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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: 368 | 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 rousee
3.34/5  rDev -13.2%
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 !!! (663 characters)

Photo of nota
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
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. (266 characters)

Photo of charlesw
2.4/5  rDev -37.7%
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. (873 characters)

Photo of macpapi
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
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. (877 characters)

Photo of evanackerman
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
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. (449 characters)

Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.27/5  rDev -15.1%
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. (514 characters)

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

I have been on the trail of Amber Ale recently, acquiring several for a trade I am about to ship; so as a consequence, I have reviewed a number of them in the past week; I am sorry to say that this is my biggest dissapointment from Bell's - (BTW, I LOVE Expedition Stout, and several others) This sixer has a bottle code of #6302.

It is bottle conditioned, with a large layer of loose sediment in the bottom of the bottle, I had two of them, trying to isolate the sediment, which poured like chunks of green/brown trub from my first attempt, somewhat un-appetizing; if this is a negative in your beer book, then POUR CAREFULLY !

The pour is hazy orange copper, not as dark or red as other ambers that I have been recently been drinking. It has an ivory head that quickly dissapates to a thin lace.

The smell is faint, carmel malt; and the taste is carmel malty with the thinnest hints of plumb or raisin (maybe I was really looking too hard); with a subtle hop bitterness that finished tart. wondering if it might have been bottle conditioned with a Belgian Lambic yeast ?

I won't be running out to get more of this; and IF you are shopping for it, look at the bottles first, to see how how much sediment is in the bottom. (1,235 characters)

Photo of whynot44
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Coppery amber colored brew, hazy with yeast "floaties" and decent creamy tan head that stayed for a while..

Nice fruity sweet malt aroma with spicy, yeasty tones. A very nice amber ale, medium body, a nice light malt flavor complimented by a very nice blend of hops and oak with a citrus finish and aftertaste.

Crisp, refreshing. Nice label! (348 characters)

Photo of bruachan
4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

from heinen's in hudson

copper color with some sediment in suspension, though it slowly settles out. i question the condition of my glass, so i'll give the head the benefit of doubt: i had a collar...sounds like others saw lasting foam. sweet caramel nose with some flowery hops and brown sugar
caramel taste, too. and a slight butterscotch finish to go along with the lingering bitterness. very little hop flavor

hopback is my existing benchmark for ambers, but this has a nice focus on the sweetness, with enough hops to show through. i love munich malts...mmm. i also love the texture of this beer: the munich gives it a great chance to stick around while your tastebuds do their thing (695 characters)

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

Pours hazy amber orange with dense 1 fingered head leaving some lace on the Grindstone pint glass. Yeast particles settle to the bottom.

Aroma of tart fruits and mild diacetyl merged with light caramel malt. Excellent hopping that adds an earthy "Willamette and/or Goldings notes".
One reviewer commenting that it approaches an ESB. Definately a little on the english side IMHO.

Bready and biscuit malt flavors with a clean light caramel malt sweetness balanced by hop bitterness. Body is fuller than most of this style. Medium mouthfeel with good carbonation. Butterscotch continues to emerge with warming. Finish is clean bittersweet with bready malt notes. Very drinkable! (683 characters)

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

I want to thank TripelJ for bringing this back from his recent trip to MI.

Pours a hazy, copper color with floaty bits. A good sized tan head three fingers deep that dropped evenly and leisurely.
Smell is wonderlul, I can smell it from over a foot away. Malt, fruit,yeast, hops, oak. Alcohol and spices as well, both light.
Taste is malt, hops, a hint of woodiness and almost a shoe shine polish note (light though). Some yeast and a a somewhat resiny hint in the aftertaste.
Smooth, somewhat creamy with light effervescence, medium bodied. A good beer. My only wish was that the taste had been as complex as the nose was. (628 characters)

Photo of monkeytoe
3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Orange/amber color with a pale tan head. Medium cloudy. Head is thin with some very light lacing.

Smell – Sweet and malty nose with a mild, citrusy, hoppy smell. Maybe a little chrysanthemum flower smell at the top.

Taste – Solid, malty, toasty taste with a bit of bright crispness from the hops. Finishes with a bright citrusy tang on the tongue that lasts and lasts. Not a lot of middle notes, mostly deep malty sweetness and high, bright citrus.

Mouthfeel – Medium-light mouthfeel with the perfect amount of carbonation to keep the sweet maltyness from being cloying.

Drinkability – Excellent drinkability—delicious with plenty of flavor, but not overwhelming. The long-lasting citrusy finish makes me want more and more: a beer for the long haul. (781 characters)

Photo of fisherman34
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bright orange in colour with a slightly off white head. Surprisingly fruity aromas and flavors, mainly lemon, orange, and perhaps even a bit of peach. There are some nice caramel flavors, but little contribution from the hops. Fairly thick bodied, and mellow. Not really what I expected from this brewer, and not quite up to the regular high standards of this brewery, but a solid beer nonetheless. (398 characters)

Photo of Backer2004
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's just been too long (five years) since I've enjoyed my first and last experience with Bell's. Way before I enjoyed all these styles, I made my way up to the Eccentric Cafe for one of the best beer experiences of my life. The good memories came back with this one. Nice orange copper hue with fruity maltiness that I could not get enough of. (344 characters)

Photo of bahumutx
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle with the batch number of 6956.

Appearance: Pours a dark amber color with a small head. Lacing all around the class as I drink the beer.


Smell: A slight smell of malt and hops. Smell very delicious. Also a slight fruity aroma.


Taste: Very well balanced beer. Starts of somewhat sweet with a slightly bitter hop finish. More malt taste present then hop. Also can pick out a somewhat roasted malt flavor.


Mouthfeel: Light body that has appropriate carbonation.


Drinkability: A very drinkable beer. Could defiantly drink more then one in a sitting.

Overall, another great beer from Bells. They never cease to amaze me with their beers. Keep up the great work Bells!!! (721 characters)

Photo of OatherS
3.79/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice plain purple label with a crane on the front.

A: Great two finger head. Light amber in color.

S: Not much aroma.

T: Good flavor, slightly hoppy. Not overwhelming, but not a bad beer.

M: Crisp.

D: decent beer. noticed that there was sediment at the bottom that I did not pour in, could have affected the review. (330 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.46/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not a big fan of this style, but this is a really good beer. Bold, robust and malty. Good use of dark grains and malt. It's a liitle hoppier that most ambers, but it doesn't interfere with the sweetness or the body. Has more of a pronounced alcohol flavor and feel into the body and finish. Has some earthy / yeasty flavor along with hop flavoring. Less clean than I like, but still, good beer. (394 characters)

Photo of circuitmonkey
2.68/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not quite sure what to make of this beer. Its the first Amber that I've had that is cloudy, with a little bit of sediment in it. The color is a dark orange. Pours a low/medium head that doesnt last long, aside from the edge of the glass. Taste is a little more bitter than I would care for, but still has decent malt to balance it. (331 characters)

Photo of thechaacster
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a bright copper, the color of a new penny. Nice little foamy head that retains well and leaves plenty of sticky lacing. Malty sweet aroma, with hops taking a back seat. Whole lot of sweet, caramelly, doughy malt up in this beer. Hop bitterness is substantial with floral and slightly citric flavor, not at all overwhelming though. Really well balanced. I definitely wouldn't mind sitting down and sipping a few of these. Definitely a great example of the style. (467 characters)

Photo of UncleFlip
4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottled 6.3.03- tasted 7.19.05

Nice honey-orange colour, a bit hazy. Looks a bit like a hefe.

Smell is fruity, with hints of orange and a VERY slight musky quality. Some hops behind it.

Taste is very pleasant, a little woody and spicy, with subtle sweetness underneath. Hops kick in at the end.

Fizz hits right off and disappears quickly. Nice and creamy after. Alcohol hits WAY after everything else is gone.

This one gets tops for drinkability. I could make a nice evening of it.

Be well
-UF (512 characters)

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

I decant the 12oz. longneck into an appropriate drinking vessel. A tan head of about 1/2" rises up and slowly fades away leaving a persistent ring of lace. I immediately catch malt and hop aroma. The beer is fairly clear, and a pale copper color. I must have poured to fast as I have floaters in the beer. I have read that Bell's beers are bottle conditioned so I'm not alarmed by the floaters. Flavor is a nice caramel malt balanced nicely with American hops...although I can't make out the specific hop. The hop bitterness finishes nicely in the aftertaste. Overall a very nice drinkable beer (594 characters)

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

12 oz. brown bottle; batch 6883, packaged on May 23, 2005; $7.99 for 6-pack

Pours clear with a copper/orange color and a thick, creamy white head with lacing that lasts to the bottom of the glass. Aroma is mostly malt with a slight spiciness from the hops. Flavor profile consists of big backbone of sweet maltiness with a bit of a caramel followed by bit of fruitiness. A mild spicy hops flavor and bitterness balances the flavor profile out. Overall, a rich creamy ale that is sure to please. (497 characters)

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

A good transition beer. Not a bold strong Bell's but a very decent brew, better than a national brand anything. Nice hops like a pale ale. Well malted. Very good after fish. I am a missionary in people dropping white wine altogether, particularly after fish when beer is an ancient companion. (292 characters)

Photo of heidelbeerg
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice Amber colored brew with an off white two finger head. Smell is just slighly sweet malt and grassy hops. The taste is so well rounded. Slighly sweet caramel amlt flavor with a perfect hop zing to balance it out. Delicious beer. I could drink these all day. (265 characters)

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

Pours a medium hazy amber with a small tan head that falls quickly and leaves some spotty lace.

Aroma is caramel malt lightly sweet and inviting with a touch of grassy hops mixed with some earthy yeast notes.

Taste is lightly sweet caramel malt nice amount of carbonation, finishes with a linger grassy flavor with a lingering touch of bitterness. After adding goodies from the bottom of my bottle the flavor gets better some earthy yeast tone mingle with the grass to improve the flavor.

Mouthfeel is right about medium nice malty body.

Drinkability is good also a decent amber ale, don't know if I would call it the flagship of Bell's but still good enough for repeat buying. (689 characters)

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