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Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

9,977 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,977
Reviews: 3,124
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 9.58%
Wants: 1,931
Gots: 1,509 | 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: 9,977 | Reviews: 3,124 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jonvan04
4.22/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a light orange color with a thin amount of head. The nose was a mix of piney and citrusy hops, lots of hops. The taste was a ton of hop bitterness with a light amount of sweetness. It was nicely carbonated with a bunch of bubbles coating the toungue as it goes down. The alcohol was very well hidden as I had no clue that this was 10% until I glanced at the bottle again. However, there was also a lot of dryness to it that made it a little difficult to drink as I got farther down the class.

Overall this was definitely one of the better double ipas I've had, however even knowing that it's a big beer I wish it was still a little more drinkable.

jonvan04, Mar 03, 2011
Photo of KYBrewgrass
4.18/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- 4.5 Hopslam is a pretty light orange color and can barely be seen through. It has lots of bubbles and a nice, sticky white head that clings to the glass. An aggressive pour gave it 1-2 fingers. There is high lacing with this one.

S- 4.5 Hops, hops, hops... And a sweet citrus. There's a hint of pine as well. It's a very intense but welcoming scent. It would be agonizing to smell this and not be able to try it!

T- 4 As it smells, the hops are dominant. However, they are balanced out considerably well by a honey and citrus blend. This is a good tasting powerfully-hopped ale. It can leave you puckering. It's also just slightly boozy on the finish (though not bad considering its 10% ABV).

M- 4.5 Great medium body and carbonation with this brew. It is velvety and smooth (once you forget about the taste for a second and concentrate on the feel it's quite good). Only a tinge of syrup as it goes down but this seems to fit.

D- 4 This beer is pretty drinkable for its style. This is a matter of personal preference for me; I'm not the biggest hop-head out there but as imperial IPAs go I could drink as many of these as any. It definitely has a 'kick' to it, though, so be careful! Always an annual treat worth picking up.

KYBrewgrass, Mar 03, 2011
Photo of OrangeCharlie
2.6/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Poured a nice deep golden, almost copper color.

S: The nose is great...pretty much all hops. Good blend of earthy, pungent with a touch of citrusy strains in there too.

T: Way too dry for the hop level, way off balance. Bitterness is just harsh and overpowering. Very hot and boozy on the swallow. I know the beer is 10% ABV, but I really think you can brew a much smoother beer at this level.
Too much honey...it doesn't add anything but dryness. And too much at that. I can see what they were trying to accomplish, but it was just too dry for the hop level. Overall, the beer just comes off as an overly bitter, one note flavor.

M: Nice body, good carbonation level. Everything is OK here.

D: Again, the booziness and bitterness make this beer tough to throw back. I like DIPA's...I've even had very quaffable ones that are around 9-10%. But I put this beer down after two sips and a friend took over.

OrangeCharlie, Mar 03, 2011
Photo of fastpass17
3.83/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle

A: clear, light golden hue with a light head

S: hops, citrus, pine, grapefruit

T: sweet on front of tongue, alcoholic middle, and a citrus, grapefruit zest finish; hoppiness in back of mouth

M/D: bitter, sip one bottle slowly, very strong but very tasty

fastpass17, Mar 03, 2011
Photo of Hockeyfan1189
5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It's my favorite beer in the world (after overtaking Two Hearted Ale after a few tries).

A - golden, pleasant to look at, very little head that dissipates quickly

S - slightly fruity with a smell of honey, it is pleasant to the senses - unlike some other "beers," Hopslam does not smell of alcohol despite its high ABV

T - Fruit to honey to hops, leaving you begging for more. The after-taste is great if you like hops or honey, but if you don't like either of those, then it's not for you.

M - Scintillating for the taste-buds, the spot-on mix of carbonation, alcohol, and honey is quite pleasant and most certainly doesn't turn your mouth.

D - Sails right down...two or three of these and you're easily done for the night, but because of the alcohol content and not drinkability issues.

Hockeyfan1189, Mar 03, 2011
Photo of chilly460
3.98/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A darker honey gold with clean white head, one finger of head poured into a chalice. Not a great amount of lacing.

S- Fairly strong grapefruit up front, weaved in with some distinct peach. Gives way to a definite honey aroma. I picked up a pretty significant dank aroma as well, somewhat of a sulfurous smell, like rotting plants.

T - Fruity, juicy hops hit first, grapefruit and mango. The honey is very prevalent, this one is quite sweet in the middle, lingering alcohol burn on the end. I actually felt like the booze hit pretty hard, but it wasn't overwhelming.

Mouthfeel- Plenty of body, oily hops, and chewiness here...it feels like a big beer.

Drinkability- Good for a DIPA, definitely not a hopbomb for me and would be easy to enjoy a few.

chilly460, Mar 02, 2011
Photo of betsona
4.75/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served in a 10oz tulip at Fiddler's Hearth.

A- Pours a clear honey color. Two inch head of egg-shell white that dissipates into a thin covering. Plenty of lacing on the glass throughout the drink. Little visible carbonation.

S- Floral and citrus hops dominate with a piney hop that is harder to pick up. Hints of honey come through nicely. No smell of alcohol. Smells refreshing.

T- Wonderful. Grapefruit punch accompanied by lemony tastes. Smooth honey finish that distinguishes Hopslam from other DIPAs. It is smooth throughout with enough bitterness to be pleasant, but not enough to dominate the taste profile.

M- Not much carbonation to a medium body. Seems thicker at times when I have had it in bottle.

D- I look forward to Hopslam every year and don't mind the price. Nice perk to living near Kzoo is Bell's addition of Hopslam during the summer. I drink multiple snifters when given a chance and rarely grow tired of it.

betsona, Mar 02, 2011
Photo of Soonami
4.05/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Outside of a handful of beers, such as PtE and Dark Lord, there are few beers that are as hyped as Hopslam. Though good, I just feel like it isn't deserving of the devotion this beer inspires. This is coming from someone that had friends drive 2 hours to a distributor to buy cases and a mini-keg from a distributor (I live in PA). I think that the beer has a very nice hoppy aroma, but is it better than most good, fresh DIPA (probably not). There are smells of wildflower meadow, spruce resin, grapefruit rind, and sweet orange. The beer is definitely hoppy, but the flavor doesn't jump out at me as the best I've ever had. The honey definitely is present in the flavor, but it has a bit of an artificial McDonald's "honey" tanginess. The beer is too thin with too much alcohol (probably from the added honey) that is definitely present on the tongue that contributes to the perceived bitterness of the beer. The beer is tasty and finishing 1 or 2 is not a problem. But you'll definitely suffer palate fatigue after about half a glass from the alcohol and hops and then you won't really know what you're tasting afterwards.

Soonami, Mar 02, 2011
Photo of CMB2012
4/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle packaged on January 11th, 2001. Poured into a 16oz stemless snifter.

A- Pours a mostly clear copper orange with small particles of sediment swirling around. One and a half finger white cap, very creamy, and dissipates pretty quick. Some lacing and a top coat of foam stick around for the show, especially when given a little agitation.

S- Citrus and pine, some fruity esters, bubble gum and some alcohol.

T- Bitter from start to finish. The variety of hops and the texture of the beer make the taste come out piney more so than citrusy in the end. I am reminded of freshly mown grass. Sweet and sticky up front, dry in the end. The astringency is close to too much, but acceptable.

M- The mouth is medium to medium-full bodied and starts out fairly juicy before the carbonation kicks in and tickles the taste buds, continuing down the throat. The carbonation is on the heavy side and when mixed with the bitter aspect of the hops leans towards distaste.

I certainly do not dislike this beer, and I would enjoy sharing another six pack with someone. However, the balance is a little off for me. I think a bit more malt would do this beer some good. If there were some way and someone willing to cask this beer I would be excited beyond belief!

If you can find it and afford it, buy it. Not my favorite.

CMB2012, Mar 01, 2011
Photo of CampbellKe11
5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Absolutely loved this beer. One of my favorites. Nice color, had a great smell to it, taste was excellent, especially given the alcohol content. Very smooth with a clean finish. Picked up a very discrete honey flavor which helped the smoothness, as well as the citrus. Drinkability is dangerously good.

CampbellKe11, Mar 01, 2011
Photo of Destral
4.6/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Doing a side by side of Pliny and Hopslam tonight. The Hopslam is batch 10094, but I'm basing most of my review off notes from a month ago when I first got the sixer.

My Hopslam has a nice gold appearance, with a bit of orange, and a bit of cloudiness. Decent white head lingers throughout and has above average lacing.

I get a lot of citrus hops, grapefruit, and orange. One thing I get that's fairly unique to Hopslam is the sweet honey notes.

I get a bunch of grapefruit and orange up front. There is a lot of sweetness and honey as well. There is a mild resin bitterness on the finish but overall this feels very balanced. Not as aggressively bitter as a west coast beer, but I love the way the honey and malt balances it out.

Hopslam doesn't mess around. The beer feels as big as the 10% on the label. Its full bodies, sticky sweet, has lingering bitterness, and really coats my mouth.

One of my favorite parts of this beer is also one of the only things I can fault it for. The addition of honey really gives this a unique flavor profile, but the added alcohol percentage and the heavier mouthfeel makes this one slightly harder to be sessionable. I love the beer overall, but I would have to limit myself to probably 2 bottles in a night.

Destral, Mar 01, 2011
Photo of mklinger
4.33/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden amber with a fairly thin white head that did leave very nice lacing behind.

Aroma has a good amount of orange to it with a little grapefruit. Some malty richness with just a little sweetness. This was a pretty fresh bottle, but the aroma, while nice, doesn't hold up to some of the other legendary DIPAs.

Taste is more powerfully hoppy. A lot of grapefruit, a little orange, some piney resins. Great hop flavor! Just enough malt for balance -- but still nicely malty with some melonoidin complexity.

Mouthfeel is perfect for a DIPA -- not too syrupy/thick, not too thin. Well carbonated, too. Overall, this is a very good DIPA, just not the most exceptional example I've tasted.

mklinger, Feb 28, 2011
Photo of Marty30
4.6/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to my sis and bro for this growler!!! Poured at fridge temp. into a pint glass.

A. Nice golden, slightly hazy body with a 1.5 inch fluffy off white head.Decent lacing and good carbonation.

S. Citrus hops and pine tons of passion fruit,mango, peach lots of pineapple awsome!

T. Citrus bite then moves to pineapple! I'm getting peach, mango maybe some banana. Carbonation cleans the pallet for a nice bitter after taste. I detect a slight bit of alchohol in the end also.

M. Nice medium heavy feel that coats the mouth nicely.

D. Really good considering the ABV but this will hit you like sledgehammer as my sister found out last night! This is one of the best DIPA's I have had to date, A must try!

Marty30, Feb 28, 2011
Photo of Johnnyfacelift
4.93/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

When you pour this beer you don't perceive the magic it holds because it has a very light copper/yellow color that does not look like a ten percent brew. Head is also light but enough to display the beautiful aroma to follow.

When you take the first sniff you realize you have something special here. Grapefruit and orange notes jump from the glass with a hint of peach and pear. Sweet!

The taste is amazing! Everything you get in the aroma with a nice bitterness that emulates that of a white grapefruit; coats the back of your throat without dominating your entire pallet.

Again, the 10% brew does not have the mouth feel of one. It is light in body without the common "syrup" like feel of a beer with this amount of alcohol. Smooth and drinkable!

You could have many of these because they are so light and fruity. They would be terrific on a summer day... just keep your head on straight, it may sneak up and slam you down.

Johnnyfacelift, Feb 28, 2011
Photo of AleWatcher
4.43/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

5 Liter mini-keg. Served in Imperial Pint glass.

The wife said the minikeg was taking up too much room. So I decoded to have a few friends over to watch the Oscars. Printed up the nominee list and made some wagers... And, more importantly, finally cracked my minikeg!

Pale orange in color-- somewhere between dark gold and showing slight hints of copper. Off-white head of 3 sudsy fingers leaves nice thick streaky chunks and ringlets of lace behind.

Smells like Hopslam still-- grapefruit and pineapple! Little malt... Some orangey notes. Huge citrus hops. Me likey.

Taste is great. Just enough malt backbone to act as a solid delivery vessel for a mad hop attack. Some light sweetness early, but huge citrus hops towards the back lingering bitterness at the finish! Man is this good.

Body is pretty full. Strong assertive carbonation helps the beer feel prickly and punchy. Very nice. A light resin and oil feel after the swallow, but it is tasteful and well integrated.

I could drink this all day.... I guess it's cool I have a minikeg! I'm going back for more right now!
Lots of people say this beer fades too fast- while it is true that it fades, I've enjoyed many a Hopslam through July! The trick is to tuck them at the back of the fridge (the regular cold fridge!) where the temp is around 34-36 degrees. They stay out of the light back there too.

AleWatcher, Feb 27, 2011
Photo of henryd30
4.22/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Amber-orange, with a thinner than expected head (1/3 thumb). Nice active carbonation. Light lacing from thin head.

S: Wow! Simply outstanding citrus / grapefruit heavy aroma. Could smell it all day.

T: Robust hops out of the gates, a little expected bitterness and then some balancing malty sweetness. Overall very good, might have expected more after smelling.

M: Smoother and more viscous than some other DIPA's, pretty good carbonation activity on the tongue.

Overall: Great beer - will definitely always seek out. Still have a couple left from the sixer, but understand that with a bottling date of Jan 5, and a drink date of Feb 26, it wasn't at it's freshest. Will try a fresher one next year and review again.

henryd30, Feb 27, 2011
Photo of OzarkElmo
4.88/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

FEB 23, 2011

Batch 10101 (Jan. 4th, 2011) Thanks to my nephew Nic! This is not easy, but have to say this is the best beer I've enjoyed the past three years. It gets my highest rating to date (surpassing Orval and FFF's Alpha King). Aroma? You bet - simply awesome. The taste is second to none, with the good bitter finish. THAT is what puts this beer over the top - so many IPAs/DIPAs may lean to the sweet side - not this brew. Perfection. A classic beer that I am so glad to have two bottles of. So wonderful I am saving the 2nd for tomorrow night - PROST!

OzarkElmo, Feb 27, 2011
Photo of hophead5353
5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Hop slam is my personal fav beer. I wish Bell's would produce this beer year round! The color was golden honey. With a i finger head. taste wise this beer was a home run.. OR slam DUNK!! It has a nice hoppy flavor but was exceptionally balanced by citrus and honey flavor. My palate picked up on orange and grapefruit flavors. I can not say enough about this brew I was lucky to find 2 six packs here in florida this beer sells out in a day!

hophead5353, Feb 27, 2011
Photo of atsprings
4.6/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On cask during Flying Saucer Raleigh's 11th anniversary, served in a tulip glass a slightly hazy orange with a thin diminishing head that lasts as a ring. Aroma is a nice amount of citrus hops with a bit of pine and caramel. The taste is a nice amount of citrus hops, sweet malts and slight pine and caramel, nice and complex. The beer is very smooth and easy drinking from the cask conditioning. This is an excellent example of what an IPA should be on cask!

atsprings, Feb 27, 2011
Photo of biggied
4.88/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a snifter

A- pours a clear bright copper color, half finger white head appears and slowly dissipates down to a ring, pretty nice lacing

S- Smell is like a pine tree just like a DIPA should, a nice bouquet of hops and sweet honey, nice citrus, lemon and grapefruit, surprisingly I'm getting pineapple as well, sweet.

T- It's called hopslam for a reason, you get a big kick in the mouth from the hops, the sweetness of the honey mixed in with the citrus is a nice middle buffer between the initial hops and the ending hops, at times i find the hops to be well balanced and at other times it seems a little overbearing, not sure whats up with that

M- medium body, silky smooth, slightly high carbonation, i wish it would coat my palate a bit more but it is solid nonetheless

D- Drinkability is there with the alcohol being masked by the huge hops

biggied, Feb 26, 2011
Photo of ronniebruner
4.47/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! This is a great beer! Obviously, you will first encounter a sweetened hop taste, which is definitely ok! The beer itself is a beautiful creamy orange color, with minimal head and carbonation. The aroma too is ladened with a hops feel as it should be and is smooth going down. This beer is outstanding. The only downside to this beer is that its $20 for a 6 pack, but if there is any beer worth it, it would be Hopslam! If you have not tried it, you are missing out!

ronniebruner, Feb 26, 2011
Photo of BretSikkink
4.7/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The bar poured a lovely clear orange glass of this for me, served with a bare minimum of foam. Some white bubbles and a sticky lacing.

This is one of the most aromatic beers I can think of. So freshly hoppy! Citrics are the dominant force here, with a minty herbal backdrop. Tangerine, orange, grapefruit, mango, pineapple.

This might even "pop" more from the tap than the bottle. Definitely an experience. The caramel malt sweetness is an afterthought to this onslaught of fresh American C-hops. Up front it's firm enough to support the bitterness, and the finish tastes of those Danish cookies with the rock sugar on top.

Hops abound: very zesty and full-bodied, definitely not one-dimensional but keeping a good focus on "bright citric hopping". As mentioned, a slightly minty herbal-earth note toward the tail end. Body is full but well-attenuated, and the carbonation is low enough to promote a smooth mouthfeel without completely giving into bitterness.

Pretty fantastic if you ask me. Seek out this tap.

BretSikkink, Feb 26, 2011
Photo of dnolan36
3.15/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was lucky that the beer buyer at a local store called me to let me know he was holding a 6-pack of it for me. I was excited to try it for the first time. However, I wish the hype on this beer was not so high as I do not think it completely lived up to my expectations.

When I opened it I poured it into my Bell's Tulip. It was a nice golden honey color in my glass with a decent fluffy head.

It had a very strong citrus note up front followed by a strong pine scent. The aroma was decent.

The citrus taste was very strong followed by a heavy malt character as well. It was very bitter up front with a smooth finish.

Overall I am glad I tried it. However, in the future I may not hunt it down like I did this time. It is a decent IIPA but by far not may favorite.

dnolan36, Feb 26, 2011
Photo of patm1986
4.63/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

from the notes Jan 24 2011

12oz via the Foodery, No Lib, Phila, PA.

Wow. Wow. This is unique.

a-It looks like a glass of honey. viscosity shows; it's thick looking. very deep brown-gold. a head like a root beer float that maintains itself almost throughout the glass.

s-aggressive hop aroma. aggressive. it smells most deeply of pine cones wrapped in flowers. deep, deep hop-induced phenol scent. intensity. hop-o-rama. i imagine extreme DIPAs to smell like this.

t/m-hop milkshake. this is a hop milkshake. it's thick, creamy, and milky. it's actually hop-milky. the honey is very present and off-sets the bitterness that all these hop varietals would produce. it's brilliant. the texture and consistency are unique. the honey aids the piney, syrupy earthiness and accentuates its presence. it's lusciously thick and rich. But the HOP SWEETNESS!

d-i could have another, but the flavor and the consistency are intense and a lot to palate for another or a session. one is plenty. it's so thick and sweet; it's like a dessert beer. i'd like some olive oil ice cream with this.

if i don't have this ever again, i will be sad, but i'd be ok with it, too, as it has such a unique grasp on the style.

patm1986, Feb 26, 2011
Photo of GoGriz
3.7/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Into a sam perfect pint thanks to hayesez!

My first Hopslam and happy to try it. Pours a nice semi-translucent dark gold. Head is billowy and sticks around for a short time. Good lacing around the rim of the glass. The nose falls short for me; not bad by any means but nothing out of the ordinary. Good sweet, sugary pine but soft. Not overbearing. Taste is really nice but not as bracingly hoppy as the label states. In fact it is softer than I could've imagined but that could be due to freshness. The bitterness hits the side of the tongue for a moment but then leaves quickly. Not much sting afterward. There is a nice balance to this beer between malt and hop but I'd love more intense hop. Still good though. Mouthfeel is great. Fairly viscous but with good carbonation and makes me want another taste. I dunno how many of these I could drink as the alcohol is present and the mouthfeel, while great, could get taxing. But I like it.

GoGriz, Feb 26, 2011
Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
99 out of 100 based on 9,977 ratings.