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

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Bell's PorterBell's Porter

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BA SCORE
87
very good

990 Reviews
THE BROS
87
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 990
Hads: 2,598
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 9.77%
Wants: 86
Gots: 262 | 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: 990 | Hads: 2,598
Photo of GTSeabolt
2.83/5  rDev -27.2%
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. (155 characters)

Photo of CNoj012
3.74/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The look of this beer is very dark brown with a small tan head, great lacing. Smell is roasted malts and chocolate with hints of coffee. Taste is very malty with some bitter chocolate. Can definitely taste straight up hop bitterness on the back end. Feel is extremely light. Overall good porter, but wish it was a little stronger. (330 characters)

Photo of TH28
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. 110 days old. Appearance: Deep brown and opaque with a hint of ruby red. Head is almost non existent. Aroma: Roasted malt dominates over any noticeable yeast of hop aroma. Taste: sweet, highly roasted malt that isn’t acrid or bitter, giving way a well balanced hop bitterness. Pretty straightforward. Mouthfeel: Thin, light body with low carbonation. Bottle seemed flat. Finish: Well balanced, with dry roast that lingers. Overall: Typical roasted malt character of a robust porter, with a surprisingly thin, light body and carbonation. Maybe it was just a flat bottle. Will have to to seek out a fresher version. Otherwise, an average robust porter (659 characters)

Photo of mozart4898
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L - 1 finger of head following fairly aggressive pour, quickly fading to a ring around the pint glass. Very dark, almost black.
S - Bittersweet chocolate, coffee, light spice. Overall light on the nose.
T - Slightly roasty, coffee like, bitterness more from grains than hops. Hints of dried fruit - cherries, raisins, cranberries, but very much in the background.
F - Low to medium carbonation. Mouthfeel is on the chewy side, somewhat oily. Nice.
O - Solid if not great beer. Walks a fine line between porter and stout for me (not uncommon in this style). I'm generally an IPA drinker but enjoy a nice stout or porter from time to time. My first time having this and I wouldn't turn it down if offered again. Might be a good beer to accompany beef roasts, chocolate cake or even a chocolate/cherry dessert. Also just fine on its own. (844 characters)

Photo of Act25
3.94/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As good as porter gets.

A: Chocolate brown body with a dense beige head w retention and lace.

S: Almost fruity, dark bread, with bits of chocolate and roast

T: Follows smell w that dark fruit bread and chocolate, that swirls toward a dance of vanilla, coffee and hops.

F: Good feel w med. body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Solid porter more toward the chocolate flavor and a balance of sweet, hop, and roasty flavors. (436 characters)

Photo of CDTDubstep
3.99/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Not as good as Founder's but pretty damn good. Very drinkable. Definitely not as filling as other porters I've had and I feel it might be due to the carbonation which is more present in this. While the mouthfeel isn't slick and oily like other porters, it's smooth and creamy in a light way making this very easy to drink, perhaps TOO easy. A tad too light on the roasted flavors I feel though, they are there but weak like milk chocolate in comparison to others of the style. The ABV is also a little low for the style and my liking. Still this is a good drinkable porter, with the added benefit of being unpasteurized and unfiltered (big up bells brewery for putting that information out there) 4/5. (701 characters)

Photo of DcfdLtE22
3.67/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

16oz draft. Pours black with a tan creamy head. Very light for being a porter. Toasted nut flavor with a chocolate and coffee taste. Very good. I enjoy most of the Bells offerings so my review may be biased. Definitely one of the better Porters I've had. (254 characters)

Photo of mlockman
4.19/5  rDev +7.7%
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. (222 characters)

Photo of TheSSG
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a soapy, tan head with great persistenc. Toasted, acidic aroma. Black. Starts with an acidic, toasted malt. Low bitterness. Finish is toasted malt over lingering, mild bitterness.

This is really solid. Not overly complex, but just phenomenal in it's refinement. (271 characters)

Photo of mdcrouser
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A dark chocolate bar in a pint glass, very light head.

Filling chocolatey malts on the nose too - roasted, cocoa.

Much the same on the tongue - like a tasty mocha from a favorite coffee place, it's sweet, roasty, easy going down. Kind of thin to close though. (263 characters)

Photo of moonboogie_n8
3.54/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Not at all what I was expecting, one of the few bells brews (in a bottle) that I had yet to try. I've enjoyed most styles from Bells; Two hearted, KZoo Stout, the top players.
this one was a little disappointing for a porter, thin but smooth, weak flavor but drinkable.
This isn't the worst porter I've had, but it's down there.
pours dark brown with a fizzy light tan head that leaves quickly with very little lacing.
coffee & some caramel, smokey, a little chocolate on the back but weak flavors. aftertaste is pleasant though.
maybe that will be good for some but not enough taste or body for me. may pass on this one again & go for Anchor or Smuttynose next porter. (669 characters)

Photo of Mrbseward
3.77/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice dark brown with a finger of tan head with just a hint of lacing residue. Smell is very pleasant with hints of roasted malt, coffee, some caramel. Taste is smooth and lighter than expected. Leaves an after taste of coffee after a drink which is very nice. Feels smooth, light, very drinkable. Nice overall porter that is light to drink and has a good taste. (370 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.99/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Packaged 1/29/15.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, toasted sesame seed, earth, char, and cocoa powder aromas. Taste is much the same with cocoa powder, char, earth, and slight burnt toast flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roast bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that has a nice balance of roast, char, and cocoa characteristics all around.

Serving type: bottle. (687 characters)

Photo of JDJorgenson
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

An excellent expression of a straight porter. The aroma is full, complex, and inviting. Slightly over carbonated hurts the mouth feel, but an otherwise superior porter. (170 characters)

Photo of IPAGeorge
4.24/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a pint

A. A nice rich brown. 90% opaque. 2 finger frothy head. Nice lacing.

S. Roasted malts, chocolate, vanilla. Smells really nice and clean.

T. Agreeing with the nose I get nicely roasted malts, chocolate and vanilla. Blonde coffee notes. A very nice flavor to a regular porter.

M. Medium body with some carbonation. Not a whole lot. But just enough.

O. Really enjoying this porter. Good balance. Nice body. A win for me. Will drink again. (489 characters)

Photo of craftbeersweden
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown beer with a one finger high head.

Nose: Roasted malt, brown sugar, dried fruit and coffee.
Taste: Malt, grass, roasted coffe beans, dark chocolate and brown sugar.
Body: Medium body with medium carbonation. Well balance between sweetnesss and bitterness.

Nice smooth taste. (289 characters)

Photo of maedhros09
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Look: Dark brown but still barely transparent with moderate light tan head that settles to a film.

Smell: light roast aromas and a kind of sour fruity scent

Taste: light clean dry (very lightly sweet) roasted malt flavor with mild herbal/grassy bitter hops finish that lingers.

Feel: light to medium body, medium smooth. Feels like what you would expect of a typical lager.

Overall: A well-rounded light porter - not too sweet, not too roasty, not too bitter. Goes down easy but not as smooth a most heavier porters or stouts - feels more like a lager overall. If you think of it as "Porter-lite" you will appreciate its virtues. If you are expecting something more robust you may be disappointed. (705 characters)

Photo of TX-Badger
3.91/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a pretty dark brown with khaki colored head. Caramel malts and coffee on the nose; follows onto the palate. Medium to full bodied. Finishes with a little sweetness. (170 characters)

Photo of Jeffreysan
3.72/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a pretty, opaque black color, practically no head what-so-ever. What little head there is formed a thin lacing of foam that gripped the sides of the glass and partially covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very roasty and malty. Tons of roasted malt, black pepper, brown sugar and notes of freshly baked pumpernickel bread.

Taste: A lot like the aroma. Very roasty, imparting some subtle smokiness and coffee flavor, as well as a ton of malt, some brown sugar-like sweetness and some slight hops. Delicious!

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied to slightly chewy, and smooth, as there’s practically no carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 5.6%, there is no presence of alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is another solid porter. Great balance between the smokiness of the roasted malt and the brown sugar-like sweetness. Porter fans should definitely try this! (929 characters)

Photo of mchegash
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - 3.8/5
Pours a avery dark brown color, with maybe a hint of read. A small amount of head, dissipates quickly.

Smell - 3.8/5
Chocolate, and earthy, resionous hops. Also some sweet fruity-chocolateness.

Taste - 3.75/5
A declious fruity-smoky taste. Quite sweet. there are hints of chocolate and coffee. There is definitely a fruity element to the flavor, which seems hard to place in a porter/stout.

Mouthfeel - 3.8/5
Medium bodied, in between smooth and bitter. Fairly creamy. A small amount of medium-intensity carbonation.

Overall - 3.75/5
This was a decent porter overall. Nothing super special that stands out though. (636 characters)

Photo of tillmac62
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

BOD 8/29/14. Pours almost black. Above average head volume, excellent retention and lacing. Light nose of roast with hints of dark fruit and chocolate. Medium bodied with a nice slick texture that approaches creamy. Above average carbonation with effervescence from the middle on. The flavor profile is of average intensity, a bit complex and is masterfully balanced. It begins with a blend of roast, dark fruit and dark chocolate that reveal themselves in that order. The roast lingers to the middle where it meets a mild hop bitterness. The finish is a slow fade of roast and hop bitterness over a slightly sweet note. A good laid back porter, but not outstanding. (674 characters)

Photo of RyanK252
4.06/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a BarrelHouse Brewing Co pint glass

A: Pours deep dark brown with a slight ruby tinge, very little light passes through, with a mocha brown head that fades and laces nicely.

S: Roasted malt, a bit of coffee, faint dark fruit, and maybe even a little maple, and a touch of light smoke.

T: Roasted malt, some coffee and chocolate, a nice kinda smokiness, a bit of dark fruit, and a touch of sweetness on the finish.

M: Moderate carbonation keeps this one on the lighter side of medium bodied which is quite a pleasant surprise, goes down very smooth.

O: Very solid porter. I would happily drink this all day in the yard raking leaves. (658 characters)

Photo of Gajo74
4.16/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a very dark brown, almost black, with a creamy head. Aroma has elements of coffee, roasted malt and kind of a burnt wood like quality. Taste is mostly malty with elements of coffee. Finish is slightly bitter and hoppy. The feel is perhaps my favorite attribute; although it is a dark beer, it has a deceptively light, creamy and lively carbonation which lends itself to a crisp and refreshing taste normally associated with lighter beers. I had this beer with chocolate and it was a great pairing. Overall a nice example of porter. (537 characters)

Photo of Jacobob10
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle.

Very dark brown, almost black in color with a soft tan head. Good retention throughout the duration of the beer. Pleasant, mild aroma of dark chocolate and roasted malts. Flavor is much of the same with roasted malts and a hint of chocolate to round it out. Medium bodied with a slight bitter finish and goes down easy. Very solid porter here. Not too heavy, not too light. I picked this one up in NY but if Bell's distributed in NJ this would be something I would purchase regularly. (520 characters)

Photo of delta490
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown, bordering on black. A light tan head caps it, dissipating quickly to a thin layer that leaves some soapy lacing. The aroma is nice, a little restrained, but hitting all the right notes, with rich roasted notes, mild earthy hops, and some nice coffee tones. The taste is just a little more forward, incorporating all the aroma elements and superbly blending them. No one aspect dominates at any point. The body is a little thinner and there is a slight carbonation tingle on the finish. (510 characters)

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Bell's Porter from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 990 ratings.