Hopslam Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

3,512 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: 3,512 | Ratings: 12,906
Photo of evantwomey
4.1/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle, thanks to Cindirene's in Ayden, NC. Served at around 45 F. Poured into a big snifter. Pours an amber-gold with about 1/2 an inch of head, which dissipates slowly and leaves spotty lacing. Aroma heavy on the citrus - grapefruit mostly. But its not as intense as I was hoping. Some honey and alcohol aroma as it warms. Taste is very nice - the first thing that hits you is a massive amount of hop flavor, again very citrusy. The finish is actually pretty sweet, mostly what comes through is the honey (which is an awesome addition to this beer). Surprisingly, I found this beer to be not that bitter at all, and the honey really helps smooth everything out. The drinkability is off the charts for a 10% beer, I could easily burn through a 6-pack of this in a night.

Overall, a very solid beer. I definitely wouldn't call it my favorite DIPA, but it is one of the most quirky beers I've had in a while and they pull it off.

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Photo of JamesS
3.72/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice, if light, copper color, with some good initial head (quickly fading) and a wee bit of lacing. Nice strong hoppy scent, floral and citrus (extreme amounts of grapefruit, which I honestly don't care for as a melon). Nice deep hoppy taste from beginning to end, although the pine and the grapefruit battle a bit, with the grapefruit winning out. Goes down fine for a higher ABV beer, although there's a little roughness in it. A nice double IPA, there are better and worse.

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Photo of Strix
4.92/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pale golden-orange, fairly decent head, decent lacing.

Smells fantastic - citrusy, green, and crisp. Blindfolded, I'd say it's a blend of citrus juices.

Grapefruity citrus in front of a bready base, honey, and some malty sweetness. Hints of tropical fruits and pineapple. A bit of a piney aftertaste. Taste is fairly balanced, yet complex. No hint of alcohol - this doesn't feel like 10% at all.

Mouthfeel smooth, slightly viscous.

Wow, this is phenomenal, and dangerously drinkable. This is a great beer, and another great one from Bell's. The best IPA I've ever had for sure.

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Photo of gonzo46and2
4.4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at World of Beer in Westchase.

Pours a copper color with a relatively small head that dissipated pretty quickly. (It was a generous pour from the tap)

Aroma wasn't huge but was very pleasant. Mostly citrus in the nose with bits of pine and spruce resin.

Taste was mostly pine and spruce. Good maltiness and sweetness balances things out. A bit of warmth from the ABV but no offensive alchohol flavors.

Mouthfeel was surprising. It wasn't as bitter as I'd expected. Very well balanced. It has a quick finish.

Very good DIPA. Would like to find some bottles of this and compare to draft.

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Photo of TooleBurger
4.34/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a: very light pour with minimal head

s: the smell was the highlight for me, it has a citrus, followed by a real hoppy smell

t: tasted a lot like the smell with a citrus burst followed by a hoppy pine bitter taste - I really like the way it changed

m: good mouthfeel with a nice bitter ending to follow the citrus beginning

d: again, I could drink a lot of these if they didn't get you so whacked

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Photo of fightingirishcmk
4.04/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Poured an amber color, very clear, light tan small head which dissipated quickly. Lacing was left on the glass.
S: Grapefruit, citrus, clover honey, sweet malts, slight pine smell, slightly floral
T: Starts with a piney bitterness, then citrus, followed by some sweetness from the honey. The finish is purely bitter followed by a slight burning acidity in my throat.
M: Sticky, medium bodied, right amount of carbonation
D: Just average. I bought a 6 pack last year, and thought it was good, not great. I went for the single bottle this year, and am glad I didn't spend the extra $12. Was not as pleasing as many others in the top 100 IMO.

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Photo of yeastsipper
4.17/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beer pours a hazy light copper color with a nice head which disappears fairly quickly. The smell of this beer is really great. Some piney hops, but a really strong smell of lemon zest and some very noticeable grapefruit notes. There is something else in the nose that sets the smell apart, but I can't quite place it. Taste is bitter upfront before the honey-like sweetness balances on the mid-palate. Ultimately the hop bitterness reappears and lingers, and the alcohol becomes very evident. This is a winner. Very much enjoying this beer and like the fact that while it is a great IPA, it is slightly more unique than many other IPAs that are out there. I wish this was available in my area.

Picked up in a trade with sry23.

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Photo of bcm119
4.37/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy peach/orange color, which is the color of most of my favorite IPA's. Thin lacing around the edge. Ripe tropical fruit hops in the aroma, with a hint of alcohol. Plush, juicy hops-- dried apricot, ripe citrus and a gently drying, leafy green bitterness. A light malt profile with a soft sweetness brings some floral hints to the hops, but stays in the background and is well integrated. Hops are mostly on the flavoring end of the spectrum; bittering is on the light side for the amount of hop flavor in here. Finishes fairly dry with a fresh, citrus pith aftertaste.

A nice double IPA done spot-on in the San Diego style. My only gripe is the ABV-- you can often taste and smell the alcohol. If this was attenuated to the same degree and 8%, I think it would be even better. Still, this would be a regular if it was available around here. Thanks to Sanford for the free sample.

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Photo of TomGavin
4.4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 12oz. bottle into a Sam Adams glass. Visually, the beer is stunning with a reddish-orange hue.

Nose: A gamut of citrus fruits; grapefruit, clemintine, mandarin orange all intermingling with spruce and honey lingering in the background of a sapid nose.

Body: Creamy and medium.

Palate: Quickly sweet and intensely hoppy with the aforementioned fruits translating in great balance. The honey makes itself known after the hop wave subsides revealing a trickle of malt. The finish is appealingly extensive.

Comment: An ideal imperial IPA. Will convert hop skeptics, and thrill hopheads.

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Photo of callmemickey
4.82/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

this is one of god's gifts to mankind

A: transparent, golden, copper color... thick off white head.. great lacing.. sticky as all hell.

S: Grapefruit. Honey. Pine. Slight grass notes. Dash of alcohol. Delicate sweet-bitterness in perfect balance... i think i could sniff this beer til it was dry

T: The taste is everything you could ask for from the tease the nose gives you. Grapefruit hop bitterness is ever present, with a sweet honey maltness wrapping its way through every sip. Alcohol is barely perceptible.. The best thing about this beer is the layers of goodness. Each sip is just as profound as the previous.

M: Medium bodied, with a slightly dry bitter finish. Ideal carbonation makes this one a keeper.

D: I'd be a lier if i didn't admit that this is one of the most addictive beverages I have ever consumed. Can someone refer me to the nearest Hopslam Anonymous treatment facilities???

Worth every ounce of effort it took me to get a case of this... its going to take some will power to keep a bottle for about 9 months...

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Photo of Douglas14
4.08/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper color with a pretty nice slightly off-white head that has awesome retention and leaves great lacing. The aroma is fresh, pungent, American hops. The taste has its own hop blast but it is matched with a nice maltiness. It is one of the piney-est beers I have ever had and has considerable bitterness. It feels much lighter in the mouth than its relative strength. Its got a medium body and finishes smoothly. Awesome beer!

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Photo of ncstateplaya
4.7/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pretty, clear, golden amber with a 2 finger creamy sudsy off-white head. Actually like white cake batter. There is tons of lacing left in the glass, its probably more like frosting in my glass.

There are tons of sweet mouth watering hops in the bouquet. A very fragrant beer to say the least. Fruity aromas of red pears, apples, and ruby red grapefruit. I wish my fruit juices smelled like this growing up. It may just be me, but I also picked up some patchouli, damn I love that smell. My mouth continues to water in anticipation. Just a touch of alcohol can be picked up by the nose.

This great crafted ale is sweet with loads of bitterness. Reminds me so much of ruby red grapefruit juice. There is a subtle sweetness in the background that is simply delicious. Can't determine if it is from the honey or the malts, either way it is outstanding.

Medium bodied and jaw clinching bitter. It fully coats my mouth and leaves it feeling stickey. The carbonation is perfect and it is so smooth. There is a slight drying on the finish.

This is definitely one of ,if not my, favorite beers. Extremely enjoyable and highly drinkable. Its not for the weak palate, this baby is a hop head's Kool Aid. It beats your tastebuds into submission and I continued to ask for more. I so hate to give a beer a perfect rating, but in my limited knowledge, this is as close to perfection as I have ever been.

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Photo of jcdgoad
4.65/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer tastes like a grapefruit. It's very good. It's golden brown, and it has a citrusy grapefruit smell. Hopslam tastes much different than I thought it would but its a good thing. I may have to edit this review when I am a bit more sober. Bells brewery is awesome. Try this beer....you will not regret it. It's worth every penny

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

Perfection in a bottle. This brew pours a radiant yellow orange liquid, floating a respectable head. Insane lacing sticks to the glass. Smell is a sweet citrusy pine aroma. Grapefruit and lemons. Taste is a tart citrus hop attack balanced quite perfectly by asugary honey note. This beer is perfect. 10% drinks like 5%. After every sip, my mouth was left wanting another. The bar has been set, this is the perfect DIPA for the citrus hop fiend.

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Photo of BigJim5021
4.28/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Two Hearted's bastard of an older brother pours an impeccably clear orange/copper with a big white head that settles into a nice ring. Wads of lacing. Beautiful beer.

The smell is huge, juicy hops. I except nothing more of an IIPA. Like the hops used in TH, they're citrusy and floral. Dear Glade, get your asses in gear and make some Hopslam air freshener. Sincerely, Jim V.

Flavor is all hops, all the time. The first time I ever had this beer, it lived up to the claim that it was a "tongue bruising" ale. Years later, I don't find it to be as such. Don't get me wrong, it's one of the hoppiest beers I've ever had. My taste buds are apparently just adapted to take a beating at this point. Either way, this stuff is really delicious.

Mouthfeel is fantastic. The alcohol gives it a little more weight than TH, so it's not quite as sharp and crisp. However, you don't really expect an IIPA to be quite so crisp. That said, the body is spot-on for the style. Quality carbonation and tipping the scales at a near-full body. Drier than a sun-baked turd, too.

Drinkablitly is tricky. At 10%, I can't detect even a hint of the alcohol in the flavor. None. I can, however, detect it all up in my business after a couple glasses. On the other hand, the price is ballooning something fierce. I paid $14 (after tax) for the stuff last year. This year, it's $17.99 (before tax). I lucked out. The store at which I purchased it sold it to me at cost due to the fact that I spend a lot of money there, despite being employed by a competing liquor store. The damage was $13.30. Not bad, but who's to say it won't be over $20 next year? Aw, who am I kidding? I'd fucking pay it. Hopslam is a once-a-year treat.

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Photo of jpalarchio
4.52/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer is starting to become a legend, I felt it necessary to finally sit down and review it with a fresh bottle in my hand.

Batch 8908.

Pours exceptionally clear with a new little head; lacing seems to last the entire time I was drinking the beer. A nice amber deviation from the dark stouts of winter.

Smell is just wonderful. Very hoppy (obviously) with a bit of a citrus smell to it. Kind of an odd season in my mind; this beer makes me think late spring / early summer but perhaps that would be competing with Oberon.

Taste backs up everything that the smell sets up for you. The alcohol isn't that hidden, you know it's there about 1/2 way through the beer. Drinkability is a little tough as you can feel this one working after just one bottle.

Great beer Larry. One of my more favorite offerings despite it's placement on the release calendar.

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Photo of skrib09
3.69/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

on tap. looks amber-yellow but hard to tell in the dim bar. head retention was poor and disappeared in a minute or two.

smells hop... slammed. citrus pine on the nose.

taste is similar to smell. maybe a hint of malts in the backbone? some astringency coming out which isn't too pleasant for me.

mouthfeel is almost grainy maybe, hard to describe.

average drinkability.

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Photo of remllof
4.44/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally picked up one of these. Poured from a bottle. Pours a nice thick offwhite head. A dark golden color. The smell is just wonderful, sweet citrisy scent. First, taste of sweet hops, then a wonderfull hit hop. Then a bit of warming sensation of the alcohol. Mouthfell good not too thick for this kind of beer. Overall a smooth great tasting beer but it will be a while till I buy another.

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Photo of t0rin0
3.9/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle brought by azagthoth yesterday.

Pours a very pale color and moderately hazy, not a good start. Also, nice tall white head, decent retention and lacing.

Aroma is very nice but at the same time a bit offensive. There is a ton of grapefruit but also a good amount of alcohol in the nose. Also, some sugary smells are apparent but I don't think that's malt.

Flavor was interesting for sure. Very sweet and hoppy but moderately boozy as well. I'm guessing the sweetness is pale malt and honey but when you get that much hops in a beer it can be sweet as well. Lots of grapefruit again, medium/high bitterness for a DIPA.

Body was reasonably heavy and sticky, medium carbonation, drinkabale because of the good taste but very boozy.

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Photo of everetends
4.44/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle thanks again to hwwty4 and served up in that DFH shaped pint. Well, been hearing quite a bit about this guy and now I have the honor. Lets do this.

A: Off to a not so good start. Pours a crystal clear amber that has some nice carbonation movement to it. Held to the light, a pretty nice golden yellow. The head is the bad part. Got a little less than a finge of white head, but it had pretty much zero retention. Fell to a thin white ring that left a bit of sloppy lacig on the glass. Problem is that it is not very sticky at all. Oh no!!!!

S: Smell is quite fantastic. Big turn around from the look for sure. The hops come out and in a big way. The heavy grapefruit presence is very nice. Then behind that comes a whole pine forest. The pine is oh so nice. Sometimes the pine can be too much but this is real mild but real present at the same time. There is a slight honey sweetness going on in the background but the hops are all over this nose. Nice.

T: Good Christ, HOPS. The hops go down pretty much the same way as in the nose. Big time pineapple goodness coming out with flesh, rind, and skin all over it. The pine cuts that with a sweet resin presence that is damned near perfect in the mix. The last bit of hops is a nice floral touch that rounds out all these flavors and really attaches well to the malt and honey flavors. Malt is light and this beer is no where near balanced, but the malt does push up nicely and tries to add some sweetness to this hop bomb. Very good flavor.

M: Medium bodied brew that has some nice carbonation to it, making this pretty big DIPA easy drinking. ABV, for being so high, is pretty damned nonexistant. Nice touch of hops bitterness and resin sits on the palate in the aftertaste. Sticky and oily slick.

D: For such a big ass beer, this is highly drinkable. The look was the only let down this beer produces. That smell, taste, and feel is damned near perfect and makes this a fine beer that stands with and higher than most DIPA I have ever had. God this is good.

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Photo of chaz410
4.77/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this beer on tap at the always impressive Common Market in Charlotte NC. The golden color is consistant with a beautiful white head that you just know is going to smell amazing.
No surprises here in the smell, just bliss. Super hoppy, very very floral. Notes of grapefruit, pine, and honey are brightly obvious. The smell is sweet and zesty with hops, can't wait for the taste!
The taste is so crisp and hoppy. The hops are very floral, sweet and not too bitter. This IPA doesn't numb up your tongue which I'm happy to report. The honey used in the wort cuts a lot of what would be very bitter flavorings and allows you to get all the flavor subtleness and clean floral character. Finishes with a great honey malt sweetness that lingers in the top of your palate along with a fantastic but not overpowering hop crisp pine and grapefruit sharpness.
Huge fan of this beer, grab it while you can and get it off tap if you can find it!

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Photo of bamadog
4.84/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Well, I could only justify buying a single of these bad boys and I've heard great things (albeit kind of scary things too. You know, things like, "After I drank a pint all I could taste was hops for the next two hours..."). I'm looking forward to it, but let's see if I would actually considering paying 17 plus dollars for a sixer. Here goes...

Appearance: A nice golden/light coppery color. A fairly thin 3/4 finger head (well, to the best of my judgment anyway) and it's fafdiing quickly. Looks very sticky though and as it dwindles I can see it sticking tight to the sides of the pint glass. Very light carbonation bubbling throughout.

Smell: Hops. Go figure. Smells very bitter and piney - overpowering as I would expect.

Taste: OK, definitely not what I expected. I really expected to be overwhelmed by hoppy bitterness, but am pleasantly surprised by how balanced this is with the honey sweetness. The hops are present, and you feel like they're trying to take over your whole mouth, but again, the balance is there. You can taste a slight pine in there as well. Simply amazing.

Mouthfeel: Sticky and oily - thoroughly coats your mouth. A very lively beer on the palate as well - feels almost prickly on the tongue. The stickiness seems to trail down the throat.

Drinkability: I'm convinced that this is an extremely exceptional beer. I now understand all the hype behind it. I don't know if I could justify paying the amount of money they want for it, but I honestly don't doubt that it is worth it. To those that can afford it, congratulations. I may have to pick up one or two more singles though before it disappears until next year. I'm a little concerned about the 10% ABV, so I definitely wouldn't drink more than one in an evening (but then again, I'm really a lightweight, so take that for what it's worth).

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Photo of brewmudgeon
4.22/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

notes from 1/20/2011: won't change any ratings, still an excellent beer. just noting the nose while very good does not blow a person away and, more importantly, the pale malty sweetness is so intense it makes me wish for more bitterness to balance it out. back to back against double trouble, the founders offering seemed to bring enough bitterness to give it the edge in drinkability.

a 4 clear light golden apricot. almost no head, quickly to a ring, scattered spots of lace.

s 4.5 fresh green herbal citrusy hops. grassy/piney/fresh parsley-like. some sweetness is noticeable too. yeast rolls, water crackers. the sweet malts are becoming more predominant the more i inhale. the smell is similar to a 90 minute when you can find a 90 minute in good shape--but this smells better, fuller, fresher and less green. the hops also have that noble quality, so it's also reminiscent a SA imperial pilsner, but less one-dimensional and far less alcohol presence despite the higher abv.

t 4 this is one malty iipa. thick, smooth, and sweet. the hops are there in good quantity but are barely a match for the residual sugars. at first i detect no bitterness whatsoever, then a few little bites--nibbles really, until the beer starts to warm. (it better hurry up with the warming though, as every sip demands another, bigger sip.) in intensity, the hop aroma is like a 9, the flavor a 7, the bitterness a 3 or 4.

m 4 med-full bodied, syrupy, moderate carbonation.

d 4-4.5 insanely drinkable for 10% abv! i haven't had many beers this strong, but this is easily the most drinkable of any over 9%, even of any over 8%, that i've experienced. the back of the bottle says this is a "biting, bitter, tongue bruiser of an ale." don't think i can agree. it's more a sinful, sticky, hop candy of a dessert.

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Photo of redneckchugger
4.72/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

poured into my duvel tulip,
smells amazing, like i just stuck my face in a bag of fresh hops. Bar now the best nose of any beer i have ever had, i get tangerines, grapefruit, oranges, and lemon and lime, but sweet too, like citrus mixed with sugar.
Tastes the same as the nose but maybe a touch less intense, less sweet, more bitter and pithy. Don't get em wrongs its up there with the best dipas i have hod. I get the malt a bit, a sweetness that shows up mid-pallete, but its minimimal and i am fine with that.
overall a great beer, smooth mouthfeel, and drinkalble as hell.
once again bells brings the thunder.

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Photo of JonathanL7890
4.64/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my 99th beer review. YAY!
Thanks to Bgthang for letting us raid your stock of Hopslam. Maybe I'll share one of my beers sometime..
Pours a 3 finger billowy head. Color is a nice orangey straw color.
Aroma: super delicious! Smells like sweet hop candy. I wish they made cologne like this. Wow!
But wait it gets better!
The taste is awe inspiring. Super smooth easy drinking elixir. Just the right balance of malt sweetness and hops.
The mouthfeel is great. Just the right amount of carbonation and the malt backbone gives a silky mouthfeel.
Drinkability. incredible. In the dangerous territory. I'm kind of glad it's not available in Texas so I cant buy cases of this stuff and die of alcohol poisoning.

I though Pliny was the best but I think we have a new king in the DIPA category.

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Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.43 out of 5 based on 12,906 ratings.
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