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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

2,222 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,222
Reviews: 957
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 10.62%
Wants: 50
Gots: 114 | 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: 2,222 | Reviews: 957 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BlindPig


3.98/5  rDev +3.1%

A- Thick tan head on a dark brown body with a few amber hues.
S- Strong roasted grains, coffee, chocolate, burnt, light breads, and almost a light smoky aroma.
T- Pretty much follows the aroma. There are some grass hops thrown in there too though. Some nice earthy tones. It just seems everything is better balance than in the aroma. Dry light bitter aftertaste with some toasted malts.
M- Medium body with medium carbonation.
D- I wouldn't mind having more of these. Doubt I will go out specifically and try to get them but if I could get them here I would buy a 6-pack every once in awhile.

08-19-2007 23:37:53 | More by BlindPig
Photo of templar316


4.53/5  rDev +17.4%

A phenomenal example of the style from Bells. A rich dark color with ruby around the edge when held to the light. The rich nutty, malty aroma gets me excited about drinking and the flavor delivers. Chocolate malt, Caramel Malt, a malt lovers dream. I could drink this all night.

08-17-2007 01:54:02 | More by templar316
Photo of nickfl


4.15/5  rDev +7.5%

A - Black with some ruby color around the edges and a very large and tenacious dirty cream colored head that leaves very good lace behind.

S - Roasty malt and a little bit of yeast. Not much else to speak of.

T - Full, almost smokey roast malt and a bit of nutty flavor. Quite pleasant, round malt flavor with only some bitterness perceptable in the finish.

M - Medium body with moderately high carbonation.

D - This is a highly drinkable beer. The flavors are light but present enough to keep you interested and the midrange body and higher carbonation help it to go down easy. I am impressed that they have hit the porter style so solidly and I must say that this is a beer that I could drink all night long.

08-06-2007 05:14:25 | More by nickfl
Photo of giblet


3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

not bad. not great. pours dark with less head than expected. nice carbonation and a lil lace - less than expected.

smell was pleasant but maybe a lil rich in carmael chocoalate...taste was decent.

porters are not my all time favorite. this is a good porter but i have had better. definately better.

worth a try for a notch in the belt. not likely a frequent repurchase.

suckem up and movem out!


07-17-2007 20:47:02 | More by giblet
Photo of nortmand


4/5  rDev +3.6%

Dark ruby pour, with a sturdy tan head.

Buttery aroma with some hints of roast.

Fruity yeastiness up front. Nice roast flavors mid-tongue. Light bitterness at the end.

Nice, even-handed balanced porter. Carbonation level and character is essentially perfect.

07-08-2007 19:11:08 | More by nortmand
Photo of brdc


4.03/5  rDev +4.4%

Thanks to stousNipas for this one.
Very nice looking porter, pitch black with a brownish head, reasonably thick with a sticky lacing that goes all the way to the end, impressive.
Burnt aroma, with layers of malts, chocolate and coffe-like, standard porter but well done.
Creamy on the palate, it has the standard tastes one expect from a good porter, and this one is robust in its bittersweet chocolate, coffee and even sugary notes, with some hops popping here and there. Nice.
Easy to drink, well-crafted and robust, a very nice american porter.

07-07-2007 04:27:28 | More by brdc
Photo of bruachan

District of Columbia

3.9/5  rDev +1%

the head dropped quickly to a solid film. it's thin but the bubbles are tight. the liquid itself is dark—not opaque but a deep mahogany

the aroma emanating from the foam is not voluminous but sports some dry roasty scents, like chocolate chips and chicory. hops are not very prevalent

the flavor mirrors what i experienced through my nose; dry roastiness. mild bitterness and an easygoing mouthfeel

07-06-2007 03:03:14 | More by bruachan
Photo of letsgopens


3.88/5  rDev +0.5%

Deep brown with amber highlights. The head is thick and luscious, tan in color, and recedes to a frothy cap and leaves good lace.

On the nose there is some roasty malt, hints of dark fruits, and a bit of cocoa.

Flavor-wise there is a lot of malt and some nice dark fruit: prune and fig. Some roasty cocoa and malt chocolate in the finish. There’s a hint of coffee on the back of the tongue.

Creamy but thin mouthfeel. Possibly a bit too much carbonation that creates a slightly light texture that is a bit too much so for my taste in porters.

06-28-2007 00:06:25 | More by letsgopens
Photo of Reed415


4/5  rDev +3.6%

A - Pours a dark almost black color with a full tan head

S - Roasted Chocolaty malt, and some faint hops

T - Nutty Roasted Malt, Chocolate maybe even a little coffee hidden in there

M - Full bodied, Creamy and smooth

D - Very Good Porter but not my favorite, Great for the price

06-18-2007 20:23:21 | More by Reed415
Photo of jwc215


4.35/5  rDev +12.7%

Pours black with a thick off-white head that descends to a thin, lasting cover. Rings of lacing stick to the glass.

The smell is of charcoal smokiness and dark fruits.

The taste is of dakr malt - chocolate and coffee. Dark fruits give it a nice balancing support. Smoky and earthy characteristics come into play. Candy-sweet finish.

The body is medium - on-target for style.

A truly "sessionable" porter. Nicely balanced - A good example of an American Porter!

06-14-2007 05:02:16 | More by jwc215
Photo of Tyrawlings


3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

On tap and poured into a pint glass.

A: Deep dark brown in color with ruby hues. Creamy tan head pours one finger thick. Decent retention. Thin lacing crawls on the sides of the glass.

S: Roasted coffee. Burnt husk. Raw hops. Chocolate. Caramel.

T: Flavors of deep roasted coffee bean and a burnt husk bitterness are followed by a sweet dark chocolate. A soft touch of raw wet hop leaf gives way to toasted caramel malts that lend balance to this offering. A touch of molasses and vanilla is followed by more roasted coffee.

M: Creamy and smooth. Medium carbonation. Slighy dry.

D: A bit thin in the mouthfeel but a nice flavored porter none the less. Easy and enjoyable to drink. Recommended.

06-12-2007 00:34:33 | More by Tyrawlings
Photo of happygnome


4.35/5  rDev +12.7%

a: dark chocolate brown color with some ruby hues half inch of headthat does not dissapear fast and leaves a little lacing
s: deffinate coffee aromas
t: roasted malts very tasteable, chocolate. Very sweet but very nicely balanced
medium bodied with average amount of carbonation

this is a very good brew, very enjoyable

06-09-2007 18:16:36 | More by happygnome
Photo of orsulacp


3.88/5  rDev +0.5%

The body is deep dark black with a tan head that quickly dissapeared to lacing on the edges of the glass. It hads a nice roasted nut smell with chocolate and roasted coffee aromas. The flavor is slighty nutty with chocolate, with a hint of coffee and a little hoppy bitterness. It had a creamy medium mouthfeel, low carbonation. It was very drinkable.

06-05-2007 12:55:36 | More by orsulacp
Photo of msubulldog25


3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle (Batch #7766) to a standard pint.

A: Deep mahogany brown with some ruby highlights when held to light. Plenty of cascading, cola-like bubbles are visible in this lights, and the beer's complexion appears to be kind of murky. A tan head starts just shy of a finger-high, but fades quickly to a thin covering of fizzy, percolating cream. Some slippery lace.

S: Nice aroma of chocolate/cocoa, toasted/malted grain, a bit of vanilla and some dry hopping. Light lactic sourness.

T: Cocoa/ milk chocolate sweetness was apparent at first. Vanilla and toffee in the finish. In between is a cross between slight lactic sourness and spiced, dry hops.

M: Seems to be a little weak with the first sip, but the mouthfeel fills out substantially soon after, developing to a medium body with fuller carbonation. Lingering finish tends toward spice and dry hop bitterness.

D: Tasty, a good drinkable porter. A good, sessionable example of the style, which I can imagine having more than one of on a cool evening. I'd like to have this again and would recommend it as a good example of the style.

06-05-2007 06:50:52 | More by msubulldog25
Photo of trep

West Virginia

3.65/5  rDev -5.4%

12oz bottle shared with my buddy Wagenvolks.

Dark brown, translucent body. Off-white head with nice retention. Roasted malt in the aroma. Very grainy, like cereal. Sweet, biscuity, raisiny, roasty flavors are present throughout the length of the beer. Light-medium bodied with medium carbonation. Nice, creamy and drinkable. Not overly flavorful but it would be a great session beer.

05-23-2007 03:47:52 | More by trep
Photo of neenerzig


4.4/5  rDev +14%

A single 12 oz. bottle poured into my tumbler. This beer pours a dark opaque brown color with a nice fluffy tan head well over an inch thick. Settles to 1/4 inch after 2 minutes. Very nice lacing. Deep aromas of roasted malt and coffee are present along with some nuts and maybe a hint of caramel or dark chocolate. Sweet and malty flavors upfront followed by the aforementioned coffee, nut and caramel are all present. Very nice balance. No one flavor really dominates any of the others. Has a full bodied, crisp and smooth mouthfeel with moderate to heavy carbonation. One of the most drinkable porters I have ever had. This beer really does the winning!


05-22-2007 02:26:01 | More by neenerzig
Photo of BuckSpin


4.03/5  rDev +4.4%

Presentation: 12oz bottle (Batch 7797) in a classic conical pint glass

Thanks to a coaching friend for this one. Poured with a small gurgle and very fluid. Lite nose for the style, faint black coffee, straw, roasted malts, bitter baking chocolate, but all present in a soft way, not upfront. As it blooms the aromas grow stronger & sweeter, chocolate is now easily noticed, a subtle smoke/charred aspect as well as some warm raisins. 2 solid fingers of tight, thick& sculpted, slightly sticky, warm mocha hued foam that settled evenly & slowly to a 1/8" tossed blanket of the same. Lacing is very thin & sheer yet there. Perhaps the deepest, ruddiest, murkiest shade of red I've ever seen, its opaque to the casual glance but held to a window a stunningly beautiful maroon...practically deep violet, just thick & lush. Smells good & looks great...off to a good start.

Its semi-dry, a little light on the tongue as a result, yet very smooth & creamy as well. A faint mocha (bitter German chocolate in an oily espresso shot) taste, its a nice, well crafted & very balanced brew. If this makes sense, its sophisticated in its simplicity. Not lots of different tastes going on, but the ones that are there are just right for a well balanced and, as a result, easy to drink Porter that comes across silently on owl's wings and not like a rhino on Red Bull.

The chocolate quality rises & sweetens on the palate, including some faint caramel, as everything melds together in a warm, smooth, even mouthfeel. A subtle (damn, this is delicate) hop bitterness, reminiscent of that last slurp of silty morning java, balances out the mouthfeel. It fades off into the sunset bittersweet, growing in dryness, clean, leaving a painted coating of toffee chewies and some good ol' mud.

Very nice, very easy to drink, a most enjoyable beer. Well crafted, light on the tongue, just a nice, seductive Porter. A simple grilled steak would work with it, as well as some dry cheese, perhaps the two together? A simple chocolate dessert would also be a good match (thinking blondie or a chocolate chip cookie). Definitely recommended, especially if you don't like heavy handed Porters, and would drink again no problem. Check it out.

05-17-2007 20:35:02 | More by BuckSpin
Photo of wagenvolks


3.45/5  rDev -10.6%

To sum up the appearance, Bell's Porter is COLA in both color, transparency, and head. Smells of grain cereal (Cheerios anyone?) with more subtle hints of vanilla and coffee beans.

The taste is hard to pin down: some wheat and bready grains with a sweet note. My friend called it "biscuity", sure thing trep. The mouthfeel is flat with a low carbonation and a weak finish. This is a relatively easy-drinking porter, just not one I'd pick over some other, better brews.

05-15-2007 00:26:04 | More by wagenvolks
Photo of CharlieMopps


4.15/5  rDev +7.5%

A: Poured a thick black hue with faint mahogany tones. A finger and a half of head stuck around for a little. Good lacing.

S: A rich, roasted malt aroma comes to the fore with hints of espresso and a nutty backing scent, making it smell quite delicious.

T: A very roasted malt taste attacks the palate and clings throughout. Feels as though the coffee tones accent this malt presence, and subtle hopping rounds it out well. Still, an enjoyable maltiness hangs on through the finish.

M: Low carbonation with a full body, a bit of a watery composition, but not too out of the ordinary and makes for a nice, thick porter.

D: Would definitely recommend this to anyone who's a fan of porters. I wasn't overly impressed, but this one did leave its mark, and Bell's is a reliable brewery through and through. I did enjoy this a great deal, though.

05-11-2007 01:30:16 | More by CharlieMopps
Photo of BEERchitect


3.9/5  rDev +1%

The 'tap' version of the beer offers a better experience than from the bottle. The beer is typically colored with a deep walnut hue and nearly opaque. Well headed and modestly carbonated gives visual weight and stability to the brew. Faint aromas of coffee, chocolate, toasted malts, and heavy cream. The flavors of malt sweetness pronounce early, but are quickly tempered by bold columbian coffee notes and acidity, fresh bitter hops, walnuts, cocoa, and milk sugars. Creamy textured and silky smooth, not relying on carbonation to lighten the feel. Finishes with a simple coffee and milk aftertaste that lingers into a slight bitterness. As nicely flavored as I had remembered, but better bodied from the tap.

05-03-2007 17:10:41 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of jmalex


3.23/5  rDev -16.3%

Yes! Another porter! It's my favorite style so I can be a pretty harsh critic. Does it pass the test?

APPEARANCE: Pours thin with no head and a thin collar and few patches of bubbles. Color is black with amber brown highlights. Hardly picture perfect.

SMELL: The smell is nutty with indications of roasted and burnt malt and some diacetyl normally found in the style. Not too intense, but certainly there. No hop aroma at all.

TASTE: Starts out roasty and toasty and this flavor pretty much dominates the whole time. A little caramel is present, but not much. The finish is empty with the roastiness dropping out somewhat, but no other flavors are detected. One-dimensional and straightforward, but what's there tastes good.

MOUTHFEEL: Thin and watery. This is a disappointment, unfortunately. Any sort of body would improve this beer immensely. Carbonation is also pretty low.

DRINKABILITY: Low alcohol and thin body make this beer easy to drink, but there are certainly better porters out there. Average at best.

Bell's has impressed me with everything so far, but here's as close to a miss as they probably could get. A nice beer, but nothing to write home about. With so many better options, I don't see myself buying this again, but while I've got it, I'll enjoy it.

05-02-2007 00:12:37 | More by jmalex
Photo of BeerRun13


3.53/5  rDev -8.5%

Super dark reddish brown. Light tan head fades quickly and leaves only the slightest hint of lace.
Earthy aroma with some chocolate/cocoa notes.
Earthy and slightly grassy in flavor. Some chocolate and roastiness as well.
Medium-full bodied with good carbonation. Kinda creamy with some slight traction on the palate.
This one reminded me more of a schwarzbier. Decent brew.

04-29-2007 22:35:30 | More by BeerRun13
Photo of oelergud


4.4/5  rDev +14%

Very deep ruby body, almost opaque. Creamy brown head with low retention and lace.
A nice roasted character with some sweet malt, coffee bean and vanilla.
Warm, sweet and delicious is the taste. Roasted notes with a hint of toffee. An aftertaste of well balanced hops and malts, still with a clear roasted note.
Full body with a strange hydrating feel that slowly switches to a dry finish.
Highly drinkable, a session beer even.


04-22-2007 19:16:54 | More by oelergud
Photo of alysmith4

District of Columbia

2.6/5  rDev -32.6%

Not terribly impressed with this beer. Found it on tap at a local restaurant. Thought the roasted malt tasted slightly burnt and somewhat dirty. There was a definite coffee and chocolate flavor coming through, and I could taste a little bit of cola as well. Not bad, but not exactly worth a try imo.

04-20-2007 18:57:16 | More by alysmith4
Photo of dstc


3.68/5  rDev -4.7%

Pours a very nice dark brown almost black color with a thick foamy tan head. Head fell slowly leaving full tan lace behind.

Definitely smells of roasted malts and a little earthy.

Creamy, nutty, roasted coffee taste that has a fairly strong long lasting bitter aftertaste.

Very creamy and lightly carbonated mouthfeel. Nice and thick too.

Overall a nice porter but a little too bitter for me.

04-11-2007 18:54:07 | More by dstc
Bell's Porter from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 2,222 ratings.