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

very good
403 Reviews
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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.

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Reviews: 403 | Ratings: 785
Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very dark brown with a tiny white head, and lace drops on the side. Barleywinish aroma. The taste starts sweet, and I think it's an old ale. Then after a few sips, the hops build up and its very hoppy. So its a strong ale, leaving a tingle on the tongue in the end. Unique, decent drinkability.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Pellinore1 for sending me this one!

Pours an opaque and murky dark brown with a 1 inch puffy khaki head that settles to a small cap. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, brown sugar, and some subdued citrus zest. Taste is of toasted malt, brown sugar, molasses, and citrus zest. There is a burnt/roast flavor that comes out as the beer warms. A mild citrus zest bitterness lingers on the palate after each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and slightly sticky mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good that reminds me very much of a barleywine. I am glad I got to try one of these.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer isn't exactly has intense has I expected. The appearance of this beer is a dark brown color with a yellowish head. The aromas are interesting, it's sweet smelling like a typical barley wine, it's got some herbs in there too. The flavor is hoppy to start and sweet and dry in the finish. This beer isn't as complex as the 9,000 in my opinion. I like the mouthfeel, it's slighty heavy but it's smooth and pretty drinkable. This beer is good but I feel the 9,000 was much better.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

And with the heavy advertisment of 100 different malts and 60 different hops, what does that translate into flavor, or aroma, or the oveall impression of the beer over a half-hour session with it?

The pour brings a very froathy, heady pour of deep russet brown color with crimson highlights. A tan-stained head sits atop with a froathy/foamy structure. Very simialar to many Strong Ales that I've had, like Arrogant Bastard Ale.

Strong aromas of brown sugar and citrus/pine scented hops swirl in the nose, also with a kick of alcohol that makes it very brandy-like. There's probably a lot of estery fruitiness and spice comming from the yeast but with that malt and hop influence, who's to know?

Flavors definately preference the malts early on wtih the rich flavors of molasass, brown sugar, and toffee. There's definately a lot of specialty malt sweetenss, complexity, and depth working here. The flavors of malt have a brief but not sudden way of transering taste to a malty-dry toasty taste that commands the mid palate. After that, there's a good jolt of resinty, citrus hops that give the sensation of white grapefruit, pine, and fresh cut grass. But in the end, all of that malty-sugary, toasty, zesty citrus character swirl together in a melting pot of taste- leading into a complex, if not congregated aftertaste.

All of these flavors invite the notion of thickness or heaviness. But the mouthfeeel reveals a malty-dry sensation after the sweeter, stickier early palate. A moderate tone is stricken when the molasass sweet feel frees up with the toasty dryness, and then carries into the piney dry hoppiness and the alcoholic evaporation. The beer does a 180 in mouthfeel from the second it hits the palate 'til 3 seconds later when it hits the aftertaste.

Undoubtedly a very rich and complex beer. But with the onset of sweet and a long development to semi-dry, lingering resiny character, and green alcohols, I'll say that the jury is out until this beer cellars for a year or eight.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle.

This beer pours a clear dark ruby red hue, with one finger foamy of beige head, which leaves a nice broken sprectral lace paint job around the glass as it settles. It smells of faint caramel malt, pine sol, yeast, and earthy hops. The taste is edgy, somewhat medicinal caramel malt, a moderately smoky, salty, peaty character, and bitter leafy hops. The carbonation is average, if a bit zippy, the body medium weight, and mildly assaulted. It finishes bitter, smoky, and a bit uplifted and airy.

It took a while to figure this one out - smoked beer, really. Ok, then, not too shabby but still rather challenging.

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Photo of brentk56
3.82/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: After a vigorous pour, I was able to rouse a finger's worth of head on this ice tea brown-colored beer; leaves surprisingly good lacing, too

Smell: Really piney, though underneath there is a minty, herbal element

Taste: While there is a hint of smokey, caramel malt, up front, the piney hops take over, right away, bringing the minty, herbal element along with them by mid-palate; after the swallow, the sweeter, brown sugared malt aspect (which was always there - I just hadn't noticed right away) begins to emerge and lingers, just underneath, right through to the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: This is a slumgullion of a beer, with all the malts and hops that were indiscriminately added; it is interesting to see what the combination produces, but I don't quite think I would be interested in trying it again - the flavors just are all over the place

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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 emerge077
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2010: 3.33
Dark crimson in the meniscus, fading upwards into darkness. Thick lid of sticky foam, etching itself onto the inside of the glass. Lasts a good while, garnering an attractive appearance score.

Aroma of overripe fruit, cantaloupe, melon, raisin and bready malts. Initial whiff of faint wildness manifesting as notes of horsehair and leather. Call me crazy.

Tastes ok, but muddy and indistinct. Pretty hoppy, pretty malty, what is it? Long residual pine aftertaste from the hops used, big caramel/specialty malt body, but ultimately uninteresting. Generic "Strong Ale" profile, not burly and rich as a Barleywine might be. Even carbonation, feels a bit light for the ABV, but i'm apprehensive about cellaring. Big "meh" for 10,000, Bells is capable of greater things.

2016: time has mellowed it significantly. Smooth malt bomb with notes of dark rye bread crusts and a background floral hop bitterness. Overall it's more enjoyable than fresh, would give it a 3.75.

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Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a jet-black color with a very small, tan head of foam. It left some soapy trails of lace.

S - It smelled smoky with a roasted malt aroma. It had mild floral notes, too.

T - Boozy first sip with a good deal of smoke. The smoke does mellow out and leave behind a roasted malt flavor with chocolate, toffee and a subtle hop bite.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a fairly dry finish.

D - This was a constantly evolving beer. Each sip was different than the previous.

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Photo of oline73
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Appearance: This beer pours a very dark brown color with a half finger of tan head. The head sticks around throughout the pour, and leaves some lacing on the glass. 4.5

Smell: I'm getting some hops up front with a strong dark fruit sweetness in the background. Lots of malt, but the hops still stand out. The sweetness is way less than bottle #1. 4

Taste: Like bottle #1, there is a strong sweet malt presence, but here there is a hop bitterness throughout each sip. I'm getting some caramel/molasses along with a mild smokey note. The finish is quite bitter from grassy hops. 4

Mouthfeel: The body is on the thick and syrupy side of medium, but not nearly as thick as bottle #1. Lots of tingly carbonation and a dry finish. 4

Overall: I enjoyed this beer, but not quite as much as bottle #1. The bitterness could have been a bit smoother. I would definitely have another one in the future. I'm going to guess this is a fresh, non barrel aged version of the beer in bottle #1, but who knows. 4

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Photo of Thorpe429
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle thanks to gr8134. Served in a wine glass.

Pours a dark chestnut brown with a good head and some spotty lacing. The nose is semi-sweet with a bit of anise. There is a light hoppy character there as well with some lighter pine and floral notes.

The taste has a bit of light woody and earthy character along with some mild anise seed and molasses. Earthy and piney hops there as well. Some pretty good bitterness in the mid-palate and finish. Finish is definitely dry, and it's surprisingly crisp for how heavy the beer is otherwise. Drinkability is pretty good. Interested to see where this goes.

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Photo of oberon
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Mellow in Greensboro.Poured into a twelve ounce glass a deep mahogany color with well formed one finger tannish colored head.Bitter chocolate and deep dark fruit aromas,the malt really stands out and is complex,there is a light pine note in back as well.Dark fruit and leather stood out most to me on the palate,there is a resiny hop quality underneath but sweet malt dominates.Good flavor but it can get a bit sweet after a bit,still a nice sipper from K-zoo.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

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Photo of jlindros
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had at SMBDC growler/bottle tasting thanks to BlessedBeBeer.

A: Light creamy head, dark molasses brown color.

N: Dark brown malts, brown sugar, molasses, dark malts, nutty malts, light creamy malts, light earthy hops, light chocolate.

T: Dark malts, earthy hops, chewy brown malts, toasty, brown sugar, bitter earthy hops, light caramel and molasses, light chocolate malts, bit nutty.

M: Med to heavier bodied, decent carbonation.

O: good, dark malts, earthy hops, balanced and tasty, hides the booze pretty well too.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: bottle at Eulogy, Philly, PA

Not quite as distinctive or tasty as the 9000 batch. Still good though. Dark brown color, dark fruits and roasted malts in the aroma and taste. A little more bitter and alcohol-y I thought; lacking in the smoothness that the 9000 had. But again, it's Bell's, and you can't really go wrong with them.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.66/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours out a dark brown, near black body with a tall, foaming beige-colored head with some shimmering elements to the bubbles, like on a parking lot oil slick.

Smell: An aromatic deployment of variably roasted grains, pithy citrus peelings, additional dark fruits, bitter chocolate chunks, and a bit of alcohol used to remove a sticky pine resin stain.

Taste: Bittersweet chocolate, then painfully, almost cruelly burnt bread crusts with a quick bit of caramel and a spoonful of store-brand coffee ice cream. Next up is char, then some more char, and then some earthy pine bark and anise. Roasty and moderately bitter. An acrid pinch here and there. Various fruity tastes, including citrus flavors try to come forward, but they're spackled over by the charriness. Bittersweet, charry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation. Some chewiness in the mouthfeel.

Overall: It's fine. I suppose a kitchen sink amalgamation approach is a fitting way to close out the Bell's Batch series. For me, it comes across as being in the vicinity of a Black IPA or even that Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary Jack & Kens Ale.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very deep brown with a smallish tan colored head. Not much retention, quickly dissipating to a ring of foam on the top. Large bubbly, lacing forms on the sides.

S: A little bit of citrus hops, some toffee, a little bit of a nutty aroma, a little bit of wood, and a hint of smoke.

T: An interesting combination of flavors. Some caramel and toffee, a bit of coffee, brown sugar, a little bit of floral hops. The smoke returns right at the end again.

M: Medium to full bodied with low carbonation. Slight hint of alcohol, but overall well hidden.

O: Pretty good, better than I was expecting. Liked it better than 9000, but not something I am dying to have again.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured ]maybe a half inch head on top. This faded quickly leaving nothing but some residual lace on the side of the glass.

Alot of alcohol mixed in with an oak) and alot of sweet smells. Some caramel and a touch of some hosp perhaps. Very intresting smell, almost had a syrup like aroma.

Decent hoppy finish, with a big malt back. Lots of sweet tones, again had a syrup like taste, lots of earthy flavors, and a nice maple and vanilla tone. Vanilla became more pronounced as it warmed, but was never bothersome.

really nicely done, i wish i had more to be honest.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
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 billab914
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish snifter. It poured a dark brown color with a thin, bubbly, lacing scattered across the top of the beer. What head it started with lasted pretty well into drinking it, and left a bit of lacing on the sides of the glass as well.

The aroma has a lot of flavors going on. Some brown sugar and molasses sweetness mix with some roasty coffee and resiny, piny, hop bitterness. I get a decent amount of smoke out of it as well, which I like. I'm not sure all the flavors integrate perfectly, but they seem pretty balanced in that none of them overpower the beer.

The taste has a lot of flavors going on as well. It starts with some of the sweeter, brown sugar, malty flavors. Midway the smoke really starts to come out before the citrusy and bitter hops come through in the finish. I get a bit of a roasty, coffee flavor in the finish as well. The smoke flavor is particularly nice in it, and pretty interesting along with the citrusy hoppiness.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. For the style and abv%, it could have been a little heavier with less carbonation in my opinion. Drinkability was pretty good though, as I said I really liked the smoke in it. It had a lot going on it, sometimes it felt like a little bit too much but overall I enjoyed it a lot.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.11/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Derek for sending me a couple bottles of this.

A: The pour is a clear dark amber color with a soapy off-white head.

S: Smells kind of like what I expected: a clusterfuck of hops and malts. Despite what is likely a very small percentage of the grain bill, the smoke/peat malts are quite strong. There's a bit of a citrus aroma, which is nice enough. Some mild coffee, toffee, and molasses.

T: Weirdly sweet right on the front but the smoke comes on quite strongly after that. A moderate hop bitterness, especially on the finish. Strong molasses flavor and some burnt sugar and very toasty. There's a strangely rubber-like flavor to this beer, too.

M: The body is medium to full with a moderate level of carbonation.

D: Just way too smokey and oddly rubbery. Not really a fan of this one. I'll try to age this one and see if it changes at all.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Half Acre shaker pint glass.

It was an added surprise to find singles o' this when I showed up to grab my bottle of Rare BCS. It pours an almost opaque maroon topped by a half-finger of dirty ecru foam. The nose comprises watermelon bubblegum, toffee, light vinyl, and lavender. Okay, I have no idea what to expect from this aroma: It's not really good, but it's also not repulsive. It is, though, very intriguing. The taste holds notes of rubber, tobacco, smoky toffee, mandarin oranges, and a light whiff of menthol. Again, things are all over the place, confusing the judgment center of my brain. The body is a straight medium (I have no idea how), with a light moderate carbonation and an almost chewy feel. Overall, this may be the most confusing and confused beer I've ever imbibed. And, frankly, I can't say much more than that until my mind is restored to normal working order. I'll get back to you in a few weeks...

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Photo of mdfb79
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had tonight at the Galaxy Hut in Arlington, VA. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a deep mahogany color with two inches of tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Head is a bit frothy and has decent retention.

s - Smells of dark fruit, roasted malts, chocolate, and bready malts

t - Tastes of roasted malts, chocolate, dark fruits, and alcohol. A slight step down from the nose.

m - Medium to full body and moderate carbonation, smooth body.

d - A lot better than batch 9000, but still not a great strong ale. A little too boozy for me. Glad I got to try it but wouldn't look to have again.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is dark brown hued, with crimson highlights. Atop the beer rests 1/4" of tan head that leaves a fair amount of lacing in its wake. The beer smells of sweet malt, caramels, dark fruits, and alcohol. The flavor is pretty sweet, with additional notes of toffee candies. I imagine this brew would likely develop well if cellared for two or three years. Alcohol presence is noticeable throughout, though not overwhelming. The finish warms the throat, and leaves lingering tastes of dark fruits soaked in booze. A decent beer, I would be curious to try it again in a couple of years.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.91/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a Kate the Great snifter. Bottled 11/16/2010.

Appearance - Deep chocolate brown body with a nice khaki head. Fills the remainder of the glass. Good bit clings to the glass, too. Nice.

Smell - Nutty malts and a generic hop aroma. Maybe some booze. Not the most interesting nose.

Taste - Pretty nice. Imposing malt flavor right at the start. Nutty malts that very on chocolatey. Thick and creamy throughout until it has a bitter finish. Herbal and grassy finish. Not unpleasant. Keeps it from feeling like a weak stout.

Mouthfeel - Again, interesting. Thick and viscous until the finish, where it dries out. Keeps it drinkable, although the only flavor remaining on the palate is the herbal bitterness.

Overall - This is pretty nice. Quality beer. Maybe a bit boozy, but nice flavors all around. Better than the 25th Anniversary I had yesterday.

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Bell's Batch 10000 from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.8 out of 5 based on 785 ratings.
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