Kalamazoo Hopsoulution Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

very good
159 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Kalamazoo Hopsoulution AleKalamazoo Hopsoulution Ale

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

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
A "German-style Double IPA" according to Larry Bell.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-31-2008

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 159 | Ratings: 435
Photo of nlmartin
4.79/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer was chilled and served in an Imperial Pint glass.

Appearance: The body of the beer is a dark copper coloration. The head of the beer resolved to a thin cream color. The lacing makes nice concentric rings around the glass.

Smell: This is truly fantastic. The beer has caramel and chocolate malt aromas. I swear the hops are kicking up pineapple, mango and papaya.

Taste: The flavors are a perfect carry over on the aroma. The beer has some nice bittering hops at the back to keep things from becoming too sweet.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability: The body of the beer is on the plus side of medium. The carbonation is low but I think it works well with the beers overall character. Very slick and smooth on the finish. This beer is highly drinkable and I am already missing the beer.

 788 characters

Photo of AgentMunky
4.52/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served in a 6 ounce snifter (then a ten ounce half-pint glass) at Beer Run in Charlottesville. From notes. Reviewed 1 February 2012 (last night).

A: Light head, good lacing. Clear orange with some bubbles.

S: Phenomenal! Loads of hops and soft fruit. Complex, spicy, foreign hops.

T: Light and interesting. Lots of fruit. It's a bit dry. (The rumour is that the keg got stale and, while it is vaguely reminiscent of a stale Saltine, it is no less excellent for that.) Hops are piney and bitter and don't taste very German.

M: Malty and bitter. The beer is more substantial than I first believed.

O: A riotous good beer with excellent balance between the excellent malts and the engaging hops.

 697 characters

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%

Had on tap at the Bryant Lake Bowl: rich grains and hops, some pine and grass. This also has a light fruit sweetness up front and then is balanced by the hop – there is a lingering grapefruit in the finish.

 208 characters

Photo of GbVDave
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 20oz imperial pint.

Batch # 8513

A: Pours a dark burnt-orange color. Like blood orange fruit. Capping this is a thick and creamy, tan-colored, two finger head with excellent retention. Lots of lace left in the glass.

S: Aromas of pine and lemon. Probably due to the noble hops used. Also noted were aromas of herbs, dry & toasty malt, caramel, and earthy/natural spices.

T: Much like above. The malt never loses its' dry qualities but gains a slight caramel sweetness as it warms. Plenty of pine, citrus, and earthy herbs/spices. Sort of what a high quality health food store would taste like without the patchouli and BO!

M: Dry and spicy throughout. The malt contributes to much of the sweetness here. A fresh, herbal, spiciness adds a tremendous amount of zest to the mouthfeel.

D: Very different, very refreshing, and very enjoyable. An entirely welcome addition to the Bell's portfolio!

Batch # 8779

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 20oz imperial pint on 2/4/09.

A: Pours a perfectly hazy, dark-orange color with a small-ish, bubbly cap of light-tan foam. The head recedes to a sticky ring and a skim that consists of "bloppy chunks" of foam. Specks of lace are left behind and the carbonation is rather still.

S: Aromas of creamy caramel, tangy melon, pineapple, freshly mown lawn, tart red apple, toasty malt, berries, and an underlying ripe and fruity sweetness.

T: My tongue was greeted with a big wash of spicy pineapple and caramel followed closely by pine tar, red apple, grapefruit, white pepper, dry toasted malt, and some herbal/floral hops. Found a bit of lemon or bitter orange lurking in the background, as well.

M: Very resinous and sticky. The middle turns spicy and peppery and those traits continue on long into the finish. Peeks of dry pineyness mingle with prickly hops and sticky sweet pineapple.

D: This batch seems a little more conventional than batch # 8513. A little more juicy fruitiness, a lot less smelly hippy health food store! All 4.5's.

 2,022 characters

4.47/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into snifter: from notes.
A: A short head retention, on a white fluffy nose. The body is a hazy orange, with a bright character in the light.
S: A grapfriut sweetness from the hops, overall a very medium intensity from the aroma.
T/M: The front is a nice hop bit and the mouthfeel is silky. Nice hop complexities and the finish ends on a dry note.
D: This is a classic IIPA, that lives up to the name. I will be going back for more of this. Easy to drink for the ABV and not too much unwanted resin characters.

 522 characters

Photo of fredmugs
4.46/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at The Tap. Did some reasearch before I had this beer and I definitely agree that it is lacking in aroma. I did enjoy this beer much more than The Oracle but not as much as Hopslam. This is a very drinkable beer and by that I mean the alcohol content is very hidden. I could have pounded down several more of these and I will surely go back and get more before it's gone. For me the lack of aroma is the only thing keeping it from being World Class.

 465 characters

Photo of ejquin
4.45/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Rusty brown with thin white head that leaves little lacing.

S: Lots of malt with some spice, caramel and brown sugar. A little rootbeer.

T/M: Mouthfeel is nice and smooth. Medium bodied. Nice hop presence. Hops smack right up front and are big, but balanced nicely by malty brown sugar and caramel. Finish leaves you toungue tingling with spice. Little alcohol perception becuase the of hoppy finish, and if this is really 8.4 % abv like the last reviewer reported, that's stunning to me.

D: Again, very high for a DIPA and if it's 8.4%, then it's extremely high.

Ovr: This is a very, very good brew. Seemed to me like a Sam Adams on steroids that was much better balanced. The guy who sold me this proclaimed it "better than Hopslam" which to me it is not, Hopslam is an unbeliveable beer, but this is just simply really good.

 834 characters

Photo of Beejay
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Light orange amber in color, hazy with a slightly tan head.

S: That’s what I am talking about. Grapefruit, orange peel, pineapple, and mandarin oranges. Just a wonderful smelling beer.

T: Taste follows aroma. Bright orange peel, mandarin oranges, pineapple, some light bread notes, but hops are the focus.

M: Medium in body, with a moderate to high carbonation.

O: Overall just a damn fine beer.

 407 characters

Photo of russwbeck
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Third pairing of RFD Washington's Bell's Beer Dinner. This beer was brewed especially for Illinois, due to distribution laws, the brewery was having issues with Hopslam. To combat this, they came up with a (hop)solution: create a new beer! This was paired with Machengo macaroni and cheese with carrots, cauliflower and peas topped with brioche crumbs.

A: Insanely clear amber pour with a small white head. Decent retention and lacing. 4

S: Ton of bitter hops without a malty backbone. All about the hops with some tropical fruits like citrus and mango. 4.5

T: Follows the aroma perfectly. Citrus and orange for the fruits. Bitter hops. A small malt backbone and some alcohol add a nice balance. Very enjoyable. 4.5

MF: Really bitter and drinkable. Alcohol on the backend. 4

O: As delicious as Hopslam and very balanced. I have to try Hopslam again before I reach a final verdict as to which is better. My gut, however, is going to give it to Hopslam. The big IPA pairs nicely with the mac and cheese. They’ve done a great job pairing the beers and the food so far. 4.5

 1,076 characters

Photo of elNopalero
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Spelled this one incorrectly in my notes and it took me forever to figure that out! ISO: Editor…

Anyways. This pours a golden tan-straw color. There’s a very fruity hop profile to this, not just citrus but also tropical fruits. I’m thinking of grapefruit and pineapple, primarily. Comes through on the aroma and definitely on the taste as well. It’s a good one.

 370 characters

Photo of PaulyB83
4.41/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served on tap at Shakespeare's Pub in Kalamazoo in a pint glass

A- Nice clear medium-dark amber, darker than Two-hearted, with a nice white head that lingered and stayed surprisingly long throughout.

S- Strong papaya and pineapple notes. some citrus. Light pine, some light earthy notes.

T- Similar to aroma and more pine with a bigger bitterness than I was expecting. The malty sweetness is still there and makes this a very balanced IPA. The alcohol is more hidden compared to Oracle and Hopslam.

M- Great carbonation and very easy drinking considering the ABV. It's only one point lower than Oracle but it drinks more like Two-hearted.

O- I was pleasantly surprised by this beer and am glad I found it. I was worried it was only distributed to Illinois. I found the hop profile more to my like compared to Two-hearted, I'm just not that into giant floral notes. To me this beer is more similar to Oracle and Hopslam's profile, like if those two had a baby, and has more balanced sweetness with the big hops, which is my preference with IPAs. Wish the bottled this stuff for places other than Illinois, I would buy all the time.

 1,137 characters

Photo of joe1510
4.41/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz Bottle
$10.99 6-Pack
Binny's Willowbrook

Batch #8513

Hopsolution pours amber with hints of orange. The orange is more spread throughout the body then just highlights. A few streams of carbonation explode to the surface. A somewhat aggressive pour yields a two finger white head that falls to a thick cap after a couple minutes. The falling head leaves sheet lacing with a couple holes here and there.

A zesty citric hop quality is the first thing noticed when I take a whiff but it's not the usual suspects. Papaya is the first thing that comes to mind and leaves a nice sweetness behind. Candied orange and lime peel come along a little later before the hop profile turns slightly vegetal in a sweet sort of way. The malts come across as a cake like sweetness with the faintest flash of caramel. A clean alcohol rounds things off. The aroma of this beer is fantastic! There's a candy like sweetness in here I just can't put my finger on but really makes the aroma pop.

Everything the nose suggested the flavor delivers. A mouthwatering, sweet hoppiness gets things started. The cake like malt is an excellent foundation for the hops to show themselves off. The hop profile is very deep showing signs of papaya, orange and lime before leading into the vegetal, earthy quality. This beer is built around the hop profile and the complexity Bells pulled from the hops used is great. Hopsolution is a special beer.

The mouthfeel on this beer is in a very good place. The body is light and airy but with enough stick to let the hops work their magic, leaving a solid growing bitterness behind.

This beer, excuse the cliche, is dangerously drinkable. The abv is barely noticeable until the bottle is finished. The refreshing and bitter hop intensity does nothing but make me want more.

Hopsolution is actually one of the best beers I've had from Bells and that's saying a lot. The hop profile is unique enough to keep from getting boring and leaves a nice bitterness that I can't get enough of. I will pick this up constantly from now on.

Reviewed: 6/22/08

 2,066 characters

Photo of robbyc1
4.4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer has a thick creamy light beige head and a deep caramel orange honey colored body with a good carbonation of tiny bubbles that glide through it. Great lace.

The citrus note gives way to piney hops. There is a soft caramel malt note that comes through a bit. Really nice.

The caramel malt sweetness has a dry toast note to it and a green pine hops flavor that is a bit herbal. Very nice spiritual flavor with a slight bit of spice, really this is good.

This has a solid mouthfeel with a no alcohol heat at all.

D- This beer has some nice hops flavors and a good presence of malt but the hops and malt flavors take time to come together.

I'm loving this as a DIPA, better than Hopslam for me based on the malt backbone. Very nice.

 742 characters

Photo of cfrances33
4.38/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Bar Louie in Mishawaka, IN. Served in a shaker.

Pour: Cleargden with two fingers of soapy off-white head. Leaves amazing lacing.

Smell: Dank hops, with citrus and grapefruit. Little bit of pine. Not much of a malt presence to speak of here

Taste: Follows the nose but with a much larger citrus presence. Caramel malt kicks in to provide a nice sweetness. Hops really own the show here, and the finish is resinous and bitter.

Mouthfeel: Very juicy, but with a light refreshing body. Went perfectly with my gumbo. Would never know this clocks in at 9%.

Overall: Really, really great DIPA here from Bells and I'll be honest, I think this is better than Hopslam. Wish this was bottled again, or at least saw leg distribution.

 736 characters

Photo of Donnie2112
4.38/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

amber red with a bunch of carbonation, a film of head that leaves nice sticky lace

its certainly hoppy, but there is also a sweet malt in there as well

very well balanced beer lots of that sweet malt that is there in the nose, it then rolss into those american double ipa hops. But they aren't overbearing either. Just a bit of piney slightly citric hops

full body, medium light carbonation, lots of astringence from those alpha acids

very drinkable beer, I really wish I had more of these.

 494 characters

Photo of dukedevil0
4.38/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Six pack from Armanettis on Lincoln Ave in Chicago, IL.

A: Pours a perfectly amber color with white head and great lacing on the glass.

S: Earthy soil sweet hops with a malt kick in the background

T: Tastes just like it smells except the hops are less pronounced and the malt has taken over a little bit. I've had this on tap and the bottle tastes like the hops have faded a little bit seeing as how there's less hoppy sweetness.

M: Pretty creamy and full, just about perfect for a DIPA

D: alcohol is not very pronounced and it's a solid flavor

 549 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
4.37/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch Number 8779 -- Bottled on 10.09.2008

A: A faint copper; appears almost as if it is glowing. Cream head with decent retention. No visible carbonation and the beer is quite opaque for this style.

S: I'm getting more of the smell of a traditional IPA, and not as much of a hop-bomb smell, as associated with HopSlam and many other DIPA's. Definite sweet malt in the background.

T: Reminds me a bit of Bear Republic's Racer 5. Mild hops for this style, and some caramel malt.

M: Very smoothe. Noticeable carbonation, but not too much.

D: Could definitely drink this one for a while...Not the same honey/hop intenseness associated with HopSlam, and also a bit more malty and less assertively hoppy than Two-Hearted. A very good brew; too bad the release was so limited.

 779 characters

Photo of Proteus93
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of spointon ... thanks for the opportunity! Bottle marked 8513 along the back

A: A hazy copper hue with a foamy, sudsy head. Retention is pretty decent, leaving a nice lip of lacing

S: Herb and spice, rounded with a noticable malt backbone.

T: A pleasant herbal and leafy hops flavour with a nice little dash of peppery spiciness towards the finish. Again, a malt presence that is quite unexpected but certainly welcome - they add a smooth caramel flavour. Add in a tiny spot of fruitiness (more like peel or a flavouring, I suppose) and you've got one delicious beer

M: Carbonation is moderate - pretty much spot on for the brew. It provides a crispness that smooths out with the medium body, and allows a little chewiness to come out before finishing clean.

D: I found this to be a particularly tasty brew... perhaps it's because it was a little different than the standard hopbombs, but I lean a little more towards it being a balance that I found just right for my palate. Not being immediately aware of the ABV, I didn't know what I was really getting into, but it was easy drinking. I've seen 8.4% listed, and if that's the case, it's surprisingly well-hidden I'd gladly seek this out again, and would recommend giving it a try if the chance comes up. It would be great to see if they brewed something like this again some time.

 1,358 characters

Photo of Gtreid
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks go out to brandoman63 for a great brew!
Poured the 12 oz. bottle into a snifter.

A: Dark copper, like the color of a penny after about 20 years or so of floating around. One finger of tan, cream color head appears and quickly receeds to a thin rim, and leaves thick, but spotty lacing.

A: Very nice citrus and grass hop aroma, that is balanced exteremly well with sweet malts.

T: This is amazing! This is my first experience with a German DIPA, and I have to say I am impressed. Sweet, hoppy, crisp, and clean. And finishes with a nice bitter, alcohol bite.

M&D: Creamy, medium body, next to no carbonation, makes the brew slighty syrupy on the palate. I love this beer. Differnt from the American style, but IMO just as good. Larry Bell continues to impress with his innovative styles. I wish this would become part of his everyday line-up. Outstanding! Skal.

 875 characters

Photo of Yetiman420
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks ShareANevada for kickin' this one down.

Poured into a Sam Adams ultimate beer glass.

Copper color, thin white head, and sloppy lacing.

Sweet, malty aroma with hop presence. Balanced but tilted towards a nice hop aroma. Some fruit in the aroma. Could be attributed to the yeast or perhaps the hops.

Smooth for 8.4%.

 329 characters

Photo of atsprings
4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to brandoman63 for the trade. Pours a nice hazy dark amber with a nice frothy head. Aroma is noble German and pine hops and slight burnt caramel, quite fragrant. The taste is a very interesting hop profile in the forefront with a very decent bready malt backbone. Grass and pine dominate the hop profile with caramel and slight molasses coming from the malt. The beer is on the heavy side of medium with a decent hop bitterness. This one is certainly unlike any beer I've ever had, and I am very glad to get to try this limited release, here's to hoping for a wider release in the future!

 600 characters

Photo of davedahl
4.32/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on-tap at The Firkin in Libertyville, IL.

Poured into a 6oz snifter which I found curious. Small tight head. Mild lacing. Taste was sweet and creamy then hops in middle. Low alcohol let's the amber maltiness come through. And the floral (and slightly) citrus hops keep it nicely balanced. Only mild hop on nose. Slight sweet slick feel on finish.

An incredibly full, delicious, and well-rounded. Very very good.

 424 characters

Photo of zeff80
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a cloudy, copper color with a small, yet thick, off-white, long-lasting head. It left sticky trails of lace.

S - It smelled of warm grassy hops and burnt toast maltiness.

T - It had a great bitter hoppiness. There was a nice bubblegum flavor with some strong caramel flavors.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a dry finish. A medium to full bodied ale.

D - This is great. I wish its distribution reached Missouri. I'd buy it often.

 448 characters

Photo of Buebie
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtasy of mcallister! I drink this listening to death metal. :)

Poured from a brown 12oz bottle. I'm aware this is not fresh, as its a brewed once beer, so I'm anticipating hop fallout.

Poured into my Sam Adams Turbulator off a semi regerous pour. The head forms a nice 1.5 inches of thick foamy white. Receeding to a collar of bubbly retention. Leaving behind a great curtain of lace all the way down the glass.
The color is a somwhat hazy, unfiltered orangish/ red copper. It glows well when held to light.

The aroma is laid back, as again, most of the aroma hops have seemed to drop out with the age. It does have a faint wiff of pine and grassy hops in there. The malt is sweet smelling with a caramel buttery bready aroma. No alcahol at the knose.

The taste still holds quite a bit of hop flavor all the way through!
Starts out with a sweet orange peel carmelly malt taste, with buttery notes in the mix. Picking up a mango like fresh fruit sweetness and a hint of apples. Cerally grains at the swallow with a rush of creamyness and carbonation on the mouthfeel.
Picking up bittering strength through the swallow, hops come through swinging.
A warming of alcahol here and more bitter pine and some citrussy rinf flavors.
Lingering long with bitter hops and caramel.

Awsome brew!

 1,297 characters

Photo of sholland119
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Obtained in trade from d0b. Thanks, Dave.

A-Pours a slightly hazy amber with a thin tan head. Nice.

S-Strong piney hop deliciousness with a hint of malt.

T-A bready, earthy taste in the front with a faint hop bitterness. Totally unexpected flavor profile for the style but very very tasty.

M-Nice medium carbonation, very light on the tongue for the style. Just a bit of lingering hops.

D-Very tasty and unique. No idea what the ABV is but it is dangerously drinkable if it is in fact a DIPA. Tastes moderate for a regular IPA.

The label says this was brewed especially for the people of Illinois. Lucky people! I am glad I was able to sneak a couple of them out. Delicious.


 684 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Kalamazoo Hopsoulution Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.96 out of 5 based on 435 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.