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Hopslam Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

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3,445 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: 3,445 | Ratings: 12,643
Photo of WakeandBake
4.64/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear orange poor with a small offwhite head and a little lacing. Aromas of grapefruit zest, oranges, peaches, pepper, pine, creamy caramel and hoppy. Sweet start but the bitter peppery bitterness hits you big time right at the end. Slightly sweeter than most IIPAs. Alcohol is present but far from overwhelming. Smooth, creamy and velvetty mouthfeel. Taste is very citrusy and very hoppy as well. Tastes amazingly fresh.As it warms the flavor changes to a very nice sugary grapefruit. Very Good.

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Photo of midnite2sixman
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour: Light orange in color with a lot of lacing and a frothy head.

Smell: Citrus blast along with the obvious Hops. Lots of pine. A bit of fruitiness too.

T: Smooth and even despite being so hop heavy. Quite a delight to drink. Cannot get over how easy this is to drink.

M: Too easy, and too smooth for a beer this potent.

D: Heck yes. Drink it and drink it often.

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

10oz. pour at the midnight release at Bryant Lake Bowl. Walked in to have a tasty app and a beer and found out this was happening so I had to stick around.

Appearance: Hazy dark orange with gold and red hues, quarter inch white head with decent retention, and medium lacing.

Smell: Resinous hops with all the citrus aroma you could ask for but more complexity than one would think. First the expected grapefruit and pine, but then some grassiness, and finally sweet malt smell. Can't wait to dive in.

Taste: This is truly one hoppy M F'er. It starts with a bitter bite, let's you taste some of those delicious fruit flavors the aroma promised, and then comes back to kick you with hop bitterness again, finishing with slight heat from the alcohol. Also in the background is the grassiness detected in the smell but it's hard to notice at first because of the initial hop attack. Candied grapefruit, orange, and lemon come to mind and are the dominant fruit flavors but for some reason I feel like I can taste grape or cherry in there, odd but delicious.

Mouthfeel: Plenty of carbonation, medium body (for a DIPA), bitter bite throughout, and alcohol heat at the end.

Drinkability: This is one to be careful with. It's so good that you'll want more and more but two glasses and you're easily past tipsy.

Overall: The way that Two Hearted opened my eyes to craft brew and IPAs, Hopslam opened my eyes to more extreme beers and DIPAs. I have plenty to thank Bell's for. I've had lots of DIPAs since my first Hopslam but it still sits as one of my favorites. Try this beer.

*Note: It's hard to recall but I feel like this tasted a little more earthy/grassy than last years. Maybe this is fresher than I had ever tried it last year, either way not a bad thing. I'd be curious to find out what kind of hops they use, if I had to guess a couple I'd say centennial is in there and maybe amarillo or cascade.

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

Purchased in a six pack from Wayne's Deli in Muskegon. Drank out of a Duvel tulip. Waited 2 weeks to finally buy it.

Look: Orange/Light brown with a little frothy head. Foam stays around the edge of the glass until completely consumed.
Smell: When I opened it, I could smell it from two feet away. This is the best smelling beer I've ever smelled. EVER. Smells heavy of hops and pine. Smooth smell.
Taste/mouthfeel: Delicious hops that mirrors the smell. This is the best "extreme" hops beer I've ever had. Quenches your thirst. Also has hints of pine and citrus. You can't taste the alcohol at all.

Overall: Just as awesome as I remembered it last year. Unbelievable brew. Sucks that it's only out one month a year but I guess it makes the taste even more desired. If you haven't tried it. GET IT NOW! Get it fresh. This definitely holds up to its status as one of the top beers in the world. So lucky to come from Michigan.

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Photo of sacullen
4.28/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ahh, my first Hopslam. Batch 8907 bottled on 1/6/2009.

A: Pours a clear, dark orange color with a thick white head that stays around. Laces the glass well.

S: Smells of pine and grapefruit.

T: Tastes like it smells. The hops are not overpowering, though they make their presence known. The honey is difficult to taste but tames the hops for balance.

M: Medium mouthfeel, slightly oily that coats the tongue and keeps the taste in the back of your mouth.

D: Easy to drink more than one, but be careful. No way to tell it's 10% in either the aroma or taste.

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

Had to share my only bottle with my neighbor. Pours an amber golden color with a thick white head that laces the glass perfectly. Smells of brilliant grapefriut citrus hops with a touch of apricot and malt. Freshly cut citrus comes to mind. Absolutly the best smelling beer on earth. Tastes of citrusy grapefruit with a perfect touch of honey. Brilliantly balanced. Mouthfeel is great but drinkability is low due to being so high in alcohal.

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Photo of gdfan47
4.55/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A-pours a nice yellow with a touch off of white head and a little lacing
S- hops, spicy , hops, a touch of pot, faint faint honey smells
T- like hops, no skimping here, for a midwestern brewery they really got the west coast mentality, a touch of citrus fruits, very fresh tasting, its def a pleaser for fans of hops
M- nice carbonation, the hops def win over the malt
D- wow 10 percent, kinda hard to detect the higher abv , goes down way to smooth

enjoy but be careful, its a 10 percent abv beer

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

This is it...round two of a Grand Slam! Last year's batch, #8283 was my first encounter with this luxurious, liquid libation. This year's batch, #8908 is all about consistency, strength amid weakness, and forbearance against a long, cold winter. Following last year's release, I managed to round up the remaining several 6 packs in close proximity of La Crosse as well as 4 additional ones from Eau Claire. This year, I made a point to special order two cases of the Slam.

Last night, I opened on of my two remaining batch #8283's. This was 365 days from initial bottling. Today, #8908 awaits my unworthy lips. Packaged January 5th, it's a wonder it arrived in WI within days of bottling.

One unique aspects of this beer is the label. An all green (hoppy) background contains three giant hops concealing what must be a stallwart individual. Beneath the hops, laid out flat on his back is a brutus of a man. Check out the two arms. Not the hairs. Check out the feet. Size 12-13, to be sure. The batch number is conspicuously printed on the side of the label. Go out to www.bellsbeer.com and enter the batch number.

Original Gravity: 1.087
Alc. by Volume: 10.0% - 280 Calories

Get ready...this is a "A biting, bitter, tongue bruiser of an ale. With a name like Hopslam, what did you expect?"

Presentation: Typical brown glass, 12 oz bottle. The cap tightly sealed, gasped as I popped it open, wondering why it's owner waited so long. I retain the Bell's impronted cap and added it to my wall of fame. This is a keeper.

Appearance: - This beer pours to a light orange pineapple colour with a delightfully busy swirl of hoppy bubbles. Perfect carbonation, as I've seen from mostinf not all of Bell's beer. A nice, 1.5" dirty but thick creamy head lasts forever. Catching the light, a slight yellow hue glances at me, tempting a sudden engagement.

Smell - A stalwart grassy, citris nose, comprised mostly of watermelon, grapefruit and pineapple. a after scent of mango, perhaps sits just aside of the main rise. The tone of this beer is sensual, espeially considering the blast of hops that awaits the tase. I can't imagine a better nose.

Taste - This is the bomb. It starts semi-sweet, almost candy-like but quickly ascends to a much stronger, multi-dimensional flavourful hop-ness. The flavor is big and juicy and very fruitful. A bit peachy, not at all a dry bitter hop, but wet. Notes include grapefruit citrius. The hops build after the first sip for an interminable period of time, eventually softened by the honey intermingled with the hops. The balance is awesome, softly taking one from that bitter hop experience found in the height of Ashbury Park to the calm, solitude of Arlington. Fallen soldiers don't exist here, only satisfaction, pure and simple.

Mouthfeel - This beer has a great mouthfeel, just a tad past medium with a thick, but slippery texture. The malt firmness structures this beer perfectly to suspend the delivery of the hops in a steady blast from start to finish.

Drinkability - This beer's depth of flavor and beautiful hop flavor is so well balanced (did I say balanced?) that one wonders how the label can be so misleading. Unknown to the casual drinker, this "biting, bitter, tongue bruiser" can easiliy sneak up on the drinker, rendering them useless to operate any tpe of machinery. This occurs, not due to the hops, but the awesome drinkability, whilst the 10% alcohol hits. I've found that, two bottles per night means an early bed time, but a great time getting there.

I'm going to enjoy the two cases tucked away in a cool place. 48 bottles means one bottle per week until next January.

Thanks for sharing, Larry Bell.

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Photo of DrewOSU
4.32/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, served in a tulip, purchased at Belmont Party Source in Dayton, OH. Batch 8913, bottled 1/12/2009. Fresh!!

A: Poured a darkish orange to a very light amber color. ΒΌ inch head on initial pour, disappearing quickly to almost non existent. A small amount of watery, thin, white lacing that does not stick very long. Glass is totally clear of lacing after finishing.

S: A very pale nose with loud citrus notes. Subtle pine and slightly sour fruit qualities as well.

T: Initial malt taste, followed by a "slam" of dry accented pine, hoppiness. The aftertaste is all oily, bitter hops on the tongue and roof of the mouth. There was a lighter alcohol presence than I expected for being a 10% APV, however you can definitely detect it in the aftertaste. The alcohol seems very balanced or just overpowered by the immense hop taste.

MF: Medium body, very wet and slightly oily.

D: With the big hops and the high APV, there is no way I could drink more than one of these in a sitting. However, the bottle I did have was excellent from start to finish.

I first had Hopslam on tap at Dilly Deli in Marimont, OH last year, but I was excited to sit down and actually analyze it deeper this time around. I found this beer to be surprisingly easy to drink, but a total pallet killer all the same. It has taken me a while to do this review as new things come to me each time I take a drink. This is a very complex beer for a "hop bomb".

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Photo of beveritt
4.97/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Presentation: Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into an Imperial Pint glass. Label depicts legs and arms sticking out from underneath a large hop flower. Batch #8907, brewed on January 6, 2009 and sampled 10 days later.

Appearance: Pours with 1 1/2 fingers of nearly white head. Settles slowly into a very dense foam. Medium amount of lacing. Beer itself is golden with occasional bubble of activity. No sediment in the bottle.

Smell: Overwhelming floral hops with honey sweetness in the finish. More flower like than the traditional citrus or pine aromas from most dry-hopping.

Taste: Mouthfilling floral hops which fades almost imperceptibility into a strong hop bitterness. The full progression of hop flavors, from dry hopping ,through flavor hops, to the bitterness of isomerized humulone.

Mouthfeel: Average carbonation level. Body is great.

Drinkability: Awesome. Unlike any other IIPA/DIPA I have ever had. A truly unique experience.

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Photo of DIM
4.52/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Not much to say about this that hasn't already been said. Click on the highest reviews and picture me nodding in agreement. It might be through the power of suggestion, but I love the honey sweetness in this one. Some DIPAs have a "rough" sweetness. The honey, though, seems to smooth things out instead. I love this one. Just a fresh citric blast, hell yeah!

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Photo of bowersdm
3.08/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a german pilsner glass. This beer was fresh from the distributor

A - rust color with a 2cm head.

S - sweet, with the usual floral, citrus notes of hops (I'm new to hops, so can't really go into detail about them.)

T - sweet beginning and then a ton of hops are shot at me. whoa! That's a lot of hops. Too much for me, I think. Again, floral and citrusy.

M - it's a fresh Bells beer.

D - too many hops for me. I may have jumped to the DIPAs a little too quickly.

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Photo of xfactor9600
4.12/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this one from a 12oz brown bottle into a stemmed tulip glass.

A= A hazy orange color, not entirely clear.

S= A wall of hops greeted my nostrils with a slight hint of citrus.

T= Sweet but invigorating hops. Packs quite a bite.

MF= Well carbonated which contributed to the bite of the beer.

D= My first ever bottles last night. Thoroughly enjoyed it. I wish the price point was better.

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Photo of spointon
4.8/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I poured this one from a 12oz brown bottle into a stemmed tulip glass.

A= This ale poured a mildly hazed orange-gold color with a 3/4" mostly white head that dropped to almost zero rather quickly. Decent web of thin lace down the glass.

S= Aromas of biscuity pale malt, a pinch of caramel malt, and loads of west coast hops (one or more of the 4 C's play a big part here). Hops provide the classic pine/citrus notes and blend incredibly well with a big alcohol presence that somehow doesn't ever seem "hot".

T= Simply sublime. Things start off with a rich and heady maly sweetness, followed by a drier biscuity note, then the hops came in and swept all hint of malt aside with a beautiful rush of bitter hop oils, tangy citrus, and puckering pine. The finish was mildly dry with an alcohol presence that was there but not unpleasant in any way.

MF= Medium bodied with a moderately crisp feel. Slightly slick and oily on the tongue.

D= Wow, this is every bit as fantastic as I remembered it. I could go on and on, but suffice it to say that this was delicious and I will drink as much as I can possibly attain while it is fresh. Very drinkable and damned dangerous as it hides its alcohol well. You need to get some!

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Photo of brushtachio
4.94/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Vibrant orange pour with decent head and beautiful lacing smeared Dali-like by the boozy legs produced in the sides of the snifter.

Smell is so amazing, I wish I could give it a 6. Pineapple, grapefruit, green apple, with a component of dank, grassy kind bud.

Taste has a sweet counterbalance (must be the honey) to the hops that kick in immediately upon sipping. Floral, citrus hops with a Puckering bitter finale.

I believe the hype. This is truly a unique DIPA. Not the most bitter hop bomb but a truly well crafted ale.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.92/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a golden orange color with a white head. The aroma is hops, hops and more fresh hops with some malt and a touch of alcohol in the background. There is a lot of grapefruit and other citrus in the aroma from the hops. The taste like the aroma suggests is dominated by the fresh citrusy hop flavors. There is also a solid malt backbone, but it is overshadowed by the delicious hop profile. The drinkability is extremely high for a brew of this caliber, however it is probably not a good idea to drink more than a couple of these in one sitting. Overall, this is a solid DIPA that is probably my favorite beer IPA/DIPA category. Highly Recommended.

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Photo of paco1029384756
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden color with one finger of white head and plenty of carbonation.

Scent of honey, sugar, strong hops, and a bit of alcohol. Less hoppy than I had anticipated, but there is still a satisfying amount of it, as well as a great balance.

Taste of strong hops, honey, citrus, and a hint of alcohol. Finishes with a lasting hop flavor and a bit of grain. This is more like it, a very hoppy Imperial IPA that doesn't have too much hop punch or too much alcohol, I love it.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and lively.

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Photo of cnally
4.44/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

golden look with a nice lacing head.

amazing, floral, sweet scent. hops all over the place, but it is so smart and strong it is beautiful.

malty hoppy flavor all over this one, great balance of flavors. smooth hop finish.

heavy and destructive mouthfeel. dry in spite of its balance.

overall, a fantastic ale. the honey is not even worth mentioning, since the hops are so perfectly powerful.

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Photo of Bejogle
5/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

After trying soooo many beers on the best of BA list and being disappointed time after time by the hype, FINALLY there's a beer that blows my mind.

A: Pours a beautiful amber color with a 2 or 3 fingers of head.

S: Jesus. I don't know if it's the honey or what but this beer's smell is indescribable. It's similar to the smell of Nugget Nectar, only more intense and a bit sweeter.

T: "Tastes just like it smells....DELICIOUS" - Dave Chappelle. Unbelievable blend of hoppiness and sweetness, with almost no alcohol burn at all. As close to beer perfection as I've ever tasted.

M: Just the right amount of body. It's not so thin that you're wondering if you're drinking dasani with food coloring in it, but it's not so thick that you feel like you just liquified a turkey.

D: 10 percent?? Are you kidding? It drinks like a session beer, and as such is quite dangerous.

Overall, the best beer I've ever had period. I'm a mid atlantic guy, so my craft beer foray began with Troegs. Nugget Nectar was my mecca, and this just expands on everything that was.

Well done.

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Photo of drgonzo3705
5/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: A beautiful light copper color with a quickly diminishing head.

S: Piney, citrusy, and hoppy mmm.

T: Just like it smells. Absolutely marvelous! Mostly Pine with a little citrus and a slight malt backbone.

M: Oily and sticky with a nice medium body.

D: I know the ABV will catch up to me eventually but I'm drinking the shit out of this until it does! About as close to Pliny as us Eastern guys will get. A pure masterpiece!

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Photo of htomsirveaux
4.12/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle.

2008 vintage (I think) tried July 2008.

Medium sized yellowish head, lightly carbonated. Just slightly hazy bright amber color. Very fragrant, hoppy, sweet, pineapple, green grapes, earthy. Starts very juicy, a lot of pineapple, peaches, fairly sweet. Medium body. Up until the end, reminiscent of a fruity white wine. Then the finish comes on strongly and deliciously bitter and lingering. Alcohol is notiecable but hidden. Overall a very good beer, would get this again.

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Photo of psunate
4.9/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the great Brass Rail Beverage. Literally had the first 2 drafts off of a fresh tap thanks to Cisco.

A: Pours a beautiful yellow/orange color with a fluffy white head and fantastic lacing throughout the tasting.

S: maybe the best smelling draft beer ever...you can pick up on the hops, with delicious pine and citrus odors as well as the solid sweet malt and honey background.

T: In a word, incredible. Pine and citrus hops up front with an absolutely perfectly balanced malt and honey sweetened background that makes this DIPA balanced in every sense of the word.

Overall; this is the best IPA/DIPA I've ever had on draft without a shadow of a doubt. The 10% ABV is well-hidden. Hopslam is pefectly balanced and well worthy of its hype and praise...Fantastic in every aspect. Again, certainly in my mind and taste buds the best IPA/DIPA I've ever had on draft.

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Photo of Mauerhan
3.68/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

so cracked this with patronwizard olieipa and aimstatus. excited about this.

pours a butterscotch gold. with a one finger creamy head. clearish.

smell is strong on citrus. malts.

taste is very malty. old. past its prime. i think i need to try this beer fresh.

its a good beer. but im not really feeling it right now. so this is a shitty review so sue me. i want a fresh one.

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Photo of OlieIPA
4/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to Mauerhan for sharing this beer with me.

A: A nice mix of copper and orange colors with a somewhat decent head. A little murky in appearance...but a good looking beer.

S: Smells a little old; malty with a subtle amount of hop character. I also pick up a citrus quality...orange perhaps?

T: After finding out that this particular bottle was released almost a year ago, I'm suprised that the hop character is still present...but the malt profile is a bit too strong for me to really enjoy. I don't feel "Hopslammed" from this beer at all.

M: Little carbonation with a decent amount of body. Nothing too special.

D: Good. Alcohol is hidden very well and the flavor profile is quite nice.

Overall: I don't think I'm doing this beer justice, since I'm having a one-year old bottle...but I do think this beer may be a little over hyped. Worth a try if you are given the chance. A try it beer. Cheers!

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Photo of aggiearcher13
4.59/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into a pint glass. Not much for head, a nice golden orange color to it.

S: Pine and citrus, very very nice, what a great aroma. Makes my mouth water. Probably the best smelling IPA I've had.

T: Not as bitter as I anticipated. Bitter throughout, some sweetness from the honey, and the funkiness from the Bell's yeast.

M: Slightly thin, but good and well carbonated. Keeps the drinkability up. Must remember it's 10% abv.

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Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.44 out of 5 based on 12,643 ratings.
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