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

(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
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Reviews: 895 | Hads: 2,749
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)

Photo of cb500rider
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Being from Kalamazoo, where Bell's was originally made before moving five miles down the road to Comstock, I must admit I am a bit biased in my opinion of Bell's beers. However, they didn't brew their first batch until two years after I left home to become one of Uncle Sam's Misguided Children, so, my bias is purely geographical.

I discovered bells about ten years ago when I was visiting home. Being a fan of darker fare, I went to the Bell's Gastro Pub in Downtown, site of the original brewery, and had several beers including Kalamazoo Stout, Expedition stout, and the Best Brown. All of which are excellent.

Not until returning to my humid existence in rainy.. err.. sunny Florida, did I try Bell's original beer, the Amber Ale. WOW! this is an excellent beer. Hoppy, sweet and bitter, with unfiltered sediment in the pour. A tall, yet light head at pour. Yet not too heavy for the Florida heat. I love this stuff. (925 characters)

Photo of malvrich
3.71/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from brown bottle into a pilsner glass
a: a good hazy, rusty orange/gold color. beer is very cold so a gentle pour only yields a small amount of head. minimal lacing and little visible carbonation in the sediment. this is not a clear beer.

s: slight hops with a spicy bit of sweetness, very subtle smell overall.

t: mild but upfront hop bite gives way to a sort of fruity sweet malt taste. oranges and pumpkin bread? quite well balanced with nothing stealing the show. extremely refreshing despite the haze and easily sessionable. very tasty beer. i was expecting more alcohol hotness but thankfully it is not noticeable.

m: soft but full. maybe a little wheaty which i generally don't care for but is nice here. carbonation is present but very subdued. lingering flavors seem to maintain balance with maybe a bit of hop stickiness dominating the finish.

o: my first experience with Bell's Amber was a good one. nice tasty and well balanced beer will not put off anyone except maybe those freaked out by cloudy appearance. not a favorite but definitely glad I tried it! (1,081 characters)

Photo of PaulyB83
4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12oz. bottle into a straight pint glass. Bottled on 05/22/14

A- Pours a hazy medium amber with a two finger slightly off white head.

S- Light spiciness, light banana, sweet bready notes.

T- Light flavors of sweet bread, light spiciness, very light pine, finishes with a light raisin bread flavor and a very mild bitterness.

M- Very easy drinking beer, a great beer to have 2-3 in a sitting, like I'm doing now. Still has some a nice full mouthfeel for a beer with a lighter flavor.

O- This beer is special to be as it is the first craft beer I was exposed to when I was a kid and saw adults drinking things that weren't BMC products. I really enjoy this beer as a nice sessionable malty beer and I also enjoy the history of this beer as it was Larry Bell's flagship offering back in 1985. (809 characters)

Photo of hophugger
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

pours a deep golden color with decent head. aroma is slightly malty and a touch of yeast. this ale is slightly bitter in a good way and has a nice balance that is not too heavy. Overall, a very nice beer and another winner from this brewery (240 characters)

Photo of Axeforhire
4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

This was one of the coolest beers to look at. After I poured it I could immediately see it bubbling but it looked more intense than I had ever seen. On closer inspection, sediment was actually in the beer. I had never seen it quite like this before! But I assure you, the beer wasn't spoiled in any way: it was one of the best tasting brews of this type that I have ever had the pleasure of drinking!

The smell was great. Slightly sweet, very floral. Fantastic aroma!

The taste was superb. If everything else was good, this was great. The balance of flavors was almost perfect! A refreshing, lightly sweet taste was followed by the slightest hint of malt and hops. I love a good hoppy beer, but when I don't want overwhelming hops I go for things like amber ales. This was almost exactly what I look for in an amber ale! Thank you, Bell's!

Mouthfeel was good, about what you would expect from a beer like this. Slightly thick but still very light. Doesn't stick in your mouth forever.

Overall, this is a masterfully crafted brew. This is the first I've had from Bell's, and I'll be going back for more! (1,156 characters)

Photo of TippedMixology
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

How happy was I to find this beer right across the street from my apartment!

Appearance - Unfiltered, so don't mind the little pieces floating around in your glass. Light amber, honey, blond. Light, sticky head.

Smell - Floral and sweet. Hints of citrus, floral herbs, and floral hops. Light and not overpowering.

Taste - Pretty similar to the smell, light, but crisp and refreshing. Lightly sweet with a really nice balance between malt and hop at the end--not overpoweringly hoppy. One of the best ambers I've had.

Mouthfeel - I'm always left wanting a little bit more. Not overpowering on the alcohol, but coats your mouth on the aftertaste with an extremely pleasant malty note.

Overall, this is my first beer from Bell's, but I'm keeping my eyes open from anything they're offering from now on. They have a fan in me!

-Adam from Tipped Mixology (857 characters)

Photo of Augusta3
4.11/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark amber color- pretty cloudy
Aroma: toasted caramel and toffee malts
Taste: very soft and fruity with a toasty finish. Nice balance of sweet and bitter flavors.
Overall: This beer is very food friendly- It would go great with some nice red meat! (261 characters)

Photo of Tylergross1
4.26/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It was a little darker in color then I typically would prefer. The smell was very good, smelled of caramel and a little bit of citrus similar to Oberon. The overall taste was very good, although the alcohol content was a little higher it was very smooth and crisp overall very good. (282 characters)

Photo of WillKorn
3.77/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is a very good amber style beer with great flavor. To me an amber ale is a very basic beer that is just well balance with an all around good flavor, and this embodies that. I enjoy drinking this beer in the Fall when is starts to get a little colder outside. (263 characters)

Photo of schoolboy
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bell's really went out of their way naming this one. Per usual for the style, it is a very appealing color. This one has only a bit of head and lace. The aroma is sweet and malty. Nice.

The taste is a first rate malty amber ale taste, just as it should be. The aftertaste lingers cleanly.

Overall this is a very refreshing, well made amber. Well balanced and easy drinking. (375 characters)

Photo of sulldaddy
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear copper hue with an eggshell white head of 3 cm that fades slowly to a thick surface layer. Tightly packed lattice on the glass after each sip.
The aroma is grainy malt and a little bit of cereal. I also get some grassy hops and what I can only describe as a chalky scent. The nose overall is very faint but not really flawed, just not huge or the driver on this beer.
The first sip reveals an average body with very and tingly carbonation.
Flavor is some grainy malt and a little caramel, finishes with some grassy hops and very dry on my palate.
No hint of any alcohol and the beer is easy to drink. Nothing outstanding on any component but no flaws either. Worth a try if you really like ambers but not worth chasing down in my opinion.
I could probably drink several of these in a sitting and would choose it over other sessionable beers. (857 characters)

Photo of blevel
3.69/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

First review

A - poured in a pint glass, a cloudy copper with a one finger head. Looked very drinkable.

S - noticed malt and some light nutty aroma

T - very smooth with a good combination of malts and grains. Unlike most ales I've tried this was not bitter all the way through.

M - a little on the heavy/thick side which I liked

A very nice beer. I would pick up a six pack next time around. (397 characters)

Photo of burntoutphilosopher
3.66/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance:
great filtered beer. i expected unpasteurized. mildly cloudy. nothing like if it were on Lees

Smell:
sharp but good

Taste:
Really top notch. surprisingly so. great amount of bitter for a neutral Ale. and has a perfect balance of malt and sweetness that is still tastable.

Mouthfeel:
on par with killian's or Sam Adams.

Overall:
A Very Good beer. taste is king to me and this has it. two layers of bitter and sweet. not a bit watered down like Goose Island or Sam Adams hopology.
For what you get though, i felt overpriced. not on any lees, says unpasturized but mine pours very clear. (601 characters)

Photo of Amalak
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A tamed yet flavorful amber. Has a feel of a pale ale but a nice honey malt undertone. There's a bit of a celery-type taste. A dark fruit hint; grape. It's very smooth and medium bodied. Easy going feel to it, nothing strong about it. A mild honey and hoppy scent. A lovely caramel brown color, hazy with tons of sediment. (322 characters)

Photo of SFNC
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

My wife picked this one up for me knowing my love of Bell's, but not knowing that I don't really love Ambers that much. That said this one surprised me pleasantly.

A-Hazy dark onrange with a soft and quickly vanishing head. A little scrim of foam held in there for the duration. Very hazy. My fingers are just shadows in the light.

S-Kind of yeasty, sweet caramel malts, grassy and oddly not unlike some Belgians I have had.

T- Rich and complex malts, clover, well hidden hops, sweet, but not too sweet. There is a light tingle of bitterness in the aftertaste. Overall, a good rich balance of flavors.

M- Thicker than most Ambers that I remember. The tingle of bitterness is nice. Carbonation is just right.

O- I should never be surprised by Bell's, but this is a very good beer that I will try again. (806 characters)

Photo of barczar
3.62/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy light amber with a sense, frothy khaki head that slowly dissipates, leaving sticky lacing.

Aroma is very subtle, with toasted nutty malt and floral hops dominating. There's a metallic note.

Flavor reveals more subtle character. There's a hint of underlying citrus, but the toasted malt backbone and specialty malt fruitiness dominate. The finish is nutty and a touch bitter. Floral hops become evident late, but the malt dominates. Metallic notes surface in the aftertaste.

Body is moderate to a touch light, with moderate carbonation and light alcohol warmth.

Not an amber by today's standards. Far less American hop character than we've come to expect. The malt is nice, though. Wish I liked this more. (730 characters)

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: hazy amber, with a load of dark, speckled sediment in suspension... don't know if this is normal, only having had this out of a bottle 2-3 times now... the haziness has been there each time

S: moderate-to-bold caramel... light bread crust, underlying herbal-earthy hop... background of red, cherry-ish fruit and perhaps a hint of roasted red pepper skin... complex... subtle culture funk?!... overall, very inviting to maltophiles (i.e. me)

T: supremely rich-malty - caramel up front, fruit and understated bitterness midway, toasty and bread-crumby finish... caramel carries and lingers throughout... floral hops in the aftertaste... actually fairly bitter - increasingly as it goes on

M: like a dextrin-rich 'stock ale' a la North Coast Old Stock or Founders Old Curmudgeon... slightly viscous... the alcohol is felt rather than explicitly tasted... long, smooth flow with a little fizzle on the back end... liquid love

O: fantastic, unique amber ale - unique in that it has a ton of the right flavors going on, perhaps crossing into a few style categories with its rich maltiness and body... worth a try - I've witnessed some casual beer drinkers digging this a lot (1,175 characters)

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
2.31/5  rDev -40%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Appearance - orange/peach pour, nice thin head of manila foam. Nice and sticky, good lacing.

Aroma - light biscuity malt, straightforward sweet grain smell.

Taste - sweet and biscuity out of the gate, good malt presence without being too sweet. Goes strangely and astringently bitter, hoppy but without any hop character. A metallic bitterness dries out the palate and clears the malt flavor away too quickly. Finishes unpleasantly bitter and dry.

Mouthfeel - fluffy and crisp, medium bodied, good levels for the style.

Overall - the weird bitterness is too unpleasant to consider another., but I'd consider re-sampling on tap. (631 characters)

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