Hopslam Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Hopslam AleHopslam Ale
BA SCORE
4.46/5
13,076 Ratings
Hopslam AleHopslam Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States
bellsbeer.com

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
Ranking:
#147
Reviews:
3,532
Ratings:
13,076
pDev:
9.42%
Bros Score:
4.2
 
 
Wants:
2,677
Gots:
3,644
Trade:
69
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 13,076 |  Reviews: 3,532
Photo of SocalKicks
3.9/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of zeff80
4.87/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Pours out a copper color with a large, foamy white head. Leaves lacing.

S - Smells of grapefruit, some honey, pine and bubblegum sweetness. There is a mild caramel nose, too.

T - Big hoppy bitterness but not puckering because the honey mellows things out. It has a great grapefruit taste from the hops and some sweet caramel maltiness to accompany it.

M - It is crisp and sharp. A medium-bodied DIPA that is SO easy to drink..

D - An amazing beer. I've never had a beer with such a strong hop preence matched by a strong sweet presence until now.

 554 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.44/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of IMtheOptimator: Poured a slightly hazy yellow color ale with a huge foamy head with great retention and lacing. Aroma of citrusy hops is well balance with sweet caramel malt – the smell of this beer is really great and I can only compare with 3F dreadnaught in term of greatness. Taste is such a well balance mix between sweet caramel malt, bitter and citrusy hops and a great floral aspect to hold it all together. This is definitely something I will want and drink some more.

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Photo of LXIXME
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

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

Appearance - Burnt orange with great clarity and an off-white one-inch head. Solid head retention.

Smell - Honey-like sweetness mixed with pungent, boozy tropical fruit and citrus.

Taste and mouthfeel - Very balanced and actually fairly sweet, especially compared to the West Coast IPAs I'm used to. Medium-bodied. I wouldn't have thought to add honey to an IPA, but it actually works wonderfully; the subtle sweetness of the honey blends perfectly with the grapefruit-like bitterness from the hops. Bittering hops appear more in the finish, coating the palate but not entirely overpowering the malt. A hint of alcohol is present as well, reminding me that this is strong stuff.

Notes - I find it very hard to fault this beer in any way. Exceptional stuff.

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Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of superspak
4.35/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 1/8/2015. Pours slightly hazy golden orange color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings around the glass, with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of big grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, mango, apricot, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, honey, light caramel, bread, and floral/grassy earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of citrus/tropical hops and moderate malt sweetness; with good strength. Some light booziness shows up as it warms. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, mango, apricot, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, honey, light caramel, bread, and floral/grassy earthiness. Good amount of pine/citrus rind bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, mango, apricot, lemon/orange zest, pine, honey, light caramel, bread, and floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic complexity and robustness of big citrus/tropical hops and moderate malt sweetness; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a smooth, fairly crisp/sticky, and lightly creamy mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an outstanding double IPA style. All around awesome complexity and balance of big citrus/tropical hops and moderate malt sweetness; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Boone757
4.17/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of mothman
4.4/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE...

Batch 8913... only 9 days from being packaged!

Poured into New Belgium Globe glass. Color is a hazy golden/orange bronze. Pours a large head with good retention. Leaves great lace rings.

Aroma is an incredible hop aroma. So much floral notes. There are some fruit and citrus notes as well. Strong grapefruit and orange zest smell. Some honey as well.

Taste is like I am eating flowers (which I have not done). There is such an incredible hop flavor to it. There is such a grapefruit flavor to it. I would also say it has a slight bready malt flavor to it and honey.

Mouthfeel is bitter, but it is not even bad compared to any other ipa or iipa. The beer also gets smooth near the end. The one great part about this beer is that it doesn't leave a hardcore dry sticky aftertaste. The 10% abv is masked so well in this beer.

Overall, this is one amazing beer. I have to admit it is the best that I have had yet to date. It is really easy to drink and I will definitely be enjoying another.

I highly recommend this beer!

EDIT: The 09/10 seemed to have a lot more honey than the batch that I reviewed. I liked it.

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Photo of DrBier
4.25/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.49/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Two thoughts here. #1 - Whoah! Like chewing on a hop!!!!, and #2 - Whoah! Like chewing on a hop! Absolutely bright, vivid and in-your-face! Grapefruit! Pineapple! Pine-needles! All Pac northwest! One of the best, if not THE best, big-assed citrusy hop beers. Drinkability suffers a little bit, sure, but that's the trade-off for such a massively beautiful rendition of dripping, citrusy and piney hops in a glass. Hop-hazy as expected in the glass; dropping head. Alcohol can be inhibiting to drinkability, but never really exhibits itself throughout the first serving. Beautiful!!!!, but perhaps only for the initiated. Regardless, worth trying for the experience.

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Photo of chinchill
4.24/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle served in pint glass (& 2013 bottle in a goblet; & an 18 day old 2015 bottle in a pilsner glass)

Pours a nice light, orange-amber with 1 finger of bone head. Upon drinking, the head reduces to irregular surface coat and leaves splotchy, sticky lacing. Excellent calrity

Highly aromatic, with seemingly fresh and rather strong hoppy aroma. Fruity (citrus) and floral, with hints of high ABV.

Very strong flavor with ample bitter and noticeable sweet components. Slightly dry finish with less bitterness than expected; IBU, reported as 106, seems lower. The high ABV seemed partly hidden but became more evident with warming. Hints of orange peel, honey brandy, pine and grapefruit lie within the complex mix of hop flavors.

M - good carbonation; fairly smooth; a little 'bite' from high ABV and hops. Warming.

O - simply a great sipper for hopheads, and I do recommend sipping for both reasons of flavor and ABV. Not quite over the top, the huge hop load is pungent but seems less challenging than it might be, perhaps due to the honey; perhaps due to the "generous malt bill". Still, too extreme for some, no doubt.

(revised lightly with new .25 pt rating system and tasting of 2013 bottle in Feb. 2013, and again with an 18 day old 2015 bottle in a pilsner glass)

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Photo of olradetbalder
4/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of dbrauneis
4.54/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 01/15/13

A: Pours a clear golden copper in color with significant amounts of visible carbonation and significant orange/golden yellow highlights. The beer has a two finger tall dense foamy/creamy off-white head that very slowly reduces to a very thick film covering the entire surface of the beer evenly with a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Huge aromas of tropical/pineapple and citrus/grapefruit/tangerine hops over the top of some lighter notes of pale + caramel malts and honey sweetness.

T: Upfront there are strong flavors of tropical/pineapple and citrus/grapefruit hops, underneath which there is a moderate flavor of pale + caramel malts with a moderate amount of sweetness - with the sweetness coming from the honey. Just the faintest hint of pine hops towards the finish as the beer warms up. Moderate to heavy amounts of bitterness in the finish.

M: Slightly heavier than medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth with light to moderate amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: This is one of the best smelling DIPAs on the market and I really like the combination of hops that create the aromas/flavor profile. The 10% ABV is extremely well hidden and this beer is very easy to drink - I could easily have a couple of these in a session and be really happy about it.

 1,370 characters

Photo of jlindros
4.12/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to COBeerBuff for this gem. Poured from bottle into oversized snifter.

A: Golden orange amber copper color, slight reddish hue, very hazy, slight head that slowly fades.

N: Nose has some nice noble hops, some floral and grassy aromas, slight citrus, an interesting crystal malt and touch of honey finish off the light nose

T: Starts pretty sweet, some crystal malt but lots of honey, a grassy floral hops taste adds more character, a slight spicey and chewy hop, the sweetness and honey is very prevalent, a very slight alcohol as it hides it pretty well, it has a somewhat candy bar taste with the sweet honey, caramel malts, and floral chewy hops which build the more I drink

M: A little chewy and stick, pretty light otherwise, light carbonation, a little creamy

F: It gets pretty bitter but not huge. It starts sweet and honey taste but finishes pretty dry. The bitter hops fade pretty quickly leaving the candy bar taste as well as a biscuity malt taste and slight earthiness making it pretty drinkable, and nice fresh hop taste on the finish as well. It also seems to leave a metallic taste in the mouth

Final thoughts: This beer seems to be pretty highly acclaimed but I'm a little disappointed. Its a pretty big hop bomb with a slight malt base and lots of sweet honey. The candybar taste adds a nice touch but its a little too much honey and sweet taste for me, and the hops don't come through the way I would have expected.

 1,446 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.59/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Acquired via trade from northertimber, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him.
Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is an excellent blend of intense hops and extra sweet citrus, very pleasant smell.

T: A heavy hops burst starts out and is abruptly followed a sweet citrus malt flavor. Both of the flavors alternate for dominance as a mild alcohol burn washes over you. The after-taste has the hops bitterness winning out, but the citrus sweetness sticks around as well.

M: Very crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, clean finish.

D: Very tasty, goes down easy for a beer with 9.30% ABV, not too filling, it’s a little too intense to be a good pounder, I could still put a away few rather quickly and enjoy it quite a bit. I got exactly what I expected from this beer which was Two Hearted Ale with more hops and more alcohol. However, more doesn’t necessarily mean better. Two Hearted Ale is one of the best beers I’ve ever had and the extra hops and alcohol don’t make this beer better than Two Hearted Ale, just more hardcore. This is an excellent beer overall though.

 1,254 characters

Photo of oberon
4.47/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Andrew (orfeu) your the man giving this beer to me I thought I was gonna have to wait until May when Iam back home to try to get my hands on this.Poures a hazed peachy color with a tight well formed sticky white head,holy cow fresh hop aromas citrus fruit with underlying pine it really wakes up the sences thats for sure just amazing.Oh man just hop goodness here resiny but bright and flavorful citric fruitiness combined with pine/resin dryness just great hop balance....malt nowhere to be found but thats fine with me.Liquid gold here for a hophead its bright and flavorful with awesome hop complexity,again thanks alot Andrew this kicks serious arss.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.15/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap in Bloomington, IN. Had this some time in January 2009.

A: Bright orange and slightly cloudy. A white head with glimmers of the beer in it.

S: Simply put, this is the most amazing nose I've ever encountered. An overabundance of hops combined with a clear scent of honey, and a powerful malt base to back it all up. I know this scent will be good in a month or so, so I really need to savor it while it's fresh.

T: Much like the nose, this is utterly without parallel (sorry to Mr. Pliny, I haven't had the opportunity yet). This is how every DIPA should be made. The malt is certainly there, but does nothing to even content with the luscious hops that come on. Simply brilliant. The honey is certainly a nice touch, too.

M: Medium bodied with good carbonation.

D: Could be the only beer I'd ever drink again, if Bell's were so gracious as to devote 50% of their capacity to this one.

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Photo of nickfl
4.67/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - One and a half fingers of bone white head on top of a slightly hazy, copper colored body. The head settles slowly and leaves a thick layer of lace clinging to the glass.

S - Strong mint, citrus, licorice hop aroma, very juicy and sweet. With some effort, one can detect a strong, sweet malt backbone behind the hops.

T - Intense tropical fruit flavors from the hops, complimented by the fruity sweetness from the malt and yeast. Spicy hop notes surface in the middle and help to balance out the immense malt sweetness that imparts light grape notes and darker plum like sweetness. Strong, but not overwhelming, bitterness appears in the finish and darkens the character of the hops with notes of cedar and tobacco.

M - Thick body, medium-high carbonation, and a somewhat sweet finish.

D - A huge, yet quite drinkable beer. This is a very well balanced beer, which is quite a feat considering the huge loads of hop flavor and malt sweetness that had to be carefully kept in check. The flavor is wonderful, but the real star in the aroma which is nothing short of spectacular with an exceptional variety of hop aromas. Surprisingly, this beer more than lives up to the hype.

 1,180 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of Ciocanelu
4.35/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Rifugium
4.32/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First had: bottle from Capone's beer garden, Norristown, PA

Pours a clear golden-orange with a thin, wispy, white head that lingers as a ringlet, but still leaves some doily lacing on the glass. Aroma of citrusy hops and toasted bread. Taste is bursting with hops: citrusy-orange-grapefruit zest and a bit of pithy bitterness, tropical fruits, pine needles, and a nice sensation of honey-drizzled toasted bread coming through for a very nice balance. Medium mouthfeel, quite smooth and extremely drinkable for the style (where's the alcohol?).

I've had plenty of IPAs similar to this one, so I wouldn't really say it's a trade item, or worth going out of the way for, as some people make it out to be, but it's definitely nice to have when it's around.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.18/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap @ Al's of Hampdem (Enola, PA) on 1/21/11. Served in a Bell's tulip glass.

Pours a crystal clear copper, with a thin ½ finger of cap of bright-white head. Swirling keeps this rich in the glass (to a near finger) and throw up some thick foamy swathes of lacing which slowly creep down the sides of the glass. This has a big floral and spicy feel to it which is layered on top of sharp notes of grapefruit and pine. Tropical fruit and sweet malt are pushed to the background, as the hops mostly control this. I'm also picking up some alcohol heat that runs through the middle of the nose and takes away from some of the sweeter aspects of this a bit as well.

Bright hop flavors explode in the mouth, with grapefruit, pine, and spice ripping the tongue before being tempered with notes juicy tropical fruits, honey, and toasted biscuits. As usual, the honey totally makes this beer, as it adds a sweet softness across the back of the profile that adds to the general deliciousness of this. The finish is fairly aggressive with a bitter rind and spice that linger with a steady forceful dryness. The mouthfeel is medium to fuller bodied, with an easy soft crisp creaminess that sits on top of some alcohol beef. There is some definitely warmth to the body and it never does quite reach that stinging point, but it does get a little borderline at times.

What can you say, it's Hopslam and it rocks! I've had this many, many times out of the bottle but I do believe that this is first time that I've bothered grabbing some on draft. My only real issue besides the heavy warmth of the feel but that the nose seemed a little hop and alcohol heavy this time around. Still though, if you're looking for a DIPA that offers a little more than just a hoppy fix, this is great beer.

 1,781 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.47/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy orangish sunrise with a small white head which fades quickly to some sparse bubbles around the edge. Gobs of grapefruit, citrus, tangerine, pineapple, and honey flowers dominate the nose. So nice. Bitter citrus hoppy flavors really zing the tongue. Oh so dry but fresh, crisp, and clean. A standout for sure. Very well done.

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Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 4.46 out of 5 with 13,076 ratings
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