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Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
98
world-class

3,299 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,299
Hads: 11,931
Avg: 4.44
pDev: 18.02%
Wants: 2,582
Gots: 2,859 | FT: 59
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States | website

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: 3,299 | Hads: 11,931
Photo of madelfonatree
4.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

January 20, 2016 enjoyed February 6, 2016 in a Hopslam tulip.

Look - I overpoured. Head is white and medium to large bubbled. Body is murky orange. There is a lot of lacing.

Smell - Musty. Honey. Grapefruit.

Taste - Musty. Lemon. Grapefruit. Honey. Malt. Sweet. Orange.

Feel - Santana and Rob Thomas Smooth. There is no alcohol. Watery at that.

Overall - Would I rather have a Floyds? Yes. Would I rather have a Hoof Hearted? Yes. If I was a fifty year old that drank beer by the pack each day, this would be my go to. Honey and mustiness balance the malt so well.

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Photo of ltjska04
3.36/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the can, Hopslam is a nice burnt orange with sticky white head that lasts til the bottom of the glass. It is much hazier than I remember; there's no seeing through the glass. The aroma has medium ripe mango, pineapple, and sticky, resiny pine backed up by a seemingly strong malt backbone with low caramel notes. It doesn't exactly leap out of the glass but definitely smells nice.

The flavor leads with fleeting fruity hops that quickly fade and become replaced with a medium-strong bitterness that lingers. The malt makes its presence known but mostly stays out of the way. Unfortunately the hops don't really pop for me... they're there then they're not. It's a bit of a muddled hop flavor, which could be a result of what the brewery calls "the most complex hopping schedule in the Bell's repertoire." I tend to favor two or three character hops personally so it could just be my bias but I remember this being more hop forward in the past.

The mouthfeel is full with a medium dry finish that is enhanced by the lingering bitterness. A hint of alcohol is detectable but never overpowering. The beer lays a bit heavy on the palate and is filling over the course of a serving; pair that with the double digit alcohol and this isn't exactly a beer to have several of during a drinking session. Overall Hopslam is still a good Imperial IPA but the recipe is showing its age. It hearkens back to an era of bigger, sweeter hop monsters or what I used to refer to as Midwest DIPAs (bigger body, lower bitterness than West Coast DIPAs). For me this was a nice throwback but I'm not exactly chomping at the bit to get to the other five cans.

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Photo of Soneast
4.41/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Been drinking this since 2006, always one of my favorites. I, for one, feel that it has been fairly consistent year after year, and it surely never lets me down. Lots of new beer drinkers think it is all hype, but other than in a few new beer drinking circles, and a buncha threads on BA around January, this beer really doesn't get that much hype. Sure it sells out quickly in some areas, but that's just because people like it.

Pours a slightly hazy, golden-orange color with a 2 finger thick, white colored head that has some great retention, condensing to a thick, 1/4" creamy layer atop the beer, leaving a ton of lace.

Aroma is predominately made up of floral grapefruit as well as other citrus aromas. Quite pungent and fruity, with just a hint of honey-like aromatics.

The taste is a bit more prominent pine-like flavor than citrus, though a nice grapefruit flavor is evident. Just an amazing balance of flavors, the honey lends it a fairly dry finish, leaving a mildly bitter flavor on the palate. *Note honey ferments out completely (ie there is NO honey sugars left in the beer after fermentation). It leaves no residual sweetness, so n00bs commenting on a honey sweetness are just plain wrong. The beer is dry, with maybe a bit more malt sweetness than the average West Coast IPA, but by no means is there any HONEY SWEETNESS!

Medium in body heavy in ABV, Hopslam is a very drinkable beer, almost TOO drinkable. I was surprised that I couldn't detect any alcohol on the nose or tongue considering the 10% ABV. Absolutely look forward to this beer every year...and honestly, it's gotta be one of my favorite beers, period!

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Photo of bgold86
3.52/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from can into 13 oz snifter, nice light amber color. Nose is decently hoppy and piny, just a slight hint of tropical sweetness. Taste is really average, like a semi sweet semi bitter IPA, am very thankful this was a two can limit at my local bottle shop. This beer is not worth repeating, especially with the astounding array of better option available. The definition of a hype beer!

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Photo of Wer34truh
4.22/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy and dark amber color, with a moderate-to-large head.

Smells of sweet citrus, the honey definitely comes out as well.

The taste offers a fascinating interplay between the bitterness of the hops, and the sweetness of the honey-ladened citrusy sweetness. The sweetness has a clear juicy character, with tangerine and nectar being present.

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Photo of Discos2
4.78/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Slightly hazy gold with abit of clarity. Thick off white head with the very heavy lacing.
Smells of fruits;pineapple, grapefruit, citrus. Get a good whiff of honey. Not as hoppy smelling as I thought it would be. Very nice.
Honey comes through in the taste and goes very well with the hop combo. Has a perfect sweetness.
Drinks smooth and creamy. Well carbonated. One could easily be fooled on the 10%abv.
Awesome beer. Not a overly hoppy beer at all. Well balanced and lived up to rep.

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Photo of funkmaster
4.85/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from 12oz can into Hopslam tulip.

A: Nice looking golden color, with a decent 1" lacy head.

S: Citrus & honey

T: There is a lot of citrus flavor in this beer, but what strikes me the most is the bite. I am not sure if brewing with honey gives it this or the high alcohol content. I have had many other Imperial and double IPAs that do not exhibit this characteristic. Definitely my favorite offering from Bell's although Two-Hearted Ale will always hold a special place in my gut.

M: Incredibly easy to drink for such a strong IPA. Feels great in the mouth and the bite from this beer is like no other ive had.

O: This is my favorite IPA. I drink about 80% IPAs so I have had many. I anxiously await the release of Hopslam each year and it is not to be missed. Other IPAs on my list for reference: Ballast Point - Sculpin, Bell's two-hearted, Cigar City - Jai Alai, Tap & Screw - Dr. Kool

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Photo of stompilator
4.69/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured on draft, into a tulip.

A - Pours a deep gold, white head.

S - Citrus, mango, passion fruit, dough, honey.

T - Huge explosion of citrusy hop flavors. A huge amalgamation of tropical notes, from nectarine to mango to orange to pineapple to passionfruit. Highly elusive and hard to pin down, but the magic of this beer is in the sweetness that immediately follows. Fairly clean, bready, slightly caramelly and a wonderful smearing of honey. This creates a soft, decadent backbone for the explosion of hops, with a bitterness that only comes later in the palate, and is just enough bite. Finish is fruity and just a bit bitter.

M - Medium-full body, smooth and creamy.

O - Over-hyped beers and IPA's are huge turn-offs for me, but even going in with negative preconceptions this absolutely blew me away. Far and away the best IPA I've ever had.

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Photo of BladesOfBarley
4.67/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Well, I'm back after another hiatus, and boy I have to say, its great to be back! Tonight, I am drinking Hopslam, by Bells Brewery (a favorite). And I have to say, this beer truly does live up to its reputation. A wonderfully balanced Imperial IPA, I would recommend this brew to anyone interested in the style. Pouring a beautiful, hazy, and golden with a slight orange tinge, this beer comes out with a solid head that never really dissipates, lacing is medium and just right. On first sip, a heavy aroma of alcohol shines through, only to be subdued by loads of citrus, resin, and malty goodness, citrus becoming more dominant as the beer warms. The real star here is the total balance of the flavor profile, deliciously hoppy and sweet, with notes of honey, pineapple, grapefruit and rich resin, with a sturdy malt background to carry it all forward.

Overall, this beer really does get better as it warms (and its delicious to begin with!, and what I would consider a solid intro to Imperial IPA's. Not to bitter and just citrusy and rich enough for the beginning drinker, and a wonderful sipper for the experienced.

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Photo of martinpfal
4.77/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Just an exceptional specimen from bells. Warm golden color with grapefruit nose. The honey sweetness is perfect to balance the hops. World class all the way.

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Photo of simonj01
4.69/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours nice and is hazy in the glass. The smell is fantastic, I could tell it would taste good. Tasted very good for a double. The beer is definitely over hyped and a bit pricey for a six pack, but I am glad I got to try it this year.

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Photo of BillBabbitt
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Before I had tried this beer, I suspected it was over rated. It pours with a nice head, but as an unfiltered beer it is hazing in the glass. The aroma is good, but unexceptional. So far, not impressed. But the taste, the mouth feel and finish really bring it home. An excellent beer that does not feel like 10% ABV, and in my opinion deserves the accolades.

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Photo of TheKlevin
3.47/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

I've never understood the hype, it's an okay Double IPA, but the honey ruins it for me. It adds an almost unnatural sweetness and really turns me off from the beer.

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Photo of Sabtos
2.96/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Re-rating as my outlook on this has changed over the years.

The appearance of this beer to me is the most impressive aspect of it. A cloudy yellow to orange top to bottom, it's like a hazy tequila sunrise.

There is a slight hint of pineapple on the nose, then some dog breath. As it warms, straw and oatmeal come forward.

There is no dog breath in the flavor, but pretty bitter and spicy hops do take over, the straw and oatmeal notes smooth it out a bit. Not too much dankness present, but it's there in a delicate way, if you can call it that.

In the past when I had this, I sort of wanted to just spit it out and rub cold lunchmeat on my tongue. These days, a heavy use of hops has become more tolerable to me in certain respects, but this is still a bit overboard. I still think these kinds of beers are on the extreme and a little more balance is my preferred approach.

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Photo of Cfred371
3.95/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First time drinker of Hopslam, and came into this one looking forward to a well regarded double. This can was packaged 1/19/2016, so 13 days old and pretty fresh. I let the can sit out for 30 or so minutes to serve around 45-50 degrees. Drank from a tulip glass.

Look: The beer pours a nice golden color, producing a nice inch or so slightly off white head. The beer isn't crystal clear, but light does penetrate through, and is by no means hazy. The carbonation on Hopslam seems to be solid.

Smell: I thought the smell was pretty average: hop dominant with some citrus shining through, and a little bit of sweetness from the malt/honey. There is some earthy/dank aromas in here as well. The smell of Hopslam didn't differentiate itself much, to me, from any other double I've encountered, and was rather disappointing

Taste: The taste is initially the hops making a statement with some slight citrus, the dank flavors, and then the honey and malt start to take over around the middle, balancing the hops quite nicely. I note a little bit of the alcohol, but at 10%, that is expected.

Feel: I was pleased with how full the mouth feel on this beer is, carbonation assisting in a nice smooth, thick beer. Hopslam certainly has some bitterness in the finish, but is balanced with some sweetness at the beginning of the finish.

Overall: This is a nice beer, if not overly sweet. I would suggest seeking it out, and could see myself buying this annually, but there's many greats that are cheaper.

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Photo of PBIU
3.82/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Very fond of this beer as it was the first Double IPA I tried back in the day. But with some others on this site I think that it could use a little tweaking. Why? Because my palate has shifted and so has the market.

Look is wonderful a honey orange color with lively carb.

Smell is tangerine, passion fruit and honey malt.

Taste goes back to my opening. Starts out great. Slam of bitterness and then where does it go? It is followed up by a huge wave of malt. Lingering sweetnesss but cloying.

Mouthfeel is medium. Alcohol heat warms up in the aftertaste.

Overall I do like this beer but wish it could be amped up a bit now. Less malt and more hop. I am thinking of Double Jack, Abrasive, Dreadnaught. Price point at $17.99 a six pack makes me go...ahem. You can do it Larry! Let's get Hopslam Into the future.

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Photo of Trevor11
5/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was lucky enough to grab a sixer of hopslam on 1/28/16 from Crown Liquors in downtown Chicago. The beer was canned 1/21/16 and I tried my first on 1/29/16. Very smooth and balanced with sweet undertones presumably from the honey and bitter finish. Truly well constructed since I had no idea it was 10% ABV.

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Photo of jphipps83
4.4/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz can into a snifter.

Beautiful golden hue with a half inch head that hangs around. Citrus nose, good smell. Taste doesn't quite live up to the look and smell. Decently bitter and hoppy, but seems to die pretty quickly. Nice taste, just wish it lingered longer. Feel is what I expected from an IPA.

Overall, really good, but doesn't quite live up to the price tag.

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Photo of That_Bearded_Guy
4.59/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2016 release poured into a IPA glass. Aggressive pour which lead to about two fingers of head, but diminished quickly leaving a nice alcohol lacing. The aroma is intense sweet citrus with a slight alcohol note. Taste pretty much follows the nose with bright citrus. Perfect balance of sweetness from the malts and honey. Alcohol is definitely present on the back end along with an astringent bitterness. Overall I can see why this beer has been hyped for so long. I don't think it's the best DIPA I've ever had but it is definitely very tasty. If you haven't had this beer and have the opportunity to try it, definitely pick yourself up some.

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Photo of lukesherlock
4.78/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Hopslam

Smell- lovely aroma, crisp, hoppy and very floral and slight hints of pine and honey

Appearance- pours a beautiful deep golden-orange color, nice two finger foam head with lacing, looks like honey 

Mouth Feel- perfectly balanced full-bodied mouth feel, goes down so smooth

Taste- starts off sweet like honey and as it goes down you get the hoppy bite, once again very well balanced

Overall- This beer has lived up to all of my expectations. Almost everything about this beer is perfect to me from the mouth feel to the taste. I will definitely be buying more of this in the future!

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Photo of K-Dog
3.88/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Been drinking this since 2008 and every year I like it less and less. Back in the day there was nothing like hopslam and I loved it. The last few years it was way to booze. This year it seems rather bland to me. I don't know of it has something to do with it being in cans this year or what. It's not that is bad but there are so many other choices out there now a days that are cheaper and easier to get. I'll gladly drink the six pack I bought but those who are tring for the first time might be a little dissapointed. Way over hyped in my opinion.

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Photo of Masonz223
4.44/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Super fruity mango pineapple a touch of honey pine bitterness at the end.
This is the first time I've ever had this beer and now I can understand the hype one of the top three best bells beers. It has a very fruity taste. Only negative I wish it was a bit more hoppy. But overall a truly great beer.

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Photo of Biggtriksta
4.56/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I've been fortunate to find this beer on several occasions; even lucky enough to grab a six-pack once. It's a high-quality beer for sure. Maybe not quite worth of the hype and difficult trying to attain, but certainly a great beer. Very juicy, hop forward beer; a classic DIPA. While I wouldn't go out of my way if I was someone who still hasn't had it (you'll likely be able to stumble across one eventually) I will not shy away from picking some up each year.

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Photo of BadBrett
4.62/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: A beautiful amber cloud, a burt orange color with a warm inviting hue.

S: Sweet and Citrus, the hops really come through with a sweet delight of honey. There is a hint of sweet grass and honeysuckle, with a splash of a summers breeze.

T: Well balanced, not too sweet but a very present honey flavor. Not too overwhelming with hops but plenty of them in there to characterize and blossom the palette.

F: Smooth, good amount of brightness with slight syrupy finish.

O: Well done beer, truly a well crafted hopped ale! There is a reason why this is on the top 100 list!

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Photo of sjdevel
4.71/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Look:
This brew is fairly foamy with a 2 finger head poured from a 12oz bottle. This one is a hazy copper color. There is nice lacing after the head recedes.

Smell:
Very rich and caramelly smelling. Strong hop aroma here (citrus and pine). There is a slight savory/buttery scent.

Taste:
There is a powerful kick of hop bitterness at first, but not over the top. The bitterness is quickly overcome by rich, sweet, syrupy, buttery, caramel flavors!!!! The deep roasted malt flavors are very woodsy and nutty. After the sweet caramel flavors wear off, this beer fades back to a bitter hop flavor and it starts to dry off. You are left with pine and a slight smoky after taste.

Feel:
Fairly full bodied for a hoppy ale. Thicker than I expected - a bit slick and syrupy. There is a drier finish though.

Overall:
This is a very good beer. Better than anticipated. I saw that this beer has been rated in the top beers of the country, so I had to check it out. I live in Colorado, but grew up in Michigan. My only regret is that I wasn't a beer fan when I lived in Michigan so I never tried any Bells or Founders beers. I have had 4-5 beers from Bells and am very impressed. I highly recommend this brew to any hop head.

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Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
98 out of 100 based on 3,299 ratings.