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Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

10,399 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,399
Reviews: 3,159
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 9.58%
Wants: 2,175
Gots: 1,714 | 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:
Beer added by: beernbbq on 04-14-2004

Brewed with honey. Hoppy as hell.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10,399 | Reviews: 3,159 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of haddon
4.54/5  rDev +1.1%
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
3.98/5  rDev -11.4%
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
4.92/5  rDev +9.6%
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
4.19/5  rDev -6.7%
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
4.67/5  rDev +4%
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.

Photo of jwhawkins81
3.78/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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

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

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

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

Batch # 9471 packaged on 12/21/2009

Photo of rapidsequence
4.62/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of emmasdad
4.52/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

Photo of thecarster1
4.03/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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

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

m- really smooth with lots of coating.

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

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

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

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

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

M: great mouthfeel, very carbonated and crisp feeling.

D: I could drink this beer all day.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of Tinfoilrcr
4.13/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to hayesez for this!

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

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

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

M- Very full and refreshing. Very dry finish.

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

Photo of CharlatanSin
4.52/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of bruachan
4.27/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

A: Transparent and effervescent, this beer is mostly yellow with hints of orange, reminiscent of a sunrise. There is a moderate level of head and lacing.

S: Big aromas of floral, tart citrus, pine.

T: Refreshing, smooth, delicious. This is one of the best DIPA I have had. I look forward to Hopslam every year. Much more hoppy than malty, this beer is for the hop lover, which I am. Beautifully done with delicious grapefruit and subtle resinous pine flavors, Hopslam finishes with a lingering bitter aftertaste that makes my mouth tingle and yearn for more. Where is the 10% ABV?!? This is a seriously dangerous beverage.

M: Carbonation level is great and it's really smooth, with no astringency.

D: Do I really have to wait until next February to get more fresh Hopslam?

Photo of Drazzamatazz
4.08/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Been finishing a six pack I picked up while in Florida for spring break, its interesting to see how quickly this beer has changed in the month I'd had them.
Bottle # 9502
Poured into Sam Adams Perfect Pint.

A - Light amber, comes through as clear in certain areas when held up to a light. Moderate head that resides quickly.

S - Pineapple, fresh pine, papaya, and many floral notes. A clear hint of honey in every whiff. Of course it lives up to its name, there's hops through-and-through.

T - This isn't what I'd imagined it taste like, but I might say it's better. There's a lot more balance going on here then I would have expected given it's moniker. Sure there's hops, but the honey lends a balancing sweetness. Plenty of lemongrass and grapefruit upfront, which slowly go to floral and then lastly honeycomb. No alcohol to note for a 10% alcohol beer.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. For the sweet taste it is still quite dry in the mouth.

D - This doesn't drink like a 10% alcohol beer. I had three one night, and while I certainly felt the affects I never noticed them.

Photo of organicbrewer
3.38/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Batch 9470

A-Full gold. Huge cloudlike head, fairly compact bubbles. slight haze.

S-Candied orange. Slight honey aroma. Not too much else. Maybe this is past its prime.

T-Farily bitter, but the malt sweetness balances it off. Moderate pine and citrus.

M-Fairly thick for an IIPA. I like mine a bit drier. Medium carbonation.

D-at 3.5 or so months old this seems to have lost its hop punch. Still has some citrus aroma with the hop flavor, but it isn't "a bruiser of an ale." Also would like this a bit drier, the beer lingers on the palate too long.

Photo of bigmike55
4.6/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this beer on tap at The Stem & Stein in Madison, AL. It was from a very fresh keg. I was surprised at how good it is.

It poured a golden color with a small head.

I found the taste to be very balanced for a high ABV, hoppy beer. The high alcohol was not obvious.

This is a very drinkable beer, and I found myself wanting another.

Photo of DmanGTR
4.12/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A huge thanks to RocPorterFanatic (Chad) for hooking me up with a 6 pack! Bottle #9478.

A - Crystal clear golden honey with a well formed white fluffy head. Retained as a bubbly cap that left some islands of lace. 4.0

S - Hop galore, the nose is a wonderful mix of pineapple, pine resin, guava, and pungent earth, but more fruity than earthy. Honey is very faint, as expected due to it being fully fermented out. 4.5

T - Sweet and citrusy flavors are in the forefront, bringing grapefruit, lemon zest, and a light undertone of passionfruit before letting the bitter and earthy lemongrass flavors take over into a long lasting, herbal finish. Malt character is more in the background, providing ample balance to the intense hop profile. I don't taste as much honey as I thought I would; instead I find a bit of caramel sweetness present. Alcohol is barely noticeable. 4.0

M - Medium bodied with a crisp and refreshing palate. Carbonation is ample but not overdone. Texture isn't completely smooth, but the mild roughness fits the overall profile. 4.0

D - For a 10% beer, this drinks wonderfully. I barely noticed the heat, if any. For a pricier beer, however, I will probably only make this an occasional (or seasonal) drink. 4.0

Photo of jhoban19
4.74/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip.

A: deep orange, bright, with almost 2 fingers of airy white head. Foam settles quickly into a thin ring of bubbles around the glass. Lacing holds its position pretty well but is confined to a small area on the sip side of the glass.

S: loads of tropical fruits- mango, peach, guava, pineapple and some strawberry. A good dash of honey as well. The aromas bring me back to a recent trip to Maui, specifically the Road to Hana, where smells of mangos, guava and wild ginger fill the air. Only a slight malt backbone, almost like pie crust. In fact, memories of strawberry pie baking in my grandmother's kitchen come to mind upon taking the first whiff of HopSlam. As it warms, toasted malts emerge, along with subtle hints of caramel. The smell of fresh hops also comes through.

T: Taste follows the aroma- lots of tropical fruits right off the bat. The fruit is quickly overtaken by a wonderful bitterness that lingers into the next sip. As HopSlam warms, toasted malts make their way onto the palate, much like the aromas. Still, the initial fruit blast and linger hop bitterness of the star of this show.

M: light-to-medium bodied with a long, dry and bitter finish that provides a wonderful balance to the wallop of fruit at the outset. Smooth, with just a touch of creaminess toward the end of the glass.

D: Far too drinkable for 10% ABV! I find myself taking bigger sips than I really should, particularly for a beer I likely won't be able to drink for another year. The biggest problem I'm having right now is that I want to have another beer tonight, but I can't imagine what I might follow up with. Guess I'll have to take my chances. Maybe Bell's will one day decide to make HopSlam available year-round, but for now I'll have to settle for this belated Christmas present. I might also run down to my local bottle shop to see if they have any left- and if they have any left on the shelf, I'm taking it all with me!

Photo of bierenutz
3.95/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Poured into a glass created about 1/2 inch head of fairly dense foam leaving scattered lacing around the glass.
S-Very fragant citrusy malty smell that was in the air before my nose got near the glass.
T-Sour citrus malt flavor with honey afternotes and a bitter hoppy finish.
M-Smooth and somewhat creamy with the alcohol and hops reminding you at the swallow this is a 10% hopped up brew.
D-Very drinkable but potentially dangerous given the ABV, but overall a very nice beer.

Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
99 out of 100 based on 10,399 ratings.