Bell’s Batch 9000

Bell’s Batch 9000 – Ale

Bell’s Brewery – Comstock, Michigan

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Information: From Label – “Batch 9000 is part of our commemorative series celebrating our progress with special brews. Black, dense and rich, this is a great ale for the cellar.”

Each time I review a Bell’s beer I just grin a little as I thank my lucky stars that I’m fortunate enough to have such an amazing brewery – a brewery that appears to be growing in leaps and bounds- right here in Kalamazoo. This is the Batch 9000. A dark ale that has been touted as being something very special. Well, now I’m going to find out.

The pour reminds me of stout for sure: dark, rich, thick and syrupy. There is no head to speak of as the foam that formed with the pour dissipated into nothing before I could look up. The aroma is absolutely heavy with molasses, yeast, mocha, and oak. It smells a bit like a nice port as much as it reminds me of a nice porter. It is complex and heavy and quite a beautiful ale.

The first sip is a nicely cloying mouthful of chocolate, thick molasses, and the heavy taste of yeast and mocha with a throaty bite very similar to coffee. It is amazingly sweet, smokey, and bitter all at once and immediately reminds me of some of the best Dutch Process Cocoa. There’s certainly a yeasty finish and an oak note in the back that reminds me of red wine. After a few more sips, one finds easily a few more subtle flavors like anise, dark cherry, and vanilla. An outstanding melange of flavors. Wonderful.

Pairing this with food? Unless you’re matching it with a late-night doughnut, skip the food all together and just sip and enjoy.

Rating: * * * * *
A complex and beautiful dark ale.