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

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86
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:
2,882
Avg:
3.84
pDev:
20.31%
 
 
Wants:
105
Gots:
421
For Trade:
5
User Reviews
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Reviews: 859 | Ratings: 2,882
Photo of RodneyX
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown beer that has a beige head that left behind a tiny bit of spots and lace. It smells of caramel and sugar with some raisins or figs or other type of dark fruit. Taste is about the same, and quite pleasant. Really focuses on the brown sugar aspect. Mouthfeel is slightly over carbonated but not bad. This is an above average brown I would drink again

 354 characters

Photo of SmithwicksNut
3.82/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brown in color with a tan head. Head retention was pretty good.

S: Moderate malt aroma with some fruitiness. Had some hop aroma to it also.

T: A medium-full bodied beerwith malt and a little roasty sweetness blended in. Had moderate bitterness which blended well.

M: A medium-full bodied beer with good carbonation.

D: a very nice brown ale almost bordering on a porter. I was able to drink a few.

 410 characters

Photo of Transatlantic
4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A - A very beautiful hazy unfiltered walnut brown color with an okay head with okay lacing. Chunks upon chunks of sediment, might I add.

S - A very nutty and caramel smell with a light floral hop smell in the background.

T - Very nutty and very caramel like taste. Hop bitterness is next to non-existent in this brew. This is a very light but sweet brown ale.

M - Light to medium bodied

D - The drinkability on this brew is off the charts. I should have gotten another 6-pack of this stuff before they're gone.

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Photo of MufflnMan
3.86/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Very good looking clear brown with a hint of red/amber and an almost mocha head. Nice surprise for a brown ale...

Faint smells of malty sweet caramel/toffee and a hint of hops.

Taste is almost a copy of the nose, but stronger. Nice sweetness to it without being cloying. The caramels and toffees come thru again and then a finish with a bit of hops. I also get the smallest hint of cocoa in there which is nice.

Medium mouthfeel, not too heavy... not too light. Very little to no carbonation so anything that hits your tongue is in the taste.

Overall, a solid brown ale.

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Photo of montecristo2
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a goblet style glass.

Pours a dark brown, a bit murky but when held to the light shows a dark mahogany color.

Very light head, dissipates very quickly to almost nothing.

Smells of malts and nuts.

Taste-Nutty, a slight tang, and that caramel aftertaste that I love with brown ales.

A very drinkable session brown from Bell's.

Cheers!

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Photo of avaccani
3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Typical brown. A 1 finger head that left a nice lace.

S - Maybe it's my cold but didn't get much here. Some bread, oat, perhaps toffee or caramel.

T - Being a big Bell's fan I was a tad dissapointed here. It is good, but nothing that wows me.

M - Light bodied, moderate carbonation.

D - I had 2 of these in one sitting and it was enough for me. I enjoyed it, but don't know if I'd seek it out again.

 407 characters

Photo of goldennectar
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz.bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Nice thick head & beautiful dark amber color. Not much lacing left behind.

Smell: Sweet Caramel Malts

Taste: Very similar to the smell - Caramel & malty with a slightly nutty flavor.
Well rounded, balanced & smooth
is how I describe this very drinkable ale.

Mouthfeel: Medium body & carbonation

Overall: A very well done & very drinkable offering from Bell's Brewery. Try one

 437 characters

Photo of lewzer99
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Brown and translucent, with a touch of ruby when light hits it. One finger head that lasts a few minutes and leave no lacing.
S- The nose has a lot of sugary malts, with a bit of chocolate,and some floral hops.
T- Chocolatey roasted malts at first that give way to a butterscotch like sweetness.
M- Rich and heavy feeling. Can't wait for the weather to cool down so I can enjoy this one in a sweater.
O- Bells always makes some of my favorites, and this brown ale is another good beer from them. Definitely one of the best for the money.

 540 characters

Photo of turamarth
3.51/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a basic pint glass.

Look: Pours a pretty hefty off white head, that lingers for a good while. Not a lot of lacing. Has a clear dark amber color, almost like a jar filled with iced tea. Only real downside on the looks of the beer is the fact that there is so much yeast sediment chillin in the beer. I'm pretty sure if I wanted to I would take a sample and make my own yeast starter from it. Mmmm petry dish.

Smell: An interesting nose. Lots of musky sents that linger in the nose after a good dive. Also, there are a lot of tannin smells, e.g., tea, cold coffee, etc. After the musky notes the caramels are predominate in the nose. There are also some dark fruit and coco powder hints through out.

Taste: Much a kin to the nose. The musky flavors linger on the tongue after a good sip, I like this. A caramel sweetness that is stronger on the tongue than on the nose sits well here along with some amplified fruits that I can't pinpoint. Pretty tasty.

Mouth: A rather medium mouthfeel. Smooth and the carbonation dances nicely on the tongue. Every now and then however you'll find a lil yeasty on your tongue.

Drink: Dispite all the freakin' yeast you can see and sometimes taste. This beer is pretty drinkable, and very sessionable. Probably my go to brown ale.

 1,279 characters

Photo of Gobigvt7
4.47/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

a - pours a nice mid-brown, with an amber tint when held to light. Looks delicious already. one finger of almost white head, good lacing.

s - nutty malts and bread

t - smooth caramelized grains. semi-sweet but not cloying. very light hops lend an edge to the maltiness. very balanced, tastes evenly throughout the sip.

m - smooth, round, medium body.

o - one of my favorite go-to browns. For the style, immensely drinkable and flavorful.

 477 characters

Photo of BrewStoutMagic
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this brew into a sifter to check out the aroma,but nothing really stood out. Now the taste is smooth,not bitter at all.The ale has a beautiful brown color.Looks so good in this glass I think I'll try to drink it as slow as I can so I can enjoy it. Definitely something I'd buy in the future.

 298 characters

Photo of DukeofAle
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a very well made ale but just does not have enough charactor to make it stand out. Pours a medium brown with moderate head and fair to middling retention, some lace. Taste is smooth and easy to drink. More malty than hoppy - but very mild. Somewhat thin.

No real faults, but not a stand out in any way.

 311 characters

Photo of flexinwext
3.72/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Hazy dark reddish amber color with a thin tan head and nice lacing. Scent of sweet, roasted malt. Nice roasted chocolate taste with a slight bitter aftertaste. Reminds me somewhat of a dry irish stout. All the floaties were somewhat off-putting but overall some great flavor and a quality session beer.

 302 characters

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

Served from a bottle in a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep rich amber color with a large white foamy head which lingers.

Smell: Faint toasty malt aroma.

Taste: Rich toasty malt flavor with slight hints of chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Very smooth and easy drinking.

Overall: An excellent session beer. Easy drinking and refreshing with a sweet subtle complexity that makes you want to go back for more.

 416 characters

Photo of RichieS2
3.52/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: A pleasant brown just shy of a porter. When held up to the light it gives a decent brown gleam. Basically what one would expect from this style.

Smell: There was some definite sweetness coming from the malts though it was not overpowering. Again it was something to be expected from this style.

Taste: Definitely above average as to be expected from Bell's. When it first hits your tongue it does not have much flavor and a half second later the flavor kicks in. As the smell would suggest it has a slight sweetness that satisfies but is nowhere near overwhelming. There are no hops that I could detect to add bitterness.

Mouthfeel: A bit on the watery side, a little thicker than a "lite" beer but not by much.

Drinkability: Not to heavy or skunky with decent flavor, I would definitely have one of these again.

 871 characters

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

Mahogany color, with a very thin white head. Some sparce and spotty lacing. Floral hops come out in the nose. Accompanying that are some sweet malts. Flavors are about the same, but now the hops have an additional citrus to them. Lemons mostly. Smooth palate, medium body

 271 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 BitterBrian
4.39/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured a deep rust color into a pint glass. one inch cream colored head with some decent staying power and leaving some good lacing.

objectivity will be difficult, since I already am a fan of this beer and style, but here it goes:

smells of sweet dark malts, a hint of nut and plum.

taste of roasted malty sweetness and some nuts, balanced with a bit of hops, but they don't stand out very much - they just give it some life. This is a real warm, friendly drinker. If I were to rate it within its category, I would say its one of the best brown ales (no pun intended). Maybe I have had better beers, but I still really enjoy this one.

 645 characters

Photo of DontCallMeSurly
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass

Comes out a hazy brown and left a frothy head of about 1-1.5 inches. Quickly reduced to about 1/4 inch. Lacing was very thin.

Smell is of malts, very subtle though.

I enjoyed the taste immensely. Chocolate was very prominent, so was the roasted malts. Very nice on the tounge, not thin, not heavy. Mouthfeel was very consistent.

I could see myself drinking this beer quite often.

Another solid Bell's beer!

 450 characters

Photo of jawlessbody
4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into an american shaker pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep woody color with a thin off white head that leaves a nice bit of lacing without disappearing too quickly.

Smell: I get a lot of sweetness on the nose. Maple, apple, with a definite grainy quality from the malts. Almost like apple cinnamon oatmeal.

Taste: Lots of roasted malts, but with a very earthy, nutty background that's followed up with a tangy sweetness reminiscent of a good Granny Smith apple. There's also some grassy/herbal notes from the hops, but they're so far in the background it's hard to even notice.

Mouthfeel: Pretty average, very drinkable. Nothing special here.

Overall: Another great, high quality beer from Bell's, who are probably my favorite brewery at this point. So I might just be biased. With Sierra Nevada's Tumbler being discontinued, this might become my go to fall seasonal beer.

 905 characters

Photo of murphysbleachers
3.38/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a 12oz bottle given to me as a sample from the distributer into a pint glass:
A: Kind of an unexpectedly rocky head. A cloudy dark walnuty brown color, couldn't quite see through it. Different than any other brown ale I've had, but makes me want to drink it.
S: Nutty & malty, on first whiff there was some hops that I didn't expect, but it went away.
T: Seems a little hoppier and maltier than I expected. I should note here that I had a Sam Smith's Nut Brown the night before and this (as I think most would be) is just a let down afterwards compared to that beer's more subtle and delicious flavor. Maybe I would rate it better if I had a Newcastle the night before instead.
M: A little oily, ok carbonation, & generally pleasant.
D: Okay beer, could drink a bunch in a sitting, but would probably pick another brown ale, if I had a choice. I might revisit this one to double check my thoughts on it when Sam Smith's Nut Brown isn't my most recent beer memory.

 973 characters

Photo of Lacesoutcody
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I got this from a friend on new years.

put it in the fridge for a relaxing hangover remedy.

the look of this beer was nice, a deep brown, with a two finger head, and laceing that sticks around for awhile.

smell was of roasted malts, and caramel.

taste was a mild caramel, smooth with a slight roasted malt aftertaste. Very pleasant and not heavy.

Drinkability was exceptional, not too heavy as noted above, and not too light so you don't just breeze though it. Unassumingly complex, and exceptional. Great for a "come down" beer, or an autumn tasting.

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Photo of bballmj2k
3.62/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from bottle (packaged on 9/20/11) into pint glass.

A - Murky dingy brown with minimal head that dissipates to a lacing quickly.

S - Sweet malts, nuttiness - not a ton going on here.

T - Sweet bready, nutty characters, ends with mild hop bitterness.

M - Medium bodied, bit of watery character at the end, low carbonation. Malt definitely lingers on the tongue.

Overall - Not a remarkable beer but I don't that's the goal. A well made balanced brown ale that's adequate if a bit boring.

 497 characters

Photo of Cyrion
3.09/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Packaged 9/04/13, which was about a month and a half ago. Poured into a nonic at fridge temperature.

Appearance: A cola colored beer, aggressively poured, forming a sturdy 2" head. Decent carbonation on sides of glass and attractive, lingering lacing.

Smell: A bit scant. Browned caramel, some chocolate (not much), and malt.

Taste: More of the caramel and chocolate and malt, but now we've got some earthy hops coming in low and fast, adding a formidable bitterness to the beer. The result is a hoppy brown, slightly metallic. I love how one reviewer added "mineral water" because that is very accurate.

Mouthfeel: Watery and a bit overcarbonated.

Overall: It's okay, but I would not buy again. I think it's categorized as an English brown, but it's too hoppy for that. The caramel malt and earthy hops do not mesh well in this beer. The ingredients do not complement each other.

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Photo of clemtiger8202
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle to Nonick pint. Solid two finger foam with good lacing. Color reminds me of sweet tea but I poured the whole bottle, cold, so it clouded up a bit. Notes of caramel, maybe toast, and just a very slight bit of hops. Taste is sweet and caramelly. Body is OK, nothing great or bad here, but it does finish smooth. Beer improved significantly as it warmed up

 360 characters

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