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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.
BA SCORE
87
very good

2,316 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,316
Reviews: 966
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 10.62%
Wants: 58
Gots: 138 | 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: 2,316 | Reviews: 966 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bruachan
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

bruachan, Jul 06, 2007
Photo of letsgopens
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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.

letsgopens, Jun 28, 2007
Photo of Reed415
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Reed415, Jun 18, 2007
Photo of jwc215
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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!

jwc215, Jun 14, 2007
Photo of Tyrawlings
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Tyrawlings, Jun 12, 2007
Photo of happygnome
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

happygnome, Jun 09, 2007
Photo of orsulacp
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

orsulacp, Jun 05, 2007
Photo of msubulldog25
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

msubulldog25, Jun 05, 2007
Photo of trep
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

trep, May 23, 2007
Photo of neenerzig
4.4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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!

Eric

neenerzig, May 22, 2007
Photo of BuckSpin
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

BuckSpin, May 17, 2007
Photo of wagenvolks
3.45/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

wagenvolks, May 15, 2007
Photo of CharlieMopps
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

CharlieMopps, May 11, 2007
Photo of BEERchitect
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

BEERchitect, May 03, 2007
Photo of jmalex
3.23/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 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.

jmalex, May 02, 2007
Photo of BeerRun13
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

BeerRun13, Apr 29, 2007
Photo of oelergud
4.4/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

-Oelergud

oelergud, Apr 22, 2007
Photo of alysmith4
2.6/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

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.

alysmith4, Apr 20, 2007
Photo of dstc
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

dstc, Apr 11, 2007
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Acquired via trade from JAYW, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark brown color with a short foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a very thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is very creamy and full of roasted coffee along with nuts, a touch of dark fruit and some hops.

T: The taste is very well-balanced, with flavors of coffee, nuts, smoky malt, dark fruit and a good amount of hops for a beer of this style, all complimenting each other. The coffee flavor stands out but not too much. It’s also not overly sweet like some porters can be. The after-taste is bitter-sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, slightly sticky finish.

D: Very tasty, goes down very easily, not very filling, good representation of style and one of the best American Porters that I’ve had. If I’m in a porter kind of mood, I could see myself drinking quite a few of these, if only Bell’s were available here.

TheManiacalOne, Apr 05, 2007
Photo of Slatetank
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tasted in a Bass trademark ale glass
A - Opaqe deep brown no light pervades this dark ale. A Pale tan head quickly recedes leaving a thin lace behind.

S - Scents of Roasted coffe with cream and nuts. Crisp fruit aroma and roasted grain lingers in the background.

T - Crisp smooth flavor of brown malts. Creamy and nutty toffee and slightly vegetal flavor emerges . Minimal hop taste stealthily hides in the midst. Woody dryness as it warms and almost burn bean essence plays with the tongue as the creamy caramel sweetness relaxes.

M - Moderately full, chewy sweetness dominates with active carbonation and creamy edges.

D - Very good in the drinkability category and represents the style well. It is a sweet beer, so multiple tastings seems difficult. The flavor is pleasant and is good to return to on occasion for a sweet dark treat.

Slatetank, Apr 01, 2007
Photo of MCDuhamel
4.4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured slowly into an American pint glass.

A: With a slow pour, formed a tan two inch head that dissipates into a solid cap over the beer. More lacing than I would have expected. Beer is dark mahogany with red hues, and low carbonation. Beautiful.

S: Roasted malt and coffee predominate on the nose, with a hint of fruitiness. The aroma is balanced, not at all overpowering but definitely present.

T: Again, roasted malt and coffee, with some driness on the finish and a fruitiness I find hard to describe; maybe something like plum. Has a subtle chocolate note. Hops are very subdued and unnoticeable, except to the extent the hopping prevents the beer from being at all cloying. Really nice.

M: Full bodied, with some carbonation cutting through it in the near-finish.

D: Pretty easy to drink, although I find two at a sitting to be enough.

Overall: An excellent robust porter. The fact that it is bottle-conditioned is in my view a strong plus; the beer will change over time, but drunk fresh it is vibrant, flavorful and aromatic. One of the best porters out there.

MCDuhamel, Mar 28, 2007
Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours like a porter...black. I can't tell if you can really see anything through it. It does have a lasting tan head that started out about 1/4" and slowly faded to a substantial and lasting ring of tan foam around the edge of the glass.

Aroma: Pours with a soft chocolaty roast impression with a mild floral hop presence there to support. There is some other hop complexities to this beer also, but the malt is actually in charge. Along with the obvious chocolate, there is a clean and defined toasty malt. I would hesitate to say that the toast is from British Malts, rather it has a sweet Vienna Malt presence.

Taste: Really clean and refreshing. Well balanced with a bittersweet chocolate flavor that gets you in the beginning and then fades to a malt dominated creamy flavor to coat the throat on the way down. There is a little dryness that sits on the palate late in the finish that seems to be a combination of the bittering hops and the dark malts. The creaminess gives this finish opposition, but the dryness wins out in the end. I don't get any alcohol from this one.

Opinion: I think that this is probably one of the best American Porters that I have had. I would not put it in the same category as Fullers London Porter because the ingredients are obviously Americanesque. I really like the balance of this beer and applaud its drinkability. I would definitely drink this beer again.

SkeeterHawk, Mar 27, 2007
Photo of NClifestyle
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

New to N.C. - woo hoo!
Pours up with a huge head of creamy, medium-sized bubbles. Begins to leave a great design of lace on the glass as the head slowly drops.
Aroma is chocolate and cola at first. After a moment, seems to be more bittersweet chocolate, a bit more earthy.
Taste is more in the coffee range, much more dry and sharp than the smell. Still, a fight between the bittersweet chocolate and a cold cup of black coffee. A touch of smoke shows up in the aftertaste along with some dirty hop bite. Quite roasted, and gets more so as it warms.
Mouthfeel is not as great as I had expected, a bit thinner than I would have hoped for, with a moderate or more amount of carbonation. Still, it's not a complete burn.
A pretty good American porter, not the best I've ever had, but I'd definitely drink it again. I prefer the smoother, creamier ones with a hint of sweetness, and although this one doesn't really hit in any of these areas, it's still solid.

cheers...

NClifestyle, Mar 27, 2007
Photo of Erdinger2003
3.45/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a beautiful big head that came over. It leaves a good strong lacing as well. The color is black, doesn't let any light through at all. The head eventually thins out into a small cover above the beer. Smell is a little spicy with some chocolate malts and a slight little bit of some roastiness. The taste is chocolatey with a slight coffee flavor, mainly I get chocolatey malts. The mouthfeel is smooth and nice, full bodied and silky smooth. Overall this is a drinkable porter and will have more of this fine beverage.

Erdinger2003, Mar 23, 2007
Bell's Porter from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 2,316 ratings.