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Twentieth Anniversary Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Twentieth Anniversary AleTwentieth Anniversary Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

93 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 93
Reviews: 92
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 13.72%
Wants: 2
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  6.70% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: putnam on 09-16-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 93 | Reviews: 92 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.35/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not sure what they are trying to do here. Peachy colour and there's head and lace. Strong carbonation. Definite hop and bittterness, and lemon peel, overall drying finish. It has good intentions that don't all work together. Thanks Dr. Jay for sharing.

Sammy, Nov 21, 2005
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bright brassy orange with a hint of carmine when backlit. Fine particulates sit in suspended animation, while a few fine bubbles rise up to a wonderful looking, lightly toasted marshmallow colored crown. Twentieth Anniversary Ale decorates the glass with style and is a good looking beer.

There's nothing remarkable about the somewhat underpowered nose. Since the beer is almost 8 months old, the initial hoppiness must have faded to some extent. The aroma consists of pale and caramel malts (guesses), as well as a decent amount of earthy, herbal hops.

The beer is better on the palate, although I'm not sure that it's deserving of 'Anniversary Ale' status from a brewery as outstanding as Bell's. Malt is the flavor focal point, with a lovely toasted caramel sweetness underlying what is a more impressive hoppiness than the nose suggested.

One way the brewery attempted to make this beer stand out from the crowd of amber ales was to add more than the usual amount of malt, hops and alcohol. That's almost always a good thing, especially from someone as supremely talented as Larry Bell. Besides, no one wants to drink a light-bodied, low-ABV anniversary ale.

Despite the 6.7% ABV, there's no hint of alcohol. A quicker than normal buzz is the only evidence, although that probably more to do with the two beers that preceded this one than anything else. The body/mouthfeel is quality without being a standout. It's firmly creamy with a sedate amount of carbonation.

It's a shame that I wasn't able to get my hands on a fresh bottle of Twentieth Anniversary Ale because it was undoubtedly better beer last fall. I'm hoping that such difficulties will now be a thing of the past since Bell's will soon be distributing to Iowa. Thanks a million Larry, that news made my month.

BuckeyeNation, Jun 05, 2006
Photo of BEERchitect
3.78/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A quite enjoyable beer. Calm in it's character, but has an unexpected alcoholic kick. pours an...well...amber color with moderate carbonation a head that slowly fell to a trace. The nose is dominantly malty with caramel and fresh baked bread. All of bell's beers have that dough-ey yeasty character, this one is no different. Flavors are very malty, caramels, nuts, and a bit woods-ey. Still mainains a bready or crust flavor. Despite being big on the malt side, there are quite a bit of hops that balance the sweet, but are low in flavor and bittering. The body is smooth and creamy, without thickening or becoming heavy. Remains medium viscous. Finishes a bit alcoholic for style, but I prefer this. The aftertaste shows a bit of graininess, but it is subtle.

BEERchitect, Oct 27, 2005
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.28/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazed amber appearance, beneath an adequate layer of fuzzy froth.

Dense and sweet fruit in the nose, plenty of noisy hops, as well, but mostly a malty thing. An amped-up amber is in the offing.

Big entry onto the palate, a thick, swaggering brew that lands wherever it likes. Sweet and delicious. Good, sturdy, full bodied, with a hoppy buzz that's always hovering below the dominant malt factions. Very warm and friendly. Yum. I'm liking it...

There's only one bottle at my disposal as we speak, but I'll pick up more, for sure, as this is a brew that's so tasty, I'll not want to stop at one bottle in a session. This is tasty stuff, and an excellent way to celebrate two decades of Kalamazoo brews!

feloniousmonk, Oct 01, 2005
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.13/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a frothy tan head that sits atop a copper-amber beer that is quite clear. The aroma is malt driven with notes of crystal malt, caramel, fresh baked bread, toffee, toasted grain and just a splash of spicy hoppiness.

This has a nice, creamy smooth body with a heft to it that I was not expecting. It is still quite quaffable, but has a fullness that, in combination with the malt, almost makes this beer chewy. There is also a nice level of hop flavor here, nothing outrageous or overly expressive, but a nice mix of interesting hop notes. There really is all sorts of different hop flavors packed into this beer, but it lies at a level just underneath the malt; I get fruity notes of citrus, notes of fresh cut herbs, hints of menthol and pine, and a nice balancing bitterness that carries through to a longish finish.

The malt really is the focus here though; notes of sweet caramel are evident from the first, but carry through to the finish. There is a soft raisin like fruitiness that fills my mouth as well as a dry, toasty malt base that is reminiscent of a biscuits that have been just slightly browned and are fresh from the oven.

This is a perfectly quaffable brew. Too quick do I find that my 12 oz portion of this beer gone and I am wishing that I had another bottle to contemplate. This is a great rendition of an Amber ale and I would have loved to have spent an evening quaffing pints of this beer.

Gueuzedude, Nov 15, 2005
Photo of weeare138
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears a cloudy amber brown with an ivory white head that retains well and tons of lacing dripping all over the glass.
Smell is of grainy wheat and malt. Very appealing aroma with a buttery smell that seems to be placed well in this brew. Somewhat addictive to sniff.
Taste is of the same aromas with a nice blend going on. I like the taste.
Mouthfeel is a tiny dropoff that is smooth but bitter and sweet. Hard to describe. Almost like a potent fuel that is drinkable.

weeare138, Nov 17, 2005
Photo of tempest
4.28/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours redish gold with a short head. Great lacing.

Smells delightful, but is a little faint. Tastes delicious. Rich malty body with a little bitterness. Mixture of fruit and caramel that finishes with a bitter bite.

I'm usually picky about my carbonation, but this one is right on. Balances nicely with the body.

At 6.7% this could be dangerously drinkable. I can easily see myself putting down a 6-pack or growler of this way too fast.

I'm not sure exactly what it is, but this beer really impresses me. Overall it has great balance with great flavors. Nothing is really off and the 6.7% isn't noticable. Go buy this beer and be merry!

tempest, Nov 22, 2005
Photo of ppoitras
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity... From Bell's website: The Batch ID that you entered '7040', is a Bell's Twentieth Anniversary Ale. Your Bell's Twentieth Anniversary Ale was packaged on September 7, 2005.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" beige head over the coppery amber brew. Head lasts nicely, with heavy foamy lacing. Aroma is fresh all around, grain, hops and light fruitiness. Flavor is ample malts upfront, even some chocolate notes, coupled with well-balanced amount of hops. Mouthfeel is smooth over the tongue, with excellent drinkability. Another pleasing Bell's brew here.

ppoitras, Jan 05, 2006
Photo of Viggo
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear red/orange, big off white head forms, sticky lace all over. Smell is very malty, chocolate, citrus, spice, very grainy. Taste is very malty as well, chocolate, caramel, citrus, coffee, and grains. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and medium carbonation. Nice ale. Nice pickup DrJay.

Viggo, Dec 01, 2005
Photo of Bighuge
3.18/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Hazed amber-orange. Thin off white head. Not a lot of carbonation is noted from the appearance. Nose is decent. Subdued caramel and toffee tones. And also a little yeasty cakiness and some of that signature sourdough characteristic. Flavor also contains some cakiness and a little of that sour yeastiness. Spicy alcohol tones present as well. I catch some fruitiness as well. Rum soaked green apples. And grape skin. Caramel and toffee malt tones are there, but not as prominent as I'd like to see in this beer. Lingering alcoholic bitterness detracts from the overall impression. Medium body and appropriately carbonated. Not their greatest creation but not too bad either.

Bighuge, Oct 08, 2005
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.08/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ambery coppery color, almost tan head, aroma was woody, red. Hops not played up.

Taste, kinda pedestrian for Bell's, much less a special release of anniversary proportions. Malt forward, but not thick. Mostly caramel is what I'm taking away from this. Definitely not the hops I'm used to from Bell's, kinda lacking here.

Strange, for their anniversary ale, they made something a lot more accessible and just average.

Beerandraiderfan, Nov 12, 2010
Photo of DrJay
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Caramel amber colour, slight haze, with a light tan head. This foam produced some lacing and the thin head showed good retention. A bit yeasty overall, bitterness was restrained, but provided some balance against caramel maltiness. Slight butteriness. Decent body and texture, but this seemed a little mediocre for Bell's (and a 20th anniversary offering).

DrJay, Nov 24, 2005
Photo of TurdFurgison
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle. Very clear orange color, no head or maybe wispy head. Smells kind of fruity, but also smells a little like bad white wine. The type I can buy in Northern OH. Not a promising aroma in a beer.

Taste is better than was advertised by the smell. Goes down easily, but the after-taste is tart and not pleasant. Luckily the after-taste isn't too strong.

I think I recommend against this.

TurdFurgison, Nov 23, 2005
Photo of dirtylou
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz single's found at Rileys in Madison

As everyone has mentioned, congrats Kalamazoo Brewing Company and Larry Bell on 20 years. I consider Bell's to be the brewery that made me an absolute micro freak about a year ago. Sure I had been drinking craft beer for 3 or 4 years before that but it wasnt until I moved back to the midwest and discovered bell's that I became truly excited about beer. but i digress...

appearance: nifty little bottle...pours a cloudy pale amber with a bubbly head

smell: bouquet like, sweet malty aromas combined with floral hops, caramel as well. Smells like a winner!

taste: pretty tasty first sip...very sweet dark malts, citrus hop, lots of other fruit flavors predominately apples....aftertaste is wonderful and fruity...caramel definately present, biscuit like. Overall very sweet and tasty. Obviously extremely fresh

mouthfeel: medium bodied, hop bitterness on the tongue...refreshing, earthy, and clean

drinkability: quite drinkable, and darn good for the style

I feel fortunate to have found some of this stuff this soon after the release, its great fresh. Interesting choice for a 20th anniversary ale but batch 7000 is supposedly a beast.

Thanks again bell's!

dirtylou, Sep 27, 2005
Photo of Dogbrick
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Darkover for the trade. Dark orange/copper color with a thin and lasting off-white head. Thin lacing. Aroma of sweet malt and maple syrup. Light-bodied and kind of creamy with malt and caramel flavors outright. There is a light hops bitterness in the background as well as a hint of roastiness. The finish is very sweet and lingering. Despite my personal hope that they would do something a little more "dramatic" to celebrate, this is a well-made beer and in the upper eschelon for the style. Congrats to Bell’s on 20 years!

Dogbrick, Jan 05, 2006
Photo of tavernjef
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Light coppery color with lots of suspended particles floating around in it. Small, firm ivory cap. Little lacing sticks as its fairly drippy.

Aroma is subdued in malty sweetness. Toffeeish and kinda toasted. Light floral hops add a faint herbalness to it.

Taste is well-rounded in a tamimgly calm, present, softening load of sweet berry-like caramel malt, with a sliding toffee edge of toasted grains and ghostly nuttyness. Nice little herbal/floral hop notes decorate the finishing areas while keeping the malty sweet presence.

Body is about medium with a low, smooth carbonation level. Super smooth and lightly silky; the malts create a heavenly score of smoothness across the palate scale. Drinkable by a ton. Bell's has fashioned a nice session ale for the anniversary, so drink up.

Oh, and Happy Anniversary Larry, keep up the good work!

tavernjef, Dec 13, 2005
Photo of ZAP
4.43/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange color...pretty clean and clear for an ale....I love the nose...sweet caramel...big melted caramel candy aroma..taste is also very sweet wit ha caramel notes....perhaps a little tosted notes....body is medium to light...low carbonation...slides down the hatch very quickly for the ABV...no hint of heat at all until the far late finish..closes with some fruity acidic notes.

I really liekd this when I smelled it and really liked it at first taste...the longer I drink it the tarter finish bothers me a little...still I think they hit a solid bases loaded triple with this one....I am not disapointed at all...

ZAP, Oct 13, 2005
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Looks just like the BA avatar. Reverse label has the Code ‘7040’ on it and the words “A special ale brewed to celebrate and commemorate our 20th Anniversary. We believe it’s worthy of the honor.” No strength listed.

Appearance: Lovely rich ruddy Sunset orange when backlit, slight haze with floating bubble streamers that seem trapped in a buoyancy dilemma. Head is crusty on the pour but soon collapses to leave a persistent bubbled halo ring and a very thin surface covering. Minimal lacing but the dissolved conditioning is of the resilient finely carbonated kind.

Nose: Sugar coated candied orange slices and soft toffees with some rising fruity malts in the back end. Nice enough.

Taste: Yeasty start with powdery malts. But the fruit breaks through in the middle to add some luscious orange and white grapes whilst the bitterness starts to fill the back end. Mild finish has baked Pears and Apples with some brown sugar and raisins, but the lingering ending seems to reactivate the strength of the flavors somehow and mix them with a light alcoholic twinge. Tasty stuff and it gets better as it warms.

Mouthfeel: Sturdy full bodied feel from the Twentieth Anniversary Ale, soft carbonation with a light spritzy feel in the swallow.

Drinkability: A nice enough brew that has a lovely soft orange fruity aspect to it in the start, whilst the finish takes a different dimension. Simplistic in some ways, yet complex and attractive in others. Started with a staid entrance but by the end of the 12 ounce bottle this had grown on me and I have to say I really enjoyed this one.

Overall: Nicely done and rather enjoyable…..a Thanksgiving cheers to BigHuge, or should I say ‘Thanks’ for ‘giving’ me the chance to try this one……..shit I wish I was Twenty again….Cheers Joe!

TheLongBeachBum, Nov 24, 2005
Photo of cokes
3.03/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Blurry auburn under a wet froth of beige.
Caramel apple nose, slaked with limestone, bread dough, and crushed leaves.
Enters with notions of caramel and toffee, augmented with a wavering fruitiness of green apples and pears, along with brief pang of cherry. Turns immensely doughy in the midsection as the already bready malts mix with the floury yeast. The yeast progresses towards the stoney, mineral-rich astringency of talc. Hazy lime leaf and dried grass hopping is noted on the close, as is a minor distillate burn.
Through the mouth, it is both pasty and greasy. It's not so much uncomfortable as unsettling.
For an anniversary creation, this is totally unevocative. This fails to do anything that their regular Amber doesn't, and it doesn't do some of the same things as well.

cokes, Oct 31, 2005
Photo of blackie
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance: The pour into my imperial pint glass creates a low, off white head. The beer is a slightly hazy reddish orange in color.

smell: Moderate malt sweetness and a light hoppy aroma. There is a light earthy nuttiness. There is a definate malted milk aroma (also some of this in the flavor), pretty considerable, to the beer. Nothing exciting, but well balanced and pleasing.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is medium, the body a lighter medium. Nice balance of carbonation and body.

taste: The malt character is dominant, providing a moderate caramel sweetness. Just enough hop bitterness to give some balance. Hints of toffee and a slight nuttiness are present. The finish is dry with a light bitterness.

drinkability: Tasty and easy drinking.

The batch ID # 7040 printed on the back label indicates a bottling date of September 7, 2005. Received from CRJMellor as part of SS '05.

blackie, Dec 24, 2005
Photo of KarlHungus
3.48/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours a cloudy blood red color. The head is large, creamy and white. The aroma is rather subdued, but pleasant. It has some gentle sweetness mixed with Bell's signature yeast. The taste is sweet to the point of being sugary. This is one of the sweetest beers I have yet had, and is, perhaps, a little too sweet for my liking. The mouthfeel is full bodied with lots of carbonation. Overall, this beer is alright.

KarlHungus, Dec 24, 2005
Photo of alexgash
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Muddy dark amber with orange edges and a tight, off-khaki head. Caramel roll malts, cooked vegetables, brown sugar, herbal/vegetal hops. Rich toffee with rummy fruits and a bready backbone. Vegetal, herbal hops follow with some bitterness. Malt wins out in the end though. Rummy fruit sweetness mixes with Bell’s yeast in a long finish. Not as smoky as a Scotch Ale, but sufficiently malty to be one. Me gusta. Full-bodied, with a silky, creamy feel. Nice. Yum. Good work Bell’s and happy 20th anniversary!

alexgash, Mar 05, 2006
Photo of hopdog
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottles acquired in a few trades.

Poured a deeper and cloudy amber color with a large sized off white head. Subtle aromas of caramel, oranges, and dough. Tastes of oranges, caramel, toffee, and cookie dough. Flavors definitely stronger than the aromas. Medium sweet with a light hopiness.

Notes from 11/2/05

hopdog, Nov 14, 2008
Photo of Brent
3.33/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

For a celebration ale, I expected something a bit more noteworthy. This isn't a bad beer, by any means, but hardly celebratory. More ESB-ish than anything. Up front a substantial maltyness, with some vague caramel notes. Some mildly fruity yeast flavor barely makes it over the threshold. Hops follows up at a languid pace for a reasonably balanced finish. Not their best effort.

Brent, Oct 04, 2005
Photo of Mitchster
3.05/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours out to a semi-hazy red tinged copper, forming a modest lacy yellow head with average retention and mild lacing. Carbonation is mild to moderate. The aroma is somewhat odd...at first it has what I call an Oberon "twang", which is mostly just a lightly rubbery and cardboardy English hop profile. The traditional Bell's House flavor from the old brewery in Kzoo is absent, making me think this was brewed in Comstock. Mouthfeel is smooth and pillowy soft with a medium-dense body. Taste is like the aroma, however there is a very strong yeast presence which I don't really care for. The hops are noticeably English. Touches of lemon sprinkled with cereal notes throughout with mild to moderate bitterness and light astringency.

Ultimately, a disappointment, especially for a commemorative brew. This doesn't sum up 20 years of brewing expertise...this is frankly a dull English pale ale. I bought a sixer of this and am not really looking forward to having the rest. Skip on this one.

Mitchster, Sep 29, 2005
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Twentieth Anniversary Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
85 out of 100 based on 93 ratings.