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

157 Reviews
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.

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 157 | Ratings: 182
Photo of jwilli7122
3.01/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 2

pours an opaque plum color with very little head but solid lacing.
smell is very strong caramel and plum.
taste is...jesus...caramel, sweet sweet plum...hops - - hops and sweetness racing against each other and sweetness winning by a mile. I don't know about this sickly sweetness, it is too much. mouthfeel is right. incredibly thick and sticky

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Photo of clvand0
3.08/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark red color with a thin tan head that quickly dissipates. It also leaves a bit of lacing on the glass. The aroma is very similar to that of an IPA (but it's red, not yellow). The aroma is mostly hoppy with reminiscents of a pine tree, and alcohol. The flavor is also total hops. Has a flowery taste to it along with a grassy/pine tree feel, but mostly it's just hops. The alcohol follows up the taste and hangs around a little. This is not your typical barleywine, it's a dark IPA with lots of alcohol. Not bad at all.

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Photo of jegross2
3.09/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Reviewing Batch 6,000 from Bell's Brewery out of Michigan.
Score: 70

2003 vintage bottle served in a snifter glass and enjoyed on 08/18/12.

Appearance: Dark chocolate color with brown to coffee fade. No head. Minimal oily lacing and really poor retention. 3/5

Smell: Caramel, raisin, and fruity malt. Not very complex. There is a faint hint of oxidation. 4/5

Taste: Huge doses of sweet malt, brown sugar, caramel malt and plum. There is a hint of cocoa too. The finish is loaded with bitter, "warm" oxidized cardboard flavor that kills the upfront flavor of the beer. No hop flavor whatsoever. 2.5/5

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, no carbonation. Malty sweet and "warm" on the tongue from the oxidation. 3.5/5

Overall: This beer is clearly past it's prime. From it's residual profile, I never would have guessed this used to be a hoppy American barleywine. I was glad to finally get a chance to tick this beer, but I wish I would have been able to do it a year or two ago.

Recommendation: Skip this beer, it's past its prime.

Pairings: Cherries.

Cost: $17.99 for a six pack.

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Photo of mentor
3.23/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle obtained from Zipp's (Minneapolis) in summer 2004 and consumed spring 2005. I've been eager to break into these for a loo-oong time. Pours a particulated blood-ruby-red. Oops, I guess I must have gotten some sediment in the glass. Hard pour to get a rust orange head that just barely covers the liquid. Smells potently of alcohol. Also pungent tangerine, caramel, biscuit, and aged c-hops (similar in smell to Yard's IPA and Arcadia Batch #999). Tastes tangerine, caramel, and alcohol. The beer starts sweet and then quickly jumps to the alcohol followed by hop bitter with hop-tangerine flavor. In the background is a rough driftwood quality (doesn't sound good...but it's actually kinda interesting) and maybe a hint of nutty. It's sour and there is a fairly potent alcohol sting on my tongue. Some fruity esters (gentle apricot and some pear), but they are cut short by the alcohol. The hops and alcohol combine and deteriorate in a way I'm not fond of. Too bad, as I usually *love* Bell's offerings. This may be over-aged, as the predominant flavors are alcohol and broken down hop. Mouthfeel is thick and it's mildly carbonated. just a touch of lacing on the inside of the glass.

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Photo of BierReise
3.67/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured slowly into my snifter and produced a thin layer of film on top or a dark cherry red body. Sweet malt aroma with plums,toffy and caramel. A bit of alcohol also noticable. Body is full and smooth. Too much alcohol in the flavor. Very sweet and malty with a slight bitterness. Not one of my favorite barley wines. Maybe should have aged this one.

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Photo of neonbrown82
3.72/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

This bottle was obtained courtesy of HopHeadKen from the Iowa Beer Cache. Thanks once again.

I'd heard about this beer being quite sedimenty, so I poured very carefully into my pint glass. This resulted in a tiny film-like head that receded to near nothingness, though I couldn't complain, as it was not expected of the style even with a more heavy pour.

The nose is full of raisins, plums, figs, grapes, currant, even a bit of caramel. Has a very port barrel-aged english barleywine characteristic to it. Lots of tannins.

The taste is HUGE. Anybody who can do more than sip this beer has balls of steel. All the flavors of the aroma explode onto your tongue with the power of a nuclear warhead. The finish is very dry and bitter with a residual raisin flavor. The tannins are damn near unbearable. This is a difficult sipper even.

The body is extremely thick and chewy. It coats your mouth like cough syrup, which in turn leaves a wicked aftertaste throughout your palate.

This beer is not for the light hearted. Perhaps too much for me.

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Photo of Elemental
3.73/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Has a light amount of head that forms a thin rim around the glass. It has a very floral/fruity aroma to it with nice undertones of bitterness from the hops. The taste is very smooth from the start but its up becoming very tart (almost harsh) and has a big bite. It has lots of body and the alcohol becomes very present towards the end. It leaves the mouth very dry. There is an almost a fruity rum taste to it. Overall worth trying but give it some time to age.

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Photo of benmiliron
3.77/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Your standard sticky, thick barleywine here. I'm not a huge fan of the style, but this is much better than Old Crustacean. Pours a decent monkey-shit brown color with those awesome floaties. Heavy alcohol in the taste but not in the nose. Tastes sticky sweet malty, much like a barley wine does.

Grab a bottle, a sixer if you like the style. This'd age well, which is what my second bottle will have to do.

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Photo of LuckySevens82
3.77/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle.
Thanks to FeloniusMonk for the sample.

Pours a nice dark brown with absolutely no head. I decided to hard-pour this one and still was not able to produce anything more than a mild tan lacing around the edges of the glass.
Smell is very malty, caramel sweetness, and just a little hop aroma, almost spicy, some citrus, very floral. Alcohol should also be noted.
Taste is very similar to other american barley wines. Very bitter, a little malty and perhaps interestingly enough, brown sugar. The bitterness doesn't seem to work as well in this beer as it does in other American Barley Wines.
Alcohol is present in the taste, but not as strong as one would think from the aroma.
Overall a very good barley wine. I prefer my BWs to be a little more malty than this, but still a fine example of the style.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
3.78/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presented in a 12oz bottle like the one depicted and poured into a snifter glass. Had a impenetrable dark brown color and a modest tan head. No lace.
Nose: a veritable bat to the head in terms of malt aroma. Heavy alcohol fumes also prevalent. Lesser doses of herbal hops and caramel completed the profile.
Taste: potent maltiness up front eased by the sweet taste of caramel-dipped cherries and raisins. Pine sap hops flavor finish things off amid a rolling cascade of fusel alcohol.
Feel: full, smooth, a real mouthfull. Almost syrupy.
Overall, Batch 6000 really hits its stride as it approaches room temperature. Still, the hefty alcohol content and resulting heavy aroma and taste restrict its drinkability. Not bad, just a hell of a lot of beer for 12oz.

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Photo of Rastacouere
3.81/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Sticky yellowish good-sized foam. Murky copper body. Abundant yeast floaties. Straightforward hoppy aroma unlike third coast old ale. Columbus and centennial hops perhaps?. Comes out orangey, sweaty, grapefruity and green leaves alike. Still, there’s a huge thick malt presence in there with suggestions of maple and honey. Taste is reminiscent of a less aggressive old crustacean. Pineapple flavours.Very bitter, almost extreme. Very warming, almost hot. Grassy, piney… complex hoppiness. Body is thick, malty, creamy, velvety, generous. This will definitely improve with some age on it. Thanks Psychprof.

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Photo of Dubbercody
3.82/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Dark brown/caramel color. Off white head that leaves a white lace around the glass. Smells like malt, caramel, and dark dried fruits. Taste is pretty thick, roasty, sweet, malty and lightly effervescent even at this point.

While not my favorite style of beer, I liked this one quite a bit and respect how it falls into the style. Nice beer, thanks to whomever traded this to me.

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Photo of Sammy
3.83/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sweet with cocolate coffee. Alcohol spice but 10.5% disguised by flavour. Smooth. Was drinkable with food, but turkey and veggies was not the right choice on my part, but Bell's non-pasteurization a concern and did not trust it's robustness for a further 24 hours until I could fridge it .Cloudy dark mahagony colour. Spice was lemon and possibly pear and pienapple.

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Photo of freed
3.85/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A deep cola brown ale with no head and no lacing left on the glass. Aroma is warm and sweet but simple. Taste is very reminiscent of sugary raisins with modest compliments of spice, possibly from the hops. Alcohol content is quite apparent while drinking due to its warming affect on the throat and stomach. After swallowing, the mouth is left sugary. Evidently the batch should have been aged some.

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Photo of jera1350
3.88/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky brown with an unusually large amount of sediment in the bottom of the glass. Guessing it's yeast, but there is about a tablespoon or two of it. Short head, fair lacing.

Wet grain, fairly hoppy, fruit, fig, raisin, plum.

Wow, still packs a punch after all this time. Warm booze, sticky sweetness, still a big hop punch. Ends with fruit and some toasty sweetness. Burnt sugar perhaps.

Low carbonation as expected, full body, mildly slick, clean finish.

Really surprised at how forward the flavors are in this after so long. Really a nice beer.

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Photo of mothman
3.9/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into snifter.

Pours a light tan head. Color is a dark caramel brown.

Aroma: Rich and malty. Toffee, plums, raisins, cherries, and caramel. It seems as if the 'American' part has faded off. Not too big of a hop presence.

Taste: Sweet and overly malty. A lot similar to the aroma. Pretty much all malts showing and no hops. Very sweet. Chocolate, tobacco, dark fruits showing.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and warming. Full bodied with a lower amount of carbonation. Ends rich and malty.

Overall, this was a well aged bwine with lots of great flavors. It was slow drinking but enjoyable. I would have loved to try this fresh and see how hoppy it once was.

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Photo of yankeeheel
3.92/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dusky brown with a small taupe head.

Smells slightly candi sweet with a rich leathery nose.

Lots of very biting spices overwhelm my tounge, with a bit of chewy plum malt held at bay by the overwhelming rush and burn of leather. A bit caustic. Mellows a bit as my tounge gives up to the alcohol.

Mouthfeel is a lot like grinding pepper on your tounge and gargling with old spice. It's large.

This puppy needs a couple of years in the dark.

Thanks to cretemixer for the sample.

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Photo of aracauna
3.92/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It's a bit funny, but I managed to sample this twice in the same weekend while in Atlanta. Deep brown with a splash of ruby. It's very hoppy, but it's hoppy more on the bittering end than on the aroma end. There's a bit of barley wine fruit going on and I keep picking up something that makes me think of smoke. It's not strong smoke so if it was intentional, it's subtle. The finish is a lingering bitterness from the hops. It should age nicely.

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Photo of Sixpack595
3.95/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Well, its still hoppy. When I tried this beer fresh it was way too hoppy with an unpleasant bitterness and excessivly grassy, piney hops. Some things never change. I do think it has improved with age, and from the vile concoction it started out as to this point as a fairly enjoyable brew I think in a couple years it may actually end up as a very good beer. There are so many flavors lurking behind the overbearing hops that are starting to show themselves, I can only imagine what will be revealed in the future.

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Photo of corby112
3.95/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark chatnut that is completely opaque with faint yellowish bronze hues when held to a light source and a frothy one finger beige head that quickly settles into a lasting ring. Not much in the way o lacing.

Sweet, slightly roasty leathery malt aroma with hintsnof caramel, toffee, chocolate, toast and biscuit. There is some nice alcohol sweetness in the nose and surprisngly the hops have held up(in the aroma at least).

Slghtly chewy medium body that is surprisingly still hop forward considering that this was brewed in 2003. The 10.5 ABV is decently masked but there is still subtle alcohol sweetness and heat in the finish. Lots of leathery, earthy malt with hints of caramel, chocolate, toffee and bread. Again, the hops have held up surprisingly well adding some earhy dryness and complexity. This beer has held up wonderfully and I can see it continuing to improve for a few more years.

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Photo of waltonc
3.98/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up in a trade a couple months ago. This is probably the oldest beer I've ever drank in terms of aging. Never had this fresh.

A: Deep amber/dark brown, hazy, almost murky color. Thick tan head.

S/T:Pretty strong scent here that's hard to describe. I think the most significant notes I'm detecting in both the taste and smell are the dark fruits - raisin, fig, date type stuff. Also some sweet caramel. From reading old reviews, it sounds like this used to have a lot of hops in it. Those have all mellowed out considerably. There's an odd note here that I am guessing is from oxidation. I know people describe the flavors as wet cardboard and sherry. I have never consumed wet cardboard or sherry, so don't have much basis for comparison. (nor am I sure how moistening card board makes it taste different from dry cardboard, but anyway...) I suppose this odd component of the flavor profile can be chalked up to these characteristics.

M: Very thick body, sticky, sweet, with medium carbonation.

D: High ABV and very rich character make this a sipper and one is enough in a session. Seems like this is Third Coast Old Ale on steroids. Overall an excellent beverage. I think if it weren't quite so old that my smell and taste scores would be 4.5s.

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Photo of Beaver13
4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Batch 6000 poured a dark ruby brown with small particulates. It had a thick creamy off-white head with fairly fine bubbles, that retained well - almost stout-like. It had a very complex flavor that's difficult to describe, there's a lot going on! It had a sweet malty start with a very hoppy finish - almost too much so. It also had a strong alcohol taste (almost mediciney) with hints of toffee, caramel and slight citrus. It was a nice full-bodied beer. I can appreciate the complexity of this beer, but it wouldn't make a good session beer.

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Photo of dirtylou
4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at Maduro, $4 at the pre-taste party

I have wanted to try this sucker for a long time...autumnaldave offered me a cash prize if i drank the whole pint in 10 minutes but i had to savor it as i will probably never see it again once Maduro takes it off

appearance: this thing is a hazy pulpy monster, amber-mahogany body with a nice foam lace

smell: pungent hop presence has weathered the years impressively, thick caramel malt, dripping pine

taste: pungent and bitter hops still strong, chewy caramel malt base, spice, light rye, buttery, matured booze, woody, raisins and other dark fruit. glad i got to try this one this long after the release

mouthfeel: nice full body, a hoppy milshake and a real treat

drinkability: definitely a sipper

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Photo of MarkBlackout
4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am drinking this slightly aged brew as I review it.

With a hard pour this brew displays a 2" head, which reduces fairly quickly to a 1/2" blanket w/ nice lacing. Smell is spicy, hoppy with a definite pineapple presence. Taste is strong, distinctive, with a pleasant musty, malty character not quite present in the smell. I really enjoy this brew and was happy to pick it up.

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Photo of SwillinBrew
4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep rich hazy mohogany and indian brown with a little off-white head that didnt last long in my tulip. The scents were like a fine port with sweet plums, raisins and a some alcohol.

The taste was very rich and coated my tongue with sweet malt, charred oak, toffee and maple syrup with a hop bitter and breadcrust on the finish. Let this one warm up a bit and sip it... maybe while having a cigar.

Thanks to the Longbeachbum for this one.

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Bell's Batch 6000 from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.32 out of 5 based on 182 ratings.
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