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

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Bell's Batch 9000Bell's Batch 9000
913 Ratings
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 913 |  Reviews: 539
Photo of MbpBugeye
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally a Batch 9000 for me. This is my first Bell's commemorative brew as well.

A- When this beer first came out I remember people saying it was a stout. Im glad it has been changed because even on the pour I can tell this is no stout. It pours out a bit clear and totally brown. It created a fluffy tan head that sticks around a bit, leaving lacing as it fades into some wisps.

S- A powerful smell. It really reminds me of JW Lees Vintage Ale, a lot. It has that really strong molasses smell. Its paired with lots of licorice and roasted malts. There is no shortage of alcohol, even in the nose. There is also dark berries, blue berries, black raspberries and black cherries.

T- Boy this stuff is intense and very complex. Again, parts of this remind me a lot of JW Lees. This beer is much more boozy though. It starts very sweet with berries/cherries, molasses and some licorice. It then breaks into a much more stout like profile. The berries and sweetness give way to some roasted malts and a little bit of chocolate. Alcohol is there through and through.

M- Full bodied, hot at times and sticky. It all makes the sweet molasses flavors linger for quite a while.

D- I keep going back and forth on this beer. It can become very cloying. Its sweet, sticky, hot and intense. But I also find it very intriguing. Im glad I have another one left. I think this will age like a champ.

This is really totally unlike anything Ive ever had from Bell's. I cant wait to see what they come up with for 10k.


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Photo of shadow1961
3.94/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bell's Batch 9000 pours a ring of sticky brown foam over a black brew. The nose is sweet molasses with notes of yeast funk and a bright flash of alcohol. Up front the flavor is more molasses with notes of anise, with a bit of fresh charred bread, restrained herbal hops, and alcohol sharpness for balance. Mouthfeel is round and full, but not insipid, again, because of the tasteful input of hop and booze. Very drinkable, just take it easy- the label says it can be cellared for a reason...

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Photo of Overlord
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours dark brackish brown with a bit of a reddish look to it. Quickly dying tan head.

Smell is an assault of rum, port, licorice, and candied prune notes. Whoa. Really more of a rum-my stout than anything else.

Taste is just an alcohol laden hot mess. In a sort-a good way. Big time prunes, rum, alcohol, plums, alcohol, dash of molasses and chocolate, alcohol, titanic rum/port notes to it, and a whole bunch of other stuff.

Really complex. Nice thick mouthfeel. Definitely a beer drinker's beer in terms of drinkability.

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

Brown bottle poured into a snifter. The color of this brew appears to be very dark brown while it is being poured and when it sits in the glass. However when held to the light, it is a very deep dark ruby color. Head initially presents itself a finger strong and darkly tanned that receeds to a brown layer upon the top. Spotty amount of lace clings to the glassware. Aroma of this beer is dark malts slightly reminescent of sweet dark fruit akin to plums and molasses with a nice kick of alcohol sting in the nose to boot. Trace amounts of hops are slightly evident mixed with the rest of the scents this beer produces. Taste is in line with the aroma: bitter sweet dark and malty with flavors of rum soaked plums, molasses, bitter dark chocolate and licorice. The finish of this beer is quite bitter with notes of burnt grain and licorice with a strong alcohol flavor and warming kick that almost numbs the tongue. The bold amount of alcohol makes itself known throughout the flavor profile and I can't help but think of how this beer will develop with age as some of the alcohol heat fades to let the other flavors come forward. Thick feel with this beer but the amount of alcohol and moderate carbonation makes it seem a little less viscous. As is, I like it a lot. However, it is a bit hot right now and I cant wait to see what some age will do to it.

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Photo of russpowell
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one is from Bitterbill, cheers Bill!

Pours an effervescent mahogany/ebony with a thumb of mocha colored head. Nice viscosity,a trace of lacing & nil on head retention

S: Dark fruittyness, by the bushel, cherries & plums mostly, some boozey figs

T: Plums, dryness, brown sugar & a touch of cinnamon, plus brown bread & dark cherry, plus molasses & licorice as advertised. Figgyness, dryness, & black cherry as this warms. Finishes dry, plummy & spicy ( cinnamon & licorice ) & some leafy hops

MF: Rich & chewy, not much carbonation

Drinks really easy for the style, but the ABV catches up after about 6 ozs. Nice effort, was expecting a bit more to be honest

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Photo of BretSikkink
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown pour, looks high in alcohol judging rom the sparse bubbling. A little more foam than I initially though, but the lacing is pretty sparse.

The molasses is apparent on the nose, along with some toasted brown malt, a little biscuity, and a toffee edge as well. On the hop end, there's some herbal notes (the anise is apparent as well), also some pine resin and German digestif liqueur scenting.

Vinous, aggressive flavor. Quite heavy from the significant malting. Dark grape juice concentrate, rootbeer, coffee - actually, chicory sweetened with molasses. Pine, dry grass, and some of the herbal notes can probably be attributed to the hops.

Mouthfeel is syrupy and clingy. Easy to drink as the heat is minimized and the hops dry out the finish just a hair to keep it on this side of an English old ale. The sherry note of well-aged Strong is just beginning to develop and this should be considered an excellent addition to any cellaring facilities you may be maintaining.

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Photo of WeedKing4
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle pours a very dark black with little head. This smells of sweet magical goodness. This beer was quite delicious and tastes of dark licorice with brown sugar lingerling around in a nice tarty kind of sweet dark taste. Hard to explain, but I loved it. This beer is very damn delicious and dangerously drinkable. Wishing I picked up more.

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Photo of randjuke
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle pour to snifter. Thick almost black with thin tan head. Aroma sweet with vanilla. Taste complex with coffee, malts, molasses, licorice and a bit of alcohol. Alcohol slightly apparent but minimal for an ABV% this high. Mouth feel thick and rich. Finish long and slightly bitter.

Nice imperial stout but just misses the mark.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.55/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Chilled bottle into a glass. Received several times now from various people, including HitokiriNate85 and HonusWagner. Maybe more. Thanks.

A: Pours pitch, soul-absorbing black. No light penetration, even at the edges. The head is a pinky finger of light tan foam, very dense. It retains as well as I'd expect for a 12.5%er, leaving a thick collar and scattered islands of bubbles on top.

S: Molasses and anise. Mmm. I enjoy licorice flavors in beers, and this aggressive use of it hits the spot for me. There's more than a little booze; it's not quite solventy, but it stings. Underneath is an assortment of dark fruit. It's quite rich, and it promises to be a sweet sipper.

T: Molasses hits the tongue first, followed by sweet brown sugar and dark chocolate. Anise gradually comes out mid-palate, and soon after I'm enjoying a melange of raisins, plums, and figs. I might even be sensing some apple and pear in there, but the dark sugars are too overwhelming to pick them out. There's some solvent in the taste, for sure. It reminds me of DFH Raisin D'Extra or WWS, actually (I can't remember which one, as it's been a while since I had either one).

M: Coats the mouth, very thick. It has some heat to it, but not too much harsh solvent. It's very sweet, but-.... Actually, there is no but. It's sweet. And that means....

D: It's hard to drink. I split a 12oz bottle in Portland with ramnuts, and we both had trouble putting our halves down (not to mention, we could both taste it the next morning). I made the mistake of trying a 12oz bottle alone later on, and it's definitely a challenge. I LIKE the flavor, and I'll give it high marks there, but this is something that could easily power a small group through a tasting.

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Photo of WorldWideStout
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap awhile back and a few sips at a tasting, but now I get a full 12 oz. just for me!

A: Comes out of the bottle very dark brown, and settles in the glass even darker. I actually get a momentary two-finger, beige head from an aggressive pour, which soon settles down to about a half-finger, though that hangs around for a few minutes. Not too much lacing.

S: I made the mistake of putting my nose in before I finished swirling, so my olfactory system is still getting an up close and personal exposure to this one. Strong, rich molasses is the predominant scent. There's also a backbone of dark fruit, prunes and raisins, and every once and awhile a little bit of plum tanginess, and perhaps candied nuts.

T: Starts off with a rich, sugary sweetness. Toward the middle the dark fruits come in, immediately followed by the molasses, which holds center stage through the finish. Alcohol is there, but plays a minor role and isn't too noticeable. I gave taste a 4.5 as well, but it is not quite as good as the smell.

M: Full, without being overly thick, and leaves a velvety feel on the tongue. Very nice.

D: For what it is, I think this beer is quite drinkable. I understand that this is too sweet for some, but as someone who likes the sweeter beers, it goes down easy for me.

A lovely brew. Saying something is a strong ale doesn't tell you much about it; I would say this is two-thirds a belgian strong dark ale, and one-third an english barleywine.

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Photo of ndekke39
3.08/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Excited to try a bottle of this. Obviously from Batch 9000. Decanted into a pint glass. It's a very dark ruby red with a small white head. Not much retention. Smell is super sweet off the get-go: it's a thick, syrupy-sweet aroma - dominates everything else. Taste is even more so - really unbalanced on the sweet side. Heavy, molasses sweet. It's so sweet that it almost gets bitter at the end. Mouthfeel is fairly thick, goes with the heavy sweetness. Perhaps this beer would do better if it aged a little bit. Otherwise the sweetness overpowers everything and takes away from its drinkability.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Had to work a little for this one, a 45 min drive up to Wisconsin to pick this up. Anticipation is high.

Appearance: Nearly black, but cherry brown hues are visible around the edge of the glass. A small beige head bubbled lightly upon pouring, but has since resigned to a ring around the glass. No real lace to speak of. With all the alcohol, I would not expect much froth.

Smell: Quite a sweet nose, with dark fruit aplenty. Figs, raisins, dates, plums.

Taste: Bell's 9000 surprised me a little, because when it says "a great ale for the cellar," I assume that means it will be too hot right now. But no! A toffee sweetness, presented with figs and dates, with a strong roasted malt. Relaxed herbal hoppiness, or maybe it just feels that way with the burst of malt and fruit flavors, with a touch of sherry. Alcohol warms on the way to my stomach.

Mouthfeel: Along with the taste, one of the first things I notice is how full of a body this has. Almost heavy on the tongue except for the medium carbonated, mildy creamy feel. Definitely coats my teeth and lips with a sticky sweetness.

Drinkability: Too drinkable? I know deep down that the flavor will continue to mature with age, but it is also wonderful right now. The 12.5% was noticeable once I noticed how quickly the glass disappeared.

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Photo of magnj
4.68/5  rDev +16.1%
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 lackenhauser
4.06/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a somewhat muddy, dark brown color. Huge aroma of dried fruit, malt, and a mix of licroice and star anise. Very complex in the aroma department. Big, big malt flavor-somewhat of a molasses taste. Mild lactic bite. A tendency to be on the "hot" side but that is gone rather quickly. Mild brett. Great mouthfeel in spite of the alcohol. Not syrupy or sticky. Very drinkable in the long run. Booziness might bother you but still a great strong beer and at 12.5% suprisingly drinkable. Get some for now and later.

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Photo of thegodfather2701
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap tonight at the Mellow Mushroom.

A-Pours very dark, like a porter or American stout with a tan head. It left some nice lacing on the top 1/4 of the glass.

S-Boozy, dark fruits, molasses, chocolate.

T-Much like the nose as it was boozy and sweet with a lot of dark fruit/molasses/chocolate flavors. Also some caramel and coffee notes, but they were much more subtle.

M-Syrupy and thick.

D-This is a sipper all the way, but the alcohol content though high and noticeable doesn't deter one from drinking it.

Overall, I was extremely excited to see this beer on the menu at my local Mellow Mushroom and was glad I tried it. Its a very good beer and I highly recommend fans of the style/Bell's Brewery to try it. Its another great beer from a great brewery.

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Photo of katan
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Time to bust the six pack. 12 oz into a pint

A - Very dark brown, amber highlights. Opaque to almost completely dark. Head formation is strong, 1-2mm, breaks down to a film. Mocha in color. Small amount of lacing.

S - Lightly fruity, dark sweetness, some raisins. Toffee, heavy on the malts. Little phenolic tones - a shock for the potency. Some chocolate comes through upon second examination.

T - Incredibly sweet, full of raisins and toffee, chocolate and sugar. Very sweet. Mid-stream shows only a bit of bittering - no hops. A malt forward beer. Heavy on the dark cherry perhaps. Finishes with a huge alcohol warming effect.

M - Thick, creamy, clinging. Sweetness hangs on like molasses. Clings to the tongue with an acidity as well.

D - Yikes this beer will rock your world. ABV is mega potent, but the beer hides it like camouflage. Sweetness is just a bit wearing - perhaps an afterdinner drink.

The rest of this six pack will be in the cellar for some time to come.

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Photo of ZAP
4.75/5  rDev +17.9%
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 Brez07
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a DFH snifter

A: Dark brown/red pour with a thick 1 finger tan head. No lacing on the glass

S: Pretty potent. Great mix of anise, cherry, fig/raisin and chocolate. Along with this, however, it a fairly potent alcohol presence. Basically, this smells like a quad with licorice

T: This is strong right out of the gate. Sweet at first, then chocolate before it fads to licorice towards the end. I don't detect as much alcohol as I did in the smell. Finishes with a good roasted quality along with some smokiness

M: Full bodied, very thick and creamy beer. Leaves a bitterness at the tip of the tongue and a warm feeling with each sip

D: Sloooow sipper right now. Alcohol still very present right now, not surprising as it only came out a few months ago. Gives off many lovely smells and flavors. A good complex beer. I've got two more bottles and can't wait to how this ages

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Photo of Viggo
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, big thanks to hoppymeal for grabbing me some. What better place to drink this than at my desk on my second to last day of employment. Drank at backpack temperature.

Pours a clear very dark reddish brown, some orange hues in the corners, black away from the light, thin tan head forms and quickly settles to a thin ring around the glass, no real lacing but some legs.

Smell is strong and boozy, lots of toffee, bourbon, some vanilla and oak, raisin, dark fruit, light bit of chocolate maltiness, whiskey, pretty intense stuff, alcohol comes through, tons of malt in this one, almost reminds me of an English barleywine.

Taste is intense, iron and raisins, plums, dates, toffee, oak, vanilla, bourbon and whiskey, alcohol, rum, lightly spicy, very faint roastiness, lots of dark fruit, alcohol in the finish, still nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation, some heat going down. Some nice flavours but still a little hot. I bet age will benefit this one nicely.

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

Poured a dark brown color with a large frothy brown head that lasted with excellent lacing. Moderate to heavy roasted chocolate, caramel and alcohol aroma. Heavy bittersweet roasted black coffee malty flavor with a heavy bittersweet and small alcohol bite finish of moderate to long duration. Full body with a smooth texture and flat carbonation. This is a standout beer.

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Photo of CosmoHopHead
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Flying Saucer 5/2/10

A: pours oily black with a thin light brown, dark reddish head with almost no lacing to be seen

S: Molasses, figs, burnt malts and brown sugar, caramel, prune, dark rich chocolate and coffee beans. a very sweet booziness as well

T: a lot of the smell comes through in the taste along with hints on black licorice, tobacco, mint and faint spices and tart sour fruit

M: feels thick, oily, greasy. light carbonation
alcohol really warms the throat on the way down

D: alcohol is very powerful right now and it's too sweet for me at the moment to drink more than one glass. got more complex and interesting as it warmed

Overall, age is this beers best friend. It was good now but I'm guessing that given time the sweetness and alcohol will mellow and become much more drinkable. Glad I have more to try over the coming years.

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Photo of ToddT
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark brown almost black with a thin tan head. Head fades away very quickly and leaves no lace on the glass.

S- Caramel, molasses, raisin, vanilla, some wood tannin, and lots of alcohol phenols. The aroma is hot with alcohol.

T- Taste follows the nose, mostly raisin, fig plum and vanilla upfront. The middle is a backbone of malt, caramel and molasses with a hot alcohol finish and few notes of oak creep in to mellow this but it is still a hot one.

M- Full bodied, low in carbonation, and slightly creamy in the mouth. Finish it dry and with the lingering heat of the alcohol.

D- A sipper to be sure the 12.5% ABV is apparent and not for the faint of heart.

Going to have to revisit this one after it spends some time in the cellar. Very complex, way more going on in this one compared to any of the other American strong ales I've tried. I would love to see Bell's barrel aged this, imagining how that would taste is making my mouth water...

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

Review on a bottle pour into a snifter. Tons of dense sediment stick behind in the bottle's bottom.

Pours a nice rich mahogany brown with shades of glimmering ruby highlights. Cola-like consistency surprises in this style. A short 1/2-finger foamy ecru head fades immediately to a bubbly skim. Slippery, spitty lacing hangs around. Not completely opaque, but darkly hued enough to prevent visibility.

Alcohol singes the nose immediately, with rich and sticky molasses heavily weighing in. Hints of cherry and toffee add another dimension to the sweetness and the brewer's licorice adds an interesting and notable scent.

As I bring the glass up to drink, the vapors of the alcohol fill my mouth first. Very hot alcohol in such a fresh bottle with intriguing possibilities for aging. Very huge molasses sweetness is the strongest first taste - cloying. Deep richly roasted malts are somewhere between coffee and caramel. Hints of metallic that move somewhere between nickel in the front and bloody iron in the back. Very dark cherry with a stickiness. Feel is slick and more viscous than anticipated from the visual consistency. A decent bit of carbonation contributes to a long-lasting, tongue-coating aftertaste of toffee, molasses and alcohol.

Drinkability is moderate at best. Very tasty and complex.

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Photo of tmgiddings
2.57/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

From Crown Liquors #6 - Dear Bell's, please stop making over-hyped, overrated, overpriced beer. Body is black but transparent with a think wispy chocolate head. Aroma is molasses and licorice (Surprise!) with subtle chocolate. Taste is molasses, licorice, and alcohol. Mouthfeel is oily with some cream and alcohol warmth. Yes, this beer has a high ABV and- as far as flavor is concerned- might cellar well. However, the appearance and mouthfeel are only going to deteriorate with age. This beer is exactly what you expect when you read the label and nothing else.

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Photo of toadsass79
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark soda in coloring with a fine light tan foam ring that lasts and leaves little lacing. A nice nose with vanilla, licorice, molasses, chocolate, and a some roasted malt. Flavor follows suit, with anise and molasses stepping forward. Very sweet with an underlying bitterness. Prominent alcohol leads me to think that it will cut the sweetness and mellow out with age. There are so many intense flavors here that it is hard to pick them out (which is a good thing). Medium-low carbonation is perfect for this beer. Combined with the medium-full body, it gives Batch 9000 an incredibly smooth and silky palate presence.

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Bell's Batch 9000 from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 4.03 out of 5 with 913 ratings
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