Bell's Batch 5000 - Bell's Brewery, Inc.
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Ratings: 56 | Reviews: 48 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Bighuge:
4.9/5 rDev +21%
The appearance can be described like this: Go into your backyard with an ice-cream scooper. Get a scoop of mud and drop it into a pint glass. Dilute to 12 oz. with water and mix. Kalamazoo's beers have never been noted for "clean" appearances however. There's a definite smoky aroma here. Not much of a head. Strong smoky taste. There is some substance in this brew. There's a sweetness here too. Thick and Syrupy. This is a beer that will lay down nicely too.
Kalamazoo describes this as a smoked strong ale.
02-23-2002 23:58:12 | More by Bighuge
More User Reviews:
3.63/5 rDev -10.4%
Dark copper color with a quickly dissipating head. Smell is very smoky, with just a little sweetness below, smoke is completely dominant. Thick and smoky on the tongue, almost like some smoked ham; couldn't have too much of this, even though it was pretty good. Full bodied and light on the carbonation. As I already said, it was decent, but I couldn't have too much of this. Thanks to hey_kevin for sharing.
07-18-2008 00:09:13 | More by badbeer
4.47/5 rDev +10.4%
I was going to store all of these but the call to drink was too much...Chunky, medium brown "swamp" color....Head is small-bubbled but persistent. Yeasty fresh smell, a hint of powerful smoke. Very full-bodied, nice and hugely sweet taste with a spicy almost nutmeg/cidery property, lots of smoked meat. Huge mouth coating properties. Tobacco smoke flavor mostly at the back and in the aftertaste. There is a kind of springtime freshly tilled soil taste but its not at all off putting -- well it is in a way, but its interesting to taste that old wet canvas of summertime tents in the days before nylon. The complexity of this beer is not so obvious as rich, like the smell of mown grass. Honey and fireplace ashes sums it up. Its also slightly more drinkable than I expected but pretty heavy duty. One IS enough at a sitting for me. As the meaty sweet aroma comes on, and you look at the floating murky yeast, don't think about this beer in any classic categories too much. Skoal on this one, it might even make a good steak sauce on its own!
04-02-2002 10:50:34 | More by ADR
4.4/5 rDev +8.6%
This is something else.
Check out Bighuge's review for a vivid description of the appearance. I agree totally. Muddy, dark and thick looking. I expected some worms and grass clipping at the bottom of the glass. None to be found.
The smell is spicy smoke (almost meaty). I enjoy this alot, but I could see how one could easily be turned off. This could be dinner in itself.
The malts really make the beer. They provide a delicious, sweet foundation for the abundant smoke flavors. Very syrupy and sticky, with pronounced alcohol, but not in a bad way.
Enjoy it paired with smoked food (meats and cheeses). Also, wonderful as a stand-alone night-cap (as a change of pace) due to it's elevated ABV.
Due to it's thickness and huge character (and VERY high price), not a beer to quaff, but take your time with it and I think you'll be rewarded.
03-13-2002 02:09:58 | More by cokes
4.43/5 rDev +9.4%
Pours with a short lived light tan head settling over hazy ruby-amber liquid. The nose is a potent blast of smoke and malt...beautiful! The taste is at first smoke to the extreme with malty/fruity notes followed by a wonderfully tasty smoky hoppiness that lasts forever...or until next sip, which brings lots of sweet malt and notes of dark fruitiness. It finishes long, bittersweet, smoky, complex & very enjoyable...outstanding! Despite a few not-so-glowing reviews I think this is one awesome commemoritive brew, very well made & very tasty!
Thanks to cretemixer for this beaut!
05-25-2003 06:54:02 | More by beerluvr
3.9/5 rDev -3.7%
Pours a slightly hazy reddish brown. Looks thick and heavy. Not much head to speak of. Good amount of sediment remains in bottom of bottle leaving me to think maybe I should have swirled before finishing the pour. Smoked sausage and malt aroma. Sweet malt flavor up front that is quickly overpowered by smoke and alcohol. I had no idea what the alcohol content of this beer was before trying it, but it became quickly evident that it was a bit higher than most beers. The alcohol lingered a little too much on the finish for my liking. This is definitely a sipper. Took me a good hour to finish the beer and it seemed to mellow a little as it warmed. Probably due to the malt sweetness showing more. I enjoyed the 2nd half of the beer much more than the first. Creamy to syrupy mouthfeel. Drinkability suffered in my book due to the lingering alcohol. Label is kind of neat. Basic plain label with a pinkish kaliedescope looking rectangle at the top. Overall, a very interesting and good beer.
01-16-2003 20:00:17 | More by PhantomVodoo
4.2/5 rDev +3.7%
Originally reviewed on February 18, 2005. 12 Oz Bottle. Pours a clouded deep mahogany and ruby brown orange fringed with a rim of off-white. Aroma of smoked bacon, with grilled swordfish. This over a medly of aged fruits and malt. Over a stong ale? Wow! Has greasy meat and salmon touches, that are not unpleasent. Flavors are quite savory at first, with a hint of gentle garlic and dill, mingled with smoked salmon fat. Strong fruit and cherries kick in, much like a classic dark strong belgian. But, it continues with an underlying gentle and delicate smoked pork fat. Accompanies the gentle malt, fruit and apples with grace. Bright and well presented to the palate. The deft mingling of gentle campfire and pork fat dance with caramel and toffee in a graceful manner and overall harmony. Im really impressed by how well the two disparate flavors intermingle so well. This is truly a special treat. Signs of mellowing and gentle and fantastic ageing are true in the ale side of this beer. A hint of cranberry vinous notes in the backend. In the aftertaste the smoked woodchips mix with a gentle bread and yeast. All around, fantastic! Palate is sweet and clingy, with an everlasting pleasant flavor that I wish would never end.
12-07-2006 04:36:24 | More by CharlesDarwin
4.15/5 rDev +2.5%
My first impulse after taking the first sip of a smoke beer is to spit it out. I just don't drink a lot of them, and the greasy, smoked-sausage-dropped-in-a-campfire flavors always throw me for a loop. Batch 5000 counters those unexpected flavors with an ample amount of caramel malt and luscious mouthfeel to make an extremely complex and enjoyable brew. By the time I was finished (an hour later) I was glad that nary a drop made it into the sink.
A long overdue thanks to Bighuge for all the fine beers he sent me.
11-08-2002 07:48:15 | More by pbrian
4.1/5 rDev +1.2%
This beer is HUGE!! This beer is done very well,smells like its straight out of Bamberg,Germany.Have noted some differences from bottle to bottle,some are even more smokey.Cheers to Bell Batch 5000,may there be many more to come!
03-25-2002 23:40:44 | More by sprinkle
4.78/5 rDev +18%
Aged for almost 3 years, special keg put on for Eccentric Day '04
Pours a dark brown, leathery color with a faint and small, deep tan head.
Aroma of subtle liquid smoke starts but under further examination there are undercurrents of pine, leather, cedar and peat trapped in the liquid.
Flavor of a deep, yet subtle peat-stoked smoke is the first hit followed by a balancing of some rich caramel and deep darker fruit flavors and a benign but present resiny hop bittering. Sublte notes of nuts, cedar and leather also present, punctuated on the finish by some more subtle smokey flavors.
Mouthfeel is obviously punctuated by the smokey notes but the combination of the darker malts, smokey resins and caramel notes is truly amazing on the palate. Think, smoke, caramel, fruit, hint of bitter and then a slide into some bitter, smoky elements.
Drinkability is incredibly high. The aging has done wonders for this brew. I can only imagine how strong this was when first launched to the masses. Truly memorable beer experience.
12-13-2004 20:56:01 | More by CRJMellor
4.22/5 rDev +4.2%
Pours a clear dark amber/medium brown color with a 1/2" creamy reddish-tan head. Huge smoky/malty aroma. Some definite smoked meats as well as some slight malty sweetness. Great caramel malt sweetness opens up the brew with some nice woody undertones all the way through before the smokiness takes the torch and carries the brew through till the end. The transition is a very smooth one that eventually allows the smokiness to completely take over the brew while leaving a nice smoky presence in the mouth. The brew is extremely smooth and fairly crisp for its maltiness due to the smoke. Although it takes the palate a little while to get used to the flavors this is definitely a rather drinkable brew that leaves me wishing that I had drank it with some nice smoked food.
08-20-2002 23:00:22 | More by Murph
3.45/5 rDev -14.8%
12 oz. bottle. Very cloudy, mahogany in color. A bit of sediment floating around in the glass. Thin tan head disappears immediately.
Big smoke, and toffee in the aroma. A bit woody, and nutty. Perhaps of bit of oxidation. Seems to be a lot going on.
Sweet, fruity and smoky. Rich toffee. Boy, there is a good amount of sweetness and smoke. Still pretty warming.
This was hard to drink much of. Not sure if it is past prime or what.
06-26-2007 17:08:02 | More by Bierguy5
4.33/5 rDev +6.9%
The beer pours a be-darkened mahogany brown color, the head miniscule, the texture frothy to the max, the color a winsome light chocolate, the residual lace is a fine sheet that covers the glass. Sweet malt with the smoke quite evident chased by caramel, and quite pleasant to the senses, the start is malt laden, thickly sweet and the top full and the smoke and alcohol bitterness along with the hops Slaps your old palate immediately. Finish is prudently acidic, the hops big in their spiciness, dry as a desert bone aftertaste, a real Belly Warmer, and definitely an acquired taste.
03-24-2003 15:30:11 | More by Gusler
4.08/5 rDev +0.7%
Well this is my 400th review at BeerAdvocate so I wanted to pick something interesting from the cellar and this brew is special. It was sent to me by inebrius well over a year ago and I think it is fitting I drink it for the milestone.. so thanks so much to Todd and cheers to the BA community.
Rich rounded ripe dark fruits and sweet malt in the nose with also a touch on liquid smoke. Light tan head on the pour dissapears very very fast. Murky brown/dark ruby color with tons of yeasty floaties. The taste is sweet upfront with prune and a touch of black cherry, then the brew smokes the tongue and finishes with a slight medicinal note. Very complex and it smooths around the edges as it warms in the goblet. Not the best lookin' beer you have ever seen in a goblet.. but a nice complex sipping beer. A real warming treat.. happy new year.. my opening beer for new years eve is a good one... cheers to 2004.
12-31-2003 20:46:34 | More by frank4sail
3.88/5 rDev -4.2%
Medium brown. Off-white head. Very old-ale ish aroma, but how salty, meaty, alcoholic.. ham-like, but very sweet malt at the same time. Very surprising flavors, they work kind of well together. Its very sweet. On the tongue, this has the same malty sweetness than an old ale, similar light earthiness, maple and toffee notes, but the difference come from the smoke of course. Its the kind of beer that is a meal by itself, very meaty. Alcoholic finish. High carbonation, big creamy mouthfeel. Love it or hate it kind I guess, but it seems a bit underrated. Not many brewers could manage to come up with a beer like this. Cheers CaptainCougar!
07-05-2004 17:06:09 | More by Rastacouere
3.83/5 rDev -5.4%
Poured into my new Kuhnhenn bierthday club gift pint glass. Thanks Kuhnhenn! Cloudy caramel pour that appears flat. Like the looks of the beer, but the flatness scares me. Appears bottle conditioned.
Smells of carmelized malt sugar with hints of hardwood smoke. Tastes very sweet, with a light fruitiness and smoke essence. Smokiness is not heavy and is about the maximum smoke I can handle in a beer. Definitely works with this one.
The problem: this beer seems dead on the palate. About the same pleasure as drinking sugar water that has been left near a campfire.
Drinkability is o.k. as alcohol warms early on and it will satisfy anyone with a sweet tooth. Might have been better if I had started with a lighter beer first.
Worth a taste.
04-19-2007 22:27:12 | More by BelgianAleSlut
4.03/5 rDev -0.5%
Bottled: Jan 2002
Consumed: Feb 2011
Poured into a snifter.
Appearance- Pours a murky deep amber to brown color with a tiny short lived tan "head"; more like a slight ring around the surface.
Smell- Has a strong smoked aroma, very meaty. Jerky, caramel, woody, bbq sauce. I gotta say, the aroma is excellent and inviting. On par with the top smoked/rauchbeirs.
Taste- Starts out sweet, with notes of caramel, molasses, bbq sauce. Leading into strong smoked flavors, lots of jerky and bacon, even a bit salty. Doesn't quite have the "char" of a smoked beer, but the rest of the elements are still there. Lingering jerky flavors, this is a meal in a glass.
Mouthfeel- Fairly slick, fuller body, little to no carbonation, an alcohol warming of the cheeks.
Overall- An awesome dude got me this awesome beer. I wonder what this was like fresh, but with this much age on it, it has held up well, and is a very cool experience.
02-24-2011 04:55:23 | More by JLeege
4.05/5 rDev 0%
Originally sampled on 7 November 2002. Break out the bratwurst, knockwurst, sausages and whatever deli meats you can find, because this beer is meant for them. The smokey flavors of this beauty will pair wonderfully w/ your deli favorites. I wish I could get it locally.
05-28-2003 08:24:55 | More by jcalabre
2.85/5 rDev -29.6%
This one came to me upon rough recommendations - when I ordered it at my local, the pubkeep actually asked me if I was sure. Scary. I figured "no problem, i've been loving the hell out of the Batch 6000". My taste-buds haven't opened up to this style yet, but I figured i'd give it a fair try.
This one poured out a thick sludgy-black. There was no head to speak of, and I had to swirl and coax out enough head to even gauge its color. Once I was able to persuade it, the head was a darkish brown hue. It would go on to leave a nice lace, however.
The nose on this beer was a shocker. You first are warned by notes of alcohol and sweet-malt concealers. After that, its all smoke. Time to dive in.
This is one of those beers that macro drinkers would believe is a practical joke. Not only are the malt, hop, and alcohol tones on 11, you are instantly smacked in the face with smoke. All I could imagine was someone blowing smoke directly in the face while I was drinking. This one reminded me of my first experience with a high ABV beer - I winced on the uptake and gagged on the aftertaste.
I appreciate the attempt with this one - hugeness all around. But the smoke consistency is just too much for me. I thought i'd like it after at least appreciating Rogue's Smoke ale. I just couldn't finish it. I'll have to blame this one's low rating on my inexperience with the style, but I can't avoid the fact that I simply didn't like it.
01-23-2004 18:53:50 | More by GreenWBush
3.55/5 rDev -12.3%
Really flat pour. Really rough pouring left a thin, ephemeral head. Big rich malty aroma wafts up as you pour though and is quite nice in its richness. The taste is mostly caramel, with some chocolate. There's a mild fruitiness, some really, really faint coffee, present but not too strong smokiness. Mouthfeel was thick. Nice big flavor but perhaps a little too thick, rich and sweet to be easily drinkable. Has plenty of complexity, but it's just the overly sweet nature that makes it a bit unpleasant.
09-22-2002 22:29:15 | More by aracauna
4.28/5 rDev +5.7%
Old world ale
Finely aged and kept at a constant temperature
L=4.5 Little to no carbonation, tawny brown in color with a light white rim.
S= 4.0 huge whiffs of smoked leather, fig, raisons
T= 4.0 the nose holds true mixed with a malty smoky sweetness. Such a good beer.
F= 4.5 incredibly smooth with a feeling of pure velvet.
D=5.0 Great beer! 12 oz was not enough! I imagine being around a campfire with friends on a chilly spring night. Big smoky overtones and malty, fruity undertones. Such a complex beer. It's a true privilege to be able to try this
02-17-2010 08:59:38 | More by tippebrewcrew2
4.2/5 rDev +3.7%
It pours with little head. The smell is smoky raisins. I usually hold the yeast in the bottle and drink it separately. This one was surprisingly thin in body. I bought it fresh and it's been years since I opened one.
The taste is great. The smell is an accurate forecast. The surprise is in the after-sweetness. After all these years it's very well blended. I am lucky to have more. I won't be dallying though. I think this is moving just past it's prime.
03-30-2008 07:53:22 | More by faernt
Bell's Batch 5000 from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
90 out of 100 based on 56 ratings.