Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

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

11,585 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 11,585
Reviews: 3,419
rAvg: 4.48
pDev: 9.38%
Wants: 2,369
Gots: 2,610 | FT: 65
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: 11,585 | Reviews: 3,419
Photo of pacothrash
4.75/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer poured copper color with a .5" head which thinned quickly. The smell is very nice with with fruitiness and some of alcohol. The taste is great with hints of grapefruit and orange. This is now my favorite high alcohol (10%) beer mainly because it hides the higher alcohol with the intense hop citrus flavor. This beer is very good!

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

I've been drinking this beer for about three years now, but i had it on tap last evening, Any beer on tap in my experienvce is always stronger or fresher or the two.

The appearance in of a honey color, had nice lacing after each sip.

the smell has a sweetness and floral enlightment

the taste has a good balance, that what gives all double IPAs there edge when there sought after everyone. Also the honey ingredients sets in apart from the competition, I wonder if brewery will start adding fruit juice to there IPAs LOL

the mouthfeel is good, smooth goes down easy

and the drinkability is about one or two beers at 10%, I figure if you want to enjoy a beer don't really drink too much of it.

Photo of fosterific
4.29/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Had the traditional pale color of hazy golden blond with a nice 2 fingers of creamy white head that stayed around for the entire beer and left quite a bit of lacing.
The smell is why I ordered the beer, I could seriously smell the beer from a meter away...So of course I have to inquire into this beer. Up close your nose is bombarded by citrusy hops, and it is hard to pick any other smells out.
With that thick creamy foam still on top I dived in, who doesn't look cool with a beer foam mustache? The flavor had that sweet citrus flavor that I was expecting but was balanced with some bitter hops that made for a complex hop battle between bittering and aroma hops.
The hopslam has a full bodied feel, very nice.
Drinkablitiy is a little on the low end, cause I need to be able to function after...10%! Are you kidding???

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

APPEARANCE: A bright almost rust orange color, like dark honey, with about a finger of head and light but noticeable lacing.

AROMA: From the second the cap cam off of this thing it was citrus! This beer is almost all hop with a touch, almost an afterthought, of malty sweetness.

FLAVOR: The first thing I taste is grapefruit and citrusy notes. A light honey sweetness and malt sweetness comes in to balance the beer out nicely, and a bit of a dryer finish. The shocker of this? Almost no alcohol heat from this 10% ABV hop-bomb.

PALATE: Definitely a full-bodied brew, but extremely well balanced.

MOUTHFEEL: Sweet, just a touch 'thick' like extremely thinned syrup, but very nice. Lightly carbonated, but the hops seem to just cling to every surface of your mouth.

NOTES: This beer is a sleeper. It does the same thing that Hop Stoopid does to me; makes me want to sit down with a six and go to work. Then, I remember this bad boy is a big 10%.

Photo of johntangus
4.97/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer aches for me to grasp at my tastebuds and limited vocabulary.

I actually reused my duvel tulip glass (gasp!) from my last beer, a Nugget Nectar. But don't worry, I'm not a heathen. I hand washed it, rinsed thoroughly and salted, swirled, scrubbed and rinsed again thoroughly. Let air semi-dry. Poured vigorously.

A nice half-inch tall head formed and then left what can only be described as krausen-like foam and lacing. I will not be able to reuse this glass again without a nice soak. Especially if I drunkenly leave it in front of my computer overnight. It is a cloudy golden color. The Hopslam that I had last year I remember as being liquid gold. Maybe after rough handling I have disturbed the yeasties. I see sediment. I am not worried.

When applying the nose, this is where the magic begins. Ahh, HopSlam, how I remember thee. I tasted your golden goodness last winter and stalked you like a jilted lover. I even attempted to clone you, but fell short somehow.

Although I have disturbed the yeast, your taste is unfettered. Grapefruit and orange juice. I daydream about calling into work and staying home and drinking six of you at 9 AM. And then calling in work to quit and then growing my beard out (more) and shunning all human contact unless they are bringing me more HopSlam. Or are made of HopSlam somehow.

I don't understand where they hide your 10% ABV. Maybe in between the OJ and the grapefruit? Is that where your honey went? You are a mystery, wrapped in an enigma, wrapped in a mystery.

This beer may have lots of hype surrounding it, but unlike most others, it is totally justified. To say that I would drop out of society and ruin my body to enjoy it everyday would be an understatement.

Photo of Maxxthepenguin
4.97/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Hopslam, concocted by god, put in six packs by the devil. This is no ordinary beer, this isn't even an ordinary DIPA. Utterly extraordinary in every way, Hopslam is legendary in its ability to floor even the most able beer drinkers. The secret is its ability to combine the purest, most potent hop flavor with an exceptional drinkability. Each Hopslam you drink goes down smooth as silk while tasting like a godly nectar, but once your glass is empty (which happens far too quickly), you yearn for another. No other brew makes it so hard to stop while being so incredibly potent, at 10%. Deadlier than the jungle juice at a frat party, the love this drink instills must be balanced by respect for what it can do, or you'll end up drinking four before you know it, leaving you in quite a state of inebriation that you never planned for. Seek hopslam out while you can, but don't approach lightly. You will not be the same after you drink it, and the yearlong wait for another batch has destroyed stronger men than myself.

A: Exactly what a DIPA should look like: golden with a finger of head.
S: A glorious bouquet of hops, with highlights of grapefruit and a strong punch of tropical fruit and orange.
T: Absolutely incredible. The hops in the nose appear in the taste and come together with a sweetness that really ties this beer together. Never approaching cloying, the sweetness helps balance the bitterness of the hops without lessening the impact of the hop flavor. The orange flavor of this year's batch is truly remarkable, nowhere else have I found a beer that has such distinct orange notes.
M: Coats your mouth with oily goodness, but still goes down smooth as silk. A marvelous mouthfeel.
D: Beyond comprehension for a 10% beer. You can tell the 10% is there, but it never gets in the way of easy drinking.

Photo of Chronofied
4.4/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Rather chilled when poured, warmed slightly before tasted, in a pint glass.

Appearance - Very crisp and clear gold, to the point of being transluscent, consistent throughout. Visible but relaxed carbonation.

Smell - Immediate smell of grapefruit, followed by less pungent citrus and hops. A crisp, tart, refreshing aroma that promises hops and fruit.

Taste - Hops as soon as it hits your tongue, then makes way for a bubbly fruitiness with a precursor of honey, then the hops is back, stronger than ever for the finish. The hops bites a little, but not bad - at first. There is a citrus taste, like grapefruit or bitter lemon. When the hops comes back, it bites much more, and the aftertaste leaves bitter grapefruit lingering for quite some time.

Mouthfeel - Quite viscous, but stickier than expected. The label calls it a "tongue-bruiser" and it's pretty accurate; makes the beer feel more substantial.

Drinkability - In context, it is drinkable. Overly hoppy beers, as a general rule, are lower in drinkability, but the fruitiness and light honey in this beer, and the snappiness of it, make it easier to drink than many in the category. Still, I'd say a single bottle is about as much as I'd care to have in a sitting.

Photo of PatLarsen
4.42/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Got a bottle of this the other day. It pours slightly hazed copper color with a small white cap. Retention is good.

S: Tons of citrus, tropical fruits, honey, and pale malt. Well balanced and sweet

T: Tropical fruits, citrus (grapefruit and lemon), honey, pale malts, and a bit of alcohol on the finish. More bitter than I remember in bottles

MF: Viscous body, OK carbonation.

Overall: Really good beer I liked it alot.

Photo of AllanC
4.69/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

What can one say? We wait all year for this to make its brief appearance, and hope we can obtain some before it is all sold.

I finally got to try this on tap this year. Just amazing. I drank a few the past few days, and our two six packs are still intact.

I wish I could give a more detailed review like many of my beer judge friends do. Perhaps one day.

Suffice it to say, I really like this beer, but am glad it isn't a year-around thing. I would probably become tired of quite quickly.

Photo of afoltz2
2.46/5  rDev -45.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I'm one of the few that wasn't head over heels for this brew, and the reason is very simple - Hopslam has a very strong mango flavor to it, and I don't care for mango. That flavor even comes through in the smell, which I confirmed from another person before I poured it out of the bottle.

I liked the way the brew felt due to the hoppiness, but the end of each sip proved too citrusy for me. The beer, despite a high ABV, did not have a strong alcohol taste, which was nice, and had a good appearance in the glass.

HopHeads who love this beer and appreciate the citrus flavor rightly make this their beer of choice, my brew taste just runs towards ambers & stouts.

Photo of Hopamania
4.57/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass from a bottle dated 1/28/14.

This is just a fantastic IIPA, there really isn't much more to be said that hasn't already. If you like Two Hearted then you cannot go wrong here. The only drawback is the price (I paid $17.99 for my six pack) but this nectar is still worth splurging for once or twice a year.

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

Perfect hoppy beer that will slam you.

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

On draft @ Bottoms Up Pizza 2/16/08

This beer pours a beautiful light amber color, medium head with a light, lingering carbonation.

The smell is all hops, baby, and the first taste is a mouth-buster. The hops are almost overwhelming, but settle down into an unbelievably smooth finish.

Slightly creamy mouth to the finish, this is defniitely a sipper-due to abv and the taste-bud-blowing hops, but i could definitely go for another one tomorrow.

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

One can not write a review of this beer without mentioning the citrus hoppiness. The first time I sampled this brew last year I was knocked on my ass by how fruity it was. This year's batch is most welcome in my small collection. One thing I noticed, and this might just be me, but this year it seems a little more bitter, which seems to hide some of the citrus the more I drink. Maybe it's just palate fatigue, but by the end of the beer I don't get as much hop flavor as I would like, and thus the bitterness and the alcohol start coming through.

Photo of Darien
3.98/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Beautiful two finger head with a slightly hazy light amber body.

S-Very citrusy and hoppy

T-It's not called hopslam for nothin, very citrusy hop flavor and very bitter. The hops seem to linger on the palate for a while. No taste of alcohol either shockingly.

M-Just enough carbonation, has a slight bite to it, medium bodied.

D-If you're a hophead check this one out, tastes great and smells great also.

Photo of rasta16ry
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Most of the reviews here seem to agree that HopSlam is awesome, but I'm going to review this anyway so I can remember it since I can't get my hands on this that often.

I cooled this off and then poured it in one of those Sam Adams bubble glasses. It had a nice light head and really looked like a great beer sitting in the glass. The smell was very hoppy and had a little alcohol to it, and not much sweetness at all. Maybe a little fruit in there as well. With the picture on the bottle, I was pretty much ready to have my face hopped off (!).

Well it is definitely good. I think that maybe it is a great beer. The hops hit you nicely at the beginning, followed by some further bitterness and a little kind of alcohol taste, and at the end I get some more hops and even a little sweetness. There is also some fruit in the taste, but I didn't really sense any pine but some other sweetness. It's not really a malty kind of sweetness but a bit of honey, like the description says, and I think it really compliments the hops quite well.

This is not an overly complex beer, but it is executed I think almost as well as it could be. I really super enjoyed drinking this; I had it with homemade linguine and white clam sauce, and it paired really well (despite the fact that I know nothing about pairing). It is crisp, with a good body but not heavy, a nice palate transition and overall just a great feel to it.

Photo of iuhoosier336
4.85/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a normal pint glass the head is great and lasts, two fingers. The color is hazy and a yellow orangish- golden.

The smell is of strong hops and grapefruit. Very citrusy, I couldn't wait to drink it.

The alcohol is very present but goes down easy with the hops falvor followed by that citrus. A great taste.

Its a great beer from a great brewery but its 10% so more than one would be quite a haul.

Photo of stbfan
4.92/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours golden, clear with nice sized head, and slow carbonation. Smells wonderful. Grapefruit strong presence, sticky, organic aroma fills the nose. Tastes even better than it smells. NICE hoppy bitterness up front, with a touch of sweetness, and a good malt backbone to finish. finishes smooth, bitter, and dry all at once. sticky medium to thick mouthfeel. ABV well masked. highly drinkable. ZING!

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

A - Pours to a two-finger off-white lasting head. The body has a somewhat cloudy light orange color. Excellent lacing which leaves rings around the glass as you savor every sip.

S - Wow...that's hoppy! A magnificent aroma of grapefruity hops.

T - The taste is just as exciting as the aroma. When you sip this one you know you are tasting something special. An excellent ale that has just become one of my favorites.

M - A good hop bite on the sides of the tongue with a hint of honey sweetness on the tip of the tongue.

D - This one may not be considered drinkable by everybody but for hop lovers it's a very enjoyable ale. Definitely worth having again even though it's a bit pricey.

Photo of grannun
4.97/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This could possibly be my personal all-time favorite beer!

Appearance is a beautiful golden-orange with very light head when poured. Smell is hops, hops, and more hops, guess that's why they call it Hopslam... Taste is incredible! Very strong hoppy taste, strong bite from the alcohol which subsides after a few sips, but the honey ties it all together. After a few sips, I stopped tasting the intensity of a alcohol and the bitterness and the complexity of the hops and honey flavor really came through. Only downside (or upside in some situations) is the strength of the alcohol, I have to be in the mood for something strong to want it.

Photo of mwcullnane
4.67/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance-
Dark for style.
Smell-
Balanced, not outrageous like so many dipa
Taste-
Spectacular balance, floral honey pairs perfectly with hop bill
Mouthfeel-
Appropriate for style
Overall-
Exemplary dipa thank you bell's
This beer is hoppy but well balanced, great example of style

Photo of Phinner
2.98/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this and Founders Double Trouble the same night. No real comparison. Hopslam delivers the hops for sure, but the balance was not right. Its not smooth whatsoever; the hops seemed to generate a heat sensation and other off flavors that weren't quite right.

Overall, its a fair DIPA, but definitely not worthy of the hype.

Photo of roundthewaygirls
4.59/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured into a chimay chalice

A: gold color, clear, half a finger of head which dispersed almost immediately.

S: piney hops, fresh citrus fruit, grapefruit, with a hint of ethanol when swirled around in the glass.

T: extraordinarily hoppy, complex hop profile, a blend of many. citrus fruits, mango. syrupy sweetness of honey.

M: a little thinner than expected, moderate carbonation, clean with bitter finish, not particularly boozy.

O: excellent DIPA, one of the most complex hop profiles i've ever come across. while the honey is present, the mouthfeel was a litle thin. not perfectly balanced. definitely drink this one for the hops, definitive of the style.

Photo of HamFon
4.73/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at local tap bar.

A: Beautiful clear gold with large poofy white head of small bubbles persists and produces nice lacing

S: Big complex hoppy aromas - citrus, grapefruit, tropical fruits, pine tree

T: Huge hops flavor of citrus, grapefruit, gooseberry, piney; substantial hops bittering into finish, enough bready malt to support the hops

M: fairly light body, creamy, bone dry

O: Hop bomb that showcases several hop characteristics. Very nice balance, although I would prefer just a tad more malt to support the huge hops.

Photo of Blybloke
4.69/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Recently purchased a six-pack of this fine ale at the Liquor Barrel in Golden Valley, MN.

I'm a big fan of Bell's beers; Two Hearted Ale is my favorite beer of all time. So last year (OK, technically 2006) when I heard they were mass-producing a Double IPA, HopSlam was easily the most anticipated beer on my radar. It turned out to be one of those rare instances where the anticipation was surpassed by the experience. I didn't review it though. Now that it's back, I'm going to put it through it's paces.

Poured into the new Sam Adams Pint Glass. It's a dull orange, ever-so-slightly cloudy with about an inch of tight white cap. Medium-heavy lace after a couple minutes.

I could smell this beer all day. Just like its older brother, Two Hearted Ale, the smell alone is worth the money you pay. Heavy pineapple syrup, red grapefruit, with a little pinch of alcohol. Very little malt comes through to me, which is fine, since this fine creation is all about the hops.

Taste is exceptional. The hops step up and never leave. Again, I don't notice much malt other than a faint sweetness, which in a way makes this beer even more impressive. It manages to be ultra hoppy (as the name suggests) but not overly bitter. Not to sound too over-the-top, but I liken the malt here to the strings on a puppet - or rather the piece of wood that holds the strings on a puppet (I'm sure there's a name for it). You don't see it, but the puppet wouldn't shine with out it. Of course you need someone to control it. So, in that regard, Larry Bell is an artist. Anyway, you'll notice the heavy hops. There is pineapple up front and in back, and I'll agree with another reviewer that a definite apple/pear flavor shows up as well along with a blink of alcohol. Just marvelous flavor.

Nice heavy mouthfeel, not quite perfect, but darn close. A nice, sticky, hoppy film covers my tongue and soft palate.

Drinkability isn't perfect due to the high alcohol content and relatively heavy mouthfeel. Besides, I think you would do yourself a disservice by having more than two of these at a sitting. This is a beer to savor, not session imo.

Overall this is probably my favorite Double IPA. I've had a couple dozen different ones and this one might just take the cake. Highly, highly recommended.

Cheers!

Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
99 out of 100 based on 11,585 ratings.