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

BA SCORE
87
very good
3,111 Ratings
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
Ratings:
3,111
Reviews:
970
Avg:
3.85
pDev:
11.95%
 
 
Wants:
156
Gots:
568
For Trade:
2
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,111 |  Reviews: 970
Photo of Havion383
2/5  rDev -48.1%

Photo of jophish17
2/5  rDev -48.1%

Photo of joerebman
2/5  rDev -48.1%

Photo of Brian1335
2.1/5  rDev -45.5%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Too much like an IPA for my taste.

34 characters

Photo of Stevemac7988
2.12/5  rDev -44.9%

Photo of Leebo2007
2.16/5  rDev -43.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Very bland beer...the smell (which should first draw you in) is weak and the taste just does not fit. It is almost flat to taste. I was very disappointed! It does have a good color and it may be better in draft form. I am waiting to try other beers in the Bell Brewery Family!

 276 characters

Photo of CityofBals
2.25/5  rDev -41.6%

Photo of cet128
2.25/5  rDev -41.6%

Photo of GreenWBush
2.28/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The classically unfiltered flagship beer from Michigan - Bell's Amber Ale. One that seems to be divisive amongst die-hard Larry Bell fanatics and casual K-zoo stout and Two-Hearted quaffers. I basically grew up on this shit so it tasted good then, but now i've more than given up on it.

At first the beer plops out with fecal earthy tones. The head swirls up to the top of the imperial pint with a confrontational hello. All of the sudden I find myself coaxing anything from the head - and this is the beer cleanest of all my glasses.

There's a bit of that worn-out cheese-like hop character on the nose of this beer. One would assume this was an improperly handled sample. Au Contraire! This came straight from a recently delivered case. There is a nice yeasty malt character that pulls together as room temperature encroaches. There is something about the look and smell of the beer that evokes chewiness.

There is a dulled hop bite in this beer floating atop of a cheeseburger-y blend of heavy yeasts and clunky sweet malts. The beer is thick and bold, one both a macro drinker and a blind taste-tester could harmonize negatively about. There's also a weird hybrid brownie / locker room thing going on somewhere in there.

Uh, i'm in the Two-Hearted camp as always ... but maybe being nursed with this beer forever altered the place in my heart.

 1,359 characters

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
2.31/5  rDev -40%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Appearance - orange/peach pour, nice thin head of manila foam. Nice and sticky, good lacing.

Aroma - light biscuity malt, straightforward sweet grain smell.

Taste - sweet and biscuity out of the gate, good malt presence without being too sweet. Goes strangely and astringently bitter, hoppy but without any hop character. A metallic bitterness dries out the palate and clears the malt flavor away too quickly. Finishes unpleasantly bitter and dry.

Mouthfeel - fluffy and crisp, medium bodied, good levels for the style.

Overall - the weird bitterness is too unpleasant to consider another., but I'd consider re-sampling on tap.

 631 characters

Photo of jujubeast6000
2.36/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Reviewed 10/10/2006 (12oz bottle):

Pours a good sized head, and it is lasting. Head color is creamy, white, with small bubbles. Has a very malty aroma, but not too strong. A sweet malty taste, Fat Tire/Newcastle-ish. Very malty, not a very balanced malt taste, not as much hops.

 279 characters

Photo of Lorenzai_Konstantinov
2.38/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

It was between this or a sixer of fat tire. I've had fat tire before so I decided to give this a try.

Poured into my deceivingly large capacity snifter, it pours a lighter copper color, and a very hazy one at that.
A decently spirited pour yields a finger of head on it but leaving no detectable lacing. (My glass might be dirty though so I didn't detract.)
The nose is not that great, there is some biscuit type malt in there but it also seems to share some similarities with adjunct lagers which I don't really understand. Hops wise there are some faint whiffs of them but I can't identify them, just a grassy/ straw smell.
The taste of this is not what I expected and I am quite disappointed. It has a very upfront bitterness to it which is fine but the malts don't seem to do much in the terms of balance. They might actually make it worse. It has that 'pukey' overwhelming characteristic that I get with some beers and I just don't like it. Perhaps it's the kind of hops I dislike, I'm not really sure.
The mouth feel of this beer is adequate, it's fairly thin and would be conducive to making this a session beer if the flavor profile was more agreeable.

My overall opinion is this is a hit or miss beer. Something about the ingredients or hops/malts balance I just really dislike the taste of. Others may really like the way it tastes so YMMV. I'd tell you to get the fat tire instead of this. Would not recommend.

 1,423 characters

Photo of charlesw
2.4/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Really cool bottle/logo. Pours a cloudy light orange-brown with a tiny head that is gone very quickly. Tiny nose to go with the tiny head - maybe citrus hops and a hint of sweetness - like a mass market lager. Tastes like citrus hops. Oddly, I think that I'm getting some chocolate malt in there, too - nothing overwhelming (not like the hops) but a hint. Aftertaste of citrus hops. Thin body.

Now, constructive. Well. I don't know, don't call it an amber, I guess. I'm sure that it'd be fine to drink ice cold on a really hot day. Heck, yeah, I've just bumped the drinkability up for that reason, but I, personally, wouldn't even buy it for that. I'm looking for more malt flavor, more body, better head retention and lighter use of citrus hops.

edit: you know, this is like some kind of crazy wheat beer only with the citrus already added in for you. Crazy, just crazy.

 873 characters

Photo of Crosling
2.4/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

New penny in color. I’m sorry, forgive me, but I just can’t get excited about Amber ales with no hop aroma. Subtle malt aroma, with a light hint of caramel and a suggestion of doughy yeast. You’d think malt magician Larry Bell could come up with something a little better smelling than this. Mild, mediocre malt flavor, which is very crisp, but overall husky. Caramel and toasted malt flavors, with herbaceous, weedy hops. Lacking bitterness and a pronounced hop flavor and aroma. This seems like an amber ale from a crappy brewpub.

 535 characters

Photo of QueenDiva2015
2.46/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

It was okay in my opinion. I was able to drink it but it was too bitter for my taste

84 characters

Photo of LakerLeith
2.5/5  rDev -35.1%

Photo of UTPharm2012
2.5/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

a weird aftertaste, not even close to abita amber ale quality

61 characters

Photo of maryd837
2.5/5  rDev -35.1%

Photo of stickboy1125
2.5/5  rDev -35.1%

Photo of Jemenhiser
2.5/5  rDev -35.1%

Photo of BlakeL
2.5/5  rDev -35.1%

Photo of Gotti311
2.5/5  rDev -35.1%

Photo of brpendergast85
2.5/5  rDev -35.1%

Photo of jheiss
2.5/5  rDev -35.1%

Photo of gafferjohn
2.5/5  rDev -35.1%

Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.85 out of 5 based on 3,111 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Learn More