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Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

9,702 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,702
Reviews: 3,109
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 9.58%
Wants: 1,834
Gots: 1,435 | FT: 43
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: 9,702 | Reviews: 3,109 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of turamarth


4.33/5  rDev -3.6%

Poured into a new Belgium globe.

Appearance: Cloudy honey color. Poured a big white head that leaves really nice lacing.

Smell: Lots of hops....naturally. This is HopSlam. Very piney, some citrus, maybe some "herbs". Very hoppy. There might be a hint of sweetness from what malts are there and the honey in it.

Taste: Again, HOPS. Piney. Some grassy notes. There is a little malt sweetness to balance. This is very hoppy, but is not so bitterly unbalanced that it wants to turn my face inside out.

Mouth: Feels really smooth, and sweet. Goes down like a charm.

Drink: The smoothness of this is countered only by the 10% abv. Which is preasent only slightly. But, you do feel it. This could be a sneaky one!

01-24-2009 05:13:16 | More by turamarth
Photo of dza360


4.2/5  rDev -6.5%


First the great story of how I got a bottle of this beer. I was talking to my local beer store guru about what brewerys were likely to make an entry into Kansas this year, and I inquired about Bell. I was told not very likely in the near future.... but I happen to have a single bottle of Hopslam from a friend and you can have it. I am loyal customer, but what a great gift to give up a favorite that you can't get in the state.

On to the beer. Balance! Pretty close to perfect balance for the style.

Wonderful golden color with a slight amber tinge. Head pours bone and thick, giving up to a lingering white top, some lacing.

Smell is grapefruit and floral, from the first whiff you know you have something great in your hands.

Taste, again almost perfect balance, all the expected hops but really not overwhelming on any front, maybe a little less complex than the smell would have you believe. I think the honey gives this almost a creamy finish.

Mouthfeel is just right for the style, again I think the honey is working here to beef up and keep the liquid a little heavy.

Drinkability... WTF the bottle says 10%? If this is true I would say hands down I have never had a beer that concealed the alcohol so completely. If this was available to me regularly I think I could put away a lot in a session. Probably good that I cant get it, because at 10% i would probably pay the price.

01-24-2009 05:03:18 | More by dza360
Photo of scifan

North Carolina

4.83/5  rDev +7.6%

Looks like liquid gold when poured into my fav pint glass with a thick dense two finger head.
Smells like I'm in the middle of a hop field. Lots of grapefruity, citrusy, smells with some piney aromas as well. I am also getting a touch of sweetness as well. Maybe from the honey. Taste freakin awesome it's a shame the beer strore had a two six pack limit. This thing is loaded with hops but there not overpowering very citrusy with some grapefruit flavors as well. There is a slight bitter finish but doesn't leave a lingering aftertaste. I should be careful with this stuff it is way too drinkable. I can hardly detect any alcohol. My new love affair with DIPA's is growing with every sip.

01-24-2009 03:26:47 | More by scifan
Photo of jjanega08


4.38/5  rDev -2.4%

A= pours a beautiful orange color with a nice head and some spotty lacing
S=piney, earthy, and lots of grapefruit in the nose.
T= wow. Lots of hops up front. Big citrus and earth hops. Finishes with lots of honey.
M= smooth and clean.
D= dangerously high. This beer is a lot sweeter than I expected in the finish. Tastes great though. I'll be getting more.

01-24-2009 01:47:55 | More by jjanega08
Photo of nc41

North Carolina

4.55/5  rDev +1.3%

After all the hype I was prepared to be disappointed. Wow, I was wrong. It's all thew hype then some IMO. I was afraid when I read on the bottle it was brewed with honey. Not to fear.

Pours a nice orange color, decent head but not frothy. Nose is pink grapefruit.I was expecting a sweetish type Double; No way. Citrus taste is the 1st on tongue, nice bitterness, but not overly aggressive. Very nicely balanced, not overly anything but great. Not boozy and the 10% is completely hidden.I was slurping the bottom of the glass when I was done. Drink ability is down a fraction due to the high ABV, I could easily drink a six, but I'd be staggeringly shit faced. Easily worth the price tag and the hassle of running ragged to get some.

01-24-2009 01:20:45 | More by nc41
Photo of Reagan1984


4.53/5  rDev +0.9%

Three Cheers for iceicebaby for providing this in a recent trade. Thanks man!!!

Hop presence certainly lives up to its name.

About a finger of fizzy head forms atop the beer. It slowly fades a thin film sitting on the light honey colored beer with excellent clarity.. Really nice lacing.. Not a bubble of visible carbonation.

WOW, big fresh aroma.. Hopslam would be correct. Fresh, floral... And very pine like aroma.... Sometimes I play games with myself in grapefruit vs. Pine... This one is more pine like to me. And you can smell the layered malts here two. Very nice.

Wonderful malts for a moment... a touch of cracker then SLAM.... Pine resin.... A touch of alcohol and back to the pine...As it cools a little on the tongue you go back through the layers of malt again.... Similar malt flavors to Two Hearted... I guess that's not totally shocking.. Wonderful lingering bitterness.... That is still fresh all the way.

Mouthfeel is just shy of sticky and the flavor is full and powerful.... While this is a big beer it's still wonderfully drinkable. I can see why it's a classic.

Great Beer.

01-23-2009 23:36:53 | More by Reagan1984
Photo of gibby


4.83/5  rDev +7.6%

On tap at TJ's. Figured I should stop by while the hop slam is still around. So good on draft. Thick soapy head with huge lacing left on glass. Very sweet smell to it, honey, hops, hops and more hops. Nice malt to it so its not a hop bomb by any means. Goes down insanely smooth for being 10% abv. I had 2 9oz pours @ $5.50 each but I could of easily had a couple more if I had a designated driver. I got buzzed farily quickly b/c I had no lunch. Fantastic brew and highly recommended. Cheers.

On a side note: Hop slam is great but the prices are getting crazy. A take out sixer was $26, other local places are around $20. Cases range from $60-74 bucks depending where you go. Hopslam is a great beer and I will buy a case this year, but if it goes much higher next year count me out. I would rather get 2 cases of something else.

01-23-2009 22:34:07 | More by gibby
Photo of tconboy


4.22/5  rDev -6%

Pours a light golden amber with a head that fades to film, moderate lacing. Strong pine, hoppy aroma. Wow, no wonder they call it hopslam. This thing is hoppy hoppy hoppy. Other flavors are subtle and nice, but the hops definitely dominate this one. The ABV is hidden pretty well. I definitely can say I enjoy this. Would have another and would recommended it to someone interested in hops.

01-23-2009 21:27:44 | More by tconboy
Photo of DoctorDog


4.93/5  rDev +9.8%

Presentation: 12 oz bottle into an snifter. Stamped with "8907" on back of label.

A- Amber appearance, and strikingly clear. Pours with <1 finger of white head, which fades quickly into a thin, sporadic cap. Ample lacing.

S- Citrusy/grapefruit/pine-hop scents dominate. Hard to savor for long, as this aroma has me ready to dive right in...

T- Citrus/grapefruit and pine dominate, balanced by touch of malty sweetness. Bitterness level is borderline perfection. Big ABV% is expertly blended.

M- Carbonation is moderate. Slick and oily, goes down smooth.

D- Extraordinarily drinkable for its 10% ABV. Almost mind-bogglingly so....it would be easy to get carried away with this elixir and find yourself waking up groggily from a ditch alongside of some random highway...

Future outlook: Not sure about the hype of this one, but decided to dive in along with a fellow BA'er with similar hype-phobic misgivings...just as he was, I was blown away by this one. Dynamite. I'll surely cave to the sticker shock again next time around on this gem.

01-23-2009 05:02:53 | More by DoctorDog
Photo of Joeynocturnum

New Jersey

4.05/5  rDev -9.8%

I would have to say this did not live up to the hype. In the last week I have sampled Pliny and Blind Pig on draft and have finished about 6 Nugget Nectars, and I feel that Slam has fallen well short of all three.

a= Average appearance, slightly cloudy with some good lacing.
s= A mild aroma of hops overtaken by the smell of both honey and alcohol.
t= I stuggled to find the Hops through the 10% ABV and the honey. It was good, but lacked the great taste of hops that I anticipated.
m= Nothing really stood out in. Lacked some of the dryness that I have come to appreciate from great IPA.'s
d= Was drinkable, don't think it could be a session beer for me, like I thought of the Pig and the Nugget.

(All in all, I was extremely disappointed. It is the first Bell's offering that I've sampled that has let me down. I will give it another try and hope that maybe I was just having an off day. In the mean time I am getting another case of Nugget.) Maybe my pallate has changed over the last year or I am becoming more of a hophead but I went back and edited my scores. The Hopslam I had in 2010 taste much better than the 2009 that I had last year.

01-22-2009 21:31:23 | More by Joeynocturnum
Photo of Kadonny


4.35/5  rDev -3.1%

200th review!

Poured from tap into a snifter glass at TJs in Paoli. Fresh 2008/9 batch.

A: A cloudy medium orange color with a minimal off white head. Full glass lacing coats.

S: When cold my first smell was grapefruit and pine with a substantial malt sweetness.

T: Again, first sips when cold where grapefruit hops, pine, lemon and a bready malty backround. However, upon letting the beer warm up it changes quite a bit. On warming I get more floral piney hops with still a very strong malt sweet backbone and the alcohol comes slamming through. The more it warms, the more you taste the 10%. Finish is alcoholic with not a ton of bitterness.

M: Full and coating with lots of alcohol burn.

D: Medium. One from tap was enough for me. I had actually planned to have 2, but after one I needed to move on.

Overall still a great, great beer but it suffers a bit from the alcohol feel to it. Great hops flavors that really shine and this continues to be a top notch beer. I actully think I prefer it from a bottle as it is more drinkable.

Edited: Update on 2009/2010 version at TJs on 1/13/2010. Lots of grapefruit this year, when warming flavors turn to more orange citrus. Sweetness is very strong on finish with the bitterness getting pounded down. Alcohol is much LESS showing this year,even when warming and it allows you to enjoy more than one (if you can handle the alcohol). Great beer.

Overall this year is a terrific batch of Hopslam. So drinkable and so enjoyable it's crazy. Awesome.

01-22-2009 19:52:54 | More by Kadonny
Photo of MasterSki

Ontario (Canada)

4.4/5  rDev -2%

Batch 8912 (January 13th, 2009) - only 9 days old! Poured into my Kuhnhenn tulip.

A - The color of amber & gold - semi-transparent with a few tiny bubbles lazily rising upwards. Huge, frothy, two-fingered, foam that takes forever to dissipate (managed to eat a snack while waiting!) and leaves tons of intricate lacing. I'm not sure what else you could ask for visually.

S - Fresh hops, with a huge bouquet of citrus and floral scents. There's lemon, tangerine, grapefruit, pineapple, apricot, and a touch of honey. I can smell this inches away from the glass - delicious! Very well balanced as well!

T - The taste is significantly more bitter - there's a hoppy fierceness at the onset but it mellows a little as it moves through one's mouth letting the other flavors come out and play. The aftertaste isn't overwhelming, which is a pleasant surprise. There's the tiniest hint of booziness. It's really good, but not on par with the smell.

M - Crisp and refreshing. Surprisingly light-bodied for such a strong beer. Not over-carbonated, which is really nice. Leaves a resinous oily coating behind.

D - This is 10%? Really? Are you joking? I'd happily drink 2-3 of these, and I'd probably want more (even though I'd be stupid drunk). Damn I wish this available year-round - or that Bell's brought the San Diego Big Head during the summer.

The best DIPA I can buy at a local store - much preferable to Dreadnaught.

01-22-2009 19:07:03 | More by MasterSki
Photo of zook74


4.75/5  rDev +5.8%

Holy hell, this stuff is awesome! I had to come back and update after finishing off my 3rd six pack of this LUCIOUS beer. This is definitely into my top five favorite brews now. Spanking! good stuff!

I was almost put off by the note on the bottle telling me that this was brewed with honey, but I'm sure glad I bought the hype and tried it anyway.

The boquet is gorgeous. One of the best-smelling beers ever!

Great flavor. That honey really pairs nicely with the wicked, over-the-top hop flavor. It's subtle, but definitely there.

At 10%abv you don't need many, but at $15+/six pack that's probably a good thing.

01-22-2009 16:40:23 | More by zook74
Photo of MCfunkyJ


5/5  rDev +11.4%

It's to bad that they limit the quantity. This is a brew I would like to stock all year round.

Pours: gold/amber with a nice thick head that quickly dispersed

Aroma: sweet fruit & hoppy smell

Taste: exceptional Hops taste

Mouthfeel: medium, sweet but not to strong

Drinkability: the aftertaste leaves you wanting more

Serving type: 12oz bottle

01-22-2009 07:19:11 | More by MCfunkyJ
Photo of twbrewer


4.47/5  rDev -0.4%

A-Clear dark gold/amber color.Thin,white head that quickly fades.

S-Huge grapefruit and apricot nose,slight orange zest scent,very floral bouquet.Plain and simple this smells fruity sweet and fun!

T-Apricot sweetness with a big malt backbone.Finishes with a nice hop bitterness that is very sweet yet very malty.Awesome balance.

M-Full bodied almost syrupy.Slick and oily feel and very sticky on the lips.

D-..Speechless.. Oh ya it's 10%!

01-22-2009 06:37:02 | More by twbrewer
Photo of brewdlyhooked13


4.97/5  rDev +10.7%

Appearance - pours a bright peachy color into a pint glass. 16 ounces, yippee!!! Good sheeted lacing forms large ribboned patches on the glass as the beer level falls.

Aroma - intense orange, grapefruit, pine tree. Wow, what a nose on this baby.

Taste - the base of the caramel malt gets a fair start, but these hops are the main stage and prove it immediately. Sweet, almost syrupy, certainly boozy, but oh so tasty. The same citrusy components in the smell are here in force, as billed. The swallow removes the beer from the mouth but not the flavor. The resiny staying power is really good, and the freshness of the tap is ideal.

Mouthfeel - a big body here, the carbonation is noticeeable but not intrusive. Makes the beer as big as it should be.

Drinkability - one to seek out year after year, mmm...

01-22-2009 04:15:53 | More by brewdlyhooked13
Photo of mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

4.4/5  rDev -2%


Batch 8913... only 9 days from being packaged!

Poured into New Belgium Globe glass. Color is a hazy golden/orange bronze. Pours a large head with good retention. Leaves great lace rings.

Aroma is an incredible hop aroma. So much floral notes. There are some fruit and citrus notes as well. Strong grapefruit and orange zest smell. Some honey as well.

Taste is like I am eating flowers (which I have not done). There is such an incredible hop flavor to it. There is such a grapefruit flavor to it. I would also say it has a slight bready malt flavor to it and honey.

Mouthfeel is bitter, but it is not even bad compared to any other ipa or iipa. The beer also gets smooth near the end. The one great part about this beer is that it doesn't leave a hardcore dry sticky aftertaste. The 10% abv is masked so well in this beer.

Overall, this is one amazing beer. I have to admit it is the best that I have had yet to date. It is really easy to drink and I will definitely be enjoying another.

I highly recommend this beer!

EDIT: The 09/10 seemed to have a lot more honey than the batch that I reviewed. I liked it.

01-22-2009 03:18:46 | More by mothman
Photo of Schwarz04


4.7/5  rDev +4.7%

Appearance: Pale light tint of orange/amber. A bit cloudy, slight carbonation. Little lasting head, some spotty lacing as well.

Smell: Very very hoppy grassy and floral smelling. Slight citrus notes, orange comes through the strongest...

Taste: Quite hoppy and bitter. Grassy and floral notes are by far dominant. Very faint citus notes also come through..

Mouthfeel: An enhanced bitterness accompanied by a mild dryness afterward...

Drinkability: Very very drinkable considering its 10% abv . Not any kind of session beer but could easily drink two or three.

Highly recommend...

01-22-2009 02:55:12 | More by Schwarz04
Photo of bound4er


4.83/5  rDev +7.6%

Drank over a case of this last year but never reviewed - here goes.

Appearance - a stiff pour produces a 2 finger white sticky head. Dark straw to very light orange appearance with lots of tiny carbonation bubbles. The head has good retention - settling to a 1/4" and staying that way.

Smell - holy cow! This beer's nose is the best I have ever experienced. I can smell it from where it sits on my end-table. First comes a wave of sweet tropical and pit fruits - mango, peach and grapefruit. Then a more tamed wave of pine and grass. No noticeable alcohol either!

Taste - sometimes a great smelling beer can be a letdown on the palate. Not HopSlam. It tastes fantastic - grapefruit and pine hops, some balancing malt and a long, clean bitter finish that invites you back way too quickly for another swig. Good god this is well made beer.

Mouthfeel - very creamy and perfectly carbonated.

Drinkability - two is max for me. I wish I could have more in a session but it would put me on my ass. Maybe that's good - it allows me to savor this elixir for a longer timeframe.

01-22-2009 02:04:28 | More by bound4er
Photo of n811


4.83/5  rDev +7.6%

Just picked up a sixer of this year's release. Poured into a pint glass, revealing a nice, mellow head and a beautiful light amber color.

The smell of this beer is absolutely out of this world - strong grapefruit and apricot citrusy is up front, with a subtle hint of hoppy piney-ness. Spectacular!

Taste is what I've been waiting for. This beer is so well balanced contrary to the smell. One might expect it to have a super bitter taste given the way it smells (plus the name), but this beer is all about major amounts of hops but enough malt and hops to make things very well balanced. I can't really think up the right words to describe it, but this is one of the best beers I've ever had. The top of Bells' lineup in my opinion.

01-22-2009 01:06:53 | More by n811
Photo of SwiftyMcBeer


4.58/5  rDev +2%

Poured a little cloudy gold color with a white head that retained quite nicely. This smells like hops, the freshest, juiciest, citrusy hops you can imagine. You can smell your glass from around 3 feet away, it is as pungent as it gets. Just delicious. Taste is stellar as well. It is a hop fest, with almost no malt, but somehow the finish is mellow. Where you expect an insane and almost overwhelming bitterness, you get a pleasant hint of sweetness instead. Could it be honey that causes this gentle finish? Whatever magic mojo they have working, who cares, it's darn good, probably the best DIPA I've had. Can't believe it is 10%, that could get you into trouble really quick. So drinkable, that smooth finish doesn't destroy your palate, encouraging you to have another.

Yes this is a pretty pricey beer and it is a limited release, but you know what, who cares? Every winter, this magical brew comes into our lives out here in the midwest and helps remind us that spring will come.

01-21-2009 14:21:43 | More by SwiftyMcBeer
Photo of BgThang


4.93/5  rDev +9.8%


I am glad I did not review some of the previous bottles I received in trade. They were a little calm compared to a fresh hopslam. THIS IS CLOSE to being the best DIPA when its fresh!.

Nose - straight up grapefruit, citrus, piney. man its an explosion in the olde nasal cavity.

appearance - little cloudy, copperish orange color. Little head.

Mouthfeel - little tangy on the front end and then grapefruit. Mellow out on the finish and leave a smooth refreshing aftertaste.

This is one fine brew. I can sit here a sniff it all freaking night,.

Its sad that its only release as a seasonal, its overpriced, and can be hard to get ahold of.

01-21-2009 06:14:49 | More by BgThang
Photo of caskstrength


4.68/5  rDev +4.2%

fresh 2009 bottling.

pours hazy yellow, what you expect from an IPA/DIPA.

smell is, again, what you (I) want,but I will say not as intense as I might expect after tasting this gem...

and the taste. Yeah, the taste. Rich citrus with sweet grapefruit. Like when my mom cut up the little grapefruit triangles and put the sugar on top and I had it for breakfast on a lazy weekend morning. It's like that, but squeezed into my glass with 10% alcohol.

Mouthfeel and drinkability are where this beer shines even more for me. Exactly what I want. Thick, but not syrupy. And who the hell would believe there is so much alcohol there. Wonderfully (dangerously) hidden. Could drink these all night. And then suffer a day or two after. And then forget about it and drink these all night again. Repeat ad nauseum.

A gem.

01-21-2009 02:13:10 | More by caskstrength
Photo of brucer1


4.63/5  rDev +3.1%

love this beer. too bad it's hard to find and available for such a short time. pours clear, little head, little lacing. smells of grapefruit very citrusy. exceptionally hopped nice bitterness. i shouldn't have more than one since i'm working tommorrow, but i will. this one is just too good.

01-21-2009 00:40:08 | More by brucer1
Photo of BierFan


4.53/5  rDev +0.9%

Bottle is labelled as being from batch number 8908, which means it was bottled on January 5th meaning that this is only 2 weeks and 1 day old. Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: A clear amber/orange body sporting a very modest off-white head.

Smell: Almost overwhelmingly hoppy. Some sweet caramel maltiness is overshadowed by the huge citrus peel and grapefruit aromas from the hops.

Taste: Crazy delicious. Super hoppy and bitter. No trace of the alcohol.

Drinkability: Amazingly drinkable for being 10% abv.

This beer definitely lives up to the hype. It makes Stone Ruination seem like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

01-20-2009 23:21:42 | More by BierFan
Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
99 out of 100 based on 9,702 ratings.