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

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Bell's Amber AleBell's Amber Ale
Very Good
3,140 Ratings
Bell's Amber AleBell's Amber Ale

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
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: 3,140 |  Reviews: 980
Photo of rpcarr17
4.09/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of agreenman19
4.09/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of BeerDawgs
4.09/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - A cloudy amber color. Slight head and a nice lace on the glass.

S - Caramel malts and other fruity malt aromas are apparent.

T - Very malty up front. Very well balanced. Not bitter at all. Caramel is very prevalant.

M - Pretty high carbonation. Drinks very smooth.

D - Very high. Great beer.

 299 characters

Photo of GilGarp
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 14803 bottled 9/9/15.

12 oz bottle served chilled into a Pilsner glass, Bell's amber ale is a slightly hazy reddish brown color. Head is thick and has good retention with spotty lacing.

Aroma is slightly roasty with a hint of floral hops.

Flavor starts of sweet with the toasted malts bringing wheat bread and caramel notes. The bitterness comes through from middle to end. It's bitterness from malts mostly but there is some grassy and piny hops too.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and nicely carbonated.

Overall a very good amber ale from back in the days (1985 to be exact) when balanced traditional styles were more appreciated.

 639 characters

Photo of titosupertramp
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours golden honey in color. Finger of soapy white head with lots of larger bubbles. The films has the same bubbles around the edges of the glass. Lots of a lacing. A really nice looking beer.

S: Caramel, breadiness, muted floral hops. Has an earthy quality to it as well.

T: Everything from the nose, but the floral hops are more evident as is a little pine like flavor. The hops are really well balanced by the caramel and toasted malts. Nice tasting beer.

M: Pretty full body, almost creamy. Fairly dry finish.

O: I could drink Bell's Amber all day long. This would make a really nice beer to ween BMC drinkers off the big boys' teet.

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Photo of neenerzig
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a cloudy copper color with a white head about 2 fingers thick when poured that shrinks to about 1/4 inch about 3 minutes after being poured, leaves some pretty good lacing though. It has a sort of hoppy smell with hints of bread and maybe some citrus. It has a sweet malty and sort of bread like taste upfront rounded out by a touch of citrus and some hop bitterness. The aftertaste is a bit dry. It has a full bodied and crisp mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Very easy to drink, in a good way too. Another fine offering from Bell's.


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Photo of sopor
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Slightly cloudy copper-amber with a finger of tan frothy head. Special bready malts and s a little caramel kissed by a small hop note tickles the nose, tantalizing and and giving you a good idead of what is to come. Slightly fruity caramel and an unertone of biscuity malts. Hops are well balanced kiss of bitterness. Light body with a slightly slick feel and nice lively but not frothy carbonation. Wow drinkable. A new balanced session brew for me! Why has it taken me this long to drink this beer, it's all over around here! Even the grocery stores that consider Heineken a special beer have this!

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Photo of wiscokid920
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 01/19/2012 Poured in pint glass
Back label mentions this beer was first brewed in 1985 and “embodies the heritage of the Bell’s Brewery and nature of Great Lakes Region.” Big claims that I’m excited to enjoy!

A- Unfiltered, amber with 2 finger off white head with decent retention and lacing.

S- Nose is great combination of malts, caramels, toasted gains, hoppy with citrus notes

T- Smooth citrus up front, smooth and malty in middle and quickly subsiding to a crisp hoppy, grassy finish. Very refreshing and enjoyable.

M- Medium bodied with slightly chewy feel. Good carbonation that works well on the palate. Ends with nice crisp finish.

O- Definitely lives up to the Bell’s name. My favorite offering of the Amber Ale style. Without a doubt I will recommend and purchase again!

 805 characters

Photo of SailIntoTheStout
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of jgurley
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium golden amber with a thin head that laces nicely. Has a light, clean malt smell with a hint of hops. Taste is light and malty on the front with a mild hop bitterness through the middle and back. Very refreshing with a medium/ thin mouthfeel and good carbonation. Good bitterness on the finish. A delightful amber ale.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass at Dema (Westin) in Detroit, Mich. Color was copper. Good-looking bubbly lacing. Film stayed on the sides throughout.

Smelled of caramel malts, but I had to work to find it.

Caramel malts led the way on the initial taste, followed surprisingly by a slight bitter finish. Very smooth.

Medium body. Lively carbonation. The smoothness just keeps sticking out.

One of the best ambers I’ve ever had (at least rated). Another great beer by Bell’s.

 488 characters

Photo of gunnerman
4.07/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap into a pint glass, pours a rustic redish amber with a a bit of head that leaves minimal lace on the glass. Smell has that sweet hoppy smell with a bit of bread and clove. This beer has a taste of sweet bread with a nice malt tone and some nice earth hop flavor in there, very well balanced and the drinkability is high on this fine product. Overall a regular that I go to and a nice session beer.

 410 characters

Photo of UDbeernut
4.07/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured into pint glass

a: copper color with minimal head, slight carbonation

s: light malt smell, not much else to it

t: nice sweet malt taste, well balanced beer not overly hopped

m&d: medium bodied beer, decent mouthfeel. Finishes slightly dry but clean

Good beer true to the style


 299 characters

Photo of ColoradoBobs
4.07/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Twelve ounce bottle pours a nice cloudy dark-amber under a two-inch head that faces to a sticky ring with decent lacing.

Smell has that nice Bell's note of sweet maltiness. Some biscuit, and a bit of citrus hops.

Pleasant sweet malt taste, with grain and grass. (I just love what Bell's does with malt!) Nice balance with hop dryness, but not much bitterness.

Carbonation makes for a nice mouthfeel, and spreads the malt sweetness around.

Very drinkable -- really smooth and fine.

Overall, a fine example of an easy-drinking amber ale. Wow! Bell's scores big again!

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Photo of bnes09
4.07/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A hazy orange, amber brew. Pours a thin off-white head with little retention but does produce nice lines of lace. Some sediment flakes at the bottom.

Lots of citrusy hop aromas. A tad spicy on the nose.

Flavors began with a piney and grassy hop character. Buscity malt in the back to smooth things out. Yeast adds an earthy tone. Very well balanced and all the flavors seem to blend well. Crisp and smooth at the same time and intriguing for the palate.

Nice medium-body with moderate carbonation. Hops provide a drying finish and the yeast imparts a coarse texture on the tongue.

Not a bad brew at all. Very refreshing with lots of flavor. Well worth the money.

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Photo of BradtheGreat7
4.07/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Way past due for a review on this. I enjoy this stuff often.

12 oz brown bottle with a awesome label fit spring through the fall. Scenic and reminds me of the place I live now and grew up. Soothing label and an all time favorite. Poured this into a Bell's Standard pint glass.

A - a golden amber with hints of orange highlights. Yes that's amber with a touch of gold. Lots of haze and what appears to be light sediment floating throughout giving the orange highlights. Good creamy head that leaves a sturdy ring of long lasting lace. Stick is perfect and continues to cling to the walls throughout the experience. This is what an American Amber ale is supposed to look like.

S - an equal display of both hops and malt. Citrusy hops with an equal whiff of caramel malt. Bready yeast character with some nice wafts of soft milk chocolate. Nothing real dominant with this aroma as it has a lot going on and is well balanced but everything seems to remain soft and nothing really grabs hold of the nose.

T - bread like yeast character. Some awesome sweetness in the overall flavor due from the caramel and maybe toffee malt. Almost buttery sweet in and out with a citrusy hop providing a semi bitterness in the finish. Nothing flashy. Just damn tasty.

M - creamy medium body with awesome Bell's texture. It's easy to drink and very sessionable. One of my all time favorites and great any time of year. It's balance is out of this world allowing for maybe the perfect ale a person could enjoy any time.

O - a real deal classic and what I consider the staple of American amber ales. It's very good stuff and enjoyable. There's nothing flashy or in your face with Bell's amber. Just a down right good tasting ale that's really stunning to look at. There's nothing bad to say about this. Ill continue picking this up throughout every year like I have for the multiple years that's past. One I can pick up and know exactly what I'm getting and one that always brings a smile to my face.

 1,985 characters

Photo of RedwoodGeorge
4.07/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm quite fond of Amber Ales and this is a good example of what a quality Amber ought to be like...

Not much carbonation on the pour, the bottle opens with hardly a hiss and even with some vigor to the pour there's barely a think white collar. The beer itself is an unfiltered cloudy deep amber-brown in color with plenty of red highlights when held up to the light.

The smell is very inviting with lots of caramelized malt notes and good fruity esters of apricot and cherry. There's a mild hop note in the nose but not much - just enough of a piney note to add another dimension.

The flavor as well is quite short on hops (which is fine) The style has a lot of latitude when it comes to hopping and here they've opted to put most of the spotlight on the malt and yeast. Lots of good caramel notes, some sweet browned sugar flavors and an interesting toasted grain note that compliments the rest well. The yeast plays a big part here with plenty of sweet fruity notes very similar to a British Pale Ale. Again, not much hopping but just a bit of pine or green grass to compliment the toasted grain note at the finish of the sip.

Mothfeel is surprisingly heavy - this is quite a 'thick' feeling Amber. Just enough bittering on the back end to give each sip some balance. While there isn't quite enough carbonation for my taste what bubbles are there are fine and soft - I'm guessing this is bottle conditioned.

A really drinkable Amber Ale even though it's a bit undercarbonated. Some ambers are much hoppier (North Coast's Red Seal) while this is very, very similar to Anderson Valley's Boont Amber except for two important areas: It's less filtered leaving a lot more substance in each sip and this bottle was undercarbonated the bottle conditioned bubbles add a very nice texture and leave it feeling more "crafted" than AV's Boont. This may not get as much attention as Bell's many fine Stouts but it's just as well made.

 1,939 characters

Photo of jera1350
4.07/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber color with lots of bits swimming about. Thin layer of suds on top.

Light roasted malt. Pilsnerish, followed by some fruity and citric hops.

Rich and semi-sweet malts followed by some lighter citric hops. Clean and slightly complex.

Maybe a bit over medium bodied which was unexpected. Pretty thick and smooth with some moderate carbonation.

Absolute session beer here. I could make a night of this. Really well crafted beer that's available year round which is a bonus.

 492 characters

Photo of LaurenZ
4.07/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Dark colored with caramel and amber hues. The head is small, just around the edges does it appear. Has a copper look to it. The beer is roasty and caramelly in the aroma and has some slight malt hints. The fruity and caramel aroma comes through in the flavor as well. It is slightly bitter and hoppy with bitter and roast notes lingering afterwards. the Beer overall is good and crisp.

 385 characters

Photo of Morris729
4.07/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours golden amber in color with a bit of an orange tint with an off-white head that fades into a pretty solid lace. Nose is sweet toasted malts and grains with some underlying notes of butterscotch. Medium in body with a bit of a buttery texture towards the end. Taste begins with notes of buttery toffee and diacetyl followed by some doughy and bready flavors with just the right amount of hop bitterness to balance everything out. A pretty nice American amber ale and certainly a beer that would make for a wonderful session brew. Thanks to feloniousmonk for the sample!

 573 characters

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.06/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bell's Amber Ale has a thick, off-white head, an amber appearance, lots of bigger and tinier tan yeast chunks, throughout,, and minimal lacing left on the glass. The aroma is of sweet, honey-topped, brown bread and a touch of lemon. Taste is of those elements, with some background stone fruit skin and relatively low bitterness. Mouthfeel is high medium (almost heavy) and fluffy, and Bell's Amber Ale finishes in the dry realm.


 435 characters

Photo of PaulSlazinger
4.06/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.06/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a shaker pint glass.

Look: Cloudy caramel-colored copper color with specks of residue(?). A light cream colored head that recedes to a swirly light film. Light watery lines of lacing.

Aroma: Light caramel, toasted grains, buttered toast, subtle tea leaves.

Taste: Soft sweet malts up front with toffee and caramel followed by light hop bitterness in the form of black tea tanginess.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied.

Overall: All the things I look for in an amber: sweet, toasty, with a tangy hop finish.

 514 characters

Photo of Zach136
4.06/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Hazy orange, light tan head.

Aroma-Flavor: Light, nutty and caramel aroma. Touch of grassy hop.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, touch of residual sweetness, touch of bitter lingering.

 192 characters

Photo of SafeAtFirst
4.06/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy orange-like amber with off-white head and thin lacing. Sweet caramel aromas with faint wafts of citric hops. Taste is predominantly biscuit and caramel malts with a good earthy and spicy hop balance. Finish is a little bitter. Medium body.

Overall this is a pretty good amber ale. I would drink more.

 308 characters

Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 3.84 out of 5 with 3,140 ratings
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