Twentieth Anniversary Ale | Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

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Twentieth Anniversary AleTwentieth Anniversary Ale
Very Good
94 Ratings
Twentieth Anniversary AleTwentieth Anniversary Ale

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Michigan, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by putnam on 09-16-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 94 |  Reviews: 93
Reviews by nlmartin:
Photo of nlmartin
3.12/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle to a pub glass.

Appearance: Pours a nice amber coloration with a white head that immediatly disappears. The foam does not cling to the glass. There are a few tiny bubbles but even these are gone fast.

Smell: A very pleasing yeasty bread smell greats my nose. I cant really peg what else is present but I know it is pleasing.

Taste: This has a nice clean hoppy taste. My taster may be off but there are some citrus notes with some maltyness.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: This has a agreeable buttery mouthfeel which is the high note in this beer. Basically an average beer that I could drink as swill. Nothing special here.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of orbitalr0x
4.13/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hurray and congrats to Bell's on 20 years of brewing some damn fine beers. This one pours into my SN tulip a deep amber red with a billowing two finger head of cragly foam. Thick pacthes of lacing adorn the side of the glass. Aromas of sweet slightly nutty caramel maltiness accentuated by a fresh picked green herbal hop resin aroma. Slightly citursy, slightly spicy, I wonder what the hop bill was on this one and what they used to dry hop....nice!

First sip brings brings a crisply nutty sweet caramel maltiness that has hints of fruit and fresh biscuit. The fresh, green herbal hoppiness follows through in the flavor. Finishes clean with a lingering hop on the back of the palate...light bitterness throughout. Smooth, chewy, a downright delicious amber ale. Nothing too over the top...very well put together.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a nice creaminess and mellow carbonation that makes this one go down as smooth as silk. A new session brew while it lasts! I would have no problem spending my day drinking a six pack of this one...simply a very enjoyable amber. Cheers again to everyone at Bell's...thanks for making all the great beer!

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Photo of blitz134
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slight hazy body. Apricot around the edges with a orange core down the middle of the glass. White half inch head which disappeared really quickly.

Light aroma in this one. Some light biscuity malts and some herbal hop notes. Solid biscuit malts, much like a dinner roll. Earthy and herbal hops come through again. Bascially a typical English style ale flavor profile in this one. Well balanced, but could use a touch more hops. Slight bitterness in the end as well.

Medium body, leaning towards to the thinner side. Drinkability is good. I like more American ale flavor profiles, but this one fits the style well.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.09/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ambery coppery color, almost tan head, aroma was woody, red. Hops not played up.

Taste, kinda pedestrian for Bell's, much less a special release of anniversary proportions. Malt forward, but not thick. Mostly caramel is what I'm taking away from this. Definitely not the hops I'm used to from Bell's, kinda lacking here.

Strange, for their anniversary ale, they made something a lot more accessible and just average.

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Photo of ADR
4.45/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Semi-opaque orangish amber color, medium-bubbled head with some lasting power, starts at over 1/4 of an inch in height. Good laces, dripping collars. Smells of Christmas cactus, somewhat vegetal, oily, and leafy. Carbonation is light but good, mouthfeel a solid medium in texture. Malt tones are obvious, sweet and leathery and somewhat yeast-influenced. Solid and persistant flavor profile. Good underlying hop structure, not obvious in acidity but prickly like a touch of slow-boiling asphalt. Balance is tight from beginning to end. This is not an obvious beer, but it has a solidity and is very well-composed, extremely drinkable when you buy it, better prepared and thought-out than Batch 7000 in lots of ways.

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Photo of OStrungT
4.6/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer pours a cloudy golden brown with a light tan head. The head fades quickly, leaving too few laces.

This beer has a malty aroma. It has a slight bready aroma. The hop aroma is mellow. It also has a slight toffee aroma.

This beer tastes great. It is bready. Also, it has a malty sweet flavor. As with the aroma, the hop flavor is low.

This beer goes down very smooth. It leaves a slight bready aftertaste. It might be just a little bit undercarbonated, but not so much that it detracts from the flavor.

I think this beer would be an excelent session beer. It is mild, and low enough in alcohol, that I could drink it all night long. I would, if I could get this more often. Many thanks again karst for the wonderful beer.

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Photo of cokes
3.03/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Blurry auburn under a wet froth of beige.
Caramel apple nose, slaked with limestone, bread dough, and crushed leaves.
Enters with notions of caramel and toffee, augmented with a wavering fruitiness of green apples and pears, along with brief pang of cherry. Turns immensely doughy in the midsection as the already bready malts mix with the floury yeast. The yeast progresses towards the stoney, mineral-rich astringency of talc. Hazy lime leaf and dried grass hopping is noted on the close, as is a minor distillate burn.
Through the mouth, it is both pasty and greasy. It's not so much uncomfortable as unsettling.
For an anniversary creation, this is totally unevocative. This fails to do anything that their regular Amber doesn't, and it doesn't do some of the same things as well.

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Photo of Sammy
3.35/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not sure what they are trying to do here. Peachy colour and there's head and lace. Strong carbonation. Definite hop and bittterness, and lemon peel, overall drying finish. It has good intentions that don't all work together. Thanks Dr. Jay for sharing.

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Photo of Golden2wenty1
4.33/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a single at Riley's here in Madison. An amber ale seems kinda boring for a special edition anniversary beer, but they done good with this one so kudos.

Pours a...well golden-amber color with a nice finger's-worth of snow white head that lasts the entire glass and leaves good lacing. Smell is heavy on the malts, with floral/citrusy hops and some light tropical fruit and alcoholic vapor. Taste stays strong on the malts with a significant floral hop presence as well, with notes of grapefruit and cider along with a slight alcoholic bite at the end. Got sweeter as it warmed. Reminded me more of a dopplebock with the sturdy malts, though a hoppy one - most similar to Capital Blonde Dopplebock. One of the more flavorful amber ales I've had, lots of character. A solid way to commemorate 20 years of great craft beer.

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Photo of sullysbeer
4.03/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma: Malty sweet, very light hop aroma. Caramel and a slight hint of alcohol.

Appearance: Very Clear. Deep Copper Color.

Flavor: Malty Caramel sweetness with a light hop flavor balanced with a bitter finish that lingers a bit. Very clean fermentation. Slight fruitiness. Finishes fairly dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Kind of silky mouth feel.

Overall Impression: Very crisp smooth beer. A great beer if you like the bitter finish that lingers in your mouth a bit.

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Photo of dirtylou
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz single's found at Rileys in Madison

As everyone has mentioned, congrats Kalamazoo Brewing Company and Larry Bell on 20 years. I consider Bell's to be the brewery that made me an absolute micro freak about a year ago. Sure I had been drinking craft beer for 3 or 4 years before that but it wasnt until I moved back to the midwest and discovered bell's that I became truly excited about beer. but i digress...

appearance: nifty little bottle...pours a cloudy pale amber with a bubbly head

smell: bouquet like, sweet malty aromas combined with floral hops, caramel as well. Smells like a winner!

taste: pretty tasty first sip...very sweet dark malts, citrus hop, lots of other fruit flavors predominately apples....aftertaste is wonderful and fruity...caramel definately present, biscuit like. Overall very sweet and tasty. Obviously extremely fresh

mouthfeel: medium bodied, hop bitterness on the tongue...refreshing, earthy, and clean

drinkability: quite drinkable, and darn good for the style

I feel fortunate to have found some of this stuff this soon after the release, its great fresh. Interesting choice for a 20th anniversary ale but batch 7000 is supposedly a beast.

Thanks again bell's!

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Photo of tempest
4.23/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours redish gold with a short head. Great lacing.

Smells delightful, but is a little faint. Tastes delicious. Rich malty body with a little bitterness. Mixture of fruit and caramel that finishes with a bitter bite.

I'm usually picky about my carbonation, but this one is right on. Balances nicely with the body.

At 6.7% this could be dangerously drinkable. I can easily see myself putting down a 6-pack or growler of this way too fast.

I'm not sure exactly what it is, but this beer really impresses me. Overall it has great balance with great flavors. Nothing is really off and the 6.7% isn't noticable. Go buy this beer and be merry!

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Photo of bashiba
4.09/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a brownish copper color with a slightly hazy cast. Minumal off white head with minor lacing.

Smell was a nice combination of toasty malt and some grassy hops.

Taste is more of the same, at the front is a nice toasted malt flavor very similiar to an oktoberfest with an added depth of some fruity flavors of apricots and dates, then the dry hopping kicks in and takes it in another direction finishing with a crisp lemony hoppiness. Like a nice blend of a good dry hopped pale and a malty oktoberfest. The balance is outstanding.

Mouthfeel is crisp with a very dry finish.

Drinkability is excellent on this. I hope we see this again for Bells 21st anniversary.

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Photo of CortexBomb
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out dark amber into my stein with a light dusting of a white head on it. Smell is mainly malts with a bit of hops present as well.

Taste starts out nice and malty and then breaks into a mild hop bitter midway through. The hops sit on the back of the tongue but still end up being smacked around by the extremely malty body for most of the flavour. There are some hints of yeast and the vaguest hint of caramel in the background as well, but nothing that steals the show. Finish seems dry.

The mouth on this, medium bodied. Not a lot of hop action. Drinkability is pretty solid, anything this malty is easy for me to put down.

Overall: it's good but it's nothing to seek out either. Bell's basically made this an "every man's" malty beer. Easy to drink, smooth, but not as depthy as I would have hoped.

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Photo of lou91
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First of all we should congratulate Bell's on 20 years of great beer - some world class and some not. This is a tasty session ale with nice sweet hops-mostly malty goodness. It looked so welcoming - Hazy/Red and amber with a long aftertaste. I'm sure all of us would like to see some mega beer as an anniversary ale but I respect that they made such a clean, refreshing approachable ale. Thanks to dirtylou for another great beer.

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Photo of Bierguy5
3.67/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hazy copper color. Thin off-white foamy head. Head retention was fair. Grainy, earthy smell similar to Oberon. Hint of floral hop aroma. Strong on the malt. Caramel flavor, sweet, followed by some floral and citrusy hops. Some bitterness, but malt seems to dominate. Medium body. I did enjoy this as it warmed. The second one I had was more enjoyable. Still, seems a bit to one-sided.

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Photo of santoslhalper
2.93/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearence: Pours a murky, muddy, dull red with a bubbly, unappealing off-white head. Looks nasty, to be honest.

Smell: The smell is a pleasent mix of grains, spices, and earthy hops. Well balanced.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Hmmm.... I don't know how to feel about this. It has a very intruiging flavor, but really doesn't taste good. Just average. The alcohol is a bit obvious, and the spiciness is a little out of control. The mouthfeel is smooth.

Drinkability and Overall: Why release this as an anniversary ale? I don't quite get it. Maybe I'm looking for something different in an amber ale, but this just isn't my beer. Worth a try though.

Glass: John Harvard's Pint Glass
Music: "Cliche" by Typical Cats

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Photo of blackie
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance: The pour into my imperial pint glass creates a low, off white head. The beer is a slightly hazy reddish orange in color.

smell: Moderate malt sweetness and a light hoppy aroma. There is a light earthy nuttiness. There is a definate malted milk aroma (also some of this in the flavor), pretty considerable, to the beer. Nothing exciting, but well balanced and pleasing.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is medium, the body a lighter medium. Nice balance of carbonation and body.

taste: The malt character is dominant, providing a moderate caramel sweetness. Just enough hop bitterness to give some balance. Hints of toffee and a slight nuttiness are present. The finish is dry with a light bitterness.

drinkability: Tasty and easy drinking.

The batch ID # 7040 printed on the back label indicates a bottling date of September 7, 2005. Received from CRJMellor as part of SS '05.

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Photo of Px2GrafX
4.22/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

presentation: 12oz. bottle with a blue label. bell's logo is front and center with "twentieth anniversary ale" below that. under the name is an image of what i'm guessing is the brewery. there are warehouse doors on the right, a tower in the center with an american flag, and some other tower in the courtyard in front. "a special ale brewed to commemorate our 20th anniversary. we belive it's worthy of the honor." batch number is 7040. according to the bell's website, this was bottle was packaged september 7, 2005. no abv displayed.

appearance: pours a hazy red orange with a nice inch and a half creamy off-white head in a stein mug. color is a little off. highlights are orange and the shadows aren't very red or amber either. head retention is good and lacing is pretty good. there is a suspended smokey shape in the middle of the brew.

smell: malty sweet and lightly hoppy with light citrus hop aromas. mostly caramel and a bready or cookie tone.

taste: very malty. caramelly cake with a taste of apple when i breath over the brew. warming alcohol flavors. there is a lightly spicy hop character and bitterness is mild, not balancing. finish is sweet with a yeasty bitterness at the back of your tongue.

mouthfeel: lightly residuous. nice medium body with good carbonation. rolls smoothly and swallow is velvet. i enjoy rolling this around in my mouth every sip. nice mouthfeel.

drinkability: good drinkability. alcohol is there and warming, but well masked. tasty with an excellent mouthfeel.

overall: the american amber/red ale is a catch all syle, but the color is still off. that kills the review a bit, but other than that, this is an excellent beer worthy of better overall reviews imho. one of my favorite reds. flavorful with an excellent mouthfeel. a must try anniversary. thanks to mlh1227 for this try.

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Photo of Brent
3.31/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

For a celebration ale, I expected something a bit more noteworthy. This isn't a bad beer, by any means, but hardly celebratory. More ESB-ish than anything. Up front a substantial maltyness, with some vague caramel notes. Some mildly fruity yeast flavor barely makes it over the threshold. Hops follows up at a languid pace for a reasonably balanced finish. Not their best effort.

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Photo of carln26
4.42/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep amber color, slightly hazy, topped by a thick off white head with great retention. Toffee/caramel aroma with just a mild hint of citrus and apple. The flavor is nicely balanced between the caramel and apple/ pineapple fruit. It really gives the impression of a toffee apple. There may even be just a touch of nuttiness to the flavor. Smooth, rich mouth feel, surprising since this is an amber ale. Great drinakbility. I was surprised when Bell’s picked this style to celebrate 20 years, but it is a great offering and tribute.

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Photo of weeare138
3.85/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears a cloudy amber brown with an ivory white head that retains well and tons of lacing dripping all over the glass.
Smell is of grainy wheat and malt. Very appealing aroma with a buttery smell that seems to be placed well in this brew. Somewhat addictive to sniff.
Taste is of the same aromas with a nice blend going on. I like the taste.
Mouthfeel is a tiny dropoff that is smooth but bitter and sweet. Hard to describe. Almost like a potent fuel that is drinkable.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was a hazy deep amber brew with chunks floating around in it. I didn't expect that, but whatever.

Aroma was of rich malts, caramel and toffee. It was a little deep and layered.

Taste was lightly toasted, caramel malts with a bit of a hop tang. Yeastiness rounds out the flavor.

Mouthfeel was rich and, as mentioned above, deep. Very nice.

Drinkability was quite good. Cheers to the brewers at Bells, keep 'em coming! Thanks to Frozensoul327 for the bottle.

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Photo of neonbrown82
3.62/5  rDev -4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

What the hell? I don't remember ever having to worry about whether or not the sediment should be poured into the glass while drinking an amber ale. My beer ended up a chunky mess. I don't know if it is normal for this beer to have sediment or not, but I ended up with chunks. Other than that, the beer looks alright. Deep amber with light golden hue. The head is pretty decent, though it soon fades to a small layer and retains at that.

The smell is sweet and caramel malty. Only a light hop aroma. Some odd and not entirely pleasant spicing as well.

The taste is also sweet with some caramel undertones and spices, but what it really reminds me of is a cherry Jolly Rancher.

It's alright, but I don't know what the hell these guys were thinking brewing such a style for a twentieth anniversary brew. If I were married to a woman for 20 years and I gave her anything of this quality (beer or not), I would probably be spending the night of my 20th anniversary on the couch. Where is the love?

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Photo of GreenWBush
3.33/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Bell's Twentieth Anniversary Ale pours out into my chalice an attractive orange-tinted amber, with a very modest head and little to no lace.

There is not much to the nose of this beer, I have to agitate aggressively to even get anything coming up to the nostrils. Beefy malts and the slightly dirty Bell's yeast profile finally come up, with a twinge of petite noble hops. I don't know if I would say "underhopped" because there is a definite bitterness here...but lots of bitterness and no real hop flavor is rather disconcerting.

The flavor of this beer reflects the nose; smallish, dainty, well-integrated. The dry-hopping makes everything rounded in terms of flavor and bitterness...except for the fact that this beer just tastes like a bigger Bell's Amber.

The best thing about this beer is its mouthfeel: absolutely silky, velveteen, coating your lips, tongue, and belly. Just absolutely heaven in this regard: I can only imagine this from cask.

I think this is a beer catered for your entry-level good beer personality: a good deal of character here but nothing that makes me want to come back for more. Recommended if you like Bell's amber (a beer I cannot stand).

The lack of any notes on this particular beer's label makes me think it is a very accessable brew. Hopefully Batch 7000 with be a mind blower.

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Twentieth Anniversary Ale from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 3.77 out of 5 with 94 ratings