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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
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Ratings: 2,063 | Reviews: 843 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of godfathermg57
godfathermg57

Florida

4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Very clear amber with fine head

S: Smell is faint and has hints of malt but nothing much to it

T: Very nice for an amber. Smooth malt and a hint of honey.

M: Glorious mouthfeel, thick for an amber and with carbonation. I could feel the beer linger after each sip.

D: Very drinkable and would be a good session beer

I'm wondering whether having it on-tap changed the feel, because it felt much thicker to me than it seems for most other people judging from the other reviews.

Serving type: on-tap

03-05-2011 17:42:31 | More by godfathermg57
Photo of lsrose
lsrose

Indiana

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

Batch 10159

A - Beer pours a medium darkness amber color. Some head, but it quickly dissipates.

S - First and main thing i smelled when I opened this beer, french fries!

T - Pretty good tasting amber ale. Would like more depth and flavors though.

M - Pretty lite but a bit of a bite.

O - Overall pretty good, but doesn't stand above other good amber ales.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2011 02:21:29 | More by lsrose
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
Photo of kilustration
kilustration

Illinois

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

Wow! I am not usually a fan of red beers.

This one is smooth! Slightly sweet flavor, pours amber (duh!) with a medium white head and nice lace. Very hoppy.

Nice mouth feel. Easy to finish. Somewhat creamy texture. Light carbonation.

Very surprised. This for a red beer is a winner.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2011 02:03:55 | More by kilustration
Photo of jaz
jaz

Indiana

4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This mildly hazy, medium amber beer was a true delight. The small head provided good lacing about half way. The aroma was fruity and sweet. Taste was clean and smooth, with a nice sweet middle and hoppy finish. Some acetic flavors were present in the aftertaste. A nice, easy drinking beer with good flavor and mouthfeel.

Serving type: on-tap

04-26-2003 10:39:54 | More by jaz
Photo of Jekster
Jekster

Indiana

4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a dark amber red / orange that lightens toward yellow on the edges. The glass is laced by a nice one to two finger off white frothy head.

Smell: Sweet malt and bready overtones take the forefront in the aroma of this beer. Hiding behind that are slight fruity aromas like apple or pineapple. A slight American hop character is also noticeable.

Taste: Fruit comes through in the pallet along with a distinct yeasty bread flavor. I taste sharp tart apple like a nice dry white wine. The flavors dissipate rather quickly when swallowed leaving a slight presence of alcohol esters to peruse my mouth. There is a slight lingering bitterness along with a drying aspect probably due to the alcohol (near 6%).

Mouthfeel: This beer is fairly effervescent for an amber ale which contributes to the overall dry light feel of the beer. It's thirst quenching while not being a completely light and wussy beer.

Drinkability: This beer is pleasant without being overpowering. It's easy to drink and what I would call a quaff-er. I could sit back and enjoy quite a few of these with some light snacks during a movie or while eating pretzels and shooting pool. It's what I would choose if I wanted something with a balance between a sweet bready backbone and a American hop bitterness.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: I would easily buy this beer again. It's a nice beer when you don't feel like blasting your mouth with hops yet want something that is not overpoweringly sweet. It has nice complexity yet is simple and refined at the same time.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2009 01:34:52 | More by Jekster
Photo of bataround
bataround

Florida

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

Hazy, light amber body with lots of visible yeast in suspension. Head comes on strong but fades all too quickly.

Big amber malt nose laced with an orange peel hop scent. Biscuit notes linger. A fine aroma profile for the style.

Biscuity right up front and back-loaded with citrus hops. Outstanding balance of soft brown sugar-sweet malt with a crisp, controlled finishing bitterness.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2008 21:32:18 | More by bataround
Photo of blackthistle
blackthistle

Michigan

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.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2005 02:57:21 | More by blackthistle
Photo of jroberts8811
jroberts8811

Missouri

3.69/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A-beautiful in a pint. amber, transparent, lots of big carbonation, settles into a reasonably fluffy head. good sticky lacing.
S-strong sweet malt notes, caramel, honey, slight hops
M-Thin, doesn't coat the mouth, lots of bright carbonation, but not crisp
T-roasted malt, slightly bitter, apricot (?)

Started off thining it was "meh" but i've somehow made it through the whole thing...Guess that's what it's supposed to be. Easy to drink and enjoy. It is what it is and nothing more.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2013 16:53:10 | More by jroberts8811
Photo of PA-hunter
PA-hunter

Pennsylvania

3.04/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured bottle into glass. 5.8% abv

Appearance- Medium amber and cloudy with a thick foamy white head.

Smell- Fresh biscuit-like aroma with toasty maltiness.

Taste- Nothing really pronouned up front. Some bready and earthy malt notes with a touch of grass. Hop bitterness on the back end but not strong.

Mouthfeel- Highly carbonated but a bit watery in body. Less than moderate.

Overall- Not bad, but nothing out of this world. I was more impressed by Bell's two hearted IPA, in fact was blown away so maybe my expectations were set a bit high. I thought this beer could have been more complex. As stated, still an ok brew.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2014 03:31:50 | More by PA-hunter
Photo of gregalobeer
gregalobeer

Connecticut

3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bells makes better. Not that this was bad, just a bit uneventful.

A: opaque, burnt orange ale, with speckles of yeasty sediment
S: not much at all, definitely weak on the hops, citrusy
T: orange, vanilla, broad strokes of un-accented maltiness
M: very smooth, moderate to low carbonation, full-bodied and creamy; it feels like the body doesn't match the flavor, missing sweetness, or something to fill in the awkward silence of character

I mean, it's not unpleasant, but there's something missing here. I could drink more, but it leaves me wanting ...

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2011 01:49:06 | More by gregalobeer
Photo of dmgeng
dmgeng

Indiana

3.69/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Tried one of Bell's flagships to harvest yeast for Two Hearted clone.

A - Nice amber color. Strong off-white head with moderate lacing.

S - Malty and sweet nose with a light touch of hops.

T - Strong malty sweetness with notes of caramel. Light earthy hop tone in the middle but is malt heavy. Though slightly unbalanced this amber has everything for the style.

M - Medium mouth-feel with moderate carbonation. Mostly clean finish for an amber.

Overall, a very good session beer if you prefer ambers over pale ales or darker beers. The caramel tone is a very desirable flavor and would be a very nice change of pace for anyone stuck in a rut. Used the harvested yeast for an American brown and it came out great.

Glass- Pint

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2013 12:02:18 | More by dmgeng
Photo of mattgert
mattgert

Ohio

3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass. Very cloudy copper color with nice white head. Very surprised to find little if any smell at all. A touch of citrus and malt at best. Taste: Nice hop punch with malt backbone. Citrus is present. Very drinkable and very smooth. Mouthfeel is excellent with a little dryness in the finish. Carbonation is just a notch higher than expected. Interesting that this is an amber. Has the appearance of most APA's and could easily pass as one. Definitely worth sampling.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2006 00:56:34 | More by mattgert
Photo of Pedro07
Pedro07

Michigan

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

Ah yes, an old standby. Sadly I think I've seen the price of a sixer go up noticably lately.
This one is quite nice and available almost everywhere in W. Michigan.
A- Nice glowing burnt orange/reddish hue, with a one finger whiteish head. Decent lacing.
S- The smell is there, it's decent. Lots of your basic good malts. Hints of hops pop in and out.
T- This one is well-rounded. I get malts up front, malts in the middle, and malts on the back. There is no one point during which the hop flavor comes up. Similar to the smell, it randomly appears.
M- This one is good. It feels like you're drinking a top-fermented, ale beverage.
D- SESSION BEER. This one fits the mold for me. It's got enough taste to satisfy, but a low enough abv. where your not tripping after two!

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2009 00:22:40 | More by Pedro07
Photo of dublife1
dublife1

Pennsylvania

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

Had this on Cask at Tap and Table in Emmaus, Pa. Perfect two finger head and smells of roasted grains and caramel. Taste is so crisp and slightly malty. FANTASTIC!!! Mouthfeel is incredible and so much better than in bottle form. This is a session beer for sure!!! Bell's is no doubt an incredible craft brewer that the USA can be proud of! Well Done!!!

Serving type: on-tap

05-30-2009 01:11:31 | More by dublife1
Photo of 6thomas3
6thomas3

Florida

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

Appearance - Hazy caramel with a tight pristine brownish-yellow body, minuet fragments of sediment that are bready in nature dwell at the bottom of my glass and float in suspended animation until my glass is disturbed; head retention is modest with ample lacing as the beverage is consumed, carbonation bubbles excitedly rush to the top with a sense of urgency

Smell - Faint hints of floral and coffee like aromas tickle my nostril; not overwhelming though

Taste - Beautiful blend of malt with an organic coffee snap at the end engulfed in a remnant aftertaste of mother earth

Mouthfeel - Delicate cohesion infused with immaculate uniformity and smoothness entice my taste buds and possess my arm to continue reaching for more

Overall - This beer transcended my expectation and has opened my eyes to the bold and exhilarating world of red ale and I now have a longing for more

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2011 21:12:54 | More by 6thomas3
Photo of ninaturner
ninaturner

Florida

4.38/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Caramel color, somewhat chalky, unfiltered.

Aroma: You can smell a hint of caramel malt and some yeast, but there is little aroma.

Taste: You can definitely taste the caramel malt in the beer. I love the kick of bittering hops at the end. Probably my favorite part of the beer.

Mouthfeel: Great mouthfeel; somewhat thick but not too thick--similar to other amber ales.

Drinkability: Mouthfeel and overall flavor make this beer highly drinkable.

Overall: You can't go wrong with this Bell's Amber Ale!

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2012 23:00:48 | More by ninaturner
Photo of ellman
ellman

Indiana

3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Pour: Hazy orange, nice Off White head
The Aroma: Flowery With malty sweetness
The Taste: Good bitterness and slightly sour
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied
Drinkablity: Good Hot Day Lawnmowing Beer,
This is my first review, and its a lot harder then it first seemed.I hope it helpful, coming from the mouth of an amateur.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2003 15:39:23 | More by ellman
Photo of alexhammond
alexhammond

Maine

4.43/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

my first Bell's product, and what a treat this one was.

the first scents I notice are fruity, with a bit of citrus and hops, all blended together nicely.
in the taste, I'm getting some hints of pear, apple, and maybe some kind of berry flavor. a bit of hops gives it just enough bitterness to balance out the sweeter flavors.

by far, one of the best amber ales I've had, the balance and intensity of the flavors really makes this one unique.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2009 20:47:10 | More by alexhammond
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 kc44
kc44

Pennsylvania

4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep copper hue, a little haze, but a great head that starts out fluffy and then collapses in on itself to stick around and stay thick. Malt and a bit of bread on the nose, I wouldn't mind a little bit of hops and some more complex grainy character. Incredibly delicious beer - the bread shows up here, and so do the hops, the malt doesn't bail. Wow. This beer has a great depth of flavor, and remarkable interplay and balance in the elements of its taste. A real pleasure to drink, decent bodied but doesn't require chewing, carbonated but doesn't try to jump back up your throat. Overall, a terrific example of what basic American microbrewing is at its best. It doesn't need to be crazy hoppy. This is a well-balanced, totally thought out beer. That being said, it is simply not the type to knock your socks off and be a once-in-a-lifetime. That's ok by me -- I'll happily keep this in my mental list of go-to basics for the rest of my life.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2012 03:28:54 | More by kc44
Photo of WillWillows
WillWillows

Ohio

4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bell's Amber in the bottle. I poured it into a pint jar. Very nice and pours a nice reddish gold with a good head that dissipates. Taste is stronger than other Ambers, such as Abita, and has a better mouthfeel, no backbite. Nice. Two for two on Bells having consumed an Oberon recently. I will be back for this one again, I bought a sixer just in case. The five remaining are in grave danger of a quick disposal.

I am drinking the last one now. I slow poured it into a Mason jar and let it sit for 3 minutes until the head was down and the lacing was left. The taste and the temperature were perfect. This is a fine ale.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2013 00:26:57 | More by WillWillows
Photo of monkeytoe
monkeytoe

Florida

3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Orange/amber color with a pale tan head. Medium cloudy. Head is thin with some very light lacing.

Smell – Sweet and malty nose with a mild, citrusy, hoppy smell. Maybe a little chrysanthemum flower smell at the top.

Taste – Solid, malty, toasty taste with a bit of bright crispness from the hops. Finishes with a bright citrusy tang on the tongue that lasts and lasts. Not a lot of middle notes, mostly deep malty sweetness and high, bright citrus.

Mouthfeel – Medium-light mouthfeel with the perfect amount of carbonation to keep the sweet maltyness from being cloying.

Drinkability – Excellent drinkability—delicious with plenty of flavor, but not overwhelming. The long-lasting citrusy finish makes me want more and more: a beer for the long haul.

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2005 23:15:54 | More by monkeytoe
Photo of Leebo2007
Leebo2007

North Carolina

2.08/5  rDev -45.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Very bland beer...the smell (which should first draw you in) is weak and the taste just does not fit. It is almost flat to taste. I was very disappointed! It does have a good color and it may be better in draft form. I am waiting to try other beers in the Bell Brewery Family!

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2007 01:35:26 | More by Leebo2007
Photo of carwreCk
carwreCk

Alabama

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

Appearance in the light is honey-like and foggy with a creamy head.

Smell is wheaty to me.

Taste is fruity and malty with a bitter end.

Mouthfeel is grainy, not too watery.

Drinkability is good, although the bitter finish could get old for some (including myself).

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2009 02:14:49 | More by carwreCk
Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 2,063 ratings.