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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.
very good

2,152 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,152
Reviews: 782
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 11.52%
Wants: 66
Gots: 127 | 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: 2,152 | Reviews: 782 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ShepardCommander
4/5  rDev +4.7%

ShepardCommander, Sep 07, 2014
Photo of happygnome
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a: pours an orangish brown color, others have used "rust brown" and i must say that is an accurate description. produces about half an inch of head that disappears quickly leaving a bit of lace around the edge of the glass as well as atop the beer few carbonation bubbles can be seen rising to the top
s: nutty aroma hints of caramel and chocolate sweet
t: butty taste followed quickly by a sweet caramel flavor
m: medium bodied beer with good carbonation

overall, i really enjoyed this one bells does a great job

happygnome, Dec 11, 2009
Photo of bucklemyshoe
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Notes from 10/21/2010:

12 oz. bottle at 42* into a pint glass.

A: This pours a deep mahogany color with half a finger of tan, heavily carbonated, and creamy head.

S: It smells like brown sugar, nuttiness, and some caramel.

T: This features notes of molasses, hazelnut, toffee, butterscotch, and caramel.

M: This is light-bodied with a fair amount of caramel and a creamy finish.

D: This isn't the tastiest brown ale I've ever had but it is quite sessionable.

bucklemyshoe, Oct 25, 2010
Photo of delta490
3.64/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A hazy medium brown. The creamy off white head leaves a thin sheen and nice lacing. Aroma is a sweet malt with a little bit of hops in the background. The taste is very malt forward with a hint of nuttiness and hops. Thinner feel is good with the overall sweetness of the beer. A nice brown ale that doesn't overawe but doesn't disappoint.

delta490, Nov 02, 2013
Photo of Mark5252
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Mark5252, Oct 28, 2012
Photo of Fcolle2
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an almost mahogany brown with a thin half finger tan head. A good looking brown ale.

Deep Carmel notes in the nose. Slight hints of cocoa and some spicy hops also pull through

Rich Carmel malt body, slightly sweet. minimal hop bitterness but some of the spice from the hops is present. hints of toffee on the back end.

Not a whole lot of oily stickiness from the hops but the deep Carmel malt body keeps it nice and rich. Carbonation is moderate which makes it slightly creamy.

Fcolle2, Jun 25, 2013
Photo of tuckerlikesbeer
3.25/5  rDev -14.9%

tuckerlikesbeer, Oct 31, 2013
Photo of Morakaton
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Morakaton, Nov 19, 2013
Photo of Rons35
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Rons35, Feb 19, 2013
Photo of treyrab
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally got to drinking this one as it sat in my cellar for a month. Poured into my pint glass...

A: Pours a pretty clear dark copper with a small tan head. The beer is a bit lighter than expected, but the positive is that the head is extremely sticky and laces well

S: Smell is nice and robust with sweet caramel, toffee, slight roast and a touch of hops

T: The taste is lighter than expected, but has some nice flavors. Starts with a sweet caramel, which is followed by the slightest touch of coffee, and finishes with a nice light roast and a touch of hops.

Overall, a pretty good brown ale that doesn't overdo things. It is light and airy, but gets the job done.

treyrab, Oct 22, 2008
Photo of C2H5
3/5  rDev -21.5%

C2H5, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of phisig137
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vigarous pours yeilds a nice autumn like brown color, with some red tinge. Two finger head has great retention, and leaves behind nice lacing.

Aroma is malty and toasty. Not sweet or caramel like at all, but more toasty biscuit aromas. Fairly mild, but enjoyable.

Flavor is just as the smell, malty and toasty. Not really sweet, but not quite dry either. Great biscuit malt flavor, like fresh bread. Finish is smooth and lingering. Creamy mouthfeel, and excellent drinkability.

Although I prefer most American browns to British Browns, I really like this beer. Well made, and very drinkable. Nice representation of the "restrained" british style of brewing. Nothing sticks out as being incredible, but I think that's the point. Well balanced and easy drinking, I say once again.... I am VERY happy that Bell's is now in Virginia!

phisig137, Dec 05, 2006
Photo of bradfordjohnson
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

bradfordjohnson, Sep 05, 2012
Photo of Evarigan
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Evarigan, Oct 20, 2013
Photo of GaryMarkle84
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

GaryMarkle84, Aug 12, 2012
Photo of mrcraft
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

mrcraft, Jun 23, 2014
Photo of lilsmizzul1225
4/5  rDev +4.7%

lilsmizzul1225, Dec 30, 2012
Photo of beerme626
4/5  rDev +4.7%

beerme626, Feb 13, 2013
Photo of Mojo
3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This offering from Bells pours up a ruby red/brown with about a two finger head and minimal lacing. Nose is primarily pine and floral accents. Mouthfeel is pleasing, but not much carbonation. Taste is fairly mild with some malt and coffee flavors, but not much in the way of hops. This is a good beer as you'd expect from Bells, but honestly it is fairly indistinctive. I prefer Samuel Smith's ESB to this.

Mojo, Oct 14, 2012
Photo of GreenWBush
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

First off, what happened to the cool reggae green, yellow, and red bottle with the owl? But I digress...

Bell's Best Brown pours forth a unique rubied brown, much like some cough syrups in color. Moderate head produces an interesting pattern of Rorschach blots on the glass.

Nose is somewhat sparkly and champagne-like, oddly. Stands also as exemplar of how Bell's house yeast can get downright dirty on some beers. Funkdafied brown-ale smell reminds me of some English breweries I visited while living in the UK.

Taste comes on slow and steady, a malt attack. The maltiness stays somehow dry and not-sweet, battling with an earthiness and stiff resolve. Little of the 'dirtiness' of nose comes through to palate. Quite prune-like...seems like this would be a good snow-shoveller.

Lingering soupiness on the mouth drags down mouthfeel, but quite smooth and pleasingly weighted on the tongue. This sixer won't go down particularly easily, but then again brown ale is one of my least favorite styles.

GreenWBush, Apr 28, 2006
Photo of SolipsismalCat
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Hazy medium brown with lots of bubbles and a two-finger, off-white, foamy head that lasted a few minutes. Okay lacing.

S: Sweet malt. Alcohol.

T: Light malt sweetness and moderate hop bitterness. Roasted caramel malt flavor. Kind of nutty. Bitter finish.

M: Medium bodied with fizzy carbonation. Relatively smooth. Dry.

O: Looks good. Smells kind of weird, but not bad. I was hoping for a nutty more roasted flavor. Not bad overall.

SolipsismalCat, Oct 08, 2011
Photo of dt_gbpackersfan
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

dt_gbpackersfan, Sep 20, 2013
Photo of olafphysics
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%

olafphysics, Nov 04, 2012
Photo of giblet
4.38/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured nicely into the glass with about three eights inch of head that settled quickly. thin film of head. light steady carbonation. nice lightly roasted malt aroma. the taste is very good. roasted malt, caramel, slightly sweet but not over done. very little lacing down the glass.

suckem up and movem out.


giblet, May 02, 2009
4/5  rDev +4.7%

ROBSTARR, Feb 15, 2013
Bell's Best Brown from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 2,152 ratings.