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Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

3,296 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 3,296
Hads: 11,911
Avg: 4.44
pDev: 18.02%
Wants: 2,581
Gots: 2,844 | FT: 57
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: 3,296 | Hads: 11,911
Photo of JEdmund
4.05/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Golden orange, 1/4" head, good amount of carbonation bubbles, clear

Pineapple! And then some orange juice, followed by something sharp--most likely a pine-like hop. It's hops through and through, but not quite as big and overpowering as I had anticipated.

Taste & Mouthfeel
Hops and more hops, with the same flavors present as in the smell (no surprises). Surprisingly, the body is a bit thin, more like an IPA than a DIPA. I expected more of a luscious, creamy mouthfeel; however, the lightness of it makes it that much more drinkable, although the 10% ABV does not. Aftertaste is of apricots, and there's a dash of malt sweetness peeking its head around all the hops. Very tasty. The alcohol was hidden until the last two sips--then I felt just a bit of heat. Just looked at the label and it say's "Ale brewed with honey" which I didn't know until now. That may explain the bit of sweetness I detected.

Hopslam is extremely tasty, but it didn't quite live up to the hype or my expectations (considering how flavorful their IPA is). It seemed like a huge IPA but a small DIPA. This brew has been sitting in the bottle for a few months now and people on this site have been remarking that it's toning down a bit already. So, to be fair, I guess I really need to try this the week it hits the shelves.

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Photo of dnichols
4.32/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to abankovich for a great trade. I poured a capped 12 ounce bottle into a tulip.

A: It poured a light orange colored body with a slight half finger white head that didn't linger long but left a spotty lacing on the side of the glass.

S: It had a dominant aroma of floral hops including pine and citrus (grapefruit and pineapples). There were other ripe white fruits present (white grapes, pears) and some recessive malty aromas.

T: I love a glass of thick, tart and tangy fresh squeezed grapefruit juice for breakfast. This brew reminded me of grapefruit juice. It was tart and tangy without loosing its thick malt base. Well balanced and complex with hints of sweet citruses including oranges and tangerines. The alcohol is very well hidden until it provides a warm clean finish to a high powered brew.

M: It was medium-bodied, creamy and smooth with a warm and clean finish. Nice complexity and wonderful balance.

D: I am not a huge IPA fan but this beer is a great Imperial IPA. I could easily have two or three before returning to styles I prefer taking later into the night.

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Photo of ckeegan04
4.64/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle pured into mug.

A - Tawny dark golden color. One finger head after rather agressive pour, fades quickly. Good lacing.

S - Very piney at first. As it warms it picked up a sweeter smell that I cant quite place. Smells like a candy I had as a kid, but cant remember what. Again, very piney.

T - Pine bitterness but a nice sweet balance to it as well. From the honey? Very even taste given the ridculous IBU's. Great taste.

M/D - Nice feel from the carbonation. One of the best tasting DIPA's I have had. Masks the 10% very well so watch out. Could definitley drink this one all night.

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Photo of Bubba83
4.53/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle served at 45 degrees into a pint glass.

Excellent color, a dark chill hazed orange with bright orange highlights that runs a gradient to yellow towards the sides. 2 finger widths of head reside on top and seems pillowy in character. Nice spiderwebbed lacing from the rim of head that remains until the last drop.

Smells great, don't pick up much alcohol in the nose, but I pick up beautiful pine and spruce with a smidge of honey, and perhaps some clove as well.

Initially I taste some caramel sweetness which quickly turns into some tart citrus followed by copious amounts of pine. The honey plays nice with the rest of the components and seems there to kind of put everything together. I was worried when I saw it was brewed with honey at first, but the honey is utilized perfectly in the overall flavor profile.

Feels nice in the mouth too. The head is as creamy as it looks, but the beer retains a nice carbonation level as small bubbles run to the top the whole way through. A little prickly at first on the tongue that fades into a nice slick feel and ends wet, not dry.

How can this stuff seriously have 10% ABV? I did not taste the alcohol at all, not even on the swallow. Maybe it's the honey and pine that helps it go down so easy. There is some warming that is just impossible to mask with these higher ABV beers but that's about it...

My first Bell's offering and I am VERY pleased with it. Thanks go to Kegatron for the bottle.

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Photo of jred98rt
4.64/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Honestly, this is my favorite beer. I was introduced to it early in my beer drinking career and still love it.

A: poured into a 0.4l pilsner glass. Head depends on the pour, aggressive pour results in a beautiful head, normal pour results in a minimal head, common to my experience with other IPAs. Rich golden color. Nice and clear if you can avoid getting the yeast in the glass.

S: To me, this beer smells happy. One whiff and all of the trials of a long day disappear and I relax into a semi-solid blob. I'd pay a lot for an air-freshener with this smell.

T: The happy doesn't end with the smell. Beautiful flavor of hops, balanced with a sweetish finish. I've found no other IPA to have this flavor, which is depressing since it is such a limited release. The bottle says "brewed with honey," so I'm guessing that's the secret.

M: Very full mouthfeel. A bit bruising if you aren't used to the hops.

D: Exceptional for a double IPA. Not something you can slam, but with this quality, you want it to last.

I've had early release bottles, post release bottles (the liquor store stockpiles it) and tap, all are exceptional.

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Photo of ChrisBakken
4.57/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of the best beers i have had with the amount of hops. Bell's did a good job! Many of my friends felt the abv was a little strong but i did not notice. I felt Bell's has a very unike flavor and complexity. For people who would like to try a highly hopped ale, this is a good one!

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Photo of Godot
3.98/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a fairly hard pour I got about a 2 inch head which dropped a little but doesn't really seem to be going anywhere. It is a gorgeous copper gold color, rich and beautiful. The smell is floral hoppiness, clean and fresh with a slight sticky sweet character. The flavor is sharp citrusy hoppiness up front, a sweetness develops, then drops right into a lingering hop biting bitterness. This is far from a balanced beer, more like unadulterated hopjuice, but with a name like Hopslam that is obviously what they were going for. The mouthfeel is average, and drinkability is good for a 10% tastebud peeler. The honey added does a little to mellow it out. If you are a hophead this beer is great. I wouldn't call it complex, but it is what it is and I like that.

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Photo of jenbys2001
4.75/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Attractive amber color in the glass with a tiny bit of cream as the head. Earthy, pungent - but not overpowering scent. It reminded me of freshly moved glass. However, there was a distinct fruitiness to this brew. As I continued drinking it, I noticed it smelled exactly like a grapefruit. My husband remarked that it smelled like floral perfume. Super hoppy taste, which I expected, however it lacks that signature bite of many IPAs, making it quite drinkable. The finish is very clean and pleasantly bitter. I found this beer to be quite balanced and delicious.

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Photo of toolbrew
3.97/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured with a thick white head. Nice orange color.

Fruity smell - citrus, pine - sweet.

Tastes about the same as it smells. Not as bitter as expected. The ABV is hidden very well. Good malty character behind the hops.

Great mouthfeel. Goes down easy.

I could and have had lots of these in one sitting. I certainly get my hop fix with this brew. Wish it were around all year.

I think the hops have mellowed out a little as it's March/April, and it was brewed back in January.

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Photo of RedBaron
4.67/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Thanks to BA Marcobrau for the sample)

What can you say about this beer? It is what it is: a hop bomb in a bottle! Humulus Lupulus lovers unite!

Appearance: Fading California sunset orange; wonderful head retention. Good-lookin' beer.
Smell: Wonderful resiny, piney and floral hop aromatics dance in the nose. Good lord does that smell excellent!
Taste: Bittering hops play up front, a nice dose of honey and grapefruit have their turn in the middle, and, yes, an actual malty sweetness hits the back of the throat before yielding to a wonderfully dry finish.
Mouthfeel: Ya know, for a beer seemingly all about the hops, I think the use of honey in this brew, giving an added sweetness to balance the acidity and dryness of the hops, works brilliantly. It claims to be 10%abv, and I'm sure it is, but it does sneak up on you. Very attenuated beer.
Drinkability: High! I'm not sure if this is a fresh sample, but you could've fooled me if not. I'd love to drink this off tap sometime, too. Wonderful beer. Seek it out.

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Photo of Redwood21
4.93/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

ok this beer is best fresh (imo) but i have now gone through a whole case (slowly) and feel apt to both review from past to now.

A: for a 10% beer it holds the head wonderfully and its so sticky. its perfectly white and looks like little snow caps on top of the beer. the color itself is a hazy brown with a hint of rust red

S: floral, wonderful, amazing, best aroma ever... what else could i say. you crack a fresh one and whiff the aroma and you might cry i almost did. as it ages it tapers a bit but this is still the first beer that start to finish i have been able to enjoy the hop aroma even when the glass is empty

T: this is sex in liquid form its smooth clean, yet a little rough and sweet. to be more specific it has a wonderfully herbal think floral for the mouth, with a touch of piney citrusness, only a touch. the hops are so powerful yet completely under control. i often feel dipa's are too tame, or way too rough. this IS the dipa for me.

have i oversold this beer? maybe, but when i look back on this review, ill rem how i felt and when available go buy a case...

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Photo of mgobrew
4.67/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into an imperial pint.

A: Pours solidly and creamy white fluffy foam rises to just short of two fingers that hang around for quite a while. Clear amber dark tan but more reddish than brown. This is a very nice beer to look at.

S: Sweet juicy ripe red grapefruit! Very sweet and powerful like cutting open a fresh ripe fruit.

T: Sweet citrus is upfront and delicious. Definite grapefruit as the sweetness is replaced by the bitter hop bite. The bitterness is overpowering in a good way.

M: Thick and viscous, coats the mouth with a hop napalm that makes you want to chew as you drink.
Carbonation is minimal as the syrupy goodness sticks to my mouth.

D: Amazingly smooth and easy to drink but the warming bitter finish slows the process. Sipping this is pure pleasure. I would say this is definitely one of the best beers of the year so far for me.

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Photo of KBC1
4.92/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Golden/amber color with nice head that sticks around.

Smell: Awesome...strong citrus smell

Taste: Still one of my favorites. This year some of the IPAs and DIPAs I have tasted I feel the breweries dialed back some of the hops due to cost, but not this beer. Great citrus hop flavor, aroma, and bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Nice and smooth and perfect carbonation for style.

Drinkablity: DANGEROUS! Very drinkable. I could drink lots of this, but would pay dearly for it. You would never guess the ABV until it hits you.

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Photo of DavidEddie
4.3/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 8277
Courtesy of drunkmonk. Thanks Joel for my Bell's fix.

Appearance - Golden amber. White head with tons of sticky lacing.

Smell - Fresh ruby red grapefruit, pine, and carmel.

Taste - As it smells, but stronger. Bold grapefruit balanced perfectly with a solid malt backbone. ABV hidden extremely well.

Mouth feel - Creamy and medium. Well carbonated.

Drinkability - Fantastic! Smooth and balanced. Another great one from Bell's!

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Photo of younger35
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received this beauty from both TheodorHertzle and Brent56K. I love Bells and have been excited to try this beauty. Drank from my Stone India Pale Ale tulip.

Appearance- Pours a bright orangeish/yellowish/red with a decent half finger bright white foamy head. The head recedes fairly slowly leaving a swirled cap and thin bubbly collar with a medium to small amount of lacing.
Smell- Deliciously fruity with loads of pineapple, peaches and apricots. A bit of a bready, raw malt underneath but it's covered very well by the abundance of hops. Very fresh and summery, it reminds me a lot of Hop 15.
Taste- Mmmm... Bitter but not excruciating like I was expecting after the nose. Loads of fruit including more of the pineapple and some juicy mango. A bit of dry goodness does cut into the bitterness a bit more. The alcohol is there but barely noticeable and it finishes with lingering fruity bitterness.
Mouthfeel- Medium body with very light aggressive carbonation and a slightly dry, crisp finish.
Drinkability- This is the best beer I've had since I've moved back to Chicago. It's a semi hop bomb, semi a fruity delight! The honey adds a nice touch of dryness in the finish that you really don't expect and it's an all around terrifically done beer. Now I understand all the scramble to snag as much of this stuff as possible! Big thanks again to Matt and Brent!!

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Photo of JDV
4.26/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of jsquire. Thanks for the awesome bonus!!
Pours a gorgeous cloudy glowing thick orange with an offwhite head that stuck around for a bit. Bottle is a year old at least, so not sure how much hops have faded, but the smell is more caramelly and of orange with lighter hop backing in the nose, but still nice. Sweet hopped flavor, and the bitterness is somewhat restrained. The flavor is fruity, orange, caramel and a touch of alcohol, and the body is rich and thick, but with prickly carbonation, making for an outstanding mouthfeel. Extremely drinkable DIPA, and one I look forward to trying fresh. Great beer!

Rerate of fresh bottle. Much more vibrant hop character, obviously, along with big fruity bittersweet apricot and floral flavors. Still very drinkable, and brimming with flavor. One of my favorites.

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Photo of ScottUCF84
4.34/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Underground Bluz! (pint glass)

A- Slightly cloudy golden honey. Decent off-white head, lots of lacing.

S- Heh... HOPS, a pinch of citrus and honey. Fellow BA osi helped point out some pine.

T- Explosive, bitter-sweet hops, honey, and some of the pine. Very delicious. You can't really detect the alcohol, which could be bad if you start sucking these down.

M- Pretty crisp, medium to light body. Medium carbonation.

D- Very drinkable, goes down easy. Can be dangerous with its ABV.

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Photo of Spidey13
3.95/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Hopslam pours a hazy, light, amber honey color with a small head that leaves a bit of lacing on the side of the snifter. The smell is very strong, mainly consisting of bright, citrussy hopes. Mostly grapefruit aromas with an underlying bit of honey. The taste starts with a very, very brief bit of sweetness followed a powerful punch of hop bitterness that knocks your socks off but slowly fades away to a soft bitter aftertaste. As the beer warms, the bitterness calms down, the alcohol starts to show up, and the flavors smooth out a bit. The mouthfeel is nice and medium-bodied. This is a tasty hop-bomb, though maybe not quite as good as the hype led me to believe.

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Photo of Tumpster
4.7/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Fantastic double IPA, it wrecks you though. Mouthfeel is utterly like butter in you're mouth with it's pleasent hints of floral and suttle tones of the bitter. It does punch you in the mouth and really kicks you in the rear when the alcohol sneaks up on you down the line. After about 3 of these I was pretty well off and yet I found myself ordering more. A FINE example of what a DIPA can be, I feel it's better than two-hearted but thats a matter of opinion! :)

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Photo of d0ggnate
3.87/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I finally got to try Hopslam and found it amazing. Quite hoppy and extremly bitter.

A: Thick 1/2 finger head. Golden amber in color and clear to light.
S: Intense hops! Sweet melon / fruitiness and a fresh flora aroma.
T: Bitter hops overwhelm. Hints of spice, but I'm unable to find the honey flavor.
M: Slightly dry. My tongue has been wrapped in a hop blanket. This beer activated my salivary glands.
D: In yo face IPA. Very bitter, but the body balanced it out. Very strong hop characteristics. I was impressed!

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Photo of macster
4.49/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours from the botttle a slightly hazy, but bright orange/copper color under a creamy 1/2" beige head. Retention is strong throughout the glass with just a few streaks of lacing noted.

The intial aromas were big-time essence of Juicy Fruit gum and freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice. This was nicely supported with smells of sun-drenched fresh pine needles, lemon zest, tangerine and some faint sweet honey/floral notes. The 10% alcohol shows up faintly in the aroma serving to amplify the above. The aromas were basically all about the hops, but who's complaining? Fantastic!

Palate was very smooth, silky, creamy with a nicely subtle carbonation.

Flavor was extremely well balanced here between the hops, malts and honey. Yeah, it was definitely dominated by the hops; lots of citrus rind, honey drenched grapefruit and pine. But the late palate delivers a subtle, but balancing presence of orange blossom honey and light crystal malt sweetness. Finishes with a firm hop resin bitterness and a warming alcohol presence.

A very easy-drinking big DIPA. As the last swallow is consumed all you can think of is "I'd love to do another!" A must try for ALL hopheads!

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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 sinistrsam
4.25/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle given to me as a gift from my fellow beer-enthusiast, Keith. I'd been dying to get my hands on one of these for the last year, so my expectations were perhaps a bit unrealistic.

It hada great orange/copper/gold color with a medium offwhite head and great lacing.
The aroma was piney and floral hops, citrus and sweet malt, mild sweet fruits.
The taste was good but not the excellent, hoppy and complex experience I was expecting. Not to say it wasn't good, but it wasn't anything outstanding. There was a good balance of floral hops with almost caramel malt and grain, but it was nothing groundbreaking.
The mouthfeel was very good, with a good crisp hop bitter-sweetness, complimented by a heavy dose of bitting carbonation. Ultimately it ended up fading into a smooth and sweet aftertaste.
Overall this was very drinkable and a hell of a good beer, and as some others have said, it may take more than one of these to realize some of the nuances, and fully appreciate the beer.

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Photo of giblet
4.67/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

ok. first beer from Bell's i was disappointed. the second was better. this is the third.

Excellent!!! poured nicely. nice head and carbonation. some nice lace. the aroma is my opinion of a super nice citrus pine hoppy aroma. the flava? well i think this is one of the BEST double IPA beers i have had. i have had quite a few and this girl is top 3 for me!!!

suckem up and movem out!


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Photo of flannelman808
4.32/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had high expectations, as I love Bells two hearted...

Citrus, and grapefruit with strong underlying hop characteristics. Alcohol Is present in the finish but not overwhelming. This beer lives up to expectation.

It pours a golden amber and has decent head retention.

Floral hoppy character on the nose, with some spice coming through as well.

Overall this is a great buy, try it now!

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Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
98 out of 100 based on 3,296 ratings.