1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.
BA SCORE
87
very good

2,553 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,553
Reviews: 813
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 11.49%
Wants: 80
Gots: 220 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,553 | Reviews: 813 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Slizy22
4.8/5  rDev +25.3%

Photo of kevinjosephlee
4.78/5  rDev +24.8%
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!

Photo of thefingluke
4.78/5  rDev +24.8%
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.

Photo of Dranker
4.76/5  rDev +24.3%

Photo of Lionhearted1987
4.75/5  rDev +24%

Photo of vlodko62
4.75/5  rDev +24%

Photo of brandonandress
4.75/5  rDev +24%

Photo of davek72
4.75/5  rDev +24%

Photo of ncstephen
4.75/5  rDev +24%

Photo of becktone
4.75/5  rDev +24%
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.

Photo of jazzface78
4.75/5  rDev +24%

Love this beer. A brown that is as smoothe as it is delicious. Not nutty and not obnoxiously brown. A perfect expression of a brown ale

Photo of LaBeLWHR
4.75/5  rDev +24%

Photo of Rihup
4.75/5  rDev +24%

Photo of Lukass
4.75/5  rDev +24%

Photo of ObiBeerCanobi
4.75/5  rDev +24%

Photo of Paz8812
4.72/5  rDev +23.2%

Photo of RJB66
4.72/5  rDev +23.2%

Photo of gmfessen
4.7/5  rDev +22.7%
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!

Photo of merlin48
4.68/5  rDev +22.2%
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!

Photo of nrpellegrini
4.68/5  rDev +22.2%
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.

Photo of UnderPressure
4.65/5  rDev +21.4%
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.

Photo of welldigger888
4.65/5  rDev +21.4%
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.

Photo of Monstar
4.64/5  rDev +21.1%

Photo of qua17
4.63/5  rDev +20.9%
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.

Photo of Radiosox
4.61/5  rDev +20.4%

Bell's Best Brown from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 2,553 ratings.