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

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

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

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:
939
Ratings:
2,981
Avg:
3.85
pDev:
21.3%
 
 
Wants:
146
Gots:
507
For Trade:
2
User Reviews
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Reviews: 939 | Ratings: 2,981
Photo of aaronbeach69
3.13/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

appearance a dark orange... copper... not dark enought o be "amber". 1.3 fingers head, lace holds to sides of cup pretty well... head is somewhat carmel-white...

smell: fruity with subdued hops

taste: nice bitter aftertaste in the back of the mouth... somewhat of a warm alchohol glow left...tips of tounge tingle between carbonation and alchohol showing through more than expected. However, the mid-taste seems subtle to non-existent...

mouthfeel - a nice mouthfeel... somewhat filling than most pale ales I have had but much less than a hearty IPA...

drinkability - easily drinkable... however a little bit of alchohol jumps out that the ABV doenst' justify...

notes: an ok beer, something I would repeat... but not that I plan to

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Photo of Slynger
3.14/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a very lightly hazy tangerine color with a slight lean towards bronze. An off-white head settles quickly to a ring around the glass leaving some solid lace.
The nose is quite weak. Biscuit malts and a little bit of sweet honey accompanied by a light floral hop presence.
The taste picks this one up a bit. Mostly toasted bread with a small amount of sweetness. Bitter and earthy in the finish.
Mouthfeel is crisp and dry and leaves me thirsty, only maybe I will try something else .
This one is okay, but there are a lot of other beers I'd rather drink.

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Photo of dedrinker
3.15/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

At first sip, there were some lightly caramalized malts, and a nice fresh yeasty aroma, but by the end of the bottle it had become just another decent amber ale in a sea of amber ales designed to be friendly and approachable to those who are new to craft beer. Nothing wrong with that, but I can save a buck and support my local brewer to boot by drinking regular Dominion Ale, which is more of a British Pale Ale, but has more character. So yeah, Um, I'll just go an do that I guess.

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Photo of facundoCNB
3.15/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

a cloudy (yeast chunk covered) amber red pour with a finger of head which quickly dissipated. smells of citrus, fruity (strawberry), and bready grain profile. slight earthy bitterness with lots of citrus notes and sweet malt. light-medium body with moderate carbonation. a refreshing ale.

i believe this is the least impressive bell's beer i have tasted so far.

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Photo of JustLikeMyDad
3.16/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured mine into a beer mug, pours a nice copper color with a small foam head which does not last but sits thinly around the glass.

Smells kinda fruity to me, almost like a Michigan wet fall when it starts getting cold. Or maybe how the label looks, it smells like that. Very fitting.

Tastes like the notes/commercial description says, I couldn't word it better and never usually do, it's very plesant and not strong with the bitterness of its aftertaste making it refreshing and enjoyable.

Has a nice feel too, not thin, not thick, nicely carbonated and flows down smooth.

Overall, it's easy to drink and pleasant on the taste buds. This being the second Bell's I can say I like. A very pleasant surprise.

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Photo of JDV
3.16/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

bottle courtesy of gregis.
Rich muddy burnt orange colored pour with a creamy beige head. Looks gorgeous. Smell is predominantly tart, heavy malt. Taste is smooth, creamy, dense malt flavors with a mild hop bitterness poking out a bit. A nice drinkable amber although not too spectacular overall.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.16/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

recieved this one in a trade.
Poured a deep amber color with an average off white head, kinda rocky. Nose was malt, hops and that was about all I could take from it. Well hopped and well balanced, smooth. Something was different with the malts, caramel malts and maybe some English malts. Not like most Ambers I had tasted but ok nevertheless.

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Photo of cbleary
3.17/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This was a disappointng beer. I especially enjoy Bell's Two-Hearted Ale but this one did not agree with me nearly as well. It arrived a bit lighter than I expected for an amber ale. The taste was of sourish malts and bitter hops, but they didn't seem to balance or mix very well. It was a bit of a lopsided brew. Decent, but not extraordinary. Maybe it's better out of the bottle?

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Photo of quasimoto
3.17/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Slightly hazy copper color, with a big frothy head.

S - Some grapefruit/piney hops are there, and are mixed with some sweet bready, biscuty malts.

T - it starts off with a papery malt flavor. It turns to a caramellish malt but there is still a papery taste.

M - Starts light but turns to a carbination bite. Leaves the mouth nice and dry though.

D - Nothing spectacular. Drinkable, but leaves me wanting more.

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Photo of Viggo
3.18/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for bringing this one biegaman!

Pours a hazy amber, off white head forms, goes pretty fast, leaves a few lace spots. Smell is sweet, vegetal, citrus, some bread, nothing special, bit of citrusy hops. Taste is sweet, some caramel, yeast, bread, very light, floral in the finish, light bitterness. Mouthfeel is light bodied with low to medium carbonation. Drinkable, but a good example of mediocrity, maybe past its prime a bit? Thanks Jan!

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Photo of trbergman
3.18/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a shaker pint.

A - Rich copper brew with plenty of suspended particles and a short, sticky beige head.

S - Sourdough, toast, slightly nutty, a bit of burnt toffee, herbal hops.

T - Rather bland, stale toast flavor with a spicy hop bite. Bitterness lingers on the palate for some time after each sip.

M - On the thin side, not quite watery.

D - Reasonably quenching, but not exciting. Not sure why this is the Bell's flagship beer. I remembered it as the least impressive of the mixed case I had last year and it's setting itself up for a repeat this year. When Bud makes a beer like this I'm impressed; coming from Bell's it's just disappointing.

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Photo of skybluewater
3.2/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a very murky orange color, with the yeast I poured in accidentally. Smell is quite funky. I don't like it much at all (although I can't describe what it is I don't like...). Taste isn't all that bad (compared to other Bell's beers I've had), although I'm really not all that crazy about it. There's some malty, with a bit of creamy texture, and a little citrusy hops.

This, to me, is yet another disappointing Bell's beer. While it's better than some other Bell's beers such as Cherry Stout and Two Hearted (shudder), it isn't a beer I'd buy again. There are just too many good ones out there to waste my money on semi-drinkable brews.

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Photo of bigfnjoe
3.21/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A- pours a cloudy orangeish amber with a HUGE 3 finger offwhite head. The head looks amazing, thats for sure. No lacing, which makes me a sad panda.

S- muted. I'm not getting the hops I'd like, thats for sure...I get some malt, and thats really all. Disappointing.

T- very, very mild. Tastes sweet and fruity as opposed strong and fruity like I normally get out of good amber ales. Its totally different from either of the ambers Troegs produces, which is what I'm used to...not sure if I'm a huge fan.

M- light. Feel is thin, not overwhelming. Not syrupy at all. I approve.

D- its really drinkable because its nice and mild, doesn't beat you over the head with hops or mouthfeel. But...its not nearly one of my favorite ambers. Too sweet for my tastes.

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Photo of CDBeerDisappear
3.23/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Orange amber in color with an abundance of fine bubbles. Orangish off white head is retained to almost the end. Good lacing. Plenty of hop presence, aroma is kind of agricultural. Taste is dry and clean, any sweetness from the malt is overshadowed by dry bitterness making it an excellent choice to accompany food. Feels like carbonated mineral water in the mouth. A good solid beer that I would happily drink again.

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Photo of CortexBomb
3.23/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pretty plain looking brew, deep muddy orange with a small bit of head on top that left pretty quickly. Smell was middle of the road as well, some faint traces of yeast and background hints of fruit, but nothing beyond purely average.

Taste was what I would consider the average macro amber lager with a minor zing of floral (like a severely watered down Two Hearted Ale), and an end which had an interesting hop bite that took me by surprise after the bland opening.

Mouthfeel, meh, plain, some carbonation, some body, but not much in either...drinkability was pretty good I have to admit, but like most of Bell's lighter beer offerings this just doesn't offer enough to bring me back with any regularity.

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Photo of cnally
3.23/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This has a really glowing orange-red tint to the beer. Its white head dissipates mostly leaving little lacing on the glass.

Aroma is a little yeasty, a little bitter, nice hop nose. There is some citrus in there, orange, grapefruit, but the hop bitterness is the story.

The flavor continues with the yeasty, bitter vibe. The initial flavor is bready and grainy, with the finish being bitter from the hops. Just a hint of sourness in the middle, but there is also a touch of very sweet malt.

A little watery on the body, but the carbonation level ends up being decent and the feel on the tongue is not sticky nor dry.

Would be good with a steak. Beyond that, is there much of a reason this would be sitting in my fridge? Not so much. There are many other Bell's offerings I would rather drink.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
3.24/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Orangish color with small quickly receeding off-white head. I don't really notice any retention.

I don't smell much of anything. Very slight malty character.

Surprisingly malty. Definitely one of the maltiest ambers I have tasted. Begins with a slight sweetness and finishes with a big malty choclate/coffee flavor. Not bad, but I prefer a little bit of hops in an amber, when I'm in the mood for maltiness I'd like a RIS or something.

Moutfeel is very light and carbonated, nothing much to notice, same with the drinkability.

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Photo of akorsak
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: The ale is an orange/amber color with a thin ring of head and a great deal of sediment.

S: The aroma is very biscuity with little hop bitterness.

T: The taste is a grainy malt that is underscored by a sweet honey flavor that is very subtle and soft. There is not a great deal of flavor here beyond the malts.

M: The mouthfeel is malty with a bit of hops, fitting in well with what I would expect.

D: The slight sweetness makes for a good drinkability here.

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Photo of JeffBlue
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

(Draft, The Refinery, Newhall, CA 2/28/14) A good beer but nothing really stands out. Been on a long hiatus from "ambers" so it is hard to judge for its' style.

Others:
Two-Hearted Ale (favorable)

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Photo of AltBock
3.26/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle with a burgundy colored label with a head shot of a great blue heron with 4 weeds (?) on both sides of the heron. The back label has a brief paragraph about the beer, mandatory Government warning, and a batch number of 8651. That means it was packaged on July 23rd, 2008.

I poured this Amber Ale into a slender pilsner glass. This Bell's beer poured a hazy amber/copper color with a tall creamy 1 inch head of pure white foam. This head of foam never receded by itself. It only receded when I took a sip of the beer. When it did recede, it left behind a ton of sticky white streaks of lace. A great Amber Ale appearance.

There wasn't much to the aroma. There's wasn't anything wrong with it. It was just too faint. All I got was a little bit of peppery yeast, a tiny hint of juicy fruits, and a quick splash of toasted malts. If the beer is swirled around, the malts become bready. Nothing else emerges.

The taste was malty at first with some regular toasted malts. Quickly following the malts was a dash of peppery yeast, a tiny hint of juicy fruits, and a pinch of peppery hops at the end. Not much to the taste either, but at least it had some decent flavors in it.

This was a light bodied beer with a dry peppery aftertaste of peppery yeast, a hint of peppery hops, and a subtle touch of toasted malts.

It was an easy drinking light bodied Amber Ale, but it was a little too peppery for me. It would have better if they would have decreased the peppery flavors and increased the malts a little bit. Just a decent offering from a great brewery.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.27/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful bright orange with lots of yummy yeasties floating around to distinguish the men from the people who don’t like little white aliens floating aroung in their beer.

Thin beige head. Cool Bottle.

Overall, I dig the presentation both in and out of the bottle.

Smell is pretty sweet and not to exciting.

Pretty darn robust taste but it could be better. Lots of flowers and citrus, toasted grain, slightly bitter.

I bet it would be better on tap.

Very, very drinkable any time of the year.

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Photo of becktone
3.27/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

When poured into my glass all I can say is wow, the head is perfect. It pours two and one half fingers in height and is a creamy egg white in color. As it recedes to a stable one finger size it leaves a fairly good amount of lacing along the sides of the glass, though I have seen better lacing characteristics. Color is orange dark yellow and the beer is not very clear, cloudy-overcast.

There is a deep sweet malty caramel aroma to this beer. The nose also picks up citrus hop tones. Aroma is nicely balanced between malt and hops. Fruity esters and clove and banana phenols are present in small amounts.

The beer is fairly well balanced in flavor as well as aroma. Its got enough bitterness and hop flavor to off set the caramel, phenolic, and ester flavors of this brew; but it could use more hop bitterness and flavor. There is also a bit of a grainy/huskiness flavor in this beer. I also notice a wheat characteristic to this beer, reminds me a bit of Oberon and it just doesn’t seem to fit here. Definitely wasn’t expecting any yeast phenol and ester characteristics, however it does make for an interesting interpretation of the style.

In the mouth this beer is creamy, that much became evident when I burped and some of the beer came up with the burp-very creamy. Carbonation is subtle and is not really noticed unless specifically focusing on that aspect of the beer. It does not interfere with this beer’s flavor profile and actually accents the malt characteristics of this beer’s flavor. Does not have a dry finish, and goes down quite easily. I probably won’t buy this beer again(in the near future) just because there are so many other interpretations of this style. I am also not a big fan of banana and clove phenols in an American style.

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Photo of nrbw23
3.27/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a hazy light brown color with a good sized head that leaves a decent lace.

S- Sweet malts, fruity with a light hop back.

T- Pretty simple and kind of bland. Malts and mild hops balance out decently. A slightly sweet taste that is of caramel and a hint of alcohol.

M- Medium in body feels clean and crisp

D- Easy to drink just not a whole lot going on.

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Photo of alleykatking
3.28/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a psemi-hazy deep amber color. One finger white head shows light retention. There is some light spotty lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- A nice sweet toffee aroma with some light caramel malts. Some floral hops are in the ending. Not really much else...balanced and to the point

T- There is a toffee upfront to this with a light caramel malt. Some bitter hops in the middle to ending. There is some off flavors I pick up like some earthy woody flavors. Not much else really going on here...a little lack luster to be honest.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Toffee malts left on the palate with some light caramel and alcohol notes in the aftertaste. Taste was crisp but a little off putting. Flavor was well balanced for what it was.

D- This beer pretty much grew on me at about the half pint mark. I couldn't really drink much of it but I also might have had a bad bottle. I will re-review this beer when I come back to it.

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Photo of cameraman
3.28/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A copper color with hints of a golden hue on the sides, a small head forms, white in color, a disappears very quickly. The scent of malt is very evident, not much in hop aroma. There are some fruity aromas that are there as well. The taste is mostly of the malt, which makes it very mild in flavor. The mouthfeel is thin and tad watery azt the beginning, then it gains more body as it crosses the palate. This an easy to drink beer, with the sweet malty flavor, making it favorable to drink. Overall though it needs some hops to balance out the sweetness. This would be a great session beer and even a beer to introduce someone to craft beer.

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Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 939 ratings.
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