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

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BA SCORE
87
very good
949 Reviews
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
Reviews:
949
Ratings:
3,022
Avg:
3.85
pDev:
11.95%
 
 
Wants:
148
Gots:
529
For Trade:
2
User Reviews
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Reviews: 949 | Ratings: 3,022
Photo of B967ierhunter177
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a bold, clear amber with a thin head and lace lasting to the end. It's aroma is of sweet, roasted malt, dough, pine and straw. The flavor is fruity with notes of roasted nuts, bread crust, and a hint of toffee in the background. There's a smooth hop bitterness in the finish and aftertaste. The mouthfeel is medium. Bells Amber Ale is a good brew, refreshing and very drinkable. Recommended!

 407 characters

Photo of biggred1
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Cloudy,dark bronze with tons of suspended yeast.Creamy tan head,leaves lots of thick rings on the glass.

S-Caramel malt and floral hops dominate the nose.

T-Fruity but not too sweet,very complex.Well balanced between smooth malty flavors and hop bitterness.

M-Good medium smooth mouthfeel.

D-Pretty high on the drinkability scale.This may be the best american amber I've had,usually a boring style in my opinion.

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Photo of Chiefy770
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle (packaged on 7/12/2013) into a nonic pint glass.

A fluffy eggshell-white head formed on top of a hazy dark-orange body.

Toasty malts stand out in the nose. Minor hints of citrus also come out.

This amber ale is very well balanced. A sweet malty taste blends in perfectly with very mild hops. The subtle citrus flavors from the hops leave a mild tangy feeling in the mouth.

Overall: This is an Amber Ale done right. I find it hard to crown a beer the "best" of its style but Bell's certainly competes for a top spot in my book. It is very easy to enjoy a few of these on a mild autumn afternoon... or anytime for the ambitious ones.

Bottom Line: If you are a fan of Amber Ales, go out and find this. Definitely worth trying.

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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.

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

served chilled in a pint glass.

Appearance: Hazy amber colored liquid with a smallish off-white head. No retention or lacing.

Smell: Bready, sweet pale malt aroma, vaguely buttery. Quite interesting. No real hop presence on the nose.

Taste: Very clear cut pale malt flavor. Bready and sweet with some nice buttery tastes as well. Faint hops on the finish. Hefe-like clove in the background.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, yet light in body. Very smooth and quite refreshing.

Drinkability: I can see why this is their flagship beer. Probably one of the best sane session beers I've had, second only to Oberon. If you need to show someone what pale malt tastes like, begin with this.

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Photo of carolynschaf
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a smooth ale. It is woodlike with nut and maple notes. Bell's started their brewery with this beer. It is one of the best food beers because it goes with everything.

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

Notes from Aug 19, 2008
I love the way this glows in my glass,kind of a copper penny color,kind of a thin white head but I poured it pretty carefully,dont want to spill any eh. Smells of sweet roasted malt, bread,toast,and mild hops,Taste,Oh my gosh is this stuff good, I could drink myself into a stooper every night on this stuff.Flavors of sweet malt and hops with kind of a sweet woody finish like candy,could I have another please ? THANK YOU Mr BELL.

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

I poured this yummy beer into my tumbler at 40 degrees which was too cold. The beer was cloudy most likely cause it was cold. It was a pretty copper color with a nice big head. The smell was malty and of caramel and so was its taste. The beer had great lacing and this is another winner from Bell's I will buy again for sure.

 325 characters

Photo of proc
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
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 ajmoody76
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thank you for bringing bells back to illinois. twelve ounce bottle pours cloudy amber color. i appreciate the fact they do not filter. thin off-white head. decent lacing. looks good.

smells of sweet malts. good dose of hops on the nose. fruity. no off odors.

caramel sweet. nice hop bitterness. herbal. bitter hop aftertaste. balanced for style. good amount of hops (which i enjoy) and a strong malt backbone.

mid body. coats the mouth. good carbonation. i like this beer. i will buy again. could be a session beer for me.

 525 characters

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

A - Pours a cooper/orange color, I expected it to be a little darker for an amber. A nice creamy off white head formed and then quickly dissipated leaving a good sticky lacing. Decent carbonation.

S - Sweet malt, sort of toasty, and possible hints of toffee. The aroma was mild and nothing special or overwhelming.

T - This is a really smooth and crisp beer with caramel and toffee malts, little hop flavor. Just an overall crisp beer.

D - I hate to repeat myself but these are just so "crisp" that I could see myself drinking this as a session beer. Really enjoyable and not too heavy, more light to medium bodied. After further thought I wanted to add that I think this would be a good beer to introduce someone into the world of craft beers.

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

This was my first beer @ Bell's last night. Seeing as it is their flagship beer I might as well give it a shot. I was impressed and delighted, especially after I had tried the Amber ale from another local brewery a few days ago and I could BARELY finish it. This poured a golden copper and had a slight head. The smell was nice and hinted to a great beer. The flavor was complex yet refreshing with hints of many great ingredients. The mouthfeel was nice and its certainly a beer I could see myself relaxing on the deck drinking a 6'er

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: single finger off white head on a slightly hazy near pure amber body.

S: caramel malts, toffee, brown sugar and light hops.

T: sweet caramel malts and toffee are the major players. grain and earthy hop notes.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: One of the more full flavored amber ales and very drinkable.

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

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Yellow golden tan, white creamy 2 inch head, some lacing.

Smell - Malts, earthy,biscuit-like armoa. Some bitter fruits mixed with a little yeasty sour smell.

Taste - Nice smooth caramel malty flavor along with some mild hops and dark fruits. Toffee and some added sugars give this a sweet, yet not overly done flavor. Alcohol is masked very well. Pretty simple sytle, and basic taste done well.

Mouthfeel - Thin, smooth and very easy to drink. Malts hit tounge with there caramel and toffee goodness. Palette gets remaining malts, some hops and a little bitterness. Aftertaste is smooth and malty.

Overall - A simple beer, simply done well. Very tastly, easy to drink and low alcohol make this a easy beer to enjoy. Very well done and easy to get ahold off. Worth a drink for sure.

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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 BamaBeerBuff
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Color is an extremely vivid orange/red with a smooth, creamy off-white head. Retention is solid, lacing decent. A good looker.

S: Complex aroma, heavy on toasted caramel maltiness. Light citrus and a floral presence, as well. Sweet candy-like presence is an interesting contribution.

T&M: Balance, balance, balance. A delightful toasted malt flavor melds beautifully with a zippy hoppiness and some light diacetyl flavor. Citrus zest in moderation keeps things nice and orderly. It's still got enough flavorful pep to keep me happy, as it's a decently substantial brew. Body is medium with a fine natural carbonation.

D: Absolutely a session beer. This is the kind of brew I would (and will!) pass along to my craft-light/non-craft compatriots, but also drink a good bit myself. Another fantastic offering from Bell's.

 825 characters

Photo of Jon
4.21/5  rDev +9.4%
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 Spiekerbox
4.21/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Nice light amber color with a small white head the quickly dissipates.

S- Sweeter malt is a light scent with a small hop backbone, not very strong but it is pleasant.

T- Nice mix of malts, some sweeter than others, bit of a bitterness at the end with a slight citrus hop flavor, balances well with the malt.

M- Medium body and on the higher side of medium carbonation. Nice and crisp finish.

D- Very good beer, one of the better amber's that I have had. Nothing too special but would make an excellent session beer.

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Photo of car2052
4.21/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12 oz. bottle to a pint glass.

A: Very nice dark orange with a 3/4 in off-white head. Cloudy appearance. Probably unfiltered.
S: Sweet, caramel malt. Hint of orange and alcohol.
T: Bready taste. A bit of tartness followed by light dark fruit notes, of cherries and wild berries. Yeasty acidity. Ends with a bit of hop bitterness not felt in the beginning of the palate.
M: Medium mouthfeel. Creamy. Slight hoppy aftertaste.
O: Pretty good. A little too tart. Well made and pretty flavorful.

 504 characters

Photo of tjsdomer2
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Exceptional carbonation. Appears solid red with a purple-brown hue to it as well. Very unique. Decent foam and good lacing.

Smell: Smells like a great combination of raspberries, bitter lemon hops, and some mild honey or caramel. A top of the line smell for sure.

Taste/Mouthfeel: This is a bitter one. Dry bitter lemon pervades at the onset. There's a nice watermelon sweetness at the finish. Mouthfeel is definitely rough and rustic, but it goes well with the finish.

Drinkability: Very enjoyable and pretty unique for the style.

Overall: A winner from Bell's.

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Photo of kerokit
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A crisp, slightly floral amber full of round malty notes and a mild hop finish. It pours a classic caramel color with a moderate white head that develops into a light lacing by the halfway mark. Not the most interesting beer I've sampled, but it's smooth and supremely drinkable. A nice local discovery for this born and bred Bostonian who now calls the Midwest home.

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Photo of Zraly
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours hazy medium orange with off-white two finger head into a stein. Smells grainy and a bit like dough. A wisp of citrus lingers.

Not too heavy and not too light, this is a very tasty amber ale. Nice notes of honey, toast, and grains. Malty and smooth, this is on the outer edge of session ale territory. Crisp citrus hop finish that dries nicely on the palate. Medium-bodied and carbonation eases the drinking experience as it is spot on for style.

Refreshing and an extremely solid brew. Good year round for session or to maybe convert a few macro folks. Approachable and I recommend this.

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Photo of flowerysong
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Slightly hazy medium brown body, coarse tan head.

Smell: Sweet malt with some citrusy hop aroma and a bit of caramel.

Taste: Starts out sweet, toasted malt; some earthy and yeasty notes in the background along with just a hint of diacetyl; nice medium hop bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, medium-high carbonation.

Drinkability: Excellent example of the style. Full of flavour and well-balanced, easy to drink quite a few.

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Photo of elgiacomo
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle batch 9667, bottled April 2, 2010.

Pours very hazy orangish-amber with a good off-white head that leaves some lacing and maintains a good cap.

Aroma is some floral hops, yeast, bread, almost like homemade dinner rolls, some light fruit, caramel. One of the more aromatic Amber Ales I've had.

Flavor is fruity, green apple, pear, maybe a little melon, a touch of citrus hops, some floral in there too. Also some bread and caramel malt. Fairly sweet.

Mouthfeel is full for the style, oily, medium carbonation.

This is a great Amber Ale, very glad I went with a 6-pack instead of just buying a single.

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Photo of spointon
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this one on tap at Galway Tribes on 1/7/2009.

A= Poured a hazy amber color with a 1/2" off-white head that quickly dropped to a skim. Slight lacing down the glass.

S= The aroma was filled with a big nutty, toasted grain character on top of a nice malty base.

T= I found malty sweetness which quickly was run over by that delicious nutty character noted in the smell. Faint toffee and some citrusy hops in the middle and finish.

MF= Medium body with a moderate carboation level.

D= I like this beer a lot in the bottle and I liked it even more on tap. Very drinkable and quite sessionable, especially with food.

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Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.85 out of 5 based on 3,022 ratings.
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