Amber Ale
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

Amber AleAmber Ale
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Style:
Red Ale - American Amber / Red
Ranked #46
ABV:
5.8%
Score:
87
Ranked #19,083
Avg:
3.86 | pDev: 11.66%
Reviews:
1,028
Ratings:
3,333
From:
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
 
Michigan, United States
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  174
Gots
  647
SCORE
87
Very Good
Amber AleAmber Ale
Notes: The beer that helped build our brewery; Bell’s Amber Ale features both toasted and sweet caramel notes from carefully selected malts, balanced with herbal and citrus hop aromas. Capped by a clean bitterness, it’s incredibly versatile with food, but very tasty on its own.
Reviews: 1,028 | Ratings: 3,333 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of barneyrubble
barneyrubble from Colorado

3.84/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A soft beige 2F foam head forms upon pouring from a bottle to tulip glass. Nice lace accompanies the settled 1F head.

My nose detects lightly roasted malty grain and a whiff of bitter hops.

Taste is quite complex. I get a mineral saltiness, lightly roasted grain and a tangy hop presence that is only subtly bitter. The malt is not too thick or sweet and overall very well balanced.

Mouthfeel is creamy and medium in fullness with a light dry finish. Beer finishes slick and sticky. Carbonation is light.

This is a very nicely balanced beer for me. As with some other amber type ales, I was expecting a bit more sweetness from the malt but it does not seem necessary given the mild hops. This will go into my rotation for fall.

Sep 26, 2020
Photo of SierraNevallagash
SierraNevallagash from Maine

3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bell's Amber Ale

12oz bottle - poured into a thistle at fridge temp.

Pours a moderately cloudy deep copper colour, topped with two large fingers of eggshell head with good retention - leaving some lacing as it deflates.

Nose: Rich, malty caramel-like sweetness surrounding a bready malt character, and to a lesser extent, some toasted grainy pilsner malt. There is a surprising amount of brightness, and it actually has a strong pilsner character - complete with minerality and zesty lemon peel notes. Beneath all this, some spicy, herbal, almost Nobel hop notes appear in the background and conclude the aroma. Tame and balanced.

Palate: Immediately, this goes in a different direction from the aroma - namely in that it actually tastes more like an amber ale, and less like a Marzen. It greets the palate with that amber malty character, which is much more bready and malty than straight caramel sweetness. There is still some graininess beneath that malt, as well as a noticeable minerality, and that bright zippy lemon. The yeast character is expressive, just enough so to confirm this as an ale, and not a lager. The restrained sweetness is quickly pushed back by the hops, which quickly become spicy, herbal, and ever-so-slightly resinous in the finish, with just a hint of pine and bitterness.

Mouthfeel/Body: The beer is on the lighter medium-bodied - crisp and very drinkable, but with just enough malt to fill it out a bit. It isn't remotely cloying or syrupy, but there is a kiss of malt stickiness. Effervescence is zippy, lively, and fine, perfectly counteracting the malt. Slightly drying finish.

Overall: I only just read the description on the bottle, and they absolutely NAILED IT. While this may stray from the typical stylistic guidelines that I generally associate with "amber ale", and instead draw some heavy lager influence, it still remains a supremely refreshing ale, with a very satisfying malt backbone. The minerality, citrus, and herbal hops are the classic hallmarks of a good pilsner, and they work well here too. A bit unique, but very much enjoyable and refreshing. Will definitely revisit.

Aug 27, 2020
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BJB13 from Maryland

3.91/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a tumbler style pint glass.

This is a great amber which I should have seen tried a lot sooner. I found it maybe a bit malty, not to the point of being a detriment, but considering my bottle was six months old and looking at other reviews I believe a fresher bottle will have more hop "zing" to it. I am watching for a fresh batch at my bottle shop.

Aug 12, 2020
Photo of Shiredave
Shiredave from New York

4.21/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very pretty beer, medium amber color with a low head off white foam that has good cling and legs. Slightly cloudy with chill haze but tiny bubbles can be seen rising.
Aroma is light and malty per style, mild sweet caramel malt and distinct herbal hop notes. Clean and inviting to the nose.
Flavors of nutty granola with honey, Sugar Smacks w/out the milk and in a good way. As the caramel and grain flavors move through, a surprisingly firm hop bitterness blends in as it's sucked into the malt draft. Malt is the lead car here but the hops don't shy away from the race.
It's getting harder to find malt forward US craft beer and this is a good example of one to try that's NOT an IPA.
Full of balanced flavors that lean towards sweet but with plenty of herbal bite to keep the hoppy beer lover happy.

Aug 02, 2020
Photo of GopherGuts
GopherGuts from Missouri

4.55/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bell's Amber Ale IMHO is a standard by which amber ales should be based. Just as the label states carmel, malt and citrus. The key to the success of this beer is it's balance of the three. None of the three notes is forward. If you're tasting with one in mind, it's there. If you drink this Bell's without one in mind, it's just a damn good clean finished ale.

Jun 20, 2020
Photo of q33jeff
q33jeff from New Jersey

3.41/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

**
04/14/2020

Bottle to snifter.

LOOK: yellow brown, medium eggshell head, after fading stays wispy. Good retention
AROMA: light barley, touch of spice or apple. Hint of earth.
TASTE: mild bitterness, grains. Slight hint of a metallic taste.
FEEL: excellent carbonation and liveliness.

Solid brew. Goody spring or fall easy drinker.

**

Apr 14, 2020
Photo of Billet
Billet from Michigan

4.67/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pretty much a perfect Amber Ale. What more can i say? This is not normally my favorite style, but this one is an exception. The bottle has a readable date on the label. The color is amber as expected, it looks like honey and is clear for an ale. The smell is exquisite, lightly sweet with some mild spice. Flavor is the same, lightly sweet with some mild spice. The quality is top notch, it always tastes as expected. That last point is worth repeating. Thanks Bell's.

Apr 10, 2020
Photo of damndirtyape
damndirtyape from Ohio

3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in a nonic glass. Packaged 11/05/2019, PRN 27276.

Appearance: Hazy copper-amber color with persistent thin white head and big strands of lacing.

Smell: Clean malt, maybe a bit of honey/floral/herbal hops.

Taste: Malty with toasted malt and a bit of honey, so a bit on the sweet side. Light pine/tea-like bitterness at the finish.

Mouthfeel: Good thickness and carbonation, nothing special. A little sticky on the teeth.

Overall / Drinkability: The beer was very much as described on the label - malty, a little sweet, and definitely good with food. In this case, it paired well with chicken tacos. Definitely something I should pick up again. Easily drinkable.

Jan 05, 2020
Photo of wmscottsimpsonjr
wmscottsimpsonjr from Missouri

4.09/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Rich amber with 1.5 finger off white head. Malt, caramel, apple, bit of herb. Flavor is toasty malt, fruit (dried fruit, apple, citrus), caramel. Hint of bitterness.

Dec 08, 2019
Photo of JediMasterLenin
JediMasterLenin from District of Columbia

4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle into a pint glass

Look: Pours a slightly opaque amber, with a finger-width, off-white head that settles into a healthy cap/ring leaves plenty of fine lacing down the side of the glass.
Smell: Toasty dark bread, light caramel, and a light herbal/floral hop finish.
Taste: Follows the nose, with more intense dark bread, caramel malt and toffee flavors. A slightly dry, bright finish.
Feel: Medium bodied, small bubbles, goes down reeeeal easy.
Overall: A beer that is at once simple and easy to drink, and also complex and easy to appreciate at length. A staple.

Nov 15, 2019
Photo of Mindcrime1000
Mindcrime1000 from South Dakota

3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours hazy and medium amber with a excellent fluffy head that retains well and good lacing.

Simply aromas of caramel malt, hints of dark fruit, and yeast great the nose.

The brew is drier and hoppier than is typical of the style, but it is tasty. Caramel malts are forward. Dark fruit and yeast arrive in mid-stream with some spicy hop notes and mild citrus at the finish.

The brew is medium-bodied and smooth, but with good carbonation.

Overall, a nice take on this style.

Aug 25, 2019
Photo of Lucular
Lucular from Maryland

4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

5 oz pour on tap. Pours a moderately dark amber/brown. The aroma and flavor feature light fig, toasted malt, caramel, and citrus. Surprisingly complex and highly quaffable.

Amber ales aren't usually my favorite but I need to get more of this one - I sense a 6-pack is in my future.

Aug 15, 2019
Photo of DaveMaciolek21
DaveMaciolek21 from New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

One of Bell's bedrock beers. There's a nice gradual roast build-up that lingers into the aftertaste, giving this smooth amber brew a bit of substance. With a touch of hop presence, this is a beer for all seasons.

Aug 01, 2019
Photo of Urtravel
Urtravel from Pennsylvania

4.69/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

L: cloudy golden pale with foamy head and lace and lively carbonation
S: nice sweet Malta up front with mild floral aromatic hop finish
T: get the nice sweetness of the malt up front and then a tangy bite of hops at the finish
F: not too heavy not too light feel with vibrant carbonation penetrating in tongue
O: a well rounded balanced beer that invites you to a dances on the tongue on the way down

Jun 22, 2019
Photo of German-Helles
German-Helles from Wisconsin

3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This 12oz. bottle poured into a pint glass delivered 2" of slightly off white foam. After several minutes I still have a half inch with some nice lacing on the sides of the glass. This is a hazy amber, leaning a little toward the orange end.
The aromas are faint, slightly malty.
The taste starts with a little hops, then finishes a little bitter sweet. The taste is very good, I just always hope for a little bread flavor from the Amber Ales.
I like the creaminess that is felt when the Ale first touches the mouth. The dryness takes away from the sweet caramel flavors.
This beer is very good, my personal opinion would be to less with the hops and let more of the sweet flavors show.

Jun 15, 2019
Photo of Fizzer
Fizzer from Michigan

4.61/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Really great beer. Looks good, smells decent but the taste is very good. I didn’t realize that this was the same style as fat tire until the website here pointed that out, this is way better than fat tire. In fact I usually get one of these if it is available, after trying so many beers I’ve realized that this one is difficult to beat. sampling might be a waste of time.

May 28, 2019
Photo of Bitterbill
Bitterbill from Wyoming

3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On draught at Frontier Brewing and Taproom.

Pours a hazy orange gold..kinda red. Good head of foam and lacing.

Smells of some grain and roast, citrus hops.

Grain, bread, roast, citrus hops, smooth and enjoyable.

Lightish body, but again, very smooth.

May 22, 2019
Photo of MNAle
MNAle from Minnesota

3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Deep amber color, slightly hazy, moderate to light carbonation. Tall creamy off-white head receding very slowly, leaving thick lacing. Aroma is sweet bready malts, with a touch of citrus and toffee. Very attractive and inviting aroma. A bit of floral comes through after a few minutes. Sweet and mild taste, bready malts, honey, toffee balanced with a very slight bitterness in the late middle to finish. Body is moderate, with a little carbonation on the tongue. Quite enjoyable and easy drinking.

May 01, 2019
Photo of defunksta
defunksta from North Dakota

3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a deep amber color with an slight orange hue. A mild head. SRM of 14 (3.75)

Aroma: Strong aromas of rich caramel, ruby red cherry, citrus, plum, apricot with slight spice and vanilla. A slight floral and piney hop aroma. A sweet, toffee, and dark bread malt profile. Mostly caramel though. (3.75)

Flavor: Flavor is more caramel, ruby red cherry, citrus, plum with some piney spice and vanilla. Then some dark bread and toffee. Finishes only slightly bitter and rather sweet and smooth. (3.75)

Feel: Lighter-bodied. Low carbonation Finishes bitter, but clean. Bitterness lingers slightly, but not overwhelming. Balanced. (3.50)

Compared with an Altbier (Alaskan): This one has more citrus. It's lighter and drier. The malt profile is more wheat, and less dark German rye.

Compared with Mankato Brewery's Death Valley Johnnie 4/15/20: Pours a lighter color. Lighter aromas. More caramel on the aroma. Less citrus and hops. Both are sweet without bitterness. Less flavor overall.

Compared to Schell's Snowstorm Amber 5/1/20: Pours a similar color. Very similar aromas and flavors, but slightly more orange citrus than vanilla. Identical caramel. More carbonation and spice. Winner: Bells

Compared to Rush River's Amber Ale 5/31/20: Pours a slightly lighter color but similar. Simpler and less complex aromas and flavors. More smooth caramel and sweet & spicy citrus. Less toffee, flower, and English notes. Overall, more American. Winner: Rush River

Overall: An excellent expression of an American Amber. Captures American hops, but has the German amber malt profile of sweet, dark bread. The cherry and dark toasted bread is what stands out here, combined with its citrus and pine American hop presence which imparts a mild bitter finish. (Final Rating: 3.80)

Apr 13, 2019
Photo of jlindros
jlindros from Massachusetts

3.89/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Reviewed as part of BJCP training, 19A American amber ale. Bottles 12/05/18
Decent fizzy head with fair retention, little lacing, little hazy mostly clear amber copper color

Nose fair malts, toasted caramel amber malts, hint at sweetness, hops are a bit light, mild floral and fruity

Taste fair hop profile, but fruity, little herbal and turning ever so slightly spicy later, fair moderate bitterness, moderate malt profile, enough to support the hops, more caramel amber malts, little toasty, malty sweet thoughout, hops get slightly citrus, mild spicy hop and sweet caramel malt lingering

Mouth is medium to fuller bod, decent moderate carb

Overall not bad, wish the hops came through more, fairly muted in general, otherwise fairly on style wise

Feb 12, 2019
Photo of chitoryu12
chitoryu12 from Florida

3.69/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Look: Hazy amber with over a finger of thick, foamy white head with good retention.

Smell: Hop-forward, backed by toasty malt.

Taste: Mild hoppiness with bitterness layering on the tongue. The malt is difficult to uncover underneath.

Mouthfeel: Average thickness, high carbonation.

Overall: I'm growing a bit weary of Bell's obsession with hops. While their Two-Hearted IPA got them fame, not every drink has to follow in the hoppiness. While not a bad beer, this doesn't really meet the style you'd expect from an amber ale due to the covering of malt flavor.

Jan 12, 2019
Photo of Foyle
Foyle from North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into pint glass. A 2" off white head drops very slowly with mild lacing. Color is cloudy amber with particles in suspension. Aroma is toasted malt, caramel, floral notes. Mouthfeel is light with a mostly dry finish. Flavors: caramel, toasted malt, biscuit, herbal and floral hops. Overall: very enjoyable.

Jan 10, 2019
Photo of Samlover55
Samlover55 from New York

3.82/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into Nonic Pint
Bottled on 11/5/18
Pours amber with thick white head, gorgeous lacing
Smell is malt forward,  with jammy notes
Tate follows the nose with tons of bready malts followed by citrus jam, subtle bitter finish
Smooth creamy feel
Overall this is a solid malt forward beer, that is nicely balanced

Dec 05, 2018
Photo of beersampler6
beersampler6 from Michigan

3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Nice tasty ale but not quite of the caliber of Bell’s other outstanding beers. Pours a mild amber color with a little head and spotty lingering lacing. Smells of some nice faint fruity hops, malt, biscuit, caramel and some nuttiness. Smooth mild thin mouthfeel. Good carbonation. A nice safe beer but I would personally pick something else from Bell’s.

Nov 23, 2018
Photo of keithmurray
keithmurray from Connecticut

4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - copper body with white head

Smell - grapefruit, tea, caramel, apple

Taste - toasted caramel, apple skin, tea, hint of grapefruit

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, medium plus carbonation, caramel sweetness upfront, citrus in the back with a bit of hop bite

Overall - tasty amber ale here. Solid - worth a try

price Point - $8.99/6 pk 12 oz bottles

Oct 19, 2018
Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 3333 ratings