Bell's Batch 6000 | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

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Bell's Batch 6000Bell's Batch 6000
182 Ratings
Bell's Batch 6000Bell's Batch 6000

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by xlperro on 10-23-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 182 |  Reviews: 157
Photo of sideshowe
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of nmann08
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of decadance
5/5  rDev +15.5%

Photo of jtw5877
4.97/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a murky reddish brown with a slightly small yet lacy tannish colored head. Smells a little bit malty, and alot piney, and hoppy. A very smooth caramelly malty backbone coupled with a juicy resinous hoppy explosion that is making me burp pinecones. this is one hell of a beer. I feel very fortunate to have sampled it. Thanks to Gary.

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Photo of mcallister
4.92/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Luckily I was able to get into the Bell's tasting at Brew's cafe and help set up and sneak in some reviews unscathed before the event started. Poured into a Bell's stout glass.

This is what a old ale should look like. Dark mahagonny and barely transluscent with a thick tan colored head reminiscent of whipped cream.

Possibly the best BW I've stuck my nose in. Cinnamon and brown sugar reduced with figs and golden raisins. Hints of oxidation show through to an burst of bing cherry. Candied covered citrusy hop aromas waft through the room.

Thick and creamy with a hop induced bitter ending. Large quantities of hop still antagonizing the tastebuds. Finish is looong. So complex and juicy and full of dried candied fruits. Fig paste, half ripen dates, brown sugar, nutty flavors and some peach and citrus from the hops. Prune follows through on the long creamy finish. Things I would do to have this whenever I could.

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Photo of BeerBuilder
4.84/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours to a murky brown color with ruby highlights. It has a tan ring for lacing. The aroma is of malt, sweet caramel, and bread, with a spicy hoppiness, a bit of dark fruits and alcohol. The aroma is almost like angel food cake. The flavor, how can I explain thee. My God, it is som spongy and fluffy. Caramel in the front with a slight fruitiness, like strawberries just peaking its head out. It has a light spicy bitterness throughout. It is drying and fitter in the finish. An excellent beer. It is so fluffy and smooth in the mouthfeel for a fulll-bodied brew. Damn I need a case of this stuff.

Sampled 11/29/03

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Photo of Wildman
4.83/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer poured a cloudy dark amber color and formed a huge reddish tan foamy head that didn't want to leave. A heavy boiling amount of carbonation is present. A heavy aroma of malt, caramel, plums and other dark fruits. A heavy flavor of malt, caramel, hops and some other elements I couldn't place. The finish was heavy with a slightly burnt finish. This one heavy, meaty beer that would definately do well with some age.

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Photo of bditty187
4.82/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is my 750th review on BA; it seemed like a good enough reason/excuse to try this elusive ale that has been in my DFB for a few months.

Dull red in hue with a heavy brown influence, when held to a light there is a slight peachy highlight, cloudy with plenty of yeast sediment. The head was small, beige in color, at its apex it was less then a half finger in height and it quickly faded to a skimpy collar, largely naked in the middle. There was no subsequent lacing. The appearance of this beer is intriguing. The nose is rich from the malt yet awesomely piney, sprucey from the hops. However it is the dark, mysterious fruity aromas that set the bouquet into orbit. I just love the depth. Hints of alcohol are agreeable which adds even more layers of aromas. I detect some vanilla, leather, and figs. Just like the front of the nose, the back has a big blast of hoppiness. Amazing. The malty, fruity notes in the nose remind me of Old Backus Barleywine a great deal. However 6000 has much more hops in play. The bouquet is relaxing and candid, if not downright energetic. Needless to say I found the smells to be inviting. It is freaking drinking time! After the first sip I realized I am the stupidest person alive. When I was recently in Minnesota I saw a six-pack at Blue Max, like a fucking idiot I didn’t buy it. The palate is amazing. The maltiness is massive and very rich; there is some sweetness, syrupy, burnt brown sugar laced with toffee. I love the maltiness in this beer, as I find it very comforting. The fruitiness is lively and playful even though I can’t really describe any of the fruits by name (aside from raisins); all I can say is the fruits are dark and mystifying. I get hints of fig too, even a stray note of wood, leather, and vanilla. The alcohol is warming, yet another layer to play in, I like the heat. Spicy. I haven’t even mentioned the hops yet; I found the hops to impart a good amount of piney flavors. Not only to they balance the huge maltiness but also they gave me some serious hop burps. Is this really an Old Ale? The mouthfeel is full, period. On the tongue this beer is big and bulky but not sluggish. Simply enough this aspect of this beer is perfect; the carbonation is moderately low but lively enough. This is no doubt a sip and savor beer and that is exactly what I did. This is one amazing beverage. Seek it out before it is all gone; don’t pass on it like I did. Thank you PhantomVodoo for the bottle!

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Photo of ZAP
4.82/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pretty close to what I picture as the perfect Barley Wine...Pours a cloudy cherry wood color...shit floating around....minimal head...the nose is an excellent precursur of things to and malty (caramel) nose with strong piney hop notes...almost some sweet rum like notes onthe aroma....the taste is loaded with malt and loaded with hops...evenly balalnced...a sweet caramel backbone...huge piney hop bite particularly on the finish (Chinook, maybe Warrior??)...the malt and hops complement each other almost perfectly...mouthfeel is thick, and rich...finishes with a strong piney hop bite...

It' s amazing how as you sip this you immediately are hit with the sweet caramel maltiness, but as it slides down you finish with the tight piney hop finish....

A well done notch all the way....and it should only get better in time...

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Photo of kwalters
4.82/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The bottle refers to this brew as a barley wine, but I can accept it as a strong ale too.

If you can't find exceptional, exemplary great beer characteristics in this brew, you severely lack tastebuds. The smell and flavor are both richly filled with plums/raisins/rum and overall heavenly goodness! Even better is the texture. It's thick and oily, but verrrry pleasing. I have never savored a glass of beer as much as I did this Batch 6000.

The only downfall is limited availability and high price. The only place I've seen that carries this stuff asks for $19 per sixpack. Worth every penny, but I simply don't have enough pennies to get another sixer. It's time to break into my daughter’s piggy bank!

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Photo of nogoodreason
4.82/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The color of dirt, but with nice clarity and ruby highlights. Not much of a head. Nose is sticky toffee, raisins, a moist, sweet bread. Alcohol is vaguely obscured. Beautiful floral presence rides atop the nose, giving the malty body a touch of elegance.

It's sticky, and thick with strong caramel and raisins. There's a slight spicy alcohol, and vanilla aspect... hops are present, more citric in your mouth than they were floral in the nose. They become orangey, with the floral aspect getting stronger before the alcohol rears it's savage head. Hot, hot, hot for a moment.

As it warms, it gets stickier yet, with the hops blending casually into the overwhelmingly malty body. It finishes lip-smacking sticky with some lingering juicey bitterness on the tounge.

Simply outstanding, it's a shame it was only a special edition. I'll miss it, though I'm glad to have sampled it this once.

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Photo of trancefishy
4.82/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours out a dark burgundy with a skittish and small latte coloured head after spending some 8 months in my cellar.

aroma is of heavy malt and sweet sweet toffee. very thick and rich smelling, and smells simliar to the third coast old ale, but much stronger.

taste is just bam, heavy caremlized sugar. there is a very bitter hop oil action, that makes your mouth feel tannic. strong fruit in the background just dripping with juice. after swallowing the taste is just so as to beg you to take another big ol' swig of this stuff.

mouthfeel is wonderful, very thick and syrupy, but not overly so. most beers i have had lately have seemed a bit thin, but this fits the bill perfectly.

drinkability is great, but, no way would i have more than 1 of these a year.

i served this (to myself) at cellar temp, which was 54.8 at the time of release. i put 3 of these away from my 6er when this came out some 8 months ago. this is the first one i have pulled, though i wish i had reviewed it then to compare with now.

excellent beer, certainly my favourite from Bell's. obviously i recommend it, but that's only if you can still find some.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
4.8/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A delightfully dark brown body, topped by a finger of light tan foam. Lots of yeasties floating about. Good, near-solid, lacing. Looking into the freshly emptied bottle, it's like a kalediscope with the yeast sediment.

Nose is lead by fresh bread, but besides the bread, this bakery is also preparing some sweets, candied cookies perhaps?

A sip rolls across the tongue, wonderfully malty, sweet, and alcoholy, but with a near perfect blend of balancing hops. Finish has a nip of hops, and a warming glow. It like a whole bakery in a flash, Bread, candy, licorice, and a well soaked rum cake.

Mouthfeel is lush and soothing. Drinkability is dangerous, exceptional, and may I add, absurd.

I see no point in cellaring, except for the simple concept of having one later. I doubt it will get better. It doesn't have to.

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Photo of Realale
4.79/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep slightly opaque mahogany. Just the thinnest wisp of a creamy brown head.

Nose is a huge blast of sweet treacley malt, dried cherry, raisin, citrus zest, rum and a ton of leafy slightly citric hop. Wowza.

As big as the nose is, the palate is even bigger. Incredible intensity of malt and hop. I had a swallow or two that literally curled my tongue. This needs at least two years in a cool cellar to integrate, but its a wild ride right now! Tons of malt, leafy hop, citrus, bread, molasses, caramel and treacle. Finish is incredibly long.

Great mouthfeel. Carbonation is just enough to keep it balanced. Very drinkable for what it is, but one is definitely enough for an evening.

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Photo of cokes
4.78/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Beneath the stained mustard sky, an autumnal, violent plum dawn draws down upon the shore.
The predator mist carries orchard fragrances. Pink grapefruits. Rusty freighters. Humid, sticky sweetness of maples and brown sugar.

Welcome to the December gale.

Houses of flavor are built from this very maple timber. Sturdy houses. Safe from bluster and ballast, though not unaffected by the torrent outside. From their sugar windows are viewed scenes of caramel rock outcropping besieged by pummeling and unrelenting sequences of raw, icy grapefruit waves. Arranged with the mathematical regularity of a spiteful God. They just keep coming. And coming. The distant toffee lighthouse and its penetrating, protective prune-emitting beam are shrouded and pounded by wall after wall of cold, bitter fury and sinister bombast.

The hop furor subsides gradually.

Watching again from the window, the remnants of the tempest drip down from the overhangs with black cherry runoff. Everything metal begins to rust. The process, normally accomplished over years, happens almost instantly. Decaying metal is offset by the warm confines of the cozy maple-sugar abode. Light is provided by a warming sherry blaze in the hearth. As rough is the weather gets on the outside, it is positively comfortable inside.

The lake slowly comes back into view, with its ghostly shapes shifting and reforming. Eerily thick in its murk, but airy and sustainable and reassuring.

Remember weathering this one, my lad. It is surely a tale to tell your grandchildren. And for them to pass down. Generation after generation.

The foghorn echoes in the distance, sending chills down the collective spine.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.78/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

They say this beer is too young and needs to be aged longer to be appreciated better. Well, Hell, I got a case, and I can save some and see, but this is beer drinking and not pedophilia, so what's the damn harm?
I've let it cool, I've let it warm up, and now it's time for this hotly anticipated bottle to be opened and slide down into a favorite glass (Maredsous for this sampling)...and so...the uncapping is done with my talking Homer Simpson bottle opener, "MMMM...beeeer" he says, and what could be more appropriate and celebratory? "Heh, heh, he, heh,...yes, oh, yes, WOO-HOO!", he well he should...
Appearance: color, a deep, murky magenta, with a solid, sturdy, creamy toffee-tan head resting proudly atop.
Aroma: lush, rich, ancient, a perfect match of hops and malt, as if they got together and decided to do it as a team, no one member standing on top of this duo, there's a large quality here, with the full integration of the parts standing together and giving a true character of the brew, rather than "fruity", or "malty", it is what it is...and it's damned good! Sweetness and spice, burnished brandy, pure perfection.
So, taste, already! On the lips and down the throat, sublimity, son, nothin' but, honest to Grandma! It has that stop-you-in-your-tracks effect, this utter washing-over effect, that I've experienced with only a precious few brews. So, sip again...How to describe? It's thick, woody, fruity, mouthfilling, powerful on the palate, richly rewarding, an instant friend in your mouth!
Amazingly mellow! There's little evidence of the profoundly huge alcoholic content, that comes soon, but you're sipping slowly, you're savoring, you're simmering in it, it envelops you in a mystical fashion.
This exceeds so many expectations I've imagined, and causes me to reconsider my thoughts on other barleywine-style ales. Has that power that the best Trappist ales have over me, of encompassing my soul, commanding my body, and uplifting my energies. Damn, I feel good with this beer in me, and not in an alcohol-induced fashion, but in the best way. Wow, I keep thinking, wow...I'm very to tempted to test this against their Old Ale, but I know it beats it. It beats many things...oh, what a wonderful ale.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.77/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

The beer poured a deep amber ruby color with a white, low, long lasting head.

The aroma was an outstanding complexity of fruitiness and maltiness.

The flavor was rich, malty caramel, dark fruits and bitterness all woven into a complex elixir.

The finish was malty with bitterness lasting long into the aftertaste. The body was full, rich, thick, and viscous.

12 ounce bottle. I have no idea why my host opened this bottle while I was at his house, I told him not to. I am thankful he didn't listent to me!

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Photo of Mitchster
4.77/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

OG=1.109, 10.5% ABV.

Pours out to a murky very dark mahogany with sediment suspended in the viscious oily brew, forming a whipped, pancake-like light khaki head with cinnamon accents after a vigorous pour. Carbonation is mild to moderate. Retention is wonderful and lacing is excellent. Aroma is intense...fresh, oily green hops with resinous pine characteristics balanced with a sticky barleywine amber maltiness, warm doughy bread, rotting apples, prunes and raisins. Swirling it produces the sweet amber malt aroma of marshmallow creme, Hartz hairball remedy, and diabetic urine. Mouthfeel is initially prickly with an oily dense body and light astringency in the finish. After mellowing for 9 months or so, the mouthfeel is much softer and oilier. Taste begins with spicy pine and juniper, followed by rotting apples and sugary remnants of maple syrup. A blast of peppery alcohol warms the belly with prune juice and raisins mingling towards the finish, which consists of a gentle roastiness with hint of coffee and grain sack. The early bottle had a strong bitterness which offset the heavy malts, but the bitterness has mellowed by now and makes it much more drinkable. Hard to believe this is 10.5% ABV, but I'm feeling it...This is the kind of brew that gives you that pleasant buzz that just makes you shine.

Balanced, drinkable, rich, complex...A very good barleywine that will get even better with age. I bought a 6'er to observe. The astringency in the finish and the resinous hops have mellowed and add to the already wonderful complexity of this brew. Reminds me, in some ways, of Stone's Double Bastard with a ton more malt emphasis. Exceptional. At 9 months out or so, this is a King amongst barleywines.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.76/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this beer on tap at the Premier (and probably ONLY) Tapping in the Twin Cities at Bryant Lake Bowl. I don't think the quarter barrel will last long. I saw many people walking around with their 10 oz flutes of this stuff.

The appearance was a deep and dark mahogony. Scarlet red hues jet through the nectar. A nice looking bone white head was long lasting and laced in sheets. The aroma was thick. Big time crystal malts, alcohol and piney, cannabis like hop aroma. The taste was exquisite. Bighuge caramel malt backing. Fairly sweet, but the hops win this battle. I don't know the IBUs of this badboy, but I'd guess it approaches 100. This beer has some character. It is so raw and abusive. The hops impart a great bitterness, some piney and rind like characteristics, and pure hop resin bliss. So what hops were utilized? Super A, Nelson Sauvin and Simon. I've never heard of them, but they kick some ass. Some may say that this beer is abrasive in its fresh state and needs some cellaring time. I say, "the hell with that!" Cellaring will smooth this one out and make it incredibly dangerous. But the fact of the matter is, this beer is dangerous in its current state.

If this beer had balls, you'd need a wheel barrel to haul them around.

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Photo of Sanderson
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

Photo of PatYoda
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is perfect for the style. Dark Brown with a long lasting ring of foam around the side of the glass that leaves some lacing. Smell is decadent, dark fruit - raisins and plums and prunes. Wow, there's a lot more there. Maple syrup for sure. Caramel and toffee, even some grapefruit. And behind it all is a little bit of alcohol. Time to taste. At first, there is a bit of a hop bite - citrusy for a fleeting microsecond before the powerful malts kick in and you're overwhelmed by the dark ripe fruit. Caramel and molasses are there are well. For a second you forget about the hops, but then they bust back in to balance out the sweetness of the malts perfectly. A nice bitterness and piney character rounds out the aftertaste, though you can still taste the heavy malts of course. The mouthfeel is formidable. It's velvety and thick, and really complements the brew well. So very drinkable for its strength, but maybe I should get my money's worth and not take a sip more than once every 5 minutes, since I can still taste it on my palate for that long. Incredble!

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Photo of proc
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is a powerhouse of a beer.

Pours out to a dark, ruby in the glass with a decent, light brown head that reminds me of brown sugar. The aroma is that of fruit with plums leading the way. The, the taste, where to begin. This beer has what I can best describe as a flavor explosion. It starts off with flavors or caramel and fruit with a nice hop presence. As it makes its way down the back of your mouth to your throat, the hops begin to grow and grow in scope of tatste until they give way to a slight winey, again fruitlike taste that smacks every taste bud you have. The ABV is exceptionally well-hidden.

This beer is good now. It will be unreal good with a little age on it.


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Photo of mmcnaughton
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

Photo of alexgash
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bells has done it again. I bought a sixer and I have 2 bottles currently stashed in the cellar, as hard as it was to do. Pours a maple syrup brown with a glass-lathering off-white head. Smells of big sugary toffee malts. I'm picking up a little over-ripe fruit and some smokiness. Oh, and big hops! Taste starts with sweet, syrupy malts with very complex sherry, oak, smoke, and whiskey notes. This is crazy, and not even aged! Hops come on big and I can imagine how they might even be smoother in years to come. Still, well balanced. Finish is bitter, alcoholic, warming with lingering burned caramel and tropical fruit. I really like the charred character throughout the palate. Mouthfeel is huge, but amazingly drinkable for such monstrous attributes. Hell yes.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.74/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Rich O's Gravity Head 08:

Retired, but not dead! I thought my opportunity to drink this beer was religated to a distant dream. But nay, nay... it's alive and well. That first smell become as mouth watering as any beer I have ever tried. A plethera of fruitcake, rum, dehydrated fruits, intense malts, and herbal hops... all wrapped into a blanket of confectionate sugars that meld the beer well. Flavors come together that the individual flavors are difficult to separate. Sweet fruits and alcohols provide the base for nuts, berries, spices, and soft herbs. Texture is smooth, lightly carbonated, soft, and nicely weighted on the toung. Finishes with a linger of warming alcohols and soft sweetness. Much like drinking a 10.5% cotton candy. Nearly ideal for an Old Ale.

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Bell's Batch 6000 from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 4.33 out of 5 with 182 ratings
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