Bell's Batch 8000 | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

very good
273 Reviews
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Bell's Batch 8000Bell's Batch 8000

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

Style: Witbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by hoppymeal on 08-05-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 273 | Ratings: 316
Photo of womencantsail
3.13/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks for this one, Derek.

The beer is hazy orange in color with a small white head. Strong aromas of orange peel and coriander come through. It’s decently bready, but also fairly stale. Really not much left to the aroma. The same can be said of the flavor. Stale sugar and bread with a hint of toast. The orange peel and coriander are really the only saving graces to this beer. Sort of lifeless in terms of the mouthfeel as well.

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Photo of Urbancaver
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a golden amber orange. Light white head. Smells of sweet honey. Lots of wheat on the nose with a touch of coriander. Tastes citrusy and coriander heavy. Wheaty. Really enjoyable. Im shocked by how much i enjoy a 4 year old wit beer. Thanks Eric for this treat

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.72/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into my Hair of the Dog Tulip glass. Bottled 7.26.2007

A - Pours a dark, cloudy orange-amber with a smaller fizzy, cream colored head.

S - Sweet raisins, plums, apricots.

T - Carmel, raisins, old fruit.

D - Fizzy, light body.

O - Not sure about this one, oxidization has begun to set in, but not enough to ruin this one.

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Photo of Krakistophales
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a rusty colored grapefruit with a finger's worth of head after a generous pour. The head fades quickly into half a halo around the glass and a bit of a bubble stew in the middle.

S: Green apple, caramel, malts, spices, pie crust

T: Orange, grapefruit, honey, white grapes

M: Nice carbonation and goes down smoothly. Has a slight stickiness, maybe like a mead.

O: I like this one. This is different, and has some unique qualities to it. It's almost like mead. Sure, it doesn't have as much of a honey note, but it's a tasty treat.

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Photo of Sean9689
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Chris for sharing this at WLV Liquors Bell's Tasting. 12oz bottle poured into tasting glass.

A - Pours an orange/yellow color, white fizzy head, some spotty lacing and bubbles here and there on top.

S - Sweet pineapple, fruits, slight alcohol, some burnt sugars.

T - Like pineapple juice. I need to be on a beach with an umbrella up in this glass. No real detection of alcohol, some sugars too.

M - Light, refreshing, good carbonation, sweet finish.

D - Well, better then I was expecting. Tastes like a fruit drink but has 9% alcohol...awesome! I would say drink this now...don't really see it improving in the future.

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Photo of billab914
2.85/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish snifter. It poured a thick and murky, brown/orange color with a very thin white head slinging to the edges of the glass. The white lacing faded fast and left it looking a bit like apple cider.

The aroma shows a lot of sweetness to it. It has a bit of a syrupy, sugary, wheat malt flavor coming through. I get some honey out of it as well. It seems a little more like a Wheatwine in the aroma at this point. I get just some faint traces of the citrus I'd expect in a wit.

I get a bit more citrusy, wit like flavors in the taste. The orange peel and coriander come through, especially in the finish. It's still pretty light on those flavors for the style, but they are still present. The wheat also plays a very big role in it, giving it a sweeter, wheat malt, bready character. Again I see similarities between a lot of wheat wines I've had, only slightly more citrusy. Probably average tasting at best at this point.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being very low for the style. Drinkability isn't bad, I like wheat a lot so I enjoyed it. As I said before it was a lot more like a wheatwine at this point, which isn't a bad thing. Not a bad beer at all, but also not a great one either at this point.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.59/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to Ryan for this extra, hoping the high alcohol has helped this stay decent. 12oz bottle poured into my Narke glass....Pours a medium clear copper, deeper brown in the center. The head is a watery whispy ugly off white. No retention, just doesn't look appealing...The aroma is like a wit barleywine. Strong alcoholic honey, orange peel, coriander, lots of wheat, a hoppy finish. Seems like it would be ok, doesn't really work for me though. Spices are too strong...The taste is more subdued, most of the harsh spice and alcohol notes are gone. Tastes like a alcoholic witbier that has some sweet honey notes. Not bad, not great, slightly above average...Mouthfeel is glassy and warm...Its easy to drink but I'm not in love with it, so I'm struggling to finish this.

I can't recommend this now, however its held up better than I would have thought.

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Photo of Chambic
3.23/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: clear amber with lively fizz; no head. Emptied the bottle into the glass about halfway through and the suspended sediments just hang within the carbonation

S: bitter orange, rounded out with a very natural, soft sweetness

T: more orange, specifically the peel and pith, along with the spices, and a prominent honey finish

M: round and full, the fizz upfront cuts through nicely

D: not my favorite, but I just had to have a hard-to-acquire Bell's (not distributed in CA), even if I was drinking an American beer in Sweden

Notes from 02.17.10 at Akkurat in Stockholm

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Photo of kels
4.28/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Where in the world do you find a 9% witbier?

Pours a great bright shade of apricot with a dark, roasted honey highlight. It's more on the hazy side with tons of carbonation bubbles running throughout and little chunks of whitish sediment float near the bottom. The 2 finger soft, pillowy toasted-cream colored head fades to a seriously well-retained 1 finger skim.

Nice bright sweetness to the nose. There's a bit of lemon, thick sticky honey and yeast.

Wow - what a big, bold taste for this style, especially after it had been sitting on a shelf for a year. Very bright and crisp, with toasted grains and sunny, not bitter, citrus. The hoppiness comes through very herbal, most likely accented by the use of herbs/spices in the beer. Exceptionally bubbly, well carbonated mouthfeel lends to a full, yet light experience.

Drinkability is immensely high. The alcohol is hardly noted in the taste or smell, although it does creep up throughout the drink. Very satisfying, light and enjoyable. I know people were disappointed in this beer as a 1000-series offering from Bell's, but this might be one of my favorites from them. Wish they put this into regular rotation.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.4/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle tried 17 Nov 2007.

Large creamy head. Buttery deep amber color, fairly turbid. Earthy aroma, orange, corainder, yeast. Lots of orange peel bitterness with a sweet buttery pastry aftertaste. First impression is good but deteriorates as it warms. Lingering lightly spicy aftertaste. Medium body.

Like an orangey Danish butter cookie.

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Photo of ZeroSignal
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a cellared 12 oz bottle

A - Pours a very hazy light brown/peach color; thick white head, clings nicely to the sides of the glass

S - Smells sugary sweet with hints of honey, cloves, and vanilla

T&M - Feels "sticky" on the palette; not as sweet as the nose would indicate. Just a hint of bitterness behind the honey. Nice wheat "fluffiness" while being full bodied and dense.

D - I've found most "honey" beers to be far too sweet. This one is a little more balanced and the honey seems to blend well with the wheat and spice notes of the beer. For my taste, however, this is one and done.

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Photo of jwc215
3.84/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to BuckeyeNation for this!

Pours clouded dark orange with a thin white head that immediately disappears to a few vanishing wisps.

The smell is of honey, orange, coriander and bready notes.

The taste of honey sweetness is promininent, though balanced by orange tartness, some tang, bread, and a hint of peppery coriander. Not sure what "paradise seed" is (grains of paradise?) but there is a nice spiciness that is underlying without being overwhelming. Alcohol warms shows in the sweet finish.

It is full-bodied, a bit syrupy.

An interesting sipper - a more full-bodied, syrupy, boozier wit.

It says "drink fresh" but no freshness date.

Certainly worth grabbing a bottle if you can find it before it runs out!

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

Poured into Bell's tulip glass.

Pours a slight layer of white head. Leaves some splattered lace. Color is a hazy orange sunset.

Aroma: Cloves, coriander, orange peel with some heat. A little musky.

Taste: bananas, a lot of spices, orange peel, cloves, grains of paradise, and some coriander. A very big beer.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, refreshing and a tad crisp. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends slightly dry.

Overall, a huge beer for the style, but pretty good. I'd like to have tried this fresh, as it is drinking pretty good now, but would like to make comparisons.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I think I got this from Jon - if so, thanks dude. If it was from someone else I apologize. Served in a pilsener glass. Bottled July 26th, 2007. Apparently this is best consumed fresh - whoops.

A - Pours with a finger of yellow-tinged foam that dissipates quickly to a thin cap and leaves some spotty lacing. Hazy apricot colored body that has a nice glow to it when held to the light. There's a few big bubbles visible racing to the top.

S - Grains of paradise, coriander, honey, malted wheat, a touch of citrus. Maybe the slightest bit medicinal. The booze is pretty well-hidden at this stage of the game.

T - The taste is a lot more simplistic - malted wheat and toffee predominate, with maybe a touch of orange and honey. There's a light twanginess in the aftertaste. It's not bad - just a little dull. Again, the ABV is quite deceptive.

M - The mouthfeel is quite good. Mild carbonation, medium-thick body that supports the higher ABV, chewy and viscous. Goes down very easy, without a lot of heat.

D - For a beer that isn't my favorite style and that packs a bit of punch this was remarkably easy to drink. Something about the texture encourages big swigs. At this stage this brew is really mellow and fairly enjoyable - that said I wouldn't sit on these much longer.

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Photo of GruvisHops
4.4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: 12 oz. brown bottle. Bright orange body and very cloudy from the yeast particulate.

S: The aroma reminds me of a tripel. I'm picking up more on the honey and orange peel than the spices. Then again, I often struggle to discern spices.

T: Once again, I can't help but think tripel, but it's certainly delicious. Heavy on the orange peel, and the honey really comes through as the beer warms. The malt really gives a nice buoyancy to the alcohol.

M: Full and very smooth.

D: It sure didn't last long in my glass.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.96/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

05/28/09- Generously shared with BA member Tailsker.

Presentation- 12oz bottle, I believe a 2007 release. Poured into a Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Orange-golden colored pour with a creamy white 3/4 inch head. Looks much like a quality DIPA...kinda like PTY. Leaves some light spotty and streaky lace behind.

Smell- Really not that scented. Mostly some corriander and a bit of peppery spice. Maybe a slight touch of alcohol.

Taste- Flavors meld very well together. Nothing really jumps out, but lots of nice flavors. Corriander, honey, a bit of citrus peel...a nice peppery hit as well. Not really any confectioiers sugar...really doesn't taste like a wit...maybe a tripel?

Mouthfeel- Quite smooth and creamy texture with just the right amount of prickly carbonation.

Drinkability- Very nice beer...abv is virtually undectectable. Thanks very much for the opportunity to try this beer Ethan!

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Photo of ThaBobfather
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pour a nice deep amber color. Much less carbonated than I would have thought, but still the head fits well.
The first smell of this is sharply orange/honey.
Sips very well. There's a lot here. Some aged tastes with spice and fruit.
Finish is very crisp, I'm left with some rind and sweet honey taste.
Very solid and a great drinker at 9%.

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Photo of KI9A
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep orange. Puffy, head. Decent lace.

S: Citrusy, spicey. Nothing dominates.

T: Sweet tangerine, some light malts, very spicy at the back. Peppery.

M: Somewhat light. Decent carbonation.

D: This one was evil to me, wanted to keep returning to my mouth for another quaff. Easy to drink...too easy.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12 ounce bottle poured into a standard shaker glass. Appears a murky apricot color, full of particles, with an inch of bone white foam. Nose and flavor are of coriander, orange peel, sweet honey, lemon, still a bit of alcohol heat after a while in the bottle. Light syrupy mouthfeel with ample carbonation. Bottle states "best consumed fresh" - bollocks! This is drinking much better than fresh as it sits in front of me now IMO.

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Photo of webmanspidey
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled in 2007 with the message "best consumed fresh" printed on the label. Guess I'll have to keep that in mind...

Cloudy burnt orange color with slight tan head. Smell is citrus fruits, peaches, and spices. Has a "Belgian" feel to it.

Taste has lots of flavor and spice to it.. peppery and boozy, lemon and orange. It fades a little quickly unfortunately, maybe due to the age of the bottle?

This is a little intense for this style, but it is the most interesting that I've had. If it truly was better two years ago, I would have liked to try it then.

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Photo of rhinos00
3.72/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

A- Pours a cloudy gold with hints of mustard brown hues. The little head that formed disappeared rather quickly.

S- Has a nice aroma going. Honey suckle sweetness, coriander, and various other spices are the dominant scent here.

T- Not as complex as I had hoped. Pretty much follows the aroma except a bit underwhelming. There is just something lacking here. The honey sweetness does not play as much of a role as I had thought and the spices were a bit too overpowering in the finish. Also detected orange zest flavors and little bit of wheat flavors. This does pair great with smoked cheddar cheese!

M- Medium bodied with nice carbonation.

D- As this warms up it gets more drinkable. I like the subtle alcohol burn in the chest after every couple sips. Considering the ABV, this goes down pretty smooth...almost feels like a session beer sans the alcohol burn in the chest.

Overall, based on the aroma this beer had pretty big potential. However, the taste was just needed something more to sort of counter the spiced flavor. It did get better as the beer warmed.

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Photo of BMoney575
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on 3-10-09
Batch 8000
Bottled on 7-26-07

Pours a great gold/amber color, with a foamy off-white head that settles to a thick layer. Thick but short-lasting lacing rings the glass.

Smell is thick with sugary sweetness, deep fruit, and a burnt sugar quality. The booze is in there, in a rum-soaked kind of way.

Taste is sweet, but with a tart, peppery edge. Like a strong pale ale, without the Belgian. The alcohol warms on the finish, with a pleasant slightly sour aftertaste. Tastes fresh and aged at the same time.

Mouthfeel is good, low carbonation to go with the boozy thickness.

Drinkability is good, not harsh or heavy on the palate.

Overall, some of the magic that was once there is gone. Still I'm curious to see what a long time in the cellar will do.

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Photo of Yetiman420
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

"Best consumed fresh" rule broken right off the bat. This one's been in the cellar for something around 2 years. At 9%, I'm not too concerned.

Aroma had major competition from the roux smoke aroma on my sleeve from the batch of Gumbo I just finished preparing. Slight spice and heavy, not so appealing aroma from an imperial wit.

I had one of these when I first picked up the six pack some 2 years ago and I think the aging has mellowed and improved the drinkability. It was a bit sharp when fresh.

Wit yeast present when swirled. Mouthfeel is a distinct and positive trait.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
2.94/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a cloudy gold in color. Smell is definitely all spice and coriander. Very strong. Taste is not what I was expecting. This is far from what I'd expected for a celebratory beer. This has a definite band-aid, or paste flavor in it. Mouthfeel is crisp and somewhat refreshing. Not pleasant to drink.
Hopefully the next will be back to a powerful stout or a very nice english style old ale.

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Photo of CrellMoset
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of BrewerB - thanks!! Poured into a 14 oz. tulip.

Appearance: Pours a hazy orange, intensely and vividly colored, though very dirty-looking. The bubbly and foamy one-finger head fades relatively quickly, but the wisps of lace on the surface and the off-white - perhaps even slightly orange-tinged collar - stick around. The other noticeable thing about the appearance of this brew is the plentiful carbonation, evenly distributed around the periphery of the glass. You wouldn't be able to see it in any other glass given how hazy this brew is, but in the tulip, you get dozens of little streams of fine bubbles creeping upwards towards the surface. No lacing of which to speak.

Aroma: All the notes come through rather well here. It's definitely sweet, but also somewhat wholesome and bready. Though the orange zest is obvious upon first inspection, agitation really releases it, and it floats upwards effortlessly to the very top of your nose. The spiciness blends well with the honey sweetness here, as well, and though the coriander is definitely noticeable, I'm assuming the balance - a prickly, neutral peppery quality - is contributed by the Paradise seeds, which I've never smelled outside of a beer before.

Taste: Intensely flavored. The honey comes through more strongly here than in the nose, though it is kept somewhat in check by the other notes and is accompanied by a nice yeasty, bready earthiness. The orange presence here is 50% fruity and 50% tart, slightly more in balance than the nose (where it was all fruity). It's a very authentic orange peel, too, adding an element very reminiscent of freshly-squeezed orange juice. The spiciness is also far more peppery here, with the coriander taking a bit of a back seat to a very strong, pungent white peppery-like note. If there's any alcohol, it's pretty well hidden in the sweetness/tartness/spiciness, which is fine by me.

Mouthfeel: Very well carbonated. Sort of a big, rough fluffyness, but it almost had to be this well carbonated, given how thick the body is. What results is probably the best-feeling this beer could have been, and though it's lively, crisp, and soft, it is fairly uneven and erratic.

Drinkability: A perfectly pleasant and enjoyable beer. The 9.0% is hidden well in the mass of flavors and aromas, and - though it's high for a "witbier" - I'm gonna have to say that this is not a typical witbier. It's a Bell's witbier, belonging to a batch divisible by 1000, and I suppose that's enough to give it a pass here. This is an intense, flavorful brew, and if you like imperial beer and if you like witbiers, this one just might be for you. I don't see it being one I'd enjoy more than a few times, but it's well made and nice.

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Bell's Batch 8000 from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.84 out of 5 based on 316 ratings.
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