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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

904 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 904
Hads: 2,826
Avg: 3.84
pDev: 21.09%
Wants: 128
Gots: 396 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bell's Amber Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 904 | Hads: 2,826
Photo of TCMike
4.32/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium copper color, and produced a one finger beige head.
The aroma is of caramel sweetness, light hop, and light malt.
In the taste the hop bitterness comes through more, but with the caramel taste tames it some. It feels medium bodied. It taste great! The bitterness of the hops linger a little. Would make a good session beer, in my opinion, even though it's 5.8 abv.(slightly out of the definition of session).

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Photo of Jekster
4.32/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a dark amber red / orange that lightens toward yellow on the edges. The glass is laced by a nice one to two finger off white frothy head.

Smell: Sweet malt and bready overtones take the forefront in the aroma of this beer. Hiding behind that are slight fruity aromas like apple or pineapple. A slight American hop character is also noticeable.

Taste: Fruit comes through in the pallet along with a distinct yeasty bread flavor. I taste sharp tart apple like a nice dry white wine. The flavors dissipate rather quickly when swallowed leaving a slight presence of alcohol esters to peruse my mouth. There is a slight lingering bitterness along with a drying aspect probably due to the alcohol (near 6%).

Mouthfeel: This beer is fairly effervescent for an amber ale which contributes to the overall dry light feel of the beer. It's thirst quenching while not being a completely light and wussy beer.

Drinkability: This beer is pleasant without being overpowering. It's easy to drink and what I would call a quaff-er. I could sit back and enjoy quite a few of these with some light snacks during a movie or while eating pretzels and shooting pool. It's what I would choose if I wanted something with a balance between a sweet bready backbone and a American hop bitterness.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: I would easily buy this beer again. It's a nice beer when you don't feel like blasting your mouth with hops yet want something that is not overpoweringly sweet. It has nice complexity yet is simple and refined at the same time.

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Photo of malcontent
4.32/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Hazy, light amber body with lots of visible yeast in suspension. Head comes on strong but fades all too quickly.

Big amber malt nose laced with an orange peel hop scent. Biscuit notes linger. A fine aroma profile for the style.

Biscuity right up front and back-loaded with citrus hops. Outstanding balance of soft brown sugar-sweet malt with a crisp, controlled finishing bitterness.

A touch over-carbonated although thinking back to the head I'm wondering if I should have poured harder. The body is full but never heavy. This has been, and in my mind still is, one of the reasons this style exists. An often overdone, underwhelming beer that is taken to new heights here. Sessionable in every way and a Midwestern classic.

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Photo of popery
4.32/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A thank you to deliriumfest for our recent trade (the first of about 30) which gave me the opportunity to try this beer. Bell's Amber is a quite good amber with a fresh full feel and a balanced earthy flavor. The color is spot on for an amber, whatever that means, but the head dissipated quickly and left little lacing in my DFH glass. The smell is bready and full of caramel malt. The flavor strikes an interesting balance between spicy, earthy hops and doughy, sweet malt. The feel is thicker and fuller than expected. It's rather chewy. There's some apple or raisin note in the background. Bell's Amber Ale is an enjoyable, sessionable and solid beer. Quick edit: I'm actually going to bump my taste score up a half notch. The malt flavor is really growing on me.

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Photo of nycjag
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another yummy beer from my Bell's mixpack. Brazenly purchased in Harrisburg, PA, and stealthily brought back across the New York State border via an underground tunnel that was carved out under the Hudson River at least a half century ago. Maybe drinking Bell's in New York City makes it taste better because we vociferously aren't supposed to have it. If so, who cares? This is a great beer.

It pours a nice deep amber (duh) with about a one-inch head. The aroma hops aren't too far forward and the maltiness you get from quaffing this beer is also present in the aroma.

This is an Amber you could drink gallons of and not get tired of it. Some nice biscuity flavors going on here.

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Photo of DerekP
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bell's Amber Ale is unquestionably amber colored, with sweet malts that show in the taste and smell. I smell quality hops as well. What I really enjoy about this beer is the obvious lack of filtration. One look in your mug or pint glass and you'll see the aftereffects of mashing hops and barley; the little guys that find their way through a strainer, and into a carboy for the joy of fermentation.

I got about a quarter to half-inch thick head that seems to be planning to stick around for good, or at least until I'm through with the beer. The bottle shows the ABV as 5.8%; not too bad, definitely sessionable. There's a little over a hint of an alcoholic taste coming through, nothing to fuss about. The body is a solid medium, appropriate to the degree of sweet malts. Every bar in the country should have this brew available. I really stand behind this beer, not just in defense of microbreweries and the culture of better beer, but for the fact that it is extremely drinkable, and could definitely be appreciated by the most close-minded, light beer aficionado. Bell's Amber Ale should serve as the gateway brew to better beer for the lowest common denominator of beer drinkers.

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Photo of beveritt
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a standard pint glass. I picked up this beer as part of a 12 pack Midwest Sample Pack. No date visible, but it was stored in a cooler and most of the beer in the store was dust free.

Appearance: Nice copper color with a steady stream of bubbles coming up form the bottom of the glass. Initially it has a one finger head comprised of pretty large bubbles. The head disappeared quickly and left no lacing.

Smell: Sweet, malty smell. It is almost like sticking your nose in a bag of fresh cracked grains before you dump them into your boiling kettle. Also noticeable is a citrusy smell from the hops.

Taste: Sweet and malty upfront, with a nice level of bitter aftertaste. Hints of caramel.

Moutfeel: The carbonation level is good, a decent amount stuck around, even after a heavy pour.

Drinkability: Not too heavy, I could drink this all day.

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Photo of Brent
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Coppery amber. A fair bit of flaky white sediment decanted, most of which stayed suspended, but the larger chunks sank to the bottom of the glass. Malty aroma, flavor is very bright and lively. Malty, tangy and moderately hoppy, all at the same time. Well crafted. A very nice example of the style - lots of personality without going over the top.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Amber with a nice head and plenty of lacing.

S: Sweet amber malts with a tiny bit of hop presence.

T: Slightly buttery amber malt base. Very creamy.

M: Like the taste, excellent creaminess to this one. Most of the ambers I have had fall well into the category of thin or creamy, and this is definitely of the latter category. Utterly brilliant.

D: Excellent year-round offering from Bell's--for the most part, Larry and the crew can simply do no wrong.

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Photo of Opethsprite
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep, murky orange with a slight, foamy head. (It would be very nice to look at if there was more of a head.) Smells very sweet, but with a good balance of spices to keep it from being sickly sweet. Moderately plain, though. Given the nose, I wasn't expecting such a level of broadness and subtlety in the taste. Spicy and slightly metallic at first (but not overkill...ie Dogfish 90 IPA), the beer becomes honey-sweet and well-rounded. This is a beautifully crafted beer!!!

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Photo of
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A dark amber with huge chunks of particles flowing throughout. Head is initially strong but quickly dissipates, but allows for nice lacing while drinking. Sweet malts are present in the nose as well as in the mouth. Nice mix between sweet malts and bitter hoppyness. At 5.8% ABV its very drinkable, and a great year round session beer for people who are lucky enough to locate Bell's beer easily.

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Photo of chaduvel
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice orange/red amber color, sticky head that stays around for the whole beer. Oily hops and malt on the nose. Taste is toasted malt, some sweet malt and touches of oily hop and that unique Bell's flavor...is it some special hops or special malts. I don't know...yet. Very tasty. This is by far the best amber that I've had thus far.

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Photo of ccrida
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Schell's shaker pint, Bell's Amber is amber with an egg-shell head leaving clingy lace.

Smell is sweet, a little citrus hops.

Taste is similar, a really nice sweet malt base here, with just enough fruity hops to provide depth, but not bitter, with a clean, quick finish. I consider Amber Ales to be a bit of a benchmark of a (US) brewers ability, and Bell's is really showing off their ability here.

Mouthfeel is pretty well carbonated, medium light bodied.

Drinkability is high, this is a really tasty Amber Ale, just sweet enough to satisfy but not get cloying, the citrus note of the hops keeps it interesting, very well made. I'll have another!

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Photo of nota
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours cloudy amber with tan head. My wife could smell the sweetness of this beer three feet away! It is sweet, but I like the citrus tang of this beer mix with caramel overtones at end. Thier is enough hops to give it a good balance. I could drink this beer all day.

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Photo of Spica66
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have been drinking this beer since the only way to buy it was to bring your own growler to Larry at the window in the old warehouse. I grew up in Kalamazoo, MI, and it was a happy day for me when I could legally make that stop! The beer has always had a fresh amber taste, medium body and hops, and medium mouthfeel. Never heavy or light, a good, all-round example of amber ale. I used yeast from some of the first brewery bottles that you could buy to brew my first amber ale.

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Photo of TheBierBand
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on-tap at Dewey's Pizza. It arrived at my table in a pint glass with a scant 1/4" of left-over head that quickly diminished to a thin cap. The color is clear and medium/dark yellow.

The nose is not readily apparent... just some slight toasted malt.

Taste: This is one SOLID AMBER. Malt sweetness, a little buttery smoothness and a tiny hop bitterness at the end that makes for a well-balanced brew.

MF: Medium carbonation, buttery smooth, nice aftertaste.

Drinkability: Hech yeah!... have these all day long.... this one is all about sessionable goodness.

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Photo of drdiesel9483
4.29/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

look - great golden amber color with a good white head and lacing
Smell - malty with a cherry smell
Taste - Malty slightly toast taste with a some cherry and citrus in there
Feel - Medium body with a creamy feel and a crisp after taste and medium carbonation.
Overall - By bar the is one of the best amber ales.

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Photo of Catracho5
4.28/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle poured into a Bell's shaker pint

A: Very hazy, orange, reddish, nice creamy off white head, looks very drinkable.

A: Caramel malts, picking up some floral hop aromas, smells sweet, like a slight brown sugar aroma, smells great.

T: Caramel malts, nice balanced bitterness in the middle, dry hoppy finish, not very sweet like the nose, very drinkable, great taste.

M: Very creamy, smooth easy drinking.

O: Very impressed with the drinkability, it's balanced with a nice bitterness in the middle, slight hoppy aromas and flavors. This makes me want to revisit some amber ales as I has been awhile since I've had one, I could see this beer fitting in where I might not want an IPA or a Pale Ale, I'd reach for this. This is definitely worth a try.

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Photo of canoehornpoint
4.28/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Very nice. Poured a nice light amber with little head but very clingy. Light malty aroma. Light creamy malty swee taste with a hint of black currant, nicely offset with finishing hops. Surprisingly light mouthfeel considering the taste. Finishes a bit fuller than the start. Even though I prefer a hoppier beer, I could enjoy many more of these. Very well done.

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Photo of ultralarry2006
4.28/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Left a one finger head with decent retention, and not much lacing at all. Body was a cloudy orange amber.

Smell - toasty, bicuity, and above all, caramelly malt.

Taste - like the smell, and pretty straightforward, caramel, with slight milkiness to it. Toast, biscuits, also. Some slight grass and herbs.

Mouthfeel - full, smooth, low carbonation, some chewiness.

Drinkability - this is very good and goes down well. Very sessionable.

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Photo of Gear54
4.28/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

From a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass

Pour is deep amber in color with 1/2 finger of thin off white foam and no lace left on the glass.

Smell is carmel and bread malts with citrus and hop notes as well.

Taste follows the nose quite well. Carmel and citrus flavors with a strong punch of brown sugar sweetness. Bitter and hop forward as well. Malty backbone just gives enough balance.

Feel is the strongest part of this brew. The hop bitterness and brown sugar sweetness last on the palate for a long while after the sip. Very smooth and easy drinking even for the high level of bitterness. Really well put together

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Photo of king75
4.27/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle.
Pours amber red, with about an inch or so of a creamy head. Light amplifies the redness and cloudiness of the beer.

Smells of fresh fruit with a subtle, but lingering smell of hops.

Taste very smooth from the start, can taste the hops towards the end, but left with a crisp clean taste.

Notes: a very drinkable beer, a beer that you can drink either one of or have an entire six pack of. Either way you cannot go wrong.

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Photo of Magpie14
4.27/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: a deep robust brown crimson color with a nice thick cream colored head. Sits really nice in the glass with bubbles moving freely about. Nice web of lacing in the glass

Smell: roasted malt nose and sweet candy/caramel swirling about. Touch of a earthy type of hops...very little but is present.

Taste/Mouthfeel: great sweet toasted malt flavor! Has nice malt characteristic overall and is paired nicely with sweet caramel. It has a nice crisp and smooth body and I even noticed a little bit of fruity orange overtones as it glides down.

Drinkability: this is a staple beer for me and never disappoints. Solid all around and is very easy to drink.

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Photo of pmcadamis
4.27/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - This one pours a hazy amber to light brown orange-ish hue that reminds me of a certain kind of wood finish that people often use on their decks. The head is a fluffy one finger off-white substance that shows some really nice retention and leaves a small amount of lace on the glass. Looks like an O-fest brew.

S - Sweet and fruity with a lot of really nice malt notes. Cinnamon rolls (the little cheap kind that you can unroll into one long cinnamon strip), honey bread, and fruitcake. This is really deep and ripe! Over-ripe bananas that have just turned black, banana crunch muffins, and big cheese danishes that come in a vending machine.

T - Malty and fruity like the nose, but the flavor adds in some nice firm hop bitterness that is very much like freshly rolled hay. I'm reminded of Banana Nut Crunch cereal. Some critusy wheat-like flavors are there too, and this helps keep the beer summery and refreshing. There are some really crisp citrus and toasty caramel malt characteristics that make this a great early autumn/late summer brew.

M - Medium bodied and extremely creamy. This is bordering on full bodied with all of the lush and rich fluffy carbonation that is produced in this beer.

D - One of the better amber ales out there. This stuff is thirst quenching and relatively light, but provides enough complexity and depth of character to keep a beer lover interested. A very fine choice for a session brew.

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Photo of jwhawkins81
4.27/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch number 8996 was packaged on 2/27/2009

Aroma - Well balanced aroma of hops and malt

Appearance - Thin fizzy off white head, cloudy orange red color.

Taste - Well balanced this is just a plain good beer. A smooth malty grain flavor with just enough hops for balance. Enough flavor for you not to forget its there.

Mouthfeel - Thin but with plenty of carbonation.

Drinkability - If priced right this could be a definite go to beer.

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Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 904 ratings.