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 Sammy
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Champagne's Cellars. Medium golden body with lasting white fluffy head. When this clears, I get a nutty sweet aroma that carries on in the taste. A lovely balanced sweet strong ale, that is unique among American strong. The hops are in the secondary. Tremendous drinkability.

 287 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for sending me this one!

Pours a hazy honey orange with a 1 inch foamy orange-white head that fades to a film on the top of the beer. Thin foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of sweet malt, brown sugar, orange juice, citrus fruits, and citrus zest. Taste is pretty much exactly like the smell with a very nice set of citrus juice, fruit, and zest flavors coming out. Almost no bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a smooth and slightly sticky mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good strong ale with some nice citrus aromas and flavors. I am glad I was able to try a bottle of this one.

 676 characters

Photo of GRG1313
3/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of Knapp85
3.21/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I expected this beer to be much more impressive that it was. This beer poured out as a copper color, with a white head on top that really didn't really stick around too much. The smell was a little boozy and had some light Belgian aromas to it. Nothing much really stood out to me on this. The taste was malty and was a little tart. Kind of a strange brew. The mouthfeel was decent but nothing out of the ordinary. Overall this beer left me unimpressed. I feel that this beer doesn't do the justice of celebrating something like 25 years. Perhaps if this was aged it would improve but I'll probably never know.

 610 characters

Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Photo of BEERchitect
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Toffee sweetness meets resiny bitterness in Bell's 25th Anniversary Ale.

Their 25th pours a solid amber/copper color with a mild haze, creating an even glow. A dainty creame of a head forms on the beer and fades into a lace around the glass fairly quickly. I would have liked a froathier look.

Balanced aromas of deeply caramelized barley malts and earthy/piney/citrusy hops keep each other in check so that one never dominates the other. Low in esters, the sharp fruitiness is all hop derived.

Caramel, toffee, and peanut brittle sweetness gives the impression of Cracker Jacks candy. But those hops give a jolt of orange rinds, ruby red grape fruits, gin-like spruce, and a sappy grassy taste. Very complex taste to say the least. Still the hop compounds and malts seem disjointed, as if there are two beers here in a single glass.

Sweeter flavors lead to a heavier and thicker feel with only moderate creaminess and dryness. Lightly syrupy, the beer seems somewhat English-like in feel. The finish lacks the dryness and crispness that could improve the beer dramatically.

I keep looking for a toastier or more sharp bitterness that pushes the balance into a more hop or acrid balance. But this ends up being a sweet beer with bold hop flavor. The bitterness and toast never materializes and keeps the beer balanced. Needless to say, I'd prefer a slightly more crisp and bitter beer.

 1,390 characters

Photo of oline73
3.25/5  rDev -13.1%

Photo of emerge077
3.51/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Saturated burnt copper, concentric rings of lace form under a flurry of spotty flecks all around the glass. A nice color, reminds me of a barleywine.

Oddly sweet crystal malt aroma, almost funky and not the most pleasant. Brown sugar, toffee, cotton candy, a bare hint of hops that's a bit too subtle.

Rich, smooth barleywine feel, huge bready, toasted barley flavor. Moderately sweet, with a mild hop bitterness in the aftertaste. Fairy average, but strong. Glad I only had a single and not a full 6.

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Photo of superspak
3.91/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle. Pours clear red orange color with a really dense 2 finger off white head with insane retention and insane lacing. Aromas of citrus, caramel, some fruits, and oak. Taste of rye, citrus, and caramel, with some fruit notes. Some slight bitterness on the finish. Creamy medium body and carbonation. Alcohol is no where to be seen despite 8.5%. Overall this was pretty interesting stuff, but another tasty brew from Bells for me!

 441 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.98/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a clear, bronze color with a thick, tan head. It was long lasting and left behind some sticky patches of lace.

S - It smelled of citrus fruits, mostly orange and some floral notes. There was a sweet caramel presence, too.

T - Very herbal tasting with a floral hop presence. Nice bitter bite with a burnt toast maltiness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

D - This is a pretty good ale. I'm going to try to see how some age effects these.

 497 characters

Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a rocky head that fades rather quickly though it leaves some webbing behind

Smell: Caramel sweetness with fig elements and offsetting pith

Taste: Caramel and fig, up front, provide an interesting interplay, with a developing pithy hop flavor that holds the sweetness in check; after the swallow, the malt forward elements resume their supremacy, though the beer never becomes cloying

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Lots of complex flavors in this brew; a bit of a style bender that has elements of Winter Warmers, Barleywines and Strong Ales

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.95/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a dark golden veering on copper color ale with a medium size foamy head with OK retention and some lacing. Aroma of weird cereal notes with a big rush of sugar and some off balanced hops. Taste is a weird mix of everything that was left to brew around the brew house that day including half caramelized malt with weird unrefined cereal notes with a dry hoppy finish. Body is quite full with medium carbonation and no apparent alcohol. This one is a bit messy in a similar fashion that batch 10,000 was messy.

 523 characters

Photo of mothman
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into Bells snifter

Pours about a finger of off white head. Fades to a thick ring. Leaves some splattered lace. Color is a bright copper orange.

Aroma: Fairly hoppy. Reminds me a bit of a dipa with a lot of citrus fruit. Pine hops, mangoes, grapefruit, and lemons show. A hint of spice as well.

Taste: I have no idea what this beer is, but it seems as it if is trying to be something hopped up with dashes of spice. A bit of caramel malt, pine hops, grapefruit, and mangoes.

Mouthfeel: Bitter, smooth, and creamy. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends sticky with some alcohol showing.

Overall, a decent strong ale (whatever that means). I really didn't know what it was trying to be, but I kind of liked it. Pretty good overall. Decent drinkability.

Happy 25th Bells!

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

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

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.

 467 characters

Photo of nickfl
4.22/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours with one finger of off-white foam on top of a perfectly clear, amber-brown body. The head recedes rapidly and leaves moderate lace in its wake.

S - Rich, brown malt with lots of caramel and biscuit notes. Some pine hops and a little bit of fruity ale yeast.

T - Toasty, bready malt up front with lots of rich toffee flavor. Hop notes begin to come out in the middle with a peppery, mustardy character that blends well with the toasted malt character. The malt remains rich and sweet in the finish with lots of toffee character and moderate hop bitterness.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a somewhat sweet finish.

D - Excellent, this beer is full of rich malt and spicy, resinous hops. The malt is dark enough to have toffee, toast, and caramel character, but it is also sweet enough to keep these flavors from becoming acrid and cloying as they too often are in dryer brown beers. The hops are spicy with a pepper and mustard character that is common in the best beers of this type. Well balanced and very drinkable, this is an appropriate beer to celebrate the 25th anniversary of a great brewery.

 1,129 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
3/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of billab914
3.33/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish snifter. It poured a deep amber/orange color color with a thin white lacing barely covering the top of the beer. The head clung to the edges of the glass and left a bit of lacing as I drank it.

The aroma has a sweeter, malty flavor with some honey and caramel sweetness along with some nutty, toffee like flavors. A bit of a floral like hoppiness comes through in it as well.

The taste shows a lot of sweetness to it. I get a honey, malty sweet flavor throughout the beer. It has a lighter, more floral hoppiness with some citrus presence as well. A little bit of the caramel and bready flavors come through as well.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is decent but not great. It really showed off the malty Michigan barley, but could have been a little more balanced overall. It felt a little sweet at times, especially in the finish. Pretty good beer overall, but not a great one.

 965 characters

Photo of Rifugium
3/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly rusted red-copper. Slight off-white head without too much lacing as it goes down. The nose is...unique. I'm having a hard time describing what's going on. Maybe a bit of bready yeast scent with hints of caramel and amber malt in the background. Strange, but kind of reminds me of the smell characteristic of most Harpoon beers, which I've always attributed to their house yeast.

Taste is similarly difficult to describe. There's a noticeable bitterness that was not present in the nose. Slightly earthy/floral for the hops, although not to a large extent at all. Slight alcohol tinge. Bitterness coats my mouth after swallowing. Slightly dry mouthfeel. Dry. Drinkability is enhanced by there mere fact that I really can't stop drinking to figure out exactly what is going on. In the end, I'm really not making all that much progress. I've got a sixer or so left, so I'll have to see how this one ages.

 920 characters

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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