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

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BA SCORE
87
very good
939 Reviews
Bell's Amber AleBell's Amber Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States | website

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:
939
Ratings:
2,980
Avg:
3.85
pDev:
21.3%
 
 
Wants:
147
Gots:
505
For Trade:
2
User Reviews
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Reviews: 939 | Ratings: 2,980
Photo of bearrunner44
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Medium, slightly reddish-amber with a fluffy vanilla-tan head.

Smell: Caramelized malt, with a light and tangy fruitiness. Honey, banana, maybe a touch of lemon zest.

Taste: Mild sweetness from the malt, honey-like. Mellow fruitiness; tangy like banana, with a citric edge to it. A light, isolated kiss of hops shows up towards the finish. It ends with a bit of an oxidized wet cardboard taste; it's not too bad, just enough to be distracting. The alcohol peeks through a tiny bit. Well-balanced.

Mouthfeel: Somewhat chewy, but with lively levels of carbonation.

Verdict: It's pretty good, except for the distraction of the off-flavors. I wouldn't mind having another one.

 698 characters

Photo of BrokenEdge
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I love a well done, toasty amber ale, but it seems most breweries want to add too much hops to everything. This one is a good representation of a beer style that's meant to be more subtle, and shows why amber ales can really be great.

Pours a dark, rusty, amber with a fluffy white head, leaves quite a bit of foam around the edges of the glass, and some thin lacing. Smells like toasted bread with a hint of hoppy freshness. Taste is mostly malt forward: lots of toasted malt, bread, and caramel type flavors. There's a little bit of herbal and piney hop flavor way in the background, just enough to balance the dark, toasty flavors and offset some of the bready sweetness. I found this easy and refreshing to gulp, and "refreshing" is not often a word I associate with amber ales. Feels creamy, smooth, and even somewhat full in mouthfeel. The hint of hops helps give it a little bit more of a clean and dry finish, but it still has some lingering toasty flavors. Overall, one of the best amber ales I've had yet, and a highly recommended option if you're looking for something more easy drinking.

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Photo of JordanEllwanger
4.37/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Beautiful amber color with that coffee cream head. A little cloudy and not very active, maybe less carbonation. Smells sweet and delicious, very ripe. Great tones of malt and hops swim across my taste buds. A superb blend of ale. Feels medium with a tendency towards the lighter side. My most frequent stop on the Bell's lineup.

Cheers.

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Photo of BlackAngus
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Cloudy, orange color. Large tan head that lasted all the way down.

S - Sweet, malty aroma, with a light hops character.

T - Sweet and malty, definite hop bitterness, but very well balanced.

M - Nice carbonation, light-medium body, clean and crisp.

D - I can drink this often...very well-crafted beer.

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Photo of n00tz
3.34/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Light tan head sets thinly above an amber body with a steady carbonation. Particles from what must be bottle-conditioning yeast are more prevalent than the carbonation bubbles.

S - Malty and sweet with a buttery scent shows itself. Light citrusy notes peek through.

T - Nutty brown ale-like tendencies in the malt character, but also includes a fair amount of woodiness. Piney hops bring up the rear.

M - The carbonation on the palate doesn't match what's seen in the glassware -- it feels flat on the tongue. The hops aren't sticky, but most of the flavor is from the malts, which are clean, smooth, and non-destructive.

D - At the price these were at a beer store ($9.89/6-pack) known for their notoriously great deals on craft beer, I cannot understand why this didn't come across as good as I was expecting. I'm no cheapskate, but these are simply not worth their value. Oh well. Overall, this is an average amber -- so it is very drinkable however I just don't see myself purchasing another unless the price comes down to par with New Belgium or Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of JustLikeMyDad
3.16/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured mine into a beer mug, pours a nice copper color with a small foam head which does not last but sits thinly around the glass.

Smells kinda fruity to me, almost like a Michigan wet fall when it starts getting cold. Or maybe how the label looks, it smells like that. Very fitting.

Tastes like the notes/commercial description says, I couldn't word it better and never usually do, it's very plesant and not strong with the bitterness of its aftertaste making it refreshing and enjoyable.

Has a nice feel too, not thin, not thick, nicely carbonated and flows down smooth.

Overall, it's easy to drink and pleasant on the taste buds. This being the second Bell's I can say I like. A very pleasant surprise.

 710 characters

Photo of flaminghomer
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

not what i was expecting. light and hazy. i could see lots of sediment in my glass. very dry taste and very drinkable..head was pretty good looking with lots of tiny white bubbles and large dimples as it fell. stuck to the glass o.k. as it went down but not a whole lot.

as i said taste is very dry and clean do to the hops and very drinkable.

in the end i have to say that it is a very good beer but a little less than i expected. it was like a tame pale ale and i'm not a huge pale ale guy to begin with.

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Photo of ken3c
3.41/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice foamy head recedes to wisps and a halo. Lacing is spotty. Cloudy amber clarifies significantly but not completely by the end of the glass.

Smells slightly malty and slightly hoppy.

Tastes slightly sweet and slightly hoppy. There is also a rather harsh bitter taste that improves as it clarifies.

Mouthfeel is light to medium and lightly carbonated.

Drinkability suffers from the harsh bitterness but this beer was still enjoyable.

Next time I drink this, I'll do a better job of decanting.

 509 characters

Photo of youngblood
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a coppery brown into the glass. Beautiful foam head lingers around. Lace will descend down the glass as drinking commences.

The smell is quite sweet. The most noticable scent is malt. Almost a caramelly sweetness. Taste follows the smell, although not as sweet tasting as the smell. The hops balance the sweetness a bit better than the smell suggests. Overall, it is a very very strong Amber Ale selection.

 413 characters

Photo of Reneejane
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer was poured with a thick off white head. The color was a light amber color that was slightly cloudy. The aroma was of a citrusy/fruity hop. The taste was yeasty with an estery taste with a bit of a fruity hop kick. It finished with a slightly sweet, yet slightly bitter flavor. But it leaves the mouth quite clean.

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Photo of RunForYourBeer
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from batch 9781.

A: Pours an orange color with very little head.

S: Nearly all caramel malt on this one.

T: Starts out with lots of caramel malt with hints bready malt. Finish with some light citrus hops.

M: Medium with the right amount of carbonation.

D: High.

This is a good beer. It's highly drinkable and easy to get in my area. Would make a great session beer or gateway to craft beer.

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Photo of PartyHatjo
2.78/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Good amber color, leaning more towards red than yellow. Head was nonexistent (likely due to the pour quality, why don't bars know that some head is good on beer?).

Aroma: Malty, biscuity notes, slight earthy hop tones, not enough for what I think an amber ale should have--disappointing in general.

Taste: Quite malty/nutty flavor with overtones of biscuit, but it's lack of hop flavor/aroma was really a detractor for me--flavor balance in this brew is shifted heavily towards malt (maybe I'm too used to troeg's hopback, which has great malt/hop flavor balance). Taste is more reminiscent of an ESB than what I'd consider an amber.

Mouthfeel: Nice bitterness, decent sweetness and carbonation was good enough. There's a bit of pungency that comes through the nose that I'm not too fond of.

Drinkability: Nothing spectacular, I didn't really want another one, in fact, I could barely finish the first one.

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Photo of maundythirsty
4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark copper color and a tall but delicate off-white head that recedes to slippery bubbles around the glass. Smells like toasty malts, sweet malt and maybe a little plummy. The taste is a nice, round mouthful of toasted grain closing out with a bitter twinge that is a hair peppry.

Rich without feeling heavy. I could work my way through several of these without feeling overwhelmed or like I compromised for endurance sake. Welcome to the rotation, Bell's Amber.

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Photo of nicksta
4.57/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer poured a very nice, very cloudy amber orange. A really big head sits on top of that dissipates quickly into pillowy froth on top of the brew that has nice layers upon layers of lacing.

S: I approached the smell like I normally do an amber brew. I can never dicpher the scent of ambers from one another EXCEPT for this one. It started out like a normal amber. It had some toasty caramel smoothness and started to turn metallic, but instead of finishing like I expected it to it became an extremely sweet. It was as sweet as tasting caramel. It actually tickled my nose and relaxed my whole face.

T: It starts out really smooth, but a little light. After that sweetness starts to come out of the corners of my mouth. The beer then moves into ultra-smooth caramel toasty malts. The beer then ends with a kiss of roasted hops that at first are very floral and then end bitterly. Awesome.

M: It is really really good. The beer is ultra smooth and has just the right texture. Unfortunately, it is quite carbonated which tends to sting the mouth. Just let it sit a bit.

D: A really great session brew. Heed the carbonation and sip don't chug, but as the carbonation settles more and more, you can chug more and more. I am not really recommending chuging though; (even if it is good enough for me to want to) take the time to enjoy it.

 1,352 characters

Photo of LauraAlberts
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Cloudy Amber color with night fingers worth of head

Smell: Not too much - might need to warm up. Mild hops, mild citrus, very floral notes. Very nice.

Taste: Honey, Brown Sugar, Hops, Barley - Very nice long tasting profile.

Mouthfeel: Nice soft tannins, this beer is light and refreshing - but not watery.

Drinkability: Session. I love this new Bells beer we're getting here in SC.

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Photo of Reverand
4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured to a nice hazy amber, orange in color with a nice white head. I was quite impressed with the head retention and the belgian lace that seemed to cling all the way to the bottom.
A nice balance of hops and malt make this beer easy to drink that finished with a nice aftertaste. Can't wait to try the other brews from this brewery.

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Photo of jayrod20
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A delicious copper colored ale with a hearty malt flavor that goes down smooth as water.Nice aftertaste and no carbonation gives an enjoyable experience from the moment it hits your tongue to the moment it hits your stomach.Highly recommended I will be buying this ale again!!!!

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Photo of eljefe21
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Amber in color with a two-finger, white, fluffy head. Silky smooth fine lacing coats the sides of the glass. Some fine particles float suspended in the body of the beer.

S: Sweet malt smell up front with hints of hops lurking in the background. Smell is considerably strong for the style.

T: Toffee like sweetness melts in the center of the tongue. Maybe the slightest hint of hops, but just for balance to keep the sweetness in line.

M: A medium bodied beer that's smooth and a bit creamy in the middle. The slightest bit of carbonation on the edges of the tongue.

D: I was looking for something tasty and sessionable as my local beer store tends to stock bigger brews. Coming in just under 6%, this almost fits the bill. It certainly fits the spot taste-wise. A great year round pick.

Served: in an imperial pint glass.

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Photo of hdelavega
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured to a tulip.
Pours a nice honey amber, with a two finger fluffy white head that doesn't stick around long but leaves a nice lacing and keeps a thin whispy film atop the brew.
Smells of caramel malt and sweet carmalized sugar, I get a little breadyness In there with pretty discreet hops in the back.
Nice sweet malty flavors, I am still getting other burnt caramel. Nice lightly bitter hop finish.
Mouthfeel is medium light with medium high carbonation.
Easy to drink refreshing beer. I almost always have a bottle or two in the fridge.

 542 characters

Photo of SafeAtFirst
4.06/5  rDev +5.5%
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

Photo of tar
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bell's Amber Ale pours a cloudy amber with a thick puffy white head. Some sediment/particles were present, suspended in the glass (I've had this beer several times before and have never noticed this). A fairly persistent head leaves rings around the glass as it slowly diminishes. Very little aroma is present---a bit of hops comes through, and a hint of floral scents. This is mirrored in the taste, which is good but rather mild. There is a slight yeasty flavor in the finish. A fairly smooth, medium bodied beer which is pretty good, but not exceptional.

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Photo of JeffBlue
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

(Draft, The Refinery, Newhall, CA 2/28/14) A good beer but nothing really stands out. Been on a long hiatus from "ambers" so it is hard to judge for its' style.

Others:
Two-Hearted Ale (favorable)

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Photo of Minotaur
3.84/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A good, drinkable amber ale. It has a smooth, mellow mouthfeel with enough moderate carbonation to keep the beer from becoming heavy on the palate.

It has the style named color and is a bit on the darker side of amber and has a decent head that disperses evenly.

The aroma is very light with only a bit of toasty malt. I would say if there was a single weak point on this beer it is in the aroma.

The beer is a straightforward but flavorful blend of nutty, just slightly hopped and bright, toasted and grain-sweet malts. The most upstanding component is a mild nuttiness kind of like toasted chestnut. It is a pleasant tasting beer that could easily be drunk on its own, or eaten with mild and earthy foods.

A good solid drinking beer that exemplifies the style.

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Photo of maleman
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Poured true to its name...with a thin head that receded into a thinner cap and oily lacing. Some sediment and better than average carbonation. Very nice nose of malt and resin with a touch of caramel. Taste followed the nose with good bread and some grass. No aftertaste to speak of from this light to medium-bodied brew, tasted toward the back of the mouth. One of the better beers I've tasted recently. They call it the flagship of Bell's and while I haven't had the coveted "HopSlam" yet, it's the best Bell's offering I've had.

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Photo of Matt1516
3.35/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It's been a week of hoppy IPAs, so perhaps drinking this more subtle amber ale a little too cold did it a disservice.

Pours clear amber with small head (into a tumbler). Aroma of toasted grain and caramel.

Some malts present in the taste, not much by way of hops. Balanced taste-neither too sweet or bitter. Good session beer but a little forgettable.

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Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 939 ratings.
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