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

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

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BA SCORE
87
very good

817 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 817
Hads: 2,630
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 9.61%
Wants: 88
Gots: 276 | 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: 817 | Hads: 2,630
Photo of Gusler
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a foggy burnished copper color with the head dinosauric in size, creamy in consistency and a beauteous light tan in color, as it unhurriedly evaporates the lace forms a thick and glutinous sheet upon the glass. Sweet malt with a hint of walnuts, crisp and clean nose, with the start nicely malted and somewhat sweet, top is moderate in its feel to the palate. Finish is stern in its acidity; hops are pleasing and spicy, slightly tart and dry aftertaste, quite tasty. (482 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.61/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Deep amber brown hue, we can dub it mahogany with a nice tan fluffy cream head leaves nice scattered lacing as the head dwindles lacing forms a collar.
Aroma: Deep roasted malts give off hints of chocolates and a warming sweetness along with a complementing tone of nut bread.
Taste: The toasted malts form a caramel toasted nut flavor profile and the hops in the finish are very evident, quite bitter for a brown ale not hopped per say just residually bitter.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied brew with a bit of a cloying finish, not as smooth as I was hoping.
Drinkability: Mediocre for the Bell’s lineup but one of the most intriguing brown ales I have taste at the same time, save room for their Two Hearted Ale now that’s a session ale. (755 characters)

Photo of proc
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What a very good interpretation of the brown ale style. Pours out to a very, cloudy brownish, amber in the glass. The aroma is that of baking bread, light yeast and malted milk balls. The taste is wonderfully malty and hoppy without either taking over. Incredible balance. Very slightly sweet with a light fruit taste present, but not overly so. I enjoy this beer and recommend drinking it on a cold, autumn evening. (416 characters)

Photo of Boilermaker88
3.77/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. brown bottle, Best Brown had a hazy light brown color with some loose suspended sediment and a modest off-white head which thinned out to a small cap with little in the way of lacing.
The smell had a grassy malt aroma with hints of nuts and some berries. The taste was built on a solid toasted malt backbone with some toffee notes. A light nuttiness was present and it had a slightly smoky flavor in the finish. The feel was medium-bodied and smooth.
A decent tasting beer. Flavorful, as are nearly all offerings from Kalamazoo Brewing, Best Brown is one of the better brown ales around. Worth the time to check it out. Brought two home. (659 characters)

Photo of cokes
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color of run-off. Muddy, amber-brown. A large tan froth sits on top.
A whiff of almonds. A whiff of burnt bread crust. A whiff of soap.
Begins toasty and lightly sweet. Peanut-Buttery. Like a chocolate-coated wafer cookie. Kit Kat? Ample yeast makes the middle doughier. Still has that candy bar thing going on. Never loses it either. Hopping is unremarkable, though drying.
Medium bodied, low carbonation.
Solid Brownie here. (435 characters)

Photo of ngandhi
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The chocolately malt profile is much deeper in the bottle. I also get a richer raisiny ("brown") note from the bottle. Bottle and tap is very similar otherwise. Astringent. Dry finish. Lots of yeast in suspension (good for harvesting).

Relax, relax.
ng (257 characters)

Photo of JohnnyDuvel
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good, balanced beer. Appearance as avertised, decent head, some retention. Good balance, slightly towards the bitter. Almost reminds me of a darker IPA (like Indiga). Bell's beers tend to be very flavorful (the one's I've experienced), and this is no exception. Another one I'd probably buy regularly if it was available down here. Thanks, Al. (343 characters)

Photo of ManekiNeko
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served chilled from a bottle at a Bell's tasting at the Brickskeller.

Appearance: Clear copper color with a frothy offwhite head. Head eventually dissipates to a frothy later. Left some nice fine lacing on the plastic cup.

Smell: Nice caramel and toffee aromas. Slightly sour, grassy hops in background.

Taste: Caramel and toasted flavors. Faint coffee tastes. Herby hops on finish.

Mouthfeel: Solid medium body. Nice carbonation.

Drinkability: A nice quaffer. I liked it, but wasn't overly excited. (514 characters)

Photo of Jables
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep mahogany with plenty of visible yeast. Smells malty but subdued and not overpowering. The taste agrees with the scent, nice nutty and sweet malt without being too much. The mouthfeel is slightly chewy and drinkability is fantastic. A great brown ale, and the best I've had yet. (291 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky brown with a decent off white head that leaves some light lacing,smell is of roasted malt with a light sour smell in the background(Iam not sure where that comes from) with some light chocolate hints.Nice flavorful beer with a nice roasted malty taste with some underlying earth tones that keep it from being to sweet.A nice beer drink it each time I go home to Michigan when given the chance. (407 characters)

Photo of granger10
3.42/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark brown color with a small tan head that left quickly. Smell was quite nice of toffee and caramel and some roasted nut flavor. The taste was somewhat similar to the smell except for a mouth-puckering astringent flavor that came and stayed in my mouth for the duration of the drink. I don't know if this batch was spoiled by something but the flavor could have been really good had that flavor not been so prevalent. I'm going to try this again at a later time. (472 characters)

Photo of Bruiser81
4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer was a murky brown color. It looked kind of like tea. A creamy off white head simmered down to a thin sheet. What a great aroma, a mixture of sweet malt, toffee, dates, and caramel. Taste wasn't bad but not near as good as the aroma. The taste starts with roasted malts which is followed by a bread flavor along with a nutty caramel. Towards the finish there is a a sweet/sour taste. Sort of different, not bad. This beer is great up until the finish which just threw me off a little. A nice creamy smooth mouthfeel. Definately a drinkable brew. (554 characters)

Photo of PhantomVodoo
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy dark brown with a good tan head.
Chocolatey, roasty aroma with a hint of vinegar.

Taste shows a smooth, chocolate, roasty, malt flavor. Good hop balance. A sweet, vinegar flavor is persistent throughout and really detracts from the beer IMO. I don't know if this is part of the beer's flavor profile or just a bad bottle. This beer would have scored much higher if the sour flavor wasn't present. It has a lot of characteristics I really like aside from that.

Fuller body and mouthfeel than your typical brown ale.
Drinkability suffers due to the sour notes.

Overall, a good brown ale with a detracting sour flavor and aroma. I'd like to give this one a try again from a different batch. (708 characters)

Photo of TheDM
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brew has a very nice malty aroma with a light head that disappeared before I could take my first taste. It was lightly carbonated with a caramel taste. It has a nice light brow transparent color and left a good lacing on the glass. ANother fine brew from Bells! (266 characters)

Photo of Brian700
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I think this is one of the better brown ales and should definately be tried by all. It has a real nice appearance in its brown nutty color. Its on the verge of being a little red. I like the head on it. It sticks around and leaves a fair share of lacing all the way down to the bottom. It has a nice hoppy aroma to it. I've had this beer in a bottle and on tap. I noticed that whenever I have it on tap it seems that I pick up more on a spice flavor almost like a nutmeg, something you'd find in a good christmas brew. Really nice. It has good carbonation, quite a bit actually. A few of these will do you well after a hard day at work. (636 characters)

Photo of IrishRedRock
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
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! (561 characters)

Photo of clvand0
3.36/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a wonderful murky brown color with a small and uneven head that dies off quickly. It has a lot of little floaty things in it, which I am not used to with brown ales. The aroma reminds me of some type of nut - but I cannot figure out exactly what kind - and also malts. The taste is fairly smooth, but slightly watered down tasting - weird because it tastes watered down, but still has a rich flavor. Reminds me a lot of a chocolate stout because the taste has a very strong coffee/chocolate finish to it. This is not your typical brown ale. Not so sure I like this one. Of course, Bells brewery is not one of my favorites ... but I'm still looking for their shining one to make me change my mind - this just isn't that one. This is a decent beer, but I don't think it stacks up to other browns that I've had. (824 characters)

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Muddy brown and cloudy-looking in the glass, nearly as debris filled as the Ohio River... nearly...

Maintains a thick, strong, rocky head, mine had a dimple in the middle where I swirled my last ounce and poured it in. The dimple area was a chocolate brown color as opposed to just the light mocha of the rest of the head. Interesting...

I thought it had a soft caramel, slightly pungent smell, doesn't appear any part of this beer will be over the top.

Sweet, caramel flavors, leaves thick layered lacing down the glass. The mouthfeel is not as heavy as I thought and quite smooth. An appreciable hop finish, which I didn't detect at all in the aroma, balances out this fine beer. Taking into account the varied tastes of the full cross-section of beer drinkers out there, this will come across as drinkable to a large percentage of them. (848 characters)

Photo of Loki
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with a good head that lasts for minutes. The nose has aromas of butterscotch, caramel, burnt sugar, and roasted malt. The flavor is more bitter than the nose. This deep brown ale tastes of malt, semi-sweet chocolate, and bitter hops. Good mouth feel, comes across the tongue smooth and finishes slightly dry. Great brown ale, Bell's Best Brown is a fitting name. (381 characters)

Photo of RonfromJersey
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thick and hazy brown body, topped by a creamy, mountainous off-white head. Chocolate mingles with herbal hops in the nose. The taste is somewhat like making chocolate milk, using skim milk, and adding hops sufficient to tingle but not overwhelm the rest of the beverage. A somewhat strange description for a really fine beer. Not a style that attracts much interest, not one of the Bell's beers that generates a lot of buzz, but a brew I can heartily recommend. (461 characters)

Photo of AudioGilz
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thick amberish brown is the liquid. Tons of chunks float about. A small but thick head is ok, but a little disappointing. The aroma is pleasant; nutty/toasty/caramel...and this translates pretty directly to the flavors of the beer. And an awesome bitter kick finishes the beer off, a very awesome surprise for a brown ale. It's no Sammy Smith's Nut Brown, but it's an awesome beer in it's own uniqueness. (404 characters)

Photo of francisweizen
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A pretty good brown beer from Bell's! This beer pours a nice dark brown colour with a nice head. It smells of bready malts, buttery british 'bell's' yeast and slight hops. It tastes like buttery yeast, bready malts, and hops. This is a very mild, british tasting brown ale. It reminds me of Newcatle but it is slightly better. This is not as good as Sam Smiths nut brown ale, however. The mouthfeel is a bit thin on this beer and the drinkability is hurt by its mild flavor.
A decent brown ale...
Cheers!
-F (510 characters)

Photo of Brent
4.54/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

If there is a beer equivalent of "comfort food" - this is it. Brownish amber color with light tan head that quickly faded. Aroma of Hershey's chocolate milk wafts from the glass. Pronounced milk chocolate notes in the flavor, with deeply toasted malt flavors. For all the chocolate character, the beer was surpisingly moderate in sweetness and finished with a sharp bitterness that cleared the palate. This is a fairly subtile beer, and if you were drinking a variety of beers during a session, this would be the lead-off. (522 characters)

Photo of tavernjef
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Color is a brown with a maroon tint and pours out a medium foam head thats biege in color. Nice roasty aroma with caramel tones in the back of my nose, very nice. Taste of caramel balanced well with roasted barley and gives a sweet malty flavor. Finish is a fresh hop note and kind of earthy with a dark nut sense. Reminded me of a nut brown just a hint darker. Good feel of tangy bite and medium body, not heavy. Drinking it warm apposed to cold favors this Best Brown. This brown would make for for a good chilly evening capper. (530 characters)

Photo of Mitchster
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

OG=1.060 6.6% ABV.

Ah, my favorite brown. Carefully decanted, this brew pours out to a beautiful clear ruby-amber in color with a firm light tan to beige head atop medium bubbles. Carbonation is mild to moderate, and the head remains decent throughout the glass, with gorgeous lacing (I can tell how many sips it took me to finish this beer by counting the rings...8). Very full-bodied for a brown ale. Aroma is seductive and enticing, with sweet roasted grains, expertly-done caramel, a hint of canned pumpkin (without spices), and sweetened condensed milk. Mouthfeel is bright and tangy with a medium body. Very easy to drink (improves as it warms), but not silken like the stouts. The taste is wonderful, starting out with lots of caramel and biscuit malt and some roasted barley against a lightly sweet malt background, leaving a sweet sensation more in the back of the throat than on the tongue. The roasted grains are very well done here. The finish is earthy, with fresh hops complementing the toasty grains, with a wonderful nutty character towards the middle of the tongue. The alcohol is occasionaly noticeable, but never becomes unpleasant. As it warms, it takes on a whiskey-ish character.

Again, an expertly brew from the wizards at Kzoo. Highly recommended. (1,278 characters)

Bell's Best Brown from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 817 ratings.