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 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.

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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 rodbeermunch
3.84/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Didn't expect this one to be so dark colored, its pretty much brown. Aroma was unique, remember that Stone double german ipa? Similar, you get lager yeast and hops up in here.

Wow, how is this . . . German? Maybe I'm thinking pilsner but this is supposed to be an ale right? This was also equal parts brown ale. Toffee, more cream than bitter bite. The hop flavors are a little muddled, some fruit, some cocao, some citrus. Its a little boozy.

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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.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

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

S- The soft citrus juice note gives way to a green hops note with a slight earthiness to it. There is a soft caramel malt note that comes through a bit.

T- The light caramel malt sweetness has a dry toast note to it and a green pine hops flavor that is a bit herbal. The hops also have a cinnamon/clove spice to it minus the cinnamon/clove flavor. There is a nice bitter green hop note to the finish that has a slight lemonhead flavor to it.

M- This beer has a medium 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 tasted a bit awkward together. It was not offensive but just a bit odd. Still an ok IPA.

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Photo of Immortale25
3.96/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at Westville Pub Asheville. Served in a 10 oz cocktail glass.

A- Pours a hazy medium amber color with a 1/4 inch off-white head that retains a bit before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a mostly fu sheet of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves clots behind on the glass.

S- Earthy, slightly pungent hops. Smells sort of like an amped up Two-Hearted.

T- Taste follows the nose with piney hops and a pronounced bitterness. More citrus notes than in the nose with some grapefruit and lemon coming through.

M- Lingering sharpness with medium carbonation and a body leaning toward the lighter side.

O- If you find Two-Hearted to be too mild, go for this one. While it's not even close to as good as Bell's trophy winners, The Oracle and Hopslam, it packs a powerful hop punch that will tide you over while you wait for the aforementioned beers' release dates.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

on draft at sams in Durham into a shaker.

dark copper color, mild head. the smell is a tad hoppy and sweet, but not too much. maybe a bit lacking here. taste however isn't lacking. great hop profile as well as balanced malts. on the sweeter side for an IPA with great orange and citrus notes. bitterness is almost nonexistent and ABV drinks like 6%. medium bodied with mild carbonation.

overall a very impressive IPA from bells!

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Photo of barczar
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper color with a thick half inch head that dissipates slowly, leaving sheets of lacing.

Holy grapefruit! Smells like a fresh cut grapefruit at the finish. Subtle undertones of caramel malt and resinous hops are hard to find.

Resin and skunky hops dominate the flavor initially, with grapefruit and orange pith adding complexity. The caramel malt backbone surfaces briefly to tie the citrusy hops into the slightly bitter finish.

Body is moderate to slightly full, with carbonation tending toward the lower side, and substantial alcohol warmth.

Overall, a tasty dipa. More citrus hop character than anything, on the whole. The malt is present, but not the star, and the finish isn't overly bitter. It's a bit over the top grapefruit, but dangerously drinkable!

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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 scruffwhor
3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep and somewhat translucent copper. Starts with a strong bread doughy head that recedes to a thick foam covering the whole beer. Alright lacing after every sip, but quickly slides back down the glass. The aroma is a white bread crust with resiny citrus hops. The taste starts with some dry white and rye breads tht slowly move into hop territory. The hops impart an orange peel jam with some Douglas fir notes. The overall palate is a bit doughy and coats the palate very well. Lots of long lingering bitterness lingers after every sip. Thanks for the beer Bell's!!!

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown appearance, already had me taken aback. Cream head, good size. Aroma was lagery and hoppy at the same time.

Big malt presence, but easily counter balanced by the ample hopping, which did not seem typical to style.

I had this about the same time Oracle came out last year, and thought they were both unique dipas in a world of too similar ones. This one had less bitterness and citrus feel to it, but was probably the more unique one. This had more of a nutty exterior, less citrus hopping, fuller malt body, less sweetness, way more creamy mouthfeel to it.

An interesting take on the style. Worth checking out. Not like any of the other Bell's hoppy offerings. Well, or pretty much anyone else's. If you like different, this one is for you.

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Photo of barnzy78
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown bottle, Batch 9920. I never noticed before, but the small neck label says Hopsolution, and the larger label says Hopsoulution. A mistake perhaps? A solution to the soul?

Anyway...pours bright amber with a thick, foamy, off-white head that reduces to a ring around the edge of the glass. Some lace, but not a lot. Aromas are fresh and rather bready and malty with notes of floral hops, pineapple, and slight citrus. On the palate, it's medium bodied with notes of bready malt, toffee, and caramel up front, followed by intense piny hops with some citric grapefruit as well. Alcohol is somewhat noticeable and leaves a prickle on the tongue on the finish.

Overall, it's a unique DIPA given it's up-front malt characteristics, but I love its balance. Could be what I'd expect an "Imperial Two Hearted" to taste like if such an ale existed.

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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 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 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.

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Photo of mynie
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle sez it's brewed especially for the jerks who live in Illinois. Maybe this is why none of them seem to know how turn signals work; they're all jacked up hops.

Pours dark, variegated, lighter orange haze on the bottom and superdark toffee amber on top.

Smells of hops and of wood. Big, thick malt, firm alcohol burn, and the same basic hop profile as Hopslam (albeit much smaller).

Tastes like hopslam, only less hoppy and more directly alcoholic. Sweeter citrus hops start things off, moving into wooden syrupy malt, moving then into a nicely balanced middle of toffee and more englishy hops. I got no idea what's going on in this hop blend, honestly, but it's pretty good.

Not quite the *wow* beer I was expecting, but I've had a helluva lot of good beer lately. Still it's a nice way to end a long day.

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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 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.

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Photo of AgentZero
3.43/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Orange colored beer with a white head that had some decent retention and left some lace on the sides.

S - Nice caramel backbone with some estery sweetness and a little booze showing through. There is mostly floral and piney hops with some mild bittering on the end.

T - Taste is about the same as the nose, with a slight alcohol finish. That is probably my biggest complaint about the beer as the finish is detrimental to the overall taste. It's fairly non-descript, but okay.

M - Medium bodied with active carbonation.

O - Not bad, nothing I would have again.

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Photo of gford217
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of brandoman63 poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a slightly hazy copper with a dense one-finger off-white head that shows great retention leaving lots of lacing.

S: Smell is heavy of earthy, grassy hops up front with a slight citrus scent of grapefruits as well. There is also a big malt backbone with caramel and sugar scents.

T: The taste has the same earthy hops up front but with a sweeter caramel malt backbone with caramel and brown sugar. The finish is just slightly bitter with the grassy hops but still fairly crisp.

M: Mouthfeel is medium bodied with strong carbonation and makes for a very creamy feel overall.

D: This is a very drinkable brew from Bells and more in the vein of an English IPA with the heavy caramel malt presence and earthy hops.

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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

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Photo of Jeffo
3.26/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ini a recent trade with Mulder1010. Thank!

From a bottle into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: Pours a two finger, medium looking, off-white head with decent retention. Cloudy, burnt orange in color with medium carbonation evident. Deeper color on this one. Head slowly fades to a decent foam cap with a touch of clingy lacing left on the sides. A splotchy wisp remains and leaves some decent lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Bold nose for sure. Pale malts, lots of caramel, toffee and butterscotch as well. Almost barleywine like, though the hops are quite prevalent. Some biscuit notes and floral hops round it out. Quite nice really, though not really to style at all.

TASTE: Very sweet for the style, bordering on a weaker version of a barleywine. Pale malts with lots of caramel and toffee up front. Buttery and butterscotch notes, giving it a bit of an English ESB quality. Biscuit though the middle and some floral hope accompany the caramel and toffee into the finish. Very little bitterness on this one. A mild and shorter lived aftertaste has some caramel, biscuit and floral hops. Dry finish for sure.

PALATE: Medium-full body and medium carbonation. Creamy smooth on the palate, goes down slightly prickly though and finishes slightly dry. A bit of heat on the swallow. Nice stuff.

OVERALL 28/40: A German style DIPA? Don't see that at all. Perhaps it's a hoppier Doppelbock, but that's a bit of a stretch. As a beer in itself this was actually pretty good, but there's nothing German or DIPA about it. Really hard to score this one. It was more like a restrained barleywine, or perhaps an EBS on gear. Either way, it did not deliver the sought after DIPA profile. If you interested in something a little different, then this one is definitely tasty and worth checking out. If you're looking for a citrusy, piney, or bitter hop bomb, steer clear of this one.

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Photo of prototypic
3.97/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hopsoulution Ale is copper in color. It's mostly clear. There's a faint orange tint to it when held to light. It's covered with an off-white head that rises to about half a finger in depth. It recedes rather quickly, leaving a lighter coat of sticky lace behind. Not bad.

The nose is good. It definitely features some sweet caramel notes up front. Fortunately, they don't seem overly strong. Hops follow quickly. They smell mostly grassy, piney, and a little floral. I'm guessing noble hops in some form, at least in part. There are some light citrus orange and grapefruit scents, but they are secondary. Alcohol is somewhat noticeable, but is not overbearing.

The flavor is keeps the pace. This is an interesting DIPA. The malt base does seem mostly caramel. It's sweet, but not to an offensive degree. Hops add piney and grassy flavors. There's some citrus orange in the background. I'm still sticking with noble hops although I'm not sure that's what was used. They add some bitterness, but the malts provide a good deal of balance. I wouldn't characterize this as a "hop bomb" by any stretch. Alcohol is blended well. It's a little noticeable, but isn't warm or hot. Finishes a little sweet and grassy.

Hopsoulution Ale has a medium body. Light carbonation helps it to attain a smooth feel. It goes down pretty easily for a 9% abv beer. I'm sticking with a single glass nonetheless.

I never thought I'd actually try Hopsoulution Ale. I suppose I was lucky to find it on tap at the Eccentric Cafe. I understand that this beer was brewed specifically for the State of Illinois because Two Hearted Ale wasn't available for a period of time. Nice gesture by Larry Bell. It's characterized as a German style DIPA. I'm guessing that's because German hops were used. It's good stuff. I wouldn't say the hop profile is a great choice for a DIPA, but it is good and is certainly novel (to my knowledge). Definitely worth checking out if the opportunity presents itself.

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Photo of EgadBananas
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy, opaque orange on the pour, with a solid finger plus of off-white head that laces a bit on the way down.

There's a nice floral bouquet, with much backing citrus. Solid malt sweetness for a backbone. There's a hint of caramel in there.

Nice level of bitterness; not extreme. Pleasant citrus and flowery hops. Finishes slightly malty sweet.

Feel is upper light in body, with a pleasant amount of carbonation, slightly creamy, coating a bit.

Overall, a good solid DIPA. Would love to know what brings this to a "german IPA" classification. I definitely like this more than The Oracle...

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Photo of tpd975
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Gillard for this one. I owe ya Ryan.

A: Pours a nice golden brownish hue with a huge head that has wonderful retention. Spotty lace and a steady stream of bubbles rising to the top.

S: Nice malt blast from a Bell's IPA, I like it. Hints of pine malt, but perfect balance overall.

T: The balance carries thru. Nice solid malt backbone, yet there is enough piney, grassy, earthy hops pushing thru. Nicely balanced and very drinkable.

M: Nice medium bodied brew that went down way to smoothly.

D: Sessionable!

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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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