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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

2,410 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,410
Reviews: 973
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 10.62%
Wants: 63
Gots: 170 | 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: 2,410 | Reviews: 973 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
3.43/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep brown to black color with a sparse mocha
head and slight lacing.

S: Lacks a distinct aroma

T: Nice malt with subtle hints of coffe and
chocolate. A little nutty but nothing very
distinct or interesting.

M: A bit watery and under carbonated

D: A descent porter but not nearly as good as I
expect a Bell's brew to be. I suppose that I
may have reviewed this one a little more
leniently if I hadn't been expecting so much.

Photo of bsp77
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Exceedingly dark reddish-brown, essentially black. Some head and lacing.

Smell: Slightly sweet caramel and chocolate malts. Some roasty character. Smell is pretty subdued overall.

Taste: Semi-sweet roasted malt upfront, with drier roasted bitterness at end. Some coffee throughout. Little one dimensional but certainly tastes good.

Feel: Low to medium carbonation. Medium body and fairly smooth, but seems somewhat thin.

Drinkability: Middle of the road Porter. Drinkable enough. Like their Kalamazoo Stout, but with some of its unique character stripped away.

Photo of SPRichard
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

black-cherry body when held up to the light....thin head....faded immediately....very limited lacing

chocolate smell and taste...flavors didn't stick around very long

a little over carbonated for a porter....seemed too drinkable, which in some eyes is a good thing, but i like a porter with a little more body to it

i got this as part of a mixed Bell's case, so i have 5 more of these to drink....not that i won't drink them, but i may over look it for another option in my fridge

Photo of aggiearcher13
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Watching a little hockey and having a nice porter, it sure beats writing a thesis any day... But this is about the beer.

Poured into an imperial pint glass.

A: Pours a nice dark ruby-brown, can see through it when held up to the light. About a half inch of head, fades after a minute or two but leaves a little lacing on the glass and some whispy traces on the top of the beer.

S: Very malty, a little bit of a roasty-coffee like aroma, but it's very faint.

T: Malty, I love it. Just a faint roastiness, not bitter at all. Some faint coffee and chocolate notes. Some hops in the background. And of course that Bell's yeast strain that leaves it a little sweet on the finish.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation. Very smooth and creamy.

D: Pretty high, this is a darn good and easy drinking beer.

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

A - dark porter with small tan head, leaves a little bit of lace

S - caramel, chocolate, roasted malts, and molasses

T - same as smell, along with being sweet and creamy. heavy on the roasted malts

M/D - quite thin, very drinkable. Its a decent beer

Photo of Shaw
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours as black as a stout with a foamy and sticky light tan head.

I'm smelling coffee, molasses, chocolate and caramel.

The aroma carries over into the taste, with nice roasted malt flavors mixing with hints of sweetness.

The body is glassy and smooth and lightly creamy.

Another good beer from Bell's. Like I have written before, I'm not sure you can really mess up a porter.

Photo of hardy008
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a dark brown, almost black color with a tan 2 finger foamy head with nice retention.

Smell - Roasted malt.

Taste - Roasted malt and coffee.

Mouthfeel - somewhat lightbodied with a bit of a burnt coffee feel.

Drinkability - A decent porter, drinkable.

Photo of timmay41
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a bottle touting batch #8941.

A: Body offers a deep, dark brown color with a thin, tawny brown or caramel head. One-finger deep with medium carbonation, and the head lingers throughout the pint nicely.

S: This beer's strongest attribute--rich, roasted malt character with sweet dark cherry notes. Really enjoyable.

T&M: A little thin & less robust on both taste and mouthfeel considering the nose, but it's slightly sweet and pleasing on the tongue. A straightforward approach to the style.

D: Very drinkable at about 5 and a half percent. I put it down rather quickly. But I was thinking of the Smuttynose Robust Porter and trying to figure out which I'd pick for a six pack purchase, and it's a toss up. Bell's is great and I appreciate this offering, but it's not iconic or a "must have."

Photo of MetalHopHead6
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bell's Porter is good but forgettable.

For the short time it stayed with me, it was enjoyable, with a slightly chocolately smell and taste; however, literally and figuratively, it left nothing behind. Nothing on the glass (the meager head faded almost immediately and the glass was left laceless and clean), nothing on the tongue (the flavor was good, but it didn't linger in the mouth), and nothing in the imagination.

Most disturbingly, it was too carbonated, and, oddly enough, too refreshing and drinkable for a Porter.

Each beer I drink transports me somewhere, and with a Porter, I expect that place to be dark and heavy. Bell's Porter invoked, in me, a brightly lit grocery store soda aisle.

Photo of aubuc1
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured in to a goblet.

Pours black with a sticky lacy bubbly tan head.

Smell is a strong roasty, coffeeish and licorice.

Taste is a very good roasty, sweet porter. Reminds me of Anchor. Very clean finish.

Sort of a thin mouthfeel, but it adds to the drinkability of this beer.

Another solid beer from Bells.

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

Appearance- Black. Light tan head. Low retention. Okay lace.

Smell- Strong cocoa and roasted malt. No hops.

Taste- Toasty. Roasted malt. Cocoa. Slight hop bitterness to balance.

Mouthfeel- Fairly creamy. Medium body. Great carbonation.

Drinkability- A decent sipper. Not bad to have around.

Photo of Onenote81
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark muddy brown with a two-finger tan head. Head retention is firm and lacing is decent. Smells of fresh-baked bread, chocolate, coffee, and brown sugar.

Mouthfeel is creamy smooth. Very pleasant mouth on this beer. Flavor is of faint cocoa, potato bread, and finishes slightly sweet like an oatmeal cookie. Not a bold porter by any means, but it's solid. Wonderfully drinkable.

Photo of thryn
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this one at Hops and Vines in Asheville. Thanks, North Carolina!

Dark reddish-brown, lets a little light through toward the bottom of the pint glass where it's thinner. A finger of creamy, not quite tan head.

Serious roasty scent. Almost smoky. Biscuit, raisin, a hint of chocolate.

Great flavor. Some chocolate and a whole lot of peaty roasty malt. Enough hops to balance it, though they are not prominent.

Mouthfeel's the slightest hair thinner than I'd like. But not bad at all. Carbonation's noticeable but not over the top.

Totally drinkable porter. Another solid offering from Bell's.

Photo of projectflam86
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours thick dark red/brown color with a creamy tan head with lots of sticky lacing.

S- Smells strongly of roasted malts and bitter chocolate. Maybe some dark fig or raisin scents?

T- Bitter roasted malt flavor with some coffee and smokey tastes. Definitely some diacetyl buttery flavors as well.

M- Smooth and creamy but the aftertaste was a bit charred for me.

D- Pretty good brew that could have toned down the smoke flavor just a tad.

Photo of semihobo
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz from batch 8641 packaged July 25th 2008.

Pours with an enormous brown head, leaves sticky sheets on the side even before I've taken a sip. Nice dark brown body with red-brown highlights at the edges. After all these bottles of Bell's I am starting to get bored with the simple labels.

Smells of burnt chocolate, coffee, beef jerky. Whole grain bread with a little bit of herb blend shaken in. Smell is a little low-powered.

Nice roasted malts power the taste, not afraid to get a little smoky and charred. More chocolate than coffee, but they're both there. Pretty dry, a touch of sourness and adequate bittering. Lingering taste is that of eating the crumbs that burnt on your "everything" bagel, a mix of sesame and poppy seeds and onion bits, toasted somewhere between medium to black. I know all about eating the burnt everything crumbs.

Medium weight body is complemented by muted carbonation, resulting in a creamy mouthfeel.

Very solid all around, worth having again.

Photo of drgonzo3705
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a black color with just a tinge of brown with a fluffy off white head.

S: Burnt smokey coffee mostly coming through slight underlying maltiness.

T: Buttery and smokey. Light malt sweetness.

M: Medium body with a light hoppiness and a little creamy.

D: Very good! Good flavors going on and not too much alcohol combined with the smoothness of the cask condition makes this very enjoyable.

Photo of BeerSox
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into nonic.

Very deep brown, almost opaque, but a little bit of brick red seeps through at the edges. A one finger tan head settles to a thin, slightly bubbly head. A little bit of roasted walnut mixes with some sweet chocolate. Light burnt grain along with a little bit of coffee. Medium bodied.

Maybe it's because I've been drinking Smuttynose's Robust Porter lately, but this Porter seems more like a dark Brown Ale. I won't knock it too much for being subtle though, there's nothing wrong with that. Try it for yourself.

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

Poured out of a 12 oz bottle, batch 8900, Dec 18, 2008. Served at about 60 deg.

Looks quite average; nice head, but dissipated more quickly than I expected creamy lacing. Reading other's reviews I expected darker, but still plenty dark.

Smells very nice, hoppier than other porters I have tried, but very nice.

Tastes really good. Somewhat buttery, a little smokey. I like it a lot. Probably won't replace my preferred porter(Anchor) but a really enjoyable drink.

Mouthfeel fits perfectly with the taste, almost chewy as other reviewers have said.

Quite drinkable, a little heavy, but that is a good thing to me, makes one or two in an evening just perfect.

All in all my second favorite porter I can remember.

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

The smell of this Bell's brew is simply magical. A great beer from Bell's. The appearance is wonderful, poured into my Sam Adams Sensory Glass with a frothy head from the Sam Adams tag line on the glass to up and over the top bead of the glass. The beer is much better as it warms up as I've found in drinking a couple of these in the last week. But I'm wondering if this is the freshest porter possible from Bell's, because I find this batch was made on Sept. 5, 2008 (batch # 8726). I purchased the 6 pack at Mid-Town Liquors in Bridgman, MI on March 14, 2009 so I'm a bit surprised to get a porter made 6 1/2 months earlier. Still, I enjoy porters so the review must go on. Not quite as good as Founder's Porter, which is in a league of its own, but this Bell's brew holds its own with a rich, delectable smell and taste. Obviously, age hasn't affected this porter. Thanks Bell's for a great beer.

Photo of ajmoody76
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bought this at the usual place. twelve ounce bottle pours dark brown. barely can see the sediment in there. one finger brown head. nice lacing.

roasted malts on the nose. get some hops in there also. no off odors. smells good.

chocolate. good roasty malts. good hop crispness and presence. balanced for style.

mid to full body. good carbonation. great beer. i will grab a six again.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

G: Poured into a Bell's pint glass. Batch # 8941.

A: Pours a lightish cola color out of the glass with a single finger head that is a dark cream and fairly-highly carbonated. The beer is a very dark brown and pretty much opaque in the glass. Good lacing.

S: Malt and a hint of chocolate--nothing really overpowering.

T: Dark malts and a little bit of hops. Some dark chocolate flavors.

M: Medium body with carbonation that hits the tip of my tongue. Slightly creamy and goes down smooth.

D: Fairly drinkable. Sort of a heavy mouthfeel to drink a lot of, but not bad for a porter in that department.

Photo of chilly460
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Very dark brown with red tones. Great tan head that barely dissipated.

S - Malty, with very strong coffee and some dark berry

T - I really enjoyed this one. Malt background, but just a very smooth and even coffee taste, followed by some raisin and dark berry. No hops that I could detect.

M - Again, very nice. Nice thickness, smooth almost chewy feel.

D - Very good, but a "heavy" enough beer that I wouldn't exactly call it a session beer.

Overall, I really liked this porter, very warm flavor.

Photo of RickS95
4.6/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a good looking beer, though I'm fond of dark beers. Thin, fluffy, tan head on top of a black syrupy beer.

Nose is overwhelmed by roasted malt, with hints of coffee in the background.

Gives you a creamy, smooth feel in the mouth. Thing lacing circles the glass.

Has an Earthy, roasty flavor, the malt dominates, but hints of bittersweet come through in the background. The sweet malt balances nicely with the bitter giving a very smooth finish.

This beer looks good, smells good and is smooth from the moment you pop the top til after you swallow. Not highly alcoholic (5.6%), this is a beer you don't mind drinking a lot of on a winter night.

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

Medium brown with chestnut edges, and a nice thick tan head. Looking good in this Sammy Smith's pint glass. Lacing is prominent.

Aroma of roasted dark malts, maybe a hint of vanilla, some hop bitterness as well. The taste is very creamy, roasted malt, coffee and some vanilla. Turns only slightly bitter in the end, fades somewhat quickly. Nice.

Good medium bodied porter, creamy and smooth while giving you a bit of a carbonation burn. All around good drinkable porter. I am impressed.

Photo of JamesS
4.55/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an excellent dark brown/black color, with some great initial, tan head, that diminishes to a still nice thin head, with some very nice lacing to it. Great scent, semi-sweet, but a huge amount of burnt grains and a smidge of chocolate. Excellent taste, as well, nice and thick, great burnt grains without going overboard. It goes down very, very smoothly. This was a great porter.

Bell's Porter from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 2,410 ratings.