Bell's Best Brown - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Bell's Best BrownBell's Best Brown

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very good

837 Reviews
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Reviews: 837
Hads: 2,715
Avg: 3.84
pDev: 20.31%
Wants: 92
Gots: 313 | FT: 5
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-10-2002

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 837 | Hads: 2,715
Photo of JDV
3.57/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of ketchepillar. Thanks.
Pours a reddish brown color with a small beig head. Smell is very nutty, toasty and has a great fresh maltiness about it. Taste is nutty, drying and malty with a light hopp bitterness and an almost nutty chocolately taste. Good body to it, and a really nice brown ale!

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Photo of tmm313
3.57/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark brown with almost no head and practically no lacing. It was bottled 2 months ago. Looks like a coke in the glass.
S- Caramel, chocolate, roasted malts, dark fruits. Given a good swirl, a grassy, citrus aroma pops out.
T- Light flavors. Follows the nose almost exactly. As it warms, some nice citrus hops come out in the finish.
M- Medium, light body with a pretty good drying effect.
O- This was pretty good. I loved it when I first started tasting beers, but now that I'm trying it again, it is just a little too light for my tastes. I would certainly drink it if offered, but I probably won't be buying again.

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Photo of Neehan
3.56/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a very malty beer that has an interesting character that is more like a marzen or a winter warmer than a brown ale. Dry finish and light mouthfeel with just enough carbonation to give a slight bite at the end. Not great, but not bad. A bit disappointing coming from Bell's, but who can complain with their other fantastic releases?

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Photo of roadhouse
3.56/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Appears a dark reddish brown with a creamy one and a half inch thick off-white head. Leaves very nice sheets of lacing down the side of the glass.

Aroma is floral/spicy hops with a slight vague chocolate and caramel. Pretty weak generally.

Taste begins with a bit of toffee sweetness but it then get's chocolaty with a tinge of nuttiness. Pretty hoppy overall, in a spicy way.

Mouthfeel is medium-light, fairly high carbonation for the style, but good.

Well I ended up drinking five of these tonight, so I suppose it's pretty drinkable. Overall, it's really not that great - I made a homebrew that I tasted side by side and mine was similar but better. My friend agreed in a blind taste test. This stuff is good but I'd rather drink Goose Island Nut Brown, even though it's a totally different kind of brown (much sweeter).

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Photo of Oxymoron
3.56/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What a hoot. Best Brown (as if they had a worse?) pours a chestnut brown color with darker shades. A good frothy white head that remains for the whole sampling and leaving limited lacing.

The smell is malty with a every presence of Bell’s yeast strain. Some bready and lighter grainy malt notes. Accents of caramel and a splash of roasted on the side.

The taste is very rich and good malt backing. Now I see what they mean best. Some marris otter and roasted gives a robust taste. A nutty and caramel flavor up front. Finishes with some toasty and caramel flavors. Some earthy bitterness is noticeable but is second to the malt backing.

The body is mid to high. Good dextrin flavors. Carbonation is light but overall a good beer indeed.

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Photo of r3o
3.56/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: dark red-brown, half an inch head with a little lacing.
S: mostly malt, there's some burnt brown sugar, little hops
T: good balance, built well, you get some nuts in the palate, the aftertaste is sour in the back of my throat.
M: medium body, almost chewy, smooth, with good carbonation
D: easy to drink and pleases, not many surprises though.

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Photo of psinderson
3.56/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at the Sharp Edge Creekhouse in a pint glass.

Appearance: Nice dark brown/ruby red color. Off-white head that lasts.

Smell: Caramel notes and malty sweetness.

Taste: Very malty sweet. Very little roasted flavor or hops flavor present.

Mouthfeel: Relatively thin, good carbonation.

Drinkability: Quite drinkable and goes down well.

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Photo of Kromes
3.55/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

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Photo of gabedivision
3.55/5  rDev -7.6%
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?

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Photo of joekfsu
3.55/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pours a deep amber with a 2 cm bubbly tan head that is slowly diminishing. Aroma of roasted malts and a hint of caramel. Initial flavor has malts with some caramel. Flavor closes with some nuttiness that is lasting. Some lacing, light carbonation, light on alcohol. Light to medium body. Drinkable and simple, good beer for non-craft beer drinkers.

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Photo of Hoptometrist
3.55/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

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Photo of pburland23
3.55/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

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Photo of maxk
3.55/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 10/04/11 and poured into a tulip.

A rust brown colored, cloudy fluid with an off white/eggshell colored head. The head was two fingers and settled down to a thin coating and leaving nice lacing down the sides.

Dark fruits and coffee. There are a variety of malts evident in the nose.

Mostly dark fruit with bits of coffee bitterness and astringency. It's nice and creamy. The brew isn't so big bodied, but it's very rich.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
3.54/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 11/1/2009 (bottle coded 8899):

Pours a clear brown color body, with a big tan foamy head, very lasting. Malty nutty aroma, some toasted notes and earthiness, mustiness. Some sharpness too. Somewhat creamy, nutty taste. Very brown ale like, some earthiness and slight sweetness. Some sharpness from the hops, and finishes pretty smooth. Wow, a pretty good beer, nearly session-like.

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Photo of brstls4drmrs
3.54/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a brown, amber color with a 1" head. The color is translucent and slightly cloudy.

S - Nutty and roasty malts with some brown sugar scents in there. Could be some fruit in there too but very little. A nice roasty aroma.

T - More nuts on the front end with malts and yeast on the finish.

M - Medium carbonation that's very crisp.

O - Not bad.

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Photo of Guden
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A medium brown with a small off-white head which fades slowly.

S- Light hints of dark and caramel malts, but nothing too strong.

T- Moderate amounts of maltiness with a little more bitterness and woody notes than expected but still quite refreshing.

M- Medium bodied but a little overly carbonated, works well but seems like a little less carbonation could of been better.

D- Enjoyable, and easily could have several of these but there isn't anything to exciting and there are better browns out there.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice amber brown hue. Head is minimal and slowly fades. Good carbonation. Amber malt aroma with hints of caramel is inviting. Fairly carbonated and crisp mouthfeel that leaves a lingering tingle on your tongue. There's plenty of amber malt and caramel flavor. A pretty straightforward session beer.

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Photo of dogfishandi
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle at fridge temp poured into an SA perfect pint glass. batch number 10211 indicates it was bottled 1/31/11 (about 2 1/2 months old).

pours out a dark ruby red color with a nice retentive off white head. some nice lace. a bit more sediment visible than i expected, maybe i could have poured more carefully.

not a whole lot of aroma coming through. fruity with some caramel malts. bits of very light roast and cocoa.

toasted, very slightly roaste grains, a hint of cocoa, some fruitness and just the faintest kiss of hops.

light to medium in body. a bit syrupy. almost has a belgian like feel to it. drinkable, but nothing i would come back to.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz single, from Riley's, batch 7096

appearance: intitial reaction upon pour was that it looked a little thin, almost cola-like appearance, very little in the way of head or lacing...ruby highlights dominate

smell: not a whole lot of action...some caramel, maltys, brown sugar and other general spice

taste: very mild...nothing particularly notable at all. slightly sweet, caramel malts, some brown sugar spiciness...also reminds me of an oktoberfest style.

mouthfeel: moderate body, decent carbonation

drinkability: very drinkable, but why?

Well, I wont be buying this again...definately the most boring Bell's ive had

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Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this one before from a bottle, this serving is from a 16 oz. can. And yes, that can is from the legendary woodychandler. Has a mahogany color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of bready malts, some caramel. Taste is malts, nutty, light hops, very easy drinking. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a solid beer.

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance: Handsome clear copper. Not a dark brown. Nick off white creamy head.
smell: Attractive but too subdued. As Bell's describes, it does have hints or caramel and cocoa...but barely.
taste: Again, quite subdued. Not bad by any means but not much happening.
overall: I liked this. Don't want to overstate, but it's a little too meh...good but better Brown's out there for sure.

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Photo of n0315
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice brown color with a small head that quickly dissipates. Small is of a light nut smell. I let it warm up as I thought is was too cold from the fridge to start getting a rightful taste test of this. A decent nut taste but a bit too weak. A decent brew to drink if you don't feel like spending the money on sam smith nut brown ale.

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Photo of avaldivia
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
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

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Photo of oelergud
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown reddish body with good carbonation. Light tan creamy head with pretty good retention and lace.
Almost no smell. A little bit of earth and molasses.
Taste is also surprisingly subdued. Earth and very mild malts, Aftertaste has abit stronger hops and some nutskin but still not alot of flavor.
Medium body, very little coating.
A very middle of the road beer. not bad by any means but abit too bland for me.


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Photo of putnam
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks good. There is a wild, sour gaminess on the nose that reminds me of some lambics. Nutshell, used coffee grounds, fur and metal weave together there as well. The flavor is frankly sweet with a heavy dose of roasted grain flavor to balance the sugar. More stale coffee emerges on the finish. Overall a thoroughly rustic experience. One to drink while on a hunting trip, decked out in flannel, sitting at a campfire, gnawing on a turkey bone.

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Bell's Best Brown from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 837 ratings.