1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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

Not Rated.
Bell's PorterBell's Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,450 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,450
Reviews: 981
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 10.62%
Wants: 70
Gots: 195 | FT: 4
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:
Beer added by: Mitchster on 02-06-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bell's Porter Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,450 | Reviews: 981 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dismal
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the bottle to a pint glass, pours a very dark brown almost black hardly any head at all and it quickly vanishes. Little to no lacing down the glass. Roasty aroma, hints of chocolate and coffee sneaking through. Kind of sweet overall, a hint of caramel. Taste is very roasted. A hint of chocolate comes through followed by coffee. The aftertaste is dominated by coffee with a small hint of chocolate. No thickness here in the mouthfeel, it's fairly medium bodied. Not a high ABV so it's not noticeable. I do like porters though I'm not huge into them as I'd rather have a nice stout but this one is good. Easily drinkable and pretty good tasting.

Photo of Fartknocker
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz poured into a pint glass. Batch code 9015.
A- Very dark with a minimal tan head
S- Very nice malted, nutty aroma
T- Fairly standard for a porter, nice malted taste, finishes with a slight burnt aftertaste
M- not a whole lot of carbonation
D- Pretty decent, just a good solid offering

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

A: One finger frothy beige head over a really dark brew that only lets light through at mahogany and caramel edges. Frothy ring of retention and spotty lacing.
S: Rich malts with very mellow coffee and chocolate malts. Love the subtlety of the dark chocolate. There's a spicy or herbal note in the back of the aroma that I'm not digging quite yet...
T: Good balance between the roasted coffee and chocolate malt and the citrus twang. Roast borders on burnt. Bitter berry esters pull through, providing an interesting layer. I don't get the herbal note in the flavors that I sensed in the nose, so that's good.
M: Medium body with higher carbonation, which definitely brings the citrus bite out a bit more.
D: This is a good tasting, smooth porter. Glad I picked up a 6er.

Photo of beertunes
3.42/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Received as a gift after a friends recent trip to visit family. Thank you, Mara!

Batch # 9188. Poured from bottle into straight pint glass. Poured a very dark brown, just slightly translucent, with a half inch of deep tan head that quickly dissipated, leaving minimal lacing.

A strong roasty aroma hits the nose, more of a stout aroma than a porter aroma in my view, with a slight caramel scent underneath. The flavors seem to lean towards the stout side of the scale as well. The roast is dominant, with just a bit of a sweet finish.

The body was a little thin for the style. The beer flowed easily over the tongue, and drinking several would be an easy thing to do.

Overall, a nice example of the style and were it available to me, it would be in my regular rotation.

Photo of BacklitAvenger
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Jet black in normal light, this porter appears a dark ruby red when held to the light. It is mostly transparent even at the thickest part of the glass. The head is a finger of poorly-retained lace the color of an egg shell.

Aroma - Mostly dark caramel malt on the nose. There's a hint of earthiness as well but the aroma doesn't impress.

Taste - The taste is better than the aroma but is still not the most complex or just plain delicious as the benchmark porter in my opinion: GLBC Eddie Fitz. It's a slightly burnt caramel flavor for the most part, with a slight bitterness on the finish. Slight milk chocolate edges in at one point but it's mostly dark toffee. The beer is slightly sweet in relation to the bitterness level.

Mouthfeel - This is the best aspect of the beer. It is smooth like an oatmeal stout. There's about average carbonation to keep things lively, and the heavy-bodied beer is chewy with malty goodness.

Drinkability - Pretty high. The middle of the range alcohol level and the silky body make this sure to please during a drinking session. The light taste leaves me considerably less than enamored, but those that prefer a less flavorful black beer may have found their new drinking mate.

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

A: Pours a rich mahogany color that produces a small head that retains decently, but quickly fizzles down to leave a little white foam around the glass. Lacing is decent.

S: Toasted malts, coffee, caramel, chocolate, lactose, and some slight hop bittering notes. Nice nose...nice and easy

T: Very similar to the nose, however the hops make more of an impact in the flavor profile. Toasted malts, chocolate, caramel, molasses, coffee, and some nice hop presence

MF/D: Nice carbonation, medium body, easy to drink, and a long malty finish

Nice and solid

Photo of tatoodkelt
3.61/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Consumed 8/19/2009- from notes.

Brown 12oz bottle poured into a shaker glass.

A- Very dark brown bordering on black with a creamy two finger tan head that eventually settled to a thin skim that lasted the whole glass. Looked great.

S- Smelled very rich. Roasted malt, a little coffee and something else that I'm thinking is the nuts others have mentioned.

T- Definitely a roasty brew. A little chocolate peeking through here and there.

M- Medium bodied and smooth. Thicker than I expected before I poured it.

D- Pretty easy to drink but not something I'd have more than one of in a sitting.

Photo of Anthony1
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured into a snifter

poured very dark chocolate tone. had a thin tan head, creamy.

smells very coffee like. malty and rich and chocolate flavored. decently bittered, but could use a bit more sweets. some nice woody taste, all roasted. nice and creamy feel, and nice to drink.

Photo of AmberMan22
3.81/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Bell's Porter pours a deep brown with a light tan head of near 2 fingers. It settled super fast, but I don't think I cleaned this glass out very well. The lacing provides incredible swooping sticky patterns.

The smell is a little too nutty for my tastes, I feel like the chocolate + coffee combo need to come out more.

This almost seems hoppier than porters usually are. The malty flavor is good though, chocolate and coffee dominating. There are hints of roasted nuts as well as a dash of caramel perhaps.

The mouthfeel is too carbonated, and more syrupy/fuller than I expect a porter to be. Theres nothing wrong with a good stout, but it becomes a problem when I want a porter.

Overall, a tasty beer. Not exactly sessionable as it's too strong and too thick, but having one on a cold winters night after shoveling would sound mighty good. I might even try it warm in that case...

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

This beer pours a dark brown with slight ruby highlights to it. One finger of tan head with decent retention, leaving nice sticky lacing on the glass. Nose is of major roasted malts with some muted coffee and chocolate in the background. Taste is driven by the roasted malts on this one, great roasted and toasted malts. Some bitter chocolate mingle with coffee flavoring but those are really just hints to the roasted malt flavoring. Medium body with moderate to high carbonation, somewhat creamy and a touch chewy. This is a beer one can sit with for a while.

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

A- A nice dark ruby-mahogany-brown with about an inch of tan head. Good retention/lacing.

S- A fair amount of pale malt, along with some roasted malt, almond, hazelnut, and biscuity aromas.

T- Almost a bit subdued, IMO. A bit of pale malt gives way to some darker roasted tones. Leafy hops perk up on the finish, although only in support. Unlike many people on here, I'm not getting the chocolate flavor. Somewhat subdued as well, but a very enjoyable blend of flavors.

M- Light and somewhat creamy. Decent amount of carbonation to keep this moving.

D- What it lacks in robustness, it makes up for in drinkability. I would be a happy man to session these. A great porter to session with.

Photo of carlborch
4.6/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a beautiful dark brown with 2 inch tan head formation. The pouring suggests a medium body, which is later confirmed. The head is persistent and settles in at 1.5 inches a flat, creamy top and plethora of micro-bubbles intermingled with larger cavities up to 1/8th inch. As you drink this ale the Belgian lace is well formed and decorative. The nose provides deep roasted notes. Hops are not evident. The porter has a medium body with a light cream texture. The suggestive chocolate and coffee notes join the maltyness, making the ale very nicely balanced. Carbonation is pleasant. The alcohol is moderate and not noticeable on the palate. Combined with delicious lingering this porter definitely invites repeat tastes. Another moreish ale! Light enough to be a restorative and a refresher, yet full enough of flavor to satisfy most any palate.

Photo of gunnerman
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass, pours a pitch black with a bit of fluff and lace. Smell is sweet malt and roasted oats with a bit of chocolate. Taste is just like nose with hints of burnt dark chocolate and a nice slite sour bitterness towards the finish. Overall a good porter but not a favorite of mine.

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

Poured into a pint glass.

Dark brown with a 1 inch oatmeal head and thick ample lacing.

Smells of dark ripened fruit, chocolate and bisuit-cookies.

Taste is a medium bodied porter. Good chocolate and nutmeg notes, noble hops and a silky smooth finish.

I love the simplicity of this porter. It is a classic quality which makes it very drinkable and enjoyable.

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

I poured this from a 12 ounce bottle into a mug.

The appearance is impressive. It is a very dark brown with a thick tan head.

The smell and taste are good with a roasted flavor.

The mouthfeel is good and it is very drinkable. I could drink several.

Overall a great beer, although I prefer the Edmond Fitgerald.

Photo of biggred1
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown with a finger of sand colored head that leaves some fine lace behind on the glass. Aromas of bittersweet chocolate, molasses and roasted malt in the nose. Nice roasted malt with a decidedly chocolatey flavor and a touch of anise in the finish. Light bodied and crisply carbonated. A solid porter.

Photo of gonzo46and2
3.71/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with bits of red peeking out. A creamy head formed but went away pretty quickly.

Aromas of roasted grains, coffee, bittersweet chocolate.

Taste is mild and mostly of roast flavors, bits of brown sugar and cocoa.

Mouthfeel is appropriate for the style. Thinner than stout.

Another great beer from bells that I'd be glad to pick up again.

Photo of kegger22
3.28/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Nice dark coca-cola color. Good carbonation, showed a decent head that didn't last long. I could taste coffee and a little bit of chocolate, but it felt watery to me. Overall, it was a respectable porter and I could drink a half dozen of them, but will look for better instead.

Photo of goblue3509
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a medium black color with a nice thick one and a half finger head that gave way to some nice lacing. The aroma is of chocolate and roasted malts. The taste is of roasted malts, coffee, and some chocolate. The mouthfeel had a moderate amount of carbonation. The drinkability is very high. This is a solid porter that isn't very thick and goes down light and smooth.

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

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pour is a nice deep dark cola brown; a nice fluffy 2 finger light tan head slowly fades to a thick skim on the surface; there is a nice lacing that holds to the sides and becomes a little spotty with time.

Smell: A nice light burnt roastiness combined with some a bitter-sweet chocolate scent; nose is a little weak so I need to inhale pretty hard to get much out of it, but what I get is quite nice.

Taste: Much like the nose, there is a light burnt coffee roastiness from the malts that is combined nicely with a bitter-sweet chocolate; there is a nice bitter aftertaste that lingers briefly; overall, I feel the flavors are nice but don't come on quite as strong as I would like -- this doesn't really compete with an Edmund Fitzgerald or Founder's Porter in terms of a robust flavor.

Mouthfeel: Not too shabby here -- a nice porter-esque body that doesn't get quite as thick as a stout but definitely holds its own without being watery; the carbonation is more present that I expected it would be so the palate is kept busy with the tingle; there is also a nice slow stickiness left in the mouth as well.

Drinkability: Another solid offering from Bell's, it's a good looking beer with a bit of a weak nose and flavors that don't quite live up to other offerings. As a porter, of course, it's a little heavier in body, but the ABV isn't too bad so I wouldn't mind sitting through a couple of these.

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

Poured bottle into mug.

Appearance: Very black with a small, slightly tan head. Very appealing.

Smell: A roasted aroma with some coffee and chocolate in the background.

Taste: Strong roasted coffee flavor with a hint of chocolate. Very smooth.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied, very nice.

Drinkability: A very good beer. It's a little filling which makes it hard to drink a whole lot, but definitely worthy.

Photo of shroompod
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a rocky mocha head , plenty of lacing,

Aroma of sweet malts , not as much roasted grains as I'd like.

Roasted dark grains come through on tasting. Undertones of espresso , dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel is light, nice crisp finish. Good carbonation.

Overall a very easy drinking brew.

Photo of cvfish
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - This beer poured a dark brown color that produced a tan fluffy head which had good retention and laced the sides of the glass decently

S - The aromas produced by this beer were roasted malts, chocolate, and some hops

T - The taste of this beer is exactly how I like my Porters, roasted malts, chocolate, a bit of hops on the finish, simple and delicious

M - The mouthfeel of this beer had a medium body with a light amount of carbonation

D - This was one of my favorite Porters, the taste and the body was exactly how I like them, hopefully Bell's will see it in their heart to open up to our market

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

Nose is dark and rich, creamy-sweet, with some heavy roast and nutty malt. Some dark sugary fruit. Smells quite good.

Pours a deep chocolate cola color, almost opaque, nice creamy frothy head with nice lace. Looks quite good.

Fairly thin body full of nice roast and moderate sweetness. Lots of malt - a nutty base with a major vein of chocolate roast and some minor very dark roast. Creaminess in malt and body. Moderate tart/sourness - kind of fruity. Powdery dryness. Finishes dry with soft nuttiness and a kiss of chocolate. Tastes good. Feels good. Good drinkability.

Photo of dmfrench
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A well-hopped, salty, yet creamy porter.

A: Dark mahogany with a fairly persistent one finger cream-colored head.

S: Burnt malt, bitter chocolate, and dark fruit. A bit of salt.

T: Up front is bitterness, of both hops and chocolate. The burnt flavors definitely take a back seat. There's also a certain creaminess, like a milk stout, binding the flavors together. It is also quite salty.

M: Pretty well balanced... a hair watery at times.

D: High, but the saltiness would eventually get to me.

Bell's Porter from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 2,450 ratings.