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Twentieth Anniversary Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

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

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 94 |  Reviews: 93
Photo of rodbeermunch
3.02/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Came out an amber colored beer, beige head 1/3". Hit the red ale malt notes, wet wood, minimal hops, not the Irish peat moss malt notes, cleaner than that.

Taste was a caramel and toffee excursion. They basically made a basic red ale for their anniversary. Easy accessible type of expansion. Was one of those bottles you got 3 times as extras kind of situation back in the day.

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Photo of mcallister
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

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 Dotcubed
2.12/5  rDev -43.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Not sure why I still have this low proof anniversary beer.

Modest yet quiet opening.

Beautiful color! Dusty smell. Not in a good way. The foam that came out quickly died.

Ugh. Too old. No legs on this what so ever. Dry and some hints of what it was. Vaguely bitter remnants of a hop & some malt.


If you find any, leave it be.

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Photo of hopdog
3.61/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottles acquired in a few trades.

Poured a deeper and cloudy amber color with a large sized off white head. Subtle aromas of caramel, oranges, and dough. Tastes of oranges, caramel, toffee, and cookie dough. Flavors definitely stronger than the aromas. Medium sweet with a light hopiness.

Notes from 11/2/05

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Photo of Wildman
4.2/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes:

This beer poured a cloudy red amber color and formed a light tan bubbly head that left latticed lace as it subsided An aroma of malt, hops, coffee and toffee. The flavor was of hops, malt, and caramel. The body was medium light and silky. The finish was silky and slightly astringent. Another good beer from this brewer, if not one of favorite styles.

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Photo of dogfooddog
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours with a small head into a flute glass; this dark orange beer is very malty to the nose, maybe just a bit bread-like as well. batch 7040.

taste is what you would expect - malty, with some moderate hop bitterness coming out beyond the initial sip into the finish. there are some citrus hints throughout, though they really don't become prominent until the finish.

given the (relatively) low abv and taste, this is very drinkable beer, thanks again to MABZ for the chance to try this one-off and a number of other bell's beers.

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Photo of mnfinnkidd
4.13/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Found this one at Zipps in Minneapolis a while again..been waiting to find the time to review it. It's probably one of the last bottles still out there.Not too sure of the age. It has reddish-orange hue with a white head. A slight taste of alcohol with a mellow hop character. Overall..a tasty brew that I would buy again if I could they still made it...

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Photo of terrabyte
2.27/5  rDev -39.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a brown, copper color. Head was white and small. Dark black flecks can be seen floating in the glass. Not very appetizing.

Smells a like sour biscuits and fruit.

Flavor has a slight caramel sweetness that ends in a sour citrus bitterness.

Mouthful is slightly sticky, thick and flat.

Not very drinkable. Reminds me of beer left overnight. Warm, flat, and sour.

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Photo of RedHaze
3.68/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Notes from a few months ago. Batch #7100.

Pours a orange/amber color as you would expect, with a half inch off-white head that fades to a thin soapy cap, leavng behind a nice webbing of lace.

Smell; lots of biscuity and caramel malts, with a bigger hop profile than I was expecting.

Taste; nice rich caramel malts, with some solid biscuit flavors. As with the smell there's a fairly strong hop presence for an amber, that are somewhat floral. There's a bit of warming in the back of my throat from the alcohol. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a very good drinkability.

This is prbably one of the better red/amber ales that I've ever had.

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Photo of Dubbercody
3.55/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Batch 7040.

Orangy Amber in color, nice quickly disapating head.

Smells of hops, with malty carriage. Citurs aftertaste with the malt starting off teh taste and then kicking in again in the later aftertaste.

Interesting brew, unique taste and I agree it's worthy of their 20th Anniversary.

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Photo of Gaisgeil
3.55/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A one off release that isn't some huge overblown affair (read: Batch 7000), I'm perplexed, I'm intrigued.

Pours a hazy amber in color with a fuzzy white head with good retention. Nose is slightly spicey, but with some slight citrus and caramel notes. Taste is silky and smooth, caramel and orange peel. This is a slightly 'bigger' beer than most of the style and for that I love it, it's a bit of the best of both worlds in terms of big beer vs. small beer.


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Photo of hero27
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Batch # 7100.

Hazy copper color with quite a bit of sediment. Head is modest and forms a ring around the outside of the glass.
Light caramel malts, very faint residual bitterness. Good orange peel flavor mixed with a bit of spices also. Creamy texture and medium-bodied, somewhat slick mouthfeel. Certainly dominantly malty, this beer is very drinkable and goes down smooth. For a one-time release, it could be considered a bit underwhelming, but still a very solid beer from a great American brewery.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bright brassy orange with a hint of carmine when backlit. Fine particulates sit in suspended animation, while a few fine bubbles rise up to a wonderful looking, lightly toasted marshmallow colored crown. Twentieth Anniversary Ale decorates the glass with style and is a good looking beer.

There's nothing remarkable about the somewhat underpowered nose. Since the beer is almost 8 months old, the initial hoppiness must have faded to some extent. The aroma consists of pale and caramel malts (guesses), as well as a decent amount of earthy, herbal hops.

The beer is better on the palate, although I'm not sure that it's deserving of 'Anniversary Ale' status from a brewery as outstanding as Bell's. Malt is the flavor focal point, with a lovely toasted caramel sweetness underlying what is a more impressive hoppiness than the nose suggested.

One way the brewery attempted to make this beer stand out from the crowd of amber ales was to add more than the usual amount of malt, hops and alcohol. That's almost always a good thing, especially from someone as supremely talented as Larry Bell. Besides, no one wants to drink a light-bodied, low-ABV anniversary ale.

Despite the 6.7% ABV, there's no hint of alcohol. A quicker than normal buzz is the only evidence, although that probably more to do with the two beers that preceded this one than anything else. The body/mouthfeel is quality without being a standout. It's firmly creamy with a sedate amount of carbonation.

It's a shame that I wasn't able to get my hands on a fresh bottle of Twentieth Anniversary Ale because it was undoubtedly better beer last fall. I'm hoping that such difficulties will now be a thing of the past since Bell's will soon be distributing to Iowa. Thanks a million Larry, that news made my month.

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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 mentor
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Super-huge thanks to CRJMellor. I thought this one had come and gone and I'd missed my opportunity. In college, I consumed my first Bell's beer in the late 80's and have enjoyed them as rare treats since that time (too poor to buy quality beer or out of distribution when I could). With a room-mate, I once ran a garbage bag of freshly roasted peanuts from my local bar to Bell's, dropped off the peanuts, picked up a keg of Oberon, and ran the keg back to my local bar. Many years later, I stopped into the Eccentric cafe' as a member of a wedding party...moments after the ceremony. I'll never forget sitting in the hop-garden in the baking summer heat wearing a tuxedo. Wonderful times, Larry.

Pours a one finger frothy delicious tan-colored head over a particulated brown-copper liquid (some of the sediment made it into the glass). Smells dry caramel, not quite Munich character. What's the cause Vienna Malt? Burton Salts? Gentle hops are orange and a hint of pith. With searching, some iron. Tastes light sweet and a bit fruity. Md body is light on the tongue with modest carbonation. Light and drinkable. Caramel, peaches, oranges (from hops?). Hint of saaz-like tin...not quite saaz, but perhaps hopped with a hybrid of saaz. Dry with a touch of iron and butter. Woody dry finish wipes the palate clean. Very nice.

Although this beer is simple and drinkable, the mouthfeel is quite dextrinous. Moderate to modest carbonation lifts the liquid off the tongue. Well done as a 20th celebration of Bell's brewing, IMO. Bell's beers were made for drinking and this beer matches that sentiment. Tasty, yet the finish wipes the slate clean. What's up next? From Bell's Brewing, it could be anything. The future is wide open. Larry, you are everything we need in American brewing. Cheers!

This beer was rated to style, not to personal bias.

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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 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 alexgash
4.3/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Muddy dark amber with orange edges and a tight, off-khaki head. Caramel roll malts, cooked vegetables, brown sugar, herbal/vegetal hops. Rich toffee with rummy fruits and a bready backbone. Vegetal, herbal hops follow with some bitterness. Malt wins out in the end though. Rummy fruit sweetness mixes with Bell’s yeast in a long finish. Not as smoky as a Scotch Ale, but sufficiently malty to be one. Me gusta. Full-bodied, with a silky, creamy feel. Nice. Yum. Good work Bell’s and happy 20th anniversary!

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Photo of rajendra82
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From BA CRJMellor via a recent trade, this 12 oz. bottle released an amber looking beer, that was clear, until the yeast was poured in. Except for a smaller head, the look was similar to many IPAs. The smell was mild, and balanced between caramel malt and floral hops. The taste was sweet and malty with a flair of earthy and floral hops. The carbonation was lively, and gave this a bubbly light mouthfeel initially, until the thicker than average sticky body took over. An easy to drink beer of simple construction, this was still very well made. Reminded me of an English IPA more so than an American Amber ale.

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Photo of deejaydan
4.13/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a slightly hazy orange color with a reasonable head. Aroma of carmel malts, perhaps Munich? Taste is really nice, a slight British Yeast Funk and some mellow grassy hops, all balanced nicely by the malts. Mouthfeel is very good, thick for the style and the carbonation is present, yet not annoying. Drinkability is very high, this may be the perfect session beer.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
2.6/5  rDev -31%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12oz, batch 7040 like everyone else. obtained somehow through some ricockulous trade of some sort.

pour showcases an impressively odd color variety.. pale orange on the bottom becomes a dark crimson cloud on top. overhead, a sticky , frothy head resides. lacing is bridgelike. dirty and not all that impressive to look at. pungent funky tart malt odor.. wet leaves and burnt barley husk. slight foot odor beyond what exists from a simple graininess. wow does this taste strange.. first impression is unbaked yellow cake mix.. just enough butter and confectioner's sugar to evoke cake with the bland blankness that comes with lack of frosting. hop scratch in the finish is pronounced and somewhat balancing, albeit a second too late. very rich, sweet beer in a complex, layered thick corn syruppy way. tough to describe but not very drinkable. rather abrasive. not a big fan of this beer and i'm glad it's a one-off.

maybe 25 will bring brighter days.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.15/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity... From Bell's website: The Batch ID that you entered '7040', is a Bell's Twentieth Anniversary Ale. Your Bell's Twentieth Anniversary Ale was packaged on September 7, 2005.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" beige head over the coppery amber brew. Head lasts nicely, with heavy foamy lacing. Aroma is fresh all around, grain, hops and light fruitiness. Flavor is ample malts upfront, even some chocolate notes, coupled with well-balanced amount of hops. Mouthfeel is smooth over the tongue, with excellent drinkability. Another pleasing Bell's brew here.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.8/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Darkover for the trade. Dark orange/copper color with a thin and lasting off-white head. Thin lacing. Aroma of sweet malt and maple syrup. Light-bodied and kind of creamy with malt and caramel flavors outright. There is a light hops bitterness in the background as well as a hint of roastiness. The finish is very sweet and lingering. Despite my personal hope that they would do something a little more "dramatic" to celebrate, this is a well-made beer and in the upper eschelon for the style. Congrats to Bell’s on 20 years!

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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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Twentieth Anniversary Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 3.77 out of 5 with 94 ratings
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