1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.
BA SCORE
86
very good

2,224 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,224
Reviews: 852
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 11.75%
Wants: 76
Gots: 102 | 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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bell's Amber Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,224 | Reviews: 852 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nocheinsbitte
nocheinsbitte

North Carolina

3.1/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

had this from a 12 oz bottle.

A: pours a typcial amber-orange color with minimal head and no lacing. A decent looking bier.
S: very slight smell, nothing spectacular.
T: not as robust as many ambers, a little weak.
M: nothing exciting here, doesn't offend bu doesn't excite.
D: could have a few of these on a hot summer day, but it wouldn't be too remarkable.

Bells usually makes a good product, this is not one of it's best. This is a "recommend slightly".

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2009 01:39:38 | More by nocheinsbitte
Photo of stakem
stakem

Pennsylvania

3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle, the head dissolved at a medium pace. Left little to no lacing on the glass. Looks are as one would expect an amber to appear, nice orange glow unfiltered with lots of little particles hanging out doing their thing at the bottom of the glass. Smells malty, and low and behold so is the taste. Its malty sweetness is the first thing picked up with little carbination with bits of bitterness bringing in the rear. Drinkability is smooth and easy going, I like it.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2009 22:01:34 | More by stakem
Photo of JAA
JAA

Florida

3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
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'.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2009 21:29:28 | More by JAA
Photo of gunnerman
gunnerman

Florida

4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap into a pint glass, pours a rustic redish amber with a a bit of head that leaves minimal lace on the glass. Smell has that sweet hoppy smell with a bit of bread and clove. This beer has a taste of sweet bread with a nice malt tone and some nice earth hop flavor in there, very well balanced and the drinkability is high on this fine product. Overall a regular that I go to and a nice session beer.

Serving type: on-tap

06-06-2009 14:13:00 | More by gunnerman
Photo of avalon07
avalon07

South Carolina

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

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an amber color and a cloudy consistency. There was a big, foamy, long-lasting head and good lacing.

S: Smelled of sweet malt, a bit of hops and fruit.

T: Taste consisted of fruit, sweet malt and some hops. A mostly bitter flavor, but generally well done.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a dry finish. Light-bodied.

D: I'm not the biggest fan of ambers, but this one is a pretty drinkable example of one.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2009 12:55:11 | More by avalon07
Photo of Tone
Tone

Missouri

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

Pours a hazy, amber/orange color. One and one half inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of sweet malt, hops, slight fruit aroma from yeast, and some brown sugar. Fits the style of an American Amber / Red Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and slightly thick with a high carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, slight hops, and some fruity flavors. Overall, a really good blend of flavors and a great drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2009 05:58:43 | More by Tone
Photo of carwreCk
carwreCk

Alabama

3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance in the light is honey-like and foggy with a creamy head.

Smell is wheaty to me.

Taste is fruity and malty with a bitter end.

Mouthfeel is grainy, not too watery.

Drinkability is good, although the bitter finish could get old for some (including myself).

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2009 02:14:49 | More by carwreCk
Photo of dublife1
dublife1

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this on Cask at Tap and Table in Emmaus, Pa. Perfect two finger head and smells of roasted grains and caramel. Taste is so crisp and slightly malty. FANTASTIC!!! Mouthfeel is incredible and so much better than in bottle form. This is a session beer for sure!!! Bell's is no doubt an incredible craft brewer that the USA can be proud of! Well Done!!!

Serving type: on-tap

05-30-2009 01:11:31 | More by dublife1
Photo of Anthony1
Anthony1

Colorado

2.9/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Serving Type- on tap poured into a pint glass

appearance- mildly cloudy amber color. small head with not too much lace, but what it did have stuck.

smell- a hoppy citrus. smells of orange and lemon

taste/mouthfeel- a bit malty hops with an citrus flavor, tipped with a bit of banana. hoppier then i expected with a bitter after taste. medium body with ok carbonation

drinkability- wasn't impressed for a brand i've been waiting for. not much of a defining flavor

Serving type: on-tap

05-28-2009 13:09:51 | More by Anthony1
Photo of Cyberkedi
Cyberkedi

Georgia

3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Comes out of the tap a hazy dark honey-amber with a thin but fine-bubbled off-white head. Appetizing malty aroma has fruity and hoppy hints. Thick, malty flavor has a hoppy undertone and a touch of banana. Texture is thick, smooth and fizzy. Definitely worth seeking.

Serving type: on-tap

05-26-2009 00:15:28 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of clayrock81
clayrock81

Virginia

3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a amber tinted brown, or I should say copper tinted red, with good carbonation although the head dies quick. Caramel malts on top of floral hops; textbook red ale smell. A lighter bodied red, the hops are rather subdued as this beer passes smoothly and slickly over the tongue, leaving off sweet malt tastes as it goes does. Caramel and roasted/toasted malts mostly, along with some other bitter sweet (chocolate) vibes are balanced (not evenly) with citric hops and the beer finishes w/ a crisp, hoppy backbite. This is a very good red anyone should try, but for some reason it seemed a tad for me. Coulda just been one of those days.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2009 16:53:41 | More by clayrock81
Photo of taylorhamrick
taylorhamrick

South Carolina

4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out hazy, kind of golden, definitely not amber in my opinion, maybe copper at best. A massive head sits on top, and is slow to collapse, but still the color is getting me. I want to see more red/amber colors. The smell is of biscuit, bread very full, a bit of sweetness. Great maltiness in this one. Then there is this orange smell, with some resinous hops, bitter citrus rind. The taste really kind of stands out. There is a really pleasant tart cherry taste which I like, a great maltiness, thick and bready, kind of a powdery dry bread, like crackers. Then a herbal, leafy finish of hops. This is a bit like a soda, but I'm loving it. The fruitiness is very nice. I wish it were just a bit more beery. The taste is a little watery, less than impressive, particularly for a style than can be built up to be quite malty. The carbonation is nice, though. An enjoyable beer. I'd recommend it, though I'd also recommend a few improvements on this one - namely in color and mouthfeel. This one is very easy to drink and pleasant.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2009 21:43:05 | More by taylorhamrick
Photo of Aenema
Aenema

Maryland

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

Appearance - Pours a brownish orange, similar to the color of syrup with melted butter, a thin off-white head and little lacing.
Smell - Caramel malts, hay and grass.
Taste - Toasted, caramel malts, a nice hoppy finish - a smooth, well-balanced beer.
Mouthfeel - Moderate carbonation, medium bodied and creamy.
Drinkability - Drinkable, but not a beer I would want more than maybe two of.
Overall - A fine beer worth trying, but not one I will revisit any time soon. It was not particularly good or interesting.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2009 21:24:39 | More by Aenema
Photo of LauraAlberts
LauraAlberts

South Carolina

4.38/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Cloudy Amber color with night fingers worth of head

Smell: Not too much - might need to warm up. Mild hops, mild citrus, very floral notes. Very nice.

Taste: Honey, Brown Sugar, Hops, Barley - Very nice long tasting profile.

Mouthfeel: Nice soft tannins, this beer is light and refreshing - but not watery.

Drinkability: Session. I love this new Bells beer we're getting here in SC.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2009 17:22:02 | More by LauraAlberts
Photo of jwhawkins81
jwhawkins81

Ohio

4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch number 8996 was packaged on 2/27/2009

Aroma - Well balanced aroma of hops and malt

Appearance - Thin fizzy off white head, cloudy orange red color.

Taste - Well balanced this is just a plain good beer. A smooth malty grain flavor with just enough hops for balance. Enough flavor for you not to forget its there.

Mouthfeel - Thin but with plenty of carbonation.

Drinkability - If priced right this could be a definite go to beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2009 21:22:16 | More by jwhawkins81
Photo of smerkinb
smerkinb

North Carolina

4.4/5  rDev +14.9%
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!

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2009 01:21:17 | More by smerkinb
Photo of SPRichard
SPRichard

New Jersey

3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

copper/amber color....thick foam head that leaves some lacing...plenty of carbonation dancing up from the bottom of my glass

caramel malt nose....somewhat sweet....floral hops....hint of citrus also

floral hop gives you some bitterness at the start...toasted grain and sweet malt at the end...very good balance of malt and hops

nicely carbonated...medium body....very smooth

a very refreshing beer...nice balance...goes down way too easy

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2009 22:49:11 | More by SPRichard
Photo of timmay41
timmay41

Massachusetts

3.85/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2009 04:19:15 | More by timmay41
Photo of prototypic
prototypic

Ohio

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

Bell's Amber has a surprising amount of yeasty haze clouding its scarlet infused amber appearance. I like it. A vanilla head sits firmly on top and patiently dissipates. Light strands of lace line the glass as it descends.

The nose isn't bad, but is a little lacking in strength and diversity. It's very yeasty and doughy throughout. Caramel malts provide a nice, sweet aroma. It's a little sugary. Hops are noted, but aren't very powerful. They smell floral and earthy. All told, it's straight forward and not bad at all. A little more "oomph" would certainly be welcomed here.

The flavor kicks off with sweet caramel malt. It's sweet and somewhat sugary. There's a bit of fruit here that wasn't apparent on the nose. Tastes like pear to me. Floral hops add a nice dimension to it. They're earthy and grassy with a spicy twist. The most interesting thing about Amber Ale is how the flavor kind of flatlines. It's very stagnant and doesn't seem to develop much from beginning to end. It feels like it needs some pizzazz on the back end. As it warms, there's a slight bitter kick from the hops. But, it's not quite enough. Overall, it's got a pretty nice flavor, it just needs a little something extra.

Its body is light and somewhat smooth. Carbonation is active and a little crisp. A tad more body would improve it, but it's nowhere close to bad. Drinkability is good. Amber Ale is a very straight forward beer that goes down easy and isn't complicated in any way. I could handle a few of these if need be.

I'm pretty sure Amber Ale is Bell's Flagship beer. It's not a great beer, but it is good. I'd prefer a little more hops. They'd add some zeal that it currently lacks. Other than that, the nose is a tad weak and a bit more body would be good. Truth be told, those modifications might just turn it into an animal that it's not intended to be. As it is, it's a nice session beer with a pretty good flavor. As easy as it is to forget sometimes, those have a place in this world.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2009 02:02:11 | More by prototypic
Photo of PatrickJR
PatrickJR

North Carolina

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Hazy orangish/amber with about 3 fingers of off white head. Decent retention before falling to a generous cap. Great lacing.

S - Simple bready sweetness with a touch of spicy and slightly citrus hops on the surface.

T - Similar to the nose. Bready malt with a mild sweetness and slight toastiness starts things off. As things dry out, hints of orange and lemon peel begin to bring bitterness to the brew. Moderate bitterness continues and leads to a spicy, peppery finish.

M - Great medium body, very smooth with a mild to moderate carbonation.

D - Excellent stuff. Simple but extremely flavorful and drinkable. A solid beer without hitting any extremes, worthy of having on any occasion.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2009 07:08:27 | More by PatrickJR
Photo of projectflam86
projectflam86

Ohio

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

A- Pours nice amber/copper color with a thick foam head that sticks well. Lots of carbonation bubbles.

S- Sweet caramel malt nose with subtle floral hops and citrus notes.

T- Spice and floral hop bitterness initially. Sweet malt and toasted grain flavor in the finish. Slight astringent alcohol and some diacetyl butteriness detectable as well. Nice balance of hops and malt.

M- Medium bodied and smooth. Lots of carbonation.

D- Nice, clean, and refreshing. Interesting flavor with a decent amount of complexity. Balanced pretty well.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2009 21:35:50 | More by projectflam86
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Amber with a nice head and plenty of lacing.

S: Sweet amber malts with a tiny bit of hop presence.

T: Slightly buttery amber malt base. Very creamy.

M: Like the taste, excellent creaminess to this one. Most of the ambers I have had fall well into the category of thin or creamy, and this is definitely of the latter category. Utterly brilliant.

D: Excellent year-round offering from Bell's--for the most part, Larry and the crew can simply do no wrong.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2009 03:18:22 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of buschbeer
buschbeer

Ohio

3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured into a pint glass to little head. It is reddish orange in color with some cloudiness. It smells sweet. The taste is surprisingly nice, citrus and malt. It is quite refreshing after the previous two ambers that I have tried this weekend. I could enjoy a few of these.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2009 19:53:45 | More by buschbeer
Photo of david131
david131

California

3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- A hazy copper colored beer with a thin white head that has some pretty good retention. There are some floaters in this one.

S- Toasted white bread and oranges. Pretty simple, but appealing. Reminds me of an Oberon.

T- Bread, caramel, a hint of orange rind, and some spiciness. Pretty simple and appealing.

M- A bit spicy due to the carbonation and flavors, but it is clean and slightly astringent on the tail end.

D- An easy going amber ale that packs just the slightest punch, but is a good choice for almost any occasion.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2009 03:40:59 | More by david131
Photo of sjclay00
sjclay00

Michigan

3.4/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark orange mostly amber with with the carbonation slowly swirling through the glass
S- Mostly malt not overly impressed
T- Little bitter, hints of the malt, bread and a slight hint of caramel
M- Semi smooth not to bad
D- Decent drinkability but not my favorite. Taste could be better

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2009 01:37:52 | More by sjclay00
Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 2,224 ratings.