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

895 Reviews
THE BROS
97
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 895
Hads: 2,748
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 10.13%
Wants: 119
Gots: 350 | 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:
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: 895 | Hads: 2,748
Photo of Kelsiemoeller
3.71/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Caramel in color like a light brown, pretty clear

Smell: You can smell a hint of caramel and yeast, but there is only a very vague smell overall

Taste: You can definitely taste the caramel malt in the beer. There is a kick of bittering hops in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Good mouthfeel; somewhat thick, but not too thick

Overall: You can't go wrong with this Bell's Amber Ale! (392 characters)

Photo of timn
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Pours a dark gold / orange-brown color. Very hazy, almost unfiltered in appearance. A small amount of sudsy head.

S: Slightly sweet, with some hints of malts.

T: Surprisingly complex flavor. Really nice balance of malts and grains, with a nice honey or caramel sweetness at the end. I was pleasantly surprised with the taste.

M: Also a nice mouthfeel. Medium, but with a sort of slick, oily quality to it -- in a good way.

O: I really enjoyed this beer. For an amber ale, it has a nicely complex taste, with a great sweetness to it. I'll definitely grab this one again sometime. (585 characters)

Photo of Bones10
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Two Hearted is my favorite beer, but this is just slightly above average for a brewery I hold in very high regards. It's biggest redeeming quality is its proclivity as a session beer. It is also useful to get some new fans of craft beer as this has no offensive qualities. The unfortunate flip side is that it also has no outstanding qualities. But that goes with the style, I suppose. I have recommended this beer to people who are curious about beer to hopefully convert some macro drinkers to the better side of beer drinking.

Cheers! (538 characters)

Photo of jadpsu
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Hazy orange, light amber in color, with a slightly off white tiny bubble head that shows superior retention and leave some outstanding lace.
Smell: Sweet Malts, biscuits and some caramel. Citric hops, led by orange are evident.
Taste is of maltiness and roasted malts, not as sweet as the aroma. Has a lingering after taste that is dry and tart, very nice.
Malts are thick, chewy
A real nice brew to accompany a good evening meal. (430 characters)

Photo of FosterJM
3.44/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1756th Review on BA
Draft to Pint

@Brick Taven, Lombard, IL

App- A darker bit of red with some browns intermixed. I like to use the analogy and it works, like a wood stain color. Had a nice dense center with a bit of lighter reddish/brown edges. The head was a nice 1/2" of off white and went quickly.

Smell- Its a malty smell with a bit of the roast lingering after the initial smell. Was a small bit of an earthy hop aroma as well. Wasnt too much here on this one.

Taste- After being a Fat Tire for so long I dont really drink Ambers anymore. I paired this with a Kobe Burger to get the malts to bring a bit of earthiness out of the burger. This beer was a bit malt forward with that distinct red ale flavor but was negligible really. Well balanced with only a small bit of bitter to it.

Mouth- A smaller medium body with a bit of thickness behind. Medium carbonation and a slight amount of malts on the finish with residual bitter.

Drink- I had to drive home but would have loved to stick around for a few more pints of this nice little beer. (1,051 characters)

Photo of dougbassett
3.39/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

One of the "1001 Beers You Must Taste Before You Die" -- #16 of the ones I've reviewed here.

Bell's is a good brewery, but this is not a favorite style of mine, so keep that in mind.

Appearance is very nice, as I would expect from Bell's, with a warm golden-brown/toasty color and a head that lingers satisfyingly. The mouthfeel also lingers satisfyingly: one thing I do like about this Amber Ale is that it's built with more stick-to-it-tiveness than what I've had in the past, it just seems like a more substantial beer than what you usually get in the style.

Unfortunately I don't get much nose, outside of a mild buttery/malt kind of thing, and the taste, while not bad, isn't noticeable enough to be "good", either. Very smooth, a hint of butter, a hint of sweet malt, a bit more assertive in the finish. That's really it.

Maybe as well constructed as this particular style can be, but this genre has a lot of mushy, tastes-like-a-whole-heck-of-a-lot-of-nothing beers in it, and so really damning with faint praise here. Not awful, this is actually a higher score than I'd expected to give it, but I doubt I'd ever knowingly go looking for it again. (1,162 characters)

Photo of KYGunner
3.94/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Almost an unfiltered look, this amber was unusual in appearance. Amber color but quite cloudy it had a stiff creamy head.

The scent was a sweet nuttiness. A tinge of roasted malt and a few earthy tones mixed in, the nose was toasty, toasty and nutty.

There was a sweet roasted malt on the tongue with caramel, barley, pecan and light hops. Grassy flavors mixed with a malted barley flavor finished the taste.

The feel is full, above average in carbonation, but refreshing.

This amber constraints on the roasted nutty qualities of the malt and doesn't showcase huge hops, as so many ambers seem to be doing. For that I say thanks. (634 characters)

Photo of MCain04
3.32/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a 20 oz Spiegelau glass.

Appearance: Murky orange, amber color. Opaque. Off-white head of 1-2 fingers with decent retention and lacing.

Smell: Not great. Musty is upfront. Beyond that, I get a lot of nutty characters, a hint of floral hops, roasty malt backbone.

Taste: Easy-drinking. Definitely a balanced brew with a mild amount of spice, hops, and malt. For a beer-drinker who appreciates balance and subtlety, this beer is good.

Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation. Light on the mouthfeel. Average finish.

Overall: An above-average amber ale. Nothing I'd go out of my way for, but it's definitely drinkable and tastier than a lot of the other mass-produced amber ales out there. (708 characters)

Photo of jmccullough108
3.76/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle dated 09/24/2012 into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a rich copper color, two finger head, lacing sticks around.

Smell: Malt, hints of caramel, chocolate, hints of citrus

Taste: very sweet, almost taste a bit of vanilla, caramel, a bit earthy

Overall: Solid amber ale! Absolutely would buy this again. (329 characters)

Photo of facundoCNB
3.15/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

a cloudy (yeast chunk covered) amber red pour with a finger of head which quickly dissipated. smells of citrus, fruity (strawberry), and bready grain profile. slight earthy bitterness with lots of citrus notes and sweet malt. light-medium body with moderate carbonation. a refreshing ale.

i believe this is the least impressive bell's beer i have tasted so far. (362 characters)

Photo of tronester
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy amber/brown with tons of yeast chunkies throughout. Aroma is of light grain. Taste is big toffee, toasty grain flavor up front, followed by some earthy, fruity flavors, and a bit of bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is rich. Overall a good Amber Ale that I would get again. (288 characters)

Photo of Dodo2step
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

P- Pittsburgh Bottle Shop

A- suspended bubble in amber red color. One finger lacing that lingers but then quickly runs off. Lacing is broken lattice and average.

S- malt tones complemented with citrus scents. grain and bitter smells as well.

F- honey bitter salty malts but not overpowering and citrus rounds out the back end.

M- Dry and medium bodied on the hopness scale. Goes down with ease but the maltiness does linger just a tad too long.

O- I am not a Red ale fan so i did my best but i would have to say this is one of the better ones i have had. I love Bell's and i think they turn out quality beer regardless of style. (633 characters)

Photo of micromaniac129
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Your prototypical catch all beer style. This particular is a bit bland.
The color is golden amber with a small head. I cant really detect much aromatics.
Taste is basically malt driven with only hints of hops. Drinks smooth with a bitter finish.
This beer is good and has no real drawbacks but there is also nothing really to take notice too either. (349 characters)

Photo of Zraly
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours hazy medium orange with off-white two finger head into a stein. Smells grainy and a bit like dough. A wisp of citrus lingers.

Not too heavy and not too light, this is a very tasty amber ale. Nice notes of honey, toast, and grains. Malty and smooth, this is on the outer edge of session ale territory. Crisp citrus hop finish that dries nicely on the palate. Medium-bodied and carbonation eases the drinking experience as it is spot on for style.

Refreshing and an extremely solid brew. Good year round for session or to maybe convert a few macro folks. Approachable and I recommend this. (596 characters)

Photo of SportsandJorts
3.81/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: reddish orange color. hazy but not quite opaque, a little bit less than a finger of an off white head. leaves a lacing around the edges

Smell: malt forward. caramel and crystal mostly some toastiness. some citrus to herbal hop but fairly subdued.

Taste: opens up with sweet and caramel tastes rounded out by a toasty malts. backend has a bit of hop flavors including citrus and some slight herbal

Mouthfeel: fairly light and drinkable, good balance between the sweet and bitter as neither lingers too long

Overall: a good classic interpretation of an american amber ale. well brewed and well rounded. (617 characters)

Photo of Mavigo
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really like the nature scene painting on the bottle, puts me in the mood. Poured in a pint glass.

A: Pours a cloudy, rich honey brown color, with a short off-white head that's present throughout the entire time, with some good lacing.

S: Smells, grainy, like wheat, malts as well, grainy, fairly light smell, need to sniff a bit, some citrus as well, little bit of hop bitter after taste, but not that much.

T: Relatively sweet, tastes like bread, wheat, grainy, as i would expect

M: its light, refreshing, crisp, pretty smooth, medium carbonation, not over done.

O: It's an excellent beer, great for sessions, easy-going, good balance of everything, most excellent. Recommended. (688 characters)

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

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Brewed date 9/20/12.

A: A mix of orange and light amber. Creamy colored head, leaves nice thick lacing along glass.

S: Citrus, malty with hints of barley and grain.

T: Medium body. Earthy. Light hint of hops, semi sweet

M: Good amount of carbonation, complex mixture of fruit and spice.

O: I was pleasantly surprised by this brew. Ambers are not my "go to beer" of choice, however, Bells Amber is a easy drinking, anytime beer. Right up there with Alaskan Amber in my book.

I would recommend this beer to a friend.

Cheers (570 characters)

Photo of Luigi
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out an hazy amber color with copper highlights and presents massive a three finger head. Plenty of of lacing, as the head sticks all around the glass.

The aroma is full of toasted malt, caramel, and herbal hops. No aroma over powers the other bring this ale into balance.

The taste is semi-sweet with toasted malts, caramel, and citrus fruit from the hop. The finish is crisp with a dry pine like hop lingering for a while on the palate.

The body is medium/light and crisp with mild carbonation. Very easy to drink as this ale is balanced so perfectly. No flavor over powers the other, making this ale a pleasure to drink. The only question that comes to mind is "can I have another?" because Bell's nailed this style. (730 characters)

Photo of psuKinger
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch #11288, bottled July 2nd, 2012 (about 2 months old). Bottle into nonic.

A: Classic hazy amber hue, with a big frothy 2-finger off-white head on top. Near-perfect.

S: Lemon grass and herbal notes. Sweet bread. Perhaps a touch of pine resin and a twinge of alcohol.

T: Lemon zest is present, as the nose indicated, but there's also a bright grapefruit flavor with a pale malt twinge here that I didn't really pick up on in the nose. I'm not picking up on much in the way of a classic caramel/amber malt profile, which is suprising based on the name of the beer. Pine-bitterness arrives at the finish to round things out.

From the nose I feared that this beer might run overly sweet. But no, this has been healthily-hopped, keeping everything in balance.

M: Light and lively, with decent carbonation and a good dry finish.

D/O: Goes down smooth. Easy-drinkin'. I could knock this back in large quantities. I'm attributing a significant percentage of the flavor here to hop addition, and therefore I do believe "freshness" would be a concern here moreso than for many other "amber/red ales". If fresh, I could blast a six-pack of this. (1,143 characters)

Photo of Mojo
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours up a nice coppery amber color with a small white head, decent retention and decent lacing. The nose is fairly subtle. To my nose I could really only pick up what smelled a little like cinammon. Mouthfeel is medium with average carbonation. Taste is nice. Kind of grass, biscuit, and hops. The malt upfront is kind of buried in the mix though. Not too bad. About what I expect from Bells. (403 characters)

Photo of jimmah120
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

quick review here: this a great looking beer; unfiltered amber gold with a small white sudsy head. smell and taste is dry leaves, apple, grain, buscuits, lemon pepper, clove. not overly bitter but pleasantly so.

Not being a big fan of ambers, I enjoyed this immensely. (270 characters)

Photo of TheBigLebrewski
4.55/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bell's' flagship. Bell's, Bell's, Bell's. And no brand-whoring about it, Bell's gives what you want from a brewery. In the interest of full disclosure, I wear their belt buckle.

Bottle to pint glass. Moderate mostly white head with a touch of brown. Excellent lacing retention. Damn near perfect color for an Amber; a tiny bit less color than the subjective amber idyll. Very good smell, though pretty subtle.

This is amber ale. Not 'an' amber ale. If you want to drink a straight up amber ale, this is it. The taste is spot on. Leaning towards sweetness, as ambers do, but not at all overly sweet, as is far too common for the genre. Mouthfeel is perfect. This is very good beer.

Here I will qualify: I, personally, would prefer a more balanced ale; in particular, a touch of hop in the finish would make this beer incredible. And, in truth, there is a lack of hop in the finish. (See Stone's Levitation - an American Amber Ale - for a comparable beer of a different genre that I personally prefer).

Overall, I will say it's not my favorite beer. Not even close. But it is as close to the perfect straight Amber Ale as I've ever tasted. And according to the way we try to rate beers here, this deserves one of the best ratings I've given. Again, there are dozens of beers I personally enjoy more, but, that being said, this is far and away the best straight amber I've ever had. (1,387 characters)

Photo of JamesShoemaker
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The Bros have this one scored really high. The problem with Amber is that it tastes different batch to batch, sometimes bottle to bottle. I would recommend having one and then a few months later having another one. Maybe I'm crazy.

The times when it's been good, this beer is super drinkable and very tasty. When it's not good, it honestly doesn't taste a whole lot different from Michelob Amber Bock. Sacrilege!

However, this beer is ridiculously popular in the upper Midwest. Chances are, if a store carries Bell's, they carry this brew and Two Hearted (a beer which the Bros have ranked very low, surprisingly).

Give it a try if you find a single, pass on a six pack though. (682 characters)

Photo of wiscokid920
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 01/19/2012 Poured in pint glass
Back label mentions this beer was first brewed in 1985 and “embodies the heritage of the Bell’s Brewery and nature of Great Lakes Region.” Big claims that I’m excited to enjoy!

A- Unfiltered, amber with 2 finger off white head with decent retention and lacing.

S- Nose is great combination of malts, caramels, toasted gains, hoppy with citrus notes

T- Smooth citrus up front, smooth and malty in middle and quickly subsiding to a crisp hoppy, grassy finish. Very refreshing and enjoyable.

M- Medium bodied with slightly chewy feel. Good carbonation that works well on the palate. Ends with nice crisp finish.

O- Definitely lives up to the Bell’s name. My favorite offering of the Amber Ale style. Without a doubt I will recommend and purchase again! (805 characters)

Photo of SerialTicker
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 7/30/12

Appearance: Pours a really nice, medium amber color. Forms a decent head that goes away pretty quickly. Lacing is sparse, and the beer appears to be unfiltered. Pretty nice.

Smell: Absolutely STRANGE. It smells dirty. Musky. Like a wet trunk. It isn't very pleasant at all. To be honest, I figured this was a dud based on the smell alone. Really not a nice smelling beer to my nose.

Taste/Feel: Thankfully, what matters most, is probably the best part about the beer... the taste. It has a pretty mild carbonation with a whole lot of malt. Some of that muskiness from the smell I get in the taste, but it's barely there, and goes away quickly when it does show up, which is a very good thing. There's a little bit of spice there too, but I just get a lot of malt, and I dig it. There are traces of alcohol in there too. The feel isn't bad at all... it's great for an amber, with a fairly low carbonation.

Overall, I thought right off the bat I'd be let down as soon as I caught a whiff. I was happy to see that the taste isn't much like the aroma at all. I actually enjoyed this beer the more I drank it, and I feel I'd just enjoy it more if I tried it again. A very good amber if you can get passed the smell. (1,230 characters)

Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 895 ratings.