Hopslam Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

BA SCORE
98
world-class
13,041 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:
13,041
Reviews:
3,529
Avg:
4.43
pDev:
9.71%
 
 
Wants:
2,666
Gots:
3,632
For Trade:
71
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 13,041 |  Reviews: 3,529
Photo of djrn2
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Knapp85
4.57/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow, what a beer this is! Beautiful in color, pours out a light golden copper with a head the sticks around till the last drop. The flavors are so luscious of fresh hops and honey the are juicy up front that dry you out making crave more. This is one great IPA!

 261 characters

Photo of t0rin0
3.9/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle brought by azagthoth yesterday.

Pours a very pale color and moderately hazy, not a good start. Also, nice tall white head, decent retention and lacing.

Aroma is very nice but at the same time a bit offensive. There is a ton of grapefruit but also a good amount of alcohol in the nose. Also, some sugary smells are apparent but I don't think that's malt.

Flavor was interesting for sure. Very sweet and hoppy but moderately boozy as well. I'm guessing the sweetness is pale malt and honey but when you get that much hops in a beer it can be sweet as well. Lots of grapefruit again, medium/high bitterness for a DIPA.

Body was reasonably heavy and sticky, medium carbonation, drinkabale because of the good taste but very boozy.

 743 characters

Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4/5  rDev -9.7%

Photo of metter98
4.45/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

A: The beer is hazy pale yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high white head that only died down a little, consistently leaving a thin head covering the surface.
S: Moderately strong aromas of citrusy hops are present in the nose - grapefruit seems to stand out in particular - along with some hints of honey.
T: Like the smell, the taste is citrusy with flavors of orange and has some hints of honey. There is a moderate amount of bitterness.
M: It feels a little more than medium-bodied and somewhat crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. There are some bits of warming from the alcohol in the finish.
O: This beer is rather easy to drink considering its strength because the alcohol is well masked from the taste. There's enough bitterness to prevent this from becoming sweet, especially since it has honey in it.

 899 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.63/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Icredibly smooth yet deceptively powerful, the beer's highly aromatic hops are balanced with honey for a true Midwest-style IPA, dressed up in imperial clothes. Its ease to see why Hopslam is among the best of all American beers.

Hopslam pours with a bright golden hue and the slightest of haze. The beer nearly sparkles in the glass. A very foamy head caps the beer with a white whipped topping, looking nearly like a meringue dessert. Strong retention and broken lace reaffirms the beer's substantial appearance.

Grapefruit and honey rise to the nose in such a scent that it seems like an array of citrus fruit has been dipped in honey. Savory and mouth whetting, the ale is rich and inviting throughout. Oranges, strawberries, and caramel malt play into the highly aromatic mix.

It's outrageous taste starts sweet with thin caramel malt and complex honey flavor. Citrusy ruby red grapefruit and tangerines begin to poke through the malty veil and adds a brightly flavored fruit note to the candied sweetness. Mild cannabis, marmalade, pine needles, and strawberry jam notes provide a slightly herbal and rosy taste that rides along side of the sharper citrus notes. The finish of honey and citrus bitterness is even keel and very very smooth. Its balanced taste a far cry from the usually preferred drier versions, but the honey-dipped notion here is something magical.

With the honey flavor on the palate, the beer provides a medium weighted texture to the mouth, but only a medium body because the honey plays lighter on the palate than malts do. Embedded carbonation gives a creamy feel early on. But as the carbonation settles out, the citrus infused malts saturate the middle palate and allows the hops to develop a deeply resinous dryness without gripping the throat with bitterness, excessive alcohol heat, or hop-derived astringency.

Hopslam is a culprit of many of the pitfalls that I warn against when it comes to hoppy American ales- its balance should not render the IPA-forward flavors in this positive of a manner. But its intangibles in taste and textures far exceed what's expected for the style and its overall flavor profile cannot be ignored.

 2,170 characters

Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle at the Oak Cafe in Wyandotte, Michigan.

This beer pours a clear medium golden hue, with two fat fingers of tight foamy eggshell white head, which leaves a wall of honeycomb lace around the glass. It smells of caramel/toffee malt, and citrus, pine, and pineapple hops. The taste is caramel malt, earthy honey, bitter citrus, pine, and a bit of booze. The carbonation is fairly low, the body medium weight and as smooth as possible. It finishes with not unexpected uptick in overbearing hoppiness, blotting out the now underperforming malt.

Maybe this is a sort of aged bottle, but it's still quite good, but not that wow, holy shit, head shaking way I was stupidly awaiting. Oh well. All that aside, a good DIPA, especially given the big, basically undetectable ABV.

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Photo of kojevergas
4.03/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are extremely high given its incredible reputation. 10% ABV confirmed. Bottled 01/02/13 (11 days old). Thanks to Britta for bringing the bottle from Ann Arbor.

Served straight from the fridge and allowed to warm slightly over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger beige colour head of slight cream, fair thickness, and incredible retention for the high ABV (~5 minutes). Body colour is a transparent copper; it's not particularly vibrant but I wouldn't call it dull. Translucent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show . It's par for the style, but it isn't as appealing as other beers in the style I've seen.

Sm: Hops: nectary, floral, pine, grapefruit, honey, effervescent crystal malt, perfumey hop oil, bright fruit (mango and some light tropical fruit), caramel. There's a lot going on here, and the hop bitterness is well concealed. Lots of depth and diversity. No yeast character is detectable, nor is any alcohol. I'd like more of the oily hop notes. A bit of grassy character emerges on the climax, joining the fruit. The honey comes off very raw; it's not at all too sweet. A fairly strong aroma, and a pleasant appealing one. Definitely different from the aromas I'm used to in beers of the style, but I don't know that it's necessarily an improvement. I can't wait to try it.

T: Ah. A perfect balance of honey and pale malt sweetness with nectary hop notes, bright fruit, and floral character. Sticky and sweet - but never overly so. Nectary hop notes dominate. I'd like more pine from it, but what little is there is well balanced. Not as heavy on the grapefruit as many beers in the style - and rightly so; it works to ensure the hop bitterness is well concealed. A bit grassy and oily. Light caramel rides beneath. Bold pale malts give it the refreshing effective body it needs. No alcohol comes through until the warmth hits me in the stomach; this one is dangerously drinkable. Not at all soapy like many problematic beers in the style; they brought this out of primary just in time. I expected a bitter hop bomb, but Bell's remembered to balance the flavours, and the result is a great Double IPA. Loads of complexity and seamless subtlety make this one a real treat.

Mf: Sticky, nectary, slick, and coating. Perfect thickness and carbonation. Quite oily. Feels custom-tailored to the flavour profile. Smooth and wet. Near perfect execution; bravo, Bells.

Dr: Dangerously drinkable for the high ABV. It delivers hops, but more importantly it delivers balance. I could down it all night, and I'd be happily knackered by night's end. This Double IPA will satisfy hop cravings, but it isn't the bitter hop bomb it markets itself as. It is in fact a balanced, very enjoyable Double IPA that I'd love to have again (preferably on-draught). Does it live up to its reputation? I'm not floored, but it is fantastic. It's not the best beer I've had in the style, but it's certainly one of them. Well priced in Michigan at $18 a six pack. Constructively, it could use more depth of flavour, but I'm nitpicking.

Would pair incredibly well with spicy food.

Lowish A-

***
01/21/17 impression from a can ($24 per 6 pack in New York - yikes!):

Delicate honey. Glimmer of honeydew melon.

Balanced through and through, with pale malt sweetness just present enough to take the bitter edge of the heavily floral hopping.

Ludicrously drinkable for 10% ABV (I think the kids are saying "crushable" these days).

Surprisingly light-bodied. Nice push-pull between coarseness and smoothness, tugging towards the coarse side without being dragging or rough. Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, or scratchy.

A fine imperial IPA, though I remembered it better. Call it batch variation, can vs bottle variation, or call it me being inconsistent, but my impressions this time around aren't quite as favorable - good though this undeniably is.

B / GOOD

***
01/22/17 CAN:

Glowing gold-copper body. Obviously filtered. White frothy head.

Aroma entices with hints of fresh honey, bright floral notes, nectary hops, and resins alongside a kiss of citrus. Surprisingly mild aromatically, but attractive and suggestive of a balanced brew.

Ludicrously drinkable owing to its impeccable balance, with delicate subtle fresh honey sweetness joining pale malts to oppose any hop bitterness. The result is a terrific brew that hides all hop bitterness yet retains all hop flavours, showcasing its hops wonderfully and finishing coating and a little sweet without ever feeling syrupy or cloying. Finishes with an impression of hop oils.

Dangerously good. I find myself inhaling it, its 10% ABV of no consequence. Terrific work from very talented brewers.

B+ / VERY GOOD

 4,972 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.47/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a white, foamy head that leaves splotches of lace

Smell: Honeybell tangelo aroma

Taste: The honeybell citrus flavor jumps out almost immediately, even before the caramel backbone gets set; after the swallow the bitter citrus flavors intensify and there is a little honey-like sweetness on the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: One of those terrific citrus hop bombs that leave you ready for another

 490 characters

Photo of oline73
4.51/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with one finger of off white head which goes away just leaving a very small layer.

Smell: Sweet citrus hops dominate. I thought there would be more of a smell than there is.

Taste: Initially there is a strong citrus hop bitterness. Next I'm picking up quite a bit of malt sweetness and some honey, which complements the bitterness quite nicely. At the end there is still some bitterness and also some alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with delicate and smooth carbonation. There could have been a little bit more carbonation. The finish is dry.

Drinkability: I've had this several times and it's always wonderful. I'll definitely be having more in the future.

 743 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
3.9/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of emerge077
4.33/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2017: 4.33
Bright clarity with a sheet of lace down the opposite side of the glass.
Aroma is nice out of the gate, dank hops with some signature sweet pineapple.
Taste is moderately bitter with a clover honey aftertaste minus any sweetness.
A touch boozy, sticky on the lips but not overly sweet at all.
Overall seems a touch dialed down, but could be a fatigued palate. Will try again soon.

2016:
Great as ever, punchy tropical pineapple flavor, light sweetness.

2011: 4.59
It's been over 4 years, time to re-review.
How palate's have changed. This is pretty much hop crack, can't get enough. Sweet citrusy aroma, purely intoxicating... tropical hints of mango, and candied pineapple. Hugely resiny hop flavor, sweet and bitter with pineapple, mango, and cantaloupe notes. Firmly bitter aftertaste, very drying too from the 10%, yet no trace of the ABV in the taste. Dangerously drinkable for sure.

11-29-2006 A 4.1
Hazy yellow-orange pour, unfiltered with suspended particles. Lots of foam, which recedes to a frothy sheet on the sides of the glass. Smells potent, of concentrated pine and floral hops.

Taste is bracing at first, but not a whole lot more bitter than the Alpha King I just had. Hopslam feels a bit more slick and resiny, with notes of pine and bright grapefruit.

Overall, IPA's aren't the first thing i'll reach for, but this is very approachable. A great new offering from Bell's...

 1,414 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.44/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of IMtheOptimator: Poured a slightly hazy yellow color ale with a huge foamy head with great retention and lacing. Aroma of citrusy hops is well balance with sweet caramel malt – the smell of this beer is really great and I can only compare with 3F dreadnaught in term of greatness. Taste is such a well balance mix between sweet caramel malt, bitter and citrusy hops and a great floral aspect to hold it all together. This is definitely something I will want and drink some more.

 497 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of zeff80
4.87/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Pours out a copper color with a large, foamy white head. Leaves lacing.

S - Smells of grapefruit, some honey, pine and bubblegum sweetness. There is a mild caramel nose, too.

T - Big hoppy bitterness but not puckering because the honey mellows things out. It has a great grapefruit taste from the hops and some sweet caramel maltiness to accompany it.

M - It is crisp and sharp. A medium-bodied DIPA that is SO easy to drink..

D - An amazing beer. I've never had a beer with such a strong hop preence matched by a strong sweet presence until now.

 554 characters

Photo of dmorgan310
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of LXIXME
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Burnt orange with great clarity and an off-white one-inch head. Solid head retention.

Smell - Honey-like sweetness mixed with pungent, boozy tropical fruit and citrus.

Taste and mouthfeel - Very balanced and actually fairly sweet, especially compared to the West Coast IPAs I'm used to. Medium-bodied. I wouldn't have thought to add honey to an IPA, but it actually works wonderfully; the subtle sweetness of the honey blends perfectly with the grapefruit-like bitterness from the hops. Bittering hops appear more in the finish, coating the palate but not entirely overpowering the malt. A hint of alcohol is present as well, reminding me that this is strong stuff.

Notes - I find it very hard to fault this beer in any way. Exceptional stuff.

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Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of superspak
4.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 1/8/2015. Pours slightly hazy golden orange color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings around the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of big grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, mango, apricot, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, honey, light caramel, bread, and floral/grassy earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of citrus/tropical hops and moderate malt sweetness; with good strength. Some light booziness shows up as it warms. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, mango, apricot, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, honey, light caramel, bread, and floral/grassy earthiness. Good amount of pine/citrus rind bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, mango, apricot, lemon/orange zest, pine, honey, light caramel, bread, and floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic complexity and robustness of big citrus/tropical hops and moderate malt sweetness; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a smooth, fairly crisp/sticky, and lightly creamy mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an outstanding double IPA style. All around awesome complexity and balance of big citrus/tropical hops and moderate malt sweetness; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

 1,589 characters

Photo of mothman
4.4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE...

Batch 8913... only 9 days from being packaged!

Poured into New Belgium Globe glass. Color is a hazy golden/orange bronze. Pours a large head with good retention. Leaves great lace rings.

Aroma is an incredible hop aroma. So much floral notes. There are some fruit and citrus notes as well. Strong grapefruit and orange zest smell. Some honey as well.

Taste is like I am eating flowers (which I have not done). There is such an incredible hop flavor to it. There is such a grapefruit flavor to it. I would also say it has a slight bready malt flavor to it and honey.

Mouthfeel is bitter, but it is not even bad compared to any other ipa or iipa. The beer also gets smooth near the end. The one great part about this beer is that it doesn't leave a hardcore dry sticky aftertaste. The 10% abv is masked so well in this beer.

Overall, this is one amazing beer. I have to admit it is the best that I have had yet to date. It is really easy to drink and I will definitely be enjoying another.

I highly recommend this beer!

EDIT: The 09/10 seemed to have a lot more honey than the batch that I reviewed. I liked it.

 1,143 characters

Photo of Boone757
4.17/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of DrBier
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%

Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.43 out of 5 based on 13,041 ratings.
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