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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
87
very good

2,508 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,508
Reviews: 871
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 12.01%
Wants: 104
Gots: 186 | 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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bell's Amber Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,508 | Reviews: 871 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jophish17
2/5  rDev -47.8%

jophish17, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of joerebman
2/5  rDev -47.8%

joerebman, Oct 27, 2012
Photo of Leebo2007
2.08/5  rDev -45.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Very bland beer...the smell (which should first draw you in) is weak and the taste just does not fit. It is almost flat to taste. I was very disappointed! It does have a good color and it may be better in draft form. I am waiting to try other beers in the Bell Brewery Family!

Leebo2007, Jul 13, 2007
Photo of Stevemac7988
2.12/5  rDev -44.6%

Stevemac7988, Aug 30, 2014
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
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.

brewdlyhooked13, Mar 17, 2014
Photo of CityofBals
2.25/5  rDev -41.3%

CityofBals, Sep 12, 2013
Photo of cet128
2.25/5  rDev -41.3%

cet128, Dec 15, 2012
Photo of GreenWBush
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.

GreenWBush, May 09, 2004
Photo of jujubeast6000
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.

jujubeast6000, Jan 27, 2009
Photo of Lorenzai_Konstantinov
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.

Lorenzai_Konstantinov, Feb 12, 2014
Photo of Crosling
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.

Crosling, Mar 25, 2006
Photo of charlesw
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.

charlesw, Sep 17, 2005
Photo of maryd837
2.5/5  rDev -34.7%

maryd837, Feb 07, 2012
Photo of stickboy1125
2.5/5  rDev -34.7%

stickboy1125, Oct 19, 2012
Photo of Jemenhiser
2.5/5  rDev -34.7%

Jemenhiser, Jul 24, 2012
Photo of BlakeL
2.5/5  rDev -34.7%

BlakeL, Apr 08, 2012
Photo of Gotti311
2.5/5  rDev -34.7%

Gotti311, Jan 29, 2013
Photo of brpendergast85
2.5/5  rDev -34.7%

brpendergast85, Sep 08, 2014
Photo of jheiss
2.5/5  rDev -34.7%

jheiss, Dec 18, 2011
Photo of gafferjohn
2.5/5  rDev -34.7%

gafferjohn, Jan 16, 2012
Photo of TicoCali
2.5/5  rDev -34.7%

TicoCali, Feb 26, 2012
Photo of biercycle
2.5/5  rDev -34.7%

biercycle, Apr 09, 2012
Photo of washburnkid
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.

washburnkid, Oct 13, 2009
Photo of rmcnamee
2.5/5  rDev -34.7%

rmcnamee, May 15, 2014
Photo of Ahhdball
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.

Ahhdball, Jul 31, 2004
Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 2,508 ratings.