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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: 2,798
Avg: 3.84
pDev: 21.09%
Wants: 125
Gots: 383 | 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: 2,798
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.32/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12 ouncer, long neck brown bottle. The single obverse main label is a dark brown colored label that has a profile of what looks like a Heron. No freshness date or strength listed.

Appearance: What the Furrrccc…..!?? This is sludge! Hold on, no its not! Well, it is very murky. Indeed, it is a deeply impenetrable filthy amber with hints of fluorescent rusty oranges. The dirty white head is good at first, but soon breaks down into a scum like covering. Not your usual appearance – maybe off-putting to some. Different, but certainly not classic Amber Ale looks.

Nose: The nose is very inviting, deep fruity hoppy malts mixed with some caramel. Nice.

Taste: The tastes are very good, much better than the appearance - thankfully. Lovely honey malts introduce an earthy malt feel that has a caramel finish. Some yeasty dough & bread feel in the dying end.

Mouthfeel: The body is rather average I think, but I like the buttery feel that the beer leaves towards the end of the experience. Dry, rather malty end.

Drinkability: Not bad, but by no means a favorite at all. I have had much better Amber Ales.

Overall: Not to my tastes I’m afraid. The reverse label states “You hold in your hand the Flagship of the Bell’s Family, Amber Ale…” It’s a reasonably good beer for sure, and I like Bell’s beers, well, whenever I get the chance to try them. BUT, I have some more Bell’s in the Fridge that I have yet to try (Thanks & Kudos to FM), AND, I have a funny feeling that I may dispel the Bell’s claim very shortly.

Quite simply – Murky, enjoyable but not yer usual Amber Ale.

Another “Tip of the Hat, Sir” to FM for getting to try this one.

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Photo of ManekiNeko
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

served chilled in a pint glass.

Appearance: Hazy amber colored liquid with a smallish off-white head. No retention or lacing.

Smell: Bready, sweet pale malt aroma, vaguely buttery. Quite interesting. No real hop presence on the nose.

Taste: Very clear cut pale malt flavor. Bready and sweet with some nice buttery tastes as well. Faint hops on the finish. Hefe-like clove in the background.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, yet light in body. Very smooth and quite refreshing.

Drinkability: I can see why this is their flagship beer. Probably one of the best sane session beers I've had, second only to Oberon. If you need to show someone what pale malt tastes like, begin with this.

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Photo of brakspear
3.47/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a flat clear orangish body with a faint head, moderate carbonation. The aroma is caramel malts and hoppy spice with a decent balance between the two. The flavors are also well balanced, malty sweetness followed by a moderate hop bite, a bit a green apples and sourness in the finish. The body and mouthfeel seems appropriate for the style. A decent amber ale, but not impressively so.

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Photo of budgood1
4.35/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours out a semi-cloudy copper colour with a rather paltry head that dies down to spider web of lace. delicious aroma of fruit; sweet maltiness balances the nose. tastes predominantly of the juicy hop load...some yeast...unlike any amber i've had before....impeccably smooth and full bodied. hop profile stays mostly fruity and citrusy, with hints of pine and spruce. any overriding bitterness is washed away by a malt base worthy of praise. finish is slightly bitter with notes of alcohol. this is a remarkable amber ale...full of hop flavour without the residual harsh bitterness. slides down without effort. a sessionable ale that would appeal to all.

cheers to feloniousmonk for the sample.

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Photo of ngandhi
4.23/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Along the lines of a malty pale ale, Bell's Amber is a fantastic balance of malt and hops. Cascadey, but milder like Willamette, the hop aroma and tongue are fleetingly bitter, floral, but without the perfume of Two Hearted. This must have been designed to be a session ale and, indeed, it is. I had a pitcher to myself with Mexican food at Fiesta Cafe in Champaign, IL (only 8.00).

Highly recommended, this is certainly unlike any bock. The opening is malty and sweet with a hop bitterness and the finish lightly crisp, bitter, and still malty. Toffee. Consistent and entirely enjoyable. This might be my favorite Bell's brew.

Drink it.

Relax, relax.

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Photo of Reverand
4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured to a nice hazy amber, orange in color with a nice white head. I was quite impressed with the head retention and the belgian lace that seemed to cling all the way to the bottom.
A nice balance of hops and malt make this beer easy to drink that finished with a nice aftertaste. Can't wait to try the other brews from this brewery.

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Photo of dmarch
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The lable states that this is the flagship beer of Bell's and it's easy to see why. Nothing fancy. It just tastes like a beer, only a good beer making it an excellent cross-over beer for the people looking to convert swill-drinkers. It has an orange-amber color with a head that slowly dissappears. There are flavors of toasted malt and very slight hops. It's mostly the maltly sweetness that dominates here.

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Photo of UncleJimbo
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz, brown longneck bottle, capped.

This amber ale poured a hazy, amber-orange color with white foam that settled but clung to the sides of the glass a bit. The smell was malty with aromas of caramel and biscuit and hops. The taste was sharp up front but with a malty, very hoppy finish. In between were flavors of oak and caramel malt. The mouthfeel was crisp and initially slightly sweet but dry and hoppy at the finish. The body was medium with good carbonation. This was a nice amber ale with lots of flavor.

Thanks to feloniousmonk for this one.

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Photo of SheepNutz
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a pint glass. It pours a slightly hazy golden-amber color with 3 fingers of head. There is lots of sticky lace left on the glass. The smell has bits of flowers and pine to it, with a little fruityness. The taste is fairly malty with some caramel, apples, and a hint of alcohol. There is a bit of hops to the finish that balances it all out. The body is just a little above average, a little thin. The drinkability isn't that bad though. Not a bad session brew.

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Photo of putnam
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice, roasted hop-scented beer. Suggestive of browned pine needles and grilled nuts. Old-time Bell's aromas.
The liquid is a deep tawny red/orange and sports a wild pattern of bubbles.
Now, hours later, the beer is warm and less fizzy, but not a bad drink at all. A wild, crabapple tartness strips away the generous, packed layer of baked cake flavor just enough to reveal a slight aluminum nuance. A solid effort.

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Photo of far333
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Now appearing in a kitchen near me, thanks to Brent. Hazy, opaque apricot color with a thick orangey-beige head that settles in for the duration. Interesting aroma of sweet malt with a distinctive banana smell. Some hints of candy as well. Very thick and creamy mouthfeel, with big fat rings of lace stuck to the inside of the glass. Flavor is full, but balanced with malt, a bit of hops, and lingering pine and orange peel. Excellent beer, with lots of character for an amber.

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Photo of oberon
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The flagship of Bells,pours a medium amber color with a nice medium sticky head,the aroma is is sweet with a good hop presence.A very nice balanced ale starts out malty sweet and fruity with a nice hop bitterness in the finish.A personal favorite and easy to find when Iam home in Michigan.

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Photo of jcalabre
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: This pours a hazy amber/orange color w/ a 1 inch white head that slowly disappears.
Nose: I get a little bit of green apple in the nose along with some hops
Flavor: it's a very hoppy amber but it's offset by sweetness, too. This makes it quite enjoyable. The mouthfeel is crisp & clean.

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

Brewed with pale, caramel, munich malts, and a "mélange of American hops".

OG=1.056, 6.0% ABV.

Brilliantly clear with a careful decant, honey-colored amber with copper accents, forming a sticky white head with very good retention and excellent lacing. Carbonation is moderate. Aroma has a nice touch of sweet butterscotch, clover honey, toasted grains, and mild hops. Mouthfeel is slick with a medium body and moderately bright acidity from the carbonation. Taste begins with smooth, well-balanced earthy hybrid American/English hops followed by caramel, a backbone of honey sweetness and a lightly astringent tea-like toasted malt body. The finish has notes of grainy bitterness and is lightly dry with more butterscotch and tannins.

A very nice, solid amber ale. Always a pleasure to drink some Bell's.

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Photo of Realale
2.76/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Slightly cloudy copper/orange in color. White fine fluffy head settles to a complete cap and leaves nice lace.

Nose is faint bready malt over a chalky-mineral base. Slight hint of fruit, and a touch of both yeastiness and caramel. Quite subdued.

Sweet palate impression, initially, then a bit of bready malt. No hop flavor, but a significant mineral component - chalky again. Some bitterness on the finish, but its quite short.

Mouthfeel would be helped by a bit higher level of carbonation - it might give this one some personality. No real faults, other than not being particularly interesting or well-balanced.

Purchased at the Brewery's General Store on July 3, 2003.

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Photo of hotstuff
4.4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I had this beer on tap at Bell's and I really, really enjoyed drinking it. In fact, this is a beer that I would drink all night at a bar or party. In fact, one just wasn't enough as it went down very smoothly and I just had to have more and more and more. It ended up being a fun night at Bell's!

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Photo of Tballz420
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ive had this beer a couple times and am quite impressed with it. Its a nice amber colored drink, good amound of lace left on the glass. Its got a nice sweet taste to it, along with roasted flavors. Also a hint of citrus is detected. This is one that i would recommend.

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Photo of TheDM
3.46/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brew has a mild aroma if any at all. Its head died out very quickly. It has a nice amber brown color. My initial taste contained a hint of a fore taste that I later tasted on the back of my throat. It contained some carbonation and was a little watery in flavor.

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Photo of aaronh
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper/amber color with a thick, light tan head. Excellent head retention. Malty, caramel aroma is evident from the moment the cap pops on the bottle, and easily wafts 18 inches from my glass to my nose. Upon closer inspection, a very pleasing earthy hop balance is evident within the carmal aromas. The taste presents a woody flavor surrounded by malt and hops. Biscuit and caramel flavors are definitely present, but the woodiness is dominant. Slightly fry finish, with a slight note of alcohol esters of some sort. Earhty notes linger in the aftertaste. The woodiness diminshes a bit as the beer warms, but a stronger bitterness assumes it;s palce. The mouthfeel is solid, and the drinkability pretty good. Although this is much better than the evidently bad bottle from late winter, the flavor profile just doesn't suit my palate well. I think it was Cottonwood's Low Down Brown that had a similar woodiness to it, which I also didn't care for. I'll have to do some investigating as to what that taste is.

*original review, 2-6-03*
Copper colored beer poured with a huge, off-white head. However, it had a large amount of sediment chunks floating around in it. I've seen these before in other ales, and they look like little flakes of minerals. Usually doesn't affect the taste, but it isn't attractive. The aroma is hoppy, with a sweet malt aroma behind it. Smells like a sweetly scented flower. The taste had a bit of a strong pine note to it, with alcohol clearly evident. Surprisingly so for a 5.5% ABV beer. A bit of a sourness was present on the finish, with strong pine flavors as well. Very bitter as well, but in a bad way. Mouthfeel was decent, but drinkability was poor due to the off flavors. I'm presuming this bottle was of sub-par caliber. I'll re-visit this beer later in the year after obtaining another sampl

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Photo of Indybeer
3.38/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Poured a dark amber, with a small head that didn't last. Some fine lacing is present. Aroma of hops and malt. Taste is smooth and balanced. With a nice hop finish. Mouthfeel is smooth but there isn't much carbonation, but all in all a very good session beer.

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Photo of BeerBuilder
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured to a chill hazed amber-orange color with a tan head. The aroma was of fruity/floral hops, sweet caramel malts. The flavor was fruity, and semi-sweet, with a bready malt flavor. It is a well balanced, medium-bodied brew that is easy drinking. A tasty brew.

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Photo of tar
3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bell's Amber Ale pours a cloudy amber with a thick puffy white head. Some sediment/particles were present, suspended in the glass (I've had this beer several times before and have never noticed this). A fairly persistent head leaves rings around the glass as it slowly diminishes. Very little aroma is present---a bit of hops comes through, and a hint of floral scents. This is mirrored in the taste, which is good but rather mild. There is a slight yeasty flavor in the finish. A fairly smooth, medium bodied beer which is pretty good, but not exceptional.

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Photo of BitteBier
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Golden amber color with perfectly-suspended sediment and just a bit of carbonation. Head and lacing are minimal. Sweetness and floral hops combine for an appealing nose. Smooth, malty flavor quickly gives way to hoppy middle. Finish is surprisingly strong--crisp and even a bit warm. Another characteristically drinkable Bell's product.

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Photo of Redrover
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this one on tap at the Wild Goose in Chicago. Nice brown/amber color and tan head. Decent lacing.

Beer smelled of bread, malts and fruit. Very nice.

Taste was great. Some grainy (not adjunct) backbone. Nice malt sweetness. Just enough hops to make everything work. Beer had excellent carbonation. My only complaint (minor) is that the mouthfeel was a little thin. Easy drinking beer here. I had not had one of these for a year or so, so it was nice to revisit an old friend!

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Photo of BigHead
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After driving 4600 miles to get a boat, and a pit stop in Chicago to get beer from Sams, this was my first Bell's beer that I get to try out of the variety that I purchased. It poured out nicely, keeping a good head, and had a good amber color with some cloudiness to it. Malty sweet and hop aroma with the hint of spiciness and fruit. A smooth flavor with a finishing bite that leaves my tongue feeling rough on the top. The beer is not overpowered by anyone particular flavor, with the malts and fruity hops balancing each other out nicely. The beer ends with a bready aftertaste. So far so good.

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