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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

1,937 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1937
Reviews: 776
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: 1,937 | Reviews: 776 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of tut2528
tut2528

Illinois

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

smell: slight grain, with a decent malt character, some mild nuts are present along with some hops.

taste: decent decent balance of malt and nuts (but the nuts aren't overwhelming), there is a sweet toffee character that allows the beer to have a high drinkability. Hops come out at the end to balance out the entire brew.

i thought this was a very well balanced beer all around. you can easily down a few of these quickly. i think this would be a great recommendation for individuals just getting started in microbrews.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2012 03:49:28 | More by tut2528
Photo of goldennectar
goldennectar

Ohio

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

Poured from 12 oz.bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Nice thick head & beautiful dark amber color. Not much lacing left behind.

Smell: Sweet Caramel Malts

Taste: Very similar to the smell - Caramel & malty with a slightly nutty flavor.
Well rounded, balanced & smooth
is how I describe this very drinkable ale.

Mouthfeel: Medium body & carbonation

Overall: A very well done & very drinkable offering from Bell's Brewery. Try one

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2012 18:40:58 | More by goldennectar
Photo of WoodBrew
WoodBrew

Illinois

4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark amber color with decent slightly off white head that laced nicely. Smell is mild, with sweet and roast malts bolstering it with some hops being present. The taste is mild, some hops, a bit of nuttiness, bitter at the finish. Not bad but rather subdued flavor. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a decent beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2011 00:48:55 | More by WoodBrew
Photo of Marty30
Marty30

Pennsylvania

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

Bottle dated 11-04-11. Served at fridge temp into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

A. Hazy iced tea colored body,good carbonation leaves a good 2 finger off white head. Lots of sediment throughout the beer. Not much lacing to speak of.

S. I get a mild chocolate note up front but it's not rich like you would get in some stout's. Follows with some toffee and caramal.

T. Toffee and caramal dominate upfront,then a nice smooth nuttiness comes through in the backend. A slight bit of hop bitterness in the end.

M. Medium feel with good carbonation that stings the tounge. leaves a bitter aftertaste.

Overall this is a well crafted brown ale. I always get a couple sixers of this every year. Very easy drinker. Reccommend.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2011 03:46:14 | More by Marty30
Photo of MTNboy
MTNboy

Germany

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

Appearance: This beer has great color very true to the style. It is brown amber with just the right light brown head with lace that has an awesome amount of staying power.

Smell: It has a very sweet aroma with a bit of coffee like tones.

Taste: It taste was extremely malty with pasture like earthy tones. It is a bit nutty but not overwhelming.

Mouthfeel: It has a nice medium feel with a bit of bit at first but that quickly settles.

Overall: I loved this one. A great beer with a great look.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2011 03:51:20 | More by MTNboy
Photo of kzoobrew
kzoobrew

Michigan

4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chestnut colored body. Great clarity, no haze or sediment noticed. Soft one and a half finger sand colored head. The head recedes fairly slowly. Spotty but thick lacing left clinging to the glass.

Warm bready Brown Ale. The warmth of the malt is really the focal point. Soft brown sugar, hints of toffee and a touch of nuttiness peak out from beneath. A pleasant grassiness from the hops compliments the warmth from the malt very well.

The flavor takes its cues from the aroma. Brown bready malt provides the base. Soft caramel sweetness peaks out from beneath providing some levity. Earthy, grassy hops very complimentary to malt. There is just enough hop flavor to be noticed and provide balance but allows the malt to stay in the forefront.

Medium bodied Brown Ale. Carbonation is moderate, texture is soft and smooth. Medium finish, very appropriate for the beer.

Best Brown is very appropriately named, just an outstanding example of the style. Brown Ales are certainly not the most exciting style but I find them a very comforting, enjoyable style when done well. I am not certain why I do not drink this one more often.

Serving type: on-tap

12-18-2011 20:26:28 | More by kzoobrew
Photo of bundy462
bundy462

Texas

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

A: Leathery brown, coffee colored head.

S: Sweet, cocoa, roasted malts, toffee, caramel.

T: Sweet caramel and chocolate hints. Toffee, roasted malts. Nutty. Hops are slight in the finish and slightly lacking.

M: Extremely smooth going down. Pretty low carbonation, the finish is very clean. It's an easy drinker for sure.

O: Good brown ale. A tad more hop would bump it toward the top of the list.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2011 21:41:15 | More by bundy462
Photo of Jimmys
Jimmys

Pennsylvania

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

12 oz bottle. bottled on 9/20/11

A: a very hazy, deep mahogany hued brew. off white head dies down to rim. however very pretty lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: similar to an english bitter, lots of nutty aromas. however, more roasted and definitely more chocolate smells in there too.

T: a little bit of roast, a lotta bit of chocolate on the first sip. a slightly bitter chocolate, but not a full on dark chocolate variety. sweet malts mix with a sort of oaky woodyness.

M: a low carbonation on this medium bodied brew. wouldnt hate a touch more carbonation here.

D: great flavor on this rich brown ale. this is one that i have not had until this past fall season and i will be looking for it each season that comes.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2011 21:41:02 | More by Jimmys
Photo of mwilbur
mwilbur

Minnesota

4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into shaker pint glass.
A: Pours dark red mahogany with 1/2 inch light tan head. Decent lacing.
S: Nice sweet caramel malt and nutty aroma.
T: Darker nut notes, sweet caramel malt, and grainy hops.
M: Smooth, sweet, creamy feel. Mild toasted grain hop bite in the finish. Quite pleasant.
D: Very drinkable. Excellent sessionability. Wonderful on-tap.

Serving type: on-tap

12-04-2011 23:00:05 | More by mwilbur
Photo of pburland23
pburland23

Pennsylvania

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

Reviewed from notes.

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a dimpled mug.

Beer pours a light brown. Not as dark as a lot of brown ales. Two fingers of sandy colored head with some thin lacing.

Smell is fairly pedestrian. A muted aroma of sweet roasted malts. Not much else. Taste is mellow, sweet and malty. Nice tasting beer if you're looking for a malt fix.

Mouthfeel is a little thinner than your typical brown ale, but I liked the change up. Very nice drinkability at 5.8%.

Overall, a decent brown ale. I prefer my brown ales a little more robust, but still tasty.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2011 19:03:37 | More by pburland23
Photo of brown2cu
brown2cu

Ohio

3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2011 06:35:35 | More by brown2cu
Photo of daliandragon
daliandragon

North Carolina

3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I like the label with the bored looking owl sitting on top of the chain link fence post. Definitely barren looking. Attractive beige head sits above a translucent orange brown body. In the nose I detect a wintery mix of vanilla, dark fruit, brown sugar and caramel.

I find this beer very easy to drink. The taste is pleasant without being terribly complex and goes down very easy. Key notes in the flavor are nutty toasted malt and caramel. Hops don't seem evident but the sweetness factor is thankfully low and this finishes very clean for the style.

Slight over carbonation may muffle the flavor a little but hard to say. This isn't a great beer but it is tasty and reasonably flexible and I could see this being a good go-to winter beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2011 03:22:00 | More by daliandragon
Photo of TheBigBoy
TheBigBoy

Pennsylvania

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

Out of single bottle. One of the better brown ales I've tasted. Not like Newcastle but more like a Hobgoblin or Americanized brown with good brown beer taste that works for my palate. Not overpowering, not sweet, but very smooth with a hearty brown ale taste.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2011 03:51:34 | More by TheBigBoy
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 Dope
Dope

Massachusetts

3.7/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2011 20:42:29 | More by Dope
Photo of rangerred
rangerred

Tennessee

3.7/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2011 20:47:41 | More by rangerred
Photo of TheDinger
TheDinger

South Carolina

4.13/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a pint glass.

A- Rich, medium mahoganoy with a clear tint when held to light. A nice 2 fingers of off white/tan head that stays for a bit. Nice lacing throughout.

S- On the soft side, but picking up carmel, nut and some small fruit notes. Grain as well, but again subdued.

T- This is where less is sometimes more. Not overly complex, but a very smooth, well-rounded brown. The carmel hits up front and is followed by a touch of bitterness that makes this hard to sit down. A little bit of the nuts come through with the hops.

M- Dry with a little carbonation to keep it interesting. Not overpowering which I like in my browns. Medium feel.

O- A great effort by Bell's. It's not overly complex and that is to it's benefit. A great balance of carmel, nuts, grain and hops. A great session beer that went down fantastic on a chilly evening. Simple, but well done and very tasty-

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2011 14:22:34 | More by TheDinger
Photo of kevinjosephlee
kevinjosephlee

Georgia

4.78/5  rDev +25.1%
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!

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2011 01:05:35 | More by kevinjosephlee
Photo of bnes09
bnes09

Illinois

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

Deep mahogany color. Big cream colored head. Good retention and pleasant lacing.

Mildly toasted aroma with caramel and almonds.

Nutty, roasty and smooth malt flavor. Well balanced with a spicy, herbal hop bitterness. Sweet caramel mid-drink to finish.

Medium bodied. Mild carbonation. Rich and creamy with a dry finish.

Good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2011 00:39:10 | More by bnes09
Photo of tewaris
tewaris

Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
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

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2011 18:54:59 | More by tewaris
Photo of Immortale25
Immortale25

North Carolina

3.96/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. Says packaged on 10/10/11.

A- Pours a dark reddish brown with an 1/8 inch white head that soon disappears to a ring with bubble formations on the surface. Lacing's not bad.

S- Smells fresh and sweet with toffee-like caramel notes, brown sugar and some chocolate. Has a mustiness to it that is quite unique. Not smoky, but musty like a wet basement. I wouldn't call it an off aroma, just something I've never smelled in a beer before.

T- Chocolate and dark toasty bread dominate the flavor profile, both of which not being too heavy...and that's pretty much it.

M- Has a light feel with normal viscosity and medium-high carbonation.

O- Not too much to say about this beer, but sometimes the plain ones can be the most enjoyable to session. Definitely another win for Bell's, although the name doesn't necessarily live up to the execution.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2011 02:35:11 | More by Immortale25
Photo of jar2574
jar2574

Missouri

3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brown ales seem much maligned these days, with all the emphasis on hops. But even a person who isn't generally a fan should recognize this brown ale one as a good one.

Pours with a rather thin head, but the staying power is tremendous. 10 minutes after pouring, it's still standing strong. Color is brown with moderate density. Lacing is perfect, coating the glass all the way down.

Smell is rather faint, a little nutty, and malty, not hoppy. This is the weakest part of the beer.

When you taste this beer, the first impression is the amazing, creamy mouthfeel. Extremely creamy and dense for a rather low ABV beer. Excellent mouthfeel.

The taste itself is extremely mellow. Slightly nutty, less sweet than most brown ales. Makes for a good, easy drinking session beer.

The things that make this beer good are the appearance, mouthfeel, and drinkablity. The lack of complexity in the taste holds it back from being an awesome beer. But it would be a good beer to introduce a new beer advocate to.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2011 01:49:17 | More by jar2574
Photo of thain709
thain709

Pennsylvania

3.73/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Served with a clear brown body that had some ruby highlights...the head was tan in color and creamy...it held up pretty well and left some patches of lace on the mug

S - Very malt forward with hints of caramel, toffee, nuts, and some faint fruits...pretty solid for a brown

T - Again, being a brown ale this is very malt forward...the toffee and caramel flavors reign supreme...the nuttiness and fruity flavors are in the middle of the beer and they help to add some character...I would have liked some more nutty nuances...there is a surprisingly high hop presence at the end of the beer...it's earthy and goes well with the other flavors

M - Medium bodied...a little thin and not enough lingering on the palate

O - I would not turn down another one of these...I feel Bell's did a nice job making a classic English Brown Ale

Serving type: on-tap

11-18-2011 21:25:14 | More by thain709
Photo of bum732
bum732

Maryland

4.38/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

S: Malty and toasty with a very bisquity aroma, slight herbal component.

L: Hazy orangish brown, creamy light tan head with good retention and lacing.

T: Malty up front with a prominent bisquit note. Medium low herbal bitterness leading. Soft pear notes as it warms. Finishes very dry with a dry cocoa note.

M: Creamy medium full body with medium carbonation.

Great, big and bold for the style while still being kept in check. Really enjoyed this beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2011 02:28:58 | More by bum732
Photo of Hoptometrist
Hoptometrist

Oregon

3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from the bottle into a nonic glass. Bottled on 10/4/11.

A- Poured a brownish orange color, two finger fluffy head

S- Lots of sweet roasty malts, caramel, and grains

T- Very sweet maltiness, some roasted malts, caramel, toffee, barley, rich flavor reminiscent of a milk stout without the big chocolate notes. Light tartness on the finish. Overall a very sweet brown ale.

M- Very creamy, silky, somewhere between medium and fuller bodied, more fuller bodied than most brown ales I've had

O- This brown ale has a great mouthfeel, very smooth and creamy. The taste of this beer was good at first, the sweetness of this beer became a bit much for me as got about half way through the beer. Very rich and sweet.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2011 23:18:14 | More by Hoptometrist
Bell's Best Brown from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 1,937 ratings.