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

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

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BA SCORE
87
very good

895 Reviews
THE BROS
97
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 895
Hads: 2,748
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 10.13%
Wants: 119
Gots: 350 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 895 | Hads: 2,748
Photo of UncleFlip
4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottled 6.3.03- tasted 7.19.05

Nice honey-orange colour, a bit hazy. Looks a bit like a hefe.

Smell is fruity, with hints of orange and a VERY slight musky quality. Some hops behind it.

Taste is very pleasant, a little woody and spicy, with subtle sweetness underneath. Hops kick in at the end.

Fizz hits right off and disappears quickly. Nice and creamy after. Alcohol hits WAY after everything else is gone.

This one gets tops for drinkability. I could make a nice evening of it.

Be well
-UF (512 characters)

Photo of Axeforhire
4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

This was one of the coolest beers to look at. After I poured it I could immediately see it bubbling but it looked more intense than I had ever seen. On closer inspection, sediment was actually in the beer. I had never seen it quite like this before! But I assure you, the beer wasn't spoiled in any way: it was one of the best tasting brews of this type that I have ever had the pleasure of drinking!

The smell was great. Slightly sweet, very floral. Fantastic aroma!

The taste was superb. If everything else was good, this was great. The balance of flavors was almost perfect! A refreshing, lightly sweet taste was followed by the slightest hint of malt and hops. I love a good hoppy beer, but when I don't want overwhelming hops I go for things like amber ales. This was almost exactly what I look for in an amber ale! Thank you, Bell's!

Mouthfeel was good, about what you would expect from a beer like this. Slightly thick but still very light. Doesn't stick in your mouth forever.

Overall, this is a masterfully crafted brew. This is the first I've had from Bell's, and I'll be going back for more! (1,156 characters)

Photo of droomyster
4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a beautiful hazy amber, full of fine particles gently suspended mid-body. A small tan head to top it off. Aromas are subtle but extremely good. Sweet drizzly malts like molasses and citrus hops. The taste is stunningly good. Perfectly balanced; complex malts with flavors ranging from tropical fruit to toffee, toasty goodness backed by equally complex hops that span the floral spectrum and with a touch of oranges. Extremely tasty. Medium body is sticky; its flavors linger long. I could become a evangelist for this brew. Exceptionally good taste in an eminently drinkable beer. (587 characters)

Photo of mpcrump
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Nice amber color. Not much head.

S: Malts and hops very well balanced. Not strong but not weak.

T: Starts out with a nice citrus hop taste and ends slightly bitter. Just a hint. Love that.

M: Very nice and balanced. Perhaps a bit sweet. But again just a hint.

D: Very nice combinations. I tend to prefer Ambers and I think this one does quite well.

A- Nice light amber color with a small white head the quickly dissipates.

S- Sweeter malt is a light scent with a small hop backbone, not very strong but it is pleasant.

T- Nice mix of malts, some sweeter than others, bit of a bitterness at the end with a slight citrus hop flavor, balances well with the malt.

M- Medium body and on the higher side of medium carbonation. Nice and crisp finish.

D- Very good beer, one of the better amber's that I have had. Nothing too special but would make an excellent session beer.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 11-05-2010 00:13:20
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philosobeer ( Chicago, Illinois )

A / 4.35
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | drink: 5
rDev: +11.5%

First, Let Me Say why I decided to review this beer is that I still think it's underappreciated in the amber ale style. I had a couple little moments of clarity about beer while drinking this beer years ago, and I wanted to confront it again. I wanted to see if my now-better-attuned palate still held it in such high regard and find out why or why not. And as a defense against a mostly-IPA-drinkin' friend who said to me "Do you really LIKE that beer?

Yes. I do like this beer.

Start with the nose, shall we? I think that I used to be hit a little harder by the hop aromas, but now? I smell the malt first. Smells a touch english in the grain profile, tending to bitter -- crystal grain on pale malt and a bit of grainy sweetness. But, the hops blossom floral and full. It's a good balancing act they played here wth that.

Moving along, let me talk about the taste and drinkability here. It really comes out with something that lands on your tongue light and crisp, hits you with some orange-blossom hops and slightly warm sweetness, drys out bitter at the end... it leads you to take another drink. Something of a creaminess here, too, and I cannot no matter how hard I try figure this one out.

This has some things I love about amber ale and about beer in general. It's complex, it's doing its own thing, and it isn't overpowering you with hops (which I think can be left to IPA). Let me use the word again -- Balance -- you taste the awesome floral hops and even a bit of citrus, but you taste the classic amber malt body too. I'm not going to call it my favorite beer, but it's possibly my favorite amber. Good show!

Serving type: on-tap

Reviewed on: 11-03-2010 19:52:05
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Report Abuse | id: 1304252

Shrews629 ( Leitchfield, Kentucky )

B / 3.65
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | drink: 3.5
rDev: -5.5%

Appearance - Very nice amber, copper color showing some orange hues. Substantial off white head that hung around for a bit and left a solid amount of lacing. Mostly clear body.

Smell - Attractive caramel malt pulling its way to the front of the nose. I'm also detecting a bit of a peach smell. Seems to be a bit more fruity in the hops department than most Ambers I have encountered. Nice and well balanced in the nose.

Taste - Malty at first in the taste, but gives way to the fruit kick. The malt is still the main ingredient however. A nice stab of the alcohol comes in at the end and brings a bit of the warmth and toastiness.

Mouthfeel - Seems to me to be a little thin on the mouthfeel, but it does finish rather dry and crisp. Coats the throat and tongue delicately.

Drinkability - This, all in all, is not a bad little brew. Nice bit of warmth at the end. The beer looks great and is very enticing. I'm glad I gave it a try. It's a brew that I wouldn't have a bit of trouble quaffing for and evening.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 11-02-2010 20:18:03 (4,009 characters)

Photo of alexhammond
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

my first Bell's product, and what a treat this one was.

the first scents I notice are fruity, with a bit of citrus and hops, all blended together nicely.
in the taste, I'm getting some hints of pear, apple, and maybe some kind of berry flavor. a bit of hops gives it just enough bitterness to balance out the sweeter flavors.

by far, one of the best amber ales I've had, the balance and intensity of the flavors really makes this one unique. (443 characters)

Photo of dmamiano
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

nice, copper colored ale, with a nice, off white head and some lacing.
At first smell, I could tell right away I was in for a treat. Heavy malts hit the nostrills. Caramel malt were detected, sweet and heavy with nary a note of hops. My eyes almost rolled bck in my head from pleasure.
Tatse was big o malts, thick in the mouthfeel with heavy malts of caramel, bready and nice.
Good, good beer1 (394 characters)

Photo of hotstuff
4.4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I had this beer on tap at Bell's and I really, really enjoyed drinking it. In fact, this is a beer that I would drink all night at a bar or party. In fact, one just wasn't enough as it went down very smoothly and I just had to have more and more and more. It ended up being a fun night at Bell's! (296 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle served cold, right out of the fridge and poured into a New York Harbor Pint Glass

A - Poured a very nice orange tinted amber with a large three finger high head of thick white foamy lace that towered over the top of the glass. Very nice retention let this one hang around for a good long while before it was able to finally settle down and relax into a small pillow of white lace across the top of the glass. Nice carbonation was apparent as chains of bubbles rippled up to the service from the bottom of the glass. There was also a decent amount of cloudiness or haze to it as well that was very easy to pick up, along with just the slightest amount of floating sediment, which eventually filtered its way out.

S - The aroma was surprisingly hoppy for an amber ale, which to be honest shocked me a bit. Usually you expect an amber ale to just be the usually malty ale, but this was thinking to shape up to be a different kinda of ale. The first whiff that came across was clearly a floral pine like hoppiness that cut right through the underlying, malty base. There were definitely some hints in there of earthy notes, cereal like grains and a touch of bready like notes in the back. Rather complex for a straight up amber ale, and really quite nice.

T- The flavor itself followed along with the aroma very closely. To be honest it was much more of a well balanced IPA like flavor then that of an amber, but still very very well. There was a first initial rush of hops that greeted you as soon as the first flavor hit your tongue, as this rolled past the sugary malted backbone started to come though. Hints of grain and bread along with some nice notes of orange and even a touch of tangerine started to come though. All of these were blended very well and gave this a staggeringly good balance. The finish was strong and bitter with a huge hop presence. Nice dried out pine flavor to cap it all off.

M - The feel was also just great. A light to medium bodied ale, it had a little more weight to it then I would have thought it would have. Great carbonation lasted throughout the entire session, never going flat and keeping it from feeling dull. No slickness or watered down flavor here.

D - This was almost a perfect session beer. The ABV was low and the flavors were very tonight and well put together. Great carbonation with a crisp, clean and refreshing feel to it. I really could have put down the entire sixer my self and not even looked back.

Overall this was a very good beer here from Bell's/ I had not really had much experience with their regular lineup, tending to stick more with the bigger seasonal offerings, but this may have changed my mine, really showing what they can pull off on a more mass produced level. This was very good and I would not hesitate to try it again on any condition. (2,826 characters)

Photo of Beerbuddha
4.4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a copper color with a thick off white head and nice lacing. The aroma was of malt sweetness and some yeastiness. The taste was great! Had a nice sweetness and hint of roasted malts. Probably the best amber I've ever had. Very smooth and very drinkable. The mouthfeel was medium body with medium carbonation. Overall a great beer!! (347 characters)

Photo of AleWatcher
4.4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle into tulip pint.

Orangey amber body with a small tan head. Incredible retention. Thick lacing is virtually opaque before it slowly rides the legs back into the body.
Smells of toffee, caramel, and a pleasant, though surprising, note of something reminding me of coffee.

Wow is this drinkable. Without paying much attention I've sucked down 3/4 of my glass... Nice little hop note at the back providing a punchy little dry bitterness. Roasty malt with some sweet caramel and toffee up front. Very nice for an amber ale.

Feels medium bodies, well-carbonated, and a little oily.

Overall- this really is a great amber ale. It won't ever get the love and praise it deserves: it is just a solidly well-made beer... Of course, coming fr Bell's I would expect no less. (776 characters)

Photo of psugrad98
4.4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured a reddish brown into a pint glass. Nice thick foam hung throughout with slight lace as beer went down.

Slight sweet hints of sweet carmel malts with hoppy undertones. Very smooth and slightly sweet maltiness was first flavor followed by smooth balancing hoppiness. Finished smooth and was very drinkable. A very approachable Amber ale that is neither too hoppy or too malty. Very nice and balanced. (406 characters)

Photo of fastsrt
4.4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

poured form the bottle to a pint glass nice head that stayed till the last sip, laced my glass and had a rich-golden brown color, there was quite a bit of sediment in floating around. smelled of malt all the way. Just the way it smelled, this ale tasted of malt with just enough bitter to balance out the sweetness. over all i enjoyed this beer and could easily knock a few back. (379 characters)

Photo of cdizinno
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Poured into a tulip glass from a brown bottle with no best by date.

A: Cloudy dark orange amber with a light tan head. Heavy lacing leaves several thick rings on the glass.

S: Malty sweet with mild citrus hops and grains.

T&M: Medium bodied with moderate crispness from the carbonation. Nice mild malt sweetness. Excellent balance of citrus hop flavor that is not over the top. Taste fades slowly and nicely with toasted and citrus flavors.

I bought a 6-pack for the amazingly low price of $4!!! The taste is really growing on me and each one is getting better. I've had this on tap and it seems better in the bottle, but very similar. (656 characters)

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
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 (1,175 characters)

Photo of AtLagerHeads
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Whoa Nellie. This is one great beer. An incredible cloudy orange amber brew covered by heaps of golden tan creamy head. Lovely, really lovely looking beer. Gorgeous lace deposits that won't quit. The nose seems somewhat subdued 'neath the heavy cover of foam, but comes across as bready and yeasty. Looks to be lots of chewy substance in the fluid portion of the beer. Great balance between the grainy sweetness and the bittering hops. Lip-licking taste and a nice medium body that is perfectly matched to the look and taste of this great beer. Man, I'd like to get this on tap. Time to head north to Michigan.

Postscript notes: nose moves to caramel as the beer warms. Lots of cream sediment in the bottom of the glass. Please, go get yourself one of these. (761 characters)

Photo of stckhndlr
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

A- Quite a dark amber color. good head and lacing. Cloudy with sediment that reminds me of some quads I have had before.

S- good solid notes of caramel and breadiness. A hint of spice as if from the hops.

T- That is just delightful. Sweet bready caramel up front with a hoppy bitter in the finish.

M- All is right with this one. Perfect balance of smoothness and carbonation. Just right.

O- This is a great amber that will be gracing my fridge for years to come. (469 characters)

Photo of smerkinb
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes on 4/23/09.

The Bottle label states this is the breweries "flagship" beer and promises a "rich, sweet flavor unlike any other". Let's see...

This is a pretty brew--1 finger loose tan head tops a wonderful burnt orange cloudy body. Remaining collar leaves negligible lacing throughout.

Smells of bready malts a touch of sweet that is coy at first but becomes more dominant. Smell almost syrupy sweet--almost get some coriander characteristics. So far so good, it's got me wanting some.

Sweet malt mixes with light floral hops. There's a moment of caramel that is only a peek-a-boo taste. Not too complex but seems well-balanced. The malts come through grainy and the hops never overwhelm, but instead finish things up nicely--turns a bit "hairspray-ish" after warming.

The mouth is almost poplike. It's tingly, but richer and thicker but never getting to "syrupy". It's definitely quenching as the finishing hops hit just the right note.

Tasty and refreshing-sweet yet quenching and nice overall balance. More? Yes, please. Perfect for a warm spring day! (1,074 characters)

Photo of JordanEllwanger
4.37/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Beautiful amber color with that coffee cream head. A little cloudy and not very active, maybe less carbonation. Smells sweet and delicious, very ripe. Great tones of malt and hops swim across my taste buds. A superb blend of ale. Feels medium with a tendency towards the lighter side. My most frequent stop on the Bell's lineup.

Cheers. (337 characters)

Photo of Jason
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: On tap, served in a 16 oz. American tumbler glass.

Appearance: Cloudy orange hued amber with a well dispositioned tiny bubbled lace leaving several thick rings on the glass.

Smell: Malty sweet with overtones of fresh toasted grain and a subtle flowery oily hop holding a citric nose.

Taste: Well formed malt sweetness within the medium body, moderate crispness from the carbonation. Faint buttery diacetyl, toffee and toasted malt make for the base of this brew, a tamed yet multi-layered hop runs through a pungent bitterness, an oily flower and a citric flavour towards the end. After taste lingers long and hard with more toasted and citric flavours.

Notes: This is an awesome example of the American Amber Ale Style, robust and very flavourful yet still not a problem having a few or even making it a session beer. Right up there with Full Sail or Anderson Valley in greatness in this style. (921 characters)

Photo of Tinfoilrcr
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first Bell's beer and let me just say that I will definitely be trying more of their beers, as this was a fantastic beer.

It has a beautiful red copper color with a good head that lasts throughout the life of the pint.

The beer has a wonderful balance of sweet citrus flavors and a good dose of hops for a very refreshing finish. Neither the sweet malts nor the hops are over-powering.

This is by far one of the best ambers I have had, and the only disappointing part was when it was finished. (501 characters)

Photo of aepb1
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A re-review after some palate-training and education!

A- Cloudy burnt orange body with a white had and nice lacing present

S- Sweet malty, floral citrus hops

T- Roasty malt moving into the nice citrus hops in the finish. There's a nice full buttery malt under it all

M- Medium, crisp finish with hops and carbonation

D- Very easy to drink and great example of style! (371 characters)

Photo of Proteus93
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A murky gold, quite a bit of sediment got poured in there. Decent retention on the off-white head.

S: Soft and sweet, light toasted malts, a bit of a floral scent.

T + M: A mild bodied drink, light & sweet toasted malts. A little bit of both a buttery feel and taste in there together, along with floral hops towards the end. Barely bitter, but just enough so to round it all out. Excellent.

D: I would have another of these in a heartbeat. There's not much more that could be done to make this any easier for me to drink. (531 characters)

Photo of scottyshades
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a light brown/caramel color with a 4 finger head that leaves a decent lace

S: Sweet nose, mostly roasted malts and caramel...overall a sweet smelling beer. Nice and piney hops.

T: Sweet; caramel, roasted malts, hops, and possibly molasses

MF: Clean, not dry, not bitter, good aftertaste, goes down easily

D: Superb, very drinkable, definitely my new favorite session beer during the summer (402 characters)

Photo of NODAK
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Smells of caramael, malty sweetness and a bit of toastiness. Pretty rich...I was surprised.

Floral hop crispness comes across the tongue initially with a bit of bitterness, but not all that much. What follows is a good dose of caramel maltiness and toasty flavors in the middle to finish of the beer. Reminds me of a German crystal malt here. There's a little residual bitterness that lingers a bit after the swallow along with the toastiness that is pretty prevalent.

It's actually a very tasty beer that does an excellent job of balancing the right amount of hops with malt. Awesome! (588 characters)

Photo of TippedMixology
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

How happy was I to find this beer right across the street from my apartment!

Appearance - Unfiltered, so don't mind the little pieces floating around in your glass. Light amber, honey, blond. Light, sticky head.

Smell - Floral and sweet. Hints of citrus, floral herbs, and floral hops. Light and not overpowering.

Taste - Pretty similar to the smell, light, but crisp and refreshing. Lightly sweet with a really nice balance between malt and hop at the end--not overpoweringly hoppy. One of the best ambers I've had.

Mouthfeel - I'm always left wanting a little bit more. Not overpowering on the alcohol, but coats your mouth on the aftertaste with an extremely pleasant malty note.

Overall, this is my first beer from Bell's, but I'm keeping my eyes open from anything they're offering from now on. They have a fan in me!

-Adam from Tipped Mixology (857 characters)

Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 895 ratings.