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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

2,201 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,201
Reviews: 956
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 10.62%
Wants: 49
Gots: 108 | 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: 2,201 | Reviews: 956 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MisterDeeds


4.2/5  rDev +8.8%

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?

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

District of Columbia

3.9/5  rDev +1%

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.

12-01-2009 23:59:10 | More by pzrhsau
Photo of thegodfather2701

North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev +6.2%

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.

11-29-2009 20:22:07 | More by thegodfather2701
Photo of ibbjamin


4.1/5  rDev +6.2%

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.

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


3.73/5  rDev -3.4%

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

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


3.68/5  rDev -4.7%

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.

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


4.33/5  rDev +12.2%

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

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


3.53/5  rDev -8.5%

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

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


3.88/5  rDev +0.5%

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.

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


3.88/5  rDev +0.5%

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

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


4.18/5  rDev +8.3%

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.

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


4.1/5  rDev +6.2%

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.

10-27-2009 03:29:40 | More by samie85
Photo of ColForbinBC

New Jersey

3.83/5  rDev -0.8%

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.

10-23-2009 20:34:23 | More by ColForbinBC
Photo of abrand


3.95/5  rDev +2.3%

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.

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

South Carolina

4.38/5  rDev +13.5%

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 -

10-18-2009 02:53:19 | More by jpro
Photo of BamaBeerBuff

North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

A: Black with dark brown edges when backlit. Mocha colored head is creamy and sticks around for a little while, though it doesn't lay down tons of lace. Still, a solid looking porter.

S: The aroma is bold and robust. Dark coffee, burnt chicory, chocolate, light vanilla, and a complement of citric hops all contribute to the smell. It approaches RIS or strong stout-like intensity.

T&M: Yay! Bell's knows what a porter is! I'm totally blown away. This is a top-notch brew. Light bodied and drinkable, but packing a wallop of flavor. Chocolate, some light coffee and chicory, small amounts of black malt, and citrus hop flavor swirl about in supreme balance. The finish is long, as the beer coats the mouth and tantalizes with lingering dark chocolate flavors. An excellent porter.

D: Supremely drinkable. This is EXACTLY what I think a porter should be. Packing much of the flavor punch of a stout in a more drinkable, lighter bodied beer. Bell's nailed it here. Anyone who considers himself a porter fan ought to eagerly seek this one out--it's top notch.

10-17-2009 02:46:24 | More by BamaBeerBuff
Photo of Spidey13


3.58/5  rDev -7.3%

Bell's Porter pours a very dark brown with pretty ruby highlights when held to the light. There is a big, fluffy, light tan head on top. The nose is a bit light, with roast and chocolate with a lot of raisin in there.

The flavor also has a lot of dark fruit. Very sweet and a bit chcolatey. A light bitterness shows up on the back but it quickly fades and leaves a sweet aftertaste with just a hint of malty astringency. Medium mouthfeel and carbonation.

Overall, an easy drinking porter.

10-12-2009 01:12:47 | More by Spidey13
Photo of Daniellobo

District of Columbia

3.88/5  rDev +0.5%

A nice sturdy porter with a pleasing texture.

Presentation: 16 Oz draft serving. Menu offers a brief and fairly accurate description. Chalk board notes Alc. by Vol. (5.6%) Served in a pint shaker glass.

A - Deep brown color with some lighter ruby edges. Short foamy head (it has been served almost to the rim of the glass leaving little room for it) with some strokes of lace during its descent.

S - Faint roast aroma with a tad of chocolate and coffee.

T - Malty flavor with a dry roast note .

M - It´s a medium to full body and has minimal to no carbonation (Cask serving...) It offers an early smoothness with an interesting raspy texture towards its end.

D - A rather drinkable porter.

Notes: Nice offering on cask, feeling rather fresh and a bit raspy to the palate.

10-07-2009 15:15:49 | More by Daniellobo
Photo of brownbeer


3.68/5  rDev -4.7%

A- Pours nearly black with some reddish hues and not much head.

S- Toasty malt, cookie, unsalted crackers. Distinct but not necessarily desireable.

T&M- Similar to the nose and some chocolate added with a nice full mouthfeel.

D- Very good, but just never quite did it for me.

10-07-2009 02:20:05 | More by brownbeer
Photo of erz316


3.9/5  rDev +1%

12 floz bottle with 9015 on the back, poured into sam smith pint glass.

A - dark brown colour for the body, a light tan for the one finger head. the body is completely clear, no turbidity whatsoever, as one can clearly make out a lightbulb when held up to it. the body, when illumiated, makes a dark cola mixed with ruby colour. the head retains decently and leaves a one cm layer across the top.

S - the nose is very delicate, if anything I can brarely get out a light sweetness, something like sweetened red bean paste. maybe there is a bit of roasted malts int the back, but other than that, all is pretty clean. yeah, that's definietly a red bean paste.

T - not bad at all, but nothing near as good as an english porter. the initial taste is roasted malts, and a touch of dark chocolate, and some light hops in the far background. that peculiar red bean taste also makes an appearance, I kind of like it. good malt profile at the back of the palate. the finish is malty, thats about it. the aftertaste is quite delicious; roasted malts, light chocolate, and a light touch of yeast come together to make a nice finish.

MF&D - the body is light and carbonated, perhaps a bit too light for my taste, but it is still very close to the style. the drinkability is fine, except that there is nothign particularly special about this beer.

09-30-2009 01:34:33 | More by erz316
Photo of BigJim5021


3.9/5  rDev +1%

Pours a deep and very dark brown (borderline black) with a nice tan head that settles into a permanent ring.

Aroma is darkly toasted malts and little else. One dimensional, but definitely not bad.

I could easily mistake this for a coffee-based porter. Really rich and robust malt profile. Very tasty and slightly sweet.

The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth.

Drinkability is high. This is a really well put together porter. I shouldn't be surprised, as Bell's is one of my favorite breweries. I'm gonna be buying more of this as the weather turns cold.

09-29-2009 06:20:25 | More by BigJim5021
Photo of cnjohn19

North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

love this brewery...another good beer from bells for me...

great pour of a almost black color...nice tan colored head which sticks around for a while and comes back in between drinks...smell is lacking for what i'd like in a porter but you get roasted chocolate malts and just a bit of caramel and wheat...

but damn delicious to the taste buds...extremely balanced with a roasty aftertaste...some porters i've had have a metallic aftertaste but this does not which i appreciate...

a little too crisp on the finish for me, but overall a drinkable brew for a dark porter...will def. enjoy again and would like to have this on tap...i think i'll go up to tylers or city beverage here in durham to see if its flowing this weekend...


09-24-2009 02:01:00 | More by cnjohn19
Photo of dmamiano

West Virginia

3.9/5  rDev +1%

pours deep, dark. dark ruby only when held to the light...one finger head fading fast but leaving trace lacing on the glass.
roasty, slightly burnt caramel in the nose..underlying faint siciness.
milky, creamy..rather mild in the taste.
finishes with a bitter edge that tickles tha back edges of the tongue.
I am liking this one

09-24-2009 00:40:38 | More by dmamiano
Photo of JohnQVegas


4.18/5  rDev +8.3%

Bottle into Sam Adams lager glass, big thanks to Jeff (mnjeff) for the bottle! One of my favorite styles from one of my favorite breweries - I have high hopes for this one. This particular one was bottled on Dec. 9, 2008 according to the batch indicator - it's aged very nicely if you ask me.

Pours black, dark ruby brown around the very edges, with a dense one finger tan head on top that has great retention - just doesn't want to go away. Great stickage.

Nose is very roasty, a slight edge of acidity, dry, a bit smoky even.

Taste is nice - a nice dry, roasty body, bit smoky, with a dense, super-dark chocolate richness that isn't as apparent in the nose. Certainly a nice acidity in there as well to provide just a bit of bite. Immensely satisfying beer on this fall day.

Mouthfeel is creamy, nicely carbonated with a medium-full body.

Drinkability is fantastic - packed with flavor, yet with a relatively modest abv. Bells never fails to impress me.

09-19-2009 16:56:29 | More by JohnQVegas
Photo of BedetheVenerable


4/5  rDev +3.6%

Presentation: 12oz brown pop top bottle with simple but attractive label; no best-by date, though there is a code on the back you can use online to check the beer's date if you want

Appearance: Dark brown beer with some ruby highlights when held up to the light; nice creamy light tan cap which sticks around nicely

Smell: Lots of milk chocolate, sweet caramel, and dark malts...very mild but fairly rich aromas

Taste: Sweet roasted barley, chocolate, a touch of burnt marshmallow (which is quite nice), and a touch of juicy dark fruit...the touch of bitterness that is here seems to be from the burnt grains, and hops stay well in the background...overall pretty darn good

Mouthfeel: On the light side of medium bodied

Drinkability: High

Conclusion: Really nice American porter; this is decently complex, nicely balanced, and supremely quaffable...this would probably be a strong A- beer, but the price (at around 9-10 bucks a sixer) is a bit on the high side for a session-style porter.

09-17-2009 02:18:43 | More by BedetheVenerable
Bell's Porter from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 2,201 ratings.