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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

2,500 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,500
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: 2,500 | Reviews: 810 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Eric1Mess
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%

Eric1Mess, Oct 20, 2014
Photo of brownbeer
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- pours brown amber with thin off-white head. Good retention, thin lacing. A lot of sediment though, whiched knocked the appearance down a bit for me.

S- Malt forward, caramel and biscuit. Subtle hoppy background.

T- Sweet and caramely up front balanced by slight minerality and hops leaving the finish slightly dry.

M- Just enough heft to be satisfying and soft enough to be encouraging.

D- A little heavier than most browns but tasty and smooth enough to session through.

brownbeer, Nov 02, 2009
Photo of Jennz906
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy, rusty auburn brown with a khaki colored head.

S- chocolate, brown sugar and toasted, hint of caramel. And definitely kind of fall like or earthy.

T- Follows the aroma . Slightly chocalately and toasty with a hint of caramel. A light leafy and earthy undertone, with a strengthen after taste.

M- Medium in body, fairly carbonation. Goes down nice, very smooth but thick.

O - A solid, straight forward brown from Bell's. Nothing fancy, just a great example of the style. I defiantly like it.

Jennz906, Apr 09, 2014
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 hooliganlife
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pour was ruby brown with a creamy head that lingered around. some lacing.

dark fruits, nutty, malty.

nice and light caramel and nutty flavors. slightly sweet but lighter than most browns. malty finish. well blended

nice carbonation with a bit of bite but works well with the body

this is a very good brown ale and once of the easiest drinking brown ales i have had.

hooliganlife, Nov 19, 2009
Photo of nicholas2121
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bell's Best Brown brewed by Bell's Brewery, Inc with an ABV of 5.80% This brew pours out a brown color with a nice off white head. The brew has the look of root beer. Best Brown is filtered brew you can see though it. There is a lot going on in the smell of this brew. You pick up on rich spices and malts, also some sweetness in this brew. The taste is rich with hops and grains, but it has a nice balance to it. There is nothing overpowering in the taste of this brew. The mouthfeel is bold with flavor with a clean smooth finish. Overall I'm giving this brew a 4.25 out of 5. This was better than what I expecting. I would buy this brew again.

nicholas2121, Oct 19, 2014
Photo of beerthulhu
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark roasted caramel color with a cherry tan head.

S: nice roasted malt and nuttiness

T: For flavor there is a rich nuttiness and some alcohol warming along with some dark and warming hazelnut. The palate is very warming, yet soft roasted and nutty with a creamy texture and mouthful. There is a touch of molasses but is the lingering dark caramel lacing on the finish that best highlights this beer. There is a slight woodiness, and vanilla bean notes as well . Overall a very nice and nutty brown. The grain bill seemed more American then an English brown along with the hopping but was still a very good beer all around.

M: medium-full bodied, soft, creamy and lustrious.

D: a great drinking english brown by style.

beerthulhu, Jun 15, 2008
Photo of Amalak
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A. A beautiful dark brown, caramel color. It has a big tan head foamy. It leaves a ton of lacing. It has tons of small bubbles that stick to the bottom and slowly work their way up the glass.

S. Very strong nutty scent with a weedy undertone.

T. It has a very lovely sweet toffee-ish taste. A woody bite to it. There is a bit of a burnt aftertaste. Some malty flavoring.

M. Has strong carbonated tingle.

O. Really flavorful. I tend to find brown ales too dull and boring, but this has a real nice flavor to it..

Amalak, Nov 20, 2012
Photo of smcolw
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep amber/light brown color. Light passes easily and the beer appears clear. Modest bar-poured head where there is plenty of blanketing lace.

Classic "brown" smell of darker malts without any burnt elements. Light sweetness and slightly nutty. There's a touch of smokiness.

Some caramel sweetness tempered with a hop spice. Smooth but thin body. High finely bubbled carbonation. The swallow is a superior blend of bittering hop and toasted malts. One of the finest aftertastes I've ever had. An overall top-notch brown ale.

smcolw, Oct 19, 2011
Photo of dciskey
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours brown with an amber twinge, maybe one finger of off-white or tan head but it's extremely persistent, which I like. Only a little bit of lacing.

Smells of caramel and also slightly like coffee--there's definitely a slightly "dry" scent in there, if that makes sense. A swirl stirs up some chocolate as well--kinda nice. Taste is caramel and coffee but also slightly sweet, especially as it warms. There are also touches of nuts and chocolate, as well as a twinge of hops at the end. I'm almost surprised at the complexity in there. Mouthfeel is nice and smooth.

This beer is slightly drying to the mouth, so I'm not sure I'd want more than one or two, but they'd definitely be enjoyable.

dciskey, Aug 31, 2005
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 righthereisay
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is up there with Penn Dark. Nice dark beer, with a fresh taste. Full bodied, great flavor. A bit of a bite. New Label says 5.8% (Beeradvocate currently states 6.60%)

Got it from the winter variety pack. Need to finish it quick so I can get Bell's Oberon.

Overall. Excellent. However, I still prefer Penn Dark or Penn St Nikolaus Bock.

Also, the bottle is different than the photo.

righthereisay, Mar 20, 2009
Photo of TheDinger
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
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-

TheDinger, Nov 24, 2011
Photo of littleshamrocks
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle with no freshness dating. Served in an imperial pint.

Pours a medium brown color with a creamy tan head. Has some noticeable carbonation and small particles floating around in this moderately dense looking brew. Head stayed around the whole time and left some streaky lace. The smell is very nice. Dark roasted bready malts, hints of chocolate and coffee, and some faint floral esters. The flavor is pretty much as advertised and is dominated by those dark roasted malts, hints of coffee and pepper, light amounts of spicy/grassy hop bitterness, and traces of semi-sweet dark chocolate in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with a creamy texture and just the right amount of carbonation. Finishes very smooth.

This is an excellent example of a solid style. Rich and full of smell and flavor, this one goes great on those cold winter nights. One of the best brown ales that I have tried so far. Another winner from Bell's.

littleshamrocks, Dec 16, 2007
Photo of luciusgilmer
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

bottle poured into tulip glass. I'm a fan of their beers in general, but amazingly had never tried their Brown Ale, which I found to be much better than the others I've had (which admittedly are not many).

Appearance was delightful, rich brown though transparent, nice rich off white head.

Smell was great: toasty, a bit burnt even, but not charred, not unpleasant.

Really good rich, roasted malt taste. I didn't get any hints of caramel or much sweetness, but it was very satisfying.

Mouthfeel: great balance and carbonation; it's rich and bubbly but can be sipped and drunk more quickly (if you like).

D: I wished I had bought more than 1. I look forward to trying again. It's not so heavy as their slow-sipping stout (or any stout, really), and that could make it a good session beer, if a bit on the heavy side.

luciusgilmer, Mar 18, 2009
Photo of lstokes
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy brown beer with a brown-sugar-molasses nose (although a bit sour, for which marks down) and taste, with enough spiciness to keep it interesting, sweet but with a dry finish (a little bit of chocolate in the finish?) and a chewy mouthfeel. Very drinkable, an awesome brown ale.

lstokes, Mar 10, 2010
Photo of Upgrayedd
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

I could drink this all night! Best Brown is my defination of what an American Brown Ale should be. It pours a nice brown color with a nice thin head that remained throughout the serving. It has a nice aroma of chocolate and spicy hops. The flavor matches the aroma. Aftertaste is so smooth. Makes a great session beer.

My only complaint is that I yearn for a bit more maltiness.

Upgrayedd, Nov 13, 2007
Photo of patpbr
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bells Best Brown pours a dark brown with nice lacing as its consumed. The smell is nutty. The taste has a roasted character and is earthy with, chocolate, caramel and some sweetness. It finishes crisp with the hops adding a citrus element and a bitterness. A good example of the style.

patpbr, Dec 05, 2012
Photo of ummswimmin
4.14/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I poured this beer into a tulip glass.

On the initial pour I got two fingers of foam with very good retention. I like the lacing left behind on a glass. Off the top you can smell the plentiful malts and minimal hopping.

The flavor comes in with more of the malt. I also pick up some decent roastiness.

This is an easy drinking brown ale. Yet another great offering by Bell's.

ummswimmin, Jan 24, 2013
Photo of Billolick
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, no dating on bottle. NIce soft amber color with an off white head, leaves some lace. Pleasant doughy/malty aroma. Malty/bready flavor profile. Nutty, hints of rye, biscuits, almonds and oatmeal cookies. Moderate hops round things off. This is another tasty offering from Bells. My wife brought a mixed six pack back from Michigan, each beer has been tasty! Wish I could get more of these guy's brews here in NY state.

Billolick, Mar 22, 2004
Photo of barleyroad
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brown in appearance with a nice foam, that is carmel in color. The smell is flat, with a acidic floral tone. This is a rather interesting smell. Mouthfeel is verymuch a brown ale, smooth. Taste is very clean in its taste, slight hints of toasty malts, Overall this is a very delightful brew and easy drinking. Goes well with what you are eating.

barleyroad, Jan 19, 2012
Photo of Greggy
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- nice redish color with great yeast sediment and 2-finger head.

S- malty toasted grains, spice, touch of cinnamon.

T- Thicker creamy viscosity, nice pumpkin-esque malt backbone. The hops are mainly on the finish which is just a bit dry. Also, after some deep reanalysis, I detect a bit of banana.

M- Low carb works well with style

D- Good brown ale. Nothing overly complex. Seems like it would be a good ease into winter.

Greggy, Apr 09, 2008
Photo of IrishRedRock
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I found this to be quite an interesting Brown Ale; not the best I've had, but right up there for the style. Poured it into my glass, a bubbly chestnut brown beer with a moderate, quickly-fading head. Great aroma of peanuts (nuts in general) and a thick bready malt aroma. Quite complex as well in flavor! Nuts, caramel, and a wallop of toffee start things off, finishing with a mild but still tasty hop note. Mouthfeel is slightly carbonated, but is very well done and balances well. A great brew, and well worth a try. Can't wait to get some more Bell's beers!

IrishRedRock, May 23, 2003
Photo of TXHops
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

-Original Gravity: 1.056
-Final Gravity: 1.013
-ABV: 5.75
-Attenuation: 76
-Real Extract: 5.2 P
-Calories: 184

Thanks to Marc77 for the trade! Bell’s Best Brown pours a very murky brownish color that reminds me of the underwater shots I always see on nature shows where alligators are navigating some opaque mire with ease… Luckily, this mire has a tremendous tan head that really fluffed up on the pour and took forever to fade into a lasting blanket of foam. Instantly, a huge aroma of slightly roasted malt filled the area above my glass (perhaps the Belgian malts?) creating a super-enticing aroma. Wonderful to sniff—one of the best smelling beers ever. I also wonder if I can’t smell a touch of sourness underneath the dry, bready, wholesome, slightly fruity maltiness…

The rich body also displays the strong, malty-bready sweetness suggested by the nose. A huge, luscious specialty grain flavor totally envelopes my mouth, with the hops as an aftertaste. Again, there’s the slightest hint of sourness in the tail, but because this beer is lightly hopped, that subtle flavor doesn’t detract much from the overall impression. Underneath all the earthy, fresh bready sweetness is a mild fruitiness that lends a facet of complexity to this hugely tasty, wonderfully rich beer.

I thoroughly enjoyed drinking this beer, but I’m wondering if the sourness so frequently discussed on the forum has crept into the Brown at my house. If so, it’s very slight. Still, it is evident and the resulting tiny hint of twangy green apple is enough to knock a half point or so off a couple of categories. Still, overall this is a great beer and one I'm really looking forward to drinking again.

TXHops, Feb 06, 2003
Photo of Fish113d
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark mahogany color into a pint glass chilled. Little light gets through the glass. Tan surface layer w/ decent glass cling.

Aroma is mainly of caramel malts; some wheat aroma also. Grainy hops sneak into my nostrals as well. Pretty sugary and sweet aroma overall.

Sweet caramel w/ a slight oak, vanilla, and plum flavor. Some slight floral hops hit my palate also on the finish. A bit of alcohol hints as well maybe. Very nice for the style.

Decent amount of carbonation up front w/ a light to medium body. Some slight alcohol, but nice overall feel.

Thumbs up to drinking this one. It'd make a nice Friday evening growler brew. I'd definitely drink this if I had more access to it on a regular basis.

Fish113d, Jul 27, 2006
Bell's Best Brown from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 2,500 ratings.