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Bell's 25th Anniversary Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Bell's 25th Anniversary AleBell's 25th Anniversary Ale

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

480 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 480
Reviews: 343
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 12.53%

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

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

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: mcallister on 07-28-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 480 | Reviews: 343 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Nelsonbaggins


4.9/5  rDev +30.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! Best Bell's beer I've ever had, hands down. Color is medium amber. Two finger off-white head and sustained lacing. Big malt flavor & sweetness hides the 8.5% ABV very well. Nice velvety mouthfeel. It says ale on the bottle but in a blind taste test I'd say lager because it is so crisp, clear and clean. It tastes like a high gravity Oktoberfest or Märzen. Unlike any ale I've ever had. I bought a single from the Bell's General Store but will head back for a six very soon!

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2010 02:11:22 | More by Nelsonbaggins
Photo of j3stradi


4.68/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got it day of release at Bell's General store, 08/20/2010

Appearance: Dark Copper, head starts strong but diminishes with light lacing and a thin, spotty head that hangs on

Smell- traces of deep burnt sugar tones with a strong alcohol presence. Very sharp - typical of a SERIOUS dry hop. It masks a lot of the amber qualities a beer like this should have, but i'm not let down.

Taste- Very sharp at first. Tinny and thin but mellows out to a full amber-body and a smoothness that isn't an attribute of any typical 8.5 abv + beer i've had.

Mouthfeel- not too heavy which is misleading of a beer with as heavy of a malt profile that this seems to have. Plenty of alcohol.

Drinkability- Relatively high. I'd place this in the ranks of their sparkling ale.

Overall- fantastic. A great offering from Bell's, and a great way to celebrate 25 years. Not very sessionable, but a great way to start a night.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2010 01:34:55 | More by j3stradi
Photo of Lukafer


4.65/5  rDev +24%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I believe that Bell's is trying to get all of my money this month, between this, Oarsman and the Oracle? I guess I'mlucky that they still sell 12oz. bottles for $3-3.50 as opposed to other Michigan breweries that sell 12oz. for $6.99 (Founders). Anyways, between these two breweries, there goes my check!

Pours a surprisingly clear red/amber with two fingers of tan head. Smells are sweet malts, citrus, hops and brown sugar, not at all what I expected from this beer. Taste is caramel, pineapple, some brown sugar, good hop finish, a vey good beer! Mouthfeel is sticky with medium carb, feels good. Drinkabilty is very good.

I wa expecting a huge beer from Bell's for their anniversary, but instead I got a very well-balanced ale, unique but extremely drinkable. Should be drank now and NOT cellared, IMHO.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2010 03:53:37 | More by Lukafer
Photo of jjanega08


4.65/5  rDev +24%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A= The beer pours a nice deep red color with a good looking finger high head that is a nice creamy vanilla ice cream color. There is great lacing on the side of the glass.

S= Bright fruity hops in it. A little swirl lets some of the alcohol free in the nose as well as some nice caramel malts. Smells really fruity. The smell goes beyond just hop smells like grapefruit and pine. It sort of smells like a sweet navel orange.

T= The taste is similar to the smell. There is a hop bitterness but it's balanced by the sweet malt character leaving me with a navel orange flavor in the taste. Really plesant. Unusual taste to this one because of the balance of the flavors. Delicious.

M= A little too heavy on the carbonation but only a little.

D= Great beer. I'm really happy I got to try this. One of the most unique tasting beers I've ever had. Another masterpiece from Bell's.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2010 03:57:37 | More by jjanega08
Photo of Snow81


4.65/5  rDev +24%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Nice and Hazy orange

Smell: Light citric, sticky maltyness on the nose

Head: bit small not even a finger length and a little tan for color

Taste: Wow big floral hops with some mango or a exotic fruit with a touch of heat on the back

Weight: I would say about medium on the body and a bit lower carbonation than I was expecting

Finish: Mouth full of hops, lips get nice and sticky, a bit of a heat is still present, dryness hits the palate

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2011 07:13:45 | More by Snow81
Photo of arboristfish


4.5/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a deep amber color, with a slightly off white head that is thick and frothy. The aroma of the beer smells like caramel malts, with citrus, piney hops. A hint of earthy hop smell. The taste of the beer reminds me of toffee. The malt character has a bready caramel taste to it. The malt shines through more than the hops, but the hops are there for a good balance. The mouthfeel is medium, and I would consider this a drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2010 22:32:54 | More by arboristfish
Photo of Cresant


4.5/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served this 12 oz. brown bottle into a New Belgium snifter. Batch: 9871. The body was a clear copper with an orange/tan head. There were fine, solid sheets of lace remaining. Nice appearance.

The smell was sweet and spicy. Apricots and cloves.

The taste was fruity, tart, and bready. Caramel. Reminded me of zucchini bread. Yummy.

The mouthfeel was smooth at the beginning and a prickly alcohol finish. Medium to full body. Better that I expected.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2011 22:00:43 | More by Cresant
Photo of cdizinno

South Carolina

4.45/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Poured into a pint glass from a bottle as pictured.

A: Slighty hazy, deep amber color with a 1/2 finger, off-white head. Moderate lacing.

S: Citrus hops mixed with a caramel malty sweetness.

T&M: Thick, sweet caramel and toffee hits first. Slowly turns into a citrusy hop tanginess. Definitely more malty than hoppy, but well-balanced. Very smooth with a medium to heavy body.

Very drinkable for a Strong Ale. Original flavor, nothing spectacular, but very solid.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2010 20:34:22 | More by cdizinno
Photo of heebes

Ontario (Canada)

4.45/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

355 ml bottle from MI.

Pours a deep clear amber. Thick off white head, good carbonation present. Looks like an IPA...smells like one too! Auromas of a bready malt backed by some citrus hops smells very sweet. Taste is smooth, quite drinkable. Flavor matchs the nose with a nice long finish ending with a delicious maltiness.
Medium mouthfeel which is smooth on the palatte. These were limited to one per person at the store I visited, but if I saw it available I'd be picking up plenty of this beer. A delicious brew to represent a milestone for a great brewery!

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2010 18:17:02 | More by heebes
Photo of DrDemento456


4.43/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - I get an inch of head and a nice dark amber color. Pretty.

S - You get slight hops, yeast, along with some dark raisin and plum. This should be interesting.

T - Starts off fruity with a hint of plum and hops (which balanced pretty well) and then rounds out to a little yeast and sweet semi bitter finish. Nice!

M - Very medium bodied. If I didn't know any better I would suggest 6 or 7 tops.

D - Well it really was good and a shame a four pack is around 14-15 dollars. I really think PA affects my drink-ability for the prices but I would drink this again with some age but overall great beer!

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2010 05:39:36 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of Immortale25

North Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Cigar City pint glass. No readable freshness date to be found on the bottle.

A- Pours a dark amber with a very thin white head that disappears halfway through the drink.

S- Initial hoppy aroma gives way to malts that balance nicely. Alcohol is present but not too heavy. If it's any indication as to what the flavor will be like, I'm gonna enjoy this

T- Yep. Just as I thought. Wonderful balance of hops and malts. The hops are pungent yet subdued enough to not be overpowering. The heavy malt backbone this beer is sporting is also very enjoyable. The aforementioned alcohol aroma is even more hidden in the flavor. I can tell it's 8.5% but, judging by the taste, wouldn't think it's even .1 over that. I get bready, toasted notes from the malt. Hop profile is somewhat citrusy but moreso herbal like British hops. Seems clear that more than one variety was used.

M- Thin viscosity. Slightly heavy carbonation. Gives me kind of a burn when I swish but it's not a bad one.

O- The word for this beer is certainly "balance." To me, the malts are more dominant than the hops but the hops have their own significant role. Quaffable indeed. Way to go Bell's. Do you guys even make beer that's any less than awesome? (Obviously a rhetorical question)

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2011 03:52:29 | More by Immortale25
Photo of garymuchow


4.4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed once when it first came out, but failed to record it here, so here is another go.
Batch 9871 - August 12th bottling date. States shelf life of 6 months, but it appears to just be coming into it's own right now.
Sort of a crisp and crackly malt aroma with graham cracker noted clearly. Complex malt with sweet caramel like, a little candy, but also some breadiness. Hops are quite subdued.
Small but dense yellowish head. Pretty red hue to the amber and quite clear. Lacing evident.
More hop presence with the taste with really nice balancing with both flavor and just enough bitterness to add some length to the finish along with a nice flavored bitterness. Really nice intermingling of hop and malt flavors, both with some level of complexity and interest. Slight fruit, but also a little cracker and caramel with a touch of nuttiness. A bit of alcohol.
Only a moderate body but with an exceptional creaminess to the carbonation it drinks big and smooth.
Wow, this is already better than the beer I had only two months ago. The flavors are already blending better and creating a enjoyable drinking event. Drinks both big and small. Complex enough to enjoy slowly, but light enough and more malt based without residual sweetness so it goes down easily.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2011 03:32:12 | More by garymuchow
Photo of stonelis


4.38/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a amber with a 2 finger head which dissapated quickly. Reminds me of a belgian ale. Easily drinkable. Sweet, sticky. I would of guessed it to be more than the 8.5%. some toffee notes. I would of thought this would get better ratings. I can drink this all day.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2010 00:35:25 | More by stonelis
Photo of mynie


4.38/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought this about a year ago, and I've been taking real good care of it ever since. Folks told me to age it for a while, so I did.

Pours ruddy. Hazy red, nearly headless.

Smells more like an old ale than a strong. Not that there's really a formal difference between the two, just that one is an unclassifiable, strong beer and the other is an unclassifiable, strong beer that's been aged. Hmm... Anyhow, pleasant fruit nodes from the thick malt, and some generic-smelling hops are still present.

Tastes like nicely aged, fruity malt, lightly bitter hops, and sweet yeast. It's old, but the age brings everything together quite nicely. Starts outs with nodes of plums and apples, moves into a lemony yeast flavor, ends on a node of old, bittersour hops.

Ladies and gentlemen, this beer was meant to be aged. Because of this, it don't taste like a regular big beer. Instead, it's a shining example of a neglected style.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2011 06:27:51 | More by mynie
Photo of boomer31


4.35/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bought at Eccentric Cafe on 8-24. Notes from 8-24:

A - Beautiful deep Caramel with a thick tan head. The head sticks to the glass all the way thru...beautiful

S - Chocolate and caramel malts, subtle fruity hops that I get when I smell the bottle but the malt dominates the glass

T - Slight hop bitterness in the back but the malt dominates the palate. Molasses and toffee sweetness

M - Rich and chewy caramell. Low carb form the bottle and slightly dry

D - Wonderful! Don't get any 8.5% at all but a ton of malt and nice balance of hop

WOW what a beer. This really is a great present to fans of Bells. Yes I wanted a big barrel aged beer or perhaps a wild ale but this does not disappoint.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2010 01:26:23 | More by boomer31
Photo of WakeandBake


4.35/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A deep amber color pour with a big lasting soapy offwhite head , medium carbonation . Aroma of cirtus hops , fruit ppunch , biscut , and caramel . Flavor is hoppy up front , fruity , with a nice toffee, caramel backbone , alcohol is well hidden , medium body , smooth creamy mouthfeel , hoppy finish . Very nice , a good drinker ,

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2010 21:27:00 | More by WakeandBake
Photo of beachbum1975


4.35/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I am VERY happy to support Bell's brewing and am equally as happy knowing they are celebrating 25 years... To Larry and all the other fine people of Bell's Brewing, I wish for your continued success for the next 100 years!!!!

Batch # 9871 - 12 ounce, bottle with a great black and silver label. Temp? Fridge temperature, then waited 20 minutes to pour.

Pours a slightly cloudy reddish brown with a light tan head. After an aggressive pour, the head doesn't retain long, leaving a small 1/8 thick skimming on top.

Sweet, thick roasted malts, cooked carrot-like sweetness (vegetable earthiness) and bready malts in this thick and concoction.

Flavor dictates the nose. A hearty caramel, malty base with sweet, sugary notes. Sugar cane, molasses and honey are in the mix. There's a certain, low level of dry, hop character, but it is no way a primary flavor. Moderately complex flavor profile - unique and enjoyable.

The mouthfeel is perfect. Light to medium bodied with creamy notes and just the right amount of buttery creaminess.

Very nice beer to celebrate 25 years - congrats!

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2010 23:02:33 | More by beachbum1975
Photo of MNJR


4.35/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Really looked forward to trying this. Pours with almost no head and leaves almost no lacing. The color is dark gold or brass, and a little hazy. The smell is excellent: woodsy/vanilla/fresh pine bark, and port wine. A lot of dessert flavors: maple, cream, caramel, vanilla. All the sweet richness is done very nicely and not pushed too far, but sometimes it seems close. The hops are there, and provide that little, sharp knife edge that it needs. The high alcohol content is up front, present and accounted for. There is also a slightly dry, astringent aftertaste, and a lingering, thick maltiness in the background. The mouthfeel overall suffers because it's a bit soupy and the carbonation is on the flat side. I expected to be really blown away, which unfortunately I wasn't, not in a "once every 25 years" way... but, I was impressed. Don't pass up an opportunity to try this. It's very good.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2010 23:59:48 | More by MNJR
Photo of richkrull


4.35/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark amber color with a good amount of beige head on it. Smell is pronounced. Bit of cherries with some maltiness coming through. Taste is pretty great malt upfront with a nice bitter hop finish. Medium bodied beer. Very good all around beer. I really enjoyed this one.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2011 22:18:34 | More by richkrull
Photo of irishevans


4.33/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I am drinking and reviewing this under some sad circumstances. my best friend and fellow BA's dog, Pilot, whom he had for half of his life (literally) had to be put down in the last few days, due to complications from age. So this bottle was consumed and reviewed in memory of that awesome dog, and the "vitamins" poured into the pacific ocean for him.

A-Fairily transparent medium brown, with no real head to speak of, just some small grayish patches of bubbles. the color of the body reminds me of an english barleywine.

N- a mix of fruit smells and a strong rye aroma. the fruit I can pinpoint is cherry, also some currant maybe.

T- Clean! can taste the currant, and the rye flavor makes itself known too. a good bit sweet, but also with tiniest bit of a tart pinch on the finish. it's like a very malty American barleywine (there is some hoppiness to it that the nose doesn't let on about, hits up front but quickly fades as the taste evolves).

M- Extremely "clean" you will. low carbonation, and it hides it's ABV% very well

D- I'm a fan. Drinks easy for it's alcohol content and has an awesome taste and feel. I WILL be drinking this again.

*Bye Pilot, you really were a one of a kind, unique, awesome Shepard. Thanks for being my friend too, while you were here.*

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2011 20:56:23 | More by irishevans
Photo of tmcelvain


4.3/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My overwheliming impression of Bell's 25th Anniversary is candy. Not sure quite which candy flavor, but this well-balanced ale tastes strongly of the same sugar flavor that a child's sucker displays. good carbonation, drinkability, and mouthfeel. This is a big, bright, refreshing beer that keeps your palate on its toes. Reccommeded.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2010 21:00:26 | More by tmcelvain
Photo of feloniousmonk


4.28/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bell's tulip glass, check. Bell's coaster, check. Bell's bottle opener, check. Now on to put them all to use in drinking up some Bell's 25th Anniversary Ale.

Appearance, : clear, dusky crimson coloring, small but staying beige head. Looks good!

Aroma: rich, sweet caramel notes. Malt-driven ale all the way, very little hops coming through. Hints of molasses. A little spicy.

Taste: Mmmm. Hard to pigeonhole, tough to describe. Dark and slightly smokey, rich malt, viscous mouthfeel, alcohol becoming apparent. This feels most like a barley-wine, maybe something like a scotch ale, and a little like a Belgian strong dark. Caramel and toffee ahoy! The official description mentions "generous dry-hopping", but it's lost on me, even the "fragrant hop character."
All I'm getting is rich, sweet dark malt.
But very even-tempered, and I am now getting the hops, and they are well-balanced with the malt. Which is why it doesn't totally resemble a barley-wine, the sweetness is kept in check with hops wonderfully.
A wonderful, relaxing ale. How I wish I could actually get this in quantity. I'd love to have 2 or 3 of these in a row for a really righteous session.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2010 09:23:58 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of silver0rlead

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 9871 bottled on 8/12 pours a slightly cloudy mahogany color with a nice tan head that retains well considering the ABV. The aroma is really exceptional with notes of caramel apples, juicy citrusy hops, orange marmalade, toffee, toasted bread, dark fruits (cherry, blackberry, plum) and some alcohol. The flavor starts off with some piney and citrusy hops, along with some caramel and toffee, fruity esters, toasted bread, dark fruits (fig, cherry, plum) along with some metallic notes and alcohol. The mouthfeel is smooth and rich, and drinkability is good for the ABV. Very nice beer from Bell's that is impressively hoppy while also showcasing the unique flavor of the Michigan barley. It's got kind of a midwest Arrogant Bastard vibe to it.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2010 01:34:19 | More by silver0rlead
Photo of stewart124


4.25/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful copper color with a thin head.

Strong caramel in the nose with some citrus. Sensing a nice sweetness.

Whoa this is very drinkable!. Nice amount of light caramel with a light to medium body. Very good piney background bitterness. High alpha hops add a great punch to this pleasant American strong ale. Delicious!

Not sure what I was expecting from Bell's 25th Anniversary Ale but I am pleased to say the least. Did I say this was drinkable? Pulls toward a lighter barleywine but really doesn't hold up in body. This really is easier to drink than most strong ales. This would really sneak up on someone.

Another job well done by bells.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2011 01:46:32 | More by stewart124
Photo of trxxpaxxs

New York

4.23/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to wintbs379 for this beer.

A: Pours out a nice caramel color with deep hues of red. There is about one finger of khaki colored head that seems to last forever. There is some great lacing as it drinks.

S: This beer smells sweet and malt, almost like a barleywine, with a touch of spice in the background. I'm getting malt, wheat, bananas, oranges, ginger, and clove. I'm digging it.

T: I get a blast of sweet malt right up front, but that flavor quickly transitions to citrus (orange) and clover. The sweetness never fades, but it becomes more subtle toward the finish. I get some nice spice and fresh cut grass in the finish.

M: Medium bodied beer. The flavors indulge the palate with quick bursts of ingredients, and all of them simmer slowly into oblivion as it drinks. Nothing is too overpowering or sticky. The sweetness lingers but not for too long.

O: I'm really impressed by this beer. I have been let down by a bunch of Bell's offerings, but I'm very happy with this one. It seems incredibly complicated, with no real definitive style, but that's ok with me. This beer is a winner. Happy 25th!

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2012 01:53:51 | More by trxxpaxxs
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Bell's 25th Anniversary Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
85 out of 100 based on 480 ratings.