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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

1,942 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1942
Reviews: 777
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,942 | Reviews: 777 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of BrewCrew2010
BrewCrew2010

Mississippi

4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: A hazy, almost clear, dark amber to brown color body with an off white, decent size, creamy texture, head that recedes quickly.

S: A nice balance nose of malts (bready, caramel, & chocolate) and sweet floral hops.

T: An upfront bitter hops followed by toasted malts & nuts, and then finishes with a dry bready long lasting aftertaste.

M: Crisp texture with a medium body and a lot of carbonation that tickles the palate.

D: Overall, a very good brown ale, but I wouldn't consider it the best. This one, in my opinion, would be better enjoyed with food rather then by itself. Very easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2011 13:56:59 | More by BrewCrew2010
Photo of julian89
julian89

Georgia

4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2011 16:26:12 | More by julian89
Photo of TwelveOunces
TwelveOunces

Kentucky

4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2012 01:42:30 | More by TwelveOunces
Photo of Sludgeman
Sludgeman

District of Columbia

4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
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

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2012 02:42:19 | More by Sludgeman
Photo of teromous
teromous

Virginia

4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2013 17:35:09 | More by teromous
Photo of jackndan
jackndan

Illinois

4.22/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bell’s Best Brown Ale: Twelve-ounce bottle. Pours a very hazy brown, underneath a huge tannish head, that lasts. Nice Belgian lacing as well. The aroma is very strong, of roasted malts and weak coffee and cream. Wow, this is the best tasting brown ale I’ve ever had. Very smooth and pleasant, with roasted malts that add a nice rich flavor. Very easy to drink. A slight kick of hops bitterness at the end. I believe that this was well aged, and the tastes have smoothed out, and my somewhat old beer has become very well balanced. Really nice.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2003 15:30:42 | More by jackndan
Photo of dfried
dfried

Minnesota

4.22/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep ruby brown in color, tan film and ring for head. Rich caramely aroma, brown sugar, some hops linger. The flavor is actually quite tangy from the malt and hops together. A sweet dark sugary base is always there and refreshing but there are some fruity flavors as well, apple skins, pears, raisins. Some bready and biscuity flavors, and some nutty as the style would dictate. Pretty low CO2, sticks in the mouth well, the flavors linger.

Verdict: like eating a caramel apple. Brewed close enough to style to be called a brown, but more fruity and tangy than most I have had.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2007 19:42:38 | More by dfried
Photo of neenerzig
neenerzig

Ohio

4.22/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into my pint glass. Theis beer is a somewhat cloudy, somewhat clear amber brown color with some deep red highlights when held tot he light. The fluffy head is a good inch thick when poured. Settles to a nice thick surface coating and eventually to a nice thick white ring lining the inside of my glass. Has a nice sweet malty and slightly toasted aroma with hints of maple and brown and perhaps a bit of spice and nuttiness as well. Sweet, roasty and primarily malty taste with the aforementioned brown sugar and maple/caramel characteristics followed by a definite hop bitterness. good balance of flavor here. Has a full bodied, crisp and frothy mouthfeel with moderate to heavy carbonation. Pretty easy to drink. A unique offering for this style of beer and quite good too. The winning!

Eric

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2008 04:58:52 | More by neenerzig
Photo of slyke
slyke

Minnesota

4.22/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bell's Best Brown Ale pours a pleasing brown color with a little lighter tone around the edges. The head is slightly off-white, maintains a cap throughout the beer and laces nicely.

Smell is roasty and malty with a soft citrus note. Taste pleasantly continues the roasted malty quality. A bit of hoppy citrus in the center of the taste and a nice gentle bitterness in the end.

Mouthfeel is medium-full with an expected bit of "weight" on the tongue. This beer is very drinkable. Try it when you find it.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2008 18:28:36 | More by slyke
Photo of twiggamortis420
twiggamortis420

Texas

4.22/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a crystal clear brown color with a mega fat, creamy tan head. Large tapioca looking bubbles recede at a snails pace to a rocky mountain range of foam. Excellent looking beer.

Great brown ale nose, sugary caramel and milk chocolate malts carry the load here. Smells fresh and creamy.

Of course it is malty...roasty and flavorful, but it has a nice hop balance to it. Very smooth and drinkable...it's crisp with a surprisingly dry finish. Just a hint of fruitiness adds to the complexity. A most delicious session beer. One of the better brown ales I have had.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2009 20:36:53 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of Bockrules
Bockrules

New Mexico

4.22/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from the bottle into a pint glass

A - Pours a nice dark hazy brown with a great 3 finger tan head. Very good head retention, staying intact all the way down the glass. Leaves behind moderate lacing.

S - Nice smell of earthy English hops on a caramel malt background.

T - A little bit of alcohol and hop flavor up front followed by a tremendously balanced and delicious body. Chocolate and caramel overtones flow beautifully over a biscuity-maly body. A little bit of English hop presence mingle with sweetness in the finish and leaves a lingering bitter-sweet aftertaste.

M - Moderate bodied and semi-creamy. Moderate carbonation suits the style well

D - A damn good Brown Ale, I could drink these all night. The beer goes easy on the hops, but throws in enough other great flavors to keep the beer interesting. A definite winner which makes me want to try the other Belles varieties, though a little spendy at around $9.00 a six.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2009 00:45:39 | More by Bockrules
Photo of AdmiralDiaz
AdmiralDiaz

Minnesota

4.22/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle to pint glass.

A: Pours a brown body with an off-white about 2 finger head with not much retention and no lacing.

S: Smells slightly roasty lots of caramel, sugar, and some fruit. smells good, but not very bold.

T: Fantastic! I'm a huge fan of this one. caramel maltiness with hints of brown sugar turning into a small amount of fruitiness and a grassy hop tail. Very nice.

Overall: Mouthfell was good, just as you expect. Quite drinkable, the wonderful flavor makes it hard not to have a few. I can't believe I got a 6-pack for only $3.50...I love 1/2 off sales.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2009 04:38:53 | More by AdmiralDiaz
Photo of magine
magine

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

Pours a cloudy (love that), caramel/brown color with a thick chunky tan head. Nice chunk island head stays throughout, and it has great lace. Nice looking brew.

Brew has a caramel malt smell, bisquit and grain.

The brew is malty; caramel, toffee tastes. Very balanced, some hops and a very smooth finish - sweet, but not overdone. Smooth creamy brew, goes down way, way easy.

This is an extreamly sessionable brew, and a very good one at that. One of the best brown ales I have had. Has a great drinkability, with a great finish and taste.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2010 00:31:20 | More by magine
Photo of coryking
coryking

Missouri

4.22/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my favorites during the winter. A perfect balance of caramel, toast, nuttiness, soft sweetness, and soft hops. This beer pairs amazingly with food. Nice frothy head, great aroma, medium to light body, silky mouthfeel, and a pleasant, refreshing finish. A very nice brew!

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2010 14:34:55 | More by coryking
Photo of Tschnab
Tschnab

New York

4.22/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- a great brown pour with a khaki head that is 2 fingers high, plenty of lace trails the glass.

S- very malty, leading to carmel and toffee like aromas, followed by a nuttiness and breadiness.

T- the taste confirms the nose completely. the flavor is quite full for the abv, and the malty sweetness is balanced by a good bitterness and nutty earthiness.

O- a very very sessionable brown ale that goes down the hatch quite well. Not so roasted, not so malty, just a really well balanced beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2011 03:42:10 | More by Tschnab
Photo of tobelerone
tobelerone

Connecticut

4.22/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

App: Cream soda color, somewhat cloudy, with visible carbonation. Two finger head that settles slowly, strong lacing.

Smell: Appealing aroma of caramel and toasted bread. Slight floral hop note at the back end. Very nice!

Taste: Lots of toasty malt character, lightly sweet, mildly bitter, balanced and totally delicious. Big tasty malt, traces of caramel and hints of brown sugar. One of the best tasting browns in recent memory.

Mf: Medium bodied, solid carbonation, but smooth. Easy drinking, low bitterness, finishes dry.

Overall: Really enjoyed this one. Not a super sexy style anymore but so well made and tasty. Memorable, for sure, not something I thought I’d say about a brown ale these days. Another winner from Bell’s.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2012 18:17:38 | More by tobelerone
Photo of ADR
ADR

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Mostly opaque brown color, slightly garnet with the trademark yeasties floating around. Good head of almost a 1/2 inch, holds some shapes well. Nutty aroma. This is seriously one of the best Browns I've ever had, bolder caramel and maple flavors and a nice, if not huge, amount of hop bitterness at the end and in the swallow. In some ways, it starts a little slick and ends dry -- an impressive feat for a brew.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2002 14:14:15 | More by ADR
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep, dark brown to near violet with a fine, simmering tan head. Aroma is unique and slightly unfathomable! I'm getting dates, plums, roasted nuts, caramel, sweetness, but on the dark side. Chewy mouthfeel, medium body, great texture. A very substantial brown ale that stands on the opposite end of the ubiquitous Newcastle. Sits proudly on the palate, and lingers on the tastebuds. Low carbonation. Altogether excellent! Bell's does their brewing business with a certain je ne sais quoi, y'knowwhatImean? There's a lift, a beautiful bouyancy that I often associate with the best products of Belgium in almost everything they do at Kalamazoo.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2003 15:27:28 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of Brettster
Brettster

Indiana

4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a kind of murky carmel color with about a one finger foamy head that fades quick. Has a nice roasted nut smell with plenty of sweetness. Has lots of malt flavor with hints of fruit. This is a pretty smooth medium bodied brown. In fact it is one of the better brown ales I have had.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2010 17:25:16 | More by Brettster
Photo of elgiacomo
elgiacomo

Georgia

4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, batch 9980, bottled Aug 31, 2010.

Pours very hazy dark reddish/copper/brown with a one finger off white head that leaves some lacing and holds a good creamy/foamy cap.

The excellent aroma features good toasty, bready, nutty, biscuity, caramel maltiness, quite rich for a brown ale, a little bit of hops underneath.

Flavor is some sweet caramel and toffee malts, a touch of brown sugar, toasted bread, a bit of earthy hops, very little bitterness, and despite the initial sweetness, it manages to finish mostly dry. Pretty robust flavor for a brown ale.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and quite creamy, low to medium carbonation.

Excellent Brown Ale, perhaps my favorite of the style!

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2010 00:56:28 | More by elgiacomo
Photo of dorianmarley
dorianmarley

Ohio

4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is chestnut brown. Very creamy head that stays forever. Super sticky lacing. This pour could be a model for a magazine or commercial.

Nose is a nice mix of hops and malt. Slightly roasted character with hints of vanilla and chestnut.

The flavor brings to mind a warm fire. The malt is roasted and sweet. There is a defined vanilla flavor, with roasted chestnuts. Mild hop finish. The whole beer is very mild.

Mouthfeel is extremely smooth. The head lasts for the entire time, giving each sip a foamy, fluffy texture. Mild carbonation. Truly a pleasure to drink.

Overall, the flavor is good, but that is not this beer's most defining feature. It has super-model looks and divinely fluffy texture. This is as a beer should be, and what makes Bell's one of the best around.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2011 23:34:17 | More by dorianmarley
Photo of JayS2629
JayS2629

Alabama

4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very good beer. Slightly murky brown with a one finger off-white head that fades fast but leaves ok lacing.

The aroma is simple with a medium malty blend of chocolate and caramel tones. Mild earthy notes and a light sugary smell.

Great, mild sweet chocolate with some nutty edges and slight bit of roast. Balanced and smooth with a cream like note.

Nice and medium balanced with a smooth edge.

Overall, a nice, easy drinking, mild but full flavored brown. Great!

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2012 01:59:20 | More by JayS2629
Photo of duffalo
duffalo


4.26/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Nothing frilly, just a really well done brown ale. The balance is great - there's no hop smell, but they nicely cancel out the sweetness that could easily be in this beer given the amount of grains they pack in. I think the taste is great, but personally I think it's almost on the verge of a porter in darkness and alcohol content - not quite as light as most of the brown ales I'm used to. Nevertheless, this is a great choice if you're in the mood for a no frills well done brown.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2013 00:51:58 | More by duffalo
Photo of dogfooddog
dogfooddog

Panama

4.28/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

from a trade with MABZ, thanks again for the chance to try all of these beers.

Pours with a nice light tan head, nose is distinctly malty and a bit earthy or heavy.

taste is plenty malty, hints of roasted/smoky malt, and just enough hop character to keep some balance on this. Further into the glass it becomes a bit sweeter and bitter, as the palate adjusts.

I have had a number of english browns I was never really impressed with, but this is the first time I have actually enjoyed a beer of this style. This is well worth trying!

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2006 06:31:38 | More by dogfooddog
Photo of baos
baos

Indiana

4.28/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Von den Anmerkungen

12 oz bottle into antique green Mason jar.

A: Four finger tan head. Nice looking dark amber with nice clarity. really nice head retention and good lacing as well.

S: Malts with a bit o hops. Raw what and corn mash and a hint of fresh caramel.

T: A bit o hop bite, malts, and the slightest caramel hints.

M: Nice light to medium body.

D: Very good. Yay.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2007 23:34:13 | More by baos
Bell's Best Brown from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 1,942 ratings.