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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.
BA SCORE
87
very good

898 Reviews
THE BROS
97
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 898
Hads: 2,776
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 10.13%
Wants: 122
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
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Reviews: 898 | Hads: 2,776
Photo of corby112
2.59/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy copper color with amber hues when held to a light source and a one finger foamy white head that settles quickly into a lasting ring. Very little in the way of lacing.

Bland aroma with a balance of caramel malt and floral hops. Not much else to speak of.

Very hop forward with a nice caramel malt backbone and slight crisp fruit. The hops dominate this beer and linger all the way through over the malt backbone and subtle light fruit notes in to a bitter dry finish. (483 characters)

Photo of TheHoppiest
2.65/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a slightly cloudy/hazy amber color. A nice 1/2" of cream-colored head that reduces fairly quickly. A decent amount of suspended sediment; this is my second amber/red ale of the evening that presents with suspended sediment; I wasn't aware this was common of the style, as other red ales I've had have not looked like this.

Smell is rather non-existent, with a hint of sweet malt.

Taste is unremarkable,with some toffee-malt, tempered with wet straw and other grains, and an underying woodiness like chewing on a plant stalk. Ends with a mildy sour/bitter taste that fades away.

Mouthfeel is thin.

I don't find this drinkable, and am glad I purchased it a a single. (720 characters)

Photo of circuitmonkey
2.68/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not quite sure what to make of this beer. Its the first Amber that I've had that is cloudy, with a little bit of sediment in it. The color is a dark orange. Pours a low/medium head that doesnt last long, aside from the edge of the glass. Taste is a little more bitter than I would care for, but still has decent malt to balance it. (331 characters)

Photo of nortmand
2.71/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours extremely cloudy amber, with little white head.
Smells like Bell's other standard beers: yeasty, doughy, bready, lacking in complexity or interest.
Tastes similarly yeasty, overpowering even. A little caramel flavor, but not enough to balance the extreme yeastiness.
Mouthfeel? Have you ever eaten Pillsbury biscuit dough raw? Like that, but with water and carbonation. Doughy? mouthfeel.
Drinkability is OK, but this beer is way too yeasty, man am I going to be regular in the morning. (497 characters)

Photo of Realale
2.76/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Slightly cloudy copper/orange in color. White fine fluffy head settles to a complete cap and leaves nice lace.

Nose is faint bready malt over a chalky-mineral base. Slight hint of fruit, and a touch of both yeastiness and caramel. Quite subdued.

Sweet palate impression, initially, then a bit of bready malt. No hop flavor, but a significant mineral component - chalky again. Some bitterness on the finish, but its quite short.

Mouthfeel would be helped by a bit higher level of carbonation - it might give this one some personality. No real faults, other than not being particularly interesting or well-balanced.

Purchased at the Brewery's General Store on July 3, 2003. (683 characters)

Photo of PartyHatjo
2.78/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Good amber color, leaning more towards red than yellow. Head was nonexistent (likely due to the pour quality, why don't bars know that some head is good on beer?).

Aroma: Malty, biscuity notes, slight earthy hop tones, not enough for what I think an amber ale should have--disappointing in general.

Taste: Quite malty/nutty flavor with overtones of biscuit, but it's lack of hop flavor/aroma was really a detractor for me--flavor balance in this brew is shifted heavily towards malt (maybe I'm too used to troeg's hopback, which has great malt/hop flavor balance). Taste is more reminiscent of an ESB than what I'd consider an amber.

Mouthfeel: Nice bitterness, decent sweetness and carbonation was good enough. There's a bit of pungency that comes through the nose that I'm not too fond of.

Drinkability: Nothing spectacular, I didn't really want another one, in fact, I could barely finish the first one. (930 characters)

Photo of mjc410
2.85/5  rDev -26%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

The pour into my Fuller's nonic raises a light tan, stable but short head. The lacing it leaves is sparse and slick, but clings a bit. The body is a very hazy golden copper, with a significant amount of sediment floating about. I wonder why that's in a beer like this, but I'm sure it helps the flavor, and maybe it's even bottle conditioned. The nose is very malty-sweet, with a toasted bit to it as well. I pick up mellow citrus notes, too. The beer has a nice taste balance, with the hops leading at first, but, again, mellow. It finishes with a relaxed toastiness that invites another taste. A bit too acidic, though. The mouth is medium, with too much carbonation, despite being very fine. Overall, it's not hard to drink, but too many faults make me regret that I bought a whole case. (790 characters)

Photo of Anthony1
2.88/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Serving Type- on tap poured into a pint glass

appearance- mildly cloudy amber color. small head with not too much lace, but what it did have stuck.

smell- a hoppy citrus. smells of orange and lemon

taste/mouthfeel- a bit malty hops with an citrus flavor, tipped with a bit of banana. hoppier then i expected with a bitter after taste. medium body with ok carbonation

drinkability- wasn't impressed for a brand i've been waiting for. not much of a defining flavor (466 characters)

Photo of Cubieblu
2.9/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.25

Poured from a bottle that was bottled on 1/16/13 (Drinking date is 6/6/13) into a Stella Artois Chalice.

A – Pours a one finger off-white head that dissipates leaving only a small about of head around the rim of the glass. Color is burnt-orange that is hazy with quite a bit of partials floating. Some carbonation and a good amount of lacing are noticeable.
S – Very off-putting smell comes off to me. Smell reminds me of baby puke. I can get hints of other smells but the puke smell over-whelms them.

T – Up front malt sweetness. Bread taste in the middle. Nice balanced bitterness in the follow. Leaves a sweet flavor in the mouth. Well balanced beer.

MF – Clean and dry with a decent amount of carbonation.

D – The taste isn’t bad but the aroma really is hindering my enjoyment. (797 characters)

Photo of Murphious
2.94/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This one by Bell's is a typical amber ale---well, typically good. Nothing really bad about it, but nothing stands out as better than the rest out there. Good balance of malt and hops, no bitterness, caramel smooth finish, and the cloudy appearance makes it somewhat different. (276 characters)

Photo of PENGUIN5B
3/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Looks like an amber ale...

Smells ok, nothing special or offensive.

taste: way too much bitterness for a non-IPA, to me anyway. The hops dominate the entire taste spectrum, which is great if you're a big IPA fan, which I'm not. Wouldn't have bought it if it said IPA on the label.

MF: medium body, just slick enough.

drinka: see "taste" (340 characters)

Photo of mothman
3/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Well I would first like to point out the Batch Number on this beer being 8231. It was packaged November 14, 2007. I was very disappointed when I found this out.

Poured from a 12 oz bottle. This beer had a nice fluffy, off white colored head. The color was very awesome, fading from a light orange to an amber orange at the top. I can definately taste that this beer is almost a year old and it makes me sad that I didn't get to enjoy the full potentials of Bell's. The beer tasted very skunked, so I am going to stop my review here and when I get a chance to try an "up to date" bottle, then I will write a new review. (620 characters)

Photo of rickyleepotts
3/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer smells good. I have always been a big fan of Bell’s. I REALLY like their seasonal beers; of course, the beers I can’t get anytime I want them. And it always works where I want one when I can’t get one!

Anyway, moving on to the Bell’s Amber Ale. I like ales, the pale ales especially. But after pouring this into a glass, it doesn’t appear to be as dark as a good pale ale. It’s not a pale ale though, it’s just an ale. Too many ales going on here.

The nose and the head on this beer are pretty consistent. The drinkability is solid too. Most pales have a bitter, almost thickness to them. This beer drinks like a domestic with a bit of punch toward the back of the palate. I would drink this beer with dinner, perhaps on the back porch while reading a book. (I really should read more than I do.) It also leaves a good aftertaste. I wouldn’t call it a strong aftertaste, just a lasting and comfortable one. Try the beer, it will make sense!

I wonder how this would taste on tap… most beers taste different on tap. Not saying they taste better, just different. Man, that aftertaste just isn’t going away. Bravo Bell’s! (1,151 characters)

Photo of elephantrider
3/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Hazy orangish color, thin head that diappears quickly

S: Sweet, bready, and toasty. Not much hop presence. Very fruity smelling.

T: Alot like the the smell. A little too sweet and fruity for my tastes but finishes dry and crisp.

M: Medium bodied

O: This is not one of my favorite Ambers. I tend to like them with more carmel flavor and a little more hoppy. Still, not a bad beer. (386 characters)

Photo of kinger
3.02/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Mild malt aroma. Light amber color with a medium thin head, some lacing present. Smooth on the palate with an easy finish. Good flavor kind of boring especially from Bell's. There was a subtle creamy sweet malt presence and the beer is lightly hopped. Nothing great about this "flagship" beer but easily drinkable and pleasant. (327 characters)

Photo of HopHeadKen
3.03/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I have been on the trail of Amber Ale recently, acquiring several for a trade I am about to ship; so as a consequence, I have reviewed a number of them in the past week; I am sorry to say that this is my biggest dissapointment from Bell's - (BTW, I LOVE Expedition Stout, and several others) This sixer has a bottle code of #6302.

It is bottle conditioned, with a large layer of loose sediment in the bottom of the bottle, I had two of them, trying to isolate the sediment, which poured like chunks of green/brown trub from my first attempt, somewhat un-appetizing; if this is a negative in your beer book, then POUR CAREFULLY !

The pour is hazy orange copper, not as dark or red as other ambers that I have been recently been drinking. It has an ivory head that quickly dissapates to a thin lace.

The smell is faint, carmel malt; and the taste is carmel malty with the thinnest hints of plumb or raisin (maybe I was really looking too hard); with a subtle hop bitterness that finished tart. wondering if it might have been bottle conditioned with a Belgian Lambic yeast ?

I won't be running out to get more of this; and IF you are shopping for it, look at the bottles first, to see how how much sediment is in the bottom. (1,235 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.03/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a very cloudy ice tea color with a decent head that leaves a few shards of lace; clearly bottle conditioned

Smell: Caramel malt and grassy aromas

Taste: Starts out with a diacetyl influenced butterscotch flavor; after the swallow some toasted grain bitterness kicks in, providing a yeasty, sweet and fruity finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to thick bodied, with moderately prickly carbonation

Drinkability: Just not my cup of tea, here; this Amber has some flavors I find in some of my least favorite English brews; the combination of the diacetyl and the overwhelming yeasty flavors are a downer

Thanks, murrayswine, for the opportunity (662 characters)

Photo of alkemy
3.03/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly hazy amber-orange color with a fluffy tan head. Sweet malty smell and no discernable hops smell. After drinking Nugget Nectar and Hopback within the week, I was fairly dissapointed with this one. I know Bell's has been touted as having some great beers, but this one just doesn't do it for me. (310 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.04/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Batch 9468; Sampled April 2010
An aggressive pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a three-finger thick, lightly tanned head. The beer is a reddish, amber hue that shows a brilliantly clear, amber, with flashes of gold color when held up to the light. Hmm, interesting the beer smells of butterscotch... and more butterscotch; while this note is not loud, it over-powers most of the other notes in the aroma. Some biscuit-like malt character is just perceptible at times.

Lightly sweet, with a soft fruitiness to it up front, but the beer finishes with an out-of-place light tartness that I wouldn't guess was intended. A touch of herbal hops towards the middle and finish lead to a light, but firm bitterness. The fruitiness found here is quite possibly accentuated by the light hop character. The butterscotch diacetyl note from the aroma is much reduced in the flavor (which is often the case), but still adds some buttery notes to the middle and finish of this beer. This has a medium-light body to it that would make for being quite quaffable on a day other than the heat of summer. The tartness in the finish combines with the herbal hop character and gets a touch harsh at times.

I'll definitely have to get another bottle of this as this is almost definitely heading down the road to an infection; this is not actually horrible tasting though and is even somewhat enjoyable in its own right. Hopefully Bells is able to clean up this infection as I really like a lot of their beers. (1,492 characters)

Photo of PA-hunter
3.05/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured bottle into glass. 5.8% abv

Appearance- Medium amber and cloudy with a thick foamy white head.

Smell- Fresh biscuit-like aroma with toasty maltiness.

Taste- Nothing really pronouned up front. Some bready and earthy malt notes with a touch of grass. Hop bitterness on the back end but not strong.

Mouthfeel- Highly carbonated but a bit watery in body. Less than moderate.

Overall- Not bad, but nothing out of this world. I was more impressed by Bell's two hearted IPA, in fact was blown away so maybe my expectations were set a bit high. I thought this beer could have been more complex. As stated, still an ok brew. (628 characters)

Photo of BeerMark
3.06/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bell's Amber Ale pours an amber color with a medium head. The smell is of light malts and nothing else. The taste is weak with some malt and very little hops in the mix. This is a beer that I had high expectations for but was let down in the end. It's drinkable, but that's about it. There just ain't a whole lot of flavor goin' on here. I look foward to trying some of Bell's other offerings. This amber ale will not be purchased again. (437 characters)

Photo of RBorsato
3.08/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bronze color with lots of tiny suspended sediment, a full pillowy light beige head, decent carbonation, and decent lace. Light spicy malt aroma. Spicy malt flavors on the forefront; almost a bit like it was oxidized or infected but I doubt that. A bit on the sweet side. Medium-light bodied with a decent balance; not too sweet.

Not a rebuy ... bland.

Per Bell's website:
Mostly Pale Malt with some Munich and Caramel Malts
OG: 1.056
ABV: 5.8%

Batch # 7757 ('6329' lasered on bottom)
Tasted: 01/20/07

($7.99 / 6-pack) (534 characters)

Photo of nocheinsbitte
3.1/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

had this from a 12 oz bottle.

A: pours a typcial amber-orange color with minimal head and no lacing. A decent looking bier.
S: very slight smell, nothing spectacular.
T: not as robust as many ambers, a little weak.
M: nothing exciting here, doesn't offend bu doesn't excite.
D: could have a few of these on a hot summer day, but it wouldn't be too remarkable.

Bells usually makes a good product, this is not one of it's best. This is a "recommend slightly". (463 characters)

Photo of Axic10
3.11/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours an amber orangish color with a thin layer of head that disappears quickly.

Smell: A very week nose with hints of slightly bready malt.

Taste: Caramel, bready malt with a somewhat weird sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and semi chewy.

Overall: Bell's makes so many great beers, this is not one of them. (376 characters)

Photo of aaronbeach69
3.13/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

appearance a dark orange... copper... not dark enought o be "amber". 1.3 fingers head, lace holds to sides of cup pretty well... head is somewhat carmel-white...

smell: fruity with subdued hops

taste: nice bitter aftertaste in the back of the mouth... somewhat of a warm alchohol glow left...tips of tounge tingle between carbonation and alchohol showing through more than expected. However, the mid-taste seems subtle to non-existent...

mouthfeel - a nice mouthfeel... somewhat filling than most pale ales I have had but much less than a hearty IPA...

drinkability - easily drinkable... however a little bit of alchohol jumps out that the ABV doenst' justify...

notes: an ok beer, something I would repeat... but not that I plan to (748 characters)

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