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Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

9,849 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,849
Reviews: 3,116
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 9.58%
Wants: 1,886
Gots: 1,478 | FT: 42
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: 9,849 | Reviews: 3,116 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JoeST
4.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well here I go with my very first review, & this is my last Hopslam other than what I have cellared away for a while.

Poured from 12oz bottle into my Duvel glass. I get a fine 1 finger head that dissipates rather quickly, within one minute. Smell is of a citrus/pine, strong hops with a slight hint of alcohol in the background, very pleasant.
Taste is a bitter sweet, a nice sweet flavor at first for me followed by a grapefruit bite in the end.
Mouth feel is somewhat creamy, just the right amount of carbonation, and a lingering but pleasant oily feel. May be due to the very fine carbonation caused from swirling & the glass itself.
Overall a very drinkable beer. I could drink this brew all night if it wasn't for the high ABV. Just A shame it's only a seasonal offering.

JoeST, Feb 19, 2009
Photo of coolchris1400
5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ashleys in Ann Arbor, on tap. Great beer, taste smell and eveything else. On thing is for sure if that it's got a very green flavor, all those good hops. Currently I'm sitting in the bar typing this review and let me tell you" this is a serious brew"(Bigal723).

coolchris1400, Feb 18, 2009
Photo of Beerzebub
4.28/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Yetiman420 for trading me this one.

12oz bottle poured in a big wine glass at 50 F/ 10 C.

Bright hazy orange. Small cream colored head. Pretty, delicate lace.

Smells nice and hoppy - fresh pine, mixed citrus and tropical fruits, plenty of pineapple, and grassy green tea - along with honey and sweet grain. Straightforward and good.

Tastes like sugar cookies dipped in hop oil. Plenty of sweetness and plenty of bitterness. Full juicy hop flavor, mainly pineapple, fruit salad, pine, and grass. The hop flavor and bitterness gradually intensify. Some warming alcohol comes in. Long bittersweet fruity hop finish.

Bottle conditioning comes through nicely in the texture; these bubbles are tiny and smooth. Highly drinkable, despite the explicit alcohol.

Very tasty, I enjoyed this.

Beerzebub, Feb 18, 2009
Photo of ThirdLap
4.25/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Notes from Super Beer Sunday '09. Bottle from a recent trade poured into a Lagunitas pint glass.

A - Pours a familiar golden yellow with an off-white head. Head dissipates to a white film that leaves a good amount of lacing. Agitation causes a full return of head.

S - Tons of pine and citrus, with a slight 'off' smell that I cannot place. Smells like it will be crisp and clean.

T - Remniscient of three-month old Elder, so maybe it's even better fresh? It's citrusy, piney, slightly smoky, and sweet. The citrus is grapefruit and ripe orange rind.

M - Medium carbonation, full-bodied, with a clean finish. The alcohol burn is apparent, but forgiveable as this brew is at 10% abv.

D - Way, way too high. This beer is dangerous.

What's stopping Bell's from making its way West? Too much competition for Stone and RR? ;)

ThirdLap, Feb 18, 2009
Photo of Dubbercody
4.1/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Trade bottle received from crazynelson. Really nice beer, has a nicely floral and piney mix in the nose that brings with it a sweet kick. Shows the hops off in a lovely platform. Glad I got to try this highly sought after beer.

From what I understand Hopslam is a pretty expensive beer. I wouldn't drop $18 on a 6 pack...but then again there are a lot of AMAZING IIPA's out in the Pacific NW.

Dubbercody, Feb 18, 2009
Photo of JWD
4.22/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had a couple of these from so recent trades,

A- Wonderful glowing amber in color, a little syrupy looking with a frothy white head that goes away rather quick.

S- Interesting, very sweet smelling with some sticky hop aromas as well, the label says it best "Ale brewed with honey" you can definently smell something different here.

T- Same as above, very sweet up front with a punch of hops to follow along and very little bitterness. i am not sure of the age of the bottles but i will assume they were fairly fresh as all 3 tasted the same.

M- little thickness here that was not expected, the taste however matches the mouthfeel perfectly.

D- Outstanding, the balance and smoothness that the honey provides is wonderful, you can session these if you can take it.

JWD, Feb 18, 2009
Photo of Haybeerman
4.38/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Orange/gold color. Poured a 3 finger billowy white head with excellent retention. Laced in big sticky gops that slowy coated the inside of the glass.

S: Big citrus (lemon peel) and grapefruit. Sweet caramel malt. Pine fouindation.

T: Big citrus again along with assorted fruits. More distinct caramel note then powerful bittering hops in the finish.

M: Medium to full body. Well-balanced carbonation. Alcohol is extremely well hidden. Good balance overall.

D: ABV alone may limit drinkability, but can't go wrong with flavor and balance.

Haybeerman, Feb 17, 2009
Photo of HiAIPA
4.8/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My my what have we here. I have been seeking this out as I am an extreme hophead, and this met every expectation and more. In fact, the only two IPAs to date that I enjoyed better by memory were Hop Stoopid at the EBF last year, and Shorts anniversary ale grapefruit version.

Enjoyed with tacos. Poured with an enormous head that disappated to minimal lacing. Insanely floral aromas of pine, citrus, bicsuit, grapefruit and honey syrup. The tongue is assailed with bitter grapefruit and hop, hemp oil goodness with the touch of honey sugar kicking in. The mouthfeel is oily yet light at the same time. The 10% is hidden well here, extremely drinkable, extremely good, wowsa!! HopSlam is everything right with Humulus Lupulis. This is not a basher type DIPA, more finesse here which is exactly what I look for in this style.

HiAIPA, Feb 17, 2009
Photo of unclejimbay
5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bell's HopSlam Ale
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Style: American Double / Imperial IPA
ABV: 10.00 %

reviewed 1/21/09, bottle>imperial pint glass

my summary...
"a truly unique and intense but balanced citrus hoppy experience, one of a kind!"

A 5.0 - golden honey color, foamy 2 finger head, excellent head retention.
S 5.0 - 1. Hops, 2. Honey/Malt dance, very citrus grapefruit notes
T 5.0 - same as smell, sweet vs. hoppy-ness. I really dig the grapefruit hoppy-ness, very unique indeed - possibly the Simcoe? Perfect balance of a slam of hops w/ a fruity hoppy-ness.
MF 5.0 - Med++ on carbonation, semi slick mouthfeel.
D 5.0 - A very drink-able hop tongue splitter. I could drink these things all day, but you have to be very careful of the 10% ABV! I dig the grapefruit aromas and tastes.

unclejimbay, Feb 17, 2009
Photo of ahpark
4.43/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this in a trade with a buddy of mine. Poured into a pint glass, the appearance is a very tempting golden opaque color, exactly like that of expensive honey.

Smell is absolutely mouthwatering as well; notes of grapefruit, lemon, honey, and pine abound in this one. If I didn't know better, I'd think this was a piping hot cup of lemon tea with honey.

Taste was surprising; as this is a DIPA, I expected it to be an absolute hop-bomb, with an extreme hoppy aftertaste. However that's not the case, as this is one of the most balanced beers I've tasted. The sweet taste of honey and citrus plays off the hop aftertaste to create a beer that isn't overpowering in its hoppiness, yet isn't completely flavorless in that aspect. Honestly, it tastes more like a grapefruit spritzer or a soda rather than a beer. Amazing.

Mouthfeel is good as well, as there's a nice astringency that gives off a hint of grape skins at the end. Carbonation perfectly accentuates said astringency as well.

Drinkability is off the charts on this one; for a 10% ABV DIPA with supposed 130+ IBUs, I could see myself downing an entire sixer of these, easy.

Overall, very impressive beer. Most balanced, drinkable hop-head brew I've had the pleasure of tasting. Unlike Ruination (the hoppiest beer I've had so far), very sessionable and approachable, even for those new to micros.

ahpark, Feb 17, 2009
Photo of Shumista
4.68/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a red plastic cup. I know it doesn't seem right but I have no clean glasses so it will have to do.

A- From my numerous past experiences with Hopslam, I know that it looks almost as good as it tastes. Unfortunately in a plastic cup that appearance cannot really be appreciated, so if you want to know how great this beer looks check out some of the other reviews.
S- Incredibly fresh hops and honey, with some sweet caramel malt.
T- Perfect. Huge amounts of hop bitterness with a ton of malt to back it up.
M- Thick and wonderful.
D- The first time I had this beer about a year ago I could barely make it through one, now I can fully appreciate what this beer is. I think splitting a sixer of these would be perfect for an evening.

my bottom line: There's a good reason why so many people get so excited when this stuff is released every year.

Shumista, Feb 16, 2009
Photo of Bobby13
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the quintessentail imperial IPA. A nice golden color poured into a Bell's snifter. A big hop nose that doesn't over whelm you. This is a big IPA but it drinks very smooth. It does not have an over the top IPA taste it comes across almost creamy with a very subtle bitterness. There are a lot of breweries that go for big IPA's but this is the most drinkable and I can't think of another beer in the midwest that people anticipate and love more then Hop Slam.

Bobby13, Feb 16, 2009
Photo of brokenleadedcask
4.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I know, I know another damn review for a Hopslam but hey. If you do a side by side, you gotta review both.

Side by side review with Weyerbacher Double Simcoe IPA

A- Bright white fluffy cumulus cloud-like head that disapated quickly. Golden light amber color that left slight lacing

T- Strangely enough "Apple Jacks", lots of sweetness (honey) and hop rock candy. If there is such a thing as hop candy, where the hell is it?

S- Apricot, hops, grapefruit and honey.

M- Smooth with a slight tingle on the tonsils but it has that strong 10% alcohol punch

D- As long as Bell's has this in production, I'll be a loyal follower. It's really enjoyable to drink. Caveat being as long as the price doesn't go up $3 more next year

brokenleadedcask, Feb 16, 2009
Photo of Atricapilla
4.78/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Ale was poured into a pint glass. At first I noticed how little carbonation emanated from the beer as I poured it. A small white head appeared which quickly laced away. The beer is a golden color with some orange highlights....Smells strongly of hops with some mild spice and honey. Taste's very powerfully of hops, rather bitter, but not unpleasant. Slightly sweet as well, from the honey along with some clove. This beer is not as resiny as many other strongly hopped beers, which leaves a very pleasant mouth feel.

Atricapilla, Feb 16, 2009
Photo of amneziak
4.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Five of us passed this lovely beer around the table, and each person gave an immediate "WOW" upon smelling. I can't remember the last time I saw so many smiles around one beer.

Hopslam, the seasonal Imperial IPA from Bell's, is freakishly fragrant. Lots of pineapple, grapefruit, and pine hit you in the face before you can even fully get your nose into the glass. Pineapple Express baby! The beer pours a warm sunshine orange and is mostly clear. With a solid one-finger head and some impressive lacing, Hopslam's aroma shoots right out of the glass upon swirling.

In terms of flavor, it tastes just like it smells - heavenly! Considering its name and bottle label (a man is seen being crushed by a hop flower) it is surprisingly smoother on the palate than you would think. This is in no way to insinuate a lack of flavor, either. In fact, this has more flavor than just about any other beer I've had. It stood up to the spicy nachos I was eating, so I imagine it will stand up to just about anything.

Overall impression is that my mouth is enormously happy every time I take a sip of this amazing IPA. I can assure you that it lives up to all the hype it's receiving, and I don't think it'd be too hard to say this is definitely my new favorite beer. The only drawback is its limited release, so get it fast and share it with a friend.

amneziak, Feb 15, 2009
Photo of colts9016
3.7/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Traquairlover for this bottle.

Poured into a snifter at 51 degrees.

Appearance: A golden amber color with a slight orangish hue. There was a one finger white head, but it is only a quarter inch ring around the glass. There is a little bit of effervescence in the beer. The clarity of the beer is mostly clear with some haziness. There is some lacing on the glass.

Nose: A strong grapefruit and pine, with a floral esters. There is some malt sweetness in the background of the beer.

Taste: The hops is muted in the beer there is grapefruit and pine with the floral esters. The malt come in more of a balance with the beer.

Overall: The the mouth feel in the beer is medium body with carbonation and a bit of dryness. The finish is medium to light with some bitterness. This beer compared to a Stone Ruination, this big is its little sister. This beer is more like a big IPA, than a DIPA. Sorely disappointed, when I think of a DIPA is suppose to have strong intense hop flavor with a subtle malt backbone. This beer is no where near it. The hype to me is false. There is no persistent head which was miss dearly.

colts9016, Feb 15, 2009
Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.43/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks goes out to a BA among BAs, joe1510 for sending these my way.

Pours a nice hazy orange cloudy color with a stark white head that retains pretty well and leaves nice lacing.

Nose is flat out west coast C hops. The honey does make its presence known with a slight sweetness, mixed in with the malt profile here in the nose.

Hmmm. A mighty fine ale, let me start with that. Taste starts our with some good malt sweetness that mixes well with the honey. The hops bitterness rises strong toward the finish. Big grapefruit and pine, more citrus and citrus zest. The honey adds a thickness to this im not sure of yet. Making its presence known mostly through the middle before the hops start to take the reigns, but the honey is not too much, just right. A nice bitter finish, good dryness. Hops and honey linger in the aftertaste, but again, hop dominant here.

Mouthfeel is very interesting. All around it is quite good, but there is a slight thickness through the middle, right where the honey comes out in the taste that is just slightly offputting, but really a minor flaw in a great beer. Carbonation is just right, and good dryness on the finish.

Drinkability is second to very few with the abv this one has it drinks far too easily. quite dangerous for us hopheads :)

Overall a very fine ale from Bell's. Defenitely one of the best mid west DIPAs, and probably in the top 10 or 15 in the nation/world. I like the honey presence aside from a slight thickness through the middle, but I really think it ads more to the beer than it takes away. Drinkability is defenitely where this one shines. A star in the Bell's line up for sure, defenitely would like to have regular access to this. Great beer.

AKBelgianBeast, Feb 15, 2009
Photo of chriskozma
4.93/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had this beer shipped to me in New York from West Lakeview Liquors. Pours a deep orange color with a small white fizzy head. The smell got me excited for this one. I could tell I was in for a citrusy hops explosion. I totally got it. This is the citrusy DIPA from my dreams. If it gets better than this then I have yet to see it. Totally worth the shipping costs.

chriskozma, Feb 15, 2009
Photo of baggio
4.43/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5


Big thanks to Traquairlover for sending me a 6-pack of this much sought-after beer!

A: Golden orange with a big, white, head and lots of lacing.

S: Citric notes (lemon & grapefruit), caramel, Pine.

T: Citric notes, Honey, Caramel, Hint of exotic fruit, Pine, Hops.

M: Lots of bitterness upfront but ends with a nice touch of sweetness from the honey and malt. Balanced to perfection. Alcohol is extremely well hidden.

Not quite the fantastic beer i remembered it to be but still damn tasty. Extremely well balanced and quite sessionable despite it's 10%. Yummy!

baggio, Feb 14, 2009
Photo of BZero007
4.88/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I was at my local beer and wine store picking up some well known and great tasting IPA's when the clerk mentioned the Hopslam and how they sold out in hours. It was then my mission to find this beer that was so sought after in the NOVA area. A Total Wine in the area had one case that someone had just canceled. After picking up two six packs and letting it chill over night, i savored this gift from the beer gods and it made me sing.

A- Was a lovely glow of a Golden Amber and Orange, with a cloudiness that looked to carry much flavor.

S- Smell was of a allot of Hops and a strong background of Honey and citrus.

T- A taste you will not forget, literally. Strong tastes of Honey, Citrus, and Hops mix. Also fruit flavors that linger in the background. The first sip had me sign out loud of great beers. The next morning I still had the taste of the beer lingering in my mind.

Overall- This is up there on my top 3 IPA's. This beer honestly has such a personal flavor to it that you will remember it's flavor long after you are done.

BZero007, Feb 14, 2009
Photo of adamhdv
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into sniffer...

Pours a very bright golden orange with a cloudiness. Great 1.5 finger white head that thins to about .5 head. Lacing is perfect, top to bottle of glass, soapy like.

Smell, wow, reminds me a lot of FFF Alpha King in aroma. Citrus, grapefruit, hops are strong, not too strong though- about perfect.

Flavor is sweet grapefruit, perfect balance of strong pine hops and malt.Thought this would be more bitter, however its great how it is...clean and crisp on the palette.

Mouthful seems medium bodied and carbonated- smooth.

Refreshing and a easy to drink. At 10% ABV, watch out, its hidden very well...but I'm not complaining, it's very nice.

Props to Bells on this complex brew!

adamhdv, Feb 14, 2009
Photo of coalcracker
4.65/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

New review: 2011 batch
Appearance: Medium gold in appearance with good head retention and lacing.
Smell: A base of piney hops but peaches and pineapple also prevalent and well-defined. Honey more noticeable in aroma this time.
Taste: Hops burst through andbuild slowly. Citric and grassy elements go along for the ride. Hops then again reappear and linger a bit through the end. Malts are a bit bready. Finish mildly bitter and just a tad soapy, but pleasant. Alcohol warmth presents but is deceptive.
Mouthfeel: Medium to a bit on the thick side. Very smooth and a bit slick.
Drinkability: Very deceptive ABV. Hop bitterness well-balanced.
Overall- just a great beer- nothing lost in quality over the last tasting. Complex and tasty!

Appearance: Pours a medium gold color with fuzzy head that dissipates not long after the pour.
Smell: Crisp and sharp aroma immediately after opening bottle. Quite 'piney' in nature. A degree of malt and honey also peek through.
Taste: A well-balance strike between the hops and malt here, with a slight nod to the hops. Hops jump at the onset- not as bitter as I had imagined- displaying piney and citrus-like elements. A mild sweetness then pulls though- carrying a taste of caramel malts and honey at the end. Not at all cloying. Fantastic, complex, yet clean.
Mouthfeel: Medium feels with a bit of a slickness on the tongue.
Drinkability: I could easily have several in one sitting, but the ABV would probably put the brakes on that idea.

Overall- lives up to the hype. This beer has all the attributes I seek in a great DIPA. This beer may have just outshined my previous DIPA king- Dogfish Head 90-Minute. Complex and delicious!

coalcracker, Feb 14, 2009
Photo of kittywamp
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

what a great beer. needs more credit. it tastes like liquid gold. needs to be a year round beer. i love it. what a great beer. this year tastes like grapefruit. with a golden color. the smell it wonderful. i would drink it over and over again. its a little spendy but worth every penny

kittywamp, Feb 14, 2009
Photo of CaptCleveland
4.72/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle from 6-pack packaged on January 12, 2009 poured into pint glass.

Saffron-colored body with thick head of white foam, settles to a fingerbreadth throughout tasting.

Pleasing grass, earth, grapefruit combination.

To quote from the bottle: " A biting, bitter, tongue bruiser of an ale", but in actuality a rather smooth, hop-filled warmth descends upon the buds with a bit of after-swallow tingle.

Smooth, no oily resin here.

Clean, hop-filled ale goes down easy. The 10% ABV well cloaked. Recent tasting of Victory Hop Wallop and DFH 90 minute completes the triumvirate with Bell's DIPA the clear favorite. If there is a better DIPA I haven't had the pleasure. Highly recommended.

CaptCleveland, Feb 13, 2009
Photo of wheatyweiss
4.33/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint.

Pours a slightly cloudy light orange, with a towering rocky head that leaves ample lacing.

Aroma is fresh citrus hops, floral and bright. Malt is lighter roast and the balance is nice. Hop aroma is strong, but not overpowering. Boozey aromas eminate.

Flavor is sweet malt with fresh hops in the middle finishing slightly bitter and dry with a nice malt roll. Hops are grapefruit and floral and go beautifully with this particular malt roast. Biscuity and bready with a soda cracker like pop. light booze hit on the finish, but very well disguised.

Mouthfeel is medium and chewy with the malt giving a nice body.

Drinkability is dangerously high for a beer with this ABV.

(2010 batch)

This year it's pineapple! Sweeter than last batch, I swear I'm chewing a hop cone and pineapple at the same time.

(2011 batch)

This is a very astringent version, less pineapple but more than the first I tried. The alcohol and hops don't play as well together this year.

wheatyweiss, Feb 13, 2009
Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
99 out of 100 based on 9,849 ratings.