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

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

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BA SCORE
87
very good

895 Reviews
THE BROS
97
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 895
Hads: 2,748
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 10.13%
Wants: 119
Gots: 350 | 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: 895 | Hads: 2,748
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)

Photo of Slynger
3.14/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a very lightly hazy tangerine color with a slight lean towards bronze. An off-white head settles quickly to a ring around the glass leaving some solid lace.
The nose is quite weak. Biscuit malts and a little bit of sweet honey accompanied by a light floral hop presence.
The taste picks this one up a bit. Mostly toasted bread with a small amount of sweetness. Bitter and earthy in the finish.
Mouthfeel is crisp and dry and leaves me thirsty, only maybe I will try something else .
This one is okay, but there are a lot of other beers I'd rather drink. (559 characters)

Photo of dedrinker
3.15/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

At first sip, there were some lightly caramalized malts, and a nice fresh yeasty aroma, but by the end of the bottle it had become just another decent amber ale in a sea of amber ales designed to be friendly and approachable to those who are new to craft beer. Nothing wrong with that, but I can save a buck and support my local brewer to boot by drinking regular Dominion Ale, which is more of a British Pale Ale, but has more character. So yeah, Um, I'll just go an do that I guess. (484 characters)

Photo of facundoCNB
3.15/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

a cloudy (yeast chunk covered) amber red pour with a finger of head which quickly dissipated. smells of citrus, fruity (strawberry), and bready grain profile. slight earthy bitterness with lots of citrus notes and sweet malt. light-medium body with moderate carbonation. a refreshing ale.

i believe this is the least impressive bell's beer i have tasted so far. (362 characters)

Photo of JDV
3.16/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

bottle courtesy of gregis.
Rich muddy burnt orange colored pour with a creamy beige head. Looks gorgeous. Smell is predominantly tart, heavy malt. Taste is smooth, creamy, dense malt flavors with a mild hop bitterness poking out a bit. A nice drinkable amber although not too spectacular overall. (297 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.16/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

recieved this one in a trade.
Poured a deep amber color with an average off white head, kinda rocky. Nose was malt, hops and that was about all I could take from it. Well hopped and well balanced, smooth. Something was different with the malts, caramel malts and maybe some English malts. Not like most Ambers I had tasted but ok nevertheless. (343 characters)

Photo of cbleary
3.17/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This was a disappointng beer. I especially enjoy Bell's Two-Hearted Ale but this one did not agree with me nearly as well. It arrived a bit lighter than I expected for an amber ale. The taste was of sourish malts and bitter hops, but they didn't seem to balance or mix very well. It was a bit of a lopsided brew. Decent, but not extraordinary. Maybe it's better out of the bottle? (380 characters)

Photo of quasimoto
3.17/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Slightly hazy copper color, with a big frothy head.

S - Some grapefruit/piney hops are there, and are mixed with some sweet bready, biscuty malts.

T - it starts off with a papery malt flavor. It turns to a caramellish malt but there is still a papery taste.

M - Starts light but turns to a carbination bite. Leaves the mouth nice and dry though.

D - Nothing spectacular. Drinkable, but leaves me wanting more. (428 characters)

Photo of Viggo
3.18/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for bringing this one biegaman!

Pours a hazy amber, off white head forms, goes pretty fast, leaves a few lace spots. Smell is sweet, vegetal, citrus, some bread, nothing special, bit of citrusy hops. Taste is sweet, some caramel, yeast, bread, very light, floral in the finish, light bitterness. Mouthfeel is light bodied with low to medium carbonation. Drinkable, but a good example of mediocrity, maybe past its prime a bit? Thanks Jan! (448 characters)

Photo of trbergman
3.18/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a shaker pint.

A - Rich copper brew with plenty of suspended particles and a short, sticky beige head.

S - Sourdough, toast, slightly nutty, a bit of burnt toffee, herbal hops.

T - Rather bland, stale toast flavor with a spicy hop bite. Bitterness lingers on the palate for some time after each sip.

M - On the thin side, not quite watery.

D - Reasonably quenching, but not exciting. Not sure why this is the Bell's flagship beer. I remembered it as the least impressive of the mixed case I had last year and it's setting itself up for a repeat this year. When Bud makes a beer like this I'm impressed; coming from Bell's it's just disappointing. (675 characters)

Photo of skybluewater
3.2/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a very murky orange color, with the yeast I poured in accidentally. Smell is quite funky. I don't like it much at all (although I can't describe what it is I don't like...). Taste isn't all that bad (compared to other Bell's beers I've had), although I'm really not all that crazy about it. There's some malty, with a bit of creamy texture, and a little citrusy hops.

This, to me, is yet another disappointing Bell's beer. While it's better than some other Bell's beers such as Cherry Stout and Two Hearted (shudder), it isn't a beer I'd buy again. There are just too many good ones out there to waste my money on semi-drinkable brews. (645 characters)

Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 895 ratings.