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Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

10,384 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,384
Reviews: 3,154
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 9.58%
Wants: 2,166
Gots: 1,701 | FT: 43
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

Brewed with honey. Hoppy as hell.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10,384 | Reviews: 3,154 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of OldSchoolGamer
4.12/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is easily one of the highest rated and most raved about IPAs. This is the third year I have had Hopslam, and my reaction is always the same. Its good, but not great. Here is my review:

A: Pours a nice golden amber color. Pretty hazy. Head is rather minimal, but there is some nice, thick lacing present.

S/T: The aroma is very grapefruit dominant. Pretty sweet, and citric. Taste is very nice. Loads of grapefruit and pineapple upfront. Pretty sweet as well. Essentially a sweet grapefruit juice. The finish is bitter, sweet, bready, boozy, and has an almost musty earthyness. I wish there was more complexity in the hop flavoring, but whats wrong with a grapefruit hop bomb?

M/D: Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied. Slightly syrupy. Very crisp and slightly dry. Bitter finish with quite a bit of alcohol burn and prickly sensation. Drinkability is good. Very balanced and tasty, but 10% ABV is nothing to take lightly. Only one or two a night, tops.

After recently having Founders Double Trouble, I think this has more in common with Three Floyds Dreadnaught. Comparing the two, Dreadnaught is vastly superior. It is much more complex and is akin to having a tropical fruit hop explosion in your mouth. This is a little too heavy on grapefruit, and the bready malts come through a little more than you might expect. Very good IPA, just not worthy of the hype, or price.

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

Tis the season right?

A: Clear sweet golden amber. Beautiful full white head on top, which seems to be sticking around for a bit.

S: Hops. Major Grapefruit scent in there. As well as some grassy notes, quite sweet smelling as well. Almost a carmel scent in the end.

T: Not nearly as sweet as the smell would lead you to believe. Quite aggressive hop flavor, strong and earthy. There is a bit of the caramel flavor in the end as well as a bite from the considerable amount of booze in this thing. As this warms a little bit, some more of the sweetness comes out, which I like a lot.

M: Slick, and slightly oily on the tongue. Carbonation is nice, if just a little much.

D: Good for sure, but the hops are a little more aggressive than I would like. Then again, I am not a hop head. This is a new style that I am really starting to enjoy, and unfortunately this is not my favorite take on the style. For the price, and all the hype I think I would rather have a DFH 90Min. (and yet I rated 90Min. lower.. odd isn't it?)

Photo of manahansf
4.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours crystal clear with a light copper and orange color crowned with a thick two finger, white head. The visibly high carbonation emits a big and bold aroma of citrus hops with warming floral notes. The body is mild and mouth filling with a touch of malt sweetness to complement the big hop citrus flavors. Very fresh and fruity as well as very well balanced. Completely covers any hint of the 10% abv with great flavor. The finish is very gentle and ends just a touch vinous.

Photo of Sallerj
4.52/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer has a beautiful snow white head on a clear orange body. The aroma explodes with grapefruit and lemon and tropical fruit. This beer has a ton of IBUs, but that's not even the point. The flavor is a wonderful melding of grapefruit and canteloupe fresh hop flavors, with enough warm caramely malt to make it work, and a long bitter finish. This beer is awesome!

Photo of OneDropSoup
4.64/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a shaker: a clear honey gold with a finger of creamy head. A few tiny, pilsner-like bubbles. Beautiful lacing, a lot more than I'd expect for 10% ABV.

Knock-out hop smell! Pineapple, lemon, grapefruit, pine, just a tiiiiny bit catty. Not slammin' me in the face, but definitely jumping out & saying hello. Not aggressive, but pleasant & forward.

Great citrus & pineapple flavors, but gripped by a woody/piney bitterness. And booze -- yeah, the booze is there in a big way. Ends dry & bitter on the back of the tongue, but there's a real nice residual sweetness at the sides of the mouth. Bitterness mellows after about a quarter glass, revealing that honey, but the booze is still there.

Mouthfeel is prickly at first, but also nice & foamy, evening out. Pretty full, & the alcohol leaves some heat. I can feel it in my nose.

This is better than I remember. One of the best hop smells out there, & the honey helps not just to make it a bitter-bomb (less & less appealing to me). The booze makes it a little formidable, & you can feel it, which is good because otherwise I could down one after another.

EDIT: Had to adjust the "Overall" score, as when I first reviewed it I didn't equate "Drinkability" with "Overall." This is an overall amazing beer.

Photo of turboge
4.68/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ok the first beer went down surprising very smooth. I tasted the honey as it rolled over my tongue then it moved to the normal IPA - grapefruit, piney but disappeared fast as if I was dehydrated. I wanted more... Alc% is a creeper because it is very easy to drink. Probably the best IPA I have had so far. I can't believe how light it is. First review but worth every letter and taste. Try it!

Photo of Mavajo
4.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had on tap.

This beer came to me sporting an orange/amber color with perfect clarity - pretty much identical to the bottle serving I'd previously enjoyed. Head seemed a bit more tenacious this time, with a bit more lacing. I give the tap appearance a clear nod over the bottle appearance.

Aroma and taste are pure joy - just like the bottle. The nose brings out the hops, citrus grapefruit, and estery with notes of grass and pine. I tried to figure out which I smelled more of (grass or pine), but it seemed like my perception vacillated with every sniff.

If the aroma seemed good, the taste will blow you away. This is, hands down, the best IPA/DIPA I've ever tasted. There's hops to be sure, but the bitterness is wonderfully balanced with a smooth sweetness. All the notes from the aroma again appear in the taste - hops, grapefruit, grass/pine. The hops are much fresher and dominant on tap, but the bitterness is still remarkably tame and balanced. Once again, I'm completely amazed that this brew weighs in at 10%.

The mouthfeel is par for the course - smooth, appropriate carbonation. Just as well crafted as the aroma and taste. It just dances around in your mouth like smooth velvet.

This brew was beer bliss when I had it for the first time from the bottle. It's even better on tap. Amazing beer.

Photo of PhxHorn
4.25/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a light orange color with a quarter inch white head, leaving light lacing. Smells of hops, tastes of hops, specifically a big dose of grapefruit with a tangy aftertaste. Excellent IPA flavor, but a bit light on the mouthfeel for a DIPA. Very drinkable, and I don't notice the ABV that much, but the overall impression is that of an IPA.

Photo of superdedooperboy
4.26/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass. Served at cellar temperature, 45 degrees F.

Pours a beautiful deep golden hue with spectacular clarity. There's a faint haziness to it, but otherwise it's almost suggestive of lagering. Issues a giant billowing off-white head that falls away at a bit of a trot, showing nice retention and sticking in big, fat clumpy rings to the sides of the glass.

The nose is a big, bright, fresh burst of Cascade hop notes. Evidence of dry-hopping for sure. Bold and citrusy, lightly floral and juicy. Very fragrant and very inviting.

Surprisingly lighter in body than anticipated of a 10% ABV double IPA. Medium-bodied and middling in carbonation, somewhat slick and very dry in the finish. A base of sweet, honeyish malt is somewhat detectable, underpinning a huge burst of hop notes, ranging from grapefruit to orange to apple to lemon to a touch of grass. Mostly citrusy, and with a middle that is bracingly bitter and carries over into the finish, imparting the heavy dryness that begs for another quaff. Some notes of grapefruit and honey linger. As it warms, a little bit of warming alcohol can be detected on the way down.

This is one heck of a drinkable double IPA. It is powerful, for sure, but it drinks like a nice West Coast-style IPA. At temperatures below 45 degrees, this would undoubtedly be a dangerous fellow. A few of these could go down easily, and put you down with just as much ease. Be weary, or be ready for a HopSlam to the face.

Photo of PSUBeerman
4.17/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, tulip glass

Pours a light gold orange color. Clear to slightly cloudy. Head is white and foamy, decent retention.

Very aromatic. An abundance of hops, citrusy, peppery, pine notes. Also has a sweetness to the aroma, which I assume is from the honey.

Hop bitterness is pronounced with the flavor. Slightly tangy with citrus and grapefruit notes, as expected. Not much sweetness that I noticed.

Nice carbonation. I like that it is not as thick as some DIPA brews making it very drinkable.

Photo of Plenum
4.92/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The 2009 Hopslam is the best I've had to date. The citrus comes through so well, right from the initial pour, and last all the way to the end. This was a brew that I didn't want to end.

Great lacing down the glass, actually had to break out a second bottle tonight it was so amazing. I'm going to have to figure out how to score a 3rd case from Shangy's...

Photo of beatingwings
4.45/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light gold in color with an orange tint. Pretty decent head which dissipates into a lasting layer of bubbles. A little lacing too.

Aroma starts with a bit of pungent hop and floweryness. Strong scent of candied citrus fruits - lots of pineapple and orange. Very sweet and perfumy smelling. If the aroma was a bit stronger it would be a 5.

Huge amount of hops in the tasted. Very balanced and refined; the bitterness is never harsh. Strong pineapple note with a general tropical flavor and a good amount of grapefruit. Hop floweryness throughout too. Interesting sweetness from the honey, though it doesn't taste explicitly like honey (makes me think of candied apple). A little pine in there too. Alcohol is noticeable but embraced. It's fantastic, and very complex

Carbonation is good, and the thickness is right for this IIPA. Immensely drinkable. Even with the strength and boldness of Hopslam, I could easily put a few down, more so than most 'regular' brews.

Photo of Lerxst
4.47/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 9502 Bottled 1/5/10

A-Pours a clear gold color, maybe a bit of an orangeish hue as well. Billowy white head that hangs around for a bit and leaves some decent lacing.

S-Wow! Citrus hops, pine resin, floral hops, pears, oranges. Its almost sensory overload. This could be the most aromatic beer I've reviewed.

T-Hoppy with a piney, spicy lead off and middle with a citrusy finish. A bit of bready, malty sweetness comes in about halfway through. Very good.

M-Sticky, medium body, stinging bite, oily and resinous.

D-This is dangerously drinkable. I could easily consume 3-4 of these back to back.

Glad I finally got to try this one. It really is an excellent DIPA.

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

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Pours a bright, clear golden orange topped by a frothy, creamy white head.

Glorious aromas of hops on top of hops on top of hops: fresh cut grapefruit, orange marmalade, lime zest, and earthy pine resin. Light toasted malt lingers in the background, but this is definitely a hop lover's beer.

Maltier on the palate than expected, with the toasted and lightly bready note out front alongside a touch of caramel sweetness. But not to be cast aside, the hops quickly butt in and steal the show. Bittersweet orange zest and pith, oily resin, and a mildly pungent peppery spiciness abound. Fades into a sweet but earthy honey flavor, toasted almonds, and bitter pine needles, with a lingering finish that just keeps going, evolving all the way. In a word, dynamic.

Medium to full bodied and quite firm, but somehow drinks like it's light and soft. Oily and sticky, facilitating the unending finish. Is this beer really 10%? Quite possibly the most drinkable double IPA in production.

Photo of devilben02
4.3/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours from the bottle with a sparkling, crystal, orange-copper color, and a sticky, bubbly, cream-colored head. The combination of honey and hop aroma smacks me in the face from the second I open the bottle, like if one of those plastic bears from the grocery store came to life, climbed a pine tree, walked through a field of wildflowers, and then started mauling my sinuses with his sticky, sweet, sap-covered paws. Although the aroma is packed with both the honey sweetness and the piney and floral hops, the flavor is much more hop-forward, showcasing the resinous pine and a bit of orange, and with the honey providing a sweet balance. And the flavor and aroma from the honey is wonderfully natural, rather than an artificial, syrupy sweetness. The potency of the flavors deftly masks the 10% alcohol, and although the label claims that this is "a biting, bitter, tongue bruiser", this one is remarkably drinkable. With both a little sweetness and some bitterness lingering on my tongue, and feeling warm on the inside right now, I am certainly content with this year's edition.

Photo of Tomdee74
3.9/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I don't know maybe it's just me.. I see it's gettin so much love.. "is it my palate or is it the beer?" that is the question... forget that "to be or not to be crap"... : )..

last year I just started falling in love with DIPAs and Hopslam blew me away... since then I've had my share.. drank some pliny's and sculpins.. i'll tell ya flower power is good stuff and holy crap nebco's gandhi-bot is unbelievable...

it didn't matter in a way i still wanted this stuff and couldn't wait to get it.. my man seplo from here moved away and sent some to me and smutty33.. neither of us is impressed. don't know if our palates changed or what.. it's not horrible... but i'm doin backflips.. to sweet.. where's the big hops?

Photo of oregonskibum
4.6/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received in trade from Pecorasc (thanks!).

My first beer review. Decided after a four week dry spell in January that I should review the beer that is supposed to be equal to or better than Pliny the Elder (my #1 beer). Well, it didn't quite make it....

A: pours a nice orange or golden yellow into a tulip glass.
S: big citrus flavors. Orange and grapefruit, big hops throughout with just a little bit of that green 'piney' flavor that makes Pliny the king.
T: hops carry through from the smell, but with a little bit of sweetness. Okay, the sweetness continues maybe a little too much and then dies off right at the end to a fairly bitter finish. High alcohol is hidden nicely - maybe too nicely.
M: the mouth feel is a little sticky-sweet for me. A little heavy on the tongue, this beer falls down a notch here.
D: this is a strong contender in the DIPA category and a very enjoyable beer. If this was easily accessible to me, it would be a regular in the fridge. As it is, I'll trade for this once or twice a year, but wouldn't consider this an A+ beer.

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

This may be my first perfect rating. I'm not sure :)

Appearance: This is one beautiful beer! Crystal clear, orange coloring. Almost like the color of honey this beer is brewed with if it was clear. Has a small amount of head on toop and leaves some great lacing. If only all beers could look like this. A piece of art really.

Smell: Piney, and citrusy hops right up front. Perhaps it's because it says it on the bottle but I can also smell the honey leaving a pleasurable sticky feeling in the old nostrils.

Taste: Bam! This one is definitely hoppy! At least up front. The great thing about this though is it is very balanced. Someone that would say they don't normally like hoppy beers should at least pick up a single of Hopslam because it is great. The malt and honeys sweeten this beer up nicely leaving the finish to be more sticky sweet than bitter like you get with most hoppy beers. Of course with an ABV of 10% you'd expect it to be sweet. This beer is pretty complex too. Throughout the glass I got different tastes and flavors between being super bitter to being super sweet and everything in between.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and sticky! Up front this beer makes your mouth feel refreshed with the bitter hops cleaning (or stripping away) your palate and then it leaves you with the sticky sweet feeling.

Drinkability: Who cares about the 10% ABV?! I say the drinkability on Bell's Hopslam is way better than par. In other words, this is one you can sit and sip and enjoy all night long. At $18 for a six pack it might get a bit expensive but heck, You only get to do it once a year right?

Photo of stoutfiend27
4.92/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle...batch 9505 into a snifter

a-clear copper..white two finger head...lots of lacing...lots of bubbles...beautiful

s-sweet grapefruit and citrus...some pine and grass linger in there as well...honey makes a flash towards the end before the grapefruit rounds this one out

t-grapefruit...lots of citrus notes...some bitter pine and grass mingle with a sweet honey note towards the middle...this one finishes slightly bitter and grassy..

m-oily and resiny...the honey adds a sticky aspect to the feel...bitter on the tongue but the sweet honey and hops hang around forever it seems long after each sip

d-absolutely dangerous....the abv is totally hidden...its such a great brew you could get in trouble quick with this one

overall another beer i look forward too each year...the price deters me from purchasing more of this...the dipa imo next to pte

Photo of kbnooshay
4.87/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured a hazy golden-orange color with a super frothy white head. Aroma is reminiscent of nugget nectar. Very sweet and CRAZY HOPPY! Citrus and pine.

Taste is similar, super hoppy and sweet. The pine and citrus flavor is responsible for the amazing refreshing qualities of this beer.

Feel is crisp and smooth. WAY too drinakble for a beer of this strength! This is lethal. I really have to focus and sip this one.

(This tastes what a barelywine version of Troegs Nugget nectar should taste like. I mean flying Mouflan was okay but this raped my face.)

Drink it as soon as its released. It starts to change after a month!!! (i've experimented).

Photo of schanker21
4.55/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- Very slightly hazy orange with a decent white head. It's actually pretty clear for an IPA, almost lager-like in appearance. Head remains throughout the glass with lots of lacing.

S- Citrusy, piney, IPA-like. Smells inviting and strong, strong, strong.

T- Citrus is the first taste to hit the palette. Well-balance by the malts with a late bit of alcohol on the aftertaste. After a couple more sips pine tastes are noticeable, typical IPA tastes, but with the quality you would expect from Bell's.

M- Quite delightful. Perfect amount of carbonation. Crisp, refreshing. Don't know that I've had another IPA with such a great mouthfeel.

D- Very drinkable.

Wow, another great beer from Bell's. I've yet to have anything from them that disappoints. As a midwesterner, I don't know of another brewery that comes close to their overall consistently great beers (maybe Founder's). I was lucky to grab the last six pack of this at the liquor store I frequent and I hope to find it again.

Photo of GJ40
4.62/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on tap at Tyler's in Apex.

This beer starts great with a nice light golden color, great clarity and a sturdy white head. The aroma is fantastic with lots of citrus and tropical fruit. The flavor is all about the hops with loads of grapefruit, pineapple and mango. The malt backs it up well enough and the alcohol sneaks in and out of the picture.

This is one beer that always sneaks up on me. It's so flavorful and appealing I tend to forget the punch it packs.

Photo of alpinebryant
4.23/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a marigold orange yellow with a large white head of tiny bubbles. Smell is tons of grapefruit, and abundance of pine, pineapple and citrus. There is so much IBU aroma that it smells dankish and similar to the sticky icky. Some may even venture to say that there is some barnyard aroma because of the huge hop presence.

Taste is very good - there is largely a huge pineapple flavor with a large pine presence and a decent malt body . I never would have known it was a 10% abv had I not seen it in the description, and based on that, I had to give it a pretty decent drinkability score. Good brew, not surprising this has a huge following and it is readily available / able to sell out.

Photo of firkinhophead
4.03/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on cask last year at BSP, then on tap last week in VA. Now for a bottle in the relative quiet of home for a review.

Pours crystal clear and honey gold into a tulip glass. Tight off-white head that dissipates to a ring of spittly foam that leaves a spotty lace. Slowly rising bubbles in the center indicate the gravity (so to speak) of the contents. Beautiful.

Nose is mostly citrus with some floral notes and a bit of sugary bubble gum. Not particularly dank like its west coast breathren, but potent nonetheless. Not really picking up any alcohol, which is remarkable.

Juicy Fruit, grapefruit, pine, and mint on the tongue, with a powdery astringency. Alcohol warmth infuses the modest cereal grains for the only hint of malt. ints of honey, tart apple, pear, and white wine add some dimension beyond the hops, as well.

Surprising light body with a slick mouthfeel yields to a dry finish. Grapefruit rind bitterness lingers well after the last drop. Flush of carbonation in the swallow leaves the mouth clean and ready for another sip. Nicely put together.

After all the hype, HopSlam measures up well, although not a grand slam for me. A bit too astringent and lacking in malt character, although I realize that's what it's all about. Occasionally suggests toothpaste, which is refreshing, but not exactly something I want to sip on.

Photo of joshstevens87
4/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-pours a golden yellow/orange with about an inch white head
S-citrus, huge grapefruit earthy, and floral hops dominating the nose with little malt flavor presence with a slight alcohol burn
T-malt flavor becomes more apparent with a nice sweet flavor from the honey with the hops bavcking off a bit but still dominating the flavor, at 10% abv the alcohol is rather present, overall their beer is a great balance betweensweet fruity flavors (from both the malt and hops) and a huge bitterness (from the hops and alcohol)
M-rather heavy body and a medium carbonation huge bitterness makes this beer a sipper
D-definately a sipper if the high abv isnt enough of a deterent the hop profile certanly is it a great beer but one that probably can't be enjoyed throughout the night

Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
99 out of 100 based on 10,384 ratings.