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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

2,065 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2065
Reviews: 843
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: 2,065 | Reviews: 843 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of TheSixthRing
TheSixthRing

California

3.89/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on date of 01/16/13

Appearance - Pours hazy golden amber with an off-white finger width head. Fair retention, resulting in a thin layer of microbubbles, building thicker around the edge of the glass. Fair lacing with decent stick.

Smell - Moderate caramel notes, with less notes of red apple sweetness. Hints of earthiness and bread.

Taste - Moderate caramel and lesser buttery diacetyl character upfront and throughout. Mild earth tones and apple mid-taste and into the finish, while faint citrus character rides out in the aftertaste, giving this beer a welcome balance.

Mouthfeel - Medium in body with moderate carbonation and a buttery smoothness. Goes down all too easy.

Overall - A solid Amber from Bell's. As smooth balanced as they come, while still maintaining an interesting profile. I could see myself buying this a few times a year if it were to ever hit the shelves in California.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2013 04:25:59 | More by TheSixthRing
Photo of magictacosinus
magictacosinus

California

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

Poured on tap in a 6oz tumbler at a Beer Garden we found in Chicago. Review is from my notes.

Presents an amber, reddish color complete with a slightly thickened yet yet foamy head that eventually dwindles down to a modest ring. Carbonation is fairly plentiful, although it disappears rather quickly. Looks relatively clear and not too thickened overall with each swirl. Slightly syrupy in feel as well. Looks like a good but fairly above average American amber.

At the nose there's a bunch of classic toasted characteristics, with the biscuit backbone and freshly cracked grains following soon after. Slightly soapy as well, which came as a surprise. There's a bit of a malty character that melds with the sweetened toasted flavor but everything ends up remaining overtaken by the bitterness. Slightly spicy, perhaps, but not too complex. Relatively straightforward when reviewing to style.

The flavor continues what was left off from the aroma, with more maltiness this time, especially verging on a toasted cereal grain flavor. The malt backbone provides slight fruitiness, ranging from apples to a hint of apricot, although it eventually melds into a biscuit-like flavor that these beers are known for. Not difficult at all to drink, as the carbonation is well present and it ranges to being semi-dry to wet on the palate. Not too explosive, but a solid offering.

Works as a good summer beer, although it's a little maltier than I like my ambers. The toasted character is highly emphasized but doesn't seem to hold on all the way through, especially when the strong grainy bitterness comes around. I wish the hops were a little bit more present as well, and the same goes for the initial cereal flavors I found satisfying. Solid, but not my favorite offering by Bell's.

Serving type: on-tap

05-02-2013 18:26:20 | More by magictacosinus
Photo of Kelsiemoeller
Kelsiemoeller

Michigan

3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
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!

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2013 18:14:54 | More by Kelsiemoeller
Photo of timn
timn

Kentucky

4.51/5  rDev +17.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2013 02:25:08 | More by timn
Photo of Bones10
Bones10

Illinois

3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | 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!

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2013 17:22:10 | More by Bones10
Photo of jadpsu
jadpsu

Georgia

4.14/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2013 22:16:50 | More by jadpsu
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FosterJM

California

3.45/5  rDev -9.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-23-2013 20:05:28 | More by FosterJM
Photo of dougbassett
dougbassett

Pennsylvania

3.39/5  rDev -11.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2013 18:44:08 | More by dougbassett
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KYGunner

Kentucky

3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
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 grassiness. A tinge of roasted malt and a few earthy tones mixed in, the nose was interesting but not beautiful.

There was a sweet roasted malt on the tongue but the earthy tones were persistent. Grassy flavors mixed with a wet barley flavor finished the taste. I yearned for far more toasted qualities in this amber and felt that with a little more time this could have really hit the mark.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2013 01:37:06 | More by KYGunner
Photo of MCain04
MCain04

Illinois

3.35/5  rDev -12.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2013 19:16:22 | More by MCain04
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jmccullough108

Missouri

3.76/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2013 00:30:35 | More by jmccullough108
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facundoCNB

New Jersey

3.14/5  rDev -18%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2013 05:14:36 | More by facundoCNB
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tronester

Oklahoma

3.6/5  rDev -6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2013 01:52:40 | More by tronester
Photo of Dodo2step
Dodo2step

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2013 23:44:31 | More by Dodo2step
Photo of micromaniac129
micromaniac129

Pennsylvania

3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2012 14:53:06 | More by micromaniac129
Photo of Zraly
Zraly

Virginia

4.25/5  rDev +11%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2012 23:54:38 | More by Zraly
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SportsandJorts

Michigan

3.81/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2012 19:35:50 | More by SportsandJorts
Photo of Mavigo
Mavigo

Michigan

4/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2012 01:44:52 | More by Mavigo
Photo of theecaleb
theecaleb

Alaska

4.28/5  rDev +11.7%
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

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2012 01:27:06 | More by theecaleb
Photo of Luigi
Luigi

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2012 07:19:05 | More by Luigi
Photo of psuKinger
psuKinger

Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2012 00:58:55 | More by psuKinger
Photo of Mojo
Mojo

Alabama

3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2012 03:18:22 | More by Mojo
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BeerKangaroo

Alaska

3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As I continue on in my "Bell's business of re-reviewing" old beers, another old favorite that I can't get in Maine:

Into a pint glass:

A: brown colored body and leaves a moderately sized white head that lasts for about thirty seconds. Nice spotty lacing appears and some light carbonation is seen rising.

S: sweet and has some light hops coming in as the beer warms.

T: basically the same with a dry aftertaste

M: medium and has a dry finish.

O: this was my go-to Bell's when I lived in Michigan and I still say its solid that if I ever move back would be happy to always have a six pack of.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2012 12:56:41 | More by BeerKangaroo
Photo of jimmah120
jimmah120

Minnesota

3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2012 08:54:43 | More by jimmah120
Photo of TheBigLebrewski
TheBigLebrewski

Michigan

4.55/5  rDev +18.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2012 04:49:46 | More by TheBigLebrewski
Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 2,065 ratings.