Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

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

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
87
very good
936 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:
936
Ratings:
2,972
Avg:
3.85
pDev:
21.3%
 
 
Wants:
147
Gots:
491
For Trade:
2
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 936 | Ratings: 2,972
Photo of Gladius270
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Deep orange, rusty color on this. Good lacing. I had to mark it down because of some "floaties" I have. Not like an unfiltered look... This is floating matter.

S- Sweet and Malty. Not much more to say here.

T- At the beginning it follows the nose. There is a really good consistent bitter backbone here. I enjoy the back-end of the taste ALOT. It's hard for me to describe. It's a heavily caramelized sugar aftertase. much like the aftertaste that I remember from hot fudge.

M- Medium body, maybe leaning toward the thinner side. Carbonation stings on the tongue.

O- At first I was not real keen on this one, but after a few sips, it really opened up for me. This is yet another solid offering from Bell's!

 713 characters

Photo of marc77
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The dense, thick, rocky and billowy head tops a slightly hazy amber / light orange hued brew. Quite appealing in appearance for an amber. Signature slightly tart and fruity Bell yeast esters hit the nose at first, but light caramel malt and very mild but pleasant diacetyl butterscotch follow. The hop nose is comprised of subtle, but earthy Willamette and/or Goldings notes. Malt flavors are lightly bready and biscuit - like, while a clean light caramel malt sweetness dominates. The well calculated hop bitterness is a hair shy of balancing the malt sweetness, leaving this brew pleasantly sweet. Hop flavor is a touch earthy and floral and British in style. The body is more full than the typical amber, but still is light enough to provide for excellent drinkability. Bell's Amber finishes bittersweet, clean and w/ bready malt notes. This is a flavorful amber, and could pass for a good ESB.

 904 characters

Photo of 6thomas3
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Hazy caramel with a tight pristine brownish-yellow body, minuet fragments of sediment that are bready in nature dwell at the bottom of my glass and float in suspended animation until my glass is disturbed; head retention is modest with ample lacing as the beverage is consumed, carbonation bubbles excitedly rush to the top with a sense of urgency

Smell - Faint hints of floral and coffee like aromas tickle my nostril; not overwhelming though

Taste - Beautiful blend of malt with an organic coffee snap at the end engulfed in a remnant aftertaste of mother earth

Mouthfeel - Delicate cohesion infused with immaculate uniformity and smoothness entice my taste buds and possess my arm to continue reaching for more

Overall - This beer transcended my expectation and has opened my eyes to the bold and exhilarating world of red ale and I now have a longing for more

 888 characters

Photo of Gavage
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Slighty hazy amber / orange color with a huge 3" head. Carbonation levels seemed a bit strong. The aroma was of caramel and yeast. The flavor was simple and pleasant as caramel, sweet fruitiness, and mild bitterness were well balanced. There was some light lacing that developed on the glass.

This was a light/medium bodied brew with a smooth crisp start and a smooth caramel finish. Caramel and fruit tones lasted briefly on the tongue. Extremely drinkable and a simple session beer that has some nice flavor you won't get bored with.

 538 characters

Photo of movingtrain
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a nice (appropriate) amber color with steady carbonation and a light head. There is some sediment in the glass that keeps circulating because of the incredible carbonation going on here. It's quite a sight.

Smells of wheat, malts, bread, caramel, caramelized sugar, cinnamon, spice, honey.

Tastes of orange peel, honey, cinnamon, caramel. Some hop character here...perfectly balanced with the maltiness.

The poppy carbonation helps this beer bounce around the palate, allowing it to linger quite a while.

This is an excellent beer...it really is. It is drinkable, and has just the right balance to make this beer stand out.

 678 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pretty clouded orange-ish brown amber. Slight leafy nose. Seems very calm though. The flavor really brings it here. Even and firm bodied. Consistently earthy woody tones. Feel is very well bodied on the liquid and a good carbonation as well. I'm calling this as a good example of the style and an overall good brew to try.

 330 characters

Photo of praufs01
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance - Cloudy amber with a creamy off white head.

Aroma - Light caramel and floral aroma.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied ale with light small bubble carbonation.

Taste - Very light grapefruit hop on a nicely subdued caramel backbone.

Overall - This is a smooth and refreshing ale. Light in taste, but not watery or weak in character.

 341 characters

Photo of jayrod20
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A delicious copper colored ale with a hearty malt flavor that goes down smooth as water.Nice aftertaste and no carbonation gives an enjoyable experience from the moment it hits your tongue to the moment it hits your stomach.Highly recommended I will be buying this ale again!!!!

 278 characters

Photo of ngandhi
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Along the lines of a malty pale ale, Bell's Amber is a fantastic balance of malt and hops. Cascadey, but milder like Willamette, the hop aroma and tongue are fleetingly bitter, floral, but without the perfume of Two Hearted. This must have been designed to be a session ale and, indeed, it is. I had a pitcher to myself with Mexican food at Fiesta Cafe in Champaign, IL (only 8.00).

Highly recommended, this is certainly unlike any bock. The opening is malty and sweet with a hop bitterness and the finish lightly crisp, bitter, and still malty. Toffee. Consistent and entirely enjoyable. This might be my favorite Bell's brew.

Drink it.

Relax, relax.
ng

 665 characters

Photo of Applesauce1
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a six-pack of the Amber Ale at The Happy Cat 2 in Athens, OH.

Appearance: hazy orange-copper color (not much of an amber color); nice 1" white head on the pour
Smell: maybe some citrus, a little bit of hops
Taste: nice; a nice balanced flavor; a decent amount of hops with some citrus flavor
Mouthfeel: medium bodied
Drinkability: very good, you can have a few in a night

Overall, an impressive beer. This would be a great session beer.

 458 characters

Photo of dmfrench
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A sweet, creamy, earthy and delicious American Amber.

---

A: Beautiful copper/orange body, filled with fine particulate and percolating bubbles, crowned with a persistent one finger cream white head.

S: Sweet buttery biscuit and caramel malt and earth, spicy hops. Not incredibly potent, but perfectly balanced and inviting.

T: Quite creamy and sweet... the emphasis is definitely on malt, and earthy, dry hops aren't really noticed until the finish, which is long and delicious. There's just a hint of metallic taste in there, the only thing preventing me from giving this brew a perfect flavor score.

M: Nice easy drinking weight and pleasant carbonation... just about perfect. I could maybe use a bit more weight, but I'm probably wrong.

D: Sky high.

 759 characters

Photo of hosehead83
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass. Copper/amber in color with a moderate head of white foam.
Aroma-Faint malt, spice
Taste-Caramel notes,subtle spiciness, sneaky little hop bite. Creamy, tasty, robust and flavorful, with a sweet/spicy finish. Interesting and very drinkable. Would make a nice session beer or a perfect "entry-level" beer for someone interested in trying a craft beer.

 404 characters

Photo of GoodKnight1220
4.24/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle to a glass.

Pours a bright golden orange color, with no head or lacing.

Had a fruity, wheat smell.

First taste was an alumminum, then quickly to a wheaty flavor ending woth a slight citrus (orange).

Very crisp and refreshing, perfect mouthfeel.

Could drink these all night long.

 307 characters

Photo of Gajo74
4.24/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a semi clear light amber with a thin lace. Fruity in the nose; dark fruits soaked in sugar. Then a biscuit and toasted malt aroma. There was also a strong element of caramel in both aroma and taste. A bready and malt forward taste, sweet, fruity, the malt lingers in the aftertaste. However, the drink is balanced by a dry and leafy hops element. The hops leave a bitter finish and after taste especially as the drink warms and they begin to take ov. Full mouthfeel, medium body, very drinkable. Piercing carbonation. A well balanced beer that combines the best of sweet and bitter. A great job by one of my favorite breweries.

 633 characters

Photo of HardTarget
4.24/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle Inspection: 5.8%, a note about pale malts, and marketing blurb. There's a long code (8221) which I guess might tell me the date brewed, and going on their webpage does let me know (in IE, not Firefox) that it was packaged on Nov. 7, 2007 (sampled Leap Day, Feb. 29, 2008).

Aroma: Citric hops, a mix of orange, grapefruit, and a hint of ginger in the yeast.

Appearance: Lightly hazed copper orange body holds a creamy white head all the way through the beer with some lacing.

Flavor: An APA profile with some toffee and caramel notes. The orange rind hops start, then the slow transition over to the toffee malt which goes a bit sweeter to caramel, then a blend of all of it in the finish. Nice profile!

Mouthfeel: Moderate to low carbonation leaves a creamy mouthfeel, finish is a bit dry.

Overall Impression: Wow, nice amber! Great flavors in moderation and balance let both the hop and malt characteristics shine. I think this might be my favorite Bell's yet!

 974 characters

Photo of rdpoint
4.24/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The appearance of the beer is a soft red with lots of particulates floating around, not the best in terms of appearance but the taste well makes up for it. Very small head on it.

Smell is flowery and a little sweet

Taste is great, this beer is delicious, its a beer that you could drink all day. Nice clean crisp taste with little to no after taste. A little on the sweet side but still a great tasting beer.

Easily one of the easiest beers to drink that I've had in a while, you'll wonder if there was a hole in the bottle before you know it.

This beer should be a staple of all bars and pubs, I would recommend this beer to anyone.

 637 characters

Photo of civilizedpsycho
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured bottle into mug.

Appearance: Amber color (of course) with a semi-transparent look. A good head that continues with some fair lacing.

Smell: A strong malt aroma with some hops in the background.

Taste: Starts kind of sweet with a good bitter finish that doesn't linger too long and become offensive.

Mouthfeel: A very mild body due to carbonation.

Drinkability: Very good beer. This is certainly something that I could drink on regular basis.

 456 characters

Photo of BrokenEdge
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I love a well done, toasty amber ale, but it seems most breweries want to add too much hops to everything. This one is a good representation of a beer style that's meant to be more subtle, and shows why amber ales can really be great.

Pours a dark, rusty, amber with a fluffy white head, leaves quite a bit of foam around the edges of the glass, and some thin lacing. Smells like toasted bread with a hint of hoppy freshness. Taste is mostly malt forward: lots of toasted malt, bread, and caramel type flavors. There's a little bit of herbal and piney hop flavor way in the background, just enough to balance the dark, toasty flavors and offset some of the bready sweetness. I found this easy and refreshing to gulp, and "refreshing" is not often a word I associate with amber ales. Feels creamy, smooth, and even somewhat full in mouthfeel. The hint of hops helps give it a little bit more of a clean and dry finish, but it still has some lingering toasty flavors. Overall, one of the best amber ales I've had yet, and a highly recommended option if you're looking for something more easy drinking.

 1,101 characters

Photo of angusdegraosta
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bell's Amber is a good golden color with pleasant honey floral notes. It has a crisp mouthfeel, generous malt to round it out, and a great sweet citrus flavor from the hops, though it isn't at all too sweet. I expected no less from this brewery, but I was surprised nonetheless. This is a real joy to drink.

 307 characters

Photo of Tballz420
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ive had this beer a couple times and am quite impressed with it. Its a nice amber colored drink, good amound of lace left on the glass. Its got a nice sweet taste to it, along with roasted flavors. Also a hint of citrus is detected. This is one that i would recommend.

 268 characters

Photo of theecaleb
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Brewed date 9/20/12.

A: A mix of orange and light amber. Creamy colored head, leaves nice thick lacing along glass.

S: Citrus, malty with hints of barley and grain.

T: Medium body. Earthy. Light hint of hops, semi sweet

M: Good amount of carbonation, complex mixture of fruit and spice.

O: I was pleasantly surprised by this brew. Ambers are not my "go to beer" of choice, however, Bells Amber is a easy drinking, anytime beer. Right up there with Alaskan Amber in my book.

I would recommend this beer to a friend.

Cheers

 570 characters

Photo of botham
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a sam adams glass. pours a lightly cloudy, rich amber color with a single finger of off white head. no lacings.

aroma is mainly of caramel malts, with a lightly sweet overall character and a hint of roasted malts. a light grassy aroma in the background rounds out the profile.

taste is of sweet caramel malt up front, with a creamy character and a lightly bready base. distant fruit notes of apple and pear mix in with the malts, working well to enrich the overall profile finishes with a note of distant grassy hops and caramel.

mouthfeel is medium bodied with a creamy texture. very smooth on the palate. finishes with soft CO2 and a lightly bitter aftertaste.

drinkablility is great. this is a rich and complex brew that has an excellent profile and a mellow finish. the flavors work well to create a complete profile, with a smoothness that makes it finish easy. cheers!

 903 characters

Photo of bogeypro64
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Sam Adams Perfect Pint

Beatiful golden amber w/ eggshell head which diminishes quickly leaving a thin layer of white foam.

Smell is a mix of citrus, hops, and sweet malt

Sweet malt, citrusy hops and slight bitterness prevail. Finish is dry

Nice level of carbonation, smooth but drying finish diminishes the experience somewhat.

Could easily drink several of these. Great beer overall

 401 characters

Photo of cabsandking
4.26/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A dark shade of amber with a dense, creamy off white one finger head, and super retention leaving lacing to the bottom. The nose is faint with notes of candied sugar, nutty malt, and a light fruit scent. A remarkably smooth mouthfeel thats even, creamy, slightly chewy and just enough carbonation to develop a fizzy build at the end. Flavors of toasted grains, bready, caramel, mild tartness midway through, and a flash of spiciness just before it goes down. The finish is semi-dry with much of the roasted malt residual and nuttiness.

 535 characters

Photo of CharlieMopps
4.26/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: From a moderate pour, this beer produced two and a half fingers of thick, creamy head, displaying great retention and much lacing. Its color was the quintessential amber, dead-on for the hue, and looked rather delicious.

S: The smell seemed to indicate that the flavor would be mildly hopped, but also there appeared to be a grainy side as well. Hopefully this will equate to a delicious and well-balanced amber.

T: Wow.. impeccable balance to this beer, which was noticeable almost immediately. A good malt base comes first, followed by a hop presence in the middle, which is where the flavor hits its peak balance. The finish is one of the smoothest I've tasted, washing into an aftertaste that leaves a quaint residual bitterness from the hops. Amazing.

M & D: Well-carbonated, and perfect for the taste. The mouthfeel is creamy and crisp with a great body. Again, balance is the key and its done so well here. For being a brewery that's mostly known for its stouts, this amber has sure proven its worth amongst the Bell's fold. This one is definitely a must-have for Amber fans, and the flavor will definitely allow you to drink your fill.

 1,155 characters

Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 936 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.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe