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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

2,372 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,372
Reviews: 857
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 12.01%
Wants: 88
Gots: 145 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-12-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,372 | Reviews: 857 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Jason
4.38/5  rDev +14.4%

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.

Jason, Jun 12, 2002
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Acquired via trade from bboven, so a big Thank You goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright orange/brown color, with a decent-sized white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malts, citrus and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste is nicely balanced with sweet flavors of caramel and citrus up front. Then a decent hops bitterness comes in quickly. The malt character is hearty. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, clean finish.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, mild kick, this is a straight-forward beer with some good substance that is worth drinking for a long time.

TheManiacalOne, Jun 01, 2008
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.28/5  rDev +11.7%

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.

RblWthACoz, Dec 31, 2007
Photo of nickfl
4/5  rDev +4.4%

A - Pours with one finger of white head on top of a hazy, amber-brown body. The foam collapses slowly and leaves excellent lace.

S - Light caramel and toffee malt with some weak herbal hops lingering in the background.

T - Carmel malt up front with light toasted notes. Toffee and more caramel are present in the middle with lightly spicy hops. Finishes with lots of dry, mild caramel and toffee as well as light bitterness to balance.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a balanced finish.

D - Very drinkable, there is nothing remarkable going on here, but the beer is well made and enjoyable. The caramel malt character is particularly well done and makes the beer a touch more interesting. Not a beer to sit and think about, but it would be easy to drink these all night long.

nickfl, Nov 01, 2010
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%

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.

WVbeergeek, Oct 20, 2003
Photo of russpowell
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%

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

russpowell, Sep 23, 2007
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.25/5  rDev +11%

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!

feloniousmonk, Apr 13, 2003
Photo of Slatetank
4.38/5  rDev +14.4%

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.

Slatetank, Apr 10, 2007
Photo of drabmuh
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

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.

drabmuh, Aug 06, 2011
Photo of oline73
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

oline73, May 28, 2013
Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +4.4%

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.

WesWes, Aug 06, 2004
Photo of mendvicdog
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

mendvicdog, May 28, 2013
Photo of mdfb79
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%

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.

mdfb79, Mar 20, 2012
Photo of jwc215
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%

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!

jwc215, Jun 14, 2007
Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Rochefort10nh, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of DrunkinYogi
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

DrunkinYogi, Jun 13, 2013
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.05/5  rDev -20.4%

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.

Gueuzedude, Oct 07, 2010
Photo of MarkyMOD
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

MarkyMOD, Apr 05, 2012
Photo of XmnwildX12
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

XmnwildX12, Nov 22, 2013
Photo of Halcyondays
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%

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.

Halcyondays, Aug 11, 2010
Photo of beernads
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%

beernads, Jan 25, 2013
Photo of Gavage
4.28/5  rDev +11.7%

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.

Gavage, Sep 21, 2004
Photo of GClarkage
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

GClarkage, Jul 07, 2014
Photo of imperialking
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

imperialking, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of InspectorBob
4/5  rDev +4.4%

InspectorBob, May 20, 2013
Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 2,372 ratings.