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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: 2,773
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 10.13%
Wants: 120
Gots: 369 | 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: 2,773
Photo of oelergud
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy orange and mahogany brown body. Lemon tinted head, creamy outer half and chaotic center. Good retention and beautiful lace.
Fruity and fresh scent, some lemon and light fluffy bread.
Sweet aluring malts sail over the tongue, quickly followed by a peppery, butterish hop character. Both blending well together and emerge seperately in an aftertaste of mild pine bitter notes with just enough burnt caramel to be noticed.
Full body with good coating and even a slick feel.
Another great warm weather session brew from bells.

-Oelergud (546 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
4.34/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a Boddington's hourglass shaped ale glass, served cold.

A - The appearance of Bell's flagship ale left something to be desired at first, perhaps due to my vigorous pour which produced a three finger head that gradually relaxed leaving plenty of lace. Suspended floating matter most likely yeast was evident in the golden amber liquid.

S - A delightful smell of honey like malt, faint berries, and tinges of woody hops mask a slightly estery ale yeast scent.

M - Medium body w/ adequate, but not overpowering carbonation. A sweet but light dryness leads to a crisp smooth finish.

T - Nice malt flavors are saddled by slightly citric hops at the initial taste. Pleasant nuttiness leaves a clean taste of pale malt and faint ginger spiciness and sweet wheat notes. More of an earthy flavor emerges as it warms.

D - Surprisingly drinkable, great example of the style. A beautifully balanced amber ale with subltle hops and a clean finish. Most definitely something you may want to session in my opinion. (1,027 characters)

Photo of BMoney575
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on 4-5-07
Batch 7825
Bottled on 2-14-07

Pours a relatively clear orangey-gold with a sizable bright white head.

Smells is fruity, with a slight breadiness.

Taste is good, slightly sour, slightly fruity, with a good hop bite right in the middle.

Mouthfeel is what you would expect, quite a bit of carbonation.

Drinkability is good, lighter and easier to drink without sacrificing flavor.

Overall, an amber ale that is up front about what it is. A good beer for when you're not in a heavy-beer mood. (525 characters)

Photo of beerhawk
3.57/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I guess Bells is big on bottle conditioning. I don't think I am a fan for that in this type of beer. The bottle poured with a cloudy amber color. Head was good and lasted most of the way. The hops were notable but nothing over the top. Taste was good and very fresh, but the yeasty notes just don't need to be there. I really think this might be a better beer if it were not bottled conditoned. Worth a try, but I think it could be better. (439 characters)

Photo of Viggo
3.18/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for bringing this one biegaman!

Pours a hazy amber, off white head forms, goes pretty fast, leaves a few lace spots. Smell is sweet, vegetal, citrus, some bread, nothing special, bit of citrusy hops. Taste is sweet, some caramel, yeast, bread, very light, floral in the finish, light bitterness. Mouthfeel is light bodied with low to medium carbonation. Drinkable, but a good example of mediocrity, maybe past its prime a bit? Thanks Jan! (448 characters)

Photo of FuzzyGuy84
3.51/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A - Cloudy burnt orange color with medium carbonation. Light caramel-colored, full head. Very opaque, which is surprising.

S - Mild smell of light hops. Bright and refreshing, but not especially pronounced.

T - Nice and simple brew. Roasted malt flavor takes over with a nice and subtle hop bitterness on the finish. A little sweetness makes this a very refreshing brew.

MF/D - A solid representation of the style from a top notch brewery. A good value session beer that is definitely worth a try. (546 characters)

Photo of MmmIPA
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Murky amber body with a white head that fell pretty fast.Very lively and some nice lacing.

Fruity smell and some carmel.

Malt up front then the hop bite.

Carbonation could be toned down a bit but its nothing to cry about.

Good, a better version of your average amber ale.Im not really a fan of these types of beers but its good none the less.I would have again. (373 characters)

Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. brown bottle into my Adnams Tulip pint glass. Appears a hazy, deep amber color with an inch of off - white foam that leaves a decent lace on the glass. Smells of caramel malt with a crisp, fruity note. Initial taste is of sweet, lightly toasted malt, followed by fruity, flowery hops. Very close to full bodied with medium carbonation. A nice, sessionable amber. (382 characters)

Photo of biegaman
3.35/5  rDev -13%
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! (519 characters)

Photo of jeffmonarch
3.86/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 Oz. bottle in a pint glass.

A - As the name implies, it has a nice cloudy amber color.

S - A faint aroma.

T - Very light, has a slight citrus but not too much bite.

M - Very smooth with only a subtle linger.

D - Very drinkable, so smooth and subtle you don't even realize you just finished it. (311 characters)

Photo of montageman
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 7730.

Poured into a pint glass. Looks very cloudy - the color is a deep amber with a nice finger or so of head that leaves a lot of lacing. Smell is slightly floral with some roasted character and maybe even a little sour apple fruitiness. The taste is very nice - malty up front with a generous hop backbone. There is an mingling of sweet and sour as well. Mouthfeel is creamy and rich - excellent for this style. Very easy to drink/session - good stuff. Recommended. (477 characters)

Photo of objectivemonkey
3.28/5  rDev -14.8%
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. (581 characters)

Photo of markgugs
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured from a 12oz bottle into a nonic pint glass

A: Pours a sparkling clear copper with a large, frothy head of off-white foam and leaves some thick, sticky lacing. Looks good.

S: Gives off a moderately nutty, toasted aroma, with perhaps a dash of yeasty doughiness.

T/M: Initial sips produce some light citrus notes, then bigger, bolder flavors of toffee, butterscotch, and even milk chocolate take over. A very nice sweet, malted finish. Beer features a medium-bodied, slightly oily mouthfeel and is carbonated well.

D: This is a very solid beer, I could drink large quantities of this with ease and would do so if I could find them more regularly! (663 characters)

Photo of Applesauce1
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a six-pack of the Amber Ale at The Happy Cat 2 in Athens, OH.

Appearance: hazy orange-copper color (not much of an amber color); nice 1" white head on the pour
Smell: maybe some citrus, a little bit of hops
Taste: nice; a nice balanced flavor; a decent amount of hops with some citrus flavor
Mouthfeel: medium bodied
Drinkability: very good, you can have a few in a night

Overall, an impressive beer. This would be a great session beer. (458 characters)

Photo of Schwarzbart
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: I tried Bell's Amber Ale from a bottle that noted that this was there flagship beer, so this set the standard high. First, the beer is an apricot color with lot's of debris that holds its place giving it a thick appearance. The light covering is foamy and yields a small amount of lacing. There was also a bunch of debris at the bottom of the glass.
Smell: Bold caramel malts and hops.
Taste: Rich malts and mild hops balance out decently. A slightly sweet taste that is of caramel and a hint of alcohol. Bold taste backed with and earthy hop quality.
Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy mouthfeel.
Drinkability: A decent beer, but not what I'd consider a flagship beer. Never the less, it is one of the better ones in this style. (737 characters)

Photo of atsprings
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Batch 7779. Had this one right after the Bell's Pale at Flying Saucer and reviewed from notes. This is one of the palest ambers I have ever had, not much redder than the pale ale. The head was rather thin and diminished quickly leaving a small amount of spotty lacing on the glass. The aroma was of caramel malts and some very subdued hops. At least is was more noticeable than the pale. The taste was a good balance of caramel malts and subtle citrus hops. The mouthfeel had a slight alcohol bite, more than I would expect for a 5.5% beer. Decent carbonation. This would perhaps make a good nightcap, but it is not really something I would buy regularly. (655 characters)

Photo of BlackAngus
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Cloudy, orange color. Large tan head that lasted all the way down.

S - Sweet, malty aroma, with a light hops character.

T - Sweet and malty, definite hop bitterness, but very well balanced.

M - Nice carbonation, light-medium body, clean and crisp.

D - I can drink this often...very well-crafted beer. (316 characters)

Photo of arguemaniac
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Whoa, out of control head, it’s one of those situations where there is initially ten times as much head as there is beer and it takes a while to reduce down to a manageable size. Other wise, the beer pours an attractive orange amber with a nice haze. Sweet grain in the fairly mellow aroma. Bready malt sweetness and rounded grain along with a touch of caramel in the palate. A mild citrus hop spice balances to a fair extent. Somewhat thin mouthfeel.

It’s solid and nearly flawless (except for the mouthfeel) but it’s a bit watery and unremarkable. Still, it’s very drinkable with clean, easygoing flavors, which makes it a good session beer. Recommended, but just barely… (681 characters)

Photo of RBorsato
3.08/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bronze color with lots of tiny suspended sediment, a full pillowy light beige head, decent carbonation, and decent lace. Light spicy malt aroma. Spicy malt flavors on the forefront; almost a bit like it was oxidized or infected but I doubt that. A bit on the sweet side. Medium-light bodied with a decent balance; not too sweet.

Not a rebuy ... bland.

Per Bell's website:
Mostly Pale Malt with some Munich and Caramel Malts
OG: 1.056
ABV: 5.8%

Batch # 7757 ('6329' lasered on bottom)
Tasted: 01/20/07

($7.99 / 6-pack) (534 characters)

Photo of daliandragon
3.71/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a bright copper coor with decent off-white head and strong lacing. Nose is faint malt. Body is translucent and not easy to peer through, which is a plus.

Broad, refreshing flavor with copious but unoffending biitterness from a surprisingly robust hop presence and a medium malt profile. A little metallic and tinny tasting in the finish. Mouthfeel could stand to be a little thicker but this still is a fairly solid amber ale (though the hoppiness almost makes you think it's a pale ale) with highly drinkable qualities, although maybe moreso in summer than in winter. (578 characters)

Photo of BeerHonky
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy orange/amber. A bit of very fine sedimet is floating around. Bubbly white head, about two fingers worth.. Smell's of faint hops and sweet malt. Very refreshing smelling. It makes me want to take a huge gulp as the first taste. Fairly sweet malt flavor with well balanced hop flavor. Very little bitterness. It seems like the sweetness might be sticky, but a nice crisp carbonation seems to scrub it clean. Excellent smooth, but crisp mouthfeel. You can easily drink three or four of these. After drinking so many stouts and IPA's this winter, this has been an awesome change. A perfect example of a simple beer that can please any craft beer enthusiast. (668 characters)

Photo of Dukeofearl
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 12 oz bottle- a gift from a good friend who had received it from friends travelling from Michigan (he and I both used to live in separate towns near Kalamzoo, but long before Bell's existed). He gave it to me with the statement that this is one of the best beers he has ever had.

Pours a hazy murky orange, It's very different from a "typical" amber ale in that it's actually amber. Most amber ales I've had are much more in the brown shades. The minor white head disappeared in a hurry.

Aroma of honey, butterscotch, and some grassy/herbal hoppiness. Decent enough.

Flavor continues the flavor profile, but the hops and acidic ending are much more pronounced, very much overtaking what is typically a more malty beer (in my understanding of the style). Probably why my friend likes it so much. Mouthfeel includes a nice creaminess.

I finished this, and thought, this is a decent, but different, amber ale. Good. Would be happy to drink it again (maybe fresher?), But I can't agree with my friend- it doesn't blow my socks off. (1,041 characters)

Photo of tastybeer
3.87/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Color glows a deep orange brown with some added copper-like hues. White head is existant but easy going. Retention is a ring. Smells sweet with mild pine and more steady citrus. Aromas come together rather smoothly, and likewise with the flavors. Bitterness is thorough and entertaining. Malts hold up just right and flavor hops come along for the ride. Citrus and other fruit mainly with an earthiness too. Entertaining amber and one of the better. Mouthfeel is smooth with prickly carbonation. Very nice. Quite drinkable too.

A good one for getting again. Certainly sessionable. (583 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful orange amber with alittle haze a short head, and pretty good lacing. The residual head sticks around for a while. The nose has some cereal grains up front and some malt in the background. The taste is very balanced and very nice. Creamy and spicy with mild but noticeable hops, and some fruit on the finish. Nice balanced mouthfeel and quite a session beer. Good solid standard. (396 characters)

Photo of Frozensoul327
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Foggy amber orange color with a small, yet consistant head of white foam. Medium level of carbonation. Minor notes of lacing inside the glass.

S: Wow. Strong buttery malt and yeasty bread dough. A hint of fresh, earhty hops thrown in for good measure. Not overly complex, but damned nice.

T: Rich, sweet, fruity notes of citrus are noted from the initial taste, with developing flavors of roasted caramel malts and mild grain. Nice.

M: Very smooth, rich and easy drinking. Like liquid velvet mixed with the texture of half and half cream. I could've been more into it with a tad more bubbles, but i'm not complaining, as this is the first amber beer i've had that really impressed me.

D: Good. I will be back. Would like to see this perhaps on a nitro version, with the creamy factor kicked up even more. A great brew from Bell's.

Notes: First good amber i've had. I would buy this again, hands down, no questions asked. (939 characters)

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