Twentieth Anniversary Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Twentieth Anniversary AleTwentieth Anniversary Ale
Liked This Beer
3.77 w/ 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.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 94 |  Reviews: 93
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 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 unclederby
2.54/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Well, i'm a huge fan of Bell's beers, but this one left something to be desired. Though it doesn't really need to fit snuggly into any style, exactly what kind of beer is this? My vendor told me it was a souped up amber ale. I didn't get it... to me it most closely resembled an APA, although i guess it shared some connections with an ESB as well.

The appearance was the best part. Poured into a pint glass it had a dark honey color and little head. Bunches of tiny bubbles rose to the top and tiny chunks swirled about in their liquid abyss. Minimal lacing touched the sides as i emptied the glass.

Where's the nose on this thing? I could'nt decipher much but a little citrus peel and some caramel malts.

Same went for the taste. This beer had a slightly above average hops profile but i could'nt pick out anything exceptional. Just some citrus and caramel malts in addition to the hops. Left a bit of a sour note in the finish.

Hmmm...mouthfeel. Creamy, but no carbonation and very little depth. A bit like water really. A bit flat.

As far as drinkibility, i could only slighly recommend this beer over- well- Abita Amber or any other marginal beer of the same ilk.

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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 lackenhauser
2.9/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

From crjmellor in the Great Pumpkin 2005. Usually I leave my overall impressions to the end but Im confused here. Im not sure what this beer is trying to be. Its just "there". Not at all what Id expect from Bell's, especially for a 20th Anniversary.

Color is a hazy, somewhat subdued amber. Low aroma-some sweet malt aroma with a slight cirtus scent in the backround. Ok flavor-malt dominates with a decent level of hop bitterness. Slight soapy character to the whole flavor. Average body-decent enough I suppose for almost 7%.

This is an average beer. Dont get me wrong its not bad or anything but it doesnt stand out in any way, shape or form-even as far as a red ale or amber goes. Skip it.

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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 benito
2.98/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I just bought two singles of this and was excited to get something strong and celebratory in honor of Bell's.

This poured an opaque amber with little head and lacing. There was trace carbonation; when held to the light, an infinite dance of yeast floaties was manifest and beautiful.

Nothing particularly notable about the smell. A good, but typical, carmel presence with a hint of pungence.

I'm impressed by the balance that this beer has to taste: a good hop bitterness throughout that is matched with a fruity sweetness. Satisfying, but not especially complex. Light to medium in body, this beer doesn't hold any surprises as it warms up--the lingering hoppiness makes for a pleasant aftertaste.

This has the potential to be an inoffensive session beer, but not much else. Truth be told, I expected a little more bang for my buck with a special Bell's release and doubt that I'll try this again. Rather, I'll stick to celebrating their twenty-fifth, thirtieth, and fortieth anniversaries through an unhealthy commitment to Two Hearted Ale.

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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 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 Mitchster
3.04/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours out to a semi-hazy red tinged copper, forming a modest lacy yellow head with average retention and mild lacing. Carbonation is mild to moderate. The aroma is somewhat first it has what I call an Oberon "twang", which is mostly just a lightly rubbery and cardboardy English hop profile. The traditional Bell's House flavor from the old brewery in Kzoo is absent, making me think this was brewed in Comstock. Mouthfeel is smooth and pillowy soft with a medium-dense body. Taste is like the aroma, however there is a very strong yeast presence which I don't really care for. The hops are noticeably English. Touches of lemon sprinkled with cereal notes throughout with mild to moderate bitterness and light astringency.

Ultimately, a disappointment, especially for a commemorative brew. This doesn't sum up 20 years of brewing expertise...this is frankly a dull English pale ale. I bought a sixer of this and am not really looking forward to having the rest. Skip on this one.

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Photo of walleye
3.06/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

from the bottle I, like the others was hoping for a little more beer than this one. poured a cloudy amber, with a small white head that didn’t last to long. aroma a little on the weak side, but did get some hops, malts, sugary. flavor got mostly caramel, with a small amout of hops. wasn’t bad but not what I would want in beer celebrating a 20 anniversary.

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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 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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Photo of Bighuge
3.2/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Hazed amber-orange. Thin off white head. Not a lot of carbonation is noted from the appearance. Nose is decent. Subdued caramel and toffee tones. And also a little yeasty cakiness and some of that signature sourdough characteristic. Flavor also contains some cakiness and a little of that sour yeastiness. Spicy alcohol tones present as well. I catch some fruitiness as well. Rum soaked green apples. And grape skin. Caramel and toffee malt tones are there, but not as prominent as I'd like to see in this beer. Lingering alcoholic bitterness detracts from the overall impression. Medium body and appropriately carbonated. Not their greatest creation but not too bad either.

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Photo of Sudmissle
3.21/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Has a very malty flavor with a carmel aroma dominating. The hops are what I would call balanced for those who are lukewarm on hops.

The appearance is a deep amber with a moderate amount of lace.

Has a slightly better than average mouthfeel, slightly sticky and chewy.

It is also very drinkable as a session beer.

Now having said all that, I am a huge Bell's fan, making the drive from Detroit to Kzoo several times a year to drink the amazing Bell's brews on tap at the highly recommended Eccentric Cafe. I have to say this beer is good, but not good enough to be branded something as significant as "20th Anniversary Ale." They have so many better beers, they would have been better off just not coming up with an anniversary beer than to put this out there just to say they did it.

This tastes like a somewhat better and richer version of Bell's amber ale: Good, but not distinguished.

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Photo of DrJay
3.23/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Caramel amber colour, slight haze, with a light tan head. This foam produced some lacing and the thin head showed good retention. A bit yeasty overall, bitterness was restrained, but provided some balance against caramel maltiness. Slight butteriness. Decent body and texture, but this seemed a little mediocre for Bell's (and a 20th anniversary offering).

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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 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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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 sopor
3.36/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Orangeish amber with creamy off-white rocky head that fills the pint, dissipates to a film. Smells of caramel malt and a hint of hops.

Hops first (good) followed by small notes of caramel and bready malts. Not complex, but pretty decent. Moderately light body with stinging carbonation.

Not a bad brew, but not overly impressed. Will make a good session by my standards, I hope they continue production.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
3.38/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. browner with 7040 imprinted on the back label. This poured into a tulip with a hazy amber hue containing a few suspended particles, topped by a settled thin khaki collar.

Aroma is a ginger ale grassy leafy hop burst followed through with a clean copper metallic finish.

First swigs: Balanced hop characters with a candy sugar sweet malt. Seems like maybe some Belgian candi sugar could be in there. Just a one dimensional sugary tacky malt ale.

Medium bodied with a soft carbonation. A bit cloying in the feel due to a sugary note.

Last swigs: Sweet malt ale. I didn't find the cause for 20th Anniversary Celebration here. Maybe next year? Aw well... Special big ups to BA OrbitalR0x.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
3.45/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks again to DirtyLou.

Poured a murky amber/brown color. Kind of like in those bad B movies where they turn the faucet on in a rundown apartment and out pours brown water. Thin head with no hints of any lace. Nose is bits malt and biscuits. Flavor is pretty simple malts, biscuits. The biscuits tones lean more towards doughy. Even picking up some of the yeast. Lightly toasted. A tad watery and perhaps a bit thin for the style. But still an easy tasting brew.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.46/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle. Very clear orange color, no head or maybe wispy head. Smells kind of fruity, but also smells a little like bad white wine. The type I can buy in Northern OH. Not a promising aroma in a beer.

Taste is better than was advertised by the smell. Goes down easily, but the after-taste is tart and not pleasant. Luckily the after-taste isn't too strong.

I think I recommend against this.

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Photo of KarlHungus
3.48/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours a cloudy blood red color. The head is large, creamy and white. The aroma is rather subdued, but pleasant. It has some gentle sweetness mixed with Bell's signature yeast. The taste is sweet to the point of being sugary. This is one of the sweetest beers I have yet had, and is, perhaps, a little too sweet for my liking. The mouthfeel is full bodied with lots of carbonation. Overall, this beer is alright.

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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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Twentieth Anniversary Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 59.6% out of 100 with 94 ratings
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