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

BA SCORE
86
very good
3,007 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score
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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
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Ratings: 3,007 |  Reviews: 888
Photo of woodychandler
3.77/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had purchased this 16-fl. oz. pounder CAN back in the Fall with every intention of reviewing it quickly, but the backlog shunted it to the side until now. I would feel guilty, but I do not feel that emotion, plus it gives me an opportunity to see how it holds up in a CAN. Long live The CANQuest (tm)!

From the CAN: "A smooth, toasty brown ale that is best enjoyed with the changing of the seasons."; "Unpasteurized [-] Unfiltered [-] Best kept Refrigerated".

I Crack!ed the CAN open and CANmenced an inverted Glug, keeping a reverent eye on it to ensure that there would not be any spillover. This resulted in two fingers of foamy, light-tan head with moderate retention, falling as I typed. Color was a Coppery-Brown (SRM = > 17, < 22) with NE-quality clarity and copper highlights. Nose was very malty sweet, almost like maple syrup. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste had a slight smokiness that when coupled with the maltiness that I noted on the nose, served to remind me of pancakes with syrup and bacon! Finish was semi-sweet, which leads me to wonder if maybe the sweetness has subsided in the interim. If so, then I am all for aging as I do not like cloyingly sweet beers and this was more my speed. I am going to leave my original scores in place, although I would probably go higher on Taste after this one.

CAN you believe a 5L CAN?!? I not only CAN, but I have one and I have been awaiting a guest or two to help me drink it. The CANQuest (TM) CAN venture into new territory with the idea that a 5L mini-keg qualifies as a CAN for the purposes of this site.

I am a novice with this sort of delivery system, so I had to a) follow the directions VERY carefully and b) decide on the best pour for it. With regards to b), I tried a straight pour, allowing it to run from the tap into the glass, but I ended up with a massive amount of head, which I kept for myself. I then tried angling the glass and allowing the beer to flow into it without letting it impact the bottom of the glass. Either way, I had a buncha head. Allowing it to settle from its original, light-tan state into something more manageable, I still had a good bit of foam and a lot of sticky lacing to go along with it. The color was more of a ruby-red with NE-quality clarity than a brown, but it still looked enticing. The nose was definitely malty sweet with a bit of maple sugar included in the mix. Mouthfeel was slightly thin but I could tell that it was a sweet brown ale immediately. I am not averse to the style, but after a day of sampling hoppy beers, this really stood out from the pack. Tasty. A steady diet of AALs while furthering The CANQuest (TM) has honed my palate to the point that anything and everything tastes good. The finish had a slight smokiness to it, reminiscent of my PapPap burning leaves in his outdoor brick fireplace when I was a kid. Are you even allowed to burn leaves in this day and age? Man, I am getting old. The young lady visitor who just left laid it on me that she was born when I was leaving for Boot Camp. Oy vey!

 3,041 characters

Photo of ZEB89
4/5  rDev +4.2%

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

Photo of orangesol
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of paulish
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of MarkyMOD
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head shaker pint glass at the Schaumburg Whole Foods.

My first brew here at the WF bar. It pours a clear rich auburn topped by a finger of light ecru foam. The nose comprises biscuit, rye bread, toffee, walnuts, flowers, and greens. The taste holds notes of light roasted malts, walnuts, oak, nutty toffee, and a strong hoppy bitterness in the background. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a kinda dry finish. Overall, a very nice brown, maybe not the "best" around, but definitely tasty.

 541 characters

Photo of Zaphog
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

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

Received in trade from Prototypic, thanks for the opportunity.

Pours a solid brown with garnet highlights when held to light. Small mocha head sticks around for a bit. Smells of chocolate and a earthy nutty bready kind of thing going on. Tastes malty chocolaty faint bread and caramel. Mouthfeel is creamy, body is a little thin carbonation on the low side. Great little sessionable brown ale.

 395 characters

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

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark amber color with decent slightly off white head that laced nicely. Smell is mild, with sweet and roast malts bolstering it with some hops being present. The taste is mild, some hops, a bit of nuttiness, bitter at the finish. Not bad but rather subdued flavor. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a decent beer.

 368 characters

Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.64/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of InspectorBob
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of stakem
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into my pint glass. Color is deep amber with head that only sticks around for a short while. Minimal lacing on the glass. As noted from other bell's products it has the familiar particles floating in suspension (not just near the bottom of the beer.) Mild but pleasant hop aroma. Slight hop bitterness that is nicely balanced with malt sweetness. Slightly more bitter than it is sweet, it invites you in for the next sip. Very drinkable and a fine beer overall.

 482 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.61/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Deep amber brown hue, we can dub it mahogany with a nice tan fluffy cream head leaves nice scattered lacing as the head dwindles lacing forms a collar.
Aroma: Deep roasted malts give off hints of chocolates and a warming sweetness along with a complementing tone of nut bread.
Taste: The toasted malts form a caramel toasted nut flavor profile and the hops in the finish are very evident, quite bitter for a brown ale not hopped per say just residually bitter.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied brew with a bit of a cloying finish, not as smooth as I was hoping.
Drinkability: Mediocre for the Bell’s lineup but one of the most intriguing brown ales I have taste at the same time, save room for their Two Hearted Ale now that’s a session ale.

 755 characters

Photo of tdm168
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, brownish amber with 1/2" of off white head that has decent retention. The nose has notes of caramel sweetness and toast. The taste is burnt toast, roast, caramel with a faint hop bitterness in the finish. It's medium bodied, lightly carbonated and very smooth and drinkable.

This beer is well balanced. The subtleties make it complex. There's a good, strong malt character. It's a little sweet at times, but good overall.

 436 characters

Photo of AlexFields
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of rolltide8425
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev +4.2%

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

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Packaged September 7th 2011.

A good simple off caramel, light colored brown/white head foamy in consistency off the pour, sits on a standard light chestnut body with some minor light hues on the edges.

Mild nut on the nose, and a simple malt sweetness. Kind of muted not much else going on but nice simple good example of the style.

Chewy dark malt and nutty feeling hits the palate. A simple light bodied and just a hint of creamy texture compliments the feeling with hints of nut. A little carbonation takes away some of the wonderful play, but taste on the finish still remains.

Overall, basic, simple, but enjoyable all around. A good beer to dig into no complaints I could have another anytime.

 751 characters

Photo of jgunther71
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of rab53
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%

Photo of Billolick
4.17/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, no dating on bottle. NIce soft amber color with an off white head, leaves some lace. Pleasant doughy/malty aroma. Malty/bready flavor profile. Nutty, hints of rye, biscuits, almonds and oatmeal cookies. Moderate hops round things off. This is another tasty offering from Bells. My wife brought a mixed six pack back from Michigan, each beer has been tasty! Wish I could get more of these guy's brews here in NY state.

 431 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly fogged ruby hued brown that only gives a small creme head off a firm pour. Nose is very leafy and earthy. Flavor is very full. A lot more vibrant than I had figured it would be. Much more of a sugar-like sweet tone to it. Almost like there was brown sugar thrown in the mix. Feel has a full carbonation and the liquid is well bodied. This is easy to drink. A bit too sweet IMO, but still an enjoyable experience.

 429 characters

Photo of malfunxion
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of Duff27
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Half inch tan head on a dark brown/red body. Seems to be a lot of sediment floating around. Above average lacing for the style with a cap and collar on the surface.

S- Toffee notes as well as some chocolates and caramels.

T- Follows the nose but with more pronounced cocoa/caramel combination. Very malty, subdued hops. Goes down easy, would guess at an even lower ABV then what is stated.

M- Smooth, medium mouthfeel. Moderate carbonation that comes in at the end of each sip.

D/O- Thirst quenching for sure. Just a nice, sessionable malty brown ale. It's nice to have the ABV kept in check once in awhile. Recommended for brown fans.

 642 characters

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