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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.
very good

904 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 904
Hads: 2,825
Avg: 3.84
pDev: 21.09%
Wants: 127
Gots: 396 | 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: 904 | Hads: 2,825
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 n00tz
3.34/5  rDev -13%
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.

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Photo of tbeckett
3.34/5  rDev -13%
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.

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Photo of rousee
3.34/5  rDev -13%
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 !!!

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Photo of cvstrickland
3.33/5  rDev -13.3%
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.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.33/5  rDev -13.3%
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.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
3.32/5  rDev -13.5%
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.

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Photo of MCain04
3.32/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a 20 oz Spiegelau glass.

Appearance: Murky orange, amber color. Opaque. Off-white head of 1-2 fingers with decent retention and lacing.

Smell: Not great. Musty is upfront. Beyond that, I get a lot of nutty characters, a hint of floral hops, roasty malt backbone.

Taste: Easy-drinking. Definitely a balanced brew with a mild amount of spice, hops, and malt. For a beer-drinker who appreciates balance and subtlety, this beer is good.

Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation. Light on the mouthfeel. Average finish.

Overall: An above-average amber ale. Nothing I'd go out of my way for, but it's definitely drinkable and tastier than a lot of the other mass-produced amber ales out there.

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Photo of pweis909
3.32/5  rDev -13.5%
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.
D-It's an unoffensive thrist quencher. It's quaffable, but not particularly special.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.32/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12 ouncer, long neck brown bottle. The single obverse main label is a dark brown colored label that has a profile of what looks like a Heron. No freshness date or strength listed.

Appearance: What the Furrrccc…..!?? This is sludge! Hold on, no its not! Well, it is very murky. Indeed, it is a deeply impenetrable filthy amber with hints of fluorescent rusty oranges. The dirty white head is good at first, but soon breaks down into a scum like covering. Not your usual appearance – maybe off-putting to some. Different, but certainly not classic Amber Ale looks.

Nose: The nose is very inviting, deep fruity hoppy malts mixed with some caramel. Nice.

Taste: The tastes are very good, much better than the appearance - thankfully. Lovely honey malts introduce an earthy malt feel that has a caramel finish. Some yeasty dough & bread feel in the dying end.

Mouthfeel: The body is rather average I think, but I like the buttery feel that the beer leaves towards the end of the experience. Dry, rather malty end.

Drinkability: Not bad, but by no means a favorite at all. I have had much better Amber Ales.

Overall: Not to my tastes I’m afraid. The reverse label states “You hold in your hand the Flagship of the Bell’s Family, Amber Ale…” It’s a reasonably good beer for sure, and I like Bell’s beers, well, whenever I get the chance to try them. BUT, I have some more Bell’s in the Fridge that I have yet to try (Thanks & Kudos to FM), AND, I have a funny feeling that I may dispel the Bell’s claim very shortly.

Quite simply – Murky, enjoyable but not yer usual Amber Ale.

Another “Tip of the Hat, Sir” to FM for getting to try this one.

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Photo of The-Beav
3.32/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

great beer, but not my favorite amber, very complex flavor bouquet with cocoa, coffee and hints of a smokeyness to it. mild bitterness comes in early in aftertaste but mellowed quickly. aroma doesn't appeal as much as taste does. overall would buy again, just not quite my favorite.

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Photo of muletrane
3.32/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottled on 9/12/11

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a nonic.

A: Pours a very hazy amber color. 2 fingers of egg shell head. Tight bubbles. Decent retention and lace.

S: I'm getting alot of sweet fruity malty notes. A slight touch of Belgian yeast qualities in the nose as well.

T: Slightly sweet malts up front. Biscuity notes on the back end. Finish is pretty dry. Not alot of hop character here.

M: Crisp, clean and dry overall. Moderate body and carbonation.

Overall this is an average amber ale. Not a bad beer by any means. Taste isn't bad and its easy to drink. Nice nose on this beer as well. Just nothing great. I'll review again when I come across a more fresh bottle.

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Photo of OSUbrewman
3.31/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance -This beer poured a cloudy golden amber (like aged apple cider) with a 2 finger off-white head that exhibited great retention and some lacing.
Nose- Some citrus was detectable in the nose, and some hoppiness, but noting too special.
Taste- Crisp and refreshing, this is definately a very citrusy amber. There were some hops, but not as hoppy as I would have liked. The taste in thirst quenching and has a clean finish with very little lingering on the palate.
Mouthfeel- Crisp carbonation, not very heavy at all.
Drinkability- Highly drinkable and a good session amber,
Bell's Amber would go quite well on a warm summer day, as it is definately a thirst quencing and refreshing offering of this style. However, while it wasn't bad, it definately left something to be desired.

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Photo of tempest
3.3/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared a few bottles with friends. This one pours hazy amber with a white head.

I was expecting more flavor from this beer. Really, the malts are just light caramel and there's just a slight spicy hop note in the aftertaste. Yes, it's very drinkable and not really bland, but it's boring. It just sort of smells and tastes like a generic Amber Ale. There's nothing distinguishing.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.3/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into a nonic. 09/27/11 packaged date.

(A)- Pours a hazy amber color. A small cap of white froth & lace.

(S)- A nice malty backbone with some subtle fruits; grainy.

(T)- Similar to the smell. A nice malty backbone with some subtle grainy fruits.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. Simple and straightforward, but smooth and malty.

(D)- A solid, straightforward amber. Malty, but smooth and easy drinking.

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Photo of beveragecaptain
3.3/5  rDev -14.1%
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.

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Photo of Onenote81
3.3/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle. Batch 10159 - bottled on Jan. 19, 2011. Pours an uber-cloudy dark orange with a thin white head as a capper. Retention is lacking. No lace left behind. Boring. The nose is mildly sweet with notes of honey, caramel, crackers. Hops are surprisingly absent in the nose. Again, sort of boring. Nice medium chew to the body. Decent carbonation level backs it up and carries it through to the end. Have I become jaded by all the highly-hopped Ambers out there? This one comes across as mellow, albeit flavorful. Lots of sweet malts, mild hop bite, bready finish. There's a faint citrus tartness to it on the back end, but it's fleeting. All-in-all this was a good beer. I wouldn't stress too much to get some more, but not a beer I would ever turn down.

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Photo of alleykatking
3.28/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a psemi-hazy deep amber color. One finger white head shows light retention. There is some light spotty lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- A nice sweet toffee aroma with some light caramel malts. Some floral hops are in the ending. Not really much else...balanced and to the point

T- There is a toffee upfront to this with a light caramel malt. Some bitter hops in the middle to ending. There is some off flavors I pick up like some earthy woody flavors. Not much else really going on here...a little lack luster to be honest.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Toffee malts left on the palate with some light caramel and alcohol notes in the aftertaste. Taste was crisp but a little off putting. Flavor was well balanced for what it was.

D- This beer pretty much grew on me at about the half pint mark. I couldn't really drink much of it but I also might have had a bad bottle. I will re-review this beer when I come back to it.

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Photo of cameraman
3.28/5  rDev -14.6%
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.

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Photo of tykees88
3.28/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- a nice amber color with a lean towards light amber head. it is frothy.

S- smells super sweet and malty.

T- the taste has a nice sweet malt flavor and finish. It has a nice crisp finish as well. nice drinker

M- it has a little more body than i like, bt that's alright.

O- It''s nice, nothing special but nice.

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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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Photo of thedoubler55
3.28/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Amber in color with a hint of copper, very little head and lacing the dissipates quickly.

S- Sweet malts and smell of sour cherries.

T-Very different, tasted of sweet malts, with some type of citrus hops, well balanced though.

M- Medium bodied, with slight carbonation

D- Nothing special, but something that you can sip on regularly if you have an acquired taste for it.

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Photo of utopiajane
3.28/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazed amber orange. Cloudy with a loose head of foam that fell fast to a thin ring. Leaves soapy lace to fall as you drink. Nose is faint. If I dive right in I can get some light caramel and bread and the faintest hop floral. Taste is mild. The grain is toasted to amber perfection and has a nice round and full flavor that presents a natural sweetness but the caramel is almost too faint to be observed on the palate. it tastes like whole grain bread. As it warms it starts to develop a hop floral that is a bit sweet on the nose and in the drink. It has soda like carbonation so quite strong. It finishes with a bit of bitter but mid palate it's just bland. It could have used more malt depth and more malt sweetness. The body of the beer is thin and has a bit of slickness to it. Finishes semi dry with an aftertaste of flaked cereal grain. There is a hint of citric tartness also int he finish but it seems like too little , too late.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.27/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful bright orange with lots of yummy yeasties floating around to distinguish the men from the people who don’t like little white aliens floating aroung in their beer.

Thin beige head. Cool Bottle.

Overall, I dig the presentation both in and out of the bottle.

Smell is pretty sweet and not to exciting.

Pretty darn robust taste but it could be better. Lots of flowers and citrus, toasted grain, slightly bitter.

I bet it would be better on tap.

Very, very drinkable any time of the year.

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Photo of becktone
3.27/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

When poured into my glass all I can say is wow, the head is perfect. It pours two and one half fingers in height and is a creamy egg white in color. As it recedes to a stable one finger size it leaves a fairly good amount of lacing along the sides of the glass, though I have seen better lacing characteristics. Color is orange dark yellow and the beer is not very clear, cloudy-overcast.

There is a deep sweet malty caramel aroma to this beer. The nose also picks up citrus hop tones. Aroma is nicely balanced between malt and hops. Fruity esters and clove and banana phenols are present in small amounts.

The beer is fairly well balanced in flavor as well as aroma. Its got enough bitterness and hop flavor to off set the caramel, phenolic, and ester flavors of this brew; but it could use more hop bitterness and flavor. There is also a bit of a grainy/huskiness flavor in this beer. I also notice a wheat characteristic to this beer, reminds me a bit of Oberon and it just doesn’t seem to fit here. Definitely wasn’t expecting any yeast phenol and ester characteristics, however it does make for an interesting interpretation of the style.

In the mouth this beer is creamy, that much became evident when I burped and some of the beer came up with the burp-very creamy. Carbonation is subtle and is not really noticed unless specifically focusing on that aspect of the beer. It does not interfere with this beer’s flavor profile and actually accents the malt characteristics of this beer’s flavor. Does not have a dry finish, and goes down quite easily. I probably won’t buy this beer again(in the near future) just because there are so many other interpretations of this style. I am also not a big fan of banana and clove phenols in an American style.

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Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 904 ratings.