Hopslam Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

3,523 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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 3,523 | Ratings: 12,977
Photo of beergoot
3.81/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Unique can data: 17142 PKGD 13:50 012317 130655

Beautiful deep gold color; thick, sculpted, sticky head. Earthy scent; some old citrus rind and pine elements; some malt sweetness buried deep. Cereal grain malts with a big hop bitterness; faint esters. Heavy body; some mild coarseness to add bite to the feel; mostly dry finish.

So, a little old perhaps for an IPA...thought I had reviewed this a few weeks earlier, but apparently that review got lost in the ether...this is a pretty good IPA overall, it's just too bad that I chanced upon this lone six pack only a few weeks prior in late March (sitting atop numerous sixes of Bell's Expedition Stout). I would hope that a fresher version would deliver more of the aroma and taste that others in previous reviews have raved about. As I recall, my initial (lost) impressions and review were similar to this one. Well, sometimes you takes what you can gets...

 912 characters

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

Liked the second one better than the first, great hoppy flavor and the honey is just right. Nice Aroma and mouth feel. The Hoppiness is hidden some by the honey but the overall taste is great.

 193 characters

Photo of Lahey
4.56/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This is my first time trying hopslam, and it didnt disappoint. The look is a slightly hazy pee yellow (yeah I went there) with not much head or lacing.
The smell is hops sweetness and booze.
The taste follows the character of the smell. Big juicy hops, sweetness from the honey and just enough heat to know you're drinking a double. Very addictive.
Mouthfeel is fine. Not too thin, but just thin enough to be somewhat refreshing.
Overall one of the better dipas I've tried. I think I'd put double crooked tree from dark horse slightly above it, but this comes in a close second. Give it a shot, its worth it.

 608 characters

Photo of BigGold
3.78/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

First had poured from 12-oz. can, stamped on bottom, "PKGD . . . __/12/17," gift from friend, into tulip. Not fond of honey in beer, and always a bit doubtful of Simcoe, but the odd elements of this beer add up to a sweet but highly drinkable big DIPA.

 252 characters

Photo of DavidRolle
4.84/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I thought this one was absolutely delightful and not as much of a hop bomb as I thought and loved the fact that it was in cans and a 6 pack at that. The smell and flavor of this beer were absolutely delightful and a little more than ordinary. If I did have a complaint about this one was the flavor was great but nothing world class like I thought it would be but other than that I thought it went down smooth and relaxed and was easily 94/100 for me.

 451 characters

Photo of rmpic82
4.52/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I'd say something about the color, but as I poured from can to glass my eyes immediately crossed. The aromatics on this beer are remarkable. Nice DIPA here, pushing all the right buttons on the taste and smell. Slightly honeyed citrus and highly sessionable. Great dry/rounded finish.

 288 characters

Photo of scottwestphall
2.61/5  rDev -41.1%
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.

 542 characters

Photo of KalCal
4.65/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A truly exception DIPA with incredible balance. Of course, year to year it can have some variance, since it's a seasonal release. But, when it's a good year, it is OUTSTANDING. The right blend of "fruity" hops and back end bitterness (tiny amount). This is a ridiculously smooth drinking IPA.

 292 characters

Photo of beerguy04
3.5/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark golden color with a big fluffy white head and a lot of lacing. Smells very piney. Taste is piney hops with an earthy aftertaste. Mouthfeel is light. Overall, good but not oh my god amazing.

 202 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 eppCOS
4.31/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Hopslam is a great IIPA, and I'm not a huge fan of the imperial (sweeter) styles of the IPA. What I do respect is their balanced use of honey in this sucker - bittter, fresh (when fresh of course), great citrus-floral impact, good mouthfeel. Will never be my favorite, for sure, but glad I bought a sixer of it when it was out a few weeks ago. SOLID.

 350 characters

Photo of bhdc
2.26/5  rDev -49%
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.

 790 characters

Photo of dgmirelli
4.2/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

ok so i finally had one, much more west coast style to me, very much alcohol in flavor and i know it was 10%, look was more of an amber, clear with a good head and retention, smell did not hit me over head, taste was clean not much citrus and was able to feel the honey presence. feel was a proper carbonation. i would have another sure, did not knock my socks off. was able to secure one can poured into a beer snifter.

 422 characters

Photo of D9sus4
4.85/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I have been fortunate enough to find Hopslam on tap for the past few years. Always tastes a little better to me from a tap. Tastes more like the Imperial IPA that it is, than when poured out of a can. But, I would never pass it up in any form when I'm lucky enough to find it.

As Imperial IPAs go, this one is probably the most Hop forward I've ever tasted. But it doesn't have too much of that grapefruit hop taste, that's so popular right now, but that I don't like. But it varies from year to year, as its a true craft beer that depends on a lot of variables, like timing when to add the next dose of hops. That said, this year's Hoplam was the best I've ever tasted! 5 snifters from a tap, and two 6 packs... But not all in one night

 744 characters

Photo of Fee
4.32/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A great double IPA. Complex taste that comes from a great hop profile. Aromatic and pours with a nice head that lasts. Smoother rather than crisp, this beer is going g to seem a little boozy. But then again it's a 10% beer. Extremely good.

 239 characters

Photo of Red5StandingBy
4.52/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz can into tulip. Canned on January 23rd 2017.

L: Lighter amber color, like honey. Slightly hazy. Two finger fluffy white head. Great retention and amazing lacing.

S: Strong notes of honey, strong floral hop presence. Good malt backbone as well.

T: WOW. Hopslam is an apt name. Rich and complex, perhaps the most complex DIPA I have had to date. (Including Pliny The Elder). Rich oils, Grapefruit, peppery notes. Then the Alcohol takes charge. Warms nicely. Finish is well balanced with the honey and malt.

F: Slightly syrupy but not too much, dulls a decent carbonation by a hair, light-medium body, slick from the hop oils. Warming and semi-dry.

O: Was pretty hyped for this beer and I have to say I was blown away. This was absolutely amazing. Wow. Well done Bell's.

 811 characters

Photo of MizzouBrew
4.44/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap in a goblet at Mellow Mushroom in Sunset Hills, MO. Beautiful fairly clear dark orange. Remarkably drinkable IIPA is right on the mark. 10% abv and I could not tell it, sweet not too hoppy taste. Easy to see how this beer is so sought after.

 261 characters

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

from fresh canning / 12oz
big citrus, piney, sting of sweetness from honey and malt backbone is there but overshadowed by the slam of hops. medium mouthfeel, i do get a big hit of booze on the nose and at the end of the sip - its fairly obvious that its a 10% beer. i like it, glad i have another can. probably not an everyday drinker but i'm glad i got my hands on some and will certainly search for it again next release.

 426 characters

Photo of Nedry
3.84/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

First pour you get hit in the nose with flowers, pine, earth, a little bit of orange and citrus. Small amount of head that settles somewhat quickly. The taste follows, like drinking flowery citrus. Somewhat dry and oily, not overly so, a touch of malt lingers with tons of hops. The same flavors persist and not much changes. Not much evidence of alcohol heat. Not my favorite hop profile to be honest, and not very complex, it gets old quickly and you want something else.

 473 characters

Photo of Gottnuked
4.6/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured Super Bowl Sunday from 12 oz. can; thanks Total Wine! Aroma (not overpowering) of pine and citrus, slightly dark straw color with small amount of foam. Taste is out of the park good; the honey tamps down the hops and that's the main taste, but again not overpowering some malt body and some alcohol. A dangerous 10 % beer, would not recommend having 2 or more at a time for sure! A wonderful example of a double IPA and for me, a top 10 commercially made best beer on earth! Round up score to 4.65!!!

 508 characters

Photo of cascade_meister
4.31/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed this freshly canned. Looks different from your stereotypical DIPA, pretty light bodied with a gold-like hue. Tastes much lighter than expected, most likely due to the honey undertones, and lacks the super hoppy taste that most DIPAs have. Surprisingly refreshing for a 10.5% beer and doesn't have the dry mouth feel to it that many heavy hitter DIPAs have. Overall this is a very good beer, but quite uncharacteristic of a DIPA. I'd certainly drink another one, even though I definitely prefer a West Coast style DIPA over this beer.

 541 characters

Photo of Griffin2
3.98/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz can into a pint glass.
L - Pours a deep hazy Amber with a white head that dissipates slowly.
S - Kind of a sweet hoppy smell.
T - Getting some sweetness from the honey with some alcohol burn.
F - Slightly slick mouth feel, with medium carbonation.
O - I was looking forward to trying this beer, and was a little disappointment. It is a really nice beer, but I would have liked it better if the alcohol was hidden better. Still a very enjoyable beer.

 469 characters

Photo of ryanvans
3.11/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

4 weeks old from a can. Excellent example of an old school Midwest IPA: heavy malt backbone with little to no hop aroma or taste. This beer is a huge disappointment if you enjoy Double IPAs.

 192 characters

Photo of JRed
3.64/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Transparent orange in body with white frothy head. Aroma of citrus, fruit skin, grass, and pine. Tastes of grass, apple skin, citrus, pine, booze. Rather light in body for a big IPA.

 182 characters

Photo of gandhi-bot80
3.74/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

I think the name and logo are what disappoint hop fans like myself. The color of the beer quickly tells the story, with a golden honey brown appearance that indicates its nature. Though it leans a bit sweet and boozy, it is a good, well-balanced DIPA. It is just more a Ballast Point Dorado than a Heady Topper, and as a result not something I'd recommend if you are looking for a hop slam.

 393 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.43 out of 5 based on 12,977 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.