Sunday, January 29, 2006

Bell's Batch 6000 Ale

This beer is a special brew produced only once in celebration of the 6000th batch of beer brewed at Kalamazoo Brewing in Michigan. Easily one of my favorite midwest brewers, they seem to especially excel in stouts of all kinds. This particular brew is a big, rich barleywine weighing in at a sturdy 10.5% alcohol. Let's see how it has fared:




I've decided to drink my lone bottle of this brew today and I'm very excited as to what it holds in store for me. The Batch 6000 pours from the bottle a deep, dark brown, bordering on black with maroon hues that come out when held to the light. A nice half inch of creamy, sticky khaki head sits above the brew. Aromas begin with rich, lush caramel maltiness, rum raisin and a myriad of dark fruity tones, notably cherry. A wisp of alcohol with brown sugar, a touch of cocoa and a suprisingly strong piney, resinous hop presence. It appears this will be one tasty barleywine here.

First sip brings a rush of rich, creamy caramel, nutty maltiness across the mouth. Interspersed within lies a melding of chocolate, dark fruits, cherries, brown sugar and a bit of alcohol. Amongst the overall sweetness, there is a nice blast of piney, resiny hop bitterness that lends a tasty end to each sip of this fine brew. An enjoyable barleywine from Bell's that has held up quite nicely seeing they've brewed over 1000 batches since this was created. I dunno how much longer this will last, it's too bad I don't have a few more bottles left so I could see for myself!!

Mouthfeel is creamy with a sold medium body. Light carbonation makes it easy to drink and each sip leaves me wanting another. The ABV is really non existant in the taste and I could possibly have another after this! I'd like to see Bell's put a barleywine into their seasonal rotation...I think it would round out thier already stellar lineup quite nicely! Thanks to SheepNutz for this one. I'm really glad to have been able to try it.

Overall I gave this one a 4.3 out of 5. Another finely crafted brew from Bell's.

Check out what else is going on at Bell's by surfing to www.bellsbeer.com

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