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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

2,160 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,160
Reviews: 782
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 11.52%
Wants: 66
Gots: 129 | 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: 2,160 | Reviews: 782 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of gafferjohn
2.5/5  rDev -34.6%

gafferjohn, Jan 16, 2012
Photo of tmars13
2.5/5  rDev -34.6%

tmars13, Dec 12, 2012
Photo of pauljunk
2.5/5  rDev -34.6%

pauljunk, Jul 02, 2012
Photo of Hrodebert
2.5/5  rDev -34.6%

Hrodebert, Jul 21, 2014
Photo of benmiliron
2.53/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beautiful color, deep deep reddish brown.

Taste is surprisingly unpleasant, especially for Bell's. Kind of earthy (like dirt) with a hint of aluminum. I hate to bash this beer's taste, being a huge fan of Bell's, but I really didn't care too much for this beer. This is the first Bell's I've not enjoyed :( sniff.. sniff... Lots of foamy carbonation. There's a hint of oak or maple in there too.

If you're looking for Bell's, buy the Expedition Stout instead.

benmiliron, Dec 11, 2003
Photo of biglite351
2.55/5  rDev -33.2%
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
Photo of quasimoto
2.63/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Light Brown/copper color, w/ a big fluffy head.

S - Strong sour paper and some kind of muddy hop.

T - Muddy chocolatestarts off, but then melds into a chocolate toasty flavor. Too much hops.

M - Smooth all around, Some carbination bite, but easy on the palatte.

D - Not something I would drink all night. Also A bit off for the style.

quasimoto, Oct 16, 2006
Photo of vfgccp
2.65/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A – Gave this bottle a few days to rest upright in the fridge, and still poured with some chunky sediment. Otherwise the ice-tea brown body was clear, building a low white head.

S – Thin aroma. Brown sugar, and light oak is pretty much all I could get.

T – Disappointingly thin flavor as well. Has a wart character too it, with brown bread and honey. But even that is light.

M – Light and watery mouthfeel. Mildly sweet finish.

O – Almost tastes like too much water was used in the sparge.

vfgccp, May 01, 2011
Photo of umustdrink
2.68/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

found in the back of the fridge (should have left it there?)

A - Deep brown color. Very light brown head, big and fluffy to start, recedes to a thick film. Little lacing.

S - Mild smells of brown sugar, cereal malts with minimal bitterness.

T - Very mild tastes as well: light and tangy malts with a tiny bit of sweetness.

M - Thin to medium consistency with probably too much carbonation considering it may be a bit too thin in consistency.

D - Completely un-stellar in most concerns. Not your typical Bell's. Oh well.

umustdrink, Jan 10, 2008
Photo of savaship
2.68/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

This beer was ordered on Tap and served in a special Bell's Pint Glass. It had a beautiful dark brown appearance, I estimated it to be 27 SRM with a nice hint of red. I spent a little time gauging the color with an SRM chart from the Beer Judging Certification Program. The head was foamy off-white but dissipated quickly, leaving slight lacing.

The beer smelled very nicely, the adequate aroma hop usage worked to its benefit, had a very english ale floral aroma to it, I think the aroma hop was likely a Fuggle hop, it definitely smelled the way most good Brown Ales smell.

Taste I had issues with... American Craft brewers like to unbalance their beer with high acid hops such as Cascade hops which I suspect were in this beer, that just leave a drinker like me who's expecting a nicely balanced beer very disappointed. I estimated this beer to be 35-37 IBU, even if it was actually lower, the hop choice just tastes foul, and overpowers the malt.

The carbonation was perfect, had I not wanted to get that beer out of my mouth as quickly as possible, I would have savored it longer.

Overall, I do not like this beer. It seems to have taken the brown ale tradition and forced it down the American Ale Cascade hop road to attempt to make it taste like many of the woefully unbalanced American Craft beers out there that favor bitter over balance.

savaship, Nov 23, 2013
Photo of Tawny
2.75/5  rDev -28%

Tawny, Jan 20, 2013
Photo of IronTom
2.75/5  rDev -28%

IronTom, Aug 18, 2013
Photo of rypkr
2.75/5  rDev -28%

rypkr, Dec 15, 2013
Photo of meanmutt
2.75/5  rDev -28%

meanmutt, Feb 06, 2012
Photo of Lee_Hancock
2.75/5  rDev -28%

Lee_Hancock, Jan 01, 2013
Photo of Rn2Ln3Tn4
2.75/5  rDev -28%

Rn2Ln3Tn4, Mar 03, 2013
Photo of emac1224
2.75/5  rDev -28%

emac1224, Apr 28, 2014
Photo of wpmatt16
2.75/5  rDev -28%

wpmatt16, Aug 01, 2012
Photo of ndaniel
2.75/5  rDev -28%

ndaniel, Feb 28, 2013
Photo of Cresant
2.8/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured this 12 oz. brown bottle into a becker. Batch 7681. The body was a hazy, honey brown color with three fingers of head. Some lacing remained.

Smell was aluminum. Other aromatic characteristics were faint. Eventually a brown sugar aroma surfaced.

Taste was toasty sweet malts. Lightly syrupy flavor. Light hops lift. Nice interplay of malts and hops (not all malts).

Mouthfeel was smooth, however, the swallow revealed robust carbonation. Medium to light body. This is not one I would seek out again, but brown ales are not one of my favorite styles.

Cresant, Feb 04, 2007
Photo of dpnelson1978
2.8/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12 oz. bottle into glass pint.
40°F

$1.50 / ea.

A: Cloudy brown body swimming with particulate and topped with a big tan head that quickly dissipates leaving light foamy lacing and a thin bubbly cover.

S: Unmistakable roasted character dominates the aroma, with distinct nut and sweet malt accents. Hops are negligible. Simple but effective.

T: Sweet nutty malt front and center with a mild hop bitterness in the distant background. Slight bitterness remains on the tongue after the taste. Borders on too sweet. Bandaid flavors at the very end, likely from the yeast sediment that made its way into the bottle. Again, very simple profile, but still enjoyable.

M: Light to medium body and moderate carbonation. Sweet malt has a tendency to coat the tongue giving a sense of smoothness that is a little overbearing.

D: Solid beer, but too sweet for my taste. A couple of these is more than enough, but would compliment a pork chop nicely.

O: A bit below my expectations for Bell's.

dpnelson1978, Oct 22, 2010
Photo of srv33
2.83/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark amber pour, light medium-fine frothy head. Little smell, a little bread a little nutty. Tastes much the same, very much a generally pleasing ale. I could see how this would be a crowd pleaser. No notable overarching notes on first taste that aren't uncommon for an ale. Great aftertaste though, a little vanilla and oddly a little melon, very smooth.

srv33, Jun 29, 2012
Photo of LiquidBread219
2.83/5  rDev -25.9%
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 SometimesIfart
2.85/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

A - Pours copperish brown with a two-finger white head. No lacing.

S - Raisins, roasted malt.

T - A wee-bit of coffee, raisins, roasted malt, a bit water.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

O - Overall, it was exremely average. I could have it at the the bar, but probably wouldn't buy it for the home.

SometimesIfart, Jan 21, 2013
Photo of PDXHops
2.88/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. Body is decidedly not brown out in the light; deep amber is more accurate. Modest off-white head with a little lacing.

Smells good, muted caramel and toffee with a dusting of cocoa powder and background nuttiness. A bit of leafiness in the nose turns into a fairly powerful bitterness, which is out of style and somewhat at odds with the otherwise nutty and toasty flavor profile. As the bitterness subsides at the swallow, toasted malts and a touch of nuttiness return. Some cereal grains in there as well. Just a hint of chocolate.

Overall impression: Not bad at all, but loses points when reviewed as a true English brown ale. Definitely would have scored this higher as an American version, which honestly seems to be a better fit.

PDXHops, Dec 19, 2010
Bell's Best Brown from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 2,160 ratings.