1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

10,264 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,264
Reviews: 3,132
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 9.58%
Wants: 2,048
Gots: 1,569 | FT: 40
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:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Hopslam Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 10,264 | Reviews: 3,132 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.68/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Hazy orange hue, fine slice of bone white froth atop.

In the aroma, it's all pungent, spikey, in-your-face hoppitude!
Tropical fruit on top, pineapple, lemon, grapefruit,mango, raw, pulpy and vibrant. Pine forest floor, and more. Slightly sweet citric feel, but bitter hop feel dominates.

Taste: once more, a charge of hops on the tongue, not delivered too lightly. Same citric flavor storms the palate, but a second after it boards, there's a nice, creamy relief. Rolls playfully on the tongue, like a cat on the rug preoccupied with string. Each new sip imparts this deliciousness, but despite the huge !BUs and way-up-there ABV, you 'd hardly know it.

Amazingly easy to drink, if you're a hop craver like me. Wow! Tangy, potent hoppy twang never quits the mouth. Incredibly full bodied, long-finished, and commendably created. Mmmm, delicious!

A pricey beer, (I paid $14 a 6-pack), but well worth it. One hell of an IPA, and a well-named one!
Thanks for delivering the goods, Larry & co!
Now, I just can't wait to tap a keg of it!

Photo of Rifugium
4.35/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First had: bottle from Capone's beer garden, Norristown, PA

Pours a clear golden-orange with a thin, wispy, white head that lingers as a ringlet, but still leaves some doily lacing on the glass. Aroma of citrusy hops and toasted bread. Taste is bursting with hops: citrusy-orange-grapefruit zest and a bit of pithy bitterness, tropical fruits, pine needles, and a nice sensation of honey-drizzled toasted bread coming through for a very nice balance. Medium mouthfeel, quite smooth and extremely drinkable for the style (where's the alcohol?).

I've had plenty of IPAs similar to this one, so I wouldn't really say it's a trade item, or worth going out of the way for, as some people make it out to be, but it's definitely nice to have when it's around.

Photo of beernads
4.25/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of DrunkinYogi
4.25/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of mdfb79
4.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

EDIT: Re-reviewing this on 1/12/11, 364 days and 974 reviews after first trying this, as I feel I have a better palate/ability to review beers. While I'm adding some things to this review, I stand by my original 4.8 review; this is one of my favorite DIPAs.

a - Looks amazing, a great golden color. A little carbonation and a little head, but not very much; gone after 45 seconds or so.

s - Smells strongly of citrus hops, as well as some light pine. Also got a little honey and sweet fruit here. Fantastic.

t - Great taste. At first it was not nearly as bitter as I was expecting. The more of it I drank, the more bitterness I tasted. Again, lots of citrus hops, pine, fruit, and honey.

m - Very little carbonation, light body, very smooth. For 10% ABV very easy to drink.

d - Very drinkable. If you are a fan of hoppy beers, I would highly recommend checking this out; it's definitely a great beer. Can't believe its 10%!

Photo of WesWes
4.43/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a nice golden color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a huge bitter hop bite with a dry, honey driven aroma. The taste is great! It's pretty light actually. I think the honey lends the high abv. without the mouthfeel. It's damn hoppy with a nice pale malt flavor. The mouthfeel is good. It's a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a very good beer. I've been waiting years to try it. It definitely didn't disappoint.

Photo of jwc215
4.4/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Wasatch for this one...

Pours clouded amber with a thin white head.

The smell is of - well - plenty of hops - Pacific NW hops dominate - a plethora of citrus/grapefruit with resiny pine and some tea-leaf. A touch of caramel indicates that this is going to be a super-hoppy beer with some balance. This is what an Imp. IPA should smell like!

The taste holds true to the smell with alcohol mixing in. Bitterness tackles the palate with just a hint of rounding caramelish malt. Alcohol interferes just slightly - if it were even a tad bit tamer - this would be a perfect "5" in my book. As it is, though, I'm far from complaining about. This is just loaded with hops, but with a nod from the malt to keep things together.

Medium-bodied with alcohol sharpness, it could be a bit chewier/fuller, but, again, no complaints. It holds up just fine, though alcohol washes out some of the aftertaste.

This puckering brew is bold and daring. The alcohol makes itself known, but still holds up on drinkability for the sheer pleasure of it all. A hop-head's delight!

Photo of drewone
4.25/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1/9/2012 bottle date. In a tulip. Thanks nrs207!

Deep golden orange color. Small head, dissipates quickly.

Sweet hoppiness - honey scent comes through, floral

Sweet and hoppy. alcohol is well hidden, slight burn on the finish. Relativly well balances but on the sweet side. Would like to know what the OG is. Some bitterness on the finish

Rounded - not that dry, almost slick.

Very enjoyable. First bottle I had I really enjoyed, this bottle I had right after a elder and that was a hard beer to follow.

Photo of Mora2000
4.33/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to exiled for sharing this bottle.

Pours golden with a large white head. The aroma is fruity, with peaches, mango and oranges. The flavor is fruity as well, with the above fruits as well as grapefruit and some pine. A very complex flavor. Medium bitterness, medium mouthfeel and low carbonation.

Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of kojevergas
4.11/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are extremely high given its incredible reputation. 10% ABV confirmed. Bottled 01/02/13 (11 days old). Thanks to Britta for bringing the bottle from Ann Arbor.

Served straight from the fridge and allowed to warm slightly over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger beige colour head of slight cream, fair thickness, and incredible retention for the high ABV (~5 minutes). Body colour is a transparent copper; it's not particularly vibrant but I wouldn't call it dull. Translucent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show . It's par for the style, but it isn't as appealing as other beers in the style I've seen.

Sm: Hops: nectary, floral, pine, grapefruit, honey, effervescent crystal malt, perfumey hop oil, bright fruit (mango and some light tropical fruit), caramel. There's a lot going on here, and the hop bitterness is well concealed. Lots of depth and diversity. No yeast character is detectable, nor is any alcohol. I'd like more of the oily hop notes. A bit of grassy character emerges on the climax, joining the fruit. The honey comes off very raw; it's not at all too sweet. A fairly strong aroma, and a pleasant appealing one. Definitely different from the aromas I'm used to in beers of the style, but I don't know that it's necessarily an improvement. I can't wait to try it.

T: Ah. A perfect balance of honey and pale malt sweetness with nectary hop notes, bright fruit, and floral character. Sticky and sweet - but never overly so. Nectary hop notes dominate. I'd like more pine from it, but what little is there is well balanced. Not as heavy on the grapefruit as many beers in the style - and rightly so; it works to ensure the hop bitterness is well concealed. A bit grassy and oily. Light caramel rides beneath. Bold pale malts give it the refreshing effective body it needs. No alcohol comes through until the warmth hits me in the stomach; this one is dangerously drinkable. Not at all soapy like many problematic beers in the style; they brought this out of primary just in time. I expected a bitter hop bomb, but Bell's remembered to balance the flavours, and the result is a great Double IPA. Loads of complexity and seamless subtlety make this one a real treat.

Mf: Sticky, nectary, slick, and coating. Perfect thickness and carbonation. Quite oily. Feels custom-tailored to the flavour profile. Smooth and wet. Near perfect execution; bravo, Bells.

Dr: Dangerously drinkable for the high ABV. It delivers hops, but more importantly it delivers balance. I could down it all night, and I'd be happily knackered by night's end. This Double IPA will satisfy hop cravings, but it isn't the bitter hop bomb it markets itself as. It is in fact a balanced, very enjoyable Double IPA that I'd love to have again (preferably on-draught). Does it live up to its reputation? I'm not floored, but it is fantastic. It's not the best beer I've had in the style, but it's certainly one of them. Well priced in Michigan at $18 a six pack. Constructively, it could use more depth of flavour, but I'm nitpicking.

Would pair incredibly well with spicy food.

Lowish A-

Photo of InspectorBob
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.22/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled October 2006, Sampled December 2006
Pours with a touch of yeast dustiness, but the beer is a lightly reddish hued, amber to copper color. It is topped by a frothy, almost two-finger thick, light tan colored head. The aroma is certainly quite hoppy; it is a mix of citrus, pine and even a more dank hop note similar to onions or perhaps even garlic. The hop aromatics are certainly an interesting mix. The predominant character is that of audaciously vibrant sweet citrus and exotic fruit aromas; notes of apricots, lychee, pineapple, candied orange peel, concentrated ruby-red-grapefruit, and other tropical fruit notes make up the dominant notes. Behind the upfront hop fruit though is a touch of more raw hop character; hints of pine, menthol and that onion-like almost garlic character lurk in the back ground, just enough to add a hint of complexity. Where is the malt? I couldn't tell you underneath all of the hops.

The taste is sweet with the fruity hop notes, in fact the sweet fruitiness just sticks around clinging to the palate even after the beer has left my mouth. The hop fruit notes are much the same as I noticed in the aroma, but here there is a touch of biting bitterness to add a touch of balance. You know it is a hop focused beer, when you need hop bitterness to balance other hop derived notes. The malt is buried here, playing only a supporting role, there is certainly enough malt to not allow the hops to be dominating and raw, but definitely not enough more my hop flagellated taste buds to notice. It has just enough mouthfeel / palate coating ability to help the dominant hop character along; I wouldn't say that this was a beer you wanted to pound, but it is dangerously quaffable.

The hop character here is so smooth & even soft (despite being amped up and loud overall); the brewer definitely took a heavy handed approach with smooth fruity hops like Simcoe and Amarillo when brewing this beer. The flavor does not have much, if anything, noticeable of the onion / garlic note that I experienced in the aroma, though perhaps there is a touch of it in the finish. Really the finish is dominated by a smooth, lingering bitterness that perhaps takes on a touch of mentholated pine. I really am a sucker for these smoothly fruity, over the top, one dimensional hop bombs. This is quite bitter, though I don't necessarily realize it most of the time. This is totally only comprises one dimension of the usual three that a beer can have (hop, malt and yeast), but it is so enjoyable in its expression of the hop.

Photo of wrightst
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of GClarkage
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of Halcyondays
4.6/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a light orange, with a medium white head with good retention and lacing.

S: Smells very hoppy, citrus mostly, the honey is evident adding some sugar sweetness.

T: Great flavour, the honey and then hops work really well together. Great light citrus, white grapefuit pith and orange oil, with honey sweetness, giving the counter to the hop bitterness a mead-like quality, just really good stuff.

M: Smooth, full-bodied, great carbonation feel, slightly oily.

D: A really good beer, I'm glad I finally got to try it. The honey really takes over the malt character and makes it light enough that the great hop flavour really shines through. Now I know why all the East coasters are psyched out of their minds about this beer.

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

Appearance: dark orange in color with a 1" head. Mild lacing develops during the session.

Smell: huge bitterness and citrus tones leap from the glass into the nose.

Taste: nice malt base with a huge bitterness blanket wrapped around it. Grapefruits and oranges are throughout, oh and did I mention some strong bitterness ? Some alcohol tones are well hidden but warming. Despite the big IBUs for this beer it is well balanced.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Lightly crisp at the start and smoother and dry towards th finish. Super long aftertaste as the bitterness lingers in the mouth forever after swallowing.

Drinkability: well balanced and very drinkable. No means is this a session beer, but you can easily enjoy more than one. Definite hophead beer.

Photo of imperialking
5/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of orangesol
4.43/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap at Al's of Hampden into a Bell's tulip.

A - Pours golden amber orange with a light white film of head, dissipating down to almost nothing, leaving little to no head down the glass.

S - Tons of piney citric hops mix well with hints of honey, mildly toasted light malt, and a bit of booze. It kind of smells like a hoppy caramel apple. One of my favorite smelling DIPA's.

T - Tons of grassy citric hops up front giving way quickly to a mix of honey sweetness and caramel malt. Finish is honey sweet with some lingering hop bitterness. A nearly perfect balance of flavors. One of my favorite DIPA's year in and year out.

M - Medium body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Sticky sweet feel with plenty of citric hop bitterness in the finish.

D - Very high. I look forward to this every year. I just love how balanced this one truly is. I can have a few of these no problem. One of my all time favorites.

Photo of yourefragile
4.35/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz 2008 bottle poured into a Duvel tulip, batch #8277, labeled as 10 % ABV

A: Very nice. Cloudy golden amber color. Very large, tight off white head with nice retention and lacing.
S: Very strong, fresh floral/piney, grapefruity smell. Slight touch of sweetness, perhaps the honey the bottle mentions.
T: Sweeter than I expect for a DIPA and I like it. Starts with sweet honey/grapefruit flavor and then hops take over and give it a nice dry, tart taste. Perhaps there could be more of a malt presence for balance, otherwise no complaints.
M: Medium bodied, some sips I think it might be bordering on being slightly thin however. Nice amount of carbonation and a very pleasant, dry, tart aftertaste.
D: For 10% abv did not taste any alcohol but certainly felt it as I drank the bottle. I may have served this a little too cool at first as the flavors became much stronger as the beer warmed (and became more enjoyable).

When I consider every aspect of this beer separately, they are all great but in the end I'm left feeling like it all doesn't quite add up for me and I can't place what it is. Somewhere in the finish and aftertaste I'm left with a thin/watery feeling that I can't place, hence the lower drinkability score. I'd love to try this on tap after my experience of liking two-hearted much better on tap than bottled

Photo of dbrauneis
4.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 01/15/13

A: Pours a clear golden copper in color with significant amounts of visible carbonation and significant orange/golden yellow highlights. The beer has a two finger tall dense foamy/creamy off-white head that very slowly reduces to a very thick film covering the entire surface of the beer evenly with a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Huge aromas of tropical/pineapple and citrus/grapefruit/tangerine hops over the top of some lighter notes of pale + caramel malts and honey sweetness.

T: Upfront there are strong flavors of tropical/pineapple and citrus/grapefruit hops, underneath which there is a moderate flavor of pale + caramel malts with a moderate amount of sweetness - with the sweetness coming from the honey. Just the faintest hint of pine hops towards the finish as the beer warms up. Moderate to heavy amounts of bitterness in the finish.

M: Slightly heavier than medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth with light to moderate amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: This is one of the best smelling DIPAs on the market and I really like the combination of hops that create the aromas/flavor profile. The 10% ABV is extremely well hidden and this beer is very easy to drink - I could easily have a couple of these in a session and be really happy about it.

Photo of stakem
4.13/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes taken on 1/27/11. On tap at Al's of Hampden.

Served in a stemmed tulip glass, this brew appears a clear golden color of copper. A thin whisp of white film lays across the top of the brew which is all it has to offer reminiscent of a head. Swirls release some bubbles and create patches of leggy lace.

The aroma of this brew has a bold presence of hoppy goodness that is readily apparent before you even bring the glass to your face. It includes an aroma of pine, citrus, floral notes, rinds, pineapple and overall sweet indications with a light alcohol tingle to the back of the nose.

The taste is rind-like tasting like bitter orange filled with herbal spiciness. Grass is evident along with a mild toasty malt backing. A solid astringent and solvent alcohol character runs through the body and into the finish which for the most part includes clingy bitter oils.

This is a medium bodied offering with a light amount of carbonation. Big abv warmth and taste yet balanced and very enjoyable and drinkable. The honey aspect to this brew gives my sense of taste mixed signals. There seems to be a sweetness about this brew mid palate that turns sharp and dry into the finish. This is a well made brew that every hop lover needs to try.

Photo of duceswild
4.25/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of woodychandler
3.83/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oh damn, any regrets that I may have had in not going to Philly for the fest at the shipyard evaporated when I saw this on the table yesterday (Central PA Bottle Share, Sa, 05 Mar 2011). As the late Mickey Spillane would have said, "I creamed my jeans"! I was so cowed by its presence that I had to ask ffejherb for permission to open it, to which he enthusiastically assented. I had to read the directions, because if I screwed the pooch, I would be a pariah and it was so early on. The big Q for me was the initial venting, but I remembered the pull, twist and pour from my Best Brown in the Fall.

I got a finger-and-a-half of soapy ecru head with decent retention off of my pour. Color was a solid amber with NE-quality clarity. BUPGOO! Yeah, give this to the kiddies. Nose was so piney that I began to swoon. It was, in my addled mind, like licking a pine tree. Mouthfeel was medium and the hops had already begun to mute, so the taste was heavier on caramel malt, but I still got some hops on the tongue. The finish was likewise caramel-like initially, nut lingering with hops. Dang, but I would like to try this absolutely fresh! No matter, I CAN now die h(a/o)ppy, having had some. Did I mention the excellent lacing throughout? Glug!

Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
100 out of 100 based on 10,264 ratings.