Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Hopslam Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
3,444 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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 3,444 | Ratings: 12,628
Photo of adamant1912
5/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle into pint glass. Bottled 12/29/11.

A: Golden Orange. Creamyy, white head. Lacing throughout.

S: Hoppy, sweet but not overpowering, grapefruit/pear undertones.

T: Very smooth, taste the hops but very little bite, very drinkable

MF: Has body to it, very creamy.

One of the best DIPAs. Very drinkable, high alc. content. but not noticeable. Strong hop presence but surprisingly smooth.

 404 characters

Photo of BenJames1984
5/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

To start off, I am very fortunate to live in Mid-Michigan, as the Bell's Brewery is only about two hours away.

What's there to say? This is the first year I've had this delectable seasonal beer from Bell's, and was very impressed. I've always enjoyed their Two-Hearted IPA, and I had an intuition that Hopslam wouldn't be a let-down. I was right.

First impressions are important. As a hop-lover, seeing a label depicting a guy being crushed under the weight of an over-sized hop was enough to sell me. However, the wonderful taste around this beer didn't stem from it's hoppy-ness. It was the combination of a sweet honey flavor AND the hops, with a ten percent ABV to boot; very smooth and drinkable. Considering a six pack is nearly twenty dollars with tax + deposit, it's worth the ticket.

HopSlam is currently in my top five, and probably won't be going anywhere for a while.

 882 characters

Photo of mjw1200
5/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I wrote this review when I had my first one of the year, just forgot to publish. Hopslam starts losing flavor quickly to me, and every one I buy is guzzled as quick as possible. My wife was shocked by the smell sitting 15 feet away. She said it was the best beer she has ever smelled and I concur. Very smooth, Lots of grapefruit comes through. Love the citrus and the bitterness. This is top of the class when it comes to DIPAs.

 429 characters

Photo of jonesy77
5/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had a Hopslam on tap last night at Churchkey in Washington D.C. and am currently enjoying a bottle now, bought today at my local Whole Foods.

A: Very nice! The Hopslam has a nice golden color to it. On draft it appeared to be a bit more hazy than out of the bottle.

S: Strong citrus/grapefruit aromas. The draft version smelled a little bit more piney to me. I can definitely detect the presence of honey.

T: A true hopbomb, yet very smooth and balanced. Nice citrus and some tropical flavors. Draft was a little more "hoppy."

MF: A little bit resiny, nice levels of carbonation.

D: What else can I say, it is Hopslam...Never know it was 10% abv, I could definitely sit here and drink a few of them, yet I want to savor these. One of the smoothest DIPAs out there and I agree with previous reviewer that this is one of the best years I can remember.

Serving type: on tap and bottle

 888 characters

Photo of pearljam118
5/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is most likely my favorite beer. I have a case and have had it on tap 3 separate times this year so I think my review is well rounded.

A - hazy, golden yellow orange

S - Fruity, tons of pineapple. If I could give this 6 I would have

T - pineapple, very hoppy but not overkill. The 10% is hidden very very well. This beer is a perfect balance of fruitiness, hops and carbonation.

M - Sticky hops coat your mouth with a good bit of carbonation

Overall - The perfect non-west coast DIPA. Since this beer is highly hyped and reasonably available there is plenty of skeptics. But this beer doesn't let down.

 613 characters

Photo of chopp02
5/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

If you are an IPA lover or Hops lover in general, this beer is an absolute MUST HAVE. I love IPA's and Hoppy beers in general and this one is the strongest I've ever had in that regard. But what makes this beer a 5 out of 5 for me is the addition of the honey flavor ... It is the icing on the cake and it's what really makes this beer DELICIOUS!

 346 characters

Photo of xav33
5/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bell's Hopslam
12 oz bottle
Packaged 10/06, slammed down 11/06
Medium pour in a tulip glass.

Poured hazy amber with a large frothy somewhat lasting (thanks in part to a constant flow of myriad tiny bubbles) slightly off white head,with a think ring of lacing. Yeast suspends beautifully like Aurora Borealis.

Smelt strongly of grapefruit, spruce, with moderate pepper, barnyard,

Taste was upfront strong bitter ruby red grapefruit followed by a strong piny earthy bitterness on a never-ending finish. If you wait it out it turns grassy, then flowery. Palate was medium bodied, silky smooth and cream, softly carbonated, moderately astringent and light alcoholic warmth.

Overall, everything is amazing about this beer, except maybe the flavor profile. It was so smooth and tasty for its strength it left me wondering where the complexity and promise for cellaring was. Also slightly tasted like pellet hops or hop concentrate, if there is such a thing. I want to love this more but it's daftly simple for a double IPA and too perfectly balanced when young. I'm torn and confused, intrigued and mesmerized. Damn you Larry Bell, I finally have a double IPA crack my top tier. Excellent work for now, but lets see what you can do for me down the road for the next 5 years. Off to the oubliettes you go, Hopslam.

 1,323 characters

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

I've heard the hype and made a conscious effort to procure some this season.

Scored a couple six packs at the Binny's right when the opened on release day.

The bottle pours a rich amber (honey) color with ample carbonation. The aroma is hops hops and more hops.

Upon first taste the hops hit you in taste and smell but the subtle honey is noticeable throughout. One of my buddy's trying one also for the first time said the honey really stood out although I found it subtle.

The fact this beer is "supposedly" 10% is mind boggling. This is really a masterpiece. I want this all the time.

 594 characters

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

I probably can't add anything useful to what has already been written about this outstanding beer, but here goes. Pours a beautiful golden color with nice head and great lacing on the glass. The aroma is exceptional- very fruity, notes of peaches and of course hops. The taste is unbelievable. Without a doubt the most well balanced double IPA there is. Just the right amount of sweetness to offset the bitterness of the hops. I know this is an overly hyped beer, but in this case the accolades are true. If (god forbid) I could only drink one beer for the rest of my life, this would undoubtedly be my choice.

 610 characters

Photo of PhillyStyle
4.99/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From a bottle ($9) at Holman & Finch, Atlanta, into a snifter, bottled on 1/15/2013:

First time that I have had this beer since probably 2009. The beer was a very nice, clear dark copper that produced a very nice white head that was well retained and faded into a thin cap that lasted throughout the beer. The aroma is very nice...actually more balanced than I remember, but still more hoppy, citrus and pine, but a very full and powerful aroma. The taste is what every DIPA/Imperial IPA should strive to be. Most are so overpowering hoppy that I sometimes regret getting them...but not this one, again, like the nose, pretty well balanced, but with an edge to the hops, but with more citrus up front and pine in the back and the malts just making it as smooth as it could be. The feel of the beer was also very good. The beer was clean, crisp, refreshing and very fresh. The alcohol was not noticeable at all and I probably would have had a few if not for the price. Overall, a world-class beer. Nothing more needs to be said.

 1,028 characters

Photo of dbell23
4.99/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Contrary to other reviewers, I think this beer does live up to it's hype. Poured from a can into a pint glass. The aroma hits you as it's being poured. Sweet hoppy goodness. Floral, maybe minty, slight pine. Dark golden in color with nice two finger head and nice lacing. Taste is incredible. Slightly sweet hops and even with my dying taste buds I can taste the honey and it is perfect. The bitterness lingers and is just right. Mouthfeel is perfect. Smooth slightly oily with perfect carbonation. Certainly not a hop bomb but an absolute must try for all hop heads. Way too easy drinking for 10%, Hopefully I'll be able to score some more next January.

This is the dipa that all others want to be..

 714 characters

Photo of Bitter_Echo
4.99/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Low and fading head, moderate lacing, scent of hops present, with a strong organic chemistry lab/pine campground presence, not really strong citrus to dominate. Color is a rich, slightly fogging copper orange typical for the style. Tastes fruity, malty, slightly sweet with strong, sustained hop echo, but nicely counterbalanced by all the flavors. Some presence of alcohol evident, but not really prominent...a bit more drinkable (going faster) than other DIPA's. Mouthfeel is substantial, with moderate to heavy, active carbonation. Another delicious one from Bell's and recommended again.

Revised, fresher review: OK, so I'm trying an eight day old Hopslam, and I've changed my mind. I wish I could have one of these every day. Now I get even more fruit, passionfruit, and maybe even guava, and I can't believe this is 10% ABV. So a I go from a previous 4.75 to a almost 5.00. This one is near perfect for me.

 913 characters

Photo of cr0ckett
4.99/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle poured into snifter; packaged 12.29.2010

A: Hazy amber with a two finger off white head that dissipates in a few minutes. Awesome lacing leaves a film every time you take sip. For comparison, looks almost exactly like Pliny the Elder, which I had earlier tonight. However, Hopslam is a bit hazy, has slightly better head retention, and has much better lacing than PtE.
S: Pine, resin and a small hint of honey.
T: A balance of citrus and pine hops hit right away and stay throughout. One of the best parts about this beer is the subtle sweetness of honey that comes at the end. It's subtle, but its just enough to counteract the heavy hops a little bit.
M: Smooth, medium body with perfect carbonation to compliment.
O: An exceptional hop heavy DIPA with a unique balance of honey sweetness; my favorite DIPA.

 817 characters

Photo of godlessape
4.99/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a beautiful hazy honey sunset, topped with fluffy off white pillow that sinks slow leaving scattered lacing.
The pine and citrus aromas hit the nose first followed by burnt toffee, and a slight wiff of booze.
All the citrus and pine notes mentioned above combine perfectly with the deep rich caramel malt. This beer tastes so good I finished it wayyyyyyyyy to quickly.

This is my first Hopslam and it was everything I expected. Like a Bells Two Hearted Ale ×2.

 485 characters

Photo of Stjimmy10_1
4.99/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was very skeptical if this beer was worth the price. I've gotten 12 dollar 4 packs before but a 25$ six pack seemed outrageous. I was wrong. I wish I would have bought a case.

It's smooth sweet and bitter. Very well balanced and the honey notes add so much to the overall experience. I was worried that at 10 abv there would be a harsher bite/warmth that I've wasn't a fan of with some other IPA's like Stones Enjoy By double IPA but that wasn't the case. I wish they brewed this year round.

 495 characters

Photo of jam12011986
4.99/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Just in general summed up this beer reminds me of Jim Carrey in Bruce Almighty when he becomes god for 7 days. Bell's Hopslam is one of the most well rounded beers I have had in quite a while. Its very easy to sum up in word AMAZING!! for the everyday IPA drinker!

 264 characters

Photo of Roman5150
4.98/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Bottle into pint glass, about 5 months old at time of review

Appearance: beautiful orange amber with 1 finger white head

Smell: heavy grapefruit, citrus, honey, simcoe hops, coriander, grape, apple, lemon,

Taste: follows the nose, huge simcoe grapefruit/tropical citrus notes, earthy hops, probably the smoothest double ipa ive ever had, honey, lemon, end is so refreshingly smooth this is a world glass beer that ANYONE would love. Absolutely no taste of alcohol, and it's a 10% abv. Even 5 months old from te bottle it tastes like it did on tap in January.

Mouthfeel: perfect amount of carbonation, not too full

Overall: My favorite beer of all time, narrowly edging Bells other staple, Two-Hearted. God damn, theres something about this beer that no other DIPA can touch. I think what sets it apart is the addition of honey, which creates a smoothness that rounds out the bitterness to a point where words cant describe how amazing this beer is. Good luck finding it, this sells fast everywhere, and its obvious why. The best DIPA i've ever had, no contest.

 1,067 characters

Photo of TonyLuvsBeer
4.98/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

One of my favorite beers. Bottled in Jan 2015. Aroma is wonderful in those beer picking up the hints of honey. The aroma is outdone w/the taste though. This is such a smooth beer with the infused honey. This is also a potent beer at 10% ABV. I drink a couple of these and I'm feeling good :)

 296 characters

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

A- Cloudy amber with minimal head which disappears quickly leaving a minor lace around the edges.

S- Sweet citrus with piney hops

T- Holy sh!t this is what I want in a DIPA, hops that tear my tastebuds out and body slam them. Its been a while since I've had an IPA that could do that, thought I had grown some sort of tolerance, guess thats not so.

M- Oily with almost no carbonation.

D- I could make this my everyday beer, but I might be limited to 2. Really this is an amazing beer which I wish was available in my area.

 536 characters

Photo of jbphoto88
4.97/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a wide mouth mug to maximize the scent. Appearance is a nice honey color with a soft head that fades quickly leaving some delicate lacing on the edge of the glass.

The smell to me is nothing short of exceptional. It is of sweet citrus grapefruits, glorious hops and even a little honey. The honey might be all in my head because I accidently read on the bottle that it is ale with honey. Once seen its hard for me to not think about it.

Taste is amazing. It starts out like the best grapefruit I've ever had and quickly moves into lovely malts and a super hop finish. A nice above average bitterness that totally makes this beer. Mouthfeel is a smooth and silky with that honey rearing its head again. Tastes like there is just enough to smooth out the bitterness in from the hops. I can compare it to grandma adding some sugar to her spaghetti sauce thus cutting the bitterness.

This is now my new favorite beer. So sad I only have three from a trade and none to buy. They will not last long in this house.

 1,023 characters

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

Hopslam, concocted by god, put in six packs by the devil. This is no ordinary beer, this isn't even an ordinary DIPA. Utterly extraordinary in every way, Hopslam is legendary in its ability to floor even the most able beer drinkers. The secret is its ability to combine the purest, most potent hop flavor with an exceptional drinkability. Each Hopslam you drink goes down smooth as silk while tasting like a godly nectar, but once your glass is empty (which happens far too quickly), you yearn for another. No other brew makes it so hard to stop while being so incredibly potent, at 10%. Deadlier than the jungle juice at a frat party, the love this drink instills must be balanced by respect for what it can do, or you'll end up drinking four before you know it, leaving you in quite a state of inebriation that you never planned for. Seek hopslam out while you can, but don't approach lightly. You will not be the same after you drink it, and the yearlong wait for another batch has destroyed stronger men than myself.

A: Exactly what a DIPA should look like: golden with a finger of head.
S: A glorious bouquet of hops, with highlights of grapefruit and a strong punch of tropical fruit and orange.
T: Absolutely incredible. The hops in the nose appear in the taste and come together with a sweetness that really ties this beer together. Never approaching cloying, the sweetness helps balance the bitterness of the hops without lessening the impact of the hop flavor. The orange flavor of this year's batch is truly remarkable, nowhere else have I found a beer that has such distinct orange notes.
M: Coats your mouth with oily goodness, but still goes down smooth as silk. A marvelous mouthfeel.
D: Beyond comprehension for a 10% beer. You can tell the 10% is there, but it never gets in the way of easy drinking.

 1,818 characters

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

De-bottles a lightly smoky golden amber stacked with a wet and sticky mess of ivory suds.
Octopus tentacles of gooey, pink grapefruit and apricots writhe their way up the nose and slap a suction cup right on the pleasure receptor. There are backing pine resin, ganja, and metallic grassy hop traits. But purely and simply, this is loud hop fruit-juice, and beyond delicious. I can think of more complex smelling beers, but not a better smelling one.
Malt is laid down first inside the mouth with honey and graham crackers and pear jelly. That's all quickly dismantled as a twinge of vanilla precedes a sticky hop bath. All those apricot and pink grapefruit juices form the nose follow-through tastewise. But here, larger roles are given to the smoky rasta vapors, pine tar, lime peels, quinine, and juniper. These last things mingle with a partially cloaked ABV to give it a decided gin and tonic impression on the swallow. But those juicy fruited hops still linger over everything, and will for quite some time.
Oily bodied but its heft is masked with a persistent trickling CO2. It's also worth noting the this is the least yeasty Bells I can recall, and that's a good thing, especially here. This is simply gulpable, and I have had to slow myself down every single time I've drank it.
It's almost straightforward and simple in a way, but when everything is this right, I can't see how a Double IPA could get any better.

Note as of 5/9/08: Get this as fresh as you possibly can. There is some notable atrophy in the hop zestiness even after 3 -4 months. It's still a killer, but it has fallen off a step.

 1,608 characters

Photo of poland7
4.97/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is amazing. Anyone who loves hops, IPA's, and good beer will love this beer.

Once you crack open the bottle your nose is bombarded with the fantastic smell of hops. At first you may think this beer is too much, and as a hop head i will say i was intimidated for a second, but i just manned up and took a swig and feel in love. The beer is very rich in taste, and the hops are excellently complimented by a dash of honey which makes the beer a perfect blend of sweet and bitter at the same time.

I know it is expensive, but trust me it is worth every drop and you will wish you could drink this beer everyday. For a hop head there is nothing better.

 660 characters

Photo of jp62099
4.97/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to my buddy David for providing me with this bottle brought down from NC. One of those beers that is definately a transending experience. The smell is a mix of citrus, but not overwelming like some DIPAs. The taste is one of the most balanced I have ever had, of course it is very hoppy, but so smooth. The transition from one complex flavor to another is seamless, with not one element overpowering another. The alc is so hidden, you could definately get in trouble if you had a few.
I have only one problem with this beer, and that is that it is not available here yet.

 578 characters

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.

 945 characters

Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.44 out of 5 based on 12,628 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!