Bells Batch 10,000 Ale and Bells Oarsman Ale

It’s beautiful outside here in New England, 53 degrees right now. The wife says we should take a walk, but I’m too lazy. “Real” spring isn’t here yet anyway. Tomorrow we’ll be back in the 20s and 30s. Man, I hate winter. But alas, I shall not rant any longer. Another Silvio Saturday is upon us and Silvio is here to review two brews from Bells. Silvio…


The big news this week is wifey and I are looking to buy a house. We found the home of our dreams, complete with a home theater and bar with built-in keggerator and wine fridge. Shockingly, we’ve named it “party house.” Unfortunately the sellers want waaaaay too much for it, so we’re going to have to negotiate. Keep your fingers crossed, LIBA nation, but until then I’ll have to make do with drinking bottles of beer on my couch.

This week, I reviewed two beers from Bell’s Brewery. They’re located in Michigan and have become one of my favorite breweries through several reviews I’ve done for LIBA. On my last beer store run, I chose the Oarsman and Batch 10,000 Ales largely on the uniqueness of their labels.

Bell's Batch 10,000 Ale

I opened the Batch 10,000 first because the background was intriguing. Bell’s says they used “100 different malts, grains and other fermentables” and a “blend of 60 different hop varietals” in this limited release. The pour resembled a super-dark root beer, almost as dark as a porter but with hints of redness. Batch 10K wears a light cream foam crown, and sweet malty smell with hints of licorice.
Taste wise, this beer takes you in a lot of different directions. I got sweet licorice taste on the front, but a heavy roasted flavor and some bitterness through the middle. The taste ends on a malted coffee note. Surprisingly, this was not a thick or heavy beer at all, but it’s definitely strong in every aspect, including the 9.2% ABV.

Bell's Batch 10,000 Ale

Next up, the Oarsman Ale, which turned out to be exactly opposite Batch 10K in every way. The color is light high yellow color and barely any foam head. It’s got a light citrus smell with hints of a wheat hefeweizen. When I took my first sip, I immediately thought I had an awesome hefe, but that was short-lived. Oarsman doesn’t have any of the body or spice flavors through the middle that I expected.

Bell's Oarsman Ale

Lemony citrus dominates the front taste, but again, it falls a bit flat through the middle with only a sudsy aftertaste. This may be a good summer beer, but compared to the Batch 10K it really doesn’t compete, especially with a low 4.0% ABV. Overall, this beer gets a solid “meh.”

Well that’s it, loyal LIBA readers. I’m off on the quest to make Party House mine.


Bell's Oarsman Ale

Author: Silvio

I like beer.