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

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very good
942 Reviews
Bell's Amber AleBell's Amber Ale

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

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

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Reviews: 942 | Ratings: 2,999
Photo of jsh420
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bottled on 11/29/11

pours cloudy amber orange with a frothy 2 finger off white head that left some spotted lacing

smells of sweet caramel malt, apples, and earthy hops

taste is semi sweet biscuit malt little grain fruity floral earthy hops - could use more bitterness

mouthfeel is a tad thin - decent carbonation very smooth and easy drinking

overall - not a mind blowing beer but well made good flavor very sessionable

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Photo of Beeryce
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Nice slightly off-white head atop a cherrywood coloered, clear beer. Steally carmel malt and pronounced bitter and floral hop aroma. Taste is well balanced interplay of hop bitterness and sweet chewy malt. Nice mouthfeel fits the beers flavor profile and adds to the high drinkability. A great session or six-pack beer.

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Photo of tgbljb
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a hazy apricot color with modest white puffy head.
Smell is mild with some soft malt notes detected.
Taste is big time sweet malt, but a lingering hoppy dryness is also present. This dryness begins to dominate and eventually is the main taste sensation.
Leaves an austerely dry feeling at the finish.
An OK beer but not a great one.

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Photo of Brad007
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Color: Cloudy amber color with a thin one-finger head and ample carbonation.

Aroma: Sweet and malty with mild hop bitterness. Light as well. Nothing overpowering.

Taste: Sweet with a decent breadiness. Clean. Smooth. Mild hop bitterness. Seems quite drinkable. Goes down very smooth.

Mouthfeel: Sweetness, malt and mild hop bitterness. Clean on the palate. Breadiness is present.

Drinkability: Clean and drinkable. Unremarkable though. Still a good choice for an amber ale if you're looking for one.

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Photo of Tripel_Threat
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle to pilsner, light copper in color with two fingers of white, foamy head that settle to a cap with some sticky lacing. Lots of lazy carbonation, small, slow bubbles that eventually make their way to the surface. Some floaties.Aroma is toffee, caramel, biscuits and some floral notes. Tastes follows, with a sometimes there-sometimes-not bite on the end. Nice and smooth, a solid offering. Not something I'd see myself craving, though.

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Photo of Natural510
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light copper, um, amber color with medium amount of creamy head with proper lacing.
Nose is somewhat faint caramel malt and a hint of herbal-pine hops.
Caramel biscuit malt to the forefront of the flavor with a sweet, herbal tea quality. Hints of fruit with an astringent finish. Hop bite minimal at best.
Medium bodied; not too light, but not as full as many craft ambers of today.
This one didn't knock my socks off, so I have to think like other flagship brews it meant more back in its day than compared to other offerings from its brewery (think SNPA or Boston Lager).
It's okay, but I prefer ambers with a bit more body and hops.

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Photo of aaronh
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper/amber color with a thick, light tan head. Excellent head retention. Malty, caramel aroma is evident from the moment the cap pops on the bottle, and easily wafts 18 inches from my glass to my nose. Upon closer inspection, a very pleasing earthy hop balance is evident within the carmal aromas. The taste presents a woody flavor surrounded by malt and hops. Biscuit and caramel flavors are definitely present, but the woodiness is dominant. Slightly fry finish, with a slight note of alcohol esters of some sort. Earhty notes linger in the aftertaste. The woodiness diminshes a bit as the beer warms, but a stronger bitterness assumes it;s palce. The mouthfeel is solid, and the drinkability pretty good. Although this is much better than the evidently bad bottle from late winter, the flavor profile just doesn't suit my palate well. I think it was Cottonwood's Low Down Brown that had a similar woodiness to it, which I also didn't care for. I'll have to do some investigating as to what that taste is.

*original review, 2-6-03*
Copper colored beer poured with a huge, off-white head. However, it had a large amount of sediment chunks floating around in it. I've seen these before in other ales, and they look like little flakes of minerals. Usually doesn't affect the taste, but it isn't attractive. The aroma is hoppy, with a sweet malt aroma behind it. Smells like a sweetly scented flower. The taste had a bit of a strong pine note to it, with alcohol clearly evident. Surprisingly so for a 5.5% ABV beer. A bit of a sourness was present on the finish, with strong pine flavors as well. Very bitter as well, but in a bad way. Mouthfeel was decent, but drinkability was poor due to the off flavors. I'm presuming this bottle was of sub-par caliber. I'll re-visit this beer later in the year after obtaining another sampl

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Photo of Brunite
3.52/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured an orange tinted amber with a three finger white head and decent lacing. A slight bit of haziness.

S - The aroma was more pine hoppiness than malt. Also some breadiness but more subdued than the hops.

T- Quite a bit of hoppiness....almost like an IPA. There was some dry graininess and a hint of butterscotch as well. A bit of tart citrus on the finish.

M - Medium body....smooth drinker. Decent carbonation. A light resinous feeling left on the roof of the mouth.

D - A decent beer here. More than I would have expected from an Amber. A nice sessionable drink.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.52/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Pint glass.
Batch 103?

A - Pours a cloudy amber brown with a khaki colored head. Good retention and light lacing.

S - Sweet carmel, barley.

T - Lots of carmel, malts, barley.

D - Average body and carbonation.

O - Decent, sweeter and very carmel forward.

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Photo of Hoser77
3.52/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance-Pours a hazy amber color. Thin, whispy off-white head that quickly dissapates. Lacing persists.

Smell-Malty sweet. Biscuit, toast, and bready notes. Moderate floral and spicy hop aroma. Slight fruity fermentation esters. Balance is towards the malt.

Flavor-Very similar to aroma. Moderate hop bitterness that lingers thoughout the experience, finishes floral and spicy. Malty sweet up front, becomes toasty and biscuity towards the middle and end. Slight fruitiness from fermentation. Finish is crisp, dry, and refreshing.

Mouthfeel-Chewy up front, but finishes crisp and dry. A tad overcarbonated. No astringency.

Overall-A very drinkable version of the style. Nothing memorable about it. A classic version of a midwest/east coast amber focused more towards malt than hops. I prefer the hoppier versions of the style. That being said, a very drinkable, full-flavored session all.

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Photo of WastingFreetime
3.52/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from session notes.

Pours out a hazy amber color with a short lived but pretty-while-it-lasts head, no lacing. Smells of biscuit dough and a touch of caramel apple with just a whispered hint of pie spicing. Tastes about evenly of bready notes and fruity esters, with a clean bitter finish, crisp texture and medium carbonation levels.

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Photo of pootz
3.52/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4


Pours a hazed orangey-copper color with a 2 finger sticky cap.

Aroma has some roast, some toffee over citrus-floral hopping. Average mouthfeel and body.

Flavor profile is pretty much like it's aroma. Front is roasty-toffee malting balanced with grapefruity resinous bittering, moderate drying finish ends mildly bitter.

I've always maintained that so-called "amber ale" is a catch all style for brewers to throw their own innovative signature into it. This one, although not bad or cheap in any way, disappoints if for nothing more than its ordinaryness. I expected more from this brewer. On the upside the ale is tasty, balanced, properly conditioned and made for sessioning.

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Photo of gmfessen
3.52/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer is a murky golden amber color with a slightly carbonated head. Smell is of amber and caramel malts, sweet. Taste is initially sweet, followed by a nice balance of hops that finishes dry. Beer is medium bodied, chewy, with creamy carbonation. Overall I would have to say that this is definitely a drinkable beer, but it doesn't really stand out to me as anything too special.

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Photo of tomakara
3.52/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer was very dark in color so I knew it was going to be on the heavier side, taste-wise. It resembled a malt taste with a hint of caramel as well. Had an interesting taste but was better after accumulating a few sips!

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Photo of karengarys
3.51/5  rDev -8.8%
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.

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Photo of Duff27
3.51/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch 10669
PKGD 9/12/11 A

A- Full inch of white head on a sediment filled amber bodyied beer.

S- Smells of biscuits and caramels.

T- Some caramel notes. Well balanced between malts and hops.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Smooth, lower end of carbonation.

D/O- Just a nice, easy drinker from Bell's. For whatever reason, this beer has never done much for me....aside from the appearance and drinkability it doesn't really stand out in any way. Good, but pretty middle of the road.

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Photo of FuzzyGuy84
3.51/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A - Cloudy burnt orange color with medium carbonation. Light caramel-colored, full head. Very opaque, which is surprising.

S - Mild smell of light hops. Bright and refreshing, but not especially pronounced.

T - Nice and simple brew. Roasted malt flavor takes over with a nice and subtle hop bitterness on the finish. A little sweetness makes this a very refreshing brew.

MF/D - A solid representation of the style from a top notch brewery. A good value session beer that is definitely worth a try.

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Photo of Gmann
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a reddish golden color with a tight creamy head that settles into a light cap leaving some nice lacing on the glass. The color is several shades lighter than most ambers and there are tons of yeast particles floating about.

The aroma is sweet with some caramel and brown sugar notes. Some grains and a tea like twang as well as some grassy hops.

The flavor is big on the caramel. Some light tropical fruit hops as well as some grassy bitter hops. The malt is fairly bready and has some earthy qualities.

Moderate body with tingly carbonation; has a somewhat smooth feel and bit more body than a typical amber. Some grassy bitterness in the finish.

An average amber ale, not something that I would seek out. Drinks fine but the flavors don't blow me away.

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Photo of Jonoesh5
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Poured into a 12oz glass. More golden-yellow than amber colored body with a small white head. A very nice balance of malts and hops. Not as watery as a Fat Tire, or as forgettable as Flat 12's Hello My Name is Amber. Makes for a great anytime beer.

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Photo of jimmah120
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

quick review here: this a great looking beer; unfiltered amber gold with a small white sudsy head. smell and taste is dry leaves, apple, grain, buscuits, lemon pepper, clove. not overly bitter but pleasantly so.

Not being a big fan of ambers, I enjoyed this immensely.

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Photo of stercomm
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A - Amber in color, slight bit of haze, nice off-white head, great glass lacing, head recedes after a few minutes leaving a thin layer.

S - Lots of malts, biscuity, fruity, slight hops scent.

T - Biscuity malts, some carmel, get some citrus, nice balance, very dry finish.

M - medium carbonation, medium bodied.

O - Good session brew

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Photo of drabmuh
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a Bell's pint glass. At the time of this review, this is the #45 American Amber / Red Ale on the beeradvocate best of lists.

Beer is red and really hazy with no head, low carbonation, no lacing.

Aroma is sweet with a mild earthiness to it. Smells like a malty beer.

Beer is medium in body and really malty on the forward, the finish is heavy and syrupy with a mild hop presence. The beer in the middle is a little heavy and still sweet with the malt. Overall it is a malty red, nothing too special but drinkable for sure.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle pours a deep reddish brown color with a cream colored head. Aroma includes a little funk, some floral notes, light bready malts, and a bit of fruit. Light mouthfeel with medium carbonation. Flavor is somewhat watered down for my tastes, light bready malts, just a hint of sweet fruit and caramel. Something about this just didn't seem right. Certainly drinkable, but nothing special.

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Photo of Ricochet
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Just like an average amber should be. Orange, nice head, little lacing. Bonus points go for the particulate in the beer. Bell's seems to have this in a lot of thier beers.

S: Average. There was a hop profile just like other Bell's beers I've sampled, but still came out average.

M: Average. This was kind of like drinking a Genesee red. Still, it was more potent being an ale, but still seemed average for the style.

T: This was pretty decent. It was a little like the pale ale without the overpowering hops. This had more of a malt character with a nice alcohol note that blended with the fruit from the hops. I'd say one of the better amber ales I've had.

D: I could buy this again. I could drink a few. Does it stand out? Not really for me, but compared with BMC, this is an okay drinker.

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Photo of PorterLambic
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I want to thank TripelJ for bringing this back from his recent trip to MI.

Pours a hazy, copper color with floaty bits. A good sized tan head three fingers deep that dropped evenly and leisurely.
Smell is wonderlul, I can smell it from over a foot away. Malt, fruit,yeast, hops, oak. Alcohol and spices as well, both light.
Taste is malt, hops, a hint of woodiness and almost a shoe shine polish note (light though). Some yeast and a a somewhat resiny hint in the aftertaste.
Smooth, somewhat creamy with light effervescence, medium bodied. A good beer. My only wish was that the taste had been as complex as the nose was.

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Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.85 out of 5 based on 2,999 ratings.
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