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

Bell's Amber AleBell's Amber Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

2,071 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2071
Reviews: 844
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 12.01%


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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-12-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,071 | Reviews: 844 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of JamesShoemaker
JamesShoemaker

Michigan

3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The Bros have this one scored really high. The problem with Amber is that it tastes different batch to batch, sometimes bottle to bottle. I would recommend having one and then a few months later having another one. Maybe I'm crazy.

The times when it's been good, this beer is super drinkable and very tasty. When it's not good, it honestly doesn't taste a whole lot different from Michelob Amber Bock. Sacrilege!

However, this beer is ridiculously popular in the upper Midwest. Chances are, if a store carries Bell's, they carry this brew and Two Hearted (a beer which the Bros have ranked very low, surprisingly).

Give it a try if you find a single, pass on a six pack though.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2012 21:08:09 | More by JamesShoemaker
Photo of wiscokid920
wiscokid920

Maryland

4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 01/19/2012 Poured in pint glass
Back label mentions this beer was first brewed in 1985 and “embodies the heritage of the Bell’s Brewery and nature of Great Lakes Region.” Big claims that I’m excited to enjoy!

A- Unfiltered, amber with 2 finger off white head with decent retention and lacing.

S- Nose is great combination of malts, caramels, toasted gains, hoppy with citrus notes

T- Smooth citrus up front, smooth and malty in middle and quickly subsiding to a crisp hoppy, grassy finish. Very refreshing and enjoyable.

M- Medium bodied with slightly chewy feel. Good carbonation that works well on the palate. Ends with nice crisp finish.

O- Definitely lives up to the Bell’s name. My favorite offering of the Amber Ale style. Without a doubt I will recommend and purchase again!

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2012 03:24:07 | More by wiscokid920
Photo of Alextricity
Alextricity

Michigan

3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 7/30/12

Appearance: Pours a really nice, medium amber color. Forms a decent head that goes away pretty quickly. Lacing is sparse, and the beer appears to be unfiltered. Pretty nice.

Smell: Absolutely STRANGE. It smells dirty. Musky. Like a wet trunk. It isn't very pleasant at all. To be honest, I figured this was a dud based on the smell alone. Really not a nice smelling beer to my nose.

Taste/Feel: Thankfully, what matters most, is probably the best part about the beer... the taste. It has a pretty mild carbonation with a whole lot of malt. Some of that muskiness from the smell I get in the taste, but it's barely there, and goes away quickly when it does show up, which is a very good thing. There's a little bit of spice there too, but I just get a lot of malt, and I dig it. There are traces of alcohol in there too. The feel isn't bad at all... it's great for an amber, with a fairly low carbonation.

Overall, I thought right off the bat I'd be let down as soon as I caught a whiff. I was happy to see that the taste isn't much like the aroma at all. I actually enjoyed this beer the more I drank it, and I feel I'd just enjoy it more if I tried it again. A very good amber if you can get passed the smell.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2012 03:11:39 | More by Alextricity
Photo of Beerlover
Beerlover

Minnesota

4.88/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

appearance is good, color is off for an amber, more of a hazy golden yellowish color instead of an amber reddish brown. unfiltered. Smell is balanced, more on the malty side with minimal hops aroma and some carmelyness.

taste...is amazing! wow! this is the first beer thats really surprised (in a good way) me in a while! initially its pretty sweet, almost to the point that you'd think it was going overtake the beer, but then after a second or two the sweetness completly dissapaits and you get some caramely malts and a very easy to drink smooth well rounded balaced beer. there is also this carbonated tingling... that is unexplainable but great, never expierienced that before but loved it! Move over alaskan and full sail this is my new favorite amber! Sessionable!

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2012 05:00:31 | More by Beerlover
Photo of Guden
Guden

Maryland

3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Light amber color with a solid one finger head that sticks around.

S- Light citrus and a bit of malt. Very light.

T- A smooth refreshing citrus (lemon) up front with a bit of sweetness followed by a piney bitter finish that blends with a honey note. Not bad but could use some more maltiness for my tastes.

M- Fairly low in body, just enough to fill the mouth with a well dialed in carbonation level that's not too prickly but effervescent and refreshing.

O- A decent beer but a little lacking in the aroma and maltiness for the style.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2012 01:32:54 | More by Guden
Photo of DefenCorps
DefenCorps

Oregon

4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled on 28 June 2012. The back label mentions this was first brewed in 1985!

A mildly hazy amber with a dense, off-white head with excellent retention and great lacing, this is beer is a looker. The nose is great. A moderate, complex malt character is present, with a blend of caramel, toasted bread, a little bit of a grain character, and even a little bit of dough. A mild hop character is present, pairing really well with the malt profile. A little bit of citrus, a hint of pineapple are the most prominent notes.

The palate opens with a nice blend of toasted and caramel malt with some cotton candy, brown sugar and bread notes, all light and in great balance. The is accompanied by the hop character, which is soft and resplendent, with a blend of sweet grapefruit, pine and oranges. Medium-light in body with a mildly chewy feel and mid-palate, this beer is moderately carbonated and is a treat on the palate. This is a pretty excellent amber if you ask me. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2012 00:56:44 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of WastingFreetime
WastingFreetime

Wisconsin

3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from session notes.

Pours out a hazy amber color with a short lived but pretty-while-it-lasts head, no lacing. Smells of biscuit dough and a touch of caramel apple with just a whispered hint of pie spicing. Tastes about evenly of bready notes and fruity esters, with a clean bitter finish, crisp texture and medium carbonation levels.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2012 02:15:30 | More by WastingFreetime
Photo of ninaturner
ninaturner

Florida

4.38/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Caramel color, somewhat chalky, unfiltered.

Aroma: You can smell a hint of caramel malt and some yeast, but there is little aroma.

Taste: You can definitely taste the caramel malt in the beer. I love the kick of bittering hops at the end. Probably my favorite part of the beer.

Mouthfeel: Great mouthfeel; somewhat thick but not too thick--similar to other amber ales.

Drinkability: Mouthfeel and overall flavor make this beer highly drinkable.

Overall: You can't go wrong with this Bell's Amber Ale!

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2012 23:00:48 | More by ninaturner
Photo of Jamesthebrit
Jamesthebrit

Michigan

4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: I was very impressed when I poured this one which I guess I shouldn't have been. This one is amber for sure. Not light or weak but a nice solid color.

S: Probably the weakest point of this beer. A little malt comes through but that's about it. Maybe a little bit of yeast but... Rather light here.

T: Good malty note with a hint of yeast and hops and a nice smooth finish. Brings more than a lager while still being pretty easy to drink.

M: Sits medium light but the carbonation turns it into something very smooth and creamy rather than harsh. Very nice.

A very nice light beer here. Brings some nice flavor to the table but does not overwhelm. Should be good for the average beer drinker as well as people with a more refined taste.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2012 01:39:49 | More by Jamesthebrit
Photo of rlee1390
rlee1390

Indiana

3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Cloudy orange/amber, carbonated with a two finger heads that fades.

S-Lots of malt, caramel along with bread notes.

T-A malt forward brew, caramel and bread balance well with each other. Citrus and floral notes come out as well. Little bitterness.

M-Medium bodied, velvety in the carbonation.

O-A nice easy drinking American great. Not great but an easy drinker.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2012 01:05:20 | More by rlee1390
Photo of Darkmagus82
Darkmagus82

Virginia

3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a 10 oz chalice glass

Appearance – As the name implies it has an amber color with a light haze. Upon serving there was a one finger off white head that faded quickly to leave only a light amount of lacing.

Smell – The aroma was of caramel and toasted bread. Mixed with these were some lighter notes of citrus and some nuttiness.

Taste – The taste starts out as a mix of roasted malt and caramel. While sweeter in the beginning, it some dries out and bitters some as some citrus and pine hop tastes enter the flavor profile. While these never get too strong they do a nice job of balancing some of the sweet in the beginning. Toward the end of the taste some nuttiness comes to the tongue and overall a very nice roasty flavor is left to linger.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is smooth but not thick and the carbonation is on the average side. The creaminess is very nice and helps accentuate the nice more roasted flavors of the brew.

Overall – A pretty tasty amber Well worth a try.

Serving type: on-tap

08-05-2012 22:48:46 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of BMMillsy
BMMillsy

Florida

3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle pours a deep reddish brown color with a cream colored head. Aroma includes a little funk, some floral notes, light bready malts, and a bit of fruit. Light mouthfeel with medium carbonation. Flavor is somewhat watered down for my tastes, light bready malts, just a hint of sweet fruit and caramel. Something about this just didn't seem right. Certainly drinkable, but nothing special.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2012 18:15:50 | More by BMMillsy
Photo of tdm168
tdm168

North Carolina

3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pale, transparent amber with a thin, loose layer of white head that fades away quickly

S - faint bread, caramel

T - caramel, faintly herbal, faintly citrusy, sweet

M - medium bodied, sticky, well carbonated

This is a decent beer, but simplistic. The caramel takes the forefront with a subtle hop character. It's easy to drink, but ultimately boring.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2012 20:09:02 | More by tdm168
Photo of BeerCon5
BeerCon5

Pennsylvania

4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a slightly cloudy, bright amber color with less than one finger of bubbly white head that disappeared quickly.

The scent was pretty spicy, toasted grain, and notes of floral hops.

The taste was of moderately bitter floral hops, toasty grain, notes of citrus, and spice.

Medium body, smooth and kind of oily feel, moderate carbonation.

Overall a pretty nice, easy drinking beer. Very tasty and well balanced.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2012 14:36:16 | More by BeerCon5
Photo of KajII
KajII

North Carolina

3.38/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

[Best served in a Shaker glass]

The pour was a cloudy medium amber with an average sized (1-2 finger) off white creamy head that reduced to a thick film with a large collar and had excellent sheets of lacing.

The aroma was of a light toasted grain malt, light floral hops and a mildly sweet doughy yeast with notes of caramel, honey and citrus (orange).

The taste was quite malty with a nice caramel sweetness from the onset with the finish being lightly hoppy with a slight bitter citrus peel presence and just a touch of honey at the end. The flavor lasted an average time with a good light bitter sweet taste left to linger for just a while longer.

Mouthfeel was a bit beyond light in body with a watery yet still slightly creamy texture and a nice mild carbonation.

Overall a smooth easy to drink brew with a nice light sweetness, that is offset by the mild hoppy bitterness...

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2012 15:12:47 | More by KajII
Photo of AleWatcher
AleWatcher

Illinois

4.43/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle into tulip pint.

Orangey amber body with a small tan head. Incredible retention. Thick lacing is virtually opaque before it slowly rides the legs back into the body.
Smells of toffee, caramel, and a pleasant, though surprising, note of something reminding me of coffee.

Wow is this drinkable. Without paying much attention I've sucked down 3/4 of my glass... Nice little hop note at the back providing a punchy little dry bitterness. Roasty malt with some sweet caramel and toffee up front. Very nice for an amber ale.

Feels medium bodies, well-carbonated, and a little oily.

Overall- this really is a great amber ale. It won't ever get the love and praise it deserves: it is just a solidly well-made beer... Of course, coming fr Bell's I would expect no less.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2012 02:30:27 | More by AleWatcher
Photo of srv33
srv33

Michigan

3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Amber pour, hah, thin head, a little medium-fine lacing. Smells of pine, honey, sweet light citrus, bread. Taste is solid and has a non-overpowering balanced malt-hop ratio, excellent session brew, great signature, very solid taste, would buy again. One of my favorite non-ipa ales from Bells.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2012 23:33:27 | More by srv33
Photo of tone77
tone77

Pennsylvania

3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark caramel color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is dominated by malts. Taste is caramel malts up front, some hops, slight bitterness at the finish. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall this is a solid beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2012 22:56:16 | More by tone77
Photo of superspak
superspak

Michigan

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled 3/22/2012. Pours a very hazy orange amber color with a nice 1 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Some decent spotty lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of biscuit, toast, caramel, light citrus, floral, and nuttiness. Some pretty good well balanced aromas that are a bit muted. Taste of caramel, biscuit, grapefruit, orange, floral, toast, nuttiness, and light pine. Light bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, grapefruit, toast, floral, and light pine on the finish for a short bit. Slightly dry on the finish. Good balance of citrus hop flavors with the malt backbone. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy and slightly crisp mouthfeel. Alcohol is well hidden with pretty much no warming noticed at all on the finish. Very easy to drink as expected for 5.8%. Overall this is a very nice amber ale. Nice flavor balance and smoothness; very sessionable and enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2012 03:32:36 | More by superspak
Photo of lwillitz
lwillitz

Florida

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12-oz bottle into small mug

A - massive off-white foamy head over a slightly-cloudy amber body loaded with carbonation bubbles; patchy lace

S - malty caramel sweetness, floral hops, touch of vanilla

T - caramel-sweetened malt balanced well by bitter notes of pine and citrus from the hops and a suggestion of burnt malts; lingering finish grows increasingly bitter as it fades away

M - oily light/medium body, average carbonation

O - a decent amber, but nothing remarkable

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2012 22:25:14 | More by lwillitz
Photo of Murphious
Murphious

Illinois

2.95/5  rDev -23%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This one by Bell's is a typical amber ale---well, typically good. Nothing really bad about it, but nothing stands out as better than the rest out there. Good balance of malt and hops, no bitterness, caramel smooth finish, and the cloudy appearance makes it somewhat different.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2012 00:37:02 | More by Murphious
Photo of augustgarage
augustgarage

California

3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Central Waters shaker pint.

Flame tinged amber liquid with a delicate creamy layer of ivory up top. Sticky yet pasty lacing, decent retention.

Caramel apple, berry-like esters, and cake-like malt in the nose.

Sweet honey-drenched palate entry offset by mild cutting bitterness with hints of white pepper. The yeast brings to mind a lager rather than an ale. Medium-dry, but perfumed finish.

Light bodied, creamy and well carbonated.

A uniquely flavored amber ale - refreshing on a warm day, and well paired with a strong cheese.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2012 22:13:20 | More by augustgarage
Photo of dbrauneis
dbrauneis

North Carolina

3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a crystal clear deep amber in color. The beer has a two finger tall tense beige head that slowly reduces to a thick film over the entire surface of the beer with thicker patches and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant lacing is observed.

S: Moderate aromas of caramel malts with light hints of nuttiness and light hints of citrus hops.

T: The taste follows the smell, with a body of bready and caramel malts giving it light sweetness upfront. This is followed by some light nut flavors and moderate citrus hops that have a light lingering bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth.

O: This beer is easy to drink and enjoyable. The beer is well balanced and could be sessionable (though it is approaching a touch too strong in ABV to have more than a few).

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2012 00:38:31 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of warnerry
warnerry

Michigan

3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cask at The Soup Spoon

Pours reddish brown with no head at all. Aromas of caramel malt, a bit of bread and maple, vanila and a faint nuttiness. Taste is similar with a bit of hops thrown in. Pretty nice. I've had this in bottles several times, and it is noticeably more enjoyable on cask. Very smooth mouthfeel with a faintly bitter finish. This is a style I normally don't enjoy that much except for hoppier ambers, but on cask this is pretty enjoyable.

Serving type: cask

06-01-2012 21:55:29 | More by warnerry
Photo of BarryMFBurton
BarryMFBurton

Indiana

3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have a soft spot for Bell’s, but mainly for their big beers: Hopslam, Expedition Stout, The Oracle. It’ll be interesting to try one of their <6% ABV beers, then…

Brewed within the last few months before this tasting (can only make out the /12 of the year on the Packaged On date).

A: This Amber Ale is…well, amber. Slightly red, and with a sizeable white head of creamy bubbles. Retention is thin with slight, spotty lacing.

S: Sweet, satisfying malts first: creamy caramel candy, maple oatmeal, and cookie dough. It’s a subtly earthy graininess mixing with the sugars – cinnamon-sugar and clarified butter on slightly toasted bread – and just a hint of floral hops. Malty, but thin.

T: Leafy malts: maple, cashew, caramel, and toasted grain come together in mild, creamy fashion. Peaches and cream are notable, as well, before the tastes of mild bitter herbs take over. These hops are just a tad astringent and only slightly juicy – characteristic for an amber ale – just prickly enough to be a sizeable part of the palate. It’s a nutty, creamy vanilla aftertaste.

M: A little silk on the tongue and some bubble on the back end. As far as texture goes, it sits quite idly on a medium body.

O: An amber ale that’s all about traditional flavor, not bold, unique character. And in that way, it’s all that it can be. Quite sessionable.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2012 03:45:46 | More by BarryMFBurton
Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 2,071 ratings.