Bell's Batch 7,000 Ale (A Commemorative Brew) | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

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Bell's Batch 7,000 Ale (A Commemorative Brew)Bell's Batch 7,000 Ale (A Commemorative Brew)

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

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Wildman on 10-07-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
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Reviews: 296 | Ratings: 358
Photo of Caesar1pup
2.38/5  rDev -44.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Thanks to the J-Mat for this one, I owe you one.

Black Gold, Texas Tea? Oil that is! Man this one is deep. If you love stout, I mean if you really love stout, you’ll be in heaven. Shoot, you’d thought this was motor oil. This stuff left a coating on my tongue! I found the alcohol overwhelming and it was close to being undrinkable.

Really, is this necessary? A bit over the top if you ask me.

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Photo of klewis
2.6/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Received in a trade with Faro

A: Pours jet black with a modest tan head that slowly arose from a hard pour. Moderate lacing.

S: Big, rich, malty smell. The aromas typically found in a stout, aren't here. Instead, this smells more like an old ale or barleywine. The alcohol is very well-hidden.

T: Yikes. I found the alcohol. Fusel-tasting with an out-of-control astringency, a nasty earthy/smoky character dominates the flavor. Some roasted malt and coffee-ish flavors in there somewhere, but the alcohol is way too overbearing.

M: Full-bodied, thick, and syrupy with moderate carbonation.

D: I could see this turning into a good beer WAY down the road if the alcohol mellows, but right now, the taste makes it almost undrinkable. Should've listened to Faro and hid this one away for a while.

Edit: After several sips, I'm starting to become a bit numb to the harsh flavors. I can't figure out if that's a good thing or not.

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Photo of claspada
2.65/5  rDev -37.9%
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 AlexFields
2.74/5  rDev -35.8%
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 DIM
2.82/5  rDev -34%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

a: 7k pours black with no head, just a trace of brown foam.

s: Strong nose here. Chocolate covered cherries, charred malts, and alcohol. The alcohol is a bit too prevelant.

t: Starts off well enough, with roasty malts and a cherry flavor that I'm not used to in RIS's but enjoyed none the less. Some chocolate flavors come next and then things breakdown. The finish is strongly, unpleasantly sour, bitter, and highly alcoholic. Edit: Even after brushing my teeth that sour aftertaste was still there.

m: The viscosity is fine, but some carbonation would have been welcome,

d: Thanks to hoppymeal for the chance to try this. Once and done for me with this one.

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Photo of xgrigorix
2.84/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Twelve ounce brown bottle. No dates - batch # only.

Pours like sludge. Think & black. A bit of a rough pour produces an inch of dense dark beige foam.

Brash leafy hop aroma. Some sort of weird sea breeze aroma as well.

Chocolate & roast espresso. Mouth puckering bitterness. Orange, grapefruit, & pine. Hot & unbalanced. Heavy, thick, & chewy with easy carbonation. Tastes like it needs a good long rest.

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Photo of womencantsail
2.93/5  rDev -31.4%
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 HardTarget
2.95/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aroma: Nice hop element, RIS nose with dark roasted malt, dark fruit, dark esters, dark magic.

Appearance: Inky with a tan collar.

Flavor: Astringent with over roasted grain and burnt coffee. As I wade in and get used to the assault, some sweetness comes out lending a little creamed coffee aspect, but not enough to really even this one out.

Mouthfeel: Medium heavy body, low carbonation.

Overall Impression: Just too roasted for me, but I appreciate the brewer going big. I might have waited too long for this one, more hops would have helped.

Big thanks to Matt “Stoutness” Crill!

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Photo of mentor
2.95/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Bottle obtained from Beer Depot in Ann Arbor. Pours thick like motor oil with a late forming brown head of one finger. The beer itself is pitch black, even when held to light. Smells potently malty with notable black patent sour. Very similar to a homebrew I once made using twice the amount of extract as normal. This Bell's 7000, however, has a citrus-like alcohol sting that my homebrew lacked. My first taste reveals a sour tang that's remniscent of Bell's 6000. Tastes like too much malt, some soured caramel, and a bit too much of alcohol tug in the flavor. Dissecting it otherwise I find potent chocolate malt, making the beer quite dry overall. Like a dry chocolate brownie that lacks rich buttery character. There's some roast and a caramel that I find too mild to carry the darker grains. The alcohol sting is clean of fusels, but they could acutally be hidden under the strength of the chocolate. Mixed with the alcohol is a very grassy hop character. Not a desirable mix, IMO, but I must admit that the potency of the hops is in balance with the potency of the malt and the alcohol. Silky thick mouthfeel that's cut short by alcohol sting rising into my sinuses. Dry roasty bits of what must surely be grain cling to my tongue in the aftertaste. The aftertaste is tangy alcohol/hops with a dry chocolate. Given time, this beer might become something. I'm glad I didn't buy a case as I originally planned. I hope to put a 6er in my cellar for a decade, as I'm curious if a beer like this can develop into something I'd enjoy. I think this beer is so extreme and rough that it needs a lo-oong time for all the edges to round out (and I won't guarentee that they will).

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Photo of tayner
3.01/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle

Black as night with a cocoa colored head that laced nice.

Smell is licorice and alcohol.

Taste is nearly all licorice, a flavor that dominates and masks everything else other than the alcohol which is very hot as well. i think it is missing the complexity of some roasted malts, toastiness, etc.

Mouthfeel is thick and chewy, like eating a licorice gum drop.

I cant drink this one, way too much anise flavor, not enough balance to be drinkable for me, and too hot. If you like licorice in your beer then this one is for you.

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Photo of Gaisgeil
3.13/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I'm really very honestly on the fence when it comes to this brew. Now that I've had about six bottles of it since it was first released I feel I can render a proper personal judgement. When first released it was very, very green, overall harsh and nearly toxic. After some months of aging it has smoothed out considerably though it is still quite powerful and an absolutely massive brew. In my particular opinion, much too big.

Pours into my goblet a deep, dark black in color with a creamy caramel colored head that left a slight ring throughout the glass. Nose is roasty, but a liquor type overtone, notes of caramel, raisin, fig and various musty tones, reminds me of an old ale honestly. Taste is massive, almost charred to start with alcohol dominating quickly, lots of roast and hop bitterness taking over and finishing a bit oakey. Fairly astringent and not entirely pleasant. There are some very nice flavors happening here but the alcohol harshness destroys everything. Mouthfeel is thick, viscous, oily even. Drinkability is below average. I enjoy a big beer as much as anyone but there is just too much happening here, this is a very overblown brew in my honest opinion.

Slàinte! (but be careful with that thing, you'll put your eye out!)

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Photo of drseamus
3.18/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Jet black with a nice thick mocha colored head. Just like it should be.

S: Very old aleish aroma. Caramel, wine, and some alcohol notes are up front and the overall aroma is very strong.

T: Very strong blast of flavor initially. Very thick winey character, almost reminiscent of SA Triple Bock but not nearly in such a bad way like it was in that beer. Leaves a very intense bitterness in the aftertaste.

M: Fairly heavy bodied initially that fades a touch but stays around for a while.

D: This beer is probably a bit over the hill.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.21/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1" dark brown head over opaque dark brown/black brew. Dense head doesn't fade a bit, with heavy dark brown foam lacing. Aroma is hearty dark malts, with sweetness, dark fruits, alcohol, and a shot of hops all getting in on the action. Dark malt sweetness quickly gives way to burnt coffee bitterness coupled with somewhat harsh alcohol. Mouthfeel is harsh, and drinkability is pretty limited for me at this point. Hopefully it'll mellow with a bit of age on it, and we'll revisit.

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Photo of nomad
3.25/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Black with a milk chocolate head, at first pouring with a slow reverse cascade. Surprisingly bad retention and very little lacing.

Smells of prunes and molasses, coffee, dying vegetal hops, and hardwood burnt way past crisp. A little unsure and far from figuring what coffee its gonna be.

Taste begins pine, salt, and plenty of roast barley. Opens to big grape-like fruitiness up front with serious black molasses ash scraping the palette - ouch, no thanks. Warmth shows quite a large malty sweetness that never becomes cloying thanks to the cigarette butt roast character. Belly warming, in the least, just short of hot with alcohol sometimes. Thicker texture mouthfeel but not quite sludge, in fact quite smooth and relaxing. Belies the flavor in the least.

I'll give it a year or two, should make for a much better beer then. Old ale plus Imperial Stout? Let them sit. I never knew such bitternes and burnt flavor could combine to gain popularity.

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Photo of Zorro
3.26/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

12 Oz bottle sampled through the efforts of dirtylou and The No BS BIF.

Pours a coal black beer with a good reddish brown head.

Smell is sweet with a bitter coffee edge to it. Lots of dark dried fruit scents mostly figs and prunes. Black licorice smell is prominent.

Taste is sharp bitter licorice in the first sip. Somewhat salty in taste this is a lot like the taste of Nordic Licorice. Once you get past the licorice, which isn't easy there, is a layer of chocolate under there. I tried to like this one but I really don't.

Mouthfeel is good.

Well I didn't like this one very much. This brings back bad memories of Danish Licorice and the taste of Calcium Chloride. Don't buy this, Buy a Stone RIS instead.

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Photo of sopor
3.35/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

7000 is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly hugely mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think Expedition Stout is big, but that's just peanuts to 7000.

A reddish tinted chocolate syrup pours with and inch of sticky creamy head very slow in dissipating. Dark roasted bitter malts and a slight tangy fruitiness like... starfruit?

Sweet and slightly tangy fruit, plumbs and that starfruit flavor again, is a bit cloying at first, then a bit of cidery-vinous quality before greasy resinous brutally bitter hops. So thick it does not even feel cold when it was freshly opened! But not semi-solid and chewy. light carbonation

Tasted good, but this beer is too big for my liking.

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Photo of JDV
3.36/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle sent by Miketd. Thanks!
Poured black, with a semi lasting brownish head. Smell was roasty but with some sort of off aroma I want to describe as oxidation. Taste was roasty with a touch of dryness and a slightly tart and bitter finish. Overall, nice, but for some reason I felt something was off. For 12%, well hidden alcohol, as well, though. Thanks again Mike!

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Photo of BigDaddyWil
3.43/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a snifter.
Packaged on Nov 4th 2005, according to Bell's website.

Pours a dark inky black color. One of the darkest stouts I've seen. Looks like old motor oil, and with the same consistency, very thick. A nice one inch thick, creamy head forms, leaving some very delicate lacing. Strong smells of prunes, dark fruits and hints of alcohol. Other aromas include molasses and hints of burnt coffee. To me this stout has an unbalanced taste, starts with some roasted malts and burnt coffee, and then your hit with a ton of bitterness. Slight flavors of dark chocolate also come into play. Decent carbonation, with creamy, smooth feel. This brew is a definate mouthful, very heavy, and sticks to your ribs. Very filling!!! One of these brews is all you need, especially with 12% abv. A good stout from Bell's that will most likely taste better after some cellaring.

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Photo of waughbrew
3.48/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

[generously provided by ghostwalker in a trade in 3/2006]

Crazy dark head, seriously thick cream and lacing. Looks dangerous. Smells of vanilla bourbon pecan pie, pine bark, bat wings, and lizard tails. Tastes of nail-polish-removing hops, melted tires, and cinnamon fudge. [in slow motion] "eeeeuggggh." Gets worse as the finish progresses - harsh, cacophonous (not in a cool Friedman/Becker way), and bitter. Silky, thick, lingering, warming, and certainly sinful. This beer is cool except for that taste, which is too medicinal and not enjoyable. Neat as a one-off, not really interested in having it again.

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Photo of HamdenHector
3.53/5  rDev -17.3%
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 LilBeerDoctor
3.53/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle thanks to mreusch. Pours black with a teensy tiny tan head. Aroma of alcohol, chocolate, and roasted malt. Definitely on the boozy side. Flavor of more rich sweet malt and molasses. It wasn't so boozy at first, but then it did start to get a bit heavy. Very rich and thick, not really syrupy though. Not my kind of imperial stout, as it is a little too alcohol-rich for my tastes.
7/4/7/4/15 (3.7/5)

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Photo of hustlemuscle
3.56/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aged. Obviously.

Pours a deep black with finger width head. Head is a weird color, orange-tinged tan. Body is black, really black. How much more black could it get? None more black. You can't even see through it when held to a light.

Smells strongly of alcohol. Kind of like it did when it was young. That was the killer for me, when it was young. I don't really care for blisters in my throat. Hopefully it has calmed down a bit after a few years.

With some trepidation I put it to my lips...

Still kind of hot. First and last tastes are alcohol. In between is the expected roasty, but not much. Age has not tempered the alcohol taste much, unfortunately. A bit disappointed.

Feels kind of greasy. Coating, somewhat numbing. I don't know if it is because I won't have another opportunity to try this beer, but it feels more like a science project- lots of analysis, not much relaxation. A sipper, but only because it is kind of hard to drink.

I don't know. Just kind of "eh" for me. Its ok, Batch 7000. Its me, not you. Really.

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Photo of granger10
3.6/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This special Bell's offering pours an intensely opaque darkness in color. Head is quite minimal but holds up the whole time I drink this beer. Tons of sheets of lacing.

Aroma is apparent as soon as I open the bottle. Off the vine piney hops along with a fruity apricot smell. A bit of smoke and a nice earthy malty flavor in there as well.

Taste has a lot of earthiness. Bitter roasted espresso is quite noticeable but chocolate flavors are rather weak. A grain malty flavor underneath. Hops are intense and intensely bitter. Needless to say, they are brutal. They smack me in the face and linger for minutes after I finish each sip. Some raisins and plums come and go. Lots of estery flavors. Brutal hop hit lingers forever.

This is more of a barleywine to me but it really does cross style barriers. Super thick yet creamy yet oily body. It coats the mouth. There is a milky precense in there. Hop resins do dominate the mouthfeel when all is said and done though.

Try it fresh, then age for another 5-10 years.

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Photo of nortmand
3.7/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours really black with a big, pillowy dark brown head.

So, I'm a home brewer and just yesterday, I bottled a beer that was huge, and left a pretty sizable trub in both the primary and secondary. Anyway, this beer smells like trub. All yeast and dog hair, a bit of sweet roast. Too yeasty.

Sweet vanilla bourbon dominates the flavor up front. Bitter roast and alcohol end this monster of a brew. Caramel in there too somewhere. Leaves a harsh burnt bitterness for a long time. Nice.

Very slick, greasy mouthfeel. Full bodied, yes, but kind of oily too.

This is definitely sipper. The taste is fantastic, but with that yeasty smell, I'm glad I didn't splurge on the full sixer.

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Photo of beerwolf77
3.7/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another epic beer pulled from the deepest depth of the cellar by blackearth. Thanks Bill.

Poured from a bottle poured into my glass.

A: pitch black with chocolate brown edges, No head no lace

S: super sweet chocolate syrup, hints of black coffee and molasses,

T: very similar to the nose, Super sweet and thick chocolate, coffee, molasses with a hint of soy sauce.

M: thick hershey's syrup like body, zero carbonation

D: overall I'm very happy I got to try this one. Although I'm glad it wasn't an entire bottle. I would have had serious trouble finishing it.

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Bell's Batch 7,000 Ale (A Commemorative Brew) from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.27 out of 5 based on 358 ratings.
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