Bell's Batch 6000 - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Bell's Batch 6000Bell's Batch 6000

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

180 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 180
Reviews: 157
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 8.78%
Wants: 70
Gots: 8 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: xlperro on 10-23-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 180 | Reviews: 157 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sweet with cocolate coffee. Alcohol spice but 10.5% disguised by flavour. Smooth. Was drinkable with food, but turkey and veggies was not the right choice on my part, but Bell's non-pasteurization a concern and did not trust it's robustness for a further 24 hours until I could fridge it .Cloudy dark mahagony colour. Spice was lemon and possibly pear and pienapple.

Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of nmann08
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of brentk56
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Arrives at the table with a hazy dark amber color and a modest head that retains and laces well

Smell: Caramel base with a complex woody aroma of earthy hops

Taste: Caramel malt and a touch of anise up front with earthy bitter flavors on the finish

Mouthfeel: Thick body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Three years old and wonderful example of the complexities of oxidation

Photo of BEERchitect
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Rich O's Gravity Head 08:

Retired, but not dead! I thought my opportunity to drink this beer was religated to a distant dream. But nay, nay... it's alive and well. That first smell become as mouth watering as any beer I have ever tried. A plethera of fruitcake, rum, dehydrated fruits, intense malts, and herbal hops... all wrapped into a blanket of confectionate sugars that meld the beer well. Flavors come together that the individual flavors are difficult to separate. Sweet fruits and alcohols provide the base for nuts, berries, spices, and soft herbs. Texture is smooth, lightly carbonated, soft, and nicely weighted on the toung. Finishes with a linger of warming alcohols and soft sweetness. Much like drinking a 10.5% cotton candy. Nearly ideal for an Old Ale.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.58/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Turbid, crimson-infused, dark caramel brown topped by a large, thickly creamy head of light caramel brown. Absolutely gorgeous, a world-class appearance. I allowed the head to peek over the top of the glass and it's just now dropping below the edge and beginning to deposit thick sheets of pocked lace.

The nose is full of butterscotch and brown sugar as well as intensely fruity, almost perfumy, hops. The label says that Batch 6000 is a 'barley wine style' beer, not an old ale, but those styles are blurred anyway. What does it matter when the aroma is this incredible? A wee lack of power and the barest whiff of alcohol keep it out of perfect territory.

Bold, complex, delicious. The beer is hugely malty with a sweet, whisky-like flavor that is reminiscent of Drambuie, or perhaps dark rum. Again, dark caramel and dark brown sugar are in the forefront with a supporting role played by light molasses. An impressive hop load (still fruity, floral and resinous) keeps it from being over-the-top malty.

This is quite the concoction. I find myself sipping and savoring, attempting to wend my way through the layers of flavor and texture as I allow the beer to slowly meet its fitting end. The body/mouthfeel is amazingly full and mouthcoating without being thick and syrupy, and the more than double-digit alcohol is extremely well-cloaked.

Batch 6000 makes me primed and ready for Batch 7000. I'm sure that it won't be this same style, but if Bell's puts the same care and effort into 7K as it has into 6K, then we're in for (another) treat. This is a wonderful beer, from the top of my lace encrusted glass to the fast approaching bottom of the bottle.

Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of oberon
4.28/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Great to get a chance to drink this even down here in NC,pours a deep hazy amber with a nice tight white head atop.Deep raisin aromas with a touch of alcohol and brown sugar lingering.Big chewey mouthfeel lends itself well to the raisiny,caramel sweet feel to this beer.Almost like a nutty port sipping finish not much noticable hop just a light herbal note,a damn fine beer Iam glad I tried it.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.18/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Carefully poured off of its sediment its still a slightly hazy mahogany beneath a short cap of orange-tinted tan. Aging may help to compact the sediment and leave a clearer ale with a less yeast influenced flavor. The head retention is surprisingly good considering the alcohol content, and it maintains a thin surface covering throughout most of the glass that leaves some spotty lace. The nose is astounding! It's fresh and vibrant with hop notes of resinous pine and spruce, orange, lemon peel, and pineapple; as well as a yeast-derived fruitiness that combines with the malt to deliver cherries, prunes and raisins above some light cocoa and caramel. Some limited alcohol also adds a touch of spiciness. The body is full and it's very fine, natural carbonation is just enough to awaken the tastebuds while leaving it velvety and smooth. The flavor delivers the same brilliant hop attack that the nose does, but it's wrapped in rich, soft maltiness. Caramel tones dominate where the hops let the malt come through, and there are only hints of cocoa and chocolate. The fruitiness remains, however, and dark fruits wander in and out at the edges. Some odd notes of wood and honey - and even banana - can sometimes be found as well. It's quite complex but also unrestrained in its youthful state... a year's aging will clearly make a huge difference in rounding it's unbridled character! It finishes surprisingly dry considering its girth, and pineyand citrusy hop flavors linger on the palate along with an austere but non-menacing bitterness. Most impressive! This is a take-no-prisoners barleywine that's best reserved for those who know what they're getting into!

Photo of Jason
4.72/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer is like candy, after you get your fix there is no need to go back to have an other bag of it in the same sitting. The lace is like dried sea foam left on the beach after a big storm. So creamy smooth in the mouth. Smells of rum raisin and caramel with a figgy aroma as well. Lots of malt flavor with a scathing sweetness that is smacked a couple of times by a stern hop bitterness and flavor.

Perhaps the most amazing brew to come from Kalamazoo Brewing and perhaps one the most amazing brews in the US. Shame it is a limited batch.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.68/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep chestnut brown hue with some ruby highlights, nice sized tan head leaves behind lacing in thin strips. Aroma: Insane pine cone scented hops, some Tomahawk like ones as well the woody and piney rich hop character with one hell of a sugary malt profile as well. Taste: Incredible wave of hoppiness comes over the palate with great caramel piney tones very big massive flavors here awesome. This is one big beer loads and loads of malty and what a hop profile incredibly flavorful. Mouthfeel: Another one of these beers that have so much texture and body that they're only a few steps away from being gelatinous, almost cloyingly big I think this one needs tucked away for some aging. Drinkability: Like I said big brew, in malts, hops, and alcohol. If you have more than one please cellar this baby right now it's roaring with flavors that come at the senses like a runaway train. One at a time, please so big just enjoy and let warm up.

Photo of MasterSki
4.45/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this from Lee - thanks man! Served in a FoBAB mini-pint glass.

A - A late-rising quarter-finger of tan foam that dissipates to a light haze and ring. There's some spotty lacing as well. Murky raisin-colored body, with some suspended solids. Not much of a looker.

S - Potent barleywine aroma - not sure why this is listed as an old ale when the bottle says barleywine. Tons of raisins, dark fruits, caramels, chocolate, burnt brown sugar, and bread. Quite mellow at this stage, but not overly oxidized - maybe a touch of sherry, but no cardboard.

T - Nice residual bitterness - I guess all those Nelson Sauvin hops ended up somewhere! Very similar to the aroma, with a plethora of caramel, toffee, chocolate, cherries, burnt sugars, and bread. I'm not getting the citrus mentioned by other reviews, but I suppose I shouldn't be surprised after 6+ years.

M - Low carbonation, sticky, thick, viscous, and chewy. Not much heat anymore. Very nice!

D - I'd definitely have been happy to drink all 12oz on my own, but it's a sipper and not something where I'd be pounding down copious quantities.

I'm thoroughly impressed with the aging process in these big Bell's beers. I'm now curious to see if I can dig up some of the earlier vintages and discover what they may hold.

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.8/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

They say this beer is too young and needs to be aged longer to be appreciated better. Well, Hell, I got a case, and I can save some and see, but this is beer drinking and not pedophilia, so what's the damn harm?
I've let it cool, I've let it warm up, and now it's time for this hotly anticipated bottle to be opened and slide down into a favorite glass (Maredsous for this sampling)...and so...the uncapping is done with my talking Homer Simpson bottle opener, "MMMM...beeeer" he says, and what could be more appropriate and celebratory? "Heh, heh, he, heh,...yes, oh, yes, WOO-HOO!", he continues....as well he should...
Appearance: color, a deep, murky magenta, with a solid, sturdy, creamy toffee-tan head resting proudly atop.
Aroma: lush, rich, ancient, a perfect match of hops and malt, as if they got together and decided to do it as a team, no one member standing on top of this duo, there's a large quality here, with the full integration of the parts standing together and giving a true character of the brew, rather than "fruity", or "malty", it is what it is...and it's damned good! Sweetness and spice, burnished brandy, pure perfection.
So, taste, already! On the lips and down the throat, sublimity, son, nothin' but, honest to Grandma ...wow! It has that stop-you-in-your-tracks effect, this utter washing-over effect, that I've experienced with only a precious few brews. So, sip again...How to describe? It's thick, woody, fruity, mouthfilling, powerful on the palate, richly rewarding, an instant friend in your mouth!
Amazingly mellow! There's little evidence of the profoundly huge alcoholic content, that comes soon, but you're sipping slowly, you're savoring, you're simmering in it, it envelops you in a mystical fashion.
This exceeds so many expectations I've imagined, and causes me to reconsider my thoughts on other barleywine-style ales. Has that power that the best Trappist ales have over me, of encompassing my soul, commanding my body, and uplifting my energies. Damn, I feel good with this beer in me, and not in an alcohol-induced fashion, but in the best way. Wow, I keep thinking, wow...I'm very to tempted to test this against their Old Ale, but I know it beats it. It beats many things...oh, what a wonderful ale.

Photo of Rifugium
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of mdfb79
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 7/9/10 notes. Had at a local DC tasting.

a - Pours a dark amber color with one inch of white head.

s - Smells of apples, raisins, dark fruit, caramel malts, and hints of sugar and vanilla. Great smell.

t - Tastes of faded fruity hops, and a little bit bitter. Also some sugar, dark fruits, and caramel malts.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Very easy to drink for 10.5% ABV.

d - I really enjoyed this beer a lot. Some people at the tasting thought it had faded a lot, and I personally don't see if getting better with age, but I thought it was very enjoyable and smelled amazing. If I was sitting on some bottles of this I would drink them now, and would love to try it again.

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a deep amber color, pretty low carbonation; when swirled an amber brown head is summoned from the depths of my glass. The aroma is of hops and alcohol. The aroma has components of grapefruity, caramel, and a certain hot alcohol spiciness. First sip; Wow, very thick bodied, like taking a draught of hop nectar. A strong malty presence is overcome by the even stronger hop character. Packed with both a hop flavor and a balancing bitterness. Definite grapefruit and citrus character contributions from the hop. The density of the malt contributes a ripe fruitiness to this beer that mixes with and boosts the fruit-citrus character from the hops. This is a really good Barley Wine, and it has perhaps rekindled an interest in Barley wines in me.

Photo of corby112
3.95/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark chatnut that is completely opaque with faint yellowish bronze hues when held to a light source and a frothy one finger beige head that quickly settles into a lasting ring. Not much in the way o lacing.

Sweet, slightly roasty leathery malt aroma with hintsnof caramel, toffee, chocolate, toast and biscuit. There is some nice alcohol sweetness in the nose and surprisngly the hops have held up(in the aroma at least).

Slghtly chewy medium body that is surprisingly still hop forward considering that this was brewed in 2003. The 10.5 ABV is decently masked but there is still subtle alcohol sweetness and heat in the finish. Lots of leathery, earthy malt with hints of caramel, chocolate, toffee and bread. Again, the hops have held up surprisingly well adding some earhy dryness and complexity. This beer has held up wonderfully and I can see it continuing to improve for a few more years.

Photo of Billolick
4.38/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, no brewery dating. Poured dark amber, very minimal head, left intricate lacing. Alcohol and malt in nose. Heavy body, dense sweet maltyness, a boatload of hops come racing foward. Smooth and coating to the entire mouth, throat and stomach. Alcohol obvious in nose, mouth and brain. Superior example of the style.
Thanks to my wife for bringing this one back from Michigan.

Photo of mothman
3.9/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into snifter.

Pours a light tan head. Color is a dark caramel brown.

Aroma: Rich and malty. Toffee, plums, raisins, cherries, and caramel. It seems as if the 'American' part has faded off. Not too big of a hop presence.

Taste: Sweet and overly malty. A lot similar to the aroma. Pretty much all malts showing and no hops. Very sweet. Chocolate, tobacco, dark fruits showing.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and warming. Full bodied with a lower amount of carbonation. Ends rich and malty.

Overall, this was a well aged bwine with lots of great flavors. It was slow drinking but enjoyable. I would have loved to try this fresh and see how hoppy it once was.

Photo of BARFLYB
4.28/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 6000 on tap at City Tap House for Philly Beer Week. I love this city! Thanks Larry. From my newly accuired Bell's tasting notes pad.

The liquid on 6 triple O has a dark bronze look with some orange highlights and hazy copper spots, looks kinda thick in the glass. A bit of a glow up to some light with burnt redness. A semi dark tan foam on the top leaving one clum of lace on the glass.

I know this is a big barleywine, but this still has some punch, the smell is kinda big. Im seeing big caramel and toffee, slight werthers original quality. There is a hop nose on this 7 year old that beats some fresh east coast IPA's, wow this is big. Some booze soaked plums, slight port and dark fruit. Reminds me of the inside of a brewery and the light version of Fred From The Wood.

A nice sweet malty appeal with fresh caramel/toffee mix backed by a bisquit punch. Hoppy in the dry hopped way, muted but still tasted. Dark fruits like plums light er fruits like apriot. Some small pine and grapefruit in the back, minimal. A splash of chocolate and even faded cherry. Plums in the back followed by small alochol.

6000 is above medium with a nice sprint of carb to keep shit in check, pretty malty, semi fruity, not highly csrbed but crisp with a smooth ride considering the ABV. I enjoyed the hell out of this. It's big beer, but I did it up with ease, a treat.

Photo of KAF
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of ppoitras
4.13/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1 1/4" of light tan head over a reddish-amber brew. Head shows resiliency, lacing is excellent, especially for the style. Aroma is deeply malty, with dark fruit notes, and a quick hops prick to it. Taste is sweetly malty, with a tart, dark fruit presence. Mouthfeel is good for an old ale, with hops character balancing the malts as time wears on. Drinkability is good for the style as well, with plenty of flavor to check out again and again. Glad numerous people other than Craig have set me up through trades and BIFs with good old 6000...

Photo of Bighuge
4.8/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this beer on tap at the Premier (and probably ONLY) Tapping in the Twin Cities at Bryant Lake Bowl. I don't think the quarter barrel will last long. I saw many people walking around with their 10 oz flutes of this stuff.

The appearance was a deep and dark mahogony. Scarlet red hues jet through the nectar. A nice looking bone white head was long lasting and laced in sheets. The aroma was thick. Big time crystal malts, alcohol and piney, cannabis like hop aroma. The taste was exquisite. Bighuge caramel malt backing. Fairly sweet, but the hops win this battle. I don't know the IBUs of this badboy, but I'd guess it approaches 100. This beer has some character. It is so raw and abusive. The hops impart a great bitterness, some piney and rind like characteristics, and pure hop resin bliss. So what hops were utilized? Super A, Nelson Sauvin and Simon. I've never heard of them, but they kick some ass. Some may say that this beer is abrasive in its fresh state and needs some cellaring time. I say, "the hell with that!" Cellaring will smooth this one out and make it incredibly dangerous. But the fact of the matter is, this beer is dangerous in its current state.

If this beer had balls, you'd need a wheel barrel to haul them around.

Photo of Gusler
4.33/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well, I was going to use this as my 6000th beer, but since I have some Dark Lord, I think it is more fitting for that milestone, so I decided to sample this beer.

As it spews from the bottle, it settles in the glass a deep murky brown with ruby high lights, looks to be a bit of dross also laying on the bottle, so I will need to decant, the head is piled high on the body, the color a light tan and the texture creamy, as it slowly fades away, the lace forms a thick and sticky sheet to smother the glass. Nose is musty, caramel sweet with hints of fusel alcohol also somewhat acidic, start is thick with malt, lightly sweet with a moderate to full top. Finish has a middling acidity, the hops potent as is the 10.5 percent ABV, leaves a definite tummy warming sensation, very dry aftertaste, quite a load this beer and quite tasty, and another winner from Bell’s, but its certainly not meant for the weak of palate, so drinker beware.

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Bell's Batch 6000 from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
96 out of 100 based on 180 ratings.