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

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Bell's 25th Anniversary AleBell's 25th Anniversary Ale
513 Ratings
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 513 |  Reviews: 347
Photo of dvmin98
3.45/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Jodio
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Gtg642
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of MDDMD
3.67/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of WastingFreetime
3.74/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Review score is from notes of fresh sample.

Just wanted to declare that my cellared bottles have gone beyond peak performance for my personal tastes. It's done quite well in the cellar up until now (I perioidically sampled a bottle) but it looks like five to six years at ambient basement temperature is this particular brew's limit for my tastebuds...

 354 characters

Photo of Fargrow
3.61/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.02/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a mini-snifter.

I'm loving the gooey amber pour this gives, especially as it's unexpected. I loved the 30th Anniversary Ale from Bell's and was expecting this to be a stout like that one, so the color and obviously different beer immediately piqued my interest. In the glass the beer shows a light carbonation and high level of clarity and when held to light the amber develops a rose hue. Only thing I didn't see was the burly head, lace and film I like. 4.75

Smells of tobacco, aged raisins and caramel with a grassy overlay show first. A deep, developed sweetness that has many a layer to it lurks. Booze kind of peaks its head out and then fades. 4

I have a lot to contemplate as I sip this. It's showing some oxidized notes and with them I get earthy notes, floral notes, hints of banana almost, and tobacco and wood. Even a bit of cardboard and nail polish. I don't believe this beer is barrel-aged, but the flavor and nose certainly offer up some suggestions that it is. Where as the front side is caramel and brown sugar sweet, this dissipates into an ester-heavy finish that kind of reminds me of a dunkelweizen with notes of banana, bread and clove. Fascinating and it grows on my rather quickly. 4

A few things about the feel kind of take me aback. First off, it feels a lot thinner than it should given the rich flavors, ABV and style (I'm assuming this is an old ale or English barleywine based on the flavor and aroma). Second, the oxidized notes impart something odd that temporarily interrupts all the awesome flavor and feel. Get around it and this has a sweet creaminess and hints at the full body that these flavors command. As with the flavor, I adapt to them and find myself enjoying this. 3.75

I didn't have this fresh so it's hard to know how this changed over the years. To my thinking though, some of the flavor and aroma that are awesome are clearly the result of age. However, I think it also developed some undesirables that don't ruin the beer but are a slight hindrance.

 2,033 characters

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 midlifec
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Budinetz
3.71/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of JohnParadee
3/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of mendvicdog
2.3/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Photo of thatoneguymike
3.35/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

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.

 228 characters

Photo of Kenai4
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of wethorseblanket
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of jrob21
3/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of ovaltine
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of DrBier
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of KevinGordon
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of olradetbalder
3/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of heysuz
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of a77cj7
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of afsdan
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of Rifugium
3/5  rDev -19.8%

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Bell's 25th Anniversary Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 3.74 out of 5 with 513 ratings
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