Hopslam Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

3,517 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: 3,517 | Ratings: 12,941
Photo of hiphopipa
4.82/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Psyched to get my grubby hands on some of these. My 1st Bell's, batch 10127. Thanks to jahuneyc for the trade.
Poured into my Portsmouth Brewery tulip.
Faint haze, but a bright pale yellow gold. Head settles down quickly.
There is so much going on with the aromatics, very pleasant floral aromas with some (mango?) fruit notes.
Fantastic and very unique juicy flavor rich with grapefruit hops. The malt character doesn't stand out, but is present and works with the honey to mellow out the boat load of hops. Bitter and dry finish.
Just awesome and truly unique. Dangerously high drinkability, you quickly forget there is 10%, it's completely masked, but after just drinking half, you're already in a tasty delirious buzz.

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Photo of tARsh
4.77/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

IPA and balance.
True to their mission Bells yet again smacks us with balanced flavor. Unabashed pine and hops are somehow sublimely balanced by subtle malts and a touch of sweetness followed with classic IPA citrus.
I personally fail to see the point in descending into descriptors of head and smell; this beer just tastes amazing.
However a word of warning; when beginning your beer journey this is no entry level IPA.

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Photo of YeahRightt
4.46/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - great amber color, very appetizing. Medium head that settles relatively quickly and remains on the perimeter of the glass with mild coating.

Smell - Possibly the best part of this brewski. Complex fruity smell with hints of the alcohol and a definite presence of the plentiful hops. Basically exactly how I want an IPA to smell.

Taste - Pretty amazing. Complex, robust malty start that builds to a crecendo of fruit, which is quickly followed by the hops. The hops are perfect. I'm usually not a huge fan of "hops for the sake of hops" beer (which, ironically, are usually easily identified by a hops pun in their name) but this beer nails it. Lives up to its hoppy claims without ruining the complex malty and fruit undertones while also deserving its name. It bears its pun name in an endearing way that I would otherwise hate in an overly hoppy beer.

Mouthfeel - Slightly oily and acidic without being abrasive. Leaves a very pleasant flavor that sticks to the tongue and leaves you wanting another sip.

Overall - My friend and i were at a local happy hour in Arlington when he got an email update about this beer being available. He gave me the lowdown on its scarce availability and how quickly it sold out. As I said before, I usually stray away from beer that ride the hops train and tack a pun about its flavor as the brew's title, but I agreed to buy a six pack with him. I have to say, I was very pleasantly surprised and pleased to say that the beer deserves its hype. Although it is undoubtedly pricey, it is a result of its limited availability, which is understandable (and likely adds to the beer's appeal).

All in all, a very pleasant drinking experience that I will definitely be interested in trying again. Bell's remains one of my favorite breweries and this beer is another great notch on their decorated belt.

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Photo of Duffman
4.72/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at grumpy's.

Pours a beautiful and complex peachy hue into a pint glass.

An amazing bouquet of scents--incredibly fruity and floral. Citrusy, grapefruit most of all. Fresh flowers and the faintest wiff of sweet pine. One of the more complex and refreshing aromas of any beer, or scotch, I have ever had the pleasure of drinking.

Brilliant taste, once again the citrus comes to the forefront, and delightfully so. Grapefruit, even the subtle medicinal taste of airborne grapefruit cold dissolvable tablets. Only the faintest taste of alcohol.

Enchanting mouthfeel, a medium-light body with a subtle firm dryness and bitterness to it.

Incredibly drinkable, especially for a 9.3 percent brew. The alcohol is an afterthought: the taste, mouthfeel and resfreshing experience beckon for more. Truly an exceptional Imperial IPA and another fine effort from the folks at Bells.

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Photo of dwarvenspirits
3.88/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice orange-hue with a decent white head. Retention is poor but it laces well. Smells like spicy, citrus, lemon rid or something. The aroma isn't very powerful and I'm not sure if it's because the beer is a couple months old. Definitely has a decent hop bitterness bite, lacks in hop flavor. It's there but I'm not very impressed with it. The alcohol is subdued, which is nice and it has a nice mouthfeel and not too heavy in body. There is a balance of some malt sweetness there that helps out.

Overall, I think it's a hyped up beer and I definitely don't think it's worth the money. I also definitely don't think it lives up to the name "Hopslam".

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Photo of JustinOSU99
4.39/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice goldenrod color with a good amount of head.

S: Smells amazing! Hops immediately hit the nose and give you a first-hand experience of why it is called "hopslam". I'm really looking forward to drinking this. Hiding behind the hops is a little aroma of raisin, honey, grapefruit and molasses.

T: Holy cow. Hops come up and smack you right in the face. Definite alcohol warmth follows along with some citrus and raisin hitting the palate.

M: Warm and fuzzy in the mouth. A bit heavy but that is to be expected. Dry and tart in the end.

D: Don't drink too many of these at 9.3 abv, but definitely a treat to be had once in awhile.

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Photo of strangebrew52
4.59/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been waiting to try this for a while, finally had a friend bring some up from Milwaukee.

A: Nice orange color, 1 finger of head with nice lacing around the glass.

S: Hops!! I love this smell, if I would love this in a car air freshener!! Citrus and Pine definitely stand out as far as what I smell.

T: You get that Grapefruit/citrus taste along with the pine, and sweetness from the honey.

M: Medium bodies with just the right amount of carbonation.

D: Even though it's a 10% I could have a few of these at a time. I want more, putting the order in now :)

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

Appearance- Poured into a pint glass, I got a great two finger head. Thick, creamy foam that looked just heavenly. Huge bubble lacing that sticks to the glass in great rings. I love it.

Smell- This beer smells incredible. I can smell the sweetness of the honey and pineapple along with the hops.

Taste- Whew. I love it. The pineapple that I smelled is still there, but there is such a complexity of flavors here. The hops are the body of this beer, but there is an outstanding moment in every sip where there's this great transition from bitterness to sweetness to the finish. And the finish is a memorable one. I can taste that slow burn of alcohol, but it's not such a bad thing.

Mouthfeel- Very carbonated, but that's to be expected. Not watery and not too thick. Goes down smooth.

Drinkability- This is a very noteworthy beer. It's something to be appreciated and treated right. It's great to slow down and enjoy a beer that is a work of art. That being said, I couldn't have more than one or two in a night. It's 10% ABV is not lost on me.

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Photo of evantwomey
4.1/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle, thanks to Cindirene's in Ayden, NC. Served at around 45 F. Poured into a big snifter. Pours an amber-gold with about 1/2 an inch of head, which dissipates slowly and leaves spotty lacing. Aroma heavy on the citrus - grapefruit mostly. But its not as intense as I was hoping. Some honey and alcohol aroma as it warms. Taste is very nice - the first thing that hits you is a massive amount of hop flavor, again very citrusy. The finish is actually pretty sweet, mostly what comes through is the honey (which is an awesome addition to this beer). Surprisingly, I found this beer to be not that bitter at all, and the honey really helps smooth everything out. The drinkability is off the charts for a 10% beer, I could easily burn through a 6-pack of this in a night.

Overall, a very solid beer. I definitely wouldn't call it my favorite DIPA, but it is one of the most quirky beers I've had in a while and they pull it off.

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Photo of mphopkins99
4.32/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Hazy, cloudy orange with small beighe head that leaves a little lacing.

S - Hope are obvious, but the overall impression is citrus, definite grapefruit presence.

T - Just exceptional. Incredibly well balanced, masks the ABV almost too well.

M - Medium bodied, finishes dry.

D - Tastewise, this is very drinkable, but the ABV makes limits its sessionability.

The highest praise I can give is that I tend to not like big-hop beers, but this is just a fantastic brew. Well worth seeking out.

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Photo of xfactor9600
4.12/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this one from a 12oz brown bottle into a stemmed tulip glass.

A= A hazy orange color, not entirely clear.

S= A wall of hops greeted my nostrils with a slight hint of citrus.

T= Sweet but invigorating hops. Packs quite a bite.

MF= Well carbonated which contributed to the bite of the beer.

D= My first ever bottles last night. Thoroughly enjoyed it. I wish the price point was better.

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Photo of brianlg
4.33/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tried this for the first time today. A 12oz bottle poured into my pint glass. It pours a darker goldish brown with a fairly small head, no bigger than 1 finger. The smell is very citrusy with a hint of pine needles. Upon the first sip, the beer is fairly bitter, and very citrusy and grassy as the smell would foreshadow. It goes down extremely well, better than I thought it would. The alcohol is there, but hidden very well for the 10% ABV. Mouthfeel is prtty bitter and acidy, in a good way. Overall, what a fantastic brew! I will definitely be back for more of these, when I have the money for them! Only wish they were cheaper!

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Photo of SeaUrchin
4.15/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

had it on tap today at slows bbq, served in a goblet, and got a free bells button with it, went with a fellow BA

appearance - a golden yellow, with a head that was about a finger head on it that remained for half of the beer, moderate carbonation

smell - nose was grapefruit and hops up front, this melded into a strong citrus and a mild maltyness, a slight sugary smell was present

taste - taste started off less bitter than i remembered it being, this was my first time having it on tap, a moderate hoppy bitterness that moved into a strong citrus that overpowered the hops, moving into a mild sweet maltyness, and left a slightly bitter hoppy flavor, far more balanced than i remember it beings but i also learned to appreciate DIPA's since last time i had it

mouthfeel - nice refreshing mouthfeel not to thick but not too thin, carbonation helped to lighten it, made em want to take my next sip

drinkability - very drinkable and at 10% the alcohol wasnt prevalent, easy to put down many of these and not realize it until you stand up to relieve yourself

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Photo of brendanbeer
4.97/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5


sorry for the exclamation, this beer is just plain incredible
dare i say, i like this more than pliny.

a. golden orange yellow, with a nice finger head. it's just beckoning.

s. cistrus, pine, all that northwest glory hops coming through perfectly. nothing is strained, it's all clear like a bright winter's night.

t. word's aren't enough, they don't allow me to explore my exuberance. citrus, hop, pine, wood, malt, and after taste of complex sweet malt balanced perfectly. i swear, im not making this up. this is, beyond all doubt, the perfect, and best, DIPA, no questions asked. i love it so.

m. medium carb, refreshing, but begging for another sip, silky, sexy, mysterious, lovely.

d. astoundingly drinkable for 10%. drinks better than eaything i;ve ever tried to drink. not overexaggerating.

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Photo of treehouse
4.13/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

applejuice in color...no head

lemon, hops and honey on the nose....a bit o magnolia too

mouthed...easy..hop forward but not overbearing...grapefruit...white grape juice..
an all day drinker...


doesn't taste like a "bruiser of an ale" as the bottle claims....could be my lupulin threshold shift...

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Photo of haywire77
4.37/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 1/10/2012

Brew poured a very hazy dark orange color that is darker than I would have expected for the style. 1 1/2" of slightly off white tight knitted head that hung around for a good 5-7 minutes before dissipating to a thin ring around the edges and a choppy light lace pattern in the center. Also good lacing on the sides of the glass that hung around well after the beer was gone.

The smell is amazing. Overly ripe grapefruit and a nice balance of malt character can be found easily. Honey and pine with more fruit than I have ever smelled in a beer. Pineapples and mango go nicely with sugary sweet papaya. I could just sit and smell this and be happy without even drinking it. Well maybe not...

The taste is a hopslam. Piney resin and bitterness abound, but without that tongue tingling goodness that makes the best IPAs stand out. Smooth like a good Dipa should be, but missing that certain something. Maybe the nose set me up a little too high. Peppery finish and a nice complex flavor.

Mouthfeel is slick and oily at first, then very dry on the back end. Kind of strange, but in a good way. Medium bodied and not as thin as are many in the style.

Overall this is a wonderful offering from Bells that I will definitely seek out again next year. A little steep on the price, but I expected such with all of the hype associated with this one. Well above average.

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

Got really lucky by running into a buddy who had a 6 pack on him at a concert in Detroit. Thanks!

12 ounce bottle bottled on 02/09/12

A - Amber orange, one finger of white head, dissipated really quickly into a white wisp.

S - Sweet hops with a slight piney note, the honey comes off strong in the nose, nice floral bouquet, you can smell the balance in this one!

T - The hope bite is more pronounced in the taste than it is in the nose, with grapefruit coming in a little more, the honey kicks in on the back end and lingers for a while.

M - The carbonation is a little sharp for me, but the level of carbonation is perfect, the honey also helps this beer with the mouthfull as it coats the inside of your mouth.

O - A really solid DIPA, and I am really glad I was able to get my hands on this one. This beer holds up to it's name and the hype around it. At 10% abv, you better be careful!

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Photo of anjah
4.43/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I'm not usually a fan of IPAs but this was definitely an exception. I got this from peabody's fresh collection at only 5 days old!! The color was a nice clear golden/amber and the taste and smell were both very crisp. The extreme hops are refreshing and will "hopslam you right in the teeth".

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

A: Hazy amber with small white head. Very nice lacing.

S: Piney and resiny hops, honey. After it warms, it starts to smell like fresh hop cones. There is a minty note there as well after warming.

T: Noticeable but not excessive bitterness and sweetness. Very nicely integrated. Some grassiness when it warms.

M: Light carbonation, semi-dry

O: Excellent IIPA the very nicely blends bitterness, sweetness, fresh hop and honey aroma and flavor.

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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 Godot
3.98/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a fairly hard pour I got about a 2 inch head which dropped a little but doesn't really seem to be going anywhere. It is a gorgeous copper gold color, rich and beautiful. The smell is floral hoppiness, clean and fresh with a slight sticky sweet character. The flavor is sharp citrusy hoppiness up front, a sweetness develops, then drops right into a lingering hop biting bitterness. This is far from a balanced beer, more like unadulterated hopjuice, but with a name like Hopslam that is obviously what they were going for. The mouthfeel is average, and drinkability is good for a 10% tastebud peeler. The honey added does a little to mellow it out. If you are a hophead this beer is great. I wouldn't call it complex, but it is what it is and I like that.

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Photo of scorched
5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was apprehensive about this beer, namely because of its price, $14.99 for a sixer. I was rewarded, however when I cracked the cap open on my wall-mounted gem of a bottle opened. I got out a fine pint glass and began the pour.

I was cooking at the time, and I could STILL smell the hoppiness of the brew. FANTASTIC. Wonderfully balanced aroma, with hoppiness and maltiness. Once the brew settled, the head was a nice 3/4 white cap. I took in the smell by diving my nose right down the center of the glass and taking a gigantic whiff. Once again, fantastic. I couldn't wait to taste it.

The appearance is what you would expect from a double IPA, and was a rich amber gem.

This beer is aptly-named hopslam, because it assaults your taste buds with the produce of the gods... hops. Instantly, the amount of alcohol in the brew is evident, being a double ipa. The mouthfeel is extraordinary, and has an extremely well-balanced flavor. Hints of grapefruit are abound.

If you're an IPA fan, this is the brew for you, just not your wallet. This beer is extremely drinkable and I give it my highest rating for an IPA yet

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Photo of Pointman
4.7/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Take about hops - nice piney hops start. Lingering finish. Great color and texture to the beer.

Very nice Uber-IPA.

Not an every day beer, but what a great beer to finish the night with. 1 or 2 is max. High ABV, but it doesn't burn at all.

The Bell's Boyz did it again....even though last year's - 2007 - was better!

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Photo of Gilgemesh
4.18/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a beautiful golden amber with a finger or two of head. Fluffy and light like whipped butter atop the amber candy below. The smell isn't as pungent as I expected, but is complex with a hint of the hoppy bitterness to come. The flavor is quite nice, and quite well rounded. Hops up front with a hint of the honey sweetness are followed by a nice hoppy bitter finish. Crisp and refreshing. This will be an excellent hot day beer and a very nice example of what I like in a DIPA. Worth the too much I paid for it.

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Photo of AVDeuph
4.83/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I can't believe I haven't reviewed this beer yet...

Prior to this 2010 bottle it already stands as my favorite (D)IPA, so please bear in mind the completely unabashed brew-crush I have on this beer.

A- This is a damn fine looking beer. It has one of the most inviting colors in any beer I've seen. Darker than you might expect, with lots of copper, pink, red grapefruit...it's essentially a Florida sunset.

S- I poured this bottle into a DFH snifter....a ton of grapefruit aroma with a steady and astringent alcohol backbone.

T- Where did that alcohol go? If I didn't know any better I would definitely place this beer in the 7% range. The taste of Hopslam is very encompassing....it fills your mouth with a decently sweet citrus bomb that is overbalanced (appropriately) by the actual hop slam that you knew was coming.

M- Thick and just a little syrupy. I imagine the honey has a bit to do with that. I wouldn't mind a touch more carbonation but it isn't a problem by any means. Just a little more life would be nice.

D: Ridiculously good for a 10% beer. Okay, maybe not if you don't like IPAs. But if you do, this is the cleanest, least imposing high gravity beer that I've had. If it wasn't $16 for a six-pack I could make this a session beer.

An absolute MUST for IPA fans, and fans of extremely well-made beer in general.

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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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