Pours opaque with a half glass of brown, medium packed bubbled foam. Retention is quite good with the foam becoming frothy. Lacing begins immediately: sticky and web-like.
Aroma is a surprising citrus hops on top of a toffee malt. Complex but time and many sniffs yields: roasted malt, molasses, some dark fruit, and some earthy hops.
Taste is all over the place and hard to pinpoint. The end definitely has some hops that add a bitter bite to such a huge malt bill. What are the IBUs? Molasses, roasted, toasted, dark fruits, peppery spice, and more. I think each sips leads to more.
Full body with light carbonation which is befitting, as far as I am concerned, a bigger beers. Creamy and an ever so slight touch of alcohol that dries.
Definitely a big beer that has a lot going on. I think maybe too much as the beer doesn't define itself at all. 9000 is much better. That all said, I would have this again but there are many beers with a much smaller price point that I would go for first. Enjoy!
A: Deep brown, Full tan foamy head. As the glass empties, a clear deep mahgony emerges.
S: Malt and malt, then some alcohol, and finally very faint notes of citrus hops, light smoke, and toffee.
T: Not at all as full and thick as I expected. Not as sweet like some barleywines are. As I take a big swig and hold it for a moment there seems to be some low level fruit notes amidst the subtle alcohol taste. With subsequent sips the after taste of the hop bitterness builds, but not in a bad way.
D: This is the third bottle I've had and I'm still scrathing my head on where this beer fits the legacy of Bells. It's a one time shot, considering the expense and complexity of the ingredients. It's completely unique brew, can't think of anything similar in flavor. But, it definately growing on me and it's like discovering some obscure, small batch bourbon. I've seen conversations about folks being disappointed that Batch 10k wasn't more memorable. I submit this brew shows the serious skill of a mature artisan.