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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.
very good

2,215 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,215
Reviews: 850
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 11.75%
Wants: 75
Gots: 100 | 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: 2,215 | Reviews: 850 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of isualum12


4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ok my second bells ever. I got it in a little package and was like a kid in a candy store.

This beer looked amazing when I poured it into a clear pint. It glowed red Cooper with a thick finger high head that ran away quickly to a white lace

The smell was good. Not to strong or over powering.

Taste was a little sweet with a follow up of light bitters. I think there is a very mild hint of raw honey in this beer. It left me wondering how it's taste would change as it was paired with spicy foods. My guess is amazing.

Feel was alright. It has some carbonization rolling in and sits on the tip of your tonge.

Over all I am impressed. This beer explained to me the rave about bells. Honestly I had to question it before this beer. Well done.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2011 02:00:59 | More by isualum12
Photo of Pintofbrown


4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Cloudy, orange body with dark amber highlights. The one finger, white head is now a film.

Smell- There is a decent amount of sweet malts and a good combination of floral hops.

Taste- There is a strong back bone of honey, caramel malts. Wheat starts to come through in the finish that also meshes with the floral hops from the nose.

Mouth feel- It is medium bodied and smooth. There is a little bit of bubbliness from the carbonation.

Overall- It is a very good ale that is refreshing and has an original flavor I have not yet experienced in an ale.

Serving type: on-tap

10-14-2011 23:33:13 | More by Pintofbrown
Photo of andrewjraab


3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Nice Dark Amber / Orange color. 1/2 inch thick of creamy white head. Nice spider web lacing and good retention.

S - A sweet malty smell with hoppy undertones.

T - Nice medium bodied ale with good balance of hops and maltiness.

O - Very solid selection for an Amber Ale. Excellent drinkability with good balance between malts and hops.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2011 21:47:07 | More by andrewjraab
Photo of MbpBugeye


3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Strangely, there is quite a bit of floaty chunks in suspension here; on top of that, the beer is quite hazy. A short head leaves spotty lacing.

Toffee and caramel malts are here. The bulk of the aroma is simply a neutral bready base.

For some reason I think this tastes exceptionally good. Its hard to put my finger on it, it is just expertly executed. The balance is nice, but things lean ever so slightly towards a honeyed biscuit sweetness. A little bit of toasted nuts and grassy hops add some depth.

Carbonation is too sharp, but the body is still smooth and soft. It isn't too think either, its at a happy medium.

I've had this on cask before and very much enjoyed it. I think it is better suited in a bottle though. Being that this is Bell's flagship beer, you know it has to be well made. Sure, its a no frills, nothing special kinda beer, but it is done very well and easy to enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2011 05:07:48 | More by MbpBugeye
Photo of biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, a souvenir from a foray into Dearborn, Michigan last week.

This beer pours a hazy medium orange amber hue, with one finger of tight foamy pale beige head, which leaves some sparse streaky, wave crest lace around the glass as it fades away. It smells of thin caramel malt, mildly tart fruit, and a bit of yeast. The taste is quite in line, with a more pronounced caramel malt, edgy fruitiness, and floral, leafy hop character. The carbonation is average, and kind of fuzzy, the body medium weight, but with a flinty nature that takes away major smoothness points. It finishes bittersweet, fruity, and fairly clean.

An ok amber ale, the expected fruity sweetness turned on its head, opting for the acidic in lieu of the sugary complement.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2011 22:37:35 | More by biboergosum
Photo of smakawhat


3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A very large creamy and light caramel colored head off the pour. Body is a cloudy dull amber orange and brown. Lots of big sticky retention.

Grassy malts off the nose mixing a mild hop present. Slight graham cracker smelling too.

Sweet tasting malt and brown bread in the palate. Sweet but subtle hop finding mixing in with some of the graham cracker taste. Mouthfeel is just about perfect, lots of body, not syrupy just on the money. Texture builds an almost creamy taste as well.

Overall I love a solid red ale and this is no exception.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2011 19:12:27 | More by smakawhat
Photo of ehammond1

4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle (2011)

Acquired via trade
Thanks sendsilk!

Orange amber with a quickly forming light khaki colored head. Spotted lacing down the glass.

Bready aroma with caramel and toffee (even honey-like) sweetness pushing through along with a touch of earth and grass.

Simple, bready flavors with a distinct, though light, caramel and toffee sweetness.

Thin to medium mouthfeel with moderate carbonation.

A good, classic amber ale.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2011 23:59:03 | More by ehammond1
Photo of BucannonXC5


4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass at Dema (Westin) in Detroit, Mich. Color was copper. Good-looking bubbly lacing. Film stayed on the sides throughout.

Smelled of caramel malts, but I had to work to find it.

Caramel malts led the way on the initial taste, followed surprisingly by a slight bitter finish. Very smooth.

Medium body. Lively carbonation. The smoothness just keeps sticking out.

One of the best ambers I’ve ever had (at least rated). Another great beer by Bell’s.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2011 20:33:26 | More by BucannonXC5
Photo of Vixie


3.38/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a nice copper color with a decent white head that quickly reduces down to about a half inch. A lot of bubbling from the carbonation as well.

The smell is very malty, with a hint of yeast and a bit of citrus fruit

The taste is similar to the smell, malt with a hint of citrus, and some hop spice in the finish. Has a bit of a dry finish, leaving a lingering bitterness.

The feel isn't too bad, it is helped a bit by the carbonation.

I decided to update my review after realizing I first tried this in a Duvel glass, which does not do this beer any favors. Tried in a standard pint glass, the flavor profile changes a bit, and for the better. The flavors became more intense, and a bit more complex. Drink this one in a pint glass, and you will find it to be a nice beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2011 01:28:53 | More by Vixie
Photo of tykees88


3.3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- a nice amber color with a lean towards light amber head. it is frothy.

S- smells super sweet and malty.

T- the taste has a nice sweet malt flavor and finish. It has a nice crisp finish as well. nice drinker

M- it has a little more body than i like, bt that's alright.

O- It''s nice, nothing special but nice.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2011 19:33:16 | More by tykees88
Photo of Paincane


3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from my notes:
A: Amber colored with a touch of orange and creamy tan head. Head dissipated quickly with mild lacing left behind.
S: Malted barley hit my nose.
T: Malt dominates the initial taste with a small amount of sweetness before hops bitterness kicks in to finish.
M: Crisp with a lingering bitter finish. Medium bodied.
O: Very drinkable brew. Would recommend to a friend.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2011 21:08:15 | More by Paincane
Photo of ShireReeve

New York

3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My First Review...

Serving: 12oz Bottle / Tulip Glass

Appearance: Cloudy copper-brown. Note some visible particles. Two finger head (with a very aggressive poor). Not sure if that was user error. Head did not last very long at all but left some very small patches of lacing as it receded.

Smell: Balanced - hoppy fruit aroma but some earthy malt as well. Still working on noticing different scents within the brews.

Taste: Similar to the aroma it seems very balanced. I am getting a nice sweetness from the malt in the front and then a bitter bite from the hops in the middle and again on the back.

Mouth Feel: Medium. Crisp, but somewhat creamy on the tongue. Finishes dry with a little bit of a hops aftertaste lingering around.

Overall: I like it. I am not a huge fan of hoppy beer (as of right now) but the balance of this beer with some hoppy bite may be a way to acquire that taste. Would drink this again and recommend to a friend.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2011 00:45:45 | More by ShireReeve
Photo of tvv375ia


3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass

A- cloudy orange with a finger of head that lasted a couple minutes before fading

S-not a lot of smell but it was Carmel/malt type smell

T- nutty malt taste with a hint of pine hops

M-medium creaminess

O-good solid beer I will get again

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2011 01:17:58 | More by tvv375ia
Photo of avaldivia


3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired in trade from Sobeleg. Poured 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Dark red color. Very cloudy. Decent size head with good lacing all the way down.

S: Caramel malt. Some pine notes. Nice sweet, fruity notes. I want to say fig.

T: Similar to smell, but the pine note is virtually hidden. Good sweet malty flavor.

M: Light to medium bodied. The gravity seems to increase on he finish. A bit syrupy.

O: Solid amber ale. I was pleasantly surprised. I would get this again

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2011 21:23:31 | More by avaldivia
Photo of SolipsismalCat


4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Hazy light amber with lots of bubbles and particles. Two-finger, creamy white head that lasted a few minutes. Nice lacing.

S: Malt, caramel, dark fruit, some hops. But, overall, it was difficult to smell anything.

T: Moderate sweetness and mild hop bitterness. Kind of a nutty, earthy hop finish, which I liked.

M: Light to medium bodied with soft carbonation. Kind of creamy. Very refreshing.

O: This Amber ale is really drinkable, and I loved everything about it, but I do with it had a bit more of an aroma. Still, one of my new favorites.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2011 01:11:58 | More by SolipsismalCat
Photo of jgurley


4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2011 21:16:10 | More by jgurley
Photo of paxchristi


3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I don't know what it is about the bottles that I'm getting from Trader Joe's, but the bottles never seem to have any head to them. Once again, I pour a bottle from there and I get relatively no head, and I must have it on this brew.

A: Pours hazy amber color with a fingertip's worth of fizzy head that diminishes within moments. Disappointing, because with a good head, this one could have been another classic from Bell's (I suspect that it is, actually, but that Trader Joe's doesn't know how to treat their damn beer!).

S: Fantastically complex. Citrus, darker fruits, and almost a caramel type of smell comes to mind. Hops exists-- though it is (pleasantly) mild. Perhaps a bit of pine as well. Great! Sweet malts in the finish.

T: Dry but not very bitter. I liked that a lot. Caramel takes front with a bready and mild malt middle, and a moderately hoppy finish. It sticks on the palate after a while. Well balanced, indeed! A definite session beer. Creamy and yet lively. Hell yeah!

Mouthfeel: Pleasantly mellow with a bit of a stinging feel from the carbonation. I think it brings out the hops. Superiorly medium in body.

Overall: A beer for the drunk in us all. I could drink this beer all night...and the next morning. It has some nice balance to it-- in fact, balance is its strength. I wish I could have this one on tap. I bet I would end up giving it a higher review if the beer were actually taken care of by the retailer.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2011 18:02:51 | More by paxchristi
Photo of jifigz


3.43/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at the Bungalow Alehouse in Gainesville, Va.

A: The beer is dark brown/red and had great lacing with a head that lasted quite a while.

S: I couldn't really smell a damn thing coming from this beer but it was, as in most public pub/beer-joint settings, chilled really, really cold. (so my smell category is skewed.)

T: The taste had a faint caramel flavor with a nice malt backbone being very evident. The hop bitterness kicked in late and was very dry and not very bitter.

M: Creamy and delicious and very well fitting. Not overly or under carbonated.

O: A very sold beer. I can't remember what exactly it was like because it was at a pub and I have had several other drinks since then, but either way a solid brew and a first time for this one for me.

Serving type: on-tap

08-22-2011 03:03:42 | More by jifigz
Photo of kilustration


4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2011 02:03:55 | More by kilustration
Photo of Avantyawn

New York

3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Standard nice amber coloring, nice fluffy head, large bubbles

S: Crystal malts, mild but detectable yeast , apple cider vinegar, raspberries . Not super into the nose on this...

T: A mild creamy amber ale, the taste doesn't pop out much really, taste is very mild with a little hop kick at the end of mild sweet start., OK but not really impressive.

M: Nice light medium mouthfeel, good carbonation, no complaints here.

O: Overall, I'd imagine this would be a different story fresh on tap, but this 6 pack has been a bit underwhelming and falls short of what I expect / hope for in an amber ale. Decent but forgettable.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2011 01:29:28 | More by Avantyawn
Photo of drabmuh


3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2011 04:47:18 | More by drabmuh
Photo of zoso1967


3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber pours a deep bronze amber color and has very nice clarity. The head is parchment in color and has pretty nice retention and lacing qualities.

The aroma is pretty subdued. It is slightly malty with some caramel and a touch of fruitiness, as well as some herbal hop aromas.

The flavor is pretty similar except that I am able to pick up a bit more of the hoppy character. It is nicely fruity with hints of apple, a bit if caramel and a slight toastyness.

The body is medium with a bit too much carbonation for my taste and a pleasant finish that is nicely dry. The finish is pretty nominal leaving a good mix of the malt and hop flavors on the tongue.

Bell's Amber is a classic, but I don't find it to be one of their better offerings. I could drink a lot of these and have at parties down in K-zoo when my friends were going to Western for college, but it is not really a beer I ever buy anymore unless it is the only Bell's available. If you are a big fan of ambers though, you may think differently

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2011 12:11:42 | More by zoso1967
Photo of TheSupremeAJ


3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz from Abe's of Bethlehem...

Appears cloudy with a thin white head. Smells malty and balanced, hop presence is muted. Taste is well balanced, biscuity and smooth. A little sweet citrus hop action in the background. Mouthfeel is average to good.... very pleasant and easy going. Carbonation is medium. Overall a decent amber ale.... not knockin' my socks off though just sayin. This would be nice to keep around for guests and easy drinkin' nights.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2011 22:21:30 | More by TheSupremeAJ
Photo of Groomsy


4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Single bottle bought for $2.09 at Ozzy's in Waverly, OH, bottled on 05/09/11. Poured into a nonic.

Appearance: Not so much amber as it as very hazy golden/orange when held to the light. Outside of the light it looks like a regular amber ale, but holding it to the light reveals a different color as well as some sediment/yeast in suspension. The body is topped by a 2-finger off-white head of frothy foam which sticks around and leaves strings and webs of lace all over the glass. A fantastic looking brew.

Smell: Good stuff going on here. Most notably, as the amber style would have, there are evident notes of toffee and toasty caramel from the malt used, but this is greatly balanced by some floral and slightly piney hop aromas. Hanging in the balance is there a hint of fruity esters and some bread/biscuit aromas. Definitely on par for the amber ale style, but enticing and inviting. Very balanced.

Taste: And this is why I love amber ales. Maybe not my favorite of the style, but dead on for an American style amber ale. There are flavors of roasted malt on the front of the palate, followed by sweet toffee. The finish brings floral and piney flavors to the tongue, and maybe just a touch of some citrus such as grapefruit. On the back of the palate, flavors of bread hang around. A very well-balanced and drinkable amber ale.

Mouthfeel: On par for Bell's other beers. Medium body, but this one has lower carbonation as well as a much drier finish than something like Oberon, and has a big sticky finish with bread and pine flavors lingering. Very drinkable due to its balance.

Overall: A great amber ale. Maybe not my favorite (a title which belongs to Troeg's HopBack), but certainly worthy of trying. Balanced, drinkable, and plenty of complexity in the flavor. Would love to make this a staple in my fridge.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2011 02:34:43 | More by Groomsy
Photo of philbe311


3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Three fingers worth of active dense tightly packed creamy slightly off-white colored head with a bit of a rocky top... Fairly impressive retention at one fingers worth... Load with small bubbled rapid paced carbonation... The color is a mix of orange, amber, and caramel... Completely translucent...

S - Loads of toffee and toasted malts... Nutty... Caramel... Sweet desert breads... A bit of brown sugar... Raisins...

T - Brown sugar... Toffee... Raisins... Caramel... Nutty... Lots of grassy notes... A slightly assertive hop layer lies beneath and rises on the finish and lingers for a moment...

M - Medium bodied... Light carbonation... A bit sharp... A slightly dry finish...

D - A respectable American Amber... Simple straight-forward and fairly effective... Nothing special, but no real complaints either... A solid flagship brew for Bell's...

Serving type: growler

07-23-2011 01:39:39 | More by philbe311
Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 2,215 ratings.