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

Not Rated.
Bell's PorterBell's Porter

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BA SCORE
87
very good

2,577 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,577
Reviews: 1,004
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 10.36%
Wants: 84
Gots: 247 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,577 | Reviews: 1,004
Reviews by arboristfish:
Photo of arboristfish
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a thick black color, with an off white head. You can sort of pick up an amber hue in it, but for the most part you cant see through it at all. The aroma is of smokey, roasted malt. The flavor is light and yet has a balanced delicate roasted flavor to it. The mouthfeel is thick and the taste is light. Overall a very good beer.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Photo of tectactoe
3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

Photo of MadScientist
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
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.

Photo of brownbeer
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
3.41/5  rDev -11.7%
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.

Photo of SIRIUS2
4.32/5  rDev +11.9%
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!

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

Photo of skybluewater
3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
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.

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.86/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The Bell's Porter pours from the longneck bottle into my SN tulip with a deep dark onyx hue and a nice foamy tan cap on top. Only a slight hint of dark brown escapes from the edges when held up to the light. Looks like a good porter should! Aromas of dark roasted malts along with some caramel and raisins. A smattering of light coffee with a citrusy hop background. Nice...but a bit too mellow for me personally.

First sip brings a rush of charred roasty maltiness across the palate with notes of roasted coffee and dark fruits. Slightly dry and chalky on the way down...burnt toast. There's just a slight citric hoppiness on the finish that works nicely in the overall brew. A nice, easy drinking porter.

Mouthfeel is slightly dry with active carbonation...very roasty on the palate. I would not be against having a few of these...could even be sessionable. Overally, it's a tasty, unique porter.

Photo of BigMarty1980
4.34/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- Pours out almost as dark as a black lager

S- Rich aroma of roasted malt.

T-Notes of chocolate & coffee

M- Moderate body.

O-Not the best Porter I've ever had but it makes my Top 5. If you have a chance to have 1, do it. Would be a delicious companion to Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.

Photo of Beaver13
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pours a dark opaque brown. It has a smallish light brown head that quickly recedes to a thin film. There is some yeast sediment at the bottom of the glass.

The aroma is chocolate and coffee with some vanilla and cream.

The flavor is burnt chocolate malts and coffee. It's a little acidic and slightly sweet. It has a dry (almost chalky), medium bitter finish. It has a fairly full body, a little light on the carbonation.

Overall, an excellent porter. Coffee-like and bitter, but very pleasing.

Photo of ThisLadyLovesBeer
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A = beautifully dark, like a cup of black Kona coffee. A semi-creamy head, not long lasting, but leaves lacing.
S = malty, coffee, rich
T = most delicious on the palate, malty-coffee, mild back taste of hops
M = smooth and drinkable

I really like this porter. I received two bottles as a gift, and see that it is not distributed in my home state of New Hampshire, so I will be keeping the second bottle to enjoy in another month or two (before the 6 month expiry)!

Photo of BuckeyeSlim
3.84/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a New Belgium snifter.

A - 2 finger dense foam ecru head that dissipates at a moderate pace. Dark chocolate brown and almost solidly opaque.

S - Roasted malts and coffee beans with alcohol poking through.

T - Well-roasted malts with an almost burnt caramel taste to them. Lots of 75%+ dark chocolate mixed in. Very well-balanced hops on the finish lets the dark chocolate stick around in the finish.

M - Creamy with good carbonation. Nice structure. Finished surprising clean with little residual sweetness.

D - Perhaps a tad too roasted for a porter. Would like to see more caramel to compliment the roast and the bitterness in the dark chocolate. Still, a delicious brew that drinks well, especially on a chilly night.

Photo of Jason
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to UncleJimbo for this sample!

Presentation: 12 oz brown bottle with a batch code on the back label … this means nothing to me as far as freshness.

Appearance: Thick frothy head forms as soon as I poured, not a gusher but there is a good amount of carbonation here. Black, black and black.

Smell: Fruity, malty with a roasted … almost burnt biscuit aroma. Mild buttery diacetyl in the back.

Taste & Mouth Feel: Semi-smooth with a creamy medium body. Mildly acrid burnt snap up front, lots of burnt husk flavor … not astringent but it has a bite. Solid yet balancing hop bitterness plays with the dry malt character. Finishes with a drying burnt chicory flavor.

Drinkability & Notes: Just an easy drinking middle of the road porter that has a good amount of flavor pack in it.

Photo of merlin48
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark and opaque color, with a towering, three finger, beige head. Head retains well, and leaves some impressive, sheets of lace on the side of the glass. Aroma is interesting, with a distinct, nutty bouqet that seems to be hazelnut, that weaves through the typical dark chocolate and overroasted coffee smell. Mouthfeel is rich and creamy, medium carbonation, and a modest hops sting on the tongue. Taste has the same nutty background as the nose, but seems more chestnut. Plenty of cocoa and burnt coffee, as well, and a hops bitterness that seems fruity, at times. Finish is slightly bitter, with a bittersweet chocolate aftertaste.
This is a well rounded Porter, excellent in all respects.

Photo of Billolick
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, no freshness indication that I can find, pours rich, dark brown, darker tan head and so so lace left behind. Malty, vanilla nose. Tasty roasty, sweetish porter, more vanilla noted, then darker malts, some cafe au lait and milk chocolate and moderate hop dryadge late. Easy drinking porter, I would like to try this one with some BBQ, pleasant enough porter, worth a try.

Photo of warriorsoul
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Another Bell's from CRJMellor...thanks.
A dark brown, bordering black with less than a half finger of light tan head...sticks around for a bit and produces some thin lacing.
Nice aroma...caramel, milk chocolate and roasted malt.
Taste is real nice...wonderful balance of chocolate, a warming roastiness, solid nuttiness and just a small dosage of hops.
Mouthfeel and carbonation both average for the style.
Drinkability is quite high on this one.
Another solid offering.

Photo of MisterDeeds
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a perfect pint glass, it shows a nice Nestle Quik looking head. Recededs quickly to a foamy ring. It appears almost solid black, but a hint of light can sneak through and show some brown almost reddish around the bottom.

Smells sweet and malty. Chocoaltey perhaps, with some dark roasted coffee as well. Very promising..

Taste: Not nearly as sweet as it smells. The dark roasted dominates this one, with a roasted bready kind of taste. Not too bitter, bit there are definitely some hops in here.

Feels thinner than it looks, but theres a nice silky lacing left behind. A little bit of carbonation fizz too.

Very drinkable and would be a cold weather favorite of mine if it were easier to find. Another job well done from the guys at Bell's. Why can't I get this in Massachusetts?

Photo of tigg924
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: minimal head, clear, dark brown in color, moderate carbonation

Smell: roasted malt and chocolate--both dark and milk--this beer smells amazing

Taste: charred roasted malt and chocolate--both milk and dark

Mouthfeel: medium body, full and robust slightly sweet flavor, medium carbonation

Drinkability: A very nice solid chocolaty porter that smells great. I could have three or four easily. The more I drink Bells beers, I find that they excel in taking basic styles and making them amazing beers. This is no exception to that rule.

Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to RBlaszak for sending this bottle as an extra.

The beer pours a dark brown color with a tan head. There are some red highlights at the bottom of the beer. The aroma is classic porter. I get a lot of roasted malt as well as some chocolate and coffee.

The flavor is great. I get roasted malt with a lot of milk and dark chocolate. There is also some coffee, but it is hidden behind the other flavors. There is some bitterness from the malt.

Medium to thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured an attractive inky darkness with tinges of ruby at the edges. Initial thick brown sugar-colored head fades quickly to a very minimal ring. Attempts are made at lacing, but don't quite measure up. Aromas are toasty malt, cocoa powder, freshly-brewed coffee. Flavor is tasty, with a nicely-balanced mixture of chocolate, coffee, and sweet malt. Finishes with a good dose of bitter chocolate with a hint of smoke flavor lingering in the background. Medium-high body and quite smooth on the palate. Very easy to drink and one hell of a session beer that got immensely better as it warmed.

Another winner from Bell's.

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Bell's Porter from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 2,577 ratings.