Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Bell's Amber Ale

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
Chad9976 (837) - Albany, New York, USA - MAR 27, 2013
I poured a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass. It was bottled on 9/24/12 making it six months and three days old by the time I drank it.

Appearance: Rusty orange/light brown hue. Sediment particles suspended in the liquid unmoving - interesting to look at but I don’t think that’s how it’s supposed to look. Forms a small, off-white, frothy head which mostly dissipates but leaves lacing on the glass.

Smell: Faint malty smell of honey or caramel. Practically odorless otherwise.

Taste: Maybe it’s not fair to review this beer considering how old the bottle was by the time I got to it. But since it’s so rare I get to try a Bell’s beer I’m not just going to drain pour it. And though the bottle was indeed old I could find redeeming qualities in Bell’s Amber Ale.

It’s a pretty classic amber ale in every way. Lightly sweet notes of honey, caramel and toasted bread. A general dry yeasty character throughout the palate as well (is this bottle conditioned?). A strong bitterness on the finish with a residual caramel flavor that lingers briefly. There’s definite sourness in here as well, I’m sure due to the age of the bottle. I can overlook it and tolerate it and still enjoy this beer.

Drinkability: Though there’s some flaws to the palate, Bell’s Amber Ale is still quite drinker-friendly. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a fairly soft texture. A smooth finish with a slightly pasty aftertaste. The weight is good at 5.8% ABV - nothing too strong, but no reason to session it. I could see this being quite refreshing in the summer or with the right meal. 
Grade: 6/10

NOTE: See my 2017 re-review to BJCP specs here: