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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: 2,765
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 10.13%
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
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Reviews: 897 | Hads: 2,765
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)

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

My first Bell's beer and let me just say that I will definitely be trying more of their beers, as this was a fantastic beer.

It has a beautiful red copper color with a good head that lasts throughout the life of the pint.

The beer has a wonderful balance of sweet citrus flavors and a good dose of hops for a very refreshing finish. Neither the sweet malts nor the hops are over-powering.

This is by far one of the best ambers I have had, and the only disappointing part was when it was finished. (501 characters)

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

Batch 10159

A - Beer pours a medium darkness amber color. Some head, but it quickly dissipates.

S - First and main thing i smelled when I opened this beer, french fries!

T - Pretty good tasting amber ale. Would like more depth and flavors though.

M - Pretty lite but a bit of a bite.

O - Overall pretty good, but doesn't stand above other good amber ales. (362 characters)

Photo of kilustration
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! I am not usually a fan of red beers.

This one is smooth! Slightly sweet flavor, pours amber (duh!) with a medium white head and nice lace. Very hoppy.

Nice mouth feel. Easy to finish. Somewhat creamy texture. Light carbonation.

Very surprised. This for a red beer is a winner. (286 characters)

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

This mildly hazy, medium amber beer was a true delight. The small head provided good lacing about half way. The aroma was fruity and sweet. Taste was clean and smooth, with a nice sweet middle and hoppy finish. Some acetic flavors were present in the aftertaste. A nice, easy drinking beer with good flavor and mouthfeel. (321 characters)

Photo of Jekster
4.32/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a dark amber red / orange that lightens toward yellow on the edges. The glass is laced by a nice one to two finger off white frothy head.

Smell: Sweet malt and bready overtones take the forefront in the aroma of this beer. Hiding behind that are slight fruity aromas like apple or pineapple. A slight American hop character is also noticeable.

Taste: Fruit comes through in the pallet along with a distinct yeasty bread flavor. I taste sharp tart apple like a nice dry white wine. The flavors dissipate rather quickly when swallowed leaving a slight presence of alcohol esters to peruse my mouth. There is a slight lingering bitterness along with a drying aspect probably due to the alcohol (near 6%).

Mouthfeel: This beer is fairly effervescent for an amber ale which contributes to the overall dry light feel of the beer. It's thirst quenching while not being a completely light and wussy beer.

Drinkability: This beer is pleasant without being overpowering. It's easy to drink and what I would call a quaff-er. I could sit back and enjoy quite a few of these with some light snacks during a movie or while eating pretzels and shooting pool. It's what I would choose if I wanted something with a balance between a sweet bready backbone and a American hop bitterness.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: I would easily buy this beer again. It's a nice beer when you don't feel like blasting your mouth with hops yet want something that is not overpoweringly sweet. It has nice complexity yet is simple and refined at the same time. (1,540 characters)

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

Hazy, light amber body with lots of visible yeast in suspension. Head comes on strong but fades all too quickly.

Big amber malt nose laced with an orange peel hop scent. Biscuit notes linger. A fine aroma profile for the style.

Biscuity right up front and back-loaded with citrus hops. Outstanding balance of soft brown sugar-sweet malt with a crisp, controlled finishing bitterness. (385 characters)

Photo of Dana_Campbell
4.85/5  rDev +26%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

One of my favorite beers ever! A brewing master piece! More flavor and better mouthfeel of any Amber Ale out there.....love it! The young microbrewery fans out there have no idea about the legacy that this beer is. It was one of the first micro brewed beers ever and helped start the whole revolution. Thanks Larry Bell for knocking down the door of boring American Lagers and introducing us to this great beer! By far my favorite go to beer! (450 characters)

Photo of blackthistle
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. brown bottle; batch 6883, packaged on May 23, 2005; $7.99 for 6-pack

Pours clear with a copper/orange color and a thick, creamy white head with lacing that lasts to the bottom of the glass. Aroma is mostly malt with a slight spiciness from the hops. Flavor profile consists of big backbone of sweet maltiness with a bit of a caramel followed by bit of fruitiness. A mild spicy hops flavor and bitterness balances the flavor profile out. Overall, a rich creamy ale that is sure to please. (497 characters)

Photo of circuitmonkey
2.68/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not quite sure what to make of this beer. Its the first Amber that I've had that is cloudy, with a little bit of sediment in it. The color is a dark orange. Pours a low/medium head that doesnt last long, aside from the edge of the glass. Taste is a little more bitter than I would care for, but still has decent malt to balance it. (331 characters)

Photo of gregalobeer
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bells makes better. Not that this was bad, just a bit uneventful.

A: opaque, burnt orange ale, with speckles of yeasty sediment
S: not much at all, definitely weak on the hops, citrusy
T: orange, vanilla, broad strokes of un-accented maltiness
M: very smooth, moderate to low carbonation, full-bodied and creamy; it feels like the body doesn't match the flavor, missing sweetness, or something to fill in the awkward silence of character

I mean, it's not unpleasant, but there's something missing here. I could drink more, but it leaves me wanting ... (554 characters)

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