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

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25th Anniversary Ale25th Anniversary Ale
515 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.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 515 |  Reviews: 349
Photo of warnerry
3.44/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Notes from 1/30/2011

A - Pours deep amber with three fingers of pillowy head. Head has moderate retention and leaves a decent amount of lacing behind.

S - Caramel malts predominate, though some grains are also present. Aroma is nice but a little underwhelming.

T - Again, dominated by malts with a distinct tea flavor on the finish. Some slightly sweet notes in the taste, but no specific flavors I can pin down. Taste pretty good, but non-descript.

M - Medium light mouthfeel with some slight drying on the finish.

O - Definitely drinkable, if not particularly memorable or desirable. Perhaps the Batch 10,000 should have been the recipe for this anniversary beer as an homage to their roots. This just doesn't stand out in any way.

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Photo of fear025
3.44/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Aroma:Nicely hoppy, some carmalized malt aromas, also some dark fruits in the nose.

Appearance:Deep amber in color, low head, low lacing, low retention.

Taste:Lots of sweet malt and aggressive on the foretaste. The hops are mostly piney and continue strongly through the midtaste. Also in the midtaste, there are bitter citrus notes, like grapefruit rind. In the aftertaste, I get some strange tea-like flavors.

Mouthfeel:Medium body, there is some hop astringency in the mid and aftertastes that burn my throat a little.

Drinkability:Overall this beer has what I like to call 'adult' flavors, a little dark, bitter, with a little bit of sweetness to balance it. As this beer is so new, I think it probably needs to age for a while to let the flavors settle down.

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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 boralyl
3.45/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured into my over-sized tulip glass. When poured it produced a small 1/4 inch of off-white head that fades pretty quickly without leaving any lacing. The beer is dark amber in color and clear.

S - The nose consists of syrupy caramel and citrus notes. "Syrupy caramel" are the best words I can think of to describe this aroma. It's a very sweet smell.

M - Medium to full in body with medium carbonation. It feels a little too tingly. I expected the carbonation to be less based on the sweetness and fullness of the beer.

T - It's very similar to the nose. It begins with a syrupy sweetness that fades into caramel with citrusy hops appearing in the background. There is a little bit of alcohol and dark fruit present in the finish.

Bell's produced an interesting beer for their 25th. It doesn't fit into any specific style. I would compare it to a barleywine if anything. It's an above average beer, but not quite as delicious as some of their other offerings.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.45/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Stella Artois 40cl snifter type glass. Beer is amber rose in color with a small, wispy white head. No lacing is left on the glass and the head receds rather abruptly.

Aroma is malty and alcoholic. Caramel malt, fresh popcorn, sugary sweetness.

Flavor matches the aroma quite well. Caramel and bready with fruity alcohol notes and chardonnay barrel characteristics. White wine like.

Not bad. Bitter in the finish which isnt bad. This one seems to be a little too carbonated for my liking. Finishes really dry and has an overall chardonnay wine characteristic to it. Thin as well, needs more body. In my opinion, this was just average.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.46/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a CCB snifter. Batch 9871, bottled 8/12/2010.

Appearance - Deep amber with enough head to balloon at the top of the glass. I didn't leave it much space, though. Island of foam on top and some even sticks to the glass.

Smell - It doesn't smell very good. Cardboard aroma and some apples. Caramel and some paler malts in the nose as well. A touch boozy.

Taste - Better, I guess. Doesn't taste oxidized, maybe just a touch in the finish. Otherwise the apple smells persist along with the pale and caramel malts. Bitter throughout. Reminds me of a less impressive Fred. Biting bitter finish.

Mouthfeel - Quite drinkable, really. It's a well balanced beer, if that means anything at all. Boozy, but otherwise I don't have a problem drinking it.

Overall - It's just kind of unexciting and I think getting a little old. It leaves me with a sickly aftertaste also, though. Not sure why.

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Photo of Darkale
3.46/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

What a peculiar beer this is. I don't really know what to call it. It is hugely malty - it has more layers of malty complexity than I usually encounter, with thick layers of smoky sweetness. My local beer store friends told me this would be like a barleywine, but it is not quite in that category: it does not go so deep as that. It has a lot of malty complexity, but it does not have the thick, chewy density of my favorite barleywines. In fact, its mouthfeel is pretty thin.

I am glad that I tried it - Bell's is one of my favorite breweries - but at the same time I am glad that I bought it off the singles rack. My final thought is that this is too boozy, especially for so thin a beer.

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Photo of BBP
3.46/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A clear dark amber color with some of the best carbonation I've ever seen. After I poured it looked like an inverse whirlpool coming from the bottom. Also sported a creamy thick head. Spectacular. Left great lacing as well.

S- Hops immediately. Some spicing, and a sweet slightly fruity malt aroma. A bit of citrus too and some pine.

T- This is where it went downhill for me. There was a good hop flavor, and good spices, but after not too long the taste just fell off of my tongue. The aftertaste isn't impressive either. It almost has an old fruit taste. Notes of caramel which don't last for long either. If I focus on the minute pine taste from the hops that's left behind I can appreciate this one a little.

M- A little less than a medium body. Quite creamy though and carbonation is good. Somewhat dry on the finish.

D- I'm gonna let this one slide as something they could have just tossed together for the 25th Anniversary occasion. It doesn't represent the taste that's available in their other offerings, and just seems off. This is my opinion. I'm glad that their other beers are the ones they're making more of.

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Photo of oberon
3.47/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer started out great for me before fizzling out in the end.Poured into an oversized wine glass a clear rich amber with thinner but well retained white head,great complexity in the nose,a mix of resiny hop, and caramel,fruity malt.The palate was a bit of a mess with real sharp alcohol flavors and some over the top sweetness,I will say it went down better with a little chocolate I ate with it.Not one I would search out,its just to sharp on the palate for me.

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Photo of jsanford
3.47/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Bell's Tulip.

Pours a clear, dark copper with a think white head that fades to slight ring and wispy haze. Sweet caramel malt and pine resin hops dominate the nose. Taste is close to the nose, lots of sweet caramel malt, toasted bread, pine resin, and citrus peel. Tasty, but not too complex. Mouthfeel is slightly syrupy, with a medium body and lowish carbonation. Decent beer overall, just forgettable.

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Photo of WeisGuy
3.48/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle - Batch 9871

a - pours a deep copper color, one-finger ivory head with decent retention and lacing, slight haze

s - surprisingly hoppy aroma with lots of orange and pineapple hop notes, substantial caramel malt and light biscuit malt as well, very faint boozy heat

t - much less hoppy on the flavor than on the aroma, moderately sweet up front with lots of caramel and bready flavors, orange and pineapple bitter hop notes on the midpalate with the moderate bitterness flowing into the finish and cutting the caramel sweetness, light boozy heat lingers on the palate along with some orange marmalade notes

m - full bodied, moderate carbonation, nice alcohol warming, pretty well-balanced finish

d - not overly drinkable, flavors are just kind of dull and not interesting for what I usually expect from Bell's, that said, it's still an above average beer

A little bit of a letdown mainly because I have high expectations for a Bell's special release beer. Worth trying if it finds shelves in your area, but I'd stick with a single or two rather than a sixer.

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Photo of therobot
3.48/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Nice toasted amber color

S: Pretty mellow smell, not overly hoppy has a hint of sweet and booze

T: Malty start followed quickly by a strong, toffee/caramel flavor which dominates my tongue, the sweetness lingers and mellows

M: Fairly thick, which I like, small amount of carbonation, and it sticks around for a good time after

D: Going to rate this pretty low on drinkablilty, for me a little too sweet, a bottle is about all I want to get through

Bell's is a great brewery, this commemorative edition ale is unique and certainly worth a try. I could see it being right up some people's alley's just not mine.

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Photo of BMoney575
3.48/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Sampled on 8-24-10
Batch 9871
Bottled on 8-12-10

Pours a hazy amber/brown color, with almost no head and just a few bubbles of lacing. Viscous looking, and a bit menacing.

Smell is sweet and subtle, a little caramel malt, with slight aromas of clove and smoke. Not particularly strong, or complex.

Taste is thin malt, a little earthy and boozy, maybe flavors of coffee and caramel, with a sharp hop finish. Unique, but nothing special.

Mouthfeel is slick with a good thickness, accents the malty flavors nicely.

Drinkability is decent, but the surprisingly light flavors leave the alcohol nowhere to hide.

Overall, not what I expected from a Bell's special edition. A few will go in the cellar though.

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Photo of OakedCanuck
3.48/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into pint glass. from notes.

A - This beer comes out a dark copper colour, slightly murky, but could be the chill haze. Nicely developed rocky head. Looks good

S - Caramel and toffee sweet malts. Some lemon and orange citrus. Some ethanol.

T - Lots of flavour here, some which works and some that doesn't. The caramel malt is the biggest percentage rounded out with some dates, cherries, grass and oranges. I actually get a distinct green tea flavour in the back, interesting.

M - Sticky, medium, slightly hot

O - An interesting beer, I thought it was pretty good and looked really good after the pour. I'd try it again if I had one!

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Photo of Skye1024
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of SPRichard
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of mdaschaf
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Mike for this bottle.

A: Pours a slightly hazy copper color with a just off-white head upon pouring. Quick reduction to a very thin layer on top and a more foamy ring of foam around the edge. Not much lacing.

S: Some caramelized malt and a hint of citrus hops. There is a bit if a buttery aroma on the finish though.

T: Lots of sugary caramel and some toffee with a bit of fruit as well. Some light fig and raisin as well as a little bit of grassy hops.

M: Medium to full bodied, has a slight syrupy feel to it.

O: Not a bad beer, but nothing really stood out for me.

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Photo of Beezee
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of Shumista
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours clear medium dark amber with a very thin 1 inch head, that dissipates quickly to leave no trace at all. Grainy smell, brown sugar, caramel and some hops, a fruitiness I can't quite place. Tastes sweet and hoppy, lingering earthy bitterness at the end. Brown sugar and some caramel malt. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, drinkability suffers from the sweetness.

I respect the challenge of making it to 25 years, congratulations to Bell's. Similar to Batch 9000, however, I feel like this doesn't do the milestone justice. This really isn't an interesting beer at all. It's a mildly drinkable strong ale with a 25 year label slapped on it. To me it seems like a squandered opportunity to do something memorable and special. I just kind of feel like Larry is saying "Thanks for 25 years...here's a totally uninspired beer. Shutup and drink it, hopslam will be out in a few months."

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Photo of Kegatron
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of DrIPA
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of VeganUndead
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of DTown
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of mixed_master7
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of TMoney2591
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

VDubb86 is a good man for splitting this sixer with a wretch like me.

Hmm...maybe I should save a bottle for my 25th anniversary... Anyway, it pours a clear garnet-amber topped by about a half-finger or so of off-white foam. The nose is kinda IPA-ish, with some citrusy hop aromas clashing with some heavy caramel notes. The taste leans heavily toward the caramel, almost like a past-its-peak IPA, but with a duller hop sting and a much more pronounced alcohol burn (though this isn't that hot of a burn, frankly). Nothing much else beyond that, really. The body is a hefty medium, with a rather low carbonation and a nearly syrupy feel. Overall, I'm a little underwhelmed with this brew: it's not really bad, per se, but I'm not really seeing much going on here. It's okay, and a little too boozy to really be called "drinkable" to any great degree.

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25th Anniversary Ale from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 3.74 out of 5 with 515 ratings