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

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Bell's Best BrownBell's Best Brown
BA SCORE
3.83/5
Very Good
3,108 Ratings
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
Ranking:
#12,623
Reviews:
918
Ratings:
3,108
pDev:
11.23%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
106
Gots:
521
Trade:
5
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,108 |  Reviews: 918
Photo of nunitn
4.01/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A nice heavy(very heavy tasting) brown ale definitely not like New Castle great appearance and head though it fades quite quick I really don't buy beer this expensive but it was on sale a little pricey but a great beer would probably taste really good fresh off a tap. well done.

 279 characters

Photo of Gagnonsux
3.67/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of MaddoJay
3.33/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Photo of Vandelay1863
3.82/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of kojevergas
3.46/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nabbed a 12 fl oz bottle at a Trader Joe's in Austin, TX for $1.59 USD plus tax. Has an orange-red label depicting an owl in a forest. Brown glass with a pry-off crown cap. Packaged 08/23/2017 and has a shelf life of 6 months per the label.

5.8% ABV. Brewed with American hops. "American brown ale."

Served cold into a shaker pint glass (it was all I have on hand!).

APPEARANCE: Pours more an auburn coloured body than a brown, and it's not horribly vibrant to boot. Head is better than the body, offering a nicely frothy pale khaki. Creamy and soft in appearance, helping compensate for the underwhelming body.

Appears well-carbonated. Head retention is ~7 minutes (rather good!).

AROMA: Caramel. American hops are evident, throwing out floral aromatics that blend wonderfully with the amber malt aromatics. I'm going to guess Centennial, Cascade, and Perle? Consulting Bell's website doesn't give me an actual answer, but I'm sure I'm wrong. It's slightly herbal as well.

Hints of nutty aromatics are present, but the hops are certainly more prominent, putting this beer firmly in American brown ale territory - not English. Toasted chestnut. Applewood. Call me crazy but I get a hint of a berry-like fruitiness as well along with some unexpected albeit subdued bubblegum phenol. I think I'm finding wheat malt too...am I crazy? This has strange German leanings based on what I'm identifying, hitting on some notes I'd sooner expect to find in a weizenbock than an American brown ale.

Aromatic intensity is above average.

TASTE: Bubblegum phenol is there, as crazy as that may sound. Floral and herbal hop flavours are evident, but I think my earlier hop guess was completely off. Malt backbone is strangely not emphatic of brown malts, instead hitting on pale malt/2-row, caramalt, crystal, and maybe caraMunich (and probably specialty chocolate). Caramel tones are obvious, but I'm not finding the cocoa hints suggested on the label.

Slightly toasty, slightly evocative of chestnut, but by no means a nutty brown ale compared to many in the style.

TEXTURE: Medium-bodied, smooth, wet, refreshing, and even-keeled with a mellow approachable mouthfeel that hints at hop oils without being oily. Well-carbonated. Has no faults (e.g. booziness, astringency).

OVERALL: It honestly doesn't drink like a brown ale to me, but I don't care...regarded loosely as an "Autumn ale" (if you will) it's nice fare that I could drink year round, balancing a caramel/nutty flavour with moderately assertive hopping. I'll definitely be picking up a sixer of this in future if only to dig into it deeper and resolve its mixed signals to my satisfaction. There's adequate complexity here but also good balance, though it doesn't conform neatly to brown ale style conventions.

High B- (3.46) / WORTHY

 2,794 characters

Photo of Fatty_Mccracken
5/5  rDev +30.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of bigedal60
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of chitoryu12
3.89/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Look: Very dark brown with a creamy tan head.

Smell: Surprisingly for a brown ale, a lot of citrus on the nose. Backed by rye bread and malt.

Taste: More subtle than I was expecting. Toasted malts without the bitterness, very bready and surprisingly sweet. The flavor comes out gradually in gentle waves over your tongue rather than hitting you. Very balanced.

Mouthfeel: Not too thick or thin, not really carbonated. Right in the middle.

Overall: Extremely easy to drink and pleasant overall. The only thing I would want is some more boldness.

 548 characters

Photo of BKotch
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of BlueTomorrow
3.61/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of BenHoppy
2.92/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Photo of archero
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of KennethBeer
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of cheefdaddy1
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of 1971bernat
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

Photo of HorseheadsHophead
4.68/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

L: Hazy, very dark reddish brown, almost black. The head is creamy and tan, moderate retention, and sheets of lacing.

S: Toasted brown bread, roasted nuts, milk chocolate, hints of cherry and raisin, earthy hops.

T: Toasted brown bread, milk chocolate, malted milk balls, caramel, toffee, peanut brittle, cherry, fig, raisin, earth. Lightly sweet, but extremely balanced.

F: Medium-light. A bit watery on the mid-palate, moderately carbonated. Balanced between sweetness and dryness, lightly bitter on the finish. Very drinkable.

O: This is essentially the perfect American Brown Ale. Simultaneously deliciously flavorful, and yet endlessly sessionable. Remarkable in its unremarkability, and to that point, it's the perfect brown ale.

 748 characters

Photo of AyatollahGold
3.42/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of JC050492
3.84/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

L - Looks beautiful - clear brown/red color
S - Smells of caramel and wheat, smell is slightly weak
T: wheat with some slight hop bitterness and caramel sweetness. Very balanced and delcisious beginning to end
Feel: simple but not watery. Could drink a few of these
O: never heard of it before and took a chance. Not at all upset.

 330 characters

Photo of SociableJimmy
4.26/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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

Photo of gardner254
3.77/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of FrankMurphy
3.43/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Fear4Beer
4.27/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a glass mug.

Look: Nice reddish brown juice with lacing that sticks around in your glass.

Smell: A medley of sweet roasted notes.

Taste: This is quite a pleasant beer to drink. I get a lot of malt with a nice sweetness like caramel. There's a very small hint of bitters (hops) to balance the sweetness (malt). I'm not a fan of bitter beers and this is by no means a bitter beer. Just a small hint of it for balancing the sweetness. It tastes like a really good Italian crusty bread, caramel, and a little bit of hops.

Feel: Somewhere in the middle. Not watery but not heavy and thick. A perfect balance I'd say.

Overall: I'm not a big fan of brown ales but this one is really good. I actually enjoyed putting this one away. I'd certainly drink it again. I think this would qualify as being a great session beer. Good job Bell's this was a good brew!

 867 characters

Photo of eldoctorador
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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Bell's Best Brown from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 3.83 out of 5 with 3,108 ratings