Bell's Amber Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.
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Ratings: 2,329 | Reviews: 855 | Display Reviews Only:
2.24/5 rDev -41.5%
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.
03-17-2014 03:16:27 | More by brewdlyhooked13
2.3/5 rDev -39.9%
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.
05-09-2004 00:02:03 | More by GreenWBush
2.3/5 rDev -39.9%
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.
01-27-2009 05:52:00 | More by jujubeast6000
2.35/5 rDev -38.6%
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.
02-12-2014 01:14:08 | More by Lorenzai_Konstantinov
2.38/5 rDev -37.9%
New penny in color. Im sorry, forgive me, but I just cant get excited about Amber ales with no hop aroma. Subtle malt aroma, with a light hint of caramel and a suggestion of doughy yeast. Youd 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.
03-25-2006 02:53:10 | More by Crosling
2.4/5 rDev -37.3%
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.
09-17-2005 20:46:03 | More by charlesw
2.5/5 rDev -34.7%
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.
10-13-2009 21:20:09 | More by washburnkid
2.58/5 rDev -32.6%
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.
07-31-2004 20:54:13 | More by Ahhdball
2.6/5 rDev -32.1%
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.
09-28-2009 01:57:24 | More by corby112
2.63/5 rDev -31.3%
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.
10-02-2010 12:03:43 | More by TheHoppiest
2.68/5 rDev -30%
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.
08-04-2005 00:27:15 | More by circuitmonkey
2.7/5 rDev -29.5%
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.
07-10-2004 04:18:36 | More by nortmand
Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 2,329 ratings.