Hopslam Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

BA SCORE
98
world-class
3,509 Reviews
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States
bellsbeer.com

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by beernbbq on 04-14-2004

BEER STATS
Reviews:
3,509
Ratings:
12,890
Avg:
4.43
pDev:
9.48%
 
 
Wants:
2,657
Gots:
3,560
For Trade:
68
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 3,509 | Ratings: 12,890
Photo of D9sus4
4.85/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I have been fortunate enough to find Hopslam on tap for the past few years. Always tastes a little better to me from a tap. Tastes more like the Imperial IPA that it is, than when poured out of a can. But, I would never pass it up in any form when I'm lucky enough to find it.

As Imperial IPAs go, this one is probably the most Hop forward I've ever tasted. But it doesn't have too much of that grapefruit hop taste, that's so popular right now, but that I don't like. But it varies from year to year, as its a true craft beer that depends on a lot of variables, like timing when to add the next dose of hops. That said, this year's Hoplam was the best I've ever tasted! 5 snifters from a tap, and two 6 packs... But not all in one night

 744 characters

Photo of Fee
4.32/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A great double IPA. Complex taste that comes from a great hop profile. Aromatic and pours with a nice head that lasts. Smoother rather than crisp, this beer is going g to seem a little boozy. But then again it's a 10% beer. Extremely good.

 239 characters

Photo of Red5StandingBy
4.43/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz can into tulip. Canned on January 23rd 2017.

L: Lighter amber color, like honey. Slightly hazy. Two finger fluffy white head. Great retention and amazing lacing.

S: Strong notes of honey, strong floral hop presence. Good malt backbone as well.

T: WOW. Hopslam is an apt name. Rich and complex, perhaps the most complex DIPA I have had to date. (Including Pliny The Elder). Rich oils, Grapefruit, peppery notes. Then the Alcohol takes charge. Warms nicely. Finish is well balanced with the honey and malt.

F: Slightly syrupy but not too much, dulls a decent carbonation by a hair, light-medium body, slick from the hop oils. Warming and semi-dry.

O: Was pretty hyped for this beer and I have to say I was blown away. This was absolutely amazing. Wow. Well done Bell's.

 812 characters

Photo of MizzouBrew
4.44/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap in a goblet at Mellow Mushroom in Sunset Hills, MO. Beautiful fairly clear dark orange. Remarkably drinkable IIPA is right on the mark. 10% abv and I could not tell it, sweet not too hoppy taste. Easy to see how this beer is so sought after.

 261 characters

Photo of c_tails
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

from fresh canning / 12oz
big citrus, piney, sting of sweetness from honey and malt backbone is there but overshadowed by the slam of hops. medium mouthfeel, i do get a big hit of booze on the nose and at the end of the sip - its fairly obvious that its a 10% beer. i like it, glad i have another can. probably not an everyday drinker but i'm glad i got my hands on some and will certainly search for it again next release.

 426 characters

Photo of Nedry
3.84/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

First pour you get hit in the nose with flowers, pine, earth, a little bit of orange and citrus. Small amount of head that settles somewhat quickly. The taste follows, like drinking flowery citrus. Somewhat dry and oily, not overly so, a touch of malt lingers with tons of hops. The same flavors persist and not much changes. Not much evidence of alcohol heat. Not my favorite hop profile to be honest, and not very complex, it gets old quickly and you want something else.

 473 characters

Photo of Gottnuked
4.6/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured Super Bowl Sunday from 12 oz. can; thanks Total Wine! Aroma (not overpowering) of pine and citrus, slightly dark straw color with small amount of foam. Taste is out of the park good; the honey tamps down the hops and that's the main taste, but again not overpowering some malt body and some alcohol. A dangerous 10 % beer, would not recommend having 2 or more at a time for sure! A wonderful example of a double IPA and for me, a top 10 commercially made best beer on earth! Round up score to 4.65!!!

 508 characters

Photo of cascade_meister
4.31/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed this freshly canned. Looks different from your stereotypical DIPA, pretty light bodied with a gold-like hue. Tastes much lighter than expected, most likely due to the honey undertones, and lacks the super hoppy taste that most DIPAs have. Surprisingly refreshing for a 10.5% beer and doesn't have the dry mouth feel to it that many heavy hitter DIPAs have. Overall this is a very good beer, but quite uncharacteristic of a DIPA. I'd certainly drink another one, even though I definitely prefer a West Coast style DIPA over this beer.

 541 characters

Photo of Griffin2
3.98/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz can into a pint glass.
L - Pours a deep hazy Amber with a white head that dissipates slowly.
S - Kind of a sweet hoppy smell.
T - Getting some sweetness from the honey with some alcohol burn.
F - Slightly slick mouth feel, with medium carbonation.
O - I was looking forward to trying this beer, and was a little disappointment. It is a really nice beer, but I would have liked it better if the alcohol was hidden better. Still a very enjoyable beer.

 469 characters

Photo of ryanvans
3.11/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

4 weeks old from a can. Excellent example of an old school Midwest IPA: heavy malt backbone with little to no hop aroma or taste. This beer is a huge disappointment if you enjoy Double IPAs.

 192 characters

Photo of JRed
3.64/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Transparent orange in body with white frothy head. Aroma of citrus, fruit skin, grass, and pine. Tastes of grass, apple skin, citrus, pine, booze. Rather light in body for a big IPA.

 182 characters

Photo of gandhi-bot80
3.74/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

I think the name and logo are what disappoint hop fans like myself. The color of the beer quickly tells the story, with a golden honey appearance that indicates its nature. Though it leans a bit sweet and boozy, it is a good, well-balanced DIPA. It is just more a Ballast Point Dorado than a Heady Topper, and as a result not something I'd recommend if you are looking for a hop slam.

 387 characters

Photo of DrewJS
4.57/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Incredibly complex and delicious flavor. Low carbonation. The honey is noticeable and it is a bit too sweet for my taste. It is also very alcoholic and the alcohol aftertaste comes through. Can only drink one at a time.

 219 characters

Photo of spoony
4.39/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From a 12 oz can (packaged on what appears to be January 23, 2017) into a tulip.

A-When I think about what an IPA (or IIPA) should look like, this is pretty close to what I have in mind. A tall, sticky off-white head is pillowy and dense. Retention is good and lacing is plentiful on the glass. The beer beneath is clear and light-golden-orange. A few bubbles creep up the center of the glass.

S-The aroma is intense and I like it. Lots of sweetness from the honey mixes with a pungent, powerful hop note. I sniff honey, bread crust, as well as orange zest, guava, lime, passionfruit, hints of pine and leaf, and a subtle herbal/dank note. Bitterness is high...this isn't a juice bomb, NE-style IPA.

T-The taste is similar to the smell with honey sweetness coming through clearly. The hops tend towards bitter and dank more than juicy and bright, but there is a good dose of pithy, zesty citrus fruitiness here. Alcohol is not concealed and there is a good bit of heat on the finish, along with a palate-scraping bitterness. The flavors on the finish suggest pepper and dandelion leaf.

M-The body is hefty with an active carbonation that fits the beer well. I also notice a heavy, oily hop residue.

O-This is one intense beer. I like the honey, which adds a lot of sweetness, but others may not. I don't know that I could drink more than one in a sitting, but at 10% ABV, I don't really need to. Lots of old-school IIPA flavor, which I enjoy, but it doesn't quite have the refinement of a Pliny.

 1,501 characters

Photo of BeerGuy8315
4.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a can into a pint glass. Stamped can date runs over the bottom lip and is difficult to read, but looks like 1/17/17. From the 2017 batch either way.

A: Pours a slightly hazy, golden-orange color with a one inch, frothy, paper white head with good retention. Thick, white lacing throughout.

S: Aromas of citrus, tropical fruits, honey, and piney hops. Notes of grapefruit, orange, pineapple, mango, and passion fruit.

T: Starts off with grapefruit, orange, and honey followed by pineapple, papaya, and guava. Finishes with a slight lingering piney hop bitterness.

F: Medium bodied, smooth, and crisp with moderate carbonation. Slightly dry.

O: Overall, this is a great DIPA. Well balanced and the honey adds a nice sweet element, but not at an overwhelming level. Would definitely try this one again. Not sure it's quite at the level of it's current or previous hype, but a good beer none the less.

 914 characters

Photo of Tommo
3.61/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

3 week old can from a friend. This falls very short of my expectations given how much people talk about it. The nose is grassy with heavy malt, no real floral hop flavor at all. The flavor follows suit with so little hop flavor for such a big ipa its embarrassing. I get minimal honey flavor throughout, minimal bitterness.

This is a malt bomb, not the worst, but certainly nothing to get excited about

 404 characters

Photo of Parmesan
4.19/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Brilliant bright copper orange with a creamy white head and some nice fingers of lacing on the glass.

S: Nose leads with a lot of pine, as it warms Grapefruit and other citrus notes become more apparent. A slight floral hop near the end and some honey sweetness.

T: A Strong piney bitterness leads with notes of grapefruit and grapefruit pith, a floral hop in backgrpund. Strong honey sweetness (maybe a slight bit sweet) and a note of noticeable booze.

F: Low carbonation and full body.

O: A very nice IPA, definitely different than a lot of the current IPAs out there which is nice.

 591 characters

Photo of The_Snow_Bird
4.42/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark golden color, very hazy with a medium white head on top. Can smell a lot of hops along with some citrus. Very hoppy in taste with a sweet after taste, very well balanced.

 183 characters

Photo of funk_master_flex
4.58/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

First time enjoying this much hyped (but deserving) beer. Bought a 6-pack at Belmont Station in Portland, Oregon. I used my go to Avery 12 oz tulip glass to assess this beer.

Look: This beer pours a translucent golden, light orange color with a small white head that quickly dissipates. There are some light alcohol legs when swirled.

Aroma: Right up front you my nose gets smacked with pine and resin. There is some hint of grapefruit on the end followed by a very light wildflower/floral sweetness and caramel. As the beer warms up the boozy alcohol smell becomes much more apparent.

Taste: Again the taste is at first dominated by the pine with a very strong caramel malt backbone to support the somewhat aggressive bitterness of the hopping. As the beer warms up it becomes more sweet and boozy. Grapefruit and mango become more apparent as I continue to sip and there is definitely a discernible honey/wildflower sweetness that plays nicely with the hops. This beer actually becomes more enjoyable as it warms up and I am able to taste the honey much more near the end of the glass.

Feel: Low to moderate carbonation. Fairly light mouthfeel despite the strong caramel malt backbone. I think the honey thins this brew down a bit. Becomes increasingly thin as I drink.

Overall: I will echo the rest of the BA community when I say this is a world class IIPA. Wonderfully balanced with an assertive malt backbone that allows the hopping regiment shine through. This is also one of the few IPAs I have had that actually becomes more enjoyable throughout the drinking experience (and not just because of the 10% ABV). It is extremely drinkable for being 10%. I think the honey makes this beer even more enjoyable near the end of the glass. As the hop flavor dissipates the honey and floral tastes step up to the plate without coming off as cloying or overly sweet. First beer I've ever had from Bell's and I am very impressed.

I was able to try this beer on tap side by side with Pliny the Elder both on tap at Belmont Station last weekend which was not only highly enjoyable but also quite informative as to the differences between two world class IIPAs. This one seems to have a more assertive malt character that is enhanced by the honey possibly. Though I will say, Pliny may still have this one beat on hop character.

 2,332 characters

Photo of Bluecrow
4.17/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

-bright, hazy amber can pour to glass. sugar and hop nose. The flavor is uniquely honey influenced and exceptionally smooth with a broad hop taste. This brew is neither juicy, nor dank or even like a good DIPA in the west coast style. This a unique and enjoyable offering, but not something I would purchase again given the local price.

 340 characters

Photo of DarthVorador
4.42/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I been looking forward to trying this brew for a long time, & until this week nobody ever had it in my area....so you can imagine my surprise when I walked into my local grocer & they had several sixers on the self! I HAD to get it!
So here goes, the ever popular & hyped Bell's Hopslam Ale!
Poured from a can into my favorite pint Pilsner glass, freshness date 1/16/17...2 weeks old! Does not get much fresher then that!!!
A: Slightly hazed amber with a towering 3 finger snow white head that lingers long time...beautiful.
S: Floral, piney, dank hops goodness, with a sweet undertone...very nice.
T: Follows the nose with the hops, then a solid malt backbone balances it out right away. Light honey sweetness comes in at the end offering its assistance in the balancing act, & combined with the malt gives a valiant effort...but the hops win!
M: Lingering hoppy goodness leaves things on the dry side, with a bit of the 10% ABV coming through.
O: Bell's Two Hearted Ale is my all time favorite IPA, so I had high expectations for this well hyped offering, especially since I'm a big fan of braggots. Did it live up? Sort of...it's VERY good, don't get me wrong, but I wasn't as blown away as all the hype said I would be, especially considering the price & scarcity of it. Still, an excellent brew that I recommend trying at least once if you got the cash & can find it.

 1,376 characters

Photo of The_Beer_Guru
4.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent beer! Taste is very hoppy with a balanced lingering sweet/bitterness due to the honey. Doesn't taste boozy at all, in fact I wasn't aware of the 10% ABV until after I drank it. Goes down very smooth, easy, and is awesome. I would definitely buy again!

 261 characters

Photo of TripleSun
3.91/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

My first Hopslam so I can't comment on how it's changed over the years. Poured into a pint glass.

L - Autumn color with a clear-hazy kind of thing going on. Moderate head that doesn't overstay its welcome.
S - Honey comes through first, along a good pine scent.
T - caramel malt backbone, sweet mouthful and a hop punch.
F - Medium bodied

Overall it's a delightful brew but it get so much hate because of the price point and the hype. One 6-pack a year seems to be enough for me. It's good but not the ultimate beer that the name comes to.

 542 characters

Photo of miniditka77
4.59/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

On one hand, I really like Hopslam. It's an odd bird though, it kind of challenges your expectations. It goes down like it's 5-6% ABV, when really it's twice that. Not sure how they do it, very impressive. Some honey sweetness and hop bitterness that is melded together perfectly into a beer that is very craveable.

On the other hand, I would almost prefer it to be 5-6% than 10% ABV. If I'm going to drink something with that much alcohol, I don't want it to go down easy. I want it to have some intense, complex hops that I can sip slowly and appreciate. I don't want to finish a 10% ABV beer and feel like I want to slam 3 more.

 639 characters

Photo of CrimeDog
4.31/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

First time trying this beer...
I agree, big pine and grapefruit flavors and the caramel malty backbone is great...
However, it was a little boozier than what I was expecting. I know that it's a 10 percent beer but I feel like a Simtra has a less boozy taste than this.
I think this is a great beer, but I'm not sure I'm going to drive several miles out of my way again for this....

 381 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.43 out of 5 based on 12,890 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.

    Subscribe