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Bell's Batch 9000 - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Bell's Batch 9000Bell's Batch 9000

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

808 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 808
Reviews: 527
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 13.72%

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  12.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

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

"Black, dense, and rich, this is a great ale for the cellar."

(Beer added by: alexgash on 01-29-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 808 | Reviews: 527 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of lurpy1


1.78/5  rDev -55.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Even though I have a bottle at home, when this showed up on tap at Crunchy's East Lansing, I took the plunge. Let's see what I've got waiting for me at home.

The initial pour is jet black with a 1/4-finger head. Over time, though, the bear takes on red, wine-like tones and loses some of its appeal.

Now, the smell test. Uh oh. A sickly, burnt rubber sweet. There's mysterious unappealing fruit in there. Date? Prune? Malaysian Stinkfruit? We got trouble here I think.

Taste. So um yeah. Prunes it is. Nasty-ass. The saving grace is I should shit well next day. There is some licorice flavor thrown in as well. To top it all off, Bell's seems to have dumped some Mad Dog or Mogen David into the mash. Even more damning, I find that this is a beer that gets worse over time and takes on a medicinal aftertaste. I find myself taking a lot of water chasers here.

Nothing at all wrong with the mouthfeel, but the damage was done in terms of taste. Sorry maximum12, I think that spare bottle I have at home is going to the food shelf. I really didn't like this one.

Serving type: on-tap

04-10-2012 14:16:57 | More by lurpy1
Photo of Alieniloquium


3.58/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Kite & Key in Philadelphia, PA.

Appearance - Dark brown body with an ample head. It's dark in the restaurant, so it's tough to get a good gauge. Looks appealing, though. Nice tan head.

Smell - Very fruity smell. Dark fruits and chocolate. Smells very nice, but there's a lot of booze to it.

Taste - Follows the smell. Tastes like chocolate covered raisins. It's very sweet, though. Kinda cloying. Interesting, but very sweet.

Mouthfeel - Thick and sweet, definitely a sipper. Tastes boozy as hell, too.

Overall - Interesting flavors, but delivered in a bucket of sugar and alcohol. Tough to put away one of these and I would not order a second.

Serving type: on-tap

08-28-2011 03:54:07 | More by Alieniloquium
Photo of yeahnatenelson


3.63/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Jay for pulling this out of the cellar at random.

Appearance -- Pours a dark brown hue with chestnut highlights and a whispy beige head.

Smell -- Molasses sweetness, mild herbal/menthol hoppiness, faint woodsmoke, raw sugars, dark fruit. The complexity is pretty good for a strong ale.

Taste -- More molasses sweetness, anise, licorice, and some indefinable (for me) spice character. There is also some remaining hop bitterness, though not much. Beyond this, it tastes very muddled - lots of things going on at once but not things that are easily picked out, at mish-mash.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-full inbody with moderate carbonation. Feels good.

Overall -- Nice, but the flavors are somewhat muddled. Good overall, glad I got the opportunity to try it. Thanks, pal.

Serving type: on-tap

08-07-2011 05:03:06 | More by yeahnatenelson
Photo of robwestcott


3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

cold from the tap at Fridays, terre haute pitch black to a Bell's 12oz snifter with a frothy, long lasting, tan head leaving a good bit of lace to the rim.

giving this one another chance after a 14 month wait. wasn't crazy about it fresh from the bottle, but after nearly 18 months and finding it on tap, i thought best not to pass on it... we'll see.

aroma of syrupy, dark molasses, and dark fruits.

this one's still a serious licorice monster. it's settled down quite a bit in a year and a half and is far less hot, but it remains an homage to thick, black, strong licorice.

big bodied, creamy smooth, super sweet.

overall - better than fresh bottled, serious sipper. be careful.

Serving type: on-tap

07-19-2011 22:43:23 | More by robwestcott
Photo of PorterLambic


4.63/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours dark, dark brown. Small head dissipates to a slight ring. No lace.
Smell is rich, malty, dark fruit, soy.
Taste is "see above" with wheat and dark rum. Really well balanced.
Rich, creamy, so full-bodied it scares me. Light effervescence. Let it sit for 30 minutes and you will be very happy indeed. An amazingly rich, malty aftertaste. Warming throughout. A truly great brew. Grazie, Bell's.

Serving type: on-tap

03-26-2011 23:07:29 | More by PorterLambic
Photo of Vdubb86


4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a 10oz tulip snifter at Hopcat in Grand Rapids, MI

This beer was served looking very dark reds and browns to the points where it's almost black with a jaundiced beige head sitting upon the surface. The smell was a large combination of flavors. There was a great majority of the smell of aged malts to the point where it smelled of a finely aged whiskey. There was a backer of chocolate and roast that was rather surprising as well. The taste was intense and complex as well. There was a lot of malts and roast up front that were mellowed out by a general sweetness and finished off with a hint of orange zest. The mouthfeel was like velvet, if it weren't for the high level of alcohol in the beer, it would have been amazing. This is an intense beer, but is definitely what I would call a sipper of the highest order.

Serving type: on-tap

01-31-2011 03:40:03 | More by Vdubb86
Photo of Rifugium


4.16/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

First had: on tap at City Tap House, Philly, PA

Dark brown color, with a nicely retaining tan head. In the nose, a complex mixture of dark fruits and dark sugars. Flavors of dark fruits, molasses, chocolate, licorice and coffee, rum raisin, slight alcohol warmth. Medium-to-heavy body, decent alcoholic kick, nicely carbonated, mouthfeel was slick. Strong yet smooth sippin', highly drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

12-10-2010 22:47:04 | More by Rifugium
Photo of therobot


4.72/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the tap, served in a tulip glass.

A: Dark, dark bown with carmel edges when held up to light, small amount on light brown head, no lacing.

S: Strong full noce of fruit and rich sugar, a little bittersweet chocolate, and lots of roasted goodness.

T: Strong dark fruit tang up front, bleeds into a nice bread syprupy middle and finished with a pretty strong booze burn.

M: Mildly viscose, small to medium carbonation and strong lingering fruit and licorice.

D: Personally could drink a lot but would drink frequently if supply allowed.

I love this beer, one of my top five personally. am sitting on a few bottles and I can hardly wait to see this develop.

Serving type: on-tap

11-04-2010 03:55:31 | More by therobot
Photo of treyrab


2.93/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Had this on tap a few times and out of the bottle. This review is from the tap.

A: Pours a nice dark brown with a decent tan head. Some nice crimson and mahogany hues. Very clear and pretty good looking.

S: Smell is very intense. Tons of licorice (and I mean TONS), some maple syrup, toffee, corn syrup, licorice Twizzlers, and some chocolate. Very intense.

T: Whoa. A train wreck in the mouth. The taste is everywhere with liquefied licorice twizzlers, maple syrup, chocolate, brewer's licorice, and licorice. Damn, this is not working.

M/D: Mouthfeel is fine. Drinkability is low due to the flavors just clashing. Can only have a few sips.

Serving type: on-tap

09-29-2010 00:47:27 | More by treyrab
Photo of ridglens


3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter at the local beer bar (a TGI Fridays...go figure)

pours a dark brownish black, with a tine layer of head, bubbles on the side of the glass. Smell is tons of sweet molasses and dark ripe fruits, raisins, dates, and a pungent, brown sugary smell. tons of sweet smell. taste follows, with a slight roastiness added, with hints of coffee (only hints) and candied nuts, tons of roasted malt. mouthfeel is good, thick, and damn sticky, sooo sweet. Drink is ok, but overwhelmingly sweet, one is plenty for me.

Serving type: on-tap

09-02-2010 03:22:26 | More by ridglens
Photo of oglmcdgl


3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the city tap house during beer week. Reviewed from notes I just found in my email.

A- comes to me with a small cap of tan head that settles with some time to a skin. Very dark brown almost completely black.

S- dark roasted malts, dark fruits, raisins, dates. Tons of booze and chocolate. A bit of char and smoke.

T- rich and malty sweet up front with port soaked prunes and dates. Lots of chocolate and fudge. Molasses and dark brown sugar. Long sweet finish.

M- thick and chewy with a less then medium carb.

D- this one is a beast. A bit hot and boozey but I can dig it and had a few with friends that night. Not an every day beer but for a once in a life time chance why not have a few.

Serving type: on-tap

08-17-2010 00:20:19 | More by oglmcdgl
Photo of NittanyBeerFan


4.55/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at Quotations in Media on 5/8. This is being reviewed verbatim (ok I flowered up the language a bit) from notes.

Poured from the tap into a wide-mouthed red wine glass. Nearly opaque black at the outset, as the level drops, it moves to garnet in color filled with ruby tint and highlighted by amber hues. Thin creamy head sits perched atop the dark body. As I sip, there is no lacing, but instead wine-like legs that creep back down the sides of the glass.

Aromas of cofee, this chocolate, and rich caramel. There are also intriguing notes of sherry and concentrated vinous grapes. The taste opens up as I chew and swirl the beer over my palate and reveals definite character of dates and plums that nicely complement the caramel and chocolate that we found in the nose. The coffee is less evident--I see this as a plus, as it lets the beer shine through. There is a touch of warmth in the finish, but I would peg this at 8-9%...not even close to 12.5! Brandy and sweet candi sugar linger on the palate after the finish.

Somewhat thin in consistency given the style, gravity, and color. The carbonation is surprisingly potent given the utter lack of head or lace. I can see why this could lead to bad decisions over the course of the night. I would drink another one or two gladly, but I am already feeling this after the first!

Serving type: on-tap

07-02-2010 02:41:24 | More by NittanyBeerFan
Photo of rfgetz

New Jersey

3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a muddy brown color with red highlights, big puff of khaki head. Scent is of brown sugar, carmel, prune, fig, rasin, grape, touch of licorice. Taste is very sweet, first thought is this beer needs some age on it, then the fruit flavors slowly develop. Full bodied, syrupy, actively carbonated. A good beer for sure, but needs some age.

Serving type: on-tap

06-08-2010 14:02:52 | More by rfgetz
Photo of thegodfather2701

North Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap tonight at the Mellow Mushroom.

A-Pours very dark, like a porter or American stout with a tan head. It left some nice lacing on the top 1/4 of the glass.

S-Boozy, dark fruits, molasses, chocolate.

T-Much like the nose as it was boozy and sweet with a lot of dark fruit/molasses/chocolate flavors. Also some caramel and coffee notes, but they were much more subtle.

M-Syrupy and thick.

D-This is a sipper all the way, but the alcohol content though high and noticeable doesn't deter one from drinking it.

Overall, I was extremely excited to see this beer on the menu at my local Mellow Mushroom and was glad I tried it. Its a very good beer and I highly recommend fans of the style/Bell's Brewery to try it. Its another great beer from a great brewery.

Serving type: on-tap

05-08-2010 01:46:52 | More by thegodfather2701
Photo of CosmoHopHead


3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Flying Saucer 5/2/10

A: pours oily black with a thin light brown, dark reddish head with almost no lacing to be seen

S: Molasses, figs, burnt malts and brown sugar, caramel, prune, dark rich chocolate and coffee beans. a very sweet booziness as well

T: a lot of the smell comes through in the taste along with hints on black licorice, tobacco, mint and faint spices and tart sour fruit

M: feels thick, oily, greasy. light carbonation
alcohol really warms the throat on the way down

D: alcohol is very powerful right now and it's too sweet for me at the moment to drink more than one glass. got more complex and interesting as it warmed

Overall, age is this beers best friend. It was good now but I'm guessing that given time the sweetness and alcohol will mellow and become much more drinkable. Glad I have more to try over the coming years.

Serving type: on-tap

05-04-2010 23:49:19 | More by CosmoHopHead
Photo of reeverbythespeak


4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at The J. Clyde in March/April. While the beer is extremely bold in it's freshness, I think that it could have aged for a while to mellow some of the intensity. The head was almost a purple color hiding amongst the brown fluffy thickness. The color was impassible to light, and also, some how, almost a purple color. The molasses sweetness was strong, and it's stickiness carried through to the end. At 12.5%, it's hard to drink more than one in a sitting, but well worth the investment. I would recommend holding on to any bottles for a while, to see how it ages.

Serving type: on-tap

05-03-2010 00:25:07 | More by reeverbythespeak
Photo of ne0m00re


3.6/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Had this one on-tap in a plastic pint cup at Dark Lord Day.
A: Very dark brown with red hues and a very good chocolate head.
S: Sweet caramel alcohol with bourbon vanilla, roasted malts, banana, pruens and raisins. It is kind of oaky.
T: It has a very sweet dessert characteristic, with caramel, banana, and rum with underlying oak.
M: Mildly syrupy, creamy, and frothy.
D: Only OK. Really, one was enough.

Serving type: on-tap

04-30-2010 04:10:43 | More by ne0m00re
Photo of drpimento


4.78/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

As good as this beer is, damn how I'd like to get some and lay it by for the years. This draft version is more round and better balanced than the bottle. Poured with a nice off white head and a little lace. Color is an almost opaque brownish blac. Aroma is jammy dark ripe fruit malt spice roast and skank. Flavor is like aroma but more straightforward. Roast comes out a bit more and loses the skank. Excellent beer. Great body and carbonation. Finish is like flavor and boozy but super.

Serving type: on-tap

04-24-2010 03:14:12 | More by drpimento
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Arrives with dark brown color that reveals some tawny highlights and a modest beige head

Smell: Chocolate fudge, but very sweet

Taste: Fudgy, up front, with a hoppy presence developing by mid-palate; after the swallow, the chocolate returns with a vengeance and the finish is really sweet

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation; boozy in the gullet

Drinkability: Not a real fan of this one as it is too sweet and boozy; it may settle down and become much better as it matures, however

(Trying this out of the bottle a bit over a year later, the sweetness is no longer quite cloying, and the licorice and molasses flavors show up much moreso than the fudge; also, there is plenty of dark fruit flavor, as well; still, it remains a sweet beer with considerable heat from the abv.)

Serving type: on-tap

04-12-2010 00:49:46 | More by brentk56
Photo of weatherdog


4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Brixies in Brookfield IL served in a Bells branded tulip

Coming out of the tap it looks like a stream of motor oil. It's thick and syrupy looking and sticks to the sides of the glass. An almost invisable head is present that is gone by the time it hits the bar top. Heavy lacing coats the side of the glass after every sip.

The nose is an explosion of rich sweet bourbon and dark fruits like plum. It is very sweet and reminds me vaguly of GI BCS with some of the bourbon swapped for licorice.

The first thing that hits your tongue is overwheling cascade of bourbon, sweetness and alcohol. I was expecting it but it still took me for a ride. The beer was served a little too cold so I let it sit for a while to warm up to proper temperature. It opened up so much when it was warmer and those exploaions of flavors seemed to intertwine and make for an intense but enjoyable beer. Plums, bourbon and licorice dominated my mouth with a syrupy sweet warming finish. Normally I am opposed to syrupy hot beer (i.e. Fresh GI BCS and WWS) but this had a redeming quality to it that I was surprised that I liked fresh but I know will age gracefully for years to come.

Carbonation was my only gripe with this beer. For being such a rich silky beer the carb level was too high and distracted from the taste.

Serving type: on-tap

03-26-2010 18:28:13 | More by weatherdog
Photo of mondegreen


4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-Tap at Trappeze in Athens, GA.

I missed this one at the local bottle shop. I heard it was at Trappeze, so I made a point to get by there after work on Friday to give it a go.

As I was grabbing a seat, the waitress offered me a menu. "No thanks, Bell's 9000, please," I said. She smiled knowingly and told me it would be just a second. A minute later she pulls a beautiful goblet of beer from the tap and slides it to me. She checks in after my first few sips, "Is it everything you were hoping for?" she asks. "Excellent," I reply.

Damn, guess I was kinda transparent.

A: Nearly black. A slightly brown tone with garnet highlights in the sunshine. A fluffy white recedes to nothing fairly quickly.

S: A potent, sweet smelling brew. The molasses is the first thing that hits me. Dark fruits and licorice in there, too. Very nice smelling.

T: My best description is that this beer has the best qualities of a barleywine mixed with some stout characteristics. The sweetness and alcohol hits you over the head like a barleywine. This is a very, very hot beer. I love boozy beers, so it's right up my alley, but I would love to have a few of these to rest in the cellar for a few years. To go along with the sweetness, there is a backbone that reminds me of a stout. Masterful flavor.

M: Wonderful body to carry the 12.5%. Mouthfeel is heavenly.

D: It's a really big beer. I could drink them as long as I am vertical, but hey, I love the heat. If you're not as tolerant, this might be a one and done. As it stands, I give it high scores all around.

Serving type: on-tap

03-19-2010 23:57:46 | More by mondegreen
Photo of SeasonalBrew


4.43/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on-tap at Harrison's Landing in Elkhart, IN on 3/11/10

A: Pours black with thin cream head that quickly dissipates, which is no surprise due to the alcohol content.

S: Very sweet, like molasses and licorice. Some roasted coffee and malts make up the smell as well.

T: Immediately very sweet. You get the sweetness from the molasses with the bite from the alcohol. As you swallow you get another hit of the sweetness with some coffee aftertaste. This is such a sweet beer! It pushes the borders of too sweet but it really works for me. Great for such a strong brew.

M: Thick and full-bodied. Almost syrupy in feel.

D: Even though it is probably the sweetest beer I've ever had, I find it very drinkable. Its meant to be enjoyed and drank slowly and I found myself excited for every swig.

Serving type: on-tap

03-17-2010 08:57:18 | More by SeasonalBrew
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.2/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Always look forward to the annual "Batch" beers from K-zoo,but I have to say this is my least favorite of the five I have had.Poured from the tap a deep chesnut brown with someamber hue,a thinner off white head atop.Big dark fruit in the nose, along with sweet alcohol,you can tell before you taste it it that its gonna be very sweet.It is sweet and sticky,big brown sugar and dark fruit really hit ya,the alcohol adds more sweetness.Wow to sweet for me to even finish an 8 ouncer,the flavors are decent just way to skewed in one direction.

Serving type: on-tap

03-10-2010 13:13:22 | More by oberon
Photo of mikereaser


4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Grabbed a glass at als of hampden on march 7th.

A - pours a deep chestnut brown with almost no light coming through. Very little foam.

S - Aroma is of dark fruit, plums, raisins, molasses, raisins

T - Very syrupy molasses and raisin taste, very complex tasting brew.

M - very smooth mouthfeel, syrupy but mot too thick feeling

D - very easy to drink. Leaves a strange aftertaste though. I think some age on this will do it well.

Serving type: on-tap

03-07-2010 23:52:56 | More by mikereaser
Photo of atsprings

North Carolina

4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Flying Saucer, one of 2 kegs that made it to North Carolina, served a deep opaque balck with a thin diminishing head. Aroma is roasted malts and slight booze with mild cocoa and fresh ground coffee. Taste is also roasted malts, cocoa, and fresh coffee with a kick of dried fruits. The beer is certaiy on the heavy side, boozy alcohol is right up front, but it seems it would get better with age. This one was enjoyable, no where near Batch 7000, but still respectable.

Serving type: on-tap

03-05-2010 00:56:10 | More by atsprings
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Bell's Batch 9000 from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
90 out of 100 based on 808 ratings.