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Hopslam Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

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3,443 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: 3,443 | Ratings: 12,622
Photo of everetends
4.44/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle thanks again to hwwty4 and served up in that DFH shaped pint. Well, been hearing quite a bit about this guy and now I have the honor. Lets do this.

A: Off to a not so good start. Pours a crystal clear amber that has some nice carbonation movement to it. Held to the light, a pretty nice golden yellow. The head is the bad part. Got a little less than a finge of white head, but it had pretty much zero retention. Fell to a thin white ring that left a bit of sloppy lacig on the glass. Problem is that it is not very sticky at all. Oh no!!!!

S: Smell is quite fantastic. Big turn around from the look for sure. The hops come out and in a big way. The heavy grapefruit presence is very nice. Then behind that comes a whole pine forest. The pine is oh so nice. Sometimes the pine can be too much but this is real mild but real present at the same time. There is a slight honey sweetness going on in the background but the hops are all over this nose. Nice.

T: Good Christ, HOPS. The hops go down pretty much the same way as in the nose. Big time pineapple goodness coming out with flesh, rind, and skin all over it. The pine cuts that with a sweet resin presence that is damned near perfect in the mix. The last bit of hops is a nice floral touch that rounds out all these flavors and really attaches well to the malt and honey flavors. Malt is light and this beer is no where near balanced, but the malt does push up nicely and tries to add some sweetness to this hop bomb. Very good flavor.

M: Medium bodied brew that has some nice carbonation to it, making this pretty big DIPA easy drinking. ABV, for being so high, is pretty damned nonexistant. Nice touch of hops bitterness and resin sits on the palate in the aftertaste. Sticky and oily slick.

D: For such a big ass beer, this is highly drinkable. The look was the only let down this beer produces. That smell, taste, and feel is damned near perfect and makes this a fine beer that stands with and higher than most DIPA I have ever had. God this is good.

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Photo of chaz410
4.77/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer on tap at the always impressive Common Market in Charlotte NC. The golden color is consistant with a beautiful white head that you just know is going to smell amazing.
No surprises here in the smell, just bliss. Super hoppy, very very floral. Notes of grapefruit, pine, and honey are brightly obvious. The smell is sweet and zesty with hops, can't wait for the taste!
The taste is so crisp and hoppy. The hops are very floral, sweet and not too bitter. This IPA doesn't numb up your tongue which I'm happy to report. The honey used in the wort cuts a lot of what would be very bitter flavorings and allows you to get all the flavor subtleness and clean floral character. Finishes with a great honey malt sweetness that lingers in the top of your palate along with a fantastic but not overpowering hop crisp pine and grapefruit sharpness.
Huge fan of this beer, grab it while you can and get it off tap if you can find it!

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Photo of bamadog
4.84/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Well, I could only justify buying a single of these bad boys and I've heard great things (albeit kind of scary things too. You know, things like, "After I drank a pint all I could taste was hops for the next two hours..."). I'm looking forward to it, but let's see if I would actually considering paying 17 plus dollars for a sixer. Here goes...

Appearance: A nice golden/light coppery color. A fairly thin 3/4 finger head (well, to the best of my judgment anyway) and it's fafdiing quickly. Looks very sticky though and as it dwindles I can see it sticking tight to the sides of the pint glass. Very light carbonation bubbling throughout.

Smell: Hops. Go figure. Smells very bitter and piney - overpowering as I would expect.

Taste: OK, definitely not what I expected. I really expected to be overwhelmed by hoppy bitterness, but am pleasantly surprised by how balanced this is with the honey sweetness. The hops are present, and you feel like they're trying to take over your whole mouth, but again, the balance is there. You can taste a slight pine in there as well. Simply amazing.

Mouthfeel: Sticky and oily - thoroughly coats your mouth. A very lively beer on the palate as well - feels almost prickly on the tongue. The stickiness seems to trail down the throat.

Drinkability: I'm convinced that this is an extremely exceptional beer. I now understand all the hype behind it. I don't know if I could justify paying the amount of money they want for it, but I honestly don't doubt that it is worth it. To those that can afford it, congratulations. I may have to pick up one or two more singles though before it disappears until next year. I'm a little concerned about the 10% ABV, so I definitely wouldn't drink more than one in an evening (but then again, I'm really a lightweight, so take that for what it's worth).

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

notes from 1/20/2011: won't change any ratings, still an excellent beer. just noting the nose while very good does not blow a person away and, more importantly, the pale malty sweetness is so intense it makes me wish for more bitterness to balance it out. back to back against double trouble, the founders offering seemed to bring enough bitterness to give it the edge in drinkability.

a 4 clear light golden apricot. almost no head, quickly to a ring, scattered spots of lace.

s 4.5 fresh green herbal citrusy hops. grassy/piney/fresh parsley-like. some sweetness is noticeable too. yeast rolls, water crackers. the sweet malts are becoming more predominant the more i inhale. the smell is similar to a 90 minute when you can find a 90 minute in good shape--but this smells better, fuller, fresher and less green. the hops also have that noble quality, so it's also reminiscent a SA imperial pilsner, but less one-dimensional and far less alcohol presence despite the higher abv.

t 4 this is one malty iipa. thick, smooth, and sweet. the hops are there in good quantity but are barely a match for the residual sugars. at first i detect no bitterness whatsoever, then a few little bites--nibbles really, until the beer starts to warm. (it better hurry up with the warming though, as every sip demands another, bigger sip.) in intensity, the hop aroma is like a 9, the flavor a 7, the bitterness a 3 or 4.

m 4 med-full bodied, syrupy, moderate carbonation.

d 4-4.5 insanely drinkable for 10% abv! i haven't had many beers this strong, but this is easily the most drinkable of any over 9%, even of any over 8%, that i've experienced. the back of the bottle says this is a "biting, bitter, tongue bruiser of an ale." don't think i can agree. it's more a sinful, sticky, hop candy of a dessert.

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Photo of redneckchugger
4.72/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

poured into my duvel tulip,
smells amazing, like i just stuck my face in a bag of fresh hops. Bar now the best nose of any beer i have ever had, i get tangerines, grapefruit, oranges, and lemon and lime, but sweet too, like citrus mixed with sugar.
Tastes the same as the nose but maybe a touch less intense, less sweet, more bitter and pithy. Don't get em wrongs its up there with the best dipas i have hod. I get the malt a bit, a sweetness that shows up mid-pallete, but its minimimal and i am fine with that.
overall a great beer, smooth mouthfeel, and drinkalble as hell.
once again bells brings the thunder.

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Photo of JonathanL7890
4.64/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my 99th beer review. YAY!
Thanks to Bgthang for letting us raid your stock of Hopslam. Maybe I'll share one of my beers sometime..
Pours a 3 finger billowy head. Color is a nice orangey straw color.
Aroma: super delicious! Smells like sweet hop candy. I wish they made cologne like this. Wow!
But wait it gets better!
The taste is awe inspiring. Super smooth easy drinking elixir. Just the right balance of malt sweetness and hops.
The mouthfeel is great. Just the right amount of carbonation and the malt backbone gives a silky mouthfeel.
Drinkability. incredible. In the dangerous territory. I'm kind of glad it's not available in Texas so I cant buy cases of this stuff and die of alcohol poisoning.

I though Pliny was the best but I think we have a new king in the DIPA category.

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Photo of Boehemyth
4.7/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewed out of a 12 oz. longneck bottle from the 2009 release and poured carefully into a 18oz. snifter. Translucent orange in color with a small head. Leaves ring of lacing on the glass. A surprisingly sweet smell for an IPA. The hops are only just detectable next to the grapefruit/honey aroma. Sweet on the nose and seems to oscillate between the sweetness of the honey and the bitterness of the hops. As you swallow, it slides smoothly down your throat and that sweet taste sets in for a few seconds, after which the hop taste takes over for good. This is one of the most flavor packed beers I have ever had, and I'm not just talking about hops! This is a perfectly balanced IPA on a level of greatness I didn't even think was possible. This will easily be one of my favorite brews of the year.

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

Doing a side by side vertical tasting here of a bottle of the winter 2009 batch and also a bottle of the fall 2007 batch that has been sitting in my cellar for about 13 months or so now Both were poured out of 12 oz bottles into mugs. The appearance of both are identical. Both pour a slightly hazy golden/copper color with a bit of an orangish tint. Has a nice foamy white head that doesn't stick around for long. Both settled to a nice surface coating within 5 minutes of being poured. Both had very good lacing. The 2009 one had aromas of hops are that were strongly present followed by some citrus and a bit of malt. The 2007 one had a very similar aroma, but the hops were aroma was not quite as dominant and a bit more caramel malt aroma came through. For the 2009 one, tastewise this bad baby is dominated by hops, followed by orange and a bit of lemon, rounded out by some toasted caramel malt. The 2007 one has a fairly similar flavor. Obviously the hop bitterness isn't nearly as present as in the 2009, instead the caramel malt flavor is upfront, followed by a citrus flavor and is rounded out with hops. The hops still make their presence know though. Both have a crisp, full bodied mouth feel with moderate carbonation. Easy to drink in a good way. Everyone should try this beer at least once! Can't way that one is better than the other, they are both great, but a hophead will probably like a fresh one more than an aged one.


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Photo of sjccmd
4.69/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: vigorous pour into a snifter yields a half inch head that quickly recedes to a lacing, dull copper with a white head

S: glorious hops! grapefruit, pine, citrus zest, and pineapple (which I have never really noticed before in an IPA), a hint of honey

T: more of the same but a little less exciting, but more of malty background, the honey is also a bit more noticeable, nice dry bite on the finish

M: the carbonation helps it bite, but it's not enough to keep it from going down silky smooth

D: it seems like most beers with 10% ABV ought to be considered "sippers"...but not so much in this case...

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Photo of ironlung
4.4/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks again to bb8189 for the chance to try this awesome hop-bomb!!

Pours a crystal-clear light orange w/ as much head as you'd like(depending on pour strength). Head leaves as soon as it came, but the lace sticks around for the long haul. Smell is just pure citrus hops, just with deeper fruiter notes than we get here out west. Taste is nothing short of outstanding, If your like me; and in love w/these wet coast hop-bombs you don't want to miss a chance to get your hands on the mid-west's version of this style. Kinda reminds me of a double-dog, sans honey. Drinkability on this one's not very high because it will screw you up! Overall I'm impressed w/ this beer and stoked I got my grubby paws on it!

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Photo of AdmiralDiaz
4.62/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle to my Rogue pint glass.

A: Messed up my pour and got a little too aggressive, lucky for me Natasharai poured one along with me so I could judge what the true head should have looked like. The positive thing that came out of my sloppy pour was that the head rose about an inch over the rim of the glass and held up wonderfully. From the correctly poured on there was about a one-finger off-white head on top of a copper semi-opaque body. Head has pretty good retention and some lacing. On my second review here, I got a great two-finger head with amazing retention and nice lacing.

S: Very strong scented, grapefruit, citrus, strong hops and a strong amount of pine.

T: Strong citrus hops upfront with a bit of honey that turns into a sharp grapefruit with a very flowery dry/bitter finish. Easily the strongest hopped IPA I've had. There's a small trace of malt but very little. I'm extremely amazed at how well the alcohol is masked in this 10%'er...I never would have guessed, there's only an alcohol trace in the last ounce or two.

Overall: Very happy that this lived up to the hype! Not too thick (in comparison to Maharaja and Unearthly) Very drinkable for the alcohol content, the most drinkable DIPA I've ever had. If you can get a trade for this It's worth it and if you're able to buy it, also worth the $15-18.

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Photo of abents
4.42/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly cloudy reddish orange with a nice white head that laces fairly well. Smells of, guess what?, hops. Huge floral and citrus, lemon, orange, grapefruit and pineapple.
Tastes likes hops, but in a pretty balanced way. The fruity sweetness works well with the bitterness of hops. I can pick out grapefruit, pine trees, pineapple and honey. Got a nice tang to it that makes this normally incredibly bitter style a nice refreshing quality to it. Very easy to drink for its abv and hop bomb qualities. Very nice brew, I'm not really that much of a hophead, but this is one I can easily enjoy. Wish it was cheaper.

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Photo of kasper
4.77/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a thick, murky amber with a short but tight orange-tinted off-white head that peels down slowly leaving sticky sheets of lacing.

S: Woah, loads of sweet citrus flavors -- almost smells like a wicked orange Tang. Some tangerine, butter shortening, orange rings, and tiny bit of pine. Underlying aromas are similarly sweet, and creamy akin cake shortening. The smell remains intense through the entire beer!

T: This is without a doubt the smoothest, most balanced, big IPA I've had to date. Rich and buttery malts up front with some sweet citrus, but these flavors implode down to a dry, piney finish that leaves your tastes buts with no question as to what kind of brew your drinking.

M: Smooth and silky with mild carbonation. Somewhat biscuity and rather palette coating. Quite enjoyable.

D: This is a huge find for me. This one really lives up to its hype. I think it's smoother than Pliny. Certainly a world class beer for its style. I have 5 left... Alcohol masked very well on the palette, but man does it creep up on you.

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Photo of TheMistler
4.25/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a slightly hazy amber orange. White creamy head displays great, sticky lacing. Whispy but substantial cap is settled on after nice retention.

Some sweet and malt notes hover in the background of the nose, with bright grapefruit leaping the fore. Biscuit malt. Honey.

Grapefruit is the primary hop flavor - or flavor in general, in fact. Some pine comes in, riding resin. Dough malt. While obviously weighted towards the hops, the sweet well balances the perfusion of fruity and bitter hop flavors. Some spice, grass.

A creamy feel, with some chewiness. Moderately thick, but with the spice working with the sustained if middling carbonation prickliness to keep things crisp. Oh, and when I heard that this brew is 10% I was floored. ABV is completely and utterly hidden.

So, the times being what they are, I couldn't justify dropping $18 for a sixer of a beer I'd never had, though I've heard good things. Now that I've had the opportunity to try it on draft, I might have drop the money for a sixer... and price a lot of places beforehand.

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Photo of sonicdescent
4.57/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to vwcraig for this one.

Pours a golden/copper color. Relatively clear. Off white head rather thin but does stick around.

Aroma is intense hops; as it should be. The hop scent is so intense that the citrus almost comes off as sweet smelling. Alcohol is well masked.

Tastes amazingly clean, while still being strong and pronounced. Not overly bitter and while it is obviously balanced toward the hoppier side of things, malt is present and this is not a bomb in any sense of the word. As for specific flavors, citrus hops are present (orange, pineapple), maybe some other fruits and resiny flavor. Very tasty and the alcohol is very well masked.

Mouthfeel is smooth with a light/medium body and medium carbonation. Not a particularly dry finish or really any alcohol warming.

Drinkability; I came in expecting a hop bomb or something akin to carbonated grapefruit pulp, but got a rather tasty brew. Shame it's so limited this year. Watch out for that alcohol content, it's a killer and a sneaky bastard.

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Photo of JimboHD2005
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured clear golden into a snifter. Slight to no head but wow, intense hop grapefruit hits instantly. First sip.. amazing bright citrus flavor hopiness. What comes to mind is biting into a red grapefruit. Leaves with a silky smoothness with slight carbonation. Amazing drinkability for the ABV. Great beer to satisfy the needs of the most demanding hop head. (Wish this was a year round offering)

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Photo of GCGrant
4.85/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Open bottle and smell...mmmm...Hops, lots of hops. Looks gorgeous in my glass. Orange-ish, brown. And that smell...damn!! First taste, hoppy grapefruit. That's all I can think of. Very smooth for the 10% ABV. Mellowed by the honey, I'm guessing. This tastes better than I remembered from last year. As a Hop Guy...this is heaven. I highly recommend this beer. Even with the hefty $17.99/6pk price. Remember...doing the math it's almost the same as $11.99 4pk and $5.99 for a 22oz. Rationalizing is an art.

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Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clearish light copper with a two-finger head that left lace on the glass. A mix of hops and some sweet malts in the smell. Medium-bodied with a huge hop bite that goes down smooth and finishes clean (I'm not used to that in a DIPA). I kept hearing about grapefruit in this beer and there is definitely grapefruit notes coming from the hops, for a drying yet also semi-sweet sensation. It is rather noticeable in this beer and I haven't had a DIPA that quite tasted like this. And while this along with sweet malts made for an interesting taste, the grape feeling wore on me a little.

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Photo of Tilley4
4.42/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler purchased at Roof Brothers in Paducah..Kane is the man!!

Much clearer than I remember it being... Clear and golden with a small head that lingers and lots of carbonation going on...

Huge pungent aroma of citrusy hops blast my nose again and again here....smells terrific! Juicy and delicious!

Yep, this is every bit as good as I remember... Loads and loads of juicy citrusy hops with a touch of sweetness from what I guess would be the honey... No booze til it gets a little warmer but that was right at the end...

This is scary drinkable for 10%! As in, pass out on the floor drinkable...extremely delicious brew...

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Photo of Fatduck
4.75/5  rDev +7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I love this beer, and it is SO amazing fresh. Syrupy, bitter, sweet all at the same time. This is one crazy beer.

Poured into my favorite mug, bright hazy orange, with a big fluffy head. Smells like citrus and grassy hops. Tastes the same but with a wonderful little bite of alcohol at the end. finishes sweet and goes down smooth. My only problem with this beer is that I cant drink it all night long, I just fall asleep.

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Photo of FLBeerGuy
4.92/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sampled on tap at Coasters in Melbourne.

Pours an amber color with a nice white head

Lots of hops on the nose, with some pine, citrus & honey.

Taste is amazingly smooth. Nice hoppy bitterness smoothed out by a slight honey sweetness on the way down. Alcohol, while 10% ABV, is well hidden.

A very drinkable DIPA, even with the 10% ABV.

What a nice beer. I've been reading a lot of the hype this beer has generated & I can say it's worthy of the hype. I don't say that about too many beers, but this one lives up to the hype IMHO.

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Photo of gabe23
4.19/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear golden color with a bright white head. It fades fast to leave a nice cap & laces wonderfully. Looks like a pint glass full of honey.

S - Grapefruit and pine needles. A little bit of grassiness and some floral notes, but the piney grapefruit is what socks you in the nose.

T - Clean citrus up front, closely followed by a nice mix of hop bitterness and honey sweetness. The finish is slightly sweet with a noticable alcohol kick.

M - A little thick on the tongue with medium carbonation. Just about right for a DIPA.

D - This is about as drinkable as an DIPA gets. Not overly bitter, and the alcohol isn't overpowering. Very nice beer, though it would be hard for it to ever live up to the hype.

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Photo of CHSLBrew
4.37/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottled poured into a snifter.

A-Light-amber brew with a slight hint of haze. Pale white head rises confidently, but the reduces quickly to nothing.

S-Strong grapefruit/citrus hoppiness with a nice underlying resinous hops. Hints of fruitiness mingle and play on the hop aromas.

T-A smack (or should I say slam?) of grapefruit and piney hops. Yes, ma'am, this is a hoppy beer. So much hop flavor that I really don't know what to do. All of this massive hoppiness is supported atop a bedrock of biscuity and almost semi-sweet maltiness and some smooth alcoholic flavors. Hop bitterness grabs my tongue at the first sip and doesn't let go, lingering straigt through the aftertaste.

M-Full body with a low-moderate carbonation. Very smooth, at times this beer feels almost sticky with hoppy resins in my mouth.

D-A great DIPA. Suh-WEET! This beer has a smoothness to it that makes it a very enjoyable beer to consume and appreciate.

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Photo of Keith238
4.27/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle with no bottling or drink by date.

Pours with moderate amount of head and leaves a nice lacing.

Sweet aroma with less hops in the nose than in the taste.

Fantastic hop flavor which is well balanced by the honey. You still get a nice citrus/grapefruit flavor and a nice splash of pine.

Moderately carbonated which makes for a smooth mouthfeel. That combined with awesome flavor make this one highly drinkable. It would be a '5' on drinkability if not for the 10% ABV. That takes this one off the list of session beers.

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Photo of Traquairlover
4.42/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This reminds me a lot of DFH 90-Minute IPA.

12-oz bottle poured into a tulip pint glass.

A = Clear amber color, small yellow off white head with decent lacing.

S = Fruity hops, fair amount of pine but also some grapefruit rind. Underlying those flavors are definite malt and honey notes, all in good balance.

T = Rich complex flavor, with strong bitterness but also lots of sweet flavors so it's not just simple hops bitterness. The grapefruit in the scent is there in large amounts and the pine from the smell continues into the taste, too. However, there is also a healthy addition of sweet, full soft breakfast muffins. Very good balance.

M = Full bodied with nice foaming carbonation.

D = Very drinkable. Goes down smoothly. Strong enough that one at a sitting is fine, but I look forward to more of these on other occasions.

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Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.44 out of 5 based on 12,622 ratings.
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