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

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

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BA SCORE
86
very good

2,724 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,724
Reviews: 933
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 12.01%
Wants: 118
Gots: 336 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,724 | Reviews: 933
Photo of BeerHonky
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

Photo of seh410
4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Randy (randjuke) for this brew :)

Appearance: Beautiful opaque amber color with a thin, fizzy white head that dissipates very quickly and leaves little islands of thin foam on the top. This beer is really pretty - the amber is so vivid: reddish-orange at the top of the glass and yellow-orange at the base.

Aroma: It smells very sweet but balanced: warm toasted malts and caramel with maybe just the tiniest bit of piney hops in the way back

Taste/Mouthfeel: Taste is similar to the nose - lots of sweet malts and caramel on toast - but with a more pronounced bitterness. The mouthfeel is full and chewy, on the creamy side with very little carbonation

Notes: Very drinkable. The beer is balanced: not too sweet, not too bitter, and certainly not too heavy. I'd drink it again for sure.

Photo of rel
4.14/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very hazy copper/brown color. Nice thick head that dissipates quickly with a little lacing.

The smell is of toasted and biscuit malts. Toffee and Coffee notes. Some subtle hops.

The taste is strong of toffee and toasted malts upfront, but the hops come through. The bitterness cuts the sweetness of the malts, so that every gulp is as new, tasteful, and refreshing as the first.

Both the malts and hops balance out and remain on the palate. A very appeasing aftertaste, with good carbonation to awaken the lingering flavors.

This amber brings out the best of its kind of beers, while utilizing hops in a more prominent, yet subdued role. Awesome beer and a new session beer for me.

Photo of RodneyX
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Amber colored beer that had a head with some okay retention and some small lacing on the sides. It smells mostly of caramel malts and grain and has just the slightest bit of hops there. Taste is really a lot like the nose, although the hops are not quite as much as I thought they would be. Some medium-level carbonatoin and the beer has a good syrupy coating aspect to it while managing not to get too heavy. I found this to be very drinkable but I wish there was more hops in it.

Photo of kwalters
3.64/5  rDev -5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This isn't a brew I'd attach the word "Flagship" to, but nonetheless it's a nice beer. Perhaps it's Bell's most widely appealing beer able to satisfy both the macro and micro crowd?

This particular bottle poured a true coppery red color with a nice 1-inch off-white head. I immediately noticed a bit of yeast in the head. After examining the beer beneath it, I noticed a lot of yeast particles in suspension. I guess I didn't pour it delicately enough.

The scent and flavor are quite a mixed bag. I can pick out some yeasty bread flavor, some sugary sweetness and some apple sourness. And then there's a hop finish. There's a lot going on and none of it seems to blend together all that well. I enjoy it, but Amber Ale isn't what I thought it would be.

Photo of SmithwicksNut
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: If you don't like sediment in your beer this one is not for you. It was cloudy with plenty of sediment floating throughout. The sediment quickly settles to the bottom of the glass. A nice with head with lacing lasting throughout the beer. A very nice copper color.

S: The malt is really the only thing one will smell.

T: This is a very good beer. The malts are sweet and lingers in the back of the mouth.

M: medium to low carbonation with more fuller body than other amber ales.

D: I truly enjoyed this beer. I can drink a few of these. It is a easy drinking beer. You will enjoy it.

Photo of Transatlantic
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a hazy orangish-copper color with a bubbly finger off-white head. Closer look will show many fine carbonation bubbles bubbling up from the bottom. Very good looking beer.

S - First up is a very molasses/caramel type of dark sweet maltiness. Through the second smell, you can pick up on some fruitiness, maybe some kind of melon? Deep in the back on the third smell is a bit of a warm wet grassy sort of smell that i'm not too keen on, but it's not harsh in any means.
As strange as it may seem, the smell reminds me of a pumpkin ale but without the spice.

T - Not bad at all. It's a very balanced beer in a staple sort of category. Very bready, yeasty and cracker like taste. The beer is as it says, a sweet one. It's by no means a "sweet" beer by reputation. There's not a trace of hops that I pick up in the beer.

M - Light to Medium bodied. It's perfectly carbonated but leaves a bit of a cross between a creamy and oily mouthfeel.

O - I might have found my staple beer. Whether you're a session drinker or not, this beer will satisfy both sides. It's something to talk about and something to have on hand to quench your thirst.

Photo of ribby
3.81/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Photo of Doughbodyboy
3.71/5  rDev -3.1%
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!

Photo of BeardedSquash
4.04/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

Photo of towersfall
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

Photo of dacoit
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

Photo of carolinahophead
3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
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 .

Photo of Shumj
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

Photo of flyingspatula
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

Photo of cocogan
3.4/5  rDev -11.2%
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.

Photo of VTR
3.37/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up for something different as I transition from my dark beer to lighter summer beers. I do not usually like Amber Ales but I found this refreshing and enjoyable. Definitely not too hop forward with nice caramel/toffee flavor. Kind of a funkiness to the taste with some tartness but totally enjoyable. Carbonation is a kinda high but I did not mind. I am pleased with this.

Photo of Jonoesh5
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

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.

Photo of Schwab
3.36/5  rDev -12.3%
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.

Photo of philosobeer
4.47/5  rDev +16.7%
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!

Photo of Cummins9110
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
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!

Photo of SSBrennan
4.27/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

Photo of timmay41
3.83/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of johannasclimacus
3.76/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

Photo of unit555
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 2,724 ratings.