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Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

11,078 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 11,078
Reviews: 3,317
rAvg: 4.48
pDev: 9.6%
Wants: 2,251
Gots: 2,288 | FT: 74
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: 11,078 | Reviews: 3,317 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of axeman9182
4.74/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle, batch #10127 (meaning it was bottled on January 11th), and it was poured into my Duvel tulip.

The beer pours a just short of translucent tangerine in my glass. The foamy white crown rises to about three fingers in height. It quickly reduces in size by about a third before settling in and just sitting there. While the head retention is more than solid, lacing is a bit spotty. There's an incredibly pungent and perfumey aroma wafting up from the glass. A faint suggestion of honey is almost drowned out by the massive hop notes bombarding my nose. Waves of grapefruit, pineapple, mango, orange, and even a little peach crash over my olfactory sense. The flavor runs along similar lines, and is outstanding, but lacks a little bit of the oomph that the aroma has. The hop bitterness is fairly pronounced, but falls in line sandwiched between a beguilingly subtle, yet flavorful sweetness, and the array of powerful hop flavors. The mouthfeel is spot on, just enough heft in the body to support the massive hops, without getting in the way. At the same time the carbonation is active enough to really get the tropical hop flavors bursting on my palate, without giving too much of a bubbly sensation. There's not even a hint of alcohol, and it's absolutely mind boggling that a 10%, hopped out of its mind DIPA can be this easy to drink. A phenomenal beer from Bell's, and one of a very few that I would readily buy a whole case of at any time.

Photo of uno99
4.52/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Here she is, the legendary Hopslam. Big thanks to Tim from Detroit for this one.

Packaged on January 11th, served at 50 Degrees.

A: Poured firmly into my Stella glass, Hopslam tosses up a lagre bright white head that sticks around quite well, and laces beautifully. Color is much more pale than one might expect from such a big beer.

S: I don't identify myself as a hophead, but this beer might convert me. The bouquet of hops and honey perfume into the nostrils. The hops are most exclusively citric. lots of pineapple and lemon. sort of smells like a freshly opened can of Del Monte Fruit Salad.

T: Hopslam lives up to its name for sure, but its not so over the top that it makes you pucker. This beer rides the threshold of taste and overbearing hop bitterness perfectly.

M: Slick, oily, but well carbonated. A little sticky, but a decent dry finish from the alcohol. Hop bitterness keeps you wanting to raise the glass as well.

D: This is a masterpiece DIPA and very accessible and delicious for even non-hopheaded beer lovers.

Photo of Spartan517
4.72/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is one of my favorite IPAs and I thought it was time to review it. This beer is what makes January in Michigan managable for me. The beer pours a medium orange in color with a nice fluffy white head. The smell is very intense and is of mostly citrusy hops. This is by far one of the most robust, quality smelling beers I've had of this style. The taste is definately hop forward, but the honey balanced it out nicely. There's lots of citrus in the flavor, but a little bit of pine as well, and a touch of sweetness in the finish. The mouthfeel is outstanding as the beer has the perfect amount of carbonation and a great feel. This is my go-to late winter beer.

Photo of gregshead
4.47/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first trade set up for this one, thanks to fourkicks for providing this one. Also my 100th review!

A: Pours an orangish/gold with a half finger of head.

S: Lots of citrus on the nose. Grapefruit & lemon smells. Some sugary smell as well.

T: Strong lemony/grapefruit punches (or slams?) me in the mouth. Finish is smooth sugary/malty taste probably influenced by the honey.

M: Has a lighter/medium feel, especially for a double IPA. Good carbonation.

D: Really easy for 10%. Now I wish this was a year round offering.

Photo of perrymarcus
4.49/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in a snifter.

pours a slightly hazy dull gold tone with just shy of a finger's head; off-white on that count. middling retention but great lacing.

nose offers an aromatic potpourri of - surprise, surprise - hops; getting mostly citric notes but there is also a notable presence of pine, honey, and a touch of malt. exceptional aroma.

flavor follows the nose to a T. grapefruit, pine, honey. just enough balancing malt. very, very tasty beer. a true superstar DIPA.

medium-full bodied with medium carbonation. pretty damn drinkable considering its double-digit ABV. hopslam's fans are legion so there's not much to say about this one that hasn't already been said, but it receives that hype for a reason.

Photo of heysuz
4.92/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Intro: 12 oz. bottle served in a Bell's 13 oz. tulip stem glass

Appearance: Poured a bright dark golden color with about a two finger off-white head remaining throughout the pour with thin lacing that clung to the glass.

Smell: All I can say is, WOW!! A very unmistakable aroma. A very full, rich bouquet of hops, hops, and more hops, complemented by citrus and honey. I'm a real hop-head and this has an unmistakable aroma unlike any other beer in this family.

Taste: The perfect balance between bitter and sweet, the malt is just enough to balance out the hops. Finishes well with the honey which does a good job of balancing the overall citrus hoppy flavor. Again, a very unique, unmistakable taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation with a taste that lingers. The aftertaste mutes the drink quite well, due to the honey. It's not fruity at all, just hops and a smooth undertone which makes it quite drinkable

Drink: Smooth. Ultra-Smooth. If you're not careful you'll find yourself having put away a six-pack before you know it.

Conclusion: This is one beer that would not fail the blindfold test for either taste or smell. Despite all the hype surrounding this beer, don't be fooled. Don't pass up the chance to try this one, over and over again.

Photo of chrischandler71
4.92/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A. Beer poured a clear golden amber with a good head that disappeared quickley.

B. The smell was amazing.. sweet with a lot of citrus hoppy aroma.

T. Starts out with a sweet honey flavor giving way to a citrus choppy flavor that lingers on the tounge.

M. Heavy at first then crisp at the end.

D. very smooth.. wish I could drink all year long.

Photo of ms11781
3.88/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to sburrough. Batch #10127, bottled on January 11, 2011. Reviewed on 02/08/2011. 12oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Pours a clear, bright orange color. A stronger pour leaves a huge 3+finger head that quickly ends up as a decent sized white cap. Good foamy lacing left on the glass.

The nose reveals huge hop aromas right off the bat but they don't stick around long. Orange, grapefruit and other citrus aromas are very prominent for the short time that they appear but they are quickly overtaken by a very sweet, honey-like characteristic.

Taste is pretty much in line with the nose. Citrus hops lead the way again. Orange, pineapple, grapefruit and some other tropical fruits are present. A huge sweetness comes in and doesn't just balance out the hops but seems to completely take over at times. Definitely a sweetness from the honey rather than a malt characteristic. There are some piny hops at the finish along with some bitterness.

Medium/thick body with medium carbonation makes the beer feel slick on the tongue. Surprisingly smooth finish considering the amount of hops and bitterness in the taste.

Drinkability is good. Very sneaky at 10% ABV. There really is no hint of the alcohol at all, which is also surprising. At times the honey sweetness can be a bit much and even seem to outweigh the hops. Perhaps this wasn't as fresh as possible but should still be a good sample with it being bottled less than a month before consumption.

Photo of Janderson91
4.45/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This batch was brewed in mid-January. Enjoyed on February 18.

A - Poured into a DFH snifter. Pours a clear dark gold with a two finger white head. Huge bubbles and leaves pretty good lacing.

S - Smell is of big grapefruit hops, some pine and some very sweet malt.

T - Taste is balanced at first then there's a huge wave of hop bitterness. Finishes very balanced and leaves a great taste for a few seconds after.

M/D - Mouthfeel could have been a little more full. Drinkability is high, this one masks the alcohol well.

Waited to try Pliny before I reviewed this so I wouldn't overrate it. It actually wasn't too far behind for me though. Very good beer.

Photo of mpcrump
4.08/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A: Good bright and clear amber color with a two finger head.

S: Good strong citrus hops smell. If there can be a 'light' smell this seems to have it. Strong but not lingering or overpowering.

T: Starts with honey and then moves on to grapefruit.

M: Carbonation was light to medium. The taste lingers on after you have stopped.

D: For 10% ABV I think this goes down very easy. Can be dangerous!

Photo of godfathermg57
4.63/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I had this on tap so my review will be more brief since it was a few hours ago.

Looks a very clear amber color with good head. Smell is hops but nothing too overwhelming and not overtly fruity. Taste was very well rounded with malt perfectly complimenting the hops flavor. Bitterness wasn't overwhelming either.

At 10% alcohol this went down super easy. One of the smoothest and best IPA's I've had.

Photo of Bdc17
4.97/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Chimay goblet.

A: Amber color with a small head that goes away quickly.

S: Citrus hops and a hint of honey. Very strong smell overall.

T: The hops hit you right away. Finishes well with the honey which does a good job of balancing the overall citrus hoppy flavor.

M: Medium carbonation with the taste lingering for a while.

D: Dangerously high for a 10% beer. This goes down too easy.

Overall: An all-time favorite of mine. I'm very happy to be in an area they distribute to.

Serving type: Bottle.

Photo of knm
3.92/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This had a white head that left quickly, not many bubbles hung around. A very light colored IPA with minimal cloudiness. Smells very smooth for a name like Hopslam. The sour is there, but almost as fruity in smell. The taste is different though...only hops in the initial sip. The aftertaste tones down the drink perfectly, must be the honey. Its not fruity in taste at all, just hops and a smooth undertone which makes it quite drinkable. Just read the bottle cuz I was starting to realize it was high - at 10%ABV (holy crap) this is an amazingly smooth beer!

Photo of adam42381
4.8/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2/17/11 (Draft)
5/5/5/4.5/5: Poured on tap into a Guinness pint glass at Ice House Pub in Punta Gorda, Florida on 2/17/11.

Appearance: Pours a clear light golden amber with orange highlights and a 2-3 finger frothy white head. Excellent head retention and lacing.

Smell: The most amazing bouquet of hops I’ve ever smelled. Grapefruit, orange, pineapple and pine all mixed perfectly with just a touch of honey. Simply amazing.

Taste: The perfect balance between bitter and sweet, the malt is just enough to balance out the hops. The hops run the gamut from floral to bitter and sweet citrus. There’s a nice bitterness to the aftertaste that lingers for what seems like forever. This is the nectar of the gods.

Mouthfeel: Medium-to-full-bodied with just the right amount of carbonation. Goes down very smooth.

Drinkability: Excellent drinkability. The alcohol doesn’t come through in the flavor at all. This is scarily drinkable.

Overall: There’s no better beer out there that I’ve tried (yet). I thought nothing would top Hopslam in the bottle, but this did it. If you see Hopslam on draft, buy a pint - at least one. This beer was as close to perfect as I can imagine any beer being.

1/23/11 (Bottle)

2011 Edition

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Duvel tulip. Batch code 10127 indicates bottling date of January 11, 2011.

Appearance: Pours a clear light golden amber with orange highlights and a perfect 2 finger creamy and foamy white head. Excellent head retention and lacing.

Smell: Perfect fruity aroma featuring orange, grapefruit and pineapple mixed with floral hops and pine. Hops are abundant. This has the best aroma of any beer I’ve ever smelled.

Taste: Excellent balance between bitter and sweet. There is just enough malt background to even out this hoppy concoction. The hop profile ranges from floral to sweet citrus to bitter citrus. Sweet citrus with a little caramel malt up front followed by a hint of pepper and pink grapefruit in the middle followed lemon zest at the finish. Aftertaste is quite bitter in a great way.

Mouthfeel: Medium-to-full-bodied with just the right amount of carbonation. Goes down very smooth.

Drinkability: Excellent drinkability. The alcohol is masked extremely well for a beer with 10% ABV. The only detractor is the price. I paid $19.99 plus tax for a 6 pack at Total Wine.

Overall: About as perfect a DIPA as you’ll ever find. There is nothing to complain about here (aside from the price). I really wish Bell’s would make this a year-round release and drop the price a bit. If they did, this would be my go to beer without a doubt. If you see it, buy it. Don’t let the sticker shock stop you from trying the perfection that is Hopslam.

Photo of brendan13
3.7/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured into a goblet a slightly hazy orange with a 3cm head that suprisingly falls away fairly quickly. Bit of lacing left behind.
S - Big grapefruit citrus & piney hop character dominates with some spicy and earthy notes.
Alcohol starts to come through as it warms.
T - Hops also quite dominate in the taste with a bit of sweetness coming through. Couldn't really get a lot of honey. Also quite boozy in the taste.
M - Medium bodied, medium to low carbonation. Even though there is a bit of sweetness in the taste it is never cloying and finishes quite dry.
D - Got this in a BIF and I'm very happy I got to try this highly rated DIPA. It's a bit too boozy for my liking however.

Photo of RTJakarta
4.92/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From a bottle.

Pours a rich, beautiful amber with a good head.

The smell is so strong it's like the best possible punch to the nose. Strong hop and citrus. From the smell alone, I would expect a VERY strong taste from this.

Except, not at all. Yes, you get a good, solid taste from it. A nice citrus and hop bitterness, but the taste is WAY more balanced than you would think. Which to me, is a good thing. If the taste was as strong as the aroma, it would tough to drink a lot of this. Also, you would NEVER guess this is 10% ABV.

Mouthfeel is just a nice, medium carbonation to me.

Drinkability you would think would be iffy at 10% abv, but it masks it SO well. Before you know it, you'll be feeling it. A top flight beer. Revisiting this, it's tough to decide if this is my favorite IPA or not besides the great Ruination. Either way, absolutely would recommend this to any hop fanatic. A great beer!

Photo of afksports
4.55/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I've been lucky and gotten hopslam through a couple different trades. This Imperial IPA from Bell's brewery is just freakin' fantastic. I poured some, took a pic, then came on to review it before I forget Mr. Hopslam's glory.

The appearance is a bright amber, clear as day with an amazing and robust head. Those bubbles smell grand. Totally citrus, sweet, aromatic for sure. The taste is hop-malt-hop. The first hops are sweet, followed by a truly well-built malt characteristic that has everything from honey to toffee in it, and ended with a lovely piney and grapefruit bite in the back of the palate.

Hopslam is full of hops, and it's medium-bodied is full of alcohol too. 10% alcohol by volume? Seriously? Those malts make this baby REALLY easy to drink.

2 for 1... Just remember... 2 beers = 1 hopslam. 2 for 1...

It's funny. Hopslam is receiving a really high rating here from me, and when I had it side by side with Abrasive from Surly, Abrasive carried the day. But on its own, Hopslam has some wonderfully subtle characteristics. I highly recommend you get some while it's still fresh.

Photo of amccormi
4.19/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Thanks to my man Mark for giving me a second to try, much obliged.

Poured from a bottle to pint glass releasing 1 inch of white head which sank to a very thin but persistent layer. Very light amber somewhere between gold and orange color with a suprising level of clarity for such a hopped up beer.

The aroma is very vibrant citrus, then a more herbal undertone.

Taste is fairly sweet upfront, but I was expecting it this time, so not as overpowering. Moves into a bit of fruityness, then finishes with a fiarly clean pithy citrus bitterness (Kumquats anyone?). The bitterness lingers, quite a while.

Mouth feel is average, possibly a tad thin, but nothing to really detract.

This is an incredibly drinkable beer for being 10%. Once I got used to the honey sweetness it really has a nice balance that I can see why people are fond of it.

Photo of Gmann
4.4/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy golden color with some orange hues. The head is dense and fairly big, leaving some webby lacing on the glass.

The aroma has a beautiful grapefruit hop scent. Some light tropical notes and pepper round out the hop aroma. Some honey and light bready notes support the hop profile. The hops dominate the aroma.

The flavor is much more balanced than the aroma. The first flavor that hits is a tropical fruit hop flavor, some peppery, piney and grassy flavors as well. The hops are equally matched by a sweet, bready honey malt. The malt isn't too big where it feels thick and syrupy, it seems to be in perfect balance with the hop flavor. I would like to see a touch more citrusy hop flavor but you can't beat the balance.

The beer as a moderate to full body with soft carbonation that leads to a smooth feel. Some light asprin bitterness stings the tongue and it finishes with a touch of stickiness. Really nice balance in this beer. ABV no where near to be found.

A delightful DIPA, perfect balance and awfully drinkable.

Photo of oline73
4.51/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with one finger of off white head which goes away just leaving a very small layer.

Smell: Sweet citrus hops dominate. I thought there would be more of a smell than there is.

Taste: Initially there is a strong citrus hop bitterness. Next I'm picking up quite a bit of malt sweetness and some honey, which complements the bitterness quite nicely. At the end there is still some bitterness and also some alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with delicate and smooth carbonation. There could have been a little bit more carbonation. The finish is dry.

Drinkability: I've had this several times and it's always wonderful. I'll definitely be having more in the future.

Photo of iLovehops23
4.67/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

WoW! what a treat. Big thanks to the Dennis brothers,MN for hooking this one up. The first DIPA ive ever had and man was this a tasty one. right off the bat after opening the bottle im surrouned by heavly hop aromas of citrusy, piney melony goodness. Im a chef with what i conisder a pretty cultivaded palet and this beer rocked my taste buds in dramatic fasion. at 10% abv i was in love with the world after my 2nd in a row.
hopslam set the bar pretty damn high for all others, cant wait to try many more....

Photo of BeerAndBourbon
4.45/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A. Pours a clear copper/burnt orange color with a one finger creamy white head that dissipates quickly to a few globs of residual lacing.

S. Citrus, caramel malt, grapefruit, mango as it warms, and a bit of sweet complexity that I'll attribute to the honey.

T. A nice hop wallop on top of a good caramel malt backbone with some honey sweetness that helps to round out the flavors.

M. Medium to thick mouthfeel with lots of creamy carbonation that spreads the goodness throughout your mouth.

D. One of the first nights of the year I've been able to comfortably sit on my porch and enjoy a wonderful brew. Damn this feels great.

Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.57/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Clear goldish bronze color, 2 finger head, excellent retention
S- Smell was the most enjoyable part of this beer and that is saying a lot. Citrusy, piney, very rich taste, hints of grapefruit, powerful aroma that hits your nose like a cannon ball.
T- Very citrusy taste, hops stand out, grapefruit, excellent bite. Ingredients are very balanced.
M- Very smooth on the palate with some carbonation
D- Excellent beer, very easy to consume. Alcohol is hidden very well which makes it a very enjoyable and easy drink. Great bite, hits you hard with the hoppiness than calms down in your palate. I will definitely be drinking this beer for years to come.

Photo of bnes09
4.92/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Light orange and mostly transparent. Solid white head with excellent retention. Some minor lace spots but I drank it very slowly giving the beer little chance to lace.

Heavenly apricot and grapefruit, citris hop aroma floods my nostrils. Sweet, sour, spicy and intensly seductive. I almost don't want to drink it, the smell is that good.

Hops are unrelenting from the get go with apricot, grapefruit and pine bitterness that leaves me speechless. Fruity, nectar-like sweetness creeps in mid-drink and blends perfectly with the hops. Alcohol lies in the background with an almost indetectable spicy tone. Finishes with a dry, bitter and satisfying aftertaste which lasts forever.

Medium to slightly full consistency. Drying on the palate. Sticky on the lips.

All I have to say is, WOW!!! This is a true masterpiece in brewing. It felt like a sin to drink something so perfect. Without a doubt, the best double IPA I have tried to date (or may ever try.) Hats off to the fine people at Bell's!

Photo of dlmccabe1
4.2/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This thing is a huge citrusy bomb with crazy aromas right away. It pours a golden straw color.

Not overly bitter but tons of hop flavors and aromas. My kind of beer. Finishes with a hint of sweetness, probably from the honey, with a a long finish and a really rich mouthfeel for an IPA. Any bitterness that comes is lingering at the end.

I think this is a delicious IPA. It's really drinkable and has heavy hop aroma and flavor. But I paid $25 for a six pack....which is a little ridiculous.

Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
99 out of 100 based on 11,078 ratings.