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

Not Rated.
Bell's PorterBell's Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,009 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,009
Hads: 2,679
Avg: 3.88
pDev: 17.01%
Wants: 93
Gots: 307 | FT: 7
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,009 | Hads: 2,679
Photo of MACrist
4.99/5  rDev +28.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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, 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 neonbrown82
4.97/5  rDev +28.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 7662, bottled Sept. 19 and consumed Oct. 26

Wow. I was blown away by this beer. An instant favorite. One of the best porters I've had.

The beer pours to a nice black color, completely opaque with a two-finger head. Retention isn't the best, and lacing is minimal, but it looks really nice in a nonic pint.

The smell is great. Lots of black malt and chocolate malt with a hint of smoke. Smells very chocolatey and robust.

The taste is exceptional as well. Very chocolatey with lots of black patent malt. Even though it is on the robust coffee roast side, it still has a very nice sour mash porter flavor. A little bit of a hop bitterness lingers in the finish, though it is not prominent in the flavor.

The body is medium to full. Has a fairly crisp carbonation. A bit creamy. Great lingering finish. This is easily a new session beer for me.

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Photo of KevBrews
4.92/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer is one of my all-time favorites.

A: When poured into my imperial pint glass, nearly 2 inches of creamy, tan head crowned this black, opaque brew.

S: Roasty, with chocolate malt and hints of raisin.

T: Roast upfront, but sharpness is not overpowering. Coffee and chocolate flavors throughout; slickness on tongue. Moderate bitterness with a dry finish.

M: Creamy, full.

D: Very drinkable--this is my favorite example of the style and my favorite Bell's beer thus far. Equally good in the bottle or on tap. A well-balanced beer with lots of complex flavors.

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Photo of jasongootjes
4.9/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Very good beer. I had it from a 12 oz bottle. Poured very dark with an almost tan head. Excelent taste, great smell, and aftertaste was great. Had a dark roasted taste. I loved it. I would recomend this beer to anybody. I can't wait to drink it again.

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Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
4.85/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is absolutely AMAZING!!! First of all, I would almost always choose a hefty ale over a stout or porter, so for this to knock my socks off was very impressive. The head on this lasts forever and the flavors emerge more with each sip. There is definately a hint of vanilla in this one. A very clean finish with a sweet taste. This is a much more lively porter than others I have tried. Overall, this is no doubt becoming my saftey blanket porter!

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Photo of Mitchster
4.85/5  rDev +25%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

OG=1.055, 6.0% ABV.

This is the definitive porter to me. I just can't think of any ways to improve this beer. I have been drinking this for years and it is always reliable. Merely seeing the bottle art arouses my pavlovian glands.

Dark, dark amber with hints of ruby at the edges, forms a thick light tan head of small to medium sized bubbles with delicate lacing and mild to moderate carbonation. Aroma is very satisfying...oily dark roast coffee, cocoa, grains, chalk, sweet roasted malts, that special Kzoo character, and delicate hops. Mmmmm. Mouthfeel is bright and robust with a medium body. Taste starts with a spicy hop note, fades into dark coffee and semisweet chocolates, a lightly sour note peeks through, followed by some peppery alcohol. The finish is long with rich, roasted malt sweetness, grains, chalk, and a mild bittering hop finish. Complex yet infinitely drinkable.

Having it on tap raises the mouthfeel and drinkability from 4.5 to 5.0, making it "The Perfect Porter". (Take that Bert Grant!). Exceptional in every way.

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Photo of yuenglingfan101
4.82/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

A great beer from Bell's I put this along with a bottle of K-Zoo Stout in my chili. it gives it some flavor. Nice brownish to blackish beer with minimal head. smooth tasting and great overall feeling when drinking this beer. I cant complain too much about and awesome beer. so hears again to Bell's

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Photo of hrking
4.76/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I get this on draft every once in awhile..It is a staple in my beer diet. This is everything a porter should be and all other should be compared to the Bell's Porter when judging the taste of a porter.Hands down my favorite porter to date. Easy on the pallet and can easily be made into a session beer which I seldom do! Cheers and hats of to Bell's brewery for this exceptionally fine brew!

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Photo of Murph
4.75/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Damn, what a way for me to come off of my month of no brews. The brew is black and pours with a huge tan head that never completely fades and leaves a nice lace on the glass. Tons of roasted malts in the nose and some underlying coffee and chocolate. The taste starts off chocolately sweet with some very nce malt. As the taste lingers it turns into a nice coffee and roasted malt bitterness. The bitterness stays on the tongue and leaves you craving the next sip. Good slick mouthfeel and extremely drinkable. After finishing this on I was left wishing I had a whole sixer in my fridge. This is one excellent porter. Everything this style should be and probably my favorite porter to date. Thanks to Deuce for the sample.

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Photo of frazbri
4.74/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours black with ruby accents. The head was offwhite in color and short. Aroma was fruity with chocolate and cherry notes. Chocolate and cherry flavors emerged. Fairly thick body and modest carbonation.

This is a fantastic beer. The only negative aspect was the lack of head. Rich, malty and complex. This is a great american porter.

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Photo of proc
4.7/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love this beer. Dark, roasty, excellent malt presence with a nice hop finish. Definetely a beer to drink during the cool weather. Bell's does not make beer for those with sensitive taste buds.

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Photo of RBorsato
4.65/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black with a decent light brown head and good carbonation which allows the head to come back to life when swirled. Dark chocolate and roasted malt aromas. Similar flavors... nice and robust. Medium-light bodied with a strong dry roasty finish.

Delicious Robust Porter !

Per Bell's website:
OG: 1.055
ABV: 5.6%

Batch #7739 ('6288' lasered on bottom)
Tasted: 01/01/07

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.65/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This brew pours a brownish black with a large tan head. The aroma is of rosted malt and coffee. The taste is absolute heaven. Rosted malt with a hint of coffee. Not overpowering or ni your face, but still flavorful. This just might be the perfect session beer. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with perfect carbonation. Overall, this is another great beer from Bell's.

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Photo of RickS95
4.6/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a good looking beer, though I'm fond of dark beers. Thin, fluffy, tan head on top of a black syrupy beer.

Nose is overwhelmed by roasted malt, with hints of coffee in the background.

Gives you a creamy, smooth feel in the mouth. Thing lacing circles the glass.

Has an Earthy, roasty flavor, the malt dominates, but hints of bittersweet come through in the background. The sweet malt balances nicely with the bitter giving a very smooth finish.

This beer looks good, smells good and is smooth from the moment you pop the top til after you swallow. Not highly alcoholic (5.6%), this is a beer you don't mind drinking a lot of on a winter night.

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Photo of carlborch
4.6/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a beautiful dark brown with 2 inch tan head formation. The pouring suggests a medium body, which is later confirmed. The head is persistent and settles in at 1.5 inches a flat, creamy top and plethora of micro-bubbles intermingled with larger cavities up to 1/8th inch. As you drink this ale the Belgian lace is well formed and decorative. The nose provides deep roasted notes. Hops are not evident. The porter has a medium body with a light cream texture. The suggestive chocolate and coffee notes join the maltyness, making the ale very nicely balanced. Carbonation is pleasant. The alcohol is moderate and not noticeable on the palate. Combined with delicious lingering this porter definitely invites repeat tastes. Another moreish ale! Light enough to be a restorative and a refresher, yet full enough of flavor to satisfy most any palate.

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Photo of fretlessman71
4.6/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pertinent Preliminary Comments: It’s been so long that I can’t remember who sent this to me (actually, I had a few, so there’s at least two of you – Bruno_78? Kevin? Jake? Losing my mind these days), but know that you are appreciated.

Haven’t had a bad Bell’s beer yet. Two Hearted Ale is one of my favorite IPAs.

APPEARANCE: Dark translucent brown with reddish brown highlights. HUGE head; tan, dense, thick, and stubborn. Couldn’t even get ½ my beer into my glass on the first pour. Light to moderate lacing as head subsides.

AROMA: Coffee grounds, merlot, dark fruit. Very light hops coming through.

FLAVOR: MMMmmm…. Smoooth. Bitter (but smooth?) coffee comes through in the beginning, good roasty chocolate malt backbone and a medium sweet finish. This one’s going down like a cold carton of chocolate milk. Hops are perfectly balanced; just enough to cut the sweetness and no more.

MOUTHFEEL: Very good – a little fizzy at first, but that’s easy to fix.

DRINKABILITY: As smooth as this is and at only 5.25% ABV, this could make a great session beer.

OVERALL COMMENTS: Didn’t have to work too hard to find out what a terrific brew this is, and how worthy it is to carry the Bell’s name on the label. Almost makes me wish I lived in Michigan (well, let’s not get carried away)…

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Photo of ADR
4.59/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

My favorite style of beer and Bell's is up to the challenge of one of the best bottled Porters I've ever had...toffee/coffee, with excellent mouthfeel...it can get chunky as its unpastuerized, but that's not at all offputting to me....this brewery seems to be expanding its regional distribution, so eventually the world will expect great things from this outstanding regional...

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Photo of Pencible
4.59/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This poured a nearly opaque black with a little light tan head. It smelled like delicious milk chocolate. It had a dominant flavor of chocolate as well with some hops and malt noticeable. It had a slightly oily texture with no carbonation and a mild dark chocolate bitterness in the aftertaste. Overall this was easy to drink, very chocolaty, and very nice.

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Photo of mogul37
4.58/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this one into a pint glass. Very dark appearance with a head that sits well and doesn't settle too fast. Smoky aroma with traces of coffee. Excellent, full flavor that's as good as any available porter. Goes down very smooth with only a little carbonation.

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.57/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Slightly translucent maroon color, creamy tan head. Smells more like a dunkel, dominated by roasted malt. Taste is of coffee, malt, and black licorice. Nice hops finish, but it enhances, not dominates the flavor. Full mouthfeel, perfect amount of carbonation. Very smooth, extremely drinkable.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.57/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This pours a ruddy dark brown with thick foaming.

There’s an evident roast to the aroma with a hint of toffee and chocolate maltiness. Some sweet notes round it out.

Great up-front roasty flavor with a taste of coffee and a hint of toffee. A welcome warmer for the winter months—or any other time of the year!

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Photo of PorterLambic
4.57/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Damn, this is good beer!

Pours a dark, mahogany brown with ruby red edges that little light penetrates. Big (2 inch), tan head with some waterfall effect. Slightly creamy with little to no lace.
Smell is brown sugar, molasses, smoke, peat, coffee, roasted malts, dark chocolate. Very well balanced nose.
Taste is exactly the same: brown sugar, molasses, smoke, peat, coffee, roasted malts with just a touch of root beer candy. A faint touch of alcohol in the throat very late.
Medium/full body with a light effervescence, slight warming in the back of the mouth. Smooth, creamy to a degree.
As I said to begin with, this is damned good beer. Buy several. Wish I had room in my trunk for more than the one mixed case I'm taking back to FL with me. :)

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Photo of JamesS
4.55/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an excellent dark brown/black color, with some great initial, tan head, that diminishes to a still nice thin head, with some very nice lacing to it. Great scent, semi-sweet, but a huge amount of burnt grains and a smidge of chocolate. Excellent taste, as well, nice and thick, great burnt grains without going overboard. It goes down very, very smoothly. This was a great porter.

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Photo of templar316
4.55/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A phenomenal example of the style from Bells. A rich dark color with ruby around the edge when held to the light. The rich nutty, malty aroma gets me excited about drinking and the flavor delivers. Chocolate malt, Caramel Malt, a malt lovers dream. I could drink this all night.

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Photo of morimech
4.54/5  rDev +17%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

It pours a very dark brown but the head is disapointing with poor retention. But things improve.

The smell is smokey and slightly sour. Good but nothing earth shattering to make it stand out. The taste is spot on perfect for a porter. Roasted malt goodness with just a hint of smokiness. Finishes slightly bitter. It has a crisp bite from the carbonation which is a little high for a porter. Light/medium bodied and very drinkable. I will definately seek this out for future consumption.

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Bell's Porter from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 1,009 ratings.