Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

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Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

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3,260 Reviews

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Reviews: 3,260
Hads: 11,637
rAvg: 4.45
pDev: 8.54%
Wants: 2,393
Gots: 2,633 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 3,260 | Hads: 11,637
Photo of bkilpatr
4.09/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. 02/21/08. Batch 8277

When I bought this, the guy at the store said this one is "very hoppy, very strong". The bottle lists it at 10% ABV, so he's right on at least one part.

Poured an orange-amber color, with about a finger and a half of head that quickly dissipated. Intense smell of hops, very fresh and smells crisp.

The taste is of even more hops. VERY hoppy beer, probably the hoppiest beer I've had. Store guy is 2/2 now. Light citrus taste, but overpowered by the hops. Low to medium carbonation, very bitter, and I can taste the alcohol. Drinkability is alright, but definitely not something I could drink more than one of.

I'm not usually one for overly hoppy beers, but for what it is, this one is pretty decent. (771 characters)

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

I broke down and coughed up the $14 for a sixer of this, and believe me, it's a steal. This beer is so incredibly good, it's rocketed to one of my top 3 DIPAs without question. This beer is incredible.

HopSlam pours a thin finger of off-white head on a clear burnt orange body with slight cloudiness. I'd normally lower the "appearance" rating for the thin head but, after a cursory glance at the lacing left on the glass, this beer indicates it has gravitas. Its might starts with the nose, which is just magestic. This might be the most citrusy DIPA I've ever had; it's oozing grapefruit and pineapple. Unbelievable!

So is the taste, an ideal blend of hops bite and citrus smoothness. While heavily hopped, this is easy on the taste buds, in no small part because of the ample citrus component, as well as the honey permeating the brew. Positively remarkable. This is so drinkable that I am fighting the urge to slam HopSlam. It's honestly not hard to imagine destroying a bottle of this in several minutes, though hardly advisable given its high ABV (9.3%). But it's just that delicious and smooth.

Just phenomenal, HopSlam is exhausting my cache of superlatives, a bolder presentation away from perfection in my esteem, and even that is somewhat cosmetic. (1,262 characters)

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

I'm a big fan.
A-Poured a honey-amber with a nice, thick head.

S-Mango, hops, honey, hint of pine.

T-Mango, grapefruit, hops. The malts and hops are perfectly balanced throughout. This is one of the hoppiest brews I've had that still retained a nice bouquet of characters that balanced the bitterness with sweet, fruity nectar throughout the experience.

M-Nice consistency and body. The texture has the balls to carry this bold flavor, and the gallantry not to overshadow the finer details that make it special.

D-Top notch. This stuff was the hit at a tasting tonight where we experimented w/pairings. Try this stuff with some aged cheddar. Each one makes you want more of the other. You will get fat and drunk. (716 characters)

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

Well, it finally happened. I cracked open my first HopSlam..

I had a 12oz bottle poured into my nifty Dogfish Head glass.

It poured a rich golden copper color with a thick massive head that slowly dwindled into a quarter-inch ring of foam with lacing all over the glass. It was a bit cloudy as well.

The smell was at first all hoppy bitterness, finished off by the sweet smell of malt and honey and a slight hint of the alcohol.

It was bitter from the start with a sweet finish. As I got closer to the end, the 10% alcohol became more apparent. This beer is delicious.

I will definitely be buying more of this soon. As I have a newly-realized love for hops, this ranks high on my list. (691 characters)

Photo of csmiley
4.42/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours copper with hints of gold. Ended up with a little less than one inch of white head. Retention was good. Lacing was also good.

S - Fruity hop aromas dominate (grapefruit and a sweeter fruit like kiwi). On the end there is an earthy aroma mixed with alcohol. Intense but not too powerful.

T - More fruity hops in the flavor. Sweet fruit falls away and citrus really stands out. Earthy flavors mix with sugar and honey mid sip. The distant background has a distinct bitterness and alcohol presence.

M - Medium bodied with good carbonation. Finish is bitter and dry. Smooth for a beer this big.

D - Drinkability is good. I am impressed with what they have done with this beer. The alcohol is hidden fairly well. If I could avoid passing out, I would definitely have several of these. Recommended. (806 characters)

Photo of stewart124
4.07/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Even with a slow pour this one has some considerable head. A white head sits atop this fairly blonde Double Imperial Pale Ale with very slight amber notes. The head doesn't last long but it leaves nice traces along the sides of the glass

Strong smells of sweet pineapple, grapefruit, and potent evergreen spices.

Very strong bitterness with a tart bite that finishes bone dry. Long lasting hoppiness but that is to be expected from something with the name of Hopslam.

Slight warming feeling from the high alcohol but I'm sure it is hard to hide the alcohol in this DIPA.

Nice mellow sweetness in this beer but the hops don't seem to balance with the malts. These strong pacific northwest hops really blast the taste buds! It is a delicious blend of hops and adds quite a hop character throughout the beer. I'd like to see it a bit maltier. I'd also like. Still a solid DIPA from Bell's. (892 characters)

Photo of homebrewhawk
4.02/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. brown bottle. Batch 8283. Served in a shaker pint. Golden with a slight haze. Appeared to be bottle conditioned. About a finger of fine bubbled white head. Huge hop aroma along with some fruit. I get strawberries for some reason. That's a first for me. There is a good amount of malt, but immediately the hops jump out at you. Long, lingering hop pucker. There is more fruit in the finish. Hops are slightly vegetal. Alcohol is warming.

A little over the top, but that is good sometimes! A must try if you think you are a hophead. (537 characters)

Photo of KeggerKen
4.62/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A beer worth its price indeed! At abt $16 a six pack this beer lives up to the hype...great label...great name...great brewery....great taste! I nice solid color for a DIPA; not too dark but not too light. a head that signals its hoppy nature. An explosion of flavor highlighted by the typical piney nature of an IPA but with a vibrant fruity taste. Four of these and I was inebriated! I had another IPA right before this and the stark difference was amazing. If you haven't had this beer....you have not had a Double IPA. (522 characters)

Photo of sweetkness
4.92/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-Nice pale golden color, creamy head with nice lacing.

S-WOW, what an aroma! Hops, hops, and more hops. Fantastic citrusy aroma. Slight alcohol warmth in the background.

T-Perfectly balanced bitterness hits your tongue at first, followed by the same wonderful citrusy hop character in the flavor that was noticed in the aroma. Hop character finishes a little grassy. As much as the hops dominate, there is malt in there, giving the beer a nice sweetness to balance out the hop bitterness/flavor.

M-Just about perfectly carbonated, which is nice because it allows hop character to show through more. Good medium/full body.

D-This is one of those beers that could be classified as "dangerously" drinkable. I could easily put down six of these, which is rare for me and a beer of this strength. I have to try hard to hold myself to one (maybe two). (850 characters)

Photo of jscondon
4.12/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden hue into the pint glass, the smell is amazing. It has a lovely citrus/grapefruit nose that permeates through the taste. There is a bitterness I didn't like up front that was a little piney, but this brief taste is followed a very nice citrus and some sweetness finishing with a subtle bitter that is nice.
In all I liked this beer, I would definitely get this one again. It is a pretty well balanced hop bomb. (425 characters)

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

Bell's Hopslam

Poured into a snifter. Slightly hazy, pure amber color, that is almost nectar-like. Nice solid white head that dissipates and leaves a white ring around the glass. Aromas are sweet, honey, sweet citrus, along with earthy tones like grassy, floral, and piney from the hops. Tastes are sweet from the honey. Strong hop character; smokey hop flavors. Amazing DIPA! Great mouthfeel, smooth, and very palate pleasing, also a little creamy. Very drinkable, I am actually on my third. (501 characters)

Photo of botham
4/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip. pours a lightly reddish amber color with a couple fingers of off-white head.

aroma is, well, 'slammed' with hops. mainly aromatic, with a slight spice to the aroma, this brew contains little else than that. a note of fruity yeast accompanies the hops, with a bit of grassy hops as well.

taste is more of the same. up front, there is little else besides a light fruit from the yeast, and at the back is a veritable hopslam (pardon the pun). despite the large hop character, the hops do not overwhelm the brew, but provide a solid and strong base for the palate to work from.

mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a silky texture and a dry, bitter finish.

drinkability is decent. the amount of hops here lower the drinkability, but the smooth profile allow a few of these to make their way to the stomach without any problems. cheers! (865 characters)

Photo of dashirey
4.24/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this one at Canal Street in Reading, PA. Thanks to Dusty for getting some bottles even if the kegs didn't make it.

A - Orange-like with amber color. Not clear but not cloudy either. I likened it to apple juice. Not much head at all and it dissipated very quickly. The beer did not have much lacing either.

S - Smell is fantastic - very strong citrus smell, with some flowers.

T - A little sweet - then hops, hops, and more hops. A strong kick of bitterness in the back of the mouth after you swallow. As the beer warmed, that kick at the end was less apparent.

M - Almost creamy, but not thick. Lots of carbonation early, even prickly on the tongue, but by the end it was again not longer apparent too.

D - Found the beer to be more drinkable after it warmed a bit. I could have another, but no more than that in one sitting. I will seek this out every year it is released. (884 characters)

Photo of HardcoreKeith
4.1/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Paul at Underground Bluz for getting this one on tap.

Poured a medium gold, small head, some lacing. The smell was mostly citrusy hops, but my smell is not refined enough to tell which. The taste was rather amazing. I expected this beer to be much hoppier than it seemed, but the hop flavor was indeed quite pronounced, and was balanced with a very sweet malt flavor. To contradict the reviewers below, it did indeed taste rather alcoholic to me, but then again, well, it is! HopSlam was certainly no chugger for me but I really enjoyed sipping it over the course of 30 minutes or so. (595 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.85/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to theformula for this elixir. Let me say that I've been looking forward to this for a while since I love DIPAs and I love Bell's. This didn't disapoint. I traded for a sixpack of this and of Nugget Nectar, and while the Nectar was good I thought this blew it away. So friggin' delicious that I almost sucked the first on straight down.

Pours amber with a thin head but a constant stream of tiny bubbles. I'm not worried about a big head for a strong beer like this, I'm more concerned about what the beer tastes like and how fresh it is. This is one fresh beer! The smell is surprisingly malty and a tad sweet with big citrusy hops following. The taste is amazing! Delicious blend of citrusy and piney hops with a spicy oiliness that coats the tongue and has a flavor almost of cinnamon in its intensity. More pine, grapefruit, and orange follow. The sweet malt and honey play a supporting role that beautifully props up the hops, and there is almost a peach flavor at the end that makes me want to guzzle the beer. Great body, balance, and finish. I know this is 9.3% abv, but you can't tell. Something about this beer makes me want another and nothing else as soon as I finish the first, Uber delicious and almost addictive. (1,236 characters)

Photo of strohme2
4.82/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one pours with an orangey, almost light amber color with a decent foamy head. Right off the bat it smelled like a sweet grapefruit. Very appealing. Also detected a citrusy, flowery smell, but man those grapefruits!

Very smooth and drinkable, still more sweet grapefruit and flowery hops taste. I wouldn't put this beer at almost 10% ABV. It tastes strong but not from the alcohol. It's very well balanced.

I couldn't imagine drinking more than two of these and still be coherent.

Hopslam is outstanding on tap and very good in the bottle!! (550 characters)

Photo of soupyman10
4.69/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

If you're a hop fanatic, I can't really imagine a better beer. And I am one, so it works out well. The appearance is good, although not really mind-blowing. Nice copper-amber color with a finger of white head on top that leaves a touch of lacing as the beer drains. Nose is incredible. Tons of piney hops hit you first, then a good bit of candy sweet malt as well. Unlike a lot of DIPAs, this one is definitely hop leaning; Bell's didn't seem to pour on the malt to balance it out, but really allowed the hops to dominate the flavor. But in a good way. Taste is amazing. Tons of piney hops again, some sweet caramel malt, grapefruit, and a touch of decidedly biting sweetness (some reviewers called it pineapple). The ABV is incredibly well hidden - not even noticeable in the least. Body is perfect for the style. Not syrupy, but thick and full bodied with perfect carbonation. Overall, an incredible beer. One of the best DIPAs I've had, along with Southern Tier's Unearthly Imperial IPA and Dogfish Head's 120 (which is a much sweeter beer). Really a great one. (1,064 characters)

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

Appearance: Pours a translucent, orangey body with a full, foamy white head.

Smell: Wow, they ain't kidding. Redolent scent stinking of fresh grapefruit, pineapple, and passion fruit.

Taste: Malts are obscured, perhaps rightly so, by the extreme hoppiness. Tons of intense, juicy fruit hop flavors with a moderate kick of bitterness. The 10% abv is very well hidden. Bittersweet finish with a lingering tropical fruitiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Distinct oily juiciness to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Extremely hoppy, but it still displays a relatively good balance. (595 characters)

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

Appearance: It arrived a clear, golden color. Head had somewhat dissipated, but a solid coat of lace lined the glass as it went down.

Smell: Excellent mix of big, piney hops and citrus scents (grapefruit, mango, and perhaps pineapple). Caramel malts are noticeable, but are clearly overwhelmed by the hop aroma.

Taste: Hops are extremely strong and bitter. They predominate, but citrus sweet flavors and a bit of caramel malts are noticeable. Alcohol blends very well and barely noticeable in taste. Nice, dry finish.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's medium bodied and carbonation is very good. At nearly 10% abv, it's strong, but extremely smooth and drinkable. Due to its strength, I wouldn't have more than one or two in a sitting. Overall, this is a fantastic beer. Nice to find it on tap at Brews. (801 characters)

Photo of Drew966
4.32/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bell's HopSlam pours dark orange with a thin white head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. There's no mistaking the aroma, it's hops, citrus, especially grapefruit stand out. The flavor is the same, all hops all the time. Citrusy and once again grapefruit like. A hopheads delight. Recommended. (293 characters)

Photo of Natural510
4.89/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5


Bumping up the scores after having this on its 11th day of bottling. Simply amazing aroma & flavor....layers of syrupy pine, honeysuckle and jasmine.
Besides, I was a DIPA noob when I reviewed this three years ago.

Original review 02-18-2008:

Pours a nice golden-orange color from the bottle, with a nice head which quickly dissipates.

Smells sour (in a good way) and citric, closely resembling lime. Also smells very grainy, likely from the hops. Very interesting & inviting.

The first taste is a powerful twang of grapefruit, with hops creeping in slowly but surely. I expected the hops to overwhelm the brew, but they merely make themselves the star with a solid backing by other fresh flavors.

Tho the head is not retained, it stays highly carbonated, and the extreme bite from the hops keeps the brew very lively in the mouth.

Despite not being the biggest hop fan, I found this surprisingly smooth & drinkable. The hops bounce off the tongue without killing you with their presence. I much prefer this hop-head beer to, for example, the Sierra Harvest Ale, which I found hard to drink.

If this beer is sold in your area, pick it up fast! while it still lasts. (1,199 characters)

Photo of steelcutoats
4.42/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked this one up the Headkeeper in Greensburg last Friday, after being given a sample from the head chef. I consider myself a big fan of super hoppy beers and figured that it was definitely worth a review.

It poured well into my crystal snifter a copper read with about an inch of foamy white head. There was evidence of lacing on the inside of the glass. The nose was sharp with an over-abundance of hops and citrus notes. The taste was bitter, but not over-whelming and sweet with the addition of honey. With an ABV of 10% this is definitely not a session beer, but more adequately a night cap. Kudos to Bell's for such a fine ale. (639 characters)

Photo of bxbeerdepot
4.69/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A.. Goldenrod in color (a little darker than most dIPA's) pure white head with a little lacing.

S...Wow, piney citrus floral explosion

T... This is it, the best beer I have ever tasted (note that I am a hophead). This is how double IPA's should be judged. Rumor has it that this is brewed with honey and it is possible that this may lead to the incredible balance this beer achieves. The malt to bitter ratio is incredible.

M.. effervescent and much lighter than I expected for a 10%'er.

D...Careful this beer is deceiving, it is certainly not alcohol apparent . (566 characters)

Photo of hchinaski
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%
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. (450 characters)

Photo of Dalem
4.35/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark orange and hazy in color. Small head that doesn't hang on long but a decent about of bubbles (not too many but not too little) stick around the edges and a clean even lacing on the glass (note: I hardly ever mention lacing on these little blurbs but this is Hop Slam. Every little nuance is part of it's charm). The smell is VERY sweet and sour citrusy tang, one of those marihootchie strains that's got it's own name, a walk in a northern Michigan woods on a nice late spring day and a understated malt backbone. Upfront in the taste grapefruit. Before I go any farther if you don't like grapefruit-this isn't for you. Personally though, they're part of my breakfast at least twice a week so I'm right at home having this as the evenings night cap. That dry sour that gives you pucker power. There's definitely a combination of at least a few different hops given this a distinct character. Crisp with a nice medium body in the mouth. Leaves a slight sting on the tongue that lingers but down the throat is smooths all out with the honey and the malt giving a warm sweetness in the finish with a bit of alcohol burn to remind you that this is over 9% abv and 106 IBU's. (1,175 characters)

Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
99 out of 100 based on 3,260 ratings.