1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

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

2,071 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2071
Reviews: 844
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
Ratings: 2,071 | Reviews: 844 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of tdm168
tdm168

North Carolina

3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pale, transparent amber with a thin, loose layer of white head that fades away quickly

S - faint bread, caramel

T - caramel, faintly herbal, faintly citrusy, sweet

M - medium bodied, sticky, well carbonated

This is a decent beer, but simplistic. The caramel takes the forefront with a subtle hop character. It's easy to drink, but ultimately boring.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2012 20:09:02 | More by tdm168
Photo of BeerCon5
BeerCon5

Pennsylvania

4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a slightly cloudy, bright amber color with less than one finger of bubbly white head that disappeared quickly.

The scent was pretty spicy, toasted grain, and notes of floral hops.

The taste was of moderately bitter floral hops, toasty grain, notes of citrus, and spice.

Medium body, smooth and kind of oily feel, moderate carbonation.

Overall a pretty nice, easy drinking beer. Very tasty and well balanced.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2012 14:36:16 | More by BeerCon5
Photo of KajII
KajII

North Carolina

3.38/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

[Best served in a Shaker glass]

The pour was a cloudy medium amber with an average sized (1-2 finger) off white creamy head that reduced to a thick film with a large collar and had excellent sheets of lacing.

The aroma was of a light toasted grain malt, light floral hops and a mildly sweet doughy yeast with notes of caramel, honey and citrus (orange).

The taste was quite malty with a nice caramel sweetness from the onset with the finish being lightly hoppy with a slight bitter citrus peel presence and just a touch of honey at the end. The flavor lasted an average time with a good light bitter sweet taste left to linger for just a while longer.

Mouthfeel was a bit beyond light in body with a watery yet still slightly creamy texture and a nice mild carbonation.

Overall a smooth easy to drink brew with a nice light sweetness, that is offset by the mild hoppy bitterness...

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2012 15:12:47 | More by KajII
Photo of AleWatcher
AleWatcher

Illinois

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

Bottle into tulip pint.

Orangey amber body with a small tan head. Incredible retention. Thick lacing is virtually opaque before it slowly rides the legs back into the body.
Smells of toffee, caramel, and a pleasant, though surprising, note of something reminding me of coffee.

Wow is this drinkable. Without paying much attention I've sucked down 3/4 of my glass... Nice little hop note at the back providing a punchy little dry bitterness. Roasty malt with some sweet caramel and toffee up front. Very nice for an amber ale.

Feels medium bodies, well-carbonated, and a little oily.

Overall- this really is a great amber ale. It won't ever get the love and praise it deserves: it is just a solidly well-made beer... Of course, coming fr Bell's I would expect no less.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2012 02:30:27 | More by AleWatcher
Photo of srv33
srv33

Michigan

3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Amber pour, hah, thin head, a little medium-fine lacing. Smells of pine, honey, sweet light citrus, bread. Taste is solid and has a non-overpowering balanced malt-hop ratio, excellent session brew, great signature, very solid taste, would buy again. One of my favorite non-ipa ales from Bells.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2012 23:33:27 | More by srv33
Photo of tone77
tone77

Pennsylvania

3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark caramel color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is dominated by malts. Taste is caramel malts up front, some hops, slight bitterness at the finish. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall this is a solid beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2012 22:56:16 | More by tone77
Photo of superspak
superspak

Michigan

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled 3/22/2012. Pours a very hazy orange amber color with a nice 1 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Some decent spotty lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of biscuit, toast, caramel, light citrus, floral, and nuttiness. Some pretty good well balanced aromas that are a bit muted. Taste of caramel, biscuit, grapefruit, orange, floral, toast, nuttiness, and light pine. Light bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, grapefruit, toast, floral, and light pine on the finish for a short bit. Slightly dry on the finish. Good balance of citrus hop flavors with the malt backbone. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy and slightly crisp mouthfeel. Alcohol is well hidden with pretty much no warming noticed at all on the finish. Very easy to drink as expected for 5.8%. Overall this is a very nice amber ale. Nice flavor balance and smoothness; very sessionable and enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2012 03:32:36 | More by superspak
Photo of lwillitz
lwillitz

Florida

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12-oz bottle into small mug

A - massive off-white foamy head over a slightly-cloudy amber body loaded with carbonation bubbles; patchy lace

S - malty caramel sweetness, floral hops, touch of vanilla

T - caramel-sweetened malt balanced well by bitter notes of pine and citrus from the hops and a suggestion of burnt malts; lingering finish grows increasingly bitter as it fades away

M - oily light/medium body, average carbonation

O - a decent amber, but nothing remarkable

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2012 22:25:14 | More by lwillitz
Photo of Murphious
Murphious

Illinois

2.95/5  rDev -23%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This one by Bell's is a typical amber ale---well, typically good. Nothing really bad about it, but nothing stands out as better than the rest out there. Good balance of malt and hops, no bitterness, caramel smooth finish, and the cloudy appearance makes it somewhat different.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2012 00:37:02 | More by Murphious
Photo of augustgarage
augustgarage

California

3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Central Waters shaker pint.

Flame tinged amber liquid with a delicate creamy layer of ivory up top. Sticky yet pasty lacing, decent retention.

Caramel apple, berry-like esters, and cake-like malt in the nose.

Sweet honey-drenched palate entry offset by mild cutting bitterness with hints of white pepper. The yeast brings to mind a lager rather than an ale. Medium-dry, but perfumed finish.

Light bodied, creamy and well carbonated.

A uniquely flavored amber ale - refreshing on a warm day, and well paired with a strong cheese.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2012 22:13:20 | More by augustgarage
Photo of dbrauneis
dbrauneis

North Carolina

3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a crystal clear deep amber in color. The beer has a two finger tall tense beige head that slowly reduces to a thick film over the entire surface of the beer with thicker patches and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant lacing is observed.

S: Moderate aromas of caramel malts with light hints of nuttiness and light hints of citrus hops.

T: The taste follows the smell, with a body of bready and caramel malts giving it light sweetness upfront. This is followed by some light nut flavors and moderate citrus hops that have a light lingering bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth.

O: This beer is easy to drink and enjoyable. The beer is well balanced and could be sessionable (though it is approaching a touch too strong in ABV to have more than a few).

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2012 00:38:31 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of BarryMFBurton
BarryMFBurton

Indiana

3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have a soft spot for Bell’s, but mainly for their big beers: Hopslam, Expedition Stout, The Oracle. It’ll be interesting to try one of their <6% ABV beers, then…

Brewed within the last few months before this tasting (can only make out the /12 of the year on the Packaged On date).

A: This Amber Ale is…well, amber. Slightly red, and with a sizeable white head of creamy bubbles. Retention is thin with slight, spotty lacing.

S: Sweet, satisfying malts first: creamy caramel candy, maple oatmeal, and cookie dough. It’s a subtly earthy graininess mixing with the sugars – cinnamon-sugar and clarified butter on slightly toasted bread – and just a hint of floral hops. Malty, but thin.

T: Leafy malts: maple, cashew, caramel, and toasted grain come together in mild, creamy fashion. Peaches and cream are notable, as well, before the tastes of mild bitter herbs take over. These hops are just a tad astringent and only slightly juicy – characteristic for an amber ale – just prickly enough to be a sizeable part of the palate. It’s a nutty, creamy vanilla aftertaste.

M: A little silk on the tongue and some bubble on the back end. As far as texture goes, it sits quite idly on a medium body.

O: An amber ale that’s all about traditional flavor, not bold, unique character. And in that way, it’s all that it can be. Quite sessionable.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2012 03:45:46 | More by BarryMFBurton
Photo of hmbrewer336
hmbrewer336


3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: rich amber color with an off-white head about 1 finger thick spotty lacing down the glass.

S: Malt and Biscuit dominate the nose a slight fruity tone come through as well

T: Bready and Biscuit up front with a slightly bitter and fruity hop finish.

M: Medium in body with a moderate amount of carbonation that bites the mouth and is refreshing.

O: Nice beer I can drink this any season and really enjoy Bell's interpretation of this style. I also like the new label

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2012 21:55:15 | More by hmbrewer336
Photo of maleman
maleman

Mississippi

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Poured true to its name...with a thin head that receded into a thinner cap and oily lacing. Some sediment and better than average carbonation. Very nice nose of malt and resin with a touch of caramel. Taste followed the nose with good bread and some grass. No aftertaste to speak of from this light to medium-bodied brew, tasted toward the back of the mouth. One of the better beers I've tasted recently. They call it the flagship of Bell's and while I haven't had the coveted "HopSlam" yet, it's the best Bell's offering I've had.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2012 00:04:21 | More by maleman
Photo of stercomm
stercomm

Ohio

3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A - Amber in color, slight bit of haze, nice off-white head, great glass lacing, head recedes after a few minutes leaving a thin layer.

S - Lots of malts, biscuity, fruity, slight hops scent.

T - Biscuity malts, some carmel, get some citrus, nice balance, very dry finish.

M - medium carbonation, medium bodied.

O - Good session brew

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2012 21:03:19 | More by stercomm
Photo of spinrsx
spinrsx

Ontario (Canada)

3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from good ta go beer store in PA for 1.99 - thanks to jfam for this

Appearance - Slightly hazy ambercolour with a large size fizzy/frothy beige head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some fairly good lacing. The head lasted for over 5 minutes. There are also some particles floating around.

Smell - Malts, caramel, dark fruits, light hops

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel, fruits (apples/grapes?), and a bit of hops. There is also a bit of a floral flavour to it. It ends with a sweet caramel/malt flavour with some light fruitiness.

Overall - While tasty, it's pretty run of the mill as far as ambers go. I'd take a stone levitation over this. Still worth a try though.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2012 02:45:11 | More by spinrsx
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my Bell's tulip because I can. Bottled on 02/07/12, batch 10918.

a - Pours a deep, murky oranger-brown color with one finger of light tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of bready malts, toasted malts, caramel malts, fruity malts, light floral hops, grains, and citrus hops. Ton of malts in the nose, pretty nice.

t - Tastes of fruity malts, toasted malts, bread, grains, wheat, caramel malts, dark fruits, light sweet sugar, and citrus hops. More fruit then the nose and less toasted and bready malts; slightly better then the nose.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Smooth and easy to drink.

o - Overall a pretty nice beer. Not my favorite style, but one of the better easily accessible amber ales out there. Not of toasted and bready malts in the nose and some sweet fruity malts in the taste. Very easy to drink, could see a lot of non-craft beer drinkers enjoying this. Wouldn't buy it too often but worth checking out.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2012 01:27:38 | More by mdfb79
Photo of denver10
denver10

Colorado

3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rich amber with a thick, frothy khaki head. Wonderful retention and lacing, shockingly so for an amber. A nice sweet bready aroma mixed with a little fruit. A sweet and smooth flavor. Sugary, toffee, a little banana, bread, and a touch of lemon. I usually dislike toffee but they do a nice job with it here, it isn't too strong and dominating. A creamy medium bodied to this, not too much carbonation. A very representation of an an amber, though not my favorite amber I have tried. I've long been wanting to check out some Bell's offerings so glad to have finally tried something by them. Still wish it could have been 2 Hearted instead though!

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2012 00:32:51 | More by denver10
Photo of kc44
kc44

Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep copper hue, a little haze, but a great head that starts out fluffy and then collapses in on itself to stick around and stay thick. Malt and a bit of bread on the nose, I wouldn't mind a little bit of hops and some more complex grainy character. Incredibly delicious beer - the bread shows up here, and so do the hops, the malt doesn't bail. Wow. This beer has a great depth of flavor, and remarkable interplay and balance in the elements of its taste. A real pleasure to drink, decent bodied but doesn't require chewing, carbonated but doesn't try to jump back up your throat. Overall, a terrific example of what basic American microbrewing is at its best. It doesn't need to be crazy hoppy. This is a well-balanced, totally thought out beer. That being said, it is simply not the type to knock your socks off and be a once-in-a-lifetime. That's ok by me -- I'll happily keep this in my mental list of go-to basics for the rest of my life.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2012 03:28:54 | More by kc44
Photo of beagle75
beagle75

Iowa

3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a nonic glass.

A: Slightly hazy, light amber color with one finger of diminishing off-white foam head. Moderate stepwise lacing remains on the glass and profuse solids hang suspended throughout the column.

S: Bready, with mild caramel and crystal malt.

T: Begins dry, with refined bread, mild herbaceous hop aromatics, and a whiff of caramel. Acidity is of minor presence into the middle where grain becomes maltier before earthy flavors step up to dominate in the mildly bitter finish.

M: Thin to medium viscosity, wet and slightly astringent on the palate, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: This amber ale is satisfactory in its ability to capture some English plae ale qualities while remaining clean and versatile. Hopping is light but appropriate, while malt components are varied and interesting without being challenging.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2012 17:54:57 | More by beagle75
Photo of Vec2267
Vec2267

Florida

3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - murky orange with nice off white head, not much lacing

S - caramel, grass, notes of citrus

T - caramel and toasted bread, grainy, but a surprising hop bite for the style

M - quite creamy

O - I like that the grains and breads are balanced with some hops heft - but not what I was expecting from the style

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2012 22:42:31 | More by Vec2267
Photo of mooseo
mooseo

Pennsylvania

3.4/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into pint glass.

A - Hazy light brown amber with yeast sediment floating around.

S - Light scent of sweet malts and a touch of floral hops.

T - Biscuity malt followed by slightly bitter hops. Nicely balanced.

M - Smooth, medium bodied, average carbonation.

O - Another good offering from Bell's. An easy drinking amber ale with decent flavor.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2012 01:31:40 | More by mooseo
Photo of Gladius270
Gladius270

Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Deep orange, rusty color on this. Good lacing. I had to mark it down because of some "floaties" I have. Not like an unfiltered look... This is floating matter.

S- Sweet and Malty. Not much more to say here.

T- At the beginning it follows the nose. There is a really good consistent bitter backbone here. I enjoy the back-end of the taste ALOT. It's hard for me to describe. It's a heavily caramelized sugar aftertase. much like the aftertaste that I remember from hot fudge.

M- Medium body, maybe leaning toward the thinner side. Carbonation stings on the tongue.

O- At first I was not real keen on this one, but after a few sips, it really opened up for me. This is yet another solid offering from Bell's!

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2012 03:09:54 | More by Gladius270
Photo of sweemzander
sweemzander

Illinois

3.33/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into a nonic. 09/27/11 packaged date.

(A)- Pours a hazy amber color. A small cap of white froth & lace.

(S)- A nice malty backbone with some subtle fruits; grainy.

(T)- Similar to the smell. A nice malty backbone with some subtle grainy fruits.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. Simple and straightforward, but smooth and malty.

(D)- A solid, straightforward amber. Malty, but smooth and easy drinking.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2012 19:23:22 | More by sweemzander
Photo of Doughbodyboy
Doughbodyboy

Ohio

3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

it pours a slightly hazy slightly golden amber with a solid head that is hanging around. the malt is solid with a lasting taste. the hopy note is rather light with no real bitterness. it has the right refreshing fell in the mouth. nice and bubbly. i prefer a strong IPA. so this was surprising how good it was to me. i recomend this fine amber ale from bells!

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2012 03:15:13 | More by Doughbodyboy
Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 2,071 ratings.