Hopslam Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

3,517 Reviews
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

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Reviews: 3,517 | Ratings: 12,949
Photo of funk_master_flex
4.58/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

First time enjoying this much hyped (but deserving) beer. Bought a 6-pack at Belmont Station in Portland, Oregon. I used my go to Avery 12 oz tulip glass to assess this beer.

Look: This beer pours a translucent golden, light orange color with a small white head that quickly dissipates. There are some light alcohol legs when swirled.

Aroma: Right up front you my nose gets smacked with pine and resin. There is some hint of grapefruit on the end followed by a very light wildflower/floral sweetness and caramel. As the beer warms up the boozy alcohol smell becomes much more apparent.

Taste: Again the taste is at first dominated by the pine with a very strong caramel malt backbone to support the somewhat aggressive bitterness of the hopping. As the beer warms up it becomes more sweet and boozy. Grapefruit and mango become more apparent as I continue to sip and there is definitely a discernible honey/wildflower sweetness that plays nicely with the hops. This beer actually becomes more enjoyable as it warms up and I am able to taste the honey much more near the end of the glass.

Feel: Low to moderate carbonation. Fairly light mouthfeel despite the strong caramel malt backbone. I think the honey thins this brew down a bit. Becomes increasingly thin as I drink.

Overall: I will echo the rest of the BA community when I say this is a world class IIPA. Wonderfully balanced with an assertive malt backbone that allows the hopping regiment shine through. This is also one of the few IPAs I have had that actually becomes more enjoyable throughout the drinking experience (and not just because of the 10% ABV). It is extremely drinkable for being 10%. I think the honey makes this beer even more enjoyable near the end of the glass. As the hop flavor dissipates the honey and floral tastes step up to the plate without coming off as cloying or overly sweet. First beer I've ever had from Bell's and I am very impressed.

I was able to try this beer on tap side by side with Pliny the Elder both on tap at Belmont Station last weekend which was not only highly enjoyable but also quite informative as to the differences between two world class IIPAs. This one seems to have a more assertive malt character that is enhanced by the honey possibly. Though I will say, Pliny may still have this one beat on hop character.

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Photo of Bluecrow
4.17/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

-bright, hazy amber can pour to glass. sugar and hop nose. The flavor is uniquely honey influenced and exceptionally smooth with a broad hop taste. This brew is neither juicy, nor dank or even like a good DIPA in the west coast style. This a unique and enjoyable offering, but not something I would purchase again given the local price.

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Photo of DarthVorador
4.42/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I been looking forward to trying this brew for a long time, & until this week nobody ever had it in my area....so you can imagine my surprise when I walked into my local grocer & they had several sixers on the self! I HAD to get it!
So here goes, the ever popular & hyped Bell's Hopslam Ale!
Poured from a can into my favorite pint Pilsner glass, freshness date 1/16/17...2 weeks old! Does not get much fresher then that!!!
A: Slightly hazed amber with a towering 3 finger snow white head that lingers long time...beautiful.
S: Floral, piney, dank hops goodness, with a sweet undertone...very nice.
T: Follows the nose with the hops, then a solid malt backbone balances it out right away. Light honey sweetness comes in at the end offering its assistance in the balancing act, & combined with the malt gives a valiant effort...but the hops win!
M: Lingering hoppy goodness leaves things on the dry side, with a bit of the 10% ABV coming through.
O: Bell's Two Hearted Ale is my all time favorite IPA, so I had high expectations for this well hyped offering, especially since I'm a big fan of braggots. Did it live up? Sort of...it's VERY good, don't get me wrong, but I wasn't as blown away as all the hype said I would be, especially considering the price & scarcity of it. Still, an excellent brew that I recommend trying at least once if you got the cash & can find it.

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Photo of The_Beer_Guru
4.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent beer! Taste is very hoppy with a balanced lingering sweet/bitterness due to the honey. Doesn't taste boozy at all, in fact I wasn't aware of the 10% ABV until after I drank it. Goes down very smooth, easy, and is awesome. I would definitely buy again!

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Photo of TripleSun
3.91/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

My first Hopslam so I can't comment on how it's changed over the years. Poured into a pint glass.

L - Autumn color with a clear-hazy kind of thing going on. Moderate head that doesn't overstay its welcome.
S - Honey comes through first, along a good pine scent.
T - caramel malt backbone, sweet mouthful and a hop punch.
F - Medium bodied

Overall it's a delightful brew but it get so much hate because of the price point and the hype. One 6-pack a year seems to be enough for me. It's good but not the ultimate beer that the name comes to.

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Photo of miniditka77
4.59/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

On one hand, I really like Hopslam. It's an odd bird though, it kind of challenges your expectations. It goes down like it's 5-6% ABV, when really it's twice that. Not sure how they do it, very impressive. Some honey sweetness and hop bitterness that is melded together perfectly into a beer that is very craveable.

On the other hand, I would almost prefer it to be 5-6% than 10% ABV. If I'm going to drink something with that much alcohol, I don't want it to go down easy. I want it to have some intense, complex hops that I can sip slowly and appreciate. I don't want to finish a 10% ABV beer and feel like I want to slam 3 more.

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Photo of CrimeDog
4.31/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

First time trying this beer...
I agree, big pine and grapefruit flavors and the caramel malty backbone is great...
However, it was a little boozier than what I was expecting. I know that it's a 10 percent beer but I feel like a Simtra has a less boozy taste than this.
I think this is a great beer, but I'm not sure I'm going to drive several miles out of my way again for this....

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Photo of SixpackSlim
4.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Been on my hit list for some time now. I was able to find a case at my local beer hub and I grabbed it all up as quick as I could. This IPA doesn't disappoint ... it's a must try .

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Photo of Terp96
4.15/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2017 from a can. Pours a deep amber with minimal head. Nice lacing. Smell is of sweet malt, slight bitter grapefruit and pine. Taste is exceptional. Grapefruit bitterness, malty and honey sweetness, and some piney bitter dry finish. Nice warming from the alcohol. A little boozier than I remember. Excellent.

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Photo of hopflyer
4.43/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally happy to get a sixer of this one.

Canned 01/16/17

Pours golden honey color with one finger head. Good clarity, not seeing any floaties or sediment. Head recedes to thin film.

Smell is not overly aggressive but has good dose of grapefruit, orange, cereal, and yes, I pick up the honey.

First taste is pretty sweet up front coupled with some citrusy tartness and bitterness. Can really feel the balance of the cereal sweetness and piney, citrus flavors. Some of the honey flavor comes thru too and it adds to the sweetness. Some caramel too, but for so much sweetness, the orangey and grapefruit flavors are in tune with all of it. Zero alcohol detected.

Heavier side of medium bodied, a touch syrupy and mouth coating but only a slight bitter aftertaste. Carbonation is ample for the body.

I really wanted this beer about six years ago when first getting into craft beers but never scored and stopped actively searching it out. Finally able to get some now that it seems some of its luster has faded. But I can see why people like it so much. Extremely well balanced and the honey adds a touch not normally found in the newer DIPAs. Maybe a bit overpriced but probably not so much considering it sells out so fast.

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Photo of Dhoadley
4.43/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This is an outstanding beer. There's just a hair more honey sweetness than I like in my IPA, but the citrus and piney tones balance it nicely. It really is a world class IPA. Enjoying tonight on draught in MI, home of Bells.

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Photo of Riff
4.54/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a copper orange color with about two fingers of white head that clings a little to the glass. Smells of malts, honey, floral notes, and citrus. Tastes of delicious. Very smooth, just a little hop bite to it, heavily citrus flavors, orange, mango, a little pine at the end, and a solid malt backbone to bring it all together. Well balanced brew. A little pricey for a six pack, okay maybe a lot pricey, but worth it.

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Photo of AZBeerDude72
4.6/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy gold with good foam and lacing. The smell is so nice, loaded with hops, sweet honey, pine, citrus. The taste is very very smooth, this is an IPA that I can really get into, very smooth hops and even pine bite, just a really well balance beer with nothing over the top all just working perfectly. I have to say this is one of my favorite IPA so far, just smooth and well balanced. The finish is mild and clean, very pleasing tastes and leaves you wanting another sip. Very nice beer.

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Photo of ItsRONman
4.23/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Much more floral than I remembered from a few years ago. Sticky/chewy, thick head, and the honey is odd to my taste buds but adds to the overall feel. The booziness of this beer is perfectly balanced out by the floral character and piney bite. It's solid to me mainly because it's a 10%er that doesn't lose much of its softness to the alcohol. It's big without being overwhelming. Awesome brew.

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Photo of FrancisSmooth
4.82/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Nice light color which doesnt usually scream the amount of hops that are in this one but it definitely packs a bunch. They honey really balances it out and I was happy to randomly try this in Charleston, SC.

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

12 oz Tulip
Look- Golden with a light head
Smell- Citrus, hops and sweet honey and light malt. Complex.
Taste- more of the same as the nose but very crisp. Flavors of citrus and hop start with a sweet honey aftertaste.
Feel- light bodied
Overall- Fantastic beer. For the ABV this beer is very light on hops compared to other IPAs. The honey and malt add a sweet aftertaste for a very good and complex beer. Definitely worth a try for any beer lover.

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Photo of thebeers
4.09/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Clear golden bronze with three fingers of off-white head. Leaves heavy lacing.

Piney, resiny goodness in the aroma when first cracked open, followed by a honey graham sweetness that has a relatively dry, powdery finish. Just a kiss of alcohol behind.

The taste has some of that same dry sweetness up front with a touch of tropical fruit added to the mix. There's clear alcohol throughout, with a mellow piney hop bitterness on the backend that slowly sneaks up on you.

Medium bodied, somewhat chewy, with a fairly strong astringency from the alcohol.

There's a lot going on in this one. Maybe a bit overhyped, but still excellent.

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Photo of DraconusDesanctus666
4.51/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz can package date 01/14/17,into a Cigar City spiegelau IPA glass.

Thick,creamy,slightly off white colored head,that stands just under 2 fingers tall.Beautiful lacing that sticks to the side of the glass.Hazy dark gold in color,with an almost orange hue.Medium clarity.Medium carbonation

On the nose I get citrus fruit notes,mango and grapefruit,along with piney hops,and some earthy malts.Maybe it's just me but I think I am getting some caramel,probably from the malts.

On the palate I get mostly bitter piney hops up front,backed by some citrus and some sweet malts on the back end to balance it out.Also getting some spices and floral flavors in the middle.

The body is on the border of thin,and medium with a good dose of oxidation on the tongue.Dry finish with a slightly chalky mouth feel.

This is a very good IPA citrus and pine on the nose,bitter hops on the palate,nice mouth feel.Not much to complain about on this one.

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Photo of Oopssorryy
4.33/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark gold, nearly amber, with a thick creamy head. The head was quite large in size, but fell quickly to form a thin white cap, slightly thicker at the edges. lacing is everywhere with this one. Completely clear, with a small amount of carbonation rising to the top. As always I get tropical fruit with these DIPAs, but the addition of honey makes this a real treat. I get undertones of grass, it's floral, piney, and bitter to go along with the fruit.

I get very little of the fruit flavors the nose promised. Instead I get heaps of pine, fresh cut grass, resin. This is the first beer I can truly call dank. I get hints of grapefruit at the beginning, and then right at the tail end, along with the honey sweetness. Right in the middle of the beer, it reminds you that it's not something to ignore, with a huge alcohol bite to accent and strengthen the piney flavors.

The beer is not as dry as I'd heard, with the honey helping keep the beer very drinkable. It's still very bitter, with the honey only there to help cut down on the bite. It's ABV is also not hidden at all, and a long with the high amount of carbonation I felt in the mouth, this beer was very light and thin bodied, but never in flavor. While IPA still isn't one of my favorite styles, I am glad I was able to try this giant of the craft world. I would buy again.

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Photo of Futbolmanby
4.3/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Look: Golden bronze in color 1 inch white thick head
Smell: big malt along with someone shoving and entire bouquet of wild flowers into ur nose
Taste: big malt, ethanol and than your chewing on flowers... and more flowers
Feel: big carbination, medium to heavy body... a big double ipa that's a little hard to drink past the first beer.

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Photo of BSiegs
4.22/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Can't believe I haven't reviewed this before. Orange to amber in color, moderately opaque. One finger of fluffy white foam with good retention. Aroma is floral, earthy, citrus. The taste follows, some citrus and pine from the hops. Big floral, herbal, earthy flavors. Medium-full body, moderate carbonation, creamy. Moderately bitter finish, with slight alcohol heat. Very good.

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Photo of BubbleBobble
3.66/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours deep orange into a tulip, two-inch white head, spotted lacing left behind. Smells of pine, resin, fruit woods, dried citrus peel. New leather and and iced tea mix. Taste is malt forward, followed by bitter (almost acrid) hops. Very strong black pepper on the tongue, almost overpowering. Nice mouthfeel, fine carbonation, smooth. Taste just doesn't do it for me, left with just a harsh, burned flavor to me. Will try again, though.

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Photo of slowhand50
4.52/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

First experience with Hopslam today. Big first taste, nice finish. Not alcohol forward like some 10 percenters. Starts strong and gets better in the glass. Deserving of its accolades.

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Photo of MacMalt
4.49/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Canned 1/11/2017. Poured into snifter glass. It pours hazy golden-amber with one full finger of foamy, bright-white head and lacing with nice retention. It smells of sweet malt, honey, peach, and pine. The taste is a wonderful blend of biscuit, sweet malt, bitter hops, honey, and sweet fruit. Rather than one taste at a time, it seems to all happen at once. It's absolutely delicious! This ale is medium-bodied with with a rather thick, creamy feel, with pleasant carbonation, and a punchy 10% ABV that gives it substance. Overall, this is superb DIPA, equally appropriate for casual drinking or paired with a good meal. It absolutely deserves its stellar reputation and world-class rating BA rating.

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Photo of goingbrokeonbeer
4.37/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This classic pours a golden orange color with a two finger head. Smell and taste are citrus, honey, a little pine, & sweet malt. Everything melds together well for a nice smooth double, easy drinking for 10%.

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Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.43 out of 5 based on 12,949 ratings.
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