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Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

9,749 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,749
Reviews: 3,114
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 9.58%
Wants: 1,848
Gots: 1,448 | 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
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Ratings: 9,749 | Reviews: 3,114 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cdkrenz


4.7/5  rDev +4.7%

A - Eggshell white head standing a couple inches tall. The body is hazy, burnt orange with no carbonation. The lacing is unbelievable.

S - Hops to beat the band! Not too bitter but sweet pineapple on top of robust hops.

T - Piney hops throughout with hints of grapefruit and apricot.

M - Lovely mouthfeel. It's wet, which normally I'm not very fond of in a hoppy beer. This, however, maintains its great taste even with a smooth texture.

~ The 'head' is great. I'm thoroughly impressed with the all-around greatness of this beer. My very sincere thanks to drizzam for what he calls, "sharing."

And by the way drizzam, nice ride this morning through the icy winter wind. Brr!

03-28-2009 21:16:18 | More by cdkrenz
Photo of hoppyhobby


4.83/5  rDev +7.6%

A - Pours to a two-finger off-white lasting head. The body has a somewhat cloudy light orange color. Excellent lacing which leaves rings around the glass as you savor every sip.

S - Wow...that's hoppy! A magnificent aroma of grapefruity hops.

T - The taste is just as exciting as the aroma. When you sip this one you know you are tasting something special. An excellent ale that has just become one of my favorites.

M - A good hop bite on the sides of the tongue with a hint of honey sweetness on the tip of the tongue.

D - This one may not be considered drinkable by everybody but for hop lovers it's a very enjoyable ale. Definitely worth having again even though it's a bit pricey.

03-28-2009 00:16:34 | More by hoppyhobby
Photo of tim9887


4.33/5  rDev -3.6%

12oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: 1" of white foamy head sits above a burnt, rusty orange colored body.

Aroma: Hops, Hops, HOPS!!! Very citrusy with a wee bit of sweetness (maybe from the honey?)

Taste: For a beer with such a hoppy aroma, it's incredibly well-balanced. Hops & malt come together quite well. A bit of sweetness enhanced by the honey.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, moderate carbonation. The ABV gives a little bit of a kick as well.

As noted in the taste section, I was quite wowed by this beer. I thought it was going to be a big ol' hop-bomb... but it turns out it isn't nearly as harsh as I expected - in fact it's nowhere near what I expected. An IIPA of incredible balance and utmost flavor. Delicious!!

03-28-2009 00:02:35 | More by tim9887
Photo of drizzam


4.35/5  rDev -3.1%

Reviewing this brew at 6:00 pm on 3/27/09 for the nation-wide toast of the beer hunter, Michael Jackson, in honor of his birthday. (He passed way too early, and is now in that micro-brewery in the sky.)

Thanks to Bells Batch identifier at bellsbeer.com, I found out my individual bottle was packaged on January 13th, 2009.

Appearance - Poured into my favorite european beer glass...gorgeous off white head with marvelous retention. Billowy and fluffy, it doesn't want to go away, and leaves excellent lacing. The brew itself is a cloudy dark orange color.

Smell - Smells like I took a pineapple right out of the produce section of the supermarket and squeezed it into my mug. also, it seems like I get a whiff of grapefruit rind as well. The grapefruit actually comes out even more as it warms. Very nice bouquet.

Taste - The initial taste I get is that of grapefruit rind, followed by an intense piney, hoppy afterbite. This is my first IIPA and it isn't as bitter as I expected it to be. I'm glad it isn't actually. There is an excellent balance between the fruit and the hop... they play nicely together.

Mouthfeel - Silky smooth and medium bodied. Leaves a hoppy aftertaste, but not as bitter as expected.

Drinkability - This is a tasty selection from Bells. The $15 for a sixer seemed a little high at first, but you get what you pay for. 10% ABV will preclude this from being a session brew, but it is quite the tasty number when taken in moderation. Very impressed!

03-27-2009 23:19:32 | More by drizzam
Photo of johnmichael712

North Carolina

4.83/5  rDev +7.6%

The back label of this bottle tells me I'm in for "a biting, bitter, tongue bruiser of an ale". I can't wait.

Appearance: Poured out of a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter. There is no freshness date on the bottle, but there is a batch code (8949) along with a clever picture of a man being crushed by hop cones that is very reminiscent of the Wicked Witch of the West after she got owned by a house. This beer pours a dark, golden-amber color that has incredible clarity when held up to a light. A large, off-white head appears on the surface of the beer and is supplemented by very small, but frequent, bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass. The head has incredible staying power and a thin layer covers the surface of the beer all the way down.

Smell: This beer smells like walking through a hop farm. It has an intensely aromatic, citrusy nose with punch-you-in-the-face aromas of orange, grapefruit, pineapple, mango, papaya, and other tropical fruits. Bell's Hopslam Ale smells like a super rich and acid tropical punch, and has enough aromatic qualities to make Hawaiian Punch and Hi-C go cry to their mommies. I won't be surprised if I never smell an Imperial IPA better than this.

Taste: My first thought was, 106 IBU's? I don't believe it. Followed by, wow, what an absolutely incredible Imperial IPA. This beer starts off with a wonderful honey flavored sweetness and soft, pillowy texture akin to eating a fresh sugar cookie drenched in honey. I have the malt to thank for that. After that, however, the hops kick it into high gear and really bring this one home with an intense hop flavor that screams Pacific Northwest and C-hops. As in the aroma there are notes of orange, grapefruit, and pineapple, and this leads to a sweet, citrusy, and bitter finish. The grapefruit taste is perhaps the strongest, and it brings back fond memories of drinking Ruby Red Grapefruit juice and my grandparent's house during my summers in Florida.

Mouthfeel: This is a very smooth, robust, and full-bodied Imperial IPA. Medium carbonation, but the bubbles are so small and soft that it's really quite pleasant to swirl them around the mouth. No astringency, no watery-ness, nothing bad to say about the mouthfeel of this beer.

Drinkability: Obviously Imperial IPA's aren't the most drinkable beers out there, but this beer still manages to be much more drinkable than some of the others on the market. The honey imparts a smoothness and sweetness that does wonders for the overall character of this brew, and this is one fine, and highly-drinkable, Imperial IPA.

Notes: BJCP style guidelines for an Imperial IPA inform me that this is a "showcase for hops", and I have to agree. Never before, however, have I had hops that have been showcased with this much finesse and beauty. Don't get me wrong, this is still an Imperial IPA that can compete with the best of them in terms of bitterness, but Bell's Hopslam Ale also has enough of a sweetness and smoothness to keep me coming back for bottle after bottle. For a huge malt fan like me, that's saying quite a lot.

03-27-2009 17:37:56 | More by johnmichael712
Photo of Voonder

Alberta (Canada)

4.15/5  rDev -7.6%

Pours golden colour with gorgeous off-wite head. Smell - hoppy, fruity (pears, grapes), some citrusy flavours. Taste - hops and hops only, lots of them, but it is not as bitter as I expected. alcohol is hidden very well. pretty smooth, very flavourful, gerat stuff. Dangerously drinkable.
Thanks a lot TATURBO for this great brew!

03-27-2009 04:49:37 | More by Voonder
Photo of HopHedz


3.88/5  rDev -13.6%

This is a great Double I.P.A. in my opinion, the touch of honey gives it a great balance. I drank this one straight out of the bottle as i was too anxious to try after all the good things i've heard about it. I was a bit underwhelmed by it though. It didn't excite my tongue as much as it excited me to try it. It was extremely hoppy but didn't give me the west coast grapefruity and piney taste that i love. It may be a little too syrupy (too malty) for my taste. I have definately had better double IPA's, But overall i was very pleased with it and didn't have a problem finishing the case off with a few buddies.

03-27-2009 01:38:28 | More by HopHedz
Photo of jojox


4.25/5  rDev -5.3%

a - slightly cloudy orange. Whispy white head.

s - Pine! Floral hops. Wow, hops! Yum.

t - Rather creamy hops, fair amount of bitterness but not harsh. Some fruitiness, apricot, orange, but really it's from the hops. Delicious. Malt is there and balanced, but only really propping up the hops and doesn't hold much character, which is fine.

m - hop bite, but pleasant.

d - yes please! 10%ABV is well hidden.

03-26-2009 13:45:31 | More by jojox
Photo of pwsoldier


4.08/5  rDev -9.1%

A - Pours a cloudy copper with a decent off-white head that lingers for a bit. Lacing is plentiful.

S - Lots of citrus hop aromas, particularly grapefruit and pineapple.

T - Pineapple persists, with a variation of other citrusy hop flavors lingering in the background. Plenty of malt sweetness in the finish to balance this beer.

M - Full-bodied with a fairly wet finish. A small amount of hop bitterness lingers on the palate.

D - Very smooth and enjoyable, and the alcohol remains very well-hidden throughout. Due to the fact that it's not available in Texas, I was forced to drink a less-than-fresh bottle that I acquired on eBay. It's very good, but I'm interested to see what it's like fresh. As it is right now though, it's insanely drinkable. I love it!!!

03-26-2009 06:13:13 | More by pwsoldier
Photo of ToddT


4.78/5  rDev +6.5%

A- Bright golden honey, has a slight haze and a fluffy white head. Head fades slowly and is sticky enough to leave some nice lacing on the glass.

S- Sweet grapefruit/hops aroma with some background notes of floral and honey.

T- Pleasant hop bitterness that changes to a sweet fruity taste. No clash at all just a slow transition from one to the other. Finish is crisp and clean without any oily hop aftertaste just the heat of the alcohol. No unpleasant alcohol aftertaste just the heat.

M- Medium bodied and carbonated. For a DIPA this has a crispness and lightness to it that is hard to find.

D- No hint of the 10% ABV other that the heat in the finish. You could drink this until it slams you, which given the strength is only a couple of them. Careful with this one it will creep up on you.

Well made, well done, and apply named beer, enough said.

03-26-2009 04:45:54 | More by ToddT
Photo of abfraser


4.47/5  rDev -0.4%

A: Beautiful looking ruby red, burnt orange with a big frothy white head. Really nice

S: Strong aromas of sugary tropical fruit. I'm reminded of dried pineapples. Piney, grapefruit hops

T/M: Aw, yeah. This is what an imperial IPA should taste like. Remarkably smooth with no overwhelming bitterness on the finish. Leave it to Bells to do it right and balanced. The tropical fruits dominate. Grapefruit and piney hops. Distinct honey flavors on the mid-palate. Mouthfeel is sugary, almost like I'm drinking tropical hopfruit candy. Delicious.

D: Given that this is 10%, this one is dangerous.

Anyone who loves IPAs must seek this one out. I'll take this any day over the SoCal bitter-bombs that taste like condensed hop oil. I'd still put the Russian River Pliney's above this but it's up there with the best

03-26-2009 02:07:57 | More by abfraser
Photo of sarahspat


4.13/5  rDev -8%

For my first real beer review, I'm taking pains to make sure I get everything right: correct glassware (properly cleaned and air dried), right temperature (approximated as best as I can), and an earnest attempt to completely cleanse my palate before I start. I have had some very good experiences with this beer in the past, and I want to do it justice and write the best review I can. I'm nervous and excited to get to work!

Thanks to the handy "batch search" on bellsbeer.com, I was able to deduce that this particular bottle of Hopslam was brewed on January 20, 2009, which is almost exactly 2 months prior to today's date.

Upon opening the bottle, I am immediately greeted (treated) to whiffs of sweet candied pineapple. There is a huge bone white head that prevents me from pouring the whole bottle into my tulip glass at once. The appearance of the beer is a beautiful light/medium light orange; it's not what I would call incredibly cloudy, but not it's really not transparent either, just in between.

The nose is amazing, almost overpoweringly fruity, but in a good way. I love fruit! Candied pineapple and grapefruit, mostly, with a little caramel to round it out, and a nice floral undercurrent. A lot of beers have these kinds of aromas, but none to the degree of Hopslam. I mean, you cannot miss the bouquet of fruit here, due simply to its sheer force. I have to say, the smell is my favorite part of this beer. Every time I go in for another sip (and consequently have to stick my nose in the glass), almost want to exclaim "Oh my dear Lord!" out loud. It just smells that good, even towards the end of the glass!

Spice hits the tongue hard. At the start of the sip, bitterness is predominant. After the swallow, you can finally taste that sought after sweet, sweet pineapple, citrus and a bit of caramel, then the floral flavor and more bitterness on the finish and a bit of a bite from the alcohol. This beer asserts itself and lets you know who you're dealing with. This is a nice, complex ale. Hopslam is right up there with the best DIPAs I've ever tried, however it seems that with this sampling, the smell is better than the taste for me. I don't remember the alcohol flavor being this strong in previous Hopslams I've enjoyed. Then again, I don't think I've ever had it at the proper temperature before. At about the halfway mark, this thing is hitting me pretty hard. This is a serious beer! I would not recommend drinking it on a day when you have something important to do. And, when drinking it, be sure to keep a glass of water close at hand, because this little guy's gonna make you very thirsty. And you better pace yourself if you're planning on drinking 12 oz. or more!

Medium mouthfeel: not too weak, but not too chewy, seems just about right for the style.

I've had more "drinkable" Hopslams in the past, but that was probably because it was served at too cold of a temperature. You can really feel the 10% ABV at 55 degrees Fahrenheit. The strong alcohol flavor is the only thing that is compelling me to deduct a couple of points for drinkability, but it's making a good argument. But, oh! Those sweet, sweet pineapples! I love it!

03-25-2009 02:45:01 | More by sarahspat
Photo of TheNightbird


4.38/5  rDev -2.4%

A- Bright orange/amber. With good head retention, turning into a thin ring.

S- Pine and honey dominates the smell. With a pleasant citrus and slight floral aroma. Followed by nice sweet malt.

T- Very upfront with a piney bitterness that flows into a sweet malt. At the end honey and alcohol takes over the aftertaste.

M- A crisp full body beer that has a nice carbonation.

D- Good drinkability. The ABV is 10% so only a few can be pounded in a sitting.

03-24-2009 23:25:29 | More by TheNightbird
Photo of Sean9689


4.4/5  rDev -2%

Updated review, 01/22/11, 12oz bottle into Portsmouth tulip.

A - Pours a copper orange/red, a fingers-worth of off-white head which reduces to a thin film on top and a small ring of foam around the glass. There's some nice lacing along the sides of the glass.

S - A quick swirl reveals a piney/citrus bomb, some malt sweetness, lots of bitter hops, perhaps some slight floral notes in their as well. Very light alcohol note, barley detectable.

T - A swift punch in the face if hops, pine, and citrus. Following the huge bitter notes is nice sweet malts which almost brings some relief, that is, until you take the next sip. Slighty sweet/floral finish.

M - Medium, smooth and refreshing, perfect carbonation for the style, oily hoppy finish.

D - I had to review this one again with an uber-fresh bottle. This beer is just straight-up awesome. I could pound this like a 3% session ale until I would up passed out on the floor for underestimating this beast of a DIPA. World-class.

03-24-2009 22:22:19 | More by Sean9689
Photo of turnblom79


4.97/5  rDev +10.7%

Very interesting and delicious double. The aroma was very citrusy and you could even smell the sweetness before tasting. While drinking, you are hit with all of the hop flavor right away, but because of the added sweetness, the bitterness at the end is much less than you would expect from the up front taste. Probably not the best beer to drink multiples of, but great for sipping and great overall.

03-24-2009 04:09:02 | More by turnblom79
Photo of CampusCrew


4.65/5  rDev +3.6%

Classic double with an intresting twist.

appearance: golden amber and reddish hues, decent lacing residue

smell: loaded loaded hops, very plesant for a hop fans. Extreme freshness

taste: Very strong hops aroma, this beer is loaded, overhelming pineapple taste because of the sweet honey, actually got annoying as i went ob with the beer.

mouthfeel: high carbonation and very tasty

drinkability: really strong double and i will have it again. Unsure if I could have multis becaus eof the sweetness

03-23-2009 14:51:32 | More by CampusCrew
Photo of jgap


4.2/5  rDev -6.5%

Big thanks to psychohops bob for sending me this as an extra. I love the label. Pours a brilliant orange with a frothy egg-white head. Smell is strong of grapefruit and pine. It's hard to sense much else until halfway through the glass at which point hints of sweetness can be slightly detected. At first the taste is almost entirely masked by a vigorous carbonation. However once the beer has calmed down and your tounge acclimated, the taste is grapefruit up front fading to a lingering, strong pine. Traces of the sweet honey show itself but it's never in control of the taste. Good beer.

03-23-2009 05:36:48 | More by jgap
Photo of Rchap1


3.1/5  rDev -31%

Had on tap at Bell's in Kalamazoo.

A: Looked about like you'd expect a DIPA to look, deep gold color, not a huge head on it, nor did the head stick around for very long. Minimal lacing.
S: Again, about like you'd expect; strong floral hop tones, very minimal malt, maybe a hint of juniper in there. Made me think of gin.
T: To be very honest, this just didn't do it for me. It hardly tasted like a DIPA in my opinion. I suppose to the beer's credit, the alcohol is very well hidden, but otherwise it just seemed like a run of the mill IPA. Started with a little malt, moved into a sweet hop range, and finished with some decent bitterness.
M: Fairly full, the bitterness definitely stuck around a bit.
D: Again, with the alcohol being fairly hidden, I would bet that you could put a couple of these down at a time. But for me, at $6 for a 12 oz. glass, just not worth it.

03-22-2009 03:26:15 | More by Rchap1
Photo of Gyle41386

South Carolina

4.68/5  rDev +4.2%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip. Huge thanks to the fine folks at Brawley's for hooking me up with a bottle.

Pours a light orange amber color. Huge four finger head. Great retention, took a while to pour this one. Loads of bubbles, tons of sticky lacing. Amazing looking beer.

Strong hop nose. Grapefruit, pineapple, orange. Big pine as well.

Wow. This is one tasty beer. It's a full-on hop assault. The malt backbone is there, but it gladly takes the backseat. The orange, grapefruit, and pineapple are huge, and I absolutely LOVE a citrus-heavy IPA. Like in the nose, there is some pine, but in no way is HopSlam like a glass of liquefied pine needles. I really love the sweet honey.

Medium body. Super smooth feel. Creamy with some nice prickly carbonation. There is absolutely no way you can tell this beer is 10%. It very well could be TOO drinkable.

As a relatively new member of the craft beer scene, I've tried to tell myself to not get sucked into the hype surrounding certain beers, and I feel I've done a pretty good job of that so far. HopSlam is one I was slightly worried about. However, this beer blows any expectations I had of it out of the water. Truly one of the finest beers I've ever tasted.

03-21-2009 05:59:34 | More by Gyle41386
Photo of Hokies

Rhode Island

4.5/5  rDev +0.2%

Thanks to Uwftke26 for the trade on this one. 12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours an orange light amber color with a thin white head and a light sticky lace left on the glass.

A wonderful aroma, as the beer warms the honey becomes more noticeable but the hops provide most of the aroma. The hops give off a tremendous aroma of grapefruit and pineapple, it is quite nice.

The taste is not as hoppy as one would think from the aroma. The honey and sweet malt makes its presence throughout the taste to mellow out the hops. The grapefruit taste takes over in the middle but then the honey comes back and balances out the bitterness from the hops. Their is a nice bitterness that does linger from this one.

This is a very drinkable IIPA for sure, not my favorite style but this is IIPA that I would go back to.

03-21-2009 04:16:38 | More by Hokies
Photo of Durge


4.18/5  rDev -6.9%

A hazy amber color with a very nice white fuzz cap and decent lacing. The aroma is heavy flowery hops with some sweet malt hiding in the background. The flavor confirms the intense floral hops but a few mouthfuls eventually reveal the attempt to balance this brew with a touch of brown sugar and salty malt. Full bodied and lightly carbonated. I don't see this as a session beer with such thick constitution and heavy hops. But this a quality hop concoction. This was pretty heavy handed in the hops so it might take a couple tries to entirely warm up to it, a price I am happy to pay. Don't miss giving it a try!

03-21-2009 04:00:00 | More by Durge
Photo of theghost3


4.45/5  rDev -0.9%

HopSlam pours an amber/light orange with a thin white-gold head. Minimal lacing.

The smell is overwhelmingly strong of grapefruit hops, but there are also floral & sweet scents.

The flavor is again, strong of grapefruity hops but not as bitter as I expected. There's a sweet butterscotch quality with honey and a hint of pine. The feel is rather smooth at first but then some acidity creeps up towards the end.

This is a very drinkable beer. The taste isn't as hoppy as the smell would make you think, but it's still delicious.

03-21-2009 03:34:26 | More by theghost3
Photo of BlackBearForge


4.65/5  rDev +3.6%

Bottle bears batch No. 8908 which was packaged on 1-5-09 according to the Bell's website.

Pours a lovely pale golden amber, mine very clear for Bell's so I must not have stirred up the bottle much, with a creamy white head leaving nice curtains of oily lacing.

Wow, the smell is incredible, the finest nose I believe I've experienced yet. Juicy is the first thing that comes to mind, juicy clean hop smell of pineapple, orange and grapefruit. A little grassy and very clean and fresh.

The taste is exceptional too, there is a muted malt presence, just enough to allow the hops to shine but more than sweet enough to balance the hops. Luscious citrus and pine flavors in equal amounts, with a taste of honey and just a touch of alcohol warmth on the nicely bitter finish. Lord, the glass is half empty already!

Mouthfeel is also perhaps the finest I've encountered so far. Smooth, smooth smooth, medium bodied and creamy with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability, well for a 10% abv beer I can't believe the glass is dissapearing so fast. This is awesomely drinkable and highly recomended. A marvelously brewed beer,I think I'm in love with hops again!

03-20-2009 22:39:38 | More by BlackBearForge
Photo of nhudson


4.53/5  rDev +0.9%

Received a bottle of this from a friend. This is my 2nd Bell's beer ever, the 1st being the 2 Hearted Ale. The bottle says 10% ABV and after a few sips I want to question that.

a- I very nice burt orange color with tons of bubbles coming from the bottom of the glass. Little to no head with very heavy lacing.

s- Citrus and Grapefruit, mainly grapefruit and some honey sweetness. I wish they could make this into a air freshener.

t- Sweet tartness of what I guess is the honey with a nice refreshing hop character that tastes like grapefruit and orange or tangerine. the 10% ABV is no where to be tasted in this beer!

m- Wonderful sticky an oily with a very light syrupy taste that goes down easy.

d- I could drink this beer till I am completely stupid. Like I keep saying I can't believe that this beer is 10%. IMHO it is the best tasting DIPA on the market for drinkability.

03-20-2009 19:04:32 | More by nhudson
Photo of winky13


4.68/5  rDev +4.2%

Bought this at Lone Hill Liquors

Wow, I really did enjoy this beer. This is so far second to only Pliny the Younger on my list of DIPAs. Can't taste the honey, but the hops; wow.

A: Dark golden color

S: oh yeah, I love these hops. Tons of grapefruit.

T: Very nicely balanced hoppy beer. Yummy.

M: Nice weight but not heavy; good carbonation. head didn't last.

D: Easy to drink 10%. I could down this stuff...

03-20-2009 05:12:04 | More by winky13
Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
99 out of 100 based on 9,749 ratings.