Hopslam Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

3,507 Reviews
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

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

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

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Reviews: 3,507 | Ratings: 12,883
Photo of Fieldzy27
4.74/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance-Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Rogue pint glass. I could have put a little more gravity on this pour but i'm sure the beer wont suffer too much. The color of the beer is a fairly light copper with a completely white head. It fizzles away fairly fast but thats sort of expected from a beer thats fresh with a higher abv (this one rings in at 10% by the way). Lots of tiny bubbles running to the surface but unable to save the head from deflating. Looks stellar.

Smell- Right off the bat as soon as I poured this juicy sweet hoppy aromas jump out of the glass with full force. Citrus sweetness and tons of pine resins dominate. Oranges and grapefruit aren't far behind. All of these meld together and smell amazing. The balance in the nose is flawless. No off scents for miles. This smells like a true DIPA with hops all the way through but still a hint of sweetness to keep it all together. Perfect.

Taste- First and foremost hops hops and more hops. Bitter attacks the tongue with violent force and relents quickly followed by more pine and citrus. This then dies to the point of letting hints of sweetness come through only to reveal a hoppy zesty finish that coats the moth with an slightly bitter resinous feeling. Only to be described as a symphony of flavor the different tastes meld together sip after sip. My mouth literally waters after every taste. As it warms a small amount of sweet bready malt comes through and the hops open up even further. The sweetness attempts to create a little more balance only to be denied by the insane hop profile. Perfect.

Mouthfeel-This beer holds one of the best mouthfeels to style as any I have ever tasted. The carbonation is bubbly and full but not fizzy and overbearing. The body of the beer is thick and full but not too much to detract from drinkability. The beer coats your mouth with oils that fade quickly into a tingle that leaves you simply begging for more. Every sip bring you dangerously close to the last one yet you cant stop yourself.Im honestly running out of words here.

Overall- This is truly amazing beer. Bottom line this creation was crafted by the best in the business and it shows. I cant think of one thing to make an improvement on let alone a flaw. A truly welcome tongue lashing of hops that makes beg for another. It drinks like a hopped up 6% beer when it stands tall at 10%. Flawless in ever sense of the word, just the way i'm sure Larry Bell Intended.

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Photo of Ultra-Plinian
4.74/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A very special thank you to GAELIC for trading me the Hopslam. He also so sent me some other North Carolina Beers that I am looking forward to trying.

Poured from the 12 oz bottle into my NEBCO Gandhi Bot snifter.

A: Golden orange hue with about 2 fingers of worth of an almost white cap that subsides quickly with nice lacing.

S: Wonderfully inviting. Smellls of pine and citrus, begging me to take the first sip.

T / M : Biting and bitter, just like the bottle says. But in a good way. It is slightly sweet. Bitter and almost tannic and the bite and flavors stay on your palate for a long time. No clue that it is 10% abv.

O: One of the best DIPA out here IMHO. I guess I will be trading for more of this in the future as it is EXCELLENT. Or I could just go visit my friends in Pennsylvania a little more often.

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Photo of atrus138
4.74/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured this from a 12 oz brown bottle into my tulip glass. Appearance is solid, though not exceptional. Pure amber color with a minimal head and lacing. However, its unexceptional look is deceiving. Upon raising the tulip to my nose, I am greeted with one of the most sensational aromas my two nostrils have ever beheld. Absolutely unadulterated hops. Delicious fruity smells such as grapefruit, pineapple, and mango. Crisp pine smells also sing their songs. Lying underneath all of this is honey. Rarely does a beer leave me in such awe before even taking my first sip. Taste does not disappoint. Hops like crazy. Super unbalanced, but really, a malt presence would just get in the way here. Mouthfeel is surprisingly perfect for this. It's nice and light considering the punch it packs. Great carbonation. Really, I wouldn't change this one bit. Extremely drinkable. This is a work of art.

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Photo of SaxmanRick
4.74/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On tap at 3 Squares in Maple Grove in MN. Pours amber colored with 1 inch head. Nice retained lacing. Smells of sweet malt and fresh, but not sharp, hops.

Taste is well balanced...malt base is full and slightly sweet and well balanced with the strong hop presense. This was a very fresh keg, but prominent hops (but not overbearing) were crisp. clean and similar but not quite as sharp as fresh hops. Lighter citrus (orange?), and sweetness apparently from honey, but not sweet for the sake of sweetness. Overall, well balanced and royal.

This is a special Imperial IPA. Alcohol well hidden and very drinkable...almost sessionable. I proceded to buy bottles for future pleasures.

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Photo of vinny21bal
4.74/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

Hopslam lives up to the hype. i have had the last three years and they are always good. One thing I noticed this year compared to others however is the fact that it is 10 times better on tap. You pull a lot of the honey on tap, but hardly get any of the honey out of the bottle. I have also tried old Hopslam and this is not a good beer after age. Best when fresh

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Photo of warnerry
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

served in a tulip

A - pours a translucent light orange with 2 fingers of head; head dissipates rather quickly and leaves some nice lacing behind

S - grapefruit hops dominate, through some nice florals and pineapple come through as well; some faint sweet malt

T - fantastic punch of citrus hops up front, followed by the florals, pineapple, and finally the sweetness of the malt; despite the name and obvious initial hop assault, this is a very well balanced DIPA.

M - very creamy for a DIPA, turning to slightly oily in the middle and a nice lingering bitterness.

D - incredibly drinkable for the abv and the hoppiness; the malt backbone really counters the hops nicely to keep drinkability high.

One of my absolute favorites. I only wish that hops flavor would last longer since this is a only released once a year. Hopslam is a beer that reminds you to enjoy life in the moment and to accept that there are some things you just can't hold on to for long.

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Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Ahh the famous Hopslam...finally managed to track down 8 bottles of it between two stores.

Poured into snifter; glowing, slightly hazy orange with a minimal clear white head that fades quickly into a ring of foam and some spotty foam on top.
Smell...dear god. Citrus, honey sweetness, some tropical fruits such as pineapple, floral scents, and some mild vegetal/herbal qualities, but not anything earthy or dark. Smell is huge from the bottle but seems to calm down a bit once it's in the glass.
Taste...a surprising amount of noticeable honey sweetness, and a ton of bitterness from the hops. Accompanied by a sort of flat, wide citrus/herbal assault that destroys everything in its path. I'll have to edit this review as my taste at the moment is somewhat muted from illness, but even now I can tell that this is simply an unassuming but very well-balanced and well-crafted beer that is insanely hoppy.
Mouthfeel is relatively clean for 10%abv, not too sticky either. The bitterness takes care of any stickiness the aftertaste might have had.
Overall, possibly the hoppiest beer I've had, but also still incredibly well-balanced. Glad I was able to find it.

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Photo of joshwilliams
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beautiful beer is the best thing that has ever come out of Michigan. The color, taste and smell are what makes this beer one of the best I have ever had. Even though it has a high ABV it is still one of the smoothest beer that you can try. Highly recommend to the amatuer just getting into stronger with more taste beers.

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Photo of Barracudas
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured into a traditional pint glass. Very nice color and a nice head. The aroma of hops was plentiful. The taste was a very satisfying hops deliciousness! Great beer!

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Photo of 666threesixes666
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is an amazing beer, well worth the wait, however they do vary year by year. last year's hopslams were very alcohol flavored, the previous year hopslams were 5 across the board, and worth the absurd price. this last year's hopslams were a bit too alcohol flavored, and not crazy hopped enough.

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Photo of tenaciousp65
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is bitter!!! Holy cow most of my friends hate it but I love double IPA's. The hops start off strong with some mild citrus tones and then mellow out as the beer continues through the palate until the beer mellows out to a nice even experience. I bought two six packs of this because I know how rare it is and it did not disappoint. A perfect example of a double IPA and I can't wait for next years batch

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Photo of Tearik
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Thick, frothy, white head/green head. It laces very nicely.

S: Sweet hop blend, complex, earthy and sweet malts with the bold and aggressive hoppiness that you would expect from its name.

T: The first was aggressively hoppy. With a slight honey/malt finish. However, this beers strength comes frome consecutive drinking. As my pallette adjsuted, the bitterness retreated and let me really enjoy the base malt/honey flavors. Drinking this beer a few times back to back has made it my new favorite beer.

M: full-body, creamy and smooth. feels very nice to drink.

O: absolutely great. I don't know if it was luck or design that makes this beer exponentially better as you drink it (up to 4 for me, 5 and 6 taste the same as number 4) but this beer is great the first time and even better the 2nd 3rd and 4th time.

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Photo of srv33
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Finally, I get to do a full written review of this incredible brew. Pours a nice honey color, with an inch foam head, beautiful lacing. The scent is wonderful, well balanced citrus, hops, and honey. The taste is, oh my, incredible. This is definitely one of my top beers, for sure. It hits hard, but is perfectly balanced in such a way as to not reveal much alcohol taste at all. Honey, hops, and citrus dominate the taste in a wonderful array on the tongue that is neither too biting nor too quick to leave, it unfolds on the palate revealing the complexity of the hops. If you can find this, don't hesitate to pick some up.

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Photo of jebert
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is it...round two of a Grand Slam! Last year's batch, #8283 was my first encounter with this luxurious, liquid libation. This year's batch, #8908 is all about consistency, strength amid weakness, and forbearance against a long, cold winter. Following last year's release, I managed to round up the remaining several 6 packs in close proximity of La Crosse as well as 4 additional ones from Eau Claire. This year, I made a point to special order two cases of the Slam.

Last night, I opened on of my two remaining batch #8283's. This was 365 days from initial bottling. Today, #8908 awaits my unworthy lips. Packaged January 5th, it's a wonder it arrived in WI within days of bottling.

One unique aspects of this beer is the label. An all green (hoppy) background contains three giant hops concealing what must be a stallwart individual. Beneath the hops, laid out flat on his back is a brutus of a man. Check out the two arms. Not the hairs. Check out the feet. Size 12-13, to be sure. The batch number is conspicuously printed on the side of the label. Go out to www.bellsbeer.com and enter the batch number.

Original Gravity: 1.087
Alc. by Volume: 10.0% - 280 Calories

Get ready...this is a "A biting, bitter, tongue bruiser of an ale. With a name like Hopslam, what did you expect?"

Presentation: Typical brown glass, 12 oz bottle. The cap tightly sealed, gasped as I popped it open, wondering why it's owner waited so long. I retain the Bell's impronted cap and added it to my wall of fame. This is a keeper.

Appearance: - This beer pours to a light orange pineapple colour with a delightfully busy swirl of hoppy bubbles. Perfect carbonation, as I've seen from mostinf not all of Bell's beer. A nice, 1.5" dirty but thick creamy head lasts forever. Catching the light, a slight yellow hue glances at me, tempting a sudden engagement.

Smell - A stalwart grassy, citris nose, comprised mostly of watermelon, grapefruit and pineapple. a after scent of mango, perhaps sits just aside of the main rise. The tone of this beer is sensual, espeially considering the blast of hops that awaits the tase. I can't imagine a better nose.

Taste - This is the bomb. It starts semi-sweet, almost candy-like but quickly ascends to a much stronger, multi-dimensional flavourful hop-ness. The flavor is big and juicy and very fruitful. A bit peachy, not at all a dry bitter hop, but wet. Notes include grapefruit citrius. The hops build after the first sip for an interminable period of time, eventually softened by the honey intermingled with the hops. The balance is awesome, softly taking one from that bitter hop experience found in the height of Ashbury Park to the calm, solitude of Arlington. Fallen soldiers don't exist here, only satisfaction, pure and simple.

Mouthfeel - This beer has a great mouthfeel, just a tad past medium with a thick, but slippery texture. The malt firmness structures this beer perfectly to suspend the delivery of the hops in a steady blast from start to finish.

Drinkability - This beer's depth of flavor and beautiful hop flavor is so well balanced (did I say balanced?) that one wonders how the label can be so misleading. Unknown to the casual drinker, this "biting, bitter, tongue bruiser" can easiliy sneak up on the drinker, rendering them useless to operate any tpe of machinery. This occurs, not due to the hops, but the awesome drinkability, whilst the 10% alcohol hits. I've found that, two bottles per night means an early bed time, but a great time getting there.

I'm going to enjoy the two cases tucked away in a cool place. 48 bottles means one bottle per week until next January.

Thanks for sharing, Larry Bell.

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Photo of troysoy2
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A little mid-afternoon hopslam never hurt anyone. Picked up the other day at 1 for the Road, in Wexford, PA. Thanks!

Bottle date 1/10/12, poured into a chalice. The head was impressive, but died down quickly to a frothy film, which left splotchy, yet attractive lacing. The body is a deeper redish gold, and has a nice thickness to it.

The smell is everything I imagined it to be. Hop heaven. Citrusy grapefruit, oily, with a hint of sweetness - almost confectionery. The smell almost leaps out at you from the glass.

The taste is, as promised, quite the slammage of hops. I guess I must officially be a hophead now, as I could appreciate the bitterness and tart grapefruit without being the least bit put off by it. In fact, I don't think hops alone make this a great brew. There's a good complexity to the taste, with sweetness from the honey in the finish, and just the slightest bit of lingering alcohol heat. The mouthfeel has some real body to it, as well as just the right crispness of carbonation.

Ok, so is it worth all the hype? I'd probably say so. It's a great beer, and I really am glad to have the opportunity to try one of the (presumably) "holy grails" of the IPA world. This is a great beer, and it's a shame it isn't more widely available. Mark one off the bucket list.

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Photo of crob3888
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a slightly orange hint of golden yellow with a magnificent off white head that settles to a thin foam on top of the beer and leaves plenty of lacing throughout the glass. The aroma hits you first: floral and citrusy, with grapefruit and pine and orange marmalade and some jammy berries. Flavor is grapefruit and mango and pine, all topped with heaping amounts of honey and hawaiian rolls. The sweetness of this DIPA is surprising. There's a decent amount of bitterness, but nothing like a typical west coast IPA; similarly this beer lacks the juiciness of the new 'New England' style IPAs. Instead, it strikes out on its own path. Onward.

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Photo of irrgalaxy
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Smooth - the honey takes the edge off the hops. Effervescent, but with small bubbles - not overly carbonated. Really delicious double IPA - one of the best I've had. Expensive for a weekly beer, but is a really excellent treat. Interested to try cellaring a couple to see how they age.

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Photo of haydukeqc
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

a: Hazy honey color with light carbonation and a half-finger of white head
s: Floral with honey and a citrus backdrop
t: Pitch perfect hops, none too much of anything, balanced piney resin with citrus. Honey is not overpowering, subtle in the background and almost closer to beeswax. Lingering hops.
m: A little too thin, almost satiny.
d: Traded for this six from halfway across the country, and it is well worth it. A extremely well balanced iipa with just the right hops in just the right places.

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Photo of Smelly
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Awesome. One of the best IPA's I've ever had. Love the big hop hit and subtle sweet honey follow-up. Crap...only 2 left from this year's batch :(

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Photo of TomTwanks
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

P - 12oz snifter dated 12/22/11

A - very slightly hazy golden orange. Oh boy does it look delicious!

S - Someone just threw a orange and grapefruit up my nose. Wow. Slightly yeasty and a hint of that honey

T - Just so everyone knows, I am drinking this brew slighty warmer. this beer can give a man a boner. I mean really, this is delicious. Initial bite from the hops, then a conservative malt backbone kicks in with the sweetness of that honey. I mean, this stuff is smooth. Really smooth. Dangerous smooth. Did I say smooth?

O - glad I have the opportunity to get this beer. It's hyped up for a reason. Get this is you have a chance. Best DIPA iv'e ever had, over dreadnaught and white rajah.

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Photo of jopezu
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

pours a dark, murky tangerine with a medium head that poofs. nose; simcoe hops, pine, & grapefruit pith. taste; sweet malt, citrus hops, grapefruit, mango, & honey. sweet and citrusy mango hangs out strong on the aftertaste. medium+ carbonation & mouthfeel. unfiltered AND unpasteurized - definitely lends a thicker, starchier mouthfeel. a touch sweet, but well-balanced considering the abv (which is decently tame) and hop bill. i hate that this beer isn't widely available, so every time i see it, there's an availability/pricing game to contend with. hoppy, juicy, a touch sweet. a must-try for ipa fans. excellent.

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Photo of GlassFreeek
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out a 12oz bottle into a Bell's Tulip Glass. Bottles on 12/29/11

A: Awesome, bright, golden orange in color. Very tight white, two finger head. Creamy looking head, almost stout like. Impressive!

S: What can I say, it smells awesome, sweet, fruity, floral hops dominate this one. Right in-between a west coast and east coast but better! Pineapple and grapefruit are most prominent.

T: Insanely smooth, insanely drinkable, insanely tasty! A sweeter hop profile dominates taste, slight grapefruit, and not much malt, which I tend to like in my DIPA's. I barely taste any alcohol in this.

MF: Creamy and smooth, medium bodies, and INSANELY drinkable. This is seriously slammable/sessionable. No problem taking down multiple bottles if you want. A must find for anyone who can locate it.

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Photo of arvjunk
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - murky, burnt orange color; 2 inch thick cream off white head; really sticky lacing the entire time

S - Citrus, tropical fruits, ruby red grapefruit, pineapple, spice, INTENSE

T - Aggresive hop profile, smooth, pineapple, apricot, caramel, candied citrus, lots of pine

M - Palate ruiner. Stick with this the rest of the night. Incredibly smooth for how aggressive it is. well balanced

D - one of the easiest drinking IIPAs you will ever come across. The high alcohol is enitrely masked by great fruit. Drinks a little too easy. This will get you into trouble

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Photo of Boppar
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From a bottle into an over-sized wine glass.

Thick, great head, with exceptional lacing. Rich golden hues. Frothy. I really couldn't help swirling it in my glass to play with the lace.

This beer smells incredible. Tropical fruity hops. Pineapple leads the charge with hoppy spice in hot pursuit.

This beer tastes almost as good as it smells. Definite pineapple taste. Mango and/or papaya are there as well in a more subdued background kind of way. Something creamy, possibly coconut is there as well.

Exquisite mouthfeel. Creamy, frothy, uninhibited bliss.

I could drink these all day. And with the non-evident 9.3% ABV, the hangover the next morning would only serve as a constant, friendly reminder of how thoroughly happy I had been the day before.

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Photo of Homers_Beer_Odyssey
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

APPEARANCE - 3FH that lasts, light, clear, amber.

AROMA/SCENT - Hops, malts, fruit, citrus, raisin.

TASTE - Hops, bitter, yeast, sweet, nutty, pine.

MOUTHFEEL/PALATE/TEXTURE - Decent carbonation, dry, smooth, lingering, warming.

VALUE - $9.00 for a 12-oz. draft. Average.

OVERALL/DRINKABILITY - Quaffable, ABV well-hidden.

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Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.43 out of 5 based on 12,883 ratings.
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