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Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

9,993 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,993
Reviews: 3,125
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 9.58%
Wants: 1,940
Gots: 1,514 | FT: 41
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: 9,993 | Reviews: 3,125 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brewintheLou
4.7/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow... this was great. I had this one at Stable in St. Louis and it did not dissappoint. I have had out of a bottle and on tap. This, in my opinion was not too different. Like any beer out of a cask it was less carbonated, which is very good, and the flavor were more prevelant. Definitely had the grapefruit hop, and the honey finish on the end. I was lucky enough to get in on the ass end of the cask and the pour, and I do mean pour as the spout had been removed at that point, was like a blond mud. It was an experience that I thoroughly enjoyed and hope to get the same next year.

brewintheLou, Mar 03, 2009
Photo of gameface23
4.7/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle in the mail courtesy of my best friend.

A: Pours a hazy honeyed gold with a pillow-like head. Lacing prevails.

S: Dank, resinous hop aroma with pineapple/grapefruit, some malt and honey sweetness and alcohol.

T: I picked up a lot of sweetness in this from the honey, but it was far from cloying. It's interesting drinking a beer that doesn't really solely on caramel malts for it's sweetness. The hops hold their own against the sweetness. They counteract the sweetness perfectly.

M: Creamy, & smooth. This is one of the more full-bodied IIPA's I have ever drank.

D: This is 10% ABV?? Apart from the alcohol in the smell, this beer hides the alcohol really well.

gameface23, Mar 02, 2009
Photo of khiasmus
4.13/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A long time in coming, this one. I wish the ground would look like the top of this beer in the morning, but one can always wish, it's been the same since childhood. I've seen snow but a few times in my life. It reminds me though. The thick sheet of lacing, like the window from inside a car. A cloudy orange, the glow from our wood stove as I was growing up. A ranch-style house, I think it sucked more heat out, that was the only warm room. It drops off after a couple minutes, looks like soap-bubble-jello, wiggling in the glass as I tap on the keyboard.
And there it is, an immensely piney aroma, the christmas trees back before flame retardants, they used to crackle and pop merrily, looking for all the world like this glowing liquid in front of me, and the smell... so green, so pure... there's some citrus there, but mostly just that intense christmas-tree green, a note of soft alcohol and some sweetness in the back... honey, like the herbal tea as we watched dad shove the branches in.
Funny how the house gets more cozy as the air outside cools. Were it this temperature in the summer, I would be hot. As it is, I'm happy... But the flavor disappoints a little after the nose. The hops arent as balanced... they come out as an intense bitterness, a flash of resin, but the alcohol is hotter than the nose suggested, it takes over the finish. The honey is sweeter as well, lending an imbalance in flavors (though not impressions).
Thick. Thick and syrupy-sweet as it rolls down the throat and gives way to a warm, almost sickly finish. It's just too much. The ten percent is far too obvious. The honey is too in your face. The hops are imbalanced. I've had this beer three times, and each time I've been disappointed. Unearthly, as a strong IPA, destroys this oh-so-highly-rated beer. I don't dislike strong flavors, but this one does not come together well. It's not going to snow. I'm going to wake up to just another bleary day with some specks of ice on the bushes. And go to work.

EDITED after drinking a 9 day old bottle. I must say that she comes together much better. Still a little high on the sweetness and alcohol both, but it is a much more drinkable brew. Still not a 4.4 beer though. Adjusted score accordingly.

khiasmus, Mar 02, 2009
Photo of fosterific
4.28/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Had the traditional pale color of hazy golden blond with a nice 2 fingers of creamy white head that stayed around for the entire beer and left quite a bit of lacing.
The smell is why I ordered the beer, I could seriously smell the beer from a meter away...So of course I have to inquire into this beer. Up close your nose is bombarded by citrusy hops, and it is hard to pick any other smells out.
With that thick creamy foam still on top I dived in, who doesn't look cool with a beer foam mustache? The flavor had that sweet citrus flavor that I was expecting but was balanced with some bitter hops that made for a complex hop battle between bittering and aroma hops.
The hopslam has a full bodied feel, very nice.
Drinkablitiy is a little on the low end, cause I need to be able to function after...10%! Are you kidding???

fosterific, Mar 01, 2009
Photo of jim102864
4.47/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served up on tap at Macnivens in Indianapolis in proper glassware (a snifter with the bells logo). Sadly, a smokie environ impaired an already weak sniffer, but in between whaffs, the citusy hops came through. A fairly clear golden color with nairy a hint of carb but sticky lace clings to the glass throughout. Nice hop bite yet creamy mouthfeel. The hops are piney yet the citrusy aspect and smooth mouthfeel make for a harmonic convergence of flavor. That was lame, but its accurate. This is a solid DIPA and worthy of all the hype from my fellow BA's. I enjoyed it so much, I smuggled four bottles in me luggage after buying some at a local packie.

jim102864, Mar 01, 2009
Photo of jamesdantes13
4.33/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours lightly cloudy and pale orange-brown. Thick white head dissipates quickly but leaves a nice amount of lacing.

Nose is pungent: orange, grapefruit, pineapple, and piny all at once with a hint of caramel malts.

This brew delivers both sweet and bitter hop aromas and flavors--partly citric, but mostly bitter. Smooth mouthfeel resulting from the creamy/oily texture and low carbonation. And in addition to the light malt backbone, this beer can be easily consumed despite the 10% ABV.

Definitely a topnotch DIPA, but is it good enough to justify the ridiculous amounts of hype surrounding this beer?


There are many other DIPA's on the same level that are far more accessible. Still, this beer delivers unique hop complexities that should not be passed up...even if you can only grab a couple per year.

jamesdantes13, Feb 28, 2009
Photo of hooliganlife
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

first, HUGE thanks to Jerad, The Stable, and Bells for everything !!! this is my 2nd review because from a cask, this is a very different beer

poured from a fresh cask into a bells tulip (that we got to keep). color was deep bright amber murky orange

smell was light sweet grapefruit and citrus, very subtle. it turned a giant beer into a humble beer

taste was mind blowing. light fruity red grapefruit that was semi sweet with very little bitterness.

mouthfeel was light and semi oily with slight alcohol presence. no carbonation so this was beyond smooth.

overall - the cask version destroys the bottle and draft. this was very smooth, there was no carbonation to add to the bite so this was HIGHLY drinkable. i am very privileged to have had this from a cask.

hooliganlife, Feb 28, 2009
Photo of dakid618
5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from 12oz bottle batch #8911 into Bell's pint glass. Pours a light amber golden color with a half finger of frothy head that leaves gobs of retention on the sides of the glass. Smell is all grapefruit. I don't know how else to describe it but grapefruit citrus smell with maybe a hint of biscuitlike malt hidden deep. Taste is citrus hops up front(grapefruit, hints of banana and orange peel) followed seemlessly by smooth biscuitlike malts. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and not as dry as most DIPAs are. Drinkability is amazing for such a high ABV beer. Alcohol is perfectly hidden and kind of scary this could be so easy drinking. This is the best DIPA I've ever had, ever. This beer deserves a perfect 5. If this were available year round I'd stop trying new beers and this is all I would drink(at least for this style). In my opinion a perfect DIPA.

dakid618, Feb 28, 2009
Photo of rwdkosak
4.65/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On-cask at the Stable poured into tulip. As expected from a cask, a short-lived head topped a bronze hue, unfiltered haze and slightly reddened. With a fully hopped nose I smelled this three times before sipping because it really did fill the senses.

Taste and mouthfeel were fantastic, smooth, extreme hop just as expected and as experienced with both bottled and on-tap sessions. The cask/firkin pour was exceptional though and one to remember!! The smoothness and drinkability of this glass was certainly noteworthy and the full 12% ABV (don't believe the 10% on the bottle...), can surely be felt but not necessarily tasted and by no means overpowering the drink.

I felt fortunate to have this on cask, apparently only three will be served in a two state region and this happened to be just down the street; complete with a representative from Bell's to swing the mallet! A nice touch with Bell's tulip glass as well.

rwdkosak, Feb 28, 2009
Photo of danielharper
4.15/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Transparent reddish-orange body, thick white head that leaves some lacing. Impressive quantity of head considering the ABV. Some carbonation in the glass.

Smell: Crisp hops up front, with a malty syrupy sweetness underneath. Strong honey backbone, lots of interesting sugar combinations. Hints of grapefruit and oranges.

Taste: Very sweet with honey on the first sit, with a heavy dose of hops on the back-end. Very dry on the finish. Very sugary, strongly flavored with grapefruit. High astringency due to alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Thick but smooth, goes down clean. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Not my all-time favorite DIPA, but I'm really curious to see how these age over time. I may stick them in a closet and try one again in six months or so.

danielharper, Feb 28, 2009
Photo of PirateUlf73
4.33/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass.

A: Slightly hazy golden-orange color with a bright white head. Retained pretty well and laced very nicely.

S: Do I have to say it. Very hoopy, mostly of a citrus variety, but I detect some sweet grassy notes as well. Also some notes of granny smith apples. Just a smidgen of malty sweetness manages to penetrate the wall of hops.

T: Surprisingly, not quite as hoppy as I expected, but that's just fine. Notes of citrus fruits, sweet grassy heather, puckering pine and a hint of caramel backbone. Definitely a hop bomb, but with a substantial malt taste to boot.

M: Heavy and thick, with moderately low carbonation. The beer massages the tongue nicely and finishes fairly clean, save a very bitter aftertaste.

D: A sipper that rewards taking it slow. May go well with a rich dinner dish.

This beer achieves a rare feat: being a balanced hop bomb. Yes, the hops are very much running the show, but I appreciated the strong malt character, which kept things from getting too crazy. A great brew and certainly deserving of MOST of the praise it gets.

PirateUlf73, Feb 27, 2009
Photo of Jimbo87
4.72/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful clear gold, creamy off-white head. Pretty good lacing.

Smell is mindblowingly good. Tangy grapefruit. Sweet-like.

Taste: Malt flavor is subtle. Delicious bitter grapefruit hops. Some lingering sweetness and bitterness. Pine.

Mouthfeel is super smooth. pretty hefty body for the style.

Drinkability is limited by the intesity of flavor and the high abv. A great beer, but I can't really drink two in one sitting.

Jimbo87, Feb 27, 2009
Photo of daliandragon
4.35/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm not sure what I can say about this one that hasn't already been said. I've had this on tap a few times and always was extremely impressed although usually not in any condition to be reviewing anything.

First we see a golden reddish body with snowy, off-white head and impressive lace. The grapefruit and honey melange in the notice is exquisite, and unique enough, particularly for the style. Despite the name, this isn't a simple mushroom cloud of hops.

Wow, the honey is real powerful here, almost masking the hops and alcohol both, which would otherwise seem difficult to do. The aftertaste is strong grapefruit but not completely withering. The booze is understated but does still take a toll if you don't sip.

I agree that this is better on tap but still an iconic brew that every hop lover needs to at least try.

daliandragon, Feb 27, 2009
Photo of Blakaeris
3.83/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours hazy copper-orange with a crisp white head that leaves globs of sticky lacing.

Aroma is a combination of citrus and resinous piney hops. Malty base with accompanying tropical fruit notes - notably mango and peach.

Taste is similar to the nose. Grapefruit hops have a leafy green feel. Excellent citrus character with orange, apricot, and peach. Surprising amount of caramel malt and brown sugar sweetness for a DIPA. Finish is only modestly bitter, along with lingering citrus fruit.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Soft, and slick with hop oil.

A balanced beer that has a great deal of sweetness for the style. The high ABV is very well concealed. Drinks like an IPA, missing the aggressive nature I would expect from a DIPA. This does not taste like a hop monster or a 'big' beer. I guess I had expected something more from Bell's....

Blakaeris, Feb 26, 2009
Photo of cleeze
4.22/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

been on a big hop kick lately, and I am so glad this baby fell into my lap.

Poured a great golden color, almost copper. Nice frothy white head that disappeared to show some bad ass lacing.

Smells of citrus grapefruit, and lots of it. Smells hoppy as hell. Also picked up on the pine as well. Expecting more pine but I still love the grapefruit goodness

Taste was much like the smell. Hops bitch smackin' you in the face. Piney goodness blending well with a sweet honey taste.

Tangy mouthfeel. Makes me droool..

So glad I finally got a chance to try me some hopslam, not as good as Pliny but still damn good

cleeze, Feb 26, 2009
Photo of MEverritt
4.97/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Serving type: BTL

A- Light Copper in color. Left about 1/4inch head poured into a pint glass.

S- Smells of grapefruit or sour oranges. Hints of pinecones.

Taste- Very citrus-like. very yummy. Finishes with a slight taste of alcohol but was not overbearing at all.

M- almost creamylike but smoothe for the mostpart.

D- despite the high ABV. THis is a very drinkable beer. I could see myself having 4 to 6 in one session.

MEverritt, Feb 26, 2009
Photo of brianlg
4.35/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tried this for the first time today. A 12oz bottle poured into my pint glass. It pours a darker goldish brown with a fairly small head, no bigger than 1 finger. The smell is very citrusy with a hint of pine needles. Upon the first sip, the beer is fairly bitter, and very citrusy and grassy as the smell would foreshadow. It goes down extremely well, better than I thought it would. The alcohol is there, but hidden very well for the 10% ABV. Mouthfeel is prtty bitter and acidy, in a good way. Overall, what a fantastic brew! I will definitely be back for more of these, when I have the money for them! Only wish they were cheaper!

brianlg, Feb 26, 2009
Photo of SykDoc
4.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. This beer pours a lovely golden color and forms a 1/2 inch off-white head that minimally reduces to a full covering. No sediment and fizz is noted in the transparent gold color.

The aroma is a amazing mix of grapefruit and pine, which is a testament to the hops. Some mild sweet grass notes are also present.

The taste is, as the aroma. There is a significant amount of citrus fruits and pine from the hops with a sweet malt hint present early. I am also picking up the grass clippings in the taste and it is good. The alcohol is well hidden.

The mouthfeel is a fairly full bodied beverage with a significant level of bitterness and dryness that sits on the palate. The carbonation highlights the flavor very well. It is smooth and goes down very well.

Overall, this is a very good beer. I think the only thing that keeps me from rating it a 5 in drinkability is that I feel my palate is battered after one and the second does not get the deserving credit. Overall, an amazing beer.

SykDoc, Feb 25, 2009
Photo of KeefD
4.7/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally had this one on tap at Whistle Binkies on the Lake. Small head on tap, but still had some decent lacing. Smell was just as good as from the bottle. Nothing pure hop bliss. Pine and citrus all the way. Taste? Well, what can I say? It's delicious. So much orange, grapefruit, and various citrus flavors backed up by some pine resin and a very solid, very sweet backbone. Do I like it better on tap? Well, probably not. The first time I had it out of the bottle (which my bottle review implies) was just magical. I can't see that first experience being topped. The only difference was lighter carbonation from the tap than from the bottle. Still fantastic, nonetheless. Appearance and a bit of aroma is the only thing lacking on tap compared to from the bottle.

KeefD, Feb 25, 2009
Photo of CMW
3.85/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not sure why I haven't reviewed this yet...

A - Pours a light copper color with a medium sized white head. Retention is decent but lacing is incredible. Translucent and carbonation can be seen throughout.

S - Smells like red grapefruit and sour oranges. There is also some piney notes. Very strong.

T - Some malt of front but this is soon washed away but citrusy hops. Small amount of warming alcohol in the finish.

M - Very creamy and the carbonation is not overpowering.

D - Very drinkable even considering the abv.

CMW, Feb 24, 2009
Photo of cvfish
4.3/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - This beer poured a golden amber color that produced a fluffy white head that had good retention and left a decent amount of lace on the side of the glass

S - The nose of the beer was a little underwhelming than what I expected from a "Hopslam," but the honey, citrus, and pine mixture was quite pleasing

T - The taste of this beer was quite good, a good caramel malt with a good mix of grapefruits and honey in the middle and finished with a burst of bittering hops on the finish

M - This beer had a medium body along with a decent amount of carbonation

D - This is quite a DIPA, very tasty and drinkable, but beware of the ABV kick, you will not taste it at all, but this a great beer and another winner from Bell's

cvfish, Feb 24, 2009
Photo of praufs01
4.88/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Slightly hazy orange/yellow brew with a frothy off-white head that dissipates quickly.

Aroma - Wisps of semi-sweet raw honey float on a solid grapefruit and pine resin hop aroma.

Mouthfeel - Full bodied brew that has a moderate amount of small bubble carbonation. The brew is syrupy but not sticky.

Taste - Mildly sweet up front followed by a light grapefruit middle that smoothes out and finishes with a nice raw honey aftertaste.

Overall - Outstanding!!! I can really taste the raw honey in this brew. Just the right amount of everything. Full in flavor but not overly sweet, nor bitter, nor carbonated. Great looking, smelling, and tasting. I wish it wasn't 10% alcohol because I really would like to have more than two in a session ; )

praufs01, Feb 24, 2009
Photo of Gilgemesh
4.15/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a beautiful golden amber with a finger or two of head. Fluffy and light like whipped butter atop the amber candy below. The smell isn't as pungent as I expected, but is complex with a hint of the hoppy bitterness to come. The flavor is quite nice, and quite well rounded. Hops up front with a hint of the honey sweetness are followed by a nice hoppy bitter finish. Crisp and refreshing. This will be an excellent hot day beer and a very nice example of what I like in a DIPA. Worth the too much I paid for it.

Gilgemesh, Feb 24, 2009
Photo of Aenema
4.4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a slightly cloudy amber with a full, sticky head and nice lacing.
Smell - Lots of grapefruit along with piney, citrus hops.
Taste - Starts with full, citrus hop burst and finishes with a bitter hop bite. Tremendously juicy grapefruit and rich overall experience.
Mouthfeel - Creamy with a crisp finishes that resets the palate and allows each sip to replay the great combination of flavors.
Drinkability - Great drinkability for a beer of this strength, the alcohol is well-masked.

Aenema, Feb 23, 2009
Photo of MPLS
4.15/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have experienced this beer on tap many times, but this was actually my first time buying a 6 pack of this stuff. I cannot believe the exorbitant price of hops. Oh well...

A: Pours a lustorous fuzzy golden orange. Sugary lacing. 3 cm foam cap.

S: Very aromatic, sweet, hoppy, fresh pine, and citrus.

T: Up front are pungent citrus hops, then the sweet malt is discernable only to be erased by an extensive bitter honey dryness. The hops are real clean and intense. Love it with the exception of the overly sweet aftertaste.

M: This guy is medium built, 5'8", good.

D: Too many of these and I'd get slammed drunk. Really enjoy this beer and will seek it out, probably on tap more than trying to purchase a 6 pack. Great IPA, just have a slight aversion to the cloying aftertaste.

MPLS, Feb 23, 2009
Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
99 out of 100 based on 9,993 ratings.