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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
86
very good

2,574 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,574
Reviews: 879
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 12.01%
Wants: 108
Gots: 223 | FT: 0
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

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,574 | Reviews: 879 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of abcsofbeer
4.27/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass that allows you to see the unfiltered nature of this ale. The color is a cloudy, light amber that is topped off with an off-white two finger head.

The aroma is nice, sweet with a faint hoppy smell. I detect some small pepper aroma and also citrus orange. The taste is very good, well blended malts and hops. The hops come into play at the tail end but are well received. The flavor also has a little pepper kick to it. The MF is medium bodied and very flavorful. Very good.

Photo of JamesS
4.27/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice copper color with some good head and nice lacing, and a fair bit of lacing. Good sweet scent, hints of rice, sugar, and caramal, along with a great tart aroma; the scent reminds me more of an Irish red than an American red. The taste, though, is more American; though there is a bit of Irish tart, it's mostly a great blend of malts and hops, sweet at first with a nice hit of bitterness as you finish each drink. Gets better with each taste. Goes down very smooth, if a bit overcarbonated. Excellent beer.

Photo of cb500rider
4.27/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Being from Kalamazoo, where Bell's was originally made before moving five miles down the road to Comstock, I must admit I am a bit biased in my opinion of Bell's beers. However, they didn't brew their first batch until two years after I left home to become one of Uncle Sam's Misguided Children, so, my bias is purely geographical.

I discovered bells about ten years ago when I was visiting home. Being a fan of darker fare, I went to the Bell's Gastro Pub in Downtown, site of the original brewery, and had several beers including Kalamazoo Stout, Expedition stout, and the Best Brown. All of which are excellent.

Not until returning to my humid existence in rainy.. err.. sunny Florida, did I try Bell's original beer, the Amber Ale. WOW! this is an excellent beer. Hoppy, sweet and bitter, with unfiltered sediment in the pour. A tall, yet light head at pour. Yet not too heavy for the Florida heat. I love this stuff.

Photo of Vancer
4.27/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Now, this was just a nice and solid offering, again, from Bells. Intriguing pour – hazy amber / orange with a thing ivory head. Notes of malts with orange and spice in the aroma, which carried over to the quaff quite nicely. Luv a taste of the fall spices in an amber ale. A little cinnamon goes a long way, but the subtle hint was perfect.

Medium to full bodied for an amber, this was just an excellent drinker for one or many

Photo of ncvbc
4.27/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky amber in color, medium head with spots of lacing. Smell is good and balanced but all I think is buttered bread and toasted caramel. Some grain and light hops. Very delicate and balanced taste. A brief hint of bitterness up front but this is more of a malted amber. Toasted bread and light grain with some sweetness. Good earthy, light citrus hops. Smooth, lightly crisp but almost doughy mouthfeel. Carbonation level keeps it from becoming creamy or full. The hops keep this brew in check but malt flavor is the winner. Very drinkable, session amber. A vacation from the hopped up trend of ambers that seems to be going on, I like it.

Photo of RunForYourBeer
4.27/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from batch 9781.

A: Pours an orange color with very little head.

S: Nearly all caramel malt on this one.

T: Starts out with lots of caramel malt with hints bready malt. Finish with some light citrus hops.

M: Medium with the right amount of carbonation.

D: High.

This is a good beer. It's highly drinkable and easy to get in my area. Would make a great session beer or gateway to craft beer.

Photo of ZAP
4.27/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An exciting amber ale....a nice spicy hop nose...also some malt sweetness on the nostrils....orangish in color...cloudy...chunks of stuff flloating all over...beautifull!! The taste is definitely dominated by the malt sweetness...but it is more of a Belgian style hard candy sugar type sweetness...the herbal hops lend a nice balance...I've had many "amber ales"...most are OK but not real interesting...this one is veritable adventure in tasting...another dandy from one of the top breweries in the U.S.

Photo of SSBrennan
4.27/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dull copper color with a thick slow falling tan head.

The smell is rich with roasted grain and only hints of hops. Very clean odor with the right sweetness.

The taste is initially dominated by smooth roasted malt which gives way to earthy herbal hops with a slightly acidic finish.

The mouthfeel is smooth and rich with a clean finish.

Extremely drinkable and refreshing.

Photo of canoehornpoint
4.28/5  rDev +11.7%
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.

Photo of joshtheford
4.28/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of ultralarry2006
4.28/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Left a one finger head with decent retention, and not much lacing at all. Body was a cloudy orange amber.

Smell - toasty, bicuity, and above all, caramelly malt.

Taste - like the smell, and pretty straightforward, caramel, with slight milkiness to it. Toast, biscuits, also. Some slight grass and herbs.

Mouthfeel - full, smooth, low carbonation, some chewiness.

Drinkability - this is very good and goes down well. Very sessionable.

Photo of drdiesel9483
4.29/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

look - great golden amber color with a good white head and lacing
Smell - malty with a cherry smell
Taste - Malty slightly toast taste with a some cherry and citrus in there
Feel - Medium body with a creamy feel and a crisp after taste and medium carbonation.
Overall - By bar the is one of the best amber ales.

Photo of nycjag
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another yummy beer from my Bell's mixpack. Brazenly purchased in Harrisburg, PA, and stealthily brought back across the New York State border via an underground tunnel that was carved out under the Hudson River at least a half century ago. Maybe drinking Bell's in New York City makes it taste better because we vociferously aren't supposed to have it. If so, who cares? This is a great beer.

It pours a nice deep amber (duh) with about a one-inch head. The aroma hops aren't too far forward and the maltiness you get from quaffing this beer is also present in the aroma.

This is an Amber you could drink gallons of and not get tired of it. Some nice biscuity flavors going on here.

Photo of CTague
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%

Photo of DerekP
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bell's Amber Ale is unquestionably amber colored, with sweet malts that show in the taste and smell. I smell quality hops as well. What I really enjoy about this beer is the obvious lack of filtration. One look in your mug or pint glass and you'll see the aftereffects of mashing hops and barley; the little guys that find their way through a strainer, and into a carboy for the joy of fermentation.

I got about a quarter to half-inch thick head that seems to be planning to stick around for good, or at least until I'm through with the beer. The bottle shows the ABV as 5.8%; not too bad, definitely sessionable. There's a little over a hint of an alcoholic taste coming through, nothing to fuss about. The body is a solid medium, appropriate to the degree of sweet malts. Every bar in the country should have this brew available. I really stand behind this beer, not just in defense of microbreweries and the culture of better beer, but for the fact that it is extremely drinkable, and could definitely be appreciated by the most close-minded, light beer aficionado. Bell's Amber Ale should serve as the gateway brew to better beer for the lowest common denominator of beer drinkers.

Photo of beveritt
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a standard pint glass. I picked up this beer as part of a 12 pack Midwest Sample Pack. No date visible, but it was stored in a cooler and most of the beer in the store was dust free.

Appearance: Nice copper color with a steady stream of bubbles coming up form the bottom of the glass. Initially it has a one finger head comprised of pretty large bubbles. The head disappeared quickly and left no lacing.

Smell: Sweet, malty smell. It is almost like sticking your nose in a bag of fresh cracked grains before you dump them into your boiling kettle. Also noticeable is a citrusy smell from the hops.

Taste: Sweet and malty upfront, with a nice level of bitter aftertaste. Hints of caramel.

Moutfeel: The carbonation level is good, a decent amount stuck around, even after a heavy pour.

Drinkability: Not too heavy, I could drink this all day.

Photo of Brodie_Lewis
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%

Photo of Brent
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Coppery amber. A fair bit of flaky white sediment decanted, most of which stayed suspended, but the larger chunks sank to the bottom of the glass. Malty aroma, flavor is very bright and lively. Malty, tangy and moderately hoppy, all at the same time. Well crafted. A very nice example of the style - lots of personality without going over the top.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Amber with a nice head and plenty of lacing.

S: Sweet amber malts with a tiny bit of hop presence.

T: Slightly buttery amber malt base. Very creamy.

M: Like the taste, excellent creaminess to this one. Most of the ambers I have had fall well into the category of thin or creamy, and this is definitely of the latter category. Utterly brilliant.

D: Excellent year-round offering from Bell's--for the most part, Larry and the crew can simply do no wrong.

Photo of Opethsprite
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
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
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A dark amber with huge chunks of particles flowing throughout. Head is initially strong but quickly dissipates, but allows for nice lacing while drinking. Sweet malts are present in the nose as well as in the mouth. Nice mix between sweet malts and bitter hoppyness. At 5.8% ABV its very drinkable, and a great year round session beer for people who are lucky enough to locate Bell's beer easily.

Photo of chaduvel
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
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.

Photo of ccrida
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
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
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
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
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
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.

Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 2,574 ratings.