Batch 5,000 | Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

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Batch 5,000Batch 5,000
66 Ratings
Batch 5,000Batch 5,000

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Michigan, United States

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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 66 |  Reviews: 50
Photo of aaronh
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

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Photo of cretemixer
4.07/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer looked quite a bit better than I was expecting after reading some of the other reviews. It is a murky auburn colored beer with a minimal off white head. The head fades to a thin collar after a few minutes. Aroma is smoky, sweet and malty. Astringent character on the nose too.

Definite smoky taste surrounds my tastebuds. I feel like I just took a whiff out of my smoker while cooking ribs. Taste is meaty too, either that or my senses are playing tricks on me. It's almost like I would imaging drinking a beer with a shot of worchestershire sauce in it would taste like.

Smooth & thick mouthfeel with minimal carbonation

Not very drinkable, but if we rated for originality, it would score high. I have had this beer cellared for almost a year now and I will revisit it again next year to see how it has matured.

BTW, my dog wouldn't leave me alone while I drank this one!

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark violet color, thin head, and an extraordinarily pungent aroma. Profound smokiness abounds here, amazingly complex! Underneath the smoke and alcohol, what have we? Plums, raisins, leather, the earmarks of a strong barleywine, with that smoke flavor sitting firmly on top. A real champion, and another fantastic feat from Bell's. Definitely a sipping beer, for one cannot easily ingest these rough, but rewarding, flavors. Fruity, spicy, warming, smoky, that's the full bill! Alcohol kick comes in stronger at the end, and you have to wonder how they will celebrate batch 10,000.
Evaluating this beer is a tough call. A truly unique and well-made beer, but not a easy one to guzzle back, in the least. You can only have one at a time, and slowly, at the end of the night, not far from the bed...unless you're a masochist!
Also, the one beer I've managed to store for the longest time, ever. One year. KBC says it improves and becomes more complex over five years. We'll see if I can hold out for four more.

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Photo of PhantomVodoo
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

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Photo of inebrius
4.64/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Reminiscent of youthful campfires and faces smeared with wild berries picked fresh from the Northwoods and the drunkeness of windless evenings after all-day adventures. Majestic aroma of beechwood smoked malt among the tart and ripe fruits of a barleywine. A gloomy chestnut under a thin and grasping cap. Huge malt dawn soon vanishes into thin hop which trails into a long, fumy finish. A superbly crafted smoke beer that's easy to curl up and dream with.

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Photo of mjohn27603
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The color was tan or more like a walnut finish on a piece of furniture. There was quite a bit of sediment floating. I've had this one in the beer cellar for quite a few months. I took the first one out of the six pack on New Year's Eve just before midnight. I smelled a bit of hickory and smoke. The first sip reveals smoke and some sweetness. Definitely a sweeter beer than other smoked ales I've tried. Kind of like a smoked doppelbock. Maybe if they added liquid smoke to Celebrator.

I did have one almost a year ago when it was young and I recall the smoke being much more in your face. It has matured a bit and softened around the edges. A unique offering by Bell's. if you can't afford the $15 six pack try to pick up a single. My beer store sells it for $3 a bottle.

I'm going to finish it as the ball drops in Times Square. Happy 2003!

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Photo of pbrian
4.17/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My first impulse after taking the first sip of a smoke beer is to spit it out. I just don't drink a lot of them, and the greasy, smoked-sausage-dropped-in-a-campfire flavors always throw me for a loop. Batch 5000 counters those unexpected flavors with an ample amount of caramel malt and luscious mouthfeel to make an extremely complex and enjoyable brew. By the time I was finished (an hour later) I was glad that nary a drop made it into the sink.

A long overdue thanks to Bighuge for all the fine beers he sent me.

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Photo of aracauna
3.59/5  rDev -11.1%
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.

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Photo of Murph
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark amber/medium brown color with a 1/2" creamy reddish-tan head. Huge smoky/malty aroma. Some definite smoked meats as well as some slight malty sweetness. Great caramel malt sweetness opens up the brew with some nice woody undertones all the way through before the smokiness takes the torch and carries the brew through till the end. The transition is a very smooth one that eventually allows the smokiness to completely take over the brew while leaving a nice smoky presence in the mouth. The brew is extremely smooth and fairly crisp for its maltiness due to the smoke. Although it takes the palate a little while to get used to the flavors this is definitely a rather drinkable brew that leaves me wishing that I had drank it with some nice smoked food.

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Photo of Viking
4.19/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I felt this would be a good brew to try in anticipation of a Red Wings Stanley Cup victory!

Dark reddish-brown mud color with a thin head. Head lasts just a bit longer than the proverbial snowball in the underworld, and leaves a thin lace. Smell has a blend of caramel, cherry, and smoky roasted malt. When cold, smoky flavor is subdued and a wonderful blend of caramel, chocolate, and roasted malt shines through. As the beer warms, the smoked malt quickly dominates the other flavors. The brew has a thick, oily body that seems to cling to the tongue and leave a nice smoky aftertaste. Wonderful beer, but a bit too thick and strong (in abv terms) to score more 'drinkability' points.

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Photo of ADR
4.44/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I was going to store all of these but the call to drink was too much...Chunky, medium brown "swamp" color....Head is small-bubbled but persistent. Yeasty fresh smell, a hint of powerful smoke. Very full-bodied, nice and hugely sweet taste with a spicy almost nutmeg/cidery property, lots of smoked meat. Huge mouth coating properties. Tobacco smoke flavor mostly at the back and in the aftertaste. There is a kind of springtime freshly tilled soil taste but its not at all off putting -- well it is in a way, but its interesting to taste that old wet canvas of summertime tents in the days before nylon. The complexity of this beer is not so obvious as rich, like the smell of mown grass. Honey and fireplace ashes sums it up. Its also slightly more drinkable than I expected but pretty heavy duty. One IS enough at a sitting for me. As the meaty sweet aroma comes on, and you look at the floating murky yeast, don't think about this beer in any classic categories too much. Skoal on this one, it might even make a good steak sauce on its own!

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Photo of sprinkle
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is HUGE!! This beer is done very well,smells like its straight out of Bamberg,Germany.Have noted some differences from bottle to bottle,some are even more smokey.Cheers to Bell Batch 5000,may there be many more to come!

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Photo of oberon
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

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Photo of ZAP
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy bronze, with a thin lace..HEAVY smoke smoked saugage...sweet tasting with minimal if any hopping...mild smokiness on the taste...smooth, and slick on the tounge...smokiness not overbearing although between the smell and the taste I think I need a bottle of steak sauce to go with this one..very interesting and a very solid smoked beer

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Photo of cokes
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This is something else.
Check out Bighuge's review for a vivid description of the appearance. I agree totally. Muddy, dark and thick looking. I expected some worms and grass clipping at the bottom of the glass. None to be found.
The smell is spicy smoke (almost meaty). I enjoy this alot, but I could see how one could easily be turned off. This could be dinner in itself.
The malts really make the beer. They provide a delicious, sweet foundation for the abundant smoke flavors. Very syrupy and sticky, with pronounced alcohol, but not in a bad way.
Enjoy it paired with smoked food (meats and cheeses). Also, wonderful as a stand-alone night-cap (as a change of pace) due to it's elevated ABV.
Due to it's thickness and huge character (and VERY high price), not a beer to quaff, but take your time with it and I think you'll be rewarded.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.89/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The appearance can be described like this: Go into your backyard with an ice-cream scooper. Get a scoop of mud and drop it into a pint glass. Dilute to 12 oz. with water and mix. Kalamazoo's beers have never been noted for "clean" appearances however. There's a definite smoky aroma here. Not much of a head. Strong smoky taste. There is some substance in this brew. There's a sweetness here too. Thick and Syrupy. This is a beer that will lay down nicely too.

Kalamazoo describes this as a smoked strong ale.

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Batch 5,000 from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 4.04 out of 5 with 66 ratings