Hopslam Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Hopslam AleHopslam Ale
BA SCORE
4.46/5
13,076 Ratings
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
Ranking:
#147
Reviews:
3,532
Ratings:
13,076
pDev:
9.42%
Bros Score:
4.2
 
 
Wants:
2,677
Gots:
3,644
Trade:
69
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 13,076 |  Reviews: 3,532
Reviews by JoeMayo:
Photo of JoeMayo
3.63/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours golden/orange with a heavy off-white head.

S- Very piney with a slight alcohol presence. There's a sweet honey aroma as well with very slight hints of citrus.

T- Sweet with honey. Bitter, piney hops. Slight hints of citrus, namely grapefruit. Balance could definately be better. I feel like the honey and the bitter hops are competing, rather than balancing one another.

M- Medium body, but much bigger than a typical IPA.

D- The alcohol isn't all that noticeable in the taste or mouthfeel.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of yadehtsiyadot
4.96/5  rDev +11.2%
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 -20.9%
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 +3.6%
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 -21.5%
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 PaulyB83
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

 1,455 characters

Photo of Garvey
4.88/5  rDev +9.4%
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 fx20736
3.29/5  rDev -26.2%
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 Crubbsy
4.49/5  rDev +0.7%
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 bgold86
3.52/5  rDev -21.1%
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 +12.1%
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 nawpnawp
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
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 BeerAdvocate
4.2/5  rDev -5.8%
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 BuckeyeSlim
4.07/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a NB snifter.

A - Beer pours a brilliant, glittering yellow-golden. A two-finger head of very tight, thick eggshell-white foam with a crown of loose bubbles falls at a moderate pace, leaving a thick ring of pocketed lace around the glass. Eventually, all that is left is a solid, thin blanket of sheen across the surface. Held to a full-spectrum light, the beer is a soft, muted sunset orange and somewhat opaque, with a thick column of bubbles rising slowly up the middle. Traces of residual sugars on the sides of the glass linger, but not enough to call them legs.

S - Fresh pine backed by ruby red grapefruit and hints of mandarin orange. Nicely toasted malts and Jolly Rancher sugars push up through the hops on the ABV, which is present without being hot. As it warms, slightly acrid floral notes appear, followed by tropical notes opening up, such as mango.

T - Hop profile shifts to a noticeably more bitter one, featuring dry floral, herbal, a bit of resin, and hints of lemon rind. Toasted malts with notes of light caramels and hints of orange sugars provide a foundation in the background and somewhat of counter-balance, but make no mistake - the hops are the featured act here. The ABV is remarkably well-hidden. Bittering hops dominate the finish.

M - Fizzy, with mouth-filling carbonation. Body is on the light side, but solid. Components are well-integrated and rich with quality. The hops really take hold in the finish, creeping into the back of the nostrils and lingering on the tongue.

O - Better balanced than an all-out hop bomb, this is a big beer that's all about celebrating a variety of nuances various hops will produce, both in the nose as well as on the palette. It's expensive, but worth it if you're a fan of big and bitter. Watch out for the ABV, though; it will sneak up on you!

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Photo of scottwestphall
2.61/5  rDev -41.5%
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 CraigP83
4.26/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Incredibly hazy, literally looks like honey. Honey, floral, hops, bitter, sticky mouthfeel, a little boozy.it's good but with all the other DIPAs on the market it wouldn't be my go to

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Photo of BierRunner
4.44/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Rich and aromatic. But this is no fruit bomb, it's all pine and resin with a dash of honey to cushion the hop slam. Dark gold color and a nice viscous mouthfeel with bitterness all around the edge of the tongue that lasts a good 30 seconds.

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Photo of Artronium
3.9/5  rDev -12.6%
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 Critter1594
4.79/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Look: who cares. It is a double IPA it should be cloudy
Smell: heavy hop
Taste: dirty with hops
Feel: appropriate

Awesome beer. Dirty with hops as a double IPA should be.

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Photo of bhdc
2.26/5  rDev -49.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.75

This review is for 2017 canned hopslam, consumed less than 14 days after bottling. Sadly, I am reviewing this year, as this beer was a real gem in the past. One of the interesting characteristics of Hopslam is the noticeable differences year to year. Unfortunately, I found the 2017 Hosplam to be astringent, boozy, and uninspiring. As usual, it is very hop forward, but only in bitterness. I found this year's Hopslam to be unbalanced and leaving an after taste of alcohol like a cheap Vodka. Thankfully, the beer does get better near the end, but hardly worth the wait or price. Temperature variations do not seem to provide any appreciable character. If I had to guess, I'd say mass production has led to the sad state of a beer that was once (for me, at the very least) so sought after.

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Photo of pro45
3.98/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Gold in color with small white head when poured from can into pint glass. Smell is citrus, hops, tropical fruit. Taste is hops, pine, honey, grapefruit pith. heavy mouthfeel. Very good DIPA but not worth the cost of $19.99 for the six pack. Over hyped for sure. To be fair, I've not had other years variations.

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Photo of BeersnobRob
5/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Loved everything about this beer. I'll be tracking it yearly.

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Photo of charlzm
4.19/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Consume don May 25th, 2016. Poured from a can celebrating its 4 month anniversary today.

Pour is a slightly hazy honey gold with a three finger white head that, when it subsides, provides impressive lace all the way down.

Aroma is citrus peel, peppery honey and pine resin.

Flavor is somewhat sweet with honey and grapefruit notes. Significant bitterness crests in the aftertaste to tidy things up.

Mouthfeel is ever-so-slightly creamy and a little slick. Dry without being parching.

While not a blinding revelation, this beer (even as old as it is) is not to be trifled with. Can't wait to try it fresher!

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Photo of El_Farto_Magico
4.99/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer lives up to the hop hype. It makes me want to slap not only my mama, but your mama as well. The taste is out of this world.

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Photo of fscottkey
3.41/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: [4.00] Very transparent orangish color. Forms a big 2 finger head of dense white bubbles. The can lists the ABV (10.0%) and there is a born on date (01/28/16).

S: [3.00] The nose is pretty muted. I am getting light notes of pineapple and lemon.

T: [3.50] Lemon, orange rind, peppery, a hint of sweet maltiness in the middle. A little bit of alcohol on teh tail end.

M: [3.50] Medium body and carbonation. Does not have the heavy bitter finish of a lot of IPAs.

O: [3.50] This is a good beer. I like the inclusion of some maltiness to balance things out. It is not aggressively bitter but there is some bitterness. The flavor profile is pretty good but the nose is totally lacking. I feel like it is possible to do a lot more with 10% ABV than this.

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Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 4.46 out of 5 with 13,076 ratings
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