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Bell's Amber Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Bell's Amber AleBell's Amber Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

911 Reviews
THE BROS
97
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 911
Hads: 2,872
Avg: 3.84
pDev: 21.09%
Wants: 137
Gots: 419 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States | website

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale | 5.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-12-2001

Amber Ale deftly balances a mixture of toasted grain & light caramel notes with a range of floral, citrus and herbal hop notes, capped by a clean bitterness. This balance of flavors makes Amber Ale quite versatile as a food pairing option, not to mention being rather tasty in its own right. Whether serving as a jumping point to other styles or as a familiar standby, Amber Ale is central to the Bell’s portfolio.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 911 | Hads: 2,872
Photo of CharlieMopps
4.26/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: From a moderate pour, this beer produced two and a half fingers of thick, creamy head, displaying great retention and much lacing. Its color was the quintessential amber, dead-on for the hue, and looked rather delicious.

S: The smell seemed to indicate that the flavor would be mildly hopped, but also there appeared to be a grainy side as well. Hopefully this will equate to a delicious and well-balanced amber.

T: Wow.. impeccable balance to this beer, which was noticeable almost immediately. A good malt base comes first, followed by a hop presence in the middle, which is where the flavor hits its peak balance. The finish is one of the smoothest I've tasted, washing into an aftertaste that leaves a quaint residual bitterness from the hops. Amazing.

M & D: Well-carbonated, and perfect for the taste. The mouthfeel is creamy and crisp with a great body. Again, balance is the key and its done so well here. For being a brewery that's mostly known for its stouts, this amber has sure proven its worth amongst the Bell's fold. This one is definitely a must-have for Amber fans, and the flavor will definitely allow you to drink your fill.

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Photo of Leebo2007
2.16/5  rDev -43.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Very bland beer...the smell (which should first draw you in) is weak and the taste just does not fit. It is almost flat to taste. I was very disappointed! It does have a good color and it may be better in draft form. I am waiting to try other beers in the Bell Brewery Family!

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Photo of BeardedSquash
4.04/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A cloudy brass body with a small cream colored head which falls quickly. A few pillars of carbonation.

S: Buttery hops. This is the type hop smell that inspired my ill-conceived hallertaur croutons. (does not translate into actual butteriness on bread) Rich sweet malt comes through after a while.

T: Wonderful. That rich hoppyness stays in the back seat, but makes itself known throughout the beer. A slight lake water flavor at the back of the tongue if that makes any sense. Malts rearlly shine through as the beer warms. Surprisingly different for an American Amber.

M: Light on the tongue, but sticky on the lips. You can almost lick the malts off your moustache.

D: I first snagged one of these from a friend who's first beer choice is Shiner Bock. I wasn't expecting a bad beer, but needless to say I wasn't expecting something this good. Well rounded, and ballsy with the hops. A nice surprise. Hope to have it one on tap one day.

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Photo of soupyman10
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice amber color, a touch hazy, with a quality finger of white head on top that disappears fairly slowly. Nose is strong on toffee malt, maybe a touch of dried fruit and some light hops as well. Malt dominates, though. Taste is similar. Mostly caramel malt comes through throughout the drink. . A little stronger hop presence than in the nose - some comes through, especially lightly up front and in the fairly brief aftertaste - but this one is definitely a malt beer. I like this one. It's definitely not the flavor explosion that a lot of Bell's beers are, but it's a very drinkable beer for any occasion.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a thick and hazy brown in color. Fairly dense white head that evaporated down to a scuzzy layer. Malty nose with a slight evergreen whiff to it. Flavor is a nice solid malt backbone. Kind of an oakiness to it as well. Hops give a slight sprice and evergreen flavor too. Medium to almost full mouthfeel. odd for the setyle but I am really digging it. Nice almost-session beer.

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Photo of drseamus
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The body is an exceptionally clear amber color topped with a very small white head that fell quickly.

S: There is a pleasant sweet malty aroma with caramel notes from the beer.

T: There is a bit of hoppiness that presents itself in the flavor; having been hidden in the aroma. This is backed up by a bit of caramel but is bitterness dominated.

M: This is a good light bodied beer without being watery.

D: Nothing in this beer really stands out even though it is a solid beer. A good example of an amber ale but not one to write home about. Would make a good session beer though.

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Photo of jwc215
3.86/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours deep amber with a one-finger creamy head that lasts. Creamy lacing sticks to the glass.

The smell is of toast, caramel, earthiness. Woody undertones.

The taste is sweet. Slightly roasted caramel mingles with butter. The smell of an undertone of wood lingers into the taste. Sweetness in the finish rounds it out.

The body is light to medium. A touch watery, but enough of a body to keep the flavor hanging on. Nice carbonation.

This is a nice, sessionable amber.

Thanks to dekker0 for including it in our trade!

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Orange copper brew, very clear with some just off white head which is nice and fluffy early on and settles rapidly to a thin lacing.

Aroma is mostly sweet malt, slightly flowery as well from the hop oil. A bit of biscuit or toast as well.

Flavor is very nice, hoppy but also sweet. Crisp and clean, mildly buttery with toffee and toast overtones. Hops are slick and fairly powerful for their volume, counterbalanced beautifully by the sweet malt.

Really tasty amber ale, I like the hop punch. Bell's strikes again.

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Photo of JohnW
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap while in Tampa FL. Medium dark bronze color, though not much head (but that could be due to the 'pour') and it did not last long. Decent aroma, inviting, mix of sweetish malts and the bitterness of the hops - but not sour or of sulphur. Taste follows the aroma well, slight sweetness of the malts at first, with reasonable bitter aftertaste from the hops, making it well balanced and not "OTT" in any sense, and the texture and body is fairly light. I enjoyed this, and it is similar in the style of an English 'bitter' beer. Easy to drink and would make a good session beer, though I think the taste would be impaired if served too cold.

Would definately have this again.

JohnW (written while in Tampa FL May 2007)
B"ham UK

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Photo of xav33
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bells Amber Ale (also Big Porch Ale)
12 oz bottle
Packaged 03/07, rung 05/07
Moderate pour in an English pint.

Poured a clear amber with a large fizzy fairly lasting light yellowish brown head with tiny lacing.

Smelt of moderate caramel and leafy hops.

Taste was upfront strong bitter green hops and moderate sweet caramel followed by a strong bitter roasted malt mushroomy yeast black tea and dry leaves with moderate caramel sweetness on an average length bitter finish.

Palate was light to medium bodied, slightly creamy, softly carbonated, and light to moderately astringent.

Overall, this was a great amber. Some of that unique Bell's flavor is there (the yeast I think) Balanced on the malt with a good afront oh hops and yeast bitterness.

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Photo of JayQue
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an orangy / light amber color with a fairly large off white head. The head slowly shrinks down to a covering of the glass, lacing is minimal. This is a tasty and very well balanced ale. Primarily malty and very smooth, there is also enough bitterness to keep it interesting and keep the sweetness down to a manageable level. Mouthfeel and drinkability are fine. I had it with a barbequed ribs / chicken dinner and it held up fine. Would be a great regular beer or part of a regular rotation as well as a good session beer.

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Photo of mjc410
2.85/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

The pour into my Fuller's nonic raises a light tan, stable but short head. The lacing it leaves is sparse and slick, but clings a bit. The body is a very hazy golden copper, with a significant amount of sediment floating about. I wonder why that's in a beer like this, but I'm sure it helps the flavor, and maybe it's even bottle conditioned. The nose is very malty-sweet, with a toasted bit to it as well. I pick up mellow citrus notes, too. The beer has a nice taste balance, with the hops leading at first, but, again, mellow. It finishes with a relaxed toastiness that invites another taste. A bit too acidic, though. The mouth is medium, with too much carbonation, despite being very fine. Overall, it's not hard to drink, but too many faults make me regret that I bought a whole case.

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Photo of MrMcGibblets
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

an all-around solid beer from bell's. pours a hazy light amber, decent creamy head. this reminds me more of a bock than an american amber/red due to the malt/sweet balance of it. dough and toffee in the nose along with something i can't put my finger on. flowers? sweet caramel malts upfront with just barely enough hops to round it out before the sweetness comes returns on the back end. medium carbonation from the bottle conditioning, nice and creamy/crisp at the same time. almost medium in body. a nice session beer but for that i would prefer a pride and joy. sweetness can make this a little cloying after a while.

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Photo of oelergud
4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy orange and mahogany brown body. Lemon tinted head, creamy outer half and chaotic center. Good retention and beautiful lace.
Fruity and fresh scent, some lemon and light fluffy bread.
Sweet aluring malts sail over the tongue, quickly followed by a peppery, butterish hop character. Both blending well together and emerge seperately in an aftertaste of mild pine bitter notes with just enough burnt caramel to be noticed.
Full body with good coating and even a slick feel.
Another great warm weather session brew from bells.

-Oelergud

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Photo of Slatetank
4.34/5  rDev +13%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a Boddington's hourglass shaped ale glass, served cold.

A - The appearance of Bell's flagship ale left something to be desired at first, perhaps due to my vigorous pour which produced a three finger head that gradually relaxed leaving plenty of lace. Suspended floating matter most likely yeast was evident in the golden amber liquid.

S - A delightful smell of honey like malt, faint berries, and tinges of woody hops mask a slightly estery ale yeast scent.

M - Medium body w/ adequate, but not overpowering carbonation. A sweet but light dryness leads to a crisp smooth finish.

T - Nice malt flavors are saddled by slightly citric hops at the initial taste. Pleasant nuttiness leaves a clean taste of pale malt and faint ginger spiciness and sweet wheat notes. More of an earthy flavor emerges as it warms.

D - Surprisingly drinkable, great example of the style. A beautifully balanced amber ale with subltle hops and a clean finish. Most definitely something you may want to session in my opinion.

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Photo of BMoney575
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on 4-5-07
Batch 7825
Bottled on 2-14-07

Pours a relatively clear orangey-gold with a sizable bright white head.

Smells is fruity, with a slight breadiness.

Taste is good, slightly sour, slightly fruity, with a good hop bite right in the middle.

Mouthfeel is what you would expect, quite a bit of carbonation.

Drinkability is good, lighter and easier to drink without sacrificing flavor.

Overall, an amber ale that is up front about what it is. A good beer for when you're not in a heavy-beer mood.

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Photo of beerhawk
3.57/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I guess Bells is big on bottle conditioning. I don't think I am a fan for that in this type of beer. The bottle poured with a cloudy amber color. Head was good and lasted most of the way. The hops were notable but nothing over the top. Taste was good and very fresh, but the yeasty notes just don't need to be there. I really think this might be a better beer if it were not bottled conditoned. Worth a try, but I think it could be better.

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Photo of Viggo
3.18/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for bringing this one biegaman!

Pours a hazy amber, off white head forms, goes pretty fast, leaves a few lace spots. Smell is sweet, vegetal, citrus, some bread, nothing special, bit of citrusy hops. Taste is sweet, some caramel, yeast, bread, very light, floral in the finish, light bitterness. Mouthfeel is light bodied with low to medium carbonation. Drinkable, but a good example of mediocrity, maybe past its prime a bit? Thanks Jan!

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Photo of FuzzyGuy84
3.51/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A - Cloudy burnt orange color with medium carbonation. Light caramel-colored, full head. Very opaque, which is surprising.

S - Mild smell of light hops. Bright and refreshing, but not especially pronounced.

T - Nice and simple brew. Roasted malt flavor takes over with a nice and subtle hop bitterness on the finish. A little sweetness makes this a very refreshing brew.

MF/D - A solid representation of the style from a top notch brewery. A good value session beer that is definitely worth a try.

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Photo of MmmIPA
3.45/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Murky amber body with a white head that fell pretty fast.Very lively and some nice lacing.

Fruity smell and some carmel.

Malt up front then the hop bite.

Carbonation could be toned down a bit but its nothing to cry about.

Good, a better version of your average amber ale.Im not really a fan of these types of beers but its good none the less.I would have again.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. brown bottle into my Adnams Tulip pint glass. Appears a hazy, deep amber color with an inch of off - white foam that leaves a decent lace on the glass. Smells of caramel malt with a crisp, fruity note. Initial taste is of sweet, lightly toasted malt, followed by fruity, flowery hops. Very close to full bodied with medium carbonation. A nice, sessionable amber.

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Photo of biegaman
3.35/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy, orangeish colour. Not much head stays but could be easily called back with even light swirling. Spots of lacing left behind. A very musty aroma, lightly roasted caramel malts mostly. Smells certainly closer to a pale ale. Musty and unappealing. Not much flavour either. Some nice malts but hints of diacetyl. Perhaps I expect more from Bell's given their excellent lineup of offerings or perhaps just the limitations of the style, but this one is just painfully average (at best). Thanks Frozensoul 327!

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Photo of jeffmonarch
3.86/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 Oz. bottle in a pint glass.

A - As the name implies, it has a nice cloudy amber color.

S - A faint aroma.

T - Very light, has a slight citrus but not too much bite.

M - Very smooth with only a subtle linger.

D - Very drinkable, so smooth and subtle you don't even realize you just finished it.

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Photo of montageman
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 7730.

Poured into a pint glass. Looks very cloudy - the color is a deep amber with a nice finger or so of head that leaves a lot of lacing. Smell is slightly floral with some roasted character and maybe even a little sour apple fruitiness. The taste is very nice - malty up front with a generous hop backbone. There is an mingling of sweet and sour as well. Mouthfeel is creamy and rich - excellent for this style. Very easy to drink/session - good stuff. Recommended.

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Photo of objectivemonkey
3.28/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Into a pint glass, pours a murky amber (duh) with a twinge of particulate floating around, a decent beginning head that recedes quickly to a thin foam, and pretty decent lacing. Aroma is malty, toasted and caramels, faint herbal hops. Taste is also more malty, biscuts, bready and faintly herbal hops, a little earthy, caramel is gone, fruits now, a twinge tart. The mouth is not good, thinnish and too carbonated, and the finish is too dry and there is straw in the finish, and I don't like it. Overall, a decent beer, not Bell's best, easy enough to drink, but not my cup of tea.

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Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 911 ratings.