Poured clear into a pint glass. A bit more than an inch of tan, thick foam covered the amber hued liquid.
Aroma is big on caramel malt but there is plenty of others to go around: molasses, tropical fruit, and even some pine hops.
Taste is a entire heap of complexity. Caramel, toffee, vanilla, hops, bitterness, molasses, tropical fruit, and some hop resin. Some dark fruits and an alcohol burn are there too.
Medium body but probably bigger with a zingy carbonation. A bit viscous and even creamy. A lot of sweet balanced by a big hop offering.
Has some relations to IIPA and even a barley wine. This is a big beer and surprisingly complex. Too much alcohol and "bigness" for this beer to really have more than one, maybe two. When we were at the Bell's tour, they said this was a Amber with some extra. I guess this one goes to 11. Enjoy!
A-Deep mahogany, with slight red tint, and fairly clear. Normal foam head, tan with medium retention. Not much lacing.
S-Lot's on variation on the aroma's. This is the third bottle I've had and I'm getting slightly different notes each time. Caramelized malt, brown sugar, and fruit seems standard. Then depending on the tasting session I've also picked up alcohol, spiciness, cherries, molasses, and bready.
T-Taste match to aromas. Well balanced, with a slight show of the alcohol. Malt comes through but I wouldn't call this too sweet, but there's a sugariness to this brew. The hoppiness is in the background. Decent mouthfeel, neither thin, nor syrupy. Carbonation is correct.
D-I like this beer. Not sure what I expected from Bells for such a benchmark of longevity. This brewery's was not going to produce some style bending, eccentric, weird brew. The modis operanid seems to have always been making high quality, stylistic correct, but with unique personality brews. And 25th Anniv fits the bill. There's a presence of alcohol which says to me, it's a special event and I want to toast the achievement. And the character kind of smacks of fall and Octoberishness. It a very well made beer as are all Bells, and I toast Larry Bell and look forward to drinking his brewing creations for the next 25 years.
"Sometimes when I reflect back on all the beer I drink I feel ashamed. Then look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn't drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. Then I say to myself, 'It is better that I drink this beer and let their dreams come true than selfish and worry about my liver.'" - Jack Handy