Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

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Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

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3,257 Reviews

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Reviews: 3,257
Hads: 11,632
rAvg: 4.45
pDev: 8.54%
Wants: 2,390
Gots: 2,631 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 3,257 | Hads: 11,632
Photo of xcrunner78
5/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First off before I go into this review I have to say <b>WOW!</b>

Poured 12 oz. bottle into stemless wine glass while at Main Street Gourmet.

Appearance: Poured a dark honey/copper color, left a 1-cm white head. Absolutely clear.

Smell: Hops right in your face! I smelled a slight grapefruit fruity smell with a lot of other citrus to it.

Taste: Again, hops in your face! I taste a lot of citrus, slight honey and a little malt.

Mouthtaste: On the back of the palate is where I get the bitterness of the hops. It was the only beer that I would drink that night, because it ruined my tastebuds for the rest of the night.

Drinkability: Very drinkable for me. Bigger the beer that better. 10% ABV hit the spot and made me hungery for more. Three of them goes into my cellar!

Notes: Had not had a good beer from Bells in a while. This was maybe redemption. (870 characters)

Photo of slammgrass
4.45/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bell's Hopslam immediately brings thoughts of wildflower honey, bitter soapy hops, and the pith of an overripe clementine. Slightly medicinal tasting. Thick mouthfeel, but astringent and clean. Orange golden hue like viscous unfiltered honey; beautiful hue. Heavy body, warming. Notes of brown sugar, turmeric, molasses, whiskey on the nose. Not to be missed. If you are a fan of the Bell's brewing style, do not miss this beer. At 10%, I'm about half-way through my pint, and feeling it.

Poured into a glass on 1.24.09
Excellent lacing, retained about ¼" of head, maintained about 1/16" of an inch of head throughout the pint. Would not miss this on draft, as I'm sure it would be a knock-out.

Cheers Bell's for another amazing brew. (738 characters)

Photo of sudsface69
4.62/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an amazing beer. A truly distinctive and memorable beer. My first sniff of this one will be forever etched in my mind. I don't think I have ever smelled such a wonderfully fruity, floral, tropical nose in a beer before. The character of the hop aroma in this is simply amazing. This beer truly has a "bouquet." The mouthfeel is big, full, and totally satiating. The expressions of the hops are just fascinating. So complex, so intriguing. If you are a hop head, you need to try this beer. One of the finest DIPAs you will find anywhere. (544 characters)

Photo of TehAnkh
4.29/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured in to an imperial pint glass. Poured a very orange tinged clear gold, almost yellow at the bottom, darker orange at the top.
1 1/2 fingers of pillowy white to off-white head that fades over the course of 3-4 minutes and leaves an absolutely gorgeous lacing that clings voraciously to the glass. The brew seems to go from clear to slightly pale as the head recedes. Gorgeous!!!

S: Grapefruit! That's the first thing that strikes my nose, citrus, citrus and more citrus. There's some grassy, herbal and floral notes in there for sure, but the citrus hop aroma reins supreme!

T: Once again, grapefruit right off the bat, but more of a clean lemon twinge in the background. I taste hints of honey and melon. Very floral, very aromatic , the flavor sticks with you well after the last sip. The alcohol only makes itself apparent in the belly, dangerously well hidden alcohol content.

M: Not nearly as bitter as I was expecting from a DIPA, but still enough to leave my tastebuds screaming. Medium bodied, albeit a little watery. A very very light amount of carbonation rounds it out and leaves me feeling refreshed.

D: If it wasn't for the alcohol content and the bitterness, I think I could sit down and drink 10 of these. The aroma and flavor are incredible, and completely new to me as a beer drinker. I will gladly crack open another... after about an hour. It's not nearly as bitter as you would think, but it's enough to make you think twice about having a second one too quickly.

Notes: I have to say I'm mildly disappointed regarding the price tag. If this were available more often, and at maybe 10-12 dollars for a 6-pack, I would drink it all the time. Sadly, this is not the case.

A rockin DIPA, but a little over hyped if you ask me. (1,759 characters)

Photo of amccormi
4.19/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Thanks to my man Mark for giving me a second to try, much obliged.

Poured from a bottle to pint glass releasing 1 inch of white head which sank to a very thin but persistent layer. Very light amber somewhere between gold and orange color with a suprising level of clarity for such a hopped up beer.

The aroma is very vibrant citrus, then a more herbal undertone.

Taste is fairly sweet upfront, but I was expecting it this time, so not as overpowering. Moves into a bit of fruityness, then finishes with a fiarly clean pithy citrus bitterness (Kumquats anyone?). The bitterness lingers, quite a while.

Mouth feel is average, possibly a tad thin, but nothing to really detract.

This is an incredibly drinkable beer for being 10%. Once I got used to the honey sweetness it really has a nice balance that I can see why people are fond of it. (842 characters)

Photo of jagoffyinzer
4.55/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: a two finger head is poured with a rocky and creamy texture. the color is a cloudy gold that looks god damn delicious. heavy lacing coats all sides of the glass.

S: this brew is in your face with bold spicey and citric hops. a faint note of honey and malt.

T: up front is a slight sweet honey flavor that is surrounded by earthy and spice tones. the end finishes with a spicy bitterness that plays well with a honey note. it doesn't get much better than this.

M: this is light and creamy. it coats your mouth and works so well

D: this is so sessionable it is scary. i want this all day every day. (607 characters)

Photo of Schreibeers
4.35/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Good, what I expect from a double IPA, dark golden color, some lacing down the side

S: Sweet hoppyness, some malts, and with a little alcohol backdrop, a little thin for a double IPA

T: My favorite part of Hopslam is the taste. Initial hoppy flavor followed by some rounded malty sweetness with the hops never too far away. The taste ends in a dry hoppy flavor that continues to linger long after your last sip.

M: Medium/thick body with oily mouthfeel that sticks tounge and cheeks. Very nice.

D: For a 10 % abv brew, very well balanced and drinkable. Overall a very nice brew. (586 characters)

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

Poured from a bottle in to a pint glass. It was a nice golden color with a 1" or so white head that dissipates in a minute or so. Slightly cloudy, mainly clear. The lacing continues down my glass pretty well.

The smell is that of grapefruit and orange and woodsy. It's just awesome.

A nice sweet and bitter taste. Just a touch of the 10% ABV comes through at the end.

It has a nice creamy feel in my mouth.

The 10% ABV makes it such that one or two is enough for an evening. But I could drink those one or two every evening if the wallet would allow. It really is a good beer. Sadly, only a six pack for me. (611 characters)

Photo of Emerson1310
4.92/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is what got me started on DIPA's/IPA's. I still have several 2011 cases, kept cool and the quality has not gone down, it still tastes wonderfully fresh, though I do have one or two daily.

A: Golden in the glass with a medium white head and good lacing.

S: The ultimate!! As soon as you pop the cap off the bottle, the air all around you fills with that wonderful citrus/hop aroma!!

T: As wonderful as it smells!! Grapefruit, orange, mango is all there, slightly sweet with the honey in the background. The hop-bitterness is well hidden by the honey. The finish is, well, amazing!! VERY smooth, leaving no residual hops on the back of the tongue. The high 10% ABV is well hidden in this beer.

M: Very nice, slightly creamy, very smooth, medium carbonation.

Overall: Along with PtE, this is my favorite hop-bomb of all. I would like to see HopSlam become a fully available all-year beer. (895 characters)

Photo of PossumMunsen31
4.12/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is an extremely powerful and potent beer that is also highly enjoyable. One of the craziest beers I've ever experienced. Great hop taste and balance. High alcohol content isn't extremely noticeable while drinking. It's unique and highly flavorful. Definitely recommend it. (277 characters)

Photo of Number45forever
4.08/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tasted side by side with Heady Topper...yeah, my life is hard.

Appearance is a deep golden orange, with a nice fluffy white head that disappears quickly enough. Left with some good visible carbonation and a nice lace of white head.

Smells, shockingly, like hops. Pine is right there. There is NO DOUBT what this beer is: a HUGE IPA. There's very little maltiness in the smell...you get hops, hops, and more hops. A slam of hops, if you will. (Do I detect a slight green onion kind of smell?)

Tastes incredible. This is what an IPA should be. Sharp, sharp hops. Much bigger bitter aftertaste than Heady Topper, it leaves you wanting more and more! There's not much in the way of sweet malty balance. For a 10% ABV IPA, I'd expect this to be much sweeter. Nope, it's a hop SLAM.

Mouthfeel is the best part of this beer. It has perfect carbonation and goes down easy. This is scary drinkable. Love it. It tastes amazing.

Overall, I love this beer. It's not as good as Heady Topper - it's more one or two note than the symphony of Heady. But this is a very good beer. I'd buy this all the time if it was available here in Vermont.


Note: I could not detect any honey whatsoever. (1,189 characters)

Photo of Circles413
5/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What can I say about, Hopslam that hasn't been said before? This beer is amazing!!! I've tried; 2011, 2012, 2013 & 2014 & I must say that 2014 is the best! It has a huge mouth feel without all the bitterness. The hops are huge, the citrus flavor is there & it's a huge DIPA!!! I LOVE the Oracle but Hopslam is hands down one of, if not the BEST DIPA's out there!!! (364 characters)

Photo of GregA135
4.07/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

When I first sipped this beer, I thought "What's the big deal about this beer?" It could of been my palate from drinking other beers, but when I took another sip and let it sit in mouth for a bit... thats when I really tasted the beer.

Smelled of honey, grapefruit, and orange

Hops really came out after letting it sit for a little bit on my tongue

Definitely give this one a try! (384 characters)

Photo of Spiffaz
4.57/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.75

Don't pass this up if you see it on tap; I bet it'd be amazing...

Appearance - Very interesting color. Looks golden, like dark honey, with a bit of cloudiness. Nice head, lots of tiny bubbles, very active and fades quickly. Very pretty lace remains.

Smell - HOLY CRAP. Smell is out of this world. Fruit and honey and happiness. The hop smell is there but not overly powerful. I'd wear this as cologne.

Taste - Cries out to be paired with food; very cleansing and bite-y. Order this and some hotwings and you'll be in heaven. The honey is impressively balanced; it adds to the taste instead of just making the brew taste like honey. It seems to me like it mutes the hops a bit. I'm not sure what the IBU is on this but I suspect it's a lot higher than it seems.

Mouthfeel - Good. Clean without being dry. Nice amount of carbonation; it works very well for this beer.

Overall - I'm impressed with the craftsmanship shown here. You'll drink this beer way too fast. You won't want to sip it and appreciate the great balancing act Bell's has put before you. But hey, go ahead. Sip the next one.

Yay beer! (1,110 characters)

Photo of sonnens4
3.83/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: large head-more than 1 inch (closer to 2), copper/amber, orange golden color, nice lacing after a few drinks

Smell: floral aromas, honey, sweet, light hints of hops

Taste: herbal, lemon, honey, not overwhelmingly sweet, hints of hops, but not very bitter

Mouthfeel: medium/moderate carbonation--you can feel the fizz, but not too heavy not too light--well balanced

Overall: Refreshing! Really enjoyable flavors with great balance, one of Bell's better options, very complex, one of the better IPA's (514 characters)

Photo of T_Reeves92
4/5  rDev -10.1%

A: Golden Color with a medium white head
S: Honey, Hops, and Sweet malt dominate the smell
T: Sweet honey with malts in the front of the palate, finishing with a bitter pine/grapefruit taste
M: medium body with low carbonation
O: not quite the "hop bomb" I wanted it to be, but still very good (294 characters)

Photo of chopp02
5/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

If you are an IPA lover or Hops lover in general, this beer is an absolute MUST HAVE. I love IPA's and Hoppy beers in general and this one is the strongest I've ever had in that regard. But what makes this beer a 5 out of 5 for me is the addition of the honey flavor ... It is the icing on the cake and it's what really makes this beer DELICIOUS! (346 characters)

Photo of jamesdantes13
4.32/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours lightly cloudy and pale orange-brown. Thick white head dissipates quickly but leaves a nice amount of lacing.

Nose is pungent: orange, grapefruit, pineapple, and piny all at once with a hint of caramel malts.

This brew delivers both sweet and bitter hop aromas and flavors--partly citric, but mostly bitter. Smooth mouthfeel resulting from the creamy/oily texture and low carbonation. And in addition to the light malt backbone, this beer can be easily consumed despite the 10% ABV.

Definitely a topnotch DIPA, but is it good enough to justify the ridiculous amounts of hype surrounding this beer?


There are many other DIPA's on the same level that are far more accessible. Still, this beer delivers unique hop complexities that should not be passed up...even if you can only grab a couple per year. (818 characters)

Photo of ZDub
3.87/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle to tulip. Golden orange, crystal clear, quarter inch of eggshell head that dissipates after a minute. Strong pine notes in this edition with some floral background, perhaps a tiny hint if citrus. Medium/heavy mouthfeel, syrupy pine hops hit the pallate hard upfront with a slight malt backbone. Bitterness comes in late and lingers a bit. Overall it lacks the citrus notes and balance of the 2012 vintage. Good, but in my opinion this year doesn't earn the high rating it has on the top 250. (498 characters)

Photo of Plenum
4.92/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The 2009 Hopslam is the best I've had to date. The citrus comes through so well, right from the initial pour, and last all the way to the end. This was a brew that I didn't want to end.

Great lacing down the glass, actually had to break out a second bottle tonight it was so amazing. I'm going to have to figure out how to score a 3rd case from Shangy's... (357 characters)

Photo of Beast35
4.79/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow where do I start with this beer?

Poured into a DFH snifter, 2 fingers of head

Smell-citrus hops (grapefruit and blood orange, maybe some tangerine)

Taste-Damn! So deceiving! At the tip of the tongue it is so velvety. You can taste the honey. Then the hops bitch slap you into submission. Can i get an IV of this?

Mouthfeel- smoooth

Drinkability-10%? Really? Excuse me while i drink six and pass out (408 characters)

Photo of Barleythenred
4.92/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow what a drink. I never thought I would want a beer all the time until that is hopslam. i wish i could fall asleep with it and wake up to it. Even with its high gravity there is no alcohol flavor to it. I want this recipe to brew for myself and never look back so when in the off seasons i can grab me one and feel great again and not just disappointed that i have to stock up on it. (385 characters)

Photo of TomTwanks
4.75/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

P - 12oz snifter dated 12/22/11

A - very slightly hazy golden orange. Oh boy does it look delicious!

S - Someone just threw a orange and grapefruit up my nose. Wow. Slightly yeasty and a hint of that honey

T - Just so everyone knows, I am drinking this brew slighty warmer. this beer can give a man a boner. I mean really, this is delicious. Initial bite from the hops, then a conservative malt backbone kicks in with the sweetness of that honey. I mean, this stuff is smooth. Really smooth. Dangerous smooth. Did I say smooth?

O - glad I have the opportunity to get this beer. It's hyped up for a reason. Get this is you have a chance. Best DIPA iv'e ever had, over dreadnaught and white rajah. (699 characters)

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

Purchased from my local grocery store in a [expensive!] six-pack, Bell's Hopslam is an exciting seasonal tradition for West Side Michiganders like myself!

A: Poured from a cold 12oz bottle into a room-temperature weizen glass, Hopslam yielded very little, bone-white head. However what IS there leaves incredible lacing on the glass when tilted to and fro, with remarkable retention. The color is a clear, light bronze with tiny carbonation bubbles faintly visible.

S: Like walking into a warehouse piled high with whole-cone hops and barley malts. A pungent, floral aroma hits the olfactories immediately, followed by a caramel candy finish. This one's definitely a smeller!

T: The sharp piney hops slam your tongue- lots of spiciness and a hint of honey, with a boozey, vaguely chalky aftertaste. It's the unsettling quality of that lingering aftertaste which brings the score down to a 4.5 for me. I'd prefer more of a rich, malt finish to my DIPA- something akin to Sierra Nevada's "Hoptimum" or Dogfish Head's "Burton Baton". This is still one of the best-tasting examples of the style out there...but it's something about these Bell's IPAs...I notice the same thing when drinking Two Hearted Ale.

M: Great mouthfeel overall. Carbonation in relatively light, and the beer hits your tongue with a crisp flow. The hops make the tongue jump a bit, but that's to be expected with the style.

O: While it's not the 'be all and end all' of DIPAs as some folks hail it, it's definitely a winner for those hopheads among us! As mentioned above, there are better examples of the style out there (particularly Sierra Nevada's "Hoptimum"), but on balance, this is a pretty incredible beer that makes every frigid Michigan January just a little warmer! (1,753 characters)

Photo of phartman133
3.7/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When on-tap and poured, this beer has a fairly large head. If you've had Bell's Two Hearted Ale it is very similar to that, but with more of a kick. With an ABV of 10% you can definitely taste the alcohol in this beer. It is a great beer if you are looking for a high alcohol content beer (288 characters)

Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
99 out of 100 based on 3,257 ratings.