Amber Ale | Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

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Amber AleAmber Ale
Very Good
3,175 Ratings
Amber AleAmber Ale

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Michigan, United States

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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,175 |  Reviews: 991
Photo of jaz
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This mildly hazy, medium amber beer was a true delight. The small head provided good lacing about half way. The aroma was fruity and sweet. Taste was clean and smooth, with a nice sweet middle and hoppy finish. Some acetic flavors were present in the aftertaste. A nice, easy drinking beer with good flavor and mouthfeel.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another fine beer by the Bell's brigade. Man, I really loved this amber, I thought the taste was amazing and everything about it just says impecably yummy.
Color is cloudy/creamy pale yellowish amber gold, very gem-like, never have I seen an amber like this. Head was small and off-white, faded slowly leaving some tight lacy patches.
Smell is faint, very clean, a bit sweet and fruity, very soft and pleasant.
Taste is very crisp and clean with a perfectly balanced combo of mild fruity hop and sweet malt. Oh, the finish is what got me going and wanting more, its a deep, earthy, even smokey, little pleasure that just gets slightly dry, and is just so smooth the whole way through its amazing. I just wanted to keep drinking it. Feel is a full-medium bodied delight, very nicely light and clean with that spectacular finishing quality I just had a weakness for. Great stuff!

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
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!

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Photo of francisweizen
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An all-around good American Amber beer. This is what Yuengling Lager should taste like. This beer pours a hazy amber colour with a nice little head. It smells of english malts and hops and it tastes like more of the same. This brew is pretty hoppy, but it is balanced out by some buttery british malt flavors. This brew is very british in stlye, IMO. The mouthfeel is spot-on and the drinkability is great! What more could you ask for in an Amber beer?

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Photo of Sixpack595
4.34/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear copper color with full white head. Slightly sweet, floral aromas and taste. Hops are citruicy, giving great aroma, and good taste. I have heard bad thing about it in bottles, but I drink it on tap quite often with no complaints. Really a great beer that everyone can enjoy.

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Photo of ellman
3.91/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Pour: Hazy orange, nice Off White head
The Aroma: Flowery With malty sweetness
The Taste: Good bitterness and slightly sour
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied
Drinkablity: Good Hot Day Lawnmowing Beer,
This is my first review, and its a lot harder then it first seemed.I hope it helpful, coming from the mouth of an amateur.

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Photo of AudioGilz
3.82/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I immediately notice lots of chunks floating around and settling at the bottom of the mug. The color is amberish orange and there is an ample, white head. The aroma is easy to tell that it's a Kalamazoo product. It's very enjoyably sweet, almost like a mellowed, less complex Two Hearted aroma. Malt sweetness is powerful and joyous to the tastebuds. There is also a citrus twang noticeable with the hops doing a great balancing act. This is a very easy to drink beer, easily an all-night drinker.

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Photo of MJR
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours with an amber (duh!) colored body that's cloudy as hell from the yeast sediment. An off-white head starts strong, but tries to leave early. I'm not having any of that, and a quick swirl brings it back full.

Smell: Strong malt aroma with fruit, hops, and a slight metallic hint showing up. Very fresh smelling.

Taste: Great balance between the malt and fruits flavors and the hop profile. Has that same slight metallic flavor that showed up in the aroma. Very juicy and flavorful. Unfortunately, a bit of sourness shows up in the finish...this has never happened before and I think it has something to do with Bell's QC of late, as most of this year's November stouts were sour as well.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a crisp finish.

Drinkability: Damn high...once they fix the sourness problems of late. I remember this beer being a lot better, and I hope Bell's gets their act together soon...

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Photo of yen157
4.09/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very cloudy orange-amber brew with a big, chuncky head. Very balanced aroma consisting of spicy and citrusy hops, yeast, and malt. That nice balance carries through into the taste. Artful matching of restrained but kicking hops with the toasted, bready malt. Also, some esters hang in your mouth and nose after each sip. Carbonation is appropriate and the body is light enough for the style. Very well put together brew from Kalamazoo.

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Photo of maxpower
3.71/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale orange-amber color, nice foamy head leaves a nice lace. Cloudy with floating yeast. Clean mild hop aroma, very balanced medium body feels full on the palate, nice hop bite in the finish, a little sour.

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Photo of aracauna
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Like the Pale Ale, it's on the pale side for the style and has a similiar head. The body is a medium amber, but looks gold in some lights. Aroma is less hoppy than the PA and picks up some caramel notes. The flavor also has the slight caramel notes, but is still dominated by that crisp pale malt flavor (don't know what it's called). The hops are subtle to not there in the beginning but come out to give you a slow motion punch in the end. It's a very weak, friendly punch though. Seems like the hop blend is the same or similar to the one used in the Pale Ale, just in lower amounts.

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Photo of AaronRed
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very inviting looking beer. Nice amber hue, just perfect for fall. Hops are present, as is a clean malty flavor. There is something very simple about this beer, but there is a rich hop note that clings to your tongue. Very easy to drink and could be one of those "anytime" beers.

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Photo of jackndan
3.76/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice Amber color (duh).Thick rocky head, with great Belgian lace. Very rich and creamy mouthfeel, with a smooth malt flavor. Very well balanced, heavily malt, but with a noticeable hops bitterness to avoid the beer being too cloying. Very easy to drink, and very well made.

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Photo of ZAP
4.27/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An exciting amber ale....a nice spicy hop nose...also some malt sweetness on the nostrils....orangish in color...cloudy...chunks of stuff flloating all over...beautifull!! The taste is definitely dominated by the malt sweetness...but it is more of a Belgian style hard candy sugar type sweetness...the herbal hops lend a nice balance...I've had many "amber ales"...most are OK but not real interesting...this one is veritable adventure in tasting...another dandy from one of the top breweries in the U.S.

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Photo of Jon
4.21/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one great amber ale. Pours a beautiful, deep amber color with a sticky head that leaves big rings of lace on the glass. Has a great, somewhat sweet, but balanced malt taste with enough hops to back it up. It's got great body to it, and is fairly easy to drink, making it a solid candidate for a session beer. It's no wonder Kalamazoo sells more of this than any of their other stuff, and still, it's not even their best!

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.45/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice surprise for an Amber Ale. I was expecting something along the Killian's line but this produced a hint of hops flavor I was not expecting, which made it taste like a hybrid of some kind. Very interesting. Rich color and good aroma. I am anxious to try Bell's other offerings. The only downside was a faint metallic taste toward the end. Not sure what that was about.

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Photo of inebrius
4.62/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wonderful nose of unfermented wort and earthy hops on a slice of toast. This here is a beer drinkers brew, this here is what craft and quality taste like. Outstanding! Kalamazoo brewing needs to expand their distribution network.

Cheers to Deuce for the sample!

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Photo of marc77
4.23/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

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Photo of Bighuge
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is cloudy deep golden with orange tinting. Very slight head. Not a lot going on in the aroma. Some sweet malt tones are noted. The beer has that trademark bready yeastiness to a small degree. Pretty good maltiness, but it is not so huge with the caramel malts as some ambers are. This is a refreshing example of the amber ale style. Some nice little spicy hop notes. Fruity tones are also of note. Solid brew, but there are many other Bell's beers that I enjoy a lot more.

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Photo of Jason
4.35/5  rDev +13.3%
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.

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Photo of Wildman
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Okay, it has a nice gold/amber color and creates a nice bubbly off white head. A little light for this style, but I beginning to feel this is what this company aims for. An aroma of malt and cirtrus. A flavor of malt, hops and citrus. A good beer, just lighter than I think this style should be.

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Photo of ADR
4.17/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Man, this brew wants to "rise", head like a custard with "rocky mountains" in the middle...Its a Bell's, so its murky but mostly grainy. Aroma is slightly orangey with a little vanilla. Nice smell... Very rich taste, malts are big and last to the swallow. A bit of butterscotch, satisfying body but also a bit of acidic hops. Well balanced! Big malt and a little sizzle, it has a lot of hand-pulled draught characteristics.

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Photo of Viking
3.92/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Amber color was a bit 'washed out' looking. Not as vibrant as I would like. Nice lacy head that clings to glass. Sweet (maybe a bit too sweet), malty taste. Certainly not my favorite beer from Bell's, but definitely a good brew.

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Photo of proc
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bell's flagship beer and I believe its best seller. Nice hop presence that slightly overtakes the malt in this one. This is not Killian's Irish Red by any means. A red that makes you appreciate a true amber.

-----------Re-rate 8/28/02---------
I've got to bump this beer up. Unlike my earlier review, this beer now seems to exhibit a fantastic balance between malt and hops. You get a full, rich, malty mouthfeel, followed by a very generous, but not overpowering dose of hops. A wonderful beer and one you could drink quite a few of...

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Photo of Kenadien
4.84/5  rDev +26%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A nice perfect example of what a good quality ale should taste like.

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Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 3.84 out of 5 with 3,175 ratings