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Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

3,267 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,267
Hads: 11,674
rAvg: 4.45
pDev: 8.54%
Wants: 2,419
Gots: 2,662 | FT: 63
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: 3,267 | Hads: 11,674
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)

Photo of Tom_Thivierge
4.7/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

All I can say is Wow. Great overall IPA. Just hoppy enough without going overboard. Just enough citrus without making you feel like you're sucking on a grapefruit. Good color. One finger head. Worth the wait. Glad I got my hands on some this time around. Some say a little pricey, but compared to domestic beer at a bar, I'll take this all day long. (352 characters)

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

My heart swells each year when I see the new six packs of HS on the shelf. My other love, Mrs. Vanbeer, feels a little left out of the parade. However, she likes the beer too. But I am not the jealous type, except when she drinks "my" beer. (240 characters)

Photo of kinnaird
3.85/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I received this bottle in a trade from alleykatking. Thanks Josh!
Poured into my standard pint.

Pale orange, transparent body. 2 finger, pale effervescent head.

Smells very floral and piney. I only catch a whiff of the honey, but the hops dominate.

Tastes first of sweet malts followed by the hop bite with a good bitter followup.

The feel is nice and light with a good bit of carbonation.

The twelve ounces went down incredibly easy. I couldn't believe how quick I drank the one bottle without even trying.

I previously had this beer from another trade but didn't review it because it had been in the bottle too long. I'm glad I waited for a fresher sample because age tends to make the honey dominate and it becomes a hoppy mead. If had fresh enough, the honey really helps to lighten the body and accentuate the hops. Very well done. (842 characters)

Photo of DarbyOGill
4.64/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a golden amber, I only got about a pinkys worth of head, but there's some pretty decent lacing. This beer has high turbidity.

S: All I pick up is some delicious smelling piney hops. I also get a hint of orange, but I don't pick up any malt. Just what I'm looking for in a DIPA.

T: Really hoppy start, I mean, REALLY HOPPY. I get a lot of the orange and pines I smelled, but there was one flavor I picked up that was kind of surprising. I got a hint of Pineapple which I've never tasted before in a beer. After the initial, hop slam, I get a faint smooth burn of alcohol, and it finishes with a strong malty finish. This is probably the finest beer I've ever tasted.

M: Pretty standard for an IPA/DIPA. Nothing surprising about the mouthfeel.

D: I couldn't see me drinking a lot of these, but at 10% ABV, I probably wouldn't need to.

Overall: This beer is rocks, I strongly suggest picking up a sixer. (914 characters)

Photo of Burl41
4.97/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance- Golden and honey is color, with a great firm two finger head. It is cleanly filtered with no haze.

Smell- Wow, hops normally do not have this aroma. A citrus smell, without any resiny or sharp bitter notes. unique and pleasing to say the least.

Taste- I don't know of a way to discribe this brew as other than exceptional. There is an amazing hop pressence but it is tempered by the slight very slight sweetness of the honey. What comes through is an amazingly smooth and delightful DIPA. Citrus, hop notes abound, with a very small amount of carmal malt sneaking in.

Mouthfeel- Again, perfectly balance.

Drinkability- Most DIPA's have such a punch of bitterness, that they become a beer to be slowly sipped. Much like a cup of coffee that was hot enough to sue over. But this is so smooth and delightful, one cannot taste the alchohal even though it is 10%. I have had many beers at the 7.5% mark that where much more noticble. A great session beer, however you might end up on the floor if you attempt it. (1,023 characters)

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

batch 10127 packaged on January 11, 2011

Appearance- a clear light amber gold color similar to clove honey with several fingers of billowing creamy off white head and lots of nice bubbles of various sizes that leave considerable lacing

Smell- mango, pineapple, grapefruit, and floral perfume-like hop aromas with sweet earthy honey and malt undertones...faint alcohol presence as it warms

Taste- several waves of taste beginning with the sweetness from the malts. honey, and floral hops...to the counteracting balance of tropical and grapefruit hop bitterness...with a touch of alcohol...and a nice long bitter finish

Mouthfeel- big oily mouthfeel that coats my lips, medium body, good carbonation

Drinkability- very high...it is very smooth and the 10% ABV is easily masked...only faint alchohol as it warms...just too hard to get in NYC (843 characters)

Photo of Flipadelphia84
4.34/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle. A dark gold with a white head.

S- Very citrusy, pineapple, grapefruit. Has almost a sweet malty scent to it (maybe the honey). Are you sure this is 10% ABV?

T- Very much like it smells. Smooth and very balanced. With a name like hopslam you would think it would just smack you in the face, but it is surprisingly mellow. The finish actually ends unlike most Double IPA's I've had. Really really good!

M- It may be me, but it might have the best mouthfeel I've had in a double IPA. Maybe its the honey but it seems just a little thicker on the tongue than most DIPA's.

D- Well, apparently it is 10% ABV. I'm just about finished with my first and my tongue wants more, but my head does not. (I have work in the morning) In other words, "Its extremely delicious, cancel my plans". (831 characters)

Photo of ciachef1212
4.74/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I spent 3 days trying to get my hands on a six pack and finally was able to pick one up.

This beer is one of my favorite. It has great aromas of pineapple, citrus, and stone fruit. I love the smell of this beer.

The bitterness is overwhelming and is balanced by the malt.

This beer is why IPA's are my favorite style. (320 characters)

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

Poured into a tulip from a 12oz bottle

A- A burnt orange or copper color, whit rocky head with about 2 finger worth of head on it

S- Amazing really tropical, grapefruit, pine needles, with a sweetness deff can get the honey

T- Bitter right at the front, big grapefruit, tropical notes, really smooth and well balanced the alcohol cant be detected at all

M- Medium, great carbonation, smooth and it coats the mouth...wonderfully put together

O- Outstanding beer, well put together, will deff be getting this again (517 characters)

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

was expecting more hops than sweet honey in this one , but still one to drink again when i get a chance, lets say that i wanted more from this beer. like more bitter finsh considering the name.it kind of reminding me a little like lucky 13.alt from laguntias (258 characters)

Photo of TheCraftBrewReview
4.52/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Over the past few years, I have encountered triumph and heartbreak when attempting to obtain an extremely hyped beer that was only available in limited quantity. After stalking the twitter feeds of local beer stores, I was able to confirm the exact bottle release for the 2015 Hopslam Ale at Green’s Beverages located on Buford Highway in Atlanta, GA. After practically colliding into a light post and almost running over a homeless man, I parked my car and sprinted into the store. Looking left then right, and not noticing anything out of the ordinary, the cashier grudgingly pointed to the back wall where there was a line of several people quickly forming. As each six pack was handed off to another enthusiastic beer lover, I grew more and more anxious, and my hands began to perspire. When it was my turn, I hopped to the front of the line with glee, only to hear the store associate bark, “That’s it. No more in this stack.” My mouth dropped, and just as I thought the nightmare had just begun, a pack of Hopslam was placed into my trembling hands. Let the games begin!

Appearance – 96: Poured the 12 ounce bottle into a tulip glass. I was first taken back by its magnificent, bright orange glow followed by the hazy cloudiness from being unfiltered. The 1/2 inch head provided decent lacing that quickly dissipated after the pour.

Aroma – 91: Up front there are notes of citrus and some pine. I was a little disappointed because I was expecting more of a punch in the nose, as the scent quickly tapers off.

Body & Texture – 97: For a massively hopped ale, this is amazingly balanced. There are many imperial IPA’s that exhibit a syrupy feel and tend to be heavy, but this is even-keeled and medium bodied for its beer style. It has just enough carbonation so that you are left with a crisp, smooth finish and the right amount of bitterness. Very refreshing.

Taste – 97: This is where Hopslam shines, as I feel exactly like the guy on the bottle label that fell flat on his back from the gigantic, overpowering hops. After my first sip, I am immediately overcome by a wonderful blend of tropical, citrus flavors along with strong floral notes and sticky, piney hops. Hints of grapefruit, orange, and stone fruit are complemented by a touch of sweetness from the added honey, which keeps the bitterness from overwhelming the palate. The alcohol is hidden well (for a double IPA at 10% ABV) and caught up to me quickly after consuming my second bottle.

Overall – 95 (World-class): I rank this imperial IPA in the same tier as Alchemist’s Heady Topper, Russian River’s Pliny The Elder, and Lawson’s Double Sunshine. At first, I was a little skeptical when the label indicated that the beer was brewed with honey, which is not typical for an IPA. After only a few swigs it became quite clear that the sweetness was what distinguished Hopslam from its predecessors and made me thoroughly appreciate this brew. I want to thank the folks at Green’s Beverages who provided me with daily updates from their Twitter page. (3,052 characters)

Photo of Beermanmiles
4.88/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

This is absolutely one of my favorite beers. When people say that some beers are extraordinary, I get skeptical. How can a beer be so much different than all the beers in it's category. The answer: I have no idea but this beer does it. Every flavor that most IPA's would have this beer has it multiplied by 5. The taste has such a bite and such a fresh pull that it just makes you happy. I love it. (398 characters)

Photo of dohastmich
4.33/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Light amber color. Slightly hazy appearance. 1/2 inch head which dissolves into lace on the side of the glass.

S - Strong orange, grapefruit, pine smell. This is 10%? You wouldn't know it by smell

T - first sip was a strong grapefruit followed by orange/pine taste. There is a ton of hops in this, however, its not strong to just for the sake of being strong. I am no hophead, and this was no problem to finish unlike a lot of IPA's. Well balanced, again no sense of alcohol. Slight hop bitterness remains at the end. Can finally feel the alcohol as it goes down.

M - smooth, medium body

D - For one that is not yet fully into IPA's, this is definitely one to drink to enjoy the style. (693 characters)

Photo of drlumps62
4.45/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clear amber color. Appears cloudy orange in the glass. Good retention. Exceptional lacing. Smelled predictably heavy of hops. Tastes bready, piney. Alcohol cleaverly hidden within. This brew is right in my wheelhouse, so I am slightly partisan to what it offers. That being said, I have been courted by a few brews that promised what this one does and they didn't deliver. This one does. I love it. (407 characters)

Photo of beerindex
2.81/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Pours a hazy orange-brown color (almost cider-like) with a modest and quickly fleeting white head that left a respectable lace behind. Smell though was this beer's best selling point. The aroma was heavenly, perhaps the best I've come across of any beer. The smell was of citrus fruits, mostly lemon and pineapple, with a bit of honey too.

With respect to the beer's taste, it wasn't anything to write home about. I picked up a bottle because it is cheap and local, and most people seem to love it. As much of a hops fan as I am, this simply didn't do anything for me. I couldn't detect the honey it was supposedly brewed with. Instead, it had an odd medicinal sort of taste that was bitter in a way I don't expect with this style.

Not something I'd care to drink again, especially when Bell's has much better beers in their line-up, and even better locals brews exist (see: most stuff from Founders). (905 characters)

Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
99 out of 100 based on 3,267 ratings.