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Hopslam Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

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3,445 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: 3,445 | Ratings: 12,640
Photo of Torps
2.89/5  rDev -34.9%
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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Photo of Dave1999
4.3/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a rich orange/light brown with a nice white foamy head.

The smell is orange, honey, earth.

The taste is honey, earthy hops, oranges, grapefruit.

The mouth feel is smooth like honey, medium carbonation.

Overall very tasty, the smell was a bit bland but the taste and mouthfeel are excellent.

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Photo of rbenitez25
4.51/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Fantastic IPA. Packs the punch of a double but without the overwhelming bitterness. Well balanced with a very pleasant nose. Fantastic hoppy taste in the front end.

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Photo of thepenguin
4.13/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours a mostly clear deep gold with a hint of copper, with a nice lasting white head. Good foam retention and great lacing.

S: Definitely on the richer, maltier side for the style. Some delicate floral hops, caramel malt and a mild metallic character. Also a nice resinous citrus hop character. Overall the aroma seems a bit muted.

T: Sweet and a bit boozy, with lots of floral and piney hops. Lots of caramel, grapefruit rind, wood sap, a bit of that honey and some of the metallic taste that often comes with it. Despite the sweetness, it’s a pretty clean flavor profile with a bitter, semi-sweet, moderately boozy finish. Definitely a malt-driven DIPA.

F: Medium-full and chewy, with medium carbonation, a bit of alcoholic warmth and a slick, resinous mouthfeel.

Thoughts: This is a big DIPA – not the most drinkable for the style but there’s plenty of flavor. It’s a classic though I can’t say it’s ever been my favorite. Worth a try if you haven't had it.

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Photo of Kikinik
4.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I patiently await this release every year around my birthday. Sooo good.

It was released in cans this year which is excellent IMO.

The hops in this beer really take it to 11,
and the dose of honey helps mellow out the slightalcohol taste in a high ABV DIPA.

Drink it FRESH you crazy hop heads! You can't cellar everything...

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

Big but balanced (as opposed to Big Butt Balanced: totally different--if not equally cool--condition.)
Hops, sweetness, malt, ABV: win.
Please don't compare to unrepentant hop-bombs, as they're a different animal with different purpose.

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Photo of bft1
4.6/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got my hands on a 6pck this weekend. Lots of reviews so I won't say too much. This beer gets a lot of hype but lives up to it. Absolutely great stuff. Just as good as last year's in my opinion. Just wish it was a little easier on the wallet and waistline!

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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 Webzombie
2.42/5  rDev -45.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

I do not think this is a fair review because of my taste in beers, but I do not get what all the fuss (and the premium price) is about. It smells good, but was so alcohol forward could barely taste the hops. I prefer the APA and milder IPAs where you can actually taste hops and not get overwhelmed with the booze flavor. Doesn't taste like beer; would rather drink vodka. Glad I was able to buy as a single can, was only able to finish 1/4th of it. As a general disclaimer my wife liked it.

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Photo of Alex_Hams
2.89/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

2016 vintage poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Ooooohhh boy. This one's a bit of a mess. A big, sweet, syrupy mess.

The best part of this beer is the appearance. It pours golden orange with a heathy head that is retained for a while and which leaves a bunch of lacing in my glass.

Things start going wrong in the nose. It's sickly sweet. Like simple syrup or honey with a hint of hop bitterness.

The initial flavors are bracingly bitter (which is nice) but that's quickly followed up with honey sweetness. The problem with this one is the ABV. To achieve this ABV you have to use so much honey or malt and that detracts from the hops in my opinion. Also, at 10% it's hard to enjoy this one. It's boozy and hot. Goes straight to your head. I don't mind a RIS or Barleywine weighing in at 10%+ ABV because I can cellar them for a bit to mellow. This beer is meant to be drank fresh and at 10% that's a bit rough.

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Photo of SovereignGood
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice, bright deep orange with some haze and about a finger worth of head. Aroma is not as pronounced as I was expecting, yet hop notes are present along with some malt sweetness. Taste is one huge hop bomb with a really nice malty backend that balances it all out nicely and the feel is perfect for a double IPA.

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Photo of mothmanscott
4.54/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear deep gold or pale amber producing 2 fingers of off-white, moderately lasting, frothy head that leaves a nice coating of lace. Aroma is almost equal amounts of grapefruit & resinous pine, backed by caramel malt, a hint of honey, with orange & pineapple well defined in the mix. Taste is caramel malt, orange, grapefruit & pineapple swimming in a sea of pine resin. A hint of honey. Very bitter finish & aftertaste. Incredibly balanced for such a hop heavy brew. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy bodied, rich, smooth & thick with moderate carbonation.

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Photo of SawDog505
4.73/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into my favorite glass, my Lost Abbey stemmed tulip, canned on 1/28/16. Pours a perfect bright orange with a 2 inch sticky white head that leaves nice lace behind.

Smell is peach, mango, papaya, pine, and grapefruit.

Taste follows, loads of tropical fruits, with pine and grapefruit taking over in the surprisingly balanced finish.

Mouthfeel is on the larger side, moderate carbonation which is perfect, on the lush side, and 10% never went down easier!

Overall this is my 600 the review and 900 hundred rating and I couldn't have chosen a better beer to hit this milestone with. Thanks @jzeilinger for taking this off my bucket list!

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Photo of Zythophile
4.6/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Can Date: 2/1/16
Palate Contaminants: salty cheese

It showed up in my area, so not having had it, I'm obligated, right?

Appearance is a clear light gold, lacing is about perfect.

Smell is nicely florally hoppy, not overbearing. A little barley, too. A lil alky-hall.

Taste is really mellow at first, followed by a little bitterness and a little sweetness. When I'm looking for balance, this is what I want: complexity without dominance. (Okay, stating the obvious there.) It's more pine than citrus, but there's also a bit of savoriness that I didn't even know was possible with a hop bomb.

It's so smooth, I could chug it. At the non-Michigan price, I'll just have to gradually enjoy. There was some noticeable alcohol on the nose, but I suppose that dissipates once it's out of the bottle (or can).

I guess I'm going to keep an eye out for it this time next year.

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Photo of Mehinaman
4.65/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Finally had a chance to try this one and the wait was worth it. What more can I say that has not been said a million times before about this beer? The one thing I will say is that I was worried this would be a little too sweet for me, but not at all. It's just about perfect

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Photo of Czarkazm
4.01/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Canned on 2/1/2016. Body is a nice bright golden orange color, slight hop haze with a good amount of carbonation streaming up towards a tightly packed off-white head. The alcohol legs post up immediately along the sides of my snifter. Upon first smell, I got nothing. Swirling the glass opened the beer up a little, but I was still hunting for what I was smelling. Sweet caramel malts, honey, candied citrus, spicy pine, apricot and faint tropical notes. Good mouth feel on this one; an initial spritz of carbonation makes the beer feel light but it transitions towards a chewier consistency. A nice sweet citrusy flavor throughout with a nice lingering aftertaste. Not overly sweet and doesn't feel bitter at all. On the taste I get a lot of honey comb, grapefruit, canned clementines, caramel, pine, a sweet maltiness, and spicy herbal hops. Never really understood the hype for this one.

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Photo of Catracho5
4.6/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce can poured into a snifter

A: Pours a dark orange color with a white head, no head retention, low carbonation, slight lacing, looks hazy, cloudy.

A: Pine, resin, grapefruit peel, hint of honey, touch of malts, no alcohol on the nose, big pungent aromas.

T: Big hit of pine and resin, like chewing pine needles, some grapefruit peel, hit of bitterness, finish is more grapefruit peel balanced with malts, touch of honey balances out the beer, very tasty.

M: Medium bodied, low carbonation, semi-dry finish.

O: This is very good, lots of hop notes, good amount of malts, and a touch of honey to add some sweetness. I would drink this again if I had the chance. A big, balanced IIPA that is worthy of the hype.

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Photo of Moose90
4.15/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz Can dated 012016 @ 17:06, tasted 022416 @ 18:36

A — Pours a hazy and vibrant orange hue into the glass. A puffy, cream colored head forms and settles, leaving behind some solid rings of lacing with each sip.

S — Smell is dominated by some nice honey notes, a bit of floral lavender, resinous, piney, chewy, lemon, candied ginger, some caramely sweet notes and some lightly toasted bready notes, quite sweet and subdued.

T — Candied hops, ginger, lemon, orange peel, grapefruit, blood orange, melon, citrus rind and pith, bitter pine needles and earth, some honeyed sweetness.

M — Slightly warming and rich, a really smooth and clean finish, slightly lingering and chewy, very nice.

O — Excellent overall, like gnawing on a candied hop flower. Very much reminiscent of Hoptimum, but not quite as aggressive, still spectacular.

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Photo of Assman
5/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I don't know what I can add everything is been said. If you haven't tried it you need to. You will not forget it! It will stay in the back of your mind for the whole year until it comes out again. It has for me every year for about six years now.

I love this beer!!

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Photo of Butznutz
4.43/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass. Amber hue, slight cloudiness and a nice format head that left white lacing on the glass between sips. Aroma is mellow... Honey and hops. The taste...wasn't blown away at first but by the 3-4 sip this Bree starts to shine. Beautifully balanced, a touch honey sweet and extremely drinkable... Like sessionable. Damn good ale I finally had the chance to try

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Photo of Tonyjenlasc
4.39/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look - A glowing golden honey color. Hazy in the glass.
Smell - Big pop of honey sweetness on the nose. Also get some citrus, some light mango along with some grapefruit aromas.
Taste - More of that big honey sweetness coming thru on the palate. Orange, citrus, grapefruit, slight tropical fruitiness is there as well. The 10% is there.....but drinks very smooth for such a high ABV.

Overall - Not sure its worth all the hype....but this is a damn good DIPA.

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Photo of SaulFox
4.66/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Overly carbonated pour that makes a 3 finger head. Dark honey color.
Juicy citrus, sweet melon.
Loads of hops, ripe citrus, sweet malt, slight alcohol in the back.
Medium heavy mouthfeel that coats mouth. Alcohol is present.
Nice dipa that holds it's own, but there are better offerings.

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Photo of Celtics17
4.69/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This was a nice Double IPA.

-The malt and hop balance played well. The IPA starts off hoppy, but finishes with a stronger malt character. The hoppy character stays throughout despite the malt character coming through as the beer warms.

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Photo of ZBowden
4.35/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours clear golden honey with small white head, smells of citrusy pine slight florally sweetness from honey, tastes of pine and citrus with florally honey and slight alcohol bite, mouthfeel is smooth medium bodied, carbonation is moderate, finish is lasting and bitter.

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Photo of McStagger
4.41/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cans! Also first time.

Stamped on the bottom PKG 12716. Dating machine is misguided, as the relevant info is stamped halfway through the bottom lip of the can.

A: Aggressive pour gives two finger dark khaki head. Not quite to creamy up top, with large bubbles forming the side. Beer itself is a golden orange. Translucent, with a ton of very tiny particulent floating in suspension. Carbonation is subdued, with the odd bubble floating to the surface every few seconds. Retention is pretty minimal. Head collapses in the course of 30-45 seconds.

S: Smells like a bruiser. Big malts from the glass. Sweet malted barley, heather honey, honey (duh). Hops lend towards the more west coast style. Some pine, some grapefruit. Stone fruits are more pronounced. Pears, apples, some peachiness.

T: First word that comes to mind is balance. While obviously hoppy, there is more than enough malt here to compensate. Shot of sweetness from the honey up front, immediately cut by stone fruit skin. Think the bitterness of pear or apple rind. Malt wins out towards the mid palate, but a sharp tropical spiciness takes over before the sugars completely run away with it. These two flavor sets intermingle towards the finish, where the malt eventually wins out with a pleasantly, but not overly, sweet finish. The fruity hoppiness encores in the aftertaste, with the same spicy tropical and peach notes being the final flavors of each sip.

For several sips I agitated it on my tongue for a few seconds before taking the drink. Starts off sweet, but this fades into a distinct fruity bitterness each time. Further agitation made the bitterness more pronounced, taking on a borderline green tannin type flavor. This agitation also opened up the 10% ABV, leaving a noticeable warmth on the back of the tongue and nasal cavities. The IBU's must be pretty high, since the bitterness really sticks around after all is said and done.

M: Feels a bit shy of its 10%, but still a big beer. The sweetness of the honey helps to accentuate the roundness in the mouthfeel, which has subdued carbonation. The "weight" of the beer can really be felt if one chews it. It effectively sticks to one's palate and teeth. God knows how many carbohydrates are in a single can. The astringent hop presence in the end dries the beer out substantially in the finish, with the alcohol only becoming really noticeable if one continues to swirl in the mouth.

O: This is exceptional. I bought it because it's new to my region, but I was skeptical due to its reputation as being old hack as far as DIPA's are concerned. I was also concerned because many had stated that several vintages were subpar. I'm glad I picked this up. At $20 a sixer, it's very well priced. Many would balk at the tag, but it equates to less than 8 bucks a bomber. That's more than fair for a beer of this quality. I'm very happy to have picked it up. Top notch stuff. It's a classic for a reason.

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Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.44 out of 5 based on 12,640 ratings.
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