Hopslam Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

BA SCORE
98
world-class
13,050 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
Ratings:
13,050
Reviews:
3,530
Avg:
4.43
pDev:
9.71%
 
 
Wants:
2,670
Gots:
3,635
For Trade:
69
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 13,050 |  Reviews: 3,530
Photo of Fishwhisperer
4.3/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

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

Photo of GreenWBush
4.39/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Rejoice; Midwestern classic microbrewery in need of I2pa finally releases one and goes all the way, releasing it in six-pack “damage the head” format. The wait for this has been long in the making. I remember drooling over early reviews when it was served on draft at the Eccentric café. This ended up setting me back $15 for this sixer, a bit steep when you consider that works out to be about $4.50 a bomber. Still, this is a big beer that demands your attention, so what are you going to say, no?

The appearance of this is true to type and actually pale, on its way to peach in color. Globules and flecks of yeast slurry are all over the pour – interesting. Calm head that cascades slowly is not a surprise for a ~10% ABV beer.

Nose is amazing; the hop synergized. Layers of hoppy goodness from pine to grapefruit and back again. The twang of muskmelon. Impression of high-test cannabis, a body/sock funk, and a piney-heat. Yummy, superfresh.

Taste is gorgeous and instantly recalls Dreadnaught and Ruination. Peach cream-savers are also dredged up from the memory banks. Somewhat dry in character, sweet at times but ends up bittersweet. Malt/hop character goes off the trail late into the swallow and on repeat performance. Very good, but not great. Needs just a little bit more of a bitter punch, especially to hold true to the bottle’s designation.

Not necessarily the world-endingly-awesome brew some were hoping for, but close to divine regardless.

 1,478 characters

Photo of atoulouk
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of acbe
4.74/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Yabev15
4.75/5  rDev +7.2%

Photo of FlussigkeitMut
4.63/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of JonnyBeers
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Matthew607
4.35/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jerefreakinmiah
4.25/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of cwelsh55
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of KindaFondaGoozah
4.58/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Desimoaj
4.29/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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

Bottle into tulip, dated 1/09/12.

Copper with gold highlights and clear. A small eggshell colored head with varying bubble sizes.

Pungent grapefruit zest stings the nostrils, followed by a wave of honey. A little bit more of those hops come into play, with a concentrated pine sap type of smell behind the initial sweet and citrusy aromas. The alcohol also begins to become a little more apparent as you take deep whiffs of this brew.

Opens with plenty of that pungent hop flavor. Almost tastes like concentrated pine sap and grapefruit juice, then moves into a nice sweet, honey like flavor. A little bit of graham cracker and yellow cake in there too.

Medium bodied and sticky, a little oily on the palate too.

Excellent hop flavor and aroma with a nice sweetness. Always looking forward to this one coming out every year. Wish it were a year round beer.

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Photo of BakaGaijin
3.79/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of hansgruber
4.68/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 9470 poured into Bells pint glass..

Off white one finger head with a golden orange color. Spotty lacing and very clear with some surface foam and a nice collar of carbonation.
The nose is all tropical fruits with a touch of the alcohol and malt making itself known.
Tastes like the nose with the tropical hops just blasting your tongue. As I drink the hops later show some dank/piney/earthy flavors as well. Very nice flavor. There's some mild bitterness in there too with the malt presence really hitting you for a second on the finish and then just fades out with everything else. Its got a touch of sweetness as well.
The carbonation seemed a tad low perhaps on this bottle. Other bottles were fine. Nice and full bodied. The drinkability is great and I could easily knock down a couple. Very smooth and memorable.
Definitely best fresh and well deserving of its status of a top-tier DIPA.

 902 characters

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

12oz bottle poured into tulip.

A - Sunset orange with gold and copper hues. Small head that quickly dwindles to a bubbly white film.

S - Freshly squeezed grapefruit, mango and peach. Slight caramel malt and honey notes. Outstanding aroma.

T - Enormous, bitter grapefruit and mango in the foreground. The hop bite and bitterness is very intense. A solid caramel malt backbone brings in some sweetness in an effort to tame the explosiveness of the hops. Complex citrus and honey notes show up followed by a long bitter finish.

M - Crisp, smooth, medium body. Dry finish with warming alcohol.

O - As a huge fan of Two Hearted Ale, I've been anxious to get my hands on a Hopslam. I've been rewarded. The complexity of this beer is stunning. One of the best IPA's around.

 771 characters

Photo of tlazaroff
4.6/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Right when cracking the bottle the room filled with the scent of fresh, raw hops. Very grassy and floral in nature, these were used as fresh as possible, and as young as possible, and probably dry hopped up until literally bottling the beer. There is no other way to describe how this beer smells other than how the Borg from Star Trek would describe it: It is perfection.

The liquor is a perfectly clear medium orange color, like honey. The head is nice and fluffy, and leaves some of the most prominent, obvious, and gorgeous lacing I have ever seen. Visible carbonation supporting the head from the etched glassware gives this beer a little extra oomph.

To truly enjoy this, I would chill it, then let it sit out for 30 minutes before opening it. This review is of the third one that I have had, and by far, this is the best serving temperature, probably right around 47°F. Immediately, I get hit with hops, floral in nature, like a punch in the face by Mike Tyson wearing a glove made of hops. The bitterness is solid, but I get a nice sweetness to it, like a mix of toffee and caramel. It's also a tad biscuity. The hops linger though the finish, but so does the alcohol. It's somewhat boozy, this one. This what I would expect to taste if I jumped into a pile of freshly harvested hop cones with my mouth open.

Hopslam has a full body, or at least on the very high-end of medium bodied. Carbonation is perfect at a nice modest level. You taste the beer, not the carbonation bite.

Overall, there isn't anything bad I can say about this beer. The entire experience draws me back to the picture on the bottle, a man being crushed by a giant hop cone. This is what drinking Hopslam feels like. Excellent job Bell's, in creating an IPA that needs to be sipped to be appreciated.

 1,784 characters

Photo of osant37
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

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

ok. first beer from Bell's i was disappointed. the second was better. this is the third.

Excellent!!! poured nicely. nice head and carbonation. some nice lace. the aroma is my opinion of a super nice citrus pine hoppy aroma. the flava? well i think this is one of the BEST double IPA beers i have had. i have had quite a few and this girl is top 3 for me!!!

suckem up and movem out!

giblet

 393 characters

Photo of TequilaTom
5/5  rDev +12.9%

Photo of IAmHollywood13
5/5  rDev +12.9%

Photo of chillin
4.5/5  rDev +1.6%

Photo of bboven
4.81/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow.

The only un-great part of this beer is the appearance. I realize that there is an enormous dry hop addition, which I thoroughly enjoy later, but The beer loks like a half-pound of light caramel candy melted into a pint glass. I'm looking at it ad thinking there is no way I can stomach this beer. But the finger-high, wicked-consistent head and thick lacing remind me that it is indeed a beer.

The aroma is high alpha hops, Chinook, maybe Warrior, that earthy, dirty hop aroma that is so indicative of that northwest hop circle.

They say it's brewed wit honey, though I'd love to believe they achieved the sweet maltiness with barley alone. That's upfront. You would think with such a high hop aroma, this one would twist your throat with bitterness, but it doesn't. There's a little jab on the way down to remind you that hop is in the name, but, it doesn't fight.

The carbonation on this is so great I'd swear it was casked if you gave it to me at 55 degrees. Sticky and drying at the same time, but did I mention the carbonation? I'm a proper carbonation nut, and this beer has it.

Other than a rather unattractive body, this beer is perfect for the style.

 1,184 characters

Photo of Natural510
4.89/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

1/21/2011:

Bumping up the scores after having this on its 11th day of bottling. Simply amazing aroma & flavor....layers of syrupy pine, honeysuckle and jasmine.
Besides, I was a DIPA noob when I reviewed this three years ago.
Proceed...

---
Original review 02-18-2008:

Pours a nice golden-orange color from the bottle, with a nice head which quickly dissipates.

Smells sour (in a good way) and citric, closely resembling lime. Also smells very grainy, likely from the hops. Very interesting & inviting.

The first taste is a powerful twang of grapefruit, with hops creeping in slowly but surely. I expected the hops to overwhelm the brew, but they merely make themselves the star with a solid backing by other fresh flavors.

Tho the head is not retained, it stays highly carbonated, and the extreme bite from the hops keeps the brew very lively in the mouth.

Despite not being the biggest hop fan, I found this surprisingly smooth & drinkable. The hops bounce off the tongue without killing you with their presence. I much prefer this hop-head beer to, for example, the Sierra Harvest Ale, which I found hard to drink.

If this beer is sold in your area, pick it up fast! while it still lasts.

 1,199 characters

Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.43 out of 5 based on 13,050 ratings.
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