BEER REVIEW: Bell’s Best Brown Ale
Region: Kalamazoo, Michigan
Price: $9.99/6-pk at Total Wine
Sight: tawny brown
Smell: cola, caramel, walnut, molasses
Taste: caramel, walnut, cocoa powder, black tea
Overall: It’s been a while since I’ve had a good brown ale—I forgot how rich they can get. Really strong aromatics on this one, some bakery ingredients dominated by dry walnut. Round mouthfeel, big sweet cocoa-caramel malt, framed again by a determinedly dry nuttiness. Something tannic like black tea lingers for a long time after, holding a place and priming the palate for the next sip. If nothing else, this brown ale presents great dynamics; from start to finish, it swells then streamlines with a pleasant array of sweet flavors and dry textures. It’s a hearth beer, warming and slightly smoky, perfect for an early winter evening, especially if you’ve got a fire going.