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Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

3,303 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,303
Hads: 11,947
Avg: 4.44
pDev: 18.02%
Wants: 2,584
Gots: 2,872 | FT: 59
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
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Reviews: 3,303 | Hads: 11,947
Photo of EveningCordial
4.09/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A very tasty IPA, but it's hasn't got the smoothness or hop profile to keep up with the other greats. If I put this up against Artaic, another honey IPA, the hop slam gets blown away. It's really good, just packs a bitter punch with a heavy malt profile, two things I personally don't look for in a great IPA. I would drink again though and as I mentioned, it is tasty.

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Photo of RedneckBeerz
4.09/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'd agree with a few other reviews that I have read off the top. This is a well balanced D/I IPA. Problem, every take on an American Double/Imperial IPA calls for a heavy Hop forward brew in smell, taste, and bitterness; none of which apply to this brew.
Tasty, Indeed. But much like Pliny the Elder (to me) it is to well balanced to be a world class D/I IPA.
Disagree ? I'd gladly trade you my 5 pack for two 4's of Gandhi Bot or a couple of 6's of Ithaca Flower Power.
To me this brew is way to balanced to be considered more than an excellent D/I IPA. Cheers

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Photo of becktone
4.09/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Admist studying for exams(I've got three tomorrow/today-its midnight) I find I needed some relief. What better way to sojourn in the calm before the storm than with a Double Ipa?

To my eyes this beer is fairly attractive. It pours with a orange color, and is pretty clear. The beer appears to be alive with carbonation. The head pours to a little less than one finger's width. It then receeds to just a thin skin on the surface of the beer. Lacing is great and makes up for head retention and formation. Head retention and formation really brought this one down for me.

To the nose this beer is very floral and it should be! Oh yes a nice and strong pleasing floral aroma, also a bit of spiciness and some citrus notes as well. There is also a strong malty sweet backbone to support the hop aromas. Alcohol is a bit hot in the nose.

An assult of hops on the palate, that's how I'd describe this one. First characteristic of this beer that hits you is its bitterness, after that a somewhat balanced malt and hop flavor comes through and is in turn followed by a very potent hop flavor-floral and herbal. Alcohol is noticeable, and extremely upfront. All in all flavor is good but the alcohol is, in my opinion, way to extreme. Would be much better in my opinion if it were hidden a bit more.

Higher levels of carbonation help this brew out as it is heavy on the alcohol. Alcohol is evident and warms as it goes down and it somewhat lingers after swallowed in conjunction with a hop aftertaste. This beer is definitely something to be sipped, its too extreme to just quaff one after the other. I really don't think that I could drink a six of this in one sitting, the alcohol is just to upfront. The brew itself is good, but the alcohol ruins it for me. It'll be a long while till I come back to this one. I'd really like to try more DIPAs before coming back.

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Photo of Phillyduke
4.09/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured into a Nonic Pint Glass. Beer is a hazy pale orange color with a thin one-finger head of off-white foam that quickly dissipates leaving a fine layer across the surface of the beer. Fine lacing clings to the side of the glass.

Smell: Strong nose of piney hops with floral and citrusy (grapefruit and orange) notes. A hint of mango peeks in here and there. I could smell this all day...

Taste: Hops, hops, and more hops. The malt body here is tough to find amid the pine and bittering hops, as is the honey this is supposedly brewed with. Surprisingly, the citrus and floral nose I detected isn't very apparent in the taste. If you search for them, you can find them, though. "Tongue-bruising" qualities diminish as beer warms. Finish is short with a bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, thin, crisp, lively and carbonated.

Drinkability/Overall Impression: I actually liked this beer a LOT better when I had it on tap. I really wished this tasted as good as it smelled. I do enjoy my hops, but I prefer more balance between the bitter and floral/citrus varietals. Although I do enjoy this offering, I'm not sure how many I could have in one sitting before the 10% ABV caught up with me. That being said, would I have it again? Absolutely. I look forward to picking it up next year and working it in with my other IPA/DIPAs.

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Photo of biegaman
4.09/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A cloudy, deep golden colour, Hopslam looks like honey. It has little carbonation and can appear almost sludgy depending on the angle. No head ever forms. The highlighting is dulled too, despite that it is light enough to allow moderate transparency.

Some IPAs simulate the effect of sniffing a baggie of hops; this IPA simulates standing dead center of a hop farm. You'd think you were submerged under an entire Pacific Northwest harvest. I don't like taking my nose out of the glass - I'll need a snorkel if I'm to drink this again. It is minty, herbal, and showcasing a lot of lime fruit.

The taste has pungency and a good amount of spice. That said, it is considerably less bitter than it let's on. The honey is surprisingly appreciable. Flavors of honeycomb and toffee are, believe it or not, more pronounced than the hops' contributions of leaf, lime, and pine. There's as much toasted caramel as there is grapefruit or flower petal.

The mouth feels privy to a lot of bark, rind, and resin - all goods features so far as IPAs are concerned. It is dry and to the uninitiated might feel like pine flavored sand paper as it runs over the palate. There's a dosage of alcohol esters noted as well, but they aren't entirely distracting. Still, it's not exactly what I'd call refreshing, all things considered.

As much as I have always enjoyed Bell's Hopslam, I can't help but say of it that it's the right size but the wrong shape. What I mean by that is that it has the right amount of bitter, tropical, herbal hoppiness but it all falls way to an overall toasty, sweet, and malty persona. Relative to similar stock in Bells lineup (and hype), it falls short of expectation.

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Photo of blindtiger24
4.09/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Golden orange with lacing. Faint and pine citrus on the nose with noticeable honey. Sticky sweet. Good malt flavor. Will want to try again with a fresher bottle. Think it was missing some of the intended hop punch.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.09/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

with all the hype around this I wanted it to floor me just like heady did, and just like the younger did, but it didn't. I mean, its a great beer don't get me wrong, but it didn't stand out to me as something worthy of the absurd praise its received. the pour is a nice hazy honey color with a creamy white head with fine retention, beautiful. the nose is oily hops, high alpha semisweet fruity hops, with some pollen character from the honey and a subtle but complimentary yeast strain. the flavor is boldly hoppy, both bitter as hell and oily sticky danky. its a beer with plenty of motion, moving from a fruity sort of vibe to a really gnarly bitter bomb. the sweetness of the honey is hard to pick out, and the alcohol is shockingly well hidden. you would never know this was 10% abv until you drank 3 or 4 of them and it walloped you! great mouthfeel with groovy carbonation and a fuller medium body. there is a great resinous feel left after the swallow. overall an outstanding imperial ipa, one of the better ones ive had honestly, but it just didn't blow my mind the way it has for others.

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Photo of bkilpatr
4.09/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. 02/21/08. Batch 8277

When I bought this, the guy at the store said this one is "very hoppy, very strong". The bottle lists it at 10% ABV, so he's right on at least one part.

Poured an orange-amber color, with about a finger and a half of head that quickly dissipated. Intense smell of hops, very fresh and smells crisp.

The taste is of even more hops. VERY hoppy beer, probably the hoppiest beer I've had. Store guy is 2/2 now. Light citrus taste, but overpowered by the hops. Low to medium carbonation, very bitter, and I can taste the alcohol. Drinkability is alright, but definitely not something I could drink more than one of.

I'm not usually one for overly hoppy beers, but for what it is, this one is pretty decent.

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Photo of KDawg
4.08/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured from bottle into a tulip. Pours a solid orange color with a nice and small head

Rich and aromatic with aromas of hops, pine resin, citrus aromas with some spice

Excellent feel with good flavors, but there is a slight bit of booziness on the end. Very good flavors of hops, pine resin, citrus and booze flavors on the back end

This is what I'd more expect from a hopslam. I had an "aged" one from tap a few months back and it was very boozy. this one is very fresh (12/29/11) and tastes like i would expect.

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Photo of Number45forever
4.08/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tasted side by side with Heady Topper...yeah, my life is hard.

Appearance is a deep golden orange, with a nice fluffy white head that disappears quickly enough. Left with some good visible carbonation and a nice lace of white head.

Smells, shockingly, like hops. Pine is right there. There is NO DOUBT what this beer is: a HUGE IPA. There's very little maltiness in the smell...you get hops, hops, and more hops. A slam of hops, if you will. (Do I detect a slight green onion kind of smell?)

Tastes incredible. This is what an IPA should be. Sharp, sharp hops. Much bigger bitter aftertaste than Heady Topper, it leaves you wanting more and more! There's not much in the way of sweet malty balance. For a 10% ABV IPA, I'd expect this to be much sweeter. Nope, it's a hop SLAM.

Mouthfeel is the best part of this beer. It has perfect carbonation and goes down easy. This is scary drinkable. Love it. It tastes amazing.

Overall, I love this beer. It's not as good as Heady Topper - it's more one or two note than the symphony of Heady. But this is a very good beer. I'd buy this all the time if it was available here in Vermont.


Note: I could not detect any honey whatsoever.

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Photo of thehbchemistry
4.08/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Lucky enough to get this brew in a trade!

A- Amazing. Pours beautifully into my tulip glass with little head. Appears to look amber/gold and delicious.

S- Smells sweet and citrusy. Definitely notes of honey.

T- Tastes of honey, spices, and a little bite. Super citrusy and great tasting for an abv of 10%.

M- Dangerously clean. Really faint alcohol in the background

D- This beer is a great imperial IPA. Super easy to drink and enjoy.

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Photo of AgentZero
4.08/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Hazy orangish/amber with a nice foamy head. Good retention and sticky lacing on the sides.

S - Tons of hops, citrusy, grassy, even a little earthy if you look real hard. Malt backbone, and a sweet smell comes from it. Alcohol cuts through, can really smell it.

T - Very nice, sweet pine/grapefruit/grassy hops with a subtle light malt backbone. Nicely bitter, but not overpoweringly so.

M - Creamy and medium bodied. Nice carbonation compliment.

D - Easy to drink, the high ABV is slightly noticable and will kick your ass if you try too many.

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Photo of Douglas14
4.08/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper color with a pretty nice slightly off-white head that has awesome retention and leaves great lacing. The aroma is fresh, pungent, American hops. The taste has its own hop blast but it is matched with a nice maltiness. It is one of the piney-est beers I have ever had and has considerable bitterness. It feels much lighter in the mouth than its relative strength. Its got a medium body and finishes smoothly. Awesome beer!

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Photo of mpcrump
4.08/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A: Good bright and clear amber color with a two finger head.

S: Good strong citrus hops smell. If there can be a 'light' smell this seems to have it. Strong but not lingering or overpowering.

T: Starts with honey and then moves on to grapefruit.

M: Carbonation was light to medium. The taste lingers on after you have stopped.

D: For 10% ABV I think this goes down very easy. Can be dangerous!

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Photo of Drazzamatazz
4.08/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Been finishing a six pack I picked up while in Florida for spring break, its interesting to see how quickly this beer has changed in the month I'd had them.
Bottle # 9502
Poured into Sam Adams Perfect Pint.

A - Light amber, comes through as clear in certain areas when held up to a light. Moderate head that resides quickly.

S - Pineapple, fresh pine, papaya, and many floral notes. A clear hint of honey in every whiff. Of course it lives up to its name, there's hops through-and-through.

T - This isn't what I'd imagined it taste like, but I might say it's better. There's a lot more balance going on here then I would have expected given it's moniker. Sure there's hops, but the honey lends a balancing sweetness. Plenty of lemongrass and grapefruit upfront, which slowly go to floral and then lastly honeycomb. No alcohol to note for a 10% alcohol beer.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. For the sweet taste it is still quite dry in the mouth.

D - This doesn't drink like a 10% alcohol beer. I had three one night, and while I certainly felt the affects I never noticed them.

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Photo of MadCat
4.08/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look: Pours a nice clear golden color with a good fluffy white head that leaves good lacing

Smell: Piney, resinous hops. In your face. Nothing you can do about it otherwise

Taste: Again, more piney, resinous hops, good bitterness, light malts that don't really bring any balance to the game

Feel: Medium body, good carbonation

Overall: Good, but entirely overwhelming. Needs a little more malt to bring some balance to all of the hops. Not worth the hype

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Photo of marksto
4.08/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium amber color, very cloudy and hazy. Small whitish head falls quickly. Aroma displays a honeyish sweetness followed by some hoppy, piney notes. Faint aromas of apricot and citrus are there too. I didn't find the aroma to be that big compared to other great DIPA's.

Flavor displays big malt and lots of hop flavor and bitterness. The honey does not come through here, it's in the nose but masked by the hop complexity in flavor. The usual american hop essences come through, pine and citrus.

I suspected this bottle might have a bit of age to it. Checking the Bell's website I see a feature allowing one to enter the batch number. How cool! This was brewed in January 08, so it's got a little under a year on it. Not as old as I thought it might be. This is certainly a good DIPA, but there are better ones out there. Try it if you get a chance.

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Photo of Pintofbrown
4.08/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had Hopslam in a shaker pint.

Appearance- A hard pour produces two fingers of off-white, dense foam. The lid is smooth and has a nice smattering of big, bursting bubbles. Retention is good, and sheet lace clings hardily to the side of the pint glass.

The same transparent, copper-orange body has a few tiny carbonation bubbles.

Smell- The nose does not seem quite as sweet as it did when I had it on-tap. I detect pear, pink grapefruit, lemon, and a musty herbalness.

Taste- Bitterness is barely present until the finish, when it finally decides to stick a little to the roof of the mouth. Hopslam has that same herbal mustiness to start, almost like a Columbus hop flavor.

This is followed by the citrus qualities, all grapefruit and lemon. The finish is a little grainy, has a touch of sweetness from the honey, and some hop oil keeping things bitter.

Mouth feel- The feel from the bottle offering is almost as good as it was on tap, a little more watered down and not quite so creamy. Otherwise, still solid and very easy to drink.

No booze here affecting the feel.

Overall- The bottle I reviewed is two weeks old, and maybe this is already starting to be past the prime of what Hopslam should be enjoyed at. The main difference is it is not quite as punchy with the sweetness from the malt, and it is a little less boozy.

It really makes the herbalness stand out more in the nose and on the palate. The bitterness is also working a little differently. Instead of starting to overwhelm the palate and then backing off, it just sits on the roof of the mouth in the finish.

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Photo of Tromba
4.08/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a rich gold, with just a hint of red. White head dissipates quickly and leaves a very thin layer remaining. No lacing.

S: Faint alcohol sweetness with a little bit of hops and roses.

T: An unexpected sweetness up front, followed by tons of hops. Some grapefruit notes, with a lingering bitter finish.

M: Medium body with moderate to light carbonation. A little syrupy, but characteristic for a double IPA.

D: Despite the very high ABV this double IPA is not too overbearing and pleasure to drink!

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Photo of JBHayden
4.08/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. Bottle into a snifter.

A- love the deep gold color with a one finger head that leaves a solid lace trail.

S- an uppercut of hops right away that turns into citrus. Honey is also detectable.

T- bitter bite from first sip that is balanced slightly with the malt. Citrus and alcohol both somewhat detectable.

M- medium carbonation makes this one smooth across the palate.

O- glad I bought the sixer. I will not be sharing.

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Photo of mjpolzin
4.08/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a really, really good beer and I and really like IPAs so I may tend to rate this style a little higher than most. One of my top beers on this site though is Central Waters Double IPA so I made sure to have a Hopslam and a CW DIPA back to back to make sure I could compare to the Hopslam to the "gold standard" (for me at least) of IPAs.

This beer had a nice amber look to it as I poured with some nice carbonation and a small white head.

I could smell the welcome scents of an IPA: hops, citrus and pine all came through.

It had a really good taste with the expected bitterness of an IPA followed up with grapefruit and other citrus fruits. The mouthfeel was very good but nothing special.

So I really liked this beer and my guess is that it's score will put it amongst my top 10 but when compared to Central Water's Double IPA, this will probably rank as my second favorite IPA.

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Photo of Treebs
4.08/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle served in a Founders snifter. Bottled 12/29/11.

A: Pours a clear amber color with a one inch, pure white head forming on the pour. The retention was very nice and drawn out. It subsided slowly to a thin film and thick collar that left some sudsy and soapy lace.

S: Very nice smells are wafting out of the glass. Notes of citrus and tropical fruits with a subtle pine and dankness as well. There is a slight bready malt and a touch of sweet honey on the backend.

T: The taste really follows the nose. Great citrus fruit notes, mostly grapefruit, come through with a slight bittering hop in the middle. There is a slight floral quality to it as well. The finish is rounded out with a sweet honey. The bready malts take a back seat to the hops in this one.

M: Light bodied, but surprisingly sticky in nature. The ABV is well hidden in this, very dangerous. The carbonation is great and it has a nice sweet finish that feels very clean and refreshing.

O: Very well balanced and the honey sweetness really adds a nice touch that rounds out the beer. It's a shame this comes out in the winter as I would love to drink this during the warmer months, but it certainly is a treat none the less.

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Photo of deapokid
4.08/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a nice, off-white foamy head. Glass is covered in beautiful lacing and the beer itself is a crisp golden color with moderate carbonation. Visually, it's pretty unique for a DIPA.

Aromatically, hop stink is the big deal here, with strong and citrusy hops standing at the forefront. Unfortunately, the honey mentioned on the bottle isn't evident in the scent, which would have acted as a nice balance.

Ooh, here comes that honey sweetness I was dying for. I really love how this beer bucks conventions and allows the hop flavor to take on a more subdued roll. It plays well alongside the honey and a slight maltiness shows up on the backend, adding body to the brew.

Being a subdued hop brew, the dry scratchy conclusion isn't on display, which is usually the draw, but wouldn't work well with that big honey flavor. It's a rather smooth brew with a fizzly carbonated conclusion that dances on the tastebuds.

As for drinkability, I seriously don't believe that this is 10% alcohol. If so, this stuff is positively dangerous. It's not heavy whatsoever and the addition of honey totally levels out any hop bitterness that would hint at the profound booziness.

This is definitely a big league effort from Bell's and will please the hop head seeking originality over brute force.

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Photo of Suds_Suds
4.08/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had the chance to try it both on bottle and on tap at Bells on the same day. It's markedly better fresh on tap, the nose has distinct citrus & tropical notes. Some of that nose was lost in the bottle and the malt sweetness and the bitterness dominated. Still, a good beer nonetheless. Felt like the 2014 batch was better though.

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Photo of hops202
4.08/5  rDev -8.1%

Poured into Dogfish spiegelau glass.

First look is a light amber color with some haze. Smells very inviting with with floral honey and a citrus mix - I am going to say clementine and tangelo. Taste is very sweet - very prevalent organic raw honey. Still very tasty. Apparently this years release is not up to par when compared to previous years but I still think it is a great beer!

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Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
98 out of 100 based on 3,303 ratings.