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

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Hopslam AleHopslam Ale
BA SCORE
4.45/5
Outstanding
13,660 Ratings
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Michigan, United States
bellsbeer.com

Style: American 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.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#256
Reviews:
3,675
Ratings:
13,660
pDev:
9.66%
 
 
Wants:
2,723
Gots:
3,885
Trade:
71
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 13,660 |  Reviews: 3,675
Reviews by DeFaz:
Photo of DeFaz
4.03/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Orange/amber color (closer to red than a typical IPA) with a medium head and some lacing. Head retention is fair.

Smell: Honey, tea, and pine, as well as caramel malt. Much more honey here than I expected.

Taste: There really is a lot of honey here--I think a bit too much. There's also lemon to match the pine from the hops, and a bit of malt flavor. It is somewhat boozy, but then again it is 10% ABV.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, fairly smooth and almost creamy. Carbonation is medium. This is less bitter than I expected, with the honey leaving sweetness on the tongue.

Overall: Overall, I didn't find the complexity here that I was looking for, and it didn't have the hop flavors that I was looking for (I think the honey and alcohol burn got in the way). There are so many heavily hopped beers today that this just may not be the world class beer that it once was. Anyway, my opinion is that it is very good but not world class, and it is simply not worth $17.99/six pack.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of yadehtsiyadot
4.96/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Walking home from a hard days work. The sun is showcasing it’s vast array of colors on the landscape before me. Making my way to the stoop of my trailer, the main concern is to get out of these shoes. Plopping down to un-suffocate my feet, they decide to show off a few new blisters. About time for some new boots, I suppose.

Taking a moment to just relax and calibrate myself, my neighbor approaches me. “Looks like you could use a beer”, he says to me.

“You read my mind”, I eagerly reply. “What’d you got to share?”, I say.

“This here is Hopslam”, he kindly answers.

“Hopslam, huh? Never heard of it. Let me take a look. Bell’s huh? It’s been a few months since I’ve had a good, craft beer and I thoroughly enjoy their Two-Hearted Ale“.

“Well, this will make you forget all about Two-Hearted and it’s odd, fishy label“, my neighbor adds with a warming smile.

“That so huh? Well let me get two glasses from the cupboard and we’ll partake“.

“All right, sounds good“, he says in agreement.

Making my way back outside, I pour my neighbor his and then my own.

In each bubble, I can see myself. In some bubbles I am smiling, happy as a kid at Christmas time. In some I am singing, loud joyous hymns. And in others, I am just dancing, without a care in the world.

“This is gonna be a good beer”, I says to myself.

Once my nose breaks the plain of the rim, I am welcomed by the most magnificent aromas. Fresh pine from my hikes up northwest in America. A slight honey scent straight from Winnie’s home.

I start to get excited. My first sip transcends my imaginary being of myself into an altered state of another dimension. I am in a room. Yet it is a room that goes on forever, so it is not a room at all. Up above me, out of reach is a treasure chest. I can’t seem to reach it.

Out from the void, appears numerous pine cone entities. From the cracks of their cones, they are perspiring honey. They assemble themselves in the form of a ladder, forming a perfect ascension to reach the treasure chest. As I climb, each one seems to rub my back for an eternity. The feeling is not felt, for I am not of this body. I make my way upwards, dauntlessly, smiling as I reach the treasure chest. As I approach, it opens automatically.

Inside is a picture of me as a baby. My innocence. I have found what was never taken from me. I have found my Self.

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Photo of bluz4frank
3.53/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First time distribution this year in San Diego, CA. Seond time trying. I honestly do not understand the hype on this beer. It is mediocre at best. No hop nose to speak of and a cloyingly sweet finish. It DOES have a nice appearance. Had a Bear Republic Apex immediatly after and it blew it away. There are so many more easily attainable beers out here in Californa that leave this in the dust.

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Photo of TCHopCraver
4.62/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a brilliant ruby-gold with a 1-finger head into an over-sized wine glass. Has a crisp, clean look to it. Happy carbonation bubbles running up the sides of the glass show this beer is alive! Very nice amoeba-like lacing.

S: Fresh floral and grapefruit-citrus bouquet fills the nose. There are some sweeter pineapple hints, along with a good dose of honey and just a whiff of alcohol. I could smell this beer all day long.

T: Wonderful balance between hop bitterness and the malt/honey sweetness. Very impressive for a beer this heavily hopped with a high abv. The citrus flavors are just delicious and the finish is a nice, dry hop-honey.

M: Like the label says, a tongue bruiser! But in a "I'll bruise your tongue but then French kiss the hell out of it to make it feel better" kind of way. The lovely hop and malt balance really spreads over the palate for a refreshing and complex feel.

D: For a 10%, big hopped beer, too good! So delicious and well-balanced that I could enjoy several if I didn't have self-restraint.

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Photo of zachpaschal
3.5/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Way overrated and nowhere near the hype. Had 2 of my 6 pack and gave the other 4 away to friends. To each their own. But there are much better beers at a much better price point imho.

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Photo of Hawkeyejam
4.1/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Its living off it's reputation

Still a fine beer, however it has been passed as beer has evolved in this Golden age. This beer is thin, unbalanced, and short on flavor compared to other beers that are currently in top 200. It's good but its relying on a built up reputation over time.

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Photo of PaulyB83
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 01/08/15 Poured into a Sam Adams glass.

L- Medium amber, looks like honey, good clarity, two finger slightly off white head dissipated quickly to a ring.

S- Big hop aroma on this beer, hop dankness, mango, pineapple, maybe a little stone fruit, I believe I'm getting quite a bit of Simcoe and Citra here, I know I've read that this is exclusively dry hopped with Simcoe. I swear I can smell a slight presence of the honey. The abv is only slightly present.

T- The dankness comes through more in the flavor, pine that you don't get from the aroma, and then some of those fruit notes come through, finishes with a light bitter bite and a definitely lingering honey flavor can be detected. Some of the alcohol comes through, a bit more than I'd like but only a slight warming on the tongue.

F- Slightly syrupy but a good mouthfeel for such a big beer.

O- An amazing beer that is worthy of hype and one every hop head should try at least once. The honey adds a dimension to it that others do not have, for me I find it takes away slightly from the hops but it still works, it just might not be everyone's cup of tea. Another thing I have found is that this beer is really best within the first couple of week from bottling. I find the alcohol can become more present at about a month, it's the same problem I have with Oracle as well. But the aroma of this beer is up there with all the others, very bright and a definite slam in your face.

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Photo of Crubbsy
4.49/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. can into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Absolutely beautiful crystal clear golden color. Fairly effervescent. about 3/4 inch of white foamy head immediately after pouring.

Smell: Intense hoppy aroma, almost floral. Mostly hop aroma, but can sense the heavy malt backbone that carries the hoppy bitterness and piney floral notes.

Taste: Malt flavor first, then I get that beautiful piney hop flavor that dominates the nose. Then a slight bitterness and a hint of boozy flavor near the very end.

Mouthfeel: Fairly light bodied for a double IPA. Still a bit of swirl in the glass.

Overall: A delightful double IPA. Great balance between malt, hop aroma, and bitterness.

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Photo of Garvey
4.88/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

What a great welcome to the Beer Advocate community. Berg77 generously gave me 2 bottles of this to try along with a plethora of Iowa Beer Distro tips and info. I knew Hopslam would be good, but I was beginning to think that it couldn't possibly live up to the hype.

I tried a glass up at a friends cabin this weekend and can say that I would not change a single thing about this beer. Looks beautiful in a glass; I could smell it all day; and it has a perfect balance of sharp, hoppy bitterness and delicate "nectar of the gods" sweetness. Would definitely drink another glass of this liquid gold...in fact, maybe I will today. Thanks again Berg77 for the gift!

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.2/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue VIII:

So, given the name, we can probably assume this is going to slam our palates with hops and then twist our minds with that interesting honey addition. We're ready for this beer geek, hophead legend.

Bright amber in color, topped with a lively, foamy, off-white creaminess that rises high and settles to a good two-finger-thick head--sticking to the glass and not going anywhere anytime soon. The aroma? Massively aromatic with some raw honey and floral perfume that nearly intoxicates on the spot. Some caramel too. The taste? It sneaks up on you. It's light at first, opens up to some sweet honey, toffee candy, alcohol, and then come the hops. It begins with some hemp oil, little bit of ruby grapefruit, white pepper, and then intensifies as it coats the palate with a slickish consistency. Chewy. Fruity esters in the middle. Alcohol says hello and reminds us that we're being slammed, as it reintroduces the hops, which have made camp on our palates at this point. They hang out well into the linger. Finishes with a dried grass, hoppy finish, faint soapiness, and alcohol fumes on the breath.

We've been HopSlammed. There's no going back. The Alström Bros want more. Please send full cases to the address listed on our website. Cheers!

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Photo of bgold86
3.52/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from can into 13 oz snifter, nice light amber color. Nose is decently hoppy and piny, just a slight hint of tropical sweetness. Taste is really average, like a semi sweet semi bitter IPA, am very thankful this was a two can limit at my local bottle shop. This beer is not worth repeating, especially with the astounding array of better option available. The definition of a hype beer!

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Photo of beerbeardguyfromCO
5/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This has been hoppier in the past, but I'm going to let it slide this year. This is the only IPA that really delivers for me, aside from Palate Wrecker. If I could take this beer to bed, I'd divorce my sweet, MPDG wife and live happily ever after even if it means I don't get any more hand-knit orange socks. All jokes aside, (are they jokes, really?) this is pretty much my go-to, so it's a good thing my local beer spot has me on speed-dial and saved me 6 cases.
Fire is hot, ice is cold, Hopslam is IT.

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Photo of DoghouseReilly3946
4.13/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Date: Canned on 01/15/19, revisited on 01/21/19.

Appearance: Pours out a nice dark and almost hazy copper orange color with two fingers worth fluffy off white head. Fairly standard but it looks nice.

Aroma: While I am no haze craze fanboy, I will admit that they by and large are much more aeromatic. Not to say that this doesn’t smell good, it does but it never seems to explode with the bouquet of aromas which I am now used to. Anyway, I get a lot of sweet honey up front which has an almost burnt aspect to it or perhaps caramelized is a more accurate word. There is also the standard pine, bitter grapefruit zest, and a decent amount of tea leaf aroma and green onion. For it’s name, Hopslam lacks some of the deep, bitter, resinous elements of other double and triple IPAs, at least on the aroma.

Taste: The taste fairs better than the nose as there is an initial rush of assorted hops that overtake the palate before dropping back to allow for the honey to come forward. The honey sweetness rises quite quickly and just as the question “is this getting too sweet?” creeps into my head, the hops return with that deep resinous prickly hop bite and bitterness that was missing from the nose. While the bitterness isn’t anything wildly out of the norm for an IPA this big, the fresh hop bite lingers for a good while and has a little spicy burn. There is a notable floral taste in here as well, perhaps it is a hop variety or maybe they used wildflower honey. I also get some deep herbal notes as well, but nothing that is really definable. The mouthfeel is medium-full standard DIPA style and pleasant enough. It has a standard chunky malt backbone which veers a little too close to the syrup like character of say Dogfish Head 90 Minute. The rush for Hopslam seems to have subsided over the past several years and I can understand why to some degree. The first time I had it, I thought it was awesome, of course that was three hundred beers ago. It is still a well made and enjoyable offering but for the price and limited timeframe of availability, it simply cannot compete with many of the beers being churned out by many of the newer smaller more adventurous local breweries. I get the feeling that Bells has become complacent riding on Hopslam and several other limited releases, everything now unfortunately feels old hat about this one. Hopslam even has some trouble when compared to the, honestly somewhat better and cheaper year round offerings like Stone Ruination.

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Photo of scottwestphall
2.61/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

First off, this may be the most overrated beer on the market. I used to love it, but something happened when Bells decided to can it vs bottle it. The current rendition has light head though does leave nice lacing. The golden color is slightly hazy but pretty clean.

I can't smell any notes off this can at all. Nothing.

The taste is mostly alcohol. Not much smoothness and not real drinkable. Pretty disappointing. I've now drank 4 of these out of six and am pretty sure that Bells has somehow messed up previously great beer.

Too bad.

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Photo of nawpnawp
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fresh 2016 can (within a week of shipment) poured into a pint glass.

Just going to keep this short and sweet. Everything about this beer is great. From its hazy yellow-orange glow and creamy head to its honeyed hop flavor, nothing is overpowering and the flavors just meld together perfectly. Its sweetness from the honey perfectly balances the hops that hit you in the face. I'm not a big fan of hops for the sake of hops, but this brew just sings in harmony with all of the other flavors.

The only downside is that it is seasonal and must be had fresh. Other than that, get it if you can and savor it.

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Photo of fx20736
3.29/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Bought a 6 pack of cans from Consumer's Beverages in Kenmore NY, Feb 2016. Poured into a Duvel tulip at fridge temp.

Look: Opaque apricot, thick white head head, nice lacing.

Smell: Tropical fruit; guavas in syrup?

Taste: Bittersweet, like Orange Marmalade

Feel: a little syrupy

Overall: too sweet and syrupy.

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Photo of Beerampage
4.47/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Poured one with a good friend.

A: Pours nicely. Sunny orange color and single finger head on top. Awesome.

S: Intense hops. Citrus and Pine. Smells delicious. Malt is sweet smelling which I assume is due to the honey as well. Very fresh smelling. Can I drink this through my nose? Maybe.

T: Bang! If you're a hop head you'll enjoy it alot. Its bitter as hell initially, but gives way to a nice malty sweet finish with the citrus revealing itself along the way. First drink is always a bit shocking. Second one reveals why this beer has such a great following. At 10% you know your drinking a big one. The booze is present, but fits just right with the rest of it. Its big flavor from start to finish, and the beauty of this beer is its drinkability.

M: Awesome smooth mouthfeel. Malty and full. Juicy just like it looks. Carbonation is completely spot on.

Overall: From pour to finish it seemed to last maybe 10 min. Is it allowable to make a 10% DIPA so damn drinkable? Yes! The mark of any good beer is your desire for its next drink, and this one is pure lust from a hopheads perspective. Its a different beer from the start to the finish, and as my comrade finshed one swallow before myself, and he said, "Damn, that was delicious." I think that sums it up perfectly.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.59/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beautiful amber color. The head is three fingers high and slightly off-white in shade. While not the densest texture-wise, retention is pretty good. TONS of lacing sticks to the glass, literally tons.

Wow. Smell those Simcoe hops. Needless to say, they pop aromatically with a ton of piny notes, alongside some grassiness. There's a slight spiciness to the hop qualities as well - no real citrus presence, though. Naturally, the caramel and toffee appears vividly, as does some honey sweetness. Clearly, it's not the biggest or baddest-smelling IPA on the market, but it certainly charming taking its own merits into consideration.

It opens up with some piny hops flavor-wise. Throughout the flavor profile, piny, spicy hops seem to dot the palate. Around the middle, a large amount of caramel malt sweetness makes itself known. The flavors end with some honey, apricot, and orange peel. I have to say that this doesn't offer the most interesting collection of notes for a big DIPA (especially one as hyped as this); however, it's compensated by its balanced and easygoing nature.

This is a sweet-tasting beer, but not that sweet-feeling. This is why I like honey as an adjunct - it offers a bold flavor presence while creating a dry finish. And here, it definitely seems to save this from having a syrupy, sluggish palate feel. Carbonation is fairly gentle, given its thick texture.

HYPESLAM HURR HURR~ No, it doesn't have the newest or sexiest hops, but it's a 10% monster that drinks like it's 7%. Seriously, though, the hype for this beer is kind of crazy. It's just a good, highly drinkable DIPA - that's it. Quite a few DIPAs from the DMV region are superior to this, but it's still worthy. If you can find it, that is!

3.59/5: Hopslammable

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Photo of 51mmz0rz
4.42/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I am rating this partially as an experiment. I have 2 bottles: One bottled 1/17/14, and one bottled 1/18/15. I'll note the differences here, and give the 2015 (fresh) a rating.


Both Poured into a 0.5L Duvel tulip.

A: No real color or head retention difference between the two.

S (old): Mostly crystal malt aromas. A stiff malty smell.
S (fresh): More tropical fruit.

The new beer is a lot brighter. The old beer tastes more like a barleywine, without any fresh hop character. More of the sweet grain in the old beer.

M: Since the new beer finishes a little brighter, it feels a little less heavy. The hop balance is key there.

Overall both beers are still pretty good, though the old beer does seem a little less interesting, and maybe a little less bitter, the old beer is still pretty tasty.

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Photo of Artronium
3.9/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just purchased a couple of sixers from Green's in ATL for $35 and change. Thankfully they had it in stock after the other two big stores sold out. I was debating whether or not to buy some this year. In Illinois one can buy as much as one wants,but here in GA one is limited to a six.I took my Boo with me, so she could buy one for me. A few years ago The Slam was special, but now with the proliferation of DIPA's it's just OK. It's extremely balanced and crushable for 10% ABV, but it's not what it's used to be for my tainted buds. I've been ageing them regardless of what the brewer suggests. Bell's still kicks ass.

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Photo of undulatingfrequency
5/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2018 batch. Excellent! Brewed with honey, but not overly sweet. Leaves a really nice, kind-of-a-sticky-sweet aftertaste under the back of the tongue. I don't like overly sweet, or fruity brews. This did not disappoint. Drink straight outta the can. If I could actually find my snifter I would've used that. You will not be disappointed. Grab some while it's available.

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Photo of Cfred371
3.19/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

First time drinker of Hopslam, and came into this one looking forward to a well regarded double. This can was packaged 1/19/2016, so 13 days old and pretty fresh. I let the can sit out for 30 or so minutes to serve around 45-50 degrees. Drank from a tulip glass.

Look: The beer pours a nice golden color, producing a nice inch or so slightly off white head. The beer isn't crystal clear, but light does penetrate through, and is by no means hazy. The carbonation on Hopslam seems to be solid.

Smell: I thought the smell was pretty average: hop dominant with some citrus shining through, and a little bit of sweetness from the malt/honey. There is some earthy/dank aromas in here as well. The smell of Hopslam didn't differentiate itself much, to me, from any other double I've encountered, and was rather disappointing

Taste: The taste is initially the hops making a statement with some slight citrus, the dank flavors, and then the honey and malt start to take over around the middle, balancing the hops quite nicely. I note a little bit of the alcohol, but at 10%, that is expected.

Feel: I was pleased with how full the mouth feel on this beer is, carbonation assisting in a nice smooth, thick beer. Hopslam certainly has some bitterness in the finish, but is balanced with some sweetness at the beginning of the finish.

Overall: This is an OK beer, if not overly sweet. I wouldn't suggest seeking it out.

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Photo of Renob44
4.48/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This beer is the perfect balance of hops/malt, with a name like hop slam I was scared that it would be way to "hoppy" but the beer itself tasted amazing. At 5.99 a bottle... It's not worth it, but definitely a great beer.

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

Pours a very hazy amber color with a thick foamy head. Head retention and lacing are both excellent. Aroma is light on the nose but get citrus, caramel, honey, and some pine. Very floral taste with slight caramel and honey finish. Bitter, slightly piney aftertaste. Slightly astringent. Light to medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Very well balanced. Slightly boozy.

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Photo of MemphisSooner
4.59/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Simply incredible. In the world of double IPAs, Hopslam is a king. Hop forward, balanced, and insanely drinkable despite the abv. This is a must try if you have never had the pleasure. Tropical, piney, and grassy hops dominate. The honey provides a slightly sweet and smooth finish. Just an amazing IPA. Get it if you can.

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Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 4.45 out of 5 with 13,660 ratings