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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

2,136 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,136
Reviews: 953
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 10.62%
Wants: 49
Gots: 96 | 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: 2,136 | Reviews: 953 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jlindros


3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another review coming from Noslenwerd.

A: Big frothy 1 finger thick rich head with darker color. The color of the beer is very dark brown with almost no light escaping.

N: Nose has some dark malts, some light roast, light chocolate, a nice porter roasty aroma. Some very light spicy hops. It's almost the epitome of a good porter but on the lighter side.

T: Starts with some dark malts, roasted characters quite a bit. Adds slight chocolate and more lush malts. Slightly sweet. It has some bitter stout like flavors from charred malts. Slight creaminess. Rich and more flavorful than I expected from the nose. It's almost a juicy malt flavor.

M: Semi thick, luscious, creamy, decent carbonation.

F: FInishes a little drier but still slightly sweet, it has a nice earthy spicy bitter feel on the finish, and almost that clean mouth feel you get from higher abv beers. The lingering bitter stouty roasted flavor remains for a bit.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2010 02:44:01 | More by jlindros
Photo of mooseisloose


3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Starting desert and this beer looks like it will suit that quite well, so let's give it a whirl. Popping the top yields a smell of malted milk balls, heath bars and coffee. Delicious. Pouring the brew yields a coffee color with a creamy head. The taste of this brew is complex to say the least, it starts with the malted milk ball taste then launches into a slightly bitter coffee taste then finishes sweeter like milk chocolate with a unsweetened cocoa finale. Very delicious. Surprisingly the mouthfeel, for all this flavor, is kind of watery. That's not all bad as for all this flavor one can enjoy a few of these without bogging down. Good porter, not really something that would become a go to, but enjoyable.
3/2011 I went to it again, B+? It's damn good might be pushing A-?

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2010 03:13:57 | More by mooseisloose
Photo of Heavenisbeer


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

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass.

A: The pour is pretty dark and dense for a porter, in my opinion (maybe I just haven't had that many primos). The single-finger head dies down relatively quickly, leaving a nice, thin vanilla top-coating, which rests upon the chocolate bottom like a somewhat flat Guinness. Some subtle lacing that sticks well to the glass.

S: Mild. Upfront tinge of sugary coffee (cappuccino-esque) with a touch of hops on the backend. I catch a hint of raisins as well.

T: Taste mirrors the aroma of this one--malts are there, but not very pronounced. This is not to say that flavor is absent. Roasted coffee begins this one, and ends it as well, staying with you afterwards. I am unable to distinguish any other hues in this one (the other reviews can fill this in for me). The hops in the nose is missing in the flavor, as well.

M: Excellent feel--full, complete, but not too heavy, perfect for an American Porter. Coats the mouth beautifully. Sticks together well; no watery drop-off following the initial contact with the palate. A tad bit oily (not a bad thing in my opinion). The feel actually outshines the flavor.

D: This would make a great session porter. Smooth taste without a killer body. Three to four in a sitting would be no problem.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2010 03:35:38 | More by Heavenisbeer
Photo of yemenmocha


4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours nearly black with brown head. Roasty aromas are present on the nose. On the palate there's a smoky quality that pairs with the roasty flavors as well. Some malt sweetness is there too, perhaps some spent coffee grounds also. Surprisingly drinkable for such a roasty porter.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2009 03:38:56 | More by yemenmocha
Photo of snaotheus


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

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours dark brown with a big frothy tan head, clumpy lacing. Smell is mild, chocolatey, slightly coffeeish.

Taste is also mild and chocolatey with a strong coffee aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is light but gritty. Drinkable, pleasant beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2009 21:34:23 | More by snaotheus
Photo of beerwolf77


3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my imperial pint glass the beer is dark chocolate brown with blood red edges. The beige head is a full three inches and leaves a thick coating of around the glass. A nice cap remains.

The aroma is roast malt with light chocolate, hints of coffee and black earth finish. Smells rather inviting.

The flavor is a slight step down fro the nose. All the same characteristics are there just not as pronounced. Smoked malt with light coffee and chocolate. That's about it.

Medium to light body with light to no carbonation.

Overall a nice easy drinking porter. Nothing special but not every beer can be.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2009 21:56:04 | More by beerwolf77
Photo of thedrewski86


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

Poured this into a pint glass. Not a lot of head; about 1/4" of tan foam. No lacing. The smell is sweet and smoky. The taste is typical porter with a smoky kick. I would normally like that a lot more but I was a little under-whelmed with this beer. It feels a lot like a stout. Nice malt character though with some biscuit notes. Very little carbonation, kinda makes you think of a flat coke. I don't want to be too negative about this beer though, I would drink it a lot if I had it around all the time. It still has a pleasant flavor and drinkability is good.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2009 01:13:39 | More by thedrewski86
Photo of mdwalsh


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

Had this on cask at Stub and Herb's. Was very excited to see a beer I was familiar with on cask so I could compare.

A: Dark, translucent brown beer, very clear. Light Light tan head.

S: Mild sweet roast, no hops, pretty simple in a very good way.

T: Very roasty, not sweet at all. No hops again.

M: It's a little flat, which gives it a nice smoothness.

D: very little carbonation, which is really nice because the beer is good enough on its own.

Serving type: cask

12-14-2009 02:09:54 | More by mdwalsh
Photo of jkrich


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

Poured a 12 oz. bottle into nonic: opaque, deep brown with a solid dark tan head.

Sweet, fruity aromas with surprisingly sharp hop odor.

Malty with semi-sweet chocolate flavors. There are hints of licorice which seems common with all the porters I have tried.

Thinner bodied than I expected from a Bell's offering. Moderately carbonated with a very smooth and silky mouthfeel.

Compared the Fuller's London porter I had last week, this one lacks the nuance and complexity of that product. However, this one is very flavorful and extremely quaffable; the ideal everyday porter.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2009 23:52:26 | More by jkrich
Photo of feelmefoam

South Carolina

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

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

Pours a deep, dark brown with a two fingers of tan, foamy head. Lots of little carbonation running up the glass. Very nice lacing around the glass.

Smells of dark malts and chocolate, maybe a little coffee. NIce rich roasty flavor coming out as well.

Some earthy hops combined with a roasted maltiness, bittersweet chocolate, and some coffee flavors as the beer finishes.

A medium mouthfeel, very smooth, not a lot of carbonation. Overall a very drinkable beer with a lot of flavor; a pretty solid porter.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2009 03:51:31 | More by feelmefoam
Photo of MisterDeeds


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

Poured into a perfect pint glass, it shows a nice Nestle Quik looking head. Recededs quickly to a foamy ring. It appears almost solid black, but a hint of light can sneak through and show some brown almost reddish around the bottom.

Smells sweet and malty. Chocoaltey perhaps, with some dark roasted coffee as well. Very promising..

Taste: Not nearly as sweet as it smells. The dark roasted dominates this one, with a roasted bready kind of taste. Not too bitter, bit there are definitely some hops in here.

Feels thinner than it looks, but theres a nice silky lacing left behind. A little bit of carbonation fizz too.

Very drinkable and would be a cold weather favorite of mine if it were easier to find. Another job well done from the guys at Bell's. Why can't I get this in Massachusetts?

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2009 22:44:37 | More by MisterDeeds
Photo of pzrhsau

District of Columbia

3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Nice dark brown color that gets a nice reddish tint in the light. Decent head with a moderate retention.
Smell: Very subtle aroma of roasted malt and coffee.
Taste: It has a very strong malt taste at first that finishes with a nice coffee aftertaste. I can also sense a little chocolate in there.
Drinkability and Mouthfeel: Lighter than i expected but still filling. The beer is very crisp and easy to drink on the whole.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2009 23:59:10 | More by pzrhsau
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 ibbjamin


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

Paid $1.33 for a loose 12oz bottle from Festival Foods in Manitowoc, WI. Poured into a pint glass to review.

Light tan head of about an inch after a standard pour. Head is moderately frothy and dense. Opaque dark brown in color. Good lacing.

Robust aromas of roasted malts and fine coffee.

Coffee flavor dominates with medium roasted malts. Some nutty and brown sugar hints.

Medium body, clean mouthfeel. Smooth and very drinkable.

A solid American Porter great for everyday enjoyment.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2009 22:30:50 | More by ibbjamin
Photo of alpinebryant


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

Poured a dark brown with a light tan head. Smelled of dark roasted malted barley, coffee, toffee.

Tasted most prominently of dark roasted malt, black patent, chocolate , coffee. Seemed to have a similar chalky finish as I tasted with the double cream stout, but not quite as pronounced here. Very light twang bite at the end. As it warmed, tasted a little more of the hop presence, but it was almost non existant while still fridge cold.

Drinkable due to the low abv, which I am finding more and more to be abnormal. a good standard porter

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2009 23:47:30 | More by alpinebryant
Photo of clayrock81


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

Poured a dark brown with offwhite head that sticks around a little and leaves some lace. A roasted and somewhat coffee malt smell with hints of caramel and a little floral hop bitterness. A mild sweetness in a light to medium body that is smooth, creamy and light. Very minor hoppy, fruity flavor and a tad bit of breadiness for a somewhat dry backbite. Passes easily and while a simplistic porter it is enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2009 16:00:26 | More by clayrock81
Photo of hosehead83


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

Poured from a twelve ounce bottle into a standard pint glass
Big, thick, two-inch tan head of foam
Aroma-Coffee and milk chocolate, roasted malt
Taste-Coffee with cream,roasted malt, some hop notes-Creamy and very drinkable-A nice session beer, and a great every-day porter to have around

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2009 12:38:47 | More by hosehead83
Photo of gatornation


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

porur a deep brown/black color with a tan head and 1" head//the smell is chocolate, molasses ,toffee and vanilla bean..the taste is the same it has some roasted coffee taste with some semi sweet chocolate and toffee and vanilla this is a good porter offering from bells tasty and smooth its drinkable and enjoyable

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2009 18:46:33 | More by gatornation
Photo of dbossman


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

A: Very black with a one finger head with moderate retention and lacing; the head is light brown

S: Strong roasted malt presence; also coffee, vanilla, and chocolate smells

T: A balanced roasted malt flavor with subtle coffee and vanilla bean flavorings

F: Creamy and slightly carbonated; the beer stays in the front of the mouth and slowly moves down the back end

D: This is a very nice cold-weather session beer. The roasted malts sometimes is a bit overwhelming, but all in all this beer is quite drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2009 03:28:50 | More by dbossman
Photo of jsh420


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

batch 8941 bottled 1/28/09 - wow old watch out for the mix a six

pours dark brown with a 1+ finger off white tanish head that left spotted lacing

smell - roasted chocolate malts not much else

taste - i like this beer and have had it many many times but taste is a bit thin and is too close to american browns - good balance of roasted malts chocolate tiny bit of coffee & vanilla

mouthfeel is light but so so smooth and creamy

drinkability is great - a sessionable porter - how could i ever turn this one down

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2009 04:10:03 | More by jsh420
Photo of lester619


4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Almost completely black when poured into a glass mug. Beutifull thick frothy mocha colored head. This is a gorgeous looking beer. A lot of burnt chocoalty roasty notes in the nose. Smokey burnt toast flavor up front, the head adds a mellowing frothy bitersweet chocolatey flavor that balances nicely. A little hop bitterness, but mostly the smokey chocolate coffee richness takes over. Thick and creamy mouthfeel mostly from the foam that hangs around for the duration. It's like one of those creamy mocha coffee latte things you get at the coffee house. This is an excelent porter. It's not my favorite style, mainly because I feel like there's a beer milkshake in my gut after I drink it. Aside from that, the flavors of this beer are phenominal.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2009 20:24:17 | More by lester619
Photo of samie85


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

A-Pours a very deep brown/almost black with a tan head.

S- Smells of roasted malt, coffee, and a bit of vanilla.

T- Sweet coffee up front, and finishes with a bit of roasty bitterness that isn't overpowering. Very nice.

M- Very smooth. In my experience Porters can be very thin feeling, but thankfully, this one doesn't suffer from that.

D- A very session-able beer. These go down really easily. I really enjoy this porter.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2009 03:29:40 | More by samie85
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 abrand


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

12 ounce bottle poured into the pint glass. Here with go with the american porter from Bell's...

Pours deep brown with amber hues at the base of the glass. A tan frothy head and lots of lacing is noticeable. Nose is not overpowering but some roasted malts and coffee are noted. The palate picks up some hints of chocolate along with the chocolate. This brew is extremely smooth and delicious. Mouthfeel is fairly light and thin while drinkability is high. Will definitely put this on my list of beers to continue to stock in my DBF.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2009 20:14:21 | More by abrand
Photo of jpro

South Carolina

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

In my opinion, Bell's Porter is the perfect example of the style - simple, yet delicious - and not all fancy, with vanilla / extra coffee / blah, blah, blah. Just a straight up good porter. Appearance is near black, yet a touch translucent, with a tidy, light brown head that leaves some decent lace on the glass. Smell is chocolatey, with some nice roasty aroma - not as smoky as some porters. Its definitely a tasty brew - almost stout-like, with the roasted/burned malt with hints of coffee and chocolate - yet the mouthfeel is lighter and its a pretty easy drinkin' ale. A nice one to have a few of on a cool fall night. Good stuff -

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2009 02:53:19 | More by jpro
Bell's Porter from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 2,136 ratings.