Feb 19, 2010

Bells Batch 9000

After hearing about more distribution issues for this Michigan brewery, I didn’t think I’d ever see a bottle of their 9000 batch commemorative brew. I enjoyed the hell out of the company’s Batch 8000 (a big, spicy, Witbier) and was super stoked to see this latest celebration ale on the shelves during a recent run to Total Wine.

Batch 9000 is a bit departure from the previous release in the Batch series. Categorized as an imperial stout, Batch 9000 is a big, rich, deep and layered brew that was darn good fresh, but I really can’t wait to see how this one does with a little time in the basement.


Batch 9000 poured into my snifter a dark, dark reddish brown with a mahogany edge when held to the light. What little head developed was light tan in color and faded almost instantly to nothing.


This is one of the more impressively smelling beers I’ve had in a while. It is definitely sweet. There is a good deal of molasses up front with a light licorice mixed in. I pick up a good deal of dark fruits (mostly raisin), as well as some oakiness and accompanying vanilla notes. The alcohol didn’t make too much of a presence until the beer had time to warm in the glass, but even then it wasn’t overpowering even for 12.5% ABV.


Whoa. There is a bunch going on within this brew. It starts off sweet with toasted malt and molasses transitioning to dark fruits and a lingering licorice. The finish has a pleasant amount of hop bitterness to essentially help balance out the sweetness of the beer. Batch 9000 is fairly syrupy and thick, coating your mouth with hand crafted goodness. The higher alcohol content does make an appearance more so as the beer sits in the glass longer, but it’s never too prominent, only leaving a warming trail to your belly.


I loved Batch 8000, but I think I’m more excited over the possibilities of this one after sitting in the basement for an extended time. While #8000 was light, fruity and spicy, this latest batch is rich, smooth and definitely a sipper.

Rating: 4/5

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