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

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Hopslam AleHopslam Ale
13,355 Ratings
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 13,355 |  Reviews: 3,599
Photo of PhineasMcClintock
5/5  rDev +12.1%

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

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

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 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 nathanmiller
4.75/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of XmnwildX12
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

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

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 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 atlbravsrno1
3.5/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of Zaphog
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.89/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

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Photo of dfhhead25
4/5  rDev -10.3%

Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 4.46 out of 5 with 13,355 ratings