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:
569
For Trade:
2
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,111 |  Reviews: 970
Photo of Fish113d
3.66/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice amber color (obviously) with an orange-rind-colored head that billows to the top about 2 fingers thick, but starts to dissipate while leaving a lot of cling on the glass.

Aroma is mostly of a mild, biscuity malt, along with some slight toffee notes. A bit of floral hops also come in on the "under" side of the brew. NOthing spectacular; solid.

Rather sweet at first, but quickly the hops comes and turns much of this into a biscuit flavor along with some toffee. Aftertaste is rather boring, but okay flavor.

Body is medium, while carbonation runs quite high, tingling my tongue. Slightly dry finish.

Fairly drinkable in that it's easy to drink. Not the BEST flavor and not the best I've had, but just sticks solidly to the style.

 749 characters

Photo of Dukeofearl
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 12 oz bottle- a gift from a good friend who had received it from friends travelling from Michigan (he and I both used to live in separate towns near Kalamzoo, but long before Bell's existed). He gave it to me with the statement that this is one of the best beers he has ever had.

Pours a hazy murky orange, It's very different from a "typical" amber ale in that it's actually amber. Most amber ales I've had are much more in the brown shades. The minor white head disappeared in a hurry.

Aroma of honey, butterscotch, and some grassy/herbal hoppiness. Decent enough.

Flavor continues the flavor profile, but the hops and acidic ending are much more pronounced, very much overtaking what is typically a more malty beer (in my understanding of the style). Probably why my friend likes it so much. Mouthfeel includes a nice creaminess.

I finished this, and thought, this is a decent, but different, amber ale. Good. Would be happy to drink it again (maybe fresher?), But I can't agree with my friend- it doesn't blow my socks off.

 1,041 characters

Photo of Bones10
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Two Hearted is my favorite beer, but this is just slightly above average for a brewery I hold in very high regards. It's biggest redeeming quality is its proclivity as a session beer. It is also useful to get some new fans of craft beer as this has no offensive qualities. The unfortunate flip side is that it also has no outstanding qualities. But that goes with the style, I suppose. I have recommended this beer to people who are curious about beer to hopefully convert some macro drinkers to the better side of beer drinking.

Cheers!

 538 characters

Photo of weizenbob
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Batch 9962 - 12 ounce bottle poured to a pint glass. The label calls this "the flagship of the Bell's family" which seems odd since it doesn't get a lot of attention in the Bell's lineup. Less than one finger of head summits the beer and quickly settles down to a thin blanket of bubbles. Some lacing remains. The brew is a hazy copper color with a lot of suspended sediment hanging around as well as some visible carbonation.

The aroma is loaded with sweet malts. The scent of apples is noticeable as well as a minor yeasty presence.

Subtle fruity flavors appear in the first sip. Hints of apricot, cherry and star fruit are apparent. Bitter grapefruitesque sensations reach the rear of the tongue. The fruitiness then disappears leaving an unpleasant alcoholic finish and a bitter hops aftertaste.

Of all aspects, the mouthfeel is where this amber ale excels. It's thick but smooth and the carbonation keeps it refreshing.

Drinkability is a wild card on this one. The menagerie of initial flavors is promising and the mouthfeel is really great, yet this is still a pretty unsatisfying beer. Even within the amber ale style, there are many other beers that I would rather be drinking. I love Bell's and appreciate a good amber, but this is not for me. Meh.

 1,263 characters

Photo of Docrock
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of tapman
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance is a dark, rusty color with a hazy complexion. An off-white, 1-finger head adorns this brew.

Smell is of sweet biscuit malts mixed with a Granny Smith apple hoppiness. The tart apple aroma lingers on the palate and pleasantly stings the nose.

The alcohol hits the palate immediately, but it is soon supported by the bitter-sweet hops. A sweet toffee maltiness also lends to the alcohol relief effort.

Mouthfeel is that of a typical craft beer. crisp, but not too interesting. Has a decent carbonation and definitely beats a crappy BMC lager mouthfeel any day.

I've certainly had better amber ales from Dogfish Head and Three Floyds, but when you are in Michigan and its $3 a pint, hell give me five!

 722 characters

Photo of redfish2942
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of razzberries
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of jrborchert74
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of rodlavers
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of fisherman34
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bright orange in colour with a slightly off white head. Surprisingly fruity aromas and flavors, mainly lemon, orange, and perhaps even a bit of peach. There are some nice caramel flavors, but little contribution from the hops. Fairly thick bodied, and mellow. Not really what I expected from this brewer, and not quite up to the regular high standards of this brewery, but a solid beer nonetheless.

 398 characters

Photo of mds1101
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of carwreCk
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance in the light is honey-like and foggy with a creamy head.

Smell is wheaty to me.

Taste is fruity and malty with a bitter end.

Mouthfeel is grainy, not too watery.

Drinkability is good, although the bitter finish could get old for some (including myself).

 268 characters

Photo of cjgator3
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours an amber color with a nice off-white head. The aroma is toasted fruity malt and some citrusy hops. The taste is a dry toasty malt with a nice bitter hop finish. Overall, this is a very nice Amber that is recommended.

 260 characters

Photo of KTCamm
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Pours deep red amber, bordering on a brownish crimson. 1-1/2 fingers white foam with good retention and lacing.

Mild sweet smell, but otherwise not able to grab anything specific.

Taste is mixture of light fruit, mild hop and caramel sweet. Possesses a real bite/toasted sharpness at the finish that makes the close memorable.

Good carbonation in the mouthfeel.

Drinkable brew - this was my first Bell beer, and I'd be interested in sampling some of the other varietals whould I get the opportunity.

 544 characters

Photo of acostuhhh
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of zooalbert
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I love the color of this beer, a deep red brown. The immediate taste is on the bitter side but quite drinkable and enjoyable. Not a big fan of the after taste, which lingers. Not a very clean taste. Dark undertones of malt, reminds me of a dark chocolate or molasses.

 267 characters

Photo of jsanford
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cask at the Distillery in Savannah, GA

A - Reddish-amber with a thin white ring around the glass
S - Subdued nose of caramel malt and earthy hops.
T - Sweet amber malt with more earthy, floral hops.
M - Creamy and smooth.
D - Very drinkable, cask adds tons of character to this beer.

 284 characters

Photo of Razonulzer
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of redmosquito
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber in color indeed! With a nice lacing white head, as well. The aroma is malty, bread and caramel tinged with toffee, and light hops. As it warms the aroma shifts more to the hops with a definate citrus and pine scent, and a slight bit of diacetyl. The flavor is sweet, toasty, with fruity yeast in the background. Decent bitterness and a smooth mouthfeel finish this one off. Overall this is still a great beer, it's nice to see Bell's still getting the job done.

 467 characters

Photo of PhxHorn
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one pours a deep yellow with a huge fluffy white head. Smells of yeast and more yeast. Tastes of yeast and not much else. Not a bad flavor, but out of balance. I'd have preferred to have a bit of malt in there. Not a bad beer, but I've had better ones in this style.

 271 characters

Photo of jackorain
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber/copper color, off-white head with less than moderate retention but really good lace.

Nose is of caramel and toffee malt with a floral and citric hops note.

Flavor is similar to the profile found in the nose but the toffee comes out more. There is also a buttery diacetyl note that is not necessaruly bad

medium body, moderate carbonation.

I could drink a few, but my need for hops would make me switch

 412 characters

Photo of markgugs
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured from a 12oz bottle into a nonic pint glass

A: Pours a sparkling clear copper with a large, frothy head of off-white foam and leaves some thick, sticky lacing. Looks good.

S: Gives off a moderately nutty, toasted aroma, with perhaps a dash of yeasty doughiness.

T/M: Initial sips produce some light citrus notes, then bigger, bolder flavors of toffee, butterscotch, and even milk chocolate take over. A very nice sweet, malted finish. Beer features a medium-bodied, slightly oily mouthfeel and is carbonated well.

D: This is a very solid beer, I could drink large quantities of this with ease and would do so if I could find them more regularly!

 663 characters

Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured into the glass lightly hazy pale golden amber with an off-white head which rose well and fell slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was citrusy with an orange peel hop aromatic. Also the aroma was floral and contained a light bit of caramel.

The flavor was citrusy with more orange and some caramel. The floral aroma carried through the the flavor. The bittering was not strong, but just enough to balance the malt which was on the lighter side.

The finish was dry with some lasting citrus and floral hops lightly into the aftertaste. The body was medium with a moderate carbonation. Not feeling this one as an Amber. It seems to be more of a fruit with the orange character. Pretty easy to consume and non-offensive.

12 ounce bottle.

 760 characters

Photo of FLima
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Amber color with a thin off-white head with low retention.
Light aroma of honey and caramel malt.
Flavor of papaya, apple juice, American yeast, toasted malts, fresh oranges and earthy hops. Dry aftertaste with a medium bitterness.
Medium body with low carbonation.
I had high expectations on this, that is a very good beer, but far from blowing my mind.

 354 characters

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