Bell's Bourbon Barrel Aged Batch 9000 - Bell's Brewery, Inc.
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Ratings: 605 | Reviews: 84 | Display Reviews Only:
3.23/5 rDev -29.3%
Had this on tap at mad mex in cranberry. Pour is opaque black with a moderate amount of light brown head. Beer is exactly what i would think, batch 9000 is there but the barrel is perfectly integrated, so it isn't as bad as batch 9000. The cloyingly sweet base beer of messy malt, sweet berry, caramel and toffee have the addition of a great bourbon flavor with subtle wood and vanilla nuances. Man I wish this was expedition stout and not batch 9000. The flavor gained the most in balance and is actually somewhat drinkable, where batch 9000 is not at all. The nose is still a hodge podge of too much sugar and malt. The barrel hasn't done enough there to improve much. The body is very thick, carbonation is a touch light, very dessert like with a chewy feel and rich chocolate notes coming in as it warms. I think bells is a top brewery, they show it here with their use of barrel, but have missed on there latest experimental big beers like batch 9000. Probably an attempt to appease those fans of underattenuated sugar malt bombs with huge flavor, too much sugar, and no integration (ie dark lord fans and the like).
11-29-2012 18:24:19 | More by cpetrone84
3.43/5 rDev -24.9%
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
07-18-2013 22:41:50 | More by tarheels86
3.89/5 rDev -14.9%
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.
05-07-2013 03:21:19 | More by tectactoe
3.93/5 rDev -14%
On Tap at Varga Bar in Philadelphia, PA
Batch 9000 in Bourbon Barrels looks pretty much the same regular 9000 looked, a droppy black color with some faint brown spots near the edge of the glass. Off the spout some minimal off white bubbles sprang up and dissipated very quick, leaving nothing up top and nothing notching on the glass. Barrel 9000 also smells pretty similar to original 9000 with the addition of wet oak/wood, bourbon scents and faint vanilla. The original scent of the 9000 is still strong with light chocolate, tootsie roll, cream, grain, and a minimal hop scent, I guess that died off during it's stay in the barrels. Either way it's a bold smell with more alcohol than before bringing out a English old ale quality to itself. This is BIG BEER, it was big when 9000 1st came through and reigns true today. Big hits of molasses, chocolate, a huge grain bill, vanilla/oak, licorice and some nice bourbon taste coming through in the end with some burn on the way down, this is about 15% after all. The body is thick and the carb is minimal off the tap which is surprising, but than again, this is 15% There is some heat and some sting on the way down, the heat is there and in scope, not hidden in the least bit. If you like boozy big beer, this one is for you. If you like small portions of boozy big beer(like me) this one is good for about 6oz or so and than losses it's luster. A Great beer, just not one I would be interested to make a session out of. If I could score a bottle of this, which is impossible after looking at the trade forums, I would share it with as many people I could find. 25oz's of this would be a chore and a suicide mission in one.
11-04-2012 21:19:10 | More by BARFLYB
3.95/5 rDev -13.6%
750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Bottle #914/1502. Reviewed from notes.
Appearance - Very dark. Flecks of red in the light. A few bubbles.
Smell - Nice bourbon and oak. Balance of caramel and dark roasted malts.
Taste - Follows the smell, but stronger chocolate malts. Oaky and bourbony. Sweet in the finish and slightly fruit back there, too. Reminiscent of the base beer.
Mouthfeel - Hefty, but not overly boozy. Sweet. Medium carbonation.
Overall - This is a good beer, but I don't get the hype.
06-16-2014 20:47:40 | More by Alieniloquium
Bell's Bourbon Barrel Aged Batch 9000 from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
100 out of 100 based on 605 ratings.