Bell’s Best Brown Ale
Brewed by: Bell’s Brewery, Inc.
Beer Classification and Specs
- Style: Brown Ale
- Variation: American
- Seasonal: Fall
- ABV: 5.8%
- IBU: N/A
Brewer’s Notes and Ingredients
Enjoy this smooth brown ale while autumn takes us on a colorful tour into winter. Thankfully, Best Brown Ale’s toasty malt character makes it a delicious beer for all types of weather.
More Bell’s Brewery Best Brown Ale Images
Artwork: A horned owl is sitting on a tree branch with the fall colors in the background.
Color: Cloudy brown with a slight red hue.
Aroma: Bready and nutty, with a hint of caramel.
Arrived in: 12oz. Bottle
Served in: Pint Glass
It looks like the weather gods have finally agreed to let San Diego have a fall season. With the past week of cooler, drizzly, and windy weather, it was time to dig into the darker ales for the next few months. Goodbye lagers, sours, and saisons — hello brown ales, porters, and stouts.
We were looking to review a brown ale, and decided on Bell’s Brewery, Inc’s Best Brown Ale. Now that Bell’s is more available in San Diego, their beer is kind of hard to refuse, especially when they told us it was the “best” and had that cool looking owl on the cardboard. Like you’ve never picked a beer based on the label before…
Bell’s Best Brown Ale poured a beautiful deep brown body, with a reddish tint, like a burnt sienna crayon. This unfiltered brown ale was just light enough to notice miniature trails of effervescence, although you would never expect such tight carbonation from its mellow mouthfeel. A one inch tall off-white, finely whipped creamy head melted down to a thin sheet of froth after a few minutes.
This brown ale seemed fairly straight forward, without chocolate or coffee added, so we figured it was a safe bet to choose a standard shaker pint. After it was poured we regretted that decision, since Best Brown Ale had a promising aroma of toasted bread, biscuit, nuts, and caramel. Those notes were accentuated when we switched to a snifter for serving number two.
Best Brown Ale may have been lighter, but it did pack a myriad of amazing fall flavors you would expect to find in a heavier fall seasonal offering. There was toasted bread and roasted nuts up front, followed by sweet rich dried fruits, along the lines of dates, prunes, or figs. For the finish it sweetened up with a pleasing caramel, which was not too sticky or overbearingly sweet on the palate.
Like Bell’s mentioned in their tasting notes, their Best Brown Ale would work in any season, but to us it just signaled that fall was here. It was such a comforting ale that featured a great blend of roasty nuts, toasty malt, and dry sweetness.
Final Score: 4/5
When Bell’s decided to name this beer “Best Brown Ale”, that wasn’t too much of a stretch. Although it wasn’t “the best” brown ale we have ever had, it was definitely one of the better, and worth picking up every fall going forward.