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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

902 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 902
Hads: 2,801
Avg: 3.84
pDev: 21.09%
Wants: 124
Gots: 385 | 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: 902 | Hads: 2,801
Photo of EvoRich
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: Amber in color, two finger fluffy head. Hazy.

Smell: Yeast, hops, fruits and sweetness.

Taste: Excellent flavor. Very understated, but great flavor. The flavor of yeast and bread carry over as well as the sweetness of fruit.

Feel: Light-medium bodied enough to be refreshing, but not so much its watery.

Overall: Excellent stuff! Bell's rarely disappoints.

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Photo of scootny
4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the lodge in Hilton Head. Great clarity with an off color head that just makes it that much prettier. Deep amber with a light brown tint. Nose offers up caramel and firm husky grains. Superbly balanced and delicious. Feel is supple and inviting. This is one I can drink all day and for enjoyment. Great solid beer.

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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.

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Photo of mchegash
4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Date: 8/17/14
Other notes: packaged 7/7/14, poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass.

Appearance - 4.5/5
A great dark, almost pumpkin-orange. I really like the color. Reminds me of ale I would see in a movie set long in the past, people drinking in a tavern. Minimal head retention. Beer is fairly clear, however there are a LOT of particles I see floating around the beer. This is not a bad thing, I was just surprised at how many particles I could see.

Smell - 4/5
Smells how I would expect an Amber Ale to smell. Malty and fruity smells (cherry smell comes to mind), along with some alcohol smells. Overall, a fairly pleasant smell. Nothing unique or special though.

Taste - 4/5
Beer tastes malty and sweet, with citrus flavors. There is some alcohol taste as well. A malty-alcohol-y aftertaste is left in the mouth. Fairly simple taste, nothing too complex going on. But simple does not mean bad, and sometimes you just want a good quality simple beer. This is a good example of that.

Mouthfeel - 4/5
Beer has a medium body. It's quite smooth. Somewhere in-between crisp and creamy. Carbonation is light, but comes out stronger near the end of a sip. The carbonation level is good, because a lot of beers have too strong of carbonation which bites the mouth too much. The level in this beer seems just right.

Overall - 4.5/5
While this beer is nothing special, it's hard to find anything wrong with it either. This is an example of a really well done simple Amber Ale-style beer. I would definitely drink again and would pick up a 6-pack of this beer.

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Photo of delta490
3.79/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a cloudy amber with a creamier white head that leaves some nice lacing and has minor retention. The aroma is mild, but has some nice notes of sweetness (bread and fruit). The taste is also pretty mild, tasty, but lacking the malt depth of the style. The body is light but has a nice smooth feel to it, with just a little bit of carbonation.

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Photo of TeamMathis
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Appearance: Orangish amber. Lots and lots of tiny sediment and cloudiness.
Smell: Malt, lemon, honey, and a bit of caramel.
Taste: About the same as the smell plus floral and pine. A lot of carbonation.

This was really good. No, the flavor or smell won't blow you away, but you'd be hard-pressed to find an amber ale that does. All around, this is a delicious offering worth having. I'd probably get it again.

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Photo of Jonoesh5
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Poured into a 12oz glass. More golden-yellow than amber colored body with a small white head. A very nice balance of malts and hops. Not as watery as a Fat Tire, or as forgettable as Flat 12's Hello My Name is Amber. Makes for a great anytime beer.

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Photo of Gajo74
4.24/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a semi clear light amber with a thin lace. Fruity in the nose; dark fruits soaked in sugar. Then a biscuit and toasted malt aroma. There was also a strong element of caramel in both aroma and taste. A bready and malt forward taste, sweet, fruity, the malt lingers in the aftertaste. However, the drink is balanced by a dry and leafy hops element. The hops leave a bitter finish and after taste especially as the drink warms and they begin to take ov. Full mouthfeel, medium body, very drinkable. Piercing carbonation. A well balanced beer that combines the best of sweet and bitter. A great job by one of my favorite breweries.

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Photo of jman42
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Drank a 12 oz bottle in a goblet outside after a day of Autumn chores.

A = Fairly clear with a deep orange color. TONS of tiny CO2 bubbles. Great head and lacing. Very pretty beer.

S = Minimal. Being an amber, it obviously won't be overly hoppy, but no specific scent came to mind. Just smelled like "beer".

T = Good, but again, no specific taste jumps out. Tastes like "beer".

M = Creamy. No lingering bitterness or anything. Five minutes after finishing it, I can still feel the creaminess.

O = A good drinking beer. Nothing outstanding like their Oberon...just a nice beer to have sitting around on the deck. Bet this would be a good beer to win over Bud/Coors drinkers.

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Photo of cambabeer
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%

This is good, and that coming from a guy not generally into amber ales. It has a great spicy, herbal and buttery bread malt character. Refreshing yet oily from the hops. A whole lot of orange juice in the nose maybe some cloves. There's a little veggie like fresh green herbal notes in both nose and taste. Alcohol is not very noticeable. Medium to light mouthfeel. Really nice drinking.

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

9-6-14. (Re-reviewed 8-7-15, bottle dated 7-15-15) Water goblet.

A: Pours a dark amber with 3 fingers sandy head, foamy. Outstanding retention and lacing. Hazy; lots of fine sediment.

S: Sweet, toasty malt; slight esteryness, slight floral hoppiness; blackberries.

T: Slightly sweet arrival, gentle across mid-palate, to a notable, but not quite firm bitterness at the end.

M: Mid-to-lightweight. Ample but not excessive carbonation.

O: A supremely approachable ale. Tastes like a light malty pale ale without much citrus. I would buy this again as an easy-drinking ale for sure. Less heavy than Censored or Mt. Carmel; less hoppy than Censored, more so than Mt. Carmel. Consider this what the fall is made of.

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Photo of tbeckett
3.34/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottle from Sunoco in Lake Placid. Packaged 7/12/14.

A - Nice golden colour, close to an amber-ish. Good carbonation and some bits floating up. One finger of white head on top. Good lace wall and a half finger of retention.

S - Nice maltiness. Toasty and biscuity. Raisins and a small hop note that's barely there.

T - Rich and malty with a bit of a twang. Sweet with biscuit notes and some caramel/toffee. Not much in the way of a hop presence.

M - Good carbonation, medium body and a sweet toffee finish. Clean.

O/D - While this is a good amber, it's certainly nothing to write home about, especially given the reputation of the brewery. A decent kick at the can, but lacking in depth and hop character for sure. Not worth seeking out.

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Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +23.7%

A toasty malt nose with a hint of vegetal.
Pours amber with an off-white foam cap.
Palate: graham cracker, caramel, with a moderate hop accent on the finish.
medium body and carbonation.

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Photo of MinisterCurry
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Pours from draft with a full, off-white head; color changes vertically from a hazy, rich dark-orange top layer reminiscent of apple cider fading with a gradient to a lighter, opaque amber at the bottom of the glass.

Smells piney, with notes of wood resin, buttered popcorn, peach skin, woven wicker and roasted tree nuts.

Autumn fruit flavors of ripe peach and apricot, baked pie crust, baked buttered biscuits, almond and faint taste of hops.

Mouthfeel is rich, layered and creamy with a cascading, buttery finish.

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Photo of Bone53
4.15/5  rDev +8.1%

Poured from a bottle into a snifter at around 45°F

Appearance (4.25): Orange amber color with a finger off white head

Smell (4.25): Toasted caramel and toffee with slight floral notes

Taste (4): The flavors do not add up to the promise of the aromas; A bit too subtle for me. It is balanced and tasty though between toasty and sweet

Mouthfeel (4.25): Heavy light body; Extremely smooth! Carbonation is spot on and bitterness is at a minimum

Overall: Good amber ale overall, but it could be a great one if the flavors were amped up a bit. I feel like i need to take a gulp to really taste it, which i do any ways because it is so smooth! Another example of why Bells is a solid brewery

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Photo of dacrza1
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%

DATE REVIEWED: August 14, 2014... GLASSWARE: Brew at the Zoo pint... OCCASION: more Shark Week...APPEARANCE: orange bron amber body; two-finger, creamy off-white head; slowly effervescent and rather hazy; a decent-looking pint; nice, thick lacing... AROMA: floral hops mesh with caramel malts; sweet confectioners’ sugar is front and center ... PALATE: medium-bodied, chewy and active--a pub draft, in its consistency... TASTE: strong malty presence; mellow hops roll off the teeth and take a backseat to the nutty, somewhat buttery aftertaste--a confident offering...OVERALL:a pint for conversing over or eating pubfare with--a sessionable beer that sits well in the Bell’s sampler case...

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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 cjgiant
3.72/5  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.

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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 malvrich
3.71/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from brown bottle into a pilsner glass
a: a good hazy, rusty orange/gold color. beer is very cold so a gentle pour only yields a small amount of head. minimal lacing and little visible carbonation in the sediment. this is not a clear beer.

s: slight hops with a spicy bit of sweetness, very subtle smell overall.

t: mild but upfront hop bite gives way to a sort of fruity sweet malt taste. oranges and pumpkin bread? quite well balanced with nothing stealing the show. extremely refreshing despite the haze and easily sessionable. very tasty beer. i was expecting more alcohol hotness but thankfully it is not noticeable.

m: soft but full. maybe a little wheaty which i generally don't care for but is nice here. carbonation is present but very subdued. lingering flavors seem to maintain balance with maybe a bit of hop stickiness dominating the finish.

o: my first experience with Bell's Amber was a good one. nice tasty and well balanced beer will not put off anyone except maybe those freaked out by cloudy appearance. not a favorite but definitely glad I tried it!

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Photo of PaulyB83
4.02/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12oz. bottle into a straight pint glass. Bottled on 05/22/14

A- Pours a hazy medium amber with a two finger slightly off white head.

S- Light spiciness, light banana, sweet bready notes.

T- Light flavors of sweet bread, light spiciness, very light pine, finishes with a light raisin bread flavor and a very mild bitterness.

M- Very easy drinking beer, a great beer to have 2-3 in a sitting, like I'm doing now. Still has some a nice full mouthfeel for a beer with a lighter flavor.

O- This beer is special to be as it is the first craft beer I was exposed to when I was a kid and saw adults drinking things that weren't BMC products. I really enjoy this beer as a nice sessionable malty beer and I also enjoy the history of this beer as it was Larry Bell's flagship offering back in 1985.

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Photo of hophugger
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

pours a deep golden color with decent head. aroma is slightly malty and a touch of yeast. this ale is slightly bitter in a good way and has a nice balance that is not too heavy. Overall, a very nice beer and another winner from this brewery

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Photo of Axeforhire
4.43/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

This was one of the coolest beers to look at. After I poured it I could immediately see it bubbling but it looked more intense than I had ever seen. On closer inspection, sediment was actually in the beer. I had never seen it quite like this before! But I assure you, the beer wasn't spoiled in any way: it was one of the best tasting brews of this type that I have ever had the pleasure of drinking!

The smell was great. Slightly sweet, very floral. Fantastic aroma!

The taste was superb. If everything else was good, this was great. The balance of flavors was almost perfect! A refreshing, lightly sweet taste was followed by the slightest hint of malt and hops. I love a good hoppy beer, but when I don't want overwhelming hops I go for things like amber ales. This was almost exactly what I look for in an amber ale! Thank you, Bell's!

Mouthfeel was good, about what you would expect from a beer like this. Slightly thick but still very light. Doesn't stick in your mouth forever.

Overall, this is a masterfully crafted brew. This is the first I've had from Bell's, and I'll be going back for more!

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Photo of TippedMixology
4.35/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

How happy was I to find this beer right across the street from my apartment!

Appearance - Unfiltered, so don't mind the little pieces floating around in your glass. Light amber, honey, blond. Light, sticky head.

Smell - Floral and sweet. Hints of citrus, floral herbs, and floral hops. Light and not overpowering.

Taste - Pretty similar to the smell, light, but crisp and refreshing. Lightly sweet with a really nice balance between malt and hop at the end--not overpoweringly hoppy. One of the best ambers I've had.

Mouthfeel - I'm always left wanting a little bit more. Not overpowering on the alcohol, but coats your mouth on the aftertaste with an extremely pleasant malty note.

Overall, this is my first beer from Bell's, but I'm keeping my eyes open from anything they're offering from now on. They have a fan in me!

-Adam from Tipped Mixology

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Photo of Augusta3
4.11/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark amber color- pretty cloudy
Aroma: toasted caramel and toffee malts
Taste: very soft and fruity with a toasty finish. Nice balance of sweet and bitter flavors.
Overall: This beer is very food friendly- It would go great with some nice red meat!

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Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 902 ratings.