Hopslam Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

BA SCORE
98
world-class
3,517 Reviews
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
Reviews:
3,517
Ratings:
12,941
Avg:
4.43
pDev:
9.71%
 
 
Wants:
2,652
Gots:
3,585
For Trade:
71
User Reviews
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Reviews: 3,517 | Ratings: 12,941
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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Photo of Red5StandingBy
4.43/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!!!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of DrewJS
4.57/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Incredibly complex and delicious flavor. Low carbonation. The honey is noticeable and it is a bit too sweet for my taste. It is also very alcoholic and the alcohol aftertaste comes through. Can only drink one at a time.

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Photo of spoony
4.39/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From a 12 oz can (packaged on what appears to be January 23, 2017) into a tulip.

A-When I think about what an IPA (or IIPA) should look like, this is pretty close to what I have in mind. A tall, sticky off-white head is pillowy and dense. Retention is good and lacing is plentiful on the glass. The beer beneath is clear and light-golden-orange. A few bubbles creep up the center of the glass.

S-The aroma is intense and I like it. Lots of sweetness from the honey mixes with a pungent, powerful hop note. I sniff honey, bread crust, as well as orange zest, guava, lime, passionfruit, hints of pine and leaf, and a subtle herbal/dank note. Bitterness is high...this isn't a juice bomb, NE-style IPA.

T-The taste is similar to the smell with honey sweetness coming through clearly. The hops tend towards bitter and dank more than juicy and bright, but there is a good dose of pithy, zesty citrus fruitiness here. Alcohol is not concealed and there is a good bit of heat on the finish, along with a palate-scraping bitterness. The flavors on the finish suggest pepper and dandelion leaf.

M-The body is hefty with an active carbonation that fits the beer well. I also notice a heavy, oily hop residue.

O-This is one intense beer. I like the honey, which adds a lot of sweetness, but others may not. I don't know that I could drink more than one in a sitting, but at 10% ABV, I don't really need to. Lots of old-school IIPA flavor, which I enjoy, but it doesn't quite have the refinement of a Pliny.

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Photo of BeerGuy8315
4.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a can into a pint glass. Stamped can date runs over the bottom lip and is difficult to read, but looks like 1/17/17. From the 2017 batch either way.

A: Pours a slightly hazy, golden-orange color with a one inch, frothy, paper white head with good retention. Thick, white lacing throughout.

S: Aromas of citrus, tropical fruits, honey, and piney hops. Notes of grapefruit, orange, pineapple, mango, and passion fruit.

T: Starts off with grapefruit, orange, and honey followed by pineapple, papaya, and guava. Finishes with a slight lingering piney hop bitterness.

F: Medium bodied, smooth, and crisp with moderate carbonation. Slightly dry.

O: Overall, this is a great DIPA. Well balanced and the honey adds a nice sweet element, but not at an overwhelming level. Would definitely try this one again. Not sure it's quite at the level of it's current or previous hype, but a good beer none the less.

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Photo of Tommo
3.61/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

3 week old can from a friend. This falls very short of my expectations given how much people talk about it. The nose is grassy with heavy malt, no real floral hop flavor at all. The flavor follows suit with so little hop flavor for such a big ipa its embarrassing. I get minimal honey flavor throughout, minimal bitterness.

This is a malt bomb, not the worst, but certainly nothing to get excited about

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Photo of Parmesan
4.19/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Brilliant bright copper orange with a creamy white head and some nice fingers of lacing on the glass.

S: Nose leads with a lot of pine, as it warms Grapefruit and other citrus notes become more apparent. A slight floral hop near the end and some honey sweetness.

T: A Strong piney bitterness leads with notes of grapefruit and grapefruit pith, a floral hop in backgrpund. Strong honey sweetness (maybe a slight bit sweet) and a note of noticeable booze.

F: Low carbonation and full body.

O: A very nice IPA, definitely different than a lot of the current IPAs out there which is nice.

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Photo of The_Snow_Bird
4.42/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark golden color, very hazy with a medium white head on top. Can smell a lot of hops along with some citrus. Very hoppy in taste with a sweet after taste, very well balanced.

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Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.43 out of 5 based on 12,941 ratings.
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