Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

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

3,259 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,259
Hads: 11,634
rAvg: 4.45
pDev: 8.54%
Wants: 2,391
Gots: 2,632 | FT: 62
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 3,259 | Hads: 11,634
Photo of travelfrog
4.12/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ultra-hoppy "Double IPAs" such as this appear to be all the rage in the USA nowadays. To my surprise, I rather enjoy this fad. I tried this fine example on tap at my favorite pizza pub, paired with a spicy pizza. The bitterness set off the spiciness quite well.

Appearance was pale yellow, a bit cloudy, with a good, albeit not very long-lasting, head.

Smell was quite noticeable; not surprising in a double IPA. Lots of hops and yeast to enjoy.

Taste was an explosion of noble bitterness, as well as a hint of crystal malt and an unusual piney aftertaste.

Mouthfeel was just fine, with the concentrated hoppiness detracting just slightly from the enjoyable texture.

As for drinkability, this brew will never be confused with Rolling Rock. But given its 9.3% ABV, a slight markdown in this category is almost an act of professional responsibility. :) (865 characters)

Photo of cosmicevan
4.12/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

cracking my first taste of hopslam (thanks klevelandrocks for the amazing extra!!!)

A - Poured a sparkly deep honey orange with a single finger head into my oversized snifter. Looked like a nice rich IPA. Steady and even bubbling from the bottom.

S - HopSLAM!!!! Really amazing smelling beer. Nicely balanced, soft pine...not as sticky as I had expected. Candy, banana, bubblegum...all blended with a citric undertone. Could smell it all day.

T - Wow...super bitter. Starts with hops...almost like sucking on a pine cone. Finishes with a vanilla alcohol. Hopefully I won't be hunted down and strung up from the nearest tree, but I find the flavor good, but not great. The hops are so over the top, my palette hurts. Took me a while to get used to the intensity.

M - Alcohol bite with a cooling bittery aftertaste.

D - I'll be honest...it's a bit over the top for me. The way that this beer is praised and put side-by-side with much better balanced beers really made me expect another sublimely balanced hoppy IPA. The smell is there, but the rest is just kind of like a SN Pale Ale on steroids (and I quite like SNPA as it is). I enjoyed this and will probably look around for it when it hits shelves again next year...but I'm fine with the few bottles I got as extras. Not necessarily something I'd go nuts for.

*** ** * ** ***
edit 2012-01-24 - first take on this years' bottle dated 12/29 (thanks Marti403 for hooking it up!)

a - poured a murkly cloudy deep amber orange with a finger of frothy ipa head into my urthel tulip. sticky streaky lacing. feel the same - 4.5

s - same amazing smell.

t - amazing what a year does to one's palette. i've definitely become more of a hophead. the flavors are the same, but the bitterness seems toned back (probably due to my palette developing to enjoy that more). this time, i'd give it a 4.5

m - 4

o - definitely more of an ipa fan this time around and this is a fantastic example of an amazing ipa. i don't think i would put this above pliny or even lunch, but it is a hell of a beer. - 4.5 (2,046 characters)

Photo of haazer
4.12/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So here it is, Hopslam. I was going to wait till next years release because I love hoppy beers, but I hate when they sit for a time and lose the hop aroma and flavor. I saw this at the bottle shop yesterday though and couldn't pass it up. No bottled date but this came out a little over a month ago. Served in a Weyerbacher tulip.

A- A bubbly orange marmelade brew pours into the tulip. Nice carbonation rising to meet a moon crater head. Some yellow and honey undertones in the color of this. As I fill the glass it becomes hazy and cloudy. Slight bits of spotty lacing are present.

S- The aroma seems to still be fairly present in a hoppy beer. Upfront is a great blend of citrus, sticky grapefruit, lemon, hop cones, and sweetness, most likely from the honey. Great smelling DIPA.

T- Taste follows the aroma somewhat, but I feel this has lost its hop kick. Taste is grapefruit in the beginning, then transitions into some flor hop flavors. A sweet honey pulls strongly as the flavors roll across the tongue, and the end is a blend of lemon and lime, and a tingey bitterness. Not as hop forward as 106 IBU's would suggest, but I think this lost freshness. Alcohol is almost non existent.

M- Mouthfeel is somewhat buttery. The aftertaste leaves a piney zesty feel on the tongue, along with the bitterness provided from the amount of hops. There is a slight amount of heat to hint at the abv.

D- Despite this having lost some of its hop freshness, or at least what I have concluded, this is still really drinkable. The abv is not tasted but felt a little in the mouth. I'd love to try this fresh and might re-review this next year. It's a drink now or forever your hops are weak if you wait too long with these beers. I'd like to chalk up a win for Nugget Nectar against this(even though not a DIPA) but I'll have to revisit this in the future when fresh. (1,861 characters)

Photo of Larrytown
4.12/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one appropriately named beer. Pours a hazy golden-orange and the nose is, well, hoppy. Lots of citrus right in your face. This is one you can smell across the room. In my book, that's a good thing.

The taste has a lot to live up to after that smell and, for the most part, it does. It's definitely typical of your citrus-y IPA with, if anything, a bit more fruity than I expected.

I split a sixer with a friend and they went quickly, but it's definitely a palate-cleanser. Not sure I could transition from this to something else, but hey, it's good enough that you don't need to. (590 characters)

Photo of jscondon
4.12/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden hue into the pint glass, the smell is amazing. It has a lovely citrus/grapefruit nose that permeates through the taste. There is a bitterness I didn't like up front that was a little piney, but this brief taste is followed a very nice citrus and some sweetness finishing with a subtle bitter that is nice.
In all I liked this beer, I would definitely get this one again. It is a pretty well balanced hop bomb. (425 characters)

Photo of Wheeble
4.12/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a recommendation of this brew from another member

Pours a good color, but for most "big beer" IPA's not as nice as I expected, had a mediocre head regardless of a vigorous pour and dissapeared rather quickly

Smell was amazing. Amazing aroma of citrus fruits, lemon, a hint of orange peels, and a rush of hops to finish it off.

Taste was great as well. Definitely a great IPA, but from what I was expecting was not as I imagined

I was comparing this beer to Troegs Nugget Nectar, as that was what I was told this tasted closest to, but in all honesty it wasnt.

I could definitely drink this brew year round, but I would place 90 Minute IPA as well as Nugget Nectar above this beer. (689 characters)

Photo of Viggo
4.12/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks oakbluff for hooking me up with this beauty!

Pours a hazed golden, thin white head forms, settles to a ring around the glass, nice lacing. Smell is massive pine, tons of citrus, floral, every hop smell imaginable, they must use a boatload, grapefruit acidity, no malt in my nose, excellent. Taste is a grapefruit truck, almost puckering with hops, lots of citrus and pine, again almost no malt, slight graininess, not a lot of depth the the hops certainly slam you good. Balanced in the sense the IBU's match the malt, not overdone in that sense but hopped to hell and back. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation, alcohol warmth. Not bad at all, thanks Scott! (682 characters)

Photo of karengarys
4.12/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this pours clear amber, leaving a bit of a fluffy white head. After a while, a ring remains and the foam sticks to the glass.

This smells VERY sweet - lemonade sweet. Citrus.

Taste is quite sweet and lemony, but also quite bitter like asprin. The alcohol is well hidden under this bitterness.

Mouthfeel is quite creamy.

Finish is slightly bitter.

Body is thick and rich. I love a good chewin' beer!

This is quite a beverage. Thick syrupy. good. It is unique in its ultra sweetness and bitterness at the same time. Highly recommended. (553 characters)

Photo of IronLover
4.12/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled from a bottle with no freshness date. Bright orange-yellow in color with a slight haze. Poured with a thick white head with that reduces to islands of white foamy and thick sticky lacings on the glass. Huge cirus hop aroma, citris, orange, mango, and an underlying sweet aroma as well. Smooth, thick mouth feel. The fuller side of medium bodied which subdues the carbonation a bit. Intense citrus hop and sweet honey flavor. A bit alcohol burn toward the finish. Leaves a light lingering bitter aftertaste. (514 characters)

Photo of utopiajane
4.12/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a beautiful hazed orange amber with a creamy head of off white foam that lasts and leaves rings of lace. Nose is resonant with hops sweetness. At first it's tangerine, then a bit of grapefruit, some pine. but then the floral overcomes anything you can name and these hops become pure perfumed lightness. The malt is a breaddy scent with a bit of earthy honey. Orange blossoms. No alcohol on the nose. Taste is very sweet. The honey is thick or so it seems and the malt is rich. It has a fruitiness form the tangerine and grapefruit but it's very dry and so it's earthier rather than juicier. The malt becomes like a soft sugar cookie on the nose and on the palate. It's almost chewy. There is a faint herbal that becomes stronger as you drink. I was waiting for a biting, bitter, tongue bruising like the label said but I found the bitter to be a bit more than moderate. As I am finishing the glass the juiciness is coming forward more and the scent is becoming a bit more tropical. The alcohol is only a hint on the very back end of the swallow and in the warmth as it finishes. Mouthfeel is creamy, sticky and full-ish. The aftertaste fades and all that remains is the bitter, the pine and the hop floral sweetness. (1,223 characters)

Photo of spoons
4.12/5  rDev -7.4%
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. (563 characters)

Photo of illidurit
4.12/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jay23 for the chance to drink this Michigan beer all the way over here in California.
Poured into a snifter, this beer takes on a nice dark goldenrod color with a one-finger off-white head.

Wonderful scents of piney hops and succulent citrus emanate from the glass.

An interesting orangey hop flavor concomitant with some oily piney hops as well. Doughy malt provides stability and balance. Mouthwatering, delicious beer.

Medium body, appropriate carbonation. Very smooth.

The alcohol is entirely unapparent and a 12 oz bottle leaves me wanting more. Very deserving of its high rating.

Rerate: Oh how young I was when I wrote this! Upon a second tasting, it's obvious that this beer, while good, is too sweet and lacks the bitterness of a top-tier double IPA. Gotta dock points for that. (802 characters)

Photo of nova009
4.12/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a snifter

A- pours a clear bright copper color, half finger white head appears and slowly dissipates down to a ring, pretty nice lacing

S- wow this beer smells just like a DIPA should, a nice bouquet of hops and sweet honey, nice citrus, lemon and grapefruit, surprisingly im getting pineapple as well, sweet and citrusy

T- its called hopslam for a reason, you get a big kick in the mouth from the hops, the sweetness of the honey mixed in with the citrus is a nice middle buffer between the initial hops and the ending hops, at times i find the hops to be well balanced and at other times it seems a little overbearing, not sure whats up with that

M- medium body, silky smooth, slightly high carbonation, i wish it would coat my palate a bit more but it is solid nonetheless

D- i wasn't impressed with the first couple bottle that i had of this, however, on this review the flavors and smells were much better balanced than i remember, a nice one to sip especially at the price (1,009 characters)

Photo of GimpyCane
4.12/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearence: poured a hazy orange w/ a 1 inch white frothy head. Head lasted throughout drink and left a good amount of lacing.

smell: robust scent of ruby red grapefruit, piney, slight hint of alcohol and a undertone of wet hay.

taste and mouthfeel. medium body, slighty syrupy w/ a hint of alcohol. First sip was quite bitter however as I continue drinking the flavor became sweet.

drinkability: I can drink a six w/ no problem.

Overall, Hopslam is a really nice clean brew. IMO, for a DIPA, I think it is missing it's hoppy punch. Outside of that, this brew is really good and tasty. As a matter a fact, Bell's makes some of the cleanness, crispiness and tasty brews around. Buy a six and enjoy. (710 characters)

Photo of CaptainIPA
4.12/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presented in a 12 oz., brown bottle with freshness code: 8285.
Label illustration depicts dude flat on back after being slammed by giant hop mass. Nice visual metaphor.

Pours a light copper with a thin, creamy, egg-shell colored head. Minimal carbonation. Moderate lacing.

Initial nose of pineapple and lots of it, followed by notes of spruce, honey and cinnamon bread.

Starts off sweet - citrus, honey and brown sugar, moves on to a well-balanced amalgam of piney hops and malt. As it warms, Hopslam becomes bitter, yet never biting. Finishes dry and, at 10% Alc., somewhat hot.

Sticky, chewy mouthfeel. Very hard to believe this clocks in at 106 IBUs. Extremely drinkable for such a high ABV. Not all that sessionable, but worthy of slamming two.

Three Floyd's take note. This is what Dreadnaught should aspire to be. (827 characters)

Photo of DrTrobridge
4.12/5  rDev -7.4%
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. (281 characters)

Photo of jspruit
4.12/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found a cold bottle of this at Martha's Vineyard-a bit of a surprise this time of year and something that I was looking to try.

Smelled great right after opening the bottle and poured with a great strong scent into the pint glass. Didnt pour as murky as I thought that it would be but rather a orange gold with a white 2-finger head with large bubbles. Some sweet floral hints along with the strong hops arose after the pour-my taste buds were watering by then.

The hops are the most evident tastes to me and they are pretty consistent throughout. The floral hints I smelled early definitely come through in the beer too-and there is carbonation throughout as well. There seems to be a alcohol taste at the end of each sip-not quite to my liking really as I think that my tongue is a bit numb now.

I think that that this beer definitely is hoppy enough for me, perhaps a bit too much for my liking. I will definitely try it again if it comes my way, but I dont think that I would be able to handle more than a couple in one session. (1,043 characters)

Photo of DmanGTR
4.12/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A huge thanks to RocPorterFanatic (Chad) for hooking me up with a 6 pack! Bottle #9478.

A - Crystal clear golden honey with a well formed white fluffy head. Retained as a bubbly cap that left some islands of lace. 4.0

S - Hop galore, the nose is a wonderful mix of pineapple, pine resin, guava, and pungent earth, but more fruity than earthy. Honey is very faint, as expected due to it being fully fermented out. 4.5

T - Sweet and citrusy flavors are in the forefront, bringing grapefruit, lemon zest, and a light undertone of passionfruit before letting the bitter and earthy lemongrass flavors take over into a long lasting, herbal finish. Malt character is more in the background, providing ample balance to the intense hop profile. I don't taste as much honey as I thought I would; instead I find a bit of caramel sweetness present. Alcohol is barely noticeable. 4.0

M - Medium bodied with a crisp and refreshing palate. Carbonation is ample but not overdone. Texture isn't completely smooth, but the mild roughness fits the overall profile. 4.0

D - For a 10% beer, this drinks wonderfully. I barely noticed the heat, if any. For a pricier beer, however, I will probably only make this an occasional (or seasonal) drink. 4.0 (1,233 characters)

Photo of PossumMunsen31
4.12/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is an extremely powerful and potent beer that is also highly enjoyable. One of the craziest beers I've ever experienced. Great hop taste and balance. High alcohol content isn't extremely noticeable while drinking. It's unique and highly flavorful. Definitely recommend it. (277 characters)

Photo of Vdubb86
4.12/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Sam Adam's Perfect Pint Glass

This beer pours a nice clear golden orange with a pure white frothy head that doesn't stay around too long to play. The smell is like dipping my head in a plastic bag filled with hops. The piny citrusy aroma is rather pleasant, in fact there is so much hop I can't actually smell the malts in the beer. The taste is most akin to drinking liquefied hops. I've eaten a soak hop whole and aside from the (only slight stronger) extreme bitterness this has the same flavors. I now understand why hop heads the world over love having this fresh. I'm not one of them, but hey it's still pretty good. I tried to get malt out of this and all I got is a more grainy pilsner flavor in the background. I can see how the hops falling out of this would cause problems. It's actually much smoother than I would have guessed for beers of it's style and type. But I have this thing against certain bitternesses. It's a very good beer, but it hasn't opened my world to hops that's for sure. (1,015 characters)

Photo of Dubbercody
4.12/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Trade bottle received from crazynelson. Really nice beer, has a nicely floral and piney mix in the nose that brings with it a sweet kick. Shows the hops off in a lovely platform. Glad I got to try this highly sought after beer.

From what I understand Hopslam is a pretty expensive beer. I wouldn't drop $18 on a 6 pack...but then again there are a lot of AMAZING IIPA's out in the Pacific NW. (394 characters)

Photo of OakedCanuck
4.12/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle of newest batch poured into shaker.

A - A nice, straw to darker yellow with just slightly off-white rocky head. Sticky lacing.

S - Love this smell. It smells like wet hops, with orange, honey, and lemon. Also get the typical pine resin.

T - Tastes like the hop bomb that it is! Very bitter with pine needles, grapefruit and some sour nectarine. In the back you do pick up some of the honey but is mostly overshadowed.

M - Medium and juicy.

D - Excellent beer, and drinkable. I only wish a little more of the honey was profiled, still great though. (564 characters)

Photo of Agold
4.12/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(1/16/2011)

HopSlam is a bright, beautiful golden color with great clearness and good lacing. The smell was super citrus insane grapefruit tropical hops. The taste follows with a bit touch of diacetyl. But the diacetyl really complements the citrus and grapefruit hops. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, but really light for a 10% beer, probably dried out by the honey. Also frighteningly drinkable. Where the hell did the rest of it go.

4/4.5/4.5/4/4.5

(1/16/2012)

Over the course of the year it seems my palate has changed quite a bit. While the appearance and aroma are the same and I enjoy them a lot, I tend to prefer a drier IIPA, and I think the 10%ABV hinders that light, dry mouthfeel. That is not to say that it is thick or heavy, just not as light as I would like. The flavor, while very citrusy and tropical with nice hints of grapefruit and perhaps pineapple, seems a bit dull instead of the sharp, crisp hops I like best. Still a world class beer that I like a lot, just not the same high grade. (1,011 characters)

Photo of Mitchster
4.12/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$12.99 for a 6'er of 12oz bottles. ABV and OG not listed on the website. Pours out to a slightly hazy golden peach, forming a nice rocky white head with very good retention and lacing. Carbonation is mild to moderate. Bottle-conditioned. The aroma is huge with hops...sticky, oily, resinous green Centennial hops with a touch of pungency and body odor twang. The thing that stands out most is the huge peach and pineapple notes...lovely. Cleanly fermented and sweet in the nose. Mouthfeel is slick and dextrinous with a medium-dense body and nice stickiness upon the tongue. Taste is all about the floral and citric hops, as described above with some nice crystal malt husk peeking through and a full residual sweetness. Slight musty oxidation note. Bitterness is medium and lingers long on the tongue. Slight alcoholic, boozy astringency and fusels in the aftertaste. Drinkability is quite good for a beer of this flavor and ABV due to it's excellent balance. IMO, this is better than current 2-Hearted, and is as almost as good as 2-Hearted used to be about 2-3 years ago.

A bit boozy and the hops/slight oxidation/slight fusels combo can be rough, especially as it warms, but overall, a decent DIPA. I'll stick to Stone and Centennial IPA. (1,245 characters)

Photo of inlimbo77
4.12/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank this one in early February, when it was fresh, but failed to review at that time for some reason. From my note on my cell phone....

Poured from 12oz bottle into a snifter glass. No bottle date listed but this was from the 2011 batch.

A: pours a hazy, orange color. Nice white one finger head. Mild carbonation. Great lacing on the snifter walls.

S: Beautiful, fruity hop aroma on the nose here! Some late malt sits below, but a amazingly fruity nose.

T: This is a hop head's dream beer! A nice mouth pucker'er. I actually drank one a little while after this one that mellowed a little bit, but this fresh one was awesome. Floral hops up from with that malt backbone that I smelled from the sniff. Strong pucker finish that lingers.

M: Total mouth coater! Really chewy!

D: This is a powerful beer. It's great that it is a seasonal surprise to have. This isn't a sessionable brew. I think this is a start your evening beer before you move on to lesser ABV brews.

Overall, I really enjoyed this beer! I think that there are better DIPAs out there, but this Bell's offering is extremely nice. (1,101 characters)

Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
99 out of 100 based on 3,259 ratings.