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

very good
3,007 Ratings
no score
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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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,007 |  Reviews: 888
Photo of jlindsey
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of CFHMagnet
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A big thank you to Output01x for this bottle.
Pkgd on 10/04/11.

I poured this one a little faster and more aggressive. A finger of sandy colored head was thus delivered, and endeavored to disappear in a couple minutes, leaving a little froth and a thick ring. Body is brown with copper and light orange flecks when held up to the light. Lacing tries but cannot quite cling to the glass.

Strong and delicious smelling malt backbone. Smells very sweet with notes of caramel and maybe a little cinnamon and spice.

Nice light toasty malt is a strong flavor, with caramel, mild roasted nuts, a little cinnamon and spice with a mild herbal hop flavor coming in at the end to finish off with the light spice.

Beer is medium bodied and tries to coat the mouth, leaving a little filminess, which is the only reason I gave it 3.5 instead of 4. More on the sweet side but leaves you a little bitter at the very end.

 909 characters

Photo of mpyle
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

app - rich brown color, decent sized, off-white head, moderate retention.

aroma - malty/chocolatey, a small whiff of alcohol. Some hop as it warms.

flavor - chocolately, but not sweet. Sufficiently bitter from the start. No sharp bittering break, but finishes with a lingering malty bitterness. Sounds like a contradiction, but that is what it was like. Hops stay just beneath the malt, but they're definitely there.

MF - medium body and carbonation, some very minor alcohol warming.

d'ability - A rich, malty brown ale. Would like a little more hop flavor for further distinguish it from a porter. But still very drinkable.

 628 characters

Photo of Guden
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A medium brown with a small off-white head which fades slowly.

S- Light hints of dark and caramel malts, but nothing too strong.

T- Moderate amounts of maltiness with a little more bitterness and woody notes than expected but still quite refreshing.

M- Medium bodied but a little overly carbonated, works well but seems like a little less carbonation could of been better.

D- Enjoyable, and easily could have several of these but there isn't anything to exciting and there are better browns out there.

 508 characters

Photo of bryantan
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of rabiddawg
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Luigi
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a lighter brown, with a lot of amber highlights. Has an off white head that starts off about two fingers, then settles down to thin blanket on top of the ale. There is some sticky lacing around the glass and the head retains throughout the life of the beer.

The aroma is notes of toasted malt, toffee, and chocolate.

The first flavor to hit the palate would be the strong toasted malt, followed with some hints of chocolate. The hops are mildly bitter but are just enough to linger of the tongue, paired with the toasted malt.

Medium bodied and moderately carbonated.

Overall, Bell's Brown ale is a switch up from the average English Brown Ale. The carbonation is what threw me off. I guess I am used to the traditional lightly carbonated almost chewy in body brown ales. But, never the less Bell's brown ale is a tasty dark brew.

 848 characters

Photo of chris826
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of JakeBarnett
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%

Photo of donteatpoop
3.69/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a cloudy dark brown with a light reddish glow. Not much head, but what is there is ivory.

Smells of toasted malts, a little coffee-like. Very inviting.

Has a bit of an initial bite to it, fills the mouth with the taste of the toasted malts that were present in the scent.

Carbonation level might be a little high, but not enough to detract from the impact the beer makes on the palate. Goes down relatively smoothly, leaves a slightly dry aftertaste.

I could drink a few of these in a sitting. I don't know that I would actively seek this brew out, but this is certainly not a bad beer.

 598 characters

Photo of CreedeSon
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Kevin72
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of Doublicious
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of Benjolovesbeer
1.23/5  rDev -68%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

This beer was quite disappointing. I love brown beer and I love Bells but I feel the makers of Bells put zero effort in the making of this brew. But what really boils me is that Bells has the nerve to label it Best Brown Ale when it is probably the worst brown beer on the planet. It's like come on Bells you make a good IPA with Two-hearted, an amazing whole cone IPA with Hopslam, make one of the best Amber beers, and amazing Christmas brew, what the hell is this brown brew? Should've tasted it and then try reformulating with better ingredients. But until making the best brown beer do not put it on the market. I strongly urge not to get this one.

 659 characters

Photo of PhantomVodoo
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy dark brown with a good tan head.
Chocolatey, roasty aroma with a hint of vinegar.

Taste shows a smooth, chocolate, roasty, malt flavor. Good hop balance. A sweet, vinegar flavor is persistent throughout and really detracts from the beer IMO. I don't know if this is part of the beer's flavor profile or just a bad bottle. This beer would have scored much higher if the sour flavor wasn't present. It has a lot of characteristics I really like aside from that.

Fuller body and mouthfeel than your typical brown ale.
Drinkability suffers due to the sour notes.

Overall, a good brown ale with a detracting sour flavor and aroma. I'd like to give this one a try again from a different batch.

 708 characters

Photo of yuenglingfan101
5/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I love this brown ale. It isnt my favorite but a close 2nd and you will understand why if you had koko brown by kona. Simply the best that Bells has to offer. Nice brown color and a nice tan lace. Taste is irresistable only the koko brown hais more of an addictive flavor and i consider best brown and koko brown in the same category. the taste is so similar its uncanny but i love coconut. i want to people to know thiese two beers are almost hand and hand and bells in my area is big. I live in Indiana. not too far from the Michigan line. Kudos, Kudos, Kudos

 561 characters

Photo of BuckeyeSlim
3.52/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Quite soft nose of rich, sticky caramels with a touch of butterscotch, and fresh toast. Taste is fully toasted, almost roasted malts. A bit nutty, with dark caramel in the background. Just a touch of dried floral bittering hops on the finish. Body leans to the thin side. Drinkable and enjoyable, but lacking any distinctive quality.

 338 characters

Photo of Nctide
3.54/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of cantfindme
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of Another6Pack
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Buttermilk
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of jeremy3311
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of JohnnyDuvel
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good, balanced beer. Appearance as avertised, decent head, some retention. Good balance, slightly towards the bitter. Almost reminds me of a darker IPA (like Indiga). Bell's beers tend to be very flavorful (the one's I've experienced), and this is no exception. Another one I'd probably buy regularly if it was available down here. Thanks, Al.

 343 characters

Photo of mikehillman
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of PaleAleWalt
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

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