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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: 87
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 WJVII
3.58/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a glass as a tasting, this brew was black like oil and had a nice chocolate brown head that left nice lacing on the glass. The aroma was of black licorice, clove and plum. The taste was of coffee, burnt caramel and clove. There was a decent carbonation and the taste was medium body. It was OK for drinking but the alcohol content makes it difficult to have too many.

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

A - Black but red when held to light and great head retension.

S - Heavy BBQ aroma with a certain Asain flare. This is one of the most unique aromas I've encountered in a brew.

T - Super-sweet anise witha hop remedy. Again, extremely unique!

M - Slightly coarse and not as thick as I had expected.

~ This is a bit sweet in my opinion but it certainly offers a unique alternative.

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

Pours very dark brown, almost black with cola like highlights on the edge. No head.

Aroma is molasses, anise, and dark fruit drowning in alcohol.

Taste is rich dark fruit with a brandy perfume like alcohol quality, over roasted dark malt. Molasses, sweet chocolate, and the ever present licorice. Finishes with drying herbal hop and cedar character.

Mouthfeel is slick and sticky.

Big, boozy and sweet. Anise, plum sweetness, and alcohol warmth coats the tongue. Tasty.

Photo of nickd717
3.72/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle shared by largadeer on BA. 222 ratings already? Wow, people have been all over this one like Tiger Woods on pretty much any woman other than his wife. The nerd in me (which is a very, very small part since I am as cool of a cat as they come of course) wants to make a "It's over 9000!" joke referring to Bell's's current batch number, but I'll refrain.

Pours dark brown, but not that dark, with a minimal tan head.

Aroma is caramel and toffee, booze, anise, and dark fruits. Very nice.

Flavor is nice besides the booziness. Caramel, toffee, raisins, dates, molasses, anise, and some serious booze. Sweet. Pretty good though.

Sweet and boozy on the palate, without much heft to it.

Overall, well, it could use some age I guess. Not too drinkable. Poppin' my last bottle in the cellar fo' sho'. This one could age a bit.

Photo of chaz01
3.97/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Served from a 12 ounce bottle into a Belgium fishbowl goblet.

A: Jet black with a one inch brown head.

S: Licorice and Molasses aromas with some boozy alcohol traits.

T: More malty molasses and licorice in the taste, along with notes of cherry, vanilla and alcohol. Very strong chocolate and coffee finish.

M: Full bodied, very thick and syrupy, little carbonation. You almost can chew this beer it's so thick.

D: So thick and syrupy combined with the high ABV, I had a hard time drinking the entire bottle -- recommend sharing with a lucky friend. This is what I would refer to as a nightcap beer.

Photo of jwinship83
3.85/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle drank from an oversized snifter.

A- this one pours out a dark brown colored body with lots of ruby when held up to the light. a small beige crown like head clings to the edges of the glass and leaves behind little to no lacing.

S- woah, theres a lot of alcohol in this one. after that comes lots of bread like malts and fruit. cherries, plums, and figs. lots of sweetness coming from this one.

T- the taste is similar to the smell. lots of bready malts and fruit are the first things i notice. theres lots of molasses and brown sugar in here too. a definite stinging from the alcohol.

M- medium bodied and palate coating. strong warming from the alcohol on its way down. low levels of carbonation.

D- one and done for this one. im going to see how the others i have are going to progress over time. cant wait to see what they dream up for batch 10,000.

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 GJ40
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled from a 12oz bottle purchased at Once Upon a Vine in Richmond.

Jet black in appearance with a very small head. This aroma is very sweet with molasses and brown sugar. The flavors follows closely with molasses, brown sugar and figs. This is an intense beer with a big alcohol kick. It was good but I think this one needs some aging. The mouthfeel is nice with a creamy and syrupy consistency and a low carbonation.

I enjoyed this beer but I can't say I'd drink a lot of it. I've got another to age and I'm hoping for more out of it.

Photo of kbeals
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours pitch black with a finger and a half of brown head. Head sticks around for a while leaving spotty lacing.

S- Lots of licorice and molasses. A bit of booze mixed into it as well. Sort of bitter but mostly sweet.

T- Licorice, molasses and brown sugar all mixed together into one glorious concoction. Alcohol and lots of it. A bit too hot, but I think that will mellow out after a while.

M- Thick, chewy mouthfeel. Smooth with little carbonation.

D- The booziness of it gets to me after awhile, and it can also be a little too sweet. Thankfully it comes in 12 oz. bottles. I think this one will cellar very well.

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 Spiekerbox
4.29/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- pours a dark brown, cola-type color with a thin head that quickly recedes.

S- Big smell, with licorice and mollassas being the main two players with the malt coming out a little bit weaker than those scents.

T- Equally busy flavor with all notes coming out, licorice is still there but not overpowering, beer is definately sweet from the molassas, somewhat bitter as well, but hop flavor is covered up by the other flavor. Alcohol is there but until I looked it up I had no idea it was as high as it is.

M- Low carbonation and good body, feels nice and smooth in the mouth.

D- Very enjoyable experience to drink this beer, a nice stout beer to have that is completely satisfying, others think it would be great with age and I would be interested to see how it would change, it definitely would change though.

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

Pours precisely cola-colored with a fine light tan foam ring that lasts and leaves little lacing. A very busy nose including vanilla, licorice, molasses, chocolate, and a some roasted malt.

Flavor follows suit, with anise and molasses stepping forward. Very sweet with an underlying bitterness. Prominent alcohol leads me to think that it will cut the sweetness and mellow out with age. There are so many intense flavors here that it is hard to pick them out (which is a good thing). Wow, did I mention sweet?

Medium-low carbonation is perfect for this beer. Combined with the medium-full body, it gives Batch 9000 an incredibly smooth and silky palate presence. This is a damn good beer from a great brewery, but I feel it will develop into something spectacular with a few years of rest.

Photo of tpd975
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours brownish black with an above average tan head. It dies to a solid ring with some spotty lace noted.

S: Aromas of very sweet candy malt, brown sugar, chocolate, molasses, and booze.

T: Sweet and unattenuated. Lots of gooey molasses, brown sugar, and sweet chocolate. Light booze from the middle through the finish. There is a mish mash of dark sweet fruit and dashes of green hops in the finish.

M: On the lighter side of body for the style. Nice carbonation.

D: Just average drinkibility, a big and sweet stout though.

Photo of joepais
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to Bill Scoobydank.
I poured this into a snifter and it produced a finger of tan head that settled to a thin lace. The body of the brew was a brown to black in color with Mahogany highlights.

Wow this had an interesting nose with tons of dark fruits and it is defiantly a little hot. The flavors were overshadowed by the alcohol heat but after it warmed it came off like a dark barleywine. With some good sweetness a full mouthfeel and light carbonation.

This is a beer that you drink one of at a time it is very much like a barleywine in my book a great sipper for a cool night.
I wanted to try one fresh but I would let it sit if you have only one, it need some age

Photo of coldmeat23
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

GLASS: Snifter
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 55 degrees
BOTTLED: January 27, 2010

A very nicely done, dark, dark, brown liquid rests in my glass. Almost a fingers worth of brown foam makes the head. It fades rather quickly, leaving a thin surface covering. The lacing is strand-like and nicely sticky.

Hints of vanilla mingle with traces of licorice. Banana notes mix with dark fruits, like cherry, plum and raisin. Hints of brown sugar and candi sugar sweetness. A very light trace of oak char, which seems to dissipate as this warms and breathes. Nice, dark, earthy, scent of molasses. A fair amount of booze is here, but it's 12.50%abv, what'd you expect?

A light smokiness gives way to sweet maltiness. This is followed by a dancing blend of dark fruit sweetness and licorice bitterness. Oak notes begin to take this one down a very dry road. Notes of molasses begin to bring us back. Then some light hints of vanilla and brown sugar blend with a slight bit of hops bite to give a nice finish.
The alcohol presence is still fairly prominent.

This one is medium-to-full bodied. It has a medium level of carbonation. It's very smooth, yet has a slight touch of creaminess to it.

This a monster of a beverage. It is hugely rich and bold. It's somewhat boozy, right now. It's got a lot going on and it's hard to pick it all out. A good beer, for sure, but I think it will benefit from some cellaring for a couple of years (or more).

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

A: Dark as night with manila tight bubble head that stacks to about an inch and quickly recedes to slight lacing on the glass.

S: Fruit cake and molasses with some raisin and prune and licorice.

T: Rich warming molasses and raisin from first sip through finish. This beer is a balance of dry and warm aftertaste with a noticeable sweetness up front. It pairs nicely with a cigar.

M: Thick and rich with nice carbonation a bit syrupy. Some aging will do this good. As the beer warms it seems to gain warmth and is less syrup more mellow.

D: The batch series is always greatly anticipated and this does not disappoint. I love it now but I can't wait for it to age and grow in the cellar. I am reminded of Belgium and some of the strong ales I enjoyed there. This was a nice treat to close my Easter watching the sunset on the porch. This is an excellent offering from Bells and worth seeking out now and in the months/years to come.

12 ounce bottle poured in a snifter at room temperature.

Photo of carlborch
4.88/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a solid, dense black and forms a thick, 1-inch, creamy, tan head. The nose suggests anise, molasses, dried dark fruit, and vanilla. The body is medium-high, with chocolate, molasses, umami, and lurking malt and caramel. The lingering is long and sweet, with hints of licorice, umami, and coffee. The first sip is almost overwhelming, but builds desire for more. Although this ale is by no means a quaffer, it is moreish! As dessert, with dessert, after the meal . . . it all works. Another contemplative brew. I'll have to cellar some and see if I can leave it be long enough to see how it ages!

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

12 oz. bottle shared by urwithdave.

A: Pours a rich deep brown. Pretty opaque, but there is a definite mahogany fringe to this one. A nickel size off white head appears, and leaves some streaky lace.

A: Booze straight away. This one's hot. I get caramel, roasty malts, and a distinct earthy hop profile. This one's pretty young so the hops still shine through in an apperant way.

T: Notes of caramel, raisin, and toffee. Nice earthy hop aroma, maybe Chinook. The brew finishes very dry, almost woody. Nice grassy and sweet finish. I am afraid that the booze overpowers this at times. Maybe some age will do this some good.

M: Very creamy, heavy body. Good amount of carbonation deliver the flavors nicely.

Drinkability and overall impression: Drinkability is pretty limited right now. The hot booziness is a little much. Overall, I think this one has the potential to be an excellent brew. Right now, it is a very good brew. I really like it, it's just too hot. Skal.

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

A: BLACK body. Barely a 1/4 finger head disappears straight away. What remains is effervescent and light brown. The Eye of Me cannot see through thee.

S: Whoa, sweet black licorice is dominant in the aroma. I also get some of the molasses with which it was also brewed. Buried behind those two smells are some light coffee notes and dark fruits. As it warms, the high a.b.v. becomes apparent to the sniffer. It is not all that complex at this stage; what you smell is what you get.

T: Sweet sassy licoricey molassey. That is a punch to my mouth. The flavor is so sweet that I am also getting some hints of brown sugar, chocolate, maple syrup, and pancakes. I get a little bit of a balancing hop bitterness that combines with the other flavors to taste like slightly acidic coffee.

M: For me, this is the strongest asset of the beer. It has a big, strong presence in my mouth without making me feel awkward and uncomfortable. The sweet syrupy-ness coats the palate and then the bittering finish does a good job of mellowing the entire mouth.

D: Well, I wouldn't recommend having more than one in a sitting for one's health, but I will certainly be having more as time goes by. I'm quiet interested to see how the character changes as this beer gathers some dust.

A little story on this beer: The first time I had this was on draft for $2 a pint at the Traverse City Winter Microbrew Festival on February 12. This was really damned exciting, except for the fact that the Bell's booth decided to tap it at the end of the night. Well, at that point, I was pretty far in the bag and had just had (I think) two pints of Hopslam on draft (delicious). I had no idea that it was a Strong Ale brewed with licorice and molasses, and when I looked at it, I thought it must be an Imperial Stout. Well, the first sip I took told me that clearly it was not what I thought it was, and I had to abandon the beer for the sake of my sanity and general brain and liver health. I am enjoying it much more now than I did then. Cheers.

Photo of GregSVT
3.87/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into a snifter, courtesy of a recent trading partner

A: Pours a deep black cola color with a dark tan head that fades pretty quick and leaves no real lacing.

S: The nose is big on the molasses and licorice with a sweet malty aroma as well.

T: The taste mimics the nose and is pretty sweet with a slight hop flavor on the finish.

M: The feel is slick and oily and medium bodied.

D: The sweetness and ABV kill the drinkability but it is good stuff.

Recommended if you can find it...definitely a sipper.

Photo of macmaster761
4.53/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bells batch 9000 courtesy of a great trader from DC, Served in Brooklyn Snifter

Appearance - Dark brown to jet black with mocha colored head, almost like an imperial stout, i'm surprised. Slight bit of lacing

Smell - Alchohol, malt, fruitiness, dried fruits

Taste - fruity malty sweetness, plums and dates, a tad bit hot, huge bourbon notes, molasses is huge and coffee and liccorice in the back. Absolutely delicious in every way, glad I secured 3 more bottles of this brew.

Mouthfeel - Thick and smooth, rich and creamy, could use a bit less carbonation, this one is going to be epic in a year.

Drinkability - For the pricetag and how this thing goes down, if I had regular access to bells I would probably buy out the store. I could drink multiples of the 9000k and would be on the floor in tastebud heaven, and drunkedness.

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

B9000 has a super dark brown color that is nearly black, capped with basically no head (half a finger lasts half a second). The smell is brandy-like with molasses, fruity sweetness, and booze. Tastes like a barleywine. Its a very natural combination of roasted malt and stone fruit. I detect hints of fig and plumb in the flavor profile, as well as anise/licorice type flavors. A bit of charcoal taste and booziness round out the flavors. Fine carbonation strikes a good balance between smooth and clean, but this beer is definitely a chewy one. Despite that and a big AVB, Batch 9000 is rather smooth for such a big beer with big flavors. Goes down a little too easy, to be honest.

In the quest for bigger, more extreme beers--Bell's has done something remarkable. Batch 9000 is very big, but incredibly smooth and palatable. Whether or not I'd buy B9K again, its certainly an admirable brew and belongs among the crown jewels of Bell's line up.

Photo of koopa
3.93/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle received as an extra in a trade with brian23456 who rocks!

Appearance: Pours black as night with a 2 finger cafe latte crown that shows good retention and lace.

Smell: Molasses and licorice of course.

Taste: I get nice malt / molasses sweetness up front that makes a transition into an alcohol and hop barrage. Pretty intense but I think it will age beautifully.

Mouthfeel: Heavy mouthfeel with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: This is a sipper for sure and is a bit hot and disjointed at the moment.

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

A deep reddish brown color pour with an almost nonexistant head , soft to flat carbonation , spotty jagged lacing left. Aroma of licorice, molasses , brown sugar , oak , vanilla and a hint of smoke . Flavor of coffee, licorice, raisin, smoke, vanilla, dates and a noticable amount of alcohol in the finish , very sweet, oily mouthfeel, full body with a nice warming effect . Drinkable and good but a slightly odd brew , I think age will add some nice complexity to this .

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