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

2,731 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,731
Reviews: 934
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 12.01%
Wants: 117
Gots: 343 | 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: 2,731 | Reviews: 934
Photo of EvoRich
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
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.

Photo of scootny
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

Photo of gotmics
4.14/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

the amber to rate ambers by. malty, but refreshingly bitter. i could drink gallons of this!

Photo of car2052
4.21/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

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 mchegash
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%

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%

Photo of delta490
3.79/5  rDev -1%
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.

Photo of TeamMathis
4/5  rDev +4.4%

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.

Photo of Jonoesh5
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

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.

Photo of logicalparadox
3/5  rDev -21.7%

Not bad, but not very memorable. I'll file this under my "things to order when I'm out of ideas" list.

Photo of Gajo74
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A solid amber ale. Grainy and malty sweet balanced by hops. Medium to light feel makes it very drinkable.

Photo of jman42
4/5  rDev +4.4%

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.

Photo of cambabeer
3.94/5  rDev +2.9%

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.

Photo of SaltofOH
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

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.

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 pat61
4.75/5  rDev +24%

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.

Photo of MinisterCurry
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

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.

Photo of Bone53
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%

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

Photo of KomodoDragon
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

copper ale some suspended particles. Caramel malt at the front, creamy smooth on the finish. Solid

Photo of dacrza1
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%

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...

Photo of slym
4/5  rDev +4.4%

This was one damn smooth, drinkable beer. Almost too smooth. Almost.

Photo of Wobbly
4.25/5  rDev +11%

Really good example of how an understated style can be complex and surprising. Great session ale.

Photo of drdiesel9483
4.29/5  rDev +12%
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.

Photo of cjgiant
3.72/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

Photo of cb500rider
4.27/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 2,731 ratings.