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

Bell's Best BrownBell's Best Brown

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

1,937 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1937
Reviews: 776
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 11.52%


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)
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Ratings: 1,937 | Reviews: 776 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of yuenglingfan101
yuenglingfan101

Indiana

5/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I love this brown ale. It isnt my favorite but a close 2nd and you will understand why if you had koko brown by kona. Simply the best that Bells has to offer. Nice brown color and a nice tan lace. Taste is irresistable only the koko brown hais more of an addictive flavor and i consider best brown and koko brown in the same category. the taste is so similar its uncanny but i love coconut. i want to people to know thiese two beers are almost hand and hand and bells in my area is big. I live in Indiana. not too far from the Michigan line. Kudos, Kudos, Kudos

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2013 18:36:52 | More by yuenglingfan101
Photo of Brewseph77
Brewseph77

Michigan

5/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The only thing wrong with this beer is that is seasonal it comes out in the fall and is gone by the beginning of winter. From the smell to the taste I can't find anything wrong with this beer. It has the perfect hint of coacoa and open up your taste buds enough and you get the caramel. I've also had it out of the mini keg but still prefer the bottle.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2014 17:33:52 | More by Brewseph77
Photo of TastyTaste
TastyTaste

Minnesota

4.95/5  rDev +29.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I really enjoyed this beer. I would rank this one up with any other EBA that I have had. Deep brown color, that is murky and slightly maroon. Smell is nutty malt and hoppy, reminiscent of hazelnuts. Taste is very malt and full, again very nutty, like a EBA should be. Versus the style, i think this is almost the perfect beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2004 00:44:49 | More by TastyTaste
Photo of yesyouam
yesyouam

New York

4.9/5  rDev +28.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bell's Best Brown Ale is a clear, dim red ale with a dense, frothy coffee-cream colored head that's elastic and retains its form well. It coats the glass. The nutty chocolate aroma has a light floral note. It's a little roasty. It smells great. It's pretty full bodied and incredibly smooth with a clean, dry finish. It feels soft and fluffy. It tastes dry, roasty, nutty and chocolaty. There's enough wooden, leafy bitterness to balance it out perfectly. It's incredibly drinkable-- an excellent beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2009 04:46:17 | More by yesyouam
Photo of aficionado224
aficionado224

Ohio

4.88/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It might not be the best brown ale ever, but it might be their best, and that's not bad. Every beer of theirs I ever tried was way above average to great. Full of flavor, and no "off" flavors or funny aftertastes, this beer is smooth, tasty, and refreshing. I'll buy more of this.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2011 15:25:51 | More by aficionado224
Photo of Anthony88
Anthony88

Alabama

4.83/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Nice deep brown colored beer with a nice two finger foamy head which is tan in color. As the beer is consumed the head laces down the glass perfectly

S - What you would think of on a wintery day. carmelized malts, a bit nutty and joy

T - Similar to that of the smell, a bit of a caramel and nutty taste with an extremely smooth finish.

M -Carbonation is perfect, body is great..

D - Easily one of the best beers I've tasted out of a keg in a long time. The beer falls down your throat. The only bad part about this brew is the empty glass when your finished. I definitely recommend trying this one, you won't be disappointed.

Serving type: on-tap

12-18-2010 23:34:36 | More by Anthony88
Photo of thefingluke
thefingluke

Ohio

4.78/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

just bought a "mini-keg" of this years batch and, kaboom! cocoa biscuity caramelized goodness. i love this beer for it's beautiful brown color and rich maltiness.
it is always a fall/ early winter fav, for a cold afternoon when you have a hour or two to kill before dinner, it's heartiness will tide you over till its time to eat and then goes great with any meal. bells has always done right by me, and i wouldnt expect anything other than great from one of my favorite home town breweries this years batch is just as great as years past. thanks Bells.

Serving type: can

12-18-2010 22:43:11 | More by thefingluke
Photo of kevinjosephlee
kevinjosephlee

Georgia

4.78/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle poured into a glass.

A: A clear, dark, mahogany (coppery red, when held to the light) with a thick, off-white head with intense lacing.

S: Malty, caramelly, grainy notes. Also a rich chocolate-y sweetness. Another pleasing scent that I can't quite place but may be butterscotch.

T: Malts dominate this beer (as expected). Nutty, molasses sweetness, finishes dry and smooth. Moderate bitterness.

M: Some roasted astringency. Lighter body with some carbonation tingle.

Notes: This beer hits all the right marks for the style. Very drinkable. I am a fan of Bell's offerings. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2011 01:05:35 | More by kevinjosephlee
Photo of becktone
becktone

Ohio

4.75/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

To the eye this beer is just about perfect. Pours a deep reddish copper with a huge tannish head. We're talking at least three fingers, had to sip some of it up to keep ir from overflowing out of the glass. As it receedes (sure some of this is due to the oil on my lips) it leaves beautiful lacing. Retention is at about one and a half fingers' width.

To the nose this brew has a warm, malty carmel aroma. No hop aroma so to speak of. Smells great, though I'd be much happier with this brew's aroma were it more potent.

Very strong malt backbone, with a nice simple yet refined flavor. Sure there's a bit of complexity, though its pretty straight forward. Carmel and malty flavors dominate this brew, quite good. Hop presence-flavor- is low, there is a small amount of bitterness to help offset this brew's infectiously good malty profile.

In the mouth this brew is full bodied with a creaminess to it. Lower carbonation levels are well within the boundaries for this style's accepted profile. All-in-all this is a great brew that I could drink all night long. I recommend this brew to anyone who just wants to kick back and drink a good brew. I'll definitely be buying this one again next time I see it. Its a good anytime beer, perfect with lunch.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2007 01:04:43 | More by becktone
Photo of gmfessen
gmfessen

Michigan

4.7/5  rDev +23%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured out of bottle into a pint glass, beer is really more of a deep crimson-amber color than brown. Beer had a very nice overflowing off white four finger head, with small amounts of lacing. Smell is of caramel and nutty chocolate. The taste is exceptional; pleasing with a malty start, perfectly balanced with a slightly hoppy and smooth finish. Never offensive throughout the taste, wonderfully balanced. The mouthfeel is full bodied, creamy and delightful. Overall I would have to say that this is an extremely drinkable beer and have to toast this one to Bells!

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2006 05:10:15 | More by gmfessen
Photo of merlin48
merlin48

Kentucky

4.68/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Yup. The 12 oz bottle with the inquisitive owl on the label. This is one of the few reviews I've written without knowing anything about the beer, or reading other reviews. It pours a muddy, dark, iced tea color with a tan head that likes to hang around and mingle, and sheds some lasting, patchy lacing. Nice aroma of dates, and a few other dark fruits....followed up by a shower of floral hops and some soothing pecan pralines. Wow...! Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, nutty, well carbonated, and has a mild hop bite. Taste is out of this solar system. Bittersweet spices smeared onto some banana nutbread, chocolate fudge, some smoked kalamata olives, and some pleasant bittering floral hops. Geeez..I wasn't expecting much to write about here, but this one has blown me off the planet. Beautiful and complex, it finishes with a bitter cocoa taste accompanied with a touch of mandarin orange rind burn. Also, there is a smoky, wood aged feel that is difficult to explain, but adds to the surprisingly noble character to this Bell's offering. Wow!

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2004 04:56:45 | More by merlin48
Photo of nrpellegrini
nrpellegrini

Maryland

4.68/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I haven't reviewed a beer in months and I'm doing this from my phone so that right there says something about this beer.
Traveled from Baltimore to Philly to get some beer from The Foodery.
Dark caramel color with and thin tan head and smells of sweet caramel malts.
The taste is amazing. For a while brown ales where my favortire style but over the past year or so I haven't been able to find the right one that caught my attention. This is it. The smoothest, rich flavor... Sweet caramel flavors with some biscuity flavors in there too.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2011 01:23:48 | More by nrpellegrini
Photo of welldigger888
welldigger888

South Carolina

4.65/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ok, this little ditty was gravity poured from the cask into a 1/2 gallon growler
Very nice reddish hues on this purt clear elixer
minamal head with a huge difference in bubble size (pin piont to 1 cm)very minamal lacing but it has some that disapate fast
Very approachable malty aromas with nice light hop and sweet black bread notes
This is a very unasuming brew, blue collar to the core. My grandfathers would be proud!Nice malty up front graininess that yields to a very delicate mild hop. Earthy grain with hints of sweet elixer and hop balance, well done!
Very soft on the palate, I love this about the cask. Cask carbonation, meaning minamal but very pleasant. leaving the brew to stand on it's craft not hiding behind the bubbles.
Pours down the neck like honey dew vine water.

Serving type: cask

12-05-2010 02:57:18 | More by welldigger888
Photo of UnderPressure
UnderPressure

South Carolina

4.65/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A medium brown colored beer. Particles suspended throughout. Otherwise, relatively clear. Nice, rocky white head. Great lacing.

Chocolate and roasted grains in the aroma. An overall sweetness in the nose.

Fantastic flavor. More complex than I anticipated. The malt brings a sweet, chocolatey, roasted flavor. The hops provide a little bitterness, but this beer is very much on the sweet side. Yeast is clean.

A silky, velvety smooth mouthfeel. Medium bodied with a crisp, dry finish. The bitterness lingers, the sweetness does not.

Great beer. Definitely buy some if you have the opportunity.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2012 18:14:08 | More by UnderPressure
Photo of qua17
qua17

Massachusetts

4.63/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: This beer poured into a pint grass with a nice two inch head. It's a translucent brown.

S: Nice and malty

Taste: The name of this is the Best Brown Ale and the taste almost proves the point. Delicious. There is a lot of balance to this beer - not too malty and very flavorful. Nice carbonation.

Overall: I like Bell's but this might be my second favorite next to Two Hearted Ale.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2011 22:39:15 | More by qua17
Photo of carlborch
carlborch

Michigan

4.6/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Supposedly a seasonal fall-winter beer, but available mid-July. The brown ale pours a beautiful clear brown with a tan-colored, thick, mousse-like head. The head persists and leaves intricate Belgian lace when sipped. The nose is both delicate and noticeable with hints of toasted bread, toffee, malt and ginger. The malt notes are light and sweet but not cloying. On the palate the ale has a medium body, perfect balance and a wonderful lingering finish that wants you to go back for. This ale is totally moreish! The carbonation pleasant and the alcohol is not noticeable.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2009 21:02:37 | More by carlborch
Photo of Cyberkedi
Cyberkedi

Georgia

4.58/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Comes out of the tap a semi-transparent chocolaty brown with a fine-bubbled pale tan head. Aroma is of average strength, malty and slightly chocolaty. Rich malty flavor has cocoa undertone along with nutty and caramel hints as well as just a whisper of fine coffee. Texture is thick, fairly smooth and nicely fizzy.

Serving type: on-tap

10-27-2009 01:54:43 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of drperm
drperm

Virginia

4.58/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

You know, here's a beer that's neither flashy, nor pretentious, nor arrogant, nor boastful, nor rude. And so I give it quite a high score, because a) I love a good English Brown Ale, especially on a windy autumn night, and b) I could have this again and again when in a session mood and never complain a bit.

Appearance: It's brown. It's uncomplicated. It's lovely in the glass. It has a warm copper glow that says, "Come, be my guest."

Sm: Autumnal. Rich, malty, toasty with a hint of molasses and treacle, and perhaps even mild marmalade is hiding out in there as well. Take a further breath and capture wet autumn leaves, moss, and laurel blossoms.

T: It's beer. Everything the nose hinted at, plus a warming, comforting, easy-going sessionable taste with some nice hop notes turning up as well. This is a taste to associate with sociable evenings in front of a pub fireplace...or in front of a nice roast beef.

M: At first, I was afraid it would be a mite too sticky and sweet on the palate. Then I had some food with it. Problem solved. Mouthfeel excellent.

D: Perfect, as far as a simple, uncomplicated, sessionable ale is concerned. This is one to be admired, not in spite of, but because of, its simplicity.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2009 02:29:38 | More by drperm
Photo of samie85
samie85

Illinois

4.55/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Pours a nice amber/brown color with a quickly dissipating head.

S- All I could get was roasty malt smell.

T- The taste is pretty well balanced with a nice, sweet maltiness at the beginning and finishing with a very subtle, citrusy flavor.

M- The mouthfeel is exactly what you would expect from a brown ale, with just enough carbonation.

D- This is one that I could definitely keep drinking all night.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2009 06:48:27 | More by samie85
Photo of Brent
Brent

Kentucky

4.53/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

If there is a beer equivalent of "comfort food" - this is it. Brownish amber color with light tan head that quickly faded. Aroma of Hershey's chocolate milk wafts from the glass. Pronounced milk chocolate notes in the flavor, with deeply toasted malt flavors. For all the chocolate character, the beer was surpisingly moderate in sweetness and finished with a sharp bitterness that cleared the palate. This is a fairly subtile beer, and if you were drinking a variety of beers during a session, this would be the lead-off.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2003 06:44:46 | More by Brent
Photo of Mitchster
Mitchster

Michigan

4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

OG=1.060 6.6% ABV.

Ah, my favorite brown. Carefully decanted, this brew pours out to a beautiful clear ruby-amber in color with a firm light tan to beige head atop medium bubbles. Carbonation is mild to moderate, and the head remains decent throughout the glass, with gorgeous lacing (I can tell how many sips it took me to finish this beer by counting the rings...8). Very full-bodied for a brown ale. Aroma is seductive and enticing, with sweet roasted grains, expertly-done caramel, a hint of canned pumpkin (without spices), and sweetened condensed milk. Mouthfeel is bright and tangy with a medium body. Very easy to drink (improves as it warms), but not silken like the stouts. The taste is wonderful, starting out with lots of caramel and biscuit malt and some roasted barley against a lightly sweet malt background, leaving a sweet sensation more in the back of the throat than on the tongue. The roasted grains are very well done here. The finish is earthy, with fresh hops complementing the toasty grains, with a wonderful nutty character towards the middle of the tongue. The alcohol is occasionaly noticeable, but never becomes unpleasant. As it warms, it takes on a whiskey-ish character.

Again, an expertly brew from the wizards at Kzoo. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2003 14:32:50 | More by Mitchster
Photo of rabidawg
rabidawg

Georgia

4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pure white head. Slightly hazy red tinged nut brown, due to a not-so-careful pour. Specks and spots of lace.

Smell: Sweet glorious caramel malt, with a definite nutty aroma. My mouth waters as I saturate my sniffer with rich malty goodness. Not much in the way hop aroma, but that's fine with this style.

Taste: Initial rush of brown sugar sweetness. Light carbonation tickles the tongue and fills the mouth with cream. Middle consists of caramel and toasted nuts, and a buttery hint of diacetyl. Surprising level of gentle hops near the end, leading to a satisfyingly dry finish. Aftertaste is earthy yeast.


Hell yeah! Beer number two in my Bell's adventure, thanks to feloniousmonk!

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2003 05:07:06 | More by rabidawg
Photo of ncbeermonger
ncbeermonger

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I don't love most brown ales. This one is one of the best American brown Ales you will find.
It is a dark brown, chocolate colors mix with caramels, and fills the pint glass with anything but light.
You can smell hops in this beer, making it (for me at least) a much more pleasant smell than the sour smell you will find in many brown ales.
The beer is smooth, and has no taste of sour, hops are evident. The mouthfeel is not overly heavy, yet not crisp. It is a very drinkable Brown Ale. If you can find this one, give it a shot, even if you don't like say New castle brown ale.

Serving type: on-tap

10-22-2008 05:24:22 | More by ncbeermonger
Photo of Fatduck
Fatduck

Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

After drinking several very hopped up beers, this is exactly what I wanted. Its smooth, malt dominate beer. It smells like a day in the forest and looks like a pile of freshly raked leaves. I like this beer a lot, and I am sad to drink the last of them.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2008 03:22:13 | More by Fatduck
Photo of BeerWithMike
BeerWithMike

Nebraska

4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled tonight on 2/20/14. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured into a pilsner tulip glass.

Pours a pretty dark brown with ruby highlights in color with a a 1-finger beige head that lasts for a while then settles down to a thin head. Decent lacing was seen with each sip that sticks to the sides of the glass. The aroma is of sweet maple, malts with a hint of spice. The taste is even better with a toffee and caramel hint as well. Perfect carbonation. Goes down easy with no bitter aftertaste. One of the BETTER brown ales.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2014 02:30:35 | More by BeerWithMike
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Bell's Best Brown from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 1,937 ratings.