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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: 2,826
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
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Reviews: 904 | Hads: 2,826
Photo of CharlieMopps
4.26/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: From a moderate pour, this beer produced two and a half fingers of thick, creamy head, displaying great retention and much lacing. Its color was the quintessential amber, dead-on for the hue, and looked rather delicious.

S: The smell seemed to indicate that the flavor would be mildly hopped, but also there appeared to be a grainy side as well. Hopefully this will equate to a delicious and well-balanced amber.

T: Wow.. impeccable balance to this beer, which was noticeable almost immediately. A good malt base comes first, followed by a hop presence in the middle, which is where the flavor hits its peak balance. The finish is one of the smoothest I've tasted, washing into an aftertaste that leaves a quaint residual bitterness from the hops. Amazing.

M & D: Well-carbonated, and perfect for the taste. The mouthfeel is creamy and crisp with a great body. Again, balance is the key and its done so well here. For being a brewery that's mostly known for its stouts, this amber has sure proven its worth amongst the Bell's fold. This one is definitely a must-have for Amber fans, and the flavor will definitely allow you to drink your fill.

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Photo of BeerFink
4.26/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Figured I'd give Bell's flagship brew a try...

Cascading into my pint glass, it forms an attractive looking dark copper color topped off with a generous head. Good head retention and good lacing. The smell was big on the malts with a slight hop bouquet. True to the aroma, the taste was long on the malts. Smooth and creamy malt was kept in check with some tight carbonation. Sweet malt, caramel, a little butter was first on the palate. Some good toasty flavor leads into crisp hops for a dry, citrous finish. After you have a few sips, you begin to notice a dry bitterness that is almost coffee-like. Surprisingly complex taste that I missed on the first sip. Well balanced and easy to drink. Good choice for a flagship brew. I really think this would please the masses.

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Photo of Tylergross1
4.26/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It was a little darker in color then I typically would prefer. The smell was very good, smelled of caramel and a little bit of citrus similar to Oberon. The overall taste was very good, although the alcohol content was a little higher it was very smooth and crisp overall very good.

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Photo of king75
4.27/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle.
Pours amber red, with about an inch or so of a creamy head. Light amplifies the redness and cloudiness of the beer.

Smells of fresh fruit with a subtle, but lingering smell of hops.

Taste very smooth from the start, can taste the hops towards the end, but left with a crisp clean taste.

Notes: a very drinkable beer, a beer that you can drink either one of or have an entire six pack of. Either way you cannot go wrong.

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Photo of Magpie14
4.27/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: a deep robust brown crimson color with a nice thick cream colored head. Sits really nice in the glass with bubbles moving freely about. Nice web of lacing in the glass

Smell: roasted malt nose and sweet candy/caramel swirling about. Touch of a earthy type of hops...very little but is present.

Taste/Mouthfeel: great sweet toasted malt flavor! Has nice malt characteristic overall and is paired nicely with sweet caramel. It has a nice crisp and smooth body and I even noticed a little bit of fruity orange overtones as it glides down.

Drinkability: this is a staple beer for me and never disappoints. Solid all around and is very easy to drink.

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Photo of pmcadamis
4.27/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - This one pours a hazy amber to light brown orange-ish hue that reminds me of a certain kind of wood finish that people often use on their decks. The head is a fluffy one finger off-white substance that shows some really nice retention and leaves a small amount of lace on the glass. Looks like an O-fest brew.

S - Sweet and fruity with a lot of really nice malt notes. Cinnamon rolls (the little cheap kind that you can unroll into one long cinnamon strip), honey bread, and fruitcake. This is really deep and ripe! Over-ripe bananas that have just turned black, banana crunch muffins, and big cheese danishes that come in a vending machine.

T - Malty and fruity like the nose, but the flavor adds in some nice firm hop bitterness that is very much like freshly rolled hay. I'm reminded of Banana Nut Crunch cereal. Some critusy wheat-like flavors are there too, and this helps keep the beer summery and refreshing. There are some really crisp citrus and toasty caramel malt characteristics that make this a great early autumn/late summer brew.

M - Medium bodied and extremely creamy. This is bordering on full bodied with all of the lush and rich fluffy carbonation that is produced in this beer.

D - One of the better amber ales out there. This stuff is thirst quenching and relatively light, but provides enough complexity and depth of character to keep a beer lover interested. A very fine choice for a session brew.

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Photo of jwhawkins81
4.27/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch number 8996 was packaged on 2/27/2009

Aroma - Well balanced aroma of hops and malt

Appearance - Thin fizzy off white head, cloudy orange red color.

Taste - Well balanced this is just a plain good beer. A smooth malty grain flavor with just enough hops for balance. Enough flavor for you not to forget its there.

Mouthfeel - Thin but with plenty of carbonation.

Drinkability - If priced right this could be a definite go to beer.

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Photo of bluegrassbrew
4.27/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a nice copper amber with some sediment floating around in the haze. Minimal head, but fizzy.

Smell is a nice balance between some sweet caramel malt and just a hint of citrusy hops.

Taste is where this one earns its bread. Nice caramel at the base with slowing creeping citrus fruit towards the end.

Overall, this is a very nice sessionable ale.

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Photo of BlackAngus
4.27/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Cloudy, orange color. Large tan head that lasted all the way down.

S - Sweet, malty aroma, with a light hops character.

T - Sweet and malty, definite hop bitterness, but very well balanced.

M - Nice carbonation, light-medium body, clean and crisp.

D - I can drink this often...very well-crafted beer.

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Photo of Frozensoul327
4.27/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Foggy amber orange color with a small, yet consistant head of white foam. Medium level of carbonation. Minor notes of lacing inside the glass.

S: Wow. Strong buttery malt and yeasty bread dough. A hint of fresh, earhty hops thrown in for good measure. Not overly complex, but damned nice.

T: Rich, sweet, fruity notes of citrus are noted from the initial taste, with developing flavors of roasted caramel malts and mild grain. Nice.

M: Very smooth, rich and easy drinking. Like liquid velvet mixed with the texture of half and half cream. I could've been more into it with a tad more bubbles, but i'm not complaining, as this is the first amber beer i've had that really impressed me.

D: Good. I will be back. Would like to see this perhaps on a nitro version, with the creamy factor kicked up even more. A great brew from Bell's.

Notes: First good amber i've had. I would buy this again, hands down, no questions asked.

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Photo of abcsofbeer
4.27/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass that allows you to see the unfiltered nature of this ale. The color is a cloudy, light amber that is topped off with an off-white two finger head.

The aroma is nice, sweet with a faint hoppy smell. I detect some small pepper aroma and also citrus orange. The taste is very good, well blended malts and hops. The hops come into play at the tail end but are well received. The flavor also has a little pepper kick to it. The MF is medium bodied and very flavorful. Very good.

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Photo of JamesS
4.27/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice copper color with some good head and nice lacing, and a fair bit of lacing. Good sweet scent, hints of rice, sugar, and caramal, along with a great tart aroma; the scent reminds me more of an Irish red than an American red. The taste, though, is more American; though there is a bit of Irish tart, it's mostly a great blend of malts and hops, sweet at first with a nice hit of bitterness as you finish each drink. Gets better with each taste. Goes down very smooth, if a bit overcarbonated. Excellent beer.

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Photo of cb500rider
4.27/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Being from Kalamazoo, where Bell's was originally made before moving five miles down the road to Comstock, I must admit I am a bit biased in my opinion of Bell's beers. However, they didn't brew their first batch until two years after I left home to become one of Uncle Sam's Misguided Children, so, my bias is purely geographical.

I discovered bells about ten years ago when I was visiting home. Being a fan of darker fare, I went to the Bell's Gastro Pub in Downtown, site of the original brewery, and had several beers including Kalamazoo Stout, Expedition stout, and the Best Brown. All of which are excellent.

Not until returning to my humid existence in rainy.. err.. sunny Florida, did I try Bell's original beer, the Amber Ale. WOW! this is an excellent beer. Hoppy, sweet and bitter, with unfiltered sediment in the pour. A tall, yet light head at pour. Yet not too heavy for the Florida heat. I love this stuff.

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Photo of Vancer
4.27/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Now, this was just a nice and solid offering, again, from Bells. Intriguing pour – hazy amber / orange with a thing ivory head. Notes of malts with orange and spice in the aroma, which carried over to the quaff quite nicely. Luv a taste of the fall spices in an amber ale. A little cinnamon goes a long way, but the subtle hint was perfect.

Medium to full bodied for an amber, this was just an excellent drinker for one or many

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Photo of ncvbc
4.27/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky amber in color, medium head with spots of lacing. Smell is good and balanced but all I think is buttered bread and toasted caramel. Some grain and light hops. Very delicate and balanced taste. A brief hint of bitterness up front but this is more of a malted amber. Toasted bread and light grain with some sweetness. Good earthy, light citrus hops. Smooth, lightly crisp but almost doughy mouthfeel. Carbonation level keeps it from becoming creamy or full. The hops keep this brew in check but malt flavor is the winner. Very drinkable, session amber. A vacation from the hopped up trend of ambers that seems to be going on, I like it.

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Photo of RunForYourBeer
4.27/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from batch 9781.

A: Pours an orange color with very little head.

S: Nearly all caramel malt on this one.

T: Starts out with lots of caramel malt with hints bready malt. Finish with some light citrus hops.

M: Medium with the right amount of carbonation.

D: High.

This is a good beer. It's highly drinkable and easy to get in my area. Would make a great session beer or gateway to craft beer.

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Photo of ZAP
4.27/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An exciting amber ale....a nice spicy hop nose...also some malt sweetness on the nostrils....orangish in color...cloudy...chunks of stuff flloating all over...beautifull!! The taste is definitely dominated by the malt sweetness...but it is more of a Belgian style hard candy sugar type sweetness...the herbal hops lend a nice balance...I've had many "amber ales"...most are OK but not real interesting...this one is veritable adventure in tasting...another dandy from one of the top breweries in the U.S.

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Photo of SSBrennan
4.27/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dull copper color with a thick slow falling tan head.

The smell is rich with roasted grain and only hints of hops. Very clean odor with the right sweetness.

The taste is initially dominated by smooth roasted malt which gives way to earthy herbal hops with a slightly acidic finish.

The mouthfeel is smooth and rich with a clean finish.

Extremely drinkable and refreshing.

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Photo of Catracho5
4.28/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle poured into a Bell's shaker pint

A: Very hazy, orange, reddish, nice creamy off white head, looks very drinkable.

A: Caramel malts, picking up some floral hop aromas, smells sweet, like a slight brown sugar aroma, smells great.

T: Caramel malts, nice balanced bitterness in the middle, dry hoppy finish, not very sweet like the nose, very drinkable, great taste.

M: Very creamy, smooth easy drinking.

O: Very impressed with the drinkability, it's balanced with a nice bitterness in the middle, slight hoppy aromas and flavors. This makes me want to revisit some amber ales as I has been awhile since I've had one, I could see this beer fitting in where I might not want an IPA or a Pale Ale, I'd reach for this. This is definitely worth a try.

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Photo of canoehornpoint
4.28/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Very nice. Poured a nice light amber with little head but very clingy. Light malty aroma. Light creamy malty swee taste with a hint of black currant, nicely offset with finishing hops. Surprisingly light mouthfeel considering the taste. Finishes a bit fuller than the start. Even though I prefer a hoppier beer, I could enjoy many more of these. Very well done.

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Photo of ultralarry2006
4.28/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Left a one finger head with decent retention, and not much lacing at all. Body was a cloudy orange amber.

Smell - toasty, bicuity, and above all, caramelly malt.

Taste - like the smell, and pretty straightforward, caramel, with slight milkiness to it. Toast, biscuits, also. Some slight grass and herbs.

Mouthfeel - full, smooth, low carbonation, some chewiness.

Drinkability - this is very good and goes down well. Very sessionable.

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Photo of Gear54
4.28/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

From a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass

Pour is deep amber in color with 1/2 finger of thin off white foam and no lace left on the glass.

Smell is carmel and bread malts with citrus and hop notes as well.

Taste follows the nose quite well. Carmel and citrus flavors with a strong punch of brown sugar sweetness. Bitter and hop forward as well. Malty backbone just gives enough balance.

Feel is the strongest part of this brew. The hop bitterness and brown sugar sweetness last on the palate for a long while after the sip. Very smooth and easy drinking even for the high level of bitterness. Really well put together

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Photo of drdiesel9483
4.29/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

look - great golden amber color with a good white head and lacing
Smell - malty with a cherry smell
Taste - Malty slightly toast taste with a some cherry and citrus in there
Feel - Medium body with a creamy feel and a crisp after taste and medium carbonation.
Overall - By bar the is one of the best amber ales.

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Photo of nycjag
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another yummy beer from my Bell's mixpack. Brazenly purchased in Harrisburg, PA, and stealthily brought back across the New York State border via an underground tunnel that was carved out under the Hudson River at least a half century ago. Maybe drinking Bell's in New York City makes it taste better because we vociferously aren't supposed to have it. If so, who cares? This is a great beer.

It pours a nice deep amber (duh) with about a one-inch head. The aroma hops aren't too far forward and the maltiness you get from quaffing this beer is also present in the aroma.

This is an Amber you could drink gallons of and not get tired of it. Some nice biscuity flavors going on here.

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Photo of DerekP
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bell's Amber Ale is unquestionably amber colored, with sweet malts that show in the taste and smell. I smell quality hops as well. What I really enjoy about this beer is the obvious lack of filtration. One look in your mug or pint glass and you'll see the aftereffects of mashing hops and barley; the little guys that find their way through a strainer, and into a carboy for the joy of fermentation.

I got about a quarter to half-inch thick head that seems to be planning to stick around for good, or at least until I'm through with the beer. The bottle shows the ABV as 5.8%; not too bad, definitely sessionable. There's a little over a hint of an alcoholic taste coming through, nothing to fuss about. The body is a solid medium, appropriate to the degree of sweet malts. Every bar in the country should have this brew available. I really stand behind this beer, not just in defense of microbreweries and the culture of better beer, but for the fact that it is extremely drinkable, and could definitely be appreciated by the most close-minded, light beer aficionado. Bell's Amber Ale should serve as the gateway brew to better beer for the lowest common denominator of beer drinkers.

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