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

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

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BA SCORE
87
very good

895 Reviews
THE BROS
97
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 895
Hads: 2,752
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 10.13%
Wants: 120
Gots: 350 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-12-2001

Amber Ale deftly balances a mixture of toasted grain & light caramel notes with a range of floral, citrus and herbal hop notes, capped by a clean bitterness. This balance of flavors makes Amber Ale quite versatile as a food pairing option, not to mention being rather tasty in its own right. Whether serving as a jumping point to other styles or as a familiar standby, Amber Ale is central to the Bell’s portfolio.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 895 | Hads: 2,752
Photo of Tonmeister
3.56/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured in Goose Island Glass

Appearance: murky, brownish with a thin white head with a lacing that breaks when tilting the glass

The aroma contains a slight hopp presence, somewhat citrusy, but more earthly. I can smell the malts, but it;s hard to distinguish the specific details.

The taste is very smooth, almost tastes like water, but still contains a slight hop presence.

The mouthfeel is thin, with not much carbonation, very smooth and easy on the tongue.

Overall, this is a great breakfast beer. It's light and it goes down smooth. It doesn't feel like I'm drinking a beer. This is not one of my favorites, but for its style, I dig it because it's simple. (676 characters)

Photo of boogles
3.61/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This reminded me a lot of the lager, which people have rated lower, but with more of the same. Different from the masses, I really liked the lager (and its malt) but did not care for the amber. The amber is fuller and better balanced, but not special, for me. I did think it was a good beer, however, just not as good as others from Bell's. Maybe if it were more red, more hops, it would be a winner for me. (407 characters)

Photo of kevinjosephlee
4.55/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a glass

A: Amber orange, with an off-white head. The sediment at the bottle of the bottle was agitated, and by the presence of "floaties" I would guess that it was not only yeast but also some proteinaceous precipitate. No lacing and relatively low head retention.

S: A caramel malty scent with some hops sharpness as well.

T: It has a caramel malty presence that is moderated by a hops bitterness. Some floral notes (citrus) emerge later in the drink along with a clove spiciness.

M: Not much alcohol warmth, but the alcohol flavor does make an appearance. Good carbonation and body.

Notes: A great beer. I am glad it was recommended to me by my local bottle shopman. I have been on an amber ale kick and find that I enjoy the balance between hops and malt. This beer is very drinkable, yet needs to be enjoyed, so sip slowly, or make sure you have a six pack. (886 characters)

Photo of nota
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours cloudy amber with tan head. My wife could smell the sweetness of this beer three feet away! It is sweet, but I like the citrus tang of this beer mix with caramel overtones at end. Thier is enough hops to give it a good balance. I could drink this beer all day. (266 characters)

Photo of JAA
3.59/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Okay, i really couldn't care less about a beer's label art, but a Heron? Come on, it doesn't exactly scream "Buy me". However, out of the bottle and in the glass, it appears more respectable. A good lookin' dark and cloudy amber with a nice and fluffy, one finger head. The head didn't stay long, but fortunately, neither did the beer. Probably due too it's outstanding drinkability. More on that later.

Kind of a let-down on the aroma. A faint cararmel note is about the only identifiable smell in there.

The taste however, did not disappoint. A good example of the style. Not overpowering in the hops department. A biscuity malt foundation, mild bitter hoppiness, and a clean white grape finish. Nothing overpowers.

Mouthfeel is, dare i say it(?), a little watery. Come on, it's one of their weakest brews, they can make a beer for a hot, sunny, sunday afternoon and not be called wimps.

This beer is exactly what i called it in the last paragraph. A five and a half percent amber ale, meant to be a refreshing, yard work beverage. The only shame that Bell's should feel is the similarity of Budweisers' American Ale. Or maybe, they should feel pride that a giant of the industry picked one of their products to clone.

Don't get me wrong though, this is a far superior amber ale when compared to Budweisers'. (1,322 characters)

Photo of flowerysong
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Slightly hazy medium brown body, coarse tan head.

Smell: Sweet malt with some citrusy hop aroma and a bit of caramel.

Taste: Starts out sweet, toasted malt; some earthy and yeasty notes in the background along with just a hint of diacetyl; nice medium hop bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, medium-high carbonation.

Drinkability: Excellent example of the style. Full of flavour and well-balanced, easy to drink quite a few. (464 characters)

Photo of elephantrider
3/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Hazy orangish color, thin head that diappears quickly

S: Sweet, bready, and toasty. Not much hop presence. Very fruity smelling.

T: Alot like the the smell. A little too sweet and fruity for my tastes but finishes dry and crisp.

M: Medium bodied

O: This is not one of my favorite Ambers. I tend to like them with more carmel flavor and a little more hoppy. Still, not a bad beer. (386 characters)

Photo of VTR
3.37/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up for something different as I transition from my dark beer to lighter summer beers. I do not usually like Amber Ales but I found this refreshing and enjoyable. Definitely not too hop forward with nice caramel/toffee flavor. Kind of a funkiness to the taste with some tartness but totally enjoyable. Carbonation is a kinda high but I did not mind. I am pleased with this. (391 characters)

Photo of marcellaproust
3.47/5  rDev -9.9%
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. (278 characters)

Photo of TheBigLebrewski
4.55/5  rDev +18.2%
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. (1,387 characters)

Photo of jayb
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
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. (430 characters)

Photo of righlander
4.56/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful amber with a frothy foam head with nice lacing from a 12 ounce bottle. Smells of sweet malt with some citrus hop hiding nicely in the background. Taste is smooth sweet malt with some toasty grain and excellent hop balance. Perfectly carbonated and crisp with sweet malt and nice mellow hop balance. Very nice on the tongue. Drinkability is great, very nice amber. probably the best amber ale i have ever had. i could drink several of these. The cool thing is I took a chance with these and bought a whole 6-pack because they were bottle conditioned I figured there was a chance they could be decent. And I am pleasantly surprised! I love it when this happens! Like i said probably the best amber i have ever had. 5 more to go... CHEERS! (754 characters)

Photo of BigDRS
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Color is tangerine with an off white head. There's a bit of visible carbonation and a substantial amount of yeast/cloudiness lingering in this one. Head quickly drops and leaves a small film and decent amount of lace.

S - I get some biscuit and bread notes with a bit of caramel, but that's it. The aromas coming from this beer are a bit thin, but sharp and to the point.

T - Just enough hops in play with strong bready malt flavors. There's a touch of caramel on the back end. Finish is long and lingers for quite a while. I'm impressed at how well balanced this is.

M - Mouthfeel is awesome. There's just a touch of a syrupy/creamy quality on the back half of this brew. I feel like sometimes I overrate mouthfeel, in this case the score is well deserved.

O - I haven't had a beer from Bell's that I didn't like. This is a great example of the style, probably the best that I've had. At 5.5% I'd see this as a decent session beer. It drinks really well - wouldn't have a problem knocking back a few of these. (1,058 characters)

Photo of heidelbeerg
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
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. (265 characters)

Photo of BeerHonky
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy orange/amber. A bit of very fine sedimet is floating around. Bubbly white head, about two fingers worth.. Smell's of faint hops and sweet malt. Very refreshing smelling. It makes me want to take a huge gulp as the first taste. Fairly sweet malt flavor with well balanced hop flavor. Very little bitterness. It seems like the sweetness might be sticky, but a nice crisp carbonation seems to scrub it clean. Excellent smooth, but crisp mouthfeel. You can easily drink three or four of these. After drinking so many stouts and IPA's this winter, this has been an awesome change. A perfect example of a simple beer that can please any craft beer enthusiast. (668 characters)

Photo of seh410
4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Randy (randjuke) for this brew :)

Appearance: Beautiful opaque amber color with a thin, fizzy white head that dissipates very quickly and leaves little islands of thin foam on the top. This beer is really pretty - the amber is so vivid: reddish-orange at the top of the glass and yellow-orange at the base.

Aroma: It smells very sweet but balanced: warm toasted malts and caramel with maybe just the tiniest bit of piney hops in the way back

Taste/Mouthfeel: Taste is similar to the nose - lots of sweet malts and caramel on toast - but with a more pronounced bitterness. The mouthfeel is full and chewy, on the creamy side with very little carbonation

Notes: Very drinkable. The beer is balanced: not too sweet, not too bitter, and certainly not too heavy. I'd drink it again for sure. (803 characters)

Photo of rel
4.14/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very hazy copper/brown color. Nice thick head that dissipates quickly with a little lacing.

The smell is of toasted and biscuit malts. Toffee and Coffee notes. Some subtle hops.

The taste is strong of toffee and toasted malts upfront, but the hops come through. The bitterness cuts the sweetness of the malts, so that every gulp is as new, tasteful, and refreshing as the first.

Both the malts and hops balance out and remain on the palate. A very appeasing aftertaste, with good carbonation to awaken the lingering flavors.

This amber brings out the best of its kind of beers, while utilizing hops in a more prominent, yet subdued role. Awesome beer and a new session beer for me. (693 characters)

Photo of RodneyX
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Amber colored beer that had a head with some okay retention and some small lacing on the sides. It smells mostly of caramel malts and grain and has just the slightest bit of hops there. Taste is really a lot like the nose, although the hops are not quite as much as I thought they would be. Some medium-level carbonatoin and the beer has a good syrupy coating aspect to it while managing not to get too heavy. I found this to be very drinkable but I wish there was more hops in it. (481 characters)

Photo of JeffBlue
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

(Draft, The Refinery, Newhall, CA 2/28/14) A good beer but nothing really stands out. Been on a long hiatus from "ambers" so it is hard to judge for its' style.

Others:
Two-Hearted Ale (favorable) (197 characters)

Photo of kwalters
3.64/5  rDev -5.5%
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. (758 characters)

Photo of SmithwicksNut
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: If you don't like sediment in your beer this one is not for you. It was cloudy with plenty of sediment floating throughout. The sediment quickly settles to the bottom of the glass. A nice with head with lacing lasting throughout the beer. A very nice copper color.

S: The malt is really the only thing one will smell.

T: This is a very good beer. The malts are sweet and lingers in the back of the mouth.

M: medium to low carbonation with more fuller body than other amber ales.

D: I truly enjoyed this beer. I can drink a few of these. It is a easy drinking beer. You will enjoy it. (590 characters)

Photo of Transatlantic
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a hazy orangish-copper color with a bubbly finger off-white head. Closer look will show many fine carbonation bubbles bubbling up from the bottom. Very good looking beer.

S - First up is a very molasses/caramel type of dark sweet maltiness. Through the second smell, you can pick up on some fruitiness, maybe some kind of melon? Deep in the back on the third smell is a bit of a warm wet grassy sort of smell that i'm not too keen on, but it's not harsh in any means.
As strange as it may seem, the smell reminds me of a pumpkin ale but without the spice.

T - Not bad at all. It's a very balanced beer in a staple sort of category. Very bready, yeasty and cracker like taste. The beer is as it says, a sweet one. It's by no means a "sweet" beer by reputation. There's not a trace of hops that I pick up in the beer.

M - Light to Medium bodied. It's perfectly carbonated but leaves a bit of a cross between a creamy and oily mouthfeel.

O - I might have found my staple beer. Whether you're a session drinker or not, this beer will satisfy both sides. It's something to talk about and something to have on hand to quench your thirst. (1,145 characters)

Photo of ribby
3.81/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

From my days in Kalamazoo, I remembered Amber as my favorite Bell's. Alas, though it is good, it is not quite what I remembered, particularly, it is less balanced than I remembered.

It pours a very light brown, from almost clear to cloudy depending on how carefully you decant, while the aroma is very mild, not showing the hoppiness in the flavor.

The taste is somewhat on the hoppy side, with some smokiness in the malt flavor, and a hint of citrus. (Maybe the Oberon has become an invasive species.)

The mouthfeel is reasonably full, but the head is a little rough.

This is still a very drinkable beer. The flavor is strong but not overpowering. (652 characters)

Photo of Doughbodyboy
3.71/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

it pours a slightly hazy slightly golden amber with a solid head that is hanging around. the malt is solid with a lasting taste. the hopy note is rather light with no real bitterness. it has the right refreshing fell in the mouth. nice and bubbly. i prefer a strong IPA. so this was surprising how good it was to me. i recomend this fine amber ale from bells! (359 characters)

Photo of BeardedSquash
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A cloudy brass body with a small cream colored head which falls quickly. A few pillars of carbonation.

S: Buttery hops. This is the type hop smell that inspired my ill-conceived hallertaur croutons. (does not translate into actual butteriness on bread) Rich sweet malt comes through after a while.

T: Wonderful. That rich hoppyness stays in the back seat, but makes itself known throughout the beer. A slight lake water flavor at the back of the tongue if that makes any sense. Malts rearlly shine through as the beer warms. Surprisingly different for an American Amber.

M: Light on the tongue, but sticky on the lips. You can almost lick the malts off your moustache.

D: I first snagged one of these from a friend who's first beer choice is Shiner Bock. I wasn't expecting a bad beer, but needless to say I wasn't expecting something this good. Well rounded, and ballsy with the hops. A nice surprise. Hope to have it one on tap one day. (953 characters)

Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 895 ratings.