Best Brown Ale
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

Best Brown AleBest Brown Ale
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Style:
American Brown Ale
Ranked #197
ABV:
5.8%
Score:
86
Ranked #19,189
Avg:
3.85 | pDev: 11.17%
Reviews:
970
Ratings:
3,259
From:
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
 
Michigan, United States
Avail:
Fall
Wants
  111
Gots
  557
SCORE
86
Very Good
Best Brown AleBest Brown Ale
Notes: A smooth, toasty brown ale, Best Brown is a mainstay in our fall lineup. 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.
Reviews: 970 | Ratings: 3,259 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of CTHomer
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: crystal clear; mahogany in color; 1 finger finely pored tan head that receded to a thin cap; nice rings of lace;

S: cocoa and toasted grain;

T: caramel first, then cocoa with toasted grain through the mild to moderately bitter finish;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation; dry finish;

O: thoroughly enjoyable;

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Photo of the_monolith
4.75/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is exactly what I want when I'm craving an American Brown. Feels and tastes like fall, and as a nutmegger, it's basically the Pumpkin Spiced Latte of beer nerds...

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Photo of Wattie83
4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Clear amber, thin head. Malty aroma. Caramel and light chocolate. Mild, earthy hops. It's sweet, but not too sweet. It's malty, but not too malty. It's hoppy, but not too hoppy. Everything is in proportion and balance. Feels light on the tongue. A good brown that leans toward the English styles.

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Photo of tucson_brewson
4.01/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into imperial/nonic pint glass.

L - Pours a rich, clear amber/copper color with about two fingers of creamy off-white foam. It dissipates very slowly, leaving enough to drink almost like a Guinness, very little lacing as a result.

S - Cocoa, coffee, caramel, toffee, roasted biscuit-y malt, cherry/dark fruit, nutty with a hint of spice toward the end.

T - Follows the nose with caramel and toffee sweetness, roasted malt and dark chocolate bitterness, slight hop presence, bready and finishes balanced.

F - Medium bodied, very little carbonation, smooth and creamy.

O - A nicely balanced brown ale that doesn't lean heavily on the malty sweetness or bitter hops.

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Photo of defunksta
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a dark, ruby red color with a mild light tan head. SRM of 17-18. (3.75)

Aroma: Medium aromas of dark bread, cocoa, and some roast. (3.75)

Flavor: Initially some red fruit and slight citrus pine component mixed with a load of caramel that evolves into a cocoa flavor in the middle. A dryness is then present followed by a caramel and slightly red fruit sweetness. (3.75)

Feel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. A sweetness finishes. (3.75)

Compared w/ Surly Black Horseman: Lighter in color. More caramel malts in the aroma. More malty flavors. Less airy and sweeter, heavier overall.

Overall: A delicious malty offering. It sort of reminds me of a more tame and malty altbier. Less ruby citrus than an amber. Less bitter and tamer than an Altbier, but it has the same flavors and body, just milder, smoother, and maltier. I would imagine this would be similar to Bell's Amber, but it would be more malty and less ruby red. Pretty standard, and I'd rate it pretty average. (Final Rating: 3.75)

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Photo of sseisele
4.77/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Served at about 50 degrees in a regular mug. Achieved the right temp by freezing for 45 minutes and warming up in hot water for 5 minutes.

Thick and brown in color. Very thick and slow dissipating head. No lacing on glass. Smell is sweet and hoppy with a hint of coffee. Tastes of cocoa with a slight "burn" going down. But overall excellent.

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Photo of jmc65267
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pretty enjoyable ale! Nice flavor and coloring. This is my first time having it and I would definitely buy it again given the opportunity. I highly recommend.

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Photo of MNAle
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Aroma is sweet brown sugar, slight toasted malts, caramel.

Deep reddish brown, rising bubbles, topped with a tall, thick, creamy light tan with streaks of darker tan head. The color glows garnet red with a backlight. The top becomes uneven and rocky as it recedes, leaving very thick head remnants (too thick to be called lacing) down the side of the nonic glass.

Taste is toasted bread, hints of sweetness without ever becoming sweet, with very mild bittering in the middle, which fades toward the finish. Some coffee-like flavor, but not quite there. Hops add a bit of spiciness to the mild bitterness. The finish is mid-way between sweet and dry, with the caramel and toasted bread malts taste lingering on the tongue.

Body is medium, toward the substantial side, good mouth feel from the carbonation.

Overall, an excellent brown ale. The hops and bittering are nicely balanced by the toasted bready malts. Very well done.

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Photo of Buckeye55
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Outstanding brew. Pours a cloudy copper color with full head. Scent is sweet and the taste follows with strong malt. A light mouthfeel with good carbonation. Aftertaste is mostly malt and sweet

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

16 oz. can poured into pub glass..
Look lighter copper brown, large, airy, light tan head fades off after a few big chugs, no lacing.
Smells faintly cocoa, malt
Taste is bright, cocoa/caramel- ish and light feeling. Pretty good brew overall, but falls short of recommend or repeat status.

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Photo of hopsputin
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

a: murky brown color with some dark purple, cherry, and mahogany notes. 1 finger rocky tan head

s: sweet nutty caramel, walnuts, brown sugar, grass, milk chocolate, mild toasted malts that leave a touch of bitterness

t: follows the nose. sweet caramel and toasted malts upfront. a little bitterness from the toasted malts behind that with chocolate and subtle molasses. big nutty sweetness behind that along with some grassy earthiness. more caramel and and nuttiness to close it out

m: solid medium mouthfeel with moderate carbonation

o: really nice Brown Ale. on the sweeter side (for an American), but i really enjoy the sweetness and the robust character of the malts in here

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Photo of Thankin_Hank
3.84/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber color with good carbonation. A quick dissipating head. A delicious aroma. A malt toasty smell. Taste is a light toasty malt slightly sweet. Smooth and delicious on the palate. Overall a better tasting brown ale as some are like dirty dishwater. Bottled on 08/22/2019

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Photo of MagicJeff
4.29/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Highly drinkable brown ale. perfect for the changing seasons (just like the can says). light enough to have more than one, but the mouthfeel is heavy enough to make you sip and savor. Great offering from Bell's.

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Photo of Foyle
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served from 12 oz bottle into pint glass. A 3" pillowy beige head falls very slowly with abundant lacing. Color is copper-brown. Rich aroma of caramel, ripe fruit, and some floral notes. Mouthfeel is medium with a mostly dry finish. Flavors a nice balance of the sweet malt, caramel, plum, biscuit, and cocoa. Overall: very good to excellent

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Photo of Vetbidder
3.99/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown and slightly red murky look with a think head. Roasted nuts and sweet malt a bit underpowered on the nose but nice. Malt sweetness balanced with slight hops bitterness,slightly chocolate. Good carbonation and a medium thick feel.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

6pack of cans, packaged August 20th 2019.

Pours a hazy reddish brown with an inch of off white foam. Lacing is good.

Nose is of toasted malt, light hoppy bitterness, light caramel malt sweetness. Definitely American style as the hops and toasted malt exceed any sweetness.

Toasted malt, toffee, light hop bitterness, a smidgen of sweet notes, for an American style Brown Ale, it has a nice near balance.

Great mouthfeel.

Great Brown Ale!

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

Pours a nice clear medium brown. Smell is of coffee and dark malt. Taste follows the smell. Nice smooth mouthfeel. Overall, a great example of American Brown Ale.

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Photo of good_to_sea
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look is clear brown. Smells malty with some fruity hop aroma as well. Extremely tasty and satisfying. Malt and hops blend perfectly in this beer. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of taint67
4.82/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

To me this is a prime example of an American brown ale. Chocolatey, rich malty and balanced. A touch of sweetness balanced out by bittering hops. Slight fruitiness from the yeast. Very clean and rich but not heavy, one of my favorites of this style. Bells is one of my favorite breweries.

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Photo of usernamenotinuse
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 16 oz can into pint glass.
Toffee color, substantial tan-white head with soft small bubbles.
Smells carmel, nutty sweet.
Tastes brown sugar, little cinamin, touch of citrus. No hop bite.
Feels is medium.
Overall, Yummy, not very complicated, a little less body then I expected.

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Photo of jlindros
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Canned 9/12/18. Never was originally a fan of brown ales, but then I started to really understand them more as I studied for BJCP, and now I can appreciate a nice brown

Pours a nice creamy thick almost 2 finger large tan head that fades slowly, retains well, some whispy lacing, slight ruby light through the hazy almost opaque chestnut brown color

Nose a little sweet brown malt, toasted slight biscuity, little caramel toffee, touch of chocolate like darker malts, hint of spicy hops, fair sweet malt aroma

Taste brings more toasted biscuity malts, sweet malty flavor and more toffee, caramel, lots of toasted malts, a hint of dry biscuity chocolate and almost coffee like, some earthy spicy almost herbal hops in there bringing fair bitterness, nice balance, then dries a bit on the finish, lingering hops that get a bit more spicy and bitter

Mouth is med bod, decent prickly carb

Overall not bad, good balance, fairly basic brown, hops get a little too earthy herbal for my liking but not bad

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Photo of Samlover55
3.99/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle into perfect pint
Bottled on 9/4/18 (with a 6 month shelf life)
Pours predictably brown with a nice tan head, great retention, and lacing
Aroma is malt forward, with notes of cocoa and citrus
Taste follows nose with some coffee as well, citrus jam follows, and a nice hop bite on the finish
The feel is smooth and creamy
Overall this beer is great, super balanced and drinkable, totally blew away my expectations of a malt forward beer

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Photo of SABERG
3.94/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle dated 9/24/18 into the test glass
A - Opaque deep copper color, Disciplined carbonation supports the slightly off white cap. Lacing the glass uniformly from top to bottom.
S - Slightly grassy hop notes, chestnut, light toasted malts, hint of brown sugar.
T - Malt forward, but delicate, wheat toast, earthy hops, a faint touch of orange, and caramel,
M - Medium in body, start is semi sweet, again well balanced, a slide to bitter in the center, a beautiful finish, slightly sweet and dry.
O - A very good brown ale, balanced in every aspect, So glad that this is available in our area, The flavors and aromatics line up, no real surprises and that alone is welcome. Fine offering from talented brewers

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Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into glass. Bottling date is '08/23/2018'. Suggest shelf like is 6 months.
Medium to deep amber colored body. Two finger off white head settles back to thick cap and stays around. Leaves small spots of lacing all around the glass.
Aroma of roasted malts, with sweetness, and nuttiness. Some floral hops.
Taste of roasted and caramel malts. Some nuttiness, along with pleasant floral hops at the end.
Medium plus mouth feel. Slightly sweet taste with a touch of bitterness.
Solid, easy to drink brown ale. Smooth and sweet more than bitter and biting.

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Photo of MoreBeer4me
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Decent and enjoyable brown ale. Could use a bit more bite to it. Has a somewhat stale nut aftertaste but nothing to put one off from drinking it. Overall, its okay and would buy again as I'm suffering from IPA fatigue. LMAO!

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Best Brown Ale from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 3259 ratings