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

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

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BA SCORE
86
very good

2,724 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,724
Reviews: 933
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 12.01%
Wants: 118
Gots: 336 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,724 | Reviews: 933
Photo of jifigz
3.41/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at the Bungalow Alehouse in Gainesville, Va.

A: The beer is dark brown/red and had great lacing with a head that lasted quite a while.

S: I couldn't really smell a damn thing coming from this beer but it was, as in most public pub/beer-joint settings, chilled really, really cold. (so my smell category is skewed.)

T: The taste had a faint caramel flavor with a nice malt backbone being very evident. The hop bitterness kicked in late and was very dry and not very bitter.

M: Creamy and delicious and very well fitting. Not overly or under carbonated.

O: A very sold beer. I can't remember what exactly it was like because it was at a pub and I have had several other drinks since then, but either way a solid brew and a first time for this one for me.

Photo of hero27
3.41/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Batch # 7093.

Bell's self-proclaimed flagship brew. Pours a hazy orange with streams of carbonation and some tiny bits of yeast getting kicked around. The caramel malts dominate this one, but it does have a touch of spicy hops that add a little more depth to the flavor. Comes off a bit dry, with a slight metallic flavor. Overall, it's a solid amber with a good malt base, but Bells has a wide array of better brews.

Photo of cocogan
3.4/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Visual - Hazy dark orange-red color. Pours a nice two finger head thats full of character. Head recedes to a think layer of froth on top. Minimal lacing

Aroma - Bread. grains, citrus, and apricot in the nose.

Taste - Initially the taste hits with a floral, grapefruit, earthy taste. The hops really begin to come through in the middle along with some grainy notes. Finishes up with a lingering apricot and hop taste in yo mouth. I did get a faint but unpleasant cough syrup taste throughout the brew that I wasn't all that in to.

Body - Rather light in body (not even near the extreme of macro brew light tho). Medium carbonation which brings a somewhat dry finish in yo mouth.

Drunkability - Could definitely throw a sixer down of these but it wouldn't be my first choice if I was craving red ale.

Photo of evanackerman
3.4/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I beleive this is a very good beer for the style although it is my leas favorite in the Bell's lineup, which still makes it a very good beer.

The apperance is beautiful, there is much floating sediment due to the unfiltered nature of the beer. Taste is primarily malts with some bittering hops and a slight fruity character. The nose has some alcohol present which detracts from its appeal.

overall, a very solid but somewhat unexciting beer.

Photo of mobyfann
3.39/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Paid $15 even for the Midwest Taster...

The appearence is where this beer shines, right from the pour a beautiful semi-hazy amber colored base with a medium white head, exceptional head retention and very nice lacing effects. However, the smell prones to manage hints of malts and hops, but also hints of alcohol in the smell, something I've never smelt from Bell's before.

The taste leaves off where the smell left off, an overall nice taste but the hints of alcohol for a 5.5%abv really affects this beer. The mouthfeel and drinkability is something Bell's has down pat.

Final Thought: This beer tasted slightly better the longer it settled, so keep that in mind... Overall a solid ale!

Photo of dougbassett
3.39/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

One of the "1001 Beers You Must Taste Before You Die" -- #16 of the ones I've reviewed here.

Bell's is a good brewery, but this is not a favorite style of mine, so keep that in mind.

Appearance is very nice, as I would expect from Bell's, with a warm golden-brown/toasty color and a head that lingers satisfyingly. The mouthfeel also lingers satisfyingly: one thing I do like about this Amber Ale is that it's built with more stick-to-it-tiveness than what I've had in the past, it just seems like a more substantial beer than what you usually get in the style.

Unfortunately I don't get much nose, outside of a mild buttery/malt kind of thing, and the taste, while not bad, isn't noticeable enough to be "good", either. Very smooth, a hint of butter, a hint of sweet malt, a bit more assertive in the finish. That's really it.

Maybe as well constructed as this particular style can be, but this genre has a lot of mushy, tastes-like-a-whole-heck-of-a-lot-of-nothing beers in it, and so really damning with faint praise here. Not awful, this is actually a higher score than I'd expected to give it, but I doubt I'd ever knowingly go looking for it again.

Photo of mooseo
3.38/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into pint glass.

A - Hazy light brown amber with yeast sediment floating around.

S - Light scent of sweet malts and a touch of floral hops.

T - Biscuity malt followed by slightly bitter hops. Nicely balanced.

M - Smooth, medium bodied, average carbonation.

O - Another good offering from Bell's. An easy drinking amber ale with decent flavor.

Photo of arguemaniac
3.38/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Whoa, out of control head, it’s one of those situations where there is initially ten times as much head as there is beer and it takes a while to reduce down to a manageable size. Other wise, the beer pours an attractive orange amber with a nice haze. Sweet grain in the fairly mellow aroma. Bready malt sweetness and rounded grain along with a touch of caramel in the palate. A mild citrus hop spice balances to a fair extent. Somewhat thin mouthfeel.

It’s solid and nearly flawless (except for the mouthfeel) but it’s a bit watery and unremarkable. Still, it’s very drinkable with clean, easygoing flavors, which makes it a good session beer. Recommended, but just barely…

Photo of Indybeer
3.38/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Poured a dark amber, with a small head that didn't last. Some fine lacing is present. Aroma of hops and malt. Taste is smooth and balanced. With a nice hop finish. Mouthfeel is smooth but there isn't much carbonation, but all in all a very good session beer.

Photo of Vixie
3.38/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a nice copper color with a decent white head that quickly reduces down to about a half inch. A lot of bubbling from the carbonation as well.

The smell is very malty, with a hint of yeast and a bit of citrus fruit

The taste is similar to the smell, malt with a hint of citrus, and some hop spice in the finish. Has a bit of a dry finish, leaving a lingering bitterness.

The feel isn't too bad, it is helped a bit by the carbonation.

I decided to update my review after realizing I first tried this in a Duvel glass, which does not do this beer any favors. Tried in a standard pint glass, the flavor profile changes a bit, and for the better. The flavors became more intense, and a bit more complex. Drink this one in a pint glass, and you will find it to be a nice beer.

Photo of sjclay00
3.38/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark orange mostly amber with with the carbonation slowly swirling through the glass
S- Mostly malt not overly impressed
T- Little bitter, hints of the malt, bread and a slight hint of caramel
M- Semi smooth not to bad
D- Decent drinkability but not my favorite. Taste could be better

Photo of MrVisegrips
3.38/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The pour is an attractive copper gold with a short lived white head. Very little lacing with this one. Aroma is light malt with detectable flowery hop notes. Taste starts off with sweet light malt and light toasted grains. The finishes has a nice bitter hops taste. Mouthfeel is creamy with decent carbonation and drinkability is good due to the light body. Overall, this is a good example of the well crafted amber ale. Nothing that makes it a standout, but very enjoyable nonetheless.

Photo of VTR
3.37/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up for something different as I transition from my dark beer to lighter summer beers. I do not usually like Amber Ales but I found this refreshing and enjoyable. Definitely not too hop forward with nice caramel/toffee flavor. Kind of a funkiness to the taste with some tartness but totally enjoyable. Carbonation is a kinda high but I did not mind. I am pleased with this.

Photo of Schwab
3.36/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had this beer yesterday (9/5/09) at the Yardhouse in Palm Gardens.

A - Beer was poured in regular pint glass and left a small head, somewhat short of 1" what unfortunately quickly disappeared. Great mahogany, amber color!

S - Almost typical Bell smell. IMO smells is very similar to Bell's Two Hearted Ale...

T - A true amber ale; HOWEVER, beer is a very close taste to the Two Hearted Ale. I'm sure similar malt, yeast, hop schedule, etc contribute to the similar taste. Definitely great but I was somewhat surprised to have such a similar taste between the two beers.

M - Smooth amber ale that appears to be very well balanced. Definitely an easy beer to which the light/medium body contributes a fair amount.

D - As already said, beer is very smooth and refreshing. Great beer for all occasions! Not too wild/crazy in variation to its style.

Photo of KajII
3.36/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

[Best served in a Shaker glass]

The pour was a cloudy medium amber with an average sized (1-2 finger) off white creamy head that reduced to a thick film with a large collar and had excellent sheets of lacing.

The aroma was of a light toasted grain malt, light floral hops and a mildly sweet doughy yeast with notes of caramel, honey and citrus (orange).

The taste was quite malty with a nice caramel sweetness from the onset with the finish being lightly hoppy with a slight bitter citrus peel presence and just a touch of honey at the end. The flavor lasted an average time with a good light bitter sweet taste left to linger for just a while longer.

Mouthfeel was a bit beyond light in body with a watery yet still slightly creamy texture and a nice mild carbonation.

Overall a smooth easy to drink brew with a nice light sweetness, that is offset by the mild hoppy bitterness...

Photo of Monkeyknife
3.35/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle a hazy reddish orange color with a stick off-white meringue of foam.

Aroma is grainy and metallic with a light sour note.

The taste is quite watery with just a hint of malts and red fruit. Not much else.

Lighter bodied, thin, and lightly carbonated.

Not really much to say on this one. Thin and weak don't make a great amber ale.

Photo of Matt1516
3.35/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It's been a week of hoppy IPAs, so perhaps drinking this more subtle amber ale a little too cold did it a disservice.

Pours clear amber with small head (into a tumbler). Aroma of toasted grain and caramel.

Some malts present in the taste, not much by way of hops. Balanced taste-neither too sweet or bitter. Good session beer but a little forgettable.

Photo of biegaman
3.35/5  rDev -12.5%
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!

Photo of n00tz
3.34/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Light tan head sets thinly above an amber body with a steady carbonation. Particles from what must be bottle-conditioning yeast are more prevalent than the carbonation bubbles.

S - Malty and sweet with a buttery scent shows itself. Light citrusy notes peek through.

T - Nutty brown ale-like tendencies in the malt character, but also includes a fair amount of woodiness. Piney hops bring up the rear.

M - The carbonation on the palate doesn't match what's seen in the glassware -- it feels flat on the tongue. The hops aren't sticky, but most of the flavor is from the malts, which are clean, smooth, and non-destructive.

D - At the price these were at a beer store ($9.89/6-pack) known for their notoriously great deals on craft beer, I cannot understand why this didn't come across as good as I was expecting. I'm no cheapskate, but these are simply not worth their value. Oh well. Overall, this is an average amber -- so it is very drinkable however I just don't see myself purchasing another unless the price comes down to par with New Belgium or Sierra Nevada.

Photo of tbeckett
3.34/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottle from Sunoco in Lake Placid. Packaged 7/12/14.

A - Nice golden colour, close to an amber-ish. Good carbonation and some bits floating up. One finger of white head on top. Good lace wall and a half finger of retention.

S - Nice maltiness. Toasty and biscuity. Raisins and a small hop note that's barely there.

T - Rich and malty with a bit of a twang. Sweet with biscuit notes and some caramel/toffee. Not much in the way of a hop presence.

M - Good carbonation, medium body and a sweet toffee finish. Clean.

O/D - While this is a good amber, it's certainly nothing to write home about, especially given the reputation of the brewery. A decent kick at the can, but lacking in depth and hop character for sure. Not worth seeking out.

Photo of rousee
3.34/5  rDev -12.8%
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 !!!

Photo of cvstrickland
3.33/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12-ounce bottle poured into a seidel yields a golden amber body capped by a finger of milky white froth with big soapy bubbles that are left scattered when the head settles into a fine film that leaves the merest of fine-bubbled lacing.

Smelling the beer leaves it a mystery...perhaps a little malt and a faint earthiness, but not much here at all.

Taste is pale malty and sweet, with snappy carbonation, a tame minerally bitterness, and a little caramel in the finish. Underwhelming, but light and refreshing.

Photo of bristol2120
3.33/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Solid but unremarkable beer. Usually expect just a notch better from this brewery.

Photo of AgentMunky
3.33/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pilsner glass.

A: Amber-esque until held up to the light, which reveals translucent yellowish colour. Decent head and lots of bubbles.

S: Unexpected. Instead of a sweet, malty scent, I'm getting hops and a tinge of skunk. Malt does lie underneath, a bit concealed. Beery, overall.

T: Good, and a beer that is balanced, rather than tilted towards malt, as many amber ales are. The main taste is dry but full, with a slightly toasted feel. Rather carbonated. The aftertaste is pleasantly round and malty, with the hops running underneath. Mostly sweet but dry. A very interesting brew, but not my favourite.

M: Watery-smooth meets spicy-tingly. It's alright.

D: Honestly, I was expecting a lot more from this beer. It's a more than decent, but not anywhere near outstanding. I've had much better brews from Bell's and better amber ales than this. Drinkable, but not recommended.

Photo of Rhettroactive
3.32/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 6/27/11
*From notes

A: Unfiltered and slightly hazy burgundy. A good amount of white floaties are present. A good pour yields a 1.25 finger head. Mediocre and dissapointing lacing.

S: Sweet smell of caramel and charry toast and malt.

T: Metallic wheat, with too much earthiness and not enough balance. The malt is a bit much, and I feel this could use more touch.

M: Creamy and rich. It's got the proper weight and carbonation that really picks this one up and carries it in a big way.

O: Bell's Amber Ale isn't by any means the best amber on the market, but it isn't half bad. I don't see myself reaching for this one often, but will make a point of returning to it down the road. In the meantime, there are plenty of other ambers I'll be grabbing over this.

Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 2,724 ratings.