1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

9,533 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,533
Reviews: 3,109
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 9.58%
Wants: 1,775
Gots: 1,369 | FT: 43
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Hopslam Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 9,533 | Reviews: 3,109 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kylehayworth


4.47/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought a single of this a while back, and just found some tasting notes, thought I'd plug'em in...

A: Nice rich gold hue, with a nice white head, at least while it lasted.

S: Very well balanced, nice citrus and floral hops. Good piney bitterness, but enough to balance. The malt profile helps quell this in an amazing way.

M/D: Carbonation is great, what an amazing beer. When you have a chance to get this fresh, wow...especially looking at the 10% ABV, balanced and delicious.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2010 19:28:16 | More by kylehayworth
Photo of BeTheBall


4.2/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured a dark amber color with an active carbonation and rich head. I smelled hops as soon as the beer hit the glass. A very pungent and strong smell, not like many others (perhaps Ruination rivals this). Taste was even to me like a bomb of bitterness. Wow! Hits the pallette with crazy piney and grassy bitterness. Next you gte some sweetness trying to balance to frontal attack of the hops, but it doesn't last long. The hop taste lasts for many, I mean many minutes. Not for the faint of heart, or for those that don't crave this taste and sensation. Mouthfeel was very full and satisfying. Drinkability? Not sure I would drink more than one or two due to the intense flavors, but what an experience.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2010 21:30:01 | More by BeTheBall
Photo of Samichlaus

Rhode Island

4.25/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received in trade from StormKing47, thanks Josh!
12oz. bottle poured into Allagash Flute. From notes.

A: Pours a beautiful amber with a thick white two-finger head. Nice sticky lacing.

S: Peaches, honey and hoppy spiciness.

T: Spicy and piney hops. Honey and sweet malts. Sticky, hoppy, sweet finish with a warming alcohol.

M: Thick, sticky and smooth body. Finishes wet, sticky and warm.

D: Very quaffable brew. Loved this one and wish I had more!

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2010 15:15:12 | More by Samichlaus
Photo of jt31914


4.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank HopSlam and DL '10 in the same day... Can it really get any better (the answer is no)...

A: 1 1/2 fingers of head with great lacing and a pale color with an amber tint, almost sunburn red (like Lindsay Lohan after a long day doing coke at the beach).

S: Smells like cloves, hops, and honey. Just awesome and malty. Complex, full, etc. etc.

T: Hops, cloves, and honey just like the smell. this is just good; it is not an opinion, but a fact. To me this is the Wayne Gretzky of DIPAs.

D/M: I just love this beer; it is my favorite DIPA. Hell, HopSlam is to DIPAs as Family Guy is to cartoons.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2010 05:00:36 | More by jt31914
Photo of dpodratsky3

North Carolina

4.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Very fluffy off white head, kind of airy, golden orange in color, no bubbles, clear

S: Super aromatic, very fruity hops, doesn't have that feel that it is too heavy, nice and vibrant, has a nice honey like sweetness too

T: Very well balanced, a good sweet malt with honey, balances with that fruity hop flavor, good combination, very powerful and flavorful but doesn't feel overpowering like it is trying to hard, just awesome

M: Very light and refreshing, light carbonation

D: Really good, super flavorful but still light, delicious

Notes: This beer definitely lived up to its hype. It has a huge amount of hops, but it never feels overpowering because of the balance of the sweetness and malt. They kept it light feeling and it makes it so easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2010 03:29:51 | More by dpodratsky3
Photo of fairdinkum2


4.43/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had the very good fortune to taste this beer on tap at The Porter on Atlanta. I'm told that kegs outside of Kalamazoo are pretty rare.

This is an attractive ale with a warm golden color and a descent, pale, golden head and good lacing.

What sets this style apart is the way in which the aroma just leaps out of the glass and grabs you by the scruff of the neck. Spectacular notes of passion-fruit, pineapple and grapefruit.

Wow, the taste is every bit as good as advertised by the nose. Tropical fruits and grapefruit, with a strong backbone of hops, just assault the senses. Doesn't step over the line into that piney, resinous back palate.

You would kind of think from the description, that this ale is some sort of ladies cocktail. Quite the opposite. While there are incredible fruit notes to this ale, the hops and well balanced bitterness make for a muscular ale. Just the thing for a guy to pound down a few of.

High ABV means you won't be drinking gobs of this ale. But it is certainly one to savor. Another great Bells product.

Serving type: on-tap

04-22-2010 20:51:55 | More by fairdinkum2
Photo of vdread


4.25/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bell's HopSlam pours a dark orange with a solid foamy head. holy head! it's sticky and lasts nearly to the bottom.

smells heavy with syrupy sweetness and juicy hops, and some pale malts.

i would describe the tastes as having juicy fruity qualities, with an almost astringent bitterness. very fruity, with citrus and orange dominating. the pale malt isn't forward, but adequate. alcohol is present, but not enough to tell that it's a 10% brew. sweetness resides from the honey, almost fighting the bitterness.

mouth smooth, creamy, besides the lingering turpentine bitterness.

this beer gets a lot of talk on this site- and deservedly so. it's a really good DIPA, but probably not my favorite. i'm sure i would like it better if it were distributed to my state and i could taste it a little bit fresher, though.*hint hint *cough *texas* cough*

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2010 20:48:51 | More by vdread
Photo of haddon


4.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

aggressive pour only gives a one finger head that doesn't linger. translucent orange color with decent lacing down glass

wow, its a fruitplosion on the nose! pineapple, grapefruit, mango, orange peel, pine, sweet candy. believe it is a sign of the taste to come...

malty and sweet at first then the hops hit. taste much like it smells: lots of fruit... pineapple, sweet mango, orange, pine & spice. after initial fruits, the bitterness and warm alcohol lingers all the way down

full body that's a little light on the carbonation

the bitterness comes with a delayed reaction and really makes way for the heat which hangs around between each drink. with each sip you can taste the alcohol. big and bold, I really enjoyed this beer!

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2010 02:24:07 | More by haddon
Photo of billinlafayette


4/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle through trade (thanks Grant!), poured into my Duvel tulip.

Pours a beautiful gold color with minimal head and only a slight bit of lacing lasting around the perimeter. Would have liked to see better head rentention.

Smell was pretty muted. Wife smelled blueberries though I really didn't. Maybe a bit of damp grass? Definitely not the fruit-filled nose that some describe.

Taste is sweet up front, honey coming through. Not overly hoppy but the hop jab is there through the middle and then a slight bitter finish. Taste is very balanced and not the hop bomb that I was expecting. More carbonation would help I think, its a bit "syrupy" as is.

Drinkability is high for me as the alcohol is pretty well hidden. Although, with the 10 percent abv, I could get in trouble fast. Wish I had more than just this one in any case!

Overall the muted nose and taste may just be from a beer thats not as fresh as it could be. Would love to try this super fresh sometime! This is a solid beer, though, even if its past its prime and I can see why its so highly regarded.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2010 06:15:52 | More by billinlafayette
Photo of berpwillie


4.93/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

ohhh boy, now that is what i call a beer. pours a copper yellow color, that is slightly hazy. lite carbonation with a bit of fluffy white head. the smell and taste of this beer is fantastic. very fruity-hoppy smell and taste that finishes slightly bitter. easliy a top five favorite beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2010 19:45:42 | More by berpwillie
Photo of dfillius


4.15/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Moderate pour yields 1/2 finger of white head with okay retention. A thin layer remains. Slightly hazy amber liquid. I'd like better head retention.

S: All out Man Candy. Candied pineapple, mango, strawberry puree. Very fruity! OMG! Green apple Jolly Rancher is noticeable, probably simcoe hops. Ideal aroma, the highlight of this beer.

T: Honey is apparent. Some noticeable esters lead to an almost boozy character which is a negative. Very hoppy, but not the most bitter. Actually more of a barleywine in taste. I'd like less booze, more hops. This seems like an East Coast DIPA.

M: Very smooth at first. Heat increases with every swallow and becomes quite breathy.

D: Good, I will have it again, but wouldn't have 2 in a row. If it was less boozy I probably would.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2010 16:11:05 | More by dfillius
Photo of Anthony1


4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The ale is an auburn orange color with a thick 1 finger head. The head is not too impressive by leaves a bit of lacing in the glass. The aroma is a big, sweet piney hop. The fruity aroma of the hops are big and bold, leaving exciting hints of things to come. The hops leap off the tastebuds like a harvest ale. They are so fresh-tasting and intense that words almost fall short in describing them. The hops are very fruity, with tangerine and apricot flavors and a strong piney presence. The hop bitterness is intense upfront and rarely fades in the mouth. The malts are not meant to stand out here and they don't. They do, however, provide a strong grainy foundation for the hops to shine. This ale is why the good Lord made humulus lupulus. The mouthfeel is unlike most other DIPAs. The hops are do fresh, vibrant and intense that they are delicious from first sip to last.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2010 13:46:40 | More by Anthony1
Photo of zoso1967


4.7/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep, slightly amber golden with a nice sticky ivory head that leaves equally sticky lacing.

The aroma is incredible. It is a grapefruit karate chop to my nose that is accentuated with candy malt sweetness as well as fresh pine, pineapple and other tropical fruits.

The flavor follows suit with the same great northwest citrus hop character. Pine, grapefruit, pineapple and a bitterness that I would describe as harsh, but in a good way. I have had this in years past and it remains as one of the sweeter double IPAs I have had, and if it has a weakness it is that it is perhaps a bit too sweet. That being said, I think part of this beer's brilliance is that the malt is almost transparent in character. This allows the hops to shine through, yet keeps the beer balanced. No caramel or toasted malt here, just a foil for the no holds barred hop attack. This is an incredible beer and superb take no prisoners example of the style. I keep alternating between sipping and smelling that wonderful aroma.

Mouthfeel is on the fuller side of medium and despite the overall sweetness of the beer, it is not too sticky and the finish is well balanced, leaving a nice tingly bitterness on my tongue.

Due to the ABV, I have a hard time drinking more than a couple of these in a sitting, but this is a treat to savor and I think for style it is nicely drinkable. Another top notch beer from one of the pioneering craft breweries.

Update: 1-20-11

After moving back to Michigan and drinking a ton of fresh HopSlam out of the bottle, minikeg and on draft, I had to bump up my score. None of my previous bottles had been less than a couple months old and my "too sweet" complaint does not apply when this stuff is fresh. Simply an amazing beer, and so drinkable for being a high ABV offering.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2010 23:09:20 | More by zoso1967
Photo of brewerburgundy


3.9/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, goblet, coded 9552 on the bottom of the rear label. Huge thank you to farrago for making my first trade awesome.

Pours out a very nice honey gold that tends towards orange and seems slightly chill hazed. Worthwhile off-white head with pretty good retention.

I began smelling the sweet hoppiness as soon as the bottle was popped. This has definitely faded, no doubt, but retains significant tropical (mango, passion fruit, pineapple) and sweet orange zest in the nose. The malt and what I'm sure lots of people perceive as honey is very potent, very sweet. Candied orange peel comes to mind.

Sweet honey-like malt backed up by solid but not pounding bitterness that is in the vane of orange and grapefruit pith. When this warms much at all some solvent alcohol shows up and enhances the bitterness with orange oil and pepper components. This is a solid beer even after three months.

I'll concur with a review several people below me and say that the carbonation could use a boost. The prickle would help nucleate the lupulin goodness.

The warming is there and I find the exposed malt/honey profile pretty nice. I'm glad that I've at least gotten to try such a buzzed beer once, but couldn't justify the $16 plus sixer every season.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2010 19:51:43 | More by brewerburgundy
Photo of jwhawkins81


3.78/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Aroma - Tons of hops. Citrus and pine and maybe more citrus, just keeps going and going.

Appearance - Golden yellow and poured a with a big white head that isn't going anywhere.

Taste - Hops, hops, and more hop bitterness. Not too overpowering with some attempts at a malt or honey sweet backbone. Not as alive and bright or even light as Pliny the Elder but close.

Notes - OK mouthfeel that could have used a little more carbonation. There is something about a big IPA like this that just sticks with you. I can always clearly remember the taste of this beer hours and even days after just a bottle. A wonderful beer experience.

Batch # 9471 packaged on 12/21/2009

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2010 21:03:31 | More by jwhawkins81
Photo of rapidsequence


4.6/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle.

Appearance: A bright, clear dark orange golden color with a pretty creamy looking white head with average retention. Lots of excellent lacing.

Smell: Intense sweet citrus hops aroma along with lots of pineapple and maybe apricot or peach. Heavy caramelly malt in the background, almost as rich as a barleywine.

Taste: Sweet and fruity hops punch from the front all the way to the finish. Its also bitter throughout, but that's well balanced with the big and sweet maltiness. So much hops but so well put together that its never the least bit unpleasant.

Mouthfeel: Pretty full here. Not quite as heavy as a barleywine, but pretty big and sticky. Good carbonation.

Drinkability: This is a great beer. Extreme hops flavor without mouth raping bitterness, huge sweet malt backbone, sneaky 10% abv.

Incidentally, I recently did a side by side with Founders Double Trouble, which I assumed would be Hopslam's equal, but the Hopslam was a clear favorite for me. Helluva beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2010 01:22:59 | More by rapidsequence
Photo of Spiekerbox


4.97/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: golden color with a small head that is gone quickly.

S: Smell of the hops as well as citrus and a little pine

T: Amazing beer, hops are strong and perfect, there are also hints of citrus and a sweet malty flavor. Good pine finish that stays with the hops

M: Perfect carbonation, smooth and a nice hoppy bite to it all.

D: This is a contender for my all time favorite beer I have ever drank, it is for sure my top rated beer here on BA. Would drink this beer all day, every day if it was available year round....and I could afford to.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2010 02:38:06 | More by Spiekerbox
Photo of emmasdad


4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful deep, dark, golden color, with a huge rocky eggshell colored head. Beautiful aromas of mango, citrus (grapefruit, tangerine) and bright, fresh floral hops. Great fresh hop flavors in this one, predominantly grapefruit/pineapple. This one has more citric hop flavor than any beer I remember. Some sweet malt as well, along with mango/papaya, leads to a nice, warming alcoholic finish. I was not actively seeking this one out, although I have never been more surprised (in a good way) by a beer. An absolutely amazing beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2010 22:22:43 | More by emmasdad
Photo of thecarster1


4.03/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a- bottle poured into a snifter, full finger of creamy head that fades slowly, hazy copper amber coloring, uneven lace pattern with head that trails on the glass with a ring around the glass, active bubbling.

s- wow, aromatic, grapefruit, sticky pine, some floral notes, smooth caramel backbone.

t- right off the bat i'm realizing that this isn't the slam you in the face beer that i was expecting, so i can't help but be slightly disappointed. grapefruit, pine, the alcohol is incredibly well hidden, it's only detectable with some 'bellywarming'. the honey calms this beer down, it's nicely bittered but it's not in your face, it creeps up on you - i kinda wish it was more bitter.

m- really smooth with lots of coating.

d- this was a top notch beer for sure, but i was bracing myself to get slammed and i just wasn't. maybe my hop tolerance has increased, or i'm suffering from lupulin threshold shift..

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2010 17:02:57 | More by thecarster1
Photo of mrstevens


4.45/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: golden color with light head that seems to disappear quickly.

S: very strong smell of citrus, pine and of course the hops.

T: Wnderful tasting beer, hints of grapefuit, citrus, a slight trace of sweet malts.

M: great mouthfeel, very carbonated and crisp feeling.

D: I could drink this beer all day.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2010 14:41:39 | More by mrstevens
Photo of dstc


4.4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on draft. Pours a beautiful, slightly hazy honey amber with a nice white head. Decent head retention and nice lacing.

Wow, that aroma! Bam! Hops are in your face.

Wow, that taste! Big, bold hop taste that is so wonderful. This is obviously a hop bomb and obviously well done.

Slick and oily on the tongue from the hops. Nice bite.

Love this. Love this fresh and on tap, it is so worth finding. Well done.

Serving type: on-tap

04-12-2010 20:38:45 | More by dstc
Photo of ovaltine


4.45/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

App: Golden, honey-colored, with the typical Bell's flotsam in the glass.

Sm: Citrusy, with pine notes. Like a Sierra Nevada PA on steroids.

TA: Hops in front, hops in back, hops in the middle.

MF: Nice carbonation, but I've sampled bottles that felt "weak" for lack of a better term.

DA: At 10.0% ABV, this beverage is dangerous. I sampled three during the NCAA hoops championship game, for no other reason than they went down so smooth. Note to self - 2 Hopslam's at a sitting.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2010 02:25:36 | More by ovaltine
Photo of Tinfoilrcr

New Jersey

4.15/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to hayesez for this!

A- honey, orange gold. White head and no lacing.

N- Crisp clean hops. Citrus and pine hints and slight sweet malt background.

T- Very well balanced with a heavy hop influence (as the name suggests...). Lots of citrus and pine, carmel and honey on the finish.

M- Very full and refreshing. Very dry finish.

D- Very good representation and easy to drink. Cant drink many given the 10%ABV....

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2010 02:12:16 | More by Tinfoilrcr
Photo of CharlatanSin


4.47/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Reviewed from notes about a week old from my Wisconsin trip. The myth, the legend. Poured from the bottle into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint.

A: Bright orange amber in color. Nice and hazy. The pour creates a finger of fluffy white head that dissipates quickly and leaves some lacing. Purty.

S: This is not the freshest sample in the world, but it is still in the few best smelling beers I've ever had. I suspect a brand new Hopslam could send men to war. It's a big bouquet of hop deliciousness. Tropical. I'll go with pineapple, mango, and orange. Plenty of pine, too. Good god.

T/M: It's not fair to say that the smell wrote a check the taste couldn't cash, since I'm not sure anything could taste as good as Hopslam smells. There's a lot more malt in the taste. Nice balance. Of course, the hops don't go down without a fight. No trace of the 10% ABV. The body's medium for the style, with medium, active carbonation. Killer bitter finish, and pretty dry.

D: Pretty much lives up to the hype. It joins the vaunted ranks of DFH 90 Minute, Avery Maharaja and Captain Lawrence IIPA as my favorite examples of my favorite style. Maybe Bell's will relent and start distributing in New York one day. A guy can dream, can't he?

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2010 01:25:59 | More by CharlatanSin
Photo of bruachan

District of Columbia

4.3/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

deep gold on this guy coming our of the firkin. a bit of haze mars the viewing pleasure but the froth up there is tight and NICE

this particular beverage smells like superfresh hops. hmmm...who let them in there? grapefruit. sweetness from malts and sweetness from hops, too (i just love that hops have their own sweetness!). you know, the bitterness in this guy is restrained (what IIPA sports a restrained bitterness? i guess it's all relative) so the massive flavor can shine through. i mean, really...this tastes like someone managed to liquify fresh hops and fill this here glass with said elixir

suuuper sweet--mostly from hop. too much for some, i imagine. but not me!

Serving type: cask

04-07-2010 00:15:02 | More by bruachan
Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
99 out of 100 based on 9,533 ratings.