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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.
BA SCORE
86
very good

2,438 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,438
Reviews: 866
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 12.01%
Wants: 94
Gots: 164 | 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: 2,438 | Reviews: 866 | Display Reviews Only:
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!

philosobeer, Nov 03, 2010
Photo of Shrews629
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Shrews629, Nov 02, 2010
Photo of nickfl
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours with one finger of white head on top of a hazy, amber-brown body. The foam collapses slowly and leaves excellent lace.

S - Light caramel and toffee malt with some weak herbal hops lingering in the background.

T - Carmel malt up front with light toasted notes. Toffee and more caramel are present in the middle with lightly spicy hops. Finishes with lots of dry, mild caramel and toffee as well as light bitterness to balance.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a balanced finish.

D - Very drinkable, there is nothing remarkable going on here, but the beer is well made and enjoyable. The caramel malt character is particularly well done and makes the beer a touch more interesting. Not a beer to sit and think about, but it would be easy to drink these all night long.

nickfl, Nov 01, 2010
Photo of InebriatedJoker
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into my favorite beer drinking glass -

poured a nice auburn red with a two finger head lots of bubbles the lace follows it down the glass -

Smell was clean with citrus - spice .

Taste was very good - hints of hops some citrus also fine malts and little spice -

Goes down easy - very drinkable .

InebriatedJoker, Oct 30, 2010
Photo of axeman9182
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle courtesy of BA StormKing47 , batch 9750 which was bottled on May 21st, poured into my Duvel tulip.

Bell's Amber pours surprisingly light for a so called amber ale, much closer to a burnt tangerine. Two fingers of fluffy white head rises up, and then fall by half before holding for a while. Lacing is serviceable, but nothing to write home about. Nose is pretty much devoid of hops, which I guess is to be somewhat expected with an amber that's approaching its "best by" date (listed on the Bell's website as six months after bottling), but there's definitely still some caramel and biscuit floating around. The hops are still appreciable on my palate though. The previously mentioned malty flavors lead things off, and a gentle suggestion of bitterness fades into a bitter grapefruit and pine finish. This beer is undoubtedly a bit hoppier fresh, but tastewise I think I like it with a more subdued hop influence. Body is solid, but not overwhelming, though the brisk carbonation is a nice touch. Overall I found myself reaching for synonyms for decent a lot while writing this review, and that's a good way to describe Bell's Amber. It's clearly a well made beer, but one that didn't wow me in any way.

axeman9182, Oct 20, 2010
Photo of alleykatking
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a psemi-hazy deep amber color. One finger white head shows light retention. There is some light spotty lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- A nice sweet toffee aroma with some light caramel malts. Some floral hops are in the ending. Not really much else...balanced and to the point

T- There is a toffee upfront to this with a light caramel malt. Some bitter hops in the middle to ending. There is some off flavors I pick up like some earthy woody flavors. Not much else really going on here...a little lack luster to be honest.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Toffee malts left on the palate with some light caramel and alcohol notes in the aftertaste. Taste was crisp but a little off putting. Flavor was well balanced for what it was.

D- This beer pretty much grew on me at about the half pint mark. I couldn't really drink much of it but I also might have had a bad bottle. I will re-review this beer when I come back to it.

alleykatking, Oct 19, 2010
Photo of DrDemento456
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this in the variety pack some time ago.

A - Pours well a very nice amber brown color with an inch of bubbly head.

S - Caramel and biscuit malts dominate the nose.

T - Very smooth. Comes off sweet but simple with a caramel like sweetness and slight hops with a sweet biscuit, bready finish.

M - Light to medium body. Succession-able.

D - I can actually find six packs of this which is great but since I am more of a stout kind of guy, I really would like more for my dollar. Very nice beer for the variety pack though. Simple and delicious.

DrDemento456, Oct 18, 2010
Photo of seanyfo
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brought back from Kentucky by my good mate Feech!

Bottle poured into shaker pint glass.

A- Dark amber caramel body, with a 1 finger solid head reducing quickly to a crown. Lacing is good to minimal. Clarity is slight haze

S- Lots of toffee! Maybe a little vanilla.

T- Toffee comes through first on the tongue which fades to a more delicate vanilla flavour which lingers. Perhaps finish is a little subdued. No hop presence to speak of really.

M- Low to mod carbonation, medium body, perhaps a little thin.

D- Easily drinkable with a nice malty flavour which is neither overpowering or sticky on the tongue.

Albeit there should be a slight malt dominance, there is really no hop presence to balance the sweetness.

seanyfo, Oct 16, 2010
Photo of RunForYourBeer
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from batch 9781.

A: Pours an orange color with very little head.

S: Nearly all caramel malt on this one.

T: Starts out with lots of caramel malt with hints bready malt. Finish with some light citrus hops.

M: Medium with the right amount of carbonation.

D: High.

This is a good beer. It's highly drinkable and easy to get in my area. Would make a great session beer or gateway to craft beer.

RunForYourBeer, Oct 15, 2010
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.05/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Batch 9468; Sampled April 2010
An aggressive pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a three-finger thick, lightly tanned head. The beer is a reddish, amber hue that shows a brilliantly clear, amber, with flashes of gold color when held up to the light. Hmm, interesting the beer smells of butterscotch... and more butterscotch; while this note is not loud, it over-powers most of the other notes in the aroma. Some biscuit-like malt character is just perceptible at times.

Lightly sweet, with a soft fruitiness to it up front, but the beer finishes with an out-of-place light tartness that I wouldn't guess was intended. A touch of herbal hops towards the middle and finish lead to a light, but firm bitterness. The fruitiness found here is quite possibly accentuated by the light hop character. The butterscotch diacetyl note from the aroma is much reduced in the flavor (which is often the case), but still adds some buttery notes to the middle and finish of this beer. This has a medium-light body to it that would make for being quite quaffable on a day other than the heat of summer. The tartness in the finish combines with the herbal hop character and gets a touch harsh at times.

I'll definitely have to get another bottle of this as this is almost definitely heading down the road to an infection; this is not actually horrible tasting though and is even somewhat enjoyable in its own right. Hopefully Bells is able to clean up this infection as I really like a lot of their beers.

Gueuzedude, Oct 07, 2010
Photo of TheHoppiest
2.63/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a slightly cloudy/hazy amber color. A nice 1/2" of cream-colored head that reduces fairly quickly. A decent amount of suspended sediment; this is my second amber/red ale of the evening that presents with suspended sediment; I wasn't aware this was common of the style, as other red ales I've had have not looked like this.

Smell is rather non-existent, with a hint of sweet malt.

Taste is unremarkable,with some toffee-malt, tempered with wet straw and other grains, and an underying woodiness like chewing on a plant stalk. Ends with a mildy sour/bitter taste that fades away.

Mouthfeel is thin.

I don't find this drinkable, and am glad I purchased it a a single.

TheHoppiest, Oct 02, 2010
Photo of Beeryce
3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Nice slightly off-white head atop a cherrywood coloered, clear beer. Steally carmel malt and pronounced bitter and floral hop aroma. Taste is well balanced interplay of hop bitterness and sweet chewy malt. Nice mouthfeel fits the beers flavor profile and adds to the high drinkability. A great session or six-pack beer.

Beeryce, Sep 21, 2010
Photo of JRed
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours amber/muddy red with white misty head. Sweet aroma of grains, sugars, vague peach. Strong flavors of light fruit punch, frosted grains, peaches, acidity, hop dryness comes through in the end but the sweetness overwhelms. Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Sugars coat the palate and can get itchy but overall a good beer. One of the best amber ales I've ever had.

JRed, Sep 17, 2010
Photo of adam42381
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a hazy medium copper with a 2 finger bubbly white head. Lots of sediment floating around. Decent lacing throughout.

Smell: Sweet caramel malt with a hint of floral and citrus hops.

Taste: Sweet citrus up front followed by caramel in the middle and toasted malt with just a hint of hops at the finish. Mildly bitter, dry and smoky aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a high amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Very high drinkability. You could knock back several of these without any problem.

Overall: Very good beer overall and one of the best I've had in the style. I would definitely recommend it. Another solid offering from Bell's.

adam42381, Sep 16, 2010
Photo of JackieTH
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Amber reddish/orange.

Smell: Oranges, earthy malt, strawberries.

Taste: Caramel and mildy toasted malt, oranges and berries. Biscuits, too. Mild hops on finish. Slightly sweet finish but balanced decently with citrus hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with decent carbonation and a mildly creamy texture.

Drinkability: One or the whole six pack.

JackieTH, Sep 13, 2010
Photo of harpus
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Wow, pours amber... whoda thunk? Small white head that dissipates rather quickly

S- Fruity malts, very aromatic!

T- Caramel malts balanced by some citrusy hops

M- Nice carbonation and a nice body

D- Nothing spectacular but not a bad beer by any means

harpus, Sep 04, 2010
Photo of Arithmeticus
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: light copper orange color; cloudy; good carbonation
S: sweet, but not remarkable, aroma
T: bitter, not sweet; unidimensional but good lasting power; similar to a pale ale--prominent hops, but not intense.
M: rich mouthfeel

A good, solid offering from Bell's.

Arithmeticus, Aug 30, 2010
Photo of NODAK
4.38/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Smells of caramael, malty sweetness and a bit of toastiness. Pretty rich...I was surprised.

Floral hop crispness comes across the tongue initially with a bit of bitterness, but not all that much. What follows is a good dose of caramel maltiness and toasty flavors in the middle to finish of the beer. Reminds me of a German crystal malt here. There's a little residual bitterness that lingers a bit after the swallow along with the toastiness that is pretty prevalent.

It's actually a very tasty beer that does an excellent job of balancing the right amount of hops with malt. Awesome!

NODAK, Aug 25, 2010
Photo of billab914
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Southern Tier glass. Poured amber, slightly orange in color with a very thin white head clinging to the sides of the glass.

The aroma shows more of a malty, caramel flavor to it then anything else. Some hints of citrus hops come through a bit. Pretty nice aroma for an Amber Ale.

The taste also shows a nice caramel, bready, malty flavor to it. It finishes with some citrus hoppiness coming through to really balance it out. Very nice flavored amber ale.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, it was an easy drinking beer with some nice flavors. Very solid amber ale overall.

billab914, Aug 22, 2010
Photo of cosmicevan
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A - Poured a clear...well...amber. Had a thin bubbly head and no lacing. Subtle carbonation.

S - Earthy malt. Little roasted, little caramel. Nothing too wild.

T - Malty. Roasted. Touch sweet. Nice amber.

M - Smooth and silky. Biscuit-like.

D - Very easy drinker. A bit earthy/malty, but could drink these all night. Not my favorite bells offering, but a good amber none-the-less.

cosmicevan, Aug 14, 2010
Photo of AgentMunky
3.35/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pilsner glass.

A: Amber-esque until held up to the light, which reveals translucent yellowish colour. Decent head and lots of bubbles.

S: Unexpected. Instead of a sweet, malty scent, I'm getting hops and a tinge of skunk. Malt does lie underneath, a bit concealed. Beery, overall.

T: Good, and a beer that is balanced, rather than tilted towards malt, as many amber ales are. The main taste is dry but full, with a slightly toasted feel. Rather carbonated. The aftertaste is pleasantly round and malty, with the hops running underneath. Mostly sweet but dry. A very interesting brew, but not my favourite.

M: Watery-smooth meets spicy-tingly. It's alright.

D: Honestly, I was expecting a lot more from this beer. It's a more than decent, but not anywhere near outstanding. I've had much better brews from Bell's and better amber ales than this. Drinkable, but not recommended.

AgentMunky, Aug 12, 2010
Photo of Halcyondays
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, batch 9685,

A: Pours an amber orange with a fizzy light white head, no lace. Minor floaties, not the most attractive brew.

S: Biscuity malt, hint of diacetyl, oranges, pastry bread. A pretty fruity nose at times almost Belgian.

T: Toasted malt, very grainy at first. Fairly bitter overall, has a bit of citrus complexity. Some berry notes. Semi-sweet on the finish.

M: Light-bodied, creamy. Spritzy, fizzy carbonation - somewhat soda-like, but not watery. Moderate aftertaste.

D: A solid amber ale, not overhopped and in this style I like that, more in the English bitter realm. We all know Bell's makes some amazing brews, but this a good staple to pay the bills.

Halcyondays, Aug 11, 2010
Photo of king75
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle.
Pours amber red, with about an inch or so of a creamy head. Light amplifies the redness and cloudiness of the beer.

Smells of fresh fruit with a subtle, but lingering smell of hops.

Taste very smooth from the start, can taste the hops towards the end, but left with a crisp clean taste.

Notes: a very drinkable beer, a beer that you can drink either one of or have an entire six pack of. Either way you cannot go wrong.

king75, Aug 07, 2010
Photo of DoubleJ
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12 ounce bottle received as a gift from Halcyondays. On to the beer:

A little hazed in this orangeish brown colored beer. The head drops to a thin creamy lace on top, leaving a little lacing on the glass. The nose is a little subdued. Faint fruity esters, a little toasted malt. A little warming up intensifies those aromas, and even brings out some butterscotch. That's better.

Bell's version of an amber ale tastes like this; it goes toasty and fruity, like strawberry. Not super hoppy, which with Bell's I though it would be. There are touches of pine though. Ok, tasting those resins, maybe it was hoppy once upon a time, and now the hop juice is gone. No worries, it's all good.

Expectations sometimes get really high with certain breweries. Although I was expecting something explosive, I shouldn't complain too much about this beer.

DoubleJ, Aug 07, 2010
Photo of TheSarge
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

With a semi vigorous pour, the brew makes about two fingers of off white cranium, and has a hazy copper colored body.

In the aroma the bready malts arve very detectable, somewhat in the way of a sweet style bread, and there is a slight herbal fragrance too.

Taste wise it's also very much in the way of a sweet bready flavor. Thre is a slight metallic flavor along with an herbal finish.

This is crispy yet a little chewy along with a slight oily slickness. This makes for a good standby to go to for the American Red Ale genre IMO.

TheSarge, Jul 30, 2010
Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 2,438 ratings.