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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

2,479 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,479
Reviews: 807
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 11.49%
Wants: 78
Gots: 203 | 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: 2,479 | Reviews: 807 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of FanofHefe
3.43/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice dark brown with a solid one finger creamy head. Good lacing. Very little aroma, a little nutty smell.

Solid flavor and very smooth. Light caramel and nutty flavors. Not overwhelming in carbonation and slight coffee-like bitterness in the aftertaste.

Solid brown that is easy to drink.

FanofHefe, Oct 18, 2010
Photo of DAllspaw
4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

on tap at Some Guy's pizza, always have two bell's on tap. dark amber, not too dark that you can't see through it. Nice caramel malt in smell and taste. A bit of chocolate as well, but heavy on caramel and toffee in the aftertaste. Very solid brown ale, just what it should be, nice balanced malt profile and easy drinking.

DAllspaw, Oct 17, 2010
Photo of Boitnott
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

Boitnott, Oct 14, 2010
Photo of Spiekerbox
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

Spiekerbox, Oct 14, 2010
Photo of BeerAndBourbon
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A. Pours an amber brown with a one finger creamy off-white head that dissipates leaving small dollops of residual lacing.

S. Caramel and lightly roasted nuts

T. Nutty roasted flavor with some caramel and a very mild bitterness.

M. Medium bodied with a medium level of creamy carbonation.

D. High. I used some of this with my cheddar cheese beer soup for dinner and drank some with it. I've been really digging some brown ales lately. I'll certainly be looking for more after this.

BeerAndBourbon, Oct 14, 2010
Photo of atsprings
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Flying Saucer served in a pilsner glass a crisp light brown with a thin diminishing head that leaves slight lacing on the glass. Aroma is slight sweet caramel malts. The taste is a amount of sweet caramel malts and subtle lingering citrus hops. The beer is quite light and crisp with smooth mild carbonation. This is an enjoyable brown ale, one I would certainly have again.

atsprings, Oct 14, 2010
Photo of clarkm04
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

clarkm04, Oct 13, 2010
Photo of silver0rlead
4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 9981 bottled on 9/16/10 pours a slightly hazy mahogany with a thick tan head that retains impressively. The aroma is pleasant and nuanced with notes of caramel and toffee, dark fruits, milk chocolate, hazelnut as well as toasted bread. The flavor has seriously malty goodness going on, with treacle and brown sugar, as well as plum and fig, mild coffee, milk chocolate, herbal hops and some toasted bread. I've had this beer a number of times before tonight but never really GOT it, but this sucker is smooth and super drinkable with a bunch of malt depth...this is what Tumbler should have been.

silver0rlead, Oct 03, 2010
Photo of Bouleboubier
3.4/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Different brown than I am used to. Looks a lot like the average English brown you'd come across - dark tawny color - fairly clean through - perhaps a little too clean for my eyes, ordinary-looking finger-width off-white head (slowly dissipated), light-to-moderate lacing. This was served in a classic tulip glass, by the way, which I thought was a little odd.

Nutty (oily) and lightly caramel aroma. Not much of a hop presence, certainly not bitter. Soft toasted touch.

Bold, nutty flavor dominates the taste - masks the malt characters a bit, of which I perceived as slightly weak. Subtle fruitiness, light toasty notes, and a surprising degree of alcohol present as well. Moderately soft, clean feel with a fairly dry finish that reminded me of some Belgian pales.

Overall, a refined, somewhat reserved example of a brown. Looks as though "drier" and "nuttier" aren't all that uncommon among certain browns - suppose I just haven't come across too many of them and/or they didn't make much of an impression. Either way, this was a nice ale but one I don't see revisiting.

Bouleboubier, Oct 02, 2010
Photo of JRed
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark red, almost brown topped by off-white head. Aroma of toffee, molasses, rubber, alcohol, and burnt grains. Tastes of burnt grains, hops, pie crust, spices, and some light chocolate chips. Medium bodied brew that sits heavily on the palate and the stomach. A milkshake of a brown ale.

JRed, Oct 01, 2010
Photo of ComfortablyBum
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz poured into DFH glass

A - Cloudy dark copper color with a big head that faded into sparce lacing with large bubbles.

S - Bready with sweetness

T - Caramel and yeasty flavors. Very little bitterness in this beer. There are some floral hop flavors though.

M - Carbonated enough to give it a medium mouthful.

D - This beer is alright, but not something I can see myself drinking a lot of.

ComfortablyBum, Sep 30, 2010
Photo of NODAK
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nose is a pretty rich one....very malty. Hints of caramel, molasses, dark chocolate, and some roast is evident. About as malty as you'd expect a much heavier beer to smell.

Taste initially has a nice, sweet caramel malt to it and in abundance. I also notice a bit of chocolate in there as well. In addition, a nice toasty component is in there towards the finish and this sets it a bit apart from some other brown ales in my opinion. Very tasty. Easy to put down and full of flavor.

All in all, it's a pretty good and distinctive brown ale, which is a style that I often find can be dull or repetitive.

NODAK, Sep 29, 2010
Photo of Anthony1
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer is a medium brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass. The aroma is of caramelized malts, maple, nuts, honey and a touch of hops. The taste starts out sweet with flavors of maple, caramel, honey and nuts that are followed by a hearty malt character. The hops presence is decent for the style and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet. Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

Anthony1, Sep 28, 2010
Photo of FreshHawk
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Nice garnet, amber color with a large, foamy, cloudy, fluffy, off-white head. Retention is quite good leaving a nice creamy layer of lace.

S - Nutty earthy flavors mixed with some toasted grain and bread. Some caramel malt and some woody undertones. Slight bitterness is also present. Aroma is a little on the light side though.

T - Pretty standard Brown ale flavors. A lot of nutty flavors along with toasted grain and bready malt favors. Fairly sweet to start, then mid sip some spicy, earthy hops provide a bit of bitterness. Finishes with a nice earthy, nutty flavor.

M - Medium body with a good amount of carbonation. Smooth with just a slight sticky feel at the end.

D - Easy to drink and refreshing, that is typical for the style. A nice slight bitterness evens it out.

Notes: Overall a nice brown ale that has a lot of toasted, earthy, and nutty flavors. A nice fall beer.

FreshHawk, Sep 24, 2010
Photo of elgiacomo
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, batch 9980, bottled Aug 31, 2010.

Pours very hazy dark reddish/copper/brown with a one finger off white head that leaves some lacing and holds a good creamy/foamy cap.

The excellent aroma features good toasty, bready, nutty, biscuity, caramel maltiness, quite rich for a brown ale, a little bit of hops underneath.

Flavor is some sweet caramel and toffee malts, a touch of brown sugar, toasted bread, a bit of earthy hops, very little bitterness, and despite the initial sweetness, it manages to finish mostly dry. Pretty robust flavor for a brown ale.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and quite creamy, low to medium carbonation.

Excellent Brown Ale, perhaps my favorite of the style!

elgiacomo, Sep 22, 2010
Photo of LiquidBread219
2.83/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A= Poured dark brown with a slight head which disappears quickly.

S= For me this beer smelled a little bit on the nutty side.

T= The taste was nutty with little bit of a carmel aftertaste.

M= Pretty smooth beer, medium carbonation. To me this is kind of a boring beer.

D= It's a ok beer kind of boring to me because nothing really stands out to me or defines it probably wouldn't buy this one again.

LiquidBread219, Sep 18, 2010
Photo of bobhits
2.08/5  rDev -45.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Brown, thin, filtered, 1 finger head, white off white creamy head.

Toasty aroma followed by caramel malt. Some hops mixed in. Creates a rather complex and interesting aroma.

Somewhat thin, watery, toasted malt up front, finishing carmal, hops give an earthy piny touch that's just enough there to add some almost texture to the beer.

Drinkable enough and clean enough in the mouth feel, but both are just off. It's a touch too thick in mouth feel for the flavor. The flavor is pretty light and ready to a day of drinking but the body isn't. it's not something I'd drink 4-5 of in a night. Just too thick and not flavorful enough to have me keep tipping my glass.

bobhits, Sep 18, 2010
Photo of montecristo2
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a goblet style glass.

Pours a dark brown, a bit murky but when held to the light shows a dark mahogany color.

Very light head, dissipates very quickly to almost nothing.

Smells of malts and nuts.

Taste-Nutty, a slight tang, and that caramel aftertaste that I love with brown ales.

A very drinkable session brown from Bell's.

Cheers!

montecristo2, Sep 12, 2010
Photo of harpus
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Nothing special here...medium brown, a pretty rudy color shows through when held to the light. Thin head gone in a flash.

S: Pretty mild...nutty malt mostly. Not any hops to speak of.

T: Like the taste, it's pretty mild and mostly nutty. Certainly nothing offensive, but nothing exciting either. I guess it's just kind of boring, to be honest.

M: Smooth, light to medium carb, mildly dry finish. Again, pretty much mediocrity, although I can't find anything wrong with it either, which suggests a small bumb up from average.

D: This would be great for....I dunno? I'm sure it would be enjoyable in some situation but I can't think of any. It's unexciting, and I probably wouldn't buy it again for the mere fact that nothing makes me say "wow" about it, or even "ooh.

harpus, Sep 04, 2010
Photo of turamarth
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a basic pint glass.

Look: Pours a pretty hefty off white head, that lingers for a good while. Not a lot of lacing. Has a clear dark amber color, almost like a jar filled with iced tea. Only real downside on the looks of the beer is the fact that there is so much yeast sediment chillin in the beer. I'm pretty sure if I wanted to I would take a sample and make my own yeast starter from it. Mmmm petry dish.

Smell: An interesting nose. Lots of musky sents that linger in the nose after a good dive. Also, there are a lot of tannin smells, e.g., tea, cold coffee, etc. After the musky notes the caramels are predominate in the nose. There are also some dark fruit and coco powder hints through out.

Taste: Much a kin to the nose. The musky flavors linger on the tongue after a good sip, I like this. A caramel sweetness that is stronger on the tongue than on the nose sits well here along with some amplified fruits that I can't pinpoint. Pretty tasty.

Mouth: A rather medium mouthfeel. Smooth and the carbonation dances nicely on the tongue. Every now and then however you'll find a lil yeasty on your tongue.

Drink: Dispite all the freakin' yeast you can see and sometimes taste. This beer is pretty drinkable, and very sessionable. Probably my go to brown ale.

turamarth, Aug 15, 2010
Photo of busternuggz
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Light brown with an orange tint when held to the light. 1/4" off-white head that quickly receded. Leaves a little lacing when swirled.
Roasty malt and caramel on the nose, some nuttiness, a little bit of toast and hay.
Caramel and nutty (pecan-like) tastes, some brown sugar and maple. Moderate pleasant sweetness and ends with a crisp grassy dryness. A little bitter hop presence that mellows as it warms up.
Medium bodied and silky. Coats the tongue pleasantly for a while after swallowing.
Pretty smooth and pleasant, nicely balanced.
A tasty and nuanced brown ale, very nice.

busternuggz, Jul 16, 2010
Photo of Parrotbeak
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Amber with a thin white head that fades quickly, becoming patchy.
Smell is bready malts with notes of brown sugar, cinnamon, and toffee. Faint, grassy notes come in as well.
Taste is rich, bready malts, with some grassy hops. Buttery toasted notes, as well as some toffee and faint caramel.
Mouthfeel is fairly smooth, with a slightly dry finish. Medium light body.
Drinkability is good. Drinks fairly easily.

Parrotbeak, Jun 12, 2010
Photo of Dangus
3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Brown just as one would assume. Fair amount of carbonation, poured about an inch of off white head. Head faded to a cap pretty quickly. There is some sediment in the glass, but that's par for the course with a bottle conditioned beer.

Smell- Toasty malts and sour breadiness. I am not detecting much of a hop aroma.

Taste- Nice maltiness, slightly nutty. There is a twinge of sourness that lingers after I swallow the beer.

Mouthfeel- Nice amount of carbonation. Medium bodied.

Drinkability- Good drinkability. I would prefer this for a colder time of year, but it is still nice and easy to drink. Enjoyable beer for sure.

Dangus, Jun 04, 2010
Photo of wchesak
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Spiegelau tulip

A - amber brown, less than a fingers worth of light sandy colored head, some blots of lace

S - caramel, some brown sugar, hint of chocolate, slight toffee and nut notes

T - lots of malt - chocolate, caramel, nut; aftertaste has some roast to it along with the slightest bittering from the hops

M - body starts out medium but finishes a little thinner than average, average carbonation

D - enjoyable, nothing out of the ordinary, but is a good example of an English Brown

wchesak, May 30, 2010
Photo of biglite351
2.55/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - light for a brown. Tall tight near white head.

S - very mild. Almost like a sweet lager.

T - when I drink this it make me think of a very light bock. The flavor drops off fast.

M - not thin but no real coating either. Tingle on entire front of tongue.

D - very drinkable like any (seemingly) light beer would be, but why bother?

biglite351, May 29, 2010
Bell's Best Brown from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 2,479 ratings.