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

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BA SCORE
87
very good
948 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:
948
Ratings:
3,010
Avg:
3.85
pDev:
21.04%
 
 
Wants:
149
Gots:
522
For Trade:
2
User Reviews
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Reviews: 948 | Ratings: 3,010
Photo of masterbruewer
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a cloudy amber-gold color with moderate tan head and steady carbonation with little bubble clumping on the bottom. Solid lacing but the head fades fast.

The smell is sweet and malty, faint hop presence. Maybe a hint of citrus.

A mix of malty sweetness and faint citrusy tartness, no real hop kick to speak of. Not a flavor I expected, but not a bad flavor at all.

Mouthfeel is a little creamy and smooth.

Very drinkable, not a bad beer at all.

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Photo of Schwarzbart
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: I tried Bell's Amber Ale from a bottle that noted that this was there flagship beer, so this set the standard high. First, the beer is an apricot color with lot's of debris that holds its place giving it a thick appearance. The light covering is foamy and yields a small amount of lacing. There was also a bunch of debris at the bottom of the glass.
Smell: Bold caramel malts and hops.
Taste: Rich malts and mild hops balance out decently. A slightly sweet taste that is of caramel and a hint of alcohol. Bold taste backed with and earthy hop quality.
Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy mouthfeel.
Drinkability: A decent beer, but not what I'd consider a flagship beer. Never the less, it is one of the better ones in this style.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle with the batch number of 6956.

Appearance: Pours a dark amber color with a small head. Lacing all around the class as I drink the beer.


Smell: A slight smell of malt and hops. Smell very delicious. Also a slight fruity aroma.


Taste: Very well balanced beer. Starts of somewhat sweet with a slightly bitter hop finish. More malt taste present then hop. Also can pick out a somewhat roasted malt flavor.


Mouthfeel: Light body that has appropriate carbonation.


Drinkability: A very drinkable beer. Could defiantly drink more then one in a sitting.

Overall, another great beer from Bells. They never cease to amaze me with their beers. Keep up the great work Bells!!!

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Photo of CDBeerDisappear
3.23/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Orange amber in color with an abundance of fine bubbles. Orangish off white head is retained to almost the end. Good lacing. Plenty of hop presence, aroma is kind of agricultural. Taste is dry and clean, any sweetness from the malt is overshadowed by dry bitterness making it an excellent choice to accompany food. Feels like carbonated mineral water in the mouth. A good solid beer that I would happily drink again.

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

A - Hazy amber in color with a one finger cream colored head that fades to nothing relatively quick, very little lacing.

S - Slightly sweet malt flavor mixed with a touch of floral and citrus hops, some biscuity aromas in there too.

T - malts > hops, some sweet lightly toasted malts that have a biscuit and toasted bread flavor, with a touch of floral and citrus hops in there. The finish starts out with some hop bitterness but fades to a lingering flavor of malts.

M - Light body with low carbonation.

O - A solid beer that tastes good and is quite enjoyable, I would recommend it. I also wouldn't recommend going out of your way for it because imho there are slightly better amber ales that can be found quite easily.

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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.

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Photo of Thanby
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hazy, light brown or maple appearance, good tan head. Aroma is of a complex malt with a little sweetness. Light flavor, full malt, lots of grain flavors rolling around. Light, clean body, malt sweetness in the aftertaste. Easy to drink, light amber ale, typical Bell's malty style.

 281 characters

Photo of dougbassett
3.39/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

One of the "1001 Beers You Must Taste Before You Die" -- #16 of the ones I've reviewed here.

Bell's is a good brewery, but this is not a favorite style of mine, so keep that in mind.

Appearance is very nice, as I would expect from Bell's, with a warm golden-brown/toasty color and a head that lingers satisfyingly. The mouthfeel also lingers satisfyingly: one thing I do like about this Amber Ale is that it's built with more stick-to-it-tiveness than what I've had in the past, it just seems like a more substantial beer than what you usually get in the style.

Unfortunately I don't get much nose, outside of a mild buttery/malt kind of thing, and the taste, while not bad, isn't noticeable enough to be "good", either. Very smooth, a hint of butter, a hint of sweet malt, a bit more assertive in the finish. That's really it.

Maybe as well constructed as this particular style can be, but this genre has a lot of mushy, tastes-like-a-whole-heck-of-a-lot-of-nothing beers in it, and so really damning with faint praise here. Not awful, this is actually a higher score than I'd expected to give it, but I doubt I'd ever knowingly go looking for it again.

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Photo of canoehornpoint
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Very nice. Poured a nice light amber with little head but very clingy. Light malty aroma. Light creamy malty swee taste with a hint of black currant, nicely offset with finishing hops. Surprisingly light mouthfeel considering the taste. Finishes a bit fuller than the start. Even though I prefer a hoppier beer, I could enjoy many more of these. Very well done.

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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.

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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.

 1,101 characters

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 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.

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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.

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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 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 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.

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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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Bell's Amber Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.85 out of 5 based on 3,010 ratings.
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