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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.
BA SCORE
85
very good

487 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 487
Reviews: 343
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 12.53%
Wants: 20
Gots: 69 | 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: 487 | Reviews: 343 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of zeff80
4/5  rDev +6.7%

A - Poured out a clear, bronze color with a thick, tan head. It was long lasting and left behind some sticky patches of lace.

S - It smelled of citrus fruits, mostly orange and some floral notes. There was a sweet caramel presence, too.

T - Very herbal tasting with a floral hop presence. Nice bitter bite with a burnt toast maltiness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

D - This is a pretty good ale. I'm going to try to see how some age effects these.

zeff80, Sep 27, 2010
Photo of RblWthACoz
4/5  rDev +6.7%

This is a pretty straight forward ale. Not a lot of deviation off of what you first get. Tastes similar to a barleywine. Thick character from ingredients may age well over time. A nice ale, but I would have hoped for a bit more from a 25th anniversary ale.

RblWthACoz, Aug 27, 2012
Photo of nickfl
4.2/5  rDev +12%

A - Pours with one finger of off-white foam on top of a perfectly clear, amber-brown body. The head recedes rapidly and leaves moderate lace in its wake.

S - Rich, brown malt with lots of caramel and biscuit notes. Some pine hops and a little bit of fruity ale yeast.

T - Toasty, bready malt up front with lots of rich toffee flavor. Hop notes begin to come out in the middle with a peppery, mustardy character that blends well with the toasted malt character. The malt remains rich and sweet in the finish with lots of toffee character and moderate hop bitterness.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a somewhat sweet finish.

D - Excellent, this beer is full of rich malt and spicy, resinous hops. The malt is dark enough to have toffee, toast, and caramel character, but it is also sweet enough to keep these flavors from becoming acrid and cloying as they too often are in dryer brown beers. The hops are spicy with a pepper and mustard character that is common in the best beers of this type. Well balanced and very drinkable, this is an appropriate beer to celebrate the 25th anniversary of a great brewery.

nickfl, Dec 01, 2010
Photo of WVbeergeek
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%

I didn't know that Bell's was hitting 25,I didn't hear much about this release so it was a pleasant surprise to see this beauty sitting in the cooler up at Bocktown. Pours a ruby amber colored body with a light khaki head wth thin sporadic lacing. Aroma is full of pine/citrus hop pungency coated with some sugars and a bit of alcohol and a nice slightly sour mash cereal grain finish. As it warms I notice ripened fruits and hints of oak finishing, again I haven't heard much I have no clue whether this has hit the barrel or not. This one is ready for the cellar a big strong ale brewed with Michigan malts, and American hops...hop flavor is actually well integrated in this beer. Vanilla, caramel, a bit of diacetyl but it's not offensve. Pine/citrus well blended hop bitterness, alcohol is evident not overwhelming. Mouthfeel coats the palate a bit of residual sugars left on the palate not too cloying especially for a strong/old ale. Carbonation is mellow, body is medium to full nothing here to complain about. Drinkability is a nice sipping brew, definitely strong flavor profile. Light up a cigar as it warms I'm sure it would be a great combo, sit out on the back deck this fall and enjoy.

WVbeergeek, Sep 27, 2010
Photo of Kegatron
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Kegatron, Aug 05, 2013
Photo of russpowell
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%

Got this at macadoodles in Jane, MO...

Pours a super effervescent amber with a sliver of tan head. Minimal head retention & lacing

S: Plummyness & doughyness, some raisin

T: Follows the nose, also herbal hoppyness, brown sugar & dryness up front, plus leafy hops. Warming figgyness with some dryness as this warms, plus toffee & just a touch of leafy hops. Finishes dry with leafy hops & slight caramel sweetness

MF: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation, fairly good balance

Drinks good, not a bad offering, but was expecting way more quite frankly. I just as soon have 3rd Coast Ale, not really close...

russpowell, Nov 12, 2010
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.28/5  rDev +14.1%

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.

feloniousmonk, Sep 17, 2010
Photo of drabmuh
3.55/5  rDev -5.3%

Bottle obtained in a trade with Thorpe, I gave him nothing and he gave me 2 of these, not sure why but it does not bode well for this beer. I like Bell's and have neglected their beers thus far, time to start seriously pursuing them as a brewery. Served in a DFH glass because I don't have a Bell's tulip or snifter. D'oh!

Beer is brown with a mild haze, huge head, lots of lacing, looks like soap on the glass.

Aroma is sweet, like candy, caramel, malt syrup, smells fine.

Beer is good, not great, super sweet, heavy on the palate, sweet finish, very strong. Mild alcohol, it is just sweet sweet sweet. Very strong, overall interesting but not a great ale. I probably won't have it again.

drabmuh, Oct 31, 2011
Photo of oline73
3.25/5  rDev -13.3%

oline73, Aug 28, 2014
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours an orange-amber color with a cream-colored head. The aroma is fairly faint, but I do get a little bit of alcohol, dark fruit, citrus and honey. The flavor is more pronounced. I get some caramel malt, candi-sugar, sweet fruit, citrus and some alcohol. There is a light amount of hop bitterness. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Mora2000, Oct 15, 2010
Photo of mdfb79
3.35/5  rDev -10.7%

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip.

a - Pours a dark reddish amber color with 2 inches of off white head and light carbonation evident. Little bit of lacing.

s - Smells of caramel malts, dark fruit, sugar, bready malts, and lightly toasted malts. Smells pretty sweet.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, alcohol, bready malts, and dark fruit. Not nearly as sweet as it smelled.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - A decent strong ale, but I wish the alcohol wasn't as prominent in the taste. Glad I tried it but probably wouldn't seek out again.

mdfb79, Sep 20, 2010
Photo of GClarkage
2.75/5  rDev -26.7%

GClarkage, Jul 03, 2014
Photo of imperialking
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

imperialking, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of yourefragile
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%

12 oz bottle, batch 9871.

Pours a clear reddish amber color with light, bubbly cream colored head. Excellent retention with light lacing. Aroma is mild and pleasant, yet forgettable. Has a slight barleywine-like character to it, with strong caramel, toffee and candi sugar notes with some fruity and piney hops (maybe simcoe?). Only thing detracting from the aroma is a slight alcoholic and medicinal undertone. Body is lighter side of medium with soft, full carbonation in the front and a short, flat piney and caramel finish. The flavor and overall composition of this beer is deceptive, as the first few sips make it easy to dismiss as being "nice" but one dimensional. However, as this warms up the body reveals a more nuanced and complex malt body (sweet caramel, toffee, raisins, dark fruit). The finish is slightly drier and piney hop dominated with a slowly arriving, strong alcohol warming sensation (without any boozy burn that the nose would suggest). Overall, it's hard to get very excited about this beer, and I think it'll get a little less interesting over time as the hops fade. However, this was very enjoyable and well balanced and I'm sad to assume this will be a one off.

yourefragile, Sep 07, 2010
Photo of stakem
3.63/5  rDev -3.2%

Poured into a SA sensory glass, Bell's 25th anniversary ale appears a perfectly clear amber color. A finger of yellowish stained head appears and dissolves almost immediately to a fine ring around the inside perimeter of the glass.

The aroma of this brew is quite sweet smelling like that of caramelized malt which is very, very similar to belgian candy sugar. Some light floral hops are included along with a light sting of solvent alcohol in the nose.

The taste is matching with an equal amount of caramelized malty sweetness, lightly toasted. A contrasting flavor of solvent alcohol comes through to wipe out the sweetness and a bit of herbal hops linger in the background blending with the alcohol character.

This is a medium bodied brew with a moderate to light level of carbonation. The flavor of this brew is caught somewhere inbetween toasted malt, candy, fusel alcohol and herbal hops. It really doesn't mesh well together and is a bit of a mess that didnt quite do it for me. Perhaps some age with blend these flavors together better but as it is now it is a flop.

stakem, Oct 13, 2010
Photo of drewone
3.75/5  rDev 0%

drewone, Jan 28, 2013
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.63/5  rDev -3.2%

(Served in a nonic)
This beer has a slightly dense reddish-brown body with a bubbly yellowish-beige head. There is a gentle carbonation of tiny bubbles that support the head for a good bit.
S- The dry caramel malt and light toasted malt hints have some dry biscuit malt notes to it. The full pungent woody hops finish the aroma.
T- The caramel malt gives way to a dry pungent green hop flavor that turns into a full hop bitterness in the finish. The dandelion green bitterness grows in the finish and dominates the flavor with a metallic flavor.
M- The medium mouthfeel has a dry tight fizz note that enhances the hop bitterness.
D- This beer has a very bitter finish which really detracts from the nice malt flavor and nice hop flavor/aroma that is hidden underneath.

rhoadsrage, Jan 04, 2011
Photo of mothman
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%

Poured into Bells snifter

Pours about a finger of off white head. Fades to a thick ring. Leaves some splattered lace. Color is a bright copper orange.

Aroma: Fairly hoppy. Reminds me a bit of a dipa with a lot of citrus fruit. Pine hops, mangoes, grapefruit, and lemons show. A hint of spice as well.

Taste: I have no idea what this beer is, but it seems as it if is trying to be something hopped up with dashes of spice. A bit of caramel malt, pine hops, grapefruit, and mangoes.

Mouthfeel: Bitter, smooth, and creamy. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends sticky with some alcohol showing.

Overall, a decent strong ale (whatever that means). I really didn't know what it was trying to be, but I kind of liked it. Pretty good overall. Decent drinkability.

Happy 25th Bells!

mothman, Sep 22, 2010
Photo of ejimhof
3/5  rDev -20%

ejimhof, Mar 09, 2013
Photo of BARFLYB
3.58/5  rDev -4.5%

12oz bottle from Capone's into a Bell's glass.

25th is a amber shaded beer with some bronze tints here and there. A fair amount of head on top about an inch up of tightly piled dense off white foam. Streaks of head on the glass.

Smell is of a big amber ale that is quite malty in fact. Malt is european variety toasted with bread. Hops are not significant but up there with this fresh bottle, they will surely fade soon. Some fruits and caramel as well.

Getting around to it 25th is a pretty simple beer, nothing ballsy, just beer no gimmicks. A big amber ale (if you will) with malts at the forefront. While it 'may' not be something to age, it fits for this time of season. Big malts, earthy hops, some faint caramel, apples, plums, cotton candy.

Feel is about medium with a fair amount of carb. Bell's always seems to nail the feel dept with appropriate carb. The alcohol only seeps through a bit and adds to the richness of this beer. A slight warmth.

All in all a good and simple beer. I drank it pretty quick, it did not knock my socks off though, but I was satisfied none the less.

BARFLYB, Oct 05, 2010
Photo of superspak
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%

12 ounce bottle. Pours clear red orange color with a really dense 2 finger off white head with insane retention and insane lacing. Aromas of citrus, caramel, some fruits, and oak. Taste of rye, citrus, and caramel, with some fruit notes. Some slight bitterness on the finish. Creamy medium body and carbonation. Alcohol is no where to be seen despite 8.5%. Overall this was pretty interesting stuff, but another tasty brew from Bells for me!

superspak, Dec 25, 2010
Photo of Wasatch
3.95/5  rDev +5.3%

Thanks goes out to injuredreserve for this brew.

Poured into a chalice a nice dark golden amber color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy off-white head, with some nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, slight hop note, and fruity. The taste is malty, sweet, nice little hop note, with some slight dark fruit notes. Medium body. Drinkable, a nice little ASA, don't expect this to be an Stone AB.

Wasatch, Feb 04, 2011
Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev +6.7%

The beer is copper hued, with a decent sized head and random traces of lacing on the pint glass. The aroma offers a heavy malt bill, with some hops and alcohol. This definitely smells like an American strong ale. Similar to Bigfoot in some regards. The flavor is nice, and feels more potent than 8.5%. I would say the beer is hop forward, though there is a formidable malt showing. Mouthfeel is medium to thick, with a pronounced hop presence throughout. This beer almost drinks like an imperial IPA with a strong malt bill. Tasty stuff. A good beer to split with a friend. Cheers!

Huhzubendah, Aug 11, 2011
Photo of Stinkypuss
3.63/5  rDev -3.2%

Immediately greeted by tropical fruit aromas. Clear orangish with a short livid head and some lace. In the fore front, pineapple, mild citrus hops and resin. Light malt body provides a caramel like sweetness. Booze is well hidden behind all the fruit flavors. Mouthfeel medium bodied and chewey. Overall, an interesting beer and well worth the try.

Edit: 2-19-2011, has progressed into a more mellow barleywine type ale. Some floral hops in the nose but then in the flavor mild roast and boozy fruits prevail.

Stinkypuss, Jan 05, 2011
Photo of Gonzoillini
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Gonzoillini, Jun 04, 2014
Bell's 25th Anniversary Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
85 out of 100 based on 487 ratings.