Bell's 25th Anniversary Ale | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

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Bell's 25th Anniversary AleBell's 25th Anniversary Ale

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
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.

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Reviews: 347 | Ratings: 513
Photo of THORN
4.12/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 Fl. Oz. bottle poured into Snifter. Served around 50 F.
A: Reddish brown with off white foamy head. Retains half an inch.
S: Hops, grapefruit, and brown sugar.
T: Fruity hops, caramelized sugar, and toasted malts. Short cake is followed by sweet bitter linger.
M: Medium light on tongue. Alcohol is somewhat noticeable and is warming.
D: Fully of flavor and well balanced.

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Photo of dudemuskie
4.12/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours a deep orange with soft reddish-amber highlights. Fluffy soft tan head lingers and laces nicely.

Aroma- Soft candy-like sweetness with a touch of toffee maltiness, and a hint of warming alcoholic strength. Noticeable estery fruitiness with a bit of bready malt and delicate floral hops. Slight hop spice also present. Quite complex in the nose, looking very forward to the first sip!

Flavor- Rich maltiness up front with caramel and toffee leading the way. Resinous hop bitterness is quick to enter the middle and intensifies into a nicely balanced finish between pungent, bitter, mouth-coating hops and a complex, rich, sticky malt. Just a touch of alcohol noticeable, but pretty well hidden for an 8.5% brew! Nice lingering finish too.

Mouthfeel- Full bodied with big malt and hop presence. Moderate CO2. Definitely some sticky residual sugars on this brew. Just a bit of warming alcohol, but fairly easy drinking considering the strength.

Overall- What a way to celebrate 25 magical years in the craft brew biz! A very nice beer young that will likely get better with a little time. Strangely, I could easily drink several of these...trouble! Congrats Larry and company!

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Photo of CampusCrew
4.12/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: pours amber orange verus red. low head and rentention.

smell: nice caramel smell as expected. some hop detection and some nice apple/spice notes

taste: decent bitterness, but a nice malty, and caramel dominate, subtle sweet, some apple flavor, nice and hefty beer.

mouthfeel: medium body

drinkability: not their best but still a fanatstic beer. sessionable for the high abv.

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Photo of Chaney
4.12/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Golden, yet cloudy brew with a very slight head. However, the head that the pour did produce stayed until I put the lights out.

S: Pixie stick dust, shrill citrus such as pineapple, tangerines, oranges, and even a hint of grapefruit (although I honestly didn't get that sort of bitterness).

T: Same as the nose, only more intense. Sweet, but in a candy sort of way. This is basically a fruit bomb and not one of the citrus variety.

M: The sugar is there, but the coat doesn't bother me in the slightest. The carbonation is spot on and the alcohol stays under the radar.

D: Despite the ABV, this is highly drinkable. It's basically a mini version of "Oracle." Good stuff!

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Photo of beer2day
4.12/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Strong orange pour with dense, tight, medium tan 1-finger head. Faint retention, but decent lace. Light, small bubbled carbonation.

Nose is a fruit and caramel mix. Slightly sour, dry fruit with cherries and apricots as well as caramel malt. Definite alcohol presence.

Taste matches the nose well. Same fruits present. Bread malt all over the middle of the profile. Caramel malt starts the finish and transforms into a dry, earthy, tart ending.

Body is oily and resiny. Alcohol makes a strong showing.

Very nice sipper.

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Photo of TCHopCraver
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

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Photo of ToddT
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Deep orange amber topped with a fluffy off white head. Head is sticky and leaves some nice lace on the glass.

S- Caramel malt, pine and grapefruit hops. The nose has a nice balance to it.

T- Very nicely balanced from the first sip caramel and hops fight to control. Eventually the hops win and the finish is a final lingering bitter note of grapefruit hops.

M- Medium in body and decent carbonation, finish is clean with little hop oil residue.

D- Very drinkable, might be a little much for the hop shy out there but not overpowering. The 8.5% ABV is not readily apparent either.

What a great beer to celebrate Bell's 25 anniversary with, here's to many more years.

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Photo of Daniellobo
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deceptively tamed ale that emerges with a complex and rather approachable range. Here's to another 25 years!

Presentation: 12 oz brown capped bottle. Simple design with a dark grey and silver label around the name of the brew and brewing motives. Back label offer a small note about the celebratory occasion of the brew and the all Michigan barley malt used. Notes bottling batch (9871 i.e. aug 12 2010), and Alc. by Vol. (8.5%). Served in a tulip glass.

A - Medium amber pour, 1"+ head with average retention, fair surface memory and good lacing.

S - A bit of a shy nose early on that come a sturdier point as the brew progresses. Caramel malt, with sense of dark fruits in the back, dash of hops.

T - Like the nose there is a soft entry with that range, caramel, touches of fruit, a dash of hops that progresses to something more complex and enticing. Nice flow. Toffee, caramel coated grapefruit is there, a bit of a herbal touch under all the malt current. There is also quite a hefty hop side to it, but it is relatively well integrated under the complex malt character, it's like a tap on the surface, you know it is there but it never quite emerges. It works for me in the end.

M - Medium body feeling a tad heftier towards the end. Smooth with some stickiness and a dry dash in the finish.

D - Here is where all comes together and the brew shines. If one likes it, and I do, this is worth the second one, maybe more... And surely picking up more.

Notes: Sure enough, this is not a hefty extreme commemorative, say like a batch 9000, but it develops a nice complex range and offers a nice highlight for Bells with a good point of accessibility. Nice one in any case, and here's hoping to have brews of this quality for many more years to come.

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Photo of cjacobsen
4.09/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, and it came out a nice dark amber color with shoots of red when the light hit it. Decent 1 inch white head on it.

It smelled of alcohol and hops. Some spice notes wafted out here and there. It smelled great.

The taste was hefty on the hops. It had that red ale taste right up front, almost like you can taste the copper color. It was hearty and flavorful.

As from the tasting note, it was almost metallic but not tinny and crappy like a canned Miller Lite it. The carbonation and alcohol was pretty balanced so it didn't cause a crazy attack on your taste buds.

This is a decent brew and is worth a try. I think its one of those "good but maybe not worthy of THAT price" sort of brews.

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Photo of cmaude
4.09/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle of this at my last "only going to buy one bottle of a pumpkin ale" beer run that turned into a small beer buying orgy. The shiny silver packaging totally got me.

Appearance: Pretty reddish orange - creamy foam disappears immediately despite a fairly aggressive pour.

Smell: So. Good. Citrus, apples, honey - it smells like the kind of cake you might bake this time of the year - summer sweetness with fruity acidity, and just a hint of fall spice. Wish they made a candle or perfume in this scent.

Taste: Honestly, a bit sweeter than I would like. It's going to take a while to get through this one. Hold it in your mouth a bit, and the lemony citrus takes the stage to the point where it almost seems like a Ricola cough drop - medicinal herbs cut in hardcore.

Mouthfeel: Pleasantly thick, but the carbonation is noticeable enough given the sweetness.

Drinkability: Between the sweetness, the medicinal characteristics, and the ABV, I'm glad I only bought one bottle. Tasty for a VERY slow sipper, and I might buy another single at some point, but this would have been a rough six pack to get through.

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Photo of SirSketch
4.09/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Slim ivory head with soda pop fizz consistency. Orange-red color and completely transparent.

S - Wonderful, complex malt aroma like that of aged barleywines, consisting of dark fruits and rum. Fairly hoppy, too. Juicy grape, almost wine-like character.

T - Big malt bomb with an equally bold bitterness and a small amount of astringency balances everything out. Acidic, citrus hop flavor. A little resiny, like sap, and raisins come into play. Very sweet and lasting aftertaste.

M/D - Chewy, sticky mouth but ends dry. Not overly complex or heavy to keep you from drinking it easily. Pretty great beer! Wish I had access to it where I lived.

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Photo of MetalHopHead6
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bell's 25th Anniversary Ale is fruity, delicious, and balanced.

It poured hazy dark copper with apricot-colored highlights. It had a solid two-finger head and left rings of thick lace throughout the glass. It smelled citric during the pour; however, the flavor was dominated by sweet dark fruit. The feel was balanced with moderate bitterness and a clean short-lived dry finish.

Bell's 25th Anniversary Ale is sweet and delicious like a fruity, slightly bitter, berry desert.

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Photo of srandycarter
4.07/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Muddy amber, nice head falls fast to ring. Not much lace.

S - Bready, heady goodness. Deep malt and my favorite thing about this beer.

T - Malty, nice, but thinner than smell suggests.

M - Again, thinner and less complex than I thought. Good carb, ok balance.

D - Fort eh ABV, very easy to drink.

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Photo of BamaViper1
4.07/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

The Bell's 25th Anniversary Ale pours amber brown and slightly opaque into the glass forming a 1/2 inch thick creamy off-white head. This head dissipates quickly, leaving a soap-bubble like film over the top of the beer. There are very few whisps of lacing left on then side of the glass.

The smell of this beer is what makes this beer truly interesting. The front end is full of tropical fruit, starting with notes of banana cream (like whip cream heavy banana pudding) and maybe mango and ending with notes of pineapple. These smells are quite luscious and full. Eventually other notes of citrus and a sugary malt can be discerned as well.

This Bell's beer opens with a quick taste of that tropical fruit, but that is quickly overpowered by a strong hop-forward center, bitter with notes of grapefruit and possibly some mild pine. This lovely hoppiness is balanced by a round caramel/creme brûlée-styled malt. The finish, however, is long and bitter. A well done ale.

The beer has nice weight in the mouth, medium-bodied with good carbonation. Sadly thus weight instantly disappears as swallowing occurs, causing the finish to feel thin.

This is a solid beer by Bell's, and one that I wish were more available. I could easily drink a lot of this beer, to say the least. As a huge fan of the Hopslam and a super-repeat customer of the Two-Hearted, I thoroughly enjoyed this offering from the Michigan brewery.

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Photo of drpimento
4.07/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Found this beer squirreled away in a place that's been dark but quite warm for a long time. Aroma is malt and raisins. Flavor's like nose plus herbs. Great palate. Nice beer. Wonder what it would've been like properly cared for.

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Photo of adamette
4.07/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Live review. Poured from the 12 oz. bottle that I bought at Save-On Tobacco & Beverage in Mentor, Oh last week. There was no price listed on it and I did not check the receipt. Wally(the proprieter of the store)'s sister alerted me to it without my asking and it was behind the counter. They are very cool to me indeed! Poured into my Cooperstown Beverage Trail pint glass. Batch number 9871.

A Light brown creamy head that leaves nice lacing on the inside of the glass over a amber/caramel body. Good look for the style. 4.0

S Significant malt and hops aromas rise up from this beer that smells "big" if that is possible. Due to the "size" of the smell it reminds me of Stone Arrogant Bastard which had a "big smell." The smell makes this beer even more attractive than it already was as an interesting Anniversary Ale from Bell's. 4.5

T The Bigness of the smell carries right over into the taste with significant floral hops bitterness and syrupy sweet malt tastes competing for the taster's attention. This beer still reminds me of Stone Arrogant Bastard but it has more of sweetness than that great beer does. This is a good, big beer. 4.0

M As suggested several times, this is a "big" beer with significant hops and sweet malt and has a thickness akin to honey or a thick syrup. I really like the feel and it is fitting as a celebration of 25 years of brewing at Bell's. 4.5

D One and done for me. This beer is meant to be savored, enjoyed as you consider how far Bell's has come from the soup pot mentioned on the label to one of the country's foremost craft breweries. The style lends itself to a low drinkability, however. I enjoyed every bit of it. 3.5

Notes: Happy Anniversary and congratulations to Bell's!

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Photo of bgildea
4.07/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice dark murky amber color. Has very little white head that faded quickly and left little lacing.

S: Smells delicious. Strong sweet smells of honey and berries.

T: The taste mirrors the smell. Starts off with a nice sweet taste of honey and what seems like blueberry and raspberries. Finishes with a slight slight slight bitter flavor, but overall the flavor was a nice sweet beer.

M: Pretty thin beer. Not too much chew here.

O: I thought this was drinkability... but... Overall its a pretty good beer. It's a sweetish beer, but carries itself nicely. I'd definitely recommend this beer to other.

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Photo of cpetrone84
4.06/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-pours a hazy reddish grapefruit color with an off white head leaving a pretty sizable lace.

S-the nose is strange, notes of dough and bread up front, some spicy rye aromas, hints of pine and a decent bit of ctirusy hops with some model airplane glue behind. the glue is so wierd, not the part of getting high from it (the acetone), just the gluey smell.

T-the taste is also different, light notes of dough and bread, spicy rye, piney and hints of wood, a nice bit of citrussy hops, peach, grapefruit, mango. there is a light soft bitterness but not strong or lingering.

M-smooth and syrupy feel, good carbonation, crisp slightly grainy finish. its actually rather creamy on the palate with a good medium body.

D-this is quite tasty, the airplane glue scared me a little but it actually seemed part of the aroma. the flavors are good, this seems to have some spicy rye in to me. well balanced, interesting beer!

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.05/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cheers to 25 years of Bell's! Pours into my glass a great deep red hue with an inch of creamy khaki foam on top of the brew. Light lacing on the glass. Aromas start off with dense malts featuring caramel and nuttiness. There's a sweet fruity backbone to the beer with a nice dose of citric, pine laced hops as well.

First sip brings big malts upfront with caramel, toffee, nuts and a fruity underbelly. Green citrusy hops meld in as it flows down with a touch of pine. Touch of spiciness on the finish as the bitterness and sweetness do battle. Tasty brew.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with good carbonation. Makes itself known on the palate while still maintaining easy drinkability for the abv. Overall, a solid strong ale / double red. Everyone wants something crazy for the anniversary brew, but I'm enjoying this one.

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Photo of glid02
4.05/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle at Corner Tavern on Edgewood.

Pours a hazy dark copper color with a one-finger cream-colored head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of robust caramel malts with good amounts of pine and earthy hop aromas. Also present are hints of sweet toasted malts.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Sweet - but not overly so - caramel malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by solid amounts of pine hop flavors. Slight amounts of toffee join in shortly thereafter until they're chased by earthy hop flavors. Slight toasted malt flavors make a brief appearance before fading out into a moderately bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a very smooth thickness with solid carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I didn't have a problem finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall there was a lot going on in this beer (fair for an American Strong) and it worked, though not spectacularly. Not worth seeking out but worth a shot if you see it around.

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Photo of jpmclaug
4.05/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into my Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

A - Brown/ruby colored body with an off white head resting on top.

S - A sweet aroma mixed with a bit of citrus hops. Pretty mild hop flavor but it is definitely there. Maybe a bit of sweet caramel as well?

T - Sweet caramel and toffee is what hits me first. A bit of some zest from a citrusy hop flavor. Reminds me a bit of candied malt I've found in some Belgian brews. More on the malty side than the hoppy one but the hops make a nice subtle contribution to the overall flavor.

M - medium bodied, kind of syrupy, real smooth

D - Pretty drinkable. I'm not sure what I was expecting from this one but this isn't it. I really enjoy it however. The hops make a small contribution but a vital one that keeps this from being too sweet. I could see myself picking up more of this in the future but I would not go crazy trying to get it.

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Photo of civilizedpsycho
4.05/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a pretty clear amber color that has a full, light tan colored head.

Smell: Has a very strong malt aroma that is sweet and slightly fruity. Quite appealing.

Taste: Slightly bitter from the roasted malt, but not much hop presence, making for a very smooth finish. It almost reminds me of a scotch ale.

Mouthfeel: A little thin given the appearance. I expected a little bit more.

Drinkability: The only thing that brings this down for me is the high alcohol content. However, I could still drink a couple of these in one evening.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.05/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Great color of rusty amber with a slumbering dark golden edging thats dully lit. Slim yet firm and healthy capping of medium ivory foam sits well on top. Slippery lace of spots, dots, and thicker strings coat the glass sporatically.

Aroma is clean, sweet and a bit slim at first, but gains some boldness as it gains air. Slender sweet and soft tones of orange, tangerine, raisin, and plum parade with a nice malty presense as it melts together with caramel and a lighter puff of molasses and a stronger poof of etH.

Taste is a well molded tone of sweet, semi darkened maltyness. Moderately plump and fruity with darker nuances of plum, raisin, and starfruit with just a nudge to some darker orange and burntish/toasted grapefruit. Caramel and molasses is buried underneath. All very soothing and malty big. Doppelbock comes to mind...

Great chewy-esque tone and medium bold, nearly full body. Smooth, soft, chewy, malt laden tone with a soothing hint to it's 8.5%

A solid brew to be sure, but was hoping for something a little more over the top for the 25th. As is, this is a yummy malty treat that sure grows on you as you go. A very relaxing and enjoyably easy going brew!

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Photo of gordavidson
4.04/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- A clear, brownish/orange liquid with a few streams of carbonation making their way to the surface. The creamy light brown head is thin, but not too shabby.

S- Swiss cheese, pineapple, passion fruit, bubble gum, and rock candy. Very complex, unique, and intriguing.

T- Berry candy, pineapple, passion fruit... Very unique and hard to pinpoint a lot of the flavors. Sweet and a tad astringent on the tail end.

M- Creamy body with a bit of an alcohol warmth on the finish and a lasting astringency.

D- A very unique tasting beer. Overall, the alcohol doesn't intrude too much. I don't see this aging well at all and I can sense this will be quite a disappointment for many as a 25th Anniversary ale, but I like what they did with it.

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Photo of amidabha
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

batch 9871 august 12, 2010
(the website says this has a shelf life of six months so i may have waited too long to drink this one for the best results.)

a vigorous pour into an imperial pub glass produced a frothy in head with minimal lacing. this has a deep hazy amber that matches it's sweet malty smell.

this is a beer that has some great consistency from the smell through the taste, it all seems to combine perfectly. a great complex beer start to finish with a sweet, but not too sweet, taste and a thick mouthfeel to coat the tongue.

this is a pretty good beer for a somewhat chilly night but not a high ranker for me on the bell's list. i love bell's so this is not a negative toward them or the beer. i'd buy more of this if it wasn't a limited release.

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Bell's 25th Anniversary Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.74 out of 5 based on 513 ratings.
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