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Hopslam Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

3,441 Reviews
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale

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

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Reviews: 3,441 | Ratings: 12,581
Photo of Axnjxn
4.1/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

on tap at sams in Durham into a bells pint glass.

pours a beautiful golden color with an inch thick white head. smell is of honey and citrus and hops. exquisite aroma. honey is very prominent. taste is quite balanced. in your face hops at first followed by the honey and sweet malts. alcohol undetectable. criminally easy to drink. medium bodied with medium carbonation

overall a great DIPA , though 2 hearted isn't much different, and is everywhere year round.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.92/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a golden orange color with a white head. The aroma is hops, hops and more fresh hops with some malt and a touch of alcohol in the background. There is a lot of grapefruit and other citrus in the aroma from the hops. The taste like the aroma suggests is dominated by the fresh citrusy hop flavors. There is also a solid malt backbone, but it is overshadowed by the delicious hop profile. The drinkability is extremely high for a brew of this caliber, however it is probably not a good idea to drink more than a couple of these in one sitting. Overall, this is a solid DIPA that is probably my favorite beer IPA/DIPA category. Highly Recommended.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.81/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The famed Hopslam. Traded for some last year, and loved it. Was a bit let down this year, the hype for it is a bit too high in my opinion. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into my Abandon Brewing tulip.

Pours a dark orange, almost brown. Small, oily, head. Lots of lacing.

Smells really good. Honey sweetness, citrus hops, slight alcohol. Love it.

Tastes a bit worse than the smell. The malt, in combination with the honey, overtakes the hop flavor in my opinion. I did not have an old bottle, I bought it right when it was released, but the hop flavors are too muted for something that is supposed to slam you. Honey use in IPAs is good in my book, but this doesn't quite work like I hoped. The hop flavor present is good- very citrusy and piney, some pineapple, mango, and grapefruit.

Mouthfeel is good. Sticky and dank. The alcohol is definitely felt.

Good, but slightly disappointing.

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Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clearish light copper with a two-finger head that left lace on the glass. A mix of hops and some sweet malts in the smell. Medium-bodied with a huge hop bite that goes down smooth and finishes clean (I'm not used to that in a DIPA). I kept hearing about grapefruit in this beer and there is definitely grapefruit notes coming from the hops, for a drying yet also semi-sweet sensation. It is rather noticeable in this beer and I haven't had a DIPA that quite tasted like this. And while this along with sweet malts made for an interesting taste, the grape feeling wore on me a little.

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Photo of beertunes
4.07/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to nomasnomore for sharing this bottle with me. Bottled on 2/2/12. Poured into Tulip. Poured a nice golden honey color with just a thin cap of white head that had minimal retention and lacing.

The aroma had a nice blast of piney hops upfront, and a bit of malty sweetness noticeably supporting it. The hops were also at the forefront on the tongue, very tart and well defined pine, with some citrus in the background.

The body was nicely full and smooth, and was fairly well balanced across the tongue. Drinkability was very good, this is a rare ImpIPA I'd drink a few of at a time. Overall, one of the rare beers that actually lives up to it's hype. For me, this is a much better beer than the even more hyped PtE. Worth seeking out.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours from 12oz bottle a cloudy orange with a smallish head of foam that quickly shrank and then left no trace.

The smell is a very hoppy with big notes of grapefruit.

The taste on first sip is certainly hoppy. Plenty of grapefruit hitting my palate and hitting it in a good way. I note a good malt presence that gives it a nice sweet counter to the hops. It seems to be in perfect balance.

Man, a few more sips in as it warms up a bit and the hops are now in almost total control and..I'm loving it. Oh wait, there goes that malt presence again; dang, just when you think the hop bitterness is going to take over completely, that malt comes back and yells at you. ;^) Even the finish, at various times, seems to alternate between hop bitterness and malt sweetness. I shake my head on how this could be so...

I appreciate DIPAs that are hop dominated and ones that have a good hop/malt balance and this one is an excellent example of the latter. I wouldn't hesitate to try HopSlam again. Not for a second. ;^)

Bottom line: Absolutely delicious. Thanks to Wasatch for allowing me to try this wonderful brew!

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Photo of Haybeerman
4.37/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Orange/gold color. Poured a 3 finger billowy white head with excellent retention. Laced in big sticky gops that slowy coated the inside of the glass.

S: Big citrus (lemon peel) and grapefruit. Sweet caramel malt. Pine fouindation.

T: Big citrus again along with assorted fruits. More distinct caramel note then powerful bittering hops in the finish.

M: Medium to full body. Well-balanced carbonation. Alcohol is extremely well hidden. Good balance overall.

D: ABV alone may limit drinkability, but can't go wrong with flavor and balance.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.82/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle from Secret Santa jay23. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 3/4" eggshell head above the slightly cloudy golden brew. Frothy head fades slowly, with ample lacing. Aroma is dominated by pungeant fresh hopiness. Taste is malty sweet upfront, and segues nicely into the intensely fruity and piney hops character. Mouthfeel is incredible for a DIPA, so smooth, not allout bitterness just for bitterness' sake, and drinkability is great as well. Have to lookout on this one, with the substantial abv too. Glad I have some more of this one floating around.

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Photo of dar482
3.99/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer comes in a hazy deep orange amber color along with a large white head.

The aroma is extremely challenged. It almost smells like nothing when cold. I had to smell random things in my room to see if there was nothing wrong with my smelling sense. One of the most aromatically challenged hoppy beers. As it warms, there is pineapple, mango, sweet grapefruit, lots of sweet malt, resin and dankness.

The beer follows with some pineapple, grapefruit peel, then grapefruit jucy. Bitterness is throughout of older of floral, green earthy, and herbacious hops. A dominate note of the beer. Honey comes through slightly if one is looking for it, but not obvious. Then onto a caramel malt with a nice creamy mouthfeel. Alcohol pops in the middle, but The finish is of grapefruit peel, resin, pine, and again those floral and herbacious notes.

In the end, aroma is extremely blunted. Not as hop forward on the flavor as I would imagine. Quite hyped, but well crafted and one of the better double digit ABV hoppy beers. I did blind taste it with Sixpoint Hi-Res though and that beer won over this.

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Photo of pat61
4.85/5  rDev +9.2%

From a freshly tapped keg, hops, hops, hops in the aroma and flavor balanced with liberal malt and alcohol. As the keg ages the hops die down and the malt moves forward. Find a fresh keg and drink your fill. Its a beautiful beer - brilliant gold, medium body, medium carbonation.

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

BA review #800!

12oz Bottle - big thanks to iguenard for this one

Appearance – Clear copper colour with an average size fizzy and frothy white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation visible and there is a good amount of lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, hops, caramel, grapefruit/oranges, peaches, pineapples

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation and it feels slightly thick on the tongue. I can taste malts, caramel, and lots of hops. It also has lots of fruit flavours going on, pineapple, tangerines, grapefruit and some peaches. I can also pick up on the booze a little bit, and it provides a nice warming feeling as it goes down. It finishes with a sweet tropical fruit aftertaste with a long lingering hop bitterness.

Overall – I know my bottle isn't the freshest, but I still thought this was an incredible beer. Either it really held up well, or the fresh stuff is going to blow my mind. Definitely one of the best beers I've had the pleasure of drinking.

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

A: Clear amber color with a 2 finger head.

S:Fruity and citrusy hops with slight honey scent.

T: The honey takes away a lot of the hop bitterness and also makes the 10%abv go down really smooth. Probably one of the smoothest 10%abv beers I have drank.

M: Smooth with Medium carbonation

D:Some will say its too strong but I feel its highly drinkable. This beer hides the 10% ABV like a 7% ABV beer.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.6/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Finally, finally get to try this.

A-Pours a lightly hazed honey color. Slow bubbles rise from the bottom of the glass. Head is off white and retains quite excellently. Rings of thick lace cling to the glass. Looks great.

S-Thick, ripe, juicy hops. Smells very, very resinous. The honey matches the hops excellently and is a great addition that adds complexity. Alcohol is masked very well. Hops are very fruity and citrusy. Piney hops lend a great bittering aroma too.

T-Holy mother this is an absolutely delicious beer. Hops begin very citrusy and tropical fruity. Immediately after an overwhelming hop bitterness sears the tongue. In between, the bread and caramel malt (enhanced by the sweet honey) calms the palate. Then another big flash of lasting piney and grassy hops strike again. Very bitter and resinous, and very delicious. Lives up to the hype easily.

M-Big bodied and very resinous. Carbonation massages the tongue and adds to the feel. Lasting bitterness just stays forever. Excellent feel. Honey flavor adds depth to the feel.

O/D-One of the best beers I have ever come across. Bitterly bold and extravagantly hopped. What an awesome beer. I would kill to be able to have this available to me more easily. This is a killer beer that lives up to the hype and I am so happy to have tried this!

Edit (2/19/14): After trying this again, as my experiences have heightened I have found that this beer is not as much as I initially made it out to be. Still delish, though.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle, batch 7741, packaged on 11/28/06. Served in a snifter, the beer pours an amber/orange color with about a half inch white head which goes away pretty quickly. With a name like HopSlam, of course it smells like hops. Citrus (grapefruit) and piney hops dominate, with some malt in there. It tastes pretty much the same, but the citrus taste is stronger, with grapefruit, lemon and some orange in the taste, along with a piney/floral taste and some grain/malt. Mouthfeel is nice and full, with it being creamy and oily. Just the right amount of carbonation, too. The relatively high ABV isn't very noticable, and it's very, very drinkable. Overall I think this is a pretty good beer. I'd definitely buy this again.

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Photo of scruffwhor
4.26/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks more like a plain jane pale ale than an INDIA pale ale. Some sediment floating around, mostly at the bottom. Dark gold to light amber in hue. The arom reeks of every kind of citrus. Very complex hop nose with a little malt in the background. The balance of flavor is tilting towards hop overlod. Only a special group of beer enthusiasts can handle it. Lemons, oranges, tangerines, grapefruits, nectarines, even some limes, lets not forget the light floral hint detected from this beer. The name sake is perfect for this beer. The palate is definetly cloying and syrupy and resiny. Just coats the tongue and lingers till it decides to leave. A beer with some attitude thats for sure.

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Photo of barczar
4.26/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a brilliant deep golden color with a hint of copper and a frothy one inch bone colored head that lingers, dissipating slowly and leaving spotty lacing.

Fresh cut grass, resin, cat urine, pine, and dank hops form the initial aroma. Grapefruit, lime, and a touch of honey sweetness are also present.

Dulled grapefruit, orange peel, resin, and fresh cut grass open the flavor profile, with a fair amount of bready, fairly sweet toasted caramel malt carrying into a fairly bitter, biting finish. Herbal and earthy hop notes add complexity. Pine is evident in the aftertaste. Mint emerges as it warms.

Body is a touch full, with moderate carbonation, some astringency at the finish, and a significant amount of alcohol warmth.

A balance in extremes, in a sense. The sweetness of the malt juxtaposes the bitterness of the hops, and the hop flavor is excellent, albeit not as complex as some of the newer hop varieties.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.85/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Of the thousands of people trying this I consider myself special getting an entire growler fill (felt I overpaid though spending 23.25 for the fill)

A - Stunning IPA color, bright golden light amber with a light head that does make for some bubbly lacing.

S - Not so much "in your face" hops smell but I did get pine and citrus with a very well placed honey.

T - I couldn't believe how light the flavor actually was. Harsh at first making me think the IBU's were around 70 or 80 my palate adjusted itself. After the second pour the honey and hops played a symphony on my tongue. The malt base being the most complex I ever seen I could barley detect the ABV unless warmed but in my experience it was best served cold. Amazing.

M - It was pretty hard to get a feel but mostly medium bodied even warmed it was still very drinkable.

D - Wow it was amazing and worth every penny (which I kept telling myself in a drunk state) I could never imagine killing off a mini-keg within a few days time because just 5 put me under. Still to date it was one of the most drinkable DIPA's I ever got my hands on. If you can find a sixer for under 20 bucks buy it. It will be worth every penny.

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Photo of DrJay
4.59/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear, deep gold, just short of orange. The foam off the pour was a mixture of fine, creamy bubbles and larger ones that clung to the glass. The head fell somewhat, leaving some lacing behind. Throughout the glass there was a constant renewal of lace. Intense hop aroma. Grapefruit and pineapple give it a sweet-tart quality and pine resin keeps things interesting. It's a little powdery, floral and smells very fresh. Strong bitterness is kept in check by significant malt sweetness. The malt isn't really complex, but that's not the point. The hops are the point - and there are plenty in here. Grapefruit, tangerine, and pine dominate from start to finish. Quite fruity, actually. Bitterness lingers and there's alcohol warmth from the mid through the finish. Medium/full bodied with moderate carbonation. Creamy texture. This stuff is great. Too many brewers forget about balance in this style, but Bell's has done a great job here. I could drink this all night (at least until the abv caught up with me).

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Photo of Immortale25
4.71/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into an Evolution Brewing pint glass. Back label says 10914 PKGD, so no readable freshness date.

A- Pours a medium amber color with a 1/2 inch head that bears little retention and fritters down to an 1/8 inch ring around the edge of the glass leaving bumps of lacing. Surface foam is in a mold pattern indicating healthy yeast.

S- Grassy, pungent hops along with sweet, biscuity malts. Quite floral and almost perfumey.

T- Bright, intense bitterness assaults the palate but holds back enough to let the malt duality play its part. On second sip, the hops don't let up and continue to make their presence very known. Upon the third sip, one notices that the booze is quite toned down for a full 10% ABV. By the time the fourth sip is taken, you can start to notice the honey come in and complete the sweet finish that the malts begin. After the fifth sip, the palate is almost fully acclimated to the hop bite and can now appreciate the synchronization of all ingredients in the flavor profile. Remarkable.

M- A dry afterfeel plus jaw clenching from the bitterness, at least during the first few sips. Medium-low carbonation.

O- I like it better on tap, but this is still a leader among IPAs.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.82/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

on tap at the Barley House tonite into a snifter.

(A)- Pours that semi hazy golden orange hue that I look forward to every year. Produced a nice white foamy head that stuck around for a bit. Lacing all over the place.

(S)- A simple, yet eventful aroma profile. Dry, yet citrusy hops with sweet honey like malts combine to make a great smelling DIPA.

(T)- Just like the smell. An awesome blend of citrusy resin-like hop profile with sweet honey and a dry finish.

(M)- A great carbonation level and balance. Smooth, and not overly bitter. Sweet, yet fruity in a citrus sense.

(D)- There are great DIPAs out there and this, each and every year when this comes out, it continues to prove itself to be one of the best. Not overly hoppy or overly sweet, but really a happy medium and balance of the two creating something that is just damn right tasty. Everyone has their favorites, preferences, and opinions, but for me, this is the pinnacle of the style.

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Photo of avalon07
4.63/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Poured from a growler to a tulip glass. Had an orangey-amber color and a cloudy consistency. There was a half inch of foamy, long-lasting head and excellent lacing.

S: A huge aroma of hops that smacks you the second you open the bottle. Also has a big citrus presence.

T: Tastes of hops, pineapple, a piney element and some malt, Complex, vibrant, powerful and extremely tasty.

M: Lots of carbonation and a smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

D: An exceptionally drinkable Imperial IPA. Not for the faint of heart, but a great beer.

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Photo of Viggo
4.12/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks oakbluff for hooking me up with this beauty!

Pours a hazed golden, thin white head forms, settles to a ring around the glass, nice lacing. Smell is massive pine, tons of citrus, floral, every hop smell imaginable, they must use a boatload, grapefruit acidity, no malt in my nose, excellent. Taste is a grapefruit truck, almost puckering with hops, lots of citrus and pine, again almost no malt, slight graininess, not a lot of depth the the hops certainly slam you good. Balanced in the sense the IBU's match the malt, not overdone in that sense but hopped to hell and back. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation, alcohol warmth. Not bad at all, thanks Scott!

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Photo of markgugs
4.63/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 12oz. bottle into a tall weiss glass (review from Batch 7690 - bottled late Oct. 2006)

A: An absolutely stunning-looking beer, all golden orange and cloudy. Forms an ample cream-colored head with massive amounts of lacing. A beaut!

S: Smells delicious too, you can tell there are centennial hops in this brew (and at 100+ IBUs, a lot of them). Strong sweet floral & grapefruit aromas, HopSlam makes my mouth water.

T/M: Not for the faint of heart, this is a massive DIPA, both in body, ABV & taste. Loads of sweet malts massage the tongue up front, only to quickly give way to a bruising level of juicy, bitter hoppiness. HopSlam is at once both thirst-quenching and hangover-inducing.

D: If I were say, inhuman, I would drink these all day and all night. Since I'm not, I'll say the reasonable limit is about 3-4 per night. Beyond that and you're risking severe intoxication, as this beer is far too easy to drink given it's 9.3-10% ABV.

Highly recommended, one of the few beers that absolutely lives up to its massive hype.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.92/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Glowing orange appearance. Slightly hazed. Bubbly ivory white head. Lacing is substantial and weblike.The nose of this beer pure and simple kicks serious ass. All the citric goodness of lemon rind and pink grapefruit pulp along with canabis and smokey pine resin. The taste translates all of that goodness from the nose onto the palate. The bright citric tones of grapefruit and lemon. And smokey, resinous, raw Mary Jane. Bitterness is not clean, but not real abrasive either. Kind of in between. Alcohol is barely noticeable. Body is a little better than medium. Toffeeish malt way in the background, but there nonetheless. A top notch IIPA no doubt. One of the absolute best as a matter of fact.

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Photo of rfgetz
4.57/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Orangy-Amber in color. Slightly cloudy. Thin head, good lacing.

S: Citrusy hops (orange, grapefruit) and sweet honey

T: Complex yet perfectly balanced. First taste is sweet clover honey moving into the citrus (grapefruit, lemon) with a bitter zing to follow. Finished amazingly clean and dry.

M: Medium-heavy body. good carbonation that doesnt get in the way but helps aide in the balance. slightly viscous and oily without being sticky.

D: Amazingly complex yet balanced brew. A lot of extreme flavors in here that do not overpower, yet they compliment eachother exceptionally well.

Notes: Obviously out of season, but that doesnt diminish the overall excellent quality of this beer. It's a different animal.

Update 1: Had a fresh bottle in February of 2010. Very different hop bitterness obviously but still earns the marks from its previous sampling.

Update 2: Had on draft for the first time on 1/26/11. Still an exceptional beer - A little less honey in the taste due to the uber freshness of the hops and also slightly lighter body but still smooth and oily. Earns same grades as previous reviews so no seperate listing.

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