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

BA SCORE
87
very good
3,101 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:
3,101
Reviews:
967
Avg:
3.85
pDev:
11.95%
 
 
Wants:
155
Gots:
563
For Trade:
2
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,101 |  Reviews: 967
Photo of mdaschaf
3.62/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to THECPJ for this one!

A: Pours an amber color with lots of little floaties. Very small head that dissipates to a layer of foam on top. Decent lacing down the sides.

S: There is a sweetness, and a little bit of caramel malt. A slight floral hop aroma as well.

T: Some citrus upfront with a caramel flavor in the middle. There is also a toasted malt flavor as well.

M/D: Medium bodied with high carbonation. Overall its good, but I have had better in the style and probably wouldn't reach for it again.

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Photo of secondtooth
3.62/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a semi-clear amber with some sediment. Huge head with lovely, detailed lace.

Nose is delectable -- biscuity grains, yeast, sweet malts.

Taste is sweet and malty, too, with a hint of hops at the finish. Certainly a solid, easy-to-drink ale that would make an ideal gateway ale towards craftier ales. Solid.

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Photo of thagr81us
3.62/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Served from tap into a standard pint. Pours copper with a minimal white head. There was no apparent lacing present. The aroma was comprised of only subtle hops. The flavor was of small hops and subtle sweet malt. It was light on the palate with low carbonation. Overall this brew was really smooth and was stupidly drinkable. It did not have the greatest flavor and could have been more complex, but it was still enjoyed and was really refreshing.

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Photo of dexterk1
3.62/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into a pint glass. Color is little hazy reddish brown. Head was small and dissipated relatively quickly.
Odor is pleasant and is malty and sweet with some caramel notes.
Taste is good overall. First you get some malt and toffee. Finish has some hops bitterness and a little more malt.
Mouth feel is not too bad. Does not linger too long and feels a little light on your tongue.

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Photo of bob_d_j
3.62/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of stortore
3.62/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.62/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have a soft spot for Bell’s, but mainly for their big beers: Hopslam, Expedition Stout, The Oracle. It’ll be interesting to try one of their <6% ABV beers, then…

Brewed within the last few months before this tasting (can only make out the /12 of the year on the Packaged On date).

A: This Amber Ale is…well, amber. Slightly red, and with a sizeable white head of creamy bubbles. Retention is thin with slight, spotty lacing.

S: Sweet, satisfying malts first: creamy caramel candy, maple oatmeal, and cookie dough. It’s a subtly earthy graininess mixing with the sugars – cinnamon-sugar and clarified butter on slightly toasted bread – and just a hint of floral hops. Malty, but thin.

T: Leafy malts: maple, cashew, caramel, and toasted grain come together in mild, creamy fashion. Peaches and cream are notable, as well, before the tastes of mild bitter herbs take over. These hops are just a tad astringent and only slightly juicy – characteristic for an amber ale – just prickly enough to be a sizeable part of the palate. It’s a nutty, creamy vanilla aftertaste.

M: A little silk on the tongue and some bubble on the back end. As far as texture goes, it sits quite idly on a medium body.

O: An amber ale that’s all about traditional flavor, not bold, unique character. And in that way, it’s all that it can be. Quite sessionable.

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Photo of ZimZamZoom
3.62/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper colored with a finger's worth of tan head. The head is fairly dense and leaves some sticky lacing behind as it fades. Over all the beer is a bit hazy and there is a healthy amount of floaties suspended throughout the glass.

A sweet malty aroma, some caramel with some mild hop spice in the background. There's not a lot going on here. The flavor is also a caramel sweetness with less hop profile. It's interesting in it's simplicity. The hops kick in for a bit in the finish but there's still some sweetness lingering there as well and it's hard to tell what wins out in the end.

Fairly light bodied but not thin by any means. A good drinking beer that I would definitely go back to if it was not bed time.

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Photo of denver10
3.62/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rich amber with a thick, frothy khaki head. Wonderful retention and lacing, shockingly so for an amber. A nice sweet bready aroma mixed with a little fruit. A sweet and smooth flavor. Sugary, toffee, a little banana, bread, and a touch of lemon. I usually dislike toffee but they do a nice job with it here, it isn't too strong and dominating. A creamy medium bodied to this, not too much carbonation. A very representation of an an amber, though not my favorite amber I have tried. I've long been wanting to check out some Bell's offerings so glad to have finally tried something by them. Still wish it could have been 2 Hearted instead though!

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Photo of Dirtyhands
3.62/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of barczar
3.62/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy light amber with a sense, frothy khaki head that slowly dissipates, leaving sticky lacing.

Aroma is very subtle, with toasted nutty malt and floral hops dominating. There's a metallic note.

Flavor reveals more subtle character. There's a hint of underlying citrus, but the toasted malt backbone and specialty malt fruitiness dominate. The finish is nutty and a touch bitter. Floral hops become evident late, but the malt dominates. Metallic notes surface in the aftertaste.

Body is moderate to a touch light, with moderate carbonation and light alcohol warmth.

Not an amber by today's standards. Far less American hop character than we've come to expect. The malt is nice, though. Wish I liked this more.

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Photo of prototypic
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bell's Amber has a surprising amount of yeasty haze clouding its scarlet infused amber appearance. I like it. A vanilla head sits firmly on top and patiently dissipates. Light strands of lace line the glass as it descends.

The nose isn't bad, but is a little lacking in strength and diversity. It's very yeasty and doughy throughout. Caramel malts provide a nice, sweet aroma. It's a little sugary. Hops are noted, but aren't very powerful. They smell floral and earthy. All told, it's straight forward and not bad at all. A little more "oomph" would certainly be welcomed here.

The flavor kicks off with sweet caramel malt. It's sweet and somewhat sugary. There's a bit of fruit here that wasn't apparent on the nose. Tastes like pear to me. Floral hops add a nice dimension to it. They're earthy and grassy with a spicy twist. The most interesting thing about Amber Ale is how the flavor kind of flatlines. It's very stagnant and doesn't seem to develop much from beginning to end. It feels like it needs some pizzazz on the back end. As it warms, there's a slight bitter kick from the hops. But, it's not quite enough. Overall, it's got a pretty nice flavor, it just needs a little something extra.

Its body is light and somewhat smooth. Carbonation is active and a little crisp. A tad more body would improve it, but it's nowhere close to bad. Drinkability is good. Amber Ale is a very straight forward beer that goes down easy and isn't complicated in any way. I could handle a few of these if need be.

I'm pretty sure Amber Ale is Bell's Flagship beer. It's not a great beer, but it is good. I'd prefer a little more hops. They'd add some zeal that it currently lacks. Other than that, the nose is a tad weak and a bit more body would be good. Truth be told, those modifications might just turn it into an animal that it's not intended to be. As it is, it's a nice session beer with a pretty good flavor. As easy as it is to forget sometimes, those have a place in this world.

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Photo of daythree16
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Cloudy amber/brown in color. Has a lot of floating chunks suspended in the beer. 1.5 finger head with good lace.

Smell is a little bit of sweetness and not much else. Taste has some light caramel and roasted malt with a barely there spicy hop finish.

Medium bodied with good drinkability. This would be a great gateway beer for someone looking to get into craft beer. Good flavor, but highly sessionable.

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Photo of srv33
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Amber pour, hah, thin head, a little medium-fine lacing. Smells of pine, honey, sweet light citrus, bread. Taste is solid and has a non-overpowering balanced malt-hop ratio, excellent session brew, great signature, very solid taste, would buy again. One of my favorite non-ipa ales from Bells.

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Photo of wisegreensoul
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of MacRodge
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tastes planty and overly-fermented. There's an oakiness that's a little too intense for my palate. The grain elements are nice but the finish doesn't quite work the way I wish it would. I'd drink this beer again if given to me, but I would not go out of my way to seek it out.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A darker shade of amber thats for sure. Head in the 1" range, off white, good retention. Overall a solid appearance of this amber ale. Aroma really kicked down as much citrus as I can remember in an amber ale.

This is a hoppy amber ale. Its not juicy like the nu NE ipa craze, but it imparts citrus sweetness. Its good stuff, not line up in the rain kind of good, but its plenty serviceable and significantly better than average. Usual caramel malt notes.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a classic Amber Ale. The beer poured out with a nice reddish looking color with a pretty good looking head on top that isn't afraid to stick around for a little while. The smell of the beer is well balanced between the hops and malts. The taste of the beer was pretty good too, much like the nose. There are plenty of hops and malts working together to make this a nice drinkable beer. The mouthfeel isn't overwhelming at all it's drinkable and easy to have a few in a sitting if you want to. Overall this beer is worth trying I think.

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Photo of LittleDon
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the tab, I get a slightly darker than amber cloudy beer with a fine off-white creamy head that sticks around for a bit. There is slightly toasted caramel and hint of hops in the nose, all slightly subdued. A big chewy somewhat-sweet caramel flavor greets me on the first taste. The finish is a bit subdued, nothing to write home about.

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Photo of gregalobeer
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bells makes better. Not that this was bad, just a bit uneventful.

A: opaque, burnt orange ale, with speckles of yeasty sediment
S: not much at all, definitely weak on the hops, citrusy
T: orange, vanilla, broad strokes of un-accented maltiness
M: very smooth, moderate to low carbonation, full-bodied and creamy; it feels like the body doesn't match the flavor, missing sweetness, or something to fill in the awkward silence of character

I mean, it's not unpleasant, but there's something missing here. I could drink more, but it leaves me wanting ...

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Photo of kwalters
3.64/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This isn't a brew I'd attach the word "Flagship" to, but nonetheless it's a nice beer. Perhaps it's Bell's most widely appealing beer able to satisfy both the macro and micro crowd?

This particular bottle poured a true coppery red color with a nice 1-inch off-white head. I immediately noticed a bit of yeast in the head. After examining the beer beneath it, I noticed a lot of yeast particles in suspension. I guess I didn't pour it delicately enough.

The scent and flavor are quite a mixed bag. I can pick out some yeasty bread flavor, some sugary sweetness and some apple sourness. And then there's a hop finish. There's a lot going on and none of it seems to blend together all that well. I enjoy it, but Amber Ale isn't what I thought it would be.

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Photo of bsp77
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into 2009 PGA Championship Pint glass (pretty sweet).

Appearance: Just slightly hazy light amber with small white head and minimal lacing.

Smell: Smells fairly dry (especially in comparison to the taste), with toast, caramel and citrus fairly evident.

Taste: Somewhat sweet upfront with a nice mix of caramel, toast, fruit and citrus. Turns slightly bitter toward the end with a mix of citrus and spice. Very well balanced overall, but still slightly too sweet for my liking in a session ale.

Feel: Moderately high carbonation with a light-medium body. Finishes quite dry.

Drinkability: Pretty high. While the American Amber Ale category is quite broad, I think of this as the prototypical example of the style. However, it may be slightly too sweet for my taste.

Feel: Moderate

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Photo of CloudStrife
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Packaged on 10/03/13.

A: Pours a hazy amber ruby with a fairly large off white head. Little too opaque to see any visible carbonation. Some nice rings of lacing are left on the sides of the glass.

S: Mild malt aroma with a touch of hops in the background. Not overwhelming in the aroma department. Bit of breadiness

T: Well balanced approach to an amber ale here, starts off with a mildy sweet carmel malt, then some bittering hop hits your taste buds. Aftertaste rounds out with some wheat like malt.

M: Smooth body with a creamy feel. Average, perhaps slightly low carbonation. Nice drinkability on this one.

Overall balance is key with this one. Is smooth and something anyone could enjoy.

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Photo of philbe311
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Three fingers worth of active dense tightly packed creamy slightly off-white colored head with a bit of a rocky top... Fairly impressive retention at one fingers worth... Load with small bubbled rapid paced carbonation... The color is a mix of orange, amber, and caramel... Completely translucent...

S - Loads of toffee and toasted malts... Nutty... Caramel... Sweet desert breads... A bit of brown sugar... Raisins...

T - Brown sugar... Toffee... Raisins... Caramel... Nutty... Lots of grassy notes... A slightly assertive hop layer lies beneath and rises on the finish and lingers for a moment...

M - Medium bodied... Light carbonation... A bit sharp... A slightly dry finish...

D - A respectable American Amber... Simple straight-forward and fairly effective... Nothing special, but no real complaints either... A solid flagship brew for Bell's...

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Photo of Enola
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to dertbert for the bottle

This beer is as if someone mixed a pale ale and an amber. The beer is a cloudy golden orange. There is a fair head with minimal lacing. The smell is somewhat hoppy. The taste is good. Like stated above, amber and pale ale mix. The mouthfeel is smooth and there is a nice aftertaste. The drinkability is good as well. Bell's makes some fine beers and this is no exception.

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Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.85 out of 5 based on 3,101 ratings.
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