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

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Bell's Batch 10000Bell's Batch 10000
Very Good
789 Ratings
Bell's Batch 10000Bell's Batch 10000

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

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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 789 |  Reviews: 403
Photo of Viggo
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, thanks to grub for sharing one from his stash.

Pours a lightly hazy dark orange/brown, a bit murky, thick off white head forms, pretty chunky, slowly settles to a medium ring and layer around the glass, some lace chunks and spot stick to the glass, looks alright.

Smell is neat, big and malty, some booze, big toffee note, some dark fruit, raisin, biscuit, floral, a bit of grapefruit and light pine, a touch of woodiness, whiskey, a little rough and hot, kind of all over the place but has potential.

Taste is similar, a bit sweet up front, some toffee, a bit of raisin, some wood/oak, brown sugar, touch more toffee, a whiskey/brandy note, a bit of floral, some fruitiness, bit of raisin, pretty boozy, nice bitterness in the finish but pretty balanced.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation, a bit oily going down, big heat. A little rough around the edges but definitely has potention like batch 9000. Thanks Russ!

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Photo of kohoutek
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A beautiful garnet/brown strong ale with a rich multi-layered tan head. Light penetration is somewhat slight. The texture is thick and rich with long lasting, variable bubble sizing. Head settles into a rambling permanent covering of ever-changing density.

Aromas and flavors of smoke (a slight phenolic peat and a smooth, dry beach smoked presence), caramel/toffee candy, fresh herbal prominence (green leaves), graham cracker, honey, light crystal malt, smooth wheaten biscuit, warm, integrated alcoholic raisin. A very complex, rich beer.

A full bodied ale, but not too sweet. Balanced with a well- integrated bitterness and malty, fruity acidity (dates/raisins). This beer drinks very well for over 9% alcohol. For me it's a "one and done" for the drinking session though.

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Photo of CooperEllis
3.52/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz into .3l tulip. from cosmicevan - skal!

Bright. Looks like laquer in the bottle, fizzy offwhite/burnt head with a lot of lacing.

Certainly get the heat in the nose. Fig/Date and a bit of malt. There is also an unmistakable citrus element, but more in the tangerine side than the lemon.

Wow, the flavor is certainly there, but what caught my attention the most is how watery this feels. There is a bit of lemony-spice at the front. Good carb and a nice mouthfeel once I got past my initial surprise. A lot of spice sits on the tounge and I'm grateful this isn't heavier as I can't imagine it would be very pleasant.

I don't know if this needs some time, but I'm not particularly wow'd with this. It's good, and I'm enjoying a glass of it, but I wish I had someone to split the 12oz with.


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Photo of DoctorDog
3.77/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

A- Brown with some ruby highlights. Pours with ~1 finger of tan head, which fades to a thin island of bubbles.

S- Big hop assault. Pine and citrus hops notes are quite prominent upon pouring, and then the notes become more spicy and earthy as the head dies. Some hard to define malt sweetness seeps through once the head has nearly dissipated.

T- Complex and confusing right off the bat. Roasty bitterness, a melange of hop notes...I think I'll stop trying to pick this one apart now....just too much going on to worry about parsing further.

M- Moderate to slightly low carbonation with a medium-full feel.

D- Decent. Definitely interesting, and not a difficult drinker for it's 9+% ABV, but can't see going beyond a "one sipper."

Future outlook: Might as well save one or two for a year or two and see what happens....since this is a one time brew, that's about as far as this one can go into my future...

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Photo of drewba
3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - deep, dark brown with reddish tints. A finger khaki head floats on the top, leaving behind some bubbly, sticky lacing.

S - Heavy chocolate, caramel, toffee, bread, nuts, some coffee grounds and licorice. The end has a fair hop profile, I'm picking up some lemon and grass tartness.

T - Dry, semi bitter smoke and chocolate come out front. This is giving me some dryness and a bit of charred chalkiness, not a huge fan. Immediately after that, the rest of this ridiculous malt bill comes out in waves of bread, nut, butterscotch, charred wood. Hops are definitely here, but with none of the slightly tart lemon I picked up in the smell - just slightly bitter pine and acidic lemon flavors. This is one of those beers that isn't bad, but it's not great. The complexity is impressive, I'm just not digging the overall flavors. I really want to like this because the smoke and chocolate is a really well done, but I can't stand smoke, so it's not for me.

M - medium to thick body, smooth and rich with a slight chalkiness in the finish.

D - Surprisingly drinkable, alcohol is hidden wonderfully (probably not that hard to do after you look at this ingredient list), but again I'm going to complain about the smoke hanging around. Seriously, I'm a bitch when it comes to smoky beers, it's too much for me, makes me want to go eat something to get this smoke out of my mouth. This is one of those beers I'm glad I tried, but I won't seek it out.

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Photo of BarrelO
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Batch #10000 (obvi), bottled on November 16, 2010.

A: Cola brown body. Modest head with good lacing.

S: Dominated by American hops. A bit of caramel as it warms up.

T: Much more malt-forward than the nose would lead you to believe. Lots of roasted and toffee notes. Grassy aftertaste. Becomes more alcoholic as it warms up.

M: Smooth and creamy, medium carbonation.

D: Bell's anniversary-style beers haven't done a whole lot for me, so I wasn't expecting too much from this one. But it turned out to be a very pleasant surprise. At turns, it comes across as a DIPA, a barleywine, and an imperial stout. Definitely worth a try for fans of American-style strong ales of all stripes.

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Photo of Beejay
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A: A nice chestnut color with ruby hues. The tan head almost has a soft look to it. There is a certain creamy look to it.

S: Big earthy hop aroma coming out right away. There is a really heavy caramel sweetness in this. Smells a lot like an American Barley wine. Pungent and earthy.

T: Sweet caramel flavor comes out right away, followed by earthy and pine hops. The finish is dark roasted grain with a little more hop flavor. There is some booze present.

M: Heavy mouthfeel, but the carbonation in it contrasts the feel. I think with a little less carbonation this would be really creamy.

D: Good, strong, but not earth shaking. It almost seems like this wants to be a couple things at once.

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Photo of Bierguy5
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pours very dark brown, nearly black. An aggressive pour yields a thick, frothy mocha head. Pretty nice head retention here.

Roasty malt backbone. Piney hops and ripe fruit. A bit of alcohol in the nose.

Roasty malt blends with a big blast of piney, and sharp herbal hops. Some ripe fruit, but this really seems to be about the malt. Layers of malt character, roasty, grainy, slightly smoky. A good amount of sharp bitterness at the end, which lingers for a while. A woody edge at the end.

Medium body, with a slightly creamy feel. Some alcohol noticed but not overwhelming. Very complex layers here. Nice beer. Sad to see this series come to an end.

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Photo of DCon
4.47/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter from a tap at the iTap House (Chesterfield) during their Bell's Batch 10,000 Event for their 2 Year Anniversary Party.

Appearance- There was absolutely no head except a cream layer on top. Almost a pitch black color with a hint of the darkest brown you can find.

Smell- The aroma has definite roasted notes with a great amount of malt included.. Not sure what else I smell because of the strong alcohol present.

Taste- Roasted malts and almost a straight coffee or chocolate stout copy. Impressed with how strong the flavor is. Awesome!

Mouthfeel- Hits the palate with a whiskey/bourbon taste. Full Bodied and loving every minute of it.

Drinkability- Wonderful ale but not something I could have many of. It took almost an hour to finish the snifter of this Batch 10,000. I would recommend anyone to try it if available on tap.

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Photo of walteez
3.15/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a deep cherry red/ brown with about 3 fingers of head. Once it's in the glass you would be hard pressed to say it isn't black but when held to the light it shows a very, very dark brown. The head dissipates quickly, leaving a little lacing on my glass.

S: The first sniff reveals a nice sweet, malty smell - very fruity with a little bit of funk. The smell of alcohol is apparent but really doesn't show its head till the beer warms a bit.

T: The sweet malt that I smelled tastes a bit funkier than I expected. It fades quickly to some spiciness & alcohol. The middle to end of the taste is all roasty but more so burnt chocolate and coffee beans. It tastes smokey for sure. If you've ever had a nearly incinerated piece of bacon... that's what I'm tasting - some oxidation from the burnt smokiness of the beer. It leaves me with a dry taste, the hops showing their bitterness a bit at the end but definitely a malty brew overall.

M: It doesn't have a lot of carbonation. It feels a tad light for the flavors it is projecting. It seems like it should be a bit more viscous to me with just a tad more presence on my tongue.

D: At first I was a bit put off by the taste but as it warmed up it really opened up and mellowed out a bit. The sweetness of the malt really smoothed out the flavor when it was a bit warmer. Still, it is a sipping beer and not one I would probably go out of my way to find again. Bell's makes too many great beers for me to spend my dollars on this one.

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Photo of youradhere
3.01/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours murky mahogany reddish, head is amply fluffy tan that falls after a time. Smell is subdued, alcohol, vanilla, smoke, malt, very light aroma. Taste is bitter fruit, coffee, chocolate, some barrel twang. Mouthfeel is light and astringent, lighter than this beer needs to be for the flavor. If it was thicker this brew would be a 10. Decent, but nothing wild.

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Photo of Chincino
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I bought a bottle of this beer as a mix-a-six at the Foodery in Philadelphia when I was there in December.

I just had this beer tonight and it poured a medium to dark brown with little off white head.

This beer is filled with rich aromas of sweetness-mailt, caramel, and toffee.

Medium-bodied, full of flavor. I would not say this is a session beer. Smooth and easy to drink.


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Photo of heebes
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Batch 10,000.

Pours a deep dark brown with a finger foamy light tan head. Some light lacing sticks at the top of the glass. Nose is slightly hoppy, slightly bready, all sorts of malt auromas mingling. Sweet, biscuity notes, cocoa and light fruits. Taste is a complex blend of the 100 different malts and 60 hop varieties used in the beer; nutty, roasted flavour that at times almost drinks like a stout yet the hops keep this in check and round out a stellar American Strong Ale. A medium bodied mouthfeel that feels a little dry. Barely noticeable ABV makes this a truely unique beer from Bell's. Furthering my believe they are one of the top craft breweries in America, I am quite pleased with this beer. Great experiment and wonderful job on a landmark release.

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Photo of rapidsequence
3.59/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, $3.10 from Pints O Plenty.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown into the snifter and as a clear dark garnet (light almost passes all the way through) when held to the light. Nice off white head with good retention and some excellent lacing. Good looking beer!

Smell: A real mess of aromas. Herbal and floral hops notes and toasty and chocolatey malts. A medicinal and band-aid phenolic smell is intrusive.

Taste: There's sweetness from the malts and toasty flavors. Cocoa and caramel. Again herbal and some citrus hops flavors and pronounced, but not excessive bitterness. Doesn't taste as much like band-aid as it smells, but a little.

Mouthfeel: Pretty full mouthfeel with very nice carbonation that feels slightly creamy in the mouth. Hops leave a sticky, resin coating on the tongue. This is a big feeling beer. Warming too.

Drinkability: This thing falls somewhere between an India brown ale and a black IPA. Overall, its a decent beer, but kind of all over the place. I'm glad I only bought 2. The other will go in the cellar.

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Photo of adamette
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Live review. Poured from the 12 oz. brown bottle that I bought from Save-On Tobacco & Beverage in Mentor, Ohio a few weeks ago for $3.01 into my Brewery Ommegang Westvleteren style gold rimmed goblet. "The last of the "Batch" series. Thanks to all of the consumers that got us this far."

A Very dark body that shows the slightest hue of mahogany in front of direct light under a light brown creamy head that satisfyingly sticks around for a few minutes, eventually dissipating into a thin layer of creamy head. Good look. 4.0

S Peppery, malty, some dark roast malt. Smells big and interesting. 4.0

T Tastes flows right from the smell. This is a big beer with equal parts dark roast malt, peppery kick, some hops. I find myself reminded of Goose Island Pepe Nero although this beer is stronger. Big, complex, interesting, challenging. Very good beer. 4.5

M Big, as mentioned with an abrasive feel along with that peppery taste and dark roast malt. 4.0

D Not that good given all of this bigness, difficulty in finding the beer and elevated ABV. All of that being said, it was enjoyable to drink this beer. 3.0

Notes: A fitting tribute to Bell's 10,000th batch. Congratulations!

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Photo of kzoobrew
3.43/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Moderate pour produces massive 4 finger malted milk colored head. Deep mahogany body with amber hues throughout. The head remains perched atop for an impressive amount of time. Thick sheet of moth eaten lacing coats the glass.

This beer has really evolved since the last time I had one shortly after the release. Fairly prominent smoked malt is noticed immediately. Bready brown malt and a sweet maple syrup fall in just behind. Citrus and grassy hops aromas blend quite well. The strong grassy dry hop smells have definitely subsided.

The flavor has also improved but not nearly as much as the aroma. It may take a little longer for the flavors to sync up. There is a lot going on here. Smoked malt meets bitter chocolate meets sweet Amber Ale meets grassy hops.
The grassy flavor is what is causing me the most problems, it seems to clash a bit. The malt bill does not concern me, I feel that these flavors can work together with less of a contrasting hop bite. Subtle citrus flavors waxes and wanes with each sip. The flavor still has a bit too much going on at the moment, I will have to reassess in a couple months.

Full bodied beer with low but adequate carbonation. The texture is smooth across the tongue. Long but pleasant finish.

Decent drinkability despite the slight clashing of flavors. I am not going to sit and drink several but it is no chore to enjoy one. I look forward to seeing how this one turns out. I am slightly disappointed at the product at the moment but feel this one has the potential to end up quite tasty.

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

appearance: deep dark black, stout like, nearly ebony, loaded head, nice lacing

smell: chocolate backed up with some hops

taste: interesting... complex, lots going on with the multi mixed ingreidents. Dark malt flavoers with tons of hop presence. coffee, chocolate, raisins, brown sugar, toffee etc...

mouthfeel: medium bodied

drinkability: Despite some spotty reviews. I dig this beer. If you had to classify it it would be closest to an Imperial Black Ale. an off aftertase kept this from being an A+

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Photo of robwestcott
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

served cold from the tap and poured to a standard pint a deep amber brown with a thin off white short lasting head with nice retention and lace to the rim.

aroma of mild hops and big malts. interesing balance.

wow. great big beer. big piney hops readily evident - but quickly followed by thick roasty chocolate malts. difficult to pick out the varied flavors given the balanced blend.

smooth, creamy, big bodied, bitter hops forward followed by sweet-ish malts.

drinkable - yes, but only if you plan to stay put awhile.

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Photo of Lolli1315
2.63/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A- Dark brown character with ruby highlights with a resilient ivory to light tan head made of medium sized bubbles. Head still keeps put as there is noticeable lacing that is clinging to the sides of the glass.

S- Hops jump out almost immediately with a piney and earthy character to them. Limited amounts of roasted and bready malt. Noticeable alcohol character emerges and fills out the smell.

T- Beginning of the beer starts with a quick malt undertone that quickly escalates into a large roasty spike that seems slightly unwarranted with a cluster of hops that is slightly harsh. The taste develops into an increasingly harsh alcohol character that feels as if it is continually raising. Some chocolate begins to develop more as the beer warms.

M- Medium body with an almost creamy feel to the mouth, but with a noticeable carbonation bite on the tongue.

D- There just seems to be way too much going on in this beer. I know that the point of this beer was to resemble a homebrewer who is just pulling together left over ingredients, but this is a mess in my opinion. Nice thought, but I think that it should be more important to put together a solid beer rather than throwing together a bunch of mismatching ingredients.

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Photo of steevo
4.32/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy black-brown. Tan head.

S: Pine, citrus, soil, and burnt sugar.

T: Sweetness, then bitterness kicks the door open. The hops linger for a little while. A fruity sweetness at the end.

M: Well-carbonated. Hop resins hang on nicely.

D: There's a lot going on with this one, which is typical of Bell's. As I'm not craving another right now, I think one is just enough.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.61/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Single bottle picked up at Discount Liquor. Served in a Darkness snifter.

A - Pours with two fingers of tan foam with superb retention, and glass-coating lace. It eventually settles to a thick chunky cap. The body is an opaque very dark brown color, with some bubbles clinging to the bottom of the glass. For what is described as a "strong brown ale", this is about as good as it gets.

S - It's a nice mix of cocoa, floral hops, some dark roasted and earthy grains, maybe a faint whiff of citrus. As it warms there's some spicy estery alcohol and anise that comes out. I think I liked it better cold.

T - Taste is booze-soaked fruits, anise, some dark chocolate, and some smoky roasted grains. I don't like this quite as much as the nose, but not enough to give it a lower score. Finishes with some herbaceous bitterness.

M - Very chewy, sticky, medium-full body, low carbonation, a little bit of alcohol warmth. Finishes with mouth-coating residual sugars.

D - It took me a while to work through a 12oz bottle, and I probably won't re-visit this one for a few years (if at all). Better than 8000, but not up to the quality level set by 6000 and 7000. You can actually perceive some of the kitchen-sink approach used for this one.

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Photo of pzrhsau
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A nice rich deep brown color, opaque, with a touch of coffee colored head.
S: Nice blend of hops and sweet malt that mix to create a very earth aroma that really tickles the nostrils.
T: Nice dry spiciness. Very earth and flavorful with an eclectic blend of malt that creates a lot of different flavors that I can pick out. Very good strong ale.
D/M: Fantastic beer, clearly made with a blend of top top notch ingredients. It really has a sugary weight to it which lends itself to cellar aging. I did this with the batch 9000 (which i still have 3 bottles of) and have not been disappointed.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked this up at Al's of Hampden poured cool into a goblet.

The ale is dark medium brown with ecru cap which is about 3/4 inch thick the retention is very good and the bead is tiny. the lace sticks well and the clarity is murky. Aromas of earthy, fragrant hops with slight floral attributes are apparent. the smell of rich toasty malt with gentle toffee-like sweet notes are present as well. The yeast accents the sweet and mild spicy malt elements well. I notice a slight bright slightly fruity tinge from the hops and the alcohol is low in the aroma. I consider the mouthfeel to be balanced with the hops and malt working together with smooth sweetness and moderately carbonated texture. The bitterness supports the malt body well and there is a light spice from the hops with gentle dry edge of malt emerging toward the finish. The feel is clean overall with yeast accentuating the malt and alcohol is warming after the swallow.

I like the balance in the flavor which is layered between the mild hop which is piney and slight herbal tinged. There is moderate caramel and fruit in the malt w/ subtle toasted taste and a mild graininess. The hop flavor seems more fruity than citrus to me with a bitterness that becomes more noticeable as it increases in temperature. A slight woody accent in the flavor which is smooth with a mild graham cracker type of flavor from the malts leads to an alcohol which comes out as the beer nears cellar temp w/ light toffee-like dark sugar in the taste. There is mild spice and nuttiness which seems to come from the malt addign complexity.

I didn't know what to expect really from this other than lots of malt and hops based on Bell's description and it is really a pretty decent strong brown. It fits how the brewer intended to make use of as many ingredients as possible -like a homebrewer's hodge-podge recipe, however it works well for me. I found the hops to not conflict at all and even though you don't get individual flavors from the malts or hops you are aware while tasting it is a serious blend of an array of ingredients. The ale is pretty easy to enjoy and I would drink it again, this is a tasty brew that I think works and has very little in the way of glaring errors. It could have been a mess, but I don't think of it that way. I liked this better than 9,000th batch-to me it was a good way to end the series.

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Photo of scottyshades
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a thick opaque brown color with a creamy khaki head. Retention is ok

S: Lots of dark fruit, toffee, caramel, raisin, earthy hops. Touch of lactose, caramel malts. Kind of boozy

T: Similar to the nose. Lots of dark chocolate/ bittersweet chocolate. Bitterness from the hops. Toffee, caramel, rum soaked raisins, and a little booze

MF/D: viscous, kind of dry, bitter sum soaked raisin finish

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Photo of ToAzwethinkweizm
3.87/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Date: 21 January 2011
Glass: Standard 10oz snifter
Type: 12fl oz bottle

Temperature is 55 deg F, poured easy, 2-finger head that reduces to thin film with a bubbly center, extremely even and rather sticky lacing. Color is a deep clear black, with crimson hue when held up to the light. Aroma of brewer's licorice, heavily roasted coffee, slight bittersweet chocolate, obviously dark malts, and lots of smoked malts. Taste is described exactly the same. Slight bittering hops detected. You must construct additional pylons. Mouthfeel is bitter like black coffee -- my preference! Not very boozy. Fairly drinkable. Carbonation is less than normal. I have 2 bottles ready to sit on for many years to come.

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Bell's Batch 10000 from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 3.83 out of 5 with 789 ratings
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