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Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
99
world-class

9,852 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,852
Reviews: 3,116
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 9.58%
Wants: 1,887
Gots: 1,482 | FT: 42
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Hopslam Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 9,852 | Reviews: 3,116 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.9/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

BuckeyeNation, Jan 22, 2007
Photo of Phyl21ca
4.43/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

Phyl21ca, Apr 16, 2007
Photo of BEERchitect
4.61/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

BEERchitect, Feb 12, 2007
Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev -5.3%

Texasfan549, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of mikesgroove
4.6/5  rDev +2.4%
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!!

mikesgroove, Jan 08, 2007
Photo of kjkinsey
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%

kjkinsey, Feb 01, 2012
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.

womencantsail, Jun 23, 2009
Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -10.9%

ygtbsm94, Dec 27, 2011
Photo of GRG1313
5/5  rDev +11.4%

GRG1313, Nov 23, 2011
Photo of spycow
4.28/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

spycow, Apr 05, 2009
Photo of kylehay2004
4.95/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

kylehay2004, Jun 25, 2011
Photo of jaydoc
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%

jaydoc, Aug 30, 2013
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.

ChainGangGuy, Feb 18, 2008
Photo of Knapp85
4.55/5  rDev +1.3%
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!

Knapp85, Mar 22, 2011
Photo of oberon
4.45/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

oberon, Feb 25, 2007
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4/5  rDev -10.9%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of TMoney2591
4.3/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

TMoney2591, Jun 14, 2010
Photo of emerge077
4.58/5  rDev +2%
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...

emerge077, Nov 29, 2006
Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

largadeer, Feb 03, 2008
Photo of zeff80
4.88/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

zeff80, Jan 25, 2007
Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev -10.9%
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.

biboergosum, Sep 23, 2011
Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -10.9%

JAHMUR, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.47/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Two thoughts here. #1 - Whoah! Like chewing on a hop!!!!, and #2 - Whoah! Like chewing on a hop! Absolutely bright, vivid and in-your-face! Grapefruit! Pineapple! Pine-needles! All Pac northwest! One of the best, if not THE best, big-assed citrusy hop beers. Drinkability suffers a little bit, sure, but that's the trade-off for such a massively beautiful rendition of dripping, citrusy and piney hops in a glass. Hop-hazy as expected in the glass; dropping head. Alcohol can be inhibiting to drinkability, but never really exhibits itself throughout the first serving. Beautiful!!!!, but perhaps only for the initiated. Regardless, worth trying for the experience.

NeroFiddled, Dec 23, 2006
Photo of SocalKicks
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%

SocalKicks, Mar 10, 2013
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Acquired via trade from northertimber, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him.
Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is an excellent blend of intense hops and extra sweet citrus, very pleasant smell.

T: A heavy hops burst starts out and is abruptly followed a sweet citrus malt flavor. Both of the flavors alternate for dominance as a mild alcohol burn washes over you. The after-taste has the hops bitterness winning out, but the citrus sweetness sticks around as well.

M: Very crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, clean finish.

D: Very tasty, goes down easy for a beer with 9.30% ABV, not too filling, it’s a little too intense to be a good pounder, I could still put a away few rather quickly and enjoy it quite a bit. I got exactly what I expected from this beer which was Two Hearted Ale with more hops and more alcohol. However, more doesn’t necessarily mean better. Two Hearted Ale is one of the best beers I’ve ever had and the extra hops and alcohol don’t make this beer better than Two Hearted Ale, just more hardcore. This is an excellent beer overall though.

TheManiacalOne, Jan 04, 2007
Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
99 out of 100 based on 9,852 ratings.