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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.
very good

2,141 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,141
Reviews: 782
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 11.52%
Wants: 66
Gots: 125 | 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: 2,141 | Reviews: 782 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mnstorm99
2.88/5  rDev -24.6%

Light brown pour, pretty disappointing, with an off white head that sticks around.
Aroma is a nice spicy hops with a good bready, roasted malt to it.
Taste it like burnt toast, the bready malts don't mix real well with the spicy hops. But I was able to get some carmel, coffe notes in there.
Mouthfeel is very thin for a brown and overly carbonated, this is my first real big disappointment from the folks at Bells.

mnstorm99, Feb 21, 2008
Photo of woosterbill
2.88/5  rDev -24.6%

12oz bottle, packaged on 9/13/11, into a La Chouffe tulip. Thanks to vonschplieffen for tossing one of these my way. Is Bell's distributing to CT now? If so, I'm ecstatic.

A: Clear ruddy chestnut body under an inch of soft tan foam. Good retention and some spotty lace. I love the color.

S: WTF. This smells like pure, raw pumpkin. Not pumpkin pie, but the distinctively evocative aroma of carving a jack-o-lantern. There's some more standard caramel and herbal hops, too, but I just can't get past the pumpkin. I might appreciate it if it were supposed to be there, but as it is I'm kind of weirded out.

T: The gourd is pretty much (bot not entirely) gone, replaced by more generic nuttiness, chocolate, and plenty of grassy hop bitterness. It's a little on the weak side, but not terrible. Just a standard brown.

M: Light-to-medium body, highly carbonated. Pretty nice.

O: I'm just confused by this beer. Is it supposed to be a pumpkin ale? If so, then it's pretty good. As a straight brown ale, though, it's quite disappointing. I know Bell's can do better.


woosterbill, Oct 23, 2011
Photo of NJpadreFan
2.93/5  rDev -23.3%

Bell's Best Brown Ale

Appearance- nice hickory brown with a decent frothy head.
Smell- nutty and sweet. Malt and caramel detected.
Taste- whoa sooo sweet. Nutty but sugary sweet.

Overall- just too sweet for me. Nice nutty, caramelly, woddsiness but made my cheeks hurt. I'll pass on this next time.

NJpadreFan, Apr 26, 2005
Photo of scott
2.93/5  rDev -23.3%

I love Bell's products. They do dark ales very well. I don't care for this beer. So mediocre, I find it hard to rate it without feeling guilty.
Pours so gorgeous, I was excited. Nice copper body with a beautiful white head of almost four fingers! It begged me to drink it.
And I did. Twice. With the same results. Boring. I'm sorry.
Smells of a malt bisquit, and has lackluster mouth appeal and the only reason I'm drinking more than one is because I had to buy six.

scott, Oct 12, 2006
Photo of PorterLambic
2.93/5  rDev -23.3%

Pours a rich, dark brown. Decent light penetration. Smallish head drops to a ring.
Smell is fairly light with notes of malt and light hops.
Taste is a good mix of malt and hops, a light roast is present.
Finish is somewhat dry with hops coming to the fore. A Slightly metallic hint floats by, a la Newcastle Brown, but just in passing. A good, MOR brown. Certainly sessionable.

PorterLambic, Mar 27, 2011
Photo of OWSLEY069
2.95/5  rDev -22.8%

Pours a deep copper/ amber/ brown, with a small white head. In the aroma, a small sweet malt, but somewhat bland. In the taste, a sweet maltiness, yet quite thin. A smooth mouthfeel and a dry malty aftertaste. A bit sweeter than a standard brown, however not a big nose. Easy to drink and non offensive.

OWSLEY069, Nov 23, 2007
Photo of Auracom
2.95/5  rDev -22.8%

12 oz. poured into a RR tulip on February 26th, 2013.

A - Murky soft caramel coloring. Light khaki foam with good lacing and marginal retention.

S - Freshly-rolled dough, hint of smoke, roasted peanuts.

T - Very direct. Honey malts, soft caramel cookie, and a hint of over roasted coffee.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, semi-dry finish.

D - Exactly what it ought to be, but nothing memorable. Super approachable and about as middle-of-the-road as you can get.

Auracom, Mar 11, 2013
Photo of rundocrun
2.95/5  rDev -22.8%

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

A - Pours a deep walnut-brown color with a 1/2 finger of off-white head that fades quickly. No lacing on the glass.

S - Not much going on in the nose aside from a very mild sweet brown sugar aroma. Possibly some herbal hop character.

T - Flavors of burnt sugar, mild caramely sweetness and a vague bitterness that doesn't really seem to come from hops, alcohol or anything else. There are also some mild esters toward the finish that recall plums, figs, raisins, etc.

M - Thin body. I'd have to say this one is definitely over-carbonated. What few flavors are evident in this beer are overpowered by the intense tingling carbonation that hits the tongue with each sip.

Overall - Not really that great of a beer. Aroma and flavor both leave a lot to be desired and the carbonation level is a problem for me.

rundocrun, Nov 07, 2011
Photo of EyeOfBuck
2.96/5  rDev -22.5%

Appearance is hazy brown with very little head.
Smelled slightly of sweet malt
Taste citrus sweet taste with hints of yeast and a bitter finish.
Mouthfeel thin with considerable carbonation.
Overall, not a favorite especially for Bells, maybe my expectations were too high.

EyeOfBuck, Sep 15, 2013
Photo of GRE680
3/5  rDev -21.5%

GRE680, Apr 20, 2013
Photo of Filler83
3/5  rDev -21.5%

Filler83, Jun 28, 2014
Photo of jtierney89
3/5  rDev -21.5%

Semi hazed deep amber glow with a big fluffy tan tinged head. Rich malty and breadiness on the nose. Faint nuttiness with some chocolate. Light mouthfeel. Brisk effervescence.

Rich nutty and bready flavor with subtle dark fruit. English hop presence to balance. Refreshing and good flavors but a little thin. For being a smaller beer though it has some mild tannic qualities which is nice. Good but not for me.

jtierney89, Nov 29, 2012
Photo of cgrz
3/5  rDev -21.5%

cgrz, Jan 20, 2014
Photo of harripat
3/5  rDev -21.5%

harripat, Jun 28, 2014
Photo of BGsWo22
3/5  rDev -21.5%

BGsWo22, Oct 23, 2013
Photo of cleonile2000
3/5  rDev -21.5%

cleonile2000, Jan 09, 2013
Photo of melissab318
3/5  rDev -21.5%

melissab318, Dec 27, 2011
Photo of RandyJ
3/5  rDev -21.5%

RandyJ, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of AWS2111
3/5  rDev -21.5%

AWS2111, Jan 04, 2012
Photo of nosurrender23
3/5  rDev -21.5%

Group grade = C.
"Damn good Brown Ale -- At least it's a beer."

The beer pours a dark iced tea color like the ruffled feathers of a brown barn owl.

The smell is light with little to no smell that some compared to an olfactory nightmare, wet cardboard, a frat floor, and bathroom stall number 3 at Dixie Stampede.

The beer had a low carbonated, smooth feel.

Drinking wise, the beer had a smoothness with minimal complexity. "Your average Brown Ale."

nosurrender23, Feb 25, 2011
Photo of tfsimpkins
3/5  rDev -21.5%

tfsimpkins, Apr 02, 2012
Photo of hoppedup82
3/5  rDev -21.5%

hoppedup82, Sep 07, 2014
Photo of chrispoint
3/5  rDev -21.5%

chrispoint, Feb 03, 2012
Photo of Josbor11
3/5  rDev -21.5%

Josbor11, Feb 13, 2014
Photo of NonicPanic
3/5  rDev -21.5%

NonicPanic, Dec 06, 2013
Bell's Best Brown from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 2,141 ratings.