Hopslam Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

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3,443 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: 3,443 | Ratings: 12,622
Photo of beerlove82
3.03/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours like dark honey with some darker amber tones. Nice two finger head that seems to want to stay for a bit.

S: Hops Hops Hops! And a hint of honey.

T: Don't taste any of the honey, its overtaken by hops, Alcohol is high in this one (10%) but the hops hide it well. Don't like the hops so much and a tart unpleasant aftertaste. A pine needle note im getting.

M: Dry finish carbonation is right on.

D: Everyone is raving about this beer its not a bad brew just not my taste.

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Photo of zbuc919
5/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've never had a 10 % beer that is so well balanced between the high gravity, hops and malt character. Popping open a bottle and pouring produces a wonderful citrusy/grapefruit aroma. A truly fantastic creation by Bell's, if you are a fan of simcoe hops this is beer must be on your TRY NOW list!

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Photo of whitefire
4.38/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge Thanks goes out to thecheapies for providing this fine beer. Thanks Mike!

Bottled 1/10/12 and thoroughly enjoyed 2/17/12.

A: Pours a clean copper-orange color with a minimal head that fades quickly.

S: Definitely picked up plenty of hops, pine, some candied pineapple and tropical fruit. Not as floral as I expected or am used to but still a great nose.

MF: Nice Body, very light carbonation... feels so silky and smooth. The alcohol is slightly noticeable but considering that this one clocks in at 10%. I'd say they did an excellent job of balancing this one out.

O: A beer well-worth trekking for and/or seeking out. Easily one of the best in class. A treasure that I'll seek out again.

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Photo of grandbeerdaily
4.67/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Hopslam: Imperial IPA brewed with Honey
10% ABV

Appearance: 4.5 Light-Amber or golden straw poured into a tulip with half an inch of off white head. Crystal clear with man small bubbles. Thick lacing.

Smell: 5 Very aromatic. A light malty sweet smell overpowered by resinious, floral, grassy hops, with light hints of citrus, grapefruit, and pine.

Taste: 4.5 Initially there is a light malt sweetness with hints of rich caramel-like honey with contrasting earthy, resinious hop qualities. The beer opens up into smooth, highly bitter hops to balance the malt which leads to a very nice finish. Hints of grapefruit and citrus linger after the finish making for a very pleasant experience.

Mouthfeel: 4.5 Very full and slick from resin. Carbonation is just right and the alcohol blends well with flavors for minimal burn.

Overall: 4.75 The beer, if tasted blindly, begins like any other imperial IPA and has similar qualities. What sets this beer apart is the delicate interplay between flavors the expert blending of hops, malt, and honey for an experience unlike any other. I love the addition of adjunct sugars to produce a caramel sweetness that balances the big bitter of IPAs. This is a good way to allow huge bitter characteristics to shine, while keeping it in balance to produce a beer with surprising drinkability.(Considering the 10% abv and very full body)

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Photo of Russ_Guill
4.39/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a tulip glass from a 12 oz bottle.

Pours with a clear copper color and a medium head.

The aroma is sweet with very citrusy notes. Very complex and probably the best thing about it.

The flavor is very bitter; the malt is there but you have to make it through a mix of grassy and citrusy hop flavors, as well as a bit of alcohol burn too. After drinking, lingering notes of grapefruit are present.

Despite its 10% ABV, it’s a fantastic ale. But it’s a sipper.

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Photo of MBbeerking14
4.11/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Hoplsam is an IPA from Bell's Brewery in Kzoo MI

This is a very very hoppy IPA as might be expected from the title. When poured it is orange/amber in color, and cloudy. A medium head retention.

The smell is filled with floral hops and the honey that is advertised. There is also the classic pine scent which accompanies so many IPAs.

Creamy and smooth for mouthfeel, with a refreshing and crisp finish. The hops linger on the tongue for quite a while after one swallow. The taste is full of hops and honey!

Drinkability: An outstanding IPA from Bells, one that I would not be able to drink many of due to how strong it is. Overall it lives up to the hype, and I am sure I will enjoy more in the future!

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Photo of Bobsbigbeershow
3.87/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Really, an excellent beer. Not the powerful citrus aroma I've come to expected from the Two Hearted IPA, and the honey takes a slice out of the piney hops as well. These aren't exactly complaints, either. Great change of pace. I've had a bottle and draft pint in both Traverse City and San Diego, and I'm happy to report the beer met Bell's standard of quality in both parts of the country.

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Photo of BadBrett
4.62/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: A beautiful amber cloud, a burt orange color with a warm inviting hue.

S: Sweet and Citrus, the hops really come through with a sweet delight of honey. There is a hint of sweet grass and honeysuckle, with a splash of a summers breeze.

T: Well balanced, not too sweet but a very present honey flavor. Not too overwhelming with hops but plenty of them in there to characterize and blossom the palette.

F: Smooth, good amount of brightness with slight syrupy finish.

O: Well done beer, truly a well crafted hopped ale! There is a reason why this is on the top 100 list!

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

Big but balanced (as opposed to Big Butt Balanced: totally different--if not equally cool--condition.)
Hops, sweetness, malt, ABV: win.
Please don't compare to unrepentant hop-bombs, as they're a different animal with different purpose.

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Photo of Bad_Fish13
4.49/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I can see why this is a hoppy beer drinkers favorite. Golden Pour with a one inch white head. decent lacing.. Piney citrus smell and taste. Great smooth finish! can't wait to finish these off.

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

A - Golden/copper color. Pours a finger width head, that slowly mellows to a small ring. Some lacing , but not much.

S - HOPS and Grapefruit. It is dominated by hoppy grapefruit smell ,and some pepper and pine is in the background.

T - Nowhere near as bitter as I was expecting. It is very balanced. Starts off witha nice citrusy flavor and then your mouth is bombarded with grapefruit and bitterness. Compared to the Stoudts DIPA, and even Celebration Ale this didnt seem as bitter, but much more balanced.

M - creamy and somwhat rough on the toungue. At the same time it is thin and not cloying.

D - very easy goin...this is a DIPA???? I could easily drink a few of these...if it wasnt for the abv that is. For being a DIPA and 9.3% abv, this drinks extremley smooth.

I was expecting a super complex hopbomb, but instead got a very smooth and balanced DIPA, which can be hard to find. Reminded me of 2 Hearted Ale on steriods. I was expecting a little more, but still very tasty and worth the hype. Bells is known for making smooth, balanced brews , and this is a great example of what they are capable of.

when i look back now , my taste buds might have been jaded from so many dipas ha, this is pretty bitter, but I still stand by my comments when I say its very balanced

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Photo of cowens22
4.44/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle poured into Duvel snifter. Poured a murky golden copper color with a one finger quickly diminishing head. Smell of citrusy hops with some floral and small malt undertones that almost leaves a sweet taste on the back of your tongue. Quite possibly the best nose that I have ever experienced. For a double IPA, the mouthfeel is a little thin for my expectations. Taste of a normal double IPA, citrusy hops a thin malt body that leaves a sweet aftertaste maybe a little caramel is in there. Very drinkable beer.

This is my first experience with Hopslam and to be honest, with all of the build up and rave reviews on message boards and from word of mouth, I was underwhelmed by this one. I am not saying that this is a bad beer by no stretch of the imagination. I am just saying that I felt that it didn't live up to the hype that is hovering around this one. The aromas that this one gives off is a reason to fall in love with this beer. It is by and far the best smelling beer that I have had the privilege of experienced. There are other double/imperial IPA's that I would choose over this one despite the incredible nose that this creates.

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

Thanks to BA backfat for sending this hopslam out to me in the original haiku LIF. As promised, my review. Better late to post than never.

A: A beautiful amber color with a thick creamy white head. Clinging lacing leaves a nice trail that shows where you started.

S: smells of passion fruit, pineapple, and grapefruit. Wonderful nose exploding out of the tulip.

T: Taste is truly exceptional and exemplary for that a DIPA should be. Strong bitterness with great hop flavoring of citrus, pineapple, grapefruit. Big malt backbone really balances this bear out and the honey does its thing.

M: Fairly viscous, but goes down smooth. Perfect level of carbonation.

D: Great drinkability, I wish I had a 6-pack left for tonight. Another beer that hasn't made it's way to MA.

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Photo of detroiter
4.89/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What an amazing beer. This like PtE must be enjoyed fresh. If its over 2 months old its just not the same.

It has a nice color, very clear for a DIPA.

The smell is as you would expect, a hop bouquet of epic proportions

heavy on the grapefruit and citrus hops, with plenty of dry hopping.

Surprisingly light for being 10+% ABV.

I have had this on tap and bottles and firkin and I think my favorite is on tap but that firkin is something else too. It has much more nose and and little more malt than bottle and regular draft.

worth the hype!


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Photo of byteme94
4.43/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is my first beer review so excuse the format...

Opened and shared w/ my buddy Dan. Poured it into a high ball with minimal head. As I drank there was considerable lacing clinging to the glass. Huge citrus/grapefruit on palate with sweet maltiness on the nose. Hops really stayed on my palate long after gulp was gone.

Okay there is a reason i drank the four i had rather quickly after release. This one while still amazing lost a bit of the hop freshness. Still amazingly clear(not cloudy) and not too syrupy for its style - I would recommend not saving this one and drinking sooner than later.

Overall amazing - wish it wasnt so hard to get here in South Fl. - A rating - only cause i wanna leave room for a perfect score. A DEF MUST HAVE! for Hop-Heads

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Photo of BrauKilR
4.62/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Technically this is a braggot rather than a DIPA.
Aroma: Orange citrus with subtler resinous hints that suggest to me Simcoe hops. Alcohol, caramel and a sweet, honey-ish sack mead quality in moderate intensity. No diacetyl, and any vegetal aromas I attribute to hops.
Appearance: Hazy orange with a creamy, moussy head that thins after several minutes to a creamy film to rim the glass and cover the liquid.
Flavor: Orange and grapefruit citrus up front with the balance all hops. Moderate malt sweetness which lends support. Caramel and a honey-wine quality in a dryish, hop-astringent finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Medium carbonation. A creamy texture which coats the tongue lightly and rests for the most part between the tongue and roof of the mouth. The finish is grapefruit astringency and hop flavor, mingled with a mild sweetnesss that persists for a few minutes and then fades quietly. Prominent warming that continues as a pricklyness on the lips. This beer slams you, and not you it. Clearly a winner to be enjoyed in small quantities.

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Photo of walteez
4.94/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served to me in a tulip straight out of the cask at Patton Alley Pub in Springfield, MO on 1/20/11

A: Similar to the bottle - a nice golden orange color, fairly clear but a little hazy. There wasn't much head to speak of but it was a busy night and I think it had more to do with the pour than the beer.

S: The piney and grapefruit notes are ever present - providing all the great smell I get when pouring from a bottle. The sweetness of the honey came through a lot more both in the smell and taste out of the cask.

T: If you think Hopslam out of the bottle is amazing, never miss an opportunity to have it out of a cask. The hops are still there but the honey is spot on perfect. It's much more present from the beginning of the taste all the way to the end. The beer is just a little sweeter all the way through and I loved it.

M: It doesn't fail to disappoint in this category either. The honey lends its sweetness well. It is INCREDIBLY smooth. A normal Hopslam has just enough astringency from the alcohol and hops to leave you feeling a bit dry at the end of the taste... from the cask its smooth seas all the way through.

D: In a packed bar with people lined out the door to get a glass... I managed to snag 3 (and had a Two-Hearted on tap while waiting for the cask to get tapped, just for good measure). It was good.

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Photo of jakeyb
4.8/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Loved this beer! Poured into a pint glass and immediately noticed the perfect head, 3 fingers thick with a nice puffy lacing and the color was a brilliant golden orange. Holy cow the hops on this beer! Almost overwhelmingly aromatic. My wife could smell it all the way in the next room! Bursting with a bright citrus pop, the smell is incredibly bright and cheery, like wind blowing over an orange tree. The carbonation is perfectly balanced, mixing well with the bright, white grapefruit taste that seems to almost float in your mouth. The finish has a slight bitterness to it not unlike that of citrus zest. Though this beer is INCREDIBLY drinkable, watch out because the 10% ABV will knock you on your ass if you're not careful. This would be a perfect beer to enjoy on your deck in the summertime, and it may very well be my favorite offering from Bell's at this point. Can't wait for another bottle!

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Photo of Sobered
4.8/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

For me, Stone's Ruination had been the creme de la creme for a long damn time. It was my go to sixer when I needed something that was a notch above the competition in the DIPA category.

One day I walked into my local overpriced bar (they're all overpriced here in PA) and saw something called HopSlam sitting in the cooler. I knew I had to at least try it. I'm a bit of a hop head these days and my wife absolutely hates it. She can taste ruination and think it's kinda strong on the grapefruit, which I LOVE. Her first sip of this... she gagged and dry heaved. That should tell you how hoppy and bitter it is. If you're a hop-head and after the most pungent, bitter beer imaginable, this is the one. It was simply a 100/100. There is no point in doing a 6 point breakdown on this beer.

If you love the brutal assault on your tongue that is a well crafted DIPA, this is your beer, if not, this is not your beer. At almost 21.00 a sixer in PA, there's not even room for experimentation.

If I was going to be banished to a desert island for eternity with just one thing to drink for the rest of my days, this would be my choice. So good...such a reminder of why I'm here in the first place.

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Photo of mrstevens
4.45/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: golden color with light head that seems to disappear quickly.

S: very strong smell of citrus, pine and of course the hops.

T: Wnderful tasting beer, hints of grapefuit, citrus, a slight trace of sweet malts.

M: great mouthfeel, very carbonated and crisp feeling.

D: I could drink this beer all day.

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Photo of CourteManche
4.27/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a glass snifter.

A - Golden in color; semi-clear with slight haziness; a vibrant white, one-finger head; head is thick and frothy; beer appears to be well-carbonated.

S - Wow! Popped the cap on the bottle and got hit with hops right away (bottle was about two feet away); hyper hoppy Simcoe on the nose; a bit spicy; piney and floral.

T - Hops seem less pungent than on the nose, well-balanced; subdued, smooth bitterness on the finish; little-to-no linger; no heat despite ABV.

M - Medium-bodied; minimal head, but retains well; foamy head has great mouthfeel; mild carbonation (despite appearance).

D - Very drinkable despite availability; perhaps not sessional because of ABV; overall a well-balanced treat.

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Photo of Beldark
3.4/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz bottle packaged on 1/28/2014. My buddy and I went through a lot to get this beer (he really was really captivated by the hype) and I'm excited to try it.

A: Seemingly a bit less carbonation than expected. Had to pour with some vigor towards the end, but a good one-and-a-half-finger head developed after I finished the pour. Lacing is okay. Color is a very nice amber color - perhaps one or two SRM darker than expected - with that sort of vague opacity that looks clear until you see that everything behind the glass is a big blur.

S: Not the citrus bomb I expected, like Enjoy By or Hop Ranch - but that is not to say that this beer has no citrus aroma. The usual lemon/orange are there (no grapefruit) - but it's backed by a sort of herbal quality, too. There might be some strawberry in there. It comes together as a sort of sour-sweet aroma; not a malty sweetness, and not at all unpleasant, though not very exciting, either.

T: Uh-oh... my first reaction is that this is just a tad hot. There is no masking the ethanol here. Little malt flavor besides that, and the hop profile is frankly odd. There is a nicely balanced bubblegummy/strawberry note in there (sounds odd, but I personally get that a lot in these massively hopped DIPAs). That flows into the usual citrus, and the grapefruit is here in the palate - but also a bit of spice that has a synergistic effect with the heat, and not in a good way. There is zero west-coast piney resin to balance out this bit of spice. It just doesn't seem well-balanced to me at all. As it warms, the boozey heat comes out much quicker than it should.

M: Probably the best part of this beer. A wonderful froth when swished in the mouth due to what I now see is a perfect volume of carbonation. Definitely fits with the gravity of the beer.

O: I must conclude that this beer is hugely overrated. Every aspect of it reminds me of Enjoy By, except it's not done as well. It is by no means a bad beer, and I am of the opinion that nothing can live up to the amount of buzz behind a beer like this - I quickly learned this lesson with Pliny. I would not drive 35 minutes away on my hour-long lunch break to pay $22 for a six-pack of this again, but I would definitely buy it again if I stumbled upon it at my local store - not that that will ever happen.

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Photo of masstransplant
2.65/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A-Clear, pale orange with a thin head

S-Aside from the hops, which was not overwhelming, some pine, citrus and ginger. Very nice, however the pine reminded me of a christmas candle. As the beer warmed the smell grew more intense and more pleasant. I spent a long 30 minutes finishing the last half of the glass, mostly because I enjoyed the aroma.

T- Sweet at first, and sweet in the end, but with strong, bitter hops in between. Finished with some notes of orange peel. Very tasty.

M-Decent carbonation; smooth finish

D-A great beer to linger over....I look forward to drinking this as the weather warms as I think it will be very refreshing.

Overall an excellent Imperial IPA. Not my favorite Bells offering but I will drink this again and recommend it to friends.

Edited after finishing the 6 pack...I looked less and less forward to each beer in this 6-pack, anticipating the ever-present Yankee Candle Christmas Pine-Tree aroma. As I compared it with other beers in my fridge, I found it the least appealing and by beer number 5, was looking forward to saying goodbye. I've at least learned to appreciate good balance in a beer and will probably not favor too many of the high-hops choices that are out there. No more Hopslam for me.

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

A: Thick, frothy, white head/green head. It laces very nicely.

S: Sweet hop blend, complex, earthy and sweet malts with the bold and aggressive hoppiness that you would expect from its name.

T: The first was aggressively hoppy. With a slight honey/malt finish. However, this beers strength comes frome consecutive drinking. As my pallette adjsuted, the bitterness retreated and let me really enjoy the base malt/honey flavors. Drinking this beer a few times back to back has made it my new favorite beer.

M: full-body, creamy and smooth. feels very nice to drink.

O: absolutely great. I don't know if it was luck or design that makes this beer exponentially better as you drink it (up to 4 for me, 5 and 6 taste the same as number 4) but this beer is great the first time and even better the 2nd 3rd and 4th time.

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Photo of eandersen
4.18/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Been looking forward to this one for quite a while. Glad I could get a pretty fresh couple of bottles...this was bottled on 1/17 today is 2/11.

A - Pours a shining dark side of gold. 1.5-2 finger white head that fades pretty quickly. Doesn't appear to be very heavily hopped.

S - I do get some tropical fruits but not a ton of citrus. For me this is pineapple and mango, maybe even a little bit of berry. Not much of the sharp pine or grapefruity aromas I was expecting. A sweet caramel malt comes through as well. It smells good but nothing mind blowing.

T - Oh there it is. The best way to put it is that this beer is full of "sticky" hops. Starts with a definite sweetness reminiscent of the nose. Pineapple and mango, but there is also some citrus that did not come through in the nose. Its definitely more on the sweet side of citrus, maybe an orange or tangerine, still not really that grapefruit bitterness you tend to expect from a big DIPA. Finishes sweet again, with the caramel malt presence being felt. No real trace of the ABV.

M - Nice and full, definitely sticky and lingering. It works with the flavor, but I definitely would prefer it to be at least a little dryer and more carbonated.

O - Very good beer. Is it the best DIPA in the world? No it is not. But it absolutely is world class, and somewhat unique. I will drink this whenever I have the chance.

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Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.44 out of 5 based on 12,622 ratings.
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