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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
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no score

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Reviews: 819
Hads: 2,637
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
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Reviews: 819 | Hads: 2,637
Photo of brown2cu
3.47/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a color similar to cola; a bubbly head came and died quickly. No lacing. Average at best.

S: Brown sugar, caramel, and a touch of burnt malt.

T: Good mix of caramel, brown sugar, and a mild hop bitterness adds some complexity.

M: High carbonation creates a thin a body, however, it isn't necessarily a problem in this beer.

O: Overall, an average beer. Much better on tap. (385 characters)

Photo of clint1019
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Brown in color with a cream colored head.

S - Has a light caramel malt aroma along with a slight fruityness.

T - Caramel malt flavor with a hint, a ever slight hint of hop bitterness in the end.

M - Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

O - Not a bad brown ale. It just doesn't have a lot going on, but I guess you could say that about most brown ales. (371 characters)

Photo of Boitnott
3.89/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Probably one of my favorite browns out there.

A: Red brown color, very similar to a brick color. Nice even color.

S: Not really much smell to this one. You can catch a hint of the the nut flavor but you have to really take a deep smell. Browns do not really have a strong smell to them though...

T: Great taste. It is smooth and not full-bodied. The nuttiness is just right to compliment the caramel and spices. Initially you get the caramel undertones but the beer finishes with nice prevailing nut flavor.

M: The beer goes down very smooth and light. The carbonation is pretty high for a brown, which makes the beer lighter.

D: This beer is great to drink on an Autumn night. It goes down very smooth and I could easily see drinking a lot of these. It goes down very smooth and the % and carbonation are low enough that you wont feel full after one. If you bought a six-pack of this then it would be great for a whole night of hanging out.

Serving: I poured it from a bottle to a chilled pint glass. I suggest that the beer be made very cold before consumption. (1,071 characters)

Photo of natemort13
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes

Pours a ruddy brown with a light tan head that dissipates quickly.

Nose gives lots of toasted malt, hint of carmel and chocolate.

Taste follows the nose. Very much a beer of toasted malt.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied.

Overall, I love this beer. When I'm sick of all the spiced winter warmers this malt-balanced beer is where I turn. (346 characters)

Photo of beerdedking
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

This is a nicely done Brown. Poured into pint glass, pours a shade of caramel, and the taste just follows along.
Excellent full body, Bells Brown leads with a supreme maltiness exemplified by notes of caramel, brown sugar, toffee, with some roasted barley hitting toward the end.
A touch of hops signify it's time to take another pull. VERY drinkable. I'm really liking this style lately, and Bells Best Brown Ale is one I'll be coming back to. (447 characters)

Photo of Spiekerbox
4.11/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Amber brown with a thick light brown head that lingers for a while.

S- malty and a little nutty

T- Toasted malts with a nutty flavor, slight sweetness and a little bitterness. Pleasant and balanced

M- Nice smooth mouthfeel, medium body and ideal carbonation for the flavors to come out with.

D- Very drinkable, good brown ale, exactly what the style should be in my mind. Good beer to chill with. (403 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 Jammies
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aged for 8 months

A- pours a deep brown with hints of red. A thin layer of foam retreats to the center and edge of the glass

S- sweet with some light sugary notes. Slightly nutty

T- light and well balanced. A nutty flavor to it.

M- great body. very smooth with a slightly coarse finish

O- Great brown ale, not overly sweet like a christmas ale. Simplicity at its finest (374 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 RobH
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. brown bottle.

Hmmm, I don't know; were my expectations too high? I'm a malty beer fan and thus I like English and American Brown Ales, and having enjoyed other Bell's styles very much, I bought this one seeking a great Brown Ale. Here's what I got:

A: Nothing extraordinary to speak of. Certainly appeared as a high quality Brown Ale in the glass.

S: Again, nothing extraordinary to speak of that came across to my nose. Smelled rather pedestrian in fact.

T: Here's where the let-down really kicked in. It was NOT at all bad in any way, rather it just didn't stand out against other Browns I've had. What was I looking for? Well, maybe a luscious malt character with a more perfected carbonation and hop balance. It just wasn't there. Again, it came across to me as a rather pedestrian Brown Ale. Not bad, but nothing special either to make me look forward to next fall when this one comes out again.

M: Fine enough. Not bad. Typical for the American Brown Ale style.

D: Fine enough, once again. Certainly a very drinkable beer with I'd say broad appeal. Just not a stand out Brown Ale for me. Perhaps my palate has changed in time as I try more and more beers, and I've moved on from the Brown Ale style? Not sure if that's it. I'll have to try more beers to be sure. (1,281 characters)

Photo of kellyej
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%

Bell's Best Brown pours a deep, translucent brown with auburn highlights and very little head. The nose has a full malty caramel note with a hint of toasted wheat bread; there is, however, an underlying bright floral/citrus quality that keeps the beer from being too one note. The mouthfeel is full and smooth. The taste largely mirrors the smell- notes of toasted bread, caramel, sweet malt, and roastedness. Solid beer and great for fall. (440 characters)

Photo of clarkm04
3.49/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch number 9980 bottled on 8/31/10

Appearance- A slightly muddy brown/amber. Not super brown or thick looking as some browns can be. Medium carbonation with minimal head retention.

Smell- A slight malty smell associated with it.

Taste- Very clean. Has a nutty profile but delicate. Has a clean and slightly nutty finish. Very light and drinkable. Solid taste and a good example of a brown.

Mouthfeel- Very smooth, almost watery on the palate.

Drinkability- Very high being a brown.

Overall- I enjoyed the beer. I love browns but like a more roasty, nutty flavor profile and finish. This beer was a little light for me. Enjoyable and drinkable. I would recommend drinking a bottle of it but I'm divided if I will buy another six pack. It's a good better, above average beer on its merits and also in the style but I feel there are better products on the market. Like most of Bell's line, they have solid beers and this is one of them. (944 characters)

Photo of davedahl
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I got this on-tap in Chicago at the Handlebar on North Ave. A pint-pour.

- Smooth medium body, slight caramel aftertaste.
- big brown looking beer. Brown brown brown. Tan head with nice lacing for a brown ale.
- Nutty malt with some biscuit and definitely some browned toast flavor.
- hint of a hop bite in the middle

This was a great drinker. Drinkability is high, and satisfaction is even higher. I went back a couple days later _specifically_ for the Best Brown and they'd rolled the keg already. Drag.

Great stuff - drink it! (532 characters)

Photo of Lillenk
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
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. (400 characters)

Photo of PokerGod
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
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. (751 characters)

Photo of Brettster
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
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. (287 characters)

Photo of teovaldi
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark amber with a huge off white head leaving lots of lacing.

Smell is roasty with a hint of malt and hops.

Taste is of sweet malts with slight brown sugar finishing slightly hoppy.

Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied with decent carbonation.

Damn fine brown ale. One of my favorites and is highly sessionable. (330 characters)

Photo of TheSeeker61
3.82/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The appearance was an inch of head and a dark brown in color. The smell is dark fruits with malts. Nice nose. The taste is an expresso/coffee tongue. The mouthfeel is medium. This is a decent brown. If I was a coffee drinker this offering would be even more attractive to me but since I'm not this is one that I could have again but will not go out of the way to have. (368 characters)

Photo of vapodge
3.35/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip

A - mahogany & rich, thin head stays

S - roasty, not smoky

T - lots of roasted malts, not very sweet, a bit nutty

M - normal amount of carbonation for a brown

D - smooth drinking and perfectly fine; nothing wows me -- would not seek this out, but would not refuse; probably be better for a cooler night and a hearty meal (stupid FL "winters") (386 characters)

Photo of hangh
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Very nice looking brown ale. A little hazy, deep brown color with a thick tan head that dissapates and lingers with a small dusting. Very fine lacing.
S - Sweet malty smells are pretty apparent. Bready and toasted smell. Not as overboard as lots of brown ales with sweet malts but a pleasant smell.
T - Great tasting brown ale. It definitely has some nutty qualities to it along with a toasted bready taste. It has a hint of hops beneath a more mild sweet malt taste. It's a little different from mainstream brown ales that is quite good.
MF - Medium bodied, lightly carbonated. Pretty smooth beer. Little tart finish.
D - It's a very good beer in it's own right and a good change of pace brown ale. (704 characters)

Photo of boogles
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep red with perfect carbonation, more sediment than I anticipated. The smell was interesting--some vanilla and flowery perfume in addition to the expected maltiness, etc. The taste is delicious at a moderate chill--I don't think I'd like this one overchilled--and I could drink this all night. Just had one tonight, though. Very nice. (345 characters)

Photo of kevinjosephlee
4.75/5  rDev +23.4%
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! (594 characters)

Photo of hossua34
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Nutty, dark reddish-brown. A gigantic head, almost too large, that is slow fading. Leaves an outrageous amount of sticky lacing.

S - Very much like coffee and toffee. Has s bit of a sharp, semi-metallic scent that I've smelled in other English brown ales.

T - Toasty, malty. Hints of toffee and biscuits. A tiny bit watered-down tasting. Finishes caramelly. Very English style.

M - Kinda flat. A somewhat watery, "empty" mouthfeel.

D - A friend said, and I agree, that this is probably what Newcastle is meant to taste like (before it is imported and spends months in clear bottles). Not near as good as Oberon, but very easy to drink. A very pound-able minikig. (670 characters)

Photo of nota
3.36/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I really had a tough time finding this beer, but finally got my hands on a sixer. Pours a hazy brown/dark cooper in color. Nice tan head that gives way to good amount of lacing. At the beginning you taste sweet roasted malt. Its has a balance amount of hops. It's finish is dry.I edit my review of this beer after drinking this beer a few time and having a few other brown's under my belt. This beer is just a bit over done for my taste in what a brown should be. To me it borders on being more like a porter than a brown ale. (526 characters)

Photo of andrewmartin
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A friend of mine brought me a six-pack of this a while ago and I just loved it, let's see how it does under the micrscope!

A: Deep, deep clear amber with big rocking head.

S: Hints of roasted malts and molasses.

T: Sweet sugary malts up front give way to a pleasent hop bitterness.

M: Not as creamy as a once remember, a bit more acidic and tingly.

D: Well, this wasn't as good as I recall, the previous one had a lot more character, but a solid brown nontheless. (478 characters)

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