Hopslam Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

3,517 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:
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Reviews: 3,517 | Ratings: 12,949
Photo of craytonic
4.32/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber-orange, nice head.

Smell: hops, citrus (lemon, grapefruit, orange, etc), and clover

Taste: Nice sharp citrus hops up front, then sweet finish. I get lots of citrus and straw - lemon, grapefruit, orange zest, etc. After the swallow you can taste and feel the honey.

Mouthheel: Medium-body, more than I expected. You can feel the honey

Drinkability: Tasty and enjoyable, I try to get some every year


Tried fresh 2-12-09

Similar, with less complexity, more bitterness, less fruit and honey. Graded down accordinly.

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Photo of chicagospots
4.89/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This has to be one of the hoppiest beers I have ever tasted. Bells Two Hearted Ale is my favorite beer in the hoppy category. Bells Hop Slam is a turbo-jolted version of the Two Hearted Ale with more alcohol and hop character.

This is a sipping beer. For me it's too powerful (10% ABV) to have more than one. I drink it from a snifter glass to get my big nose in the bowl and let the hops tickle my olfactory glands.

You'll find the usual citrus, grassy notes from the hops with just the right amount of bitters.

Hop Slam is only available in January and I believe most of the distribution is in or around the midwest so stock up. The brewery is in the Kalamazoo Michigan area.

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Photo of hopdog
4.55/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottles multiple times!

What a cool looking label! Poured a medium amber color with a smaller sized off white head. Had strong fresh green leafy hoppiness aroma with orange peels. Sticky. Tastes of oranges, caramel, floral, with a grapefruit finish. Smooth and way too easy to drink. Alcohol content well hidden.

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Photo of xpimptastikx
4.47/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to mikereaser for the trade.

Pours a hazy dark honey color with a off white head. It leaves a nice thin layer and good lacing. Smells sweet more than hoppy, but pine comes through the malts. Taste is nice and balanced. It's creamy and sweet with a nice bitter aftertaste. A great beer that I would gladly take more of.

Edit: I received fresh bottles from the 09 release.

A much larger hop presence, smells of pineapple and citrus drenched in honey. A much more pleasant experience fresh.

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Photo of egajdzis
4.12/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

[Batch 7806] Poured a lightly hazy, copper color with a medium sized, white head that left spotty lacing on the glass. Aroma of pine, floral hops, melon, tangerine, caramel, light citrus, and honeydew. Taste of pine, toffee, resin, light dough, citrus fruits, mint leaf, and some cinnamon. Bracingly bitter, with moderate alcohol.

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Photo of ATPete
4.77/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle

i was lucky enough to drink 7 of these in the past 3/4 months. took notes through out, and the conclusion is that this beer is absolutely killer. Beautiful orange brown color, small white head. Amazing pine notes in the nose, sweetened grapefruit and orange peel, lots of earthy grassy hops battle with the fresh, semi sweet citrusy hops, all of this is overseen by a very rugged malty backbone adding incredible balance. Coating but smooth, the 10% ABV is completely masked by the beers more than impressive flavor profile. Some say this beer is best fresh but i was equally impressed with every single bottle i cracked open, my most recent being 11/2/08. Cant wait to get some more this year. Safe to say i highly recommend this one.

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Photo of rye726
4.68/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Not the freshest bottle, so take this review with a grain of salt. It pours a woody brown color with a thick beige head and excellent lacing. The nose has a big bouquet of fruity hops over a rich malt profile. Taste has an explosion of citrusy and piney hops well balanced by sweet bready malts. Big oily body is carbonated perfectly . A great brew, but I would love to try a fresh bottle.

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Photo of waltonc
4.87/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Acquired via trade with hrking, thanks very much.

I first had this a while ago, but didn't appreciate it nearly as much as I do now upon retasting. Appearance is a hazy amber color with substantial white head. Smell and taste is hoppy, but very well balanced by malts and honey. What a welcome break from west coast IPAs. This reminds me of Dogfish 90. Mouthfeel is medium, sticky, and well carbonated. Highly guzzleable, I'd put this up there with Dogfish 90 and Burton Baton as one of my favorite IPAs. Not surprising, coming from my favorite brewer.

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Photo of marksto
4.08/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium amber color, very cloudy and hazy. Small whitish head falls quickly. Aroma displays a honeyish sweetness followed by some hoppy, piney notes. Faint aromas of apricot and citrus are there too. I didn't find the aroma to be that big compared to other great DIPA's.

Flavor displays big malt and lots of hop flavor and bitterness. The honey does not come through here, it's in the nose but masked by the hop complexity in flavor. The usual american hop essences come through, pine and citrus.

I suspected this bottle might have a bit of age to it. Checking the Bell's website I see a feature allowing one to enter the batch number. How cool! This was brewed in January 08, so it's got a little under a year on it. Not as old as I thought it might be. This is certainly a good DIPA, but there are better ones out there. Try it if you get a chance.

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Photo of cannabanaceae
4.1/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Look was a half inch head dissipating to ring around rim, some lacing. Tan in color with some hazy yellow.

Smell was pineapple/citrus smell with a malt scent that tells you this is a heavy hitter.

Taste was bitter throughout, very little alcohol bite for the 10%abv. Nice sweet finish. If someone told you this was a session beer they might believe you.Very well balanced.

This beer did not brooze my touge from the bitterness, like the label suggests. Iam used to west coast iipas so my touge may be different than some. If I could get this in my state I would buy it on occasion, but I wouldnt trade for it again. Awsome label. Glad to have tried. Good beer!

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Photo of roadhouse
4.89/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Original tasting, 1/27/08, the one the ratings are for:

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a snifter.

Appears a beautiful orange amber color with a one finger head. It doesn't leave a ton of lace, but not bad at all.

Aroma of piney hops and tropical fruit with a bit of citrus in the background. There's a big malty sweet backbone that makes this even better.

Flavors of piney hops and citrus with a tinge of alcohol. The honey it not detectable in the taste really, but there's definitely a malty sweetness that back up the hops well. Some tropical fruit taste comes through in the beginning. The hops are always front and center and very fresh tasting. The tropical fruitiness comes out right before the finish.

Medium-full mouthfeel. Finishes smoothly leaving a nice bitter aftertaste on the tongue.

This has to be the best DIPA that I've had, and nothing can beat it in drinkability. You might have trouble not being able to control yourself from finishing the six pack. It's just that good. Make sure you don't have anything to do the next morning after you start up on this one. Best DIPA in existence.

10/24/08 tasting, 9 months in: The aroma is much more mellow on the hops and now I can definitely pick up the honey that was covered up by the intense hops before. The taste is much weaker, the hops only coming through at about 30% of what they were before. Still tasty, but it doesn't even taste like the same beer. In the words of Russian River, "Drink fresh, do not age!"

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Photo of PatronWizard
3.97/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another score in an awesome trade box from Kadonny.

Looks like orange marmalade. I've been saying that a lot lately but so what: it does. White head.

Modest hop smell. Nice hop flavor with noticeable malts as well. These hops bite! A little too sweet for my taste.

Overall: a worthy brew

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Photo of ph2001
3.85/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle in snifter

a hazy reddish golden color with one finger of head that leaves quickly. smells smooth, hoppy, boozy, and sweet. it has a medium body that is somewhat smooth. there is a honey-like sweetness to it that rounds out the bitter hops nicely. this one finishes with a mouth filling bite towards the end of the sip.

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Photo of scootny
4.47/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 12 oz bottle, long neck. " Ale brewed with honey" . A honeyed amber in my tulip tumbler with a one finger off-white head. A gentle fade and a ring remains around the glass. Moderate carbonation and a bit of chill haze. Once warmed a little it goes clear.

Smell reveals the honey along with piney hops and a toffee tinged maltiness. Juicy grapefruit and tropical fruits as well.

Taste is not as bitter as advertised. Or maybe I'm in love. Don't get me wrong, the hops hit the back of the throat and fold the edges of your tongue with force but the big malt backbone gives superb balance. Major grapefruit and pine resin. The honey adds another dimension to the broad and somewhat bready malt structure. Finish is Wham Bam Hops with an earthy and a spicy edge leading to toasty breads and grahm. Where is the alcohol in this stuff, I feel it but it pulls a Claude Rains.

Mouthfeel is tingly and smooth with a light syrup consistency.

Drinkability is better than a 10 percent abv has a right to be. A sipper to be sure but it is so inviting that you take bigger ones than you should. A marvelous concoction.

Thanks to my man hrking for this one.

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Photo of orcasteve
4.3/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

nice and bitter at the start but as it warms the honey comes out to be eaqual to the hops. this is the first time that i have ipa with honney, i like this one but its not my first choise. this is a beer that i would drink agan, i do love the huge floral flavor on this one. this is a beer that should be tryed by everyone

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Photo of stumac
4.9/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

pours up a murky copper color with a nice white head. the smell is all sorts of hop characters! citrus, floral, grapefruit, subtle spices. Its a hop medley! the taste is remarkably smoothe for a shitload of IBUs! i taste all of your hop characteristics here. mostly citrus though. the 10% ABV is very unapparent. full bodied, medium carbo. Deelish!

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Photo of ViveLaChouffe
2.82/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

It pours a clear orangey copper with a frothy ivory head. Lots of fine spiderweb lacing. Beautiful smell. Floral and sweet citrusy hops. Hints of tangerine and apricot, orange rind and a hint of alcohol.

In the mouth, the alcohol is quite apparent. Quite hot actually. It is quite sweet but the malt provides very little body to offset the copious amounts of bitingly bitter hops. The hops are pretty unpleasant actually without the malt to offset the spice. It comes off exceedingly harsh. And thin! Long hoppy aftertaste.

Wow, really lacking as a double IPA. It's kind of a mess. Horrendously overrated. A fantastic brewery (the best brewer of stouts in America in my estimation) but this is a beer that is surprisingly lacking in craftmanship and taste. Miss it.

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Photo of stoutman
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A great awesome hoppy brew. Pours an orangeish amber, with a thick white head. Aroma of honey and very strong hops. The flavor is a delicious blend of citrusy hops with a honey sweetness unlike the typical maltiness of many imperial IPAs. The alcohol is also prominent, but not in a bad way. This is a favorite beer when in mood for hops.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.14/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Props to Jeff at Case and Keg in Boca.
Slightly hazy copper color. Off-white head is there, but unassuming.

Interesting...I thought I would smell just a hop explosion, but I also get plenty of malts and the honey is readily apparent as well. Hints of clover, grapes, figs and grape-nuts cereal. Smells like a fresh grapefruity barleywine.

What crazy combination of hops is this? Awesome. Loads of alcohol, but it is hidden pretty well for 10%. Just the right amount of honey makes a great combination with the bitterness. Hints of raw carrots and figs.

Very unique, very strong and very tasty! This one gets better as it warms too.

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Photo of kzoobrew
4.63/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 9478 Rereview with a fresh bottle.

Poured into Duvel tulip. Moderately strong pour produces a two and a half finger fluffy white head. Slowly works its way back leaving plenty of sticky lacking around the perimeter of the glass. Retention is great, a cap roughly half a finger tall remains for the duration. Bright orange body not totally clear, slight haze. Nearly picture perfect.

Juicy citrus and resinous hop aromas are abundant. Sweet orange and pineapple smells, possible the freshest citrus smell that can be found in a DIPA. Fresh, the nose is dominated by the hops malt is completely overwhelmed.

Flavor is combination of sweet and bitterness. Sweet citric flavors roll on to the palate first. Bitterness more noted on the back of the palate and lingers. Pleasant sweetness compliments the citric hop flavors and balances out the bitterness. Some people seems to have a problem with this, can someone tell me where in the rule book it says a DIPA cannot be sweet? Malt becomes more apparent with age though fresh it is sure hard to find.

Medium bodied brew, for as big and sweet as Hopslam is there is not hint of a syrupy characteristic anywhere. Smooth and nearly creamy texture. Finish is slightly oily on the tongue.

Drinkability is ridiculous. A beer this big should not go down this easy. Alcohol is masked completely in the flavor. Does not get overly sweet or bitter, exceptional balance. One could easily drink more or at least faster than intended. Call me a homer but this is one of the best DIPA's made.

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Photo of Lupe
4.59/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Acquired from monkeyknife in 80's BIF. Big thanks!!

Pours a slightly hazed bright amber color with a small off-white head. Head slowly dissipates to a thin sheet and leaves spotty lacing.

Very aromatic with loads of citrus, giving it a crisp and acidic characteristic. Lots of raw honey and floral perfume. Just an intoxicating aroma.

The flavor of this beer definitely sneaks up on you, starting light with sweet honey and caramel. Citrus starts building up with grapefruit before the hops are full unleashed. Alcohol makes it's presence known, pepper and grassy hops join the party, and the citrus hops become biting. Smooths out in the finish with honey sweetness returning to mingle with lingering hop bitterness.

Surprisingly soft on the tongue. Medium-full in body with a chewy and slick mouthfeel.

Great drinkability with a flavor that begs you to drink more. Just delicious and at 10% you better watch out before this really slams you. After finishing a bottle I really wanted another.

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Photo of gmuller
4.77/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Another beer trade from my mid-western friends. 12 oz bottle in a pint glass...sorry, for Grant, IPA's go in a pint glass.

Appearance - cloudy orange (Chill haze?), very little off-white head, but my pour may be the culprit.

Smell - Citrus, very crisp and acidic. Green and grapefruit.

Taste - Distinctive citrus hop taste. Cascades in this one? Words escape me when I encounter a beer of this caliber...then again maybe I'm seduced by the hops.

Mouthfeel - slight burn, but not overly dry or alcoholic. Thick but not unpleasant lingering.

Drinkability - Pleasantly bitter. This is one of my favorite styles, so perhaps I'm biased. I could drink this for weeks, and no, I'm not at all disparaged by the alcohol content. For a spring or Summer brew you can't go wrong with this, very 4th of July.

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Photo of trill
4.67/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Yet another one courtesy of tayner, the Queen of Beers.

This one comes out a translucent honey with a healthy white head. It certainly doesn't look 10%. The aroma isn't extremely fragrant, but it's quite nice. Sweet citrus, pine needles, honey, and a little bit of hay. The flavor is almost perplexing, with a powerful bitterness on the front of the tongue that disappears from the finish, with some oak, orange pith, and slightly medicinal alcohol dryness. Malt presence is negligible, but not insufficient to back the hops, and the body is thin enough to keep the beer as refreshing as a regular IPA.

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Photo of katan
3.97/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

undated 12 oz bottle, id 8285

A - Pours a light golden brown color with little haze. Carbonation is obviously present, but the head retention is very small. Maybe a mm which dissipated to a film.

S - Strong floral notes are quite apparent here. The obvious high hopping rate of noble hops is resulting in a citrus/grapefruit nose. Appealing and fits the style.

T - Starts with a grassy hard hop bite that transitions to a balance of sweet malt backbone, bitterness, and citrus hop flavors. Finishes with the hop slam as the name would lead you to think. The after taste is persistent and sweet.

M - A difficult mouthfeel to describe. It seems to be light and watery at times, while some tacky clinging in the aftertaste.

D - The fact that while this is a nice hoppy beer, but not a hop bomb, has me believing that it wouldn't be difficult to knock one back. The high ABV is a counter balance to this however.

Another quality offering from Bells.

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Photo of jeremyd365
5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've had this a few times before without yet reviewing it, but I finally popped open my last one from past January '08 (Batch 8283). This is the holy grail of beer! Poured a dark amber-golden with medium clarity and medium to heavy carbonation with a slight white head. The hops are apparent at quite a distance, and once you actually put your nose in it, you've reached the motherland. On the tip of the tongue, the bitter hops are already being absorbed, and upon swallowing, the piney flavor melds with the monster hops to the most pleasurable blend imaginable. It's medium to heavy bodied and a true hop-SLAM, yet goes down smooth and remains extremely drinkable. This seasonal is one to definitely one to stock up on to enjoy sparingly at special moments throughout the year! Thank you, Bell's!

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Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.43 out of 5 based on 12,949 ratings.
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