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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,611 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,611
Reviews: 828
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 11.49%
Wants: 81
Gots: 256 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-10-2002

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,611 | Reviews: 828
Photo of OlRasputin989
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: a hazy brown ale with a head of fine mousse. leaves speckles of lacing. Loved the bottle and six pack design on this one. I always thought owls were under-appreciated.

S: aromas of citrus, earthy hops, roasted nuts, and molasses

T: caramel roasted nuts and citrus up front. finishes with cocoa, earthy hops and orange peel

M: a medium-full body brew, fizzy and slightly oily.

Overall, it seems to me that this brown ale is almost too heavy for mass comsumption(both on the wallet and the stomach) Flavors were really nice and has a good American (hoppy) characteristic that I like. Though would like this one to be less filling.

Photo of kinger
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good brownie by Bell's. Aroma is of delicate caramel and toasted dark malt. Lighter brown pour with a sizable light tan head and spotty lacing. Rich medium bodied mouthfeel, slightly creamy and oh so smooth. This is a pleasant easy drink. Good malt flavor, lightly hopped. Sweet malts with a nutty affect. Good dose of caramel with a sprinkling of coffee. Recommended for everybody this beer should easily appeal to all.

Photo of aepb1
3.84/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Dark brown hazy body with a small white head and nice lacing

S- What a brown ale should smell like! Nutty, sweet malts and some nice spices in there too

T- Nutty caramel to start, moves into a bit of a citrusy finish. Not overly well balanced but it's still good

M- Medium-bodied and finishes dry

D- A nice example of the style, easy to drink and return to

Photo of Mikus
3.84/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Love Bell's. Not the biggest brown ale fan, admittedly. Open minded I like to think! Poured from a pint can into a pint glass. Can was dated, but I couldn't read it. Sweet ass owl on the can. Clear brown with a full finger of tan head. Medium bubbles and good retention. Aromas of bready, rich malts. Mild nose. Pretty clean on the palate. Nutty flavors on the mid-palate, bready note on the end. No noticeable hops, as advertised. However, this had balance in spades. Mouthfeel was top notch. Extremely smooth. This was by far the best brown ale that I have tried. In terms of browns, this was excellent.

Photo of AMarkle6524
3.84/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of goalie33
3.84/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of majorbase2
3.84/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of PlacementSix
3.84/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of blitheringidiot
3.84/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mahagony hueud slightly ruddy pour under a huge signature Bells cake like foamy storm. Good lacing lafet in the glass.

Slightly metalic plain yogurt scents. Easy nutmeg, but mildly aromatic overall.

First swigs: Cherry coke & butter pecan ice cream. Yummy sweet caramel ice cream topping like Hershey's Butterscotch. Pecan pie perplexingly complex.

Slightly buttery feel to the brew.

Last swigs: Butterscotch caramel ice cream flavored. This is the best brown that I've ever had. Bells continues to prove to be a success. Some fellow BAs of mine kid around that you will rarely ever say, "Wow! This is a great brown ale!" Well, for once the rare saying fits. To be tried again later if it cosses my path.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

Photo of barczar
3.84/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a murky deep brown with a frothy khaki head that leaves spotty lacing as it slowly dissipates.

Slightly fruity specialty malt notes mingle with toasted, nutty malt and floral hops.

Flavor reveals similar character, with a touch of soft citrus underpinnings. Deeply toasted, lightly chocolatey notes surface in the slightly bitter, earthy aftertaste.

Body and carbonation are moderate, with light alcohol warmth.

Decent malt character, but the bitterness is a little dominant for my liking.

Photo of dudecandle
3.84/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into pint glass:

A: Beautiful medium-to-dark brown hazy body with good, creamy head. Great, thick cap.

S: Nuts with some light yeast. Also, chocolate with toffee and some dark fruit. Some light toasted grain, as well.

T: Primarily nuts and chocolate, but with some subtle yet significant hopping. Lightly toasted, and on the sweeter end thanks to the dark fruit.

M: Nice and creamy.

D: This is definitely the best English Brown I've had thus far. It's subtle, but still quite flavorful and complex. Most significantly, though, it's got a great body to itself, and not as watery as some English browns get. I still prefer the stronger American Browns, but the balance and complexity here are respectable enough to be enjoyed.

Photo of Kelly88
3.84/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at bar Louie served in a huge pint glass

A- dark leathery brown with old catcher Mitt orange at the bottom. Resilient beige head that is really sticking around. Layers of lace are surrounding the glass. So much I can't even see through some parts of the glass. Light shade of brown for a brown ale.

S- not much going on in the nose. Some pear type aromas with a sweetness.

T- sweet crisp apple taste. Really unexpected but it is really good. Apple skin and really small hop cones on the back. Really tasty brew.

M- medium to fullish. Not slot of carbonation but that is not hurting the experience. The lack of carbonation sort of enhances the flavors by really forcing them down onto your palate.

Overall a really solid brown ale That has a really unique flavor. Definitely will seek out again if available.

Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Single bottle from Knightly Spirits in Orlando. Poured into a branded Bell's nonic.

Chestnut brown with hints of ruby, hazy and a few flecks of sediment. Left a thin but very sturdy head of off white foam. Sheets of lacing. Great looking brew.

Nose is caramel, chocolate malt, herbal hops, raisin, faint coffee.

Solid brown ale. Simple enough to quaff yet complex enough to give the brew some pondering time. Soft grape or raisin backing with a hint of coffee. Caramel malt is pronounced, but not dominant. Medium to light bodied, higher carbonation.

Nice brew. There's a lot to be said for a sturdy brown ale and this one fits the bill. Plus, the bottle had an owl on the label, and owls are awesome.

Photo of BierFan
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass. Batch 9394, bottled on October 6, 2009.

Appearance: Light tan head. Very hazy dark reddish brown. Head never really completely vanishes, leaves nice lacing.

Smell: Sweet and malty. Molasses and a little chocolatey.

Taste: Really wonderful. Toffee and nuttiness. One of the best brown ales I've ever had.

Photo of wingman14
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish caramel brown with a white head. The smell isn't too powerful, but is mostly malty with some sweet and nutty notes. The taste follows the smell with the nice malty backbone, some sweetness and a subtle hint of smoke. This one has a nice medium body, and is smoother than most. This is a good brown ale, the flavors are interesting and well done. A nice offering that I would have again, but not seek out regularly.

Photo of metter98
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy chestnut brown to amber in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high beige head that died down a bit, but never completely faded away.
S: Light to moderate aromas of cocoa nibs are present in the nose; nutty malts become apparent after the beer warms up.
T: The taste is similar to the smell but is more complex with additional flavors of chocolate, roasted and nutty malts. A very slight amount of bitterness is present.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is quite easy to drink and has quite complex flavors when compared to other beers in the style.

Photo of daliandragon
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I like the label with the bored looking owl sitting on top of the chain link fence post. Definitely barren looking. Attractive beige head sits above a translucent orange brown body. In the nose I detect a wintery mix of vanilla, dark fruit, brown sugar and caramel.

I find this beer very easy to drink. The taste is pleasant without being terribly complex and goes down very easy. Key notes in the flavor are nutty toasted malt and caramel. Hops don't seem evident but the sweetness factor is thankfully low and this finishes very clean for the style.

Slight over carbonation may muffle the flavor a little but hard to say. This isn't a great beer but it is tasty and reasonably flexible and I could see this being a good go-to winter beer.

Photo of dbrauneis
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours an almost opaque very dark amber in color with some garnet red highlights, moderate amounts of small yeast particles in suspension, and a light amount of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall creamy light beige head that slowly reduces to a mottled film of thick and thin areas with a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light aromas of caramel malts with some less pronounced aromas of brown sugar and molasses. There is also a light presence of cocoa.

T: There is a light to moderate amount of dark malts with some hints of caramel, brown sugar, molasses, and a touch of sweetness. There is a moderate presence of nuts with just a touch of cocoa. Very light notes of bitterness in the finish which fades fast.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly creamy and smooth.

O: Extremely easy to drink and enjoyable - one of my favorite beers in the style (which is not all that exciting but is always solid). A very nice offering for the winter and one will likely have again when I find it.

Photo of aggiearcher13
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a red-brown with a 1/4" of head that sticks around for about a minute.

S: Toasted malts with a little bit of chocolate, yeast, and hops.

T: I taste a lot of caramel malt in this one. I taste a little nutty sweetness on the finish.

M: Pretty good, about what I'd expect for a brown ale.

D: Drinkability is good, not doubt it's sessionable.

Photo of projectflam86
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle.

A- Pours a medium brown color with a thick white foam that leaves pretty good lacing. Looks the part.

S- Nutty toffee aromas with caramel and lightly toasted biscuit. Not picking up much in the hops department. This one will be malty for sure.

T- Very similar to the nose. Sweet caramel and toffee flavors come through with some dried fruits, walnuts, a touch of spice, and crystal malt. Definitely has an English feel with the low hop presence, malt backbone, and slight diacetyl but quite tasty nonetheless.

M- Light/medium bodied with low carbonation.

O- A very nice brown ale that I'll probably pick up again.

Photo of zeff80
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a cloudy, burgandy/brown color with a creamy, foamy, small tan head. It left small traces of lace.

S - It smelled of roasted malt and sweet caramel notes.

T - It had a biscuity roasted malt taste. Also, caramel and toffe flavors were present.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very good brown ale. A nice sweet malty taste.

Photo of mpyle
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

app - rich brown color, decent sized, off-white head, moderate retention.

aroma - malty/chocolatey, a small whiff of alcohol. Some hop as it warms.

flavor - chocolately, but not sweet. Sufficiently bitter from the start. No sharp bittering break, but finishes with a lingering malty bitterness. Sounds like a contradiction, but that is what it was like. Hops stay just beneath the malt, but they're definitely there.

MF - medium body and carbonation, some very minor alcohol warming.

d'ability - A rich, malty brown ale. Would like a little more hop flavor for further distinguish it from a porter. But still very drinkable.

Photo of jackorain
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark amber brown, 3/4 inch tan head that hung around for a while and left very good lacing.

Smells of caramel malt, yeasty goodness, mollases and a little nutty.

Taste begins with caramel malt which is followed by some toffe and hazelnut notes.

Medium body with a fizzy carbonation.

Oeverall a nice drinkable Brown

Photo of alpinebryant
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy brown with a generous light brown head

Smell of molasses, brown sugar, raisins, roasted malts and some nuttiness.

Taste of bitter molasses, biscuit, brown sugar, slight hop presence, dry finish. Pretty thick mouthfeel for a brown ale.

Drinkability is good , sure a few of these would be great

Photo of youngleo
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured to a big head that lasted quite a while. Head was offwhite in color. Also had some good lacing. Lacing left its marks with every swallow. Ale was brown in color with reddish highlights. Very light smelling. Just of some malt and chocolate with a slight alcohol smell. Tasted of chocolate, malt, butter or perhaps butterscotch. Had a slight pine flavor with that hoppy bitter aftertaste. Felt good in the mouth, carbonation was right. This is going to be my brew for superbowl. I plan on staying home and enjoying a few.

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Bell's Best Brown from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 2,611 ratings.