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Hopslam Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
99
world-class

11,121 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 11,121
Reviews: 3,324
rAvg: 4.48
pDev: 9.6%
Wants: 2,255
Gots: 2,319 | FT: 76
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 11,121 | Reviews: 3,324 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of akorsak
4.37/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at the Brewhouse Grille in Camp Hill, PA. My comments on drinkability are taken from my comments on the bottled version.

A: The ale is an auburn orange color with a thick 1 finger head. The head is not too impressive by leaves a bit of lacing in the glass.

S: The aroma is a big, sweet piney hop. The fruity aroma of the hops are big and bold, leaving exciting hints of things to come.

T: The hops leap off the tastebuds like a harvest ale. They are so fresh-tasting and intense that words almost fall short in describing them. The hops are very fruity, with tangerine and apricot flavors and a strong piney presence. The hop bitterness is intense upfront and rarely fades in the mouth. The malts are not meant to stand out here and they don't. They do, however, provide a strong grainy foundation for the hops to shine. This ale is why the good Lord made humulus lupulus.

M: The mouthfeel is unlike most other DIPAs. The hops are do fresh, vibrant and intense that they are delicious from first sip to last.

D: The 9.3% abv is tough and those hops will strip your taste buds but you'll love every second of it.

Photo of Zorro
4.45/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled through the kindness of WeisGuy.

This is a clear apple juice colored ale with a decent white head despite the alcohol level.

Smell is strong and wild hop fist to the nose. Lots of sweetness and pineapple and pine in the aroma. This is quite spicy smelling with a lot of citrus and just plain fresh hop leaf aroma to it.

The taste begins strong and very hoppy with a strong melon flavor. Quite spicy and strong the strong melon taste hangs around. Lots of floral flavors in the aftertaste here it is almost perfumed. Through out this is a Super IPA that does not become harsh at all.

Mouthfeel is good.

Highly drinkable for the hopheads of the world. Very strongly hopped but very tasty. In the same class as Pliny The Younger and Dreadnaught.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.45/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer has a warm orange body that is dense with lots of tiny bits swirling around like a hop snow globe. There is a good carbonation of tiny bubbles keeping everything stirred up. There is a thick creamy off-white head that last and last. It looks like there is a slight hop oil yellow hue to it but that might just be wishful thinking.

S- The smell of big green grassy hops has a bold pineapple smell with some smooth floral notes and a faint herbal tea hint. This smell is all about the hops but it has a great complexity.

T- The slightly sweet candy sugar hint at the beginning reminds me of a nice Triple but it is quickly overtaken by a big juicy green hop flavor. It has notes of fresh cut grass, grapefruit and a nice bitter pine hop finish. The bitterness keeps growing after the sip for a bit.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a slight slippery texture.

D- This beer has a great hop flavor with lots of depth and hop flavor is balanced by hop bitterness, while both are being enhanced by a slight sweet malt flavor. This taste like a splash of triple and a load of hops.

Photo of Zaphog
4.25/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of BillRoth
5/5  rDev +11.6%

Photo of KAF
4.62/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Delicious! That is really all I need to say about this beer. This was the beer that got me hooked on imperial IPA’s. You can smell the hops as you pour. Pours amber/orane in color with a whitish head. Some alcohol flavor is present. Not overly bitter. Very smooth on the palate. Just amazing.

Photo of dmorgan310
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of HopHead84
4.35/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice 1.5 finger head with nice retention with substantial lacing. The beer looks like some sort of golden honey.

S: Sweet citrus (grapefruit), very floral, honey, nicely hopped,

T: Nice and bitter up front with a small malt backbone. A citrus tang toward the back of the tongue and a slightly dry finish.

M: Carbonation is good and the mouthfeel is smooth and creamy.

D: 10% ? I never would have guessed it. I could drink this all night.

Photo of billab914
4.74/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's finally Hopslam release month, and it's time to review this beast. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into my Dogfish snifter. Poured amber, slightly gold in color with a thin white layer covering the top. It laced nicely on the sides of the glass as I drank it,.

Aroma is sweet and hoppy. It's very sweet smelling presumably from the honey and the hops are very citrusy with some grapefruit and orange. Really, a blast of sweet hoppiness is a great way to describe the aroma from this beer.

Taste is a lot like the nose, very sweet and hoppy. The hops give it a nice floral citrusness with some grapefruit, orange and a little pine flavor. The sweetness definitely sets this apart from a lot of DIPA's. The bitterness is pretty mild for all the hops in it.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is very good, especially for the abv%. it's very good tasting and easy drinking. I could drink this all year long if they made it.

Overall this deserves to be one of the top rated DIPA's in the world. An awesome beer that I'm glad I have about 14 left of.

Photo of John_M
4.22/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed this previously, but not out of the bottle.

The beer pours the prototypical peachy orange DIPA color, with good head retention and lacing. With several months of bottle age, this beer has become positively exotic on the nose, displaying mandarin orange, grapefruit, cherry and even cotton candy. There is much more of a tropical fruit flavor to the aroma then there was when it was first released (or the times I've had it on tap), and I confess it's really quite attractive. The flavors on the palate replicate the nose, and I have to say that even after several months in the bottle, this is still an absolutely delicious beer. The beer comes across as more of a strong ale now, but with a decidedly noticeable underlying hoppy presence. It's a bit sweeter and maltier tasting then it once was, but with enough hops to still carry the day and keep it from tasting overly heavy or tiring on the palate. I suspect that won't last much longer however, which is why I'm glad I'm down to my last couple of bottles. Mouthfeel is still medium to full bodied, though it has an underlying richness I didn't get before. Drinkability is the only area where this beer seems to have been noticeably hurt by the extra bottle age. The alcohol is now showing a bit, and the increasing sweetness is also a detraction/distraction.

Granted, this beer is absolutely at its best when super fresh, but even after 2 or 3 months of bottle age, it is still an impressive beer... a very solid DIPA.

Edit from 1/21/11. Sampled very fresh bottle the other day. Would raise drinkability to 5, but would otherwise keep everything else the same. Fresh HS is dangerously drinkable... the beer comes across as very light, with the honey flavor in this beer masking the alchohol completely. It's the sort of beer you almost want to keep on drinking till you're comatose.

Photo of biegaman
4.09/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

Photo of Kelp
4.47/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Hayesez.
A nice coppery color, decent lacing and a bit of a head to the beer.

Smells overwhelmingly of hops and more hops. Then pine and citrus follow.

The taste is well shockingly not overly hoppy. It has a nice balance of straight hops, crisp pine and just a hint of grapefruit at the end. Disappears nicely making you want to have another sip right away.

It has a slight carbonation to it. A dry aftertaste is left after a bit if you don't have more.

I could have a few of these which is saying a lot since i don't usually enjoy IPA's of any sorts. This however is an exceptional IPA no matter how you look at it.

Photo of iL0VEbeer
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of Wasatch
4.7/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy golden yellowish/orangy color, nice carbonation, nice creamy whiteish head which hangs around for a little while, nice little islands and sticy lacing around the edges. Awesome scents of hops, sweet malts, citrus aplenty, and some spices. The taste is just delicious of hops, and citrus (grapefruit, pineapple), nice bitter/dry bite finish. Medium body. Very drinkable, a truly awesome DIPA. Thanks go to jhammerly and BuckEyeNation for the trades.

Photo of ppoitras
4.82/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle from Secret Santa jay23. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 3/4" eggshell head above the slightly cloudy golden brew. Frothy head fades slowly, with ample lacing. Aroma is dominated by pungeant fresh hopiness. Taste is malty sweet upfront, and segues nicely into the intensely fruity and piney hops character. Mouthfeel is incredible for a DIPA, so smooth, not allout bitterness just for bitterness' sake, and drinkability is great as well. Have to lookout on this one, with the substantial abv too. Glad I have some more of this one floating around.

Photo of sendbeer
5/5  rDev +11.6%

Photo of Cynic-ale
4/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of rolltide8425
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of plaid75
4.2/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a medium hazy copper hue with a one finger creamy white head. There was good retention and sticky lacing.

The smell featured an upfront sweet orange hop with accents of pine and pepper.

The taste consisted of an upfront spicy and resiny hop with a robust doughy malt. Some mild warming alcohol appeared at the finish.

The mouthfeel was full with a warm finish.

Overall a superior DIPA. Very drinkable considering the ABV. Thanks to czoch75.

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.12/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle poured into an Alchemist pint glass. Bottled on 1/26/2012. Just picked it up today.

Appearance - Orange amber body. Quite clear. Not much of a head, but it sticks nicely to the glass and leaves some wisps on the surface.

Smell - Wow, it's got a great hop aroma. Up there with the best of em. Citrusy from a distance (literally, from a few feet away), but it's got a dose of pine as I smell it more. Great aroma. Some sweetness comes through, but it's still all about the hops.

Taste - The hop flavor delivers in the front. It's a huge wave of hops that recedes as dramatically as it hits. The citrus gives way to pine, much in the way of the aroma, which gives way to a hefty malt and honey sweetness. Not cloying and not even all that sweet, but it's amazing how much the hops disappear. It still tastes pretty damn good, but not like the best IPAs out there. The finish is boozy and slightly bitter.

Mouthfeel - After the hops drop off, the booze is pretty evident. There's an astringency presumably from the fermented honey. It's not really bitter, either, but still the bitterness is one of the only flavors that lingers.

Overall - I used to think this beer was the bee's knees of IPAs, but having had far more interesting hop profile IPAs, this one hasn't quite risen to its lofty heights as of late. Definitely not one of those "It was better last year" people, but I feel my appreciation for it has changed.

Photo of PEIhop
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of liamt07
4.77/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle courtesy of TheSevenDuffs, via peensteen. Thanks again guys, blew my mind that I'd have the chance to sample this. Served in a pint glass, Batch 10093 (just over 2 weeks old).

Poured a clear golden yellow, with a finger and a bit of off-white head, light retention and solid lace. Nose holds a shit-ton of honey, pine and citrus in the forms of orange, tangerine and mango among others. Yowzers, mouth watering indeed. Taste follows suit, with the honey sweetness leading the onslaught, with the citrus involved being similar to that of the nose. Warming feel and great interplay between the strong bitterness and honey sweetness. Great mouthfeel, and if anything, maybe a touch more bitterness would put this over the edge for me. Drinkability should be a 15/5, likely one of the most dangerous beverages I've ever encountered. Lives up to the hype.

Photo of Rhettroactive
4.15/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

*I cellared a bottle of the 2010 vintage that I opened at the same time. Note that my review and score is based on the 2011 vintage. More below*

2011: From bottle to Bruges hybrid glass

A: Clean amber in color, like the tail end of a sunset. The head was pretty impressive up front, with an easy 1.5 finger retention. Sticky lacing coated the glass.

S: Easily one of the most inviting noses of any beer I've had the pleasure to consume from a bottle. Citrus through and through - complex notes of toasty, fresh hops and just peeled grapefruit.

T: Hops! Bitter, smoky hop oil immediately attacks the palate and assaults the buds. A hot sauce type of tingling follows, as if eating a raw hop pellet.

M: Nice carbonation, though I could have done with a slightly creamier presentation. Rich and weighty in the mouth and on the tounge.

D: I can't sit here and say I'd have more then one or two in a sitting, as is quite a big beer that deserves to be sipped and enjoyed over time. I let mine open up over a few hours and didn't feel the need for a second.

Overall: I really do look forward to this beer, and it again lived up to my expectations. It is certainly worth seeking out, though I do honestly believe I've had DIPA's that are just as good if not (possibly) better.

DRINK IT FRESH - see below

2010: From bottle to Bruges hybrid glass

A: Exceedingly cloudy and murky. Not what I was expecting in the slightest. The head certainly died a bit quicker then the 2011, and the lacing was sticky, but not as abundant.

S: By far the biggest difference between the two vintages. Orange soda and honey. Zero hops. If blindfolded, I might say it had the essence of a Canadian Ice wine.

T: Certainly maltier. The honey really comes out. Reasonable hints of hops considering it's a year old, but nowhere near the level of the 2011.

M: Oddly thick. I can tell it has lost some of it's carbonation over the last 365, though it is certainly not what I would call flat.

D: Slightly above average. To be honest, this came off like a mediorce Belgian style Tripel as it warmed. Now I love a good tripel, but this wouldn't be considered one of them.

Overall: I'm really glad I kept this one around for a year to compare. I have been looking forward to this for a while and now know first hand that HopSlam, without question and regardless of storage conditions, is a beverage best served fresh.

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.69/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is a bright, slightly hazed, copper-gold coloring with a slow flow of carbonation and a frothy, low profile, bright white head that clings all over the glass, and slowly settles into a filmy surface coating as you drink. Aromas of deep, rich, bitter, resinous hops all over the nose, with a subtle sweet caramel backbone, and a blend of tropical fruits that include pineapple, mango, and grapefruit. Very balanced and very rich nose. Flavors are tropical fruit forward, rich and sweet, with a blast of citrus tart and bitter to follow. That's a lot of fruit on the palate all at once, but it is perfectly balanced by the pungent, dank, piney and grassy backbone, rich in resinous characteristics. This goes from fruity to forest green in a flash. Wow. All through this, there is a subtle sweetness of caramel darting in and out. Great tasting brew. The aftertaste has some pepper spicing and stronger floral notes, but it's still all hops. Smooth and robust in mouth, leading to a smooth, clean, slightly drying finish. This is amazing.

Photo of beerthulhu
4.18/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

-Thanx to Paul B. (WV). Bottle dated 12/29/11. Consumed 2/6/12.

A: Deep orange honey coloring with a semi-dense clarity. A slight frothy light beige head sits atop with a moderate rate of retention. Inside a slow rise of spacious carbonation, outside on the glass a thin broken ring of lace.

S: The aroma was of sweet honey-pine with some dry grassy notes. Have to be honest was expecting much more pungency here. Moderate complexity, the honey definitely adds some balance and some sweetness to the dry citrusy mixture, while hints of lemon grind linger about though the strength was refrained.

T: Ah here comes the hops. Nice pungent bitterness that cant be held back any longer. The honey, once again shows up adding some balance and sweetness in intermittent bursts before being overtaken by the piney-grass bitterness. Respectable amount of bitterness though is refined and smoothed out by the honey makes this easy to enjoy. Toasty honey malt, spicy bite of citrus with a nice leave of grapefruit/pine bitterness.

M: spicy of citrus, medium bodied but thickens up on longer holds. Sticky hop oils and slick malt lingers behind.

O: Overall a well balanced dipa with a unique influence of honey balances this out for a remarkable, yet smoothing and respectable hop bitterness that is easy and very enjoyable to down. Had a wow moment when realizing this was 10%abv. Just a remarkably smooth and easy dipa especially at this level. The honey no doubt adds a higher OG and ABV% while still maintaining a good balance of sweetness and malt level with the hops. Nicely formatted by style.

Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
99 out of 100 based on 11,121 ratings.