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

Not Rated.
Bell's PorterBell's Porter

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

2,160 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,160
Reviews: 954
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 10.62%
Wants: 50
Gots: 102 | FT: 3
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: 2,160 | Reviews: 954 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DAllspaw


4.4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fairly dark pour, with hint of ruby when held to the light. Light mocha head that sticks to glass with small bubbles and pools in middle of glass after head dissipates.

Smells more caramel than most porters, reminiscent of robert the bruce, with some smokiness as well.

Coffee and slightly bitter chocolate in the taste, nothing even close to burnt, nice roast character. Ends a little bitter with some tannins coating the mouth a bit.

Not as aggressive as other porters, but very substantial nonetheless, and very solid, a great regular drinking porter (better than SN, not quite on part with GLBC or Founders).

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2011 03:23:32 | More by DAllspaw
Photo of jbphoto88


3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A deep black beer with amber edges. There is almost no head and not much fizz. This beer has nice deep color but the lack of head isn't that flattering.

The nose is very nice. It's thick and sweetly malted with plenty of roasted and caramelized notes. It isn't as big and bold as I'd like from a porter but all the right scents are there just in a slightly diminished capacity.

Taste is slightly less appealing then the nose. It is muted like the smell but goes one step further down the scale for leaning more towards the over sweetened sidde of things. The malts are present and dominate but aren't as bold as I'd like or expect. Still for what it's worth this isn't a bad porter, just not a great one.

The mouthfeel is above average (barely) with very small carbonation and a full body feel. Easy to drink but not exceptionally pleasant, I'd drink more of it but wouldn't seek out some at a bar.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2011 21:17:11 | More by jbphoto88
Photo of GarthDanielson

North Carolina

4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, the beer is an extremely dark brown coloring, with a healthy, frothy, biege colored head that starts around the one inch mark and quickly settles into a sparse film. Aromas of coffee, sweet nut, and oak. The beer is light and crisp in mouth, and the flavors are light and creamy coffee, with a slight bittering at the end, with highlights of caramel sweetness. The increased levels of carbonation keep the beer light in mouth, and the finish is crisp and quick. The aftertaste is hazelnut coffee. This beer, although light, leaves a great lacing along the glass. Very tasty and light, making it way too easy to drink...good problem to have.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2011 23:03:57 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of plfahey


4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a tuilp glass.

Appearance-Black with faint ruby highlights, nearly opaque, but appears clear. Resilient Mocha brown head leaves some nice lacing on the glass.

Aroma-Lovely malt complexity-light bread, lots of toast, sweet caramel, chocolate, and slight roast. Slight green and almost minty/herbal hop aroma.

Flavor-More roast character comes through in the flavor. Big chocolate flavors here with light coffee roast. Also some toast flavors present. In the finish, low hop bitterness pairs with some roast flavors to dry out the palate. Low green hop flavors show through. In the aftertaste, more toast flavors emerge, before slowing fading into a general roast finish.

Mouthfeel-Body is medium full and carbonation is moderate. Silky smooth and round on the palate with soft carbonation.

Yum, another fantastic American Porter to add to my favorites. This one nails it in terms of malt aromas and flavors. The carbonation seems a bit weak on this bottle, but its a minor gripe. The beer is fantastic on the whole.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2011 08:10:38 | More by plfahey
Photo of Knapp85


3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This porter pours out with a nice black color, the head was thin and a light shade of brown. The smell of the beer was of roasted malts and some old wood. The taste was interesting, had a flavor in the aftertaste that I can't really describe. Other than that it was chocolatey and earthy. The mouthfeel was smooth and had a lighter body to it. Overall it's a really nice simle porter.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2011 17:19:45 | More by Knapp85
Photo of Florida9


3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark, dark brown. Some light showing through on the bottom of the glass reveals a bit of mahogany to the color. Forms a fizzy light tan head that reduces down to a patch surface coating and then nothingness. No lacing.

S: Roasty malts, chocolate, cocoa and some lighter coffee notes.

T: More roasted malts. A pleasant chocolate background. Lightly sweet. Mild bitterness. Finishes with a lingering chocolate flavor.

M: Medium bodied with lower carbonation. A bit dry or chalky.

O: Good. A solid porter.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2011 01:27:42 | More by Florida9
Photo of JayS2629


3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Super dark brown, almost black with a think creamy tan head that leaves thin foamy rings of lace. The smell is of dark chocolate and coffee. Pretty simple with some earthy notes. Taste has a robust roasted edge with coffee in the front, dark cocoa in the middle and coffee in the after tastes. Faint hint of vanilla and some earthy, grassy hops way in the back. Dominated with roast, slightly dry finish. Medium bodied, but a bit thin on the tounge. Overall, easy to drink and enjoyable porter.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2011 04:24:17 | More by JayS2629
Photo of Duff27


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

Batch 9022 - Packaged on March 11th, 2009.

A- Pours a one fingered light mocha head. atop a dark brown /black beer. Head is short lived and lacing is minimal.

S- Dark chocolate.

T- Very robust chocolate taste. Leaves a coffee-ish aftertaste.

M- Highly carbonated for the style to me.

D/O- It's a good, solid porter but nothing to seek out with so many other examples of the style out there. Would be a good value and "sessionable" buy.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2011 02:49:21 | More by Duff27
Photo of kjc51478


3.4/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Appearance is black with medium beige head.

S: Aroma is coffee, chocolate, and roasted malts with a hit of floral.

T: Taste is also chocolate/coffee with a touch of fruitiness.

M: Palate is medium bodied, nice thin, silky texture, light carbonation, but weak finishing.

O: Good Porter.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2011 03:11:05 | More by kjc51478
Photo of twoheadedboy


3.55/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter. Inky midnight black with good lacing.

It gives off the usual porter smell of roasted chocolate and coffee. Taste is the same, with strong roasted malts and oats; not particularly complex. Dark and filling yet quite drinkable.

Overall a solid, run-of-the-mill porter. An enjoyable enough drink, but nothing too special. I was hoping for something a bit more ambitious from Bell's.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2011 00:58:28 | More by twoheadedboy
Photo of kbnooshay

New York

4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown body with a huge creamy-off-white head. Body let through no highlights when held up to light. Smells like roasted coffee and chocolate. Lots of potent roasted malt is the best feature of this beer. Feel is thinner than i would prefer but thats okay. mmm.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2011 05:13:23 | More by kbnooshay
Photo of skyline31687


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

poured from bottle into pint glass.

A - pours a pretty standard porter-brown with a nice creamy head that has decent retention and noticeable lacing

S - smells of roasted malts with a nice sweetness on the back end

T - has a fairly overwhelming taste of coffee with a small hint of hoppy bitterness

M - great mouthfeel. i really enjoy the way it sits on the tongue, and it has a pleasant level of carbonation that lends it a refreshing quality that i have not seen in many porters

D - though it is a good offering of the style, it is not one that i could personally drink more than one or two of in a sitting as it's quite heavy

O - i would classify this among the best of the porters i have tried, but i'll admit that's not very many. i do know the difference between a bad beer and a good one however and this is most definitely the latter

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2011 02:54:48 | More by skyline31687
Photo of cosmicevan

New York

4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Pellinore1 from the N00B round 3 BIF.

a - popped the bottle and filled my captain lawrence tasting tulip. Poured a nice watery brown that settled into the glass black with a frothy finger of white bubbly head. Lacing was slippery and didn't cling to the glass much at all, but left mild traces.

s - as soon as I opened the bottle, the air filled with roasted malts. Upon closer inspection there was a nice chocolate malty porter smell. Really appetizing porter smell...balanced and everything is in the right place.

t - Really nice mix of chocolate and roasted malts. Very well done. For people who aren't big fans of the style I recommend trying this porter as it has a great balanced taste and great body.

m - has that classic porter tingle. Vibrant, good carbonation...not overly thin like most in the style.

o - This is a really nice porter. I find most to be a bit lackluster and lacking in body, but this one is vibrant and chocolatey with a great roasted malt. Bell's does it again. I'm a fan of porters and this one is near the top of the pack for the one's I've tried and it doesn't have any smoke or other gimmick to make the style more appealing...this is classic porter done right.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2011 04:28:59 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of bum732


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

S: Dark chocolate cake batter, coffee roastiness.

L: Black with a light tan head that dissipates.

T: Light coffee malt with a medium slightly earthy bitterness. finishes slightly dry with some herbal dryness.

M: Medium bodied and medium carbonation.

Solid porter, nothing special but good overall.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2011 02:55:50 | More by bum732
Photo of lstokes


4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful cratery head on the pour, with a roasted/chocolate nose. There's hazelnut, chocolate, and a lot of roasted bitterness in the taste. Some coffee and hops show up halfway through the glass, and the mouthfeel is very smooth--a very quaffable, even sessionable porter.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2011 04:08:50 | More by lstokes
Photo of AlexanderSelby

North Carolina

2.98/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Looks kind of cloudy when held up to the light as the amber edges seem like they are struggling for air. Smells of coffee, chocolate, sweetness and...just about every other dark flavor. Taste is a touch muddy. Just like the nose, there are plenty of things going on at once that are seeming to fight for top spot. Roasty flavors up front get dominated later by buttered bread sweet tones, and in the middle the battle for nut or dark chocolate is raging.

Overall, I think this porter tries too hard.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2011 21:33:37 | More by AlexanderSelby
Photo of Beerandraiderfan


3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown appearance, almost no head to the beer. Aroma was earthy, slightly hoppy even. Tiny cocao feel to it, not chocolate.

Taste, nice, thoughts of Black Butte Porter come to mind, a hoppy porter close to a india brown ale type of beer. Dry. Pretty easy to drink, not super thick, no alcohol noticeable.

Nutty mouthfeel, coffee malts, nothing imperialized, a good commoner porter, sessionable, goes good with hockey. Good carbonation keeps the beer lively and light relative to its color.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2011 18:21:44 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of BigBry

Alberta (Canada)

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

12 oz brown bottle, another single from M & B, $1.99, label as pictured above. "A robust porter brewed from a tasty blend of dark malts with a rich, roasted flavor. Enjoy it anytime, like now for instance."
Thick, frothy tan head on top of dark, basically black liquid. Smell has lots of roasted malt, rich almost burnt grain notes. Roasted malt flavors, slightly smokey. Decent amount of hop finish, more than I was expecting, nicely balanced. Smooth, creamy, medium body and mouthfeel. An easy to drink, flavor filled porter, an enjoyable brew.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2011 14:39:36 | More by BigBry
Photo of MattyG85


3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Very dark brown with a slight amount of light coming through at the bottom. Decent sized tan head fades into a thin layer. Good lacing.

Smell: Mild sweet roasted malts with hints of chocolate, coffee, and nuts. Very slight hint of hops.

Taste: Roasted malt sweetness followed by chocolate and coffee. Hints of nuts, dark fruit, and earthy hops.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with medium carbonation. Creamy and smooth.

Overall: A decent version of a porter.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2011 05:20:01 | More by MattyG85
Photo of GossageBrewery


3.48/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. The beer poured a dark brown color, almost black. The pour produced a small tan head and the retention was poor. The lacing of this beer was outstanding. The aroma was chocolate and yeasty. The beer has a nice medium body and is very smooth. Mouthfeel is excellent.
The taste of the porter has hints of chocolate, coffee and sweet malt. There is a nice amount of oily hop bitterness. This is the most drinkable American Porter I have had- very good.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2011 18:32:28 | More by GossageBrewery
Photo of sendsilk


3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Anything by Bells is usually top notch.

A- Looks great. Dark and menacing. nice lacing and carbonation.

S- Pretty good, just malty, nothing jumps up and grabs me.

T- Very middle of the road. Not bad, but nothing to write the mistress about. honey, I'll be over later to ...fall asleep next to you. Kind of a letdown.

M- Good, solid

O- If it says Bells it's usually good in my book and this one is just that: GOOD in my book, but not awe inspiring which sometimes Bells nails me on, like Expedition Stout or Batch 9000.

You can do much worse than to drink a bunch of these.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2011 03:12:20 | More by sendsilk
Photo of Roke87

Ontario (Canada)

3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter at cellar temperature, batch number 10143

Appearance - Pours a dark dark brown colour, pretty much opaque even when held up to a light, a little less than a finger of brown creamy head that very quickly dissipates to a very thin lacing

Smell - The smells are definitely a little muted, not much to the nose other than slight roasted malts

Taste - A bit of coffee definitely comes through, maybe a bit of chocolate and finishes with roasted malts, a typical porter taste in this brew for sure.

Mouthfeel - Is rather on the light side, good carbonation with a sweet aftertaste.

Overall - A good porter and a good representation of what a decent porter should be. Although the smells are a little muted, it comes through in the taste.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2011 05:25:38 | More by Roke87
Photo of LacquerHead


3.23/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This had no transparency; it had a black brownish color with a relatively light tan head.

The aroma was on the lighter side. It had a typical robust smell. There weren't any stand-out aromas.

The taste was okay. Like the aroma, the taste was on the lighter side for porters. There was the expected robust malt flavor. At first it kind of reminded me of a roasted malted root beer. For the most part there were faint ghost flavors showing up now and again, always in the far back ground. Most porters come alive as they warm up, but this one didn't really do that.

M/F: well carbonated but not too distracting.

D: easy to drink. It had a slight sipping quality.

Conclusion: it was a borderline average porter. It was a little thin on taste for a porter. For a craft brewery, this was well below par. This was the kind of beer someone could have on any day for any occasion. Nothing really memorable.I probably wouldn't purchase this again. It was too thin and there are better porters for the same price range.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2011 00:53:08 | More by LacquerHead
Photo of SuperSpy


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

Very dark brown with a long-lasting, foamy head. Some light gets through when you look closely, but you wouldn't notice unless the room was very well lit. The head finally dies to a small foam cap but there is very little lacing.

The aroma has some very mild roast and smells a little sweet, with just a hint of toffee. Very nice.

The flavor is similar to the aroma but has the addition of unsweetened chocolate, and burnt as well as roasted malts. It's dark and mildly sweet. The body is on the light side of medium and goes well with the flavor.

When you drink this beer you know you're drinking a porter. You don't have to ask yourself "is this a stout?" Overall I'm impressed and will be drinking this one again.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2011 21:38:02 | More by SuperSpy
Photo of bnes09


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

Very dark brown, almost black. Cream colored head forms and seems to stick around forever. Forms some lace.

Smooth and nutty, roasted aroma.

Roasted flavor with some mild coffee and almond flavor. Smooth molasses tones underneath. Assertive pine and herbal hop bitterness adds a spicy edge. Overall, very smooth and well rounded.

Light to medium body. Slightly lighter than expected. Crisp level of carbonation.

A very solid porter. Tasty and refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2011 02:31:07 | More by bnes09
Bell's Porter from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 2,160 ratings.