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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

2,330 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,330
Reviews: 966
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 10.65%
Wants: 57
Gots: 140 | FT: 5
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: 2,330 | Reviews: 966 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jgreenearrow
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a deep, rich, opaque brown color. The color is just shy of black, very dark and appealing. Sufficient bubbly head forms with some minor lacing.

S: Strong molasses and caramel notes sweep into the nose accompanied by roasted malt.

T: Slight bitterness and depth from the roasted malts burst onto the tongue at the onset of the sip. Sweet molasses follows in the middle with some bitterness of espresso at the finish.

M: The beer feels smooth and creamy on the tongue with prickly carbonation with the swallow.

Overall, this is a good porter. The flavor is rich and complex with the dark roasted tones that one would expect from a good porter.

jgreenearrow, Mar 28, 2011
Photo of titosupertramp
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark, cola colored with a very thick tan head. Slow to recede, leaving behind a foamy film and lots of lacing on all sides of the glass.

S: Toast, roasted malts, caramel, sweet chocolate. Smells like a cereal that I wished existed.

T: Chocolate, toast, cold black coffee and maybe a bit of a toffee flavor. Tried hard to find the hops in this and finally found what tastes like a floral quality at the end.

M: This is a little on the thin side, but carbonation adds some substance to it.

O: I'm pretty sure that I could finish a six pack of this in an evening. Bell's Porter goes down easy and is a pleasure to drink. If in the Nashville market, this would be a go to porter for certain.

titosupertramp, Mar 27, 2011
Photo of richkrull
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My buddy left this one behind in my fridge. Poured a dark brownish black color with lots of tightly carbonated beige head. Not a whole lot on the nose, just malt and not overpowering. Taste is pretty bland in my opinion. Lots of malt, slight smokiness and slightly bitter finish. Not bad though. Medium-full body and very smooth going down. Good mouthfeel and very drinkable. A good beer overall.

richkrull, Mar 25, 2011
Photo of NODAK
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma is a nice, gentle one with notes of espresso and chocolate to it. Restrained, but good.

Mouthfeel seems a bit thin. Taste is about as I had expected given the style and the smell. Coffee notes are immediately noticeable with a good hit of semi-sweet chocolate. A little roasty. A little bitterness closes it out...espresso lingers around after the swallow.

A good, true to style porter. Easy to drink, perhaps a bit thin, and the chocolate notes are very welcomed. Silky smooth, basic, but recommended.

NODAK, Mar 20, 2011
Photo of perryw
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle to a pint glass.

Poured a very dark brown with a slightly offwhite head. Smells pretty malty, nothing that stands out too much to my nose. A slight chocolate malt taste. It seemed like the first couple sips of the beer weren't as good as the rest of the glass. Almost like my taste buds needed time to adjust, or maybe the beer was better a few degrees above fridge temperature. It seemed a little thin feeling in my mouth. A pretty good beer for me, I suppose.

perryw, Mar 18, 2011
Photo of Nerudamann
3.55/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Look - Black-colored with a nice slightly dark khaki-colored foam, about 2 finger's worth, that dissipates slowly.

Smell - Sweet and malty, bit of molasses and/or roasted chocolate.

Taste and Mouthfeel - Much like the smell, malty with a roasted quality and a bite of bitterness at the finish. A little tangy tasting. Light in body for a porter. Texture is light too, but still a little more on the creamier side.

Drinkability - Very drinkable, but not terribly complex. Good brew in general.

Nerudamann, Mar 14, 2011
Photo of Allpe45
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown in the pour, darker brown in the glass. Very small creamy off-white head.

Rich roasted malt smell, plus coffee and earthy hops

Roasted malt, dark chocolate, coffee; hop bitterness in the finish.

Medium bodied for a porter, with creamy mouthfeel but prickly carbonation.

This a typical American porter. Fairly easy to drink, but doesn't amaze by any means.

Allpe45, Mar 13, 2011
Photo of KajII
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

[Best served in a English pint]

Poured a murky dark brown with an average size light brown creamy head and had excellent lacing.

The aroma was of burnt chocolate malts, a light pine hop and a leathery yeast with notes of roasted coffee and brown sugar.

It tasted slightly bitter-sweet with hints of chocolate and brown sugar from the start, then finished with the flavor having a nice coffee presence at the end. The flavor left lying on the taste buds lasted an average amount of time, and was bold and flavorful..

Mouthfeel was creamy and a tad oily in texture, and medium to full in body with a flat carbonation.

Overall a VERY tasty Porter, so smooth going down you just may not want to stop drinking it.

KajII, Mar 09, 2011
Photo of theboozecruise
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - dark brown with a bubbly white head.

S - chocolatey, malty, pretty good.

T - chocolate again, roasted a little, slightly metallic

M - a little thin, but at 5.6% it shouldn't be too thick.

D - very high, easy drinking classic example of a porter

theboozecruise, Mar 04, 2011
Photo of websherpa
3.15/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Appearance: Dark dark brown beer. No transperency in the middle but prune like color on all edges. Modest light tan head, almost off white. Mild lacing. All in all pretty typical. Nothing to jump and down about, but nothing alarming at this point.

Smell: What I'm getting is a beer that is just on the malty side of balanced. I'm smooth and sweet mixture of caramel chocolate and dark fruit malts. The hops answer with a muted citric element. What comes to mind is dried fruit in candy.

Taste: I'm not impressed with this beer. The nose had the volume set to 6 or 7 and I'm getting 2 or 3. There is nothing off putting about this beers flavor, it just doesn't really deliver anything either. I will say it tastes even better balanced than it smells although the individual notes seem to melt into more generic sweet vs. bitter elements. You can work at it and pick them out, put they lack the richness and clarity that was in the nose.

Mouthfeel: This beer is just too thin and bubbly for me. I feel like the huge carbonation on this beer just got in the way of the flavors that were there. All the flavors I was getting on the nose were chewy flavors and I think a thicker beer would have done them some justice. I wasn't looking for pea soup on this but more body would be appreciated.

Drinkability: This beer is best consumed after it's sat a while, not only to warm up but also to flatten out. The chocolate starts to come through more as both aspects coax the flavor out. The after taste on this is lacking and it's not a sipper by any means. The beer isn't bad but I won't be going out of my way to get any in the near future. I'm glad to have tried it. I'm glad to have tried it and got a different look at the porter.

websherpa, Feb 19, 2011
Photo of ptykozoon
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fizzy head disappears too soon. Dark brown, red hues. Not much lacing or retention.

Honey, roasty malt.

More bitter than expected, roasty yet light on the palate. Light cocoa, bits of licorice.

Well carbonated, medium to light bodied mouthfeel. Sweetens up as the bubbles leave.

Good beer.

ptykozoon, Feb 19, 2011
Photo of wahhmaster
3.13/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Stone Smoked Porter shaker pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown, nearly black color. Has a thick, foamy, tan head that dissipates quickly and leaves spotty lacing.

Smell: Smells faintly of roasted malts, chocolate, and coffee.

Taste: Mildly bitter up front. Develops a sweet, roasted flavor with hints of coffee and chocolate towards the back. Pretty standard porter territory here...

Mouthfeel: A little light-bodied with only a slight carbonation bite to it.

Drinkability: A very average porter. There is really nothing about this beer that stands out or separates it from other porters. While there's nothing inherently wrong with that, it doesn't make me particularly eager to recommend this beer or pick it up again myself. This falls squarely into the "take it or leave it" category.

wahhmaster, Feb 17, 2011
Photo of jsanford
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a bark brown with reddish highlights and a creamy, 1-inch dark khaki head. Very nice retention, leaves some sticky lacing.
S - Dark roasted malt, caramel, and sweet coffee-with-cream. Typical, but delicious, Porter aromas.
T - Spot on with the nose, but there's a good amount of chocolate present in the taste.
M - Creamy, with a medium-thin body and low carbonation.
D - Smooth and drinkable, a solid example of a Porter.

jsanford, Feb 15, 2011
Photo of tbrown4
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. -> Ommegang glass. Gift from Frank in Allentown, PA.

A - Murky dark brown, one finger foamy off-white head, little carb.

S - Smoky, roasted malt notes, very clean aroma. Straight and to the point.

T - Same as the aroma with the smoky and roasted notes with a little hop bite. Slight roasted after-taste

M - Very clean feel. Slight tingling.

D - Easy to drink, 2-3 in a session would not be a problem. I feel that this is a very good representation of the style. I'll get this again when I can find it.

tbrown4, Feb 13, 2011
Photo of Brunite
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 9988; poured into a pint glass.

A: Very dark brown with dark ruby red edges. Three finger sized light tan head. Decent lacing.

S: Sweet chocolate milk, roasty malts.

T: Dark bread and chocolatey malt. Becomes more chocolatey mid palate. Some roasted malt. Some dark chocolate. Slightly sweet and roasted malt aftertaste. Very good!

M: Medium body. Creamy.

D: Excellent drinkability. There's alcohol in this?? Delicious and balanced. Nice job Bell's.

Brunite, Feb 10, 2011
Photo of mbusster88
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

mbusster88, Feb 09, 2011
Photo of BARFLYB
3.58/5  rDev -7%
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.

BARFLYB, Feb 06, 2011
Photo of oglmcdgl
3.58/5  rDev -7%
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.

oglmcdgl, Feb 05, 2011
Photo of CPeterson
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
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.

CPeterson, Feb 04, 2011
Photo of emerge077
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

emerge077, Jan 31, 2011
Photo of dali27
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
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.

dali27, Jan 27, 2011
Photo of BBP
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

BBP, Jan 26, 2011
Photo of Georgiabeer
4/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

Georgiabeer, Jan 23, 2011
Photo of sobis1dm
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
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.

sobis1dm, Jan 22, 2011
Photo of BeerLover99
3.85/5  rDev 0%
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.

BeerLover99, Jan 19, 2011
Bell's Porter from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
85 out of 100 based on 2,330 ratings.