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Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

11,062 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 11,062
Reviews: 3,310
rAvg: 4.49
pDev: 9.58%
Wants: 2,247
Gots: 2,279 | FT: 73
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: 11,062 | Reviews: 3,310 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ricke
4.51/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a rather murky orange color with a medium-sized head that leaves some lacings. The color of the beer is surprisingly reminiscent of exotic fruit juice...

...and so is the smell. This is almost ridiculous, so much hops and exotic fruit aromas. Grapefruit, mango, passion fruit, you name it. Some notes of pine-needles and a honey-like smoothness that seems to blend everything together and round everything off to a fantastic hoppy juicy whole. This is one of the most impressive aromas I've ever come across in a beer.

And the flavor is no disappointment either. I could easily describe this simply as hop juice. Grapefruit, mango, passion fruit, all kinds of exotic fruits come together in a beautiful combination that is really reminiscent of tropical fruit juice or nectar. The sweet and fresh malty backbone that isn't as "caramelly" as most malt profiles in Double IPAs are, really adds to this. Perhaps a note of nettles and tobacco. The finish is smooth with a prominent bitterness (again, much more restrained than most Double IPAs), pine-needle hops, grass and more juicy hops.

It's rather full-bodied and very smooth for the style, but still dry enough in the finish. This one drinks dangerously easy.

This is one of the coolest beers I've had the pleasure to drink. Can't think of anything that taste like it. I mean, it's actually hop juice.

Photo of chickencoop
4.55/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up on a trade from SincereNC, your the man. Growing up in the mid-nineties in NorCal I always took for granted the amount of awesome beers available to me and my co-drinkers, (Bear Republic/ Sierra/ Lagunitas/ Russian River)but never really giving the rest of the country any thought about big hoppy, full bodied beers, I was so wrong. Is that bad when I pound a 10%er, because this was so perfectly balanced with the hops and the sweet finish that I was done lickety split. One of the best beers i've had in some time, thanks for screwing up my west coast bias.

Photo of Thur123
4.32/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew pours a deep and rusty orange color with about a finger and a half worth of fluffy thick white foam. The carbonation is moderate. The smell is...but hop and malt, and surprisingly balanced. There's a rich hop character that's just mixed in with this but sweet malt presence. If I say so...the whole thing smells thick, but not in a bad way...just very full flavored.

Glug glug glug

A mellow sweetness hit and is very quickly over taken by an array of hop flavors. Much more herbal than sweet IMO. There is definitely a clover honey kind of taste from both the malt (for the sweetness) and the hops (for the clover/floral flavor). Over all this is a big DIPA that I already know gets better as it warms and the hops begin to flourish more distinctly. Possibly a bit of fruitiness towards the end of the flavor. Mouth feel is full and a little heavy, but certainly not too bad.

Photo of fropones
4.9/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Figured I should toss up a review before it starts to fade.

A - Pours a nice copper, pumpkin orange with a nice 3 finger ecru head with great retention and nice lacing.

S - God, that is absolutely amazing. It smells like tropical punch, full of mangoes, papayas, pineapples, oranges, grapefruit.

T - A nice bitterness up front followed by tons of citrus flavor and nice sweetness. Smooth.

M - Nice carbonation, smooth, but a little thin, which I guess makes it more drinkable.

D - Drinks waaay too easily for a 10% beer. I wish I bought more than just that six pack, because I would like to bathe in this stuff.

Photo of oldirtdog
4.78/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This was a great beer while it lasted... we got a very small keg at my local bar and loved every last minute of it... I won't get into the details as there are PLENTY of other reviews... however, I will say this: for 10%, it is ridiculously drinkable...

If you like hops, this one is for you... it is a delicious and super hoppy... you will also know that you just drank something that was more than a regular beer in alcoholic percentage... however, you want another... the taste is strong of citrus and hops (of course) and I couldn't help but want more...

Get this one every chance you get... equally good in the bottle as it is on tap...

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

WOW!!!! What a treat! Kind of skeptical about this brew with all the hype surroundig it. Did not let me down in anyway whatsoever. Taste actually exceded what I anticipated, was expecting a "hop bomb" but this ended up being a very tasty and pleasantly smooth brew! definely and highly recommend trying this brew if you get a chance only downfall is the high dollar pricetag but do yourself and just go for it!

Photo of cooncat
4.4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured at fridge temp into a std. pint glass. On a vigorous pour, you get a tangerine yellow colored brew, with a creamy firm head of decent size. Head retention is impressive for a beer of 10% abv. Small splashes of lacing decorate the glass if you give it a swirl.

Nose is a hop lover's delight. Absolutely huge in citrus and pineapple hop aromas. If you took some fresh hop cones and rubbed them in your hand and took a whiff, you'd get something like the aroma of this DIPA.

Taste follows the nose in that the hop onslaught is up front and in your face. There is a bit of malt sweetness, but just enough to balance things out. Lots of grapefruit mainly, with some tangerine and pineapple in the back ground. Mouthfeel is medium-full. I don't know if I can give a high drinkability to a 10% brew, as that would be irresponsible. However, if you just wanted to have a night of in your face hops, who am I to argue. You might be totalled after 3 of these though, so enjoy responsibly. (besides, a sixer of this will set you back about twice the price of a regular craft beer sixer)

Unlike Two Hearted, this isn't a single hop brew. Not being a fan of a straight Centennial IPA, I'm not a fan Two Hearted, but this Hopslam could be addicting .. in a good way. Looking for a good DIPA? Look no further.

Na Zdravje!

Photo of Ranbot
4.3/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

There are 1,500+ reviews about this beer so I'm going to slack a little on the details of my tasting experience, but here are the basics: It's hard to believe that a 10% Imperial IPA goes down so smoothly. The hops are mostly of the citrusy and floral variety, and they seem to pop out the most when it's cold. As it warms up the the sweetness of the pale malt body really opens up. There is easily recognizable an alcohol hotness to it that builds as the beer warms up too. As far as drinkability goes it's a bit of both worlds. When it's cold and the citrusy hops are in the forefront it down really fast, but when it warms up the alcohol becomes really apparent and I find myself sipping very slowly at it. At 10% people probably shouldn't be drinking too many Hopslams in a sitting anyway.

Overall, I have to agree with the masses that for the style this brew is excellent and I rated it as such. However, I don't feel slammed by hops as much I feel slammed by alcohol and malt. I'm sure Bells threw a lot of hops into the brew kettle for this, but I think they are still having some difficulty overcoming the very sweet malts and high alcohol content. If you're fan of high ABV beers and hops, I have no doubt that you're going to like the Hopslam. But if you like your IPAs to showcase hops, like I do, then I think there are better options out there. For my money, I think Bell's Two Hearted IPA makes a better use of hops and is a better beer, in general, but the brews are different styles, so maybe I shouldn't be making the comparison. Do yourself a favor and try the Hopslam yourself.

Photo of babaracas
4.31/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2010 - Bottled 1/5/2010 (boo FL distro). Pours a mostly clear amber, two finger offwhite head settles to a quarter inch, some lacing. Smell: sweet tropical fruit and a little citrus, resinous, very nice if not a bit straightforward. Taste: tropical fruit, herbal and a little spicy, a little citrus zest. Medium bodied, juicy, bitter, and sweet. The sweetness has a little honey aspect, though it might have been suggested... more (lots of) sugary pale than caramel/toffee. This is quite good, but I'm glad I didn't pay $20+/6er... would like to try it super fresh though.

2011 - Wow, much harder to find this year. But got here fast - 10 day old Hopslam. Nose is grapefruit rind and pineapple, resinous, pine tinged, more sweet tropical fruit in the back. Taste: grapefruit and lemon zest, tropical fruit, spicy with a slight spruce character. Sweet, but the body is lightened with the honey addition, some of which comes across at the end of the sip. Bumping drinkability (because the sweetness hasn't started to amp up yet, give it a month and it will).

Photo of moz9
4.92/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into a open goblet.

This is truly an amazing beer. What can I say about it that has not already been said....

Well, the smell is absolutely divine. Mango, Citrus, melon, it smells a lot like a nice white wine. It's a great floral aroma, like no other you will find ina ny other beer.

Saying that the hops will bruise your tongue is true. It's a perfectly crisp bite. It's a very sharp hop taste that is complemented by the smell you get when you take a drink. The mouthfeel is very light and crisp.

It has a great finish and honestly, you don't feel like you're drinking a 10% ABV beer.

I think that's what sets this beer apart from any other. It's a double IPA but it drinks like a standard IPA. It's unique and I have not had any other beer that compares to it. Amazing and a must drink.

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

A: Pours a brilliant ruby-gold with a 1-finger head into an over-sized wine glass. Has a crisp, clean look to it. Happy carbonation bubbles running up the sides of the glass show this beer is alive! Very nice amoeba-like lacing.

S: Fresh floral and grapefruit-citrus bouquet fills the nose. There are some sweeter pineapple hints, along with a good dose of honey and just a whiff of alcohol. I could smell this beer all day long.

T: Wonderful balance between hop bitterness and the malt/honey sweetness. Very impressive for a beer this heavily hopped with a high abv. The citrus flavors are just delicious and the finish is a nice, dry hop-honey.

M: Like the label says, a tongue bruiser! But in a "I'll bruise your tongue but then French kiss the hell out of it to make it feel better" kind of way. The lovely hop and malt balance really spreads over the palate for a refreshing and complex feel.

D: For a 10%, big hopped beer, too good! So delicious and well-balanced that I could enjoy several if I didn't have self-restraint.

Photo of tykees88
4.67/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my new favorites. The abv at 10% is very deceiving, and if I drank 2 of these I would know it. The first smell is very strong of citrus. It is almost a grapefruit juice smell. Taste is awesome. Swallowing it is getting a bitter aftertaste, but as the bottle warms up the bitterness fades. This is what would make it easy to slam yourself if drinking more than 1. One of my new favorite beers. Would pair it with anything salty that I could get my hands on to offset the sweet citrus hopsy taste

Photo of JordanEllwanger
4.54/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very nice dark copper semi-transparency with a slight off white head. Smells dank like hops, strong, citrus, and sticky. Taste is much the same with a very sweet green hops aftertaste lingering on all the smokey parts of my pallet. Nice and bitter yet not to overbearing in the sting of alcohol. A sweet IIPA. I love it.


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

Batch 9502, packaged on January 5, 2010.

12 oz. bottle poured into my Weasel Boy pint glass.

A: Nice golden yellow/amber color, nice white head with nicely thick head and very sticky.

S: Nice piney hop, little tiny, tiny bit of bready malt, some sweetness from the honey. No alcohol presence, at least to me. Also a little citrus, like a grapefruit maybe.

T: Grapefruit like citrus hop, little piney, nice malt backbone that does it's best to keep up with the hops that are in it. Still no alcohol. Lacing shows where each sip was started and ended.

M: Very smooth, almost slippery feeling. A little oily, but not overly so.

F: Clean, dry, and still no alcohol. Hops stay through from beginning to end, and they don't overpower the finish.

Amazingly balanced for such a strong ABV beer and for the style. I love this beer, but hate the fact that it's so limited (Winerak only got 10 cases and 4 are already spoken for), and hate the fact that it's 17.99 per 6 pack.

I'll buy more though :)


Photo of claminat420
4.07/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- poured a golden honey color with a foamy white head. little lacing.

S- just smell the citrus hops. really nice.

T- hoppy with the honey helping the malt give it more of a sweeter side but blended really well. alcohol is faint but detected.

M- medium light bodied. nice carbonation. the slightest oily feel to it.

D- could drink a couple of these untill the alcohol catches up.

Overall- a really good brew. for the hop fans i totally recommend it but the price hurts. to me it doesn't touch founder's double trouble but that's just me.

Photo of RThomas436
4.42/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Copper with a rich creamy, frothy head

S: Citrus, pine, fruity. Almost like fresh hops

T: Piney with a hint of malt. Malt doesn't over burden the hops

M: Full body with a rich thickness

D: Excellent beer, the hops really come out and are not over burdened by the malt. High alcohol though so have to be careful on this one

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

A-Clear, Honey colored w/ very light white foamy head
S-HOPPY! I get a raspberry-piney scent, almost sweet-tart..which is a great sign as some of my favorite IPAs smell this way to me
T-This has a super hoppy and piney taste, rather complex, and has a finish which is almost sweet like berries. Its bitter/sweet is balanced nicely and has a nice orange citrus tang. Wierd since I know this is brewed with honey, but beer chemistry constantly surprises me.
M-Viscous and a bit oily on the toungue, but nice.
D-Very drinkable...almost scary for this beer. It only leaves a little alcohol on the tongue with a bit of citrus. This beer really does open up when it sits for a while - consider nursing it (if you can) and see how the taste gets even better.
This may be one of my favorite beers and I'm thrilled that we can get it in GA now...while it lasts, anyway. I will update when I do a head-to-head with Dogfishhead 90 minute..may mix in a taste of pliney the elder (if I can procure it) for good measure.

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

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle. Batch #9552 according to Bells website it was bottled on Jan 18,2010. Poured into a snifter. About 2 inches of foamy head. Strong grapefuit like smell with some sweet aroma. Deep copper color. The flavor is outstanding. Strong sweet honey, hoppy flavor is very intense. Hops profile is more grapefruit than pine. Mouthfeel is very smooth and highly drinkable.

Photo of dasenebler
4.07/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This 12ozer was bottled about a month and a half ago (batch 9470), so it's fresh, though not super-fresh.

Poured into a snifter. Appealing deep honey color with a massive white head. Impressive retention for a high-abv brew, very good lacing.

Aroma is brilliant and vibrant, full of citrus hops and apricot. Nice.

Flavor was pretty hot and hoppy. Sort of sweet and not incredibly bitter. Hop flavor seemed kind of nondescriptly tangy and incomplete. Mouthfeel was oily from the hops and creamy from the ample carbonation.

I feel like this beer gets a lot of its reputation from its warming character. The kick-- likely a result of the honey added during brewing-- is nice and smooth, but it doesn't do much for the flavors of this beer. Good stuff, if over-hyped. Didn't really slam me.

Photo of Yimosan
4.54/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had it on tap at Mr. Dunderbaks Tampa Fl.

A: Copper in color, with a white and frothy 2 inch head.

S: Unbelievable aroma...citrus, pine, grapefruit, some malt...crazy good!!!!

T: Citric, malty, and a hidden sweetness that comes around the palate to round things off.

M: Full bodied, creamy and stingy on the front to middle palate, guessing due to the alcohol content.

D: Amazingly easy to drink considering the beer's strength.

Note: I accompanied this beer with a huge plate of German food and after 3 pints I was comatose!


Photo of ryanonline
3.93/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

this beer has a beautiful deep golden color with a small white head that vanishes quickly, like a ninja, but, unlike a ninja, leaves large traces of lacing.

the smell is sweet, odd for an ipa, and very little bitter scent. sort of an odd trailing scent of hay (or horseblanket?).

the taste is a bit more balanced than the scent. though the odd earthy, haylike character sticks around.

the mouthfeel is very nice, creamy and lightly carbonated. clean finish, with just a little dryness.

this beer does tend to be slightly filling, though not bad on the palate.

I tried this beer last year but i remember it being slightly better, maybe I'm imagining things. still not bad though.

Photo of kegger22
4.42/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bell's HopSlam is a brilliant orange Imperial IPA with a moderate off white head than reduced to a collar.

As the name would imply, the aroma has a huge hop presence.

Citrus hops also dominate the taste buds, but the honey also make itself known with a moderating sweetness. There is a pine after taste.

The mouth feel is medium bodied with amply carbonation.

Drinkability is good for a 10.00 ABV. I want another right now. In fact, I think I will.

Maybe not quite up to the hype, but close enough and a very good beer. This bottle was from a sixer purchase almost two months ago and it has already mellowed. The fresh stuff was even more of a "HopSlam".

Photo of ugaterrapin
4.49/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass. It has a pure clear golden color. About a finger of white head that leaves some excellent lacing on the sides of the glass. It has an incredible clean floral hop aroma with hints of citrus. One of the best noses I have encountered on a beer. The hops are definitely present on the front of the sip. They match the floral notes in the aroma. It is surprisingly smooth. I expected much more bitterness. This is probably the least bitter double IPA I have ever had. The hops are still there just not so abrupt. I am not sure if the honey is responsible for the subdued bitterness or not. The honey is noted in some sweetness at the tail end of the taste and probably adds to the oily mouthfeel along with the hops. This is very smooth and the alcohol is masked making the alcohol content seem to be in the 6%-7% range. Overall and excellent beer. One of the best DIPA I have experienced. Although an excellent beer, I was disappointed slightly. I think the hype raised my expectations too high.

Photo of zimm421
4.56/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a dark, clear gold with a nice, thick head that dissipates slowly, leaving great lacing.

S - Very strong scents of pine, citrus and honey. The hops and honey mixed together make an incredible smell.

T - Follows the nose well with citrus, more specifically grapefruit, piney hops, and honey. The three work together incredibly. This starts out sweet and finishes with a very nice bitterness. The alcohol stands out in the taste too, but the rest is so rich that it blends very well.

M - There is a good amount of carbonation, but still feels creamy and very smooth. Again, the alcohol stands out but it fits in well.

D - Fairly easy to drink, but it is very thick making it slightly difficult to go for more than a few at a time. The wonderful flavor makes you want to go back for more every time.

Photo of woosterbill
4.78/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, batch 9470 (Dec. 23), into a Duvel tulip in a side-by-side tasting with Founders Double Trouble.

A: Clear, bright amber body sits placidly beneath an inch and a half of rich, creamy white head. Excellent retention and lots of nice, very sticky lace. Truly a paragon of DIPA looks.

S: Tons of citrus hop aroma swirls up from the tulip, engulfing me in ripe orange, bitter grapefruit, and some mild tropical fruit (mango?). No malt to be distinguished, just layer after layer of hoppy goodness. Perhaps not quite as intense and multifaceted as Pliny (the standard to which I now have to compare all DIPAs), but a truly excellent-smelling beer (and distinctly superior to DT).

T: Wow. On the palate, this is right up there with PtE. Creamy orange at first, then some subtle spiciness comes through along with the more intense bitterness of grapefruit pith. Just a bit of light malt sweetness balances things out momentarily, but is quickly subsumed in the richly bitter finish. This finish is immense both in flavor and duration, cycling through warm tropical fruit, bitter grapefruit, and finally a bit of alcohol warmth. Definitely not as bitter overall as the DT, and almost infinitely more complex. This is an amazing beer.

M: Silk. Smooth medium body with just the right amount of velvety effervescence to make this nectar flow with unparalleled ease.

D: While I'll be crying all too soon when my sixpack is gone, each individual bottle is so packed with flavor that it takes a while to ease through it - despite its name, this is definitely not a "slammable" beer. Certainly moreso than the DT, though.

Notes: This one lives up to the hype, and then some. The comparisons to Pliny are entirely just, although the beers are really on opposite ends of the DIPA spectrum - Hopslam is all about the bright, fruity, citrus side of hops, while Pliny balances that with a generous dose of dank piney goodness as well. I checked, and I've scored them identically (with the only difference being that Hopslam outscores Pliny on mouthfeel, and it's reversed for drinkability). I wish so much that this were a year-round release, and that it was distributed to CT. C'est la vie. I'll just have to have my buddy in Chicago ship me two sixers next year. Oh, and it kicked DT's ass, great as that beer is. Hopslam is amazing.


Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
99 out of 100 based on 11,062 ratings.