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

Not Rated.
Bell's PorterBell's Porter

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very good

2,418 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,418
Reviews: 974
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 10.62%
Wants: 64
Gots: 172 | 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: 2,418 | Reviews: 974 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jwinship83
2.83/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- very dark brown with a head that is no more than a tiny bone white crown.

S- Not much here. very slight odor of lightly roasted malts, some chocolate, and maybe a bit of coffee.

T- roasted malt with a tiny coffee aftertaste and a little bit of chocolate. once again, not much here at all.

M- good carbonation and a light-medium body.

D- I probably wont ever consider buying this again. i had alot higher hopes for bells and this one was pretty disappointing.

Photo of warmstorage
3.18/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle, no evident dating, bottle code of 8390.

Appearance: deep brown to light black, opaque, almost zero medium brown head leaves light dispersed lacing.

Aroma: toast, roast and some light chocolate. Limited, and not pronounced.

Taste: Distinct roast, some very light stonefruit, some hints at smoke, and some hints at, ummm, flavor.

Mouth: Slightly tingly, notable carbonation, moderate body. Sadly, it's perhaps the highlight of this beer.

Overall: Meh. I'd drink it again, but only if someone else was buying. Like some other Bell's products, a deeply disappointing year-around standard offering from a brewery capable of vastly more.

Photo of IronCitySteve
3.55/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a deep dark brown color. Has an ample brownish foam head. A decent amount of lacing. Really reminds me of pouring a pop/soda.

S: Lots of malt. Coffee, chocolate, nuts and bread. Nothing stands out though. Would have expected more potent of a smell.

T: The malt flavoring of chocolate, nuts and coffee blend well together, but there just isn't as much there as it should be.

M: A medium body porter. Ample amounts of carbonation. Again, reminded me of a pop.

D: Not the worst porter by any means. I would be anxious to try this beer on tap, to see if the taste is more poignant.

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

Deep opaque brown, not a lot of head.

Smells delicious of roasted malts and coffee.

Tastes of roasted malts and coffee as well. Flavor is not very complex, but pleasant.

Mouthfeel is the highlight of this for me. Perhaps a bit thin, but oh so smooth.

This didn't blow me away, but I'd definitely have another. A nice simple Porter here.

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

This was a decent, well balanced porter, a true porter, but nothing special as I would have expected from Bell's. It was good, but not good enough to seek out again.

I purchased a mixed pack of Bell's beers to see how they stacked up against each other, and I found that this one was too true to style for me, the least exciting of the bunch. That said, I was very impressed by the balance and texture, which never seems to come together in porters. Flavor without stout-like thickness.

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

Pours a dark brown in color with a nice quarter inch mocha brown head. Looks good. Smell is roasty. Some dark malts and maybe roasted coffee. Taste is more of the roast with a touch of the coffee there as well. A little too much roast coming through. Decent mouthfeel, could be a bit thicker. All in all a solid porter from Bells.

Photo of Brewfan
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my go-to FFF nonik glass.

Tan head that fades to a fine whisp of lace. Dark chocolate brown opaque body. Large clump of sediment settled in the bottom of my glass.
Huge chocolate nose. Very malty and sweet with a definite vanilla aroma. Minimal hop aroma. There's some there, but it's in the background.
Chocolate on the tongue as well. Malty with not much hoppyness at all. Slight carbonation, but not enough to prevent me from taking large mouthfulls of it. Rich and biscuity. Very nice Porter. This would go great with a grilled steak and caramelized onions. Time to start the grill.

Photo of drxandy
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz to standard pint glass, pours a deep opaque reddish brown, foamy tan head fades, nice bubble lacing

smells of roasty coffee, chocolate, slightly sweet

tastes of coffee, chocolate, roasty earthy/peaty, hops play in the back nicely, sweetness is not overwhelming and done nicely

mouthfeel is light on the palate, easy to drink, light bitterness and good carbonation

Photo of bkilpatr
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. 06/21/08.

Pours a dark opaque brown with about a finger and a half of light tan head. The head dropped pretty quickly and left no lacing. Aromas mostly of toasted malt and milk chocolate.

Taste is pretty similar to the aroma. Sweet cocoa and roasted malts. That's about it. There's not much to it, but what's there is pretty tasty.

Feel is a bit on the thin side. It is somewhat creamy yet well carbonated. Very clean finish. Drinkability is great. The ABV is low enough that it could easily be sessionable.

Not the most diverse porter, but very solid and worth a try.

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

This beer certainly was the talk around the Eccentric Cafe so I certainly had to try it. This porter poured dark with a slight head. It smelled nice with the underlying flavors of coffee and chocolate. This was not my favorite beer @ the brewery but I would say it was #3 or 4 for me. The taste was nice and you could tell it was a well crafted beer. It was a smooth drinker and I could see why everyone was raving about it. Complex flavor that went down easy. Well done

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

Deepest of browns with a more than adequately sized lid of fuzzy light brown leaves slinky, slippery, lace.

Modest nose of dark chocolate and roasted malts with a sweet, woody character.

Well balanced flavors of bittersweet chocolate and dark roasted malts with a bit of coffee; sweet woody overtones bring it together nicely. Light-medium body has a good amount of soft, cushioning carbonation and smoothness.

Bell's Porter is an extremely approachable, well balanced, and nice tasting brew that I could happily enjoy by lone bottle or sixer.

Photo of johnnnniee
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received in trade from sholland119, Thanks for the opportunity.

Pours a solid chocolate brown with a decent tanish head that sticks around for a bit. Aromas of chocolate and coffee, a little fruity with some roast in there too. Taste is some chocolate, some fruit and bitter roast with a little ash at the end. Mouthfeel starts creamy, but leaves your mouth dry in the finish. Medium carbonation. Decent brew, I could see myself drinking these a lot if they sold it here.

Photo of donteatpoop
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark chocolate color with an inch of cream colored head and little retention or lacing.

Smells of dark roasted malts.

The taste has initial hints of chocolate and coffee, finishing with a moce roasted malt flavor.

Great balance in the mouth, good carbonation level, but leaves the mouth a little dry.

Excellent beer, but not for sessions. One or two of these and I'm done.

Photo of SpecialK088
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass

A-Pours a very dark brown completely opaque except against direct light, small maybe one finger head with minimal lace

S-Is a little faint coffee/esspresso hints of carmel and malt as well

T-Coffee at the fore-front has small notes of chocolate and almost leaves a warm sensation in your mouth at the finish

M-To carbonated with the style in mind but suprisingly smooth even though.

D-Easy to drink overall a very solid porter would be one i reach for again.

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

Pours dark brown with some ruby which is noticed. Fluffy light khaki head diminishes slowly with moderate lacing.

Brew has had time to warm but no big aroma's stand out. Slight roasted malt coffee and smoke.

Creamy sweetness and chocolate are huge up front. Bitter coffee flavor follows. Smoky vanilla flavor on the back end.

Mouth feel is creamy which helps the brew from being too heavy. Carbonation is well suited.

Beer could session well. Full flavored without being overpowering. Very easy to sit and enjoy.

Photo of kennyo
3.03/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

dark brown color w/some red overtones
pours with a nice head that disapates pretty quickly
not mch of aroma, a little malt
nice taste, some malt, some roastiness.
a pretty easy drinking beer, could be a good session beer, if found on tap at a bar

Photo of rkinsella
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Almost pitch with some red/amber highlights. Very small tan head. Minimal lacing on the first half of the glass.

Smell - Sugary plum with dark chocolate, and coffee.

Taste - Deep rich dry fruit with dark chocolate and coffee. Dry finish with coffee on the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Good carbonation, thick and full.

Drinkability - A fine porter, balanced and very drinkable.

Photo of iconoklaztor
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a nice dark brown with a very small, white, head.

There isnt much of a smell to this beer but let's see what it tastes like.

I honestly wasnt expecting much from this brew because I never see or hear about it. I actually think this is a decent porter. It has sweet, yet subtle notes of coffee and a dryness I cant put a finger on.

Overall, this is a decent session porter. I wouldnt mind a couple of these throughout the week.


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

Pours a deep, deep brown colour with slight amber hues and a thick, creamy beige head. Rings of residue are left on the glass after each sip. Nice.

The aroma mixes chocolate/cocoa, roasted malt and a slight bit of coffee in the back for a well blended balance overall.

The flavour is similar to the aroma. Sweetness is here from the chocolate but there is a good deal of harsher cocoa and more coffee thrown into the mix here for a more grounded, earthier taste. There is a burnt bitter finish to each sip as well. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and a touch creamy but is also a bit thin here and there.

This is a nice, easy drinking porter that has full flavour and good balance to it. Well worth a try.

Photo of auxiliary
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance - Dark brown color, nice head formed, but then went flat after some time. Did leave some lace before when the head was on top.

smell - Cocco, roasted malts

taste - Mild roasted malt taste here. Some grains present too.

mouthfeel -Full body it seems.

drinkability - Easy drinking because it is not a strong beer,

Photo of Jwale73
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased on 4/30/08 at the Bell's General Store next to the Eccentric Cafe in Kalamazoo, MI. Batch #8363 printed on the label. Served in a standard pint glass. Poured black with some deep brown highlights around the edges. One-inch fluffy off-white head. Scents of chocolate and malt. Taste similar to nose, but not as flavorful as the nose had implied. Some subtle roasted coffee character, as well as a little bit of hops bite at the finish. Mouthfeel was somewhat lively, but also a lit less full-bodied than anticipated (not quite watery, but also not quite medium-bodied). While not overly flavorful, this brew has good session potential for a porter in that it is not overly heavy and the flavors are fairly subdued. Another solid offering from Bell's.

Photo of Natural510
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown color from 12oz bottle with thick, root-beerish head.
Nose offers a nutty maltiness and cocoa, along with dark fruit.
Tastes malty & dry. Bittesweet cocoa flavor complemented by a prune/raisin quality, along with maple sweetness. Faint coffee quality as well. The hop character is very subtle.
Other than the dryness and a decent carbonation, not much going on in the mouth.
Overall a drinkable porter; not up there with the elite Americans put out by Anchor & Deutches, but a quality offering from Bell's nonetheless.

Photo of WJVII
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass this brew has a deep dark brown color (not quite black) that had a 1/4 inch tan head that had larger bubbles that dissipated quickly. The aroma was nice with a deep roasted nutty cover that seemed to have a hidden chocolate malt background. The taste was similar. There was a nice balance with a great presence of chocolate and rich malt, no burnt taste as in some. The carbonation was a little heavy for my taste, but this was a very refreshing porter, not too much, rather just enough flavor!

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

12 oz bottle poured into a new sam adams glass. poursa deep chocolate brown with amber highlights. two fingers of tan head that leaves moderate lacings.

aroma is malty, with notes of roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, and a subtle nutty character. a very subtle earthy character, almost smoked, lingers far in the background.

taste is rich, with the same notes as above, only with a more roasted profile. finishes smooth with a bit of residual hops among roasted malts.

mouthfeel is full bodied with a very smooth and creamy texture. finishes silky smooth with a moderately clean mouthfeel.

drinkablility is great. this is a rich porter that is not too heavy, but provides enough flavors and body to create a solid porter. cheers!

Photo of tarzanamatt
4.4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was the first beer I ever drank, and I stuck with it through the cold michigan winters. It was porter for cold weather and Oberon for warm weather. That was when I lived in Michigan... I've moved to California and now Portland, Oregon. I drink a lot of IPA now, so porter has slipped down on my favorites list. When I do visit Michigan for the holidays, it's a given that I get a six pack the first night I'm home of Bells Porter! It's a great back to a whiskey rocks- preferably sweeter whiskey.

Bell's Porter from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 2,418 ratings.