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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

2,063 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2063
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: 2,063 | Reviews: 843 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of alexgash
alexgash

Connecticut

4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm beginning to think that Bell's beers were made for me. The amber ale appears to be their flagship beer, much like Fat Tire is New Belgium's. Both being amber ales, I can safely say that Bell's kicks Fat Tire's Fat Ass. No offense New Belgium.
Cloudy orange-tinged amber with a pillowy soft white head. Smells of sweet graham crackers, with a gentle hop backing. The taste reminds me of homemade cookie dough and caramel rolls. Very malty and yeasty. Medium bodied, low carbonation. Some hop presence (just enough to balance out the bakery sweetness). One of the best ambers I've ever had.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2004 04:06:42 | More by alexgash
Photo of Gavage
Gavage

New Jersey

4.28/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Slighty hazy amber / orange color with a huge 3" head. Carbonation levels seemed a bit strong. The aroma was of caramel and yeast. The flavor was simple and pleasant as caramel, sweet fruitiness, and mild bitterness were well balanced. There was some light lacing that developed on the glass.

This was a light/medium bodied brew with a smooth crisp start and a smooth caramel finish. Caramel and fruit tones lasted briefly on the tongue. Extremely drinkable and a simple session beer that has some nice flavor you won't get bored with.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2004 00:06:49 | More by Gavage
Photo of ken3c
ken3c

Michigan

3.43/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice foamy head recedes to wisps and a halo. Lacing is spotty. Cloudy amber clarifies significantly but not completely by the end of the glass.

Smells slightly malty and slightly hoppy.

Tastes slightly sweet and slightly hoppy. There is also a rather harsh bitter taste that improves as it clarifies.

Mouthfeel is light to medium and lightly carbonated.

Drinkability suffers from the harsh bitterness but this beer was still enjoyable.

Next time I drink this, I'll do a better job of decanting.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2004 05:36:59 | More by ken3c
Photo of bewareOFpenguin
bewareOFpenguin

Massachusetts

4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Solid offering, I can see why it is the flagship ale. Nice amber color and a decent head. The taste was more on the lines of a pale ale than an amber. Hints of fruit, a good malt base and a surprise hop effect in the background. Quite tastey, overall.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2004 18:02:14 | More by bewareOFpenguin
Photo of orbitalr0x
orbitalr0x

Illinois

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

This beer pours a nice golden amber color with a 1/2" think head. The head lingers for a bit, but dissipates pretty quickly. My nose picks up some malt tones coupled with hoppy undertones. Quite nice overall. There is quite a bit of yeast floating in the glass...and even more on the bottom of the bottle. The first sip comes with a strong sweet malty flavor and a bit of hop bite on the finish. Biterness is hardly there...mostly caramel tones and a bit of a bready yeast flavor. It's quite a tasty ale and goes down clean and smooth. This definetly would qualify as a quality session brew. Bell's produces some fine brews and this one is no exception.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2004 02:16:17 | More by orbitalr0x
Photo of sabrills70
sabrills70

North Carolina

3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy orange amber color with an medium head that faded rather quickly. Lots of sediment. Good lace. Smell of sweet malt, with some citrus and perhaps a bit of caramel and vanilla. Taste is sweet malt with a nice crisp hoppiness, finishes dry. Very well balanced. Very drinkable. A very nice amber. Try some if you get the chance

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2004 23:16:35 | More by sabrills70
Photo of jayb
jayb

Iowa

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

orangish red in color. Sediment throughout the glass. An off white head that settled quickly. Lacing was non-existant. Aroma was of sweet malts and a slight citrus tang. little bit of caramel as well. Taste was of sweet grains, herbal spice, slight roasted bitterness. Carbonation has a real bite to it. Very dry. Caramel and roastiness keick into full gear towards the end when the brew warms up. A pretty soild amber in my book.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2004 03:30:16 | More by jayb
Photo of kmpitz2
kmpitz2

Tennessee

3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a light amber color, something like a weak tea. The head is about two fingers that falls quickly to a nice coating over the beer. The nose is citrusy hop with some malt sweetness. The flavor is not as sweet as I expected with the nose. It has a really spicy, almost peppery, hop finish...a very pleasant surprise. The beer is moderately thick, without a burning carbonation, overall good. This s nice drinkable beer. I would consider having a glass of it while out if it were offered. I can see myself revisiting it in the fall or early spring.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2004 00:23:05 | More by kmpitz2
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

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

The beer pours a dark gold/amber color with a thick frothy off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a dry, yet malty scent with some floral hop notes. The taste is good. It has a dry, malty flavor that is bitter and toastey. It has a crisp finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a fine amber ale. It has it all; a good drinker.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2004 00:18:30 | More by WesWes
Photo of CortexBomb
CortexBomb

Michigan

3.23/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pretty plain looking brew, deep muddy orange with a small bit of head on top that left pretty quickly. Smell was middle of the road as well, some faint traces of yeast and background hints of fruit, but nothing beyond purely average.

Taste was what I would consider the average macro amber lager with a minor zing of floral (like a severely watered down Two Hearted Ale), and an end which had an interesting hop bite that took me by surprise after the bland opening.

Mouthfeel, meh, plain, some carbonation, some body, but not much in either...drinkability was pretty good I have to admit, but like most of Bell's lighter beer offerings this just doesn't offer enough to bring me back with any regularity.

Serving type: on-tap

08-04-2004 03:41:33 | More by CortexBomb
Photo of Ahhdball
Ahhdball

Ohio

2.58/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Brownish Orange with a slight beige head that dissappeared quickly.
Barely a smell, but what I did smell was bland burnt oranges.
Dull earthlike hop character and a finish that left nothing. No malt, no fruit, nothing. I know this is a Bell's but I'm very dissappointed.
Smooth watery feel and no aftertaste which i suppose is a good thing.
Overall this beer isn't terrible but it's not that good either.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2004 20:54:13 | More by Ahhdball
Photo of nortmand
nortmand

Virginia

2.7/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours extremely cloudy amber, with little white head.
Smells like Bell's other standard beers: yeasty, doughy, bready, lacking in complexity or interest.
Tastes similarly yeasty, overpowering even. A little caramel flavor, but not enough to balance the extreme yeastiness.
Mouthfeel? Have you ever eaten Pillsbury biscuit dough raw? Like that, but with water and carbonation. Doughy? mouthfeel.
Drinkability is OK, but this beer is way too yeasty, man am I going to be regular in the morning.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2004 04:18:36 | More by nortmand
Photo of aaronbeach69
aaronbeach69

Illinois

3.13/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

appearance a dark orange... copper... not dark enought o be "amber". 1.3 fingers head, lace holds to sides of cup pretty well... head is somewhat carmel-white...

smell: fruity with subdued hops

taste: nice bitter aftertaste in the back of the mouth... somewhat of a warm alchohol glow left...tips of tounge tingle between carbonation and alchohol showing through more than expected. However, the mid-taste seems subtle to non-existent...

mouthfeel - a nice mouthfeel... somewhat filling than most pale ales I have had but much less than a hearty IPA...

drinkability - easily drinkable... however a little bit of alchohol jumps out that the ABV doenst' justify...

notes: an ok beer, something I would repeat... but not that I plan to

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2004 03:14:01 | More by aaronbeach69
Photo of RoyalT
RoyalT

Ohio

3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – This is a gorgeous Amber Ale. The body is deep, rich, and hazy orange and the head is huge. It came up with an easy pour, showed great retention, and left some cool-looking lace on the inside of my glass.

Smell – The light, grainy notes are quite nice. They are laden with an orangy sweetness and a rather impressive hop profile.

Taste – This is about as good as American grain gets. It is husky but smooth and complimented by a nice sweetness, which I have found to be quite repugnant in most other grainy ales. The grassy hops keep this one balanced.

Mouthfeel – Closer to medium-bodied than light, this crisp American Amber goes down well and even has a bit of dryness at the finish.

Drinkability – I’m not a huge fan of the style, but this is about as good as it gets. Or, I should say, about as good as I’ve had to date.

Comments – Thanks to feloniousmonk for including this in a nice trade package.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2004 00:56:03 | More by RoyalT
Photo of crookedhalo
crookedhalo

Pennsylvania

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

Orangey amber colored with darker colored flecks of protein in suspension. Fruity, biscuity, and caramel aromas and maybe a little bit floral in the hop department but not too hoppy. Smooth and well-balanced, fruitiness shines through in the finish. Drinkability is fairly good. I turned my brother onto this beer, a die hard Yuengling drinker. He doesn't understand the basic difference between a lager and an ale (funny how beer appreciation isn't genetically predisposed).

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2004 22:24:52 | More by crookedhalo
Photo of arizcards
arizcards

Arizona

3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got to sample this nice little amber on our Michigan getaway last week. Have heard nice things about the Kazoo Brewing Company and was pleasantly surprised to find it available in the boonies of Northern Michigan.
Nice looking beer, an orange-amber in color that poured a nice 2 inch head which left a nice lacing. The unfiltered nature of this brew lends to the interesting appearance. Nose is of sweet caramel malts. The taste was well balanced, starting with those sweet malts with a very light hop finish-a nice smooth taste. Mouthfeel was thin and gentle on the palate. This brew's drinkability was very nice, a good compliment to watching life go by on Deer Lake at Boyne Mountain.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2004 01:24:14 | More by arizcards
Photo of marcellaproust
marcellaproust

Washington

3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Medium body, medium dark amber color. Head quickly dissipates to a rim. Smells of subtle malt and caramel. Lots of carbonation. The malt and nuttiness is roundly balanced by hops with a quick bitter finale. A great amercian amber, though less flavor than I expected from Bell's.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2004 00:56:08 | More by marcellaproust
Photo of GreenWBush
GreenWBush

Oregon

2.3/5  rDev -39.9%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The classically unfiltered flagship beer from Michigan - Bell's Amber Ale. One that seems to be divisive amongst die-hard Larry Bell fanatics and casual K-zoo stout and Two-Hearted quaffers. I basically grew up on this shit so it tasted good then, but now i've more than given up on it.

At first the beer plops out with fecal earthy tones. The head swirls up to the top of the imperial pint with a confrontational hello. All of the sudden I find myself coaxing anything from the head - and this is the beer cleanest of all my glasses.

There's a bit of that worn-out cheese-like hop character on the nose of this beer. One would assume this was an improperly handled sample. Au Contraire! This came straight from a recently delivered case. There is a nice yeasty malt character that pulls together as room temperature encroaches. There is something about the look and smell of the beer that evokes chewiness.

There is a dulled hop bite in this beer floating atop of a cheeseburger-y blend of heavy yeasts and clunky sweet malts. The beer is thick and bold, one both a macro drinker and a blind taste-tester could harmonize negatively about. There's also a weird hybrid brownie / locker room thing going on somewhere in there.

Uh, i'm in the Two-Hearted camp as always ... but maybe being nursed with this beer forever altered the place in my heart.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2004 00:02:03 | More by GreenWBush
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden tangerine with quite a bit of suspended yeast. The head is off-white, soft yet dense, falls to a barely covering film and doesn't leave a whole lot of lace. The nose is a combination of sweet, biscuity malt and earthy hops.

The flavor is of bready caramel malt with a solid undercurrent of earthy-spicy hops. It's also a little fruity; spiced apple perhaps. The finish is long, bitterish and dry. Solid mouthfeel for the style.

Amber Ale is another tasty beer from Bell's. Although nowhere close to their best effort, its balance ensures that it will be enjoyed by malt lovers and by hop lovers alike. A good session ale that I wish was available in the Hawkeye state.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2004 23:15:44 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of canoehornpoint
canoehornpoint

Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-18-2004 02:05:41 | More by canoehornpoint
Photo of soper2000
soper2000

Texas

3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Notes from a Bell's tasting:
Pours a bland amber color with a minimal head. Ok looking beer just not my style. Smell has hints of caramel and malt with a little bit of hops sneaking up. This beer doesn't have the strongest flavor. It has a decent malt backbone but I usually like my beers with more of a kick. Drinkability seems to be high as this is not a very complicated beer. I guess i just haven't learned to appreciate ambers yet. This is not a bad brew i just don't think i will be getting much more of it.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2004 01:14:39 | More by soper2000
Photo of BarrelBrother
BarrelBrother

Illinois

4.65/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The first time I tired this beer it caught my attention. Bell says it's a "cask conditioned" amber which was unusual and demanded an additional tasting session! I was surprised with the cloudiness of the brew, almost weiss cloudy, but the taste! Slightly sweet initally with carmel overtones and a subtle spicy flavor that I really enjoyed. Hmmm, nice aroma, with a hint of fruitiness. Nice creamy head that made the experience even better. The aftertaste was clean, refreshing with a slight bitter finish. Mouthfeel is smooth and ejnoyable. I have moved this brew high on my list to a regular staple at the house for get togethers and have gotten many outstanding comments about this beer from guests. As the old TV commercial used to say, "Try it, you'll like it!" I totally agree!

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2004 03:52:59 | More by BarrelBrother
Photo of TastyTaste
TastyTaste

Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Deep hazy copper color, creamy white head that leaves a layer on the top all the way down. Lots of sticking to the glass. Has a nice fruit and hops aroma. Taste is of carmel and hops. The bitterness is there, but not overpowering. I could difinitely session this one. Very smooth and drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2004 18:55:00 | More by TastyTaste
Photo of kwalters
kwalters

Michigan

3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This isn't a brew I'd attach the word "Flagship" to, but nonetheless it's a nice beer. Perhaps it's Bell's most widely appealing beer able to satisfy both the macro and micro crowd?

This particular bottle poured a true coppery red color with a nice 1-inch off-white head. I immediately noticed a bit of yeast in the head. After examining the beer beneath it, I noticed a lot of yeast particles in suspension. I guess I didn't pour it delicately enough.

The scent and flavor are quite a mixed bag. I can pick out some yeasty bread flavor, some sugary sweetness and some apple sourness. And then there's a hop finish. There's a lot going on and none of it seems to blend together all that well. I enjoy it, but Amber Ale isn't what I thought it would be.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2004 14:27:30 | More by kwalters
Photo of Reneejane
Reneejane

Illinois

3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer was poured with a thick off white head. The color was a light amber color that was slightly cloudy. The aroma was of a citrusy/fruity hop. The taste was yeasty with an estery taste with a bit of a fruity hop kick. It finished with a slightly sweet, yet slightly bitter flavor. But it leaves the mouth quite clean.

Serving type: on-tap

02-27-2004 19:35:52 | More by Reneejane
Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 2,063 ratings.