Batch 8,000 | Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

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Batch 8,000Batch 8,000
Very Good
317 Ratings
Batch 8,000Batch 8,000

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

Style: Belgian 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.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 317 |  Reviews: 273
Reviews by jwc215:
Photo of jwc215
3.84/5  rDev -0.3%
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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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.07/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I poured this into a small tulip glass a orange-honey color with a nice almost creamy-like white head that settles into a frothy mass.Orange really bursts out at ya in the nose after pouring like squeezing an orange then the honey shows thru as well as some white pepper just a well defined aroma.Flavors are quite citrusy at first sip with some honey sweetness following as I drink more I pick up some toasted wheat malt and alcohol creeps a little.Full lush mouthfeel adds to the complexity and overall enjoyment of this beer,very nice.

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

On tap at Maduro for $4.00 a pint, $3 during happy hour. Sampled along with Left and Right Bank prototypes.

100% permahazed, heavily yeasty, pulchritudinous tangerine copper body. Thick, swilling white head.

Heavily spiced aroma of banana, clove, coriander, and black pepper with some bubble gum and orange. No hint of booze.

Intensely spicy and full bodied. Banana and clove pound the palate without leaving citrus flavors completely by the wayside. Only mildly, if at all alcoholic tasting. Minimal ester presence. Creamy, thick, and rich body feel. Warming. Deceiptfully drinkable.

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Photo of brewdogmrb
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pouring mostly clear at first and then dumping a big load of yeast about 80% of the way down, this beer was a beautiful golden color that got clouded up and looked truly "Wit." A bunch of stuff is going on when you first smell this - Orange for sure, and definitely some musky spice, but I'm not going to cop like I could smell the Paradise Seed or Coriander specifically. The spice was definitely unmistakable and this brew feels great in your mouth with some nice viscosity, almost approaching "chewy." It's definitely hot and the 9% makes you feel nice after you get through most of the bottle. I tried to take my time with this one but it was really satisfying to drink -- refreshing, and great for one of the first summer nights we've had, even if it is premature. I'm really happy to have picked a Bell's bottle where the hops and yeast dominate over the malts -- it seems that they can really pull anything off, if my initial impressions end up being true. In my mind this stands up in the weird world of American Witbiers like Allagash White and Jolly Pumpkin's Calabaza Blanca, both of which I really enjoy, and I can't wait to get into the remaining Bell's bottles I collected.

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Photo of DaftPatrick
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of Beaver13
3.94/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pours a hazy dark golden orange with a creamy off-white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet malts, some fruit (orange, banana), yeast and spices (clove).

The flavor is some candy-like sweetness and fruits over wheaty malts. The finish is dry and lightly bitter with some hefe-like spicing. The alcohol is well hidden, but there is some burn at the end as it warms. The mouthfeel is pretty full and creamy.

Overall, a fun beer. It's an interesting and original choice for a big beer - like a pumped up wit / hefeweizen cross.

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Photo of merlin48
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle pours a fluorescent orange body with a healthy offwhite head that leaves some sheet lacing on the glass. Aroma of clove, coriander, pithy orange and banana. Medium body feels more substantial than it is. Taste has a bitter spicy component, pepper, ginger, and coriander. Wheat and orange peel seem dominant but there's a lot going on in this one. Nicely complex. Very drinkable for such a stylebender.

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Photo of jcdiflorio
3/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brought over by the WVbeergeek from the Beer Store in a 12oz long neck brown bottle crimped cap.

Served in a nonic glass poured a reddish/orange color very mirky loode like apricot nectar. Dirty white head about an 1" soda-like dissapated quickly looking flat halfway through the beer,could barely see a few tiny staggered bubbles rising,had a good bit of slurry at the bottom of the bottle.

Very spicy nose,Belgium-like with corriander,cloves,citrusy with doughy/yeastyness.

Very spicy,lots of alcohol makes the tounge tinge has a masking effect on the taste. The corriander/paradice makes the spicyness on the bitter side,citrusy throughout with burnt sweet honeyed maltiness. Finishes dry and tart,slightly sour with some citrus peel.

Full mouthfeel with some cloyingness. Goes down easy enough not a beer I would want to drink a lot of. Interesting beer worth a try.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.35/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I thought after the wheat beer series that Larry Bell had his fill with this style at least for awhile well this one proves that wrong some what of an imperial witbier. Appears heavily clouded deep amber golden tone pretty much apricot hued with a large fizzy well retained off white head. Aromatics deep coriander with honey wild flower perfume accents as well as a nice dose of hops here very floral in nature with deep bready trademark Bell's unfiltered yeast notes really finishes spicy. Flavor a bit of a train wreck to be honest, cloying honey sweetness with evident hot alcohol overly spicy between coriander and paradise seeds with orange peel bitterness just camping out on the palate. I don't like this stuff it's pretty much the worse beer I've ever had from Bell's I love their beer this one just blatantly overdose it and doesn't mesh anything together. Mouthfeel beware because this one lacquers the palate with loads of perfume spiciness between bitter orange peel, hot unblended alcohol, coriander honey syrup, those paradise seeds I'm having a hard time resisting my gag reflex cloying syrupy full bodied as any wheat beer you'll ever come across carbonation is sluggish and has a hard time carrying everything. Drinkability is poor twelve ounces should never be this difficult to finish off, I'm struggling to take another sip honestly hard to stomach flavors clash no harmony such a disappointment after the last two thousand batch series.

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

Appearance: Hazy golden/orange. Tiny bit of sediment in the pour. Big head. Good retention and small lacing.

Smell: The bottle states it but there is wheat, coriander, honey, orange peel. There are some hints of pineapples and banana, as well.

Taste: Slight honey following with wheat and the citrus taste. Finish brings a bit of a peppery spice.

Mouthfeel: Thicker than any witbiers I've had before. Finish is semi-dry.

Drinkability: This is a nice little treat. Definitely enjoyed it. Keeping some other bottles stored.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer has a deep straw yellow hazy body with a rocky head of off-white that pulls away from the glass making a slight cone shape. The head lasts for the full beer.

S- The smell of slightly sweet wheat malt has strong notes of bubblegum, yeast and a hint of clove. The smell of slightly toasted wheat comes through also.

T- The light perfume note of wheat has hints of banana and circus peanuts with a slight cotton candy note to the banana flavor. There is some light tartness followed by a clove in that finishes the beer.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a soft alcohol heat that comes through when it warms a bit.

D- This beer has some nice complex yeast flavors and some nice qualities of a Tripel. There are also some hints of a big wheat wine that makes this a really nice beer to sip. I will have to buy more for the cool fall months ahead.

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Photo of pwoods
4.01/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This being my first review, I have to say I picked an odd one. Normally, Witbier isn't my favorite style. I read other reviews and most agreed it wasn't quite a witbier so I figured, why not? I have to agree; this is like no witbier I've ever had.

Poured from 12 bottle from Jungle Jim's into a snifter.

Appearance: Poured a very nice dried apricot. Very cloudy, makes it look like honey. Small head that's gone fast.

Smell: Very sweet smelling with lots of citrus. Clean citrus smell blocks some of the spices. As it warms, the alcohol smell really comes out. You can tell this smells like a witbier but not quite as abrasive. Normally I get a soapy smell(and taste) from witbiers, but I only slightly get that from this one, which is a very big plus.

Taste: Hands down the best witbier I've had. Coriander, clove, and other spices are definately there but I don't feel them way up front.. more of an undertone, though I get a decent white pepper flavor about half way through. Still has that strong citrus taste and next to no "soapiness". Nice, dry finish. I wish I would have found this earlier in the summer.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and a good amount of carbonation that hangs around. A little bit heavier than I expected but in no way too much for the style.

Drinkability: Yeah, this beer could be dangerous. I could seriously drink this all night w/o a problem... except @ 9%, I think I would finished earlier than expected.

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Photo of IntriqKen
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It's really hard to judge a 9% witbier. It's almost an oxymoron to me.

Pours a pale golden yellow with a small white head that leaves sticky lace in it's wake and melts to a very faint white ring.

Aromas are totally Belgium....yeast, coriander, orange peel, and fresh orange juice.

Taste is all about the Belgium yeast and candied sugars with oranges, spice, lots of coriander, and an alcohol back.

Mouthfeel is very thick for a witbier, cloying in fact.

Aftertaste is powdery Belgium yeast and candied sugar with some nice orange juice to finish it. Alcohol isn't really noticeable in the taste or aftertaste.

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Photo of tastybeer
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bright glowing candy-orange amber color, very slightly hazy, with a decent white head atop. The head fades to not much but a fuzzy ring at the surface. Aroma is bursting with lightly sweet orange and honey. Tropical fruity smells, banana and spice float out of my glass. Very sniffable. Smells like there's a solid amount of malts holding this up too. Taste is tangy, bright and entertaining. Citrus and tropical fruit again, flowers, honey, and steady malt flavors. An alcohol tingle meshes with the bitterness and carbonation at the finish. Mouthfeel brings smooth texture mixed with delightful fine carbonation bubbles. Body is a heavy medium. This is also pretty drinkable given the alcohol in it. Refreshing and enjoyable too.

Another good one from Bells.

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Photo of weasbri
4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy bronze color. Fairly good lace on the head going down. I pick up a good bit of honey in the aroma, fairly sweet (orange, banana) with some spiciness in the form of coriander.
The alcohol hits on the tongue fairly strong. I must admit, I failed once again to check the ABV before drinking, and expected a much lighter beer than I got. Still, in spite of the estery bite, I picked up some fruitiness with the orange and honey, but mainly it tastes spicy, peppery with a dash of coriander. Very nice.

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Photo of asabreed
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle into one of the badass Sam Adams glasses some of us got for being a founding BA mag member. Love these things.

Appearance: I'm a swirler and pourer of yeast, so that's just what I did. Initially it's more of a golden honey color, and after, while the yeast is disseminating around the glass, it becomes a hazy golden orange, or peach, or apricot, with lots of hues going on. The head is ring and clings nicely while slowly dissipating.

Smell: A lot going on here for sure. The yeast adds some mild phenols and light funk, along with an interesting balance of citrus hop oils, coriander and orange zest flavors, peppery and biting spice, and sweetness from the wheat. There are some bread and nut aromas coming through also. Finally some whiffs of strong, but welcoming, alcohol come through, especially when it warms.

Taste: Initial swig is strong citrus hops and peppery spice, with the sweetness nicely in the background. I could see how this could've been overly hopped, but here I think it's just right for the balance. Some vanilla, shortbread, frosting, honey, caramel, wheat sweetness, citrus zest, strong oily citrus hops. Finishes with yeast, strong -- but natural feeling, if that makes any sense -- spices, and a bitter hop bite to combat the sweetness and citrus all around. The alcohol is well hidden, and this is easy to drink considering the complexity, the high ABV, and the deceiving deliciousness.

Mouthfeel: Very rich without being cloying, along with enough carbonation to make it an easy-going brew toward the end of the summer, with a punch of carbonation to deceive you into thinking this is a lighter brew. It's interesting -- since it is 9% it's a nice segue into fall, with the summer feel to it and the ABV more like a fall or winter beer. Not sure if they planned it that way, but alas.

Drinkability: Paid about $13 for the 6-pack, but I've never had a Bell's batch beer, and for the ABV and limited availability, this is surely worth it. Comparable possibly to Southampton's Double White, though less sweet and hoppier, and maybe even a bit lighter. But with more alcohol. I'm a huge fan of this, and as I said, this is the perfect part of the year for a brew such as this, though really, I could drink it all the time. Can't wait to see what the next batches bring.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Might as well take all the styles currently listed on BA and throw an "Imperial" in front of each one, doubling the styles currently recognized here. Everything's getting doubled or imperialized these days: Oktoberfests/Marzens, Pilsners, Pumpkin Ales, Hefe-Weizens, etc. Can an Imperial Light Lager be far off? But I'm not complaining. It makes for interesting new flavors, it's fun, it's different...but it sure pisses off some of the craft-beer contingent. I suppose Bell's Batch 8000 can be considered an Imperial Witbier.

I assumed this was meant to be drunk with the sediment poured in, like any other witbier. I did just that and got a soupy, murky color that looks like a yellow-curry/mango-juice train wreck. The head is big and creamy, and the bubbles feed the head continuously, helping it stick around a long time. Small dots and thin oblong shapes of lace ring the glass.

Aroma is a very hard-to-call mixture of fruits and spices...definitely some orange, but other than that I just know it's fruity...and spicy. I could look at the label and say "coriander" and "paradise seed", but that would be cheating. Bottom line: it's a nice big aroma.

As for the flavor...what the hell??? This flies right off the chart in terms of any witbier I've ever had. It's similar to the tongue being ravaged by hops like some Double IPAs will do, only with spices and fruits doing the dirty work. There's some nice hopping evident, and the finish is like chomping right into a fresh orange, peel and all...but what an incredibly weird beer.

The mouthfeel is really thick...probably thicker than any non-stout beer has a right to be. It's soupy, chewy, and fat. Enjoyable in some ways, and in some ways, just...bizarre.

Err...certainly one of the most interesting beers out there, but I guess I'd wish this wasn't so imperialized. I like its rawness, but one glass is almost too much. Or maybe I shouldn't have swirled and poured the sediment?

***Addendum: later attempts I didn't swirl, or swirled less than this review...found the drinkability and flavors much more agreeable, less messy. Good fun, this beer.***

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to JCB for this extra.

Pours a hazy orange peach dark hef color. decent head dissipates fast. The nose is of wheat and spice. The first taste is nice and wheaty with much spice. coriander and maybe clove. Citrus flavors dominate the middle with slight banana and orange peel. A nice finish with a lingering citrus/spice aftertaste. Clearly a wheat style, and a great offering from Bells. This is my first experience with Bells brews. I have some expedition stouts on the way and am confident they will be quite good. Go bells, go JCB, your the man!

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Photo of cokes
4.32/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Smoggy golden orange with a quick, thick eggshell head that peters out to virtually nothing in a half minute's times.
It has a concentrated Witbier aroma of wheat bread, orange zest, and especially coriander. This is mixed with a typical Bell's yeast profile of concrete and oatmeal. Even though I'm sure this isn't their house yeast, it bears a resemblance.
Wheaty and bready up front, in the mouth. It sidles towards lemon, as the spice intercepts it. Still doughy, but spiced heavily with the advertised oranges and coriander. Coriander should carry an exclamation point, because it is as loud here as I've ever witnessed. But it manages not to be obnoxious. The wildcard is the "paradise seed", as I have no idea what the fuck that is. But 8000 has a pumpkin/ginger, allspice/nutmeg persona that might have lineage to said seed. The yeast is not the behemoth it has been with other Bell's brews (or as I anticipated, given the nose), but it adds a clove-drenched, vanilla-oatmeal essence, that gels very well with everything else. Hops are over-matched, but add traces of mint and lime leaves. Alcohol is generally cloaked, but a ghostly white rum figure is there on the swallow.
The body stays medium, with an everpresent carbonation that makes this as drinkable as can be. If more U.S. Tripels could ape this feel, I'd be happier with the state of Belgian-style brewing here at home.
Given Batches 5000, 6000, and 7000, this is a knuckleball. However, I do like it a lot in that Juiced-Up Wit Grand Cru genre.

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Photo of Sammy
3.74/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks Jason and Mike. Aggressivcely carbonated, yeasty-spicey treat with corriander, cloves and orange. Medium mouthfeel. Essentially a yeast play. I was expecting more, it's unusual and that's probably a good thing, and it's fine as a wit.Always good value for Bells.Had 2 years later again and appreciate the aroma even more.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.48/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

ah yes, batch 8000 - sampled this the other night on tap at maduro but tried to keep my purchases to the rarer offerings

my first of nine bottles picked up at steve's - university

appearance: pours into my newly "acquired" gorgeous bells tulip glass - body is a hazy/cloudy orange-apricot with a lovely fluffy white cap and strong lacing throughout, fair amount of sediment present...looks wonderfully tasty as expected

smell: nice crisp aroma - fresh wheat, corriander, clove and other spice, white pepper, orange peel, zero booze detected

taste: Congrats to Bell's on the 8000th batch. Bell's was the first brewery i fell in love with 3 years ago when i moved back to the midwest and it remains at the very top of my list which has become very comprehensive due to the BA trading network and beer paradise that is Madison.

anyways, on to the beer - this is called a witbier but i'm not really sure it's anything in particular as it also has strong similarities to a huge hefe, an american wheat, and a weizen. The flavour is big and bold highlighted by fresh crisp wheat, great spicing dominated by nice clove and white pepper, corriander, orange peel and other citrus flavouring, lemon, banana, honey. What a lovely beer

mouthfeel: nice full mouthfeel here which is impressive for the style...crisp, fresh and refreshing

drinkability: given the 9% abv, the drinkability is exceptional

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Photo of cjgator3
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark golden orange color with a creamy white head that possesses beautiful retention and lacing. The aroma is predominately honey and coriander with spices and hints of orange peel. The taste is sweet malt, honey and spices. The taste is sweet but not overly sweet and features a nice array of flavors.The drinkability is also surprisingly high despite the 9% ABV. Overall, this is a very good beer that is highly recommended. It makes you wish this wasn't a one-time commemorative brew.

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

Appearance: Very nice looking hazy gold color with a generous two finger head. Excellent retention and lacing.

Smell: Initially, it's a nice mix of citrus sweetness (mostly orange)and malty aromas. A hint of banana is present. Smells a bit spicy (some cloves and coriander).

Taste: Very solid. Citrusy sweet and very spicy. Definitely one of the better witbiers I've tried. Alcohol is blended extremely well and not noticeable.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's light to medium bodied, well carbonated and extremely smooth. Too big of a beer to session, but certainly drinkable. Overall, very nice offering.

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Photo of tempest
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Witbier, what? This tastes more like a big fruity and spicy saison or Belgian strong pale ale. It feels crisp on my tongue with a lot going on. There's the mild, bitter orange peel hops undertone that reminds me a touch of Saison Dupont. The yeast character has ligher fruit flavors, like candied blueberries and cherries, along with gentle-feeling spices like coriander and white pepper that especially come out in the aroma. The malt and wheat play the part of a sweet background for the fruit and spices to play on and overall this beer reminds me of Brooklyn's Local 1.

I think this might be my favorite Bell's beer to date. Don't get me wrong, Two Hearted rocks, but this beer is on another level for me.

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Photo of cliff1066
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

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Batch 8,000 from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 3.85 out of 5 with 317 ratings