Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

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

3,257 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,257
Hads: 11,632
rAvg: 4.45
pDev: 8.54%
Wants: 2,390
Gots: 2,631 | 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: 3,257 | Hads: 11,632
Photo of jeremy13586
4.12/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just cracked open this bottle that has been sitting in the back of my fridge for the past week and a half. Pours a reddish-gold with a nice frothy head that dissolved and left a nice layer of bubbles on the top. I'm sitting about 2 feet away from the beer, looking at its color and I can already smell the pungent hops. Nice and floral in the nose with a grapefruity tint. Bring your nose closer to the beer and you can smell the bitterness.
The first sip starts out very sweet, but then your tounge gets attacked by the amazing hoppiness of the beer. The tounge is then cleansed and warmed with the 9.3% abv of the beer.
It is a bit heavier than I thought it would be, and I could have gone for some more carbination. Other than that, it was a very solid brew. (761 characters)

Photo of MikeBlemker
4.12/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I am a big IPA fan and I feel that this is one you have to get your hands on. Obviously, it has a huge amount of hops but it has enough of a citrus note to dull down some of the bitterness and add a bit more complexity to the beer. Perfect porch beer on a summer day. (267 characters)

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

[Batch 7806] Poured a lightly hazy, copper color with a medium sized, white head that left spotty lacing on the glass. Aroma of pine, floral hops, melon, tangerine, caramel, light citrus, and honeydew. Taste of pine, toffee, resin, light dough, citrus fruits, mint leaf, and some cinnamon. Bracingly bitter, with moderate alcohol. (330 characters)

Photo of bennetj17
4.12/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received from Wasatch in a recent trade. Nice caramel-orange hue, a thin head that holds up decently, and steady streams of carbonation visible. Loads of piney hop aroma and fresh oranges with other citrus fruit in the background. Very nice smell, reminds me of more west coast IPA's.

The flavor has less of a potent hoppiness than expected. The grassy hops carry a light citrus tang and are paired well with some light toasted malt flavors. The hop character is a bit spicy, and the finish is pleasantly bitter with only a hint of alcohol. Medium body with appropriate carbonation.

I wasn't wowed by this beer, but it was a fine selection that I would be glad to try again if I get the chance. Recommended... (716 characters)

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

reviewed from notes, 12 oz btl poured into a Sam Adam's Perfect Pint Glass, lot #10126

A: clear golden yellow, pours a thick 2 finger head that lasts and leaves a lot of lacing down the side of the glass

S: hops, pine, sweet honey and a hint of sweet malt

T: crisp bitter hops, followed by smooth sweetness of honey and malt, not very complex but well blended flavors
MF: medium bodied, medium carbonation, very smooth

O: The hops definitely stand out but it was not the 'punch in the mouth' that I expected, the hoppy bitterness is contrasted nicely by the sweet smoothness of the honey and malt, actually a little too sweet for a DIPA. This is a good beer but I don't think it lives up to all the hype. I really don't think the name accurately characterizes the beer. (773 characters)

Photo of BS68280
4.12/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This years batch poured from the bottle into my DFH signature glass. Had this one a couple times before and I've loved it every time. The price sucks but the beer is great.

A: A slightly hazy golden orange with about a quarter inch of white head that doesn't stay around long. Leaves lacing on the side that you would expect from a beer like this.

S: Mostly pineapple and grapefruit with some hints of the high ABV with some sweet malt notes.

T: Sweet malts, maybe a touch of honey, pineapple and a little grapefruit. A little heat from the alcohol. Leaves a nice bitter aftertaste that isn't really there as much as you would expect from a beer that calls itself biting, biter. I would say it is sweeter then expected.

M: Silky and oily.

D: The alcohol is rather evident I know i struggled with a growler of it last year. (832 characters)

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

12 oz. bottle.

2008 vintage (I think) tried July 2008.

Medium sized yellowish head, lightly carbonated. Just slightly hazy bright amber color. Very fragrant, hoppy, sweet, pineapple, green grapes, earthy. Starts very juicy, a lot of pineapple, peaches, fairly sweet. Medium body. Up until the end, reminiscent of a fruity white wine. Then the finish comes on strongly and deliciously bitter and lingering. Alcohol is notiecable but hidden. Overall a very good beer, would get this again. (489 characters)

Photo of tr4nc3d
4.12/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12flz oz bottle poured into my pint glass

Pours a hazy golden color with a two inch slightly off white head. Average head retention with very minimal lacing left sticking to the sides of my glass. Slight foam stays on the edge of the beer.

Smell is very sweet and consistent of hops and the honey. Pineapple comes to mind with some grapefruit, lemon, and a very clean soap like smell. Take it its from the pine resin.

Taste is sweet with the citrus flavor coming up forward with pineapple, dominate honey, some lemon and then resides with a medium pine bitterness and herbal feel. Something about the taste, taste artificial(bust be the honey throwing me off).

Mouthfeel is full bodied with medium to high carbonation. Sticky and resiny, with a lot of flavor in the aftertaste.

I could have a few of these but be careful cause the alcohol sneaks up on you. Overall I think this beer could be better and its good, but nothing spectacular like I expected. (958 characters)

Photo of Beerandboards
4.11/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler into a pint glass

A - translucent orange honey color. Poured cold, an inch or so of white head, a c Rowan retains throughout, pretty heavy lacing.

S - smells great. Some citrus, pine, dank musty hop smell.

T - kind of a one two punch of citrus oily hops and then piney bitterness right thereafter. Finish is smooth and sweet. Really well put together.

M - solid, low carb, oily, nice.

O - you can definitely sense the quality that's put into this brew. Everything very obviously fits together well. Not my favorite IPA by any stretch, but really nice. (578 characters)

Photo of MBbeerking14
4.11/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Hoplsam is an IPA from Bell's Brewery in Kzoo MI

This is a very very hoppy IPA as might be expected from the title. When poured it is orange/amber in color, and cloudy. A medium head retention.

The smell is filled with floral hops and the honey that is advertised. There is also the classic pine scent which accompanies so many IPAs.

Creamy and smooth for mouthfeel, with a refreshing and crisp finish. The hops linger on the tongue for quite a while after one swallow. The taste is full of hops and honey!

Drinkability: An outstanding IPA from Bells, one that I would not be able to drink many of due to how strong it is. Overall it lives up to the hype, and I am sure I will enjoy more in the future! (706 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
4.11/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are extremely high given its incredible reputation. 10% ABV confirmed. Bottled 01/02/13 (11 days old). Thanks to Britta for bringing the bottle from Ann Arbor.

Served straight from the fridge and allowed to warm slightly over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger beige colour head of slight cream, fair thickness, and incredible retention for the high ABV (~5 minutes). Body colour is a transparent copper; it's not particularly vibrant but I wouldn't call it dull. Translucent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show . It's par for the style, but it isn't as appealing as other beers in the style I've seen.

Sm: Hops: nectary, floral, pine, grapefruit, honey, effervescent crystal malt, perfumey hop oil, bright fruit (mango and some light tropical fruit), caramel. There's a lot going on here, and the hop bitterness is well concealed. Lots of depth and diversity. No yeast character is detectable, nor is any alcohol. I'd like more of the oily hop notes. A bit of grassy character emerges on the climax, joining the fruit. The honey comes off very raw; it's not at all too sweet. A fairly strong aroma, and a pleasant appealing one. Definitely different from the aromas I'm used to in beers of the style, but I don't know that it's necessarily an improvement. I can't wait to try it.

T: Ah. A perfect balance of honey and pale malt sweetness with nectary hop notes, bright fruit, and floral character. Sticky and sweet - but never overly so. Nectary hop notes dominate. I'd like more pine from it, but what little is there is well balanced. Not as heavy on the grapefruit as many beers in the style - and rightly so; it works to ensure the hop bitterness is well concealed. A bit grassy and oily. Light caramel rides beneath. Bold pale malts give it the refreshing effective body it needs. No alcohol comes through until the warmth hits me in the stomach; this one is dangerously drinkable. Not at all soapy like many problematic beers in the style; they brought this out of primary just in time. I expected a bitter hop bomb, but Bell's remembered to balance the flavours, and the result is a great Double IPA. Loads of complexity and seamless subtlety make this one a real treat.

Mf: Sticky, nectary, slick, and coating. Perfect thickness and carbonation. Quite oily. Feels custom-tailored to the flavour profile. Smooth and wet. Near perfect execution; bravo, Bells.

Dr: Dangerously drinkable for the high ABV. It delivers hops, but more importantly it delivers balance. I could down it all night, and I'd be happily knackered by night's end. This Double IPA will satisfy hop cravings, but it isn't the bitter hop bomb it markets itself as. It is in fact a balanced, very enjoyable Double IPA that I'd love to have again (preferably on-draught). Does it live up to its reputation? I'm not floored, but it is fantastic. It's not the best beer I've had in the style, but it's certainly one of them. Well priced in Michigan at $18 a six pack. Constructively, it could use more depth of flavour, but I'm nitpicking.

Would pair incredibly well with spicy food.

Lowish A- (3,375 characters)

Photo of Arbitrator
4.11/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

EDIT: Updated for the 2013 batch. The bottle is about 10 days old, courtesy of pokgye. Thanks, Jason.

I stand by all my notes for the 2011 vintage except the aroma: it's much less billowing and aromatic than I remember from 2011. The 2012 batch was the same way for me; I'll attribute this to a nasal Lupulin Threshold Shift, if you like, but it's just not as expressive as it used to be. Still tastes great though!

2011 vintage. Chilled bottle into a glass, courtesy of Steamhead.

A: Pours a clear, mildly hazy orange/copper color with reddish tints when held to the light. The head is a generous 2 fingers when poured, but it recedes into a light film on the top. It leaves significant lacing down the glass as I drink. For the ABV, it's exceptional.

S: Pineapple, grapefruit, lemon, tangerine, and -- of all things -- a strong guava smell dominate the nose. Some lesser notes of pine hop cones and flowers. I had to search a bit for the malt, but detected delicate biscuit notes. Exquisite. It's a hop bouquet and a total delight to sniff. The aroma falls off very fast, though; even refrigerated bottles consumed over a week tracked downward.

T: As the nose predicts, citrus hops (pineapple, grapefruit, lemon, mango) dominate the taste. Biscuit malt and honey flavors in the mid-palate. The finish is a flavorful combination of grapefruit and pine. The aftertaste is all citrus bite. Very clean flavors. It's not very sweet at all. Note I'm differentiating between honey sweetness and honey flavors here; the former is fermented out, leaving a beer that is quite dry, but the latter imparts a floral taste.

M: Medium-bodied, with perfect carbonation for the style. The 10% alcohol is well-masked, although there is just the lightest burn at the end of a sip. It's a fairly dry beer. I rather like that. Just the little burn makes it lower than a perfect 5, here.

D: It's fantastic, but it lacks the pungency I remember from last year. I had this immediately upon receipt and again later next to Pliny the Younger; it doesn't measure up like it used to. I won't say it's bad, but I rearranged my top 5 a bit. I don't think I'll track down a case next year, maybe just one six-pack. (2,199 characters)

Photo of CoolJosh
4.11/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to armietaj for this extra. Has sat a year, so it'll be interesting to compare this to the fresh stuff that will be released pretty soon.

A. Nearly perfect visuals, a big and thick hazy copper orange that radiates beautifully with a contrasting creamy buff foam.

S. The age comes through hear a lot, as the hops are still present but are giving off an old tea-like smell. Has a wet hop scent to it, good caramel, a some sweetness to it. Showing some barleywine characteristics here.

T. Start off very smooth with some sweet caramel. The hops are still alive and kickin', but are definitely more subdued and come off much more smooth and conservatively. Ends with a slight off after taste, but it's not displeasing.

Can't wait to have some more of these, its good now, which mean it'll be even better fresh and up for review again. (842 characters)

Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.11/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Heres another review of Hopslam, I've been exploring re-rating beers from different formats. It's very interesting. I gave the tap version a 4.75, this is lower in that it seems less open in smell and taste especially, a little more one Dimensional especially in the aroma. On tap its very open and huge in aroma and not out of the bottle. The taste is still great but not as good as on tap.

A: Nice semi clear, active carbonation orange. Nice small head and good lacing.

S: A fruity hop smell with some dry biscuit malt and a little pine. Some honey coated alcohol comes through as well. Faint aroma, especially compared to on tap, but still nice.

T: Very aggressive spicy hops that I remember from on tap but offset by Honey coated malt character. Biscuit dry notes come though (honey on top) and a little grapefruit in there thats nice (not as much as on tap though). Some pine as well. Good stuff, but the hops are much more 1-D than the tap.

M: This is still great. Smooth and slick, great carbonation level.

D: Good stuff. (1,034 characters)

Photo of ksimons
4.11/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-a clear light amber color with a fingers worth of white head that sticks to the glass

S-malty backbone with citric hops, pineapple sweetness, and light pine

T-pale bready malts, tropical fruit sweetness, citrus and pine hop finish

M-medium body and good carbonation, very smooth

Overall very excited to have Bell's now in NYC. This one lives up to the expectations. (371 characters)

Photo of jcdiflorio
4.1/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

served from a 12oz.brown bottle into a snifter.

Mirky,golden,glowing and a kind of orangeish hue.A thick white head,chunks of yeast floating in the beer.
A very hoppy nose,intense grapefruit aromas,very clean,piney,even smells a bit like pineapple.
Strong grapefruitty tastes,very hoppy,a bit thin on the maltiness.A very hop oriented beer.Just a little sweet malty taste,the hops are just overpowering.
A light,medium mouthfeel,a bit light for a double,a slight cloyingness.
The lighter body makes it more drinkable,but the intense hop bite takes some of the drinkability away. A hopheads beer all the way.
A good beer overall,the alcohol was not really detectable with all the hoppiness. I like the Two-Hearted a bit better. The Stone 10th was a lot better version of a double IPA for me. (798 characters)

Photo of bashiba
4.1/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a nice clear orange color with a thick and creamy long lasting off white head that left some nice sticky lacing.

I greatly enjoyed the smell with a nice bit of lemony hops, white pepper, and some buiscuity malt.

The flavor had a mild sweet biscuit and bready malt body with hints of pepper and alcohol finishing with a lightly minty and lemony bit of hops.

The mouthfeel was suprisingly thin for a beer of this strength and lacked a bit in the oily viscous quality that usually comes with a good double IPA.

I liked the flavor and found it extremely balanced and drinkable for such a big IPA, but I thought it was a bit underwhelming overall. I expected it to have a bit more pop to it and definitely more hops. Very good, but I was expecting exceptional, and especially a bit underwhelming with the very high price. (837 characters)

Photo of cannabanaceae
4.1/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Look was a half inch head dissipating to ring around rim, some lacing. Tan in color with some hazy yellow.

Smell was pineapple/citrus smell with a malt scent that tells you this is a heavy hitter.

Taste was bitter throughout, very little alcohol bite for the 10%abv. Nice sweet finish. If someone told you this was a session beer they might believe you.Very well balanced.

This beer did not brooze my touge from the bitterness, like the label suggests. Iam used to west coast iipas so my touge may be different than some. If I could get this in my state I would buy it on occasion, but I wouldnt trade for it again. Awsome label. Glad to have tried. Good beer! (663 characters)

Photo of Hopalong51
4.1/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Spent most of the weekend trying to secure a few six packs of this year's release of Hopslam. I let it sit in the fridge a few days before giving it a whirl. Poured a hazy golden color typical of American IPAs. Smell was terrific with the hops overtaking everything else which is expected. Front end was fantastic with the abundance of hops and bitterness. Thought the back end was a little too sweet for me but guess that is where the honey comes in. It was great to finally try this beer since I have heard about it for quite some time. I expected a lot more from this beer and that was probably due to the hassle getting ahold of it and the hype surrounding Hopslam. Overall it was a great IPA, one that I could drink regularly. It wasn't the best IPA I have tried but it was certainly one that I would order. Not sure if the $18.99 per six pack and the hassle acquiring the beer were worth it in the end. (908 characters)

Photo of SurlyDuff
4.1/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Orange amber with a sticky ipa-style head.

Passion/tropical hops, bright citrus and weak pine in the nose.

Fresh flavor with the sweetest hop profile i've tasted in an IPA. Sticky resiny pineapple and papaya. Sugary grapefruit in there too.

Mouthfeel is medium to full, with a great balance from begining to finish. There is a sweetness that makes the drinkability pretty high, which balances the bitterness of the hops. An attempt to control the bitterness with the sweetness doesn't really rub me the right way.

Good beer. A fine IPA, and original/unique flavors. It was just a bit sweet and tropical for my ipa tastes. (628 characters)

Photo of arguemaniac
4.1/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an attractive, slightly hazy orange amber. The aroma reminds me of taking a whiff of a generous handful of citrusy hop pellets, but the nose also features a nice touch of slightly fruity malt sweetness as well. Hop bitterness and grapefruit citrus hop flavor dominate the palate from beginning to end, though it’s never to overbearing (at least not for a double IPA anyhow). But there is a good deal of malt sweetness, with definate notes of grain and fruit, to balance. The bitterness is particularly aggressive in the finish. The body is fairly full with a slight, but sharp carbonation tang. Quite drinkable for how rich it is, not to mention the 9% ABV.

Not the absolute best Double IPA out there, but it’s certainly up there. One thing that does stand out about this beer however is how well balanced everything; there is firm malty backbone to stand up against the intense hop profile, the sweetness of the malt itself isn’t to sugary and the body is just thick enough to give the beer an extra rich character but not so thick that it diminishes the drinkability. Overall, highly recommended. (1,110 characters)

Photo of rodkin
4.1/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

EDIT:

Having had this beer again for the 2013 release, I have to say I'm not quite as wowed. Still good, but the mouthfeel is a bit bigger than I'd like, and its drinkability seems a bit lower. I think this has more to do with my taste changing than variation by year, but who knows?

Bottles on 2/2/12.

Pours a golden copper color, very slightly hazy. Visible carbonation, and a nice head, not too big. Reduces to a small film, but doesn't dissipate completely. This beer looks great.

Smells like honey, pineapple, and lots of citrus. Very pleasant, kind of sweet.

Very, very hoppy. Pleasant bitterness, would almost be too much but it's balanced very nicely by the honey. Some citrus, particularly grapefruit. Very slight alcohol warmth. Leaves a bitter aftertaste that makes you want to just keep drinking. I would not believe this was 10% if I didn't know it.

Mouthfeel is great. Slightly creamy, with tingly carbonation.

Overall a highly drinkable, very tasty and very hoppy DIPA. Glad I picked up as much as I did. (1,027 characters)

Photo of Avryle
4.1/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Light orange in color with a minimal cream-colored head.

S- Hoppy & sweet- not malty sweet though, more like orange blossoms

T- Bitter, citrus hops up front with a honey sweetness at the end, finishing with boozy-fumes down the throat

M- Creamy, medium bodied. Possibly a little too carbonated, but the creaminess is very pleasant.

D- The heavy bitterness in the taste detracts from the overall drinkability a bit. (422 characters)

Photo of blakenarron
4.1/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pleasant to drink, however, not what I was expecting based off of the high demand. Taking into account the price, I can't see myself searching this beer out to drink again. (173 characters)

Photo of BarrytheBear
4.1/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle with a bottle on date of 1/26/12. Have had this beer many years running but never reviewed it from the bottle.

Moderate orange, light haze, and some clumpy islands of surface coverage.

Heavy dose of green apple, pineapple sweetness, touch of yeasty spiciness, sourdough bread, honey, and a pretense of big alcohol.

The worker bees have been busy doing their sinful bee-like business here. Moderate is both sweetness with a crisp green apple bite. Pineapple rind lends a raw bitterness at the finish.

Touch syrupy, low carbonation, and sticky.

Overall, I tend to annoy easily when discussing whether a recipe has changed or so-and-so is less hoppy than last year. Looking back on a past on tap review, I loved this beer. Maybe it was time and place, a food pairing, a moment in time. I do know that at times I had been enamored with HopSlam and others, I've been, shall we say, underwhelmed. Right now, it's a pretty solid DIPA, but doesn't stand as a favorite in the style. (993 characters)

Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
99 out of 100 based on 3,257 ratings.