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

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Bell's Best BrownBell's Best Brown
Very Good
3,101 Ratings
Bell's Best BrownBell's Best Brown

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

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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,101 |  Reviews: 916
Photo of speter
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Clear, translucent hazelnut brown. Two-finger, persistent fluffy light tan head. Moderate lacing.

S: Toasty brown sugar and cinnamon (pop tarts, anyone?). Toffee, caramel, and almond. Very light grassiness from the hops.

T: Lightly-almond caramel malt with sweet, brown-sugar up-front, with just enough hop bitterness to cut the sweetness from mid-palate on.

M: Great carbonation, but the body itself is very light and completely belies the 5.8% ABV.

O: A very flavorful brown ale in the English tradition, with a wonderful balance between rich malt and subtle hop.

 573 characters

Photo of ddalzell
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of ronin926
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Apellonious
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance:Pours a dark brown with a red tint, slightly cloudy. Decent lace that hangs with the beer.

Smell:Smells of fruit and malt, with a bit of a smoke.

Taste: The taste is slightly sweet, slightly smokey, with some malty vanilla and chocolate overtones, but there is nothing overpowering or noteworthy in the taste department.

Mouth feel and drinkability: It iis fairly smooth, but it does have some crispness to it. Overall, I would drink it again (in fact I have five more at least to drink). A good, but not great brown ale that's worth trying and easy to drink.

 575 characters

Photo of Daparkhu
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Tripel_Threat
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle to pilsner glass. Glowing light brown ale topped with a few fingers of off-white head. Aromas of toasted malts, some caramel. Flavors of smooth chocolate, caramel, dark breads, and some fruity (green apple, pear) notes. One of my favorite browns, just wish it was more than seasonal.

 302 characters

Photo of sgreig
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of elliott1184
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Joestradamus91
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Grundle20
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy brown into a pint glass. There is little head to speak of and thus no lacing.

There's a very pleasant smell of figs, coconut, and nuts, I think almonds. It really kind of smells like an Almond Joy candy bar.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
Again it tastes very nutty and again I believe it's almonds. The fig scent has vanished from the taste but I'm still picking up that minor coconut note. There's a mild bitter bite on the sides of my tongue about mid drink but for the most part this beer goes down rather smooth. The aftertaste is slightly poisoned by an apparent alcohol wash on the back of my palette.

Bringing some of the full flavors I would expect from a dopplebock without the alcohol ass kicking makes for a very agreeable "dark" beer. Full enough for a cold night but mild enough for extended drinking.

Bottom Line:
Rich flavors without getting trashed sold me on this beer. Like I've said in the past I usually don't get down with drinking darker beers just for the sake of drinking, but I could certainly make an exception for this beer.

 1,105 characters

Photo of muddyh2oblues
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of MegaHurricaneDitka
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of KenProCo
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of WilliamPhilaPa
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a brown color, with a tint of orange. The head is a beige color, rocky, creamy, and long lasting. On the nose there is aromas of roasted malts and hints of caramel. On the palate there is a nutty flavor, slightly grainy, dark toasted bread, and just a hint of molasses. Not as good as the brown ale I had from smuttynose a couple of days ago, but still very enjoyable.

 374 characters

Photo of PlaywrightSam
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into tulip glass. A: Cloudy brown with a little orange. Moderate head that went down pretty quick, some lacing. S: Malty with some citrus overtones, can’t detect the presence of hops. T: Strong caramel taste, hops barely make an appearance until the dry, slightly btiter finish. Very clean. M: Moderate carbonation, nice and smooth. D: A deceptively simple, very tasty, crisp-and-clean brown ale. Really enjoyable and easy to drink.

 440 characters

Photo of Justin23060
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Brownish-orange with some haze and sediment. One finger head with some lacing.

S - Nice and yeasty with some suddle floral (not at all overpowering) hops.

T - I prefer my browns a bit more sweet, but this works. Great bready taste almost bordering on biscuity. Hops are in perfect balance. I suggest letting it warm slightly (somewhat more complex in the last couple sips)

M - A little more astringent than most browns, but in a good way. Nice creamy finish.

D - Quite drinkable. Dryness leaves a nice aftertaste that leaves me wanting more.

Overall - Not the "Best" Brown ale as the name states but a pretty solid beer.

 632 characters

Photo of JeffONeal
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Futbolmanby
3.91/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of dbossman
3.91/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Redish brown--tea colored and quite red; tan, frothy head with large bubbles that seem to slowly pop as the head loses its form; lacing is even and intricate

S: Grainy upfront but a nice subtle sweetness pervades--a touch of caramel and brown sugar as well as some pleasant nuttiness; but all in all the aromas are quite subtle

T: A subtle sweetness balanced well with a nutty roasted malt and grain flavor; some undertones of hops that also complement the beer

F: Pretty good mouth feel; it seems a touch thin at times but for the most part is pretty good

D: Very drinkable; goes down so smooth and the flavors allow for lengthy enjoyment

 646 characters

Photo of MispeledStalion
3.91/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of ParnellJoseph1138
3.91/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of 57md
3.91/5  rDev +2.1%

Muddy brownish copper. The nose has notes of malt and bread. The flavor follows the nose for the most part. The finish has a nice dry bitterness to it.

 151 characters

Photo of Wildman
3.91/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a cloudy, reddish brown color and formed a huge nice light tan bubbly head that left some nice latticed lace. A heavy amount of carbonation is present. A slight aroma of malt, hops and caramel. A flavor of hops and caramel. A farily light finish but dry finish with a touch of caramel sweetness. Another good beer from Bell's.

 343 characters

Photo of Johnroby
3.91/5  rDev +2.1%

Photo of Cycle69
3.91/5  rDev +2.1%

Bell's Best Brown from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 3.83 out of 5 with 3,101 ratings
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