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

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157 Reviews
Bell's Batch 6000Bell's Batch 6000

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

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.

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Reviews: 157 | Ratings: 182
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 Gaisgeil
4.03/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Bell's cafe, downtown Kalamazoo.

Pours a murky brown in color with gorgeous rose tones around the edges, a thin white head acoompanied. Nose is very strong, almost acidic and hoppy, definatly makes an impression. Taste is quite bitter and alcoholic but with a great amount of complexity. Some very interesting woody/leathery flavors going on here as well as some dark fruits, makes for a strong an interesting mix. Mouhfeel is thick and syrupy totally coating the inside of the mouth, you'll be tasting this one for hours afterwards.


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Photo of kmpitz2
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes. Poured a deep, murkey brown color with ruby hues and 1 finger of head that sat nicely over the brew. The nose had sweet hops and a big sweet caramel base with notes of roasted malt in there to give it a bit more complexity. The flavor was full of big, sweet deep, caramel and roasty malts. The hop was sweet and spicey. An excellent flavor. The feel was thick, slightly syrupy. Very nice and filling. Overall, I really enjoyed this beer. The flavor and feel were awesome. I had it a month back and just revisited it again when I found it on tap last week. Fantastic beer.

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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 garymuchow
4.6/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Update on 10/31/09 - Sampled one last week. My how this has aged very nicely. Had it in a sampling of other fine barleywines and this was hands down winner. Still holds enough of a sharpness that it could still use a few more years and still be outstanding. I'm bumping up the the taste from 4.0 to 5.0 as I'm note sure I've had anything better. Glad I held onto a couple of these. One more to go.

I didn't review this when I first got it. I wanted to see how this would age, so the review is based upon that P.O.V.
Aroma has a rich fruity complexity that is slightly oxidized and shows a significant reduction in hops than a year ago. Slight alcohol nose. Sweet rich fruitiness stands out. The aroma remains pleasingly heavy throughout.
Shows a rather fine and steady head that appears late after pouring. Rich red amber and mostly clear.
Very nice mellowing of the hops and much better balanced that a year ago. Fruity malt up front and is primary until a long dry finish. Hops with flavor and bitterness mid to finish and then comes and goes nicely throughout. Only slightly oxidized. Dryness from hops it seems. Good mix of sherry and fruitiness.
Smooth and soft in spite of richness. Very thick. Maintains it's fullness and richness throughout.
I like how this has aged and mellowed. Maybe has lost a little too much hops presence, but that's merely a preference.

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Photo of beerhandy
4.11/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown with some chill haze with a frothy tan head that was pretty lacy that stuck to the glass as it faded to little islands on top of the beer.The Aroma was rum soaked dark fruit (raisins and plums) with some bito'honey candy , sweet malt and no hops.
Taste was big malt with lots of caramel notes and alcohol heavy body almost chewy.
I thought it a great example of a english barley wine its big maltiness and faint hoppiness really impressed me.Its a rich beer worth seeking out.

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Photo of Southernbrew
4.6/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark reddish-brown, small layer of tan head, looks like cappucino.

Oh lord, I think my pants tightened this smells so good. The balance of malt and hops is unbelievable. Rich pine and bitterness blend heavenly with caramel sweetness, awesome.

Full bodied, delightfully smooth. The rich bitterness comes in strong but not at all overpowering. Hints of pine dance along the tongue. Despite the hops, the malt shows no fear in showing up. Delightful caramel sweetness comes through in the middle. The bitter hops seem to last forever. Near the end, the slightest alcohol flavor flashes but just adds to the flavor party. A piney-bitter aftertaste remains.

An unholy beer. I think this falls into the barleywine category, not old ale. Regardless, this is one helluva beer. The final beer from a trade with Mr. Monk. Glad I saved this till last.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.58/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Turbid, crimson-infused, dark caramel brown topped by a large, thickly creamy head of light caramel brown. Absolutely gorgeous, a world-class appearance. I allowed the head to peek over the top of the glass and it's just now dropping below the edge and beginning to deposit thick sheets of pocked lace.

The nose is full of butterscotch and brown sugar as well as intensely fruity, almost perfumy, hops. The label says that Batch 6000 is a 'barley wine style' beer, not an old ale, but those styles are blurred anyway. What does it matter when the aroma is this incredible? A wee lack of power and the barest whiff of alcohol keep it out of perfect territory.

Bold, complex, delicious. The beer is hugely malty with a sweet, whisky-like flavor that is reminiscent of Drambuie, or perhaps dark rum. Again, dark caramel and dark brown sugar are in the forefront with a supporting role played by light molasses. An impressive hop load (still fruity, floral and resinous) keeps it from being over-the-top malty.

This is quite the concoction. I find myself sipping and savoring, attempting to wend my way through the layers of flavor and texture as I allow the beer to slowly meet its fitting end. The body/mouthfeel is amazingly full and mouthcoating without being thick and syrupy, and the more than double-digit alcohol is extremely well-cloaked.

Batch 6000 makes me primed and ready for Batch 7000. I'm sure that it won't be this same style, but if Bell's puts the same care and effort into 7K as it has into 6K, then we're in for (another) treat. This is a wonderful beer, from the top of my lace encrusted glass to the fast approaching bottom of the bottle.

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Photo of Bdc
4.02/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky chocolate-bar brown with a thin, light-tan, scattered head and nice lacing. Careful with the pour because of sediment. Aroma is musty with cedar, tart citrus and prunes. Flavor is balanced for the style, but still sweet, with chocolate, molassas, spicy/piney hops and yeast. Somewhat herbal/medicinal. Full-bodied, well-carbonated and very drinkable for the style. Thanks to Feloniousmonk.

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Photo of maxpower
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy dark red color with chunks of yeast floating around. Decent creamy off-white head that leaves a sticky lacing in my glass. Sweet candy like citrus aroma, sweet roasty caramel-grapefruit flavors, nice balanced and complex, full bodied with a sticky thick resiny creamy mouthfeel, nice lasting bitter finish, awesome.

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Photo of meathookjones
4.43/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from a 12oz bottle on 1/2/05. Pours out a brownish red with about a half-inch tan foam head. Scattered lacing is left around the glass and the head stays for a while. Aroma is sweet with malts and notes of dark fruits. There was quite a strong smokiness present as well that covered up milder scents like caramel and chocolate. Taste starts off sweet with ripe dark fruits and a touch of molasses. Smokiness is strong in the flavor as well but not dominating. There is a bit of bitterness still kicking around and a bit of alcohol. Leaves a lasting sweet smokiness in your mouth. Mouthfeel is pretty damn thick and coats it with flavor, perfect. Very drinkable as well. I would have loved to try this one fresh but it has aged into a gem. Great stuff thanks to slander for the chance to try this stuff.

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Photo of merlin48
4.57/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Kudos to mentor for sending this one my way. I love the style of old ales. This one pours a slow, thick, opaque, dark brown body with a minimal beige head. Minimal patch lace.
Classic old ale aromas of molasses, tobacco, brown calf leather, raisins, dates, and chocolate covered cherries. A note of Cognac.
Mouthfeel is rich, thick, and full bodied. Almost syrupy ethanol laden cough syrup, but more even. Ideal, for style.
Taste opens with a heavy and thick malt presence of molasses, alcohol soaked prunes and raisins, and some cinnamon spiked orange. Earthy hops lend a pleasant diversion, before a note of plum brandy asserts for a few moments. Pine and grapefruit hops rescue the finish, leaving an aftertaste of ripe Bing cherries dipped in Calvados( a French apple brandy).
Definitely, the best American old ale I've sampled in the past year. Very complex, and highly recommended.

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Photo of Higravity
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A deceptive brew that hides it large alcohol content well behind its large hoppy punch. A very nice version of the style a big malty backbone with a nice hoppy piney finish. A deep brown body with an slight off white head that dissapears quickly. There is alot of lfavor in this beer and not a lot of the syrup sweetness some big beer get, a real fully attenuated beuaty. This would be a good big beer session beer.

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Photo of budgood1
4.58/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

pours out a completely opaque, dark amber colour...there is no light that will ever penetrate this snifter. thick, rich, dense tan head appears...leaving lots of thick lace on the glass. can't look any better than this! aroma is a mix of dense pine and spruce hop aromas...leavened with a yeasty pitch and accentuated with thick layer of drab, dark malts; there is cocoa and java notes...caramel and toffee..smoke and wood. upon tasting...whoa! heavy maltiness...sweet, fruited yeastiness collides with a malten sugar overload which provides the sipper with a magical, alcohol soaked ride into old ale nirvana. this is an ale of special recognition because of its quality craftmenship and extreme drinkability. i love the floral hoppiness as opposed to a strong dose of bitter hoppiness as a flavour enhancer. just outstanding!

gotta give props to two BA's...both ZAP and feloniousmonk for sending a bottle of this my bottle found it's way into storage, one found it's way into my belly...thanks to both of you.

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Photo of TripelJ
4.68/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Now Quaffing: Bell's Batch 6000 (12oz.)

The last of a 6-pack I purchased while abroad in Michigan, I both lovingly and reluctantly poured this amazing brew into my favorite snifter. Pours a deep, luscious blood-red, that decievingly looks black unless held up to a good source of light. My somewhat sloppy pour contributed to the large yeast particles that seemed to be floating endlessly in the vast universe of this coveted concoction. The head is heathly considering the high abv and leaves a nice sticky web of lacing down the snifter. The initial aromas are intensely sweet with figs and raisins immediately coming to mind. Beyond the candied sweetness lies the earthy barley which is embraced as it should be for the style. This one has most definitely improved with age. The taste is much more balanced than I remember on my previous samplings, which will contribute to a higher score overall. The intital burst of sweetness is now just right to prepare you for the rush of barley and hops in the finish. Alcohol is completely non-existant in the taste! This one coats everything from the glass, to the lips, to the mouth, to the stomach. The mouthfeel is full and creamy which makes for a delightful imbibing experience. Each sip leaves a lasting bitterness that never seems to quite go away. This is quite possible the most balanced and complex barleywine I have encountered. It is too bad this is only limited edition offering.

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Photo of trancefishy
4.82/5  rDev +11.6%
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 fdrich29
4.02/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My last Feloniousmonk brew. Thanks for the incredible selection!

Pours a deep brown with a two finger head. Nice lacing. Lots of floaties in the beer.

Smells of malt and horse stables.

YUM. Malts abound and sweet. Nice brew.

Creamy feel in the mouth. Reminds me very much of Stone's products.

I was trying to think of what kind of beer I was looking to drink tonight and this fit the bill. Chewey, substantial and malty.

Bell's need to make themselve's available in Massachusetts.

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Photo of Dithyramb
4.02/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My first sampled beer of the recently acquired BIF 14 batch. (Mad props to Signor CRJMellor for his excellent trade opinions.) Had a few Bells so far, but anything with “6,000” attached to the name should be special. Same bottle as pictured with a (blank) space on the back label for lot numbering. Decided to have it as an opening beer to the Ravens/Cowboys game.

It pours extremely thick and syrupy to an almost opaque brown beer, which cascades a deep brown head. Collapsed after a bit with minimal, if any, lacing.
Hoppy raisin aroma
The look and smell definitely gives you the impression that it will have a good body and flavor. The creamy, smooth and thick mouthfeel parades in a significant toasted malt flavor and doesn’t let you down. The caramel and raisins coating your mouth ride a bulky mouthfeel. If it was any thicker and sweeter, you could call it a cordial. Finishes acidic, dry and hoppy.

I only read the label, which listed the style as ale, so I didn’t know what I was getting into. This is a big, heavy beer. Apparently, there is a significant ABV, but you don’t find it either in the flavor or the feeling. The dry finish gives you some inkling, but it is very deceptive. As with the other Bells I have had, I would enjoy another.

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Photo of nogoodreason
4.82/5  rDev +11.6%
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 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 walleye
4.08/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

this was #100 on what better way to mark that number than with a mich. brew. Poured a nice mahogany with a small tan headand very little lacing. Aroma caramel raisins malts, alcohol and a sweetness like cherries.Flavor plums, molasses, malts,cherries and alcohol as it warms. I had this last year and I thought it was good beer, now after sitting in my basement for about 7 months it has become a very good beer I am glad I bought more than a couple of bottles. I would like to rerate this in a year. thank you bells

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Photo of ncbrewerbun
4.49/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brown long-neck bottle.

Poured a reddish amber with a light tan head.

Wow what a nose! The malt blasts you then as you dig deeper you get the fruity and hoppy aromas. This is the ultimate inviting aroma for a beer. Malt-dominant aroma...just what you would expect a barleywine should be like.

Malt and hops. Make that hops and malt. An experience to behold -- the taste is a complex mix. The malt is balanced out by pounds of hops. There is an obvious warming alcohol presence with a hop dominant bitter aftertaste, especially as it warms.

I am nursing this beer (I split it with another homebrewer) for the rest of the evening. This is one to be enjoyed with every sip.

I plan to try the other bottle next year. This beer should just get better with cellaring.

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Photo of bashiba
4.19/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a thick cloudy brown color with a thin tan head that only last a minute.

Smell is a very strong sweet maltyness with hints of caramel and some woodyness.

The taste follows this smell exactly, it is like drinking caramel syrup aged in oak followed by a heavy grassy hoppiness. With some hints of coffee and citrus mixed in. Very complex and enjoyable.

The mouthfeel is very rich, creamy, and a little warming. Very nice.

Drinkability is very good for a beer this strong. Not so powerful you couldn't keep drinking it one after another, until the abv caught up with anyway. Overall a great brew if you can still find it.

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Photo of andyo
4.57/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had been eyeing this beer at the Wine Vault ever since I moved back to Columbus 2 months ago. I finally picked it up last Friday- the only bottle left in the store. $2.50 was a very, very small price to pay for this outstanding beer. I had plans at the time to save this one for a few months, but I only made it 4 days.

Cracked this one open with a very dear friend while enjoying the crisp autumn air on my back porch. Poured a nice copper, hazy orange, with a burnt copper head. This beer smelled amazing. Once in the snifter, this beer wafted out warm aromas of pine, alcohol, and old wood. Delicious. The taste was spicy, with loads of brown sugar, toffee, and a sweet malt background. The alcohol came through really nice, and was not overbearing as I thought it might be. As this beer got warmer, the flavors got more and more complex. This beer, to me, is dangerously drinkable. I could enjoy two or three of these in one sitting- easy. This beer was candy....

Now where can I find another bottle of this in Columbus, Ohio?

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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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Bell's Batch 6000 from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
95 out of 100 based on 157 ratings.
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