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

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very good
859 Reviews
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Bell's Best BrownBell's Best Brown
BEER INFO

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

Style: English 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
Reviews:
859
Ratings:
2,881
Avg:
3.84
pDev:
20.31%
 
 
Wants:
105
Gots:
419
For Trade:
5
User Reviews
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Reviews: 859 | Ratings: 2,881
Photo of micromaniac129
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

apperance: on first pour shows a deep amber color
with a slight haze about it. Above
avg carbonation with a nice foam head
that lingers around the glass until
the bitter end.

Aroma: nice hardy malt aroma with some
roasted malts and toffee coming
throught.

Taste: malts and roasted malts with some
bitterness at end

Mouthfeel: slightly heavy mouthfeel coarse on
finish

drinkability: pleasent tasting, good looking beer
a good beer to drink aver a long
session. This beer also works well
in cooking and barbeque sauces.

 538 characters

Photo of Viggo
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy red/brown, thick tan head, settles to a ring, nice lacing and great retention, head really sticks. Smell is sweet, toffee, grains, roasty chocolate, very rich flavour, little bit of floral. Taste is toffee and chocolate, grainy, some floral and citrus in the finish, nice roasted dry finish. Mouthfeel is light bodied with low carbonation, very smooth and enjoyable. A nice brown ale. Thanks biegaman!

 414 characters

Photo of thistle3189
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a very solid brown ale. This is exactly what I think of with this style. Well balanced slight nutty but not much. There is plenty of maltyness and just a little hoppyness, very drinkable.

A: brown, in color good slightly creamy head ok lacing
S: the malt starts right up front.
T: Very solid brown
M: plenty of body
D: I could drink a few of these.

Another great beer form Bell's

 389 characters

Photo of Jmamay22
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Best Brown pours out, wait for it, brown! A nice mid brown. Tough to tell, but it appears it is mildly cloudy. Nice tan fluffy head holds up well. Nice dusty chocolate scent with a touch of caramel. A hint of American hops, but I can't pick out which, but they give a nice citrus contrast.

The taste is nice and rich. Chocolate and caramel come together as in the scent. Finishes with a citrus hop flavor. Nice lingering flavor. Heavier side of medium bodied. Comes across as very full flavored. Overall a great American take on a brown ale. A little more hops than most.

 573 characters

Photo of tavernjef
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Color is a brown with a maroon tint and pours out a medium foam head thats biege in color. Nice roasty aroma with caramel tones in the back of my nose, very nice. Taste of caramel balanced well with roasted barley and gives a sweet malty flavor. Finish is a fresh hop note and kind of earthy with a dark nut sense. Reminded me of a nut brown just a hint darker. Good feel of tangy bite and medium body, not heavy. Drinking it warm apposed to cold favors this Best Brown. This brown would make for for a good chilly evening capper.

 530 characters

Photo of Jables
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep mahogany with plenty of visible yeast. Smells malty but subdued and not overpowering. The taste agrees with the scent, nice nutty and sweet malt without being too much. The mouthfeel is slightly chewy and drinkability is fantastic. A great brown ale, and the best I've had yet.

 291 characters

Photo of hckyfn9999
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy dark brown color with some orange hues when held to light. A nice light tan, two finger head that lasts for a while and leaves decent lacing.

Aroma is somewhat nutty with some cocoa, toffee and caramel and a faint hoppiness in there as well.

Taste is sweet and toasty. Some caramel and nuts dominate the flavor along with a bitterness in the finish. Pretty decent balance here.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, not very heavy on the carbonation.

Definitely a very drinkable beer. Would make for a great session. Glad I went out of my way to get this beer, it is pretty solid.

 601 characters

Photo of rodlavers
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled 09/04/13, poured into my brand new Bell's snifter.

Strong appearance, opaque rusted brown/red, very light tan head, about an inch, recedes to a nice thin layer that fades in and out along the surface, and forms a thickish ring around the edge.

Aroma is a little flat, but still notes of brown sugar and spice mix with mild hops. Nutty, mildly filled with wood, roasty.

Taste is similar but sweeter; brown sugar, malt, some caramel. taste is better than smell.

Mouthfeel is dry and crisp. Above average carbonation. Refreshing for a fall beer.

Overall fond of this as a fall beer; well-balanced bitterness and sweet flavors. I will go back to this. Cheers.

 669 characters

Photo of KomodoDragon
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Somewhere between an amber and a brown ale. Huge toffee head which immediately subsided, impressive lacing.

S - Not much to smell here. Some sugar, some toasted malts.

T - Has some sweetness of a brown, as well as caramel tones. Also some roasted malts and flavors of almonds and cocoa.

M - Exceptionally smooth and very drinkable.

Seems more like a American brown. Perhaps not "best", but definately unique and at minimum very very good.

 448 characters

Photo of dukedevil0
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Single 12oz from Archer Liquors in Chicago, IL.

A: Pours a dark reddish brown with off-white head and good lacing on glass.

S: caramel malts, nutty, slight roasted malt

T: similar to the smell, caramel, nutty, roasted malt,

M: full bodied for this style, not too thin or anything

D: super high, very easy to drink, session beer for sure

definitely a solid beer to have around

 382 characters

Photo of alexgash
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy, dark shoe-leather brown with a small, creamy, khaki head and decent lacing. Aromas of mild brown sugar, caramelized fruit, toasted malt, and yeast. Toasted loaf malt flavors up front. Light nuttiness, mixed with some dried pears also noticeable. Earthy, spicy hops come on stronger than expected and add a pleasant kick to this brew. Finish is bitter with light toasted fruit sweetness, and yeast. Nice. Medium-bodied, coats the mouth well. Another winner from Bell's.

 474 characters

Photo of Dogbrick
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at MoJoe Lounge in Easton. Clear dark brown color with a medium tan head and thin sticky lacing. Sweet toasted malt and caramel aroma. Medium, smooth body with dominant malt flavoring. Sweet caramel and a bit of hops and coffee is also present. The finish is roasty and sweet at times. A great session beer that is enjoyable all around.

 343 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 8212.

Appearance: Pours a clear brown body with a lush, though quickly thinning ivory-colored head.

Smell: Nutty, creamy caramel aroma with lighter notes of chocolate, wood, and dark fruits.

Taste: Dark crème caramel and toasted nuts with just the right level of sweetness. Faint fruitiness. Lightly hopped with a mild bitterness and a slight floral character. For all it's sweetness, the beer still manages to finish dry with a lingering toastiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A charming, easy drinking brown from Bell's.

 566 characters

Photo of BillyBoysPie
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a nice dark brown with reddish-orange highlights. Full inch and a half of a pale beige head that settles down. Leaves plenty of lacing. There's sediment in the glass - and I just washed my glass. It's a bit off-putting for this style, but I'm not predjudiced.

Surprisingly hoppy for a brown ale. Also, since the bottle is extolling the malt, I'm searching for it. It, frankly, smells like the fantastic Two-Hearted Ale - which I love - but I find odd for a brown ale. There's a fair bit of toffee, but mostly the floral/citrus.

Ahh! I taste the malts! Why can't I smell them... Either way, really nice malts. Caramel with a touch of chocolate and butter, and sweet hops at the end. The hops are balanced well, a nice bit of sweet honey and florals. I do quite like it. A refreshing brown ale.

Nice mouthfeel. Right carbonation for the style, and pretty light body, but it does fill up the mouth. Refreshing.

I quite like it. Not as good as the Two-Hearted, but a keeper. Also, I like original ideas/fresh takes on a beer, and this works.

 1,075 characters

Photo of NCBeernut
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy coppery brown with suspended particles. Decent head that falls down to a thin layer. A nice drinkable brown ale. Not overly rich to be very sessionable. Nutty, malty goodness, with a bit of a hoppy finish. Not as chocolaty as many American browns tend to be. Very good English style brown ale.

 298 characters

Photo of aaronh
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This hazy brwon beer with red highlights pours with a thick tan head that slowly fades. A nice lacing is left on the glass as you drink. The aroma is of caramel, molasses, and malt and is very inviting and smooth. The first taste is heavy on the dark molasses and a husky malt flavor. Smoky brown sugar notes and a nice bitterness follow. Not as much sweetness as the aroma would suggest, this is more of a dry brown ale. The mouthfeel is a bit harsh from carbonation, and the beer has a moderate body. It improves a bit as the beer warms. The drinkability is good, as this would be a good session beer. Another nice beer from Kalamazoo.

 637 characters

Photo of Spiekerbox
4.11/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Amber brown with a thick light brown head that lingers for a while.

S- malty and a little nutty

T- Toasted malts with a nutty flavor, slight sweetness and a little bitterness. Pleasant and balanced

M- Nice smooth mouthfeel, medium body and ideal carbonation for the flavors to come out with.

D- Very drinkable, good brown ale, exactly what the style should be in my mind. Good beer to chill with.

 403 characters

Photo of Fish113d
4.11/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark mahogany color into a pint glass chilled. Little light gets through the glass. Tan surface layer w/ decent glass cling.

Aroma is mainly of caramel malts; some wheat aroma also. Grainy hops sneak into my nostrals as well. Pretty sugary and sweet aroma overall.

Sweet caramel w/ a slight oak, vanilla, and plum flavor. Some slight floral hops hit my palate also on the finish. A bit of alcohol hints as well maybe. Very nice for the style.

Decent amount of carbonation up front w/ a light to medium body. Some slight alcohol, but nice overall feel.

Thumbs up to drinking this one. It'd make a nice Friday evening growler brew. I'd definitely drink this if I had more access to it on a regular basis.

 722 characters

Photo of brownbeer
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- pours brown amber with thin off-white head. Good retention, thin lacing. A lot of sediment though, whiched knocked the appearance down a bit for me.

S- Malt forward, caramel and biscuit. Subtle hoppy background.

T- Sweet and caramely up front balanced by slight minerality and hops leaving the finish slightly dry.

M- Just enough heft to be satisfying and soft enough to be encouraging.

D- A little heavier than most browns but tasty and smooth enough to session through.

 478 characters

Photo of akorsak
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12 oz bottle from Al's of Hampden.

A: The brown ale is more of a crimson red color, but who's counting hues? It is translucent enough to see objects on the other side of the glass but I can't distinguish them. A small head, quarter of a finger max, reduces rapidly to a thin white band.

S: Caramel and toffee are strong in the nose. A bit of nuttiness follows in short order with a hoppy citrus backbone (not too strong mind you).

T: A very solid brown ale. The maltiness plants its proverbial flag early and never relinquishes its claim. Caramel and toffee, along with toasted nuts, drive most of the flavor. Coffee and vanilla linger around too, especially when the ale warms. Hops, not a stand-out, still provide a zesty bite. A brown ale that is better than most.

M: The mouthfeel is syrupy, thick and malty. Darker roasted flavors stand out.

D: A very drinkable ale, sessionable even. Makes me appreciate the non-extreme styles.

 940 characters

Photo of Jammies
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aged for 8 months

A- pours a deep brown with hints of red. A thin layer of foam retreats to the center and edge of the glass

S- sweet with some light sugary notes. Slightly nutty

T- light and well balanced. A nutty flavor to it.

M- great body. very smooth with a slightly coarse finish

O- Great brown ale, not overly sweet like a christmas ale. Simplicity at its finest

 374 characters

Photo of Loki
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with a good head that lasts for minutes. The nose has aromas of butterscotch, caramel, burnt sugar, and roasted malt. The flavor is more bitter than the nose. This deep brown ale tastes of malt, semi-sweet chocolate, and bitter hops. Good mouth feel, comes across the tongue smooth and finishes slightly dry. Great brown ale, Bell's Best Brown is a fitting name.

 381 characters

Photo of bunnyhustle
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle to the trusty pint glass. Pours a hazy dark copper or dark amber in color, I cant decide which. 1 finger off white creamy head, good retention, minimal lacing. Smell was very nice. A nice blend of dark caramel, sweet malt, toasted grain, and even some dark fruit. Taste was good, relatively similar to smell. Sweet caramel, almost a little too sweet, with some toasted grain, and dry malt. Mouthfeel was fine, not too thin but a little dry. Overall a good beer and easy drinker. And I'm not a huge brown fan either.

 534 characters

Photo of mdhkc
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm a little skeptical of brown ales in general. A lot of them seem to taste quite good up front, but then leaving something malty behind that simply lasts too long and quickly goes from tasty beer to a leftover taste that you want to exorcise from your mouth. Happily, Bell's Best isn't a victim of this phenomena. Slightly "warmer" than many other brown ales I've personally tried, this seems like a nice winter seasonal.

Clean is the word I'd use to describe the flavor of this beer all around. The carbonation level seems just right as well, naturally complementing it without overwhelming. Nutty and slightly chocolatey malt notes up front lead into a slightly sweet finish that doesn't overpower. A light body combined with the clean finish makes this beer extremely drinkable on a cool winter's evening, or paired with a nice hearty English beef or mutton stew.

Bottle is stamped with "10/24/11A", so I assume this is a bottling date, but it doesn't specify.

Overall, this beer is an exception among the style in my opinion, and likely my favorite brown ale thus far.

 1,080 characters

Photo of Upgrayedd
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

I could drink this all night! Best Brown is my defination of what an American Brown Ale should be. It pours a nice brown color with a nice thin head that remained throughout the serving. It has a nice aroma of chocolate and spicy hops. The flavor matches the aroma. Aftertaste is so smooth. Makes a great session beer.

My only complaint is that I yearn for a bit more maltiness.

 379 characters

Bell's Best Brown from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
86 out of 100 based on 859 ratings.
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