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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
86
very good

2,588 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,588
Reviews: 822
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 11.49%
Wants: 81
Gots: 242 | 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: 2,588 | Reviews: 822 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TheDM
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brew has a very nice malty aroma with a light head that disappeared before I could take my first taste. It was lightly carbonated with a caramel taste. It has a nice light brow transparent color and left a good lacing on the glass. ANother fine brew from Bells!

Photo of doughanson78
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Thanks to storminspank for this.

A: Medium brown color with good clarity. One finger light tan head with ok retention and alright lacing.

S: Cola and some light chocolate. A touch of vanilla and some nuttiness. Maybe a hint of toffee.

T: Cola and bittersweet chocolate. Nuttiness, caramel and toffee are light. A hint of coffee in the finish.

M: Light bodied, hinting on watery. Medium high carbonation. Lightly fizzy.

O: For a style I really don't enjoy, this is not half bad. I would drink it again.

Photo of Brenden
3.71/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The color is a moderate brown with some clarity that gives off a red hue in the light. A tan head pours off the tap at just over one finger with lots of action, leading to a little over-pour. The head diminishes and leaves a stubborn foam that drops ragged curtains of lacing in its wake.
The nose is really very mild. I'm not sure what's going on, but I'm just not finding much. What I can detect is good: light caramel, toffee, and perhaps molasses with a touch of barley-like grains are there, but it's a struggle to smell them.
The flavor, on the other hand, doesn't hold out on me. A strong malt base with some sturdy barley and caramelized sugars along with brown sugar notes make up this one. A taste of hops rounds out the finish along with a touch of dark fruits.
The mouthfeel is smooth and there's a nice creaminess in the body, but I'm not getting any crispness off the tap and carbonation is very light.
This is very drinkable; I don't doubt that the nose would really pick up and the body would firm up a little from the bottle.

Photo of cjgator3
3.71/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle

A- Pours a dark brown color with a light tan head that leaves a good amount of lacing and retention.

S- The aroma is a very nice malt dominated brown. The aroma features caramel/toffee, malt and brown sugar.

T- The taste follows the aroma, with a good amount of sweet malt and just a touch of bitterness in the finish to balance out the sweetness.

M- The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, this is a very drinkable English-style Brown Ale that is definitely worth a try. Recommended!

Photo of KMcG
3.71/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: 1 finger head, quite lacey and sticky that topped deep orange-brown ale.

S: The aroma is weak and difficult to capture. I pick up on sweet roasted malts and that's about it.

T: Sweet malty backbone and hints of toffee and berries. There are floral hops come out in the finish.

M: It's light to medium bodied with medium carbonation and a smooth and somewhat creamy mouthfeel.

Photo of damndirtyape
3.71/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Shaker pint glass. Batch 10708, bottled 09/20/11.

Appearance: Despite a careful pour some sediment got in. I could see that it was a clear brown/orange, but now when held up to the light it is a hazy to cloudy brown/orange. Some coppery notes as well when held up to the light. Off-white to light tan head very thin across the top, but persistent. Some sheets and strands of lacing noted. With a swirl the foam really comes back to 1/8" and sticks around.

Smell: Toasted malt with just a hint of burnt sugar.

Taste: Wonderful toasted malt, with some mocha notes thrown in for good measure. Finish is piney and bitter, with the bitterness taking on some black coffee flavor. just right against that sweeter malt flavor. Quite tasty.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation - a little spicy on the tongue. Past the carbonation it's just a hair thicker than water. A little bit of cling to the teeth noted.

Overall / Drinkability: Quite a tasty beer. Simple in flavor profile and very drinkable. I could easily have another. A little weak in aroma, but this is made up for in taste. Went well with chili and cornbread, and I'm sure it would be good with a lot of other food as well, and of course, by itself after the meal.

Photo of pzrhsau
3.71/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Nice deep/rich brown color with an enormous head to it.
Smell: Nice combination of malt that almost makes it smell like a hearty bread.
Taste: The beer has a great flavor from the malt and it is accentuated by a slight tang that almost gives it a fruity after taste.
Drinkability and mouthfeel: Very crisp and easy to drink. Not too harsh on the palate.

Photo of Dope
3.71/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A nice mahogany brown with a huge fluffy offwhite head. Great lacing and retention.

S: Toffee, nuts, molasses and brown sugar.

T: Not too sweet like a lot of brown ales. A nice nutty toffee flavor backed up with a little molasses.

M: Medium body but seems like just a little too much carbonation. Needs to be a little more still in my opinion.

O: A decent brown ale. A little sweeter and a little less carbonation would make this amazing.

Photo of DannyDan
3.71/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A. Pours a brownish orange color when holding it up top the light. It has a two finger white head that has decent retention and good lacing to it. Carbonation seems good too.
S. The smell is not real strong, but can detect some caramel, malts, and a nutty smell
T. The first thing I taste is a nutty taste, followed by some chocolate, caramel than some hops in the middle and some citrus at the end.
M. The Mouthfeel is a sticky, cling to the tongue and cheeks beer.
D. A medium body beer that is pretty drinkable and would suggest trying this for those that like this style of beer. However, Michigan Nut Brown Ale is the one I prefer over Bell's Best Brown Ale.

Photo of yourefragile
3.71/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle

A: Cloudy reddish brown (not overly dark) with a cream colored head that quickly dissipates to a ring of large bubbles. Nice lacing.
S: Very mild, nutty, creamy, roasted malt, bread
T: Again, very mild not overly nutty or malty. At first there was a bad slightly bitter aftertaste but that dissipated quickly. A lingering sweetness throughout like brown sugar. Not very hoppy.
M: Medium body, very creamy and smooth. High carbonation but very pleasant. Very nice actually.
D: While most of the aromas and flavors are very mild, there is a still a deep, strong taste that is very persistent in the aftertaste. For me this start off very unassuming and disappointing but became a very nice brown ale.

Photo of rangerred
3.71/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a hazy medium brown with a nice 2 finger head. Excellent head retention and lacing.

Smells of caramel and toasted malt. There is also a certain yeasty smell.

The taste is very malty with strong caramel/toffee and also a slight sour yeasty flavor. There is a bitterness that really kicks in at the end that is nutty and hoppy. The mouthfeel is very creamy and pretty thick.

Overall I think this is a very good beer and a good example of the style. I wish it was available locally because I would definitely seek it out.

Photo of tewaris
3.71/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy rust brown color with an off white creamy head. Good retention and lacing. Aroma is, well, browned malts ;-) Tastes slightly sweet with a good specialty malt character manifesting itself in caramel flavor and roast. Just a hint of hoppiness at the end with a long, comforting aftertaste. Good body, rather high carbonation. Plenty of residual sweetness. A good brown ale.
4, 3, 4, 3.5, 4

Photo of jayandsheri
3.72/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of heyitsbyron
3.72/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a single from Woodman's in Madison into an imperial pint glass.

Poured thin with a quickly dissipating head. The ruddy brown color was nice, but it didn't scream "drink me" like it should.

Smelled boozy and fruity, kind of like bubblegum. I kinda liked it.

Taste was weak and washed out. Nutty and malty and first, but very watery when it should finish strong. Aftertaste is slightly yeasy and boozy.

Nothing special in the mouth. Thin but also overcarbonated a little and doesn't have a satisfyingly pleasant linger.

I wanted to like this beer because I like Bell's and I like brown ales, but there's really nothing here to separate from the masses of mediocre brown ales. Not sufficiently distinct or satisfying to warrant drinking again unless it were free or there were no better alternatives.

Photo of flexinwext
3.72/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Hazy dark reddish amber color with a thin tan head and nice lacing. Scent of sweet, roasted malt. Nice roasted chocolate taste with a slight bitter aftertaste. Reminds me somewhat of a dry irish stout. All the floaties were somewhat off-putting but overall some great flavor and a quality session beer.

Photo of oakaged88
3.72/5  rDev -2.9%

Photo of DrJay
3.72/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brown beer with a reddish hue, the dark cream coloured head was very fine and showed a bit of lace. Malty aroma, some nuttiness with a bit of toffee. Same in the flavour along with mild bitterness and muted hop flavour towards the end. Bitterness really lingers in the finish. Dry overall, medium-light bodied and decent texture. A solid brown ale.

Photo of kmpitz2
3.72/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep and intense amber color with a finger of off-white head that falls to a full coat over top. Nose is nutty and caramel, with just a hint of roasted malt. I'd even like to see a bit more nutty character to this one. Flavor is working well. Very solid nutty character, with a moderate caramel sweetness and just a light edge of roast. Pretty nice English brown. Feel is moderate with a carbonation on the lighter end of moderate. Bell's always seems to hit things pretty well with their brews. This one satisfies, thought I really would like a stronger roasted character. Not that it detracts from the brew, but it keeps it from what it could be.

Photo of Shrews629
3.72/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Decent little amber/brown color with a light tan head. Body is somewhat cloudy with some sediment suspended. Head retention and lacing was quite alright.

Smell - Adequate amount of a sweet caramel malt, bread, biscuit malt. The aroma is also disclosing an almost almond or peanut scent. The hops don't stand out in the nose. More so in the taste. A bit of an earthy or leafy scent also.

Taste - A bit of hop bitterness in the taste. Not strong, but there. A dry bread taste with the hints of caramel and touches of chocolate.

Mouthfeel - Medium dry, semi-smooth mouthfeel. Lots left on the palate. No real warmth, but it is easy going.

Drinkability - Pretty good brew. Doesn't blow my socks off, but definitely worth a try. Went down easy. Bells creates solid brews and this one is no different. Not much else to say, except I can drink it no problem.

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours from the bottle with the sweet owl illustration a lovely chocolate brown with a nice inch of khacki foam on top. Stringy lacing decorates the side of my glass. My nose descends to the glass and I get a nice roasted dark malt with hints of chocolate and a fresh green herbal hop. Well balanced.

First sip brings a nice roasted, toasted maltiness upfront that has notes of powdered cocoa and burnt grains. Hints of dark fruits emerge here and there along with a mellow herbal hop on the way down. A nice solid brown ale that I find enjoyable.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a chewy palate. Definetly on the heavy side for a brown ale but I enjoy it that way. I could easily have a few of there..but there are other Bell's brews I'd probably pick first. Definetly worth a try. Thanks to kmpitz2 for hooking me up!

Photo of marc77
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ruddy brown in hue, with a light haze. Thick, bumpy, stiff light tan head leaves fluffy lace. Earthy and citric hop nose coupled with the yeast strain's signature slightly unripe pearish fruity esters dominate the aroma. Mild biscuit malt and medium caramel are secondary, but biscuit becomes more pronounced and almost savory in nature as the beer warms. Tart fruit and toasty grain initially are followed by a leafy, woody, tobacco like hop flavor, which then oddly morphs, becoming more citrusy in nature. Faint notes of chocolate malt. Non descript caramel malt provides the bulk of malt sweetness, since the high attenuation lends a dry finish low in residual sugars. Mild hop bitterness leaves the caramel malt profile unhindered. Medium bodied for style, with a relatively dextrinous mouthfeel. Finishes dry w/ notes of biscuit and salt. Certainly a flavorful brown ale. Slightly lacking in overall balance, but tasty and unique nevertheless. Perhaps the most tame Bells beer.

Photo of stakem
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into my pint glass. Color is deep amber with head that only sticks around for a short while. Minimal lacing on the glass. As noted from other bell's products it has the familiar particles floating in suspension (not just near the bottom of the beer.) Mild but pleasant hop aroma. Slight hop bitterness that is nicely balanced with malt sweetness. Slightly more bitter than it is sweet, it invites you in for the next sip. Very drinkable and a fine beer overall.

Photo of schoolboy
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I'm not sure this is really still their best, but it's a great brown ale ready to drink any time.

It's brown and barely translucent, with just a bit of fizz. Not much aroma, but it is clean. The taste is nicely balanced with not too high a malt profile - just right. The aftertaste is excellent. Nice burp.

This is a great brown for any time, and it will go good with any food. My sample was fully four months old and it is just fine. I think I had this before as I remember it being exactly the same. Great quality stuff that is very drinkable.

Photo of Pauly2X
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark reddish brown beneath a half finger head which faded quickly.

S- Not much here but very clean hints of caramel.

T- Nutty and complex, with decent sweetness.

M- Very smooth, spot on carbonation.

D- Little too complex too session, but I'd grab it again.

If you like your Brown Ale on the nutty side this is a must try.

Photo of burnstar
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark copper brown with a somewhat small head. Aroma is very light. Toasty malt with a hint of hops. Taste has a nice malty character with just a slight background sweetness. Toasty and a bit bready. Some herbal hops in the finish. Medium bodied and well carbonated. Easily drinkable. Overall a very solid and pleasant brown ale.

Bell's Best Brown from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 2,588 ratings.