Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

898 Reviews
THE BROS
97
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 898
Hads: 2,774
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 10.13%
Wants: 120
Gots: 370 | 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: 898 | Hads: 2,774
Photo of MmmIPA
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Murky amber body with a white head that fell pretty fast.Very lively and some nice lacing.

Fruity smell and some carmel.

Malt up front then the hop bite.

Carbonation could be toned down a bit but its nothing to cry about.

Good, a better version of your average amber ale.Im not really a fan of these types of beers but its good none the less.I would have again. (373 characters)

Photo of Erdinger2003
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Lacing is strong and holds to the glass almost a half an inch up as the head, which is white and foamy, fell leaving the thin layer. The color is gold to a red tint and is clear.

Bread and butter flavors are present and also a flowery and light bodied, not my style however enjoyable.

The mouthfeel is carbonated a little and felt like an average beer on my palate.

I will look for a new bottle from the brewery, but I won't go out of my way to try it again...there are too many beers in front of it in line. (517 characters)

Photo of PhageLab
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a standard pint glass.

A - Orange coloration with a nice reddish hue. Produced a half inch layer of froth and displayed both good retention and lacing. Bell's presentation once again is impressive.

S - Very pleasant sweet malty aromas, with a slight tinge of something cour/citrusy, like lemon perhaps.

T - Pale malt-like profile, dry body, and a bit of a citrus backbone. Finishes a little bitter. Decent balance, but somehow an unremarkable brew.

M - Light bodied, high carbonation level and a slightly odd aftertaste that I can't put my finger on.

D - Decent overall, but not my favorite offering from Bell's. Worth a try. (642 characters)

Photo of Dogbrick
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice surprise for an Amber Ale. I was expecting something along the Killian's line but this produced a hint of hops flavor I was not expecting, which made it taste like a hybrid of some kind. Very interesting. Rich color and good aroma. I am anxious to try Bell's other offerings. The only downside was a faint metallic taste toward the end. Not sure what that was about. (371 characters)

Photo of FosterJM
3.44/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1756th Review on BA
Draft to Pint

@Brick Taven, Lombard, IL

App- A darker bit of red with some browns intermixed. I like to use the analogy and it works, like a wood stain color. Had a nice dense center with a bit of lighter reddish/brown edges. The head was a nice 1/2" of off white and went quickly.

Smell- Its a malty smell with a bit of the roast lingering after the initial smell. Was a small bit of an earthy hop aroma as well. Wasnt too much here on this one.

Taste- After being a Fat Tire for so long I dont really drink Ambers anymore. I paired this with a Kobe Burger to get the malts to bring a bit of earthiness out of the burger. This beer was a bit malt forward with that distinct red ale flavor but was negligible really. Well balanced with only a small bit of bitter to it.

Mouth- A smaller medium body with a bit of thickness behind. Medium carbonation and a slight amount of malts on the finish with residual bitter.

Drink- I had to drive home but would have loved to stick around for a few more pints of this nice little beer. (1,051 characters)

Photo of Patrick999
3.44/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into my Stone imperial pint. More of a golden amber than a true deep amber. Short but substantive foam.

Decent aroma of biscuits drizzled in caramel.

First thing I noticed is that the alcohol is more muscular than I would have expected for 5.5%. Malt heavy, almost a little peaty character.

Fairly thick mouthfeel for 5.5%.

Drinks bigger than it is. I would probably go for other browns before this one. (418 characters)

Photo of AgentZero
3.43/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Orangish colour, very cloudy. Decent 1 1/2 finger head on it that quickly dissipated leaving behind no lacing.

S - Malty, but not really a whole lot going on there. A little bit of hops, somewhat biscuity.

T - Sweet with some caramel malts. Little touch of citris hops, finished with a bit of a bitter bite.

M - Carbonated, medium-light bodied. Fits the style, but not really doing a whole lot here.

D - Pretty easy to get down, the bite at the end gives this beer a little bit of character. (499 characters)

Photo of DrainBamage
3.43/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy amber color with a nice layer of head and Is moderately carbonated. The aroma is a little piney and possibly some floral notes. It goes down very smooth and is rather malty. It is easy on palate even though it is quite bitter. This beer could use a litter better balance between the malts and hops but is still a good beer. This is the first time I've had it out of out a glass and it is much better. Having this one out of a bottle definitely doesn't do it justice. (481 characters)

Photo of SpecialK088
3.42/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured it from the bottle into a pint glass, has a very dark amber hue more orange than anything. Minimal headwith decent lace.

Has a overwelmingly malty and hoppy smell

Taste is a bit weak in the inital mouthful but has a nice finish that stays with you with a hoppy finish. This is not a beer i would nessasarly drink all the time but not a bad amber as it is smooth and easy to drink. (389 characters)

Photo of punkrkr27
3.42/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sightly orange copper pour with a small white head. Definite not filtered as there's quite a lot of particles. Lots of toasty caramel, and honey character with hints of nuts and dark fruit. There's also a little bit of citrus in the aroma and the finish. Also, the finish has a slightly metallic/noble hop twang to it. Medium body with a fair amount of carbonation. (365 characters)

Photo of emerge077
3.41/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Textbook amber ale, been drinking this for a decade or so, just now getting around to a review. Usually a go-to in bars where nothing better was available, how things have changed today...

Deep copper orange body, murky with yeast and unfiltered particles in suspension. Two fingers of foam settle down to one soon enough.

Smells like multigrain bread with a smear of peanut butter from the specialty malt. Some fruity yeast notes surface when swirled, pear and apple.

Flavor is malt driven, bready and sweet. Fairly tame and easygoing. Light astringency, some pear and apple fruitiness from the yeast. Vague residual bitterness in the background after a heartier gulp. Body is light, with mellow carbonation.

Not a bad introductory craft brew, it worked for me. Nowadays I usually reach for something else, but it's still a solid standby option. (853 characters)

Photo of ken3c
3.41/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice foamy head recedes to wisps and a halo. Lacing is spotty. Cloudy amber clarifies significantly but not completely by the end of the glass.

Smells slightly malty and slightly hoppy.

Tastes slightly sweet and slightly hoppy. There is also a rather harsh bitter taste that improves as it clarifies.

Mouthfeel is light to medium and lightly carbonated.

Drinkability suffers from the harsh bitterness but this beer was still enjoyable.

Next time I drink this, I'll do a better job of decanting. (509 characters)

Photo of jifigz
3.41/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at the Bungalow Alehouse in Gainesville, Va.

A: The beer is dark brown/red and had great lacing with a head that lasted quite a while.

S: I couldn't really smell a damn thing coming from this beer but it was, as in most public pub/beer-joint settings, chilled really, really cold. (so my smell category is skewed.)

T: The taste had a faint caramel flavor with a nice malt backbone being very evident. The hop bitterness kicked in late and was very dry and not very bitter.

M: Creamy and delicious and very well fitting. Not overly or under carbonated.

O: A very sold beer. I can't remember what exactly it was like because it was at a pub and I have had several other drinks since then, but either way a solid brew and a first time for this one for me. (775 characters)

Photo of hero27
3.41/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Batch # 7093.

Bell's self-proclaimed flagship brew. Pours a hazy orange with streams of carbonation and some tiny bits of yeast getting kicked around. The caramel malts dominate this one, but it does have a touch of spicy hops that add a little more depth to the flavor. Comes off a bit dry, with a slight metallic flavor. Overall, it's a solid amber with a good malt base, but Bells has a wide array of better brews. (434 characters)

Photo of cocogan
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Visual - Hazy dark orange-red color. Pours a nice two finger head thats full of character. Head recedes to a think layer of froth on top. Minimal lacing

Aroma - Bread. grains, citrus, and apricot in the nose.

Taste - Initially the taste hits with a floral, grapefruit, earthy taste. The hops really begin to come through in the middle along with some grainy notes. Finishes up with a lingering apricot and hop taste in yo mouth. I did get a faint but unpleasant cough syrup taste throughout the brew that I wasn't all that in to.

Body - Rather light in body (not even near the extreme of macro brew light tho). Medium carbonation which brings a somewhat dry finish in yo mouth.

Drunkability - Could definitely throw a sixer down of these but it wouldn't be my first choice if I was craving red ale. (803 characters)

Photo of evanackerman
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I beleive this is a very good beer for the style although it is my leas favorite in the Bell's lineup, which still makes it a very good beer.

The apperance is beautiful, there is much floating sediment due to the unfiltered nature of the beer. Taste is primarily malts with some bittering hops and a slight fruity character. The nose has some alcohol present which detracts from its appeal.

overall, a very solid but somewhat unexciting beer. (449 characters)

Photo of mobyfann
3.39/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Paid $15 even for the Midwest Taster...

The appearence is where this beer shines, right from the pour a beautiful semi-hazy amber colored base with a medium white head, exceptional head retention and very nice lacing effects. However, the smell prones to manage hints of malts and hops, but also hints of alcohol in the smell, something I've never smelt from Bell's before.

The taste leaves off where the smell left off, an overall nice taste but the hints of alcohol for a 5.5%abv really affects this beer. The mouthfeel and drinkability is something Bell's has down pat.

Final Thought: This beer tasted slightly better the longer it settled, so keep that in mind... Overall a solid ale! (697 characters)

Photo of dougbassett
3.39/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

One of the "1001 Beers You Must Taste Before You Die" -- #16 of the ones I've reviewed here.

Bell's is a good brewery, but this is not a favorite style of mine, so keep that in mind.

Appearance is very nice, as I would expect from Bell's, with a warm golden-brown/toasty color and a head that lingers satisfyingly. The mouthfeel also lingers satisfyingly: one thing I do like about this Amber Ale is that it's built with more stick-to-it-tiveness than what I've had in the past, it just seems like a more substantial beer than what you usually get in the style.

Unfortunately I don't get much nose, outside of a mild buttery/malt kind of thing, and the taste, while not bad, isn't noticeable enough to be "good", either. Very smooth, a hint of butter, a hint of sweet malt, a bit more assertive in the finish. That's really it.

Maybe as well constructed as this particular style can be, but this genre has a lot of mushy, tastes-like-a-whole-heck-of-a-lot-of-nothing beers in it, and so really damning with faint praise here. Not awful, this is actually a higher score than I'd expected to give it, but I doubt I'd ever knowingly go looking for it again. (1,162 characters)

Photo of mooseo
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into pint glass.

A - Hazy light brown amber with yeast sediment floating around.

S - Light scent of sweet malts and a touch of floral hops.

T - Biscuity malt followed by slightly bitter hops. Nicely balanced.

M - Smooth, medium bodied, average carbonation.

O - Another good offering from Bell's. An easy drinking amber ale with decent flavor. (366 characters)

Photo of arguemaniac
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Whoa, out of control head, it’s one of those situations where there is initially ten times as much head as there is beer and it takes a while to reduce down to a manageable size. Other wise, the beer pours an attractive orange amber with a nice haze. Sweet grain in the fairly mellow aroma. Bready malt sweetness and rounded grain along with a touch of caramel in the palate. A mild citrus hop spice balances to a fair extent. Somewhat thin mouthfeel.

It’s solid and nearly flawless (except for the mouthfeel) but it’s a bit watery and unremarkable. Still, it’s very drinkable with clean, easygoing flavors, which makes it a good session beer. Recommended, but just barely… (681 characters)

Photo of Indybeer
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Poured a dark amber, with a small head that didn't last. Some fine lacing is present. Aroma of hops and malt. Taste is smooth and balanced. With a nice hop finish. Mouthfeel is smooth but there isn't much carbonation, but all in all a very good session beer. (272 characters)

Photo of Vixie
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a nice copper color with a decent white head that quickly reduces down to about a half inch. A lot of bubbling from the carbonation as well.

The smell is very malty, with a hint of yeast and a bit of citrus fruit

The taste is similar to the smell, malt with a hint of citrus, and some hop spice in the finish. Has a bit of a dry finish, leaving a lingering bitterness.

The feel isn't too bad, it is helped a bit by the carbonation.

I decided to update my review after realizing I first tried this in a Duvel glass, which does not do this beer any favors. Tried in a standard pint glass, the flavor profile changes a bit, and for the better. The flavors became more intense, and a bit more complex. Drink this one in a pint glass, and you will find it to be a nice beer. (779 characters)

Photo of sjclay00
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark orange mostly amber with with the carbonation slowly swirling through the glass
S- Mostly malt not overly impressed
T- Little bitter, hints of the malt, bread and a slight hint of caramel
M- Semi smooth not to bad
D- Decent drinkability but not my favorite. Taste could be better (287 characters)

Photo of MrVisegrips
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The pour is an attractive copper gold with a short lived white head. Very little lacing with this one. Aroma is light malt with detectable flowery hop notes. Taste starts off with sweet light malt and light toasted grains. The finishes has a nice bitter hops taste. Mouthfeel is creamy with decent carbonation and drinkability is good due to the light body. Overall, this is a good example of the well crafted amber ale. Nothing that makes it a standout, but very enjoyable nonetheless. (486 characters)

Photo of VTR
3.37/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up for something different as I transition from my dark beer to lighter summer beers. I do not usually like Amber Ales but I found this refreshing and enjoyable. Definitely not too hop forward with nice caramel/toffee flavor. Kind of a funkiness to the taste with some tartness but totally enjoyable. Carbonation is a kinda high but I did not mind. I am pleased with this. (391 characters)

Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 898 ratings.