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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.
BA SCORE
87
very good

898 Reviews
THE BROS
97
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 898
Hads: 2,776
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 10.13%
Wants: 122
Gots: 370 | 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: 898 | Hads: 2,776
Photo of malty
4.62/5  rDev +20%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz. longneck - no freshness date.

Appearance is a beautiful glowing amber (go figure) with a brite white head. The tiniest of suspended yeast is apparent if you look closely into the beer, due to the fact that Bell's doesn't filter their ales.

Fresh, blossoming notes of sweet pale malt. Reminds me of fresh sugar cookies - nice & doughy. Very clean smelling.

Now I know why Bell's claims this to be their 'flagship' beer. Perfect balance of malty sweet and just the right touch of prickly hops. Oh so fresh... A faint spiceness evokes from the rich and sweet carmel liquid also.

Mouthfeel is perfect for this style. Soft, gentle and tiny bubbles caress the tongue making this light-medium bodied ale's flavor linger on past the swallow. Just enough dryness in the finish to insure this sweet nectar doesn't build-up and become cloying.

Drinkability is outrageously high. Beer drinkers from beginners to veteran would most likely agree it's hard to put down. It's got something for everyone.

Overall a splendid example of a style that's been butchered and pimped for over 15 years. This is a model interpretation of an easy drinking, yet refined and calculated amber ale. Fill up an aluminum wash tub with this and fire up the coals, it's summertime baby. This is how we do it in Michigan! (1,325 characters)

Photo of Brian700
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one pours an amber color with with a light tan head that doesn't hang around very long. It smells of malt and I can detect a faint hop aroma. The taste is mostly sweet malt and caramel. There is a light hop after taste. It has a good mouthfeel with a medium carbonation. Overall a good beer. I recommend it. (312 characters)

Photo of merlin48
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle pours a hazy, medium gold body(odd for an amber) with a skimpy offwhite head that quickly vanishes. Minimal lacing.
Aroma is initially hoppy, with grapefruit and orangerind. Caramel pale malt notes lurk in the background.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied with appropriate medium carbonation.
Taste is above average for an American Amber, but not spectacular. Hops are dry and bitter, grapefruit and citrus rind is barely balanced by the caramel sweetness. Finishes clean and even.
Well balanced, overall, and very sessionable. Just not one of my favorites for the style. (582 characters)

Photo of jasonpeckins32
3.52/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a bold and cloudy copper color, not quite amber really. There is a nice head retention and it appears to have a nice amount of carbonation. The first smells are of caramel malts teasing my senses, and that later changes to a large wiff of hops that stays through the rest of the session. The tastes are strong of hops. A little bitter and souring, the aftertaste almost makes you smack your tongue on the roof of your mouth. After your frist few drinks there is a bready flavor sensed also. It doesnt have the "red beer" flavor or smell that I expected it too. But its not bad by any means, just not what I was expecting. (637 characters)

Photo of BeerFink
4.26/5  rDev +10.6%
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. (775 characters)

Photo of unit555
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice amber beer that pours with a deep rich copper color. The head looks almost "delicate" and rapidly disapepars but leaves a nice persistent lace ont he side of the glass that lasts the whole way to the bottom.

The aroma is prominent with hops and a sweetness. The taste nice and it is an easy drinking beer. There is a big taste that I am having trouble putting a finger on. It's not asweet per se but it is a tatste I associate with sweet.

As with other beers in the Bells line the flavors are long lasting and the beer is well crafted. (546 characters)

Photo of deejaydan
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep copper, not quite an amber in my book though. Looks nice. Very good lacing, and good head retention, it hangs out for a while. Smells slightly yeasty/bready and a mostly malted barley smell. Taste is very bready, sweet, with a pinch of hops in there. Mouthfeel is robust for style, carbonation is just right. This is a great crossover, or session beer. (365 characters)

Photo of masterbruewer
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a cloudy amber-gold color with moderate tan head and steady carbonation with little bubble clumping on the bottom. Solid lacing but the head fades fast.

The smell is sweet and malty, faint hop presence. Maybe a hint of citrus.

A mix of malty sweetness and faint citrusy tartness, no real hop kick to speak of. Not a flavor I expected, but not a bad flavor at all.

Mouthfeel is a little creamy and smooth.

Very drinkable, not a bad beer at all. (462 characters)

Photo of redmosquito
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber in color indeed! With a nice lacing white head, as well. The aroma is malty, bread and caramel tinged with toffee, and light hops. As it warms the aroma shifts more to the hops with a definate citrus and pine scent, and a slight bit of diacetyl. The flavor is sweet, toasty, with fruity yeast in the background. Decent bitterness and a smooth mouthfeel finish this one off. Overall this is still a great beer, it's nice to see Bell's still getting the job done. (467 characters)

Photo of jimdkc
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy, but bright, amber color with a decent-sized cream-colored head. Loads of particulate matter suspended in this beer! Head dies back to a thin blanket of foam with good retention. Leaves a small amount of lace on the glass. Clean aroma of carmel malt and a hint of piney hops. Taste is more pine/earthy hops up front, some hop bitterness at the back of the tongue, and a solid malt base. Slightly sour aftertaste. Body is fairly light with moderate carbonation. I've enjoyed most Bell's that I've tried and this is no exception! (540 characters)

Photo of skybluewater
3.2/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a very murky orange color, with the yeast I poured in accidentally. Smell is quite funky. I don't like it much at all (although I can't describe what it is I don't like...). Taste isn't all that bad (compared to other Bell's beers I've had), although I'm really not all that crazy about it. There's some malty, with a bit of creamy texture, and a little citrusy hops.

This, to me, is yet another disappointing Bell's beer. While it's better than some other Bell's beers such as Cherry Stout and Two Hearted (shudder), it isn't a beer I'd buy again. There are just too many good ones out there to waste my money on semi-drinkable brews. (645 characters)

Photo of Suds
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried this one on a recent business trip, with a heavy potato sausage dinner. It appears as an amber, hazy liquid with a thin, but firm and lasting white head. Aroma is very pleasing…malty and doughy, ripe fruit, and a little butterscotch. Caramel and some flowery hops. Foretaste is a little sweet, with a solid malt flavor. Hops really come out in the mid-taste and the beer finishes with a notable bitterness. It was a very nice accompaniment to my meal…exactly what I imagine in a drinkable, flavorful ale. (512 characters)

Photo of walleye
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured cloudy copper med. sized head that didn’t last too long.aroma hops,malts hint of yeast a some sweetness,nice balance. flavor,can’t put the buds to it but a slight sweetness almost like pineapple? than some bitterness. had a nice mouth feel and finish (259 characters)

Photo of BrewMaster
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle. It pours a cloudy orange with sediment floating in it that eventually settled to the bottom. The aroma is mostly of pale malt. The flavors is a light malty aroma with hop bitterness up front and sweet pear ending. The ending is crisp with a bready aftertaste but it is not pasty or overdone. This could definately be a daily drinker for those who have access to it. (392 characters)

Photo of karengarys
3.51/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Mine poured deep amber, very cloudy and with little floaties in it. I actually thought it looked kinda neat, but for the style I would not expect the clumps. It left a bit of a head, but not much. Some stuck to the glass.

It smelled quite good. Sweet, Floral, like a fresh spring day.

The mouthfeel was pretty good, creamy at first, and that dissipated quickly to a smoothness.

Taste is good, a bit bitter up front with the pine hop taste. There was a mellow roasty sweetness to balance that out a bit, but the bitter was up front.

It has a smooth finish that fades with carmel and banana.

Unfortunately, there is a bitter aftertaste left afterwards. ...guess I'll just have to drink and drink and drink and drink....

This is a good beer with lots of character. I would suggest to at least give it a try if you like slightly bitter beers. (856 characters)

Photo of mobyfann
3.39/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Paid $15 even for the Midwest Taster...

The appearence is where this beer shines, right from the pour a beautiful semi-hazy amber colored base with a medium white head, exceptional head retention and very nice lacing effects. However, the smell prones to manage hints of malts and hops, but also hints of alcohol in the smell, something I've never smelt from Bell's before.

The taste leaves off where the smell left off, an overall nice taste but the hints of alcohol for a 5.5%abv really affects this beer. The mouthfeel and drinkability is something Bell's has down pat.

Final Thought: This beer tasted slightly better the longer it settled, so keep that in mind... Overall a solid ale! (697 characters)

Photo of alexgash
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm beginning to think that Bell's beers were made for me. The amber ale appears to be their flagship beer, much like Fat Tire is New Belgium's. Both being amber ales, I can safely say that Bell's kicks Fat Tire's Fat Ass. No offense New Belgium.
Cloudy orange-tinged amber with a pillowy soft white head. Smells of sweet graham crackers, with a gentle hop backing. The taste reminds me of homemade cookie dough and caramel rolls. Very malty and yeasty. Medium bodied, low carbonation. Some hop presence (just enough to balance out the bakery sweetness). One of the best ambers I've ever had. (594 characters)

Photo of Gavage
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Slighty hazy amber / orange color with a huge 3" head. Carbonation levels seemed a bit strong. The aroma was of caramel and yeast. The flavor was simple and pleasant as caramel, sweet fruitiness, and mild bitterness were well balanced. There was some light lacing that developed on the glass.

This was a light/medium bodied brew with a smooth crisp start and a smooth caramel finish. Caramel and fruit tones lasted briefly on the tongue. Extremely drinkable and a simple session beer that has some nice flavor you won't get bored with. (538 characters)

Photo of ken3c
3.41/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice foamy head recedes to wisps and a halo. Lacing is spotty. Cloudy amber clarifies significantly but not completely by the end of the glass.

Smells slightly malty and slightly hoppy.

Tastes slightly sweet and slightly hoppy. There is also a rather harsh bitter taste that improves as it clarifies.

Mouthfeel is light to medium and lightly carbonated.

Drinkability suffers from the harsh bitterness but this beer was still enjoyable.

Next time I drink this, I'll do a better job of decanting. (509 characters)

Photo of bewareOFpenguin
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Solid offering, I can see why it is the flagship ale. Nice amber color and a decent head. The taste was more on the lines of a pale ale than an amber. Hints of fruit, a good malt base and a surprise hop effect in the background. Quite tastey, overall. (251 characters)

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a nice golden amber color with a 1/2" think head. The head lingers for a bit, but dissipates pretty quickly. My nose picks up some malt tones coupled with hoppy undertones. Quite nice overall. There is quite a bit of yeast floating in the glass...and even more on the bottom of the bottle. The first sip comes with a strong sweet malty flavor and a bit of hop bite on the finish. Biterness is hardly there...mostly caramel tones and a bit of a bready yeast flavor. It's quite a tasty ale and goes down clean and smooth. This definetly would qualify as a quality session brew. Bell's produces some fine brews and this one is no exception. (653 characters)

Photo of sabrills70
3.82/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy orange amber color with an medium head that faded rather quickly. Lots of sediment. Good lace. Smell of sweet malt, with some citrus and perhaps a bit of caramel and vanilla. Taste is sweet malt with a nice crisp hoppiness, finishes dry. Very well balanced. Very drinkable. A very nice amber. Try some if you get the chance (338 characters)

Photo of jayb
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

orangish red in color. Sediment throughout the glass. An off white head that settled quickly. Lacing was non-existant. Aroma was of sweet malts and a slight citrus tang. little bit of caramel as well. Taste was of sweet grains, herbal spice, slight roasted bitterness. Carbonation has a real bite to it. Very dry. Caramel and roastiness keick into full gear towards the end when the brew warms up. A pretty soild amber in my book. (430 characters)

Photo of kmpitz2
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a light amber color, something like a weak tea. The head is about two fingers that falls quickly to a nice coating over the beer. The nose is citrusy hop with some malt sweetness. The flavor is not as sweet as I expected with the nose. It has a really spicy, almost peppery, hop finish...a very pleasant surprise. The beer is moderately thick, without a burning carbonation, overall good. This s nice drinkable beer. I would consider having a glass of it while out if it were offered. I can see myself revisiting it in the fall or early spring. (559 characters)

Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark gold/amber color with a thick frothy off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a dry, yet malty scent with some floral hop notes. The taste is good. It has a dry, malty flavor that is bitter and toastey. It has a crisp finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a fine amber ale. It has it all; a good drinker. (406 characters)

Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 898 ratings.