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

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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
Reviews:
346
Ratings:
509
Avg:
3.74
pDev:
15.24%
 
 
Wants:
20
Gots:
66
For Trade:
4
User Reviews
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Reviews: 346 | Ratings: 509
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 feloniousmonk
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bell's tulip glass, check. Bell's coaster, check. Bell's bottle opener, check. Now on to put them all to use in drinking up some Bell's 25th Anniversary Ale.

Appearance, : clear, dusky crimson coloring, small but staying beige head. Looks good!

Aroma: rich, sweet caramel notes. Malt-driven ale all the way, very little hops coming through. Hints of molasses. A little spicy.

Taste: Mmmm. Hard to pigeonhole, tough to describe. Dark and slightly smokey, rich malt, viscous mouthfeel, alcohol becoming apparent. This feels most like a barley-wine, maybe something like a scotch ale, and a little like a Belgian strong dark. Caramel and toffee ahoy! The official description mentions "generous dry-hopping", but it's lost on me, even the "fragrant hop character."
All I'm getting is rich, sweet dark malt.
But very even-tempered, and I am now getting the hops, and they are well-balanced with the malt. Which is why it doesn't totally resemble a barley-wine, the sweetness is kept in check with hops wonderfully.
A wonderful, relaxing ale. How I wish I could actually get this in quantity. I'd love to have 2 or 3 of these in a row for a really righteous session.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle obtained in a trade with Thorpe, I gave him nothing and he gave me 2 of these, not sure why but it does not bode well for this beer. I like Bell's and have neglected their beers thus far, time to start seriously pursuing them as a brewery. Served in a DFH glass because I don't have a Bell's tulip or snifter. D'oh!

Beer is brown with a mild haze, huge head, lots of lacing, looks like soap on the glass.

Aroma is sweet, like candy, caramel, malt syrup, smells fine.

Beer is good, not great, super sweet, heavy on the palate, sweet finish, very strong. Mild alcohol, it is just sweet sweet sweet. Very strong, overall interesting but not a great ale. I probably won't have it again.

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

Thanks to ewright for sending this bottle to me in a trade.

Poured in to Duvel Tulip. Batch #9871

A - A nice dark amber colour with a small amount of cream coloured head.

S - Sweet caramel malts and some earthy hops. Overall a very sweet nose.

T - Sweet caramel malts dominate. Some nice bitter hops come through in the background with some light earthy and citrus notes.

M -Medium body, slight chew, lightly carbonated.

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

Pours a slightly hazy, dark copper color. 3/4 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and good lacing. Smells of sweet malt, slight citrus hops, slight floral hops, slight alcohol, hint of syrup, and a hint of wood. Fits the style of an American Strong Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of alcohol, slight wood, slight citrus hops, sweet malt, and hint of floral. Overall, good appearance, aroma, and blend.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours an orange-amber color with a cream-colored head. The aroma is fairly faint, but I do get a little bit of alcohol, dark fruit, citrus and honey. The flavor is more pronounced. I get some caramel malt, candi-sugar, sweet fruit, citrus and some alcohol. There is a light amount of hop bitterness. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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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 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 BARFLYB
3.56/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from Capone's into a Bell's glass.

25th is a amber shaded beer with some bronze tints here and there. A fair amount of head on top about an inch up of tightly piled dense off white foam. Streaks of head on the glass.

Smell is of a big amber ale that is quite malty in fact. Malt is european variety toasted with bread. Hops are not significant but up there with this fresh bottle, they will surely fade soon. Some fruits and caramel as well.

Getting around to it 25th is a pretty simple beer, nothing ballsy, just beer no gimmicks. A big amber ale (if you will) with malts at the forefront. While it 'may' not be something to age, it fits for this time of season. Big malts, earthy hops, some faint caramel, apples, plums, cotton candy.

Feel is about medium with a fair amount of carb. Bell's always seems to nail the feel dept with appropriate carb. The alcohol only seeps through a bit and adds to the richness of this beer. A slight warmth.

All in all a good and simple beer. I drank it pretty quick, it did not knock my socks off though, but I was satisfied none the less.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.67/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received a while back from Kbeals... Thanks Kevin!! I was going to save this to share with the Boise peeps, but they are all busy or out of town for a while, sooo.... I'm gonna be greedy and it was either this or a Hunapus :-) Sorry fellas.

Poured into my Old Guardian goblet... Clear deep orange brew with a short lasting white head that left okay spots of lacing as the glass dropped.

Nose has a pretty stereotypical mash-up of caramel and toasty malts held down by some sweetish orange hoppiness.... Honestly reminds me quite a bit of Double Bastard.

Flavor also makes me think Double Bastard with a year or so on it... Big citrus and pine slammed together with a heavy maltiness that shows plenty of caramel but doesn't really get too sweet... Body is about right.. the carbonation is pretty pronounced yet is still small bubble.

I really only thought this was okay... "okay for a 25th anniversary beer that is." Glad I had a long night to finish this one, the 12'er is honestly a bit too much of a good thing for me.

Thanks again Kevin for the Surprise!!

3.5/4/3.5/4/3.5

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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 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 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 Rhettroactive
2.86/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 4/26/11
*From notes

A: Bleeding copper maroon in color. Cloudy - a two finger head yields some lacing, but nothing to write home about.

S: Raisins. Big time raisins. When I really stick my nose deep into the glass, I detect hints of salty parmesan cheese, which as you might imagine, isn't the most desirable quality in a beer.

T: Bready, almost like a cinnamon raisin loaf. It feels fortified, as the heavy dose of raisiny, pruney essence slaps me across the tounge. The alcohol is fairly well masked.

M: A bit thin, though the carbonation is reasonable.

O: A weird beer. Bell's 25th Anniversary Ale is certainly different, though sadly it's something I don't plan on returning to for quite a while. Looks like I'll lose that last bottle in the cellar for a few years and see what happens. As it stands now, it's unremarkable and a bit of a dissapointment.

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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 smell...no 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 barczar
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy rusty amber color with a dense half inch cream head that lingers.

Aroma is very sweet, brown sugar, with figs, dates, and plums adding complexity. There's a touch of alcohol and an herbal hop note at the finish. Bruised cherries emerge as it warms.

Flavor is completely different than the aroma. There's less sweetness present. Toasted malt and bitter grapefruit pith form the backbone, leading into a peppery, alcoholic finish. Dark fruit flavors of bruised cherries and plum are subtle.

Body is fairly thick, with moderate carbonation, and significant alcohol heat...almost fusel.

Overall, a juxtaposition of aroma and flavor. Bitterness dominates, and the flavor was lacking in complexity, compared to the aroma. Alcohol was overwhelming.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.42/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - I get an inch of head and a nice dark amber color. Pretty.

S - You get slight hops, yeast, along with some dark raisin and plum. This should be interesting.

T - Starts off fruity with a hint of plum and hops (which balanced pretty well) and then rounds out to a little yeast and sweet semi bitter finish. Nice!

M - Very medium bodied. If I didn't know any better I would suggest 6 or 7 tops.

D - Well it really was good and a shame a four pack is around 14-15 dollars. I really think PA affects my drink-ability for the prices but I would drink this again with some age but overall great beer!

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Photo of Immortale25
4.42/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Cigar City pint glass. No readable freshness date to be found on the bottle.

A- Pours a dark amber with a very thin white head that disappears halfway through the drink.

S- Initial hoppy aroma gives way to malts that balance nicely. Alcohol is present but not too heavy. If it's any indication as to what the flavor will be like, I'm gonna enjoy this

T- Yep. Just as I thought. Wonderful balance of hops and malts. The hops are pungent yet subdued enough to not be overpowering. The heavy malt backbone this beer is sporting is also very enjoyable. The aforementioned alcohol aroma is even more hidden in the flavor. I can tell it's 8.5% but, judging by the taste, wouldn't think it's even .1 over that. I get bready, toasted notes from the malt. Hop profile is somewhat citrusy but moreso herbal like British hops. Seems clear that more than one variety was used.

M- Thin viscosity. Slightly heavy carbonation. Gives me kind of a burn when I swish but it's not a bad one.

O- The word for this beer is certainly "balance." To me, the malts are more dominant than the hops but the hops have their own significant role. Quaffable indeed. Way to go Bell's. Do you guys even make beer that's any less than awesome? (Obviously a rhetorical question)

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Photo of avalon07
4.22/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an amber color and a somewhat cloudy consistency. There was a half inch of foamy, fairly long-lasting head. Pretty good lacing.

S: A fragrant, sweet aroma of hops, fruit, and malt.

T: Tasted of fruit and hops up front with a malty finish. An interesting, unexpected flavor. The fruit seems to dominate this category.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a slick finish. Medium-bodied.

D: An odd beer, but definitely drinkable.

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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 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.38/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch number 9871. bottled on 08/12/2010.

poured into snifter.

Appearance: medium orangish/red bodied beer with nice clarity. Half a finger of fizzy white head that drops quickly to a ring around the glass.

Smell: dark fruits(raisins) and booze. Caramel malts with a touch of brown sugar. Got some vinous/wine qualities noted in the nose.

Taste: heavy oxidation. White grapes and sweet white wine. Caramel malts that overly sweet. This beer is just too sweet for my tastes. you can still get the hops and they taste stale as they should. Finishes dry with a mild bitter note.

Mouthfeel: high end of medium bodied beer. carbonation is still hold up nicely around a moderate carbonation level. It got a little bit of creaminess to the beer also.

Overall: This beer is okay, but nothing special for the style. Probably a better beer fresh.

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

Kudos on making it to 25 years, Larry. It couldn't have been easy.

A beautiful bloody red with a dense, light brown head with excellent retention and lacing, this is an excellent looking brew. Steady streams of carbonation rise from the etched D of my Duvel tulip.

I wonder if they were going for some version of an aged Double Bastard with this brew. Plenty of fruity sweetness is present, along with caramel, toffee and rather surprisingly, a touch of stale-smelling malt as well. Hop character is light, there's some pine, a little mint and some alcohol. Solid stuff.

The palate opens with a blend of pine hop flavor, juicy bitterness and sweetness. The sweetness is fairly complex, with plenty of caramel, tropical fruit (papaya? pineapple?) and some brown sugar. There's a slight sharpness that reminds me of burnt sugar as well. Alcohol appears towards the finish. The finish is a little disappointing, having some of the stale malt character I picked up on the nose, reminiscent of mildly oxidized crystal malt (think aged Bigfoot that time hasn't been kind to). The mouthfeel, however, is sublime. Medium-full in body with a light carbonation, this feels decadent on the palate. Ultimately, though, this is sweeter than I care, and even though this 12oz bottle went down quite easily, it's not something I'll reach out for in a hurry. A solid effort.

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Photo of Bighuge
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Burgandy toned body. Thin bubbly beige head. Lace is quite full. Aroma is sweet in a juicy fruit kind of a way. A little spiked punch kind of aroma. A fair amount of heat up front on the buds. Sweet malts and ghostly tropical fruit tones. Carbonation is moderate and the alcoholic bitterness lingers on for a while. A little too much heat and a little not enough malt complexity. Decent though.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.72/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured on 1-20-12
Batch 9871

A - A very dark orange with a thin light tan head that fades fairly fast.

S - Very sweet and malty. Carmel, toffee, and oranges are all present.

T - Carmel, raisin, and slightly metallic.

D - Lower carbonation, a very heavy body.

O - Old ale that is sweet with a heavy fruity body.

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

12 oz. A clear amber pour with maybe a finger of whitish head. Laces ok.

Aroma has some malt and toffee, but about equal parts resiney hops and citrus hops.

Malty up front, toffee, caramel covered apple.
Quite a bit of leather, tobacco, peat. Finishes with a nice bitterness tobacco and piney hops.

Lively medium body, both tickles and coats the mouth pretty well. Maybe just a bit warming, but the abv is not very present.

An imperial red ale I guess? Not the best from Bells, but not bad either.

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Bell's 25th Anniversary Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.74 out of 5 based on 509 ratings.
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