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

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25th Anniversary Ale25th Anniversary Ale
513 Ratings
25th Anniversary Ale25th Anniversary Ale

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

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by mcallister on 07-28-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 513 |  Reviews: 347
Photo of sm0key
5/5  rDev +33.7%

Photo of Zachtheporter
5/5  rDev +33.7%

Photo of stbo101
5/5  rDev +33.7%

Photo of mbiang
5/5  rDev +33.7%

Photo of Nelsonbaggins
4.9/5  rDev +31%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! Best Bell's beer I've ever had, hands down. Color is medium amber. Two finger off-white head and sustained lacing. Big malt flavor & sweetness hides the 8.5% ABV very well. Nice velvety mouthfeel. It says ale on the bottle but in a blind taste test I'd say lager because it is so crisp, clear and clean. It tastes like a high gravity Oktoberfest or Märzen. Unlike any ale I've ever had. I bought a single from the Bell's General Store but will head back for a six very soon!

 480 characters

Photo of JimmyP
4.75/5  rDev +27%

Photo of 6demonbag
4.75/5  rDev +27%

Photo of j3stradi
4.65/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got it day of release at Bell's General store, 08/20/2010

Appearance: Dark Copper, head starts strong but diminishes with light lacing and a thin, spotty head that hangs on

Smell- traces of deep burnt sugar tones with a strong alcohol presence. Very sharp - typical of a SERIOUS dry hop. It masks a lot of the amber qualities a beer like this should have, but i'm not let down.

Taste- Very sharp at first. Tinny and thin but mellows out to a full amber-body and a smoothness that isn't an attribute of any typical 8.5 abv + beer i've had.

Mouthfeel- not too heavy which is misleading of a beer with as heavy of a malt profile that this seems to have. Plenty of alcohol.

Drinkability- Relatively high. I'd place this in the ranks of their sparkling ale.

Overall- fantastic. A great offering from Bell's, and a great way to celebrate 25 years. Not very sessionable, but a great way to start a night.

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Photo of Snow81
4.62/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Nice and Hazy orange

Smell: Light citric, sticky maltyness on the nose

Head: bit small not even a finger length and a little tan for color

Taste: Wow big floral hops with some mango or a exotic fruit with a touch of heat on the back

Weight: I would say about medium on the body and a bit lower carbonation than I was expecting

Finish: Mouth full of hops, lips get nice and sticky, a bit of a heat is still present, dryness hits the palate

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Photo of Lukafer
4.62/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I believe that Bell's is trying to get all of my money this month, between this, Oarsman and the Oracle? I guess I'mlucky that they still sell 12oz. bottles for $3-3.50 as opposed to other Michigan breweries that sell 12oz. for $6.99 (Founders). Anyways, between these two breweries, there goes my check!

Pours a surprisingly clear red/amber with two fingers of tan head. Smells are sweet malts, citrus, hops and brown sugar, not at all what I expected from this beer. Taste is caramel, pineapple, some brown sugar, good hop finish, a vey good beer! Mouthfeel is sticky with medium carb, feels good. Drinkabilty is very good.

I wa expecting a huge beer from Bell's for their anniversary, but instead I got a very well-balanced ale, unique but extremely drinkable. Should be drank now and NOT cellared, IMHO.

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Photo of jjanega08
4.62/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A= The beer pours a nice deep red color with a good looking finger high head that is a nice creamy vanilla ice cream color. There is great lacing on the side of the glass.

S= Bright fruity hops in it. A little swirl lets some of the alcohol free in the nose as well as some nice caramel malts. Smells really fruity. The smell goes beyond just hop smells like grapefruit and pine. It sort of smells like a sweet navel orange.

T= The taste is similar to the smell. There is a hop bitterness but it's balanced by the sweet malt character leaving me with a navel orange flavor in the taste. Really plesant. Unusual taste to this one because of the balance of the flavors. Delicious.

M= A little too heavy on the carbonation but only a little.

D= Great beer. I'm really happy I got to try this. One of the most unique tasting beers I've ever had. Another masterpiece from Bell's.

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Photo of Cresant
4.5/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served this 12 oz. brown bottle into a New Belgium snifter. Batch: 9871. The body was a clear copper with an orange/tan head. There were fine, solid sheets of lace remaining. Nice appearance.

The smell was sweet and spicy. Apricots and cloves.

The taste was fruity, tart, and bready. Caramel. Reminded me of zucchini bread. Yummy.

The mouthfeel was smooth at the beginning and a prickly alcohol finish. Medium to full body. Better that I expected.

 450 characters

Photo of brandoman63
4.5/5  rDev +20.3%

Photo of mjmadsen21
4.5/5  rDev +20.3%

Photo of MaxOfMetal
4.5/5  rDev +20.3%

Photo of KarlSpackler
4.5/5  rDev +20.3%

Photo of Molson2000
4.5/5  rDev +20.3%

Photo of arboristfish
4.5/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a deep amber color, with a slightly off white head that is thick and frothy. The aroma of the beer smells like caramel malts, with citrus, piney hops. A hint of earthy hop smell. The taste of the beer reminds me of toffee. The malt character has a bready caramel taste to it. The malt shines through more than the hops, but the hops are there for a good balance. The mouthfeel is medium, and I would consider this a drinkable beer.

 446 characters

Photo of heebes
4.45/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

355 ml bottle from MI.

Pours a deep clear amber. Thick off white head, good carbonation present. Looks like an IPA...smells like one too! Auromas of a bready malt backed by some citrus hops smells very sweet. Taste is smooth, quite drinkable. Flavor matchs the nose with a nice long finish ending with a delicious maltiness.
Medium mouthfeel which is smooth on the palatte. These were limited to one per person at the store I visited, but if I saw it available I'd be picking up plenty of this beer. A delicious brew to represent a milestone for a great brewery!

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Photo of cdizinno
4.43/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Poured into a pint glass from a bottle as pictured.

A: Slighty hazy, deep amber color with a 1/2 finger, off-white head. Moderate lacing.

S: Citrus hops mixed with a caramel malty sweetness.

T&M: Thick, sweet caramel and toffee hits first. Slowly turns into a citrusy hop tanginess. Definitely more malty than hoppy, but well-balanced. Very smooth with a medium to heavy body.

Very drinkable for a Strong Ale. Original flavor, nothing spectacular, but very solid.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.42/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Cigar City pint glass. No readable freshness date to be found on the bottle.

A- Pours a dark amber with a very thin white head that disappears halfway through the drink.

S- Initial hoppy aroma gives way to malts that balance nicely. Alcohol is present but not too heavy. If it's any indication as to what the flavor will be like, I'm gonna enjoy this

T- Yep. Just as I thought. Wonderful balance of hops and malts. The hops are pungent yet subdued enough to not be overpowering. The heavy malt backbone this beer is sporting is also very enjoyable. The aforementioned alcohol aroma is even more hidden in the flavor. I can tell it's 8.5% but, judging by the taste, wouldn't think it's even .1 over that. I get bready, toasted notes from the malt. Hop profile is somewhat citrusy but moreso herbal like British hops. Seems clear that more than one variety was used.

M- Thin viscosity. Slightly heavy carbonation. Gives me kind of a burn when I swish but it's not a bad one.

O- The word for this beer is certainly "balance." To me, the malts are more dominant than the hops but the hops have their own significant role. Quaffable indeed. Way to go Bell's. Do you guys even make beer that's any less than awesome? (Obviously a rhetorical question)

 1,263 characters

Photo of DrDemento456
4.42/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - I get an inch of head and a nice dark amber color. Pretty.

S - You get slight hops, yeast, along with some dark raisin and plum. This should be interesting.

T - Starts off fruity with a hint of plum and hops (which balanced pretty well) and then rounds out to a little yeast and sweet semi bitter finish. Nice!

M - Very medium bodied. If I didn't know any better I would suggest 6 or 7 tops.

D - Well it really was good and a shame a four pack is around 14-15 dollars. I really think PA affects my drink-ability for the prices but I would drink this again with some age but overall great beer!

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Photo of mdterps187
4.39/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer has really turned a corner. I only vaguely remember it from when I bought a sixer back in 2010, but I recall a muddled malt profile and some out of place soy sauce/umami. It's a shame this didn't sit in storage longer because now I wish I'd saved all six of them.

Pours a slightly opaque ruby-amber with an off-white head. Carb is fairly low though higher than expected for a 5+ year old bottle.

Smells like an English old ale. Any hop aromatics are long gone. There's some added dried fruit from the yeast to add to a caramelly, toasted bread malt aroma.

Tastes of raisins, dates, dark caramel, crystal malt with the faintest hint of alcohol heat.

Mouthfeel is thick and syrupy. This thing sticks to your tongue with a surprising amount of body- more like some beers with double the strength and gravity. Carbonation is low, slight prickle from the alcohol content.

Overall, I'm really impressed with how this has rounded out. Some beers taste like they need a little refinement when they're fresh but this one needed a total overhaul. Time, bottle conditioning, and some slight oxidation for the better have treated this bottle well. I hope Bells makes this again but leaves it in storage for a good long time before release (or at the least takes a page from Dogfish and instructs the buyer to bury in a hole and forget for the better part of a decade).

 1,381 characters

Photo of garymuchow
4.38/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed once when it first came out, but failed to record it here, so here is another go.
Batch 9871 - August 12th bottling date. States shelf life of 6 months, but it appears to just be coming into it's own right now.
Sort of a crisp and crackly malt aroma with graham cracker noted clearly. Complex malt with sweet caramel like, a little candy, but also some breadiness. Hops are quite subdued.
Small but dense yellowish head. Pretty red hue to the amber and quite clear. Lacing evident.
More hop presence with the taste with really nice balancing with both flavor and just enough bitterness to add some length to the finish along with a nice flavored bitterness. Really nice intermingling of hop and malt flavors, both with some level of complexity and interest. Slight fruit, but also a little cracker and caramel with a touch of nuttiness. A bit of alcohol.
Only a moderate body but with an exceptional creaminess to the carbonation it drinks big and smooth.
Wow, this is already better than the beer I had only two months ago. The flavors are already blending better and creating a enjoyable drinking event. Drinks both big and small. Complex enough to enjoy slowly, but light enough and more malt based without residual sweetness so it goes down easily.

 1,261 characters

Photo of MNJR
4.36/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Really looked forward to trying this. Pours with almost no head and leaves almost no lacing. The color is dark gold or brass, and a little hazy. The smell is excellent: woodsy/vanilla/fresh pine bark, and port wine. A lot of dessert flavors: maple, cream, caramel, vanilla. All the sweet richness is done very nicely and not pushed too far, but sometimes it seems close. The hops are there, and provide that little, sharp knife edge that it needs. The high alcohol content is up front, present and accounted for. There is also a slightly dry, astringent aftertaste, and a lingering, thick maltiness in the background. The mouthfeel overall suffers because it's a bit soupy and the carbonation is on the flat side. I expected to be really blown away, which unfortunately I wasn't, not in a "once every 25 years" way... but, I was impressed. Don't pass up an opportunity to try this. It's very good.

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25th Anniversary Ale from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 3.74 out of 5 with 513 ratings