Dismiss Notice
Get FREE shipping on all US orders of $25 or more from the BeerAdvocate Store.

No promo code required. Offer valid through 4/30.

Ready to gear up? Start shopping →

Hopslam Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
98
world-class
3,430 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
3,430
Ratings:
12,498
Avg:
4.44
pDev:
9.46%
 
 
Wants:
2,587
Gots:
3,317
For Trade:
67
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 3,430 | Ratings: 12,498
Photo of BrauKilR
4.62/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Technically this is a braggot rather than a DIPA.
Aroma: Orange citrus with subtler resinous hints that suggest to me Simcoe hops. Alcohol, caramel and a sweet, honey-ish sack mead quality in moderate intensity. No diacetyl, and any vegetal aromas I attribute to hops.
Appearance: Hazy orange with a creamy, moussy head that thins after several minutes to a creamy film to rim the glass and cover the liquid.
Flavor: Orange and grapefruit citrus up front with the balance all hops. Moderate malt sweetness which lends support. Caramel and a honey-wine quality in a dryish, hop-astringent finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Medium carbonation. A creamy texture which coats the tongue lightly and rests for the most part between the tongue and roof of the mouth. The finish is grapefruit astringency and hop flavor, mingled with a mild sweetnesss that persists for a few minutes and then fades quietly. Prominent warming that continues as a pricklyness on the lips. This beer slams you, and not you it. Clearly a winner to be enjoyed in small quantities.

 1,052 characters

Photo of walteez
4.94/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served to me in a tulip straight out of the cask at Patton Alley Pub in Springfield, MO on 1/20/11

A: Similar to the bottle - a nice golden orange color, fairly clear but a little hazy. There wasn't much head to speak of but it was a busy night and I think it had more to do with the pour than the beer.

S: The piney and grapefruit notes are ever present - providing all the great smell I get when pouring from a bottle. The sweetness of the honey came through a lot more both in the smell and taste out of the cask.

T: If you think Hopslam out of the bottle is amazing, never miss an opportunity to have it out of a cask. The hops are still there but the honey is spot on perfect. It's much more present from the beginning of the taste all the way to the end. The beer is just a little sweeter all the way through and I loved it.

M: It doesn't fail to disappoint in this category either. The honey lends its sweetness well. It is INCREDIBLY smooth. A normal Hopslam has just enough astringency from the alcohol and hops to leave you feeling a bit dry at the end of the taste... from the cask its smooth seas all the way through.

D: In a packed bar with people lined out the door to get a glass... I managed to snag 3 (and had a Two-Hearted on tap while waiting for the cask to get tapped, just for good measure). It was good.

 1,331 characters

Photo of jakeyb
4.8/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Loved this beer! Poured into a pint glass and immediately noticed the perfect head, 3 fingers thick with a nice puffy lacing and the color was a brilliant golden orange. Holy cow the hops on this beer! Almost overwhelmingly aromatic. My wife could smell it all the way in the next room! Bursting with a bright citrus pop, the smell is incredibly bright and cheery, like wind blowing over an orange tree. The carbonation is perfectly balanced, mixing well with the bright, white grapefruit taste that seems to almost float in your mouth. The finish has a slight bitterness to it not unlike that of citrus zest. Though this beer is INCREDIBLY drinkable, watch out because the 10% ABV will knock you on your ass if you're not careful. This would be a perfect beer to enjoy on your deck in the summertime, and it may very well be my favorite offering from Bell's at this point. Can't wait for another bottle!

 904 characters

Photo of Sobered
4.8/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

For me, Stone's Ruination had been the creme de la creme for a long damn time. It was my go to sixer when I needed something that was a notch above the competition in the DIPA category.

One day I walked into my local overpriced bar (they're all overpriced here in PA) and saw something called HopSlam sitting in the cooler. I knew I had to at least try it. I'm a bit of a hop head these days and my wife absolutely hates it. She can taste ruination and think it's kinda strong on the grapefruit, which I LOVE. Her first sip of this... she gagged and dry heaved. That should tell you how hoppy and bitter it is. If you're a hop-head and after the most pungent, bitter beer imaginable, this is the one. It was simply a 100/100. There is no point in doing a 6 point breakdown on this beer.

If you love the brutal assault on your tongue that is a well crafted DIPA, this is your beer, if not, this is not your beer. At almost 21.00 a sixer in PA, there's not even room for experimentation.

If I was going to be banished to a desert island for eternity with just one thing to drink for the rest of my days, this would be my choice. So good...such a reminder of why I'm here in the first place.

 1,194 characters

Photo of mrstevens
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: golden color with light head that seems to disappear quickly.

S: very strong smell of citrus, pine and of course the hops.

T: Wnderful tasting beer, hints of grapefuit, citrus, a slight trace of sweet malts.

M: great mouthfeel, very carbonated and crisp feeling.

D: I could drink this beer all day.

 305 characters

Photo of CourteManche
4.27/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

A - Golden in color; semi-clear with slight haziness; a vibrant white, one-finger head; head is thick and frothy; beer appears to be well-carbonated.

S - Wow! Popped the cap on the bottle and got hit with hops right away (bottle was about two feet away); hyper hoppy Simcoe on the nose; a bit spicy; piney and floral.

T - Hops seem less pungent than on the nose, well-balanced; subdued, smooth bitterness on the finish; little-to-no linger; no heat despite ABV.

M - Medium-bodied; minimal head, but retains well; foamy head has great mouthfeel; mild carbonation (despite appearance).

D - Very drinkable despite availability; perhaps not sessional because of ABV; overall a well-balanced treat.

 747 characters

Photo of Beldark
3.4/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz bottle packaged on 1/28/2014. My buddy and I went through a lot to get this beer (he really was really captivated by the hype) and I'm excited to try it.

A: Seemingly a bit less carbonation than expected. Had to pour with some vigor towards the end, but a good one-and-a-half-finger head developed after I finished the pour. Lacing is okay. Color is a very nice amber color - perhaps one or two SRM darker than expected - with that sort of vague opacity that looks clear until you see that everything behind the glass is a big blur.

S: Not the citrus bomb I expected, like Enjoy By or Hop Ranch - but that is not to say that this beer has no citrus aroma. The usual lemon/orange are there (no grapefruit) - but it's backed by a sort of herbal quality, too. There might be some strawberry in there. It comes together as a sort of sour-sweet aroma; not a malty sweetness, and not at all unpleasant, though not very exciting, either.

T: Uh-oh... my first reaction is that this is just a tad hot. There is no masking the ethanol here. Little malt flavor besides that, and the hop profile is frankly odd. There is a nicely balanced bubblegummy/strawberry note in there (sounds odd, but I personally get that a lot in these massively hopped DIPAs). That flows into the usual citrus, and the grapefruit is here in the palate - but also a bit of spice that has a synergistic effect with the heat, and not in a good way. There is zero west-coast piney resin to balance out this bit of spice. It just doesn't seem well-balanced to me at all. As it warms, the boozey heat comes out much quicker than it should.

M: Probably the best part of this beer. A wonderful froth when swished in the mouth due to what I now see is a perfect volume of carbonation. Definitely fits with the gravity of the beer.

O: I must conclude that this beer is hugely overrated. Every aspect of it reminds me of Enjoy By, except it's not done as well. It is by no means a bad beer, and I am of the opinion that nothing can live up to the amount of buzz behind a beer like this - I quickly learned this lesson with Pliny. I would not drive 35 minutes away on my hour-long lunch break to pay $22 for a six-pack of this again, but I would definitely buy it again if I stumbled upon it at my local store - not that that will ever happen.

 2,323 characters

Photo of masstransplant
2.65/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A-Clear, pale orange with a thin head

S-Aside from the hops, which was not overwhelming, some pine, citrus and ginger. Very nice, however the pine reminded me of a christmas candle. As the beer warmed the smell grew more intense and more pleasant. I spent a long 30 minutes finishing the last half of the glass, mostly because I enjoyed the aroma.

T- Sweet at first, and sweet in the end, but with strong, bitter hops in between. Finished with some notes of orange peel. Very tasty.

M-Decent carbonation; smooth finish

D-A great beer to linger over....I look forward to drinking this as the weather warms as I think it will be very refreshing.

Overall an excellent Imperial IPA. Not my favorite Bells offering but I will drink this again and recommend it to friends.

Edited after finishing the 6 pack...I looked less and less forward to each beer in this 6-pack, anticipating the ever-present Yankee Candle Christmas Pine-Tree aroma. As I compared it with other beers in my fridge, I found it the least appealing and by beer number 5, was looking forward to saying goodbye. I've at least learned to appreciate good balance in a beer and will probably not favor too many of the high-hops choices that are out there. No more Hopslam for me.

 1,245 characters

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

A: Thick, frothy, white head/green head. It laces very nicely.

S: Sweet hop blend, complex, earthy and sweet malts with the bold and aggressive hoppiness that you would expect from its name.

T: The first was aggressively hoppy. With a slight honey/malt finish. However, this beers strength comes frome consecutive drinking. As my pallette adjsuted, the bitterness retreated and let me really enjoy the base malt/honey flavors. Drinking this beer a few times back to back has made it my new favorite beer.

M: full-body, creamy and smooth. feels very nice to drink.

O: absolutely great. I don't know if it was luck or design that makes this beer exponentially better as you drink it (up to 4 for me, 5 and 6 taste the same as number 4) but this beer is great the first time and even better the 2nd 3rd and 4th time.

 817 characters

Photo of eandersen
4.18/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Been looking forward to this one for quite a while. Glad I could get a pretty fresh couple of bottles...this was bottled on 1/17 today is 2/11.

A - Pours a shining dark side of gold. 1.5-2 finger white head that fades pretty quickly. Doesn't appear to be very heavily hopped.

S - I do get some tropical fruits but not a ton of citrus. For me this is pineapple and mango, maybe even a little bit of berry. Not much of the sharp pine or grapefruity aromas I was expecting. A sweet caramel malt comes through as well. It smells good but nothing mind blowing.

T - Oh there it is. The best way to put it is that this beer is full of "sticky" hops. Starts with a definite sweetness reminiscent of the nose. Pineapple and mango, but there is also some citrus that did not come through in the nose. Its definitely more on the sweet side of citrus, maybe an orange or tangerine, still not really that grapefruit bitterness you tend to expect from a big DIPA. Finishes sweet again, with the caramel malt presence being felt. No real trace of the ABV.

M - Nice and full, definitely sticky and lingering. It works with the flavor, but I definitely would prefer it to be at least a little dryer and more carbonated.

O - Very good beer. Is it the best DIPA in the world? No it is not. But it absolutely is world class, and somewhat unique. I will drink this whenever I have the chance.

 1,379 characters

Photo of bshotbox
3.88/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I really like this beer and in general it fall into my, I can't wait for this one to be released category every year. Very hop forward aromas and heavy sweet mouth-feel. No doubt the use of honey help boost the alcohol by volume to it's advertised and impressive 10%. As usual another great beer from Bell's!

 308 characters

Photo of alucardswordlol
2.72/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

Was very excited to try this beer but unfortunately a big let down for me.

Ok appearance, great smell and a nondescript mouthfeel. I just got way too much honey and it really muted what smelled like a great hopped up beer.

After trying this beer and having other beers of the same style I have to say this beer is mediocre and really a victim of its hype.

 358 characters

Photo of tomgetz
4.84/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Served from bottle dated 12-27-2013 into tulip glass.

A: medium copper color with minimal head

S: hoppy with undertones of sweetness. With the 10% alcohol, there is a hint of alcohol.

T: starts off hoppy but not too extreme. Finishes with the honey sweetness. No overt signs of heavy alcohol.

M: medium body. Near perfect for an IPA.

O: well worth the effort to find it. Well worth the price.

 397 characters

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

Big but balanced (as opposed to Big Butt Balanced: totally different--if not equally cool--condition.)
Hops, sweetness, malt, ABV: win.
Please don't compare to unrepentant hop-bombs, as they're a different animal with different purpose.

 238 characters

Photo of gmuller
4.77/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Another beer trade from my mid-western friends. 12 oz bottle in a pint glass...sorry, for Grant, IPA's go in a pint glass.

Appearance - cloudy orange (Chill haze?), very little off-white head, but my pour may be the culprit.

Smell - Citrus, very crisp and acidic. Green and grapefruit.

Taste - Distinctive citrus hop taste. Cascades in this one? Words escape me when I encounter a beer of this caliber...then again maybe I'm seduced by the hops.

Mouthfeel - slight burn, but not overly dry or alcoholic. Thick but not unpleasant lingering.

Drinkability - Pleasantly bitter. This is one of my favorite styles, so perhaps I'm biased. I could drink this for weeks, and no, I'm not at all disparaged by the alcohol content. For a spring or Summer brew you can't go wrong with this, very 4th of July.

 801 characters

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

Kudos to Larry and the Bell's brewers. This is a great beer.

I blindly bought a case of this at the Bell's general store (as I love IPA's especially 2IPA). At $44 a case/$12 a 6er. I figured Bell's must know this is a good beer.

Poured into a pint glass from a bottle. Started clear, but quickly turned a clearish orange in color. Small head, which dissipated quickly.

Taste: at first a fruity taste hits yours tongue followed quickly by the bitterness you would expect from a DIPA. A little less harsh bitterness then I expected, but none-the-less it is present. As for the fruit taste, I cannot put my finger on it, as stated before, it could be grapefruit and apricot, but not sure. It sure is special.

Mouthfeel: As stated before, less harsh then most DIPAs, and quite smooth.

I will be enjoying this case and maybe a few more for many weeks.

GOOD WORK BELL'S!

 883 characters

Photo of kitty66
4.85/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Aftertaste alternates between the honey, malts and hops. Smoother finish than pliny, although the honey seems to block some of the hops aroma.

Interesting idea to make a 10% beer so drinkable, this would give overall rating a boost for being a true "specialty".

Hard to find in general, I'm sure there will be more and more release parties springing up across the midwest & east coast where distribution is available.

If you haven't tried it yet don't give up, there may be another sixer in your local bottleshop... but if there is it will go lightning fast !

 565 characters

Photo of largecar73
4.69/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip, batch # 8911.

A: Golden amber in color with some carbonation bubbles streaming up. Got about a one finger head that didn't stick around long, lacing was decent.

S: Wow what a smell! Piny with citrus fruits, and some caramel malt in the background, but mostly hops.

T: Another wow here! The hops grab you and pull you in, but that's not all this beer has going on. I do detect the honey, and the malt is here too. This is a fairly balanced DIPA.

M: Nice mouthfeel that's pretty similar to other DIPA's. Creamy, and a little oily but not overly thick.

D: Although I don't detect alcohol in the taste, at 10% this wouldn't be considered highly drinkable.

All in all this is an outstanding beer. Bell's hasn't let me down yet, and this one doesn't disappoint either. I'm glad I got a case so I can cellar some of this for a rainy day! So does this beer live up to the hype? In my opinion yes without question.

 952 characters

Photo of dza360
4.22/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow...

First the great story of how I got a bottle of this beer. I was talking to my local beer store guru about what brewerys were likely to make an entry into Kansas this year, and I inquired about Bell. I was told not very likely in the near future.... but I happen to have a single bottle of Hopslam from a friend and you can have it. I am loyal customer, but what a great gift to give up a favorite that you can't get in the state.

On to the beer. Balance! Pretty close to perfect balance for the style.

Wonderful golden color with a slight amber tinge. Head pours bone and thick, giving up to a lingering white top, some lacing.

Smell is grapefruit and floral, from the first whiff you know you have something great in your hands.

Taste, again almost perfect balance, all the expected hops but really not overwhelming on any front, maybe a little less complex than the smell would have you believe. I think the honey gives this almost a creamy finish.

Mouthfeel is just right for the style, again I think the honey is working here to beef up and keep the liquid a little heavy.

Drinkability... WTF the bottle says 10%? If this is true I would say hands down I have never had a beer that concealed the alcohol so completely. If this was available to me regularly I think I could put away a lot in a session. Probably good that I cant get it, because at 10% i would probably pay the price.

 1,406 characters

Photo of jrw5061
4.77/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Lightly golden colored. Good half inch head on top. good amount of lacing down the side of the glass.

S: Sweet, malty, citrusy, piney. This beer smells absolutely amazing.

T: Taste is exceptional. It starts out a little sweet and malty and then finishes w/ a bitter citrus piney taste. This beer is perfectly balanced. The taste of the honey comes through and helps to blend all of the flavors through perfectly.

M: Medium body. A little creamy feeling.

D: Very drinkable beer. At 10% and with a truckload of hops this beer will knock you out if you drink too many though. I saw it happen last night.

Bottom Line: This is one special brew. I think it is my new favorite DIPA. I was scared it wouldn't live up to the hype but i can certaintly say that it does and possibly surpasses it. If you can get your hands on this beer definitely pick up a case while supplies last. It's worth every penny even at 60 dollars a case. You won't be disappointed.

 956 characters

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

This beer tastes like a grapefruit. It's very good. It's golden brown, and it has a citrusy grapefruit smell. Hopslam tastes much different than I thought it would but its a good thing. I may have to edit this review when I am a bit more sober. Bells brewery is awesome. Try this beer....you will not regret it. It's worth every penny

 334 characters

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

I've been told that this beer is very susceptible to going bad if it sits on the shelf at the liquor store for too long. Thankfully, I was able to get a fresh 12oz bottle and thoroughly enjoy it. It's a shame I bought but a single 12oz bottle of it!

Appearance: Upon being completely poured, I noted a foggy golden orange color as well as a thin head resembling flour.

Smell: Notable hop presence, pineapple, pine, honey and caramel all reside in the smell.

Taste: Bitter and hoppy with the flavor matching up to the aroma. This is an Imperial IPA, alright!

Mouthfeel: Thick, great hoppiness that slams you right frm the get go and somewhat heavy. Moderate carbonation, and the alcohol is hidden quite well.

Drinkability: It's incredible tasting and I'm sure if you're a hophead, you'll love it. Not a session beer by any stretch of the imagination, but a darn good drink.

 877 characters

Photo of turnblom79
4.97/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very interesting and delicious double. The aroma was very citrusy and you could even smell the sweetness before tasting. While drinking, you are hit with all of the hop flavor right away, but because of the added sweetness, the bitterness at the end is much less than you would expect from the up front taste. Probably not the best beer to drink multiples of, but great for sipping and great overall.

 400 characters

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

A - murky, burnt orange color; 2 inch thick cream off white head; really sticky lacing the entire time

S - Citrus, tropical fruits, ruby red grapefruit, pineapple, spice, INTENSE

T - Aggresive hop profile, smooth, pineapple, apricot, caramel, candied citrus, lots of pine

M - Palate ruiner. Stick with this the rest of the night. Incredibly smooth for how aggressive it is. well balanced

D - one of the easiest drinking IIPAs you will ever come across. The high alcohol is enitrely masked by great fruit. Drinks a little too easy. This will get you into trouble

 565 characters

Photo of DCDevilDancer
4.82/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Damn!!
HOPSLAM is NOT best young!!!!
Maybe the bouquet is, but that's it. I stashed a case of this year's batch in the back of my fridge upon release. Been enjoying a bottle here and there since. I just finished a wonderful can of fresh Surly Abrasive (I rated it a solid 4.45) and the 4 month HopSlam is blowing it out of the water! Smooth as silk, yet still slamingly hoppy. Honey does things. Hops are sensitive, but that doesn't mean every hop bomb needs to be crushed young. HopSlam, like Ithaca AlphAlphA (another wonderful honey bitter), is terrific with 3-6 months of cold aging. The honey smooths out the booze, and while the shocking bouquet is tamed on the 4 month, it don't matter. It's better.
More cohesive, yet still itself.
Drink Pliny young, every year save some of your HopSlam for Memorial Day!

 813 characters

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