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

BA SCORE
89
very good
911 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Bell's Batch 9000Bell's Batch 9000
BEER INFO

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

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.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
911
Reviews:
539
Avg:
4
pDev:
13.25%
 
 
Wants:
91
Gots:
248
For Trade:
16
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 911 |  Reviews: 539
Photo of Sammy
4.17/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A great aroma, rich malt, roast. Black with a soapy brown head. A good mouthfeel, smooth toffee carmelish. Raisin and some dark chocolate, coffee in finish. Well balanced, any bitterness more than made up by the great malt complexity.
Understated carbonation. Gift from Chris.

 277 characters

Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Pellinore1 for sending me this one!

Pours an opaque dark brown with a 1/2 inch puffy khaki head that settles to a thin film. Thin curtains of foam form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of roasted malt, dark fruits, molasses, and some slight licorice aromas. Taste is very sweet with malt, dark fruits, molasses, licorice, and some burnt sugar flavors. A burnt bitterness lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a crisp level of carbonation with a prickly quality going down the throat. Overall, this is a good beer that is hard to pin down. It's almost stout-like but not quite. Whatever it is, the ABV makes for a slow sipper on this one.

 670 characters

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

 1,161 characters

Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -25%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

Photo of Knapp85
4.47/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew sold out at my local shop before I got a bottle. The Farmhouse had it on their menu and I asked about it. They brought me a bottle and poured it out. I was stoked that I was going to get to try this finally. The beer was a dark brown almost black color. The head was minimal but left a nice light lacing on the snifter glass. The smell was of anise and roasted malts. The taste was just about the same. Lots of licorice flavors and aromas in this brew. The mouthfeel was on the thicker side and had a decent carbonation to it. Overall I thought this was great. I really enjoyed this beer a lot. Shame it won't be around forever.

 638 characters

Photo of t0rin0
3/5  rDev -25%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of metter98
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
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

 776 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.42/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tough to get a grip on this beer. It drinks much like an Olde Ale that hasn't olded yet.

The beer pour a dark brown color that is seriously opaque; could be confused with 30 weight. A short lived tan head falters underneath the malt viscosity and alcohols. Light lacing but big on legging. All sorts of syrupy goodness to follow.

Great aromas of brown malt, molasses, toffee, and alcohol give an initial punch that's nearly a knock-out, even without sipping. Quite herbal and fruity with coriander, anise, grapes, and root beer notes. Big on pine and fresh cut grass (the hops remind me of Batch 7000 when it was fresh). The aroma is not like a lot of cough syrups my mom made me take when I was sick.

Flavors are much more intense. Heavy maltiness gives added complexities of toast, light roast, and scorched sorghum to the brown malts, coffee, and molasses sweetness. As big as the malts are, the hops give equal contributions with a serious pine, resin, and grassy taste and supreme bitterness. All this and the hops still contribute and softer herbal note that won't be ignored. Esters of plumb, grapes, licorice, and other stone fruits will develop nicely into the sherry/soy sauce notes that make Olde Ales great (the sherry and soy are already developing and will grow in complexity rather quickly).

The body also keeps up the giant proportions that begin with a syrupy, teeth coating molasses clinging feel that makes the beer linger seemingly forever. The alcohols and hops create just enough dryness in the end to keep me going back for that next sip much more quickly than I should. Carbonation also helps to lift the beer from the surfaces of the mouth and keeps the brunt of the flavors from panging against the tongue and palate. As the carbonation dissolves more finely into the beer, so will the rougher edges of the flavors to wear off- leading to an elegant Brandy-like savory concoction.

But I don't worry about this beer a bit. It will age extremely well and improve for years. Man, my cellar is going to love this beer.

 2,045 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Arrives with dark brown color that reveals some tawny highlights and a modest beige head

Smell: Chocolate fudge, but very sweet

Taste: Fudgy, up front, with a hoppy presence developing by mid-palate; after the swallow, the chocolate returns with a vengeance and the finish is really sweet

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation; boozy in the gullet

Drinkability: Not a real fan of this one as it is too sweet and boozy; it may settle down and become much better as it matures, however

(Trying this out of the bottle a bit over a year later, the sweetness is no longer quite cloying, and the licorice and molasses flavors show up much moreso than the fudge; also, there is plenty of dark fruit flavor, as well; still, it remains a sweet beer with considerable heat from the abv.)

 814 characters

Photo of oline73
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a blinded 12 oz bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: This beer pours a very dark brown color with a quarter finger of tan head. There is less head than bottle #2. The head sticks around pretty well, but doesn't leave lacing on the glass. 4

Smell: This one is extremely sweet. Much sweeter than bottle #2. I'm picking up some dark fruit and lots of molasses. I'm also getting some caramel and a mild alcohol burn. There is a hint of smoke in the background. 4

Taste: Just like the smell, this one is extremely sweet. I'm getting more dark fruit than the smell with the molasses notes more in the background. There is a slight bitterness in the finish along with a burn from the alcohol. There is a touch of smoke here as well. I'm thinking this one is barrel aged, but it has some age on it. 4

Mouthfeel: The body is thick and rather syrupy. There carbonation is tingly and smooth. The finish is dry and the beer sticks on your tongue. 4.5

Overall: This is a really sweet beer. It packs an alcohol punch, but it still manages to be smooth. I'm going to guess this is a barrel aged old or strong ale with some age on it. 4

 1,147 characters

Photo of emerge077
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Cellared almost a year now, i've tried a couple bottles in the interim. 4" of snow today calls for something hefty, and 9000 fit the bill. Served at cellar temperature, 48º.

Into a Bells tulip at it pours a tawny brown, then appears black with a ruby glint in the glass. An inch of tan latte foam rises to the rim and begins a slow fade. Sticky around the edges, lacing well into spindly arcs of lace and spotty froth.

Huge carob, molasses, and licorice in the nose. Nutmeg and figs.
Slight whiff of musty oxidation, but it doesn't distract.

Rich and sweet right off the bat, it coats the palate with dried dark fruit and cocoa. Prunes, raisins, and figs are sweet and sticky on the lips, while a minor bitter chocolate and tobacco leaf element linger. Sweet sticky molasses, toffee, and some roasted malt char. Vinous feel, luxurious and cordial-like, with a mild spice present. Alcohol is still perceptible, but moving into the background by now. Reminds me of Thomas Hardys.
This is good stuff in the dead of winter.

 1,027 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.66/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color ale with a medium dark brown foamy head with good retention and good lacing. Aroma of sweet malt notes with some light liquorice. Taste is also quite sweet though not overwhelming so with some roasted malt with light liquorice notes. Body is full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Not as complex as I would have expected from this brewer but not as bad either based on the most recent ratings.

 441 characters

Photo of largadeer
3.21/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle from Dyan. Thanks!

Black as pitch in Nick's ridiculous looking scotch ale glass. Pouring from a height of four inches produces a thick two finger head that drops slowly to a frothy crown.

Ashy licorice aroma, chocolate, alcohol, faint smoke and meat. Anise and chocolate become dominant as the beer breathes, but it's strangely mild on the nose.

Flavors of molasses, chocolate, caramel, booze, black licorice, booze and booze come through strongly, with a mid-palate of booze, chocolate and licorice and a finish of booze, chocolate and licorice. It's not particularly bad, though it's decidedly rough around the edges, unabashedly hot and sweet. This could use a couple years of age.

 694 characters

Photo of zeff80
2.77/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A - Poured out a dark brown almost black color with a small, light brown head of sudsy foam. It left minimal lace.

S - It smelled of black licorice, chocolate, booze and grassy notes.
At times there were soy sauce-like aromas.

T - This beer packs some heat with a boozy strength. Sweet roasted malt flavors with notes of licorice and dark chocolate. However, a soy sauce taste emerges time and time again.

M - It was smooth and a little creamy. A medium to full bodied beer.

D - I've finished off my six-pack and each time has been a different experience including two that just wasn't good. The last was brutal.

 616 characters

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev 0%

Photo of olradetbalder
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

Photo of mothman
4.32/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really cannot believe I haven't reviewed this one. Glad I checked. Well, at least I can see how this beer is doing with a little age on it.

Poured into bells tulip/snifter type glass

Pours 1 and 1/2 fingers of tan head. Color is a dark brown, near black.

Aroma: The licorice in this beer is spot on. It is starting to show so much more than when it was released. Rich chocolate and molasses notes. Sweet cherries with some roasted malts. Very solid. This beer is coming around really nice.

Taste: Wow, this is a really a big beer. The nose wouldn't suggest it, but this beer packs a punch. Rich molasses and cherries with a huge licorice flavors. This almost tastes like a cherry stout. Sweet chocolate, roasted malts, and raisins also show.

Mouthfeel: Sweet, roasted, and creamy. Medium to full bodied with a nice amount of carbonation. Ends with more sweet flavors that is relatively clean.

Overall, I think this beer has gotten beer. It is extremely sweet and filled with sweet flavors, but I still think it tastes awesome. A lot of great flavors. I would love to see this one thrown in barrels. Fairly drinkable.

 1,125 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
4.43/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a very dark espresso with a nice tan head that really comes alive with some agitation. Nice legs as it goes down, especially for a beer of this abv.

S: At this point, a little bit rough around the edges. The initial whiff isn't super-appetizing, but leads into some oak, anise, toffee, and port notes.

T: Lots of the port components coming together for a sweet brew that is balanced by the alcohol without ever really feeling hot. Also coming through is some chocolate, anise, wood, and a bit of leather. This one is quite complex and I'm sure will only get much better with age.

M: Quite lush without being overly boozy like I feared it might have been. Actually, the alcohol contributes a really nice component alongside the anise flavors. Ample carbonation for the style and a nice, smooth aftertaste.

D: High up there. Definitely one of the best imperial stouts that I've had in a while.

 928 characters

Photo of oberon
3.23/5  rDev -19.3%
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.

 540 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Bell's Batch 9000 from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4 out of 5 based on 911 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Learn More