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Hopslam Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

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3,444 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: 3,444 | Ratings: 12,628
Photo of northernbrews
4.52/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Can Larry Bell live up to the hype again?

12oz. bottle purchased from Top Shelf Liquor in Allen Park.

As soon as I pop the cap, the excellent aroma lets me know I'm in for something special.

Appearance: Pours a nice golden orange hue. This is slightly hazy due to the yeast that I poured into my Bell's snifter. Nice off-white head with nice lacing. Very inviting...

Smell: What an excellent aroma. Starts with a slight hop burn follow by grapefruit, pine, and citrus. You can almost taste the hops...My fricking mouth is watering.

Taste: Tastes just like the aroma. Nice hops up front with grapefruit, pine and citrus notes. Malts come to the party later on to add a beautiful balance to this masterpiece.

Mouthfeel: Nice smooth mouthfeel. The hops hang around for a bit and coat the tongue and roof of my mouth.

Drinkability: I could definitely put back a sixer of these, but I'd rather savor this bad ass Double IPA with one or two. Hoppy, malty, and exceptionally balanced.

The first time I tried this, I had it next to Rouge I2PA and DFH 90 min. IPA. This was exceptional compared to the other two. The Rouge wasn't too bad, but the 90 tasted like a malty barleywine. I used to think the 90 was a hop-bomb....not anymore. I would love to try this next to Dreadnaught...from memory, they are similar except for the fact the a 22oz of Dreadnaught was $9 and a sixer of Hopslam came out to be about $12.

Once again, Larry and the Bell's crew put out an excellent beer. If it's not the best double IPA, then it's definitely in the top five. This should be the new benchmark for the style. Hopefully Bell's decide to make this a more regular offering. Pick this up if you see it...you will not be disappointed.

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Photo of timobkg
2.95/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured into a small chalice.

Pale golden with a thin layer of foam.

Aroma is strong pine, like I just crushed a handful of pine needles in my hand.

The flavor is piney, and very bitter. I'm surprised as this has the least IBUs of any DIPA I've had, paired to some of the most alcohol. And yet, to me, it tasted overwhelmingly bitter. Maybe it was served too cold, and didn't warm up enough, but I didn't get any honey sweetness from it.

The mouthfeel is very thick, and chewy. Combined with the aroma and flavor, it made me feel like I was chewing on pine needles.

I was really excited to try this beer, as it sounded like a DIPA that I'd love. Sadly, it tasted too bitter and piney, and overall disappointing..

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Photo of b3barron
4.81/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a Bell's pint glass.

A - Aggressive pour produces a frothy, off-white hear of about an inch that settles rather quickly.

S - Grassy and citrusy hops. Tons of orange. Pineapple, spruce, a little grapefruit. Very floral too.

T - Grassy and pine-flavored hops dominate. I get plenty of tropical fruit and some dank cannibus. The honey makes itself known and plays well with some alcohol which I normally dislike in this style but it compliments this beer nicely. This beer is unique for a DIPA and extremely well-crafted.

M - Creamy. Delicious. Perfect.

D - Very high. I don't know if the alcohol (10%) is well-hidden but the balance and sheer excellence of this beer make it plenty drinkable.

I don't mind that this beer only comes around once a year. It does not take age well and despite claims to the contrary the price is not outlandish at all for a beer with this much hop character. Plus, it comes in 12 oz. bottles rather than overpriced bombers.

Overall, up there with Short's Anniversary and Pliny in the DIPA style for me. I highly recommend anyone who can get their hands on this beer drink the hell out of it while it is fresh as this is just a masterpiece of a DIPA.

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Photo of sketchpunx
4.74/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Tried this on Tap as well as bottled. I find that this beer varied a fair amount each time i tried it. I thought the fresh bottle I tried (less than a month after bottling) was the best quality and certainly had the strongest hop aroma. The Tap version seemed very very bitter with less sweetness in and balance, and the bottle i tried two months after bottling date was still very good but lacked the huge nose that i really liked on the first bottle i tried.

The appearance is slightly cloudy golden copper with a 2 finger head that dissapates fairly quickly leaving a dense film on top of the beer. nice lacing.

Smell is huge hoppy dankness (when fresh). Tons of tropical fruit with a bit of that cat-piss thing. Lots of simcoe on the nose. Really excellent smell.

I really dig the taste of this beer. NIce resiny and citrusy with a bit of the sweetness coming through before a long bitter and dry finish.

The feel on this one is dope. Smooth and sticky but with a nice mellow carbonation. hides the alcohol very well.

overall I really like this beer and would seek it out again. I recommend it fresh though!

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Photo of MURF0320
4.62/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was so excited, and extremely suprised, to see this on-tap in the crappy little town I work in.
Poured an almost clear, bright, orange-honey with nearly an inch of white creamy head. Good rentention and lacing throughout. Smell is amazing...crisp floral hops, fresh citrus and pine. Taste lets the hops explode. The bitterness is so crisp and fresh and is perfectly balanced with smooth honey and a very light malt presence. Ever so slight alcohol presence that actually compliments the total balance and adds a bit of warmth. Mouthfeel is very nice. Very smooth, nice amount of carbonation while still having an almost creamy feel on the tongue. Semi-dry finish that lets an almost perfect bitterness, that begs for the next sip, linger on the tongue. It's amazing how quickly you will find yourself at the bottom of this 10% abv. I really had to resist the urge to have another, which was probably a good idea. There's always tomorrow. Highly recommended, especially for a draught that you can get on the east coast.

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

Thanks to jmkratt for the generous gift that is this bottle and for the trader that recently sent it to him.

a: Poured a 12 oz bottle with #10115 code in to a tulip. A slightly translucent copper color with 1-2 fingers of bright white lacy head.

s: Intense hops with grapefruit, kiwi and fresh picked oranges.

t: BAM! Bitter hops to the face, "too the face!" Slightly sweet under tones of citrus fruits, specifically grapefruit. Huge citrus hop flavor with a touch of maltyness. The finish is smooth, gradual and nothing like the handshake.

m: Slippery and viscous. The right amount of carbonation to pair with the blast of hops. It's not a beer that coats the mouth in resins.

d: I find this beer to be a drinkable beer but probably with a limit of two. You definitely know you are drinking a DIPA but it's satisfying and somewhat refreshing.

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

Thanks ChadQuest for the bottles.

So I had Pliny earlier this week and I have to say these beers are very similar. They had the same grapefruit/pineapple hop profile. They both made a beer with few or no flaws. Both drink incredibly clean, and are quite refreshing despite their size.

Hopslam differs in that it is slightly more sweet and sticky no doubt from the honey. It also finishes a little quieter, which is a little disappointing. All in all this beer is a winner, and deserves the praise it gets.

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Photo of anglagard1
4.92/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

When I had this last year, I regarded it as the best beer I'd ever tasted. But I've had a lot of good beers in the interum, so I'm tempted to see how this holds up. OOH, the excitement!
Ummm,smells like grapefruit at the peak of ripeness. Not a hint of bitterness. There is a sticky sweetness to the nose that may be the honey. Head is less than I remembered. Taste is of grapefruit with just the right amount of sugar on it. I'm not picking up on the pineapple like I remembered. Mouthfeel has far more carbonation than the weak head would indicate. I detect discrepancies from last years batch, but still a solid, solid beer that remains a contender for best of the best.

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Photo of Sdesenberg
4.89/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is great, Great, GREAT beer. Upon opening the bottle, anybody within 10 feet is treated to the wonderful floral, citrus aroma. The flavor starts light and sweet, but not for long! Shortly thereafter the hops move in, and not subtely either. This is a big beer with big flavor. I like to pair Hopslam with grilled venison chops topped with crumbled bleu cheese or BBQ ribs, as the big flavors compliment each other. This beer might not be for everybody, but those who like it, absolutely love it.

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Photo of EMPotter
4.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Exactly what I expect from a true IPA, hops, pine, bitterness! Wishing all these IPA wanna be craft brewers could taste a few done right. Next to Cigar City's Jai Alai this is an excellent brew.
A-cloudy honey amber with a nice head
S- Christmas, gotta love that Fraser fir smell
T- Terrific hops, with nice bitterness an pine
M- rolls over the tongue
O- definitely one for the cooler

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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 G_Z_a
4.32/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into chalice.

Been about 7 years since I last had one. While it wasn't the hop bomb I remembered, it tasted just as good. That's not to say it isn't hoppy, but after 7 years of drinking really hoppy beers it didn't hit me quite the same way.

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Photo of calir1
4.55/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I wish I could have this on tap. It is very delicious, but like Pliny, out of the tap is way better. What can I say though. Hopslam is good, but I always compare my happiness of Pliny to it and it takes a second every time. I will continue to buy it and love it, but hate the once a year thing

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Photo of MikefromDormont
4.24/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I like the Bell's Two Hearted Ale and when I spotted a single case of Bell's Hopslam in my neighborhood beer distributor, I had to purchase the case

Served into a shaker pint glass.

A: Pours an opaque gold color with an off white head that quickly fades to a thin coating over the beer.

S: The most amazing aspect of this beer is the smell. I detect a mix of grapefruit, orange and pineapple aromas.

T: For a beer whose label declares it to be a "biting, bitter, tongue bruiser", it has a nice sweet malt backbone. The taste starts out citrus bitter and is followed by sweetness. The finish is dry.

M: Medium body with an appropiate level of carbonation.

D: Due to the 9.3% ABV rating, I would drink only of these beers in a session. The alcohol is very well hidden.

Notes: This is a pricy beer, but a must try for any hop head.

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Photo of SuperWhite92
4.24/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light and beautiful
Pineapple, hops and citrus
End review haiku

Okay. This beer inspired me to write poetry. That's right, a beer haiku. It's wonderful. Slightly boozy, perfect amounts of carbonation, and perhaps the best blend of hops I've had in a long while. I don't know if it quite lives up to the hype, but I for one think it's a fantastic brew that actually deserves some hype. A real winner for sure

thanks to biniek 13 for including this as an extra. I recieved it today, and then checked the batch number to discover it's less than two weeks old. Insane. We don't get beers distributed here that quickly.

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Photo of greenjeff4141
4.35/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured a nice orange/golden color, like the color of brandy. Had a nice white head which retained good lacing at first but subsides as the beer settles.

The first smell I got was hops, then citrus and pineapple ,and the taste was the same. The first flavor is the citrusy hops, then a little sweetness and then the alcohol. Although it's a strong 10% the alcohol blends right in and the beer is quite deceiving in this respect. Lastly the hop bitterness lingers, but in a good way. The feel in the mouth is oily and the carbonation is quite noticeable but not overbearing. All in all a great balance of all the flavors. I've been drinking a lot of IPAs lately and this one lives up to its reputation. I think I like the Stone IPA a bit better though, however this one is definitely in a class above the rest.

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Photo of BobCS
4.65/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - sparkling clear, honey amber, fine tan bubbles dissapate quickly to lacy ring

S - prounced grapefruit with heat from alcohol vapors peaking through

T - aggressive hops, and much of those hops are in the flavor rather than harsh bitterness, there is also caramel and lightly sweet and the balance is remarkably smooth until it finishes with quite a bit of alcoholic-warmth and fruity esters

M - medium bodied, and quite hot from the alcohol

D - According to the label this is a "A biting, bitter, tongue bruiser of an ale" but I don't think that description does justice to the remarkable balance for such a wonderfully hoppy beer. The bitterness that is there is clean and clear and unmistakable but not overwhelming.

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Photo of jp62099
4.97/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to my buddy David for providing me with this bottle brought down from NC. One of those beers that is definately a transending experience. The smell is a mix of citrus, but not overwelming like some DIPAs. The taste is one of the most balanced I have ever had, of course it is very hoppy, but so smooth. The transition from one complex flavor to another is seamless, with not one element overpowering another. The alc is so hidden, you could definately get in trouble if you had a few.
I have only one problem with this beer, and that is that it is not available here yet.

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Photo of stuckonhops
4.97/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

yum yum yum yum yummy

A-- looks like a very nice ipa similar to bells two hearted..but man did they up somethin here as the lace is stickier and it is a bit hazier than their two heart

S-- freaking awesome citrusy hops dominate the smell of this beer.. also has piney notes that are hard to detect and some nice sweet candy type smell that i cant figure out yet..

T-- so ridiculously good i almost busted in my pants...first sip you cant help byut say "WOW" nicely balanced grapefruit/pineapple taste runs the first few sips...immediatly followed by some amazing bitterness that seems to play on balancing bittering hops with flavoring hops in the most amazing way...like they used two hops to counteract eachother to balance this beer instead of malts/hops...BELLS DOES IT AGAIN!!!

M-- almost unbelieveably smooth...'almost' coats the mouth but the bitter/drying finish pulls the coating out of your mouth...perfect IMHO..

D-- i wish i could drink this bad boy all day long..i wanna wake up to it and go to sleep with it...but at around 10 percent it whoops your but pretty fast.. so take it easy or you might hurt yourself or even your taste buds will end up bruised...

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Photo of Jekster
4.92/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: This beer pours a beautiful crystal clear amber with a pure white white fluffy head. The head settles rather quickly to a nice contrasting white lacing.

Smell: The aroma is of beautifully sticky citrus: grapefruit, star fruit, lemon, and orange. There are notes of floral spice of pine resin and dried orange zest. Along with these components is a beautifully balance sharp sweet aroma of fresh honeycomb. The aroma has beautiful depth and is pleasant to take in huge lung filling breaths.

Taste: Taste begins with a subtle but present clover honey sweetness that fades into a sticky hop presence on the mid palette. Flavors of bitter pine are accompanied by light sweet and tart citrus bite. As you swallow you are hit with a second wave of savory honey and a lingering hop bitterness that is firm but not overpowering. As the flavors begin to fade you are left with a satisfying alcohol warmth as the beer trickles down your throat.

Mouthfeel: This beer is medium to full bodied with a creamy slickness. The beer ends with a remarkably dry finish given the body and does linger or feel heavy on your palette.

Drinkability: This is a fine beer meant to be slowly sipped and enjoyed throughout the evening. That being said, it does not feel heavy on my palette despite strong flavors and body. I could easily sit around on the weekend and drink quite a few of these as I talked with some good friends.

Overall Impression: This is a fine beer that provides a wonderful balance between sweetness and boisterous hop character. The hops are definitely showcased which is nice to see in an IIPA. Yet, the induction of honey provides a level of depth and mouthfeel that adds to the complexity of the beer without taking away from the pungent hop character. This is without a doubt my favorite IIPA to date and I would recommend it to any beer lover, hop head or not, simply because of the fine craftsmanship that must be involved in creating such a fine product.

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Photo of JesseP09
4.46/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Light orange, kinda yellowish color, nice to look at for sure, one of the prettiest beers I've seen

S - Really nice citrus smell mixed in with other great aromas

T - Good God almighty this is a delicious beer, one of my very favorites. It is rich and hop-filled, as the name would suggest, and it totally lives up to the hype.

M - Mid-body, solid for sure

D -Not only is this beer delicious, it is EXTREMELY drinkable and is worth the price. Just awesome.

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Photo of jimbus
4.68/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 10093 - poured into a tulip

A- light golden, beautifully laced, appropriately carbonated

S- smells of sweet citrus, grapefruit, floral notes and oh so fresh

T-my god, i just remembered how much i love this beer...bitter, hops and citrus to follow the nose, with juust enough malt to hold it up. i'm still baffled how they get enough malt to hide the 10% AND prevent it from being overly sweet, yet STILL let it have so much ridiculously unbelievably hop character.

M- smooth yet bold; i can feel the hop resin dripping off my tongue

D- 10%? really? for a lack of better words, this beer is the dankness. can't wait to get my mini keg.

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Photo of arkurzynski
4.54/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Amber in color with soap-sud foam. Aroma packs a punch - some piney hops but mostly grapefruit. Flavor is grapefruit hop flavor and bitterness that sticks. Some caramel sweetness just peeking through at the end. Most excellent. Not better than Dreadnaught, but about equal in overall impact. Just a bit different.

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Photo of Gunslinger711
4.33/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Group tasting notes from 2-18-11
Poured out of a bottle. January release.
Served in oversize wine glass.

A- Pours a hazy yellow/green color. Small about of head and lacing.

S- Citrus scents right off the bat, orange, grapefruit. This gives way to a good back end hop scent.

M - Light but carbonated mouthfeel, for the heavy scent it doesn't coat the mouth.

T- I had personally had some hopslam when it first came out back in January and I could definitely tell the hops had faded since then. That being said, still a hoppy beer. Just like the scent, you get the great citrus taste on the front, then you get the hoppiness.

Food pairing- We paired it with spicy pork tacos and spicy buffalo wings. The pork was too big for the hopslam, the wings really didn't do anything either.

Overall: The beer didn't convert our non-ipa fans that were good sports and participated. Those who did like it described it as a good summertime sipping beer. Others likened it to "mixing Oberon with Two-Hearted.

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Photo of iLovehops23
4.67/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

WoW! what a treat. Big thanks to the Dennis brothers,MN for hooking this one up. The first DIPA ive ever had and man was this a tasty one. right off the bat after opening the bottle im surrouned by heavly hop aromas of citrusy, piney melony goodness. Im a chef with what i conisder a pretty cultivaded palet and this beer rocked my taste buds in dramatic fasion. at 10% abv i was in love with the world after my 2nd in a row.
hopslam set the bar pretty damn high for all others, cant wait to try many more....

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Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.44 out of 5 based on 12,628 ratings.
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