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

Bell's Amber AleBell's Amber Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

2,062 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2062
Reviews: 842
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 12.01%


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
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Ratings: 2,062 | Reviews: 842 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Shovelbum
Shovelbum

Massachusetts

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2005 23:34:15 | More by Shovelbum
Photo of malcontent
malcontent

Illinois

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2007 04:14:11 | More by malcontent
Photo of snaotheus
snaotheus

Washington

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2009 21:03:23 | More by snaotheus
Photo of popery
popery

California

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.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2009 07:19:10 | More by popery
Photo of isualum12
isualum12

Idaho

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.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2011 02:00:59 | More by isualum12
Photo of Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-12-2002 06:14:19 | More by Jason
Photo of budgood1
budgood1

Minnesota

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.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2003 23:35:34 | More by budgood1
Photo of bahumutx
bahumutx

Michigan

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!!!

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2005 00:07:00 | More by bahumutx
Photo of Slatetank
Slatetank

Pennsylvania

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.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2007 00:15:22 | More by Slatetank
Photo of Proteus93
Proteus93

Virginia

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2008 20:22:34 | More by Proteus93
Photo of scottyshades
scottyshades

Florida

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

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2008 02:40:08 | More by scottyshades
Photo of skrib09
skrib09

Missouri

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

really nice hazy copper/amber color to this beer. nice creamy head.

smells well balanced. a touch of hops with some sweetness from the malts.

tastes great! great balance to this brew. again, a touch of flavor and notes from the hops with the balance from the malts. not overly sweet, just a touch, just enough.

great mouthfeel. a touch of the alcohol towards the back of the palate.

great drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2009 05:30:45 | More by skrib09
Photo of LauraAlberts
LauraAlberts

South Carolina

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.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2009 17:22:02 | More by LauraAlberts
Photo of JEdmund
JEdmund

Kansas

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.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2009 19:47:31 | More by JEdmund
Photo of Tinfoilrcr
Tinfoilrcr

New Jersey

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2010 23:31:43 | More by Tinfoilrcr
Photo of NODAK
NODAK

Tennessee

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!

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2010 03:03:23 | More by NODAK
Photo of aepb1
aepb1

Florida

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!

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2010 17:26:49 | More by aepb1
Photo of ninaturner
ninaturner

Florida

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!

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2012 23:00:48 | More by ninaturner
Photo of AtLagerHeads
AtLagerHeads

Ohio

4.4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Whoa Nellie. This is one great beer. An incredible cloudy orange amber brew covered by heaps of golden tan creamy head. Lovely, really lovely looking beer. Gorgeous lace deposits that won't quit. The nose seems somewhat subdued 'neath the heavy cover of foam, but comes across as bready and yeasty. Looks to be lots of chewy substance in the fluid portion of the beer. Great balance between the grainy sweetness and the bittering hops. Lip-licking taste and a nice medium body that is perfectly matched to the look and taste of this great beer. Man, I'd like to get this on tap. Time to head north to Michigan.

Postscript notes: nose moves to caramel as the beer warms. Lots of cream sediment in the bottom of the glass. Please, go get yourself one of these.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2003 17:46:25 | More by AtLagerHeads
Photo of smerkinb
smerkinb

North Carolina

4.4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes on 4/23/09.

The Bottle label states this is the breweries "flagship" beer and promises a "rich, sweet flavor unlike any other". Let's see...

This is a pretty brew--1 finger loose tan head tops a wonderful burnt orange cloudy body. Remaining collar leaves negligible lacing throughout.

Smells of bready malts a touch of sweet that is coy at first but becomes more dominant. Smell almost syrupy sweet--almost get some coriander characteristics. So far so good, it's got me wanting some.

Sweet malt mixes with light floral hops. There's a moment of caramel that is only a peek-a-boo taste. Not too complex but seems well-balanced. The malts come through grainy and the hops never overwhelm, but instead finish things up nicely--turns a bit "hairspray-ish" after warming.

The mouth is almost poplike. It's tingly, but richer and thicker but never getting to "syrupy". It's definitely quenching as the finishing hops hit just the right note.

Tasty and refreshing-sweet yet quenching and nice overall balance. More? Yes, please. Perfect for a warm spring day!

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2009 01:21:17 | More by smerkinb
Photo of cdizinno
cdizinno

South Carolina

4.4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Poured into a tulip glass from a brown bottle with no best by date.

A: Cloudy dark orange amber with a light tan head. Heavy lacing leaves several thick rings on the glass.

S: Malty sweet with mild citrus hops and grains.

T&M: Medium bodied with moderate crispness from the carbonation. Nice mild malt sweetness. Excellent balance of citrus hop flavor that is not over the top. Taste fades slowly and nicely with toasted and citrus flavors.

I bought a 6-pack for the amazingly low price of $4!!! The taste is really growing on me and each one is getting better. I've had this on tap and it seems better in the bottle, but very similar.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2009 21:58:23 | More by cdizinno
Photo of JordanEllwanger
JordanEllwanger

Michigan

4.4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Beautiful amber color with that coffee cream head. A little cloudy and not very active, maybe less carbonation. Smells sweet and delicious, very ripe. Great tones of malt and hops swim across my taste buds. A superb blend of ale. Feels medium with a tendency towards the lighter side. My most frequent stop on the Bell's lineup.

Cheers.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2009 05:03:08 | More by JordanEllwanger
Photo of Bouleboubier
Bouleboubier

Pennsylvania

4.4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: hazy amber, with a load of dark, speckled sediment in suspension... don't know if this is normal, only having had this out of a bottle 2-3 times now... the haziness has been there each time

S: moderate-to-bold caramel... light bread crust, underlying herbal-earthy hop... background of red, cherry-ish fruit and perhaps a hint of roasted red pepper skin... complex... subtle culture funk?!... overall, very inviting to maltophiles (i.e. me)

T: supremely rich-malty - caramel up front, fruit and understated bitterness midway, toasty and bread-crumby finish... caramel carries and lingers throughout... floral hops in the aftertaste... actually fairly bitter - increasingly as it goes on

M: like a dextrin-rich 'stock ale' a la North Coast Old Stock or Founders Old Curmudgeon... slightly viscous... the alcohol is felt rather than explicitly tasted... long, smooth flow with a little fizzle on the back end... liquid love

O: fantastic, unique amber ale - unique in that it has a ton of the right flavors going on, perhaps crossing into a few style categories with its rich maltiness and body... worth a try - I've witnessed some casual beer drinkers digging this a lot

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2014 17:47:02 | More by Bouleboubier
Photo of hotstuff
hotstuff

Indiana

4.43/5  rDev +15.7%
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!

Serving type: on-tap

07-10-2003 10:10:44 | More by hotstuff
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle served cold, right out of the fridge and poured into a New York Harbor Pint Glass

A - Poured a very nice orange tinted amber with a large three finger high head of thick white foamy lace that towered over the top of the glass. Very nice retention let this one hang around for a good long while before it was able to finally settle down and relax into a small pillow of white lace across the top of the glass. Nice carbonation was apparent as chains of bubbles rippled up to the service from the bottom of the glass. There was also a decent amount of cloudiness or haze to it as well that was very easy to pick up, along with just the slightest amount of floating sediment, which eventually filtered its way out.

S - The aroma was surprisingly hoppy for an amber ale, which to be honest shocked me a bit. Usually you expect an amber ale to just be the usually malty ale, but this was thinking to shape up to be a different kinda of ale. The first whiff that came across was clearly a floral pine like hoppiness that cut right through the underlying, malty base. There were definitely some hints in there of earthy notes, cereal like grains and a touch of bready like notes in the back. Rather complex for a straight up amber ale, and really quite nice.

T- The flavor itself followed along with the aroma very closely. To be honest it was much more of a well balanced IPA like flavor then that of an amber, but still very very well. There was a first initial rush of hops that greeted you as soon as the first flavor hit your tongue, as this rolled past the sugary malted backbone started to come though. Hints of grain and bread along with some nice notes of orange and even a touch of tangerine started to come though. All of these were blended very well and gave this a staggeringly good balance. The finish was strong and bitter with a huge hop presence. Nice dried out pine flavor to cap it all off.

M - The feel was also just great. A light to medium bodied ale, it had a little more weight to it then I would have thought it would have. Great carbonation lasted throughout the entire session, never going flat and keeping it from feeling dull. No slickness or watered down flavor here.

D - This was almost a perfect session beer. The ABV was low and the flavors were very tonight and well put together. Great carbonation with a crisp, clean and refreshing feel to it. I really could have put down the entire sixer my self and not even looked back.

Overall this was a very good beer here from Bell's/ I had not really had much experience with their regular lineup, tending to stick more with the bigger seasonal offerings, but this may have changed my mine, really showing what they can pull off on a more mass produced level. This was very good and I would not hesitate to try it again on any condition.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2008 10:40:40 | More by mikesgroove
Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 2,062 ratings.