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Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

3,326 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,326
Hads: 12,009
Avg: 4.44
pDev: 18.02%
Wants: 2,582
Gots: 2,934 | FT: 61
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States | website

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Hopslam Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 3,326 | Hads: 12,009
Photo of RedHaze
4.13/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to bditty187 for this bottle.

Pours a hazy bright orange with a fluffy two finger head that fades slowly to a thick cap. tha lacing is very sticky, as you would expect from a very hoppy beer.

Smell; initially this is on the floral side, but then a ton of citric aromas come wafting out of the glass, with grapefruit, oranges and lemons. I can also can detect a nice sweet malty backbone, that should help offset those hops.

Taste; as with the smell this starts out floral on the first couple of sips. Then the citrus dominates with the oranges, grapefruits and just a touch of lemon thrown in. The malts are definitely there, and provide a sweet undercurrent to the hops. On the finish I can feel the alcohol a bit in my nose, and a bit in my throat, but it never becomes distracting.

Mouthfeel is a touch on the full side, and the drinkability on this is just great. I could drink a few of these without feeling completely pummeled by the hops, but I think the alcohol would definitely knock me out.

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Photo of WastingFreetime
4.13/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served to me on tap. Incidentally, I find that it perfectly complements my rather spicy Sichuan take out. (I'm lucky enough to have a local bar that allows outside food to be brought in)

A. Slightly toasted straw color. Very impressive head that leaves behind one of the most intricate and beautiful lacing patterns I have ever seen in a tap beer.

S. Orange peel, grapefruit peel, some mango and pine aromas, but not quite as much mango and pine as Dreadnaught on tap. I don't smell any honey, but I do definitely smell the booziness of the 10% ABV. That part, I could do without. Everything else, however, is spot on for my tastes.

T. One of the great things I love about IPAs is taking a mouthful of super spicy food, feeling the burn, and taking a swallow of those hops to wash it down. The fun thing about this trick I have found is that it AMPLIFIES both the sensation of the chile burn and the resinous nature of the hops. But the beer, the beer does indeed have honey character in the taste which I was missing in the nose. Its just that, for me, it doesn't show up until the finish. In the start it is a bitter resinous punch which dissolves into that honeyed sweetness so rapidly that the contrast is quite enjoyable. Lovely

M. Now I have a slight problem, this is too heavy and thick on the tongue. Oh well, you can't have everything.

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Photo of bboelens
4.13/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A-Dark golden orange, when held up to the light, flakes of amber and yellow are visible, a huge white head from an aggressive pour stayed for a while and left excellent lacing, this is a great looking beer.

S-Citrus and hops, a bit of sweetness in the nose

T-Similar to the nose but with significantly more details, the citrus (orange and grapefruit, with possible lemon hints) and the hops take the forefront but there's a sweetness that is unlike a fruit based sweetness, honey like in taste.

M-Crisp, clean, full bodied with great carbonation

D-I had to check the back of the bottle again and make sure this was really 10%, dangerously drinkable, with a great flavor, drink at your own risk.

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Photo of hophead247
4.13/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass..Pours a nice coppery hue. Aroma is overwhelmingly pleasant, with some citrus, piney, and earthy notes pleasant. I'm guessing several types of hops were used here, with a surplus being put on the aromatic hops. The flavor is extremely balanced well. The hop flavor profile seems to lean on the citric side, and it isn't nearly as imposing as I anticipated, which is not a bad thing here. I wouldn't guess this was any where near 10%. The malt profile really comes through well, and I the taste of honey works rather nicely. All in all, definitely on my top 5 IPA's because of its balance.

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Photo of birchstick
4.13/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

2010 vintage

A - pours a nice faint amber color with a 2 finger head

S - smells predominately of pineapple, some tart apples, grapefruit, caramel malt, and honey

T - There is a reason the label claims this is a tongue bruiser. Very sweet caramel and pineapple on the front of the tongue. As it goes down, there is a load of sweet honey and caramel malt, blended with a ton of grapefruit hop. Ends with a honey and pine bitterness, albeit the sweet caramel and pineapple/citrus combo is still heavy on the palette. Exhale leaves pine. Overall very sweet - I agree with the tongue bruiser statement.

M - a little watery with a decent body - not bad.

D - I always look forward to this release. Maybe its the hype, but it is fun to see every year. Great DIPA from a great brewery. Excellent stuff Bell's...can't wait for next year!

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Photo of AshleyMiller
4.13/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

thanks to Chi81 for this extra. batch 10093, which was brewed in January 2011, so definitely past its freshness, but I heard this might still be tasty. poured into my stone snifter

a - concentrated urine yellow with a finger head that retains and leaves some nice sticky lacing

s - definitely get the honey in there, and grapefruit, apple, and even some brown sugar. the hops are definitely past their freshness, so the hop aroma is mellow

t - definitely honey mixed with plenty of hops. i'm surprised at how well the hops stuck around, probably due to their extensive dry-hopping on this one. not overly bitter, but the honey does mellow it out and provide great balance

m - medium to full bodied, still good carbonation on this one

o - for almost a year-old hop bomb, this held its ground nicely. curious if this is a shadow of its former self or what. will definitely have to seek this out fresh, but even 10 months old this is delicious.

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Photo of kiddwhiz
4.13/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jmkratt for the generous gift that is this bottle and for the trader that recently sent it to him.

a: Poured a 12 oz bottle with #10115 code in to a tulip. A slightly translucent copper color with 1-2 fingers of bright white lacy head.

s: Intense hops with grapefruit, kiwi and fresh picked oranges.

t: BAM! Bitter hops to the face, "too the face!" Slightly sweet under tones of citrus fruits, specifically grapefruit. Huge citrus hop flavor with a touch of maltyness. The finish is smooth, gradual and nothing like the handshake.

m: Slippery and viscous. The right amount of carbonation to pair with the blast of hops. It's not a beer that coats the mouth in resins.

d: I find this beer to be a drinkable beer but probably with a limit of two. You definitely know you are drinking a DIPA but it's satisfying and somewhat refreshing.

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Photo of siege06nd
4.13/5  rDev -7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into my Jackie O's tulip...

Bottle dated 12.29.2011...

A: Pours a clear golden orange color with just a tinge of copper, like a summer sunset. A beautiful two finger eggshell white head erupts from a conservative pour and slowly recedes to a one finger head. The lacing positively blankets the glass, a super thick sheen that refuses to fall down. The thickness and uniformity of the head is astounding. If there are better looking IPAs out there, I have yet to see them. Out-freakin-standing.

S: Really nice. Crushed pineapple explodes off the nose, along with a good amount of honey and candied citrus. An absolute citrus bomb here. Very little in the way of bitterness, maybe just the slightest hint of pine resin. Very very good, but perhaps just a bit too smooth for its own good. In need of some malt and bitterness to take some of the edge off.

T: Man this is really sweet, and by that I mean sticky and saccharine. A lot of sweet creamy pineapple, candied citrus, and some pine resin. But much of it is overwhelmed by cloying honey. It really mellows out what could be a hop bomb. The booze is noticeable, but not offensive. The flavors are a little bit muddled, and somewhat of a letdown from the nose. The sweetness is slightly overdone.

M: Too syrupy and too cloying. Lacking a nice crisp bite. Flavors are decently balanced, carbonation may be a bit lackluster.

O: Well it is one of the best looking and smelling IPAs around. But the taste is overly sweet and the mouthfeel overly sticky. I know it's an Imperial IPA, but I'd rather they let those hops shine than covering them up with honey. Reminds me of drinking soda fountain extract...too over the top. A unique beer and certainly tasty, but I wouldn't and don't feel the need to revisit this one over and over. I bought one bottle and I feel like that will be enough this year.

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Photo of reds2harleys
4.13/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Took a little road trip to get as its not delivered to NJ. Was glad I got some but was not blown away. Very good but not amazing. Tasty and easy to drink but a step down from some other IPA's IMO. Would drink it again if I come accross it but will not seek it out.

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Photo of tewaris
4.13/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance 4.5/5
Deep tangerine-gold colored, Hopslam poured with a moderately sized off white creamy head that eventually receded into a smaller but persistent bubbly one, and left little lacing. The beer was a little hazy but got clearer as it warmed up. A good looking beer that would look even better in a narrower glass, but nothing lets you enjoy the aroma like a big snifter!

Aroma 4/5
Hopslam smells of balance and complexity: The elder brother of Two Hearted, it is strikingly similar in its mango notes, but is clearly sweeter and deeper, and different. To me, this ale is very good, but nothing as spectacular in its hop aroma as it is generally regarded. However, considered independent of style, this ale can compete with any other when it comes to aroma. The strong tropical fruit and tangerine notes combined with the strong and rich sweet notes lend the impression of fruit itself! It is readily seen that even though Hopslam is a Double IPA, it is cellar worthy. A wee bit of alcohol is noted when the beer gets warm. Soft, fruity, sweet and complex, Hopslam is an excellent smelling ale.

Taste 4/5
Very very fruity with the tangy sweetness of tangerines and the bitterness of citrus. A mouth coating, viscous, overwhelming taste experience that engulfs you and leaves with a sweet bitterness; however, a little too sweet. Yes, Hopslam tastes a lot like honey but that is not the most desirable quality in a DIPA, in my very humble opinion. Hopslam is hoppy and bitter but with a deep malt character. It seems stuck between being a DIPA and barleywine. That said, it's very good!

Mouthfeel 4/5
Silky and decent bodied, and well carbonated, Hopslam feels like THE DIPA except for the overly sweet finish.

Drinkability 4.5/5
All things considered, it is damn smooth for a 10% ABV beer! I only wish it were more aggressive and ass kicking!

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Photo of bluesoul
4.12/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 8907, which according to their site was packaged 1/6/09. So still nice and fresh!

A - Poured into pint glass. Pours a hazy honey color with two fingers of foamy off-white head.

S - Smells like a big fat peach to me. I'm rather sure this wasn't the intention but it's a delicious smell. Not noticing much hoppiness in the nose.

T - Not as hop-dominated as I expected, there's quite a bit going on and it has a surprising amount of balance. The honeyed hops are quite unique, unlike anything else I've had. The progression in the mouth as you stop to taste it seems to be sweet citrus, then dry bitter hops then an alcohol burning. The balance shifts towards sweetness at about 50F, and then tilts back towards hops closer to room temp.

M - Has a nice fizzy carbonation, one of the first things I noticed on tasting. Aftertaste is hops and booze; what were you expecting? Not too heavy for what it is, it goes down quite smooth.

D/O - This beer seems to be at it's most drinkable slightly below room temperature. It's a DIPA, if you're tossing down a sixer in one sitting something's gone terribly wrong. Hop heads are understandably thrilled with the beer, and craft lovers should at least be able to respect it. It's well enough off the beaten path, and in a good way, that it's worth searching out.

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Photo of Mar02x
4.12/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this bottle from a trade with Schustar. Thanks man for sending this delight to me.

A - A hazy amber colored beer, or is it gold? There are some nice carbonation bubbles racing to the top. The head isn't really strong and dissolves fast. The laing against the glass is beautiful.

S - A whole tropical forest went in here! Mango, Pineapple and god knows what tropical fruits else is in here. O, and fresh cut grass.

T - A good pine taste upfront, light sweet and a tiny touch of honey.

M - The body is a bit to thin for this style. The medium carbonation is excellent for this beer as is the bitterness in the end.

O - A nice delightful Imperial IPA.

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Photo of tempest
4.12/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Blue Nile. Served in a 12 oz goblet.

106 IBUs? Where? Don't get me wrong, there were some amazing aspects to this beer, but bitter it wasn't. This beer was very reminiscent of grapefruit juice. There was some good complexity in the hops flavor, but it was overly juicy to the point of getting away from beer. This made for an amazing aroma, but the taste couldn't quite deliver all the way.

Although the taste didn't exactly do it for me, I was impressed by how drinkable the 9.3% was. The bitterness, or lack of, kind of let me down, but this was still a pretty good DIPA. Worth a try at the least.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.12/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle poured into an Alchemist pint glass. Bottled on 1/26/2012. Just picked it up today.

Appearance - Orange amber body. Quite clear. Not much of a head, but it sticks nicely to the glass and leaves some wisps on the surface.

Smell - Wow, it's got a great hop aroma. Up there with the best of em. Citrusy from a distance (literally, from a few feet away), but it's got a dose of pine as I smell it more. Great aroma. Some sweetness comes through, but it's still all about the hops.

Taste - The hop flavor delivers in the front. It's a huge wave of hops that recedes as dramatically as it hits. The citrus gives way to pine, much in the way of the aroma, which gives way to a hefty malt and honey sweetness. Not cloying and not even all that sweet, but it's amazing how much the hops disappear. It still tastes pretty damn good, but not like the best IPAs out there. The finish is boozy and slightly bitter.

Mouthfeel - After the hops drop off, the booze is pretty evident. There's an astringency presumably from the fermented honey. It's not really bitter, either, but still the bitterness is one of the only flavors that lingers.

Overall - I used to think this beer was the bee's knees of IPAs, but having had far more interesting hop profile IPAs, this one hasn't quite risen to its lofty heights as of late. Definitely not one of those "It was better last year" people, but I feel my appreciation for it has changed.

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Photo of markmiller
4.12/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this at IP trade, but the bottled on date is December 2011. I've decided to post my initial reactions and then revisit this review when I'm able to get this fresh. (Because it was old, but still pretty damn great)

The pour produces a nice orangey beer that isn't fully opaque, but not translucent either. Nice foamy white head that leaves some sticky lacing.

The smell of this beer is mouthwatering. The citrus dominates, but there is a sweet malt aroma that keeps this in check.

Obviously the hops were the first thing that I tasted, but I didn't get that solid kick I expected, and I feel that the age of the beer affected the quality. The pine and citrus flavors were there, but there seemed to be too much sweetness for what I expected this to be, and how others reviews have pointed out.

Beware of the ABV, because all the people I had try this one we're shocked at the mellow flavor and no presence of alcohol on the tongue.

I was also surprised at how low key the bitterness level is. Quite amazing as I expected an almost tannin-like bitterness to dry my tongue.

I read all about how hardly anything can beat fresh Hopslam, and I have reason to believe those people are on to something. I just wish I could get some Hopslam that is fresh.

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Photo of papat444
4.12/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

*** Batch 9470 (packaged December 23, 2009)***

Huge thanks to jzeilinger for giving me this brew for nothing but a picture! Shared last night with my wife.

Poured from a 12oz. bottle.

Appearance: Bright orange body, slightly hazy with a thick and fluffy head that won't let up. The lacing left behind on the glass is thick and gorgeous.

Smell: Tangerine, melon, pine and juicy hops. Very fresh smelling. Smells delicious.

Taste: Tastes like it smells. More melon than citrus with a touch of sweetness. The piney hops are felt more in the finish and aftertaste. I was expecting a more aggressive hops presence but found it to be quite reserved. The main flavor is the fresh and ripe fruit.

Mouthfeel: Incredibly well-balanced and very smooth. Palate pleasing for sure.

Drinkabilty: This is 10%? No heat whatsoever in the taste. Drinks remarkably well and could have easily had the whole bottle to myself :)

Overall: I must admit to being a little let down as i had it pegged as more of a hop monster (the name kind of leads you along that way) but it is a very tasty DIPA and worth seeking out. This is one to get fresh for sure.

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Photo of TheHoppiest
4.12/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into an oversized snifter. Pours a honey-amber color, with a soapy white head providing excellent lacing on the sides. This bottle is about six months old or so, so I'm curious to see if the hops have mellowed at all.

Smell is piney hops, decent resin, and a touch of citrus. There's an underlying yeastiness - perhaps from the age? I don't recall this in the younger bottles.

Age has definitely tempered this hop monster. Still plenty hoppy and bitter, but that bitterness quickly fades for a floral honey taste. Still some astringency nipping at the tongue. Definitely tasty, just not a Hop Slam.

Mouthfeel is medium to full; this is still a DIPA, even if it is 6 mnths old!

Even aged this is a damn drinkable brew. Maybe there should be a second category for rating this more mellow, but not too mellow, version of Hop Slam. Don't be afraid to cellar this one for some time; just expect that the hops will fade and a clover honey taste will start to present.

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Photo of t420o
4.12/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

BIG thanks for Schmoopsbeer for giving me this one as an extra!

A- Semi aggressive pour produces a 1 finger slightly off white head that rests atop a golden, slightly hazy, beer. Pretty good lacing.

S- orange, orange zest, grapefruit, slight floral aroma, Golden Graham cereal, slight honey smell. Very enticing

T- Nice grapefruit bitterness taste upfront is then greeted by some malt balancing it out. There is also some orange flesh, slight pine, and mellow sweetness that may be from the honey although I don't really taste honey necessarily. Slight alcohol taste. Bitterness is at a very nice level and lingers with a slight sweetness accompanying it that begs for another sip. Excellent DIPA

M- Goes down nice and slick. Good carbonation level

O- an excellent beer that I wish was available to me on a regular basis. Extremely drinkable for 10% abv.

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Photo of joekfsu
4.12/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pours golden orange with a 1 cm off white head that is mostly diminishing. Aroma is brutally strong, piney and a little citrus. Initial flavor is balanced between the sweet malts and hugely bitter hops. Flavor of grapefruit is what i get the most of. Aftertaste is very dry from all the hops. Light to medium mouthfeel, almost no lacing, almost no carbonation, and the alcohol is well hidden. Very drinkable if you are a hophead, but for the rest of us its still worth a try.

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Photo of jlindros
4.12/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to COBeerBuff for this gem. Poured from bottle into oversized snifter.

A: Golden orange amber copper color, slight reddish hue, very hazy, slight head that slowly fades.

N: Nose has some nice noble hops, some floral and grassy aromas, slight citrus, an interesting crystal malt and touch of honey finish off the light nose

T: Starts pretty sweet, some crystal malt but lots of honey, a grassy floral hops taste adds more character, a slight spicey and chewy hop, the sweetness and honey is very prevalent, a very slight alcohol as it hides it pretty well, it has a somewhat candy bar taste with the sweet honey, caramel malts, and floral chewy hops which build the more I drink

M: A little chewy and stick, pretty light otherwise, light carbonation, a little creamy

F: It gets pretty bitter but not huge. It starts sweet and honey taste but finishes pretty dry. The bitter hops fade pretty quickly leaving the candy bar taste as well as a biscuity malt taste and slight earthiness making it pretty drinkable, and nice fresh hop taste on the finish as well. It also seems to leave a metallic taste in the mouth

Final thoughts: This beer seems to be pretty highly acclaimed but I'm a little disappointed. Its a pretty big hop bomb with a slight malt base and lots of sweet honey. The candybar taste adds a nice touch but its a little too much honey and sweet taste for me, and the hops don't come through the way I would have expected.

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Photo of OldSchoolGamer
4.12/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of xfactor9600
4.12/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this one from a 12oz brown bottle into a stemmed tulip glass.

A= A hazy orange color, not entirely clear.

S= A wall of hops greeted my nostrils with a slight hint of citrus.

T= Sweet but invigorating hops. Packs quite a bite.

MF= Well carbonated which contributed to the bite of the beer.

D= My first ever bottles last night. Thoroughly enjoyed it. I wish the price point was better.

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Photo of travelfrog
4.12/5  rDev -7.2%
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. :)

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.12/5  rDev -7.2%
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

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Photo of haazer
4.12/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

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Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
98 out of 100 based on 3,326 ratings.