Twentieth Anniversary Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

94 Ratings
no score
Send samples
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.

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 94 |  Reviews: 93
Photo of lackenhauser
2.9/5  rDev -22%
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.

 699 characters

Photo of budgood1
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours out a hazy amber colour. a thin dense head appears and reduces to a fine sheet. bits of wispy lace left, also. sweet malts hit the nose with a hint of smoke. upon tasting, the first thing to appeal to me is the immediate balance and sessionability of this amber ale. the malts are fairly sticky sweet with hints of caramel and toffee....a last dash of hops kicks in at the finish. the body is full and the mouthfeel sweet and smooth with a perfect carbonation. there is a hint of alcohol that presents a spicy flare after a few sips. i like this ale a lot. heartily sippable. another fine concoction from kalamazoo stable.

 645 characters

Photo of lou91
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

 430 characters

Photo of walleye
3.06/5  rDev -17.7%
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.

 359 characters

Photo of Bierguy5
3.67/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

 384 characters

Photo of cokes
3.03/5  rDev -18.5%
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.

 792 characters

Photo of nlmartin
3.12/5  rDev -16.1%
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.

 653 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A quite enjoyable beer. Calm in it's character, but has an unexpected alcoholic kick. pours an...well...amber color with moderate carbonation a head that slowly fell to a trace. The nose is dominantly malty with caramel and fresh baked bread. All of bell's beers have that dough-ey yeasty character, this one is no different. Flavors are very malty, caramels, nuts, and a bit woods-ey. Still mainains a bready or crust flavor. Despite being big on the malt side, there are quite a bit of hops that balance the sweet, but are low in flavor and bittering. The body is smooth and creamy, without thickening or becoming heavy. Remains medium viscous. Finishes a bit alcoholic for style, but I prefer this. The aftertaste shows a bit of graininess, but it is subtle.

 761 characters

Photo of granger10
4.15/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Copper in color with a small egg white head. Some lacing. Aroma was of caramel and butterscotch along with a bit of fruity hoppiness. Taste brings the same flavors. This beer leans towards the malty side but is finished nicely by some floral and spicy hops. All the flavors are full and contribute nicely to this beer. The Bell's house yeast seems noticeable here and lends a slightly sour, slightly buttery element to the body. Sometimes I don't like that but I think it works here. Overall this is a solid beer and easily sessionable.

 536 characters

Photo of CortexBomb
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

 817 characters

Photo of garymuchow
4.18/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a solid beer. I enjoyed it quite a bit.
Aroma is quiet and subtle, but grows in some intensity with time. Largely malt based that seems to hold a vienna malt quality.
Head is fairly short lived, but the ring is persistent. Nice amber of red/orange/gold. Attractive color.
I really like the malt character of the flavor. It's not very sweet and it's somewhat dry. Bitterness presents strongly in the middle and tapers, but lingers through the finish. Fair amount going on in each sip and each sip seems to emphasize a different quality. I like a beer that keeps me interested throughout the glass.
Despite a thinnish/watery(?) quality at times this beer seems to maintain a feel of some density. Carbonation is nicely balanced.
I like this beer. Interestingly balanced. Nice flavors. Easy to drink. Has a session beer quality, yet maintains a body and flavor of substance.

 884 characters

Photo of MuddyFeet
3.45/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

 467 characters

Photo of maxpower
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle pours a hazy amber color with a small off white head that leaves some lacing in my glass. Fruity, bready aromas, caremel and honey flavors. Medium bodied with a soft and creamy mouthfeel, finishes a bit sweet, a very flavorful and drinkable amber ale.

 264 characters

Photo of sopor
3.36/5  rDev -9.7%
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.

 409 characters

Photo of ZAP
4.44/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange color...pretty clean and clear for an ale....I love the nose...sweet caramel...big melted caramel candy aroma..taste is also very sweet wit ha caramel notes....perhaps a little tosted notes....body is medium to light...low carbonation...slides down the hatch very quickly for the hint of heat at all until the far late finish..closes with some fruity acidic notes.

I really liekd this when I smelled it and really liked it at first taste...the longer I drink it the tarter finish bothers me a little...still I think they hit a solid bases loaded triple with this one....I am not disapointed at all...

 619 characters

Photo of TastyTaste
4.22/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured with some yeast clumps falling out into ther beer. Small white head. Body is a bright hazed orange.

Smell: Hoppy and floral, slightly sweet, some burnt malts also.

Taste: Good but hard top nail down. A very sweet beer, a hint of maple and carmel, a little tartness and some slight grassy malt close out the flavor.

Mouthfeel: Very creamy and smooth, not a lot of CO2. Different.

Drinkability: I am not sure what Bell's was going for, this is a beer that is hard to pin down, in limbo between styles.

 530 characters

Photo of bashiba
4.09/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

 678 characters

Photo of Smittysguinness
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hey! Bells has a 20th Anniversary Ale! I think I'll buy it, I say to myself.

I was quite impressed. It poured into my glass much like their renowned and amazing Oberon; an amber that bordered on orange, slightly hazy. Nice white head that stuck to my glass (is that lacing?). My tastebuds literally jammed up in my tongue to be the first to taste what must be a fine beer.

Ah! Silly tastebuds! The nose gets it first! And the nose was pleased indeed. Fruity, orange, floral. My tastebuds wept to be so scorned as to have seconds from the nose. Curses! they screamed.

The taste was fantastic. Rose-flavored hops mixed with sweet malt, like an Oktoberfest malt, but the rosiness mixes with the sweet malt to make that nice calm, fruity taste. Well-balanced, not too sweet, not too hoppy. Great hoppy finish. My tastebuds bitter tears turned to tears of joy.

Not too much of an alcohol feel here. Full-bodied and a little thick on the mouthfeel.

Drinkability? Certainly. Good beer. Not exceptional, but good solid showing for an anniversary. I hope my own 20th anniversary is this noteworthy!

 1,104 characters

Photo of Bighuge
3.2/5  rDev -14%
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.

 674 characters

Photo of SheepNutz
4.2/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Kev for cracking this one open with me. Cheers! 12oz. bottle poured into a snifter. It pours a slightly hazy medium orange color with one finger of head. A decent amount of lacing. The smell is fairly fruity, and slightly floral. Some light orange aroma, and a little bit of hops as well. The taste has lots of pale malt up front, just a slight sweetness. There's some honey in there. The finish has a great balance of hops. The mouthfeel is extremely thick and really coats the entire mouth. The drinkability is fantastic for a nearly 7% brew. Wow, I really really enjoyed this.

 589 characters

Photo of karst
4.45/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Being that Bell's Amber is reported as Larry Bell's favorite, I am not surprized that the 20th aniv is a similar brew.

However the malts are turned loose. Conservative hops - English style and a yeast that spices the beer similar to flavors in Oberon. Alcohol stays mostly hidden but with a multi-bottle session your going to feel it.

Pours a reddish tea color with 1-2 fingers of tan dense head that expresses itself as handsome lace after it slowly dimenishes. Medium full body and round mouthfeel. Nothing out of place in balance finishes clean like a mild ESB.

Happy Aniversary Ale is always welcome at my partys.

 627 characters

Photo of Brent
3.31/5  rDev -11%
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.

 379 characters

Photo of bigbubba
4.2/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an inviting reddish amber beer with very little head. There was very little aroma as well. But what there was was good, including a slight fruitiness. The taste is great. Very well balanced, I usually prefer hoppy beers but this is great to drink. It is a nice full bodied beer and is very smooth. It is also very easy to drink. I hope this one ends up on tap somewhere nearby.

 385 characters

Photo of GreenWBush
3.33/5  rDev -10.5%
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.

 1,331 characters

Photo of unclederby
2.54/5  rDev -31.7%
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.

 1,184 characters

Twentieth Anniversary Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.72 out of 5 based on 94 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.