Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

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

11,590 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 11,590
Reviews: 3,419
rAvg: 4.48
pDev: 9.38%
Wants: 2,370
Gots: 2,611 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 11,590 | Reviews: 3,419
Photo of tadowdaddy
4.73/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Clear orange, much clearer than any IIPA I've ever seen. Slight 1 inch head with great retention. Smooth spider web lacing along the sides of the glass.

S- HOPPY! An sweet aroma of citrus hops combined with a very spicy floral scent.

T- My new favorite IIPA. Huge hop punch with a tad bit of sweetness. Also a bit surprised at the tad bit of caramel that I'm tasting from a beer that was bottled 4 days ago. Hops are of the floral taste and I also get a sweet honey packed citrus taste. Amazing hop complexity in this beer.

M- Crisp and very well carbonated for such a newly bottled beer. This beer leaves a tart and bitter hopfilled aftertaste in my mouth. I absolutely love the aftertaste and mouthfeel of this beer.

D- SMOOTH, DELICIOUS! Very easy to drink and the alcohol is well masked.

Well.. I'm very lucky to live in Michigan and to have unlimited sources of this amazing brew over the next few months. It's going to be my beer of choice until it's sold out everywhere!

Photo of tmoneyba
4.32/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured amber color with a large frothy white head that was lasting with excellent lacing.

Heavy complex sour citrus aroma.

Medium body with a slick texture and soft carbonation.

Medium to heavy sour citrus bittersweet flavor with a medium to heavy bittersweet finish of long duration.

This is a standout beer.

Photo of CoolJosh
4.11/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to armietaj for this extra. Has sat a year, so it'll be interesting to compare this to the fresh stuff that will be released pretty soon.

A. Nearly perfect visuals, a big and thick hazy copper orange that radiates beautifully with a contrasting creamy buff foam.

S. The age comes through hear a lot, as the hops are still present but are giving off an old tea-like smell. Has a wet hop scent to it, good caramel, a some sweetness to it. Showing some barleywine characteristics here.

T. Start off very smooth with some sweet caramel. The hops are still alive and kickin', but are definitely more subdued and come off much more smooth and conservatively. Ends with a slight off after taste, but it's not displeasing.

Can't wait to have some more of these, its good now, which mean it'll be even better fresh and up for review again.

Photo of Wackyfoot
4.7/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The hops in this one slam into you like a novacaine hurricane and don't let up until you tap into submission. Beautiful gold pour with a massive citrus and floral aroma that largely features oranges. Some honey in the flavor on top of the aforementioned ingredients. For serious hop lovers only.

Photo of djeffbee
4.2/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours cloudy orange-amber, with little head. Thin lacing down the glass. I am a bit concerned with this bottle since I've had this on tap and this ain't lookin the same.

S - Awesome hoppy, spicy aroma. Floral and citrus with pepper.

T - Nice hoppy presence, bitterness up front. Lingering bitterness almost that of a orange rind. A slight alcohol burn toward the end, hides the 10% well tho.

M - Medium body, smooth. Medium, but perfectly carbonated.

D - I could drink all night but the next day would hurt. Great beer tho.

Photo of RodBurg
3.37/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thehand hooked me up with this bottle. Thanks thehand!

Pours an orange/amber color with a small creamy head. Little retention, which is a bummer.

Very floral in the hop department. Orange blossoms and grapefruit scents mingle with a caramel malt backbone.

Starts with a caramel malt sweetness coupled with flowery hops. Finishes creamy sweet with mandarin and honey notes.

I'm thinking this would have been outstanding had it been fresh and on tap. The addition of honey almost gives off a sweet hop flavor. Hop ice cream. Yum.

Photo of sleazo
4.16/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A_Pours an slightly cloudy orange with a tiny head that dissipates to a small slick within seconds. The actual liquid looks fine but where is the head?

S_Sticky pinecone hops mix with a candied malt sweetness. A bit of honey like sweetness

T_Hugely bitter up front with a huge piney assault on the senses. A good malt presence in the form of honey soaked sourdough bread. There is some acidity too as everything plays well together.

M_On the thicker side and just less than syrupy. A nice carbonation despite the lack of head plays well too.

D_Another delcicious Bell's offering that falls flat in the looks department.

Photo of craytonic
4.32/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber-orange, nice head.

Smell: hops, citrus (lemon, grapefruit, orange, etc), and clover

Taste: Nice sharp citrus hops up front, then sweet finish. I get lots of citrus and straw - lemon, grapefruit, orange zest, etc. After the swallow you can taste and feel the honey.

Mouthheel: Medium-body, more than I expected. You can feel the honey

Drinkability: Tasty and enjoyable, I try to get some every year

***

Tried fresh 2-12-09

Similar, with less complexity, more bitterness, less fruit and honey. Graded down accordinly.

Photo of chicagospots
4.89/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This has to be one of the hoppiest beers I have ever tasted. Bells Two Hearted Ale is my favorite beer in the hoppy category. Bells Hop Slam is a turbo-jolted version of the Two Hearted Ale with more alcohol and hop character.

This is a sipping beer. For me it's too powerful (10% ABV) to have more than one. I drink it from a snifter glass to get my big nose in the bowl and let the hops tickle my olfactory glands.

You'll find the usual citrus, grassy notes from the hops with just the right amount of bitters.

Hop Slam is only available in January and I believe most of the distribution is in or around the midwest so stock up. The brewery is in the Kalamazoo Michigan area.

Photo of hopdog
4.55/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottles multiple times!

What a cool looking label! Poured a medium amber color with a smaller sized off white head. Had strong fresh green leafy hoppiness aroma with orange peels. Sticky. Tastes of oranges, caramel, floral, with a grapefruit finish. Smooth and way too easy to drink. Alcohol content well hidden.

Photo of xpimptastikx
4.47/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to mikereaser for the trade.

Pours a hazy dark honey color with a off white head. It leaves a nice thin layer and good lacing. Smells sweet more than hoppy, but pine comes through the malts. Taste is nice and balanced. It's creamy and sweet with a nice bitter aftertaste. A great beer that I would gladly take more of.

Edit: I received fresh bottles from the 09 release.

A much larger hop presence, smells of pineapple and citrus drenched in honey. A much more pleasant experience fresh.

Photo of egajdzis
4.12/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

[Batch 7806] Poured a lightly hazy, copper color with a medium sized, white head that left spotty lacing on the glass. Aroma of pine, floral hops, melon, tangerine, caramel, light citrus, and honeydew. Taste of pine, toffee, resin, light dough, citrus fruits, mint leaf, and some cinnamon. Bracingly bitter, with moderate alcohol.

Photo of ATPete
4.77/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle

i was lucky enough to drink 7 of these in the past 3/4 months. took notes through out, and the conclusion is that this beer is absolutely killer. Beautiful orange brown color, small white head. Amazing pine notes in the nose, sweetened grapefruit and orange peel, lots of earthy grassy hops battle with the fresh, semi sweet citrusy hops, all of this is overseen by a very rugged malty backbone adding incredible balance. Coating but smooth, the 10% ABV is completely masked by the beers more than impressive flavor profile. Some say this beer is best fresh but i was equally impressed with every single bottle i cracked open, my most recent being 11/2/08. Cant wait to get some more this year. Safe to say i highly recommend this one.

Photo of rye726
4.68/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Not the freshest bottle, so take this review with a grain of salt. It pours a woody brown color with a thick beige head and excellent lacing. The nose has a big bouquet of fruity hops over a rich malt profile. Taste has an explosion of citrusy and piney hops well balanced by sweet bready malts. Big oily body is carbonated perfectly . A great brew, but I would love to try a fresh bottle.

Photo of waltonc
4.87/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Acquired via trade with hrking, thanks very much.

I first had this a while ago, but didn't appreciate it nearly as much as I do now upon retasting. Appearance is a hazy amber color with substantial white head. Smell and taste is hoppy, but very well balanced by malts and honey. What a welcome break from west coast IPAs. This reminds me of Dogfish 90. Mouthfeel is medium, sticky, and well carbonated. Highly guzzleable, I'd put this up there with Dogfish 90 and Burton Baton as one of my favorite IPAs. Not surprising, coming from my favorite brewer.

Photo of marksto
4.08/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium amber color, very cloudy and hazy. Small whitish head falls quickly. Aroma displays a honeyish sweetness followed by some hoppy, piney notes. Faint aromas of apricot and citrus are there too. I didn't find the aroma to be that big compared to other great DIPA's.

Flavor displays big malt and lots of hop flavor and bitterness. The honey does not come through here, it's in the nose but masked by the hop complexity in flavor. The usual american hop essences come through, pine and citrus.

I suspected this bottle might have a bit of age to it. Checking the Bell's website I see a feature allowing one to enter the batch number. How cool! This was brewed in January 08, so it's got a little under a year on it. Not as old as I thought it might be. This is certainly a good DIPA, but there are better ones out there. Try it if you get a chance.

Photo of cannabanaceae
4.1/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Look was a half inch head dissipating to ring around rim, some lacing. Tan in color with some hazy yellow.

Smell was pineapple/citrus smell with a malt scent that tells you this is a heavy hitter.

Taste was bitter throughout, very little alcohol bite for the 10%abv. Nice sweet finish. If someone told you this was a session beer they might believe you.Very well balanced.

This beer did not brooze my touge from the bitterness, like the label suggests. Iam used to west coast iipas so my touge may be different than some. If I could get this in my state I would buy it on occasion, but I wouldnt trade for it again. Awsome label. Glad to have tried. Good beer!

Photo of roadhouse
4.89/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Original tasting, 1/27/08, the one the ratings are for:

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a snifter.

Appears a beautiful orange amber color with a one finger head. It doesn't leave a ton of lace, but not bad at all.

Aroma of piney hops and tropical fruit with a bit of citrus in the background. There's a big malty sweet backbone that makes this even better.

Flavors of piney hops and citrus with a tinge of alcohol. The honey it not detectable in the taste really, but there's definitely a malty sweetness that back up the hops well. Some tropical fruit taste comes through in the beginning. The hops are always front and center and very fresh tasting. The tropical fruitiness comes out right before the finish.

Medium-full mouthfeel. Finishes smoothly leaving a nice bitter aftertaste on the tongue.

This has to be the best DIPA that I've had, and nothing can beat it in drinkability. You might have trouble not being able to control yourself from finishing the six pack. It's just that good. Make sure you don't have anything to do the next morning after you start up on this one. Best DIPA in existence.

10/24/08 tasting, 9 months in: The aroma is much more mellow on the hops and now I can definitely pick up the honey that was covered up by the intense hops before. The taste is much weaker, the hops only coming through at about 30% of what they were before. Still tasty, but it doesn't even taste like the same beer. In the words of Russian River, "Drink fresh, do not age!"

Photo of PatronWizard
3.97/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another score in an awesome trade box from Kadonny.

Looks like orange marmalade. I've been saying that a lot lately but so what: it does. White head.

Modest hop smell. Nice hop flavor with noticeable malts as well. These hops bite! A little too sweet for my taste.

Overall: a worthy brew

Photo of ph2001
3.85/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle in snifter

a hazy reddish golden color with one finger of head that leaves quickly. smells smooth, hoppy, boozy, and sweet. it has a medium body that is somewhat smooth. there is a honey-like sweetness to it that rounds out the bitter hops nicely. this one finishes with a mouth filling bite towards the end of the sip.

Photo of scootny
4.47/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 12 oz bottle, long neck. " Ale brewed with honey" . A honeyed amber in my tulip tumbler with a one finger off-white head. A gentle fade and a ring remains around the glass. Moderate carbonation and a bit of chill haze. Once warmed a little it goes clear.

Smell reveals the honey along with piney hops and a toffee tinged maltiness. Juicy grapefruit and tropical fruits as well.

Taste is not as bitter as advertised. Or maybe I'm in love. Don't get me wrong, the hops hit the back of the throat and fold the edges of your tongue with force but the big malt backbone gives superb balance. Major grapefruit and pine resin. The honey adds another dimension to the broad and somewhat bready malt structure. Finish is Wham Bam Hops with an earthy and a spicy edge leading to toasty breads and grahm. Where is the alcohol in this stuff, I feel it but it pulls a Claude Rains.

Mouthfeel is tingly and smooth with a light syrup consistency.

Drinkability is better than a 10 percent abv has a right to be. A sipper to be sure but it is so inviting that you take bigger ones than you should. A marvelous concoction.

Thanks to my man hrking for this one.

Photo of orcasteve
4.3/5  rDev -4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

nice and bitter at the start but as it warms the honey comes out to be eaqual to the hops. this is the first time that i have ipa with honney, i like this one but its not my first choise. this is a beer that i would drink agan, i do love the huge floral flavor on this one. this is a beer that should be tryed by everyone

Photo of stumac
4.9/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

pours up a murky copper color with a nice white head. the smell is all sorts of hop characters! citrus, floral, grapefruit, subtle spices. Its a hop medley! the taste is remarkably smoothe for a shitload of IBUs! i taste all of your hop characteristics here. mostly citrus though. the 10% ABV is very unapparent. full bodied, medium carbo. Deelish!

Photo of ViveLaChouffe
2.82/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

It pours a clear orangey copper with a frothy ivory head. Lots of fine spiderweb lacing. Beautiful smell. Floral and sweet citrusy hops. Hints of tangerine and apricot, orange rind and a hint of alcohol.

In the mouth, the alcohol is quite apparent. Quite hot actually. It is quite sweet but the malt provides very little body to offset the copious amounts of bitingly bitter hops. The hops are pretty unpleasant actually without the malt to offset the spice. It comes off exceedingly harsh. And thin! Long hoppy aftertaste.

Wow, really lacking as a double IPA. It's kind of a mess. Horrendously overrated. A fantastic brewery (the best brewer of stouts in America in my estimation) but this is a beer that is surprisingly lacking in craftmanship and taste. Miss it.

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

A great awesome hoppy brew. Pours an orangeish amber, with a thick white head. Aroma of honey and very strong hops. The flavor is a delicious blend of citrusy hops with a honey sweetness unlike the typical maltiness of many imperial IPAs. The alcohol is also prominent, but not in a bad way. This is a favorite beer when in mood for hops.

Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
99 out of 100 based on 11,590 ratings.