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

Not Rated.
Bell's Amber AleBell's Amber Ale

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

2,373 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,373
Reviews: 857
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 12.01%
Wants: 89
Gots: 146 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-12-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,373 | Reviews: 857 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of soper2000
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.

soper2000, Apr 16, 2004
Photo of BarrelBrother
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!

BarrelBrother, Apr 10, 2004
Photo of TastyTaste
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.

TastyTaste, Mar 09, 2004
Photo of kwalters
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.

kwalters, Mar 03, 2004
Photo of Reneejane
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.

Reneejane, Feb 27, 2004
Photo of granger10
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I must say that I am amazed with this brew. What took me so long to try it? On the back it says it's Bell's "flagship beer" and I can see why. This beer pours a vibrant flourescent amber color with a medium sized white head. Good amount of lacing as well. Smell is caramel sweet and a twinge of bitterness as well. The body on this beer is thick, very thick for an amber yet quite smooth as well. Caramel is the main sweetness but I detect some honey in there as well. Citric qualities that mostly resemble tangerines are very noticeable. Slight buttery diacetyl and a yeasty spiciness come through. Hops aren't bitter but provide a solid base and background holding the body and other flavors together. The hops also seem citric and maybe floral as well. This is a real beer drinkers amber, probably too much flavor and too thick for most non-craft drinkers. Even though it is thick I feel that I could drink this as a session brew with ease. Well done!

granger10, Feb 26, 2004
Photo of jsolack
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance:
Amber (surprise) and misty. Nice head with mild lacing.

Smell:
Sweet molasses with orange accents. Mildly spicy smell.

Taste:
Hoppy sweet with slight bitter finish Wheat flavor is mixed nicely with slight orange flavor. Overall a nice complex flavor.

Mouthfeel:
A crisp feel in the mouth. Light but not watery.

Drinkability:
A very drinkable beer with a nice even flavor. Definitely could have a few more!

jsolack, Feb 22, 2004
Photo of Morris729
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours golden amber in color with a bit of an orange tint with an off-white head that fades into a pretty solid lace. Nose is sweet toasted malts and grains with some underlying notes of butterscotch. Medium in body with a bit of a buttery texture towards the end. Taste begins with notes of buttery toffee and diacetyl followed by some doughy and bready flavors with just the right amount of hop bitterness to balance everything out. A pretty nice American amber ale and certainly a beer that would make for a wonderful session brew. Thanks to feloniousmonk for the sample!

Morris729, Feb 17, 2004
Photo of JackTheRipper
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy, slightly coppery color. Thin head, not too much lacing.

Smell: Citrus, honey, a bit of a bread-like smell.

Taste: Starts off with a lemony, honey sweetness, hops are nicely balanced in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Full, but not to the point of chewy full. Carbonation is very nice. Alcohol is well masked. Finishes a bit on the dry side without any big aftertastes.

Drinkability: Another very well crafted beer. I wouldn't hesitate to have another one of these.

JackTheRipper, Jan 19, 2004
Photo of flaminghomer
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

not what i was expecting. light and hazy. i could see lots of sediment in my glass. very dry taste and very drinkable..head was pretty good looking with lots of tiny white bubbles and large dimples as it fell. stuck to the glass o.k. as it went down but not a whole lot.

as i said taste is very dry and clean do to the hops and very drinkable.

in the end i have to say that it is a very good beer but a little less than i expected. it was like a tame pale ale and i'm not a huge pale ale guy to begin with.

flaminghomer, Jan 11, 2004
Photo of JustinBathurst
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice bronze colour. The smell is excellent--a bit of sweet floral, some malt, well-rounded. A yeasty bread loaf scent is also there.

Mouthfeel is average, but not bad. Taste makes up for this.

Subdued sweet start, some orange peel taste, sweet kick without being too overpowering, bitter chocolate-roasted coffee finish. Bitter aftertaste that lingers for a little while. Some hops to make it worthwhile. This would be an excellent session beer, I think. High quality and easy to kick back while still enjoying the taste.

JustinBathurst, Dec 26, 2003
Photo of DrunkMcDermott
3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on premise at KBC. A little cloudy, and the color is a bit lighter than other ambers. A thin head. Good biscuity malt profile. Likeable, but really not quite the thrill I had been led to expect from a Bell's. But what the hey, Kalamazoo seems to be a brewpub heaven, on to another... and another...

DrunkMcDermott, Dec 08, 2003
Photo of stoutman
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Orange/Bronze color with a very thin and short-lived tan head. Pale and malty, with a slightly hoppy and slightly sweet aroma. Medium-bodied; Slight astringinent flavour with an ever present hoppiness and even the smallest of sweetnesses. Aftertaste definately bittered from the malt and suffers from the Astringent characteristics, but is not bad at all. Overall, this is fairly good for an amber. What kind of water does Bell use?? All his beer has a similar, almost erie, aftertaste.

stoutman, Dec 06, 2003
Photo of beergeek279
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in the 12 oz. bottle. The color is amber, with a nice bubbly white head. The smell is a nice, light hop. The taste is a nice hop bitterness, with a quality dark malt backing. Mouthfeel is smooth. Drinkability-wise, this is a good session beer.

I originally had this beer at the BCCA Canvention, but didn't get around to reviewing it. Now I am, and it's as good as I remember it to be. A quality session beer, and the first of many Bell's I'll be having.

beergeek279, Dec 02, 2003
Photo of Beaver13
3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bell's Amber poured a golden amber with lots of big flakey particles, and a nice creamy thick head with nice retention - almost stout-like. The aroma was pretty underwhelming with some slight fruity tones. It was a nice tasting amber with a fruity initial flavor and a nice hoppy finish. Overall, a good drinking amber ale.

Beaver13, Nov 28, 2003
Photo of BobLuvBeer
4.65/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Nice heavy amber color. Lots of sediment in glass, which is very appealing. Plenty of carbonation visible. Pours with medium head. Fruity, green apple aroma. Mildly sweet, with a thick/burnt toast combination to the taste. Slightly bitter. Malt over rides hops, but the hops which do come through are pleasantly received. Rest deliciously on the palate. The balance of malts and hops linger and fade away evenly, which entices you to another drink. Finishes with a hint of citrus, with a mix of straw. Overall, one of the most balanced, well tasting brews available.

BobLuvBeer, Nov 23, 2003
Photo of Gusler
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A vaporous orange on the pour with a bubbly and light tan head that is portly in size with a thin curtain of lace. Nose is butterscotch sweet, fresh and quite clean to the senses, the start quite sweet, nice malt profile and the top a light to medium feel. Finish is brisk in its acidity, hops mellow and pleasant with the aftertaste desert dry and long lasting, quite nice Amber Ale, from a “World Class Brewery”.

Gusler, Nov 18, 2003
Photo of chaduvel
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice orange/red amber color, sticky head that stays around for the whole beer. Oily hops and malt on the nose. Taste is toasted malt, some sweet malt and touches of oily hop and that unique Bell's flavor...is it some special hops or special malts. I don't know...yet. Very tasty. This is by far the best amber that I've had thus far.

chaduvel, Nov 06, 2003
Photo of JohnnyDuvel
4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a very tasty ale. Quite fruity (ala Two Hearted), but not very bitter. If I had access to this, it would be a great quaffer (first time i've used that!). Orangy tint, quite cloudy. Citrus flavors dominate, quite smooth and refreshing. Thanks for the sample, Al.

JohnnyDuvel, Oct 29, 2003
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Orange tinted glowing amber hazed body with an off white orange cream colored head nice two finger sized head full thick and creamy in appearance, lacing is speckled through out. Aroma: Bready mix of sweet grain and yeast tones along with a very intriguing hop aroma especially for an amber ale earthy tones with a bite of citrus there. Taste: Great malt profile blends well balanced between the doughy sweetness, fuggle hops, and grain driven honey like sweetness with a brown sugar quality about the flavor. Mouthfeel: Sticky in a good way medium to fuller bodied for an amber ale, excellent carbonation nothing to knock gotta give it praise. Drinkability: Challenging amber ale I am definitely impressed by the flavorfulness of this if this is there flagship ale that speaks volumes about Bell's, they make flavorful beer, yum.

WVbeergeek, Oct 20, 2003
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.33/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12 ouncer, long neck brown bottle. The single obverse main label is a dark brown colored label that has a profile of what looks like a Heron. No freshness date or strength listed.

Appearance: What the Furrrccc…..!?? This is sludge! Hold on, no its not! Well, it is very murky. Indeed, it is a deeply impenetrable filthy amber with hints of fluorescent rusty oranges. The dirty white head is good at first, but soon breaks down into a scum like covering. Not your usual appearance – maybe off-putting to some. Different, but certainly not classic Amber Ale looks.

Nose: The nose is very inviting, deep fruity hoppy malts mixed with some caramel. Nice.

Taste: The tastes are very good, much better than the appearance - thankfully. Lovely honey malts introduce an earthy malt feel that has a caramel finish. Some yeasty dough & bread feel in the dying end.

Mouthfeel: The body is rather average I think, but I like the buttery feel that the beer leaves towards the end of the experience. Dry, rather malty end.

Drinkability: Not bad, but by no means a favorite at all. I have had much better Amber Ales.

Overall: Not to my tastes I’m afraid. The reverse label states “You hold in your hand the Flagship of the Bell’s Family, Amber Ale…” It’s a reasonably good beer for sure, and I like Bell’s beers, well, whenever I get the chance to try them. BUT, I have some more Bell’s in the Fridge that I have yet to try (Thanks & Kudos to FM), AND, I have a funny feeling that I may dispel the Bell’s claim very shortly.

Quite simply – Murky, enjoyable but not yer usual Amber Ale.

Another “Tip of the Hat, Sir” to FM for getting to try this one.

TheLongBeachBum, Oct 18, 2003
Photo of ManekiNeko
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

served chilled in a pint glass.

Appearance: Hazy amber colored liquid with a smallish off-white head. No retention or lacing.

Smell: Bready, sweet pale malt aroma, vaguely buttery. Quite interesting. No real hop presence on the nose.

Taste: Very clear cut pale malt flavor. Bready and sweet with some nice buttery tastes as well. Faint hops on the finish. Hefe-like clove in the background.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, yet light in body. Very smooth and quite refreshing.

Drinkability: I can see why this is their flagship beer. Probably one of the best sane session beers I've had, second only to Oberon. If you need to show someone what pale malt tastes like, begin with this.

ManekiNeko, Oct 10, 2003
Photo of brakspear
3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a flat clear orangish body with a faint head, moderate carbonation. The aroma is caramel malts and hoppy spice with a decent balance between the two. The flavors are also well balanced, malty sweetness followed by a moderate hop bite, a bit a green apples and sourness in the finish. The body and mouthfeel seems appropriate for the style. A decent amber ale, but not impressively so.

brakspear, Oct 07, 2003
Photo of budgood1
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.

budgood1, Oct 03, 2003
Photo of ngandhi
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Along the lines of a malty pale ale, Bell's Amber is a fantastic balance of malt and hops. Cascadey, but milder like Willamette, the hop aroma and tongue are fleetingly bitter, floral, but without the perfume of Two Hearted. This must have been designed to be a session ale and, indeed, it is. I had a pitcher to myself with Mexican food at Fiesta Cafe in Champaign, IL (only 8.00).

Highly recommended, this is certainly unlike any bock. The opening is malty and sweet with a hop bitterness and the finish lightly crisp, bitter, and still malty. Toffee. Consistent and entirely enjoyable. This might be my favorite Bell's brew.

Drink it.

Relax, relax.
ng

ngandhi, Sep 24, 2003
Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 2,373 ratings.