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

BA SCORE
84
good
513 Ratings
THE BROS
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Bell's 25th Anniversary AleBell's 25th Anniversary Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States
bellsbeer.com

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.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
513
Reviews:
347
Avg:
3.74
pDev:
12.57%
 
 
Wants:
20
Gots:
67
For Trade:
4
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 513 |  Reviews: 347
Photo of Vdubb86
3.67/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a pint glass

I was lucky enough to get my hands on a few bottles by splitting a 6er with my buddy TMoney2591. This beer pours a clear amber color with a ecru thick frothy head. The instant smell is of fruity, citrus and hops. There is also the faint boozy spicy bourbon smell. Hints of coriander and other earthy spices also decorate the aroma for this beer. The taste is a whole 'nother animal. I'm not sure how the taste and smell coincide, in fact they really don't. The taste there is a vermouth-like alcohol taste to it along with the roasted nuttier taste of the malt. The lemony, citrus taste does come through with a twinge of earthy pepper on the back. The hoppy bitterness is definitely there. The mouthfeel is ok due to the fact that the booze flavor doesn't have the syrupy thickness you might expect. The carbonation is helpful but it still can't erase the overall bitterness that plagues this beer. Even at 12 oz this is a one and done beer unless you're looking to get drunk/sick. Though it does go down pretty easy I wouldn't suggested having it again. Worth a try if you can find yourself some.

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Photo of WakeandBake
4.33/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A deep amber color pour with a big lasting soapy offwhite head , medium carbonation . Aroma of cirtus hops , fruit ppunch , biscut , and caramel . Flavor is hoppy up front , fruity , with a nice toffee, caramel backbone , alcohol is well hidden , medium body , smooth creamy mouthfeel , hoppy finish . Very nice , a good drinker ,

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Photo of Bonis
3.28/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - A nice deep orange with one finger of head which eventually settles to a layer of white bubbles. Leaves some sticky lacing.

S - Not too complex here. A nice dose of caramel malt, some sweet citrus hops, and a hint of booze.

T - Caramel malts are big, some fruitiness is also apparent. Bitter hops are there along the way, but turn unpleasantly bitter in the end. It's like when I lick my lips I just get this awful bitterness. Overall, not what I expected from Bell's on their 25th.

M - Full bodied, sweet, sticky, boozy... Oh yea, unpleasantly bitter.

D - Getting through the first few drinks was the worst part about this one. After I became accustomed to the bitterness, it got a little better. This is a beer that Bell's fans should try. I'm glad I got a bottle, and I'm also glad I didn't get 6. I'd be interested to see what it's like after some of those hops have mellowed out.

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Photo of babaracas
3.59/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy dark orange with thin offwhite head, not much in way of retention, couple blobs of lace left behind. Smell: caramel, date bread, pineapple, lemon. It works. Taste: caramel, bready, a little date, thins out a lot mid sip but then hits with a dose of pine and lemon at the end of the sip. The carbonation really comes and goes and it's a bit astringent in the finish. Boost the malt a little and it would be a decent barleywine, but as it is, it's a borderline decent something or other. Batch date Aug 12 2010.

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

I poured this one into a New Belgium snifter. I wanted to try it as fresh as I could since I heard that this one is best in the first six months. It poured a rich amber in color with a quickly dissipating off white head. It smells like a mix between a strong DIPA and a weaker American Strong Ale. It's got slight sweetest with a lot of alcohol present. It almost has a cherry tint to it. It's not overly hoppy or malty. The flavor mirrors the aromas. It's not very complex. It's a little boozy for only being 8.5%. The mouthfeel is pretty solid. It's medium bodied and drinks pretty smoothly. Overall I'd say this one isn't anything too special. It doesn't wow you in any area.

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Photo of stonelis
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a amber with a 2 finger head which dissapated quickly. Reminds me of a belgian ale. Easily drinkable. Sweet, sticky. I would of guessed it to be more than the 8.5%. some toffee notes. I would of thought this would get better ratings. I can drink this all day.

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Photo of joeblackasnite
3.28/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Deep ruby to tan in the glass with no collar of foam to speak of. Sweet toffee and caramel on the nose, very malt driven with some baking spice notes. Sweetness on the aromas are confirmed on the palate, some earthy hop notes come through on the back end. Bitterness lingers with a long finish. The alcohol comes off sweet, not enough hop presence to balance to beer out however. Overall I like it but definately don't love it. I am glad I bought one of them and not a six pack.

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Photo of hosehead83
3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into my trusty Bell's pint glass. Clear, dark copper color, with a moderate head of creamy foam.
Aroma-Toasted malt and pineapple juice
Taste-Sweet, lightly toasted malt, some citrus undertones, a bit of a warming finish with sweet malt and orange rind.
Overall, a pretty interesting brew. Each sip had a little different taste and nuance. Sweet and tangy and then a little spicy and malty, with a subtle hop note. Kind of tasted like a malty, higher gravity Oberon. In any case, cheers to Bell's and here's to another 25 years of great beers!

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Photo of hopsbreath
2.58/5  rDev -31%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got one of these as an extra in a trade from Thorpe429. Thanks man.

Pours a moderately dark amber into a tulip with a half finger of butterscotch head sits on top. No lacing is present.

Smell is very faint. It is in fact non-existent when cold. When it warms up, a little passion fruit and alcohol is barely detectable.

Tastes like caramel malts, tropical fruits, banana, more alcohol than is stated, and metallic bitters. There's really nothing special happening here.

Mouthfeel is lightly heavy and sticky.

Drinkability aint great. Not really something I want again. Larry missed the mark and this anniversary will not be a notable one to remember.

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Photo of Buebie
2.96/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Picked up this single 12oz bottle for $3

Poures a very pale copper/ amber color with over an inch of tan head. Leaving a solid cap of retention and sticky webbings of lace.
Aroma is sweet, malt dominant, with mild hop bitters and metallic fruitiness.
Taste is a bit strange, it has fruity off flavors, plenty of buttery malt backing, banana bread and a little heat.
Fell is slick and full bodied.

Interesting beer for sure, noticeable alcohol, bittering hops through the finish, but some oddball flavors that were not so desirable.
Placing one in the cellar, lets see what a couple years does.

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

The pour releases a lovely amber body, with a fleeting tan cap that is torn down into the alcoholic abyss, and little carbonation.

The nose is caramel and sugar heavy with a surprising hop character floating about. The dry hopping has produced more than a hint of the signature two heartedesque appeal.

The flavour holds the sweet, dirty rawness of the strong ale variety but is danced upon by the flowery hop presence and the house yeast to form a unique profile that can be easily distinguished as a Bell's creation.

The mouthfeel is medium without feeling overly heavy or oppressive.

The drinkability is good. This brew is definitely not an easily quaffed sessioner, but not necessarily a one and done either.

This beer is perhaps not quite on par with the expectations that have been realized with other special releases from this brewer. Not bad, but it just doesn't flip the wig and rearrange the dome piece. Thank you, Mr. Bell and your staff for the last 12 years that I have been of legal age to consume your products and the 13 years you spent perfecting your craft prior to that. Keep up the good work.

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Photo of kirok1999
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huh...American Strong Ale? OK. Pours a nice dark copper with a decent head that hangs in for a while. Bits of lace left after each sip.
Smells sweet and spicy. There's some citrus, mild floral notes and a bit of corriander spice. The citrus lends a bit of bitterness as well.
Taste is more like a Belgian...a very mild Belgian. The citrus and spice mate well but it is a little thin. The whole thing seems to revolve around the citrus and spice. Not a bad approach but it needs something more. More hops, more malt, more something. Feels rich and well carbonated, goes down smooth and is easy to sip.

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

Brilliant amber colored body is very clear. Two finger sandy colored head perched atop. Retention is decent leaving moth eaten lacing clinging to the side.

Tremendous amount of balance is picked up in the nose. Bready malt and grassy hops present themselves beautifully. While the breadiness of the malt is the most noticeable, hints of caramel break through on occasion. The dry hopping is obvious, fresh green hop aroma dominates the light citrusy notes picked up behind.

The flavor opens with a healthy dose of hops. The bitterness is subdued as most of the flavor initially comes from the dry hop. Grassy flavors up front transition into more citrus and pine towards the back. The malt is very sturdy and apparent though tends to sit just beneath the hops the entire time. Doughy bread, light caramel and subtle spiciness pair well with the hops. Very well balanced flavor from beginning to end.

Medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. Texture is very smooth. A sweet flavor is left clutching the back of the tongue while finishing slightly dry.

The score is not necessarily indicative of how good this beer is. The beer showcase both malt and hops but ultimately the craftsmanship of Bell's. Drinkability is high, while a bit higher in abv no part of this beer becomes abrasive. Highly enjoyable. With just a couple hours before I head down to the 25th Anniversary party, I cannot think of a better beer to celebrate my 250th review. Cheers.

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Photo of dpnelson1978
3.32/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle into glass pint.
40°F

$15.99 / 6-pk.

A: Bright copper body with a tight two finger head of moderate retention that laves no lacing and a thin creamy cover.

S: Aroma is faint, but complex. A variety of citrus aroma ranging from pineapple to orange combined with hints of caramel, and apple. Very nice, it is a shame it is so weak.

T: Semisweet caramel malt backbone with hints of cotton candy (weird, I know) and toffee. Hop character is subdued, but the overall flavor profile is interesting. Very little aftertaste. One glass really isn't enough to get a solid impression of this beer.

M: Light to medium body with high carbonation. Smooth up front, crisp on the back end.

D: Good enough beer, but not something that begs for another glass.

O: Seems to be lacking in some respects. Close to being great, but simply doesn't execute to its potential.

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Photo of jera1350
3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Burnt orange in color with a foamy light tan head that has a little retention and a little lacing.

Smells nice enough, but it's pretty faint. Getting some malty sweetness and some fresh and juicy hops, but they are just too subdued to really enjoy them.

Apple and pear juice with a lightly cherry taste. A bit of pineapple and some piney hops. A little peppery spice and some alcohol warmth. Sweet malt backbone. Very interesting and pretty unique. Not in your face in any way and a little subdued in the flavor department.

Mostly smooth, a little sticky with some fuzzy carbonation feel.

A different beer for sure. Kind of reminds me of a light barleywine with some fruit juices. Drinks just fine. For the occasion, it just doesn't seem to live up to the hype. It's a good beer and worth a try for sure, but don't worry too much if you can't get your hands on any.

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

This is very good, brought a smile to my face! Im not quite sure what style this beer is, but it almost taste like an imperial style beer (although it looks to be a nut brown ale), with a small nutty taste with the malts and grains with a small citrus taste Can someone give me some feedback?

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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 enfield249
4.02/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Very dark golden amber, with some slight red highlights. Very thick head that keeps on going, off white to light tan in color.

S - Toffee, Grain, malt, slight brown sugar.

T - Not as much toffee, flavor as smell, but it's in there. Mostly lots of grain, roast and maltyness.

M - Thick and chewy. Leaves a grain jacket on my tongue. Not much lingering hop bitterness.

D - A really nice strong ale. I couldn't drink many of these, but it has a fine flavor and body. Happy 25 years Bells!

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Photo of sweemzander
4.02/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

(A)- Pours a clear reddish caramel colored hue. Produced a good eggshell colored foamy head that stuck around for awhile.

(S)- A fruity aroma. A caramel-like fig and butterscotch. Reminds me of a holiday fruitcake with some cranberries. Parts of it remind me of a Barleywine, other parts make me think Old Ale. A bit dry and woody at the end; almost pine-like.

(T)- Very similar to the smell. A fig-like caramel sweetness with an underlying dry wood/pine bite. Its like a fresh barleywine/old ale mixed with an aged one; it has that fresh bite some barleywines have, but has a malt bill that reminds me of some aged variations I have had in the past. Hoppy but sweet also.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. Sweet, but hoppy also in a very woody profile. However, it feel a bit more stronger than 8.5% ABV; I could be fooled into thinking it is nearning 11%.

(D)- I like the uniqueness of this one for the style it is under. A good combo of malt and dry wood bite. I look forward to what 6 months of age does to this.

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Photo of Mitchster
2.8/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

$3.10 for a 12oz single @ Jacks. Batch 9871. 8.5% ABV. Per the website, "packaged August 12, 2010", but no ingredients listed. The bottle states it is brewed with Michigan grown barley malt.

Pours out to a clear medium amber, forming a sticky, resinous yellow head with excellent retention and thick sheets of lacing. Carbonation is very mild. Minimal sediment in the bottle. The aroma opens with what smells like Centennial hops, fruity with a hint of mango and pineapple, followed by vanilla, cherries, apple juice, and when swirled, a little sour milk. Mouthfeel is thick, soft, and syrupy with a dense body. This beer falls in the Old ale/American Strong Ale category for those who are wondering. The taste begins with the piney hops, and is followed by an odd malty sourness/bitterness combo with figs and dates. It's hard to put my finger on it, but the malt is definitely sour and the bitterness has a chemical/metallic component to it that is very peculiar. Aftertaste of tobacco, green wood and pine.

Hrmmm, this is a weird beer. I expect better quality from Bell's, let alone a 25th anniversary brew. This one is nothing to get excited about, and I'm definitely not inclined to buy another.

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

12 oz brown bottle.

It pours a hazy orangeish red with a big off-white head. It recedes decently slowly with a few dots of lacing.

The smell is hoppy and fruity. It has a pungent citrus hoppiness. There is some caramel in there as well.

The taste is noppy, but balanced. There is a lot of caramel and toffee, a bit of bitterness, and the slightest hint of toastiness. The hops have a nice piney aspect to them that isn't overpowering.

I would have liked a richer mouthfeel, overall this isn't a 25th Anniversary caliber brew imo but it is solid.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.01/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, batch 9871.

Pours a clear reddish amber color with light, bubbly cream colored head. Excellent retention with light lacing. Aroma is mild and pleasant, yet forgettable. Has a slight barleywine-like character to it, with strong caramel, toffee and candi sugar notes with some fruity and piney hops (maybe simcoe?). Only thing detracting from the aroma is a slight alcoholic and medicinal undertone. Body is lighter side of medium with soft, full carbonation in the front and a short, flat piney and caramel finish. The flavor and overall composition of this beer is deceptive, as the first few sips make it easy to dismiss as being "nice" but one dimensional. However, as this warms up the body reveals a more nuanced and complex malt body (sweet caramel, toffee, raisins, dark fruit). The finish is slightly drier and piney hop dominated with a slowly arriving, strong alcohol warming sensation (without any boozy burn that the nose would suggest). Overall, it's hard to get very excited about this beer, and I think it'll get a little less interesting over time as the hops fade. However, this was very enjoyable and well balanced and I'm sad to assume this will be a one off.

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Photo of a74gent
4.03/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I wasn't sure what to expect, but I like this beer. Will be interesting to see once the hop edge fades, how this tastes.

A nice balanced hop and malt nose. Foamy, dense head..which goes away leaving nice lace on the pint glass. This is truly beautiful, copper color. I'd say one of the nicest looking pours I've ever seen.

The mouthfeel is nice, tight with a somewhat foaminess that lingers without being sticky.

The flavor is a little more unbalanced than the nose with hops predominating without being overpowering.

This is a very drinkable 8.5 ABV for not having cover-up flavors like porters or stouts with coffee or fruit. I blew threw my first one and wish I had another in the fridge, but I don't.

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Photo of BierFan
4.02/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a tulip glass. Batch # 9871.

Appearance: Red/amber body with a big foamy cap of off-white. Head retention and lacing is decent.

Smell: Fruity hops. Grapefruit, pineapple, orange. lots of citrus and tropical fruit. Malt is coming through, sweet and rich, with some cherry.

Taste: Cherry and fruit flavored hops. Bitterness comes in kinda strong after a second.

Mouthfeel: Little more flat than I would like. But that's not a deterrent to the enjoyment.

Drinkability: Good drinkability for the abv.

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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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