Hopslam Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

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BA SCORE
98
world-class
3,441 Reviews
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States | website

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
3,441
Ratings:
12,597
Avg:
4.44
pDev:
18.24%
 
 
Wants:
2,631
Gots:
3,365
For Trade:
62
User Reviews
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Reviews: 3,441 | Ratings: 12,597
Photo of dd43
4.29/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Hopslam is somewhat of a unique animal. Honey isn't typically part of the mash for an imperial IPA, but it seems to work here. The honey does more than lend a large amount of easily fermentable sugar, the flavor and aroma of clover honey comes through when drinking it. Head was pretty substantial upon the pour, a mix of medium and small sized bubbles, bright white, topping an amber colored and lightly hazy liquid beneath.

This is a beer that features malt and hops in equal measure. The name is somewhat deceiving, as while the hops are definitely big and in your grill, the malts are just as pronounced. I got some pretty ripe melon, almost a fermented melon smell, along with pine needle and citrus oils in the nose. There's a flowery bouquet as well but I can't pin it down more than that. Flavor brings in the honey, and a pretty deeply resinous malt punch. Hop bitterness is assertive enough to keep the malts in check and reward each sip with a pleasant finish on the sides of my tongue.

There is booze to be found in the aroma, I get the essence of it when exhaling after a swallow. Mouthfeel is on the sticky side, not a sugar bomb but certainly not what I'd call a dry or crisp finish. I actually wouldn't mind if that part of this beer was lightened up somewhat, but then I suppose it wouldn't be Hopslam anymore.

Great beer, worth trying to anyone that has never had it. That said I don't think if it was harder to get that I'd really go nuts trying to find it. One or two six packs a season seems plenty to me.

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Photo of Umdrunner
4.23/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured hazy light orange with one finger white head that had good retention and lacing. Scent was subtle pine, citrus with sweetness. Flavor was a pine, grapefruit, with noticeable sweet malty character with lingering boozy after taste that didn't overpower. Good, not worth chasing trucks for though.

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Photo of FriedSlug
4.38/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Clear orange with a white head and spotty lacing. Smells sweet and dank with the faint scent of honey. The taste is malty sweet with honey and really nice bitter hops. Really nice beer.

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Photo of HorseheadsHopHead
4.47/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Look: Semi-hazy amber-orange with a few bubbles a tight white creamy head that leaves sheets of lacing.

Smell: Lots of pulpy yellow grapefruit and orange, grassy and floral; also pretty dank and resinous with some faint sweetness. Perhaps a touch of tropical notes; pineapple, papaya, passionfruit.

Taste: Loads of yellow grapefruit, orange, and a bit of lemon up front, dankness and pine resin. Incredibly smooth, balanced, and drinkable. A firm yet subtle malt backbone of caramel, toast, and honey. Lights notes of pineapple and papaya. Finishes dank and grassy, but only faintly bitter.

Feel: Slick, smooth, and creamy. Just enough carbonation to roll it nicely over the palate, but feels slick in the mouth like cream.

Overall: Another whale that did not disappoint. A top notch double/triple IPA worth seeking out, and a pleasure to drink.

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Photo of Kurt_Dog
3.68/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Fairly good double ipa. Big malt backbone. Bitter, gritty finish (you can feel the amount of hops on your teeth). This IPA tastes dated (I had a fresh glass on tap). It isn't very fruity, tropical or dank. I guess this is east coast vs. west coast. I would have to say that east coast / midwest, at least Michigan is falling majorly behind west coast IPA's, esp. California. I can think of a dozen better IPAs in California off the top of my head.

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Photo of NatoMasochism
4.71/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2016 can poured into tulip glass. Love that smell.

Very consistent to the last 3 years and canning has not had any noticeable impact on the taste.

Regardless of the hype, it's still one of my favorite DIPA's.

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Photo of MemphisSooner
4.59/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Simply incredible. In the world of double IPAs, Hopslam is a king. Hop forward, balanced, and insanely drinkable despite the abv. This is a must try if you have never had the pleasure. Tropical, piney, and grassy hops dominate. The honey provides a slightly sweet and smooth finish. Just an amazing IPA. Get it if you can.

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Photo of jimdalton
4.67/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: Crystal clear golden orange that pours a two finger pearl colored head. Very nice lacing down the glass.
Smell: Earthy, floral hop with some bready-malt undertones.
Taste: Perfect balance between bitterness and sweet that really allows the hops to flourish. Citrus (grapefruit, orange) and earthy, floral hops with some very nice sweetness towards the back end of the taste. Honey notes are present, but not overly dominant. Very smooth finish.
Feel: Medium body with less than sudsy carbonation.
Overall: A spectacular double IPA worthy of high marks. Not for those new to the style or perhaps craft beer in general, but it is a fantastically complex and enjoyable beer. Highly recommended.

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Photo of HopfordBeerham
4.9/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Just came across this elusive elixir for the second time. This time I had it from a can, last year I had the bottle. This stuff is amazing. Hoppy, strong, and subtly sweet; very drinkable. Bells in general is hard to come by in the NY/NJ area but I found it at Press 195 tonight in Bayside Queens! Salud!!

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Photo of MACrist
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

APPEARANCE: Golden to orange. Finger+ of off white foamy head. Small amount of tiny bubbles rising. Nice, thick lacing down the glass.
AROMA: Some citrus, pine, and grass as it warms. Honey? Ok, there is a sweetness there that I can imagine to be honey like. The beer does have a nice aroma, malty & hoppy citrus mostly, it smells like it's going to be a balanced beer.
TASTE: Big malt sweetness. Nice hoppy citrus and pine notes, and pleasant, mild bitterness. A little alcohol as it warms.
FEEL: Full body. Average carbonation. A bit sticky, dries on the finish. Just the slightest bit of astringency to the beer, but very mild.
OVERALL: A really pleasant DIPA. It is very balanced though, between malt and hops. Don't know if I would have called this HopSLAM... But, it's a really tasty brew.

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Photo of Davey-C
3.12/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled on 2/11/16 from can dated on box "1/8/16" from pint glass. Aroma: initial aroma dominated by pine hops and hop resin. Aroma develops to reveal moderate malt sweetness (Carmel) and bubble-gum fruity (pineapple, pear, tropical fruit) hop aromas. Appearance: moderately clear with light cloudiness. Copper color. Good head retention with 3/4" just off-white head that persists for 5+ minutes leaving film that persists. Heavy lacing. Flavor: moderate malt sweetness combined with high levels of hop flavor - clashing. Balance is hop forward. Yeast characteristics of "clean" American ale strain. Finish is moderately sweet and persists. Hop flavors of pine and sweet fruit (bubble gum, pineapple, tropical fruit, stone cherries). High hop bitterness. Mouthfeel: medium-heavy body. Medium carbonation. Very slight alcohol warmth. Moderately creamy - coating mouth. No astringency or acidity. Overall: high levels of malt and hops and alcohol muddle flavors. Consider lowering dextrinious malts, mash at lower temp to reduce sweetness in finish and allow hops to be expressed. A fair attempt at a difficult style that has fierce competition. Cloying sweetness and lack of standout hop aroma and flavor don't make me a fan. This beer seems to have quite the following, perhaps I got a bad can?

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Photo of Erik271
3.5/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Used to love this ! But idk ? It seemed to lack the aroma of hops and the aftertaste seemed flat almost metallic . Not sure if it was because of it being in a can ? Idk . I wouldn't pay 17.99 for a 6 pack of this again. Its definitely way overpriced .

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Photo of heresy22
3.35/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a can.

Very sweet. Surprisingly so. Somewhat off-putting.
The alcohol is not hidden. Booze in the smell and taste.
Thick mouth feel. Again, somewhat off-putting.

I am glad I finally got to try it, but I was not impressed. I will give it another shot if I see it again, but I will not seek it out.

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Photo of CNoj012
3.89/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a hazy golden copper color with a huge, pillowy off white head. The retention is amazing and there is tons of spotted lacing. Smell is subtle yet complex. Orange and grapefruit along with floral and a slight bit of pine in the hop department and some sweet and caramel malts. The taste is similar, but one person's balanced is another person's muddled, and to me this seems a bit more of the latter. Also a bit on the sweet side. Feel is medium to full and really coats your whole mouth. Overall a nice beer, but I'm a little let down. The hops really seem like they would be the star of the show from the aroma, but instead of the malt just kind of cutting out the bitterness, they really kind of weigh down the hop flavors.

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Photo of yesterdayfaraway
4.49/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: clear, golden yellow with a huge white foamy head.
S: massive hops right away, somewhat grassy and citrus hops. Sweet smelling.
T: sweet citrus hops. No trace of alcohol, no bitter bite either. Finishes sweet, really good stuff.
F: smooth, fairly thick for an ipa. Very drinkable, no trace of alcohol.
O: this is a great ipa. There have been more great ipa's hit the shelf that narrowed the gap, and have made this not worth a frantic chase, but this is still fantastic!

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Photo of Crubbsy
4.49/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. can into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Absolutely beautiful crystal clear golden color. Fairly effervescent. about 3/4 inch of white foamy head immediately after pouring.

Smell: Intense hoppy aroma, almost floral. Mostly hop aroma, but can sense the heavy malt backbone that carries the hoppy bitterness and piney floral notes.

Taste: Malt flavor first, then I get that beautiful piney hop flavor that dominates the nose. Then a slight bitterness and a hint of boozy flavor near the very end.

Mouthfeel: Fairly light bodied for a double IPA. Still a bit of swirl in the glass.

Overall: A delightful double IPA. Great balance between malt, hop aroma, and bitterness.

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Photo of vitamin_g
4.29/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Finally got some Hopslam now that Bell's is in TN. Pours a beautiful golden-orange color with a nice thick off-white head that slowly dissipates. Smell is of fresh hops, but not overwhelmingly so. Flavor is less hoppy than the smell, due to the combination of sweetness from the honey and the slight tinge of warmth from the higher abv. Mouthfeel is good, nice blend of carbonation and not-too-thin substance. Good stuff but not mind-blowing, for me.

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Photo of Bshaw79
4.82/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

I'm sick of all the "beer know it all" that are too cool for school. It's that good...I collect small batch to large batch and enjoy all good beer. But like anything else...when something gets hype and becomes too mainstream, everyone wants to find something wrong with it. It's fucking wonderful...enjoy and find something else to bitch about.

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Photo of jm1229
4.69/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Been looking for this bad boy ever since I joined onto BA. But being that I live on the West Coast, it's almost been more of a myth than an actual beer. Now that Bell's has expanded West, it's time to give it a try. Will it live up to the hype or will it pale in comparison to other amazing west coast hop bombs?

Poured from a can into a Samuel Smith imperial pint glass. The head was pillowy and fluffy (like I've seen with other East coast IPAs) and sticks to the glass on the way down. My poor pour made the head stick up above the glass like a soufflé (which looked nicer than I deserved for the pour). Nice cloudy golden color.

Smells like pineapple, pine, citrus fruits. Big aroma. Off to a good start.

The taste is amazing. I'll be the first to say I'm not a huge fan of east coast IPAs as I find them too malty or sweet, but this tastes like you're biting into a fruit. It just burst citrus flavors that match the nose. But the beer really shines in its mouthfeel. It's robust and full, yet once you drink it down, it doesn't linger and assault your tastebuds like a more aggressive IPA. You want to go back for more. Really drinkable.

Overall, oh man. What a delicious beer. Full bodied, yet crisp and drinkable. I can see why it has the hype it does. It's a double IPA, yes, but it doesn't feel like it's competing with the likes of a Pliny or Alpine IPA because it's a blatant east coast, sweet IPA. But that being said, I'm stoked I bought two cases and I'll be looking for this every year it comes out.

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Photo of Statonxyb
4.85/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

From a can during this year's production. 2015/16 Hopslam.

Look: A darker-orange color, an opaque hazy sun with a small head (1 finger).
Smell: Hopslam smells like... a DIPA with hints of fruit (grapefruit and citrus).
Taste: Hopslam hits you with a nice kick upfront, with heavy hints of honey and alcohol that goes down smooth and satisfying. Took a few drinks to get used to, but now I truly appreciate the amazing flavor. Strong and hoppy without being too bitter.
Feel: The mouthful is not too light, nor heavy - just right (medium). It goes down satisfyingly easy.
Overall: I'm not used to DIPAs of this calibur. Hopslam definitely hits you up front with its bite and honey alcohol kick, but is able to maintain an easy-drinking beer that brings warmth to the heart and soul. Best offering I've had from Bells.

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Photo of LADaveBN
4.2/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours amber orange with a one finger head. Nose is pine and citrus. Taste is much the same with pineapple and orange being the dominant flavors. Feel is excellent, rich and full. Medium carb. Alcohol is hidden well. Overall, a very good DIPA. My first experience with Hopslam. Feel is where this brew excels. Though I'm not convinced it's worth the hype it receives given that IMO there are other DIPAs as good as this and more readily available.

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Photo of neurobot01
3.67/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap, fresh keg.

Look: burnt orange with no head.

Smell: little pine/orange. Not a lot exciting going on.

Taste: sweet, alcohol heat, some pine/dark orange. Balanced.

Feel: medium, but a bit overly fizzy.

Overall: well, not even remotely worth hype. Not terrible, but wouldn't seek it out again.

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Photo of MyThoughtsExactly
3.58/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a can dated (02/01/16) into a pint glass
L: Pale orange color with a finger of head. Lots of carbonation
S: Smells like a west coast DIPA (Grapefruit) with some sweetness and melon present.
T: Right away I get sweetness, honey, and alcohol. There is some grapefruit and pine there, but the honey really dominates and seems to overpower the hop flavor. Not much bitterness present. The alcohol isn't burning but you differently notice it.
F: Medium mouth feel. The good carbonation makes it an easy drinking beer.
Overall: This is a DIPA which is just two sweet and alcoholic for me. Glad I got to try this years but there are plenty of better options available on store shelves. That said, if honey is your thing that you would likely enjoy this beer.

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Photo of Evilyak
4.23/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

poured the color of golden honey, with a solid head. i would have said that not knowing there was honey in here, but it helps.

smell is hop forward and then some. citrusy.

taste is more bitter than the nose would lead you to believe.

not as cloying as some imperial or double ipas can be.

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Photo of Nhens0016
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ok, so I feel this beer is getting a mixed result. I love IPAs. I love double IPAs. I enjoy the easy drinkability, the flavor profile, and the hop characteristic of the style. This beer is far and away one of the top doubles I have ever tasted. The look is a dark amber color and the smell is citrus and pine. The taste... so this is where I have to pipe up. Some people hate the sweetness that the honey entails. I love it. It cancels out the bitterness that the hops bring but doesn't stop from the citrus profile that the hops in this double are known for. Again, I love it. It is not the double IPA that some might think it is. It is not hop forward like most in this style, but it adds another layer that most don't have. It is one of my favorites. The price point is a bit high but for a once a year release, I can't stop picking up a couple six packs. This is one fantastic beer. I can understand how some might hate the sweetness, but for me, this is a top 10 beer of all time easy.

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Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
98 out of 100 based on 3,441 ratings.
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