I haven’t done one of these in a while. Mainly because I’ve been drinking the same old beers. For which I am most displeased with myself.
Bell’s Brewery made a number of small batch beers and this years’ is the last ever. For this, they chose a combination method of brewing: They wanted to make an ale that was true to their roots but that would also use up all the leftover ingredients. The result: Batch 10,000 Ale.
It poured dark brown, almost black, from the bottle, building a very thick cream-colored macrofoam head that stuck around until the glass was finished:
The aroma was of pleasant fruitiness (including strawberry and raspberry) and floral aromatic hops. It has a texture just a shade thinner than a porter (but still thicker than a Scotch Ale). The first taste is of a slightly tart, fruity ale. The mid taste reinforces the fruit flavors but adds a pleasant hop florality and bitterness. The rear taste continues the fruit and hop flavors but adds a thick dark chocolate flavor. The aftertaste is of sweet fruit, a hint of bitter cocoa, and the expected hop florality. It leaves just a tiny bit of astringency characteristic of bittering hops.
Overall, this is a well-balanced ale, with flavors from pale, nut-brown, Scotch, and porter ales. It is very drinkable, which is a shame since it’s the last small batch beer to ever come out of Bell’s Brewery. Over 60 varieties of hop went into this brew so no matter what you like in an ale, you’re sure to find it in this one. If you can find a bottle, I highly recommend it as a great example of all the flavors that occur on the top fermenting side of the brew kettle.