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

Batch 10,000Batch 10,000
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American Strong Ale
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: 406 | Ratings: 796
Photo of tectactoe
3.84/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the Oak Cafe. Pours a deep-ass ruby-red color, completely opaque in the middle, shiny with mahogany hints when held up to the light. Tan colored head, thick and puffy, exceptional lacing left all around the glass. Aroma is that of smoked wood, smoke logs, and campfire. Some deep, dark fruits are hidden in the background; bitter raisins and plums so over-ripe they fall apart in your hand. Some perfume-like florals are floating around, tying everything together.

The taste is the heaviest in the smoke department. Smoked grains tend to be very strong, even if they are used sparingly in the grain bill. Smoke is definitely the most prominent flavor here, but it's not a heavy, nasty smoke - it's very smooth and acceptable. Wood chips, oak notes, booze-soaked tree bark comes to mind. Very deep in the finish I can find some chocolate hints, but more of a bitter, pure, sugarless cocoa-bean and not so much like a candy bar. It's actual quite enjoyable when picked up on. Mouth is very creamy with a medium-thick body. The finish is slightly bitter, ending with some noticeable hops; floral, ashy, and somewhat dry.

Reminds me of a more robust, slightly sweeter Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier. Not quite as drinkable, though. Some more woody notes and tones are present here as well. Overall, pretty enjoyable. Booze is noticeable but certainly doesn't feel like 9.20% ABV.

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Photo of Gobzilla
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: poured a dark brown in color with brown highlights and a thin khaki head that left a little lacing sticking to the glass.

S: nice sweet aroma which consisted of caramel, molasses, a little brown sugar, nice nutty notes, hints of booze in the background, light toasty malts peeking through and underlying dark fruit notes.

T: like the nose suggested it was also quite sweet on the palate as well filled with plenty of toffee, caramel and molasses, nice nutty accents, signs of hop character, toasty malts a touch of dark fruits and mild chocolate flavor.

M: the brew was medium in body with a fair amount of carbonation which had a dark fruity, nutty, sweet, slightly boozy and semi creamy finish.

O: I thought it was pretty good all around but didn't really stand out from the bunch that were sampled that evening.

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Photo of harrymel
2.51/5  rDev -35.1%
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 oline73
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
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 Treebs
3.55/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle served in a Surly Darkness tulip.

A: Pours a dark plum color with a light tan forming on the pour. It recedes to a whispy collar that leaves some soapy lace down the glass.

S: Some slight smoke with a touch charred wood. Dark fruit flavors with a little grape aspect to it. Roasted mix nicely with some green hops. Very intriguing.

T: Some roasted malts with charred wood flavor. There is a slight twinge of smoke and some minimal dark fruits flavors, but this guy is all malt. The finish is astringent with some dried cereal grain malt sweetness.

M: Medium bodied with a full mouthfeel. Medium low carbonation and a drying finish.

O: This guy was all malt with a touch of dark fruits. Slightly sweet and smokey as well. It was pretty decent, but nothing I'd want to revisit in the future.

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

Well, I say that this has a scent like grape kool-aid. Yes. I did say that. Perhaps I've had enough brews today that at any point, some oversized walking pitcher of abnormally colored beverage is going to come crashing through the wall. Or maybe I know what I'm talking about.

Nice hearty flavor profile on there. Seem to be black ale tones evident and the very slightest hint of a Belgian ale on there too. Sure, it's nice. Happy 10,000th batch Bells.

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Photo of Etan
3.46/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle shared by Ravot. Thanks!

A: Pours a reddish brown with a small tan head.

S: Slight maple, smoke, light dry fruitiness. A bit of an unpleasant burnt smell on the end.

T: Old cidery hops, molasses, heavy smoked malt, plum flesh, chocolate, char.

M: Medium-bodied, moderate carbonation.

O: Not bad, but the sheer amount of malt and hop varieties get lost in a muddle.

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Photo of raznug
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: It pours a dark brown color and is topped with 3/4" of dark tannish head that fades kind of like I expected it to.
Smell: t smells of roasted and chocolate notes and maybe hints of dark fruits. It is kind of sweet smelling, there is a small amount of alcohol burn to it.
Taste: Roasted malts and a nutty flavor dominate the taste of this beer but there is a brown sugar and dark fruit hints that help me really love this beer. No alcohol burn which was surprising.
Mouthfeel: This is a bit on the thick side kind of sweet but a slightly dry finish.

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Photo of Jesse13713
3.28/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this years ago, but my buddy Aw Yeh kept ten or so in his cellar and brought one over for me. Poured into a Maudite Tulip glass.

Appearance - A stunted half chocolate/vanilla head that fades in a flash. This beer leaves no retention at the surface at all. The lacing reminds me of an ant farm. This beer is a caramel-like dark brown that appears black under certain light.

Smell - Strong notes of oats and barley. Extremely earthy. Nutty for sure, just like Planter's peanuts right out of the tin. Flat hop profile with some other aromas that I can't quite pinpoint. A bit of an alcoholic burn.

Taste - This things packs a whole bunch of nuts, and a whole lot of alcohol. A smooth, creamy concoction of toffee and butterscotch. The aftertaste is a lesser nutty butty. A tad smoky in the finish with some hop bitterness as well. Extremely unique and aggressively complex.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability - Medium-bodied, though some may consider it heavy. A smooth burn with a creamy body; like getting a lady of the night. (Alright, I'm getting a little drunk.) This beer must be partnered with Planter's peanuts and Werther's hard candies, because that's about what sums up the body. This is definitely a slow sipper that one should not expect to finish in less than a half an hour.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a very dark brown with a finger of frothy khaki colored head. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some good lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of roasted chocolate and other dark malts with some dark fruits, brown sugar, caramel, pine and earthy hops, vanilla, and some booze.

T - Starts off with some roasted chocolate and other dark malts with some raisin, prune, and other dark fruits, molasses, and a bit of citrus hops. Through the middle, some pine hop comes through with a touch of bitterness, brown sugar, more caramel malts, and a touch of vanilla sweetness. The finish is a mix of dark caramel malts with some brown sugar, citrus hops, dark fruit, and some booze.

M - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth and slightly thick with a warming and sweet finish.

D - Very drinkable. Nice complex malt profile with enough body and other flavors to balance out really nicely.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.91/5  rDev +1%
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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Photo of Dope
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A very dark brown pour with a big dense darker tan head. Fades slowly, leaving very nice lacing behind.

S: Lots of toasted malt. A bit nutty. Brown sugar, toffee and caramel. Touch of fig.

T: Toasted malt up front and throughout. A little but of nuts but then lots of brown sugar and finally toffee. Nutty/toffee/smoky finish. Some lingering creamy coffee bitterness in the aftertaste. Slight hints of raisin and fig everywhere.

M: Somewhat thick and a little creamy. A bit drying from the bitter finish.

O: Definitely an imperial brown ale if there ever was one. Tasty and sharp flavors, I bet it would be even better with a little time to mellow it out. I really enjoyed it fresh, regardless.

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Photo of WankelEngine
3.62/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter

A: Pours a dark brown opaque color with a foamy light tan head of 2 fingers. There is decent retention with some spotty lacing.

S: Dark fruity sweet flavors. Notes of fig and raisin are prominent. Very malty with aromas of toffee and a little bit of caramel. Some earthy oak smell as well.

T: Fairly sweet with an emphasis on malts. Dark fruit flavors meld with candy sugar and molasses. Again, toffee and caramel. There is a good bit of hops which add an earthy and grassy tone. Similar in many ways to an old ale. There are also some alcohol and oak flavors. A bit of bitterness in the finish.

M: Relatively thick. Mild soft carbonation.

O: Interesting execution with 60 different types of hops and 100 fermentables. Malty and earthy with a bitter finish.

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

Served in a pint glass at Mellow Mushroom in Charlottesville. From notes. Reviewed 9 July 2011.

A: Nice creamy head; off-white. Susceptible to light, but not translucent. Red-brown edges with a dark core.

S: Vanilla. Oak. Quite nice. Old ale style yeast.

T: Weird, but good. Quite strong and kind of funky. Malty -- caramelly sweet -- with an odd drying sourness. I really like it, but maybe it's not for everyone.

M: Smooth, sweet, and a tad dry-tart. Real nice.

O: Great beer. An oddity, but very worthwhile. Will have again. Definitely recommended.

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Photo of greenmonstah
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown with ruby hues, a one finger tan head.

S - Dark fruit sweetness, toffee, a touch of spice. Lightly hopped.

T - Sweet as can be with a bit of alcohol heat. Slightly spiced and has a bit of hop bitterness. Reminiscent of a Belgian Strong Dark Ale but with a great deal less spice and little yeast flavor. Chocolatey raisin finish. Very satisfying, if slightly puzzling.

M - Medium to full body, slightly cloying. Smooth.

O - A fine beer overall, but not mind-blowing. This would make a great addition to the regular Bell's lineup, but as a special release it leaves me wanting more. I'd drink this on occasion if it were an option.

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Photo of morimech
3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown color with noticeable yeast sediment coming out of the bottle. One finger of head forms and hangs around for quite awhile before settling to a thick cap. Sheets of lacing is left behind on the glass during consumption.

Aroma of sweet malt, mostly caramel and toffee notes. Hops add a touch of citrus and earthiness. Also pick up some wood and nuts. Alcohol is detectable but mostly hidden.

Interesting flavor. I get sweet malt adding notes of brown sugar and caramel. A little too sweet. Hops come through a lot more in the flavor than the aroma with a citrus burst. Notes of smoke, anise, and earth as well. Alcohol adds some warmth but not much detectable flavor.

Solid body and good carbonation. Nice smooth texture. Feels like a 9% ABV beer.

Overall an enjoyable beer from a hodgepodge of ingredients. Did not come together as successfully as past efforts but maybe it gets better with age.

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Photo of GbVDave
3.57/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a dark rye bread brown with a slim dark brown layer of foam on top. Retention was decent but the beer just kinda lays there, all ugly like.

S: Nice aromas of dark fruit, burnt grains, booze, rye, and tobacco.

T: First flavors were of a stale, stinky cigar butt. As it warms, things improve slightly but this seems pretty unpolished.

M: Plenty sticky and smooth with a nice spicy layer at the end.

O: I'm glad they stopped the Batch Series here. The last two entries were downers. Not sure the "kitchen sink" approach was the right thing for this beer.

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Photo of Zachtheporter
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into an Estrellla glass.

A- Pours a very deep dark brown that gives off a reddish almost magenta Hugh when held up to the light. Has a thick tan head that dissipates down into a thin lacing and a ring around the edges of the glass.

S- Dark fruits, sweet molasses cookies, sugary grape jam, graham crackers, rich bread, Overly milky cocoa, burnt sugar, cherries, and light rum.

T- somewhat bitter sweet. Rich sweet breadiness gives off the taste of jelly covered tarts slight hazelnut hints like nutella spread over 7-grain bread. there are also notes of dates and sour grapes as well. Slight nutty toastiness meshes well with the sweet taste of dark fruits for the finish.

M- Rich strong feel to it with a crispness from the carbonation. I realized after I wrote this that it truely dose feel "strong" which is very fitting for the style.

O- A very delicious and a very rich Strong ale. The emphasis in this one seems to be a bit more on toastiness and breadiness rather than the fruitiness observed in quite a few American strong ales. Really wish I was able to get my hands on more of this stuff at a cheaper price.

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Photo of Ungertaker
4.22/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a New Belgium globe.

A- deep black with a 1/16" white head. Light penetration reveals a reddish brown hue. The head retains throughout and leaves a slow-receding lacing.

S- dark fruit, caramel, toasted raisin bread

T- Raisins and sugar cookies start it off. They quickly transition to a bitterness that is similar to coca nibs, along with a tobacco. A strong black licorice and a light alcohol burn finish this brew off.

M- The mouthfeel is light to medium. The carbonation level is above average.

O- This beer is starting to come around. The last time I had it (right after release), it was much less blended. I think more time will do this even better.

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Photo of BogusOwnz
3.47/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into tulip figure it's about a year old now.

A. This beer pours a very dark brown with half a finger head.

S. if there was a generic hop smell this would be it. A tiny bit of chocolate comes through but nothing much. I can smell alcohol in this beer as well

T. The taste is bitter, hint of chocolate and a tiny bit dried fruit character but not enough to really be present. The finish is a bit solventy.

M. It is a very chewy beer it drinks like some 10%+ beers.

O. This beer was a good beer a year ago and good but not great beer six months ago. Age does not do this beer well as it doesn't seem to know what it wants to be when it grows up. This isn't a drain pour but drinking this while waiting from some fresh stone ipa to cool down in the freezer is turning into a regret.

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Photo of claaark13
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a 10oz Bell's tulip. Consumed at time of review.

A - Very dark brown with a fairly thick head. Retention is very good.

S - Dark malts, smokiness in the background. There is almost a hoppy aroma coming through that confuses me.

T - Dark malts, slightly sweet middle that turns into a mild, malty and roast finish. Licorice/raisin comes out in the middle as well. There is a slight chocolate that comes out.

M - On the lighter side of medium. This could improve.

O - I don't think the flavors have come together quite yet. I think this is at an odd stage where the malts are coming through the hops, similar to a 2yr old Barleywine. I am excited to see what happens to this in another 2 years or so. Things could get very interesting. But, as it stands, I would highly suggest cellaring this beer for some more time.

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Photo of syrupjoe
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoying this brew while watching the 2011 NFC championship game. Pours a deep amber color with no particulates. Creamy light tan head.

Nose: Malt, molasses, booze, dried plum, slightly savory, slight roast, and a bit of smoke.

Taste: Smoke, booze, honey, malt, bread, dark fruit. Bold and well-rounded flavor profile while being very drinkable. High alcohol is rather well concealed.

Overall an interesting and approachable brew that presents a simple yet well-rounded flavor profile. Booze is noticeable, but I would not have pegged it as more than 9% ABV. Would drink again and am curious to see how it tastes in a year or two.

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Photo of bound4er
3.43/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A. Dark brown appearance with a fluffy, two finger tan head that leaves lots of sticky lacing. Nice looking stuff.

S. The first thing that comes to mind when I take a big whiff is barleywine. There is nuttiness here along with notes of figs and dates.

T. Not a whole lot of flavor interest on the initial attack - some dark caramel and raisin. It then moves quickly to a coffee infused bitterness on the back end that lingers for quite a long time.

M. Nice overall feel and adequate carbonation.

O. This beer is very average in taste. It looks nice and smells decent but just leaves a bit too much lingering bitterness for my tastes.

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to Heff316 for this generous offering

Look: Dark brown with a 1/4 inch tan head and good retention with some great spotty lacing

Smell: Dark fruits a bit of chocolate caramel and a kiss of alcohol

Taste: Some caramel malt makes up the foreground while dark fruits especially figs make up the mid palate and the beer finishes with some great coffee notes

Mouthfeel: Medium+ body and medium to mild carbonation

Overall: Really good example of the style. Highly recommended

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Photo of ChrisPro
4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted blind as part of Blind BIF #6

Beer #11: 12 oz poured into a Victory tulip

A - Gorgeous dark mahogany with a cratered two finger head that recedes slowly. The lacing is an evermoving work of art. 5.0

S - Leather, molasses, caramel; Some earthy grass notes (possibly a dry hopped english barleywin?) -- I think fuggles. Also a little lemon and earl grey tea. Possibly an Old ale here as this really reminds me of Adam, Matt and Batch 9000. Anxious to see if i get any barrel as it warms up...Hmm a hint of apple leads me to apple brandy = Matt...After more time, it does get fruitier, but it's more dark fruit notes, making me think this is just great oxidation - port and sherry notes. Tons going on here. 4.5

T - Touch of smoke and chocolate. Wow, big huge smokey finish. This is much more bitter and ashy than I got from the aroma. I just keep thinking Adam on this beer. Color works and my mind just keeps going back to HOTD. There's just a hint of cardboard oxidation that is coming out as it warms. Still great, but possibly just peaked. 4.0

M - Nearly perfect carbonation. Medium body and just a hint of heat. It's a double digit beer for sure, but I can't taste it...This beer is NOT fresh. Slightly dryer than I want on the finish. 4.0

O - Super complex beer. Lovely balance of sweet, smokey and bitter and something I love. Adam is one of my all time favorite beers and if this is not that beer, then this is up there with me. I'm not 100% convinced it's Adam, but I'd be mad if I didn't guess it and recognize it. 4.0

Final guess: I've gotta go HOTD Adam, but guessing it's fairly old.

The reveal: Bell's batch 10000

Wow, this beer has come a LONG way from fresh. It also oxidized very quickly. I was not a fan of this beer fresh, but I would happily drink it again. Also funny because in a previous BIF I thought Batch 9000 was Matt. Thanks, Scott!

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Batch 10,000 from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 796 ratings