Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

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

11,593 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 11,593
Reviews: 3,420
rAvg: 4.48
pDev: 9.38%
Wants: 2,371
Gots: 2,609 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 11,593 | Reviews: 3,420
Photo of Grupatre
4.16/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

First dipa. Very grape fruity

Photo of dciBA
4.16/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ok here it is, in my glass, the legendary ad much hyped hopslam. Pours a slightly hazy amber into my snifter. No head whatsoever. Just a little lacing as it goes down.

Lots of grapefruit hops in the nose. No surprise there. There's also a decent amount if sweet malt. One of the more pleasant dipas I've smelled. Taste is similar but the hops are definitely overpowering the malt. I don't have a problem with that. Hop flavor is mostly grapefruit with a nice spiciness as well. After the hop flavor has faded from your palate the malt is left behind which keeps this one fairly well balanced despite the amount of hops. Bitterness is strong but not unbearable, at least not for the seasoned hop head.

Finish is pretty much perfect with just enough sweetness from the hop resin left behind after every sip. Carbonation seems a little low but doesn't bother me. Hhhhmmmm, drinkability, that's a tough one. Plenty of bitterness, plenty if alcohol, but still goes down fairly quick. Overall quite a nice dips. Worth the ridiculous hype? Maybe not. Absolutely glad I was able to get a sixer of this though.

Big thanks to browna71 for the trade.

Photo of Ohiovania
4.16/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours nicely with an ok amount of head. It stayed around for a while and laced well. The rest of the beer didn't lace too much. Smell was intoxicating. The only imperial IPA with more citrus and robust hops smell that I have had is Pliny. After the amazing smell that didn't hold back a bit I was expecting more from the taste. I have a bottle back from an early January batch and i have heard that the taste is better with freshness on this one. Citrus fruits, hops, and honey dominate the beginning and middle but the end of the flavor is pretty big on malt and alcohol. It's pretty good on mouthfeel but it's a little light. i will definitely try this one again next time it is available.

Photo of crazeguy
4.16/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch 8907 Bottled on January 6, 2009

Its a little over 3 months old but still my first time with this beer. Pored from a 12oz bottle into a Pilsner Glass.

Hazy orange, with sediment floating wildly. Minimal head.

Smell is citrusy and hoppy.

Taste, subdued hops. Grapefruit. Nice balance.

Mouthfeel, well with the sediment its not exactly A+, but could be my fault from an over excited pour. Laces the tongue with an almost sour taste.

Drink, decent. I can only imagine how much better this would be fresh, but until than, this is what I have to go off of. I'm not going to knock it for not being fresh but I most likely won't give it a score it deserves. Or hell, this could be how it normally tastes.

Anyone I would drink this again but prefer a fresher bottle.

Photo of kkipple
4.16/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A. Clear, still orange with a fat 3 finger head that fades over time. No lacing, decent retention.

S. Big grapefruit and piney hops, then sweet malt and the advertised honey, clean, some oranges and flowers. Mostly just hop juice. Citrus and pure. If you like hops, you'll love this.

T. A fine blend of citrusy hops and sweet lightly toasted grain, with an orangey, alcoholic dry finish and some sappy, sticky pine notes. Hopslam is quite basic, simply variations on hops and grain sugars, but is wonderfully balanced and tasty. Think a less aggressive Double Dog or a hoppier, less sweet 90 minute and you're getting there.

M. Decent carbonation, finish is bitter and hoppy with an eventual sweet note. Alcohol is warming and certainly seems like the proclaimed 10%.

Hopslam is good, and drinkable, but ultimately doesn't bring a lot new to the table. It's simply a good Double IPA; but there's nothing wrong with that, either. Recommended for those with a hop-tooth.

Photo of Stevedore
4.16/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

(Please note: I only rate by whole numbers as per my rating system in my journal)

Bottle date 1/10/13, poured into a Nonic today 1/22/13

Aroma- Lots of citrus- grapefruit and orange comes to mind, a bit of sticky sweetness that could be the honey. And a bit of pine. Strong nose, very pleasing for a DIPA. (5)

Colour- Nice and clear dark orange, copper body, pours with a 1cm white head that doesn't stick around for long. Lacing is a bit sticky but gravity brings it down the side of the glass quickly. Nothing particularly special for the style. (3)

Flavour- Some citrus- grapefruit, orange in the front that sets the stage for a brief dabble of sweet honey and biscuit just before the bitter citrus/earthy starts building up fast and hits you like a truck at the end. (4)

Mouthfeel- Medium-bodied but on the lighter side of the spectrum; carbonated well, a bit on the wet side. Aftertaste is that bitter hopslam that definitely sticks around for a while. Pretty much what you'd expect from a beer called Hopslam. On some swallows though, I can taste a lingering honey sweetness- as if it was not dissolved completely. It's a nice touch if intended like so. (4)

Overall- Its a DIPA that assaults my nose and palate. It doesn't look particularly special but it smells great and the taste follows the nose. It's certainly not a balanced DIPA in my opinion despite what people say as its hops, hops, and hops with a brief malt/honey interlude. But hey, that's not what I was expecting from this style of beer. I definitely like it, but in terms of DIPAs, a six pack of Sucks costs half as much as a six of Hopslam, just sacrificing a small bit of the hop aroma/bitterness and the honey character- since it's Lagunitas, there are still tons of hops in it. So, yeah this might be a better brew but for regular consumption, between the two I'm going with Lagunitas Sucks about 8 out of 10 times. (4)

Old score: 4.15

Re-reviewed with this year's new batch, bottled 1/10/2014 (eerily, the same month/day as last year's) and poured into a Bell's snifter today, 1/21/2014 (almost the same month/day as last year, seeing a theme here?).

Appearance: Hazy copper body, one-finger white head, good lacing, average retention
Smell: Caramel, toffee, honey are at the forefront. Hops- citrus, tropical fruit, pine, floral notes are in the background.
Flavour: Crisp grapefruit, tangerines, resinous pine flavours cut by caramel and toffee sweetness. Resounding pine and floral bitterness.
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, good carbonation. Just right for the beer. Aftertaste is a strong pine, floral bitterness that leaves the palate very dry. One of the more bitter beers I've had in this new year which still makes this a sipper.
Overall: My palate has clearly adjusted to all kinds of DIPAs over the past year and I still find this beer to be incredibly bitter. It's not juicy as I'd like though the sweetness does help cut into the hoppiness. For what it is, it's a solid value but I probably won't buy a full sixer again.

Photo of BrewerB
4.16/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Intense, knock you over the head hoppiness. Loaded with fruity hops - pineapple, candied orange, grapefruits. Clean fermentation and malt character.

Decent-sized white head, retains well. Lacing appears when swirled in the glass. Orange/yellow in color, clear.

Lots of pineapple-like hop flavor. Bitterness is strong but not overwhelming. The bitterness carries through into the dry finish. Some toasty malt character is noted but its mild and in the background. Excellent balance. Could benefit from a wee bit more complexity in the hop flavor.

Smooth, medium bodied. Not astringent. Expected a little more carbonation.

Overall it's a very smooth double IPA loaded with fruity (mostly pineapple) hop flavor. A great balancing act considering its strength, this one is suprisingly easy to drink. A bump in carbonation and more complexity in hop flavors would kick this into overdrive.

Photo of Risser09
4.16/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006 Vintage - 12 oz bottle poured into a big wine glass at cellar temperature - About 45 degrees

Appearance: Vigorous pour yields a respectable bubbly, white head that stands 2 inches tall. Hazy golden orange beer is somewhat cloudy with some floating yeast. 5 minutes pass before the head receeds to a drinkable state. The lace won't let go of its grip on the side of my glass. No apparent carbonation from the bottom of the glass.

Smell: Bulbous and bursting with aroma. Perfect balance of pine and grapefruit. Swirling gives way to a shot of lupulin bitterness. Not as floral as other DIPAs.

Taste: Balanced and complex. Not as big of a hop bomb as I expected. There are malt backings in there. Pine hits me first and then fades into grapefruity bitterness. Mild earthiness and alcohol enter my nasal passages. They must have used several hop varieties for this handsome brew.

Mouthfeel: Sticky and sweet makes way for an alcohol burn and belly warmth. Carbonation is harsh and quickly fades. Smoothe and not drying.

Drinkability: Very good. Not the most impressive DIPA I've had, but a damn good one. I love the stillness and suspension of the floating particles. This is certainly worth enjoying whenever available, especially for hop heads. I'd say it's also worth buying a case per year upon release to take full advantage of the freshness.

Photo of sleazo
4.16/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A_Pours an slightly cloudy orange with a tiny head that dissipates to a small slick within seconds. The actual liquid looks fine but where is the head?

S_Sticky pinecone hops mix with a candied malt sweetness. A bit of honey like sweetness

T_Hugely bitter up front with a huge piney assault on the senses. A good malt presence in the form of honey soaked sourdough bread. There is some acidity too as everything plays well together.

M_On the thicker side and just less than syrupy. A nice carbonation despite the lack of head plays well too.

D_Another delcicious Bell's offering that falls flat in the looks department.

Photo of SammyDavisJrJrJr
4.15/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle, freshness stamp on case 1/6/09. Into a Chouffe tulip glass...

A - Bright orange body with off tannish head. Two fingers of head, that leaves some lacing.

S - Lots of grapefruit. I mean lots. Pine and resin round out the big hops. American pale malt keeps the aroma light and focused on the fruits. Quite the celebration of hops.

T - If you like hops, this is the beer for you. Hop bite kicks my ass from start to finish. The honey seems to be doing a good job keeping the malt profile dry, with only a small amount of toastiness coming through. Strong grapefruit seems to dominate every flavor in this beer, whether sweet, tart or bitter. Burn in the finish reminds me that this is in fact a 10% APV brew.

M/D - The body is light enough to drink more than one.. as long as you don't have anywhere to do... This is what it is, a big celebration of hops. I'm kinda curious what the malt in this beer tastes like, wonder if any will make it long enough to tell me... If you are looking for balance, go somewhere else. Impressive how many different flavors the hops do pull off here, so cheers to that!

Photo of philbe311
4.15/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Big white chunky fluffy head with excellent retention... Hazy orange honey color... Slight very slow distinctive carbonation...

S - Sweet citrus scents dominate... Tangerine... Lemon... Grapefruit... Orange... Pineapple... Piney hops... A faint hint of honey...

T - Piney hops are front and center and then rise in intensity until they crescendo and the alcohol takes center stage... A subtle earthy tone then comes to the surface... The taste lasts well after the swallow... The citrus scents which were noted in the smell are extremely mild and subtle in terms of taste... Exactly what one would should expect from a brew with such a name...

M - Medium bodied with a lush creaminess... Crisp... Smooth carbonation... A slight warmth and burn from the high ABV... The hops bitterness lingers in the back of the mouth and throat... Not as oily as many of the style which is a nice surprise... A faint smokiness is detected as part of the aftertaste...

D - BOOM - A definitive hop bomb... I was slightly disappointed as I expected a slightly more well balanced brew based on the hype, but that doesn't detract from the stellar craftmanship...

Note - I absolutely love the label...

Photo of SeaUrchin
4.15/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

had it on tap today at slows bbq, served in a goblet, and got a free bells button with it, went with a fellow BA

appearance - a golden yellow, with a head that was about a finger head on it that remained for half of the beer, moderate carbonation

smell - nose was grapefruit and hops up front, this melded into a strong citrus and a mild maltyness, a slight sugary smell was present

taste - taste started off less bitter than i remembered it being, this was my first time having it on tap, a moderate hoppy bitterness that moved into a strong citrus that overpowered the hops, moving into a mild sweet maltyness, and left a slightly bitter hoppy flavor, far more balanced than i remember it beings but i also learned to appreciate DIPA's since last time i had it

mouthfeel - nice refreshing mouthfeel not to thick but not too thin, carbonation helped to lighten it, made em want to take my next sip

drinkability - very drinkable and at 10% the alcohol wasnt prevalent, easy to put down many of these and not realize it until you stand up to relieve yourself

Photo of errantnight
4.15/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks abankovich!

This beer reminded me of my Anderson Valley 20th Drinking experience in that it started off with a bang but ended up with a little bit of a whimper. Different in that the bang was bigger and brighter and better, but also the whimper was more whiny at the end. Still... I'm dying to get more of this, as freshy mcfresh as I can.

Pours a cloudy, hazy orange-tinged golden hue with two frothy fingers of head that drift away into a nicely laced, thinly filmed brew. Love that hoppy oil haze.

Aroma is a bursting hop explosion of goodness. Not the most pungent, but no strain needed to pick up layers of aroma. Blooming flowers and honey and fresh grapefruit, some sold tangerine notes, a bit of a lemony finish. Great. There's definitely malt sweetness around the edges. This may be fading.

Taste is right out of the West Coast DIPA playbook... a juicy fruity ball of citrusy, floral sweetness backed by an extremely clean pale malt middle with only mild hints of bread or toast into a clean, dry finish that lets a hoppy bitterness linger expectantly.

Not sure just how old this is, but it tasted like it had lost a step from its heyday. The hop flavors which arrive in a burst start to drift off, and as it warms, when it should really be coming into its own, it starts to develop that post-DIPA flavor which starts to remind one of an American Barleywine without the deep malt complexity or roundness.

All of which would be find if it weren't for the hot alcohol that comes through in the final third. A note is certainly acceptable, but the final few drinks find it to be a bit obnoxious. If I had started this beer out warmer I'd have been pretty disappointed.

I'm certainly open to revising this upward, but for top-of-its-class DIPA it had a couple small marks against it. This is, really, faint criticism. I loved the beer, look forward to trying more, and can't wait to do so. That said, there's a perfectness about its little brother, Two Hearted Ale, which this fails to duplicate, and perhaps I'm overharsh by the steep comparison.

Photo of bwiechmann
4.15/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a perfect pint. $14.99 for the six pack. Batch #10094 consumed ~ 3 weeks after bottling. (review from notes).

A- Pours a hazy amber with beautiful white head. Fancy looking lacing to boot- making this one attractive brew

S- Hops, obviously, primarily tropical fruit notes with solid resinous pine backing it up.

T- The name is quite apropos. A slam of hops to be sure. However, the notes of honey, and caramel sweetness really mellow out the blast and do their best to balance this beer out.

M&D- Awesome beer. The heavier than average mouth feel attributes a smoothness to the mouthfeel that is quote welcomed. Drinkability is scary high with a 10% abv.

All around a great beer, worth the big bucks for the 6pack.

Photo of damndirtyape
4.15/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Single bottle (batch 10101) poured into a milkshake pilsner glass.

Appearance: Slow pour to keep the sediment out yielded a clear golden-orange beer with a thin white head. The head actually grew a bit as I let it sit. Lacing is thin persistent strands and dots here and there. Very delicate lacing in spots as well. Lots of bubbles moving up slowly through the beer.

Smell: VERY piney. It's like a fresh cut pine tree. There is a hint of something sweeter and citrus like at the very beginning, but then the pine comes right back and dominates. Good thing I actually like the smell of fresh pine.

Taste: Citrus hops blending quickly into a sweetness that must be the honey as it's not quite a caramel-like malt. It's almost sugary, but the more I taste it I think it has a hint of mild clover honey in taste. This sweetness lasts a bit and then goes into a mild grapefruit like finish....and then there is a lingering piney hop bitterness that blooms in the mouth about 1 second after the swallow. I think you have to be a real hop-head to like this after-taste, it's like solid pine concentrate.

Mouthfeel: Very good carbonation, but thick and creamy as well after the carbonation passes. Lots of lingering oil on the teeth though.

Drinkability: Well, it's a hopslam allright. That 2nd bloom of hops does slam the senses. This is a beer for sipping, and for me....well, I think it's too much. The alcohol is well hidden so I'm not noticing a buzz due to drinking it too fast, but the hop bitterness wallop makes this one a slow sipper, and the most I could ever have in one sitting is one of these. It's an extreme beer worth trying but I could not have another one again. Well, maybe with the right meal. Still - glad I had it as it's a unique brew.

Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.15/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I can't believe I haven't reviewed this yet. I've drank so much of this stuff!
Poured into my Dogfish Head pint glass.
Pours a golden amber color with a slight 1/2 inch head. Plenty of suspended "flakies" in the glass. Plenty of very good lacing is left on the glass.
Smell is of citrus hops and just a tad of piney hops.
Taste is incredibly juicy. A refreshing taste that has plenty of hop presence. It's just a tad bitter, but it's so juicy that it's balanced well.
This is a very easy drinking beer. You don't even notice the alcohol at all. This is a highly sessionable beer. As I've drank many of these on several occasions.
This is another great beer from Bells. This is worth seeking out. Especially at it's price point, it's an easy choice.

Photo of Rhettroactive
4.15/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

*I cellared a bottle of the 2010 vintage that I opened at the same time. Note that my review and score is based on the 2011 vintage. More below*

2011: From bottle to Bruges hybrid glass

A: Clean amber in color, like the tail end of a sunset. The head was pretty impressive up front, with an easy 1.5 finger retention. Sticky lacing coated the glass.

S: Easily one of the most inviting noses of any beer I've had the pleasure to consume from a bottle. Citrus through and through - complex notes of toasty, fresh hops and just peeled grapefruit.

T: Hops! Bitter, smoky hop oil immediately attacks the palate and assaults the buds. A hot sauce type of tingling follows, as if eating a raw hop pellet.

M: Nice carbonation, though I could have done with a slightly creamier presentation. Rich and weighty in the mouth and on the tounge.

D: I can't sit here and say I'd have more then one or two in a sitting, as is quite a big beer that deserves to be sipped and enjoyed over time. I let mine open up over a few hours and didn't feel the need for a second.

Overall: I really do look forward to this beer, and it again lived up to my expectations. It is certainly worth seeking out, though I do honestly believe I've had DIPA's that are just as good if not (possibly) better.

DRINK IT FRESH - see below

2010: From bottle to Bruges hybrid glass

A: Exceedingly cloudy and murky. Not what I was expecting in the slightest. The head certainly died a bit quicker then the 2011, and the lacing was sticky, but not as abundant.

S: By far the biggest difference between the two vintages. Orange soda and honey. Zero hops. If blindfolded, I might say it had the essence of a Canadian Ice wine.

T: Certainly maltier. The honey really comes out. Reasonable hints of hops considering it's a year old, but nowhere near the level of the 2011.

M: Oddly thick. I can tell it has lost some of it's carbonation over the last 365, though it is certainly not what I would call flat.

D: Slightly above average. To be honest, this came off like a mediorce Belgian style Tripel as it warmed. Now I love a good tripel, but this wouldn't be considered one of them.

Overall: I'm really glad I kept this one around for a year to compare. I have been looking forward to this for a while and now know first hand that HopSlam, without question and regardless of storage conditions, is a beverage best served fresh.

Photo of boss302
4.15/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A Clear orange color. Big fluffy head.

S Huge Citrusy hop aroma, some piney, but mostly citrus. There is some sweetness that is likely from malt, but could be hops.

T Sweetness up front, low astringency that is a bit surprising based on the high hop aroma. Sweetness needs some additional drying to be balanced. Either less malt, or more honey/candi sugar would be in order to dry the sweetness. Otherwise a very good beer.

M Medium to full body, think on the tongue, good carbonation with lacing down the glass to the end.

D Good, but with the high alcohol, would be limited to just a few. Alcohol is evident in the taste.

Photo of Voonder
4.15/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours golden colour with gorgeous off-wite head. Smell - hoppy, fruity (pears, grapes), some citrusy flavours. Taste - hops and hops only, lots of them, but it is not as bitter as I expected. alcohol is hidden very well. pretty smooth, very flavourful, gerat stuff. Dangerously drinkable.
Thanks a lot TATURBO for this great brew!

Photo of Thorpe429
4.15/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap in Bloomington, IN. Had this some time in January 2009.

A: Bright orange and slightly cloudy. A white head with glimmers of the beer in it.

S: Simply put, this is the most amazing nose I've ever encountered. An overabundance of hops combined with a clear scent of honey, and a powerful malt base to back it all up. I know this scent will be good in a month or so, so I really need to savor it while it's fresh.

T: Much like the nose, this is utterly without parallel (sorry to Mr. Pliny, I haven't had the opportunity yet). This is how every DIPA should be made. The malt is certainly there, but does nothing to even content with the luscious hops that come on. Simply brilliant. The honey is certainly a nice touch, too.

M: Medium bodied with good carbonation.

D: Could be the only beer I'd ever drink again, if Bell's were so gracious as to devote 50% of their capacity to this one.

Photo of weizenbob
4.15/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, batch 10127 (bottled 1/11/11). From the all around cool looking label: "A biting, bitter, tongue bruiser of an ale." Poured into a goblet. The pour yields two fingers of fluffy off-white head atop a copper colored ale. There is mild haziness. Head retention is decent, particularly for a brew with this high of an alcohol content. Sticky lacing lines the glass beautifully.

As soon as the cap came of with a whoosh the aromatics of this double IPA began making their escape. This continued throughout the pour. It smells malty and sweet, and the nose quickly fills with citrus. There's the obligatory IPA grapefruit fragrance, but there is also some tangerine. Trace amounts of caramel are detected. There is not a big variety of aromas here, but what is here is very strong and very pleasant.

Two things strike me right away as I put the goblet to my lips and take the first sip: Hopslam is very malty, and it has a high alcohol content. But this is a double IPA; shouldn't I be gagging on hop intensity? Well, that's there too. There is a lot of hoppiness actually. I've heard the word balance used a lot in describing Hopslam, but I'm thinking that it goes beyond that. I think Bells has swung the pendulum slightly off center toward the maltier side of the DIPA style.

This beer boasts a sweetness that won't quit. There is a syrupy quality that coats the rest of the flavors. And yes, beneath that sweet sugary goodness is a beer that is also quite hoppy. Grapefruit is most noticeable. Spruce touches the tongue. Subtle orange dances in and out. Alcohol is easily identifiable, but not in a way that suggests 10% abv. The taste finishes with the clean taste of citrus rind that cross-fades to a bitter hop massacre as hop oils coat the mouth and tongue.

In the mouth, this brew is thick to the point of resembling pine sap. It's incredibly malty, and the carbonation is effectively low, allowing all of the excesses of this beer to shine. The alcohol adds to the heaviness; it is recognizable in the flavor profile and it burns ever so slightly as it slides down the hatch.

As far as the DIPA style goes I've only had one other brew that was more drinkable than Hopslam, which shall remain unnamed in this review (okay, it was Pliny the Elder). Yes, Hopslam has a high alcohol content. Yes, it's a hop bomb. But covering those tracks is a sweet malty syrupy teddy bear of a beer. You will not be sessioning this beer; I'm sorry to burst your bubble. It may not taste like a 10% abv beer but as I reach the bottom of the goblet, I'm definitely beginning to notice the alcohol content. That will be enough for me. The final verdict is that Hopslam is a well-done DIPA, one of the best actually.

---

The Two-Schlitz Scale™: (see my profile for an explanation)
This bottle of Hopslam cost me as much as three bottles of Schlitz, and it was worth every penny.

Photo of mulder1010
4.15/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Much thanks to burnheartsMKE for the beer.

12 OZ bottle poured into a tulip

A-- Poured a clear honey color. Moderate to slow pour resulted in a half inch of bright white head that went to film pretty quickly. Good head retention as in swirling got a full finger that had more staying power. Little to no carbonation shown in this at all.

S-- Honey, fresh pine, ripe grapefruit. I got no smell of ABV in this at all.

T-- Massive hop punch right off the bat. Fresh pine, fresh grapefruit, and orange. Small amount of Carmel and some touches of honey.

M-- Very smooth after the taste. Hops do drop off some. Middle of palate is soft and honey. Finish is a big kick of grapefruit. Is a touch too sweet at times but also at times very crisp and clean. Honey is very apparent in the mouth. Big body and big feel.

D-- ABV is very apparent in the drinking. A slow sipper. Unique due to using honey but makes this stand out over other DIPA's due to that. Would be interested to see how this is without the honey. No way I could do more than one in a sitting. Hurts in the drinkability department. Great beer that packs a lot of punch and does meet the hype.

Photo of brystmar
4.15/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 1/26/2012.

Copper body with thick, white head; decent lace and retention. Aroma holds tons of hops, sweet malts, honey, and a distinct boozy caramel-ness. Love how this one smells, just wish its aroma was stronger.

The honey really stands out initially, contributing to a complex (and undeniably sweet) flavor profile up front before the hops return for a dry, bitter finish. Strong malt backbone adds character, body, and balance. Hop character is smooth & round, not sharp or overly piney like many of its West Coast peers. I'll attribute this equally to the brewer's intentions (this is clearly an East Coast DIPA) and the addition of honey.

Creamy body flows smoothly around my mouth. Alcoholic warmth soothes the throat as I swallow. Booze gets to me sooner than expected -- I definitely couldn't drink more than one of these in a single sitting.

Hopslam is a great DIPA, especially considering the tremendous batch size, and I prefer it to *bottled* Pliny. Draft vs draft is another question entirely that can (hopefully) be settled sooner rather than later.

Photo of semihobo
4.15/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From batch 8911, bottled in January 09. Already had the first four from the pack.

Pours with a solid ginger-peach head, beautifully minute creamy bubbles, vigorous bubbling. Great lacing.

Smell is wonderful, grapefruit candy and flowers, a fresh spring rain, with a bit of pine resin. It's all there.

Very balanced taste. You have the delicate flavor of hops vs. a moderately (for the style) bitter finish, the bitterness swallowing up the alcohol, and an adequate malt presence that starts sweet before heading off to biscuit land. Nice pine, resin, and citrus. Not overboard on the bitterness or resin. Smooth out of the fridge, less so as it warmed. After having a few of these, I feel comfortable saying this: drink this one a little colder than you would think is appropriate... you'll be rewarded.

Creamy mouthfeel, gentle carbonation. Finish is a little too sticky and prolonged.

Lived up to most of the hype -- this is tasty. Have felt differently as I've worked my way through the six pack, from time to time, but very nuanced and quite drinkable. As regards the debate about drinking Hopslam as fresh as possible... I can't say anything about 2 days vs. 2 months but 2 months vs. 4 months did not show any deterioration. $17.99 for a 6 pack after shopping around though... that is a lot of money.

Photo of demcorhip
4.15/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance
A very nice looking IIPA, pours with a deep amber body, a solid 2 finger off white head that wants to stick around, a fine yet almost vigorously carbonated ale. Thickly laced, sticky clumps cling as if holding on for dear life.

Aroma
Wow. I love the aroma of Two Hearted, and this one smells fabulous too. Big slam of tropical fruits smacked me in the face. Pineapple and papaya dominates the nose, with lesser hints of melon and citrus. The hops almost obscure the malty aroma of bread crust and caramel. Im starting to drool, and really looking forward to how something that smells this good tastes.

Taste
Another wow. Huge tropical blast of tangy pineapple and papaya, hint of honeydew, that transforms into a resinous bitterness similar to grapefruit peal, almost with a pine resin character. This hopslam occurs overtop of the rich malts, with their bread crustiness and a good slam of caramel sweetness.

Mouthfeel
A big, bad assed rich brew. Lingering hop bitterness and oiliness, almost strips the tongue and the roof of my mouth and goes all the way back to my throat. Not overpowering, as is almost balanced by the rich malts with noticeable caramel sweetness and full body. Enough fine and lively carbonation to keep this one from being cloying. Some alcohol warmth soothes the stripping hop bitterness.

Drinkability
Pretty easy and enjoyable to drink this one. More than one might be a challenge, but if this is the first beer of the night theres not much point moving on to something else. A good, maybe even ideal session brew for the IIPA loving hopheads. Not for those who dont like hops, this one definitely packs a hop slam! Glad i found this one, have been looking for it for a while. Will definitely drink again!

Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
99 out of 100 based on 11,593 ratings.