Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

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10,267 Ratings

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Ratings: 10,267
Reviews: 3,132
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 9.58%
Wants: 2,052
Gots: 1,569 | FT: 39
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: 10,267 | Reviews: 3,132 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wedgie9
4.47/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted from a twelve ounce bottle. Pours a beautiful light amber orange with a white, one-finger head. Surprise, surprise, the aroma is very hoppy with orange peel and orange blossom, some vanilla, and other white flower aromas. The front of the palate features the orange flavors, and is lightly honeyed. On the mid-palate, the honeyed characteristic continues, but there is also a biscuit flavor. On the back of the palate, the hoppy bitterness kicks in with the orange peel, but it is also quite nice with the vanilla flavor. The beer is full-bodied and coats the entire palate with a long finish. Overall, this is a great IPA. It is super balanced, I can hardly believe that it is ten percent alcohol. It is very hoppy, but even those flavors are perfectly integrated.

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

On tap at Underground Bluz. Bell's is a brewery that offers very good beers while taking risks on unique formulas as well (Cherry Stout, for example). This is one of their best. And it just so happens to be in my favorite style.

Smell - Malty with caramel and apricot syrup. A bit bready as well. Citrus and peach also lurking.

Appearance - A beautiful pour with a thick white head and a rich amber color. A lot of lacing.

Mouthfeel - Thick and creamy on the palate. Medium-heavy body.

Taste - Surprisingly, very little alcohol burn for a 10.5ABV. The hoppiness of the beer is undeniable, but the bitterness is so moderated by the malty flavor up front that the bitter finish is welcome and necessary. Some pine with the citrus.

Drinkability - Drinkable and delicious. Give me a night with no where to go and I could get lost in this brew. One of the very best I've had.

Photo of rawthar
4.3/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Big-bubbled white headiness over a typical IPA colored body, with a very active carbonation profile. A universe of motion inside.

S- The name is no exaggeration. Every dimension of hops makes an appearance here: Grassiness, citrus, pine, florals, dry bitters all combine to form a powerful, rubbery assault. You can smell this one coming from a mile away.

T- This may be the one hop bomb whose flavor trumps its smell. For all its intense hoppiness, this is neither overly dry nor bitter, even if the malts disappear into the background. Not sure when this batch was bottled, but I imagine this is not what you would call fresh. Can't wait til next year to catch this beer at its peak.

M- The typical IPA liquid-turns-to-foam magic trick.

D- I love you man, but one is enough in all but the most extreme conditions.

Photo of Augustiner719
4.43/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a duvel tulip>

Appearance: Pours a beautiful golden orange color that is slightly hazy with a thin yet lasting head.

Smell: Extremely sweet aroma with piney hops and lemony herbal notes. Great balanced aroma, grapefruit, slight orange peel and honey.

Taste: Tastes a bit muted for what i was expecting, might be because of the december 2009 bottling. Solid hops bitter bite complimented with a sweet malty backbone that delivers honey and sweet tea like sweetness to balance.

Mouthfeel: nicely carbonated, not overly cloying but definately able to feel the strength of the beer. Hides the 10% well.

Drinkability: Solid. despite the high ABV this is a winner. Great mouthfeel and taste. Too bad this is only out 1 month of the year, but its great. cant wait to try fresh!

Photo of BearsOnAcid
3.83/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Great extra from mikesgroove. Thanks!

HopSlam poured somewhat vigorously into a pint glass.

About a one inch dense head formed on top. Soapy lacing. Liquid is a slightly hazy sunburst. Simple and elegant for a DIPA. Smell was sweet and fragrant with Simcoe hops. Small scent of alcohol. Little yeasty.

Taste is surprisingly not as sweet as the nose. You would think this would have more body to it as well. Theres a big punch of floral hops and grapefruit pith. Slightly sweet on the front of your palate. The honey ramps up the alcohol and thins out the mouthfeel. THERE IS NO HONEY FLAVOR!

Big burning sensation in my chest from quick consecutive sips. Decent amount of spiciness from the mix of strong alcohol and hops. Finishes mostly dry with a hint of astringent bitterness in the back of of your palate.

Alcohol is present and accounted for. Dangerously drinkable though. I went through half my glass in about 5 minutes.

This obviously isn't fresh but it holds up to still be a very good DIPA.

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

Despite what some say, this beer is available well beyond January, I just bought some last week at Discount Liquors in Milwaukee and my brother just had some on tap in AZ a few weeks before that. Furthermore, El Bait Shop in Des Moines indicated they had just run out of a keg 2 weeks ago.

A dark yellow appearance, minimal head and lacing quickly dissolves. Aroma is a little sweet, and not as hop aromatic as something I would expect calling itself 'Hopslam'.

Taste, again, less hop feel, good honey, but extremely enjoyable. Many make more hay than necessary out of this beer's 'freshness'. Yes, it changes, but the impact on the beer's quality is minimal, if at all. Buy a 6'er, drink one per week, they'll all be different, but not to the degree some will try and convince you of. Big hops, and a substantial body, whether from the malt roasting or honey to give some counterbalance.

14.99 a 6'er = pricey, when you figure you can get PTE, a superior product, for less than $5 a 500ml bottle.

Photo of MrSnrub
5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This precious liquid is only available for a few glorious days in January. As soon as it hits the shelves I buy up as much as I can find/afford, but it's never enough. Larry Bell must be some kind of wizard: Hopslam's amazing balance of hops and honey seems the result of alchemy, and making 10% ABV disappear can only be described as magic. It doesn't get any better than this.

Photo of tmgiddings
3.88/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Crown Liquors #6 - Pours a clear, golden/amber with a wispy white head. Aroma is pine and resin with some citrus. Taste is resin, honey, and bready malt sweetness with hints of floral/perfume hops. Mouthfeel is frothy with some oil and warmth.

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

Pours golden, clear with nice sized head, and slow carbonation. Smells wonderful. Grapefruit strong presence, sticky, organic aroma fills the nose. Tastes even better than it smells. NICE hoppy bitterness up front, with a touch of sweetness, and a good malt backbone to finish. finishes smooth, bitter, and dry all at once. sticky medium to thick mouthfeel. ABV well masked. highly drinkable. ZING!

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

Bottle, had a bit ago, but I kept good notes!

A: Perfect, Hazy, Yellow is with a rich orange hue, I would say the color of a wheat field at sunset.

S: Hoptastic, I couldn't pick out singular hop and say it dominated the others, a nice piny aroma, some citrus, well balanced

T: BOOM! hops in your mouth, then malts keep it from getting too bitter. It's got Pine and citrus hops, it has a fruity flavor from the hops. I can't say the word hops enough, but it's malted just right so as not to be super bitter.

M: good, carbonated, I could tell it was higher abv than a single ipa while I was drinking it. Sticky would be a good word to describe my mouth after.

D: Scary good, I could have drank the six pack and passed out, glad I had friends over to help me overcome that urge by drinking some themselves.

Photo of Duff27
4.33/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Mid to darker golden. Lacing aplenty. Head has stayed for pretty much the whole glass down.

S- Dankish hops. Piney.

T- Bitter, but the bitter that makes DIPAs delicious. Citrus/pine. Says there's honey in this...have to concentrate hard but you get a small hint of that in the aftertaste.

M- Tingly. Medium carbonation...little syrupy?

D/O- Probably could make it to two of these bad boys before having my tastebuds shot. Good stuff. Bought a six pack before DLD for $18, holy cow.

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.

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.

Photo of Samichlaus
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!

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.

Photo of dpodratsky3
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.

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.

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*

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
99 out of 100 based on 10,267 ratings.