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
Reviews: 159 | Ratings: 435
Photo of mothman
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have gone through almost my entire 6er of this and have enjoyed every bottle of it.

Poured into tulip.

Pours 1/2 finger of beige head. Color is a hazy orange hued gold. Leaves some splattered lace.

Aroma: Grapefruit citrus, bready malts, lots of pineapple which is awesome, and pine hops.

Taste: I am loving the pineapple in this beer. It is so clean. It also has a grapefruit citrus flavor with pine hops and some bready malts. A bit of alcohol shows.

Mouthfeel: Sweet and bitter. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Very refreshing. Ends a bit sticky.

Overall, this is a very drinkable dipa. I have had a lot of this and still want more. Much better than this years batch of oracle. The pineapple was simply awesome. Very happy with this one.

 769 characters

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.28/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. 9%, Batch # 9920 (Aug. 17, 2010)

Thanks to sweemzander for the hook-up with this bottle!

A - Brilliant golden hues brighten up the already gorgeous bronze color very well. Good clarity to boot! A small one-finger head sinks down quickly but leaves great thin lace on the glass.

S - Smooth and creamy caramel and toffee has a pretty large presence right away. It removes from the hops a bit. Spritzy and refreshing hops follow up with slight notes of white grape and freshly cut pineapple. I admire the malt backbone but it overtakes the hops just a bit much.

T - There is a fantastic hop complexity hiding behind the rich maltiness in this double IPA. Loads of caramel-covered biscuit topped with toffee shavings are up front. Digging deeper reveals a bouquet of noble floral notes, pressed white grape, and overly juicy pineapple. Delicious.

M - Medium-bodied and exceptionally smooth going down, this double IPA maintains a nice refreshing quality throughout while finishing a touch on the dry side and nicely balanced in terms of bitterness. Warm alcohol comes through retro nasally.

D - This beer proves, once again, that Bell's makes one mean double IPA. They know their hops and balance. And while this was a great brew, it's a little too much on the malty side for my liking. I would have loved to see the hops a touch stronger.

 1,381 characters

Photo of philberinghele
4.27/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An excellent copper color with a decent, fluffy white head. The german hops give a grassy, earthy scent and taste. Very unusual for a double ipa. Highly drinkable, as the alcohol is barely perceptible yet you might not want to have more than a couple due to the abv.

I don't think this beer is quite as good as hopslam yet it is just as interesting in its own right.

 368 characters

Photo of amiles
4.27/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy amberish orange. Thin white head, with a tiny bit of lacing. Smell is earthy hops, sugar, with a malt backbone. A lot of IPAs taste the same, but this has something else going on. Perhaps a rarer breed of hops, though it could be a number of things. Quite earthy, again, in the flavour. Mouthfeel is very smooth, with a high level of drinkability.

 362 characters

Photo of lstokes
4.27/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Copper body, fairly light in appearance, with a very caramel-forward and grassy nose. With the taste, imagine an IPA with a spoonful of apricot jam mixed in... fruity hops mix with the malts to become sticky-sweet and fruity, but there's also a good spice to it so that it doesn't weigh you down. Crisp and well-carbonated. I don't know that it's a DIPA in a traditional sense, but it's awesome, a great malt- and fruit-forward taste on the style.

 447 characters

Photo of Gehrig
4.27/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Piccadilly at the Crossing just had this arrive today, as Sam the fine purveyor mentioned, so it was a must-grab. As someone who struggled to endure the year-plus of Bell's absence from Illinois (otherwise known as The Great Abdication), I felt a sense of pride and honor for having been a Bell's fan, and for Bell's making this in honor of their loyal Illinois patrons.

Good start and look, with a fat finger of off-white foam coating a murky brown body with copper trim; nice duration and lacing. Excellent aromas, full of citrus (especially pineapple, orange, and lemon), with floral overtones and plenty of toasted malt to spare as well--very balanced and robust smell!

Good, solid taste, striking a fine hop-malt balance. Caramel and dark chocolate come forth, with a distinct floral, pine whiff to accompany the citrusy taste. More malt than I expected in the taste after the glorious smell, that is still fine with me. The hops aren't absent, but rather more restrained in the flavor than the aroma indicated.

Terrific effervescence achieves a pretty high mouthfeel score in my book, though some might disagree. I found that it significantly enhanced the flavor and accentuated the balance that Bell's achieved.

Very well done overall, and does not quite drink like a DIPA. In a way, one might be disappointed that the taste doesn't reflect the ramped-up hops and flavor. Yet this is, to me, unquestionably a success, in no small part because the malt flavor and content is unmistakable without dominating the hops.

Thanks, Bell's, from Illinois.

 1,563 characters

Photo of srandycarter
4.26/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a wonderful somewhat murky toffee caramel, with a big off white head that looks a little like merange (sp). Sticky lacing and the head takes some time to cool down.

S -Deep sweet malt and citrus.

T - Straight up caramel bar in the center, bit of tropical fruit in there too, finished by very obvious bitter hops. There is a lag time between the two sensations that is really cool, IMO.

M - Very creamy, well balanced, good carb and coverage.

D - I don't know the ABV, but I would be tempted to session with the smoothness.

 536 characters

Photo of corby112
4.26/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark hazy golden amber orange color with a thick frothy yellowish beige head that has excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting ring that leaves a good bit of soapy lacing on it's way down.

Citrus floral hop aroma with only subtle malt presence and hints of dank, resinous hop oils, grapefruit citrus peel and pine.

Nice chewy resinous mouthfeel with a bitter yet floral hop blast that lasts throughout lingering over the subtle malt backbone into a crisp sweet dry finish. Slightly creamy body with a lot of dry pine hop flavor as well as hints of sweet citrus peel. The sweetness and bitterness are really well balanced and they are countered nicely by a subtle malt backbone. Although the backbone provides a nice balance, it doesn't take away from the hoppy goodness, rather it makes this beer extremely quaffable. I wish I had another bottle.

 870 characters

Photo of jwinship83
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Cloudy amber with a small 1cm head and a bit of lacing.

S- Lovely strong odor of citrus hops and a hint of pine.

T- Starts with a fruity malty taste and finishes with a pleasantly bitter hoppy aftertaste

M- A little thin with a nice carbonation

D- I could drink this one all night long. Very enjoyable. When i first had it a couple of months ago, the hop taste was stronger and i definitely liked it more. What you can buy now might be passed its prime if it wasnt kept cold.

 485 characters

Photo of ARoman
4.24/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap, poured into a snifter. The aroma is a sweet and syrupy toffee and caramel blend with secondary pine notes and a mild, sweet grapefruit underneath. It pours a deep, rich, and oily amber hue with a slightly off-white dense foam head that leaves a moderate retention and okay lace. The taste is a medium high bitter and medium supporting sweet. The texture is smooth with creamy foam and a medium full body. The profile on the palate is grainy with a strong roasted note that blends nicely with toffee and sweet grapefruit. The finish is crisp with clean pine and a mellow burnt character that quickly fades and turns to mild grapefruit membrane. The aftertaste is chalky with resin and pine dryness and a light bitter citrus that's clean, lightly astringent, and fresh.

 775 characters

Photo of paytoplay
4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My 1st post on a brew I received in trade. smellsofstout, thank you! This was an excelent hoppy brew. Not the fresh hop but more of the seasoned / hoped to age type brew. Great hop nose and very complex. Very drinkable and enjoyable. Great finish. Thanks again for the trade!

 275 characters

Photo of gatornation
4.21/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

on tap@ blue door pub

A-pours a beautiful mostly clear golden amber color with nice lacing and a nice fresh looking cap thru out
S- was average it was tropical and fruity with malts and hops
T- way better then smell good god it starts with huge amounts of smooth tropical hop flavors of mango pineapple grapefruit citrus with nice sweet malts non bitter hops explode in the mouth with so much taste
M- smooth /sweet and delicate no bitterness in the hops but hugh flavors of dank resinous hops ABV is so well hidden perfectly carbonated
O- so delicious and tropical in taste no bitterness in the hops superb 2ipa

 616 characters

Photo of seedsofchaos
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber orange with a 1/4 head that dissipates. Lacing is present but not impressive.

Citrusy sweet with caramel/crystal malts and artificial fruit smell in the nose. Esters on tops of sweet malts mixed in with citric hops. Smells great despite being so different.

Sweet hits the tongue first followed by greatly subdued citrusy hops. Hop bitterness is very low and this beer's place as a DIPA/IIPA is up for interpretation IMHO. An accurate style is hard to place as the smoothness and mouthfeel of this brew is similar to an Apocalypse Cow by FFF with that milky and buttery feel but the taste is so sweet and flavorful with hops... Hop candy, anyone?

Alcohol is highly masked by sweetness and drinkability borders on dangerous. Cheers to Bells for this Hopsoulution Ale as a peace-offering to its admiring neighbors to the south!

 834 characters

Photo of emerge077
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch #8779 bottled October 9, 2008.

Dull hazy orange once the dregs are poured in, a little brighter in color beforehand. Thin cap of foam, but nice drippy lacing. Cantaloupe and caramel aroma, undercurrent of hop resin, all in all a fine balance of hops and malt.

Rich and full bodied, some white pepper, spearmint, and brief cantaloupe flavors. Resiny and dry aftertaste, a hint of aspirin, about as much as I can handle. Bitterness is moderate, it's tempered by a lightly sweet caramel malt that takes care of business. This is almost as drinkable as Hopslam, and will put you on your ass just as easily, so sip accordingly.

As a side note, this batch of Hopsoulution uses a different blend of hops than the first one. This batch is much more fruity and less medicinal. Cheers...

 787 characters

Photo of JackieTH
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on draft at the 2012 Autumn Brew Review, from notes.

Light amber pour, clear, white head that laces up nicely. This really had a really nice soft tropical nose with citrus and mango elements. Taste is fruity, moderately bitter and dry with predominant orange, citrus notes with underlying mango and papaya. Good depth and very enjoyable presentation of a variety of fruity hop flavors. I'd definitely seek this one out.

 428 characters

Photo of brew3crew
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at bell's cafe 7/21

A-Golden yellow with a white head that is very inviting...

S-hoppy with a little bit of fruit

T-alot like it smells. sweet caramel malts with a little bit of hops just to remind you that they are there...

M-medium body and very smooth

O-Good beer. Wish they would bottle it with wider distribution!

 330 characters

Photo of bonkers
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a SA perfect pint glass. It poures a hazy orange with a medium sticky white head. The aroma is sweet with tropical fruit, and grassy hops. A very sweet beer with mango notes and lots of grassy hops. It has a sweet finish that lingers. A medium bodied easy drinking (for 8%) beer. Thanks to florida9 for this one.

 349 characters

Photo of jsh420
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

batch 9920 bottled 8/17/10

pours hazy orangish amber with a 2 finger head that left lacing all down the glass

smells like 2hearted with lots of malts - very floral some pine and oh the malts

taste - wow this is the DIPA i have been looking for flavor wise - rich toffee carmel malts with plenty of the floral and pine hop flavors

mouthfeel is a little heavy and sticky

drinkability takes a hit with the heavy mouthfeel but its sold in sixers 6 sixers instead of overpriced bombers is a huge plus and oh did i forget that this beer tastes amazing

 550 characters

Photo of sgoodship
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the batch #8779 packaged on October 9, 2008. Larry Bell talked about in his Oct 7th forum posting. Thanks to Larry for sending more hop goodness to IL.

A: Nice slightly orange tinged head. Poured a finger and a half - nice and fluffy. Hazy, dark amber liquid with some lively corbonation. Great lacing. A third of a finger head stayed around for the entire drink.

S: Caramel malt. A soft warm floral hop with a touch of citrus and alcohol.

T: Round, malty taste that moves quickly into floral tones and a nice strong, clean citrus hop bitter aftertaste that is reminiscent of grapefruit. Nice progression and nicely balanced. Is this really about 8.5 ABV? It certainly has a nice warming alcoholic effect.

M: Medium bodied. Nice medium/light carbonation that along with the hop, creates a nice clean mouthfeel. There is also some alcoholic smoothness.

D: A good solid drink. Tasty! It's drinkable but deceptively strong. A nice Double IPA. This brew brings up much discussion about Two Hearted and I'd like to try that brew too.

After the review, Larry Bell was nice enough to BM me that this batch of Hopsolution is 8.0 ABV.

 1,140 characters

Photo of rudylaw
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy orange gradient into my pint glass. A nice 1/2 inch head that is a beautiful tan color. It leaves a hint of lacing.

I'm smelling biscuit, orange peel and earthy hops. This is quite unlike anything I've had before.

Of course, it tastes hoppy... earthy flavors. Very smooth and malty. Touches of caramel are present but are in no way dominant. A little spice kicks in after the gulp.

It's very creamy and finishes clean. I know this is a double but it's nowhere near as in your face as some of th either DIPAs out there. The reviewer that said that it's a toned down 90-minute is dead on. In fact, this is very similar to DFH but different enough to be sought out. The alcohol is present, but I think I could session this rather easily.

Very glad to have scored a sixer of this before the well runs dry. My fellow Chicagoans... go get this while you can. Bell's is officially back with this concoction.

 919 characters

Photo of seanpachefddfa
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - poured a deep amber almost like rust or caramel. Fluffy egg shell colored head very sticky lacing.
Smell - I am getting the usual pine/grapefruit aroma but also some tropical fruit and sweet malts.
Taste - A eathy/bready taste up front and the bitter hop taste. Not the normal for this type of beer but very good.
Mouth feel - A medium bodied beer with a medium low carbonation
Drink ability - A little different from the norm but very good. The kind of beer that could get you in trouble

 503 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 8513

Pours a fully clouded orange hued brown with a creme head. Nose is grapefrut and pineapple juice. Flavor is leaning towards malts with a citrus edge to it. Overall fairly earthy. Sticky feel on liquid. Low carbonation. An easy drinker that carries no abrasion. I like when my DIPAs are like this.

 308 characters

Photo of Bitterbill
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this bottle in a trade with joe1510. Thanks Joe!

This pours a hazy ruby red with a good 1 finger head of foam. Plenty of lacing. Excellent head retention.

The smell is nicely balanced. Lots of citrus and tropical fruit for bitterness, an ample amount of caramel sweetness. If this tastes as good as it smells, I'm in for a treat.

The taste has big hoppiness with tropical fruitiness and some citrus and a good sweet malt flavour that does some good balancing; not as balanced as the nose suggested but it's far from being one dimensional.

The mouthfeel is just over on to the medium side, the carbonation is just under medium, and it finishes with a definite bitter bite from whatever tropical fruit flavour is the cause. Nice and it's a pretty easy drinker for the style.

 782 characters

Photo of hoppymeal
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a medium ambery copper in color, just a slight haze, a decent size creamy, cream colored head slowly recedes to a thick ring. Aroma is a good grassy hoppiness and a strong orange citrus aroma, sweetened by the malts. Hops are somewhat floral as well, with a hint of the alcohol evident as it approaches room temp. Taste shows some more of the vitamin c, orange candy like flavor, good pepperiness mid taste into the finish before a grassy bitterness puckers the front of the tongue. Mouthfeel is medium in body, nice malty, creamy body is cut well by the peppery, drying bite of bitterness. A great, highly drinkable double ipa, esp for an 8 plus percent abv, only wish I could buy it locally. Definitely worth seeking out. Thanks to Kan for the opportunity.

 764 characters

Photo of beerwolf77
4.14/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes to tickzander for this beer. Poured from a bottle into a tulip.

A: Rusty orange amber. Tiny wisp of beige head. No lace no cap.

S: Sweet caramel malt and toffee blend with a robust hop profile. Very barley wine like.

T: The flavors are rich and bold. Tons of sweet caramel malt, toffee, nuts, toasted bread. Loads of citrus fruit and pine. This is so much like a big barley wine.

M: Medium to full body. Low carbonation.

D: Overall very tasty and full of flavor. Maybe too rich for more than one pint but I would love to revisit this on a cold morning in front of a fire.

 592 characters

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.