Hopslam Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

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Hopslam AleHopslam Ale
13,299 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 13,299 |  Reviews: 3,583
Photo of BeaBeerWife
4.67/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

January 2008, Batch #8277... I met Larry Bell a couple of weeks ago and let him know I've been waiting a year for this beer to come out again. So fresh hops aroma & taste... love this beer.

January 2007...This was the beer that got me hooked on IPA’s in general, let alone imperial/double. Got a case for my birthday and treasured it.
Only around a few months in winter will certainly build up anticipation for this beer year after year. This was my favorite IPA in general up until I met a serious homebrewer with some serious hop skills.

Flavors and alcohol nicely rounded together. Almost 10% ABV, 100+ IBU, can't beat that! :)

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

Sunset orange with a small white head of foam that dies gradually and is reinstated by a quick swirl of my tulip glass. This sample was served to me at the Spinnerstown Hotel in Spinnerstown (outside of Quakertown, PA) right by the haunted graveyard. This brew is very hoppy with a small malt backbone of caramel and spice in the background. The various American hops really shine through in the aroma of this beer and the taste holds true as well. A spicy, snappy, hoppy treat of a beer with a sweeter hop note up front and a bitter, resiny bite in the back. This one is kinda the balls. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and well served to repeated drinking which lends a great drinkability to this hoppy yet extremely refreshing and smooth brew...

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Photo of Floydster
3.22/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle acquired in a trade from MuenchenerKindl, thanks for giving me the opportunity to try this beer

Poured into my Duvel tulip glass with a golden orange color that was very murky and an impressive 3/4 white foamy head that settled rather quickly, left some lacing but not enough to get excited about

Smell was full of sweet citrus, unfortunately could barely smell any signs of hoppiness, could smell some toffee notes and sweet malt though

Taste was not what I was expecting and was a disappointment for the most part, I do not know how old this bottle was but the dry hop profile was gone, there was nothing but fruity flavors that consisted of oranges, lemons, grapefruit, tangerine, and pineapple, got sweeter as it warmed and in the finish, the aftertaste made this hard to drink and enjoy its faint DIPA qualities, wish this one had some bitterness left, it desperately needs it to balance out the excess of rich malt

Average amount of carbonation and the body was pretty syrupy making it thick for this style of beer, pretty good mouthfeel

This is one is definitely a sipper, the alcohol is not hidden well and is too sweet making it heavy on the stomach and not allowing you to drink much of it, a bottle or two would definitely be enogh for me

I am guessing this bottle was close to a year old since it is released at the beginning of every year, and the beer might taste completely different when it is more fresh, not by favorite beers from Bell's but still glad I tried since it is the top one hundred beers, recommended if curious but there are much better IPAs out there right now

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Photo of iconoklaztor
4.55/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to orbitalr0x for this great brew!!! Cheers!

This beer is a mammoth of a brew. The appearance of this beer is fantastic. It's a nice orange color with a cloudy appearance. The taste is not what I was expecting. It has a caramel taste. I'm guessing the hops have died down a bit which is a shame. However, the beer that Im drinking has developed into an amazing beer. Its super drinkable with a fantastic mouthfeel.

Overall, I like this beer. I would have given my left arm to try this fresh. Good thing I'm right handed. I'll save my right arm for a stout. If you can get this beer score it and drink it asap. Enjoy


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Photo of jdoncbus
4.62/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Removed previous review. The bottle I drank was a year old and tasted nothing like the newest batch)

#8283 - poured from bottle into a snifter resulting into a smallish head but with big bubbles moving upwards that reduce in size & remain active. Golden, amber color with an oily appearance that sticks to the glass.

Pungent aroma resinates from the glass smelling of big hops on the nose: grapefruit, pineapple, pine, etc. Carmel malt also present with a honey fragerance.

An oily goodness loaded with hops that attack the taste buds with a hop blast seldom seen from many DIPA. What you smell is essentially what you taste. Also has a grassy low-end to it that rests heavily on the palate followed by a nice crisp finish leaving a fruity, musky dryness.

Exrememly drinkable. The 10% is present and it's a wonderful beverage to sit back, sip, and enjoy its all around presentation. Tastes much better then the aged one I ran across a month ago. Glad I picked up a case.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
4.42/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle lable #7690.

Pours with a scrod chunker sediment loaded golden peach hued pour topped with a quickly settled khaki off-white head cap leaving a tight collar ring.

Bright effervescent nose of bitter lemon rind, tart candy malt met up with a slightly boozy aspect.

First swigs: Mouth pucker bitter lemon peel front. Rips up the palate with sandpaper dry sizzle. Unrelenting dry middle and dry finish. Searching and not finding much vestige of malt backing. Actually awl-kee-hawl bozzy warmth. Try drinking grapefruit orange marmalade and that would rival this Hop the Ripper!

Damn hot and bottered but delicious at the same time. Medium bodied with crisp effervesence. So dry that a tumbleweed fell out of my mouth.

Last swigs: Bright bitter sizzle 2IPA with a light malt backing to showcase a huge hop front. The 9.3% ABV is slightly evident yet somewhat hidden. Reminds me a tad of Pliny the Elder.
Thanks to SkinnyElvis for the bottle.

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

a: pours a hazy gold with white foam, debris floats throughout (hops?)

s: hops, I smell hops. citrus, maybe a touch of grapefruit, can't detect much else.

t: alcohol is well masked by citrusy hop flavor. sweet and piney with a good dose of hop bitterness.

m: highly carbonated, well balanced, crisp/dry finish

d: I like this beer. I am an IPA fan and this beer delivers the hops, but like most double IPAs, I wouldn't want to drink too many in one sitting.

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Photo of KAF
4.62/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Delicious! That is really all I need to say about this beer. This was the beer that got me hooked on imperial IPA’s. You can smell the hops as you pour. Pours amber/orane in color with a whitish head. Some alcohol flavor is present. Not overly bitter. Very smooth on the palate. Just amazing.

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Photo of YonderWanderer
4.39/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to franksnbeans for this one!

A: Pours a pale hazy orange color with about one finger worth of foam.

S: Big citrus hops hit you upfront, with a lot of grapefruit in there. Not much else in the nose, with a name like HopSlam, you get what you expect.Very tasty smelling.

T: And damn, this is tasty to drink. Those big citrus hops are right there and with you from start to finish. A bit of malt is there to add balance, which is a nice touch. This beer may be all about the hops, but it's got enough malt and a bit of alcohol warmth to provide some counterpoint.

M: Smooth with a nice crisp bite at the end. Stays with you for a while, due to the hops.

D: If I could get this around here regularly, it would likely have a regular spot in my fridge. This is a damn tasty brew, and one I'm glad I got to try.

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Photo of clvand0
3.93/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one pours a cloudy orange color with a medium head and has decent retention and leaves some lacing on the glass. The aroma is full of grapefruit and grapefruit - actually, that's about all I get from this one. The flavor has enough malt to let you know that it's there, but it's almost all citrus and grapefruit hop flavors. Very hoppy. The body is medium/thick and the drinkability is ok.

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Photo of jp32
4.21/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Look: Pours a hazy, murky, dark orange color.

Smell: Pungent citrus and tropical fruits with some pine and musky funk in the background. Lots of grapefruit rind.

The name says is it all. Hop Slam. What you see is what you get. There is really no better way to explain it, except for maybe "grapefruit slam with a touch of honey near the finish". Very citrusy. A tad murky or musky. Almost like over-ripe citrus fruit. The 10% is very well hidden.

Heavy bodied. No gimmicks, no surprises, just one hell of a hop-slam across your palate. The

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

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

Appearance- This is slightly different than when it was fresh. A hazy off-orange with a decent 1.5 finger head that quickly dissapates to a foamy film over the top of the glass. Lacing is considerable.

Smell- Wow this is a nice double IPA. Citrus and grapefruit all thru this beer with a bit of malt balance peeking in. Not to say this beer smells balanced, far from it. The hops are clearly over the top on this one. The way it should be really in my opinion.

Taste- Big citrus and grapefruit on the taste just like in the smell. Enough malt to give it a good fullness and a touch of the alcohol that probably could not be avoided.

Mouthfeel- Slightly sticky and warming. Carbonation is low and even. There is a lot of sweetness from the malt that isn't noticed until well into the mouthfeel. Also, that warming from the 9.3%ABV really smacks you in the face soon afterward.

Drinkability- Despite the strong ABV, this beer is deciptively drinkable. On tap it is amazing as well as in the bottle. It looks to be bottle conditioned, but I don't know just how well it will hold up with further aging. I will hold on to a couple bottles, but I have a feeling it's at it's best before those hops mellow out on it.

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Photo of brewcrew76
4.32/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Light cloudy orange with 2 fingers of white head and sticky lacing down the side of the glass.

S - Citrus, pine and grapefruit hops along with a touch of sweet caramel in the background.

T - A big dose of piney, citrus and floral hops. Sweet caramel malt is noticeable in the background but the hops drown it out. Some sweetness from the honey.

M - Medium and nicely carbonated with a dry hoppy finish.

D - Another tasty offering from Bell's. The abv is well hidden.

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

Re-Review updated from a "B" rating in 2007

A- Pours a beautiful hazy ruby orange color with a thin head.

S- Smell is hops, hops and more hops. In your face pine and bready malt.

T- Has a strong citrusy taste with hints of grapefruit and a slight tinge of alcohol.

M- Highly carbonated and fairly viscous. It suits this brew perfectly.

D- For a 9 percent abv this is definitely drinkable. I could sip on this all night. I don't know if I got an old bottle back in 2007 or what ... this is definitely a solid "A" rating all around.

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Photo of guinnessfan
2.84/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Tried on 3 separate occasions and finally decided to review.

A: Clouded copper color, with thousands of floaties. Small head, no retention, but decent lacing.

S: Pine and citrus hop smell.

T: Too medicinal and boozy. Sweet and bitter at the same time. It's not the hops, because I love hops, it's that astringent taste that's nasty.

M: Stinging carbonation bubbles from a constant flow in the glass.

D: Not very good. Reminds me of hop-flavored Nyquil.

Major disappointment to me.

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.89/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found at Capone's. Says here on the website that it is eight months old.

This beer pours a cloudy pumpkin and straw with a rough film of head.

Smells powerfully of orange juice and tangerines with a powdered sugar amplifying its fruity sweetness. There's also a touch of rye crisp that rounds this one out nicely.

There's a big hop punch to start this one off that is pleasantly aggressive. The citrus fruitiness is there, but there's a dry woody pine that steals the show along with a touch of grapefruit rind. A slight alcohol sting sneaks in with this dryness. It finishes out a little mossy and dirty.

Feels huge with a nice crisp body but a huge swarm of tiny bubbles that thicken it up quite a bit.

A huge hop-bomb. If that's what you're looking for, it will deliver.

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Photo of bosco7
3.88/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper in color with plentiful head.

Orange, lavender, pine resin and some strawberry in the nose. The aroma doesn't really entice me much. I find Two Hearted to much more appealing in the nose.

Big malty start that is overtaken with candy orange, mango, tobacco, floral/perfumey, and pine needle flavors. Some booze which was expected. Finishes very bitter with some residual sweetness. Nice flavors.

Medium-big mouthfeel with some carbonation bite. Nice DIPA but I think that prefer Bell's Two Hearted Ale. Still good and worth trying.

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

Pours a golden orange with almost 2 fingers of creamy head that dies down to a layer sitting on top and huge lacing throughout. Smells of gynormous hops, pine, citrus and grapefruit. Tastes delicious. Huge hops, citrus, rind, grapefruit, pine and HOPS. Nice malty balance that lets this not be too over the top. I might not be getting the full hopslam effect since this is not a freshly bottled sample but this is up there and a delicious brew. Alcohol hides nicely and carbonation is perfect. No bitterness lingering. A classic.

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Photo of KRMBeerGuy
4.92/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very large mouth feel, excellent obsessive hop flavor. This is quite possibly the perfect American Double IPA. Serious flavor up front, smacks you like your dad's belt... then a long lingering floral hop experience through the finish. Wonderful mixture of some very organic flavors. This is my favorite beer of any that I have tried, and believe me, I've tried A LOT! Any serious hophead should hunt down a few bottles of this one and savor it for all it's worth...

Saved some 2007 Hopslam and consumed in Spring of 2008. This beer ages extremely well! The edge of the fresh bottles is now much more mellow on the start, and the alcohol flavor is more subdued as well. It seems that even more of the hop flavor comes out in it now. I've still got a few bottles left, I plan on keeping at least one 2007 for another year. I'm planning on aging a few of the 2008 that I have as well.

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Photo of GreenWBush
4.39/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Rejoice; Midwestern classic microbrewery in need of I2pa finally releases one and goes all the way, releasing it in six-pack “damage the head” format. The wait for this has been long in the making. I remember drooling over early reviews when it was served on draft at the Eccentric café. This ended up setting me back $15 for this sixer, a bit steep when you consider that works out to be about $4.50 a bomber. Still, this is a big beer that demands your attention, so what are you going to say, no?

The appearance of this is true to type and actually pale, on its way to peach in color. Globules and flecks of yeast slurry are all over the pour – interesting. Calm head that cascades slowly is not a surprise for a ~10% ABV beer.

Nose is amazing; the hop synergized. Layers of hoppy goodness from pine to grapefruit and back again. The twang of muskmelon. Impression of high-test cannabis, a body/sock funk, and a piney-heat. Yummy, superfresh.

Taste is gorgeous and instantly recalls Dreadnaught and Ruination. Peach cream-savers are also dredged up from the memory banks. Somewhat dry in character, sweet at times but ends up bittersweet. Malt/hop character goes off the trail late into the swallow and on repeat performance. Very good, but not great. Needs just a little bit more of a bitter punch, especially to hold true to the bottle’s designation.

Not necessarily the world-endingly-awesome brew some were hoping for, but close to divine regardless.

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Photo of seaoflament
4.37/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this one courtesy of SPLITGRIN with a number 7690 on the back of the label.

Pours a golden orange color with a thin white lace of bubbles around the glass. The aroma is of juicy citrus and pine hops with a nice malt backbone. The taste is excellent with some good bitterness upfront, slightly alcoholic, but very balanced and drinkable. The mouthfeel is refreshing and the finish is dry with a clean taste. A very solid example of a DIPA and one I wouldn't mind drinking again.

*Updated review with a fresh bottle--Feb. 2, 2008. Batch # 8277

A big thanks to ncvbc for this fresh bottle.

Pours brownish, orange color with an inch of foam which leaves some lacing as it settles to a thin layer. (4)

Big citrus aroma upfront, lots of grapefruit, lemon, orange, pineapple, and nectarine. A touch of honey in the background but very faint; then the toasted malts and bready notes come through the assault of hops. Some caramel and toffee aromas. Very hoppy yet with a strong malt presence to keep this one balanced. For some odd reason I'm getting some cheesy aroma as it warms up. (4)

Taste is of bitter citrus zest with some toast and caramel following close by. Somewhat grainy and dry in the finish. I'm also picking up a slight presence of alcohol in the aftertaste. Some lingering bitterness in the finish, along with bitter grapefruit, lemon and toast. The alcohol is a little more noticeable as it warms up. (4)

Mostly smooth on the tongue with just enough carbonation to clean the palate, well done. (4.5)

While I'm not blown away by HopSlam (I had it before but it was a few months old), but this fresh one is mighty tasty and one fine balanced DIPA. Drinkability (4).

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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 rowew
3.83/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz longneck, label has a guy buried in huge hops. Indecipherable date code on the label.

Appearance: Pours reddish orange with a thin head, but quite a bit of lacing.

Smell: Grapefruit, just a bit of pine, and lots of floral aromas. A bit of malty undertones.

Taste: Medium mouthfeel, very bitter. Definitely a bit puckering, but there are some nice hop flavors in there too - very little malt comes through.

Overall impression: As the label says, "A biting, bitter, tongue bruise of an ale." Very nice though if you like the bitter hop flavors.

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Photo of bigman147
4.02/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Hazy orangish color. Almost a green character as the aroma fills the room as I inspect the appearance. Good head which settles to solid lacing on the glass.

Smell: It smells like hop harvest time in Idaho. Thick piney, fruity aroma that sticks to your clothes. It almost smelled good enough to smoke if you know what I mean.

Taste: Hops and more hops. A good balance of bitterness and flavor. Its a little thing considering the 9.3% ABV. Sweet citrus fruits accentuate the bitter character. I wouldn't believe that it is 100IBU but it definitely has some bite.

Mouthfeel: Alcohol burn and slight mouthcoating stickyness. Bitterness is slightly lingering with a slight astringency/tartness. Carbonation is medium and helps cleanse the palate but also tends to dry.

Drinkability: I think this beer would be a perfect hop head session beer. Its flavorful yet not overpoweringly bitter. The alcohol would limit the amount I would drink. If I could get it year round, I would definitely drink this pretty often.

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Photo of
4/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle, 2nd effort with this beer.

Slightly hazy, orange/yellow color. No real head to speak of.

Aroma was of earth, pine and caramel. Fairly strong scent.

Taste was pine initially, followed by alcohol. Alcohol was quite strong, and could be turned down some without losing anything. Caramel and peaches came through next. Malt picks up a bit as temperature increases, wheat bread. Grassy at finish.

Medium to full body. Low to medium carbonation. Dry.

Overall, very good. Still not sure if it is a slam, but it will certainly get your attention. I'm guessing my last review was on an older bottle.

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Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 4.46 out of 5 with 13,299 ratings