1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

2,545 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,545
Reviews: 873
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 12.27%
Wants: 104
Gots: 193 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-12-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bell's Amber Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,545 | Reviews: 873 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ccrida
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Schell's shaker pint, Bell's Amber is amber with an egg-shell head leaving clingy lace.

Smell is sweet, a little citrus hops.

Taste is similar, a really nice sweet malt base here, with just enough fruity hops to provide depth, but not bitter, with a clean, quick finish. I consider Amber Ales to be a bit of a benchmark of a (US) brewers ability, and Bell's is really showing off their ability here.

Mouthfeel is pretty well carbonated, medium light bodied.

Drinkability is high, this is a really tasty Amber Ale, just sweet enough to satisfy but not get cloying, the citrus note of the hops keeps it interesting, very well made. I'll have another!

Photo of nota
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
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.

Photo of Spica66
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have been drinking this beer since the only way to buy it was to bring your own growler to Larry at the window in the old warehouse. I grew up in Kalamazoo, MI, and it was a happy day for me when I could legally make that stop! The beer has always had a fresh amber taste, medium body and hops, and medium mouthfeel. Never heavy or light, a good, all-round example of amber ale. I used yeast from some of the first brewery bottles that you could buy to brew my first amber ale.

Photo of TheBierBand
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on-tap at Dewey's Pizza. It arrived at my table in a pint glass with a scant 1/4" of left-over head that quickly diminished to a thin cap. The color is clear and medium/dark yellow.

The nose is not readily apparent... just some slight toasted malt.

Taste: This is one SOLID AMBER. Malt sweetness, a little buttery smoothness and a tiny hop bitterness at the end that makes for a well-balanced brew.

MF: Medium carbonation, buttery smooth, nice aftertaste.

Drinkability: Hech yeah!... have these all day long.... this one is all about sessionable goodness.

Photo of Shovelbum
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
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.

Photo of isualum12
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ok my second bells ever. I got it in a little package and was like a kid in a candy store.

This beer looked amazing when I poured it into a clear pint. It glowed red Cooper with a thick finger high head that ran away quickly to a white lace

The smell was good. Not to strong or over powering.

Taste was a little sweet with a follow up of light bitters. I think there is a very mild hint of raw honey in this beer. It left me wondering how it's taste would change as it was paired with spicy foods. My guess is amazing.

Feel was alright. It has some carbonization rolling in and sits on the tip of your tonge.

Over all I am impressed. This beer explained to me the rave about bells. Honestly I had to question it before this beer. Well done.

Photo of Opethsprite
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
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 overkill...ie Dogfish 90 IPA), the beer becomes honey-sweet and well-rounded. This is a beautifully crafted beer!!!

Photo of malcontent
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Hazy, light amber body with lots of visible yeast in suspension. Head comes on strong but fades all too quickly.

Big amber malt nose laced with an orange peel hop scent. Biscuit notes linger. A fine aroma profile for the style.

Biscuity right up front and back-loaded with citrus hops. Outstanding balance of soft brown sugar-sweet malt with a crisp, controlled finishing bitterness.

A touch over-carbonated although thinking back to the head I'm wondering if I should have poured harder. The body is full but never heavy. This has been, and in my mind still is, one of the reasons this style exists. An often overdone, underwhelming beer that is taken to new heights here. Sessionable in every way and a Midwestern classic.

Photo of Mitchster
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
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.

Photo of snaotheus
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a really good amber. It's not overly sweet, it's not overly bitter. It's extremely well balanced.

Very nice looking beer. Deep amber color, thin film of beige head, light lacing, looks like some sort of sediment suspended. Thick in the mouth. Smells slightly earthy and sweet. I now wish I had bought more than a six pack.

Photo of alexgash
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm beginning to think that Bell's beers were made for me. The amber ale appears to be their flagship beer, much like Fat Tire is New Belgium's. Both being amber ales, I can safely say that Bell's kicks Fat Tire's Fat Ass. No offense New Belgium.
Cloudy orange-tinged amber with a pillowy soft white head. Smells of sweet graham crackers, with a gentle hop backing. The taste reminds me of homemade cookie dough and caramel rolls. Very malty and yeasty. Medium bodied, low carbonation. Some hop presence (just enough to balance out the bakery sweetness). One of the best ambers I've ever had.

Photo of popery
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A thank you to deliriumfest for our recent trade (the first of about 30) which gave me the opportunity to try this beer. Bell's Amber is a quite good amber with a fresh full feel and a balanced earthy flavor. The color is spot on for an amber, whatever that means, but the head dissipated quickly and left little lacing in my DFH glass. The smell is bready and full of caramel malt. The flavor strikes an interesting balance between spicy, earthy hops and doughy, sweet malt. The feel is thicker and fuller than expected. It's rather chewy. There's some apple or raisin note in the background. Bell's Amber Ale is an enjoyable, sessionable and solid beer. Quick edit: I'm actually going to bump my taste score up a half notch. The malt flavor is really growing on me.

Photo of Jason
4.38/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: On tap, served in a 16 oz. American tumbler glass.

Appearance: Cloudy orange hued amber with a well dispositioned tiny bubbled lace leaving several thick rings on the glass.

Smell: Malty sweet with overtones of fresh toasted grain and a subtle flowery oily hop holding a citric nose.

Taste: Well formed malt sweetness within the medium body, moderate crispness from the carbonation. Faint buttery diacetyl, toffee and toasted malt make for the base of this brew, a tamed yet multi-layered hop runs through a pungent bitterness, an oily flower and a citric flavour towards the end. After taste lingers long and hard with more toasted and citric flavours.

Notes: This is an awesome example of the American Amber Ale Style, robust and very flavourful yet still not a problem having a few or even making it a session beer. Right up there with Full Sail or Anderson Valley in greatness in this style.

Photo of Tinfoilrcr
4.38/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first Bell's beer and let me just say that I will definitely be trying more of their beers, as this was a fantastic beer.

It has a beautiful red copper color with a good head that lasts throughout the life of the pint.

The beer has a wonderful balance of sweet citrus flavors and a good dose of hops for a very refreshing finish. Neither the sweet malts nor the hops are over-powering.

This is by far one of the best ambers I have had, and the only disappointing part was when it was finished.

Photo of aepb1
4.38/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A re-review after some palate-training and education!

A- Cloudy burnt orange body with a white had and nice lacing present

S- Sweet malty, floral citrus hops

T- Roasty malt moving into the nice citrus hops in the finish. There's a nice full buttery malt under it all

M- Medium, crisp finish with hops and carbonation

D- Very easy to drink and great example of style!

Photo of Proteus93
4.38/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A murky gold, quite a bit of sediment got poured in there. Decent retention on the off-white head.

S: Soft and sweet, light toasted malts, a bit of a floral scent.

T + M: A mild bodied drink, light & sweet toasted malts. A little bit of both a buttery feel and taste in there together, along with floral hops towards the end. Barely bitter, but just enough so to round it all out. Excellent.

D: I would have another of these in a heartbeat. There's not much more that could be done to make this any easier for me to drink.

Photo of scottyshades
4.38/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a light brown/caramel color with a 4 finger head that leaves a decent lace

S: Sweet nose, mostly roasted malts and caramel...overall a sweet smelling beer. Nice and piney hops.

T: Sweet; caramel, roasted malts, hops, and possibly molasses

MF: Clean, not dry, not bitter, good aftertaste, goes down easily

D: Superb, very drinkable, definitely my new favorite session beer during the summer

Photo of ninaturner
4.38/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Caramel color, somewhat chalky, unfiltered.

Aroma: You can smell a hint of caramel malt and some yeast, but there is little aroma.

Taste: You can definitely taste the caramel malt in the beer. I love the kick of bittering hops at the end. Probably my favorite part of the beer.

Mouthfeel: Great mouthfeel; somewhat thick but not too thick--similar to other amber ales.

Drinkability: Mouthfeel and overall flavor make this beer highly drinkable.

Overall: You can't go wrong with this Bell's Amber Ale!

Photo of NODAK
4.38/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Smells of caramael, malty sweetness and a bit of toastiness. Pretty rich...I was surprised.

Floral hop crispness comes across the tongue initially with a bit of bitterness, but not all that much. What follows is a good dose of caramel maltiness and toasty flavors in the middle to finish of the beer. Reminds me of a German crystal malt here. There's a little residual bitterness that lingers a bit after the swallow along with the toastiness that is pretty prevalent.

It's actually a very tasty beer that does an excellent job of balancing the right amount of hops with malt. Awesome!

Photo of TippedMixology
4.38/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

How happy was I to find this beer right across the street from my apartment!

Appearance - Unfiltered, so don't mind the little pieces floating around in your glass. Light amber, honey, blond. Light, sticky head.

Smell - Floral and sweet. Hints of citrus, floral herbs, and floral hops. Light and not overpowering.

Taste - Pretty similar to the smell, light, but crisp and refreshing. Lightly sweet with a really nice balance between malt and hop at the end--not overpoweringly hoppy. One of the best ambers I've had.

Mouthfeel - I'm always left wanting a little bit more. Not overpowering on the alcohol, but coats your mouth on the aftertaste with an extremely pleasant malty note.

Overall, this is my first beer from Bell's, but I'm keeping my eyes open from anything they're offering from now on. They have a fan in me!

-Adam from Tipped Mixology

Photo of JEdmund
4.38/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance
Cloudy, apricot; minimal white head; more orange than amber

Smell
Fruity, sweet, and floral, reminiscent of pear, peach, berry, and caramel

Taste & Mouthfeel
Nicely balanced with an initial crisp bitterness, followed by a light bready sweetness and fruity notes. Mouthfeel seems perfect--not water-thin nor too heavy for the style. The finish is very clean, leaving me wanting more and making for an easy-drinking ale.

Overall
Bell's Amber Ale is a good session beer, as it manages to stay drinkable while packing in a lot flavor.

Photo of bahumutx
4.38/5  rDev +14.4%
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!!!

Photo of LauraAlberts
4.38/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Cloudy Amber color with night fingers worth of head

Smell: Not too much - might need to warm up. Mild hops, mild citrus, very floral notes. Very nice.

Taste: Honey, Brown Sugar, Hops, Barley - Very nice long tasting profile.

Mouthfeel: Nice soft tannins, this beer is light and refreshing - but not watery.

Drinkability: Session. I love this new Bells beer we're getting here in SC.

Photo of Slatetank
4.38/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a Boddington's hourglass shaped ale glass, served cold.

A - The appearance of Bell's flagship ale left something to be desired at first, perhaps due to my vigorous pour which produced a three finger head that gradually relaxed leaving plenty of lace. Suspended floating matter most likely yeast was evident in the golden amber liquid.

S - A delightful smell of honey like malt, faint berries, and tinges of woody hops mask a slightly estery ale yeast scent.

M - Medium body w/ adequate, but not overpowering carbonation. A sweet but light dryness leads to a crisp smooth finish.

T - Nice malt flavors are saddled by slightly citric hops at the initial taste. Pleasant nuttiness leaves a clean taste of pale malt and faint ginger spiciness and sweet wheat notes. More of an earthy flavor emerges as it warms.

D - Surprisingly drinkable, great example of the style. A beautifully balanced amber ale with subltle hops and a clean finish. Most definitely something you may want to session in my opinion.

Photo of budgood1
4.38/5  rDev +14.4%
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.

Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 2,545 ratings.