Bell's Batch 10000 - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Bell's Batch 10000Bell's Batch 10000

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

763 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 763
Reviews: 405
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 13.32%
Wants: 56
Gots: 348 | FT: 16
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  9.20% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Spica66 on 11-29-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

"Strong Brown Ale"
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 763 | Reviews: 405
Reviews by MadScientist:
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Mellow in Greensboro.Poured into a twelve ounce glass a deep mahogany color with well formed one finger tannish colored head.Bitter chocolate and deep dark fruit aromas,the malt really stands out and is complex,there is a light pine note in back as well.Dark fruit and leather stood out most to me on the palate,there is a resiny hop quality underneath but sweet malt dominates.Good flavor but it can get a bit sweet after a bit,still a nice sipper from K-zoo.

Photo of tectactoe
3.84/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the Oak Cafe. Pours a deep-ass ruby-red color, completely opaque in the middle, shiny with mahogany hints when held up to the light. Tan colored head, thick and puffy, exceptional lacing left all around the glass. Aroma is that of smoked wood, smoke logs, and campfire. Some deep, dark fruits are hidden in the background; bitter raisins and plums so over-ripe they fall apart in your hand. Some perfume-like florals are floating around, tying everything together.

The taste is the heaviest in the smoke department. Smoked grains tend to be very strong, even if they are used sparingly in the grain bill. Smoke is definitely the most prominent flavor here, but it's not a heavy, nasty smoke - it's very smooth and acceptable. Wood chips, oak notes, booze-soaked tree bark comes to mind. Very deep in the finish I can find some chocolate hints, but more of a bitter, pure, sugarless cocoa-bean and not so much like a candy bar. It's actual quite enjoyable when picked up on. Mouth is very creamy with a medium-thick body. The finish is slightly bitter, ending with some noticeable hops; floral, ashy, and somewhat dry.

Reminds me of a more robust, slightly sweeter Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier. Not quite as drinkable, though. Some more woody notes and tones are present here as well. Overall, pretty enjoyable. Booze is noticeable but certainly doesn't feel like 9.20% ABV.

Photo of TCHopCraver
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes made on 12-8-10.

Into a snifter, 10 grand pours dark brown with a golden-ruby tint. There is almost no head after a medium hard decanting, but what is there is a medium khaki/brown hue. A haze remains on top of the body and from what I can see, lots of little carbonation bubbles scoot swiftly upward. The lacing is understated and nicely sticky.

Threre seems to be a fairly even balance of caramel and brown sugar malt aromas with pine and citrus hop scents. If any advantage is attained between the two, I would say that the hops win the smell battle by just a hair. Accompanying the massive malt and hop war is a hint of a metallic smell, like tap water with a lot of iron in it.

Citric hop bitterness and hop oils yank at the bitter points of my palate and marry pretty well with the sweet malts when I take the beer into my mouth. I get a lot of brown sugar and caramel from the maltbill, as well as some acidic coffee and milk chocolate notes. The finish has a very stout-like quality with a roasty and acidic nip on my palate.

The mouthfeel is a compromise between medium-bodied creaminess and a biting hop presence. There is a lot going on in this beer, which makes it feel muddled at times, but it also serves to make the feel very interesting and varied, which I like. It makes me think more about what I am drinking.

For a kitchen sink-style experimental brew, I think it turned out pretty darned well and was certainly interesting to drink. I generally prefer style beers done exceptionally well, but this is a fun, unique beer that I will have again in an attempt to decipher its secrets.

Photo of Mora2000
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Cavie for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a dark amber color with a white head. The aroma is tobacco, leather, roasted malt and grassy hops. The flavor is more complex, but I am not sure how good it is. I get a lot of roasted malt, smoke, dark fruit, leather, tobacco, licorice and quite a bit of hop bitterness. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

A very interesting beer with a complex recipe, but the variety of flavors and aromas don't seem to meld too well. Maybe this will improve with age.

Photo of frenchblood21
3.43/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into Hopping Frog tulip.

A- As brown as a liquid can get before becoming black. Beautiful 3/4 inch light brown head that recedes by half and then just sticks around.

S- Prunes and figs right up front, that is followed by vanilla and bourbon. Strangely enough, fresh ripe strawberries too!

T- Bitter dark chocolate and sweet/salty caramel...tobacco and leather at the finish.

MF- Thick like an imperial IPA. I get the resiny hoppy leftover, which is fine by me. Taste great on the back end like fresh fruit.

O- Really well put together beer. I would buy a six pack if I saw it on the shelf. But, alas, it is retired. To be honest, I like it a lot, but it is not a beer I would trade for. I will enjoy the last half, because I will never find this beer again,

Photo of sculls65
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into 13 oz tulip. Nice tan head cresting the top of the glass. Looks like a dark brown but after further review its a deep deep red when held against the light. Smell is a tad complex but i get fruity hops and carmelized dark fruits ..cherry being predominate. Taste is as complex with citrus and pine hops, toffee..a touch of chocolate and fruit all dueling for this early stage i believe the hops win, but the sweet finish leaves me wanting more. A nice mouthfeel coats the tongue, not overly carbonated. I think its drinkable now and will continue to be a nice 1 to return to in the future. I drank it for what it is...a nice big beer.

Photo of bsp77
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Very dark wood-like brown with almost a purplish cast to it. Not much head or lacing, but has some nice wispy tendrils.

Smell: Strong citrus and pine hops battle a surprising peat smokiness. Some underlying Barleywine-like sweetness.

Taste: Initial impression is bitter and smoky. There is an undercurrent of caramel and toffee malts, but a strong peat taste pushes this almost closer to a Scotch Ale than a Barleywine. The hops are impressively bitter with some citrus and pine, but not quite as much hop flavor as I expected from the aroma.

Feel: Moderately low carbonation. Smooth body that, while full, is less than expected for a Barleywine/Strong Ale. Very dry finish that is also very warming.

Drinkability: I know a lot of people think this is a mess, but I am pleasantly surprised. I think the Scotch Ale / Barleywine mix works, and the dry American bitterness is just an added bonus.

Photo of ehammond1
2.5/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Bottle (2010)

Acquired via trade
Thanks sendsilk!

Clear and dark brown pour with some burnt auburn and amber edges. Thin white head. Not a lot of lacing.

A very sweet and sticky type of aroma, like a syrup, along with a bit of smokiness, and perhaps some citrus. Seems all over the place without being particularly interesting--though it certainly is unique.

The flavors don't combine well, in my opinion. This seems like a bad "Suicide" (remember being a kid at the soda fountain and pouring in all 12 soda options into your all-you-can-drink paper cup?). It's overly sweet, with a touch of alcohol, some strange smoke or char flavor along with some wood. It's unique--just not very good.

Somewhat thick and syrupy.

Not one of my favorites. This beer seems like an experiment gone wholly wrong.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.4/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another thanks to jh1982 for breaking this out at a baseball game tailgate a few months back. Poured an ugly brown with tan head. Alcohol in the nose, brown sugar, caramel, raisins.

Real thick and sticky taste to it, more of the brown sugar and raisins, tasted a little more stouty at this point, mild roast, ample smoke presentation. Toffee and nuts. Kind of some middle ground between a stout and an English barleywine at times, even a quad, has the viscosity of a stout, but not really the body. Hopping is moderate, doesn't come across as either piney or citrus.

There's probably room to dispute whether this is complex, or simply has a bunch of shit (not deameaning, maybe 'stuff' is a better term than shit) in it.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at D's six pack tonight while bringing the kids and my brother and sister to eat some Chicago Dogs. 10,000 batch for Bell's and 2,200 review for me. Pours a deep dark ruby caramel edged deep brown bodied hue for me, chunky large bubbled deep khaki tan head forms thick rising well above the edge of the glass. Aroma hints of smoked malt not quite as strong as an ashtray but definitely getting there. Dark chocolate roasted malt characteristics with herbal mint green notes coming through. The smoke definitely overpowers the nose initially let's see how things progress throughout the experience. Flavors bring out rich alcohol and deep malted barley layers of smoked meat, sweet syrup, and dark roasted coffee/dark chocoalte notes with hints of acidity. Remember when you were a kid and if you mixed every color from the crayon box it ended up looking like a dark poop brown color. This is the same thing, I'm not sure how strategically they blended all of these ingredients in this beer but they're definitely not making it out in the flavor profile. A blend of dark roasts, well hidden hops a bit of pine and earthiness finish my thoughts on this beer. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied mellow carbonation, big chewy texture. Drinkability a take it easy sipper for colder winter months.

Photo of glid02
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased from Green's on Ponce in Atlanta.

Pours a dark brown color with a one-finger tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of dark malts with large amounts of pine and earthy hops. Also present are slight hints of roasted malts that fade as the beer warms.

Tastes slightly more complex than it smells. Dark, roasted, and chocolate malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by pine hop flavors. Slight hints of coffee flavors make a brief appearance midway through the sip before fading out, allowing the light roasted malt and pine hops to carry through to a solidly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall this was a more complex beer than most I've had with a huge number of ingredients. Still, the complexity didn't seem refined. A nice enough beer but one not worth seeking out.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- The dense brown body has a faint garnet glow at the base with a thick creamy head of light tan that you could scoop out with an ice cream scoop and it last for the full beer.

S- The green woody pine hops are full and blend with a black malt bitterness. It has a nice richness and everything blends together.

T- The roasted creamy chocolate layers fade into a bitter black malt and pine hop finish. The finish is pretty bittern and that bitterness lingers with both black roasted malt and hop qualities. As the beer opens up there is some caramel note and some toffee notes that come through.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a tight light fizz and a soft alcohol warmth and a creamy texture.

O- This beer doesn't have the complexity I would expect from all the different kinds of malt but I think it all blends together. I would like to taste more of the malt but the big hops bitterness and alcohol heat cover up much of it. I'm excited to try this beer in a year to see if the alcohol and hops settle down and let the malt come through.

Photo of Nibbley
4.37/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel Tulip.
Pours a really dark brown with faint rubby highlights, and big 2 finger tan head that leaves thin lace all down the glass.
Aroma has alot going on, with dark ripe fruits,and a citrus/piney backround.
Taste is also very complex.Big malt up front then the hops comes in big.
Nice carbonation and silky mouthfeel.
Really complex and delicious.

Photo of Brenden
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Advertised as some sort of "brown ale," the American Strong ale categorization is definitely proper here, as I recall. Memories may not be fresh, but my notes are.

A thinnish froth of wispy but long-prevailing off-white head rides a thick and ruddy red-brown brew. Lacing is left in a modicum of patching with some spotting.
This smells like a strong spirit with some strong as well as unusual notes. It's definitely toasty with lots of caramel, vanilla and an almost melon-like soft sweetness. It's very malt-forward but with floral and citrus notes from hops. With an earthy and almost bubble gum-like note, I almost wonder if Belgian yeast is used, though I doubt it. More toast pulls out along with molasses, toffee and brown sugar, but somehow it's not too sweet.
With all of the big, rich complexity and the sweetness, it definitely is a sipper. It takes a lot to unwrap, and a boozy heat sits underneath the whole way. The transition is basically creamy/sugary-sweet->toasty (with some caramel)/bready (crust),->dry/citrus/leafy/grassy hops. I'm actually impressed with the level of hops flavor in this beer and that it's firm enough to strike a balance with the huge malts.
While the feel almost starts off sticky, it turns away after a moment as the dryness comes out right up front in this beer's big body. It finishes semi-dry with a lignering bitterness.

Photo of biboergosum
3.45/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle.

This beer pours a clear dark ruby red hue, with one finger foamy of beige head, which leaves a nice broken sprectral lace paint job around the glass as it settles. It smells of faint caramel malt, pine sol, yeast, and earthy hops. The taste is edgy, somewhat medicinal caramel malt, a moderately smoky, salty, peaty character, and bitter leafy hops. The carbonation is average, if a bit zippy, the body medium weight, and mildly assaulted. It finishes bitter, smoky, and a bit uplifted and airy.

It took a while to figure this one out - smoked beer, really. Ok, then, not too shabby but still rather challenging.

Photo of mdaschaf
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very deep brown with a smallish tan colored head. Not much retention, quickly dissipating to a ring of foam on the top. Large bubbly, lacing forms on the sides.

S: A little bit of citrus hops, some toffee, a little bit of a nutty aroma, a little bit of wood, and a hint of smoke.

T: An interesting combination of flavors. Some caramel and toffee, a bit of coffee, brown sugar, a little bit of floral hops. The smoke returns right at the end again.

M: Medium to full bodied with low carbonation. Slight hint of alcohol, but overall well hidden.

O: Pretty good, better than I was expecting. Liked it better than 9000, but not something I am dying to have again.

Photo of Metalmonk
4.11/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Every pour of every bottle I've had of this one always results in a gorgeous, gorgeous beer (yep, so gorgeous I had to say it twice). The two-finger head is white dirtied (or made prettier) by a golden-tan shade, and the liquid is a flat black abyss. Only the darkest of ruby hues is seen when held to light. Broken chains of lace cling to the glass, and lots of them. My my my...

Aroma is mineral, burnt grains, smoke and a hint of vanilla, with a prominent dose of hoppy greenness and a juicy/vinous character. In a blind smell taste, I might be led to thinking "Cascadian black ale."

This is an interesting and complex beer. What I took as a wayward mess a few weeks ago I now understand as a truly unique brew. Super juicy grape and charred grains mingle nicely, there's a dab of anise and something like a musty maltiness that you might find in an old ale. Mineral/metallic essence, yet where these are usually negatives, they're so subtle as to only add another layer or two onto the overall flavor. Raisins, vanilla, sherry...all while the 9.2% alcohol remains a mere flare of brightness underneath all that. What is this (besides very good)? Somewhere between an old ale and a brown ale maybe? Yet with the pronounced burnt popcorn flavor and near-acrid green hop notes in the finish, it again makes me think Cascadian black ale. So, yeah, there's that word "complex" again...

Feels is just how a like a strong ale to be: smooth, round, creamy, silky, with just enough carbonation to keep it lively.

Took awhile to get my head around this beer. This is the sixth of a six-pack (not in one sitting, c'mon now...) and each one revealed more to me. I went from being disappointed with it--despite not really knowing what to expect--to understanding how unique and flavorful it really is. Batch 10,000 made me think and wonder and really exercise those taste buds, without hampering the pure enjoyability factor. Now that the six pack is gone, I can only wonder how this would fare in a year, because I think it will age brilliantly. A fine time to ponder that one, man...

Photo of cokes
3.45/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Midnight dark chestnut with a spume of yellow-beige suds that sags over time. Lacing is spotty, yet decent.
Early on, the nose is all pine- and truly ALL pine: earth, roots, bark, sap, needles, and cones- woody and dank. A warm, sweetened pastry note grows as it gains temperature. There's also an enigmatic, spicy, central essence with flashes of sassafras, cinnamon, and anise. Roast tones are dialed back, which surprised me a bit.
But they show up in the mouth. Coffee grounds and burnt grain start things off. Brown sugar clogs the middle. Then things seemingly begin to adlib. No rhyme or reason. Just entities.
Clover Honey. Anise. Dr. Pepper. Cinnamon. Ginger. Root Beer. Cedar. Bell peppers. Captain Morgan's. Dirt. Malted Milk Balls. Pepsi. Spearmint toothpaste. Herbal Bitters (Peychaud's, specifically). Potatoes. Pine Tar. Dried flowers. Rusted tin. White grapefruit. Nutty fudge.
It's absolutely complex and dynamic, periodically tasty, but typically confused. A bright flash of colors from all over the beer spectrum, it never congeals into something specific enough to be readily explainable. It's like a list of ingredients without a main course.
That said, I do like it more than when I initially tried it a few months back, so I'm holding out hope that it will mature over time and gain its own identity.

Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very dark brown with a tiny white head, and lace drops on the side. Barleywinish aroma. The taste starts sweet, and I think it's an old ale. Then after a few sips, the hops build up and its very hoppy. So its a strong ale, leaving a tingle on the tongue in the end. Unique, decent drinkability.

Photo of zaphodchak
4.28/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Bell's Tap Takeover at Mellow Mushroom in Charlottesville, VA.

Big lacing, finger of off-white head, dark brown body.

Nose is interesting, prunish, malt.

Big malt taste-- leathery and oaky. Subtleties on the aftertaste... nuttiness predominant, trace of coffee. Kind of mushroomy.

Mouthfeel is pretty standard.

Malty, exciting, subtle, but not boozy or harsh. Excellent.

3.39/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into Duvel tulip. 2010.
A: A nice looking ale, with a creamy head that sinks into a fine layer, atop a deep brown body. Lacing left in vertical patches.
S: A lower intensity aroma, which I had to search hard for this one. A bland and chalky note, with a grainy undertone. Very light aroma for the overall taste.
T/M: Nice up front character with a good level of complex malt complexions to a fine hoppy finish. The body is a bit thin, but the lingering taste is very prolonged. Nice figgy after notes.
D: I find this to be a very drinkable barleywine, one goes down easy, we will see what a couple more years does to them.

Photo of dirtylou
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz single, scooped a sixer when it came out. dissapointed to see the reviews - bell's is either losing their edge or just getting lazy with the anniversary beers. Fitting that this is the end i guess.

appearance: dark brown body, light tan creamy head with decent retention, some light garnet hues

smell: smoky, dark pine, overly bitter chocolate

taste: lacks any real depth - spicy rye, bitter pine, dark chocolate, malty, sticky sugars. This one's just missing something, or a few somethings rather.

mouthfeel: nice creamy body, sticky finish, spicy and bitter

drinkability: ok

Photo of plfahey
3.76/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Deep mahogany brown with faint ruby highlights. Seems to be relatively clear though is nearly opaque. Moderate tan head with good retention and some lacing.

Aroma-Citrusy, catty, piney, American hops are forefront in the nose. Some light caramel and dark, biscuity malt aromas are secondary. As the beer warms, some light smoke and roast (coffee?) characteristics show through.

Flavor-Flavor is very different from what I expected based on the nose-big malt flavors up front-smoky, charcoal, toast, roast, light chocolate and coffee, and hints of caramel. Hop flavors are a bit more subdued here-pine and citrus-but hop bitterness is moderately high in the finish, and there is a light resiny hop flavor as the malt dissipates. Slightly sweet up front but finishes quite dry due to the high hop presence. As the beer warms, some alcohol becomes apparent in the finish.

Mouthfeel-Medium light which is a little surprising for a beer of this strength. Hops are quite drying, but there is no astringency-it's quite smooth. No harsh or hot alcohol, though there is some definite alcohol warming.

The 100 malt and 40 hop thing seemed a little bit gimmicky to me, but this certainly does have some serious malt complexity. Definitely interesting, and pretty good, but not superb.

Photo of RomaniIteDomum
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a nice little chocolate head that remains throughout.

Smells of anise, toffee, coffee, raisins, chocolate, and everything else you would find in a dark beer are present. Given what was put into this beer, it would be surprising if there was a smell assocated with dark beers not present in this one.

bourbon up front with vanilla, anise, raisins, oak, and a grassy hop presence dominate. The finish is caramel, mocha, and chocolate with a bit more grass.

Nice velvety feel, not syrupy, but not perfect.

Overall, this was a fine brew. I'm looking forward to what the rest of my bottles will taste like with some more age on them.

Photo of bradleyp
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to Tastetester for the hook-up. Packaged on 11/16/10.

A: Super dark brown, almost black. Can't see through the glass at all. Nice lacing throughout the glass.

S: The malts and hops mix very well together. I could also smell some chocolate in the mix.

T: This beer taste like a total spice bomb. so many in here, I could not distinct all of them. Very hoppy, but the hop flavor seems to disappear right away.

M: Not a big fan of very hoppy beers.

D: I have one more of these, which I will def. drink, but i'll have to split it with someone else, since Bell's does not distribute to the west coast.

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Bell's Batch 10000 from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 763 ratings.