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

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
87
very good
934 Reviews
Bell's Amber AleBell's Amber Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States | website

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-12-2001

BEER STATS
Reviews:
934
Ratings:
2,961
Avg:
3.85
pDev:
11.95%
 
 
Wants:
146
Gots:
484
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 934 | Ratings: 2,961
Photo of jsolack
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance:
Amber (surprise) and misty. Nice head with mild lacing.

Smell:
Sweet molasses with orange accents. Mildly spicy smell.

Taste:
Hoppy sweet with slight bitter finish Wheat flavor is mixed nicely with slight orange flavor. Overall a nice complex flavor.

Mouthfeel:
A crisp feel in the mouth. Light but not watery.

Drinkability:
A very drinkable beer with a nice even flavor. Definitely could have a few more!

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a perfect pint glass. Thanks to Kidwell for loading up his trunk over Thanksgiving.

A nice cloudy orange amber. Thick hoppy looking head, that sticks around to lace the glass.

Smells a little Earthy-hoppy, with a bit on the floral side, and some citrus-fruity notes as well.

Great balance of a light citrus sweet kick and a very mild bittering hop. Not too overpowering in either direction.

Mouthfeel is a bit thicker, almost chunky for a Pale Ale, but it works. It seems almost creamy.

Very drinkable, though the heavy creamy feel might get in someone's way (not mine).
As always, I find myself impressed with Bells, and wishing it were easier to get in Massachusetts.

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Photo of jgurley
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium golden amber with a thin head that laces nicely. Has a light, clean malt smell with a hint of hops. Taste is light and malty on the front with a mild hop bitterness through the middle and back. Very refreshing with a medium/ thin mouthfeel and good carbonation. Good bitterness on the finish. A delightful amber ale.

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Photo of FuzzyGuy84
3.51/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A - Cloudy burnt orange color with medium carbonation. Light caramel-colored, full head. Very opaque, which is surprising.

S - Mild smell of light hops. Bright and refreshing, but not especially pronounced.

T - Nice and simple brew. Roasted malt flavor takes over with a nice and subtle hop bitterness on the finish. A little sweetness makes this a very refreshing brew.

MF/D - A solid representation of the style from a top notch brewery. A good value session beer that is definitely worth a try.

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

A - Nice slightly hazy amber colored beer. Thick larger than normal head that clings to the glass and dissapates slowly while providing some nice flavor for the first few sips. Little carbonation.

S- The smell is mild but is a nice mix of malts and sweets. A caramel smell is definitely there but I'm having a hard time picking out the rest. smells

T - Great tasting amber. It has some toffee and caramel mix malts up front and a little tart at the end. The overall taste is very quick and upfront but overall very nice and tasty. It's not too sweet but an excellent blend of malts that isn't overkill.

MF - You can taste the carbonation being released as it swirls around, mediumlight bodied.

D - One of the best Amber's I've ever had. Definitely coming back

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Photo of thechaacster
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a bright copper, the color of a new penny. Nice little foamy head that retains well and leaves plenty of sticky lacing. Malty sweet aroma, with hops taking a back seat. Whole lot of sweet, caramelly, doughy malt up in this beer. Hop bitterness is substantial with floral and slightly citric flavor, not at all overwhelming though. Really well balanced. I definitely wouldn't mind sitting down and sipping a few of these. Definitely a great example of the style.

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Photo of mpcrump
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Nice amber color. Not much head.

S: Malts and hops very well balanced. Not strong but not weak.

T: Starts out with a nice citrus hop taste and ends slightly bitter. Just a hint. Love that.

M: Very nice and balanced. Perhaps a bit sweet. But again just a hint.

D: Very nice combinations. I tend to prefer Ambers and I think this one does quite well.

A- Nice light amber color with a small white head the quickly dissipates.

S- Sweeter malt is a light scent with a small hop backbone, not very strong but it is pleasant.

T- Nice mix of malts, some sweeter than others, bit of a bitterness at the end with a slight citrus hop flavor, balances well with the malt.

M- Medium body and on the higher side of medium carbonation. Nice and crisp finish.

D- Very good beer, one of the better amber's that I have had. Nothing too special but would make an excellent session beer.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 11-05-2010 00:13:20
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Report Abuse | id: 1305330

philosobeer ( Chicago, Illinois )

A / 4.35
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | drink: 5
rDev: +11.5%

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!

Serving type: on-tap

Reviewed on: 11-03-2010 19:52:05
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Report Abuse | id: 1304252

Shrews629 ( Leitchfield, Kentucky )

B / 3.65
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | drink: 3.5
rDev: -5.5%

Appearance - Very nice amber, copper color showing some orange hues. Substantial off white head that hung around for a bit and left a solid amount of lacing. Mostly clear body.

Smell - Attractive caramel malt pulling its way to the front of the nose. I'm also detecting a bit of a peach smell. Seems to be a bit more fruity in the hops department than most Ambers I have encountered. Nice and well balanced in the nose.

Taste - Malty at first in the taste, but gives way to the fruit kick. The malt is still the main ingredient however. A nice stab of the alcohol comes in at the end and brings a bit of the warmth and toastiness.

Mouthfeel - Seems to me to be a little thin on the mouthfeel, but it does finish rather dry and crisp. Coats the throat and tongue delicately.

Drinkability - This, all in all, is not a bad little brew. Nice bit of warmth at the end. The beer looks great and is very enticing. I'm glad I gave it a try. It's a brew that I wouldn't have a bit of trouble quaffing for and evening.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 11-02-2010 20:18:03

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Photo of kingothewoods
3.74/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the 12oz bottle with an amber color with maybe a tint of red. It is sweet smelling and the taste had some nutty and caramel tones. I really enjoyed the smoothness of this Ale with a nice aftertaste. Had a couple more to confirm my liking to this one.

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Photo of Tonmeister
3.56/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured in Goose Island Glass

Appearance: murky, brownish with a thin white head with a lacing that breaks when tilting the glass

The aroma contains a slight hopp presence, somewhat citrusy, but more earthly. I can smell the malts, but it;s hard to distinguish the specific details.

The taste is very smooth, almost tastes like water, but still contains a slight hop presence.

The mouthfeel is thin, with not much carbonation, very smooth and easy on the tongue.

Overall, this is a great breakfast beer. It's light and it goes down smooth. It doesn't feel like I'm drinking a beer. This is not one of my favorites, but for its style, I dig it because it's simple.

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Photo of boogles
3.61/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This reminded me a lot of the lager, which people have rated lower, but with more of the same. Different from the masses, I really liked the lager (and its malt) but did not care for the amber. The amber is fuller and better balanced, but not special, for me. I did think it was a good beer, however, just not as good as others from Bell's. Maybe if it were more red, more hops, it would be a winner for me.

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Photo of kevinjosephlee
4.55/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a glass

A: Amber orange, with an off-white head. The sediment at the bottle of the bottle was agitated, and by the presence of "floaties" I would guess that it was not only yeast but also some proteinaceous precipitate. No lacing and relatively low head retention.

S: A caramel malty scent with some hops sharpness as well.

T: It has a caramel malty presence that is moderated by a hops bitterness. Some floral notes (citrus) emerge later in the drink along with a clove spiciness.

M: Not much alcohol warmth, but the alcohol flavor does make an appearance. Good carbonation and body.

Notes: A great beer. I am glad it was recommended to me by my local bottle shopman. I have been on an amber ale kick and find that I enjoy the balance between hops and malt. This beer is very drinkable, yet needs to be enjoyed, so sip slowly, or make sure you have a six pack.

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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.

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Photo of nota
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours cloudy amber with tan head. My wife could smell the sweetness of this beer three feet away! It is sweet, but I like the citrus tang of this beer mix with caramel overtones at end. Thier is enough hops to give it a good balance. I could drink this beer all day.

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Photo of JAA
3.59/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Okay, i really couldn't care less about a beer's label art, but a Heron? Come on, it doesn't exactly scream "Buy me". However, out of the bottle and in the glass, it appears more respectable. A good lookin' dark and cloudy amber with a nice and fluffy, one finger head. The head didn't stay long, but fortunately, neither did the beer. Probably due too it's outstanding drinkability. More on that later.

Kind of a let-down on the aroma. A faint cararmel note is about the only identifiable smell in there.

The taste however, did not disappoint. A good example of the style. Not overpowering in the hops department. A biscuity malt foundation, mild bitter hoppiness, and a clean white grape finish. Nothing overpowers.

Mouthfeel is, dare i say it(?), a little watery. Come on, it's one of their weakest brews, they can make a beer for a hot, sunny, sunday afternoon and not be called wimps.

This beer is exactly what i called it in the last paragraph. A five and a half percent amber ale, meant to be a refreshing, yard work beverage. The only shame that Bell's should feel is the similarity of Budweisers' American Ale. Or maybe, they should feel pride that a giant of the industry picked one of their products to clone.

Don't get me wrong though, this is a far superior amber ale when compared to Budweisers'.

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Photo of ribby
3.81/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

From my days in Kalamazoo, I remembered Amber as my favorite Bell's. Alas, though it is good, it is not quite what I remembered, particularly, it is less balanced than I remembered.

It pours a very light brown, from almost clear to cloudy depending on how carefully you decant, while the aroma is very mild, not showing the hoppiness in the flavor.

The taste is somewhat on the hoppy side, with some smokiness in the malt flavor, and a hint of citrus. (Maybe the Oberon has become an invasive species.)

The mouthfeel is reasonably full, but the head is a little rough.

This is still a very drinkable beer. The flavor is strong but not overpowering.

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Photo of marcellaproust
3.47/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Medium body, medium dark amber color. Head quickly dissipates to a rim. Smells of subtle malt and caramel. Lots of carbonation. The malt and nuttiness is roundly balanced by hops with a quick bitter finale. A great amercian amber, though less flavor than I expected from Bell's.

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Photo of flowerysong
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Slightly hazy medium brown body, coarse tan head.

Smell: Sweet malt with some citrusy hop aroma and a bit of caramel.

Taste: Starts out sweet, toasted malt; some earthy and yeasty notes in the background along with just a hint of diacetyl; nice medium hop bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, medium-high carbonation.

Drinkability: Excellent example of the style. Full of flavour and well-balanced, easy to drink quite a few.

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

A: Hazy orangish color, thin head that diappears quickly

S: Sweet, bready, and toasty. Not much hop presence. Very fruity smelling.

T: Alot like the the smell. A little too sweet and fruity for my tastes but finishes dry and crisp.

M: Medium bodied

O: This is not one of my favorite Ambers. I tend to like them with more carmel flavor and a little more hoppy. Still, not a bad beer.

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Photo of TheBigLebrewski
4.55/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bell's' flagship. Bell's, Bell's, Bell's. And no brand-whoring about it, Bell's gives what you want from a brewery. In the interest of full disclosure, I wear their belt buckle.

Bottle to pint glass. Moderate mostly white head with a touch of brown. Excellent lacing retention. Damn near perfect color for an Amber; a tiny bit less color than the subjective amber idyll. Very good smell, though pretty subtle.

This is amber ale. Not 'an' amber ale. If you want to drink a straight up amber ale, this is it. The taste is spot on. Leaning towards sweetness, as ambers do, but not at all overly sweet, as is far too common for the genre. Mouthfeel is perfect. This is very good beer.

Here I will qualify: I, personally, would prefer a more balanced ale; in particular, a touch of hop in the finish would make this beer incredible. And, in truth, there is a lack of hop in the finish. (See Stone's Levitation - an American Amber Ale - for a comparable beer of a different genre that I personally prefer).

Overall, I will say it's not my favorite beer. Not even close. But it is as close to the perfect straight Amber Ale as I've ever tasted. And according to the way we try to rate beers here, this deserves one of the best ratings I've given. Again, there are dozens of beers I personally enjoy more, but, that being said, this is far and away the best straight amber I've ever had.

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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.

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Photo of righlander
4.56/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful amber with a frothy foam head with nice lacing from a 12 ounce bottle. Smells of sweet malt with some citrus hop hiding nicely in the background. Taste is smooth sweet malt with some toasty grain and excellent hop balance. Perfectly carbonated and crisp with sweet malt and nice mellow hop balance. Very nice on the tongue. Drinkability is great, very nice amber. probably the best amber ale i have ever had. i could drink several of these. The cool thing is I took a chance with these and bought a whole 6-pack because they were bottle conditioned I figured there was a chance they could be decent. And I am pleasantly surprised! I love it when this happens! Like i said probably the best amber i have ever had. 5 more to go... CHEERS!

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

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Color is tangerine with an off white head. There's a bit of visible carbonation and a substantial amount of yeast/cloudiness lingering in this one. Head quickly drops and leaves a small film and decent amount of lace.

S - I get some biscuit and bread notes with a bit of caramel, but that's it. The aromas coming from this beer are a bit thin, but sharp and to the point.

T - Just enough hops in play with strong bready malt flavors. There's a touch of caramel on the back end. Finish is long and lingers for quite a while. I'm impressed at how well balanced this is.

M - Mouthfeel is awesome. There's just a touch of a syrupy/creamy quality on the back half of this brew. I feel like sometimes I overrate mouthfeel, in this case the score is well deserved.

O - I haven't had a beer from Bell's that I didn't like. This is a great example of the style, probably the best that I've had. At 5.5% I'd see this as a decent session beer. It drinks really well - wouldn't have a problem knocking back a few of these.

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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.

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Photo of heidelbeerg
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice Amber colored brew with an off white two finger head. Smell is just slighly sweet malt and grassy hops. The taste is so well rounded. Slighly sweet caramel amlt flavor with a perfect hop zing to balance it out. Delicious beer. I could drink these all day.

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

Pours a cloudy orange/amber. A bit of very fine sedimet is floating around. Bubbly white head, about two fingers worth.. Smell's of faint hops and sweet malt. Very refreshing smelling. It makes me want to take a huge gulp as the first taste. Fairly sweet malt flavor with well balanced hop flavor. Very little bitterness. It seems like the sweetness might be sticky, but a nice crisp carbonation seems to scrub it clean. Excellent smooth, but crisp mouthfeel. You can easily drink three or four of these. After drinking so many stouts and IPA's this winter, this has been an awesome change. A perfect example of a simple beer that can please any craft beer enthusiast.

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Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 934 ratings.