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Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

11,114 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 11,114
Reviews: 3,322
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 9.58%
Wants: 2,255
Gots: 2,310 | FT: 75
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

Starting with six different hop varietals added to the brew kettle & culminating with a massive dry-hop addition of Simcoe hops, Bell's Hopslam Ale possesses the most complex hopping schedule in the Bell's repertoire. Selected specifically because of their aromatic qualities, these Pacific Northwest varieties contribute a pungent blend of grapefruit, stone fruit, and floral notes. A generous malt bill and a solid dollop of honey provide just enough body to keep the balance in check, resulting in a remarkably drinkable rendition of the Double India Pale Ale style.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 11,114 | Reviews: 3,322 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ggilman
4.59/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle, into a tulip glass. Thanks to Mike

As soon as I cracked the cap I was hit with a big grassy hop nose, just what I was hoping for. White frothy head settles relatively quick, and laces. Honey colored, and more clear than I expected. The nose is sweetening up, and turning malty. Great bitterness up front, grapefruit hops and caramel malt in the dry finish. Resinous slick hop oils coat the mouth. A crisp bubbly bite marks the mouthfeel. Bitterness lingers, and leaves a grain & honeycomb note behind. Yeasts and malt come out as it warms. There's no denying this is 10%!

This is a greap DIPA, and one I would drink regularly, were it available in these parts. Admittedly, this beer was very hyped up for me, and didn't live up to my unrealistic expectation entirely, however, I feel satisfied to know that I can find DIPA's of this caliber from New England.

Hopslam is, however, worthy of the hype.

A good lesson learned with this one. Enjoy, and be thankful for the beers from your region.

Photo of WastingFreetime
4.13/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served to me on tap. Incidentally, I find that it perfectly complements my rather spicy Sichuan take out. (I'm lucky enough to have a local bar that allows outside food to be brought in)

A. Slightly toasted straw color. Very impressive head that leaves behind one of the most intricate and beautiful lacing patterns I have ever seen in a tap beer.

S. Orange peel, grapefruit peel, some mango and pine aromas, but not quite as much mango and pine as Dreadnaught on tap. I don't smell any honey, but I do definitely smell the booziness of the 10% ABV. That part, I could do without. Everything else, however, is spot on for my tastes.

T. One of the great things I love about IPAs is taking a mouthful of super spicy food, feeling the burn, and taking a swallow of those hops to wash it down. The fun thing about this trick I have found is that it AMPLIFIES both the sensation of the chile burn and the resinous nature of the hops. But the beer, the beer does indeed have honey character in the taste which I was missing in the nose. Its just that, for me, it doesn't show up until the finish. In the start it is a bitter resinous punch which dissolves into that honeyed sweetness so rapidly that the contrast is quite enjoyable. Lovely

M. Now I have a slight problem, this is too heavy and thick on the tongue. Oh well, you can't have everything.

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

into an oversized wine glass

Pours a clear burnt copper or amber with a nice white head that fades to some solid lacing.

Smells like citrus fruit and sweet floral hops. Strong grapefruit aroma, a little pine, and just a touch of alcohol.

Tastes sweet with a smooth maltiness. I think I do pick up a little honey in there that blends well with the malt. Still amazingly hoppy even being quite a few months old. Only a slight bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is medium and and maybe just a little thick with great carbonation.

Overall is an excellent beer that I'm gonna be more on top of getting fresh next year.

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

Had this beer at my favorite bar in town, Sonka's. I've had this in bottles and on tap, and I much prefer the freshly tapped version.

The pour was really nice, a solid orange color with a fair amount of head and a wonderfully hoppy smell, just like the name promises.

The taste of the beer isn't as much of a kick in the face as I expected, and that was good for me. I loved the hints of citrus in the beer while still having a strong bitter taste without dominating the entire beer. Awesome taste, great beer.

Photo of farlieonfootie
4.42/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bell's Brewery Hopslam Ale Brewed with Honey pours a clear cherry golden color -- looks a bit like a Shirley Temple -- with a fizzy white head that quickly disappears into nothingness. The smell -- oh, the smell -- is springtime in paradise, all tropical fruits, mango and papaya, with just a hint of very mellow hoppiness. The beer is aptly named, as hops are the first thing I taste, and they're bracing, but not overwhelming, and balanced by a hint of honey sweetness. The taste lingers a long time. This is a beer to remember.

Photo of colt45n
4.92/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served from 12oz bottle.

A: Golden color with an orange tint. Firm head and beautiful lacing.

S: Fruity Fruity, Hops Hops, beatiful smell

T: Juicy orange and grape flavors upfront, I have never had anytype of IPA like this and I am loving the fruity hops

D: Medium, sticky mouthfeel that is not overwhelming for a beer this big.

Overall I really love this beer but as others have mentioned it def loses its surperior quality after time, don't get me wrong its still a great beer, just not over the top greatness like when fresh.

Photo of jefferz5000
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mega thanks to Scoot1969 for tossing this into an amazing box of goodies for me.

This pours beautifully into my Spiegelau tulip. A soft, slightly hazy, amber gold hue with a pretty white head that hangs out as I sip away.

Aroma is of fresh citrus fruits and tropical pineapple scents. I think some honey may be coming through along with the hoppiness. This is a surprisingly good aroma.

Taste follows the nose and brings some pretty extreme hop bitterness, but not overwhelming (well sorta to my dad). The fruitiness is such a pleasant surprise. This is the kind of DIPA that I hope for. Alcohol presence makes itself somewhat known, but not in a bad way.

Mouthfeel is really nice. It's got a creaminess to it that I find quite pleasant. Just the right amount of carbonation.

I know people love to discuss freshness and how beers like this are worthless after a day, but this is quite delicious and I'm so glad I've had the opportunity to try it. If this is seriously better when seconds old, I'll certainly have to seek some out next year.

Photo of Dope
4.8/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

5/18/11 review, approximately 5 month old bottle.

A: A nice light amber color, pretty typical of a double IPA.

S: Very citrusy and sweet smelling. Not as flowery or strong as some other DIPAs but still very respectable.

T: Very nice hop bitterness up front that rounds out with some delicious honey flavor. Extremely well balanced and extremely smooth all the way through. Tastes good chilled from the fridge or at room temperature. No indication of alcohol at all, honestly I was shocked when I read it was 10% - I figured maybe 7% at most.

M: Full bodied - this is where you can tell it's a bit bigger than I initially expected. Fairly heavy and almost feels like your mouth is coated with sticky honey.

D: Top notch for the style. Obviously it's a pretty big beer with a lot of alcohol and sweetness but nothing is overpowering. I could drink a bunch of these no problem.

Overall I think this is the best DIPA I've ever had (no, I haven't had any of the Plinys). Stellar beer, just too bad Bell's doesn't distribute out here :(

1/24/12 review, bottle dated 12/30/11.

A: A cloudy golden orange pour. Big frothy white head atop it. Head retention is excellent. Lacing is as well.

S: Lots of citrus, grapefruit and honey. Nice grainy caramel malt to back it up. Resinous pine shows up once it warms. Maybe a touch of pineapple?

T: Big pine and grapefruit bitterness punch up front. Sweet caramel malt kicks in with the honey to round it out PERFECTLY. Honey lingers nicely in the aftertaste with the pine.

M: Pretty heavy but not as bad as you would expect. Almost a little sticky. Carbonation is dead on.

O: This is the pinnacle of IPAs in my opinion. Since my first review I've had some PtE and other notables but they don't surpass hopslam. Great beer, wish it were year-round (and available in MA!). Reading my first review, it seems to hold up pretty damn well, which is more than can be said for other IPAs.

Photo of JerseyKirk
4.19/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Golden but not transparent. Hardly any head due to alcohol content. White head. Limited lacing.

S: Grapefruit. Strong and delicious smelling.

T: Hoppy but not overly bitter. Really smooth and balanced. Clean finish. No alcohol burn even though its 10% abv.

M: Full bodied.

D: Could easily drink more without being overworked with hop flavors.

Photo of SirSketch
4.23/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Golden color with an orange tint. Firm head and beautiful lacing.

S - Resinous, sappy hops and some grapefruit and white grape juice. Smells very 'dank,' if you catch my drift. The alcohol aromas just barely break through all of the hops.

T - Juicy orange and grape flavors upfront, then another round of hops that are more 'green,' or leafy, and ends with a huge bitterness and alcohol bite.

M - Medium, sticky mouthfeel that is not overwhelming for a beer this big.

O - Such a delicious DIPA that doesn't weight you down with the body or alcohol, like so many others do.

Photo of mjw1200
5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I wrote this review when I had my first one of the year, just forgot to publish. Hopslam starts losing flavor quickly to me, and every one I buy is guzzled as quick as possible. My wife was shocked by the smell sitting 15 feet away. She said it was the best beer she has ever smelled and I concur. Very smooth, Lots of grapefruit comes through. Love the citrus and the bitterness. This is top of the class when it comes to DIPAs.

Photo of chugalug06
3.93/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours very nicely. Easily fits into a globe with one pour. Head is two finger with foamy slightly green/yellow head. Brew color is perfect cloudy orange color. Great head retention and nice lacing!

S - Slight soapy scent... Almost like little kid bubbles. Not overly amazing scent. Kinda disappointing. I would love to have had a fresh one, from what I understand this brew is currently three or four months old. When I really bury my nose in this brew I can pull notes of pine, lemon, and pineapple.

T - Amazingly smooth! Zero hint of heat whatsoever. Great taste. Grapefruit, orange, and lime all come to mind when drinking.

M - WOW. Great mouthfeel. Delicate carbonation, done wonderfully. Heavy bodied, but drinks very well.

O - Great brew! Super glad I got to FINALLY try this one!!! I'd love to try a fresh Hopslam sometime. A great brew in a great trade! I little bit all over the board, but good nonetheless

Thank you brendaniel!


Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.7/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 3-14-2011

12oz bottle poured into a Ping Glass.
bottle code 10127

A- Pours a light orange color with a white- almost nonexistent head.

S- Smells like lemon, orange, and honeysuckel.

T- Honey, oranges, tangerines.

D- Drinks too sweet for me.

O- I was really excited for this one, but I was a bit let down how sweet it was.

Photo of dhartogs
4.85/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Overall: I am not a hophead, and didn't want to believe the hype, but I am sold.

A: Nice cloudy body thick head.
S: Amazing, my wife does not like the smell of hops but could nose this baby all day long
t: remarkably smooth given the abv and ibus.
m: tingly and big.

O: What can I say about this beer that hasn't been said. I was surprised at how much I liked this offering and really enjoyed sipping on it for an hour trying to disect the beer.

Photo of shangwang
4.92/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

got a couple of bottles of this in a trade from stickman1220 - thanks, Chris!

poured from bottle with batch #10073 into a Dogfish goblet.

Hopslam poured with a finger of creamy white head that very quickly dissipated and left thick thick lacing on the sides of the glass. It was a golden orange color and fairly clear. FANTASTIC smell; orangy citrus sweetness beautifully blended with hops. The taste was equally enjoyable; I definitely tasted honey and citrus sweetness, and the bitterness of hops delightfully punched through without either end of the spectrum overpowering the other. Extremely well-balanced. Some hints of booziness were just barely present, but overall the taste masked the high ABV deceivingly well. Medium weight in the mouth, with some stickiness, but like every other aspect of this beer, juuust right. Very drinkable- you could easily knock back a few of these without batting an eye (if it weren't for the pricetag!).

Overall, I can easily see why this beer is so highly regarded. I was most impressed with the balance of sweetness and bitterness. To me, this is how an IPA should taste. Well done, Bell's!

Photo of sbennett22
4.67/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark orange in color. Thin, lacy head that sticks to the glass but disappears before long.

S: Smells very sweet because of the honey, but also strong scent of hops and other citrus flavors.

T: Perfect balance of sweet honey and hoppy bitterness throughout the entire sip. The high ABV is hidden very well in this delicious beer.

M: Coats the mouth, but not overbearing. Smooth and drinkable for such a strong beer.

O: For me, this beer was well worth the hype. I noticed a serious difference between fresh Hopslam and anything over a month old. The quality through its life is often debated, but I preferred it as fresh as possible.

Photo of chinchill
4.24/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle served in pint glass (& 2013 bottle in a goblet; & an 18 day old 2015 bottle in a pilsner glass)

Pours a nice light, orange-amber with 1 finger of bone head. Upon drinking, the head reduces to irregular surface coat and leaves splotchy, sticky lacing. Excellent calrity

Highly aromatic, with seemingly fresh and rather strong hoppy aroma. Fruity (citrus) and floral, with hints of high ABV.

Very strong flavor with ample bitter and noticeable sweet components. Slightly dry finish with less bitterness than expected; IBU, reported as 106, seems lower. The high ABV seemed partly hidden but became more evident with warming. Hints of orange peel, honey brandy, pine and grapefruit lie within the complex mix of hop flavors.

M - good carbonation; fairly smooth; a little 'bite' from high ABV and hops. Warming.

O - simply a great sipper for hopheads, and I do recommend sipping for both reasons of flavor and ABV. Not quite over the top, the huge hop load is pungent but seems less challenging than it might be, perhaps due to the honey; perhaps due to the "generous malt bill". Still, too extreme for some, no doubt.

(revised lightly with new .25 pt rating system and tasting of 2013 bottle in Feb. 2013, and again with an 18 day old 2015 bottle in a pilsner glass)

Photo of Seeker41184
5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Date Drunk: 1/15/11

Pours like a light lager, with a yellow-orange tint with frothy head. The smell is mouth watering of candy hops and pink grapefruit. The first sip made me fall back into my chair. It's liquid sugared grapefruit with a slight dry hop at the end, it is brewed with honey, hence the sweetness. To make this beer even better, you can keep drinking and drinking because the 10% is not even present.

The tap version is a perfect beer.

Photo of elephantrider
4.92/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

For my first review I will do one of my favorite beers.

A: Golden copper color with a fluffy white head. Spiderweb lacing as the glass empties.

S: The aroma of this beer is incredible. Very piney and resiny. The citrus aroma smacks you in the mouth.

T: This is not one of those beers that is over the top bitter. In fact, it is the opposite. At first, it tastes sweet but that soon changes into a dominant citrus flavor with honey in the backround. Alcohol is very well hidden.

M: Not a very heavy or thick beer but definitely sticky.

O: This is a top 3 DIPA for me and I have had a bunch of them. I always look forward to the release of this one. I have had this on draft, cask and bottled and I would say bottled is the best. For some reason the hop presence flourishes when served in a bottle.

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

Had this on tap at the neighborhood brewpub. It was my first time having it on tap. Pretty amazing....immediately notice the crisp and citrus hop flavor with an amazing honey after taste. So good it made me keep coming back for more...didn't realize just how strong it was though.

Then had it from the bottle a few days later and found them to be quite different. Bottle seemed to be less citrus flavor but more honey. All in all the best IIPA I've ever had.

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

12oz. bottle poured into a duvel. Bottled 1/26/2011 - consumed 2/21/2011 - reviewing from notes.
A: pours a hazy copper color clearing up after the bottle empties. Fluffy off white head, good lacing and retention. Very resinous.

S: Huge hop presence, big citrus notes and a heavy pine concentration.

T: Fits the aroma almost perfectly with a nice honey balance.

M: Good balance on carbonation and a nice hop bitterness adds a little on the tongue.

O: Excellent brew from Bell's. I wish they would do this year round. Great DIPA.

Photo of philly224
4.2/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had from an 12 oz bottle that was a few months old.

A: Golden color with a little bit of a white head.

S: Lots of pine/grapefruit you can really smell the hops in this one

T: I got a lot of grapefruit and the honey balanced things out nicely. Even at over 2 months old this beer tasted great.

M: Medium body with a good bit of carbonation

Overall this is a great year and I cant wait until next years release to try it fresh.

Photo of hotmanflab666
4.65/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Emerges nice deep golden in color which tells me I am going to enjoy this one. The color shows a lack of caramel color, therefore, a lack of caramel flavor (which I like in DIAP). Small white head leaves minimal lacing.

Aroma is very grapefruity, grassy, and quite piney as well. Loads of overall citrus with minimal malt aromas.

Awesome flavor and exactly what a DIPA should be like. Slight sweetness immediately, then leaves immediately, with some more bitterness up front and more in the back. Loads of grapefruit with the grass being a little more subdued in flavor as compared to aroma. Bitter but in no way out of balance. Absolutely perfect.

Perhaps a touch thin for most but I really like the thinness. Without the chewy maltiness, this is one perfect DIPA. Perhaps this and Pliny the Elder are tops in my book. Wonderful.

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

finally I get the chance to try the legendary Hopslam! Ever since I started on this site I have wanted to try this brew. I can't wait to try this bad boy!

A- Hopslam pours a golden orange color with fantastic foam that hangs around the top. Sticky lacing is all over the sides of the glass. The brew almost glows all over the place. It literally highlights a hop fest that is on the way

S- no question, you have to quarantine this brew! The minute the cap pops off, the scent is flaring. Concentration of mangos, tropical fruit, and piney resin top off a good caramel and toffee whack of flavor. I can only imagine if this was fresh

T- very very impressive taste profile. The tropical fruit is absolutely catastrophic. This is a very unique taste for a DIPA that meshes with a caramel malt on the backend. I can't even find the alcohol! Even a little bitterness to keep the theme going

M- mouth is carbonated and full of flavor. The flavor from Hopslam literally coates your mouth

D- hands down, this is the real deal. Hopslam is so drinkable. It may be the TASTIEST brews out there. Great flavor all over. I am going to need to trade for this bad boy yearly

Photo of hopslamds
4.85/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fresh 2009 batch poured a beautiful hazy yellow with thick white head. Aroma of strong citrusy hops. Initial taste is hot with citrus and grapefruit. Sweet with hints of caramel and left a very nice hoppy taste in my mouth afterward. Alcohol is hidden very well. An aged 2008 bottle mellows out the hops and hotness and makes for a wonderful taste.

Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
99 out of 100 based on 11,114 ratings.