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

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

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BA SCORE
86
very good

2,547 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,547
Reviews: 874
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 12.27%
Wants: 104
Gots: 196 | 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
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Ratings: 2,547 | Reviews: 874 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of FLima
3.69/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Amber color with a thin off-white head with low retention.
Light aroma of honey and caramel malt.
Flavor of papaya, apple juice, American yeast, toasted malts, fresh oranges and earthy hops. Dry aftertaste with a medium bitterness.
Medium body with low carbonation.
I had high expectations on this, that is a very good beer, but far from blowing my mind.

Photo of jroberts8811
3.69/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A-beautiful in a pint. amber, transparent, lots of big carbonation, settles into a reasonably fluffy head. good sticky lacing.
S-strong sweet malt notes, caramel, honey, slight hops
M-Thin, doesn't coat the mouth, lots of bright carbonation, but not crisp
T-roasted malt, slightly bitter, apricot (?)

Started off thining it was "meh" but i've somehow made it through the whole thing...Guess that's what it's supposed to be. Easy to drink and enjoy. It is what it is and nothing more.

Photo of dmgeng
3.69/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Tried one of Bell's flagships to harvest yeast for Two Hearted clone.

A - Nice amber color. Strong off-white head with moderate lacing.

S - Malty and sweet nose with a light touch of hops.

T - Strong malty sweetness with notes of caramel. Light earthy hop tone in the middle but is malt heavy. Though slightly unbalanced this amber has everything for the style.

M - Medium mouth-feel with moderate carbonation. Mostly clean finish for an amber.

Overall, a very good session beer if you prefer ambers over pale ales or darker beers. The caramel tone is a very desirable flavor and would be a very nice change of pace for anyone stuck in a rut. Used the harvested yeast for an American brown and it came out great.

Glass- Pint

Photo of RoyalT
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – This is a gorgeous Amber Ale. The body is deep, rich, and hazy orange and the head is huge. It came up with an easy pour, showed great retention, and left some cool-looking lace on the inside of my glass.

Smell – The light, grainy notes are quite nice. They are laden with an orangy sweetness and a rather impressive hop profile.

Taste – This is about as good as American grain gets. It is husky but smooth and complimented by a nice sweetness, which I have found to be quite repugnant in most other grainy ales. The grassy hops keep this one balanced.

Mouthfeel – Closer to medium-bodied than light, this crisp American Amber goes down well and even has a bit of dryness at the finish.

Drinkability – I’m not a huge fan of the style, but this is about as good as it gets. Or, I should say, about as good as I’ve had to date.

Comments – Thanks to feloniousmonk for including this in a nice trade package.

Photo of russpowell
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cheers to BARLEYWINEO for this! Batch 7838

Pours a hazed light orange/peach tea-colored with 3+ fingers of pillowy sand colored head. Hazing never really cleared, average lacing above & average head retention

S: Caramel, doughy notes & a hint of cocoa with just a whiff of citrus hops at the finish

T: Nice bready caramel signature up front along a little citric (tangerine & lemon) hops. Grapefruitty hops & some grainyness as this warms. Finishes a touch dry& astringent , toasty & with just a bit of puckery grapefruit hops

MF: Medium-bodied, low carbonation & okay balance

Drinks pretty good, just didn't quite live up to the initial taste up front, not a bad amber though, just not a great one

Photo of zooalbert
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I love the color of this beer, a deep red brown. The immediate taste is on the bitter side but quite drinkable and enjoyable. Not a big fan of the after taste, which lingers. Not a very clean taste. Dark undertones of malt, reminds me of a dark chocolate or molasses.

Photo of blevel
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

First review

A - poured in a pint glass, a cloudy copper with a one finger head. Looked very drinkable.

S - noticed malt and some light nutty aroma

T - very smooth with a good combination of malts and grains. Unlike most ales I've tried this was not bitter all the way through.

M - a little on the heavy/thick side which I liked

A very nice beer. I would pick up a six pack next time around.

Photo of weizenbob
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Batch 9962 - 12 ounce bottle poured to a pint glass. The label calls this "the flagship of the Bell's family" which seems odd since it doesn't get a lot of attention in the Bell's lineup. Less than one finger of head summits the beer and quickly settles down to a thin blanket of bubbles. Some lacing remains. The brew is a hazy copper color with a lot of suspended sediment hanging around as well as some visible carbonation.

The aroma is loaded with sweet malts. The scent of apples is noticeable as well as a minor yeasty presence.

Subtle fruity flavors appear in the first sip. Hints of apricot, cherry and star fruit are apparent. Bitter grapefruitesque sensations reach the rear of the tongue. The fruitiness then disappears leaving an unpleasant alcoholic finish and a bitter hops aftertaste.

Of all aspects, the mouthfeel is where this amber ale excels. It's thick but smooth and the carbonation keeps it refreshing.

Drinkability is a wild card on this one. The menagerie of initial flavors is promising and the mouthfeel is really great, yet this is still a pretty unsatisfying beer. Even within the amber ale style, there are many other beers that I would rather be drinking. I love Bell's and appreciate a good amber, but this is not for me. Meh.

Photo of burntoutphilosopher
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance:
great filtered beer. i expected unpasteurized. mildly cloudy. nothing like if it were on Lees

Smell:
sharp but good

Taste:
Really top notch. surprisingly so. great amount of bitter for a neutral Ale. and has a perfect balance of malt and sweetness that is still tastable.

Mouthfeel:
on par with killian's or Sam Adams.

Overall:
A Very Good beer. taste is king to me and this has it. two layers of bitter and sweet. not a bit watered down like Goose Island or Sam Adams hopology.
For what you get though, i felt overpriced. not on any lees, says unpasturized but mine pours very clear.

Photo of seanyfo
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brought back from Kentucky by my good mate Feech!

Bottle poured into shaker pint glass.

A- Dark amber caramel body, with a 1 finger solid head reducing quickly to a crown. Lacing is good to minimal. Clarity is slight haze

S- Lots of toffee! Maybe a little vanilla.

T- Toffee comes through first on the tongue which fades to a more delicate vanilla flavour which lingers. Perhaps finish is a little subdued. No hop presence to speak of really.

M- Low to mod carbonation, medium body, perhaps a little thin.

D- Easily drinkable with a nice malty flavour which is neither overpowering or sticky on the tongue.

Albeit there should be a slight malt dominance, there is really no hop presence to balance the sweetness.

Photo of breakingbland
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle dated 1/13/2014 into a pint glass.

Appearance: A rich reddish, gold with a small off-white head that dissipated quickly.

Aroma: Malty with a slight hops presence.

Taste: Like the aroma but with the addition of a hint of breadiness and a pleasant malty sweetness. The aftertaste is mainly of hops.

Mouthfeel: A nice level of carbonation with a medium rich body.

Overall: This beer is a nice example of this style. Don't know why it took me (a Michigander) so long to discover this beer - although I don't think it's overly prevalent in the stores and bars that I frequent. It will be my go-to beer when it's available and I want an amber ale.

Photo of KevChiTown
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of DrJay
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear amber capped with a short white head that settles into a solid ring. Some fine bubbles ended up sticking to the glass. Malty caramel and brown sugar aroma with a bit of toasted grain husk. Fruity as well, with floral and citrus hop character. Pleasant malt sweetness with balanced bitterness and moderate hop flavour. Some caramel into the finish. Medium/light body, medium carbonation with a solid mouthfeel. Quite nice. Another top-notch beer from Bell's.

Photo of scruffwhor
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very clear rusty hue enteers my glass with some friendly bubbling. The aroma is a slightly thick amber malt with some real subtle English hopping. This mix gave the aroma a very biscuity aroma. The taste is equally biscuity that takes on a more sweet Hawaiian bread profile. A little grityy on the tongue but good carbonation to clean that up.

Photo of AlpacaAlpaca
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of maxpower
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale orange-amber color, nice foamy head leaves a nice lace. Cloudy with floating yeast. Clean mild hop aroma, very balanced medium body feels full on the palate, nice hop bite in the finish, a little sour.

Photo of SLeffler27
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Fills a pint glass cloudy, golden-honey under a one-inch rocky almond head which drops to deposit some sticky lace.

Upfront hoppy resins with orange, followed by caramel and very pleasant fruitiness, but not particularly complex.

Far more malty sweetness than bitter hops. Clearly caramel with some orange, coriander, and a touch of green tea. Balance is upside down to begin, but finishes very nicely.

Slick texture, with a light body and soft carbonation is cleansing with a hint of metallic notes.

Lots of flavor and light body makes this easy to quaff. Let 'em flow for any occasion, particularly when looking for a thirst quencher, tailgating, or any large gathering.

date consumed: 10 Dec 2008

Photo of Jeffreysan
3.71/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a very pretty copper, amber color with a quarter of a finger of off-while head that quickly dissolved into a thin lacing of foam that covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very bready and malty. Lots of fresh bread, and floral notes, like honey and clover.

Taste: Very similar to its aroma, it’s very malty and bready upfront, followed by some honey-like sweetness and finished by some floral notes of hoppy bitterness. Excellently balanced.

Mouthfeel: Medium to light, but with some good carbonation to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 5.8%, there’s just the slightest hint of alcohol on the palate, but not much.

Overall: This is a damn good amber ale. Very easy to drink, very refreshing, and very tasty. Solid offering. I’d certainly get it again.

Photo of cjgiant
3.71/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tried to rate this one to style, as it might be one of my least favorite styles. This one tasted along the lines of an ESB.

The appearance was a little on the orange side, translucent with some head along the edge. The smell was grainy with what to me is a typical British pale ale yeast. The taste follows this, grainy with a little lemon added to produce a faint copper taste that I associate with ESBs. I guess the good thing is that since it does remind me of an ESB, it does have a hop presence, which some of the style seem devoid of. The feel is a bit watery, but I think that of almost any beer in this style.

I will probably not revisit this beer unless it's the sole option, but that's due more to my preferences than the quality of the beer. If not obvious, if you're an ESB fan, I think you should give it a whirl to decide for yourself.

Photo of KTCamm
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Pours deep red amber, bordering on a brownish crimson. 1-1/2 fingers white foam with good retention and lacing.

Mild sweet smell, but otherwise not able to grab anything specific.

Taste is mixture of light fruit, mild hop and caramel sweet. Possesses a real bite/toasted sharpness at the finish that makes the close memorable.

Good carbonation in the mouthfeel.

Drinkable brew - this was my first Bell beer, and I'd be interested in sampling some of the other varietals whould I get the opportunity.

Photo of Bung
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle. Light red pour, whitish head. Sweet malt, some pine aromas. Malt and toffee flavors throughout, little raisin or something green fruit. Nice bittering hops through the finish. Well balanced and drinkable, but nothing outstanding. There are some pale ale tones in this one, which some will find off putting. One of Bell's more sessionable ales. Also pretty equal on draft or bottle.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Bell's imperial pint.
5.8% ABV, Batch #10141 (Bottled Dec. 15, 2010)

A - The color plays the part as this brew pours a faintly cloudy amber orange color. The off-white head doesn't last long but leaves some fingers of lace behind.

S - Slightly fruity yeast esters certainly proclaim that it's an ale. Hints of buttered popcorn are disheartening but with a brewery of Bell's caliber I'm not thinking anything is off here. Musty old liquor store and earth with a small toasted amber malt backing.

T - A more playful malt flavor elevates this brew a bit. Toffee and caramel poke out of the toasted wheat bread background. Earthy hops balance well and join the yeasty esters up front.

M - Smooth, medium-bodied and almost creamy, the mouthfeel could use just a touch less carbonation I think. The tingling finish distracts from the balancing dry bitterness.

O - A pretty solid amber all around, it's unique from others in that the yeast notes play a bigger role than other brews. It challenges the drinker with something other than a hop-loaded amber like the rest of the world produces. Well-balanced here.

Photo of JamesShoemaker
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The Bros have this one scored really high. The problem with Amber is that it tastes different batch to batch, sometimes bottle to bottle. I would recommend having one and then a few months later having another one. Maybe I'm crazy.

The times when it's been good, this beer is super drinkable and very tasty. When it's not good, it honestly doesn't taste a whole lot different from Michelob Amber Bock. Sacrilege!

However, this beer is ridiculously popular in the upper Midwest. Chances are, if a store carries Bell's, they carry this brew and Two Hearted (a beer which the Bros have ranked very low, surprisingly).

Give it a try if you find a single, pass on a six pack though.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

I was actually a little surprised to find that I've never had this ordinary Bell's offering before. Go figure. I'm havin' now, then, I guess. It pours a clear russet-amber topped by a finger of off-white foam. The nose comprises thick caramel, grapefruit, orange peel, and flowers. The taste favors the orange over the grapefruit, but doesn't really deviate from the smell beyond that. The body is a light medium, with a light carbonation and a smooth feel. Overall, a very nice amber, nothing standoutish but tasty and drinkable regardless.

Photo of jsprain1
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Amber with some orangeish tint to it. Head is just off white and lasts quite well. Almost no lacing.
S- Quite sweet with some sugary cookie, some fruityness, caramel, and floral.
T- It's quite sweet and sugar. Very much like a cookie with a bit of dried apple in the finish. The hops are very subdued until a floral and light citrus rounds it out in the finish.
M- Very smooth. Light medium body, with medium-high carb that keeps it lively.
O- A drinkable smooth ale. It's a bit too sweet for my preferences, but there is nothing glaringly wrong with it.

Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 2,547 ratings.