Bell's Batch 5000 | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

BA SCORE
88
very good
66 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
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Bell's Batch 5000Bell's Batch 5000
BEER INFO

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

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by truthbrew on 02-23-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
66
Reviews:
50
Avg:
4.05
pDev:
11.85%
 
 
Wants:
32
Gots:
3
For Trade:
1
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 66 |  Reviews: 50
Photo of chippo33
2/5  rDev -50.6%

Photo of GreenWBush
2.88/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

This one came to me upon rough recommendations - when I ordered it at my local, the pubkeep actually asked me if I was sure. Scary. I figured "no problem, i've been loving the hell out of the Batch 6000". My taste-buds haven't opened up to this style yet, but I figured i'd give it a fair try.

This one poured out a thick sludgy-black. There was no head to speak of, and I had to swirl and coax out enough head to even gauge its color. Once I was able to persuade it, the head was a darkish brown hue. It would go on to leave a nice lace, however.

The nose on this beer was a shocker. You first are warned by notes of alcohol and sweet-malt concealers. After that, its all smoke. Time to dive in.

This is one of those beers that macro drinkers would believe is a practical joke. Not only are the malt, hop, and alcohol tones on 11, you are instantly smacked in the face with smoke. All I could imagine was someone blowing smoke directly in the face while I was drinking. This one reminded me of my first experience with a high ABV beer - I winced on the uptake and gagged on the aftertaste.

I appreciate the attempt with this one - hugeness all around. But the smoke consistency is just too much for me. I thought i'd like it after at least appreciating Rogue's Smoke ale. I just couldn't finish it. I'll have to blame this one's low rating on my inexperience with the style, but I can't avoid the fact that I simply didn't like it.

 1,444 characters

Photo of TCgoalie
3/5  rDev -25.9%

Photo of ellswrth
3.05/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Ew.

3 characters

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.32/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: 12 ouncer, long neck brown bottle. The main label is off-white with the word Bell’s atop a small metallic purple rectangle that has 3 bells pictured in it. Below a large blue bordered rectangle simply says Batch 5,000 Ale, which has the words Commemoratative Brew, beneath. No freshness date or strength listed, but there is a hand-written “1-02” in the top right hand corner of the obverse label.

Appearance: Deep chestnut color, little, if any head at first. When swirled a semblance of a thin beige collar like head forms, but soon disappears. When topped up a more passable head forms, but again, only for a short time. Looks fine, but the lack of a head detracts overall.

Nose: I was a bit worried at first, for the nose from this beer was immediately pervasive in my Apartment as soon as I opened the bottle. It had a kind of sweaty smell, an “off” aroma. But on closer examination it was a sour-smoky smell that sometimes disgusted, other times intrigued. When I concentrated on the smoky aspects it wasn’t that bad.

Taste: I used to love Walker’s Smoky-Bacon flavored Crisps (Chips!) in the UK, and this offering from Bell’s has a similar character. It reminded me very much of a Rauch-bier in style, but with added “oomph”, kind of a High Speed Turbo version of the Germanic classic. Begins with a slightly sweet malt entrance, which develops into smoky bacon, with a woody ember like ending. The finish is warming. Difficult at first, but this beer sort of grew on me after a tough start. Still, this is very much an acquired taste I feel.

Mouthfeel: It’s solid, and warming. A beer that masks its 9%ABV well, but nevertheless it has a high octane ending that kicks ass.

Drinkability: I am afraid it gains some low marks here, I struggled towards the end of this 12 ounce bottle. The smoky-bacon aspect became a little over-powering for me to finish this off with anything other than a sedate sip. An acquired taste for sure. Maybe I'm being too hard here.

Overall: Very different, a smoky-bacon beer, LOL. I found this so hard and extremely difficult to Mark and Review. Variety is the spice of life.

Thanks to top BA, BigHuge, for the tough challenge & giving me the chance to try this alternate offering.

 2,264 characters

Photo of Bierguy5
3.47/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle. Very cloudy, mahogany in color. A bit of sediment floating around in the glass. Thin tan head disappears immediately.

Big smoke, and toffee in the aroma. A bit woody, and nutty. Perhaps of bit of oxidation. Seems to be a lot going on.

Sweet, fruity and smoky. Rich toffee. Boy, there is a good amount of sweetness and smoke. Still pretty warming.

This was hard to drink much of. Not sure if it is past prime or what.

 440 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

Photo of mcallister
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Murky mahagony pour. Dull and cloudy. Completely opaque. Not much of any head except for some tan specks and a ring around the glass.

Nose is smokey very rauchbier esqe. Smoked meats, nutty aromas with red cherry. Really can't get over the amount of smoke. Some oxidation is obvious. Roasty toffee malt, caramel and prune. Oxidation vails everything somewhat.

Very smokey and meaty. Mouth is a little thin and there is noticeable alcohol on the finish that you can feel evaporate on your tongue. Sharp flavors, musty and earthy. Definitely drink this one now or a couple of years ago. Oxidation still present but not really in the way. Long finish. Cherry, brown sugar, maple, rum soaked figs, raisin, nuts, and burnt wood. Sherryesque with the oxidiztion factor.

A beer worth drinking although more than one may be tough to swallow.

 844 characters

Photo of aracauna
3.59/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Really flat pour. Really rough pouring left a thin, ephemeral head. Big rich malty aroma wafts up as you pour though and is quite nice in its richness. The taste is mostly caramel, with some chocolate. There's a mild fruitiness, some really, really faint coffee, present but not too strong smokiness. Mouthfeel was thick. Nice big flavor but perhaps a little too thick, rich and sweet to be easily drinkable. Has plenty of complexity, but it's just the overly sweet nature that makes it a bit unpleasant.

 504 characters

Photo of mentor
3.6/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Presented a dark brown (like a porter) in a 16 oz plastic glass with a small ring of dirty head. On-tap at the Eccentric cafe in December, 2004. Smelled of smoke, obviously, but within the smoke I could pick out distinct woody and acidic smells. Malt sweet and alcohol, but I'm not finding hops. Tasted smoke, then thick malt sweet and, oddly, the smoke comes back in a refined form. The early smoke seemed more cinder and the later more peaty. I had a hard time picking out fruity flavors, as the smoke just kept rolling around. Sometimes acidic other times woody. Quite interesting. The tail end of each swallow held a fine alcohol bite in the back of the throat. Thick mouthfeel, appropriate for the style. Not a drinkable beer. After half the glass, I was wishing I had ordered the 12 oz glass rather than the 16 oz.

 820 characters

Photo of badbeer
3.62/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark copper color with a quickly dissipating head. Smell is very smoky, with just a little sweetness below, smoke is completely dominant. Thick and smoky on the tongue, almost like some smoked ham; couldn't have too much of this, even though it was pretty good. Full bodied and light on the carbonation. As I already said, it was decent, but I couldn't have too much of this. Thanks to hey_kevin for sharing.

 408 characters

Photo of beerguy101
3.64/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown, muddy color. Smallish head. Aroma is smoky and woody. Big smoked flavored ale. Malts are surprisingly sweet, nutty and woody. The hops are really masked by the smokiness but they are fairly mild and piney(?) It's hard to tell. It nicely smoked and malty and hides the 9% alcohol very well. It aggressively smoked, with being over the top about it. This is NOT a beer for everyone, but it is a must try for smoked beer fans. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth, Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

 523 characters

Photo of oberon
3.7/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

this was the first "smoked ale" I have tried.Took a little getting used to.Would be great with ham or sausage and sauerkraut I think.

133 characters

Photo of aaronh
3.73/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A hazy reddish -brown beer that pours with a thin, slow-forming but dense head. The head gradually fades to a thin layer of tan foam and leaves a nice lace on the glass. The aroma is smoky tobacco and molasses. It really reminds me of some of the smokeless tobacco I used to use. Very weird aroma to say the least. The taste, wow, *cough*, this is powerful stuff. A very strong tobacco note, with a sweet, smoky thickness that singes my throat. I really did not know what to expect from this beer. Whatever my previous thoughts were, this is not it. I am caught so off gaurd by this beer. The alcohol is very noticeable. Taking MUCH smaller sips, some nice nutty chocolate notes shine through, with the smokiness still accenting everything. This beer has smoked tobacco, burnt wood, smoked plums, smoked nuts, and I think some smoked smoke in it. Even with all the smoke, there is still a powerful sweetness. The mouthfeel is very thick and almost syrupy. It sticks to the tongue a gradually oozes down the throat, leaving a trail of smoked sugar and a touch of bitterness lingering behind. This powerful, surprising beer is a wonderful treat and a change of pace. It like a campfire and smores rolled into a beer. However, I wouldn't want too many of them. Thanks to cretemixer for supplying this one of a kind brew.

 1,317 characters

Photo of orangesol
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Zaphog
3.77/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of chuckgietzen
3.79/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of BMMillsy
3.81/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BelgianAleSlut
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my new Kuhnhenn bierthday club gift pint glass. Thanks Kuhnhenn! Cloudy caramel pour that appears flat. Like the looks of the beer, but the flatness scares me. Appears bottle conditioned.

Smells of carmelized malt sugar with hints of hardwood smoke. Tastes very sweet, with a light fruitiness and smoke essence. Smokiness is not heavy and is about the maximum smoke I can handle in a beer. Definitely works with this one.

The problem: this beer seems dead on the palate. About the same pleasure as drinking sugar water that has been left near a campfire.

Drinkability is o.k. as alcohol warms early on and it will satisfy anyone with a sweet tooth. Might have been better if I had started with a lighter beer first.

Worth a taste.

 754 characters

Photo of Rastacouere
3.89/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Medium brown. Off-white head. Very old-ale ish aroma, but how salty, meaty, alcoholic.. ham-like, but very sweet malt at the same time. Very surprising flavors, they work kind of well together. It’s very sweet. On the tongue, this has the same malty sweetness than an old ale, similar light earthiness, maple and toffee notes, but the difference come from the smoke of course. It’s the kind of beer that is a meal by itself, very meaty. Alcoholic finish. High carbonation, big creamy mouthfeel. Love it or hate it kind I guess, but it seems a bit underrated. Not many brewers could manage to come up with a beer like this. Cheers CaptainCougar!

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Photo of PhantomVodoo
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy reddish brown. Looks thick and heavy. Not much head to speak of. Good amount of sediment remains in bottom of bottle leaving me to think maybe I should have swirled before finishing the pour. Smoked sausage and malt aroma. Sweet malt flavor up front that is quickly overpowered by smoke and alcohol. I had no idea what the alcohol content of this beer was before trying it, but it became quickly evident that it was a bit higher than most beers. The alcohol lingered a little too much on the finish for my liking. This is definitely a sipper. Took me a good hour to finish the beer and it seemed to mellow a little as it warmed. Probably due to the malt sweetness showing more. I enjoyed the 2nd half of the beer much more than the first. Creamy to syrupy mouthfeel. Drinkability suffered in my book due to the lingering alcohol. Label is kind of neat. Basic plain label with a pinkish kaliedescope looking rectangle at the top. Overall, a very interesting and good beer.

 993 characters

Photo of mcrawford
3.92/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of jcalabre
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Originally sampled on 7 November 2002. Break out the bratwurst, knockwurst, sausages and whatever deli meats you can find, because this beer is meant for them. The smokey flavors of this beauty will pair wonderfully w/ your deli favorites. I wish I could get it locally.

 270 characters

Photo of EvilKeith
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cellared for two years and provided by the good people of BoneDry.

Pours a murky, deep, rich caramel color with suspended particles of yeast. Topped with one finger of frothy camel colored head. Lacing starts sticky, fades after a bit.

Smell is sweet. Chocolate, dark fruit with traces of hickory smoke and alcohol.

Taste is very similar to the smell. Like a smoky chocolate milkshake. Alcohol warms as it goes down.

Full bodied. Thick, almost syrupy mouthfeel.

I enjoyed the complexity of this beer. It is quite a bit too heavy to be sessionable. This would work well as a nightcap when I'm in the mood for something sweet.

 643 characters

Photo of KAF
4/5  rDev -1.2%

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Bell's Batch 5000 from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.05 out of 5 based on 66 ratings.
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