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

Not Rated.
Bell's PorterBell's Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

993 Reviews
THE BROS
87
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 993
Hads: 2,621
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 9.77%
Wants: 90
Gots: 271 | 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: 993 | Hads: 2,621
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 Buck89
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
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. (207 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)

Photo of Stevedore
4.09/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, dated 9/17/2014. Poured into a Bell's snifter 10/23/2014.

A- Darker cola brown body, one finger offwhite head with fair retention time. Eventually drops into a medium density foam with a bubbly collar. Moderate lacing. Pretty much par for the course. [3.75]

S- Milk chocolate sweetness, bitter espresso, moderate roasted malt. Slight hint of smoke. Dark chocolate. [4]

F- Cold-brewed black coffee, roast malt character, milk chocolate sweetness near the finish that is ultimately bitter espresso mixed in with a surprising sweet lactose-like finish, making me think of cream. Nice complexity with some subtle touches to it. Very tasty. [4.25]

M- Medium bodied, silky smooth and creamy. Not particularly oily or resinous, but it does have a nice earthy finish that is dry and soothing. [4]

O- Very nice porter. The richness and sweetness on this one gives it a bit more of a "cream and one sugar" quality to the otherwise predominant coffee-forward roasted malt character. I enjoyed this one quite a bit. In my opinion, this stacks up quite well to the usual characters such as Edmund Fitzgerald, Smuttynose, Founders Porter, Black Butte. This seems like quite the underrated porter to me. [4]

Final score: 4.10 (1,229 characters)

Photo of digitalflood
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Pours pitch black. Strong frothy head reduces to khaki lacing. Scents of Breakfast Blend coffee and biscuits waft off. Good porter bitterness on the nose. Some acids courtesy of coffee, toasted barley, and a bit of smoked peet. Mid-palate it is coffee, some cocoa, and a lingering tartness. The back palate is all malt and biscuits with some lingering coffee notes. Fairly dry, but still very drinkable. Like a good cup of Arabica. Aftertaste is all coffee and toasted barley. 4 out of 5. Very good. Recommended. (512 characters)

Photo of PaulyB83
3.69/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 08/06/14

A- Dark brown not quite black, a bit on the lighter side of porters I've had. Light brown head.

S- Chocolate, light coffee, tiny bit of perceived vanilla.

T- Light roasted coffee, quite a bit of roasted acidity, missing some of the chocolate and sweetness from the aroma.

M- Medium normal porter feel.

O- A decent slightly above average porter. Not on the level of Edmund Fitzgerald or Founders Porter though. (435 characters)

Photo of ONUMello
3.84/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass
A: Dark brown color with a 1+ finger head
S: Toasted malt, coffee/cocoa but also a slightly metallic note that doesn't fit
T: Similar toasted malt/coffee/cocoa matching the nose; thankfully no metal though a touch simple
F: Medium-bodied yet full
O: I'm spoiled with GLBC's Ed Fitz being brewed just a few miles away as that's a high bar to beat as far as porters are concerned. This is a good beer and is a good example of the style, just not quite in the same league as Ed (511 characters)

Photo of humuloner22
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have drank a lot of beers from Bell's but for some reason I have never picked up the porter. Today I did and I am happy to say that I did. Maybe I am into porters right now, maybe they are my transition beer into the the darker nights ahead. But, one thing I do know is that I am really digging them right now. Especially this one. To me porters have a lot of the characteristics that stouts have, but without some of the harshness and too much of one thing like licorice or burned coffee. This one is no different.

Color: Deep dark mahogany almost impenetrable to light, but yet you see that little bit shining through. Head is very small, it settles to a very meager lacing pattern.

Aroma: This one was hard for me to decipher, it was a bit boozy on the nose, but Its only 5.6% so you know there can't be that much in there. Maybe come caramel and chocolate, but very light, not a lot of strong aromas on this one.

Taste: Here is where they get you, not boozy really, nice amount of bite, but you definitely detect chocolate notes and some hoppiness going on. But very faint, just enough bitterness to balance out the small amount of sweetness. Overall, this is a very nice beer, well balanced.

Overall: Once I decide on a regular beer I may go back to this one one day. Not really, I will never have a regular beer with all the options we have now, but this is a porter I would buy again. Its fairly easy to find where I live, and the price is totally reasonable for what you are getting. Bell's does it again! (1,523 characters)

Photo of CHickman
3.94/5  rDev +1.3%

Pours opaque dark brown and almost black looking color with a 1 finger foamy tan head that was full of tiny bubbles and faded average to slowly, leaving very good lacing.

Smells of roasted malt, coffee beans, vanilla, cocoa powder, charred wood and dry herbs like tea leaf or dry hops. Roasted notes dominate, with a sweetness like a roasted coffee with hazelnut cream in it. Quite pleasant to smell.

Tastes like it smells, with coffee beans, vanilla, caramel, roasted malt, cocoa powder, charred wood, peat moss, tea leaf, dry floral hops, milk chocolate, brown sugar and pepper or other very light spices. There were a lot of flavors that were similar and hard to define, but this was still a relatively complex brew.

Aftertaste is sweet and like a frozen coffee drink mixed with some doughy yeast. The mouthfeel is light and thin, with a lighter body, a smooth feel and a slightly bitter finish which trails off like a coffee. Overall pretty tasty and very easy to drink. (980 characters)

Photo of Kris450
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

I love a good porter and that's exactly what this is. Rich malty flavor that cascades in a caramel climax that is maybe a bit pronounced, But I like it nonetheless. Very drinkable and not overly heavy. Pours a dark opaque brown, not quite black, yet extremely dark. A very good beer for a night in, a fire, and a steak. (319 characters)

Photo of ClavisAurea
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Served in a St. Feuillien glass (short, wide mouthed winelike glass) at fridge temps

Appearance: Thick and very dark brown with a thin light tan head that goes away after a few seconds. No light gets through this one.

Nose: roasted malts, chocolate, burnt cream, dark roast coffee, oak, slight vanilla

Taste: Roasted malts, coffee, surprisingly thin mouthfeel and light body for such a rich smelling beer. Short finish with very slight hop bitterness at the end that lingers a few seconds refreshing the palate. (514 characters)

Bell's Porter from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 993 ratings.