Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine and get 12 issues / year of fresh beer content delivered to your door each month.

Already subscribe? to manage your subscription.

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

897 Reviews
THE BROS
97
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 897
Hads: 2,764
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 5.71%
Wants: 120
Gots: 366 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bell's Amber Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 897 | Hads: 2,764
Photo of Doughbodyboy
3.71/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

it pours a slightly hazy slightly golden amber with a solid head that is hanging around. the malt is solid with a lasting taste. the hopy note is rather light with no real bitterness. it has the right refreshing fell in the mouth. nice and bubbly. i prefer a strong IPA. so this was surprising how good it was to me. i recomend this fine amber ale from bells! (359 characters)

Photo of BeardedSquash
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A cloudy brass body with a small cream colored head which falls quickly. A few pillars of carbonation.

S: Buttery hops. This is the type hop smell that inspired my ill-conceived hallertaur croutons. (does not translate into actual butteriness on bread) Rich sweet malt comes through after a while.

T: Wonderful. That rich hoppyness stays in the back seat, but makes itself known throughout the beer. A slight lake water flavor at the back of the tongue if that makes any sense. Malts rearlly shine through as the beer warms. Surprisingly different for an American Amber.

M: Light on the tongue, but sticky on the lips. You can almost lick the malts off your moustache.

D: I first snagged one of these from a friend who's first beer choice is Shiner Bock. I wasn't expecting a bad beer, but needless to say I wasn't expecting something this good. Well rounded, and ballsy with the hops. A nice surprise. Hope to have it one on tap one day. (953 characters)

Photo of dacoit
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A nice amber ale, not incredible. Powerful malt (but not in a funky way), perceptible but relatively mellow hop profile, subtle citrusy twang, rich mouthfeel, medium dry finish.

Have not seen the bottle pictured (with stork type bird), but instead image is various natural scenes (dunes, evergreen trees, freshwater). Overall an enjoyable beer. (346 characters)

Photo of towersfall
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Hazy amber with a decent off-white head that dissipates quickly and leaves a nice amount of lacing trickling down the glass from pour to finish.

Smell: Caramel malts, nuts and some other scent that my nose just can't register.

Taste: Sweeter than most ambers in my opinion, but it does display the malts, caramel, and nuts just right. Well balanced but still leans toward the sweeter side of the amber spectrum.

Mouthfeel: Higher carbonation that matches it's medium body well.

Drinkability: Great by the books amber. Shines high in it's category and proves how Bell's is one of America's finest breweries. (622 characters)

Photo of Jonoesh5
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

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. (248 characters)

Photo of carolinahophead
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This really could be a fall selection.
A: Light copper to a burnt orange tint. Not much head but does have some lacing.
S: Tight nose . Caramel malt and brown sugar aromas
T: Moderate carbonation with toasted malt flavor. Do like the sweet to bitter thing.
M: Medium mouthfeel with a nice finish. Not hoppy at all.
O: It's a good example of a well made amber. Easy to drink and might be a fall alternative to all those octoberfests . (438 characters)

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

Aroma: Sweet malt, very nice

Appearance: Copper color. Pours with a large head. Good carbonation. Nice lacing.

Flavor: Carmel and sweet malts, nioe even finish. A very good Ale, one just isn't enough.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with a rich feel, mild carbonation.

Overall: A Very Good Ale not over powering but still with great taste, very nicely balanced. I definately recommend. (380 characters)

Photo of flyingspatula
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bell's makes some of my favorite beers, and the amber is a great one. It has a beautiful copper color, and a nice clear appearance. The head is a decent sized off-white. It has a mild, but very tasty hops profile. I would describe the body as being on the lighter side which makes this a very easy beer to drink. I think this is better than any of the amber ales I've had in awhile. It might not be strong enough for some people, at least compared to other ambers, but I think most would agree that it tastes great. (515 characters)

Photo of cocogan
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Visual - Hazy dark orange-red color. Pours a nice two finger head thats full of character. Head recedes to a think layer of froth on top. Minimal lacing

Aroma - Bread. grains, citrus, and apricot in the nose.

Taste - Initially the taste hits with a floral, grapefruit, earthy taste. The hops really begin to come through in the middle along with some grainy notes. Finishes up with a lingering apricot and hop taste in yo mouth. I did get a faint but unpleasant cough syrup taste throughout the brew that I wasn't all that in to.

Body - Rather light in body (not even near the extreme of macro brew light tho). Medium carbonation which brings a somewhat dry finish in yo mouth.

Drunkability - Could definitely throw a sixer down of these but it wouldn't be my first choice if I was craving red ale. (803 characters)

Photo of Schwab
3.36/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had this beer yesterday (9/5/09) at the Yardhouse in Palm Gardens.

A - Beer was poured in regular pint glass and left a small head, somewhat short of 1" what unfortunately quickly disappeared. Great mahogany, amber color!

S - Almost typical Bell smell. IMO smells is very similar to Bell's Two Hearted Ale...

T - A true amber ale; HOWEVER, beer is a very close taste to the Two Hearted Ale. I'm sure similar malt, yeast, hop schedule, etc contribute to the similar taste. Definitely great but I was somewhat surprised to have such a similar taste between the two beers.

M - Smooth amber ale that appears to be very well balanced. Definitely an easy beer to which the light/medium body contributes a fair amount.

D - As already said, beer is very smooth and refreshing. Great beer for all occasions! Not too wild/crazy in variation to its style. (851 characters)

Photo of philosobeer
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

First, Let Me Say why I decided to review this beer is that I still think it's underappreciated in the amber ale style. I had a couple little moments of clarity about beer while drinking this beer years ago, and I wanted to confront it again. I wanted to see if my now-better-attuned palate still held it in such high regard and find out why or why not. And as a defense against a mostly-IPA-drinkin' friend who said to me "Do you really LIKE that beer?

Yes. I do like this beer.

Start with the nose, shall we? I think that I used to be hit a little harder by the hop aromas, but now? I smell the malt first. Smells a touch english in the grain profile, tending to bitter -- crystal grain on pale malt and a bit of grainy sweetness. But, the hops blossom floral and full. It's a good balancing act they played here wth that.

Moving along, let me talk about the taste and drinkability here. It really comes out with something that lands on your tongue light and crisp, hits you with some orange-blossom hops and slightly warm sweetness, drys out bitter at the end... it leads you to take another drink. Something of a creaminess here, too, and I cannot no matter how hard I try figure this one out.

This has some things I love about amber ale and about beer in general. It's complex, it's doing its own thing, and it isn't overpowering you with hops (which I think can be left to IPA). Let me use the word again -- Balance -- you taste the awesome floral hops and even a bit of citrus, but you taste the classic amber malt body too. I'm not going to call it my favorite beer, but it's possibly my favorite amber. Good show! (1,626 characters)

Photo of Cummins9110
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into mug

A - first off this pours an excelent head that lingers for a long time

S - smells of delicious carmel, like candy bar carmel!

T - taste like carmel and toffee, and fruit(I cant tell you what fruit, maybe apricot?) my brain is searching for the taste im tasting! im thinking its apricot that has me stumped

M - Very soft, yet i would consider it light, maybe more fluffy

Overall like all the Bell's beers im very impressed. This is a great Amber! (466 characters)

Photo of SSBrennan
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dull copper color with a thick slow falling tan head.

The smell is rich with roasted grain and only hints of hops. Very clean odor with the right sweetness.

The taste is initially dominated by smooth roasted malt which gives way to earthy herbal hops with a slightly acidic finish.

The mouthfeel is smooth and rich with a clean finish.

Extremely drinkable and refreshing. (383 characters)

Photo of timmay41
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle, batch 8897.

A: The pour includes some rather substantial sediment chunks, which were a surprise. Pours a hazy, unfiltered dark yellow-orange color with only minimum head. The look is reminiscent of BBC Steel Rail.

S: Caramel and vanilla-sweet maltiness, slightly roasted. A little oak or dogwood tree floral scents too. Reminds me of Spring/

T & M: Semi-sweet malty, bready character. The mouthfeel is a little thin considering the biscuit-like full taste.

D: Superior to lots of amber ales out there and one I'd gladly enjoy again. (552 characters)

Photo of johannasclimacus
3.76/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At first I was disappointed by this offering. Some others I have had of a similar style are much more hoppy, and thus taste radically different. But this beer grew quickly on me once my taste buds adjusted. I was left with the impression that it is a very smooth, drinkable beer.

It poured a beautiful reddish copper, and the taste snuck up on me. I picked up on the caramel, and a slight taste of hops was noticable as the beer got warmer.

I will need to revisit this beer again, and the aftertaste I am experiencing right now makes me with I had another. The beer is light to medium bodied, so I could easily see this being a session beer. (644 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 BarrelBrother
4.6/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The first time I tired this beer it caught my attention. Bell says it's a "cask conditioned" amber which was unusual and demanded an additional tasting session! I was surprised with the cloudiness of the brew, almost weiss cloudy, but the taste! Slightly sweet initally with carmel overtones and a subtle spicy flavor that I really enjoyed. Hmmm, nice aroma, with a hint of fruitiness. Nice creamy head that made the experience even better. The aftertaste was clean, refreshing with a slight bitter finish. Mouthfeel is smooth and ejnoyable. I have moved this brew high on my list to a regular staple at the house for get togethers and have gotten many outstanding comments about this beer from guests. As the old TV commercial used to say, "Try it, you'll like it!" I totally agree! (783 characters)

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

Im not a huge Amber fan, but this beer is so pleasant and available, that I drink it quite often.

Pours amber of course. Nice malty aroma. Beautiful carbonation really helps the mouthfeel and the balanced taste. Could be my favorite amber that I have ever had. So drinkable! (276 characters)

Photo of smerkinb
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes on 4/23/09.

The Bottle label states this is the breweries "flagship" beer and promises a "rich, sweet flavor unlike any other". Let's see...

This is a pretty brew--1 finger loose tan head tops a wonderful burnt orange cloudy body. Remaining collar leaves negligible lacing throughout.

Smells of bready malts a touch of sweet that is coy at first but becomes more dominant. Smell almost syrupy sweet--almost get some coriander characteristics. So far so good, it's got me wanting some.

Sweet malt mixes with light floral hops. There's a moment of caramel that is only a peek-a-boo taste. Not too complex but seems well-balanced. The malts come through grainy and the hops never overwhelm, but instead finish things up nicely--turns a bit "hairspray-ish" after warming.

The mouth is almost poplike. It's tingly, but richer and thicker but never getting to "syrupy". It's definitely quenching as the finishing hops hit just the right note.

Tasty and refreshing-sweet yet quenching and nice overall balance. More? Yes, please. Perfect for a warm spring day! (1,074 characters)

Photo of etenbus
4.01/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured 3/4" of pillowing head atop a copper-orange, hazy glow.

The aroma is appealing. There is plenty of fruit in there: raisins, apricots, and a little citrus, although the citrus (tangerine?) is not from the hop footprint. In fact, there's not a large hop presence here on the nose.

The taste backbone has some malt in the center. It goes down smooth, and, wham, there is a surprising hop bite at the end. The ale finishes very dry for an amber. Perhaps Bell's got some of the flavor hops for their super hoppy IPA (Two-Hearted) mixed in with this one; it's almost a hybrid. It almost finishes like one of the super dry Belgian ales, like Orval.

The mouthfeel is medium-bodied and, while this was a noisy beer on the pour, the carbonation is subdued. I rate the drinkability high due to the wonderful appearance, pleasant taste, and hop flavor. (859 characters)

Photo of MrVisegrips
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The pour is an attractive copper gold with a short lived white head. Very little lacing with this one. Aroma is light malt with detectable flowery hop notes. Taste starts off with sweet light malt and light toasted grains. The finishes has a nice bitter hops taste. Mouthfeel is creamy with decent carbonation and drinkability is good due to the light body. Overall, this is a good example of the well crafted amber ale. Nothing that makes it a standout, but very enjoyable nonetheless. (486 characters)

Photo of Guzzler78
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my favorite American/Amber Ales.
Pours a cloudy amber. A nice white head that leaves some nice lacing.
Smell of sweet malt and floral hops.
Taste great-nice sweet caramel maltiness balanced with some fruitiness and bitter hops.
Nice light and effervescent mouthfeel.
I could definitely drink a few of these in a sitting. (327 characters)

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

A nice amber, though not up to par with the rest of this brewery's beers. Aroma was all caramel malt. Pour was a nice cloudy amber with no head. Taste was all caramel malt with barely any hops to balance out the sweetness. Little carbonation. Bell's makes some outstanding beers. This is just decent. (300 characters)

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

Pours a cloudy dark orange to copperish color with a decent sized creamy head that shrinks, but never disappears, as you enjoy this drink. Carbonation is very visible.

I smell the yeast which would make this beer smell like fresh homemade bread, right out of the oven. I also pick up on some spiciness and cloves.

I definitely taste the yeast and the sweet malts. The spices really come out along with the cloves. After that, I noticed the hops. Don't get me wrong, it doesn't jump out at you for the beer is pretty balanced, but just enough to get your attention. As the beer warms up, the hops seems to come out more.

The first thing I noticed was the creaminess of the drink and how smooth it went down even when seeing the carbonation bubbles rising.

I'll definitely be coming back to this beer after as I really enjoyed it. Great job Bell's, great job! (863 characters)

Photo of godfathermg57
4.11/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Very clear amber with fine head

S: Smell is faint and has hints of malt but nothing much to it

T: Very nice for an amber. Smooth malt and a hint of honey.

M: Glorious mouthfeel, thick for an amber and with carbonation. I could feel the beer linger after each sip.

D: Very drinkable and would be a good session beer

I'm wondering whether having it on-tap changed the feel, because it felt much thicker to me than it seems for most other people judging from the other reviews. (482 characters)

Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 897 ratings.