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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.

582 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 582
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: 582 | Reviews: 80 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of kylehay2004


4.33/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-23-2012 19:40:36 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of Bung

North Carolina

4.18/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-22-2012 02:18:34 | More by Bung
Photo of CuriousMonk


4.49/5  rDev -1.8%
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!

Serving type: on-tap

12-20-2012 18:11:58 | More by CuriousMonk
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

Serving type: on-tap

12-18-2012 04:39:20 | More by jeonseh
Photo of jera1350


4.73/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-16-2012 19:11:36 | More by jera1350
Photo of mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

4.38/5  rDev -4.2%
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!

Serving type: on-tap

12-15-2012 18:30:05 | More by mothman
Photo of HopHead84


4.33/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


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.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2012 04:51:56 | More by HopHead84
Photo of UCLABrewN84


4.4/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2012 00:16:17 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of claaark13


4.4/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2012 04:54:58 | More by claaark13
Photo of cpetrone84


3.23/5  rDev -29.3%
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).

Serving type: on-tap

11-29-2012 18:24:19 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of mdaschaf


4.28/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-22-2012 14:52:07 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of Etan


4.45/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-22-2012 02:08:36 | More by Etan
Photo of Treebs


4.48/5  rDev -2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-22-2012 01:43:24 | More by Treebs
Photo of Powderhornphil


4.5/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-21-2012 20:05:15 | More by Powderhornphil
Photo of homebrew311


4.05/5  rDev -11.4%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-17-2012 19:21:59 | More by homebrew311
Photo of khumbard


4.55/5  rDev -0.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2012 05:14:38 | More by khumbard
Photo of josephwa


5/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-16-2012 19:04:44 | More by josephwa
Photo of pschul4


4.5/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to mcbeerbrew for this whalez,bro

A- Pours dark as night with a small white head that runs away

S- Pow bourbon! Tons of boozy sexy bourbon hits your nose with a background of sweet malts and chocolate, I am very excite!

T- Lots of chocolate and bourbon here. It's quite similar to bourbon county except without the last layer of complexity (no coffee). Super good, definintely worth the hype

M- Nice and thick like I ike in my big bourbon beers (and women)

O- Simply fantastic, can't say anything bad about this beer

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2012 04:47:00 | More by pschul4
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

Serving type: on-tap

11-15-2012 01:46:45 | More by deebo
Photo of SkeeterBoganski


4.49/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Let's be honest, this is a pretty much a f'n wine; it's hardcore with booze and a pint of this would put you on your ass; it's an aged imperial stout; looks dark brown, almost black and tan; minimal head; hints of vanilla and clove; light lacing; really boozy, really bourbon-y (again); this is heady and will get you drunk. Good beer...love the strong experimentation.

Serving type: on-tap

11-11-2012 01:04:22 | More by SkeeterBoganski
Photo of Holland


4.48/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: black to brown with some light coming through, and a small head that leaves a little lacing.

S: very bourbon forward along with dark fruits.

T: again there is a lot of barrel flavor followed by big date and fig.

M: thick but very well carbonated. At room temperature it feels like a medium body beer.

O: excellent beer. Impressive drinkability for such a big beer. Had on tap at Varga in Philadelphia.

Serving type: on-tap

11-10-2012 19:13:33 | More by Holland
Photo of MasterSki


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

Thanks to mishuggah for sharing this one. Served in a taster pint glass at Todd's birthday bash.

A - Tan foam settles to a collar, wisps, and specks of lacing. Very dark brown body with lighter glints at the edges of the glass. Looks a lot like Batch 9000 did.

S - Huge bourbon of the more earthy variety. Plenty of anise, dark chocolate, yeasty dark bread, caramel and vanilla in there too, but this is pretty bourbon-forward.

T - The taste is similar, with with a bit more of the base beer: anise and dark bread in particular. Roasty, mildly bitter, but gets sweeter as it warms with chocolate fudge and caramel coming out more. Bourbon and oak are still quite present, but don't overpower in the same manner as the aroma.

M - Medium-full body, with moderate-to-low carbonation, and a lightly oaky and tannic texture. Mild sticky in the finish, with some mild alcohol warmth.

D - It's boozy, but it's quite excellent. The texture and alcohol hit are evocative of Bourbon County Stout, so pace yourself. Also a huge improvement over the base beer, as the barrel-aging blunts the overpowering anise and makes it a more complementary flavor. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2012 16:07:27 | More by MasterSki
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT


4.18/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks to TATURBO for the share! Thanks Chris!

poured into tulip glass.

bottle 1153 of 1502.

Appearance: black bodied beer with thin cap of light brown head. drops down to no head.

Smell: bourbon, molasses. black licorice, brown sugar.

Taste: very bourbon forward. black licorice, molasses, tobacco. Dark chocolates, oak, and roasty notes.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. warming booze, but not really harsh.

Overall: really nice barrel aged beer from bells! This is a big improvement from the regular batch 9,000!

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2012 06:47:24 | More by 4DAloveofSTOUT
Photo of Duff27


4.35/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 1153 of 1502

Short lived mocha head leaves a small collar. Dark brown colored body with red hues around the edges.

Stanks of heavy/rich bourbon. Thick roasty wafts.

Special integration of black roast and bourbon barrel notes. Significant oakiness. For 14+%abv, this isn't hot at all.

Thicker mouthfeel, smooth. Lower end of carbonation.

Yeah it's good!! Being a fan of the 9000 I eagerly anticipated trying this guy. Worth it if you can get your hands on it. Thanks a ton TATURBO!

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2012 01:47:10 | More by Duff27
Photo of BARFLYB


3.93/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-04-2012 21:19:10 | More by BARFLYB
Bell's Bourbon Barrel Aged Batch 9000 from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
100 out of 100 based on 582 ratings.