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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

858 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 858
Hads: 2,853
Avg: 3.84
pDev: 20.31%
Wants: 99
Gots: 391 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States | website

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 858 | Hads: 2,853
Photo of pat61
4.35/5  rDev +13.3%

Primarily malt aromas on the nose with faint caramel.
Pours deep brown under a 2" finely bubbled foam cap that provides rich lacing.
Palate: subtle malt, slightly sweet, grain, no roast, hints of chocolate.
medium carbonation and body.

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Photo of higherbrow
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Warm malts and slightly sweeter caramel notes really make a delicious fall beer. Almost no hop taste, which makes the beer very smooth and clean, but a touch bland. Not quite Sammy Smith quality, but a great fall beer that I am always going to be happy to drink.

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Photo of humuloner22
4/5  rDev +4.2%

I have had this one before. I wanted to give it more time and give it a review. I love that they are now including it in the 16 oz cans. This is a nice brown ale, really the best, no pun of the brown ales I have had. Sweet, but it has enough bitterness in there to balance it out. I love Bell's I have had just about every beer they have made and liked almost all of them. This one is a great beer and worth seeking out. Its reasonably priced and made with quality.

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Photo of reebtaerG
4.15/5  rDev +8.1%

Poured bottle dated 8/20/14 into a New Belgium globe

A-Pours clear brown with a light beige head. Some spotty lacing.

S-Aroma is toasted and bready malt, light toffee, and dates.

T-Nice flavors or caramel malt, biscuit, hint of plum and cocoa.

M-Mouthfeel has a medium body and low carbonation.

O-Overall a very nice brown ale. Awesome for a cool fall day.

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Photo of Kendo
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%

A: 4.25. Poured from the 16 oz can into a Sam Smiths nonic-style imperial pint glass. Body is slightly hazy chestnut brown with auburn hues on the edges. Half-finger khaki-colored head on top has good staying power. Good rings of lace on the collar.

S: 4.00. Not a strong nose, but appropriate for a Brown Ale: some toffee and caramel malt and some nuttiness.

T: 4.00 Follows the nose, more or less, with some toasty, bready, caramel malt and a touch of nuts for foundation. Finishes with a modest lemony bitterness that provides a nice balance to the malt, with lingering bitterness on the back of the palate.

M: 4.00. Lightish-to-medium in heft, carbonation is modest and soft.

O: 4.25. A nice Brown Ale. Decent value at under $9 for the 4-pack of 16 oz cans.

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Photo of beerdedking
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

This is a nicely done Brown. Poured into pint glass, pours a shade of caramel, and the taste just follows along.
Excellent full body, Bells Brown leads with a supreme maltiness exemplified by notes of caramel, brown sugar, toffee, with some roasted barley hitting toward the end.
A touch of hops signify it's time to take another pull. VERY drinkable. I'm really liking this style lately, and Bells Best Brown Ale is one I'll be coming back to.

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Photo of justintcoons
3.6/5  rDev -6.3%

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip pint.

Appearance
Mahogany brown with 1 finger of bone white head. Good retention and clarity with lively carbonation.

Nose
Caramel, biscuit, and brown sugar.

Taste
Caramel, brown sugar, and light biscuit. Nutty with a light earthy hop presence.

Mouthfeel
Medium-light bodied, silky, and smooth.

Overall
A mellow and easy drinking Brown.

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Photo of gutbuster
4.17/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Thick off white head that dissipated quickly. Medium lacing. Dark brown in color.

S- Roasted nuts and hints of caramel. Slightly earthy.

T- Slight hop bitterness up front with plums, toasted bread through mid palate and finishing with roasted nut and caramel sweetness

M- Light bordering on medium body, creamy and dry.

O- Overall a very enjoyable brown ale that will always be welcome in my glass!

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Photo of Extrajoker00
4.04/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Reviewed: 5/13/14
Best Brown Ale by Bell's
poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a beer mug

P-beautiful fall colors and owl design l 4.5

A- ruby red to murky brown with a orange-ish full head 4.0

S- malt caramel and sourdough bread 4.25

T- caramel malt along with some yeast, chocolate and faint hop for balance 4.0

M-medium to full body mild carbonation and a reasonable balance 4.0

D- very agreeable beer, just enough flavor to draw and interest you 4.5

O- good good beer 'nuff said 4.0

part of a mixer sixer, bells has some great styling and this one is a great example
(1 of 16 special reviews for my holiday)

Highly recommend ---- J

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Photo of gogreen99
4.01/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

One of my favorite beers. Medium carbonation and medium body dark beer. I wish this beer wasnt seasonal. Small notes of cocoa characterize the flavor of this dark beer and allow for the caramel flavors to be recongized. Overall a must try for any beer drinker!

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Photo of barczar
3.84/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a murky deep brown with a frothy khaki head that leaves spotty lacing as it slowly dissipates.

Slightly fruity specialty malt notes mingle with toasted, nutty malt and floral hops.

Flavor reveals similar character, with a touch of soft citrus underpinnings. Deeply toasted, lightly chocolatey notes surface in the slightly bitter, earthy aftertaste.

Body and carbonation are moderate, with light alcohol warmth.

Decent malt character, but the bitterness is a little dominant for my liking.

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Photo of Jennz906
4.16/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

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Photo of Michael-McManaman
3.89/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown rusty color with a khaki head, it smells of rich fall pine. The taste is very distinct and I don't quite know how to describe it but it is a great beer awesome for the end of day kind of drink. It leaves the mouth dry an wanting more.
Overall I recommend this beer for any relaxing day when an IPA is just too much.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
4.01/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottled on date of 09/03/13

Appearance - Pours a hazy, rusty auburn with a khaki finger width head. Fair retention, leading to a broken layer of suds across the surface and a thick ring around the edge of the glass.small, spotty lacing with fair stick.

Smell - Prominent malty notes in the form of chocolate, brown sugar and toasted biscuit. Light notes of caramel and a hint of earthiness.

Taste - Follows the nose. Chocolate and caramel hit upfront, quickly followed by a toasted bready quality. A light leafy and earthy undertone, which strengthens in the aftertaste and joins in the caramel finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium in body with fairly lively carbonation. Goes down with nice smoothness and is nigh chuggable.

Overall - A solid, straight forward brown from Bell's. Nothing fancy, just a great example of the style.

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Photo of BeerWithMike
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled tonight on 2/20/14. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured into a pilsner tulip glass.

Pours a pretty dark brown with ruby highlights in color with a a 1-finger beige head that lasts for a while then settles down to a thin head. Decent lacing was seen with each sip that sticks to the sides of the glass. The aroma is of sweet maple, malts with a hint of spice. The taste is even better with a toffee and caramel hint as well. Perfect carbonation. Goes down easy with no bitter aftertaste. One of the BETTER brown ales.

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Photo of Brewseph77
5/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The only thing wrong with this beer is that is seasonal it comes out in the fall and is gone by the beginning of winter. From the smell to the taste I can't find anything wrong with this beer. It has the perfect hint of coacoa and open up your taste buds enough and you get the caramel. I've also had it out of the mini keg but still prefer the bottle.

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Photo of glass_house
4.01/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a stemmed tulip.

Beautiful medium-dark brown with a puffy off-white head that dissipates quickly and leaves some nice lacing. Not getting a lot of aroma, but some faint earthy hops with dark nutty malts.

The texture is great for the style. Smooth and crisp with just a hint of creaminess. Light-medium carbonation supports the body perfectly. Taste is mostly subtle, dark nutty malts with a brief, barely-bitter hop note. Faint maple-like sweetness with a roasted cocoa accent. I love the way the flavor lingers and fades on the finish.

This is exactly what I want out of a brown ale. Nothing too fancy, straight to the point and leaves me wanting more. In a good way.

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Photo of jawlessbody
4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into an american shaker pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep woody color with a thin off white head that leaves a nice bit of lacing without disappearing too quickly.

Smell: I get a lot of sweetness on the nose. Maple, apple, with a definite grainy quality from the malts. Almost like apple cinnamon oatmeal.

Taste: Lots of roasted malts, but with a very earthy, nutty background that's followed up with a tangy sweetness reminiscent of a good Granny Smith apple. There's also some grassy/herbal notes from the hops, but they're so far in the background it's hard to even notice.

Mouthfeel: Pretty average, very drinkable. Nothing special here.

Overall: Another great, high quality beer from Bell's, who are probably my favorite brewery at this point. So I might just be biased. With Sierra Nevada's Tumbler being discontinued, this might become my go to fall seasonal beer.

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Photo of savaship
2.75/5  rDev -28.4%
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.

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Photo of offthelevel_bytheplumb
4.16/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into my Warsteiner mug. Pours a clear but dark copper color with a finger and a half of a quickly dissipating tan head, and light lacing is left behind. Caramel and nutty notes come on pretty strong on the nose. Taste is malty, a bit roasty in the middle, and followed up by a small but detectable earthy hop bitterness. This would be an excellent choice for a session beer, I can see myself having a few of these on an autumn evening around a fire. It has a rich malty aftertaste in the back of the mouth that lingers for quite some time.

Overall: This may not be the most exciting Bell's offering, and I blame that on everyone's love of big styles of beer. This is quite the offering for the autumn seasons, made for a crisp autumn evening with friends and loved ones.

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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 TappaKeggaBrew
4.17/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Chestnut brown, slightly hazy. Head is a thick finger of off-white, that quickly fades and leaves scant lacing.

S: Toasted bread. Maple syrup. Grass. Faint citrus.

T: A brief moment of toasted grain as it hits the tongue, but tangy flavors quickly rise and push the grain to the background. Sweet malts do show up, but are secondary to the other flavors. Hops that was initially tangy grows bitter in the finish -- perhaps a little moe hops than the average brown ale, but well-balanced.

M: Moist, well carbonated, with just a touch of dryness in the finish.

O: Another fine product from Bell's. It's not the absolute best brown ale I've tasted, but it would not be out of place at any pub in England. I'll be buying more of this one.

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Photo of Chiefy770
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 Fl. Oz. Bottle
Bottled on 08/29/14
Reviewed on November 21st, 2014
Served in a Nonic Pint Glass

Eyes
Hazy brown body with an orange glow. Creamy light tan head of a modest proportion. Respectable amount of soapy lacing tracked to the bottom of the glass.

Nose
Sweet toasted malts. Nutty undertones. Molasses was also present. Very pleasant aroma overall.

Mouth
Sweet notes of toasted malts up front. Subtle nutty notes really set a warm tone overall. Sweeter notes of caramel brought everything together. Not much hop flavor but I was surprised with the semi-dry finish considering the fairly strong sweet notes up front. Moderate carbonation. Medium-bodied.

Overall
Pretty straightforward brown ale that does not disappoint!

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Photo of yuenglingfan101
5/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I love this brown ale. It isnt my favorite but a close 2nd and you will understand why if you had koko brown by kona. Simply the best that Bells has to offer. Nice brown color and a nice tan lace. Taste is irresistable only the koko brown hais more of an addictive flavor and i consider best brown and koko brown in the same category. the taste is so similar its uncanny but i love coconut. i want to people to know thiese two beers are almost hand and hand and bells in my area is big. I live in Indiana. not too far from the Michigan line. Kudos, Kudos, Kudos

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Photo of delta490
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A hazy medium brown. The creamy off white head leaves a thin sheen and nice lacing. Aroma is a sweet malt with a little bit of hops in the background. The taste is very malt forward with a hint of nuttiness and hops. Thinner feel is good with the overall sweetness of the beer. A nice brown ale that doesn't overawe but doesn't disappoint.

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Bell's Best Brown from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 858 ratings.