Hopslam Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

3,518 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: 3,518 | Ratings: 12,950
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.47/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a translucent, orangey body with a full, foamy white head.

Smell: Wow, they ain't kidding. Redolent scent stinking of fresh grapefruit, pineapple, and passion fruit.

Taste: Malts are obscured, perhaps rightly so, by the extreme hoppiness. Tons of intense, juicy fruit hop flavors with a moderate kick of bitterness. The 10% abv is very well hidden. Bittersweet finish with a lingering tropical fruitiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Distinct oily juiciness to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Extremely hoppy, but it still displays a relatively good balance.

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Photo of prototypic
4.47/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: It arrived a clear, golden color. Head had somewhat dissipated, but a solid coat of lace lined the glass as it went down.

Smell: Excellent mix of big, piney hops and citrus scents (grapefruit, mango, and perhaps pineapple). Caramel malts are noticeable, but are clearly overwhelmed by the hop aroma.

Taste: Hops are extremely strong and bitter. They predominate, but citrus sweet flavors and a bit of caramel malts are noticeable. Alcohol blends very well and barely noticeable in taste. Nice, dry finish.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's medium bodied and carbonation is very good. At nearly 10% abv, it's strong, but extremely smooth and drinkable. Due to its strength, I wouldn't have more than one or two in a sitting. Overall, this is a fantastic beer. Nice to find it on tap at Brews.

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Photo of Drew966
4.32/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bell's HopSlam pours dark orange with a thin white head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. There's no mistaking the aroma, it's hops, citrus, especially grapefruit stand out. The flavor is the same, all hops all the time. Citrusy and once again grapefruit like. A hopheads delight. Recommended.

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Photo of Natural510
4.89/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5


Bumping up the scores after having this on its 11th day of bottling. Simply amazing aroma & flavor....layers of syrupy pine, honeysuckle and jasmine.
Besides, I was a DIPA noob when I reviewed this three years ago.

Original review 02-18-2008:

Pours a nice golden-orange color from the bottle, with a nice head which quickly dissipates.

Smells sour (in a good way) and citric, closely resembling lime. Also smells very grainy, likely from the hops. Very interesting & inviting.

The first taste is a powerful twang of grapefruit, with hops creeping in slowly but surely. I expected the hops to overwhelm the brew, but they merely make themselves the star with a solid backing by other fresh flavors.

Tho the head is not retained, it stays highly carbonated, and the extreme bite from the hops keeps the brew very lively in the mouth.

Despite not being the biggest hop fan, I found this surprisingly smooth & drinkable. The hops bounce off the tongue without killing you with their presence. I much prefer this hop-head beer to, for example, the Sierra Harvest Ale, which I found hard to drink.

If this beer is sold in your area, pick it up fast! while it still lasts.

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

I picked this one up the Headkeeper in Greensburg last Friday, after being given a sample from the head chef. I consider myself a big fan of super hoppy beers and figured that it was definitely worth a review.

It poured well into my crystal snifter a copper read with about an inch of foamy white head. There was evidence of lacing on the inside of the glass. The nose was sharp with an over-abundance of hops and citrus notes. The taste was bitter, but not over-whelming and sweet with the addition of honey. With an ABV of 10% this is definitely not a session beer, but more adequately a night cap. Kudos to Bell's for such a fine ale.

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Photo of bxbeerdepot
4.69/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A.. Goldenrod in color (a little darker than most dIPA's) pure white head with a little lacing.

S...Wow, piney citrus floral explosion

T... This is it, the best beer I have ever tasted (note that I am a hophead). This is how double IPA's should be judged. Rumor has it that this is brewed with honey and it is possible that this may lead to the incredible balance this beer achieves. The malt to bitter ratio is incredible.

M.. effervescent and much lighter than I expected for a 10%'er.

D...Careful this beer is deceiving, it is certainly not alcohol apparent .

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Photo of hchinaski
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft @ Bottoms Up Pizza 2/16/08

This beer pours a beautiful light amber color, medium head with a light, lingering carbonation.

The smell is all hops, baby, and the first taste is a mouth-buster. The hops are almost overwhelming, but settle down into an unbelievably smooth finish.

Slightly creamy mouth to the finish, this is defniitely a sipper-due to abv and the taste-bud-blowing hops, but i could definitely go for another one tomorrow.

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

Dark orange and hazy in color. Small head that doesn't hang on long but a decent about of bubbles (not too many but not too little) stick around the edges and a clean even lacing on the glass (note: I hardly ever mention lacing on these little blurbs but this is Hop Slam. Every little nuance is part of it's charm). The smell is VERY sweet and sour citrusy tang, one of those marihootchie strains that's got it's own name, a walk in a northern Michigan woods on a nice late spring day and a understated malt backbone. Upfront in the taste grapefruit. Before I go any farther if you don't like grapefruit-this isn't for you. Personally though, they're part of my breakfast at least twice a week so I'm right at home having this as the evenings night cap. That dry sour that gives you pucker power. There's definitely a combination of at least a few different hops given this a distinct character. Crisp with a nice medium body in the mouth. Leaves a slight sting on the tongue that lingers but down the throat is smooths all out with the honey and the malt giving a warm sweetness in the finish with a bit of alcohol burn to remind you that this is over 9% abv and 106 IBU's.

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Photo of PhageLab
4.77/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Epic. I'd say that's the one word that can do this beer justice. Onslaught would have also been acceptable, but that's besides the point. I poured this one into the Duvel sifter and let it sit for about fifteen minutes while I let it warm and took in the aroma.

A - Pale tangerine coloration which settled to a murky golden orangle with a slight glow. Thin head, decent retention and lacing. Looks like some sort of potion.

S - Gorgeous aroma of peaches, apricots, and hops. You could turn this into a perfume scent Bell's!

T - Addicting hop blast and I do mean addicting. Nice citrusy backing with tons of different fruit notes; apple, grape, peach, grapefruits, and probably more. All of this carries over into a sweet aftertaste. There is a good malt backbone but it doesn't (thankfully) interfere with the hop potency.

M - Warming full body, which is the only part of this brew that even hints to the abv, low carbonation level, dry finish, sweet aftertaste.

D - Anytime anywhere. Watch out though, this one will sneak up on you and brutally beat you BMTH style. This is probably one of the most amazing beers I've ever had. Reco without a doubt.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.32/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz received in trade from jdoncbus ... I had one.. my trading partner had the other ... we both thank you John. Mine poured into my New Belgium snifter.

2 finger head ... leaves spotty but clingy lacing ... hop hazed dark gold/light orange brew.

Aroma is abundantly citrus zest ... smells literally like somebody squeezed an overripe grapefruit into a nicely malted brew.

Flavor is ooohhhh so balanced.. very nice citric/grapefruity hoppy profile... Again.. tastes very fresh. Just enough bitterness to strap down the middle of the road pale malt sweetness.. a little crystal but no caramel. Light/medium body with nice carbonation. Drinkable doesn't describe it... I want a never ending keg .. I could enjoy this one every day and always find something to key on.. something to make me enjoy just being lucky enough to have this as an everyday beer.

Per Steven .. "this is a Great beer ... this is a sittin in the sun floatin the river beer." He is right ... and it is still fantastic when the cold wind is blowing in Boise.

Another big props to trader jdoncbus... John we must again work something out... Now I just wish I had access to all the fantastic hoppy wonders you do... lucky bastard.

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Photo of Dotcubed
4.67/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was eager to try it as I'm falling for hoppyness. Luck was on my side when it showed up at a place I don't normally shop. Expensive at 12.99 but it was a birthday purchase. Maybe 29 is the year I get serious about type face reviews and no more scratchy notes.

This is a beautiful color, honey in a clear jar, the turbidity is aweinspiring. Topping in a nice lace, the aroma of the ripest yellow pineapple makes me think of an awsome spicy pulled pork sandwich I don't have.

It seems less intense than the five I had before it(as the weeks progressed)but bitter. I like the lasting smooth edge. It has a tidy an neat package in store; warm alcohol, sweet malt, and a nice blunt hop. It's a bit aggressive.

I can't say I'd drink it all the time; It's expensive, it's pummels my pallet, and I cant eat spicy food all the time.

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Photo of madtowndmb1
4.42/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice cloudy amber color. The smell really reminds me of pineapple juice with a hint of hops in there. The taste isn't what I really expected. I expected more of a Smuttynose IPA type beer. The taste was pleasant though, tasted sweet like a fruit juice with the hop bitterness. Extremely easy on the mouth, no bite at all. not sure I'd want 6 in a row, but 2 or 3?, definitely

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Photo of joepais
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to MuenchenerKindl for hooking me up on this one

Bottle poured a nice copper with a white head that leaves quickly

Tons of piney hoppy aroma but along with that some nice sweetness

Great crisp almost snappy mouthfeel thinking about doing some hot wings with my next few

This one is well balanced for a hop bomb bitter yet sweet enough to make it extremely drinkable although 10% might be a good reason to keep them to a minimum

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Photo of SaucyA
4.57/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Let me start by saying... the funniest part about this beer is that a year ago, I couldn't have stomached a sip. A year later, I bought a case of this hoppy goodness.

Hopslam is an exceptional beer, and one of the best, if not the best DIPA out there.

2008 batch, bottled, poured into a tulip.

Golden orange, with a thick bodied pour. 2 Finger, slightly quickly receding bright white head.

Smell is of piney, pineapple hops. Not a ton of grapefruit

Hugely complex DIPA with tons of hops holding through the entire drink. A slightly sweet finish is what lets you know the malts/honey existed in the brewing process. Piney refreshment! A big bodied, perfectly carbonated offering from Bell's.

Drinkabilty is THROUGH THE ROOF. Holy hell I could pound these if it weren't for the high, and unnoticeable ABV. Two will seriously catch up to you, and three, well.. three is purely naptime.

If you can get this, get it. If you can't, you really should start looking.

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Photo of theformula
4.54/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer #31 in my 366 Days of Beer Quest, tasted on 1/31. This FINALLY arrives in VA, let's see what all the hype is about...

A: Light copper body into a tulip glass. A monstrous, white head has long-lasting retention and great clarity. Sticky Brussels lace hangs on.

S: Intense! While being assaulted by pine needles, fruit and floral notes, a balancing clover honey malt bill does its best to reign in the hops. The aromatics are awesome and fill the atmosphere w/ hop aromas. Some light phenolic notes and tropical fruit as well.

M: Light-med. body, med. carbonation. A little slick, smooth and light, moreso than most DIPAs.

T: An initial burst of sweet honey malts hit the tip of the tongue along with biscuit. Then come the hops, and they are nicely, assertively hoppy. The alcohol is so amazingly hidden in this beer I swear it could be a 6.5% to 7% ABV IPA.

D: Highly recommended. It's so well balanced with sweet malts and floral, piney hops. And it's extremely drinkable, I could put down a couple in minutes I think. Body is a bit light, but that's my only qualm here.

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Photo of jf60657
4.29/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A guy brought this to me in my store so I could try A Bells beer which is no longer available in Chicago. 12 oz bottle, poured into a glass.

Appearance: Inviting orange/yellow, opaque and lively at the same time. Head was a small but thick.

Nose: Grapefruit with sugar tones, Very tempting and one of the best smelling beers I've had in a while.

Taste: Strong citrus/grapefruit forward, very bubbly and active in the mouth. Finishes with strong Hops and after the swallow, the grapefruit comes back.

Drinkability: At 9% abvI would'nt call it a session beer at all, but great to start off or on a hot day. I actually ate some m&ms right after drinking it and the hoppy aftertaste mixed with the chocolate was fantastic.

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Photo of oldefortran
4.32/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this beer on tap at my local haunt and just had to try it due to my love of hoppy beers. The appearance of this beer is a light copper with a nice white head. The smell was very similar to other beers like this, very citrusy hop smell, but also had a sweet undertone. The taste of this beer is amazing. From the smell, you expect to be overpowered with hops flavor, but it is surprisingly smooth and had a slight caramel taste. This beer has a pretty hefty ABV , so you don't want to drink too many of them in one sitting. But, if you like hoppy beers, this is definitely one to try.

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Photo of jobyone
4.4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Draft. Pours a cloudy Amber with small off white head. The Aroma has lots of citrus especially grapefruit. The flavor is full of hops but also has a nice sweetness. This beer has real depth with fruit and caramel in the flavor. The finish is not to bitter and lingers nicely. Really nice and incredibly drinkable for a Double IPA. I need to comapare this head to head with 90 minute IPA

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Photo of srandycarter
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A -Pretty light honey copper with big head and coating persistent lacing.

S - HOPS, a bit skunky feel, thats about it. It's a good thing.

T- Says it is made with honey, but I don't taste it. Sweet malt up front, followed by domineering hops to a bitter, but balanced end.

M - Good coating, hitting all the buttons, good carb.

D - Thank god I don't have a chilled 6 pack of this one...LOL.

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Photo of pacothrash
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer poured copper color with a .5" head which thinned quickly. The smell is very nice with with fruitiness and some of alcohol. The taste is great with hints of grapefruit and orange. This is now my favorite high alcohol (10%) beer mainly because it hides the higher alcohol with the intense hop citrus flavor. This beer is very good!

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Photo of charlesw
3.74/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First off... A big thanks to, sigh. OK, fine. I mean, my name ends up in these, too, I guess. So thanks to spacecoyote for the bottle. There. I said it. Happy? And in the future I'll try to do better and acknowledge traders. Really. Honest. (No, this diatribe has nothing to do with spacecoyote - just with those who think it good to give credit for sources.)

Anyway, it's beer. It's decent beer, really. Pale color, good and lasting lacing, smells sweet and bitter. Tastes sweet and bitter but, well, frankly, not balanced. Way too sweet for way too little bitter. The too sweet then comes across as too thick for the carbonation level and all of that leads to low drinkability.

How is this different than the double bastard I had right before it? Well... The DB has more bitter to balance the sweetness. It also has a much much darker color. And the bitterness... Has a different quality to it. This one is like drinking fuggles. Which is fine, and all, but tastes like an IPA. The DB... Has a deeper feeling to it - more breadth and a better bitter quality. I guess... IMO... The DB comes across like an American barleywine should. This one comes across as an IPA.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.85/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to dyan for the trade and ncvbc for the extra.

Once again, my Bell's product has a different ABV. Bottle says 10% ABV (whoo! for once it's actually stronger, haha).

Pours a slightly hazy golden/orange color, not too much head, only a decent level but leaves some lacing.

Smell has a hop aroma for sure, but it is quite a bit sweeter smelling than I imagined, some sort of fruity aroma (possibly grapefruit?) accompanied with a very piney hop scent and citrus elements. Can't make out any of the honey that's mentioned though.

Taste has a good hop kick to it right off the bat that lingers and slowly changes to a slight sweetness, still can't make out any honey but it probably contributes to the balance at the end.

A very well balanced DIPA, I can't even make out that it's 10% alcohol, so that bodes quite well for this beer.

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Photo of IPADAN
5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz. bottle.

A - Amber/orange cloudy body with 1/2 inch white head that quickly diminished. Lots of lacings around the glass as you drink.

S - Smell is AMAZING!!! Amazing hop nose bursting with juicy citrus fruits (grapefruit and pineapple and pine needles?.

T - Sweet and citrusy up front, then a bit of honey flavor in the middle, then huge hop explosion at the end which is deliciously bitter.

M - Smooth, creamy texture with a medium bodied mouthfeel. Nice and hoppy.

D - Highly drinkable DIPA. Goes down very easy for 10%. Got to love Bells, got to love Hopslam. Can't find a single thing to fault. Favorite beer to date.

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Photo of NCBeernut
4.81/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Light golden orange, not a huge head, but it leaves at least some lacing.

S: fruity with lots of citrusy hops, slightly piney.

T: Burst of fresh juicy strawberries, fruity esters, citrusy hops, and some lingering grapefruit. Definitely fruity, but also clean. Some piney flavors hang in the background. However, there is also a touch of honey-like sweetness, even though honey is highly fermentable and the attenuation on this beer is reaching 85% - the beauty of Hopslam. Fresh, the alcohol is almost undetecteable, but with a month or so it pokes its head out a little bit. Great amount carbonation, suprisingly smooth and creamy, but there is still a little bit of a bite, which I kind of enjoy.Definitely not a "tongue bruiser."

Drink this as fresh as possible!

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Photo of sfoley333
4.3/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a New Belgium snifter. Poured a golden color with orangish hue and foamy white head nice lacing. Smell is dominated by citrus and pine hint of pineapple. Taste is dominated by grapefruit with some pine resin but not as bitter as a lot of DIPA because of its sweet malt base. Mouthfeel is creamy and a low carbonation feel but still carbonated. A pretty drinkable double IPA.

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Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.43 out of 5 based on 12,950 ratings.
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