1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

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

2,071 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2071
Reviews: 844
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: 2,071 | Reviews: 844 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of LambicPentameter
LambicPentameter

Kansas

3.79/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed out of a 12 oz brown bottle with a bottling date of May 2013. Poured into a 16 oz nonic style pint glass.

Appearance - Aggressive pour yields a one-finger head of gold-tinted tan that dissipates pretty quickly, leaving a rim of healthy foam right around the edges of the glass. Body is a caramel apple amber brown that appears sightly cloudy.

Smell - I detect a pretty solid element of hops, grass along with an underlying bready characteristic. Some faint notes of caramel.

Taste - Not terribly bold, but the flavors are highlighted by some semisweet caramel that evolves into notes of bittering hops and slightly over-browned biscuits.

Mouthfeel - A nice moderate amount of carbonation that provides an element of refreshment and gives the feel some complexity where many amber ales can seem watery and flat. Body is medium-to-light.

Overall, an excellent take on the classic American Amber. Not my favorite style, but this is definitely one I would buy again for a change of pace if I ran across it on the shelves of my local bottle shop.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2013 16:31:34 | More by LambicPentameter
Photo of lovindahops
lovindahops

New York

3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just finished some yard work so my reward will be a bell's amber ale

A- a very hazy brownish orange body with a huge head of foam that refuses to go away. Creamy lacing all over the edges of the glass. A bold looking amber to say the least

S- strong malt presence focusing on caramel, earthy scents, and even some fruit in the back end. Good scent profile that is very malt forward

T- extremely malt with herbal and earthy flavor overlapping the sweetness. Slightly biscuity (much more less than fat tire), but still full of flavor on all realms. Even a little bitter at the end

M- smooth and carbonated right. Not too sticky with the caramel malt flavor

O- a good amber ale from bells that will always be a solid choice!

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2013 19:27:52 | More by lovindahops
Photo of hopsputin
hopsputin

California

3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

a: copper/dark burnt caramel. slightly hazy, with a 3 finger frothy off white head

s: sweet malt and biscuits. faint hint of something earthy

t: follows the nose. the taste is mostly sweet caramel malt. there is a generic bitterness along with some citrus and berry flavors. slight nutty

m: lighter side of medium with mild carbonation

o: pretty average. i'm a fan of sweet beers, so a well made amber is ok by me. nothing great here, but nothing bad - you can drink without thinking about it.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2013 01:56:48 | More by hopsputin
Photo of BB1313
BB1313

Ohio

3.44/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into pint glass. Pours a hazy amber; nice big fluffy head that fades slowly and leaves nice lacing and retention. The aromas are full of caramel malts and earthy hops. There's a strong breadiness in the aromas and flavors. The flavors are grainy with a subtle bitterness. Tons of caramel and grass going on. Solid flavors, but it doesn't have the depth I recall from the past. Mouthfeel is nice. It's light, but feels hearty with active carbonation. Alcohol obviously goes unnoticed. It's ultimately clean and refreshing.

It's been a minute since I've had this beer. It's a good example of the style.

Grade: B-

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2013 23:14:36 | More by BB1313
Photo of BradtheGreat7
BradtheGreat7

Ohio

4.06/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Way past due for a review on this. I enjoy this stuff often.

12 oz brown bottle with a awesome label fit spring through the fall. Scenic and reminds me of the place I live now and grew up. Soothing label and an all time favorite. Poured this into a Bell's Standard pint glass.

A - a golden amber with hints of orange highlights. Yes that's amber with a touch of gold. Lots of haze and what appears to be light sediment floating throughout giving the orange highlights. Good creamy head that leaves a sturdy ring of long lasting lace. Stick is perfect and continues to cling to the walls throughout the experience. This is what an American Amber ale is supposed to look like.

S - an equal display of both hops and malt. Citrusy hops with an equal whiff of caramel malt. Bready yeast character with some nice wafts of soft milk chocolate. Nothing real dominant with this aroma as it has a lot going on and is well balanced but everything seems to remain soft and nothing really grabs hold of the nose.

T - bread like yeast character. Some awesome sweetness in the overall flavor due from the caramel and maybe toffee malt. Almost buttery sweet in and out with a citrusy hop providing a semi bitterness in the finish. Nothing flashy. Just damn tasty.

M - creamy medium body with awesome Bell's texture. It's easy to drink and very sessionable. One of my all time favorites and great any time of year. It's balance is out of this world allowing for maybe the perfect ale a person could enjoy any time.

O - a real deal classic and what I consider the staple of American amber ales. It's very good stuff and enjoyable. There's nothing flashy or in your face with Bell's amber. Just a down right good tasting ale that's really stunning to look at. There's nothing bad to say about this. Ill continue picking this up throughout every year like I have for the multiple years that's past. One I can pick up and know exactly what I'm getting and one that always brings a smile to my face.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2013 23:49:15 | More by BradtheGreat7
Photo of jroberts8811
jroberts8811

Missouri

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.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2013 16:53:10 | More by jroberts8811
Photo of RhinoDBJ
RhinoDBJ

Wisconsin

3.49/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This is my first real "review" ... so here goes. I'm not up on all the terminology ... but I'm gonna work at it!

Bought this at a Trader Joe's to try. I'm kind of an "amber" guy ... so it seemed worth a try. It's nice to see that BA rates this one pretty high (87).

It looks nice in a New Belgium Tulip glass and has a nice amber/rose color

Off white head

Malty smell.

Very drinkable! I'll consider it again!

There, how'd I do!!??

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2013 23:41:17 | More by RhinoDBJ
Photo of dmgeng
dmgeng

Indiana

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

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2013 12:02:18 | More by dmgeng
Photo of Tonmeister
Tonmeister

Georgia

3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured in Goose Island Glass

Appearance: murky, brownish with a thin white head with a lacing that breaks when tilting the glass

The aroma contains a slight hopp presence, somewhat citrusy, but more earthly. I can smell the malts, but it;s hard to distinguish the specific details.

The taste is very smooth, almost tastes like water, but still contains a slight hop presence.

The mouthfeel is thin, with not much carbonation, very smooth and easy on the tongue.

Overall, this is a great breakfast beer. It's light and it goes down smooth. It doesn't feel like I'm drinking a beer. This is not one of my favorites, but for its style, I dig it because it's simple.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2013 20:47:40 | More by Tonmeister
Photo of Roman5150
Roman5150

Spain

4.04/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

bottle into Duvel glass

appearance: cloudy burnt orange with a dark amber hue, 1 finger white head, not too much lacing. very nice looking beer.

smell: bready, citrus, floral, sweet malt, some rye, subtle corn flavor (think macro lagers, but don't interpret that the wrong way, this actually has a somewhat decent aroma, albeit not superb).

taste: Has similarities to a lager or a pils, lots of bready notes, but with a sweeter more emphasized malt bill. The hops are pretty earthy and resinous, but takes a back seat to the malt profile. Very drinkable, highly refreshing and smooth, hardly any bitterness at all. The overall taste is a well balanced earthy, bready, malt favored brew that hit's the spot.

mouthfeel: medium to high carbonation, medium to thin body

overall: A highly drinkable beer from Bell's, also their first beer I think as well. Probably their most accessible, I'd find it hard for someone to not like this, yet it doesn't have any super complex flavor profiles to make it super interesting. But that's what their goal was, make a great well balanced beer that you can enjoy in almost situation. I wouldn't say seek it out, but it's widely available and cheap and you will not be disappointed. Perfect summer beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2013 20:44:39 | More by Roman5150
Photo of Cubieblu
Cubieblu

Illinois

2.99/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.25

Poured from a bottle that was bottled on 1/16/13 (Drinking date is 6/6/13) into a Stella Artois Chalice.

A – Pours a one finger off-white head that dissipates leaving only a small about of head around the rim of the glass. Color is burnt-orange that is hazy with quite a bit of partials floating. Some carbonation and a good amount of lacing are noticeable.
S – Very off-putting smell comes off to me. Smell reminds me of baby puke. I can get hints of other smells but the puke smell over-whelms them.

T – Up front malt sweetness. Bread taste in the middle. Nice balanced bitterness in the follow. Leaves a sweet flavor in the mouth. Well balanced beer.

MF – Clean and dry with a decent amount of carbonation.

D – The taste isn’t bad but the aroma really is hindering my enjoyment.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2013 18:39:07 | More by Cubieblu
Photo of TheSixthRing
TheSixthRing

California

3.89/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on date of 01/16/13

Appearance - Pours hazy golden amber with an off-white finger width head. Fair retention, resulting in a thin layer of microbubbles, building thicker around the edge of the glass. Fair lacing with decent stick.

Smell - Moderate caramel notes, with less notes of red apple sweetness. Hints of earthiness and bread.

Taste - Moderate caramel and lesser buttery diacetyl character upfront and throughout. Mild earth tones and apple mid-taste and into the finish, while faint citrus character rides out in the aftertaste, giving this beer a welcome balance.

Mouthfeel - Medium in body with moderate carbonation and a buttery smoothness. Goes down all too easy.

Overall - A solid Amber from Bell's. As smooth balanced as they come, while still maintaining an interesting profile. I could see myself buying this a few times a year if it were to ever hit the shelves in California.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2013 04:25:59 | More by TheSixthRing
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 Kelsiemoeller
Kelsiemoeller

Michigan

3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Caramel in color like a light brown, pretty clear

Smell: You can smell a hint of caramel and yeast, but there is only a very vague smell overall

Taste: You can definitely taste the caramel malt in the beer. There is a kick of bittering hops in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Good mouthfeel; somewhat thick, but not too thick

Overall: You can't go wrong with this Bell's Amber Ale!

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2013 18:14:54 | More by Kelsiemoeller
Photo of timn
timn

Kentucky

4.51/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Pours a dark gold / orange-brown color. Very hazy, almost unfiltered in appearance. A small amount of sudsy head.

S: Slightly sweet, with some hints of malts.

T: Surprisingly complex flavor. Really nice balance of malts and grains, with a nice honey or caramel sweetness at the end. I was pleasantly surprised with the taste.

M: Also a nice mouthfeel. Medium, but with a sort of slick, oily quality to it -- in a good way.

O: I really enjoyed this beer. For an amber ale, it has a nicely complex taste, with a great sweetness to it. I'll definitely grab this one again sometime.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2013 02:25:08 | More by timn
Photo of Bones10
Bones10

Illinois

3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Two Hearted is my favorite beer, but this is just slightly above average for a brewery I hold in very high regards. It's biggest redeeming quality is its proclivity as a session beer. It is also useful to get some new fans of craft beer as this has no offensive qualities. The unfortunate flip side is that it also has no outstanding qualities. But that goes with the style, I suppose. I have recommended this beer to people who are curious about beer to hopefully convert some macro drinkers to the better side of beer drinking.

Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2013 17:22:10 | More by Bones10
Photo of jadpsu
jadpsu

Georgia

4.14/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Hazy orange, light amber in color, with a slightly off white tiny bubble head that shows superior retention and leave some outstanding lace.
Smell: Sweet Malts, biscuits and some caramel. Citric hops, led by orange are evident.
Taste is of maltiness and roasted malts, not as sweet as the aroma. Has a lingering after taste that is dry and tart, very nice.
Malts are thick, chewy
A real nice brew to accompany a good evening meal.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2013 22:16:50 | More by jadpsu
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 dougbassett
dougbassett

Pennsylvania

3.39/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

One of the "1001 Beers You Must Taste Before You Die" -- #16 of the ones I've reviewed here.

Bell's is a good brewery, but this is not a favorite style of mine, so keep that in mind.

Appearance is very nice, as I would expect from Bell's, with a warm golden-brown/toasty color and a head that lingers satisfyingly. The mouthfeel also lingers satisfyingly: one thing I do like about this Amber Ale is that it's built with more stick-to-it-tiveness than what I've had in the past, it just seems like a more substantial beer than what you usually get in the style.

Unfortunately I don't get much nose, outside of a mild buttery/malt kind of thing, and the taste, while not bad, isn't noticeable enough to be "good", either. Very smooth, a hint of butter, a hint of sweet malt, a bit more assertive in the finish. That's really it.

Maybe as well constructed as this particular style can be, but this genre has a lot of mushy, tastes-like-a-whole-heck-of-a-lot-of-nothing beers in it, and so really damning with faint praise here. Not awful, this is actually a higher score than I'd expected to give it, but I doubt I'd ever knowingly go looking for it again.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2013 18:44:08 | More by dougbassett
Photo of KYGunner
KYGunner

Kentucky

3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Almost an unfiltered look, this amber was unusual in appearance. Amber color but quite cloudy it had a stiff creamy head.

The scent was a sweet grassiness. A tinge of roasted malt and a few earthy tones mixed in, the nose was interesting but not beautiful.

There was a sweet roasted malt on the tongue but the earthy tones were persistent. Grassy flavors mixed with a wet barley flavor finished the taste. I yearned for far more toasted qualities in this amber and felt that with a little more time this could have really hit the mark.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2013 01:37:06 | More by KYGunner
Photo of MCain04
MCain04

Illinois

3.35/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a 20 oz Spiegelau glass.

Appearance: Murky orange, amber color. Opaque. Off-white head of 1-2 fingers with decent retention and lacing.

Smell: Not great. Musty is upfront. Beyond that, I get a lot of nutty characters, a hint of floral hops, roasty malt backbone.

Taste: Easy-drinking. Definitely a balanced brew with a mild amount of spice, hops, and malt. For a beer-drinker who appreciates balance and subtlety, this beer is good.

Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation. Light on the mouthfeel. Average finish.

Overall: An above-average amber ale. Nothing I'd go out of my way for, but it's definitely drinkable and tastier than a lot of the other mass-produced amber ales out there.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2013 19:16:22 | More by MCain04
Photo of jmccullough108
jmccullough108

Missouri

3.76/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle dated 09/24/2012 into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a rich copper color, two finger head, lacing sticks around.

Smell: Malt, hints of caramel, chocolate, hints of citrus

Taste: very sweet, almost taste a bit of vanilla, caramel, a bit earthy

Overall: Solid amber ale! Absolutely would buy this again.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2013 00:30:35 | More by jmccullough108
Photo of facundoCNB
facundoCNB

New Jersey

3.14/5  rDev -18%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2013 05:14:36 | More by facundoCNB
Photo of tronester
tronester

Oklahoma

3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy amber/brown with tons of yeast chunkies throughout. Aroma is of light grain. Taste is big toffee, toasty grain flavor up front, followed by some earthy, fruity flavors, and a bit of bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is rich. Overall a good Amber Ale that I would get again.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2013 01:52:40 | More by tronester
Photo of Dodo2step
Dodo2step

Pennsylvania

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

P- Pittsburgh Bottle Shop

A- suspended bubble in amber red color. One finger lacing that lingers but then quickly runs off. Lacing is broken lattice and average.

S- malt tones complemented with citrus scents. grain and bitter smells as well.

F- honey bitter salty malts but not overpowering and citrus rounds out the back end.

M- Dry and medium bodied on the hopness scale. Goes down with ease but the maltiness does linger just a tad too long.

O- I am not a Red ale fan so i did my best but i would have to say this is one of the better ones i have had. I love Bell's and i think they turn out quality beer regardless of style.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2013 23:44:31 | More by Dodo2step
Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 2,071 ratings.