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

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
87
very good
925 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
925
Ratings:
2,929
Avg:
3.85
pDev:
21.3%
 
 
Wants:
139
Gots:
459
For Trade:
1
Bell's Amber AleBell's Amber Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States | website

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-12-2001

User Reviews
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Reviews: 925 | Ratings: 2,929
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a medium copper body with a small, white head. It's rather hazy, but then again, I didn't think to check the temperature setting on the hotel refrigerator (it was set to MAX). Let's give it some time to warm up and maybe clear up while I run some luggage down to the car. Yes, it did in fact clear up. Phew! That's a relief.

Smell: A fine aroma of caramel malts, with notes of citrus and candied sugar.

Taste: Initial flavor of toasted caramel with just the right amount of sweetness. Notes of juicy lemon. There's just enough hop bitterness to clear the palate from sip to sip.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Delicate, spritzy carbonation.

Drinkability: A nicely done, well-balanced amber ale. In fact, I've found the bulk of the Bell's line-up from top to bottom to be quite solid.

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Photo of russpowell
3.72/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cheers to BARLEYWINEO for this! Batch 7838

Pours a hazed light orange/peach tea-colored with 3+ fingers of pillowy sand colored head. Hazing never really cleared, average lacing above & average head retention

S: Caramel, doughy notes & a hint of cocoa with just a whiff of citrus hops at the finish

T: Nice bready caramel signature up front along a little citric (tangerine & lemon) hops. Grapefruitty hops & some grainyness as this warms. Finishes a touch dry& astringent , toasty & with just a bit of puckery grapefruit hops

MF: Medium-bodied, low carbonation & okay balance

Drinks pretty good, just didn't quite live up to the initial taste up front, not a bad amber though, just not a great one

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Photo of cabsandking
4.26/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A dark shade of amber with a dense, creamy off white one finger head, and super retention leaving lacing to the bottom. The nose is faint with notes of candied sugar, nutty malt, and a light fruit scent. A remarkably smooth mouthfeel thats even, creamy, slightly chewy and just enough carbonation to develop a fizzy build at the end. Flavors of toasted grains, bready, caramel, mild tartness midway through, and a flash of spiciness just before it goes down. The finish is semi-dry with much of the roasted malt residual and nuttiness.

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Photo of abramorton
3.86/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Really a great alternative for Fat Tire lovers. I am not a lover of FT, but this beer has a touch of the biscuit taste everyone digs. Less the hops. Another solid beer from Bell's. Great head. Good flavors--- touch of spruce. Not the least bit heavy. Good score from across the border. Can't wait to hoard it.

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Photo of Drew966
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bell's Amber Ale pours a copper color with a white head from a brown bottle. There is a mild, malty aroma. The flavor is superbly well balanced. Toasted malt is evenly matched with hops, the malt is more prevalent in the finish leaving a caramel flavor. They call this the flagship of their line, and for good reason. This is an excellent, highly sessionable beer. Recommended.

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Photo of saintwarrick
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brew pours a clear amber (shock!) with a decent head that stays around to ring the glass. Biscuity malts and grains in the nose while the taste is slightly sweet and fruity with a bit of hops in there to balance. Finish is clean and refreshing, not dry at all.

A very good example of the style, though I still like this brewery’s Two Hearted Ale more, but this is a very solid brew that I would love to try on tap someday.

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Photo of matty
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A delicious copper colored ale with a hearty malt flavor that goes down smooth as water.Nice aftertaste and no carbonation gives an enjoyable experience from the moment it hits your tongue to the moment it hits your stomach.Highly recommended I will be buying this ale again!!!!

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Photo of genog
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a burnt orange cloudy mixture with some bubbly head that never really amounts to much. Maybe its because I had a batch 8000 before this, but I smell the spices of coriander, and ginger, as well as some pepper. Taste is smooth and lightly carbonated with some copper type of taste that is smoothed over by sweet malt. Another great offering from Bells.

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Photo of SSBrennan
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dull copper color with a thick slow falling tan head.

The smell is rich with roasted grain and only hints of hops. Very clean odor with the right sweetness.

The taste is initially dominated by smooth roasted malt which gives way to earthy herbal hops with a slightly acidic finish.

The mouthfeel is smooth and rich with a clean finish.

Extremely drinkable and refreshing.

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Photo of flowerysong
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Slightly hazy medium brown body, coarse tan head.

Smell: Sweet malt with some citrusy hop aroma and a bit of caramel.

Taste: Starts out sweet, toasted malt; some earthy and yeasty notes in the background along with just a hint of diacetyl; nice medium hop bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, medium-high carbonation.

Drinkability: Excellent example of the style. Full of flavour and well-balanced, easy to drink quite a few.

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Photo of tapman
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance is a dark, rusty color with a hazy complexion. An off-white, 1-finger head adorns this brew.

Smell is of sweet biscuit malts mixed with a Granny Smith apple hoppiness. The tart apple aroma lingers on the palate and pleasantly stings the nose.

The alcohol hits the palate immediately, but it is soon supported by the bitter-sweet hops. A sweet toffee maltiness also lends to the alcohol relief effort.

Mouthfeel is that of a typical craft beer. crisp, but not too interesting. Has a decent carbonation and definitely beats a crappy BMC lager mouthfeel any day.

I've certainly had better amber ales from Dogfish Head and Three Floyds, but when you are in Michigan and its $3 a pint, hell give me five!

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Photo of cjgator3
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours an amber color with a nice off-white head. The aroma is toasted fruity malt and some citrusy hops. The taste is a dry toasty malt with a nice bitter hop finish. Overall, this is a very nice Amber that is recommended.

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Photo of hckyfn9999
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an unfiltered, hazy, orangish copper color. Solid off-white head, a bit of lace. Aroma is pleasant with some toffee, butterscotch, citrusy hops, and a bit toasted. Taste is pretty well balanced with more of the citrus and malty sweetness noted in the aroma. Hops are a bit spicy. Medium bodied and an easy drinker. You can see why this is their flagship beer. Nothing too extreme and well-balanced leading to a beer that can be used to convert the BMCs. A solid amber but not the best I have had.

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Photo of kenito799
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a tumbler.

Medium clear amber, raises a creamy foamy head, lovely lacing. Great appearance that somehow communicates comfort.

Aroma is fresh, malty, subtly hoppy, in line with the tyle, not an IPA aroma.

Taste offers an impeccable balance between creamy smooth malt and a refined bitter finish. Really harmonious and makes for a great soft session beer. Not nearly as full-flavored as many other stellar Bell's beers, but this a a robust and highly drinkable American amber ale.

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Photo of CharlieMopps
4.26/5  rDev +10.6%
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 -43.9%
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 +4.9%
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%
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 +1.3%
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 -3.1%
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 +0.3%
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 -0.5%
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 -1.3%
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 +3.9%
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%
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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Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 925 ratings.