Bell's Batch 9000 - Bell's Brewery, Inc.
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Ratings: 829 | Reviews: 527 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by weizenbob:
3.78/5 rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
This 12 ounce bottle was purchased at Jimmie Garrant's in Alpena, MI. It was bottled on January 27, 2010, so it is just a couple of days past its second birthday. The label indicates that Batch 9,000 is brewed with molasses and licorice. The cap came off with a nice hiss and the bottle was poured into a tulip glass at approximately 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
The beer pours pitch black with a finger tall brown head. Head retention is poor which I expected. The ABV isn't listed on the label or Bell's website but from the label description, I anticipated a bruiser. Unfortunately, high alcohol doesn't usually lend itself to head retention. A thin ring of lacing holds steady at the high water mark. Despite the lack of lasting head, this beer is impressively dark and I could stare into it for hours in search of the deep meanings of life.
The aroma is hot with alcohol. Plum and Elmers Glue bleed through the solvent burn. Faint blueberry and raisin add some needed subtlety. It is effortlessly aromatic, but unfortunately it doesn't smell all that great.
As with most barleywines/strong ales/old ales that I've sampled, Batch 9,000 tastes better than it smells. The initial impact comes courtesy of this beer's strong residual sweetness. It is as honey, and to a lesser extent, molasses. The licorice is tasted in a literal manner that manifests early and holds well into the aftertaste. Impressions of prune and raisin are strongly felt. The hopping must have been out of control because in spite of the huge sweetness and two years of age, there is still a bitter piney tinge on the back end. As tasty as it is, it comes off more like somebody's crazy, over the top homebrew, rather than a beer coming out of one of the largest craft breweries in the country. It's good, despite being one of the least impressive barleywines I've yet imbibed.
One final observation on flavor: I burped at it tasted like chocolate.
In the mouth, this is a rich dessert in a bottle. It is full-bodied with a thickness akin to maple syrup. The carbonation level is too low at this stage, and it buckles under the heavy gravity of this beer. Alcohol heat is strong enough that it borders on burning as it goes down the throat. Perhaps two years is still a bit young for this. Unfortunately the flavor at this point doesn't warrant seeking out another bottle to sit on. It's not a bad beer, and I don't regret buying it. I just don't have a desire to drink it again.
The Two-Schlitz Scale: (reference my profile for an explanation)
I don't give a Schlitz for Bell's Batch 9,000. It's okay, but I pity the fool who bought a case of these to sit on. You know he's out there.
Serving type: bottle
01-29-2012 23:45:46 | More by weizenbob
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Bell's Batch 9000 from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
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