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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

343 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 343
Hads: 500
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 9.63%
Wants: 20
Gots: 66 | 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:
Beer added by: mcallister on 07-28-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 343 | Hads: 500
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (392 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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! (581 characters)

Photo of BARFLYB
3.56/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (1,093 characters)

Photo of billab914
3.33/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish snifter. It poured a deep amber/orange color color with a thin white lacing barely covering the top of the beer. The head clung to the edges of the glass and left a bit of lacing as I drank it.

The aroma has a sweeter, malty flavor with some honey and caramel sweetness along with some nutty, toffee like flavors. A bit of a floral like hoppiness comes through in it as well.

The taste shows a lot of sweetness to it. I get a honey, malty sweet flavor throughout the beer. It has a lighter, more floral hoppiness with some citrus presence as well. A little bit of the caramel and bready flavors come through as well.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is decent but not great. It really showed off the malty Michigan barley, but could have been a little more balanced overall. It felt a little sweet at times, especially in the finish. Pretty good beer overall, but not a great one. (965 characters)

Photo of yourefragile
4.01/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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. (1,192 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.46/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a CCB snifter. Batch 9871, bottled 8/12/2010.

Appearance - Deep amber with enough head to balloon at the top of the glass. I didn't leave it much space, though. Island of foam on top and some even sticks to the glass.

Smell - It doesn't smell very good. Cardboard aroma and some apples. Caramel and some paler malts in the nose as well. A touch boozy.

Taste - Better, I guess. Doesn't taste oxidized, maybe just a touch in the finish. Otherwise the apple smells persist along with the pale and caramel malts. Bitter throughout. Reminds me of a less impressive Fred. Biting bitter finish.

Mouthfeel - Quite drinkable, really. It's a well balanced beer, if that means anything at all. Boozy, but otherwise I don't have a problem drinking it.

Overall - It's just kind of unexciting and I think getting a little old. It leaves me with a sickly aftertaste also, though. Not sure why. (909 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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. (510 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(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. (773 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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. (409 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to ewright for sending this bottle to me in a trade.

Poured in to Duvel Tulip. Batch #9871

A - A nice dark amber colour with a small amount of cream coloured head.

S - Sweet caramel malts and some earthy hops. Overall a very sweet nose.

T - Sweet caramel malts dominate. Some nice bitter hops come through in the background with some light earthy and citrus notes.

M -Medium body, slight chew, lightly carbonated. (428 characters)

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.67/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received a while back from Kbeals... Thanks Kevin!! I was going to save this to share with the Boise peeps, but they are all busy or out of town for a while, sooo.... I'm gonna be greedy and it was either this or a Hunapus :-) Sorry fellas.

Poured into my Old Guardian goblet... Clear deep orange brew with a short lasting white head that left okay spots of lacing as the glass dropped.

Nose has a pretty stereotypical mash-up of caramel and toasty malts held down by some sweetish orange hoppiness.... Honestly reminds me quite a bit of Double Bastard.

Flavor also makes me think Double Bastard with a year or so on it... Big citrus and pine slammed together with a heavy maltiness that shows plenty of caramel but doesn't really get too sweet... Body is about right.. the carbonation is pretty pronounced yet is still small bubble.

I really only thought this was okay... "okay for a 25th anniversary beer that is." Glad I had a long night to finish this one, the 12'er is honestly a bit too much of a good thing for me.

Thanks again Kevin for the Surprise!!

3.5/4/3.5/4/3.5 (1,081 characters)

Photo of Rhettroactive
2.86/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 4/26/11
*From notes

A: Bleeding copper maroon in color. Cloudy - a two finger head yields some lacing, but nothing to write home about.

S: Raisins. Big time raisins. When I really stick my nose deep into the glass, I detect hints of salty parmesan cheese, which as you might imagine, isn't the most desirable quality in a beer.

T: Bready, almost like a cinnamon raisin loaf. It feels fortified, as the heavy dose of raisiny, pruney essence slaps me across the tounge. The alcohol is fairly well masked.

M: A bit thin, though the carbonation is reasonable.

O: A weird beer. Bell's 25th Anniversary Ale is certainly different, though sadly it's something I don't plan on returning to for quite a while. Looks like I'll lose that last bottle in the cellar for a few years and see what happens. As it stands now, it's unremarkable and a bit of a dissapointment. (905 characters)

Photo of Tone
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy, dark copper color. 3/4 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and good lacing. Smells of sweet malt, slight citrus hops, slight floral hops, slight alcohol, hint of syrup, and a hint of wood. Fits the style of an American Strong Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of alcohol, slight wood, slight citrus hops, sweet malt, and hint of floral. Overall, good appearance, aroma, and blend. (460 characters)

Photo of aasher
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I poured this one into a New Belgium snifter. I wanted to try it as fresh as I could since I heard that this one is best in the first six months. It poured a rich amber in color with a quickly dissipating off white head. It smells like a mix between a strong DIPA and a weaker American Strong Ale. It's got slight sweetest with a lot of alcohol present. It almost has a cherry tint to it. It's not overly hoppy or malty. The flavor mirrors the aromas. It's not very complex. It's a little boozy for only being 8.5%. The mouthfeel is pretty solid. It's medium bodied and drinks pretty smoothly. Overall I'd say this one isn't anything too special. It doesn't wow you in any area. (678 characters)

Photo of Bitterbill
4.18/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of russpowell. Thanks Russ!

Batch 9871, packaged August 12, 2010. Love the batch finder on Bell's website!

It pours a rather gorgeous a hazy brownish red, 2 finger head of foam that's backed up by very nice lacing.

The nose is dominated by bready malt, some sweet caramel, no bitterness at all and I wasn't hoping for any, given the style.

The taste is the same as the smell...no surprises. Big bready malt with a nice caramel sweetness that isn't over done. I can taste some notes of toffee as well. Again, no bitterness and that pleases me. If you like malty brews, this one is worth checking out. Another plus is the lack of an imposing alcohol presence.

Medium bodied, lightish amount of carbonation, and I have a very smooth brew. Love the mouth feel.

Drinkability is pretty darned good. The flavours seem to mesh very well and with the alcohol being pretty much a non factor, I'm flying threw the bottle rather quickly. I'm pretty impressed; thanks Bell's and thanks again Russ! (1,006 characters)

Photo of Bighuge
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Burgandy toned body. Thin bubbly beige head. Lace is quite full. Aroma is sweet in a juicy fruit kind of a way. A little spiked punch kind of aroma. A fair amount of heat up front on the buds. Sweet malts and ghostly tropical fruit tones. Carbonation is moderate and the alcoholic bitterness lingers on for a while. A little too much heat and a little not enough malt complexity. Decent though. (394 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.72/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured on 1-20-12
Batch 9871

A - A very dark orange with a thin light tan head that fades fairly fast.

S - Very sweet and malty. Carmel, toffee, and oranges are all present.

T - Carmel, raisin, and slightly metallic.

D - Lower carbonation, a very heavy body.

O - Old ale that is sweet with a heavy fruity body. (327 characters)

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, $2.99 each in MI. No description of the beer on the bottle, cool label though.

The beer pours a dark orange-copper color with a thin off-white wet-looking head. It smells kind of IPA-ish to me, stronger in hops than anything else, strong malt in the background to contrast it. The beer tastes not at all like I expected from the aroma. Hops are there for sure, but along with that is some peppercorn and more noticeable ethanol than 8.5% ABV would indicate. Strongly bitter aftertaste, seemingly from hops.

The beer is thicker than usual, coupled with the ethanol flavor I suspect this might be >8.5% ABV. But who knows... Anyway it is more a sipper than chugger, but the glass is draining quickly nonetheless. Another great Bell's beer. (755 characters)

Photo of glid02
4.05/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle at Corner Tavern on Edgewood.

Pours a hazy dark copper color with a one-finger cream-colored head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of robust caramel malts with good amounts of pine and earthy hop aromas. Also present are hints of sweet toasted malts.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Sweet - but not overly so - caramel malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by solid amounts of pine hop flavors. Slight amounts of toffee join in shortly thereafter until they're chased by earthy hop flavors. Slight toasted malt flavors make a brief appearance before fading out into a moderately bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a very smooth thickness with solid carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I didn't have a problem finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall there was a lot going on in this beer (fair for an American Strong) and it worked, though not spectacularly. Not worth seeking out but worth a shot if you see it around. (1,014 characters)

Photo of DrDemento456
4.42/5  rDev +18.2%
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! (601 characters)

Photo of jrallen34
3.89/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a Bells tulip...What is this beer, a muted dipa, a hoppy strong ale? Who knows, but its pretty darn good. Its strong hops in the aroma and taste, a little malt but then a lot of alcohol. The alcohol comes through like a dipa, but there is a depth to malt that shows it not an ipa. Interesting brew, a little too strong but worth giving a shot. (360 characters)

Photo of avalon07
4.22/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an amber color and a somewhat cloudy consistency. There was a half inch of foamy, fairly long-lasting head. Pretty good lacing.

S: A fragrant, sweet aroma of hops, fruit, and malt.

T: Tasted of fruit and hops up front with a malty finish. An interesting, unexpected flavor. The fruit seems to dominate this category.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a slick finish. Medium-bodied.

D: An odd beer, but definitely drinkable. (476 characters)

Photo of dirtylou
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz single - plenty of this around, though that didnt stop the hoarders from wiping out Star on the release day. sixers are stacked upon sixers elsewhere

congrats on 25 years.

appearance: served in my ale asylum chalice, glowing orange-amber body, light beige lace

smell: grapefruit and other citrus, caramel, brown sugar, malty

taste: hard to pinpoint - kind of a mild barleywine...sticky citrus hops, big caramel malt profile, caramelized brown sugar, rich dark malts, dark fruit, booze, spruce, orange rind. This doesnt seem like a 25th anniversary beer (neither did the 20th anniversary for that matter) - still enjoyable, but not of the most memorable bells offerings

mouthfeel: medium-light bitterness, decent amount of booze comes through

drinkability: ok (770 characters)

Photo of ccrida
3.4/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into my Samuel Smiths Imperial pint, Bell's 25th is orangish brown with a small off-white head that leaves light, scattered lace.

Smell is sweet, fruity.

Taste is similar, a really interesting candy aftertaste, very familar. Kind of generic sweet strong all, some floral hop flavor but no bite or bittterness.

Mouthfeel is drier, medium bodied.

Drinkability is okay, but this is pretty uninspired for a anniversary beer. Very generic. (460 characters)

Photo of DefenCorps
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Kudos on making it to 25 years, Larry. It couldn't have been easy.

A beautiful bloody red with a dense, light brown head with excellent retention and lacing, this is an excellent looking brew. Steady streams of carbonation rise from the etched D of my Duvel tulip.

I wonder if they were going for some version of an aged Double Bastard with this brew. Plenty of fruity sweetness is present, along with caramel, toffee and rather surprisingly, a touch of stale-smelling malt as well. Hop character is light, there's some pine, a little mint and some alcohol. Solid stuff.

The palate opens with a blend of pine hop flavor, juicy bitterness and sweetness. The sweetness is fairly complex, with plenty of caramel, tropical fruit (papaya? pineapple?) and some brown sugar. There's a slight sharpness that reminds me of burnt sugar as well. Alcohol appears towards the finish. The finish is a little disappointing, having some of the stale malt character I picked up on the nose, reminiscent of mildly oxidized crystal malt (think aged Bigfoot that time hasn't been kind to). The mouthfeel, however, is sublime. Medium-full in body with a light carbonation, this feels decadent on the palate. Ultimately, though, this is sweeter than I care, and even though this 12oz bottle went down quite easily, it's not something I'll reach out for in a hurry. A solid effort. (1,361 characters)

Bell's 25th Anniversary Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
84 out of 100 based on 343 ratings.