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Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

3,268 Reviews

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Reviews: 3,268
Hads: 11,722
Avg: 4.45
pDev: 17.98%
Wants: 2,464
Gots: 2,691 | FT: 65
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: 3,268 | Hads: 11,722
Photo of Shango4232
4.44/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At first pour the beer is deep amber in color. Mine was slightly cloudy to which looked to me like "chill haze." Not a lot of head but then the hops hit you in the nose. They are overwhelming and awesome. At first taste there is some sweetness up front but it's quickly swallowed up by the hops, woody at first but then a citrus/grapefruit after taste.

If this beer wasn't 10% alcohol I could drink it all day.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
4.47/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A light to medium amber colored body with a small off white head. Leaves some lacing along the glass.

Great smell. A full nose of floral and fruity hops, some slight sweet-fruit aroma in there too.

Up front a lot of hop sweetness that reminds me of citrus fruit; it has the hop flavors without a lot of bitterness. Some malt undertones are noticeable too, providing just a touch of balance to the sweetness. Next I notice some floral flavors that are probably from the honey. The honey doesn't add any sweetness (does it ever?), but it is still noticeable. Finishes with more hops and some dryness. All kinds of hops actually, with grapefruit, pine resin and some bitterness. I would never have guessed that this beer was over 9% ABV.

A good mouthfeel typical to the style, but fairly light and effervescent. The honey leaves just a touch of a coating on the mouth.

Excellent drinkability, not too dry, too strong or too sweet. Lots of hops. The balance in this one makes me want to drink it all night, but at the same time the hops are huge. Well done Bell's, too bad I can't afford much of this stuff.

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Photo of CrazyMacHarris99
4.02/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a slightly hazy orange color with a one finger white head. The smell hits you as you pour. Smells of pine and citrus hops with a sweet fruity scent somewhat like white wine. The taste is again pine and citrus hops but the sweetness is very strong. Taste of grape and honey that really balances out the hops. There is some alcohol burn in the finish but isn't unpleasant. The mouthfeel is light to medium with good carbonation. Overall I really liked this one even though I usually don't like big hops. This one was balanced well and really impressed me.

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Photo of SafeAtFirst
4.57/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The pour is a bright orange tinged copper color with a fluffy white head.

The aroma hits right away, huge hop aromas are a mix of citrus and tropical fruits, like a mix between a mango and a grapefruit. Pine needle aromas sneak out as it warms.

On the tongue it's more of the same hop flavors, a little more pine flavor with plenty of grapefruit and orange and plenty tongue burning hop bitterness. Honey and biscuit flavors make an attempt at balance, they mostly fail. The finish is dry and bitter with a spicy burn form the 10.5% ABV.

If you call yourself a hop head then you must seek out this big, brutally bitter beer. I have yet to try a beer that comes closer to capturing the essence of American hops.

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Photo of jeffmonarch
4.45/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle in a snifter.

A - Really nice copper orange color, slightly cloudy with little white head that disappears quickly.

S - Really strong piney hops. This would be a great holiday beer because it smells like a christmas tree.

T - Awesome hops, really piney just like the smell.

M - Medium bodied with good carbonation.

D - Great beer. Enjoy!

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Photo of JustinOSU99
4.39/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice goldenrod color with a good amount of head.

S: Smells amazing! Hops immediately hit the nose and give you a first-hand experience of why it is called "hopslam". I'm really looking forward to drinking this. Hiding behind the hops is a little aroma of raisin, honey, grapefruit and molasses.

T: Holy cow. Hops come up and smack you right in the face. Definite alcohol warmth follows along with some citrus and raisin hitting the palate.

M: Warm and fuzzy in the mouth. A bit heavy but that is to be expected. Dry and tart in the end.

D: Don't drink too many of these at 9.3 abv, but definitely a treat to be had once in awhile.

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Photo of IBUnit63
4.32/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into Hess truck glass at parents' house...

Single-finger head with average lacing. Perfect honey-orange body.

Flowery hop bitterness with sweet honey aroma and perfumy alcohol burn on back of nostrils.

Taste brings a little grapefruit but primarily a nice blend of flowers, alcohol, honey and apple. This is nice stuff.

Slightly syrupy but clean on the mouth - tough to gauge if served a little cold.

This is easily drinkable for 1-2 - gets a little heavy on the back end. Overall, extremely well-made.

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Photo of EStreet20
4.82/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Got my hands on some. Please Bell's come to NJ.

12 ounce bottle, shaker pint glass.

A - Pours out a pale golden color. Tiny bubbles rush up to a fairly sizable white head. Head stays nicely (thank you hops).

S - Big grapefruit on the nose. Some sweet fruit smell as well. Underneath all the fruitiness is a subtle pine tone.

T - Wow. What a great tasting DIPA. The hops are of course taking charge here, but a nice fruity sweetness is there too. This is a big flavored DIPA with citrus/tropical fruit flavors all over the place. Subtle alcohol flavor on the finish, but it's mostly well hidden. A great, fruity DIPA that ends with a rush of dry bitterness.

M - Nice, coating sticky mouthfell to a medium bodied beer.

D - Loving it. The many mixed fruit flavors mix seamlessly with the hops. A very well put together DIPA that brings all the vrashness one expects from the style, but does have a unique feature that almost resembles balance which we all know is not a benchmark characteristic for the style. Just makes you want more.

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Photo of FleeVT
4.47/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. brown bottle into pint glass (Bottle lists ABV as 10%)

A: A moderately cloudy with a lighter amber color and nice 3/4 inch head.
S: You can smell this one in the next room. Delicious. A nice balance of citrus, mango and papaya, with extreme hops. The nose on this is fantastic.
T: It's hoppy, but not overly bitter like some others. Again, this beer delivers. The balance is unbelievable. Citrus and hops up front with a slight malty sweetness, a faint trace of honey, and a slow finish that leaves you wanting more. Not overdone on thealcohol either, which is hard to believe at 10%.
M: Medium body with moderate carbonation. Lingers a little which I enjoy in this one.
D: Yes please! The whole package delivers, a nice brew (or two) to cap off a work week. Just full of flavor.

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Photo of babyhobbes
4.32/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Another delicious Bells offering. I want to thank my neighbor for this thank you for dog-watching beer. I'm drinking it with her (the dog) right now!

Small, off-white head with a nice amber color. Looks like beer...Smells like grapefruit and hops...or perhaps that is grapefruity hops, eh?

The taste is surprisingly hoppy without being overly bitter. This is even more true when having this on-tap.

This is far too easy drinking and yet, it is so delicious. I could easily have too many, and too many would probably be two. So, it's a good thing I am at home.

If you have a chance to try this on-tap, definitely do so. In the bottle it is great but on-tap it is much different. I found it much more hop scented with less bitterness. (It's funny how sometimes bitterness and hoppiness are not the same.) It's much smoother on-tap, too.

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Photo of Darien
3.98/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Beautiful two finger head with a slightly hazy light amber body.

S-Very citrusy and hoppy

T-It's not called hopslam for nothin, very citrusy hop flavor and very bitter. The hops seem to linger on the palate for a while. No taste of alcohol either shockingly.

M-Just enough carbonation, has a slight bite to it, medium bodied.

D-If you're a hophead check this one out, tastes great and smells great also.

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Photo of asabreed
4.79/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: A lighter copper color with some amber highlights, bubbles shooting toward the top, and a head that leaves some chaotic lacing throughout the glass, like little spiderwebs in circular layers, which happens more toward the pour and less throughout.

Smell: Easily one of the best hop aromas from any semblance of an IPA. Huge malt sweetness, enormous citrus punch, dripping pine sap, and complete balance through and through. Seriously, if this were a candle, and the aroma could come through as well as this, I'd be lighting them up all over the place. Wonderful and almost ineffably effervescent.

Taste: At 10%, I don't understand how the balance is this good. Toffee, caramel, lemon zest, earthiness, pine, grapefruit rind, bread crust. Visceral, balanced, malty, with the extremely balanced and drippingly resonant, piney, and citrus hops. Just awesome and something I want to return to over and over.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, medium-bodied, and nothing to complain about, with carbonation that makes its presence known from the ongoing of the first sip to the last of the swallow, all the while contributing to the flavors making their way across the vastness of what the palate proves to be able to recognize.

Drinkability: I don't know if Bell's needs to just do the worthwhile brews or not, but lately those have been the best for me. And this may be their best. A deliciously balanced hop attack, with way too much to admire, and much to look forward to, at least from my end, when it's released each year. It's pretty expensive for a 6-pack, from around $12 to $15, but it's worth it, and I'll continue to buy it when it's available. Does anyone else think it's time for Bell's to start releasing some vintage and special bombers? Stick to the craziness, Bell's... as the experience is much more worthwhile.

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Photo of JohnnyDuvel
4.54/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This may be the best smelling beer I've ever had! The grapefruit aromas could be detected several feet away. Pours a golden, almost orange color - small head. Taste is fruity and hops, hops, hops. Lives up to it's name. Ultimately, it's on the bitter side, but quite drinkable nonetheless. This is a terrific beer (made by a terrific brewery). Keep 'em coming to SW Fl., Bells!

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Photo of dancinwillie
4.02/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

a: slightly darker than your average peach. 1 finger white head that seems to be holding up pretty well.

s: grapefruit, with slight pine and spice. also hints of floral aroma.

t: floral and citrus up front, and perhaps a bit o' honey. good flavor from the hops, but I am not picking up much malt. It doesn't seem unbalanced, though I would'nt mind just a bit more backbone. picking up an almost minty taste towards the end, although very slight. I love tasting grapefruit in ipa's and iipa's.

m: it almost seemed a little flat for the first few sips, but then the carbonation seemed to kick in. mouthfeel seems a little heavy in a good way, but not quite thick.

d: overall, a pretty high drinkability. my bottle says 10% abv, and I really taste no alcohol. I could get myself in a lot of trouble with a beer like this, if I wasn't careful. another delicious offering from a great brewery.

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Photo of thirtysixbelow
4.17/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a - slightly hazy burnt orange color with a 1.5 finger head that lasts a good while for 10.5% abv

s - floral, citrus, and a little bit of spice

t - my palate isn't very good at detecting various hop flavors yet. I get some citrus and flower flavors up front. I'm pretty sure I can taste some malt even, maybe caramel. The hop punch is there, but not so bad I can't drink it. Very well balanced with the malt flavor that I wasn't expecting to be there. This is the first IIPA that I have had where it isn't a struggle to tolerate the bitterness. Either I am developing a taste for it, or it's well done.

m - smooth texture with a decent amount of carbonation. I've never had a high abv beer with good carbonation, but this is pretty good.

d - this is high abv and intense in flavor. I was expecting something that was going to be hard to drink, but I think I'm getting used to hoppy beers. I really like the citrus and flower characteristics of IPA's so it was worth it for me to try this.

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Photo of sjohansen
4.55/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a ruby colored amber. Hazy with a one finger cream colored head. Disappears quickly, but leaves sticky lace all over.

If you're a hop head, this is what heaven smells like. Piney, citrusy hops. As it warms, there are rubbing alcohol notes, which you have to expect with a 10% abv kick.

I had this on draft and it was slightly different. Definitely more sweetness and honey notes from the draft, the bottle is all hop kick. As it warms, the true balance comes out. It gets extra sweet on the front of the palate, but remains chokingly bitter on the finish. The sweetness, definitely from the honey, battles valiantly against the punch of the hops. It loses the battle, but is effective in creating a combination of sweet and bitter not seen since General Tso's Chicken.

The mouthfeel is not syrupy or slimy like other strong DIPA's. It is excited, and smooth.

I love this one. Surprisingly it was not ruined by all of the hype (and there certainly is enough of it.) As far as pushing limits, this is a winner for finding some way to balance the generally overpowering hop characteristics of other DIPA's.

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Photo of Sconnie
4.62/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a serious beer. Smells like strong citrus hops with a bit of sweetness. Initial hop bitterness gives way to a bit of sweetness at the end to balance things out and give a nice aftertaste of not-overly-bitter hop flavor. Really good stuff. You can sense the honey. Very balanced for an imperial IPA. The alcohol is well hidden (I had no idea this was 10% abv until I read the label), but with alcohol that high, this is a once an evening drink.
I truly believe that Bells is one of the best breweries in the country right now, and this beer helps prove my theory.

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Photo of GRPunk
4.54/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle (Batch ID 8277) poured into a tulip glass.

A- It poured golden/peach color with about a 1/2 finger off-white head that became a good lace that left some nice sticky spots and a medium-heavy carbonation.

S- The aroma was complex. It was sweet and floral with citrus tones that reminded me of grapefruit. As it warmed, the scent became something of a ripe peach. Very different than other beers I've experienced.

T- There was more complexity in the flavor. It had plenty of sweet malt to stand up to the oily and earthy hops.

M- It had a medium foamy carbonation with a pleasant hop tingle.

D- It's a nice smooth sipper. The 10% ABV is well hidden. If it wasn't for the dizzying effects, I couldn't have been convinced it was so strong.

Overall- It's a more balanced beer than the name would suggest. The big grain bill brings some equity to the big hop addition.

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Photo of Shaw
4.92/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

It's great that we're getting such heralded beers as Hopslam in Florida. At about $17 a six-pack, it better be worth it! ;-)

Pours a light amber in color, typical of the style, with a thick off-white head that doesn't disappear. This head stays about a half-inch thick in my glass.

The smell is phenomenal. Incredible aromas of citrus hops mix with an aroma that I can only compare to pineapple. This is the hoppiest-smelling beer yet and one of the best-smelling beers I've had.

The taste is fantastic. It's like liquid hops. The citrus and vegetable flavors mix with a nice sweetness from the malt. There's a honey flavor, too, which is easy to credit to the honey, except that my homebrewing experience with honey is that it adds dryness, not a honey flavor. I'm surprised that the IBUs are so high. This actually doesn't taste harshly bitter. This beer is more about hop flavor than hop bitterness.

The aftertaste is all about hops. It's like having a hop pellet rolling around in my mouth. I almost feel like I could blow a hop smoke ring after a sip of Hopslam.

There is a nice warming alcohol effect after swallowing. This beer is obviously strong, but not a fusel alcohol bomb.

The body is glassy, thanks to the high alcohol, but there's plenty to chew on.

West Coast brewers, watch out!

This is easily one of the best beers I've ever had and shoots right into my top five. (Currently tied for No. 1 with Rogue Imperial India Pale Ale.)

A masterpiece of hops.

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Photo of shadow1961
3.87/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bell's Hopslam Double India Pale Ale pours two creamy
fingers of foam over a cloudy peach colored brew. The
nose is big juicy grapefruit. The flavor is big fruity malts
up against those citrusy hops. It finishes smooth but a
grapefruit rind aftertaste lingers. Mouthfeel is round-ish and
crisp due to those hop additions, and all that malt and hop
action completely covers up the 10% alcohol by volume-
which only makes itself known as a warming sensation. If
you like Bell' s Two-Hearted, you really need to try the
Hopslam- it's bigger, and more West Coast. Tasty!

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.84/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Body is transparent bright amber and pours with a very small foamy white head that dissipates almost immediately after the pour. A thin collar remains the whole way down. No lacing is left behind in the glass.

S-Nose is bright and blooming with citrus (mostly grapefruit) hops. Behind the citrus hops is a less prominent character of refreshing piny hops. Deep in the background is smooth caramel malt to balance out the hops.

T- I wish this brew tasted exactly as it smelled. Initial flavor is somewhat subtle and consists of mostly citrus hop flavor though both piny hops and caramel malt can be detected in the background. The citrus piny hop flavors strengthen for the finish. What is left to linger is some piny hop flavor, a very subtle flavor of caramel and a residual rind bitterness that is greater than moderate. The residual bitterness-to me- is borderline cloying.

M-Medium carbonation and smooth oily body that is full of hops. This is the kind of mouthfeel I wish were in every DIPA.

D- This is a very enjoyable DIPA but it didn't do anything magical for me. It would be near perfect if it tasted exactly how it smells-but it doesn't. The flavor is pretty good but didn't blow me away. The ABV is very well hidden here. The strengths definitely lie in the smell and mouthfeel of this one. Pretty good brew overall and one I will have again.

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Photo of bboven
4.81/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow.

The only un-great part of this beer is the appearance. I realize that there is an enormous dry hop addition, which I thoroughly enjoy later, but The beer loks like a half-pound of light caramel candy melted into a pint glass. I'm looking at it ad thinking there is no way I can stomach this beer. But the finger-high, wicked-consistent head and thick lacing remind me that it is indeed a beer.

The aroma is high alpha hops, Chinook, maybe Warrior, that earthy, dirty hop aroma that is so indicative of that northwest hop circle.

They say it's brewed wit honey, though I'd love to believe they achieved the sweet maltiness with barley alone. That's upfront. You would think with such a high hop aroma, this one would twist your throat with bitterness, but it doesn't. There's a little jab on the way down to remind you that hop is in the name, but, it doesn't fight.

The carbonation on this is so great I'd swear it was casked if you gave it to me at 55 degrees. Sticky and drying at the same time, but did I mention the carbonation? I'm a proper carbonation nut, and this beer has it.

Other than a rather unattractive body, this beer is perfect for the style.

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Photo of tprokop7
4.89/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Sephiroth for the chance to try this one, after a great trade from the Midwest. Poured into a DFH pint at 40F.

A - Pours a light copper color, with just a bit of cloudiness. Offwhite head to about a finger and a half, and quickly dissipates to a thin layer.

S - Holy crap. I smelled the hops from two feet away. I can't remember a beer with this strong of a hoppy aroma. Once it settles a bit, the aroma is sweet and citrusy with very pleasant bitterness.

T - The flavor of this beer, and one would hope and expect, is dominated by the hops. It's wonderfully bitter, starting with citrus (orange peel, mostly) and running though a bit of sweetness to a nice floral, piney finish. A hop-lovers dream.

M - The carbonation is a bit more than average, and feels great running over your tongue.

D - Too drinkable given the ABV!

I was excited to try this, and after trading for it I am not a bit disappointed.

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Photo of bobbyc881
4.65/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Finally got my hands on some of this. Pours out a very nice orange, lively carbonation, lingering off-white head that sticks to everything. Smells very nice. Hoppy (standard citrusy/piney American hops).

Taste-- Sweet god, hops! It's almost like I got slammed with them... weird. For a very short period of time sweet flavors dance around on the tip of the tongue before getting obliterated by the oncoming Bitter Train. Leaves extremely pleasing hop flavors all over my mouth... citrus, sticky pine, etc... The carbonation certainly enhances the impact. Sticky malt backbone (barely) keeps things in check. Finishes bitter, with noticeable enough alcohol to know it's strong. An absolutely brutal hop assault that makes hopheads orgasm and lesser beer-folk weep.

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Photo of doppelmeup
4.42/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a lemon-yellowish gold into a pint glass. Inch thick creamy head that slowly settled.

Great aroma. Very citrusy/grapefruity with some cut grass. Also a slight sweetness in the aroma.

Taste was great as well. Bitter hoppiness nicely balanced by a complementary malty sweetness. This beer tastes good!

Mouthfeel is very smooth. The hops hit first but you get a nicely cleaned palate after each sip.

Overall, this beer goes down far too easily for its high ABV. Be careful! This is also on the expensive side (I paid $3 for a 12 oz bottle) but I wasn't disappointed. A little expensive to drink all the time, but was a very nice treat!

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Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
99 out of 100 based on 3,268 ratings.