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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

857 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 857
Reviews: 528
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 13.43%
Wants: 87
Gots: 245 | FT: 14
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: 857 | Reviews: 528 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of gabeerman
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: pours dark dark brown with a ruby hue around the edges & a nice 3/4" tan head that sticks around for a while,surprisingly.
S: mainly molasses with an alcohol,vinegar & licorice backbone
T: LICORICE! Surprisingly smooth licorice bite with a nice syrupy molasses base. Incredibly smooth for 12.5% & much better once this one warmed up a bit.
M: low low carbonation but the licorice provides a nice bite

This is the 1st taste almost 2 months after bottling. Look forward to reviewing the next 5 each of the next 5 years

gabeerman, Mar 15, 2010
Photo of cheezdawg
4.78/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Holy crap I love this beer. I had been weary to try it this early out of the bottle however I took the plunge and I must say, this is one of my favorite beers. It pains me to know this is a LTO beer. The smell is sweet and so is the taste and I LOVE sweet beers. The taste is a little bit firewater but I also tend to love a boozy almost port like beer. Pours a nice black very little head. Dangerously drinkable at least for me, even though it's boozy it's hard to believe it's 12.5%. This is Bell's best beer at least for me, move over hopslam.

cheezdawg, Mar 15, 2010
Photo of geetlord
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a very dark amber to black, with a mild head that lasts for a while and yields nice lacing. The aroma is sweet carrying notes of chocolate and dried stone fruits. Upon taking a sip this beer feels smooth and thick in the mouth. it is sweet, with chocolate licorice and raisin/prune flavors, and strong overtones of alcohol. There is essentially no bitterness.

Overall I find this to be a good strong ale, ideal for drinking on cold evenings.

geetlord, Mar 15, 2010
Photo of dirtylou
4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

batch 9k, available in abundance. snagged 2 sixers to drink over the years

appearance: classic bells batch release label, served in a de koninck chalice, deep dark body with a creamy crest but no lacing

smell: rich dark chocolate, molasses, plum, raisin, strong booze

taste: third sample of this one - had a bottle upon release and enjoyed on tap a few weeks ago...very strong spicy stout/strong ale, rich dark chocolate, espresso, plum, spicy booze, lots of dark fruit, licorice

mouthfeel: creamy, strong full-flavored and full-bodied

drinkability: sipper

dirtylou, Mar 14, 2010
Photo of John_M
4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a blackish brown color with pretty good head retention and impressive lacing. The beer is attractive looking, but is nothing special. However, on the nose I get a rich RIS aroma of dark chocolate, vanilla, licorisee, molasses, tar and coffee. The dark chocolate and molasses, rather then the coffee, dominate the flavor profile, which is a plus in my book. On the palate, this beer is every bit as good, though the sweetness and noticeable alcohol make this beer very much a sipper. Still, there's enough going on so that the sweetness doesn't overwhelm the palate, and I love the soft, rich, full mouthfeel. Drinkability is pretty good, considering the abv., though this is clearly a beer to take one's time with. The high alcohol became increasingly noticeable as worked through the glass.

A very nice beer and one I think I may need to find some more of.

John_M, Mar 14, 2010
Photo of Wisconsinality
3.25/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from 12 oz bottle into Duvel tulip.

A- Pours a deep brown, almost black looking. There only way you can tell it is brown is by holding it to the light and looking at the edges. Very minimal head that sparsely gathers around the edges.

S- Booze and black licorice are the dominant scent after the first whiff. I also pick up a little bit of the malt in the background to go along with a small amount of dark fruit, figs perhaps? Again, the booze really dominates the nose and as the bottle suggests, this one probably would be better with some age on it.

T- Black licorice with a sweet malt hit the tongue hard. The malt turns from sweet to almost a burnt presence. The dark fruits are barely noticeable and the booze comes through more and more as this one warms up.

M- The high point of this beer for me is the mouthfeel. Pretty smooth with just a little bit of warmth from the alcohol. No real bitterness to speak of.

D- For me this is a one and done. I even had a hard time finishing one bottle. I put another bottle away to see what some age can do with it and really I don't think it can get much worse than this. Really not for me.

Wisconsinality, Mar 14, 2010
Photo of WVbeergeek
3.55/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears a pitch black hue with a large creamed coffee toned head large bubbles after a vigorous pour, it's amazing that the head retention is this good with the alcohol level being up there in the 12s. Nice fine lacing patterns form between sips.

Aromatics offer up deep chocolate with spiced edges. Big herbal hops with a blended licorice spiciness full of anise, almost like an Italian pizzelle. Big ripened fruit layers with booziness add to yet another layer of complexity here, plum and raisins. The dark caramelized sugars are definitely evident with the molasses and licorice additions.

Flavor big alcoholic soaked dark fruits including raisins, figs, and plums. A brandy like hotness that will mellow in time, bitter anise black licorice notes and sweet caramelized sugars swell on the palate. Herbal hops don't balance enough with the dark roasted malt and the big booze finish. Definitely lay some of this down, it's big viscous and a bit cloying right now some of these flavors will meld or mellow with time.

Between the booze and the anise buzz, this beer almost numbs the palate. That's not quite the mouthfeel I'm looking for in a big double stout, this is like an Expedition ale with caramelized brown sugar and a shot of Greek ouzo. Definitely hits on the cloying level right now, lay this one down for some aging. Carbonation is mellow body is big and full of residual sugars, but the anise and overkill of the molasses need some age to do me right.

Drinkability is good in dessert portions, but it's sad when you have to share a 12 ounce bottle with a friend to be able to enjoy it. This goes into a snifter/chalice without asking swirl it around and indulge in this complex 9,000th batch from our friends at Bell's. It's a once every 6 month kinda brew, so buy a six or a case and sample it every once in awhile as a night cap or with a nice cigar.

WVbeergeek, Mar 13, 2010
Photo of Tomdee74
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I am a huge fan of Bell's and it stinks we can't get it in CT. I think Hopslam is my all time favorite.. The two hearted ipa is amazing.. With that being said, I also want to say this was also great.. maybe a little too fresh. was just bottled in january. thanx to smutty33 for sharing this with me. It didn't disappoint; however, I think it will be great with some age. I hope to get to re-review it later on.

A - Pours a deep red/brown color. Moderate head.. Good lacing..

S - Smell the molasses, black licorice and just a thick candy sweet smell. some smell of alcohol. not overpowering smell of that but a very highly complex smell. maybe raisins as well..

T - tastes very thick.. sweet.. I can taste the molasses and the licorice.. surprisingly do not taste the high abv at all. This is special it is a treat; however, i think age will do this great..

D - High abvs and a seriously thick powerful taste make this one a true sipper. i only split half a bottle and that was plenty for me. i could not drink a lot of these. maybe one bottle it is a little too heavy to be sessionable. this is a sipper...

Tomdee74, Mar 13, 2010
Photo of Ineedabeerhere
2.58/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Thanks to Greg for 'leasing' me this bottle, had it tonight 3.11.10. From notes.

Pours into my Bruery tulip with a half finger of tight foam after an aggressive pour. Below this tannish head sits a charred nut brown beer that looks pretty still, a dot of lace or two... some wine-like legs upon swirling.

Whoa is the first thing I think when smelling this....this is a doozy. Sweet and sugary, kind of a mess. BIG licorice and sugary molasses and other sugars. A black cherry lollipop with that manufactured fruit flavor. Something acrid without being an appealing roasted note. Plenty of booze through the back... I can tell already I'm not going to be a huge fan of this.

The taste is much of the same, very sugary and cloying. Kind of messy and a sipper for sure. Nothing about this urged me to take another sip...a little bit of a dark fruit flavor tries to save it but is just crushed by the immense sugars. I split the 12oz with another person and the remnants of the tulip are still siting in front of me almost 90 minutes later. It's very strong and warming. Low carbonation, medium-full bodied, a little oily and coating for sure.

I feel like this could definitely improve with some time, so if I come upon any other bottles, I'll be sure to lock them up until then. Also, this kind of reminded me of a really young, slightly less boozy, and thicker bodied worldwide stout. Although, I haven't had that one in a little while either...

Ineedabeerhere, Mar 12, 2010
Photo of Gosox8787
4.55/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is my first experience with anything from Bell's (as I live in NH, where its not readily available). I have to admit I have high expectations. Here it goes...

Presentation: 12 oz. bottle poured into my Smuttynose Big Beer snifter glass.

Appearance: Dark brown to black. No light shwoing through the glass at all. Poured a less than one finger medium mocha head that recedes pretty quickly into a barely there lacing.

Aroma: Some sharp booze hits pretty heavy upfront, a lot like a dark rum. Sweet molasses and bitter coffee beans blend nicely together in the background. The nose feels more balanced the more you drink.

Taste: Sweet molasses and coffee notes upfront. Very sweet here. Bitter coffee beans and licorice blend nicely together to balance out the strong sweetness upfront. Licorice and bitter coffee are the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and chewy. Not much carbonation to speak of. Goes down really smooth.

Drinkability: For the high ABV, this beer feels balanced and goes down smoothly. A great brew for sipping. Complex and balanced.

Overall, a complex. layered, and balanced brew with a great flavor profile. The licorice blends in really well considering I am not a huge fan of the licorice. The sweetness upfront also is great. Highly recommended. Unique and certainly worthwhile.

Gosox8787, Mar 12, 2010
Photo of ShadesOfGray
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Portsmouth tulip glass. Pours a semi-clear reddish black that fills dark black in the glass(with no light passing through once filled). Huge dark frothy tan head that slowely dissapates into a thin collar with great thick sticky lacing.

Aroma is a little overwhelming. Too much raisin sweetness. Licorice, rye, mollasses and BOOZE! I hope this aroma doesn't follow by an overly raisin sweet beer!

Well done! After the aroma scare, the flavor is great. Of course, it's boozy, but definitely has a licorice and molasses taste, along with strong, yet not overwhelming raisin notes. Carbonation is mid to low, and a huge chewy thick mouthfeel. Very good beer Bells! Took long enough in the making!

ShadesOfGray, Mar 11, 2010
Photo of afausser
3.35/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a plum toned, slick and oily near pitch black with a finger of frothy dark tan head. The head itself is in a sense foamy, but that's not an entirely accurate description. The bubbles are uniformly large and caviar-like. The head disappears extremely quickly, leaving a white ring of a few of these bubbles. No visible lacing. I've seen better from beers of similar style and ABV...this one gets points for interestingness but beyond that doesn't really do much but sit there looking like an oil slick for a vast majority of the time it's out.

Smell: Metallic, berry like, a slight syrup to it. Hints of coffee and notes of plum and raisin. Does not have the nose on it that I would have hoped for, and overall is rather subdued, but not an awful start. As it warms, I get a sugary note, possibly candy coated raisins. A little too syrupy for my liking.

Taste: The taste is extremely syrupy, flavored by heavy alcohol and dark fruits. The syrup and alcohol combination is really entirely overwhelming, even when cold. It's like someone took soda syrup and poured it directly into the glass instead of diluting it first. I really can't get past it enough to taste much else. I do get slight hints of raisins--very alcoholic raisins--and incredibly spicy notes. Does get almost exponentially better as it warms, as the alcohol heat tones down a bit and the other notes come out more. The syrup lingers but becomes more tolerable. There are then hints of caramel, dark spiced fruits, spearmint, and apples. Even as it warms it retains a slight medicinal aftertaste, which is just disgusting, lingering at the back of your tongue. Definite rum in the taste as well, and the clove (and other) spices that go along with that). I really would recommend for your reviewing pleasure that you either take a long time reviewing appearance or pour this one and walk away for a half hour before even attempting to taste it. It will not turn out well otherwise.

Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel is about right, it's thick and chewy. Carbonation is good--excellent, in fact, comprised of so many tiny bubbles lifting the flavors gently up--about where it should be...yet it still manages to come across as syrupy. Odd. Maybe it's the aftertaste, which sticks to your tongue for quite a while in a fashion akin to cough syrup.

Drinkability: Drinkability is absolutely abysmal. I really had trouble even making it through this review. Really subpar for a brewery like Bell's. I should note that a friend happily took the rest of it, so maybe it just depends on the individual's taste. For me, even as it warms, I just can't figure out what went wrong, especially for such a hyped beer from such a good brewery. Split this one with a friend who, at times, asked why I was still drinking if I didn't like the beer. As it warms and the taste improves, it's still ridiculously difficult to get through even given the ABV.

afausser, Mar 10, 2010
Photo of oberon
3.2/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Always look forward to the annual "Batch" beers from K-zoo,but I have to say this is my least favorite of the five I have had.Poured from the tap a deep chesnut brown with someamber hue,a thinner off white head atop.Big dark fruit in the nose, along with sweet alcohol,you can tell before you taste it it that its gonna be very sweet.It is sweet and sticky,big brown sugar and dark fruit really hit ya,the alcohol adds more sweetness.Wow to sweet for me to even finish an 8 ouncer,the flavors are decent just way to skewed in one direction.

oberon, Mar 10, 2010
Photo of BlueChairMorroco
3.28/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

Sweet, sticky bottle of "meh." Not worth $20/6 bottles. I hope you aren't scouring the earth for this one.

Extremely nice presentation, appearance, etc. No surprises, though, as this criteria has become par for the course (IMHO) among beers at this price range. Gotta give it a 5.0, but that seems to be commonplace at this price, and should not be weighted 20% in the score.

Nose is very nice, like a bowl of zingers microwaved for 1 minute (say, 2 Chocolates, 1 Yellow, and 1/2 Raspberry). Again, par for the course at this price. It did not get me high, so I give it a 4.5.

Taste is pretty good...Imperial Stout-ish...add some honey and butterscotch the aforementioned bowl of zingers and we're close. No coffee. Also, this tastes a lot like alcohol. Hopefully this needs to sit around for a while at 55 to mellow (or I'm just hypnotized by the post-hypnotic suggestion to "cellar" that's printed on the bottle).

Feels like a thick, satin, high quality (and alcohol) beer. Or, perhaps, feels like a nicely concentrated right-bank Bordeaux. Gotta give it a 5. (I'm kinda binary so a 1-to-5, graduated on the halves scale is hard for me to work with)

Not especially drinkable. Gets you drunk too quickly, and I had to spit to provide a reasonable reading.

This is a fantastic novelty, but I won't be falling over myself to drink the remainder of my horde. Likely trade-fodder.

BlueChairMorroco, Mar 10, 2010
Photo of mikesgroove
4.47/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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

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

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

mikesgroove, Mar 10, 2010
Photo of GbVDave
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a DT tulip.

Batch 9000 (obviously, Dave)

A: Pours a dark, chocolatey brown with some lighter brown at the edges. Capping this is about one finger of dark khaki colored head that does an excellent job of clinging to the glass.

S: HUGE aromas of dark fruit, molassas, and booze. Brown sugar, sweet raisins, rum soaked dates, cherry, caramel, and a whisp of smoke.

T: See above. Sweet caramel and molassas kick things off and that quickly leads into rich dark fruit and rum with a touch of fudge. The smokiness of the aroma comes on a little stronger in the finish.

M: Immensely large and sweet. Coats like an oil based paint. Touch of spiciness late in the middle and on through the finish. Bits of solvent alcohol peek out and then get buried in the sweetness.

D: Considering how oversized everything is with Batch 9000, this on drinks surprisingly well. I'd love to see what some time in the cellar would do to this. Also love to see what some time in a barrel would do.

GbVDave, Mar 10, 2010
Photo of HeyItsChili
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass. Pours black with dark chocolate brown highligths and a faint dirty khaki colored head.

S - Raisiny, dark fruits, spices, malt, brown sugar.

T - Up front is sort of root beer-ishly flavored, fizzy. 80 percent of the flavor is a dark raisiny and licorice filled mixture. Alcoholic aftertaste.

M - Syrupy,sugary, viscous.

HeyItsChili, Mar 09, 2010
Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip glass.

A - Pours a Pours a nice dark caramel with a slim .25 inch tan head head. The head recedes quickly and leaves a nice little ring around the side of the glass.

S - Hints of licorice and sweet molasses as expected. Some hints of yeast as well. Very sweet dark sugar hints. Warm alcoholic esters.

T & M - Very sweet and strong malt hints. Molasses is definitely the overwhelming sweetness but the licorice spiciness is in contrast to this almost overwhelming sweetness. The flavor is definitely a living thing in this beer. Complex and almost ever-changing. There is some nice roasted malt character that is subdued by the sweetness but brings a welcoming and different spectrum to the beer. There is also a quite perceivable grain/bread like quality. Especially in the aftertaste. There is almost no hop character or flavor. Very creamy and oily with good CO2 balance even though the head isn't as present.

D - Now. This is a strong beer both in flavor and in ABV but its very delicious so drinkability is a give and take. I would have this beer again just not right after another.

JoEBoBpr, Mar 09, 2010
Photo of guntherhophead
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love this beer. I think this year is a good one!
Pours beautiful brown, good lacing, nice aromatic, slightly spicey with notes of grapefruit, molassas and hops.
Higher in alcohol but not overpowering(don't be a wimp!)I think a good session beer if your free for the day!

guntherhophead, Mar 09, 2010
Photo of peabody
3.78/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours out a really dark brown with brown suds and nice lacing.
Aroma is Star Of Anise and dark charred malts.
Not much alcohol in the smell here but your nose hairs know it's there. Very strong brew.
Taste is sweet and then more sweet with a dark raisin fruityness with licorice thrown in there for good measure. Lots of different fruity flavors here but most are hidden by the sweet.
Mouthfeel is very sticky but after a while the stickyness leaves and you do want another sip.
Drinkability is pretty low but I bet this one will age well and who knows, in 2 to 3 years it might be the bomb. Right now it's more of a ladyfinger.

peabody, Mar 09, 2010
Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Adam, for the great trade that brought me this bottle!! Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Blue Point Snifter.

A: Generous pour yields a .5 finger, fine, reddish clay head with moderate retention that leaves a filmy layer atop the brew. Beer is a near opaque dark amber. Lacing is moderate and spotty, holding close to the edge of the beer its born from.

S: Nose is booze, yogurt, lychee, candied cherries, and a hint of licquorice. Dark and mysterious with a multitude of odors that are all well represented but with none overpowering any other.

T: Opens with intense sweet booziness. This is what yogurt would taste like if it was made with milk from an alcoholic cow. Hot and intense. Slight toffee bitterness in the middle accompanied by a licquorice. Green hop character appears for a split second at the end though this is well hidden by the enormous booze background. Finish burns down my throat making this one a real sipper. 12.5% and I taste every little bit of it.

M: Full bodied though not as smooth as I would like with a healthy amount of carbonation. Viscous and rather oily in the mouth with an intensely messy finish that leaves a lingering hotness and stickiness in its wake. As I try to take a second sip, my upper lip sticks to the top of the glass, reminding me just how full this one really is.

D: Intensley aggressive, Bells 9000 might need a little time on it to calm it down and for the flavors to mellow out and the booziness to settle down. I'll definitely be revisiting this one but as of right now, its a bit over the top. Still, great beer and amazingly complex and well worth a try.

SpeedwayJim, Mar 08, 2010
Photo of CrellMoset
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle from Beer Run, poured in to a balloon tulip.

Appearance: Pours a surprisingly light looking, filtered brown, seal brown around the edges, nearing perfect opacity at a distance a centimeter or so in from the edge of the glass. A moderately vigorous pour coaxes out one finger of khaki beige head which fades fairly quickly (though perhaps not relatively so for a 12.5% abv brew) and leaves only a thin, delicate strand around the edges of the glass. Lacing is about as runny as you'd imagine, and agitation or sips yields some shiny, slippery, oils legs that drip right down in to the morass as quickly as they were arisen. What's likely most notable about this brew's appearance is how light it is - I imagined this one would have been similar to the 7000, a huge, malty, viscous black-bodied brew, but it's actually not nearly as thick looking as that brew was.

Aroma: A fairly complex aroma. Cocoa and anise are dominant, the former taking on a semisweet or baker's chocolate sort of approach. The molasses adds a sweet edge, heavily caramelized and toffee-like, which mingles well with a handful of darker, toasted malts. Most unusual is a strong fruit showing, from a not-too-uncommon-for-this-type-of-beer stone fruit note (cherries) to a "hmm, that's odd"-acidic/tart note that's reminiscent of blood oranges. A plus is the relative lack of alcohol burn or heat.

Taste: I read the "warning - Batch 9000 is SWEET" threads, but I'm not sure if I was prepared for this. This beer has a TON of residual sweetness, but I think - and I'm still reserving judgment - that there's enough else going on here and in its favor to counteract that. For one, the sweetness - which at various points in the sip and depending on my mood - takes on anything and everything from saccharine, golden, slightly spicy honey all the way to dark toffee, hitting everything (caramel, brown sugar, molasses, maple syrup, chocolate syrup) in between. Second, the sweetness buries about 95% of the alcohol heat that you're going to have in a nearly 13% abv% brew, which is, well, a lot. Third, the other notes present - cherries, raisins, slight prunes, faint citrus, and a few other tropical fruit flourishes - both do enough to keep this beer interesting and to compliment the other flavors to keep it solidly drinkable.

Mouthfeel: Likely this beer's best characteristic, and all the better considering how much of a disaster potentially sweet beers can be. This one's rife with carbonation, powerful and fine enough that it makes for a lofty, even mouth, slightly creamy

Drinkability: Many people are envious of rock stars, billionaires, or Nobel prize laureates. I'm envious of the yeast sitting in the other 23 bottles of this brew in my cellar, for they are going to be far, far happier than any individuals in the aforementioned categories over the next five to ten years. The final gravity of this beer might be higher than the original gravity of many, but this one manages to be not too cloying as is, and I can imagine it's likely only going to get better - a perfect candidate for aging. The 12.5% can't be ignored ... unless you didn't know it was 12.5%, in which case it can be. That is, I feel drunk, but I wouldn't have tasted it while it was happening, both by virtue of the sweetness and the general superb job Bell's always does at masking the ethanol heat in its higher abv% beers. And while this is no Batch 7000, it is a good beer, and one I expect to get better with age. Check it out.

CrellMoset, Mar 08, 2010
Photo of sidetracked
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark-brown, almost black, with a light-brown head.

Smells strongly of semi-sweet molasses with a bit of licorice that reminds me of root beer.

The molasses really dominates the up front flavor. Some licorice starts coming through towards the end with the semi-sweet molasses lingering on. The flavor combination is a little strange and definitely unique. A little alcohol heat at the finish as it warms up.

Medium-full body with medium-low carbonation that feels right for the style.

A good sipper, but the intensity of the molasses mixed with licorice makes it almost hard to get through. It will be interesting to see how this beer does with a few years on it.

sidetracked, Mar 08, 2010
Photo of mikereaser
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Grabbed a glass at als of hampden on march 7th.

A - pours a deep chestnut brown with almost no light coming through. Very little foam.

S - Aroma is of dark fruit, plums, raisins, molasses, raisins

T - Very syrupy molasses and raisin taste, very complex tasting brew.

M - very smooth mouthfeel, syrupy but mot too thick feeling

D - very easy to drink. Leaves a strange aftertaste though. I think some age on this will do it well.

mikereaser, Mar 07, 2010
Photo of backfat
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a dark black/brown with a khaki head. looks great. smell is sweet, tart, and syrupy. strong, dark berries and molasses engulf the nose. damn. the taste is just great. coffee dominates with chocolate, strong roasted malt, and licorice. very tart finish. burnt caramel as is warms. quite rich and smooth. for me personally, there was too much tart/sugar richness in this beer which affected the drinkability. needs to be a bit mellower in that department. perhaps a great cellar brew.

backfat, Mar 07, 2010
Bell's Batch 9000 from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
90 out of 100 based on 857 ratings.