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

Not Rated.
Bell's 25th Anniversary AleBell's 25th Anniversary Ale

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

485 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 485
Reviews: 343
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 12.53%
Wants: 20
Gots: 68 | FT: 5
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: 485 | Reviews: 343 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Khazadum


3.05/5  rDev -18.7%

Grabbed at my local Binny's on a lucky day for me! Chilled and poured into a pint glass.

A-Absolutely perfect amber color that belongs only on adornments. Pure white head that rose to an acceptable height and died away to the traditional laced collar and archipelago arrangement. Multiple carbonation streams noted within the glass. Easily able to read through the glass, but dark enough to know this bad boy is a beer.

S-Sweet cherries, none of that tart crap here. Faint malts reminding me of brown sugar and fructose. Alcohol laden apples? Definitely astringent something.

T-Alcohol really comes out for an 8.5%. The finish just bites you in the mouth with antiseptic qualities that slowly dissipate to a minor hop solo.

The good things to note about this is how clean it is on the opening. It comes out as a mystery with mild sweet flavors before it goes downhill. Its not bad, but its just not what I was expecting. The nose was an anomaly because nothing similar to it can be found in the flavors.

M-Bit watery lending it a smooth character, tingles are what I was expecting from how this looks, no residue except for the finish on the back of the tongue.

D- If you are okay with having alcohol be a dominant player, than this is a solid ale. The drawbacks are there isn't much else to it. Its heavily alcoholic, minor amount of flavors, and decent to sniff at. Not much else can be said for this. Least it goes down easily enough. I doubt I'd ever buy this again.

10-03-2010 03:19:48 | More by Khazadum
Photo of steve8robin


3.08/5  rDev -17.9%

Got this on a recent trip to Florida. Glad to try it. 12oz bottle...

A: A deep copper color with some ruby hues blended in. A small tan head that fades at a decent pace to a lace atop the brew. Good.

S: A sweet malt blended with some bready rye. Some hints of toffee in the middle with some faint caramel on the backend. Very mild hop hidden in there. Decent.

T: Hint of a bready boozy bite upfront with a quick metallic salty taste quickly following. Some faint cherry in the middle with a very, very faint tartness hidden on the back. A strange blend of flavors. Eh.

M: Medium body with an ok carbonation. A boozy bite finish. Decent.

D: Once you get past the strange flavors, this goes down. Decent.

All in all, this is definitely not something you should brew for a 25th anniversary. You would think after 25 years that they could come up with something more balanced and unique to offer. This just has a strange metallic salty taste to it. Don't bother with this one, even if you like Bell's. Not their best work. Need a 2 Hearted to wash this gunk down.

12-08-2010 04:04:08 | More by steve8robin
Photo of chiefydawg


3.08/5  rDev -17.9%

Semi-clear amber gold with sparse, slow-rising bubbles. Thin, light beige head with fine bubbles that fades somewhat rapidly.

Smell of malty, caramelly grain with a candied fig backdrop. Faint fruity, rounded hops keep it honest and from smelling like a delectable pastry. Clean yeast, barely detecting some of it, which may be contributing to the fruit. No alcohol nor any fermentation flaws noticed(of course).

Smooth, round, sticky malt. Just barely enough hop bitterness to keep that from going too far. Overripe flower, clover honey. Caramel, dates, ripe grain. Subtle but necessary hop punch at the swallow saves this one.

Alcohol is felt at the breath as the beer warms and empties. Actually quite nice, as the warmth aids in the hop's cutting of the malt cloy. Lingers in the mouth for too long, though the taste that is loitering is pretty pleasant, just not real drinkable for a Bell's.

Tastes aged, which would explain the sweetness. Not sure know how old this bottle is, but I looked and noted (checking after tasting to confirm) that early reviews had similar views. Maybe they were overthinking this one, but somthing is missing

A poor man's Brown Shugga - but not at a poor man's price.

11-20-2010 03:51:10 | More by chiefydawg
Photo of 7ways


3.1/5  rDev -17.3%

Brilliant ruby red and amber, off white head with decent lace and minimal head. Very pretty.

Smell is pretty muted. Raisin bread, caramel malt, hops are an afterthought. Pretty alcoholic.

Bread and caramel and more alcohol than you would expect from an 8.5% beer. Everything tastes faded; this tastes like a two year old IPA.

Except for the appearance, there is nothing very remarkable about this beer, and it's not worth $15 for a 6 pack.

09-26-2010 04:52:29 | More by 7ways
Photo of zhanson88


3.1/5  rDev -17.3%

Appearance: Bell's 25th pours a deep, slightly hazy copper color with ruby highlights. About a 2 finger slightly off-white head forms, that has pretty nice retention and lacing.

Smell: I get a lot of caramel malts on the nose, and some graininess. Also some citrus hops. To me the malts and hops in this beer clash a bit. Maybe it's just the fact that a ton of caramel and citrus don't go together for me; I can't quite put my finger on it.

Taste: Lots of caramel malts and citrus hops. That's about all I pick up on. The hops and malts don't clash as badly in the taste as they do on the nose, but this beer is still just average, maybe slightly above.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: This beer is definitely light bodied for an 8.5% ABV beer. It does drink fairly smoothly due to good combination but still, just decent. Overall, just a slightly above average strong ale. Definitely worth a shot, but you'll find much better offerings from Bell's.

03-13-2011 21:47:04 | More by zhanson88
Photo of BeerFMAndy


3.13/5  rDev -16.5%

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter. 8.5% ABV, Batch # 9871 (packaged Aug. 12, 2010)

Thanks to sweemzander for this brew!

A - 25 pours a beautiful clear crimson bronze color that's gorgeous and vibrant but topped by a weak bone-colored head. An arch of lace and ring of loose bubbles is left above the almost naked beer.

S - The immediately crisp, hopped-up aroma fades quickly into an amber malt and doughy-bread-based ale with subtle fruity esters. The once strong, citrusy American hops vanished quickly leaving the malt fairly balance-less in the aroma. Thin solvent alcohol notes in the back.

T - Some of the citrusy American hops pull into the flavor much more adding balance to the doughy, bready amber malt. Almost no finish or follow-through though which is largely my problem with it. It disappears very quickly.

M - While the flavor has a somewhat thin consistency, falling almost flat mid palette, the actual feel is rather thick and chewy. Smooth from very low carbonation on the finish. Retro-nasal alcohol warmth comes through.

D - For a 25th Anniversary brew, I find this lacking all around (for a Bell's product) especially the sharp drop-off in flavor on the tongue. No finish, odd feel, this is definitely a one-and-done for me. I wouldn't really want it again.

03-04-2011 04:00:17 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of ktrillionaire


3.13/5  rDev -16.5%

A - The beer pours quite dark, a sort of reddish ebony hue. The head is tan and frothy, and leaves a bit of lace.

S - The aroma is buttery, slightly toasty, and has a tinge of finished leather smell. I don't really dig it.

T - The flavor is unusual, certainly, featuring abstractions of tastes like Fruit Loops, Starburst candies, and, again, a leathery impression. It is much more interesting and enjoyable in the gustatory sense than it is for the olfactory.

M - Feels a bit sticky, and that doesn't help things at all. The carbonation is a bit aggressive too.

D - Wow this is a bizarre brew; it has nice flavor aspects but it just never seems to coalesce.

10-15-2010 18:53:09 | More by ktrillionaire
Photo of righthereisay


3.13/5  rDev -16.5%

I fan of Bell's, so I picked up 1 bottle at our local 6 pack shop.

It has a nice smell, maybe some caramel/raisin. No distinct flavor is totally evident.

The flavor is somewhat complex, grains and barley. Definitely some bitterness, but not too much. Absolutely no carmel as others state.

The body is almost non-existent. Very dissappointed with that. the carbonation is good though. Mouthfeel is pretty bad.

Drinkability? Well, I could understand the 2nd would go down better, but I really am not impressed.

Overall, Bell's should have worked harder on their 25th anniversary beer....or maybe this just isn't my style.

11-07-2010 18:39:30 | More by righthereisay
Photo of otto251068


3.15/5  rDev -16%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Rochefort chalice. Batch 9871 making this beer six months old.

Appearance: Pours a dark ruby red with some hints of brown, a little muddy. Great color, when held up to the light it really makes this beer look lively. The half fingers worth of off white head appears, then quickly dies to leave only a trace of spotty lace covering with a ring clinging to the glass.

Smell: Sweet caramel and toffee start this one out. There are burnt notes, some malty sweetness, and piney hops in there as well. The hops come out more and more as the drink warms.

Taste: The maltiness appears first, followed some sweetness. The hops really come out to play at the end, and leave a drying bitterness after the swallow. There is an herbal, almost soapy flavor in there, but it is not unpleasant.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium, almost high carbonation level. The carbonation level does a great job at "perking" this beer up making all the flavors come out.

Overall: The sweetness out front is countered well by the hoppy finish. I enjoy the kick from the sweetness, but it may be a little too rich for my liking.

02-19-2011 00:38:25 | More by otto251068
Photo of sholland119


3.15/5  rDev -16%

A-Pours a pretty amber red, crystal clear, low carbonation but a little ring of off white head.

S-Lots of bready malt and some caramel sweetness.

T-Surprisingly bland, especially for a Bell's beer. Malty, bready but disappointingly watery.

M-Low carbonation, medium body, thin.

O-A letdown all in all. Bummer.


11-19-2011 02:42:52 | More by sholland119
Photo of syrupjoe


3.18/5  rDev -15.2%

12oz bottle into pint glass. Pours a deep amber with light tan head.

Nose is extraordinarily malty - honey, biscuit, and sweet toffee.

Taste is rather light and smooth - less than I expected with the nose. Lots of biscuit and malt, a slight amount of grain, and a bit of booze.

Low carbonation with a sweet but tight finish.

Overall this is an okay beer, but it's nothing great. It's well-rounded but I wouldn't seek it out and will probably give away my second bottle.

12-13-2011 03:27:37 | More by syrupjoe
Photo of nkersten


3.2/5  rDev -14.7%

Pours a dark orange/reddish color with a bubbly quarter inch off white head. Smell is dominated by a combination of fruity tropical hops and sweet mats. Almost like a barleywine. Not used to this much hops in a strong ale. Taste is slightly metallic and boozy up front with caramel malts, some bitter tropical hops in the finish. Body is medium, sweet and slightly coating. Moderate carbonation helps finish clean. Drinkability is ok, but the metallic taste throws me off a little. This "catch all" category is hard to rate, but there is something I am not crazy about in this brew - not one particular category in particular, but whatever it is makes me glad i bought this by the bottle rather then a 6 pack.

10-21-2010 01:29:25 | More by nkersten
Photo of Knapp85


3.2/5  rDev -14.7%

I expected this beer to be much more impressive that it was. This beer poured out as a copper color, with a white head on top that really didn't really stick around too much. The smell was a little boozy and had some light Belgian aromas to it. Nothing much really stood out to me on this. The taste was malty and was a little tart. Kind of a strange brew. The mouthfeel was decent but nothing out of the ordinary. Overall this beer left me unimpressed. I feel that this beer doesn't do the justice of celebrating something like 25 years. Perhaps if this was aged it would improve but I'll probably never know.

07-20-2011 00:33:54 | More by Knapp85
Photo of beatenbyjacks


3.23/5  rDev -13.9%

Appearance - this was by far the most appealing part of this beer! rich frothy white head with beautiful lacing. light caramel color to the beer.

Smell - roasted malts for sure and a slight bitterness at the end.

Taste - lots and lots and lots of malts! Malt bomb.

Mouth feel - even with how malty this guy was it was very easy to drink.

Overall - maybe I should not have sat on this beer trade as long as I did. While very easy to drink, it was not my favorite Bell's beer.

11-29-2013 20:50:39 | More by beatenbyjacks
Photo of NilocRellim


3.25/5  rDev -13.3%

10-06-2012 16:25:50 | More by NilocRellim
Photo of trappistlover


3.25/5  rDev -13.3%

(12oz bottle courtesy of gwguest!) Pours dark amber with off-white head. Aroma of sweet malt, honey, candied sugar. Taste is sweet-like a tootsie pop. Some bitterness on the end. Medium bodied with slick texture and slightly bitter finish. Ok, but nothing worth seeeking out. Huge thanks to Gavin for this!!

02-21-2011 06:46:59 | More by trappistlover
Photo of Johnhaley1989

North Dakota

3.25/5  rDev -13.3%

10-05-2012 19:28:12 | More by Johnhaley1989
Photo of Bonis


3.25/5  rDev -13.3%

A - A nice deep orange with one finger of head which eventually settles to a layer of white bubbles. Leaves some sticky lacing.

S - Not too complex here. A nice dose of caramel malt, some sweet citrus hops, and a hint of booze.

T - Caramel malts are big, some fruitiness is also apparent. Bitter hops are there along the way, but turn unpleasantly bitter in the end. It's like when I lick my lips I just get this awful bitterness. Overall, not what I expected from Bell's on their 25th.

M - Full bodied, sweet, sticky, boozy... Oh yea, unpleasantly bitter.

D - Getting through the first few drinks was the worst part about this one. After I became accustomed to the bitterness, it got a little better. This is a beer that Bell's fans should try. I'm glad I got a bottle, and I'm also glad I didn't get 6. I'd be interested to see what it's like after some of those hops have mellowed out.

09-15-2010 21:00:54 | More by Bonis
Photo of number1bum


3.25/5  rDev -13.3%

Pours a very nice ruby, dark copper sort of color with about two fingers of creamy beige head. Keeps a nice full lace and coats the glass quite nicely as well.

Smell has a caramel sweetness to it with some buttery toffee notes as well. It's also somewhat bready with a subtle grainy, slightly toasted aroma. Also has a floral hoppiness with a bit of pine. Smells quite a bit like a barleywine.

Taste is initially rather bitter in a somewhat offputting way, with a grainy, tannin sort of astringency as well. It settles out from there with some caramel sweetness and a husky, grainy breadiness. The tannins never completely go away which I think is the predominant flavor that I am not wild about. Certainly the hop bitterness doesn't bother me, although the hop flavors are awfully subtle - some pine and earthy flavors primarily. At the end of the day the tannin-induced astringency really brings this down a notch.

Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied and pretty smooth, although the previously mentioned astringency hurts the feel as it did the taste. Finishes quite bitter.

This started out promising but unfortunately it fell a bit flat once it hit the tastebuds. Something just didn't turn out quite right here, as the bitter, astringent tannins really detract from what otherwise would have been a nice, subtly sweet, warming sort of sipper. For such a great brewery I am disappointed that they did not do better with such a milestone beer.

12-01-2010 03:43:21 | More by number1bum
Photo of jwinship83


3.25/5  rDev -13.3%

12oz bottle drank from my Samuel Adams perfect pint glass.

A- this one pours out a translucent dark reddish brown colored boy with a small light tan colored head on top. the head takes its time falling and leaves behind small spots of lacing.

S- the first thing i notice are sweet caramel malts with a little bit of toffee. after that come some hops. theyre strong, but not what i was expecting. pine, grapefruit, and grassy hops come through. this one smells pretty balanced.

T- the sweet toffee and caramel malts i could smell come to the front of this. once again its hoppy, but not nearly what i was expecting. this is a pretty malt dominated beer. some floral, piny, and grapefruit hops along with a little bit of grass in here too. a bit of alcohol comes through in the finish.

M- medium bodied and overly carbonated. slight warming from the alcohol.

D- this beer left me wanting more. i was expecting something really special and it wasnt delivered. it wasnt offensive or anything, but i think bells could have done something more to celebrate 25 years of brewing. itll be interesting to see how it ages.

10-22-2010 00:27:43 | More by jwinship83
Photo of doughanson78


3.25/5  rDev -13.3%

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks to GCurlow for this.

A: Dark amber with redish and orange highlights when held to light. Pretty hazy. A slight quarter finger head that pretty much vanishes as fast as it came. Slightly off white, almost tan. An alright lacing sticks to the glass.

S: Big dark fruits dominate the aroma in this one. Black cherries and raisins mainly, with notes of figs and dates. A buttery bread/biscuit smell. Caramel and toffee malts are light. A very faint flowery aroma underneath. Pretty complex.

T: Sweet malts upfront with a slight burnt flavor. The dark fruits take over in the middle followed by a decent dose of alcohol. Finishing fairly hot and slightly roasty, with a light black cherry aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied. Medium to high carbonation. Lots of alcohol in the mouth, throat, and stomach.

O: Way to much alcohol coming through on this one. Has lots of potential. Should've let this one sit a year or two. But how was I to know. If I end up with another in a trade I'll know what to do now.

08-07-2011 07:28:44 | More by doughanson78
Photo of KAF


3.25/5  rDev -13.3%

07-02-2014 03:25:39 | More by KAF
Photo of KickInTheChalice


3.25/5  rDev -13.3%

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: The color seems sort of light for this style - a mostly transparent full amber color with a foamy off-white head that bubbles away, leaving a bit more than a ring around the glass.

Smell: Tons of caramel malt sweetness, some dark fruits, not much else. A little bit of booze as it warms.

Taste: There is an overabundance of caramel sweetness here; I actually get a cotton candy taste out of it, which is uniquely enjoyable. A little bit smokey. I am actually curious what the intention was here, since this is so cloyingly sweet. I get no real hop presence. Finishes -- surprise! -- sweet.

Mouthfeel: A stickiness coats the lips and tongue. Medium carbonation, fuller than medium body.

Drinkability: The sweetness here really dampens my enjoyment of this beer. There was not really much balance, and this is just not something I am going to go out of the way for.

12-25-2010 07:09:18 | More by KickInTheChalice
Photo of joeblackasnite


3.25/5  rDev -13.3%

Deep ruby to tan in the glass with no collar of foam to speak of. Sweet toffee and caramel on the nose, very malt driven with some baking spice notes. Sweetness on the aromas are confirmed on the palate, some earthy hop notes come through on the back end. Bitterness lingers with a long finish. The alcohol comes off sweet, not enough hop presence to balance to beer out however. Overall I like it but definately don't love it. I am glad I bought one of them and not a six pack.

09-13-2010 21:19:53 | More by joeblackasnite
Photo of whoneeds8


3.3/5  rDev -12%

Recieved from both biglobo8971 and Desaparecido for winning the Sunday Night Football Squares LIF week 4. Thanks again guys, I'm enjoying one getting ready for Game 1 of the ALCS, Go Rangers!!!

Poured into a New Belgium glass golden amber color with a one finger white froathy head. Decent lacing. It's the Fall, so I can't smell much because of allergies. The flavor is rather interesting. I'm not sure how to describe it. It's just odd. There is a strange fruity bitterness up front that ends in a leathery flavor. The mouthfeel isn't anything great but nothing terrible.

This is an odd brew and I think I'm going to let the 2nd bottle I got age for a few years. Maybe some of its bitterness will fade.

10-15-2010 22:31:02 | More by whoneeds8
Bell's 25th Anniversary Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
85 out of 100 based on 485 ratings.