Batch 9,000
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

Batch 9,000Batch 9,000
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American Strong Ale
4.08 | pDev: 12.99%
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Michigan, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Batch 9,000Batch 9,000
Notes: "Black, dense, and rich, this is a great ale for the cellar."
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Reviews: 543 | Ratings: 921
Photo of Treyliff
4.62/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter
9 1/2 year old bottle

A- pours dark brown with a one-finger thick and creamy dark tan head that has great retention long after the pour

S- an array of dark fruit, raisin, plumb, fig, black cherry. Molasses, brown sugar, black licorice, caramel, Christmas cake

T- dark fruit initially, with a big hit of prune, followed by raisin and cherries. Mid-palate brings out sweet molasses, caramel & toffee, rum soaked cherries, fruit cake. The finish continues with the cherry notes, and lingers of plumb, caramel and port

M- medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a creamy mouthfeel that continues into a silky warming finish

O- I didn’t have this fresh, but at nearly 10 years old, this is fantastic

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Photo of YonderBrew
4.66/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This had been in my fridge seven or eight years.

Poured into a snifter. Minimal head retention. Dark brown, almost black.

Rich and complex. Boozy, but not harsh. Outstanding mouth feel.

Bell's needs to bring this one back.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This one pours a fairly dark brown color, with a small head, and no lacing.

This smells like leather, chocolate, caramel, oxidation, smoke, molasses and dark fruits.

This is quite the blast from the past. It's aged exceptionally well- there's only a slight touch of oxidation, and it's not the cardboard type of oxidation. It's just the slightly stale sherry wine type of oxidation, which works pleasantly here. There's some very light smoke, and tons of caramel/toffee/molasses malt goodness. There's a nice vanilla creaminess too.

This is medium bodied, and very drinkable, despite the age. The booziness is basically completely subsided. It's quite creamy.

I never thought I'd be able to try this beer. I'm pleased to report that it's aged quite well.

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Photo of EMV
4.46/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Dogfish Head tulip. 8 year old beer... here goes.

L: Cloudy dark, dark mahogany pour... nearly black. Thin brownish head. Falls fast... thin rim of lacing.

S: BIG! Rich and sugary... sweet... caramel, molasses, plum, and burned raisin.

T/F: Sweet caramel and molasses. Brown sugar, dark fruits (plum, fig, raisin), complex.... a bit of spice... licorice in the background. Rich and full... super sticky and coats the tongue. The finish is dark fruit and spice. Hides the ABV dangerously. Low carbonation.

O: Just awesome. I didn't have this when it came out, but after 8 years in the cellar this beer is 100% delicious. Love this... and glad I have a few more. A perfect cold winter/dessert sipper.

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Photo of onemoorebeer
3.99/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aging great. Poured smooth with good carbonation with a lingering head retention. Dark fruit aroma. Taste has high fig with slight licorice notes. Low to no alichol bite. Moderate bitterness on finish. Overall very please with how this is aging.

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Photo of HattedClassic
4.66/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured at Churchkey in 2016.

Opaque black that has ruby notes around it. Not much thickness and looks fairly oily and slick.

Smell is divine. Fairly complex. Sjarp Alcohol smell mixed with a light bitterness and dark fruit maltiness. Also a good raisin and date note that mixes well with the very light vanilla running through.

Taste is really and complex. Mainly date and raisin notes from the malts and a very light roast as well. A slight alcohol note but barely noticeable.

Slight burn. Heavy body. Almost no carbonation. A little sticky.

Very good and delicious. Glad for the opportunity to try this.

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Photo of bladehines
5/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Cellar kept since purchase by me.

L: Very dark, black slight red tint, slight brown around edges.
S: Heavy cherry and dark chocolate upfront, molasses, Carmel, flirty notes
T: Instant taste of tart cherry and chocolate notes followed by coffee and finished with more tartness, slight bitter on the end.
M: Mouth feel heavy no alcohol notes, silky, very coating of the mouth.
O: Held up super well aging this long!!!! Fresh the beer was over powering, glad I aged it!!! One of the best beers I've had in a long time! Wish I had more!

Note: 2010 vintage

Serving type: bells tulip glass

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Photo of KensWorld
4.41/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From bottle cellared since 2010 I believe. Not much head left in it. Has sediment at bottom of bottle. Smells like dark fruit, soy sauce and molasses with roasted malt, nutty and woodsy aftertaste. Very complex beer that has a dominate tangy fruit taste. Overall it looks to have held up well but I'm sure it's much different tasting then when fresh. Very much enjoyable after it warms to room temp. Worth the wait

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

i might be a loner one this, but i didnt love it the way others do below, and instead offer the idea that it is now past its prime. i have no clue what it tasted like fresh, but its safe to say its faded out quite a lot. still a darn fine ale, but i would not rank it among the better american strongs on the scene right now, thats for sure. it looks almost all the way black, with reddish brown edges in the right light, minimal head. smells nice too, a tad oxidized, but not beyond what one would reasonable expect in a beer this old. it has notes of root beer and stale coffee, as well as alcohol, which is pretty pronounced even with all the cellar time. cool woodiness too, almost like a birch syrup or something, sweet and wet, but not really bourbon as i know it. is this even aged on wood? i would guess no, but it has that mellowness from its maturity. flavors of molasses, toasted barley, burning wheat toast, sarsaparilla root, and black tea are all there, but the beer is still pretty sweet, and its very alcoholic. distractingly so, especially with temperature. tasty beer, but i think it likely peaked a year or two ago. my advice is to drink now.

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Photo of metter98
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black in color—only faint traces of dark brown are visible near the edge of the glass when it is held up to a bright light. It poured with a short tan head that quickly died down, leaving a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of black licorice are present in the smell along with notes of molasses.
T: The taste follows the smell and also has additional notes of dark fruits. There is a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a low to moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer held up quite well with the aging except that the amount of carbonation has dissipated a bit. The beer does a very good job at hiding its alcohol from the taste.

Note: 2010 vintage

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of bluehende
4.99/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this beer after being aged 5 years. One of the best I have ever had. Licorice has faded with huge tastes of molasses. This was one outstanding beer at 5 yrs old.

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Photo of stevoj
4.16/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle share from Jake. Another well aged stout. Dancing on the border of sweetness, it comes off as a welcoming and warming, slightly syrupy brew. hits the spot for sure

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Photo of emyers
4.65/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a Founders snifter.

Appearance: Pours near black with a half inch light brown head dissipating after a few minutes into a thin lacing. Minimal lacing down the glass.

Smell: Rich, dark chocolate truffles, molasses, caramel. Excellent. I'm not really getting much in the way of brewers' licorice, but frankly that's probably a good thing as I don't think it would benefit the overall aroma. There is tons of depth to the nose.

Taste: Intense. Heavy brown sugar and burnt caramel flavors up front, molasses, a touch of dark fruit. Flavors of brandy and dark chocolate round it out. Finish is fairly sweet although the lingering slightly burnt flavor (which I mean in a positive way) keeps it in check. Just a touch of alcohol heat is detectable underneath the myriad layers of malt. Extraordinarily rich and decadent.

Mouthfeel: Rich and full-bodied but velvety smooth texture which is enhanced by minimal carbonation.

Overall: Truly exceptional beer. That being said, I probably wouldn't want to try and knock down more than one in a sitting as it can overwhelm the palate pretty quickly. But this is hard to beat for a slow sipper after a long day. I don't know how this drank fresh (this being my only bottle), but it's hard to believe it was better than this.

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Photo of dar482
4.47/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

The aroma hits of sweet soy, chocolate syrup, sweet caramel, molasses.

The flavor follows with less soy. Instead, brown sugar, caramel, dried dates. The beer tastes of a decadent dark fruit candy caramel.

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Photo of justinp444
4.62/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Aged 5 years and poured into a tulip this beer pours a dark amber black with a thin tan head than quikly dissipates. Smell is of licorice, alcohol, malt, brown sugar, molasses, and sweet bread. Taste is largely fig and licorice, caramel, maple, with a tiny bit of alcohol bite in the back end. Lots of dried fruit, raisin, spice, and molasses too. It has a rich full mouth feel with a creamy rich body. Very smooth and drinkable, the burn of the alcohol is nice and slow too, almost as if this was made with peppers.

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.98/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Batch 9,000 is part of our commemorative series celebrating our progress with special brews. Black, dense and rich, this is a great ale for the cellar." Brewed in the style of an American Strong Ale, available in 12 oz. bottles and on limited draft, in commemoration of the 9,000th batch of Bell's beer, packaged as a one time limited release on January 27 2010. Chosen as a special occasion review for milestone #775.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a Bell's snifter glass. Served above 57 degrees Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a stunted, quickly dissipating head of a toasted maple cream complexion over a very dark brown, near black body with soft maple highlights. Retention is poor and lacing is light and spotty. 3

(Smell) Abundant bread and syrupy malts with a moderately roasted malt backbone. Dark fruits of raisins and date syrup, molasses, caramelized sugars, strong licorice and a sharp snap of underlying alcohol. It's a bold and captivating aroma with high potency and depth of character that nearly makes a meal for the nose. 3.75

(Taste) Dense specialty malt profile with strong roasted malt, toasted caramel grains and bread and viscous dark fruit syrups up front with a moderate sweetness and tartness, following with spicy licorice, soy sauce and heavy caramelized sugars. Finishes strong and sharp with a potent blend of tart raisin, grain alcohol, toasted syrups, medium roasted coffee and malt. A very delicate sipper from the booze to say the least but an absolute beast on flavor. The flavor improves and the alcohol edge decreases with each sip for an outstanding flavor. 4.25

(Mouthfeel) The texture is silky slick, oily, moderately viscous and sticky, mildly chewy and moderately dry. Carbonation is modest, generating a mellow frothiness and a softly crisp finish. Body is heavy for the style and heavy overall. Balance is sweet and grainy alcohol over tart and bitter. Alcohol presence is high and there are no discernible off characters, although the alcohol is quite potent, slowing down the drinkability considerably, there's so much flavor and body to be explored here that this beer is a slow but pleasurable sipper nonetheless. 4

(Overall) I've had some messy strong ales that did not age nearly as gracefully as this one, but Batch 9,000 doesn't hide the alcohol all that well up front either. That said, this is an incredibly rich and flavorful beer with abundant dark ale flavor, playing around with many American and European styles without settling on a single one conclusively. It comes closest to an Imperial Stout but doesn't quite hit the notch, for better or for worse. Perhaps this difficulty to categorize Batch 9,000 adds to the mystique of this beer, but I don't mind the confusion. This was my one and only bottle but I think most of the fine points of aging this beer have come to plateau. Serve it above 60 degrees for the full flavors to develop in your glass and enjoy. 4

Bell's Brewery, Inc.'s
Batch 9,000 Ale

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Photo of Christov
4.4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Let warm on the counter for 20 minutes after pulling from fridge. Poured into a stem-less snifter.

One finger of rich, tan head quickly dissipated to a light lacing. Beer is a reddish dark-brown color, mostly opaque. It looks as though some of the yeast has made it into my glass. The horror.

Aroma is exceptional. Licorice, dark fruit, and booze, but not overly boozy in the nose. It makes me want to drink it.

So I drink it. The flavor doesn't quite match the aroma, but it's good in its own way. I got lots of licorice flavor in the beginning, but as it warms further I get more fruits and booze. Makes me think this is what a good wine would be like if I drank wine.

Glad I got to try this a few times, courtesy of my homie Chaos. This review is of the one he gave me for house-sitting last summer. Drinking it while house-sitting again this year.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.98/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Revisited 2/28/14

Pours a viscous black purple port with a coffee colored ring of foam.

Aroma is salty, soy sauce, steak drippings, dried tobacco and stone fruits. Power of suggestion but I caught some almond. Hint of booziness on the back end.

Tastes layered, wonderful complexity that unwinds like a well written mystery. It's peppery at first, with a strong salty mushroom gravy presence that peels off into stone fruits, raisins and dried fig, hints of dark cherry, a thick lingering finish, some brown sugar and a bit of booze on the end. Oh, and black licorice!

For my 750th review I’m revisiting this beauty.
I was fortunate to score a couple of bottles of this when it came out a while ago. Stuck some in the cellar (basement) of my folks home so I get a little treat each time I visit.

This review is from 1/13. The double-digit ABV makes me a little nervous each time but after some time it’s definitely mellowed out.

I am enjoying the appearance of this black licorice/cocoa-tinged brew. There’s light foam that rapidly dissipates, leaving behind an intriguing aroma of molasses and fig, candied dates, and only the slightest hint of anise.

The flavor has a pronounced bitterness and roast upfront which lingers into a smooth yet warming sweetness. I get a touch of molasses and brown sugar balancing out the array of stone fruit flavors. I find the anise and licorice to be much more pronounced from the flavor than the aroma and I wonder if they brewed this with a Belgian yeast strain if it would qualify as a quad or Belgian dark strong ale—it has that complexity and that potential.

It’s a heavy-bodied beer, much like a port in its weight and the way it lingers on the palate, and one to definitely sip. Warms well, releasing its layers of flavor without any of the expected heat. I can’t imagine what a delight the barrel-aged Batch 9k must be!

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Photo of Stevedore
4.1/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle of Bell's Batch 9,000. Poured into an unlabeled snifter today, 2/6/2014. Thanks Gunch for sending this one along.

App- Dark brown, opaque and viscous, one finger dark brown head with fair retention, a bit of lacing

Smell- Intense molasses, brown sugar, port, raisins, cocoa, licorice

Flavour- Molasses, port, licorice, cocoa, roast malts, milk chocolate. A lot going on, all very intense and very very complex and interesting. All comes together very well.

Mouthfeel- Thick bodied, low carbonation, very much drinkable despite the 12.5% ABV. Slick and resinous and certainly not finishing dry.

Overall- Very excellent non-BA beer by Bell's. Very interesting and a bit unique.. on the sweet side (way out there actually) and worth enjoying with friends over dessert.

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Photo of Florida9
3.67/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours with a visibly thick viscosity. Almost like a thin syrup. Appears black in the glass, but there is a little brown around the edges. Forms a very small, very creamy dark tan head, but it has little retention. Some light lacing.

S: Aroma is interestingly different. It smells like someone burnt a raisin. Or a smoky port. Its mildly vinous, lots of dark dried fruit, like raisin or prunes, mildly sweet, and a touch of "burnt."

T: The taste matches the aroma in an an equally interesting way. The beer starts off with a moderate sweetness. Dried fruits, plums, prunes, with notes of leather. Port-like. But then the beer takes a drastic turn becoming much more malty and developing a slightly acrid burnt flavor. Not necessarily smoke, but "burnt." Heavily roasted malts, cocoa, and chicory. A hint of licorice or anise. It's decidedly drier.

M: Full bodied. Lower carbonation. Dry and chalky. Mild bitterness and what bitterness there is seems to be coming from the heavily roasted malts and not hops.

O: An interesting brew that I probably could've shared a 12 oz bottle with someone as I found the flavors to be odd and somewhat disjointed.

4.0, 3.75, 3.5, 3.75, 3.75

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Photo of pjkelley82
4.99/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this at a bottle share on 10/21/13( I brought this bottle )

Thought I was bringing a sub par bottle but to my surprise everyone seem to be exited to try this one.... I was glad to share this one with a great group of people.

There is no bottle date but it has to be atleast a year old if not more.

Simply fantastic smell.. this is like the 4th or 5th beer we had and all were that dark fruit, plum figgy smell and taste... it seriously smelled at its peak...

The taste was the same but more foward than the bo and luke and the forgotten island... more of a plummy less bitter taste... huge on the liquorice and anise... blended so well...

The mouthfeel was nice and heavy with a sticky side to it.. just leaves you wanting more. .
Overall... I as well was surprised. .. this was fantastic and if not for my love of quads this would be #1 of the night. I would say it would still last a long time but to me this is at its supreme peak.... I am soooo iso this beer

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Photo of facundoCNB
4.09/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A murky brown while pouring, black as night in the glass. Finger of tan head with nice retention.
Smells of licorice, cocoa, raisins, molasses, pecans, brown sugar.

This is a deliciously sweet beer. Tons of sugary sweetness (molasses and brown sugar), vanilla and oak notes, chocolate, dates, raisins, with a mild charred aftertaste from the roasted grain bill.

Medium in body with a nice amount of carbonation or its age.

This is a pretty fantastic beer and I'm stoked to have acquired it. Great job bell's!

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Photo of Sarlacc83
1.68/5  rDev -58.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

12oz from MotoToddHead. THANKS!

A: Oily thick black with a fading mocha head. There are zero legs on this. Not even a stain.

N: All sorts of raisins, plums, black licorice, chocolate, caramel and molasses. Very, very sweet, but not as cloying as it was fresh. Some soy sauce.

T: Good god, taste is still bitter and sweet and awful. Everything clashes like someone burned a branch and then dropped it in the kettle of everything they had in the kitchen.

M: Surprisingly light for an RIS, though it?s still oily and thick.

O: What do you say about this beer? Really? It?s just a complete disaster from front to back when it gets to the lips, though I admit it smells pretty good. I really want to try the bourbon barrel version of this because it gets so highly rated and I am absolutely convinced it can?t be any good. Drainpour.

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Photo of brydeen
4.31/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Reviewed as part of Blind BIF round 8

A: Pours a very dark brown, almost black, with just a slight amount of light creeping in through the edges. Very little head.

S: Big bourbon aroma up front. Sweet vanilla, with a really nice oaky char. This smells awesome.

T: Rich, sweet dark fruits. Molasses, toffee. This is very decadent. 12oz is probably a good size for this one.

M: Thick, full bodied, and luxuriously creamy. Syrupy, but not cloyingly sweet. Just enough carbonation to provide slight balance.

O: This is a damn tasty beer. I can't seem to pinpoint it, but I'd guess some sort barrel aged old ale, with at least 2-3 years on it. I love it whatever it is. Whatever the reveal ends up being, I will be seeking it out immediately

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Photo of shangwang
4.26/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Acquired in a recent trade with a friend along with a bottle of Batch 10,000.

Poured into a stemmed Liefman's glass.

Beer was a rich chestnut shade and totally opaque. The pour left virtually no head; all that remained were faint traces of lacing left in a swirl on the surface, and a thin ring of tan bubbles around the inner rim of the glass. Smelled of honey, chocolate, dates, overly ripe bananas and dark bread dough. Very potent; I expected some very strong tastes based on the smell and the ABV. My presumption was correct and I got layers of flavor in each taste. Lots of sweet fruit initially; raisins, figs, and black cherries. Also some vanilla and molasses, like the taste of homemade root beer. A little anise and burnt wood in the finish, but not much. Just enough to compliment the intense sweetness with some bitterness. The mouthfeel was tremendous; not overly carbonated but as the beer hit my tongue it immediately took on a creamy quality and gave a smoothness to an otherwise strong ale.

I'm not much for overly sweet beers, but the finish of this one brought balance and made for a very satisfying experience. I was expecting something along the lines of a barleywine or a Belgian quad, and this had some characteristics of each, yet stood out as a little different than either style. Very enjoyable, although one at a time is more than enough.

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Batch 9,000 from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 921 ratings