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

BA SCORE
87
very good
3,119 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:
3,119
Reviews:
972
Avg:
3.85
pDev:
11.95%
 
 
Wants:
156
Gots:
576
For Trade:
2
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,119 |  Reviews: 972
Photo of Garvey
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of psuKinger
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch #11288, bottled July 2nd, 2012 (about 2 months old). Bottle into nonic.

A: Classic hazy amber hue, with a big frothy 2-finger off-white head on top. Near-perfect.

S: Lemon grass and herbal notes. Sweet bread. Perhaps a touch of pine resin and a twinge of alcohol.

T: Lemon zest is present, as the nose indicated, but there's also a bright grapefruit flavor with a pale malt twinge here that I didn't really pick up on in the nose. I'm not picking up on much in the way of a classic caramel/amber malt profile, which is suprising based on the name of the beer. Pine-bitterness arrives at the finish to round things out.

From the nose I feared that this beer might run overly sweet. But no, this has been healthily-hopped, keeping everything in balance.

M: Light and lively, with decent carbonation and a good dry finish.

D/O: Goes down smooth. Easy-drinkin'. I could knock this back in large quantities. I'm attributing a significant percentage of the flavor here to hop addition, and therefore I do believe "freshness" would be a concern here moreso than for many other "amber/red ales". If fresh, I could blast a six-pack of this.

 1,143 characters

Photo of kels
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I've always liked Bell's brews, but this one never made it into the rotation with all the bigger releases. About time I tried it. Review from a bottle poured into my pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a lovely golden-red-brown with a lot of clarity that highlights sediment and carbonation suspended within. The thick, white, pillowy head forms at about 2 1/2 fingers with good retention and soft, sheetlike lacing.

Smell: Hardly detectable despite so much head. Slight grainy malt and slight piney sap.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Excellent taste is deep and complex without being heavy. A real toasty malt presence meets a crispy, cracker-like malt along with some slight piney hops and a crispy green apple presence. They give a clean and bitter effect to the malty undertones. Mouth is creamy thanks to the retained head, with good carbonation as well.

Drinkability: Very high and would pair well with a lot of different foods.

 922 characters

Photo of Spaceman_Jer
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Copper-brown clear body, slightly fizzy light tan head, strong streams of carbonation. Nose and taste have strong notes of sweet caramel and malt, mild bitterness with no specific hop flavor attributed to it, and a kiss of raw grain. Something about this is rich and warm, deep and balanced flavor, despite the seemingly simple profile. Body is moderately heavy, with a rich but gulp-able quality.
Who says an Amber Ale can't be delicious?? (I think I've said that...) This is a great beer, something all those easy mass-appeal craft beers can strive to be. The profile is simple, rich grain and mild bitterness, but the depth is astounding. Not a beer than would necessarily stand up in an all-comers lineup, but it would certainly win among the domestic/American Amber category.

 780 characters

Photo of WillWillows
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bell's Amber in the bottle. I poured it into a pint jar. Very nice and pours a nice reddish gold with a good head that dissipates. Taste is stronger than other Ambers, such as Abita, and has a better mouthfeel, no backbite. Nice. Two for two on Bells having consumed an Oberon recently. I will be back for this one again, I bought a sixer just in case. The five remaining are in grave danger of a quick disposal.

I am drinking the last one now. I slow poured it into a Mason jar and let it sit for 3 minutes until the head was down and the lacing was left. The taste and the temperature were perfect. This is a fine ale.

 621 characters

Photo of millert83
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of BeardedSquash
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A cloudy brass body with a small cream colored head which falls quickly. A few pillars of carbonation.

S: Buttery hops. This is the type hop smell that inspired my ill-conceived hallertaur croutons. (does not translate into actual butteriness on bread) Rich sweet malt comes through after a while.

T: Wonderful. That rich hoppyness stays in the back seat, but makes itself known throughout the beer. A slight lake water flavor at the back of the tongue if that makes any sense. Malts rearlly shine through as the beer warms. Surprisingly different for an American Amber.

M: Light on the tongue, but sticky on the lips. You can almost lick the malts off your moustache.

D: I first snagged one of these from a friend who's first beer choice is Shiner Bock. I wasn't expecting a bad beer, but needless to say I wasn't expecting something this good. Well rounded, and ballsy with the hops. A nice surprise. Hope to have it one on tap one day.

 953 characters

Photo of Jrcassiday
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of eblue33
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of jacksonhole72
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of johnhansen
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of GOBLIN
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Well, all I can really say about this beer is that it is indeed an Amber ale. Nothing amazing but still solid in every way. Bell's amber has a nice appearance along with pleasant caramel notes. Mouth feel is crisp and finishes clean. Overall it's a solid example.

 263 characters

Photo of asabreed
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Reminds of Smuttynose IPA in the sense of all the floaties and the natural hazy color due to that. It adds so much more than just a clear brew in a glass with rising carbonation. The haze adds a copper hue to the ligher amber color of the body. Lacing all over the place: from clumps to thin lines to single bubbles.

Smell: Ripe fruit, with strawberry and some banana, is at the forefront of this sucker, some dough and yeast aromas, caramel, and ripe citrus as it warms I imagine from the hops, though it's mild as I expected.

Taste: Again, ripe fruit at the forefront, with some dough and toasted grain flavors. Then it slides into some banana, from the yeast possibly, vanilla, caramel, a bit of citrus hops, and ends with flavors of ripe apples and strawberries, still cut a bit by some citrus hops to not make it too sweet.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full-bodied with a good creaminess.

Drinkability: A pleasurable and sessionable amber offering from Bell's. I love the unfiltered look, which I think adds a lot with all the floaties, though I think that could turn some people off.

 1,135 characters

Photo of kenito799
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a tumbler.

Medium clear amber, raises a creamy foamy head, lovely lacing. Great appearance that somehow communicates comfort.

Aroma is fresh, malty, subtly hoppy, in line with the tyle, not an IPA aroma.

Taste offers an impeccable balance between creamy smooth malt and a refined bitter finish. Really harmonious and makes for a great soft session beer. Not nearly as full-flavored as many other stellar Bell's beers, but this a a robust and highly drinkable American amber ale.

 506 characters

Photo of Cummins9110
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into mug

A - first off this pours an excelent head that lingers for a long time

S - smells of delicious carmel, like candy bar carmel!

T - taste like carmel and toffee, and fruit(I cant tell you what fruit, maybe apricot?) my brain is searching for the taste im tasting! im thinking its apricot that has me stumped

M - Very soft, yet i would consider it light, maybe more fluffy

Overall like all the Bell's beers im very impressed. This is a great Amber!

 466 characters

Photo of Neorebel
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's deep, hazy amber color reminds me of cider, and it's frothy head retains shape similar to a nice cafe latte. The aroma smells of fresh baked bread with a hint of juicy grapefruit hidden beneath. When tasting the beer there is a nice balance of malt, grains, tropical fruit, and a piny zing towards the end. Reasonably full mouth feel - while it is not 'thick' it coats the mouth pleasantly. A good beer for any time.

 421 characters

Photo of avalon07
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an amber color and a cloudy consistency. There was a big, foamy, long-lasting head and good lacing.

S: Smelled of sweet malt, a bit of hops and fruit.

T: Taste consisted of fruit, sweet malt and some hops. A mostly bitter flavor, but generally well done.

M: A well-carbonated beer with a dry finish. Light-bodied.

D: I'm not the biggest fan of ambers, but this one is a pretty drinkable example of one.

 451 characters

Photo of The_Kriek_Freak
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ypsifly
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz batch# 6883, which reads as 5-23-05 as per the Bell's website.

Clear amber with two fingers of off white. Good retention with ringed lace.

Sweet malts, yeast, and dry hops in the nose.

Caramel malt, slightly nutty with a good dose of bitter hops for balance. There are some yeast notes ofbanana way in the back. Nice dry finish. The body starts off a little more than full, but the dryness and carbonation clear it without being too abrupt. A classic session beer.

 478 characters

Photo of ElGrecoVerde
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

More orange than amber, and even looks pulpy.

Smell is a sweet citrus one.

The taste is surprisingly sweet, yet crisp. It's not at all overdone. Definite citris flavors, but some smoother flavors as well that I can't identify. Also tasted a slight burnt wheat flavor, but again, not overdone and works out very well.

It feels a lot like a well carbonated wheat beer. Finishes crisp due to carbonation, and leaves a citrus aftertaste. Easy to drink.

 451 characters

Photo of taylorhamrick
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out hazy, kind of golden, definitely not amber in my opinion, maybe copper at best. A massive head sits on top, and is slow to collapse, but still the color is getting me. I want to see more red/amber colors. The smell is of biscuit, bread very full, a bit of sweetness. Great maltiness in this one. Then there is this orange smell, with some resinous hops, bitter citrus rind. The taste really kind of stands out. There is a really pleasant tart cherry taste which I like, a great maltiness, thick and bready, kind of a powdery dry bread, like crackers. Then a herbal, leafy finish of hops. This is a bit like a soda, but I'm loving it. The fruitiness is very nice. I wish it were just a bit more beery. The taste is a little watery, less than impressive, particularly for a style than can be built up to be quite malty. The carbonation is nice, though. An enjoyable beer. I'd recommend it, though I'd also recommend a few improvements on this one - namely in color and mouthfeel. This one is very easy to drink and pleasant.

 1,032 characters

Photo of UncleJimbo
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz, brown longneck bottle, capped.

This amber ale poured a hazy, amber-orange color with white foam that settled but clung to the sides of the glass a bit. The smell was malty with aromas of caramel and biscuit and hops. The taste was sharp up front but with a malty, very hoppy finish. In between were flavors of oak and caramel malt. The mouthfeel was crisp and initially slightly sweet but dry and hoppy at the finish. The body was medium with good carbonation. This was a nice amber ale with lots of flavor.


Thanks to feloniousmonk for this one.

 560 characters

Photo of Pantalones
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

My third bottle of this one; bottling date is March 20th, 2017 and slightly above that the label mentions a 6-month shelf life.

Very nice dark orangey color to this beer -- always the first thing I notice when pouring one, honestly one of the nicest colors I've seen in a beer. Forms a decent little layer of off-white/very light tan foam on top upon pouring, which shrinks into a thin cap shortly thereafter and begins to vanish away as I drink some of the beer. Beer is mostly clear, a little haziness and a good number of bubbles rising up from the bottom.

The smell is kind of mild but it's pleasant, mostly toasty and doughy malt. On the back end the hops sneak in just a little, reminding you of their presence without standing out ahead of the malt.

Taste is similar, toasty and slightly doughy malt coming out ahead but the hops are also definitely present, maybe a little bit of citrus at first and then a bit of a bitter herbal/floral "bite" coming in at the end. Hop flavor and bitterness lingers a bit longer than the malty flavors, especially after a big gulp interestingly enough. Flavors are slightly sweetish but doesn't come across sugary or sticky at all, it's very nicely balanced. Leans toward the malt at the start of the glass, with the hops starting to assert themselves a bit more toward the end -- definitely keeps things interesting from one end of the glass to the other. Something about the way the flavors are balanced is almost reminiscent of Samuel Adams Boston Lager, I wonder if the hops jump out even more when it's really fresh on draft the way Boston Lager does.

Feel is fairly light and crisp, with just enough richness to it and some nice carbonation contributing. I did notice on my previous bottle that the feel seemed to thin out a bit too much if left to sit for a while (seemed like maybe the carbonation started to fizzle out?), but that's probably my fault more than the beer's since I was slowly sipping at one while cooking dinner over the course of about half an hour.

Overall this is a pretty simple beer, but a very tasty one, and one of those that I seem to find more to like about it the more I drink -- everything about it just works really well and it's so nicely balanced, there's really not anything less-than-positive I can say about it. Probably my favorite amber ale so far.

 2,347 characters

Photo of nsmartell
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this beer from the comfort of my own living room after a long day at work. From bottle to pint glass.

Appearance: Dull copper with a thick-slow falling head.

Smell: Rich with a hint of hops.

Taste: Pretty malty and a good Red Ale taste.

Mouthfeel: Rich and smooth.

Drinkability: Nice and refreshing. Nice session beer. Another solid outing by Bell's.

 365 characters

Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.85 out of 5 based on 3,119 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.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.