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Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

9,975 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,975
Reviews: 3,124
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 9.58%
Wants: 1,931
Gots: 1,508 | FT: 41
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
Brewed with honey. Hoppy as hell.

(Beer added by: beernbbq on 04-14-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 9,975 | Reviews: 3,124 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of semihobo
4.13/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From batch 8911, bottled in January 09. Already had the first four from the pack.

Pours with a solid ginger-peach head, beautifully minute creamy bubbles, vigorous bubbling. Great lacing.

Smell is wonderful, grapefruit candy and flowers, a fresh spring rain, with a bit of pine resin. It's all there.

Very balanced taste. You have the delicate flavor of hops vs. a moderately (for the style) bitter finish, the bitterness swallowing up the alcohol, and an adequate malt presence that starts sweet before heading off to biscuit land. Nice pine, resin, and citrus. Not overboard on the bitterness or resin. Smooth out of the fridge, less so as it warmed. After having a few of these, I feel comfortable saying this: drink this one a little colder than you would think is appropriate... you'll be rewarded.

Creamy mouthfeel, gentle carbonation. Finish is a little too sticky and prolonged.

Lived up to most of the hype -- this is tasty. Have felt differently as I've worked my way through the six pack, from time to time, but very nuanced and quite drinkable. As regards the debate about drinking Hopslam as fresh as possible... I can't say anything about 2 days vs. 2 months but 2 months vs. 4 months did not show any deterioration. $17.99 for a 6 pack after shopping around though... that is a lot of money.

semihobo, May 22, 2009
Photo of bmwats
4.43/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter.

A: Amber in color. Half finger bubbly white dead. Quickly settles leaving a smattering of bubbles. Some lacing, but quickly retreats into the brew.

S: Hops. A subtle malt, a little citrus hint, and a touch of honey.

T: Syrupy sweet hops and some freshly baked bread.

M: Hops assault the tastebuds. Feels thick and heavy. Sharp and robust. Hops linger.

D: Great for a slow sipping beer.

Solid atmosphere. Nice appearance and sharp, profound nose. Flavor is not complex, but is 'full'. . . the subtle sweetness adds a bit, though. Great quaff.

bmwats, May 21, 2009
Photo of Birdiebeagle
4.88/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle Pours a clear golden with an off white head. The head is frothy and lasts well. Fairly good lacing. Has a good hoppy aroma of pine, oranges, and a touch of vanilla. Has a good carbonation and a wonderful mouthfeel. The flavor is excellent. The alcohol is well hidden. Very well blended. Has a soft bitterness. It is bitter but the bite is mellow. Has an oily texture. A medium body mostly because it's so refined. A good finish with a good lingering aftertaste. This is a real good beer. Very smooth.

Birdiebeagle, May 21, 2009
Photo of beerindex
2.68/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Pours a hazy orange-brown color (almost cider-like) with a modest and quickly fleeting white head that left a respectable lace behind. Smell though was this beer's best selling point. The aroma was heavenly, perhaps the best I've come across of any beer. The smell was of citrus fruits, mostly lemon and pineapple, with a bit of honey too.

With respect to the beer's taste, it wasn't anything to write home about. I picked up a bottle because it is cheap and local, and most people seem to love it. As much of a hops fan as I am, this simply didn't do anything for me. I couldn't detect the honey it was supposedly brewed with. Instead, it had an odd medicinal sort of taste that was bitter in a way I don't expect with this style.

Not something I'd care to drink again, especially when Bell's has much better beers in their line-up, and even better locals brews exist (see: most stuff from Founders).

beerindex, May 20, 2009
Photo of jas30060
4.63/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Just had this at the Taco mac in Kennesaw Ga.

Bells had there release party for Georgia there.

This was my first bells beer.I was impressed.
Everyone else reviews pretty much summed this beer up so I wont get into all the mouth feel stuff. so all im gonna say it that this beer it Great!

jas30060, May 20, 2009
Photo of PerzentRizen
4.85/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Duvel glass around 48 degrees this beer is copper to dark straw in color. The head is white and frothy and the lacing resides for the entire session. This is around the 27th Hopslam I've had - but never reveiwed it until now. I know the hops have faded from when I first had it and I know the progression that this beer takes over a three month period.

The aroma is an amazing bouquet of floral hops, intense honey-like malt, and a grapefruit citrus smell that begs for a sip. Amazing!!!

The flavor is intense. There is an overwhelming of the senses as the hops kick your tongue's ass. The malt backs it up by balancing the flavors nicely. The alcohol is there but makes a small appearance compared to the rest of the flavors. Hops come back to recede to malt sweetness - probably impacted by the honey.

The mouthfeel is full and viscous. It's a bit more than I was expecting but great non-the-less. I love a nice round feel from my double IPA's and this one does not dissapoint.

Some beers at 10% with this much flavor would push you away rather than suck you in but I've had almost 30 of these and I'm ready for more! If I could have any beer in unlimited supply it would be this one! I love Bell's Hopslam!!!

PerzentRizen, May 20, 2009
Photo of bhalter8
4.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I am reviewing the second pint I had off a cask @ BSP, yummy. The first pint was a little faint in al regards, and the second was far better. Nice vibrant orange color, a bit richer and deeper than the first pour. Little carbonation, its a cask. Lovely floral and citrus hop aroma. This second pint was far better in the hop flavor department. I get a much more pronounced bitterness, but I think the honey sweetness helps balance it out. Also make is incredible easy to drink. Too easy really. I think the middle of this cask was amazing, but also a testament to how cask settle, there is definitely a sweet spot. Off cask, it really opens up the flavor and aroma.

bhalter8, May 19, 2009
Photo of RustyDiamond
4.85/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bright orangey apple juice pour at BSP on the Bell's Launch Day. Typical cask-like flatness with just some glistening white bubble film on the flat head. Very nice brightness, though.
Very nice woody, piney aroma with a unusual subtle hint of grapefruit.
As with the bottled Hopslam, huge hop flavor up front. Pungent, tart grapefruit with pine fills the mouth. Lingering, dry bitter. As this baby sits, the honey comes out. Tasty as all hell.

RustyDiamond, May 18, 2009
Photo of belgbeerdrinker
4.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

a: gold color, thick foamy head with layer upon layer of lacing, lots of bubbly activity
s: citrus hops with some nice honey sweetness
t: excellent balance of hoppy backbone, spicy herbs, sweet honey, and even malts; hoppy finish that isn't overbearing
m: great balance of carbonated blast to smoothness, medium body
d: the most drinkable hop-heavy beer i've had, just very well balanced

belgbeerdrinker, May 18, 2009
Photo of washburnkid
4.05/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes, 5/8/09. Keeping in mind that this beer isn't the "freshest" it can be. Thanks to mikereaser for this 6er.

A: Hazy, dark golden hues with under a finger of white, frothy head that bubbles in the glass.
S: Bready malts with a dose of wet, piney hops. Grassy notes discernible. Fruity esters also on the nose.
T/M: Bready, toasted malts. Hops are earthy and citrusy (grapefruit zest comes to mind). A kick of florals in the sip as well. Medium to full-bodied, creamy mouthfeel. Great bitter residuals.
D: I know that this beer is a couple months old now, but I think the hops are still holding up well. I do look forward to trying this closer to the release, though.

washburnkid, May 18, 2009
Photo of LauraAlberts
4.63/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured from a growler like milk into a pint glass. Very nice head - about a finger/half worth of head - nice lacing around glass - Nice Mango colored goodness.

Smell: Peach, Vanilla/Creamy Mango, Tangerine, Grapefruit.

Taste: Lime - Grapefruit - tons of tangerine - Hops - Peach, Alcohol - At first I was disappointed, but then I started tasting all the complex flavors this beer has to offer and it's an amazing work of art.

Mouthfeel: Nice citric tannins - full bodied.

Drinkability: Session - And I can now that we've got it in Charleston!!!! I overheard that Georgia is getting Bells just next month! Great beer - Great apex of DIPA's for the growing beer drinker.

LauraAlberts, May 16, 2009
Photo of callmescraps
4.68/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this one kind of magically. A little elf told me of a store where it existed in SoCal. So even though it's not super-fresh, I'm super-amped.

Appearance - A nice deep copper color. About an inch of soapy off-white head. Great lacing.

Smell - Oooh! Nice citrus hops right up front. Lots of grapefruit, and even some mango. Real nice citrus. Maybe apricot? A tiny hint of caramel malt on the back, but just a hint. Can only imagine the punch when fresh.

Taste - Wow. Hot damn. That is some good shit. Lots of nice citrus up front. The apricot/mango really comes with it. Pineapple? Yes, pineapple. I think I can pick up on the honey. It's pretty sweet, but bitterness of the hops really mellow it out. Not much malt (a good thing in my book). No hint of the booze. Just incredibly well balanced. The taste lingers hauntingly.

Mouthfeel - Very nice. A little thin perhaps. I was expecting a little more thickness and syrup.

Drinkability - Very good. It's a little on the sweet side, but that hop bitter balances it well. The high abv is absolutely nowhere to be seen. It would be very easy to get into trouble with these.

Wow. That was an absolutely fantastic beer. It's only the second DIPA the lady-friend has ever really liked. The first? Pliny the Younger. So it's in extremely rare company. I'm only upset that I don't know when I'll get to have another. I will find a way to get a fresh one next year, that's for sures.

callmescraps, May 16, 2009
Photo of HeyItsChili
4.33/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at the Bell's kickoff at the Charleston Beer Exchange.

A - Poured from a growler into a pint glass. Pours golden with very little head/retention.

S - Sweet citrus, more pineapple than grapefruit, faint spices, sort of reminds me of the liqueur Cuarenta y Tres.

T - Very potent honey flavor here that sweetens and caps the myriad citrus flavors present. The hop bite is almost more potent in the finish than the initial flavor. Sort of grows on me as I drink it.

M - Medium bodied, a little sticky, but not viscous like some beers of the style can be.

HeyItsChili, May 15, 2009
Photo of photomike
3.83/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

I realize this bottle is several months old, so read this review with that in mind. Hey, people want to know what its like with a little age on it, right?!

Will re-review next year when fresh.

Pours a golden yellow with a surprisingly unimpressive head. Not a lot of lacing, and kinda weak retention.

Smell is very sweet tropical fruit and a good amount citrusy hops.

Taste is, as I feared, very sweet. Honey sweetness with major tropical fruits and almost-sickly malts. It has that sort of taste that oldish, huge IPAs tend to have where you can tell the hops you taste are just a shell of what they were before. The nice, hoppy aroma does not match up with the taste, and it is ultimately disappointing. The flavors that are here are nice though; the sweetness is a bit overpowering, but that is mostly detrimental to this beers drinkability rather than its flavor.

Mouthfeel is really nice. Slick and smooth, medium bodied and well carbonated. A slight alcohol burn gives up the otherwise very well hidden ABV.

Too sweet to drink too much for me.

Overall, I'm sure this is a MUCH better beer fresh, but I can't exactly get my hands on a fresh bottle for a little while. Given the lack of availability where I live, I really have to search it out. Even at its current age, it is an above average DIPA, but as it stands, I will take a Pliny 98 times out of 100 over this.

photomike, May 13, 2009
Photo of alleykatking
4.7/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was the first beer that made me shit my pants and realize that beers could be extreme. Boy...how times have changed.

A- Poured into my trusty pint glass. Nice golden rusty amber color with a little offwhite head that faded away pretty quickly. Lacing sticks lightly to the sides of the glass. I have always liked the look of this beer.

S- Nice big fruity hop nose from the get go (pineapple). Smells a little sweet which I can tell is from the honey. Also, a slight biscuity malty smell.

T- This still after a couple of years of having it taste like it was made from some other wonderful place and not Bells! Nice tart and hop bite to it leaving a sweet pineapple taste rushing toward a honey biscuity finish. The hops in this are bitter at first but seem to calm down before it goes down. I like the taste of this beer a lot.

M- This has a nice medium to heavier mouthfeel to it. Good carbination lets the beer slide over the tounge leaving a nice hoppy resin over the tounge. This beer overall has a lot of what I look for in the mouthfeel.

D- I could drink this all day long if I had the chance. This is still one of my favorite beers and I really don't think it will change much even with all the beers I have had that were suppose to be as good as what this beer is.

alleykatking, May 13, 2009
Photo of bulletrain76
3.9/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, batch 8907. Mostly clear deep gold-orange color with a small white head that leaves some spotty lace. Citrus, melon rind, alcohol, sweet honey, and spicy herbal hop aroma. Quite sweet, with a touch of honey and bread. Some fruity, citrucy hop flavor and a finish that almost gets dry and bitter until the sweetness comes back in and sticks to the back of the tongue. Medium bodied and rather light feel overall, which helps to partially mitigate the sweetness. This could use either a ton more hops, or a much dryer finish. I'll stick to two hearted.

Rerate: Same batch, a couple more bottles have been mused over. Impressions: The aroma is a nice citric-fruity hop and sweet honey malt combo, though it's a bit light for a double IPA. The flavor, while still falling more on the sweet side, is dryer than I had previously thought. It's not the residual sugar so much as the lack of stronger bittering hops that set the balance this way. I think that the fruity hop flavor and more modest bitterness combine to give a sweet, fruity overall impression. It is growing on me. A balanced and very drinkable IIPA. The body is about as light as I can imagine a 10%abv beer being. If it weren't for the alcohol presence, this could be almost a regular IPA. While I more intense and complex overall hop character could transform this beer into something amazing, it is still enjoyable and deserves a couple more points.
Rerate: on tap at Brickskeller. More bitterness and assertive hop flavors, still very drinkable. Freshness seems to be the world in this beer. Hopslam has beer my learning experience with balanced IIPAs, and I like it more every time I have it.
More Random Indecisiveness: had it again, and, eh,.

bulletrain76, May 11, 2009
Photo of Brew33
4.78/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on the Firkin at the Bell's Eccentric Cafe.

Nice color, spot on for the style. Nice head. Big, juicy hop aroma.... So good. The taste was clean, fresh hop flavor. Bitter but sweet. Excellent. Slight alcohol warmth as the beer warmed. Great beer, seek out if possible. Great on cask, butter smooth.

Brew33, May 11, 2009
Photo of stonequarrywest
4.25/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice copper orange pour with a thick and fluffy white head that left lace cling to the glass.
Aroma of PineyHops and grass
Citrus taste with hops and a subtle sweetness from the honey that all balance very very well.
Medium body with a tingling carbonation.
ABV is well hidden making it dangerous for sure.

stonequarrywest, May 11, 2009
Photo of CHADMC3
4.43/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy copper to orange with a pillow-like white head containing extremely dense carbonation bubbles, leaving a faint lacing in its path which clings to the glass.

The primary aroma is that of grass or piney hops but also some citrus hints such as grapefruit, and just a touch of toasted malt to follow.

What a great & well-balanced palate consisting of the same grassy hops, honey, and citrus fruit or melon, like a combination of grapefruit and honeydew, but very faint, just enough of the sweetness to offset the hop bitterness.

Medium in body with a slightly aggressive carbonation character, but also a bit dry.

Excellent brew, and the abv is absolutely hidden in the palate characteristics of this well-balanced "ale". I now understand what all the hype is about, and if I wasn't a Pennsylvania native, I may say its better than NN.

Thanks to my sister in Charlotte for this one.

CHADMC3, May 09, 2009
Photo of beerad666
4.33/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into an American pint glass. The off white head really went over the glass, had to give to a minute to reside before I poured the rest from the bottle in. The lacing that was left behind was really nice and clung to the glass till the last hoppy sip. The colors was a glowing amber, a bit darker then most DIPAs. Sweet hops come out in the aroma, but not a smack you in the face aroma. But the hops hit you big time in the taste. Even though the hops are big up front it finishes smooth and clean leaving you ready for the next tasty sip. If this guy wasn't around 10% I could drink it all night, but I could see myself getting in trouble trying to do just that.

beerad666, May 09, 2009
Photo of kels
4.47/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint for review.

Appearance: Pours a very lovely honey apricot with highlights of ruby red. Good 1 1/2 finger white, fluffy head fades and retains at a skim and leaves tons of super-sticky looking lace behind. Moderately clear with a little carbonation visibly rising throughout.

Smell: Slightly toasted malt backbone supports strongly grassy and grapefruity hops with a bit of sweetness reminiscent of honey.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Taste is really well-balanced for the style. Sweet ruby red grapefruit pairs with a grassy, bitter hoppiness and honey-sweet maltiness that's a little toasty. Mouthfeel is filling, light and refreshing, and a stick film covers the palate after drinking. Alcohol is only slightly present in the aftertaste.

Drinkability: Really high. The flavors are really well-balanced and there's something for everyone in this beer from the toasty, grainy malts to the bitter hops. Really nice beer.

kels, May 08, 2009
Photo of Backer2004
4.65/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

About as smooth as an Double IPA can get. Incredible grapefruit smell, nice dark golden color with extended lacing. Paid $4 for a single but well worth it - looks like I need to drink these fresh. So much hops, but nothing that overpowers you to not enjoy it as a beer. Would be one of my favorites for the summer, but a bit on the pricey side to be a regular staple. Very good, however. Another great performance from Bell's.

Backer2004, May 06, 2009
Photo of eberkman
4.55/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a brilliant, glowing, crystalline golden orange -- the hue of a brand new penny with an incredibly delicate look to it. Cream-colored head that didn't froth up much and reduced to a ring and surface flotsam in moments -- I would have liked more head volume and stickiness, but what a beautiful body to the liquid itself. The second pour is somewhat darker with more haziness, but still gorgeous.

Unbelievably fragrant nose of, dare I say, pineapple? At first I detected pine needles and luscious ruby-red grapefruit, but the unique, inviting pineapple notes seem to take control.

The taste is ridiculously smooth for the style -- nice. honeystung sweetness from the fruity hops giving way to a powerful but not overwhelming or astringent hoppiness from the more bitter little cones. Hoppy as hell but not particularly bitter.

Mouthfeel is delicate with a small bite -- not as much carbonation as I'd expect. Some real oiliness from the hops, but overall a suprisingly light-bodied beer.

This is 10 percent? Well I'd better be careful because you sure as heck don't taste it. I'd love more of these.

Really a classic -- the DIPA I've been looking for. I wish I had some more of these. When I was in Michigan in April, they were nowhere to be found -- they went that fast. Thanks ghscash for bringing one back for me. Worth the wait -- really one of the highest-quality brews I've ever had.

eberkman, May 05, 2009
Photo of Teke0611
4.55/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

batch 8907, tasted from a bottle at almost 4 months old in sam adams 'perfect' glassware.

popped the top, and smelled the bottle cap before pouring - potent.

a- cloudy. large head at the beginning and reverse cascade after a generous pour down the middle of the glass. large and pillowey bubbles that fade away quickly, like most ipas.

s- stick your head in a bag of wet hop pellets lately? you can tell it's not a week old, but is showing age. it has a sweetness there, like an odell's ipa times two.

t- at 4 months, the hops have faded in my bottle beneath the body of the beer. when i had it at 3 months, they were much brighter and crisper. last year when i had this, i was floored and might have given it a 6. :) i'll rate it on the previous tastings.

m- think and lingering malts. not much bitterness left. it's a tough beer at this age, since the hops are out of the picture and i had it at a temperature perhaps a little warmer than ideal.

d- a month ago; great, if you ignore the alcohol content. now; i've changed my mind and am not pleased. reminds me of an old maharaja.

Teke0611, May 03, 2009
Photo of ndillon45
4.97/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Christmas in my nose.

Wow. You can judge this book by it's cover. My only markdown was the slightly small head. Otherwise, I can't think of anything else this beer is lacking. Bell's must have a mad scientist working for them because this beer is genius. Wish they made it year-round.

ndillon45, May 02, 2009
Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
99 out of 100 based on 9,975 ratings.