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

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Bell's PorterBell's Porter

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very good

2,487 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,487
Reviews: 987
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 10.62%
Wants: 72
Gots: 204 | FT: 4
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: 2,487 | Reviews: 987 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of peabody
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out pretty dark with a slight reddish hue. Not much suds but nice lacing.
Smell is coffee and caramel and after swirling you get the fruity aroma of plum/raisin.
Taste is very much coffee with hints of caramel with just a little chocolate. No alcohol present in initial tasting.
Mouthfeel is clean with just a hint of the coffee bitterness lingering in the palate. Good texture. A lingering alcohol burn happens at the end.
I like dark beer and this is a good beer. I might just drink the whole 6-er tonight!

Photo of titosupertramp
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark, cola colored with a very thick tan head. Slow to recede, leaving behind a foamy film and lots of lacing on all sides of the glass.

S: Toast, roasted malts, caramel, sweet chocolate. Smells like a cereal that I wished existed.

T: Chocolate, toast, cold black coffee and maybe a bit of a toffee flavor. Tried hard to find the hops in this and finally found what tastes like a floral quality at the end.

M: This is a little on the thin side, but carbonation adds some substance to it.

O: I'm pretty sure that I could finish a six pack of this in an evening. Bell's Porter goes down easy and is a pleasure to drink. If in the Nashville market, this would be a go to porter for certain.

Photo of brown2cu
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a seemingly black but when light passes through it, hints of ruby are present. There was initially a half finger of head but it quickly dissipated into a ring that sticks around; no lacing.

S: The nose is primarily chocolate not a lot of complexity.

T: Again, primarily chocolate. There is a pleasent hop bitterness that balances out the profile.

M: perfect balance! nice and smoothe

O: Really solid example of a porter. Nothing over the top but a wonderful brew nonetheless.

Photo of Deuane
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Deep, black tinged, chestnut brown with lighter toned edges. A thin tan head holds on and leaves a nice lace.

S-Light milk chocolate, a bit of caramel, roasted malt and a bit of brown sugary sweetness.

T-Cocoa dryness with milk chocolate/brown sugar sweetness. Some roasted malt bitterness and a hints of dark fruit notes.

M-Medium bodied, with a lasting roasted dry finish.

D-A tasty and delightfully sessionable american porter. With plenty of flavour to keep things interesting this one has every day drinking porter written all over it. Well done.

Photo of Henrich
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours an almost opaque black, but with small glints of ruby, when you try to find it. Heat is a satisfying beige with larger bubbles than I would like. Foam predictably has little staying power and fads into a thin dusting over the top.
Smell: Malty roastiness mixed with a slight sweetness, but you have to try hard to pick out any distinct smell.
Taste: Exceptional taste. Malty sweetness quickly yields to intense dark chocolate taste, followed by a slight lingering bitterness. Surprising after the disappointingly lackluster smell.
Mouth-Feel: No real complaints. Delivers the taste well. Little carbonation, but you still know it's there.
Overall: Excellent offering. I have reviewed other porters quite harshly, but it was difficult to say a bad word against this one. Not cloying like many porters; complex and delicious.

Photo of micromaniac129
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bell's porter is deep deep brown with some rubby high lights. When poured it produces about one inch of desent head fading to a wisp ring .
Aroma is rich with roasted malt slightly sweet. Hops are present but not much.
Smooth and rich roasted, slightly burnt malt taste is present. Hops are there just for balance purposes and are not a major player.
Has a rich full taste but I would like to taste some of the flavors we come to associate with a rich and complex malt bill.
Variety and difference is just as good.
A well made beer I can enjoy time and time again
Drink well my friends

Photo of tkarsies
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Served on cask in a nonic glass at The Pub in Columbus, OH.

I had not tried this Bell's offering before but was excited to see it available on cask. Appearance was what I would expect from a porter--nearly black with ruby hues and a creamy 1 inch head on top.
Smell was a little weaker than I would like but roasted aromas were present.
Taste was excellent with a rich roasted flavor with coffee and hints of chocolate followed by a little of the bite (sourness?) that I have noted in many porters. Slight sweetness. Minimal hop presence here.
The mouthfeel was a highlight of this beer. On cask, it was smooth, rich, creamy. I have not had this on-tap or bottled so I can't compare.
Drinkability was very good. The alcohol was not noticeable at all. Overall, this was a treat to drink. On cask, I would put it up with some of my favorite English porters (Sam Smith's and Fullers). Will definitely have to revisit this in bottled form when I get the chance.

Photo of Kendo
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottled-on-date of 10/7/13; consumed on 11/7/13, so this is quite fresh.

A: Poured into a pint glass. Body is black with a half-finger of tan head and ruby/mahogany highlights on the edges when backlit.

S: Very roasty, but also with some coffee and dark chocolate. Good porter nose.

T: Modest roast, roasted coffee beans and ash. Touch of chocolate. Finishes with a nice lingering roasty, charcoal-like bitterness.

M: Thinnish in feel, with slightly over-active carbonation.

O: Good stuff.

Photo of BlindPig
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Thick tan head on a dark brown body with a few amber hues.
S- Strong roasted grains, coffee, chocolate, burnt, light breads, and almost a light smoky aroma.
T- Pretty much follows the aroma. There are some grass hops thrown in there too though. Some nice earthy tones. It just seems everything is better balance than in the aroma. Dry light bitter aftertaste with some toasted malts.
M- Medium body with medium carbonation.
D- I wouldn't mind having more of these. Doubt I will go out specifically and try to get them but if I could get them here I would buy a 6-pack every once in awhile.

Photo of KI9A
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Cola-black, decent, fluffy head.

S: Roasty malts

T: malty sweetness, semi-dark chocolate, some light coffee.

M: Medium + body, very creamy feeling in the mouth...very nice!

D: 1st bottle didn't last too long. After the initial tasting, the rest was quaffed like a light pils, on a hot summer day! Great beer..

Photo of corby112
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown color with slight mahogany edges and a thin foamy beige head. Roasted malty aroma with sweet chocolate notes. This beer tastes kind of smokey with lots of roasted chocolate maltiness, oatmeal, caramel and burnt toast. Slightly creamy body with a dry bitter finish.

Photo of nrbw23
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a black color when held to the light not too much passes through expect on the edges. A nice foam like cream colored head that leaves pretty much no lacing.

S- Smells are a tiny bit weak compared to other porters but still not terrible by any means. Roasted malts, coffee and some chocolate.

T- As expected, roasted and chocolately along with a nice sweetness. Pretty much just as I'd expected.

M- This has to be just about perfect here.

D- A very solid brew and even more special on cask.

Photo of Illini5596
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not a bad stout, definitely not my favorite but it shows a lot of promise, good initial taste moving to something a bit too sour for me, but still very drinkable. I imagine this is much better on tap. An almost bitter finish. Not bad for quenching my thirst, but I can think of better stouts that are just as available. Overall a nice try, but not my cup of tea.

Photo of divineaudio
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a - dark brown with deep red highlights and a big foamy head, leaves a quite a bit of lacing behind as well.

s - a subtle mix of hops and coffee.

t - a big blast of roasty deliciousness balanced with a slightly hoppy finish. notes of coffee and dark chocolate as well.

m - smooth with just the right amount of carbonation.

d - balanced flavors, smooth mouthfeel and fairly low abv make this a nice session beer imho. can and will have another!

this is one of my default "go to" beers, a rock solid example of an american style porter.

Photo of Gkruszewski
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of SPRichard
3.99/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

black-cherry body when held up to the light....thin head....faded immediately....very limited lacing

chocolate smell and taste...flavors didn't stick around very long

a little over carbonated for a porter....seemed too drinkable, which in some eyes is a good thing, but i like a porter with a little more body to it

i got this as part of a mixed Bell's case, so i have 5 more of these to drink....not that i won't drink them, but i may over look it for another option in my fridge

Photo of BvilleBrewGuy
3.99/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of cyclonece09
3.99/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours pitch black with a small light brown head that leaves a little lacing. Smells of coffee and sweet sugar. Tastes of coffee and slight chocolate. Beer has good carbonation and medium bodied, goes down smooth. Overall, a very good beer.

Photo of BeerImmediately
3.99/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with just a film of a tan head over a deep burgundy/cola colored body. No real lacing to speak of.

Aromas of molasses, sweet toffee, and roasted malts.

Fairly effervescent on the palate, with flavors of molasses, roasted coffee beans, solid supply of bitter hops, and just a hint of bittersweet chocolate.

For all the roastiness and deep sweetness, this is actually fairly light on the palate - the high carbonation cuts through everything.

Drinkability is OK for the style, but not as smooth as some of the best.

Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.99/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Picked this up recently at Top Hops in New York, thrilled that Bell's is finally available in this neck of the woods. Never had this before and was hoping that this would live up to the Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter, which I had not that long ago. Without a doubt, this fell a bit short of it but was still an immensely drinkable beer that went down as easily as any dark brew that I've had in quite some time. It just didn't have the full, roasted aspect that I've come to expect from a beer of this style.

Good pour to this, as this beer had a full, chocolate hue and a tan head that filled up the remainder of my pint glass. Lots of lacing to be seen down the sides as I worked my way through as well, with several rings becoming apparent after the first few sips. Not a strong aroma to this but there was some milk chocolate that came across nicely. That was present in the taste too, as well as some oatmeal and caramel. Nice mouthfeel to this as this was quite silky and smooth but not roasted like other Porters I've had. There was a hint of cream in the back to go with the oats, which gave me just a bit to "chew on" before I had my next taste of this.

This was about as close to a session Porter that I ever had and if there was another bottle, I would be having it right now. While not as great as the leaders in this category, this would be a great beer for anyone who never had one of these before. It almost reminded me of a Lactose or Oatmeal Stout without the booze or overpowering chocolate and cocoa flavors. By itself, this was a pleasant surprise that fits in nicely with the other offerings from Bell's that I've enjoyed.

Photo of davemarc87
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of sabitu
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of bulldogg915
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of generallee
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of VernonKell
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Bell's Porter from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 2,487 ratings.