Hopslam Ale | Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

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Hopslam AleHopslam Ale
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Michigan, United States

Style: American 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.

User Reviews & Ratings
Reviews: 3,680 | Ratings: 13,684
Photo of mattflippin
4.44/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2019 batch. 9 day old can! Poured into a tulip pint glass.
Look : Crystal-clear, deep amber color with a white head that settles into a cap and retains for quite a while.

Smell: Resinous and somewhat dank. Primarily lemon zest, but also some orange and grapefruit on the tail end. Some booziness.

Taste: Sweet honey and resin upfront, a little grass. Grapefruit, some sweet citrus and pine, a hint of lemon. A touch of breadiness to balance out the sweetness, but I know it'll only build as this beer gets older.

Feel: Drinks super light right now for 10%. Semi-oily and smooth, clean finish but not dry.

Overall: This beer is really nice when super fresh. Stands out from the rest of today's DIPAs with its huge honey sweetness, doesn't veer towards the pine bomb WCIPAs that much or NEIPAs in the slightest. Still a winner 15(?) years after batch 1, at least when fresh. I remember standing in lines for this bad boy, now it's almost always readily available when in season. Drink this fresh unless you want a pseudo barleywine!

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Photo of Stead2112
5/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Holy Toledo Batman!
Talk about being in the right place at the right time! Never heard of this and didn't know that it was only once annually.
This was truly a hoptasticalicious adventure!
Bright and hoppy, smooth as silk.
Instant love, a PERFECT IPA!
I would totally recommend this to anyone!

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4.08/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can poured into a globe. One week young at the time of consumption!

A: Deep Amber color with good clarity. Rocky white head retains well. Clumpy lacing.

S: Candied lemon, sugared white grapefruit, orange pulp. Grassy with a bit of an earthy/herbal tone too. Clover honey. Caramel and pound cake.

T: Green and oily up front with soft herbal tones and perhaps a touch of scallion. This soon transitions to full blown citrus. Bitter white grapefruit, lemon peel, pulpy orange. Bitterness is firm and clamping, reaching its apex on the back end. Honey, caramel, and pound cake sweetness help to keep it tethered. Brush of alcohol. Honey, orange slices, and some firm bitterness on the finish.

M: Full body with a chewy feel. Definitely some residual sugars. Some heft, but it isn't too weighty. Hop astringency grips at the tooth enamel a little bit.

O: A one-two punch of honey and malt sweetness and citrusy and green hop bitterness. It hits it's balance perfectly. A big beer, but not too hard to drink. This used to be an occasional treat in the rare instances I came across it in my travels in years past. Now it's available in my home market, with impressive freshness! Score!

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Photo of PicoPapa
4.24/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz can. Pours a clear brownish orange with an inch of creamy head. Tons of lacing. First whiff is a nice hoppy aroma of grapefruit, pine, honey and floral hops. Maybe a hint of plum. The taste has a good deal of tea and floral hops to it followed by some pine and honey. Grapefruit and nectarine towards the finish with bread crust, more honey and a finish of tea. Oily mouthfeel. Heavy with a very noticeable alcohol presence. This one alluded me for years and I’m glad I finally got to have some. Very good Imperial IPA worth seeking out.

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Photo of beersampler6
4.32/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A very impressive, fantastic-tasting double IPA from a great local brewery. Pours a nice amber color with some white fluffy head and some spotty lingering lacing consisting mainly of fine bubbles. Smells of a good mixture of fruity citrus hops, herbal hops and some weaker piney hops. There are also some nice aromas of caramel, vanilla and malt. The taste is outstanding and consists of loads of fruit: grapefruit, lemon, orange, tangerine, mango and passionfruit. There’s also some weaker piney hops, herbal hops, malt, caramel, bread and vanilla. Smooth mild mouthfeel with a little bit of creaminess the coats the palate. Nice carbonation. Outstanding flavors with a great balance between the slightly bitter hoppiness and sweeter malt backbone. Perfect amount of bitterness at the finish. The higher ABV is very well-hidden and this could almost fool you into thinking it was a regular IPA (by alcohol content, not flavor). This is definitely one of my top three imperial IPAs sampled in the past year.

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Photo of DoghouseReilly3946
4.13/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Date: Canned on 01/15/19, revisited on 01/21/19.

Appearance: Pours out a nice dark and almost hazy copper orange color with two fingers worth fluffy off white head. Fairly standard but it looks nice.

Aroma: While I am no haze craze fanboy, I will admit that they by and large are much more aeromatic. Not to say that this doesn’t smell good, it does but it never seems to explode with the bouquet of aromas which I am now used to. Anyway, I get a lot of sweet honey up front which has an almost burnt aspect to it or perhaps caramelized is a more accurate word. There is also the standard pine, bitter grapefruit zest, and a decent amount of tea leaf aroma and green onion. For it’s name, Hopslam lacks some of the deep, bitter, resinous elements of other double and triple IPAs, at least on the aroma.

Taste: The taste fairs better than the nose as there is an initial rush of assorted hops that overtake the palate before dropping back to allow for the honey to come forward. The honey sweetness rises quite quickly and just as the question “is this getting too sweet?” creeps into my head, the hops return with that deep resinous prickly hop bite and bitterness that was missing from the nose. While the bitterness isn’t anything wildly out of the norm for an IPA this big, the fresh hop bite lingers for a good while and has a little spicy burn. There is a notable floral taste in here as well, perhaps it is a hop variety or maybe they used wildflower honey. I also get some deep herbal notes as well, but nothing that is really definable. The mouthfeel is medium-full standard DIPA style and pleasant enough. It has a standard chunky malt backbone which veers a little too close to the syrup like character of say Dogfish Head 90 Minute. The rush for Hopslam seems to have subsided over the past several years and I can understand why to some degree. The first time I had it, I thought it was awesome, of course that was three hundred beers ago. It is still a well made and enjoyable offering but for the price and limited timeframe of availability, it simply cannot compete with many of the beers being churned out by many of the newer smaller more adventurous local breweries. I get the feeling that Bells has become complacent riding on Hopslam and several other limited releases, everything now unfortunately feels old hat about this one. Hopslam even has some trouble when compared to the, honestly somewhat better and cheaper year round offerings like Stone Ruination.

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Photo of Holderness
4.24/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Canned 6 days ago.

L -- Pours a slightly hazy golden orange body with two fingers of solid white head produced with moderate pour. Great retention and lacing
S -- Fresh zesty yellow grapefruit, aromatic pine, dank weedy resins, touch of booze in the back. Smells like a very fresh west coast IPA
T -- Big grapefruit and pine. Also getting some caramel maltiness, fresh cut grass, dried floral. Booze is pretty well hidden given the ABV
F -- Medium+ mouthfeel, medium carb. Decent amount of lingering pithy bitterness on the finish
O -- Glad to finally be trying this classic in the DIPA lineup. Continues to hold its own in the west coast style IPA category, despite not being quite as incredible in the beer landscape as it once was


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Photo of PatrickCT
4.48/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Matt for this one!
Copper orange body, gold hues held up to light. Two finger white, pillowy head. Some sticky lace, thin bubbly ring.
Huge punch of grapefruit, citrus rind, honey and pine.
The taste is toasted malts and honey up front with a fresh pine, resin and grapefruit and citrus rind. Peppery, spicey finish.
Surprisingly smooth, a little sticky. Medium body. Medium carbonation.

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Photo of StoutElk_92
4.71/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Lightly hazed amber gold appearance with a creamy white foamy head. Smells like caramel malt, candied fruit, both tropical and citrus. Taste is earthy, with sweet honey, caramel malt, candied fruits, mango, peach, grapefruit, orange citrus, pineapple, with floral earthy herbal resinous dank pine. Feels medium-full bodied, thick, creamy and smooth with moderate low carbonation. Overall a really great DIPA with honey.

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Photo of omahawk
4.13/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I had this about 10 years back and REALLY liked it. My 2019 experience: A little on the boozy side of DIPAs. Nice hop profile, good malt balance. Good beer, but I’ve had better 10% IPAs,

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Photo of CoolmoJ
4.67/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Many DIPAs are superfluous in some aspect, not this one. Supremely and graciously balanced. No lingering bite that makes you feel like you chugged a bottle of nail polish remover.

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Photo of JimboBrews54
4.72/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

One beer that is exactly as advertised! They just made two hearted and kicked it up a few notches! This will hit you in the face and then give you more to come back for! This is worth it as a limited release, although I can never fund it.

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Photo of pjbear05
2.32/5  rDev -47.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

On draft at a local beer bar. Hop bombed and not floral at least not like Two Hearted. The addition of the honey threw my palate completely off. Will stick to Two Hearted.

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Photo of tropicaltim
4.91/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of the best double ipas out there hands down. I have literally spent hundreds of dollars on this beer when it drops every year. It has been available an exceptionally long time this year to my plesant surprise. Love it!

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Photo of micada
4.41/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a can of this 2018 vintage for the first time a few months ago and was not impressed, despite the high ratings. I decided not to review back then, figuring maybe I was just missing a DIPA boat because I'm really more a stout guy. It's really hot outside now, I like cold IPA style when it's hot, I saw the beer store clerk had this stashed in a cold hiding place, so I bought it for a second try.

Waaaay better than last time! In hindsight, the first cans were comparatively flat and syrupy, so they were probably allowed to get too warm. This batch is delicious. Nose is lemony, grapefruity up front, maybe some pine in the back. Color is slightly hazy yellow-gold. Poured hard into a barrel glass created a small head that persisted, due to a crazy amount of carbonation. This has been the first time I've seen that level of active bubbles from deep down the glass since I had Pliny the Elder forever ago. Side note: if there's anything local in the Buffalo, NY area I can trade for some Pliny...hit me up!

First sips are citrus and pine, slightly bitter but balanced by the honey. Very crisp mouthfeel, refreshing aftertaste. Alcohol hides well, but has a slight presence. Very easy drinker on this hot, humid night.

Considering how the carbonation really made the difference, IMO, from last time with Hopslam, I think this might be the same issue I had with the Lawson's Sip Of Sunshine, so I might have to retry a pack that has stayed frosty.

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Photo of dafla67
4.74/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

under appreciated with many years of the latest & greatest next double ipa. Pours a nice deep orange. The smell is full and complex of hops, citrus and malts. Tastes like it smells and a bit of the strong ABV%. I think Hopslam has more than held its own against the wave of new IPA/Double IPA.

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Photo of WickedBeer
4.29/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Canned in January, but I don’t expect for this to have fallen off much as a DIPA.

Pours a deep orange, with a nice three finger head of frothy foam that leaves patches of heavy lace as it settles.

A vibrant array of lemon, grass, and floral hops hit your nose. Fresh honey and light bready malt linger.

The flavors here are really nice. The honey isn’t overwhelming or too sweet, and the bitter, floral hops return and dissolve into a malty finish. A good balance, well done.

Medium body, medium carb.. not too sticky, a little filmy.

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Photo of Mmcpartlon
4.09/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Canned Jan. 10 2018, drank April 21, 2018.
Pours a light amber, Thick off-white foam head. Lot of lacing, and held the head well.
Get a lot of sweet malts in the nose, along with some caramel. I’m not getting much citrus like other raters.

Taste follows the nose for me with some (not overwhelming) hop flavor at the finish.

Full, chewy body, and moderate carbonation. Great body IMO.

Overall just decent, though it may be well past it’s prime.

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

Picked-up two cans in trade from Blackacolyte26. This brew is not distributed where I live, so first time trying. Very nice brew, does not at all seem like 10%.

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Photo of Lorgeous
4.42/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a amber caramel color. The beer gives off the aroma of grapefruit and citrus. Tastes of strong citrus, hoppy, and overall smooth. Nice lacing left behind.

= A strong beer with a strong prescence. Definitely going to become a statue in my arsenal.

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Photo of RC_Saunders
2.2/5  rDev -50.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Not sure what all the hype is about. I paid $24 for a six pack and absolutely hated this beer. I’m not into the overly hoppy brews and this one is nothing short of that description. I’m sure beer nerds everywhere are reading this gasping because I’m downing what most consider a well rounded dipa. I just don’t see what all the fuss is about and how this overly expensive beer flies off the shelf when there are much cheaper and better options available

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Photo of Nass
3.41/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Canned on date on the bottom of the can. Quite a pungent aroma & taste on this one. A little dank but quite drinkable That high abv is hidden perfectly. This is good, but not up to the level of some classic west coast IPA's. Cheers! B-

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Photo of zshaft
3.76/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours relatively clean golden orange with nice thick foamy head. Nose is very faint with light bready malt and some floral and earthy notes. Maybe some grapefruit peel. Im not really getting much to be honest. Taste up front is grapefruit subdued by some malt backbone. Followed quickly into mid palate orange with some noticeable alcohol burn. I get some subtle honey but thats probably bevause im looking for it. Rather clean end palate with lingering burn from the booze. Mouthfeel is nice with adequate coating of the palate. For all the hype i expected more. This seems to be an average beer with nothing that really stands out. Nothing i would seek out and although nothing is offputting and the balance is there the sky high ratings confuse me a little.

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Photo of captaincoffee
4.02/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drinking a 6-pack just prior to the 60 day mark, so it is reasonably fresh. Pours a relatively clear copper orange with medium head that leaves good lace. Nose is not as big as I expected, and has some dank pine and citrus. Taste is more orange rind and some caramel. Obviously a big beer, but holds it well for 10% abv. Overall, I liked it but don’t get the uber high scores here.

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Photo of Quackershnoc
4.43/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: pretty looking beer; nice, cloudy orange color; thin white head that dissipates quickly

Aroma: citrusy, a little grapefruit and lemon; malt; honey sweetness; faint hop presence on the back end

Taste: starts with a nice hit of lemon and citrus; moves into the honey and malty sweetness; finishes with a nice hop slam and a hint of alcohol warmth

Mouthfeel: on the heavier side for an IPA; moves through the mouth well; good carbonation

Overall Impression: this is an awesome beer; smooth and drinkable; very well balanced; a classy hangout beer; progresses nicely; the alcohol is well hidden for 10%; easily the best, most well-balanced IPA I’ve ever had

From notes taken on 2/4/2013

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Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 4.45 out of 5 with 13,684 ratings