This One Goes To 11 Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

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This One Goes To 11 AleThis One Goes To 11 Ale

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

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
This One Goes to 11 Ale opens with bright, juicy aromas such as tropical fruits & ripe cherries, largely derived from massive kettle & dry-hop additions of Southern Hemisphere hop varieties such as Galaxy, Motueka, and Summer. The citrus & resinous pine notes of the Pacific Northwest hop family are also well represented, making their presence known through Simcoe, Citra, and the newly released Mosaic varietal, just to name a few. A wide range of specialty malts anchor the hops to this Imperial Red Ale, contrasting the assertive bitterness & juicy aromatics with a robust, toasty depth of flavor. Fermented with Bell’s signature house ale yeast, This One Goes to 11 Ale finishes with a lingering warmth.

Added by aasher on 10-03-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 160 | Ratings: 677
Photo of stakem
2.93/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle into a pub glass. The brew appears a clear dark copper to mahogany color with a finger of tan head that dissolves slowly leaving some webby strings of lacing effect sticking to the glass. A light swirl revives the cap back to the surface and a few bubbles rise to support. Overall, a very attractive looking brew with impressive head retention for it's strength.

The aroma of this brew is pretty fruity and floral from a combination of the hops as well as a mild hint of perfume-like alcohol that is mildly fusel/solvent. The malt presents itself with a bit of accenting sweetness that is nearly candy-like at times. As it warms up, it has a bit of rindy element to it somewhat reminiscent of pulp or zest of grapefruits.

The taste provides enough herbal bitterness to keep the overall package balanced. It is mildly catty with herbs, grass and pine. Whereas the aroma was more fruity and floral, the taste is more earthen, grassy and catty. The malt inclusion is mildly toasty with a hint of biscuit quality before the focus draws back into more of the hop bitterness and solvent alcohol. As the brew warms up, it seems like all other beer-related characteristics dissolve and all that is left is this solvent, neutral spirit-like alcohol that is reminiscent of low quality vodka.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. My initial impression/feeling was that this was similar to a big brother to nugget nectar. As the experience continued, it really fell apart and became nothing but a solvent/fusel alcohol mess with not enough malt backing and a hoppiness that seemingly provides bitterness but not much flavor beside the aftertaste. I am glad I got a chance to try this but not interesting in having it again... ever. I am surprised by how high the previous reviews are. This was a rare miss by Bells especially for a landmark/milestone batch number.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.21/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks Adam.

The beer is a pretty amber hue, appearing transparent. The head is about an inch thick and leaves a thick ringlet of lace around the pint glass. The aroma offers a large malt bill, followed by pine, resin, hops, alcohol. Slightly fruity in the one as well. The taste, unfortunately, is dominated by alcohol. Hop, malt, and fruity malt flavors are steamrolled by a tidal wave of booze. Medium to full bodied with resinous hops sticking to the palate. Lingering alcoholic heat. Not a repeat for me.

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Photo of peabody
3.28/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This one probably needs to sit a while. Pours out a slightly brown with not a lot of bubbles. Lacing for sure though.
Smell is dates and bread with some raisin and alcohol.
Taste is very warm with alcohol first then the malt and sugars. Kind of one sided as I couldn't get the "red" in this brew.
Mouthfeel is very sticky and boozy. Needs some time to 'cure' some.
Overall I didn't get much out of this one. Just a really boozy sugar malt concotion.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.5/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a taster glass.

(A)- Pours a clear amber color. Some white froth and lace formed.

(S)- Tons of sweet citrus and subtle roasted bits. It is actually barleywine-like.

(T)- Very hop forward with tons and tons of bitter citrus, and extremely sweet malts.

(M)- A good carbonation level. A massive but solid balance to it albeit a huge hop profile.

(O)- Overall, this is a fun beer to try. Easily the strongest American Red ale I have ever had; its really more like a barleywine for me than anything, so I am going to see what some time does to this; might help tone down some of the hops to create a better balance.

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Photo of falloutsnow
3.5/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From: Friar Tuck's, Savoy, IL
Date: Bottled 9/13/2012
Glass: Tulip

Bell's This One Goes to 11 is an imperial red ale that makes its ethanol content known, despite trying to hide it behind its hop content. The beer has an above average aroma and flavor, but not too much so, as the ethanol tends to overtake and crowd out the more flavorful and satisfying elements of the beer (I'm not drinking a beer simply because it contains alcohol). The body is substantial and satisfying, yet interestingly oily from the hops; still, the ethanol manages to cause enough of a burn to make this unpleasant as well. In general, the beer could turn down its dial a few notches and be all the better for itself: the 11% ABV isn't its strong suit. While I didn't mind this, a bottle or two would have been adequate; similarly, I don't really feel a need to revisit this in the future.

Pours a tall, 2cm head of beige foam that has above average retention (especially for the ethanol content) and is composed of small and medium-sized bubbles. The head has about average retention, eventually descending to a thick ring around the perimeter of the glass with a few small islands of lace atop the body. Lacing is above average, but not spectacular, somewhat substantial in design in a few parts, but mostly lines and spots along the sides of the glass. Body is a deep amber red color, hazy, but still somewhat transparent, with light bringing out lighter orange and red hues. Carbonation is visible, plentiful, and moderately active.

When cold, this has a nice, rich grapefruit aroma. As the beer warms, a bit of pine resin smell becomes noticeable, the grapefruit scent decreases, and the caramel malt body becomes apparent. Warming a bit further, sharp, spicy ethanol mixes primarily with the malt sweetness, and the hops drop out. Would have been quite nice if the ethanol were a bit lower.

Overall flavor is of grapefruit and bitter hops early on, with a touch of pine resin, which quickly becomes overrun by ethanol spiciness and flavor from the mid-palate forwards. Tasting opens with modest caramel malt sweetness, which is quickly eclipsed by grapefruit-like hop bitterness and a bit of pine resin-like flavor. This continues, fairly pleasantly, until slightly past the middle of the mid-palate, when the ethanol is first tasted and felt. Ethanol dominance is maintained from this point forward: instead of getting a clean kick of bitterness at close, there's spicy and somewhat harsh alcohol with malt sweetness and grapefruit hop flavor in the background. Lingering aftertaste of ethanol and lesser traces of bittering hops and malt sweetness. While not as harsh as Revelry, This One Goes to 11 is still somewhat too aggressive with its ethanol for the malt and hop character of the beer. What is perhaps worse is that the ethanol lingers long, influencing the flavor of each sip, each one becoming more ethanol-tasting than the last.

Beer is medium-heavy to heavy bodied, with medium-level carbonation for the heaviness, resulting in a slightly fizzy feel at first, gradually reducing to a slightly foamy and smooth mouthfeel. The hop resins and oils present enhance the smoothness and make this somewhat oily and slick. Ethanol is easily felt on tongue, back of throat, within nostrils, and lingers long after each sip: fairly disappointing. Modest stickiness remains on palate and lips after each sip.

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Photo of iabeerbaron
3.54/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A buddy of mine lucked into this beer at a Hy-Vee in Cedar Rapids. He saw it behind the counter and luckily the woman working had no clue that she wasn’t suppose to sell it and let him purchase a six pack of this beer and he was nice enough to share a bottle with me.

Categorized as an American Strong Ale or an Imperial Red This One Goes to 11 was rather obscure on the market this year. I know this beer comes with a hefty price tag but I do think a wider release of this beer would be great because this beer packed a ton of flavor and would be a definite buy again. Nice thick head with tons of lacing, the aroma of the centennial, simcoe, and mosiac hops stand out with grapefruit and citrus, followed nicely by the caramel and toasted aromas of the malts. Flavor resembles the aroma with a deceptively smooth finish.

Bells really brings their A game with this beer and they continue to impress with their limited release beers. Not as talked about as Hopslam is when it comes out, this beer should be on your list of beers to try, especially if you are into reds, ambers, or Belgian strongs, but watch out for that ABV, it can sneak up on you.

From the brewery:

“This One Goes to 11 Ale opens with bright, juicy aromas such as tropical fruits & ripe cherries, largely derived from massive kettle & dry-hop additions of Southern Hemisphere hop varieties such as Galaxy, Motueka, and Summer. The citrus & resinous pine notes of the Pacific Northwest hop family are also well represented, making their presence known through Simcoe, Citra, and the newly released Mosaic varietal, just to name a few. A wide range of specialty malts anchor the hops to this IMPERIAL RED ALE, contrasting the assertive bitterness & juicy aromatics with a robust, toasty depth of flavor. Fermented with Bell’s signature house ale yeast, This One Goes to 11 Ale finishes with a lingering warmth.”


STYLE: American Strong/Imperial Red


PURCHASED AT: A Hy-Vee in Cedar Rapids.

Pour: Amber pour with a thick white head; great lacing on the glass.

Aroma: Grapefruit, caramel, toffee.

Taste: Very well balanced between the hops and malts, very drinkable for 11% beer.

Overall: B+

My Recommendation: Find it, try it. A great beer to try and if you are new to this style this is a good place to start.

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Photo of jmarsh123
3.6/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to beesy for my test bottle of this!

Pours deep amber with a creamy 2 finger off white head. Very sticky lacing down the glass.

Aggressively hopped in the nose. Sweet citrus hops along with a load of resin. Booze is a bit present in the nose and a rich caramel aroma as well.

Tastes like candy coated hops. Tropical fruit and citrus up front lead into a heavy caramel presence and a sting of booze. Finishes with super resin and grapefruit leaving a stinging afterbite of hops and alcohol.

Medium bodied with medium carbonation levels. Booze is a little bit too present, but not completely over the top.

Enjoyable beer, but yet again a hoppy offering has exceeded my palate's ABV and the booze detracts a bit from the overall flavor. Not sure if this one will be any good or a complete mess with a little time, but I'll cellar one to see.

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Photo of Naters333
3.67/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured into tulip glass. A deep amber color with an inch head that dissipates quickly.

S-All I really get is a great smell of hops. Really enjoy the smell of this beer.

T-The first taste I get is lots of hop flavors. That's really all I get. Has a deep after taste of malt or grain. It is very "boozy" to me also.

M- Mouthful is good. Very clean, but strong in my mouth

Overall- The first time I had this beer I wasn't really a fan. My second bottle was much better. I think this is not my style of beer. I did enjoy it the second time, but it was a really hard beer to figure out. A very strong beer, or "Boozy" to me the first time, but not so much the second time.

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Photo of Auror
3.7/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Hardywood Park tulip glass. Both beer and glass courtesy of a trade with RyanBeer13.

Appearance- Pours with a good sized head that recedes to a small persistent layer. Decent retention. Below average lacing levels. Beautiful reddish amber, maybe some shade of sierra color.

Smell- Sweet malts, caramel, hops, lemon peel, a whiff of alcohol. Nose is a bit weak.

Taste- There's some initial malty sweetness that gives way to a bitter hop finish. Hops becoming more bitter as I drink. Alcohol warmth evident, especially as the beer warms. Lacking complexity.

Mouthfeel- Nice medium body. Carbonation is a bit on the low end. Alcohol present.

Overall- I liked the concept (and Spinal Tap is a great movie), but this beer is a bit of a miss for me. It's somewhere in-between a barleywine and an imperial amber, but not much of the positives of either. Too boozy as well.

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Photo of webmanspidey
3.72/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a snifter. Bell's describes this as an "Imperial Red" ale, and the appearance is as you'd expect: a bright amber. The smell is extremely heavy on hops, piney and bitter. Taste is a crisp, bitter, hop flavor followed by a stinging bite of alcohol. There are some bready caramel malts mixed in, but I think this one is mostly dominated by the hops. The alcohol is a little too up front for me, but otherwise it is pretty tasty.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.73/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a large snifter glass.

A really nicet orb and somewhat cloudy glowing reddish orange body, right like a sunset. Head is off white to very light tan, with very tiny bubbles and lots of creamy character. Speckled lacing hits the glass.

Nose is hop dominant. Dry pine and resin, faint malt backbone and sweetness, no heat. Pretty impressive but nothing mindbending. Some dankness and hints of earth and soil come out later, even some pickle juice.

Palate is all hops. Big dry hop angle with an almost wet backbone. Malt sweetness angle is completely shattered and trampled by a giant viscous and oily pine flavor. No warming heat, for 11 percent which is pretty impressive. However, the beer is trampled by this hop profile with no sense of malt backbone to carry it. A somewhat creamy body but also a little flat.

Overall it's drinkable, and a classic hop bomb, but it's rather one dimensional and I am not really drawn to this at all. It feels like a big one trick pony, but it will keep the hop junkies happy.

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Photo of SaisonRichBiere
3.73/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a goblet glass.

Appearance- pours a clear garnet-amber hue with one finger of creamy, bubbly beige head. Minimal lacing on the glass, but retains a thin layer of froth atop the beer for the remainder of the drinking experience.

Smell-pungent hops, spicy plums, faint ginger and allspice, finishing with a roasty malt note.

Taste- a big hoppy smack, followed by red plums, acidic sugar and tropical fruit. Raisins and caramel dominate the body. Finishes with nutmeg and boozy port wine.

Mouthfeel- smooth and creamy with minimal fizz. A cloying, boozy stickiness hangs out on the palate a bit.

Overall. A tasty beer. I have to say that I enjoyed this one more than the few past Bell's milestone (,000) brews that I've tried. This one was a little more flavorful rather than some of the bold offerings in the past. A strong red appropriate for the season. I may cellar a few of these to see where the flavors go.

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Photo of JDizzle
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a single 12 oz bottle.

Looks great for an Imperial Red. Big head with nice retention. Creamy and frothy looking.

Smells pretty damn good! I get peach, mango, pine, bready malt, and crackers??

It's citrusy, bready, bitter, hot, sweeeet, and hoppy as hell. Really nice. The alcohol feels like a 11%er.

Mouthfeel is thick and coats your mouth with bitterness. Almost like after eating sour candy. The bitterness is definetly there!

Overall a good beer, not great.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I find a great deal of amusement in the same back-and-forth dialogue in Spinaltap about the "...goes to ten. No, goes to 11" is very much the same argument that Bell's put up when they said that there may not be a celebratory beer for their thousand-batch series past 10,000. ...and now this!

This imperial red ale pours just as expected: Deep brownish red tint with a mahogany backdrop. Brilliant clarity further enhances the red appearance. The high octane beer releases a dense foam cap that retains and laces nicely, but does eventually succumb to the gravity of its alcohol underneath.

Hop character dominates the nose with aromas of citrus fruit, tropical fruit, fragrant herbs and grasses, and sprucy pines. Not to be completely over shadowed, the formidable malt rise to balance the hops with the scent of toffee, brittle, roasted peanuts, bread crust, and freshly toasted barley. Cherry-like esters emit from the acetone scented alcohols and further the complexity and balance.

Strong flavors of malt wash the mouth with a semi-sweet toffee and caramel blend. Toast, nuts, and biscotti works in complement to the sweeter taste and gives a moderate creamy starch taste that also supports the hops to come. The middle palate is a balance of malt and hop flavor as the taste of grapefruit pulp and pith, orange zest, apricot, mango, and freshly muddled cannabis-like grasses and chives rise to challenge the taste of sweeter and more bready malts. As the beer paces deep into taste, it develops a dry malt taste as the hops turn deeply resinous with the flavor of pine sap and pungent earth. It's this latter taste that invites the alcohol flavor of super glue and cherries that extends well past the finish.

Medium bodied, the beer's carbonation, dry-toast character, and hop dryness that keeps the beer from pushing further into fullness and heightens the sense of drinkability. But despite it's relatively high sweetness and full flavor, the beer retains a semi-dry texture throughout. But the late palate ushers in a deeply resinous bitterness with low-lying astringency, high alcohol warmth, and strong bite in the throat.

Although this one goes to 11, it definitely pushes the ranges of where red ales meet American barleywine but becomes a bit bullyish with its strong alcohols that are exposed by its attempt to dryness and drinkability.

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Photo of jaasen64
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle thanks to thebigredone. Poured into Founders snifter. Packaged 9/13/12 (almost two months old), 11,000th batch.

A- Pours a translucent dark mahogony cherry reddish brown with a quarter finger of white head that dissipates to no head fairly fast. Not overly carbonated, but does have consistently rising carbonation bubbles.

S- Grassy hops, a hint of citrus hops, caramel malts, and a hint of booze. I can tell a little bit of the hops have started to fade at this point, but the aroma is still fairly pleasant.

T- Light citrusy grassy hops that are dominated a little bit more by a strong sweet malty presence of toffee and some light bready caramel that lingers on the tongue and lips. Again I can tell the hops have started to fade a bit and the malt presence is taking over. I imagine this beer might have tasted a little bit better with some more pronounced hops.

M- Smooth, fairly low carbonation, a little bit of alcohol bite but not bad at all for 11%, fairly nice drinkability.

O- This is a pretty high abv for an amber ale. At this point it is drinking a little bit maltier then hoppy (although the hops are still definitely present), I imagine if trying this fresh the hops would have given it a little bit more citrusy flavor while balancing out the sweet malts and hiding a little bit more of the alcohol. I could see this turning into a fairly decent barleywine, but I'm not sure if I would take the effort of aging it. Overall it was decent, interesting to try, easy drinking, but nothing overwhelmingly spectacular.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.78/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle opened on 11.30.12

A - Pours a clear ruby red-brown with a fizzy tan head that fades slowly.

S - Very sweet, bready malts and some hoppy citrus orange.

T - Dull, but sweet malts more oranges and hops in the finish.

D - Good carbonation and a lighter body.

O - Sweet malts and hoppy end, but nothing exciting.

Bottled 09/13/12A Batch 11000

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Photo of drabmuh
3.78/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in the new Bell's stemmed tulip. Beer is brownish and mostly clear with a thin tan head of small bubbles, some lacing, low carbonation, low retention.

Aroma is mildly hoppy (wasn't expecting that) and sort of brown sugar / malty.

People have been telling me for a few weeks how bad this beer is and that's just not true. It isn't great but for an 11% beer is sure hides it well. Medium in body and sweet throughout, an interesting beer with a decent finish. Not great but decent. One was probably enough but I wouldn't turn down another one.

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Photo of jbierling
3.79/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Deep amber in color, hazy, not a large head.
Smell - Both sweet and sour with a hint of brown sugar.
Taste - Bitter fruitiness. Somewhat reminiscent of grapefruit. Hint of dough. The high ABV is not immediately apparent but quickly catches up.
Mouth-feel - Medium feel. Reasonable amount of carbonation.
Overall - Definitely not a traditional beer. Very unique.

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Photo of gcamparone
3.8/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Thanks surge1311 for hooking me up with this as a bonus bottle!

A- Pours a slightly hazy amber body with a thinnish white head that reduces slowly and leaves some blotchy lacing.

S- Bread, caramel, toffee. Slight hop characteristic in the background. The aroma isn't very strong.

T- Sweet malty caramel, fresh coffee beans, toffee. Ends with a resinous pine flavor and a boozy warming feeling. The booze is quite apparent.

M- Medium carbonation, medium-heavy body.

This brew was slightly unbalanced in my opinion. It was on the sweet side, and the hops that were present didn't really mesh well with the big malt backbone. The booze was somewhat cloying and didn't really fit either.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.82/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Amber body with a small off-white head. Surface wisps and some residual sugars show up on a swirl.

Smell - Hoppy. Piney and grassy. Caramel malt. Intense all around.

Taste - Follows the nose. Light hop and a hefty dose of caramel. Kinda reminds me of Bigfoot. Smooth caramel malt with a hop bite in the back.

Mouthfeel - Really big malt presence, but well hopped. Although I don't really see the need for it to be this big, besides the gimmick.

Overall - Tastes like one would expect a giant red ale to taste.

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Photo of CMUbrew
3.83/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Review from Fall 2012

A: Pours with a small white head that faces quickly. Dark red/copper color. Bright red in the light.

S: Mostly pine, some citrus peel, and maltiness

T: Pine, lemon citrus rind, dark fruitiness probably from the alcohol, a little bit of booze, bready/doughy maltiness.

M: Pretty big body, medium-full, almost chewy, slick and oily feeling.

O: Not quite as good as I was expecting, especially in the hops department, but I am probably mostly put off by the dark fruit flavors, which I generally don't care for.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.83/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

big thanks to hanzo for tossing this my way i8n8 the LNBASS BIF. enjoyed from a bell's tulip.

a - brew poured a deep crimson amber orange with a thin off white head. beer is transparent and lacing is streaky.

s - despite the age of a few months, there is still a nice hop presence on the nose but the malt leads the way with some nice toasted biscuits. i tasted this one a few months back and there was a much stronger hop presence...but it has definitely held up. nice fruit medley and a mix and very barleywine-esque.

t - much like the nose, the flavor screams barleywine. lots of nice toasted malts. good amount of booze. caramel.

m - easy drinker for such a big beer. soft carbonation and fairly full bodied without being chewy.

o - overall, a very enjoyable beer. once i got adjusted to the booziness it was rather flavorful and enjoyable. very glad to have another taste, but from memory the hop has definitely faded on this so if you have this one, drink it up (unless you are a fan of the malt).

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Photo of zachary80
3.83/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I thought the last of the batch series was 10000? Still love to see something new from Bell's.

Poured into a tulip a few minutes out of the fridge.

Body is a hazy brownish-orange. Very nice off-white head with thick lacing. Why not clear?

Pleasant blend of hops and malt in the aroma. Leads with the piney hops.

The taste is primarily sweet - too sweet for my preference, reminds me of the 2012 HopSlam. Bitterness is low, but the hop flavor is citrusey if a little recessed. Bready finish lingers for a long time.

Body is heavier than anticipated. Light alcohol presence, especially on the exhale, is expected for an 11% imperial red. Almost sticky in the mouth. Carbonation seems low.

Overall this is definitely a good beer although I am not a fan of the Imperial Red "style" that I think they were shooting for. The label describes it as amber colored with a "robust, sweet, toasted malt character" with bold hop flavor. In retrospect this fits my review pretty close, so I adjusted my score up, although I feel the hop flavor should be more present.

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Photo of deebo
3.84/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Batch 11000 brewed on 9-13-12

A-Lots of lively carbonation leads to a tan small bubbled thin head that fades while lacing the glass. Amber in color and perfectly clear.

S-Rich aromas of lots of caramel and lighter toasted malts with ample whiffs of juicy hops, remniscent of pineapple with a little cherry in for good measure. Smells absolutely delicious.

T-Nice characteristics of a hopped up red. I'm not too crazy about the combination of a hopped up high alcohol red ale. A lot going on here and the components (toasted malt with hints of toffee and just a bit grainy, lots of different flavored hop with upfront juicy notes and a fair amount of piney bitterness) seem to fight a bit and the vapory alcohol definitely takes away from the enjoyment, but I guess this one should be sipped anyway.

M-It's definitely a little hot, can tell this is a high ABV beer. Mouthfeel is fairly weak for such a big beer. Just a bit cloying. Carbonation is on the high side, but I think that is necessary for this one-would be more syrupy without having the carbonated zing. Plenty of malt providing a fairly long slightly bitter finish.

O-I think the aroma is the best part of this beer. It has a really nice base and think this would be a winner if just a red ale minus the imperial. An interesting hybrid beer that might be better off being a one and done. Still a fun one to try! And you can feel its effects after only 12 oz.

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Photo of mynie
3.85/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One time I found myself stranded in a hotel parking lot in Hammond, Indiana. It was Dark Lord Morning, my asshole friends had left without me, and it was apparent that the cab I had summoned and hour and half before wasn't ever coming to get me. But then I see these guys loading a hatchback up with beer. Figuring they're going to the fest, I play nice and ask if I can come along. They say sure, hop in.

Turns out they were Bell's employees, including one of Larry Bell's kids (daughter, maybe?), and they were as nice as could be. They said they had a keg of batch 9000 in the trunk.

"Wow, I still haven't opened my sixer," I said.

"Th-that's probably a good thing. Let is sit for a while," said a dude.

"Like, a few years," said another, and they all laughed.

So here we are 2.5 years later and that sixer is still unopened. And, jeez, we're already two thousand batches past that one! A-and the reason I didn't buy any batch 10k--didn't even bother to read about it, as a matter of fact--was because I'm tired of aging beer, there's only so much room in my cellar. So when the dude at the liquor store told me this one was ready to drink, I was cautious but optimistic.

Chalice pour, thick and fizless. Dark red with a tiny white cap.

Smells... surprisngly tame. Like a really thick, hoppy imperial red. Nodes of melon, rusty barley, and pine.

Tastes like a fresh hop cone. At first. Then it settles down into more of a regular impy red, bordering on a double IPA. Thick, syrupy caramel malt mingles with large nodes of citrus and pine, and while everything is good it ain't exactly expertly allayed.

So... age it? Maybe? It's pretty good--certainly drinkable--but not really much of a big milestone beer.

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This One Goes To 11 Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.11 out of 5 based on 677 ratings.
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