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

Not Rated.
Bell's PorterBell's Porter

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very good

2,499 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,499
Reviews: 989
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 10.62%
Wants: 72
Gots: 208 | 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

One of our many award-winning beers, Porter emphasizes the darker, roasted aspects of malt. Hints of dark chocolate and freshly roasted coffee provide the focus, while hops remain in the background. Not as full-bodied as a stout, Porter bridges the gap between malty brown ales and our more heavily roasted stouts.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,499 | Reviews: 989 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of thegodfather2701
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of ibbjamin
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

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

Photo of clayrock81
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of hosehead83
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

Photo of dbossman
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of jsh420
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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

Photo of lester619
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

Photo of samie85
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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.

Photo of ColForbinBC
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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

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.

Photo of jpro
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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 -

Photo of BamaBeerBuff
4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

Photo of Spidey13
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of Daniellobo
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

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

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.

Photo of erz316
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of BigJim5021
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of cnjohn19
3.69/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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...


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

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

Photo of JohnQVegas
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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

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.

Photo of Thur123
3.72/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This pours an almost black ruby color with little tan head that fades quickly. Smells like toasted malts and somewhat dry as well, there is also the presence of grains, a bit of a grassy smell.

Glug glug glug

This porter hits first with a slight hop bitterness that's faint and is soon overpowered by the malt character, which contains a light citrus fruitiness in addition. This leaves a slightly sweet taste on the tongue after it's done. The mouth feel is a little then but actually works well with the flavor. This isn't bad, but I have trouble with this knowing there are stouts around. It's not bad but I still have not fallen in love with this style.

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.

Bell's Porter from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 2,499 ratings.