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

BA SCORE
87
very good
954 Reviews
Bell's Amber AleBell's Amber Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States
bellsbeer.com

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-12-2001

BEER STATS
Reviews:
954
Ratings:
3,050
Avg:
3.85
pDev:
11.95%
 
 
Wants:
151
Gots:
549
For Trade:
2
User Reviews
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Reviews: 954 | Ratings: 3,050
Photo of atsprings
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Batch 7779. Had this one right after the Bell's Pale at Flying Saucer and reviewed from notes. This is one of the palest ambers I have ever had, not much redder than the pale ale. The head was rather thin and diminished quickly leaving a small amount of spotty lacing on the glass. The aroma was of caramel malts and some very subdued hops. At least is was more noticeable than the pale. The taste was a good balance of caramel malts and subtle citrus hops. The mouthfeel had a slight alcohol bite, more than I would expect for a 5.5% beer. Decent carbonation. This would perhaps make a good nightcap, but it is not really something I would buy regularly.

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Photo of orcasteve
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

this starts out with sweet carmal malt then gets a tuch sour befor finishing with a mild hop flavor, this one also has a fair amount of yeast to it that makes it heaverer and cloudy. this is a nice beer that drinks smooth, this isn't my stile of choise but for a stile i dont care for, this is a deacent repersation.

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Photo of CHSLBrew
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into a pint glass.

A-Tan head, fluffy with ok retention. Amber brew, somewhat hazy with small-particle floaties.

S-Toasty and bready, light.

T-Moderate bitterness over a toasted malt and bread flavor base, with just a hint of semi-sweet malt. Hop character is minimal, perhaps a hint of spiciness. Slight caramel character.

-Medium-high carbonation, gives this medium-bodied beer some pizazz.

D-This would be a great session brew; its smooth flavor and ease of drinking makes it so. Complexity isn't necessarily high, but the quality of the characters that this beer has is good.

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Photo of macpapi
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bell's Amber begins a nice dark-amber color. It is somewhat opaque, with a fine half-inch white head. There are sediment particles discernable through the hazy aura of the brew. It smells crisp and fruity. Malt and citrus notes are there right off the bat, followed by a light floral aroma. The taste is pleasant, but not terribly complex. There is little hop action. The taste of malt and fruity elements are there. Sweetness level is high, but overall the flavor is not exceptionable. In the mouth there is a tart feeling on the tongue. Not offensive, but the relatively high level of carbonation and lack of fullness make for a less than substantial beer. Overall this is a decent beer that is drinkable to a degree. It is not, however, the most flavorul or easily appreciated. While above mediocre, and certainly session worthy, it is not the best that Bell's has to offer.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden tangerine with quite a bit of suspended yeast. The head is off-white, soft yet dense, falls to a barely covering film and doesn't leave a whole lot of lace. The nose is a combination of sweet, biscuity malt and earthy hops.

The flavor is of bready caramel malt with a solid undercurrent of earthy-spicy hops. It's also a little fruity; spiced apple perhaps. The finish is long, bitterish and dry. Solid mouthfeel for the style.

Amber Ale is another tasty beer from Bell's. Although nowhere close to their best effort, its balance ensures that it will be enjoyed by malt lovers and by hop lovers alike. A good session ale that I wish was available in the Hawkeye state.

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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.

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Photo of prototypic
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bell's Amber has a surprising amount of yeasty haze clouding its scarlet infused amber appearance. I like it. A vanilla head sits firmly on top and patiently dissipates. Light strands of lace line the glass as it descends.

The nose isn't bad, but is a little lacking in strength and diversity. It's very yeasty and doughy throughout. Caramel malts provide a nice, sweet aroma. It's a little sugary. Hops are noted, but aren't very powerful. They smell floral and earthy. All told, it's straight forward and not bad at all. A little more "oomph" would certainly be welcomed here.

The flavor kicks off with sweet caramel malt. It's sweet and somewhat sugary. There's a bit of fruit here that wasn't apparent on the nose. Tastes like pear to me. Floral hops add a nice dimension to it. They're earthy and grassy with a spicy twist. The most interesting thing about Amber Ale is how the flavor kind of flatlines. It's very stagnant and doesn't seem to develop much from beginning to end. It feels like it needs some pizzazz on the back end. As it warms, there's a slight bitter kick from the hops. But, it's not quite enough. Overall, it's got a pretty nice flavor, it just needs a little something extra.

Its body is light and somewhat smooth. Carbonation is active and a little crisp. A tad more body would improve it, but it's nowhere close to bad. Drinkability is good. Amber Ale is a very straight forward beer that goes down easy and isn't complicated in any way. I could handle a few of these if need be.

I'm pretty sure Amber Ale is Bell's Flagship beer. It's not a great beer, but it is good. I'd prefer a little more hops. They'd add some zeal that it currently lacks. Other than that, the nose is a tad weak and a bit more body would be good. Truth be told, those modifications might just turn it into an animal that it's not intended to be. As it is, it's a nice session beer with a pretty good flavor. As easy as it is to forget sometimes, those have a place in this world.

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Photo of daythree16
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Cloudy amber/brown in color. Has a lot of floating chunks suspended in the beer. 1.5 finger head with good lace.

Smell is a little bit of sweetness and not much else. Taste has some light caramel and roasted malt with a barely there spicy hop finish.

Medium bodied with good drinkability. This would be a great gateway beer for someone looking to get into craft beer. Good flavor, but highly sessionable.

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Photo of srv33
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Amber pour, hah, thin head, a little medium-fine lacing. Smells of pine, honey, sweet light citrus, bread. Taste is solid and has a non-overpowering balanced malt-hop ratio, excellent session brew, great signature, very solid taste, would buy again. One of my favorite non-ipa ales from Bells.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A darker shade of amber thats for sure. Head in the 1" range, off white, good retention. Overall a solid appearance of this amber ale. Aroma really kicked down as much citrus as I can remember in an amber ale.

This is a hoppy amber ale. Its not juicy like the nu NE ipa craze, but it imparts citrus sweetness. Its good stuff, not line up in the rain kind of good, but its plenty serviceable and significantly better than average. Usual caramel malt notes.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a classic Amber Ale. The beer poured out with a nice reddish looking color with a pretty good looking head on top that isn't afraid to stick around for a little while. The smell of the beer is well balanced between the hops and malts. The taste of the beer was pretty good too, much like the nose. There are plenty of hops and malts working together to make this a nice drinkable beer. The mouthfeel isn't overwhelming at all it's drinkable and easy to have a few in a sitting if you want to. Overall this beer is worth trying I think.

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Photo of LittleDon
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the tab, I get a slightly darker than amber cloudy beer with a fine off-white creamy head that sticks around for a bit. There is slightly toasted caramel and hint of hops in the nose, all slightly subdued. A big chewy somewhat-sweet caramel flavor greets me on the first taste. The finish is a bit subdued, nothing to write home about.

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Photo of gregalobeer
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
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 ...

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.62/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to THECPJ for this one!

A: Pours an amber color with lots of little floaties. Very small head that dissipates to a layer of foam on top. Decent lacing down the sides.

S: There is a sweetness, and a little bit of caramel malt. A slight floral hop aroma as well.

T: Some citrus upfront with a caramel flavor in the middle. There is also a toasted malt flavor as well.

M/D: Medium bodied with high carbonation. Overall its good, but I have had better in the style and probably wouldn't reach for it again.

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Photo of secondtooth
3.62/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a semi-clear amber with some sediment. Huge head with lovely, detailed lace.

Nose is delectable -- biscuity grains, yeast, sweet malts.

Taste is sweet and malty, too, with a hint of hops at the finish. Certainly a solid, easy-to-drink ale that would make an ideal gateway ale towards craftier ales. Solid.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.62/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Served from tap into a standard pint. Pours copper with a minimal white head. There was no apparent lacing present. The aroma was comprised of only subtle hops. The flavor was of small hops and subtle sweet malt. It was light on the palate with low carbonation. Overall this brew was really smooth and was stupidly drinkable. It did not have the greatest flavor and could have been more complex, but it was still enjoyed and was really refreshing.

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Photo of dexterk1
3.62/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into a pint glass. Color is little hazy reddish brown. Head was small and dissipated relatively quickly.
Odor is pleasant and is malty and sweet with some caramel notes.
Taste is good overall. First you get some malt and toffee. Finish has some hops bitterness and a little more malt.
Mouth feel is not too bad. Does not linger too long and feels a little light on your tongue.

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.62/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have a soft spot for Bell’s, but mainly for their big beers: Hopslam, Expedition Stout, The Oracle. It’ll be interesting to try one of their <6% ABV beers, then…

Brewed within the last few months before this tasting (can only make out the /12 of the year on the Packaged On date).

A: This Amber Ale is…well, amber. Slightly red, and with a sizeable white head of creamy bubbles. Retention is thin with slight, spotty lacing.

S: Sweet, satisfying malts first: creamy caramel candy, maple oatmeal, and cookie dough. It’s a subtly earthy graininess mixing with the sugars – cinnamon-sugar and clarified butter on slightly toasted bread – and just a hint of floral hops. Malty, but thin.

T: Leafy malts: maple, cashew, caramel, and toasted grain come together in mild, creamy fashion. Peaches and cream are notable, as well, before the tastes of mild bitter herbs take over. These hops are just a tad astringent and only slightly juicy – characteristic for an amber ale – just prickly enough to be a sizeable part of the palate. It’s a nutty, creamy vanilla aftertaste.

M: A little silk on the tongue and some bubble on the back end. As far as texture goes, it sits quite idly on a medium body.

O: An amber ale that’s all about traditional flavor, not bold, unique character. And in that way, it’s all that it can be. Quite sessionable.

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Photo of ZimZamZoom
3.62/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper colored with a finger's worth of tan head. The head is fairly dense and leaves some sticky lacing behind as it fades. Over all the beer is a bit hazy and there is a healthy amount of floaties suspended throughout the glass.

A sweet malty aroma, some caramel with some mild hop spice in the background. There's not a lot going on here. The flavor is also a caramel sweetness with less hop profile. It's interesting in it's simplicity. The hops kick in for a bit in the finish but there's still some sweetness lingering there as well and it's hard to tell what wins out in the end.

Fairly light bodied but not thin by any means. A good drinking beer that I would definitely go back to if it was not bed time.

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Photo of denver10
3.62/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rich amber with a thick, frothy khaki head. Wonderful retention and lacing, shockingly so for an amber. A nice sweet bready aroma mixed with a little fruit. A sweet and smooth flavor. Sugary, toffee, a little banana, bread, and a touch of lemon. I usually dislike toffee but they do a nice job with it here, it isn't too strong and dominating. A creamy medium bodied to this, not too much carbonation. A very representation of an an amber, though not my favorite amber I have tried. I've long been wanting to check out some Bell's offerings so glad to have finally tried something by them. Still wish it could have been 2 Hearted instead though!

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Photo of barczar
3.62/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy light amber with a sense, frothy khaki head that slowly dissipates, leaving sticky lacing.

Aroma is very subtle, with toasted nutty malt and floral hops dominating. There's a metallic note.

Flavor reveals more subtle character. There's a hint of underlying citrus, but the toasted malt backbone and specialty malt fruitiness dominate. The finish is nutty and a touch bitter. Floral hops become evident late, but the malt dominates. Metallic notes surface in the aftertaste.

Body is moderate to a touch light, with moderate carbonation and light alcohol warmth.

Not an amber by today's standards. Far less American hop character than we've come to expect. The malt is nice, though. Wish I liked this more.

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Photo of unclejimbay
3.61/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

I have had a few 6 packs of this beer over the past few weeks. I enjoy the taste and smell of this brew, but have found a noticeable amount of flaky sediment no matter how the beer is tired, poured or handled. It seems the yeast in this beer does not compact and always gets stirred up no matter how I pour.

Appearance is copper in color with satisfactory head and lace. Flaky sediment gets stirred up even with the most gentle/careful pour.
Smells of caramelized malts and brew day delicisousness.
Tastes as it smells with s nice balance of caramel malts and mild hop balance. Tastes mildly sweet but enjoyable for an amber.
Mouthfeel is medium body, medium+ carbonation.

The only turnoff on the beer is the annoying sediment. I don't mind a bottle conditioned beer as long as you handle it properly. This beer seems to always pour with flaky sediment and is a turnoff. After my 3rd six pack over the past 2 weeks I will stick with Two Hearted or Oberon.
I love Bells beers, this is my least favorite to date. Apparently they use the same yeast in most thier beers, I don't know why Amber behaves differently?

I will try this again in the future, maybe we have some old or bad batches around here?

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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.

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Photo of merlin48
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

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Photo of tvv375ia
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass

A- cloudy orange with a finger of head that lasted a couple minutes before fading

S-not a lot of smell but it was Carmel/malt type smell

T- nutty malt taste with a hint of pine hops

M-medium creaminess

O-good solid beer I will get again

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Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.85 out of 5 based on 3,050 ratings.
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