Hopslam Ale | Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

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Hopslam AleHopslam Ale
BA SCORE
4.46/5
Outstanding
13,401 Ratings
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
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
Ranking:
#157
Reviews:
3,609
Ratings:
13,401
pDev:
9.42%
Bros Score:
4.2
 
 
Wants:
2,712
Gots:
3,804
Trade:
70
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 13,401 |  Reviews: 3,609
Photo of olradetbalder
4/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of jgunther71
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of billab914
4.74/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's finally Hopslam release month, and it's time to review this beast. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into my Dogfish snifter. Poured amber, slightly gold in color with a thin white layer covering the top. It laced nicely on the sides of the glass as I drank it,.

Aroma is sweet and hoppy. It's very sweet smelling presumably from the honey and the hops are very citrusy with some grapefruit and orange. Really, a blast of sweet hoppiness is a great way to describe the aroma from this beer.

Taste is a lot like the nose, very sweet and hoppy. The hops give it a nice floral citrusness with some grapefruit, orange and a little pine flavor. The sweetness definitely sets this apart from a lot of DIPA's. The bitterness is pretty mild for all the hops in it.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is very good, especially for the abv%. it's very good tasting and easy drinking. I could drink this all year long if they made it.

Overall this deserves to be one of the top rated DIPA's in the world. An awesome beer that I'm glad I have about 14 left of.

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Photo of Rifugium
4.32/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First had: bottle from Capone's beer garden, Norristown, PA

Pours a clear golden-orange with a thin, wispy, white head that lingers as a ringlet, but still leaves some doily lacing on the glass. Aroma of citrusy hops and toasted bread. Taste is bursting with hops: citrusy-orange-grapefruit zest and a bit of pithy bitterness, tropical fruits, pine needles, and a nice sensation of honey-drizzled toasted bread coming through for a very nice balance. Medium mouthfeel, quite smooth and extremely drinkable for the style (where's the alcohol?).

I've had plenty of IPAs similar to this one, so I wouldn't really say it's a trade item, or worth going out of the way for, as some people make it out to be, but it's definitely nice to have when it's around.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.15/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap in Bloomington, IN. Had this some time in January 2009.

A: Bright orange and slightly cloudy. A white head with glimmers of the beer in it.

S: Simply put, this is the most amazing nose I've ever encountered. An overabundance of hops combined with a clear scent of honey, and a powerful malt base to back it all up. I know this scent will be good in a month or so, so I really need to savor it while it's fresh.

T: Much like the nose, this is utterly without parallel (sorry to Mr. Pliny, I haven't had the opportunity yet). This is how every DIPA should be made. The malt is certainly there, but does nothing to even content with the luscious hops that come on. Simply brilliant. The honey is certainly a nice touch, too.

M: Medium bodied with good carbonation.

D: Could be the only beer I'd ever drink again, if Bell's were so gracious as to devote 50% of their capacity to this one.

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Photo of REVZEB
4.71/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Even after all these years, hopslam is a must buy every late winter/early spring. The aggressive hops with the sweet subduing nature of the honey is a winning combo for me. On tap of the bursting of hop aromas, and wonderful dipa flavors, it is extremely drinkable. Going to get one out of the fridge tonight!

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Photo of Kegatron
4.18/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap @ Al's of Hampdem (Enola, PA) on 1/21/11. Served in a Bell's tulip glass.

Pours a crystal clear copper, with a thin ½ finger of cap of bright-white head. Swirling keeps this rich in the glass (to a near finger) and throw up some thick foamy swathes of lacing which slowly creep down the sides of the glass. This has a big floral and spicy feel to it which is layered on top of sharp notes of grapefruit and pine. Tropical fruit and sweet malt are pushed to the background, as the hops mostly control this. I'm also picking up some alcohol heat that runs through the middle of the nose and takes away from some of the sweeter aspects of this a bit as well.

Bright hop flavors explode in the mouth, with grapefruit, pine, and spice ripping the tongue before being tempered with notes juicy tropical fruits, honey, and toasted biscuits. As usual, the honey totally makes this beer, as it adds a sweet softness across the back of the profile that adds to the general deliciousness of this. The finish is fairly aggressive with a bitter rind and spice that linger with a steady forceful dryness. The mouthfeel is medium to fuller bodied, with an easy soft crisp creaminess that sits on top of some alcohol beef. There is some definitely warmth to the body and it never does quite reach that stinging point, but it does get a little borderline at times.

What can you say, it's Hopslam and it rocks! I've had this many, many times out of the bottle but I do believe that this is first time that I've bothered grabbing some on draft. My only real issue besides the heavy warmth of the feel but that the nose seemed a little hop and alcohol heavy this time around. Still though, if you're looking for a DIPA that offers a little more than just a hoppy fix, this is great beer.

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Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.47/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy orangish sunrise with a small white head which fades quickly to some sparse bubbles around the edge. Gobs of grapefruit, citrus, tangerine, pineapple, and honey flowers dominate the nose. So nice. Bitter citrus hoppy flavors really zing the tongue. Oh so dry but fresh, crisp, and clean. A standout for sure. Very well done.

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Photo of atrocity
3.75/5  rDev -15.9%

Photo of woodychandler
3.86/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have long said that one of the best decisions of my life was founding The CANQuest (tm). The fact that they are CANning this beer ~ five years after my initial CANned beer review is telling. There was a LOT of discussion back then about what CANstituted a CAN, but it was determined that a 5L mini-keg would count as long as it was a) non-pressurized and b) gravity-driven. I was so happy then and even happier now, when I had begun to despair of FOMO, followed by a CANdiculous trade. I was visiting local Country Garden Six-Pack when I saw two six-packs on the shelf! Not being a beer greed-o, I bought one & traded most of the sixer for other cool CANs. Today (Su, 20 March 2016) is my turn!

From the CAN: "Ale Brewed with Honey"; "Unfiltered [-] Best Kept Refrigerated [-] Unpasteurized"; "An exceptionally aromatic blend of hops combine in this balanced interpretation of the Double IPA style. Best enjoyed as fresh as possible." The graphics look great on aluminum, BTW!

The Crack! tried to fight me, but eventually gave up & succumbed. I then caught a squirt across my fingertips & sat back in surprise! Hopslam is a squirter?!? OMFG! It settled to reveal a brimful craft CAN & my heart leapt! I gently stroked the exterior of the CAN before CANmencing a VERY gentle Glug. I want to draw this one out as long as possible & it seems to be on a hair-trigger. Even this generated a finger of dense, foamy, tawny head with great retention, leaving sticky lacing behind as it fell. Color was solidly Amber (SRM = > 7, < 9) with NE-quality clarity. Nose was simply dank, really green, sticky, earthy & even a little minty. I think that I will pour some into a Petri dish, dry it out and smoke it later. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste was ... Ahhh, ahhh, ahhh! It burns! It is like hydrofluoric acid on my poor, bruised tongue! It is shoving the weak, unsuspecting taste buds out of the way and worming its way into the interior of my tongue with an active flamethrower! Ahhhh! I'm back, following a visit from the local Fire Department & a trip to the ICU. Phew! The hops were, shall we say, intense, but cooling. In fact, as it warmed, the sweetness of the inherent honey began to peer through, like the first buds of spring. The taste was like a conglomeration of hops from wet to English (earthy) to PACNW (minty) to straight dank & then drizzled with honey. OMFG x 2! The finish was hot and minty, like a dragon had just flossed, brushed & rinsed with minty wash. Why, oh, why did I trade those others away? Oh, right, I'm a recovering hops addict & this does not help.

Oh damn, any regrets that I may have had in not going to Philly for the fest at the shipyard evaporated when I saw this on the table yesterday (Central PA Bottle Share, Sa, 05 Mar 2011). As the late Mickey Spillane would have said, "I creamed my jeans"! I was so cowed by its presence that I had to ask ffejherb for permission to open it, to which he enthusiastically assented. I had to read the directions, because if I screwed the pooch, I would be a pariah and it was so early on. The big Q for me was the initial venting, but I remembered the pull, twist and pour from my Best Brown in the Fall.

I got a finger-and-a-half of soapy ecru head with decent retention off of my pour. Color was a solid amber with NE-quality clarity. BUPGOO! Yeah, give this to the kiddies. Nose was so piney that I began to swoon. It was, in my addled mind, like licking a pine tree. Mouthfeel was medium and the hops had already begun to mute, so the taste was heavier on caramel malt, but I still got some hops on the tongue. The finish was likewise caramel-like initially, but lingering with hops. Dang, but I would like to try this absolutely fresh! No matter, I CAN now die h(a/o)ppy, having had some. Did I mention the excellent lacing throughout? Glug!

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Photo of russpowell
4.73/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This one comes courtesy of BARLEYWINEO, cheers! Date code of 4711

Pours a hazed amber/peach tea with 2 fingers+ of cream-colored head. Very good head retention & lacing

S: Huge breadyness & piney hops

T: Large honey cake/breadyness, dryness, boozey warmth & pineyness. Warms with lemony & grapefruitty hopy, plus honey malt. Finishes with huge oily hops, warming booze, caramel & a little bit of dates/figs fruittyness

MF: Chewy& oily , medium carbonation & superb balance

Drinks too damn easy, a great balanced DIPA!

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

Photo of BEER88
4.42/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of WoodBrew
4.06/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have been waiting to try this beer...and worth the wait it was! Local restaurant has this on tap here in teh 'burbs of Chicago is awesome! The beer is slightly cloudy golden with thin head. The aroma was a powerful citrus and pine...everything one would want from an Imperial IPA. The citrus/pine help to balance the 10% ABV....a few of these and one will be slammed!!!! The high alcohol and powerful flavor makes this a tough session beer! Morning after would probably be like having a car deoderizer in your mounth. Stay thirsty my friends!

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Photo of nathanmiller
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of atlbravsrno1
3.5/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of XmnwildX12
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of mendvicdog
4/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of dfhhead25
4/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.47/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a translucent, orangey body with a full, foamy white head.

Smell: Wow, they ain't kidding. Redolent scent stinking of fresh grapefruit, pineapple, and passion fruit.

Taste: Malts are obscured, perhaps rightly so, by the extreme hoppiness. Tons of intense, juicy fruit hop flavors with a moderate kick of bitterness. The 10% abv is very well hidden. Bittersweet finish with a lingering tropical fruitiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Distinct oily juiciness to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Extremely hoppy, but it still displays a relatively good balance.

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Photo of Zaphog
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of duceswild
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of mdaschaf
4.38/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to BeerThursdays for this bottle! Bottle from 1/11/11

A: Pours a slightly hazy golden orange color. Has an off white two finger head and sheets of lacing down the sides. Small carbonation bubbles are released from the bottom.

S: Lots of hops as expected. A lot of pine/woodsy aroma while the citrus plays a lesser role. I do get some grapefruit and the honey used in brewing gives it a slight sweetness.

T: Less pine on the flavor profile than expected, much heavier with citrus (grapefruit and orange) and floral flavors. The honey adds a very nice sweetness. Extremely well balanced.

M/D: Medium bodied with nice carbonation. Has a very nice finish, slightly bitter and sweet at the same time. You get a hint that it is 10%, but its not a bad thing. The drinkability at this abv is incredible. I feel like I could drink a couple of these.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.12/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle poured into an Alchemist pint glass. Bottled on 1/26/2012. Just picked it up today.

Appearance - Orange amber body. Quite clear. Not much of a head, but it sticks nicely to the glass and leaves some wisps on the surface.

Smell - Wow, it's got a great hop aroma. Up there with the best of em. Citrusy from a distance (literally, from a few feet away), but it's got a dose of pine as I smell it more. Great aroma. Some sweetness comes through, but it's still all about the hops.

Taste - The hop flavor delivers in the front. It's a huge wave of hops that recedes as dramatically as it hits. The citrus gives way to pine, much in the way of the aroma, which gives way to a hefty malt and honey sweetness. Not cloying and not even all that sweet, but it's amazing how much the hops disappear. It still tastes pretty damn good, but not like the best IPAs out there. The finish is boozy and slightly bitter.

Mouthfeel - After the hops drop off, the booze is pretty evident. There's an astringency presumably from the fermented honey. It's not really bitter, either, but still the bitterness is one of the only flavors that lingers.

Overall - I used to think this beer was the bee's knees of IPAs, but having had far more interesting hop profile IPAs, this one hasn't quite risen to its lofty heights as of late. Definitely not one of those "It was better last year" people, but I feel my appreciation for it has changed.

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Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 4.46 out of 5 with 13,401 ratings