25th Anniversary Ale
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

25th Anniversary Ale25th Anniversary Ale
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Strong Ale - American
3.77 | pDev: 12.47%
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Michigan, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
25th Anniversary Ale25th Anniversary Ale
Reviews: 349 | Ratings: 515 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by nickadams2:
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nickadams2 from New York

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

A_Dark amber with a fluffy white head. Lacing coats the glass.

S_Grassy hops,caramelized malt, and dark fruit.

T_Earthy,floral hops,caramel,toffee,cherries, and figs.Very interesting mix. Very crisp.

M_Full bodied. Coats the mouth.

D_Very crisp and pretty refreshing for a higher ABV.

Sep 04, 2010
More User Reviews:
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tectactoe from Michigan

3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to Mike for letting me have one of his, otherwise I don't think I would've ever gotten my hands on one of these. Pours an elegant blend of amber and copper with a very slight, rustic orange tint to it. Light translucency clings to the edges, but this beer is mostly opaque throughout. A small khaki head forms after a pretty aggressive pour; some carbonation was possibly lost during this beer's three year journey.

The aroma is familiar yet different and kind of hard to pin down. It's pretty sweet with lots of light, brown sugar notes floating about. I'm picking up some candied, dark fruits, like plums, grapes, and dates. It's got that "sticky sweet" kind of aroma to it, although there's something cutting through the sweetness that tames it just a bit - maybe a light, earthy hoppiness. Caramel and molasses in the finish are most likely consequences of the malts used. It almost smells like a barleywine, but it's not quite there. Not as sweet, not as rich. A little enigmatic overall.

Malts pave the way first and foremost upon taking a generous swallow - caramel and toffee with a bit of sweet molasses quickly following them up. The malts also lend some bread and butter type notes that are a bit more subtle. Lots of seemingly residual sugar, although again, the sweetness is actually controlled pretty well. Brown sugar-covered dark fruits; plums and figs pop out the most. There's a light oxidation in the finish that brings out a mild, wet cardboard flavor. The booze is noticeable but not abrasive. You can definitely tell this is 8.5% ABV, but even after some warming, the boozy flavors never become too hot or uncontrollable. Body is on the medium-thick side with low carbonation and a somewhat sticky and oily mouth feel.

For a 25th Anniversary beer, being such a "big" milestone in the lifetime of basically anything, I would have expected just a little more from a brewery so well defined in so many categories. "American Strong Ales" always seem like such a "catch-all" category, so you never really know what you're gonna get. I feel like this one might have been a little better fresh, maybe a stronger hop presence would have made it a bit more lively. Nothing stands out, but it definitely wasn't bad. The problem is that Bell's has already set the bar too high for themselves! Thanks again to Mike for this one.

Apr 07, 2013
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thewimperoo from Illinois

4/5  rDev +6.1%

Nov 22, 2011
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Goldfoot from Michigan

4/5  rDev +6.1%

Dec 16, 2011
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stoutlover1978 from Indiana

3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Feb 27, 2012
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mikesgroove from South Carolina

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

decided to open this one up with lunch today while watching a movie with my son. consumed via ap int glass on 11/06/2010.

the pour was a nice dark amber color with a very clear look to it. a nice medium head of white rises up from the bottom of the glass and sticks to the sides quite nicely.

aroma of deep citrus hops are quite sticky and very well defined with a fresh resin like feel to it and a full and sweet malty backbone. each sip was very full, gotta love an ale with that deep full feel to it. really tastes and drinks like a big ipa with the hops really steeling the show. almost blood orange like sweetness with hints of butter and a warm finish with hints of dryness that make it quite sessionable.

overall a solid offering and another outstanding hoppy beer from bells

Nov 06, 2010
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jegross2 from Illinois

2.75/5  rDev -27.1%

Oct 16, 2013
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bobhits from Kentucky

1.93/5  rDev -48.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Cherry red amber color, some bubbles lingering, 2 finger white thin head.

There isn't much nose on this. The dry hopping is just not in the aroma. Some fruity dark cherry aromo, and strong sweet malt.

Smoke, strong malt body, soft hop finish. Well balanced if you don't want the hops or the malt to stand out. Dark fruits, caramel, toffee, smoke, alcohol, hoppy cheery flavor? It's interesting.

Fairly thin for a special beer, ok carbonation, goes down easy, but for a strong ale this isn't what i want.

It's tasty, I don't dislike this, but I've had countless better beers.

Sep 17, 2010
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BuckyFresh from Michigan

3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured from a 12oz bottle into a large wine glass. Pours a clear brownish amber, with an off-white one-finger head. Head retention and lacing are decent, but nothing too stupendous. After the head recedes, there are some pods of large bubbles that seem to stick around quite a while.

Smell: Predominately caramel malt in the nose, but with a pretty decent array of tropical hops. Almost smells a bit like a barleywine with a kick of citrus and bitterness. Plenty of alcohol in the aroma, but I'm also getting dark fruits, grain, and some bready yeast.

Taste: Very chewy and sweet up front, with alcoholic warmth and bitterness from the hops on the back-end. I would say it's a tad on the malty side if it wasn't for the dryer finish. I actually really enjoyed the dynamic nature of the tasting experience from start to end. The alcohol is noticeable, but the dry finish helps defray some of the hotness.

Mouthfeel: Pretty full-bodied, sweet, with a dry finish. Alcohol creeps up the throat a bit, but is cut down a little by the hop presence at the end.

Drinkability: A tasty beer indeed; however, the big malt profile might wear on my t-buds after extended drinking. A nice sipper when the occasion calls for one though!

Nov 24, 2010
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morimech from Minnesota

4.17/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reddish amber color with a small head that quickly went away. Just a little spotty lacing is left on the glass. Not the liveliest beer around. Aroma of sweet malt with hints of vanilla and toffee. The hops are well hidden with maybe a touch of floral and fruit. The alcohol is also well hidden. The flavor is really well done. Plenty of malt upfront that gives a sweet caramel base. But the hops come alive. The hops give plenty of floral and tropical fruit notes. Bitterness is getting up there but is in balance with the malt. A little warmth from the alcohol in the finish. Body is a little larger than medium. Carbonation is sufficient to give some lift to this somewhat heavy beer. A very interesting, well balanced beer. Well done. Here is to the next 25 years.

Sep 18, 2010
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TCHopCraver from Michigan

4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes on 9/4/10.

A: Pours a dark ruby to mahogany color with is impenetrable by my eye. A khaki one finger head sizzles away quickly to leave an effervescent film on top. The lacing is sticky and a mixture of Gothic arches and paint splatter dots - like a snow covered mountain peak.

S: This is fairly sweet caramel malt heavy brew with a touch of piney hops to balance. Distinct notes of cinnamon roll and glazed spiced doughnuts also fill my nostrils. I also smell a little orange zest and raisin. This is a very unique smelling beer and it also contains a spiciness that I can't quite pinpoint.

T: I would have to say that the piney hops take more of the taste stage than the sweet malts do. Or do they? My confusion makes me appreciate the balance between the component ingredients. This is definitely making me think of baked goods, though, like a glazed cinnamon-raisin-spiced bread.

M: The feel on my mouth is not quite as full as the smell and taste would lead me to believe. This is light to medium bodied that is just a little on the watery side. There is a nice sizzle on my palate from the spiciness and hops, though.

D: This is a solid brew worth another try. I feel like I did not quite nail down all that this beer is about the first time around, so I am eager to try it again.

Sep 21, 2010
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brydog22 from Illinois

4/5  rDev +6.1%

Dec 05, 2011
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seeswo from Ohio

3/5  rDev -20.4%

Nov 24, 2011
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Tone from Missouri

3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy, dark copper color. 3/4 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and good lacing. Smells of sweet malt, slight citrus hops, slight floral hops, slight alcohol, hint of syrup, and a hint of wood. Fits the style of an American Strong Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of alcohol, slight wood, slight citrus hops, sweet malt, and hint of floral. Overall, good appearance, aroma, and blend.

Jun 19, 2011
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adamant1912 from Michigan

4/5  rDev +6.1%

Nov 17, 2011
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BradLikesBrew from Missouri

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

Tawny body, thin off white head.

Aromas of caramel, butterscotch, and cherries.

Malty, fruity, and spicy. Caramel/toffee/butterscotch malt sweetness, some orange/cherry fruit esters, a spicy/peppery note, then a bitter finish. Excellent balance if a tad shallow.

Just enough carboantion to prevent the full body from becoming overly sticky.

Nice beer. A flavorful, yet balanced strong ale. Avoids the overly hoppy style of most beers in this style.

Dec 23, 2010
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mdfb79 from New York

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

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a tulip.

a - Pours a dark reddish amber color with 2 inches of off white head and light carbonation evident. Little bit of lacing.

s - Smells of caramel malts, dark fruit, sugar, bready malts, and lightly toasted malts. Smells pretty sweet.

t - Tastes of caramel malts, alcohol, bready malts, and dark fruit. Not nearly as sweet as it smelled.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - A decent strong ale, but I wish the alcohol wasn't as prominent in the taste. Glad I tried it but probably wouldn't seek out again.

Sep 21, 2010
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JoeyBeerBelly from New York

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

12oz bottle served in a snifter.

L - lightly hazed amber/orange color with a beige head that thinned to a ring and left a few trails of lacing.

S - sweet dark fruit aroma with a light scent of floral hops.

T - mainly sweeter flavors of dates, raisins, figs with some earthy undertones and some drying bittering right before a sticky sweet taste on the lips.

F - medium bodied with good carbonation for the style.

D - it was quite enjoyable, I look forward the their 50th Anniversary Ale.

Feb 06, 2011
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bucklemyshoe from Georgia

3.89/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle at 42* into a Stone IRS tulip.

A: This pours a dark amber color with a disappointing, short-lived, and fizzy head.

S: It smells of berries, sweet caramel malts, an underwhelming hop character, and raisin puree.

T: A nice hoppiness begins and ends quickly, being replaced by bittersweet berries, and a raisin and date finish.

M: It's medium-light with a grape peel flavor lingering.

D: I understand this style to be a varied one but this is weird. Bell's can do much better than this.

Oct 14, 2010
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yourefragile from District of Columbia

4.01/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, batch 9871.

Pours a clear reddish amber color with light, bubbly cream colored head. Excellent retention with light lacing. Aroma is mild and pleasant, yet forgettable. Has a slight barleywine-like character to it, with strong caramel, toffee and candi sugar notes with some fruity and piney hops (maybe simcoe?). Only thing detracting from the aroma is a slight alcoholic and medicinal undertone. Body is lighter side of medium with soft, full carbonation in the front and a short, flat piney and caramel finish. The flavor and overall composition of this beer is deceptive, as the first few sips make it easy to dismiss as being "nice" but one dimensional. However, as this warms up the body reveals a more nuanced and complex malt body (sweet caramel, toffee, raisins, dark fruit). The finish is slightly drier and piney hop dominated with a slowly arriving, strong alcohol warming sensation (without any boozy burn that the nose would suggest). Overall, it's hard to get very excited about this beer, and I think it'll get a little less interesting over time as the hops fade. However, this was very enjoyable and well balanced and I'm sad to assume this will be a one off.

Sep 07, 2010
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TheSevenDuffs from Canada

3.58/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to ewright for sending this bottle to me in a trade.

Poured in to Duvel Tulip. Batch #9871

A - A nice dark amber colour with a small amount of cream coloured head.

S - Sweet caramel malts and some earthy hops. Overall a very sweet nose.

T - Sweet caramel malts dominate. Some nice bitter hops come through in the background with some light earthy and citrus notes.

M -Medium body, slight chew, lightly carbonated.

Oct 23, 2010
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Kegatron from Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Aug 06, 2013
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herman77 from Minnesota

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

A: Deep golden orange with a small light khaki head. Okay lacing.

S: Sweet carmel malt, some cereal grains. A hint of citrus hops. Not much going on here.

T: More carmel malt and breadyness. Decent amount of pine and citrus hops, though they do seem a bit faded since this was bottled on Aug 12th. Short finish, that stays a bit hoppy and sweet, then nothing.

M: Medium to lighter body. Moderate carbonation. Pretty standard

D: Decent drinkability. Can kind of pick up the ABV. Nothing too special, though I was thinking this beer would be more special.

Mar 11, 2011
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argock from Virginia

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

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a Duvel tulip. Batch 9871 on back label. Single purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $3.00.

A: Ruby-amber with sticky 1-2 finger off-white head, tightly bubbled, with good retention and scattered lace down the glass.

S: Extremely floral and fruity aroma with a honeysuckle quality. Aromatic hops is right with citrus, herbal, and spruce combining with fruity sweet caramel malts.

T: The flavor is not well-mixed with sharp sweetness and complex hops that produce an estery brew which is as floral as any I have efver had. The hops are hefty with herbal tones, but the spruce and herbal notes are very strong too. It unfortunately overwhelms the subtleties of the malts.

M: The coating quality is the most prominent and the low carbonation provides a very smooth feel overall. The aftertaste is very sweet and floral.

D: A good not great brew with lots of complexity which doesn't always work well together.

Oct 22, 2010
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Mojo333 from Indiana

3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Nov 07, 2012
25th Anniversary Ale from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 515 ratings