Hopslam Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Hopslam AleHopslam Ale
13,075 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 13,075 |  Reviews: 3,532
Photo of camil1mj
3.51/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 vintage. Chilled and poured into my Bell's tulip.

A: Deep gold. 2 finger white head. A decent amount of lacing.

S: Hops, honey and malt.

T: You get an immedate smack of hops with a good amount of maltines underneath. You can taste a hint of honey in the background.

M: Medium bodied and well carbonated.

O: I like this beer, but not as much as it is hyped. There are a lot of better DIPAs out there. I would go so far as to say Bell's makes a better DIPA: The Oracle.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.67/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured with moderate head, beautiful lacing, color is light orange.

S: Nose is incredibly fresh with citrus, pine, grassy and light floral notes.

T: Taste is dry with grapefruit and pineapple, right upfront, some pine and floral notes and nice honey feel and sweetness ont he back.

M: Well balanced, booze is masked with flavor

O: Freakin as good or better than I recall it two years ago!

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Photo of falloutsnow
4.3/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from 2012-03-20
Bottle from Hyvee in Council Bluffs, IA
Bottled on 2012-01-25
Poured into an willi glass

Able to pour a tall, >2cm head of off-white foam, small and medium size bubbles that together create a very dense, fluffy-looking head. Decreases slowly, over minutes, and leaves some good amounts of lacing and dots on the sides of the glass. Body is orange-brown in color out of light, orange with yellow highlights when in. Somewhat hazed in appearance due to it not being filtered. Carbonation is visible, looks about moderate.

Aroma of mango, orange, tangerine, grapefruit, and peach. Heavy citrus in general, with peach becoming more noticeable as the beer warms. Ethanol becomes increasingly noticeable as the beer warms as well.

Hops are the major flavor component, obviously, but first, there's an opening bit of honey-malty sweetness. Hop flavors include grapefruit, orange, tangerine, and some pine resin, all atop a solid bitterness. Long, lingering fruity bitterness, particularly of grapefruit. The ethanol is a bit more noticeable now, particularly as it warms, though never overpowering.

Medium to medium-heavy bodied, not as heavy as Green Flash's IIPA, which is good, in my opinion. Carbonation is there, but not antagonistic to the mouth, generally creating a fairly smooth, flowing mouthfeel. Slight oiliness from hops (I assume?) actually helps this impression. Finish is semi-dry.

Review from 2012-02-10
Bottle from Hyvee in Council Bluffs, IA
Bottled on 2012-01-25
Poured into a tulip glass

Pours a head of about 2cm of off-white foam, fairly small bubbles creating a very dense appearance. Head fades in a few minutes to a thin cap atop the beer, with some fairly good sheets of lacing along the sides of the glass. Body is a burnt orange to copper color, with orange highlights when held to the light. Carbonation is visible, though seems a bit sluggish.

Aroma is a complex mix of hops: citrus (tangerine, weak orange), mango, and some piney hops. Some solvent-like scent, probably ethanol related. No bitterness detected in the nose, so there is some sweetness here, but I can't put a name to any distinct scent, as if from toasted malt or honey or whatever. Assume the distinctness is all lost in the mix of hops.

Taste begins with some slightly bready, sweeter malt flavor on the tip of the tongue. Quickly transitions to intense hop flavors of grapefruit, mango, pineapple, and faint tangerine. Pine hop usage was more noticeable in the scent than taste, but it's somewhat present here. Bitterness is fairly gentle, but persistent through latter half of tasting. Alcohol becomes fairly noticeable on the back third of the tongue, particularly as beer warms; kind of disappointing in this regard given the malt bill that had to go into this. Aftertaste is bitter, pleasantly so. After about halfway through the bottle, I think to myself that this isn't something I could drink every night: nothing is cloying, but the intensity of flavor seems to destroy my desire for anything else as far as food, taste, goes.

Medium to medium-heavy bodied, not as heavy as Green Flash's IIPA, which is good, in my opinion. Carbonation is there, but not antagonistic to the mouth, generally creating a fairly smooth, flowing mouthfeel. Slight oiliness from hops (I assume?) actually helps this impression. Finish is semi-dry.

Overall, I thought this was a pretty solid beer, though the noticeable alcohol was something of a turn-off for me.

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

Received two six packs of HopSlam from grinnellj. Thanks again for the trade!

Bottle date - 1/26/2012

A: Poured into a Southampton Snifter. The beer reveals a golden orange color; and builds a one-finger white head that fades quickly leaving beautiful lacing around the glass.

S: Wow. Huge pine notes, and a blast of freshly sliced grapefruits. The smell on this beer is bold, and suits its name well.

T: Hops. Juicy hops. Huge pine, and resin notes up front, which make way to a pleasant sweetness; out the back comes the bitterness.

M: Very light mouthfeel. A moderate amount of carbonation. Very easy to drink; despite that fact that this beer stands at 10% ABV, the alcohol is hidden well.

Overall, I am very pleased with this beer; a fantastic IIPA. For the most part, us New Yorkers are deprived of many of the great IIPA's (especially us who are out on Long Island). I'm glad that I was able to trade for some of this, and I would most certainly do it again. I think it lives up to its hype, despite the complaints of its high price. Bell's delivers.


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Photo of NickTickler
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of drewloc
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of rhartogsq
4.77/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Please mind this review as it will be more of a narrative then notes. Eighteen months ago, I would not go near an IPA, I couldn't stand them. Then one day I had A Lil' Sumpin Sumpin and my world change, something clicked. I can drink any IPA, for example, I now love Stone Ruination.
But I digress. When I tried Hopslam last year, it wasn't for me. This year is a completely different story. I Love this beer. The balance of all the hopes and a little sweetness is great. The aroma brings a smile to my face. The flavor gives a tingle to my loins. Every sip I take, I am happy that I have evolved to love hops!
I also had this on draft and it was pretty damn good too!

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Photo of PugsandBeer
5/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of haywire77
4.37/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 1/10/2012

Brew poured a very hazy dark orange color that is darker than I would have expected for the style. 1 1/2" of slightly off white tight knitted head that hung around for a good 5-7 minutes before dissipating to a thin ring around the edges and a choppy light lace pattern in the center. Also good lacing on the sides of the glass that hung around well after the beer was gone.

The smell is amazing. Overly ripe grapefruit and a nice balance of malt character can be found easily. Honey and pine with more fruit than I have ever smelled in a beer. Pineapples and mango go nicely with sugary sweet papaya. I could just sit and smell this and be happy without even drinking it. Well maybe not...

The taste is a hopslam. Piney resin and bitterness abound, but without that tongue tingling goodness that makes the best IPAs stand out. Smooth like a good Dipa should be, but missing that certain something. Maybe the nose set me up a little too high. Peppery finish and a nice complex flavor.

Mouthfeel is slick and oily at first, then very dry on the back end. Kind of strange, but in a good way. Medium bodied and not as thin as are many in the style.

Overall this is a wonderful offering from Bells that I will definitely seek out again next year. A little steep on the price, but I expected such with all of the hype associated with this one. Well above average.

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Photo of xipho
3.5/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of justinlaz
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of beerboy9960
4.71/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Finally getting to try my first ever Hopslam courtesy of BarrytheBear! Thanks again Barry for your generosity! 12 ounce bottle bottled on 1-26-12.

A: Pours a golden orange color with a small white head.

S: The initial smell is very complex and dominated with a citrusy hop character! Most of the citrus I'm picking up seems to be lemon.

T: Once again I'm picking up the lemon in the taste along with an explosion of hops! Very bitter yet smooth and drinkable! Also a bit of sweetness in the after taste. Maybe the honey?

M: Very easy to drink! Nice medium thickness with a decent amount of carbonation.

O: Overall this is a very smooth, drinkable beer to be 10% ABV. I'm very impressed and can see what all of the hype is about. Would definitely love to get some more of this in the future!

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

A: Thick, frothy, white head/green head. It laces very nicely.

S: Sweet hop blend, complex, earthy and sweet malts with the bold and aggressive hoppiness that you would expect from its name.

T: The first was aggressively hoppy. With a slight honey/malt finish. However, this beers strength comes frome consecutive drinking. As my pallette adjsuted, the bitterness retreated and let me really enjoy the base malt/honey flavors. Drinking this beer a few times back to back has made it my new favorite beer.

M: full-body, creamy and smooth. feels very nice to drink.

O: absolutely great. I don't know if it was luck or design that makes this beer exponentially better as you drink it (up to 4 for me, 5 and 6 taste the same as number 4) but this beer is great the first time and even better the 2nd 3rd and 4th time.

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Photo of Riverared
4/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of Jesstyr
4.21/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-Tap at Liberty Tavern in Arlington, VA and served in a tulip glass.

Pours bright golden orange with even brighter white head that fills a full two fingers. Lace remains throughout the drink. Nose is the only thing not bold in this beer - some light fruitiness (apricot?), and a deep grassy/hoppyness.

Taste is excessively earthy, quintessential hops, with some nice fruit tones and a lot of pine. Quite a bit of balance for a beer this bold, great overall drink. Medium body with an oily texture. Overall a great beer that definitely doesn't disappoint.

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Photo of sizemore84
5/5  rDev +12.1%

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

A: Thick, frothy, white head that stays for a while, good amount of carbonation, appealing golden color, lots of nice lacing

S: Sweet hop blend, complex, earthy and sweet malts

T: Sweet and spicy hops, nice blend of hops, some honey and grassiness, touch of bitterness at end

M: Almost full-bodied, smooth, good carbonation, resiny, feels good

O: Good stuff, not much to complain about here, maybe a touch more on taste would bring this beyond great, can't wait to get some in bottles to drink at home

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Photo of Higy
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of RandyBoBandy
5/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of NODAK
4.35/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma here was pretty excessively sweet at first....fruity with the honey definitely showing. A nice tropical hop note comes in afterwards though and begins to dominate the nose.

Pours light amber in the glass...smallish head...completely clear.

Bitterness here is quite piercing right off the bat. A great citrus and tropical hop profile...mango and grapefruit...with puckering bitterness extending to the sides of the tongue. The bitterness stays throughout the drink, though a nice, sweet undercurrent shows up that showcases the honey this beer is brewed with...it isn't the toffee or biscuit that some other DIPAs have. Some people have said this beer is excessively sweet, but I'm not really seeing that. I'm tasting a beer with an impressive bitterness with a second fiddle sweetness that doesn't balance the beer completely (more like 2:1 ratio in terms of flavor, I suppose). Resiny on the finish....quite dry. As it warms a bit, the booze starts to peek through but never too bad.

One of the more bitter DIPA's I've had, but unlike some others that really drove up the IBU's, this one has a pretty nice sweetness underneath that helps temper it a bit and gives character. Very nice.

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Photo of TMasterFlash
5/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of CopperTopBrews
5/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of Thecherryman
3.29/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The specific hopslam I came into contact with has a really boozy taste. This doesn't taste anything like it did last year, which is pretty sad, I was looking forward to this. Heady topper takes this to the cleaners. If you haven't tried heady topper, get your hands on it.

Aroma: Smells pretty good, citrusy/piney

appearance is exactly like everyone else said it looked like.

Taste: It had a really boozy flavor, very unbalanced, which is very suprising for this beer. For 10.5% you can definatley tell it.

Overall: This is overhyped this year, and wouldn't purchase more than one six pack.

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Photo of madeofsteel
4.39/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This bottle's a little over a month old. Poured into a nonic.

A - Pours a mildly hazy, coppery color. Head of about 1/4 inch, very little retention. Sparse lacing.

S - Big hops in the nose, and then they are pushed aside by booze. Nice honey aroma.

T - Very earthy, grainy hop qualities, mixed in with an almost mead-like honey quality. Then more hops and crisp alcohol in the finish.

M - Feels almost gritty in spots, very fine carbonation. Certainly packs the heat with that 10% ABV shining through.

O - It's a whole lotta beer, and I try to pick it up at least once a year, considering there's only about a 2 month window to get it.

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Photo of beerthulhu
4.18/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

-Thanx to Paul B. (WV). Bottle dated 12/29/11. Consumed 2/6/12.

A: Deep orange honey coloring with a semi-dense clarity. A slight frothy light beige head sits atop with a moderate rate of retention. Inside a slow rise of spacious carbonation, outside on the glass a thin broken ring of lace.

S: The aroma was of sweet honey-pine with some dry grassy notes. Have to be honest was expecting much more pungency here. Moderate complexity, the honey definitely adds some balance and some sweetness to the dry citrusy mixture, while hints of lemon grind linger about though the strength was refrained.

T: Ah here comes the hops. Nice pungent bitterness that cant be held back any longer. The honey, once again shows up adding some balance and sweetness in intermittent bursts before being overtaken by the piney-grass bitterness. Respectable amount of bitterness though is refined and smoothed out by the honey makes this easy to enjoy. Toasty honey malt, spicy bite of citrus with a nice leave of grapefruit/pine bitterness.

M: spicy of citrus, medium bodied but thickens up on longer holds. Sticky hop oils and slick malt lingers behind.

O: Overall a well balanced dipa with a unique influence of honey balances this out for a remarkable, yet smoothing and respectable hop bitterness that is easy and very enjoyable to down. Had a wow moment when realizing this was 10%abv. Just a remarkably smooth and easy dipa especially at this level. The honey no doubt adds a higher OG and ABV% while still maintaining a good balance of sweetness and malt level with the hops. Nicely formatted by style.

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Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 4.46 out of 5 with 13,075 ratings
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