Batch 7,000
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

Batch 7,000Batch 7,000
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American Imperial Stout
4.32 | pDev: 11.11%
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Michigan, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Batch 7,000Batch 7,000
Reviews: 296 | Ratings: 358 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of buschbeer
4.12/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 FL OZ bottle
Served in a snifter
Bottled September 13, 2005

This beer pours like used motor oil. It is thick and viscous. I was only able to achieve a skim of head after raising my bottle over a foot above the glass. It was dark mocha colored head that disappears rapidly leaving no trace of its existence.

I get that characteristic anise smell that most of their imperial stouts seem to have. Dark chocolate is also present along with an alcohol smell.

It starts off sweet with some dark plum notes. The anise comes through in the middle and carries into the finish. There is a little black coffee near the end and hints of dark chocolate.

Very full, chewy mouthfeel

I wasn't sure what to expect out of an eleven year old beer. It was smooth and easy enough to drink. It reminds me a lot of an Expedition Stout with a couple years on it.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.7/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

There are times that I weep for what has become my backlog. I have no idea who sent this to me, or when or even why. I used to love trading, but then travel, $, time and volume overcame me. I will even venture to say that this made the move with me from my family home into Chez Woody in 2008-'09 as an indication of its age, Today may be New Beer Sunday (Week 608), but this is one OLD beer! Larry, all of the Bell's staff, the crew & attendees of the GTMW, I salute you tonight!

From the bottle: "A Commemorative Brew"; "Batch 7000 is part of our commemorative series celebrating our progress with special brews. Our 7,000th is a special recipe to be brewed only once."

I feel so unworthy of Pop!ping the cap at this point. I am up to almost 4,000 reviews on here & I know that this beer (& bottle) were sent to me for specifically this purpose, but I am humbled, I have read up & dust, cobwebs, et al are to remain undisturbed, so I have honored that tradition. I kid you not, I am really having a tough time opening this. Tears are running down my cheeks, unbidden. I have looked at it for years. Upon Pop!ping the cap, I noted a ring on the outside of the top where the oxygen-fixing cap had adhered for so long. I will be pouring this as gently as possible & only a bit at a time, so as to respect the beer, as the Alstrom Bros used to routinely exhort us. I got no head from the initial pour and even an in-glass swirl raised nothing more than a brief skim. Color was Black/Opaque (SRM = 44) with ZERO light penetration. Nose was as smoky as the aftermath of the house fire in Montreal in 2002! We were up for the Mondial de la Biere & between the hotel & the Metro station was a house that had recently burnt to the ground. I was a firefighter in the US Navy, but I primarily dealt in Class Bravo fires, which is why this one remains so memorable. Accompanying the smoke were leather, dark chocolate and dried, dark fruits such as prunes, raisins, cherries & dates & figs. Phew! I raised my glass, as I am wont to do, and no less than my buddy, Kenny, appeared. Ken Longshore was a great buddy of mine who passed right after the USS Normandy's (CG-60) 25th reunion. His widow agrees that I routinely see Ken as he was a big supporter of my madness. He sits by my kitchen door wearing the bemused grin that he always had around me. I do not know whose passing hit me harder - his or my Pops, the latter of whom was the impetus for my taking early retirement. Too sappy? Sorry, but Pops visits in my dreams, while Kenny shows up to help me drink. The carbonation was gone, causing this to drape across my tongue like a lead apron or a bulletproof vest. Thick? Viscous! Jeez-o, man. Now, the late Doc Maree was patting me on the back as Kenny laughed. Beyond its prime? Perish the thought! This was bordering on coffee brandy & the fusel alcohol had barely subsided. My eyes were watering, my nose was running & my watch stopped in response to my first sip. Recovering, the taste was really leathery, with dark chocolate and anise notes as chasers as the electricity flickered & my reefer shut down. Should I have waited even longer to drink this?!? Dang, this was literally breathtaking! I am flabbergasted by how well this has held up. The dry finish had notes of anise, treacle, leather, dark chocolate, smoke & more leather just for good measure. Dang! Is my mouth supposed to hang open, unhinged? I weep, I weep. I just cannot believe how fantastic this has become. This should be my legacy, unless some other beer should unexpectedly overtake it. If Stone can re-release 02.02.02,, perhaps Bell's can recreate this. In the interim, I will simply weep for what has passed.

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Photo of CTHomer
3.53/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: deep brown; almost no head; what was there was medium brown; ended up with a thin ring around the edge of the bottle; no lacing;

S: all molasses;

T: molasses as well; there is some roasted malt in the middle , but it's muted and disappears quickly;

M; a touch syrupy; low carbonation;

O: very interesting; would have liked to have tasted this fresh and have this review be a comparison;

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Photo of rodkin
3.84/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Dan for sharing this bottle.

Pours pitch black with no head. Looks like moderate thickness, maybe slightly on the thin side. Tiny bit of caramel coloring at the edges.

Smell is really sweet, vanilla, cherry, milk chocolate, licorice, molasses. Definitely smells oxidized, but nice.

Taste is licorice, slight bitterness, chocolate, molasses, oxidation.

Mouthfeel is medium thickness, very slight carbonation. Slick, slightly oil.

This beer is very sweet, but tasty. I can't help but think it's past its prime, however. Would have liked to try this fresh. At this point it is frankly a bit cloying, and difficult to drink more than 4-5 ounces.

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Photo of AlexFields
2.74/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Photekut for opening this at TN whales tasting, 3/16/2013.

Pours dark brown, hints of a coffee colored head but obviously a little low carb.

Nose has a touch of oxidation (this is a theme in a tasting with so many older bottles), brown sugar, raisins, vanilla, caramel.

Tastes like grass and paper, hints of cocoa and sugar too, this is obviously way past its prime.

Body is nice and full but low carb.

Clearly a shell of what it was, never tried it fresh but I imagine this would've been a great beer. In its current state it's not undrinkably bad, but not what I'd call good either.


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Photo of Brabander
4.63/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got this beer from my buddy Robert (T0rin0) for shipping some beers to him recently. Thanks for this beer Robert!

Poured in my small Struise glass this beer looks absolutely perfect. Deepdeepdark fluid with a supernice head. Lacing is superb in this glass. Smell of boozyness and roasted coffee and very dark chocolate.

Taste with some light bitterness. Very good mouthfeel.

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

Many thanks to ClockworkOrange for sharing this. 12oz bottle into a snifter. The brew appears a dark brown color a bit fudgy looking in the glass with lighter brown and reddish hints around the edges. A cap never really forms across the top but a light ring of big bubble formation collects around the edge of the glass.

The aroma is dark and raisony with a fruity alcohol edge blended into chocolate. A light amount of oxidation is present giving this a pleasant depth and by no means distracting. The complexity of dark fruit character gets increasingly enjoyable as the brew warms up.

The taste still has plenty of booziness but it integrates well with the rest of the profile. Maltiness of chocolate blends into raisiny alcohol esters that are minorly fusel. Some herbal earthy bitterness is there to contrast. Like the nose, there is a soft oxidative aspect deepening the complexity of the brew.

This is a medium to fuller bodied brew with a sticky feel to it that while it retains some residual sweetness is not cloying or overly sweet at all. In a time when high octane brews are all the rage, I tip my hat to bells for producing a great brew with balance as complexity that has aged like a champ. For 12% abv, you know its there but it is well integrated and more mellow than some other offeringd at much lower abv percentages.

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Photo of repkovalev
4.55/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Slow and viscous pour. Pretty much no head, but there is perfect amount of carbonation. This beer is 7 years old!

Really a beautiful mouthfeel: smooth and velvety. Notes of chocolate, coffee, plum and very subtle cherry. Quite sweet. This has aged extremely well. It's balanced and complex. Whomever said "soy sauce," must of had a bad one or didn't like it. Mine is spectacular!

I really wish I would have saved this for a special occasion, because this was my last and only Bells Batch 7000. The longer this is open, the more the sweetness of the beer intensifies. I liked it the most when it was cooler and a little subtle. 45 minutes after opening and it's UUPPEr sweet

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Photo of womencantsail
2.93/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks, Derek!

The pour is just about black in color with no head and very minimal carbonation. Strong notes of soy sauce and licorice. There is definitely some booziness to it and lots of roasted malt, maybe some dark chocolate. Quite oxidized. Things don’t change much on the palate. Heavy on the soy sauce with a strong sweetness. Licorice, roasted malt, and a hint of toast. Really just oxidized and old.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.05/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Fred,

Beer is relatively dark, black. Thin haloed head, no lacing, low retention low carbonation.

Aroma is roasty, sweet, a little sherry, paper, stlil a little alcohol coming through.

Very thrilled to try this beer honestly. It is sweet, molasses, a little booze, a little alcohol, a dry finish, the body is like thin syrup a little, if that makes sense. Developing nicely from what I've read of the earlier reviews.I'd have it again.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.3/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle shared by Fred. Thanks!!

Pours an opaque black with dark chocolate brown tinges around the edges. Dark brown-reddish head that has surprising retention, but little lacing. Interesting aroma of roast, oak, molasses and licorice dominate, but fairly sweet and mildly fruity. First sip brings light licorice and cherry flavors making me wonder if we opened 9000 first by accident. Then we opened 9000 and oh, yea, never mind, this much more enjoyable than...that. Viscous full body with low carbonation; oily and slick. Flavor is sweet and malty with a soft smoke and oak dryness balancing out the molasses and licorice. Aging very well; still more of a novelty stout to me, but am hopeful if 9000 is given 5 to 15 more years it might turn out to be enjoyable like this.

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Photo of backfat
4.39/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

thanks to my buddy evan(muskabeatz) for the tick.

pours a tar black. dark brown head after a forceful pour.

aroma is vanilla, coconut, browny fudge, and delightful chocolate.

tastes has a fair amount of bitterness. bakers chocolate and dark bitter chocolate with a milky lactose mouthfeel.

absolutely a treat. think this one will be at it's peak when the bitterness fades a bit.

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Photo of warnerry
4.62/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to david131 for this one.

A - Pours a thick opaque black with 11.5 fingers of brown head. Head persists for awhile, before fading to a thin layer with a nice collar. Leaves scant lacing down the sides of the tulip glass.

S - Big aromas of chocolate and roasted malt. Some coffee and molasses coming through next. Also a subtle but noticeable presence of dark dried fruits and hints of smoke. This smells fantastic. A lot going on, but seems to work well together. A faint alcohol presence.

T - All of the elements of the smell are also present in the taste. Starts a bit sweet, but is quickly overtaken by a roasty bitterness that persists all the way through the finish. Roasted malts, chocolate, more coffee than in the smell, and some nice dried fruits. A faint acidity. Finishes a bit dry.

M - Thick, oily mouthfeel. A nice creaminess considering all of the bitter flavors.

O - Really glad to have tried this. It is drinking very well right now. Definitely not an everyday beer, but a very nice treat.

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Photo of ColdPoncho
4.38/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review #400

Thanks for the taste of this, Cam
From notes, 9-6-2011

A - Deep black body with a dark yellowish brown head. It's a very cool color.

S - wow! this is big. Chocolate, dark malts, roasted barley, some light raisin, some dry smokey meats.

T - Dry roasted malts, dry smoked meats, dark fruits, chocolate. Really great complexity and very enjoyable flavor.

M - Big, robust, full. You get the idea.

O - This is 6 years old. Shit. Great great beer.

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Photo of Urbancaver
4.31/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark dark brown. An interesting thick yellow almost on the swirls. Smells sweet and roasty. Smells pretty malty and stellar. Tastes sweet, thick, roasty. Boozy as all get out. Some light oxidization. Very nice thick mouthfeel. Overall very enjoyable

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Photo of beagle75
4.05/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip glass.

A: Opaque black color, with one finger of diminishing orangish-beige foam head. No lacing remains on the glass.

S: Intensely roasty, with wood smoke that is featured over other expected characteristics such as coffee or chocolate. Deep savoriness lurks as malt turns huskier. No alcohol is detected.

T: Begins sweet, with an assault of scorched malt, brown sugar, and lesser wood smoke. Acidity is moderate, detectable but not distracting. Coffee emerges aggressively in the middle, espresso-like. Besides being bracingly bitter, it harbors drying wood, bourbon, and even popcorn in the finish. Moderate booziness pervades throughout, further elevating this beer unexpectedly.

M: Thick viscosity; chewy, warming, and slightly astringent on the palate; with low carbonation.

D/O: This is a charismatic imperial stout, despite the 12% abv entry fee it demands. Qualities are remarkably complimentary to each other, with enormous and interesting flavors anchoring the others. It compels further consumption, rewarding rather than challenging the drinker. At age six this beer is drinking beautifully, clearly in it for the long haul.

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Photo of ditmier
4.21/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle thanks to the dark benefactor motortoddhead!!!...Thanks man!...Pours thick and almost black with a slowly apprearing head that starts orangey tan and slowly lightens in color...aroma is big and bold, chocolate syrup, molassas, port wine...coats the mouth like frosting, flavour is similar, bitter cocoa, coffee, vanilla, burnt wood and molassas...flavour does not let up, lingering bitterness that lasts close to a minute...a beautiful brew that still has plenty of legs...

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Photo of claspada
2.65/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours completely black with almost no head. Very viscous and syrup-like. Aromas begin with a lot of molasses and licorice with warm barrel wood and a warming alcohol nose. Cocoa and dark acrid bitter chocolate also come out but are secondary.

The tastes are really bitter and roasted. Rich bitter molasses and licorice; syrupy with dark bitter acrid chocolate and roasted, nor burnt espresso beans. No hops what so ever but after so much aging it is to be expected. Bitterness and smokiness continue to dominate in the aftertaste making this borderline unpalatable for my tastes.

The mouthfeel is super rich, viscous; way too thick and warm on the finish. I like a thick stout but this may be a little bit too much.

Overall this is a seriously bitter dark monster of a beer. Too much for my tastes to be honest. Too much bitterness from either the dark roasted malts or ample early hop additions. I pretty much hate Bells and everything I have ever had from them; I have no desire to try anything else from them anytime soon. I do not understand the love for a brewery which continuously under-delivers (and under-carbonates) every beer they release.

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Photo of muskabeatz
4.67/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This was courtesy of my good friend Mattyb319. Thanks a bunch for sharing, it was a treat!

A- This pours dark as night with a one finger mocha head laying on top. When held up to the light, one can see some faint garnet hues surfacing around the edges. You could tell this one was pretty thick when we were pouring it. Beautiful beer!

S- This has just about everything you could ever want from a big American stout. It is bursting with dark chocolate, a robust roastyness, and a bit of licorice.

T- Taste follows the nose, and adds a really interesting element in the finish which seems like very faint tart cherries. Integrated into the flavor profile it makes the beer seem vaguely like a chocolate covered cherry, as there is tons of luscious cocoa up front. Only complaint I have is that the taste is maybe slightly subdued compared to the outstanding aroma.

M- Thick, oily, low carbonation. Absolutely spectacular how this beer has held up to age.

Overall this beer is fantastic. Based on the bottle that we consumed I would say this is drinking in its prime right now, and I wish I had a case of this stuff to drink myself.

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Photo of koopa
4.09/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle received as an extra in a trade with one of my best BA trade partners thanks!

Appearance: Pours super deep mahogany to black with a smidge of a dark beige crown. No retention or lace.

Smell: Bold notes of deep roast malt, anise, molasses, alcohol mixed in a hypnotically pleasant way, a hint of oak, and a bit of chocolate.

Taste: Malt, a bit of alcohol soaked sweet cherries, some floral hops, and a dash of soy sauce combine for a fairly good experience.

Mouthfeel: On the thick side of thin bodied with minimal carbonation.

Overall: An interesting beer that I'm sure changes in flavor profile every 4 months. I'm pretty happy with the time I chose to open the bottle.

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Photo of AleWatcher
4.52/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Blind beer from NLmartin.
Poured in my New Belgium Globe as I stand at the grill in 40
Degree chilliness...

Pour makes me think I chose a good beer to take outside with me... Very dark. Oily, inky, viscous... Dark creamy tan head of 2 fingers settles to a frothy cap. Mmmmm this looks pretty nice.

Smells of licorice, oak, chocolate, and a fruit note I can't quite place. I'm thinking an oak-aged imperial stout... Or a Bourbon Barrel aged one that was bottled some time ago... Either way-- me likey.
The beer starts off slightly sweet before bitter dark cocoa comes in... A bitterness that reminds me of string coffee and dark chocolate. Some black licorice and dark sweet fruits just before the finish. The finish is dry, slightly oaky, and touched with a perfect level of booziness. This is delicious. It is really hitting the spot here!

The body is thick and oily with a nice low carbonation level helping it feel exceptionally creamy and thick.

This is a great beer. No doubt. I would be more than happy to drink this again!

---reveals beer to be---
Bells Batch 7000.

Holy shit man!
Niiice! Thanks for this one! I tried a couple sips at a tasting and loved it, but I was too half in the bag to review it!
I am really surprised to reveal this and discover that it isn't barrel or oak aged.... Wow. This beer has a lot of complex flavor.

Huuuge props!

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Photo of JAXSON
4.05/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Steve for the bottle. Pours a completely opaque black, thick, with a small dark mocha head. Nose is pungent, kind of peaty, almost salty, and charred, ashy. Very nice, reminds me of good Dark Lord or some of the De Molen reserve stuff. Mouth is fairly briney, still some salt, kind of smoky. A bit of bitter heat on the finish, the same bitterness I don't really like in Expedition Stout. Thick and heavy in the mouth, fairly high internal carbonation. Really it's the finish I don't really love on this, otherwise it's quite nice.

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Photo of billab914
4.42/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Portsmouth tulip. It poured thick and pitch black, with a moderate tan head to it. The head retreated to the edges of the glass, where it left a bit of lacing as I drank it.

The aroma has a rich, dark chocolate and dark fruit presence to it. I get a bit of a booze soaked, chocolate covered cherry flavor to it which I really like. Some molasses and vanilla come out of it as well. It gives off a little of a barrel aged character to it as well.

The taste starts off with some bitter-sweet, dark chocolate and roasty flavors. Midway I start to get a lot of the dark fruit, cherry like flavors to it. Again I get a bit of a very nice boozy, chocolate covered cherry flavor. A little cocoa comes through in the finish as well as a little barrel age character. Excellent flavors overall.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being low. Drinkability is very good, I loved the flavors. I'm not sure if it was aged on any oak or in a barrel, but I got a little of that type of flavor to it. Really liked the chocolate and the cherry flavors it seemed to have to it as well. Excellent beer overall.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.29/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 11/05/10 notes. Had at a small tasting thanks to ygtbsm9; thanks Brad.

a - Pours a dark brown color with one inch of tan head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of sweet dark fruit, molasses, vanilla, licorice, roasted malts, and chocolate. Still very complex, I thought it smelled great.

t - Tastes of chocolate, dark fruits, bitter hops, and alcohol. Not quite as complex as the smell, but still very good.

m - Medium body and low carbonation, very smooth and easy to drink. Great feel to it.

d - I thought this one has held up great. I thought the smell was outstanding and quite complex. Would love to drink again.

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

What a tasting we just had! Brad (aka. ygtbsm94) pulled this out of his bag of brews to surprise us yet again!

A: Pours black as night, with a slight almond-colored head. I would need night vision goggles to detect any carbonation.

S: This smells uncannily like Dark Lord. That same chocolate cherry-cordial quality is evident as well as a slight hop bitterness. These qualities take over the nose and doesn't let it go.

T: Very sweet, but it melts into the mouth nicely. I really dig the mild salty aftertaste (ala. "Payday" bar), which has a quality very reminiscent of celery seed.

M: Milky texture, sweetness is there but remarkably well executed, and the mild bitterness adds to its charm.

D: I wish I could get this all the time. The finish on this one makes it (for me) a particularly memorable brew.

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Batch 7,000 from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 358 ratings