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Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

3,269 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,269
Hads: 11,752
Avg: 4.45
pDev: 9.44%
Wants: 2,496
Gots: 2,709 | FT: 63
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Hopslam Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 3,269 | Hads: 11,752
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.

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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.

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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.

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


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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

12oz bottle. Batch 10127. Bottled january 11, 2011. Poured into delirium tulip.

A - bright golden color with a thin white head that dissipates rather quickly leaving some sticky looking lace on the walls of the glass. The body is extremely clear and looks pretty nice, but the head is slightly lacking for such a hoppy beer.

S - very resinous pine and grapefruit hops with a sugary sweet backing. Very slight notes of honey and pollen that meld with a bit of an alcohol ester. Not much else here but a little more residual sweetness and hop resin. Fairly one dimensional.

T - there is a decent pop of hop bitterness upfront, mostly grapefruit, pineapple, and touch of sweet orange. The flavor of the honey is fairly apparent with a nice flavor of wildflower honey that balances the bitterness very well. Bordering on slightly too sweet, the beer walks a thin line between a sweet boozy mess and a well-balanced masterpiece. I really enjoy the flavor, but i don't quite out this flavor up there with the better DIPAs I've had.

M&D - the mouth is nice and fairly slick, but not too oily. Might prefer it a touch drier in the finish. The drinkability is pretty high for a 10% beer, but i wouldn't want to see what happens in the morning if i drink a number of these.

Overall, a really nice beer, but there are plenty of other less hyped DIPAs with similar qualities that can be had. Not quite worth the chase in the end.

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Photo of WeedKing4
4.1/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sep 20, 2009
12oz bottle. Pours a dark cloudy orange, with little floaties in the bottom. Very strong bitter and hop taste up front. Slight alc.% burn towards the end though. Great smelling and looking beer, and very solid overall. Mine was bottled back in Jan. though, so I would like to try some fresher Hopslam.

Picked up some fresh Hopslam recently and gave it another go. Its a decently good beer, but i'm not seeing the hype. Its very smooth and tastes like honey with a malt backbone. But where is the bitterness and the hops that I was expecting? Maybe I am just becoming immuned to ipas and imperial ipas to be blown away anymore. This does go down easy though, no hint of the 10% alc at all.

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

12 oz bottle, thanks to Cindirene's in Ayden, NC. Served at around 45 F. Poured into a big snifter. Pours an amber-gold with about 1/2 an inch of head, which dissipates slowly and leaves spotty lacing. Aroma heavy on the citrus - grapefruit mostly. But its not as intense as I was hoping. Some honey and alcohol aroma as it warms. Taste is very nice - the first thing that hits you is a massive amount of hop flavor, again very citrusy. The finish is actually pretty sweet, mostly what comes through is the honey (which is an awesome addition to this beer). Surprisingly, I found this beer to be not that bitter at all, and the honey really helps smooth everything out. The drinkability is off the charts for a 10% beer, I could easily burn through a 6-pack of this in a night.

Overall, a very solid beer. I definitely wouldn't call it my favorite DIPA, but it is one of the most quirky beers I've had in a while and they pull it off.

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

Drank on: 2/12/10

12 oz. bottle in pint glass

A= Pours a nice translucent light gold color. Provides a nice thin layer of foam. Tiny CO2 bubbles here and there.

S= Fruity aroma of mangos and some malt sweetness. Very refreshing.

T= Fruity hoppiness at first which is joined by a sweet heady hop zing. Nice piney, resinous hop bite in the middle. Tangy hint at the end. Has a wonderful hop flavor with a good bit of bitterness which mellows with time. Honey is noticable but wonderful.

MF= Nice heavy feeling on the tongue. Coats the tongue and throat with a thick layer of hop oil leaving a wonderful alcoholic warmth behind.

D= A few of these and you'd think anything was possible. This beer begs to be drank and to be respected.

Overall a wonderful beer from Bell's laced with great hop flavors and a nice honey sweetness.

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

on tap at sams in Durham into a bells pint glass.

pours a beautiful golden color with an inch thick white head. smell is of honey and citrus and hops. exquisite aroma. honey is very prominent. taste is quite balanced. in your face hops at first followed by the honey and sweet malts. alcohol undetectable. criminally easy to drink. medium bodied with medium carbonation

overall a great DIPA , though 2 hearted isn't much different, and is everywhere year round.

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Photo of JCarey
4.1/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a bit lighter than what I like to see in the style. Still a beautiful golden orange, with a healthy dose of head on lacing. Little tiny carbonation bottles flowing from bottom to top, lively.

I'm drinking this a little late, okay a lot late, for this beer, but it has been kept well, though the nose suffers a little bit. It's not bad, it just doesn't have that umph that you'd expect. Lemony sweet honey, some herbal hops, not a big malt nose, but the typical character is there.

Man this thing is good. A bit drying thanks to the honey and I feel like the bitterness helps with that, as well. Still a fairly medium-full bodied beer. Pretty boozey(hot vodka-ey alcohol), but the malt/hops cover it up fairly well and it doesn't really detract from the character of the beer. Noticable honey flavor which I like; I find a typical smoothness from a honeyed beer.

BA reviews at 100? Far from a perfect beer, but 94 from the bros sounds about right. Overall, this can fight on it's own against any of the top DIPAs, but I still don't find any character that makes this a standout, very unlike a lot of Bell's other beers.

If you see it, pick it up, but I wouldn't going searching for it.

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

Sampled a few different batches thusfar. Lovely hints of grapefruit and lemon on the palate. My only complaint is its a bit medicinal and herbal and I just don’t like Double IPAs with that character. But, it has a lovely malt character. Wish it was a tad bit brighter, but its a lovely DIPA. It’s no dreadnaught, but it’s a dawn good brew.

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Photo of Atron67
4.1/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- looks pretty solid, light amber color with lots of bubbles, sticky white head on top, kept low by a gentle pour in a big glass

S- pretty decent piney hops strong, little citrus

T- has a pretty light malt flavor, nice and smooth, tinge of the honey i guess, then the hops, very resiny, citrus and pacific hoppy

M- pretty light body for a 9.3 %'er. pretty high carbonation

d- solid ale, ill still take furious when i can but this is very good

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

Poured from a bottle into a snifter glass.

Look - slightly light amber color, with about two fingers worth of off-white colored foam that dissipates slowly. Fairly clear.

Smell - wow, indeed extremely hoppy (smells like Cascade hops, mostly) as the name suggests. Toned down by a hint of something sweet...for some reason grapefruit comes to mind.

Taste and Mouthfeel - Still very hoppy-tasting, but not as bitter as I was expecting. I still taste something sweeter, but still slightly bitter throughout like grapefruit. Bitterness is most intense in the finish, but the aftertaste is mellow. Texture is very well-balanced.

Drinkability - maybe not a favorite of mine because I don't love bitter beers, but still very good in style, complexity, interesting progression. Very good brew!

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

Thanks to Paul at Underground Bluz for getting this one on tap.

Poured a medium gold, small head, some lacing. The smell was mostly citrusy hops, but my smell is not refined enough to tell which. The taste was rather amazing. I expected this beer to be much hoppier than it seemed, but the hop flavor was indeed quite pronounced, and was balanced with a very sweet malt flavor. To contradict the reviewers below, it did indeed taste rather alcoholic to me, but then again, well, it is! HopSlam was certainly no chugger for me but I really enjoyed sipping it over the course of 30 minutes or so.

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

Pored in Boulevard Tulip Glass, bottled 2/2/12

A - finger length in head, golden color, head quickly goes away

S - Big Citrus notes, as the head settles pine and soapy smells comes through, as it warms I am getting the fruity notes, specifically plum.

T - Clean and Hoppy, the hops give it a citrus taste, after swallowing more of the bitterness comes through. Very similar characteristics as the nose with pine coming out after swallowing. I had this out of a cask a couple weeks back and I have to say I enjoyed it much more... the cask seemed very fresh, having more fruity plum notes, as well as other great hop characteristics that made the beer seem more complex as a whole. Out of the bottle there is a very slight alcohol burn, which I don't remember from last year... probably due to the increase in honey (from what I have heard)

M - Sharp, crisp and bitter yet somehow smooth ... yum.

O - All in all... very solid, I'm being picky and thats because I really really enjoyed it out of the cask more. For $20 bucks a 6 pack kinda disappointing compared to last year but still damn good. Depending on what your tastes are, you might enjoy this 5 times more out of a cast... it literally blew my mind. If I were giving a cask review it would receive about a 4.8

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Photo of 1Adam12
4.09/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I haven't hardly reviewed a beer since the new "rate a beer" thing came out, but I felt the need on this one. Bypassing the normal etiquette of things here. This basically tastes like a hoppier version of gumballhead. Huge nose on it, however, the taste is very wheaty, grassy, with lots of hops, just like gumballhead. I'd be curious to taste them side by side some day. I realize this is classified as a DIPA, however, the wheat stands out, the hop finish stands out, and it reminds me totally of gumballhead. I will say this is very good, however I will also say this is severely overpriced and overrated.

Edit: Well that was very difficult to read. Now that I actually know what I'm talking about, ignore the previous review lol. Very sweet DIPA. Crazy hoppy. Not very bitter. Just a big overflow of hops, but in a good way. Awesome mouthfeel. Very full bodied and creamy. I've noticed it tends to be a bit boozier on tap than it is in the bottle, but it is still good both ways. Totally worth the price. Can't drink a whole bunch of it at one time due to how sweet it is, but 2 or 3 is all you need at a time anyway. Drink it as fresh as possble, and enjoy.

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Photo of BillyB
4.09/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am not a huge hop head but this beer really hit the spot for me.

Pours a nice hazy golden color with a thin, wispy white head.

I am overwhelmed by the aromas in this one. Piney, citrusy, grassy, fruity hops. A slight hint of maltiness in the background. So hoppy that it may be a bit unbalanced but it is a double ipa after all.

Again a slight hint of malt character but this is a bitter, sharp, bighting, carbonic hop attack on the taste buds.

Very drinkable, especially since I lean more toward maltier beers usually. I could easily have a few of these.

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Photo of mtstatebeer
4.09/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass. Pours a hazy golden amber color with a small off-white head that quickly disappears, pretty good lacing. Aroma is mainly hops; pine, resin, grapefruit, and a decent caramel malt backbone. Flavor is also mainly hops. I get grapefruit, resin, honey, and a touch of alcohol. Very strong bitter finish puts action to its name. Very good beer, warms pretty well also.

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Photo of bucko
4.09/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a light transparent orange color with a small white head that quickly diminished leaving fine lacing and a tiny head. Lots of suspended floaters in this one, even after a careful pour. The aroma is heavy with citrus, pine, punch and pineapple. Taste is more of the same with a huge hop/citrus punch. The bitterness is nice, but reasonable for a beer of this magnitude. Mouthfeel is nice... smooth, playful on the tongue. HopSlam is surprisingly drinkable for a beer this size. If it weren't for the alcohol, I could easily enjoy a few of these. Nice beer.

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Photo of Nesued
4.09/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - A clear amber/orange coloring with an ample head forming upon pour. Head retains for many minutes after the pour, with lacing begining to form as I watch (and smell) this offering. I fine carbonation feeds the head, allowing the robust head to continue for a fair bit.

Smell - Don't need to bring this to my nose to get a wiff of this bad boy. Lively grapefruit, bright citrus notes abound. If only this could be bottled and sold as ambrosia. What a lovely burst of pineapple and fruit aromas. So very inviting.

Taste - Resin and oily entry, coating the tongue with the expected presence of hops to the max. Suprisingly the ABV is exceedingly well hidden. I almost (almost!) taste some sweet malt backbone here. Perhaps I'm reaching, however there is a relief here from the hop onslaught.

Mouthfeel - Slick and coating, as you would expect from a hop-bomb. There is a density here with ample carbonation assisting.

Drinkability - The ABV is well-hidden here, giving the feeling that you could continue enjoying these one after another. Not sure, my taste buds are pretty much "nuked" after this and anything more mild would have a hard time being noticed.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.09/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Packaged on 1/11/2011 enjoyed on 2/12/2011, thanks to mixylplik3 for sharing this with me.
Pours a slightly cloudy deep golden amber color with a thinnish white head that dissipates too quickly. Smells of pine resin and citrus up front. Hints of sweet fruit, grass and honey lie deep underneath the resinous onslaught. Taste is sweeter than the aroma leads you to believe. There's a solid malt backbone here with a sweet honey taste that drives this brew. Pine, citrus and tropical fruits add to a spicy/herbal taste in the fairy sweet finish. Medium body and carbonation level, sweet less than syrupy mouthfeel. I've sampled a couple of IPA's tonight and this one is the sweetest. Very flavorful, very tasty, Matt should get me some more.

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Photo of engagechad
4.09/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I received this bottle as a single from a BA ramseye4 in person in Richmond, VA (Thanks! :) )

This beer pours beautifully with an easy to manipulate head. Golden color with hints of amber, only slightly cloudy and perfect carb.
In my opinion the smell on this beer is the MVP of the lineup. It was amazing.. So much so that I think I spent more time smelling the beer than drinking it. It smelled of fresh lemon zest and pine and as it warmed I got notes of warm brown sugar, like fresh cookies which was most likely a result of the honey used in the brewing.
The beer tasted very good, bitter but also smooth however the mouthfeel got a bit harsh nearing the end with the ethanol burn.

Hype is for the most part justified but for a DIPA I would prefer a Ruinition. I would recommend anyone that hasn't had it to seek it out for the nose alone, Bells nailed it.

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Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
99 out of 100 based on 3,269 ratings.