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
87
very good

895 Reviews
THE BROS
97
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 895
Hads: 2,749
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 10.13%
Wants: 119
Gots: 351 | 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:
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bell's Amber Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 895 | Hads: 2,749
Photo of Offa
4.68/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a balanced, very tasty and drinkable ale, light but full of character with subtle complexity.

It's amber, and unlike most many "amber" ales, it really is almost truly amber in colour,a bit hazy with sediment floating in it, with a very big pale tan head that slowly shrinks to a lasting foamy top and leaves nice rings of lace down the glass.

The aroma is somewhat mild but very nice, very malty with caramelly fruit and bread, juice, some citrusy hops and a leafy hint.

The taste is similar, mostly malty with some hops to round it out and balance it nicely. It's caramelly, doughy, and toasty with lightly toasted bread and light, caramelly malty sweetness balanced with mostly citrusy hops that have a light leafiness. The citrus has a clear hint of grapefruit but this is just barely prominent. It also has a light juiciness and hint of yeastiness. It has a slightly creamy feel but a crisp finish. It is light, but has complexity, good, lasting flavour, nice balance, and a defintie English quality overall. It is highly drinkable. (1,047 characters)

Photo of BobLuvBeer
4.65/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Nice heavy amber color. Lots of sediment in glass, which is very appealing. Plenty of carbonation visible. Pours with medium head. Fruity, green apple aroma. Mildly sweet, with a thick/burnt toast combination to the taste. Slightly bitter. Malt over rides hops, but the hops which do come through are pleasantly received. Rest deliciously on the palate. The balance of malts and hops linger and fade away evenly, which entices you to another drink. Finishes with a hint of citrus, with a mix of straw. Overall, one of the most balanced, well tasting brews available. (566 characters)

Photo of malty
4.62/5  rDev +20%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz. longneck - no freshness date.

Appearance is a beautiful glowing amber (go figure) with a brite white head. The tiniest of suspended yeast is apparent if you look closely into the beer, due to the fact that Bell's doesn't filter their ales.

Fresh, blossoming notes of sweet pale malt. Reminds me of fresh sugar cookies - nice & doughy. Very clean smelling.

Now I know why Bell's claims this to be their 'flagship' beer. Perfect balance of malty sweet and just the right touch of prickly hops. Oh so fresh... A faint spiceness evokes from the rich and sweet carmel liquid also.

Mouthfeel is perfect for this style. Soft, gentle and tiny bubbles caress the tongue making this light-medium bodied ale's flavor linger on past the swallow. Just enough dryness in the finish to insure this sweet nectar doesn't build-up and become cloying.

Drinkability is outrageously high. Beer drinkers from beginners to veteran would most likely agree it's hard to put down. It's got something for everyone.

Overall a splendid example of a style that's been butchered and pimped for over 15 years. This is a model interpretation of an easy drinking, yet refined and calculated amber ale. Fill up an aluminum wash tub with this and fire up the coals, it's summertime baby. This is how we do it in Michigan! (1,325 characters)

Photo of inebrius
4.62/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wonderful nose of unfermented wort and earthy hops on a slice of toast. This here is a beer drinkers brew, this here is what craft and quality taste like. Outstanding! Kalamazoo brewing needs to expand their distribution network.

Cheers to Deuce for the sample! (264 characters)

Photo of BarrelBrother
4.6/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The first time I tired this beer it caught my attention. Bell says it's a "cask conditioned" amber which was unusual and demanded an additional tasting session! I was surprised with the cloudiness of the brew, almost weiss cloudy, but the taste! Slightly sweet initally with carmel overtones and a subtle spicy flavor that I really enjoyed. Hmmm, nice aroma, with a hint of fruitiness. Nice creamy head that made the experience even better. The aftertaste was clean, refreshing with a slight bitter finish. Mouthfeel is smooth and ejnoyable. I have moved this brew high on my list to a regular staple at the house for get togethers and have gotten many outstanding comments about this beer from guests. As the old TV commercial used to say, "Try it, you'll like it!" I totally agree! (783 characters)

Photo of Michelleluw
4.58/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is a great beer to ease into a darker beer. The light amber nodes give the beer a toffee and caramel taste. I love this beer with a nice piece of steak with sauteed mushrooms. Highly recommend this beer...then ease into Bell's Two Hearted! (244 characters)

Photo of nicksta
4.57/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer poured a very nice, very cloudy amber orange. A really big head sits on top of that dissipates quickly into pillowy froth on top of the brew that has nice layers upon layers of lacing.

S: I approached the smell like I normally do an amber brew. I can never dicpher the scent of ambers from one another EXCEPT for this one. It started out like a normal amber. It had some toasty caramel smoothness and started to turn metallic, but instead of finishing like I expected it to it became an extremely sweet. It was as sweet as tasting caramel. It actually tickled my nose and relaxed my whole face.

T: It starts out really smooth, but a little light. After that sweetness starts to come out of the corners of my mouth. The beer then moves into ultra-smooth caramel toasty malts. The beer then ends with a kiss of roasted hops that at first are very floral and then end bitterly. Awesome.

M: It is really really good. The beer is ultra smooth and has just the right texture. Unfortunately, it is quite carbonated which tends to sting the mouth. Just let it sit a bit.

D: A really great session brew. Heed the carbonation and sip don't chug, but as the carbonation settles more and more, you can chug more and more. I am not really recommending chuging though; (even if it is good enough for me to want to) take the time to enjoy it. (1,352 characters)

Photo of righlander
4.56/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful amber with a frothy foam head with nice lacing from a 12 ounce bottle. Smells of sweet malt with some citrus hop hiding nicely in the background. Taste is smooth sweet malt with some toasty grain and excellent hop balance. Perfectly carbonated and crisp with sweet malt and nice mellow hop balance. Very nice on the tongue. Drinkability is great, very nice amber. probably the best amber ale i have ever had. i could drink several of these. The cool thing is I took a chance with these and bought a whole 6-pack because they were bottle conditioned I figured there was a chance they could be decent. And I am pleasantly surprised! I love it when this happens! Like i said probably the best amber i have ever had. 5 more to go... CHEERS! (754 characters)

Photo of GossageBrewery
4.55/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this American Amber Ale from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. It poured a cloudy orange color and produced a 1 inch white head. Head retention was below average. Lacing was very good. The Aroma of the ale was full of roasted malt with a hint of hop and citrus. The taste of the beer was outstanding. It was very drinkable, and had nice body. The beer was first and foremost filled with roasted and malt and it gave way to a nice sweet finish. High drinkability- Perfect session beer. This is the most outstanding example of an American Amber Ale that I have had to date. (578 characters)

Photo of TheBigLebrewski
4.55/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bell's' flagship. Bell's, Bell's, Bell's. And no brand-whoring about it, Bell's gives what you want from a brewery. In the interest of full disclosure, I wear their belt buckle.

Bottle to pint glass. Moderate mostly white head with a touch of brown. Excellent lacing retention. Damn near perfect color for an Amber; a tiny bit less color than the subjective amber idyll. Very good smell, though pretty subtle.

This is amber ale. Not 'an' amber ale. If you want to drink a straight up amber ale, this is it. The taste is spot on. Leaning towards sweetness, as ambers do, but not at all overly sweet, as is far too common for the genre. Mouthfeel is perfect. This is very good beer.

Here I will qualify: I, personally, would prefer a more balanced ale; in particular, a touch of hop in the finish would make this beer incredible. And, in truth, there is a lack of hop in the finish. (See Stone's Levitation - an American Amber Ale - for a comparable beer of a different genre that I personally prefer).

Overall, I will say it's not my favorite beer. Not even close. But it is as close to the perfect straight Amber Ale as I've ever tasted. And according to the way we try to rate beers here, this deserves one of the best ratings I've given. Again, there are dozens of beers I personally enjoy more, but, that being said, this is far and away the best straight amber I've ever had. (1,387 characters)

Photo of kevinjosephlee
4.55/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a glass

A: Amber orange, with an off-white head. The sediment at the bottle of the bottle was agitated, and by the presence of "floaties" I would guess that it was not only yeast but also some proteinaceous precipitate. No lacing and relatively low head retention.

S: A caramel malty scent with some hops sharpness as well.

T: It has a caramel malty presence that is moderated by a hops bitterness. Some floral notes (citrus) emerge later in the drink along with a clove spiciness.

M: Not much alcohol warmth, but the alcohol flavor does make an appearance. Good carbonation and body.

Notes: A great beer. I am glad it was recommended to me by my local bottle shopman. I have been on an amber ale kick and find that I enjoy the balance between hops and malt. This beer is very drinkable, yet needs to be enjoyed, so sip slowly, or make sure you have a six pack. (886 characters)

Photo of tigg924
4.53/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: amber, medium carbonation, cloudy, with a small head

Smell: sugar, malt, and a bit of citrus

Taste: hops, malty bread, and caramel

Mouthfeel: smooth, light, small hoppy taste in the middle followed by a semi-sweet finish

Drinkability: With apologies to Nugget Nectar, I think I may have just found my favorite version of this style. Perfectly drinkable this beer seems made for me and may have been my favorite from my Philadelphia trip. An awesome mix of malt and hops. I could easily session this...Now if only Bells would ship to Massachusetts. (563 characters)

Photo of morimech
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
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. (857 characters)

Photo of granger10
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I must say that I am amazed with this brew. What took me so long to try it? On the back it says it's Bell's "flagship beer" and I can see why. This beer pours a vibrant flourescent amber color with a medium sized white head. Good amount of lacing as well. Smell is caramel sweet and a twinge of bitterness as well. The body on this beer is thick, very thick for an amber yet quite smooth as well. Caramel is the main sweetness but I detect some honey in there as well. Citric qualities that mostly resemble tangerines are very noticeable. Slight buttery diacetyl and a yeasty spiciness come through. Hops aren't bitter but provide a solid base and background holding the body and other flavors together. The hops also seem citric and maybe floral as well. This is a real beer drinkers amber, probably too much flavor and too thick for most non-craft drinkers. Even though it is thick I feel that I could drink this as a session brew with ease. Well done! (954 characters)

Photo of kilustration
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! I am not usually a fan of red beers.

This one is smooth! Slightly sweet flavor, pours amber (duh!) with a medium white head and nice lace. Very hoppy.

Nice mouth feel. Easy to finish. Somewhat creamy texture. Light carbonation.

Very surprised. This for a red beer is a winner. (286 characters)

Photo of JackTheRipper
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy, slightly coppery color. Thin head, not too much lacing.

Smell: Citrus, honey, a bit of a bread-like smell.

Taste: Starts off with a lemony, honey sweetness, hops are nicely balanced in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Full, but not to the point of chewy full. Carbonation is very nice. Alcohol is well masked. Finishes a bit on the dry side without any big aftertastes.

Drinkability: Another very well crafted beer. I wouldn't hesitate to have another one of these. (493 characters)

Photo of gonzo46and2
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fantastic Amber ale. Poured a huge head in my scooner and lasted till the last drop. Aroma of flowery hops pineapple and as it warms brown sugar. More on the sweet side and could use a bit more bittering hops. When it warms the flavor takes on a more dark malt taste. Overall just awesome for the style. (303 characters)

Photo of Luigi
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out an hazy amber color with copper highlights and presents massive a three finger head. Plenty of of lacing, as the head sticks all around the glass.

The aroma is full of toasted malt, caramel, and herbal hops. No aroma over powers the other bring this ale into balance.

The taste is semi-sweet with toasted malts, caramel, and citrus fruit from the hop. The finish is crisp with a dry pine like hop lingering for a while on the palate.

The body is medium/light and crisp with mild carbonation. Very easy to drink as this ale is balanced so perfectly. No flavor over powers the other, making this ale a pleasure to drink. The only question that comes to mind is "can I have another?" because Bell's nailed this style. (730 characters)

Photo of drpimento
4.49/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pretty much the definitiion for an Amber Ale. Poured at about the right temperature for a small to medium, light tan head that soon settled out. Color is a clear honey amber with some bubble trails. Aroma is malt, beer, and a little roast, hop, and fruit. Flavor is similar to nose with just a little sweetness to balance the carbonic tang and slight roast and hop. Body is superb, with excellent carbonation. Finish is like flavor and slowly fades with no off notes. Super easy drinking beer. (493 characters)

Photo of TastyTaste
4.48/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Deep hazy copper color, creamy white head that leaves a layer on the top all the way down. Lots of sticking to the glass. Has a nice fruit and hops aroma. Taste is of carmel and hops. The bitterness is there, but not overpowering. I could difinitely session this one. Very smooth and drinkable. (294 characters)

Photo of dublife1
4.48/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this on Cask at Tap and Table in Emmaus, Pa. Perfect two finger head and smells of roasted grains and caramel. Taste is so crisp and slightly malty. FANTASTIC!!! Mouthfeel is incredible and so much better than in bottle form. This is a session beer for sure!!! Bell's is no doubt an incredible craft brewer that the USA can be proud of! Well Done!!! (353 characters)

Photo of timn
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Pours a dark gold / orange-brown color. Very hazy, almost unfiltered in appearance. A small amount of sudsy head.

S: Slightly sweet, with some hints of malts.

T: Surprisingly complex flavor. Really nice balance of malts and grains, with a nice honey or caramel sweetness at the end. I was pleasantly surprised with the taste.

M: Also a nice mouthfeel. Medium, but with a sort of slick, oily quality to it -- in a good way.

O: I really enjoyed this beer. For an amber ale, it has a nicely complex taste, with a great sweetness to it. I'll definitely grab this one again sometime. (585 characters)

Photo of philosobeer
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

First, Let Me Say why I decided to review this beer is that I still think it's underappreciated in the amber ale style. I had a couple little moments of clarity about beer while drinking this beer years ago, and I wanted to confront it again. I wanted to see if my now-better-attuned palate still held it in such high regard and find out why or why not. And as a defense against a mostly-IPA-drinkin' friend who said to me "Do you really LIKE that beer?

Yes. I do like this beer.

Start with the nose, shall we? I think that I used to be hit a little harder by the hop aromas, but now? I smell the malt first. Smells a touch english in the grain profile, tending to bitter -- crystal grain on pale malt and a bit of grainy sweetness. But, the hops blossom floral and full. It's a good balancing act they played here wth that.

Moving along, let me talk about the taste and drinkability here. It really comes out with something that lands on your tongue light and crisp, hits you with some orange-blossom hops and slightly warm sweetness, drys out bitter at the end... it leads you to take another drink. Something of a creaminess here, too, and I cannot no matter how hard I try figure this one out.

This has some things I love about amber ale and about beer in general. It's complex, it's doing its own thing, and it isn't overpowering you with hops (which I think can be left to IPA). Let me use the word again -- Balance -- you taste the awesome floral hops and even a bit of citrus, but you taste the classic amber malt body too. I'm not going to call it my favorite beer, but it's possibly my favorite amber. Good show! (1,626 characters)

Photo of StoutHunter
4.46/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a six pack of Bell's Amber Ale last week for $8.99 at Krogers. I have drank many bottles of this beer in my life, but for some reason I never got around to reviewing it, so since I was in the mood for a well made Amber Ale I decided to pick up a six pack and give it a proper review, so here it goes. Batch# 10624 bottled on August 16 2011. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A- The label is simple yet classy looking, I have always thought it was pretty classic looking. It poured a hazy orangish amber color with three fingers worth of fluffy white head that died down to a thick layer that stayed till the end and it left some nice lacing. Now this is a proper looking Amber Ale.

S- The aroma starts of with lots of sweet malts that impart a nice slightly toasted grainy aroma. The hops are the other half of the aroma and at first smell pretty floral with some citrus at the end. The aroma is a nice balanced mixture of malts and hops.

T- The taste is pretty similar to the aroma. The first thing I pick up is a good amount of lightly sweet malts that have a nice amount of toast to them and impart some nice caramel flavors. The hops are on the light side but still retain that nice mixture of hops with the floral hops showing up the most and just a little bit of citrus that shows up more towards the end and in the the after taste which has a very light amount of bitterness on the finish.

M- Really smooth, slightly crisp, medium bodied, and it had a high amount amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel was spot on for an Amber Ale.

Overall I thought this was an excellent Amber Ale. This beer is exactly what a great Amber Ale should be light, great balance between malts and hops, great looks, great mouthfeel, and great drinkability. I could have drank a six pack of this in a sitting, its got good flavor and it goes down so smooth that I can't help but want to grab another one. This is also a great beer to have with dinner and goes great with a steak or a bratwust. What I like most about this beer is pretty much everything, it looks good, it smells good, it tastes good, and it feels good, its firing on all cylinders. There isn't really anything I don't like or would change about this beer, it is fine just the way it is. I will be buying this beer again as I have for a while now, it's a great example of it's style and I will always have room in my fridge for a six pack. This beer should be tried by everyone, and if you love Amber Ales, this is one of the best widely available ones. So far this has been the best Amber Ale I have had, it has the right amount of balance that to me makes the perfect Amber Ale. Bell's really does a great job at making a beer to style with great balance, I find a lot of Amber Ales are either malt forward or hop forward, but this beer was right in the middle and that is how it should be done, other brewers need to take note. (2,921 characters)

Photo of sonicdescent
4.44/5  rDev +15.3%
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. (668 characters)

Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 895 ratings.