet and hoppy but moderately boozy as well. I'm guessing the sweetness is pale malt and honey but when you get that much hops in a beer it can be sweet as well. Lots of grapefruit again, medium/high bitterness for a DIPA.

Body was reasonably heavy and sticky, medium carbonation, drinkabale because of the good taste but very boozy. (743 characters)

Photo of kylehay2004
4.95/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This moderately carbonated, spicy/hoppy IPA is a favorite among many. Though I feel the taste is exceptional, the aroma is one of the strongest aspects of this brew. The aroma and taste are near perfectly paired. It pours with a one to two finger head and finishes with a sharp feel which tapers rapidly. This one I keep stocked for as long as I can't find it available. (370 characters)

Photo of metter98
4.45/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

A: The beer is hazy pale yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high white head that only died down a little, consistently leaving a thin head covering the surface.
S: Moderately strong aromas of citrusy hops are present in the nose - grapefruit seems to stand out in particular - along with some hints of honey.
T: Like the smell, the taste is citrusy with flavors of orange and has some hints of honey. There is a moderate amount of bitterness.
M: It feels a little more than medium-bodied and somewhat crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There are some bits of warming from the alcohol in the finish.
O: This beer is rather easy to drink considering its strength because the alcohol is well masked from the taste. There's enough bitterness to prevent this from becoming sweet, especially since it has honey in it. (899 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.15/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap in Bloomington, IN. Had this some time in January 2009.

A: Bright orange and slightly cloudy. A white head with glimmers of the beer in it.

S: Simply put, this is the most amazing nose I've ever encountered. An overabundance of hops combined with a clear scent of honey, and a powerful malt base to back it all up. I know this scent will be good in a month or so, so I really need to savor it while it's fresh.

T: Much like the nose, this is utterly without parallel (sorry to Mr. Pliny, I haven't had the opportunity yet). This is how every DIPA should be made. The malt is certainly there, but does nothing to even content with the luscious hops that come on. Simply brilliant. The honey is certainly a nice touch, too.

M: Medium bodied with good carbonation.

D: Could be the only beer I'd ever drink again, if Bell's were so gracious as to devote 50% of their capacity to this one. (897 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.09/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

with all the hype around this I wanted it to floor me just like heady did, and just like the younger did, but it didn't. I mean, its a great beer don't get me wrong, but it didn't stand out to me as something worthy of the absurd praise its received. the pour is a nice hazy honey color with a creamy white head with fine retention, beautiful. the nose is oily hops, high alpha semisweet fruity hops, with some pollen character from the honey and a subtle but complimentary yeast strain. the flavor is boldly hoppy, both bitter as hell and oily sticky danky. its a beer with plenty of motion, moving from a fruity sort of vibe to a really gnarly bitter bomb. the sweetness of the honey is hard to pick out, and the alcohol is shockingly well hidden. you would never know this was 10% abv until you drank 3 or 4 of them and it walloped you! great mouthfeel with groovy carbonation and a fuller medium body. there is a great resinous feel left after the swallow. overall an outstanding imperial ipa, one of the better ones ive had honestly, but it just didn't blow my mind the way it has for others. (1,097 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.47/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a white, foamy head that leaves splotches of lace

Smell: Honeybell tangelo aroma

Taste: The honeybell citrus flavor jumps out almost immediately, even before the caramel backbone gets set; after the swallow the bitter citrus flavors intensify and there is a little honey-like sweetness on the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: One of those terrific citrus hop bombs that leave you ready for another (490 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
4.57/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow, what a beer this is! Beautiful in color, pours out a light golden copper with a head the sticks around till the last drop. The flavors are so luscious of fresh hops and honey the are juicy up front that dry you out making crave more. This is one great IPA! (261 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.63/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Icredibly smooth yet deceptively powerful, the beer's highly aromatic hops are balanced with honey for a true Midwest-style IPA, dressed up in imperial clothes. Its ease to see why Hopslam is among the best of all American beers.

Hopslam pours with a bright golden hue and the slightest of haze. The beer nearly sparkles in the glass. A very foamy head caps the beer with a white whipped topping, looking nearly like a meringue dessert. Strong retention and broken lace reaffirms the beer's substantial appearance.

Grapefruit and honey rise to the nose in such a scent that it seems like an array of citrus fruit has been dipped in honey. Savory and mouth whetting, the ale is rich and inviting throughout. Oranges, strawberries, and caramel malt play into the highly aromatic mix.

It's outrageous taste starts sweet with thin caramel malt and complex honey flavor. Citrusy ruby red grapefruit and tangerines begin to poke through the malty veil and adds a brightly flavored fruit note to the candied sweetness. Mild cannabis, marmalade, pine needles, and strawberry jam notes provide a slightly herbal and rosy taste that rides along side of the sharper citrus notes. The finish of honey and citrus bitterness is even keel and very very smooth. Its balanced taste a far cry from the usually preferred drier versions, but the honey-dipped notion here is something magical.

With the honey flavor on the palate, the beer provides a medium weighted texture to the mouth, but only a medium body because the honey plays lighter on the palate than malts do. Embedded carbonation gives a creamy feel early on. But as the carbonation settles out, the citrus infused malts saturate the middle palate and allows the hops to develop a deeply resinous dryness without gripping the throat with bitterness, excessive alcohol heat, or hop-derived astringency.

Hopslam is a culprit of many of the pitfalls that I warn against when it comes to hoppy American ales- its balance should not render the IPA-forward flavors in this positive of a manner. But its intangibles in taste and textures far exceed what's expected for the style and its overall flavor profile cannot be ignored. (2,170 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.44/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of IMtheOptimator: Poured a slightly hazy yellow color ale with a huge foamy head with great retention and lacing. Aroma of citrusy hops is well balance with sweet caramel malt – the smell of this beer is really great and I can only compare with 3F dreadnaught in term of greatness. Taste is such a well balance mix between sweet caramel malt, bitter and citrusy hops and a great floral aspect to hold it all together. This is definitely something I will want and drink some more. (497 characters)

Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Burnt orange with great clarity and an off-white one-inch head. Solid head retention.

Smell - Honey-like sweetness mixed with pungent, boozy tropical fruit and citrus.

Taste and mouthfeel - Very balanced and actually fairly sweet, especially compared to the West Coast IPAs I'm used to. Medium-bodied. I wouldn't have thought to add honey to an IPA, but it actually works wonderfully; the subtle sweetness of the honey blends perfectly with the grapefruit-like bitterness from the hops. Bittering hops appear more in the finish, coating the palate but not entirely overpowering the malt. A hint of alcohol is present as well, reminding me that this is strong stuff.

Notes - I find it very hard to fault this beer in any way. Exceptional stuff. (759 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle at the Oak Cafe in Wyandotte, Michigan.

This beer pours a clear medium golden hue, with two fat fingers of tight foamy eggshell white head, which leaves a wall of honeycomb lace around the glass. It smells of caramel/toffee malt, and citrus, pine, and pineapple hops. The taste is caramel malt, earthy honey, bitter citrus, pine, and a bit of booze. The carbonation is fairly low, the body medium weight and as smooth as possible. It finishes with not unexpected uptick in overbearing hoppiness, blotting out the now underperforming malt.

Maybe this is a sort of aged bottle, but it's still quite good, but not that wow, holy shit, head shaking way I was stupidly awaiting. Oh well. All that aside, a good DIPA, especially given the big, basically undetectable ABV. (779 characters)

Photo of emerge077
4.59/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011: It's been over 4 years, time to re-review.
How palate's have changed. This is pretty much hop crack, can't get enough. Sweet citrusy aroma, purely intoxicating... tropical hints of mango, and candied pineapple. Hugely resiny hop flavor, sweet and bitter with pineapple, mango, and cantaloupe notes. Firmly bitter aftertaste, very drying too from the 10%, yet no trace of the ABV in the taste. Dangerously drinkable for sure.

11-29-2006 A 4.1
Hazy yellow-orange pour, unfiltered with suspended particles. Lots of foam, which recedes to a frothy sheet on the sides of the glass. Smells potent, of concentrated pine and floral hops.

Taste is bracing at first, but not a whole lot more bitter than the Alpha King I just had. Hopslam feels a bit more slick and resiny, with notes of pine and bright grapefruit.

Overall, IPA's aren't the first thing i'll reach for, but this is very approachable. A great new offering from Bell's... (938 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.89/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Radiant ripe tangerine with a sparse cloud of fine particulates and a few larger flakes that I hope are hop leaves (the beer murks up considerably with the final pour). The tight-bubbled cap is ivory in color with a faint orange tint picked up from the beer beneath. While there's nothing spectacular about the appearance, it's definitely solid.

The nose is amazing! How in the world does Bell's create beer that smells like hop juice? The aroma is one of the brightest and most purely citric that I've ever experienced in a beer of this style. In addition to orange and grapefruit, pineapple and other assorted tropical fruits burst out of the glass. I'm betting that Amarillo and/or Simcoe are members of the hop bill, along with one or more of the C-hops.

HopSlam is a DIPA as DIPAs were meant to be. In other words, it's a jacked-up, hopped to the gills, high-ABV IPA. There's no caramel malt to contend with and no way to confuse what's in my glass with an American barleywine. I knew Larry wouldn't let us hopheads down. As Two Hearted has proved for years, the man knows his way around a hop cone.

Where to start? The sugar cookie-like pale malt backbone is just big enough and no bigger. It provides a firmness and a solidity that is barely able to withstand the lupulin assault. I think fresh Two Hearted is more witheringly hoppy, but it's a close call. Even so, the 106 IBUs are easy to believe. How can a beer this powerful be this mellow?

Whatever the hop bill consists of, I approve in a big way. I tried my best to determine which varieties are used, to no avail. I don't care if Mr. Bell wants to keep the specific ingredients a secret, as long as he continues to brew this hop nectar; year-round would be preferable. Bitter orange zest, white grapefruit pith, pineapple... they're all still present and accounted for. I haven't had a more drinkable DIPA in a very long time.

The mouthfeel isn't quite as full or as viscous as one might expect for an ale that weighs in at nearly 10%. It's amazingly velvety smooth, though, and I think I prefer it just as it is. In fact, the mouthfeel is one of the biggest reasons why the beer is so damn downable. It's hard to believe that 10 of the 12 ounces have disappeared so far.

HopSlam is a grand slam of a DIPA. It may not be the biggest, the hoppiest, or the most bitter version that I've ever let flood my taste buds, but it's one of the most drinkable. Anyone who considers hops to be the soul of beer, as I do, owes it to himself to seek this one out. I am in awe. (2,535 characters)

Photo of zeff80
4.87/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Pours out a copper color with a large, foamy white head. Leaves lacing.

S - Smells of grapefruit, some honey, pine and bubblegum sweetness. There is a mild caramel nose, too.

T - Big hoppy bitterness but not puckering because the honey mellows things out. It has a great grapefruit taste from the hops and some sweet caramel maltiness to accompany it.

M - It is crisp and sharp. A medium-bodied DIPA that is SO easy to drink..

D - An amazing beer. I've never had a beer with such a strong hop preence matched by a strong sweet presence until now. (554 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.62/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pored a cloudy,hazy pale amber with a huge white head that did not fade. Smell was off the charts cirus hops, thought I was in an orange grove. Taste was well you can probably oimagin, fantastic. Deep citrus and Pine, but not overwhelming at all. Complex dry finsh. Not overly carbonated. This is very drinkable as the ABV is well hidden and I could probably end up drinking too many before I knew it. Oh how I cannot wait for all these Bell's to be in NC!! (457 characters)

Photo of oberon
4.47/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Andrew (orfeu) your the man giving this beer to me I thought I was gonna have to wait until May when Iam back home to try to get my hands on this.Poures a hazed peachy color with a tight well formed sticky white head,holy cow fresh hop aromas citrus fruit with underlying pine it really wakes up the sences thats for sure just amazing.Oh man just hop goodness here resiny but bright and flavorful citric fruitiness combined with pine/resin dryness just great hop balance....malt nowhere to be found but thats fine with me.Liquid gold here for a hophead its bright and flavorful with awesome hop complexity,again thanks alot Andrew this kicks serious arss. (655 characters)

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.47/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy orangish sunrise with a small white head which fades quickly to some sparse bubbles around the edge. Gobs of grapefruit, citrus, tangerine, pineapple, and honey flowers dominate the nose. So nice. Bitter citrus hoppy flavors really zing the tongue. Oh so dry but fresh, crisp, and clean. A standout for sure. Very well done. (337 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
4.47/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks go to cvaypai for this one.

A: Cloudy orangish-amber color. Not much head to speak of, but pretty good lacing.

S: You can really pick up the honey and the citrus (orange) of the hops.

T: Excellent hop flavor, again, more orange than anything. Nice sweetness too from the malt and the honey. Some bitterness on the finish.

M: Very smooth, medium body. Not much carbonation, but enough to keep things fairly light.

D: Very drinkable. The 10% ABV is hardly noticeable in this. (485 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.47/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a translucent, orangey body with a full, foamy white head.

Smell: Wow, they ain't kidding. Redolent scent stinking of fresh grapefruit, pineapple, and passion fruit.

Taste: Malts are obscured, perhaps rightly so, by the extreme hoppiness. Tons of intense, juicy fruit hop flavors with a moderate kick of bitterness. The 10% abv is very well hidden. Bittersweet finish with a lingering tropical fruitiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Distinct oily juiciness to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Extremely hoppy, but it still displays a relatively good balance. (595 characters)

Photo of nickfl
4.67/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - One and a half fingers of bone white head on top of a slightly hazy, copper colored body. The head settles slowly and leaves a thick layer of lace clinging to the glass.

S - Strong mint, citrus, licorice hop aroma, very juicy and sweet. With some effort, one can detect a strong, sweet malt backbone behind the hops.

T - Intense tropical fruit flavors from the hops, complimented by the fruity sweetness from the malt and yeast. Spicy hop notes surface in the middle and help to balance out the immense malt sweetness that imparts light grape notes and darker plum like sweetness. Strong, but not overwhelming, bitterness appears in the finish and darkens the character of the hops with notes of cedar and tobacco.

M - Thick body, medium-high carbonation, and a somewhat sweet finish.

D - A huge, yet quite drinkable beer. This is a very well balanced beer, which is quite a feat considering the huge loads of hop flavor and malt sweetness that had to be carefully kept in check. The flavor is wonderful, but the real star in the aroma which is nothing short of spectacular with an exceptional variety of hop aromas. Surprisingly, this beer more than lives up to the hype. (1,180 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
4.28/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Devil's Backbone willibecher.

Big thanks to Wedge421 for hooking me up here!

Pours a clear copper, close to a light amber, with a thick frothy head that leaves some minor lacing as it dies away. The nose is grapefruit, mandarin oranges, pine, and lime. This hops-on-steroids smell is echoed in the taste, which showcases citrus, ruby red grapefruits, tart blood oranges, the basic essence of 50/50, and a deep backbone of light caramel and buttery toffee. This seems like the epitome of the DIPA flavor profile. The body is fairly light, with medium carbonation and a crisp finish that leaves the tongue rather moist, refreshed. I can't find much bad to say about this brew...worthy of the hype it receives. (721 characters)

Photo of oline73
4.51/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with one finger of off white head which goes away just leaving a very small layer.

Smell: Sweet citrus hops dominate. I thought there would be more of a smell than there is.

Taste: Initially there is a strong citrus hop bitterness. Next I'm picking up quite a bit of malt sweetness and some honey, which complements the bitterness quite nicely. At the end there is still some bitterness and also some alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with delicate and smooth carbonation. There could have been a little bit more carbonation. The finish is dry.

Drinkability: I've had this several times and it's always wonderful. I'll definitely be having more in the future. (743 characters)

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Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
99 out of 100 based on 3,266 ratings.