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

Not Rated.
Bell's Batch 9000Bell's Batch 9000

Educational use only; do not reuse.

870 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 870
Reviews: 529
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 13.18%
Wants: 88
Gots: 249 | FT: 15
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:
Beer added by: alexgash on 01-29-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

"Black, dense, and rich, this is a great ale for the cellar."
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 870 | Reviews: 529
Photo of Sammy
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A great aroma, rich malt, roast. Black with a soapy brown head. A good mouthfeel, smooth toffee carmelish. Raisin and some dark chocolate, coffee in finish. Well balanced, any bitterness more than made up by the great malt complexity.
Understated carbonation. Gift from Chris.

Photo of t0rin0
3/5  rDev -25.4%

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Pellinore1 for sending me this one!

Pours an opaque dark brown with a 1/2 inch puffy khaki head that settles to a thin film. Thin curtains of foam form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of roasted malt, dark fruits, molasses, and some slight licorice aromas. Taste is very sweet with malt, dark fruits, molasses, licorice, and some burnt sugar flavors. A burnt bitterness lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a crisp level of carbonation with a prickly quality going down the throat. Overall, this is a good beer that is hard to pin down. It's almost stout-like but not quite. Whatever it is, the ABV makes for a slow sipper on this one.

Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -25.4%

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.43/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a very dark espresso with a nice tan head that really comes alive with some agitation. Nice legs as it goes down, especially for a beer of this abv.

S: At this point, a little bit rough around the edges. The initial whiff isn't super-appetizing, but leads into some oak, anise, toffee, and port notes.

T: Lots of the port components coming together for a sweet brew that is balanced by the alcohol without ever really feeling hot. Also coming through is some chocolate, anise, wood, and a bit of leather. This one is quite complex and I'm sure will only get much better with age.

M: Quite lush without being overly boozy like I feared it might have been. Actually, the alcohol contributes a really nice component alongside the anise flavors. Ample carbonation for the style and a nice, smooth aftertaste.

D: High up there. Definitely one of the best imperial stouts that I've had in a while.

Photo of olradetbalder
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of brentk56
3.9/5  rDev -3%
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.)

Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -25.4%

Photo of BEERchitect
4.42/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tough to get a grip on this beer. It drinks much like an Olde Ale that hasn't olded yet.

The beer pour a dark brown color that is seriously opaque; could be confused with 30 weight. A short lived tan head falters underneath the malt viscosity and alcohols. Light lacing but big on legging. All sorts of syrupy goodness to follow.

Great aromas of brown malt, molasses, toffee, and alcohol give an initial punch that's nearly a knock-out, even without sipping. Quite herbal and fruity with coriander, anise, grapes, and root beer notes. Big on pine and fresh cut grass (the hops remind me of Batch 7000 when it was fresh). The aroma is not like a lot of cough syrups my mom made me take when I was sick.

Flavors are much more intense. Heavy maltiness gives added complexities of toast, light roast, and scorched sorghum to the brown malts, coffee, and molasses sweetness. As big as the malts are, the hops give equal contributions with a serious pine, resin, and grassy taste and supreme bitterness. All this and the hops still contribute and softer herbal note that won't be ignored. Esters of plumb, grapes, licorice, and other stone fruits will develop nicely into the sherry/soy sauce notes that make Olde Ales great (the sherry and soy are already developing and will grow in complexity rather quickly).

The body also keeps up the giant proportions that begin with a syrupy, teeth coating molasses clinging feel that makes the beer linger seemingly forever. The alcohols and hops create just enough dryness in the end to keep me going back for that next sip much more quickly than I should. Carbonation also helps to lift the beer from the surfaces of the mouth and keeps the brunt of the flavors from panging against the tongue and palate. As the carbonation dissolves more finely into the beer, so will the rougher edges of the flavors to wear off- leading to an elegant Brandy-like savory concoction.

But I don't worry about this beer a bit. It will age extremely well and improve for years. Man, my cellar is going to love this beer.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.66/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color ale with a medium dark brown foamy head with good retention and good lacing. Aroma of sweet malt notes with some light liquorice. Taste is also quite sweet though not overwhelming so with some roasted malt with light liquorice notes. Body is full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Not as complex as I would have expected from this brewer but not as bad either based on the most recent ratings.

Photo of Knapp85
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew sold out at my local shop before I got a bottle. The Farmhouse had it on their menu and I asked about it. They brought me a bottle and poured it out. I was stoked that I was going to get to try this finally. The beer was a dark brown almost black color. The head was minimal but left a nice light lacing on the snifter glass. The smell was of anise and roasted malts. The taste was just about the same. Lots of licorice flavors and aromas in this brew. The mouthfeel was on the thicker side and had a decent carbonation to it. Overall I thought this was great. I really enjoyed this beer a lot. Shame it won't be around forever.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I was extremely excited to be able to get a hold of this one. A simple bottle, but I had yearned to try it. Served chilled in a pint glass, this one was consumed on 03/04/2010.

Deep, dark brown pour, dark garnet in color with a thin but noticeable head of light tan that quickly receded. Not much in the way of lacing here at all, in fact it was mostly just a bare, dark liquid most of the night. Still though you could tell it had some heftiness, some weight to it as it the light struggled to make its way through. Aroma is hard to place, the entire thing is hard to place to be honest but I will get back into more of that later. Thick notes of licorice, dark fruits, plums, figs, a hint of soy sauce, molasses, a kitchen sink was coming at me and the more it warmed the deeper it seemed to get. Again hard to place really what I was experiencing here, but it was obnoxiously good I do know that. Each sip was like candy, the 12.5% was no where to be found and I just kept pushing on. Rich sweet, candy like notes, again with the licorice and soy sauce, hints of butterscotch, a wonderful toffee like flavor and a rich chocolaty malt all rolled into one. Cannot remember the last time I had anything like this as I am really at a loss as to what it is and how to handle it. But it was good.

I don't know why I am so hooked on this one. For some reason and on some level it really, really works for me. It is so complex an odd but yet so enjoyable it keeps me guessing with each passing moment. Sublime and superb, I not only would not have an issue trying it again but am going to find as much as I can!

Photo of womencantsail
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to several fine folks for sending me this. I have been looking forward to opening one, and tonight after a long day of brewing seemed like a good time.

A: The pour is a deep, dark black with a somewhat short-lived tan head.

S: The nose is full of black licorice along with a slight vanilla aroma and some alcohol. There is also molasses, and a definite sweetness.

T: The licorice and molasses combine to make a sweet, sticky beer. There's also a slightly tart dark fruit component which seems to consist of plums and figs. Surprisingly, the alcohol is not all that noticeable, but there is a bit of warmth to it.

M: The body is medium to full with a mild carbonation. Luckily the carbonation is just plentiful enough to prevent this from being syrup.

D: I enjoyed the flavors that this beer has, but they seem a bit strange to me. This is definitely an interesting beer and I look forward to seeing what this does with age.

Photo of largadeer
3.21/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle from Dyan. Thanks!

Black as pitch in Nick's ridiculous looking scotch ale glass. Pouring from a height of four inches produces a thick two finger head that drops slowly to a frothy crown.

Ashy licorice aroma, chocolate, alcohol, faint smoke and meat. Anise and chocolate become dominant as the beer breathes, but it's strangely mild on the nose.

Flavors of molasses, chocolate, caramel, booze, black licorice, booze and booze come through strongly, with a mid-palate of booze, chocolate and licorice and a finish of booze, chocolate and licorice. It's not particularly bad, though it's decidedly rough around the edges, unabashedly hot and sweet. This could use a couple years of age.

Photo of oberon
3.23/5  rDev -19.7%
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.

Photo of emerge077
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Cellared almost a year now, i've tried a couple bottles in the interim. 4" of snow today calls for something hefty, and 9000 fit the bill. Served at cellar temperature, 48º.

Into a Bells tulip at it pours a tawny brown, then appears black with a ruby glint in the glass. An inch of tan latte foam rises to the rim and begins a slow fade. Sticky around the edges, lacing well into spindly arcs of lace and spotty froth.

Huge carob, molasses, and licorice in the nose. Nutmeg and figs.
Slight whiff of musty oxidation, but it doesn't distract.

Rich and sweet right off the bat, it coats the palate with dried dark fruit and cocoa. Prunes, raisins, and figs are sweet and sticky on the lips, while a minor bitter chocolate and tobacco leaf element linger. Sweet sticky molasses, toffee, and some roasted malt char. Vinous feel, luxurious and cordial-like, with a mild spice present. Alcohol is still perceptible, but moving into the background by now. Reminds me of Thomas Hardys.
This is good stuff in the dead of winter.

Photo of zeff80
2.77/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A - Poured out a dark brown almost black color with a small, light brown head of sudsy foam. It left minimal lace.

S - It smelled of black licorice, chocolate, booze and grassy notes.
At times there were soy sauce-like aromas.

T - This beer packs some heat with a boozy strength. Sweet roasted malt flavors with notes of licorice and dark chocolate. However, a soy sauce taste emerges time and time again.

M - It was smooth and a little creamy. A medium to full bodied beer.

D - I've finished off my six-pack and each time has been a different experience including two that just wasn't good. The last was brutal.

Photo of TMoney2591
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Pours a nearly jet black, darkly opaque, with a whisp of white head that dissolves into near nothingess shortly. From a distance, the smell has a sweet chocolate and vanilla smell; upon closer inspection, more scents come through, including minty anise, maple syrup, and even some hoppiness as well. The taste begins with a bitter chocolate mixed with vanilla and finishes with a strange but intriguing blend of deep maple syrup (I assume from the molasses) and licorice. It isn't everyday that a brew's flavor matches the listed ingredients so closely, but this one surely does. The body is lurking toward heavy, but does not quite make it there. The velvety smoothness helps to even further increase the drinkability.

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Bell's Batch 9000 from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
90 out of 100 based on 870 ratings.