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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
85
very good

2,394 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,394
Reviews: 802
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 11.49%
Wants: 71
Gots: 181 | 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: 2,394 | Reviews: 802 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of PGVG
3.96/5  rDev +3.4%

PGVG, Sep 29, 2014
Photo of akttr
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

akttr, Apr 29, 2012
Photo of KC9LDB
5/5  rDev +30.5%

KC9LDB, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of Gtg642
4/5  rDev +4.4%

Gtg642, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of dstc
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber/brown color with full tan head that leaves a tan lace on the glass. Smells sweet and of roasted malts. Taste is also of roasted malts with a slight bitterness to it. Feels somewhat thick and smooth in the mouth with just a bit of tingle. A nice beer from New Belgium. Definitely worth having (often).

dstc, Apr 18, 2007
Photo of scottyshades
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a cloudy mahogany color, which produces a massive/rocky/billowy off-white head that retains very very well and leaves some nice sheets of lacing along the glass.

S: Not too much going on in the nose...a slight nutty aroma seeps through the head, as well as a dominant malt profile. Very sweet overall nose.

T: Different from the nose...The nutty aroma is present and very nice within the profile, along with a sweet and dark malt profile. Really not too much else to say...pretty one dimensional

MF/D: Medium/full in body, lingering nutty finish

scottyshades, Oct 22, 2009
Photo of Segelstrom
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%

Segelstrom, Sep 13, 2013
Photo of Westyn
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%

Westyn, Oct 12, 2014
Photo of walleye
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured reddish brown with little head.aroma, malts ,choc. caramel. flavor dark chocolate like the kind that covers a chocolate covered cherry, molasses. got a nice sweetness and a little bit of a bite at the end. had nice mouth feel bells does it again for me

walleye, Oct 28, 2004
Photo of BlackBelt5112203
3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass at fridge-cellar temperature.

L – Amber-brown color with a 1-finger bubbly tan head. Pretty nice retention and some lacing. Clear with a nice amount of carbonation bubbles. A little light for a brown ale.

S – Toasted and nutty malts, caramel, some cocoa, and a hint of floral hops.

T – Sweet nearly all the way through with caramel, cocoa, and brown sugar flavors. Toasted and nutty malt picks up mid-taste, and a nice dose of bitter floral hops shows up at the finish. Still malt-forward like a good brown ale, but the spicy hop bitterness is a nice complement.

F – Medium-bodied with good carbonation, a sticky and chewy mouthfeel, and a spicy, bitter, and dry finish. Floral hop bitterness and spice lingers nicely along with some sweet caramel notes.

O – This is a really nice brown ale. I think the additions of cocoa, caramel, and complementary hops give this beer some nice nuances that not many brown ales have. All the usual toasted and nutty malt flavors are there, plus more. Bell’s doesn’t disappoint.

BlackBelt5112203, Oct 12, 2012
Photo of bootdown21
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

bootdown21, Monday at 03:21 AM
Photo of karst
4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sometimes everything comes together when you create a beer. If you are skillfull, persistent and often just lucky you get a beer like Bell's Best Brown Ale. One of the beers that I wonder if I am worthy to review. Working on the second sixer and still finding more that I like. My overall impression is that all the components are fused into a single entity like an ancient Canadian shield monolithic boulder that has resisted eons of weathering and nevertheless still allows one to enjoy its individual components that have combined to form its crystalline metamorphic structure.

Pours a clear ruddy brown with a dense light tan head that playfully laces my 0.4 L rastal tulip. Aroma that combines Bell's signature esters with earthy and citrus. Its a clean complex aroma that suggest chocolate, medium crystal and biscuit malts. Of all the temperatures I have tried this Brown beauty, 50°F to room temp brings my the most enjoyment. An unique dry finish inspite of a sweet caramel start and fruity middle that features a solid medium body with that dextrine filled mouthfeel you always hope for.

The third attemp to review - guess I will let it stand rather that delete it as I did the previous ones.

A must try!

karst, Feb 28, 2006
Photo of Kaveman
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Kaveman, Aug 25, 2013
Photo of WYVYRN527
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark brown with a slight reddish hue, and has an off-white head that has good retention. Carbonation is fine, and very subtle.

S: Smell is a bit dilute, but shows some caamel and mocha notes, along with some floral, spicy hop characteristics.

T: Caramel and toffee are most prominent up front, with some roastiness, and dried dark fruit. There is a nice hop finish that balances out the beer with spicy, fruity notes.

M: Full bodied for a brown. This beer has a really cool finish, as it lasts a long time compared to other beers of this style.

D: I wish Larry would brew this one year-round. I'm not the biggest fan of the style, but this is one that I can sip on time after time.

WYVYRN527, Nov 12, 2009
Photo of ethanmc12
4/5  rDev +4.4%

ethanmc12, Oct 28, 2013
Photo of Mikexw
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%

Mikexw, Apr 08, 2014
Photo of carln26
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pilsner glass (The bottle thanks to Zac)
It poured a deep brown, mildly hazy with some ruby highlights. There was just a hint of a tan colored head, but the beer leaves a light lace on the side of the glass as I drink. The aroma is dominated by malt. A mild roast aroma up front with slight candy hints on the finish of the aroma. Great balance of roasted malt and sweetness in the flavor. Based on the nose, I was expecting a dominance of roast flavor. It has a surprising balance of roast and sweetness (50/50 all the way). The hops show up on the finish, just there to brighten the flavor a little. This beer has the same velvety mouth feel I’ve had in other Bell products. I can’t wait to try the Double Cream Stout. That will be a smooth mouth feel. A very drinkable beer. A very nice tribute to this style.

carln26, Dec 28, 2004
Photo of mwilbur
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into shaker pint glass.
A: Pours dark red mahogany with 1/2 inch light tan head. Decent lacing.
S: Nice sweet caramel malt and nutty aroma.
T: Darker nut notes, sweet caramel malt, and grainy hops.
M: Smooth, sweet, creamy feel. Mild toasted grain hop bite in the finish. Quite pleasant.
D: Very drinkable. Excellent sessionability. Wonderful on-tap.

mwilbur, Dec 04, 2011
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.

AndyAvalanche, Mar 31, 2011
Photo of jackndan
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bell’s Best Brown Ale: Twelve-ounce bottle. Pours a very hazy brown, underneath a huge tannish head, that lasts. Nice Belgian lacing as well. The aroma is very strong, of roasted malts and weak coffee and cream. Wow, this is the best tasting brown ale I’ve ever had. Very smooth and pleasant, with roasted malts that add a nice rich flavor. Very easy to drink. A slight kick of hops bitterness at the end. I believe that this was well aged, and the tastes have smoothed out, and my somewhat old beer has become very well balanced. Really nice.

jackndan, Feb 22, 2003
Photo of magine
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

Pours a cloudy (love that), caramel/brown color with a thick chunky tan head. Nice chunk island head stays throughout, and it has great lace. Nice looking brew.

Brew has a caramel malt smell, bisquit and grain.

The brew is malty; caramel, toffee tastes. Very balanced, some hops and a very smooth finish - sweet, but not overdone. Smooth creamy brew, goes down way, way easy.

This is an extreamly sessionable brew, and a very good one at that. One of the best brown ales I have had. Has a great drinkability, with a great finish and taste.

magine, Apr 23, 2010
Photo of deebo
4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-dark brown with light white head that quickly dissipates
S-Roasted malts with touch of toffee sweetness
T-Very good balance of rich malt flavor, sweet brown notes with hop balance
M-Medium bodied-doesn't linger
D-Very good for this style of beer

Bell's as usual has produced a very good beer that is tasty yet easy to drink.

deebo, Jan 09, 2011
Photo of bobhits
2.08/5  rDev -45.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Brown, thin, filtered, 1 finger head, white off white creamy head.

Toasty aroma followed by caramel malt. Some hops mixed in. Creates a rather complex and interesting aroma.

Somewhat thin, watery, toasted malt up front, finishing carmal, hops give an earthy piny touch that's just enough there to add some almost texture to the beer.

Drinkable enough and clean enough in the mouth feel, but both are just off. It's a touch too thick in mouth feel for the flavor. The flavor is pretty light and ready to a day of drinking but the body isn't. it's not something I'd drink 4-5 of in a night. Just too thick and not flavorful enough to have me keep tipping my glass.

bobhits, Sep 18, 2010
Photo of dedrinker
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So much better than in the bottle! Lazy brown color with a head that was rich and creamy and lasted half way through. Aroma of mild juicy caramel malt and restrained nuts and roast. The flavor was slightly fruity with a nice caramel malt middle that finished with more nuts, fruit, and juicy malt. Well balanced - not too sweet, but not too dry either.

dedrinker, Nov 02, 2007
Bell's Best Brown from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
85 out of 100 based on 2,394 ratings.