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

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

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880 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 880
Reviews: 531
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 13.18%
Wants: 90
Gots: 246 | 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: 880 | Reviews: 531
Photo of GRPunk
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle (batch #9000 who'd have guessed?) poured into a tulip glass.

A- A normal pour led to a rush of carbonation that created a 1 finger, brown head that fell to a full, thin foam that left great, sticky rings on the glass. The body was nearly jet black with deep brown edges.

S- It had a great mix. I got some stewed raisin aroma up front. There was a rich, grainy backbone like roasted coffee that gave a touch of smoke. There was also a sweet, maple-like aroma with something I'd attribute to the addition of licorice (it was interesting, but hard to place). Some grassy hops pull all of the sweeter scents together.

T- It was very flavorful. There was the sweet, raisiny flavor mentioned in the smell along with the usual suspects (coffee and chocolate). The alcohol is well hidden, and comes off as more of a mouthfeel sensation than a flavor. Everything ends up in a dry, roasty finish.

M- There was moderate carbonation and it was fairly viscus. It had a warm, alcohol sensation that wasn't overbearing.

D- It was a nice evening drinker on a cold night. Things were a bit on the sweet side. I'd like to put some age on a couple of bottles and see if the sweetness mellows.

Photo of Mdog
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black, small fading head.

Smell: Anise/black licorice, some sweetness.

Taste: Molasses/BBQ sweetness, black licorice, dark fruits, then dark chocolate in the finish. Quite sweet.

Mouthfeel: Pretty thick feeling.

Drinkability: Definite sipper, sweetness slows me down which is good considering the strength.

After months of waiting, batch 9000 has finally arrived. I thought it would be a little more similar to batch 7000, but 9000 is definitely its own animal. I haven't had a beer with as much black licorice flavor as this. It's not jagermeister, but there's some similarities in the flavor. We'll see how this changes over time.

Photo of bsp77
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Exceedingly dark mahogany brown with almost no head and spotty lacing.

Smell: Soy sauce, molasses, alcohol, licorice, and a slight mustiness.

Taste: Sweet molasses, licorice, soy sauce, wood, roasted barley and light coffee. While this is pretty good overall, I really expected to enjoy the taste a lot more than I do.

Feel: Moderately low carbonation, surprisingly not full-bodied, maybe slightly cloying. Edit: Smoother after one year.

Drinkability: The alcohol is not very noticeable at all, making this very easy to sip. However, the flavors are a little too sweet and soy-like for me. Let's see what a year in the cellar does.

Edit: After almost a year in the cellar, almost everything I said is still true but I somehow like it more. Still strangely salty but more enjoyable. Scores adjusted accordingly since this was meant to be cellared.

Photo of maximum12
4.69/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a six-pack of this highly anticipated brew at Cork & Barrel, a place I'd never stopped in at. Nice plce. Picked up some HopSlam as long as I was at it.

Not sure how this could live up to the hype, but the odor is a good place to start. Stunningly rich, the molasses & licorice & sweet malt come blazing out of the pint glass. Wow. One of the best smelling brews, ever.

Batch 9000 is a phenom of a brew. It breaks the mold of where the big stout is heading & jams it up...well, it's breaks it. Sweetness breaks out all over the happy place. I'm a huge fan of locally tapped maple syrup, & the molasses in this just kicks ass. The licorice is present & accounted for too, taming some of the molasses & malt kick & smoothing it to a tolerable level of tooth-melting sugar. There might be a touch of hop in here, just at the end, and dark fruits as well.

Thick would be an understatement. This is slow-poured, left-too-long-in-the-freezer thick. Little carbonation, which is just fine. Drinkability? Well, it's frickin' delicious, so I'd love to have three, but I don't like falling down, so maybe just two.

This is a big, adrenaline-laced, intimidation of a beer. Bell's does it again. What is it about the water in this neck of the woods that creates such fantastic brews?

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 jt31914
4.23/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Small amount of head with very dark black color.

S: Straight licorice and alcohol like a stronger more even version of expedition stout.

T: Creamy licorice and alcohol flavors - the licorice more on the palate and the alcohol/creaminess on finish; also some chocolate notes to the beer.

M: Smooth, warm, and welcoming.

D: Pretty drinkable for the style, I liked this beer pretty well.

Photo of Buebie
4.56/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured at 50 degrees from a brown bottle into an oversized tulip. Producing an inch of tan head, very quickly receding, leaving an island of bubbles and quite thin collar.
Black in color with no light penetration.

Aroma has some mild heat to it, amazingly low too for the higher abv. Brewers licorice is coming forward strongly, but mixing it up with chocolate grains and dark fruit. A touch of black treacle aroma too, I'm not sure if the treacle is the molasses and that mayb e I'm confusing the two.
Slightly reminiscent of Anchors special Christmas ale with an aroma resembling Worcestershire sauce. Although this is much more sweet and complex then anchors.

My response at first sip; "Whoa". This is amazing!

Pretty sweet, masking any alcohol, creating a dangerous brew, although some warming down the esophagus, not boozy or hot one bit.
Sweet upfront, with loads of malt backing dark fruit, a touch of woodyness, chocolate, licorice, and man these dark fruits coming through are just intense and delicious. Mild hop bitters into the finish, lingering with sweetness, chocolate and warmth in the mouth.

Mouthfeel is slick and syrup like with mild carbonation presence, although not flat by any means. Smooth, low carbonation and sticky syrup heaviness.

I am so glad I scoured the metro over the last few days. I was content with the two bottles I picked up, but decided to check one more place today and found a 6 pack, their last 6 pack. Sooo glad I did. Lets see what ten years does to this.

Photo of cpmichael
4.02/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottled poured into a Stone Russian Imperial Stout snifter.

A: Relatively thinner than I was expecting. Never having the Batch 7000, I was assuming something more akin to the Expedition Stout in thickness, but this is way thinner than that.

S: Immediately you are able to smell the licorice, along with other spices and maybe a hint of raisins/prunes.

T: Hints of molasses give way to the presence of licorice. An overall sweet taste. Very pleasant.

M: Much lighter than expected from a amped-up stout.

D: Highly drinkable, It's not a "meal in a bottle," and I could easily have a few of these throughout the night.

I'm very happy to have 3 sixers of the 9000 and will look forward to keeping some for the future to see if it changes.

Photo of hoppough
4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a very rich black color with a tan creamy head.
S- The molasses and alcohol really dominate the smell with a hint of raisins and apple in there too.
T- Comes on fruity and raisiny and finishes with a burst of molasses black licorice and alcohol all together and not in a bad way by any means. This is a really delicious, complex, and well put together beer.
M- Not as creamy as it's appearance but not at all light in body. It feels to be perfectly carbonated.
D- Very drinkable and highly recommended. This kind of beer isn't meant to be drank in excess but is designed to be savored and enjoyed as a nightcap or after a hard days work.

Overall i would say this is one of the best if not the best Bell's brew i've had. After drinking one i can foresee myself buying more and letting them age a bit. A beer this big and complex could offer even more flavor in time.

Photo of WYVYRN527
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Just Came in today. I had to try it.

A: Black in color with a thick tan head. For it's high ABV, the head retention and lacing are phenomenal.

S: This beer has more going on in the nose than other imperial stouts. Aromas of raisin, licorice, molasses, and fig, with a slight spicy hop profile lingering behind.

T: Like the smell, but much, much more. Dried fruit, raisin, anise, chocolate, fig, along with some spice dominate the palate. Alcohol is present too, but not off-putting. Finish is drying, and the flavors stick around.

M: Full-bodied and viscous, yet just a tad thin for what I was expecting. Has a very silky texture as well.

D: For how intense this beer is, the 9000 is one of a kind. Dark and complex in both aroma and flavor, it was well worth the wait for this stunning release.

Photo of LestatSabastian
4.52/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beers was very nice it had a very dark black appearance with the top a brown hue. The smell was awesome very nice licorice anise smell. taste of very little licorice but true in nature to its full molasses taste and some carbonation and mildly creamy.
Mouth feel was a little thin for a stout but the drink ability was great a dessert in a bottle loved it. all in all great beer get you hands on one if you can.

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

I've been waiting for this one for a while. This was a very solid stout. Pours a little thinner, and not quite as black as expected. Nose is great, big time stout smell... roasty, licorice, prunes, a little bit of chocolate. Taste follows suit. This is very good, but I'm going to wait on the rest of mine for quite a while. This will be VERY good after a year.

Photo of TCgoalie
4.63/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Well the pour is nothing to be excited about. If I came upon this snifter not knowing what it was, I would think it was cold coffee. No Carbonation, hardly any head at all.

So much brown sugar, raisins in the nose. There is almost some pine resin smell. Very interesting and tells that this beer is complex.

There is a lot of sweet in the taste. At first, I can tell the presence of brown sugar, vanilla, raisins, molasses. At the end, there is a big hit of sweet fruit like a plum. Very subtle hints of bourbon round out a very interesting brew. I feel like this is the front and end of an imperial stout with a sweet and interesting middle. Very unique and a whole lot of flavors!

This is a thick beer, as to be expected at 12.5% (didn't know this upon trying it). There is a hint of dryness and some stickiness. The sweetness helps round out the feel.

Give me one of these, not two please. I will sip this for an hour. Let it warm me for the evening.

Photo of sculls65
4.62/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brown..i pick up a deep red hue when held up to light. A nice tan head fading to bubbly film and eventually the ring around the glass. Smell is of dark fruits..not sure if its cherries or not but thats what i keep thinking,malts, hops? licorice, and theres some alcohol there. First taste is really sweet...again i think dark carmelized cherries..then you get that burst of licorice..followed by a nice warm finish. Mouthfeel is nice..its thick but not really syrupy or crude oilish if you will. Drinkablility is wonderful but 1 maybe 2 is probably max for me, which is fine seeing as im only going to get this 1 6 pack.

Photo of biggred1
4.4/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark ebony with a thick chocolate milkshake head with big airy bubbles lazily popping on the surface and leaving soapy lace on the glass. Dark, roasty and rich aromas of dark rum, black strap molasses and anise. Wow, great concentration of flavors. Dark roasted malt and mascerated raisin with black licorice and vanilla bean. Full bodied and sticky with mild carbonation. Drinking big and powerful now, check back in one year.

Photo of jera1350
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours into a Darkness Snifter a pure black color with a tan head of foam that reduces quickly but leaves quite a bit of lace.

Powerful scent. Blackstrap molasses, raisin, cream and a smell that reminds me of SA Triple Bock- soy sauce! Dear god, no.

Wow, this is a sweet one. Loads of molasses, caramelized sugar, raisin concentrate and I'm still getting a hint of salty soy sauce. The soy sauce isn't at the level of TB, but it's noticeable. Powerful flavor none the less. I think the only sweeter IS I've had is Dark Lord. The sweetness lingers along with a bit of bitter hops.

Big bodied, but not syrupy in any way. Very smooth with light and soft carbonation. Finish is dry.

Absolute sipper of a beer, but not because of the alcohol. The alcohol is very well hidden, but the sweetness of 9000 makes you take your time. Really looking forward to this one over the next couple of years.

Photo of beerman207
4.74/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured this into a pint glass and found that the brown head didn't last long but left a nice skim behind. The appearance is a very dark brown that allows a very faint amount of light through.

S: The nose is quite interesting. I smell the licorice and some dark fruit as well as some smoke and a bit of booze in the background. Wow. I could smell this one all day.

T: Taste makes for one of the most interesting beers I've had recently. At first you're hit with some sweetness that hits from the mollases, then all of a sudden you notice the licorice which then leads to some bitterness and the finish is a beautiful warming sensation that leaves my tongue tingling. Fantastic.

M: As brought up by another reviewer, I was hoping this would be a bit thicker but it isn't thin by my account just thinner than I believe should be appropriate for the style. The mouthfeel is medium carbonation and the palate is left a bit dry in the finish

D: For how high the ABV is of this the alcohol is very well masked. I'm looking forward to finding out what some aging will do for this beer. Fresh is fantastic, I'm thinking some aging will make this simply amazing. Wonderful offering from Bell's!

Photo of webmanspidey
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

12 ounce bottle poured into a large snifter.

The obvious dark black color, this is a little thinner and fizzier than I was expecting.

Smell is intensely sweet: loads of raisins, molasses, maple syrup, licorice are noticeable.

The taste is sugary sweet: brown sugar, more molasses, cherries, and raisins. This is not the typical coffee/chocolate heavy stout that this style has been tending towards.

I think the mouthfeel is a little bit on the thin side.

Drinkability is tremendous for something with double-digit ABVs.

This is something pretty unique, not really what I was expecting. This could end being a prototype dessert beer. Nevertheless, this is very good and worth the wait.

Photo of kirkpjr
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

So happy to get my hands on one of these! Poured from a bottle into my Duvel tulip.

A: Thinner than I expected in the pour, but still enough for a stout. Minimal head forms around the glass. A very very dark brown. A little light tries to make its way through the glass when held up to a light.

S: Molasses first off. A couple of spices pull through - maybe nutmeg and definitely some licorice (almost like a Twizzler). Sweet malts. A very sweet smelling stout.

T: Sweet molasses again. Almost a little soy sauce in the taste - not really in a bad way but just a hint in the finish. Sweet licorice too. A strong, warming, hot finish.

M: Very thick - more so than I expected on the look. Resinous from the molasses. Sits on the tongue and the mouth.

D: A thick, warming beer. The alcohol presence limits my want to drink more of these. Enjoyed every bit of it. Will cellar one to check on in a year or two.

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


Understated label, right to the point. Batch 9000. I like the simplicity of whole "batch" concept for Bell's.

Pour is deep, dark red/brown. Nice light brown head, looks like the carbonation is up to snuff. Actually pours a bit thinner than I was expecting.

Smells are immediate sweet, dark fruits. Some piney hops, but mostly sweet dark fruit. No coffee or chocolate or roasted feel to my nose.

Taste is surprisingly rewarding, given the muted nose. Dominated by molasses and dark fruit. Immediately reminded me of Darkness, with the sweet dark fruits, some citrus hops too.

Another reviewer likened it to beer mixed with port, and I agree. This is portbeer. Some boozy intensity, but it's appropriately mixed with the dark fruit and not overpowering. Pine/citrus hop notes complement everything. Some bitterness on the finish tries to balance the sweetness.

Mouthfeel is great. I was expecting a "my stout is thicker than your stout" motor oil viscosity, but it's thick enough for the flavors and nothing more.
For a 12% ABV offering it's pretty drinkable.

Bell's has crafted a unique big beer here. It's a strongale/barleywine/stout hybrid, quite vinous, and worth checking out. I think it would be off the charts aged in some bourbon barrels given the flavors. And with the sweetness and lack of overpowering booze, It doesn't scream "I'll be better with age" to me either. I have had several bottles, and each one has been better. If I keep drinking, I might end up scoring all fives.

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

poured from a bottle into a tall snifter style Ommegang glass
This beer pours a dark brown with about a 2 finger tan head...a lot lighter than I thought it would be.
I smell a lot of the licorice and raisons but not much malt or roast.
The taste again has a lot of licorice and raisons with a little malt roast lingering on the tounge.
The mouth feel is thick and smooth with a little bitter after taste.
Over all this beer is pretty good and really drinkable for 12%. I cant wait to see what it does over the next few years.

Photo of waltonc
4.27/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to HopHobo for this delicious brew.

Pours very dark brown with almost an inch of light tan head. Smells of deep, dark roasted malt, molasses, and underneath those, lots of chocolate. Taste is surprisingly sweet. Not too sweet, but more than I was expecting, as I seem to recall Batch 7000 being a little drier and more bitter (maybe my tolerance for big bitter stouts has just gone up. I'll have to do a side-by-side comparison between this, Batch 7000 and Expedition). Again with the molasses... always with the molasses....and chocolate, brown sugar, a hint of raisins. As I drink more of this, I am starting to notice more of the bitterness. Body is fairly thick, but not a viscous syrup-bomb. Carbonation is ample. Overall, a pretty tasty brew. I don't find this to be hot or in need of age, but it will be interesting to see how this changes over time.

Photo of Parrotbeak
3.6/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Deep mahogany--almost black--with a thin head that diminished fairly quick. Not a dark as I expected.

Smell is sweet molasses, licorice (I shouldn't have read the bottle--I'm not sure how much the power of suggestion is in effect here). Booze.
Taste is a little sweet, molasses, bourbon (don't think this is bourbon barrel aged though), licorice (?), and a little hops presence. Boozey, but not as much so as I expected.

Little bitterness up front, little bit of carbonation. A mild crispness I found appealing.

Because of the sweetness, I'd probably only want one bottle of this per sitting. Interesting beer, but I'm moving on to some red wine after this one.
Did pair well with veggie sausage patties.

A little too sweet and unbalanced, but I think this one has great potential with some aging. I've got a few more bottles of this one and I'm looking forward to trying them in a few years.

Photo of Magpie14
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a cold one of these from the barkeep at Butch's Dry Dock

A: near darkness. What is intriguing about the color is the deep red, crimson, and burnt orange hues that meld into a near blackness when viewed from a distance. The head formed and left quickly as expected. Some remnants remain on the walls of my glass, colored mocha and slowly fading

S: loads of molasses and dark chocolates. A hint of dark fruits wiggles in the nasal cavity as well. Overall the nose is pungent and filthy sweet well-heeled in scent

T: monstrous portions of roasted maltiness, globs of molasses, and boatloads of bitter chocolate. This is large and in charge to say the least. Heavy rich dark fruits have a hold as well. These fruits are hinting raisins and plums with a coating of black licorice. Things also start to get a bit boozy as it slowly warms. I find the booze mellows out as the sips continue...ha! Pretty heavy and pretty tasty. A soft smokiness permeates

M: light carbonation and a solid creamy body. The feel is right for the palate and made for sipping. Not very thick for such a potent brew...nor is it as dark in appearance as one would think

D: a pretty big hitter in flavor and alcohol. I find that things work well overall and this was a good experience. A must try for any Bell's aficionado

Photo of boostsr20
4.43/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I will have to finish this revew after I put down a couple more but so far I am impressed. First impressions on the smell are Soy?? Seriously, compare the smell of this to a bottle of Soy Sauce. Almost identical. Not a bad thing, just an observation. Overall its a very tasty and drinkable Imperial Stout.

Bell's Batch 9000 from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
90 out of 100 based on 880 ratings.