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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 3,523 | Ratings: 12,977
Photo of Sideswipe
5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sent to me by the ever awesome beerbeerbeerbeer. Thanks Kevin! 12oz bottle poured into my Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

A down the center pour yields a two finger head of dense foam which recedes quickly leaving a white film across the top of the beer. Decent lacing. The beer is a wonderful, clear golden orange color. Looks great!

The aroma hits me as I'm pouring the beer into the glass. The smell of hops permeates my kitchen. Citrus predominates. Orange, grapefruit, and mango are all showcased. I can barely detect some buiscuity malt presence but this is all about the hops. This beer is a joy to sniff!

Taste follows the nose with huge notes of grapefruit, orange, mango, and pineapple. The signature sweetness of honey is present. Hoppy bitterness plays across my palate. There is enough malt to balance the beer nicely, but make no mistake, this is an exercise in hop appreciation. The finish is sweet and bitter at the same time with more citrus and a bit of pine manifesting itself. Excellent!

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with an perfect level of carbonation. The beer isn't sticky or cloying like some DIPAs. Really nice.

Drinkability is phenomenal for a beer of this caliber. 10% ABV? Really? There is no trace of alcohol present in this delicious concoction. It seems to fade into the harmony of bitter citrus, pine and honey sweetness.

I really like this beer. I traded for a case last year, and plan on trading for at least that much again this year, maybe more! Seek this out and experience hop nirvana!

 1,530 characters

Photo of locstir
5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5


 304 characters

Photo of MaaikeMae
5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer gets better every year. Pay attention to this one. Beers speak louder than reviews.

Gorgeous colour, soft pillowy head that sticks. Aromas of, well, hops, but tropical fruit and honey as well. Tastes the same. Nice retention! The hoppiness really sticks around.

I'm a huge fan of the IPA's that don't have a huge malt profile, and this one tops them all. Excellent beer, and totally worth all of the hype.

 417 characters

Photo of Seeker41184
5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Date Drunk: 1/15/11

Pours like a light lager, with a yellow-orange tint with frothy head. The smell is mouth watering of candy hops and pink grapefruit. The first sip made me fall back into my chair. It's liquid sugared grapefruit with a slight dry hop at the end, it is brewed with honey, hence the sweetness. To make this beer even better, you can keep drinking and drinking because the 10% is not even present.

The tap version is a perfect beer.

 450 characters

Photo of melloashello
5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First time to try it today. Truly an exceptional beer!
Pours a nice orange and golden color with moderate head.
The aroma is a basket of citrusy fruits and sweet honey and handfuls of hops. It smells so damn delicious.
The beverage drinks smoothly, taste of fruit, pine, sweet honey, and hops...lots of em'
At 10% ABV, the alcohol is almost completely hidden. I could drink these all night and not be able to know I was drinking such a high gravity beer from just taste alone.
One of the best DIPA's out there. Get it if you can.
I had to travel a nice little distance to get it but it was well worth it!

 606 characters

Photo of JohnRioux
5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Absolutely amazing beer! Can't say enough. Now I know why every time I walk into a bar they make it a point to tell me they have Hopslam in bottles. Heard it went out in Kickbacks Gastropub in less than a day! On the top of my favorites list right behind Sweetwater IPA!

 270 characters

Photo of blackcompg
5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from their 12oz bottle...

Appearance - A rough pour gave me 3 gingers of golden fluffy eggshell head, color is a gorgeous glowing slightly hazy yellow gold, almost a lite orange. Big laces already starting to appear. *Thick broad splashes of lace all over the inside of my glass when finished - wow.

Smell - Oh BIG pine and fresh grapefruit zest, more citrus smells like orange zest and pineapple too, and there is an underlying sweetness, perhaps from the honey. One of the best smelling beers ever, literally makes the mouth water.

Taste - What a perfect balance here - starts with Big citrus notes of grapefruit with other citrus zests (orange and trace lemon) and even some under-ripe pineapple with hints of pine. moments after the sip there are green grassy floral hop flavors - and for the entire trip there is the perfect amount of sweetness in the back to just keep your taste-buds attached. You can actually pick up the faint honey flavor. Not the sugar laden honey from the bear shaped container at the grocers, this is much more of a natural honey from the comb flavor, very floral and natural tasting. Fantastic big flavors here. Alcohol is perfectly hidden, even at 10%.

Mouthfeel - This has a medium mouthfeel with almost medium carb. The carb adds just enough cleansing and crispness to to let the hops really come through and linger long into the finish. Careful, this is such a wonderfully drinkable beer, you could very easily end up like the person pictured on the front of the bottle...and get hopslammed ;)

Overall - I am enjoying this so much, a hop lovers dream. So perfectly balanced and still very complex. So many wonderful hop flavors - citrus, pine, floral, meadowy, grassy, like you dipped the tips of a fistful of hops into some fresh honey from the comb, and thrust this into your mouth all at once. My favorite style is a really good DIPA, and until i find something better, this is a poker hand of 5 aces.

 1,951 characters

Photo of dstickel
5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Probably my favorite beer ever, anywhere, of any style, period! Nothing wrong with it at all. Great taste, great smell, perfectly balanced, hides the 10% ABV well. The only problem with it is that it's only available for a very short time each year. But that probably makes it that much better.

 294 characters

Photo of CZeman
5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have got to say that this is probably the best IPA that I have ever had. It starts off pouring a beautiful golden with orange highlights. The aroma is nothing but well thought out citrus characters. The Flavor is nothing shy of exceptional, as it first hits the tongue with a citrusy delight, and lingers for a while and finishes off with a floral quality that blends nicely with the subtle sweetness that the Honey in this master piece adds. The Body has been well designed to match the multitude of hop characteristics that mingle in this beer. Cheers to the brewers at Bell's for once again amazing me with this beer. Every year it never fails to please.

 659 characters

Photo of kdmcguire10
5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2011 vintage enjoyed in August. Poured into a tulip.

Beautiful orange/copper color, 1-2 finger head, excellent retention.

Smell - The smell hits you from 3 feet away. 10% beer and not a hint of alcohol on the nose. Honey, sweet caramel. Sweet.

Taste - Honey, Sweet caramel, toffee. Alcohol but this beer hides it incredibly well. The hops hit you like a mack truck! My goodness, what a beer.

Easily in my hall of fame. Incredibly drinkable beer for how big it is. It'll warm you up in cold Midwest nights but it's going down wonderfully on a hot August evening. Perhaps my favorite beer

 591 characters

Photo of SurlyZach
5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Rich orange color with a perfect head

S - Tons of citrus and hops and a bit of malt

T - This is the Holy Grail of IPAs. Incredibly smooth and drinkable. Great hoppy bitterness combined with subtle malt and some sweetness from the honey. It is the nectar of the gods.

M - Smooth and balanced

O - My favorite brew hands down.

 331 characters

Photo of Bogforce
5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

If you said to me "What is the perfect beer?" I would say HOPSLAM.

A: Very clear golden orange color with a nice looking head and some lacing.

S: Smells like you squeezed fresh pineapple juice into the beer, great aroma.

T: Gives such a good fresh hops taste with the hint of fruit and a great fruit aftertaste. Alcohol is hardly present.

D: I could drink these all night if I could afford it.

 397 characters

Photo of TheosTheories
5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was bottled in January 2013.

A- nice orange color, small white head that doesn't last long. Just beautiful orange, what a beer should look like.

S- even with the age on it the hops are still forward. Citrus and pine, fresh orange peel, a little honey at the end, but pretty much all hops, great!

T- follows the nose, big hops, big orange peel flavor, citrus and piney notes, big grapefruit, not as bitter as it was when I had it fresh but still bitter enough, this beer is just as good with a little age on it. The honey is there but really doesn't do too much besides create a great balance with the strong hops.

M- very smooth, medium body on it, goes down nice.

O- just a great brew, you really can't do any better. This is a two hearted ale (one of my favorite beers) on steroids. Just so well balanced and huge huge hops, which I love!

 854 characters

Photo of GordonQuid
5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle to a pint glass.

Deep golden w/a rocky 2 inch white head. Ample lacing with some serious "leg" action.

Smells like hop heaven.... Slightly earthy musk and clover fields, fresh honey and oats.

The taste is Cataclysmic! Spicey, earthy hops, rich malts and honey do melon. Slightly warm from the alcohol but I could not wait to take another sip. Simply deliscious!

 390 characters

Photo of MadHopz
5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is my first review. I found this site after buying a Dogfish Head 90-minute IPA and thinking I had quite possibly found the best beer ever made. I have not reviewed the DFH yet (that's next) but after spending hours reading the reviews here I set out to find Hopslam. Lucky for me that my discovery of IIPAs coincided with annual release of Hopslam. Doubly lucky for me apparently there aren't a lot of Beer Advocaters down here in Naples, FL as my local Total Wine had 5 sixes left on January 31st (my birthday). I bought them all without even trying it first.

Hopslam is a smooth, balanced, citrusey, hoppy perfection of a beer that might just be worth the ridiculous price. I'm not going to go into it's color, mouthfeel, drinkability, lacing etc. 2,000 people have already done that. What I will say is that, in my limited experience drinking IIPAs (I've had Racer X, Founder's Double Trouble, DFH 90, and Stone Ruination to date) this beer leaves all those in the dust. I figure it needs a few dozen more people to give it all 5s to make this one of the six A+ beers on this site. It certainly deserves that distinction.

 1,131 characters

Photo of srobertson59
5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle (Lot 8277)

A - Poured a hazy honey orange with slight amounts of sticky foam. Foam dissipated quickly leaving some elegant lacing.

S - Hops hit the nose with a bit of honey sweetness in the background.

T - Juicy citrus explosion! I was tempted to wipe my chin as if I had just bit into a huge grapefruit! Pine overtones quickly fill in for the juiciness. Hops are out front on this one.

M - Velvety and creamy with little prickles of carbonation to the tongue. Very balanced on the exhale.

D - This is a remarkable brew. It's a shame it is a seasonal...umm...maybe it's a good thing as I would love to drink these often.

Label says 10% ABV...sure doesn't drink like it, but it does tend to sneak up on you.

 740 characters

Photo of joefuzz
5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5



Pours beautiful orange gold thin white head great lacing

Smells amazing hops and grapefruit up front with a slight alcohol afterburn 

Taste is huge piney hops up front with a nice sugary citrus aftertaste

Mouthfeel is perfect not to heavy not to light just right level of carbonation 

Dangerously high drinkability you quickly forget there is 10%abv in these

I have had this in the past but it was a little old, this is a beer to drink fresh. Thanks for the 6 pack Vince.

 508 characters

Photo of HoppedupDawg
5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Unconditionally so smooth. Iam a iipa man and indulge daily....so sad i can't get it year round. Absolutely put together perfectly. Any body disagrees aint true to the brew. Peace

 180 characters

Photo of unclejimbay
5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bell's HopSlam Ale
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Style: American Double / Imperial IPA
ABV: 10.00 %

reviewed 1/21/09, bottle>imperial pint glass

my summary...
"a truly unique and intense but balanced citrus hoppy experience, one of a kind!"

A 5.0 - golden honey color, foamy 2 finger head, excellent head retention.
S 5.0 - 1. Hops, 2. Honey/Malt dance, very citrus grapefruit notes
T 5.0 - same as smell, sweet vs. hoppy-ness. I really dig the grapefruit hoppy-ness, very unique indeed - possibly the Simcoe? Perfect balance of a slam of hops w/ a fruity hoppy-ness.
MF 5.0 - Med++ on carbonation, semi slick mouthfeel.
D 5.0 - A very drink-able hop tongue splitter. I could drink these things all day, but you have to be very careful of the 10% ABV! I dig the grapefruit aromas and tastes.

 789 characters

Photo of pkarlisc
5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

this is my first review for BA so i figured I'd start with one of my favorites.

appearance: nothing extremely unique that would separate it from others within the style. looks damn good though.

smell: open a bottle and walk 5 feet away. you can still smell the beer. this is good thing.

taste: tropical fruit, mango, papaya, citrus, cream. all to the tenth power.

mouthfeel: carbonated skim-milk. not too thick but still very creamy. moderate carbonation provides essential texture.

drinkability: too drinkable. i feel the alcohol after the first sip but i keep drinking. this is a good thing.

i really cant say enough about this brew. i used to be a pretty big beer-nerd but other interests have proven to prevail and i've scaled back my obsession somewhat over the past years. that said, hopslam will always be a pedestal beer for me.

 844 characters

Photo of Bernardkowalski
5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Absolutely one of my favorite beers!! honestly can go good with anything, but you are better off enjoying this beer by itself. it has so much too offer, such great combination between the yeast and malt's making this an outstanding brew. you can put this on my list of top beers.

 279 characters

Photo of brew3crew
5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 10093
Bottled January 3rd drank January 11th
Drank with UrbanCaver
A-Golden bronze in color with nice head and a lot of lacing. Simply beautiful.
T-Strong hops but not too overpowering. nice amount of fruit balance. Simply amazing
M-Very well balanced, Sweet yet not too sweet with the right amount of hop kick
D-The most drinkable beer. Ever. 10%? There is no way. this goes down way to smooth and easy. One of a handful of beer that truly "Wow"ed me.

This is the best IIPA bar none. It sets the bar. If only they made it year round. Can't wait to have it on draft. I am buying a case and it is not nearly enough!

 634 characters

Photo of VanBeer
5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My heart swells each year when I see the new six packs of HS on the shelf. My other love, Mrs. Vanbeer, feels a little left out of the parade. However, she likes the beer too. But I am not the jealous type, except when she drinks "my" beer.

 240 characters

Photo of KingPuuChuu
5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

All 5's.

I know, I know, it's rare, but this is wonderful.

Pours a beautiful gold into a Sam Adams Better Beer glass. Aroma is floral, almost sweet, but not too sweet. Another sniff brings out some pine, maybe some grapefruit, some honey.

First sip is great. It doesn't bite, like expected, but comes off a little sweet. It's sweet, a little floral, not bitter at all.

The alcohol level (10%) is nonexistent. This is a consistently smooth beer, but at the same time, you know what you're drinking, so you don't get stupid drinking a ton of it.

Mouthfeel is wonderful. It's slightly bubbly, not too much, and it leaves the mouth slightly dry.

This beer is beautiful. The price though, it's steep. $20 a 6 pack is pretty outrageous. If you can, grab a bottle, and savor.

 780 characters

Photo of dakid618
5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from 12oz bottle batch #8911 into Bell's pint glass. Pours a light amber golden color with a half finger of frothy head that leaves gobs of retention on the sides of the glass. Smell is all grapefruit. I don't know how else to describe it but grapefruit citrus smell with maybe a hint of biscuitlike malt hidden deep. Taste is citrus hops up front(grapefruit, hints of banana and orange peel) followed seemlessly by smooth biscuitlike malts. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and not as dry as most DIPAs are. Drinkability is amazing for such a high ABV beer. Alcohol is perfectly hidden and kind of scary this could be so easy drinking. This is the best DIPA I've ever had, ever. This beer deserves a perfect 5. If this were available year round I'd stop trying new beers and this is all I would drink(at least for this style). In my opinion a perfect DIPA.

 858 characters

Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.43 out of 5 based on 12,977 ratings.
  • About Us

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

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.