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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
86
very good

2,025 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,025
Reviews: 777
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 11.52%
Wants: 56
Gots: 102 | 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
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Ratings: 2,025 | Reviews: 777 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of haddon
haddon

Kentucky

3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Burnished bronze with a light brown head that is large. is a very nice lacer.

The nose is of caramel, toffee, brown sugar and light molasses.

Again, the flavor matches the nose: caramelized sugar, toasted malt spice, sweet, figs and dates.

body is a little light but I do tend to experience this with most brown ales. if they added a bit of cream to the feel, it would shoot through the roof in my books.

hard to go wrong with Bell's. I enjoyed this beer and one of the better browns that I've had.

Serving type: on-tap

05-28-2011 19:00:42 | More by haddon
Photo of deadonhisfeet
deadonhisfeet

Kentucky

3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I stored this bottle in the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before pouring into a proper pub glass. It poured dark amber and slightly cloudy with a perfect 2-finger head. The beer had a nice aroma of nuts

Nice beer starts out sweet and malty. You get a solid hit of nutty, spicy flavor with a very creamy mouthfeel. The beer then gets slightly dry as it moves across your palate. Finally, the flavor kind of softens and vanishes. I detected no off-flavors or offensive characteristics.

Beers of this style don't really stand up and draw attention to themselves. The good ones are meant to be tame, mild, and well-behaved (like this one). This is a great beer to drink on a chilly, rainy afternoon (like this one).

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2011 20:40:41 | More by deadonhisfeet
Photo of wvsabbath
wvsabbath

West Virginia

3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Brownish tan, Light creamy 1/2 head that faded really fast. Mild lacing around the rim.

Smell - Carmal, malts, brown suagrs, about all i could pick up.

Taste - Roasted malts and brown sugar start this beer off. Nice and mild but plenty of flavors. Nice carmal, nut, toffee flavor mixed with brown sugar. Hops are slighty present along with some yeast bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Lightly coats mouth with sweetness and malty tones. East on mouth and palette, and easy to recover from.

Overall - Nice easy drinker with plenty of flavors. Low alcohol adds to drinkibilty. Slighty sweeter then typical english brown ales, but is a great example of the style. Another quailty beer from bells.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2011 06:28:56 | More by wvsabbath
Photo of GossageBrewery
GossageBrewery

Missouri

4.28/5  rDev +12%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this English Brown Ale from a bottle into a pint glass. The beer poured a hazy brown color with lots of particles floating around. I might need a spoon! The ale produced a decent light brown head and it has decent lacing. The aroma of the beer was mostly toffee and molasses. The taste of this beer was very nice and I can say that it ranks very high on my list for English Brown Ales. The taste was sweet, toffee, and malty. The body is light. Very good beer- Highly recommend it!

BTW- I skipped using the spoon.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2011 02:13:14 | More by GossageBrewery
Photo of BradDurbin89
BradDurbin89

Michigan

3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured brown with light brown shades but is reddish when held to the window. Beige/ Khaki head was one finger with some retention.

The nose is sweet and has malt, caramel and hints of sweetness and fruit.

The toasted malts really come through, and there is hints of coffee and bitter chocolate. Sweetness and a very little bit of hops.

Moth is on the lighter side and more carbonation that I expected.

Overall, it is a pretty nice beer. It does not stand out as amazing, but I'd buy it again.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2011 17:05:57 | More by BradDurbin89
Photo of vfgccp
vfgccp

New York

2.65/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A – Gave this bottle a few days to rest upright in the fridge, and still poured with some chunky sediment. Otherwise the ice-tea brown body was clear, building a low white head.

S – Thin aroma. Brown sugar, and light oak is pretty much all I could get.

T – Disappointingly thin flavor as well. Has a wart character too it, with brown bread and honey. But even that is light.

M – Light and watery mouthfeel. Mildly sweet finish.

O – Almost tastes like too much water was used in the sparge.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2011 22:13:34 | More by vfgccp
Photo of mdaschaf
mdaschaf

Washington

3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes 4/22/11.

A: Poured a slightly hazy ruby/orange, not quite brown color. Carbonation bubbles were evident along the sides of the glass. A one finger head formed and left spotty lacing.

S: Nice combination of caramel and a nutty aroma. There is also some grain and bready malt.

T: Pretty solid flavor profile with a strong malt bill. Bready and earthy with caramelized sugar, some brown sugar, and nuts.

M: Light to medium bodied, nice carbonation, with lots of small carbonation bubbles. Crisp for the style.

O: Solid English Brown Ale, easy drinking and pretty sessionable. For a style that can be bland, Bells does a good job here.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2011 01:41:01 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of dogfishandi
dogfishandi

New York

3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle at fridge temp poured into an SA perfect pint glass. batch number 10211 indicates it was bottled 1/31/11 (about 2 1/2 months old).

pours out a dark ruby red color with a nice retentive off white head. some nice lace. a bit more sediment visible than i expected, maybe i could have poured more carefully.

not a whole lot of aroma coming through. fruity with some caramel malts. bits of very light roast and cocoa.

toasted, very slightly roaste grains, a hint of cocoa, some fruitness and just the faintest kiss of hops.

light to medium in body. a bit syrupy. almost has a belgian like feel to it. drinkable, but nothing i would come back to.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2011 02:42:30 | More by dogfishandi
Photo of PokerGod
PokerGod

Minnesota

4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

appearance- Nice color, Deep amber/brown. Slightly hazy. A nice very foamy thick head that dissipates pretty quickly, but stirs up again nicely when agitated. Doesn't really leave much lacework on the glass.

Smell- not a very strong smell, but very pleasant. Very creamy, sweet smell, not at all hoppy.

Taste- Very, very nice. Very creamy and roasted. Sweet, but not fruity or yeasty. Maybe caramel, but that doesn't seem quite right either. Can't quite put my finger on that sweet taste... maybe almost like a mocha. Delicious.

Mouthfeel- All carbonation bite hits on the top of the tongue.

Overall- a really fine brown ale, that's very easy to drink. I would have no problem buying this again. Very good.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2011 03:50:46 | More by PokerGod
Photo of MufflnMan
MufflnMan

Florida

3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Very good looking clear brown with a hint of red/amber and an almost mocha head. Nice surprise for a brown ale...

Faint smells of malty sweet caramel/toffee and a hint of hops.

Taste is almost a copy of the nose, but stronger. Nice sweetness to it without being cloying. The caramels and toffees come thru again and then a finish with a bit of hops. I also get the smallest hint of cocoa in there which is nice.

Medium mouthfeel, not too heavy... not too light. Very little to no carbonation so anything that hits your tongue is in the taste.

Overall, a solid brown ale.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2011 02:46:49 | More by MufflnMan
Photo of claspada
claspada

New Jersey

3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aromas of subtle toasted malt, caramel, toffee and nuttiness.
The taste follows the nose with sweet caramel malt, toasted nuts and a tiny bit of milk chocolate. It has more flavor than the nose would suggest, but unfortunately it just not that complex or flavorful.
Mouthfeel is crisp, with a medium-thin, borderline watery body and adequate carbonation. I would prefer a much fuller mouthfeel, but the thin body works is a decent change which allows this to finish quite crisp.
Overall this is quite drinkable, but forgettable. The flavor profile is just not on par with other brown ales I have had recently. English brown ales aren't supposed to be as malty and full-bodied as American ones, so I guess they accomplished their goal of creating a fairly tasty sessionable brown ale, but I won't be revisiting this anytime soon.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2011 18:05:55 | More by claspada
Photo of gdrydenc
gdrydenc

Massachusetts

3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a murky red-brown with a thin lacing of head. Solid color for a Brown Ale.

S - Sweet, hints of caramel. No hop presence to speak of, but the caramely malts take care of the nose.

T - Caramel in the front, the malts dominate. There's a slightly syrupy quality to the taste that makes it stick in the mouth. Very sweet beer.

M - Like I said, fairly syrupy. I like it for this beer, though.

Overall, a good brown. Maybe not the "best", but it's a good version.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2011 03:08:05 | More by gdrydenc
Photo of AndyAvalanche
AndyAvalanche

Massachusetts

3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass. A pretty good looking beer. It comes out a pretty amber caramel color, it's not completely clear, but close. There's a light brown head that sticks around and clings to the glass the entire time the beer is there.

I like the smell a lot. The roasted malts produce toffee and caramel aromas with the slightest hint of coco powder. There is a very feint hop aroma here. It's not very strong and you really have to wait awhile for it to warm up, but it's good.

The taste is probably a slight step up. It has all the features as the smell, but the tongue can pick up a little more than the nose on this one. It's got the caramel and toffee with slight coco, but there's also a a tea like spiciness to it. Again a very slight hop presence to it.

The mouthfeel is good, but it could be better. It's lighter in body than I expected, it could certainly be a little more full, I tend to prefer a slightly more full brown ale. The carbonation level is very good, and it's a very drinkable beer.

I think Bell's did did a stellar job at making a brown ale. I don't know if I'd call this the "Best Brown" ale I've ever had, but it's pretty tasty.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2011 01:21:12 | More by AndyAvalanche
Photo of Lillenk
Lillenk

Michigan

3.63/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Grill One Eleven.

Appearance was just what onw would expect from a brown. Very nice medium brown color with a nice white/tan head.

Smell was nice. Lots of roasted malts but well balanced with some hop character too.

Taste was pretty average for the style. Nothing crazy but a nice, well put together beer.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied but a little tough to have more than one or two.

Serving type: on-tap

03-28-2011 21:17:49 | More by Lillenk
Photo of PorterLambic
PorterLambic

Florida

2.93/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rich, dark brown. Decent light penetration. Smallish head drops to a ring.
Smell is fairly light with notes of malt and light hops.
Taste is a good mix of malt and hops, a light roast is present.
Finish is somewhat dry with hops coming to the fore. A Slightly metallic hint floats by, a la Newcastle Brown, but just in passing. A good, MOR brown. Certainly sessionable.

Serving type: on-tap

03-27-2011 00:57:11 | More by PorterLambic
Photo of Guden
Guden

Maryland

3.55/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A medium brown with a small off-white head which fades slowly.

S- Light hints of dark and caramel malts, but nothing too strong.

T- Moderate amounts of maltiness with a little more bitterness and woody notes than expected but still quite refreshing.

M- Medium bodied but a little overly carbonated, works well but seems like a little less carbonation could of been better.

D- Enjoyable, and easily could have several of these but there isn't anything to exciting and there are better browns out there.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2011 00:04:42 | More by Guden
Photo of Kelly88
Kelly88

Kentucky

3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-20-2011 00:31:45 | More by Kelly88
Photo of zeledonia
zeledonia

Minnesota

3.45/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a slightly reddish coppery brown, very clear, with a slight off-white head that lingers.

S: Nothing jumps out, but it smells good. Nice balance of malt and hops, though the malt is definitely more prominent, with some sweetness and light fruits (grapes, apples) in the background.

T: Not quite what I was expecting based on the smell. Kinda light and fruity for a brown ale. The hops are more obvious than in the nose, and they impart some bitterness, but there's not a ton of complexity to the flavor. I get a prominent light hop flavor, but there isn't that much coming along with it. It starts out decently balanced, but fades into a rather bland bitter finish.

M: Feels light and tingly due to very vivid carbonation (which isn't obvious from looking at it), even though the body is medium. Has a heaviness and stickiness that makes it hang around in the mouth.

D: This comes across lighter and hoppier than I expect from a brown ale. I'm not that impressed with the flavor, which is fairly simple and a bit on the bitter side for the style. It's a decent beer, but there are plenty of better brown ales out there.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2011 04:53:16 | More by zeledonia
Photo of CHADMC3
CHADMC3

Connecticut

3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a walnut brown body with reddish hues and a thin tan head that quickly dissipates leaving nearly no lacing behind.

The aroma primarily consists of toffee and caramel malt with a touch of breadiness as well.

The flavor offers the same toffee and caramel malts as the aroma, but with a more identifiable sweet nuttiness and again hints of bread.

This beer is pretty even keeled with a medium body and medium carbonation.

This beer appears to be pretty true to the style. Although it may not be the sexiest style to most palates, this beer is a pretty nice representation of what it claims to be.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2011 03:43:21 | More by CHADMC3
Photo of nosurrender23
nosurrender23

Pennsylvania

3/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Group grade = C.
"Damn good Brown Ale -- At least it's a beer."

The beer pours a dark iced tea color like the ruffled feathers of a brown barn owl.

The smell is light with little to no smell that some compared to an olfactory nightmare, wet cardboard, a frat floor, and bathroom stall number 3 at Dixie Stampede.

The beer had a low carbonated, smooth feel.

Drinking wise, the beer had a smoothness with minimal complexity. "Your average Brown Ale."

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2011 00:43:25 | More by nosurrender23
Photo of avaccani
avaccani

Ohio

3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Typical brown. A 1 finger head that left a nice lace.

S - Maybe it's my cold but didn't get much here. Some bread, oat, perhaps toffee or caramel.

T - Being a big Bell's fan I was a tad dissapointed here. It is good, but nothing that wows me.

M - Light bodied, moderate carbonation.

D - I had 2 of these in one sitting and it was enough for me. I enjoyed it, but don't know if I'd seek it out again.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2011 22:48:30 | More by avaccani
Photo of richkrull
richkrull

Wisconsin

3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a very dark brown color with lots of creamy tan head on it. Smells like caramel malt with some hops coming through. Taste is pretty good, classic brown ale flavor. Not much aftertaste. Very smooth and drinkable beer overall. Brown ales may not be my favorite style but this one is pretty good as far as they go.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2011 03:05:08 | More by richkrull
Photo of shand
shand

Florida

3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a red-brown colour with significant floaties and a finger and a half of head. Laces well. Smell is caramel malts, cocoa, breads, and some roasted nuttiness. Smooth roasty malts roll through first, followed up by a bit of a mineral taste and a touch of cocoa. The aftertaste leaves a nice subtle nuttiness on the tongue.

The mouthfeel is medium-bodied and silky, and the drinkability is pretty decent. A slightly above average brown ale, I didn't see anything too special here, but there's nothing bad in this brew as well.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2011 02:16:56 | More by shand
Photo of jmdrpi
jmdrpi

Pennsylvania

4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bottle stamped batch 10178, bottled 1/17/11. not even a month old.

slightly hazy chestnut brown color. cream colored 1/2" head with good retention and decent lacing. sweet biscuity malt aroma. maybe a little hops in there.

caramel and bready malt taste. classic brown ale flavor.

medium body. carbonation is there, but its extremely smooth. quite easy to drink and refreshing for a fall/winter brew.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2011 04:52:07 | More by jmdrpi
Photo of ncfranklin
ncfranklin

Alabama

3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Ah, the ole owl. Poured into a tulip glass from a 12oz bottle.

A: Pour a deep amber. Nice creamy one finger head that slides back to a solid lace ring. Beer is littered with bits of material floating about it in it slowly. Gives the appearance of being quite thick and syrupy.

S: Strong sweet caramel oder, with some notes of breadiness and yeast. Maybe only a hint of nuttiness.

T: Sugary up front with a bit of bread and nut, the caramel comes in shortly after. Gives into spiciness halfway through that carries it to a slight bitter hoppy finish. Aftertaste of roasty malt.

M: Medium bodied, thicker than most of the style. Some tacky qualities to it, clings to the tongue. A fairly refreshing finish that tickles the throat.

D: A little sweet and heavy to be a session brown. However, Bell's got a good take on the style. Bringing lots of caramel, toastiness and sweet sugar in balance with bitterness.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2011 00:35:09 | More by ncfranklin
Bell's Best Brown from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 2,025 ratings.