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Hopslam Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

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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

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Reviews: 3,444 | Ratings: 12,625
Photo of beerthulhu
4.18/5  rDev -5.9%
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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Photo of TheCondor
4.18/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was finally able to get my hands on some Hopslam, for the first time ever. I called almost a dozen local stores before I finally tracked it down at a sleazy supermarket/liquor store/discount cigarette place. Anyway, side poured from the bottle into my Boulevard pint glass.

Appearance - Pours a beautiful golden color with a copper tinge and a real nice, two finger head that sticks around for damn near the whole drink. Leaves excellent lacing as well, basically a line on the side of the glass for every time I drink. Love the packaging, a dude getting run over by a massive hop. Appropriate.

Smell - It is certainly a DIPA, no doubt about that. To me the hops are more a fruity variety than anything else, with citrus, grapefruit, and lemon zest in there with a touch of flowery hops and a slight yeastiness in the background.

Taste - There is certainly several layers to the hoppiness of the brew, not initially noticeable as much in the nose as on the palate. Again the fruity hops play in with citrus and grapefruit, some pine, and that slight maltiness to balance the beer. Very good. Not too much hoppiness, but enough to ensure you know this is a DIPA.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied and carbonated. Finishes crisp and bitter, with a slight alcohol warmth to it. Smooth but certainly not weak.

Overall - Of course, I relished the fact that I was finally getting to drink the fabled Hopslam, and it is an excellent beer indeed. I think my review bears that out. However, I do not rate it as highly as many on this site, and certainly do not think it is the best DIPA I have ever had, nor is it worth the price or an extended road trip to get it. While it is an excellent beer, I likely won't buy it again just because of the exorbitant markup and search process. Check it out, but this is certainly a case of too much hype, too much buildup, and unfortunately the brew could not possibly stand to compete.

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Photo of jas0n02
4.18/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Very good DIPA. Slightly malty taste but smooth for a 10% ABV.
Pour from a 12oz can to tulip glass

L - Hazy orange golden
A - grapefruit and honey
T - Honey, caramel flavors, and malty hops
F- medium body

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Photo of Brewmeist
4.18/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into 12oz glass from tap.

A- golden in color. Good lacing and a few micro bubbles which indicates some quality. Small head that quickly vanished.

S- alcoholic, with notes of honey and almost citrusy. Pleasant yet boozy.

T- it's definitely a big beer, floral hoppiness and presence of honey. Lingering taste but I wouldn't call it a true pallette destroyer. Being seasonal and scarce makes it all the fresher.

M- medium bodied, clean finish, has several different areas going for it.

D- drinkable to an extent, definitely a good sipper. Delicious and will definitely enjoy again.

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Photo of Gilgemesh
4.18/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a beautiful golden amber with a finger or two of head. Fluffy and light like whipped butter atop the amber candy below. The smell isn't as pungent as I expected, but is complex with a hint of the hoppy bitterness to come. The flavor is quite nice, and quite well rounded. Hops up front with a hint of the honey sweetness are followed by a nice hoppy bitter finish. Crisp and refreshing. This will be an excellent hot day beer and a very nice example of what I like in a DIPA. Worth the too much I paid for it.

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Photo of cadaugherty
4.18/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Bright glowing copper pour with 2 fingers of fluffy off-white head. Good lacing.

Aroma- The citrus come first, but underneath there is a fresh floral scent that really makes it smell bright. There is some sweetness here more sugar than malt.

Taste- Not the strong suit. There is the hop burst (albeit light), a nice sweetness that is not sticky or heavy but bright (I know that word again), and a crisp bitter finish. Overall there is a lack of flavor here, just not popping the way I feel it should based on previous vintages and other DIPAs.

Mouth- Good, it coats but doesn't stick.

Drink- Highly drinkable, I feel the lack of flavor is partially responsible for this.

Overall the word that describes this from soup to nuts is bright. It looks bright in the glass, it smells and tastes bright, and finishes light and crisp. But somewhere in the middle I lost the hopslam that I have come to expect over the years.

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Photo of stb08007
4.18/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Apricot/amber, very clear. Boozy, sweet DIPA with some alcohol heat balanced nicely by very piney hops. It's not a crushable beer, meant to be sipped clearly. Reminds me a bit of Sixpoint Resin. I enjoyed it quite a bit, even though I tend to like cleaner malt profiles and less booze in my IPAs. Glad I sought it out.

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Photo of bradenh
4.18/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Hopslam (2014)- the first Hopslam release I have had. I heard last years was better but anyways...

A- Golden, light brown. Caramel is probably the best color description though

S- More malty and sweet that piney and tropical, overall balanced between malt and hops.

T- Very slight carbonation fizz and sweet hops come through on the from end. Aftertaste is slightly bitter, dry, piney and hoppy.

MF- Not too familiar with mouth feel describing words yet, in between a water and milk consistency, full bodied.

O- It's a very drinkable and balanced DIPA I must admit. I used to never like IPAs, but I am really starting to enjoy them now. This is a great DIPA if you can get your hands on it. BUT IF YOU CAN'T, DON'T FEEL LIKE YOU ARE MISSING OUT. This beer (at least this years Hopslam) is not worth $20 for a 6pk. I lean towards the less sweet, more hoppy, piney, and citrusy IPAs (Victory Dirtwolf and Great Lakes Chillwave for example) and this 2014 Hopslam didn't quite make me fall in love with it. If I can get next years bottle I would be very happy, but if not, that's fine. There are thousands of more beers worth a $20 price tag more than Hopslam.

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Photo of steve8robin
4.18/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got a 6 pack in a trade. The first time I've tried this but have heard great things. Thanks Eric. 12oz bottle, 2010 version...

A: A nice golden light copper color with a 1/2 inch white head that fades at a decent pace. Very good.

S: Smells of a nice fruity citrus upfront with hints of hop and some sweet malts quickly followed. A nice earthy texture in the middle with some hints of grapefruit on the backend. Good.

T: I get some delayed super dry earthy bitter hop. Some grapefruit and hints of grape flavoring in the middle. Kind of a bready malt hidden on the back. This is definitely super bitter and dry, but good.

M: A very nice carbonation feel. A super dry yet creamy finish. Very refreshing!

D: Surprisingly, for the ABV, this is insane easy to drink! Very bitter so if you like hops, then yes, this is for you.

All in all, this is a great beer. Super hoppy so only try this if you like the hoppy, dry, grapefruit taste. If you like malts, this one may not satisfy, so do not bother. Such a good beer for hop heads!

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Photo of Swaino
4.18/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

A- Light amber color, caramel, high carbonation, almost champagne-like with all the bubbles. Great lacing. A couple turns of the glass brings the head right back.

N- Light citrus, lemon peel, malty but not overpowering. Slightly boozy. Notes of pine.

T- Piney up front, some citrus, each sip brings on new complex flavors as it warms up. Bitter but just enough to keep you coming back for the next sip. A little boozy at the end. Finishes with a strong hop and pine.

M- Strongest part of this beer. Smooth, tangy, leaves a thin pine coating.

O- Well rounded. Tastes different each time I have one, even in isolation. Remarkable balance for its ABV. Feel like the beer matures during the 15 minutes it takes you to drink . Well done Bells!

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Photo of jaasen64
4.18/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into CCB snifter. Bottled 12/29/11

A- Pours a hazy dark orange gold, not much head, fairly low carbonation.

S- Honey, hops, citrus fruits, a little bit of grapefruit, lemon, etc..

T- Sweet honey, citrus hops, a little bit of pine, finishes a little bit bitter.

M- Medium bodied, well balanced between hops and honey, abv very well hidden, finishes smooth.

O- This was a very good DIPA that's a little bit different then the Northeast IPAs I'm used to due to the addition of the honey. The DIPA has a nice sweet taste that is well balanced between the hops and the honey. It's very hard to tell that this beer is 10%, it is hidden very well. I still prefer beers like Heady Topper, HF IPAs, etc. a little bit better, but this DIPA was great non-the-less. The bottles I had were a bit past there prime so the hops faded a little bit, but they were still very good.

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Photo of chalsk
4.18/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an amber color with some life and a white soapy head. Has an aroma of grapefruit with subtle hints of pine with the honey coming through on the nose. Sweet and spicy up front, malty and bitter on the back end. You can taste the honey. Has a decent carbonation level. I think the honey on the finish puts this off a touch for me. But very good DIPA nonetheless.

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Photo of mchegash
4.18/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a DFH IPA glass

Appearance - 4/5
A bright, vibrant, clear golden orange, with about 1-2 fingers of slightly tan head. An average amount of carbonation can be seen rising up the beer.

Smell - 3.5/5
Pine/resin hops. Smell was not as strong as I was expecting.

Taste - 4.5/5
Strong, smooth flavor. Pine, resin, slightly floral hops, balanced with sweet malts. From all the hype about this beer, and the description on the bottle of, "A biting, bitter, tongue bruiser of an ale", I was expecting a lot of bittness and intense hoppiness. Instead I felt this beer was only moderately hoppy, balanced very well with the malts. Also, it was not very bitter. But for me that is a plus. Many IPAs are way too unbalanced (in the hops direction). This was perfectly balanced. A strong hop flavor, without overpowering. This was a very good IPA. Also, despite the 10% ABV, the alcohol was undetectable.

Mouthfeel - 4.5/5
Very smooth, medium bodied, carbonation is fairly light. Only slightly bitter. Overall this beer has a great feel.

Overall - 4.25/5
Overall this was a very good IPAs. I'm not a very big IPA fan, but I figured a beer of this level of notoriety deserved a review. In my opinion, the beer is good, but doesn't really seem like anything that special to me. Not sure why all the hype, but regardless, glad to enjoy a good beer.

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Photo of snaotheus
4.18/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass at fridge temp (41 F). 12586 PKGD 01/16/14 A. Honestly thought I'd never get a chance to try this. This could be a total letdown, with the amount of time I've spent wishing I'd happen across it.

Pours slight orangey-amber in color, clear, with very little head. Poured gently but completely from the bottle. Head is small, but fades very slowly. Little active carbonation unless agitated. Smell is surprisingly bready, not super piney or flowery. Some honeysuckle, some vague bitterness. As it warms up, more bitterness seems to come out of it.

Taste very nice. Honey, flowers, citrus, softness, some citrus rind, some pine, long slow bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is thick, rich, chewy, a little sticky. Works nicely with the rest of the beer. Overall, this is a very good beer, but not mind blowing. I like it. But ignoring availability, I'd take Sucks or Double Jack over this. But I'd be very interested in a blind tasting to see how I feel without the influence of labels.

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Photo of danielharper
4.18/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Transparent reddish-orange body, thick white head that leaves some lacing. Impressive quantity of head considering the ABV. Some carbonation in the glass.

Smell: Crisp hops up front, with a malty syrupy sweetness underneath. Strong honey backbone, lots of interesting sugar combinations. Hints of grapefruit and oranges.

Taste: Very sweet with honey on the first sit, with a heavy dose of hops on the back-end. Very dry on the finish. Very sugary, strongly flavored with grapefruit. High astringency due to alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Thick but smooth, goes down clean. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Not my all-time favorite DIPA, but I'm really curious to see how these age over time. I may stick them in a closet and try one again in six months or so.

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Photo of hopoilcrazy
4.18/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Shelby at Chuck's in Bowling Green for saving me a sixer when there were only 3 left!

Bottle. Freshness date says "Bottled on 1/17/13" meaning this is technically the freshest bottled beer I have ever had.

A - Beautiful, hazy, luminescent. The head, with a hard pour, culminates in a two-finger beast, but subsides to a thin layer that leaves some spotty sticking on the glass.

S - Honey and sweetness dominate the nose, with no hint of the 10% waiting to kick you in the ass. Maybe some pine notes.

T - Pine resin, clover honey, creamy, SWEET. Big hit of fresh cut grass. Finish is amazing with a distinct layer of fresh picked honeysuckle, specifically. It is scary how little booze I detect.

M - The velvety viscosity of this beer is off the charts. Probably having a good amount to do with the honey (I don't know how much is actually in here) rounding out the already luxurious mouth-feel of most IPAs

O - A must try, it is not for everyone, but I think this is a great beer that may not all the way live up to the hype. But if one were to stumble onto this beer, it would be a very pleasant surprise.

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Photo of bobsy
4.18/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Went over to Viggo's place and the guy let me drink a whole 12oz bottle, which is a testament to his generosity.

Pours a light gold with a slight chill haze and a finger of fluffy white head. Good retention and lace. Piney, weedy, fresh big green hop nose. Somewhat similar to a DFH 60 on steroids, though bizarrely not all that much like DFH 90. Huge green hop flavour, fresh and vibrant. Pine, hop leaf, and then a huge sweet citric fruitiness, with mango and pineapple coming to the fore. A slight dry graininess in the background. Really nicely done, and it hides its alcohol astonishingly well. Moderate body and a creamy carbonation.

Ectremely well-balanced and crafted. It doesn`t blow me away and wouldn`t rank in my top 10 for the style, but man, would I love to have this readily available!

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Photo of eandersen
4.18/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Been looking forward to this one for quite a while. Glad I could get a pretty fresh couple of bottles...this was bottled on 1/17 today is 2/11.

A - Pours a shining dark side of gold. 1.5-2 finger white head that fades pretty quickly. Doesn't appear to be very heavily hopped.

S - I do get some tropical fruits but not a ton of citrus. For me this is pineapple and mango, maybe even a little bit of berry. Not much of the sharp pine or grapefruity aromas I was expecting. A sweet caramel malt comes through as well. It smells good but nothing mind blowing.

T - Oh there it is. The best way to put it is that this beer is full of "sticky" hops. Starts with a definite sweetness reminiscent of the nose. Pineapple and mango, but there is also some citrus that did not come through in the nose. Its definitely more on the sweet side of citrus, maybe an orange or tangerine, still not really that grapefruit bitterness you tend to expect from a big DIPA. Finishes sweet again, with the caramel malt presence being felt. No real trace of the ABV.

M - Nice and full, definitely sticky and lingering. It works with the flavor, but I definitely would prefer it to be at least a little dryer and more carbonated.

O - Very good beer. Is it the best DIPA in the world? No it is not. But it absolutely is world class, and somewhat unique. I will drink this whenever I have the chance.

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Photo of rjs246
4.18/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I'll preface this by saying that I don't usually like sweet IPAs. Now that I've said that this stuff was delicious and well worth the purchase. It doesn't crack my short list of favorite DIPAs, but it's close and I can't wait to finish off the six pack.

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Photo of tastybeer
4.17/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My glass is glowing with shades of delicious copper-deep orange, and woody browns. Head isn't very large but there is already lace reaching to the top of my glass, not to mention the big yummy bubbles. Aroma is packed full of sweet candy orange-tangerine, creamy peaches, apricots, sweet berries/soft aromatic flowers....dank. Taste is a pile of happy hoppy. Mmmmm. Candy-like, not cloying, fresh and fruity with just the right amount of bitterness. Malts have a presence but the hops are certainly at the front. Nice smooth, grainy/resiny texture are quite nice. Drinkable indeed.

Overall this is a good solid delightfully hoppy beer.

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Photo of Riverwarrior
4.17/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

S = Strong pine aroma.

T = Like a big pine cone dipped in sap....and then the explosion of bitterness and sweetness. The finish has malty sweetness which actually balances this one out perfectly. No alcohol detected.

MF = Medium body with moderate carbonation. Super smooth and way too easy to drink.

Overall, this is one delicious beer. I don't consider myself a "hop-head", but I do consider this one to be a winner.

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.17/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the tap at Larry's to a tall thin glass. The liquid is a light gold with very good carbonation. The head is 2 fingers of off white thick fluff, It leave quite a bit on nice lace.

The smell is a powerful grassy aroma, with alcohol and pine needles. Nice.

The taste follows, very grassy with lots of pine, a little thin on the citrus, could use a bit.

The mouthfeel was good but a bigger thicker malt would be welcome and up the body some.

The drinkability was great, quite enjoyable from the tap. Prosit, MK

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Photo of RappAttack
4.17/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: poors a clear golden color
S: hops hops and more hops, very piney, almost cannabis like(Dank!!!)
T: very piney and earthy hop flavor, nice bitter bite that all but completely eliminates any booseyness
M: crisp nice carbonation its a shame this come out during winter i could defiantly see this as a spring beer
O: a definite must try, the priceis a little steep by worth it in the end

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Photo of PSUBeerman
4.17/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, tulip glass

Pours a light gold orange color. Clear to slightly cloudy. Head is white and foamy, decent retention.

Very aromatic. An abundance of hops, citrusy, peppery, pine notes. Also has a sweetness to the aroma, which I assume is from the honey.

Hop bitterness is pronounced with the flavor. Slightly tangy with citrus and grapefruit notes, as expected. Not much sweetness that I noticed.

Nice carbonation. I like that it is not as thick as some DIPA brews making it very drinkable.

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Photo of hustlemuscle
4.17/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Paler yellow than I expected, with lots of suspendies and chunky lace. Head was minimal and short-lived.

Strong piney scent, that hints at the flavor to come, a blistering blend of piney and citrusy hops, tending toward piney domination.

Very smooth to drink, despite the very high IBUs. Another outstanding brew from the good folks at Bell's.

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Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.44 out of 5 based on 12,625 ratings.
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