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Bell's Best Brown - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Bell's Best BrownBell's Best Brown

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,062 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,062
Reviews: 777
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 11.52%
Wants: 63
Gots: 107 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
English Brown Ale |  5.80% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
A smooth, toasty brown ale with hints of caramel and cocoa, the malt body has the depth to stand up to cool weather, but does not come across as heavy. This balancing act is aided by the generous use of American hops.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-10-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,062 | Reviews: 777 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by savaship:
Photo of savaship


2.68/5  rDev -29.8%

This beer was ordered on Tap and served in a special Bell's Pint Glass. It had a beautiful dark brown appearance, I estimated it to be 27 SRM with a nice hint of red. I spent a little time gauging the color with an SRM chart from the Beer Judging Certification Program. The head was foamy off-white but dissipated quickly, leaving slight lacing.

The beer smelled very nicely, the adequate aroma hop usage worked to its benefit, had a very english ale floral aroma to it, I think the aroma hop was likely a Fuggle hop, it definitely smelled the way most good Brown Ales smell.

Taste I had issues with... American Craft brewers like to unbalance their beer with high acid hops such as Cascade hops which I suspect were in this beer, that just leave a drinker like me who's expecting a nicely balanced beer very disappointed. I estimated this beer to be 35-37 IBU, even if it was actually lower, the hop choice just tastes foul, and overpowers the malt.

The carbonation was perfect, had I not wanted to get that beer out of my mouth as quickly as possible, I would have savored it longer.

Overall, I do not like this beer. It seems to have taken the brown ale tradition and forced it down the American Ale Cascade hop road to attempt to make it taste like many of the woefully unbalanced American Craft beers out there that favor bitter over balance.

11-23-2013 14:21:50 | More by savaship
More User Reviews:
Photo of Jennz906


4.13/5  rDev +8.1%

A - Pours a hazy, rusty auburn brown with a khaki colored head.

S- chocolate, brown sugar and toasted, hint of caramel. And definitely kind of fall like or earthy.

T- Follows the aroma . Slightly chocalately and toasty with a hint of caramel. A light leafy and earthy undertone, with a strengthen after taste.

M- Medium in body, fairly carbonation. Goes down nice, very smooth but thick.

O - A solid, straight forward brown from Bell's. Nothing fancy, just a great example of the style. I defiantly like it.

04-09-2014 02:20:03 | More by Jennz906
Photo of gogreen99


4.01/5  rDev +5%

One of my favorite beers. Medium carbonation and medium body dark beer. I wish this beer wasnt seasonal. Small notes of cocoa characterize the flavor of this dark beer and allow for the caramel flavors to be recongized. Overall a must try for any beer drinker!

04-23-2014 18:21:13 | More by gogreen99
Photo of Extrajoker00


4.03/5  rDev +5.5%

Reviewed: 5/13/14
Best Brown Ale by Bell's
poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a beer mug

P-beautiful fall colors and owl design l 4.5

A- ruby red to murky brown with a orange-ish full head 4.0

S- malt caramel and sourdough bread 4.25

T- caramel malt along with some yeast, chocolate and faint hop for balance 4.0

M-medium to full body mild carbonation and a reasonable balance 4.0

D- very agreeable beer, just enough flavor to draw and interest you 4.5

O- good good beer 'nuff said 4.0

part of a mixer sixer, bells has some great styling and this one is a great example
(1 of 16 special reviews for my holiday)

Highly recommend ---- J

05-13-2014 23:20:11 | More by Extrajoker00
Photo of gutbuster


4.2/5  rDev +9.9%

A- Thick off white head that dissipated quickly. Medium lacing. Dark brown in color.

S- Roasted nuts and hints of caramel. Slightly earthy.

T- Slight hop bitterness up front with plums, toasted bread through mid palate and finishing with roasted nut and caramel sweetness

M- Light bordering on medium body, creamy and dry.

O- Overall a very enjoyable brown ale that will always be welcome in my glass!

07-26-2014 21:21:44 | More by gutbuster
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

4.13/5  rDev +8.1%

Pours a murky brown with a decent off white head that leaves some light lacing,smell is of roasted malt with a light sour smell in the background(Iam not sure where that comes from) with some light chocolate hints.Nice flavorful beer with a nice roasted malty taste with some underlying earth tones that keep it from being to sweet.A nice beer drink it each time I go home to Michigan when given the chance.

09-24-2003 23:49:48 | More by oberon
Photo of DanGeo


3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

04-16-2013 13:40:33 | More by DanGeo
Photo of Turbo


4/5  rDev +4.7%

10-06-2013 01:19:47 | More by Turbo
Photo of tectactoe


3.84/5  rDev +0.5%

Pours a medium brown color with a nice translucency and a fine-bubbled, light-tan head that leaves minimal lacing on the way down. The aroma is wonderful, hits heavy on the chocolates and roasted coffee beans. The taste begins with a warm, malty and bready flavor that quickly turned into a swirl of bittersweet dark chocolate and nuts. Slight coffee beans and maybe even hazelnut in the far background (maybe I'm imagining things, here). I'm also picking up a slight milky flavor, perhaps from the texture. Very nice. Caramel and toffee finish the beer strong with an ever-so-slight but necessary hint at bitterness along the final seconds just before the sip is completely swallowed. Medium body, creamy with lots of carbonation.

Very, very solid brown ale. Perfect for the days transitioning from the fall to the winter. This beer tastes like the holidays.

10-26-2012 11:53:37 | More by tectactoe
Photo of OhioBobcat


4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

09-26-2013 00:52:39 | More by OhioBobcat
Photo of brownbeer


4.13/5  rDev +8.1%

A- pours brown amber with thin off-white head. Good retention, thin lacing. A lot of sediment though, whiched knocked the appearance down a bit for me.

S- Malt forward, caramel and biscuit. Subtle hoppy background.

T- Sweet and caramely up front balanced by slight minerality and hops leaving the finish slightly dry.

M- Just enough heft to be satisfying and soft enough to be encouraging.

D- A little heavier than most browns but tasty and smooth enough to session through.

11-02-2009 00:08:11 | More by brownbeer
Photo of bdkucharski


3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

02-18-2012 17:02:23 | More by bdkucharski
Photo of orbitalr0x


3.73/5  rDev -2.4%

Pours from the bottle with the sweet owl illustration a lovely chocolate brown with a nice inch of khacki foam on top. Stringy lacing decorates the side of my glass. My nose descends to the glass and I get a nice roasted dark malt with hints of chocolate and a fresh green herbal hop. Well balanced.

First sip brings a nice roasted, toasted maltiness upfront that has notes of powdered cocoa and burnt grains. Hints of dark fruits emerge here and there along with a mellow herbal hop on the way down. A nice solid brown ale that I find enjoyable.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a chewy palate. Definetly on the heavy side for a brown ale but I enjoy it that way. I could easily have a few of there..but there are other Bell's brews I'd probably pick first. Definetly worth a try. Thanks to kmpitz2 for hooking me up!

06-25-2005 04:13:44 | More by orbitalr0x
Photo of sabitu


4/5  rDev +4.7%

04-08-2012 21:24:06 | More by sabitu
Photo of Joebraggot


3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

09-26-2013 23:07:29 | More by Joebraggot
Photo of danthehopslamman


3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

08-13-2012 19:07:50 | More by danthehopslamman
Photo of DaftPatrick


3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

03-14-2014 18:24:24 | More by DaftPatrick
Photo of equinox1


3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

09-25-2013 22:10:47 | More by equinox1
Photo of warnerry


3.45/5  rDev -9.7%

Bottled 9/7/11

A - Pours a clear amber/brown with a lot if suspended material and one finger of tan head. Leaves some lacing.

S - Caramel malt with some nutty aroma. A bit of roasted malt.

T - Roasted malt and nuts. A bit of caramel malt and some sweetness on the finish.

M -- Medium mouthfeel with a mix of sweet and dry roast on the finish.

O -- Pretty good, but I have had much more flavorful brown ales. Wouldn't turn one down, but probably wouldn't buy again.

11-16-2011 01:38:42 | More by warnerry
Photo of Beaver13


3.95/5  rDev +3.4%

12 oz bottle, batch 7216 (1/9/06). Pours a murky hazy tea brown with a smallish light tan head that quickly goes to a wisp.

The aroma is sweet sugary caramel and toffee and a little fresh hoppiness.

The flavor is sweet brown sugar, nuttiness, chocolate and toffee with a little acidic fruitiness. The mouthfeel is medium to full and velvety.

Overall, nothing too exciting, but it is a solid, very well done brown ale.

10-16-2006 04:29:41 | More by Beaver13
Photo of bronwynbh


4/5  rDev +4.7%

05-30-2013 19:44:35 | More by bronwynbh
Photo of Shagator


3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

03-29-2013 05:28:04 | More by Shagator
Photo of generallee

New York

4/5  rDev +4.7%

06-04-2014 08:01:51 | More by generallee
Photo of nstroup


4/5  rDev +4.7%

10-19-2013 02:13:13 | More by nstroup
Photo of SmellsofMahagony


4/5  rDev +4.7%

05-18-2013 13:12:34 | More by SmellsofMahagony
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Bell's Best Brown from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 2,062 ratings.