Kalamazoo Hopsoulution Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

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Kalamazoo Hopsoulution AleKalamazoo Hopsoulution Ale

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380 Ratings
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Ratings: 380
Reviews: 151
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 10.17%
Wants: 66
Gots: 18 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial IPA |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-31-2008

A "German-style Double IPA" according to Larry Bell.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 380 | Reviews: 151
Reviews by roywilliams:
More User Reviews:
Photo of sgoodship
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the batch #8779 packaged on October 9, 2008. Larry Bell talked about in his Oct 7th forum posting. Thanks to Larry for sending more hop goodness to IL.

A: Nice slightly orange tinged head. Poured a finger and a half - nice and fluffy. Hazy, dark amber liquid with some lively corbonation. Great lacing. A third of a finger head stayed around for the entire drink.

S: Caramel malt. A soft warm floral hop with a touch of citrus and alcohol.

T: Round, malty taste that moves quickly into floral tones and a nice strong, clean citrus hop bitter aftertaste that is reminiscent of grapefruit. Nice progression and nicely balanced. Is this really about 8.5 ABV? It certainly has a nice warming alcoholic effect.

M: Medium bodied. Nice medium/light carbonation that along with the hop, creates a nice clean mouthfeel. There is also some alcoholic smoothness.

D: A good solid drink. Tasty! It's drinkable but deceptively strong. A nice Double IPA. This brew brings up much discussion about Two Hearted and I'd like to try that brew too.

After the review, Larry Bell was nice enough to BM me that this batch of Hopsolution is 8.0 ABV.

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle pours into my glass a very hazy amber orange with an inch of creamy eggshell head on top of the brew. Aromas start with big floral hops with resinous green herbal notes. Quite fruity as well with a bit of a sweet caramel backbone. Interesting fruity/hoppy mix.

First sip brings a fruity / caramel malt upfront that has a bit of sweetness to it. It moves into big floral, herbal hops midway through. Somewhat spicy as well. Bitterness kicks in on the way down, but the malty sweetness remains on the finish as well. Quite a tasty, interesting brew!

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with a solid medium body. Goes down easily. Overall, an interesting brew from Kalamazoo, but I'm not sure I really like the fruity/malty aspects of it and it still leaves me longing for a six pack of Two Hearted!! Cheers to Kalamazoo for making a intriguing IPA.

Photo of mrquartetman
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours golden, with medium head that dissipates quickly

S: Hop over a good strong malt

T: Not overly hopped, despite the name. It has a good malt flavor behind the hop, and the balance is very good.

M: Not as dense as I would expect and not as persitently hoppy as the style would suggest, but decent.

D: A very refreshing, flavorful beer that might be a bit much to drink a lot of, given the higher abv.

Unfortunately, this is a "brewed once" beer that Bell's doesn't have even on its web site. It was once and gone.

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Had on tap at the Bryant Lake Bowl: rich grains and hops, some pine and grass. This also has a light fruit sweetness up front and then is balanced by the hop – there is a lingering grapefruit in the finish.

Photo of ohmybock
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First of all, if no one else has already said so... this beer is called "Hopsoulution" (not Hopsolution)...a for-IL-only-beer made by Bell's of Kalamazoo, MI.

This bottle pours a nice amber color with a small head which lingers on and on. The aroma is nice, but something I've never quite experienced before. The closest thing I can compare it to is Sam Adams Imperial Pilsner with its Hallertauer Mittelfrüh hops. Still, it's not quite the same thing. I think I still prefer the SA brew, but this is really nice too! Whatever the case, this is certainly NOT your usual American DIPA. The hops in this brew make it unique. Kudos to Bell's for using this experimental German-hop variety...Smagard/Smaragd/????/etc. I'd love to see this brew made on a regular basis, but I fear this is the only time we'll ever see it. Oh well...whatever the case..."good job" to Bell's!

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown appearance, already had me taken aback. Cream head, good size. Aroma was lagery and hoppy at the same time.

Big malt presence, but easily counter balanced by the ample hopping, which did not seem typical to style.

I had this about the same time Oracle came out last year, and thought they were both unique dipas in a world of too similar ones. This one had less bitterness and citrus feel to it, but was probably the more unique one. This had more of a nutty exterior, less citrus hopping, fuller malt body, less sweetness, way more creamy mouthfeel to it.

An interesting take on the style. Worth checking out. Not like any of the other Bell's hoppy offerings. Well, or pretty much anyone else's. If you like different, this one is for you.

Photo of rudylaw
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy orange gradient into my pint glass. A nice 1/2 inch head that is a beautiful tan color. It leaves a hint of lacing.

I'm smelling biscuit, orange peel and earthy hops. This is quite unlike anything I've had before.

Of course, it tastes hoppy... earthy flavors. Very smooth and malty. Touches of caramel are present but are in no way dominant. A little spice kicks in after the gulp.

It's very creamy and finishes clean. I know this is a double but it's nowhere near as in your face as some of th either DIPAs out there. The reviewer that said that it's a toned down 90-minute is dead on. In fact, this is very similar to DFH but different enough to be sought out. The alcohol is present, but I think I could session this rather easily.

Very glad to have scored a sixer of this before the well runs dry. My fellow Chicagoans... go get this while you can. Bell's is officially back with this concoction.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a thick creamy light beige head and a deep caramel colored body with a good carbonation of tiny bubbles that glide through it.

S- The soft citrus juice note gives way to a green hops note with a slight earthiness to it. There is a soft caramel malt note that comes through a bit.

T- The light caramel malt sweetness has a dry toast note to it and a green pine hops flavor that is a bit herbal. The hops also have a cinnamon/clove spice to it minus the cinnamon/clove flavor. There is a nice bitter green hop note to the finish that has a slight lemonhead flavor to it.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a no alcohol heat at all.

D- This beer has some nice hops flavors and a good presence of malt but the hops and malt flavors tasted a bit awkward together. It was not offensive but just a bit odd. Still an ok IPA.

Photo of degerbah
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours an amber color with a finger of head. Almost no aroma at all which I thought was unusual for a DIPA. No hop smell whatsoever. The first taste has a hint of hops, but not nearly as much as I expected. I think that the hops may have faded as this was a trade bottle and I don't know how old it is. Still tastes well balanced and there is nowhere near the alcohol taste I would expect from something so strong. Dangerously drinkable, I would definitely like to try some that I knew was fresh to see if there was more hoppiness.

Photo of nkersten
3.08/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into my 3 Floyds Imperial Pint glass. A vigorous pour gives a half inch off white head that quickly fades. Liquid is a hazy dark burnt orange. Not much going on in the smell. Some hops, but not overwhelming. Vinous fruits, bready malt and some toffee. Almost more like a blond barleywine then an IIPA. Taste at first is somewhat metallic, but by the second sip that is gone. Bitter hops, some caramel flavors, but lacking in the flavoring hops. Toffee and bread dough in the finish. Bitter aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy body with light carbonation but still somewhat clean. Drinkability is good, but nothing special - there are many other IPAs and DIPAs that would would prefer. This beer is average at best, definitely not worth the $17/ 6pack price tag.

4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into snifter: from notes.
A: A short head retention, on a white fluffy nose. The body is a hazy orange, with a bright character in the light.
S: A grapfriut sweetness from the hops, overall a very medium intensity from the aroma.
T/M: The front is a nice hop bit and the mouthfeel is silky. Nice hop complexities and the finish ends on a dry note.
D: This is a classic IIPA, that lives up to the name. I will be going back for more of this. Easy to drink for the ABV and not too much unwanted resin characters.

Photo of dirtylou
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

on-tap, Maduro-Madison

from notes

appearance: served in a bells shaker pint, golden orange body, fluffy white cloud, good retention

smell: piney, biscuity malt, light non-bitter citrus, caramel

taste: there are some interesting reviews of this one - this draft version was moderately hoppy (compared to hopslime and oracle at least)-light tangerine, citrus, bready, nutty, dry grain - the german tag is a stretch but its certainly a nontraditional dipa

mouthfeel: medium-light

overall: enjoyable and new to me - compared to hopslime its a sigh

Photo of prototypic
3.97/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hopsoulution Ale is copper in color. It's mostly clear. There's a faint orange tint to it when held to light. It's covered with an off-white head that rises to about half a finger in depth. It recedes rather quickly, leaving a lighter coat of sticky lace behind. Not bad.

The nose is good. It definitely features some sweet caramel notes up front. Fortunately, they don't seem overly strong. Hops follow quickly. They smell mostly grassy, piney, and a little floral. I'm guessing noble hops in some form, at least in part. There are some light citrus orange and grapefruit scents, but they are secondary. Alcohol is somewhat noticeable, but is not overbearing.

The flavor is keeps the pace. This is an interesting DIPA. The malt base does seem mostly caramel. It's sweet, but not to an offensive degree. Hops add piney and grassy flavors. There's some citrus orange in the background. I'm still sticking with noble hops although I'm not sure that's what was used. They add some bitterness, but the malts provide a good deal of balance. I wouldn't characterize this as a "hop bomb" by any stretch. Alcohol is blended well. It's a little noticeable, but isn't warm or hot. Finishes a little sweet and grassy.

Hopsoulution Ale has a medium body. Light carbonation helps it to attain a smooth feel. It goes down pretty easily for a 9% abv beer. I'm sticking with a single glass nonetheless.

I never thought I'd actually try Hopsoulution Ale. I suppose I was lucky to find it on tap at the Eccentric Cafe. I understand that this beer was brewed specifically for the State of Illinois because Two Hearted Ale wasn't available for a period of time. Nice gesture by Larry Bell. It's characterized as a German style DIPA. I'm guessing that's because German hops were used. It's good stuff. I wouldn't say the hop profile is a great choice for a DIPA, but it is good and is certainly novel (to my knowledge). Definitely worth checking out if the opportunity presents itself.

Photo of Kegatron
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Thanks go to lurchingbeast for this most generous extra in a recent trade.

Pours a slightly hazed copper, with a finger cap of off-white foamy head. This retains with a ¼ finger of froth that leaves back a rich cascade which quickly slides down the sides of the glass. The aroma is grassy feeling with a deep smelling mix of bitter earth and sweet tropical citrus. I'm getting some pine in this as well. Malts come out against the back of the nose with a thick graininess. Probably a little too much so.

The taste is bitter with earthy grapefruit and citrus peel. Resins cut across the tongue with some sharpness. This is balanced with a backbone of fruit, caramel, and chewy toasted graininess, which really has some thickness in the backend of the profile. The finish lingers with dryness and resins. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, maybe a little fuller feeling, with a prickly creaminess that sits on top of some underlying heft, although the alcohol thankfully mostly stays out of the flavor profile.

Overall not too bad but the heaviness of the malt and beefiness of the body made for a combo that started to wear me down some by the time I got to the bottom of the glass. Lots of grainy malt here but it unfortunately isn't really interesting enough to warrant its overly generous presence. I liked the fact that they shot for something different with this but I'd gladly take a Two Hearted over this any day.

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

Amber orange with a 1/4 head that dissipates. Lacing is present but not impressive.

Citrusy sweet with caramel/crystal malts and artificial fruit smell in the nose. Esters on tops of sweet malts mixed in with citric hops. Smells great despite being so different.

Sweet hits the tongue first followed by greatly subdued citrusy hops. Hop bitterness is very low and this beer's place as a DIPA/IIPA is up for interpretation IMHO. An accurate style is hard to place as the smoothness and mouthfeel of this brew is similar to an Apocalypse Cow by FFF with that milky and buttery feel but the taste is so sweet and flavorful with hops... Hop candy, anyone?

Alcohol is highly masked by sweetness and drinkability borders on dangerous. Cheers to Bells for this Hopsoulution Ale as a peace-offering to its admiring neighbors to the south!

Photo of bashiba
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice deep amber with a light but sticky white head.

The smell is light buscuity grain with a bit of green hops.

The flavor is very balanced for a Double IPA, nice big buscuity and caramel grain body with an equally large fresh hop finish. The hops are less of the typical West Coast Citrus style and more of a medicinal funky and earthy hops, maybe warrior or nugget.

The mouthfeel is thick and oily like a double IPA should be.

Easy to drink and tasty, could be a regular in fridge if not for the price and extreme rarity.

Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.63/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle batch 8513, poured into a tulip glass.

A: Pours an elegant looking hazy and blood orange looking redish color topped with a thick creamy and most importantly, sticky looking light toffee colored head. This beer looks quite inviting just standing there all alone in a tulip glass. A vigourus pour yeiled a one inch head which fades but not before leaving some seriously fat rings of lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Quite a lot going on here. The first thing I notice is the super ripe tropical fruit coming off of this beer from what seems like a mile away. Mango, apricot, and drippingly sticky sweet pineapple nearly override the smell receptors and move into the taste buds, but this gives way to a rather peppery and medicinal kind of spiciness that seems to indicate how heavy this beer might be.

T/MF: Sharp biting mouthfeel takes over almost immediatly followed by a strong resin and medicinal hop tongue lashing. I am a little dissapointed so far that there is not more of a citric presence to this beer that I encountered in the aroma, instead this is an earthier more medicinal take on a DIPA. I almost appricate what is being done here but it is really just not my cup of tea, just too earthy and resiny for me.

D: Its a nice beer for those looking for a piny version of a DIPA but for me this one just doesn't just muster.

Photo of GRG1313
3.02/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark amber with copper tints and a nice firm white head.

Nose is like candied pineapple; candied fruit; fresh fruit cake; Mouthfeel is rich and creamy and mouthfilling.

Flavors are big and bold and heavy but not rich and/or fresh. Tastes a bit old, although a fresh bottle. Flavors are heavy and bitter pine, bitter light coffee, big bitter hop but without the brightness/acidic character that makes hops so attractive. Bitter carmel/toffee undertones.

Big bitter pine/old grapefruit skin finish. Not bad, just not a real drinkable or food friendly brew.

Photo of alleykatking
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle. Many thanks go out to gratefulbeerhead..aka Eric. You always surprise me with these beers! Review from notes:

A- Pours a deep amber color. One and a half finger white head stays around for a short while before dying down to a ring on the beer. Light lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- The aroma on this is interesting to say the least. A big malty body took me by surprise. Caramel and toffee unpfront. Some light darker fruits with a bitter hop presence in there. The earthy hops work well with balancing the malts.

T- Interesting once again. Big malts in the front of this. Tons of bready caramel malts take a light backseat to a light bitter hop bite before jumping back into all malts. Sweet alcohol on the backend of this.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Big malts on the palate with some sweet alcohol in the aftertaste. Flavors were a little muddled together. Some slight oxidation can be detected overall.

D- This beer drinks more like a strong amber ale more so than a DIPA. I am thinking this beer is a little past its prime. Starting to drink with more barleywine like qualities. If you have any I would suggest you drink it now.

Photo of naproxen
4.11/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This DIPA wins in the category for color, spot on. A good bit of haze at the start promises an abundance of hops, and it does not really clear up given a minutes rest either. The head retention is one of resilience, a nice ring still remains even after a few sips.

I am pleased at the aroma. While not really all that impressive in style for a DIPA, it is heavy on the floral side, a hint of vanilla I detect and maybe caramel.

Taste-wise, the floral hoppiness works real well with the biscuity-malt presence. I get a sweet bite at the back of my mouth, almost a little rye spice. The alcohol never even comes into play in the taste department from what I can say.

Very happy to have been able to try this beer, I wish I kept better notes on who sent this my way. Thanks to you, whoever you are.

Photo of emerge077
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch #8779 bottled October 9, 2008.

Dull hazy orange once the dregs are poured in, a little brighter in color beforehand. Thin cap of foam, but nice drippy lacing. Cantaloupe and caramel aroma, undercurrent of hop resin, all in all a fine balance of hops and malt.

Rich and full bodied, some white pepper, spearmint, and brief cantaloupe flavors. Resiny and dry aftertaste, a hint of aspirin, about as much as I can handle. Bitterness is moderate, it's tempered by a lightly sweet caramel malt that takes care of business. This is almost as drinkable as Hopslam, and will put you on your ass just as easily, so sip accordingly.

As a side note, this batch of Hopsoulution uses a different blend of hops than the first one. This batch is much more fruity and less medicinal. Cheers...

Photo of jsh420
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

batch 9920 bottled 8/17/10

pours hazy orangish amber with a 2 finger head that left lacing all down the glass

smells like 2hearted with lots of malts - very floral some pine and oh the malts

taste - wow this is the DIPA i have been looking for flavor wise - rich toffee carmel malts with plenty of the floral and pine hop flavors

mouthfeel is a little heavy and sticky

drinkability takes a hit with the heavy mouthfeel but its sold in sixers 6 sixers instead of overpriced bombers is a huge plus and oh did i forget that this beer tastes amazing

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep orangey color ale with a medium size foamy head with good retention and good lacing. Aroma of sweet malt with huge hoppy floral notes. Taste is a great mix between some sweet caramel malt and some strong hoppy floral notes and a medium bitter dry finish. Full body with good carbonation and no apparent aroma. Not necessarily a style that I usually fall in love easily with but this is definitely a top example of the style while showing some creativity by using a less known variety of hops.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. 9%, Batch # 9920 (Aug. 17, 2010)

Thanks to sweemzander for the hook-up with this bottle!

A - Brilliant golden hues brighten up the already gorgeous bronze color very well. Good clarity to boot! A small one-finger head sinks down quickly but leaves great thin lace on the glass.

S - Smooth and creamy caramel and toffee has a pretty large presence right away. It removes from the hops a bit. Spritzy and refreshing hops follow up with slight notes of white grape and freshly cut pineapple. I admire the malt backbone but it overtakes the hops just a bit much.

T - There is a fantastic hop complexity hiding behind the rich maltiness in this double IPA. Loads of caramel-covered biscuit topped with toffee shavings are up front. Digging deeper reveals a bouquet of noble floral notes, pressed white grape, and overly juicy pineapple. Delicious.

M - Medium-bodied and exceptionally smooth going down, this double IPA maintains a nice refreshing quality throughout while finishing a touch on the dry side and nicely balanced in terms of bitterness. Warm alcohol comes through retro nasally.

D - This beer proves, once again, that Bell's makes one mean double IPA. They know their hops and balance. And while this was a great brew, it's a little too much on the malty side for my liking. I would have loved to see the hops a touch stronger.

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

Hazy, opaque orange on the pour, with a solid finger plus of off-white head that laces a bit on the way down.

There's a nice floral bouquet, with much backing citrus. Solid malt sweetness for a backbone. There's a hint of caramel in there.

Nice level of bitterness; not extreme. Pleasant citrus and flowery hops. Finishes slightly malty sweet.

Feel is upper light in body, with a pleasant amount of carbonation, slightly creamy, coating a bit.

Overall, a good solid DIPA. Would love to know what brings this to a "german IPA" classification. I definitely like this more than The Oracle...

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Kalamazoo Hopsoulution Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
90 out of 100 based on 380 ratings.