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Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

9,826 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,826
Reviews: 3,117
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 9.58%
Wants: 1,881
Gots: 1,470 | FT: 41
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
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Ratings: 9,826 | Reviews: 3,117 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SolomonGrundy
4.25/5  rDev -5.3%

Ha ha!!! I may be one of the only people in the World to drink both Pliny the Younger AND Bell's Hopslam on the same day!!!!

Thanks a million to awesome trader Brian44556 for this awesomeness!!!

Pours a beautiful golden amber, with only the slightest haze to it...Very nicely carbonated, just this side of medium carbonation. Head is short and soapy, and leaves a nice, yet sparse, lacing.

Aromas are very robust - lots of floral hop notes. I also get some overripe pineapple in there, along with some hints of maple and also Humboldt Green, but the latter is fleeting. A little mango in there too. Very wonderful and fresh smelling.

Flavor is off the charts. It's ultra robust. I almost don't know where to start with this. So much is going on, and all in unison, that it's hard to tell the parts apart. The initial burst is a very forward bitterness that is likely hop induced. Very few beers get this hoppy right upfront. This gives way to the nice carbonation that kind of washes the burst of bitterness away. The middle resounds with a plethora of different flavors: I get mango, pineapple, a sweetness induced by the honey, and some more hops, but in the back. What seems to be lacking is a big malt component. This beer rounds out with a slightly off bitterness and carries a very long time. This is exceptionally good beer, and very challenging for the palate. It's 10% ABV and I assume it's expensive. This beer is awesome and absolutely worth tracking down.

What I like most: The wonderful cavalcade of flavors in the complex profile.

What I like least: The slightly off bitterness in the finish and the lack of a complelmentary malt component.

Verdict: With only minor flaws, this is truly a wonderful and near-elitle ale worth tracking down.

SolomonGrundy, Feb 10, 2011
Photo of OnThenIn
4.28/5  rDev -4.7%

A: A finger of slightly tan head that are rather thick and pretty clear with a slightly copper appearance. The beer leaves nice lacing.

S: Very fruity and citrus aroma with a bit of sweetness backing it. A hint of grapefruit is present, but it has none of those bitter backing notes.

T: The bitterness with the rather distinct taste of grapefruit that is just straight up awesome. Only a hint of alcohol comes through. The bitterness is just the right amount without too being overpowering.

M: Medium body with a perfect amount of carbonation for the style.

D: The beer is rather drinkable without a strong alcoholic presence that is rather surprising. The mouthfeel is exactly what I would want it to be.

OnThenIn, Feb 10, 2011
Photo of Jadjunk
4.58/5  rDev +2%

#88. Really couldn't wait until the big 100 to try this beer as I bought it a few weeks ago when it was distributed into the area. It's sold out already; does that drop any hints on the reputation this beer has? I've had a couple in the past in bottle and on tap; this one has been set aside for a professional review which I plan to write as critically as possible.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a glass at room temp.

(Appearance) Beer pours a frothy, creamy two finger depth off- white color head. Retention is decent and the coating dissipates evenly over a short time. Sticky airy lacing streaks the side as the head recedes, but unfortunately doesn't carry to the drink as well. The color is a brilliant gold with light peach tones and mostly clear but with a slight hint of haziness to the clarity. Carbonation is surprisingly low, but still congregates in clusters in random areas. While the head quality wasn't outstanding, most other things about this beer were of top quality. A very satisfying treat to the eye. 4

(Smell) One of the greatest things about the smell is the incredibly potent aroma of grapefruit and citrusy, floral hops that I can gather from a good foot away from the glass. It is a very strong clean aroma of perfectly blended hops, honey and grapefruit that makes this beer smell classically delicious, for a lack of better words. The malt is also right underneath, subtle but enough to round out the bitterness with sweet and fruity tones to create a nose with ideal balance and quality. The smell is one of upmost perfection; I wouldn't begin to consider changing a thing about it. 5

(Taste) A very light burst of grapefruit flavor with a calm pairing of fresh, lightly bitter hops. The brew tastes very clean but the character is bold enough to not need any additional supplement. This is one beer that can carry through the flavor suggested by the nose, and I am especially pleased to note that this is the best presentation of fresh grapefruits in any beer I have ever had. It is brilliantly pronounced and integral to this beer's balance and complexity. As for the Hopslam's stars, the hops get to kick in full time at the finish, bringing one refreshingly pleasant bitter crisp finale. Alcohol peeks in once or twice throughout the drink and can likely be toned down, but the taste otherwise is the ideal balance of sweet and bitter that I am looking for in any IPA. Glorious. 4.5

(Mouthfeel) Crisp intro with a nice light smooth body and slightly dry, crisp finish. The alcohol presence comes in at places and makes the beer slightly "spicier" than it should be, but otherwise, this beer does a good job in the mouthfeel. 4.5

(Drinkability) It's really a shame that this is a January only release, as I'm always craving these wonderful seasonal brews in times like July or August when they're going to be long gone. The flavor is wonderfully balanced and the intensity is hardly draining on the palate, but that high ABV of 10% is going to make me certain that I should only have a couple of these to avoid sleeping ugly. Price is slightly deterring, but if you're dedicated enough to good beer versus average stuff, this is going to be worth every penny you're got. I'll be savoring my remaining 3 bottles and opening them on good days. Yes, the drinkability is quite high. There's no reason whatsoever to avoid this. 4.5

Verdict: So I'm determined that this may just well be the best damn beer I've reviewed thus far and I'll probably be getting a sixer of these every January for the rest of my days on earth. A wonderfully charismatic and exciting beer. Does well in nearly all respects. If I have to pick one bad thing out it is the ABV which is fine at high levels but isn't "ideally" concealed and still peeks through at times, most notably in the mouthfeel. Just wonderful, but you need to drink it when it's fresh to enjoy it best. This is one of those beers that doesn't age very well, so drink 'em while you've got 'em! And enjoy... you're one lucky bastard to have this worthy beer in your hand! A (4.5)

Jadjunk, Feb 10, 2011
Photo of mellowmark
4.7/5  rDev +4.7%

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle to an Oversized Wine glass. Batch number 10100, according to Bell's Batch Finder it was packaged on 1-5-11. $16.99 for a 6-pack.

Appearance: 2-finger off-white foamy head. Uniform lacing all around and down the glass for as long as the head will last. Not as much head retention as in Two Hearted, but that is most likely due to the higher ABV. Orange golden color. Beer is mostly transparent with just a slight haze. Great head regeneration.

Smell: You can smell this thing from several feet away. Strong honey aroma backed by a huge citrus hop presence. Extremely ripe tropical fruits. Unbelievably floral. The nose almost seems artificial, like a really good artificially flavored tropical fruit drink or candy. How they achieve this aroma naturally is absolutely beyond me. It's right up there with the best smelling beers in existence, if not the best. You just keep wanting to come back for more.

Taste: Huge sweetness up front with a citrus hop presence throughout, earthly hop bitterness towards the end. Surprisingly the hops don't linger very long after each sip. The prominent yet not cloying honey sweetness does wonders for keeping the whole thing balanced and really works at bringing out and accentuating the hop flavor.

Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel is full with medium carbonation. Juicy. Warming effect in the back of the throat and chest cavity after each sip.

Drinkability: Very High

Dangerously drinkable for it's high alcohol. I really tried to find some kind of flaw in this beer given all the hype around it, but I just couldn't find any. I will have to start stocking up on this stuff every January. It's a shame it isn't year round, I know the demand is there. Come on Bell's!

mellowmark, Feb 10, 2011
Photo of hopsolutely
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%

Wow. I have looked forward to trying this beer for years and have finally had a mini-keg opportunity. Expectations were very high, and I'm surprised to say that they were exceeded.

An incredibly hoppy aroma, followed by the silky mouthfeel typical of a double imperial. Well balanced and complex taste that hid the 10% ABV frighteningly well. The honey flavour is front and center, while there are hops on every level of the palate, from start to beautiful finish.

Have only made one pilgramage to Bell's and obviously timed it incredibly wrong last summer. Will make every effort to find this beer in the future!

hopsolutely, Feb 10, 2011
Photo of SuperNova777
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%

A:Pours a nice orange color with a fingers worth of bubbly white head that falls fairly quickly, excellent lacing is left hanging around on the glass.

S:Initial smell gives way for big tropical hop aroma followed by a citrus undertone, then a sweetness takes over the nose on the second inviting whiff.

T:Big hops hit up front on the tongue followed up by some sweetness in the middle, the backend is then dominated again by another wave of tropical hops that then linger on the palate afterwards.

M:Really solid mouthfeel all around on this, stickiness is left hanging around on the lips with some drying on the palate from the alcohol.

D:Super easy drink for the high ABV with delicious taste to back it up. Don't worry the hype is true when these are fresh really a all around great brew and in my opinion one of the third coast best DIPA offerings.

SuperNova777, Feb 10, 2011
Photo of Brewmeist
4.2/5  rDev -6.5%

Poured into 12oz glass from tap.

A- golden in color. Good lacing and a few micro bubbles which indicates some quality. Small head that quickly vanished.

S- alcoholic, with notes of honey and almost citrusy. Pleasant yet boozy.

T- it's definitely a big beer, floral hoppiness and presence of honey. Lingering taste but I wouldn't call it a true pallette destroyer. Being seasonal and scarce makes it all the fresher.

M- medium bodied, clean finish, has several different areas going for it.

D- drinkable to an extent, definitely a good sipper. Delicious and will definitely enjoy again.

Brewmeist, Feb 09, 2011
Photo of ssuggs01
4.22/5  rDev -6%

Pours clear golden with a great dense white head. Leaves great lacing and holds a good amount of head throughout drinking. Aroma is very floral, I smell pineapple, papaya, oranges/tangerines, grapefruit, some honey. Flavor is resinous hops, tropical fruits, citrus, and a good deal of honey.. This beer dangerously drinkable! Mouthfeel is on the full side of medium bodied, sticky, medium carbonation.

ssuggs01, Feb 09, 2011
Photo of bboelens
4.13/5  rDev -8%

Poured from a bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A-Dark golden orange, when held up to the light, flakes of amber and yellow are visible, a huge white head from an aggressive pour stayed for a while and left excellent lacing, this is a great looking beer.

S-Citrus and hops, a bit of sweetness in the nose

T-Similar to the nose but with significantly more details, the citrus (orange and grapefruit, with possible lemon hints) and the hops take the forefront but there's a sweetness that is unlike a fruit based sweetness, honey like in taste.

M-Crisp, clean, full bodied with great carbonation

D-I had to check the back of the bottle again and make sure this was really 10%, dangerously drinkable, with a great flavor, drink at your own risk.

bboelens, Feb 09, 2011
Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.2/5  rDev -6.5%

You know, I have had this beer for about 6 months now, and I can't for the life of me remember where I got it. I am thinking that it must have been from Knightly Spirits in Orlando, but I am not sure. Regardless, I know that I didn't pick it up here in Texas. Let's give it a go.

Appearance: Pours a pretty hazy orange golden color with a very small head of white bubbles that faded by the time I got done with the pour. There are numerous bubbles rising, but they don't maintain the head. The beer poured noticeably thick.

Aroma: Of course I get lots of hops with citrus being the most prominent giving grapefruit in particular, but there is still a solid amount of malt in this beer. Despite the hype written on the side of the bottle, there is actually some malt detectable.

Taste: The flavor is bold and bitter, but it isn't terribly far out of balance as the hype on the bottle. There is a solid malt backbone to this beer, and I am picking up some toasty notes and light crystal in particular. Though the hops are running this beer, it isn't dry and menacing on the palate to me, so they managed to keep the water in check as not to overly accentuate the hops as well. The beer itself is medium to slightly full bodied with ample carbonation.

Opinion: Well, I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by this beer. It is much more balanced than some of the brewery's "Tribute to hops" beers are. Mostly they are just stupidly hopped beer without regard to balance, but this beer is actually a good base to begin with and then they put a S**t load of hops in it. The result is very good. Even though I am a malt-head and don't drink hoppy beers much, I would definitely drink this beer again...and that is saying something. Give it a shot. If you like flavorful beer, this one won't disappoint you.

SkeeterHawk, Feb 09, 2011
Photo of paulys55
4.53/5  rDev +0.9%

Finally got to try this one after hearing all the hype. Pours hazy orange with a nice two finger head. Aroma of sweet citrus, grapefruit, orange and honeysuckle. Nicely balanced leaning toward the sweeter, less floral side for me, definitely notice the honey. So easy to drink that the ABV makes this one quite dangerous for me. No alcohol until the very end and by the time I notice it I am taking another sip. Really enjoyed this one and will certainly seek out when the season permits.

paulys55, Feb 09, 2011
Photo of surlytheduff
4.35/5  rDev -3.1%

The beer poured golden-honey, with two fingers of frothy foamy eggshell-white head. The foam clung tightly to the side of the glass, and after the head receded it left bubbly residue all over.

The aroma is piney sweet. There is some floral, citrusy notes but it isn't that intense. This may be due to the fact that it's a bit shy of a month old.

Taste is spectacular. The sweetness matches so well with the bitterness of the hops. There is a very slight alcohol flavor, but it is masked very well. The finish is bitter and refreshing.

The beer has a medium body, with a certain viscous element to it. It is well carbonated, and finishes dry. This is an incredibly drinkable double IPA.

surlytheduff, Feb 09, 2011
Photo of bertram
4.33/5  rDev -3.6%

Insanely intense hop aroma hits as soon as you open the bottle. Pours a clear copper with a minimal white head. The overload of hops give this brew a very earthy, almost citrus smell and taste. Good carbonation and definitely a beer a hop head will love.

bertram, Feb 09, 2011
Photo of MaaikeMae
5/5  rDev +11.4%

This beer gets better every year. Pay attention to this one. Beers speak louder than reviews.

Gorgeous colour, soft pillowy head that sticks. Aromas of, well, hops, but tropical fruit and honey as well. Tastes the same. Nice retention! The hoppiness really sticks around.

I'm a huge fan of the IPA's that don't have a huge malt profile, and this one tops them all. Excellent beer, and totally worth all of the hype.

MaaikeMae, Feb 08, 2011
Photo of lewis1rg
4.93/5  rDev +9.8%

my first review. i love hopslam so much i couldnt resist sharing my love

i look forward to this beer every year

a: this happend to be a 12oz poured into a snifter.
light copper color with a finger width head

s: one of my favorite smelling beers. citrus and hops grace the nose as my mouth begins to water!

t: bitter hops up front, then the citrus hits you! grapefruit is the predominant taste..then a smooth finish thanks to the malt and honey

m: it tickles the mouth with carbonation but then leaves with a slight hoppy bitterness...just the right amount

d: DANGEROUS! for 10% abv this beer is a ninja. next thing you know things get fuzzy. its so crisp, so delicious. 3-4 12oz's and thigs get risky. (just ask my friend who was hitting my mini keg not knowing what he was drinking hahaha)

overall this is a great dipa..i have noticed though that even in the last month since its release the beer has lost some of its hoppy bight.

defnitely in my top 5 beers

lewis1rg, Feb 08, 2011
Photo of kiddwhiz
4.13/5  rDev -8%

Thanks to jmkratt for the generous gift that is this bottle and for the trader that recently sent it to him.

a: Poured a 12 oz bottle with #10115 code in to a tulip. A slightly translucent copper color with 1-2 fingers of bright white lacy head.

s: Intense hops with grapefruit, kiwi and fresh picked oranges.

t: BAM! Bitter hops to the face, "too the face!" Slightly sweet under tones of citrus fruits, specifically grapefruit. Huge citrus hop flavor with a touch of maltyness. The finish is smooth, gradual and nothing like the handshake.

m: Slippery and viscous. The right amount of carbonation to pair with the blast of hops. It's not a beer that coats the mouth in resins.

d: I find this beer to be a drinkable beer but probably with a limit of two. You definitely know you are drinking a DIPA but it's satisfying and somewhat refreshing.

kiddwhiz, Feb 08, 2011
Photo of ejimhof
4/5  rDev -10.9%

Appearance: amber orangewith a slight white head and lot's of lacing.

Smell: Lot's of hops and pine trees..

Taste: floral with hops and malt.

Mouthfeel: smooth bodied.

Drinkability: I was saving this for the Steeler's Superbowl win but alas it was not meant to happen. Very drinkable and world watch out I'm rady to drink more than one.

ejimhof, Feb 08, 2011
Photo of hopgoddess76
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%

Poured 12 oz. bottle of HopSlam (batch#10073-12/29/10) aggressively into a snifter.

Appearance: Clear, golden amber with orang-ish tint, and a large white head but low retention.

Smell: An overpowering citrus/grapefruit aroma with hints of honeysuckle.

Taste: A clean spicy, floral flavor upfront followed by slight bitter, dry finish with hints of honeysuckle.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, medium bodied with moderate carbonation delivering a dry finish.

Drinkability: Very drinkability but noticing less hop impact compared to last year's batch. Still one of my favorite IPAs but I'm also noticing a quick hop decline since I opened the first bottle so make sure you enjoy this beer in the immediate future.

hopgoddess76, Feb 08, 2011
Photo of dave097
4.6/5  rDev +2.4%

Poured 12oz bottle into a sniffer. Batch #10073.

A: Amber colored, large bubbles on top of a half inch of head. Swirled the glass, lots of lacing and vibrant carbonation from the bottom of the glass.

S: Wonderfull hop aroma. Citrus fruits, mango, pear. I smell honey, but that may just be because I know it's in there.

T: First up is the bitterness on the side of my tongue and mouth. Nice dry finish that I love in an Imperial.

M: Medium body, has a way of lingering on the sides of my mouth.

D: Very drinkable. A little more bitter than I remember Hopslam being. Overall an incredible beer that could be dangerous at 10%

dave097, Feb 08, 2011
Photo of Franz4
4.25/5  rDev -5.3%

Batch 10101 packaged 1-4-11 consumed 2-7-11

A- transparent golden color with a good fine foamy head that leaves crazy lacing down the side of the glass.

S- A bouquet of citrus and sweet honey, crisp and refreshing nose.

T- Lots of grapefruit comes through in the hops with the honey adding a touch of sweetness.

M- just right carbonation, beer feels slightly oily going down, sticks with you for a while as well.

D- ridiculously drinkable. I'd love to have another, ABV is very hidden, if unaware it can sneak up on you. I am probably one that enjoys this beer with a couple weeks of age on it, as I had one from the same batch at the beginning of January and didn't find it nearly as appealing. Time allows it to mellow just a bit and let the honey become a bigger part of the beer.

Franz4, Feb 08, 2011
Photo of warnerry
4.78/5  rDev +6.5%

served in a tulip

A - pours a translucent light orange with 2 fingers of head; head dissipates rather quickly and leaves some nice lacing behind

S - grapefruit hops dominate, through some nice florals and pineapple come through as well; some faint sweet malt

T - fantastic punch of citrus hops up front, followed by the florals, pineapple, and finally the sweetness of the malt; despite the name and obvious initial hop assault, this is a very well balanced DIPA.

M - very creamy for a DIPA, turning to slightly oily in the middle and a nice lingering bitterness.

D - incredibly drinkable for the abv and the hoppiness; the malt backbone really counters the hops nicely to keep drinkability high.

One of my absolute favorites. I only wish that hops flavor would last longer since this is a only released once a year. Hopslam is a beer that reminds you to enjoy life in the moment and to accept that there are some things you just can't hold on to for long.

warnerry, Feb 08, 2011
Photo of BeerCon5
4.83/5  rDev +7.6%

Pours a golden-amber color with 1 finger of creamy white head that remains throughout the beer.

The scent is of strong floral hops, honey, and some caramel malt.

The taste is of resiny floral hops, sweet and alcoholic, grapefruit, honey, and some spices.

Medium body, smooth, creamy and resiny, moderate to high carbonation.

This was a delicious beer, there was so much complex flavor, and it was dangerously easy to drink.

BeerCon5, Feb 07, 2011
Photo of GPHarris
3.73/5  rDev -16.9%

had this from a cask at The Brick Store.

a - creamy off-white head with a duller and darker amber color than others due to being unfiltered.
s - not as hoppy as other forms of hopslam. just the faintest of citrus aromas.
t - same as the aroma.
m - much creamier and smoother.
d - delicious beer but i prefer it on draught or in bottle.

GPHarris, Feb 07, 2011
Photo of UMNbeerhunter
4.7/5  rDev +4.7%

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Surly Tulip

Pours a rich gold and orange color with a large white head that takes a little bit to dissipate leaving medium to heavy lacing on the glass.

The aroma is not overwhelming but is a good, light, citrus hops. Just a bit of malts in the background.

Awesome taste citrus, honey and the malt really balances out the hops. The alcohol is almost nonexistent. This is dangerous at 10% ABV. I pulled back 3 glasses before I realized that how fast they were going down.

Mouthfeel is excellent light to medium and a little tingle on the front of the tongue fading to almost nothing. After taste lingers and makes me want more.

This is an awesome beer I have 2 6pks and am missing it already. Wish Bells had this as a year around but Im sure if they did my taste buds would be burnt out from all the Hopslamy awesomeness.

UMNbeerhunter, Feb 07, 2011
Photo of kyleisdumb
4.9/5  rDev +9.1%

In short....
There was nothing about this beer I did not like.
Exceptional beer. Love the taste of honey through out the beer, it was not overdone at all....
This is a must try for anyone who enjoys IPA's.
Could not even tell Its a 10% abv.
Absolutely delicious.

kyleisdumb, Feb 07, 2011
Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
99 out of 100 based on 9,826 ratings.