Hopslam Ale
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

Hopslam AleHopslam Ale
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Style:
IPA - Imperial
Ranked #13
ABV:
10%
Score:
99
Ranked #173
Avg:
4.49 | pDev: 9.58%
Reviews:
3,766
Ratings:
13,925
From:
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
 
Michigan, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  2,751
Gots
  3,958
SCORE
99
World-Class
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale
Notes: Starting with six different hop varietals added to the brew kettle & culminating with a massive dry-hop addition of Simcoe hops, Bell's Hopslam Ale possesses the most complex hopping schedule in the Bell's repertoire. Selected specifically because of their aromatic qualities, these Pacific Northwest varieties contribute a pungent blend of grapefruit, stone fruit, and floral notes. A generous malt bill and a solid dollop of honey provide just enough body to keep the balance in check, resulting in a remarkably drinkable rendition of the Double India Pale Ale style.
Reviews: 3,766 | Ratings: 13,925 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of MostlyMetalz
MostlyMetalz from Illinois

4.21/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great super hoppy beer! It was one of the first really hoppy beers I ever had and I fell in love. I was sad it only came out once a year but when it does, I buy as much as I can afford.

Jun 15, 2021
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JohnniEMc from Pennsylvania

4.35/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Although previously consumed a review hasn't yet been posted. So, this time, a twelve ounce brown bottle has been emptied into a clear pint glass. It looks good, but not inspiring. The color is a bright and light copper-amber, on the translucent side. There's only a slight head and no glass lacing. The aroma begins to improve expectations, as there's malt, hops and even honey to detect. The taste starts with a good full on earthy malt character. This never gets bitter, but it never gets too sweet. The body is near perfect and the balance of malt to hop is unassailable. That must be quite the accomplishment, since honey is in the mix. A wonderful exchange of sweeter malt and mild hops that 0deliveres a tasteful brew that may disguise its high ABV better than any other. Outstanding.

May 21, 2021
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izraelc from New York

4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy orange. Full hop aroma. A explosion

Apr 17, 2021
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Slyde180 from Texas

4.88/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Anytime I get a chance to buy hopslam I immediately stock up on it. The high alcohol taste is masked by the smooth bitterness. The taste isn't completely overwhelming and goes down smooth.

Mar 29, 2021
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LRinker1 from Michigan

4.79/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

My first time with this brew, I was a bit taken aback. But my second, third and fourth times were much more appreciative. Hopslam lives up to it's name....you down one of these and you know it. Higher alcohol content and and a sweeter taste than its cousin Two Hearted. Both are great beers.

Mar 19, 2021
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Bart4796 from Colorado

4.34/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours with decent light head and color. Sniffs with a faint smoke like caramel. Fells full body on the tongue and excellent taper off flavor for the pallet. Very drinkable.

Mar 11, 2021
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IPAs_for_days_13 from Texas

4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a an apple juice gold with a 1/2 inch off-white head. Smells hoppy, piney, has a nice balance of malts as well. Taste certainly follows the nose, the balance between the bitter hops & sweet maltiness really couldn't get better. Medium-full bodied, moderate carbonation, chewy, heavy, finishes smooth. Another really good IPA from bells. Slightly higher ABV than the two-hearted ale.

Mar 11, 2021
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KRug from Massachusetts

4.21/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 1/6/21

This is a legendary beer that I honestly haven't paid much attention too. Pretty widely available too, so it's a shame that it's taken me this long to get around to it, but at least I'm having it now! Let's jump into this beast

Pours a lightly cloudy golden amber with 3 fingers of soapy white head that slowly fades to a cap and leaves patchy lacing, carbonation bubbles streaming from the bottom of the glass

There's a definite balance in the nose between fresh, vibrant hops, and sweet chewy malt. I'm picking up on aromas of oily pine, pithy grapefruit, crackery malt, some earthy spice, sweet honey, and grassy hops

The balance continues into the taste, but leans more into the bitter side of things. On the front end of the sip I'm tasting fresh cut pine, tangerine, pale malt, and lemon rind. The swallow brings notes of pale malt, light toast, orange zest, and floral hops

A medium body pairs with gentle carbonation, resulting in a creamy yet dry beer that is quite refreshing for the abv. Finishes mostly dry with aa decent sweetness

While this is good, it did not come anywhere near the average on here. I suspect the high rating reflects much older batches, as I've heard this has changed a lot over the years. Oh well, I'm still happy I had it

Mar 08, 2021
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MackT from Florida

4.38/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A bright amber orangeish, minimal head quickly dissipates. Aroma is very hoppy, as expected, citrusy and faint floral notes. Taste is a bitter but smooth with the malt present with a slight honey taste provide a pleasing experience. Mouthfeel is tingling and coating smooth. This is a fine effort by the Bell’s brew meisters, enjoy.

Mar 05, 2021
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bcaputo99 from Florida

3.65/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

My 2021 Hop Slam was pretty fresh. This was a different beer than prior years...upfront malty taste but lacking flavor....finished with bitterness not previously experienced. I was disappointed in this year's batch.

Feb 25, 2021
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Danzifer from Ohio

4.62/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a fiery amber, really love the color. Light haze, small head. Great smell. Even greater taste, wow. That's what's up! Medium mouthfeel. I'm wishing I bought more than one of these. Also they should make this a year-round staple. Definitely one of the best DIPA's I've ever had.

Feb 23, 2021
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BFCarr from New Jersey

4.36/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours golden amber with a thick white head that turns into plentiful lacing. Aroma is hop floral forward, some citrus. Flavor is a ride of hop bitterness and malt/honey sweetness. The hop floral notes evolve after each sip bringing a range of flavors. Feel is good for all the bitterness. Full and coating. Overall an interesting DIPA, be ready for the flavor experience.

Feb 14, 2021
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defunksta from North Dakota

3.58/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

2021 Review:

Appearance: Pours a clear, deep orange color with a large sticky white head. SRM of 15. (4.00)

Aroma: Only moderate aromas upfront of resinous mandarin orange, slight tropical citrus/melon, with some dank berry aromas before a deep layer of honey malt comes forth. Slight pine. (3.50)

Flavor: Hits with a wave of malts. In the middle, some candied orange, tropical fruit, dank berries, pine on the tongue. In the end it finishes with a wave of candied malts and honey. There's a bitterness presence here, but outmasked by the honey/malt sweetness.

Feel: Heavier bodied upfront. Only moderate carbonation. Hides the alcohol well within the malts. A rather dank and strong pine bitterness. Don't be fooled, it finishes heavy, sticky, and sweet, which isn't particularly pleasant.

Compared to Hop Valley Cryo Stash IPA 4/29/21: Pours a darker color with a larger head. Milder aromas. Light to moderate aromas of resinous mandarin orange. More caramel malt, honey, dank berry, and pine.

Overall: Not unlike my 2020 review, this one has a large malt body upfront, some mandarin orange and tropical, dank berry notes in the middle, before it's all cleaned off by a dank pine and strong honey/caramel sweetness. For some this beer is a reminder of home. Maybe a barleywine. For others, it's just an over-done IPA. If this beer was a pickup truck, it would be an F-150 excessively jacked up 8 feet with oversized tires. This beer can be made, not sure if it needs to be.
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2020 Review:
Appearance: Pours a completely clear, deep, orange color with a large, sticky, white head. SRM of 11-15. (4.00)

Aroma: Moderate aromas of tropical citrus, grapefruit, floral, and pineapple underneath a layer of honey. There's mandarin orange, grapefruit, pineapple, berry, but all masked by the honey sweetness. Lighter aromas than I expected. (3.50)

Flavor: A wave of candied fruit flavor. First it's candied necatarine, citrus and pineapple. Some berry and tropical melon too, but not as much. Then a moderately strong bitter citrus comes through at the end to finish sweet, but relatively bitter. (3.75)

Feel: Heavier bodied and sticky. Carbonation is no match for the sweetness. Actually hides the alcohol well though. Finishes heavy, sticky, and sweet. Not really resinous, but more honey-like and smooth. Leaves a sticky, cola type of sugar grittiness on the teeth. (3.50)

Overall: Not sure how to rate this one. Obviously way stronger than an IPA should ever be. It's packed with fruit sweetness and stickiness which is offputting. The only positive thing about it is that it hides the alcohol well underneath that. No alcohol burn. But this beer is like drinking the nectar out of a birdfeeder. There's a little bit of fruit in that honey. (Final Rating: 3.58)
*Compare to an imperial Lagunitas beer, Super Cluster, or SN Bigfoot*

Feb 11, 2021
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RockPaperScissors from Georgia

4.49/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Spectacular.

Looks are deceiving
Smells like home
Taste is rich without being overly complicated - a rarity for beers this weighty - and hides the ABV quite well.
Feel is crisp, with a strong afterfell.

Feb 09, 2021
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stosh66 from Pennsylvania

4.48/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into pint glass
A: Golden honey color. Some chill haze at first which quickly clears. Pours with 1 inch head that dissipates and retain @ 1/4 in white head.
S: Tropical fruit, some dankness, slightly sweet malts.
T: Follows the aroma. Tropicals,then slight citrus pith bitterness balanced by sweetness from the malt. Cannot taste any of the 10% alcohol.
M: Medium body but not over filling.
O: Surprisingly easy to drink for a big DIPA. Worth trying at least one 6 pack from each year's offering.

Feb 08, 2021
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spectru from Florida

4.09/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2/6/21 Clear amber, nice dense white head, recedes slowly to a very lacy cap. I without thinking took a sip before I even opened BA. It knocked my sox off it tasted so good; smells just slightly like an IPA, faintly hoppy; Ooh, the taste. It's unusual, and very pleasant; The mouthfeel is just right, perfect. It feels like beer. After two sips, this may be my new favorite beer. Well, later sips were a little less spectacular. We'll have to see if it becomes a favorite. I expect there may be more of it, but at $21.49 a six, probably not all that often.

2/9/21 The taste is full, robust, and it is somewhat bitter with a hint of sour. The taste of this second one didn't measure up to the first. But no adjustment to the score.

Feb 07, 2021
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MrOH from Malta

4.55/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear brass, white head, retention is somewhat lacking, spotty lace.
Grapefruit, juniper/pine, mango, peach, floral, and dank aromas.
Grapefruit, overripe peach, and juniper over a slightly sweet honey and malt background
A bit more full than I prefer IPAs, but not sticky, medium light carbonation, clean
There's a reason this has been so popular for so long.

Feb 07, 2021
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BigIronH from Michigan

4.17/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

It’s good, there’s no doubt about it. I avoided trying the 2021 issue because of all the hype around it and the ridiculous price. At 15 dollars a six pack, I won’t be trying it again. It’s blended well, all the flavors come together nicely. The bitterness is there and satisfying. But, from one beer lover to the next, this is an overpriced hype machine. I’ve had dozens of DIPA, many of them were at least as good as this one. Buy it as a novelty, enjoy it because it’s good, and move on.

Feb 06, 2021
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Chris1108 from New Jersey

4.93/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: smells like victory!
S: all the hops varietals in one sniff! Wow
T: I’ve tried this brew every year for 5 years. 2021 issue is the perfect blend of all senses with an amazing after honey linger wow!
M: thick juicy and satisfying
O: I’ve had a LOT of dipas and this one hits the perfect balance. Wow! You see it you buy it!

Feb 06, 2021
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SierraNevallagash from Maine

4.08/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried this for the first time last year, but my review was deleted by *someone*? Nothing to compare this to, but if it's half as good as the last, then I am excited! Let's do.

12oz bottle (yes, bottle) - 2021 release - poured into a Spiegelau IPA glass at 38°F.

Pours a deep honey-golden, a touch amber, with two fingers of sticky off white head that leave some spotting being. Visible bubbles.

Nose: Clean pale malt - grainy, slightly sweet, slightly bready with some honey drizzled and toasty caramel malt notes, and then just stacked woth big fresh hop notes. Floral, herbal, fir sap, lots of resins - grassy, dank, and pithy with and that Simcoe musty West Coast thing. Some hints of tangerine, pineapple, and persimmon.

Palate: Hopslam greets the palate with big sweet crystal malts and a bit of honey biscuit quality - bready, and just that classic, almost barleywine malt sweetness. Atop that, lots of West Coast leafy hop notes - dank Simcoe, tangerine, dried papaya, green leafy cones, candied citrus, and some classic spicy and herbal boiled hop notes. The finish is honey malt sweetness, malted barley, and by now, yhe hops begin to exhibit some sweet dried apricot, white grape, and some vaugue fruity bits, lacking any real pine or pith, but some resinous bitterness appears.

Mouthfeel/Body: This one's pretty full-bodied. Heavy, slick, and weighty. The effervescence is lower, but helps a bit, and the hops dry out a touch on the finish, but the sweetness lingers. Hint of stickiness left around the lips.

Overall: Last year's batch was my first ever Hopslam, and it blew me away. For some reasons (HELP!) several of my reviews have completely vanished, including that one. Is this a good DIPA? Yeah, it's great. But from what I remember of the last batch, this is an entirely different beer. Less hops, more sweetness, and non of that beautiful character that made it so unique. Last one reminded me a lot of Pliny. This lacks that entirely. This drinks more like a weird alternate dimension Bigfoot. I bought several packs of last year's....I'm happy with just a single of this. Hopefully the last one wasn't just a fluke.

Feb 02, 2021
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davisdahlberg6 from Tennessee

4.67/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Enjoyed on tap at Flying Saucer which is Memphis TN.
A: Pours a dark gold copper color. Clear with no haze. Still about a half inch of foam after the waitress and brought it to the table, from that I judge the retention time to be fairly good.
S: Smells very hoppy with scents of caramel and a sweet honey fragrance.
T: bold hop flavor really smacks the tastes buds (pun intended). Malt tastes of caramel and gives the aftertaste a bit of sweetness which balances out the bitterness on the front end. The abv is very well hidden and not noticeable.
F: Great feel, not too light or heavy. The right amount of body and carbonation.
O: Fantastic! One of the best IPAs I have enjoyed. The bitter and hop flavor is wonderful, but the malt makes it a well balanced beer with a complex flavor.

Feb 02, 2021
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HalfFull from California

3.62/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass. Pours a fairly clear orange copper in color with a thin cap of off white foam. Fair retention though settling to some spottiness.

Bold hop aromas on the nose, coupled with some some honey rich malt notes and a waft of ethanol. Doesn't exactly blast the hops as you gotta get into the glass to find them.

Taste seems a bit muddled with sweetness evident on the finish. Not a whole lot of malt character as honey notes take center stage but do mask the alcohol well. Some citric hop spice on the finish breaks the monotony to a degree and keeps the mouthfeel from being overly cloying given the ABV.

Overall a decent quaff but not what I expected from such a highly lauded brew. We'll see if a little warming improves things. Packaged 1/15/2021 so just two weeks in the bottle.

Feb 01, 2021
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FL_Man from Florida

4.62/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Hopslam is yet another classic Bell's top-of-the-line brews. The sweetness in this beer is reminiscent of a DIPA, but with the unique flavor of honey quickly usurped by the lingering hops. Worth a buy each year!

Jan 31, 2021
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AltonGriese from Florida

4.36/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

As always, a consistently good IIPA. Lots off mango and tropical fruits, peach, and those hops to compliment. Sure, there may be other great IIPAs out there but they don't detract from the good beer that this is.

Jan 23, 2021
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imnodoctorbut from Texas

4.37/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

bottle packaged 1/7/21

pours a clear, deep orange-tinged gold body with an off-white frothy foam head that reaches a finger and a half and has moderately high retention, leavings copious splatters of thin webs of sticky lacing as it settles to a halo

aroma is HOP, then honeyed malt. the HOP throws floral yet earthy, pungent-near dank (until ripped back by herbal) and of course citric vibes all over the place. bouquet of amazing, covering many profiles (er, you know, like, 6?)

bless this malt bill, y'all. a solid platter of deep, rich honeyed malt provides the perfect backbone on which to sit a masssssive bundle of hop profiles. sips and gulps are regularly rotated - it's easy, but layered and interesting, especially for the hop lover. slowing down we damn-near equal helpings of the following: herbal, earthy grapefruit, resinous-pine-near-oil-concentrate, floral orange & lemon, and honeyed peach. further investigation finds that the herbal and resinous pine take the majority, but the others are there right behind, mostly culminating in a Citra vibe on the wings.

mouthfeel is moderately low carbonation with a medium body. it balances a near-oily body with carbo/booze prickles for a pretty easy sail through, ending dry and earthy bitter.

overall:
QUITE the spread here, folks. I would be hard-pressed to name drop another IPA that covers this much hop ground as elegantly as it does. if you love hops, this will be a great exp addition, and would work wonders with an IPA tasting flight if you're into that kinda thing. would totally have this last on the list in that case though, bringing it all home. it leans towards herbal in the 4th quarter, but still holds on to the fruity Citra to the bitter end. (get it?)
DIPA/ImpIPA easiest drinker of the year award for sure though, as a side note.
last remarks: I am totally not a huge "herbal/parsley" IPA fan, and this one dips hard into that territory towards the end of the glass especially, with the malt backbone lightening up and the honey and citrus fading a bit. that's why my "overall" is a 4.25 rather than siding with the "first few sips" score of 4.5 ///

Jan 23, 2021
Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 99 out of 100 with 13925 ratings