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

Bell's Amber AleBell's Amber Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

2,067 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2067
Reviews: 843
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 12.01%


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
Ratings: 2,067 | Reviews: 843 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Bighuge
Bighuge

Minnesota

3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is cloudy deep golden with orange tinting. Very slight head. Not a lot going on in the aroma. Some sweet malt tones are noted. The beer has that trademark bready yeastiness to a small degree. Pretty good maltiness, but it is not so huge with the caramel malts as some ambers are. This is a refreshing example of the amber ale style. Some nice little spicy hop notes. Fruity tones are also of note. Solid brew, but there are many other Bell's beers that I enjoy a lot more.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2002 19:27:35 | More by Bighuge
Photo of ADR
ADR

Pennsylvania

4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Man, this brew wants to "rise", head like a custard with "rocky mountains" in the middle...Its a Bell's, so its murky but mostly grainy. Aroma is slightly orangey with a little vanilla. Nice smell... Very rich taste, malts are big and last to the swallow. A bit of butterscotch, satisfying body but also a bit of acidic hops. Well balanced! Big malt and a little sizzle, it has a lot of hand-pulled draught characteristics.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2002 10:28:37 | More by ADR
Photo of Viking
Viking

Indiana

3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Amber color was a bit 'washed out' looking. Not as vibrant as I would like. Nice lacy head that clings to glass. Sweet (maybe a bit too sweet), malty taste. Certainly not my favorite beer from Bell's, but definitely a good brew.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2002 18:15:28 | More by Viking
Photo of proc
proc

Michigan

4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bell's flagship beer and I believe its best seller. Nice hop presence that slightly overtakes the malt in this one. This is not Killian's Irish Red by any means. A red that makes you appreciate a true amber.

-----------Re-rate 8/28/02---------
I've got to bump this beer up. Unlike my earlier review, this beer now seems to exhibit a fantastic balance between malt and hops. You get a full, rich, malty mouthfeel, followed by a very generous, but not overpowering dose of hops. A wonderful beer and one you could drink quite a few of...

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2001 14:56:21 | More by proc
Photo of Kenadien
Kenadien

Illinois

4.85/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A nice perfect example of what a good quality ale should taste like.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2001 19:54:15 | More by Kenadien
Photo of TheDoctor
TheDoctor

Quebec (Canada)

3.81/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A:
Pours a clear red-copper with a healthy beige head that quickly drops to a film with a ring around the glass. Decent retention; some lacing.

S:
Pervasive alcohol sourness with malt notes. Spicy caramel up front with sweet aromas and some hoppy astringency.

T:
Rich, full flavor. Mellow malt tastes with a little caramel and a quick touch of dry hops at the end. Very nice.

M:
Medium body and a little thin-feeling with prickly carbonation and a coating, silky finish.

O:
Good amber.
Mellow, inoffensive, and drinkable. This beer is certainly nothing to write home about but is a solid red beer and would make for a good session beer or could be a good stepping stone into craft for non-beer-drinkers.
Might have again if I had access; a safe bet for a solid, generally enjoyable brew.

Serving type: on-tap

03-03-2014 17:02:19 | More by TheDoctor
Photo of FLima
FLima

Brazil

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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-25-2014 20:47:32 | More by FLima
Photo of plaid75
plaid75

New York

3.76/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On draft at Draught 55, NYC.

Poured a dark copper hue with a one finger frothy white head. There was very good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a light caramel malt with a spattering of grassy hops.

The taste consisted of soft caramel malts with a balancing hop spice.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style with a smooth finish.

Overall a tasty and well balanced amber.

Serving type: on-tap

02-21-2014 21:56:18 | More by plaid75
Photo of carolinahophead
carolinahophead

North Carolina

3.46/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This really could be a fall selection.
A: Light copper to a burnt orange tint. Not much head but does have some lacing.
S: Tight nose . Caramel malt and brown sugar aromas
T: Moderate carbonation with toasted malt flavor. Do like the sweet to bitter thing.
M: Medium mouthfeel with a nice finish. Not hoppy at all.
O: It's a good example of a well made amber. Easy to drink and might be a fall alternative to all those octoberfests .

Serving type: on-tap

08-26-2013 21:04:18 | More by carolinahophead
Photo of magictacosinus
magictacosinus

California

3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured on tap in a 6oz tumbler at a Beer Garden we found in Chicago. Review is from my notes.

Presents an amber, reddish color complete with a slightly thickened yet yet foamy head that eventually dwindles down to a modest ring. Carbonation is fairly plentiful, although it disappears rather quickly. Looks relatively clear and not too thickened overall with each swirl. Slightly syrupy in feel as well. Looks like a good but fairly above average American amber.

At the nose there's a bunch of classic toasted characteristics, with the biscuit backbone and freshly cracked grains following soon after. Slightly soapy as well, which came as a surprise. There's a bit of a malty character that melds with the sweetened toasted flavor but everything ends up remaining overtaken by the bitterness. Slightly spicy, perhaps, but not too complex. Relatively straightforward when reviewing to style.

The flavor continues what was left off from the aroma, with more maltiness this time, especially verging on a toasted cereal grain flavor. The malt backbone provides slight fruitiness, ranging from apples to a hint of apricot, although it eventually melds into a biscuit-like flavor that these beers are known for. Not difficult at all to drink, as the carbonation is well present and it ranges to being semi-dry to wet on the palate. Not too explosive, but a solid offering.

Works as a good summer beer, although it's a little maltier than I like my ambers. The toasted character is highly emphasized but doesn't seem to hold on all the way through, especially when the strong grainy bitterness comes around. I wish the hops were a little bit more present as well, and the same goes for the initial cereal flavors I found satisfying. Solid, but not my favorite offering by Bell's.

Serving type: on-tap

05-02-2013 18:26:20 | More by magictacosinus
Photo of FosterJM
FosterJM

California

3.45/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1756th Review on BA
Draft to Pint

@Brick Taven, Lombard, IL

App- A darker bit of red with some browns intermixed. I like to use the analogy and it works, like a wood stain color. Had a nice dense center with a bit of lighter reddish/brown edges. The head was a nice 1/2" of off white and went quickly.

Smell- Its a malty smell with a bit of the roast lingering after the initial smell. Was a small bit of an earthy hop aroma as well. Wasnt too much here on this one.

Taste- After being a Fat Tire for so long I dont really drink Ambers anymore. I paired this with a Kobe Burger to get the malts to bring a bit of earthiness out of the burger. This beer was a bit malt forward with that distinct red ale flavor but was negligible really. Well balanced with only a small bit of bitter to it.

Mouth- A smaller medium body with a bit of thickness behind. Medium carbonation and a slight amount of malts on the finish with residual bitter.

Drink- I had to drive home but would have loved to stick around for a few more pints of this nice little beer.

Serving type: on-tap

02-23-2013 20:05:28 | More by FosterJM
Photo of Darkmagus82
Darkmagus82

Virginia

3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a 10 oz chalice glass

Appearance – As the name implies it has an amber color with a light haze. Upon serving there was a one finger off white head that faded quickly to leave only a light amount of lacing.

Smell – The aroma was of caramel and toasted bread. Mixed with these were some lighter notes of citrus and some nuttiness.

Taste – The taste starts out as a mix of roasted malt and caramel. While sweeter in the beginning, it some dries out and bitters some as some citrus and pine hop tastes enter the flavor profile. While these never get too strong they do a nice job of balancing some of the sweet in the beginning. Toward the end of the taste some nuttiness comes to the tongue and overall a very nice roasty flavor is left to linger.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is smooth but not thick and the carbonation is on the average side. The creaminess is very nice and helps accentuate the nice more roasted flavors of the brew.

Overall – A pretty tasty amber Well worth a try.

Serving type: on-tap

08-05-2012 22:48:46 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of warnerry
warnerry

Michigan

3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cask at The Soup Spoon

Pours reddish brown with no head at all. Aromas of caramel malt, a bit of bread and maple, vanila and a faint nuttiness. Taste is similar with a bit of hops thrown in. Pretty nice. I've had this in bottles several times, and it is noticeably more enjoyable on cask. Very smooth mouthfeel with a faintly bitter finish. This is a style I normally don't enjoy that much except for hoppier ambers, but on cask this is pretty enjoyable.

Serving type: cask

06-01-2012 21:55:29 | More by warnerry
Photo of kylehay2004
kylehay2004

Florida

4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-17-2012 18:33:31 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of WoodBrew
WoodBrew

Illinois

3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was able to sample the Bell's Amber Ale at "The Bank" in Wheaton. The beer pours a clear amber and thin tan head which laced nicely. The scent was a sweet malt The taste included a sweet malt with floral hop finish. The mouthfeel was a medium body ale with good carbontation. Overall the beer is an easy drinking beer with good flavor and nothing takes over.

Serving type: on-tap

12-30-2011 00:46:34 | More by WoodBrew
Photo of Gatch
Gatch

Massachusetts

3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Papago Brewing Company in Scottsdale, AZ.

A - Well, amber in color with an off-white head.

S - Sweet malt and fruit in the nose.

T - Fruity malt and slight hop presence in the finish. Sweet, sugary, slight alcohol. Toasted, not roasted, malt.

M - Drinkable and while sweet, not cloying.

Solid Amber Ale.

Serving type: on-tap

11-07-2011 06:47:17 | More by Gatch
Photo of Pintofbrown
Pintofbrown

Iowa

4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Cloudy, orange body with dark amber highlights. The one finger, white head is now a film.

Smell- There is a decent amount of sweet malts and a good combination of floral hops.

Taste- There is a strong back bone of honey, caramel malts. Wheat starts to come through in the finish that also meshes with the floral hops from the nose.

Mouth feel- It is medium bodied and smooth. There is a little bit of bubbliness from the carbonation.

Overall- It is a very good ale that is refreshing and has an original flavor I have not yet experienced in an ale.

Serving type: on-tap

10-14-2011 23:33:13 | More by Pintofbrown
Photo of jifigz
jifigz

Pennsylvania

3.43/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at the Bungalow Alehouse in Gainesville, Va.

A: The beer is dark brown/red and had great lacing with a head that lasted quite a while.

S: I couldn't really smell a damn thing coming from this beer but it was, as in most public pub/beer-joint settings, chilled really, really cold. (so my smell category is skewed.)

T: The taste had a faint caramel flavor with a nice malt backbone being very evident. The hop bitterness kicked in late and was very dry and not very bitter.

M: Creamy and delicious and very well fitting. Not overly or under carbonated.

O: A very sold beer. I can't remember what exactly it was like because it was at a pub and I have had several other drinks since then, but either way a solid brew and a first time for this one for me.

Serving type: on-tap

08-22-2011 03:03:42 | More by jifigz
Photo of philbe311
philbe311

Pennsylvania

3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Three fingers worth of active dense tightly packed creamy slightly off-white colored head with a bit of a rocky top... Fairly impressive retention at one fingers worth... Load with small bubbled rapid paced carbonation... The color is a mix of orange, amber, and caramel... Completely translucent...

S - Loads of toffee and toasted malts... Nutty... Caramel... Sweet desert breads... A bit of brown sugar... Raisins...

T - Brown sugar... Toffee... Raisins... Caramel... Nutty... Lots of grassy notes... A slightly assertive hop layer lies beneath and rises on the finish and lingers for a moment...

M - Medium bodied... Light carbonation... A bit sharp... A slightly dry finish...

D - A respectable American Amber... Simple straight-forward and fairly effective... Nothing special, but no real complaints either... A solid flagship brew for Bell's...

Serving type: growler

07-23-2011 01:39:39 | More by philbe311
Photo of godfathermg57
godfathermg57

Florida

4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Very clear amber with fine head

S: Smell is faint and has hints of malt but nothing much to it

T: Very nice for an amber. Smooth malt and a hint of honey.

M: Glorious mouthfeel, thick for an amber and with carbonation. I could feel the beer linger after each sip.

D: Very drinkable and would be a good session beer

I'm wondering whether having it on-tap changed the feel, because it felt much thicker to me than it seems for most other people judging from the other reviews.

Serving type: on-tap

03-05-2011 17:42:31 | More by godfathermg57
Photo of zrab11
zrab11

Indiana

3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a nice soft red with a nice think head

S-has hints of citrus with some hoppy maltness

T-Has a nice plum and peach taste with a hin of hoppiness and carmel.

M-Light bodied with ok carbonation

D- Very drinkingable beer. Really like this beer. Nothing amazing about this beer but very good overall

Serving type: on-tap

03-01-2011 02:55:55 | More by zrab11
Photo of Fieldzy27
Fieldzy27

Florida

3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from an engine at happy our at PROOF.

reviewed from notes.

A-Pours burn orange with a thin bubbly head. Sticky lace sheets with a sudsy consistency.

S-Hoppy with hints of caramel and sweet doughy notes that combine very well with the hops

T-Good amount of light hops followed by a good malty light background of sweet bread and caramel. Very clean finish

M-Thin light and airy with a little carbonation that softens the beer.

D-Through the roof on this one. Amazingly more flavor than the original. A little on the thin side but the abundance of flavor carries it well.

Serving type: cask

01-29-2011 19:54:24 | More by Fieldzy27
Photo of FanofHefe
FanofHefe

Illinois

3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap in a pint glass. Slightly hazy amber body with very little head. Light lacing.

The aroma is light. Biscuity malt with just a hint of tart hops.

Nice malty flavor with some light sweet citrus hop flavor in the background. This is a solid "sessionable" brew.

Serving type: on-tap

01-21-2011 01:22:51 | More by FanofHefe
Photo of JunkYardJake
JunkYardJake

Pennsylvania

3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Bulls Head Pub in Lititz.
First time having Bells Amber. Looks good sitting in the glass with a creamy off-white head and sharp clarity. Nose is subdued but smells fresh. Mostly caramel and bready malts but there is a bit of earthy hop aroma coming through. Palate is quite mild, even compared to the nose. Clean caramel malt flavor with a small hop profile. Moderate body with a proper level of carbonation. Easy drinking brew that could easily be sessioned. Although I enjoyed it, I was expecting a bit more from this beer in the flavor department. Nonetheless, worthy of a try.

Serving type: on-tap

01-20-2011 23:13:27 | More by JunkYardJake
Photo of thedoubler55
thedoubler55

New Jersey

3.28/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Amber in color with a hint of copper, very little head and lacing the dissipates quickly.

S- Sweet malts and smell of sour cherries.

T-Very different, tasted of sweet malts, with some type of citrus hops, well balanced though.

M- Medium bodied, with slight carbonation

D- Nothing special, but something that you can sip on regularly if you have an acquired taste for it.

Serving type: on-tap

01-19-2011 04:05:19 | More by thedoubler55
Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 2,067 ratings.