Pailhead (6543) - Rochester Hills, Michigan, USA - SEP 16, 2005
Bottle: Aroma is nutty and spicey with some light floral hops. Pours a nice transparent amber with a decent white head that fades quickly. Flavor is rather sweet up front but it’s not excessive sweetness. Maple syrup and sugar. Lightly roasty in the background. Light floral hops sneak into the finish along with some light spice, but never really come close to matching the sweetness. Very easy drinking amber ale, and much better than I usually expect from an amber. Mouthfeel is creamier than I expect in an amber and you could even say it’s a tad sticky. Was hoping for something bigger for the 20th Anniversary, JCW (1279) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - SEP 16, 2005
UPDATED: MAR 13, 2007 I have been told that this batch did not fermented completely. That is what is needed. Right color, small to moderate head for an Amber ale. Aroma is very sweet, like maple syrup, cardboard, with hops nonexistent, Both of these are signs of a beer that did not fully ferment, with the sugars from the malt blanketing everything, Body is thick like syrup. Finish is too sweet and a little buttery. Either/or this is a really bad mistake on Bell’s part to release this as their 20th Anniversary Beer. bethmatt0421 (337) - Covington, Kentucky, USA - SEP 16, 2005
I was definitely excited to find this in a six pack, bottles, at the Cork N’ Bottle in Crescent Springs, KY. A dark bronze colored ale with a creamy colored head that stays thin. Earthy aroma, breads, spice. Very nice creamy, medium bodied palate, soft texture. Strong taste of breads and small hops. but I just dont think it is worthy of the 20th Anniversary. I had much higher expectations. I’m sorry to say it’s just average. SuIIy (1984) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - SEP 11, 2005
UPDATED: DEC 7, 2005 On draft @ 20th anniversary. Pours a nice light red color with a fluffy white creamy head. Nose is slight hopps with some caramel and malt. Taste is medium body, some light hopp, caramel sweetness and malt. finishes clean and smooth. jtw (1170) - farmington, Michigan, USA - SEP 11, 2005
on cask (hand-pull) at the 20th anniversary party. described as a dry-hopped english amber ale, and that’s exactly what it is--very enjoyable and easy drinking. aroma hops dominate the smell, but they don’t completely take away the malt. i was pretty pleased with this beer, although to be honest i did sort expect it to be ’bigger.’ definitely something everyone can enjoy (in mass quantities!)
Silphium (3269) - Traverse City, Michigan, USA - SEP 10, 2005
On tap (firkin, yeah!) at Bells 20th Anniversary Party. My first beer of the evening, and a fitting tribute to the brewery’s "birthday." This is a nicely quaffable amber ale, complete with the classic hazy amber body and puffy, light cream-colored head. Earthy, hoppy, bready aroma with light hints of spice (attributable to the hops). Bready flavor with light caramel, earthy hops, toast, and a hint of tobacco. Slight sweetness, incredibly creamy palate, medium-bodied. A good choice for an anniversary ale that can be enjoyed by everybody from casual beer drinkers to uber-enthusiasts.