Hopslam Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

3,452 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: 3,452 | Ratings: 12,693
Photo of Floydster
3.22/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle acquired in a trade from MuenchenerKindl, thanks for giving me the opportunity to try this beer

Poured into my Duvel tulip glass with a golden orange color that was very murky and an impressive 3/4 white foamy head that settled rather quickly, left some lacing but not enough to get excited about

Smell was full of sweet citrus, unfortunately could barely smell any signs of hoppiness, could smell some toffee notes and sweet malt though

Taste was not what I was expecting and was a disappointment for the most part, I do not know how old this bottle was but the dry hop profile was gone, there was nothing but fruity flavors that consisted of oranges, lemons, grapefruit, tangerine, and pineapple, got sweeter as it warmed and in the finish, the aftertaste made this hard to drink and enjoy its faint DIPA qualities, wish this one had some bitterness left, it desperately needs it to balance out the excess of rich malt

Average amount of carbonation and the body was pretty syrupy making it thick for this style of beer, pretty good mouthfeel

This is one is definitely a sipper, the alcohol is not hidden well and is too sweet making it heavy on the stomach and not allowing you to drink much of it, a bottle or two would definitely be enogh for me

I am guessing this bottle was close to a year old since it is released at the beginning of every year, and the beer might taste completely different when it is more fresh, not by favorite beers from Bell's but still glad I tried since it is the top one hundred beers, recommended if curious but there are much better IPAs out there right now

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Photo of padan7
3.23/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Hopslam once a great beer...now a bitter disappointment.
Used to think that Hopslam was the cat's meow now I think it tastes like...

I had this on tap 2/16/13 and drank a bottle on 2/15/13 (bottled on 1/2/13). The review was similar.

It looks like the old Hopslam. Nice looking IPA golden with a nice head.

The smell- not the same amount of pineapple citrus in the nose as before not bad but the aroma has been turned down.

The taste- could not find that wonderful balance of citrus/pineapple/honey/hops. Could barely taste the citrus and the taste was more bland and average than before. What a letdown. Looking for the wonderful

Mouthfeel- thinner and less savory than before.

Overall- I called Bells looking for someone to talk to. Ryan said "I'm not aware of any quality issues." I thought I might have gotten a bad 6-pack but the draft the next night tasted the same. Three other friends all agree this is not as good as it used to be.

Lagunitas Sucks, Hoptimum, Nugget Nectar are all better more cost effective choices to me now.

My number 1 IPA is fresh(30 days or less) Zombie Dust.

If you don't like spending $18 for a 6-pack of just ok tasting beer than pass on Hopslam this year.

If you feel like have been Hopslammed like me call Bell's and ask for Ryan. You can be sure
your complaint won't be the first.

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Photo of cabsandking
3.25/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Hazy golden/copper color and a spotty off white cap that actually has some stick to it. The nose is fruity, spicy hops, citric, grapefruit and a strong alcohol tinge. Tastes of bitter, dry, spicy hops, pithy fruit characters, and an impenetrable alcohol burn. Barley malt balance, piney, and some resiny turpentine notes. Full body and medium mouthfeel has some chew to it followed by some cloying. The finish is good with fruity, peppery character but much of the alcohol carried over is a little overwhelming. Flavor is good but the alcohol burn makes this a hard one to drink more than one.

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Photo of MNishCT77
3.25/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle from six pack purchased in the greater Washington D.C. area, poured into a 16 oz. pint glass, dated 1/15/13, drank 2/6-7/13 over several hours.

A: 3.5 - clearer than most for style (no hop haze), straw/yellow-orange color, 1 finger head lingered for >2 hours and remained lacing rim, no alcohol legs

S: 3.5 - honey, honey, honey... fig, passionfruit (papaya, mango)

T: 3.0 - confusing variation of flavors depending on the sip but invariable astrigency and BITTERNESS on the anterior tongue, unpleasant lingering bitterness, minimal booziness

M: 3.0 - slightly watery for an imperial IPA; again, overwhelming bitterness impedes mouthfeel development

O: 3.0 - very disappointed for my first experience with Bell's Hopslam, which I have been hunting down in the greater Washington D.C. area for > 1 month and purchased for $21.99/six pack; obviously, I have read the reports of several others that this is a bad batch, which I'm certainly willing to entertain. I tasted it side-by-side with Lagunitas Sucks DIPA, which is clearly the superior beer in 2013. For the exorbitant price and hype, Hopslam will probably be my biggest disappointment in 2013. I won't be purchasing it again until encountering other reviews that attest to a world-class batch.

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Photo of chetw
3.26/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I just had the 2013 release of Hopslam I was not overly impressed this year. Appearance and color where the same as other years but the aroma and taste were lacking compared to last year. I will still look for this on draft where I think it is much better. I must note that I did think the beer had a good flavor and my less than perfect review could be that my tastes are leaning more to hop forward beers and I would say I found this beer more balanced than I remember and not the Hopslam that I remember.

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Photo of WrathsU
3.27/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Golden clear body with orange hues. Moderately small white head with good lacing. Head recedes quickly and sticks to edges of glass.

S - Big bouquet of floral up front. Heavy doses of malt and honey intertwine with a slight citrus (orange, tropical) aroma.

T - Greets the tongue with bitterness followed by a pungent and citrusy flavor. Big alcohol presence noticeable. A bit minerally tasting throughout. Assertive hops help cut through the high malt flavors from the grains and honey.

M - Medium boided with good carbonation level and only a slight alcohol burn which is nice since the alcohol is noticeable in the taste.

O - Not as good as years past (this is 2012), but still a decent DIPA. A bit harsh this year, might mellow out better with some time.

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Photo of schellsbeer
3.28/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to my friend Jim for buying me a pint at WB's this evening. Nice to find on tap here in our home town. Now, to the review...

A - Very nice. Pale yellow in coloring with a nice head.

S - Fruit and hops. Sweet smelling. A nice IPA but not the best.

T - Fruit with hops. I like a bitter IPA and this was a sweet IPA. Double IPA???? Not sure. According to BA, it is a double IPA but only because of the ABV was very high...not because of the flavor. Fruit dominates this beer. Bananas and Pineapple are very noticeable. Too much so if you ask me. Also, hops was not up to par. Hop Slam....not for me. More like a hop spittle. Was on tap so it was ultra fresh but not something that was over the top like most Imperial IPAs for sure.

M - Clean and refreshing but other than that....just good in my book.

D - High ABV and not that much hops, just average for me. Also, since this is only brewed on a seasonal level, not that impressive. I have had better. Sorry.

Now, before I get slammed from other BAs, remember this review is my opinion and not any one elses. I love bitter IPAs and this was not that bitter. Good at best. Will I seek this out? No, especially since I can get better IPAs at a much lower price. Just average in my book.

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Photo of Liberatiscioli
3.28/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Too much honey felt like I needed to drink a gallon of water afterwords. Honey overpowered the hops. Big and boozy. Lot of people like it but way too sweet and bone dry for me.

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Photo of fx20736
3.29/5  rDev -25.9%
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 Thecherryman
3.29/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The specific hopslam I came into contact with has a really boozy taste. This doesn't taste anything like it did last year, which is pretty sad, I was looking forward to this. Heady topper takes this to the cleaners. If you haven't tried heady topper, get your hands on it.

Aroma: Smells pretty good, citrusy/piney

appearance is exactly like everyone else said it looked like.

Taste: It had a really boozy flavor, very unbalanced, which is very suprising for this beer. For 10.5% you can definatley tell it.

Overall: This is overhyped this year, and wouldn't purchase more than one six pack.

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Photo of MLDucky
3.3/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

All aboard, next stop hypeville. I wanted so badly to love this beer, I absolutely love bells. The color and aroma were nice, but for my personal taste the hop profile did not support the maltiness that was present. I expect some sweetness and malt given the abv but not at the expense of the hops. Oh well, still glad I was able to try it.

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Photo of Maurizio
3.32/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nose is medium strength, more dank spectrum than fruity. Taste is sharp hoppiness, mixed dank with some fruity notes. Honey is very present, much more than I was expecting, and I don't particularly care for the sweetness it contributes. Wanted to really like this beer, but the honey and the hop profile were both disappointing. Very smooth for a 10% ABV beer, though.

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Photo of LCB_Hostage
3.32/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

OK, and with this, I'm officially done with Bell's.

Sure I'll still pick up a sixer of Oberon in the summer, but I'll never expend any special effort, or get my hopes up to try a Bell's beer again. Much like Two-hearted and Expedition, this is a perfectly nice beer, but a rating of 100???? Give me an effin break! I know everyone's taste is different, but I can name a dozen DIPAs off the top of my head that I find to be equal or superior to Hopslam. But, I suppose I owe it the courtesy to at least get into the specific reasons for my disappointment.

A: Fine. Nothing special, nothing inadequate. A modest head. A somewhat lighter orange cast than I would have expected from a beer rumored to be so flavorful.

S: The first sign that I was going to be disappointed. I can't think of any word to describe it but bland. A bit of citrus, a bit of pine, but nothing memorable.

T: Again, nothing distinctive. A sweetness that I suppose might have been the honey, but it tasted more like unbalanced alcohol to me. I've read reviews where people wax rhapsodic over the big, bold, punch you in the face citrus notes. Well, I guess they must have gotten all of mine.

M: A bit on the slick side. No real carbonation or sparkle. Again, the sense that there was more alcohol than they knew what to do with.

O: Meh. Again, not a bad beer by any stretch, but it doesn't come a country mile within living up to its hype. But, as mentioned above, that's been my response to most Bell's products, so maybe it's just me. For those who fight over this every year, you'll be happy to know you have one less person to compete with.

And just for the record, the bottle I just drank was packaged 1/16/14 -- or less than two weeks ago. So, it's not like there was any drop off -- or if there was in that short a time, shame on Bell's.

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Photo of curtisjoseph
3.34/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

16 oz draft poured into a Budweiser pint glass of all things.

This is the first review I've written and unfortunately it's not going to be a favorable one. I saw this beer briefly in stock but ended up opting not getting it and regretted it since. Local bar ended up having it on draft, it was expensive but I decide what the hell since I had heard good things about Bells annual release and thought I had missed out. Not sure if it's just this year, but this is what I was served:

Appearance: Beautiful golden, opaque glass of beer with an almost peache colored head that remained about a millimeter thick.

Smell: Very fruity, pleasant aroma. No real sense of the alcohol from the smell, fairly mild with hints of peach and mango.

Taste: Alcohol. Alcohol. Alcohol. A quick bit of sweetness as the syrup hits and then you get the sensation that you just downed a shot of liqour. Not what I was expecting at all. Finishes off with some bitterness from the hops but doesn't even approach IPA let alone DIPA like this is supposedly styled as. I can't get a feel for what this beer is going for, let alone what style this should be. If I had to guess this should be more of a strong ale than anything else. Syrup, alcohol, tinge of bitterness.

Feel: Full bodied beer, mild carbonation, overall goes down extremely well.

Overall: They definitely tried to make something different here, but it is honestly one of my less favorite things that i've tried. Would be interested in comparing this to a previous release to see if this is a new direction or if this is what Hopslam is supposed to be. Try it if you can find it for a decent price, would highly advise against spending $8 on it at a bar.

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Photo of heresy22
3.35/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a can.

Very sweet. Surprisingly so. Somewhat off-putting.
The alcohol is not hidden. Booze in the smell and taste.
Thick mouth feel. Again, somewhat off-putting.

I am glad I finally got to try it, but I was not impressed. I will give it another shot if I see it again, but I will not seek it out.

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Photo of ltjska04
3.36/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the can, Hopslam is a nice burnt orange with sticky white head that lasts til the bottom of the glass. It is much hazier than I remember; there's no seeing through the glass. The aroma has medium ripe mango, pineapple, and sticky, resiny pine backed up by a seemingly strong malt backbone with low caramel notes. It doesn't exactly leap out of the glass but definitely smells nice.

The flavor leads with fleeting fruity hops that quickly fade and become replaced with a medium-strong bitterness that lingers. The malt makes its presence known but mostly stays out of the way. Unfortunately the hops don't really pop for me... they're there then they're not. It's a bit of a muddled hop flavor, which could be a result of what the brewery calls "the most complex hopping schedule in the Bell's repertoire." I tend to favor two or three character hops personally so it could just be my bias but I remember this being more hop forward in the past.

The mouthfeel is full with a medium dry finish that is enhanced by the lingering bitterness. A hint of alcohol is detectable but never overpowering. The beer lays a bit heavy on the palate and is filling over the course of a serving; pair that with the double digit alcohol and this isn't exactly a beer to have several of during a drinking session. Overall Hopslam is still a good Imperial IPA but the recipe is showing its age. It hearkens back to an era of bigger, sweeter hop monsters or what I used to refer to as Midwest DIPAs (bigger body, lower bitterness than West Coast DIPAs). For me this was a nice throwback but I'm not exactly chomping at the bit to get to the other five cans.

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Photo of RodBurg
3.37/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thehand hooked me up with this bottle. Thanks thehand!

Pours an orange/amber color with a small creamy head. Little retention, which is a bummer.

Very floral in the hop department. Orange blossoms and grapefruit scents mingle with a caramel malt backbone.

Starts with a caramel malt sweetness coupled with flowery hops. Finishes creamy sweet with mandarin and honey notes.

I'm thinking this would have been outstanding had it been fresh and on tap. The addition of honey almost gives off a sweet hop flavor. Hop ice cream. Yum.

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Photo of LanguedocRocks
3.37/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25


Way too sweet for my liking. It's not a bad beer, but it's nothing special. I would much prefer to drink the local DIPA's around VA/MD/DC then this. Maybe if the price comes down it will taste better.

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Photo of organicbrewer
3.38/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Batch 9470

A-Full gold. Huge cloudlike head, fairly compact bubbles. slight haze.

S-Candied orange. Slight honey aroma. Not too much else. Maybe this is past its prime.

T-Farily bitter, but the malt sweetness balances it off. Moderate pine and citrus.

M-Fairly thick for an IIPA. I like mine a bit drier. Medium carbonation.

D-at 3.5 or so months old this seems to have lost its hop punch. Still has some citrus aroma with the hop flavor, but it isn't "a bruiser of an ale." Also would like this a bit drier, the beer lingers on the palate too long.

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Photo of jasonjlewis
3.38/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to MuenchnerKindl for the sample

Pours a decent head with good retention. Pale orange color that is fairly cloudy.

Smell is of plum and grape. Hops do not attack the nose. I can smell some crystal and caramel malt, but overally the nose is weak. Slight perfumyness as the beer warms. Alcohol is strong on the smell.

Nice hoppy backbone to balance a nice rich maltiness. Hoppy astringenncy and alcohol astringency. way too boozy. Fruty plum and grapes come out as the beer warms.

Some alcohol astringency comes out, but the body of the beer is full and smooth.

A little astringent, but still good.

If this beer could be less boozy and warm it might be a lot better.

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Photo of twelvsies
3.38/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Batch #8907, bottled in January according to the website, drank in April. Had high hopes for this one but not initially floored as I thought I might be. It's only 3 months old, but perhaps it's starting to fade a bit. My question is, should a beer lose it's quality that quickly? I dunno... but I will definitely seek out an uber fresh sample of this when available and compare it with these notes. As is this beer pours a sturdy looking amber color, darkish, with a small head fading pretty quickly. Smell is hoppy, citrus mostly, orange peel, but then dominated by a sweet maltyness. Very heavy on the malt as well in the taste. I'm not getting destroyed by the hops here. A vanilla sweetness and an orange citrus flavor prevail over everything else. Perhaps a little too sweet from the added honey. And a little boozy to be honest. If there was a bigger hop presence this may be covered up but it's just not holding up. Malty, sweet, sticky, chewy, kind of clumsy. Not trying to knock this beer as I may not have the freshest example (but I did have three bottles to make sure) but it isn't world class in my book.

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Photo of donteatpoop
3.38/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a re-review. I've purchased a bottle this year and found my prior review to be way off from my current tastes. But that's what happens when we expand our palets, tastes change.

Anyway, this poured a nice pale amber color with a thick white head atop the brew. Smelled of pine and wildflowers.

Very hoppy, as to be expected. I split it with my wife and she liked it a lot, but for me the hops were almost too much and took on an almost soapy characteristic.

I get what all the ravings are about though, for hop heads this is like a dream beer. I'm a fan of hops, but not to the extent that I'd be seeking this out again... though maybe.

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Photo of benito
3.38/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

From the bottle, a recent (76--) batch.

A: Hazy amber with a thin head that laces well but doesn't show the rockiness I'd expect from this style. Still without any signs of carbonation.

S: From several feet away, the hop aromas are strong. Grapefruit and pine are especially predominant.

T: The back of the bottle says "biting, bitter, and bruising" and that it is. Grapefruit dominates, almost mercilessly, but is kept barely in check by a piney, resiny finish. Clear alcohol warming flavors as well.

M: An ode to the hop that forgets to back it up with a good malt sidekick. Though it's refreshing and actually fairly light bodied for a DIPA, it's ultimately too one-sided and the metallic 'alcohol' notes really go unchecked across the back of the tongue.

Overall, this is a strong and agressive beer with a few major flaws. I love that Bell's is going for something strong that isn't a stout, but they seem to have abandoned their golden rule (maximum realization of style, rather than experimentation with style) and ended up with a less stellar product than I would have expected.

Worth a look once or twice, but it's too much like spiked grapefruit juice to be a great beer.

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Photo of OhYesILoveBeer
3.38/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bell's HopSlam, 12oz's into personalized "K" snifter. Pours clear and golden, 1" off white head dissipates rather quickly into a thin film, slight lacing left behind. Nose is too sweet for my preference in DIPA's, but considering the abv %, I was expecting something in these lines. Floral, citrus like hops shine through a bit, fighting the sweet residual malt character for the lead. Taste is of a hyped up Two Hearted, nothing more, nothing less. This beer is Two Hearted on steroids, boost the centennial's, boost the pale and crystal, and you've got HopSlam. Overall I'm not too impressed by this beer at all. Bell's has a cult following, and I honestly think they could wizz in a batch, label it PissSlam, then stick a $14.99 price tag on a 6'er, and everyone would harp about how good it is. It just doesn't live up to everyone's hype, but seeing as Ive got 17 bottles left after it hit GA three months ago, I'll be cellaring plenty! Overall, grab one or two if you see it @ a reasonable price, but I wouldn't go too far to find it. I'd rather rock a Lagunitas Hop-Stoopid for $3.49 a bomber. Cheers all!

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Photo of CrookedStill
3.39/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Batch 10196, bottled Feb. 8, '11.

Pours a light amber with a finger thick white head.

Lots of citrus upfront. Grapefruit. There's a sweetness to it behind the citrus that's heavy of honey. Really enjoyable aroma.

Sweetness really takes hold first. Can really taste honey (tons honey malt I'm guessing). Hops come towards the end but the sweetness doesn't leave much room for them to shine and ends slightly bitter but it's the sweetness that lingers. There's a small amount of burn from the alcohol but overall the 10% is masked fairly well.

Pretty average for the the style. A medium body that's mildly carbonated.

I had my hopes up with this one. I've enjoyed many of Bell's offerings (Two Hearted and Expedition are at the top of my list) but this one just falls flat. The sweetness, near cloying, leaves this brew far off balanced and while I enjoyed parts of it, the sweetness was hard to get passed. The aroma is really were this beer shined and I wish it had carried into the taste. I'm glad I got to try it but if I had to choose between Hopslam or Two Hearted, it's Two Heated I'm buying.

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Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.44 out of 5 based on 12,693 ratings.
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