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Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

9,752 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,752
Reviews: 3,114
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 9.58%
Wants: 1,851
Gots: 1,447 | FT: 42
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: 9,752 | Reviews: 3,114 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SpinachEater


2.45/5  rDev -45.4%

Batch # 9471. I am not sure what is going on with this batch. My local store usually carries outdated beer so I had to double check the batch number on Bell's site to make sure this wasn't last years batch. It is fresh...packaged on 21 of Dec 09.

Huh...the reason why I checked was because this batch has no bitterness to it. None. I have been a huge fan of Hopslam but it seems like it has been getting weeker and weeker over the years. Twohearted is way more hoppier than what I am drinking right now. This seems to be roughly the same bitterness level as a Sam Adams (~32 IBU)...enough to dry the palate but not enough to produce any bite.

A few years back this beer was thick, dark orange, malty as fudge, and supercharged with IBUs. You seriously felt like the dude in the picture when the hops kicked your butt. Last year it seems like they backed off on the IBUs (perhaps because of the hops shortage?) but it still filled the room with hops aroma.

This year I get only a small hint of hops in the nose. It is mostly just honey that I smell. The taste is really sweet as well. Way too much honey and residual sweetness for my ideal DIPA. This is more of a mead than an IPA, for sure not a double IPA/Imperial IPA.

I am pretty disappointed with this batch. I honestly think that I have a batch that they forgot to add the bittering hops to. So sorry Bells...I wouldn't recommend Hopslam to anyone if they are looking for a good DIPA.

01-12-2010 02:23:36 | More by SpinachEater
Photo of hardy008


4.68/5  rDev +4.2%

Pours a pale orange color with two fingers worth of head. Smells of orange, grapefruit, pineapple, honey, and especially hops. The flavor is amazing. The hops are the star here, but some of the sweet malt comes through, as well as the honey, pineapple, grapefruit, and oranges.

Medium bodied, nice carbonation, and almost insanely drinkable. The ten percent alcohol is so well hidden that I barely know it is present. I have been waiting for a long time to try this one, and was not disappointed. Pick this up, or trade for it while you can.

01-12-2010 02:14:57 | More by hardy008
Photo of pmccallum86


4.65/5  rDev +3.6%

Bottled on 12/30/09, drank on 1/11/10, yum.

This glorious hop bomb pours a transparent amber golden color with a head that bubbles up quickly leaving lacing on the glass as it subsides.

The smell is absolutely terrific, rich hop citrus notes bombard the nose accompanied by a sweet crisp honey scent.

Taste is phenomenal, the hype on this beer is well justifed. The citrus and grapefruit hops bite first, followed by a wonderful sweet malt finish, definitely due to the honey. A first rate example of the DIPA style.

Mouthfeel is smooth, silky and crisp. Hard to improve on this section.

Very drinkable, almost too much so for a DIPA of this magnitude (10% ABV).

01-12-2010 01:53:50 | More by pmccallum86
Photo of kiddynamite920


4.8/5  rDev +6.9%

On tap at Union Jacks HopSlam night. MY LORD.

A: Poured into a 10 oz or so tulip glass. Beautiful copper/orange with a good fingers worth of head. Fresh HopSlam is something to behold.

S: Full of grapefruit and bitter hops. Very sweet and super hoppy, full of citrus and grassy notes. Smell is outstanding.

T: Wham. Flavor bomb. Huge grapefruit presence with a very nice sweet note. Honey, citrus, grapefruit, lemon, some sort of banana sweetness. Never had anything like this. Hops are so prevalent, but not dominating. Sweetness smooths everything out.

M: Not too thin, a bit thick actually possibly from the sweetness. Burns and numbs the tongue just enough, malts calm it all down.

D: I could drink this beer all day and all night. The rep from Bells was at the bar, we talked to him for a bit and he bought the 4 of us another round as well as giving us glasses that were meant for the bar.

01-11-2010 03:44:00 | More by kiddynamite920
Photo of Chronofied

North Dakota

4.38/5  rDev -2.4%

Rather chilled when poured, warmed slightly before tasted, in a pint glass.

Appearance - Very crisp and clear gold, to the point of being transluscent, consistent throughout. Visible but relaxed carbonation.

Smell - Immediate smell of grapefruit, followed by less pungent citrus and hops. A crisp, tart, refreshing aroma that promises hops and fruit.

Taste - Hops as soon as it hits your tongue, then makes way for a bubbly fruitiness with a precursor of honey, then the hops is back, stronger than ever for the finish. The hops bites a little, but not bad - at first. There is a citrus taste, like grapefruit or bitter lemon. When the hops comes back, it bites much more, and the aftertaste leaves bitter grapefruit lingering for quite some time.

Mouthfeel - Quite viscous, but stickier than expected. The label calls it a "tongue-bruiser" and it's pretty accurate; makes the beer feel more substantial.

Drinkability - In context, it is drinkable. Overly hoppy beers, as a general rule, are lower in drinkability, but the fruitiness and light honey in this beer, and the snappiness of it, make it easier to drink than many in the category. Still, I'd say a single bottle is about as much as I'd care to have in a sitting.

01-11-2010 03:35:44 | More by Chronofied
Photo of Pecorasc


4.5/5  rDev +0.2%

A biting, bitter, tongue bruiser of an ale. With a name like Hopslam, what did you expect?

Put the batch number into Bell's website: packaged on December 21, 2009. 20 days from bottling to my glass. 12 oz bottle poured into an oversized tulip glass.

A- Pours a deep gold with a tiny bit of haze. The haze was probably from the pour- there is some sediment in the bottle. Frothy white head with good retention, especially near sides of glass. Rorschach test-like lacing.

S- This is the freshest I have had this beer, and wow does it make a difference. Intense pine and citrus hop aroma. You know this one is going to beat up the palate before you take a sip. Bready malt and alcohol can barely be perceived behind the hop onslaught.

T- Very intense bitterness. Pine tree, grapefruit, orange, tangerine, and flower petals. Bitterness is balanced slightly by malt sweetness in the aftertaste. Leaves a tiny burning sensation in the chest... is that the alcohol or the IBUs??

M- Tough to describe the mouth feel when your palate just took a beating. Dry enough that it really accentuates the bitterness and hop flavor, yet big enough and sweet enough to handle the same.

D- At first it seems like I could drink this all night. Great hop flavors leave me craving more, but after one bottle, the reality of the alcohol content bring me back to earth. A beer that can be enjoyed quickly in moderation (?)(!).

01-11-2010 02:06:01 | More by Pecorasc
Photo of xcrunner78


5/5  rDev +11.4%

First off before I go into this review I have to say <b>WOW!</b>

Poured 12 oz. bottle into stemless wine glass while at Main Street Gourmet.

Appearance: Poured a dark honey/copper color, left a 1-cm white head. Absolutely clear.

Smell: Hops right in your face! I smelled a slight grapefruit fruity smell with a lot of other citrus to it.

Taste: Again, hops in your face! I taste a lot of citrus, slight honey and a little malt.

Mouthtaste: On the back of the palate is where I get the bitterness of the hops. It was the only beer that I would drink that night, because it ruined my tastebuds for the rest of the night.

Drinkability: Very drinkable for me. Bigger the beer that better. 10% ABV hit the spot and made me hungery for more. Three of them goes into my cellar!

Notes: Had not had a good beer from Bells in a while. This was maybe redemption.

01-10-2010 23:33:57 | More by xcrunner78
Photo of AverageJay


4.9/5  rDev +9.1%

12oz. poured into pint glass

Amazing beer. Hands down the best DIPA I've ever had. Layers of amazing hoppy goodness roll across my tongue with every drink.

A - Astounding and bright copper-orange with large honey influence.

S - Hops, hops and more hops.

T - Like a nectar from heaven. I think I even taste a little pineapple.

MF - Medium thickness but very easy drink.

D - A great seasonal treat from Bell's.

01-10-2010 19:17:27 | More by AverageJay
Photo of nickadams2

New York

4.58/5  rDev +2%

Had on tap at the Uptown Grille in Commerce Township MI

A_ Light golden color with a faint white head.

S_ Hops and honey.(No shit) Strong citrus aroma also present.Cant detect any alcohol.

T_ Nice bitter hoppy taste smoothly rounded out by a sweet honey taste. Citrus and floral tastes come through as well. Much more of the former than the latter. This beer has a really nice kick too it.Hides its 10 percent ABV well. A must try for any one who loves a good IPA.

M_ Very smooth and light. A little thin but this was welcome.

D_I poured five of these into my face very easily.

01-10-2010 04:31:41 | More by nickadams2
Photo of uwmgdman


4.55/5  rDev +1.3%

Had this at a neighborhood pub in a brandy snifter. The beer is a golden/orange color with some hop haze and a small but clingy white head. The aroma is intensely hoppy, slap you in the face American hops, tangerine and apricot aromas come to my mind. The flavor is like the smell, very very hoppy with a solid yet not overpowering hop bitterness. There is a bit of sweet malt and a warming quality from the high ABV, although that is appreciated and is not harsh. The carbonation is medium and body medium as well. Overall an intense, well crafted, very enjoyable beer. At its ABV it is amazing how drinkable this beer is, I especially enjoy the over the top hop flavor/aroma and yet not exceedingly bitter.

01-10-2010 04:11:16 | More by uwmgdman
Photo of RocPorterFanatic


4.8/5  rDev +6.9%

Pours a crystal clear golden yellow into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint. Great lacing develops as I consume this nectar of God. The smell is absolutely amazing. Its pungent and overpowering but just beckons my lips to the glass. The taste, the name says it all. Its as if all the hops off the vine gathered their might together to just pop me in the mouth. The honey doesn't do much to this beer as far as sweetening it, but rather keeps the bitterness in check as all of the other flavors develop. I think it helps to tame the alcohol warmth, while not totally killing it. What an amazing elixir.

01-10-2010 01:37:10 | More by RocPorterFanatic
Photo of jsh420


4.97/5  rDev +10.7%

batch 9470

pours bright gold with a huge 2+ finger head that covered the glass with lacing

smell - once i carcked the cap i could smell this brew - huge pineapple grapefruit hops

taste is much of the same powerful citrus fruits pineapple orange grapefruit upfront and with just enough nice honey sweet malt finish

mouthfeel is full bodied - juicy resin from those hops stick to your mouth a bit - but there is jsut the right amount of carbonation to give it some bite a crisp yet smooth finish

drinkability - this beer makes you want to drink all that you can get your hands on but watch out it is 10%abv

01-10-2010 01:15:30 | More by jsh420
Photo of dfranks


4.97/5  rDev +10.7%

Can I just say THANK YOU beeradvocate reviewers. I went out on a limb and bought a whole case of this stuff before ever trying due to the great reviews an all I can say is THANK YOU!!

This stuff is amazing. A little more expensive about $17.99/6pk but worth every penny. If you love hops you will love this.

01-08-2010 21:02:40 | More by dfranks
Photo of jampics2


4.5/5  rDev +0.2%

2010 vintage, batch 9471, bottled 12/21/09, sampled 17 days later. Each year, I get my first bottles of the season and rush home to sample.

12oz bottle poured into my Buckeye 'Bling Bling' 420 hop fest pint glass. Looks amazing - a clear golden orange beer with a white head that settles to a ring, nay, a halo around this angelic brew.

Smell is like nothing else. An incomparable citrus aroma dominates. It's pineapple and orange and a touch of pine sap. Amazing! When I put my nose right up to the beer, I get honey and a touch of alcohol as well.

Taste is wonderful. A beautiful boquet of hops presents a few different impressions on my palatte. The dominant taste is citrus hops - specifically grapefruit and some orange and pineapple. So, the late hop additions are kicking ass on this one, but there's more lurking beneath the surface. A tolerable but intense bitterness follows that can only be described as "dank". And there's a beautiful river of honey and light malt that runs beneath the bitter slam. Such a well rounded and enjoyable beer - I think Bells nailed the fact that honey can provide a bit of depth to compliment the grain bill and help to balance things. Mild alcohol in the aftertaste, but most is hidden by the hops. Fantastic.

I'm scoring the mouthfeel a bit short of perfection due to the fact it doesn't exactly sparkle and dance across the tongue. But the viscosity is perfect for the style, not watery as much as light. Carbonation is medium for the style, not prickly and also not too creamy. Well done.

Finally, the toughest aspect to rate for this beer, drinkability. This beer is so hoppy, sticky, and strong that it can be intimidating. It's not a beer that "goes down easy". It's more that there's SO much flavor that you want to sip and savor, and I don't think there's anything wrong with that. When I think about drinkable beers, this one doesn't get top billing in my memory, but it is such a joy - not exceptional but certainly a lot better than average.

I wish Hopslam day was every year. This is truly a world-class beer. Just like some of the most famed figures in history, this beer isn't perfect. But it's so memorable (especially when this fresh) that it deserves it's place on any list of legendary American beers.

01-07-2010 19:08:46 | More by jampics2
Photo of tattooedtolley


4.22/5  rDev -6%

Orange/gold in color, big white head. Tons of citrusy hop aroma with a touch of alcohol sweetness. The taste is pretty stellar, the name is pretty fitting, you get slammed with hops. I think the alcohol is too high to really enjoy much but to be this big its quite drinkable and not plagued with too much sweetness. Overall a great beer from Bell's but Two Hearted will always be my Bell's go to.

12-30-2009 20:48:06 | More by tattooedtolley
Photo of PrinceDarren


3.8/5  rDev -15.4%

Total in-your-face hops!

Pours foamy and aroma-riffic.

It tastes like liquid hops. Strong and moderately complex. It is a bit too thick for my tastes

This is just too difficult to drink. It is a struggle to finish by yourself. 12oz of this at a time is just too much.

12-12-2009 04:14:46 | More by PrinceDarren
Photo of drabmuh


4.38/5  rDev -2.4%

This bottle has some age on it, I may re-review if I can get a fresh one this winter.

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass. Beer is dark yellow and hazy (maybe from sediment), carbonation moderate and a moderate white head of small and medium bubbles forms, lots of lacing on the glass.

Aroma is mostly malt with a secondary aroma of some hops. It smells sweet, overall good.

This beer is still quite the hop bomb. Full bodied, great hop flavor in the midpalate, a slight aftertaste. There is a nice malt flavor in the front of the mouth. Second taste, rather cleansing. I really am enjoying this beer. The aftertaste grows as you drink, does not really affect drinkability. Both drinkability and mouthfeel high.

12-07-2009 01:15:08 | More by drabmuh
Photo of Wisconsinality


4.47/5  rDev -0.4%

poured from 12 oz bottle into standard pint glass

A- Pours a partially cloudy, golden orange with about a finger's worth of head that recedes rather quickly but leaves a nice bit of lacing on the side of the glass.

S- With a name like Hopslam, there is one thing you can expect, hops. And that is what you get, plenty of hops. Also there is that touch of honey with a little bit of the alcohol peaking through but nothing terrible.

T- It's is like I just bit into a hop cone. With a nice bit of bitterness to follow. Like the label says, there is some honey which I think helps give it a touch of sweetness to compliment the hops. I can get a little bit of the alcohol when I hold the beer in my mouth for a while.

M- Just a small amount of bitterness and a touch of sweetness make for a pretty good beer. A fair amount of carbonation, this is a nice medium bodied beer.

D- For being a pretty good beer, I could have a few of these. It doesn't kill the taste buds like some DIPAs. If you get a chance to try this, do so, the hops aren't overwhelming and there is a touch of sweetness that works really well.

12-01-2009 04:31:57 | More by Wisconsinality
Photo of schoolboy


4.55/5  rDev +1.3%

Hopslam is pretty much universally loved. Me too. In 2008 I bought a mess of it and I am still sipping off of those old ones. I have some 2009's sitting up too. I'll hang on to them.

What's not perfect here? It's pretty rich and strong, so you can only drink so much. It's too expensive. It's best to wait a year or two before you drink it. These are all big negatives! It's just TOO good. These are pretty murky, even after almost two years. Of course I will be sure to seek out more when it becomes available (in February?). This may be my favorite brew. Definitely in the top few.

11-23-2009 01:18:33 | More by schoolboy
Photo of phishgator


4.08/5  rDev -9.1%

Another hit from Bell's. This brew has a great golden-orange hue with a big white head. The aroma is fresh citrus blossoms and the taste is good. There is a little too strong of a mouth coating that never goes away; sometimes that's a good thing and other times it's annoying. It definately leaves you excited about the next time.

11-19-2009 17:24:58 | More by phishgator
Photo of cpetrone84


4.5/5  rDev +0.2%

Fresh Batch Poured 1/29/10.

A-the color pours a slightly hazy golden color with a pure white head that leaves a big lacing on the glass

S-the nose is big hops and huge grapefruit with a touch of citrus

T-huge hops, awesome flavor. some piney resign, tons of bitter grapefruit and a touch of honey and citrus at the finish

M-medium body and slightly syrupy, coats the mouth slightly, very smooth and the perfect carbonation

D-I love this beer! this is so smooth and creamy with huge flavor and a fantastic taste, give me one, two, three, floor!


A-nice hazzy ambered copper color with strong 2 fingers of slightly off white head that lingers for quite some time leaving a decent lacing on the glass

S-sweet caramel malt dominates the smell accompanied by pine resign and a hint of citrus

T-a little sweet malt and hint of carmamel hits first followed by an onslaught of hops, pine, grass clippings, hint of citrus and some grapefruit with a hit of bitter hops towards the back of the mouth

M-smooth and slick, slightly syrupy in a very nice way. medium bodied and low amount of carbonation

D-so tastey and delicious. I am biased towards hoppy beers, but the smoothness and slick syrupy texture accompanied by all the hops make me want more!

January batch properly cared for by the distributor and drinkin in November. Some of the hops have fades and the sweet malt is slightly more pronounced. Still Awesome!

11-14-2009 21:07:08 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of mcann2pu


4.53/5  rDev +0.9%

Thanks to the guys at Corks and Kegs for sharing this one,

a- pours a nice amber color with only a small head, leaves no lacing on the glass,
s- very potant citrus nose from the hops, the hops domnate the balk of the smelln but some sweetness, posibly from the honney can be detected,
t- great taste, good citrus-like hops flavor at first sip with a sweet honney after taste,
m- good, not too thick and not to light,
d- high for something with this strong of a hop flavor,

11-12-2009 18:58:16 | More by mcann2pu
Photo of alysmith4

District of Columbia

4.85/5  rDev +8%

I think this is my favorite beer of all time. I'm not sure if it's because it's released only once a year, or if it's because it really is so good. I also can't tell if I'd get sick of it if I was able to have it all the time, or if part of it's appeal is because of it's limit.

Anyway, it poured well - typical IPA color with a small, half-inch head. Smell is out of this world! It smells like the freshest, hoppiest juice I have ever experienced. This is what I imagine raw hops would taste like if you pressed them and drank them. And if I thought the smell was outstanding, the taste is even more ridiculous! So fresh and delicious! It takes a minute to get used to as the taste can be overwhelming at first, which is probably a good thing at 10% ABV. Totally worth $18 (now $26!) a 6-pack, and I can't wait until it comes out again.

10-22-2009 21:31:57 | More by alysmith4
Photo of spartanfan


3.4/5  rDev -24.3%

Batch 8913 packaged 1/12/09, no freshness date to be found

A: Pours a bright golden orange color with a nice off white head that's leaving tons of lacing behind.

S: Smell sweetly of hops. Orange, pineapple, and honey.

T: Hoppy, buy no where near what it was 6 months ago. Tastes of oranges, pineapple. Lingering taste of earth bitter hops.

M: Mouthfeel is spot on for the style. Full bodied, but with a little bit of bite to it.

D: I wouldn't want to have too many of these, and at 10% abv that's probably a good thing.

10-21-2009 22:57:21 | More by spartanfan
Photo of jamescain


4.47/5  rDev -0.4%

I really wanted to try this beer as soon as I first saw it; I just didn't want to pay the $18 for a six pack, but then I found individual bottles.

I poured the beer into a glass. The beer pours a nice golden amber color and has a small layer of head on the top. The head soon dissolves into a thin ring around the top.

This beer is really hoppy, which is great. There is a subtle honey flavor, which adds a hint of sweetness, but not too much. It is a nice balance to the citrus flavor of the hops. Each sip is an explosion of hops that pelt the tongue but that is a good thing. It finishes with the sweetness of the honey and the nice bitter finish of the hops.

Because this beer contains so many hops it takes a little while to drink and because it is 10% alcohol you should drink it slowly. But it is not a struggle to finish, rather it is an enjoyable experience.

As a hophead I strongly approve.

10-20-2009 20:24:18 | More by jamescain
Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
99 out of 100 based on 9,752 ratings.