Hopslam Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
98
world-class
3,430 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
3,430
Ratings:
12,505
Avg:
4.44
pDev:
9.46%
 
 
Wants:
2,591
Gots:
3,324
For Trade:
65
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by beernbbq on 04-14-2004

User Reviews
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Reviews: 3,430 | Ratings: 12,505
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a translucent, orangey body with a full, foamy white head.

Smell: Wow, they ain't kidding. Redolent scent stinking of fresh grapefruit, pineapple, and passion fruit.

Taste: Malts are obscured, perhaps rightly so, by the extreme hoppiness. Tons of intense, juicy fruit hop flavors with a moderate kick of bitterness. The 10% abv is very well hidden. Bittersweet finish with a lingering tropical fruitiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Distinct oily juiciness to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Extremely hoppy, but it still displays a relatively good balance.

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

Two thoughts here. #1 - Whoah! Like chewing on a hop!!!!, and #2 - Whoah! Like chewing on a hop! Absolutely bright, vivid and in-your-face! Grapefruit! Pineapple! Pine-needles! All Pac northwest! One of the best, if not THE best, big-assed citrusy hop beers. Drinkability suffers a little bit, sure, but that's the trade-off for such a massively beautiful rendition of dripping, citrusy and piney hops in a glass. Hop-hazy as expected in the glass; dropping head. Alcohol can be inhibiting to drinkability, but never really exhibits itself throughout the first serving. Beautiful!!!!, but perhaps only for the initiated. Regardless, worth trying for the experience.

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

Thanks go to cvaypai for this one.

A: Cloudy orangish-amber color. Not much head to speak of, but pretty good lacing.

S: You can really pick up the honey and the citrus (orange) of the hops.

T: Excellent hop flavor, again, more orange than anything. Nice sweetness too from the malt and the honey. Some bitterness on the finish.

M: Very smooth, medium body. Not much carbonation, but enough to keep things fairly light.

D: Very drinkable. The 10% ABV is hardly noticeable in this.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.59/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Acquired via trade from northertimber, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him.
Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is an excellent blend of intense hops and extra sweet citrus, very pleasant smell.

T: A heavy hops burst starts out and is abruptly followed a sweet citrus malt flavor. Both of the flavors alternate for dominance as a mild alcohol burn washes over you. The after-taste has the hops bitterness winning out, but the citrus sweetness sticks around as well.

M: Very crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, clean finish.

D: Very tasty, goes down easy for a beer with 9.30% ABV, not too filling, it’s a little too intense to be a good pounder, I could still put a away few rather quickly and enjoy it quite a bit. I got exactly what I expected from this beer which was Two Hearted Ale with more hops and more alcohol. However, more doesn’t necessarily mean better. Two Hearted Ale is one of the best beers I’ve ever had and the extra hops and alcohol don’t make this beer better than Two Hearted Ale, just more hardcore. This is an excellent beer overall though.

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Photo of Rifugium
4.32/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First had: bottle from Capone's beer garden, Norristown, PA

Pours a clear golden-orange with a thin, wispy, white head that lingers as a ringlet, but still leaves some doily lacing on the glass. Aroma of citrusy hops and toasted bread. Taste is bursting with hops: citrusy-orange-grapefruit zest and a bit of pithy bitterness, tropical fruits, pine needles, and a nice sensation of honey-drizzled toasted bread coming through for a very nice balance. Medium mouthfeel, quite smooth and extremely drinkable for the style (where's the alcohol?).

I've had plenty of IPAs similar to this one, so I wouldn't really say it's a trade item, or worth going out of the way for, as some people make it out to be, but it's definitely nice to have when it's around.

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Photo of drewone
4.28/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1/9/2012 bottle date. In a tulip. Thanks nrs207!

Deep golden orange color. Small head, dissipates quickly.

Sweet hoppiness - honey scent comes through, floral

Sweet and hoppy. alcohol is well hidden, slight burn on the finish. Relativly well balances but on the sweet side. Would like to know what the OG is. Some bitterness on the finish

Rounded - not that dry, almost slick.

Very enjoyable. First bottle I had I really enjoyed, this bottle I had right after a elder and that was a hard beer to follow.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.28/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Devil's Backbone willibecher.

Big thanks to Wedge421 for hooking me up here!

Pours a clear copper, close to a light amber, with a thick frothy head that leaves some minor lacing as it dies away. The nose is grapefruit, mandarin oranges, pine, and lime. This hops-on-steroids smell is echoed in the taste, which showcases citrus, ruby red grapefruits, tart blood oranges, the basic essence of 50/50, and a deep backbone of light caramel and buttery toffee. This seems like the epitome of the DIPA flavor profile. The body is fairly light, with medium carbonation and a crisp finish that leaves the tongue rather moist, refreshed. I can't find much bad to say about this brew...worthy of the hype it receives.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.65/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap last evening at Brass Rail Deli in Campbelltown, PA. Served in a pint glass.

A - A slightly burnished golden shade w/ mild haziness - still able to see carbonation rising somewhat rapidly in the liquid. The head is approx 1 inch and snowy colored. The bead is very fine and a film of lace holds on the glass

S - lots of hop fruitiness w/ tropical, citrus and slight herbal notes. There is a mellow malt sweetness as well as interesting floral note in the background.

M- The feel is great - bitter up front w/ spicy hops and resinous floral character w/ a moderately high level of bitterness throughout and more than medium body w/ mild sweetness to anchor the hops w/ a significant yet well placed alcohol texture and semi dry finish

T - The taste is a blend of all things hoppy-pine and citrus like tangerine with a tinge of lychee, and grapefruity bitter tastes. The beer is slightly herbal, bordering on grassy, but clean with lemony tang that leads to a sweet honey tinge of malt much like green tea with the honey soaked sweet edge. The flavor has plenty of citrus peel which also seems to give off a piney aspect with a moderate alcohol taste in the finish

D - A well rounded IIPA, so tasty yet not extremely drinkable since by the end of the pint you feel, well...hopslammed. The beer is great fresh and I prefer it to the bottle, but should be approached with a reasonable amount of caution as it tastes similar to many beers well below its level of abv

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Photo of superspak
4.35/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 1/8/2015. Pours slightly hazy golden orange color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings around the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of big grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, mango, apricot, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, honey, light caramel, bread, and floral/grassy earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of citrus/tropical hops and moderate malt sweetness; with good strength. Some light booziness shows up as it warms. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, mango, apricot, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, honey, light caramel, bread, and floral/grassy earthiness. Good amount of pine/citrus rind bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, mango, apricot, lemon/orange zest, pine, honey, light caramel, bread, and floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic complexity and robustness of big citrus/tropical hops and moderate malt sweetness; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a smooth, fairly crisp/sticky, and lightly creamy mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an outstanding double IPA style. All around awesome complexity and balance of big citrus/tropical hops and moderate malt sweetness; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of chinchill
4.24/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle served in pint glass (& 2013 bottle in a goblet; & an 18 day old 2015 bottle in a pilsner glass)

Pours a nice light, orange-amber with 1 finger of bone head. Upon drinking, the head reduces to irregular surface coat and leaves splotchy, sticky lacing. Excellent calrity

Highly aromatic, with seemingly fresh and rather strong hoppy aroma. Fruity (citrus) and floral, with hints of high ABV.

Very strong flavor with ample bitter and noticeable sweet components. Slightly dry finish with less bitterness than expected; IBU, reported as 106, seems lower. The high ABV seemed partly hidden but became more evident with warming. Hints of orange peel, honey brandy, pine and grapefruit lie within the complex mix of hop flavors.

M - good carbonation; fairly smooth; a little 'bite' from high ABV and hops. Warming.

O - simply a great sipper for hopheads, and I do recommend sipping for both reasons of flavor and ABV. Not quite over the top, the huge hop load is pungent but seems less challenging than it might be, perhaps due to the honey; perhaps due to the "generous malt bill". Still, too extreme for some, no doubt.

(revised lightly with new .25 pt rating system and tasting of 2013 bottle in Feb. 2013, and again with an 18 day old 2015 bottle in a pilsner glass)

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Photo of russpowell
4.73/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This one comes courtesy of BARLEYWINEO, cheers! Date code of 4711

Pours a hazed amber/peach tea with 2 fingers+ of cream-colored head. Very good head retention & lacing

S: Huge breadyness & piney hops

T: Large honey cake/breadyness, dryness, boozey warmth & pineyness. Warms with lemony & grapefruitty hopy, plus honey malt. Finishes with huge oily hops, warming booze, caramel & a little bit of dates/figs fruittyness

MF: Chewy& oily , medium carbonation & superb balance

Drinks too damn easy, a great balanced DIPA!

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Photo of mothman
4.4/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE...

Batch 8913... only 9 days from being packaged!

Poured into New Belgium Globe glass. Color is a hazy golden/orange bronze. Pours a large head with good retention. Leaves great lace rings.

Aroma is an incredible hop aroma. So much floral notes. There are some fruit and citrus notes as well. Strong grapefruit and orange zest smell. Some honey as well.

Taste is like I am eating flowers (which I have not done). There is such an incredible hop flavor to it. There is such a grapefruit flavor to it. I would also say it has a slight bready malt flavor to it and honey.

Mouthfeel is bitter, but it is not even bad compared to any other ipa or iipa. The beer also gets smooth near the end. The one great part about this beer is that it doesn't leave a hardcore dry sticky aftertaste. The 10% abv is masked so well in this beer.

Overall, this is one amazing beer. I have to admit it is the best that I have had yet to date. It is really easy to drink and I will definitely be enjoying another.

I highly recommend this beer!

EDIT: The 09/10 seemed to have a lot more honey than the batch that I reviewed. I liked it.

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Photo of orangesol
4.42/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap at Al's of Hampden into a Bell's tulip.

A - Pours golden amber orange with a light white film of head, dissipating down to almost nothing, leaving little to no head down the glass.

S - Tons of piney citric hops mix well with hints of honey, mildly toasted light malt, and a bit of booze. It kind of smells like a hoppy caramel apple. One of my favorite smelling DIPA's.

T - Tons of grassy citric hops up front giving way quickly to a mix of honey sweetness and caramel malt. Finish is honey sweet with some lingering hop bitterness. A nearly perfect balance of flavors. One of my favorite DIPA's year in and year out.

M - Medium body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Sticky sweet feel with plenty of citric hop bitterness in the finish.

D - Very high. I look forward to this every year. I just love how balanced this one truly is. I can have a few of these no problem. One of my all time favorites.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.54/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 01/15/13

A: Pours a clear golden copper in color with significant amounts of visible carbonation and significant orange/golden yellow highlights. The beer has a two finger tall dense foamy/creamy off-white head that very slowly reduces to a very thick film covering the entire surface of the beer evenly with a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Huge aromas of tropical/pineapple and citrus/grapefruit/tangerine hops over the top of some lighter notes of pale + caramel malts and honey sweetness.

T: Upfront there are strong flavors of tropical/pineapple and citrus/grapefruit hops, underneath which there is a moderate flavor of pale + caramel malts with a moderate amount of sweetness - with the sweetness coming from the honey. Just the faintest hint of pine hops towards the finish as the beer warms up. Moderate to heavy amounts of bitterness in the finish.

M: Slightly heavier than medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth with light to moderate amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: This is one of the best smelling DIPAs on the market and I really like the combination of hops that create the aromas/flavor profile. The 10% ABV is extremely well hidden and this beer is very easy to drink - I could easily have a couple of these in a session and be really happy about it.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.15/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky orange with a decent off white head. Nose is strong citrus hops. Flavor is so much grapefruit, it took me back a bit. Those thick citrus flavors are combined with firm hop tones. Feel is smooth on liquid and carbonation and it goes down easy. Nice to drink, though the citrus is a bit high. I am not sure if I remember it being like this when I had it on bottles a while ago.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.37/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appears a slightly clouded apricot orange copper hue with a large white head leaves behind even streaks of lacing in my snifter glass. Aromatics have deep grapefruit peel explosions going on with a mild sugary malt presence with light grassy notes and mils biscuit malts with a huge alcohol presence in the nose. Flavor contains deep bitterness with the 109! IBUs bit at times each sip seemed to overwhelm me with the grapefruit peel oily feel to balance all I can detect is a very mild biscuit breadiness from a combonation of the yeast and malts complete coats the palate I just feel that it's a bit one dimensional with the citrus peel effect and boozy alcohol I'm down for a bit of some balance and I adore their Two Hearted so I figured they could pull off an incredible DIPA as well. Mouthfeel is medium to fuller bodied with strong carbonation and a sickingly oily texture tickles the nose with citrus pungency. Drinkability is mediocre for me an expressive and unique double IPA I'm just looking for more balance even within some huge hop bombs out there there's still a rediculous malt bill...after a bottle of this it would get hard to drink plus for 44 bucks a case I would pass on that quantity. I will continue to try I've already had it on draft side by side with Hop Wallop, kinda unimpressed with this supposed gem.

Update: bottled 12/29/11 released January 2012:

What can I say I'm burping up hop candy come and enjoy here's my review. I've drank this beer every year since it's release every year enjoying it a bit more...sadly I looked back at 2006 and didn't realize how low I had scored it then. Never re-reviewing to realize that I've definitely enjoyed it much more than that as a whole. Brewed 12-29-11 that's as fresh as a six of Hopslam gets, and I've got 3 six packs at about 17 bucks a pop. Appears a slightly hazed golden orange hue with a creamy white thicket of head forming thick with chunks of scattered lacing. Aroma is usually explosive with grapefruit peel in this beer, and it still is with a sugar coated layer of candied hops. So green so fresh with hops, I can't get enough of each smell no real booze coming out in the nose, but there's a deep ridden hop pungency that makes you recognize. Flavor wise this seems to have fermented out a good bit this year not much honey sweetness and the yeast ate the heavenly malts and honey to unleash the devilish ten percent alcohol, which is showing up a bit more than I've realized in the past. No big deal I'm warm in the chest and still enjoying one of the hoppiest beers around, get slammed by the hops. Mouthfeel is slick with hop oils carbonation really wraps itself around the palate, medium bodied flowing down. Overall a once a year beer experience that I won't soon forget, and look forward to every year.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.82/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

EDIT: Re-reviewing this on 1/12/11, 364 days and 974 reviews after first trying this, as I feel I have a better palate/ability to review beers. While I'm adding some things to this review, I stand by my original 4.8 review; this is one of my favorite DIPAs.

a - Looks amazing, a great golden color. A little carbonation and a little head, but not very much; gone after 45 seconds or so.

s - Smells strongly of citrus hops, as well as some light pine. Also got a little honey and sweet fruit here. Fantastic.

t - Great taste. At first it was not nearly as bitter as I was expecting. The more of it I drank, the more bitterness I tasted. Again, lots of citrus hops, pine, fruit, and honey.

m - Very little carbonation, light body, very smooth. For 10% ABV very easy to drink.

d - Very drinkable. If you are a fan of hoppy beers, I would highly recommend checking this out; it's definitely a great beer. Can't believe its 10%!

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.38/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to BeerThursdays for this bottle! Bottle from 1/11/11

A: Pours a slightly hazy golden orange color. Has an off white two finger head and sheets of lacing down the sides. Small carbonation bubbles are released from the bottom.

S: Lots of hops as expected. A lot of pine/woodsy aroma while the citrus plays a lesser role. I do get some grapefruit and the honey used in brewing gives it a slight sweetness.

T: Less pine on the flavor profile than expected, much heavier with citrus (grapefruit and orange) and floral flavors. The honey adds a very nice sweetness. Extremely well balanced.

M/D: Medium bodied with nice carbonation. Has a very nice finish, slightly bitter and sweet at the same time. You get a hint that it is 10%, but its not a bad thing. The drinkability at this abv is incredible. I feel like I could drink a couple of these.

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Photo of billab914
4.74/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

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Photo of jwc215
4.41/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Wasatch for this one...

Pours clouded amber with a thin white head.

The smell is of - well - plenty of hops - Pacific NW hops dominate - a plethora of citrus/grapefruit with resiny pine and some tea-leaf. A touch of caramel indicates that this is going to be a super-hoppy beer with some balance. This is what an Imp. IPA should smell like!

The taste holds true to the smell with alcohol mixing in. Bitterness tackles the palate with just a hint of rounding caramelish malt. Alcohol interferes just slightly - if it were even a tad bit tamer - this would be a perfect "5" in my book. As it is, though, I'm far from complaining about. This is just loaded with hops, but with a nod from the malt to keep things together.

Medium-bodied with alcohol sharpness, it could be a bit chewier/fuller, but, again, no complaints. It holds up just fine, though alcohol washes out some of the aftertaste.

This puckering brew is bold and daring. The alcohol makes itself known, but still holds up on drinkability for the sheer pleasure of it all. A hop-head's delight!

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.65/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Hazy orange hue, fine slice of bone white froth atop.

In the aroma, it's all pungent, spikey, in-your-face hoppitude!
Tropical fruit on top, pineapple, lemon, grapefruit,mango, raw, pulpy and vibrant. Pine forest floor, and more. Slightly sweet citric feel, but bitter hop feel dominates.

Taste: once more, a charge of hops on the tongue, not delivered too lightly. Same citric flavor storms the palate, but a second after it boards, there's a nice, creamy relief. Rolls playfully on the tongue, like a cat on the rug preoccupied with string. Each new sip imparts this deliciousness, but despite the huge !BUs and way-up-there ABV, you 'd hardly know it.

Amazingly easy to drink, if you're a hop craver like me. Wow! Tangy, potent hoppy twang never quits the mouth. Incredibly full bodied, long-finished, and commendably created. Mmmm, delicious!

A pricey beer, (I paid $14 a 6-pack), but well worth it. One hell of an IPA, and a well-named one!
Thanks for delivering the goods, Larry & co!
Now, I just can't wait to tap a keg of it!

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Transparent and effervescent, this beer is mostly yellow with hints of orange, reminiscent of a sunrise. There is a moderate level of head and lacing.

S: Big aromas of floral, tart citrus, pine.

T: Refreshing, smooth, delicious. This is one of the best DIPA I have had. I look forward to Hopslam every year. Much more hoppy than malty, this beer is for the hop lover, which I am. Beautifully done with delicious grapefruit and subtle resinous pine flavors, Hopslam finishes with a lingering bitter aftertaste that makes my mouth tingle and yearn for more. Where is the 10% ABV?!? This is a seriously dangerous beverage.

M: Carbonation level is great and it's really smooth, with no astringency.

D: Do I really have to wait until next February to get more fresh Hopslam?

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Photo of MasterSki
4.43/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 8912 (January 13th, 2009) - only 9 days old! Poured into my Kuhnhenn tulip.

A - The color of amber & gold - semi-transparent with a few tiny bubbles lazily rising upwards. Huge, frothy, two-fingered, foam that takes forever to dissipate (managed to eat a snack while waiting!) and leaves tons of intricate lacing. I'm not sure what else you could ask for visually.

S - Fresh hops, with a huge bouquet of citrus and floral scents. There's lemon, tangerine, grapefruit, pineapple, apricot, and a touch of honey. I can smell this inches away from the glass - delicious! Very well balanced as well!

T - The taste is significantly more bitter - there's a hoppy fierceness at the onset but it mellows a little as it moves through one's mouth letting the other flavors come out and play. The aftertaste isn't overwhelming, which is a pleasant surprise. There's the tiniest hint of booziness. It's really good, but not on par with the smell.

M - Crisp and refreshing. Surprisingly light-bodied for such a strong beer. Not over-carbonated, which is really nice. Leaves a resinous oily coating behind.

D - This is 10%? Really? Are you joking? I'd happily drink 2-3 of these, and I'd probably want more (even though I'd be stupid drunk). Damn I wish this available year-round - or that Bell's brought the San Diego Big Head during the summer.

The best DIPA I can buy at a local store - much preferable to Dreadnaught.

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Photo of stakem
4.15/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes taken on 1/27/11. On tap at Al's of Hampden.

Served in a stemmed tulip glass, this brew appears a clear golden color of copper. A thin whisp of white film lays across the top of the brew which is all it has to offer reminiscent of a head. Swirls release some bubbles and create patches of leggy lace.

The aroma of this brew has a bold presence of hoppy goodness that is readily apparent before you even bring the glass to your face. It includes an aroma of pine, citrus, floral notes, rinds, pineapple and overall sweet indications with a light alcohol tingle to the back of the nose.

The taste is rind-like tasting like bitter orange filled with herbal spiciness. Grass is evident along with a mild toasty malt backing. A solid astringent and solvent alcohol character runs through the body and into the finish which for the most part includes clingy bitter oils.

This is a medium bodied offering with a light amount of carbonation. Big abv warmth and taste yet balanced and very enjoyable and drinkable. The honey aspect to this brew gives my sense of taste mixed signals. There seems to be a sweetness about this brew mid palate that turns sharp and dry into the finish. This is a well made brew that every hop lover needs to try.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.86/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have long said that one of the best decisions of my life was founding The CANQuest (tm). The fact that they are CANning this beer ~ five years after my initial CANned beer review is telling. There was a LOT of discussion back then about what CANstituted a CAN, but it was determined that a 5L mini-keg would count as long as it was a) non-pressurized and b) gravity-driven. I was so happy then and even happier now, when I had begun to despair of FOMO, followed by a CANdiculous trade. I was visiting local Country Garden Six-Pack when I saw two six-packs on the shelf! Not being a beer greed-o, I bought one & traded most of the sixer for other cool CANs. Today (Su, 20 March 2016) is my turn!

From the CAN: "Ale Brewed with Honey"; "Unfiltered [-] Best Kept Refrigerated [-] Unpasteurized". The graphics look great on aluminum, BTW!

The Crack! tried to fight me, but eventually gave up & succumbed. I then caught a squirt across my fingertips & sat back in surprise! Hopslam is a squirter?!? OMFG! It settled to reveal a brimful craft CAN & my heart leapt! I gently stroked the exterior of the CAN before CANmencing a VERY gentle Glug. I want to draw this one out as long as possible & it seems to be on a hair-trigger. Even this generated a finger of dense, foamy, tawny head with great retention, leaving sticky lacing behind as it fell. Color was solidly Amber (SRM = > 7, < 9) with NE-quality clarity. Nose was simply dank, really green, sticky, earthy & even a little minty. I think that I will pour some into a Petri dish, dry it out and smoke it later. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste was ... Ahhh, ahhh, ahhh! It burns! It is like hydrofluoric acid on my poor, bruised tongue! It is shoving the weak, unsuspecting taste buds out of the way and worming its way into the interior of my tongue with an active flamethrower! Ahhhh! I'm back, following a visit from the local Fire Department & a trip to the ICU. Phew! The hops were, shall we say, intense, but cooling. In fact, as it warmed, the sweetness of the inherent honey began to peer through, like the first buds of spring. The taste was like a conglomeration of hops from wet to English (earthy) to PACNW (minty) to straight dank & then drizzled with honey. OMFG x 2! The finish was hot and minty, like a dragon had just flossed, brushed & rinsed with minty wash. Why, oh, why did I trade those others away? Oh, right, I'm a recovering hops addict & this does not help.

Oh damn, any regrets that I may have had in not going to Philly for the fest at the shipyard evaporated when I saw this on the table yesterday (Central PA Bottle Share, Sa, 05 Mar 2011). As the late Mickey Spillane would have said, "I creamed my jeans"! I was so cowed by its presence that I had to ask ffejherb for permission to open it, to which he enthusiastically assented. I had to read the directions, because if I screwed the pooch, I would be a pariah and it was so early on. The big Q for me was the initial venting, but I remembered the pull, twist and pour from my Best Brown in the Fall.

I got a finger-and-a-half of soapy ecru head with decent retention off of my pour. Color was a solid amber with NE-quality clarity. BUPGOO! Yeah, give this to the kiddies. Nose was so piney that I began to swoon. It was, in my addled mind, like licking a pine tree. Mouthfeel was medium and the hops had already begun to mute, so the taste was heavier on caramel malt, but I still got some hops on the tongue. The finish was likewise caramel-like initially, but lingering with hops. Dang, but I would like to try this absolutely fresh! No matter, I CAN now die h(a/o)ppy, having had some. Did I mention the excellent lacing throughout? Glug!

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Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
98 out of 100 based on 3,430 ratings.