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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.

806 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 806
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: 806 | Reviews: 527 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of cpetrone84


2.48/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

pour is almost jet black with a light brown head. Nose is a bit all over the place, dark chocolate malt, sweet dark fruits, hints of vodka, light roasty bitterness. Taste is more malt forward, syrupy dark berry and alcohol. Heat still present, overly syrupy and thick, loose carbonation and burn that lingers.

A-black color looking liquid is poured from the bottle, dark red hues shine through with light, thick bubbly dark khaki colored head

S-the nose is pretty big with aromas of oak and vanilla up front, notes of bourbon come in with some molasses and a big malt sweetness. Plums, fig, rum soaked raisin

T-the taste follows the nose and is even bigger, its huge. Oaky vanilla, bourbon, molasses, dark fruits, big sweetness comes in towards the back. Plums, figs, raisins soaked in booze.

M-smooth and thick, syrupy almost, it coats the mouth fully, slightly dry finish, and well carbonated

D-very big flavors, extremely sweet and somewhat one dimensional. Still huge, I think the cellar would do a lot for this beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2012 13:32:15 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of ngeunit1


4.48/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a very dark black color with a touch of brown and a thin finger of frothy chocolate colored head. The head fades down fairly quickly leaving behind a touch of lace.

S - Aroma is a mix of roasted and lightly burnt chocolate and other dark malts and fruits with some molasses, dark licorice, and a bit of sweetness and booze.

T - Starts off with some roasted dark chocolate and dark malts with some prunes and other dark fruits and some black licorice. Through the middle, some molasses comes through with a touch of vanilla sweetness. The finish is a mix of roasted and lightly burnt chocolate and other dark malts, dark fruit sweetness, licorice, and a bit of booze.

M - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth and a bit thick with a warming and sweet finish.

D - Very drinkable. Really nice Imperial Stout. The balance of flavors is spot on and the licorice and molasses is really nicely incorporated.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2012 02:56:40 | More by ngeunit1
Photo of brystmar


3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Decent head upon pouring recedes quickly thereafter. Dark brown, nearly opaque. Mostly dark fruits in the nose; no booze presence here at all.

Taste is pretty decent: raisin, plum, beets, booze, mild yeasty presence. Sticky, viscous body. I imagine this was quite messy fresh, though it's mellowed into a solid strong ale these days. Should still age quite well though, so hold onto your bottles if they still don't do it for ya.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2012 06:07:04 | More by brystmar
Photo of 4thelvofbeer


4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep black with a small thin head. Smell and taste reflect notes of fig, maple, big on licorice, tar, molasses, and (even though it is not aged in bourbon barrels), has notes of bourbon!! A lot of deep luciuos flavors going on here, but nothing that does not mix or is out of place. Received this beer in a trade (sorry, can't remember when/where), but it is really good. Mouthfeel is very, very thick and viscous. Overall, a really nice beer by one of my favorite brewers...

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2012 21:45:57 | More by 4thelvofbeer
Photo of mwrecording


4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received a sixer of this in the mail a week ago and been putting it off only because of being scared of one word: Licorice.
Since trying and strongly disliking Stone's Belgo Anise IRS, I've been scared of any beer using anise or licorice but this...this I was wrong about.

Poured into a Chimay chalice, poured a very dark brown or a 'light' black color with a little less than an inch of a head.

Smell was a treat, NO licorice! Smell reminds me immediately of sweet malt, a better description would be of what it smelled like when I was boiling the wort to make my own beer with hop pellets. A real great smell.

Taste follows the smell, again no licorice taste although its very faint in the backround, pleasant for me. Sweet but not overly sweet. Nice taste of all the dark malts. Sort of taste some dark raison to this. No alcohol burn.

Sticky mouthfeel and sort of feels like slime in my mouth? in a good way of course. Carbonation is pretty light but probably where it should be for a beer of the style.

Overall: Pleasant surprise, glad I've got 5 more to enjoy and sit on(even though I can only see it getting sweeter and maybe harder to drink if I let it age to much longer) I'd give this a little over a 4 out of 5.

Additional note, maybe this is the idea but to me this is a great mix of what maybe a sweet stout and well made english barleywine should/would taste like. I'd describe it to friends as a black lightly hopped barleywine and its a treat.

The ratings on this one are solid, the beer is solid but perhaps its nothing truly 'special'

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2012 19:09:50 | More by mwrecording
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT


3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into snifter glass.

Appearance: black bodied beer with a small khaki colored head.

Smell: sweet malts, molasses, prunes, and black licorice. The beer also has vinous and boozy characteristics to it; it seems a bit oxidized too.

Taste: Prunes and black licorice start this beer off. Just a little bit of chocolates noted towards the back end of the beer. Its a really sweet beer almost cloyingly sweet. Lots of black licorice in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied beer with low carbonation. Little bit of warming booze with a touch of heat to it.

Overall: It decent beer and its feld up fairely well in the bottle. It a decent attempt at an american strong ale by bells.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2012 01:14:59 | More by 4DAloveofSTOUT
Photo of Rutager

British Columbia (Canada)

4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance. Pours cola brown with a skim of light yellow-tan head that doesn't last very long.

Smell. Big molasses, some black licorice and vanilla, a little dark roasty malt. Nice.

Taste. Big dark malts and sweet molasses with a little dark over-ripe fruit that slowly fades to a nice lingering black licorice. Just a bit of booze that's sweet and liquor-like. Really good stuff here.

Mouthfeel. Full body with low+, smooth carbonation. A little bit sticky. Just a bit of warmth.

Overall. Really rich, flavourful brew. Sweet, full, and incredibly drinkable. I couldn't believe the abv when I read it just now!!

Thanks Hooliganlife for this killer beer!!

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2012 02:51:48 | More by Rutager
Photo of thecheapies


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

Bell's Batch 9000. 'Malt Beverage Brewed with Molasses and Brewer's Licorice'

Poured it quickly into the snifter without much decanting. Looks like the yeast caked on the bottom of the bottle nicely enough to save the beer in my glass. Chocolate brown with some burgundy coloring, but mostly black-looking. Hardly a head off of the pour, just a dying ring of tan foam. 4.0

Sweet aroma, heavy on the vinous character. Port wine, licorice, cream sherry, some hints of oxidation, blackened sugar, black strap rum, and molasses. 4.5

Roasty flavor with heavy port wine notes, cream sherry, molasses, black coffee, and some astringent bitterness. Big time licorice notes, like Good'N Plenty candies. Love the insinuation of thick Ethiopian coffee from the malts. Very malt-oriented. Pretty much malts all the way, with the bitterness coming from the black malts and the additives evolving in the bottle. A rugged American Strong Ale; very representative of the style in my opinion. 4.5

Thick and chewy, with surprisingly, not much booze on the tongue or throat. Hardly any carbonation, to counter that thought. Drinks like it should, if not a little easier. 4.0

I had to score this six-pack when I had the chance after first tasting it on draft at a local beer bar. Happy to have the other five to sit on. Highly recommended for lovers of big, sweet malt-bombs. 4.5

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2012 01:36:29 | More by thecheapies
Photo of Steasy66


4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz into snifter. Over a year old at this point.

A Jet black, almost no head.
S Bourbon, caramel, vanilla
T Sweet, toasted marshmallow, woody, toffee, vanilla
M Quite flat, still a bit hot, fairly thick.
O Nice beer, I wish I had tried it fresh for comparison. I wish I could taste the bourbon notes that dominate the smell.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2012 23:41:17 | More by Steasy66
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 zeledonia


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

Bottled 27 Jan 2010. Batch 9000 (duh).

Comes out clear and dark brown, but turns to black in the glass, with only a little light passing through the edges. One finger of orange-hued medium-tan head. Decent retention and some solid lacing.

Smells rich, sweet, and dark. Prunes galore, and loads of other dark juicy fruit. Slightly sugary, with molasses evident. I also get a bit of bite in the back, which I think is the alcohol. Very nice. Only a hint of oxidation.

Wow, this is a brawny beer. Again the dark fruits are there, but it's a little less sweet than in the nose, with more of a licorice twang. Starts out powerfully flavorful, but that only lasts a second before the alcohol blasts through, sharp and boozy. As it warms up, I find it mellower and more balanced. But still gives me a little shudder with each sip.

Quite heavy in the mouth, almost sludgy. Carbonation is medium-low, and burns out fast - might be better with some more buzz, as all that weight just kinda sits there.

This is a really interesting beer, unlike anything else I can think of. Like a very dark, strong, English barleywine with some serious twists. I like it. But 12 oz. might even be too much for me in one sitting. The alcohol is definitely there, and only moderately disguised by the flavor.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2012 03:18:36 | More by zeledonia
Photo of pschul4


3.6/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this as an extra in a trade, thanks GranvilleTim

A- Pours a cola brown with a few bubbles on the top that dissipate quickly, that immediately gives away the ABV of this brew

S- Can smell some molasses and black licorice. Sweet booze in the background

T- Lots of booze throughout the sip with the licorice and molasses as side notes. Amazingly this could use even more time in the bottle

M- Best part of the beer. Thick and coating and a lingering aftertaste

O- A huge beer which I am very grateful to have tried, not something I'll seek out again however

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2012 03:03:26 | More by pschul4
Photo of xraided81


4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks to badnewsbeers, sending this in a trade.
pours a rich dark brown, with a thin tan head.
smells of toasted coca nut, coca cola, chocolate, dark fruits, toasted malts.
taste is ripe dark fruit, dried black cherries, molasses, and a hint of licorice. medium bodied beer that is easy to drink likely to the +2 years of age on this bad boy.
O: this is a great bear, im not sure what kind of beer this is but it is reminiscent of a blend of imperial stout and english barleywine. very informal tic

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2012 08:36:55 | More by xraided81
Photo of PlinyTheKid


4.65/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown/red. Little lacing. Smells of molasses, licorice, marshmallow, and caramel. Slight carbonation. Minor notes of dark fruit and chocolate. Reminds me of a dark fruit infused chocolate from See's Candy. After taste is phenomenal. Leaves a lingering sweet molasses and licorice aftertaste. Every sip becomes more and more pleasant. Always considered it being one of my favorites.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2012 06:13:56 | More by PlinyTheKid
Photo of 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
Photo of kawilliams81

Yukon (Canada)

3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a 16 oz. snifter.

A- dark brown,1 finger light tan head. Some lacing that resides quickly.

S- sweet, sweet malts, dark fruits, brown sugar

T- very sweet toasted malts. Dark fruits, vanilla and some oak. Candi sugar at the finish.

M- full body, slight syrup feel. Lower carbonation.

O- good beer. Smell immediately made me think of samichlaus, taste is slightly similar as well with more toasted malt tastes.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2012 04:46:26 | More by kawilliams81
Photo of syrupjoe


3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoying in the comfort of home while watching the 2011 NFC championship game in OT. 12oz bottle into snifter.

Pours an extremely dark amber color with one finger creamy light brown head that sticks around for quite awhile. Big chunky particulates.

Nose is very savory, with notes of soy sauce, molasses, slight roast, extreme maltiness, and dried dark fruit.

Intensely sweet with notes of red berries, coffee roast, and savory soy flavor. Smooth, light carbonation with roasty finish that lingers.

Overall an interesting beer that offers some flavor combinations I've never tried before. Not a very well-rounded flavor profile, but a unique brew worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2012 03:34:30 | More by syrupjoe
Photo of DaftCaskBC

British Columbia (Canada)

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

A: 1/8" mocha coloured head over cola coloured liquid.

S: Molasses, toffee malt, toasted malt, coffee malt and some yeast. It smells relatively sweet.

T: Somewhat bitter up front with molasses dominating the taste profile. Underneath the molasses; toffee malt, toasted malt and coffee malt can also be found.

M: Thick viscosity with a low level of carbonation. Despite the high alcohol content there is not much of a drying effect.

O: This is definitely a thick winter sipper, but it hides the alcohol content well. It is a good combination of bitter and sweet, and is heavily flavoured by the addition of molasses. If you have ever had molasses, then you have a pretty good idea of what this beer tastes like.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2012 07:13:26 | More by DaftCaskBC
Photo of samie85


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

A - Pours a pitch black with a finger of light tan head.

S- Smells of mocha, dark chocolate, rich stone fruit, with some almost bourbon-like vanillin.

T- Surprisingly drinkable with a rich dark fruitiness and dark chocolate and roasted notes with some vanilla.

M- rich and mouth-coating with a full body and low carbonation.

D- Very complex and highly drinkable with the combination of the roasted notes and dark fruit I found this one very interesting.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2011 02:18:27 | More by samie85
Photo of xnicknj


3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into tulip

Pours a deep browned color, almost black with a thick beige head. Retains nicely with film everywhere and ringed lacing on the glass.

Very rich and warm in the nose with molasses and licorice. Hints of caramel and dark chocolate. Boozy and warm with notes of burnt sugar and bready malt.

Heavy waves of malt crash upon the palate with licorice and molasses. Dark chocolate with syrupy sweetness wrap around the profile. Roasty malts with hints of bread and warmth. Slight burnt sugar and vanilla notes. Finishes with boozy heat.

Heavy body, sticky and lingering on the tongue with a syrupy consistency. This has progressed nicely over the past year or so, and while it's still pretty sweet for my tastes, it's becoming a really nice beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2011 06:06:24 | More by xnicknj
Photo of AshleyMiller


3.1/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

thanks to pittsburghkid66 for the extra, poured into my stone snifter.

a - pours a dark viscous brown with minimal head and lacing

s - molasses and molasses. lots of heat in there too, almost too much. got some malt, brown sugar, and if you really look for it.

t - much of the same. lots of alcohol and molasses in this one. sort of an odd mix of molasses cookies dunked in alcohol. no hops, slight brown sugar.

m - pretty full-bodied with minimal carbonation. slow sipper for me.

o - not a huge fan of molasses as the star element in a beer. think this one could have used a little more carbonation. thought the heat would have mellowed by now but it hasn't. not overly impressed, but maybe that's cause it just wasn't my cup of tee.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2011 03:00:43 | More by AshleyMiller
Photo of KAP1356


3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. 12 oz bottle poured into a Delerium Noel snifter...

A - Pours a very deep, rich looking, dark brown color. A filmy tan head forms very small and recedes to a cap. LOTS of lacing here.

S - The smell is big and in your face. Lots of licorice, burnt brown sugar, molasses, and dark fruits. Really sweet. The alcohol stands out as well since this is quite fresh.

T - Really sweet flavors or sticky molasses, dark fruits, licorice, and some burnt brown sugar. Some anise favors come out, I'm assuming from the licorice. Some chocolate peeks out adding to the sweetness. The booze is definitely noticed.

M - Thick, slightly chewey, and rich full bodied beer. The sweetness makes this one a little tough to get through, but I do have a sweet-tooth. Low carbonation.

O - Fresh it wasn't bad. But, I really think this is one that would beneft greatly from some aging in the cellar.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2011 18:26:05 | More by KAP1356
Photo of Jules11788


4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank this in November, so it had about a year on it. What a difference a year makes!

A: Pours a dark, cloudy reddish-brown; barely any head, very light lacing

S: Molasses, sweet wood, toffee, caramel, and malt, with some light notes of licorice in the background

T: Starts off with sweet raisins and dates, opens up along the middle to bring out some sweet maltiness, woody notes, caramel, and toffee; finishes with a nice flavor of fig-like liqueur

M: Medium-light viscosity, low carbonation, no hint of booze at all, very buttery

O: This is one of the best Strong Ale's I've ever had. We drank this side-by-side with the Batch 10,000 and agreed that this was far superior. I can't wait to get another bottle

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2011 17:39:05 | More by Jules11788
Photo of antoines15


2.03/5  rDev -49.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Liked this one alright when it came out and thought it would be good with some age on it. Boy was I wrong. I found it to be undrinkable. No discernible smells or flavors, other than sweet and boozy. Its dark, flat, and semi-viscous. Reminds me of dark lord in the worst kinda way. If you still have some, maybe sit on it for awhile longer because it is no good to you at this moment.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2011 21:04:55 | More by antoines15
Photo of raznug


3.5/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: 9000 pours a dark red color with ½” of light brown head that dissipates quickly.
Smell: I smell sweet malt and the slightest amount of alcohol in the background.
Taste: Rather sweet tasting and the rest of the flavors kind of blend together and are rather hard to identify.
Mouthfeel: 9000 has kind of a sweet stickiness to the mouthfeel that makes it almost hard to drink.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2011 20:47:21 | More by raznug
Bell's Batch 9000 from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
90 out of 100 based on 806 ratings.