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

Not Rated.
Bell's Amber AleBell's Amber Ale

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BA SCORE
87
very good

894 Reviews
THE BROS
97
world-class

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Reviews: 894
Hads: 2,747
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 5.71%
Wants: 119
Gots: 350 | 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: 894 | Hads: 2,747
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pretty clouded orange-ish brown amber. Slight leafy nose. Seems very calm though. The flavor really brings it here. Even and firm bodied. Consistently earthy woody tones. Feel is very well bodied on the liquid and a good carbonation as well. I'm calling this as a good example of the style and an overall good brew to try. (330 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
4.34/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a Boddington's hourglass shaped ale glass, served cold.

A - The appearance of Bell's flagship ale left something to be desired at first, perhaps due to my vigorous pour which produced a three finger head that gradually relaxed leaving plenty of lace. Suspended floating matter most likely yeast was evident in the golden amber liquid.

S - A delightful smell of honey like malt, faint berries, and tinges of woody hops mask a slightly estery ale yeast scent.

M - Medium body w/ adequate, but not overpowering carbonation. A sweet but light dryness leads to a crisp smooth finish.

T - Nice malt flavors are saddled by slightly citric hops at the initial taste. Pleasant nuttiness leaves a clean taste of pale malt and faint ginger spiciness and sweet wheat notes. More of an earthy flavor emerges as it warms.

D - Surprisingly drinkable, great example of the style. A beautifully balanced amber ale with subltle hops and a clean finish. Most definitely something you may want to session in my opinion. (1,027 characters)

Photo of Jason
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: On tap, served in a 16 oz. American tumbler glass.

Appearance: Cloudy orange hued amber with a well dispositioned tiny bubbled lace leaving several thick rings on the glass.

Smell: Malty sweet with overtones of fresh toasted grain and a subtle flowery oily hop holding a citric nose.

Taste: Well formed malt sweetness within the medium body, moderate crispness from the carbonation. Faint buttery diacetyl, toffee and toasted malt make for the base of this brew, a tamed yet multi-layered hop runs through a pungent bitterness, an oily flower and a citric flavour towards the end. After taste lingers long and hard with more toasted and citric flavours.

Notes: This is an awesome example of the American Amber Ale Style, robust and very flavourful yet still not a problem having a few or even making it a session beer. Right up there with Full Sail or Anderson Valley in greatness in this style. (921 characters)

Photo of russpowell
3.72/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cheers to BARLEYWINEO for this! Batch 7838

Pours a hazed light orange/peach tea-colored with 3+ fingers of pillowy sand colored head. Hazing never really cleared, average lacing above & average head retention

S: Caramel, doughy notes & a hint of cocoa with just a whiff of citrus hops at the finish

T: Nice bready caramel signature up front along a little citric (tangerine & lemon) hops. Grapefruitty hops & some grainyness as this warms. Finishes a touch dry& astringent , toasty & with just a bit of puckery grapefruit hops

MF: Medium-bodied, low carbonation & okay balance

Drinks pretty good, just didn't quite live up to the initial taste up front, not a bad amber though, just not a great one (703 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Orange tinted glowing amber hazed body with an off white orange cream colored head nice two finger sized head full thick and creamy in appearance, lacing is speckled through out. Aroma: Bready mix of sweet grain and yeast tones along with a very intriguing hop aroma especially for an amber ale earthy tones with a bite of citrus there. Taste: Great malt profile blends well balanced between the doughy sweetness, fuggle hops, and grain driven honey like sweetness with a brown sugar quality about the flavor. Mouthfeel: Sticky in a good way medium to fuller bodied for an amber ale, excellent carbonation nothing to knock gotta give it praise. Drinkability: Challenging amber ale I am definitely impressed by the flavorfulness of this if this is there flagship ale that speaks volumes about Bell's, they make flavorful beer, yum. (842 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I always seem to have unresolved questions for the Kalamazoo Brewing Company, and right now it's: what's the significance of the heron? Maybe it's the Michigan state bird, and I'm just an idiot...This was introduced to me as not only the "flagship" brew of Kalamazoo, but "the beer Larry drinks." Then I found out that when the K'zoo crew really get to partying, it's hard liquor...
Color is hazy orange, bordering on brown, and the head is a good inch thick, properly white. Aroma is sprucey, piney, full of hops, fruity, but mainly pineapple and citrus. There's a touch of tart, but it's mostly sweet.
On the palate, nothing but smooth, smooth, smooth. Malt looms large in this ale, but it's perfectly matched. Hops are tingly, tasty, and not quickly forgotten. I can see tossing back a million of these! Yum-a-licious! (824 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my Bell's tulip because I can. Bottled on 02/07/12, batch 10918.

a - Pours a deep, murky oranger-brown color with one finger of light tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of bready malts, toasted malts, caramel malts, fruity malts, light floral hops, grains, and citrus hops. Ton of malts in the nose, pretty nice.

t - Tastes of fruity malts, toasted malts, bread, grains, wheat, caramel malts, dark fruits, light sweet sugar, and citrus hops. More fruit then the nose and less toasted and bready malts; slightly better then the nose.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Smooth and easy to drink.

o - Overall a pretty nice beer. Not my favorite style, but one of the better easily accessible amber ales out there. Not of toasted and bready malts in the nose and some sweet fruity malts in the taste. Very easy to drink, could see a lot of non-craft beer drinkers enjoying this. Wouldn't buy it too often but worth checking out. (988 characters)

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

Poured from a bottle into a Bell's pint glass. At the time of this review, this is the #45 American Amber / Red Ale on the beeradvocate best of lists.

Beer is red and really hazy with no head, low carbonation, no lacing.

Aroma is sweet with a mild earthiness to it. Smells like a malty beer.

Beer is medium in body and really malty on the forward, the finish is heavy and syrupy with a mild hop presence. The beer in the middle is a little heavy and still sweet with the malt. Overall it is a malty red, nothing too special but drinkable for sure. (550 characters)

Photo of jwc215
3.86/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours deep amber with a one-finger creamy head that lasts. Creamy lacing sticks to the glass.

The smell is of toast, caramel, earthiness. Woody undertones.

The taste is sweet. Slightly roasted caramel mingles with butter. The smell of an undertone of wood lingers into the taste. Sweetness in the finish rounds it out.

The body is light to medium. A touch watery, but enough of a body to keep the flavor hanging on. Nice carbonation.

This is a nice, sessionable amber.

Thanks to dekker0 for including it in our trade! (532 characters)

Photo of superspak
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled 3/22/2012. Pours a very hazy orange amber color with a nice 1 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Some decent spotty lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of biscuit, toast, caramel, light citrus, floral, and nuttiness. Some pretty good well balanced aromas that are a bit muted. Taste of caramel, biscuit, grapefruit, orange, floral, toast, nuttiness, and light pine. Light bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, grapefruit, toast, floral, and light pine on the finish for a short bit. Slightly dry on the finish. Good balance of citrus hop flavors with the malt backbone. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy and slightly crisp mouthfeel. Alcohol is well hidden with pretty much no warming noticed at all on the finish. Very easy to drink as expected for 5.8%. Overall this is a very nice amber ale. Nice flavor balance and smoothness; very sessionable and enjoyable. (994 characters)

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

A: Pours a crystal clear deep amber in color. The beer has a two finger tall tense beige head that slowly reduces to a thick film over the entire surface of the beer with thicker patches and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant lacing is observed.

S: Moderate aromas of caramel malts with light hints of nuttiness and light hints of citrus hops.

T: The taste follows the smell, with a body of bready and caramel malts giving it light sweetness upfront. This is followed by some light nut flavors and moderate citrus hops that have a light lingering bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth.

O: This beer is easy to drink and enjoyable. The beer is well balanced and could be sessionable (though it is approaching a touch too strong in ABV to have more than a few). (816 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)

Photo of mothman
3/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Well I would first like to point out the Batch Number on this beer being 8231. It was packaged November 14, 2007. I was very disappointed when I found this out.

Poured from a 12 oz bottle. This beer had a nice fluffy, off white colored head. The color was very awesome, fading from a light orange to an amber orange at the top. I can definately taste that this beer is almost a year old and it makes me sad that I didn't get to enjoy the full potentials of Bell's. The beer tasted very skunked, so I am going to stop my review here and when I get a chance to try an "up to date" bottle, then I will write a new review. (620 characters)

Photo of mdaschaf
3.62/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to THECPJ for this one!

A: Pours an amber color with lots of little floaties. Very small head that dissipates to a layer of foam on top. Decent lacing down the sides.

S: There is a sweetness, and a little bit of caramel malt. A slight floral hop aroma as well.

T: Some citrus upfront with a caramel flavor in the middle. There is also a toasted malt flavor as well.

M/D: Medium bodied with high carbonation. Overall its good, but I have had better in the style and probably wouldn't reach for it again. (516 characters)

Photo of stakem
3.89/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle, the head dissolved at a medium pace. Left little to no lacing on the glass. Looks are as one would expect an amber to appear, nice orange glow unfiltered with lots of little particles hanging out doing their thing at the bottom of the glass. Smells malty, and low and behold so is the taste. Its malty sweetness is the first thing picked up with little carbination with bits of bitterness bringing in the rear. Drinkability is smooth and easy going, I like it. (482 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Red Rocks in Alexandria, Virginia.

A: This beer appears crystal clear and amber hued, with a half inch of head that leaves some good, sticky lacing on the glass.

S: The aroma is very subtle, but I can detect some faint malt and amber scents.

T: Very refreshing and easy to drink. Quite simple, and a really good choice for a lower alcohol beer with a nice flavor.

M: Medium bodied, with solid carbonation levels. Aftertaste doesn't linger too long, but the beer is very crisp and easy to drink by the pint.

D: Especially tasty when served fresh and on draft, this was an enjoyable brew. (605 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.04/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Batch 9468; Sampled April 2010
An aggressive pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a three-finger thick, lightly tanned head. The beer is a reddish, amber hue that shows a brilliantly clear, amber, with flashes of gold color when held up to the light. Hmm, interesting the beer smells of butterscotch... and more butterscotch; while this note is not loud, it over-powers most of the other notes in the aroma. Some biscuit-like malt character is just perceptible at times.

Lightly sweet, with a soft fruitiness to it up front, but the beer finishes with an out-of-place light tartness that I wouldn't guess was intended. A touch of herbal hops towards the middle and finish lead to a light, but firm bitterness. The fruitiness found here is quite possibly accentuated by the light hop character. The butterscotch diacetyl note from the aroma is much reduced in the flavor (which is often the case), but still adds some buttery notes to the middle and finish of this beer. This has a medium-light body to it that would make for being quite quaffable on a day other than the heat of summer. The tartness in the finish combines with the herbal hop character and gets a touch harsh at times.

I'll definitely have to get another bottle of this as this is almost definitely heading down the road to an infection; this is not actually horrible tasting though and is even somewhat enjoyable in its own right. Hopefully Bells is able to clean up this infection as I really like a lot of their beers. (1,492 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 tdm168
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pale, transparent amber with a thin, loose layer of white head that fades away quickly

S - faint bread, caramel

T - caramel, faintly herbal, faintly citrusy, sweet

M - medium bodied, sticky, well carbonated

This is a decent beer, but simplistic. The caramel takes the forefront with a subtle hop character. It's easy to drink, but ultimately boring. (357 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
3.76/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, batch 9685,

A: Pours an amber orange with a fizzy light white head, no lace. Minor floaties, not the most attractive brew.

S: Biscuity malt, hint of diacetyl, oranges, pastry bread. A pretty fruity nose at times almost Belgian.

T: Toasted malt, very grainy at first. Fairly bitter overall, has a bit of citrus complexity. Some berry notes. Semi-sweet on the finish.

M: Light-bodied, creamy. Spritzy, fizzy carbonation - somewhat soda-like, but not watery. Moderate aftertaste.

D: A solid amber ale, not overhopped and in this style I like that, more in the English bitter realm. We all know Bell's makes some amazing brews, but this a good staple to pay the bills. (684 characters)

Photo of Billolick
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Typical 12 ounce bottle, w/o pours typical lighter amber, clear, light tan head, showing better then average retention and then leaving decent frothy lace on the glass. Faint malty, honey nose. Malty brew, smooth and balanced. Middle of the road style, and certainly not my favorites but this one is better then the rest. Balance is the central theme. Fine sessioner. (367 characters)

Photo of billab914
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Southern Tier glass. Poured amber, slightly orange in color with a very thin white head clinging to the sides of the glass.

The aroma shows more of a malty, caramel flavor to it then anything else. Some hints of citrus hops come through a bit. Pretty nice aroma for an Amber Ale.

The taste also shows a nice caramel, bready, malty flavor to it. It finishes with some citrus hoppiness coming through to really balance it out. Very nice flavored amber ale.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, it was an easy drinking beer with some nice flavors. Very solid amber ale overall. (656 characters)

Photo of yourefragile
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz undated bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Pours a very appealing looking cloudy amber/orangey color. Large fluffy and thick white head that leaves some lacing on the glass
S: Sweet and malty with some fruity hints. Nothing that strong or persistent that jumps out at me, but pleasant
T: At first very sweet from malt and finishes with a strong hoppy/bitter flavor with some citrus flavors. Taste lingers for a long time
M: Medium bodied and creamy, very rich and smooth.
D: I like this a lot, very flavorful and great mouthfeel, but not too overpowering. Definitely would have this again. (598 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A very large creamy and light caramel colored head off the pour. Body is a cloudy dull amber orange and brown. Lots of big sticky retention.

Grassy malts off the nose mixing a mild hop present. Slight graham cracker smelling too.

Sweet tasting malt and brown bread in the palate. Sweet but subtle hop finding mixing in with some of the graham cracker taste. Mouthfeel is just about perfect, lots of body, not syrupy just on the money. Texture builds an almost creamy taste as well.

Overall I love a solid red ale and this is no exception. (592 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bells Amber Ale pours a ruby brownish color. Small short livid head sticks around the edges of the glass.

Smell is malty upfront with fruity tones.
Taste follows the nose providing layers of malt complexity, ranging from chewey malt sweetness to a pronounced roasted flavor. Tastes very delicious.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and chewey, lingering on the palate a good while.

Drinkability is great. This is an above average American Amber Ale, and focuses more on the malt profile than the hops. (495 characters)

Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 894 ratings.