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Chicagoist's "Beer of the Week:" Bell's Batch 9000

By Chuck Sudo in Food on May 21, 2010 7:00PM

Image Credit: Steven Fisher of Drink Like A Fisch,.
Like a good tub whiskey, one can't discount the importance of a good shower beer. This week's "BotW" selection manages to straddle the difference between the two: a quality brew intended for sipping in a mess-free container.

Bell's releases a commemorative ale with every 1,000 batches. The results can be decidedly mixed. Batch 7,000 was a monster Imperial stout that appealed to collectors, hop heads and the cult of Beer Advocate and one of the more popular releases in the series. Batch 9,000, released in February, has been drawing comparisons to Batch 7,000, the difference being that the brewers at Bell's don't consider this to be an Imperial stout. It's dark, probably the darkest beer we've seen since Three Floyds Black Sun Stout. This can be directly attributed to the molasses and licorice used in the brewing. Both ingredients impart a dark sweetness to the flavor profile; the bitter flavor of licorice adds some spicing paralleled to hopping.

It's a heavy beer at 12.5 percent ABV, so this might not be your shower beer, specifically. But we like long showers. The Auld Dubliner (641 E. Boughton Rd., Bolingbrook, 630-783-1600) will tap one of the last kegs of Batch 9,000 in the area 6 p.m. tonight as part of Chicago Craft Beer Week. Beermenus Chicago also lists Batch 9,000 as available in bottles at Hackney's Printers Row and Small Bar on Fullerton, and on draft at the Bavarian Lodge in Lisle.