Hopslam Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

3,446 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: 3,446 | Ratings: 12,662
Photo of kbm
4.17/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've had Hopslam a number of times but was never impressed - mostly due to the freshness. I'm finally sitting down to a nice fresh pint.

Appereance: translucent copper/hay with a healthy white head, which never fully dissipated. Good lacing.

Smell: Sweet malts with aggessive piney hops. A little bit of apple hiding in the background. There's also a good deal of alcohol.

Taste: the sweet malts fighting with the bitter hops is great. Ultimately, the hops win out in the leaving significant bitterness on the back and sides of the palate. I love dry IPAs but Hopslam is a great tasting example of a malty DIPA. Very balanced.

Mouthfeel/drinkability: moderate carbonation with a creamy mouthfeel. Somewhere between gulpable and a sipper, I don't think I could do more than a couple pints.

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

Beer pours a hazy light copper color with a nice head which disappears fairly quickly. The smell of this beer is really great. Some piney hops, but a really strong smell of lemon zest and some very noticeable grapefruit notes. There is something else in the nose that sets the smell apart, but I can't quite place it. Taste is bitter upfront before the honey-like sweetness balances on the mid-palate. Ultimately the hop bitterness reappears and lingers, and the alcohol becomes very evident. This is a winner. Very much enjoying this beer and like the fact that while it is a great IPA, it is slightly more unique than many other IPAs that are out there. I wish this was available in my area.

Picked up in a trade with sry23.

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


A- Pours a dark translucent gold with a two finger head that dissipates into a nice cap, leaving a few lines of lacing behind.

S- Honey stands out, much more than I remember from previous years and in bottles. Fresh citrus and tropical fruits with notes of pineapple, orange marmalade, mango, grapefruit and some caramel malt.

T- Much sweeter than the nose suggests, with caramel, toffee and toasted bread drizzled with honey. Mango, pineapple, orange and grapefruit and pine are present but are slightly overpowered by the malt sweetness.

M- Low to medium carbonation with a slightly chewy body. Finishes dry. The high abv is masked especially well on-tap.

O- A great DIPA for sure and one I try to have a bottle/glass of every year, but the sweetness is too much for my style preference to buy in larger quantities.

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Photo of SometimesIfart
4.17/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours amber with a thing white head that disappears quickly. Leaves spotty lacing.

S - Grapefruit, mango, pine resin, malt works it's way into the mix.

T - Moderate amounts of grapefruit up front, followed by tons of pine and malt. No mango comes through and the malt sticks around after the finish.

M - Medium chewy body with moderate carbonation.

O - Overall, a great DIPA, but not as legendary as what everybody makes it out to be. This one goes to 11 beats it any day.

UPDATE AS OF 7/25/2015. I've had this beer every year now since I got into craft beers. My scores with adjust accordingly.

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

Nice copper color with a slight head and good lacing. Nice aroma due to the hops. Some esters are present; however, they are hard to identify due to the hops. The flavor is balanced between sweet, sour, and bitter. The mouthfeel and drinkability are superior. In short, a wonderful beer.

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

I have experienced this beer on tap many times, but this was actually my first time buying a 6 pack of this stuff. I cannot believe the exorbitant price of hops. Oh well...

A: Pours a lustorous fuzzy golden orange. Sugary lacing. 3 cm foam cap.

S: Very aromatic, sweet, hoppy, fresh pine, and citrus.

T: Up front are pungent citrus hops, then the sweet malt is discernable only to be erased by an extensive bitter honey dryness. The hops are real clean and intense. Love it with the exception of the overly sweet aftertaste.

M: This guy is medium built, 5'8", good.

D: Too many of these and I'd get slammed drunk. Really enjoy this beer and will seek it out, probably on tap more than trying to purchase a 6 pack. Great IPA, just have a slight aversion to the cloying aftertaste.

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

Orange-tan in color and completely clear. One finger head and nice lacing.

Sweet and honey-pine hop aromas dominate, with grapefruit, mandarin oranges, and just a touch of earthy malts.

Powerfully hoppy. Honey overtones accent the malts and citrus peel flavors. Intensely flavorful. Piney as hell.

Medium bodied and well carbonated. Slight hop oil feel and very dominating bitterness. Alcohol warming.

Drinks well but wouldn't be an everyday beer. It's a bit over the top, and would be fine for an occasional sipper.

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Photo of bwd110
4.17/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch #8908

Poured into Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass

A - Light, murky golden brown, aggressive pour only yielded .5" off white head. Head sustained a little while and faded.... Nice lacing throughout. This beer even looks like its going to slam you with hops

S - Honey, sweet fruits, some malt, and holy hops! Very floral and citrusy presence

T - Love this flavor, hops hit you immediately with large floral presentation followed immediately by the honey. Only a hint of the malt backbone then quickly fades into a citrus hops bitter ending. Definitely a lot of alcohol warming going on here.

M - This one has some body to it and certainly covers the tongue. Certainly not unpleasant. A little carbonation zap on the tongue, but not too bad.

D - Because of the balance of the honey and malt against the extreme hoppiness, this one is surprisingly drinkable. Be careful!

Terrifically brewed beer, this is one of the ones you keep going back to year after year,

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

Was grateful to have had this beer. The hops are beautiful in the aroma and in the taste. What's even better is how the hop profile changes as you drink this. The front is of great hops; grapefruit and pine. The hops quickly fades and becomes quite mellow on the finish. The honey comes through after, but its not as prevalent as I hoped.

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

2011 Hopslam Batch #10101 (bottled on Jan 4th--- 2 months old). This is the last bottle of a 6 pack I received in a trade----boo hoo!

A: Pour produces 1/2 inch of pure dense white foam atop a light orange body. Moderate lacing.

S: Aroma is primarily pine with some citrus (grapefruit/lemon) and peach and there's a sweetness that is probably the honey but is coming across a little like mint. Very nice!

T: The piney hoppiness come across very aggressively and the peach is very pronounced. It's all held up by a nice strong malt backbone. Not alot of reviewers have commented on this and it really surprises me but the taste of alcohol is very strong to me. It really stands out. It's not that shocking because it is a 10% beer but it's very prominent.

M: I love the thickness here. It's not RIS thick but it's got a nice heavy mouthfeel that alot of DIPA's have.

D: I really like this beer but I don't remember it being so hot in years past. Anyway, a legendary beer by Bell's. I wish it wasn't so hot though.

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

Bottle into a glass
A- Bright orangish brown with a med. size head. Slight lacing.

S- Bittersweet grapefruit and orange rind.

T- Tangerine, grapefruit, orange, and other citric fruits!

M- Sweet up front before turning dry and mildly bitter.

O- This is a great beer but not my favorite for the style.

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Photo of BierStein711
4.17/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from the bottle

Looked fine from the bottle.

Smells: pine, hemp, hop, and resin

Tastes: Like a good rope, and a pencil factory

Mouthfeel: Fulfilling

Overall, this is a good beer. It is a beer for the hop lover. Quite frankly, I would choose Hoptimum over Hopslam. However, Hopslam is a great beer in its own right.

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

Hazy amber colored with a thick head that persists (even from a growler). smell is all hops - grapefruit and citrus. a little nose of biscuit in the back too. taste is a bit sweet up front, then the hops come in and balance and then back to a sweetness in the finish. notes of citrus, especially lemon and grapefruit fill this beer. alcohol is well hidden for 10%. Mouthfeel is surprisingly creamy yet has plenty of carbonation.

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

A - Poured into a Bell's tulip glass. Gorgeous, off-white 1 finger head rests on top of a very clean, semi-transparent copper body with plenty of bubbles arising from the abyss to keep the head nice & pillowy. Great head retention & lacing throughout.

S - Piney, outdoorsy with pleasant notes of citrus, grapefruit and a faint sweetness. Not as aromatic as some other IPAs I've had.

T - Taste definitely compliments the smell very well. A lot of the same flavors but much more powerful. Pine & citrus that finishes with a smooth, sweet bitterness that leaves the palette waiting for the next sip. Not too much alcohol presence, just enough to remind you that it's 10%.

M - Mouthfeel is on the medium side for a double IPA. Sticky & almost oily but is accompanied nicely by the bite of the citrus.

D - Big fan of this brew. For a double IPA that rings in at 10%, you can't really go wrong with this one. Not highly drinkable but definitely good for a couple of bottles in one session.

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

poured a hazy orange/yellow with a very small amount of head. smells very sweet like candy but with a hint of bitterness rising from the hops. taste is bitter, but sweet enough to balance it out (until the bitterness of the aftertaste kicks in!). definitely taste the sweetness from the honey, a fruity banana taste to it as well. a bit heavy on mouthfeel - a little too rich and creamy for the weather right now (70 and sunny outside), bitter but smooth going down. this is a great iipa, of course it's way hyped by beer geeks which makes me a bit turned off, but after giving it a try, it was a great beer. i wouldn't call it the best for its style, it could use a bit of work on the appearance and the smell (not too many different things going on there and not a great deal of hop aromas either)

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

You know, I have had this beer for about 6 months now, and I can't for the life of me remember where I got it. I am thinking that it must have been from Knightly Spirits in Orlando, but I am not sure. Regardless, I know that I didn't pick it up here in Texas. Let's give it a go.

Appearance: Pours a pretty hazy orange golden color with a very small head of white bubbles that faded by the time I got done with the pour. There are numerous bubbles rising, but they don't maintain the head. The beer poured noticeably thick.

Aroma: Of course I get lots of hops with citrus being the most prominent giving grapefruit in particular, but there is still a solid amount of malt in this beer. Despite the hype written on the side of the bottle, there is actually some malt detectable.

Taste: The flavor is bold and bitter, but it isn't terribly far out of balance as the hype on the bottle. There is a solid malt backbone to this beer, and I am picking up some toasty notes and light crystal in particular. Though the hops are running this beer, it isn't dry and menacing on the palate to me, so they managed to keep the water in check as not to overly accentuate the hops as well. The beer itself is medium to slightly full bodied with ample carbonation.

Opinion: Well, I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by this beer. It is much more balanced than some of the brewery's "Tribute to hops" beers are. Mostly they are just stupidly hopped beer without regard to balance, but this beer is actually a good base to begin with and then they put a S**t load of hops in it. The result is very good. Even though I am a malt-head and don't drink hoppy beers much, I would definitely drink this beer again...and that is saying something. Give it a shot. If you like flavorful beer, this one won't disappoint you.

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

Tried this beer at Bell's, sounded intriguing. Have to echo what others have said, the stupid plastic cup they served it in really bothered me for some reason.

The smell of this was incredible -- very strong and sweet. Looked cloudy and orange-tan. Taste was hoppy, hoppy, and hoppier. I don't know why I expected any different from a beer named "Hop Slam!"

Very drinkable - I still prefer the Two Hearted for hop flavor but not overwhelmingly so. If you're a hop fan you'll love this beer!

I will certainly enjoy drinking this again, though.

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Photo of gueuzedreg
4.17/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Jan. 4 bottle, into a CS snifter

A- Dark hue to this pale. medium lacing. This beer is pretty viscous for a pale. Perhaps the brewing with honey.

S- Pretty muted here for a pale, I imagine the honey did that. I am blaming problems on the honey, and giving honey recognition for making this a great beer. Small amount of hop presence with a malt like character that I think is more of the honey.

T- Some hop bite, but not much. Honey is present. This is a top 10 pale for me. Great brew.

M- Pretty viscous for a pale; the honey I think does this. My favorite mouthfeel for a pale is the creamy ones, this one is second.

O- A great brew. The honey is still present a month after. I don't know what it is like to have a fresh one. Maybe next year.

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Photo of HopBomb515
4.17/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dark Amber tinged orange color with a quick fading white head that leaves some spotty lacing. Grapefruit fills the aroma with some sweetness, floral and booze. Taste is bitter red grapefruit with a touch of honey adding some floral character and a sweet but unobtrusive malt bill. Resinous and light pine in the finish. Nicely carbonated gives a pleasant prickle and helps the bitter edge and finishes semi dry. This was great but far from the best DIPA I've had and not quite up to the big hype surrounding it.

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

a - slightly hazy burnt orange color with a 1.5 finger head that lasts a good while for 10.5% abv

s - floral, citrus, and a little bit of spice

t - my palate isn't very good at detecting various hop flavors yet. I get some citrus and flower flavors up front. I'm pretty sure I can taste some malt even, maybe caramel. The hop punch is there, but not so bad I can't drink it. Very well balanced with the malt flavor that I wasn't expecting to be there. This is the first IIPA that I have had where it isn't a struggle to tolerate the bitterness. Either I am developing a taste for it, or it's well done.

m - smooth texture with a decent amount of carbonation. I've never had a high abv beer with good carbonation, but this is pretty good.

d - this is high abv and intense in flavor. I was expecting something that was going to be hard to drink, but I think I'm getting used to hoppy beers. I really like the citrus and flower characteristics of IPA's so it was worth it for me to try this.

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Photo of Dan2165
4.17/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Knew this was rare, but witnessing the want of this is unbelievable. People lined in DROVES at beer fests and reservations were needed at every store that would carry it, haha. Anyway:

[A:] Light golden, like a honey lemon almost. From the name alone I was expecting an amber or darker, so a surprise when it was poured.

[S:] Fruits all over the place (not really surprising). Every citrus you could think of with a hint of honey in the middle.

[T:] A close to perfection balance of sweet to bitter I think. Fruits and the honey really shine.

[M:] No viscosity or heaviness to it at all.

[D:] Packs a punch if you aren't careful so i'd recommend two at the most. But after one it gets you hooked. Started a little bitter but finished with a sweet aftertaste.

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

Just had this on cask at Rustico last night for their Glassware Giveaway event. Poured with no head, and was a hazy brushed gold color. Smelled fantastic. Ultra fresh hops, super clean, pineapple dominates, but also hints of pine and sour apple, solid honey sweetness. Taste is along the same lines as the smell. Definitely pure and clean hops, but not the exact flavor I enjoy best in a 2IPA. That's what kills this beer vs the hype for me. It's brewed excellently and tastes great, but just isn't my favorite flavor. Sweet honey malt helps balance the bitterness and makes it easier to drink, but it's still more of a sipping beer. Body was a little thick, but not as much as I was expecting from the cask. Basically no carbonation, and lasting bitterness in the aftertaste. Alcohol is nicely hidden, almost too well. Not sure if cask is worth the hype over regular tap? Overall, this was a pleasure to drink, but still not my favorite beer in the world.

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Photo of Hamburgers
4.16/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours cloudy orange with one finger white head. Head dissipates to thin cap leaving nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of peaches, honey and orange blossoms. Flavor is sweet and citrusy with bitter finish. Medium body with light carbonation. Perfect balance of rich malt and bitter hops. A very refreshing easy to drink DIPA.

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Photo of ehammond1
4.16/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle (2012)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, dannyfrost!

Clear copper and orange with a moderately sized eggshell colored head that eventually leaves spiderwebs and messy ribbons of lace down the glass.

Huge amounts of citrus hop presence in the aroma, accompanied with defined honey sweetness, and a bit of sweet caramel and onion.

The flavor is both very bitter and sweet, with huge amounts of citrus flavor, a bit of caramel and toffee (honey?) sweetness for balance, and a bit of onion.

Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation. Very nice.

A fantastic DIPA, though I still believe it doesn't match up to California's finest from Russian River and Alpine.

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Photo of dciBA
4.16/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ok here it is, in my glass, the legendary ad much hyped hopslam. Pours a slightly hazy amber into my snifter. No head whatsoever. Just a little lacing as it goes down.

Lots of grapefruit hops in the nose. No surprise there. There's also a decent amount if sweet malt. One of the more pleasant dipas I've smelled. Taste is similar but the hops are definitely overpowering the malt. I don't have a problem with that. Hop flavor is mostly grapefruit with a nice spiciness as well. After the hop flavor has faded from your palate the malt is left behind which keeps this one fairly well balanced despite the amount of hops. Bitterness is strong but not unbearable, at least not for the seasoned hop head.

Finish is pretty much perfect with just enough sweetness from the hop resin left behind after every sip. Carbonation seems a little low but doesn't bother me. Hhhhmmmm, drinkability, that's a tough one. Plenty of bitterness, plenty if alcohol, but still goes down fairly quick. Overall quite a nice dips. Worth the ridiculous hype? Maybe not. Absolutely glad I was able to get a sixer of this though.

Big thanks to browna71 for the trade.

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Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.44 out of 5 based on 12,662 ratings.
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