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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

11,338 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 11,338
Reviews: 3,377
rAvg: 4.48
pDev: 9.6%
Wants: 2,286
Gots: 2,457 | 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: 11,338 | Reviews: 3,377
Photo of stakem
4.15/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

Photo of Halcyondays
4.53/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a light orange, with a medium white head with good retention and lacing.

S: Smells very hoppy, citrus mostly, the honey is evident adding some sugar sweetness.

T: Great flavour, the honey and then hops work really well together. Great light citrus, white grapefuit pith and orange oil, with honey sweetness, giving the counter to the hop bitterness a mead-like quality, just really good stuff.

M: Smooth, full-bodied, great carbonation feel, slightly oily.

D: A really good beer, I'm glad I finally got to try it. The honey really takes over the malt character and makes it light enough that the great hop flavour really shines through. Now I know why all the East coasters are psyched out of their minds about this beer.

Photo of mothman
4.4/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

Photo of woodychandler
3.86/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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!

Photo of yourefragile
4.37/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz 2008 bottle poured into a Duvel tulip, batch #8277, labeled as 10 % ABV

A: Very nice. Cloudy golden amber color. Very large, tight off white head with nice retention and lacing.
S: Very strong, fresh floral/piney, grapefruity smell. Slight touch of sweetness, perhaps the honey the bottle mentions.
T: Sweeter than I expect for a DIPA and I like it. Starts with sweet honey/grapefruit flavor and then hops take over and give it a nice dry, tart taste. Perhaps there could be more of a malt presence for balance, otherwise no complaints.
M: Medium bodied, some sips I think it might be bordering on being slightly thin however. Nice amount of carbonation and a very pleasant, dry, tart aftertaste.
D: For 10% abv did not taste any alcohol but certainly felt it as I drank the bottle. I may have served this a little too cool at first as the flavors became much stronger as the beer warmed (and became more enjoyable).

When I consider every aspect of this beer separately, they are all great but in the end I'm left feeling like it all doesn't quite add up for me and I can't place what it is. Somewhere in the finish and aftertaste I'm left with a thin/watery feeling that I can't place, hence the lower drinkability score. I'd love to try this on tap after my experience of liking two-hearted much better on tap than bottled

Photo of dmorgan310
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of chinchill
4.24/5  rDev -5.4%
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)

Photo of Gonzoillini
4.75/5  rDev +6%

Photo of Billolick
4.42/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ouncer, no freshness indication, this was over $15 for a sixer, near Ann Arbor, MI. Pours cloudy orangy/apricot, near white head, that leaves nice, scattered and spotty lacing. Big and bold citrusy/resiny hop nose. Thick, chewy and smooth. Fine, fine stuff, god I love a world class DIPA like this one. Everything is in place here, nice job by Bells. Lots of citrus and hoppy goodness. Smooth and perhaps a bit more accessable and drinkable then the Stone 10th offering.

Photo of mdaschaf
4.38/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
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?

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

On-tap at the Blue Nile. Served in a 12 oz goblet.

106 IBUs? Where? Don't get me wrong, there were some amazing aspects to this beer, but bitter it wasn't. This beer was very reminiscent of grapefruit juice. There was some good complexity in the hops flavor, but it was overly juicy to the point of getting away from beer. This made for an amazing aroma, but the taste couldn't quite deliver all the way.

Although the taste didn't exactly do it for me, I was impressed by how drinkable the 9.3% was. The bitterness, or lack of, kind of let me down, but this was still a pretty good DIPA. Worth a try at the least.

Photo of BARFLYB
4.32/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz fresh bottle into the flying fish brewing glass. I wanted to dive right into this one and not waste any time or hops.

A- Bells Hopslam comes out of the bottle a light tan color and settles into the glass with a impressive medium orange with gold & bronze highlights. It appears very transparent and upon a closer view small microdots of sediment are seen floating throughout. The one inch deep white head was impressive and creamy causing much foam & dense lacing.

S- Is out of the world piney and citrusy hops up front with honey and a slightly bittering charm. Grapefruit smells explode into the nostrils as well as grassy scents. A pleasure to smell for some time to allow some warming.

T- Hops on top of hops and so forth giving off some floral aspects. Picking up a nice amount of the honey used in this as well. This beer lives up to it's name. Some malts to combine with that honey. As with many DIPA's the grapefruits, mangos and other fruits are also leading the pack. Hopslam gets a bit sweeter with time resulting in more honey. This beer deserves all the accolades it gets.

M- This goes down smooth throughout the 12oz and finishes on the dry side.The honey helps the slight lack of malt to help offset the hops without drowning them. A bit of a slick oily presence to it. Very drinkable at 10% & a hop profile this huge. Alcohol is a non-factor in this case. Medium bodied with good carbonation ad every sip is an eye-opener.

D- I would go through a few of these before it caught up with me but it would be a beautiful ride. A bit on the pricey side but what isn't these days. I would love to drink this occasionally throughout the year but that's impossible without the hops fading after 6 months. Perhaps brewing this twice a year would be a solution.

One of the top tier double IPA's in my eyes.

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

Poured into a pint glass. Clear orange with a nice head and wonderful lace.
Fruity hop boquet in the nose, some sweetness pulling through.
The flavor is hops, juicy and big. Pineapple, citrus, pear, mead and malt all gather and dance on the palate. No alcohal bite until the very end. Sharp hop flavor but well done.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied and semi-smooth.
Drinkability is dangerous, since this beer drinks so easily, yet is so powerful and flavorful. Reccommended if you are into alot of hop flavor.

Photo of corby112
4.88/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a clear light golden orange with golden yellowish orange hues when held to a light source and a two finger frothy soapy white head with excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap. Sheets of chunky soapy white lacing are left coating the glass.

Dank oily earthy hop aroma that's bursting with sweet citrus notes. There's also a prominent earthy pine presence as well as a bit of honey alongside a subtle malt profile in the nose.

Chewy resinous medium body that's on the fuller end of the spectrum with an explosion of juicy luscious dank hops. The hops are uber fresh and provide a slightly bitter dryness that lingers troughout into a slightly hot finish. There is a very prominent citrus fruit presence with hints of mango, pineapple, lemon and orange peel. A sweet honey character comes through mid-palate, complimenting the sweetness of the citrus notes and adding to the fullness of the palate. The sweetness is balanced by a dry earthy pine presence. Maltiness is very subtle but contributes to the amazing complexity and balance of this excellent beer. Nas mentioned above their is a bit of alcohol heat toward the end of the palate but overall the high ABV is excellently masked, making this beer dangerously drinkable. Highly recommended!

Photo of afsdan
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of weeare138
3.62/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I paid $16 for a 6 pack...
Appears a glowing golden orange with a creamy, 1 finger white head that slowly fades into a mild cap. Lots of streaky lacing is left around the glass. What's this other mess going on? Tons of yeasty proteins and hop residuals floating in suspension with no visible signs of CO2. That doesn't look overly appealling.
Smell is extremely herbal up front with hints of skunky mary jane, flowers, tea leaves, black pepper, citrus zest, pineapple, grapefruit, along with some biscuit.
Taste...again, this strikes me as a very herbal brew moreso than a citrusy one. Flavors are highlighted by bitter herbs & spices, pine resin, grass, sweet citrus...hmmm.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, bitter, sweet up front, grassy, herbal... dare I say medicinal, or solvent? Alcohol is evident.
Wow...based on this bottle, I'd be willing to vote this one as the most over-rated beer that I've had in '07. Last year, my vote went to Stone Oaked Bastard. This certainly isn't a terrible beer, it's just very overly hyped IMO and I'm not feeling the love. It sort of reminds me of a recent homebrew that I did, where I used a boat load of 6-7 different hops and hoped for the best. It turned out alright but a bit muddled, much like this with every aspect of hops being represented from herbal, to skunky, to citrus, etc. I just don't get it. Maybe the next bottle will change my mind. I've only got 5 more to compare it with.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.85/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to theformula for this elixir. Let me say that I've been looking forward to this for a while since I love DIPAs and I love Bell's. This didn't disapoint. I traded for a sixpack of this and of Nugget Nectar, and while the Nectar was good I thought this blew it away. So friggin' delicious that I almost sucked the first on straight down.

Pours amber with a thin head but a constant stream of tiny bubbles. I'm not worried about a big head for a strong beer like this, I'm more concerned about what the beer tastes like and how fresh it is. This is one fresh beer! The smell is surprisingly malty and a tad sweet with big citrusy hops following. The taste is amazing! Delicious blend of citrusy and piney hops with a spicy oiliness that coats the tongue and has a flavor almost of cinnamon in its intensity. More pine, grapefruit, and orange follow. The sweet malt and honey play a supporting role that beautifully props up the hops, and there is almost a peach flavor at the end that makes me want to guzzle the beer. Great body, balance, and finish. I know this is 9.3% abv, but you can't tell. Something about this beer makes me want another and nothing else as soon as I finish the first, Uber delicious and almost addictive.

Photo of ShanePB
4.46/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 1/9/2012, so very fresh. Poured into a tulip glass.

A: Slightly hazy bright golden orange body with a moderate white head. Fantastic lacing and great retention, patchy in the middle and thick bubbles along the outside.

S: Juicy citrus, pineapple, pink grapefruit, pine needles and honey. There's a very nice earthy bitterness to it, with a slight sweet note towards the back that I attribute from the honey.

T: Wow. This is so much better than I remember. Either that or I simply appreciate this beer so much more. A wash of bitter hop oils, pineapple and astringent grapefruit notes start off. Through the mid-palate the pink grapefruit intensifies, and trails off with a sweet honey and caramel malt flavor. So complex and delicious.

M: Body is medium to full with ample carbonation. Lots of tiny bubbles on the tongue give this a smooth and almost silky texture. A bit of alcohol heat in the chest.

Well, honestly this beer is simply awesome. There's plenty of citrus and fruit character, backed by a great amount of sweet honey and malt. It's big, bitter, citrusy and sticky - perfect for an Imperial IPA.

Photo of tdm168
4.5/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a orangish color with an inch of dense, foamy, yellowish off white that has good retention. The nose is sweet and citrusy. I get notes of grapefruit and mango as well as sugar and peaches. It reminds me of peaches and cream. The flavor is very similar to the nose. I get notes of sweet, citrusy fruit, sugar, and whipped cream up front with a mildly piny, bitter finish. The alcohol is well hidden. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth, well carbonated, and a little warm on the finish.

This is a really good IPA. The flavor is balanced well, the high ABV is masked well, and the hops aren't overpowering. If it weren't for the high ABV, I would several of these in a sitting.

Photo of atrocity
3.75/5  rDev -16.3%

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.33/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received via trade with buckeyenation.
Nice hazy dark yellow body, huge white head. I can smell the citrus already. This is gonna wallop (er, slam)
Taste isn't as big as I thought it would be, but that's a good thing. Smooth transition from citrus, to pine, to a bit of sweetness, to dry and crisp. The citrus is mostly pomelo, some lemon and grapefruit, a bit of orange perhaps. This slam isn't as menacing as it seems. Unlike the DFH 120, this one is plenty drinkable.
I like this brew, I hope I can find it out here.

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

Pours a three finger cream light brown head off the pour into a pint glass. Very good retention off the pour and very foamy. Some faint cloudiness but not much, with a nice golden dark brown color body. This is a decent looking beer.

Smell is a big but enjoyable surprise. It's all aromatic hops, but extremely grassy, like a fresh cut lawn. Big inhales really bring this out and you get almost a chlorophyll buzz going. Honey doesn't come out first on the nose until after you taste it.

Taste is a big surprise. Sweet front but not syrupy, of honey first, then a giant hop play in the mouth, with a bit of a tangerine finish. Mouthfeel is a little dry, with a rooftop palate dryness. The honey addition to this really balances out the bitterness and distinctly improves the beer. Feels carbonated to some extent but it isn't as if something is playing in your mouth with tingles or gas. I think if it didn't have the honey this would not be as good. Also the ABV on this for 10% is well hidden and you can't even notice it.

A well done tasting beer that doesn't taste like a gimmick or a stunt. Well done.

Photo of ejimhof
4/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: amber orangewith a slight white head and lot's of lacing.

Smell: Lot's of hops and pine trees..

Taste: floral with hops and malt.

Mouthfeel: smooth bodied.

Drinkability: I was saving this for the Steeler's Superbowl win but alas it was not meant to happen. Very drinkable and world watch out I'm rady to drink more than one.

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.67/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured with moderate head, beautiful lacing, color is light orange.

S: Nose is incredibly fresh with citrus, pine, grassy and light floral notes.

T: Taste is dry with grapefruit and pineapple, right upfront, some pine and floral notes and nice honey feel and sweetness ont he back.

M: Well balanced, booze is masked with flavor

O: Freakin as good or better than I recall it two years ago!

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Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
99 out of 100 based on 11,338 ratings.