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Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

9,982 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,982
Reviews: 3,124
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 9.58%
Wants: 1,934
Gots: 1,512 | 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: 9,982 | Reviews: 3,124 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of akahn
4.4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Sent in the mail from a co-worker who lives in D.C. Thanks dude.)

Golden amber honey tone with thick luscious head (hard pour). The head lasts, lots of carbonation floating up.

Rich, big resinous nose, with an ample hit of sweetness.

On the palate the sweetness leads -- the honey flavor is not pronounced but I think it's there. Sweetness immediately gives way to lively bitterness. Assertive but not overpowering. Hoppy prickles mesh with small bubbles that evaporate from the palate.

Very smooth and nuanced mouthfeel. Broad and all-encompassing; rich but not cloying.

Dangerously drinkable -- I had no idea this was 10% until I checked the label.

Glad I had a chance to sample this one. Imperial IPA is not my favorite style, but this is a very nice one.

akahn, May 01, 2009
Photo of lordofthewiens
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I can't get this beer in Maine, but did find it on a trip to Tampa. It certainly lives up to it's reputation. In a pint glass it has that slightly hazy orange color I expect from IIPAs. The aroma is just wonderful, a nice balance of sweet honey and tart citrus. Taste followed form, sweet malt and grapefruit. A nicely balanced, incredibly smooth beer. The alcohol is well-hidden, but I think two of these at a time are my limit.

lordofthewiens, May 01, 2009
Photo of John_M
4.22/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed this previously, but not out of the bottle.

The beer pours the prototypical peachy orange DIPA color, with good head retention and lacing. With several months of bottle age, this beer has become positively exotic on the nose, displaying mandarin orange, grapefruit, cherry and even cotton candy. There is much more of a tropical fruit flavor to the aroma then there was when it was first released (or the times I've had it on tap), and I confess it's really quite attractive. The flavors on the palate replicate the nose, and I have to say that even after several months in the bottle, this is still an absolutely delicious beer. The beer comes across as more of a strong ale now, but with a decidedly noticeable underlying hoppy presence. It's a bit sweeter and maltier tasting then it once was, but with enough hops to still carry the day and keep it from tasting overly heavy or tiring on the palate. I suspect that won't last much longer however, which is why I'm glad I'm down to my last couple of bottles. Mouthfeel is still medium to full bodied, though it has an underlying richness I didn't get before. Drinkability is the only area where this beer seems to have been noticeably hurt by the extra bottle age. The alcohol is now showing a bit, and the increasing sweetness is also a detraction/distraction.

Granted, this beer is absolutely at its best when super fresh, but even after 2 or 3 months of bottle age, it is still an impressive beer... a very solid DIPA.

Edit from 1/21/11. Sampled very fresh bottle the other day. Would raise drinkability to 5, but would otherwise keep everything else the same. Fresh HS is dangerously drinkable... the beer comes across as very light, with the honey flavor in this beer masking the alchohol completely. It's the sort of beer you almost want to keep on drinking till you're comatose.

John_M, Apr 29, 2009
Photo of aglose45
4.6/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle during an Imperial IPA "competition"; faced off against DFH 90 Minute IPA.

A: Light copper to dark yellow, some goodies floating around in the beer. Off-white/ yellow-cream head. Good head retention, and great lacing left on the glass.

S: PINEAPPLE with a bit of honey sweetness. Picked up some other citrus flavors, orange and lemon, as well. In addition to the citrus bang I have already listed, I was pleasantly surprised to pick up some grapefruit too! Man, I love citrus hops in my IPA's/ IIPA's...

M: Light to medium bodied. There was some stickiness/ oiliness from the hops. Carbonation is great - lower which allows for more surface area of beer (flavor) hitting your taste buds.

D: If I was left with one beer in this world, and this was it, I would be a very happy man. Aside from the the higher abv (10%), this is a beer that you won't want to put down.

aglose45, Apr 28, 2009
Photo of pweis909
3.43/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle, batch # 8912, which was born of Jan 13, according to the website. So, over three months. The beer is underwhelming. Aroma is hoppy, possibly a little solventy/resiny. Taste is sweet, almost to the point of cloying. There is a bitter grapefruit rind finish. I believe this is my first DIPA and I find it oddly disappointing. Given my anticipation of bitterness, I thought I would welcome a sweet malty backbone more. But it might actually be too sweet. 10% alcohol? That will be a hoot when I try to stand up.

pweis909, Apr 28, 2009
Photo of twelvsies
3.38/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Batch #8907, bottled in January according to the website, drank in April. Had high hopes for this one but not initially floored as I thought I might be. It's only 3 months old, but perhaps it's starting to fade a bit. My question is, should a beer lose it's quality that quickly? I dunno... but I will definitely seek out an uber fresh sample of this when available and compare it with these notes. As is this beer pours a sturdy looking amber color, darkish, with a small head fading pretty quickly. Smell is hoppy, citrus mostly, orange peel, but then dominated by a sweet maltyness. Very heavy on the malt as well in the taste. I'm not getting destroyed by the hops here. A vanilla sweetness and an orange citrus flavor prevail over everything else. Perhaps a little too sweet from the added honey. And a little boozy to be honest. If there was a bigger hop presence this may be covered up but it's just not holding up. Malty, sweet, sticky, chewy, kind of clumsy. Not trying to knock this beer as I may not have the freshest example (but I did have three bottles to make sure) but it isn't world class in my book.

twelvsies, Apr 27, 2009
Photo of sevopie
4.38/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yellow/Golden with a sizable off-white/tan head. Laces moderately well.

A bit of citrusy hops, with honey dominating. Also, the slightest soap smell, but its very barely noticable.

A blast of hops greets you with the first sip, complimented well by the honey. Grapefruit and grassy notes abound.

Fairly oily, with a mild carbonation.

The hops start to overwhelm as it warms, but this is still quite sippable throughout. Great brew, but not quite at the top as far as IPAs go. I'm glad I got to try this - thanks bobbydigi! (via another member.)

sevopie, Apr 26, 2009
Photo of krisandajt
4.33/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been meaning to review this bad boy for a while now...finally got the chance.

Appearance: Pours a nice clear, golden color. Head foams up nice, about two finger widths. Settles slowly with some nice lacing left behind.

Smell: Hoppy, just a bit of pine, nice! Not overwhelming either...it actually has a slight bit of sweetness to it.

Taste: Smooth and hoppy. I was expecting more of a hoppy punch at the end, but it is actually finishes off nicely. Bitter but not overwhelming, with just a little bit of pine. Delicious!

Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel was okay. I was expecting a little more carbonation and a heavier feel to it. Regardless, it was smooth and refreshing.

Drinkability: Highly drinkable if you like hops (which I do). High ABV makes this less of a session brew and more of a one-timer, atleast for me. Still, I will definitely be drinking more of these in the future.

krisandajt, Apr 24, 2009
Photo of barnzy78
4.8/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. Usually I carefully decant Bell's products, but not this one. Poured a cloudy but bright amber color with a rocky, off-white head with good retention and a nice lacing. Huge floral hop and pine aroma coupled with grapefruit. Mouth-feel is thick and juicy, some carbonation that allows the flavors to cover the entire palate. Juicy ripened pineapple and grapefruit explode on the first sip, it's sweet like fresh honey, but the bitter piny hop finish is fantastically balanced with the malty sweetness. Alcohol is well concealed. This is an amazing ale. Always a favorite of mine.

On-tap it's even better!

barnzy78, Apr 24, 2009
Photo of olmatty
4.4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Slightly clouded amber with a creamy white one finger head.

Smell- Fresh and herbaceous hops and a sweet malty backdrop

Taste- A brawny malt backbone with a touch of sweetness, a fresh herbaceous hop blast and a long bitter finish.

Mouthfeel- Big and palate filling with moderate, smooth carbonation.

Drinkability- Big flavor might limit drinkability, but not for lack of flavor. A real winner.

olmatty, Apr 23, 2009
Photo of BeerImmediately
4.28/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 2f white head, with nice lacing. Fairly clear, amber/orange color and light carbonation present.

Smell is simply awesome - like a buttery biscuit drizzled in honey, sitting in the middle of a pine forest. Oh, and a glass of pineapple juice sitting next to it.

Taste was quite well balanced - high on the hops, yes, but nearly equally rich maltiness. Grapefruit, resin, sweet apricots, and a hint of smoke as it warmed.

MF was rich, as expected. Juicy hops, with a lingering film on the tongue, and slight burn of alcohol on the throat.

Amazingly drinkable for the ABV, and this is how the beer becomes dangerous. I would not want to be faced with this on tap at a bar - without adequate cab fare in pocket, and a free schedule the next morning.

BeerImmediately, Apr 23, 2009
Photo of Thorpe429
4.13/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap in Bloomington, IN. Had this some time in January 2009.

A: Bright orange and slightly cloudy. A white head with glimmers of the beer in it.

S: Simply put, this is the most amazing nose I've ever encountered. An overabundance of hops combined with a clear scent of honey, and a powerful malt base to back it all up. I know this scent will be good in a month or so, so I really need to savor it while it's fresh.

T: Much like the nose, this is utterly without parallel (sorry to Mr. Pliny, I haven't had the opportunity yet). This is how every DIPA should be made. The malt is certainly there, but does nothing to even content with the luscious hops that come on. Simply brilliant. The honey is certainly a nice touch, too.

M: Medium bodied with good carbonation.

D: Could be the only beer I'd ever drink again, if Bell's were so gracious as to devote 50% of their capacity to this one.

Thorpe429, Apr 22, 2009
Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.28/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to DoctorDog for this one in a trade.
12 oz Single.

A: Light amber color with about half an inch of dense creamy looking off white head. Slightly hazy. Gobs of lacing all around. Fair amount of carbonation moving around in this one. Very nice looking DIPA.

S: Hops, and a fair amount of them, but a fair amount of sweetness too, which is interesting for the style. Lots of honey, caramel, and candy like sugar smells in this one to go along with the hops. Hops are earth, and strong, some citrus and pine too, lots of different hop smells pulling my nose in a few directions. Very nice though.

T: Not what I expected at all. Extremely balanced is the first thing that comes to mind. Not a flaming hop bomb like I expected. Hops are there, and definitely in abundance, but there is a huge malt profile to match it. Hops are bitter, and earthy, but not overwhelming. Malt profile is honey, caramel, and sweet. Really the epitome of balance in a DIPA. Lots of hop flavors and resins, but a solid malt backbone to hang with it. Not a hint of booze either. Impressive. I'm thoroughly impressed.

M: Medium thickness and carbonation. Quite dry, and slightly puckering from the hop characteristic. Slight alcohol heat once it hits my gut, but not really terrible. Spot on for the style.

D: Well...for what it is, this is one of the more drinkable DIPA's. It doesn't burninate the tongue like others with hop dominance, and it has great balance. If there is such a thing is a session DIPA, this would be it. Really a great beer, and I wish it were more readily available out West. I'd really like to try this beer on tap.

Thanks Ben! We might have to arrange for another trade on this one!

pokesbeerdude, Apr 22, 2009
Photo of mtstatebeer
4.08/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass. Pours a hazy golden amber color with a small off-white head that quickly disappears, pretty good lacing. Aroma is mainly hops; pine, resin, grapefruit, and a decent caramel malt backbone. Flavor is also mainly hops. I get grapefruit, resin, honey, and a touch of alcohol. Very strong bitter finish puts action to its name. Very good beer, warms pretty well also.

mtstatebeer, Apr 22, 2009
Photo of Payso10
4.88/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

on tap 3/19/09.

had this one on tap at the Bavarian Lodge in a 12oz. pub glass. a very clear presence with a light golden hue. great lacingleft on glass and tastes of tart honey with a sharp, bitter, and citrus punch that lasts long. fruitful and wants to be be drank all day long, but had to hold back from the extreme temptation. looking forward to many more of this fantastic brew!

Payso10, Apr 22, 2009
Photo of projectflam86
4.93/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Pours beautiful golden/amber color with a thin off-white head that leaves great lacing.

S- Strong piney hop nose. Some delicate floral and citrus (mostly grapefruit, orange peel, and lemon). There is the slightest bit of honey detectable.

T- Wonderful hop flavor initially with a strong pine and grapefruit taste. There is a sweet malt honey flavor that attempts to balance the bitter hops. The hops eventually win that battle but the sweetness gave a respectable effort.

M- Medium bodied and crisp. Way more balanced in terms of bitter hops/sweet malt than I expected.

D- Superbly drinkable, could easily become one of my favorites.

Notes: This batch was brewed about 4 months ago (Jan 09). I have heard that the hops fade quickly which may be why I perceived a much better balance of malt and hops than expected. If this is the case, I will most certainly be looking to try a fresh one next time around.

ReReviewed on Jan 10, 2010 with a fresh (2 week old) batch:

A- Slightly hazy orange amber pour with plenty of white lace - 4.5

S- Massive aroma of tropical citrus hops and honey - 5.0

T- Huge hop explosion with flavors of pineapple, orange, ruby red grapefruit, kiwi, lemon, and passion fruit. A prominent yet delicate honey flavor helps out for a balanced finish but this baby is all hops. Absolutely amazing - 5.0

M- Medium bodied with great carbonation. The alcohol is hidden incredibly well - 4.5

D- One of the easiest drinking IPA/DIPAs out there. Huge hop flavor with the alcohol being exceptionally well hidden. This beer was great with a few months on it, but it is absolutely phenomenal fresh. Buy and drink immediately - 5.0

projectflam86, Apr 20, 2009
Photo of Beerenauslese
4.33/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear gold, with a head that dissipates quickly, retaining a thin layer of foam and leaving a little lacing on the glass. Smells of sweet hay and citrus, with some brown sugar sweetness. A concentrated grassy hopslam it is. It has a strong citrus, I'd say grapefruit flavor, yet a balanced sweetness level. Most of the taste comes out at the beginning. Though concentrated, it is a well balanced beer. The mouthfeel is light and refreshing. This is one to make you sad when the glass is empty and definitely glad to have another.

Beerenauslese, Apr 18, 2009
Photo of Larrytown
4.1/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one appropriately named beer. Pours a hazy golden-orange and the nose is, well, hoppy. Lots of citrus right in your face. This is one you can smell across the room. In my book, that's a good thing.

The taste has a lot to live up to after that smell and, for the most part, it does. It's definitely typical of your citrus-y IPA with, if anything, a bit more fruity than I expected.

I split a sixer with a friend and they went quickly, but it's definitely a palate-cleanser. Not sure I could transition from this to something else, but hey, it's good enough that you don't need to.

Larrytown, Apr 17, 2009
Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
99 out of 100 based on 9,982 ratings.