1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Kalamazoo Hopsoulution Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Kalamazoo Hopsoulution AleKalamazoo Hopsoulution Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

375 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 375
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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 375 | Reviews: 150 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jimbus
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

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.

Photo of tsauce2
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

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

Photo of lstokes
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

Photo of dirtylou
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%
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
3.98/5  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 brew3crew
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
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!

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 Beerandraiderfan
3.88/5  rDev -4%
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 sidetracked
2.4/5  rDev -40.6%
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.

9/5/2010

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 JAXSON
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
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?

Photo of Tone
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

Photo of Pellinore1
3.88/5  rDev -4%
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.

Photo of Jeffo
3.25/5  rDev -19.6%
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.

Photo of beerwolf77
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
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

Photo of dgfair
4.08/5  rDev +1%
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.

Photo of EgadBananas
4/5  rDev -1%
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...

Photo of mulder1010
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. From notes

A-- Poured a darker hazy orange color. One finger off white head that faded slowly. no lacing and little carbonated.

S-- Candied orange and candied lemon peel. Just a bit of Carmel backbone to this.

T-- Carmel, orange, lemon zing and some grapefruit.

M-- Prickly on the tongue. Reminds me more of a sweet tart. Medium carbonation and a little. Hops really pick up in the mouth. More of a grapefruit carmel finish that is earthy.

T-- Like a lot of this but just not as big a citrus as Western US IPA's are. Not as crisp and earthy is OK. Would try this again as ticks a lot of boxes.

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bell's Brewery, Inc. Hopsoulution. The beer with hops, and soul, apparently. For the good people of Illinois, bless their hearts.

Burnished orange, hazy appearance, slim white head, stays as a slight ring.

Aroma: bright, bold citrus; orange, lemon, tangerine, maybe mango. Very pithy, even piney. Hoppy, but restrained, not too crazy.

Taste: boards the palate boldly, a fierce blast of hops that runs around the mouth, and fades back just a bit. Stays firm and lasts through the the finish. Medium body, full flavor, citrus and tropical fruit, splinters of pine. Good, even-tempered double IPA, can't peg the ABV, but I'd guess around 8%...IBU? 90? Got to give it up for the mouthfeel, hops keep coming, never really give up.

Hope this helped heal the wounds of troubled Bell's lovers & hop addicts of Illinois.

Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Hopsolution pours a deep hazy amber color with a 3 cm off-white head. Pretty good retention and some nice lace sticking on the glass.

Smell: Full caramelized malt aroma, backed with a strong punch of juicy grapefruit, resiny pine, and some earthy / floral notes.

Taste: The taste starts out with the full caramel malt, with some bready notes as well. The flavor transitions to some lightly herbal notes, following through with a full floral hoppiness, a splash of juicy grapefruit, and finishing with sticky pine hops. Finishes a bit astringent with a touch of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: The smooth creamy mouthfeel here is almost more noticeable than any of the flavors. Sticky and juicy from the hops, with above average carbonation wrapped in a fuller than medium body.

Drinkability: Although I found this quite pleasant and drinkable, it really did not differentiate itself from some DIPA's made in the same mold - caramel malt with juicy hops.

Photo of pdoran10
2.88/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

ah the perks of having family living in Illinois!

pours out of a 12 oz. bottle a translucent amber with about a fourth a finger of white head. dark for an ipa or double ipa.

smell is very bready with a hint of spice. not much going on in the nose.

taste is overwhelming munich malt, bakery, pepper spice malt flavors with some onion and oily floral hops in the background that are super overwhelmed by the munich malt. bad concept for this beer shows up with a bad blend of tastes.

mouthfeel is nice, I relly love how Bell's balances their carbonation and body in all their beers. Moderate carbonation, moderate thickness if that makes any sense.

I only want one of these. Should say Caramunich malt bomb with hops on label. German IPA is not a viable stlye.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

Kalamazoo Hopsoulution Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
91 out of 100 based on 375 ratings.