Kalamazoo Hopsoulution Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Kalamazoo Hopsoulution AleKalamazoo Hopsoulution Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

151 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 151
Hads: 389
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 9.92%
Wants: 67
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
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Reviews: 151 | Hads: 389
Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
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. (1,381 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

Finally, a beer made just for me. Yips. It pours a clear sunrise amber topped by about a finger or so of white foam. The nose exhibits a strong honey-dripped biscuit backbone covered by a thick sheath of porous pine sap and orange peel. The taste adds some strong caramel to the former and a dry white grape, nigh Riesling-esque, to the latter. Everything pops more, but this also causes a stronger clash between the two. The zazz and lack of balance cancel each other out, leaving us pretty much back to where we began. The body is a straight medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a finish that yearns to be dry. Overall, a very nice DIPA, not quite great but well above good. Glad to be an Illinoisan here. (762 characters)

Photo of dismal
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Pours light amber kind of orange color with a small white head that quickly fades leaving just a bit but that pretty quickly fades as I drink it. The smell is good but not quite what I was expecting. Some hops, mainly some grapefruit. A lot of malt and caramel. Almost smells sweet. Though both are good for a Double/Imperial IPA this is not what I was excepting from both the smell and taste.The taste is pretty malty and caramel is pretty present. There are hops there mainly grapefruit and a bit of pine in the background. Starts off sweet and ends slightly bitter. The 8.4% ABV is hidden very well, I could do quite a bit of these. Overall not perfect for the style and definitely not what I was expecting but I actually really like it. Pretty drinkable and enjoyable. (798 characters)

Photo of GRG1313
3.02/5  rDev -23.2%
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. (568 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
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. (1,456 characters)

Photo of JohnQVegas
3.3/5  rDev -16%
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. (1,689 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
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 (607 characters)

Photo of samie85
3.25/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A-Pours coppery red color with a glistening light tan head into my newly purchased La Fin Du Monde tulip.

S-Mango with some pine and a little orange, with some caramel malt

T-Slightly bitter pine with a little mango and a slightly astringent note and some light malts with a little alcohol on the finish.

M-Light bodied and dry with medium to high carbonation.

D-Not bad, but based on the nose, I was expecting a lot more of a flavor punch. The taste was a little weak for me. (480 characters)

Photo of jpmclaug
3.87/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into my Sam Adams perfect pint glass. Got this in a generous BIF box from Sopernicus. Thanks!

A - Hazy orange with an off white head resting on top

S - Sweet citrusy grapefruit aroma with a hint of mango. Smells nice and sweet with a big pile of hops.

T - Sweet malt flavors up front mingle with a nice tame citrus hop flavor. Lots of balance in this. I enjoy the hop flavor but it is really tame and subdued.

M - medium bodied, pretty smooth, normal carbonation

D - Pretty drinkable DIPA. Really tame hop flavor for one too. Not sure if that is really what I would classify that as. That being said this is a nice beer that is certainly worth trying. I could see myself putting back several of these easily. If I had a chance I'd probably pick some of this up but I wouldn't go nuts trying to obtain it. (832 characters)

Photo of bonkers
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a SA perfect pint glass. It poures a hazy orange with a medium sticky white head. The aroma is sweet with tropical fruit, and grassy hops. A very sweet beer with mango notes and lots of grassy hops. It has a sweet finish that lingers. A medium bodied easy drinking (for 8%) beer. Thanks to florida9 for this one. (349 characters)

Photo of StlHopHead77
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours out a hop-hazy,orangish-amber with a quickly dissipating one finger head that left good rings of lacing on the glass.

S-Caramel malt sweetness and ripe tropical fruit upfront with some grassy hop notes and a trace of alcohol on the nose.

T-Malt forward for the style.Some subdued citrus and soft,tangy pine but mostly malt dominant flavors of toffee and bread.

M-Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.Slight syrup quality on the finish.

D-Good drinkability here.Not quite the brew I was hoping for but decent regardless.Kind of wish this was The Oracle. (567 characters)

Photo of GDBEERMAN
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
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. (522 characters)

Photo of emmasdad
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received this one as an extra in a recent trade. Hopslam is one of my favorites, so I had some high hopes for this one. Although not quite up to that level (few are), it was nonetheless pretty damn good. Poured a nice medium orange color, with a minimal amount of white foam. Aromas of apricots, white peaches and sweet malt. Flavors of bubblegum, candi sugar and floral hops. Nicely balanced (although in favor of the hops) and very drinkable. Wish I had another. (464 characters)

Photo of seedsofchaos
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
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! (834 characters)

Photo of kbutler1
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Pours a reddish copper color with a slight off white head that collars around the glass. Insane pineaple notes in the nose, wow! It smells almost like HiCi Fruit punch, with the fruity hops and the matly backbone. Sweet flavor up front with a nice transition to a hoppy, fruity flavor. Just like in the nose, the pineapple fruit flavor dominates the taste. Ends with a lingering bitterness and fruity taste. Really a different DIPA than I have ever had. Way more fruity than I am used to but this causes it to be really drinkable as well. Pretty tasty but not overly hoppy. (581 characters)

Photo of Vdubb86
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass

Bonus points to Bell's for flattering my home state with this brew. "Brewed for the people of the great state of Illinois"

This particular DIPA pours a nice deep orange/amber color the head that was provide by the pour slowly is destroy leaving only a thin film on the surface. The aroma reminds of orange and malt mostly. Surprisingly there was really no hops to be smelled there is a bit of pine resin as almost a forgotten remnant in the back, but that is almost overpowered by the faint aroma of liquor. The taste is quite similar. The orange flavor mixed with deep caramel, molasses/brown sugar notes which overpower anything else. All that I can taste of the hops is a bit of the citrus and the bitterness in the aftertaste, both of which are not strong. The mouthfeel is OK, for the syrupy nature it's pretty well carbonated. The lack of hop flavor only resulting in a bitter aftertaste isn't the ideal mouthfeel for a DIPA. There are no hops to rip your tongue out here, which is not to the style, but I love it. I would say it's pretty good for a beer, but pretty off for a DIPA. (1,113 characters)

Photo of nlmartin
4.79/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer was chilled and served in an Imperial Pint glass.

Appearance: The body of the beer is a dark copper coloration. The head of the beer resolved to a thin cream color. The lacing makes nice concentric rings around the glass.

Smell: This is truly fantastic. The beer has caramel and chocolate malt aromas. I swear the hops are kicking up pineapple, mango and papaya.

Taste: The flavors are a perfect carry over on the aroma. The beer has some nice bittering hops at the back to keep things from becoming too sweet.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability: The body of the beer is on the plus side of medium. The carbonation is low but I think it works well with the beers overall character. Very slick and smooth on the finish. This beer is highly drinkable and I am already missing the beer. (788 characters)

Photo of mothman
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have gone through almost my entire 6er of this and have enjoyed every bottle of it.

Poured into tulip.

Pours 1/2 finger of beige head. Color is a hazy orange hued gold. Leaves some splattered lace.

Aroma: Grapefruit citrus, bready malts, lots of pineapple which is awesome, and pine hops.

Taste: I am loving the pineapple in this beer. It is so clean. It also has a grapefruit citrus flavor with pine hops and some bready malts. A bit of alcohol shows.

Mouthfeel: Sweet and bitter. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Very refreshing. Ends a bit sticky.

Overall, this is a very drinkable dipa. I have had a lot of this and still want more. Much better than this years batch of oracle. The pineapple was simply awesome. Very happy with this one. (769 characters)

Photo of Gehrig
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Piccadilly at the Crossing just had this arrive today, as Sam the fine purveyor mentioned, so it was a must-grab. As someone who struggled to endure the year-plus of Bell's absence from Illinois (otherwise known as The Great Abdication), I felt a sense of pride and honor for having been a Bell's fan, and for Bell's making this in honor of their loyal Illinois patrons.

Good start and look, with a fat finger of off-white foam coating a murky brown body with copper trim; nice duration and lacing. Excellent aromas, full of citrus (especially pineapple, orange, and lemon), with floral overtones and plenty of toasted malt to spare as well--very balanced and robust smell!

Good, solid taste, striking a fine hop-malt balance. Caramel and dark chocolate come forth, with a distinct floral, pine whiff to accompany the citrusy taste. More malt than I expected in the taste after the glorious smell, that is still fine with me. The hops aren't absent, but rather more restrained in the flavor than the aroma indicated.

Terrific effervescence achieves a pretty high mouthfeel score in my book, though some might disagree. I found that it significantly enhanced the flavor and accentuated the balance that Bell's achieved.

Very well done overall, and does not quite drink like a DIPA. In a way, one might be disappointed that the taste doesn't reflect the ramped-up hops and flavor. Yet this is, to me, unquestionably a success, in no small part because the malt flavor and content is unmistakable without dominating the hops.

Thanks, Bell's, from Illinois. (1,563 characters)

Photo of barnzy78
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown bottle, Batch 9920. I never noticed before, but the small neck label says Hopsolution, and the larger label says Hopsoulution. A mistake perhaps? A solution to the soul?

Anyway...pours bright amber with a thick, foamy, off-white head that reduces to a ring around the edge of the glass. Some lace, but not a lot. Aromas are fresh and rather bready and malty with notes of floral hops, pineapple, and slight citrus. On the palate, it's medium bodied with notes of bready malt, toffee, and caramel up front, followed by intense piny hops with some citric grapefruit as well. Alcohol is somewhat noticeable and leaves a prickle on the tongue on the finish.

Overall, it's a unique DIPA given it's up-front malt characteristics, but I love its balance. Could be what I'd expect an "Imperial Two Hearted" to taste like if such an ale existed. (849 characters)

Photo of jsh420
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
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 (550 characters)

Photo of pmlondrigan
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
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. (360 characters)

Photo of thetomG
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice cloudy amber colored pour. Small ring of foam around the glass with some sticky lacing left behind. Aroma is malty caramel with some slight hop scents coming through as well.

Flavor is also super malty with caramel, hops, and a hint of citrus present... finish is a bit roasty.

Good interesting beer and definitely something I'll be drinking more of. (357 characters)

Photo of AleWatcher
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured this into a pint...

The beer is a reddish copper color with a 2 finger tan head. The beer shows tons of bubbles streaming up the sides of my glass-- it is effervescent and lively. The head has average retention and leaves behind thick spots of lacing as it settles.

Weird for me to be smelling chocolate-esque malts in a DIPA? I don't know... but I think I like it. The nose also gives off a roasted caramel and toasted bread note. The hops aren't as big as I was expecting... This is another in a long line of beers with "hop" in the name that aren't the giant hop-bomb I was hoping for.
So for a second, I'll pretend that this beer is called something else...
The finish is a little chalky with VERY mild bitterness. The taste shows off some sweetness and some earthy, floral, and spicy hop notes. The beer is smooth and easy to drink.

Halfway through the glass, I'll note that the lacing looks lovely-- like an intricate and delicate lace doily.

The smell and taste are not what I would expect from this beer... but perhaps this is a situation where I should let o of my affectations and expectations. The beer is unbelievably easy to drink: for the last 5 nights I have come downstairs with one of these, set on reviewing it... and for the last 5 nights I have finished the beer before I was done replying to my beer mail! Easy to drink doesn't do it justice!

This is an excellent daily drinker of a DIPA-- nice medium body is big enough to keep me satisfied while the flavor is bold and complex enough to keep me interested. (1,543 characters)

Photo of homebrew311
3.28/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Well this is the most recent batch of Hopsoulution, brewed about 3 weeks ago. Dubbed a German Double IPA. I'm not entirely sure what that means, but I will review it as categorized on BA.

A: pours a deep, slightly hazy, burnt orange, brownish color, some light passes through, this is on the very dark side for IPAs I have tried. A bit of a tan head which hangs around, some spotty lacing.

S: the aroma is a full of earthy hops with notes of pine needles and caramel, along with a considerable booziness. The hops, while strong, don't give off a nice fresh aroma as I would expect in a freshly bottle DIPA. The hops don't seem to be very aromatic.

T: the front features some malt forward sweetness with a big dose of spiciness. The hops come in with a big bitter presence, but give way quickly to a somewhat harsh alcoholic finish. I'm not really impressed by the balance of this brew. There are definitely some nice flavors in there and a unique take on the style, but it doesn't all come together.

MF: medium body, medium to low carbonation, nice mouthfeel

D: This beer is not bad, but I must say I'm a bit disappointed. Hopslam is one of my favorite DIPA's, and I've heard ravings about the Oracle (haven't tried yet), but this one just doesn't seem to be a cut above like most of Bell's products. I wish I would have just found a single or two of this beer as it is a bit spendy at $14 per six given its quality (1,420 characters)

Kalamazoo Hopsoulution Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
88 out of 100 based on 151 ratings.