Dismiss Notice
Hello, is it beer you're looking for?

Learn more about beer. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for as low as 68% off the single issue price.

Subscribe now →

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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

902 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 902
Hads: 2,801
Avg: 3.84
pDev: 21.09%
Wants: 125
Gots: 385 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bell's Amber Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 902 | Hads: 2,801
Photo of arizcards
3.86/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got to sample this nice little amber on our Michigan getaway last week. Have heard nice things about the Kazoo Brewing Company and was pleasantly surprised to find it available in the boonies of Northern Michigan.
Nice looking beer, an orange-amber in color that poured a nice 2 inch head which left a nice lacing. The unfiltered nature of this brew lends to the interesting appearance. Nose is of sweet caramel malts. The taste was well balanced, starting with those sweet malts with a very light hop finish-a nice smooth taste. Mouthfeel was thin and gentle on the palate. This brew's drinkability was very nice, a good compliment to watching life go by on Deer Lake at Boyne Mountain.

 688 characters

Photo of marcellaproust
3.47/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Medium body, medium dark amber color. Head quickly dissipates to a rim. Smells of subtle malt and caramel. Lots of carbonation. The malt and nuttiness is roundly balanced by hops with a quick bitter finale. A great amercian amber, though less flavor than I expected from Bell's.

 278 characters

Photo of GreenWBush
2.28/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The classically unfiltered flagship beer from Michigan - Bell's Amber Ale. One that seems to be divisive amongst die-hard Larry Bell fanatics and casual K-zoo stout and Two-Hearted quaffers. I basically grew up on this shit so it tasted good then, but now i've more than given up on it.

At first the beer plops out with fecal earthy tones. The head swirls up to the top of the imperial pint with a confrontational hello. All of the sudden I find myself coaxing anything from the head - and this is the beer cleanest of all my glasses.

There's a bit of that worn-out cheese-like hop character on the nose of this beer. One would assume this was an improperly handled sample. Au Contraire! This came straight from a recently delivered case. There is a nice yeasty malt character that pulls together as room temperature encroaches. There is something about the look and smell of the beer that evokes chewiness.

There is a dulled hop bite in this beer floating atop of a cheeseburger-y blend of heavy yeasts and clunky sweet malts. The beer is thick and bold, one both a macro drinker and a blind taste-tester could harmonize negatively about. There's also a weird hybrid brownie / locker room thing going on somewhere in there.

Uh, i'm in the Two-Hearted camp as always ... but maybe being nursed with this beer forever altered the place in my heart.

 1,359 characters

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

Golden tangerine with quite a bit of suspended yeast. The head is off-white, soft yet dense, falls to a barely covering film and doesn't leave a whole lot of lace. The nose is a combination of sweet, biscuity malt and earthy hops.

The flavor is of bready caramel malt with a solid undercurrent of earthy-spicy hops. It's also a little fruity; spiced apple perhaps. The finish is long, bitterish and dry. Solid mouthfeel for the style.

Amber Ale is another tasty beer from Bell's. Although nowhere close to their best effort, its balance ensures that it will be enjoyed by malt lovers and by hop lovers alike. A good session ale that I wish was available in the Hawkeye state.

 681 characters

Photo of canoehornpoint
4.28/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Very nice. Poured a nice light amber with little head but very clingy. Light malty aroma. Light creamy malty swee taste with a hint of black currant, nicely offset with finishing hops. Surprisingly light mouthfeel considering the taste. Finishes a bit fuller than the start. Even though I prefer a hoppier beer, I could enjoy many more of these. Very well done.

 361 characters

Photo of soper2000
3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Notes from a Bell's tasting:
Pours a bland amber color with a minimal head. Ok looking beer just not my style. Smell has hints of caramel and malt with a little bit of hops sneaking up. This beer doesn't have the strongest flavor. It has a decent malt backbone but I usually like my beers with more of a kick. Drinkability seems to be high as this is not a very complicated beer. I guess i just haven't learned to appreciate ambers yet. This is not a bad brew i just don't think i will be getting much more of it.

 514 characters

Photo of BarrelBrother
4.6/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The first time I tired this beer it caught my attention. Bell says it's a "cask conditioned" amber which was unusual and demanded an additional tasting session! I was surprised with the cloudiness of the brew, almost weiss cloudy, but the taste! Slightly sweet initally with carmel overtones and a subtle spicy flavor that I really enjoyed. Hmmm, nice aroma, with a hint of fruitiness. Nice creamy head that made the experience even better. The aftertaste was clean, refreshing with a slight bitter finish. Mouthfeel is smooth and ejnoyable. I have moved this brew high on my list to a regular staple at the house for get togethers and have gotten many outstanding comments about this beer from guests. As the old TV commercial used to say, "Try it, you'll like it!" I totally agree!

 783 characters

Photo of TastyTaste
4.48/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Deep hazy copper color, creamy white head that leaves a layer on the top all the way down. Lots of sticking to the glass. Has a nice fruit and hops aroma. Taste is of carmel and hops. The bitterness is there, but not overpowering. I could difinitely session this one. Very smooth and drinkable.

 294 characters

Photo of kwalters
3.64/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This isn't a brew I'd attach the word "Flagship" to, but nonetheless it's a nice beer. Perhaps it's Bell's most widely appealing beer able to satisfy both the macro and micro crowd?

This particular bottle poured a true coppery red color with a nice 1-inch off-white head. I immediately noticed a bit of yeast in the head. After examining the beer beneath it, I noticed a lot of yeast particles in suspension. I guess I didn't pour it delicately enough.

The scent and flavor are quite a mixed bag. I can pick out some yeasty bread flavor, some sugary sweetness and some apple sourness. And then there's a hop finish. There's a lot going on and none of it seems to blend together all that well. I enjoy it, but Amber Ale isn't what I thought it would be.

 758 characters

Photo of Reneejane
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer was poured with a thick off white head. The color was a light amber color that was slightly cloudy. The aroma was of a citrusy/fruity hop. The taste was yeasty with an estery taste with a bit of a fruity hop kick. It finished with a slightly sweet, yet slightly bitter flavor. But it leaves the mouth quite clean.

 322 characters

Photo of granger10
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I must say that I am amazed with this brew. What took me so long to try it? On the back it says it's Bell's "flagship beer" and I can see why. This beer pours a vibrant flourescent amber color with a medium sized white head. Good amount of lacing as well. Smell is caramel sweet and a twinge of bitterness as well. The body on this beer is thick, very thick for an amber yet quite smooth as well. Caramel is the main sweetness but I detect some honey in there as well. Citric qualities that mostly resemble tangerines are very noticeable. Slight buttery diacetyl and a yeasty spiciness come through. Hops aren't bitter but provide a solid base and background holding the body and other flavors together. The hops also seem citric and maybe floral as well. This is a real beer drinkers amber, probably too much flavor and too thick for most non-craft drinkers. Even though it is thick I feel that I could drink this as a session brew with ease. Well done!

 954 characters

Photo of jsolack
3.92/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Amber (surprise) and misty. Nice head with mild lacing.

Sweet molasses with orange accents. Mildly spicy smell.

Hoppy sweet with slight bitter finish Wheat flavor is mixed nicely with slight orange flavor. Overall a nice complex flavor.

A crisp feel in the mouth. Light but not watery.

A very drinkable beer with a nice even flavor. Definitely could have a few more!

 435 characters

Photo of Morris729
4.07/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours golden amber in color with a bit of an orange tint with an off-white head that fades into a pretty solid lace. Nose is sweet toasted malts and grains with some underlying notes of butterscotch. Medium in body with a bit of a buttery texture towards the end. Taste begins with notes of buttery toffee and diacetyl followed by some doughy and bready flavors with just the right amount of hop bitterness to balance everything out. A pretty nice American amber ale and certainly a beer that would make for a wonderful session brew. Thanks to feloniousmonk for the sample!

 573 characters

Photo of JackTheRipper
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy, slightly coppery color. Thin head, not too much lacing.

Smell: Citrus, honey, a bit of a bread-like smell.

Taste: Starts off with a lemony, honey sweetness, hops are nicely balanced in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Full, but not to the point of chewy full. Carbonation is very nice. Alcohol is well masked. Finishes a bit on the dry side without any big aftertastes.

Drinkability: Another very well crafted beer. I wouldn't hesitate to have another one of these.

 493 characters

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

not what i was expecting. light and hazy. i could see lots of sediment in my glass. very dry taste and very drinkable..head was pretty good looking with lots of tiny white bubbles and large dimples as it fell. stuck to the glass o.k. as it went down but not a whole lot.

as i said taste is very dry and clean do to the hops and very drinkable.

in the end i have to say that it is a very good beer but a little less than i expected. it was like a tame pale ale and i'm not a huge pale ale guy to begin with.

 513 characters

Photo of JustinBathurst
3.6/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice bronze colour. The smell is excellent--a bit of sweet floral, some malt, well-rounded. A yeasty bread loaf scent is also there.

Mouthfeel is average, but not bad. Taste makes up for this.

Subdued sweet start, some orange peel taste, sweet kick without being too overpowering, bitter chocolate-roasted coffee finish. Bitter aftertaste that lingers for a little while. Some hops to make it worthwhile. This would be an excellent session beer, I think. High quality and easy to kick back while still enjoying the taste.

 527 characters

Photo of DrunkMcDermott
3.46/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on premise at KBC. A little cloudy, and the color is a bit lighter than other ambers. A thin head. Good biscuity malt profile. Likeable, but really not quite the thrill I had been led to expect from a Bell's. But what the hey, Kalamazoo seems to be a brewpub heaven, on to another... and another...

 305 characters

Photo of stoutman
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Orange/Bronze color with a very thin and short-lived tan head. Pale and malty, with a slightly hoppy and slightly sweet aroma. Medium-bodied; Slight astringinent flavour with an ever present hoppiness and even the smallest of sweetnesses. Aftertaste definately bittered from the malt and suffers from the Astringent characteristics, but is not bad at all. Overall, this is fairly good for an amber. What kind of water does Bell use?? All his beer has a similar, almost erie, aftertaste.

 486 characters

Photo of beergeek279
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in the 12 oz. bottle. The color is amber, with a nice bubbly white head. The smell is a nice, light hop. The taste is a nice hop bitterness, with a quality dark malt backing. Mouthfeel is smooth. Drinkability-wise, this is a good session beer.

I originally had this beer at the BCCA Canvention, but didn't get around to reviewing it. Now I am, and it's as good as I remember it to be. A quality session beer, and the first of many Bell's I'll be having.

 463 characters

Photo of Beaver13
3.54/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bell's Amber poured a golden amber with lots of big flakey particles, and a nice creamy thick head with nice retention - almost stout-like. The aroma was pretty underwhelming with some slight fruity tones. It was a nice tasting amber with a fruity initial flavor and a nice hoppy finish. Overall, a good drinking amber ale.

 323 characters

Photo of BobLuvBeer
4.65/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Nice heavy amber color. Lots of sediment in glass, which is very appealing. Plenty of carbonation visible. Pours with medium head. Fruity, green apple aroma. Mildly sweet, with a thick/burnt toast combination to the taste. Slightly bitter. Malt over rides hops, but the hops which do come through are pleasantly received. Rest deliciously on the palate. The balance of malts and hops linger and fade away evenly, which entices you to another drink. Finishes with a hint of citrus, with a mix of straw. Overall, one of the most balanced, well tasting brews available.

 566 characters

Photo of Gusler
3.77/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A vaporous orange on the pour with a bubbly and light tan head that is portly in size with a thin curtain of lace. Nose is butterscotch sweet, fresh and quite clean to the senses, the start quite sweet, nice malt profile and the top a light to medium feel. Finish is brisk in its acidity, hops mellow and pleasant with the aftertaste desert dry and long lasting, quite nice Amber Ale, from a “World Class Brewery”.

 416 characters

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

Nice orange/red amber color, sticky head that stays around for the whole beer. Oily hops and malt on the nose. Taste is toasted malt, some sweet malt and touches of oily hop and that unique Bell's flavor...is it some special hops or special malts. I don't know...yet. Very tasty. This is by far the best amber that I've had thus far.

 333 characters

Photo of JohnnyDuvel
4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a very tasty ale. Quite fruity (ala Two Hearted), but not very bitter. If I had access to this, it would be a great quaffer (first time i've used that!). Orangy tint, quite cloudy. Citrus flavors dominate, quite smooth and refreshing. Thanks for the sample, Al.

 269 characters

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

Appearance: Orange tinted glowing amber hazed body with an off white orange cream colored head nice two finger sized head full thick and creamy in appearance, lacing is speckled through out. Aroma: Bready mix of sweet grain and yeast tones along with a very intriguing hop aroma especially for an amber ale earthy tones with a bite of citrus there. Taste: Great malt profile blends well balanced between the doughy sweetness, fuggle hops, and grain driven honey like sweetness with a brown sugar quality about the flavor. Mouthfeel: Sticky in a good way medium to fuller bodied for an amber ale, excellent carbonation nothing to knock gotta give it praise. Drinkability: Challenging amber ale I am definitely impressed by the flavorfulness of this if this is there flagship ale that speaks volumes about Bell's, they make flavorful beer, yum.

 842 characters

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