Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

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Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

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3,257 Reviews

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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 DrewShal9
4.07/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks InebriatedJoker!
A: honey body with a fluffy and quickly dissappating white head that leaves a beautiful lace along the sides of the glass
S: piney hops and sweet honey nectar
T: piney, earthy, and a hint of citrus with a counteracting balance of honey to keep the bitterness in check
M: medium bodied but slightly syrupy and bubbles that seem to disappear
O: not a bad beer and I would definitely drink this again if readily available to me. Try this as fresh as possible as this has more explosive flavor and aromas (524 characters)

Photo of Lucho
4.07/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into my new belgium tulip.

Appearance: pours a nice thick yellow/copper with a one inch medium bodied beautiful white head that settles to a nice ring that remains.

Smell: Resinous hops, a little cat urine, rubbing alcohol with some citrus fruits, grapfruit, and orange peel.

taste: Sticky/sweet bitter citrus notes, almost like biting into an orange with the rind still on. finishes with hops and then falls off clean, and leaving you begging for another bite/sip. This is yummy! It hides its ABV of 10% very well.

Mouthfeel: well bodied for the style which sits on the tongue and leaves the mouth dry, which is to be expected, but still tingling from the flavors.

Overall: I must try but not my favorite for the style. lacking on a few points IMO. (763 characters)

Photo of ZPB
4.07/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Shared bottle (thanks George). Per notes...

Poured into tall glass with very little foam, no lingering affects. Color is light copper, golden hue.

Scent is grapefruit, grapefruit, grapefruit. I don't find much else.

Taste is very sweet. The first sip is like grapefruit juice without the sour taste on the tongue. Very unexpected. Had not had this before and was expecting a bit more pronounced bittering hops flavor. This was all sweet and grapefruit. Later tastes were a bit less pronounced, but sweet.

Finished clean with later tastes drying out.

Overall I was more surprised than impressed. Not what I was expecting from a beer so highly raved about. I was glad that I got to taste it, but would not buy again unless I wanted a VERY sweet beer with a one-dimensional flavors. (788 characters)

Photo of Joshuamcsee
4.07/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I don't get it...First year I've tried this phenom. Its a good beer, don't get me wrong, but for the hype I've heard, a real disappointment. solid offering from a top notch brewer, but not an event beer. Talked with several others tonight trying the same tap and got exactly the same response; "Its good, but not as good as last years".

I cant speak to that, but I can say Lagunitas Sucks was my second round.
Good beer, but nothing to write home about. Had some nice citrus flavors up front but got killed by what seemed like an off-the-chart IBU. Just seemed off balance. Like it couldnt decide what to be; a fruity double or straight hop bomb. The middling knocked it from its perch (687 characters)

Photo of rand
4.07/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

From 12 oz bottle poured into nonic tulip glass

A: Orange-apricot in color, forms a nice, frothy 2-inch head that leaves patchy lacing around the glass. Brew isn't as opaque as I'd guess.

S: Citrusy hop oil meets lots of honey-sweet notes and booze. Essence of grapefruit all over the place.

T: Flavors really arc as they pass over your palate. Citrusy and somewhat refreshing at first. Strong, sticky honey-malts roll through as the hop notes turn oily and bitter. Lots of booze. Grapefruit rind lingers throughout the sip and beyond, along with warming alcohol. Finishes long and bitter-sweet.

M: Really chewy and viscous, almost syrupy. Carbonation is there but it's almost overwhelmed by the gunky consistency.

Definitely accomplishes what it sets out to do - pound your palate with hops, and hop essence. It's not as refreshing as its West Coast brethren but I like the unique take on the style. (906 characters)

Photo of mcgwire756
4.07/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Frest 1/11/11 bottle pored into a tulip.

Pours an prange copper color with a small head that disappears quickly. Great smell with pine and citrus. Great taste with a definite honey taste and the bitter follow up at the end. A little more bitter than I would like but at 10% it complemented very nicely. This beer is not as smooth to the palate as some others, but at 10% it is still perfectly fine. I could drink this beer very quickly, but more than 2 and you will be out for the count. This beer does live up to the hype it gets, and will deliver the hops in the backend after the sweetness just like it says. (612 characters)

Photo of claminat420
4.07/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- poured a golden honey color with a foamy white head. little lacing.

S- just smell the citrus hops. really nice.

T- hoppy with the honey helping the malt give it more of a sweeter side but blended really well. alcohol is faint but detected.

M- medium light bodied. nice carbonation. the slightest oily feel to it.

D- could drink a couple of these untill the alcohol catches up.

Overall- a really good brew. for the hop fans i totally recommend it but the price hurts. to me it doesn't touch founder's double trouble but that's just me. (544 characters)

Photo of BullyBrewing
4.07/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: A nice true Orange with a mild/moderate head.

S: Citrus up front first and foremost! Floral a close second. I was hoping to get a hint of honey in the aroma, but alas the hops drown it out imo.

T: Suprisingly balanced for what it is. Everything plays very well together to create a great blended flavor profile. Hops truely hide the high abv, and the hops are rounded out nicely by the honey. I really expected to be overpowered by the hops but this is a very drinkable beer.

O: Here is where I differ from the masses. Maybe I was to hyped up about this beer, but it just did not knock my socks off like everyone said it would. Was it tastey... yes, was it the greatest beer ever like everyone led me to think... no. Very well crafted beer overall. If you can get your hands on one try it, but do not let the hype get to your head! (840 characters)

Photo of dolphlungdren
4.07/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured into a tulipish glass

a: ruby-gold color, little bit of head that dissipates quickly leaving no lace.

s: the aroma is wonderful. fruit and alcohol are the two strongs scents coming from this beer, hint of flowery goodness.

t: the taste of the beer is reminiscent of its name, hoppy. it's not as hoppy as one might expect, but will not be for one with a weakish stomache for hops... lingering after-taste. this beer is up in your grill with flavor.

m: it tastes thin in the mouth with a little much in regards to carbonation.

d: one could have about three of these before needing to stop drinking or select another beverage. it won't fill you up to much, but i just imagine that you would grow tired of its bold taste. might come off a as a little abrasive.

ambience: college football, evening, early november. it works for one, but am going to have to switch to a little something else for a while. might revisit.

overall: it's a recommended 6 pack to try, although it's a little pricey (or at least was where I found it). I'd probably by another six of it if in the mood for some fairly strong beer. (1,117 characters)

Photo of stewart124
4.07/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Even with a slow pour this one has some considerable head. A white head sits atop this fairly blonde Double Imperial Pale Ale with very slight amber notes. The head doesn't last long but it leaves nice traces along the sides of the glass

Strong smells of sweet pineapple, grapefruit, and potent evergreen spices.

Very strong bitterness with a tart bite that finishes bone dry. Long lasting hoppiness but that is to be expected from something with the name of Hopslam.

Slight warming feeling from the high alcohol but I'm sure it is hard to hide the alcohol in this DIPA.

Nice mellow sweetness in this beer but the hops don't seem to balance with the malts. These strong pacific northwest hops really blast the taste buds! It is a delicious blend of hops and adds quite a hop character throughout the beer. I'd like to see it a bit maltier. I'd also like. Still a solid DIPA from Bell's. (892 characters)

Photo of Murrhey
4.07/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a standard 12oz bottle into a pint glass in my apartment in high elevation Libby, Mont. Received from my beer-buddy Kojevergas. Reviewed live. Expectations are high, but reserved.

A- Half-finger white head with a surprising amount of retention for the high ABV. Soapy, wet lacing slides down the glass. Dusky amber color with medium-high clarity. Light carbonation.

S- Grapefruit and citrusy hops battles with sweet honey tones for the strongest smell in the beer. The aroma is not sharp or overpowering, but subtle and enticing. Some pepper, pine, and tropical fruits are present in small amounts. Hides alcohol extremely well. Could be perfect if the hops were just a tad more pronounced, but very nice nonetheless.

T- Alcohol definitely is more present than in the bouquet. Citrusy and piney hops, with relatively thick hop oil. Honey is present in small amounts. Highly drinkable, but not world-endingly good. Balanced quite well between sweet and bitter.

M- Semi-oily, balances well on the tongue and finishes wet and slightly alcoholic.

O- Complex flavor and smell which hides the alcohol content, very nice feel. Appearance is just a shade south of great, but by no means poor. Do try this beer. Not as hoppy as other DIPAs, but the honey may play a role in that. (1,290 characters)

Photo of Onenote81
4.07/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at City Bev in town. Poured into a Chimay goblet. Great bright orange color with a large frothy white head on top. Great retention; left lots of sticky lace globs. Scents of sweet candy, orange and lemon zest, pine, booze, etc. This smells as good as ever!

The body is a little thin still. I noticed this with the bottles as well. Crisp carbonation there, but could stand a bit more body maybe? Bitter citrus right off the bat, but melts to a warm honey sweetness. Alcohol is known, but it warms and soothes for sure. Great beer. Loved it both ways. (566 characters)

Photo of GregA135
4.07/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

When I first sipped this beer, I thought "What's the big deal about this beer?" It could of been my palate from drinking other beers, but when I took another sip and let it sit in mouth for a bit... thats when I really tasted the beer.

Smelled of honey, grapefruit, and orange

Hops really came out after letting it sit for a little bit on my tongue

Definitely give this one a try! (384 characters)

Photo of kickapoodude
4.07/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer is kind of like The Matrix: I had heard so much about it's awesomeness before I acctaully experienced it, that my expectations were really high, and when I finally saw the movie/drank the brew, I was like hell yes...but not blown away as I thought I would be.

I only wish I had stumlbed over it randomly and tried it, then my pants would be filled with happiness and joy. I should note that this review is written during my third bottle of this 10 % brew.

Very citrusy and boozy, not tatsing the honey. High abv, very tasty. I recommend that you spring this on your craft swillin' friends who have not heard of it. And watch the joy in thier eyes. If they don't dig it. Bitch slap thier ass!

Makes my tummy warm. (726 characters)

Photo of jhimstedt
4.07/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

thanks to LukeM23 for sharing

A - nice pale gold with nice white fluffy head with pretty decent retention.

S - huge citrus hops, little pine and earth hiding behind, stone fruit and hints of chardonnay

T - big citrus hops, little spice, the honey was rather slight until it warmed. could have been more bitter but nice lingering full hop flavor. alcohol was very well hidden

M - too thick for me. wasn't cloying with residual sugar but could have been a little thinner and drier for me.

D - if it was thinner i could drink way too many of these. could still drink quite a few if super cold.

Highly recommend at least giving it a shot. (640 characters)

Photo of BedetheVenerable
4.07/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Presentation: 12oz brown pop-top with awesome label and cap. Bottled 1/9/2013, so I'm having this at just under 4 weeks of age. Poured into my Founders snifter to celebrate being offered a job. Thanks to Russ G. for gifting me this bottle. Cheers!

Appearance: Honeyed orange-amber brew, capped with a rich ivory crown. Lots of super-fine sediment in suspension. Overall, very attractive DIPA.

Smell: Vibrant, incredibly juicy hops. Massive ruby red grapefruit and sweet citrus/tropical fruit (maybe mango?) along with dank herbal notes. By the time I'm halfway through the glass, I get a ghostly hint of pale malt. Not crazy-complex, but this has a sweet, fruity hoppy intensity I haven't seen in too many other DIPAs. Not really the pine I (for some reason) was expecting, but the nice herbal notes keep this from being one-dimensional.

Taste: Booze and a strong, firm, but not harsh, hop bitterness lead here, with hop flavor showing less intensity than the aromas. There are, however, nice notes of peach, herbs (stronger than the fruit), and citrus rind. You certainly feel the 10%, but it's not quite hot, if that makes sense. While I would like more intensity in terms of hop flavor, this is integrated fairly well.

Mouthfeel: Medium feel, maybe leaning towards full. Smooth.

Overall: I remember when I first had this, 3-4 years ago, I was absolutely blown away. Then I had it a couple more times, both on-tap and in the bottle, and I thought it was good, maybe even great, but not as incredible as I'd once thought. With a (hopefully) more nuanced palate, I wanted to give it a try again this year. Let's break this down. The aromas are world-class; this brew smells absolutely fantastic. The flavors are, in comparison with the aroma, a bit of a let-down. However, this is a very nicely balanced DIPA. For some people, that seems to be a bad thing, which I don't understand. Don't get me wrong, I love me some Green Flash Palate Wrecker, but it's not very often I crave something like that. This is an all-around great DIPA. Is it world-class in the way that Pliny the Elder is? Perhaps not. But it's damn good nonetheless. Is it worth $17 bucks a sixer? Maybe if you have the coin. I kinda wish they'd throw this in 4-pks and charge $10-11, and I'd probably pick one up every season. In the end, the price (and the madness around trying to land a sixer, even when there's plenty in your area) has to drop this a bit.

90% = A- (2,444 characters)

Photo of AdamBear
4.07/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-dark amber, good amount of white head

S-Oh my so hoppy and so citrusy! This smell just makes me smile!

T-hits with a very large creaminess complimented with the citrus and hops. It then follows with an extreme bitterness. Its just not a good balance in my opinion.

M-extremely creamy with a medium carbonation, almost too creamy though with a matching finish.

D-I had to drink this slowly but hey the taste stays and is enjoyable all the way through (455 characters)

Photo of drpimento
4.07/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Incredibly aromatic! Could smell it while being poured from the bottle into my mug. Poured with a nice head and some lace that lasted throughout the mug. Slightly hazy amber. Predominant grapefruit with a bit of pine in the nose and flavor. Body is decent. Looong hoppy finish that later turns a bit sweet or turns on the saliva glands. Very good beer! Little much in the grapefruit department for me. Still.... (411 characters)

Photo of Joeynocturnum
4.07/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I would have to say this did not live up to the hype. In the last week I have sampled Pliny and Blind Pig on draft and have finished about 6 Nugget Nectars, and I feel that Slam has fallen well short of all three.

a= Average appearance, slightly cloudy with some good lacing.
s= A mild aroma of hops overtaken by the smell of both honey and alcohol.
t= I stuggled to find the Hops through the 10% ABV and the honey. It was good, but lacked the great taste of hops that I anticipated.
m= Nothing really stood out in. Lacked some of the dryness that I have come to appreciate from great IPA.'s
d= Was drinkable, don't think it could be a session beer for me, like I thought of the Pig and the Nugget.

(All in all, I was extremely disappointed. It is the first Bell's offering that I've sampled that has let me down. I will give it another try and hope that maybe I was just having an off day. In the mean time I am getting another case of Nugget.) Maybe my pallate has changed over the last year or I am becoming more of a hophead but I went back and edited my scores. The Hopslam I had in 2010 taste much better than the 2009 that I had last year. (1,152 characters)

Photo of jamie2dope
4.07/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bell's Hopslam, I saved this beer for the end of the night so as to savor my taste buds for the hop slamming they are about to receive. Pours a somewhat hazy orange, with not too much heading, but a good enough white lacing. Smell is everything that you would want from a good Imperial IPA: resiny hops, citrus fruits, earthy hops...its got it all. I have to say that taste wasn't quite as good. The citrus notes came through well, with lots of pineapple, mango and orange along withe the hops, but I don't know, it felt as if something essential was missing....perhaps a bit more malt balance? Mouthfeel is viscous and sweet, yet bitter. One is more than enough for me in one night, but still, I am glad I had the chance to try this brew from Bell's. Maybe not the best DIPA I have had, but certainly ranks among the better ones I have tasted recently. Cheers (860 characters)

Photo of beertunes
4.07/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to nomasnomore for sharing this bottle with me. Bottled on 2/2/12. Poured into Tulip. Poured a nice golden honey color with just a thin cap of white head that had minimal retention and lacing.

The aroma had a nice blast of piney hops upfront, and a bit of malty sweetness noticeably supporting it. The hops were also at the forefront on the tongue, very tart and well defined pine, with some citrus in the background.

The body was nicely full and smooth, and was fairly well balanced across the tongue. Drinkability was very good, this is a rare ImpIPA I'd drink a few of at a time. Overall, one of the rare beers that actually lives up to it's hype. For me, this is a much better beer than the even more hyped PtE. Worth seeking out. (743 characters)

Photo of headhopper
4.07/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Golden/copper color. Pours a finger width head, that slowly mellows to a small ring. Some lacing , but not much.

S - HOPS and Grapefruit. It is dominated by hoppy grapefruit smell ,and some pepper and pine is in the background.

T - Nowhere near as bitter as I was expecting. It is very balanced. Starts off witha nice citrusy flavor and then your mouth is bombarded with grapefruit and bitterness. Compared to the Stoudts DIPA, and even Celebration Ale this didnt seem as bitter, but much more balanced.

M - creamy and somwhat rough on the toungue. At the same time it is thin and not cloying.

D - very easy goin...this is a DIPA???? I could easily drink a few of these...if it wasnt for the abv that is. For being a DIPA and 9.3% abv, this drinks extremley smooth.

I was expecting a super complex hopbomb, but instead got a very smooth and balanced DIPA, which can be hard to find. Reminded me of 2 Hearted Ale on steriods. I was expecting a little more, but still very tasty and worth the hype. Bells is known for making smooth, balanced brews , and this is a great example of what they are capable of.

when i look back now , my taste buds might have been jaded from so many dipas ha, this is pretty bitter, but I still stand by my comments when I say its very balanced (1,282 characters)

Photo of gpcollen1
4.07/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one comes courtesy of Grandcrudrew...

Decided to pour this one into my Sam Adams glass. This one has that wonderful aroma of light and sweet grapefruit captured for sure with just a light and hot streak of alcohol running through it.

This one hits that mouth with but an instant of light sweetness and heads right down the path to hoppiness. A quick twang that expands very quickly and slowly thins out to but a dry bitterness - into cottonmouth for sure. A bit of alcohol shines through here and there that makes this one a bit hot to an extent - but highly drinkable for the ABV with a light-moderate body.

This one is nice but not a must have. (655 characters)

Photo of Profchaos20
4.07/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed 3/8/13, bottled 1/23/13 12 oz bottle in a DFH IPA glass.

A - Pours a slightly cloudy gold with a 1-2 finger fluffy off white head.

S - Dank hops standout the most to me but also plenty of citrus in there too. Notes of grapefruit, mango, and pine also.

T - Very smooth. Fruity, citrus, sweet malts upfront. Not very bitter, finishes dry.

M - Medium body, medium carbonation. Quite smooth for the ABV

O - Tasty beer that doesn't quite live up to the hype for me. If it was easy to get I would buy it regularly. Overall not worth the trouble that you have to go through to get it for me. (598 characters)

Photo of dasenebler
4.07/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This 12ozer was bottled about a month and a half ago (batch 9470), so it's fresh, though not super-fresh.

Poured into a snifter. Appealing deep honey color with a massive white head. Impressive retention for a high-abv brew, very good lacing.

Aroma is brilliant and vibrant, full of citrus hops and apricot. Nice.

Flavor was pretty hot and hoppy. Sort of sweet and not incredibly bitter. Hop flavor seemed kind of nondescriptly tangy and incomplete. Mouthfeel was oily from the hops and creamy from the ample carbonation.

I feel like this beer gets a lot of its reputation from its warming character. The kick-- likely a result of the honey added during brewing-- is nice and smooth, but it doesn't do much for the flavors of this beer. Good stuff, if over-hyped. Didn't really slam me. (792 characters)

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