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Bell’s Best Brown Ale
Written by Taylor
I was in the local liquor store, roaming the aisles in search of something new and exciting. We were having some people over for a little holiday shindig. while it was ice storming outside, I wanted something that would warm [our] bellies. This bright purple cask of Bell’s Best Brown Ale stood taller than the rest that night. There’s something about the simple design of Bell’s labels and logos that always lulls me. Needless to say, this beer had a lot going for it even before I poured a glass.
Now, this was my first “cask” (or mini-cask or whatever) purchase. 1.3 gallons of goodness. I vented it, pulled out the tap (it really is a wondrous technology) and poured myself a glass. Of course it was pretty foamy on the first pour, so I poured a little off the top, leaving a fine 3-finger head, which slowly diminished to a thumbnail over the course of, say, 6 or 7 minutes. I have no idea if a thick head actually prevents one from smelling the full body of a beer, but it almost felt that way to me: smelled faintly nutty, and that’s about it. After the head was more or less gone, I smelled again and it was definitely more pronounced. The color is a dark copper, perhaps a little bit darker than the average brown ale. It looks pretty wholesome sitting there in the glass, that’s for sure.
The first sip was absolutely excellent. I love English Brown Ales, and Bell’s Best Brown tasted great. Malty and bready like the best of them. The mouthfeel really does a lot for me when it comes to these beers, and this one was awesome. Think of it as the perfect medium between the milky smoothness of a Guinness Stout and lighter beers: it has a nice carbonation to it, something to hold on to. I feel the same way about Boddington’s Pub Ale.
I have never enjoyed a Bell’s Best Brown out of the bottle, but aside from drinking it on tap at a local brewpub, this cask thing is the way to go. I can’t imagine it would taste as good out of bottle. Overall, this beer was even better than I was expecting. Definitely going to come back to it again.
Grade: ABell's Best Brown Ale,