Hopslam Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

3,506 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: 3,506 | Ratings: 12,886
Photo of bwd110
4.17/5  rDev -5.9%
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 -5.9%
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 -5.9%
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 -5.9%
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 -5.9%
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 Bluecrow
4.17/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

-bright, hazy amber can pour to glass. sugar and hop nose. The flavor is uniquely honey influenced and exceptionally smooth with a broad hop taste. This brew is neither juicy, nor dank or even like a good DIPA in the west coast style. This a unique and enjoyable offering, but not something I would purchase again given the local price.

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Photo of jpaltan
4.17/5  rDev -5.9%
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 -5.9%
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 -5.9%
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 -5.9%
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 -5.9%
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 -5.9%
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 -5.9%
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 -5.9%
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 -5.9%
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 -5.9%
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 -6.1%
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 -6.1%
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 -6.1%
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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Photo of Ohiovania
4.16/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours nicely with an ok amount of head. It stayed around for a while and laced well. The rest of the beer didn't lace too much. Smell was intoxicating. The only imperial IPA with more citrus and robust hops smell that I have had is Pliny. After the amazing smell that didn't hold back a bit I was expecting more from the taste. I have a bottle back from an early January batch and i have heard that the taste is better with freshness on this one. Citrus fruits, hops, and honey dominate the beginning and middle but the end of the flavor is pretty big on malt and alcohol. It's pretty good on mouthfeel but it's a little light. i will definitely try this one again next time it is available.

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Photo of crazeguy
4.16/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch 8907 Bottled on January 6, 2009

Its a little over 3 months old but still my first time with this beer. Pored from a 12oz bottle into a Pilsner Glass.

Hazy orange, with sediment floating wildly. Minimal head.

Smell is citrusy and hoppy.

Taste, subdued hops. Grapefruit. Nice balance.

Mouthfeel, well with the sediment its not exactly A+, but could be my fault from an over excited pour. Laces the tongue with an almost sour taste.

Drink, decent. I can only imagine how much better this would be fresh, but until than, this is what I have to go off of. I'm not going to knock it for not being fresh but I most likely won't give it a score it deserves. Or hell, this could be how it normally tastes.

Anyone I would drink this again but prefer a fresher bottle.

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Photo of kkipple
4.16/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A. Clear, still orange with a fat 3 finger head that fades over time. No lacing, decent retention.

S. Big grapefruit and piney hops, then sweet malt and the advertised honey, clean, some oranges and flowers. Mostly just hop juice. Citrus and pure. If you like hops, you'll love this.

T. A fine blend of citrusy hops and sweet lightly toasted grain, with an orangey, alcoholic dry finish and some sappy, sticky pine notes. Hopslam is quite basic, simply variations on hops and grain sugars, but is wonderfully balanced and tasty. Think a less aggressive Double Dog or a hoppier, less sweet 90 minute and you're getting there.

M. Decent carbonation, finish is bitter and hoppy with an eventual sweet note. Alcohol is warming and certainly seems like the proclaimed 10%.

Hopslam is good, and drinkable, but ultimately doesn't bring a lot new to the table. It's simply a good Double IPA; but there's nothing wrong with that, either. Recommended for those with a hop-tooth.

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Photo of Stevedore
4.16/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

(Please note: I only rate by whole numbers as per my rating system in my journal)

Bottle date 1/10/13, poured into a Nonic today 1/22/13

Aroma- Lots of citrus- grapefruit and orange comes to mind, a bit of sticky sweetness that could be the honey. And a bit of pine. Strong nose, very pleasing for a DIPA. (5)

Colour- Nice and clear dark orange, copper body, pours with a 1cm white head that doesn't stick around for long. Lacing is a bit sticky but gravity brings it down the side of the glass quickly. Nothing particularly special for the style. (3)

Flavour- Some citrus- grapefruit, orange in the front that sets the stage for a brief dabble of sweet honey and biscuit just before the bitter citrus/earthy starts building up fast and hits you like a truck at the end. (4)

Mouthfeel- Medium-bodied but on the lighter side of the spectrum; carbonated well, a bit on the wet side. Aftertaste is that bitter hopslam that definitely sticks around for a while. Pretty much what you'd expect from a beer called Hopslam. On some swallows though, I can taste a lingering honey sweetness- as if it was not dissolved completely. It's a nice touch if intended like so. (4)

Overall- Its a DIPA that assaults my nose and palate. It doesn't look particularly special but it smells great and the taste follows the nose. It's certainly not a balanced DIPA in my opinion despite what people say as its hops, hops, and hops with a brief malt/honey interlude. But hey, that's not what I was expecting from this style of beer. I definitely like it, but in terms of DIPAs, a six pack of Sucks costs half as much as a six of Hopslam, just sacrificing a small bit of the hop aroma/bitterness and the honey character- since it's Lagunitas, there are still tons of hops in it. So, yeah this might be a better brew but for regular consumption, between the two I'm going with Lagunitas Sucks about 8 out of 10 times. (4)

Old score: 4.15

Re-reviewed with this year's new batch, bottled 1/10/2014 (eerily, the same month/day as last year's) and poured into a Bell's snifter today, 1/21/2014 (almost the same month/day as last year, seeing a theme here?).

Appearance: Hazy copper body, one-finger white head, good lacing, average retention
Smell: Caramel, toffee, honey are at the forefront. Hops- citrus, tropical fruit, pine, floral notes are in the background.
Flavour: Crisp grapefruit, tangerines, resinous pine flavours cut by caramel and toffee sweetness. Resounding pine and floral bitterness.
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, good carbonation. Just right for the beer. Aftertaste is a strong pine, floral bitterness that leaves the palate very dry. One of the more bitter beers I've had in this new year which still makes this a sipper.
Overall: My palate has clearly adjusted to all kinds of DIPAs over the past year and I still find this beer to be incredibly bitter. It's not juicy as I'd like though the sweetness does help cut into the hoppiness. For what it is, it's a solid value but I probably won't buy a full sixer again.

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Photo of BrewerB
4.16/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Intense, knock you over the head hoppiness. Loaded with fruity hops - pineapple, candied orange, grapefruits. Clean fermentation and malt character.

Decent-sized white head, retains well. Lacing appears when swirled in the glass. Orange/yellow in color, clear.

Lots of pineapple-like hop flavor. Bitterness is strong but not overwhelming. The bitterness carries through into the dry finish. Some toasty malt character is noted but its mild and in the background. Excellent balance. Could benefit from a wee bit more complexity in the hop flavor.

Smooth, medium bodied. Not astringent. Expected a little more carbonation.

Overall it's a very smooth double IPA loaded with fruity (mostly pineapple) hop flavor. A great balancing act considering its strength, this one is suprisingly easy to drink. A bump in carbonation and more complexity in hop flavors would kick this into overdrive.

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Photo of Risser09
4.16/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006 Vintage - 12 oz bottle poured into a big wine glass at cellar temperature - About 45 degrees

Appearance: Vigorous pour yields a respectable bubbly, white head that stands 2 inches tall. Hazy golden orange beer is somewhat cloudy with some floating yeast. 5 minutes pass before the head receeds to a drinkable state. The lace won't let go of its grip on the side of my glass. No apparent carbonation from the bottom of the glass.

Smell: Bulbous and bursting with aroma. Perfect balance of pine and grapefruit. Swirling gives way to a shot of lupulin bitterness. Not as floral as other DIPAs.

Taste: Balanced and complex. Not as big of a hop bomb as I expected. There are malt backings in there. Pine hits me first and then fades into grapefruity bitterness. Mild earthiness and alcohol enter my nasal passages. They must have used several hop varieties for this handsome brew.

Mouthfeel: Sticky and sweet makes way for an alcohol burn and belly warmth. Carbonation is harsh and quickly fades. Smoothe and not drying.

Drinkability: Very good. Not the most impressive DIPA I've had, but a damn good one. I love the stillness and suspension of the floating particles. This is certainly worth enjoying whenever available, especially for hop heads. I'd say it's also worth buying a case per year upon release to take full advantage of the freshness.

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Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.43 out of 5 based on 12,886 ratings.
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