Batch 10,000
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

Batch 10,000Batch 10,000
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Strong Ale - American
3.87 | pDev: 12.92%
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Michigan, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Batch 10,000Batch 10,000
Notes: "Strong Brown Ale"
Reviews: 408 | Ratings: 798 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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bret27 from California

4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of acurtis. ~10yrs old.
Look: very dark brown/ruby, minimal tan head.
Smell: chocolate, musty.
Taste: Raisins, fig, oxidization slightly, honey, malt, caramel. Hint of soy. Minimal fizzy booziness. Flavors all pretty muted.
Mouthfeel: fairly medium - light bodied.
Overall: I never experienced fresh version. This has aged pretty well as u would expect from any strong ale or barleywine.

Jul 16, 2020
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CEEALAN from Michigan

4.34/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This was my longest aging experiment, 9 years, and I decided to finally open the final bottle today. I'm really surprised by the result. The bottle opened with a typical pop and poured with a typical head. Still tastes fresh does not have a number of the aging characteristics I see in Belgian ales. I actually think most of my friends would think this is a 2019 bottle if I serve it to them (though my girlfriend thinks I'm going to need to go to the emergency room after finishing the bottle).

There is a surprisingly light feel with hints of molasses and a bit of cinnamon. There are some clear bitter notes at the finish which result in a longer than expected aftertaste, but not at all a bad one.

This is not as complex as I "remember" it to be eight years ago, but the beer world has changed a lot since then and likely so have my perceptions. This is, while not exceptional, still a very good, surprisingly enjoyable and easy drinker, and has made me open to further aging experiments.

Dec 08, 2019
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cavedave from New York

3.89/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 4

Properly cellared since release almost 9 years ago. served just above cellar temp.

That brown ale look, with a long lasting head of dark tan that relaxes finally to a cap and some fine lace on glass.

Raisins, figs, dates, caramel, toffee, honey bread all are revealed in multiple, heavenly sniffs. It is medium strength aroma, quite tempting. A wee hint of alcohol spice comes into it as it warms.

A surprise hit of alcohol warmth and spice accompanies some herbal bitter to balance well all the sweet components of the aroma. A touch of sherry in this, unsurprisingly, that adds an interesting flavor A bit more alcohol than optimal, even after all these years, but a well blended and very delicious mix of age softened goodness.

Thick and coating, still has good carb., maybe a touch of build on the finish as the only ding to a mouthfeel that works well.

Quite a delicious beer I am enjoying immensely.

Jul 14, 2019
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Brutaltruth from Ohio

3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A lurker from the doomsday beer closet. This strong ale pours a
murky dark brown with cola highlights and a decent head of off white
foam that settles to a thin ring, subtle light pool, and displays some decent lacing.
Nose of subtle dark malts, rum raisin notes, toffee, and plum notes. Flavors
slightly exceed the nose with rum like note awash in golden raisin, dark
plum and fig notes, toffee, subtle anise, and moderate hop bitterness.
Nice mouth feel; medium body, medium mouth feel, light
carbonation, and a malt accentuated lightly roasted finish.

Overall, a decent little strong/old ale that gives me an impression
of Hair of the Dog's Adam ale with a touch of less complexity....
another brew I wish I could sample again....sigh.


Mar 01, 2019
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Sigmund from Norway

3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Shared 355 ml bottle at local tasting. ABV is 9.2%. Dark brown colour, moderate beige head. Aroma of molasses and oak. The flavour is better than batch 6000, less sweet (but still sweet enough) with a more distinct hop profile, notes of oak and tobacco.

Jun 12, 2018
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bladehines from Kentucky

4.41/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cellar stored by myself for the last 6 years. Pour was smooth, color dark mocha with moderate sediment settled in the bottom of the bottle.

Appearance: Dark mahogany, clean pour, little head left, slight creme colored around edge of glass

Smell: peaky, toasted coffee, heavy raisin essense, plum notes, leather

Taste: coffee notes, front slightly bitter, then raisin and dark fruits, leather and tobacco notes

Mouthfeel: very smooth, little alcohol residue left, very little carbonation

Overall: very good! Can't remember what it tastes like fresh. But def good here! Possibly could age more.

Mar 06, 2016
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.39/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Strong brown ale huh? Well ok, but that doesn't explain why there is no head on the beer? Doesn't look sexy. At most a light brown head tries to form.

This is one thick and sticky brown ale. Lots of brown sugar, a little bit of sweetened dark fruit that isn't too bitter. Somewhat complex, you get the burnt sugar end, you get the nutty, toffee and caramel presence. This one is such a plethora of styles mixed together. Some quad aspects, stout viscosity, barleywine, brown ale.

Interesting batch.

Feb 22, 2016
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emyers from Illinois

3.84/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a Founders snifter.

Appearance: Pours dark brown with a thin beige head. Leaves a nice lacing down the glass.

Smell: Quite a bit going on here. Molasses, leather, raisin, hints of cocoa powder and roasted malt. Very rich. I had this fresh and it was all over the place - it's come together quite well over time. Not much if any alcohol heat.

Taste: Substantially more mellow than the aroma, which was extremely rich. A good amount of roasted barley and chocolate along with leather and some dark fruit, toffee, and toasted nuts. Certainly one of the more unique flavor profiles I've experienced, although I suppose that can be expected when there are 100 types of malt and 60 types of hops in 1 beer... I have to say that, like the smell, it's a lot more composed aged than it was fresh (I remember it being a bit of a mess), but the flavor profile is still too busy overall.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and velvety. Low carbonation.

Overall: Looked back at my notes on when I drank this fresh - I basically said it was very interesting but there was too much going on to make it great. I have to say that although age has improved it from what I remember, the same basic problem still exists - the beer lacks an identity. They packed so much into one bottle that I don't really know what I'm drinking. Still, overall it is enjoyable and definitely unique enough that I'm glad I grabbed a couple bottles.

Aug 29, 2015
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SportsandJorts from Virginia

4.47/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2010... Drank in October 2014

Appearance: pours a leathery mahogany color with a small tannish head that almost refuses to go away and leaves some lacing behind. Completely opaque with cloudiness and sediment.

Smell: peat, caramel. toffee, slight roasted malt, molasses, scotch and more alcohol. certainly smells oxidized but that adds to the overall earthy leathery aspects.

Taste: opens with caramelized grains, sweet notes of molasses, toffee and maybe some chocolate. middle is full of earthiness, leatheriness, slightly smoky and peaty. the end comes in with alcohol in a quite scotch like form. some dark fruit notes hinting towards a sherry. has a slight earthy bitterness to it.

Mouthfeel: heavy, slick, earthy bitterness, leathery and chewy

Overall: Yes this beer is oxidized but that only plays into the good tastes of it. very complex and full of new flavors with every sip. I wish i knew what it was like fresh, but I am certainly glad I got to try it at all. Time has done well up to this point but I am not sure where it will go from here.

Oct 09, 2014
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HattedClassic from Virginia

4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

Aged several tears in poor conditions. The beer pours a tan and creamy head that dissipates quickly but leaves a lot of lacing. The beer itself is an opaque purplish black color with a little bit of brown. The beer has a strong malt smell that resembles gingerbread. Essentially, the smelly is very bready and sugary. Despite having been aged several years, the beer still retains some strong hop notes and some dark fruit notes. The fruit notes tend to revolve around figs and raisin. The hops are bitter. The beer taste is completely and utterly divine and much more richer and complex than the smell. The taste mainly consists of various malt notes and dark fruit notes. The malts come out with caramel, ginger bread, slightly toasty, and lightly roasted notes. The hop notes come off citrusy and a little bit grapefruitish. Given how long it's been aging, there also appears to be a slight alcohol feel. The mouthfeel is very smooth with decent carbonation that makes it even smoother. The beer clearly has a full, heavy body. Overall, a fantastic beer and one I am glad to have picked up when I had the opportunity. It's a shame this was only brewed once.

Sep 08, 2014
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superspak from Michigan

4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 11/17/2010. Pours very hazy/cloudy nearly opaque dark brown color with a 1-2 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings on the glass, with some moderate streaming carbonation. Aromas of big raisin, prune, fig, citrus zest, caramel, molasses, toast, brown sugar, chocolate, light roast, brown bread, herbal, floral, grass, and toasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good complexity and balance of dark/roasted malt, citrus/earthy hops, and fruity yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of big raisin, prune, fig, citrus zest, caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, brown bread, herbal, floral, grass, pine, and toast/grassy earthiness. Fair amount pine/herbal/roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of raisin, prune, fig, citrus zest, caramel, toast, toffee, chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, brown bread, brown sugar, herbal, floral, grass, pine, and toast/grassy earthiness on the finish for a while. Very nice complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roasted malt, citrus/earthy hops, and fruity yeast ester flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a moderately creamy, smooth, and fairly bready/sticky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent strong ale. All around great complexity and balance of dark/roasted malt, citrus/earthy hops, and yeast ester fruitiness; and very smooth to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

Jun 29, 2014
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larryi86 from Delaware

4.06/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter

A- A dark brown/black with a two finger little tan head.

S- Figs, dark fruits, creamy chocolate, hint of coffee, very enjoyable.

T- Dark fruits, charred coffee in the finish, some cherries, hints of dark chocolate.

M- Smooth, full body.

O- Enjoyable and fairly complex. Would have like to try it fresh, but I feel that it is drinking well right now.

Jun 26, 2014
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Stevedore from Oregon

2.39/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle of Bell's Batch 10,000. Thanks Regen for this one. Poured into an O'so snifter today, 2/6/2014.

App- Dark brown body, very similar to Batch 9,000. One finger brown head, better retention than 9000, no lacing

Smell- Smells quite oxidized but hard to get much of anything in the nose even as it warms. A bit of dark fruit, sherry.

Flavour- Very uninteresting and frankly, not good. Dark fruit, sherry mixed in with a sugary sweetness would normally sound good but the flavours here are so incredibly muted.

Mouthfeel- Thin-medium bodied, not particularly thick, ok carbonation, basically zero aftertaste

Overall- This was like drinking extremely watered down Batch 9,000. I don't think this is what Bell's intended, but this simply was just not very good at all.

Feb 07, 2014
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gueuzedreg from Colorado

3.48/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pretty dark roasty coffee, translucent. Thin lacing with little head.

S- Charred dark fruits, fig, hay, bing cherries.

T- Tastes like liquid tobacco if that makes sense. Nothing special here. Probably pretty standard for a dark ale, which is why I don't seek them out.

M- Pretty thin, but normal for the style. I am used to RIS, so I am spoiled on the M

O- Pretty well done. I have not had a bad beer from Bells.

Jan 21, 2014
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frenchblood21 from Ohio

3.43/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into Hopping Frog tulip.

A- As brown as a liquid can get before becoming black. Beautiful 3/4 inch light brown head that recedes by half and then just sticks around.

S- Prunes and figs right up front, that is followed by vanilla and bourbon. Strangely enough, fresh ripe strawberries too!

T- Bitter dark chocolate and sweet/salty caramel...tobacco and leather at the finish.

MF- Thick like an imperial IPA. I get the resiny hoppy leftover, which is fine by me. Taste great on the back end like fresh fruit.

O- Really well put together beer. I would buy a six pack if I saw it on the shelf. But, alas, it is retired. To be honest, I like it a lot, but it is not a beer I would trade for. I will enjoy the last half, because I will never find this beer again,

Dec 26, 2013
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MarkSmith86 from Wisconsin

4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Why waste the time of you guys reading this review! this is a damn good beer. i mean it it outstanding on every aspect that has to give you. This is one of those things you have to try it in order to love it or hate it. it is up to the consumer and what they really like. it has a great color, smell, excellent mouthfeel! Hell just buy it if you see it!

Dec 24, 2013
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drtth from Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a large snifter glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: The beer pours out a dark brown with a bit of deep red undertone. The light tan head is thin but persistent. Even several minutes into the beer there is a ring of foam around the glass and islands of thinner and thicker foam in patches on the surface. Sipping leaves a pattern of streaks and patches of lacing on the sides that cling to the glass with very little slide back to the liquid.

Smell: The aroma contains lots of chocolate backed up by caramel/toffee. By 3 years of age however there is little or no effect showing from the hops.

Taste: The flavors are complex but, as predicted from the nose, dominated by dark chocolate, some caramel/toffe and a touch of bitterness. Some effect of the hops shows but it is pretty well hidden by the malts at this age. The alcohol is well concealed until the warming effects begin.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium bodied and soft with gentle carbonation. The finish is long and smooth as all the flavors start with some dark malt sweeness just gradually disappear. Long after the other things going on here end there is a hint of bitterness and dryness in the after taste.

Drinkability and Overall Impression: This is a very easy sipper and one that fits nicely with a cold evening that is a lead into winger. On the whole I enjoy this beer but don’t think at the end of the day it is outstanding enough to be worth all the time, ingredients and labor that Bell’s put into it.

Nov 24, 2013
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Brenden from Ohio

4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Advertised as some sort of "brown ale," the American Strong ale categorization is definitely proper here, as I recall. Memories may not be fresh, but my notes are.

A thinnish froth of wispy but long-prevailing off-white head rides a thick and ruddy red-brown brew. Lacing is left in a modicum of patching with some spotting.
This smells like a strong spirit with some strong as well as unusual notes. It's definitely toasty with lots of caramel, vanilla and an almost melon-like soft sweetness. It's very malt-forward but with floral and citrus notes from hops. With an earthy and almost bubble gum-like note, I almost wonder if Belgian yeast is used, though I doubt it. More toast pulls out along with molasses, toffee and brown sugar, but somehow it's not too sweet.
With all of the big, rich complexity and the sweetness, it definitely is a sipper. It takes a lot to unwrap, and a boozy heat sits underneath the whole way. The transition is basically creamy/sugary-sweet->toasty (with some caramel)/bready (crust),->dry/citrus/leafy/grassy hops. I'm actually impressed with the level of hops flavor in this beer and that it's firm enough to strike a balance with the huge malts.
While the feel almost starts off sticky, it turns away after a moment as the dryness comes out right up front in this beer's big body. It finishes semi-dry with a lignering bitterness.

Sep 17, 2013
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Goblinmunkey7 from Massachusetts

3.66/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Dark rich brown with some copper and brick red when held to direct light. Minimal espresso cream colored head drops to a tiny collar with minimal lacing. No carbonation to speak of.

Smell: Super sweet. Bourbon, vanilla, some oak, toffee, alcohol, and deeply cooked and caramelized malts. Slightly roasted. All malt, no hops. A bit damp with some licorice and earth. Some musty wood and a soft earthy component. Deeply complex and layered with malt depth.

Taste: A very slight smokiness. Almost spruce-like thing going on. Nice roasted character coupled with a solid caramel malt sweetness. Some vanilla, nice backing oak, almost chocolatey. Woodsy and earthy with a slight smoky bitterness. Loses a little malt depth promised by the nose. Some spicy alcohol esters.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and soft with a medium body. Minimal carbonation. Surprisingly clean.

Overall: Power levels building...

A little less complex than 9000, but easier to drink. Odd smoky woody thing going on and it's novel.

Sep 14, 2013
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angrybabboon from Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Consumed 9/13/13

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for sharing this

Appearance: Pours a medium brown, with some light brown and some clarity around the edges - small, off-white head that fades to a borderline nonexistent

Smell: Rich caramel and cooked malts - has some aromas similar to other big beers from Bells - big, rich malts brown bread - very earthy and woody - some leather and dark fruits - syrupy and kind of medicinal (not in a phenolic way) - actually smells more alcoholic than 9%

Taste: Big brown malts, caramel, and wood - cooked, caramelized malts, bread, syrupy caramel - lots of wood, earthy, with some oxidized notes reminiscent of an old ale - some leafy notes that seem reminiscent of hops - alcohol is strangely obvious - finishes kind of earthy/dirty

Mouthfeel: Borderline full body, nicely smooth, low carbonation, good to sip

Overall: IT'S OVER 9000!

I can't handle the power level of this beer! Oddly enough, this is actually better than Bell's Batch 9000. It's big and malty, and it's not a mess. It's not great, but it's not bad. It seems like a fitting way to end the "Bell's Batch" series.

Sep 14, 2013
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Sarlacc83 from Oregon

3.71/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle from Todd. Thanks!

A: Very dark mahogany with a thin cappuccino head that fades out. Has some legs.

N: Chocolate and espresso. There’s still a significant amount of bitterness to this with some soap, pine, and herb. Licorice in here as well.

T: Very, very smokey with some heavy bitterness and a base of dark chocolate sweetness. There’s some green apple in here and plenty more of the licorice. Starting to oxidize at this point. Some saltiness, but it adds a nice dimension to this.

M: Medium bodied and moderately sticky. Seems to have the strong ale part down on it.

O: A much better beer than the 9000 by a longshot. Pretty nice complexity on this, though it is starting to show its age, so it’s worth drinking soon if you have one.

Aug 05, 2013
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tewaris from Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A deep dark wood color with some haze, and a small head. Aroma is a big, malty beer with roasty overtones. There's campfire and there's candy as well... tastes like a maltier imperial stout but the malts are lacking character, at least at this temperature; so I am going to wait for it to open up.

Finally, I decide in its favor... I like it better than most stouts, possibly because it delivers the roasty punch but without the irritating tartness... I think this will be great with a smoke. But, the mouthfeel is a tad thin and it is also somewhat pale in comparison to 9,000 which was one of my favorites.

May 24, 2013
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facundoCNB from New Jersey

3.86/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

pours a deep opaque dark brown with a finger of beige head. smells of sweet malt, chocolate, raisins, brown sugar... a very sugary feel on the nose. this is a very tasty sweet brew, lots of brown sugar and molasses up front, a slight dark chocolate feel, some tree bark-like bitterness. honestly perfectly in between a bitter and sweet experience, perfectly balanced. medium in body with a very low amount of carbonation.

i feel if this beer were fuller in body it would be perfect. feels like a brown ale going down, but tastes like a strong ale. abv is well hidden. lovely beer, i'm sure it was probably better with a bit more carbonation (or like i said would have been perfect with a fuller body).

May 12, 2013
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jegross2 from Illinois

4.04/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewing the Batch 10,000 from Bell's Brewery Inc. out of Kalamazoo, Michigan. This brew is billed as a "strong brown ale."

Score: 90

Bottled on 11/16/10 according to Bell's Batch Finder. Served in a Portsmouth Brewery snifter and enjoyed on 02/24/13. I shared this one with my friend Wes. Review is from iPhone notes

Appearance: Barleywine-like in color. Pours a thin layer of bubbly tan head that totally settles. Not much lacing or retention to speak of. 3/5

Smell: Toffee, berry-like oxidation, leather and caramel. Hint of vanilla. Old bookshelf-like smell. Fig and dates too behind the oxidization. 4/5

Taste: Lots of caramel and toffee. Ample dark fruit. Much less berriness than nose; the oxidation is very faint on palate. Bitter hop finish that is not quite stale, but not fresh either. Dates and fig and dark fruit is more prominent on palate 4.25/5

Mouthfeel: Malty, sticky. Medium-plus bodied, low carbonation. 4/5

Overall: I had low expectations going into this beer, but I found I enjoyed it more than Batch 9,000 and my very aged bottles of Batch 7,000 and Batch 8,000.

Cost: $18 for a six pack.

Apr 24, 2013
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blackie from Oregon

4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

so this one had been out there for about a year by the time of this review, my first sampling:

a: served in a tall tulip glass, batch 10000 is a deep brown in color with some dark ruby hues, sporting a tan head with low retention

s: fermented dark fruit syrups - raisin and date, maybe some plum, alcoholic liqueur as it warms, warm brown sugars, loads of piney hops with undertones of earth, buried aromas of tobacco, wood, and cocoa, pleasantly and subtly complex - and really seems to come around as it warms

m: carbonation light-moderate, with a body on the heavier side of the medium range, some malty weight but fairly even keeled

t: covers a range of malt flavors (no surprise there - 100 fermentables) - toasty, caramel, tobacco, woody, biscuit, sweet dark sugars on one side and roasted notes on the other, with a lighter malt center keeping things balanced out, loaded hop flavors tend towards earth and pine with a full, growing bitterness, finish dries completely with lingering acids, pine, and roast flavors

o: an interesting beer at least, the smorgasbord effect lead to there being a little of everything here, and it balances out to an enjoyable beer, but one without any standout feature, I'm cool with it - one more to cellar for the ages


Apr 06, 2013
Batch 10,000 from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 798 ratings