Bell's Batch 9000 | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

very good
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Bell's Batch 9000Bell's Batch 9000

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
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."

Added by alexgash on 01-29-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 539 | Ratings: 910
Photo of bashiba
5/5  rDev +25%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured a nice deep dark mahogony with some bright ruby highlights. The head was super thick and foamy dark brown with tons of lacing.

The smell was great, very sweet and bready, with a bit of anise , Brown Sugar, Dark Berries and molasses.

I love the flavor, reminds me a bit of dark lord in the level of complexity, its all here, big dark fruits, anise, molasses, burnt roasted malts, nice hints of smoke and peat, sweet doses of alcohol. Amazing!

The mouthfeel is super smooth and creamy, a bit thick as well.

Flawless, the best beer I have had in 2010. To bad its so hard to come by.

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Photo of bladehines
5/5  rDev +25%
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 pjkelley82
4.99/5  rDev +24.8%
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 bluehende
4.99/5  rDev +24.8%
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 elNopalero
4.98/5  rDev +24.5%
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 jshookify
4.97/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark brown with a creamy head.

The brewers licorice smell shines through but also mells lightly of alcohol and chocolate.

Tastes very sweet, which usually isn't something I'd like in a beer, but it works here. Alcohol is definitely noticeable but again the licorice shines.

The beer fears thick and syrupy in the mouth, but this works well with the sweetness. Subtle carbonation.

I'm not a fan of licorice typically but it fits perfectly. Would buy this again, definitely.

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Photo of DasBooot
4.89/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked up two sixers of this delicious nectar.

A - Pours thinly for an imperial stout, but pitch black. There is no head.

S - Sweet with a strong hint of alcohol. Smells like burnt chocolate and molasses with a hint of raisins.

T - Delicious burnt maltiness! It tastes a bit like an alcoholic chocolate cake with prominent hints of molasses flavor. It actually reminds me of '08 Darkness if it was a little less sweet.

M/D - This thing has a nice, sweet burn to it. I would have liked it to be slightly thicker, but as it is, it is wonderful. It's a sipper, but highly drinkable for an imperial stout. This is definitely one of the best imperial stouts I have had.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of carlborch
4.88/5  rDev +22%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a solid, dense black and forms a thick, 1-inch, creamy, tan head. The nose suggests anise, molasses, dried dark fruit, and vanilla. The body is medium-high, with chocolate, molasses, umami, and lurking malt and caramel. The lingering is long and sweet, with hints of licorice, umami, and coffee. The first sip is almost overwhelming, but builds desire for more. Although this ale is by no means a quaffer, it is moreish! As dessert, with dessert, after the meal . . . it all works. Another contemplative brew. I'll have to cellar some and see if I can leave it be long enough to see how it ages!

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.82/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this on tap at Bells Eccentric Cafe, $5.50 for a 12oz goblet. The chalkboard described it as "sweet caramel and molasses, heavy body". The beer is dark brown/black and opaque, with about 1 finger of tan foam that quickly dissipated into a thin ring. I tried holding it to a light like the previous reviewers but couldn't see anything but inky darkness.

The aroma is powerfully rich, you can tell that tons of malt were in the bill. Molasses and sweet malts (lots of sweetness), licorice, and remote whiffs of ethanol. This actually smells not far off from Dark Lord, it'll be interesting to try a blind test sometime.

Batch 9000 also tastes quite a bit like Dark Lord, at least based on memory. Sweet and chocolaty with an enormous portion of molasses, a good bit of anise too. No real alcohol burn despite the high ABV.

The body is thick enough to match all this massiveness, but this is where the comparisons to Dark Lord end for me. It's not THAT thick, but then nothing I've tried has been as thick as Dark Lord. Nevertheless, this is excellent, at least as good as Batch 7000, maybe even a little more drinkable.

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Photo of enfield249
4.82/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark, Dark mahogany-red-brown with ruby highlights in the corners. Slight head of espresso colored foam.

S - Bang! Dark fruit, plums, prunes, a little chocolate. Smells like a pound cake.

T - Wow! Sweet, sweet sweet. Again with dark fruits, chocolate, maltiness. A little coffee, but that is way back there. Slight bitterness, I would guess from grains and not from hops.

M - Full-Full, cloying. Not hot with alcohol however.

D - I'm giving this because, against the wishes of my medical team, I could drink this beer a lot. Well brought, I can't wait to see batch 10k!

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Photo of drpimento
4.77/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

As good as this beer is, damn how I'd like to get some and lay it by for the years. This draft version is more round and better balanced than the bottle. Poured with a nice off white head and a little lace. Color is an almost opaque brownish blac. Aroma is jammy dark ripe fruit malt spice roast and skank. Flavor is like aroma but more straightforward. Roast comes out a bit more and loses the skank. Excellent beer. Great body and carbonation. Finish is like flavor and boozy but super.

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Photo of ZAP
4.75/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A-Black with reddish hues...light brown lace..

S-Rich and sweet....dark fruits, soy sauce....brown sugar...molasses...

T-This is one full flavored beer. Immensely rich flavor of rum, dark fruits, soy sauce, burnt malts, brown sugar and molasses.

M-This has an "Andre the Giant" like body. As immense as the flavor is, the body is just as big. Creamy...not much much more booziness than you'd expect....

D-This is a huge beer. It has a lot more Impy characteristics than Strong Ale characteristics. I love pairing this with a strong cigar. It is one of the few beers that doesn't get overwhelmed by a a cigar like Camacho or Padilla Miami i etc...

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Photo of beerman207
4.74/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured this into a pint glass and found that the brown head didn't last long but left a nice skim behind. The appearance is a very dark brown that allows a very faint amount of light through.

S: The nose is quite interesting. I smell the licorice and some dark fruit as well as some smoke and a bit of booze in the background. Wow. I could smell this one all day.

T: Taste makes for one of the most interesting beers I've had recently. At first you're hit with some sweetness that hits from the mollases, then all of a sudden you notice the licorice which then leads to some bitterness and the finish is a beautiful warming sensation that leaves my tongue tingling. Fantastic.

M: As brought up by another reviewer, I was hoping this would be a bit thicker but it isn't thin by my account just thinner than I believe should be appropriate for the style. The mouthfeel is medium carbonation and the palate is left a bit dry in the finish

D: For how high the ABV is of this the alcohol is very well masked. I'm looking forward to finding out what some aging will do for this beer. Fresh is fantastic, I'm thinking some aging will make this simply amazing. Wonderful offering from Bell's!

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Photo of cheezdawg
4.73/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Holy crap I love this beer. I had been weary to try it this early out of the bottle however I took the plunge and I must say, this is one of my favorite beers. It pains me to know this is a LTO beer. The smell is sweet and so is the taste and I LOVE sweet beers. The taste is a little bit firewater but I also tend to love a boozy almost port like beer. Pours a nice black very little head. Dangerously drinkable at least for me, even though it's boozy it's hard to believe it's 12.5%. This is Bell's best beer at least for me, move over hopslam.

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Photo of therobot
4.7/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the tap, served in a tulip glass.

A: Dark, dark bown with carmel edges when held up to light, small amount on light brown head, no lacing.

S: Strong full noce of fruit and rich sugar, a little bittersweet chocolate, and lots of roasted goodness.

T: Strong dark fruit tang up front, bleeds into a nice bread syprupy middle and finished with a pretty strong booze burn.

M: Mildly viscose, small to medium carbonation and strong lingering fruit and licorice.

D: Personally could drink a lot but would drink frequently if supply allowed.

I love this beer, one of my top five personally. am sitting on a few bottles and I can hardly wait to see this develop.

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Photo of mkaplanes
4.7/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer was fantastic. For being 12.5% alcohol it was exceptionally smooth. The appearance was a nice deep brown/black. The smell had a nice hint of licorice and did not have that alcohol smell that some of the 10%+ beers have. The taste was very rich and smooth and had coffee and licorice flavors. I felt this almost like a "sipping beer". It almost had the consistency and mouth feel of a nice port wine.

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Photo of maximum12
4.69/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a six-pack of this highly anticipated brew at Cork & Barrel, a place I'd never stopped in at. Nice plce. Picked up some HopSlam as long as I was at it.

Not sure how this could live up to the hype, but the odor is a good place to start. Stunningly rich, the molasses & licorice & sweet malt come blazing out of the pint glass. Wow. One of the best smelling brews, ever.

Batch 9000 is a phenom of a brew. It breaks the mold of where the big stout is heading & jams it up...well, it's breaks it. Sweetness breaks out all over the happy place. I'm a huge fan of locally tapped maple syrup, & the molasses in this just kicks ass. The licorice is present & accounted for too, taming some of the molasses & malt kick & smoothing it to a tolerable level of tooth-melting sugar. There might be a touch of hop in here, just at the end, and dark fruits as well.

Thick would be an understatement. This is slow-poured, left-too-long-in-the-freezer thick. Little carbonation, which is just fine. Drinkability? Well, it's frickin' delicious, so I'd love to have three, but I don't like falling down, so maybe just two.

This is a big, adrenaline-laced, intimidation of a beer. Bell's does it again. What is it about the water in this neck of the woods that creates such fantastic brews?

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Photo of magnj
4.68/5  rDev +17%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The main attraction in a trade for some Bell's brews.

A - Poured into a wine tasting glass the bottle produces a deep, murky red-brown mahogany body. 1 finger head is a shade of tan. Head drops quickly and doesn't come back even with a swirl.

S - Super complex. Sweet like honey and molasses, wood, dark fruits, vague funkiness, some chocolate, soy sauce, anise. Something like a Belgian triple but less dark fruit and more really complex dark sugars. Really hard to describe besides GREAT.

T - Huge flavor the instant it hits my lips. Dark fruits and alcohol, this could pass as liquor. Sweet with dark sugars yet not a ton of residual sugar, the sweetness is more in flavor than literally hanging around in the beer. I get chocolate, licorice, and some kind of oak or funkiness or both going on. Again really hard to describe, you need to taste this if you can find it.

M/D - Full body but not sticky, at 12.5% they got a lot of the sugar out of this one. Somewhat silky. I mentioned alcohol in the flavor, but it's not hot or boozy even as it nears room temperature. Really pleasurable sipper that I need to get more of.

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Photo of PlinyTheKid
4.67/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown/red. Little lacing. Smells of molasses, licorice, marshmallow, and caramel. Slight carbonation. Minor notes of dark fruit and chocolate. Reminds me of a dark fruit infused chocolate from See's Candy. After taste is phenomenal. Leaves a lingering sweet molasses and licorice aftertaste. Every sip becomes more and more pleasant. Always considered it being one of my favorites.

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Photo of HattedClassic
4.66/5  rDev +16.5%
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 mrclog
4.65/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is my first beer review so bear with me.

Serving type had was a bottle that I got as an extra in trade. Thanks GbvDave. This is from notes I took last night as I drank it.

This beer poured very dark almost black. It was thin with a nice head.

The first smell was great. I could smell the molasses and a little licorice.

As I drank there was no head retention and no lacing on my glass.

The flavors were great with sweet malt and molasses. It had great mouth feel and coated my tounge nicely. The flavors stayed in my mouth for a bit after every sip.

This is a great beer and I urge all those with the chance to try it to take it.

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Photo of hwwty4
4.65/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

After getting shut out at a couple different liquor stores after I got off work, I was lucky enough to grab the last sixer at a local, small liquor store in south KC. Man, was I happy. If it's half as good as Batch 7000, I'm in for a treat. Poured a 12oz bottle into my Tripel Karmeliet tulip. This beer pours a dark, oily soy sauce black with a 2inch tan head that leaves viscous fingers on the sides of the glass as I take a sip or twirl the beer. The aroma is dark molasses, brown sugar, Hershey's milk chocolate syrup, burnt espresso, and what reminds me of grape Dimetapp. Amazing. Simply amazing. The first sip is an explosion of flavors on my palate. Up front comes sweet chocolate syrup and overly roasted espresso. Secondary flavors come through with black strap molasses, anise, dark fruits, dates and sweet grapes. Just a hint of piney hops at the finish. The amazing thing is that even as this beer warms, not a hint of it 12.5% comes out. Perfectly hidden. The mouthfeel is silky smooth, coating the mouth with a chocolate/espresso oily slickness. Man, this beer amazing. Batch 9000 is probably in the top 5 beers that I've had this year. I really can't wait to see what it does in 2 more years.

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Photo of emyers
4.65/5  rDev +16.3%
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 KarlHungus
4.64/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a very dark brown, nearly black color. The head is half an inch in height, and recedes slowly into nice lacing. The aroma is of roasted malt, licorice, alcohol, hints of chocolate, and hint of graham cracker. There is a lot going on in this aroma, and it seems that I find something new with each whiff. The taste is has everything the aroma with the addition of a hop presence that gets slightly in the way of everything else. I bet the reason Bell's waited so long to release this beer is so these hops would have some time to fade, and I bet they will fade out much more with some more aging. The mouthfeel is full bodied, appropriately low carbonated, and has a silky texture. Overall, I am a fan of huge stouts, and this beers is a great one. I would love to have this available regularly.

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Photo of TCgoalie
4.63/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Well the pour is nothing to be excited about. If I came upon this snifter not knowing what it was, I would think it was cold coffee. No Carbonation, hardly any head at all.

So much brown sugar, raisins in the nose. There is almost some pine resin smell. Very interesting and tells that this beer is complex.

There is a lot of sweet in the taste. At first, I can tell the presence of brown sugar, vanilla, raisins, molasses. At the end, there is a big hit of sweet fruit like a plum. Very subtle hints of bourbon round out a very interesting brew. I feel like this is the front and end of an imperial stout with a sweet and interesting middle. Very unique and a whole lot of flavors!

This is a thick beer, as to be expected at 12.5% (didn't know this upon trying it). There is a hint of dryness and some stickiness. The sweetness helps round out the feel.

Give me one of these, not two please. I will sip this for an hour. Let it warm me for the evening.

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Bell's Batch 9000 from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4 out of 5 based on 910 ratings.
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