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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

2,165 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,165
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: 2,165 | Reviews: 954 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mbusster88

New York

3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours very dark brown with some red around the edge. Good espresso colored head is fluffy and full.G Great lacing on the glass that sticks around well.

S: Very roasted notes up front. Some lactic type notes. Also get some coffee and espresso type aromas in the back of the nose.

T/M: Very smooth and easy to go down. Not overly thick, but not thin. Very nice roasted coffee character with a smoke like finish. Very nice and clean palate and taste, no odd flavors or overkill on the roast. Just a good drinking porter that really tastes great.

D: Not something I would necessarily rave about, but really great. I would get this one again when I can get it in trades.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2011 03:45:08 | More by mbusster88
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 CPeterson


4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A -- Pours a deep brown into a two finger head that settles to a patchy froth, with splotchy lacing. An opaque appearance, reflecting a deep copper when held to light.

S -- Deep caramel and toffee essences, coffee and dark chocolate, some dark fruits.

T -- Coffee and toffee, lightly bitter but well balanced with malty sweetness, hints of brown sugar and caramel. Ends with a light chicory note, with some good grainy / earthy flavors.

M -- Creamy and smooth, well carbonated and full bodied.

D -- Very solid offering, worth a pickup or ten. Very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2011 04:41:31 | More by CPeterson
Photo of emerge077


4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A timeless classic, and staple of any Midwest beer bar worth their salt.

Sooty black with mahogany edges. Several fingers width of tan foam with a vigorous pour, that slowly recede and coat the glass with intricate lacing. Retention is great, the foam remains unbroken the entire time.

Roasty black patent malt, coffee notes, and a mild bready malt sweetness.

Supple feel, signature roast with coffee and bakers chocolate notes. Little to no bitterness, creamy and smooth body with mellow carbonation. Lingering flavor of dry roast in the aftertaste. Extremely drinkable, flavorful and well-rounded. Many so-called extreme beers pale in comparison to this classic Porter.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2011 03:59:50 | More by emerge077
Photo of dali27


4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into pint glass.

A: Pours very smoothly, near black darkness in color. Very thin head.

S: Chocolate, roasted malts and coffee scents.

T: The taste is very well balanced between the chocolate, coffee and malt. Really smooth from start to finish.

M: A little thinner and with a little more carbonation than I would have expected.

D: A good drinking beer. Goes down easy, and is especially good with food.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2011 06:29:19 | More by dali27
Photo of BBP

Ontario (Canada)

4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a very very dark brown and is a bit clearer than most porters. Good carbonation, but thin head. Slight lacing.

S- Dark malt, molasses, hops. Slight cocoa.

T- Chocolate and molasses. Not too far from Edmund Fitzgerald's Porter. Has a ton of residual cocoa though. This one also has a decent amount of hops backing it up. While the flavor is sharp, it takes a while to become strong, but after a while the aftertaste is superb.

M- Creamy and smooth. Carbonation is just right. Feels nice and full, but not chewy at the same time.

D- Very easy to drink. A decent brew from Bell's but it didn't seem deserving to put this with their BIG brews. All in all very nice still.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2011 00:26:32 | More by BBP
Photo of Georgiabeer


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

Pours a dark walnut in color, with an offwhite head that eventually fades to a ring and leaves some slight lacing. Smells slightly sweet and earthy, with a hint of roastiness and some aromas of brown bread. The taste is similar. On the lighter side for the style, but very well balanced and with a long, slightly bitter, and slightly peppery finish that exhibits roasty notes and some earthy depth. Smooth, and although somewhat light bodied, it has a long finish. Quite good.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2011 23:01:57 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of sobis1dm


3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Every Winter I remind myself that this brew exists. I take a break from my secure stable of porter and buy a six of this, and I'm pleasantly surprised every time. It's consistently the best beer in Bells' lineup, and deserves the attention it gets around the region. The beer pours with a gorgeous brown head that makes you wish it would stick around, but it never does. The glass is left with a lacy overtone of head on top of an amber-laced black soul.

When the beer hits your mouth, it's sharp - not in a hoppy way, but in a way that's more aggressive than most porters are comfortable being. But the mouthfeel is great; a near-perfect level of carbonation filled with coffee and burnt chocolate. The drinkability is also top-notch but loses a point because it's so filling. I feel like I'm ready for a nap after a bottle and a half.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2011 06:54:21 | More by sobis1dm
Photo of BeerLover99


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

A: deep brown with black shimmering. 1 finger head, average lacing

S: malt, coffee, hint of chocolate and toffee

T: coffee, roasted nuts, bitter chocolate.

M: medium body, solid carbonation.

D: Nice porter, could drink more than a few with ease. Great taste and body. Check it out.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2011 22:21:46 | More by BeerLover99
Photo of IronLover


4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep black with a hint of dark brown on the edges. Poured with a brief foamy beige head with no retention, but ample wet lacings on the glass. Roasted, nutty aroma with hints of chocolate and coffee. Medium bodied and very smooth with light carbonation. Dark toasted malt flavor throughout with dark fruity middle and a bittersweet chocolate and roasted coffee finish. A touch of hoppy bitterness slips in at the finish as well. Very smooth and easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2011 01:57:14 | More by IronLover
Photo of tigg924


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

Appearance: minimal head, clear, dark brown in color, moderate carbonation

Smell: roasted malt and chocolate--both dark and milk--this beer smells amazing

Taste: charred roasted malt and chocolate--both milk and dark

Mouthfeel: medium body, full and robust slightly sweet flavor, medium carbonation

Drinkability: A very nice solid chocolaty porter that smells great. I could have three or four easily. The more I drink Bells beers, I find that they excel in taking basic styles and making them amazing beers. This is no exception to that rule.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2011 15:28:39 | More by tigg924
Photo of uwmgdman


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

The beer pours a deep dark brown with ruby glow when held to a bright light. The head is moderate and clingy, off-white, good lacing. The aroma is moderate-high malt--mainly chocolate and a bit nutty/biscuity. The flavor is moderately malty -- a little roast, definitely chocolate and just a bit of dryness and hop bitterness at the swallow. The mouthfeel is smooth, body is just short of medium, finish just a bit of lingering malt, and moderate carbonation. Overall very good but not an overly special porter.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2011 02:29:22 | More by uwmgdman
Photo of dudecandle

New York

3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into pint glass:

A: Very deep brown color, nearing on black. Small, creamy, and lasting head.

S/T: Roasted coffee with some caramel and some dark fruit. The caramel really comes through strong on the taste, the sweetness balancing well with the roasted coffee. The coffee bitterness comes up strong again on the back end of the palate.
As it opens up, some slight yeast and vanilla come through on the smell, and the chocolatey sweetness gets stronger on the taste.

M: Moderate carbonation, but still somewhat creamy.

D: Very drinkable. Relatively light body, with strong, but not aggressive flavors. Nothing is overdone, and all the flavors are kept nice and simple, playing well off each other. It opens up well.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2011 18:03:52 | More by dudecandle
Photo of KYzac


3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a Stone IRS tulip.

A: deep brown in color. about a finger or so of light tan head.

S: very malty. roasted malt and a hint of coffee.

T: hint of coffee in the taste. a little bit of chocolate. no hop flavor or bitterness.

M: very smooth, good body.

D: very drinkable at 5.6 abv. could have a couple without much problem.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2011 03:29:38 | More by KYzac
Photo of Frosty80


4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Color: pours brown with golden hue. sits dark, dark ruby

Smell: very clean maltiness with wonderful amount of roasted malt, some chocolate and a bit of coffee.

Taste: translates well from aroma. great roasted maltiness with a little bit dark chocolate and a tinge of coffee. bitterness is light-medium, perfect for this brew. no hop flavor to speak of really. finish is dry with a light roast character and bitterness.

Mouthfeel: medium body with moderate carbonation

Notes: very balanced, drinkable porter with no one ingredient overwhelming

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2011 02:43:19 | More by Frosty80
Photo of zoso1967


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

Bell's Porter pours a deep dark brown that is just shy of being stout like. The head is a nice frothy stack of bubbles that have a mocha color to them. Retention and lacing are both impressive.

The aroma is pleasingly sweet with plenty of caramel and brown sugar sweetness. It also has a bit of chalky character, some molasses, dark fruitiness and a touch of roasty malt.

The flavor has a lot more roasted malt character. Coffee, dark chocolate and a bit of charred astringency make a good foil for the caramel and molasses sweetness. It also has a nice chalky sort of character and some dark fruitiness. Some herbal hop bitterness rounds out the flavor and keeps this porter satisfyingly balanced.

The body is medium with a fairly lively amount of carbonation. It has a little smoothness to it and the finish is slightly sticky with a somewhat nutty aftertaste.

This is one of the first craft brews that I really liked and I still find it quite tasty. It is a drinkable porter with a nice mix of flavors. Bell's Porter is definitely a nice American example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2011 00:41:36 | More by zoso1967
Photo of mdfb79

New York

3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a very dark brown color with two inches of tan head and moderate carbonation evident. No lacing or real retention.

s - Smells of chocolate, roasted malts, light coffee, vanilla, and light dark fruits. Pretty nice.

t - Tastes of coffee, roasted malts, chocolate and very light vanilla. A step down from the nose, but still good.

m - Medium to full body and moderate carbonation. Very smooth and creamy.

d - A nice porter. I liked the smell a lot and the taste was still pretty good. I wish the taste had less coffee as that slightly dominated the other tastes, but would certainly have again.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2011 23:46:49 | More by mdfb79
Photo of JDFish


1.6/5  rDev -58.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Poured dark and smelled of rotting fruit, burnt coffee, and somehting sour and acidic. Smallish head that disappeared quickly. I manage to get a few sips in before it was dumped down the drain. This piss water is overwhelm with sourness and alcohol. Worst tasting beer I've ever had, zero drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2011 02:58:22 | More by JDFish
Photo of BigMike


3.45/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The darkest brown you can get before black. Some ruby highlights around the edge. A thick creamy khaki colored head of two fingers.

S: lots of smokiness and bittersweet chocolate. Some black
licorice notes.

T: Same as the nose. Lots of smoky chocolate with roasted coffee on the finish.

M: medium, smooth, creamy.

Overall: A really good porter. Very drinkable with lots of flavor.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2011 01:39:35 | More by BigMike
Photo of womencantsail


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

Thanks to Jason for this nice extra.

A: The pour is a very dark brown with a bit of reddish notes and a thin khaki head.

S: There's quite a bit of sweetness to the nose. I get caramel and sweet chocolate. The roasted malt and coffee notes are a bit more subdued.

T: As much as the roast is in the background on the nose, it's surprisingly strong and "featured" on the palate. Lots of roasted malt flavor with a nice bitter chocolate compliment. Some slight caramel sweetness and a bit of an earthy hop flavor.

M: The body is medium with a smooth and almost creamy feel on the tongue. The carbonation is moderate.

D: Not quite an amazing porter, but quite good. Solid in all aspects.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2011 05:56:15 | More by womencantsail
Photo of hangh


4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice dark brown nearly black color with a thin tan head. Leaves a little bit of lacing and the head is pretty fine. Head's gone after about 3 minutes leaving a few islands on the surface. It's a shame because the first few sips were my favorite. Very strong chocolate/coffee smell, it's refreshing and lingers for a while. Taste is excellent. This is what I want when I get a porter. Sweet smoked chocolate and coffee malts give way to a quick bitter ending with a pleasant aftertaste. Nothing is overpowering and everything seems to be in a good balance. It's a lighter bodied porter with some mild carbonation but it is very good. If I'm in the mood for a porter, this is the first thing I'm looking for.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2010 03:54:21 | More by hangh
Photo of DannyDan


4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a mahogany red to black body with an off white head that has good retention, good carbonation and excellent lacing to it. The smell is chocolate mixed with coffee, and some hops. The taste is a mild taste of chocolate at first, than the coffee kicks in followed by some hops and raisins. The aftertaste reminds me of chocolate covered raisins. The mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy, and even though I have only tasted four or five porters in my life and am fairly new to the style I'll admit that this is the smoothest and most drinkable one I've had so far.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2010 07:31:41 | More by DannyDan
Photo of BeerDawgs


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

A - Dark brown. Minimal head in my glass, leaves just a slight lace.

S - Nice malt aroma with burnt coffee/chocolate smell

T - Mild at 1st, and then the malts and hops kick in at the end. Has a very good aftertaste. Very well balanced.

M - Medium carbonation. Smooth Smooth Smooth.

D - Rates high on drinkability. It is so smooth that you can easily drink several.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2010 03:41:51 | More by BeerDawgs
Photo of adamette


2.5/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Live review. Poured from the 12 oz. brown bottle that I purchased as a single at Save-On Tobacco & Beverage in Mentor, Ohio a few weeks ago for $1.68 into my Cooperstown Beverage Trail pint glass. Batch 9800.

A Light brown somewhat creamy head of about 1 cm over a dark body that glows a mahogany red in front of direct light. A basic look. 3.0

S Moderate to dark roast malt and an "amber" smell that I did not expect. The beer is not very aromatic. Several sniffs were needed to produce the first statement. 3.0

T Taste flows from the smell in that I can taste the disappointingly thin dark roast malt but also an "amber" taste that I did not expect. This lacks the depth and great taste of Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter which is available in nearly every store in my area. 2.0

M Too thin for me. The dark roast malt is too distant and the "amber" tastes seem to make it feel even more thin. I don't know about this one....I am firmly disappointed in it. 2.5

D Good with manageable ABV (5.6%) but the smell and taste are forgettable enough that I cannot see reaching for another one of these. 3.0

Notes: Just as much as I was impressed with the Java Stout (just reviewed it) I am disappointed with this one, far inferior to many, many other porters available to me (Not just the great Edmund Fitzgerald, but others too).

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2010 04:13:00 | More by adamette
Bell's Porter from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 2,165 ratings.