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

Hard to believe it took this many years to give this one a review.
Bottled in Sept. 2010, so it's within the brewery recommended 6 month window.
Strong malt presence with the aroma and a mixed, kinda' earthy hop background. Kinda' unsweet caramel malt with some pale male in there too.
Pretty big off-white head that forms an interesting shape in my SA glass. Amber and somewhat cloudy. Gold highlights.
Still malt forward, but less so than the aroma. More balancing from the hop flavors and bitterness. Touch of sweetness with a bit of caramel in it. A real blended sort of drink with ample complexity and nothing really distinct. There are no flavors of concern, just kinda' mix of flavors tampered down a bit.
Sufficient carbonation and body for style. Feels a little heavy on the bubbles (filling).
The previous comment takes away from last category. Too bad. It seems to be going for an everyday sort of drink - I believe it was referred to as the brewery "flagship" beer, in which it probably under-represents what this fine brewery is capable of producing. Nonetheless, a adequately drinkable beer, that I'd like to give a shot to fresh and on tap.

Photo of Aenema
3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a brownish orange, similar to the color of syrup with melted butter, a thin off-white head and little lacing.
Smell - Caramel malts, hay and grass.
Taste - Toasted, caramel malts, a nice hoppy finish - a smooth, well-balanced beer.
Mouthfeel - Moderate carbonation, medium bodied and creamy.
Drinkability - Drinkable, but not a beer I would want more than maybe two of.
Overall - A fine beer worth trying, but not one I will revisit any time soon. It was not particularly good or interesting.

Photo of jayb
3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

orangish red in color. Sediment throughout the glass. An off white head that settled quickly. Lacing was non-existant. Aroma was of sweet malts and a slight citrus tang. little bit of caramel as well. Taste was of sweet grains, herbal spice, slight roasted bitterness. Carbonation has a real bite to it. Very dry. Caramel and roastiness keick into full gear towards the end when the brew warms up. A pretty soild amber in my book.

Photo of tpd975
3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Cloudy amber colored hue with a nice thick off-white head. Moderate amounts of lacing.

S: Bready, sweet pale malt aroma with hints of brown sugar. No real hops noted.

T: Tons of malt up front. The malty is yeasty and sweet with some buttery tones as well. The hops are nearly non existant in the taste as well.

M: Light and refreshing.

D: Not a favorite when it comes to taste, but it is very sessionable.

Overall: A solid American Red. The taste is pretty solid and it is very drinkable. An Amber loving buddy of mine raves about it on draft.

Photo of Shrews629
3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of hardy008
3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Amber color, somewhat cloudy. Pours a white, 1 finger foamy head which has nice retention.

Smell - malt and citrus.

Taste - Mildly sweet and malty, with a hint of citrus bitterness. Pretty good.

Mouthfeel - Creamy and light to medium bodied.

Drinkability - Easy to drink, would make a good session beer.

Photo of JustinBathurst
3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice bronze colour. The smell is excellent--a bit of sweet floral, some malt, well-rounded. A yeasty bread loaf scent is also there.

Mouthfeel is average, but not bad. Taste makes up for this.

Subdued sweet start, some orange peel taste, sweet kick without being too overpowering, bitter chocolate-roasted coffee finish. Bitter aftertaste that lingers for a little while. Some hops to make it worthwhile. This would be an excellent session beer, I think. High quality and easy to kick back while still enjoying the taste.

Photo of JAA
3.59/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Okay, i really couldn't care less about a beer's label art, but a Heron? Come on, it doesn't exactly scream "Buy me". However, out of the bottle and in the glass, it appears more respectable. A good lookin' dark and cloudy amber with a nice and fluffy, one finger head. The head didn't stay long, but fortunately, neither did the beer. Probably due too it's outstanding drinkability. More on that later.

Kind of a let-down on the aroma. A faint cararmel note is about the only identifiable smell in there.

The taste however, did not disappoint. A good example of the style. Not overpowering in the hops department. A biscuity malt foundation, mild bitter hoppiness, and a clean white grape finish. Nothing overpowers.

Mouthfeel is, dare i say it(?), a little watery. Come on, it's one of their weakest brews, they can make a beer for a hot, sunny, sunday afternoon and not be called wimps.

This beer is exactly what i called it in the last paragraph. A five and a half percent amber ale, meant to be a refreshing, yard work beverage. The only shame that Bell's should feel is the similarity of Budweisers' American Ale. Or maybe, they should feel pride that a giant of the industry picked one of their products to clone.

Don't get me wrong though, this is a far superior amber ale when compared to Budweisers'.

Photo of TheMultiYeast
3.59/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle ---> pint glass. Hazy dark orange with medium sized white head. Sticky walls of lacing.

Smell is mostly cereal grain and malted barley. A floral blend of aromatic hops add an herbal essence to this beer. A touch of fruitiness rounds it out.

Taste is mostly sweetened malts and grain with some light floral hop character and some wet grass in the middle with dried berries and nuts. Perfect amount of lingering bitterness in the aftertaste.

Slightly undercarbonated and smooth.

Recommended if you enjoy lightly hopped, sweet ambers.

Photo of Sydney10
3.59/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Visual: Pours a clear amber color.
Smell: Malty with light fruit undertones of strawberry and lemon.
Taste: Bitter, smooth beer. A bitter taste of a green caramel apple.
Overall: Average beer that is light on the tongue.

Photo of tone77
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark caramel color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is dominated by malts. Taste is caramel malts up front, some hops, slight bitterness at the finish. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall this is a solid beer.

Photo of BierFan
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The bottle lists an abv of 5.8%. Batch number of 8869 tells me it was bottled on December 3rd 2008. Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Light tan head. Hazy amber. Pretty good head retention.

Smell: Bitter with some light citrus and grapefruit.

Taste: It's just a damn good amber ale. Bitterness and hop flavors are dominant. Seems more bitter from the bottle than when I had it on-tap.

Photo of JunkYardJake
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Bulls Head Pub in Lititz.
First time having Bells Amber. Looks good sitting in the glass with a creamy off-white head and sharp clarity. Nose is subdued but smells fresh. Mostly caramel and bready malts but there is a bit of earthy hop aroma coming through. Palate is quite mild, even compared to the nose. Clean caramel malt flavor with a small hop profile. Moderate body with a proper level of carbonation. Easy drinking brew that could easily be sessioned. Although I enjoyed it, I was expecting a bit more from this beer in the flavor department. Nonetheless, worthy of a try.

Photo of TheDoorman
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy translucent orange with minimal white head and little lacing. Aroma is floral, perfumy, and malty. Taste follows the nose. Reminiscent of spring flowers with a light spicey malt backbone. Carbonation is present in the body. Light, effervescent and sweet. A pleasant beer, but nothing special.

Photo of womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for sending this one, Jeff.

A: The pour is a clear amber color with a finger of light khaki head.

S: An alright aroma to this one. Some toasted malt and bread notes with a bit of floral and grassy hops. Light sweetness with the caramel and toffee notes coming through.

T: There is quite a bit of grassy hop flavor with just a bit of bitterness. Most of the flavor comes in the form of toffee, toasted bread, and caramel sweetness.

M: Medium bodied with a medium level of carbonation.

O: An okay amber ale, but not really any better than any number of amber ales I've had.

Photo of tronester
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy amber/brown with tons of yeast chunkies throughout. Aroma is of light grain. Taste is big toffee, toasty grain flavor up front, followed by some earthy, fruity flavors, and a bit of bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is rich. Overall a good Amber Ale that I would get again.

Photo of DovaliHops
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a copper/amber, very lightly clouded color with a small white head that settles very slowly. Smell a bit of caramel and sweetness. The malt smell is present, but the smell is nothing to write home about. The taste is pretty much like a typical amber ale. A hoppy taste with a stronger malt presence, with just a bit of grapefruit. The mouthfeel is fairly typical for you average amber ale. The drinkability is very high considering this beer is extremely light and crisp.

Photo of meatmallet
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Cloudy and orange in color with a thin white head. Lots of suspended sediment in here as well.

Smell: Malty and a little sweet with some grain and a little citrus. Rather week.

Taste: Good malty sweetness toffee and toasted malt and a slight bit of bitterness in the finish with some citrusy hops.

Mouthfeel/drinkability: Medium body with medium to medium high carbonation. Not much on the nose for a Bells beer but it makes up for it in flavor.

Photo of Sammy
3.57/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A good transition beer. Not a bold strong Bell's but a very decent brew, better than a national brand anything. Nice hops like a pale ale. Well malted. Very good after fish. I am a missionary in people dropping white wine altogether, particularly after fish when beer is an ancient companion.

Photo of UFGUY2122
3.57/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Let me premise this by saying that I will probably edit this review in the future when I have a fresher beer. As I was searching around Bell's website I noticed that I could look up my beer's batch number. I discovered that my particular beer is possibly old enough to have impacted the taste..

A-cloudy deep orange with a one-inch creamy white head. head disippated shortly after pouring but left nice lacing.

S-bready malts, slight hint of hops if you're really smelling for it.

T/M-smooth and malty up front with a nice balance of carbonation. finishes crisp with the slight hint of hops detected in smelling.

D-Mouthfeel of this beer probably makes it pretty drinkable. However, I am not a big enough fan of the taste to turn this into a session beer.

Photo of beerhawk
3.57/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I guess Bells is big on bottle conditioning. I don't think I am a fan for that in this type of beer. The bottle poured with a cloudy amber color. Head was good and lasted most of the way. The hops were notable but nothing over the top. Taste was good and very fresh, but the yeasty notes just don't need to be there. I really think this might be a better beer if it were not bottled conditoned. Worth a try, but I think it could be better.

Photo of zoso1967
3.56/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber pours a deep bronze amber color and has very nice clarity. The head is parchment in color and has pretty nice retention and lacing qualities.

The aroma is pretty subdued. It is slightly malty with some caramel and a touch of fruitiness, as well as some herbal hop aromas.

The flavor is pretty similar except that I am able to pick up a bit more of the hoppy character. It is nicely fruity with hints of apple, a bit if caramel and a slight toastyness.

The body is medium with a bit too much carbonation for my taste and a pleasant finish that is nicely dry. The finish is pretty nominal leaving a good mix of the malt and hop flavors on the tongue.

Bell's Amber is a classic, but I don't find it to be one of their better offerings. I could drink a lot of these and have at parties down in K-zoo when my friends were going to Western for college, but it is not really a beer I ever buy anymore unless it is the only Bell's available. If you are a big fan of ambers though, you may think differently

Photo of Tonmeister
3.56/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured in Goose Island Glass

Appearance: murky, brownish with a thin white head with a lacing that breaks when tilting the glass

The aroma contains a slight hopp presence, somewhat citrusy, but more earthly. I can smell the malts, but it;s hard to distinguish the specific details.

The taste is very smooth, almost tastes like water, but still contains a slight hop presence.

The mouthfeel is thin, with not much carbonation, very smooth and easy on the tongue.

Overall, this is a great breakfast beer. It's light and it goes down smooth. It doesn't feel like I'm drinking a beer. This is not one of my favorites, but for its style, I dig it because it's simple.

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.56/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 5/12/08. Bottle. Pours amber with a white head. Aroma of floral hops. Flavor of floral hops (light), light fruits (especially apple), sweet malt, and a bitter hops finish. As the beer warmed, it got a bit sweeter. A pleasant beer, but nothing special.
6/4/7/4/15 (3.6/5)

Photo of terrabyte
3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly cloudy copper color with a short white head.

Aroma was a sweet buttery malt. A little sour.

A sweet caramel or toffee flavor that is smooth and silky. There is a lot of toasted breadiness to it which isn't a bad thing, but soaks up some of the flavors. It blends well with the caramel. The aftertaste is just a little bit sour for my liking, and has a small enjoyable bitterness.

Mouthfeel is well carbonated and smooth. No complaints.

I have mixed feelings about this beer. But only because of all the other great choices from Bell's.

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