Sep 27, 2010

Bell’s 25th Anniversary Ale

Bell's 25th Anniversary Ale

The timing couldn’t have been better.

This 25th anniversary celebration from Bell’s Brewery was a great way to commemorate a visit from Jay, a long time childhood friend — we’ve known each other since the 8th grade. After picking him up from Dulles airport, we stopped by a local shop on the way down to my place.

I had already spent my budget on a couple of bombers (Lagunitas A Little Sumpin’ Wild, Dogfish Head Bitches Brew and Brooklyn Sorachi Ace) when Jay so graciously snagged a six pack of the Bell’s anniversary release. And while this American Strong Ale was darn tasty, I’m not sure it was quite worth the $16 he shelled out for it.


We cracked open the first couple of bottles of this Anniversary brew late Friday evening. It pours a dark amber in color with an off-white head that faded nice and slowly to a thin patchy lacing.


This beer certainly smells good. There’s a nice balance of rich caramel malts and a decent hop presence that carries a touch of pine. The 8.5% ABV is in there a bit, as well, giving the nose a light boozy character.


I love the big time malt presence this beer has. It’s rich with a nice caramel character that goes really well with slight boozy alcohol presence. It’s followed up nicely with a late blooming hope component that offers a subtle bitterness that lingers a good while. It’s a well balanced, tasty brew.


I really enjoyed this beer and everything it brings to the table, but man, it comes with a pretty hefty price tag. Compared to other anniversary brews I’ve had (from a variety of breweries), this one didn’t really seem to stand out from the other Bell’s products I’ve had like many of those other celebratory releases have done compared to their respective product lines. I was expecting something a bit more grand for a 25th anniversary release. That all said, it is a tasty brew and I’m looking forward to seeing how the remaining two bottles turn out with some aging.

Rating: 3.5/5

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