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 Bitterbill
4.18/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of russpowell. Thanks Russ!

Batch 9871, packaged August 12, 2010. Love the batch finder on Bell's website!

It pours a rather gorgeous a hazy brownish red, 2 finger head of foam that's backed up by very nice lacing.

The nose is dominated by bready malt, some sweet caramel, no bitterness at all and I wasn't hoping for any, given the style.

The taste is the same as the surprises. Big bready malt with a nice caramel sweetness that isn't over done. I can taste some notes of toffee as well. Again, no bitterness and that pleases me. If you like malty brews, this one is worth checking out. Another plus is the lack of an imposing alcohol presence.

Medium bodied, lightish amount of carbonation, and I have a very smooth brew. Love the mouth feel.

Drinkability is pretty darned good. The flavours seem to mesh very well and with the alcohol being pretty much a non factor, I'm flying threw the bottle rather quickly. I'm pretty impressed; thanks Bell's and thanks again Russ!

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

(12oz bottle courtesy of gwguest!) Pours dark amber with off-white head. Aroma of sweet malt, honey, candied sugar. Taste is sweet-like a tootsie pop. Some bitterness on the end. Medium bodied with slick texture and slightly bitter finish. Ok, but nothing worth seeeking out. Huge thanks to Gavin for this!!

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Photo of otto251068
3.18/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Rochefort chalice. Batch 9871 making this beer six months old.

Appearance: Pours a dark ruby red with some hints of brown, a little muddy. Great color, when held up to the light it really makes this beer look lively. The half fingers worth of off white head appears, then quickly dies to leave only a trace of spotty lace covering with a ring clinging to the glass.

Smell: Sweet caramel and toffee start this one out. There are burnt notes, some malty sweetness, and piney hops in there as well. The hops come out more and more as the drink warms.

Taste: The maltiness appears first, followed some sweetness. The hops really come out to play at the end, and leave a drying bitterness after the swallow. There is an herbal, almost soapy flavor in there, but it is not unpleasant.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium, almost high carbonation level. The carbonation level does a great job at "perking" this beer up making all the flavors come out.

Overall: The sweetness out front is countered well by the hoppy finish. I enjoy the kick from the sweetness, but it may be a little too rich for my liking.

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

Poured from 12oz bottle into snifter glass. Pours clear amber with tan head. The aroma has plums and raisins and then lesser notes of molasses, cinnamon, brown sugar, faint earthiness and pine hops. The taste is near robust in strength with raisins and plums as well as brown sugar, molasses and cinnamon spice. By about midway pine hops and mild earthy hops come forward as well as a sense of dates that help take it into the finish. As it warms and opens up the pine hops begin to shine brightly. Full, slghtly sticky, balanced with a decent level of carbonation keeping it from being cloying. Nice maltiness, but a little astringent in the finish. Overall a very pleasant tribute to Bells!

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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.

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Photo of hwy61mb
4.24/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 9871, 12oz. bottle poured into a snifter

I have been enjoying this beer off and on since I picked some up in the fall of 2010.

This mother pours a reddish-amber color, not too dark, slightly cloudy, with a half inch head, and a little lacing. I can smell the hops along with a bright sweetness. It reminds me of fruit, but not the dark fruits that I am used to in this style, also not citrus. The smell is amazing.

It gets me first on the sides of my tongue. I can taste the hops up front, but something else at the end. I think it's more bitter than it is sweet, but almost balanced. There is a fair amount of carbonation and it's light in the mouth. I could drink kind of a lot of these if I had more. I like this one a lot.

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Photo of mbusster88
4.17/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle, batch 9871.

A: Pours hazy copper color with off white head of two fingers. Medium bubbles in the head and good lacing. Some carbonation is evident on the glass but not much at all.

S: This one smells strongly of brown sugar and cookies. The nose is very strong of sweetness and not very much by way of hop aroma. Good strong malt profile in the nose and a really nice warming aroma.

T/M: The sweetness from the nose comes into the taste as well. Great amount of body here, but not overly thick. Love the slight hop bite in the back that balances out the sweet flavors that you get right on the front of the tongue. Very nice flavors and balance as well as a smooth finish.

D: Great overall beer, not typically my favorite style, but I did like this one. Glad I got a chance to try this one for sure. Really nice impression of this beer and makes me want more of this style.

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

12oz bottle served in a snifter.

L - lightly hazed amber/orange color with a beige head that thinned to a ring and left a few trails of lacing.

S - sweet dark fruit aroma with a light scent of floral hops.

T - mainly sweeter flavors of dates, raisins, figs with some earthy undertones and some drying bittering right before a sticky sweet taste on the lips.

F - medium bodied with good carbonation for the style.

D - it was quite enjoyable, I look forward the their 50th Anniversary Ale.

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Photo of Miketwolf21
1.78/5  rDev -52.4%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Poured into a snifter, this beer was off to a good start. Then came the first sniff... This beer smells about as bad as any beer I have smelled. The aroma of sour milk, watermelon, and banana overpower what would be a solid beer. Underneath the off flavors I can tell there is a session-barleywine, with your average barleywine traits. There are hints of toffee and caramel with plenty of vegetable sweetness. But the bad flavors are dominant. This beer tastes like a sweet cheap oxidized amber ale. Plenty of alcohol coming off of it too. The worst american strong ale I have ever had, easily. I haven't reviewed for a year, but terrible beer made me want to warn others. maybe if I had it in a bottle and had a plugged up nose it would be average, but the aromas are terrible.

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

Thanks goes out to injuredreserve for this brew.

Poured into a chalice a nice dark golden amber color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy off-white head, with some nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, slight hop note, and fruity. The taste is malty, sweet, nice little hop note, with some slight dark fruit notes. Medium body. Drinkable, a nice little ASA, don't expect this to be an Stone AB.

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

12oz. bottle served in a Blvd. Tank 7 tulip. Bottle conditioned. Poured a dark copper with a finger of off white head. Aroma of dark fruits, raisins, bit of hops and some carmelized sugar. Fuller side of medium bodied. Starts malty with some caramel. Fair amount of hop bitterness as well. Not so special beer for a special occasion.

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Photo of dpasotti
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A fitting gift from my dad for the 25th anniversary of my born-on date...
Dead-on copper in color, a slight haze, and a half an inch of creamy head that settles into a thin, lasting sheet. Very clean American hop aroma dominated by Cascade, with maybe some Warrior as well. Some nice biscuit flavor and a thick caramelly sweetness are there as well, but alcohol is barely detectable. The malt takes a step forward on the palate, hinting at barleywine depth. Alcohol is much more noticeable on the swallow. The hop aroma led me to think this would drink like a malty IPA, but the flavor lacks the sharp bitterness associated with said style. "Not that there's anything wrong with that." This is a finely-balanced beer that finishes slightly on the sweet side. The perfect medium body doesn't linger too long. All in all, this is a very good beer, but not something I could drink all the time. If "light barleywine" was a style, this would be the top example.

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Photo of StlHopHead77
3.62/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Deep,hazed out,burnt amber body sits underneath 1 inch of dense,off-white foam that diminished quickly leaving moderately sticky,splotchy lacing.

S-Sweet caramel and toffee malt upfront with notes of honey glazed almond and downplayed citric hops.

T-Rich and malty with some minimal hop support.Toffee,honey,dried apricot,herbaceous hops and melba toast.

M-Medium bodied with minimal carbonation but lacking a little complexity.

D-Not a total dissapointment but not what I would expect from a Bell's Anniversary offering.

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Photo of blackie
3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

a: piraat chalice, produces a low off-white head that retains a thin layer, the beer a medium orange-amber in color

s: moderately sweet, grainy caramel, earthy hops with a citrus note, raisin, malt oriented, booze, pleasant enough but coming across lifeless at times

m: carbonated to an appropriate level - on the higher end of the low range, body medium

t: grainy caramel, malt sugars, some dark tree fruits - raisin, earthy hop flavor with a moderate bitterness takes over the finish, slight alcoholic note

d: easy enough I guess - just a pretty boring effort from Bell's

single from WF Vienna

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Photo of alcstradamus
2.98/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours an amber color with a finger of head that camps out for a while.

Aroma is earthy hops, nuttiness, and some caramel/fruity sweetness.

The flavor is a bit musty with a healthy dose of caramel maltiness and earthy hops. Some waxiness in the finish.

The body is medium and carbonation is low and a bit watery.

Overall this beer was meeehh....tasted OK but not worth the time it took to drink it

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Photo of garymuchow
4.38/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed once when it first came out, but failed to record it here, so here is another go.
Batch 9871 - August 12th bottling date. States shelf life of 6 months, but it appears to just be coming into it's own right now.
Sort of a crisp and crackly malt aroma with graham cracker noted clearly. Complex malt with sweet caramel like, a little candy, but also some breadiness. Hops are quite subdued.
Small but dense yellowish head. Pretty red hue to the amber and quite clear. Lacing evident.
More hop presence with the taste with really nice balancing with both flavor and just enough bitterness to add some length to the finish along with a nice flavored bitterness. Really nice intermingling of hop and malt flavors, both with some level of complexity and interest. Slight fruit, but also a little cracker and caramel with a touch of nuttiness. A bit of alcohol.
Only a moderate body but with an exceptional creaminess to the carbonation it drinks big and smooth.
Wow, this is already better than the beer I had only two months ago. The flavors are already blending better and creating a enjoyable drinking event. Drinks both big and small. Complex enough to enjoy slowly, but light enough and more malt based without residual sweetness so it goes down easily.

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Photo of Cresant
4.5/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served this 12 oz. brown bottle into a New Belgium snifter. Batch: 9871. The body was a clear copper with an orange/tan head. There were fine, solid sheets of lace remaining. Nice appearance.

The smell was sweet and spicy. Apricots and cloves.

The taste was fruity, tart, and bready. Caramel. Reminded me of zucchini bread. Yummy.

The mouthfeel was smooth at the beginning and a prickly alcohol finish. Medium to full body. Better that I expected.

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Photo of irishevans
4.3/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I am drinking and reviewing this under some sad circumstances. my best friend and fellow BA's dog, Pilot, whom he had for half of his life (literally) had to be put down in the last few days, due to complications from age. So this bottle was consumed and reviewed in memory of that awesome dog, and the "vitamins" poured into the pacific ocean for him.

A-Fairily transparent medium brown, with no real head to speak of, just some small grayish patches of bubbles. the color of the body reminds me of an english barleywine.

N- a mix of fruit smells and a strong rye aroma. the fruit I can pinpoint is cherry, also some currant maybe.

T- Clean! can taste the currant, and the rye flavor makes itself known too. a good bit sweet, but also with tiniest bit of a tart pinch on the finish. it's like a very malty American barleywine (there is some hoppiness to it that the nose doesn't let on about, hits up front but quickly fades as the taste evolves).

M- Extremely "clean" you will. low carbonation, and it hides it's ABV% very well

D- I'm a fan. Drinks easy for it's alcohol content and has an awesome taste and feel. I WILL be drinking this again.

*Bye Pilot, you really were a one of a kind, unique, awesome Shepard. Thanks for being my friend too, while you were here.*

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Photo of garbercury
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a chalice...

A--Laced up nicely, has a light amber color to it...

S--Classic American Strong Ale. Hops with some malt added to the nose. Piney, but not overly pungent with the hops...

T--Missing the complexity I would hope for in a beer of such note. Hops are the main component, not as complex as I hope

M--Decent feel for sure, but a little thin...

D--Somewhat disappointed this is what was chosen for a silver anniversary ale. How about a Barrel Aged Expedition? Or a another release of Batch 7000? Meh, good, not great....

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Photo of DaveHS
3.77/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours chestnut amber with 2 inches of foamy off white head. Leaves substantial sticky lacing.

S-Grassy hops, barley malt, light phenolic booziness.

T/M-Light malt profile only goes so far to conceal the alcohol bite. Thin candied fruit sweetness is just about the only thing happening, aside from the subtle earthy hops on the back end.

D-Perfectly fine, but not a standout release, considering the high standard the brewery has set for itself.

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Photo of xpoweruser
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Hazy amber color. Off-white head.

Aroma: Nice malty aroma, caramel, toffee and fruit. Some citrusy and floral hops come though.

Taste: Very nice balance between the hops and malts. Nice caramel, toffee, and fruity malt flavors with a touch of dark fruit flavors. Balanced well with nice hop kick, very citrusy with some floral and pine notes. Slight alcohol bite.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth mouthfeel, full-bodied, slightly syrupy with a very nice level of carbonation.

Drinkability: Very good balance going on with this beer with some nice complexity. Very good execution of the style!

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

Immediately greeted by tropical fruit aromas. Clear orangish with a short livid head and some lace. In the fore front, pineapple, mild citrus hops and resin. Light malt body provides a caramel like sweetness. Booze is well hidden behind all the fruit flavors. Mouthfeel medium bodied and chewey. Overall, an interesting beer and well worth the try.

Edit: 2-19-2011, has progressed into a more mellow barleywine type ale. Some floral hops in the nose but then in the flavor mild roast and boozy fruits prevail.

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

(Served in a nonic)
This beer has a slightly dense reddish-brown body with a bubbly yellowish-beige head. There is a gentle carbonation of tiny bubbles that support the head for a good bit.
S- The dry caramel malt and light toasted malt hints have some dry biscuit malt notes to it. The full pungent woody hops finish the aroma.
T- The caramel malt gives way to a dry pungent green hop flavor that turns into a full hop bitterness in the finish. The dandelion green bitterness grows in the finish and dominates the flavor with a metallic flavor.
M- The medium mouthfeel has a dry tight fizz note that enhances the hop bitterness.
D- This beer has a very bitter finish which really detracts from the nice malt flavor and nice hop flavor/aroma that is hidden underneath.

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Photo of beerman207
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4 it's a Bell's night on new years eve. Haven't had this one either.

A: Light brown - nice head that leaves skim on the glass

S: Sweet malt, raisin, caramel, nice

T: sweet caramel, raisin comes through nice.

M: Easy to drink - smooth

D: Easy to drink - could go for another

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Photo of Ambiorix
3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Clear, bright amber pour, with a foamy, tawny head. Decent lacing, but a fairly fast fade.

S: Caramel. Hoarshound candy. Red currant jam. Pineapple juice. Maybe a little tiny bit of spicy hops, but it's completely overshadowed by the malt character.

T: Big malt. caramel, pineapple juice. What at first seemed to be a decent hop bitterness morphed into an almost unpleasant astringency on the tongue. Hint of alcohol.

M: Full, slghtly sticky, balanced with a decent level of carbonation keeping it from being cloying.

D: Nice maltiness, but a little astringent in the finish.

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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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