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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
87
very good

2,498 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,498
Reviews: 810
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 11.49%
Wants: 80
Gots: 207 | 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: 2,498 | Reviews: 810 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RHCP313
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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

A: Pours a light maple with some ruby and garnet highlights. A thick crown of two to three finger off-white head billows up and sits high in my pint.

S: Sweet caramel and toffee notes, sweet bready malt and notes of brown sugar and slight fruity yeast.

T: Smooth sweet malt supported by notes of vanilla extract and nutmeg. Pastry like breadiness, nutty with dark candied fruit tastes in back.

M: Medium bodied with light carbonation, but very drinkable and almost refreshing. Drinks far lighter than it looks.

O: This is a very solid beer. Consistent, too. As far as style, this is a great representation, smooth, sweet and very sessionable. I've yet to try this with food, but it seems like it could be an outstanding pairing.

RHCP313, Oct 18, 2011
Photo of wingman14
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish caramel brown with a white head. The smell isn't too powerful, but is mostly malty with some sweet and nutty notes. The taste follows the smell with the nice malty backbone, some sweetness and a subtle hint of smoke. This one has a nice medium body, and is smoother than most. This is a good brown ale, the flavors are interesting and well done. A nice offering that I would have again, but not seek out regularly.

wingman14, Oct 16, 2011
Photo of projectflam86
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle.

A- Pours a medium brown color with a thick white foam that leaves pretty good lacing. Looks the part.

S- Nutty toffee aromas with caramel and lightly toasted biscuit. Not picking up much in the hops department. This one will be malty for sure.

T- Very similar to the nose. Sweet caramel and toffee flavors come through with some dried fruits, walnuts, a touch of spice, and crystal malt. Definitely has an English feel with the low hop presence, malt backbone, and slight diacetyl but quite tasty nonetheless.

M- Light/medium bodied with low carbonation.

O- A very nice brown ale that I'll probably pick up again.

projectflam86, Oct 15, 2011
Photo of homebrew311
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: pour a dark red with some brown tones, velvety desne white head, good retention, loads of lacing. Perhaps a bit light for a brown.

S: the aroma features roasted malts, bread, and hints of coffee. Mellow hops come through as well.

T: mild roasted malts along with caramel and chocolate come through on the palate. All is mellow and smooth. Nice balance, taste is mild overall.

MF: light body, creamy texture

O: this is a nice and drinkable brown ale. It is rather mild and drinks like a brew that is 4%.

homebrew311, Oct 15, 2011
Photo of bluHatter
3.33/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours deep dark red or light brown, with nice bubbles. Good head, nice lacing.

S: Caramel, malts, slightly sweet smelling

T: Sweet, malty, muted milk chocolate.

M: Rich and smooth. A medium stout brown.

O: A nice brown overall. I mostly notice how smooth and rich it is. Almost creamy.

bluHatter, Oct 15, 2011
Photo of bballmj2k
3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from bottle (packaged on 9/20/11) into pint glass.

A - Murky dingy brown with minimal head that dissipates to a lacing quickly.

S - Sweet malts, nuttiness - not a ton going on here.

T - Sweet bready, nutty characters, ends with mild hop bitterness.

M - Medium bodied, bit of watery character at the end, low carbonation. Malt definitely lingers on the tongue.

Overall - Not a remarkable beer but I don't that's the goal. A well made balanced brown ale that's adequate if a bit boring.

bballmj2k, Oct 10, 2011
Photo of SolipsismalCat
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
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 BeerNutz324
3.43/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass

Ap- a cloudy brownish amber with about a 1/2 inch off white/light brown colored head that dissapates fairly quickly.

Ar- all I can smell is sweet malts and maybe some caramel or toffee.

T- sweet roasted malts. I can definitely taste the english influence on the malts. Just like the nose I think the caramel or toffee gives this beer a little bit of sweetness.

M- light/medium body with normal carbonation for this style.

O- a good beer. Not as good as I expected coming from Bell's but good none the less. Nothing against this beer but it was nothing special and I honestly don't know if I would buy it again.

BeerNutz324, Oct 08, 2011
Photo of KomodoDragon
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Somewhere between an amber and a brown ale. Huge toffee head which immediately subsided, impressive lacing.

S - Not much to smell here. Some sugar, some toasted malts.

T - Has some sweetness of a brown, as well as caramel tones. Also some roasted malts and flavors of almonds and cocoa.

M - Exceptionally smooth and very drinkable.

Seems more like a American brown. Perhaps not "best", but definately unique and at minimum very very good.

KomodoDragon, Oct 07, 2011
Photo of agomega
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a bottle in a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep rich amber color with a large white foamy head which lingers.

Smell: Faint toasty malt aroma.

Taste: Rich toasty malt flavor with slight hints of chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Very smooth and easy drinking.

Overall: An excellent session beer. Easy drinking and refreshing with a sweet subtle complexity that makes you want to go back for more.

agomega, Oct 02, 2011
Photo of julian89
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I found this fairly new addition to Bell's to be a high improvement on several other brown ales I have tried.

Appearance: Obviously a darkish brown hue, lightly transparent. Caramel coloring at the base post drink.
Smell: Clean, not too powerful, not much else.
Taste: Wonderful! This is a perfectly bittered and hopped brown ale. It was not too dry and carbonated either.
Mouth feel: Very smooth, no acid residue aftertaste I get with other brown's.
Overall: Bell's does not disappoint. Their Brown hits the charts once again.

julian89, Sep 30, 2011
Photo of Gobigvt7
4.47/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

a - pours a nice mid-brown, with an amber tint when held to light. Looks delicious already. one finger of almost white head, good lacing.

s - nutty malts and bread

t - smooth caramelized grains. semi-sweet but not cloying. very light hops lend an edge to the maltiness. very balanced, tastes evenly throughout the sip.

m - smooth, round, medium body.

o - one of my favorite go-to browns. For the style, immensely drinkable and flavorful.

Gobigvt7, Sep 25, 2011
Photo of clint1019
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

clint1019, Sep 18, 2011
Photo of avaldivia
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received in trade from Sobeleg. Poured 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Very nice nutty brown color. Head about an inch and a half thick. Great lacing.

S: Sweet toffee and caramel. Nice malt character. Kind of light

T: Same as the smell. Malty. Sweet caramel.

M: Medium bodied. good carbonation. Nice finish.

O: Excellent brown ale. I

avaldivia, Aug 30, 2011
Photo of maleman
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Almost mahogany color with a thin, less than one-finger off-white head. Lace was tight and clingy. The nose was well more malty than hoppy, more like bread. Taste was very grassy intially with phenols definitely noticeable. Medium bodied with taste in the back of the mouth with average carbonation. Still waiting to try Hopslam, but this one is not that memorable from Bell's.

maleman, Aug 14, 2011
Photo of qua17
4.63/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: This beer poured into a pint grass with a nice two inch head. It's a translucent brown.

S: Nice and malty

Taste: The name of this is the Best Brown Ale and the taste almost proves the point. Delicious. There is a lot of balance to this beer - not too malty and very flavorful. Nice carbonation.

Overall: I like Bell's but this might be my second favorite next to Two Hearted Ale.

qua17, Aug 03, 2011
Photo of Blueribbon666
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes taken. Mild scent of malt poured into pint glass 1/8" head dissipates quickly w/a rich brown color. Well blended malt flavor w/an initial hop flavor in the front, good mouthfeel and decent drinkability. Bell's w/another solid entry w/o being an average kit beer wrapped in a pretty label. I buried Smuttynose for their brown ale, I much prefer the Bell's entry

Blueribbon666, Jul 16, 2011
Photo of Mako82
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into pint glass

A - Brown and dark red in color. Fizzy off-white head that lasted quite long. Floating yeast apparent in beer.

S - Roasted malts, hops apparent in the background, bready/yeasty smell, also picked up a peanut type smell

T - Roasted caramel malts (fairly strong on the roast side), nutty and bready, pretty sweet to the taste. Aftertaste was fairly bitter and the roasted nutty flavor stays all the way to the end

M - Medium carbonation, medium body

Mako82, Jul 08, 2011
Photo of prdstmnky
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

*review from notes on 3/04/11*

Batch #10178 (1/17/11)

Part of a variety case. Chilled bottle into a pint glass, sepia brown body with a finger of tan head, nice retention. Some sweet malts in the nose, along with some nice hop aromas. The taste is interesting, lots of hops up front which was unexpected. The bitterness seems to linger, but can tell there is a nice sweetness back there waiting to shine.**

Mouthfeel seemed right on point for the style, medium bodied with maybe a tad above average carbonation. A nice example of the style, especially if given a few months to balance out.

**I ended up drinking a single from my six pack, and letting the rest sit for 2 months. I can say that there was a big improvement in the taste, which is represented in the score. Much sweeter, with a slight nutiness - caramel, brown sugar, and toffee made this Brown Ale much more balanced and enjoyable.

prdstmnky, Jul 05, 2011
Photo of elephantrider
3.43/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Reddish brown, tan head. I would have liked it darker.

S: Lots of bready carmel. Some toffee. A little nutty and chocolatey.

T: Carmel with some toasty characteristics right off the bat. Then some chocalate and nutty flavors. Finishes slighlty hoppy.

M: Medium bodied

O: Pretty decent beer. I dont like to drink more than a couple of these at a time as I move to other more interesting things. There are a couple more Browns that I like better than this.

elephantrider, Jun 14, 2011
Photo of Kromes
3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Hazy brown with a tan colored head. Noticed some white globs suspended in the beer.

S: Toasted caramel malts. That's about it.

T: More of the same. Some toasted caramel malt with a bit of fruitiness.

M: Medium body with some good carbonation.

O: Pretty good. No off-flavors, just a simple sweet toasted caramel malt flavor. No nuttiness to speak of, this one is more fruity and sweet.

Kromes, Jun 11, 2011
Photo of gabedivision
3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured to a pint glass from a 12 oz bottle. for reals.

A- Brown ale = brown beer, thin white lace.

S- Hmmm, Nice buttery malts, caramel sweet with a touch of vanilla.

T- Tart and spicy on the tongue with a smooth chocolate and vanilla coffee been finish.

M- Feels like a smooth creamy beer in my mouth.

T- I can dig this, can you dig it?

gabedivision, Jun 04, 2011
Photo of RodneyX
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown beer that has a beige head that left behind a tiny bit of spots and lace. It smells of caramel and sugar with some raisins or figs or other type of dark fruit. Taste is about the same, and quite pleasant. Really focuses on the brown sugar aspect. Mouthfeel is slightly over carbonated but not bad. This is an above average brown I would drink again

RodneyX, May 31, 2011
Photo of haddon
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

haddon, May 28, 2011
Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
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).

deadonhisfeet, May 17, 2011
Bell's Best Brown from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 2,498 ratings.