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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

2,441 Ratings
THE BROS
97
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,441
Reviews: 866
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 12.01%
Wants: 94
Gots: 165 | 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: 2,441 | Reviews: 866 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of thechaacster
4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a bright copper, the color of a new penny. Nice little foamy head that retains well and leaves plenty of sticky lacing. Malty sweet aroma, with hops taking a back seat. Whole lot of sweet, caramelly, doughy malt up in this beer. Hop bitterness is substantial with floral and slightly citric flavor, not at all overwhelming though. Really well balanced. I definitely wouldn't mind sitting down and sipping a few of these. Definitely a great example of the style.

thechaacster, Jul 21, 2005
Photo of UncleFlip
4.45/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottled 6.3.03- tasted 7.19.05

Nice honey-orange colour, a bit hazy. Looks a bit like a hefe.

Smell is fruity, with hints of orange and a VERY slight musky quality. Some hops behind it.

Taste is very pleasant, a little woody and spicy, with subtle sweetness underneath. Hops kick in at the end.

Fizz hits right off and disappears quickly. Nice and creamy after. Alcohol hits WAY after everything else is gone.

This one gets tops for drinkability. I could make a nice evening of it.

Be well
-UF

UncleFlip, Jul 19, 2005
Photo of schoolcb
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I decant the 12oz. longneck into an appropriate drinking vessel. A tan head of about 1/2" rises up and slowly fades away leaving a persistent ring of lace. I immediately catch malt and hop aroma. The beer is fairly clear, and a pale copper color. I must have poured to fast as I have floaters in the beer. I have read that Bell's beers are bottle conditioned so I'm not alarmed by the floaters. Flavor is a nice caramel malt balanced nicely with American hops...although I can't make out the specific hop. The hop bitterness finishes nicely in the aftertaste. Overall a very nice drinkable beer

schoolcb, Jul 19, 2005
Photo of blackthistle
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. brown bottle; batch 6883, packaged on May 23, 2005; $7.99 for 6-pack

Pours clear with a copper/orange color and a thick, creamy white head with lacing that lasts to the bottom of the glass. Aroma is mostly malt with a slight spiciness from the hops. Flavor profile consists of big backbone of sweet maltiness with a bit of a caramel followed by bit of fruitiness. A mild spicy hops flavor and bitterness balances the flavor profile out. Overall, a rich creamy ale that is sure to please.

blackthistle, Jul 16, 2005
Photo of Sammy
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A good transition beer. Not a bold strong Bell's but a very decent brew, better than a national brand anything. Nice hops like a pale ale. Well malted. Very good after fish. I am a missionary in people dropping white wine altogether, particularly after fish when beer is an ancient companion.

Sammy, Jul 03, 2005
Photo of heidelbeerg
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice Amber colored brew with an off white two finger head. Smell is just slighly sweet malt and grassy hops. The taste is so well rounded. Slighly sweet caramel amlt flavor with a perfect hop zing to balance it out. Delicious beer. I could drink these all day.

heidelbeerg, Jun 16, 2005
Photo of mntlover
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium hazy amber with a small tan head that falls quickly and leaves some spotty lace.

Aroma is caramel malt lightly sweet and inviting with a touch of grassy hops mixed with some earthy yeast notes.

Taste is lightly sweet caramel malt nice amount of carbonation, finishes with a linger grassy flavor with a lingering touch of bitterness. After adding goodies from the bottom of my bottle the flavor gets better some earthy yeast tone mingle with the grass to improve the flavor.

Mouthfeel is right about medium nice malty body.

Drinkability is good also a decent amber ale, don't know if I would call it the flagship of Bell's but still good enough for repeat buying.

mntlover, Jun 06, 2005
Photo of malty
4.63/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz. longneck - no freshness date.

Appearance is a beautiful glowing amber (go figure) with a brite white head. The tiniest of suspended yeast is apparent if you look closely into the beer, due to the fact that Bell's doesn't filter their ales.

Fresh, blossoming notes of sweet pale malt. Reminds me of fresh sugar cookies - nice & doughy. Very clean smelling.

Now I know why Bell's claims this to be their 'flagship' beer. Perfect balance of malty sweet and just the right touch of prickly hops. Oh so fresh... A faint spiceness evokes from the rich and sweet carmel liquid also.

Mouthfeel is perfect for this style. Soft, gentle and tiny bubbles caress the tongue making this light-medium bodied ale's flavor linger on past the swallow. Just enough dryness in the finish to insure this sweet nectar doesn't build-up and become cloying.

Drinkability is outrageously high. Beer drinkers from beginners to veteran would most likely agree it's hard to put down. It's got something for everyone.

Overall a splendid example of a style that's been butchered and pimped for over 15 years. This is a model interpretation of an easy drinking, yet refined and calculated amber ale. Fill up an aluminum wash tub with this and fire up the coals, it's summertime baby. This is how we do it in Michigan!

malty, May 10, 2005
Photo of Brian700
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one pours an amber color with with a light tan head that doesn't hang around very long. It smells of malt and I can detect a faint hop aroma. The taste is mostly sweet malt and caramel. There is a light hop after taste. It has a good mouthfeel with a medium carbonation. Overall a good beer. I recommend it.

Brian700, Apr 25, 2005
Photo of merlin48
3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle pours a hazy, medium gold body(odd for an amber) with a skimpy offwhite head that quickly vanishes. Minimal lacing.
Aroma is initially hoppy, with grapefruit and orangerind. Caramel pale malt notes lurk in the background.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied with appropriate medium carbonation.
Taste is above average for an American Amber, but not spectacular. Hops are dry and bitter, grapefruit and citrus rind is barely balanced by the caramel sweetness. Finishes clean and even.
Well balanced, overall, and very sessionable. Just not one of my favorites for the style.

merlin48, Apr 25, 2005
Photo of jasonpeckins32
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a bold and cloudy copper color, not quite amber really. There is a nice head retention and it appears to have a nice amount of carbonation. The first smells are of caramel malts teasing my senses, and that later changes to a large wiff of hops that stays through the rest of the session. The tastes are strong of hops. A little bitter and souring, the aftertaste almost makes you smack your tongue on the roof of your mouth. After your frist few drinks there is a bready flavor sensed also. It doesnt have the "red beer" flavor or smell that I expected it too. But its not bad by any means, just not what I was expecting.

jasonpeckins32, Apr 19, 2005
Photo of BeerFink
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Figured I'd give Bell's flagship brew a try...

Cascading into my pint glass, it forms an attractive looking dark copper color topped off with a generous head. Good head retention and good lacing. The smell was big on the malts with a slight hop bouquet. True to the aroma, the taste was long on the malts. Smooth and creamy malt was kept in check with some tight carbonation. Sweet malt, caramel, a little butter was first on the palate. Some good toasty flavor leads into crisp hops for a dry, citrous finish. After you have a few sips, you begin to notice a dry bitterness that is almost coffee-like. Surprisingly complex taste that I missed on the first sip. Well balanced and easy to drink. Good choice for a flagship brew. I really think this would please the masses.

BeerFink, Apr 06, 2005
Photo of unit555
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice amber beer that pours with a deep rich copper color. The head looks almost "delicate" and rapidly disapepars but leaves a nice persistent lace ont he side of the glass that lasts the whole way to the bottom.

The aroma is prominent with hops and a sweetness. The taste nice and it is an easy drinking beer. There is a big taste that I am having trouble putting a finger on. It's not asweet per se but it is a tatste I associate with sweet.

As with other beers in the Bells line the flavors are long lasting and the beer is well crafted.

unit555, Mar 14, 2005
Photo of deejaydan
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep copper, not quite an amber in my book though. Looks nice. Very good lacing, and good head retention, it hangs out for a while. Smells slightly yeasty/bready and a mostly malted barley smell. Taste is very bready, sweet, with a pinch of hops in there. Mouthfeel is robust for style, carbonation is just right. This is a great crossover, or session beer.

deejaydan, Feb 18, 2005
Photo of masterbruewer
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a cloudy amber-gold color with moderate tan head and steady carbonation with little bubble clumping on the bottom. Solid lacing but the head fades fast.

The smell is sweet and malty, faint hop presence. Maybe a hint of citrus.

A mix of malty sweetness and faint citrusy tartness, no real hop kick to speak of. Not a flavor I expected, but not a bad flavor at all.

Mouthfeel is a little creamy and smooth.

Very drinkable, not a bad beer at all.

masterbruewer, Feb 02, 2005
Photo of redmosquito
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber in color indeed! With a nice lacing white head, as well. The aroma is malty, bread and caramel tinged with toffee, and light hops. As it warms the aroma shifts more to the hops with a definate citrus and pine scent, and a slight bit of diacetyl. The flavor is sweet, toasty, with fruity yeast in the background. Decent bitterness and a smooth mouthfeel finish this one off. Overall this is still a great beer, it's nice to see Bell's still getting the job done.

redmosquito, Feb 01, 2005
Photo of jimdkc
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy, but bright, amber color with a decent-sized cream-colored head. Loads of particulate matter suspended in this beer! Head dies back to a thin blanket of foam with good retention. Leaves a small amount of lace on the glass. Clean aroma of carmel malt and a hint of piney hops. Taste is more pine/earthy hops up front, some hop bitterness at the back of the tongue, and a solid malt base. Slightly sour aftertaste. Body is fairly light with moderate carbonation. I've enjoyed most Bell's that I've tried and this is no exception!

jimdkc, Jan 02, 2005
Photo of skybluewater
3.23/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a very murky orange color, with the yeast I poured in accidentally. Smell is quite funky. I don't like it much at all (although I can't describe what it is I don't like...). Taste isn't all that bad (compared to other Bell's beers I've had), although I'm really not all that crazy about it. There's some malty, with a bit of creamy texture, and a little citrusy hops.

This, to me, is yet another disappointing Bell's beer. While it's better than some other Bell's beers such as Cherry Stout and Two Hearted (shudder), it isn't a beer I'd buy again. There are just too many good ones out there to waste my money on semi-drinkable brews.

skybluewater, Dec 24, 2004
Photo of Suds
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried this one on a recent business trip, with a heavy potato sausage dinner. It appears as an amber, hazy liquid with a thin, but firm and lasting white head. Aroma is very pleasing…malty and doughy, ripe fruit, and a little butterscotch. Caramel and some flowery hops. Foretaste is a little sweet, with a solid malt flavor. Hops really come out in the mid-taste and the beer finishes with a notable bitterness. It was a very nice accompaniment to my meal…exactly what I imagine in a drinkable, flavorful ale.

Suds, Nov 20, 2004
Photo of walleye
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured cloudy copper med. sized head that didn’t last too long.aroma hops,malts hint of yeast a some sweetness,nice balance. flavor,can’t put the buds to it but a slight sweetness almost like pineapple? than some bitterness. had a nice mouth feel and finish

walleye, Oct 28, 2004
Photo of BrewMaster
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle. It pours a cloudy orange with sediment floating in it that eventually settled to the bottom. The aroma is mostly of pale malt. The flavors is a light malty aroma with hop bitterness up front and sweet pear ending. The ending is crisp with a bready aftertaste but it is not pasty or overdone. This could definately be a daily drinker for those who have access to it.

BrewMaster, Oct 14, 2004
Photo of karengarys
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Mine poured deep amber, very cloudy and with little floaties in it. I actually thought it looked kinda neat, but for the style I would not expect the clumps. It left a bit of a head, but not much. Some stuck to the glass.

It smelled quite good. Sweet, Floral, like a fresh spring day.

The mouthfeel was pretty good, creamy at first, and that dissipated quickly to a smoothness.

Taste is good, a bit bitter up front with the pine hop taste. There was a mellow roasty sweetness to balance that out a bit, but the bitter was up front.

It has a smooth finish that fades with carmel and banana.

Unfortunately, there is a bitter aftertaste left afterwards. ...guess I'll just have to drink and drink and drink and drink....

This is a good beer with lots of character. I would suggest to at least give it a try if you like slightly bitter beers.

karengarys, Oct 02, 2004
Photo of mobyfann
3.38/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Paid $15 even for the Midwest Taster...

The appearence is where this beer shines, right from the pour a beautiful semi-hazy amber colored base with a medium white head, exceptional head retention and very nice lacing effects. However, the smell prones to manage hints of malts and hops, but also hints of alcohol in the smell, something I've never smelt from Bell's before.

The taste leaves off where the smell left off, an overall nice taste but the hints of alcohol for a 5.5%abv really affects this beer. The mouthfeel and drinkability is something Bell's has down pat.

Final Thought: This beer tasted slightly better the longer it settled, so keep that in mind... Overall a solid ale!

mobyfann, Sep 27, 2004
Photo of alexgash
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.

alexgash, Sep 24, 2004
Photo of Gavage
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.

Gavage, Sep 21, 2004
Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 2,441 ratings.