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Bell's Amber Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Bell's Amber AleBell's Amber Ale

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BA SCORE
86
very good

2,063 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2063
Reviews: 843
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 12.01%


Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-12-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,063 | Reviews: 843 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of blevel
blevel

Ohio

3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

First review

A - poured in a pint glass, a cloudy copper with a one finger head. Looked very drinkable.

S - noticed malt and some light nutty aroma

T - very smooth with a good combination of malts and grains. Unlike most ales I've tried this was not bitter all the way through.

M - a little on the heavy/thick side which I liked

A very nice beer. I would pick up a six pack next time around.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2014 14:25:36 | More by blevel
Photo of burntoutphilosopher
burntoutphilosopher

Indiana

3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance:
great filtered beer. i expected unpasteurized. mildly cloudy. nothing like if it were on Lees

Smell:
sharp but good

Taste:
Really top notch. surprisingly so. great amount of bitter for a neutral Ale. and has a perfect balance of malt and sweetness that is still tastable.

Mouthfeel:
on par with killian's or Sam Adams.

Overall:
A Very Good beer. taste is king to me and this has it. two layers of bitter and sweet. not a bit watered down like Goose Island or Sam Adams hopology.
For what you get though, i felt overpriced. not on any lees, says unpasturized but mine pours very clear.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2014 00:33:22 | More by burntoutphilosopher
Photo of Amalak
Amalak

New York

3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A tamed yet flavorful amber. Has a feel of a pale ale but a nice honey malt undertone. There's a bit of a celery-type taste. A dark fruit hint; grape. It's very smooth and medium bodied. Easy going feel to it, nothing strong about it. A mild honey and hoppy scent. A lovely caramel brown color, hazy with tons of sediment.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2014 23:41:50 | More by Amalak
Photo of SFNC
SFNC

North Carolina

3.89/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

My wife picked this one up for me knowing my love of Bell's, but not knowing that I don't really love Ambers that much. That said this one surprised me pleasantly.

A-Hazy dark onrange with a soft and quickly vanishing head. A little scrim of foam held in there for the duration. Very hazy. My fingers are just shadows in the light.

S-Kind of yeasty, sweet caramel malts, grassy and oddly not unlike some Belgians I have had.

T- Rich and complex malts, clover, well hidden hops, sweet, but not too sweet. There is a light tingle of bitterness in the aftertaste. Overall, a good rich balance of flavors.

M- Thicker than most Ambers that I remember. The tingle of bitterness is nice. Carbonation is just right.

O- I should never be surprised by Bell's, but this is a very good beer that I will try again.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2014 23:18:14 | More by SFNC
Photo of barczar
barczar

Kentucky

3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy light amber with a sense, frothy khaki head that slowly dissipates, leaving sticky lacing.

Aroma is very subtle, with toasted nutty malt and floral hops dominating. There's a metallic note.

Flavor reveals more subtle character. There's a hint of underlying citrus, but the toasted malt backbone and specialty malt fruitiness dominate. The finish is nutty and a touch bitter. Floral hops become evident late, but the malt dominates. Metallic notes surface in the aftertaste.

Body is moderate to a touch light, with moderate carbonation and light alcohol warmth.

Not an amber by today's standards. Far less American hop character than we've come to expect. The malt is nice, though. Wish I liked this more.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2014 23:17:48 | More by barczar
Photo of Bouleboubier
Bouleboubier

Pennsylvania

4.4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: hazy amber, with a load of dark, speckled sediment in suspension... don't know if this is normal, only having had this out of a bottle 2-3 times now... the haziness has been there each time

S: moderate-to-bold caramel... light bread crust, underlying herbal-earthy hop... background of red, cherry-ish fruit and perhaps a hint of roasted red pepper skin... complex... subtle culture funk?!... overall, very inviting to maltophiles (i.e. me)

T: supremely rich-malty - caramel up front, fruit and understated bitterness midway, toasty and bread-crumby finish... caramel carries and lingers throughout... floral hops in the aftertaste... actually fairly bitter - increasingly as it goes on

M: like a dextrin-rich 'stock ale' a la North Coast Old Stock or Founders Old Curmudgeon... slightly viscous... the alcohol is felt rather than explicitly tasted... long, smooth flow with a little fizzle on the back end... liquid love

O: fantastic, unique amber ale - unique in that it has a ton of the right flavors going on, perhaps crossing into a few style categories with its rich maltiness and body... worth a try - I've witnessed some casual beer drinkers digging this a lot

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2014 17:47:02 | More by Bouleboubier
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
brewdlyhooked13

Ohio

2.24/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Appearance - orange/peach pour, nice thin head of manila foam. Nice and sticky, good lacing.

Aroma - light biscuity malt, straightforward sweet grain smell.

Taste - sweet and biscuity out of the gate, good malt presence without being too sweet. Goes strangely and astringently bitter, hoppy but without any hop character. A metallic bitterness dries out the palate and clears the malt flavor away too quickly. Finishes unpleasantly bitter and dry.

Mouthfeel - fluffy and crisp, medium bodied, good levels for the style.

Overall - the weird bitterness is too unpleasant to consider another., but I'd consider re-sampling on tap.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2014 03:16:27 | More by brewdlyhooked13
Photo of lochef81
lochef81

Michigan

3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This offering pours a deep burgundy color with a small off white head that gives way to a nice film and lacing. The nose is subtle but pleasant with a nice balance of malt and hops as well as an underlying alcohol note. It sips smooth and clean with a light to medium body. The flavor is pleasant and quite balanced between the sweetness of the malt and the bitterness of the hops. This is definitely a beer that you could sit and drink a number of and enjoy each one. Not particularly complex or remarkable but very balanced and damn good.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2014 04:51:03 | More by lochef81
Photo of TheDoctor
TheDoctor

Quebec (Canada)

3.81/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A:
Pours a clear red-copper with a healthy beige head that quickly drops to a film with a ring around the glass. Decent retention; some lacing.

S:
Pervasive alcohol sourness with malt notes. Spicy caramel up front with sweet aromas and some hoppy astringency.

T:
Rich, full flavor. Mellow malt tastes with a little caramel and a quick touch of dry hops at the end. Very nice.

M:
Medium body and a little thin-feeling with prickly carbonation and a coating, silky finish.

O:
Good amber.
Mellow, inoffensive, and drinkable. This beer is certainly nothing to write home about but is a solid red beer and would make for a good session beer or could be a good stepping stone into craft for non-beer-drinkers.
Might have again if I had access; a safe bet for a solid, generally enjoyable brew.

Serving type: on-tap

03-03-2014 17:02:19 | More by TheDoctor
Photo of FLima
FLima

Brazil

3.69/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Amber color with a thin off-white head with low retention.
Light aroma of honey and caramel malt.
Flavor of papaya, apple juice, American yeast, toasted malts, fresh oranges and earthy hops. Dry aftertaste with a medium bitterness.
Medium body with low carbonation.
I had high expectations on this, that is a very good beer, but far from blowing my mind.

Serving type: on-tap

02-25-2014 20:47:32 | More by FLima
Photo of plaid75
plaid75

New York

3.76/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On draft at Draught 55, NYC.

Poured a dark copper hue with a one finger frothy white head. There was very good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a light caramel malt with a spattering of grassy hops.

The taste consisted of soft caramel malts with a balancing hop spice.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style with a smooth finish.

Overall a tasty and well balanced amber.

Serving type: on-tap

02-21-2014 21:56:18 | More by plaid75
Photo of PA-hunter
PA-hunter

Pennsylvania

3.04/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured bottle into glass. 5.8% abv

Appearance- Medium amber and cloudy with a thick foamy white head.

Smell- Fresh biscuit-like aroma with toasty maltiness.

Taste- Nothing really pronouned up front. Some bready and earthy malt notes with a touch of grass. Hop bitterness on the back end but not strong.

Mouthfeel- Highly carbonated but a bit watery in body. Less than moderate.

Overall- Not bad, but nothing out of this world. I was more impressed by Bell's two hearted IPA, in fact was blown away so maybe my expectations were set a bit high. I thought this beer could have been more complex. As stated, still an ok brew.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2014 03:31:50 | More by PA-hunter
Photo of Imaginefication
Imaginefication

Indiana

3.89/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - nice and hazy, golden/orange/red color. head starts off good but very quickly dissipates. lacing is average but does not stick.

S - Not great. Sweet with a fairly sharp and grainy hops scent.

T - The hops are strong, sharp, spicy, narrow, and lingering, but very well hidden by intensely sweet caramel malts. It lacks some of the darker roasted malts that are typical to an amber ale, yet it is incredibly flavorful and drinkable..

M - Smooth, not dry or astringent, a little watery making it very easy to kick back. low/medium carbonation.

O - Really good beer, lighter and sharper then typical amber ales.. but I can dig it, plus at 5.8% its rather intoxicating. Still, if Im in the mood for a classic amber ale, I'd have to look elsewhere.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2014 05:17:00 | More by Imaginefication
Photo of Lorenzai_Konstantinov
Lorenzai_Konstantinov

Ohio

2.35/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

It was between this or a sixer of fat tire. I've had fat tire before so I decided to give this a try.

Poured into my deceivingly large capacity snifter, it pours a lighter copper color, and a very hazy one at that.
A decently spirited pour yields a finger of head on it but leaving no detectable lacing. (My glass might be dirty though so I didn't detract.)
The nose is not that great, there is some biscuit type malt in there but it also seems to share some similarities with adjunct lagers which I don't really understand. Hops wise there are some faint whiffs of them but I can't identify them, just a grassy/ straw smell.
The taste of this is not what I expected and I am quite disappointed. It has a very upfront bitterness to it which is fine but the malts don't seem to do much in the terms of balance. They might actually make it worse. It has that 'pukey' overwhelming characteristic that I get with some beers and I just don't like it. Perhaps it's the kind of hops I dislike, I'm not really sure.
The mouth feel of this beer is adequate, it's fairly thin and would be conducive to making this a session beer if the flavor profile was more agreeable.

My overall opinion is this is a hit or miss beer. Something about the ingredients or hops/malts balance I just really dislike the taste of. Others may really like the way it tastes so YMMV. I'd tell you to get the fat tire instead of this. Would not recommend.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2014 01:14:08 | More by Lorenzai_Konstantinov
Photo of JackMcAwesome
JackMcAwesome

Florida

4.11/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

Look: It pours a hazy golden brown. The one finger head thinned out fairly quick, and left a thin ring of foam all around. This fed the lacing quite a bit, and made it paramount.

Smell: A bit bready, a minor kick of hops, and not all the much else. But just because I can't pick out anything else, isn't a knock to this brew at all. The aroma is very pleasant, and it can adapt to any season. I could enjoy the smell all year long with this one.

Taste: The nose is there for sure, the bread notes and the bitterness from the hops are very well balanced. There's also a bit of black pepper to it as well.

Feel: Medium bodied, with a bite of carbonation. No hint of the alcohol, which is to be expected with a 5.8 abv. It just feels like a very well done brew!

Overall: Pleasantly surprised by this. I wasn't expecting it to be anything special, but it's a very well done ale. I'll be revisiting this one for sure.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2014 16:55:12 | More by JackMcAwesome
Photo of ChrisL24481
ChrisL24481

New Hampshire

3.89/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - A frothy, khaki colored head raises to about an inch. The beer is a clear, copper color with visible carbonation.

Aroma - Smells of malts, toasted bread, caramel sweetness with some hops in the background.

Taste - Similar to the smell, nothing overpowering on the palate.

Mouthfeel - Carbonation a bit upfront with a medium body and a sticky finish.

Overall - A decent brew but nothing earth shattering.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2014 17:07:01 | More by ChrisL24481
Photo of AwYeh
AwYeh

Ohio

3.64/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottled November 20, 2013.

A: Hazy copper-amber body with a finger of foamy white head. Spotty lacing.

S: Toasty malts and some earthy hops. Light but pleasant.

T: Mild and sweet caramel/bread malt flavor with earthy, floral, and citrus hops.

M: Medium-bodied, moderate carbonation, very smooth and creamy, goes down easily.

O: Incredibly easy to drink. I hadn't had this in a while, but it reminds me of how a lot of people (myself included) treat Bell's Oberon in the summer- very sessionable (not in terms of ABV, but balance and enjoyability).

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2013 03:31:44 | More by AwYeh
Photo of Kendo
Kendo

New York

4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Hazy honey-amber in color with a small off-white head. No lacing.

S: Modest caramel malt and earthy hops.

T: Biscuity malt foundation with a modest leafy, earthy hop bitterness at the finish with a touch of lemon. Nice balance. Reminds me of a good ESB.

M: Light-to-medium in heft; carbonation is modest and fine.

O: A nice easy drinker.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2013 00:02:15 | More by Kendo
Photo of Fcolle2
Fcolle2

Illinois

3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours amber in color with a fair amount of sediment floatin around. Head Is about a finger and a half in height, off white and retains nicely.

Smell has some good lightly sweet malty aroma forward that is balanced nicely with some slightly floral sligtly earthy hops.

Taste follows the nose with some lightly sweet bready malt forward on the palate which is balanced nicely with some delicate floral hoppy flavors with a very mild heathy spicey bitterness.

Mouthfeel is good, mild carbonation and medium body leaves this drinkable but not to light.

All around great balanced beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2013 00:13:45 | More by Fcolle2
Photo of breakingbland
breakingbland

Michigan

3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle dated 1/13/2014 into a pint glass.

Appearance: A rich reddish, gold with a small off-white head that dissipated quickly.

Aroma: Malty with a slight hops presence.

Taste: Like the aroma but with the addition of a hint of breadiness and a pleasant malty sweetness. The aftertaste is mainly of hops.

Mouthfeel: A nice level of carbonation with a medium rich body.

Overall: This beer is a nice example of this style. Don't know why it took me (a Michigander) so long to discover this beer - although I don't think it's overly prevalent in the stores and bars that I frequent. It will be my go-to beer when it's available and I want an amber ale.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2013 16:45:08 | More by breakingbland
Photo of offthelevel_bytheplumb
offthelevel_bytheplumb

Illinois

3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my Samuel Smith's pint glass. Pours a clear copper with a finger and a half of creamy, white head that dissipates quickly and has a lot of visible carbonation. Smell is malty, but not strong. I do get buttery biscuits and light caramel, but there is not much to this. Taste is malty and light, and it drinks very easily. Leaves behind a beady aftertaste that lingers.

Overall: Not much too this one, but that doesn't make it unenjoyable. It's light and sessionable, so it has it's place in the beer drinking world.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2013 21:54:21 | More by offthelevel_bytheplumb
Photo of thecheapies
thecheapies

Pennsylvania

3.81/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I get a finger of bright bone-colored foam on-top of a deep amber beer with rich hop/yeast haziness. The head settles at a medium pace and leaves a little bit of lace on the glass behind.

Cereal grains with a near-brown ale toastiness. Loaf bread, slight minerality, chalkiness, and an air of floral and semi-citrusy hops. Not very fruity, at all. Very standardized, but hunky.

Spicy hops and rigorous toastiness melds in with rich amber malts. The maltiness is pretty dominant, yet curt on by-flavors, in an American way. Crispiness from the hops pulls out interesting hints of brown sugar and almost cinnamon or clove from the steeped grains. Hardly noticeable is any alcohol. Hops are more spicy and floral than anything else, however, there is a backdrop of citrus pith. No sweetness from the hops, and only a malty sugar sense from the fermented grain remains with still-persistent dryness. Fuller-bodied for an amber ale. A lot went into this beer to produce a fantastically clean, refined, and simple beer. Bell's Amber offers a solid-bodied drink with a crisp, effervescent mouthfeel that really pulls out all of the quality ingredients in their naked simplicity. Good.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2013 22:38:47 | More by thecheapies
Photo of utopiajane
utopiajane

New York

3.29/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazed amber orange. Cloudy with a loose head of foam that fell fast to a thin ring. Leaves soapy lace to fall as you drink. Nose is faint. If I dive right in I can get some light caramel and bread and the faintest hop floral. Taste is mild. The grain is toasted to amber perfection and has a nice round and full flavor that presents a natural sweetness but the caramel is almost too faint to be observed on the palate. it tastes like whole grain bread. As it warms it starts to develop a hop floral that is a bit sweet on the nose and in the drink. It has soda like carbonation so quite strong. It finishes with a bit of bitter but mid palate it's just bland. It could have used more malt depth and more malt sweetness. The body of the beer is thin and has a bit of slickness to it. Finishes semi dry with an aftertaste of flaked cereal grain. There is a hint of citric tartness also int he finish but it seems like too little , too late.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2013 20:42:49 | More by utopiajane
Photo of confabulatedgod
confabulatedgod

Indiana

4.83/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Just a random pick up in a choose your own 6-pack. I've had a few other Amber ales that weren't bad, but nothing I'd join a site just to review and remember. My expectations weren't too high, which made it all the better. It looks good, and smells great, but that's just the start. Slightly hoppy, slightly bitter, slightly smokey, great feel. Overall it has all the elements of a great beer, and they're in harmony unlike other beers that overkill one element. I think it's my new favorite all-season beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2013 18:04:43 | More by confabulatedgod
Photo of Jeffreysan
Jeffreysan

Maryland

3.71/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a very pretty copper, amber color with a quarter of a finger of off-while head that quickly dissolved into a thin lacing of foam that covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very bready and malty. Lots of fresh bread, and floral notes, like honey and clover.

Taste: Very similar to its aroma, it’s very malty and bready upfront, followed by some honey-like sweetness and finished by some floral notes of hoppy bitterness. Excellently balanced.

Mouthfeel: Medium to light, but with some good carbonation to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 5.8%, there’s just the slightest hint of alcohol on the palate, but not much.

Overall: This is a damn good amber ale. Very easy to drink, very refreshing, and very tasty. Solid offering. I’d certainly get it again.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2013 22:20:30 | More by Jeffreysan
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Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 2,063 ratings.