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

862 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 862
Reviews: 528
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 13.43%
Wants: 88
Gots: 249 | 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: 862 | Reviews: 528 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of alexgash
4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle.

Dark maple syrup brown body. Finger of dense, dark khaki head. Decent lacing. Not quite as dark as anticipated, but that's not a problem. Nose is rife with peat, earthy caramel, boozy dark fruits, and big time licorice and molasses--the label was not kidding!

Light roasted malts and a hint of bitterness up front. This is quickly eradicated by sweet caramel, dark fruit, and earthy licorice flavors. I can also pick up some chocolate. Plenty of molasses, adding to the sweetness. Booze-soaked fruits add some warming. Treacle, licorice, and molasses into the finish, which shows some flashes of roasted malt bitterness (but not much). Warming. Full-bodied, thick, chewy feel that goes down velvety smooth. A big, sweet, licorice-y, molasses-y beer that could use a little more roasted bitterness, but will do just fine as is! Will be interesting to see what some age does to this one too.

Photo of Daniellobo
3.73/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice sipper with prominent licorice and some rough edges.

Presentation: 12 oz brown bottle. Simple labels barely noting the name of the brew, commemorative characteristic, and short description. Does not note bottling or freshness date other than batch number... (9000 Hence January 27, 2010) Poured into a snifter.

A - Black pour with dark brown edges, short bubbly brown head, short retention, no surface memory or lacing finishing completely flat as far as appearance goes, despite the fact that some effervescence is retained.

S - Licorice sweetness with a boozy sense, minimal malt and fruit under this current.

T - Malty sweetness, hefty with licorice, fruity touches and an assertive alcohol coating it. Booze is smooth but permeates the whole experience pushing to a distant bottom the malt bill and some fruity notes.

M - Full to medium body with fair and present carbonation, certainly a tingly end to it. Smooth and boozy finish.

D - It´s a nice slow sipper but it sure needs a touch of mellowing to take it to another level. The rest of the pack is down for aging so we´ll see how it goes.

Notes: Another brew that exploits (and gets some death by) hype. It sure is nice and complex but a bit overblown. There is really nothing spectacularly outstanding here that other good brewers do similarly on a yearly basis. For instance there is quite a bit of common ground with some of the hefty offerings from DFH, which is not a bad thing either way...

Photo of pzrhsau
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Nice Jet black color with a decent sized coffee colored head. Not my best pour but still built itself up.
Smell: You can sense the alcohol but it has a nice malty aroma with hints of the licorice that give it almost a bitter scent.
Taste: The beer is very thick and sweet but really reminds me of the molasses used in the process. The licorice taste combines to create a nice spiciness.
Drinkability and Mouthfeel: Very thick with a low carbonation. It adds a good sensation for me but that might not do it for most. Interesting take on a stout. I just wish these beers were not so expensive. I love them, but quite the financial burden.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to blutt59 for sharing this bottle.

Pours dark brown to red with a tan head. The aroma is dark fruit and brown sugar. The flavor is sweet malt with some cherries. The alcohol is also present. Medium mouthfeel and low carbonation. Pretty good, but overall this beer is too sweet to be a great beer.

Photo of gungorr
4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark brown with about a half inch of light brown head. In a snifter.

S - The nose is very big, I pick up oak, vanilla, and black licorice.

T - vanilla, bourbon, molasses, dark fruits, raisins

M - Its a little sticky but only enough to let the flavors stick around to enjoy the molasses.

D - Love this beer, but I think it will get better with a little age.

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

Appearance: Poured from a 12oz bottle into a large wine glass. Pours pretty thick and dark, but there is still a little light that finds its way through around the bottom and edges of the glass. The color I see is a pretty dark brown with maybe a hint of red. Minimal head and lacing present.

Smell: You definitely can smell the molasses and licorice right off the bat. I also get some brown sugar, raisins, dark fruits, and just a touch of coffee. The alcohol is detectable, but not overpowering. Very sweet and pleasant.

Taste: This one hits you pretty quickly with rich, sweet toasted malt flavor. Big dose of molasses, brown sugar, and a little bit of bitterness. The beer packs quite a sweet punch and is almost like enjoying a glass of brandy or bourbon. The alcohol is definitely a big part of the flavor and puts things on the edge of being a tad boozy. I imagine if I tried one after aging it awhile, it would go down a bit smoother though.

Mouthfeel: Thick and syrupy! As soon as you take a sip, the sweetness coats your entire mouth. The touch of bitterness did balance things out a bit though.

Drinkability: For what it is, this beer is pretty drinkable. It's a nice drink to sip for a while and let that be the end of it. It would take me far too long to enjoy more than one of these!

Photo of pmoore311
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured on 2/17/10 into a RIS glass @ about 45 degrees.

A: Rating to style the first thing I noticed about this beer is that is pours a deep mahogany. Light creeps through towards the top and bottom of the glass. Definately not as black as Expedition.

S: The smell is good, the sweet is very apparent. Huge notes of black licorice and molasses are immediately present as well as the alcohol. As it warms dark/ripe fruits raisins, dates and figs notes are also present.

T: The taste is very good as well, sweet is definitely the theme. The licorice stands out for me the most followed by the molasses, and sweet ripe fruits. Some subtle hints of the roasted malt and sweet chocolate, which came more forward as it warmed. This is a very interesting Impy stout. It has such a unique taste the best way I can explain it is that it is a mix between their Third Coast Olde Ale and Expedition Stout. It is quite spectacular really.

M: This is not as chewy/thick as some. I was hoping for a little more here compared to others in this category. It doesn't distract you from this awesome beer but rather when compared to style, it lacks in this category.

D: The sweetness makes this a sipper, and being so young it is quite hot. Although the hotness is rather nice. I cannot wait to revisit this in about 2 years.

Overall a very unique brew from Bells that continues to deliver some of the best in the business!

Cheers!

Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a standard dark brown almost black body with a lil' head and lace patches. Strong malt smell of roasted, hints of coffee, some dark chocolate, really strong so I think something like molasses (since it is on label) and it comes across more sweet than dry in the aroma.
A real smooth yet strong medium to full bodied beer, slightly syrupy/sticky. A good biscuity, oaky, dry coffee taste blends with some chocolate and some other sugary malts for a mix of sweet and dry, sturdy stoutishess. While not overly sweet the sweetness pokes through the most until the backbite which is a dryer, huskier finish which I believe stems from the very high ABV (for the record, the ABV is well-hidden considering how high it is). Other than malts I barely detect any tastes other than maybe figs or raisins and/or black cherry. A quality stout to sip on.

Photo of DasBooot
4.9/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked up two sixers of this delicious nectar.

A - Pours thinly for an imperial stout, but pitch black. There is no head.

S - Sweet with a strong hint of alcohol. Smells like burnt chocolate and molasses with a hint of raisins.

T - Delicious burnt maltiness! It tastes a bit like an alcoholic chocolate cake with prominent hints of molasses flavor. It actually reminds me of '08 Darkness if it was a little less sweet.

M/D - This thing has a nice, sweet burn to it. I would have liked it to be slightly thicker, but as it is, it is wonderful. It's a sipper, but highly drinkable for an imperial stout. This is definitely one of the best imperial stouts I have had.

Serving type: bottle

Photo of schellsbeer
3.63/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

As most of us here on BA, I have been waiting for quite some time to write this review. And so here it goes....review #132.

Picked up what seems to be one of the last 6 packs here in Rochester this evening. I am sure glad I called ahead and had some set aside. Tomorrow, I pick up my some more from my friend Mike at another store. After this review, I will know if reserving more was a good decision.

Nervous....maybe just a little. Excited....very much so. Larry and the boys at Bell's haven't let me down yet.

A - As I pour Batch 9000 into my RIS glass, I notice that it is not as thick as other Imperial Stouts. It pours out a very dark brown. Very little head with minimal lacing. Black, not quite. What little light there is, does seem to make its way though, especially around the top and bottom of the glass. Reminds me of a very dark brown ale or some strong barley wines that I have had.

S - This is a very important part to a good RIS. Lets see or should I say smell what is going on inside this beer. Alcohol is there as well as a burnt honey smell. That must be the Molasses coming through. Also I am picking up some dried prunes and raisins. Smells like a strong ripe fruit. I think with some considerable aging, this RIS will mellow out a bit on it aroma. Not bad but smells like a "new" beer that has just been born.

T - Yep, there is the bite. Alcohol is very present on this one. Warms the tongue and throat almost instantly. HOT but not in a bad way. As far as taste, again, the molasses is very very present. Malty. Dried figs and prunes come to mind. This is a sweet RIS. Saying this, I don't think that there are that many calories in this glass...Yeah Right! It tastes burnt, like roasted marshmallows. I wish there was more of the licorice present but that might come through with age. So far, not as impressed with the taste compared to aged Expedition. But, this will change with time. It always does. Therefore, only a 3.5 for this guy at this time. Time, and a lot of it, will only improve this one.

M - Liquid Sugar. Syrup. Coats the lips and mouth. But also has a grainy feel. Not as smooth as an aged beer of this ABV. Again, only time will improve this beer. Because of this....3.5

D - Good. Love the warming effect. This is a sipper and I like how it tastes. Alcohol is present when it is going down and when the burps start to arrive.

Overall, a very impressive RIS that will ONLY improve with time and aging. I plan on revisiting this review within the next few years but until then, this one needs to sit for some time....2 years minimum in my book. So, it looks like I will be back in 2012 to rewrite this review and make every other BA jealous knowing that I do have another 17 of this bad boys just laying low for their day in the sun...Mmmm.

Thanks Larry. Can't wait to see what you come up with for 10000. Until then...

Edit....This beer becomes much more mellow the warmer it gets. My suggestion...Pour it and then let it sit for a good hour. This beer is MUCH better, the warmer it gets. Don't drink it cold!

Photo of mwa423
4.53/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ah, the long awaited batch 9000.

A - Jet black. I think there is a danger it may stain my glass. However, this loses an easy point because there's no head, even with an aggressive pour.

S - Subdued, but sweet with not just malty sweetness, but what I am guessing is the molasses coming through. Some dried fruit, but just from the smell, you can tell this is going to be a monster.

T - Hits like a ton of bricks, all the imperial stout maltiness are right at the front, this is an imperial stout's imperial stout. Lots of alcohol, and dried fruity flavors. I think this is one of those beers you only drink one of.

M/D - Mouthfeel is extremely thick, rich, great beer. Drinkability is as good as it gets for an imperial stout.

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

Poured in my Duvel Tulip

A - Pours a dark cherry red but is black in the tulip, about a finger and a half of mahogany head that sticks around for a bit, not very much lacing from it.

S - Big aroma of cherry juice, some apple juice, molasses, malts, just a great smell.

T - A nice balance of molasses, licorice, malts, some cherry. A bit boozy at first sip but definitely smooths out. Goes down smooth and hides the 12.5% abv well.

M - Smooth mouthfeel with a little bit of oil but I like it.

D - Wow I really like this, maybe it is just the excitement of finally getting it but I definitely want more than the 6 pack I have, hopefully can pick up another 6 pack before it is all gone.

Photo of kirok1999
3.95/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice opaque black in the snifter, hints of foam in the center.
Smells mildly sweet, rich dark malts, mild dark fruit.
Taste is much like the smell but a bit thin. I hate to compare beers in review but I was hoping for something as amazing as Batch 7000. Maybe with some aging it may mature into something rich and special. It is a well brewed, mildly sweet stout but lacks the dense nature of Batch 7000.
Very nice to sip on with some cheese.

Photo of FreshmanPour77
4.38/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

#51
Reviewed 02-16-10
Reviewed cold from a bottle to a glass, also let warm closer to room temperature

A -1 finger of reddish/dark tan foam. Carbonation is present with a decent lacing ring after it settles

S - Dark roasted malts with molasses and black licorice. Slight hop pine smell but easily masked by licorice and molasses, I believe I could smell some pine unless my nose was deceiving me!

T - Big bourbon punch with a slight smoke aftertaste mixed with sweet licorice

M - Big Imperial stout taste with a lighter bodied smoothness. Slight gritty feel but finishes really smooth. It seemed after I let it warm up to more of a room temperature, a better sense of the aroma and taste of the brew really had come out!

D - Very glad to have gotten a six pack of this. Pretty enjoyable brew that if you have a chance to get a hold of a couple of bottles then do so. I plan to add to my review after I let some of my other bottles sit in my cellar! Yeah I couldn't drink too many of these in one sitting and expect to enjoy other brews. Best by itself or sharing with others.

Photo of tippebrewcrew2
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2/13/10

Bells
Batch 9000

L=4.5 Pours to a medium black body and a thin off white head

S= 4.0 Nose of molasses, fig, and sweet malt

T= 4.5 the nose carries over to an upfront sweetness, sweet-tart molasses, and dark figs

F= 4.0 It has a nice lively feeling with a velvety, medium creamy body

D= 4.0 One is all you really need. I would bet this beer cellared is quite nice. Maybe 2 years?

Photo of LordAdmNelson
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark semi-opaque brown with ruby highlights. Little brown head that recedes quickly to nothing. Typical of these high ABV stouts. Smell is a little hot, though nice notes of molasses, licorice, raisins, overripe dates, oak, and just plain sweetness. Actually, the aroma and taste is akin in ways to Utopias (maybe I'm way off base, but the heat in this one coupled with the dark fruit etc. reminds me at least a little of Utopias). Taste follows suit, though adds complexity. Very hot still, I get some caramel malt, a bit of molasses, some herbal hops, chocolate, dates, and a bit of oak again. Great complexity, would like to see a year or so on this guy. Very happy to have tried it, I'm lucky to live in a area that's great for beer. Drinkability is surprisingly high for the ABV, though the MF is a little thin. Definitely coating, sticks with you for a while. Only things that hurt the drinkability is the robustness of the flavor and hotness--makes this a sipper for sure. Glad I got to try this, will be cellaring the others for a while.

Photo of hayesez
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Picked up a case of this at Bourbon and Canal today. About time it made it to Terre Haute! $18.99 per sixer.

Poured into my Dogfish Head snifter. Pours a deep dark brown with a two finger light tan head that quickly retreats to a soft and fluffy cap. Limited frothy lacing was left in the bottom half of my glass. Mostly opaque with small amounts of garnet light coming in on the top.

Tons of syrup/molasses. This smell absolutely dominates the nose of this guy. Smells very, very impressive. Small amounts of alcohol are mixed in on the back-end but seriously, the majority of the smell is the sweetness. Gosh, I think that is toffee in there as well. It really almost smells like thick, rich candy. Partway into this guy, I started getting the licorice as well, but you have to work to get there.

The taste lines up perfectly with the smell. This is a damn sweet beer. Caramel smoothness that reminds me a bit of the DFH 120 and the DFH WWS....or is that just the glass talking? Dark, dark fruits are very pronounced at the end with just enough alcohol zip to snipe you at the finish line. Fairly full mouthfeel, despite looking too thin for my liking. Very smooth with low carbonation - velvety.

The taste of this is excellent, but there is just a bit too much sweet for me - it borders on cloying. The previous reviewer mentioned that he thought it tasted a bit like Dark Lord. When I read that, I was very skeptical. After drinking it, however, it definitely has that overpowering sweet at the end like the 2009 Dark Lord did. Maybe he put that idea in my head, but I think he's onto something with the whole Dark Lord thing. The alcohol is well masked, although slightly discernible. I really did enjoy the beer, but couldn't drink more than one due to massive sugar high. Unfortunately, that means that my overall score on this guy is going to end up being a bit lower than a true reflection of my "desire to drink" would indicate. Another great batch by Bell's!

Consumed: 2/16/2010

Photo of pml0904
4.65/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer 5 minutes ago in my Bell's snifter. Loved it...

A 4: poured our a dark brown with a lighter than expected creamy head. The Marbling on the glass was not exceptional but was definitely pretty good.

S 4.5 : Smelt of molasses and dark fruits, what else. Also a sweet smell of alcohol. I could smell it as I was poring it, which was amazing.

T 5: Wow. reminded me of dark lord. Havent had something this potent for a while. sweet, yet had that awesome bite of alcohal at the end.

M 4: coated the mouth but I was not super impressed. I'm a huge fan of those gritty, motor oil-ish stouts, and this was lacking a bit. It definitely coated the palate and sat very well on the tongue.

D 4.5: easy to drink. I'm about ready for 1 more... Definitely packs a punch at, what, 13 ABV, but still very drinkable.

I enjoyed this beer to the last drop. Worth every penny of the 6 pack I bought.

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

Pours very dark, nearly black, with an occasional clarity showing through burnt sienna highlights. Thin head of around 1/4" hung around for a while, but settles to very little, not a surprise though.

Smells rich, and nicely so. Blackberries, tree bark, leather, dry bitter chocolate, and a little alcohol spiciness. Chewy smell, but nicely balanced.

Sweet, round, and moderately bodied (not to be deceived, there's plenty of fullness, it's just not overly heavy). Malty backbone of dark toast and dense bread is filled in with cocoa, dark fruits (but not too sweet), and molasses. Other hints of leather and tannic wood, some spice. Finishes with a hanging alcohol astringency and some settling bitterness. Rather sweet, but still mostly in balance. Sweetness is maintained by a dry nearyl-burnt toast flavor. It somehow tastes like a wintry holiday evening with fruitbread in the oven and a fire roaring nearby, steam covered windows, heavy snow-laden jackets heaped in a corner... sorry, that's my taste-nostalgia, not that you're interested. A very nice sipper.

Alcohol is somewhat more notable than I care for, adding a spice to the nose and heat to the mouth that's hard to ignore once I've noticed it, though it's not altogether a bad thing. It also warms a bit in the stomach. An overall nice, richly balanced ale with some excellent nuance that sets it well outside of many similarly styled beers. I definitely wish I had a lot more to hang on to for years to come, mostly to be enjoyed in the aforementioned setting.

Photo of bamadog
4.28/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A little something special for my 350th review. Poured from the bottle to a snifter.

Appearance: Pour is pitch black and starts with a one finger creamy tan head that fades quickly to a small island of thin bubbles and a thin ring around the surface; body is entirely opaque; on the pour, the body looks a little thin -- more on this later though; spotty and loose washes of lacing are left holding to the sides of the glass.

Smell: Quite a bit to sort out here -- a slightly smokey presence; deep roast/burnt maltiness; definite whiff of alcohol offers a slight burn to the nostrils; potentially some dark fruits in there combining with the brewer's licorice.

Taste: Wow - pretty intense, robust and much sweeter than I expected (a syrupy molasses and malty presence); the dark fruit and licorice is a nice touch and blended/swirled together with a slight woody smokiness at the beginning and there is a lingering presence of alcohol that is mellowed from the sweetness. Originally, I was going to give the taste a 5, but after working my way through the bottle, I found the sweetness became a bit too much and could use just a little bit of bitterness to balance it out.

Mouthfeel: Feels thicker than I thought it was going to be based upon the pour -- the body is a little slick, but still quite creamy and thick enough to be sure; leaves a nice coating on the roof of the mouth that helps the flavors linger; gums are tingly and the belly is left quite warm from the higher ABV; carbonation is quite soft and mellow.

Drinkability: A very nice offering, no doubt about that. The only two detractors that I feel are the high ABV (12.5% wouldn't allow me to get through too many of these in a sitting) and the sweetness which becomes slightly cloying after a bit. Still glad to have had it and can't wait to see what some age will do this offering.

Photo of MPLS
3.78/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 9000, interesting to note that I had Two Hearted earlier that was batch 9435. Larry Bell's must work at a relaxed pace. Finally found this brew around after coming up empty handed.

A: I was expecting some black goodness, but I'll settle for the darkest of brown leather with a nice large bubbled 2 cm head. Retention is pretty good and the lacing is present for a high ABV beer.

S: Brewed with Molasses? You don't say! Big malt build in this beer and molasses is the one left standing after the game of king of the hill. In addition to the molasses some caramel and unfamiliar dark fruits come through. The licorice is noticeable as well. This is way sweeter than the 7000 I smelled a few days ago. I like it's intensity.

T: The taste is equally as big, but you can find a little more depth here. What I meant by depth is alcohol and I'm sure after two of these I'd be yielding onto intoxicated avenue. The sweetness is big, but not big enough to mask the alcohol. I am afraid that age will be the only thing to make that happen. It's variable with each sip - molasses, raisin, traces of chocolate., but most licorice. The alcohol finish isn't to my liking, very grainy and sort of harsh. To the cellar batchman.

M: It's medium-thick bodied, syrupy, and very warming with it's alcohol but over my acceptable threshhold.

D: This beer is like adolescent and needs some age, the sweetness is not too cloying and the alcohol is turning me off. This review will have to be edited circa 2012.

Photo of Bulkman
3.38/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz aggressive pour yields a jet black color with minimal carbonation, but with a very thin brown foam layer that, when swirled, clings to the sides of the glass, then slides down in tiny clumps of foam.

Aroma is of strong alcohol, raisins, & black licorice (which dominates). Some undertones of fig as well.

Thick, heavy-bodied & syrupy, bordering on cloying, the taste is much the same as the aroma. No hops presence.

Drinkability is quite low, due to how thick & sweet it is.

Straight from the fridge, I don't care for this at all. Everything that's good about this beer becomes a negative when cold (or cool). As with many big beers of the style, this beer is best served warm & I enjoyed it much more by the 2nd half of my glass. Having said that, one is more than enough in one sitting. I picked up a few bottles of this highly hyped release, and will just cellar the remainder for a few years, as I'm sure that it will improve with some age on it.

Overall, this is a solid release

Photo of CortexBomb
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Dark pour, off-white head. Reduces off to dusting quickly. Smell is very sweet, raisins, sugary with definite roasted undertones and elements of baker's chocolate.

The flavour on this is sweeter than I anticipated, sugary sweetness and dark fruits keep a coffee and roast undertone to a dull, albeit present roar. The licorice and hops that they used add an odd, sort of off twang to the flavour that's interesting but not in my particular wheelhouse.

Texture is syrupy, thick, wonderful on that front. Drinkability, again, I don't even know where to begin with a beer like this. It's a big beer that is meant to be sipped.

Overall: I've had all of the Batch beers since 6000, as they are always interesting offerings. 9000 continues in that tradition, a huge, unique, almost Belgian take on what I would classify as an American strong ale (not the stout that this one is slotted into, though I can also see why that would fit as well). I enjoy the things that this one brings to the table, though it's not about to usurp 6000 as my favourite of the commemorative batches that I've had. Like all of the big batches, it's probably best aged out a couple of years.

Photo of argock
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear glass snifter at cellar temp. No freshness date but batch 9000 marked on back label. Purchased as 6-pack at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $18.49.

A: Very dark brown with burgundy highlights and soft, short-lived beige head with no lacing.

S: Toasted grain aroma with sharp alcohol and lots of sweet chocolate, licorice, and molasses, with molasses the most prominent of the three. There are also plenty of dark fruit aromas.

T: Flavor is very sweet as the sugars dominate this strong ale. This beer does not strike me as an imperial stout -- it is way too sugary and not roasted and dark enough to meet the RIS category. Calling this an RIS is like calling Arrogant Bastard a DIPA - it has qualities but not enough of the right ones. Maybe you could call it an imperial milk/sweet stout. It is still delicious with abundant raisin, candied fig, and roasted malt and lactose sugars. Chocolate and coffee make their appearances, but the mildly acrid but syrupy molasses component is most tongue-catching. The licorice is not as strong as in the aroma. The hops are light but herbal in nature.

M: It is a very sticky brew, but not all that thick and viscous, yet another reason that it fits best in the American strong ale style. Body is medium with a strong roasted barley and molasses aftertaste. The strong alcohol in the nose is a nice complement to the licorice, molasses, and roasted malt sweetness.

D: A really good brew from Bell's that pushes the boundaries of sweet with very good success. Surprisingly drinkable at 12.5% but more than one would be a challenge. It will be interesting to see how the other 11 hold up over the next 4-5 years.

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

12 Fl. Oz. bottle poured into pint glass. Served 55-60 F.
A: Dark. Cannot see through dark. Pours inch of brownish head. Very very frothy. Thick blotchy lace is left around pint.
S: Chocolate, molasses, and a strong ferric aroma.
T: Chocolate, molasses, and ferric taste. Yes, the same, but more. The chocolate is very very sweet more towards the milky side. Dark roasted malts are faint. A bit of bitter hops hits after body. Dark dried fruits. Licorice is faint, but noticeable.
M: Medium to heavy on tongue. Syrupy and slightly warming.
D: Big big body. Well balanced. Very impressive that so many flavors can appear but blend well.

Bell's Batch 9000 from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
90 out of 100 based on 862 ratings.