1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. 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

2,448 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,448
Reviews: 866
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 12.01%
Wants: 94
Gots: 170 | 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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bell's Amber Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,448 | Reviews: 866 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BierFan
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The bottle lists an abv of 5.8%. Batch number of 8869 tells me it was bottled on December 3rd 2008. Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Light tan head. Hazy amber. Pretty good head retention.

Smell: Bitter with some light citrus and grapefruit.

Taste: It's just a damn good amber ale. Bitterness and hop flavors are dominant. Seems more bitter from the bottle than when I had it on-tap.

BierFan, Feb 08, 2009
Photo of mdwalsh
3.43/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Very nice light amber color. Yeast was suspended, but it's bottle conditioned, so that's ok. Head was about 1/2 inch in pint glass, help fairly well. Overall good looking.

Scent: A good mix of scents, a little sweet, a little carmely. not a terribly overwhelming hop smell. Very slightly floral smell

Taste: A thin, malty taste when first touching the tongue, then leaving a bitter, hoppy aftertaste which diminished towards the end of the glass. Too hoppy in my opinion for an amber ale.

Mouthfeel: Beer felt good, slightly smoother than homebrew, and a little thin, but not very. Perfect carbonation, especially for a bottle conditioned beer.

Drinkability: Overall, alright, but not something I would target again. The hops are just not what I'm looking for in an Amber.

I bought this beer because I never got to visit the brewery as I had planned when home in Chicago over Christmas. I should have assumed based on who referred Bell's to me that it would be hoppy. I'll be sure to avoid any pale ale's from that direction, but I wouldn't refuse this beer if offered again.

mdwalsh, Feb 03, 2009
Photo of mooseisloose
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smells of red licorice and a slight bit of butterscotch. Pours to a slightly red light brown color with a multi-sized bubble head. Taste is again some red licorice, beer laces nicely on the glass. Very well balanced ale. Great body, silky smooth mouthfeel. Taste is neither sweet nor bitter, but both. A little more malty in the front end and slightly more bitter at the finish. Not overly bitter, though with malts coming through tarty at the very end. Very drinkable, tasty brew.

mooseisloose, Jan 30, 2009
Photo of droomyster
4.45/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a beautiful hazy amber, full of fine particles gently suspended mid-body. A small tan head to top it off. Aromas are subtle but extremely good. Sweet drizzly malts like molasses and citrus hops. The taste is stunningly good. Perfectly balanced; complex malts with flavors ranging from tropical fruit to toffee, toasty goodness backed by equally complex hops that span the floral spectrum and with a touch of oranges. Extremely tasty. Medium body is sticky; its flavors linger long. I could become a evangelist for this brew. Exceptionally good taste in an eminently drinkable beer.

droomyster, Jan 29, 2009
Photo of jujubeast6000
2.3/5  rDev -39.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Reviewed 10/10/2006 (12oz bottle):

Pours a good sized head, and it is lasting. Head color is creamy, white, with small bubbles. Has a very malty aroma, but not too strong. A sweet malty taste, Fat Tire/Newcastle-ish. Very malty, not a very balanced malt taste, not as much hops.

jujubeast6000, Jan 27, 2009
Photo of johnnnniee
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received in trade from TexIndy, Thanks for the opportunity.

Pours a cloudy copper with a bubbly white head that shows some staying power. Smells of caramel and dough, mild citrus hops in the background. Taste has much of the same with a more pronounced hop bite. Sweet malts mix up a grainy, caramel, bready taste. Citrus Herbal hops play a supporting role. Sweet sticky syrupy in the mouth, medium body crisp carbonation. Good little session ale, nothing spectacular, but definitely drinkable.

johnnnniee, Jan 24, 2009
Photo of pasdachuri
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A good amber ale. This is a balanced, very tasty and drinkable ale, light but full of character with subtle complexity. It's caramelly, doughy, and toasty with lightly toasted bread and light, caramel malty sweetness balanced with mostly citrus hops.

pasdachuri, Jan 22, 2009
Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle poured into an imperial pint glass.

Pours a slightly chill hazed neon orangey amber which becomes clearer as the liquid warms up a bit after some time in the glass. The head is a bit of a let down as is rather thin and sopy looking and is about a half in thick at the most and then proceeds to fade rather quickly into whispy lace. Speaking of lace, this one leaves behind sparce traces at the most. The bright and inviting color is what saves this one from going any lower.

Aroma is very sweet up front, a hoppier version of Fat Tire is what I am sort of imagining here. Heavy emphasis on the malts, which is nice to see, and is far more estery in charcter rather than the go for broke fruitiness a lot of beers like this tend to display.

Taste again brings the malt sweetness to the forefront. Sugary, busicuity maltiness greets the tongue, almost want to say there is a touch of maple syrup splashed in among the caramel sweetness and slightly toasted aspects of this beer as well. A soft, estery hop profile lingers in the background and only gives off seblances of bitterness. The only thing that really bugs me about this beer is that it tends to get a little grainy near and into the finish. A new sip is needed to clense this away but after each one, more and more of this taste tends to linger and brings down the overall enjoyment factor for me in the end.

bluemoonswoon, Jan 13, 2009
Photo of trbergman
3.15/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a shaker pint.

A - Rich copper brew with plenty of suspended particles and a short, sticky beige head.

S - Sourdough, toast, slightly nutty, a bit of burnt toffee, herbal hops.

T - Rather bland, stale toast flavor with a spicy hop bite. Bitterness lingers on the palate for some time after each sip.

M - On the thin side, not quite watery.

D - Reasonably quenching, but not exciting. Not sure why this is the Bell's flagship beer. I remembered it as the least impressive of the mixed case I had last year and it's setting itself up for a repeat this year. When Bud makes a beer like this I'm impressed; coming from Bell's it's just disappointing.

trbergman, Jan 13, 2009
Photo of SLeffler27
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Fills a pint glass cloudy, golden-honey under a one-inch rocky almond head which drops to deposit some sticky lace.

Upfront hoppy resins with orange, followed by caramel and very pleasant fruitiness, but not particularly complex.

Far more malty sweetness than bitter hops. Clearly caramel with some orange, coriander, and a touch of green tea. Balance is upside down to begin, but finishes very nicely.

Slick texture, with a light body and soft carbonation is cleansing with a hint of metallic notes.

Lots of flavor and light body makes this easy to quaff. Let 'em flow for any occasion, particularly when looking for a thirst quencher, tailgating, or any large gathering.

date consumed: 10 Dec 2008

SLeffler27, Jan 11, 2009
Photo of spointon
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this one on tap at Galway Tribes on 1/7/2009.

A= Poured a hazy amber color with a 1/2" off-white head that quickly dropped to a skim. Slight lacing down the glass.

S= The aroma was filled with a big nutty, toasted grain character on top of a nice malty base.

T= I found malty sweetness which quickly was run over by that delicious nutty character noted in the smell. Faint toffee and some citrusy hops in the middle and finish.

MF= Medium body with a moderate carboation level.

D= I like this beer a lot in the bottle and I liked it even more on tap. Very drinkable and quite sessionable, especially with food.

spointon, Jan 09, 2009
Photo of sonicdescent
4.45/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appears a copper color with a moderately small off white head. Very hazy. High carbonation.

The first hint of the nose is a citrus scent, surprising expecting the advertised malt to jump out. A little agitation gets some of the sweeter caramel scent. Very nice.

Taste..Very very good. A great balanced drink that doesn't equate balance with weakness. There is definitely some hop and malt action here. Begins sweet and ends bitter, with a citrus aftertaste.

Mouth is appropriate. Relatively thin bodied and relatively high carbon.

Drinkability is very good, this is one of my favorite of this style and if I am in the market for an American Amber, I would go here.

sonicdescent, Jan 08, 2009
Photo of Jekster
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a dark amber red / orange that lightens toward yellow on the edges. The glass is laced by a nice one to two finger off white frothy head.

Smell: Sweet malt and bready overtones take the forefront in the aroma of this beer. Hiding behind that are slight fruity aromas like apple or pineapple. A slight American hop character is also noticeable.

Taste: Fruit comes through in the pallet along with a distinct yeasty bread flavor. I taste sharp tart apple like a nice dry white wine. The flavors dissipate rather quickly when swallowed leaving a slight presence of alcohol esters to peruse my mouth. There is a slight lingering bitterness along with a drying aspect probably due to the alcohol (near 6%).

Mouthfeel: This beer is fairly effervescent for an amber ale which contributes to the overall dry light feel of the beer. It's thirst quenching while not being a completely light and wussy beer.

Drinkability: This beer is pleasant without being overpowering. It's easy to drink and what I would call a quaff-er. I could sit back and enjoy quite a few of these with some light snacks during a movie or while eating pretzels and shooting pool. It's what I would choose if I wanted something with a balance between a sweet bready backbone and a American hop bitterness.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: I would easily buy this beer again. It's a nice beer when you don't feel like blasting your mouth with hops yet want something that is not overpoweringly sweet. It has nice complexity yet is simple and refined at the same time.

Jekster, Jan 07, 2009
Photo of skrib09
4.38/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

really nice hazy copper/amber color to this beer. nice creamy head.

smells well balanced. a touch of hops with some sweetness from the malts.

tastes great! great balance to this brew. again, a touch of flavor and notes from the hops with the balance from the malts. not overly sweet, just a touch, just enough.

great mouthfeel. a touch of the alcohol towards the back of the palate.

great drinkability.

skrib09, Jan 04, 2009
Photo of snaotheus
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a really good amber. It's not overly sweet, it's not overly bitter. It's extremely well balanced.

Very nice looking beer. Deep amber color, thin film of beige head, light lacing, looks like some sort of sediment suspended. Thick in the mouth. Smells slightly earthy and sweet. I now wish I had bought more than a six pack.

snaotheus, Jan 03, 2009
Photo of bataround
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy, light amber body with lots of visible yeast in suspension. Head comes on strong but fades all too quickly.

Big amber malt nose laced with an orange peel hop scent. Biscuit notes linger. A fine aroma profile for the style.

Biscuity right up front and back-loaded with citrus hops. Outstanding balance of soft brown sugar-sweet malt with a crisp, controlled finishing bitterness.

bataround, Dec 31, 2008
Photo of AltBock
3.28/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle with a burgundy colored label with a head shot of a great blue heron with 4 weeds (?) on both sides of the heron. The back label has a brief paragraph about the beer, mandatory Government warning, and a batch number of 8651. That means it was packaged on July 23rd, 2008.

I poured this Amber Ale into a slender pilsner glass. This Bell's beer poured a hazy amber/copper color with a tall creamy 1 inch head of pure white foam. This head of foam never receded by itself. It only receded when I took a sip of the beer. When it did recede, it left behind a ton of sticky white streaks of lace. A great Amber Ale appearance.

There wasn't much to the aroma. There's wasn't anything wrong with it. It was just too faint. All I got was a little bit of peppery yeast, a tiny hint of juicy fruits, and a quick splash of toasted malts. If the beer is swirled around, the malts become bready. Nothing else emerges.

The taste was malty at first with some regular toasted malts. Quickly following the malts was a dash of peppery yeast, a tiny hint of juicy fruits, and a pinch of peppery hops at the end. Not much to the taste either, but at least it had some decent flavors in it.

This was a light bodied beer with a dry peppery aftertaste of peppery yeast, a hint of peppery hops, and a subtle touch of toasted malts.

It was an easy drinking light bodied Amber Ale, but it was a little too peppery for me. It would have better if they would have decreased the peppery flavors and increased the malts a little bit. Just a decent offering from a great brewery.

AltBock, Dec 25, 2008
Photo of gpogo
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Light coppery amber color. Hazy with some yeast particles. Small creamy off-white head that dissipates slightly leaving a small covering.

A- Slight citrusy hop character. Caramel bready aromas.

T- Initially a citrusy hop hit followed by a sweet caramel bready malt flavor. There is a significant hop flavor, but nothing near overpowering.

M- Medium body with medium-light carbonation. Wonderfully smooth mouthfeel.

D- Very drinkable. Hoppy, but not overdone with a nice malty balance. Very sessionable at 5.5% ABV.

gpogo, Dec 23, 2008
Photo of lhaqq
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Cloudy orange body with a huge billowy light-tan head.
S: Yeasty, some grain, maybe a bit of orange.
T: Almost tasted like a wheat beer but more interesting. Begins with the round creamy start of a wheat but finishes with sweet malts or a bit of caramel.
M: Great--really creamy and light.
D: Would like to try it on tap sometime. And maybe try it before having two others. Will definitely get again

lhaqq, Dec 20, 2008
Photo of donkeyrunner
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Why don't they sell this in MA? I call shenanigans.

Bell's Amber pours a opaque, cloudy butterscotch color. Has a thin white head that never leaves. It just won't go away. Lace all over the place.

Smells like orange candy slices.

Bell's Amber is citrus happyness. An extremely creamy mouthfeel makes this taste like a creamsicle. Mainly orange, but some grapefuit and peach as well. Subtle, but lively, hop accents here and there.

trade via brentk56

donkeyrunner, Dec 16, 2008
Photo of praufs01
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance - Cloudy amber with a creamy off white head.

Aroma - Light caramel and floral aroma.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied ale with light small bubble carbonation.

Taste - Very light grapefruit hop on a nicely subdued caramel backbone.

Overall - This is a smooth and refreshing ale. Light in taste, but not watery or weak in character.

praufs01, Dec 15, 2008
Photo of WakeandBake
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Notes from Aug 19, 2008
I love the way this glows in my glass,kind of a copper penny color,kind of a thin white head but I poured it pretty carefully,dont want to spill any eh. Smells of sweet roasted malt, bread,toast,and mild hops,Taste,Oh my gosh is this stuff good, I could drink myself into a stooper every night on this stuff.Flavors of sweet malt and hops with kind of a sweet woody finish like candy,could I have another please ? THANK YOU Mr BELL.

WakeandBake, Dec 11, 2008
Photo of GodOfBeer
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice copper colour with loats of sediment and floaters with at thin white head.

Smells very sweet and malty with some citrus notes...

Pretty sweet with some mild hop bitterness, not much body to this beer, near the end it started tasting really bland and just bitter, no sweetness, but overall not a good beer.

GodOfBeer, Dec 07, 2008
Photo of UDbeernut
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured into pint glass

a: copper color with minimal head, slight carbonation

s: light malt smell, not much else to it

t: nice sweet malt taste, well balanced beer not overly hopped

m&d: medium bodied beer, decent mouthfeel. Finishes slightly dry but clean

Good beer true to the style

Cheers!!!

UDbeernut, Dec 07, 2008
Photo of SmithwicksNut
4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: If you don't like sediment in your beer this one is not for you. It was cloudy with plenty of sediment floating throughout. The sediment quickly settles to the bottom of the glass. A nice with head with lacing lasting throughout the beer. A very nice copper color.

S: The malt is really the only thing one will smell.

T: This is a very good beer. The malts are sweet and lingers in the back of the mouth.

M: medium to low carbonation with more fuller body than other amber ales.

D: I truly enjoyed this beer. I can drink a few of these. It is a easy drinking beer. You will enjoy it.

SmithwicksNut, Dec 07, 2008
Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 2,448 ratings.