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

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Amber AleAmber Ale
BA SCORE
3.84/5
Very Good
3,184 Ratings
Amber AleAmber Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
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
Ranking:
#12,426
Reviews:
993
Ratings:
3,184
pDev:
11.72%
Bros Score:
4.35
 
 
Wants:
167
Gots:
613
Trade:
2
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,184 |  Reviews: 993
Photo of prototypic
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bell's Amber has a surprising amount of yeasty haze clouding its scarlet infused amber appearance. I like it. A vanilla head sits firmly on top and patiently dissipates. Light strands of lace line the glass as it descends.

The nose isn't bad, but is a little lacking in strength and diversity. It's very yeasty and doughy throughout. Caramel malts provide a nice, sweet aroma. It's a little sugary. Hops are noted, but aren't very powerful. They smell floral and earthy. All told, it's straight forward and not bad at all. A little more "oomph" would certainly be welcomed here.

The flavor kicks off with sweet caramel malt. It's sweet and somewhat sugary. There's a bit of fruit here that wasn't apparent on the nose. Tastes like pear to me. Floral hops add a nice dimension to it. They're earthy and grassy with a spicy twist. The most interesting thing about Amber Ale is how the flavor kind of flatlines. It's very stagnant and doesn't seem to develop much from beginning to end. It feels like it needs some pizzazz on the back end. As it warms, there's a slight bitter kick from the hops. But, it's not quite enough. Overall, it's got a pretty nice flavor, it just needs a little something extra.

Its body is light and somewhat smooth. Carbonation is active and a little crisp. A tad more body would improve it, but it's nowhere close to bad. Drinkability is good. Amber Ale is a very straight forward beer that goes down easy and isn't complicated in any way. I could handle a few of these if need be.

I'm pretty sure Amber Ale is Bell's Flagship beer. It's not a great beer, but it is good. I'd prefer a little more hops. They'd add some zeal that it currently lacks. Other than that, the nose is a tad weak and a bit more body would be good. Truth be told, those modifications might just turn it into an animal that it's not intended to be. As it is, it's a nice session beer with a pretty good flavor. As easy as it is to forget sometimes, those have a place in this world.

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Photo of daythree16
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Cloudy amber/brown in color. Has a lot of floating chunks suspended in the beer. 1.5 finger head with good lace.

Smell is a little bit of sweetness and not much else. Taste has some light caramel and roasted malt with a barely there spicy hop finish.

Medium bodied with good drinkability. This would be a great gateway beer for someone looking to get into craft beer. Good flavor, but highly sessionable.

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Photo of srv33
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Amber pour, hah, thin head, a little medium-fine lacing. Smells of pine, honey, sweet light citrus, bread. Taste is solid and has a non-overpowering balanced malt-hop ratio, excellent session brew, great signature, very solid taste, would buy again. One of my favorite non-ipa ales from Bells.

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Photo of wisegreensoul
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of MacRodge
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tastes planty and overly-fermented. There's an oakiness that's a little too intense for my palate. The grain elements are nice but the finish doesn't quite work the way I wish it would. I'd drink this beer again if given to me, but I would not go out of my way to seek it out.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A darker shade of amber thats for sure. Head in the 1" range, off white, good retention. Overall a solid appearance of this amber ale. Aroma really kicked down as much citrus as I can remember in an amber ale.

This is a hoppy amber ale. Its not juicy like the nu NE ipa craze, but it imparts citrus sweetness. Its good stuff, not line up in the rain kind of good, but its plenty serviceable and significantly better than average. Usual caramel malt notes.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a classic Amber Ale. The beer poured out with a nice reddish looking color with a pretty good looking head on top that isn't afraid to stick around for a little while. The smell of the beer is well balanced between the hops and malts. The taste of the beer was pretty good too, much like the nose. There are plenty of hops and malts working together to make this a nice drinkable beer. The mouthfeel isn't overwhelming at all it's drinkable and easy to have a few in a sitting if you want to. Overall this beer is worth trying I think.

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Photo of LittleDon
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the tab, I get a slightly darker than amber cloudy beer with a fine off-white creamy head that sticks around for a bit. There is slightly toasted caramel and hint of hops in the nose, all slightly subdued. A big chewy somewhat-sweet caramel flavor greets me on the first taste. The finish is a bit subdued, nothing to write home about.

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Photo of gregalobeer
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bells makes better. Not that this was bad, just a bit uneventful.

A: opaque, burnt orange ale, with speckles of yeasty sediment
S: not much at all, definitely weak on the hops, citrusy
T: orange, vanilla, broad strokes of un-accented maltiness
M: very smooth, moderate to low carbonation, full-bodied and creamy; it feels like the body doesn't match the flavor, missing sweetness, or something to fill in the awkward silence of character

I mean, it's not unpleasant, but there's something missing here. I could drink more, but it leaves me wanting ...

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Photo of kwalters
3.64/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This isn't a brew I'd attach the word "Flagship" to, but nonetheless it's a nice beer. Perhaps it's Bell's most widely appealing beer able to satisfy both the macro and micro crowd?

This particular bottle poured a true coppery red color with a nice 1-inch off-white head. I immediately noticed a bit of yeast in the head. After examining the beer beneath it, I noticed a lot of yeast particles in suspension. I guess I didn't pour it delicately enough.

The scent and flavor are quite a mixed bag. I can pick out some yeasty bread flavor, some sugary sweetness and some apple sourness. And then there's a hop finish. There's a lot going on and none of it seems to blend together all that well. I enjoy it, but Amber Ale isn't what I thought it would be.

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Photo of Vandelay1863
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Look: Thin head with effervescent bubbles over opaque honey tone; suspended sediments permeate
Smell: Fairly subtle, but a tad hoppy- not a crisp, conspicuous smell
Taste: Grainy with a touch of hops, so slightly bitter
Feel: Crisp and medium-bodied; grainy aftertaste
Overall: Very drinkable, but not exactly memorable. I love Bell's packaging, especially their animal labels and caps on this beer, Best Brown, and Two-Hearted. Really stands out

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Photo of bsp77
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into 2009 PGA Championship Pint glass (pretty sweet).

Appearance: Just slightly hazy light amber with small white head and minimal lacing.

Smell: Smells fairly dry (especially in comparison to the taste), with toast, caramel and citrus fairly evident.

Taste: Somewhat sweet upfront with a nice mix of caramel, toast, fruit and citrus. Turns slightly bitter toward the end with a mix of citrus and spice. Very well balanced overall, but still slightly too sweet for my liking in a session ale.

Feel: Moderately high carbonation with a light-medium body. Finishes quite dry.

Drinkability: Pretty high. While the American Amber Ale category is quite broad, I think of this as the prototypical example of the style. However, it may be slightly too sweet for my taste.

Feel: Moderate

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Photo of CloudStrife
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Packaged on 10/03/13.

A: Pours a hazy amber ruby with a fairly large off white head. Little too opaque to see any visible carbonation. Some nice rings of lacing are left on the sides of the glass.

S: Mild malt aroma with a touch of hops in the background. Not overwhelming in the aroma department. Bit of breadiness

T: Well balanced approach to an amber ale here, starts off with a mildy sweet carmel malt, then some bittering hop hits your taste buds. Aftertaste rounds out with some wheat like malt.

M: Smooth body with a creamy feel. Average, perhaps slightly low carbonation. Nice drinkability on this one.

Overall balance is key with this one. Is smooth and something anyone could enjoy.

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Photo of philbe311
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Three fingers worth of active dense tightly packed creamy slightly off-white colored head with a bit of a rocky top... Fairly impressive retention at one fingers worth... Load with small bubbled rapid paced carbonation... The color is a mix of orange, amber, and caramel... Completely translucent...

S - Loads of toffee and toasted malts... Nutty... Caramel... Sweet desert breads... A bit of brown sugar... Raisins...

T - Brown sugar... Toffee... Raisins... Caramel... Nutty... Lots of grassy notes... A slightly assertive hop layer lies beneath and rises on the finish and lingers for a moment...

M - Medium bodied... Light carbonation... A bit sharp... A slightly dry finish...

D - A respectable American Amber... Simple straight-forward and fairly effective... Nothing special, but no real complaints either... A solid flagship brew for Bell's...

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Photo of safaricook
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pretty tasty for an amber ale

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Photo of Enola
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to dertbert for the bottle

This beer is as if someone mixed a pale ale and an amber. The beer is a cloudy golden orange. There is a fair head with minimal lacing. The smell is somewhat hoppy. The taste is good. Like stated above, amber and pale ale mix. The mouthfeel is smooth and there is a nice aftertaste. The drinkability is good as well. Bell's makes some fine beers and this is no exception.

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Photo of feelmefoam
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12-oz bottle into a shaped pint.

A nice looking beer, this pours an woody amber color (go figure) with a finger of off-white head that leaves some decent lacing down the glass as it dissipates. A moderate amount of carbonation running up the glass.

A toasty bread smell hits first when you put your nose in the glass. Some caramel malts coupled with an earthy hoppiness follows closely after.

This beer has a good, solid flavor, nothing outstanding, but it is tasty. Starts out with some bready caramel malts that are holding hands with some of the earthy hops present in the smell.

Just your normal medium body on this brew, it's smooth with a moderate amount of carbonation.

A very easy drinker, tasty and simple. Nothing to write home about, but a solid session beer for sure. My first Bell's beer, I'll try more of their offerings soon.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Starts off pouring very blonde but that develops into a beautiful hazy, juicy light iced tea color (ambers, honeys, reds) and a head that doesn't quit. 2 fingers, popcorn colored, and slow to recede leaving lots of evidence of its existence behind.

A bit of caramel sweetness on the nose, with amber malts, a touch of honey. Faint to nose, otherwise pretty decent.

Taste overall, like the nose, is muted. It starts off with cereal grains, followed by a small dose of piny hop, and some brown bread crust, finally fading with some baked sugar sweetness.

Feel is creamy but still light enough to enjoy thoroughly. A semi dry feel permeates the whole profile, and it dries politely.

While I like this Amber and I feel it's a solid craft, I wish the flavors and aromas were louder and I could do with a bit more character overall.

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Photo of sd123
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of MrMcGibblets
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

an all-around solid beer from bell's. pours a hazy light amber, decent creamy head. this reminds me more of a bock than an american amber/red due to the malt/sweet balance of it. dough and toffee in the nose along with something i can't put my finger on. flowers? sweet caramel malts upfront with just barely enough hops to round it out before the sweetness comes returns on the back end. medium carbonation from the bottle conditioning, nice and creamy/crisp at the same time. almost medium in body. a nice session beer but for that i would prefer a pride and joy. sweetness can make this a little cloying after a while.

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Photo of joemama76
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Mistofminn
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at Bryant Lake Bowl celebrating a friends birthday with some beers and a round of bowling.

Color is hazy reddish brown, otherwise known as amber. Thin half finger foamy off-white head. Decent retention, nothing impressive. Minimal lacing.

The aroma displays a nice battle of earthy and citrusy hops, with the earthy hops winning this time. Huge malt backbone, caramel and buttery.

Initial taste is citrusy hop bite that gives way to the malt backbone after a few seconds. Sweet malts, with caramel and a toffee like character, and a fair bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium bodied with a nice carbonation. Nothing too impressive. Drinkability is good.

Overall, a solid beer. This is a beer I've passed up in stores since...well...ever, and that may have to change. Good stuff.

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Photo of izzyismyrott
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of DoubleJ
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12 ounce bottle received as a gift from Halcyondays. On to the beer:

A little hazed in this orangeish brown colored beer. The head drops to a thin creamy lace on top, leaving a little lacing on the glass. The nose is a little subdued. Faint fruity esters, a little toasted malt. A little warming up intensifies those aromas, and even brings out some butterscotch. That's better.

Bell's version of an amber ale tastes like this; it goes toasty and fruity, like strawberry. Not super hoppy, which with Bell's I though it would be. There are touches of pine though. Ok, tasting those resins, maybe it was hoppy once upon a time, and now the hop juice is gone. No worries, it's all good.

Expectations sometimes get really high with certain breweries. Although I was expecting something explosive, I shouldn't complain too much about this beer.

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Photo of jeremyd365
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 8274, poured a very cloudy amber/copper with a thick, foamy head. It had a pretty strong malty and slightly floral smell. The taste is more of the same--a pretty strong malty flavor with a slightly bitter finish. Overall this one is a pretty drinkable beer. Not too bad at all.

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Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 3.84 out of 5 with 3,184 ratings