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Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
99
world-class

11,137 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 11,137
Reviews: 3,328
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 9.58%
Wants: 2,260
Gots: 2,325 | FT: 75
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: 11,137 | Reviews: 3,328 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of thehbchemistry
4.08/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Lucky enough to get this brew in a trade!

A- Amazing. Pours beautifully into my tulip glass with little head. Appears to look amber/gold and delicious.

S- Smells sweet and citrusy. Definitely notes of honey.

T- Tastes of honey, spices, and a little bite. Super citrusy and great tasting for an abv of 10%.

M- Dangerously clean. Really faint alcohol in the background

D- This beer is a great imperial IPA. Super easy to drink and enjoy.

Photo of DrTrobridge
4.12/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Tons of sweet hoppy flavor on the front with a very citrusy finish. I do not want to suck down 26 of these in a night, but I do want to have one every day after work. Excellent beer. I don't like most of Bell's labels, but this one is impeccable. Tough to find, but worth the wait.

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

A: a two finger head is poured with a rocky and creamy texture. the color is a cloudy gold that looks god damn delicious. heavy lacing coats all sides of the glass.

S: this brew is in your face with bold spicey and citric hops. a faint note of honey and malt.

T: up front is a slight sweet honey flavor that is surrounded by earthy and spice tones. the end finishes with a spicy bitterness that plays well with a honey note. it doesn't get much better than this.

M: this is light and creamy. it coats your mouth and works so well

D: this is so sessionable it is scary. i want this all day every day.

Photo of chalsk
4.18/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an amber color with some life and a white soapy head. Has an aroma of grapefruit with subtle hints of pine with the honey coming through on the nose. Sweet and spicy up front, malty and bitter on the back end. You can taste the honey. Has a decent carbonation level. I think the honey on the finish puts this off a touch for me. But very good DIPA nonetheless.

Photo of DovaliHops
4.19/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a RR glass...doesn't seem right, but it's my favorite glass. Beautiful orange/amber color with nice frothy white head. Smells of...I hate to say it...but cat piss...with a bit oh honey. The taste is AMAZING though! Up front sweetness from the honey and such an outstanding balance to this one. Not very bitter at all, as the honey and malts overpower the hops a bit (to make such a unique balance). Not what I'm used to with my typical west coast IPAs. This has a very smooth and chewy mouthfeel with a strong malt/honey taste left along the palate. Amazing beer with incredible drinkability for such high ABV. The alcohol is hidden PERFECTLY in this beer.

Photo of TMoney2591
4.28/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Devil's Backbone willibecher.

Big thanks to Wedge421 for hooking me up here!

Pours a clear copper, close to a light amber, with a thick frothy head that leaves some minor lacing as it dies away. The nose is grapefruit, mandarin oranges, pine, and lime. This hops-on-steroids smell is echoed in the taste, which showcases citrus, ruby red grapefruits, tart blood oranges, the basic essence of 50/50, and a deep backbone of light caramel and buttery toffee. This seems like the epitome of the DIPA flavor profile. The body is fairly light, with medium carbonation and a crisp finish that leaves the tongue rather moist, refreshed. I can't find much bad to say about this brew...worthy of the hype it receives.

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

A: Pours a perfect clear golden yellow, w/ an extremely creamy and thick white head. Leaves excellent lacing patterns as consumed. Maintains head very well.

A: Floral and citrus hops are the focal point and make a great first impression. The rest of the aroma is complimented with subtle hints of pale malt. No esthers, no diacetyl.

F: Pale malts do a great job of complimenting the floral and citrus hops. The best way I can describe it is...imagine if you had a hop cone sitting on the very middle of your tongue inside your mouth. This beer is extremely balance between malt and hops, but leans toward hops which is appropriate for style. The beer doesn't linger too long like others do, rather is a short explosion of hop bitterness on the way down.

M: Creamy and smooth. Bubbly and tingly from the carbonation.

O: I enjoy this beer alot. This is an outstanding example for the style if not one of the best. The only recommendation I could give is to try and implement the creamy feeling from Bells Two Hearted. If these two were to join forces, a perfect score.

P.S. : Wishes this beer was available more often

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

Poured into a glass from a 12oz bottle. The bottle was aged for about 6 months.

A - Pours a medium gold, forming a creamy 1 inch white head that fades slowly. Light lacing sticks to the glass.

S - After letting this beer sit for a few months, the intense hop aroma has faded a bit (there's nothing like a fresh Hopslam aroma). The malts are much more noticeable after aging, however the hops still retain the dominanace in the nose.

T - The hops coat the palate but dont have the overpowering floral taste of a fresh pale ale. The malts come in after the hops, very well balanced, creating a nice caramel flavor before going back to the hops in the finish. Slightly harsh finish from the hops (which is not a bad thing at all).

M - Heavy bodied with a high amount of carbonation.

D - I absolutely love this beer! Its alot better fresh, so you can really experience the hops. The taste is alot more mellow and balanced, creating a great flavor too. Definitely one of the best Imperial IPA's available.

Photo of SoobyDoo
4.65/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This is honestly one of my favorite super-hop style ales. I originally tried it on tap at Mellow Mushroom in Tampa and was immediately blown away. I've since bought several cases...just to be on the safe side. ;-}

Color is a sort of a funky, pre-disco era 70's dirty orange..unfiltered and opaque. While the hops "slam" you hard upfront and linger throughout, the beer is amazingly smooth, albeit a bit heavier, after the initial hit.

The consistency is slightly thicker than a 90 minute or Maharaja....think Burton Baton.

The only reason I put "drinkability" at a 4 is simply because at 10% and it's overall lean towards heaviness, after 2 you're usually ready to move on to something else....but ohhh those two!!!

If you love double and especially triple IPAs, this IMO is one of the best!

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

I was sure I rated this, I drank enough of it but I'm over a year behind transferring my tasting notes to this rating site. For some reason this didn't taste as good as it did the first time I tried it, but it's still pretty good.

Boittle:

Puts an unfiltered orange amber ale in the glass with a sturdy cap that leaves curtains of sticky lace on the glass.

Aroma is intense with exotic fruits-citrus-pine over rich caramel malty sweetness. Pungent fruitiness.

Thick body, slick mouth feel, deeply balanced character between hop acids and malt sugars.

Front side is a lush chew on caramalts, peaches, pine and citrus. Mid palate some complexity builds then a slow balanced finish with a hop bite at the end and alpha after sting left in your throat.

A beautiful big, hoppy ale with fantastic balance and depth...great malt mix and obviously hops added at boil, hopback infusion and dry hopping stages. One of a few big US Micro DIPAs with balance, depth of character and drinkability.

Photo of jsanford
4.69/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into my New Belgium globe.

A - Pours a crystal-clear amber with a sudsy, 1-inch white head that dissipates to a soapy haze. Sticky lacing clings to the side of the glass
S - Pine resin, bitter citrus, honey, sweet peaches, and floral herbs. Such a crisp, clean, wonderful scent. I wish there was a cologne that smelled like this.
T - Bitter grapefruit, orange peel, honey and pine resin with a lovely caramel maltiness. So tropical, in addition to all those "typical" IPA flavors, I'm getting a ton of pineapple, peaches, mango, and papaya. Easily one of the most complex and flavorful IPAs you can get, it's amazing the sheer amount of flavor packed into this bottle.
M - Slick and slightly syrupy, with a medium body and crisp, sharp carbonation. The carbonation really ups the drinkability of this, if it was lower I think the beer taste more cloyingly sweet.
D - Amazingly drinkable, hindered ONLY by the 10% ABV, not that it stops me too much ;) World-class beer.

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

I'd been waiting for this one for a while, and had a bottle that had been saved for four months by a friend. It was definitely worth it--this is a classic citrus fruit hop-bomb of an American DIPA with a mellow honey touch that tones down the bitterness and amps up the sweetness and floral character enough to keep it interesting and pretty unique so far as I know. I suspect the honey gets stronger as the beer ages a bit--next year hopefully I'll get to try both a slightly fresher bottle and this lovely aged version.

Creamy, slightly sticky mouthfeel, nice hop haze on the pour, 10% alcohol! but suprisingly easy to drink for all that. Gone before I knew it.

Photo of MikeBlemker
4.12/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I am a big IPA fan and I feel that this is one you have to get your hands on. Obviously, it has a huge amount of hops but it has enough of a citrus note to dull down some of the bitterness and add a bit more complexity to the beer. Perfect porch beer on a summer day.

Photo of steadydose
4.57/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Recieved this as an extra, thanks!

Poured this one in my pint glass and a thick 4 finger light tan head formed, sitting on top of a deep golden beer with hints of amber. Nice.

Wow, hopslam hit me in the face with ripe sweet mangos, pineapple and tangerines. The aroma on this one is very good. Lots of sweet sticky fruits. I am really enjoying the aroma on this DIPA. I would love to smell this on tap from the brewery.

Hopslam finishes with a good amount of bitterness. There is a little bit of sweetness, that really balances the hops, but this is definitly heavy on the hops and I am really enjoying the flavor profile on this beer. Again, the sweet tropical fruit flavors are impressive.

There is definitely some weight and body on this beer. Med/low carbonation, works well.

Very drinkable DIPA. Just a well crafted beer. Not to sweet, and I really enjoyed the hop profile. This ranks up there, with the best DIPA's for sure. Some of my favorite DIPA's have been around 10% and this is no different.

Photo of Spica66
4.72/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This a strong, hoppy beer. The ones I had most recently were 4 months old and some of the initial strong nose of hops was gone, but the bitter was still in it. I love how creamy this beer is. That leads to it's only one drawback. At 10 percent alcohol, it is best not to crack open too many of these all at one sitting. Not that I speak from experience or anything. I'm just sayin'...

Photo of cbutova
4.37/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The second, and last, bottle that I brought back from Capone's with me when I was in the Philly area.

A- Pours into my snifter with an attractive golden yellow/orange color. The head builds up pretty well but does not show great retention at all. It dies down and leaves a frothy cloud on top of the beer as well as some spots of fine lacing. The color is great but the head was not.

S- Right as the bottle is opened I get hints of hops from several feet away. Upon closer inspection the aroma is a nice balance of hops and caramel malt, the malt I am used to in the Bell's beers that I have had. The hops lend notes of tropical sweets and citrus fruits. Orange, pineapple, apricot come into mind. The malt rounds out a great, balanced aroma. Sculpin is really the only hoppy beer that smells significantly better than this, to me.

T- The taste is different from the aroma but great as well. The malt is grainier and I want to say a bit rustier than it is in the nose. The caramel aspects are still there as well. The hops lend more peel flavors than in the aroma. Orange and grapefruit peel are huge here. The fruit sweetness carries over from the smell. It has a good hop malt balance but like Nugget Nectar, the smell beats out the taste. Alcohol does not make an appearance here. I almost forgot to mention the bitterness, a great moderate level is employed in this ale.

MF- Incredibly creamy. The body is great, on the lighter side but damn creamy. The carbonation is at a low to moderate level and feels nice for a DIPA. The beer is pretty damn warm but it feels nice. A coat of malty bitter orange peel coats the palate.

DB- The price was high but not crazier than many DIPAs out there today. I really like Bell's so far, the malt they use seems to be one of the more memorable ones I can think of. A bit more fruit flavor vs. peel would have been nice but I can't complain too much. Like PtY, the impressive thing here may be the fact that this is 10% and retains a DIPA flavor vs. that of a Barleywine/Strong Ale.

Photo of pmoore311
4.44/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a fresh 2010 batch.

This is a phenomenal DIPA that has huge hops that are balanced by a very nice malty backbone. The honey really keeps the finish dry and crisp without being too sweet. I think this is one of the best representations of this style.

I recommend seeking this beer out if you have not tried it. You will not be disappointed.

Photo of DCDevilDancer
4.82/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Damn!!
HOPSLAM is NOT best young!!!!
Maybe the bouquet is, but that's it. I stashed a case of this year's batch in the back of my fridge upon release. Been enjoying a bottle here and there since. I just finished a wonderful can of fresh Surly Abrasive (I rated it a solid 4.45) and the 4 month HopSlam is blowing it out of the water! Smooth as silk, yet still slamingly hoppy. Honey does things. Hops are sensitive, but that doesn't mean every hop bomb needs to be crushed young. HopSlam, like Ithaca AlphAlphA (another wonderful honey bitter), is terrific with 3-6 months of cold aging. The honey smooths out the booze, and while the shocking bouquet is tamed on the 4 month, it don't matter. It's better.
More cohesive, yet still itself.
Drink Pliny young, every year save some of your HopSlam for Memorial Day!

Photo of juhl31
4.15/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

-good golden color with a nice head to it

-a bit of a citrusy hop smell to it. some sweetness coming in as well

-hops in the forefront and then comes the sweet, a bit bitey, aspect that i'm sure is coming from the honey. some decent malt backbone in there as well. not overly bitter

-for a 10% ipa, this beer is extremely crisp and refreshing. excellent hot day, wanna have a big beer type

-based on the mouthfeel rating alone is what makes this beer so enjoyable

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

Poured into a pint glass.

The color is yellow and clear with a decent head and great lacing. Not incredible lookning but this beer makes up for that in other ways.

Smell is in your face hops. A lot of dank weed smells, but has a big enough malt backbone some stone fruits come out as well.

Tastes sweet and candy like. I thought it was going to be very bitter but it wasnt. A very good fruit flavor is pronounced. A nice blend of malt and hops. A nice hop biteer finish.

I would like to try this one fresh from the brewery one day to see if its any different.

Photo of wedgie9
4.46/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted from a twelve ounce bottle. Pours a beautiful light amber orange with a white, one-finger head. Surprise, surprise, the aroma is very hoppy with orange peel and orange blossom, some vanilla, and other white flower aromas. The front of the palate features the orange flavors, and is lightly honeyed. On the mid-palate, the honeyed characteristic continues, but there is also a biscuit flavor. On the back of the palate, the hoppy bitterness kicks in with the orange peel, but it is also quite nice with the vanilla flavor. The beer is full-bodied and coats the entire palate with a long finish. Overall, this is a great IPA. It is super balanced, I can hardly believe that it is ten percent alcohol. It is very hoppy, but even those flavors are perfectly integrated.

Photo of chickenflea
4.65/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Underground Bluz. Bell's is a brewery that offers very good beers while taking risks on unique formulas as well (Cherry Stout, for example). This is one of their best. And it just so happens to be in my favorite style.

Smell - Malty with caramel and apricot syrup. A bit bready as well. Citrus and peach also lurking.

Appearance - A beautiful pour with a thick white head and a rich amber color. A lot of lacing.

Mouthfeel - Thick and creamy on the palate. Medium-heavy body.

Taste - Surprisingly, very little alcohol burn for a 10.5ABV. The hoppiness of the beer is undeniable, but the bitterness is so moderated by the malty flavor up front that the bitter finish is welcome and necessary. Some pine with the citrus.

Drinkability - Drinkable and delicious. Give me a night with no where to go and I could get lost in this brew. One of the very best I've had.

Photo of rawthar
4.27/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Big-bubbled white headiness over a typical IPA colored body, with a very active carbonation profile. A universe of motion inside.

S- The name is no exaggeration. Every dimension of hops makes an appearance here: Grassiness, citrus, pine, florals, dry bitters all combine to form a powerful, rubbery assault. You can smell this one coming from a mile away.

T- This may be the one hop bomb whose flavor trumps its smell. For all its intense hoppiness, this is neither overly dry nor bitter, even if the malts disappear into the background. Not sure when this batch was bottled, but I imagine this is not what you would call fresh. Can't wait til next year to catch this beer at its peak.

M- The typical IPA liquid-turns-to-foam magic trick.

D- I love you man, but one is enough in all but the most extreme conditions.

Photo of Augustiner719
4.44/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a duvel tulip>

Appearance: Pours a beautiful golden orange color that is slightly hazy with a thin yet lasting head.

Smell: Extremely sweet aroma with piney hops and lemony herbal notes. Great balanced aroma, grapefruit, slight orange peel and honey.

Taste: Tastes a bit muted for what i was expecting, might be because of the december 2009 bottling. Solid hops bitter bite complimented with a sweet malty backbone that delivers honey and sweet tea like sweetness to balance.

Mouthfeel: nicely carbonated, not overly cloying but definately able to feel the strength of the beer. Hides the 10% well.

Drinkability: Solid. despite the high ABV this is a winner. Great mouthfeel and taste. Too bad this is only out 1 month of the year, but its great. cant wait to try fresh!

Photo of BearsOnAcid
3.8/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Great extra from mikesgroove. Thanks!

HopSlam poured somewhat vigorously into a pint glass.

About a one inch dense head formed on top. Soapy lacing. Liquid is a slightly hazy sunburst. Simple and elegant for a DIPA. Smell was sweet and fragrant with Simcoe hops. Small scent of alcohol. Little yeasty.

Taste is surprisingly not as sweet as the nose. You would think this would have more body to it as well. Theres a big punch of floral hops and grapefruit pith. Slightly sweet on the front of your palate. The honey ramps up the alcohol and thins out the mouthfeel. THERE IS NO HONEY FLAVOR!

Big burning sensation in my chest from quick consecutive sips. Decent amount of spiciness from the mix of strong alcohol and hops. Finishes mostly dry with a hint of astringent bitterness in the back of of your palate.

Alcohol is present and accounted for. Dangerously drinkable though. I went through half my glass in about 5 minutes.

This obviously isn't fresh but it holds up to still be a very good DIPA.

Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
99 out of 100 based on 11,137 ratings.