Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

88 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 88
Hads: 651
Avg: 4.48
pDev: 8.26%
Wants: 623
Gots: 66 | FT: 8
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:
Beer added by: warnerry on 10-09-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Double Brown Ale aged in bourbon barrels.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 88 | Hads: 651
Photo of MCImes
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

You can read the other wordy reviews if you want. Ill keep mine short.

This beer ruined me. It set a new bar on my palette, and thus, made everything else taste a little worse by comparison. Bells knocked it out of the park with this one. It deserves 5.1/5, as it set a new bar for goodness in my life.

*starts chant* Re-brew! Re-brew! Re-brew! Re-brew!

 356 characters

Photo of josephwa
5/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served in a large tulip glass.

A - jet black, completely opaque, perfect head. Inviting indeed.

S - Bourbon and sweetness calling my name.

T - So rich in flavor, perfectly sweetened, the bourbon aging is very nice. Lots of complexity.

M - This has a lighter weight to it than expected. There is no alcohol burn on this at all. Hard to believe it is 14.9%! Perfect carbonation as well.

O - I wish this beer were perpetually available for me to enjoy. Dear God.

 465 characters

Photo of deebo
4.95/5  rDev +10.5%
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

 894 characters

Photo of timc100
4.94/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Notes from Thanksgiving '12

A: Dark dark dark dark brown with a thin instantly dissipating khaki head

S: WOW big and boozy, but not necessarily bourbon booze, just a big fresh strong ale. Creamy oak and vanilla, strong licorice, big tart cherry, and rich milk and some dark chocolate.

T: Like a lush rip tart michigan cherry filled with bourbon and dipped in chocolate. Very hot and complex. Bourbon vanilla and caramel sweetness throughout.

P: Chewy, very chewy. Full bodied light carbonation. Complements the other elements perfectly

O: Just fantastic, wonderful, brilliant beer. The Bells fridge was packed with these guys and I didn't know what was in front of me. Though pricey, if I could go back and buy 3 more for the cellar I would have. Amazing stuff

I am sure age will do wonders. 96/100

Revisited 12/26/2014 bottle 397

An incredibly intense beer that is all over the place yet still all in the right places. Age has smoothed out some of the boozier edges, but it has not lost any of it's intensity - more concentrated.

Huge, rich dark fruits and barrel. A slightly tart black cherry particularly, molassas, a little bit of that anise comes through, soft vanilla and coconut, toffee and oak. The bourbon works wonderfully and imparts a caramel and vanilla booziness.

Knock out, one of a kind beer. 100/100

 1,336 characters

Photo of PaulyB83
4.91/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had on tap and a Bell's tap takeover at Kalamazoo Beer Exchange
Served in a 11.5oz snifter

A- Darkest brown you can imagine, almost black. Can see light coming through on the edges. Light khaki ring of foam. Medium-heavy viscosity.

S- Huge molasses, like sticking your nose in a jar of molasses. Then comes the bourbon with it's vanilla and oak coming through. Dark fruit, raisins, fruit cake. Very complex.

T- Similar to nose, big molasses, vanilla, oak, alcohol comes through as it warms but is never overpowering and hard to tell it's 14.9%. Very smooth and perfectly balanced with not one characteristic taking over the other. Reminded me very much of Kuhnhenn BB4D.

M- A heavy viscosity but still I found it surprisingly easy to drink considering the complexity and ABV.

O- Very thankful that I was able to find this on tap somewhere, had been looking for it for the past year and was worried I had lost my window. Really wish my head hadn't been up my ass when it came out in bottles, the trading rate for this is only getting higher. Even with me living in Kalamazoo this one was hard to find and made sure to get to the bar when they opened at 11am so I wouldn't miss out and everyone else in the place seemed to be right with me. At 7 bucks for a 11.5 serving I thought it was a great deal and even though I shouldn't have, I got 2. Hard to believe this is a one-off and won't be brewed again. Hope Bell's gets the hint and either rebrews or makes a very similar recipe to this some time in the future. Again, one of the best beers I've ever had and so happy to have gotten to try it.

 1,601 characters

Photo of mnphish
4.91/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Consumed about 2 hours ago on tap at Pracna on Main in MPLS. Reviewed from fresh memory and some notes. 5 oz. pour.

A dark brown/light black with a small tan head. The nose reeks of bourbon, dark chocolate and dry-dark fruit, nuts, oatmeal, a small roast character, and loads of oak and vanilla. The taste follows suit with a punch of chocolate covered cherries.

It has a medium-full body with a light warming effect and small doses of booze. This is really close to perfection. Could I pretend this beer has something negative about it? Absolutely not, it is simply otherworldly. Cheers Bells!

 597 characters

Photo of standardcherry
4.84/5  rDev +8%
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.

 1,040 characters

Photo of mikejonze
4.82/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

 2,017 characters

Photo of ediaz
4.81/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

On tap at World of Beer UCF 1/24/13 into a snifter.

A: motor oil black with dark brown edges. Light mocha head

S: bourbon, toffee, chocolate, coffee, vanilla, malty goodness

T: follows the nose. Sweet bourbon and choco-coffee up front. Sweetness carries into a vanilla that transitions to a finish is of a Heath bar - one of the better beers I've ever had.

M: lighter than expected but still has a decent weight to it. Mild carbonation, just right.

O: Outstanding. I crapped my pants when I heard we got a keg, as I thought I'd never try this. This beer lives up to the hype. I'm now on a permanent ISO. If you like bcbs you'll love this.

 644 characters

Photo of Trifecta1
4.8/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On-tap at the Eccentric Cafe in Kalamazoo, celebrating my best friend's acceptance to medical school.

A: Pitch black, opaque, can't even see through the peripheries. Looks like a stout, or a very mean dark ale, turns out to be the latter.

S: Good god, the bourbon. Vanilla, slight spices, malty sweetness. Heaven.

T: Bourbon, bourbon, bourbon, dark grains with large hits of roasty caramel and raisins, and smaller hints dark chocolate. Nutmeg-like spiciness, could even be cinnamon almost. Sweet alcohol flavor with plenty of burn. Low bitterness. Complex and aggressive. It'll put hair on your chest.

M: Creamy, smooth, and thick. Even though this beer will blow your nuts off, it'll do it in an elegant fashion.

Overall, one of the best beers I have ever had, which is saying a lot. I would do dirty things to get a growler of this, or even another taste. Thankfully, there is talk of going back to Michigan soon.

 921 characters

Photo of weonfire
4.78/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Had this on tap in a 10oz snifter glass at The Beer Trappe in Lexington, Ky.

A. First glance looks jet black. But as you turn the glass the rim is a deep burgundy. Snifter was filled to the brim, but a light white head present.

S - numerous. I wont prentend like you can pick out exact fruits in this. very strong, nicely aged and balanced fruits is all can say for sure. licorice and chocolate.

T - Chocolate, aged fruit, plum, licorice, fudge, molasses, alcohol, and small smoke as it goes down the throat

M - thick, viscosity was medium.

O - reminded me more of 2012 Goose Island's BCBS than I thought it would. excellent brew. Was very sweet. You will taste this beer for an hour after consuming.

 705 characters

Photo of TCgoalie
4.76/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at 8th St Grille in Holland.

The appearance is tough to judge given the lighting situation but I enjoy the filmy splotchy head and the ring of lacing around the parameter. This beer has legs like a six foot brunette.

Bourbon oak heaven in the smell with dark intriguing fruits lingering in its abyss.

So much going on in the taste...licorice, charred marshmallow, honey, bourbon soaked cherries, oak, vanilla, love, maple, tobacco...I could go on all night. A lingering bitterness helps balance the sweetness all wrapped up with an alcohol heat sting in the end.

3 words can describe the mouthfeel: Thick Syrup Chewbacca. This is thick, chewy, smooth, with a lovely sweet treat left on my lips after the swallow.

I'm going to try not to let my excitement go over board when grading this but this is terrific! I love regular batch 9000 and this is even a step up. Awesome!

 884 characters

Photo of 4lo
4.73/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bell's Barrel Aged Batch 9000 #9 / 1502
Pours a dark brown that still has a bit of visibility through it. Almost like a soda. Smell of molasses and bourbon up front. Get a bit of oak and some fruit as well, but definitely sweetness and booze. Ton of flavors going on with the beer, but follows the scent. Molasses, vanilla, bourbon, oak, and brown sugar. A bit sweet and hot at the same time, but smooth on the mouth feel with some caramel at the end. Almost creamy like a melted milk chocolate, but with a bit of carbonation to smooth it out. Reminded me a bit of the 10000 with all the flavors going on

 604 characters

Photo of JDizzle
4.73/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Got a 12 oz pour at the eccentric cafe. $6.75

Charlie Murphy black with negative head...zero.

Wow, smells like dark fruits, booze, licorice, bourbon, and more booze.

Complex is a good word. Again, dark fruits like dates and raisins are strong. The bourbon barrel aging is present, but does not take over like usual. It has a nice dry finish from the barrel. It's hot, but it's very drinkable for a 15%er.

Mouthfeel is thick, chewy, and dry. Carbs are low as they should be. Nice!!

What a great beer! This is so much better than 9000.

 541 characters

Photo of dar482
4.73/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The beer offers vanilla, brownie chocolate, dried figs and plums, brown sugar, caramel candy with a touch of balance from the oak tannins on the finish.

The beer is similar to the base, but the barrel offers a bit more complex sweetness as the vanilla and oak balances the brew out.

 284 characters

Photo of scottfrie
4.72/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

750ml bottle into snifter. Bottle 841/1502.

A: Pours a deep brown cola color with a thin light than head that faded to a thin collar leaving spots of soapy lace along the way.
S: Boozy notes of bourbon, leather, brown sugar, caramel, toffee, molasses, oak barrel, and mild tobacco. Rich, sweet, and boozy smelling.
T: Expertly smooth flavors of leather, bourbon, oak, tobacco, vanilla, honey, molasses, brown sugar and a hint of milk chocolate and caramel. Very sweet overall, with notes of leather and leafy tobacco in the finish, and molasses and sweet bourbon lingering in the aftertaste.
M: Very mellow, smooth, and integrated and overall, with a rich, full body. Super smooth mouthfeel, sticky and heavy with hop oil. Carbonation is low and near perfect.
O: Extremely decadent and smooth. Well integrated, rich, and complex flavors. Every time I sip I get new layers of flavors. One of the best.

 902 characters

Photo of maximum12
4.72/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Have now had this a couple times on tap & at the risk of giving away my review, fuck-yeah. This beer is amazing. Sampled at Bryant Lake Bowl & Whistle Binkie's, among others.

Unlike some of the haters, I looooved the original Batch 9000. This is the same color, dark brownish, very dark. The nose is 9000 + barrel: bourbon, molasses, toffee, gnomes of goodness. Yum.

Bourbon Barrel Batch 9000 takes the original fantastic base & bumps it up a titch or two, which is hard to do. The bourbon here bonds to the base beer to bring out a huge bag of marshmalow: really. Sweet, vanilla marshmallow like I've never experienced in another beer dominates like Scott Studwell's steely blues. Toffee, caramel, molasses, & a mouthfeel like real syrup make this a sipper. Oh yeah, & the alcohol stings a little. But I could sip it all night (& did once, on a Tuesday - this is not recommended, & only stupid people probably do this).

Overall? Elite. Totally understand why bottles of this beer are so sought after, because this is top-shelf. I'd drink this any & every day of the week. Fantastic beer.

 1,094 characters

Photo of jera1350
4.7/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at New Bohemia.

Served in a tulip, the body is pure black with a thin little head of creamy khaki foam. The nose is full of bourbon, oak and malty sweetness. Huge flavor profile, but everything is just beautifully blended without anything overpowering the rest. Loads of malty sweetness with some dark fruit, chocolate and molasses, with a warm bourbon flavor that adds vanilla and caramelized sugar. Full bodied, with no trace of being nearly fifteen percent alcohol. The bourbon hints at it, but I would have guessed it to be ten percent based on how easily this goes down. This was so outstanding that I wish to indulge again.

 637 characters

Photo of Doodler
4.69/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

C&C 750 Bottle – generously shared by Dr. Chad at Crooked Stave….thanks amigo! Poured a deep coffee color with a small tan head and lacing. Nose is aromatic with bourbon, vanilla, roasted malts and dark chocolates floating around. Full bodied flavor that is somewhat sweet and oaky. Lightly carbed with loads of bourbon, vanilla and dark fruits working throughout and on the finish. Very tasty stuff. Get some….

 417 characters

Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.68/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

On tap at Kickbacks in Jax. Poured into a snifter. Small head with low retention. Clear, oily, sticky lacing. Dark, dark, ruby in color, borderline black. Aroma includes some roasted malt, some alcohol, molasses, port and some beautiful bourbon. Mouthfeel is extremely thick and viscous, tongue and mouth coating. Taste includes molasses, some prune, some bourbon, touch of vanilla and brown sugar. The alcohol is well hidden. This beer deserves all of the hype that it has received to this point and will certainly receive in the future. God damn.

 548 characters

Photo of sweemzander
4.68/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750mL corked and caged bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks to Matt for trading this with me! Bottle #806/1502.

(A)- Pours practically pitch black and fairly thick. Some surprising tan froth formed considering this behemoth's ABV, but dissipated after awhile.

(S)- A hugely rich and decadent aroma. It oozes booze soaked raisin with bits of licorice and oak. The molasses is there too, but in a more of a supporting role. Very complex as it kind of jumps here and there within those aromas.

(T)- Very much like the smell. Such a rich and complex profile to this. Very dynamic with tons of raisin, prune, plum, and molasses with a caramel-rich bourbon barrel oak profile. There is so much more to this than I can really describe here. The way the barrel interacts with the base beer is so well integrated.

(M)- A very mellow carbonation level that works perfectly with this. So well balanced and integrated together despite how sweet and rich this is. In all honesty, it would be really tough to tackle a bottle of this by your lonesome. A huge ABV on this, but almost zero burn; really well integrated ABV.

(O)- Just an extremely well crafted barrel aged beer. I have been a big fan of how the base beer has been aging since its release, but the way the bourbon barrel has treated this is an absolute improvement and a joy to drink. So complex with explosive flavor.

 1,371 characters

Photo of Toadvine
4.64/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I had this on tap at Jerry's. Poured into a snifter. It had a brown syrup color with a thin beige head. I got scents of caramel and toffee and vanilla. The taste was sweet on the front end, with flavors of maple and brown sugar, rounded off by subtle wood flavors and finally a light booze finish. This beer had a wonderful rich velvety body. And I really enjoyed the subtlety of the booze, which complemented the ale without overpowering it.

Like sinking into the world's softest beanbag, with your favorite slippers on, in front of a warm fire, on a rainy fall night.

 570 characters

Photo of Stevedore
4.61/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Full 16oz pour into a Bell's shaker pint glass at the Bell's tap takeover at Madison's on 9 August, the day before the Great Taste. Also had a small pour at the actual Great Taste itself.

Comes out a pitch black beer with a thin dark brown mocha head that dissipates quickly leaving me holding a pint glass with an abyss inside it. It's a really cool effect I think, as it is just so black and opaque. Leaves small lines of lacing as I drink this beer. Very dark and mysterious brew.

Now the smell on this is really, really heavy and thick. Its got a lot of bourbon barrel here but its balanced between the sweet bourbon and the oak's vanilla-like flavours rather than being a bourbon bomb. Its complemented by a really nice complex mixture of dark chocolate, caramel, and toffee. Perhaps molasses and butterscotch too, but I'm not sure about these particular aspects of the beer's sweetness. Very strong, complex nose fit for a king.

There is so much complexity to the palate on this beer. Dark cocoa, caramel, toffee, molasses and butterscotch conspire with the bourbon barrel to create a real melange of flavours here. I would put emphasis on the cocoa and caramel along with the bourbon barrel. Its just so damn intense and strong, punching me in the face. To give you an idea of how strong this is, I got a glass of Black Note to drink next to it and it tasted so bland compared to the BA9K. Yikes!

Mouthfeel on this is actually a bit less full bodied and less creamy than Black Note. Its got a medium body, a little wispy compared to most imperial stouts out there. Which reminded me that this ISN'T an imperial stout but rather a double brown ale. Carbonation is pretty low on this one, and I remember thinking it was just fine for this beer. Aftertaste is that slick bourbon-dominant sweetness and some alcohol heat. Certainly not the best aspect of this beer, but its not a letdown either. It's a sipper for sure.

This is simply put, an awesome beer. It kind of got lost behind the Barrel-Aged Abraxas and Mornin' Delight that we had that weekend, but there is no question that this is an awesome beer. Highly recommended if you come across a bottle of this batch. Bell's FTW.

 2,190 characters

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.6/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle opened on 2.18.13
Bottle 602/1502
Batch 11590

A - Pours a very dark brown with very dark amber highlights, a small fizzy dark tan head appears and fades slowly.

S - Bourbon up front, then some oak, anise, and a hint of dark chocolate.

T - Again the bourbon is present, then some chocolate, followed by wood acid and a touch of carmel.

D - Decent carbonation with a heavier body.

O - This is a BA beer done right. This one is so tasty, it was hard to write it all down.

 480 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.59/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Much like a caterpillar that undergoes its cocoon, yet to emerge as a butterfly- the Batch 9,000 does much the same; with spectacular results. But the adolescent ale was a far cry from a worm, it was pretty special as it was but the bourbon barrel aging gives the beer a serious 2.0 upgrade.

Though the beer defies styles, the beer can easily be mistaken as imperial stout- Its ultra viscous density is as thick black as motor oil, and is further reinforced with its lumbered head that slowly generates on top and is short lives. The beer's foam character quickly succumbs to its sheer weight, alcohol, and light carbonation. Providing as much value for its brandy-like legging than its head retention or Belgian lace, the beer simply looks heavy.

Incredibly savory aromas nearly buckle the knees as the aroma of molasses, maple, and caramel join with a candied bourbon scent of oak, vanilla, and sherry wine. Deep, dark fruit notes all carry the scent of being soaked in obvious bourbon, but also not-so-obvious port wine and butter rum. Darker notes of chocolate, mild coffee, candied almonds, and soy sauce keep the waves of complexities wafting over the nose.

Just as delicious as the aromas promised, the flavors of molasses, toffee, and sorghum sugars all carry a slightly scorched and savory character that extends into the taste of bourbon, fruit, and maturity to come. Figs, dates, plumb, red grape, and light licorice notes fuse well with the umami-rich sherry, soy sauce, and chocolate notes for ultra complexity and variety of taste. All these flavors are awash with bourbon soaked oak- rich with vanilla, cherry, and light char. As the beer warms, more fruit vinous notes rise and keep delivering complex notes right down to the last sip.

Incredibly rich and mouth coating, the beer's sultry sweetness clings to the mouth and saturates those soft tissues with bourbon alcohol, light wine-like acidity, and seductive malt sweetness. The beer lingers with its weight and viscosity very late with only a mild quiver of alcohol dryness that triggers the beer's finish. It lingers indefinite, as its intent is to link up with the next sip- a dessert-like sipper for sure!

Where the original 9,000 demonstrated a strong potential for world class stock or old ale, this bourbon barreled version bridges in the taste of imperial stout, barleywine, and port equally as well. It's simply a magical beer that exceeds expectations!

 2,437 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Bell's Bourbon Barrel Aged Batch 9000 from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
98 out of 100 based on 88 ratings.