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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

2,380 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,380
Reviews: 858
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 12.01%
Wants: 89
Gots: 150 | 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: 2,380 | Reviews: 858 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of civilizedpsycho
4.28/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured bottle into mug.

Appearance: Amber color (of course) with a semi-transparent look. A good head that continues with some fair lacing.

Smell: A strong malt aroma with some hops in the background.

Taste: Starts kind of sweet with a good bitter finish that doesn't linger too long and become offensive.

Mouthfeel: A very mild body due to carbonation.

Drinkability: Very good beer. This is certainly something that I could drink on regular basis.

civilizedpsycho, Jul 23, 2009
Photo of Stinkypuss
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bells Amber Ale pours a ruby brownish color. Small short livid head sticks around the edges of the glass.

Smell is malty upfront with fruity tones.
Taste follows the nose providing layers of malt complexity, ranging from chewey malt sweetness to a pronounced roasted flavor. Tastes very delicious.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and chewey, lingering on the palate a good while.

Drinkability is great. This is an above average American Amber Ale, and focuses more on the malt profile than the hops.

Stinkypuss, Jul 10, 2009
Photo of Reagan1984
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up in Charleston at the Charleston Beer Exchange. Batch # 9062 indicating that it was bottled on 3/30/09

Light fizzy white head forms when this is poured. The head fades rather quickly. Fairly hazy amber color with some copper/orange tones. Fairly active carbonation. No lacing to speak of.

Aroma is of light grains and also slightly sweet. Light frit notes.. white grape or peach.

Flavor is lighter than I expected. Very good, but a lighter brew in body and boldness. Fruity sweet with some fruits to follow the aroma. Light summer fruits, light caramel... Floral Hop finish.

Crisp, refreshing and brightly carbonated. Very interesting.

I find this very drinkable and yet different than most Ambers. Seems like a spring or summer Amber beer. Could be a great gateway beer.

Reagan1984, Jul 09, 2009
Photo of WJVII
4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared by fellow advocate Cdkrenz (thanks bud)

This brew poured into a pint glass has a hazy orange color (not red like I would expect from an amber) with very visible carbonation rising from the bottom and a decent white head that caps well. It is warm out so I am really looking forward to tasting this, but first the smell... actually a nice hop aroma on this. There is a sweet floral taste to this leaning towards the end of a IPA. I enjoy the flavor but am not sure if it is completely true to the style. Good brew for me, but might catch some by surprise.

WJVII, Jun 26, 2009
Photo of JEdmund
4.38/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance
Cloudy, apricot; minimal white head; more orange than amber

Smell
Fruity, sweet, and floral, reminiscent of pear, peach, berry, and caramel

Taste & Mouthfeel
Nicely balanced with an initial crisp bitterness, followed by a light bready sweetness and fruity notes. Mouthfeel seems perfect--not water-thin nor too heavy for the style. The finish is very clean, leaving me wanting more and making for an easy-drinking ale.

Overall
Bell's Amber Ale is a good session beer, as it manages to stay drinkable while packing in a lot flavor.

JEdmund, Jun 22, 2009
Photo of BitterPachyderm
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle (no freshness date) poured into my infamous SN pint glass...

A-thick and frothy four fingers of tan head laying atop a hazy orange, almost copper body

S-ultra spicy hips, with a small kick of pale malts and some caramel

T-slight citrus (tangerine?) up front with loads of pale malts throughout

M-smooth and simply

D-sessionable, no questions asked

a simply style that is always hard to rate for me yet so easy to drink...this brew is one of the better ambers that I've had to date...it's no Cindercone, but a good one nonetheless. Way to go Bell's!

BitterPachyderm, Jun 16, 2009
Photo of nocheinsbitte
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".

nocheinsbitte, Jun 13, 2009
Photo of stakem
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.

stakem, Jun 12, 2009
Photo of JAA
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'.

JAA, Jun 09, 2009
Photo of gunnerman
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.

gunnerman, Jun 06, 2009
Photo of avalon07
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.

avalon07, Jun 02, 2009
Photo of Tone
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.

Tone, Jun 01, 2009
Photo of carwreCk
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).

carwreCk, May 30, 2009
Photo of dublife1
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!!!

dublife1, May 30, 2009
Photo of Anthony1
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

Anthony1, May 28, 2009
Photo of Cyberkedi
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.

Cyberkedi, May 26, 2009
Photo of clayrock81
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.

clayrock81, May 23, 2009
Photo of taylorhamrick
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.

taylorhamrick, May 18, 2009
Photo of Aenema
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.

Aenema, May 18, 2009
Photo of LauraAlberts
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.

LauraAlberts, May 18, 2009
Photo of jwhawkins81
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.

jwhawkins81, May 16, 2009
Photo of smerkinb
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!

smerkinb, May 13, 2009
Photo of SPRichard
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

SPRichard, May 11, 2009
Photo of timmay41
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.

timmay41, May 06, 2009
Photo of prototypic
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.

prototypic, May 01, 2009
Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 2,380 ratings.