Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

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

910 Reviews
THE BROS
97
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 910
Hads: 2,868
Avg: 3.85
pDev: 11.95%
Wants: 136
Gots: 419 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States | website

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: 910 | Hads: 2,868
Photo of stoutman
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
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 +6.5%
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 -8.1%
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 +20.8%
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 -2.1%
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 +11.7%
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 +7.8%
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 +5.2%
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

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.32/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12 ouncer, long neck brown bottle. The single obverse main label is a dark brown colored label that has a profile of what looks like a Heron. No freshness date or strength listed.

Appearance: What the Furrrccc…..!?? This is sludge! Hold on, no its not! Well, it is very murky. Indeed, it is a deeply impenetrable filthy amber with hints of fluorescent rusty oranges. The dirty white head is good at first, but soon breaks down into a scum like covering. Not your usual appearance – maybe off-putting to some. Different, but certainly not classic Amber Ale looks.

Nose: The nose is very inviting, deep fruity hoppy malts mixed with some caramel. Nice.

Taste: The tastes are very good, much better than the appearance - thankfully. Lovely honey malts introduce an earthy malt feel that has a caramel finish. Some yeasty dough & bread feel in the dying end.

Mouthfeel: The body is rather average I think, but I like the buttery feel that the beer leaves towards the end of the experience. Dry, rather malty end.

Drinkability: Not bad, but by no means a favorite at all. I have had much better Amber Ales.

Overall: Not to my tastes I’m afraid. The reverse label states “You hold in your hand the Flagship of the Bell’s Family, Amber Ale…” It’s a reasonably good beer for sure, and I like Bell’s beers, well, whenever I get the chance to try them. BUT, I have some more Bell’s in the Fridge that I have yet to try (Thanks & Kudos to FM), AND, I have a funny feeling that I may dispel the Bell’s claim very shortly.

Quite simply – Murky, enjoyable but not yer usual Amber Ale.

Another “Tip of the Hat, Sir” to FM for getting to try this one.

 1,689 characters

Photo of ManekiNeko
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

served chilled in a pint glass.

Appearance: Hazy amber colored liquid with a smallish off-white head. No retention or lacing.

Smell: Bready, sweet pale malt aroma, vaguely buttery. Quite interesting. No real hop presence on the nose.

Taste: Very clear cut pale malt flavor. Bready and sweet with some nice buttery tastes as well. Faint hops on the finish. Hefe-like clove in the background.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, yet light in body. Very smooth and quite refreshing.

Drinkability: I can see why this is their flagship beer. Probably one of the best sane session beers I've had, second only to Oberon. If you need to show someone what pale malt tastes like, begin with this.

 684 characters

Photo of brakspear
3.47/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a flat clear orangish body with a faint head, moderate carbonation. The aroma is caramel malts and hoppy spice with a decent balance between the two. The flavors are also well balanced, malty sweetness followed by a moderate hop bite, a bit a green apples and sourness in the finish. The body and mouthfeel seems appropriate for the style. A decent amber ale, but not impressively so.

 390 characters

Photo of budgood1
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours out a semi-cloudy copper colour with a rather paltry head that dies down to spider web of lace. delicious aroma of fruit; sweet maltiness balances the nose. tastes predominantly of the juicy hop load...some yeast...unlike any amber i've had before....impeccably smooth and full bodied. hop profile stays mostly fruity and citrusy, with hints of pine and spruce. any overriding bitterness is washed away by a malt base worthy of praise. finish is slightly bitter with notes of alcohol. this is a remarkable amber ale...full of hop flavour without the residual harsh bitterness. slides down without effort. a sessionable ale that would appeal to all.

cheers to feloniousmonk for the sample.

 697 characters

Photo of ngandhi
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Along the lines of a malty pale ale, Bell's Amber is a fantastic balance of malt and hops. Cascadey, but milder like Willamette, the hop aroma and tongue are fleetingly bitter, floral, but without the perfume of Two Hearted. This must have been designed to be a session ale and, indeed, it is. I had a pitcher to myself with Mexican food at Fiesta Cafe in Champaign, IL (only 8.00).

Highly recommended, this is certainly unlike any bock. The opening is malty and sweet with a hop bitterness and the finish lightly crisp, bitter, and still malty. Toffee. Consistent and entirely enjoyable. This might be my favorite Bell's brew.

Drink it.

Relax, relax.
ng

 665 characters

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

Poured to a nice hazy amber, orange in color with a nice white head. I was quite impressed with the head retention and the belgian lace that seemed to cling all the way to the bottom.
A nice balance of hops and malt make this beer easy to drink that finished with a nice aftertaste. Can't wait to try the other brews from this brewery.

 337 characters

Photo of dmarch
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The lable states that this is the flagship beer of Bell's and it's easy to see why. Nothing fancy. It just tastes like a beer, only a good beer making it an excellent cross-over beer for the people looking to convert swill-drinkers. It has an orange-amber color with a head that slowly dissappears. There are flavors of toasted malt and very slight hops. It's mostly the maltly sweetness that dominates here.

 408 characters

Photo of UncleJimbo
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz, brown longneck bottle, capped.

This amber ale poured a hazy, amber-orange color with white foam that settled but clung to the sides of the glass a bit. The smell was malty with aromas of caramel and biscuit and hops. The taste was sharp up front but with a malty, very hoppy finish. In between were flavors of oak and caramel malt. The mouthfeel was crisp and initially slightly sweet but dry and hoppy at the finish. The body was medium with good carbonation. This was a nice amber ale with lots of flavor.


Thanks to feloniousmonk for this one.

 560 characters

Photo of SheepNutz
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a pint glass. It pours a slightly hazy golden-amber color with 3 fingers of head. There is lots of sticky lace left on the glass. The smell has bits of flowers and pine to it, with a little fruityness. The taste is fairly malty with some caramel, apples, and a hint of alcohol. There is a bit of hops to the finish that balances it all out. The body is just a little above average, a little thin. The drinkability isn't that bad though. Not a bad session brew.

 485 characters

Photo of putnam
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice, roasted hop-scented beer. Suggestive of browned pine needles and grilled nuts. Old-time Bell's aromas.
The liquid is a deep tawny red/orange and sports a wild pattern of bubbles.
Now, hours later, the beer is warm and less fizzy, but not a bad drink at all. A wild, crabapple tartness strips away the generous, packed layer of baked cake flavor just enough to reveal a slight aluminum nuance. A solid effort.

 416 characters

Photo of far333
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Now appearing in a kitchen near me, thanks to Brent. Hazy, opaque apricot color with a thick orangey-beige head that settles in for the duration. Interesting aroma of sweet malt with a distinctive banana smell. Some hints of candy as well. Very thick and creamy mouthfeel, with big fat rings of lace stuck to the inside of the glass. Flavor is full, but balanced with malt, a bit of hops, and lingering pine and orange peel. Excellent beer, with lots of character for an amber.

 477 characters

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

The flagship of Bells,pours a medium amber color with a nice medium sticky head,the aroma is is sweet with a good hop presence.A very nice balanced ale starts out malty sweet and fruity with a nice hop bitterness in the finish.A personal favorite and easy to find when Iam home in Michigan.

 290 characters

Photo of jcalabre
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: This pours a hazy amber/orange color w/ a 1 inch white head that slowly disappears.
Nose: I get a little bit of green apple in the nose along with some hops
Flavor: it's a very hoppy amber but it's offset by sweetness, too. This makes it quite enjoyable. The mouthfeel is crisp & clean.

 300 characters

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

Brewed with pale, caramel, munich malts, and a "mélange of American hops".

OG=1.056, 6.0% ABV.

Brilliantly clear with a careful decant, honey-colored amber with copper accents, forming a sticky white head with very good retention and excellent lacing. Carbonation is moderate. Aroma has a nice touch of sweet butterscotch, clover honey, toasted grains, and mild hops. Mouthfeel is slick with a medium body and moderately bright acidity from the carbonation. Taste begins with smooth, well-balanced earthy hybrid American/English hops followed by caramel, a backbone of honey sweetness and a lightly astringent tea-like toasted malt body. The finish has notes of grainy bitterness and is lightly dry with more butterscotch and tannins.

A very nice, solid amber ale. Always a pleasure to drink some Bell's.

 815 characters

Photo of Realale
2.76/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Slightly cloudy copper/orange in color. White fine fluffy head settles to a complete cap and leaves nice lace.

Nose is faint bready malt over a chalky-mineral base. Slight hint of fruit, and a touch of both yeastiness and caramel. Quite subdued.

Sweet palate impression, initially, then a bit of bready malt. No hop flavor, but a significant mineral component - chalky again. Some bitterness on the finish, but its quite short.

Mouthfeel would be helped by a bit higher level of carbonation - it might give this one some personality. No real faults, other than not being particularly interesting or well-balanced.

Purchased at the Brewery's General Store on July 3, 2003.

 683 characters

Photo of hotstuff
4.4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I had this beer on tap at Bell's and I really, really enjoyed drinking it. In fact, this is a beer that I would drink all night at a bar or party. In fact, one just wasn't enough as it went down very smoothly and I just had to have more and more and more. It ended up being a fun night at Bell's!

 296 characters

Photo of Tballz420
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ive had this beer a couple times and am quite impressed with it. Its a nice amber colored drink, good amound of lace left on the glass. Its got a nice sweet taste to it, along with roasted flavors. Also a hint of citrus is detected. This is one that i would recommend.

 268 characters

Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 910 ratings.