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

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

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BA SCORE
87
very good

895 Reviews
THE BROS
97
world-class

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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
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Reviews: 895 | Hads: 2,749
Photo of Blueshirts
4.75/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This beer is ridiculously good, giving it such a high rating because it's become my favorite beer, let alone amber. It's difficult to say this because I love Maine Beer Co's Zoe, but this is better in my opinion. I did notice though that it tastes much better cold, especially out of a frosty mug. This isn't too surprising but I think the cold temp has an especially strong effect on ambers. (395 characters)

Photo of claudialeshok
3.79/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

smooth, nutty, bitter, hints of caramel. One of their best "food beer's" because it goes with just about everything. This beer got the brewery started. (151 characters)

Photo of carolynschaf
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a smooth ale. It is woodlike with nut and maple notes. Bell's started their brewery with this beer. It is one of the best food beers because it goes with everything. (173 characters)

Photo of Sydney10
3.59/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Visual: Pours a clear amber color.
Smell: Malty with light fruit undertones of strawberry and lemon.
Taste: Bitter, smooth beer. A bitter taste of a green caramel apple.
Overall: Average beer that is light on the tongue. (223 characters)

Photo of VTR
3.37/5  rDev -12.5%
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. (391 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 dacoit
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A nice amber ale, not incredible. Powerful malt (but not in a funky way), perceptible but relatively mellow hop profile, subtle citrusy twang, rich mouthfeel, medium dry finish.

Have not seen the bottle pictured (with stork type bird), but instead image is various natural scenes (dunes, evergreen trees, freshwater). Overall an enjoyable beer. (346 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.96/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Packaged 1/28/15.

Pours a murky dark orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Tiny particles of sediment are seen suspended in the beer after the pour. Smell is of grain, toast, and caramel aromas. Taste is much the same with toast, biscuit, and slight caramel flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of toast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and very easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle. (626 characters)

Photo of Catracho5
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle poured into a Bell's shaker pint

A: Very hazy, orange, reddish, nice creamy off white head, looks very drinkable.

A: Caramel malts, picking up some floral hop aromas, smells sweet, like a slight brown sugar aroma, smells great.

T: Caramel malts, nice balanced bitterness in the middle, dry hoppy finish, not very sweet like the nose, very drinkable, great taste.

M: Very creamy, smooth easy drinking.

O: Very impressed with the drinkability, it's balanced with a nice bitterness in the middle, slight hoppy aromas and flavors. This makes me want to revisit some amber ales as I has been awhile since I've had one, I could see this beer fitting in where I might not want an IPA or a Pale Ale, I'd reach for this. This is definitely worth a try. (764 characters)

Photo of JeffBlue
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

(Draft, The Refinery, Newhall, CA 2/28/14) A good beer but nothing really stands out. Been on a long hiatus from "ambers" so it is hard to judge for its' style.

Others:
Two-Hearted Ale (favorable) (197 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

i love the new packaging on this beer, a landscape in watercolor, just beautiful and unassuming. the beer in the bottle is killer too, one of the better ambers out there really. its not sweet at all, but has all the rich froth of a good one, caramel malt, and probably some oats in here too, mildly tannic, really fluffy feeling, and remarkably dry for the style. the yeast is tough to place, it doesnt taste like an irish strain, but it could be done really cold. if its an american ale strain, its pretty darn flavorful still, which i think suits the style really well, i like a yeasty amber. the beer is clear and clean too though, for having so much flavor, and even brings some earthy dried bittering hops to the table, a pleasant way to finish up a beer thats not overly complex, but extremely drinkable. a six pack is the right dose of this, and its one of the better basic beers bells does. i had it in a bottle, but would love to get my lips on some draft. this keep my faith in bells enormously high. (1,010 characters)

Photo of The-Beav
3.32/5  rDev -13.8%
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. (282 characters)

Photo of Andrew041180
3.77/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is definitely one of those beers that is greater than the sum of its parts. I only was able to find one, but this would be a great beer to have a few of. Nice balance. Lots of bread crust type flavor. Clean and very drinkable. (235 characters)

Photo of leantom
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice, sold beer. Here goes:

A: Hazy reddish-brown with a one-inch head and sufficient lacing. Good.

S: Ton's of baker's yeast with some malt. The yeast is really overpowering - I think this was bottle-conditioned. Would've liked more balance, but this is still OK.

T: Spice from the baker's yeast. Also fairly good amount of amber and caramel malt - some grainy, cereal malt as well. However, this is a yeasty bomb.

F: Great. Nice and bready; good carbonation, too.

O: Good beer. Well-balanced and refreshing. (527 characters)

Photo of Dana_Campbell
4.85/5  rDev +26%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

One of my favorite beers ever! A brewing master piece! More flavor and better mouthfeel of any Amber Ale out there.....love it! The young microbrewery fans out there have no idea about the legacy that this beer is. It was one of the first micro brewed beers ever and helped start the whole revolution. Thanks Larry Bell for knocking down the door of boring American Lagers and introducing us to this great beer! By far my favorite go to beer! (450 characters)

Photo of EvoRich
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: Amber in color, two finger fluffy head. Hazy.

Smell: Yeast, hops, fruits and sweetness.

Taste: Excellent flavor. Very understated, but great flavor. The flavor of yeast and bread carry over as well as the sweetness of fruit.

Feel: Light-medium bodied enough to be refreshing, but not so much its watery.

Overall: Excellent stuff! Bell's rarely disappoints. (370 characters)

Photo of scootny
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the lodge in Hilton Head. Great clarity with an off color head that just makes it that much prettier. Deep amber with a light brown tint. Nose offers up caramel and firm husky grains. Superbly balanced and delicious. Feel is supple and inviting. This is one I can drink all day and for enjoyment. Great solid beer. (324 characters)

Photo of car2052
4.21/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12 oz. bottle to a pint glass.

A: Very nice dark orange with a 3/4 in off-white head. Cloudy appearance. Probably unfiltered.
S: Sweet, caramel malt. Hint of orange and alcohol.
T: Bready taste. A bit of tartness followed by light dark fruit notes, of cherries and wild berries. Yeasty acidity. Ends with a bit of hop bitterness not felt in the beginning of the palate.
M: Medium mouthfeel. Creamy. Slight hoppy aftertaste.
O: Pretty good. A little too tart. Well made and pretty flavorful. (504 characters)

Photo of mchegash
4.12/5  rDev +7%

Date: 8/17/14
Other notes: packaged 7/7/14, poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass.

Appearance - 4.5/5
A great dark, almost pumpkin-orange. I really like the color. Reminds me of ale I would see in a movie set long in the past, people drinking in a tavern. Minimal head retention. Beer is fairly clear, however there are a LOT of particles I see floating around the beer. This is not a bad thing, I was just surprised at how many particles I could see.

Smell - 4/5
Smells how I would expect an Amber Ale to smell. Malty and fruity smells (cherry smell comes to mind), along with some alcohol smells. Overall, a fairly pleasant smell. Nothing unique or special though.

Taste - 4/5
Beer tastes malty and sweet, with citrus flavors. There is some alcohol taste as well. A malty-alcohol-y aftertaste is left in the mouth. Fairly simple taste, nothing too complex going on. But simple does not mean bad, and sometimes you just want a good quality simple beer. This is a good example of that.

Mouthfeel - 4/5
Beer has a medium body. It's quite smooth. Somewhere in-between crisp and creamy. Carbonation is light, but comes out stronger near the end of a sip. The carbonation level is good, because a lot of beers have too strong of carbonation which bites the mouth too much. The level in this beer seems just right.

Overall - 4.5/5
While this beer is nothing special, it's hard to find anything wrong with it either. This is an example of a really well done simple Amber Ale-style beer. I would definitely drink again and would pick up a 6-pack of this beer.

Weighting: Appearance 15%, Smell 15%, Taste 35%, Mouthfeel 15%, Overall 20% (1,636 characters)

Photo of delta490
3.79/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a cloudy amber with a creamier white head that leaves some nice lacing and has minor retention. The aroma is mild, but has some nice notes of sweetness (bread and fruit). The taste is also pretty mild, tasty, but lacking the malt depth of the style. The body is light but has a nice smooth feel to it, with just a little bit of carbonation. (346 characters)

Photo of TeamMathis
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Appearance: Orangish amber. Lots and lots of tiny sediment and cloudiness.
Smell: Malt, lemon, honey, and a bit of caramel.
Taste: About the same as the smell plus floral and pine. A lot of carbonation.

This was really good. No, the flavor or smell won't blow you away, but you'd be hard-pressed to find an amber ale that does. All around, this is a delicious offering worth having. I'd probably get it again. (413 characters)

Photo of Jonoesh5
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Poured into a 12oz glass. More golden-yellow than amber colored body with a small white head. A very nice balance of malts and hops. Not as watery as a Fat Tire, or as forgettable as Flat 12's Hello My Name is Amber. Makes for a great anytime beer. (248 characters)

Photo of jman42
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Drank a 12 oz bottle in a goblet outside after a day of Autumn chores.

A = Fairly clear with a deep orange color. TONS of tiny CO2 bubbles. Great head and lacing. Very pretty beer.

S = Minimal. Being an amber, it obviously won't be overly hoppy, but no specific scent came to mind. Just smelled like "beer".

T = Good, but again, no specific taste jumps out. Tastes like "beer".

M = Creamy. No lingering bitterness or anything. Five minutes after finishing it, I can still feel the creaminess.

O = A good drinking beer. Nothing outstanding like their Oberon...just a nice beer to have sitting around on the deck. Bet this would be a good beer to win over Bud/Coors drinkers. (687 characters)

Photo of cambabeer
3.94/5  rDev +2.3%

This is good, and that coming from a guy not generally into amber ales. It has a great spicy, herbal and buttery bread malt character. Refreshing yet oily from the hops. A whole lot of orange juice in the nose maybe some cloves. There's a little veggie like fresh green herbal notes in both nose and taste. Alcohol is not very noticeable. Medium to light mouthfeel. Really nice drinking. (387 characters)

Photo of SaltofOH
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

9-6-14. Bottle. Water goblet.
A: Pours a dark amber with 3 fingers sandy head, foamy. Outstanding retention and lacing. Hazy; lots of fine sediment.
S: Malt; slight esteryness.
T: Slightly sweet arrival, gentle across mid-palate, to a notable, but not quite firm bitterness at the end.
M: Mid-to-lightweight.
O: A very approachable ale. Tastes like a light malty pale ale without much citrus. I would buy this again as an easy-drinking ale for sure. (456 characters)

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