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

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Batch 9,000Batch 9,000
918 Ratings
Batch 9,000Batch 9,000

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

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
"Black, dense, and rich, this is a great ale for the cellar."

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 918 |  Reviews: 541
Reviews by Janderson91:
Photo of Janderson91
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Extra sent by ottodyer so big thanks to him! Can't find what day it was bottled, something is wrong with the batch finder today. Enjoyed on 07/21/11.

A - Poured into a DFH snifter. Wow this thing is dark. Black with just hints of red coming in around the edges. A good looking one finger tan colored head forms and sticks around. A small head remains throughout, impressive for a beer of this strength. Leaves good lacing as well. A great looking beer.

S - Very complex. Milk chocolate, slight alcohol, dark fruits, licorice, vanilla. Similar to The Abyss without the barrel.

T - Rich is the best word to describe this one. So much going on. Some dark chocolate, light coffee, vanilla, licorice, maple syrup, sweet milk chocolate, just a hint of alcohol, and some dark fruits. Finishes with almost a light cherry flavor with some vanilla and chocolate on top. I love this.

M - Mouthfeel is quite good. Creamy as it should be but with just the right carbonation.

O - Overall, I was really surprised how good this beer is. One of the most enjoyable drinking experiences in recent memory. Maybe this acquired it's current rating from a lot of people rating it when it first came out, but I strongly urge people to give this one another shot. It has aged fantastically.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.23/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Always look forward to the annual "Batch" beers from K-zoo,but I have to say this is my least favorite of the five I have had.Poured from the tap a deep chesnut brown with someamber hue,a thinner off white head atop.Big dark fruit in the nose, along with sweet alcohol,you can tell before you taste it it that its gonna be very sweet.It is sweet and sticky,big brown sugar and dark fruit really hit ya,the alcohol adds more sweetness.Wow to sweet for me to even finish an 8 ouncer,the flavors are decent just way to skewed in one direction.

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Photo of tectactoe
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Jeff for cracking this one with me. Pours a deep and dark, dark brown with a little bit of light shining through the top. A fine-bubbled, dark tan head foams up and settles quickly to nothing but a bubbly skin atop the beer.

The aroma is heaviest with melty brown sugar - it gives way to the sweetness of this beer right from the start. There's a mild oak presence that keeps hitting my nostrils, too, though I'm not sure this beer spent any time on wood. Some milky and creamy cocoa drifts in and out, and it stays more on the sweet side than the roasty-bitter side. It's got a nice and pleasing aroma for sure, but I'm fearing that it might be edging towards the unbalanced side of sweetness - something I'm not particularly fond of.

Batch 9000 hits my lips and my sentiments that this wanna gonna be a sweet beer are confirmed - it's damn sweet. Brown sugar, heavy and thick molasses, super-milky and sweet-ass cocoa. It seems this trifecta of flavors are really the only notable things, and they all kind of compound on the sweetness factor to produce a diabetes-inducing beer. Don't get me wrong - the flavors are nice and the beer is good. But it's just a bit too sweet to enjoy it thoroughly... I don't think I could finish more than six ounces. I actually am pulling through some of that wood flavor that I was getting on the nose, but it's still pretty buried underneath the sweetness. Medium-heavy bodied, thick and borderline syrupy, low-medium carbonation.

Good flavors, and not enough to be called a disappointment (Bell's rarely disappoints) but I just wish the sweetness was toned down a bit. I'd love to try the Bourbon Barrel 9000 - I think it would tone down the sweetness or at least add some other offsetting flavors.

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Photo of TCHopCraver
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: BLACK body. Barely a 1/4 finger head disappears straight away. What remains is effervescent and light brown. The Eye of Me cannot see through thee.

S: Whoa, sweet black licorice is dominant in the aroma. I also get some of the molasses with which it was also brewed. Buried behind those two smells are some light coffee notes and dark fruits. As it warms, the high a.b.v. becomes apparent to the sniffer. It is not all that complex at this stage; what you smell is what you get.

T: Sweet sassy licoricey molassey. That is a punch to my mouth. The flavor is so sweet that I am also getting some hints of brown sugar, chocolate, maple syrup, and pancakes. I get a little bit of a balancing hop bitterness that combines with the other flavors to taste like slightly acidic coffee.

M: For me, this is the strongest asset of the beer. It has a big, strong presence in my mouth without making me feel awkward and uncomfortable. The sweet syrupy-ness coats the palate and then the bittering finish does a good job of mellowing the entire mouth.

D: Well, I wouldn't recommend having more than one in a sitting for one's health, but I will certainly be having more as time goes by. I'm quiet interested to see how the character changes as this beer gathers some dust.

A little story on this beer: The first time I had this was on draft for $2 a pint at the Traverse City Winter Microbrew Festival on February 12. This was really damned exciting, except for the fact that the Bell's booth decided to tap it at the end of the night. Well, at that point, I was pretty far in the bag and had just had (I think) two pints of Hopslam on draft (delicious). I had no idea that it was a Strong Ale brewed with licorice and molasses, and when I looked at it, I thought it must be an Imperial Stout. Well, the first sip I took told me that clearly it was not what I thought it was, and I had to abandon the beer for the sake of my sanity and general brain and liver health. I am enjoying it much more now than I did then. Cheers.

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Photo of brownbeer
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It's nice to see a few cases of this made it to Springfield, MO.

Pours dark brown from the bottle but looks black with a few deep red highlights in the glass.

Apparent licorice in the aroma, booze, and mysterious dark malts and dark fruits. The nuances come out a little clearer from a distance, up close the alcohol can overtake it, we are dealing with a 12.5% beer here.

What I love about the taste is the dark licorice and alcohol, being heavy, dry, and dark, mingling with the sweet toffee and molasses flavors making for a liqueuer/dessert-like experience. While it's not bitter, it's not cloying. It really shines in the finish when the flavors can fade and bounce back and forth, the alcohol falls off, and the unique structure of it all comes together. The carbonation is low and the body is full and smooth.

This is a fine experience now, worth sharing, and since I bought two six packs, I look forward to enjoying and sharing it in the future.

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

On tap at Brixies in Brookfield IL served in a Bells branded tulip

Coming out of the tap it looks like a stream of motor oil. It's thick and syrupy looking and sticks to the sides of the glass. An almost invisable head is present that is gone by the time it hits the bar top. Heavy lacing coats the side of the glass after every sip.

The nose is an explosion of rich sweet bourbon and dark fruits like plum. It is very sweet and reminds me vaguly of GI BCS with some of the bourbon swapped for licorice.

The first thing that hits your tongue is overwheling cascade of bourbon, sweetness and alcohol. I was expecting it but it still took me for a ride. The beer was served a little too cold so I let it sit for a while to warm up to proper temperature. It opened up so much when it was warmer and those exploaions of flavors seemed to intertwine and make for an intense but enjoyable beer. Plums, bourbon and licorice dominated my mouth with a syrupy sweet warming finish. Normally I am opposed to syrupy hot beer (i.e. Fresh GI BCS and WWS) but this had a redeming quality to it that I was surprised that I liked fresh but I know will age gracefully for years to come.

Carbonation was my only gripe with this beer. For being such a rich silky beer the carb level was too high and distracted from the taste.

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Photo of tbryan5
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of nickadams2
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A_Dark brown with a small tan head that fades quickly little lacing.

S_Molasses,roasted malt,and licorice.Alot going on. Smells rich and a little boozy.

T_ Very rich and complex. Licorice stands out but the rest is hard to pin point. Molasses , chocolate and coffee notes ,and vanilla. Slightly boozy.

M_ Thick with slight carbonation.

D_Definite sipper.

Good idea to cellar a couple of these to mellow out the flavors.

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Photo of danthehopslamman
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of DaftPatrick
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of warnerry
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to blutt59 for sharing this bottle.

Pours dark brown to red with a tan head. The aroma is dark fruit and brown sugar. The flavor is sweet malt with some cherries. The alcohol is also present. Medium mouthfeel and low carbonation. Pretty good, but overall this beer is too sweet to be a great beer.

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Photo of olradetbalder
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of sculls65
4.62/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brown..i pick up a deep red hue when held up to light. A nice tan head fading to bubbly film and eventually the ring around the glass. Smell is of dark fruits..not sure if its cherries or not but thats what i keep thinking,malts, hops? licorice, and theres some alcohol there. First taste is really sweet...again i think dark carmelized cherries..then you get that burst of licorice..followed by a nice warm finish. Mouthfeel is nice..its thick but not really syrupy or crude oilish if you will. Drinkablility is wonderful but 1 maybe 2 is probably max for me, which is fine seeing as im only going to get this 1 6 pack.

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Photo of bsp77
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Exceedingly dark mahogany brown with almost no head and spotty lacing.

Smell: Soy sauce, molasses, alcohol, licorice, and a slight mustiness.

Taste: Sweet molasses, licorice, soy sauce, wood, roasted barley and light coffee. While this is pretty good overall, I really expected to enjoy the taste a lot more than I do.

Feel: Moderately low carbonation, surprisingly not full-bodied, maybe slightly cloying. Edit: Smoother after one year.

Drinkability: The alcohol is not very noticeable at all, making this very easy to sip. However, the flavors are a little too sweet and soy-like for me. Let's see what a year in the cellar does.

Edit: After almost a year in the cellar, almost everything I said is still true but I somehow like it more. Still strangely salty but more enjoyable. Scores adjusted accordingly since this was meant to be cellared.

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Photo of deebo
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Very dark with thick tan head-lace hangs on throughout
S-Strong vanilla bourbon notes dominate
T-Dominant toasted malt with brown nutty (chestnut) notes. Strong vanilla bourbon with heavy malt flavor
M-Very creamy
D-A sipper, but very enjoyable-fantastic. Excellent overall

The above was a review on tap when this beer first came out. Revisiting this beer with the last 12 oz bottle I was able to snag. This beer is still quite a bit like the previous notes. The big difference is the toasted nutty flavor has been replaced with more sweetness. The bourbon vanilla flavor is still quite strong. I get some chocolate cherry quality as well now. Still very, very smooth with the alcohol vapor squashed. Damn-this is tasty. WishI had more of these. I will miss you batch 9000. How about Bells make 12000=9000-that would be sweet. I think with 5 yrs of age on it I'd say it's definitely on the sweet side but I'd score this about a 4.5/5. Nice!!!

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.56/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Sampled at the 2010 Stout tasting in a Orval Chalice.

12oz bottle. I realize this isn't a stout but it's the last beer we had at the stout tasting.

Very stout-like darkness with a small but super dark brown head. Wow! Nose is quite boozy and sweet very similar to 120 minute.

Taste is boozy obviously, sharp and sweet with a sharp after taste. Lots of licorice and not much else but booze. If you can, add some age to this!

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Photo of bpfrush
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of chickenm
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of gabeerman
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: pours dark dark brown with a ruby hue around the edges & a nice 3/4" tan head that sticks around for a while,surprisingly.
S: mainly molasses with an alcohol,vinegar & licorice backbone
T: LICORICE! Surprisingly smooth licorice bite with a nice syrupy molasses base. Incredibly smooth for 12.5% & much better once this one warmed up a bit.
M: low low carbonation but the licorice provides a nice bite

This is the 1st taste almost 2 months after bottling. Look forward to reviewing the next 5 each of the next 5 years

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Photo of TKEbeerman
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my snifter. The beer pours almost as black as an Imperial Stout, but when held to the light shades of dark mahogany appear. The head is tan, almost like desert sand, and dissipated soon after the first sip.

The aroma is dominate of licorice with a heavy molasses background. Alcohol lightly tickles the senses. Hops are not very present, it seems like they are hidden behind a layer of sweet brown sugar.

Licorice and molasses assault the pallet on your first sip. Anise and more brown sugar. Slight alcohol booziness with a pleasant hop nibble (not bite) on the way down. IMO this beer lacks the depth of what an ASA can accomplish.

Little carbonation in the mouth feel. Smooth, yet unimpressive.

I gave this brew a 4 for drinkability. One bottle is enough to satisfy you for the night, yet very palletable and enjoyable.

Over all, its hard to classify Bell's Batch 9000. I feel like their isn't enough of a hop profile to call this a ASA. It definitely is on the lighter side of the ASA spectrum. It's characteristic of an old ale with out the alcohol bite with the malt profile you would like in a barley wine. It is an expensive 6, I'd actually prefer a bomber of this. With that being said, this is my third 9000 out of the 6, and I have to say it will grow on you. Definitely not a disappointment. Thank you Larry Bell.

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Photo of mondegreen
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-Tap at Trappeze in Athens, GA.

I missed this one at the local bottle shop. I heard it was at Trappeze, so I made a point to get by there after work on Friday to give it a go.

As I was grabbing a seat, the waitress offered me a menu. "No thanks, Bell's 9000, please," I said. She smiled knowingly and told me it would be just a second. A minute later she pulls a beautiful goblet of beer from the tap and slides it to me. She checks in after my first few sips, "Is it everything you were hoping for?" she asks. "Excellent," I reply.

Damn, guess I was kinda transparent.

A: Nearly black. A slightly brown tone with garnet highlights in the sunshine. A fluffy white recedes to nothing fairly quickly.

S: A potent, sweet smelling brew. The molasses is the first thing that hits me. Dark fruits and licorice in there, too. Very nice smelling.

T: My best description is that this beer has the best qualities of a barleywine mixed with some stout characteristics. The sweetness and alcohol hits you over the head like a barleywine. This is a very, very hot beer. I love boozy beers, so it's right up my alley, but I would love to have a few of these to rest in the cellar for a few years. To go along with the sweetness, there is a backbone that reminds me of a stout. Masterful flavor.

M: Wonderful body to carry the 12.5%. Mouthfeel is heavenly.

D: It's a really big beer. I could drink them as long as I am vertical, but hey, I love the heat. If you're not as tolerant, this might be a one and done. As it stands, I give it high scores all around.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.63/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears a pitch black hue with a large creamed coffee toned head large bubbles after a vigorous pour, it's amazing that the head retention is this good with the alcohol level being up there in the 12s. Nice fine lacing patterns form between sips.

Aromatics offer up deep chocolate with spiced edges. Big herbal hops with a blended licorice spiciness full of anise, almost like an Italian pizzelle. Big ripened fruit layers with booziness add to yet another layer of complexity here, plum and raisins. The dark caramelized sugars are definitely evident with the molasses and licorice additions.

Flavor big alcoholic soaked dark fruits including raisins, figs, and plums. A brandy like hotness that will mellow in time, bitter anise black licorice notes and sweet caramelized sugars swell on the palate. Herbal hops don't balance enough with the dark roasted malt and the big booze finish. Definitely lay some of this down, it's big viscous and a bit cloying right now some of these flavors will meld or mellow with time.

Between the booze and the anise buzz, this beer almost numbs the palate. That's not quite the mouthfeel I'm looking for in a big double stout, this is like an Expedition ale with caramelized brown sugar and a shot of Greek ouzo. Definitely hits on the cloying level right now, lay this one down for some aging. Carbonation is mellow body is big and full of residual sugars, but the anise and overkill of the molasses need some age to do me right.

Drinkability is good in dessert portions, but it's sad when you have to share a 12 ounce bottle with a friend to be able to enjoy it. This goes into a snifter/chalice without asking swirl it around and indulge in this complex 9,000th batch from our friends at Bell's. It's a once every 6 month kinda brew, so buy a six or a case and sample it every once in awhile as a night cap or with a nice cigar.

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Photo of rudylaw
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a very minimal head. Very slight lacing.

Anise, molasses, chocolate and candy sugar in the nose.

Wow! This is very boozy and extremely sweet. Dark fruit, chocolate, licorice. This is very sweet.

A nice, full body with light carbonation. I'm getting the 12+% but it's still fairly drinkable. I can't wait to see how this develops over time. As always, drink one fresh for comparison but then throw the remainder in the back of the cellar and revisit in a year's time.

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Photo of SPRichard
4/5  rDev -0.7%

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Batch 9,000 from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 4.03 out of 5 with 918 ratings