Bell’s Brewery Hopslam Ale
Brewed by: Bell’s Brewery, Inc.
Beer Classification and Specs
- Style: IPA
- Variation: Imperial (Double)
- Seasonal: Winter
- ABV: 10%
- IBU: N/A
Brewer’s Notes and Ingredients
Starting with six different hop varietals added to the brew kettle & culminating with a massive dry-hop addition of Simcoe hops, Bell’s Hopslam Ale possesses the most complex hopping schedule in the Bell’s repertoire. Selected specifically because of their aromatic qualities, these Pacific Northwest varieties contribute a pungent blend of grapefruit, stone fruit, and floral notes. A generous malt bill and a solid dollop of honey provide just enough body to keep the balance in check, resulting in a remarkably drinkable rendition of the Double India Pale Ale style.
Hops: Six different hop varietals, dry hopped with Simcoe
More Hopslam Ale Images
Artwork: A cluster of hops fell out of the sky, and crushed some poor fellow.
Color: Subdued copper or bronze.
Aroma: Very tropical. Mostly pineapple, like a mild Dole Whip. Strawberry or raspberry once the head melted off.
Arrived in: 12oz. Bottle
Served in: Specialty IPA Glass
The internet and social media have helped grow the craft beer industry immensely. Untappd, Instagram, and other social channels help spread the word about quality craft beer, especially what’s outside your distribution area.
But what are other people drinking in the rest of the country? Besides Heady Topper, this was an IPA that always came up – Hopslam. And just by name alone, we always wanted to get slammed by some lupulin.
We’re not sure if this ale was distributed to San Diego in recent years, but we finally lucked out. The bad news — it was a 1 bottle purchase limit. After tasting Hopslam, and seeing pictures posted online by the case load, life just does not seem fair sometimes…
Hopslam poured a modest 1-2 finger thick head, which hung on for a while, then mostly faded away. The ale was quite effervescent, which kept a thin sheet of froth that stuck to the top of the bronze ale.
Hopslam had the nose of a pineapple Dole Whip. As soon as its head melted down, hints of red fruit, like raspberry or strawberry followed.
With dual aromas, it was hard to tell which we enjoyed more: the tropical pineapple, or the berries. But there’s more – once it warmed near the end of the glass, notes of sweet honey emerged.
This ale smelled so good! No matter how far down the glass, we had to take a deep whiff before almost every sip. Not to get all beer snobby, but you must drink Hopslam out of proper glassware to get the full benefit of its aroma.
FYI: Our second glass was in a short tulip, which didn’t hold the aroma as well as the specialty IPA glass did.
Hopslam started sweet from the honey, and then some bitterness began to form. Then all of a sudden — BAM! It slammed into your tastebuds, with a bigger punch of hops over a sweet underlying layer of malt.
The roof of your mouth got slammed with hops, then its sharp mouthfeel mixed with a mellow, drying fruit medley, that vanished for the finish. It was a fruity hop mix of tropical and mango, with maybe some strawberry or melon towards the end.
Our only knock on Hopslam was as fast as the hops arrived, they vanished. We wished the crash into our tastebuds lasted a bit longer. Hopslam was so tasty, we wanted more lasting flavor.
We always heard how good this IPA was, and it definitely lived up to those expectations. It may have been a bit over-hyped from where we’re sitting (seen it called Hypeslam online), but it was an excellent IPA.
We highly recommend West Coasters putting the effort into finding it, and savoring every last sip, especially if it’s on a 1 bottle limit.
Final Score: 4.5/5
Hopslam Ale lived up to its namesake, and was a slam of hops indeed. It was one of the most aromatic ales we’ve ever experienced, along with a fruit blend on the palate like no other.