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 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

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

 279 characters

Photo of dgfair
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance - carefully poured into the pint glass to keep the yeast behind. Pours a beautful golden orange color with a slightly off-white head that dissipates fairly quickly to a very thin layer.

Smell - piney, resiny hops with a slight orange zest citrus to it. Very nice malty, biscuity backbone with a little bit of pepper and clove to balance the sweetness. Very pleasant aroma.

Taste - very hoppy, but not in the way of a normal double IPA. The taste is more earthy bitterness without the big notes of citrus or pine, and there is a huge malt presence here. The malt is bready and biscuity sweet in a nice way. There are also some nice fruit flavors here as it warms, definitely some sweet orange and maybe a little bit of pineapple. I think I see why they call this a German double IPA...the malt body is almost like that of a heavy German lager with German hops but constructed like a double IPA. I love the experimentation here.

Mouthfeel - very nice feel, smooth and creamy with the perfect amount of carbonation. The bottle conditioning really left a nice feel.

Drinkability - fairly easy going down, and I didn't realize it was 9% until looking it up on the Bell's website. Very nice.

 1,256 characters

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...

 595 characters

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.

 638 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.02/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bell's Brewery, Inc. Hopsoulution. The beer with hops, and soul, apparently. For the good people of Illinois, bless their hearts.

Burnished orange, hazy appearance, slim white head, stays as a slight ring.

Aroma: bright, bold citrus; orange, lemon, tangerine, maybe mango. Very pithy, even piney. Hoppy, but restrained, not too crazy.

Taste: boards the palate boldly, a fierce blast of hops that runs around the mouth, and fades back just a bit. Stays firm and lasts through the the finish. Medium body, full flavor, citrus and tropical fruit, splinters of pine. Good, even-tempered double IPA, can't peg the ABV, but I'd guess around 8%...IBU? 90? Got to give it up for the mouthfeel, hops keep coming, never really give up.

Hope this helped heal the wounds of troubled Bell's lovers & hop addicts of Illinois.

 815 characters

Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Hopsolution pours a deep hazy amber color with a 3 cm off-white head. Pretty good retention and some nice lace sticking on the glass.

Smell: Full caramelized malt aroma, backed with a strong punch of juicy grapefruit, resiny pine, and some earthy / floral notes.

Taste: The taste starts out with the full caramel malt, with some bready notes as well. The flavor transitions to some lightly herbal notes, following through with a full floral hoppiness, a splash of juicy grapefruit, and finishing with sticky pine hops. Finishes a bit astringent with a touch of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: The smooth creamy mouthfeel here is almost more noticeable than any of the flavors. Sticky and juicy from the hops, with above average carbonation wrapped in a fuller than medium body.

Drinkability: Although I found this quite pleasant and drinkable, it really did not differentiate itself from some DIPA's made in the same mold - caramel malt with juicy hops.

 1,005 characters

Photo of pdoran10
2.91/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

ah the perks of having family living in Illinois!

pours out of a 12 oz. bottle a translucent amber with about a fourth a finger of white head. dark for an ipa or double ipa.

smell is very bready with a hint of spice. not much going on in the nose.

taste is overwhelming munich malt, bakery, pepper spice malt flavors with some onion and oily floral hops in the background that are super overwhelmed by the munich malt. bad concept for this beer shows up with a bad blend of tastes.

mouthfeel is nice, I relly love how Bell's balances their carbonation and body in all their beers. Moderate carbonation, moderate thickness if that makes any sense.

I only want one of these. Should say Caramunich malt bomb with hops on label. German IPA is not a viable stlye.

 764 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 TMoney2591
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

Finally, a beer made just for me. Yips. It pours a clear sunrise amber topped by about a finger or so of white foam. The nose exhibits a strong honey-dripped biscuit backbone covered by a thick sheath of porous pine sap and orange peel. The taste adds some strong caramel to the former and a dry white grape, nigh Riesling-esque, to the latter. Everything pops more, but this also causes a stronger clash between the two. The zazz and lack of balance cancel each other out, leaving us pretty much back to where we began. The body is a straight medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a finish that yearns to be dry. Overall, a very nice DIPA, not quite great but well above good. Glad to be an Illinoisan here.

 762 characters

Photo of dismal
3.92/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Pours light amber kind of orange color with a small white head that quickly fades leaving just a bit but that pretty quickly fades as I drink it. The smell is good but not quite what I was expecting. Some hops, mainly some grapefruit. A lot of malt and caramel. Almost smells sweet. Though both are good for a Double/Imperial IPA this is not what I was excepting from both the smell and taste.The taste is pretty malty and caramel is pretty present. There are hops there mainly grapefruit and a bit of pine in the background. Starts off sweet and ends slightly bitter. The 8.4% ABV is hidden very well, I could do quite a bit of these. Overall not perfect for the style and definitely not what I was expecting but I actually really like it. Pretty drinkable and enjoyable.

 798 characters

Photo of GRG1313
3.02/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark amber with copper tints and a nice firm white head.

Nose is like candied pineapple; candied fruit; fresh fruit cake; Mouthfeel is rich and creamy and mouthfilling.

Flavors are big and bold and heavy but not rich and/or fresh. Tastes a bit old, although a fresh bottle. Flavors are heavy and bitter pine, bitter light coffee, big bitter hop but without the brightness/acidic character that makes hops so attractive. Bitter carmel/toffee undertones.

Big bitter pine/old grapefruit skin finish. Not bad, just not a real drinkable or food friendly brew.

 568 characters

Photo of Kegatron
3.58/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Thanks go to lurchingbeast for this most generous extra in a recent trade.

Pours a slightly hazed copper, with a finger cap of off-white foamy head. This retains with a ΒΌ finger of froth that leaves back a rich cascade which quickly slides down the sides of the glass. The aroma is grassy feeling with a deep smelling mix of bitter earth and sweet tropical citrus. I'm getting some pine in this as well. Malts come out against the back of the nose with a thick graininess. Probably a little too much so.

The taste is bitter with earthy grapefruit and citrus peel. Resins cut across the tongue with some sharpness. This is balanced with a backbone of fruit, caramel, and chewy toasted graininess, which really has some thickness in the backend of the profile. The finish lingers with dryness and resins. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, maybe a little fuller feeling, with a prickly creaminess that sits on top of some underlying heft, although the alcohol thankfully mostly stays out of the flavor profile.

Overall not too bad but the heaviness of the malt and beefiness of the body made for a combo that started to wear me down some by the time I got to the bottom of the glass. Lots of grainy malt here but it unfortunately isn't really interesting enough to warrant its overly generous presence. I liked the fact that they shot for something different with this but I'd gladly take a Two Hearted over this any day.

 1,456 characters

Photo of JohnQVegas
3.3/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle into Sam Adams sensory glass, batch 9920 (8/17/10), with another heartfelt thank you to Jeff (AleWatcher) for even more fantastic beer I never would have been able to try otherwise. Every box is thoughtful and delicious, without exception. Thanks once again, buddy!

Pours a very deep, ruddy, rusty amber bordering on brown. Cloudy, with a one-finger off-white head that settles in fairly quickly. Poor retention, iffy lacing. Bump to adjust for over-valuation.

Nose is very syrupy, rich caramel, dense and toasty, with a sweet citrus note that is reminiscent of an orange liquor perhaps? Again, rich dense, and sweet, though I was really hoping for a bit of brightness in there that never came through. Quite a bit of alcohol coming through. Any hop character is just swallowed by a malt base that doesn't have nearly enough complexity to hold up to that end of the bargain.

Taste follows suit. Hops are there with a grapefruity character, but barely emerging from the deep caramel malt body that shows a lot of density. Thick and fruity, a bit dull (not boring, but lacking brightness), just a bit astringent, light alcohol warmth. Leaves the tongue feeling just a wee bit tingly. Deeply bready, toasty, caramel body surrounds the citrusy, almost fruit-cakey hop character.

Mouthfeel is dense, oily, almost gritty, leaves the tongue feeling tingly and just a bit numbed. Sticky, full bodied, light carbonation; you know you're drinking a DIPA. Probably the best aspect of the beer.

Drinkability is hurt by the density of the beer; big malt body, huge mouthfeel, lots of alcohol. This is a big style, no doubt, but the drinkability on this one is definitely not exceptional.

 1,689 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.58/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear amber with a two inch head that clumps foam on the side of the glass

Smell: Malt-forward caramel, with a tropical salad of fruit aromatics and a slight grassy tinge

Taste: Caramel, up front, followed by bitter tropical fruit flavors (mango, overripe pineapple and apricot) mixed with a grassy, medicinal element; after the swallow, the medicinal flavor picks up a notch, though the fruit and caramel hang around underneath

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Quite a different take on the style - can't say I would want to seek this out again

 607 characters

Photo of samie85
3.25/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A-Pours coppery red color with a glistening light tan head into my newly purchased La Fin Du Monde tulip.

S-Mango with some pine and a little orange, with some caramel malt

T-Slightly bitter pine with a little mango and a slightly astringent note and some light malts with a little alcohol on the finish.

M-Light bodied and dry with medium to high carbonation.

D-Not bad, but based on the nose, I was expecting a lot more of a flavor punch. The taste was a little weak for me.

 480 characters

Photo of jpmclaug
3.87/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into my Sam Adams perfect pint glass. Got this in a generous BIF box from Sopernicus. Thanks!

A - Hazy orange with an off white head resting on top

S - Sweet citrusy grapefruit aroma with a hint of mango. Smells nice and sweet with a big pile of hops.

T - Sweet malt flavors up front mingle with a nice tame citrus hop flavor. Lots of balance in this. I enjoy the hop flavor but it is really tame and subdued.

M - medium bodied, pretty smooth, normal carbonation

D - Pretty drinkable DIPA. Really tame hop flavor for one too. Not sure if that is really what I would classify that as. That being said this is a nice beer that is certainly worth trying. I could see myself putting back several of these easily. If I had a chance I'd probably pick some of this up but I wouldn't go nuts trying to obtain it.

 832 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 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.

 567 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 emmasdad
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received this one as an extra in a recent trade. Hopslam is one of my favorites, so I had some high hopes for this one. Although not quite up to that level (few are), it was nonetheless pretty damn good. Poured a nice medium orange color, with a minimal amount of white foam. Aromas of apricots, white peaches and sweet malt. Flavors of bubblegum, candi sugar and floral hops. Nicely balanced (although in favor of the hops) and very drinkable. Wish I had another.

 464 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 kbutler1
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Pours a reddish copper color with a slight off white head that collars around the glass. Insane pineaple notes in the nose, wow! It smells almost like HiCi Fruit punch, with the fruity hops and the matly backbone. Sweet flavor up front with a nice transition to a hoppy, fruity flavor. Just like in the nose, the pineapple fruit flavor dominates the taste. Ends with a lingering bitterness and fruity taste. Really a different DIPA than I have ever had. Way more fruity than I am used to but this causes it to be really drinkable as well. Pretty tasty but not overly hoppy.

 581 characters

Photo of Vdubb86
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass

Bonus points to Bell's for flattering my home state with this brew. "Brewed for the people of the great state of Illinois"

This particular DIPA pours a nice deep orange/amber color the head that was provide by the pour slowly is destroy leaving only a thin film on the surface. The aroma reminds of orange and malt mostly. Surprisingly there was really no hops to be smelled there is a bit of pine resin as almost a forgotten remnant in the back, but that is almost overpowered by the faint aroma of liquor. The taste is quite similar. The orange flavor mixed with deep caramel, molasses/brown sugar notes which overpower anything else. All that I can taste of the hops is a bit of the citrus and the bitterness in the aftertaste, both of which are not strong. The mouthfeel is OK, for the syrupy nature it's pretty well carbonated. The lack of hop flavor only resulting in a bitter aftertaste isn't the ideal mouthfeel for a DIPA. There are no hops to rip your tongue out here, which is not to the style, but I love it. I would say it's pretty good for a beer, but pretty off for a DIPA.

 1,113 characters

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

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.