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

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BA SCORE
87
very good
941 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:
941
Ratings:
2,991
Avg:
3.85
pDev:
21.3%
 
 
Wants:
148
Gots:
517
For Trade:
2
User Reviews
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Reviews: 941 | Ratings: 2,991
Photo of cvstrickland
3.33/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12-ounce bottle poured into a seidel yields a golden amber body capped by a finger of milky white froth with big soapy bubbles that are left scattered when the head settles into a fine film that leaves the merest of fine-bubbled lacing.

Smelling the beer leaves it a mystery...perhaps a little malt and a faint earthiness, but not much here at all.

Taste is pale malty and sweet, with snappy carbonation, a tame minerally bitterness, and a little caramel in the finish. Underwhelming, but light and refreshing.

 512 characters

Photo of AgentMunky
3.33/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pilsner glass.

A: Amber-esque until held up to the light, which reveals translucent yellowish colour. Decent head and lots of bubbles.

S: Unexpected. Instead of a sweet, malty scent, I'm getting hops and a tinge of skunk. Malt does lie underneath, a bit concealed. Beery, overall.

T: Good, and a beer that is balanced, rather than tilted towards malt, as many amber ales are. The main taste is dry but full, with a slightly toasted feel. Rather carbonated. The aftertaste is pleasantly round and malty, with the hops running underneath. Mostly sweet but dry. A very interesting brew, but not my favourite.

M: Watery-smooth meets spicy-tingly. It's alright.

D: Honestly, I was expecting a lot more from this beer. It's a more than decent, but not anywhere near outstanding. I've had much better brews from Bell's and better amber ales than this. Drinkable, but not recommended.

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Photo of n00tz
3.34/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Light tan head sets thinly above an amber body with a steady carbonation. Particles from what must be bottle-conditioning yeast are more prevalent than the carbonation bubbles.

S - Malty and sweet with a buttery scent shows itself. Light citrusy notes peek through.

T - Nutty brown ale-like tendencies in the malt character, but also includes a fair amount of woodiness. Piney hops bring up the rear.

M - The carbonation on the palate doesn't match what's seen in the glassware -- it feels flat on the tongue. The hops aren't sticky, but most of the flavor is from the malts, which are clean, smooth, and non-destructive.

D - At the price these were at a beer store ($9.89/6-pack) known for their notoriously great deals on craft beer, I cannot understand why this didn't come across as good as I was expecting. I'm no cheapskate, but these are simply not worth their value. Oh well. Overall, this is an average amber -- so it is very drinkable however I just don't see myself purchasing another unless the price comes down to par with New Belgium or Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of tbeckett
3.34/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottle from Sunoco in Lake Placid. Packaged 7/12/14.

A - Nice golden colour, close to an amber-ish. Good carbonation and some bits floating up. One finger of white head on top. Good lace wall and a half finger of retention.

S - Nice maltiness. Toasty and biscuity. Raisins and a small hop note that's barely there.

T - Rich and malty with a bit of a twang. Sweet with biscuit notes and some caramel/toffee. Not much in the way of a hop presence.

M - Good carbonation, medium body and a sweet toffee finish. Clean.

O/D - While this is a good amber, it's certainly nothing to write home about, especially given the reputation of the brewery. A decent kick at the can, but lacking in depth and hop character for sure. Not worth seeking out.

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Photo of rousee
3.34/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Disclaimer- These amber styles are not my fave.
I have not been as impressed with the 2 Bells beers as I have tried vs.the other MI ones + Great Lakes (OH).

Its allright. I am kind of disappointed because I thought Larry Bell was such an entertaining character from the movie American Beer. The 2 Bells I have tried have clearly been the least impressive of the MI lot which I have regarded highly. Another one that I bet is better on-tap instead of bottled but I cannot score it highly in the bottle.

Tasting notes are peach apricot colored murk with no lace. No foam. Too flat. Straightforward amber maltiness with a good amount of hops.Way too flat !!!

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Photo of Monkeyknife
3.35/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle a hazy reddish orange color with a stick off-white meringue of foam.

Aroma is grainy and metallic with a light sour note.

The taste is quite watery with just a hint of malts and red fruit. Not much else.

Lighter bodied, thin, and lightly carbonated.

Not really much to say on this one. Thin and weak don't make a great amber ale.

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Photo of Matt1516
3.35/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It's been a week of hoppy IPAs, so perhaps drinking this more subtle amber ale a little too cold did it a disservice.

Pours clear amber with small head (into a tumbler). Aroma of toasted grain and caramel.

Some malts present in the taste, not much by way of hops. Balanced taste-neither too sweet or bitter. Good session beer but a little forgettable.

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Photo of biegaman
3.35/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy, orangeish colour. Not much head stays but could be easily called back with even light swirling. Spots of lacing left behind. A very musty aroma, lightly roasted caramel malts mostly. Smells certainly closer to a pale ale. Musty and unappealing. Not much flavour either. Some nice malts but hints of diacetyl. Perhaps I expect more from Bell's given their excellent lineup of offerings or perhaps just the limitations of the style, but this one is just painfully average (at best). Thanks Frozensoul 327!

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Photo of Schwab
3.36/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had this beer yesterday (9/5/09) at the Yardhouse in Palm Gardens.

A - Beer was poured in regular pint glass and left a small head, somewhat short of 1" what unfortunately quickly disappeared. Great mahogany, amber color!

S - Almost typical Bell smell. IMO smells is very similar to Bell's Two Hearted Ale...

T - A true amber ale; HOWEVER, beer is a very close taste to the Two Hearted Ale. I'm sure similar malt, yeast, hop schedule, etc contribute to the similar taste. Definitely great but I was somewhat surprised to have such a similar taste between the two beers.

M - Smooth amber ale that appears to be very well balanced. Definitely an easy beer to which the light/medium body contributes a fair amount.

D - As already said, beer is very smooth and refreshing. Great beer for all occasions! Not too wild/crazy in variation to its style.

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Photo of KajII
3.36/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

[Best served in a Shaker glass]

The pour was a cloudy medium amber with an average sized (1-2 finger) off white creamy head that reduced to a thick film with a large collar and had excellent sheets of lacing.

The aroma was of a light toasted grain malt, light floral hops and a mildly sweet doughy yeast with notes of caramel, honey and citrus (orange).

The taste was quite malty with a nice caramel sweetness from the onset with the finish being lightly hoppy with a slight bitter citrus peel presence and just a touch of honey at the end. The flavor lasted an average time with a good light bitter sweet taste left to linger for just a while longer.

Mouthfeel was a bit beyond light in body with a watery yet still slightly creamy texture and a nice mild carbonation.

Overall a smooth easy to drink brew with a nice light sweetness, that is offset by the mild hoppy bitterness...

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Photo of microbrewlover
3.36/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

This brew pours an amber color and shows as hazy, opaque orange when held up to the light. There is a thin white head, some of which remains as a collar to the end. Light lacing and lots of carbonation

The smell is musty and full of toasted and sweet malts. Some flora and citric hops but these are mostly drowned out by the matls.

The taste follows the nose with strong toasted and sweet malts dominating. There is also a light caramel backbone with plenty of citrus and floral hops coming in at the end with a piney hop resin remaining on the tongue after swallowing. Overall this is an interesting beer; there is a lot going on here.

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Photo of VTR
3.37/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up for something different as I transition from my dark beer to lighter summer beers. I do not usually like Amber Ales but I found this refreshing and enjoyable. Definitely not too hop forward with nice caramel/toffee flavor. Kind of a funkiness to the taste with some tartness but totally enjoyable. Carbonation is a kinda high but I did not mind. I am pleased with this.

 391 characters

Photo of mooseo
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into pint glass.

A - Hazy light brown amber with yeast sediment floating around.

S - Light scent of sweet malts and a touch of floral hops.

T - Biscuity malt followed by slightly bitter hops. Nicely balanced.

M - Smooth, medium bodied, average carbonation.

O - Another good offering from Bell's. An easy drinking amber ale with decent flavor.

 366 characters

Photo of arguemaniac
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Whoa, out of control head, it’s one of those situations where there is initially ten times as much head as there is beer and it takes a while to reduce down to a manageable size. Other wise, the beer pours an attractive orange amber with a nice haze. Sweet grain in the fairly mellow aroma. Bready malt sweetness and rounded grain along with a touch of caramel in the palate. A mild citrus hop spice balances to a fair extent. Somewhat thin mouthfeel.

It’s solid and nearly flawless (except for the mouthfeel) but it’s a bit watery and unremarkable. Still, it’s very drinkable with clean, easygoing flavors, which makes it a good session beer. Recommended, but just barely…

 681 characters

Photo of Indybeer
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Poured a dark amber, with a small head that didn't last. Some fine lacing is present. Aroma of hops and malt. Taste is smooth and balanced. With a nice hop finish. Mouthfeel is smooth but there isn't much carbonation, but all in all a very good session beer.

 272 characters

Photo of Vixie
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a nice copper color with a decent white head that quickly reduces down to about a half inch. A lot of bubbling from the carbonation as well.

The smell is very malty, with a hint of yeast and a bit of citrus fruit

The taste is similar to the smell, malt with a hint of citrus, and some hop spice in the finish. Has a bit of a dry finish, leaving a lingering bitterness.

The feel isn't too bad, it is helped a bit by the carbonation.

I decided to update my review after realizing I first tried this in a Duvel glass, which does not do this beer any favors. Tried in a standard pint glass, the flavor profile changes a bit, and for the better. The flavors became more intense, and a bit more complex. Drink this one in a pint glass, and you will find it to be a nice beer.

 779 characters

Photo of sjclay00
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark orange mostly amber with with the carbonation slowly swirling through the glass
S- Mostly malt not overly impressed
T- Little bitter, hints of the malt, bread and a slight hint of caramel
M- Semi smooth not to bad
D- Decent drinkability but not my favorite. Taste could be better

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Photo of MrVisegrips
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The pour is an attractive copper gold with a short lived white head. Very little lacing with this one. Aroma is light malt with detectable flowery hop notes. Taste starts off with sweet light malt and light toasted grains. The finishes has a nice bitter hops taste. Mouthfeel is creamy with decent carbonation and drinkability is good due to the light body. Overall, this is a good example of the well crafted amber ale. Nothing that makes it a standout, but very enjoyable nonetheless.

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Photo of mobyfann
3.39/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Paid $15 even for the Midwest Taster...

The appearence is where this beer shines, right from the pour a beautiful semi-hazy amber colored base with a medium white head, exceptional head retention and very nice lacing effects. However, the smell prones to manage hints of malts and hops, but also hints of alcohol in the smell, something I've never smelt from Bell's before.

The taste leaves off where the smell left off, an overall nice taste but the hints of alcohol for a 5.5%abv really affects this beer. The mouthfeel and drinkability is something Bell's has down pat.

Final Thought: This beer tasted slightly better the longer it settled, so keep that in mind... Overall a solid ale!

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Photo of dougbassett
3.39/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

One of the "1001 Beers You Must Taste Before You Die" -- #16 of the ones I've reviewed here.

Bell's is a good brewery, but this is not a favorite style of mine, so keep that in mind.

Appearance is very nice, as I would expect from Bell's, with a warm golden-brown/toasty color and a head that lingers satisfyingly. The mouthfeel also lingers satisfyingly: one thing I do like about this Amber Ale is that it's built with more stick-to-it-tiveness than what I've had in the past, it just seems like a more substantial beer than what you usually get in the style.

Unfortunately I don't get much nose, outside of a mild buttery/malt kind of thing, and the taste, while not bad, isn't noticeable enough to be "good", either. Very smooth, a hint of butter, a hint of sweet malt, a bit more assertive in the finish. That's really it.

Maybe as well constructed as this particular style can be, but this genre has a lot of mushy, tastes-like-a-whole-heck-of-a-lot-of-nothing beers in it, and so really damning with faint praise here. Not awful, this is actually a higher score than I'd expected to give it, but I doubt I'd ever knowingly go looking for it again.

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Photo of cocogan
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Visual - Hazy dark orange-red color. Pours a nice two finger head thats full of character. Head recedes to a think layer of froth on top. Minimal lacing

Aroma - Bread. grains, citrus, and apricot in the nose.

Taste - Initially the taste hits with a floral, grapefruit, earthy taste. The hops really begin to come through in the middle along with some grainy notes. Finishes up with a lingering apricot and hop taste in yo mouth. I did get a faint but unpleasant cough syrup taste throughout the brew that I wasn't all that in to.

Body - Rather light in body (not even near the extreme of macro brew light tho). Medium carbonation which brings a somewhat dry finish in yo mouth.

Drunkability - Could definitely throw a sixer down of these but it wouldn't be my first choice if I was craving red ale.

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Photo of evanackerman
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I beleive this is a very good beer for the style although it is my leas favorite in the Bell's lineup, which still makes it a very good beer.

The apperance is beautiful, there is much floating sediment due to the unfiltered nature of the beer. Taste is primarily malts with some bittering hops and a slight fruity character. The nose has some alcohol present which detracts from its appeal.

overall, a very solid but somewhat unexciting beer.

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Photo of emerge077
3.41/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Textbook amber ale, been drinking this for a decade or so, just now getting around to a review. Usually a go-to in bars where nothing better was available, how things have changed today...

Deep copper orange body, murky with yeast and unfiltered particles in suspension. Two fingers of foam settle down to one soon enough.

Smells like multigrain bread with a smear of peanut butter from the specialty malt. Some fruity yeast notes surface when swirled, pear and apple.

Flavor is malt driven, bready and sweet. Fairly tame and easygoing. Light astringency, some pear and apple fruitiness from the yeast. Vague residual bitterness in the background after a heartier gulp. Body is light, with mellow carbonation.

Not a bad introductory craft brew, it worked for me. Nowadays I usually reach for something else, but it's still a solid standby option.

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Photo of ken3c
3.41/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice foamy head recedes to wisps and a halo. Lacing is spotty. Cloudy amber clarifies significantly but not completely by the end of the glass.

Smells slightly malty and slightly hoppy.

Tastes slightly sweet and slightly hoppy. There is also a rather harsh bitter taste that improves as it clarifies.

Mouthfeel is light to medium and lightly carbonated.

Drinkability suffers from the harsh bitterness but this beer was still enjoyable.

Next time I drink this, I'll do a better job of decanting.

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Photo of jifigz
3.41/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at the Bungalow Alehouse in Gainesville, Va.

A: The beer is dark brown/red and had great lacing with a head that lasted quite a while.

S: I couldn't really smell a damn thing coming from this beer but it was, as in most public pub/beer-joint settings, chilled really, really cold. (so my smell category is skewed.)

T: The taste had a faint caramel flavor with a nice malt backbone being very evident. The hop bitterness kicked in late and was very dry and not very bitter.

M: Creamy and delicious and very well fitting. Not overly or under carbonated.

O: A very sold beer. I can't remember what exactly it was like because it was at a pub and I have had several other drinks since then, but either way a solid brew and a first time for this one for me.

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Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.85 out of 5 based on 2,991 ratings.
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