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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

2,336 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,336
Reviews: 799
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 11.49%
Wants: 70
Gots: 169 | 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: 2,336 | Reviews: 799 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ithinkimasofa
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

ithinkimasofa, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Exiled, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of garuda
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Hazed, but bright deep ruby, off white creamy head with great retention and some lacing.

S/T - Very nice smooth roasted malt character competing with a robust smokiness, with an underlying caramel malt sweetness throughout with hints of chocolate here and there. Touch of hops at the end adds bitterness, but really no additional flavors.

M - A little light in body with the smooth cask conditioning. finishes quite clean.

O - Solid brew. I really enjoyed the complexities going on. I'd definitely get it again.

garuda, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of Lawnboy33
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Lawnboy33, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of kkrez
4/5  rDev +4.4%

kkrez, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of NCbeerpirate
4/5  rDev +4.4%

NCbeerpirate, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of TEAMHOLT
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

TEAMHOLT, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of sbricker
4/5  rDev +4.4%

sbricker, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of freduardo
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

freduardo, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of SourNotes
3/5  rDev -21.7%

SourNotes, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of shuajw
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

shuajw, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of tbeq00
4/5  rDev +4.4%

tbeq00, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of engagechad
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This bottle was purchased as a single from Wine and Beer Westpark in Glen Allen, VA - bottled Nov 30th 2010 drank on april 21st 2011 - poured into tulip

Pours a light browny amber with a creamy tan head. Beer is clear and pure, perfect lacing and beautiful head.
Smells of licorice and dark fruits, tastes bitter but not from hops and feels pretty smooth. It's an easy drinking brown that is quite tasty, nothing fancy or spectacular though.

*re-review*
11-13-11

Pours nice, murky orange brown, nice head. Smells perfect, brown sugar, deep malty sweets with spice. Taste is effin boss. Smooth and tingley at the end, aftertaste is sweet brown sugar.

I had to re do this one because I loved it the second go around.

engagechad, Nov 13, 2011
Photo of Pintofbrown
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This was served in a glass stein.

Appearance- The head is khaki colored and rises to about one and a half fingers of bubbly foam. There are a nice amount of tiny bubbles on top that leave a dappling of craters. The body is the color of raw cinnamon sticks with some darker auburn notes.

Smell- There is a sweet bread malt that is the most dominant, as it certainly should be. I was also surprised to pick up a little grassy hoppiness, and I'm not sure I like that.

Taste- Bread malt leads the way and picks up notes of brown sugar. In the finish, there is a good amount of earthy hop and some more bread malt. This is pretty average for a brown, and I'm glad the grassy hop didn't transfer well to the palate.

Mouth feel- Bells can do mouth feel all day. You know it is Bells if it drinks easy. A great medium body and a rich, creamy finish on this brown ale.

Overall- This is a decent brown ale, but it is hard to say what Bells was trying to do with it. They had some hops in the nose, but they weren't utilized well on the palate, in fact, I"m not sure they needed to be there at all. And the malt they used was far too reserved.

Just because this is a brown, doesn't mean it needs to err to middle of the road flavor profiles. Either bump it up, or put something on the taste buds that makes it interesting.

Pintofbrown, Nov 12, 2011
Photo of joek440
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured from tap into a pint glass. Reddish brown body which was cloudy. Head was very thin by the time it was brought to the table.

S - Main smell is citrus hops. Didn't pick up much complexity beyond there.

T - Malty initial taste followed by medium hop flavor. Well-balanced on both ends

M - Crisp and light feel with medium carbonation.

O - A fresh and inviting ale. The hops are noticeable but are well balanced with the malt. Enjoyable brown ale.

(reviewed 10/21)

joek440, Nov 10, 2011
Photo of doughanson78
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

doughanson78, Nov 09, 2011
Photo of dorianmarley
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is chestnut brown. Very creamy head that stays forever. Super sticky lacing. This pour could be a model for a magazine or commercial.

Nose is a nice mix of hops and malt. Slightly roasted character with hints of vanilla and chestnut.

The flavor brings to mind a warm fire. The malt is roasted and sweet. There is a defined vanilla flavor, with roasted chestnuts. Mild hop finish. The whole beer is very mild.

Mouthfeel is extremely smooth. The head lasts for the entire time, giving each sip a foamy, fluffy texture. Mild carbonation. Truly a pleasure to drink.

Overall, the flavor is good, but that is not this beer's most defining feature. It has super-model looks and divinely fluffy texture. This is as a beer should be, and what makes Bell's one of the best around.

dorianmarley, Nov 08, 2011
Photo of MrTopher
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Brian (not on BA) for taking a road trip from DC to CA and picking this up on the way and letting me snake one.

A – Pours a dark rich walnut color that has some nice light brown head that has a nice retention level.

S – Nose is pretty subtle if nonexistent, there is a little sweetness (caramel, toffee, brown sugar) but nothing overwhelming.

T – Sweet caramel, toasted malt, and some toffee. No hop presence in the taste all just nice inviting malt flavors and a good nut character.

M – Decent on the body, and the carbonation was perfect.

O – Good stuff, I don’t always drink the brown ales, but this I would rank up there. I think I still prefer Lost Coast Downtown Brown over this, but it’s still really good.

MrTopher, Nov 07, 2011
Photo of cratez
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle purchased at Siciliano's Specialty Market in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Pours a deep brown hue with copper edges, one finger of beige foam, some chill haze, and rings of lacing on the tumbler glass.

Smell is toast, caramel, toffee, earthy and grassy hops, dark bread, brown sugar, fruity yeast, cocoa powder, and a mild nuttiness.

Taste is toffee, caramel, toasted brown bread, nondescript fruitiness, unsweetened chocolate, light earthy-grassy hop bitterness with musty-nutty flavours on the cough.

Mouthfeel is lush, medium-bodied, silky texture through the middle, firm carbonation, balanced bitterness precedes a bone dry, toasty finish.

Overall, Bell's Best is a great easy-drinking brown ale. The style tends to bore me if it's not done properly, but there's enough flavour here to keep things interesting. I would buy this again.

cratez, Nov 07, 2011
Photo of rundocrun
2.95/5  rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12-oz bottle into a pint glass.

A - Pours a deep walnut-brown color with a 1/2 finger of off-white head that fades quickly. No lacing on the glass.

S - Not much going on in the nose aside from a very mild sweet brown sugar aroma. Possibly some herbal hop character.

T - Flavors of burnt sugar, mild caramely sweetness and a vague bitterness that doesn't really seem to come from hops, alcohol or anything else. There are also some mild esters toward the finish that recall plums, figs, raisins, etc.

M - Thin body. I'd have to say this one is definitely over-carbonated. What few flavors are evident in this beer are overpowered by the intense tingling carbonation that hits the tongue with each sip.

Overall - Not really that great of a beer. Aroma and flavor both leave a lot to be desired and the carbonation level is a problem for me.

rundocrun, Nov 07, 2011
Photo of xnicknj
3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

on tap at royal tavern in philly

Pours a semi-clear chestnut brown color with a light layer of tanned head on top. Dissolves almost completely, leaving a few spots of lacing on the glass.

Plenty of toasted nuttiness and bread crust in the nose. Caramel and lighter sweetness with some leafy hop notes.

Malty and nutty up front with light sweetness. Toasted notes of chestnut and some faint oily hops. Malt backbone is fairly thick with some bread crust and caramel. Finishes slightly dry and sweet.

Medium body, decent carbonation, slightly chewy and dry on the tongue. A drinkable, smooth brown ale with a nice nutty flavor.

xnicknj, Nov 04, 2011
Photo of smakawhat
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Packaged September 7th 2011.

A good simple off caramel, light colored brown/white head foamy in consistency off the pour, sits on a standard light chestnut body with some minor light hues on the edges.

Mild nut on the nose, and a simple malt sweetness. Kind of muted not much else going on but nice simple good example of the style.

Chewy dark malt and nutty feeling hits the palate. A simple light bodied and just a hint of creamy texture compliments the feeling with hints of nut. A little carbonation takes away some of the wonderful play, but taste on the finish still remains.

Overall, basic, simple, but enjoyable all around. A good beer to dig into no complaints I could have another anytime.

smakawhat, Nov 03, 2011
Photo of Knapp85
3.4/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew poured out as a brown color with some red highlights in it. The head doesn't really do too much for the appearance here. The smell of the beer is a little sweet and just a little bit of roasted grains on the nose. The taste of the beer doesn't give off too much of a nutty flavor, it actually had more of a roasted cinnamon kind of flavor in there I think. The mouthfeel of the beer was decent I though nothing too exciting though. Overall it's not a bad brown ale, but I can't say it's my favorite.

Knapp85, Nov 03, 2011
Photo of plfahey
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Amber-brown with a slight cast of chill haze. Creamy tan-beige head is moderately large, shows decent retention and some nice lacing.

Aroma-Sweet, bready malt with some toastiness to it. Slight nutty notes and a touch of chocolate to it. The malt profile is quite nice, and supplemented by subtle fruity esters and a faint kiss of earthy hops.

Flavor-Less sweet than the aroma, with toast, and a little bit of chocolate up front. Moderately low hop bitterness comes in at the end, along with a little bit of green hop character. That said, finish is still dominated by the malt.

Mouthfeel-Medium body, with moderate, gentle carbonation. Smooth and a bit creamy.

I've had this beer on cask before, and it was pretty fantastic. From the bottle, it's not too shabby, but nothing to write home about. A standard American brown with some nice malt character in the flavor and aroma, but not too much beyond that. Still, a solid beer.

plfahey, Oct 31, 2011
Photo of damndirtyape
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

damndirtyape, Oct 30, 2011
Bell's Best Brown from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 2,336 ratings.