1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

840 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 840
Reviews: 528
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 13.47%
Wants: 85
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:
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 840 | Reviews: 528 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bobhits
3.45/5  rDev -14%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a thin brown but quickly turns opaque and black in the glass. 1 Finger head that's fairly thin and rather bubbly in nature. Leaves a good lacing on the glass and the beer seems thicker now that it's in the glass compared to the pour.

Deep dark chocolate, molasses, dark fruits, and some burnt malt.

Dark chocolate flavor just screams in this one. Followed by an amazingly complex blend of fruity flavors, hops, and sweet sugary flavors. Fresh this beer had a liquorish kick to it and was interesting. With a bit of age on it now it's really turning into a more mellow brew. There's still a bit too much alcohol kick but if you enjoyed this fresh but didn't like the price, I'd give it another try if you've still got bottle sitting around.

This is a pretty syrupy beer with a touch of carbonation left in the mouth. A bit too thick in some ways

I really like what this beer is, but it's hard to even finish a single bottle. It's extremely sweet, sticky, and the alcohol kicks pretty hard. I'd recommend splitting a bottle 2-4 ways and enjoying the small sample from that.

bobhits, Sep 12, 2010
Photo of obireidkenobi
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Complex is where I am going to start with the description of this beer. Strong ale can be a bit unpredictable at times.

However, really enjoy this release. Pours a deep amber with very little head.

Smell - Sweet, sugary notes. Brown sugar, some molasses.

Taste - That's where the molasses shines. licorice too. It's malty, with definite alcohol in the finish. Perhaps some chocolate too.

Drinkability - 12 ounces is a good size for this beer. You get to drink it, investigate it, and ruminate on it.

Glad I have some left to revisit.

obireidkenobi, Sep 10, 2010
Photo of deereless
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Thin layer of espresso brown head that dropped quickly, dark brown with a deep crimson - 4.25, S: Lots of licorice and burnt brown sugar, there is a slight alcohol burn, deep and hearty aromas, pureed raisins and dark fruits - 4.00, T: Extremely sweet, molasses and prune juice, some noticeable citrus bite, there is some alcohol burn on the tongue and even a bit of soy sauce acidity, I also pick up a good deal of fudge brownie - 4.00, M: Thick and creamy, heavy body - 3.75, D: Just edges on the side of being cloyingly sweet - a little more than my palate generally likes though the hop bite is a nice touch - 3.50

deereless, Sep 10, 2010
Photo of david131
4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- A very deep, dark, leathery brown liquid with some light coming through around the edges. The orange/brown head is creamy and settles to a nice covering.

S- Very sweet dark fruit, molasses, brown sugar, alcohol, vanilla, cinnamon, and a touch of anise. Smells surprisingly aged. Very strong and appealing.

T- Dark roasted malts along with a very sweet molasses aspect. Fruit, vanilla, and alcohol are very prevalent as well. Tastes much younger than the aroma lead me to believe.

M- The carbonation level is perfect. The beer is thick and syrupy and it coats the mouth, leaving a lasting stickiness and alcohol warmth.

D- Very rich, which takes this down a couple of notches, but damn if it isn't delicious and unique. This has settled in nicely since it was bottled and I am sure it has a lot of life left in it. Another winner from Bell's.

david131, Sep 09, 2010
Photo of rtepiak
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An old ale quality brew that pours a ruby color and a head that indicates sugars. Cognac nose of booze, and strong sweet fig. Burnt wood honey sweet. Nice earth bitter finish. The sweet is a bit excessive. I would expect more volume. I don't want to say belgian yeast qualities would make this world class. It greatly would. But that statement is unreasonable. This beer is quite syrupy. Great beer that suffers that complex decision of high abv beers with a masking coating of flavor. I can see this be a something quite intriguing as a young voluminously broad quad or a ten year aged elixer. Seems to be somewhere in between. Still fantastic. Will age. For years.

rtepiak, Sep 08, 2010
Photo of nrbw23
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours very dark brown/almost black, with a good tan head. Head has good retention and leaves some good lacing.

S- Sweeter then I expected. Licorice and molasses are the first thing that comes to mind. Sweet malts are here too. Not really complex just very good.

T- Taste is molasses, licorice, and caramel. A bit of coffee and a hint of chocolate. Also a bit of an alcohol burn here too. Not too much if any hops. As this one warms, I'm picking up some dark fruits. I like this but its sweeter than I expected.

M- Fuller side of medium and fairly light carbonation.

D- I like this one and thought it was pretty easy to drink. I got a couple I'm gonna hold onto. Not at all what I expected, a little sweeter than I thought but very solid.

nrbw23, Sep 07, 2010
Photo of SFLpunk
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to chubbyswans for this one!

12oz brown glass pry-top bottle. Surprisingly enough, it's Batch #9000. Bottled Jan 27, 2010.

Appearance: Pours a thick black with cappuccino-colored head.

Nose: Dense aromas of coffee and dark chocolate, a little botanical or herbal note. Somewhat creamy.

Palate: A delightful old ale! Rich and sweet, but not very creamy. Molasses, tobacco, leather and dark dark caramel. Somewhat prickly from the alcohol, and some hop bitterness, but no hop flavor to speak of.

Notes: Wow. Love it. FFO North Coast Old Stock.

SFLpunk, Sep 05, 2010
Photo of harpus
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Perfect darkness in liquid form, jet black and super thick-looking. Just a so-so head, barely climbing to a finger before falling to a skimcoat of dimpled sandy cream. A lasting lid of dense foam, droopy lace bands.

S: Sweeter nose - definite 'licorice' notes rite away - has a sort of 'Belgian Quad' character in that regard. Cocoa, treacle and a hint of smoke, followed by effervescing boozy (rum-like) woodiness. Strong scent and very, very likable.

T: A liqueur-soaked chocolate truffle, that's what I'd best liken this to. A hint of raspberry lends an earthy tartness... a little orange citrus too. Then thick and tangy dark chocolate and spiced molasses reign supreme, sweetened with apples (? a weird, brandy-like backing...). Unlike anything I've tried previously...

M: Thick and coating with a cheek-sucking warmth, but oh-so-very smooth and creamy. Luscious and sip-worthy.

D: Whew ~ very tasty but also very heavy and alcoholic. Quite good now, but I'll betcha it's even better a year or two from today. Glad I have another to save til then. Try one now, then another later

harpus, Sep 04, 2010
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.

ridglens, Sep 02, 2010
Photo of seh410
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Jet black, no head whatsoever - looks thick, syrupy and dense in the glass. Held up in the light, however, it is speckled with tan sediment - almost looks like tiny pieces of wood chips? I wasn't expecting this

Aroma: Smells very sweet: brown sugar, maple syrup and molasses all hit my nose along with dried fruit and dark roasted malts. The fruity sweet alcoholness of the beer reminds me of brandy to some extent.

Taste: Lots of syrupy sweetness, but not as much as in the nose. I can taste maple syrup, molasses and dried fruit - maybe candied dates and figs soaked in syrup? There's a little bit of a nutty and roasted taste at the finish. I'm not tasting a lot of alcohol which is interesting considering the 12.5% ABV

Mouthfeel: very syrupy, creamy and a bit chewy

Notes: Drinkability is surprisingly good for such a high ABV beer. This beer really tastes unlike anything else I've tried in recent memory... It's good and very unique. Really happy I was able to try this.

seh410, Sep 01, 2010
Photo of mothman
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really cannot believe I haven't reviewed this one. Glad I checked. Well, at least I can see how this beer is doing with a little age on it.

Poured into bells tulip/snifter type glass

Pours 1 and 1/2 fingers of tan head. Color is a dark brown, near black.

Aroma: The licorice in this beer is spot on. It is starting to show so much more than when it was released. Rich chocolate and molasses notes. Sweet cherries with some roasted malts. Very solid. This beer is coming around really nice.

Taste: Wow, this is a really a big beer. The nose wouldn't suggest it, but this beer packs a punch. Rich molasses and cherries with a huge licorice flavors. This almost tastes like a cherry stout. Sweet chocolate, roasted malts, and raisins also show.

Mouthfeel: Sweet, roasted, and creamy. Medium to full bodied with a nice amount of carbonation. Ends with more sweet flavors that is relatively clean.

Overall, I think this beer has gotten beer. It is extremely sweet and filled with sweet flavors, but I still think it tastes awesome. A lot of great flavors. I would love to see this one thrown in barrels. Fairly drinkable.

mothman, Aug 29, 2010
Photo of siradmiralnelson
4.53/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into Delirium Tremens tulip.

A. Poured a 1 finger tan colored head. Prett good retention. Some lacing left. Color is dark black.

S. Smell is chocolatey. Alochol, molasses, sweet caramel malt. Smell is a cross between a really good imperial stout and a barleywine. Has some spices that come out as well. The licorice adds a nice touch.

T. Taste might best be described in one word "Wow". This has a ton of flavors going on. Molasses, chewy malt, caramel, spices, chocolate, black licorice. Very complex flavors, and it packs a punch on the tongue. This is a big beer.

M. Mouthfeel is definitely full. Nice thick chewy mouthfeel. Leaves a mouth coating sweetness. Medium carbonation.

D. This is a sipper. 12.5% packs a wallop. Time does well for this beer. The very first one I had was pretty hot. This beer has almost perfect mouthfeel IMHO. This is a very complex and big beer. Im looking forward to trying this again over the next couple of years.

siradmiralnelson, Aug 29, 2010
Photo of wspscott
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle in Duvel tulip

A: Completely black with a thin, light tan head, no lace.
S: An odd mix of sweet an bitter. There are some roasted notes, but I can't tell if the bitterness is malt or hops driven.
T: I had not tasted it in previous samplings, but the licorice is completely obvious. As someone who loves black jelly beans, I am happy/intrigued, never had this flavor in a beer before. A definite malt sweetness is there, although it may be more of a dark sugar/molasses, and no sign of hops. Hints of dark fruits similar to a RIS. A lot of residual sugars, but not cloying. No hint of alcohol which is surprising given the 12.5%.
M: A medium amount of carbonation, but still a very creamy mouthfeel.
D: I can't imagine drinking more than one of these at a time, but I am very glad that I have more in the cellar. This is a very interesting/complex brew, it fits in the "fun" category because it is so different. If you can find it, I recommend picking up or trading for at least one, a very unique beer.

wspscott, Aug 29, 2010
Photo of jzeilinger
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a Cheery mahogany color, clear, no carbonation, and a light, toffee colored ring of lacing atthe top. Very viscous, sticks to the side of the glass like syrup.

S - Maple syrup comes to mind, brown sugar, figs, dates, prunes, a touch of molasses, and a cognac/boozy smell.

T - I think it smells better than it tastes. Mild dark chocolate, molasses, dark fruits, caramel, and is a little medicinal in taste. Also has some oak from the barrel.

M - Silky, velvet-like, and moderate ABV warming in the throat on the way down.

D - One is good, more is too many.

Overall, I was glad to have the opportunity to try this.

jzeilinger, Aug 27, 2010
Photo of Jeffo
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

In a recent trade with oakbluff. Thanks for sending this one my way!

From a bottle into a snifter

APPEARANCE: Pours a one finger, medium looking tan head that quickly fades to a wisp and ring. Pours out dark bistre brown and sits almost black in the glass with no noticeable carbonation. A ring remains until the end but leaves no lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Crystal malt, caramel malt, and some rye. Hints of licorice and roasted malts in there as well. Bold and enticing.

TASTE: Crystal and roasted malts, lots of molasses and licorice, and a good dose of spicy alcohol. A bit of heat after the swallow. Big, bold and lingering malty aftertaste with some spicy alcohol backing up the flavors. Big and bold flavors here. Good stuff.

PALATE: Full body and medium carbonation. Creamy on the palate, goes down smooth with some heat after the swallow, and finishes with a bit of a burn at the end. A great heavy and full body, but a little too harsh going down.

OVERALL: A big, bold, and flavorful beer. Could probably use a bit of age as it is still pretty harsh and hot, but there is certainly a lot of muscle here. One of the better beers I've had from Bell's. Thanks again for giving me the chance to try this one oakbluff.

Jeffo, Aug 26, 2010
Photo of ZX6Chris
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Black as night. A little brown around the edges. A hard pour gives 1/2 a finger of dark tan head that fades quickly. A ring of tan bubbles remains around the edge of the glass. Not too thick, the lacing slips back into the brew fairly quickly.

S-Sweet molasses, licorice. A little hot on the nose but very faintly.

T-Very sweet molasses and licorice. Flavor explodes on the sides of the tongue. A little alcohol on the finish but nothing like the 12% ABV.

M-Light to medium body. Light carbonation but just enough to keep it from being syrupy.

D-This is way too sweet for me. It's a sipper but not in an extreme way. The alcohol is well hidden by the sweetness but that's the best I can say for it. Won't be drinking this again.

ZX6Chris, Aug 26, 2010
Photo of Arenbeer
4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks a million to Supercolter for throwing this in the local BIF for me!!!

12 oz bottle into a snifter glass

A- Pours a dark dark dark brown that's basically black with a thin 1 finger yellow head that doesn't stick around to long or leave much lacing.

S- What the hell??!@?@ is all i can say. Strong nose with a good amount of booze, wood or oak, dark roasted malts, plenty of dark fruits and licorice.

T- Sweet licorice and bitter unsweetened chocolate upfront, with some nice roasted smoke from the malts. Dark fruits like raisins and figs come though on top of the molasses with a nice alcohol sting in the finish.

M- Full bodied with low carbonation and a decent bitter finish to top it off and make you want more.

SkÅL!

Arenbeer, Aug 23, 2010
Photo of kk73
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into my glass.

A - Poured out a dark espresso color with a small khaki head that disappeared and left a ring of foam around the glass. Some reddish tinge around the edge of the glass.

S - Rich aroma of sweet roasted malts and tons of licorice, molasses, and dried figs. There is a slight hint of leather and wood.

T - Sweet Licorice, maple syrup, roasted malt, figs, some spice, and some wood. The taste pretty much follows the nose. Not as hot as some of the reviews I have read. The alcohol seems to hide behind the sweetness, but is still present with a slight warming feeling.

M - Not super thick, but creamy and with a medium body. The sweetness sort of sticks to the mouth making it somewhat chewy.

D - The presence of alcohol was not as noticeable to me as others have mentioned, but still present. The sweetness sticks around and makes it a one and done for me. But overall I think this is a big beer, with big abv, but drinkable. You probably wont plow thru this one, but take it slow and enjoy.

kk73, Aug 22, 2010
Photo of CMW
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours jet black with a good two inch brown head with remarkable retention. There is a little bit of lacing down the side of the glass.

S - Quite a few aromas going on. Dark fruit (raisins, figs, cherries), dark roasted malt, and soy sauce.

T - Very sweet upfront with the dark fruits coming through first. It mellows to more of a roasted nut and coffee flavor through the middle and into the finish. Finishes a little boozy with some slight alcohol burn.

M - Has a creamy texture and a little bit of chewiness.

D - While I'm not a huge fan of the style, this may change that. Bell's is spot on with this brew and I would be happy to have another.

CMW, Aug 18, 2010
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.

oglmcdgl, Aug 17, 2010
Photo of aasher
3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one poured smoothly into a DFH pint glass. It initially had a light khaki head that disappeared very quickly. The beer is the darkest of browns on the border of being black and doesn't let any light pass through. The smell is pretty simple, sweet molasses and alcohol. The taste is much better. It's got an oaky finish which is superb in the aftertaste. It's slightly sweet with a molasses feel that coats the mouth. It boasts great flavor and drinks very well despite the high alcohol content. It's just too bad that this is my last bottle.

aasher, Aug 16, 2010
Photo of Jwale73
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to tuo for the opportunity to try this one. 12oz. bottle served in my Old Stock snifter. Poured the color and clarity of cola with a half inch, loose, bubbly, tan-colored head that sizzled and popped as it slowly receded into a thin, soapy swirl with a tight band that coalesces around the edges of the bowl. Nose expresses booze, sugar, a hint of maple syrup, prunes, cocoa and a slightly vinous quality. Taste consistent with nose; however, distinct qualities in the aroma profile are more coalesced in the flavor profile. Mouthfeel is light-medium, with a light carbonation and some residual alcohol heat at the finish. Interesting and complex, but maybe a little too much going on. Best split amongst two or three. Things might even out a little with age.

Jwale73, Aug 16, 2010
Photo of djmichaelk
3.45/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle into a perfect pint glass. Courtesy of Gfunk720 (thanks, Greg!).

A - Dark, almost black on the pour, with about a finger of head. Held to the sun, not much light, even around the edges.

S - Dark fruit dominates the front, mostly raisins and figs. Caramelized sugar, brandy, and alcohol. Pretty nice, although the alcohol is more forward than I'd like.

T - Similar to the high-end Belgian darks, like Rochefort 10, only without the yeastiness. Candied dark fruits, macerated raisins, and booze. Not subtle, but it's nice enough.

M - Thick and viscous, coats and doesn't let go easily. Good carbonation.

D - An abv over 12% is not going to be highly drinkable. It's tasty but definitely one and done, as I can feel it already. I still don't understand the 4 and 5 ratings for a beer this strong.

O - This was an extra in a trade, and I wouldn't mind trading for another 4 or 6 pack to see how it does over time. I would think a year or four would calm this down and make it superb.

djmichaelk, Aug 15, 2010
Photo of Schmaltzy
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Nice dark brown with nice lighter brown hues, 1 finger of tan/light brown head that receeded to a ring of foam around my glass, didn't leave much lacing.

S- Decent bitter dark chocolate, dark molasses, dark fruits(prunes and such), brown sugar, and a load of heat.

T- Very sweet dark chocolate with loads of toffee/caramel, dark fruits, molasses, brown sugar, vanilla, anise, and finishes with a bitter taste and rather hot. Loads of flavors but the bitter taste is slightly off and the heat slightly lower the score.

M- Heavy body with low carbonation and loads of heat, almost cloying with the syrupy feel and heat.

D- Good beer but drinkability is lower due to the thick mouthfeel and syrupy taste, could barely finish 12oz of this beer. Would be nice to try with 2 years on this beer, might need to aquire more to lay down.

Schmaltzy, Aug 14, 2010
Photo of vince4953529
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz let it warmed up a bit after pulled from the fridge. First time I've tried the Bell's x000 series brews.
Tastes of heat, booze, dark fruits. A little sour upon the first hit on the tongue, then the boozy assault pleasure.
It feels dense, rich, cloying, syrupy, and thick when drinking. It's a powerful beer, took me more than an hour to finish a bottle. It's a good one.

vince4953529, Aug 03, 2010
Bell's Batch 9000 from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
90 out of 100 based on 840 ratings.