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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
85
very good

2,458 Ratings
THE BROS
96
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,458
Reviews: 868
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 12.01%
Wants: 94
Gots: 174 | 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: 2,458 | Reviews: 868 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cameraman
3.33/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A copper color with hints of a golden hue on the sides, a small head forms, white in color, a disappears very quickly. The scent of malt is very evident, not much in hop aroma. There are some fruity aromas that are there as well. The taste is mostly of the malt, which makes it very mild in flavor. The mouthfeel is thin and tad watery azt the beginning, then it gains more body as it crosses the palate. This an easy to drink beer, with the sweet malty flavor, making it favorable to drink. Overall though it needs some hops to balance out the sweetness. This would be a great session beer and even a beer to introduce someone to craft beer.

cameraman, Apr 28, 2006
Photo of plaztikjezuz
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bought a bottle from world market in lansing, michigan. ($1.49)
pours a brilliant amber with orange hues.
aroma is malty, hint of hopsack, bit of carmelized malt.
flavor is malty, hopsack, carmelized malt, hint of citrus.
great beer over all, old stand by for most of us michiganders.

plaztikjezuz, Apr 11, 2006
Photo of bearrunner44
3.45/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Medium, slightly reddish-amber with a fluffy vanilla-tan head.

Smell: Caramelized malt, with a light and tangy fruitiness. Honey, banana, maybe a touch of lemon zest.

Taste: Mild sweetness from the malt, honey-like. Mellow fruitiness; tangy like banana, with a citric edge to it. A light, isolated kiss of hops shows up towards the finish. It ends with a bit of an oxidized wet cardboard taste; it's not too bad, just enough to be distracting. The alcohol peeks through a tiny bit. Well-balanced.

Mouthfeel: Somewhat chewy, but with lively levels of carbonation.

Verdict: It's pretty good, except for the distraction of the off-flavors. I wouldn't mind having another one.

bearrunner44, Apr 09, 2006
Photo of hanco005
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle of batch 7063, says that I am holding the Flagship of the Bell’s family in my hand, 12 ounces into a pint glass

A—copper/orange with ¾ inch thick foamy tan head, bits of sediment swirl in the glass, the head really isn’t moving, but it is leaving spotty lacing behind

S—smells similar to a Belgian, yeasty, modest ripe fruit up front, followed by some candy sweetness, gets sweeter with each inhale, brown sugar and maple are now starting to show up as it warms, some biscuity/oat cereal tones as well

T—sweet malts are explosive in this one, not much for bitterness, starts sweet and stays sweet, with caramel candy and brown sugar flavors

M—a little thin and watery with a slight slimy finish, lighter in body, a little low in carbonation…I was expecting more in the mouth

D--very good, but almost too sweet for me. Not sure that I could drink more than one more in a sitting as a result.

hanco005, Mar 29, 2006
Photo of Crosling
2.38/5  rDev -37.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

New penny in color. I’m sorry, forgive me, but I just can’t get excited about Amber ales with no hop aroma. Subtle malt aroma, with a light hint of caramel and a suggestion of doughy yeast. You’d think malt magician Larry Bell could come up with something a little better smelling than this. Mild, mediocre malt flavor, which is very crisp, but overall husky. Caramel and toasted malt flavors, with herbaceous, weedy hops. Lacking bitterness and a pronounced hop flavor and aroma. This seems like an amber ale from a crappy brewpub.

Crosling, Mar 25, 2006
Photo of DrJay
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear amber capped with a short white head that settles into a solid ring. Some fine bubbles ended up sticking to the glass. Malty caramel and brown sugar aroma with a bit of toasted grain husk. Fruity as well, with floral and citrus hop character. Pleasant malt sweetness with balanced bitterness and moderate hop flavour. Some caramel into the finish. Medium/light body, medium carbonation with a solid mouthfeel. Quite nice. Another top-notch beer from Bell's.

DrJay, Mar 24, 2006
Photo of Shultzerdugen
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz. brown bottle.

Poured a clear light copper color with sediments in suspension. The head was small to start with and went down super quick.

Bready, caramel tinged malts take the show in the nose, lightly accented by woody hop notes.

Medium light in body and a bit flat on the carbonation. Big bready malts come out again in the taste, caramel along for the ride. Hops are present just enough to clean up the finish, which is long and biscuity.

I've had better bottles of this beer - not as flat - so I'll probably have to review this brew again in the future to insure a fair whack.

Shultzerdugen, Mar 10, 2006
Photo of PartyHatjo
2.8/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Good amber color, leaning more towards red than yellow. Head was nonexistent (likely due to the pour quality, why don't bars know that some head is good on beer?).

Aroma: Malty, biscuity notes, slight earthy hop tones, not enough for what I think an amber ale should have--disappointing in general.

Taste: Quite malty/nutty flavor with overtones of biscuit, but it's lack of hop flavor/aroma was really a detractor for me--flavor balance in this brew is shifted heavily towards malt (maybe I'm too used to troeg's hopback, which has great malt/hop flavor balance). Taste is more reminiscent of an ESB than what I'd consider an amber.

Mouthfeel: Nice bitterness, decent sweetness and carbonation was good enough. There's a bit of pungency that comes through the nose that I'm not too fond of.

Drinkability: Nothing spectacular, I didn't really want another one, in fact, I could barely finish the first one.

PartyHatjo, Mar 09, 2006
Photo of RedwoodGeorge
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm quite fond of Amber Ales and this is a good example of what a quality Amber ought to be like...

Not much carbonation on the pour, the bottle opens with hardly a hiss and even with some vigor to the pour there's barely a think white collar. The beer itself is an unfiltered cloudy deep amber-brown in color with plenty of red highlights when held up to the light.

The smell is very inviting with lots of caramelized malt notes and good fruity esters of apricot and cherry. There's a mild hop note in the nose but not much - just enough of a piney note to add another dimension.

The flavor as well is quite short on hops (which is fine) The style has a lot of latitude when it comes to hopping and here they've opted to put most of the spotlight on the malt and yeast. Lots of good caramel notes, some sweet browned sugar flavors and an interesting toasted grain note that compliments the rest well. The yeast plays a big part here with plenty of sweet fruity notes very similar to a British Pale Ale. Again, not much hopping but just a bit of pine or green grass to compliment the toasted grain note at the finish of the sip.

Mothfeel is surprisingly heavy - this is quite a 'thick' feeling Amber. Just enough bittering on the back end to give each sip some balance. While there isn't quite enough carbonation for my taste what bubbles are there are fine and soft - I'm guessing this is bottle conditioned.

A really drinkable Amber Ale even though it's a bit undercarbonated. Some ambers are much hoppier (North Coast's Red Seal) while this is very, very similar to Anderson Valley's Boont Amber except for two important areas: It's less filtered leaving a lot more substance in each sip and this bottle was undercarbonated the bottle conditioned bubbles add a very nice texture and leave it feeling more "crafted" than AV's Boont. This may not get as much attention as Bell's many fine Stouts but it's just as well made.

RedwoodGeorge, Feb 28, 2006
Photo of Ricochet
3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Just like an average amber should be. Orange, nice head, little lacing. Bonus points go for the particulate in the beer. Bell's seems to have this in a lot of thier beers.

S: Average. There was a hop profile just like other Bell's beers I've sampled, but still came out average.

M: Average. This was kind of like drinking a Genesee red. Still, it was more potent being an ale, but still seemed average for the style.

T: This was pretty decent. It was a little like the pale ale without the overpowering hops. This had more of a malt character with a nice alcohol note that blended with the fruit from the hops. I'd say one of the better amber ales I've had.

D: I could buy this again. I could drink a few. Does it stand out? Not really for me, but compared with BMC, this is an okay drinker.

Ricochet, Feb 19, 2006
Photo of KarlHungus
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours a hazy, yet clear amber color. The head is one and a half fingers in height, creamy, and recedes slowly. The aroma is a lot more complex than most amber ales. It is mostly malt, but there is a hop presence which makes it so the beer doesn't smell sugary. The taste is incredibly balanced. Niehter bitter nor sweet stand out, but they are both there playing with my taste buds. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, and most importantly it isn't sticky the way most amber ales seem to be. Overall, amber ale isn't one of my favorites styles. This brew is an exception. It is what I would like all amber ales to be: a beer than is less hoppy than a pale ale, but not so sugary that is it sticky.

KarlHungus, Feb 15, 2006
Photo of beveragecaptain
3.28/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle. Bell's Amber pours out a pale amber color with a medium sized head. The aroma is caramel with some toasted malts and spicy hops. The flavor starts off with some caramel, followed by husky grain. Some fruitiness comes in at the middle. Finishes bitter with a mild hoppiness that tastes just a bit skunky. Medium mouthfeel. Decent drinkability. This beer has nice balance, but the flavor is only ok. Just an average amber ale.

beveragecaptain, Jan 24, 2006
Photo of Jredner
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma is grassy with hints of drier hay. Light amber color with a very nice two finger thick white head. Flavor is all smooth malt with just a hint of sweet caramel in the finish. This will be overlooked because it doesn’t have any wow factor, but this a damn fine beer. Excellent lacing a beautiful head and flavor that does what it is supposed to do.

Jredner, Jan 19, 2006
Photo of whartontallboy
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a dark reddish-amber with a thin white head that faded pretty quickly and left only a moderate amount of streaming carbonation.

Smell is malty, with a slight toasted-grain character melding nicely with a baked-bread quality. Hoppiness is kept to a minimum, which seems appropriate here.

Taste is similarly quite malty, with the doughy and caramel maltiness rising to the top, although a bit of citric/fruity flavor seems to come in from the hops, although the bitterness is quite low. Finishes pretty dry.

Overall: A great choice for a session brew. Just a solid everyday beer.

whartontallboy, Jan 18, 2006
Photo of ppoitras
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from deejaydan as part of the WTF ASAP BIF. Thanks for the opportunity. From their website: The Batch ID that you entered '7039', is a Bell's Amber Ale. Your Bell's Amber Ale was packaged on August 25, 2005.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" beige head above the clear copper brew. What head there was lasts pretty nicely, with abundant bubbly lacing. Aroma is well-balanced, with pronounced malt present. Taste is also balanced, with grain husks and hoppiness duking it out, ending more or less a draw, but with the bitterness lingering. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both pleasing, and this one would make a nice everyday type of brew.

ppoitras, Jan 16, 2006
Photo of connecticutpoet
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured out a nice amber color with a half finger head. Served at cellar temperature, which tonight happened to be about 55°F (I really gotta fix the broken window in the basement better).

Aroma was a big hit of yeast on top of caramel malts, with a light hop grassiness. Balanced well.

That balance carried over into the flavor. The taste was of medium bodies malts overlaid with some yeasty overtones, all backed up by a nice balanced hop bitterness. This was more bitter than I expected for the style, but it was perfectly controlled.

Mouthfeel was quite good for the style, full-bodies for an ale of this style. Not overpoweringly chewy.

Drinkability was quite good. This would make a great session beer. I could sure go for another right now. Thanks to Frozensoul327 for the trade.

connecticutpoet, Dec 15, 2005
Photo of Gaisgeil
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an excellent beer to always have on hand. Very tasty with lots of character, but easily sessionable and easy drinking.

I've been trying to sample some of my favorite breweries standard pale and amber ales of late, I didn't realize my habit of passing these "simple" offerings by, and it's a shame too because sometimes you just aren't looking to burn your tastebuds, you just want something that tastes good without being over the top about it.

Pours a very nice hazy amber in color with a good two finger head. Nose is very yeasty with some dry grassy notes lurking underneath. Taste is very nice, bready with a nice hop kick, slightly herbal, but mostly just bitterness. Decent malt backbone. The yeast character is where it's at with this beer, quite distinctive. Mouthfeel is good, medium. Drinkability is quite high, easily sessionable and easy drinking.

Slàinte!

Gaisgeil, Dec 12, 2005
Photo of Shovelbum
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a white head over a copper-amber body. Head rapidly recedes. Light aromas of caramel malt, hay and yeast. Sweet caramel malt flavors predominate, but are balanced by a decent hop bitterness in the background. Medium carbonation and body. Smooth mouthfeel and clean finish.

Well-balanced and fairly complex for the style. The Bell's yeast is definately detectable and lends an interesting twist. One of my favorite session beers. A Michigan classic.

Shovelbum, Dec 11, 2005
Photo of sopor
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Slightly cloudy copper-amber with a finger of tan frothy head. Special bready malts and s a little caramel kissed by a small hop note tickles the nose, tantalizing and and giving you a good idead of what is to come. Slightly fruity caramel and an unertone of biscuity malts. Hops are well balanced kiss of bitterness. Light body with a slightly slick feel and nice lively but not frothy carbonation. Wow drinkable. A new balanced session brew for me! Why has it taken me this long to drink this beer, it's all over around here! Even the grocery stores that consider Heineken a special beer have this!

sopor, Nov 05, 2005
Photo of Opethsprite
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep, murky orange with a slight, foamy head. (It would be very nice to look at if there was more of a head.) Smells very sweet, but with a good balance of spices to keep it from being sickly sweet. Moderately plain, though. Given the nose, I wasn't expecting such a level of broadness and subtlety in the taste. Spicy and slightly metallic at first (but not overkill...ie Dogfish 90 IPA), the beer becomes honey-sweet and well-rounded. This is a beautifully crafted beer!!!

Opethsprite, Nov 04, 2005
Photo of pweis909
3.3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I've been sampling the local (i.e upper midwest/western great lakes) reds and ambers recently. Was saving this for last as I read that it was pretty special, but I am underwhelmed.

A-Appropriate color for style, more orange than red. Thin head, quick to disipate.
S-Malt and hops were evident, but not righly so.
T-The malt was not assertive enough for me. The hops were merely evident as bitterness, but no unusal characteristics come to mind.
M-OK
D-It's an unoffensive thrist quencher. It's quaffable, but not particularly special.

pweis909, Oct 30, 2005
Photo of jasongootjes
4.7/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - The beer was a golden amber color, as the name suggests. It had an off white head that left a lace through out the glass.

Smell - Very succulent smell. The aroma hitting my nose caused a sensation through out my body.

Taste - The beer has an excellent taste. It was almost sweet but at the same time bitter. Very good taste overall.

I could drink this beer all day. The taste smell and sensation that rushed, not only through my mouth, but through my whole body was absolutely delightful.

jasongootjes, Oct 28, 2005
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer pours a hazy warm golden copper body with a creamy off-white head. Strong carbonation of tiny bubbles keep the head alive for a bit.

S- clean smell with some nice soft citrus hops and a slightly pale malt aroma.

T- Nice light citric, grapefruit and a hint of lemon, hop flavor with a smooth pale malt flavor to balance the hops. Hints of light toasted and biscuit malt give it good depth in the malt.

M- Medium body with smooth finish.

D-This beer has a nice hop taste with a good malt backbone. The hops are citrus flavors but they have depth so you can't really pick out one flavor. The malt has lots of pale but some toasted malt to give it depth and character. Nice smooth amber.

rhoadsrage, Oct 16, 2005
Photo of ypsifly
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz batch# 6883, which reads as 5-23-05 as per the Bell's website.

Clear amber with two fingers of off white. Good retention with ringed lace.

Sweet malts, yeast, and dry hops in the nose.

Caramel malt, slightly nutty with a good dose of bitter hops for balance. There are some yeast notes ofbanana way in the back. Nice dry finish. The body starts off a little more than full, but the dryness and carbonation clear it without being too abrupt. A classic session beer.

ypsifly, Oct 06, 2005
Photo of rousee
3.33/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Disclaimer- These amber styles are not my fave.
I have not been as impressed with the 2 Bells beers as I have tried vs.the other MI ones + Great Lakes (OH).

Its allright. I am kind of disappointed because I thought Larry Bell was such an entertaining character from the movie American Beer. The 2 Bells I have tried have clearly been the least impressive of the MI lot which I have regarded highly. Another one that I bet is better on-tap instead of bottled but I cannot score it highly in the bottle.

Tasting notes are peach apricot colored murk with no lace. No foam. Too flat. Straightforward amber maltiness with a good amount of hops.Way too flat !!!

rousee, Sep 28, 2005
Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
85 out of 100 based on 2,458 ratings.