Dismiss Notice
Microbrew Invitational
Join us June 3 + 4 in Boston and help us drink 300+ beers, ciders, kombuchas, meads, sakes and more!

TICKETS: beeradvocate.com/micro/

Kalamazoo Hopsoulution Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

very good
156 Reviews
no score
Send samples
For Trade:
Kalamazoo Hopsoulution AleKalamazoo Hopsoulution Ale

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
A "German-style Double IPA" according to Larry Bell.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-31-2008

User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 156 | Ratings: 418
Photo of jayhawk73
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%
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.

 334 characters

Photo of brystmar
3.26/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Boozy, malty, caramel-y sweetness in the nose. Lot more alcohol aromas than expected, much more so than any other IPA I've had. Is this really an IPA?

Caramel malt sweetness dominates the taste. Alcoholic warmth as it descends. Mild hops on the finish. Not much else going on here.

Only the second German-style DIPA I've had, and this can't touch the Mikkeller I had a few months back. Needs more hops, and that's not something I've ever said about an IPA before.

I don't dislike this beer; it just misses the style completely.

 530 characters

Photo of russwbeck
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Third pairing of RFD Washington's Bell's Beer Dinner. This beer was brewed especially for Illinois, due to distribution laws, the brewery was having issues with Hopslam. To combat this, they came up with a (hop)solution: create a new beer! This was paired with Machengo macaroni and cheese with carrots, cauliflower and peas topped with brioche crumbs.

A: Insanely clear amber pour with a small white head. Decent retention and lacing. 4

S: Ton of bitter hops without a malty backbone. All about the hops with some tropical fruits like citrus and mango. 4.5

T: Follows the aroma perfectly. Citrus and orange for the fruits. Bitter hops. A small malt backbone and some alcohol add a nice balance. Very enjoyable. 4.5

MF: Really bitter and drinkable. Alcohol on the backend. 4

O: As delicious as Hopslam and very balanced. I have to try Hopslam again before I reach a final verdict as to which is better. My gut, however, is going to give it to Hopslam. The big IPA pairs nicely with the mac and cheese. They’ve done a great job pairing the beers and the food so far. 4.5

 1,076 characters

Photo of elNopalero
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Spelled this one incorrectly in my notes and it took me forever to figure that out! ISO: Editor…

Anyways. This pours a golden tan-straw color. There’s a very fruity hop profile to this, not just citrus but also tropical fruits. I’m thinking of grapefruit and pineapple, primarily. Comes through on the aroma and definitely on the taste as well. It’s a good one.

 370 characters

Photo of Treebs
3.61/5  rDev -8.8%
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.

 706 characters

Photo of bobhits
2.95/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

The opening of this matches even the hopslams of the world. A big citrus front with plenty of hops and malt. The issue I have is that the finish is milder than two hearted. A very boring finish. Sure a lot of citrus and caramel malt but a dull boring finish that even IPAs do better with.

Worth a shot but not a beer that you remember.

 337 characters

Photo of jimbus
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Earthy light burnt orange - minimal head - caramel malt on the nose...not exactly what I was expecting with an apparent DIPA - taste is super juicy, pineapple and resin and pine sap, bitterness complemented a sufficient malt backbone. Just an awesome flavor profile that I still can't put my finger on - mouthfeel is full and smooth - definitely able to enjoy more than one of these bad boys - cheers.

 401 characters

Photo of Hojaminbag
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hop Solution's body is a russet color with an off-white head that is frothy and sticky looking. The retention is pretty good, and thick, sticky tendrils of lacing cling to my glass.

The aroma is super fruity, with grapefruit, orange, pineapple and a bit of resin coming from the hops. A little bit of light malts comes through in the background, but the aroma of this one is easily dominated by hops.

Hop solution has a good bit of resiny hop flavor that brings an earthy, spicy character to the beer, but the flavor profile overall is dominated by fruity hops just as the aroma was. Pineapple, orange, grapefruit, and maybe even a touch of lemon all come together, drowning out the malt in the background. Grapefruity is the weakest of the fruit, with pineapple being surprisingly aggressive. Bitterness is moderate; somehow Hop Solution packs a ton of hop flavor with just enough bitterness to dry things out a little bit. The malt is sweet, with caramel malt mixed in, but it isn't too powerful or even all that noticeable. There isn't even a trace of alcohol or warmth as the beer finishes dry and a little bit bitter, with grassy hop flavors mixed in.

Medium bodied, a little bit oily on the tongue, not incredibly bitter.

Hop Solution is quite good, which makes me wonder why I don't see it released more often or more widely distributed. One of the more impressive parts of the beer is that it hides that 9% ABV very well, with no heat or even warmth to speak of. Quite honestly, I had this one pegged as a single IPA and not a double.

 1,546 characters

Photo of tsauce2
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

P: on tap in to a Bells tulip glass

A: SRM is light amber. White head, tight bubbles, dissipated to hang on rim. Medium lacing.

S: Hoppy notes with slight carmel and spice notes.

T: Less hoppy than anticipated for an American DIPA, but this is described as a German DIPA. Nice hoppiness, alcohol comes through a little, slight carmel notes on palate.

M: Medium body. Again, lighter than anticipated. Medium hoppiness, no overly bitter notes, nicely balanced on the palate. Semi-wet finish.

O: This beer is more IPA than DIPA. Reminded me of a half Hopslam with no honey. Overall a good beer, and a good price for 9%. Alcohol came off a little, but hard to prevent with a 9% beer.

 684 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

rich light golden amber. Smooth and very cloudy, this thing looked like it was about to kick my ass, and as I was about to find out, it was defintley going to. Lots of ripe grapefruit and pineapple hops that just tore through the air as soon as I leaned in to it. Huge notes of hops dominated the entire flavor as well. Sharp flavor here as the resin like hops took all the moisture out of my mouth and left me parched, dry and looking for mor

 443 characters

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

Copper body, fairly light in appearance, with a very caramel-forward and grassy nose. With the taste, imagine an IPA with a spoonful of apricot jam mixed in... fruity hops mix with the malts to become sticky-sweet and fruity, but there's also a good spice to it so that it doesn't weigh you down. Crisp and well-carbonated. I don't know that it's a DIPA in a traditional sense, but it's awesome, a great malt- and fruit-forward taste on the style.

 447 characters

Photo of dirtylou
3.73/5  rDev -5.8%
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

 549 characters

Photo of prototypic
3.97/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

 1,969 characters

Photo of brew3crew
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at bell's cafe 7/21

A-Golden yellow with a white head that is very inviting...

S-hoppy with a little bit of fruit

T-alot like it smells. sweet caramel malts with a little bit of hops just to remind you that they are there...

M-medium body and very smooth

O-Good beer. Wish they would bottle it with wider distribution!

 330 characters

Photo of AgentZero
3.43/5  rDev -13.4%
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.

 568 characters

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

 752 characters

Photo of sidetracked
2.44/5  rDev -38.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Pours a cloudy amber with a light cream head that lingers as a thin film.

Odd smell--almost like those cheap strawberry candies or imitation fruit mixed with some caramel-like sweetness. Fairly sweet.

A nice piney/floral hop bitterness hits the tongue first ... leading to a slightly sweet, caramel malt middle. The finish goes awry and starts mimicking the aroma--cheap hard candy, sweet strawberry, some bitter hops battling strongly sweet malts. Almost cloyingly sweet.

Medium body and syrupy with a good amount of carbonation keep the beer from being too heavy.

While I didn't think Hopsoulution was terrible, every time I opened a bottle I did so hoping it was better than I remembered. "Not impressed" is the perfect way to describe this beer.


 763 characters

Photo of drabmuh
3.65/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

 608 characters

Photo of JAXSON
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another bottle from Ed. A mostly clear, deep copper with a pretty scant head. Nose is some oxidized caramel malt, butterscotch, pine sugars, and perhaps an odd citrus fruit. Stinging malt on the first sip, this feels more like an American barley wine than an IIPA. It's certainly of the malty sort. Grainy, caramel, lots of sugars, with a residual pine bitterness. Citrus oils. Did somebody say fig sugars? Very rich and actually works pretty well. Can you say grapefruit oils?

 477 characters

Photo of Tone
3.73/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, copper color. One and one half inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of citrus hops, sweet malt, hint of caramel, hint of wood, and slight alcohol. Fits the style of an American Double / Imperial IPA. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, slight alcohol, citrus hops, hint of floral hops, and slight wood. Overall, good appearance, body, and blend.

 450 characters

Photo of Pellinore1
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours medium amber, producing two fingers of slowly fading, light straw head.

I smell floral, fruity hops, offset by notes of bread and biscuit. There is a good deal of caramel sweetness here, too, not what I expect from a double IPA.

The flavor presents an interesting balance of hops and malt. Floral, fruity hops seem to come forward first, followed by caramel and biscuit. The finish then leaves a lasting bitterness on the tongue.

This beer drinks quite smoothly, and has some pleasant carbonation. The ABV is quite well hidden.

As plenty of other reviewers have noted, this really doesn't fit the expected profile for a DIPA. I'd be more likely to label it a Strong Ale or Barleywine.

 694 characters

Photo of Jeffo
3.26/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ini a recent trade with Mulder1010. Thank!

From a bottle into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: Pours a two finger, medium looking, off-white head with decent retention. Cloudy, burnt orange in color with medium carbonation evident. Deeper color on this one. Head slowly fades to a decent foam cap with a touch of clingy lacing left on the sides. A splotchy wisp remains and leaves some decent lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Bold nose for sure. Pale malts, lots of caramel, toffee and butterscotch as well. Almost barleywine like, though the hops are quite prevalent. Some biscuit notes and floral hops round it out. Quite nice really, though not really to style at all.

TASTE: Very sweet for the style, bordering on a weaker version of a barleywine. Pale malts with lots of caramel and toffee up front. Buttery and butterscotch notes, giving it a bit of an English ESB quality. Biscuit though the middle and some floral hope accompany the caramel and toffee into the finish. Very little bitterness on this one. A mild and shorter lived aftertaste has some caramel, biscuit and floral hops. Dry finish for sure.

PALATE: Medium-full body and medium carbonation. Creamy smooth on the palate, goes down slightly prickly though and finishes slightly dry. A bit of heat on the swallow. Nice stuff.

OVERALL 28/40: A German style DIPA? Don't see that at all. Perhaps it's a hoppier Doppelbock, but that's a bit of a stretch. As a beer in itself this was actually pretty good, but there's nothing German or DIPA about it. Really hard to score this one. It was more like a restrained barleywine, or perhaps an EBS on gear. Either way, it did not deliver the sought after DIPA profile. If you interested in something a little different, then this one is definitely tasty and worth checking out. If you're looking for a citrusy, piney, or bitter hop bomb, steer clear of this one.

 1,869 characters

Photo of beerwolf77
4.14/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes to tickzander for this beer. Poured from a bottle into a tulip.

A: Rusty orange amber. Tiny wisp of beige head. No lace no cap.

S: Sweet caramel malt and toffee blend with a robust hop profile. Very barley wine like.

T: The flavors are rich and bold. Tons of sweet caramel malt, toffee, nuts, toasted bread. Loads of citrus fruit and pine. This is so much like a big barley wine.

M: Medium to full body. Low carbonation.

D: Overall very tasty and full of flavor. Maybe too rich for more than one pint but I would love to revisit this on a cold morning in front of a fire.

 592 characters

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.65/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a dark orange with good carbonation and a nice white head

S: Caramel, light booze, some citrus

T: Caramel, citrus, had a unique taste nite like a grape juice taste/texture

M: Medium body, some hop bitem booze

D: Pretty good. Worth a shot but not one I'd go foragain

 279 characters

Photo of dgfair
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance - carefully poured into the pint glass to keep the yeast behind. Pours a beautful golden orange color with a slightly off-white head that dissipates fairly quickly to a very thin layer.

Smell - piney, resiny hops with a slight orange zest citrus to it. Very nice malty, biscuity backbone with a little bit of pepper and clove to balance the sweetness. Very pleasant aroma.

Taste - very hoppy, but not in the way of a normal double IPA. The taste is more earthy bitterness without the big notes of citrus or pine, and there is a huge malt presence here. The malt is bready and biscuity sweet in a nice way. There are also some nice fruit flavors here as it warms, definitely some sweet orange and maybe a little bit of pineapple. I think I see why they call this a German double IPA...the malt body is almost like that of a heavy German lager with German hops but constructed like a double IPA. I love the experimentation here.

Mouthfeel - very nice feel, smooth and creamy with the perfect amount of carbonation. The bottle conditioning really left a nice feel.

Drinkability - fairly easy going down, and I didn't realize it was 9% until looking it up on the Bell's website. Very nice.

 1,256 characters

Kalamazoo Hopsoulution Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 156 ratings.