Hopslam Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

3,523 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: 3,523 | Ratings: 12,979
Photo of MDDMD
4.2/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A-golden to slightly amber color with a nice white head with good lacing

S-nice fruity scent with citrus and pineapple and yeasty malt with some floral overtones

T-great fruit and malt flavors up front with solid hop finish which lingers on the palate, honey does add a gentle sweetness to it

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, alcohol not overly forward

O-on tap for my first exposure to Hopslam and I must say that it lives up to the hype, awesome flavor and balance

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Photo of qchic
4.2/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden peach color with a frothy head that leaves sticky lace behind.
Of course, lots of hops in the nose with citrus, pine, and pineapple. Rockin bitterness in the flavor with pine, tangerine and tropical fruits, more bitterness, and alcohol that also contributes to the mouthfeel. A party in the mouth. Warming alcohol would (or should) prevent one from downing too many of these and since it's available for such a short time I find it easy to savor one at a time.

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Photo of KYBrewgrass
4.2/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- 4.5 Hopslam is a pretty light orange color and can barely be seen through. It has lots of bubbles and a nice, sticky white head that clings to the glass. An aggressive pour gave it 1-2 fingers. There is high lacing with this one.

S- 4.5 Hops, hops, hops... And a sweet citrus. There's a hint of pine as well. It's a very intense but welcoming scent. It would be agonizing to smell this and not be able to try it!

T- 4 As it smells, the hops are dominant. However, they are balanced out considerably well by a honey and citrus blend. This is a good tasting powerfully-hopped ale. It can leave you puckering. It's also just slightly boozy on the finish (though not bad considering its 10% ABV).

M- 4.5 Great medium body and carbonation with this brew. It is velvety and smooth (once you forget about the taste for a second and concentrate on the feel it's quite good). Only a tinge of syrup as it goes down but this seems to fit.

D- 4 This beer is pretty drinkable for its style. This is a matter of personal preference for me; I'm not the biggest hop-head out there but as imperial IPAs go I could drink as many of these as any. It definitely has a 'kick' to it, though, so be careful! Always an annual treat worth picking up.

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Photo of miromanyth
4.19/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

So much hype...does it deserve it?

A: Very nice in a glass, as our most DIPA's. A golden honey color with pretty bubbles rolling up the side.

S: The absolute best part of this beer is the smell. Divinity. Mango's and peaches, dipped in honey, with a nice hop aroma. The best smelling beer ever in my opinion.

T: The fruit smell comes through in the flavor. Peaches and mangos, a nice sweetness from the honey...and a pleasant alcohol/hop bite in the finish. Super smooth, and easy to drink.
Floral, mild (very mild) citrus notes. Grapefruit. Earthy. Complex to say the least.

M: Creamy. Smooth. Biting as it rolls over the tongue. After it goes down the tongue is in hop-shock for a few moments.

D: Overall, I love this beer - but who doesn't? It's Bell's, it's a DIPA, it's an American beer fully realized. A delicious beer...but there are better DIPA's. And frankly, standing in line for it is absurd.

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Photo of carln26
4.19/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy copper color with a bit of sediment. The beer is topped by a thick, fluffy off-white head. The nose is dominated by citrus hops. Nice blend of grapefruit and mandarin orange. Little malt in the aroma. The flavor? Citrus, citrus, and more citrus. I would not call it a hop bomb, as the bitterness is not overwhelming, but there is a load of mandarin and grapefruit citrus with just a touch of pine midway. The malt is a subtle sweetness that accentuates the hoppy character. The mouthfeel is light and slightly effervescent. Remarkably, and wonderfully drinakble. There was a nice thread between some friends of mine a while back as to how this compares with the Two Hearted Ale. Very different beer. I prefer Two Hearted. This is still a nice offering.

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Photo of rypkr
4.19/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Updated taste from 4 to 4.25 on 1-31-17. Usually I consider this okay at best but this year felt a little more appreciative of it (though I still think it's hyped and blown out of proportion).

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Photo of JerseyKirk
4.19/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Golden but not transparent. Hardly any head due to alcohol content. White head. Limited lacing.

S: Grapefruit. Strong and delicious smelling.

T: Hoppy but not overly bitter. Really smooth and balanced. Clean finish. No alcohol burn even though its 10% abv.

M: Full bodied.

D: Could easily drink more without being overworked with hop flavors.

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Photo of charlzm
4.19/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Consume don May 25th, 2016. Poured from a can celebrating its 4 month anniversary today.

Pour is a slightly hazy honey gold with a three finger white head that, when it subsides, provides impressive lace all the way down.

Aroma is citrus peel, peppery honey and pine resin.

Flavor is somewhat sweet with honey and grapefruit notes. Significant bitterness crests in the aftertaste to tidy things up.

Mouthfeel is ever-so-slightly creamy and a little slick. Dry without being parching.

While not a blinding revelation, this beer (even as old as it is) is not to be trifled with. Can't wait to try it fresher!

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Photo of bigbubba
4.19/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The color is a nice amber. Even with a careful pour there are floaties by the hundreds. Also no head, but probably because of my timid pour. The smell of hops is amazing. The floral and grapefruity aromas are delicious. The taste is also delicious. Aromatic citrusy hops give way to drying bitter hops. And your taste buds are officially fried. The only thing to do is have another. But be careful, as I learned the first time I bought this. It is way too easy to drink considering the alcohol level.

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Photo of JDizzle
4.19/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle drank 5 days after date on bottle(can't remember date?)

A: Light copper in color with a short white head- looks really nice.

S: Damn fine smelling DIPA. Grapefruit, piney, and sweet smelling. Not as hoppy as I had hoped for though compared to other DIPA's on the market- Enjoy By, Hop Ranch)

T: Wow! Such a great beer, it's a shame it's only around for such a short time. Super hoppy and bitter with a nice sweetness that will get to you over time if you have way too many(I have:) It's just such a good clean DIPA that doesn't really have any faults.

D: this one is very easy to drink fast and forget about the 10% ABV. You can put this up against most DIPA's in the world, even if it's a bit steep on price.

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Photo of dfillius
4.19/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Moderate pour yields 1/2 finger of white head with okay retention. A thin layer remains. Slightly hazy amber liquid. I'd like better head retention.

S: All out Man Candy. Candied pineapple, mango, strawberry puree. Very fruity! OMG! Green apple Jolly Rancher is noticeable, probably simcoe hops. Ideal aroma, the highlight of this beer.

T: Honey is apparent. Some noticeable esters lead to an almost boozy character which is a negative. Very hoppy, but not the most bitter. Actually more of a barleywine in taste. I'd like less booze, more hops. This seems like an East Coast DIPA.

M: Very smooth at first. Heat increases with every swallow and becomes quite breathy.

D: Good, I will have it again, but wouldn't have 2 in a row. If it was less boozy I probably would.

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Photo of nhindian
4.19/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Dogfish Head Signature glass.

I called my distributor earlier this week about this beer, as for Bell's last seasonal (Expedition Stout), the local Wegmans didn't stock any 6-packs, and the only good to-go bottle shop around me was selling them for $24. They expected to get cases in later in the week, but wasn't sure how many, if any, they could allot to people just walking in. He asked for my name, and on Friday I got a call saying they have a case with my name on it!

Batch 10115, bottled on January 11, 2011. According to Bell's Batch Finder at this time, this is the newest batch of anything to come out of Bell's! Hard to get much fresher than this!

A - Pours a tangerine color in the glass, pretty clear throughout with a modest stream of carbonation rising from the etched bottom. A relatively hard pour unleashes 2.5-fingers of white head, bubbling and rocky before leaving the faintest of caps several minutes later. Lacing is scattered but twirls sporadically down the edge of the glass.

S - The cap flies off and the kitchen starts to swell with the aroma of a citrus playground. Overwhelming amounts of grapefruit, orange, mango and even some pineapple flood the nose and make themselves right at home. For a beer called 'Hopslam', however, there was also a very pronounced malt backbone here that adds some caramel as well.

T - The flavors give new life to the nose and it certainly does slam you. The hops are alive and kicking, assaulting the palate with a barrage of bitterness and fruitiness, clenching your mouth with no intentions of letting go. It's citrus lasts well after the sip is done, but along the way the malts do help in taming the hops while adding a bit of smoothness. As it warms it melds better, but the alcohol noticeable pops as well. Actually, the alcohol comes through a bit too much on the back end for my liking, but this seems to be varied. The first one I had last night didn't have as much heat, but I really notice it more in tonight's. Hard to make a judging on that, but this specific bottle has a scathing alcohol bite.

M - Mouthfeel is moderately heavy with good carbonation. This beer takes coating the palate to an entirely new level, and my tongue feels seriously heavier after drinking this beer. A new, but welcome experience.

D - Drinkability is moderately high. I absolutely love the nose and initial flavors on this one, but the alcohol presence just kind of detracted from the back-end a bit too much for my liking.

In terms of the Pliny v. Hopslam debate, I'm probably going to have to pick Pliny. I appreciate the balance Hopslam tries to bring, but for me personally, I really like the pine/hopbomb aspect that Pliny brings to the table. Hopslam is great and I'm happy I have a few sixers, but I'm hoping more bottles are like my first where the alcohol is a bit more tamed.

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Photo of gabe23
4.19/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear golden color with a bright white head. It fades fast to leave a nice cap & laces wonderfully. Looks like a pint glass full of honey.

S - Grapefruit and pine needles. A little bit of grassiness and some floral notes, but the piney grapefruit is what socks you in the nose.

T - Clean citrus up front, closely followed by a nice mix of hop bitterness and honey sweetness. The finish is slightly sweet with a noticable alcohol kick.

M - A little thick on the tongue with medium carbonation. Just about right for a DIPA.

D - This is about as drinkable as an DIPA gets. Not overly bitter, and the alcohol isn't overpowering. Very nice beer, though it would be hard for it to ever live up to the hype.

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Photo of Parmesan
4.19/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Brilliant bright copper orange with a creamy white head and some nice fingers of lacing on the glass.

S: Nose leads with a lot of pine, as it warms Grapefruit and other citrus notes become more apparent. A slight floral hop near the end and some honey sweetness.

T: A Strong piney bitterness leads with notes of grapefruit and grapefruit pith, a floral hop in backgrpund. Strong honey sweetness (maybe a slight bit sweet) and a note of noticeable booze.

F: Low carbonation and full body.

O: A very nice IPA, definitely different than a lot of the current IPAs out there which is nice.

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Photo of cherche
4.19/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: nice orange body, clear, off white head with good retention and lacing
S: sweet, slightly hoppy with notes of honey, sweet and tropical fruits
T: sweet hoppiness, fruity and honey
M: nice feel, in line with where a DIPA should be
O: very good DIPA, not quite up to the hype/rating but that is a pretty high bar. On the sweet side and a little more balanced than the typical DIPA hop bomb that is more common right now. Worth the price tag and trying for sure.

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Photo of phisig137
4.19/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy 18 karat gold color, with a thin one finger head. Decent retention leaves behind a bit of lacing. Looks innocent, and doesn't prepare you at all for the...

Aroma, which is massively hoppy, dominated by huge citrus scented hops, a bit of piney hops, and more citrusy hops. It smells so hoppy that you can almost sense the bitterness in your nose.

Flavor here is again, purely hoppy. This brew tastes almost devoid of malt, although you know it's there from the 9.3%. Hops are the showcase, somewhat piney up front, and then pure grapefruit bitterness on the finish. Once you've swallowed, the grapefruit sears the tip of your tongue, and lasts for a LONG time. Mouthfeel is creamy, and fairly light, with medium carbonation. Drinkability is quite good.... you don't sense that 9.3% until the last few sips of the glass.

Another solid beer from Bell's. This reminds me of a more grapefuity version of Ruination. Personally, for a DIPA, I'd like to have a little more crystal malt flavor/body, but this is just fine the way it is. I'll be buying this again, assuming that I can still find it around town. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Emersonio
4.19/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pour: 12oz can poured into a tulip glass. Appearance: Golden orange with thick white head. Aroma: Hoppy grapefruit and citrus notes. Subtle alcohol notes, but not overpowering considering the ABV. Doughy malt notes appear over the intense hops. Taste: Straight forward hoppy and slightly malty. Warming boozy effect on the way down. Surprised at the subtleness given the ABV. Aftertaste: Balanced and warming on the back end. I very much liked this one and was amazed by the drinkability given the ABV.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.19/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Can't say that I've been excited to try a beer in a very long time. I had Bells years ago when I knew people out in Michigan but this was one of their offerings I never found when stomping out in Great Lakes Country. When I found this at Top Hops last weekend, I was a bit leery of the $20+ price for a sixer but so many people on here raved about this beer that I grabbed two (one for friends) and lugged them home through the snow/slush/ice back to Jersey. After finally giving this a go, I can say that this was overpriced by a bit but certainly good, and a welcome change from the West Coast "hop bombs" and the Dogfish Head beers that are rated so highly.

Nice pour to this, with a light apricot hue and head that was solid, long lasting, and faded into lacing that left its mark in rings down the side of my pint glass. Not a overtly strong aroma to this beer but what was there was grassy, floral, and slightly reminiscent of orange. The taste had all of those in it with a strong metallic undertone and a pretty oily mouthfeel. The burn and astringency were up front and then the lighter, more earthy notes came out in the back. Not a strong beer in terms of the flavor but what was here melded well together and didn't "slam" me like I expected.

There was enough alcohol here but it really couldn't be detected and it wasn't until I downed this that I could feel the buzz. I think I've had too many other examples of this style to fully appreciate all this had to offer, but this did go down very smoothly and wasn't like anything I had before. The hype is justified if you're a hophead and want something different from the other popular examples out there. Otherwise, this would be a go if you don't mind shelling out the extra cash for something subtly enjoyable while deviating from the norm just a bit.

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Photo of bcf
4.19/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought with much anticipation on 1/12/2008. Upon pouring notice that this years batch seemed a bit thin compared to 2007 batch.

Nose- had the usual grapefruit, piney goodness.

Taste- heavy duty D-IPA not quite as balanced as I remember wonderful citrus but alcohol seems a little more pronounced.

Mouth feel- average, not quite as viscous as 2007 and that isn't a good thing.

The lacing or legs that the beer presented last year are also missing.

All in all HopSlam 08 is very good but the bar was set so high that it does not measure up to last years offering. I expected the same beer Bells offered up last year and that did not happen. This version is thinner and not as well balanced so whatever alterations were made to the recipe should be corrected because it isn't as good as the first release and that is a shame.

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Photo of DovaliHops
4.19/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a RR glass...doesn't seem right, but it's my favorite glass. Beautiful orange/amber color with nice frothy white head. Smells of...I hate to say it...but cat piss...with a bit oh honey. The taste is AMAZING though! Up front sweetness from the honey and such an outstanding balance to this one. Not very bitter at all, as the honey and malts overpower the hops a bit (to make such a unique balance). Not what I'm used to with my typical west coast IPAs. This has a very smooth and chewy mouthfeel with a strong malt/honey taste left along the palate. Amazing beer with incredible drinkability for such high ABV. The alcohol is hidden PERFECTLY in this beer.

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Photo of Hophead101
4.19/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Decided to try this beer while watching Big Brother 9. Wife is in bed - kids are asleep. my time now.

Bells, another favorite of mine. poured into a chalice glass - let it sit for 10 minutes or so to warm from fridge temperature.

appearance: nice hazy copper color. intial head was nice, but dissipated very quickly

smell: not at all what i expected. a very pleasant surprise. very strong honey and citrus smell - maybe even a little vanilla in there? a truly unique blend blend of flavors into a very appealing aroma and smell. one of the best smelling beers i have had in quite some time.

taste: great taste as well. the aroma and taste go hand in hand. what you smell is what you taste. soft on the pallate, strong on taste. flavor dissipates very quickly. a general wow, what a great beer.

mouthfeel: just a good overall beer. not too harsh or strong, massive flavor, but not a massive pallate drowner - they did a nice job with this one.

drinkability: not sure. the strong and unique flavoralmsot make it tough to drink a large or mulitple amount.

this is a fantastic beer. something i will go out and buy a case of. highly recommend.

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Photo of amccormi
4.19/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Thanks to my man Mark for giving me a second to try, much obliged.

Poured from a bottle to pint glass releasing 1 inch of white head which sank to a very thin but persistent layer. Very light amber somewhere between gold and orange color with a suprising level of clarity for such a hopped up beer.

The aroma is very vibrant citrus, then a more herbal undertone.

Taste is fairly sweet upfront, but I was expecting it this time, so not as overpowering. Moves into a bit of fruityness, then finishes with a fiarly clean pithy citrus bitterness (Kumquats anyone?). The bitterness lingers, quite a while.

Mouth feel is average, possibly a tad thin, but nothing to really detract.

This is an incredibly drinkable beer for being 10%. Once I got used to the honey sweetness it really has a nice balance that I can see why people are fond of it.

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Photo of badbeer
4.18/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Excellent looking beer here, blonde color with a white head that has great retention and leaves plenty of lacing. Smell is very nice too, plenty of pine and fresh grapefruit to treat your nose. Taste was very hoppy, as expected. Flavors of grapefruit, pine, various other citrus flavors were also noticed. Bitterness was certainly present, but not a harsh bitterness, was more about hop flavor than IBU's. Medium body with a medium carbonation pair quite well with this one. Very solid beer, I would definitely have another, wish I picked up more than a single.

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Photo of dogfishandi
4.18/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

recieved this in a trade from kflack. thanks man!

12 oz bottle pulled from my fridge poured into an SA perfect pint glass. batch number 10127 indicates it was bottled 1/11/11, exactly 2 months old.

pours out with just a slight haze, golden orange color. big fluffy, creamy, bubbly white head that held with some great retention. lots of sticky lace all over the glass.

intial aroma of big resinous dank pine. some citrus and tropical fruits show up as it warms a bit. a nice balance of big sticky, slightly sweet smelling caramel/ honey malt. some alcohol spice in there as well. the aroma is best off of the pour and then slowly diminishes there after.

dank pine at the forefront with quite a bit of tropical fruits, pineapple, and some citrus. lots of bitterness all over. balanced nicely by a strange almost sweet kind of honey/ caramel that shows up in the middle and goes right to the finish. spicy alcohol at the end. lingering heavy pine sap bitterness.

medium to heavy on the palate, feels much lighter than it really is. carbonation feels apropriate for the style.

way too drinkable for the ABV! goes down super easily and smooth. if i did not know the ABV, i would never guess 10% until i was done with the pint and started to feel it.

overall: a stand up DIPA, but it fell just a bit short of my expectations. the honey was there, and made for almost a wierd aroma and flavor. next year ill try and get some fresher stuff, but im still very glad i got the chance to try this beer.

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Photo of jradar
4.18/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Billowy white head that leaves a moderate amount of lacing. Sweet candied citrus smell with slight hop undertones; not as effervescent as most IPAs this gravity. Warm alcohol burn with grapefruit, orange, and sweet honey flavor that gives way to a boozy aftertaste on the swallow. The feel is where Hopslam truly excels though; medium-light oily slick mouth feel that is exceptionally smooth and refreshing.

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Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.43 out of 5 based on 12,979 ratings.
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