Bell's Batch 10000 | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

BA SCORE
86
very good
787 Ratings
THE BROS
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Bell's Batch 10000Bell's Batch 10000
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.20%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
"Strong Brown Ale"

Added by Spica66 on 11-29-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
787
Reviews:
403
Avg:
3.8
pDev:
13.16%
 
 
Wants:
54
Gots:
348
For Trade:
18
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 787 |  Reviews: 403
Photo of PDXHops
1.54/5  rDev -59.5%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

12 ounce bottle, Duvel tulip. It pours out a mysterious murky combination of what seems to be several shades of brown and mahogany. Good retention from the beige head, but little in the way of lacing.

The nose is somewhat of a cluster, in no small part due to a persistent wave of alcohol. It's not boozy; there's simply a lot of odd solvent alcohol here. Nuts, smoke, burnt rubber. What the hell? There are some familiar beerlike aromas of chocolate and roasted malt in there as well.

Tastes marginally better, but we're talking degrees of displeasure here. It starts out OK, roast and chocolate with a nice smokiness, but alcohol and an odd tangy/minty/tobacco combo that wears out its welcome long before it continues to linger in the finish. Rather reminiscent of menthol cigarettes, actually.

Overall impression: Drainpoured halfway thru the bottle. Majorly disappointing offering from a normally excellent brewery.

 924 characters

Photo of dmsohyea
1.75/5  rDev -53.9%

Photo of 7ways
1.84/5  rDev -51.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

A: Looks pretty good, nice warm dark brown with a soft tan head, with tiny flecks of lace left behind.

S: Smells weird. Quite medicinal, with notes of herbs/anise/licorice, light/fake smoke, and cereal grain. Tree bark. Figs. Overall, it's pretty weak in strength and character.

T: There are so many flavors competing it's like being screamed at by an entire room full of people. Lots of transitions, kind of variable from sip to sip, so I guess you can call it complex, and it all seems to come full circle by the end of the glass. I pick out German hops and Simcoe (or some other catty hop), pretty balanced against the 986,000 different malts. But mostly I'm noticing some evil combination that tastes like headache medicine, menthol, soap and ham, and glue on the finish. Some things just weren't meant to be.

M: Dry and astringent, light/medium bodied.

D: I won't finish this glass.

If this beer was made by anyone but Bell's I don't think anyone would notice it.

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Photo of cgrz
2/5  rDev -47.4%

Photo of CityofBals
2/5  rDev -47.4%

Photo of 2Shaws
2/5  rDev -47.4%

Photo of MbpBugeye
2.03/5  rDev -46.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A- This is a dark beer with slightly odd tints of reds, purples and browns. The color visible around the edges takes me back to being a kid and mixing every crayon in the box. The result is a muddled, busy brown. The head is nice, if only for a moment. It left me one ring of lace before it faded to a skin.

S- The smell is weak but it has a lot going on. Dare I say too much going on? Who would have guessed that a beer with 100 fermentables and 60 hops would get a bit clucterfucked? Some of the few scents that I can describe include peppermint, salted chips, licorice rope, burnt rubber, pencil erasers, and barber shop (which is a melange in it of itself). It smells like a trashcan in an elementary school lunch room.

T- The major tastes include months of anticipation, dozens of reposted threads, hearsay with a touch of speculation, and most notably, disappointment.

This beer doesnt know what to be. It starts out malty with a bittersweet cocoa dryness a long with some roast. The maltiness is never big, luxurious or robust. But just as you think the maltiness up front is getting all over the place the hoppiness comes in. And like a kick to the temple, anything nice that the malts bring are plunged into amnesia. There is a little bit of every kind of flavor here. Spiciness is big, pine, citrus, aspirin, tylenol, as well as ibuprophen. Its like my spice rack and medicine cabinet were both emptied to yield ingredients for this beer, oh, and the whole concoction was stirred using a burnt piece of timber, still soaked in gasoline.

M- There is nothing gross about how this beer feels, persay. Indeed the cocoa powdery dryness is quite nice. However, the body isnt anywhere near what one would expect from a beer with so many ingredients.

I figured this beer would be so thick that they would have to package it in squeeze bottles but its not that way at all. Carbonation is dialed back nicely but the most annoying flavors of all are the ones that linger, and linger. The finish is looong and stuck with aspirin, charcoal and gasoline.

D- This beer will make a good extra but only because of its label.

I can only hope that this beer marks the end of the "everything but the kitchen sink" mentality, and most importantly, the end of a lackluster year from Bell's.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.23/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Bottle: Poured a medium murky brown color ale with an average size foamy head with light retention. Aroma of fusel alcohol, caramelized malt with a bunch of other characteristics that are hard to describe. Taste has lots going on with notes of fusel alcohol, caramelized malt, light smoke, some paint and astringent finish. Body is quite full with good carbonation and some apparent alcohol. I guess this is what happened when you throw everything in the kettle.

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Photo of olympuszymurgus
2.36/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured into a large red wine glass after a meal of rosemary venison. Dark red and brown, minimal head, huge hops in the nose. Some citrus but mostly herbal hoppiness comes across, kind of pleasingly smoky as well.

Taste though, is harsh. Boozy yet sweet, the peat malt is freekishly forward, not pleasing when compared to the herbal hops. Mouthfeel is fine, about what should be expected.

Overall, not a beer I want to drink.

Bells- I love you anyways.

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Photo of MrOH
2.38/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Very dark reddish brown, but still shy of black. Half finger of tan head with very little retention.

First whiffs are sweet, raisiny, and bready. Figs, prunes, sniffs of chocolate, roast, and hops come up with a couple of swirls. Some alcohol and traces of everything from citrus to rye and smoke are in there too.

Confusing. Definitely get some smoke, sweetness, and hops. A wide range of hop flavors; spice, herbal, citrus. The smoke sticks around. The dry spiciness I associate with rye is there, as is the breadiness that goes with wheat. There are only hints of the darker malts. A lot of the stickier dark fruits that you get in barleywines are there as well. As it warms, things smooth out a tad, but the breadiness takes over from the sweet dried fruits. Just disjointed as a whole.

Pretty heavy, medium carbonation, as expected at its strength.

Well, after 8 or 9 months, it still hasn't come together. I think this might be one that I just have to forget about for 5 years or so. Hate to give it a lowish (for the site) score, because I'm sure it will come together with time.

 1,091 characters

Photo of Stevedore
2.39/5  rDev -37.1%
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.

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Photo of Bmoyer0301
2.39/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance:

Pours a dark brown with some reddish and deep purple hues. On the pour there is a very thin (not even one finger thick) of head lingering around my glass. When I hold it up to the light there this baby is opaque with no yeast chunks floating around. Upon swirling my glass I notice the viscosity is pretty decent.

Smell:

Right off the start I am getting chocolate, heat alcohol and something rubbery. As my glass warms up a little bit I am finding plastic notes followed by band aids and cough medicine. Maybe some grapes ? There is absolutely no hop presence and in the finish some dates and licorice.

Taste:

Again, rubber and cough medicine are taking front stage here followed by some caramel notes. There really seems to be a hodgepodge of hop flavors that contradict themselves becuase it goes from earthy, spicy, to citrus. Very astringent almost like sucking on a tea bag that has been smoked.

Mouthfeel:

Not bad actually, but for a barley wine I'd like just a little bit more on the palate.

Drinkability:

I was rather let down by this one, I feel like they made this recipe by cleaning out the grain room and the hop storage cooler. There were flavors all over the place and I just couldn't get into it. Oh well, Bells still makes other great ales that I am generally very pleased with.

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Photo of Ryan011235
2.46/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a snifter on 12/8/10

Thanks to MbpBugeye, I think...

The color is dull matte-brown; not quite as dark as cola. Settles much darker with highlights of ruby & plum at the edges of the glass. A tight cap of foam rose to one finger's worth before slowly dissipating to a bubbly skim. Pretty good lace at the onset; none by the end.

Right after opening the bottle I took a whiff whereupon I noticed aromas of pine, muddled citric zest, dirt, charcoal & GUBNA. Yikes. Once in the glass, the nose proper is no better, though it is different. Malts are more appreciable with an underlying breadiness. Notes of marshmallow, caramel, toffee, butterscotch, musty attic, yeast, burning tires, over-stretched rubber bands, rotten lemon zest, Pine-sol, raisins, moldy figs, a certain garage on South Rich St, cocoa, bubblegum, solvent, warm cherries & mild booze. It isn't particularly bold, considering. At least it isn't too sweet. Afterward, the empty glass surrenders aromas of damp forest & dried manure. The empty bottle smells of vanilla cherry coke & cough drops.

While the nose seemed unstable & wont for expressive change, the taste simply doesn't have sufficient wiggle room for any of that jive. If the aroma is an allegorical Detroit-style wanderlust of a wasteland, the taste has an NYC-approved-density that simply cannot allow the vast majority of clustered ingredients to do anything other than jack up the retail price of this beer. Let's be real about what's going on here: we have a backdrop that displays some pilsner malt, toasted bread & grains, roasted cocoa, caramel & some other stray sugars that support a very dry hop profile (one that doesn't display much bitterness, either) comprised primarily of subdued pine sap with an earthy bent & undertones of disheveled citrus.

Full bodied with a languid, plodding feel wrought with a slow rolling grittiness. Carbonation is respectably low, giving each grit a soft kick to keep it lallygagging onward. The feel smooths over time; by the end of the glass carbonation is all but gone. Finishes quickly with lingering nips of an ashtray, dirty coffee beans, roasted cocoa & a modest, dry bitterness.

With a dubious sense of dignity & self-worth such as this, Batch 10,000 might as well be called Cuvee de GUBNA & Nemesis 2010. It could be worse, but I don't get it; it's Seinfeld to me. Regardless, I had no problems finishing the bottle; quite honestly, I'd drink more, if only to spur more descriptors. Drink a bottle. Tell me I'm wrong. Hype it. I'll stick to Expedition for the same price. I don't factor cost into my reviews but, as a side note, this is a rip-off.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 12-10-2010 03:23:08

~~

On-tap review; lost during the consolidation of serving styles.

L: 4
S: 2.5
T: 3
M: 3
D: 2.5

On tap in a pint glass at Barley's Smokehouse on 12/27/10

Dark plum/brown color with highlights the color of grape juice. Poured 1/4th inch head that takes it's time in dissipating to bubbly, foamy swaths. Retention is thin but good. Impressive wall of lace.

The aroma is over-saturated with malt & hops. Some pine, peppery citric zest of various & sundry ilk, toasted malt, pilsner malt, granular sugar, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, maybe a little rye, dark bread, faint nail polish remover in the back. With warmth, candy hints & subtle dark fruits emerge.

The taste is a vapid, dry wasteland of fermentable detritus. Simply put, too much is going on here; far too much. Hops are earthy, piney & have a penchant for solvency. The solvent-like aspects aren't scathing but they are definitely noticeable. Some astringent bitterness is appreciable; bummer. The malt bill is equally boisterous. Toasted grains, pilsner malt, multi-grain bread, caramel, cocoa & other residual sugars. The sugars really start to pick up as it warms.

Basically full bodied. Carbonation is well-proportioned. Neither attributes are such that I can complain. The finish is another story. There is a chalky feel that is smeared all over the latter half of the beer. Interestingly enough, the whole of the flavors culminate with a charcoal like flavor lingering on (I prefer burnt/charcoal notes in imperial stouts but I can deal with this). Hmm, as it warms & the sugars become more potent, it begins to have a coating, medicinal feel.

Drinkability is ok. I like it better than from the bottle but, after it was implied that I had a "bad" bottle (I simply don't think that was the case), I figured it reasonable to give BTK a fair shake on draft. I maintain the gimmick overshoots the capabilities of the beer. This still isn't a barleywine, by the by. Batch, please.

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Photo of ehammond1
2.5/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Bottle (2010)

Acquired via trade
Thanks sendsilk!

Clear and dark brown pour with some burnt auburn and amber edges. Thin white head. Not a lot of lacing.

A very sweet and sticky type of aroma, like a syrup, along with a bit of smokiness, and perhaps some citrus. Seems all over the place without being particularly interesting--though it certainly is unique.

The flavors don't combine well, in my opinion. This seems like a bad "Suicide" (remember being a kid at the soda fountain and pouring in all 12 soda options into your all-you-can-drink paper cup?). It's overly sweet, with a touch of alcohol, some strange smoke or char flavor along with some wood. It's unique--just not very good.

Somewhat thick and syrupy.

Not one of my favorites. This beer seems like an experiment gone wholly wrong.

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Photo of stevefinny
2.5/5  rDev -34.2%

Photo of jheiss
2.5/5  rDev -34.2%

Photo of ChocolateJesus
2.5/5  rDev -34.2%

Photo of Jade
2.5/5  rDev -34.2%

Photo of Dactrius
2.5/5  rDev -34.2%

Photo of lunarbrew
2.5/5  rDev -34.2%

Photo of tdmccarthy
2.5/5  rDev -34.2%

Photo of harrymel
2.51/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Huh, thought I'd already judged this one. To the docket!

Dark brown with a solid sheet of tan toppage. Smells of dark crystal malts, some tea, some vitamins, some nougat and sweet toasted sugar. Tastes like vinyl, bitterness, some molasses, some toasted malts, mostly difficult for me to get past the vinyl character. Medium bodied with tight carb and a semi dry finish. This beer is not even close to what I remember.

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Photo of japetus
2.58/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Batch 10000, I have been waiting for you.

A: Rosewood red/brown. A decent light brown head.Looks dark and wonderful!

S: At first smell, you get a nice dose of citrusy hops with a background smell of smoke, plum, burnt chocolate and other dark fruits. Really smells like a good Barleywine.

T: First thing that hits you is a HUGE smoked malts/smoke flavor. Transitions into a gamut of hops...first you get the piney resinous hops, and on the back you get the citrusy hops. Not a huge alcohol presence. When it warms, you get a SERIOUS cough syrup (robotussin) finish. Very unappealing in that sense. This beer is all over the place.

M: Good mouthfeel. It's not a huge "sticky" beer and is pretty smooth. No real "burn" This is the best aspect of the beer IMO.

D: After 3 of them in the past week or so, giving it every chance I possibly could... I won't be having another.The last one, I really almost didn't want to finish it. As I stated before, when it warms even a little..it starts to become fairly unenjoyable.

As a huge fan of Bells beer, this came as a massive dissapointment. When I heard the specs of the beer, I was hoping this wasn't how it would turn out...a huge mess. A beer that tries to be everything, and ends up going nowhere. Maybe I will try one a year from now if the opportunity presents itself, just to see how it ages and to compare, but that's it.

 1,381 characters

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
2.6/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Dark brown, almost black. Not much head and only fine lacing.

Smell is very IPA-like, strongly hopped but with roasted caramel malts, coffee, chocolate, and smoky notes. Alcohol noticeable for sure.

Tastes more porter or RIS-like, but way over-hopped. Alcohol is very noticeable. Perhaps this one should be aged? Very strong and not all that stupendous. Multitasking to the extreme, this leathery tasting drink has excess hops, too much smoked and roasted malts, and too much alcohol. Coffee and chocolate flavors are noticeable in the taste over the cacophony of "too damn much" going on here, but don't really add much.

Feels slick, not very carbonated, and heavy. Alcohol warming is powerfully strong.

Lacks balance and drinkability. One bottle is all I'll ever want of this stuff, and that was just to say I had it.

As much like a RIS this one is, complete with inky blackness and excessively overblown flavors, I'm surprised BA posters aren't swooning all over it like it's some kind of playboy model waltzing naked on the boardwalk in the summertime.

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Photo of abuliarose
2.61/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a snifter, revealing deep deep reddish brown body under a film with creamy greenish hues. Syrupy-looking consistency. Some lacing. Smells like malt and hop-scented soap with a little leathery peaty whiskey character. Hints of sweet mealy malt underneath. Very interesting smells.

Tastes meaty and smoky up front, followed by astringent and bitter hops and ending on a bitter burnt note. Some whiskey character in the taste, also some grass. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and a touch syrupy but with tiny-nucleating, tongue tingling carbonation that breaks it up. This one's a sipper if anything, but I'm having trouble liking it as is.

Maybe with a few more years on it?

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Bell's Batch 10000 from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.8 out of 5 based on 787 ratings.
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