Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

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BA SCORE
99
world-class

10,271 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,271
Reviews: 3,132
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 9.58%
Wants: 2,062
Gots: 1,578 | FT: 39
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: 10,271 | Reviews: 3,132 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kirkmichel
4.65/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Clear, Honey colored w/ very light white foamy head
S-HOPPY! I get a raspberry-piney scent, almost sweet-tart..which is a great sign as some of my favorite IPAs smell this way to me
T-This has a super hoppy and piney taste, rather complex, and has a finish which is almost sweet like berries. Its bitter/sweet is balanced nicely and has a nice orange citrus tang. Wierd since I know this is brewed with honey, but beer chemistry constantly surprises me.
M-Viscous and a bit oily on the toungue, but nice.
D-Very drinkable...almost scary for this beer. It only leaves a little alcohol on the tongue with a bit of citrus. This beer really does open up when it sits for a while - consider nursing it (if you can) and see how the taste gets even better.
This may be one of my favorite beers and I'm thrilled that we can get it in GA now...while it lasts, anyway. I will update when I do a head-to-head with Dogfishhead 90 minute..may mix in a taste of pliney the elder (if I can procure it) for good measure.

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

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle. Batch #9552 according to Bells website it was bottled on Jan 18,2010. Poured into a snifter. About 2 inches of foamy head. Strong grapefuit like smell with some sweet aroma. Deep copper color. The flavor is outstanding. Strong sweet honey, hoppy flavor is very intense. Hops profile is more grapefruit than pine. Mouthfeel is very smooth and highly drinkable.

Photo of dasenebler
4/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This 12ozer was bottled about a month and a half ago (batch 9470), so it's fresh, though not super-fresh.

Poured into a snifter. Appealing deep honey color with a massive white head. Impressive retention for a high-abv brew, very good lacing.

Aroma is brilliant and vibrant, full of citrus hops and apricot. Nice.

Flavor was pretty hot and hoppy. Sort of sweet and not incredibly bitter. Hop flavor seemed kind of nondescriptly tangy and incomplete. Mouthfeel was oily from the hops and creamy from the ample carbonation.

I feel like this beer gets a lot of its reputation from its warming character. The kick-- likely a result of the honey added during brewing-- is nice and smooth, but it doesn't do much for the flavors of this beer. Good stuff, if over-hyped. Didn't really slam me.

Photo of Yimosan
4.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had it on tap at Mr. Dunderbaks Tampa Fl.

A: Copper in color, with a white and frothy 2 inch head.

S: Unbelievable aroma...citrus, pine, grapefruit, some malt...crazy good!!!!

T: Citric, malty, and a hidden sweetness that comes around the palate to round things off.

M: Full bodied, creamy and stingy on the front to middle palate, guessing due to the alcohol content.

D: Amazingly easy to drink considering the beer's strength.

Note: I accompanied this beer with a huge plate of German food and after 3 pints I was comatose!

Salud!

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

this beer has a beautiful deep golden color with a small white head that vanishes quickly, like a ninja, but, unlike a ninja, leaves large traces of lacing.

the smell is sweet, odd for an ipa, and very little bitter scent. sort of an odd trailing scent of hay (or horseblanket?).

the taste is a bit more balanced than the scent. though the odd earthy, haylike character sticks around.

the mouthfeel is very nice, creamy and lightly carbonated. clean finish, with just a little dryness.

this beer does tend to be slightly filling, though not bad on the palate.

I tried this beer last year but i remember it being slightly better, maybe I'm imagining things. still not bad though.

Photo of kegger22
4.43/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bell's HopSlam is a brilliant orange Imperial IPA with a moderate off white head than reduced to a collar.

As the name would imply, the aroma has a huge hop presence.

Citrus hops also dominate the taste buds, but the honey also make itself known with a moderating sweetness. There is a pine after taste.

The mouth feel is medium bodied with amply carbonation.

Drinkability is good for a 10.00 ABV. I want another right now. In fact, I think I will.

Maybe not quite up to the hype, but close enough and a very good beer. This bottle was from a sixer purchase almost two months ago and it has already mellowed. The fresh stuff was even more of a "HopSlam".

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

Poured into a pint glass. It has a pure clear golden color. About a finger of white head that leaves some excellent lacing on the sides of the glass. It has an incredible clean floral hop aroma with hints of citrus. One of the best noses I have encountered on a beer. The hops are definitely present on the front of the sip. They match the floral notes in the aroma. It is surprisingly smooth. I expected much more bitterness. This is probably the least bitter double IPA I have ever had. The hops are still there just not so abrupt. I am not sure if the honey is responsible for the subdued bitterness or not. The honey is noted in some sweetness at the tail end of the taste and probably adds to the oily mouthfeel along with the hops. This is very smooth and the alcohol is masked making the alcohol content seem to be in the 6%-7% range. Overall and excellent beer. One of the best DIPA I have experienced. Although an excellent beer, I was disappointed slightly. I think the hype raised my expectations too high.

Photo of zimm421
4.6/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a dark, clear gold with a nice, thick head that dissipates slowly, leaving great lacing.

S - Very strong scents of pine, citrus and honey. The hops and honey mixed together make an incredible smell.

T - Follows the nose well with citrus, more specifically grapefruit, piney hops, and honey. The three work together incredibly. This starts out sweet and finishes with a very nice bitterness. The alcohol stands out in the taste too, but the rest is so rich that it blends very well.

M - There is a good amount of carbonation, but still feels creamy and very smooth. Again, the alcohol stands out but it fits in well.

D - Fairly easy to drink, but it is very thick making it slightly difficult to go for more than a few at a time. The wonderful flavor makes you want to go back for more every time.

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

12 oz bottle, batch 9470 (Dec. 23), into a Duvel tulip in a side-by-side tasting with Founders Double Trouble.

A: Clear, bright amber body sits placidly beneath an inch and a half of rich, creamy white head. Excellent retention and lots of nice, very sticky lace. Truly a paragon of DIPA looks.

S: Tons of citrus hop aroma swirls up from the tulip, engulfing me in ripe orange, bitter grapefruit, and some mild tropical fruit (mango?). No malt to be distinguished, just layer after layer of hoppy goodness. Perhaps not quite as intense and multifaceted as Pliny (the standard to which I now have to compare all DIPAs), but a truly excellent-smelling beer (and distinctly superior to DT).

T: Wow. On the palate, this is right up there with PtE. Creamy orange at first, then some subtle spiciness comes through along with the more intense bitterness of grapefruit pith. Just a bit of light malt sweetness balances things out momentarily, but is quickly subsumed in the richly bitter finish. This finish is immense both in flavor and duration, cycling through warm tropical fruit, bitter grapefruit, and finally a bit of alcohol warmth. Definitely not as bitter overall as the DT, and almost infinitely more complex. This is an amazing beer.

M: Silk. Smooth medium body with just the right amount of velvety effervescence to make this nectar flow with unparalleled ease.

D: While I'll be crying all too soon when my sixpack is gone, each individual bottle is so packed with flavor that it takes a while to ease through it - despite its name, this is definitely not a "slammable" beer. Certainly moreso than the DT, though.

Notes: This one lives up to the hype, and then some. The comparisons to Pliny are entirely just, although the beers are really on opposite ends of the DIPA spectrum - Hopslam is all about the bright, fruity, citrus side of hops, while Pliny balances that with a generous dose of dank piney goodness as well. I checked, and I've scored them identically (with the only difference being that Hopslam outscores Pliny on mouthfeel, and it's reversed for drinkability). I wish so much that this were a year-round release, and that it was distributed to CT. C'est la vie. I'll just have to have my buddy in Chicago ship me two sixers next year. Oh, and it kicked DT's ass, great as that beer is. Hopslam is amazing.

Cheers!

Photo of boatshoes
4.18/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked on of these up for the first time recently on a trip down to Columbus. Excited as I absolutely loved the Oracle.

Appearance- Pours out of the bottle into my New Belgium snifter with a massive, rocky white head on top of a sparkling, deep golden-amber body. Lots of active carbonation in the body, great head retention, and a lot of thick lacing left as I drink. Quite a looker.

Smell- Wow, a whole lot of tropical fruit going on here. Great big notes of hoppy grapefruit, mango, and pineapple with mango being predominant. Really fruity on the nose without much pine or resin that I was expecting to pick up on.

Taste- Actually, not quite what I was expecting from the nose. I had heard this one was quite fruity on the palate and given the nose it was what I expected to be predominant. Although there remained notes of mango and pineapple in the taste profile, it was dominated more by bitter grapefruit and pine. Much more forward in the way of pine needles and resin rather than tropical hop flavors I felt, though this isn't meant in a negative way. In fact, I felt that The Oracle was much fruitier in the flavor profile. In addition there is a noticeable rich sweetness backing up the hops and making this much more balanced than I was expecting given the bitter hop punch.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Great rich mouthfeel on this beer and drinkability is quite good for the style despite the heavy bitterness and high abv.

Overall, an excellent DIPA. Interesting flavor profile that is held together quite well despite the level of hop bitterness. Thus far, this is my third favorite DIPA after The Oracle (1st) and Pliny the Elder (2nd). Well worth a try.

Photo of zac16125
4.72/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: B , pours a dark golden color with a 1/2 finger width white head that quicky disappaites to a film which stays for the remainder of the drink and leaves very slight lacing.

Smell: A+ , As soon as I opened the bottle I caught an amazing hoppy aroma, that intensified after the pour. If you've even handled fresh whole hops, that is what this beer smell like. Great aroma.

Taste: A , I expected an overhopped, overly bitter ale, but I was plesently surprised. This beer brought strong hop characters but has the malt characters that allowed it to maintain a great balance and a bitterness that was strong but not overwhelming. It also did a great job of hiding its high ABV, I was surprised when I looked it up and saw it is in the double digits. I've had hoppier IPAs, I've had more bitter IPAs but I may have never had a better IPA. This is really a gem of a beer.

Mouthfeel: A+ , Well bodied, but not too heavy with just the right amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: A+ , For its strong flavors and high ABV it was incredibley easy to drink and left me wanting another one as soon as I could get it.

Overall this beer was fantastic. A must try for fans of IPAs. Not only will I try this beer again I plan on grabbing a 6 pack the next chance I get.

Photo of weatherdog
4.35/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Brixies in Brookfield IL; served in a 10oz. snifter

A hazy bright amber/orange with a lingering white head. Heavy lacing down the snifters walls.

The nose is an absolute explosion of pineapple and some grapefruit. Its so juicy it's like there is pineapple juice in my glass.

There is a huge pineapple hop flavor. The bitterness is subdued and smooth maybe by the addition of the honey. I can't get over how much tropical fruit hop flavor this beer has, I've never tasted anything like it and it blows the bottled version out of the water. This is probably the best DIPA I've had. There is absolutely no hint of any alcohol flavor.

The honey addition really provides a silky smooth mouthfeel which kind of clashes with the high carbonation. I think a lower carbonation would compliment the smoothness and increase drinkability. Overall I enjoyed it in the bottle but loved it on tap.

Photo of OldSchoolGamer
4.1/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is easily one of the highest rated and most raved about IPAs. This is the third year I have had Hopslam, and my reaction is always the same. Its good, but not great. Here is my review:

A: Pours a nice golden amber color. Pretty hazy. Head is rather minimal, but there is some nice, thick lacing present.

S/T: The aroma is very grapefruit dominant. Pretty sweet, and citric. Taste is very nice. Loads of grapefruit and pineapple upfront. Pretty sweet as well. Essentially a sweet grapefruit juice. The finish is bitter, sweet, bready, boozy, and has an almost musty earthyness. I wish there was more complexity in the hop flavoring, but whats wrong with a grapefruit hop bomb?

M/D: Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied. Slightly syrupy. Very crisp and slightly dry. Bitter finish with quite a bit of alcohol burn and prickly sensation. Drinkability is good. Very balanced and tasty, but 10% ABV is nothing to take lightly. Only one or two a night, tops.

After recently having Founders Double Trouble, I think this has more in common with Three Floyds Dreadnaught. Comparing the two, Dreadnaught is vastly superior. It is much more complex and is akin to having a tropical fruit hop explosion in your mouth. This is a little too heavy on grapefruit, and the bready malts come through a little more than you might expect. Very good IPA, just not worthy of the hype, or price.

Photo of Beejay
4.22/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tis the season right?

A: Clear sweet golden amber. Beautiful full white head on top, which seems to be sticking around for a bit.

S: Hops. Major Grapefruit scent in there. As well as some grassy notes, quite sweet smelling as well. Almost a carmel scent in the end.

T: Not nearly as sweet as the smell would lead you to believe. Quite aggressive hop flavor, strong and earthy. There is a bit of the caramel flavor in the end as well as a bite from the considerable amount of booze in this thing. As this warms a little bit, some more of the sweetness comes out, which I like a lot.

M: Slick, and slightly oily on the tongue. Carbonation is nice, if just a little much.

D: Good for sure, but the hops are a little more aggressive than I would like. Then again, I am not a hop head. This is a new style that I am really starting to enjoy, and unfortunately this is not my favorite take on the style. For the price, and all the hype I think I would rather have a DFH 90Min. (and yet I rated 90Min. lower.. odd isn't it?)

Photo of manahansf
4.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours crystal clear with a light copper and orange color crowned with a thick two finger, white head. The visibly high carbonation emits a big and bold aroma of citrus hops with warming floral notes. The body is mild and mouth filling with a touch of malt sweetness to complement the big hop citrus flavors. Very fresh and fruity as well as very well balanced. Completely covers any hint of the 10% abv with great flavor. The finish is very gentle and ends just a touch vinous.

Photo of Sallerj
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer has a beautiful snow white head on a clear orange body. The aroma explodes with grapefruit and lemon and tropical fruit. This beer has a ton of IBUs, but that's not even the point. The flavor is a wonderful melding of grapefruit and canteloupe fresh hop flavors, with enough warm caramely malt to make it work, and a long bitter finish. This beer is awesome!

Photo of OneDropSoup
4.63/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a shaker: a clear honey gold with a finger of creamy head. A few tiny, pilsner-like bubbles. Beautiful lacing, a lot more than I'd expect for 10% ABV.

Knock-out hop smell! Pineapple, lemon, grapefruit, pine, just a tiiiiny bit catty. Not slammin' me in the face, but definitely jumping out & saying hello. Not aggressive, but pleasant & forward.

Great citrus & pineapple flavors, but gripped by a woody/piney bitterness. And booze -- yeah, the booze is there in a big way. Ends dry & bitter on the back of the tongue, but there's a real nice residual sweetness at the sides of the mouth. Bitterness mellows after about a quarter glass, revealing that honey, but the booze is still there.

Mouthfeel is prickly at first, but also nice & foamy, evening out. Pretty full, & the alcohol leaves some heat. I can feel it in my nose.

This is better than I remember. One of the best hop smells out there, & the honey helps not just to make it a bitter-bomb (less & less appealing to me). The booze makes it a little formidable, & you can feel it, which is good because otherwise I could down one after another.

EDIT: Had to adjust the "Overall" score, as when I first reviewed it I didn't equate "Drinkability" with "Overall." This is an overall amazing beer.

Photo of turboge
4.72/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ok the first beer went down surprising very smooth. I tasted the honey as it rolled over my tongue then it moved to the normal IPA - grapefruit, piney but disappeared fast as if I was dehydrated. I wanted more... Alc% is a creeper because it is very easy to drink. Probably the best IPA I have had so far. I can't believe how light it is. First review but worth every letter and taste. Try it!

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

Had on tap.

This beer came to me sporting an orange/amber color with perfect clarity - pretty much identical to the bottle serving I'd previously enjoyed. Head seemed a bit more tenacious this time, with a bit more lacing. I give the tap appearance a clear nod over the bottle appearance.

Aroma and taste are pure joy - just like the bottle. The nose brings out the hops, citrus grapefruit, and estery with notes of grass and pine. I tried to figure out which I smelled more of (grass or pine), but it seemed like my perception vacillated with every sniff.

If the aroma seemed good, the taste will blow you away. This is, hands down, the best IPA/DIPA I've ever tasted. There's hops to be sure, but the bitterness is wonderfully balanced with a smooth sweetness. All the notes from the aroma again appear in the taste - hops, grapefruit, grass/pine. The hops are much fresher and dominant on tap, but the bitterness is still remarkably tame and balanced. Once again, I'm completely amazed that this brew weighs in at 10%.

The mouthfeel is par for the course - smooth, appropriate carbonation. Just as well crafted as the aroma and taste. It just dances around in your mouth like smooth velvet.

This brew was beer bliss when I had it for the first time from the bottle. It's even better on tap. Amazing beer.

Photo of PhxHorn
4.28/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a light orange color with a quarter inch white head, leaving light lacing. Smells of hops, tastes of hops, specifically a big dose of grapefruit with a tangy aftertaste. Excellent IPA flavor, but a bit light on the mouthfeel for a DIPA. Very drinkable, and I don't notice the ABV that much, but the overall impression is that of an IPA.

Photo of superdedooperboy
4.28/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass. Served at cellar temperature, 45 degrees F.

Pours a beautiful deep golden hue with spectacular clarity. There's a faint haziness to it, but otherwise it's almost suggestive of lagering. Issues a giant billowing off-white head that falls away at a bit of a trot, showing nice retention and sticking in big, fat clumpy rings to the sides of the glass.

The nose is a big, bright, fresh burst of Cascade hop notes. Evidence of dry-hopping for sure. Bold and citrusy, lightly floral and juicy. Very fragrant and very inviting.

Surprisingly lighter in body than anticipated of a 10% ABV double IPA. Medium-bodied and middling in carbonation, somewhat slick and very dry in the finish. A base of sweet, honeyish malt is somewhat detectable, underpinning a huge burst of hop notes, ranging from grapefruit to orange to apple to lemon to a touch of grass. Mostly citrusy, and with a middle that is bracingly bitter and carries over into the finish, imparting the heavy dryness that begs for another quaff. Some notes of grapefruit and honey linger. As it warms, a little bit of warming alcohol can be detected on the way down.

This is one heck of a drinkable double IPA. It is powerful, for sure, but it drinks like a nice West Coast-style IPA. At temperatures below 45 degrees, this would undoubtedly be a dangerous fellow. A few of these could go down easily, and put you down with just as much ease. Be weary, or be ready for a HopSlam to the face.

Photo of PSUBeerman
4.15/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, tulip glass

Pours a light gold orange color. Clear to slightly cloudy. Head is white and foamy, decent retention.

Very aromatic. An abundance of hops, citrusy, peppery, pine notes. Also has a sweetness to the aroma, which I assume is from the honey.

Hop bitterness is pronounced with the flavor. Slightly tangy with citrus and grapefruit notes, as expected. Not much sweetness that I noticed.

Nice carbonation. I like that it is not as thick as some DIPA brews making it very drinkable.

Photo of Plenum
4.93/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The 2009 Hopslam is the best I've had to date. The citrus comes through so well, right from the initial pour, and last all the way to the end. This was a brew that I didn't want to end.

Great lacing down the glass, actually had to break out a second bottle tonight it was so amazing. I'm going to have to figure out how to score a 3rd case from Shangy's...

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

Light gold in color with an orange tint. Pretty decent head which dissipates into a lasting layer of bubbles. A little lacing too.

Aroma starts with a bit of pungent hop and floweryness. Strong scent of candied citrus fruits - lots of pineapple and orange. Very sweet and perfumy smelling. If the aroma was a bit stronger it would be a 5.

Huge amount of hops in the tasted. Very balanced and refined; the bitterness is never harsh. Strong pineapple note with a general tropical flavor and a good amount of grapefruit. Hop floweryness throughout too. Interesting sweetness from the honey, though it doesn't taste explicitly like honey (makes me think of candied apple). A little pine in there too. Alcohol is noticeable but embraced. It's fantastic, and very complex

Carbonation is good, and the thickness is right for this IIPA. Immensely drinkable. Even with the strength and boldness of Hopslam, I could easily put a few down, more so than most 'regular' brews.

Photo of Lerxst
4.47/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 9502 Bottled 1/5/10

A-Pours a clear gold color, maybe a bit of an orangeish hue as well. Billowy white head that hangs around for a bit and leaves some decent lacing.

S-Wow! Citrus hops, pine resin, floral hops, pears, oranges. Its almost sensory overload. This could be the most aromatic beer I've reviewed.

T-Hoppy with a piney, spicy lead off and middle with a citrusy finish. A bit of bready, malty sweetness comes in about halfway through. Very good.

M-Sticky, medium body, stinging bite, oily and resinous.

D-This is dangerously drinkable. I could easily consume 3-4 of these back to back.

Glad I finally got to try this one. It really is an excellent DIPA.

Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
99 out of 100 based on 10,271 ratings.