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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
87
very good

2,510 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,510
Reviews: 871
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 12.01%
Wants: 104
Gots: 187 | 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: 2,510 | Reviews: 871 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of morimech
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.

morimech, Feb 05, 2008
Photo of mikesgroove
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.

mikesgroove, Jan 28, 2008
Photo of Beerbuddha
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!!

Beerbuddha, Jan 28, 2008
Photo of beerthulhu
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.

beerthulhu, Jan 24, 2008
Photo of ElGrecoVerde
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.

ElGrecoVerde, Jan 17, 2008
Photo of MMAJYK
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!

MMAJYK, Jan 16, 2008
Photo of jkrich
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.

jkrich, Jan 13, 2008
Photo of Metalmonk
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.

Metalmonk, Jan 11, 2008
Photo of PhageLab
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.

PhageLab, Jan 10, 2008
Photo of RblWthACoz
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.

RblWthACoz, Dec 31, 2007
Photo of Slynger
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.

Slynger, Dec 31, 2007
Photo of CDBeerDisappear
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.

CDBeerDisappear, Dec 18, 2007
Photo of SPLITGRIN
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.

SPLITGRIN, Dec 17, 2007
Photo of malcontent
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

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.

A touch over-carbonated although thinking back to the head I'm wondering if I should have poured harder. The body is full but never heavy. This has been, and in my mind still is, one of the reasons this style exists. An often overdone, underwhelming beer that is taken to new heights here. Sessionable in every way and a Midwestern classic.

malcontent, Dec 13, 2007
Photo of yourefragile
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz undated bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Pours a very appealing looking cloudy amber/orangey color. Large fluffy and thick white head that leaves some lacing on the glass
S: Sweet and malty with some fruity hints. Nothing that strong or persistent that jumps out at me, but pleasant
T: At first very sweet from malt and finishes with a strong hoppy/bitter flavor with some citrus flavors. Taste lingers for a long time
M: Medium bodied and creamy, very rich and smooth.
D: I like this a lot, very flavorful and great mouthfeel, but not too overpowering. Definitely would have this again.

yourefragile, Dec 06, 2007
Photo of mpyle
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

App - Cloudy amber color. Large, thick white head, very creamy. Good head retention. 4/5

Aroma - Some caramel/malt aroma, and a citrusy, almost lemony hop aroma. 3.5/5

Flav - Slight caramel sweetness. rounding toward a nice hoppy finish. Well balanced and flavorful without being overpowering. 4/5

MF - Medium body and carbonation. No astringency or warming 4/5

D'ability - A nice American ale with some rich maltiness to balance out the hops. 4/5

mpyle, Nov 27, 2007
Photo of SafeAtFirst
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy orange-like amber with off-white head and thin lacing. Sweet caramel aromas with faint wafts of citric hops. Taste is predominantly biscuit and caramel malts with a good earthy and spicy hop balance. Finish is a little bitter. Medium body.

Overall this is a pretty good amber ale. I would drink more.

SafeAtFirst, Nov 22, 2007
Photo of pmcadamis
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - This one pours a hazy amber to light brown orange-ish hue that reminds me of a certain kind of wood finish that people often use on their decks. The head is a fluffy one finger off-white substance that shows some really nice retention and leaves a small amount of lace on the glass. Looks like an O-fest brew.

S - Sweet and fruity with a lot of really nice malt notes. Cinnamon rolls (the little cheap kind that you can unroll into one long cinnamon strip), honey bread, and fruitcake. This is really deep and ripe! Over-ripe bananas that have just turned black, banana crunch muffins, and big cheese danishes that come in a vending machine.

T - Malty and fruity like the nose, but the flavor adds in some nice firm hop bitterness that is very much like freshly rolled hay. I'm reminded of Banana Nut Crunch cereal. Some critusy wheat-like flavors are there too, and this helps keep the beer summery and refreshing. There are some really crisp citrus and toasty caramel malt characteristics that make this a great early autumn/late summer brew.

M - Medium bodied and extremely creamy. This is bordering on full bodied with all of the lush and rich fluffy carbonation that is produced in this beer.

D - One of the better amber ales out there. This stuff is thirst quenching and relatively light, but provides enough complexity and depth of character to keep a beer lover interested. A very fine choice for a session brew.

pmcadamis, Nov 21, 2007
Photo of GRPunk
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the cask poured into a nonic pint glass.

A- Nice hazy amber-orange with a 1" fluffy white head.

S- Quite balanced. Sweet malts with some floral hops.

T- More balance in the flavor. Sweet up front with some light hops to clean up the finish.

M- Smooth as silk.

D- Very. I would have had many more, if there weren't other great tap selections to try.

Overall- I've had this beer many times from the bottle or a regular tap and thought it was pretty decent. However, it's a whole different experience from the cask. It really seemed to up the smoothness of this beer.

GRPunk, Nov 17, 2007
Photo of nsmartell
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this beer from the comfort of my own living room after a long day at work. From bottle to pint glass.

Appearance: Dull copper with a thick-slow falling head.

Smell: Rich with a hint of hops.

Taste: Pretty malty and a good Red Ale taste.

Mouthfeel: Rich and smooth.

Drinkability: Nice and refreshing. Nice session beer. Another solid outing by Bell's.

nsmartell, Nov 15, 2007
Photo of bunnyhustle
3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy gloden orange with a good two finger head. Head retention is better than normal with moderate lace left behind. Smell was not too impressive. Smells of malt and grain, but I also detect an almost yeast like smell, similar to a Belgian. Taste is better. A nice malt profile and noticable grain presence. No real hop bitterness to this as expected. Moderate carbonation leaves a crisp and clean feeling with a slightly dry aftertaste. Overall not a bad beer. I admit I'm not a huge fan of Amber's but this was one of the better ones I've tasted yet.

bunnyhustle, Nov 14, 2007
Photo of Magpie14
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: a deep robust brown crimson color with a nice thick cream colored head. Sits really nice in the glass with bubbles moving freely about. Nice web of lacing in the glass

Smell: roasted malt nose and sweet candy/caramel swirling about. Touch of a earthy type of hops...very little but is present.

Taste/Mouthfeel: great sweet toasted malt flavor! Has nice malt characteristic overall and is paired nicely with sweet caramel. It has a nice crisp and smooth body and I even noticed a little bit of fruity orange overtones as it glides down.

Drinkability: this is a staple beer for me and never disappoints. Solid all around and is very easy to drink.

Magpie14, Nov 12, 2007
Photo of burnstar
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky dark gold amber with a nice sized head. Aroma is sweet with herbal and floral hops. Some citrus notes. Tastes caramelly and sweet. Lots of herbal hops. Balanced and flavorful. Medium to full bodied and well carbonated. Pretty drinkable. Solid amber overall.

burnstar, Nov 08, 2007
Photo of nycjag
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another yummy beer from my Bell's mixpack. Brazenly purchased in Harrisburg, PA, and stealthily brought back across the New York State border via an underground tunnel that was carved out under the Hudson River at least a half century ago. Maybe drinking Bell's in New York City makes it taste better because we vociferously aren't supposed to have it. If so, who cares? This is a great beer.

It pours a nice deep amber (duh) with about a one-inch head. The aroma hops aren't too far forward and the maltiness you get from quaffing this beer is also present in the aroma.

This is an Amber you could drink gallons of and not get tired of it. Some nice biscuity flavors going on here.

nycjag, Nov 02, 2007
Photo of IPAcraig
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoying this beer whilst sitting outside in my side yard before I go to see "Dracula" at the Tallahassee Little Theatre.

Poured into my Newcastle pint glass to reveal a foggy dark orange with a one finger head, that held reasonably well due to the stream of bubbles going up the side of the glass.

Nice aroma. I get sweet malts. But also a good bit of fruit and a faint earthiness. A touch of sourness comes through upon the swirl of the glass. It has a bit of a Belgian smell to it .. just a bit.

The taste leaves something to be desired after a wonderful aroma. Still a very nice flavor, though. A typical amber, nicely malty, with only the tiniest toasted flavor ... no hops or bitterness present.

Medium carbonation and body.

Very drinkable and quite enjoyable. Remarkable smell, predictable taste.

IPAcraig, Oct 31, 2007
Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 2,510 ratings.