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

Bell's PorterBell's Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,957 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1957
Reviews: 943
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 10.62%

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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Mitchster on 02-06-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,957 | Reviews: 943 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Flounder57


4.01/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass at Prost in Garden City, NY.

Appearance: A one finger head was poured that reduced to a thin later. It is a dark brown black color. Spotty lacing as the beer was drank.

Smell: Light chocolate, smoke, roasty, toasted, and a little caramel.

Taste: Super balanced. Nice sweetness. A little old ale.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium bodied, light to medium carbonation, and some smokey bitterness.

Overall: Pretty nice porter. Please come to Boston soon.

Serving type: on-tap

03-02-2014 21:58:25 | More by Flounder57
Photo of FLima


3.91/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Black reddish through light color with a thin head with an insistent ring.
Nice long lasting aroma of fresh roasted espresso, vanilla.
Similarly predominant flavor of espresso coffee, licorice, earthy hops, cocoa, guaraná and nuts. Quite dry and bitter aftertaste.
Medium body with low carbonation.
Nice assertive Porter, one with the most obvious coffee notes.

Serving type: on-tap

02-27-2014 13:45:17 | More by FLima
Photo of elNopalero


4.56/5  rDev +18.1%
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!

Serving type: on-tap

05-25-2013 05:07:56 | More by elNopalero
Photo of smulford68


3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at my local pub, but prefer it poured from a bottle because I have found that its more consistently heady out of the bottle.

As Porters go, I really consider this to be a favorite simply because it is what it says it is - A Porter pure & simple. Slight chocolate, toasted nut & coffee - but nothing over-bearing.

The folks @ Bell's do good work, and this is a good starter if you haven't tried their beers before.

Serving type: on-tap

12-07-2012 18:51:21 | More by smulford68
Photo of Bouleboubier


3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A moderately-compact, spongy, mocha-hued head atop a clean and clear, deep reddish-brown liquid. Great head retention, though I'd prefer the head to be a little more creamy and less foamy. Some medium-dark chocolate, citrus peel, and maybe pine in the smell - all fairly faint and messy-blended. Underlying those aromas is a soft, sweet dark coffee scent that comes on in the end and comes forward more later.

Hoppy-bitter. Mellow roasty up front but quickly smooths out into a muddy mixture of toasted cookie malt and vaguely acidic-citrus hop flavors (3.75).

Goes down clean and bone dry It does seem, the warmer it gets, to exhibit a touch of roundness and perhaps some slight slick pull in the finish. The hop bitterness/flavor has a noticeable edge in presence over the roasty malt flavors. It's okay, but not particularly to my malt-forward preferences.

All in all, not bad, just a little to muddled and unrefined. Maybe extended aging would bring things together better. Who knows?

Serving type: on-tap

12-01-2012 23:58:45 | More by Bouleboubier
Photo of wattoclone


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

Very dark, almost black, delicious malty, cocoa flavor that is extremely drinkable. No detectable hop bitterness. Aftertaste is bitterness of dark chocolate. Very well balanced. Almost as good in the bottle, although slightly more bitterness. Large amount of yeast sediment in bottom of bottle that was resuspended upon vigorous swirling. A full bodied mouthfeel rich and creamy.

Serving type: on-tap

09-12-2012 13:00:38 | More by wattoclone
Photo of Tucquan


3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had this on 2012-08-11 in Lititz, PA at the Bull's Head on-tap and again on 2014-01-01 in Columbia, PA.

A - Dark brown with a 1-finger tan head and good lacing.

S - Rich bready malt. Some chocolate and dark fruit. Not overly strong.

T - Nice combination of rich flavors including coffee up front, bread, roasted grain, chocolate, sweet dark fruit/rasin and some nice herbal hop presence. There's a good bit of roasted (light char) and hop bitterness to round out the sweetness in the aftertaste.

M - Medium body and light-medium carbonation. Smooth but lighter than I expected.

O - A tasty and almost-sessionable porter. Plenty of flavor,; leaning towards coffee more than chocolate. I like it although I prefer the Founders Porter which has more of a charred flavor and is a little thicker in feel.

Serving type: on-tap

08-11-2012 18:38:47 | More by Tucquan
Photo of korguy123

Ontario (Canada)

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

Bells porter on tap at the brewery.

A- Dark brown/black pour with a thin tan head and excellent lacing.

S- Nice toasted malt, good char, chocolate, coffee and brown sugar.

T- Coffee, bakers chocolate, toast and vanilla.

M- Medium bodied, lively carbonation.

Serving type: on-tap

04-03-2012 02:09:58 | More by korguy123
Photo of drabmuh


4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Churchkey, served in a snifter. Beer is dark brown / black with a thin tan head of small bubbles, some lacing, low retention.

Aroma is mildly sweet with a little roast, smells good.

Beer is medium to light in body, a little sweet / chocolaty on the front with a mild maltness, thins out toward the back, mildly roasty / bitter. I enjoyed it.

Serving type: on-tap

02-02-2012 19:44:13 | More by drabmuh
Photo of GallowsThief


3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at The House of Brews.

A – Black as night on the pour. Light tan head but not much of one. Settled down quickly and left a cover.

S – Roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, toffee and vanilla.

T – Chocolate flavor starts it with a bit of sweetness. Roasted malts lends to some smokiness in the flavor. Vanilla and toffee. Coffee has a nice presence in it that definitely gives it a bite of bitterness towards the end. It did finish with more lingering sweetness.

M – Medium to heavy bodied. Definitely has a thick mouthfeel. Coats the palate.

O – Solid flavors and taste. Has a little bit more sweetness then I prefer but overall a solid brew.

Serving type: on-tap

01-14-2012 15:48:14 | More by GallowsThief
Photo of tykees88


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

a- A little lightly colored black brown here. Not a very great head or lacing though. But still looks nice.

s- Smells roasty nice. real nice. There is a super present hop aroma. I like where this is going.

t- A nice coffee up front flavor. Followed by a floral hop flavor. The roasted malts are very nice as well. A tasty porter.

m-Medium to lighter bodied porter. I am becoming more and more fond of this style

o-very nice very drinkable. should be a go to porter at my place now.

Serving type: on-tap

10-13-2011 00:07:55 | More by tykees88
Photo of xnicknj


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

on tap at khyber in philly

Pours an opaque brown color with a beige head, retains pretty well with some filmy notes resting on top and some patchy lacing on the glass.

Plenty of roasty malt in the nose with nuts and sweetness. Hints of caramel and coffee beans with chocolate. Faint hops as well.

Slightly bitter up front with a blast of roasted malts. Pleasant wave of coffee beans with lighter chocolate notes. Bready malt with roasted tones and decent sweetness. Finishes a little bitter and sweet.

Medium body, nice carbonation, chewy and slightly dry on the tongue. Drinks nicely with a solid balance between coffee and malt, another hit from Bells.

Serving type: on-tap

09-29-2011 05:12:19 | More by xnicknj
Photo of voyageurs60


2.5/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

As part of a "Tap Takeover" by Bell's at the Harris Grill during Pittsburgh's Big Pour Week this porter was tapped. Visited the venue 1 week later and it was still on tap.

The pour was delivered to the table with 1/2" head in a shaker pint glass. Color was black as I would expect from a porter. Smell was a nice caramel. Taste was disappointing. No smokey, carmamel, coffee flavors at all. Very thin mouthfeel. Very little to no aftertaste.

Overall impression, a very forgettable beer. If this were my only choice against the big brewers, I would be drinking water instead.

Serving type: on-tap

09-18-2011 00:45:19 | More by voyageurs60
Photo of jmvecchio1


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

The beer is a deep, dark brown - almost black - with a light head that dissipates somewhat quickly off the pour.

Your nose will rejoice with this beer and the aromas it offers. The Porter aroma is malty with hints of chocolate and coffee; not brewed coffee though, think of opening a bag of freshly roasted coffee beans and that’s the smell you’ll find. The beer also gives off a bread-like, yeast smell that is very appealing.

A toasted coffee taste blends together with chocolate notes and the faintest hint of brown sugar. The brew leaves the tongue feeling a faint hint of hops and hop oil which balances nicely with the malts this beer offers.

This Porter is lighter in body than many of its competitors, but we still think that two might be our limit in one sitting as it might start to feel too thick. We really enjoy this beer, but don’t just take our word for it - go try a pint yourself.

Serving type: on-tap

07-16-2011 19:24:10 | More by jmvecchio1
Photo of jsanford


3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a bark brown with reddish highlights and a creamy, 1-inch dark khaki head. Very nice retention, leaves some sticky lacing.
S - Dark roasted malt, caramel, and sweet coffee-with-cream. Typical, but delicious, Porter aromas.
T - Spot on with the nose, but there's a good amount of chocolate present in the taste.
M - Creamy, with a medium-thin body and low carbonation.
D - Smooth and drinkable, a solid example of a Porter.

Serving type: on-tap

02-15-2011 15:16:08 | More by jsanford
Photo of BARFLYB


3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A pint on tap,

Bell's porter looks the standard mix of deep dark browns mixed with some black with a bit of seepage when up to light. A big inch of loose brown foam that left no stick, eventually died down. Smell is the standard porter roasted malt mixing in with some burnt and vanilla. Taste is roasted malt, vanilla, peat, chocolate, slight bitter coffee. Feel is a bit thin, I would say a step under medium, it needs a boost. Carb is adaquate but lacking as well. I drank it and next time I'll opt for a Founder's porter. The feel kinda kills this one for me.

Serving type: on-tap

02-06-2011 07:26:08 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of oglmcdgl


3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A pint on tap at resurrection ale house.

A- comes to me with a small cap of tan head that settles quickly leaving a good amount of sticky lace and a solid ring. Dark brown almost black in color.

S- nice roast and coffee hit, touch of chocolate and a bit of anise.

T- mildly roasty with some coffee and dark bread. Touches of burnt brown sugar and cocoa powder.

M- just about medium in body with a bit higher carb that kicks a bit too much and lighten things up more then I'd like, giving it a coke type feel.

D- very quaffable and easy going. I guess I'm looking for a bit more out of my porters. Good stuff just not great.

Serving type: on-tap

02-05-2011 03:30:29 | More by oglmcdgl
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-07-2010 22:39:58 | More by arboristfish
Photo of Spiekerbox


3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank on tap at Bell's Eccentric Cafe

A- Dark brown color with a soft tan head.

S- Toasted malts stand out with a slight sweetness in the background, no particular other scents that I can find

T- The toasted malts stand out, with a slight coffee and nutty flavor. Nothing too special but is a more of just a "plain" porter. That isn't a bad thing really though.

M- Medium body, neither crisp or creamy, medium carbonation, actually quite a middle ground of a mouthfeel

D- Not a bad beer, was one of the only ones on the list at Bell's that I had not drank before, and I was not disappointed that I tried it. Would not be my first choice of beer but overall it is another solid offering from one of the best breweries in the country.

Serving type: on-tap

07-23-2010 01:37:57 | More by Spiekerbox
Photo of MbpBugeye


3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap down at a local bar called Old Mohawk in German Village.

A- Nice thick head. Its a cake of tan foam. It leaves pretty nice lacing. This is a pretty dark porter, not much light will get through this one. In the spots that is does a rich garnet red is visible.

S- The smell is pretty faint here. Typical porter stuff too. Chocolate, roasted and caramel malts.

T- Good solid porter. Nothing unexpected, nothing undesirable. Just a basic, classic porter. Mild chocolate, roasted malt and faint coffee.

M- Medium body, medium carbonation.

D- Really sessionable.

Serving type: on-tap

02-10-2010 05:27:27 | More by MbpBugeye
Photo of thegodfather2701

North Carolina

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

A-Poured from the tap into a chilled pint glass with no head to speak of. It is very dark like a porter should look.

S-Chocolate dominates the nose with just a touch of coffee.

T-Mostly chocolate in the flavor. No real coffee notes or burnt notes to speak of, but a touch of roasted nuts in the aftertaste. It finishes clean.

M-Thin, carbonated, and slightly watery.

D-Very drinkable porter due to its average abv. and thin body.

Overall, this is a decent porter. I was expecting a little more, but it finishes very clean, leaving no aftertaste so it could definitely be a session beer.

Serving type: on-tap

11-29-2009 20:22:07 | More by thegodfather2701
Photo of ColForbinBC

New Jersey

3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap, served in a standard pint glass

Arrived at my table a few shades away from pitch black. Some ruby highlights around the edges and a one inch tan head that left some moderate lacing behind.

Aroma is of deep roasted malt, bittersweet dark chocolate and fresh roasted coffee. Pretty basic aromas, but it has a nice balance.

Some deep roasted malt and caramel up front with fresh roasted coffee and some semi-sweet chocolate in the finish. The latter lends a nice balance of sweet and bitter. A robust but very drinkable porter.

This is velvety smooth. Creamy with no oily feeling left in the mouth.

Given how smooth and creamy this guy is, it goes down real easy. Scary drinkable for the style.

Serving type: on-tap

10-23-2009 20:34:23 | More by ColForbinBC
Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy


3.43/5  rDev -11.1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-19-2009 20:12:34 | More by ArrogantDeadGuy
Photo of chaz410

North Carolina

3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer had little to offer on the nose. Very faint hints of cocoa and malts, maybe caramel??, were present but other than that, very little in the smell department.
This beer had a lot of carbonation which was nice. The taste really put the cocoa and chocolate malts first and foremost and really hit nice sweet roasted flavors throughout the mout feel. A good sweet finish at the end.

Serving type: on-tap

10-24-2008 02:54:03 | More by chaz410
Photo of baos


4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes:

Served on a Pils glass.

Nice headiness that went away to nearly nothing.
Heres my notes:

Nice caramelly malty nice hop bite good feel. Nose is maltiness dark caramel.

I have had this beer many times and never took notes for a review. Here my notes are lacking but i remember a nice full beer that I had three glasses of. Very Dark and very good.

Serving type: on-tap

10-23-2008 03:20:13 | More by baos
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Bell's Porter from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 1,957 ratings.