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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

1,008 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,008
Hads: 2,677
Avg: 3.88
pDev: 16.75%
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bell's Porter Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,008 | Hads: 2,677
Photo of Nyg
3.99/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dark roasted malt chocolate deliciousness. The head adds nice scent and malt taste. Top 10 porter. Not very heavy and an easy drink. A 6 pack and your good

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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 BB1313
3.61/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Batch #14662; bottled on 8/4/15. 12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours close to black with a fluffy khaki head that falls slowly leaving great retention and sticky lacing. The aromas are full of cocoa malts. Hints of smoke too. The flavors are nice. Lots of cocoa and more smoke. Pretty roasty. More malts. Subtle coffee notes. Some milk. Finishes dry for the most part. Alcohol goes unnoticed. Mouthfeel is very nice. It's light, but has a heavy feel to it. Moderate carbonation and very creamy. Smooth stuff.

Nice porter. They stay true to style. Nothing too crazy, but very nice.

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Photo of WellRested518
4.02/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a 13oz tulip. Bottled 4/16/15

L- Almost pitch black with some burgandy tones when held upon the sun. A nice khaki-white head fades to a thin crown. Decent lacing.

S- Probably the best thing about this brew. Roasted malts with coffee, bakers chocolate, wood, and a hint of vanilla. If you told me that this were oak aged, I would believe you.

T- Roasted malt, coffee, char, vanilla, and bakers chocolate. This porter isn't dry, but it's damn close. A nice earthy/piney hop-bitterness completes the drink*. Behind it all is a slight wave of cherry and cranberry juice.

M- Starts with a nice medium-full mouthfeel and a smooth carb, but as the drink rests it soon becomes thin and oily on the backend.

* This bitterness that completes the drink, may also be it's downfall. As my palate adjusts to the hop/malt bitterness it seems to thin the drink out and make it rather uninteresting.

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Photo of thepenguin
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed 2/11/12

L: Pours a very dark brown with an off-color white head. More lacing than you’d expect from a porter.

S: Rich and appropriately roasty. Chocolate malt is prominent, reminiscent of a bold roast coffee.

T: Following aroma, this beer is rich, burnt, and roasty. Upfront, it slightly malty, but yields to dark malt and hop bitterness. Finish is dry and bitter.

F: Medium bodied and just over medium carbonation. Mouthfeel is exceptionally smooth and creamy despite the low gravity and substantial carbonation with some very slight alcoholic warmth.

O: A solid porter through and through. Quaffable with a nice aroma and a particularly nice mouthfeel.

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Photo of Slaterlovesbeer
3.99/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Good porter. Pours black, head quickly recedes. Dark brown/ pitch black color. Very malty aroma. Taste is malty and hoppy but not too hoppy. Creamy mouthfreel that pairs well with the wonderful malty flavors. There are better porters but this one is fantastic. Overall very good.

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Photo of GTSeabolt
2.83/5  rDev -27.1%
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.

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Photo of CNoj012
3.74/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

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Photo of TH28
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
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

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Photo of mozart4898
3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

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Photo of Act25
3.94/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

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Photo of CDTDubstep
3.99/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

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Photo of DcfdLtE22
3.67/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

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Photo of mlockman
4.19/5  rDev +8%
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.

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Photo of TheSSG
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Photo of mdcrouser
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

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Photo of moonboogie_n8
3.54/5  rDev -8.8%
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.

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Photo of Mrbseward
3.77/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

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Photo of Buck89
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter. Mahogany color with generous tan head. Nose with roasty malts, toast and caramel. Taste followed suit, typical for a porter with a medium bodied feel. One of my favorites of the style.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.99/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

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Photo of JDJorgenson
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

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Photo of IPAGeorge
4.24/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

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Photo of craftbeersweden
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

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Photo of maedhros09
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of TX-Badger
3.91/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

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Bell's Porter from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 1,008 ratings.