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

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

581 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 581
Reviews: 80
rAvg: 4.57
pDev: 7.88%


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: 581 | Reviews: 80 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of mikejonze
mikejonze

Michigan

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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-07-2014 17:23:39 | More by mikejonze
Photo of Rifugium
Rifugium

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Consumed Jan. '14.

Thick, black pour, with a small khaki head that sank to a ringlet; no real lacing, but definitely had some legs. Admittedly, it's been a while since I've had the regular Batch 9000, but looking back, there were some nice similarities going on with this one...plus bourbon. Sweet aroma, molasses, maple syrup, vanilla, rum raisin, some barrel. Sweet dark sugars in the taste, candied dark fruits, tannic notes, bourbony oak and vanilla, hints of leather and ash. Medium-full body, slick, smooth mouthfeel, reminiscent of an old ale, possibly even close enough to be confused with a stout. The alcohol heat has mellowed with age, but is definitely still present. Definitely glad to have had the opportunity to try this, and I wish I had a few bottles of my own.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2014 08:14:18 | More by Rifugium
Photo of PaulyB83
PaulyB83

Michigan

4.91/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-16-2013 18:43:09 | More by PaulyB83
Photo of MaxRebo
MaxRebo

Pennsylvania

4.18/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served in a snifter with about 1 finger of head. Pours very dark with hints of red. Has a very rich and buttery fragrance. Very complex flavor profile of vanilla, cinnamon, earthy fruits, and bourbon. Can taste the 14.9% ABV. Surprisingly carbonated mouth feel for the high alcohol. Overall a very good beer, but at times the complexity of the flavor can be overwhelming and hard to distinguish taking away some from the experience.

Serving type: on-tap

09-06-2013 23:41:59 | More by MaxRebo
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trxxpaxxs

New York

4.54/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep mahogany with only a tiny bit of dark khaki colored head.

S: The nose is sweet and boozy with tons of figs, raisins, plums, all that good stuff.

T: The taste follows the nose. Damn this beer it good. Sweet to start, tons of fruit flavors, great barrel character on the back end.

M: Full bodied beer. It's syrupy and sticky. It fully coats, and lingers on the palate long after the beer is gone.

O: Super solid. I enjoyed this beer quite a bit. I'd love to try it again in the future if I could get my hands on another bottle.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2013 14:14:32 | More by trxxpaxxs
Photo of smakawhat
smakawhat

Maryland

4.44/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap at Churchkey DC full pour, for dc beer week into a snifter.

Dark walnut brown body, fairly clear with some faint red accents. Head is light mocha brown, one finger presented settles to a good collar. No lacing.

On the nose its a huge vanilla bomb. Lots of thick cream, and extract like vanilla. Nice fruity ester undertones, akin to red berried fruit. Syrup and toffee notes but nothing too sugary with a hint of coffee. Large and impressive if a bit overly sweet.

Palate delivers the goods. Light oily toffee and vanilla, candy caramel stickiness. Matching fruit esters with strawberry and some raspberry on the finish. Slick and full coating. Light toffee accents with controlled boozy warmth on the finish without a sick rush. Sweetness is nicely controlled, while a bit big some of the charring and tannic quality cuts it out nicely.

Real nice impressive strong ale. Fruity, Coffee and cream vanilla, without a giant roast crunch, and impressive take on strong ale.

Serving type: on-tap

08-15-2013 22:09:34 | More by smakawhat
Photo of Stevedore
Stevedore

Wisconsin

4.63/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

08-11-2013 18:41:02 | More by Stevedore
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womencantsail

California

4.38/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks, Derek! Almost black in color with a khaki head. Huge vanilla aroma. Lots of bourbon, oak, and roasted malt, too. Plenty of dark chocolate, licorice, and dark fruits. Sweet bourbon, vanilla, and dark fruit flavors. Heavy on the licorice, roasted malt, caramel, and molasses. A bit of alcohol, some dark chocolate, and maybe just a hint of maple syrup.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2013 15:45:27 | More by womencantsail
Photo of tarheels86
tarheels86

California

3.43/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tap at Kickbacks for RBWG JAX. Pours ultra inky black, weaker yellow bubbles. Nose is sharp Islay Scotch peat, scorched earth, big licorice, black crayon. Taste is tomato paste, Scotch peat, harsh alcohol, mild vanilla. A ton of warming alcohol. Palate is oily, sticky. The harsh scorched earth thing going on was quick bizarre. Disappointing. 6/3/7/4/13=3.3

Serving type: on-tap

07-18-2013 22:41:50 | More by tarheels86
Photo of Phelps
Phelps

Arizona

4.23/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed in a taster at the AZ Strong Beer Fest.

Dark purple blak, very thin, bubbly, watery head.

Bourbon, caramel, molasses, butterscotch, dark chocolate, a touch of smoke.

You don't get much more than the bourbon, but that may be because batch 9000's flavors already mirror that of a bourbon barrel. Big caramel, toffee, a good amount of sugary syrup, maple, brown sugar, tangy sugars.

Medium body, mild massaging carbonation, a good amount of alcohol heat. Almost spicy on the tongue.

Super-solid. One of the best beers I had at the festival. Could use a little more showing from the base beer, surprising so little came through from such an intense brew.

Serving type: on-tap

07-11-2013 23:14:37 | More by Phelps
Photo of KYGunner
KYGunner

Kentucky

4.25/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Said to be double brown, thats a good way to describe this ale. Almost black in the glass it holds a deep dark brown appearance in the light. The ale was poured to the top so I did not get a good feel for the body.

The scent is of bourbonesque oakiness, vanilla, coconut and fruitiness. Hard to pinpoint the very fruit by which I caught but it's reasonably tropical.

The taste is smooth bourbon essence, vanilla, coconut, and then a sherry fruity sweetness. I would say that the sweetness doesn't belong but after a few tastes it gets a cherry flavor that is nice and in no way off-putting. Some chocolate sweetness and even a small bit caramel, this is a really nice experience.

This is not Black Note, but fans of this type or the barrel aged genre need to give this a try.

Serving type: on-tap

05-29-2013 00:50:55 | More by KYGunner
Photo of ehammond1
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2013 15:52:40 | More by ehammond1
Photo of SpeedwayJim
SpeedwayJim

New York

4.08/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Mike for this one. 750ml corked and caged bottle into a Utopias glass. Had at a tasting 5/18/13. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a deep, dark amber/ruby. Oily legs with spotty lace with decent stick. No head. Pretty average.

Nose is fig, prunes, molasses, and booze. Aromatic with a nice, alcohol bite. Solid.

Opens sweet prunes, roast, and a slightly burnt bitterness. Molasses and dark fruit in the middle with a creamy hop bitterness that lingers in the background. Vanilla, leather and oak too. Sweet soy sauce in the finish and a fruity sweet aftertaste. Great complexity that's well executed.

Medium to full bodied with low carbonation. Oily and slick in the mouth and boozy and hot going down. Messy finish with a sticky, filmy aftertaste. Very appropriate.

A very good beer overall but I'm not sure where the huge upgrade from the regular version comes from. The base beer was always a complex offering and barrel aging has added layers of flavor. However, its also given this beer an undesired harsh booziness that doesn't help the experience. Worth trying but this isn't as good as the overall score suggests.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2013 15:47:47 | More by SpeedwayJim
Photo of MCImes
MCImes

Minnesota

5/5  rDev +9.4%
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!

Serving type: on-tap

05-12-2013 18:02:05 | More by MCImes
Photo of pmarlowe
pmarlowe

District of Columbia

4.45/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Big thanks to seeswo for this! Poured at the Bruery, 5/5/13 Clusterfork.

A: Pours a dull, opaque black with a vanishing tan head. No lacing or head.

S: A complex mix of dark fruit, rich caramel, a dusting of cocoa. A touch of molasses and roasted malt. The nose is on the lighter end in terms of strength. Sweetish.

T: Very rich, similar to the nose: caramel, cocoa, brown sugar, and dark fruit (fig), and light barrel character (oak and bourbon). There's an alcohol burn toward the finish, and a light sweetness which really supports the other flavors.

M: Medium carbonation and full bodied. Mouth coating.

O: Delicious. A big, complex beer with lighter barrel character. Definitely a sipper, but not too rich to drink a lot of. A substantial improvement over the non-BA version of Batch 9000.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2013 05:27:08 | More by pmarlowe
Photo of tectactoe
tectactoe

Michigan

4.05/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-07-2013 03:21:19 | More by tectactoe
Photo of deadonhisfeet
deadonhisfeet

Kentucky

4.54/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

On tap at Friday Night Flights, Party Town, Florence, KY. The pour is a dark, tawny color with a very thin head that quickly dissipates down to a trace of lacing (not uncommon for barrel-aged beers). The nose is somewhat subdued. I get bourbon, chocolate, and a leathery kind of note.

Full-bodied with a slick, oily feel. Very bourbon-forward up front with big notes of caramel, treacle, toffee, vanilla, and bourbon. In the back of the palate there are cherry-like flavors that combine with the bourbon notes and alcohol to create a massive port-like flavor. The beer finishes like a big ruby port - rich, fruity, and very boozy and liqueur-like. Would make a great dessert sipper and could stand up to the strongest cigar you've got.

Overall, an absolutely stellar beer. This ``mere'' American Strong Ale could almost pass for Bourbon County Brand Stout. The flavor reminds me of Asbach Uralt (those expensive brandy-filled dark chocolates from Germany). Liquid dessert. Phenomenal.

Serving type: on-tap

05-04-2013 19:43:38 | More by deadonhisfeet
Photo of yamar68
yamar68

Minnesota

4.45/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Pracna. What an awesomely executed beer event this was. They've certainly earned themselves a new customer today. From notes:

Dark cola brown body with minimal clarity. A fine oily ring of carbonation clings to the glass... not a very lively looking beverage. By the looks of it, I'd venture to guess that there's some alcohol in this one.

Sweet bourbon all over the nose. Caramel and brownie, milk chocolate, burnt vanilla, pitted fruits and a warming alcohol character.

Big old fuckin' beer... charred oak flavors meld with vanilla, brownie, bourbon... creamy dessert sugars linger on the palate alongside fresh tobacco and molasses. Dynamic and challenging.

Very glad to have finally had the chance to try this one on for size.

Serving type: on-tap

04-26-2013 02:05:42 | More by yamar68
Photo of mnphish
mnphish

Minnesota

4.93/5  rDev +7.9%
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!

Serving type: on-tap

04-26-2013 00:36:01 | More by mnphish
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timc100

Illinois

4.74/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

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.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2013 15:04:52 | More by timc100
Photo of Doodler
Doodler

Colorado

4.71/5  rDev +3.1%
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….

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2013 01:04:56 | More by Doodler
Photo of standardcherry
standardcherry

Massachusetts

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.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2013 08:11:15 | More by standardcherry
Photo of sweemzander
sweemzander

Illinois

4.7/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2013 18:34:23 | More by sweemzander
Photo of AlexFields
AlexFields

Tennessee

4.08/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Shared by Photekut at TN whales tasting 3/16/2013.

Pours a dark caramel brown, not much of a head. Not much to look at, fortunately it ain't the looking at that really concerns me.

Tons of bourbon barrel in the nose, caramel and oak, vanilla, this is obviously going to be a sweet as fuck malt/barrel bomb.

Taste is oak and bourbon forward, lots of caramel and vanilla, some booze, very rich and sweet as predicted.

Mouthfeel is syrupy and thick, it's still pretty hot and there's not a lot of carb, but that's to be expected in a beer like this and I'm not complaining.

Delicious. Probably not quite worth the hype, but still damn tasty.

8.4/10

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2013 17:02:23 | More by AlexFields
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Trifecta1

Illinois

4.79/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-09-2013 19:48:44 | More by Trifecta1
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Bell's Bourbon Barrel Aged Batch 9000 from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
100 out of 100 based on 581 ratings.