Hopslam Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

3,452 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: 3,452 | Ratings: 12,700
Photo of jf60657
4.29/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A guy brought this to me in my store so I could try A Bells beer which is no longer available in Chicago. 12 oz bottle, poured into a glass.

Appearance: Inviting orange/yellow, opaque and lively at the same time. Head was a small but thick.

Nose: Grapefruit with sugar tones, Very tempting and one of the best smelling beers I've had in a while.

Taste: Strong citrus/grapefruit forward, very bubbly and active in the mouth. Finishes with strong Hops and after the swallow, the grapefruit comes back.

Drinkability: At 9% abvI would'nt call it a session beer at all, but great to start off or on a hot day. I actually ate some m&ms right after drinking it and the hoppy aftertaste mixed with the chocolate was fantastic.

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Photo of lincoln44
4.85/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Like the label but the pour could have been more impressive. Color is similar to two heated ale; pale straw color yellow. Very little head with the pour but may be attributed to the temp of my refrigerator.

S- Heaven. Bell's has done a great job of balancing this beer. The hops are an obvious nose filling aroma but the malt is worthy of mention as well. Makes me smile when I know I will soon be drinking this olfactory stimulating elixir.

Taste- As worthy as the smell. This beer is balanced between pine, citrus, and floral hops. The honey addition to the fermentation leaves its own sweetness to the taste of the beer. I think the sweetness of the honey makes the bitterness even more enjoyable. The beer is initially sweet when it hits the tongue but quickly gives way to the hops and slight warmth of alcohol. Not a hot alcohol taste but ever so slightly warming on the finish.

M- Seems to be sweet and slightly thick at first but the hops and carbonation come through with an enjoyable bitterness and effervescent cleaning of the palate.

D- Exceptional drinkability for a beer of this style. I am going to enjoy my six pack while it lasts but at $16 a sixer I will not be drinking this on a regular basis, even though I would really like to. Get it, drink it, love it.

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Photo of jas30060
4.64/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Just had this at the Taco mac in Kennesaw Ga.

Bells had there release party for Georgia there.

This was my first bells beer.I was impressed.
Everyone else reviews pretty much summed this beer up so I wont get into all the mouth feel stuff. so all im gonna say it that this beer it Great!

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

From the bottle to a tulip.

The pour is a radiant orange color with a nice head that has some longevity to it and lays down a gold bit of lace. The nose alone is enough for me to know that I'm going to love this beer. It's a tropical and citrus fruit bomb that never gives a hint of malt. The taste follows suit with an abundance of citrus/tropical goodness. The beer is full in the mouth but not overly so.

One of my all time favorite beers and my favorite DIPA.

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Photo of emmasrue1
4.69/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Very strong beer and not one that you can drink every day (if you want to be productive). It has a nice look to it in a pilsner and the aroma is rather fruity to me. I do really appreciate the strong taste. The beer lets you know you are drinking a good hearty ale. I do enjoy Hopslam just can't drink it that often nor have too many in one setting.

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Photo of spunk509
4.7/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Great light head. Nothing too much - just right. Color is a golden amber - fairly light in color - almost makes me think of a barleywine

S - Lots of grass and pine with a bit of malt and alcohol in the back.

T - I actually disagree with several other reviewers. I don't think this is that bitter at all. I expected to be hit in the face with hops but this beer is truly balanced. There is a bit of bitter aftertaste, but the blend of taste in the hops is very impressive. A great range of flavor. There might be a little too much alcohol, but I won't complain.

M - Good, but nothing too incredible here. A little on the thin side. Again I am reminded of a barleywine.

O - Really a solid beer. I don't know why it costs THAT much, but it's a pleasure to drink. It really hits tha balance that so many doubles and even standard IPAs miss.

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Photo of kytashie
3.94/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Yeah I had sixer shipped to me, victim of the hype. Poured a hazey orange with a dense yellow head, decent lacing that hung around for a bit. Immediate nose of grapefruit, like slam in the face grapefruit, some flowery notes, caramel finish. Wow this is an in your face beer.

Taste - Well lets say the name fits. Seriously go slam your pecker in the door it's that hoppy. Grapefruit, piney, sprucey, feel like i'm consuming the forest here. It's a dry bitter end, the hops have nuked my taste buds, quite powerful. I like it and rather encouraged that it comes out once a year. If it was shelved year round it would be boring.

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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 tomgetz
4.84/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Served from bottle dated 12-27-2013 into tulip glass.

A: medium copper color with minimal head

S: hoppy with undertones of sweetness. With the 10% alcohol, there is a hint of alcohol.

T: starts off hoppy but not too extreme. Finishes with the honey sweetness. No overt signs of heavy alcohol.

M: medium body. Near perfect for an IPA.

O: well worth the effort to find it. Well worth the price.

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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 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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Hopslam Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.44 out of 5 based on 12,700 ratings.
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