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

BA SCORE
86
very good
3,007 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
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:
104
Gots:
479
For Trade:
5
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 3,007 |  Reviews: 888
Photo of maxk
3.55/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 10/04/11 and poured into a tulip.

A rust brown colored, cloudy fluid with an off white/eggshell colored head. The head was two fingers and settled down to a thin coating and leaving nice lacing down the sides.

Dark fruits and coffee. There are a variety of malts evident in the nose.

Mostly dark fruit with bits of coffee bitterness and astringency. It's nice and creamy. The brew isn't so big bodied, but it's very rich.

 436 characters

Photo of madelf66
3.55/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Neehan
3.56/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a very malty beer that has an interesting character that is more like a marzen or a winter warmer than a brown ale. Dry finish and light mouthfeel with just enough carbonation to give a slight bite at the end. Not great, but not bad. A bit disappointing coming from Bell's, but who can complain with their other fantastic releases?

 339 characters

Photo of prokopt2
3.56/5  rDev -7.3%

Photo of Rdc67
3.56/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of JVan
3.56/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Matt82
3.56/5  rDev -7.3%

Photo of roadhouse
3.56/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appears a dark reddish brown with a creamy one and a half inch thick off-white head. Leaves very nice sheets of lacing down the side of the glass.

Aroma is floral/spicy hops with a slight vague chocolate and caramel. Pretty weak generally.

Taste begins with a bit of toffee sweetness but it then get's chocolaty with a tinge of nuttiness. Pretty hoppy overall, in a spicy way.

Mouthfeel is medium-light, fairly high carbonation for the style, but good.

Well I ended up drinking five of these tonight, so I suppose it's pretty drinkable. Overall, it's really not that great - I made a homebrew that I tasted side by side and mine was similar but better. My friend agreed in a blind taste test. This stuff is good but I'd rather drink Goose Island Nut Brown, even though it's a totally different kind of brown (much sweeter).

 875 characters

Photo of JasonL02
3.56/5  rDev -7.3%

Photo of Oxymoron
3.56/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What a hoot. Best Brown (as if they had a worse?) pours a chestnut brown color with darker shades. A good frothy white head that remains for the whole sampling and leaving limited lacing.

The smell is malty with a every presence of Bell’s yeast strain. Some bready and lighter grainy malt notes. Accents of caramel and a splash of roasted on the side.

The taste is very rich and good malt backing. Now I see what they mean best. Some marris otter and roasted gives a robust taste. A nutty and caramel flavor up front. Finishes with some toasty and caramel flavors. Some earthy bitterness is noticeable but is second to the malt backing.

The body is mid to high. Good dextrin flavors. Carbonation is light but overall a good beer indeed.

 746 characters

Photo of r3o
3.56/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: dark red-brown, half an inch head with a little lacing.
S: mostly malt, there's some burnt brown sugar, little hops
T: good balance, built well, you get some nuts in the palate, the aftertaste is sour in the back of my throat.
M: medium body, almost chewy, smooth, with good carbonation
D: easy to drink and pleases, not many surprises though.

 346 characters

Photo of psinderson
3.56/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at the Sharp Edge Creekhouse in a pint glass.

Appearance: Nice dark brown/ruby red color. Off-white head that lasts.

Smell: Caramel notes and malty sweetness.

Taste: Very malty sweet. Very little roasted flavor or hops flavor present.

Mouthfeel: Relatively thin, good carbonation.

Drinkability: Quite drinkable and goes down well.

 359 characters

Photo of BrewIndy
3.57/5  rDev -7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: This had about a half inch of head after the poor but it went away almost immediately. It has a real muddy brownish red color to it. There was no lacing at all probably due to the head going away so fast.

T: This beer has a great taste. When I drink a brown ale this is exactly what I would expect it to taste like. You can definitely taste the malt in this one. Then it goes into a bit of fruitiness if only for a second finishing with a hoppy flavor. Very tasty.

M: I was a little disappointed by the way it feels in my mouth. Not bad exactly but really just average. If it felt a bit better than I'm sure my taste rating would be even higher.

D: I could drink a few of these.. and I just might ;)

 705 characters

Photo of JDV
3.57/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of ketchepillar. Thanks.
Pours a reddish brown color with a small beig head. Smell is very nutty, toasty and has a great fresh maltiness about it. Taste is nutty, drying and malty with a light hopp bitterness and an almost nutty chocolately taste. Good body to it, and a really nice brown ale!

 310 characters

Photo of tmm313
3.57/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark brown with almost no head and practically no lacing. It was bottled 2 months ago. Looks like a coke in the glass.
S- Caramel, chocolate, roasted malts, dark fruits. Given a good swirl, a grassy, citrus aroma pops out.
T- Light flavors. Follows the nose almost exactly. As it warms, some nice citrus hops come out in the finish.
M- Medium, light body with a pretty good drying effect.
O- This was pretty good. I loved it when I first started tasting beers, but now that I'm trying it again, it is just a little too light for my tastes. I would certainly drink it if offered, but I probably won't be buying again.

 623 characters

Photo of thgreatrandini
3.57/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Photo of SykDoc
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured this from a bottle into a snifter. It pours a light tan bubbly head that is quite thin but ends with a good lacing. When held to the light, it is a deep amber/brown appearance.

The nose is is sweet with hints of toffee and chocolate. There are also notes of caramel and malt.

The taste and mouthfeel were somewhat mild to me. Primary notes of caramel and nuts with the caramel lingering. There is a medium to light body with a moderate level of carbonation. I was expecting a bit creamier feel.

Overall, this is a good brown ale. I do think there are several components that could have been better but as expected, Bell's produced another good beer and I will drink it again.

 685 characters

Photo of harpus
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Nothing special here...medium brown, a pretty rudy color shows through when held to the light. Thin head gone in a flash.

S: Pretty mild...nutty malt mostly. Not any hops to speak of.

T: Like the taste, it's pretty mild and mostly nutty. Certainly nothing offensive, but nothing exciting either. I guess it's just kind of boring, to be honest.

M: Smooth, light to medium carb, mildly dry finish. Again, pretty much mediocrity, although I can't find anything wrong with it either, which suggests a small bumb up from average.

D: This would be great for....I dunno? I'm sure it would be enjoyable in some situation but I can't think of any. It's unexciting, and I probably wouldn't buy it again for the mere fact that nothing makes me say "wow" about it, or even "ooh.

 773 characters

Photo of clint1019
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Brown in color with a cream colored head.

S - Has a light caramel malt aroma along with a slight fruityness.

T - Caramel malt flavor with a hint, a ever slight hint of hop bitterness in the end.

M - Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

O - Not a bad brown ale. It just doesn't have a lot going on, but I guess you could say that about most brown ales.

 371 characters

Photo of SolipsismalCat
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Hazy medium brown with lots of bubbles and a two-finger, off-white, foamy head that lasted a few minutes. Okay lacing.

S: Sweet malt. Alcohol.

T: Light malt sweetness and moderate hop bitterness. Roasted caramel malt flavor. Kind of nutty. Bitter finish.

M: Medium bodied with fizzy carbonation. Relatively smooth. Dry.

O: Looks good. Smells kind of weird, but not bad. I was hoping for a nutty more roasted flavor. Not bad overall.

 466 characters

Photo of thecheapies
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Medium brown colored body with an inch of head.

Bready toasted caramel aroma. Bit of biscuity pale malt blending in. Ok.

Pretty standard flavor profile with a slight emphasis on a less nutty/more estery yeast. Some hints of apricot and some citrus happiness backing the toasted malts. Not bad.

Feels appropriate for the style. My only complaint is actually detecting the alcohol in this one.

Verdict: not my style of choice, although it was in the past. I'd say this one's decent, but not as good as, say, Dogfish Head Indian Brown.

 536 characters

Photo of Chucker17
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Heavenisbeer
3.59/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass.

A: Two finger head at pour, which recedes to a thin patchy barely there layer. A decent amount of lacing. Light caramel coloring. Appears to have medium to medium/high carbonation.

S: Extremely delicate, almost non-existent. Nose hints at a distant fruitiness.

T: Taste is somewhat underwhelming, but in sort of an interesting way--sweet citrus burst on palette at first, but then quickly subsides leaving a sour grape-accented middle (similar to a dry white wine), ending in a bland drop-off. The subtle sourness of the beer is quite intriguing, and doesn't detract but rather adds to its overall quality.

M: Thin, fluid. Well-balanced, similar to other English browns. Mildly bubbly.

D: Certainly a session contender. I could drink a few of these back to back during a brisk autumn day.

 838 characters

Photo of Andyrectenwald
3.6/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of Bierguy5
3.6/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep auburn, copper cloudy liquid with an off-white foamy head. The head disappeared quickly, and there was little lacing on the glass. Smells of toasted malt, not much else. Taste of sweetness, followed by a slight roasted caramel flavor. No bitterness. Medium body, nice amount of carbonation. Very easy to drink, very little bitterness at all. Good offering by Bell's. I suppose I would have enjoyed a deeper toasted/roasted flavor, but this one was good.

 466 characters

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

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Learn More