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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: 12,623
Photo of Homerbag
4.4/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

08 release poured in a tulip. Clean, clear burnt orange with faom head. Not much rentention, but left a ring that laced perfectly down the glass.

Smell is good, but not impressive. Nice citrus smell is center stage. Good balance, clean water.
Taste is spot on. Great mix of hops that don't make it feel like a pine tar tea. Clean finish, with a bit of citrus after taste. Not an overwhelming punch like other IIPA, but very tasty.
Feel is good, not to thick, not thin, just about right. I like them a little thicker, but that is personal preferance.

Yes this is a good beer. This worth buying a sixer if you are a singles buyer. I would make this a staple in my beer fridge if it was available more often. I hope I can find this on tap. There is a lot of hype to this brew and it is justified. Not the end all be all, but very good.

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Photo of mnstorm99
4.78/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Waited until I had it this year to review. This beer is as good if not better than I remember it.

Nice orange copper pour with a nice white head that sticks the whole way down.
Beautiful aroma's of grapefruit and other citrus.
Taste is great malt sweetness (carmel) and a great citrus hop punch that is extremely well balanced
Mouthfeel is perfect, smooth and juicy. leaves your mouth watering for more.

I want another...now!!!

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Photo of wardough
4.74/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm damn glad that I had the chance to buy this beer.

A: Pours a beautiful syrupy color into a tulip glass. Wow, this looks awesome. Ring at the top.

S: Hops. Caramel. Sweet Pineapple. Nice.

T: Awesome. It's a party in the mouth. Sweet malts. Nice hops-somewhat grassy. Freaking enjoying this one.

M: Full bodied. Nicely carbonated. Awesome.

D: This is a sipper, but awesome.

BLUF-this is a beer that you should seek out. Well worth it.

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Photo of evanackerman
3.9/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

well, the only thing that really needs to be said about this beer is that it smacks you in the face with hops. hops, hops, hops. not much nuance to this beer, if that is your thing then this is the beer for you. I wasn't sure if I was drinking a beer or grapefruit juice until the 9.5% alcohol crept up.

I do like this beer, It hits the spot if you have a hop craving, but in truth it is not that much of a brewing accomplishment if you ask me, very one-dimensional, and for the price there are better DIPAs out there. That being said, it is has certainly accomplished what it set out to do.

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Photo of MiScusi
4.38/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks a bunch to markgugs for thowing this into a trade a surprise... I've wanted to try this for a while now.

A- Pours a crystal clear light orange when poured carefully so as to not pour any of the yeast. Bubbly white head emerges but fades fast.

S- Very citrusy. Like citrus resin.. oils... usually I only get that sort of intense freshness from piny hops but it came through in this one.

T- The taste is citrus all the way... orange... tropical type flavor with a bitterness that really clings to the mouth. Sticks there for a long time.

M- Pretty slick but not too thick or syrupy for a big DIPA.. especially at 10%, so it's good to me.

D- A pretty drinkable DIPA... though the stickiness limits it from being amazing.

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Photo of brewdoc75
4.34/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I picked up a couple bottles of this at Thomas Liquors in St. Paul.

Looks pretty solid w/ the pour. Reasonable head that dwindles down to a lacy finish. Oranish/amber color. Lively carbonation. The aroma is what stands out immediately. Excellent hop profile w/ tangerine, grapefruit, and even some melon-like profiles. Very inviting, very appetizing. The taste is awesome as well. I feel like I'm hit over the head w/ hops. This beer is bitter, but not too bitter. The aroma and flavoring hops seem to predominate. Very citrusy and fruity flavors here. I'm amazed at what this little flower can do. My only problem is the lack of malts. THey are there, but just not as present as I would like. The mouthfeel is nice, but a little thinner than I would expect for a DIPA.

Overall, an outstanding beer. It's positives are the strong aromas and fabulous hoppy flavors. The negatives are the lack of a strong malty profile and the slightly thin body. Ultimately, this is an excellent DIPA and I will be drinking it again and again.

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Photo of gpcollen1
4.07/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one comes courtesy of Grandcrudrew...

Decided to pour this one into my Sam Adams glass. This one has that wonderful aroma of light and sweet grapefruit captured for sure with just a light and hot streak of alcohol running through it.

This one hits that mouth with but an instant of light sweetness and heads right down the path to hoppiness. A quick twang that expands very quickly and slowly thins out to but a dry bitterness - into cottonmouth for sure. A bit of alcohol shines through here and there that makes this one a bit hot to an extent - but highly drinkable for the ABV with a light-moderate body.

This one is nice but not a must have.

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Photo of grandq
3.97/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Popping the top - grapefruit, pine and canteloupe. I'm used to the other scents but canteloupe is a new one. This pours a shade of amber I associate with the containment of prehistoric bugs. The taste is heavy on the grapefruit - and I like that end of the DIPA spectrum - with plenty of apricot, orange peel and a nice hot spicy background that reminds of Belgian IPA's. Not much of a malty body to start, but becomes a bit more prominent as this warms up and helps prop up the fruity bitterness. This finishes a bit dry for my liking and is a little lacking in layers. It's also a little medicinal on the very tail end, which is unfortunately what lingers. Even so, I keep coming back for another smell and sip. And another. If it weren't for the slightly unpleasant notes creeping in at the 11th hour, this might be toward the top of my DIPA list. Big thanks to Hoppymeal for the chance to try this (as an extra no less! karma). In spite of qualms, I'll come back if I see this on shelves.

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

A local bar got a case of this stuff in last night and since I haven't been able to find it anywhere else I decided to try a bottle. Expertly poured by the bartender into a Unibroue tulip. Bright cloudy orangish-tangerine color with a massive white head that took its time to fade away into a thin crown that stayed until the last sip.

Massive nose that wasn't as bitter as I had expected, but nonetheless was very pleasant. Definite billing of citric hops; thick fruity aromas such as apricot, peaches, oranges, grapefruit, and pineapple with a tiny hint of pine as well. Nice malt base for the balance; caramel and honey.

Very bittersweet flavor from the citric fruit-salad with just a touch of sweet malts to keep them in check. Very dry finish.

Excellent carbonation and definitely quite a bit of body to this one. Strangely I have never had a beer that could feel so creamy yet so dry and crisp at the same time. For a DIPA approaching 10% I had absolutely no problems finishing this and the only reason I decided on a Two-Hearted afterwards was that I still had to drive home.

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Photo of Lordsloth
3.65/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle.

Appearance was a slightly cloudy orange/amber, with a finger-high white head which hung around for a few minutes. Smell is good- fruity, hop-filled nose. Taste suprised me a bit, didn't seem like a strong Imperial-style IPA- maybe the honey sweetness hid some of the hop bite? Mouthfeel smooth, a bit oily. Balanced. Drinkability is all right, but something about the taste threw me off, maybe the honey.

Apparently, I didn't like it as much as most. Still a tasty beer.

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

12 oz glass served at mad mex.

Arrived in a tumbler style glass with very little white head resting on top. Burnt orange color that is a little cloudy. Aroma is pure hoppy goodness. Plenty of citrus with grapefruit punching my nostrils followed by a little pineapple and mango, with maybe a little of pine, spicy hops. Taste is extremely balanced. I get a bitter aftertaste but that is first met with a strong malty sweetness. Moutfeeling is just right for this style. Not a lot of carbonation, but not flat at all. Had this beer with some spicy wings, it was perfect.

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Photo of bobhits
4.38/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance. Nice orangy cloudy color. I poured to quickly but it's got a nice thick off white head and leaves a nice lacing on the glass.

Smell. Wow...this stuff is strong! Often I only can smell a beer the first few times I take a sniff, but this stuff is POWERFUL. I have a very fruity smell. Perhaps orange and grapefruit?

Taste. The first taste I got just seemed weak. Not really sure why, but definitely bitter and hoppy. The second taste really brought out the hops. It's got that grapefruit flavor that hop heads seem to debate over. Personally, not for me in general though this beer has something else going on there that makes it enjoyable as opposed to be just drinkable. There doesn't seem to be much of a malt back to this. There is a nice sweet start to it, but it doesn't last long and isn't very strong. It might be the honey but it seems to have a bit of an orange flavor in there which is probably why I like this more than other grapefruity beers.
Mouthfeel. Without much malt backing it's somewhat weak in that department. I like my double IPA's oily and almost sticky with the hops. This fall a little short in that area. It could also be the alchol slipping through that adds a bit of roughness to this other wise solid mouthfeel.

Edit a few years later. This one grows on me and is just great stuff. A touch too much alcohol and not the best carbonation and body, but that doesn't hurt this one at all.

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Photo of atrus138
4.74/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured this from a 12 oz brown bottle into my tulip glass. Appearance is solid, though not exceptional. Pure amber color with a minimal head and lacing. However, its unexceptional look is deceiving. Upon raising the tulip to my nose, I am greeted with one of the most sensational aromas my two nostrils have ever beheld. Absolutely unadulterated hops. Delicious fruity smells such as grapefruit, pineapple, and mango. Crisp pine smells also sing their songs. Lying underneath all of this is honey. Rarely does a beer leave me in such awe before even taking my first sip. Taste does not disappoint. Hops like crazy. Super unbalanced, but really, a malt presence would just get in the way here. Mouthfeel is surprisingly perfect for this. It's nice and light considering the punch it packs. Great carbonation. Really, I wouldn't change this one bit. Extremely drinkable. This is a work of art.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle, batch 8277

A: Pours a clear golden under a fingers worth of head. Minimal lace, good retention.

S: The hops hit me when I took the cap off the bottle. Huge leafy hops, huge on grapefruit with a definite tropical twang and some pine. A biscuity malt backbone is there as well.

T: Surprise, big on hops throughout. Citrus with some hints of honey, alcohol is apparent in the finish and is slightly drying but can't overcome the big, but balanced, bitterness.

M/D: Carbonation is there but in appropriate quantities, slight creaminess to a light to medium body and some big hop oiliness that coats the mouth. Drinkability is good on this one. A very fine example of the style.

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Photo of morimech
4.22/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy amber with a slow forming one-fingered white head that slowly recedes to a small cap. Some sticky lacing is left behind.

Pop the cap off the bottle and your nose is assaulted with the citrus and piney hops. That is about all I can smell in the room now. It does fade after the pour in a few minutes.

As another reviewer has said, it is like biting into a grapefruit. The malt does slightly balance the hops but let's face it, the hops are the star of this show. I sense alcohol in the taste as well the warming affect. I think it adds another dimension in this beer. A cleansing action to the hops. I can feel the carbonation is low but it is like the hops just make the beer "pop" on the tongue and makes it tingle. Medium body and a slight oily feel. The first beer goes down nicely, the second is slower, and then you suffer from palate fatigue and you might as well stop drinking this one for the day(not to mention the ABV). I bought a 6-pack and I will enjoy it over a few days.

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Photo of tayner
3.85/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle acquired as an extra in a trade with markgugs. thank you

I am not a hophead AT ALL but i am going to try and rate this beer on its merits as a IIPA, from what i have learned about them anyway.

Poured an orange/copper color with a nice foamy head that settled to a ring that laced nice.

Smell is overwhelming pine and citrus hops.

Taste is pine hops and citrus hops with a background of light malt sweetness. surprisingly there was enough malt to keep the bitterness in check for me. I didnt realize it was 9.3% until i looked. it warms some on the way down, but i would have said 6-7%. the hops leave an oily residue on the back of my tongue i cant get rid of and it makes me what to clear my throat over and over.

Drinkability was good for what it was, but i wont be slamming a sixer any day soon.

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Photo of wheelinshirt
4.61/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz brown longneck bottle from Abe's. Haven't had a chance to try this yet, so i was excited to crack it open. Poured into a wide tulip.

Nice copper color, a little cloudy, modest head with okay retention but left no lacing.

Smell was dominated by citrus hops. Very bold and strong. As it warmed i started to swirl it and got a lot of booze in there too, which really added a nice touch. Taste is bitter, with lots of citric and piney hop flavors and sweetness which i supsect is from the honey. A lot of really good stuff going on here, but i find that with most IIPA's that, if they are using a huge amount of hops, they tend to smell better than they taste.

Mouthfeel is a bit thick from all the malt they had to use to get this one up over 9%, but the drinkability on this one is excellent. A very bold and tasty beer, i could have definately had another if i had bought more than one.

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Photo of Upgrayedd
4.44/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One can not write a review of this beer without mentioning the citrus hoppiness. The first time I sampled this brew last year I was knocked on my ass by how fruity it was. This year's batch is most welcome in my small collection. One thing I noticed, and this might just be me, but this year it seems a little more bitter, which seems to hide some of the citrus the more I drink. Maybe it's just palate fatigue, but by the end of the beer I don't get as much hop flavor as I would like, and thus the bitterness and the alcohol start coming through.

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

Tried it last year and fell in love. This one has some kick but is semi drinkable in terms of a double digit abv.

A-Very nice, good clean orange/red color

S-Wow...intense, almost overpowering

T-Great use of honey (not sure if they added that last year???)

M-As said on the back, bitter!

D-Only had a couple, but could see myself downing 3-4 no problem.

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Photo of Graham21
4.85/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of my favorites, this Double IPA shines through with a clear amber color that is more translucent than expected. The smell bombards your nose with hops and citrus undertones and a touch of malts. The taste slams your toungue with bitter hop tones that consist of grapefruit, pine, coriander, pineapple and a small backstop of malts. Wonderfully strong, great mouthfeel, and I would conclude that the drinkablitly for this beer (for me) is high.

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Photo of meatyard
4.49/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The appearance is a hazy, golden orange with a nice fluffy white head that falls to a covering. Decent lacing.
I smell grapefruit, pineapple and it's sweet.
The taste is bitter up front then the pineapple/grapefruit taste, a little malt follows and then a sweet bitterness. There's a lot going on here.
Mouthfeel is medium and sticky with some carbonation.
Immensely drinkable. I say to "drink it until you can't go get another one". Yes, the ABV is high but so what.

This is a tasty, impressive beer for hop lovers and fresh is the way to go.

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Photo of trem0lo
4.89/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Just picked up a case of this amazing brew. I got one six pack last year (it's a limited release) and loved every sip. When I went back to get more, it was gone!

The appearance is nothing to write home about--a little lighter than Bell's Two Hearted (another favorite of mine)--an attractive dark peach color with a small, cream head.

The beer smells amazing. As you pour it, wafts of spicy citrus make themselves known even at two feet's distance. Stick your nose into the glass and you're rewarded with a wonderful bouquet of candied grapefruit and orange. It is deep and intense. Bell's should make this beer into a scented candle.

This is when you realize it's gonna be good.

Taste is like biting into a sweet, juicy grapefruit. Unlike other hoppy beers, Hopslam has a strong malt backbone that balances out the bitterness of the hops. They are balanced in such a way that it not only hides the 10% ABV, but makes it extremely delicious!

Mouthfeel is not too thick and contributes positively to the drinkability. It feels only slightly thicker than the Two Hearted in my mouth.

The drinkabliity on this beer is off the charts. I would guess it 6-8% as opposed to 10. Most 10% beers have a substantial alcohol twang in the aftertaste but this has none. That fact, combined with it's deceiving mouthfeel, will always make you drink this brew too fast!

If you love hops you will absolutely fall in love with this beer and the great balance it achieves.

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

Batch 8283

Pours a very slightly hazed golden orange color with visible suspended (almost micro) particles. The loose 1" cream-colored head sit atop sparse and larger than m=normal carbonation bubbles. Sparse spatterings of lace and lace smudges.

This baby smells like a freshly opened can on DelMonte fruit cocktail from 1 foot away. As I draw the glass nearer, this first impression of smell is galvanized. Then there’s a sugar coated fresh lemon slice right below the fruit cocktail scent. I swirl my Sam Adams bulbous glass that emits powdered sugar and grapefruit scents all over the place. The malts are obviously up for the task to take on the awaited hop barrage that I suspect is to some next.

Just like the back label says...'biting and bitter' - yes it's very true. The tropical fruits I smelled at the beginning translate nicely in the taste with a well-balanced malt backbone that never steals the show in the least, but supplies enough bracing for the hops to conduct their well-coordinated trapeze act. There is an interesting vegetal component that's hard to put my finger on, but it reminds me of Brussels sprouts. Not in a bad way, just in an interesting kinda way. Hey, I happen to like Brussels sprouts (especially dilled!).

Mouthfeel is very kinetic and playful. The carbonation is fine with enough spritz factor to produce belches after 1/4 of a bottle. Medium bodied with a well-tuned flavorful finish.

Drinkability is very good. I most definitely would save room for 1 or 2 of these at the end of my session due to its hearty hop attack.

Overall a great double IPA that brings a neat vegetal slant to the show. The flavors are not the (soon to be) typical Dbl. IPA 'big grapefruit' and fusel alcohol that seem to be coming out of the woodwork these days. Bell's wasn't one of the first micros to brew a dbl. IPA, but it seems as if they were waiting for the market to get used to this big IPA frenzy, THEN introduce HopSlam and disrupt the blanket perception of what this stuff is really supposed to taste like. I guess I'm trying to say this is a very original, BALANCED but very bitter/hoppy IPA with world class written all over it. I really want to pair this with a rustic salmon and field greens salad.

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Photo of TheodorHerzl
4.54/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy orange color with a tight bright white one finger cap on it. The head fades fairly quickly, but leaves decent spotty lacing on my imperial pint glass. It is actually a little clearer than Two-Hearted which I find a little surprising. I can smell this beer as I pour it. It smells like I have hop cones under my nose. Pink grapefruit and resinous pine hit my nose with the power of a Roy Jones Jr. punch. There is a decent smell of pineapple coming though as well. Fresh citrus fruit and a deep pine flavor hit your palate up-front with a dry sweetness finishing off the beer on the back of the mouth. There is some slight sweet malt coming to the palate, but is pushed around by the heavy hop flavors and takes a back seat in the flavor profile. The mouthfeel is very smooth and medium bodied. The high carbonation leaves a very dry sensation on your tongue. The drinkability is a little hampered by the high ABV and dry sensation, but is very high for just a beer or two.

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

12 oz bottle. Pours golden orange with a 1 cm off white head that is mostly diminishing. Aroma is brutally strong, piney and a little citrus. Initial flavor is balanced between the sweet malts and hugely bitter hops. Flavor of grapefruit is what i get the most of. Aftertaste is very dry from all the hops. Light to medium mouthfeel, almost no lacing, almost no carbonation, and the alcohol is well hidden. Very drinkable if you are a hophead, but for the rest of us its still worth a try.

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Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.44 out of 5 based on 12,623 ratings.
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