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Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
98
world-class

10,043 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,043
Reviews: 3,127
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 9.58%
Wants: 1,948
Gots: 1,524 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Hopslam Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 10,043 | Reviews: 3,127 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Vaison
4.75/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle, batch 9478 poured into a Nonic pint glass.

Pours a light amber color with a fluffy very white head. I mostly smell the honey and orange and not so much the hops. Every so smooth feel and the carbonation is great for me. Has a touch of the honey sweetness up front backed with the hops load on the other end. 10 ABV, where? I hardly felt it until afterward, on my breath and in my stomach. Probably the most drinkable brew with this high ABV I've had yet. I loved every bit of this one and I only wish I had it available in my area. Loved it.

Vaison, Sep 18, 2010
Photo of sogrady
4.7/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of the better IPAs available. Hoppy as all get out, as the description notes, but near perfectly balanced by the honey. The result is a clean drinking, aggressively hopped IPA with strong citrus notes and an underlying but non-cloying sweetness.

The appearance was the only thing less than exceptional about the beer. My only regret is that their general distribution stops well short of Maine. I would buy a lot of this.

sogrady, Sep 14, 2010
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.22/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue VIII:

So, given the name, we can probably assume this is going to slam our palates with hops and then twist our minds with that interesting honey addition. We're ready for this beer geek, hophead legend.

Bright amber in color, topped with a lively, foamy, off-white creaminess that rises high and settles to a good two-finger-thick head--sticking to the glass and not going anywhere anytime soon. The aroma? Massively aromatic with some raw honey and floral perfume that nearly intoxicates on the spot. Some caramel too. The taste? It sneaks up on you. It's light at first, opens up to some sweet honey, toffee candy, alcohol, and then come the hops. It begins with some hemp oil, little bit of ruby grapefruit, white pepper, and then intensifies as it coats the palate with a slickish consistency. Chewy. Fruity esters in the middle. Alcohol says hello and reminds us that we're being slammed, as it reintroduces the hops, which have made camp on our palates at this point. They hang out well into the linger. Finishes with a dried grass, hoppy finish, faint soapiness, and alcohol fumes on the breath.

We've been HopSlammed. There's no going back. The Alström Bros want more. Please send full cases to the address listed on our website. Cheers!

BeerAdvocate, Sep 13, 2010
Photo of TheHoppiest
4.1/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into an oversized snifter. Pours a honey-amber color, with a soapy white head providing excellent lacing on the sides. This bottle is about six months old or so, so I'm curious to see if the hops have mellowed at all.

Smell is piney hops, decent resin, and a touch of citrus. There's an underlying yeastiness - perhaps from the age? I don't recall this in the younger bottles.

Age has definitely tempered this hop monster. Still plenty hoppy and bitter, but that bitterness quickly fades for a floral honey taste. Still some astringency nipping at the tongue. Definitely tasty, just not a Hop Slam.

Mouthfeel is medium to full; this is still a DIPA, even if it is 6 mnths old!

Even aged this is a damn drinkable brew. Maybe there should be a second category for rating this more mellow, but not too mellow, version of Hop Slam. Don't be afraid to cellar this one for some time; just expect that the hops will fade and a clover honey taste will start to present.

TheHoppiest, Sep 10, 2010
Photo of BMan1113VR
4.3/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Many bottles over the years, here are my notes from two different batches:
Bottle marked 8277. Pours with a small white head covering a hazy orange body. Some good lacing. Aroma of citrus hops (mainly orange), and a large caramel back bone. Taste is very malty (drinking a winter bottle in the summer). and some slightly orange hops in the finish. Creamy mouthfeel lively bubbles. Would not age too well.

Batch 8907. Pours with a huge, fluffy off-white head with tight bubbles. Clear golden body underneath with a few particles. Great lace and retention. Aroma is quite strong and room filling. Pungent with pine, melon and honey. Alcohol and caramel on closer inspection. Dank C-hops. Taste is big and hoppy with orange and citrus bitterness up front and through the mid palate. Finishing with lingering notes of honey, caramel and floral hops. Silky mouthfeel. Really good!

BMan1113VR, Sep 09, 2010
Photo of bunnyhustle
4.55/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got my hands on some of this lovely beer! Pours a clear golden bronze with 2 finger white head. Smell is heavy on the citus hops, with a sweet grapefruit kick. Taste is very similar with a sweet, almost candi sugar like malt and citric backbone. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth as silk going down. Overall an amazing beer and as so many others have said the abv is well hidden!

bunnyhustle, Sep 09, 2010
Photo of harpus
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Clear amber color with a 2 finger head.

S:Fruity and citrusy hops with slight honey scent.

T: The honey takes away a lot of the hop bitterness and also makes the 10%abv go down really smooth. Probably one of the smoothest 10%abv beers I have drank.

M: Smooth with Medium carbonation

D:Some will say its too strong but I feel its highly drinkable. This beer hides the 10% ABV like a 7% ABV beer.

harpus, Sep 04, 2010
Photo of cbak999
4.6/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a crisp orange color, with a 1/2" head that quickly disipates to just a slight covering. Great lacing with every sip.

S - Very fruit forward. I smell apricot! Lots of it. The other smells are pine and citrus.

T - YUM! This is sweeter than I expected, but not boozy sweet; fruit sweet.

D - this beer is super drinkable for the ABV. 10%...wow! It's hidden very well. This is a great IIPA!

I will certainly seek this beer out anytime I can find it!!

cbak999, Sep 03, 2010
Photo of boomer31
4.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Notes taken from tasting at eccentric cafe 8-23. Finally a chance to review one of the great Imperial IPAs

A - Golden clear with a tiny white head

S - Sweet piney hops and a touch of grapefruit. Tough to really nail down all the hoppy goodness in here. Great nose

T - Huge grapefruit hop and some residual sweetness up front. Loads of hop fruitiness and sweetness from the honey. No dry bitterness in the back. Fantastic

M - Low carb, not dry but not overly sweet

D - WAy to easy to drink. Don't get any ABV as the hops do a great job masking it.

I love this beer. One of the few 6 packs I seek out every release.

boomer31, Sep 02, 2010
Photo of knoxtennessee
5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had a six pack and managed to keep one for four years in my basement. The difference between a fresh one and an aged one is more than daylight and dark. It was a differnt beer altogether. A- poured with a steady hand it is a medium copper and clear as a bell. S- too many aromas to list. Hops are still present but greatly diminished. Lots of wine and meadlike aromas. Tons of pear and appley esters, a little yeast, malt flavor has been replaced by fruit and honey. T- same as aroma. Lots of honey, pear, apple, a little citris, some tropical fruit, white wine, virtualy no malt, mineraly yeasty, old and vinios. M- thin and wll attenuated with a pleasent med-low carbonation. Tiny champaign bubbles. D- I'd drink it till I die. A beer ment to be consumed fresh that just happens to become liquid magic after a few years rest.

knoxtennessee, Aug 28, 2010
Photo of grannun
4.97/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This could possibly be my personal all-time favorite beer!

Appearance is a beautiful golden-orange with very light head when poured. Smell is hops, hops, and more hops, guess that's why they call it Hopslam... Taste is incredible! Very strong hoppy taste, strong bite from the alcohol which subsides after a few sips, but the honey ties it all together. After a few sips, I stopped tasting the intensity of a alcohol and the bitterness and the complexity of the hops and honey flavor really came through. Only downside (or upside in some situations) is the strength of the alcohol, I have to be in the mood for something strong to want it.

grannun, Aug 26, 2010
Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.8/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at the Eccentric Cafe.

Appearance: Pours a dark tangerine color with a solid white head. Good level retention and some nice lace stick. A bit hazy and unassuming considering how much of a hopped up, high ABV DIPA this is.

Smell: Such an elegant blend of hoppy goodness. Juicy grapefruit and pineapple, with orange and a bit of honey in the background.

Taste: This is truly what I have been looking for in a double IPA since I was introduced to the style. It is tough for me to tell when the honey really impacts the flavor, but there is a distinct pale malt sweetness at the beginning of the sip. This malt really frames the hop profile well. Juicy pineapple and grapefruit, along with some other smoothly blended citrusy fruits. Such a fantastic hop profile. Finishes clean and smooth.

Mouthfeel: It would be hard to hide the grainy hop feel and oil, but this is tied together so well. A nice creamy feel, with a fuller than medium body. Finishes clean, with just a touch of hop residue, and it leaves me longing for the next sip.

Drinkability: Having this on tap was absolutely mind blowing. The difference between having a fresh batch is remarkable. It is so difficult to enunciate the nuances that really push this beer over the top.

KickInTheChalice, Aug 23, 2010
Photo of greenbean3
4.68/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

On tap in my garage ;-).

Appearance: Pours a beautiful straw color. Care taken not to agitate the keg and kick up the yeast. Nice head and great lacing on my bubble mug.

Smell: hops, hops and more hops. Usual citrus notes for an IIPA

Taste: How can I describe this wonderful brew. It lives up to its name. Hops are in your face upfront. Grapefruit and other citrus notes follow and then the honey sweetness takes over. Finish is the alcohol burn that reminds you of the 10 percent alcohol level.

Mouthfeel: smooth with a dry finish that reminds me of other Bells products.

Drinkability: I try to session this puppy but my wife is getting upset with me stumbling around the house after a few. You just can't drink this beer as you would like.

Hopslam is by far the best IIPA out there; bar none. I'm moving to Dallas and will miss being able to drive to KY to pick this up early in the year. I just hope that Bells distributes into TX sometime soon

greenbean3, Aug 16, 2010
Photo of HosP
4.28/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got a bottle from Patchmaster, thanks!

A- Poured very nice light amber, dark orange. Slight haze with 2 finger head. Never fully left but left lacing on glass.

S- Very sweet smell. Citrus hops are most prominent.

T- Big hop taste at the front of the drink. The sweetness takes the bitterness factor down. Bitterness comes away toward the end, but not as much I'd imagined. The sweeter malts really came through as the beer warmed. Good balance all around.

M- Medium body. Good carbonation. Slight bitterness stays with you.

D- Very easy to drink beer. Very typical IIPA at first, but the sweetness really stands out. Great overall beer.

HosP, Aug 13, 2010
Photo of Patchmaster
4.03/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The local liquor store had a sign posted when I went in today that offered a few remaining cases of hopslam. All you had to do was ask. The batch was from 2009 based on the # so I knew it was passed it's peak prime. I went ahead and got a sixer just to see the difference. I had off a keg earlier in the year at a brewfest so knew what I was getting into.

A - Poured a nice amber color. The head kept building as I let it sit. It was a very nice looking pour.

S - Definitely some fruits and some undertones of honey. The smell seemed to be a little faded, but I'm not complaining.

T - The hops immediately pop the beer gives off a great citrusy flavor. I wanted more, but could tell that it was a little mellowed out.

M - The maltiness of the beer was apparent not overwhelming though.

D - Highly drinkable. I would say that if you are looking for that strong hop"slam" it's here just a little toned down 8 months later.

I will definitely seek this one out when it is released again. I look forward to a"fresh" hopslam in the future...

Patchmaster, Aug 12, 2010
Photo of Dunkle
4.95/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've been lucky enough to enjoy this delicious beer on-tap at Ashley's in Ann Arbor for the third time in the last two weeks.

A: Poured with 3/4-inch head which disappeared quicker than I expected. Golden-orange in color, absolutely gorgeous. Definitely an exciting-looking ale.

S: Hops, hops, and more hops! Fresh citrus hops were apparent, as well as a tad of honey.

T: Not nearly as bitter as one would expect from a DIPA. Initially my mouth was swarmed with the powerful hop flavors (mostly citrus) and then topped off with the honey, which continued into the aftertaste. The alcohol is almost unnoticeable. Very well balanced; almost perfect.

M: Well-carbonated and medium-bodied. Good for the style, but nothing extraordinarily special here.

D: It is scary how drinkable this is, weighing in at 10% ABV. Each time I've had this on tap, I was tempted to order another but held myself back.

I had it out of the bottle a few times in January and March, but the bottle does not do this beer justice. If you get the chance, do yourself a favor and try it on-tap!

Dunkle, Aug 11, 2010
Photo of DeutschesBier
4.85/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very rarely do you encounter a beer that smells as good as HopSlam. Pliny is right there, but it is tough to replicate. After I finished my beer, I could not stop smelling the empty bottle.

Along with the smell, I love the orange-ish color of this brew. That along with the smell let me know I was in for a treat.

The taste. Citrus. A lot of citrus. That, coupled with the amazing malt balance that this beer has makes this very dangerous. The alcohol heat came through a little at the very end, but that didn't stop this from being one of my 5 or 6 favorite beers I have ever had.

DeutschesBier, Aug 03, 2010
Photo of stimulus
2.4/5  rDev -46.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 ounce bottle.
Batch #9470, bottled in December of 2009.

A: Pours a slightly hazy orange with light white lacing.

S: Aromas of melon and hops are prominent.

T: Melon and other citrus flavors show up, but they are absolutely dominated by the hop bitterness and alcohol burn, which linger.

M: Medium bodied and sticky with very high carbonation.

D: This is not a very drinkable brew, imo. Knowing this was a hop bomb, I tried aging it about 9 months, and it's been 8. That didn't help this brew one bit, as the hop profile STILL annihilates any semblance of a malty balance, and not to my liking. After having and enjoying beers like Ruination and Arrogant Bastard, and even any of the DFH DIPA's, I feel like all of them are very well balanced, but this was not. Bad batch perhaps, but I have been unable to find any indication of the sort. Note: compared side by side with DFH 90 Minute and Double Trouble, both of which showed balance in comparison.

2/26/11 Edit: After going through a fresh six pack, I feel like the beer was a bit past its prime when I initially rated it, but I feel like the beer still suffers from a lack of balance. I tasted a lot of honey rather than melon, but the honey never blends well with the hop character and the malt bill is just not enough to keep this beer from being overly harsh. At one point, I compared this to a Troegs Nugget Nectar, and the difference was remarkable: The NN tastes like a finished product while the Hopslam is still a mess.

stimulus, Jul 26, 2010
Photo of beerdrifter
4.47/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Eric and Doug for this one as part of a trade. Clear yellow-orange pour with quickly fading head and decent lacing. Really huge and bold, floral, perfumy, citrusy nose with a hint of caramel malt. The taste is also huge with the mouth puckering citrus hitting you from start to finish. With that said, it's very well balanced. Really nice resiny, chewy mouthfeel makes this highly drinkable and the alcohol is completely hidden. This could be dangerous. Expected it to be somewhat subdued since it's out of season, but was pleasantly surprised by how big it still was. Can't imagine what a fresh one would be like. First non West Coast IPA that just blew me away. Totally awesome beer from a top notch brewery.

beerdrifter, Jul 22, 2010
Photo of siradmiralnelson
4.93/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from 12oz bottle into Tulip. This is my intial review from the very first time I had Hopslam. Extremely fresh in January 2010.

A. Big 2 finger head. Excellent head retention. Very good lacing. Nice dark golden orange color.

S. Smell is all hops. Sweet delicous hops, Citrus and piney hops. smells very much like fresh hop oil, if you have ever crushed a hop cone or pellet in your hand, can detect some of the honey sweetness among the more biscuity than sweet tasting malt.

T. Taste might be the perfect balance between hop bitterness and a biscuity malt with the extra addition of honey sweetness. Tropical fruit, peach, orange. This is a truly delicous beer. The honey might not be apparent as the actual taste of honey, but it provides a sweetness that sets this beer over the top.

M. medium bodied. very smooth the 10%abv is almost not apparent. Just a hint of lingering bitterness from the hops.

D. Extremely drinkable. This beer does not drink like a DIPA. This is definitely one of the best DIPA's out there. What I like most is the balance of the sweetness from malt & honey and the huge hops. The only complaint about this beer is that it is seasonal.

*Hopslam is almost 2 different beers between fresh and aged. Fresh is one of the best DIPA's in the world. I myself think an aged Hopslam is still a very delicous beer, but it is definitely a different beer than fresh. Aged Hopslam is a sweet malty delicous beer. Hopslam is so good that I drank 3 cases of it this year*

siradmiralnelson, Jul 10, 2010
Photo of dpnelson1978
4.45/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.
Originally tasted: 5/15/2010

12 oz. bottle into glass pint.
45°F

S: Powerful tropical citrus aroma. Mango and pineapple reveal themselves to me. Subdued malt sweetness. This is my kind of IPA.

A: Deep amber body topped with a big tight head. Lots of lacing on the way down to a wispy cover.

T: The aroma kick starts the big citrus flavors the beer parades before you. Well balanced malt sweetness, and a strong lingering bitterness on the back end. Almost perfect.

M: Medium body with medium carbonation. A bit resiny on the tongue, but not too bad.

D: Great, easy drinking beer, and an amazing match for peperoni and pineapple pizza!

O: Amazing beer. Once a year (if you are lucky enough to pick up a 6 pk.) is just too long to wait for another taste.

dpnelson1978, Jul 09, 2010
Photo of e11a627
4.88/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Split the hopslam with hu5om in a new belgium goblet.
Absolutely delish.
A: Bronze, orange, peach. Delightfully clear.
S: Grapefruit scent with hint of grapefruit zest.
T: Grapefruit-citrus with a hint of a white wine grape added.
M: Perfect punch at the beginning. Hits you just right for a hop lover. Wonderful aftertaste - stays with you long enough and is almost too enjoyable. Perfect tingle on the tongue.
D: Just delish. Amazing. Strong yet simple at the same time.

e11a627, Jul 07, 2010
Photo of vette2006c5r
5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bells Hopslam poured an amber color, with a nice head that dispated rather quickly. It smelt and tasted of alot of hops, and a dash of honey. It waas extremly flavorfull, and full of flavor. Overall an absoultly fantastic beer. If you like hoppy beers, this will be a favorite.

vette2006c5r, Jul 07, 2010
Photo of hu5om
4.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

split with e11a627 in New Belgium goblets.

a- transparent warm orange, light ring of off-white foam persists

s- big dank citrus hops, hearty

t- delicate yet powerful hoppiness. bitter citrus that lingers lightly. what an aftertaste! nirvana

m- relatively thin with a tingly hoppiness that could end wars. how is this 10% abv?

d- exquisite. fav. ipa to date and it's old! bottled 6 months ago and still delic. can't wait for a fresh one. believe the hype.

hu5om, Jul 07, 2010
Photo of newk340
4.43/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: a nice translucent amber pour with a dense thick head.

S: remotely fruity with dense overtones of hops throughout the nasal passage, yet quite a smooth scent.

T: a powerful bitter explosion of hops that, while surprisingly smooth, fades to a lingering buzz of carbonation allowing the sip to be savored.

MF/D: a premium hoppy beer that lives up to it's name. tingles throughout the sip and beyond as the hops dwell on the tongue well after the last sip. would happily buy again!

newk340, Jul 04, 2010
Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
98 out of 100 based on 10,043 ratings.