Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.
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Ratings: 9,765 | Reviews: 3,114 | Display Reviews Only:
4.78/5 rDev +6.5%
A: Lightly golden colored. Good half inch head on top. good amount of lacing down the side of the glass.
S: Sweet, malty, citrusy, piney. This beer smells absolutely amazing.
T: Taste is exceptional. It starts out a little sweet and malty and then finishes w/ a bitter citrus piney taste. This beer is perfectly balanced. The taste of the honey comes through and helps to blend all of the flavors through perfectly.
M: Medium body. A little creamy feeling.
D: Very drinkable beer. At 10% and with a truckload of hops this beer will knock you out if you drink too many though. I saw it happen last night.
Bottom Line: This is one special brew. I think it is my new favorite DIPA. I was scared it wouldn't live up to the hype but i can certaintly say that it does and possibly surpasses it. If you can get your hands on this beer definitely pick up a case while supplies last. It's worth every penny even at 60 dollars a case. You won't be disappointed.
01-25-2009 03:03:28 | More by jrw5061
4.13/5 rDev -8%
A - Big white chunky fluffy head with excellent retention... Hazy orange honey color... Slight very slow distinctive carbonation...
S - Sweet citrus scents dominate... Tangerine... Lemon... Grapefruit... Orange... Pineapple... Piney hops... A faint hint of honey...
T - Piney hops are front and center and then rise in intensity until they crescendo and the alcohol takes center stage... A subtle earthy tone then comes to the surface... The taste lasts well after the swallow... The citrus scents which were noted in the smell are extremely mild and subtle in terms of taste... Exactly what one would should expect from a brew with such a name...
M - Medium bodied with a lush creaminess... Crisp... Smooth carbonation... A slight warmth and burn from the high ABV... The hops bitterness lingers in the back of the mouth and throat... Not as oily as many of the style which is a nice surprise... A faint smokiness is detected as part of the aftertaste...
D - BOOM - A definitive hop bomb... I was slightly disappointed as I expected a slightly more well balanced brew based on the hype, but that doesn't detract from the stellar craftmanship...
Note - I absolutely love the label...
01-25-2009 02:57:23 | More by philbe311
4.05/5 rDev -9.8%
Got this beaut in a trade from d0b. thanks to him for something new and exciting.
A: Poured into a tulip with one finger tight little head. It dissipates very quickly but leaves more than lacing. closer to a foam caking than lacing. very very nice. Color is a brilliant golden with a little haze (could be chill haze).
S: Absurdly strong and singly citrus hop aroma. Don't really know what to say other than straight up grapefruit. Despite how delicious it smells, I don't know how something so unbalanced could be rated so high in general.
T: Starts straight bitter then the grapefruit creeps in, ending in a sublime honey sweetness. Balance isn't as as crazily skewed as the aroma. Slightly over the top but really damn tasty.
M: Little thin upfront but rounds out a little. Any activity on the tongue or palate is due to alpha acids burning your face off.
D: Dunno really how to come at this one. I know it's a very popular brew and it is in fact tasty but I wouldn't want it often simply because it doesn't seem like something i could drink more than 2 of without Tums or whatever kind of exoskeleton allowed the alien to have acid blood. What can I say. Tasty, fruity, and intense but very unbalanced.
01-25-2009 02:10:58 | More by Pamola
5/5 rDev +11.4%
A peachy grapefruit flower punch to your traditional understanding of an IIPA. Definitely more of a citrus taste than last year. One of the best beers I have every had. For $16 a six pack, it better be. I wish there was a way to store and cellar this beer so that it could last until next year's release.
01-25-2009 02:04:31 | More by valpodogs
4.4/5 rDev -2%
Bell's Hopslam immediately brings thoughts of wildflower honey, bitter soapy hops, and the pith of an overripe clementine. Slightly medicinal tasting. Thick mouthfeel, but astringent and clean. Orange golden hue like viscous unfiltered honey; beautiful hue. Heavy body, warming. Notes of brown sugar, turmeric, molasses, whiskey on the nose. Not to be missed. If you are a fan of the Bell's brewing style, do not miss this beer. At 10%, I'm about half-way through my pint, and feeling it.
Poured into a glass on 1.24.09
Excellent lacing, retained about ¼" of head, maintained about 1/16" of an inch of head throughout the pint. Would not miss this on draft, as I'm sure it would be a knock-out.
Cheers Bell's for another amazing brew.
01-24-2009 21:55:52 | More by slammgrass
4.88/5 rDev +8.7%
I love Bell's and was really excited to try this one out. Thank you Bell's for continuing the seasonal in a terrible hop market.
Pours pale yellow with rigorous, velvety head that stays intact. Nose is astringent, sweet, grassy, piney, citrusy hops. The honey is unmistakable. The taste is more honey, with an almost-soapy astringency and a candy sweetness. The bitterness is so well balanced by the honey; where so many good IPAs trail off into a metallic aftertaste, this one stays beautiful throughout. Feels thick and tasty, and leaves a bit of a sweet sticky film on your lips.
I've heard Dreadnaught comparisons and they are valid. I think I prefer this one; it retains more of the astringency and bitterness of the style. This is my new 2nd favorite IPA (Pliny stays on top).
01-24-2009 21:46:03 | More by gyllstromk
4.83/5 rDev +7.6%
12 oz. bottle poured into a Bell's pint glass.
A - Aggressive pour produces a frothy, off-white hear of about an inch that settles rather quickly.
S - Grassy and citrusy hops. Tons of orange. Pineapple, spruce, a little grapefruit. Very floral too.
T - Grassy and pine-flavored hops dominate. I get plenty of tropical fruit and some dank cannibus. The honey makes itself known and plays well with some alcohol which I normally dislike in this style but it compliments this beer nicely. This beer is unique for a DIPA and extremely well-crafted.
M - Creamy. Delicious. Perfect.
D - Very high. I don't know if the alcohol (10%) is well-hidden but the balance and sheer excellence of this beer make it plenty drinkable.
I don't mind that this beer only comes around once a year. It does not take age well and despite claims to the contrary the price is not outlandish at all for a beer with this much hop character. Plus, it comes in 12 oz. bottles rather than overpriced bombers.
Overall, up there with Short's Anniversary and Pliny in the DIPA style for me. I highly recommend anyone who can get their hands on this beer drink the hell out of it while it is fresh as this is just a masterpiece of a DIPA.
01-24-2009 21:41:49 | More by b3barron
4.7/5 rDev +4.7%
6 pack picked up at Heinen's, a local grocery for $17.99.
Batch 8907 poured into a standard pint glass
a: clear amber/orange color. Foamy 1/2" head with slight retention. Reduces to a lace cap, fair amount of carbonation.
s: nice floral and citrus hop aroma with hint of honey and grapefruit
t: bitterness from the grapfruit and hop dominated up front, finishes with sweatness from malt and honey. The alchohol is well hidden. Very tasty beer.
m&d: medium mouthfeel, the carbonation helps the mouth. The high ABV is not detectable which makes this an extremely drinkable beer.
This is a great beer, I don't know if its worth the extra $8-10 I would pay per six compared to GLBC Commodore Perry IPA, but certainly is one every hop head needs to try.
01-24-2009 21:35:08 | More by UDbeernut
4.75/5 rDev +5.8%
Purchased at the Beeryard, Batch #8913. Poured into my Sam Adams Perfect Pint from a 12oz bottle.
Appearance: Very nice orange/amber color. Clear. Semi-aggressive pour yields a 1 to 1.5 finger head. Decent head retention, but once its gone a swirl or two brings it all back.
Smell: Nice floral, citrusy, mild grapefruity aroma with a touch of honey. As the beer warms the honey smell becomes much more prevalent.
Taste: Wow. A beer well worth all the hype. A nice malty flavor with some citrus and a dash of grapefruit with a warm, honey aftertaste. No indication of the high alcohol ABV. Incredibly balanced brew. Like the smell, the honey flavor comes out more as the beer warms and lingers on the tongue with a touch of hoppy bitterness/dryness.
Mouthfeel: Smooth, with a drying aftertaste. Nice carbonation balances with bitterness and the honey. Despite my repetitive mention of the honey, it merely accentuates the strong malt character at the beginning and the bitterness at the end. Beautifully i might add.
Drinkability: Incredible. Absolutely no hint of alcohol, unless perhaps the beer is allowed to warm and flatten. I could drink these all day, but the alcohol hits you nonetheless, and is the only limiting factor.
A world-class brew worth the hype, the price, the case limits, everything. Find it, buy it, love it. Bell's HopSlam and Troeg's Nugget Nectar make January and February the most enjoyable winter months. And they're even better on tap!
01-24-2009 20:35:54 | More by Ezekiel81923
4.47/5 rDev -0.4%
Poured into my DFH shaped pint glass, the 2009 version of Bell's infamous HopSlam Ale is bright golden copper and topped with a couple of fingers of soft bright-white foam. The head hangs around quite a while, settling slowly by consolidating its smaller bubbles into a soapy foam that clings to the glass in thick webs and stringy ribbons.
The aroma of the drink doesn't flatten me like the (un?)fortunate character on the label, but it is quite huge and pungent, with notes of sugary pineapple grilled over spruce, sprinkled with candied lemon zest, then pureed with potent pine resin and sent to the bottling line.
The taste is crisp and honey-on-toast malty sweet, with a huge countering blast of a tangy lemon-juice infusion, bitter citrus zest and just the right amount of cleansing, warming alcohol. A mild malty oiliness laced with white grapefruit and navel orange rind coats the mouth, keeping the zippy, fruity sweetness in contact with the tastebuds, prolonging a refreshing fruity-hoppiness that finally winds down, terminating in a touch of lingering dryness that commands the drinker to have another sip. I obey without argument.
The drink is heavy-medium in body with great carbonation and feel. Though alcohol is a significant presence in the flavor and the belly-warming nature of the drink, HopSlam is a highly quaffable credit to the talented folks at Bell's.
01-24-2009 20:17:25 | More by cvstrickland
4.55/5 rDev +1.3%
Pours a slightly hazy, golden-orange color with a 2 finger thick, white colored head that has some great retention, condensing to a thick, 1/4" creamy layer atop the beer, leaving a ton of lace.
Aroma is predominately made up of floral grapefruit as well as other citrus aromas. Quite pungent and fruity, with just a hint of sweet, honey-like malt character.
The taste was a prominent citrus flavor, mostly grapefruit, with a touch of tropical fruit notes. Just an amazing balance of flavors, with a fairly dry finish, that isn't overwhelmingly bitter, leaving a sugared fruit flavor on the palate.
Medium in body heavy in ABV, Hopslam is a very drinkable beer, almost TOO drinkable. I was surprised that I couldn't detect any alcohol on the nose or tongue considering the 10% ABV. Absolutely look forward to this beer every year...and honestly, it's gotta be one of my favorite beers, period!
01-24-2009 19:08:43 | More by Soneast
4.5/5 rDev +0.2%
batch #8912 poured bottle into a tulip.
served @ 62* (almost room temp)
nice 1" head of off-white color that lasted 3 minutes. beautiful rich copper color with a nice haze.
instant pineapple/grapefruit smell. alcohol hidden well, but the nose lets ya know something wicked this way comes. taste is strong with pineapple and very warming going down. malty sweetness lasts a long time... mmmm. every lil' burp is so tasty... makes ya want more.
high alcohol so tread carefully.
01-24-2009 18:49:08 | More by DJRezN00
4.47/5 rDev -0.4%
Celebrating my 500th review with my first ever bottle of HopSlam!
Poured from a 12 oz bottle into oversized snifter.
A - Slightly hazy orangish copper. Two fingers of white head rise and hang around for a couple of minutes before falling to a thin cap. Some lacing. Lots of DIPAs have looked a lot better.
S - Fantastic smell here full of the entire spectrum of hop aromas. Almost simultaneously I get big hits of pine, tropical fruits (lychees and pineapple come to mind), and grass. Behind the scenes are a touch of orange juice and lemon peel a light whiff of alcohol. Herbal and tea-like aromas mildly compliment a pastry-like sweetness.
T - I've been bouncing between 4 and 5 this entire time, and I think I've finally settled on the current score. Initially there is a HUGE wash of pine flavor on the palate accompanied by moderate to strong fruity notes of apricot, apple, and pineapple. A hint of rosemary flavors melds with a simple, bready sweetness not unlike powdered sugar on baked bread. As the sweetness fades late palate the grapefruit pith bitterness grows to moderate to high levels but somehow keeps itself from being harsh or medicinal tasting. Small alcohol burn in the finish accentuates the bitterness. HopSlam ends on a bitter herbal and bark-like note.
M - Medium bodied with a moderate carbonation. Very smooth, but a little thinner that I would've expected.
D - For a huge, hopped up beer, HopSlam is deceptively drinkable. The alcohol, while noticable, doesn't detract but rather adds to the experience. There's a great level of sweetness to counteract some of the craziness from the hops but at no point does HopSlam become malt driven. I wouldn't "slam" these down but it has been quite pleasant to drink, especially considering a lowered malt presence. I'm nearly done with this one, and I unquestionably want another.
I'm not sure if this lives up to the hype or not but it is a great beer at the very least. In a lot of ways it probably wasn't what I was expecting but I've tried to review as if I'd simply seen this on a shelf during a stroll through the beer store one day. While this is nothing short of a great beer as I said earlier, it's perhaps not necessarily ground breaking in the world of DIPAs. HopSlam's most notable feature is it's interesting balance, which keeps things incredibly interesting and incredibly drinkable.
01-24-2009 08:41:08 | More by PatrickJR
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
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
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
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
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
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.
01-23-2009 23:36:53 | More by Reagan1984
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
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
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
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
4.35/5 rDev -3.1%
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
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
Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
99 out of 100 based on 9,765 ratings.