30th Anniversary Ale
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

30th Anniversary Ale30th Anniversary Ale
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From:
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
 
Michigan, United States
Style:
American Imperial Stout
ABV:
11%
Score:
96
Avg:
4.33 | pDev: 6.7%
Reviews:
306
Ratings:
1,159
Status:
Retired
Rated:
Aug 05, 2022
Added:
Jul 14, 2015
Wants:
  79
Gots:
  512
SCORE
96
World-Class
30th Anniversary Ale30th Anniversary Ale
Notes: Our 30th Anniversary Ale is a testament to three-plus decades of hard-work. It honors all that has helped us get to this point – hard work, quality and authenticity.

It reminds us of where we’ve been, how we’ve grown over the years, the challenges we’ve faced and at the same time, looks forward to what comes next.

Also a nod to another Bell's favorite, Expedition Stout, flavors of dark chocolate and fruit meld to create a full-bodied, roasty stout.

A fair amount of Polaris hops lend a brightness and a nice character that will help carry the beer in its early stages making it incredibly drinkable and interesting. Malt characteristics will continue to develop over time, so that beer drinkers who choose to cellar it can enjoy the beer for years to come.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Photo of fujindemon74
Reviewed by fujindemon74 from Pennsylvania

4.75/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
L- pitch black

S- a lot of burnt molasses & dark fruits

T- follows the nose, but with an effervescent hop bite, sweet melding of the two.

F- medium to full, velvety smooth

O- I would 100% recommend seeking out a bottle. I snagged a case years ago and happened to crack one this evening
Aug 05, 2022
Photo of Fordcoyote15
Reviewed by Fordcoyote15 from Pennsylvania

4.17/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Bottled 8/28/15. This is actually a new beer for me. I love barrel aged expedition and equally as much loved bells 35th anniversay in 2020 so when I saw this come for sale on MBC there was no adding to cart... it was a purchase now moment.

Look is stupendous.

Smell is even better. Its expedition stout but different. I cant quite put my finger on what the note im picking up. Its pleasant and like a someones name you just cant recall not unfamiliar to me, but my mind simply cannot take me to recall it.

Taste is far more bitter and roasty than I expected. Expresso predominates with burnt toast following. Its oily and clings to all the surfaces of your mouth. I exhale between sips and its almost gross feeling of having black coffee breath. There's something off with this beer though. Its not tart but its perhaps a tinge acidic. It's also not as complex or expansiive as I know Bells more limited stouts to be. While I love all things roasty, bitter, smokey ane charred in my stouts I cant help but feel like I'm drinking a very boring liquid version of burnt toast.

Truthfully, it's likely me as the beers I've drank the last two days have all felt a bit 'meh, should I finish this?' I have two more of these so I'll revisit again down the road.
May 22, 2022
Photo of SpeedwayJim
Reviewed by SpeedwayJim from New York

4.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
A big thanks to Ben for delivering these goods.

12oz. bottle into a Founders snifter.

Pours jet black, thick, and oily. .5 finger mocha-colored head with decent retention. Spotty lace with legs for days. Nose is baker's chocolate, anise, logan, roasted malt, cocoa, and a lightly sweet soy sauce. Aromatic. Rich. Beer opens chocolate, roasted malt, anise, sweet soy sauce up front. I get layers of fudge, cocoa powder, and more roast in the middle. Dark chocolate, ash, caramel, and cocoa powder on the finish. This is as classic a flavor profile as it gets for the style. Body is full with low carbonation. Slick, oily, and viscous in the mouth and goes down warm with a long, lingering aftertaste. Super drinkable.

This one's just excellent. It really harkens back to what this style used to be.
Jan 30, 2022
Photo of RMelyon
Rated by RMelyon from Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
think i cellared this one for 2-3 years. it was good, not mindblowing
May 10, 2021
 
Rated: 4.44 by Unclevince from West Virginia

Dec 02, 2020
Photo of KensWorld
Reviewed by KensWorld from Florida

4.8/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
Drank it fresh back in 2015 (4.24, 4.25, 4.75, 5.00, 4.75). and now I have finally decided to open my cellared bottle on 11-2020. I was not expecting to to be as good as when fresh, but how I was wrong. This beauty has aged to perfection. Slight pop when opened, Coco head settling down to a nice ring lace. Nut fruit on the nose. The taste is so perfect, semi dry, semi sweat , semi everything. Nothing dominates, perfect balance. No oxidation what so ever. Layers of malty complexity. This is the reason I cellar beers, for the hope that they might improve. Most don't but the ones that do make it all worth while. Upgraded to (4.50, 4.50, 5.00, 5.00, 4.75).
Nov 13, 2020
 
Rated: 4.18 by hopley from Massachusetts

Jul 12, 2020
 
Rated: 4.5 by zenithberwyn from California

Jun 25, 2020
 
Rated: 4 by rare_bird from Michigan

Jun 10, 2020
Photo of ryan1788a5
Reviewed by ryan1788a5 from Massachusetts

4.19/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
12oz bottle poured into a snifter. 2015 vintage.

A: Motor oil black with a nice brown head that eventually settles to a thin cap. Spotty lacing.

S: Straight fudge sauce up front. Brownie batter, double chocolate cake, chocolate covered espresso beans, woody roast. Suggestions of concord grape, black cherry, and blackberry at its core. Interesting floral/fruity hop note still pulling through.

T: Fudge sauce at the outset. A thick blanket of woody roast soon begins to dominate. Sooty, a bit acrid, burnt coffee, chocolate cake. Subtle darkfruit flavors of concord grape, black currant, and sweet black cherry peek through. Some oxidation is perceptible in a sherry type of way, revealing its age. Faded floral hop notes. Long, sooty and roasty finish.

M: Thick, rich, and chewy. A little bit coating. The kind of mouthfeel you could cut with a knife. Deep creamy smoothness. Gentle carbonation.

O: I'll confess I was a little worried about this one, being five years old at this point. It's just one of those bottles that got lost in the back of my fridge. There's definitely some oxidation present, but it wears it well and is still drinking pretty nicely. No regrets, just a great beer that stood up well enough to the time.
Mar 30, 2020
 
Rated: 4.29 by BeardedWalrus from North Carolina

Feb 16, 2020
 
Rated: 3.94 by BeerMe8 from Florida

Jan 04, 2020
 
Rated: 4.29 by ryancl from Minnesota

Oct 24, 2019
Photo of Tsar_Riga
Reviewed by Tsar_Riga from Indiana

4.41/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
A 2015 pulled from my cellar.

A - Pure black pour, but with almost no head in the pour, what little there is being tan, but very quick to fade, and leaving only minimal ring and a few stray bits of lacing.

S - Strong hits of alcohol warmth and toasted malt darkness.

T - Opens with a dark fruit and chocolate start, quick to move to more toasted bread notes, then bittering in the finish, adding a note of char that lingers with a final chocolate aspect that trails off very slowly in the close.

M - Clean and surprisingly moderate given the ABV and powerful flavor notes.

O - Glad I decided to crack this one. It is impressive and satisfying, but I am not confident that further age would do the beer much good. As is, this is a very well built stout, and a worthy anniversary brew.
Jul 24, 2019
Photo of draheim
Reviewed by draheim from Washington

4.43/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
12oz into a tulip. Pours an oily black—10W-30—with just a thin collar of reddish-brown foam around the side of the glass.

Aroma is rich and roasty, dark and stout. Bitter dark chocolate, espresso.

Taste follows nose. Rich and delicious, perfectly balanced. Roasty malt, chocolate, coffee.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a slick, slightly bitter finish. Dry and balanced.

Overall an outstanding imperial stout, worthy of Bell's 30th anniversary.
Jul 01, 2019
 
Rated: 4.04 by Gambyt20 from Illinois

Jun 08, 2019
 
Rated: 4.25 by Griffith from Connecticut

Jun 07, 2019
Photo of Rub_This_BBQ
Rated by Rub_This_BBQ from Massachusetts

4.1/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
This is tough beer for me to review but not a huge fan of licorice is over powering and not flavor i enjoy , it is well done beer and great stout
Jun 02, 2019
 
Rated: 3.48 by Oh_Dark_Star from Washington

May 01, 2019
Photo of Beersnake1
Reviewed by Beersnake1 from California

4.34/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Poured from fridge temp. Pours motor oil black with very little dark brown head. Aroma is chocolate, lactose, dark fruit, and a touch of black licorice. Taste is a tad bitter upfront - coffee grounds, dark chocolate, anise, dark fruit, and molasses. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy - aftertaste is a bitter dark chocolate. Overall, a fantastic stout.
Feb 17, 2019
Photo of Tripel_Threat
Reviewed by Tripel_Threat from Michigan

4.26/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Very nice Imperial Stout! Been hanging onto this one for a while, decided my 15th anniversary was as good a time as any to pop the cap. Poured into Bell's snifter. Dark and oily in appearance with a finger of khaki foam. Nice aromas of dark cocoa, roast coffee, dark cherry /fig. Flavors similar to aromas, with char, roasty malt, baker's chocolate and dark fruit mingling together. Smooth, silky feel.
Nov 12, 2018
Photo of AyatollahGold
Reviewed by AyatollahGold from Indiana

4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Pouring a 12 oz. bottle dated 8/27/15 into a snifter taster. This beer pours out as dark as night and forms a tan crown. The smell is a burnt sweetness with some almost chewy tobacco notes. The taste is the same with some almost black licorice presence. Mouthfeel is dry. This is damn good.
Sep 02, 2018
 
Rated: 4.5 by dafla67 from Pennsylvania

Jul 13, 2018
 
Rated: 4.04 by MakeBeerGreatAgain from North Carolina

Jun 17, 2018
Photo of emerge077
Reviewed by emerge077 from Illinois

4.28/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Cellar find at Quenchers (1979-2018), farewell beer at the bar.

Jet black with tan foam and spotty lace.
Chocolate, carob, raisin aroma, slight oxidation but not distracting.
Similar flavors, bitter dark chocolate and lingering hop bitterness.
Full bodied and rich, with a chewy creamy texture like marshmallow fluff.
Overall this drinks like a slightly smoother Expedition. Nice stuff.

A fitting tribute to Chicago’s first beer bar, here’s to Quenchers one last time.
Jun 15, 2018
Photo of Quackershnoc
Reviewed by Quackershnoc from Michigan

4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
So glad I got to have a few ounces of this at a beer tasting with some buddies. Thanks to Joe for sharing the wealth!

Appearance: Really black; thin dark khaki head

Aroma: Malty, roasty, chocolate, coffee

Taste: This is excellent; big roasted malt; some great chocolate notes; really nice sweetness; dark fruit;

Mouthfeel: Full bodied; silky smooth

Overall Impression: this is fantastic; such a great beer; huge and complicated; you can't even tell it's 11%

From notes taken on 2/10/2017
Mar 18, 2018
Photo of cyclonece09
Reviewed by cyclonece09 from Wisconsin

4.19/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Poured from a bottle into a tulip. Pours pitch black with very small light brown head. Smells of dark chocolate and slight fruitiness, especially grapes, nice deep aroma. Tastes of chocolate with a slight citrus hop bite, not a bad combo. Beer is full bodied and a nice sipper, but just smooth enough to be dangerous. Overall, a very good beer.
Mar 10, 2018
Photo of Phyl21ca
Reviewed by Phyl21ca from Canada (QC)

4.03/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a nice dark brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of roasted malt with bitter black chocolate notes is quite nice. Taste is a robust mix of roasted malt with some string black chocolate notes with some bitterness and light residual sugar notes. Body is full with nice creamy texture and good carbonation with no real apparent alcohol notes. Quite the robust imperial stout with not as much residual sugar as I was expecting which might be a good thing as it increase the overall drinkability.
Feb 13, 2018
Photo of buschbeer
Reviewed by buschbeer from Ohio

4.07/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
12 FL OZ bottle
Served in a snifter

This beer pours black in color and was topped with less than an inch of mocha head that leaves decent lacing.

The smell is dark roasted malt, anise and hints of chocolate and coffee.

The taste starts with dark roasted malt. get hints of dark chocolate and black coffee. Anise flavor lasts throughout.

Full, thick mouthfeel

It is not dissimilar from Expedtition stout. It is overall a bit smoother though.
Jan 13, 2018
 
Rated: 4.34 by einman from Minnesota

Jan 13, 2018
 
Rated: 4.03 by AMarkle6524 from Pennsylvania

Dec 31, 2017
Photo of jkblr
Reviewed by jkblr from Indiana

4.41/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
12oz bottled 8/29/15 poured into a snifter at fridge temp 11% ABV. The beer pours dense black with no highlights. The head started at about 3/4" and receded to a ring and paper thin cap of chocolate brown color. The aroma is rich with dark chocolate, licorice, and roast malt. The taste is more dark bakers chocolate, roast and a medium bitter finish. There is only a hint of sweetness and very little alcohol presence. Mouthfeel is full bodied, adequately carbonated and mostly dry in the finish. Overall, outstanding. This is the fourth of five of these beers I've tasted. Maybe not better than fresh, but still great in terms of balance and style. Recommended.
Dec 27, 2017
Photo of plaztikjezuz
Reviewed by plaztikjezuz from Michigan

4.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Pulled this out of the cellar at the end of brewing today. Poured in to a Stella pedestool glass.

Appearance: Midnight black with a slight tan head. I think it should have a bit more head.
Aroma: Coffee, dark chocolate, alcohol, dark malts, chocolate cake.
Flavor: Bakers chocolate, espresso, black malt, alcohol, hint of toffee, hint of caramel.
Mouthfeel: This beer is thick/full bodied, but velvety on the palate, smooth for 11%.
Overall: This is a killer beer, reminds me of 7000 or 9000, the 2007 Eccentric Day release. If you can come across one it is worth the sample. Imperial Stout is one of my favorite styles and this beer represents the style very well. But then Bell's in the early days was known as a porter and stout house. They still knock them out of the park.
Dec 16, 2017
 
Rated: 4.19 by AlaskaAg from Florida

Dec 04, 2017
 
Rated: 4 by Rifugium from North Dakota

Nov 15, 2017
 
Rated: 4.41 by dannycohen62 from Illinois

Nov 12, 2017
 
Rated: 4.19 by CharlesK from Pennsylvania

Oct 11, 2017
Photo of Rimbimhoot
Reviewed by Rimbimhoot from Illinois

4.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
A: Black with medium brown head, pours thick, cola
S: Roasty, sweet, dark fruit, licorice, chocolate
T: Roasty, bitter dark malt, sweet molasses, cacao, dark chocolate, hint of alcohol, espresso
M: Full, silky, mouth coating
O: Very nice imperial stout that doesn't need to rely on adjuncts. No oxidation after almost 2 years.
Oct 09, 2017
 
Rated: 3.81 by bylerteck from Canada (ON)

Oct 04, 2017
 
Rated: 4.1 by deonreds from New York

Oct 01, 2017
30th Anniversary Ale from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 1465 ratings