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

Not Rated.
Bell's Amber AleBell's Amber Ale

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BA SCORE
86
very good

2,723 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,723
Reviews: 933
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 12.01%
Wants: 118
Gots: 335 | FT: 1
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-12-2001

Amber Ale deftly balances a mixture of toasted grain & light caramel notes with a range of floral, citrus and herbal hop notes, capped by a clean bitterness. This balance of flavors makes Amber Ale quite versatile as a food pairing option, not to mention being rather tasty in its own right. Whether serving as a jumping point to other styles or as a familiar standby, Amber Ale is central to the Bell’s portfolio.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,723 | Reviews: 933
Photo of jasongootjes
4.72/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - The beer was a golden amber color, as the name suggests. It had an off white head that left a lace through out the glass.

Smell - Very succulent smell. The aroma hitting my nose caused a sensation through out my body.

Taste - The beer has an excellent taste. It was almost sweet but at the same time bitter. Very good taste overall.

I could drink this beer all day. The taste smell and sensation that rushed, not only through my mouth, but through my whole body was absolutely delightful.

Photo of meatdouglas
4.68/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bought a 6 pack from a local grocer

appearance: orange/amber slightly cloudy color.
large creamish tan head that lasted, with massive amounts of lacing through out the glass.

smell: nice smell, not too strong. more hops come through at first than malts. it's smell is good, a bit unexpected...but in a good way.

taste: sweet but not too sweet malty flavor with subtle floral and citrus mixed with a slight hoppy bitterness coming through near the finish. creamy sweet taste increases a little while it warms. nice lasting aftertaste. awesome taste, probably my favorite readily available amber ale yet.

MF&D: lasting carbonation, light to medium bodied and extremely smooth. Very drinkable, crisp and clean with an awesome aftertaste that left me craving more. which i guess would make it a great session beer.

Photo of Offa
4.68/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a balanced, very tasty and drinkable ale, light but full of character with subtle complexity.

It's amber, and unlike most many "amber" ales, it really is almost truly amber in colour,a bit hazy with sediment floating in it, with a very big pale tan head that slowly shrinks to a lasting foamy top and leaves nice rings of lace down the glass.

The aroma is somewhat mild but very nice, very malty with caramelly fruit and bread, juice, some citrusy hops and a leafy hint.

The taste is similar, mostly malty with some hops to round it out and balance it nicely. It's caramelly, doughy, and toasty with lightly toasted bread and light, caramelly malty sweetness balanced with mostly citrusy hops that have a light leafiness. The citrus has a clear hint of grapefruit but this is just barely prominent. It also has a light juiciness and hint of yeastiness. It has a slightly creamy feel but a crisp finish. It is light, but has complexity, good, lasting flavour, nice balance, and a defintie English quality overall. It is highly drinkable.

Photo of JayGlogovsky
4.67/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Wow! A truly exceptional beer. Color and taste are by far the most appealing parts of the beer.

Photo of BobLuvBeer
4.65/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Nice heavy amber color. Lots of sediment in glass, which is very appealing. Plenty of carbonation visible. Pours with medium head. Fruity, green apple aroma. Mildly sweet, with a thick/burnt toast combination to the taste. Slightly bitter. Malt over rides hops, but the hops which do come through are pleasantly received. Rest deliciously on the palate. The balance of malts and hops linger and fade away evenly, which entices you to another drink. Finishes with a hint of citrus, with a mix of straw. Overall, one of the most balanced, well tasting brews available.

Photo of johncopter
4.63/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I need five words to

Photo of malty
4.62/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz. longneck - no freshness date.

Appearance is a beautiful glowing amber (go figure) with a brite white head. The tiniest of suspended yeast is apparent if you look closely into the beer, due to the fact that Bell's doesn't filter their ales.

Fresh, blossoming notes of sweet pale malt. Reminds me of fresh sugar cookies - nice & doughy. Very clean smelling.

Now I know why Bell's claims this to be their 'flagship' beer. Perfect balance of malty sweet and just the right touch of prickly hops. Oh so fresh... A faint spiceness evokes from the rich and sweet carmel liquid also.

Mouthfeel is perfect for this style. Soft, gentle and tiny bubbles caress the tongue making this light-medium bodied ale's flavor linger on past the swallow. Just enough dryness in the finish to insure this sweet nectar doesn't build-up and become cloying.

Drinkability is outrageously high. Beer drinkers from beginners to veteran would most likely agree it's hard to put down. It's got something for everyone.

Overall a splendid example of a style that's been butchered and pimped for over 15 years. This is a model interpretation of an easy drinking, yet refined and calculated amber ale. Fill up an aluminum wash tub with this and fire up the coals, it's summertime baby. This is how we do it in Michigan!

Photo of inebrius
4.62/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wonderful nose of unfermented wort and earthy hops on a slice of toast. This here is a beer drinkers brew, this here is what craft and quality taste like. Outstanding! Kalamazoo brewing needs to expand their distribution network.

Cheers to Deuce for the sample!

Photo of BarrelBrother
4.6/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The first time I tired this beer it caught my attention. Bell says it's a "cask conditioned" amber which was unusual and demanded an additional tasting session! I was surprised with the cloudiness of the brew, almost weiss cloudy, but the taste! Slightly sweet initally with carmel overtones and a subtle spicy flavor that I really enjoyed. Hmmm, nice aroma, with a hint of fruitiness. Nice creamy head that made the experience even better. The aftertaste was clean, refreshing with a slight bitter finish. Mouthfeel is smooth and ejnoyable. I have moved this brew high on my list to a regular staple at the house for get togethers and have gotten many outstanding comments about this beer from guests. As the old TV commercial used to say, "Try it, you'll like it!" I totally agree!

Photo of Michelleluw
4.58/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is a great beer to ease into a darker beer. The light amber nodes give the beer a toffee and caramel taste. I love this beer with a nice piece of steak with sauteed mushrooms. Highly recommend this beer...then ease into Bell's Two Hearted!

Photo of nicksta
4.57/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer poured a very nice, very cloudy amber orange. A really big head sits on top of that dissipates quickly into pillowy froth on top of the brew that has nice layers upon layers of lacing.

S: I approached the smell like I normally do an amber brew. I can never dicpher the scent of ambers from one another EXCEPT for this one. It started out like a normal amber. It had some toasty caramel smoothness and started to turn metallic, but instead of finishing like I expected it to it became an extremely sweet. It was as sweet as tasting caramel. It actually tickled my nose and relaxed my whole face.

T: It starts out really smooth, but a little light. After that sweetness starts to come out of the corners of my mouth. The beer then moves into ultra-smooth caramel toasty malts. The beer then ends with a kiss of roasted hops that at first are very floral and then end bitterly. Awesome.

M: It is really really good. The beer is ultra smooth and has just the right texture. Unfortunately, it is quite carbonated which tends to sting the mouth. Just let it sit a bit.

D: A really great session brew. Heed the carbonation and sip don't chug, but as the carbonation settles more and more, you can chug more and more. I am not really recommending chuging though; (even if it is good enough for me to want to) take the time to enjoy it.

Photo of righlander
4.56/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful amber with a frothy foam head with nice lacing from a 12 ounce bottle. Smells of sweet malt with some citrus hop hiding nicely in the background. Taste is smooth sweet malt with some toasty grain and excellent hop balance. Perfectly carbonated and crisp with sweet malt and nice mellow hop balance. Very nice on the tongue. Drinkability is great, very nice amber. probably the best amber ale i have ever had. i could drink several of these. The cool thing is I took a chance with these and bought a whole 6-pack because they were bottle conditioned I figured there was a chance they could be decent. And I am pleasantly surprised! I love it when this happens! Like i said probably the best amber i have ever had. 5 more to go... CHEERS!

Photo of dbtossi
4.55/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Liked the carmel toasty flavors

Photo of GossageBrewery
4.55/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this American Amber Ale from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. It poured a cloudy orange color and produced a 1 inch white head. Head retention was below average. Lacing was very good. The Aroma of the ale was full of roasted malt with a hint of hop and citrus. The taste of the beer was outstanding. It was very drinkable, and had nice body. The beer was first and foremost filled with roasted and malt and it gave way to a nice sweet finish. High drinkability- Perfect session beer. This is the most outstanding example of an American Amber Ale that I have had to date.

Photo of TheBigLebrewski
4.55/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bell's' flagship. Bell's, Bell's, Bell's. And no brand-whoring about it, Bell's gives what you want from a brewery. In the interest of full disclosure, I wear their belt buckle.

Bottle to pint glass. Moderate mostly white head with a touch of brown. Excellent lacing retention. Damn near perfect color for an Amber; a tiny bit less color than the subjective amber idyll. Very good smell, though pretty subtle.

This is amber ale. Not 'an' amber ale. If you want to drink a straight up amber ale, this is it. The taste is spot on. Leaning towards sweetness, as ambers do, but not at all overly sweet, as is far too common for the genre. Mouthfeel is perfect. This is very good beer.

Here I will qualify: I, personally, would prefer a more balanced ale; in particular, a touch of hop in the finish would make this beer incredible. And, in truth, there is a lack of hop in the finish. (See Stone's Levitation - an American Amber Ale - for a comparable beer of a different genre that I personally prefer).

Overall, I will say it's not my favorite beer. Not even close. But it is as close to the perfect straight Amber Ale as I've ever tasted. And according to the way we try to rate beers here, this deserves one of the best ratings I've given. Again, there are dozens of beers I personally enjoy more, but, that being said, this is far and away the best straight amber I've ever had.

Photo of kevinjosephlee
4.55/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a glass

A: Amber orange, with an off-white head. The sediment at the bottle of the bottle was agitated, and by the presence of "floaties" I would guess that it was not only yeast but also some proteinaceous precipitate. No lacing and relatively low head retention.

S: A caramel malty scent with some hops sharpness as well.

T: It has a caramel malty presence that is moderated by a hops bitterness. Some floral notes (citrus) emerge later in the drink along with a clove spiciness.

M: Not much alcohol warmth, but the alcohol flavor does make an appearance. Good carbonation and body.

Notes: A great beer. I am glad it was recommended to me by my local bottle shopman. I have been on an amber ale kick and find that I enjoy the balance between hops and malt. This beer is very drinkable, yet needs to be enjoyed, so sip slowly, or make sure you have a six pack.

Photo of tigg924
4.53/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: amber, medium carbonation, cloudy, with a small head

Smell: sugar, malt, and a bit of citrus

Taste: hops, malty bread, and caramel

Mouthfeel: smooth, light, small hoppy taste in the middle followed by a semi-sweet finish

Drinkability: With apologies to Nugget Nectar, I think I may have just found my favorite version of this style. Perfectly drinkable this beer seems made for me and may have been my favorite from my Philadelphia trip. An awesome mix of malt and hops. I could easily session this...Now if only Bells would ship to Massachusetts.

Photo of morimech
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a wonderful looking amber ale. The color is dark amber with a two-fingered head that had excellant retention. It eventually settles to a very thick cap. Large amounts of lacing left on the glass surface. Very small particulate matter slowly settles to the bottom of the glass. I don't mind an unfiltered beer when the brewer does it in this manner.

I think there are a couple different hop varieties used in this beer. A combination of citrus and pine aromas with the sweet malt results in a wonderful smell.

The taste doesn't disappoint either. Perfectly balanced between the malt flavors and the hops makes this a great tasting ale. It leaves the mouth with just a hint of pine. It has a light body with well suited carbonation.

The best amber ale I have had and an overall top 10. Sessionable, affordable, and great tasting, just what I like.

Photo of granger10
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I must say that I am amazed with this brew. What took me so long to try it? On the back it says it's Bell's "flagship beer" and I can see why. This beer pours a vibrant flourescent amber color with a medium sized white head. Good amount of lacing as well. Smell is caramel sweet and a twinge of bitterness as well. The body on this beer is thick, very thick for an amber yet quite smooth as well. Caramel is the main sweetness but I detect some honey in there as well. Citric qualities that mostly resemble tangerines are very noticeable. Slight buttery diacetyl and a yeasty spiciness come through. Hops aren't bitter but provide a solid base and background holding the body and other flavors together. The hops also seem citric and maybe floral as well. This is a real beer drinkers amber, probably too much flavor and too thick for most non-craft drinkers. Even though it is thick I feel that I could drink this as a session brew with ease. Well done!

Photo of kilustration
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! I am not usually a fan of red beers.

This one is smooth! Slightly sweet flavor, pours amber (duh!) with a medium white head and nice lace. Very hoppy.

Nice mouth feel. Easy to finish. Somewhat creamy texture. Light carbonation.

Very surprised. This for a red beer is a winner.

Photo of JackTheRipper
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy, slightly coppery color. Thin head, not too much lacing.

Smell: Citrus, honey, a bit of a bread-like smell.

Taste: Starts off with a lemony, honey sweetness, hops are nicely balanced in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Full, but not to the point of chewy full. Carbonation is very nice. Alcohol is well masked. Finishes a bit on the dry side without any big aftertastes.

Drinkability: Another very well crafted beer. I wouldn't hesitate to have another one of these.

Photo of gonzo46and2
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fantastic Amber ale. Poured a huge head in my scooner and lasted till the last drop. Aroma of flowery hops pineapple and as it warms brown sugar. More on the sweet side and could use a bit more bittering hops. When it warms the flavor takes on a more dark malt taste. Overall just awesome for the style.

Photo of Luigi
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out an hazy amber color with copper highlights and presents massive a three finger head. Plenty of of lacing, as the head sticks all around the glass.

The aroma is full of toasted malt, caramel, and herbal hops. No aroma over powers the other bring this ale into balance.

The taste is semi-sweet with toasted malts, caramel, and citrus fruit from the hop. The finish is crisp with a dry pine like hop lingering for a while on the palate.

The body is medium/light and crisp with mild carbonation. Very easy to drink as this ale is balanced so perfectly. No flavor over powers the other, making this ale a pleasure to drink. The only question that comes to mind is "can I have another?" because Bell's nailed this style.

Photo of drpimento
4.49/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pretty much the definitiion for an Amber Ale. Poured at about the right temperature for a small to medium, light tan head that soon settled out. Color is a clear honey amber with some bubble trails. Aroma is malt, beer, and a little roast, hop, and fruit. Flavor is similar to nose with just a little sweetness to balance the carbonic tang and slight roast and hop. Body is superb, with excellent carbonation. Finish is like flavor and slowly fades with no off notes. Super easy drinking beer.

Photo of capilial
4.48/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I don't generally like amber ales but I thoroughly enjoyed this beer. It has citrusy undertones and it was very smooth and refreshing.

Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 2,723 ratings.