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

Not Rated.
Bell's Amber AleBell's Amber Ale

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very good

902 Reviews

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Reviews: 902
Hads: 2,796
Avg: 3.84
pDev: 21.09%
Wants: 125
Gots: 381 | 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: 902 | Hads: 2,796
Photo of DrJay
3.72/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

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Photo of Shultzerdugen
3.84/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of PartyHatjo
2.78/5  rDev -27.6%
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.

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Photo of RedwoodGeorge
4.07/5  rDev +6%
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.

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Photo of Ricochet
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
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.

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Photo of beveragecaptain
3.3/5  rDev -14.1%
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.

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Photo of Jredner
4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma is grassy with hints of drier hay. Light amber color with a very nice two finger thick white head. Flavor is all smooth malt with just a hint of sweet caramel in the finish. This will be overlooked because it doesn’t have any wow factor, but this a damn fine beer. Excellent lacing a beautiful head and flavor that does what it is supposed to do.

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Photo of whartontallboy
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a dark reddish-amber with a thin white head that faded pretty quickly and left only a moderate amount of streaming carbonation.

Smell is malty, with a slight toasted-grain character melding nicely with a baked-bread quality. Hoppiness is kept to a minimum, which seems appropriate here.

Taste is similarly quite malty, with the doughy and caramel maltiness rising to the top, although a bit of citric/fruity flavor seems to come in from the hops, although the bitterness is quite low. Finishes pretty dry.

Overall: A great choice for a session brew. Just a solid everyday beer.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from deejaydan as part of the WTF ASAP BIF. Thanks for the opportunity. From their website: The Batch ID that you entered '7039', is a Bell's Amber Ale. Your Bell's Amber Ale was packaged on August 25, 2005.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" beige head above the clear copper brew. What head there was lasts pretty nicely, with abundant bubbly lacing. Aroma is well-balanced, with pronounced malt present. Taste is also balanced, with grain husks and hoppiness duking it out, ending more or less a draw, but with the bitterness lingering. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both pleasing, and this one would make a nice everyday type of brew.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured out a nice amber color with a half finger head. Served at cellar temperature, which tonight happened to be about 55°F (I really gotta fix the broken window in the basement better).

Aroma was a big hit of yeast on top of caramel malts, with a light hop grassiness. Balanced well.

That balance carried over into the flavor. The taste was of medium bodies malts overlaid with some yeasty overtones, all backed up by a nice balanced hop bitterness. This was more bitter than I expected for the style, but it was perfectly controlled.

Mouthfeel was quite good for the style, full-bodies for an ale of this style. Not overpoweringly chewy.

Drinkability was quite good. This would make a great session beer. I could sure go for another right now. Thanks to Frozensoul327 for the trade.

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Photo of Gaisgeil
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an excellent beer to always have on hand. Very tasty with lots of character, but easily sessionable and easy drinking.

I've been trying to sample some of my favorite breweries standard pale and amber ales of late, I didn't realize my habit of passing these "simple" offerings by, and it's a shame too because sometimes you just aren't looking to burn your tastebuds, you just want something that tastes good without being over the top about it.

Pours a very nice hazy amber in color with a good two finger head. Nose is very yeasty with some dry grassy notes lurking underneath. Taste is very nice, bready with a nice hop kick, slightly herbal, but mostly just bitterness. Decent malt backbone. The yeast character is where it's at with this beer, quite distinctive. Mouthfeel is good, medium. Drinkability is quite high, easily sessionable and easy drinking.


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Photo of Shovelbum
4.32/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a white head over a copper-amber body. Head rapidly recedes. Light aromas of caramel malt, hay and yeast. Sweet caramel malt flavors predominate, but are balanced by a decent hop bitterness in the background. Medium carbonation and body. Smooth mouthfeel and clean finish.

Well-balanced and fairly complex for the style. The Bell's yeast is definately detectable and lends an interesting twist. One of my favorite session beers. A Michigan classic.

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Photo of sopor
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Slightly cloudy copper-amber with a finger of tan frothy head. Special bready malts and s a little caramel kissed by a small hop note tickles the nose, tantalizing and and giving you a good idead of what is to come. Slightly fruity caramel and an unertone of biscuity malts. Hops are well balanced kiss of bitterness. Light body with a slightly slick feel and nice lively but not frothy carbonation. Wow drinkable. A new balanced session brew for me! Why has it taken me this long to drink this beer, it's all over around here! Even the grocery stores that consider Heineken a special beer have this!

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Photo of Opethsprite
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep, murky orange with a slight, foamy head. (It would be very nice to look at if there was more of a head.) Smells very sweet, but with a good balance of spices to keep it from being sickly sweet. Moderately plain, though. Given the nose, I wasn't expecting such a level of broadness and subtlety in the taste. Spicy and slightly metallic at first (but not Dogfish 90 IPA), the beer becomes honey-sweet and well-rounded. This is a beautifully crafted beer!!!

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Photo of pweis909
3.32/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I've been sampling the local (i.e upper midwest/western great lakes) reds and ambers recently. Was saving this for last as I read that it was pretty special, but I am underwhelmed.

A-Appropriate color for style, more orange than red. Thin head, quick to disipate.
S-Malt and hops were evident, but not righly so.
T-The malt was not assertive enough for me. The hops were merely evident as bitterness, but no unusal characteristics come to mind.
D-It's an unoffensive thrist quencher. It's quaffable, but not particularly special.

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Photo of jasongootjes
4.72/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - The beer was a golden amber color, as the name suggests. It had an off white head that left a lace through out the glass.

Smell - Very succulent smell. The aroma hitting my nose caused a sensation through out my body.

Taste - The beer has an excellent taste. It was almost sweet but at the same time bitter. Very good taste overall.

I could drink this beer all day. The taste smell and sensation that rushed, not only through my mouth, but through my whole body was absolutely delightful.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer pours a hazy warm golden copper body with a creamy off-white head. Strong carbonation of tiny bubbles keep the head alive for a bit.

S- clean smell with some nice soft citrus hops and a slightly pale malt aroma.

T- Nice light citric, grapefruit and a hint of lemon, hop flavor with a smooth pale malt flavor to balance the hops. Hints of light toasted and biscuit malt give it good depth in the malt.

M- Medium body with smooth finish.

D-This beer has a nice hop taste with a good malt backbone. The hops are citrus flavors but they have depth so you can't really pick out one flavor. The malt has lots of pale but some toasted malt to give it depth and character. Nice smooth amber.

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Photo of ypsifly
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz batch# 6883, which reads as 5-23-05 as per the Bell's website.

Clear amber with two fingers of off white. Good retention with ringed lace.

Sweet malts, yeast, and dry hops in the nose.

Caramel malt, slightly nutty with a good dose of bitter hops for balance. There are some yeast notes ofbanana way in the back. Nice dry finish. The body starts off a little more than full, but the dryness and carbonation clear it without being too abrupt. A classic session beer.

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Photo of rousee
3.34/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Disclaimer- These amber styles are not my fave.
I have not been as impressed with the 2 Bells beers as I have tried vs.the other MI ones + Great Lakes (OH).

Its allright. I am kind of disappointed because I thought Larry Bell was such an entertaining character from the movie American Beer. The 2 Bells I have tried have clearly been the least impressive of the MI lot which I have regarded highly. Another one that I bet is better on-tap instead of bottled but I cannot score it highly in the bottle.

Tasting notes are peach apricot colored murk with no lace. No foam. Too flat. Straightforward amber maltiness with a good amount of hops.Way too flat !!!

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Photo of nota
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours cloudy amber with tan head. My wife could smell the sweetness of this beer three feet away! It is sweet, but I like the citrus tang of this beer mix with caramel overtones at end. Thier is enough hops to give it a good balance. I could drink this beer all day.

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Photo of charlesw
2.4/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Really cool bottle/logo. Pours a cloudy light orange-brown with a tiny head that is gone very quickly. Tiny nose to go with the tiny head - maybe citrus hops and a hint of sweetness - like a mass market lager. Tastes like citrus hops. Oddly, I think that I'm getting some chocolate malt in there, too - nothing overwhelming (not like the hops) but a hint. Aftertaste of citrus hops. Thin body.

Now, constructive. Well. I don't know, don't call it an amber, I guess. I'm sure that it'd be fine to drink ice cold on a really hot day. Heck, yeah, I've just bumped the drinkability up for that reason, but I, personally, wouldn't even buy it for that. I'm looking for more malt flavor, more body, better head retention and lighter use of citrus hops.

edit: you know, this is like some kind of crazy wheat beer only with the citrus already added in for you. Crazy, just crazy.

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Photo of macpapi
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bell's Amber begins a nice dark-amber color. It is somewhat opaque, with a fine half-inch white head. There are sediment particles discernable through the hazy aura of the brew. It smells crisp and fruity. Malt and citrus notes are there right off the bat, followed by a light floral aroma. The taste is pleasant, but not terribly complex. There is little hop action. The taste of malt and fruity elements are there. Sweetness level is high, but overall the flavor is not exceptionable. In the mouth there is a tart feeling on the tongue. Not offensive, but the relatively high level of carbonation and lack of fullness make for a less than substantial beer. Overall this is a decent beer that is drinkable to a degree. It is not, however, the most flavorul or easily appreciated. While above mediocre, and certainly session worthy, it is not the best that Bell's has to offer.

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Photo of evanackerman
3.4/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I beleive this is a very good beer for the style although it is my leas favorite in the Bell's lineup, which still makes it a very good beer.

The apperance is beautiful, there is much floating sediment due to the unfiltered nature of the beer. Taste is primarily malts with some bittering hops and a slight fruity character. The nose has some alcohol present which detracts from its appeal.

overall, a very solid but somewhat unexciting beer.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.27/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful bright orange with lots of yummy yeasties floating around to distinguish the men from the people who don’t like little white aliens floating aroung in their beer.

Thin beige head. Cool Bottle.

Overall, I dig the presentation both in and out of the bottle.

Smell is pretty sweet and not to exciting.

Pretty darn robust taste but it could be better. Lots of flowers and citrus, toasted grain, slightly bitter.

I bet it would be better on tap.

Very, very drinkable any time of the year.

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Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 902 ratings.