Hopslam Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

BA SCORE
98
world-class
13,039 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
Ratings:
13,039
Reviews:
3,529
Avg:
4.43
pDev:
9.71%
 
 
Wants:
2,662
Gots:
3,629
For Trade:
71
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 13,039 |  Reviews: 3,529
Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.65/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

A - Very hazy golden copper brew with about one finger of foamy white head that dissipates in about a minute leaving decent rings of lacing in its wake. Streaks of lacing up and down the glass. A pretty beer.

S - HOPS!!! Very strong. It practically fills teh room with hop aroma. Grapefruit pith and a strong, but soft pine (simcoe hops possibly, or one of its ancestors). The smell is strongly of resin. A bit of white peach. Alcohol is a little noticable at higher temperatures (If the mouthfeel wasn't so caustic, I would have drank this much faster and I never would have found this out).

T - The flavor is actually pretty mild. It has a bit of a pine and grapefruit flavor upfront that shifts into a mild pine bitterness aftertaset with a touch of grapefruit pith. The alcohol is very detectable in the back of the mouth. Pretty boozy. This isn't even very bitter really. Where are the 106 IBUs? I don't think this could be about 65. I really expected more flavor out of this beer.

M - Drying (partially from the alcohol) to the point of it being hard to swallow. I am having trouble drinking this with a glass of water. Seriously, this beer goes down about as smoothly as a shot of cheap vodka. Ridiculous. On top of that the carbonation makes it a bit harsh.

D - I love hops, but this mouthfeel is unbearable. A beer that I can barely choke down with a huge glass of water is not a drinkable beer by any standards. I don't think I will have this again. It is definitely not sessionable. It might go with some foods since it has a somewhat mild flavor. All and all a beer I don't care for - it makes your breath and burps smell very nice though.

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Photo of raspy22
2.66/5  rDev -40%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Photo of OrangeCharlie
2.7/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Poured a nice deep golden, almost copper color.

S: The nose is great...pretty much all hops. Good blend of earthy, pungent with a touch of citrusy strains in there too.

T: Way too dry for the hop level, way off balance. Bitterness is just harsh and overpowering. Very hot and boozy on the swallow. I know the beer is 10% ABV, but I really think you can brew a much smoother beer at this level.
Too much honey...it doesn't add anything but dryness. And too much at that. I can see what they were trying to accomplish, but it was just too dry for the hop level. Overall, the beer just comes off as an overly bitter, one note flavor.

M: Nice body, good carbonation level. Everything is OK here.

D: Again, the booziness and bitterness make this beer tough to throw back. I like DIPA's...I've even had very quaffable ones that are around 9-10%. But I put this beer down after two sips and a friend took over.

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Photo of alucardswordlol
2.72/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

Was very excited to try this beer but unfortunately a big let down for me.

Ok appearance, great smell and a nondescript mouthfeel. I just got way too much honey and it really muted what smelled like a great hopped up beer.

After trying this beer and having other beers of the same style I have to say this beer is mediocre and really a victim of its hype.

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Photo of Dumsboa09
2.74/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Personally not hoppy enough to justify it being so sought after

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Photo of cbei1261
2.74/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of yankinwis
2.75/5  rDev -37.9%

Photo of markasparov
2.75/5  rDev -37.9%

Photo of chippo33
2.75/5  rDev -37.9%

Photo of Robyn
2.75/5  rDev -37.9%

Photo of heerboth
2.75/5  rDev -37.9%

Photo of Bluecane
2.75/5  rDev -37.9%

Photo of HitchSlap
2.75/5  rDev -37.9%

Photo of xnapshot
2.75/5  rDev -37.9%

Photo of thegerm87
2.75/5  rDev -37.9%

Photo of Sparty21
2.81/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3

As someone who isn't a hop lover, this beer wasn't THAT bad. There were hints of vanilla and oak, so the beer was surprisingly well balanced, with oakey notes and vanilla. The beer was a golden color.

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Photo of beerindex
2.81/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Pours a hazy orange-brown color (almost cider-like) with a modest and quickly fleeting white head that left a respectable lace behind. Smell though was this beer's best selling point. The aroma was heavenly, perhaps the best I've come across of any beer. The smell was of citrus fruits, mostly lemon and pineapple, with a bit of honey too.

With respect to the beer's taste, it wasn't anything to write home about. I picked up a bottle because it is cheap and local, and most people seem to love it. As much of a hops fan as I am, this simply didn't do anything for me. I couldn't detect the honey it was supposedly brewed with. Instead, it had an odd medicinal sort of taste that was bitter in a way I don't expect with this style.

Not something I'd care to drink again, especially when Bell's has much better beers in their line-up, and even better locals brews exist (see: most stuff from Founders).

 905 characters

Photo of BigMike
2.82/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Photo of ViveLaChouffe
2.82/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

It pours a clear orangey copper with a frothy ivory head. Lots of fine spiderweb lacing. Beautiful smell. Floral and sweet citrusy hops. Hints of tangerine and apricot, orange rind and a hint of alcohol.

In the mouth, the alcohol is quite apparent. Quite hot actually. It is quite sweet but the malt provides very little body to offset the copious amounts of bitingly bitter hops. The hops are pretty unpleasant actually without the malt to offset the spice. It comes off exceedingly harsh. And thin! Long hoppy aftertaste.

Wow, really lacking as a double IPA. It's kind of a mess. Horrendously overrated. A fantastic brewery (the best brewer of stouts in America in my estimation) but this is a beer that is surprisingly lacking in craftmanship and taste. Miss it.

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Photo of jminsc76
2.83/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

And that friend alex3891 is referring to (i.e., me) gives the HopSlam a comparable rating and review.

It pours a very impressive, large head - thick and bubbly - giving one the impression they may be about to experience something spectacular. The hops swirl and dance as you pour. Excellent lacing down the glass as the head dissipates. The body is a slightly reddish orange and quite attractive. The carbonation dances as you open it up.

The taste anticipation is heightened as the smell is fresh and hoppy, with hints of vanilla and butterscotch. Malty aromas as well. But then I taste it, and, well, not much. As I continue sipping, I hope more will come through than the slightly hoppy and malty flavors that match the characteristics of the aromas, but not the aromas' intensity. It's hoppy, it's bitter, but there isn't a lot of oomph! to it. The taste exists, and that's all it does. There's no punch-in-the mouth the way an Imperial IPA typically delivers.

The sight is exceptional, the smell is as well, but the taste is, well, nada mucho. The only thing truly redeeming this beer from total disappointment is how I feel from its 10% ABV. That makes me rather feel rather benign. And similar to alex3891's review, I too am trying to understand how this beer received the ratings it did. Did he and I drink a bad batch or something?

 1,346 characters

Photo of guinnessfan
2.84/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Tried on 3 separate occasions and finally decided to review.

A: Clouded copper color, with thousands of floaties. Small head, no retention, but decent lacing.

S: Pine and citrus hop smell.

T: Too medicinal and boozy. Sweet and bitter at the same time. It's not the hops, because I love hops, it's that astringent taste that's nasty.

M: Stinging carbonation bubbles from a constant flow in the glass.

D: Not very good. Reminds me of hop-flavored Nyquil.

Major disappointment to me.

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Photo of RaulMondesi
2.85/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Wow... Wow... Did Raul just get himself a diet Stone? Mild aroma, thin-ish textures on the tongue, and a taste about as inspiring as a Kardashian having a baby. Raul was stoked on getting hooked up on this through a trade, but for now he will be looking forward to Zombie Dust.

Peace!

*Raul would like to revisit this one. He was just settling into the craft game, and although Raul does remember not enjoying this in the least, he'd like to try it again as his palate had no turned into platinum

 498 characters

Photo of mattm77777
2.87/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12 oz bottle, packaged on 1/11.

A: Very nice orange color. Clear with little sediment. Catches the light nicely.

S: This is where the beer began to disappoint. I pick up an almost vegetable-like odor, rather than the pine, citrus, or even hops I was expecting. There's also an almost formaldehyde-like scent lurking unpleasantly in the background.

T: I like the taste. If this was some sort of an American IPA, or just a regular $7.99 6 pack, I'd happily rate this higher. A nice balance of hops and fruit up front. Unfortunately, as I experience with Two-Hearted, there is the hint of a REALLY bad taste at the end. Like a really poorly balanced alcohol taste, reminding me a bit of nail polish.

M: Feels a little bit like cold milk, nothing extraordinary.

O: A relatively high quality beer. For all the hype, and a $17 price tag for 6, I was extremely disappointed. As my first review, also a little disappointed to have to disagree so drastically with a community that has led me to some outstanding beers I never would have tried otherwise. Bell's Brewery really just hasn't been in my wheelhouse. As referenced above, I always get either some off-flavors or smells with each of the 5-6 beers I've tried.

 1,227 characters

Photo of umichfan
2.89/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Maybe I'm missing something, but this is another beer that I'm not sure how it got rated in the BA250. I've only had the 2017 release, and have heard that prior years have been much better, so this is only the 2017 review.

Poured from a 12oz can into a snifter. Pours a golden, honeyish color that leans more amber, with a creamy white head. Slight haze to the body; the head stuck around and did lace nicely. From there, it went downhill. The nose was lacking & overbearingly sweet, especially for a DIPA. Coupled with lots of malt notes, a lot of the hop nose was overpowered.

The sweetness of the honey and how strong it came through is what shocked me most about this beer, to the point it's about all I could concentrate on. There's a flutterance of hop note that tries to compensate for the sweetness, but then the malt picks up on the tongue and the hop gets muddled. The overbearingness of the malt backbone and honey just didn't work in tandem with the Simcoe hop. Not enough bite to cut through the sweetness.

It finishes almost oily and lingers, but not in a way you'd like for a beer to linger. It's disappointing because Bell's puts out a lot of good product, but this, and especially for the price, is a huge miss in my book.

 1,244 characters

Photo of Torps
2.89/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 5l mini keg dated 1/28/16 from deciccos in Ardsley.

Wow. Extremely underwhelming. Pours a nice honey amber with decent lacing. Three finger head. Smells almost like wet caulk or paint. Some fruit.. Apricot? Boozy Boozy. Barely picking up any hops and this is only about a month old. I know the hops are there because the bitterness is fully apparent on the aftertaste. I guess this is malt forward.. Sweet.. Can taste the honey. All I can wonder is if I got a dud... Smooth syrupy mouth feel.

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Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.43 out of 5 based on 13,039 ratings.
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