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

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Hopslam AleHopslam Ale
13,468 Ratings
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Michigan, United States

Style: American 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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Ratings: 13,468 |  Reviews: 3,616
Photo of dogger6253
4.48/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gorgeous beer, a foamy, light head tops off a dark orange body that sinks into a lighter, golden color toward the bottom; looks like it's going to taste great. The head fades quickly, but sticks to the glass like flies on a spider's web.

Smells of floral hops and citrus, particularly grapefruit. Also bits of pine. Very aromatic.

Taste is definitely hops, but not exceptionally bitter. There is absolutely citrus flavors in the works; grapefruit, orange and tangerine. I also noticed honey. Alcohol is well hidden, but noticeable in the finish if you're looking for it.

It feels fairly carbonated, sparkling on my tongue, but goes down easily. I could drink a hundred of these. Reinforces my love of Bell's beers and reminds me that I love drinking beer.

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

Ultra-hoppy "Double IPAs" such as this appear to be all the rage in the USA nowadays. To my surprise, I rather enjoy this fad. I tried this fine example on tap at my favorite pizza pub, paired with a spicy pizza. The bitterness set off the spiciness quite well.

Appearance was pale yellow, a bit cloudy, with a good, albeit not very long-lasting, head.

Smell was quite noticeable; not surprising in a double IPA. Lots of hops and yeast to enjoy.

Taste was an explosion of noble bitterness, as well as a hint of crystal malt and an unusual piney aftertaste.

Mouthfeel was just fine, with the concentrated hoppiness detracting just slightly from the enjoyable texture.

As for drinkability, this brew will never be confused with Rolling Rock. But given its 9.3% ABV, a slight markdown in this category is almost an act of professional responsibility. :)

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

FOURTH TRIAL: This is a great beer for any hop-lover, although I have to admit that it's tasted a bit different each time I've had it. This time it was great, other times it's a bit too sweet for my taste. It pours a golden yellow with very little head (there is a good bit of lacing though). The aroma is slightly peachy with a lot of nice, clean hoppy citrus. The taste is similar, but there's a definite warming and you can taste the alcohol (not in a bad way). This beer is less malty that some of the recent DIPAs I've had, but the little malt flavor it does have is a nice caramel. The mouthfeel is full and smooth and it leaves a nice sticky bitterness on the back of the tongue. Overall, a great Double IPA.

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Photo of SwillBilly
4.52/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle:

Appearance: Pours a light amber with a nice 2 finger off white head that fades fairly slowly to a sheer lacing on the glass. Big, thick sheets of lacing line the glass as the beer empties the glass.

Aroma: Big and juicy with plenty of grapefruit rind and orange peel dominating the aroma with hints of sugar candy and fresh herbs.

Taste: Fantastic !! The nose is a precurser to things to come with the flavor profile. Starts with a big hop bang with juicy grapefruit and oranges with just a hint of pine. The middle transitions Hopslam to a nicely balanced maltiness with flavors of sugar coated grapefruit slices. The finish is all hops as those citrusy hops linger long on the tongue well after the swallow. Alcohol is very well hidden especially for a 9% abv beer.

Mouthfeel: Medium and nicely carbonated with a lively tingling in the mouth.

Drinkability: Hopslam is dangerously drinkable for a DIPA. A hopheads delight with big, juicy citrusy hops dominating the aroma and flavor profile but is still balanced with a good nice amount of malt. Alcohol is very well hidden in the flavor, though a nice warming of the face takes place after putting one of these back. If it wasn't for the 9%abv I could see making a session of these, instead I'll enjoy a couple and call it a night. A fantastic DIPA from the folks at Bell's. Highly recommended, especially if you like citrusy hops. Seek and Enjoy.

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Photo of GnomeKing
4.59/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer should be served in a juice box (Buster Bluth, beware), it's so fruity and sweet and candy-like. Every sip is pure indulgence. The hop oil is so unami and rich that it's like bacon grease and kobe steak.

The aroma is confectioner's sugar and even cotton candy, but mostly deep red juice...I'm at a carnival. This is sinfully good...sinful being the operative word. Evil...as I say in my profile, "If beer is wrong, I don't wanna be right."

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Photo of Winter
4.45/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours clear light copper in color with a thick white head. Perfumy, hoppy aroma has citrus & pine in it. Biscuity malt background. The mouthfeel is airy and medium-bodied with prickly carbonation upfront. Resiny hoppy front. Citrusy hops and bitterness abound. An inhale reveals malt and an ample supply of alcohol on the tongue. There's some malt underneath all the hop bitterness in the flavor but it's severly overshadowed by the impressive amount of hops utilized. Juicy hop burps ensue.

HopSlam is without a doubt a hop lover's delight. For an American Double IPA it's hard to find a lot of fault in this beer.

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Photo of drseamus
4.61/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this into a DFH snifter. This beer pours very cloudy. I would have liked to see it cleaner. According to the BJCP, slight haziness is allowable if it is dry hopped, but this is a bit more than that. It doesn't seem to clear with time either. There is a huge hop bouquet even from a distance. Very strong citrus aromas, especially grapefruit, but slightly more bitter. The flavor is amazing though. It is not nearly as bitter as the flavor would have led me to believe. It is a dead ringer for actual grapefruit flavoring. The bitterness is only in the background, and there is enough sweetness to back it up. This is a great example of an Imperial IPA (except the cloudiness); perhaps one of the best i've had.

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

Deep gold with only the slightest haze. Very small white head that scarcely made it to the table. Nice smells - sweet honeyed grapefruit. Taste is the same. Big in your face slam of citrusy hops. Nothing too piney going on here. Not at all cloyingly sweet like some DIPA's I've had, but the sweetness is there. Taste is simple, yet fresh and inviting.

Thankfully, the mouthfeel and drinkablity of this beer are just as good. Served at the right temperature, this is the perfect blend of smooth body and light carbonation. Drinks much easier than the DFH 90, and less bitter than BBC's Professor Gesser. Eager to try this one out of the bottle. Great beer.

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Photo of mjd83goblue
4.8/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle. Been getting 6pks for around $13-14. Pricey, but definitely worth it.

A: Pours a beautiful hazy orange with hints of amber, complete with Bell's patented suspended yeast bits. I dunno, just seems that they are the only brewer that has this look.

S: The freshest juiciest grapefruit I have ever smelled in a beer. Unlike anything else, SO fresh!

T: Once again slapped with sweet grapefruits. A touch of pine, but not as much as expected. A totally different beast than the west coast piney DIPAs. The sweetness from the malt base negate the typical bitterness you'd get from a grapefruit. A biting hop finish. Lingering bitter hops, but not overbearing. Just fantastic.

M: Creamy and smooth, nice carbonation. Not sticky at all. Quite crisp for the style.

D: Get excited every time I see more of it in the store. I had 5 of these last night, which is impressive for the style. Sometimes they get so sweet and sticky that I can't have more than 1 or 2. This one isn't like that. The booze catches up to you though. Ah well.

Even my girlfriend, who is usually a straight macro girl, liked this. This is the best DIPA by far, and one of the best beers I have ever tasted. Amazing in every respect.

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Photo of brentk56
4.47/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a white, foamy head that leaves splotches of lace

Smell: Honeybell tangelo aroma

Taste: The honeybell citrus flavor jumps out almost immediately, even before the caramel backbone gets set; after the swallow the bitter citrus flavors intensify and there is a little honey-like sweetness on the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: One of those terrific citrus hop bombs that leave you ready for another

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Photo of BeerBelcher
3.6/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is the second time I've had this beer; this bottle was far better than my previous on-tap experience with this beer. All-in-all, I would recommend, but it is definitely not the best DIPA I've had lately; both Leinenkugel's Big Eddy DIPA and Smuttynose Big A are better.

It poured a dark amber with acres of fluffy white head. Aroma is extremely hoppy and citrus-y. However, flavor was a bit different. It was somewhat grassy and astringent. While the flavor has some citrus-ness to it, it was quite dry. Think citrusness without sweetness. Mouthfeel was slightly flat in its character.

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Photo of Atlas1
3.99/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From the bottle into my Delirium Tremens tulip glass. Yessir, the HopSlam is another pretty beer. Amber-apricot color with a nice creamy-looking head which, surprisingly, doesn't last too long. Minimal lace on the glass. The aroma here is phenomenal. It's like a piney citrus explosion in my nose, and I can't get enough of it. Truly a delicious scent. Reminds me of the 120 Minute in a way. Large and in charge. More beers should smell like this. The taste is great too. Fresh and hoppy, with pine, grapefruit, and pepper flavors. Noticeable alcohol presence here as well. Quite tasty indeed. Nice, smooth mouthfeel. Hoppy bitterness all down the back of the mouth and throat. Nicely done. I'm not surprised that it's over 9% ABV, but I wouldn't have guessed it. The alcohol is noticeable, as I said, but not overwhelming. This would pair nicely with a spicy Thai or Indian dish, and might even match up well with a strong blue cheese like Stilton. Another good beer from Bell's.

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Photo of shbobdb
3.79/5  rDev -15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5


First off, I want to say that I like two-hearted better. Actually, this beer seems *less* hoppy than two-hearted.

But that doesn't mean this beer isn't out-and-out amazing. The nose is a wonderful mix of hops. That distinctive fruitiness of english hops, a strong earthy presence, and a blast of citrus. The taste follows the smell . . . but they are balanced. It isn't slap-you-in-the-face. This is absolutely fantastic.

Yeah, one of the best DIPAs I've ever had, and the only one I would classify as sessionable. That works both for and against it.

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Photo of Atch
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass

Appearance: Beautiful burnt orange color, decent carbonation, very thin head that lasted shortly.

Smell: Tangerine and grapefruit, smells great

Taste: To me, a great interpretation of a DIPA. Hop assault.

Mouthfeel: The beer feels heavy on the palate and that citric hop burst just sticks to the back of your mouth.

Drinkability: For the high ABV it is deceiving. I would definitely have Hopslam again.

Overall, I love this beer. It's very quenching. Not so thick like some DIPA's. At $12.99 a sixer, unfortunately not an every day brew. But it backs up the addage; Drink better, Drink less.

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

Poured carefully into a nonic, trying hard to avoid mixing in the copious amounts of sediment in the bottom of the bottle (almost as much as some Belgian ales!). The result is a golden-amber hued beer with minimal carbonation streams and a vibrant, sudsy head of just-this-side-of-white foam, sticky and thick. Juniper-infused citrus juice blend in the nose: grapefruit, satsuma, blood orange. A coy sugary sweet scent sneaks around underfoot. The taste of this IPA is B-I-G: big candied orange peel malts and big citric hop bitterness. Grapefruit pith and pinetar candy in the middle. Sweetroll breadiness at the finish. Substantial mouthfeel, slippery but not yet syrupy -- always a plus in my book -- with a slight pepperiness all around. Not bitter enough to be outstanding (I'm picky about this style), but this is without a doubt an extremely fine DIPA. Would buy again. Many thanks to zrrbrrt for the opportunity.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.33/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received via trade with buckeyenation.
Nice hazy dark yellow body, huge white head. I can smell the citrus already. This is gonna wallop (er, slam)
Taste isn't as big as I thought it would be, but that's a good thing. Smooth transition from citrus, to pine, to a bit of sweetness, to dry and crisp. The citrus is mostly pomelo, some lemon and grapefruit, a bit of orange perhaps. This slam isn't as menacing as it seems. Unlike the DFH 120, this one is plenty drinkable.
I like this brew, I hope I can find it out here.

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Photo of oakbluff
4.54/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a wonderful clear light orange color (with the exception of the massive amount of floaties). Aroma is out of this world. Fresh pineapple and other tropical fruits. Good frothy white head and decent lacing. Taste matches the aroma- just an assault of fruits and hop flavour. No astringent bitterness whatsover. Just amazing- trust Bell’s to accomplish that. Along with the hops is a sweet malt back bone that gives a rich mouthfeel. I would say that this is a balanced DIIPA despite the hops. Exceptionally drinkable which would be very dangerous. I would love to try this on tap one day. Alcohol is absolutely hidden. Finish is a bit spritzy from the caronation but finishes clean somewhat bitter. Best IIPA I’ve had the opportunity to sample.

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

Pours an orange, golden color with some little floaters and a huge white head. The smell is what really draws you in to this one. Big and bold! Citrus and pine needles slap you in the face. Taste is just as big of a wake up call. Hops, hops, and more hops, of course! It's like someone took an orange and soaked it in pine-sol and threw it in my face. I mean that in a good way. Bombs the palate, but that's why I'm only drinking DIPA's tonight!

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Photo of lackenhauser
4.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Murky, yellowish sort of color. Good sized head. Healthy dose of yeast poured out of bottle. Big hop nose-extremely fresh-like newly mown grass. Fantastic hop flavor-like sucking on a cone itself. Great lingering grapefruit like flavors. Underlying sweet maltiness. Has one of the freshest hop flavors I have ever had-similar to Moylan's Hopsickle. Great body-very full yet extremely quaffable. Exceptionally drinkable and dangerously so. I just want to gulp down the hoppy goodness in this beer. Definately kicks butt!!!! Thanks to trep for this "extra" trade sample.

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Photo of Prufrock
4.22/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

hazy golden orange with some floating sediment. sticky half-inch layer of white head that leaves tons of lace.

aroma has a strong, raw hoppiness. hop components are a mix of grapefruit, mangos, pineapples, and a weedy, sneeze-inducing grassiness. hint of marijuana as well. slightly off-putting touch of aspirin, but otherwise a fantastic mix of abrasive hop aromas.

medium mouthfeel, surprisingly light for the alcohol content, with a medium carbonation. unexpectedly drinkable, with a strong hoppiness but a gentle, balancing, fruit and honey sweetness. aspirin component comes back in the finish. despite that, this is a very well put-together beer.

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Photo of frazbri
4.87/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

HopSlam from Bell's poured golden yellow in body, topped by a towering bright white head. Lace remained on the glass, after the ale was finished. The aroma was a powerful blend of grapefruit and pine with a hint or orange. Flavors included orange peel, grapefruit, bitternesss, and malty sweetness. Body was medium-full with medium carbonation levels, and the beer coated the tongue.

HopSlam is Bell's hop concerto. As hop-centric as this ale is, it's still incredibly drinkable. This one might scar the average bud drinker, but for the hopheads, this just might be nirvana.

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4.59/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A golden wheat orange hazy hue of a body hosts a fat bubbley off white head at about an inch and a half that fades fast and leaves nice lace. Nose is a monsterois hop explosion. Very floral and an invigorating eye opener with wiffs of fresh citrus and spicey pepper hints. Splashes the tongue with huge surprisingly sweet ripe citrus tones. Very hoppy but bitter is not harsh but silky and longingly enjoyable. This beer is its own hop masterpiece. Nice real hop, long and fresh mouthfeel. Oddly drinkable for such a mouth bruiser. Your tongue will never be the same.

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Photo of markgugs
4.63/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 12oz. bottle into a tall weiss glass (review from Batch 7690 - bottled late Oct. 2006)

A: An absolutely stunning-looking beer, all golden orange and cloudy. Forms an ample cream-colored head with massive amounts of lacing. A beaut!

S: Smells delicious too, you can tell there are centennial hops in this brew (and at 100+ IBUs, a lot of them). Strong sweet floral & grapefruit aromas, HopSlam makes my mouth water.

T/M: Not for the faint of heart, this is a massive DIPA, both in body, ABV & taste. Loads of sweet malts massage the tongue up front, only to quickly give way to a bruising level of juicy, bitter hoppiness. HopSlam is at once both thirst-quenching and hangover-inducing.

D: If I were say, inhuman, I would drink these all day and all night. Since I'm not, I'll say the reasonable limit is about 3-4 per night. Beyond that and you're risking severe intoxication, as this beer is far too easy to drink given it's 9.3-10% ABV.

Highly recommended, one of the few beers that absolutely lives up to its massive hype.

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Photo of ArrogantB
4.23/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle split with a buddy and poured into pint glasses. The color was a hazy orange with a small head. The smell was fruity and inviting. The taste was jam-packed with hops(what a surprise) but they were more fruity than bitter. The alcohol was perfectly hidden which made this go down quick. Very nice beer but I wouldn't buy it at $14 a sixer

01/23/2008 2008 batch

Excellent fruity flavors that dance across the tongue. This has a really awesome hop aroma and flavor. It almost reminds me of Maharaja. I'd buy a case if I could.

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

Andrew (orfeu) your the man giving this beer to me I thought I was gonna have to wait until May when Iam back home to try to get my hands on this.Poures a hazed peachy color with a tight well formed sticky white head,holy cow fresh hop aromas citrus fruit with underlying pine it really wakes up the sences thats for sure just amazing.Oh man just hop goodness here resiny but bright and flavorful citric fruitiness combined with pine/resin dryness just great hop balance....malt nowhere to be found but thats fine with me.Liquid gold here for a hophead its bright and flavorful with awesome hop complexity,again thanks alot Andrew this kicks serious arss.

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Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 4.46 out of 5 with 13,468 ratings