Kalamazoo Hopsoulution Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

very good
159 Reviews
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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

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Reviews: 159 | Ratings: 435
Photo of TurdFurgison
3.6/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I had a bottle at my parents' house in Chicago over the holidays. I've been wanting to try this for almost 1/2 year, ever since seeing it for sale at Sams in June. The beer looks dark orange with a thin head. The smell is very DIPA-ish, strong hops are dominant but with lots of malt sweetness. The taste is right on the line between a DIPA and a barleywine, really sweet and bitter. Maybe closer to barleywine, I wouldn't have guessed it was only 8.4% ABV. The body seemed thick but not excessively thick, nicely done but a little strong in presence (while actually being somewhat weak in ABV).

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Photo of errantnight
3.61/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Joe1510... bringing it strong.

A bit of a ruby tinge to the golden hue with a few fingers of luscious head. Superb lacing and retention... gorgeous.

Aroma is hoppy... but it's an odd, cherry, tangerine-ness mixed with caramel. It's not terribly strong, and while it's interesting, and not offensive, I'm not crazy about it.

The taste is... again, interesting. There's a smooth oilyness to it that is very IPAish, the bitterness is high, and just rough enough without being jagged. The body is medium with proper carbonation... the flavor is a forward hop of candy fruit (cherries again, spring to mind) against a vanilla caramel back. Finishes too sweet, and slightly cloying.

I keep fluctuating in my appreciation for it, but it's certainly an interesting take... but whatever the hops, these are not meant for IPAs as we currently know them. Could provide some interesting depth properly blended.

Thanks, Joe!

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Photo of Slynger
3.61/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Crazy deep, lightly hazy, rusty orange color with a fine head of fuzzy cream coloring.

Quite light in the smell department, I have to stick my nose deep in the glass to pick out everything. Light caramel sweetness with pineapple and lemony fruitiness along with herbal, earthy hops with hints of spice.

Tastes rings in much stronger than the smell. I'm getting toasted malts with a modest amount of pineapple / lemon fruitiness. Citrus rind and earthy-spiciness leave this brew lightly dry and solidly bitter. Medium-full body has a nice amount of soft and fuzzy carbonation with a lightly oily smoothness to it.

Hmmm, I really wanted this to be awesome to the point of a special Illinois version of Hopslam, but I may have set my expectations a bit too high. I like what it brings to the table but it seems a bit unpolished and some aspects are slightly muted and out of balance. I know that I am nitpicking here, but that is only because I expect so much from Bell's. This is still a nice beer, just not great.

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Photo of Treebs
3.61/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on draft at Palmer Place in LaGrange. Served in a snifter glass.

A: Pours a dark purple and amber mixture with a half finger, light yellow head. Leaves great rings of sticky lace. Great looking beer.

S: Grapefruit citrus with a bready malt and resiny pine. Little candied sugar.

T: Taste is pretty much the nose to a T. Candied sugars and citrus fruits with the grapefruit making the number one appearance. Bitter hop finish with also a slight oat malt thrown in for good measure.

M: Medium bodied with great carbonation and a malty, bitter finish on the palate.

O: This sounded great and while it didn't live up to my own hype it was still a solid offering. Taste was a little too muddled for me.

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Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.63/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle batch 8513, poured into a tulip glass.

A: Pours an elegant looking hazy and blood orange looking redish color topped with a thick creamy and most importantly, sticky looking light toffee colored head. This beer looks quite inviting just standing there all alone in a tulip glass. A vigourus pour yeiled a one inch head which fades but not before leaving some seriously fat rings of lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Quite a lot going on here. The first thing I notice is the super ripe tropical fruit coming off of this beer from what seems like a mile away. Mango, apricot, and drippingly sticky sweet pineapple nearly override the smell receptors and move into the taste buds, but this gives way to a rather peppery and medicinal kind of spiciness that seems to indicate how heavy this beer might be.

T/MF: Sharp biting mouthfeel takes over almost immediatly followed by a strong resin and medicinal hop tongue lashing. I am a little dissapointed so far that there is not more of a citric presence to this beer that I encountered in the aroma, instead this is an earthier more medicinal take on a DIPA. I almost appricate what is being done here but it is really just not my cup of tea, just too earthy and resiny for me.

D: Its a nice beer for those looking for a piny version of a DIPA but for me this one just doesn't just muster.

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Photo of ckeegan04
3.63/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Gillard for the chance to try this one. Bottled on 5/23/08.

A - Dark cloudy copper in color with two finger light brown head. Excellent retention and light lacing.

S - A little on the boozy side with aromas of spicey hops as well. Also a dark caramel aroma.

T - Very sweet up front with a roasted caramel and biscuity taste. A spicey and earthy hop taste quickly comes in. A very balanced DIPA, almost too far to the sweet malt side. Alcohol is fairly well masked but still present in the taste.

M/D - Medium bodied and rather creamy. Has a good feel but the sweetness mixed with the alcohol brings the drinkability down for me.

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Photo of alleykatking
3.65/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle. Many thanks go out to gratefulbeerhead..aka Eric. You always surprise me with these beers! Review from notes:

A- Pours a deep amber color. One and a half finger white head stays around for a short while before dying down to a ring on the beer. Light lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- The aroma on this is interesting to say the least. A big malty body took me by surprise. Caramel and toffee unpfront. Some light darker fruits with a bitter hop presence in there. The earthy hops work well with balancing the malts.

T- Interesting once again. Big malts in the front of this. Tons of bready caramel malts take a light backseat to a light bitter hop bite before jumping back into all malts. Sweet alcohol on the backend of this.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Big malts on the palate with some sweet alcohol in the aftertaste. Flavors were a little muddled together. Some slight oxidation can be detected overall.

D- This beer drinks more like a strong amber ale more so than a DIPA. I am thinking this beer is a little past its prime. Starting to drink with more barleywine like qualities. If you have any I would suggest you drink it now.

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Photo of jwc215
3.65/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Tattorso for including this in a trade!

Pours orange amber with a thin tan head that has nice staying power. A bit of lacing sticks.

The smell is floral/piney with some caramel, fruity esters and alcohol.

The taste is floral/piney with a sturdy caramelish backbone. A DIPA that leans BW-ish in taste. There is a slight astringency and some alcohol in the finish.

Medium-bodied, yet strong. A bit of a raw texture.

A nice piney, raw sipper.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.65/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle opened by Thorpe randomly at a tasting recently, batch number was in the 8000s, so it's already a few years old. Drinks like a barleywine now.

Beer is copper and clear with almost no head, no lacing, no nothing.

Aroma is mildly hoppy, piny, dark fruits and sugars, perhaps slightly oxidized.

Beer is thick and sweet at the get go, it is malty and the midpalate unfolds to reveal more malt, no real hop presence here, just a lot of dark fruits, candies, and other implements of sweetness. The finish however is relatively bitter with a nice hoppiness there. Interesting experiment, interesting beer.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.65/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a dark orange with good carbonation and a nice white head

S: Caramel, light booze, some citrus

T: Caramel, citrus, had a unique taste nite like a grape juice taste/texture

M: Medium body, some hop bitem booze

D: Pretty good. Worth a shot but not one I'd go foragain

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.69/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Michigan Brewers Guild in Ypsi. Pours golden with frothy head. Smells of straight bitter hops and pine. Taste is pure pine and bitter, but one dimensional. Dryish mouthfeel, medium body, heavy carbonation. Not impressed with this one. Only okay. This was so one dimensional as to be just extremely boring. Not a bad beer, but not much to it.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.7/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance -- Pours a rich burnt orange with almost no head and just enough haze to catch light. Even headless it's beautiful.

Smell -- What is going on here?? LOTS of distinct hop aromas: juicy fruit, apricot, tangerine and grapefruit, herb garden. As far as malt, it's hot biscuits with a big dab of honey.

Tate -- The hops are very eclectic: predominantly earthy and herbal, although pine, citrus and juicy fruits are there. Honeyed biscuits, melon, and plum come out in the malts. Alcohol is evident. Overall, balanced and eclectic. No hop bomb here, perhaps for the better.

Mouthfeel -- Medium in body, slick, with moderate prickly carbonation. A bit oily from the hops. Faint alcohol warmth.

Drinkability -- Probably wouldn't be my first choice, but it's certainly interesting. Worth a shot for sure.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.73/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

on-tap, Maduro-Madison

from notes

appearance: served in a bells shaker pint, golden orange body, fluffy white cloud, good retention

smell: piney, biscuity malt, light non-bitter citrus, caramel

taste: there are some interesting reviews of this one - this draft version was moderately hoppy (compared to hopslime and oracle at least)-light tangerine, citrus, bready, nutty, dry grain - the german tag is a stretch but its certainly a nontraditional dipa

mouthfeel: medium-light

overall: enjoyable and new to me - compared to hopslime its a sigh

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Photo of Tone
3.73/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, copper color. One and one half inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of citrus hops, sweet malt, hint of caramel, hint of wood, and slight alcohol. Fits the style of an American Double / Imperial IPA. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, slight alcohol, citrus hops, hint of floral hops, and slight wood. Overall, good appearance, body, and blend.

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Photo of mulder1010
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. From notes

A-- Poured a darker hazy orange color. One finger off white head that faded slowly. no lacing and little carbonated.

S-- Candied orange and candied lemon peel. Just a bit of Carmel backbone to this.

T-- Carmel, orange, lemon zing and some grapefruit.

M-- Prickly on the tongue. Reminds me more of a sweet tart. Medium carbonation and a little. Hops really pick up in the mouth. More of a grapefruit carmel finish that is earthy.

T-- Like a lot of this but just not as big a citrus as Western US IPA's are. Not as crisp and earthy is OK. Would try this again as ticks a lot of boxes.

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Photo of JAXSON
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another bottle from Ed. A mostly clear, deep copper with a pretty scant head. Nose is some oxidized caramel malt, butterscotch, pine sugars, and perhaps an odd citrus fruit. Stinging malt on the first sip, this feels more like an American barley wine than an IIPA. It's certainly of the malty sort. Grainy, caramel, lots of sugars, with a residual pine bitterness. Citrus oils. Did somebody say fig sugars? Very rich and actually works pretty well. Can you say grapefruit oils?

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Photo of tsauce2
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

P: on tap in to a Bells tulip glass

A: SRM is light amber. White head, tight bubbles, dissipated to hang on rim. Medium lacing.

S: Hoppy notes with slight carmel and spice notes.

T: Less hoppy than anticipated for an American DIPA, but this is described as a German DIPA. Nice hoppiness, alcohol comes through a little, slight carmel notes on palate.

M: Medium body. Again, lighter than anticipated. Medium hoppiness, no overly bitter notes, nicely balanced on the palate. Semi-wet finish.

O: This beer is more IPA than DIPA. Reminded me of a half Hopslam with no honey. Overall a good beer, and a good price for 9%. Alcohol came off a little, but hard to prevent with a 9% beer.

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Photo of MacDomer
3.76/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The new batch 8779, picked up at Marion Street Cheese Market in Oak Park, a great local business.

A - Very nice looking brew. A darker hue for a DIPA - amber with highlights of orange and red. One finger fluffy head with a creamy appearance. Fairly hazy beer. The lacing on this is noticeable, but not heavy.

S - Surprisingly light on hops, actually. Mostly caramel malts. Some orange and cherry even popping through. Mildly floral. More sweet tones than bitter tones, but not in a bad way. Pleasing overall.

T - This is well balanced, and I'd say it is a bit less pronounced in the hop department than most DIPAs. Not to say that hops aren't here, and plenty of them, but this is not a hop bomb by any means. The taste includes some nice floral and citrus tones. Warming toward the end.

M - Fully coats the mouth. Medium body. Low carbonation. Very, very smooth and creamy. This is one of the best aspects of this beer.

D - Very drinkable, but I'd probably stop at two due to the alcohol. Better as it warms. For those that aren't hopheads and haven't yet gotten into DIPAs, this is a pretty good place to start, I'd think. Very enjoyable beer.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
3.78/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle pours into my glass a very hazy amber orange with an inch of creamy eggshell head on top of the brew. Aromas start with big floral hops with resinous green herbal notes. Quite fruity as well with a bit of a sweet caramel backbone. Interesting fruity/hoppy mix.

First sip brings a fruity / caramel malt upfront that has a bit of sweetness to it. It moves into big floral, herbal hops midway through. Somewhat spicy as well. Bitterness kicks in on the way down, but the malty sweetness remains on the finish as well. Quite a tasty, interesting brew!

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with a solid medium body. Goes down easily. Overall, an interesting brew from Kalamazoo, but I'm not sure I really like the fruity/malty aspects of it and it still leaves me longing for a six pack of Two Hearted!! Cheers to Kalamazoo for making a intriguing IPA.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.78/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle received from SQNfan as an extra. Thanks man! Into my Duvel tulip

A: Deep hazy copper with a thin brown head that slowly recedes to a disk. Some visible carbonation

S: Hoppy and malty, this is on the sweeter side of DIPAs out there. Pine needles and caramel sweetness. There's something earthy and herbal in there as well as some alcohol heat. Decent

T: Starts off with a solid dose of hoppy pine bitterness with a rather big and sweet malt component backing it. In a way, it feels like drinking OJ with pulp - big and full with a solid bitterness. The finish is unique as it has an herbal feel, almost a mint/menthol character before a long lasting bitterness takes over, a little bitterer than I like

M: While fuller in body and a little more bitter than I like in my DIPAs, this one's still solid.

D: Unique with its herbal touch, I'm glad I got to try it. I'll stick to Two Hearted, though

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Photo of StlHopHead77
3.8/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours out a hop-hazy,orangish-amber with a quickly dissipating one finger head that left good rings of lacing on the glass.

S-Caramel malt sweetness and ripe tropical fruit upfront with some grassy hop notes and a trace of alcohol on the nose.

T-Malt forward for the style.Some subdued citrus and soft,tangy pine but mostly malt dominant flavors of toffee and bread.

M-Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.Slight syrup quality on the finish.

D-Good drinkability here.Not quite the brew I was hoping for but decent regardless.Kind of wish this was The Oracle.

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Photo of roadhouse
3.8/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a snifter.

Appears a very cloudy dark copper color that glows red when held up to the light. One finger off-white head leaves a little lacing.

Aroma is interesting. Not too strong, but I detect tropical fruit along with a bunch of caramel malts. Certainly not the traditional piney and citrusy hops that you find in a DIPA.

Flavor was again dominated by the tropical fruit. The bitterness on this is insanely smooth, but too much so. I like a DIPA to actually have some bitterness. Next comes a burst of sweet caramel malt then some earthy/spicy tones on the finish. Interesting.

Mouthfeel is very smooth. Medium bodied, slightly oily.

Didn't really know what to expect from this stuff so I can't really say I'm disappointed. I figured it would have more of a noble hop character. It does have some of that going on too but it is surprising fruity as well. It's not bad, just not overly complex and perhaps a bit boring.

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Photo of outdoor7or24
3.8/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: pours a 2 finger slightly off white foam head, some carbonation, dark caramel orange body, heavy soapy lacing
S: citrus, sweet grapefruit, cracker, some pine
M: medium body, piney resin on tongue
T: pine, grapefruit rind, cracker, mineral
O: smells great, the taste is good but not similar to the aroma

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Photo of spointon
3.8/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this one from a 12oz brown bottle into a large Duvel tulip snifter (alongside an identical pour of Bell's Two Hearted ale).

A= This ale poured a deep orange-amber color with a foggy chill hazed look. With an aggressive pour I got a 1" tan head that slowly dropped to a skim. Carbonation release was moderate but steady. Lacing was also moderate. In appearance, color, head, etc. this beer looks nothing like its Two Hearted Ale cousin.

S= The first aroma that assailed my nose was (unbelievably) tropical fruit! I noted serious pineapple and mango qualities. These unusual aromas are no doubt a byproduct of the German hybrid Smaragd hops. There were also faint, sweet bakery malt aromas mixed in there too. The grassy and earthy hop scents, while present, definitely took a back seat to the fruitiness on this one...

T= As was the case with the aroma, the up-front flavors of this ale were a blend of sweet and earthy. The hops were unlike any other hops I have had, and they released very little bitterness in this ale. The finish was tart and very slightly sour.

MF= The mouth feel on this beer was medium/heavy bodied and slightly oily on the tongue. Rather low carbonation, but pretty dead-on for the style.

D= This beer was disappointing, but mainly because I wanted it to be the same as Bell's Two Hearted Ale (which I can no longer get here in Illinois). In its own right though, this was an interesting and complex beer. The flavors were too sweet but stopped just shy of being cloying. The big 8.4 ABV was dangerously easy to forget about too.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.81/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a sixer of this to use as a trade add-in. Batch 8779 from October 9th, 2008.

A - Amber, creamy one-fingered head that dissipates quickly to a nice lace. A little cloudy with a small amount of visible carbonation.

S - Grapefruit, pineapple, & hops. There's a bit of caramel and floral scent in the background. Isn't the strongest smelling DIPA I've had - kind of understated.

T - Quite bitter one the front palette, then sweetens to a malty biscuit sort of flavor. Not much of an aftertaste. Some boozy alcohol flavor as well. I seem to be getting different flavors than reviews of earlier batches, and I vaguely remember that they changed the recipe a little recently.

M - A little bit of tingle, but mostly smooth. A little more watery than I like.

D - Drinks incredibly well for 8.40% - I could certainly have a few of these in an evening, although I'd probably regret it the next morning.

Unfortunately, it's not Hopslam or Two-Hearted, but it's a solid brew nonetheless.

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Kalamazoo Hopsoulution Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.96 out of 5 based on 435 ratings.
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