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Bell's Porter - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Bell's PorterBell's Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

1,016 Reviews
THE BROS
87
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,016
Hads: 2,723
Avg: 3.88
pDev: 17.01%
Wants: 98
Gots: 334 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States | website

Style | ABV
American Porter | 5.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Mitchster on 02-06-2002

One of our many award-winning beers, Porter emphasizes the darker, roasted aspects of malt. Hints of dark chocolate and freshly roasted coffee provide the focus, while hops remain in the background. Not as full-bodied as a stout, Porter bridges the gap between malty brown ales and our more heavily roasted stouts.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 1,016 | Hads: 2,723
Reviews by GotWad629:
Photo of GotWad629
3.94/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a thick khaki head

A faint smell of chocolate, grain, sweet malt, and earthy hops - they all blend nicely together

The taste is similar - nothing is overpowering, everything balances out well together. Dark chocolate bitterness with earthy undertones. There's a spicy quality to it as well.

The body is light but has a good amount of carbonation to round out the mouthfeel; making it creamy and velvety.

A delicious sessionable porter. Really happy bells opened up distribution to NY.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of GTSeabolt
2.83/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

I like my porters heavy and dark and this was neither. It felt like a watered down version of a porter meets a brown ale that is having an identity crisis.

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Photo of mlockman
4.19/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Phenomenal Porter, one of the best I've had to date, in fact. Not too roasty, perfect balance of sweet and bittersweet. Sets the benchmark to which all other American-made porters should be evaluated, in my humble opinion.

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Photo of SometimesIfart
4.23/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bells Porter.

Now this one outta be some fun. Thr legendary Porter from my favorite brewery. Grabbed a single for $1.89 at my local Meijer. No time for cooling, I wanna drink NOW!.

Look - From the bottle into a pint glass. Pours a very deep brown with hints of ruby if held up to the light. The head is massive, very frothy and very bubbly, standing nearly half the glass in height. Carbonation is tough to read due to the darkness of the beer. A large amount of sticky lacing is left all around the glass as though building a stairway to * insert your religious afterlife of choice here *.

Smell - Nose is very roasted malt forward with an odd, almost metallic twang I guess you could say as it embraces your nostrils. Hop levels are kept to ablut moderate and there is also a large medium coffee aspect due to the beer being nearly room temperature.

Taste - The roasted malt and moderate level of medium coffee are the star players on this brew. The metallic twang ks there though not bothersome. Hops are very crisp and refreshing and nearly grapefruit like in nature.

Feel - The feel is absolutely perfect for the style. Body is very full and coats the mouth in rich roasty goodness and it is highly creamy due to the beautifully retained head. Carbonation is minimal and the beer swallows like a dream. Flavors lean more towards milk chocolate as the brew sits.

Overall - A very solid Porter. Great, actually. Probably one of my favorites out of the specific style. Very easy drinking aslnd sessionable to high hell. This would make a fine introduction porter for somebody just getting into the style. Bell's really cannot do much wrong. I'd have again for sure..

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Photo of oberon
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep brown-ruby color with nice big creamy head,very appetizing smell of rich chocolate and deeply roasted malt.Taste was of dark roast coffee and bitter chocolate with some lingering earthiness.Very smooth and velvety and pretty easy to drink a real nice porter from my favorite brewer.

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Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is close to near black in color. It poured with a half finger high beige head that has good retention properties and never completely faded away.
S: There are aromas of roasted malts in the nose along with some notes of coffee.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and is quite complex with flavors of roasted malts, notes of chocolate and hints of cocoa and coffee. The finish has some bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is very easy to drink and goes down smoothly.

 568 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

G: Poured into a Bell's pint glass. Batch # 8941.

A: Pours a lightish cola color out of the glass with a single finger head that is a dark cream and fairly-highly carbonated. The beer is a very dark brown and pretty much opaque in the glass. Good lacing.

S: Malt and a hint of chocolate--nothing really overpowering.

T: Dark malts and a little bit of hops. Some dark chocolate flavors.

M: Medium body with carbonation that hits the tip of my tongue. Slightly creamy and goes down smooth.

D: Fairly drinkable. Sort of a heavy mouthfeel to drink a lot of, but not bad for a porter in that department.

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Photo of jimdalton
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Dark chocolate brown (nearly black), non-transparent that pours a one finger head with quite a bit of lacing.
Smell: Malt backbone with a hint of smoke and roasted coffee
Taste: Malt and roasted coffee are up front with some citrus hop presence. Smoky flavor is very subtle, but not overpowered.
Mouthfeel: Medium-heavy body with a smooth milk texture. Moderate carbonation.
Overall: Bell's Porter is a wonderful porter that brings a smooth feel and great flavor. Well executed!

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Photo of MACrist
4.81/5  rDev +24%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Rated within the style. I guess it just depends on your idea of what a good porter is. There are quite a few great ones on the market. There are a lot of great porters that to me should really be called stouts. It's subjective, right? Well, starting with the straight pour into the pint glass we get a nice light tan three fingers of head. The beer appears to be very dark brown, and if you hold a flashlight to it, it has a nice ruby color without letting much light through. The aroma is rich with roasted malt, chocolate, some minor dried dark fruit, and coffee. And maybe a slight smokiness. Nice lacing down the glass.The taste is roasted malt, chocolate, and finally coffee. Slight bit of licorice and that subtle smoky quality. The beer is not overly carbonated (or complex for that matter), but very adequate...you know you are drinking a beer of quality. There is a nice but mild bitterness up front and then that sweet malt finishes fairly dry. To me, this is what a good porter should be.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The 'tap' version of the beer offers a better experience than from the bottle. The beer is typically colored with a deep walnut hue and nearly opaque. Well headed and modestly carbonated gives visual weight and stability to the brew. Faint aromas of coffee, chocolate, toasted malts, and heavy cream. The flavors of malt sweetness pronounce early, but are quickly tempered by bold columbian coffee notes and acidity, fresh bitter hops, walnuts, cocoa, and milk sugars. Creamy textured and silky smooth, not relying on carbonation to lighten the feel. Finishes with a simple coffee and milk aftertaste that lingers into a slight bitterness. As nicely flavored as I had remembered, but better bodied from the tap.

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Photo of q33jeff
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle to pint glass, shared with the wife, she cooking for Turkey day. Look is Dark brown, nice tan head. Large bubbles. Aroma is toasted barley, bread, brown sugar, Taste is cocoa, fig, raisin. Feel is light, a little silky. Nice porter. Bells does their dark beers like champions.

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Photo of davemarc87
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of DanGeo
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of tectactoe
3.77/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Very dark, nearly black, ever-so-slight amount of light that escapes around the edges, letting in some faint brown and dark ruby red, but that's about it. Thick tan head that retained very well and left some nice lacing on the glass. Smells of rich, toasted malts, burnt sugars, faint cocoa, and a bit of roasted coffee beans. Low hop bitterness is aided by a hint of sharpness from the decent carbonation that balanced well with the malts. Beer starts off bold and ends with a mildy sweet, burnt oak aftertaste. Very nicely done. Medium body thickness, not quite chewy, with a decently creamy profile and a nice touch of carbonation.

Another solid beer from Bell's, this porter may not be the "best" on the market, but it is very drinkable and a nice choice for the price.

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Photo of t2grogan
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%

Photo of OhioBobcat
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of MadScientist
4.28/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The pour an deep copper almost brown with garnet highlights. An agressive pour produces two fingers of a tan bubbles with good retention.

The aroma is mostly of roasted malt with light black malt and a low carmel note in the background. There is a faint fruitness and very little hops aroma.

The first flavor is a strong malt flavor with a light burnt note that progresses to a roasty medium-dry finish. There is a light malt sweetness with a carmel note balanced by a slightly stronger hops bitterness.

Medium-full body with moderate carbonation with a slight astringency from roasted grains giving a little dry sensation in the finish.

This is a lively beer dominated by roasted malts with some dark malts as well.

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Photo of brownbeer
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours nearly black with some reddish hues and not much head.

S- Toasty malt, cookie, unsalted crackers. Distinct but not necessarily desireable.

T&M- Similar to the nose and some chocolate added with a nice full mouthfeel.

D- Very good, but just never quite did it for me.

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Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
3.41/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep brown to black color with a sparse mocha
head and slight lacing.

S: Lacks a distinct aroma

T: Nice malt with subtle hints of coffe and
chocolate. A little nutty but nothing very
distinct or interesting.

M: A bit watery and under carbonated

D: A descent porter but not nearly as good as I
expect a Bell's brew to be. I suppose that I
may have reviewed this one a little more
leniently if I hadn't been expecting so much.

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Photo of ajkiser12
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%

Photo of SIRIUS2
4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Very deep dark brown but light will pass through showing off nice clarity. Pouring from 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass produced little to no discernible head bit did produce a nice ring of light brown bubbles. Lacing was light.

S: Light hints of toffee and perhaps chocolate

T: Malty hit at first but balances nicely with the hops. Clean quick finish of light hops. Not much linger at all.

M&D: On just the lighter side of heavy; sits on the tongue nicely and goes down smooth.

I think I have found another favorite porter. I popped this one before I sat down for dinner with some pasta and wasn't sure how well it would go with the Alfredo sauce. I was so impressed with the flavor that it almost didn't make it to the table with me. Ultimately it was great with the pasta as well. Recommended!

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue X:

Quick to foam and settling down to massive chucks of lace on the glass, retention runs strong here. Opaque brown color. Smells of fresh dark bread, chicory and cocoa powder with a vague fruitiness and yeast tone in the background. Smooth and creamy with a nearly velvety medium body. Malt sweetness blankets the palate with suggestions of cocoa powder, sweetened light-roasted coffee and light brown sugar. Faint raisin fruitiness pairs up with the chalky yeast tone. Hops come across with an herbal/leafy, oily bitterness that is just enough to balance. Hint of nougat, rustic toasted bread and carob middle to end. Finishes semisweet with a long linger of toasted and mildly roasted grain.

So delicious, so drinkable. By far one of the top beers we have run into this year. Larry, come to Boston. We'll treat you extremely well. As for the lucky folks who can get this on a regular basis, we are more than envious.

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Photo of Bitzer
5/5  rDev +28.9%

Photo of bdkucharski
4.5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of skybluewater
3.38/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown, almost black color. This one smells of coffee and chocolate (what I consider the way a porter should smell), in addition to that "special" Bell's aroma. Taste is of coffee and chocolate as well, with a rather unpleasent sourness (which fades a bit as the beer warms). Mouthfeel is quite creamy.

Overall, I've had better porters, and I've had better Bell's beers. Then again, I've had worse Bell's beers than this. Not one to be avoided, but not one to seek out either, especially If you have, say, Summit Great Northern Porter available to you, at a better cost and a better taste as well.

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Bell's Porter from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 1,016 ratings.