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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.
BA SCORE
87
very good

819 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 819
Hads: 2,638
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 9.61%
Wants: 91
Gots: 281 | FT: 5
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 819 | Hads: 2,638
Photo of jasonpeckins32
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice transparent dark brown color with a huge, frothy tan head.

The nose is of malts and caramel. A bit nutty.

The taste is great, a nice flavorful brown ale that finishes clean. Nicely balanced, I seem to notice atleast some amount of hop bitterness, but its mild, and disappears about as fast as I notice it.

Mouthfeel is great. Nicely carbonated, medium-bodied beer. The head holds on through the entire session.

Insanely drinkable. This is a classic example of one of those great-tasting beers that I could knock back all night without getting tired of. (570 characters)

Photo of nicholas2121
4.14/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bell's Best Brown brewed by Bell's Brewery, Inc with an ABV of 5.80% This brew pours out a brown color with a nice off white head. The brew has the look of root beer. Best Brown is filtered brew you can see though it. There is a lot going on in the smell of this brew. You pick up on rich spices and malts, also some sweetness in this brew. The taste is rich with hops and grains, but it has a nice balance to it. There is nothing overpowering in the taste of this brew. The mouthfeel is bold with flavor with a clean smooth finish. Overall I'm giving this brew a 4.25 out of 5. This was better than what I expecting. I would buy this brew again. (652 characters)

Photo of julian89
4.14/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I found this fairly new addition to Bell's to be a high improvement on several other brown ales I have tried.

Appearance: Obviously a darkish brown hue, lightly transparent. Caramel coloring at the base post drink.
Smell: Clean, not too powerful, not much else.
Taste: Wonderful! This is a perfectly bittered and hopped brown ale. It was not too dry and carbonated either.
Mouth feel: Very smooth, no acid residue aftertaste I get with other brown's.
Overall: Bell's does not disappoint. Their Brown hits the charts once again. (528 characters)

Photo of jadpsu
4.14/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours reddish brown with a tan head that has decent lacing but not even average retention.
Smell is of molasses, maybe some vanillia and some definite coffee notes.
Taste has much of same with some roasted malts and earthy hops.
A little thick on the tongue but creamy as well.
Very good English Brown Ale, my favorite style. (325 characters)

Photo of littleshamrocks
4.14/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle with no freshness dating. Served in an imperial pint.

Pours a medium brown color with a creamy tan head. Has some noticeable carbonation and small particles floating around in this moderately dense looking brew. Head stayed around the whole time and left some streaky lace. The smell is very nice. Dark roasted bready malts, hints of chocolate and coffee, and some faint floral esters. The flavor is pretty much as advertised and is dominated by those dark roasted malts, hints of coffee and pepper, light amounts of spicy/grassy hop bitterness, and traces of semi-sweet dark chocolate in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with a creamy texture and just the right amount of carbonation. Finishes very smooth.

This is an excellent example of a solid style. Rich and full of smell and flavor, this one goes great on those cold winter nights. One of the best brown ales that I have tried so far. Another winner from Bell's. (953 characters)

Photo of deebo
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-dark brown with light white head that quickly dissipates
S-Roasted malts with touch of toffee sweetness
T-Very good balance of rich malt flavor, sweet brown notes with hop balance
M-Medium bodied-doesn't linger
D-Very good for this style of beer

Bell's as usual has produced a very good beer that is tasty yet easy to drink. (328 characters)

Photo of teromous
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Hazy medium-dark shade of brown, with a poofy eggshell-white head. Not much lacing, mostly just a few spots here and there.

S: Not a whole lot going on on the nose, just some standard ale scents with a light nut character to it.

T: There is some faint caramel sweetness, some smooth toasty flavors, and a hint of bitterness. Some of the yeast flavor comes through at the end, giving it an ever so slight bread quality in the aftertaste. Some slightly earthy and slightly pine-like hop flavor comes through after drinking, but it is very soft.

M: It is a very mild-mannered beer. It is extremely easy to drink, with a pleasant bitterness that is not overpowering. The beer is very smooth but not milky.

O: Overall I was very impressed by this beer. It had a wonderful flavor that made it a pleasure to drink. I do recommend it, and I would obviously drink it again. This brown ale has a bit more bitterness and hop flavor than you'll probably find in most other browns. It is not overdone in this respect, but takes a backseat on the palate after you taste the light caramel and toast flavors. (1,099 characters)

Photo of jawlessbody
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into an american shaker pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep woody color with a thin off white head that leaves a nice bit of lacing without disappearing too quickly.

Smell: I get a lot of sweetness on the nose. Maple, apple, with a definite grainy quality from the malts. Almost like apple cinnamon oatmeal.

Taste: Lots of roasted malts, but with a very earthy, nutty background that's followed up with a tangy sweetness reminiscent of a good Granny Smith apple. There's also some grassy/herbal notes from the hops, but they're so far in the background it's hard to even notice.

Mouthfeel: Pretty average, very drinkable. Nothing special here.

Overall: Another great, high quality beer from Bell's, who are probably my favorite brewery at this point. So I might just be biased. With Sierra Nevada's Tumbler being discontinued, this might become my go to fall seasonal beer. (905 characters)

Photo of TwelveOunces
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 Oz poured into a pint.

A- Cloudy dark orange. Brown at a distance. Classic 2 finger white head.
S- Lots of earthy notes. Smells pretty Christmasy with ginger and cinnamon. A little bit of caramel.
T- Very earthy caramel. Some nuts perhaps. Definitely some Christmas characteristics but they're not too obvious. Sweet and stupidly smooth. A great malt and caramel profile. Little to no hop profile.
M- This is a smooth drinking brown with a fantastic full feel to it. Some sticky mouth and good carbonation. Dry aftertase.
O- This is to date, the best Brown Ale I have had. Its most similar to Goose Island Christmas Ale (2009) but way more available. Good stuff, get some. (678 characters)

Photo of righthereisay
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is up there with Penn Dark. Nice dark beer, with a fresh taste. Full bodied, great flavor. A bit of a bite. New Label says 5.8% (Beeradvocate currently states 6.60%)

Got it from the winter variety pack. Need to finish it quick so I can get Bell's Oberon.

Overall. Excellent. However, I still prefer Penn Dark or Penn St Nikolaus Bock.

Also, the bottle is different than the photo. (388 characters)

Photo of aforbes10
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A single bottle from a make-your-own-six-pack purchased at the Bell's general store. Brown with yeasty protein floaties and a small head. sweet, almost fruity malt and toffee smell. Pretty inviting. Mmmmm. this is a tasty beer. no massive amounts of anything, just some sweet toasty malt and balanced hops and a smooth mouthfeel. Very nice. Only complaint is a slight excess of carbonation. Glad i bought one because now i know its worth buying a whole six pack. (462 characters)

Photo of malty
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 7091 - bottled on Sept. 29 '05 (ultra fresh).

Pours an interesting russet color with a loose 1/2" med. beige settled head. Gorgeous lacing all the way down.

Scents of walnuts and yeasty (slight) sourness. Nice earthy malty notes, which are clean and roasty.

The somewhat dry nutty walnut flavor continues past the nose blending nicely with a soft peppery spice. Roasted malts pair well against a very tame but apparent spicy hop profile - beautifully balanced and smooth.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with playful carbonation which is usually very conservative for this style. Nice long flavor finish that hinges on dry.

Drinkability is top-notch. Will pair well with many types of cold weather 'comfort' foods.

Overall a fantastic and original interpretation of the style. I'm very pleased with the spiciness & dryness, which it 'different' from the others in this style. Balanced and masterful. Autumn just isn't the same without Bell's Best Brown. (976 characters)

Photo of HurricaneMo
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Fairly brown with quickly disappearing head and little lacing
S - Not a strong aroma, mostly malty on the nose
T - Malty with a caramel tinge and a hint of nuts. Just the right amount of bitterness to balance the malt
M - Somewhat light mouthfeel, good amount of carbonation
D - Phew, I really enjoyed this and wish I had bought a six-pack. Very refreshing.

I would definitely recommend this beer. (402 characters)

Photo of dpodratsky3
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Very hazy as you would expect from an unfiltered bottle conditioned beer, medium brown with some orange at the bottom of the glass, big cream colored head settles to 1.5 fingers, very creamy/frothy and thick, decent lace

S: Traditional brown ale smell, clean and mild, earthy hops, plus that pale caramel malt, light but still sweet, balanced

T: Not as mild as I would have guessed from the smell, perfect balance of earthy hops and more floral/resiny hops, also in balance with the sweet caramel malt that doesn't stay sweet on the tongue

M: Perfectly pleasant medium, some english style brown ales are too thin for me, but this is good, smooth too

D: High, just a pleasant beer to drink

Notes: Brown ales are one of my favorite styles and this one impressed me. I love the balance. It's got a good traditional feel, but also some Bell's flair. (891 characters)

Photo of reebtaerG
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%

Poured bottle dated 8/20/14 into a New Belgium globe

A-Pours clear brown with a light beige head. Some spotty lacing.

S-Aroma is toasted and bready malt, light toffee, and dates.

T-Nice flavors or caramel malt, biscuit, hint of plum and cocoa.

M-Mouthfeel has a medium body and low carbonation.

O-Overall a very nice brown ale. Awesome for a cool fall day. (364 characters)

Photo of ummswimmin
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I poured this beer into a tulip glass.

On the initial pour I got two fingers of foam with very good retention. I like the lacing left behind on a glass. Off the top you can smell the plentiful malts and minimal hopping.

The flavor comes in with more of the malt. I also pick up some decent roastiness.

This is an easy drinking brown ale. Yet another great offering by Bell's. (379 characters)

Photo of Jennz906
4.16/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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. (515 characters)

Photo of Greggy
4.16/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- nice redish color with great yeast sediment and 2-finger head.

S- malty toasted grains, spice, touch of cinnamon.

T- Thicker creamy viscosity, nice pumpkin-esque malt backbone. The hops are mainly on the finish which is just a bit dry. Also, after some deep reanalysis, I detect a bit of banana.

M- Low carb works well with style

D- Good brown ale. Nothing overly complex. Seems like it would be a good ease into winter. (427 characters)

Photo of TXHops
4.16/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

-Original Gravity: 1.056
-Final Gravity: 1.013
-ABV: 5.75
-Attenuation: 76
-Real Extract: 5.2 P
-Calories: 184

Thanks to Marc77 for the trade! Bell’s Best Brown pours a very murky brownish color that reminds me of the underwater shots I always see on nature shows where alligators are navigating some opaque mire with ease… Luckily, this mire has a tremendous tan head that really fluffed up on the pour and took forever to fade into a lasting blanket of foam. Instantly, a huge aroma of slightly roasted malt filled the area above my glass (perhaps the Belgian malts?) creating a super-enticing aroma. Wonderful to sniff—one of the best smelling beers ever. I also wonder if I can’t smell a touch of sourness underneath the dry, bready, wholesome, slightly fruity maltiness…

The rich body also displays the strong, malty-bready sweetness suggested by the nose. A huge, luscious specialty grain flavor totally envelopes my mouth, with the hops as an aftertaste. Again, there’s the slightest hint of sourness in the tail, but because this beer is lightly hopped, that subtle flavor doesn’t detract much from the overall impression. Underneath all the earthy, fresh bready sweetness is a mild fruitiness that lends a facet of complexity to this hugely tasty, wonderfully rich beer.

I thoroughly enjoyed drinking this beer, but I’m wondering if the sourness so frequently discussed on the forum has crept into the Brown at my house. If so, it’s very slight. Still, it is evident and the resulting tiny hint of twangy green apple is enough to knock a half point or so off a couple of categories. Still, overall this is a great beer and one I'm really looking forward to drinking again. (1,705 characters)

Photo of offthelevel_bytheplumb
4.16/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into my Warsteiner mug. Pours a clear but dark copper color with a finger and a half of a quickly dissipating tan head, and light lacing is left behind. Caramel and nutty notes come on pretty strong on the nose. Taste is malty, a bit roasty in the middle, and followed up by a small but detectable earthy hop bitterness. This would be an excellent choice for a session beer, I can see myself having a few of these on an autumn evening around a fire. It has a rich malty aftertaste in the back of the mouth that lingers for quite some time.

Overall: This may not be the most exciting Bell's offering, and I blame that on everyone's love of big styles of beer. This is quite the offering for the autumn seasons, made for a crisp autumn evening with friends and loved ones. (778 characters)

Photo of Sludgeman
4.16/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a pint glass. Packaged on 9/4/13.

A very quaffable brown ale. Almost hot weather refreshing. 4.25

A – Pours an opaque reddish brown with a two-finger dense tan head. 4.5

S – Malty brown bread, a faint metallic aroma, not rich or fruity, some herbal hoppiness. 3.5

T – Faintly sweet, malty and slightly roasty with a bitter finish that balances the barley sweetness and nuttiness. 4.5

MF – Medium bodied, thin with a medium dry finish. 4 (461 characters)

Photo of Billolick
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, no dating on bottle. NIce soft amber color with an off white head, leaves some lace. Pleasant doughy/malty aroma. Malty/bready flavor profile. Nutty, hints of rye, biscuits, almonds and oatmeal cookies. Moderate hops round things off. This is another tasty offering from Bells. My wife brought a mixed six pack back from Michigan, each beer has been tasty! Wish I could get more of these guy's brews here in NY state. (431 characters)

Photo of barleyroad
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brown in appearance with a nice foam, that is carmel in color. The smell is flat, with a acidic floral tone. This is a rather interesting smell. Mouthfeel is verymuch a brown ale, smooth. Taste is very clean in its taste, slight hints of toasty malts, Overall this is a very delightful brew and easy drinking. Goes well with what you are eating. (345 characters)

Photo of IrishRedRock
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I found this to be quite an interesting Brown Ale; not the best I've had, but right up there for the style. Poured it into my glass, a bubbly chestnut brown beer with a moderate, quickly-fading head. Great aroma of peanuts (nuts in general) and a thick bready malt aroma. Quite complex as well in flavor! Nuts, caramel, and a wallop of toffee start things off, finishing with a mild but still tasty hop note. Mouthfeel is slightly carbonated, but is very well done and balances well. A great brew, and well worth a try. Can't wait to get some more Bell's beers! (561 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a very nice beer and quite true to style. Big toasted malt character both in the aroma and flavor. Bittersweet chocolate, caramel, toffee, and a low roasted flavor. Ripe fruits of figs and dates fill the nose and palate. Nicely heavy and creamy on the palate. Nice brown / amber color, almost opaque. Low hop flavor and bitter that adds to complexity. A little more estery than I expect from both hop flavor and sweet alcohol. Finishes lightly malty and lingering. Go get one. (484 characters)

Bell's Best Brown from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 819 ratings.