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Bell's Bourbon Barrel Aged Batch 9000 - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Bell's Bourbon Barrel Aged Batch 9000Bell's Bourbon Barrel Aged Batch 9000

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

609 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 609
Reviews: 85
rAvg: 4.57
pDev: 7.88%
Wants: 615
Gots: 67 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  14.90% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Double Brown Ale aged in bourbon barrels.

(Beer added by: warnerry on 10-09-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 609 | Reviews: 85 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by EdwardFortyHands:
Photo of EdwardFortyHands
3/5  rDev -34.4%

EdwardFortyHands, Apr 26, 2013
More User Reviews:
Photo of Jeffo
4.33/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 2 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from hotpipes many moons ago. Excited to give this one a go. Thanks man!

From a 750 into a snifter.
Batch 11590
Bottle 1023 of 1502
Brewed with molasses and licorice and aged in bourbon barrels.

APPEARANCE: A clear brown pour yields a one finger, loose, fizzy, light brown head with horrible retention. Head fizzes down to some faint dots and a ring. Bistre brown body with very high levels of carbonation. A stream of carbo up the middle of the glass. Looks rather flat by the end of the glass. Not all that attractive overall.

SMELL: Awesome. Lots of barrel, but not only barrel is there. Bourbon and oak with light vanilla, toffee, brown sugar, as well as licorice and molasses. Some dark fruits and milk chocolate on the nose as well. Really bold and complex aromas. Lovely.

TASTE: Lots of barrel and hot booze initially. Very flavorful though, with oak, brown sugar, toffee, bourbon and alcohol up front. Boozy swallow with a big and lingering finish of oak, vanilla, coconut, brown sugar, molasses, licorice and spicy alcohol. Light notes of bitter chocolate and leather linger as well. Flavorful and complex. Very enjoyable.

PALATE: medium body and slightly higher levels of carbonation. Creamy enough, however, goes down somewhat harsh with a burn at the swallow and finishes very sticky. Flattens out a bit as it sits.

OVERALL: This was excellent. The nose was spectacular and the flavors well worth pondering over. The look was lack luster and the feel a little too hot and boozy still, but those are minor complaints at this point. Something well worth the effort; very happy to have had the chance to try this one out. Cheers hotpipes! Always a pleasure.

Jeffo, Jun 06, 2014
Photo of DanGeo
5/5  rDev +9.4%

DanGeo, Jul 28, 2013
Photo of tectactoe
3.89/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Review #500 - Thanks to Jeff for the hand bottle! Black-hole black with a small, deep-tan head. It's probably more appropriate to call it a skin than a head, as even after an aggressive pour, it barely reaches a millimeter in height. It may be due to the hand-bottle, but I have a feeling the carb on this one was towards the lower end of the spectrum anyway, so hopefully that wont impede things too much. Obviously no lacing was present, but heavy alcohol legging certainly was.

Whoosh! I dip my nose to the glass and a huge wave of bourbon flies over me immediately. A plethora of flavors begin crashing and colliding - molasses, oak, caramel malts, deep, bitter cocoa, faint vanilla, and huge patches of black licorice and anise. BB Batch 9000 doesn't have the bitter coffee or heavily roasted malts you'd expect in any stout - namely because this ISN'T a stout, although its appearance may lead you to believe otherwise.

Holy mole! The aroma was heavy. But the flavor is even heavier and so much more potent. Deep chocolate, sweet, sweet brown sugar, heavy and thick molasses, tons of up-front bourbon, dry oak and wood, mild nuts, and an overpowering, back-end anise flavor. Just touching the beer to your upper lip is enough to extract these crazy powerful flavors from the brew.

There's no doubt this beer is complex beyond belief. So many things going on, and warmth only opens up the portfolio even further. Dark dates and figs, heavy anise, dry cocoa powder, sticky and syrupy maple notes, barrel-induced vanilla - all, of course, dancing on your palate to the tune of warm, boozy bourbon. Each sip demands so much attention that it's easy to sit and nurse a six ounce pour for at least a half hour or so.

Let's be honest here - this beer is very bourbon-forward and quite warm, approaching "hot" territory, especially in the finish, but Bourbon Barrel Batch 9000 still retains much of the high, sticky sweetness that was evident in the base beer. It's definitely more manageable here, though, as the barrel-aging has allowed it to mellow out, and help cut through what's left of it. It's got an even heavier and thicker body, smooth mouth feel, chewy and oily with low carbonation - again, most likely due to the hand-bottling. I feel as though it wasn't detrimental to my experience of the beer at all.

This is a good beer, it really is. And I can see why people go crazy over it. But I don't love it like the masses, and there are three main reasons why. For one, it's a little too hot to be enjoyable in mass quantity. Not a major drawback, but a drawback nonetheless. Two, it has a little too much anise for my liking; just not a flavor I'm very fond of in this capacity. And three, it's still quite over-the-top in terms of sweetness. Regardless, it's a finely crafted barrel aged brew that's a large improvement over the base beer, but give me Black Note any day.

tectactoe, May 07, 2013
Photo of Schlais
4.75/5  rDev +3.9%

Schlais, Nov 14, 2012
Photo of supa0525
5/5  rDev +9.4%

supa0525, Apr 21, 2013
Photo of warnerry
4.4/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Eccentric Cafe; surprised this hasn't been added before now.

A – Pours a clear dark reddish brown with virtually no head other than a very thin collar.

S – Surprisingly, the bourbon aromas are able to outpace the significant anise aroma to really dominate the smell, which is also quite boozy overall. Nice vanilla and oak notes, with quite a bit of caramel and anise as well.

T – Caramel leads off the taste profile, quickly supplemented with vanilla, anise and oak. A decent amount of dark fruits come through. Finish is a bit boozy with a comforting warming.

M – Full mouthfeel that is a bit sticky. Quite a bit of numbing alcohol on the finish, provides a warming feeling.

O – I know the base beer is somewhat divisive, but I enjoy it and think it has been drinking very well for the last year and a half. This is a nice complement to the base beer with added complexity in the flavor. Wish it were a bit less boozy, but at 14.9% that is asking a lot. Very enjoyable.

warnerry, Oct 09, 2012
Photo of Snikwad1020
5/5  rDev +9.4%

Snikwad1020, Mar 07, 2013
Photo of codysjb
4.53/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bells BB Batch 9000
Draft into a Duchesse de Bougogne glass
A: Minor head that dissipates quickly but good lacing. Nice black brown color.
S: Caramel, Vanilla and a ton of pete, those barrels come through.
T: Wow, caramel bourbon and marshmallows. Sweetness comes up on the end. This is amazing. But really, really hot at 14%.
M: Lots of caramel, sugary sweet. Some minor bourbon/pete notes.
O:Really good. Very very sweet. A-, not my favorite but its certainly good and sweet.

codysjb, Jan 30, 2013
Photo of bcsheaven
5/5  rDev +9.4%

bcsheaven, Nov 15, 2013
Photo of mikejonze
4.81/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

On-tap at One-Eyed Betty's in Ferndale, MI. They claimed Bell's told them this was "the last batch in existence," which, of course, drew the masses. I got the very last glass that was served. Almost didn't get to taste it at all. The bartender handed me my glass and then told everyone else, "That's it!" Truly humbled to have had the chance to try it.

Appearance: Couldn't really note too much about the color, since i was in a dimly lit bar, other than it just looking very dark. Held it up towards light and couldn't see through at all, even on edges. There was a thin light tan head at first that almost immediately dissipated into a small collar or ring around the outside.

Aroma: The amazing smell that comes at you before you can even hold it up to your nose – vanilla, toffee, molasses, licorice, maple, figs, wood and, of course, BOURBON! – is just the first thing to blow you away. Spent a couple minutes just enjoying the aroma before I dove in.

Taste: All the different complexities and flavors – the sweetness of everything in the nose, balanced by the roastiness and perhaps tannins released into the beer from the oak barrel – wash over your tongue in several distinct waves from the moment you first sip it to when it finally goes down your throat and then during the moments after that, when it becomes something altogether different. It's absolutely incredible. The alcohol is warming, not burning, despite the high ABV. Even with all that, you can still taste the base flavors of cacao nibs, anise & roasted malts.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, full-bodied, almost a bit viscous (in a great way); coats your mouth. Perfect.

Overall: I was extremely pleased and satisfied with it. An instant favorite. Totally lived up to the high expectations I had set for it. Just wish I had spent more time drinking it so I could have enjoyed it longer, since I'll never get to enjoy it again. Pretty bittersweet. Wish I owned a bottle of this so I could save and share w/ someone for a special occasion.

mikejonze, Feb 07, 2014
Photo of PDZ
4.75/5  rDev +3.9%

PDZ, Nov 27, 2012
Photo of jaminjohnson
4.75/5  rDev +3.9%

jaminjohnson, Dec 22, 2012
Photo of standardcherry
4.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Pours pitch black. A small tan head formed but dissipated after a few seconds.
S: Huge and rich aromas of bourbon, caramel, dark fruits and oak. So much bourbon! A bit of chocolate, vanilla, licorice and molasses too. I normally detest licorice but it blends in very well here. Very aromatic, I could smell it from a few feet away.
T: So much going on here, I can't make up my mind. Bourbon first of all, followed by chocolate, vanilla (almost marshmallow), oak, dark fruits, and tons of caramel. A slight bit of licorice in there (perfect amount, enough to complement the other flavors but not enough to make it gross). I thought this would be overly sweet but it's very well balanced. Fairly boozy and warming as expected from both the barrel and the 15%abv.
M: Full bodied with light carbonation. Very well balanced. Pleasant booziness, not burning like in other beers.
O: Extremely well made BA beer. This has to be one of my top beers ever. Glad I got the chance to try it, although I fear I won't be able to trade for it again.

standardcherry, Apr 17, 2013
Photo of deebo
4.95/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Bryant lake bowl. Huge fan of batch 9000 so very excited to try this!

A-a generous pour served in an oversized snifter yields a finger of large bubbled tan foam that breaks down into a lacing and finally a small ring half way through the drink. Black
S-bourbon yes but so much more than that. It does still smell like the non-barreled version dark sweet fruits (raisin rum molasses and vanilla aromas all very prominent). Delicious
T-the aging has made this beer sweeter than the younger in barreled version. It is definitely sweet but not cloying. I'm a fan. The bourbon is here but is not overpowering at all. Plenty of sweet and toasted malt. Finish is smooth and a bit muscat-like
M-heavy body, low carbonation and smooth
O-yep I like this beast. The sweetness drowns out the alcohol bite. All I get is a little burn way down deep to let you know this is a brew to savor not slam

deebo, Nov 15, 2012
Photo of bpfrush
4.5/5  rDev -1.5%

bpfrush, Aug 11, 2013
Photo of dogfishandi
4.5/5  rDev -1.5%

dogfishandi, Aug 17, 2013
Photo of ehammond1
4.51/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottle (2012)

Thanks for opening this with me, MrVonZipper!

This was an exceptionally good beer--a real wonderful example of the power and potential of barrel-aging big, strong, American dark ales. Lovely combination of chocolate, bourbon, dark fruits, licorice, vanilla, and oak in the aroma and flavor. Big and thick--a truly decadent treat. The creamy, thick, full mouthfeel is amazing, to boot.

ehammond1, May 27, 2013
Photo of Cynic-ale
4.25/5  rDev -7%

Cynic-ale, Apr 26, 2014
Photo of TKEbeerman
4.5/5  rDev -1.5%

TKEbeerman, Jan 04, 2013
Photo of stereosforgeeks
4.5/5  rDev -1.5%

stereosforgeeks, Aug 12, 2013
Photo of jeonseh
4.6/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep dark brown with no head. Very clean looking and reflective.

S - Bourbon, vanilla, caramel, slight black licorice and orange peel. The nose is nice and complex but wish it were a bit stronger

T - Bourbon upfront. Nice anise and chocolate in the middle to gives it an edge that is balanced against vanilla and caramel. Light oak and orange peel on the finish. Very well balanced and flavorful. One that you want to keep drinking it

MF - Medium body with nice carbonation that makes it very smooth and easy to drink despite the high ABV.

O - This is the best Bell's beer that I've had. Nice bourbon presence that is well blended with the base beer to add another layer of complexity. Wish I had gotten more than a bottle

jeonseh, Dec 18, 2012
Photo of tugg407
4.75/5  rDev +3.9%

tugg407, Jan 10, 2013
Photo of dc55110
4.75/5  rDev +3.9%

dc55110, Nov 29, 2012
Photo of deuce9259
4.75/5  rDev +3.9%

deuce9259, Dec 27, 2012
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Bell's Bourbon Barrel Aged Batch 9000 from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
100 out of 100 based on 609 ratings.