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

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Reviews: 895
Hads: 2,752
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 10.13%
Wants: 119
Gots: 350 | 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: 2,752
Photo of Vancer
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Now, this was just a nice and solid offering, again, from Bells. Intriguing pour – hazy amber / orange with a thing ivory head. Notes of malts with orange and spice in the aroma, which carried over to the quaff quite nicely. Luv a taste of the fall spices in an amber ale. A little cinnamon goes a long way, but the subtle hint was perfect.

Medium to full bodied for an amber, this was just an excellent drinker for one or many (432 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.03/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a very cloudy ice tea color with a decent head that leaves a few shards of lace; clearly bottle conditioned

Smell: Caramel malt and grassy aromas

Taste: Starts out with a diacetyl influenced butterscotch flavor; after the swallow some toasted grain bitterness kicks in, providing a yeasty, sweet and fruity finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to thick bodied, with moderately prickly carbonation

Drinkability: Just not my cup of tea, here; this Amber has some flavors I find in some of my least favorite English brews; the combination of the diacetyl and the overwhelming yeasty flavors are a downer

Thanks, murrayswine, for the opportunity (662 characters)

Photo of beveritt
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a standard pint glass. I picked up this beer as part of a 12 pack Midwest Sample Pack. No date visible, but it was stored in a cooler and most of the beer in the store was dust free.

Appearance: Nice copper color with a steady stream of bubbles coming up form the bottom of the glass. Initially it has a one finger head comprised of pretty large bubbles. The head disappeared quickly and left no lacing.

Smell: Sweet, malty smell. It is almost like sticking your nose in a bag of fresh cracked grains before you dump them into your boiling kettle. Also noticeable is a citrusy smell from the hops.

Taste: Sweet and malty upfront, with a nice level of bitter aftertaste. Hints of caramel.

Moutfeel: The carbonation level is good, a decent amount stuck around, even after a heavy pour.

Drinkability: Not too heavy, I could drink this all day. (887 characters)

Photo of bozebus17
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark hazy copper. There is a small white head that goes away rather quickly.

It smells of fruity hops with a bit of a malt backbone. The scent isn't overpowering but it is pleasant.

This is a very well balanced beer. The hops taste a bit spicy but are balanced nicely by a slightly sweet malt flavor. This beer is light to medium bodied and goes down easy.

A great session beer and one of many solid offerings from Bell's. This beer is a regular in my fridge and I would recommend it to anyone. This may also be a good crossover beer. (554 characters)

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

A very clear rusty hue enteers my glass with some friendly bubbling. The aroma is a slightly thick amber malt with some real subtle English hopping. This mix gave the aroma a very biscuity aroma. The taste is equally biscuity that takes on a more sweet Hawaiian bread profile. A little grityy on the tongue but good carbonation to clean that up. (345 characters)

Photo of rabsten
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Cloudy amber with thin, tan head. Some lacing but not much.

Mild malt aroma with subtle hops. Caramel quality to the malt.

More flavorful than the smell would let on. The malt leads with a solid sweetness, caramel and/or toffee overtones (can't decide which). Bitter meduim point as the hops arive. Finishes with mild bread/yeast quality.

Medium bodied, well balanced start to finish. Pleasant to drink. I could have a second or third easily enough.

Bell's continues to confound me with thier naming system. The Pale Ale is some type of wheat beer, while this "American Amber" is a classic ESB, IMHO. Weird. At any rate, this is still a solid entry and worth a try. (716 characters)

Photo of beermanbrian
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another of the Bell's lineup that i am thrilled to be able to pick up in central PA finally.

Pours a murky orange color. A nice foamy off white head builds as you pour and continues building to a nice full one inch cap after you finish. This slowly drops to a nice think coating on the top of beer that leaves nice spotches of lacing on the glass. Sweet toffee like smell with some spicey citrus hops notes. It smells like a clean, smooth beer. The malt is really the backbone of this beer when you taste it. Everything else seems to go the the background but things are balanced so that it is not overly sweet. Some earthyness to the malt. Nice dry finish. Very smooth and easy drinking. Overall this has been my biggest surprise of the Bell's beers I've tried. It was the one I was expecting the least from but probably the one I enjoyed the most. Not a knock your socks off brew but a good solid every day beer. (917 characters)

Photo of supercolter
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one was kinda all over for me. It was orangish red in color with little to no head and some small chunks. Smell is exceptional, with a peach and plum smell up front with a bit of malt and hops to follow. Taste is a bit above average, nice and complex but reminds me alot of flavored sparkling water. Mouthfeel and drinkablity are very good goes down smooth and easy. (371 characters)

Photo of maundythirsty
4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark copper color and a tall but delicate off-white head that recedes to slippery bubbles around the glass. Smells like toasty malts, sweet malt and maybe a little plummy. The taste is a nice, round mouthful of toasted grain closing out with a bitter twinge that is a hair peppry.

Rich without feeling heavy. I could work my way through several of these without feeling overwhelmed or like I compromised for endurance sake. Welcome to the rotation, Bell's Amber. (465 characters)

Photo of ultralarry2006
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Left a one finger head with decent retention, and not much lacing at all. Body was a cloudy orange amber.

Smell - toasty, bicuity, and above all, caramelly malt.

Taste - like the smell, and pretty straightforward, caramel, with slight milkiness to it. Toast, biscuits, also. Some slight grass and herbs.

Mouthfeel - full, smooth, low carbonation, some chewiness.

Drinkability - this is very good and goes down well. Very sessionable. (474 characters)

Photo of Erdinger2003
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Lacing is strong and holds to the glass almost a half an inch up as the head, which is white and foamy, fell leaving the thin layer. The color is gold to a red tint and is clear.

Bread and butter flavors are present and also a flowery and light bodied, not my style however enjoyable.

The mouthfeel is carbonated a little and felt like an average beer on my palate.

I will look for a new bottle from the brewery, but I won't go out of my way to try it again...there are too many beers in front of it in line. (517 characters)

Photo of hero27
3.41/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Batch # 7093.

Bell's self-proclaimed flagship brew. Pours a hazy orange with streams of carbonation and some tiny bits of yeast getting kicked around. The caramel malts dominate this one, but it does have a touch of spicy hops that add a little more depth to the flavor. Comes off a bit dry, with a slight metallic flavor. Overall, it's a solid amber with a good malt base, but Bells has a wide array of better brews. (434 characters)

Photo of ColoradoBobs
4.07/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Twelve ounce bottle pours a nice cloudy dark-amber under a two-inch head that faces to a sticky ring with decent lacing.

Smell has that nice Bell's note of sweet maltiness. Some biscuit, and a bit of citrus hops.

Pleasant sweet malt taste, with grain and grass. (I just love what Bell's does with malt!) Nice balance with hop dryness, but not much bitterness.

Carbonation makes for a nice mouthfeel, and spreads the malt sweetness around.

Very drinkable -- really smooth and fine.

Overall, a fine example of an easy-drinking amber ale. Wow! Bell's scores big again! (583 characters)

Photo of cameraman
3.28/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A copper color with hints of a golden hue on the sides, a small head forms, white in color, a disappears very quickly. The scent of malt is very evident, not much in hop aroma. There are some fruity aromas that are there as well. The taste is mostly of the malt, which makes it very mild in flavor. The mouthfeel is thin and tad watery azt the beginning, then it gains more body as it crosses the palate. This an easy to drink beer, with the sweet malty flavor, making it favorable to drink. Overall though it needs some hops to balance out the sweetness. This would be a great session beer and even a beer to introduce someone to craft beer. (642 characters)

Photo of plaztikjezuz
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bought a bottle from world market in lansing, michigan. ($1.49)
pours a brilliant amber with orange hues.
aroma is malty, hint of hopsack, bit of carmelized malt.
flavor is malty, hopsack, carmelized malt, hint of citrus.
great beer over all, old stand by for most of us michiganders. (288 characters)

Photo of bearrunner44
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Medium, slightly reddish-amber with a fluffy vanilla-tan head.

Smell: Caramelized malt, with a light and tangy fruitiness. Honey, banana, maybe a touch of lemon zest.

Taste: Mild sweetness from the malt, honey-like. Mellow fruitiness; tangy like banana, with a citric edge to it. A light, isolated kiss of hops shows up towards the finish. It ends with a bit of an oxidized wet cardboard taste; it's not too bad, just enough to be distracting. The alcohol peeks through a tiny bit. Well-balanced.

Mouthfeel: Somewhat chewy, but with lively levels of carbonation.

Verdict: It's pretty good, except for the distraction of the off-flavors. I wouldn't mind having another one. (698 characters)

Photo of hanco005
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle of batch 7063, says that I am holding the Flagship of the Bell’s family in my hand, 12 ounces into a pint glass

A—copper/orange with ¾ inch thick foamy tan head, bits of sediment swirl in the glass, the head really isn’t moving, but it is leaving spotty lacing behind

S—smells similar to a Belgian, yeasty, modest ripe fruit up front, followed by some candy sweetness, gets sweeter with each inhale, brown sugar and maple are now starting to show up as it warms, some biscuity/oat cereal tones as well

T—sweet malts are explosive in this one, not much for bitterness, starts sweet and stays sweet, with caramel candy and brown sugar flavors

M—a little thin and watery with a slight slimy finish, lighter in body, a little low in carbonation…I was expecting more in the mouth

D--very good, but almost too sweet for me. Not sure that I could drink more than one more in a sitting as a result. (920 characters)

Photo of Crosling
2.4/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

New penny in color. I’m sorry, forgive me, but I just can’t get excited about Amber ales with no hop aroma. Subtle malt aroma, with a light hint of caramel and a suggestion of doughy yeast. You’d think malt magician Larry Bell could come up with something a little better smelling than this. Mild, mediocre malt flavor, which is very crisp, but overall husky. Caramel and toasted malt flavors, with herbaceous, weedy hops. Lacking bitterness and a pronounced hop flavor and aroma. This seems like an amber ale from a crappy brewpub. (535 characters)

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

Clear amber capped with a short white head that settles into a solid ring. Some fine bubbles ended up sticking to the glass. Malty caramel and brown sugar aroma with a bit of toasted grain husk. Fruity as well, with floral and citrus hop character. Pleasant malt sweetness with balanced bitterness and moderate hop flavour. Some caramel into the finish. Medium/light body, medium carbonation with a solid mouthfeel. Quite nice. Another top-notch beer from Bell's. (463 characters)

Photo of Shultzerdugen
3.84/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz. brown bottle.

Poured a clear light copper color with sediments in suspension. The head was small to start with and went down super quick.

Bready, caramel tinged malts take the show in the nose, lightly accented by woody hop notes.

Medium light in body and a bit flat on the carbonation. Big bready malts come out again in the taste, caramel along for the ride. Hops are present just enough to clean up the finish, which is long and biscuity.

I've had better bottles of this beer - not as flat - so I'll probably have to review this brew again in the future to insure a fair whack. (599 characters)

Photo of PartyHatjo
2.78/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Good amber color, leaning more towards red than yellow. Head was nonexistent (likely due to the pour quality, why don't bars know that some head is good on beer?).

Aroma: Malty, biscuity notes, slight earthy hop tones, not enough for what I think an amber ale should have--disappointing in general.

Taste: Quite malty/nutty flavor with overtones of biscuit, but it's lack of hop flavor/aroma was really a detractor for me--flavor balance in this brew is shifted heavily towards malt (maybe I'm too used to troeg's hopback, which has great malt/hop flavor balance). Taste is more reminiscent of an ESB than what I'd consider an amber.

Mouthfeel: Nice bitterness, decent sweetness and carbonation was good enough. There's a bit of pungency that comes through the nose that I'm not too fond of.

Drinkability: Nothing spectacular, I didn't really want another one, in fact, I could barely finish the first one. (930 characters)

Photo of RedwoodGeorge
4.07/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm quite fond of Amber Ales and this is a good example of what a quality Amber ought to be like...

Not much carbonation on the pour, the bottle opens with hardly a hiss and even with some vigor to the pour there's barely a think white collar. The beer itself is an unfiltered cloudy deep amber-brown in color with plenty of red highlights when held up to the light.

The smell is very inviting with lots of caramelized malt notes and good fruity esters of apricot and cherry. There's a mild hop note in the nose but not much - just enough of a piney note to add another dimension.

The flavor as well is quite short on hops (which is fine) The style has a lot of latitude when it comes to hopping and here they've opted to put most of the spotlight on the malt and yeast. Lots of good caramel notes, some sweet browned sugar flavors and an interesting toasted grain note that compliments the rest well. The yeast plays a big part here with plenty of sweet fruity notes very similar to a British Pale Ale. Again, not much hopping but just a bit of pine or green grass to compliment the toasted grain note at the finish of the sip.

Mothfeel is surprisingly heavy - this is quite a 'thick' feeling Amber. Just enough bittering on the back end to give each sip some balance. While there isn't quite enough carbonation for my taste what bubbles are there are fine and soft - I'm guessing this is bottle conditioned.

A really drinkable Amber Ale even though it's a bit undercarbonated. Some ambers are much hoppier (North Coast's Red Seal) while this is very, very similar to Anderson Valley's Boont Amber except for two important areas: It's less filtered leaving a lot more substance in each sip and this bottle was undercarbonated the bottle conditioned bubbles add a very nice texture and leave it feeling more "crafted" than AV's Boont. This may not get as much attention as Bell's many fine Stouts but it's just as well made. (1,939 characters)

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

A: Just like an average amber should be. Orange, nice head, little lacing. Bonus points go for the particulate in the beer. Bell's seems to have this in a lot of thier beers.

S: Average. There was a hop profile just like other Bell's beers I've sampled, but still came out average.

M: Average. This was kind of like drinking a Genesee red. Still, it was more potent being an ale, but still seemed average for the style.

T: This was pretty decent. It was a little like the pale ale without the overpowering hops. This had more of a malt character with a nice alcohol note that blended with the fruit from the hops. I'd say one of the better amber ales I've had.

D: I could buy this again. I could drink a few. Does it stand out? Not really for me, but compared with BMC, this is an okay drinker. (809 characters)

Photo of KarlHungus
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours a hazy, yet clear amber color. The head is one and a half fingers in height, creamy, and recedes slowly. The aroma is a lot more complex than most amber ales. It is mostly malt, but there is a hop presence which makes it so the beer doesn't smell sugary. The taste is incredibly balanced. Niehter bitter nor sweet stand out, but they are both there playing with my taste buds. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, and most importantly it isn't sticky the way most amber ales seem to be. Overall, amber ale isn't one of my favorites styles. This brew is an exception. It is what I would like all amber ales to be: a beer than is less hoppy than a pale ale, but not so sugary that is it sticky. (703 characters)

Photo of beveragecaptain
3.3/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle. Bell's Amber pours out a pale amber color with a medium sized head. The aroma is caramel with some toasted malts and spicy hops. The flavor starts off with some caramel, followed by husky grain. Some fruitiness comes in at the middle. Finishes bitter with a mild hoppiness that tastes just a bit skunky. Medium mouthfeel. Decent drinkability. This beer has nice balance, but the flavor is only ok. Just an average amber ale. (441 characters)

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