Bell’s has been brewing a commemorative beer to mark every 1,000th batch they make for some time now. The most recent one, Batch 10,000 was a kind of throwback to Larry Bell’s days as a home brewer when he would make a final batch of homebrew from whatever hops and malts he had leftover.
It was a dark, strong ale made with 100 different malts and 60 different hop varietals. Unfortunately, Bier Baron doesn’t have any vintage Batch 10,000 sitting around in the cellar—or any of Bell’s old Batch series.
Batch 10,000 was supposed to be the last in the Batch series. But early this summer rumors started to fly about when Batch 11,000 was going to be released. We finally got our hands on it last week and gave it a try today. The bottle has a release date of 9/13/2012 so it’s fresh. The hops—a blend of Pacific Northwest and Southern Hemisphere varietals—are assertive. The Galaxy and Motueka hops from Down Under give the beer that tropical fruit aroma. Think pineapple and passion fruit. Some dark malt puts gives it a toasty sweet flavor which is quickly followed by piney bitterness. Bell’s calls this one an “imperial red ale.” It’s a dark amber, double IPA reminiscent of Troeg’s Nugget Nectar and Oskar Blue’s G’Knight. It’s hoppy but balance with a malty sweetness.