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

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Bell's Best BrownBell's Best Brown
Very Good
3,083 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: 3,083 |  Reviews: 913
Photo of WesMantooth
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance - deep ruby reddish brown with a big fluffy off white head

Smell - roasted nuts, carmel or toffee

Taste - carmel, roasted nuts and malt, toasted bread, slight chocolate

Feel - medium bodied, somewhat creamy feel

Overall - excellent brown ale with an earthy feel and taste. Very easy drinking beer that you can enjoy a few of. A perfect compliment to a cool fall evening.

 385 characters

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

Clear orange-brown, nice head with good retention and lacing.

Malty nutty smell.

Toasted malts, roastiness, nuts, molasses, and a grassy hop finish. Well balanced.

Medium mouthfeel and carbonation.

A very good example of the style - nice balance and highly drinkable.

 271 characters

Photo of avalon07
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a brown color and a cloudy consistency. There was a huge amount of foamy, long-lasting head, with good lacing. One of the best-looking brown ales I've seen.

S: Had a nutty, malty and sweet aroma.

T: Tasted of malt, caramel, a nutty quality and a bready quality. Very tasty.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a smooth finish. Light- to medium-bodied.

D: I'm not the biggest fan of brown ales - the style is not the most complex - but this is a solid, drinkable beer.

 518 characters

Photo of bort11
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into an imperial pint glass. Light tan head stands about a 1/4 inch. It leaves an interesting globular designs of lacing. Color is a rich chestnut brown, miniscule particles can been seen floating around.

Smell is a toasty malt with a nutty finish. Taste has a mild coffee/toffee bittersweet, rich nut flavors. A bit woody and aromatic.

Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied and creamy. Nicely sessionable. Warm and toasty, perfect for cold weather.

 465 characters

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

A - Very nice looking brown ale. A little hazy, deep brown color with a thick tan head that dissapates and lingers with a small dusting. Very fine lacing.
S - Sweet malty smells are pretty apparent. Bready and toasted smell. Not as overboard as lots of brown ales with sweet malts but a pleasant smell.
T - Great tasting brown ale. It definitely has some nutty qualities to it along with a toasted bready taste. It has a hint of hops beneath a more mild sweet malt taste. It's a little different from mainstream brown ales that is quite good.
MF - Medium bodied, lightly carbonated. Pretty smooth beer. Little tart finish.
D - It's a very good beer in it's own right and a good change of pace brown ale.

 704 characters

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

Poured from their 12oz bottle...

Appearance - Poured 2 fingers of lite mocha head, color of the ale is a gorgeous hazy dark copper red, leaves wonderful khaki lacing after each sip.

Smell - Like freshly baked honey wheat bread, toasted malts, breadcrusts, touch of molasses and brown sugar, and a whiff of earthy hops. Really smells good.

Taste - Wow is this nice! Starts out toasted malt and crispy baked honey-wheat breadcrust, some nice grassy hops, there is just a touch of brown sugar/burnt sugar backbone for the entire sip, I also get faint minerals, which really adds a nice flavor component and adds to the complexity here. The finish drops off to drying earthy and grassy hops, and toasted malts. A very nice and smooth transition.

Mouthfeel - Almost medium mouthfeel, not quite creamy, but very smooth and drinkable. The medium carb adds wonderful brite and crisp edges along the sides of the tongue, and creates a perfect segway for the earthy hop characters to finish off the sip.

Overall - So sessionable at 5.8%, I really enjoy the flavors in this beer. Very flavorful but not heavy at all. There is such a wonderful mineral and hoppy flavor in my mouth between sips, I could easily drink these for an evening and be completely satisfied. Try this, and you may agree that this is the Best Brown ale too.

 1,324 characters

Photo of Midwestbrew18
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

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

Ruby tinted brown, my bottle being very clear, with a small whitish head with moderate slippery lacing.

Molasses, brown sugar and dark toasty malts in the nose.

The flavor is nicely balances between sweet and a nice drying on the finish. As in the nose, dark rich toasty malts, caramel flavored with a hint of chocolate with a lightly spicy hop presence. Very flavorful and very good!

The mouthfeel is more medium than light, very smooth and lightly creamy.

Overall I believe this has to be one of my favorite brown ales now! I've always been impressed by Bell's beers in general and this ale is no different. Highly recommended!

 633 characters

Photo of MemphisSooner
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In typical beer snob fashion, I have long since graduated from basic brown ales. I was reluctant to try this seasonal from Bell's, but I thought, "What the heck, everything else they make is excellent".

Welp, this brown is no exception to the Bell's rule.

Nutty, toasty malts with a classic brown nose. This beer especially delivers in taste.

If you see a sixer of these, snag one. You will not be disappointed, even if you tend to thumb your nose at brown ale.

 466 characters

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

Photo of jeremyd365
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a solid dark brown with a little light brown head that dissipated pretty quickly. Smelled malty but not too strong really. Had a nice, medium body and good mouthfeel. The flavor is really good! A malt kick but it's not something more.. some sort of spiciness perhaps that really makes a nice finish. Definitely a drinkable beer. Not sure why I took so long to try this one of Bell's, but I'm glad I finally did.

 417 characters

Photo of red94tt
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Bottle Inspection: 5.8% abv.

Aroma: Nice malty sweetness with a bit of hop leaf earthiness with a toast aspect working as well.

Appearance: Deep brown amber with clarity and a soapy half finger head of tan that leaves a curtain of lace.

Flavor: Toasted malt with some toffee and nutty flavors, classic brown ale flavors. Hop level is upper English, lower American range with both citric and earthy floral notes. A mild yeast character comes out as it warms.

Mouthfeel: Prickly carbonation doesn't get fizzy, medium body with a slick texture.

Overall Impression: A solid, easy drinking brown ale. A fair session beer and one that a non beer geek (but not a solid BMC drinker) would appreciate.

 697 characters

Photo of Natural510
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rich, dark crimson red with thick head. Subtantial layer of foam resides on top after dissipation, coating the pint glass well.
Smells malty, of sweet brown sugar with a bitter hop note.
Sweet toasted (almost burnt) malt mixes with a significant oily-hop profile. Flavor of molasses, toffee, vanilla, nuts, and earth...like tree-bark.
Feels good in the mouth with the carbonation and hop kick.
Different from other brown ales I've tasted, this one is less sweet with more hops. The malt profile is still there, but this one mixes it up with other elements. Enjoyable.

 575 characters

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

A - This beer pours a nice hazy deep brown color. It has a nice 3-finger tan head. The head left behind some nice lacing.

S - This smells sweet and nutty. I can smell some lightly toasted malts, caramel, and brown sugar. The smell is a bit tame but nice.

T - It tastes a lot like the nose suggests. Lightly toasted malts, caramel, some nuttiness, brown sugar and a hint of hops. It is very well balanced , which makes it quite pleasant.

M - This has a medium body and nice carbonation. It also has a rich and creamy quality to it.

D - Drinkability is good. It goes down very easy. I would have no problem drinking a few of these in a sitting. This is a good beer, and I recommend trying it.

 694 characters

Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
4.02/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a can into a guiness pint glass.

Look is amber brown and hazy with thin head.

Aroma is toasted malt.

Taste is very creamy with a toasted malt after taste,

Very good October beer.

 195 characters

Photo of AllenJasper
4.02/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle to mug, bottled 11/30/11 (2 and a half months old)

A: Murky brown with a coppery tone to it. one finger of fluffy brownish white head, not much retention.

S: Toasty malts, almonds, little hint of caramel

T/M: follows smell quite closely, a bit of hoppiness in there... I can only compare it to Newcastle, this is nuttier, hoppier, and is slightly crispier on the tongue.

O: This is the best 'Brown Ale' I have had. I've had a handful of ABAs and none of them even come close... even when some cost much more. (Rogue John John Hazelnut)
So far, Bell's has yet to disappoint. Even with a style of beer that is not really my thing.

 639 characters

Photo of travis875
4.02/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Beer-A-Lot
4.02/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of MidwestBA
4.02/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Bruiser81
4.02/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer was a murky brown color. It looked kind of like tea. A creamy off white head simmered down to a thin sheet. What a great aroma, a mixture of sweet malt, toffee, dates, and caramel. Taste wasn't bad but not near as good as the aroma. The taste starts with roasted malts which is followed by a bread flavor along with a nutty caramel. Towards the finish there is a a sweet/sour taste. Sort of different, not bad. This beer is great up until the finish which just threw me off a little. A nice creamy smooth mouthfeel. Definately a drinkable brew.

 554 characters

Photo of Cpmitchno1
4.02/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of JamesS
4.02/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a decent light brown color, getting lighter as the beer drains; some good head and lacing, nothing great. Nice scent, very sweet and malty, but not as Earthy as I like. Great taste, though, fairly deep, nice maltiness, with a great hoppy bite towards the end fading to a nice sweet aftertaste. Goes down quite well.

 321 characters

Photo of mmmbeer89
4.02/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of joe12pk
4.02/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bell's Best Brown from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 3.83 out of 5 with 3,083 ratings
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