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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

2,611 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,611
Reviews: 828
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 11.49%
Wants: 81
Gots: 256 | 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:
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,611 | Reviews: 828
Photo of clint1019
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Brown in color with a cream colored head.

S - Has a light caramel malt aroma along with a slight fruityness.

T - Caramel malt flavor with a hint, a ever slight hint of hop bitterness in the end.

M - Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

O - Not a bad brown ale. It just doesn't have a lot going on, but I guess you could say that about most brown ales.

Photo of avaldivia
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received in trade from Sobeleg. Poured 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Very nice nutty brown color. Head about an inch and a half thick. Great lacing.

S: Sweet toffee and caramel. Nice malt character. Kind of light

T: Same as the smell. Malty. Sweet caramel.

M: Medium bodied. good carbonation. Nice finish.

O: Excellent brown ale. I

Photo of maleman
3.28/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Almost mahogany color with a thin, less than one-finger off-white head. Lace was tight and clingy. The nose was well more malty than hoppy, more like bread. Taste was very grassy intially with phenols definitely noticeable. Medium bodied with taste in the back of the mouth with average carbonation. Still waiting to try Hopslam, but this one is not that memorable from Bell's.

Photo of qua17
4.58/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: This beer poured into a pint grass with a nice two inch head. It's a translucent brown.

S: Nice and malty

Taste: The name of this is the Best Brown Ale and the taste almost proves the point. Delicious. There is a lot of balance to this beer - not too malty and very flavorful. Nice carbonation.

Overall: I like Bell's but this might be my second favorite next to Two Hearted Ale.

Photo of Blueribbon666
3.76/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes taken. Mild scent of malt poured into pint glass 1/8" head dissipates quickly w/a rich brown color. Well blended malt flavor w/an initial hop flavor in the front, good mouthfeel and decent drinkability. Bell's w/another solid entry w/o being an average kit beer wrapped in a pretty label. I buried Smuttynose for their brown ale, I much prefer the Bell's entry

Photo of Mako82
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into pint glass

A - Brown and dark red in color. Fizzy off-white head that lasted quite long. Floating yeast apparent in beer.

S - Roasted malts, hops apparent in the background, bready/yeasty smell, also picked up a peanut type smell

T - Roasted caramel malts (fairly strong on the roast side), nutty and bready, pretty sweet to the taste. Aftertaste was fairly bitter and the roasted nutty flavor stays all the way to the end

M - Medium carbonation, medium body

Photo of prdstmnky
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

Photo of elephantrider
3.42/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Reddish brown, tan head. I would have liked it darker.

S: Lots of bready carmel. Some toffee. A little nutty and chocolatey.

T: Carmel with some toasty characteristics right off the bat. Then some chocalate and nutty flavors. Finishes slighlty hoppy.

M: Medium bodied

O: Pretty decent beer. I dont like to drink more than a couple of these at a time as I move to other more interesting things. There are a couple more Browns that I like better than this.

Photo of Kromes
3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Hazy brown with a tan colored head. Noticed some white globs suspended in the beer.

S: Toasted caramel malts. That's about it.

T: More of the same. Some toasted caramel malt with a bit of fruitiness.

M: Medium body with some good carbonation.

O: Pretty good. No off-flavors, just a simple sweet toasted caramel malt flavor. No nuttiness to speak of, this one is more fruity and sweet.

Photo of gabedivision
3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured to a pint glass from a 12 oz bottle. for reals.

A- Brown ale = brown beer, thin white lace.

S- Hmmm, Nice buttery malts, caramel sweet with a touch of vanilla.

T- Tart and spicy on the tongue with a smooth chocolate and vanilla coffee been finish.

M- Feels like a smooth creamy beer in my mouth.

T- I can dig this, can you dig it?

Photo of RodneyX
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown beer that has a beige head that left behind a tiny bit of spots and lace. It smells of caramel and sugar with some raisins or figs or other type of dark fruit. Taste is about the same, and quite pleasant. Really focuses on the brown sugar aspect. Mouthfeel is slightly over carbonated but not bad. This is an above average brown I would drink again

Photo of haddon
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Burnished bronze with a light brown head that is large. is a very nice lacer.

The nose is of caramel, toffee, brown sugar and light molasses.

Again, the flavor matches the nose: caramelized sugar, toasted malt spice, sweet, figs and dates.

body is a little light but I do tend to experience this with most brown ales. if they added a bit of cream to the feel, it would shoot through the roof in my books.

hard to go wrong with Bell's. I enjoyed this beer and one of the better browns that I've had.

Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I stored this bottle in the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before pouring into a proper pub glass. It poured dark amber and slightly cloudy with a perfect 2-finger head. The beer had a nice aroma of nuts

Nice beer starts out sweet and malty. You get a solid hit of nutty, spicy flavor with a very creamy mouthfeel. The beer then gets slightly dry as it moves across your palate. Finally, the flavor kind of softens and vanishes. I detected no off-flavors or offensive characteristics.

Beers of this style don't really stand up and draw attention to themselves. The good ones are meant to be tame, mild, and well-behaved (like this one). This is a great beer to drink on a chilly, rainy afternoon (like this one).

Photo of wvsabbath
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Brownish tan, Light creamy 1/2 head that faded really fast. Mild lacing around the rim.

Smell - Carmal, malts, brown suagrs, about all i could pick up.

Taste - Roasted malts and brown sugar start this beer off. Nice and mild but plenty of flavors. Nice carmal, nut, toffee flavor mixed with brown sugar. Hops are slighty present along with some yeast bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Lightly coats mouth with sweetness and malty tones. East on mouth and palette, and easy to recover from.

Overall - Nice easy drinker with plenty of flavors. Low alcohol adds to drinkibilty. Slighty sweeter then typical english brown ales, but is a great example of the style. Another quailty beer from bells.

Photo of GossageBrewery
4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this English Brown Ale from a bottle into a pint glass. The beer poured a hazy brown color with lots of particles floating around. I might need a spoon! The ale produced a decent light brown head and it has decent lacing. The aroma of the beer was mostly toffee and molasses. The taste of this beer was very nice and I can say that it ranks very high on my list for English Brown Ales. The taste was sweet, toffee, and malty. The body is light. Very good beer- Highly recommend it!

BTW- I skipped using the spoon.

Photo of BradDurbin89
3.46/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured brown with light brown shades but is reddish when held to the window. Beige/ Khaki head was one finger with some retention.

The nose is sweet and has malt, caramel and hints of sweetness and fruit.

The toasted malts really come through, and there is hints of coffee and bitter chocolate. Sweetness and a very little bit of hops.

Moth is on the lighter side and more carbonation that I expected.

Overall, it is a pretty nice beer. It does not stand out as amazing, but I'd buy it again.

Photo of vfgccp
2.67/5  rDev -30.3%
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.

Photo of mdaschaf
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes 4/22/11.

A: Poured a slightly hazy ruby/orange, not quite brown color. Carbonation bubbles were evident along the sides of the glass. A one finger head formed and left spotty lacing.

S: Nice combination of caramel and a nutty aroma. There is also some grain and bready malt.

T: Pretty solid flavor profile with a strong malt bill. Bready and earthy with caramelized sugar, some brown sugar, and nuts.

M: Light to medium bodied, nice carbonation, with lots of small carbonation bubbles. Crisp for the style.

O: Solid English Brown Ale, easy drinking and pretty sessionable. For a style that can be bland, Bells does a good job here.

Photo of dogfishandi
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle at fridge temp poured into an SA perfect pint glass. batch number 10211 indicates it was bottled 1/31/11 (about 2 1/2 months old).

pours out a dark ruby red color with a nice retentive off white head. some nice lace. a bit more sediment visible than i expected, maybe i could have poured more carefully.

not a whole lot of aroma coming through. fruity with some caramel malts. bits of very light roast and cocoa.

toasted, very slightly roaste grains, a hint of cocoa, some fruitness and just the faintest kiss of hops.

light to medium in body. a bit syrupy. almost has a belgian like feel to it. drinkable, but nothing i would come back to.

Photo of PokerGod
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

appearance- Nice color, Deep amber/brown. Slightly hazy. A nice very foamy thick head that dissipates pretty quickly, but stirs up again nicely when agitated. Doesn't really leave much lacework on the glass.

Smell- not a very strong smell, but very pleasant. Very creamy, sweet smell, not at all hoppy.

Taste- Very, very nice. Very creamy and roasted. Sweet, but not fruity or yeasty. Maybe caramel, but that doesn't seem quite right either. Can't quite put my finger on that sweet taste... maybe almost like a mocha. Delicious.

Mouthfeel- All carbonation bite hits on the top of the tongue.

Overall- a really fine brown ale, that's very easy to drink. I would have no problem buying this again. Very good.

Photo of MufflnMan
3.86/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Very good looking clear brown with a hint of red/amber and an almost mocha head. Nice surprise for a brown ale...

Faint smells of malty sweet caramel/toffee and a hint of hops.

Taste is almost a copy of the nose, but stronger. Nice sweetness to it without being cloying. The caramels and toffees come thru again and then a finish with a bit of hops. I also get the smallest hint of cocoa in there which is nice.

Medium mouthfeel, not too heavy... not too light. Very little to no carbonation so anything that hits your tongue is in the taste.

Overall, a solid brown ale.

Photo of claspada
3.47/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aromas of subtle toasted malt, caramel, toffee and nuttiness.
The taste follows the nose with sweet caramel malt, toasted nuts and a tiny bit of milk chocolate. It has more flavor than the nose would suggest, but unfortunately it just not that complex or flavorful.
Mouthfeel is crisp, with a medium-thin, borderline watery body and adequate carbonation. I would prefer a much fuller mouthfeel, but the thin body works is a decent change which allows this to finish quite crisp.
Overall this is quite drinkable, but forgettable. The flavor profile is just not on par with other brown ales I have had recently. English brown ales aren't supposed to be as malty and full-bodied as American ones, so I guess they accomplished their goal of creating a fairly tasty sessionable brown ale, but I won't be revisiting this anytime soon.

Photo of gdrydenc
3.81/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a murky red-brown with a thin lacing of head. Solid color for a Brown Ale.

S - Sweet, hints of caramel. No hop presence to speak of, but the caramely malts take care of the nose.

T - Caramel in the front, the malts dominate. There's a slightly syrupy quality to the taste that makes it stick in the mouth. Very sweet beer.

M - Like I said, fairly syrupy. I like it for this beer, though.

Overall, a good brown. Maybe not the "best", but it's a good version.

Photo of AndyAvalanche
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass. A pretty good looking beer. It comes out a pretty amber caramel color, it's not completely clear, but close. There's a light brown head that sticks around and clings to the glass the entire time the beer is there.

I like the smell a lot. The roasted malts produce toffee and caramel aromas with the slightest hint of coco powder. There is a very feint hop aroma here. It's not very strong and you really have to wait awhile for it to warm up, but it's good.

The taste is probably a slight step up. It has all the features as the smell, but the tongue can pick up a little more than the nose on this one. It's got the caramel and toffee with slight coco, but there's also a a tea like spiciness to it. Again a very slight hop presence to it.

The mouthfeel is good, but it could be better. It's lighter in body than I expected, it could certainly be a little more full, I tend to prefer a slightly more full brown ale. The carbonation level is very good, and it's a very drinkable beer.

I think Bell's did did a stellar job at making a brown ale. I don't know if I'd call this the "Best Brown" ale I've ever had, but it's pretty tasty.

Photo of Lillenk
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Grill One Eleven.

Appearance was just what onw would expect from a brown. Very nice medium brown color with a nice white/tan head.

Smell was nice. Lots of roasted malts but well balanced with some hop character too.

Taste was pretty average for the style. Nothing crazy but a nice, well put together beer.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied but a little tough to have more than one or two.

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Bell's Best Brown from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 2,611 ratings.