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:
493
For Trade:
2
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 936 | Ratings: 2,972
Photo of mothman
3/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Well I would first like to point out the Batch Number on this beer being 8231. It was packaged November 14, 2007. I was very disappointed when I found this out.

Poured from a 12 oz bottle. This beer had a nice fluffy, off white colored head. The color was very awesome, fading from a light orange to an amber orange at the top. I can definately taste that this beer is almost a year old and it makes me sad that I didn't get to enjoy the full potentials of Bell's. The beer tasted very skunked, so I am going to stop my review here and when I get a chance to try an "up to date" bottle, then I will write a new review.

 620 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4.34/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a Boddington's hourglass shaped ale glass, served cold.

A - The appearance of Bell's flagship ale left something to be desired at first, perhaps due to my vigorous pour which produced a three finger head that gradually relaxed leaving plenty of lace. Suspended floating matter most likely yeast was evident in the golden amber liquid.

S - A delightful smell of honey like malt, faint berries, and tinges of woody hops mask a slightly estery ale yeast scent.

M - Medium body w/ adequate, but not overpowering carbonation. A sweet but light dryness leads to a crisp smooth finish.

T - Nice malt flavors are saddled by slightly citric hops at the initial taste. Pleasant nuttiness leaves a clean taste of pale malt and faint ginger spiciness and sweet wheat notes. More of an earthy flavor emerges as it warms.

D - Surprisingly drinkable, great example of the style. A beautifully balanced amber ale with subltle hops and a clean finish. Most definitely something you may want to session in my opinion.

 1,027 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

I was actually a little surprised to find that I've never had this ordinary Bell's offering before. Go figure. I'm havin' now, then, I guess. It pours a clear russet-amber topped by a finger of off-white foam. The nose comprises thick caramel, grapefruit, orange peel, and flowers. The taste favors the orange over the grapefruit, but doesn't really deviate from the smell beyond that. The body is a light medium, with a light carbonation and a smooth feel. Overall, a very nice amber, nothing standoutish but tasty and drinkable regardless.

 586 characters

Photo of Jason
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: On tap, served in a 16 oz. American tumbler glass.

Appearance: Cloudy orange hued amber with a well dispositioned tiny bubbled lace leaving several thick rings on the glass.

Smell: Malty sweet with overtones of fresh toasted grain and a subtle flowery oily hop holding a citric nose.

Taste: Well formed malt sweetness within the medium body, moderate crispness from the carbonation. Faint buttery diacetyl, toffee and toasted malt make for the base of this brew, a tamed yet multi-layered hop runs through a pungent bitterness, an oily flower and a citric flavour towards the end. After taste lingers long and hard with more toasted and citric flavours.

Notes: This is an awesome example of the American Amber Ale Style, robust and very flavourful yet still not a problem having a few or even making it a session beer. Right up there with Full Sail or Anderson Valley in greatness in this style.

 921 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.72/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cheers to BARLEYWINEO for this! Batch 7838

Pours a hazed light orange/peach tea-colored with 3+ fingers of pillowy sand colored head. Hazing never really cleared, average lacing above & average head retention

S: Caramel, doughy notes & a hint of cocoa with just a whiff of citrus hops at the finish

T: Nice bready caramel signature up front along a little citric (tangerine & lemon) hops. Grapefruitty hops & some grainyness as this warms. Finishes a touch dry& astringent , toasty & with just a bit of puckery grapefruit hops

MF: Medium-bodied, low carbonation & okay balance

Drinks pretty good, just didn't quite live up to the initial taste up front, not a bad amber though, just not a great one

 703 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a crystal clear deep amber in color. The beer has a two finger tall tense beige head that slowly reduces to a thick film over the entire surface of the beer with thicker patches and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant lacing is observed.

S: Moderate aromas of caramel malts with light hints of nuttiness and light hints of citrus hops.

T: The taste follows the smell, with a body of bready and caramel malts giving it light sweetness upfront. This is followed by some light nut flavors and moderate citrus hops that have a light lingering bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth.

O: This beer is easy to drink and enjoyable. The beer is well balanced and could be sessionable (though it is approaching a touch too strong in ABV to have more than a few).

 816 characters

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.

 516 characters

Photo of mdfb79
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my Bell's tulip because I can. Bottled on 02/07/12, batch 10918.

a - Pours a deep, murky oranger-brown color with one finger of light tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of bready malts, toasted malts, caramel malts, fruity malts, light floral hops, grains, and citrus hops. Ton of malts in the nose, pretty nice.

t - Tastes of fruity malts, toasted malts, bread, grains, wheat, caramel malts, dark fruits, light sweet sugar, and citrus hops. More fruit then the nose and less toasted and bready malts; slightly better then the nose.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Smooth and easy to drink.

o - Overall a pretty nice beer. Not my favorite style, but one of the better easily accessible amber ales out there. Not of toasted and bready malts in the nose and some sweet fruity malts in the taste. Very easy to drink, could see a lot of non-craft beer drinkers enjoying this. Wouldn't buy it too often but worth checking out.

 988 characters

Photo of billab914
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Southern Tier glass. Poured amber, slightly orange in color with a very thin white head clinging to the sides of the glass.

The aroma shows more of a malty, caramel flavor to it then anything else. Some hints of citrus hops come through a bit. Pretty nice aroma for an Amber Ale.

The taste also shows a nice caramel, bready, malty flavor to it. It finishes with some citrus hoppiness coming through to really balance it out. Very nice flavored amber ale.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, it was an easy drinking beer with some nice flavors. Very solid amber ale overall.

 656 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Orange tinted glowing amber hazed body with an off white orange cream colored head nice two finger sized head full thick and creamy in appearance, lacing is speckled through out. Aroma: Bready mix of sweet grain and yeast tones along with a very intriguing hop aroma especially for an amber ale earthy tones with a bite of citrus there. Taste: Great malt profile blends well balanced between the doughy sweetness, fuggle hops, and grain driven honey like sweetness with a brown sugar quality about the flavor. Mouthfeel: Sticky in a good way medium to fuller bodied for an amber ale, excellent carbonation nothing to knock gotta give it praise. Drinkability: Challenging amber ale I am definitely impressed by the flavorfulness of this if this is there flagship ale that speaks volumes about Bell's, they make flavorful beer, yum.

 842 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 Huhzubendah
3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Red Rocks in Alexandria, Virginia.

A: This beer appears crystal clear and amber hued, with a half inch of head that leaves some good, sticky lacing on the glass.

S: The aroma is very subtle, but I can detect some faint malt and amber scents.

T: Very refreshing and easy to drink. Quite simple, and a really good choice for a lower alcohol beer with a nice flavor.

M: Medium bodied, with solid carbonation levels. Aftertaste doesn't linger too long, but the beer is very crisp and easy to drink by the pint.

D: Especially tasty when served fresh and on draft, this was an enjoyable brew.

 605 characters

Photo of stakem
3.89/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle, the head dissolved at a medium pace. Left little to no lacing on the glass. Looks are as one would expect an amber to appear, nice orange glow unfiltered with lots of little particles hanging out doing their thing at the bottom of the glass. Smells malty, and low and behold so is the taste. Its malty sweetness is the first thing picked up with little carbination with bits of bitterness bringing in the rear. Drinkability is smooth and easy going, I like it.

 482 characters

Photo of jwc215
3.86/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours deep amber with a one-finger creamy head that lasts. Creamy lacing sticks to the glass.

The smell is of toast, caramel, earthiness. Woody undertones.

The taste is sweet. Slightly roasted caramel mingles with butter. The smell of an undertone of wood lingers into the taste. Sweetness in the finish rounds it out.

The body is light to medium. A touch watery, but enough of a body to keep the flavor hanging on. Nice carbonation.

This is a nice, sessionable amber.

Thanks to dekker0 for including it in our trade!

 532 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I always seem to have unresolved questions for the Kalamazoo Brewing Company, and right now it's: what's the significance of the heron? Maybe it's the Michigan state bird, and I'm just an idiot...This was introduced to me as not only the "flagship" brew of Kalamazoo, but "the beer Larry drinks." Then I found out that when the K'zoo crew really get to partying, it's hard liquor...
Color is hazy orange, bordering on brown, and the head is a good inch thick, properly white. Aroma is sprucey, piney, full of hops, fruity, but mainly pineapple and citrus. There's a touch of tart, but it's mostly sweet.
On the palate, nothing but smooth, smooth, smooth. Malt looms large in this ale, but it's perfectly matched. Hops are tingly, tasty, and not quickly forgotten. I can see tossing back a million of these! Yum-a-licious!

 824 characters

Photo of tdm168
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pale, transparent amber with a thin, loose layer of white head that fades away quickly

S - faint bread, caramel

T - caramel, faintly herbal, faintly citrusy, sweet

M - medium bodied, sticky, well carbonated

This is a decent beer, but simplistic. The caramel takes the forefront with a subtle hop character. It's easy to drink, but ultimately boring.

 357 characters

Photo of johnnnniee
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received in trade from TexIndy, Thanks for the opportunity.

Pours a cloudy copper with a bubbly white head that shows some staying power. Smells of caramel and dough, mild citrus hops in the background. Taste has much of the same with a more pronounced hop bite. Sweet malts mix up a grainy, caramel, bready taste. Citrus Herbal hops play a supporting role. Sweet sticky syrupy in the mouth, medium body crisp carbonation. Good little session ale, nothing spectacular, but definitely drinkable.

 495 characters

Photo of smakawhat
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A very large creamy and light caramel colored head off the pour. Body is a cloudy dull amber orange and brown. Lots of big sticky retention.

Grassy malts off the nose mixing a mild hop present. Slight graham cracker smelling too.

Sweet tasting malt and brown bread in the palate. Sweet but subtle hop finding mixing in with some of the graham cracker taste. Mouthfeel is just about perfect, lots of body, not syrupy just on the money. Texture builds an almost creamy taste as well.

Overall I love a solid red ale and this is no exception.

 592 characters

Photo of drabmuh
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a Bell's pint glass. At the time of this review, this is the #45 American Amber / Red Ale on the beeradvocate best of lists.

Beer is red and really hazy with no head, low carbonation, no lacing.

Aroma is sweet with a mild earthiness to it. Smells like a malty beer.

Beer is medium in body and really malty on the forward, the finish is heavy and syrupy with a mild hop presence. The beer in the middle is a little heavy and still sweet with the malt. Overall it is a malty red, nothing too special but drinkable for sure.

 550 characters

Photo of Billolick
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Typical 12 ounce bottle, w/o pours typical lighter amber, clear, light tan head, showing better then average retention and then leaving decent frothy lace on the glass. Faint malty, honey nose. Malty brew, smooth and balanced. Middle of the road style, and certainly not my favorites but this one is better then the rest. Balance is the central theme. Fine sessioner.

 367 characters

Photo of WoodBrew
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was able to sample the Bell's Amber Ale at "The Bank" in Wheaton. The beer pours a clear amber and thin tan head which laced nicely. The scent was a sweet malt The taste included a sweet malt with floral hop finish. The mouthfeel was a medium body ale with good carbontation. Overall the beer is an easy drinking beer with good flavor and nothing takes over.

 360 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, the beer is a bright, crystal clear copper coloring, with a thin ring of film for head. The nose is a very pleasant, mouth watering toasted caramel smell. In mouth, the beer has slightly sour caramel flavors riding on a mild bitter hopped backbone. Round and slightly oily in mouth, with a slick finish. Toasty and sour aftertaste, with lingering bitter and sour flavors in the finish. Decent beer, but not mind blowing. Very easy to drink, and drink lots of.

 499 characters

Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark gold/amber color with a thick frothy off-white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a dry, yet malty scent with some floral hop notes. The taste is good. It has a dry, malty flavor that is bitter and toastey. It has a crisp finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a fine amber ale. It has it all; a good drinker.

 406 characters

Photo of tempest
3.3/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared a few bottles with friends. This one pours hazy amber with a white head.

I was expecting more flavor from this beer. Really, the malts are just light caramel and there's just a slight spicy hop note in the aftertaste. Yes, it's very drinkable and not really bland, but it's boring. It just sort of smells and tastes like a generic Amber Ale. There's nothing distinguishing.

 381 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

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