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

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Bell's PorterBell's Porter

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very good

2,420 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,420
Reviews: 974
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 10.62%
Wants: 64
Gots: 175 | 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: 2,420 | Reviews: 974 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of axeman9182
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle with a packaged date of 4/28/11, this one was poured into my Duvel tulip.

The beer pours a solid black, with only a finger and a half of light tan colored foam rising from the pour. The head does display both admirable retention and lacing though. The nose reminds me of a milk stout. There's some black coffee and roasted grains, but there's also a sweetness that reminds me of a lactose infused beer. Those same three things are what jump out in the flavor. The roasted grain though increases in presence to the point that it lends a slightly acrid note to the beer. The mouthfeel is solid on this one. The carbonation is spot on, a bit on the subdued side to let the malts shine forward, but the body could stand to be just a touch more substantial. Bell's Porter is a solid porter, and one that I wouldn't mind picking up a six pack of every once in a while if it was distributed in New Jersey.

Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Imbibed at Owen & Engine, Chicago, 07/28/2011.

Appearance -- Pours jet black with a whispy beige head. Nice hue, head is not terribly thrilling for a cask ale.

Smell -- Roast malt, cocoa, hint of coffee, and soft molasses sweetness. Somehow I expected more aroma from the cask.

Taste -- Well-roasted malt and coffee-like roast flavor, cocoa and molasses sweetness, roast malt char and mild earthy hops. Quite nice.

Mouthfeel -- Slightly thin and watery, more or less still. Not terrible.

Overall -- Overall, pretty good. I'd take the bottle over the cask on this one, but it was certainly worth trying.

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

330 ml bottle, has been sitting in my friend's cellar for about 3 years.

Pours clear very dark brown with patchy tan head that slowly dissipates and forms downsliding lacing. Aroma is roasted malts with hints of coffee and sweetish chocolate.

Taste is creamy roasted malts, some coffee, hints of sweet chocolate with dry and slightly bittery finish, light roasted aftertaste. Mouthfeel is light-medium with moderate carbonation.

Porter is light and easy drinkable and despite its low ABV, it has aged beautifully.

Photo of gabedivision
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz to a pint glass

Pours a solid black with a thin tan lace of head. Smells of deep rich coffee beans, faint chocolates, and sweet licorice. Again rich coffee on the tongue, sugary sweets, toffee, chocolate, and wholesome nuts. The feel is light to medium despite its heavy color, very rich, savory and tasty. Overall this is a damn good porter, it hits all the right spots, and has a nice complexity that makes it very enjoyable beer.

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

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass. I received this in a BIF from abraxel

A- Poured a dark black color with a minimal mocha colored head which dissipated pretty quickly. At the bottom of the glass was some slight red hues.

S- Huge roasted notes with a lot of coffee and chocolate aromas coming through. Sweet malty hints are also detected.

T- Wow...I was impressed with the initial sip. I got a lot of coffee and chocolate flavors up from. It tasted very sweet but not cloying.

M- Good carbonation. Light body.

O- Definitely a good beer a very sessionable porter. A good version to the style imparting a lot of sweet chocolate and coffee flavors.

Photo of jmvecchio1
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is a deep, dark brown - almost black - with a light head that dissipates somewhat quickly off the pour.

Your nose will rejoice with this beer and the aromas it offers. The Porter aroma is malty with hints of chocolate and coffee; not brewed coffee though, think of opening a bag of freshly roasted coffee beans and that’s the smell you’ll find. The beer also gives off a bread-like, yeast smell that is very appealing.

A toasted coffee taste blends together with chocolate notes and the faintest hint of brown sugar. The brew leaves the tongue feeling a faint hint of hops and hop oil which balances nicely with the malts this beer offers.

This Porter is lighter in body than many of its competitors, but we still think that two might be our limit in one sitting as it might start to feel too thick. We really enjoy this beer, but don’t just take our word for it - go try a pint yourself.

Photo of DrewV
4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle (date code 10160 = December 2010) at around 50 degrees F into a snifter.

A: Typical pitch black liquid with a 2-finger mocha head. Lacing clings all over the glass. Nice looking beer.

S: Chocolate malt, roasty goodness. A bit of a sweet/milk stout aroma going on here. A different aroma than I'm accustomed to with porters, but I think I like it.

T: Sweet chocolate roasted coffee with heavy cream. I'm not getting any hop balance, but it must be there somewhere because I'm not overwhelmed by sweetness. Flavors are dark -- again, a bit darker than I'm used to with other porters I've had. Almost a creamy oaty flavor hidden in there as well. Just a really sweet, complex flavor profile. Awesome.

M: Creamiest porter I've ever had. Not the typical thin, watery mouthfeel I've detected in most other porters. Smooth carbonation, oily mouthfeel with a lingering roast aftertaste. Yummy! And did I say creamy? Smooth as silk. Highest marks here.

O: A different take on a porter, more akin to a stout. I love the creaminess and dark roast aromas/flavors. Definitely something I'd go out of my way to get again. A solid "A" brew. I think I prefer this to Bell's Kalamazoo Stout, at least out of the bottle. This rivals my all-time favorite Edmund Fitzgerald. I'll have to put them up head-to-head someday to see which one comes out the winner. But it'll be a damn close call.

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

355ml bottle poured into my Celebrator chalice.

No bottling/dating information found on bottle.

A- Black body with no light perception. Creamy 1 finger tan head that has good retention and produces good lacing.

S- Roasted malts dominating and with a swirl of the glass sweeter chocolaty malty notes come through underneath.

T- Roasted malt note is light in the beginning and is suppported by a creaminess. No particular supporting malt note detected as a little hop bitterness comes through in the medium finish and lingers. Feeling of a light creamy sweetness lingers although i cant put my finger on a particular flavour.

M- Medium carbonation and light body.

D- Sessionable, easy drinking porter. Its very light on the palate. The flavour profile is a good example of the style but perhaps lacks a slight depth in malty character.

Photo of McNealc31
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The start is promising with a rocky tan head, black body, and some ruby edges. Coffee and toffee in the nose. Lots of familiar porter flavors here with coffee, chocolate, dry wood. A lot more toffee than most porters. The dry bite really lingers. Body is maybe a little watery and there seems to be a ton of carbonation.

It's very good, but by no means the best porter I've had. I think I'm just getting too much roasted malt and I'd like some deeper flavors.

Photo of SWMeyer4141
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4


Poured into a pint glass

Appearance-Dark dark brown with some purple hues. One finger khaki head that dissipates quickly. Little lacing. looked a little watery.

Smell-Nice chocolatey robust aroma. Some spiciness and a dash of hops.

Taste-Roasted malts. Sometimes I get a dark bitter chocolate and sometimes a sweet milk chocolate. Some light coffee notes and dark fruits. Really nice tasting.

Mouthfeel-Would like a little fuller body. A little thin and watery but still a nice beer with nice carbonation.

Overall-I've always wanted to try some beers from Bells andover the past few months I have been able to have alot. Really impressed with what they do with their lower ABV beers. All of which are pleasant and easy to drink. Now I just need to get a damn fresh hopslam!

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).

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.

Photo of GarthDanielson
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Photo of kbnooshay
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.

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

Photo of cosmicevan
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.

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.

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.

Bell's Porter from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 2,420 ratings.