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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

2,222 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,222
Reviews: 852
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 11.75%
Wants: 76
Gots: 101 | 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: 2,222 | Reviews: 852 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JDV
JDV

Texas

3.15/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

bottle courtesy of gregis.
Rich muddy burnt orange colored pour with a creamy beige head. Looks gorgeous. Smell is predominantly tart, heavy malt. Taste is smooth, creamy, dense malt flavors with a mild hop bitterness poking out a bit. A nice drinkable amber although not too spectacular overall.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2008 22:15:50 | More by JDV
Photo of HardTarget
HardTarget

Texas

4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle Inspection: 5.8%, a note about pale malts, and marketing blurb. There's a long code (8221) which I guess might tell me the date brewed, and going on their webpage does let me know (in IE, not Firefox) that it was packaged on Nov. 7, 2007 (sampled Leap Day, Feb. 29, 2008).

Aroma: Citric hops, a mix of orange, grapefruit, and a hint of ginger in the yeast.

Appearance: Lightly hazed copper orange body holds a creamy white head all the way through the beer with some lacing.

Flavor: An APA profile with some toffee and caramel notes. The orange rind hops start, then the slow transition over to the toffee malt which goes a bit sweeter to caramel, then a blend of all of it in the finish. Nice profile!

Mouthfeel: Moderate to low carbonation leaves a creamy mouthfeel, finish is a bit dry.

Overall Impression: Wow, nice amber! Great flavors in moderation and balance let both the hop and malt characteristics shine. I think this might be my favorite Bell's yet!

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2008 01:06:09 | More by HardTarget
Photo of Pauly2X
Pauly2X

Wisconsin

3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Light amber color, one finger head.

S- Not much here, just some light sweet malt smells.

T- Sweet toasted malty taste just enough hops to balance it out.

M- Nice, decent carbonation.

D- I'll prolly grab a sixer in the near future.

Pretty good, it's kind of reminiscent of an Oktoberfest in the malt profile.

Serving type: bottle

02-29-2008 02:50:41 | More by Pauly2X
Photo of Proteus93
Proteus93

Virginia

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

A: A murky gold, quite a bit of sediment got poured in there. Decent retention on the off-white head.

S: Soft and sweet, light toasted malts, a bit of a floral scent.

T + M: A mild bodied drink, light & sweet toasted malts. A little bit of both a buttery feel and taste in there together, along with floral hops towards the end. Barely bitter, but just enough so to round it all out. Excellent.

D: I would have another of these in a heartbeat. There's not much more that could be done to make this any easier for me to drink.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2008 20:22:34 | More by Proteus93
Photo of Hojaminbag
Hojaminbag

Colorado

3.28/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Orangish color with small quickly receeding off-white head. I don't really notice any retention.

I don't smell much of anything. Very slight malty character.

Surprisingly malty. Definitely one of the maltiest ambers I have tasted. Begins with a slight sweetness and finishes with a big malty choclate/coffee flavor. Not bad, but I prefer a little bit of hops in an amber, when I'm in the mood for maltiness I'd like a RIS or something.

Moutfeel is very light and carbonated, nothing much to notice, same with the drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2008 23:49:03 | More by Hojaminbag
Photo of argock
argock

Virginia

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

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a pint glass

A: Hazy amber color with medium-thick head with good staying power
S: Toffee and malt aromas with some earthy hops

T: Sweetly malty and smooth with mildly hoppy bitter finish and buttery aftertaste

M: Surprising bite and long-lasting aftertaste follow a very smooth, medium-to-full bodied beer

D: Pleasant and generally mellow with assertive finish -- nice beer in the amber style

Re-reviewed 2/19/08 after an especially enjoyable bottle

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2008 05:21:01 | More by argock
Photo of hwwty4
hwwty4

Missouri

3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass. Pours a hazy golden amber with a slight head (due to a chilled glass damn-it) that left slight lacing down the sides of the glass. The one thing that caught my attention in a positive way was the amount of suspended yeast in it. While its not consistent with the style, I find it a sexy attribute in a beer. I love me some suspended yeast. Aroma is slightly sweet with caramel malts but there is also a roasted smell to it along with some molasses. Taste is sweet but dry. My biggest issue with it is it has an almost saccharine quality to it. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good carbonation. I still find to this to be on par with the rest of Bell's lineup.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2008 23:14:05 | More by hwwty4
Photo of brewdoc75
brewdoc75

Minnesota

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

I associate amber ales w/ spring and fall for some odd reason. Since spring is ever so slowly approaching, I have been craving a good amber ale to help me cope with the winter. I really like Bell's so I figured this would be a great choice.

Good carbonation and head as this beer pours into my Northern Brewer pint glass. I was kind of turned off by the look of this beer however. Not quite as dark as most amber ales. It looks a bit closer to a pale ale to me. There is a lot of suspended yeast, despite my attempts to leave the yeast in to bottle. Not the prettiest beer I've had. The aroma is very nice. Good hoppy aromas w/ floral and citrus tones, but well balanced w/ malty sweetness. The flavor of this beer is very good. Strong hops up front, but not too much. This is followed by an explosion of malty sweetness. The beer finishes w/ a subtle bitterness. Very well balanced flavor. The mouthfeel is very good for this style. Light, yet full enough to let you know you are drinking a real beer.

Overall this is a very solid amber ale. Not the prettiest amber ale, but very tasty. I'd love to have this on tap. I agree w/ the other reviews stating that this would be a great session beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2008 03:21:09 | More by brewdoc75
Photo of cbleary
cbleary

North Carolina

3.15/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This was a disappointng beer. I especially enjoy Bell's Two-Hearted Ale but this one did not agree with me nearly as well. It arrived a bit lighter than I expected for an amber ale. The taste was of sourish malts and bitter hops, but they didn't seem to balance or mix very well. It was a bit of a lopsided brew. Decent, but not extraordinary. Maybe it's better out of the bottle?

Serving type: on-tap

02-18-2008 01:21:43 | More by cbleary
Photo of asabreed
asabreed

New York

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

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Reminds of Smuttynose IPA in the sense of all the floaties and the natural hazy color due to that. It adds so much more than just a clear brew in a glass with rising carbonation. The haze adds a copper hue to the ligher amber color of the body. Lacing all over the place: from clumps to thin lines to single bubbles.

Smell: Ripe fruit, with strawberry and some banana, is at the forefront of this sucker, some dough and yeast aromas, caramel, and ripe citrus as it warms I imagine from the hops, though it's mild as I expected.

Taste: Again, ripe fruit at the forefront, with some dough and toasted grain flavors. Then it slides into some banana, from the yeast possibly, vanilla, caramel, a bit of citrus hops, and ends with flavors of ripe apples and strawberries, still cut a bit by some citrus hops to not make it too sweet.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full-bodied with a good creaminess.

Drinkability: A pleasurable and sessionable amber offering from Bell's. I love the unfiltered look, which I think adds a lot with all the floaties, though I think that could turn some people off.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2008 21:51:14 | More by asabreed
Photo of meatdouglas
meatdouglas

Missouri

4.72/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bought a 6 pack from a local grocer

appearance: orange/amber slightly cloudy color.
large creamish tan head that lasted, with massive amounts of lacing through out the glass.

smell: nice smell, not too strong. more hops come through at first than malts. it's smell is good, a bit unexpected...but in a good way.

taste: sweet but not too sweet malty flavor with subtle floral and citrus mixed with a slight hoppy bitterness coming through near the finish. creamy sweet taste increases a little while it warms. nice lasting aftertaste. awesome taste, probably my favorite readily available amber ale yet.

MF&D: lasting carbonation, light to medium bodied and extremely smooth. Very drinkable, crisp and clean with an awesome aftertaste that left me craving more. which i guess would make it a great session beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2008 18:58:09 | More by meatdouglas
Photo of SIRIUS2
SIRIUS2

North Carolina

4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Medium amber color when poured into a pint glass. Small off-white head with several minutes of retention; good lacing.

S: Nice complexity of malts and hops. Not too aromatic but enjoyable.

T: Malts and hops blend together tipping toward the malty side. The flavors are richly married but not overwhelming. The finish allows the light bitterness of the hops to come through and allows it to be relatively quick and clean.

M&D: Light to medium body and fullness. Little to no separation on the tongue let the flavors stay together all the way down. Smooth.

I really like this one. If you are serving this to a squeamish friend, beware of the sediment on the bottom of the bottle. It made no difference to me whatsoever but there was no mention on the label or I would have poured more carefully. Beautiful ale!

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2008 22:29:58 | More by SIRIUS2
Photo of morimech
morimech

Minnesota

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

This is a wonderful looking amber ale. The color is dark amber with a two-fingered head that had excellant retention. It eventually settles to a very thick cap. Large amounts of lacing left on the glass surface. Very small particulate matter slowly settles to the bottom of the glass. I don't mind an unfiltered beer when the brewer does it in this manner.

I think there are a couple different hop varieties used in this beer. A combination of citrus and pine aromas with the sweet malt results in a wonderful smell.

The taste doesn't disappoint either. Perfectly balanced between the malt flavors and the hops makes this a great tasting ale. It leaves the mouth with just a hint of pine. It has a light body with well suited carbonation.

The best amber ale I have had and an overall top 10. Sessionable, affordable, and great tasting, just what I like.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2008 23:13:25 | More by morimech
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle served cold, right out of the fridge and poured into a New York Harbor Pint Glass

A - Poured a very nice orange tinted amber with a large three finger high head of thick white foamy lace that towered over the top of the glass. Very nice retention let this one hang around for a good long while before it was able to finally settle down and relax into a small pillow of white lace across the top of the glass. Nice carbonation was apparent as chains of bubbles rippled up to the service from the bottom of the glass. There was also a decent amount of cloudiness or haze to it as well that was very easy to pick up, along with just the slightest amount of floating sediment, which eventually filtered its way out.

S - The aroma was surprisingly hoppy for an amber ale, which to be honest shocked me a bit. Usually you expect an amber ale to just be the usually malty ale, but this was thinking to shape up to be a different kinda of ale. The first whiff that came across was clearly a floral pine like hoppiness that cut right through the underlying, malty base. There were definitely some hints in there of earthy notes, cereal like grains and a touch of bready like notes in the back. Rather complex for a straight up amber ale, and really quite nice.

T- The flavor itself followed along with the aroma very closely. To be honest it was much more of a well balanced IPA like flavor then that of an amber, but still very very well. There was a first initial rush of hops that greeted you as soon as the first flavor hit your tongue, as this rolled past the sugary malted backbone started to come though. Hints of grain and bread along with some nice notes of orange and even a touch of tangerine started to come though. All of these were blended very well and gave this a staggeringly good balance. The finish was strong and bitter with a huge hop presence. Nice dried out pine flavor to cap it all off.

M - The feel was also just great. A light to medium bodied ale, it had a little more weight to it then I would have thought it would have. Great carbonation lasted throughout the entire session, never going flat and keeping it from feeling dull. No slickness or watered down flavor here.

D - This was almost a perfect session beer. The ABV was low and the flavors were very tonight and well put together. Great carbonation with a crisp, clean and refreshing feel to it. I really could have put down the entire sixer my self and not even looked back.

Overall this was a very good beer here from Bell's/ I had not really had much experience with their regular lineup, tending to stick more with the bigger seasonal offerings, but this may have changed my mine, really showing what they can pull off on a more mass produced level. This was very good and I would not hesitate to try it again on any condition.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2008 10:40:40 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of Beerbuddha
Beerbuddha

Louisiana

4.47/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a copper color with a thick off white head and nice lacing. The aroma was of malt sweetness and some yeastiness. The taste was great! Had a nice sweetness and hint of roasted malts. Probably the best amber I've ever had. Very smooth and very drinkable. The mouthfeel was medium body with medium carbonation. Overall a great beer!!

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2008 02:07:05 | More by Beerbuddha
Photo of beerthulhu
beerthulhu

New Jersey

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

A: Pours a nice light burnt amber color with a creamy tan head.

S: soothing sweet caramel and fruitiness

F: For flavor there is a big creamy caramel palate, apples, some citrus hopping and a nice soft roasted character. The flavor is very rich, caramel malting, a well balanced floral hoppiness.

M: The mouthful is moderate with some warm caramel apple notes upon warming on then tongue.

D: A decent malt bill with good drinkability making for a good session beer.

Serving type: on-tap

01-24-2008 00:11:22 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of ElGrecoVerde
ElGrecoVerde

Michigan

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

More orange than amber, and even looks pulpy.

Smell is a sweet citrus one.

The taste is surprisingly sweet, yet crisp. It's not at all overdone. Definite citris flavors, but some smoother flavors as well that I can't identify. Also tasted a slight burnt wheat flavor, but again, not overdone and works out very well.

It feels a lot like a well carbonated wheat beer. Finishes crisp due to carbonation, and leaves a citrus aftertaste. Easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2008 22:06:25 | More by ElGrecoVerde
Photo of MMAJYK
MMAJYK

Georgia

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

A- Caramel brown in color with 1 finger of off white head after a semi-agressive decanting. Nontransparent.

S- Brown sugar, sour hop notes, and creamy malt tones. Also, I can pick up a biscuity and buttery aroma.

T- Nice caramel backbone, with a great hop profile. Much more bitter and dry than I expected, but in a VERY good way. Same biscuity and buttery toast taste as there are in the nose.

M- Thin in the mouth and medium to high on carbonation.

D- High. Not too sweet like most brewers make this style ale. The finish is dry which keeps you wanting more.

Overall- I will have to say that this is definitely one of my favorite beers, if not THE favorite of this style so far. Very drinkable and just all around good. From what I have seen, Bell's really lives up to their reputation. I wish we could get it here in GA, but maybe one day. Thanks to my buddy, Aaron, for snagging a few of these from his wife to share with me!

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2008 00:14:24 | More by MMAJYK
Photo of jkrich
jkrich

Indiana

4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle with code 8154 which means this was bottled in September 2007, according to their website.

I poured the ale into a nonic and the pour revealed a deep, orangish, copper with slight opaqueness from the yeast. Not a great deal of foam on top, however the ale does leave traces of lace.

When I opened the bottle, I could not detect much smell. But when I poured the ale, I detected a biscuit like maltiness as well as some fresh fruit odor.

This is not a hophead's ale; it is a beautifully balanced, refreshing ale where this slightly sweet ale is balanced by just enough hop flavor. Even when the ale warms up, this ale retains its refreshing flavor; now that is consistency.

This is a highly drinkable, sessionable ale that I will be purchasing again.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2008 01:04:35 | More by jkrich
Photo of Metalmonk
Metalmonk

North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This amber ale leans toward an orangey copper color. Pour produces a small head yet also plenty of quick-moving bubbles. Wouldn't expect this kind of beer to be bottle-conditioned, but from the layer of sludge at the bottom of the bottle, and the many minuscule floaters in my glass, I guess it is/was. Or maybe it wasn't filtered well, but considering the brewery, I'm gonna assume they know what they're doing.

Hops come into the nose with a rounded fruit sweetness, while candy-sugar and caramel balance it out. I swear there's a bit of sourdough yeastiness peeking around the corner too.

Firm bready malts take center stage once the sipping begins, they're rich and sweet (like brown sugar) with a slightly tart wang on the back end. Solid fruit succulence comes in thanks to hops. Finishes very dry. Mouthfeel is round and smooth...not stout-thick, but more weighty than expected from this style.

In a word: Yum.

This is precisely why Bell's is one of the best brewers in the U.S. They excel with their more sessionable beers as they do the high-ABV monsters. Long may they brew.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2008 23:20:14 | More by Metalmonk
Photo of PhageLab
PhageLab

Virginia

3.43/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a standard pint glass.

A - Orange coloration with a nice reddish hue. Produced a half inch layer of froth and displayed both good retention and lacing. Bell's presentation once again is impressive.

S - Very pleasant sweet malty aromas, with a slight tinge of something cour/citrusy, like lemon perhaps.

T - Pale malt-like profile, dry body, and a bit of a citrus backbone. Finishes a little bitter. Decent balance, but somehow an unremarkable brew.

M - Light bodied, high carbonation level and a slightly odd aftertaste that I can't put my finger on.

D - Decent overall, but not my favorite offering from Bell's. Worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2008 14:57:09 | More by PhageLab
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

4.28/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pretty clouded orange-ish brown amber. Slight leafy nose. Seems very calm though. The flavor really brings it here. Even and firm bodied. Consistently earthy woody tones. Feel is very well bodied on the liquid and a good carbonation as well. I'm calling this as a good example of the style and an overall good brew to try.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2007 19:47:36 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of Slynger
Slynger

Illinois

3.13/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a very lightly hazy tangerine color with a slight lean towards bronze. An off-white head settles quickly to a ring around the glass leaving some solid lace.
The nose is quite weak. Biscuit malts and a little bit of sweet honey accompanied by a light floral hop presence.
The taste picks this one up a bit. Mostly toasted bread with a small amount of sweetness. Bitter and earthy in the finish.
Mouthfeel is crisp and dry and leaves me thirsty, only maybe I will try something else .
This one is okay, but there are a lot of other beers I'd rather drink.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2007 05:43:29 | More by Slynger
Photo of CDBeerDisappear
CDBeerDisappear

Ohio

3.25/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Orange amber in color with an abundance of fine bubbles. Orangish off white head is retained to almost the end. Good lacing. Plenty of hop presence, aroma is kind of agricultural. Taste is dry and clean, any sweetness from the malt is overshadowed by dry bitterness making it an excellent choice to accompany food. Feels like carbonated mineral water in the mouth. A good solid beer that I would happily drink again.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2007 21:56:37 | More by CDBeerDisappear
Photo of SPLITGRIN
SPLITGRIN

Kentucky

4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Body is a hazy glowing orange amber in color. Hosts a light tan head that quickly fades. Nose is mildly vibrant with spicey wheat, and hints of nuts and orange marmalade. Enters the mouth softly tart sweet width tones of toasty wheat. A mineral hoppy feel greats the back of the tongue. A subdued malty nut feel also develops twords the end of the palate creating a even but slightly thick mouthfeel. Just the right amoutn of complexity for a amber ale. Very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2007 15:29:50 | More by SPLITGRIN
Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 2,222 ratings.