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: 2,749
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 10.13%
Wants: 119
Gots: 351 | 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: 2,749
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)

Photo of bigfnjoe
3.21/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A- pours a cloudy orangeish amber with a HUGE 3 finger offwhite head. The head looks amazing, thats for sure. No lacing, which makes me a sad panda.

S- muted. I'm not getting the hops I'd like, thats for sure...I get some malt, and thats really all. Disappointing.

T- very, very mild. Tastes sweet and fruity as opposed strong and fruity like I normally get out of good amber ales. Its totally different from either of the ambers Troegs produces, which is what I'm used to...not sure if I'm a huge fan.

M- light. Feel is thin, not overwhelming. Not syrupy at all. I approve.

D- its really drinkable because its nice and mild, doesn't beat you over the head with hops or mouthfeel. But...its not nearly one of my favorite ambers. Too sweet for my tastes. (798 characters)

Photo of CDBeerDisappear
3.23/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Orange amber in color with an abundance of fine bubbles. Orangish off white head is retained to almost the end. Good lacing. Plenty of hop presence, aroma is kind of agricultural. Taste is dry and clean, any sweetness from the malt is overshadowed by dry bitterness making it an excellent choice to accompany food. Feels like carbonated mineral water in the mouth. A good solid beer that I would happily drink again. (416 characters)

Photo of CortexBomb
3.23/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pretty plain looking brew, deep muddy orange with a small bit of head on top that left pretty quickly. Smell was middle of the road as well, some faint traces of yeast and background hints of fruit, but nothing beyond purely average.

Taste was what I would consider the average macro amber lager with a minor zing of floral (like a severely watered down Two Hearted Ale), and an end which had an interesting hop bite that took me by surprise after the bland opening.

Mouthfeel, meh, plain, some carbonation, some body, but not much in either...drinkability was pretty good I have to admit, but like most of Bell's lighter beer offerings this just doesn't offer enough to bring me back with any regularity. (711 characters)

Photo of cnally
3.23/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This has a really glowing orange-red tint to the beer. Its white head dissipates mostly leaving little lacing on the glass.

Aroma is a little yeasty, a little bitter, nice hop nose. There is some citrus in there, orange, grapefruit, but the hop bitterness is the story.

The flavor continues with the yeasty, bitter vibe. The initial flavor is bready and grainy, with the finish being bitter from the hops. Just a hint of sourness in the middle, but there is also a touch of very sweet malt.

A little watery on the body, but the carbonation level ends up being decent and the feel on the tongue is not sticky nor dry.

Would be good with a steak. Beyond that, is there much of a reason this would be sitting in my fridge? Not so much. There are many other Bell's offerings I would rather drink. (796 characters)

Photo of Hojaminbag
3.24/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Orangish color with small quickly receeding off-white head. I don't really notice any retention.

I don't smell much of anything. Very slight malty character.

Surprisingly malty. Definitely one of the maltiest ambers I have tasted. Begins with a slight sweetness and finishes with a big malty choclate/coffee flavor. Not bad, but I prefer a little bit of hops in an amber, when I'm in the mood for maltiness I'd like a RIS or something.

Moutfeel is very light and carbonated, nothing much to notice, same with the drinkability. (529 characters)

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