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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

2,268 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,268
Reviews: 853
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 11.75%
Wants: 79
Gots: 108 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-12-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bell's Amber Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,268 | Reviews: 853 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
brewdlyhooked13

Ohio

2.24/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Appearance - orange/peach pour, nice thin head of manila foam. Nice and sticky, good lacing.

Aroma - light biscuity malt, straightforward sweet grain smell.

Taste - sweet and biscuity out of the gate, good malt presence without being too sweet. Goes strangely and astringently bitter, hoppy but without any hop character. A metallic bitterness dries out the palate and clears the malt flavor away too quickly. Finishes unpleasantly bitter and dry.

Mouthfeel - fluffy and crisp, medium bodied, good levels for the style.

Overall - the weird bitterness is too unpleasant to consider another., but I'd consider re-sampling on tap.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2014 03:16:27 | More by brewdlyhooked13
Photo of CityofBals
CityofBals

Illinois

2.25/5  rDev -41.3%

09-12-2013 18:51:07 | More by CityofBals
Photo of cet128
cet128

Indiana

2.25/5  rDev -41.3%

12-15-2012 12:49:57 | More by cet128
Photo of GreenWBush
GreenWBush

Oregon

2.3/5  rDev -39.9%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The classically unfiltered flagship beer from Michigan - Bell's Amber Ale. One that seems to be divisive amongst die-hard Larry Bell fanatics and casual K-zoo stout and Two-Hearted quaffers. I basically grew up on this shit so it tasted good then, but now i've more than given up on it.

At first the beer plops out with fecal earthy tones. The head swirls up to the top of the imperial pint with a confrontational hello. All of the sudden I find myself coaxing anything from the head - and this is the beer cleanest of all my glasses.

There's a bit of that worn-out cheese-like hop character on the nose of this beer. One would assume this was an improperly handled sample. Au Contraire! This came straight from a recently delivered case. There is a nice yeasty malt character that pulls together as room temperature encroaches. There is something about the look and smell of the beer that evokes chewiness.

There is a dulled hop bite in this beer floating atop of a cheeseburger-y blend of heavy yeasts and clunky sweet malts. The beer is thick and bold, one both a macro drinker and a blind taste-tester could harmonize negatively about. There's also a weird hybrid brownie / locker room thing going on somewhere in there.

Uh, i'm in the Two-Hearted camp as always ... but maybe being nursed with this beer forever altered the place in my heart.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2004 00:02:03 | More by GreenWBush
Photo of jujubeast6000
jujubeast6000

Texas

2.3/5  rDev -39.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Reviewed 10/10/2006 (12oz bottle):

Pours a good sized head, and it is lasting. Head color is creamy, white, with small bubbles. Has a very malty aroma, but not too strong. A sweet malty taste, Fat Tire/Newcastle-ish. Very malty, not a very balanced malt taste, not as much hops.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2009 05:52:00 | More by jujubeast6000
Photo of Lorenzai_Konstantinov
Lorenzai_Konstantinov

Ohio

2.35/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

It was between this or a sixer of fat tire. I've had fat tire before so I decided to give this a try.

Poured into my deceivingly large capacity snifter, it pours a lighter copper color, and a very hazy one at that.
A decently spirited pour yields a finger of head on it but leaving no detectable lacing. (My glass might be dirty though so I didn't detract.)
The nose is not that great, there is some biscuit type malt in there but it also seems to share some similarities with adjunct lagers which I don't really understand. Hops wise there are some faint whiffs of them but I can't identify them, just a grassy/ straw smell.
The taste of this is not what I expected and I am quite disappointed. It has a very upfront bitterness to it which is fine but the malts don't seem to do much in the terms of balance. They might actually make it worse. It has that 'pukey' overwhelming characteristic that I get with some beers and I just don't like it. Perhaps it's the kind of hops I dislike, I'm not really sure.
The mouth feel of this beer is adequate, it's fairly thin and would be conducive to making this a session beer if the flavor profile was more agreeable.

My overall opinion is this is a hit or miss beer. Something about the ingredients or hops/malts balance I just really dislike the taste of. Others may really like the way it tastes so YMMV. I'd tell you to get the fat tire instead of this. Would not recommend.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2014 01:14:08 | More by Lorenzai_Konstantinov
Photo of Crosling
Crosling

Colorado

2.38/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

New penny in color. I’m sorry, forgive me, but I just can’t get excited about Amber ales with no hop aroma. Subtle malt aroma, with a light hint of caramel and a suggestion of doughy yeast. You’d think malt magician Larry Bell could come up with something a little better smelling than this. Mild, mediocre malt flavor, which is very crisp, but overall husky. Caramel and toasted malt flavors, with herbaceous, weedy hops. Lacking bitterness and a pronounced hop flavor and aroma. This seems like an amber ale from a crappy brewpub.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2006 02:53:10 | More by Crosling
Photo of charlesw
charlesw

New York

2.4/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Really cool bottle/logo. Pours a cloudy light orange-brown with a tiny head that is gone very quickly. Tiny nose to go with the tiny head - maybe citrus hops and a hint of sweetness - like a mass market lager. Tastes like citrus hops. Oddly, I think that I'm getting some chocolate malt in there, too - nothing overwhelming (not like the hops) but a hint. Aftertaste of citrus hops. Thin body.

Now, constructive. Well. I don't know, don't call it an amber, I guess. I'm sure that it'd be fine to drink ice cold on a really hot day. Heck, yeah, I've just bumped the drinkability up for that reason, but I, personally, wouldn't even buy it for that. I'm looking for more malt flavor, more body, better head retention and lighter use of citrus hops.

edit: you know, this is like some kind of crazy wheat beer only with the citrus already added in for you. Crazy, just crazy.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2005 20:46:03 | More by charlesw
Photo of maryd837
maryd837

Ohio

2.5/5  rDev -34.7%

02-07-2012 06:52:03 | More by maryd837
Photo of stickboy1125
stickboy1125

Virginia

2.5/5  rDev -34.7%

10-19-2012 12:43:12 | More by stickboy1125
Photo of Jemenhiser
Jemenhiser

Indiana

2.5/5  rDev -34.7%

07-24-2012 20:56:12 | More by Jemenhiser
Photo of BlakeL
BlakeL

Florida

2.5/5  rDev -34.7%

04-08-2012 21:16:04 | More by BlakeL
Photo of Gotti311
Gotti311

Wisconsin

2.5/5  rDev -34.7%

01-29-2013 17:40:20 | More by Gotti311
Photo of jheiss
jheiss

Indiana

2.5/5  rDev -34.7%

12-18-2011 20:08:04 | More by jheiss
Photo of gafferjohn
gafferjohn

Pennsylvania

2.5/5  rDev -34.7%

01-16-2012 15:45:48 | More by gafferjohn
Photo of TicoCali
TicoCali

California

2.5/5  rDev -34.7%

02-26-2012 20:54:00 | More by TicoCali
Photo of biercycle
biercycle

Pennsylvania

2.5/5  rDev -34.7%

04-08-2012 23:13:36 | More by biercycle
Photo of washburnkid
washburnkid

New York

2.5/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Let me start by saying that this is not one of Bell's best. Now...onward!

A: Approximately one finger of bubbly beige head, with a transluscent brew that is copper to amber in hue. Decent retention and good lacing.
S: Bready malt, heavily toasted, that is balanced by a touch of piney, semi-citrusy hops that are pretty vague and take a minute to locate.
T: Heavy emphasis on the toasted biscuit with an accompanying grainy character. Heavily metallic and also unpleasantly sour. Very sweet residuals, and a biting bitterness, though I can't place much of a hop characteristic. Just...bitter.
M: Light-ish body and heavy carbonation. Nothing spectacular.
D: I am happy to re-review this beer, and hopefully I'll get the chance to try it on tap someday. But I will not go out of my way to seek another bottle out.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2009 21:20:09 | More by washburnkid
Photo of rmcnamee
rmcnamee

New York

2.5/5  rDev -34.7%

05-15-2014 13:15:55 | More by rmcnamee
Photo of Ahhdball
Ahhdball

Ohio

2.58/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Brownish Orange with a slight beige head that dissappeared quickly.
Barely a smell, but what I did smell was bland burnt oranges.
Dull earthlike hop character and a finish that left nothing. No malt, no fruit, nothing. I know this is a Bell's but I'm very dissappointed.
Smooth watery feel and no aftertaste which i suppose is a good thing.
Overall this beer isn't terrible but it's not that good either.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2004 20:54:13 | More by Ahhdball
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

2.6/5  rDev -32.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2009 01:57:24 | More by corby112
Photo of TheHoppiest
TheHoppiest

Ohio

2.63/5  rDev -31.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2010 12:03:43 | More by TheHoppiest
Photo of circuitmonkey
circuitmonkey

Wisconsin

2.68/5  rDev -30%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2005 00:27:15 | More by circuitmonkey
Photo of nortmand
nortmand

Virginia

2.7/5  rDev -29.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2004 04:18:36 | More by nortmand
Photo of Realale
Realale

Missouri

2.73/5  rDev -28.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2003 13:08:49 | More by Realale
Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 2,268 ratings.