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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.
BA SCORE
87
very good

898 Reviews
THE BROS
97
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 898
Hads: 2,776
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 10.13%
Wants: 122
Gots: 370 | 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: 898 | Hads: 2,776
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 Gajo74
4.16/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a semi clear light amber with a thin lace. Fruity in the nose; dark fruits soaked in sugar. Then a biscuit and toasted malt aroma. There was also a strong element of caramel in both aroma and taste. A bready and malt forward taste, sweet, fruity, the malt lingers in the aftertaste. However, the drink is balanced by a dry and leafy hops element. The hops leave a bitter finish and aft raste especially as the drink warms and they begin to take ov. Full mouthfeel, medium body, very drinkable. Piercing carbonation. A well balanced beer that combines the best of sweet and bitter. A great job by one of my favorite breweries. (631 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
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

9-6-14. (Re-reviewed 8-7-15, bottle dated 7-15-15) Water goblet.

A: Pours a dark amber with 3 fingers sandy head, foamy. Outstanding retention and lacing. Hazy; lots of fine sediment.

S: Sweet, toasty malt; slight esteryness, slight floral hoppiness; blackberries.

T: Slightly sweet arrival, gentle across mid-palate, to a notable, but not quite firm bitterness at the end.

M: Mid-to-lightweight. Ample but not excessive carbonation.

O: A supremely approachable ale. Tastes like a light malty pale ale without much citrus. I would buy this again as an easy-drinking ale for sure. Less heavy than Censored or Mt. Carmel; less hoppy than Censored, more so than Mt. Carmel. Consider this what the fall is made of. (721 characters)

Photo of tbeckett
3.34/5  rDev -13.2%
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. (743 characters)

Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +23.4%

A toasty malt nose with a hint of vegetal.
Pours amber with an off-white foam cap.
Palate: graham cracker, caramel, with a moderate hop accent on the finish.
medium body and carbonation. (186 characters)

Photo of MinisterCurry
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Pours from draft with a full, off-white head; color changes vertically from a hazy, rich dark-orange top layer reminiscent of apple cider fading with a gradient to a lighter, opaque amber at the bottom of the glass.

Smells piney, with notes of wood resin, buttered popcorn, peach skin, woven wicker and roasted tree nuts.

Autumn fruit flavors of ripe peach and apricot, baked pie crust, baked buttered biscuits, almond and faint taste of hops.

Mouthfeel is rich, layered and creamy with a cascading, buttery finish. (518 characters)

Photo of Bone53
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%

Poured from a bottle into a snifter at around 45°F

Appearance (4.25): Orange amber color with a finger off white head

Smell (4.25): Toasted caramel and toffee with slight floral notes

Taste (4): The flavors do not add up to the promise of the aromas; A bit too subtle for me. It is balanced and tasty though between toasty and sweet

Mouthfeel (4.25): Heavy light body; Extremely smooth! Carbonation is spot on and bitterness is at a minimum

Overall: Good amber ale overall, but it could be a great one if the flavors were amped up a bit. I feel like i need to take a gulp to really taste it, which i do any ways because it is so smooth! Another example of why Bells is a solid brewery (692 characters)

Photo of dacrza1
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%

DATE REVIEWED: August 14, 2014... GLASSWARE: Brew at the Zoo pint... OCCASION: more Shark Week...APPEARANCE: orange bron amber body; two-finger, creamy off-white head; slowly effervescent and rather hazy; a decent-looking pint; nice, thick lacing... AROMA: floral hops mesh with caramel malts; sweet confectioners’ sugar is front and center ... PALATE: medium-bodied, chewy and active--a pub draft, in its consistency... TASTE: strong malty presence; mellow hops roll off the teeth and take a backseat to the nutty, somewhat buttery aftertaste--a confident offering...OVERALL:a pint for conversing over or eating pubfare with--a sessionable beer that sits well in the Bell’s sampler case... (695 characters)

Photo of drdiesel9483
4.29/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

look - great golden amber color with a good white head and lacing
Smell - malty with a cherry smell
Taste - Malty slightly toast taste with a some cherry and citrus in there
Feel - Medium body with a creamy feel and a crisp after taste and medium carbonation.
Overall - By bar the is one of the best amber ales. (311 characters)

Photo of cjgiant
3.72/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tried to rate this one to style, as it might be one of my least favorite styles. This one tasted along the lines of an ESB.

The appearance was a little on the orange side, translucent with some head along the edge. The smell was grainy with what to me is a typical British pale ale yeast. The taste follows this, grainy with a little lemon added to produce a faint copper taste that I associate with ESBs. I guess the good thing is that since it does remind me of an ESB, it does have a hop presence, which some of the style seem devoid of. The feel is a bit watery, but I think that of almost any beer in this style.

I will probably not revisit this beer unless it's the sole option, but that's due more to my preferences than the quality of the beer. If not obvious, if you're an ESB fan, I think you should give it a whirl to decide for yourself. (851 characters)

Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 898 ratings.