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

BA SCORE
87
very good
950 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:
950
Ratings:
3,037
Avg:
3.85
pDev:
11.95%
 
 
Wants:
152
Gots:
541
For Trade:
3
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 950 | Ratings: 3,037
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.

 270 characters

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

 384 characters

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.

 550 characters

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.

 390 characters

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.

 809 characters

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.

 628 characters

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

poured cloudy copper med. sized head that didn’t last too long.aroma hops,malts hint of yeast a some sweetness,nice balance. flavor,can’t put the buds to it but a slight sweetness almost like pineapple? than some bitterness. had a nice mouth feel and finish

 259 characters

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

Poured into a snifter to truly enjoy. Found the beer to be smooth, mildly hoppy, good carbonation, and nicely balanced. However, and it may just be my taste preferences, I found the beer to be moderately boring. Have had much better for the same price.

 252 characters

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

Poured on tap in a 6oz tumbler at a Beer Garden we found in Chicago. Review is from my notes.

Presents an amber, reddish color complete with a slightly thickened yet yet foamy head that eventually dwindles down to a modest ring. Carbonation is fairly plentiful, although it disappears rather quickly. Looks relatively clear and not too thickened overall with each swirl. Slightly syrupy in feel as well. Looks like a good but fairly above average American amber.

At the nose there's a bunch of classic toasted characteristics, with the biscuit backbone and freshly cracked grains following soon after. Slightly soapy as well, which came as a surprise. There's a bit of a malty character that melds with the sweetened toasted flavor but everything ends up remaining overtaken by the bitterness. Slightly spicy, perhaps, but not too complex. Relatively straightforward when reviewing to style.

The flavor continues what was left off from the aroma, with more maltiness this time, especially verging on a toasted cereal grain flavor. The malt backbone provides slight fruitiness, ranging from apples to a hint of apricot, although it eventually melds into a biscuit-like flavor that these beers are known for. Not difficult at all to drink, as the carbonation is well present and it ranges to being semi-dry to wet on the palate. Not too explosive, but a solid offering.

Works as a good summer beer, although it's a little maltier than I like my ambers. The toasted character is highly emphasized but doesn't seem to hold on all the way through, especially when the strong grainy bitterness comes around. I wish the hops were a little bit more present as well, and the same goes for the initial cereal flavors I found satisfying. Solid, but not my favorite offering by Bell's.

 1,777 characters

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

A: light copper orange color; cloudy; good carbonation
S: sweet, but not remarkable, aroma
T: bitter, not sweet; unidimensional but good lasting power; similar to a pale ale--prominent hops, but not intense.
M: rich mouthfeel

A good, solid offering from Bell's.

 262 characters

Photo of kimcgolf
3.49/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours from the bottle to a hazy orange-red, much more reminiscent of an IPA than an Amber. There is a thick pillowy off-white head that lasts throughout the glass and leaves excellent lacing. The nose is mostly a sweet caramel-honey-maple, with just a hint of some citrus hops. Taste is more of the malt-hop blend but unfortunatley, the thin body detracts from the flavor. Finish is sweet caramel and somewhat warming, but again, is adversely affected by the thin body, making it a little more watery than I prefe.

Not a bad effort by Bell’s though

 550 characters

Photo of DerekStek
3.49/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a glass mug.

This beer pours an amber (duh) brown color. The head is light, fizzy, and is quick to disappear.

The smell is rather faint. The malts stand out more than anything else. I can't put my nose on it but there is also a almost plastic-like smell in there as well.

Fortunately, the taste overcomes the smell. It's a simple brew. A small bite, a malty flavor, and maybe some fruit? Maybe some honey? Either way, it's not too bold.

Bottoms up, these go down easy.

 486 characters

Photo of TheBeerMaster1
3.49/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Smells of horchata spiced tea and sriracha. Weirdest smell on a beer I've ever consumed. However, it tastes totally different. It's a heavier amber ale with a bit of booziness and grain. Brown sugar and herbal spices enter thereafter.

 234 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle served in a lager glass. 29 August 2016 packaging date.

Pours with a deep amber colored body topped by a rather weak head that leaves better lacing than expected. Near equal bitter/sweet balance with sufficient malt flavor. More flavorful and lasting aftertaste than expected given what comes before.

Medium body with medium-light carbonation. Somewhat powdery finish(?).

 391 characters

Photo of RhinoDBJ
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This is my first real "review" ... so here goes. I'm not up on all the terminology ... but I'm gonna work at it!

Bought this at a Trader Joe's to try. I'm kind of an "amber" guy ... so it seemed worth a try. It's nice to see that BA rates this one pretty high (87).

It looks nice in a New Belgium Tulip glass and has a nice amber/rose color

Off white head

Malty smell.

Very drinkable! I'll consider it again!

There, how'd I do!!??

 436 characters

Photo of soper2000
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Notes from a Bell's tasting:
Pours a bland amber color with a minimal head. Ok looking beer just not my style. Smell has hints of caramel and malt with a little bit of hops sneaking up. This beer doesn't have the strongest flavor. It has a decent malt backbone but I usually like my beers with more of a kick. Drinkability seems to be high as this is not a very complicated beer. I guess i just haven't learned to appreciate ambers yet. This is not a bad brew i just don't think i will be getting much more of it.

 514 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a nice light burnt amber color with a creamy tan head.

S: soothing sweet caramel and fruitiness

F: For flavor there is a big creamy caramel palate, apples, some citrus hopping and a nice soft roasted character. The flavor is very rich, caramel malting, a well balanced floral hoppiness.

M: The mouthful is moderate with some warm caramel apple notes upon warming on then tongue.

D: A decent malt bill with good drinkability making for a good session beer.

 470 characters

Photo of tar
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bell's Amber Ale pours a cloudy amber with a thick puffy white head. Some sediment/particles were present, suspended in the glass (I've had this beer several times before and have never noticed this). A fairly persistent head leaves rings around the glass as it slowly diminishes. Very little aroma is present---a bit of hops comes through, and a hint of floral scents. This is mirrored in the taste, which is good but rather mild. There is a slight yeasty flavor in the finish. A fairly smooth, medium bodied beer which is pretty good, but not exceptional.

 557 characters

Photo of mdwalsh
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Very nice light amber color. Yeast was suspended, but it's bottle conditioned, so that's ok. Head was about 1/2 inch in pint glass, help fairly well. Overall good looking.

Scent: A good mix of scents, a little sweet, a little carmely. not a terribly overwhelming hop smell. Very slightly floral smell

Taste: A thin, malty taste when first touching the tongue, then leaving a bitter, hoppy aftertaste which diminished towards the end of the glass. Too hoppy in my opinion for an amber ale.

Mouthfeel: Beer felt good, slightly smoother than homebrew, and a little thin, but not very. Perfect carbonation, especially for a bottle conditioned beer.

Drinkability: Overall, alright, but not something I would target again. The hops are just not what I'm looking for in an Amber.

I bought this beer because I never got to visit the brewery as I had planned when home in Chicago over Christmas. I should have assumed based on who referred Bell's to me that it would be hoppy. I'll be sure to avoid any pale ale's from that direction, but I wouldn't refuse this beer if offered again.

 1,092 characters

Photo of sulldaddy
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear copper hue with an eggshell white head of 3 cm that fades slowly to a thick surface layer. Tightly packed lattice on the glass after each sip.
The aroma is grainy malt and a little bit of cereal. I also get some grassy hops and what I can only describe as a chalky scent. The nose overall is very faint but not really flawed, just not huge or the driver on this beer.
The first sip reveals an average body with very and tingly carbonation.
Flavor is some grainy malt and a little caramel, finishes with some grassy hops and very dry on my palate.
No hint of any alcohol and the beer is easy to drink. Nothing outstanding on any component but no flaws either. Worth a try if you really like ambers but not worth chasing down in my opinion.
I could probably drink several of these in a sitting and would choose it over other sessionable beers.

 857 characters

Photo of bearrunner44
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Medium, slightly reddish-amber with a fluffy vanilla-tan head.

Smell: Caramelized malt, with a light and tangy fruitiness. Honey, banana, maybe a touch of lemon zest.

Taste: Mild sweetness from the malt, honey-like. Mellow fruitiness; tangy like banana, with a citric edge to it. A light, isolated kiss of hops shows up towards the finish. It ends with a bit of an oxidized wet cardboard taste; it's not too bad, just enough to be distracting. The alcohol peeks through a tiny bit. Well-balanced.

Mouthfeel: Somewhat chewy, but with lively levels of carbonation.

Verdict: It's pretty good, except for the distraction of the off-flavors. I wouldn't mind having another one.

 698 characters

Photo of carolinahophead
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This really could be a fall selection.
A: Light copper to a burnt orange tint. Not much head but does have some lacing.
S: Tight nose . Caramel malt and brown sugar aromas
T: Moderate carbonation with toasted malt flavor. Do like the sweet to bitter thing.
M: Medium mouthfeel with a nice finish. Not hoppy at all.
O: It's a good example of a well made amber. Easy to drink and might be a fall alternative to all those octoberfests .

 438 characters

Photo of JizackFH
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy amber color with a small white head that left little to no lacing on the side of the glass. The smell is that of sweet malts, caramel, and a slight hop presence. It smelled pretty average for an amber ale. The taste was pretty mild. It was sweet and a bit fruity. There was also a subtle hop flavor. the mouthfeel was decent. It was kind of lighter bodied with low carbonation. The drinkability was good. It went down smooth and was pretty refreshing. Not my favorite beer from Bells by any means, but I think its pretty good. I would drink it again.

 563 characters

Photo of claspada
3.47/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aromas of bready, caramel, biscuity, nuttiness and a hint of spice. Nothing too complex; some light indistinguishable hop notes.

The taste begins with some light spice and caramel maltiness, followed by some decent hops bitterness. As you re-examine you can detect some lesser toffee and toasted breadiness.

The mouthfeel is light-bodied with moderate, soft carbonation. Pleasant, finishes crisp and clean.

Overall this is a decent example of an amber but nothing too extraordinary. I want to give it more credit than it deserves but find it just too plain. It is was it is supposed to be, a sessionable Amber/Red ale. I just wish it had more memorable characteristics.

 672 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

Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.85 out of 5 based on 3,037 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.

    Subscribe