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

BA SCORE
86
very good
3,007 Ratings
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Bell's Best BrownBell's Best Brown
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States
bellsbeer.com

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-10-2002

BEER STATS
Ratings:
3,007
Reviews:
888
Avg:
3.84
pDev:
11.2%
 
 
Wants:
102
Gots:
479
For Trade:
5
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 3,007 |  Reviews: 888
Photo of scotorum
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I sought out Bell's while in Michigan because they have a couple of very well-thought-of offerings on the BA top 250 list, and I had never seen anything they make in my local stores.

Poured out of a 12 oz. bottle into a whiskey glass.  That was the only type of vessel available at the hotel.

a. Beautiful deep amber with a finger thickness of head which dissipated to a film, with some lacing on the sides.

s. distinctive, like fresh sea air. 

t: Caramel notes on a light body.

m: Light and smooth with good carbonation

o: A nice brown ale with its own identity.  Definitely worth trying.  Maybe not the best brown ale to my taste but a very good one, more refreshing than most brown ales you might find. Unfortunately Bell's is not nearly as widely distributed as the products of their neighbors at Founders. I bought two bottles in Traverse City so I'll be looking forward to drinking the other one.

UPDATE 1/24/14: Had put away the second bottle in basement storage and forgot about it until recently when I reviewed storage to find brews I had saved for winter. Bottled 1/7/13, so it's now over a year old! Only things about my review I'd change are: the aroma was caramel malty, it had more body and a definite hop presence which mellowed out. Still think it's a c.4.0 brew. Outstanding, but not moreso than a number of NE brews in the same category which I can buy regularly. If I want more Bell's I'll have to go to Pa. or Western N.Y. and probably pay a premium. These I bought in Michigan last June in a mixed six for $1.69 each.

 1,552 characters

Photo of drabmuh
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On draft at Churchkey, served in a snifter. Beer is brown with a mild haze, thin tan head, lazy, no lacing, low to moderate carbonation.

Aroma is nice, a little malty with hints of really mild roast.

Beer is medium to light in body, a little malty, nice finish, mildly bitter, no aftertaste, a decent little brown for sure.

 325 characters

Photo of nukem5
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a rich caramel colorvery little head, fine lacing with bits of yeast floating around.

S: Citrus, grassy, nice floral fragrance from hops.

T: Nice carmel and malt flavors mild hoppy flavor on the back end.

M: Medium body like the way the bubbles drift across the tongue and help cleanse the palate.

D: Very drinkable smooth, nice everyday beer, but at 5.8% cannot be considered a session beer.

 406 characters

Photo of dmamiano
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazy and lazy describes the appearance. Hazy almost ruby look witha lazy, fluffy white head that clings to the top of the beer .
Sweet malts....candylike in the nose. Ever present hops taking a vacation.
Taste is strikingly sweet with very heavy and thick crystal malts dominating the buds.
Ever slight on the bitterness at the finish.

 335 characters

Photo of bconsidine
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of HorseheadsHopHead
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Hazy, dark brown with a soapy beige head. Moderate retention with some spotty lacing.

S: Milk chocolate, mocha, earth, toasted, almost burnt bread, bitter cocoa, and some caramel.

T: Semi-sweet chocolate, cocoa, burnt bread, earthy balance, with hints of lingering caramel and chocolate sweetness.

F: Medium, smooth and well-rounded, with moderate carbonation.

O: A solid brown ale. Quite enjoyable and sessionable.

 424 characters

Photo of 13tido
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Baldnphat
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

Photo of smalenberg
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a pint glass

A - Chestnut brown and very clear with a pale tan head that isn't very large despite an aggressive pour.

S - Malty sweet with toasted marshmallow prevalent.

T - Caramel and marshmallow balanced well with a great combination of tannic and hop bitterness.

M - Smooth medium body with a prevalent carbonation that tingles the tongue.

O - A great easy drinking beer that is fairly sessionable despite the alcohol content.

 438 characters

Photo of phishfoolme
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of jpuetz
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of BlackBelt5112203
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

 1,070 characters

Photo of manfromanotherplace
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of vabeerguy
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of BMMillsy
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours brown with a bit of a red hue. Medium head that looks creamy and fades somewhat quickly. Smells sweet like a red ale, cherry amd roasty presence here. Flavor is nutty and smooth, different from the aroma. A bit of chocolate with the nut and a bit of fruit on the finish. Nice easy drinker. Good beer.

 306 characters

Photo of Tucquan
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of Tridement
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Risenhower
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Fcolle2
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an almost mahogany brown with a thin half finger tan head. A good looking brown ale.

Deep Carmel notes in the nose. Slight hints of cocoa and some spicy hops also pull through

Rich Carmel malt body, slightly sweet. minimal hop bitterness but some of the spice from the hops is present. hints of toffee on the back end.

Not a whole lot of oily stickiness from the hops but the deep Carmel malt body keeps it nice and rich. Carbonation is moderate which makes it slightly creamy.

 486 characters

Photo of Preston
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not as sweet as some brown ales. Very drinkable and smooth.

59 characters

Photo of Beaver13
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, batch 7216 (1/9/06). Pours a murky hazy tea brown with a smallish light tan head that quickly goes to a wisp.

The aroma is sweet sugary caramel and toffee and a little fresh hoppiness.

The flavor is sweet brown sugar, nuttiness, chocolate and toffee with a little acidic fruitiness. The mouthfeel is medium to full and velvety.

Overall, nothing too exciting, but it is a solid, very well done brown ale.

 426 characters

Photo of imbuckeye
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of CortexBomb
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a nice deep brown with a moderate amount of head. Smell is mainly malt dominated.

Taste is deep and satisfying; the malts from the aroma are there in quantity along with an appealing hop bite. Coffee, and nuts as well as a fruity tinge are all present as well and it finishes smoothly, nice.

Mouthfeel is good and thick, while the drinkability is right up there.

A fine winter offering from Bell's.

 417 characters

Photo of cyrushire
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of wedge
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice foggy chestnut color with a small creamy head. Sweet, nutty, toffee-like malts and molasses in the nose. Mild flavor, but tasty. Gentle caramel malts and a tiny bit of roasted chocolate in the end. Simple and balanced. Medium-light body. Nice English brown.

 262 characters

Bell's Best Brown from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.84 out of 5 based on 3,007 ratings.
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