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Kalamazoo Hopsoulution Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Kalamazoo Hopsoulution AleKalamazoo Hopsoulution Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

154 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 154
Hads: 405
Avg: 3.96
pDev: 16.92%
Wants: 66
Gots: 20 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 154 | Hads: 405
Photo of Wasatch
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to brandoman63 for this one.

Pours a very nice hazy golden orange color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger creamy off-white head, which leaves some small islands and sticky lacing. The nose is sweet, malty, hoppy, slight citrus. The tastes is sweet, more on the malt side, with some nice hop notes, very slight citrus. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a tasty brew, recommended. Thanks Brandon for the extra.

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Photo of julian
4.01/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a cloudy earthy orange color with an off white tan head that disappears almost immediately leaving only a thin sporadic coating along the surface.

S: fruity hops, brown sugar sweetness. Having a hard time pinpointing aromas on this one...maybe my nose isn't working right today, but I feel fine...I just can't smell much of anything except the initial blast of fruity tones.

T&M: Not sure what the IBUs on this one are, but this is a very easy drinking DIPA. It starts off with a bit of a hop kick, then moves on to some earthy fruity flavors. It goes down smooth and has an almost toffee like flavor that coats your tongue.

D: Not sure of the ABV, but this is an easy drinking brew. Very nice.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this bottle in a trade with joe1510. Thanks Joe!

This pours a hazy ruby red with a good 1 finger head of foam. Plenty of lacing. Excellent head retention.

The smell is nicely balanced. Lots of citrus and tropical fruit for bitterness, an ample amount of caramel sweetness. If this tastes as good as it smells, I'm in for a treat.

The taste has big hoppiness with tropical fruitiness and some citrus and a good sweet malt flavour that does some good balancing; not as balanced as the nose suggested but it's far from being one dimensional.

The mouthfeel is just over on to the medium side, the carbonation is just under medium, and it finishes with a definite bitter bite from whatever tropical fruit flavour is the cause. Nice and it's a pretty easy drinker for the style.

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Photo of errantnight
3.61/5  rDev -8.8%
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!

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Photo of ncvbc
4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep amber with reddish hues and a nice creamy head atop it. Sticky lacing down the glass. Smell is juicy citrus hops with a pretty substantial malt backing. Grapefruit, some spice, caramel, bread, and brown sugar. Taste is much of the same. Almost reminds me of a hoppy amber in ways, though it's still quite solid and yummy. Mouthfeel has a nice bitterness with a creamy, near chewy texture to it. Not too dry in the finish though fairly spicy for sure. I really enjoy the lingering citrus flavors which seem to be soaked in malt. Highly drinkable for the style. Pretty unique stuff and while it isn't in line with your typical DIPA it's a great treat.

Thanks to brandoman63 for sending a bottle in the Jazz BIF!

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Photo of orbitalr0x
3.78/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

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Photo of ckeegan04
3.63/5  rDev -8.3%
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.

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Photo of roadhouse
3.8/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a snifter.

Appears a very cloudy dark copper color that glows red when held up to the light. One finger off-white head leaves a little lacing.

Aroma is interesting. Not too strong, but I detect tropical fruit along with a bunch of caramel malts. Certainly not the traditional piney and citrusy hops that you find in a DIPA.

Flavor was again dominated by the tropical fruit. The bitterness on this is insanely smooth, but too much so. I like a DIPA to actually have some bitterness. Next comes a burst of sweet caramel malt then some earthy/spicy tones on the finish. Interesting.

Mouthfeel is very smooth. Medium bodied, slightly oily.

Didn't really know what to expect from this stuff so I can't really say I'm disappointed. I figured it would have more of a noble hop character. It does have some of that going on too but it is surprising fruity as well. It's not bad, just not overly complex and perhaps a bit boring.

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Photo of ohmybock
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
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!

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Photo of jwinship83
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Cloudy amber with a small 1cm head and a bit of lacing.

S- Lovely strong odor of citrus hops and a hint of pine.

T- Starts with a fruity malty taste and finishes with a pleasantly bitter hoppy aftertaste

M- A little thin with a nice carbonation

D- I could drink this one all night long. Very enjoyable. When i first had it a couple of months ago, the hop taste was stronger and i definitely liked it more. What you can buy now might be passed its prime if it wasnt kept cold.

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Photo of atsprings
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to brandoman63 for the trade. Pours a nice hazy dark amber with a nice frothy head. Aroma is noble German and pine hops and slight burnt caramel, quite fragrant. The taste is a very interesting hop profile in the forefront with a very decent bready malt backbone. Grass and pine dominate the hop profile with caramel and slight molasses coming from the malt. The beer is on the heavy side of medium with a decent hop bitterness. This one is certainly unlike any beer I've ever had, and I am very glad to get to try this limited release, here's to hoping for a wider release in the future!

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Photo of BeerTruth
3.91/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another brew graciously provided by tpd975, cheers my friend!

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours a ruby copper hue with a powerful three finger off-white head that slowly falls to a creamy layer leaving a good amount of stick on the sides of the glass. Piney and dirty earth hops up front mixed with a fair amount of caramel hops. Some leather and spice tickle the nose as well, very interesting aroma for a DIPA, let's see where this goes. Taste begins with woody pine hops with some grit and a touch of citrus. Midway the caramel malts take over and lead to a smooth and sweet oak aftertaste. A light/medium body with a smooth and creamy feel. Carbonation is light and fits the beer quite well. Interesting twist on the style for sure. A balanced DIPA, go figure. Glad I had the opportunity to try this beer. Thanks again Greg!

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Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.63/5  rDev -8.3%
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.

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Photo of sholland119
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Obtained in trade from d0b. Thanks, Dave.

A-Pours a slightly hazy amber with a thin tan head. Nice.

S-Strong piney hop deliciousness with a hint of malt.

T-A bready, earthy taste in the front with a faint hop bitterness. Totally unexpected flavor profile for the style but very very tasty.

M-Nice medium carbonation, very light on the tongue for the style. Just a bit of lingering hops.

D-Very tasty and unique. No idea what the ABV is but it is dangerously drinkable if it is in fact a DIPA. Tastes moderate for a regular IPA.

The label says this was brewed especially for the people of Illinois. Lucky people! I am glad I was able to sneak a couple of them out. Delicious.


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Photo of scruffwhor
3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep and somewhat translucent copper. Starts with a strong bread doughy head that recedes to a thick foam covering the whole beer. Alright lacing after every sip, but quickly slides back down the glass. The aroma is a white bread crust with resiny citrus hops. The taste starts with some dry white and rye breads tht slowly move into hop territory. The hops impart an orange peel jam with some Douglas fir notes. The overall palate is a bit doughy and coats the palate very well. Lots of long lingering bitterness lingers after every sip. Thanks for the beer Bell's!!!

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Photo of spointon
3.8/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this one from a 12oz brown bottle into a large Duvel tulip snifter (alongside an identical pour of Bell's Two Hearted ale).

A= This ale poured a deep orange-amber color with a foggy chill hazed look. With an aggressive pour I got a 1" tan head that slowly dropped to a skim. Carbonation release was moderate but steady. Lacing was also moderate. In appearance, color, head, etc. this beer looks nothing like its Two Hearted Ale cousin.

S= The first aroma that assailed my nose was (unbelievably) tropical fruit! I noted serious pineapple and mango qualities. These unusual aromas are no doubt a byproduct of the German hybrid Smaragd hops. There were also faint, sweet bakery malt aromas mixed in there too. The grassy and earthy hop scents, while present, definitely took a back seat to the fruitiness on this one...

T= As was the case with the aroma, the up-front flavors of this ale were a blend of sweet and earthy. The hops were unlike any other hops I have had, and they released very little bitterness in this ale. The finish was tart and very slightly sour.

MF= The mouth feel on this beer was medium/heavy bodied and slightly oily on the tongue. Rather low carbonation, but pretty dead-on for the style.

D= This beer was disappointing, but mainly because I wanted it to be the same as Bell's Two Hearted Ale (which I can no longer get here in Illinois). In its own right though, this was an interesting and complex beer. The flavors were too sweet but stopped just shy of being cloying. The big 8.4 ABV was dangerously easy to forget about too.

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Photo of gford217
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of brandoman63 poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a slightly hazy copper with a dense one-finger off-white head that shows great retention leaving lots of lacing.

S: Smell is heavy of earthy, grassy hops up front with a slight citrus scent of grapefruits as well. There is also a big malt backbone with caramel and sugar scents.

T: The taste has the same earthy hops up front but with a sweeter caramel malt backbone with caramel and brown sugar. The finish is just slightly bitter with the grassy hops but still fairly crisp.

M: Mouthfeel is medium bodied with strong carbonation and makes for a very creamy feel overall.

D: This is a very drinkable brew from Bells and more in the vein of an English IPA with the heavy caramel malt presence and earthy hops.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

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Photo of Slynger
3.61/5  rDev -8.8%
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.

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Photo of MrMcGibblets
3.08/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

this poured a hazy deep copper/amber with a creamy tan head and nice fine lacing. smell was mostly toffee and caramel, also stone fruit, some nuttiness and a vague spiciness also noted. the citrus and piney notes that i expected did not really come through for me. taste was med/full toffee malt sweetness balanced by enough spicy bitterness. not a fan of the toffee in my ipas. big, thick, creamy mouthfeel is also a bit prickly with a long bitter finish. i felt cheated because the beer guy told me this was just like hopslam and this is entirely different.

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Photo of tpd975
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Gillard for this one. I owe ya Ryan.

A: Pours a nice golden brownish hue with a huge head that has wonderful retention. Spotty lace and a steady stream of bubbles rising to the top.

S: Nice malt blast from a Bell's IPA, I like it. Hints of pine malt, but perfect balance overall.

T: The balance carries thru. Nice solid malt backbone, yet there is enough piney, grassy, earthy hops pushing thru. Nicely balanced and very drinkable.

M: Nice medium bodied brew that went down way to smoothly.

D: Sessionable!

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Photo of philberinghele
4.27/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An excellent copper color with a decent, fluffy white head. The german hops give a grassy, earthy scent and taste. Very unusual for a double ipa. Highly drinkable, as the alcohol is barely perceptible yet you might not want to have more than a couple due to the abv.

I don't think this beer is quite as good as hopslam yet it is just as interesting in its own right.

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Photo of hoppymeal
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a medium ambery copper in color, just a slight haze, a decent size creamy, cream colored head slowly recedes to a thick ring. Aroma is a good grassy hoppiness and a strong orange citrus aroma, sweetened by the malts. Hops are somewhat floral as well, with a hint of the alcohol evident as it approaches room temp. Taste shows some more of the vitamin c, orange candy like flavor, good pepperiness mid taste into the finish before a grassy bitterness puckers the front of the tongue. Mouthfeel is medium in body, nice malty, creamy body is cut well by the peppery, drying bite of bitterness. A great, highly drinkable double ipa, esp for an 8 plus percent abv, only wish I could buy it locally. Definitely worth seeking out. Thanks to Kan for the opportunity.

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Photo of Gtreid
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks go out to brandoman63 for a great brew!
Poured the 12 oz. bottle into a snifter.

A: Dark copper, like the color of a penny after about 20 years or so of floating around. One finger of tan, cream color head appears and quickly receeds to a thin rim, and leaves thick, but spotty lacing.

A: Very nice citrus and grass hop aroma, that is balanced exteremly well with sweet malts.

T: This is amazing! This is my first experience with a German DIPA, and I have to say I am impressed. Sweet, hoppy, crisp, and clean. And finishes with a nice bitter, alcohol bite.

M&D: Creamy, medium body, next to no carbonation, makes the brew slighty syrupy on the palate. I love this beer. Differnt from the American style, but IMO just as good. Larry Bell continues to impress with his innovative styles. I wish this would become part of his everyday line-up. Outstanding! Skal.

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Photo of GbVDave
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 20oz imperial pint.

Batch # 8513

A: Pours a dark burnt-orange color. Like blood orange fruit. Capping this is a thick and creamy, tan-colored, two finger head with excellent retention. Lots of lace left in the glass.

S: Aromas of pine and lemon. Probably due to the noble hops used. Also noted were aromas of herbs, dry & toasty malt, caramel, and earthy/natural spices.

T: Much like above. The malt never loses its' dry qualities but gains a slight caramel sweetness as it warms. Plenty of pine, citrus, and earthy herbs/spices. Sort of what a high quality health food store would taste like without the patchouli and BO!

M: Dry and spicy throughout. The malt contributes to much of the sweetness here. A fresh, herbal, spiciness adds a tremendous amount of zest to the mouthfeel.

D: Very different, very refreshing, and very enjoyable. An entirely welcome addition to the Bell's portfolio!

Batch # 8779

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 20oz imperial pint on 2/4/09.

A: Pours a perfectly hazy, dark-orange color with a small-ish, bubbly cap of light-tan foam. The head recedes to a sticky ring and a skim that consists of "bloppy chunks" of foam. Specks of lace are left behind and the carbonation is rather still.

S: Aromas of creamy caramel, tangy melon, pineapple, freshly mown lawn, tart red apple, toasty malt, berries, and an underlying ripe and fruity sweetness.

T: My tongue was greeted with a big wash of spicy pineapple and caramel followed closely by pine tar, red apple, grapefruit, white pepper, dry toasted malt, and some herbal/floral hops. Found a bit of lemon or bitter orange lurking in the background, as well.

M: Very resinous and sticky. The middle turns spicy and peppery and those traits continue on long into the finish. Peeks of dry pineyness mingle with prickly hops and sticky sweet pineapple.

D: This batch seems a little more conventional than batch # 8513. A little more juicy fruitiness, a lot less smelly hippy health food store! All 4.5's.

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Kalamazoo Hopsoulution Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
88 out of 100 based on 154 ratings.