Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

904 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 904
Hads: 2,825
Avg: 3.84
pDev: 21.09%
Wants: 127
Gots: 396 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bell's Amber Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 904 | Hads: 2,825
Photo of slatetupelo
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A - Pours a cooper/orange color, I expected it to be a little darker for an amber. A nice creamy off white head formed and then quickly dissipated leaving a good sticky lacing. Decent carbonation.

S - Sweet malt, sort of toasty, and possible hints of toffee. The aroma was mild and nothing special or overwhelming.

T - This is a really smooth and crisp beer with caramel and toffee malts, little hop flavor. Just an overall crisp beer.

D - I hate to repeat myself but these are just so "crisp" that I could see myself drinking this as a session beer. Really enjoyable and not too heavy, more light to medium bodied. After further thought I wanted to add that I think this would be a good beer to introduce someone into the world of craft beers.

 748 characters

Photo of Biggness
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was my first beer @ Bell's last night. Seeing as it is their flagship beer I might as well give it a shot. I was impressed and delighted, especially after I had tried the Amber ale from another local brewery a few days ago and I could BARELY finish it. This poured a golden copper and had a slight head. The smell was nice and hinted to a great beer. The flavor was complex yet refreshing with hints of many great ingredients. The mouthfeel was nice and its certainly a beer I could see myself relaxing on the deck drinking a 6'er

 535 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: single finger off white head on a slightly hazy near pure amber body.

S: caramel malts, toffee, brown sugar and light hops.

T: sweet caramel malts and toffee are the major players. grain and earthy hop notes.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: One of the more full flavored amber ales and very drinkable.

 326 characters

Photo of wvsabbath
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Yellow golden tan, white creamy 2 inch head, some lacing.

Smell - Malts, earthy,biscuit-like armoa. Some bitter fruits mixed with a little yeasty sour smell.

Taste - Nice smooth caramel malty flavor along with some mild hops and dark fruits. Toffee and some added sugars give this a sweet, yet not overly done flavor. Alcohol is masked very well. Pretty simple sytle, and basic taste done well.

Mouthfeel - Thin, smooth and very easy to drink. Malts hit tounge with there caramel and toffee goodness. Palette gets remaining malts, some hops and a little bitterness. Aftertaste is smooth and malty.

Overall - A simple beer, simply done well. Very tastly, easy to drink and low alcohol make this a easy beer to enjoy. Very well done and easy to get ahold off. Worth a drink for sure.

 823 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I always seem to have unresolved questions for the Kalamazoo Brewing Company, and right now it's: what's the significance of the heron? Maybe it's the Michigan state bird, and I'm just an idiot...This was introduced to me as not only the "flagship" brew of Kalamazoo, but "the beer Larry drinks." Then I found out that when the K'zoo crew really get to partying, it's hard liquor...
Color is hazy orange, bordering on brown, and the head is a good inch thick, properly white. Aroma is sprucey, piney, full of hops, fruity, but mainly pineapple and citrus. There's a touch of tart, but it's mostly sweet.
On the palate, nothing but smooth, smooth, smooth. Malt looms large in this ale, but it's perfectly matched. Hops are tingly, tasty, and not quickly forgotten. I can see tossing back a million of these! Yum-a-licious!

 824 characters

Photo of BamaBeerBuff
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Color is an extremely vivid orange/red with a smooth, creamy off-white head. Retention is solid, lacing decent. A good looker.

S: Complex aroma, heavy on toasted caramel maltiness. Light citrus and a floral presence, as well. Sweet candy-like presence is an interesting contribution.

T&M: Balance, balance, balance. A delightful toasted malt flavor melds beautifully with a zippy hoppiness and some light diacetyl flavor. Citrus zest in moderation keeps things nice and orderly. It's still got enough flavorful pep to keep me happy, as it's a decently substantial brew. Body is medium with a fine natural carbonation.

D: Absolutely a session beer. This is the kind of brew I would (and will!) pass along to my craft-light/non-craft compatriots, but also drink a good bit myself. Another fantastic offering from Bell's.

 825 characters

Photo of Jon
4.21/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one great amber ale. Pours a beautiful, deep amber color with a sticky head that leaves big rings of lace on the glass. Has a great, somewhat sweet, but balanced malt taste with enough hops to back it up. It's got great body to it, and is fairly easy to drink, making it a solid candidate for a session beer. It's no wonder Kalamazoo sells more of this than any of their other stuff, and still, it's not even their best!

 428 characters

Photo of Spiekerbox
4.21/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Nice light amber color with a small white head the quickly dissipates.

S- Sweeter malt is a light scent with a small hop backbone, not very strong but it is pleasant.

T- Nice mix of malts, some sweeter than others, bit of a bitterness at the end with a slight citrus hop flavor, balances well with the malt.

M- Medium body and on the higher side of medium carbonation. Nice and crisp finish.

D- Very good beer, one of the better amber's that I have had. Nothing too special but would make an excellent session beer.

 522 characters

Photo of car2052
4.21/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12 oz. bottle to a pint glass.

A: Very nice dark orange with a 3/4 in off-white head. Cloudy appearance. Probably unfiltered.
S: Sweet, caramel malt. Hint of orange and alcohol.
T: Bready taste. A bit of tartness followed by light dark fruit notes, of cherries and wild berries. Yeasty acidity. Ends with a bit of hop bitterness not felt in the beginning of the palate.
M: Medium mouthfeel. Creamy. Slight hoppy aftertaste.
O: Pretty good. A little too tart. Well made and pretty flavorful.

 504 characters

Photo of tjsdomer2
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Exceptional carbonation. Appears solid red with a purple-brown hue to it as well. Very unique. Decent foam and good lacing.

Smell: Smells like a great combination of raspberries, bitter lemon hops, and some mild honey or caramel. A top of the line smell for sure.

Taste/Mouthfeel: This is a bitter one. Dry bitter lemon pervades at the onset. There's a nice watermelon sweetness at the finish. Mouthfeel is definitely rough and rustic, but it goes well with the finish.

Drinkability: Very enjoyable and pretty unique for the style.

Overall: A winner from Bell's.

 578 characters

Photo of kerokit
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A crisp, slightly floral amber full of round malty notes and a mild hop finish. It pours a classic caramel color with a moderate white head that develops into a light lacing by the halfway mark. Not the most interesting beer I've sampled, but it's smooth and supremely drinkable. A nice local discovery for this born and bred Bostonian who now calls the Midwest home.

 367 characters

Photo of Zraly
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours hazy medium orange with off-white two finger head into a stein. Smells grainy and a bit like dough. A wisp of citrus lingers.

Not too heavy and not too light, this is a very tasty amber ale. Nice notes of honey, toast, and grains. Malty and smooth, this is on the outer edge of session ale territory. Crisp citrus hop finish that dries nicely on the palate. Medium-bodied and carbonation eases the drinking experience as it is spot on for style.

Refreshing and an extremely solid brew. Good year round for session or to maybe convert a few macro folks. Approachable and I recommend this.

 596 characters

Photo of flowerysong
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Slightly hazy medium brown body, coarse tan head.

Smell: Sweet malt with some citrusy hop aroma and a bit of caramel.

Taste: Starts out sweet, toasted malt; some earthy and yeasty notes in the background along with just a hint of diacetyl; nice medium hop bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, medium-high carbonation.

Drinkability: Excellent example of the style. Full of flavour and well-balanced, easy to drink quite a few.

 464 characters

Photo of elgiacomo
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle batch 9667, bottled April 2, 2010.

Pours very hazy orangish-amber with a good off-white head that leaves some lacing and maintains a good cap.

Aroma is some floral hops, yeast, bread, almost like homemade dinner rolls, some light fruit, caramel. One of the more aromatic Amber Ales I've had.

Flavor is fruity, green apple, pear, maybe a little melon, a touch of citrus hops, some floral in there too. Also some bread and caramel malt. Fairly sweet.

Mouthfeel is full for the style, oily, medium carbonation.

This is a great Amber Ale, very glad I went with a 6-pack instead of just buying a single.

 620 characters

Photo of spointon
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this one on tap at Galway Tribes on 1/7/2009.

A= Poured a hazy amber color with a 1/2" off-white head that quickly dropped to a skim. Slight lacing down the glass.

S= The aroma was filled with a big nutty, toasted grain character on top of a nice malty base.

T= I found malty sweetness which quickly was run over by that delicious nutty character noted in the smell. Faint toffee and some citrusy hops in the middle and finish.

MF= Medium body with a moderate carboation level.

D= I like this beer a lot in the bottle and I liked it even more on tap. Very drinkable and quite sessionable, especially with food.

 625 characters

Photo of RodneyX
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Amber colored beer that had a head with some okay retention and some small lacing on the sides. It smells mostly of caramel malts and grain and has just the slightest bit of hops there. Taste is really a lot like the nose, although the hops are not quite as much as I thought they would be. Some medium-level carbonatoin and the beer has a good syrupy coating aspect to it while managing not to get too heavy. I found this to be very drinkable but I wish there was more hops in it.

 481 characters

Photo of whynot44
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Coppery amber colored brew, hazy with yeast "floaties" and decent creamy tan head that stayed for a while..

Nice fruity sweet malt aroma with spicy, yeasty tones. A very nice amber ale, medium body, a nice light malt flavor complimented by a very nice blend of hops and oak with a citrus finish and aftertaste.

Crisp, refreshing. Nice label!

 348 characters

Photo of Gladius270
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Deep orange, rusty color on this. Good lacing. I had to mark it down because of some "floaties" I have. Not like an unfiltered look... This is floating matter.

S- Sweet and Malty. Not much more to say here.

T- At the beginning it follows the nose. There is a really good consistent bitter backbone here. I enjoy the back-end of the taste ALOT. It's hard for me to describe. It's a heavily caramelized sugar aftertase. much like the aftertaste that I remember from hot fudge.

M- Medium body, maybe leaning toward the thinner side. Carbonation stings on the tongue.

O- At first I was not real keen on this one, but after a few sips, it really opened up for me. This is yet another solid offering from Bell's!

 713 characters

Photo of marc77
4.23/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The dense, thick, rocky and billowy head tops a slightly hazy amber / light orange hued brew. Quite appealing in appearance for an amber. Signature slightly tart and fruity Bell yeast esters hit the nose at first, but light caramel malt and very mild but pleasant diacetyl butterscotch follow. The hop nose is comprised of subtle, but earthy Willamette and/or Goldings notes. Malt flavors are lightly bready and biscuit - like, while a clean light caramel malt sweetness dominates. The well calculated hop bitterness is a hair shy of balancing the malt sweetness, leaving this brew pleasantly sweet. Hop flavor is a touch earthy and floral and British in style. The body is more full than the typical amber, but still is light enough to provide for excellent drinkability. Bell's Amber finishes bittersweet, clean and w/ bready malt notes. This is a flavorful amber, and could pass for a good ESB.

 904 characters

Photo of 6thomas3
4.23/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Hazy caramel with a tight pristine brownish-yellow body, minuet fragments of sediment that are bready in nature dwell at the bottom of my glass and float in suspended animation until my glass is disturbed; head retention is modest with ample lacing as the beverage is consumed, carbonation bubbles excitedly rush to the top with a sense of urgency

Smell - Faint hints of floral and coffee like aromas tickle my nostril; not overwhelming though

Taste - Beautiful blend of malt with an organic coffee snap at the end engulfed in a remnant aftertaste of mother earth

Mouthfeel - Delicate cohesion infused with immaculate uniformity and smoothness entice my taste buds and possess my arm to continue reaching for more

Overall - This beer transcended my expectation and has opened my eyes to the bold and exhilarating world of red ale and I now have a longing for more

 888 characters

Photo of Gavage
4.23/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Slighty hazy amber / orange color with a huge 3" head. Carbonation levels seemed a bit strong. The aroma was of caramel and yeast. The flavor was simple and pleasant as caramel, sweet fruitiness, and mild bitterness were well balanced. There was some light lacing that developed on the glass.

This was a light/medium bodied brew with a smooth crisp start and a smooth caramel finish. Caramel and fruit tones lasted briefly on the tongue. Extremely drinkable and a simple session beer that has some nice flavor you won't get bored with.

 538 characters

Photo of movingtrain
4.23/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a nice (appropriate) amber color with steady carbonation and a light head. There is some sediment in the glass that keeps circulating because of the incredible carbonation going on here. It's quite a sight.

Smells of wheat, malts, bread, caramel, caramelized sugar, cinnamon, spice, honey.

Tastes of orange peel, honey, cinnamon, caramel. Some hop character here...perfectly balanced with the maltiness.

The poppy carbonation helps this beer bounce around the palate, allowing it to linger quite a while.

This is an excellent beer...it really is. It is drinkable, and has just the right balance to make this beer stand out.

 678 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.23/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pretty clouded orange-ish brown amber. Slight leafy nose. Seems very calm though. The flavor really brings it here. Even and firm bodied. Consistently earthy woody tones. Feel is very well bodied on the liquid and a good carbonation as well. I'm calling this as a good example of the style and an overall good brew to try.

 330 characters

Photo of praufs01
4.23/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance - Cloudy amber with a creamy off white head.

Aroma - Light caramel and floral aroma.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied ale with light small bubble carbonation.

Taste - Very light grapefruit hop on a nicely subdued caramel backbone.

Overall - This is a smooth and refreshing ale. Light in taste, but not watery or weak in character.

 341 characters

Photo of jayrod20
4.23/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A delicious copper colored ale with a hearty malt flavor that goes down smooth as water.Nice aftertaste and no carbonation gives an enjoyable experience from the moment it hits your tongue to the moment it hits your stomach.Highly recommended I will be buying this ale again!!!!

 278 characters

Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 904 ratings.