Hopslam Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

3,430 Reviews
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Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by beernbbq on 04-14-2004

User Reviews
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Reviews: 3,430 | Ratings: 12,511
Photo of NCSUdo
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle, batch 8277

A: Pours a clear golden under a fingers worth of head. Minimal lace, good retention.

S: The hops hit me when I took the cap off the bottle. Huge leafy hops, huge on grapefruit with a definite tropical twang and some pine. A biscuity malt backbone is there as well.

T: Surprise, big on hops throughout. Citrus with some hints of honey, alcohol is apparent in the finish and is slightly drying but can't overcome the big, but balanced, bitterness.

M/D: Carbonation is there but in appropriate quantities, slight creaminess to a light to medium body and some big hop oiliness that coats the mouth. Drinkability is good on this one. A very fine example of the style.

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Photo of morimech
4.22/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy amber with a slow forming one-fingered white head that slowly recedes to a small cap. Some sticky lacing is left behind.

Pop the cap off the bottle and your nose is assaulted with the citrus and piney hops. That is about all I can smell in the room now. It does fade after the pour in a few minutes.

As another reviewer has said, it is like biting into a grapefruit. The malt does slightly balance the hops but let's face it, the hops are the star of this show. I sense alcohol in the taste as well the warming affect. I think it adds another dimension in this beer. A cleansing action to the hops. I can feel the carbonation is low but it is like the hops just make the beer "pop" on the tongue and makes it tingle. Medium body and a slight oily feel. The first beer goes down nicely, the second is slower, and then you suffer from palate fatigue and you might as well stop drinking this one for the day(not to mention the ABV). I bought a 6-pack and I will enjoy it over a few days.

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Photo of tayner
3.85/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle acquired as an extra in a trade with markgugs. thank you

I am not a hophead AT ALL but i am going to try and rate this beer on its merits as a IIPA, from what i have learned about them anyway.

Poured an orange/copper color with a nice foamy head that settled to a ring that laced nice.

Smell is overwhelming pine and citrus hops.

Taste is pine hops and citrus hops with a background of light malt sweetness. surprisingly there was enough malt to keep the bitterness in check for me. I didnt realize it was 9.3% until i looked. it warms some on the way down, but i would have said 6-7%. the hops leave an oily residue on the back of my tongue i cant get rid of and it makes me what to clear my throat over and over.

Drinkability was good for what it was, but i wont be slamming a sixer any day soon.

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Photo of wheelinshirt
4.61/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz brown longneck bottle from Abe's. Haven't had a chance to try this yet, so i was excited to crack it open. Poured into a wide tulip.

Nice copper color, a little cloudy, modest head with okay retention but left no lacing.

Smell was dominated by citrus hops. Very bold and strong. As it warmed i started to swirl it and got a lot of booze in there too, which really added a nice touch. Taste is bitter, with lots of citric and piney hop flavors and sweetness which i supsect is from the honey. A lot of really good stuff going on here, but i find that with most IIPA's that, if they are using a huge amount of hops, they tend to smell better than they taste.

Mouthfeel is a bit thick from all the malt they had to use to get this one up over 9%, but the drinkability on this one is excellent. A very bold and tasty beer, i could have definately had another if i had bought more than one.

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Photo of Upgrayedd
4.44/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One can not write a review of this beer without mentioning the citrus hoppiness. The first time I sampled this brew last year I was knocked on my ass by how fruity it was. This year's batch is most welcome in my small collection. One thing I noticed, and this might just be me, but this year it seems a little more bitter, which seems to hide some of the citrus the more I drink. Maybe it's just palate fatigue, but by the end of the beer I don't get as much hop flavor as I would like, and thus the bitterness and the alcohol start coming through.

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Photo of Junnila
4.32/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried it last year and fell in love. This one has some kick but is semi drinkable in terms of a double digit abv.

A-Very nice, good clean orange/red color

S-Wow...intense, almost overpowering

T-Great use of honey (not sure if they added that last year???)

M-As said on the back, bitter!

D-Only had a couple, but could see myself downing 3-4 no problem.

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Photo of Graham21
4.85/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of my favorites, this Double IPA shines through with a clear amber color that is more translucent than expected. The smell bombards your nose with hops and citrus undertones and a touch of malts. The taste slams your toungue with bitter hop tones that consist of grapefruit, pine, coriander, pineapple and a small backstop of malts. Wonderfully strong, great mouthfeel, and I would conclude that the drinkablitly for this beer (for me) is high.

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Photo of meatyard
4.49/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The appearance is a hazy, golden orange with a nice fluffy white head that falls to a covering. Decent lacing.
I smell grapefruit, pineapple and it's sweet.
The taste is bitter up front then the pineapple/grapefruit taste, a little malt follows and then a sweet bitterness. There's a lot going on here.
Mouthfeel is medium and sticky with some carbonation.
Immensely drinkable. I say to "drink it until you can't go get another one". Yes, the ABV is high but so what.

This is a tasty, impressive beer for hop lovers and fresh is the way to go.

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Photo of trem0lo
4.89/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Just picked up a case of this amazing brew. I got one six pack last year (it's a limited release) and loved every sip. When I went back to get more, it was gone!

The appearance is nothing to write home about--a little lighter than Bell's Two Hearted (another favorite of mine)--an attractive dark peach color with a small, cream head.

The beer smells amazing. As you pour it, wafts of spicy citrus make themselves known even at two feet's distance. Stick your nose into the glass and you're rewarded with a wonderful bouquet of candied grapefruit and orange. It is deep and intense. Bell's should make this beer into a scented candle.

This is when you realize it's gonna be good.

Taste is like biting into a sweet, juicy grapefruit. Unlike other hoppy beers, Hopslam has a strong malt backbone that balances out the bitterness of the hops. They are balanced in such a way that it not only hides the 10% ABV, but makes it extremely delicious!

Mouthfeel is not too thick and contributes positively to the drinkability. It feels only slightly thicker than the Two Hearted in my mouth.

The drinkabliity on this beer is off the charts. I would guess it 6-8% as opposed to 10. Most 10% beers have a substantial alcohol twang in the aftertaste but this has none. That fact, combined with it's deceiving mouthfeel, will always make you drink this brew too fast!

If you love hops you will absolutely fall in love with this beer and the great balance it achieves.

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Photo of malty
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 8283

Pours a very slightly hazed golden orange color with visible suspended (almost micro) particles. The loose 1" cream-colored head sit atop sparse and larger than m=normal carbonation bubbles. Sparse spatterings of lace and lace smudges.

This baby smells like a freshly opened can on DelMonte fruit cocktail from 1 foot away. As I draw the glass nearer, this first impression of smell is galvanized. Then there’s a sugar coated fresh lemon slice right below the fruit cocktail scent. I swirl my Sam Adams bulbous glass that emits powdered sugar and grapefruit scents all over the place. The malts are obviously up for the task to take on the awaited hop barrage that I suspect is to some next.

Just like the back label says...'biting and bitter' - yes it's very true. The tropical fruits I smelled at the beginning translate nicely in the taste with a well-balanced malt backbone that never steals the show in the least, but supplies enough bracing for the hops to conduct their well-coordinated trapeze act. There is an interesting vegetal component that's hard to put my finger on, but it reminds me of Brussels sprouts. Not in a bad way, just in an interesting kinda way. Hey, I happen to like Brussels sprouts (especially dilled!).

Mouthfeel is very kinetic and playful. The carbonation is fine with enough spritz factor to produce belches after 1/4 of a bottle. Medium bodied with a well-tuned flavorful finish.

Drinkability is very good. I most definitely would save room for 1 or 2 of these at the end of my session due to its hearty hop attack.

Overall a great double IPA that brings a neat vegetal slant to the show. The flavors are not the (soon to be) typical Dbl. IPA 'big grapefruit' and fusel alcohol that seem to be coming out of the woodwork these days. Bell's wasn't one of the first micros to brew a dbl. IPA, but it seems as if they were waiting for the market to get used to this big IPA frenzy, THEN introduce HopSlam and disrupt the blanket perception of what this stuff is really supposed to taste like. I guess I'm trying to say this is a very original, BALANCED but very bitter/hoppy IPA with world class written all over it. I really want to pair this with a rustic salmon and field greens salad.

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Photo of TheodorHerzl
4.54/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy orange color with a tight bright white one finger cap on it. The head fades fairly quickly, but leaves decent spotty lacing on my imperial pint glass. It is actually a little clearer than Two-Hearted which I find a little surprising. I can smell this beer as I pour it. It smells like I have hop cones under my nose. Pink grapefruit and resinous pine hit my nose with the power of a Roy Jones Jr. punch. There is a decent smell of pineapple coming though as well. Fresh citrus fruit and a deep pine flavor hit your palate up-front with a dry sweetness finishing off the beer on the back of the mouth. There is some slight sweet malt coming to the palate, but is pushed around by the heavy hop flavors and takes a back seat in the flavor profile. The mouthfeel is very smooth and medium bodied. The high carbonation leaves a very dry sensation on your tongue. The drinkability is a little hampered by the high ABV and dry sensation, but is very high for just a beer or two.

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Photo of joekfsu
4.12/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pours golden orange with a 1 cm off white head that is mostly diminishing. Aroma is brutally strong, piney and a little citrus. Initial flavor is balanced between the sweet malts and hugely bitter hops. Flavor of grapefruit is what i get the most of. Aftertaste is very dry from all the hops. Light to medium mouthfeel, almost no lacing, almost no carbonation, and the alcohol is well hidden. Very drinkable if you are a hophead, but for the rest of us its still worth a try.

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Photo of stuckonhops
4.97/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

yum yum yum yum yummy

A-- looks like a very nice ipa similar to bells two hearted..but man did they up somethin here as the lace is stickier and it is a bit hazier than their two heart

S-- freaking awesome citrusy hops dominate the smell of this beer.. also has piney notes that are hard to detect and some nice sweet candy type smell that i cant figure out yet..

T-- so ridiculously good i almost busted in my pants...first sip you cant help byut say "WOW" nicely balanced grapefruit/pineapple taste runs the first few sips...immediatly followed by some amazing bitterness that seems to play on balancing bittering hops with flavoring hops in the most amazing way...like they used two hops to counteract eachother to balance this beer instead of malts/hops...BELLS DOES IT AGAIN!!!

M-- almost unbelieveably smooth...'almost' coats the mouth but the bitter/drying finish pulls the coating out of your mouth...perfect IMHO..

D-- i wish i could drink this bad boy all day long..i wanna wake up to it and go to sleep with it...but at around 10 percent it whoops your but pretty fast.. so take it easy or you might hurt yourself or even your taste buds will end up bruised...

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Photo of boogles
4.89/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into Bell's glass, and while pouring I smell a strong bouquet of grapefruit. I suspect it's just in my imagination, and glance over at the half grapefruit on the other counter. The grapefruit is embarrassed. It's all about the nose on this one. HOPS!

I love big beers, but more RIS than double IPAs--with IPA, I usually prefer singles to doubles, as doubles often seem like over-hopped singles so hopped up they taste like nothing. Not so with this one. This is a special beer. I have eleven more to confirm this, thankfully.

Just to clarify, "drinkability" is the subjective appeal of a beer, not to be mistaken for "chuggability." One of these is plenty, but I love drinking this outstanding beer. Wow!

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Photo of lightindarkness
4.22/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

After some controversy over those who love and rate "big beers," I'm attempting to think about this beer more objectively both within the style and among other beer in general. It's so hard when you love a beer like this one so much!

Pours an attractive clear deep golden-orange with a small head that sits mostly as patchy bubbles. Some tight carbonation continues to rise in streams to the surface.

Has a clean hop-driven nose full of big grapefruit and pine scents. Sweet smelling peach, mandarin orange, and pineapple fill out the bigness of the smell.

Taste is attacking with full on bitterness awash throughout the palate. The taste is somewhere between eating a pine cone and some juicy pieces of fruit, grapefruit, pineapple, etc. The taste is bright and bold from the beginning, with striking middle tones of lighter earthy grain and intense hops. Fills with fruit, then warms up at the finish with a bitter bite and some alcohol heat. Some balanced low end, but pretty submissive to the hop.

Sticky, but with an intense bitter hold and dry-washed finish. Dances on the tongue with hop oil and alcohol sort of swirling around, very nice if you like the style.

Extremely enjoyable and drinkable for the style, with a nice dry quality and intense hoppy, relatively balanced taste. Not so drinkable if you plan on consuming more than one or two, and definitely not if you don't like bitterness and hops.

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Photo of sholland119
4.92/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle into a snifter.

A-Pours a clear golden amber with a very small initial foamy head. the head sticks nicely to the side of the glass.

S-Fragrant hops, mostly pine and citrus.

T-Aggressively hopped but still very smooth. A strong grapefruit bitterness with a piney resin in the background. Finishes just a bit sweet to balance the bitterness.

M-Very nice, mild carbonation. The hop bitterness stays on the tongue, which I like.

D-Awesome. Obviously the high alcohol content requires caution but the alcohol is well hidden. A very easy drinking double IPA.

This beer is the current Holy Grail in PA, if not everywhere. I was thrilled to come across it at one of our favorite beer bars. It lives up to the high expectations!

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Photo of Stoneman78
4.57/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Acquired via trade from MuenchenerKindl
A- Pours a clear orange amber hue, three fingers of thick off-white foamy head that sustains, sticky lacing on the glass
S- Major hops, mostly pine resin and floral tones fleshed out by citrus and light grapefruit, caramel malts lurk in the background
T- Initial taste is moderate sweet piney hops intermixed with sweet citrus and caramel malts, some fruits and spices creep in, finishes bitter and oily
M- Medium-bodied, slick yet thin texture, mild carbonation
D- A great DIPA, balanced, flavorful, with extremely well-masked alcohol, there is a good deal of sweetness that keeps the hops in check, I wouldn't exactly put this is the 'hop bomb' category, but this DIPA can stand up in terms of flavor to some of my SoCal DIPA favorites

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Photo of Blybloke
4.69/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Recently purchased a six-pack of this fine ale at the Liquor Barrel in Golden Valley, MN.

I'm a big fan of Bell's beers; Two Hearted Ale is my favorite beer of all time. So last year (OK, technically 2006) when I heard they were mass-producing a Double IPA, HopSlam was easily the most anticipated beer on my radar. It turned out to be one of those rare instances where the anticipation was surpassed by the experience. I didn't review it though. Now that it's back, I'm going to put it through it's paces.

Poured into the new Sam Adams Pint Glass. It's a dull orange, ever-so-slightly cloudy with about an inch of tight white cap. Medium-heavy lace after a couple minutes.

I could smell this beer all day. Just like its older brother, Two Hearted Ale, the smell alone is worth the money you pay. Heavy pineapple syrup, red grapefruit, with a little pinch of alcohol. Very little malt comes through to me, which is fine, since this fine creation is all about the hops.

Taste is exceptional. The hops step up and never leave. Again, I don't notice much malt other than a faint sweetness, which in a way makes this beer even more impressive. It manages to be ultra hoppy (as the name suggests) but not overly bitter. Not to sound too over-the-top, but I liken the malt here to the strings on a puppet - or rather the piece of wood that holds the strings on a puppet (I'm sure there's a name for it). You don't see it, but the puppet wouldn't shine with out it. Of course you need someone to control it. So, in that regard, Larry Bell is an artist. Anyway, you'll notice the heavy hops. There is pineapple up front and in back, and I'll agree with another reviewer that a definite apple/pear flavor shows up as well along with a blink of alcohol. Just marvelous flavor.

Nice heavy mouthfeel, not quite perfect, but darn close. A nice, sticky, hoppy film covers my tongue and soft palate.

Drinkability isn't perfect due to the high alcohol content and relatively heavy mouthfeel. Besides, I think you would do yourself a disservice by having more than two of these at a sitting. This is a beer to savor, not session imo.

Overall this is probably my favorite Double IPA. I've had a couple dozen different ones and this one might just take the cake. Highly, highly recommended.


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Photo of shroompod
4.05/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a slight haze , smallish head , some lacing.

Smell is grapefruity and hoppy.

Taste is fruity sweet . The hops do dominate , but I get an apple pear fruitiness. The aftertaste just about numbs my taste buds.

Mouthfeel is thick and sweet. Residual sweetness coats the mouth. Decent carbonation.

Drinkability suffers somewhat from high IBU's , sweetness and ABV , but it's an enjoyable beer.

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Photo of CDBeerDisappear
4.71/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Orange amber is color small head quickly dissipates to foamy islands. Great aroma as soon as the bottle is opened. I had high hopes for this IPA and I am not at all disappointed. Tons of floral grapefruit hop aroma with taste to match. Nice malt backbone gives it a just right sweetness to support the hoppy bitterness. I think candied orange best describe the middle of the taste. Finish is very hoppy and bitter. This is my kind of IPA, massive aroma and taste, full mouthfeel. Great drinkability.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.37/5  rDev -1.6%
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

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Photo of pwoods
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. brown bottle, purchased from Party Source, poured into a snifter. Batch 8278.

A: Pours a dark amber with decent visibility... appears clear but a little muddled. A solid finger of head forms in the snifter and the huge hops keep it up for quite a bit then rapidly dissapates to a thin skim. Head is just off white and very fluffy. Very nice looking lace throughout. Carbonation is very lively.

S: Huge hops. The most noticeable scent is a brilliant piny, spicy phenolic character. Big floral and citrus resin notes. Malts are just noticeable in a buttery, nutty scent.

T/M: Bitterness is manageable but lets you know it's there. Very piny/spicy with a nice phenolic bite. The pepper continues in the a dry hop leaf resin. Malts are more like an single IPA but still very flavorful with nice sweet bready and nutty flavors. Body is a tad above medium and carbonation is lively.

D: Very tasty and well worth the wait. I'm glad I have a case of this.

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Photo of malcontent
3.54/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A somewhat cloudy, brilliant orange color with minimal white head and above average lacing.

Only the faintest hop aroma peeks out from behind a yeasty, malty, almost doughy beer. I had this problem with Oberon recently and I hope it hasn't crossed over to Hopslam.

Nope, it hasn't. Luckily the hops translate into the taste beautifully. Big spicy start with a fair amount of grapefruit pith to the finish and a rounded sweet malt body sandwiched in between. Bitter aftertaste lingers with an underlying candy sweetness vaguely reminiscent of marshmallows.

Solid body with biting but not overdone carbonation. Hop resin is detectable but is still acceptable for a brew with this type of IBUs. Delicious but the tongue-punishing hop level limits the drinkability. Not sure this lives up to the hype but I'm glad to see Bells notching up a big beer that doesn't fall under the stout banner.

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Photo of Scoobydank
4.92/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

L:A nice bright orange that is very cloudy. Very small birght white head that disapears immediately.
S:Yummy sinky resiny pine needle grapefruit hops. I pick up a faint orange smell
T:Sweet candied oranges in the middle that stick around. Fiarly pungent grapefruit citrus through out.
M:Bright fizzz but with a very round filling feeling.
D: Awesome brew. Fresh is the way to go with this bad boy. I will also enjoy laying one down to see what happens.

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Photo of bcf
4.19/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought with much anticipation on 1/12/2008. Upon pouring notice that this years batch seemed a bit thin compared to 2007 batch.

Nose- had the usual grapefruit, piney goodness.

Taste- heavy duty D-IPA not quite as balanced as I remember wonderful citrus but alcohol seems a little more pronounced.

Mouth feel- average, not quite as viscous as 2007 and that isn't a good thing.

The lacing or legs that the beer presented last year are also missing.

All in all HopSlam 08 is very good but the bar was set so high that it does not measure up to last years offering. I expected the same beer Bells offered up last year and that did not happen. This version is thinner and not as well balanced so whatever alterations were made to the recipe should be corrected because it isn't as good as the first release and that is a shame.

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Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
98 out of 100 based on 3,430 ratings.