Dismiss Notice
Introducing: Project Extreme Brewing (a Dogfish Head + BeerAdvocate project)

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

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 789 |  Reviews: 403
Photo of avalon07
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a dark brown color with ruby tints, and a thick, cloudy consistency. There was a half inch of foamy, somewhat long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: An interesting aroma of hops, coffee, malt, and a sugary component.

T: Tasted of hops up front, roasted coffee, a nice maltiness, and some chocolate. A fascinating melange of a flavor. Can't really figure out what it's supposed to be, but it is tasty.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a smooth, dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: A strangely drinkable beer.

 544 characters

Photo of Gehrig
3.96/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I grabbed this at the excellent Piccadilly at The Crossing in Champaign yesterday, especially after the manager told me that Bell's apparently won't be making any more special batches like this. A pity, for these Batch gems really grew on me.

A thick, durable finger of tan foam tops a muddy brown body with ruby-mahogany trim. Loads of lacing on the pint glass. Not as big of a nose as I expected for all the goods in here; boozy with some chocolate, coffee, and butterscotch emanating.

Good taste, smooth and smoky. Chocolaty, with a charcoal, bourbon cask taste, ample roasted coffee malt; delicious. The mouthfeel presents a rich hop texture, combining well with the smooth malty feel. Strong, but not quite a sipper, Batch 10,000 is rather accessible for its potency.

Very good strong ale, robust and dense. Get it while you can.

 837 characters

Photo of Avagadro
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Wow, batch 10,000 already. You can really mark Bells' growth by the shrinking interval between these releases. 10k is deep copper, holds little head, and is free of haze when held to the light.

S: Sweet caramel, a touch of coconut, and some chocolate make up the majority of this brew's well presented bouquet.

T: This beer can't make up its mind about whether it wants to be a hop-forward brew or a malty one. It is sweet and bitter at the same time, with the aforementioned coconut and chocolate duking out against an onslaught of pacific-northwest hops.

M: Full body, slightly oily, and lightly carbonated.

D: When I first looked over the ingredient list of this brew, I thought it was going to be a mess. This has to have the most convoluted recipe I have ever seen. I'm sure the brewmaster is happy that he will never have to recreate it. 10k is a delicious brew in honor of one of the best breweries the midwest has to offer. I raise my glass to yet another 10,000 batches from them.

 996 characters

Photo of goldbot
3.87/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown/black, almost a purple hue where the light manages to come through. Some pearly, ivory-colored head and great lacing. The head dissipates rather quickly though. Overall muted aroma of floral hops, citrus and tropical fruit. Hints of plum and raisin but not much in the way of malt. Slight ethanol aroma lurks in the background. Flavors of caramel malt with more plum and raisin notes. Backed by rich, roasted malts with a subtle smoky flavor on the aftertaste. Earthy, with a touch of floral hops. Obviously big and complex but a bit disjointed at this point. Medium-bodied, the sweetness is spot on for me, definitely well balanced. Leaves a lingering dryness and bitterness in the mouth. A seemingly simple brown ale that really comes alive as you drink it; every sip reveals a new layer of flavor underneath the last. A little time for the flavors to meld together, and this could be a great beer.

 911 characters

Photo of RubbaDuckE
4.17/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one is hard to wrap your head around. All the various ingredients confuse the palette leaving you wondering how a beer can still taste this good with no one distinct flavor. On first glance it looks almost as black as a stout, but it is about as dark as brown can get. It tastes like nothing yet everything. Every sip I take I catch another hint of something. The one taste I get over and again is a distinct smokiness that surrounds the entire drink itself. This beer literally won't let you swallow it with its thickness. Make sure every gulp you take is accompanied by at least 2.5 chews. Bought a six pack of this and can handle about one a night. Make sure you cleanse your palette after this beer if you are going to try another, this one leaves your mouth speechless.

 779 characters

Photo of legalpete19340
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured deep black-brown with a full two fingers of dark nut brown fizzy head. Head diminished to respectable skim within a few minutes.

S: This thing is a farmhouse: I get hints of smoke, hay, wet barley, earth and an undertone of sweet maltiness. Leather coming out now.

T: A little bitter upfront, more than expected. Strong sweet earthy malts are upfront with burnt butterscotch and sugar. The mid swig is is caramel and roasted malt. Ends with more bitterness and the persistent undertone of alcohol lingers with a pleasant burn. Somewhere in near the end is a bit of sour sweet. Almost soy sauce. This thing must be well hopped because it has a strong backbone against the malt and is very earthy.

M: Seems perfect to me for the beer. More than medium.

O: Very drinkable for a high octane beer. I have had it three times and the first and third were truly great. Good balance of everything a strong ale should be. I really torn on whether this is a good or great beer.

 980 characters

Photo of axeman9182
3.76/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, bottled 11/16/2010, poured into my Duvel tulip.

Batch 10000 pours a shade or two lighter than stout black. Backlighting reveals the faintest spots of amber along the edges of the glass.The mocha foam cap draws up to about three fingers in height. Lacing as well as retention are somewhat above average, but nothing amazing. Nose is fairly muted, with some roasted coffee and peat malt coming through, as well as a slight citrus note. The beer is a bit more bold in its flavor. Brown sugar joins smoke and roasted coffee to dominate on my palate, and chocolate falls in line with citrus as an ancillary flavor. The body is a bit lighter than I expected, it feels more like a 6-7% brew than a 9%+ one. The carbonation is at a nice level, enough to cut through the body and elevate the hops somewhat, while still staying relatively out of the way of a malt driven beer. I don't think I can taste about 95% of the ingredients in Batch 10000 (never thought I'd say that about a beer), but this "kitchen sink" approach has yielded a pretty solid beer.

 1,059 characters

Photo of billab914
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

 1,322 characters

Photo of kels
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer pours a dark chocolate brown, completely opaque. There's an initial 2 finger soft, foamy tan head that fades pretty quickly to a filmy skim. Swathes of lace come down the sides of the glass.

Nose is fully of richly roasted malts - loads of crisp grain and coffee. It's slightly sweet, and the smell of the alcohol creeps out through the roastiness.

Beer is very dry, and the flavors are rich, roasty, and bitter. The bitter comes some from the roast and some from the hops. On one hand it's like overbrewed, burned coffee. On the other it's a hoppy, citrusy pinch.There's not much sweetness off the malts, and the alcohol is consistently strong throughout the drink. It's kind of messy, but not overall bad. Carbonation is pretty high and keeps things moving.

 768 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.1/5  rDev +7%
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.

 1,999 characters

Photo of movingtrain
3.82/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle sampled from a small snifter.

Pours a dark, dark brown with a thin brownish-white head floating on top. Carbonation looks pretty good.

The nose carries hints of muted hops, cinnamon, sage, caraway seed, anise, and black pepper. There are also some very subtle notes of oregano and thyme, as well as a sweeter, sugary element, like molasses.

There is a real smokiness in the flavor of this beer. Behind that rests notes of chocolate, vanilla, some slight citrus, black pepper, orange peel, cinnamon, and coffee. The flavor is quite spicy on the tongue, which is well balanced with the smokiness and chocolate.

The alcohol is very present and warming as it goes down. This doesn't hinder the flavors that reside in the beer, but rather accent the warm, spicy notes of the beer. I really like the odd, herbal complexity that this beer boasts.

 861 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

 510 characters

Photo of mcann2pu
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours into glass a surpassingly dark black-brown, no light was getting through this one. Nice tan head, some lacing.

Smell: a rich aroma of sweet camelish malts and tasty hops.

Taste: a strong complex ale, slightly smoky with a strong hop presence.

Mouthfeel: medium to full, very nice.

Drinkability: quite drinkable, I found it hard to put the glass down.

 373 characters

Photo of bertram
3.64/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Aromas of hops and malt; pours to a very dark brown with ample tan head and good lacing; tastes of roasted malt with a satisfying earthy aftertaste; very good carbonation gives this beer a good palate; overall a very good brew and one I would gladly enjoy again!

 262 characters

Photo of vapodge
3.38/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip

A - not pitch black, but pretty darn close, good head, very good-looking brew, great lacing

S - sweet, toffee

T - smoky, not as smoky as Left Hand Fade to Black Vol 2 (which I just hand recently) -- much more sweet than that, lots of warming alcohol as the glass empties

M - super creamy; coats the tongue

D - too smoky for me to truly love -- glad I tried it (thanks aepb1); be good for a slow-sipping after dinner drink as it's rich and potent; bet it'll age well

 509 characters

Photo of trappistlover
3.16/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

(12oz bottle). Pours dark brown with giant khaki head. Active carbonation. Aroma has dark chocolate, pine, licorice. Taste is roasty and anise and pepper. More savory/salty than sweet and bitter on the end. Full bodied with a somewhat creamy/oily texture. Finish is bitter. I'm hoping this one tastes better in about 6 months-1 year.

 333 characters

Photo of Daniellobo
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice batch offering. It's complex, but not that complex, with a dominant smoked and malty profile.

Presentation: 12 oz brown capped bottle. Simple labels barely noting the name of the brew, commemorative characteristic, and announcing that this is the last of the batch series with a thank you to consumers. Does not note bottling or freshness date other than batch number... (10000 Hence Nov 16, 2010) I like the system but it is still not clear to the average consumer or useful on the spot is one has not internet connection. Anyhow... Poured in a tulip glass.

A - Dark brown with an obscure burgundy edge, 1/2" + creamy and frothy head, fair retention with a good surface memory, and some dashes of lacing.

S - Smoked note jumping off the bottle, becoming gentler as it settles in the glass and letting a malty range emerge, not too hefty but complex, fruity, caramel, dark, smoke...

T - Sure enough the brew is complex but quite nuanced after all the ingredients. The smoked malty palate predominates, and not in a bad way. The rest is a general push from below, with a complex malt bill with the smoked sense predominating, faint caramel more so in the finish, dash of fruit, tired hoppy dash... a bit woody even.

M - Medium-full to full body with fair carbonation, low towards the end, lasting palate presence, with a pleasing dry aftertaste

D - It drinks rather well but not sure if it hits any remarkable memory.

Notes: Good brew, but (no disrespect) not one to remember the commemorative batches by. At least not yet...

 1,537 characters

Photo of ColdPoncho
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Normally with Bell's beers I'd list the batch number...I don't see this as being important here. Oh, and 100th review. Looking forward to the many more bottles I've got in my cellar to see how this bad boy ages.

A - Dark brown with a towering tan head. A touch of red light coming through the edges. Pretty impressive lacing.

S - This is the fourth or fifth time I've had this, but the first time I've reviewed it, and it's already been changing. Now I'm getting a load of smoked meat and leather, whereas I'd been used to chocolate, or dark fruit. There are chocolate undertones, but the big thing is the rawhide/meat smell. It's a great and balanced smelling beer, and very dynamic.

T - The smoked character from the nose is in the taste too, but more as a side thing, and specifically, I am picking it up on the side of my tongue. In the rest of my mouth, I get some hop bitterness, a touch of chocolate and dark fruit, and a clean finish. This beer is schizophrenic, I swear, but each of its personalities would convince you otherwise. Good taste.

M - This is not a special mouthfeel, but its smooth and creamy. A good thing. Medium-thick and fairly light.

D - Its a good-tasting beer, and quite interesting, so therefore pretty drinkable. But it's been a long night, and it's not weak, so some detraction too.

 1,319 characters

Photo of Tone
4.27/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a black color. 3/4 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of sweet malt, slight liquor based alcohol, slight rye/grain, slight floral hops, slight oatmeal, hint of dark citrus. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, citrus and floral hops, juniper-like spiciness, liquor based alcohol, slight roasted malt, and slight wood. Wow, this was a complex beer. Good appearance, aroma, body, blend, and complexity.

 496 characters

Photo of MetalHopHead6
3.76/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bell's Batch 10,000 is dark, candy-sweet, and rooty (rootish?).

During the pour, it had the dark copper color of a dirty penny and cola. The smell was sweet, as was the flavor, which was also reminiscent of cola, or actually, more so root beer. The feel was too thin and fleeting for a strong ale, but on the other hand, it was remarkably easy to drink for an ale with such a high ABV. "Drinkability" was a tough call because, although it was enjoyable, it was too refreshing for a strong ale.

I liked the bottle of Batch 10,000 I had on a Sunday afternoon; however it lacked the heaviness a strong ale should have and was more appropriate for the afternoon than it should have been.

 685 characters

Photo of emmasdad
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received a bottle of this one as an extra in a recent trade. I made no effort to get a hold of this one, but I am glad I received a bottle and had a chance to try it. Poured a nice black color with a little white head. Big floral hoppy aromas, but the hops are relatively non-existent on the palate, replaced by big roasted malt flavors. Interesting, reminded me of a bigger version of Avery's New World Porter.

 411 characters

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Found Bell's 10000 at The Foodery in Philadelphia, enjoyed at home in New York City, served in a Sierra snifter.

Appearance: A thick auburn-brown color, incredibly obscure and opaque. Perfect one-finger head, very frothy and bubbly. Decent lacing, carbonation on the low side.

Smell: Some coffee, roasted nuts, malts. Barnyard aromas, smells of the countryside, a tractor slowly making his way through the fields. Smoke. Sugars, hard toffee. Bread and even some woodsy bourbon-like liquor. Good nose overall, but too scattered and uneven.

Taste: Similar to nose, dark sugars, toffee, caramel, some sticky raisins/dark fruits. Finishes with some booze and a relative abundance of hops, bitter and dry. Chocolate aftertaste, lingers.

Mouthfeel: A little too thin and watery around the mouth. Smooth and creamy like liquid chocolate. Could use a bit more body to impress the lips. Alcohol is not noticeable.

Drinkability: Superb. I pounded this ridiculously drinkable 9.20% strong ale in no time. At first I was disappointed, then it quickly grew up on me. I expected more from a rare, exclusive anniversary ale brewed by the great Bell's, but this is very good nonetheless.

 1,176 characters

Photo of AdamBear
4.62/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to BigBlacke for supplying this one at a tasting!

A-dark chestnut brown with a cream colored head

S-strong citrusy hops with a bit of caramel to it. wow this one smells great! has a great strength to it

T-a good thick caramel flavor with some citrusy hops and ends with a good bitterness and creaminess. has a great citrusy and bitter after-taste. hands down, the best i've had from Bells yet.

M-a good medium carbonation with a good creamy finish

D-wow this is a great beer! i could have many bottles of this. i just wish it weren't so expensive or else I'd have a lot of this in my fridge right now.

 613 characters

Photo of grub
3.81/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. sampled feb 4/2011.

pours nearly clear medium brown with a small cap of fine light tan head. the head drops slowly and leaves a bunch of lace as it falls.

aroma is nice. slightly boozy alcohol. resiny hops. earthy, herbal, woody, and citrusy. you can tell that there is a great variety of hops involved here. it becomes a little muddy, but you can still pick out the various characteristics. the citrusy american hops seem to come to the forefront. lightly toasted multi-grain bread and biscuit. bit of cracker. light caramel and toffee.

taste is interesting. smokey and slightly peaty. dark and milk chocolate. biscuit. whole wheat bread and cracker. bit of caramel and toffee. earthy and woody. nice herbal component. bit of alcohol. medium bitterness level.

mouthfeel is good. big body. right around medium carbonation level.

drinkability is nice. wow, is there ever a lot going on here. you can tell that there are over 100 malts and fermentables and something like 60 hops. it's all over the map. hides its alcohol relatively well. hopefully with a little time in the cellar it'll mellow out and come together a bit more.

 1,144 characters

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

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass. Pours a deep, dark amber color with a small tan head that leaves some lace. Lots of hops in the aroma- earthy, citrusy, and floral- with caramel malts, brown sugar, and toast. Flavor of earthy, bitter, citrusy hops, caramel malts, and citrus and tropical fruits. Medium-bodied, with mild carbonation and a dry, earthy, sweet mouthfeel.

 376 characters

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

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.