Jan 14, 2011

Bell’s Batch 10,000

Bell's Batch 10,000 label

I’ve been a big fan of what Bell’s Brewing has been doing with their Batch Series — a limited product to commemorate milestone numbers in batch releases. I was only able to catch on with Batch 7000, but have loved the ride ever since.

Batch 10,000 is their latest in this series and the last. According to the brewery, this commemorative brew “…reflects our homebrewing roots and was inspired by the the last homebrew of the season.” It’s essentially an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink recipe utilizing 100 different malts, grains, and other fermentables, as well as 60 hop varieties through the boil and dry hopping.

That’s a crazy amount of ingredients to balance out properly. Lucky for us (and Bell’s for that matter), the final release of the Batch Series isn’t a Frankenstein amalgamation of random stuff. It’s actually quite a tasty and deep flavored brew that I feel everyone should experience at least once. I mean, how often are you going to be able to try a beer with that many ingredients in it?


This 9.2% ABV American Strong Ale pours a reddish brown in color with a dense, light tan head.


As you can imagine there is loads of hops wafting off the top of the glass. Piny, peppery and citrus hops combine with toffee/caramel, a nice roast, and brown sugar among the malt backed components. There’s a lot going on within the nose, but no one character that stands out on its own.


The taste is just as complex as the nose — there’s a good deal of “stuff” going on in there. The first thing that hit me was the sweetness followed by a touch of smoke and then a hefty dose of hops. The sweetness isn’t over the top and pairs wonderfully with the hop presence. The medium bodied brew leaves a warming, lingering finish. The alcohol isn’t too apparent throughout the life of the beer, but this is still a beer to savor slowly.


This was an interesting brew to say the least. It’s a bit of a shape shifter of sorts, each sip bringing out different flavors and memories. At one time, the brew reminded me of Stone Brewing’s Oaked Arrogant Bastard. At other times, a slightly bitter coffee component arose with hints of chocolate. In the end you have to commend Bell’s Brewing on this attempt to blend so many different elements into what ultimately turns out to be a very well balanced beer.

Rating: 4/5