Hopslam Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

BA SCORE
98
world-class
13,039 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:
13,039
Reviews:
3,529
Avg:
4.43
pDev:
9.71%
 
 
Wants:
2,662
Gots:
3,629
For Trade:
71
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 13,039 |  Reviews: 3,529
Photo of XmnwildX12
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of mendvicdog
4/5  rDev -9.7%

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

Photo of billab914
4.74/5  rDev +7%
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 smithj4
4.58/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.47/5  rDev +0.9%
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 atrocity
3.75/5  rDev -15.3%

Photo of russpowell
4.73/5  rDev +6.8%
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 mdaschaf
4.38/5  rDev -1.1%
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 BuckeyeNation
4.89/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Radiant ripe tangerine with a sparse cloud of fine particulates and a few larger flakes that I hope are hop leaves (the beer murks up considerably with the final pour). The tight-bubbled cap is ivory in color with a faint orange tint picked up from the beer beneath. While there's nothing spectacular about the appearance, it's definitely solid.

The nose is amazing! How in the world does Bell's create beer that smells like hop juice? The aroma is one of the brightest and most purely citric that I've ever experienced in a beer of this style. In addition to orange and grapefruit, pineapple and other assorted tropical fruits burst out of the glass. I'm betting that Amarillo and/or Simcoe are members of the hop bill, along with one or more of the C-hops.

HopSlam is a DIPA as DIPAs were meant to be. In other words, it's a jacked-up, hopped to the gills, high-ABV IPA. There's no caramel malt to contend with and no way to confuse what's in my glass with an American barleywine. I knew Larry wouldn't let us hopheads down. As Two Hearted has proved for years, the man knows his way around a hop cone.

Where to start? The sugar cookie-like pale malt backbone is just big enough and no bigger. It provides a firmness and a solidity that is barely able to withstand the lupulin assault. I think fresh Two Hearted is more witheringly hoppy, but it's a close call. Even so, the 106 IBUs are easy to believe. How can a beer this powerful be this mellow?

Whatever the hop bill consists of, I approve in a big way. I tried my best to determine which varieties are used, to no avail. I don't care if Mr. Bell wants to keep the specific ingredients a secret, as long as he continues to brew this hop nectar; year-round would be preferable. Bitter orange zest, white grapefruit pith, pineapple... they're all still present and accounted for. I haven't had a more drinkable DIPA in a very long time.

The mouthfeel isn't quite as full or as viscous as one might expect for an ale that weighs in at nearly 10%. It's amazingly velvety smooth, though, and I think I prefer it just as it is. In fact, the mouthfeel is one of the biggest reasons why the beer is so damn downable. It's hard to believe that 10 of the 12 ounces have disappeared so far.

HopSlam is a grand slam of a DIPA. It may not be the biggest, the hoppiest, or the most bitter version that I've ever let flood my taste buds, but it's one of the most drinkable. Anyone who considers hops to be the soul of beer, as I do, owes it to himself to seek this one out. I am in awe.

 2,535 characters

Photo of drewone
4.28/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1/9/2012 bottle date. In a tulip. Thanks nrs207!

Deep golden orange color. Small head, dissipates quickly.

Sweet hoppiness - honey scent comes through, floral

Sweet and hoppy. alcohol is well hidden, slight burn on the finish. Relativly well balances but on the sweet side. Would like to know what the OG is. Some bitterness on the finish

Rounded - not that dry, almost slick.

Very enjoyable. First bottle I had I really enjoyed, this bottle I had right after a elder and that was a hard beer to follow.

 508 characters

Photo of duceswild
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of vfgccp
4.83/5  rDev +9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - Hazy orange tangerine body. Pure white head with nice lace and retention.

S - Fresh cut herbal flowers with grass, wood, and a mellow malt.

T - Super smooth. Honey into a smooth rampup of alpha bitters, woody hops, and a touch of tarragon. Nice lingering honey and herbal bitter finish.

M - Medium body and smooth. Shade light on the carbonation.

O - A consistanty great DIPA year after year. Drink fresh, it drops off quickly.

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Photo of Jason
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.62/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pored a cloudy,hazy pale amber with a huge white head that did not fade. Smell was off the charts cirus hops, thought I was in an orange grove. Taste was well you can probably oimagin, fantastic. Deep citrus and Pine, but not overwhelming at all. Complex dry finsh. Not overly carbonated. This is very drinkable as the ABV is well hidden and I could probably end up drinking too many before I knew it. Oh how I cannot wait for all these Bell's to be in NC!!

 457 characters

Photo of millerbuffoon
5/5  rDev +12.9%

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

I had this on tap last evening at Brass Rail Deli in Campbelltown, PA. Served in a pint glass.

A - A slightly burnished golden shade w/ mild haziness - still able to see carbonation rising somewhat rapidly in the liquid. The head is approx 1 inch and snowy colored. The bead is very fine and a film of lace holds on the glass

S - lots of hop fruitiness w/ tropical, citrus and slight herbal notes. There is a mellow malt sweetness as well as interesting floral note in the background.

M- The feel is great - bitter up front w/ spicy hops and resinous floral character w/ a moderately high level of bitterness throughout and more than medium body w/ mild sweetness to anchor the hops w/ a significant yet well placed alcohol texture and semi dry finish

T - The taste is a blend of all things hoppy-pine and citrus like tangerine with a tinge of lychee, and grapefruity bitter tastes. The beer is slightly herbal, bordering on grassy, but clean with lemony tang that leads to a sweet honey tinge of malt much like green tea with the honey soaked sweet edge. The flavor has plenty of citrus peel which also seems to give off a piney aspect with a moderate alcohol taste in the finish

D - A well rounded IIPA, so tasty yet not extremely drinkable since by the end of the pint you feel, well...hopslammed. The beer is great fresh and I prefer it to the bottle, but should be approached with a reasonable amount of caution as it tastes similar to many beers well below its level of abv

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Photo of mdfb79
4.82/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

EDIT: Re-reviewing this on 1/12/11, 364 days and 974 reviews after first trying this, as I feel I have a better palate/ability to review beers. While I'm adding some things to this review, I stand by my original 4.8 review; this is one of my favorite DIPAs.

a - Looks amazing, a great golden color. A little carbonation and a little head, but not very much; gone after 45 seconds or so.

s - Smells strongly of citrus hops, as well as some light pine. Also got a little honey and sweet fruit here. Fantastic.

t - Great taste. At first it was not nearly as bitter as I was expecting. The more of it I drank, the more bitterness I tasted. Again, lots of citrus hops, pine, fruit, and honey.

m - Very little carbonation, light body, very smooth. For 10% ABV very easy to drink.

d - Very drinkable. If you are a fan of hoppy beers, I would highly recommend checking this out; it's definitely a great beer. Can't believe its 10%!

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Photo of woodychandler
3.86/5  rDev -12.9%
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!

 3,823 characters

Photo of ZEB89
4.71/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

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

Thanks go to cvaypai for this one.

A: Cloudy orangish-amber color. Not much head to speak of, but pretty good lacing.

S: You can really pick up the honey and the citrus (orange) of the hops.

T: Excellent hop flavor, again, more orange than anything. Nice sweetness too from the malt and the honey. Some bitterness on the finish.

M: Very smooth, medium body. Not much carbonation, but enough to keep things fairly light.

D: Very drinkable. The 10% ABV is hardly noticeable in this.

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Photo of Gkruszewski
4.15/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

Served on-tap at Al's of Hampden into a Bell's tulip.

A - Pours golden amber orange with a light white film of head, dissipating down to almost nothing, leaving little to no head down the glass.

S - Tons of piney citric hops mix well with hints of honey, mildly toasted light malt, and a bit of booze. It kind of smells like a hoppy caramel apple. One of my favorite smelling DIPA's.

T - Tons of grassy citric hops up front giving way quickly to a mix of honey sweetness and caramel malt. Finish is honey sweet with some lingering hop bitterness. A nearly perfect balance of flavors. One of my favorite DIPA's year in and year out.

M - Medium body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Sticky sweet feel with plenty of citric hop bitterness in the finish.

D - Very high. I look forward to this every year. I just love how balanced this one truly is. I can have a few of these no problem. One of my all time favorites.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.12/5  rDev -7%
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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Photo of paulish
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.43 out of 5 based on 13,039 ratings.
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