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.
BA SCORE
100
world-class

641 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 641
Reviews: 89
rAvg: 4.58
pDev: 7.86%
Wants: 625
Gots: 68 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 641 | Reviews: 89
Photo of barczar
4.48/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque black brown with a fleeting quarter inch mocha head that dissipates into nothing.

Deeply caramelized malt, plums, light roast, sherry, and chocolate comprise the initial aroma. Figs, bruised cherries, vanilla, and booze added complexity.

Fairly boozy flavor, bourbon and oak, meeting with vanilla and bruised cherry, morphing into figs, dates, and raisins at the finish. Dark fruit becomes more pronounced as it warms. Sweet roast malt forms the backbone, but pales in comparison to the dark fruit. Reminiscent of port or sherry, but a touch bitter at the finish.

Body is thick, fairly syrupy, with minimal carbonation and significant alcohol warmth.

More dark fruit than expected, with lots of booze that's not offputting. My only complaint might be the dominance of sherry, and abundant sweetness.

Photo of maximum12
4.72/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

Photo of woosterbill
4.51/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

750ml bottle into a 25cl Duvel tulip. Huge thanks to the generous soul who shared this - Tony? Chris?

A: Black body, clear red-brown highlights. Even a hard pour only yields a thin tan head. Ok.

S: Intense. Rich, dark, crazy. Licorice, booze, molasses, dark fruit, and chocolate. Incredible.

T: Follows the nose. Sweet, rich, complex, and wonderful. Lots of licorice, toffee, booze, and dark chocolate. Decadent and amazing.

M: Sticky medium-full body. Moderate carbonation. Nice.

O: Fantastic beer - a real standout even at an incredible tasting.

Cheers!

Photo of Toadvine
4.64/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

Photo of kawilliams81
4.57/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a Half Acre snifter.

A- pours near black with a 1 finger tan head. No lacing.

S- big chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, toffee, caramel

T- caramel, toffee, chocolate, bourbon and vanilla

M- full body and medium carbonation. Slightly syrupy with some acidity.

O- very good beer. Had it on tap at Bells in October and that it was just ok, but it is a very good beer out of the bottle.

Photo of iadler
4.42/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. Had on tap at Bryant Lake Bowl as part of their Bell's tap takeover.

A- Pours a dark brown with a thin off white head that leaves a few lines of lacing.

S- Tons of barrel characteristics with bourbon, wood, coconut and vanilla followed by dark chocolate, molasses, brown sugar, burnt toast and a hint of licorice.

T- Barrels shine in the taste as well. Bourbon, wood, coconut and vanilla as well as raisins, black cherry, dark chocolate, molasses, toast and licorice.

M- Thick and chewy mouthfeel with lower carbonation and some heat at the finish. I couldn't help but compare the mouthfeel between this and the Black Note I was drinking next to BA 9000. This makes Black Note have a watered down consistency.

O- Simply put, this is a big ass beer. The best BA offering I've had from Bell's. The high abv prevents you from drinking more than 10 oz, but a great sipper.

Photo of dirtylou
4.12/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on-tap, duckworths over christmas

I really liked Batch 9000 fresh (according to my review, apparently) despite its fierceness. The barrel-aged version is a real chore to drink. I cant even fathom drinking more of 12oz of this at any given time without dying. Huge boozy body, molasses, bourbon, fudge, bourbon, molasses, you get the picture. This is almost too much for me - a decadent sipper with bold flavor around every corner but damn near impossible to drink. Having this on tap was a treat - i have no desire to track down a bottle.

Photo of billab914
4.47/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Rustico's Novemberfest. Pitch black in color. Minimal head and still looking, but fitting for the style.

The aroma has rich, bittersweet chocolate blending in with the brown sugar and vanilla flavors of the bourbon. Some really nice dark fruits are there as well. Really nice balance of flavors and everything is extremely complimenting. Great aroma overall.

The taste has a little more of the dark fruit and raisin flavors to it. The bourbon barrel is again extremely complimenting and flavorful with notes of brown sugar and vanilla. The chocolate comes out as well. Awesome tasting beer overall, it comes together excellently.

The mouthfeel is thick and slick with very low carbonation. Overall, it was a fantastic beer. The barrel aging was pretty close to perfectly done as it was very complimenting without dominating the flavors. Everything came together in it excellently. Definitely the best beer of the day and maybe the best one I've had in a while.

Photo of KevSal
4.44/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dblab with the hook up yet again. Didn't think I'd get a chance to try this one. Wasn't planning on reviewing this guy but this is just too good

750ml into gi glasses

A- looks alright, pours with no head.

S- aroma is huge, sticky brown suger comes first. Dark fruits, molasses, it's evident it's a strong ale rather than a stout. Reminds me a lot of Adam from the wood

T- huge. A lot like the aroma, raisins brown sugar, the base beer comes out much more than I expected, and is complemented well by the barrel aging. I'm loving it. Doesnt surprise me it's so sought after. Alcohol is big on the back end, but slips away as it warms.

M- medium thick body is perfect carbonation. The alcohol is present but it slips away as I sip on it (with 14% I'm probably just getting drunk haha)

I- this is a fantastic beer and a great representation of barrel aging done right. It's super decadent so by sure to have a few buddies who'd appreciate it share with you.i wish I had more regular 9000 to drink this side by side with. I did like the base beer a lot

If you like strong ales and old ales this beer is a must try! Easily one of the best of 2012
Dan I appreciate it bud!

Photo of kylehay2004
4.3/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Halg finger tan head on a near jet black oily body. Aroma of bourbon, syrup, roasted malt, dark fruits and dark chocolate. Flavors are similar but stronger with dark chocolate, bourbon, molasses, brown sugar, Creme brule and hint of licorice. Thick body and moderate carbonation with oily coating of the palate. This one gets better and better as its enjoyed. The sweetness is balanced nicely and the booze though strong at first levels out eventually.

Photo of Bung
4.15/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Draft at Duckworths Park rd. Dark mohoghanny pour, layer of cream head.

Aroma, molasses, brown sugar, vanilla, oak.

Taste, bigger version if the aroma. Malty toffee, caramel. Molasses and brown sugar. Hops are pretty much gone. Vanilla and a peaty woodiness. Actually has a nice chocolate component. Booze...

Pretty full body, carbonation keeps this from being too sticky. Real nice body wise, but wow is it warm. Barrels jacked the abv way up from the original. The biggest sipper I've had in a while.

I like the original and this is an improvement in taste, but man is it warmer than the original. Probably should try it if you have a chance though. Still a few Bells I'd put ahead of this.

Photo of CuriousMonk
4.49/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at 1702 Speedway Pizza in Tucson. Pours a dark brown color with a tan head forming on the pour. The head dissipates quickly to a thin ring. Aromas of dark fruits, nuts and a ton of molasses. Bourbon notes with some light vanilla and caramel malts. The taste follows the nose nicely with just a touch more bourbon and some added heat that warms the through as well. The Batch 9,000 base does come out with the dark fruits and heavy malt presence, but the bourbon barrel just really adds a layer of flavor that’s remarkable. Smooth bourbon, vanilla sweetness, caramel, toffee and nuts. Medium low carbonation with a medium-full body. Super creamy, rich and smooth this goes down nicely even with the ABV and subtle back end heat. Quite enjoyed this brew!

Photo of jeonseh
4.55/5  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

Photo of jera1350
4.7/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

Photo of mothman
4.37/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Not pitch black, but dark with tan head.

Reminds me of a bruery barrel aged beer. Lots of smooth and warming bourbon. Vanilla, molasses, chocolate, and roasted malts. The licorice still shows. Always been a fan of that part. It's thick and ends with a little dryness.

I really enjoyed this beer and it was a step up from 9000. Very easy to drink! Worth a try!

Photo of HopHead84
4.3/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12/07/2012

Bottle shared by Javier at Strong Ale, thanks!

A: Brown bordering on black with a substantial brown head. Thick alcohol collar yields a cascading string of pearls.

S: Pronounced molasses, brown sugar, and bourbon. Notes of vanilla blend with lightly roasted grains and alcohol.

T: Incredibly decadent. Reminds me of a big Bruery beer, with monstrous brown sugar, bourbon, and molasses notes. There's some licorice in there, as well as fudge, vanilla, and a bit of soy.

M: Big body with medium carbonation. Chewy and sticky mouthfeel. Numbing alcohol sensation on the palate.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.39/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to AndrewK for sharing this one at drewone's tasting.

Batch # 11590. Bottle # 1003/1502.

Pours a clear dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, dark fruits, cookie dough, bourbon, and wood. Taste is much the same with an alcohol kick and a woody finish. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel and a bit of heat in the throat after each sip. Overall, this is a very good beer with a great barrel aged presence in the aroma and flavor.

Photo of claaark13
4.4/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks for opening a bottle of this Scott, much appreciated. Odd to be so excited about a somewhat poor base beer tossed into a barrel. I guess it isn't the first time....

A - Pours deep brown, borderline black. Light tan, like an off-white head. Good lacing retention. 4.25.

S - Caramelized wood with candied dark fruits...and a slight heat. Candied plums, maybe a little more like a candied dried fruit (prunes). Very potent.

T - Candied raisins, caramel, light head in the middle, nice woody finish. Well balanced. I didn't find much of the sweet, malty black licorice mess that I recall from regular Batch 9000. I think the barrel turned that into the candied dark fruits, which I greatly appreciate.

M - Not as great as it could be. Lighter than expected, medium. 3.75.

O - Hard to judge. Very good beer, incredible compared to the base. Among the better of the style that I've had.

Photo of cpetrone84
3.18/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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).

Photo of mdaschaf
4.25/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Bells, review from notes.

A: Pours a dark brown color with purple highlights with a small tan head on top. Minimal head retention with thin lacing.

S: A little bit of bourbon, some caramel, and vanilla with some dark stone fruit and some molasses.

T: Similar to the aroma with more dark fruit, some plum and fig, with caramel, molasses, some bourbon, vanilla, toffee, and a slight nuttiness.

M: Medium to full bodied with medium carbonation. On the creamy side, and rather smooth. Just a bit of warmth as it goes down.

O: Liked the this version much more than the unbarreled version, surprisingly easy drinking for such a big beer.

Photo of Etan
4.45/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at FoBAB, from notes. Normally don't review small pours but a couple beers there warranted note-taking.

A: Pours a straightforward murky brown with a small light tan head.

S: Very rich and sweet. Melted caramel, coconut, thick chocolate, maple, vanilla, candied figs, slight waft of alcohol.

T: Heavy with sweet tannins and maple. Cooked sugar, toffee, lots of maple, oak and vanilla, butterscotch, warming booze.

M: Thick-bodied with light carbonation.

O: The barrel's influence on this beer is phenomenal, enhancing the sweetness without putting it over the top.

Photo of Treebs
4.47/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at FOBAB. Served in my FOBAB taster.

A: Pours a dark brown/purple color with a tan head forming on the pour. The head dissipates quickly to a thin ring. Pretty standard given the ABV.

S: Dark fruits, nuts and a ton of molasses. Bourbon notes with some light vanilla and caramel malts.

T: The taste follows the nose nicely with just a touch more bourbon and some added heat that warms the through as well. Again, the Batch 9,000 base does come out with the dark fruits and heavy malt presence, but the bourbon barrel just really adds a layer of flavor that's remarkable. Smooth bourbon, vanilla sweetness, caramel, toffee and nuts.

M: Medium low carbonation with a medium-full body. Super creamy, rich and smooth this goes down nicely even with the ABV and subtle back end heat.

O: I still can't believe the barrel really did this to the base beer as I though the regular Batch 9,000 was good, but nothing incredibly remarkable. I would definitely like to try this again and compare from the bottle.

Photo of Powderhornphil
4.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One finger mocha head. Black and appealing.

Smell of bourbon. Some bitter chocolate. Smell is on par with an excellent BA beer.

Taste. Wow. Sweet bourbon. Licorice. Chocolate. probably one of the best BA beers I have had. Lots of flavors that really compliment the bourbon.

Mouthfeel spot on for the style.

wish it was available to me in bottles. No alcohol heat to speak of.

Photo of homebrew311
4.07/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown appearance with a dense cocoa colored head. Nose is straight dark chocolate with heavy waves of cherry skin. Vanilla comes through strong with some caramel, molasses and oak at the finish. Taste is similar, very sweet with dark fruit and chocolate. The vanilla mellows out the sweetness and smooths out the flavor. Mellow carbonation and sticky body. Overall, the barrels have been nice to batch 9k.

Photo of khumbard
4.57/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to eyeenjoybeer for the share....

Pours a dark brownish black with a dissipating head, pretty much expected. The nose is probably the best part of the beer for me... subtle bourbon, dark fruits, coffee, molasses.... very nice. Taste is sweet and complex. The barrel has really improved the base beer significantly. It rounded out all of the odd edges that hurt the base. The bourbon comes through just enough, along with the molasses and raisin sweeness. Finishes with a lingering sweetness that is a bit sticky... but if you've ever had the standard 9000 that is to be expected. The barrel may have thinned it out just slightly, but the mouthfeel is pretty much the same as the base.... a bit syrupy, but nothing too over the top. Overall, this was really darn good and an improvement on the base beer. I'm in the group that didn't really enjoy the base beer fresh, but it has grown on me the last 3 years. I was really excited to try the barreled version, and Bell's didn't disappoint.

Bell's Bourbon Barrel Aged Batch 9000 from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
100 out of 100 based on 641 ratings.