Kalamazoo Hopsoulution Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Kalamazoo Hopsoulution AleKalamazoo Hopsoulution Ale

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

376 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 376
Reviews: 150
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 10.15%
Wants: 64
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:
A "German-style Double IPA" according to Larry Bell.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-31-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 376 | Reviews: 150 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JohnQVegas
3.33/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle into Sam Adams sensory glass, batch 9920 (8/17/10), with another heartfelt thank you to Jeff (AleWatcher) for even more fantastic beer I never would have been able to try otherwise. Every box is thoughtful and delicious, without exception. Thanks once again, buddy!

Pours a very deep, ruddy, rusty amber bordering on brown. Cloudy, with a one-finger off-white head that settles in fairly quickly. Poor retention, iffy lacing. Bump to adjust for over-valuation.

Nose is very syrupy, rich caramel, dense and toasty, with a sweet citrus note that is reminiscent of an orange liquor perhaps? Again, rich dense, and sweet, though I was really hoping for a bit of brightness in there that never came through. Quite a bit of alcohol coming through. Any hop character is just swallowed by a malt base that doesn't have nearly enough complexity to hold up to that end of the bargain.

Taste follows suit. Hops are there with a grapefruity character, but barely emerging from the deep caramel malt body that shows a lot of density. Thick and fruity, a bit dull (not boring, but lacking brightness), just a bit astringent, light alcohol warmth. Leaves the tongue feeling just a wee bit tingly. Deeply bready, toasty, caramel body surrounds the citrusy, almost fruit-cakey hop character.

Mouthfeel is dense, oily, almost gritty, leaves the tongue feeling tingly and just a bit numbed. Sticky, full bodied, light carbonation; you know you're drinking a DIPA. Probably the best aspect of the beer.

Drinkability is hurt by the density of the beer; big malt body, huge mouthfeel, lots of alcohol. This is a big style, no doubt, but the drinkability on this one is definitely not exceptional.

Photo of kkipple
3.4/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got this in a trade from Gillard. Thanks bud!

Hopsolution is a very hazy, ground-water dingy copper with a fine scummy tan-orange head. Leaves some lace, which is rare for this style of beer. Yeah, I've seen better beers, but I won't hold it against this one... much.

Smells rather odd, once you get past the initial hop blast. There are some interesting things going on here, not all of them easy to pick out. The hops are apparently something called "Smaragd" from Germany (?!?!) and are characterized by a dirty, earthy and acidic smell, at least in this beer. I'm also getting some big sweet caramel-malt notes and Seville oranges. Alcohol and more hop juice finish it off.

Tastes quite bitter and dry, with a medicinal, acidic quality (those weird hops?) that's not entirely welcome. The very sweet toasted-orange and syrupy malt is tough, but cannot overcome the bludgeoning it receives from the hordes of filthy, noble hops. This beer is simply overhopped, and not in a good way.

Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy, finish is dry and super hoppy; reminds me of bitter grapefruit. There is an intriguing earthy, burnt sugar note that lingers on the palate at the conclusion and this partially atones for the sins previously committed by this brew.

Drinkability is simply ok. I actually recommend trying this, those bizarre, vowel-hating Smaragd hops provide such a different experience that it's hard to be upset at this beer for long.

Photo of AgentZero
3.43/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Orange colored beer with a white head that had some decent retention and left some lace on the sides.

S - Nice caramel backbone with some estery sweetness and a little booze showing through. There is mostly floral and piney hops with some mild bittering on the end.

T - Taste is about the same as the nose, with a slight alcohol finish. That is probably my biggest complaint about the beer as the finish is detrimental to the overall taste. It's fairly non-descript, but okay.

M - Medium bodied with active carbonation.

O - Not bad, nothing I would have again.

Photo of sweemzander
3.45/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint.

(A)- Pours a lightly hazy caramel amber color with some mahogany highlights. Produced a good frothy tan colored head with some good retention.

(S)- A good burst of pineapple and grapefruit citrus up front. A mellow dry pine wood behind that. The citrus really takes the forefront.

(T)- Wow, very different from the smell. A big piney resin blast on the front end. In the middle, it has a dry cotton-like citrus and bark consistency. Alot of wood flavors in this.

(M)- A good carbonation level to it. I like the citrus profile, but it is kinda an afterthought to the big dry, almost bitter wood notes.

(D)- A different take on the style. Far more woody and dry than typical, but the citrus does come though on the finish. Good stuff though, almost takes on a more amber ale character the more I have of it.

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.48/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of SQNfan, bottled 5/23/08. Pours a cloudy orange with a small white head. Aroma of sweet malt, raisins, and dark fruit. Flavor is quite malty with some light fruits and iced tea in the background. Unfortunately the hops have faded in this beer and it's not in the best condition. I will rerate if I get a fresh bottle.
Aroma: 6/10
Appearance: 4/5
Flavor: 7/10
Palate: 4/5
Overall: 14/20
3.5/5

Photo of nmann08
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

On draft, pours a clear dark golden color with amber hues, wispy white head.

The nose is sweet malts, caramel, citrus hops and dried fruit. A little pineapple. The alcohol is apparent in the nose and in the taste. When you first sip, it feels juicy, but the bitterness and caramel take over, leaving you with a mouthful of bitter hops which dominate the citrus grapefruit and tropical fruits note. This is a bit sweeter than I like my double IPA's, but it is an old-style traditional that stays true to what it is.

Photo of Savearth
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of indianabeerman
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of jayhawk73
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On draft at Churchkey:

Pours a medium amber color. Little lacing on my snifter glass. The nose is fruit- pineapple, grapefruit, grass, and a little caramel malt. A little on the weak side for me. Taste follows suit here, very fruity. Feel is medium, syrupy, with a little dry aftertaste. Overall, not great- but worth trying. Cheers.

Photo of brpendergast85
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of Whiskeydeez
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of apocalypsezombie
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of crossovert
3.53/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Batch 9920.

It pours a hazed brownish orange/red. The head is frothy and white and leaves some nice lacing as it recedes.

The smell is bizzare. I have never smelled a DIPA this fruity. It smells like strawberry taffy. There is also a lot of candied orange peel. Very sweet, some candied lemon in there too.

Taste has some of the candied orange carry over along with some hoppy bitterness. This beer does not taste like an average dipa. The bitterness is there but not very persistent. There is a lot of alt here but it doesn't really overpower the hops, rather accenting them. It tastes like candied fruits. There is a bit of herbal pine that creeps in but it is overpowered by the fruity candy taste.

This is an interesting beer, I dk if I like it or hate it, it surely could be a polarizing DIPA if it was widely distributed and more people could try it.

Photo of Kegatron
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
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 brentk56
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear amber with a two inch head that clumps foam on the side of the glass

Smell: Malt-forward caramel, with a tropical salad of fruit aromatics and a slight grassy tinge

Taste: Caramel, up front, followed by bitter tropical fruit flavors (mango, overripe pineapple and apricot) mixed with a grassy, medicinal element; after the swallow, the medicinal flavor picks up a notch, though the fruit and caramel hang around underneath

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Quite a different take on the style - can't say I would want to seek this out again

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I had a bottle at my parents' house in Chicago over the holidays. I've been wanting to try this for almost 1/2 year, ever since seeing it for sale at Sams in June. The beer looks dark orange with a thin head. The smell is very DIPA-ish, strong hops are dominant but with lots of malt sweetness. The taste is right on the line between a DIPA and a barleywine, really sweet and bitter. Maybe closer to barleywine, I wouldn't have guessed it was only 8.4% ABV. The body seemed thick but not excessively thick, nicely done but a little strong in presence (while actually being somewhat weak in ABV).

Photo of pmlondrigan
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice looking reddish orange color, white head, two fingers, a little lacing. Smell is kind of eh for a 2XIPA, a little citrus and pine, a little minty actually. Taste is a little more malt forward then expected, with a good bit of crystal malt flavor. Some piney notes, not too bitter really, really needs some more hop charecter. Clean finish, plan mouthfeel.

Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.6/5  rDev -10.9%
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 errantnight
3.6/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Joe1510... bringing it strong.

A bit of a ruby tinge to the golden hue with a few fingers of luscious head. Superb lacing and retention... gorgeous.

Aroma is hoppy... but it's an odd, cherry, tangerine-ness mixed with caramel. It's not terribly strong, and while it's interesting, and not offensive, I'm not crazy about it.

The taste is... again, interesting. There's a smooth oilyness to it that is very IPAish, the bitterness is high, and just rough enough without being jagged. The body is medium with proper carbonation... the flavor is a forward hop of candy fruit (cherries again, spring to mind) against a vanilla caramel back. Finishes too sweet, and slightly cloying.

I keep fluctuating in my appreciation for it, but it's certainly an interesting take... but whatever the hops, these are not meant for IPAs as we currently know them. Could provide some interesting depth properly blended.

Thanks, Joe!

Photo of Slynger
3.6/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Crazy deep, lightly hazy, rusty orange color with a fine head of fuzzy cream coloring.

Quite light in the smell department, I have to stick my nose deep in the glass to pick out everything. Light caramel sweetness with pineapple and lemony fruitiness along with herbal, earthy hops with hints of spice.

Tastes rings in much stronger than the smell. I'm getting toasted malts with a modest amount of pineapple / lemon fruitiness. Citrus rind and earthy-spiciness leave this brew lightly dry and solidly bitter. Medium-full body has a nice amount of soft and fuzzy carbonation with a lightly oily smoothness to it.

Hmmm, I really wanted this to be awesome to the point of a special Illinois version of Hopslam, but I may have set my expectations a bit too high. I like what it brings to the table but it seems a bit unpolished and some aspects are slightly muted and out of balance. I know that I am nitpicking here, but that is only because I expect so much from Bell's. This is still a nice beer, just not great.

Photo of Treebs
3.6/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on draft at Palmer Place in LaGrange. Served in a snifter glass.

A: Pours a dark purple and amber mixture with a half finger, light yellow head. Leaves great rings of sticky lace. Great looking beer.

S: Grapefruit citrus with a bready malt and resiny pine. Little candied sugar.

T: Taste is pretty much the nose to a T. Candied sugars and citrus fruits with the grapefruit making the number one appearance. Bitter hop finish with also a slight oat malt thrown in for good measure.

M: Medium bodied with great carbonation and a malty, bitter finish on the palate.

O: This sounded great and while it didn't live up to my own hype it was still a solid offering. Taste was a little too muddled for me.

Photo of alleykatking
3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
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 jwc215
3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Tattorso for including this in a trade!

Pours orange amber with a thin tan head that has nice staying power. A bit of lacing sticks.

The smell is floral/piney with some caramel, fruity esters and alcohol.

The taste is floral/piney with a sturdy caramelish backbone. A DIPA that leans BW-ish in taste. There is a slight astringency and some alcohol in the finish.

Medium-bodied, yet strong. A bit of a raw texture.

A nice piney, raw sipper.

Photo of drabmuh
3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle opened by Thorpe randomly at a tasting recently, batch number was in the 8000s, so it's already a few years old. Drinks like a barleywine now.

Beer is copper and clear with almost no head, no lacing, no nothing.

Aroma is mildly hoppy, piny, dark fruits and sugars, perhaps slightly oxidized.

Beer is thick and sweet at the get go, it is malty and the midpalate unfolds to reveal more malt, no real hop presence here, just a lot of dark fruits, candies, and other implements of sweetness. The finish however is relatively bitter with a nice hoppiness there. Interesting experiment, interesting beer.

Photo of ckeegan04
3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Gillard for the chance to try this one. Bottled on 5/23/08.

A - Dark cloudy copper in color with two finger light brown head. Excellent retention and light lacing.

S - A little on the boozy side with aromas of spicey hops as well. Also a dark caramel aroma.

T - Very sweet up front with a roasted caramel and biscuity taste. A spicey and earthy hop taste quickly comes in. A very balanced DIPA, almost too far to the sweet malt side. Alcohol is fairly well masked but still present in the taste.

M/D - Medium bodied and rather creamy. Has a good feel but the sweetness mixed with the alcohol brings the drinkability down for me.

Kalamazoo Hopsoulution Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
90 out of 100 based on 376 ratings.