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Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

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Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

11,106 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 11,106
Reviews: 3,320
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 9.58%
Wants: 2,256
Gots: 2,305 | FT: 76
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: beernbbq on 04-14-2004

Starting with six different hop varietals added to the brew kettle & culminating with a massive dry-hop addition of Simcoe hops, Bell's Hopslam Ale possesses the most complex hopping schedule in the Bell's repertoire. Selected specifically because of their aromatic qualities, these Pacific Northwest varieties contribute a pungent blend of grapefruit, stone fruit, and floral notes. A generous malt bill and a solid dollop of honey provide just enough body to keep the balance in check, resulting in a remarkably drinkable rendition of the Double India Pale Ale style.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 11,106 | Reviews: 3,320 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of thebeerisgood
4.45/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: Plenty of hops, very floral with hints of sweet honey. Very slight citrus aroma from the hops.

Appearance: Dark honey colored, slightly reddish. A thick and bubbly white head.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, clean finish with just the right amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Great tasting beer, definitely one for fellow hopheads. Although it hits 10% ABV, there is only a slight alcohol warmth towards the end of a sip. This is certainly not a session beer, but something to be enjoyed on occasion.

Notes: Another great beer from this Kalamazoo area brewery. Although this is an extremely hoppy beer (Didn't you notice the name?), it's balanced out with the sweetness of honey to the point that non-hop lovers might even enjoy this. If you are someone who is accustomed to drinking pilsner, or any beer with the word "lite" in it and rarely stray into the world of craft beer, this is probably not for you. In fact, please don't buy it, save it for me! However if you insist on diminishing the local supply, you can find it currently at the downtown South Bend Citywide Liquors. Feel free to post a comment with other locations you have seen this!

Photo of WankelEngine
4.82/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass

A: Pours a head of one finger which quickly diminishes. The color is a clear golden honey with very light carbonation and mild lacing.

S: The smell is overwhelmingly hoppy and very sweet. It is reminiscent of citrus and pine. The citrus is the most notable scent. It almost smells like oranges or peaches.

T: The taste is amazing. The first thing you notice is the intense hops and high alcohol content. The taste of hops is prominent and bitter but not overpowering. This is less balanced rather than highlighted by some sweet malts. The citrus flavors here as much more subdued than they are in the smell. The light fruity sweetness and mild malt flavors meld perfectly with the excessive amount of hops.

M: The high alcohol content gives this beer a warming feeling as you swallow. What little carbonation there is amplifies this effect.

O: This is an impressive DIPA. Despite having a high alcohol content and bitter flavor, this beer is surprisingly drinkable and absolutely delicious.

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

From notes, 3-30-11

Was lucky enough to get this on cask at a recent Oberon release event.

A - cloudy amber body, kind of dark and dull, some head, but the bubbles are huge, and not very tightly formed.

S - a little bit of sweetness, and a little bit of citrus hops, everything is quite subdued though.

T - wow! This is really pretty incredible. Big hops just like Hopslam is supposed to have, but there is a great balancing sweetness, making this almost more like an American Barleywine. Its really interesting and complex and tastes great. Very nice

M - a bit flat, but still a good body.

O (D) - It's interesting and very tasty, but not quite the Hopslam that I hope for. It's too well-balanced.

Photo of BrewCrew2010
4.94/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks MatthewJames for sending me a 6-pack!

A: Pours a slightly hazy golden orange body with a minimal white head that recedes quickly.

S: I could smell this beer across the room. Rich and powerful aroma of hops: oranges, grapefruit & pine. There's a slight honey sweetness to the nose along with a tinge of alcohol, but the hops are amazingly good.

T: Flavor is just as exciting as the smell. Starts off slightly sweet, like honey & caramel, and then it's a hoppy take-over with grapefruit and pine. Little spicy, like pepper, but everything is perfectly balanced.

M: Nice sticky & oil texture, medium-full body, moderate carbonbation.

O: Amazing! If you've never had it, get it. One of the best beers I've EVER had! Perfect example of a DIPA.

Photo of ciachef1212
4.74/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I spent 3 days trying to get my hands on a six pack and finally was able to pick one up.

This beer is one of my favorite. It has great aromas of pineapple, citrus, and stone fruit. I love the smell of this beer.

The bitterness is overwhelming and is balanced by the malt.

This beer is why IPA's are my favorite style.

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

Cheers to millerbuffoon for sending me this one in a trade. This is the first beer I've opened from my box, and I have a good feeling about the others.

A- Clear orange-gold with a billowy off-white head that sticks nicely down the glass.

N- Floral-accented honey with a tinge of alcohol. Subtle undertones of toasty malt blend in with the honey.

T- Juicy honey-soaked malt with a clean hop bitterness. Citrus and pine dance on top of the big toasty malt. The finish is like toasted grain dipped in honey and then covered in hop oils. Piney hop resins and toasted grain linger in the aftertaste.

M- Medium creamy, sticky mouthfeel with smooth carbonation and a bittersweet finish.

D- Overall, an outstanding brew. 10% alcohol, I finished 12oz in about five minutes, and I'm craving another. I only have one more, so I want to save it for another night. Definitely going to trade for this one again. I think this beer is a few months old, and it is tasting fantastic. I can't even imagine what it would be like fresh.

Photo of Ethan27
4.85/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a slightly hazy, orange color. Minimal head but noticeable lacing as you drink. Delightfully sweet, citrusy hop smell. Taste is very hoppy and sweet with honey and citrus flavors. Also a tinge of alcohol sting. Slightly slow and sticky feel, stays on the tongue.

Hopslam, along with Dreadnaught and Pliny, is one of the three best DIPAs I have tasted. An outstanding, albeit pricey, delicious beer.

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

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a half-liter beer glass.

Appearance: Beer is a beautiful golden color with a slight amber tint to it. Head is initially about a finger and a half of creamy white goodness, and recedes to a light coating on the surface of the brew, leaving a pretty thick coating on the sides of the glass as it does so.

Smell: Mead-like. The floral hops are very well-balanced against a rich, malty backdrop replete with honey goodness. With a full face in the glass, a stinging but beautiful alcohol tendency punches through the flavor palette.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Sweet at first, the honey is quite pronounced. It sticks around for the entire sip. The hops (which are all floral) are there in abundance, but paradoxically mellow, and they blend perfectly with a sweet-bread malt foundation. Gentle carbonation throughout allows for a full taste without gassing you out. Rinses leaving a hop-remnant in the back of the mouth.

Overall: Great. You just can't get much better than this.

I paired it up with some spicy Mexican fare...another great combination. Definitely worth the slightly higher-than-average price tag.

Photo of mwa423
2/5  rDev -55.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

a - pours a slightly hazy burnt orange with no head to speak of.

S -orange bitters, lots of alcohol and hints of hopslam's citrus glory.

T - incredibly barleywine like with overwhelming alcohol and a harsh biting bitterness that cloys to the back of the throat.

M - mouthfeel is overly rich, biting and slides down the throat like slime.

Overall, avoid the cask. What is amazing in bottles and life changing on tap is actually awful to drink.

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

Big thanks to Viggo for this one! Pours a copper orange color with a solid white head. Aroma has sweet honey and sugar with a whack of hops. Taste and mouthfeel are excellent! Great flavors of citrus, honey, caramel, and pine. Very good balance, this was not as bitter as I expected it to be. Drinkability is crazy good, I sure didn't notice the 10% abv until after I was finished!

Photo of IronLover
4.12/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled from a bottle with no freshness date. Bright orange-yellow in color with a slight haze. Poured with a thick white head with that reduces to islands of white foamy and thick sticky lacings on the glass. Huge cirus hop aroma, citris, orange, mango, and an underlying sweet aroma as well. Smooth, thick mouth feel. The fuller side of medium bodied which subdues the carbonation a bit. Intense citrus hop and sweet honey flavor. A bit alcohol burn toward the finish. Leaves a light lingering bitter aftertaste.

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

I have got to say that this is probably the best IPA that I have ever had. It starts off pouring a beautiful golden with orange highlights. The aroma is nothing but well thought out citrus characters. The Flavor is nothing shy of exceptional, as it first hits the tongue with a citrusy delight, and lingers for a while and finishes off with a floral quality that blends nicely with the subtle sweetness that the Honey in this master piece adds. The Body has been well designed to match the multitude of hop characteristics that mingle in this beer. Cheers to the brewers at Bell's for once again amazing me with this beer. Every year it never fails to please.

Photo of OddNotion
4.2/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Received in a trade with my buddy in Illinois. So excited to try this one! Batch 10093, bottles January 3, 2011. It is a little old but it is not available to me so I will review this now, and re-review if a fresh bottle next year is that much better.

Appearance: Poured into my Sierra Nevada 30th anniversary bulb glass. Transparent orange color with a 1 finger pure white head. The head recedes to half a finger but never falls below that amount.

Smell: Even at almost 3 months old the hop aroma is nice and pungent. It is very sweet and almost like fruit juice.

Taste: No bitterness but some very nice hop complexity. Very many fruity flavors from the hops and the malts completely take a back seat. It is like nothing I have ever tasted and for 10% is very smooth, no booziness to be found. I honestly would not mind if it were more bitter to back up all the sweetness.

Mouthfeel: I love the feel of this beer, it is very easy to drink, lighter body and the carbonation is prevalent but not over powering. As the beer is in the glass longer, the carbonation outdoes itself and the beer begins to fall a little flat.

Overall: I want to try this fresh very badly, I will make a better attempt next year. However, it is still delicious and I would recommend it to others.

Photo of milkbaby9
4.3/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle (batch 10196 drank 18 Mar 2011) into Duvel tulip. 1 finger off-white head reduces quickly with spotty lacing left. A pretty honey and light-gold color with nice clarity.

Aroma - Ruby red grapefruit, mango, pineapple, just a hint of pine but mostly a nice fruity aroma.

Taste - Sweet caramel and toffee in the beginning. Then in the middle, tastes mirroring the aromas appear: ruby red grapefruit and accompanying citrus rind bitterness, mango, dried pineapple, very juicy and fruity. A bit of buttery toasty malt slips in, still pretty sweet. And then a bit of the honey comes through in the finish along with a bit of buttery toffee. Alcohol is superbly hidden for 10% ABV.

Carbonation is moderate, a bit more than medium bodied but not quite chewy mouthfeel.

The bitterness rises up gently through the middle and barely hangs in there as the finish is very sweetly malty, contrary to the back label stating, "A biting, bitter, tongue bruiser of an ale". This is a bit of a sweetheart - a hoppy fruity ale that also has nice balance.

Photo of cr0ckett
4.99/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle poured into snifter; packaged 12.29.2010

A: Hazy amber with a two finger off white head that dissipates in a few minutes. Awesome lacing leaves a film every time you take sip. For comparison, looks almost exactly like Pliny the Elder, which I had earlier tonight. However, Hopslam is a bit hazy, has slightly better head retention, and has much better lacing than PtE.
S: Pine, resin and a small hint of honey.
T: A balance of citrus and pine hops hit right away and stay throughout. One of the best parts about this beer is the subtle sweetness of honey that comes at the end. It's subtle, but its just enough to counteract the heavy hops a little bit.
M: Smooth, medium body with perfect carbonation to compliment.
O: An exceptional hop heavy DIPA with a unique balance of honey sweetness; my favorite DIPA.

Photo of azdback
4.25/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to CaptainNomihoda for this one. Poured into a pilsner glass. Medium orange a smidge cloudy, light bubbles. Head is bright white and very creamy looking. The lace is looking good so far, but falls off pretty bad by the end of the glass. You gotta love the hop slammed dude on the bottle.

Smell is sweet malts or maybe sweet hops. It's both. The hop is orange? A little earthy. No alcohol detected.

Sweet, Sweet, Sweet!! The hops hit first, but not the bitter hop bomb of a West Coast DIPA but a sweet hop taste. Like a sugar sprinkled orange wedge. This is closely followed by a sweet malt bill. There isn't much yeast taste which I don't mind at all. The alcohol comes to warm the tongue and belly at the end.

The mouth is very luxurious and silky. Carbonated well. Almost the feel of a Barleywine.

This one is a great DIPA but a little too sweet for the style for me. I like the bitter hop Doubles from the West. This bottle was marked batch 10115 which was bottled January 11th, 2011. I don't think this would lose that much bittering hop flavor in two and a half months. I do highly recommend this one though.

Photo of AmericanGothic
4.97/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Unibroue tulip.

A: Clear golden honey color, one-finger off white head with excellent retention. Good lace, but not excellent-- really the only (tiny) fault I can find with this beer.

S: Fresh, ripe Missouri peaches, the most wonderful fruit of the year. Surreal quality.

T: Fresh grapefruit balanced by sweet malt. The flavor of the honey does not come through on its own, but blends with the malt to make something that is best described as "magic." Nothing else like it. The finish starts sweet, turns briefly to alcohol, then mild bitterness. Fantastic. Maintains this profile even as the beer warms.

M: Smooth and creamy, carbonation keeps the body right on target.

O: Almost certainly the best beer I've ever had. Absolutely top notch.

Hype, schmype-- this is the real thing. My quest for the next several months will be to see what comes closest to this, for when I don't have any left. So far, no luck, but the search makes life interesting. Lusting after this beer will probably lead me to finally take up homebrewing (family, forgive me.)

Photo of wchollif
3.83/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Kingkong for the popping the mini-keg.

Started our DIPA night out with the Hopslam. This beer poured with much less carbonation and head than our other DIPA's, wonder if it was a mini-keg issue? That said, the color is beautiful, darkest of the tasting, hazy and brown-gold color. The aroma was super hopped pine, citrus and sweetness. The hop flavor was much more muted than the nose would indicate. I'm getting more sweet than pine or citrus hops. This beer isn't terribly bitter but just seems disjointed with the sweet vs. hops. This finished third to an amazing dreadnaught and good exponential hoppiness.

Photo of DangQuesadilla
4.95/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I had the pleasure of trying this on tap at my local establishment. Lucky for me, the company was buying and I splurged on a $9 a glass brew. I found this amazing.

The smell was fantastic... as the sweet aroma of peaches overwhelmed me. The carbonation was low. The mouthfeel exuded a strong content of alcohol, which I found out was 10%. I could not help but keeping swirling the glass like a fine wine and taking in the lovely aroma of the hops.

I am only sorry this is a seasonal beer and can't wait until next year when I can sample it again.

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

Bought a case of bottles,

Beautiful fairly clear reddish amber, white head

Smells great, Aroma of west coast hop varietys

Tasets great, well balanced for such a hoppy beer, hops are pleasant and not overly bitter, has a smooth after taste, great mouthfeel

overall i thought this beer would be more hype, but I found out is it is worth all the hype, one of the only ipas I could drink a few, just watch out, very strong

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

OMFG... Best DIPA I have ever had and I want more. Dear Belle's please distribute in our state so that I may have this when ever I want and not have to lug it back from business trips! But I digress.

Would like to have it on draft to see how it compares to a bottle I imagine it only would get better!

Photo of Mosley1212
4.38/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Taken from notes over spring break)

Had this on draft at Deckard's American Tavern in Atlanta, GA while visiting my girlfriend. Beer was served at the proper temperature in a tulip.

A--Bright orange with slight carbonation bubbling up from the bottom. Thin white head that had a sticky retention throughout the drink.

S--Hops. The first sniff produced a waive of hops that washed over my entire nasal cavity. That was followed with the fresh scent of pine that was very reminiscent of freshly cut grass, or a forest. Points deducted because of the sweet, syrupy scent that was also detected when I smelled it.

T--One of the best DIPA that I have ever tried. Follows perfectly with the style. The hops wash over the palate first, followed by the piney taste, but the sweetness on the back of the tongue lasts a little too long for what I like. The final drink of the beer was almost undrinkable for me. It was so overly sweet and syrupy that I almost spit it out. That was the most unappealing trait of the beer, very disappointing.

M--Great for the style. The tongue was harshly beaten by the hops in this beer, but the sweet syrup finish placated the uncomfortable feeling the hops produce. Personally, I love the feeling of hops on the tongue, and to me that really made this beer.

O--This beer lived up to the hype for me, but it was not the best DIPA I have ever had. To be honest, I would not actively seek this out again, but I would never pass it up if it were available.

Photo of JMforman
4.38/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Deep golden body with a fluffy white head
S- Grapefruit, sweet malt, pine resin, and honey. Superbly invasive.
T- Alcohol upfront, with grapefruit, pine, honey. Intensely bitter on the finish.
M- Very interesting in the mouth. A bit dry from the Abv. There's definitely a lot going on. Maybe a bit oily.

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

Appearance: Two fingers worth of head when poured and diminished quite quickly while leaving lacing behind. The foam appears to be slightly creamy. The beer itself is a clear copper.

Smell: I can smell a mixture of hops and honey laced with some sweet malts. The hops border more on the piney while the honey adds a nice sweet touch to it

Taste: Mouthgasm. I like the mixture of the bitter hops and the sweetness of the honey. The hops hit the tongue first and finishes with the sweet honey.

Mouthfeel: Light carbonation on the tongue. A pretty smooth drink with a silky feel. I noticed how the beer is slightly heavier than other ones that I've had.

Overall: MOUTHGASM!!! Worth the money. Worth the hype. I'm thinking about aging this just to see what happens when the hops are gone. Or I may just drink it.

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

As I sipped on this, it reminded me of my general thought of books and movies. The books [original] is always better than the movies [which are still good]. Thus was the case with the Hopslam, as I recently had a bottle and thought it was good..but nothing beats having fresh off the tap, in the house that created it!

Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
99 out of 100 based on 11,106 ratings.