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

Not Rated.
Bell's PorterBell's Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,485 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,485
Reviews: 987
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 10.62%
Wants: 72
Gots: 204 | 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: 2,485 | Reviews: 987 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Stygr
4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I love this beer. It is an invigorating mouth cleanser in a long night of drinking darker danker beers.

This beer has the perfect balance of body, color, aroma, mouthfeel, and especially drinkability. Leaves the mouth begging for another, and another, and another.

Nice deep amber tinged brownish hue, almost the exact same color of the bottle it comes in. full finger an more on a normal pour.

It even sounds great when it hits the glass, or maybe I'm just over anxious for another.

Smells of roast toffee, vanilla. The greatest smoked nutty-ness of a finish.

Aftertaste/mouthfeel leave my mouth feeling revitalized, clean, eager for another.

Climbing my porter list more and more every time I drink it.

Photo of BretSikkink
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown color with some reddish highlights along the lower end of the glass. Looks pretty mean with its dark tanned head and sticky, substantial lacing.

The nose is right up there too, with lots of black patent and roasted barley malt notes. Chocolate is present as well, along with a citric hop note.

A prick of hoppiness jumps through the roast right up front, a surprise and a delight. The chocolate bittersweet flavor really leads the way for a while, and finally gives into the coffee roast bitterness and the hop bitterness working together. The finish is long, but not overpowering.

The mouthfeel is where I'm going to take a quick stab - the carbonation is a little too spiky and sharp. I would have preferred a more smooth, viscous feel (although I might be wishing for a stout right now).

Either way, this is a great porter, and another well done dark beer from Bells.

Photo of righthereisay
3.1/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I was pretty dissappointed with this one. Maybe I'm just not a porter guy. Truthfully, I'm new to this expensive hobby. I got the Bell's variety pack, and this was my least favorite. If it is ever in another Bell's variety pack, I will not purchase it.

Not full bodied at all. Rather the opposite. Flavor was OK. I would like to try some other Porter's before I go too far on this. I had Michelobe porter, Bell's Porter is much better than that crap.

Photo of skrib09
2.9/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

poured out a coffee color with a rock-face like tan head. ok lacing.

smells roasty, i get some coffee flavors in there as well.

tastes more roasty than any porters or stouts i remember having recently. in the after taste i get some ground coffee grinds or coffee flavors. i get a "cold coffee" taste, maybe i should let the brew warm a little.

again with the coffee... a slight bitterness in the middle of my palate. a feeling of grainyness as well.

below average drinkability for me.

Photo of MillySox
3.45/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass at about 50 degrees. Dark solid brown with a slightly tan head, that was thick. The aroma was malty and slightly sweet with coffee tones.

The initial taste matches the aroma with complex blend of coffee, vanilla, slightly burnt maltiness. Medium gravity and smooth. The aftertast leaves a little to savor or comes up a little flat.

Overall a decent an good example of american porter.

Photo of jsp2
4.06/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint class, a thick head slowly thins down leaving lace on the side. Very dark brownish red.

Smells of offee, vanilla and chocolate. Not too overwhelming. Bitterness and carbonation, followed by robust coffee maltiness, while staying pretty dry. Good flavor but the carbonation leaves me wondering if I couldn't taste it more if there were less. Terrific aftertaste of nutty smokiness. Well balanced, not too heavy.

A tasty, finely crafted porter that is true to the style and doesn't try to do anything too crazy. But solid. I guess this beer competes with the numerous Bell's stouts which some might say are a little bit more ambitious. Great for the style though.

Photo of marcpal
3.44/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into imperial pint glass.

A: Had this after the Hell Hath No Fury and oddly enough, they look the same. Black with a sudsy brown head. A porter that looks like a porter.

S: Sweet hazelnut coffee. Unfortunately, reminiscent of the coffee that is stuck to the bottom of the pot at 7-11. Chocolate is present.

T: Far more chocolate than the nose. Sweet and tasty and mild in aggressiveness for a porter. The bitter is balanced well. Slightest inkling of licorice and spice. Eh.

M: Best aspect of this beer. The carbonation is just right and it is velvet smooth.

D: Run of the mill porter. Nothing good and nothing great.

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

Notes Oct 4 08
A nice dark oily pour,with a thin light tan head with some spotty lacing.Nice aroma of coffee,smoke,and some faint tobacco. Thick body,with flavors of dark coco,coffee,and toasted malt,smooth creamy mouthfeel.Quite drinkable.A solid porter.

Photo of bigdeuce
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a decent head, which went away quickly. Some stickiness to the glass. Smells a bit thin, not as robust as many other porters. Is colored black with tan head. Tastes great, very easy to drink. Some fruits, maybe slight cherry, smokey flavor. Toffee and chocolate, but not overbearing. A medium bodied beer which is really easy to drink.

Photo of JDK
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark chocolate brown, almost black. Awsome 2 finger head that set up in a light brown color.

Medium lacing, very thick in places

Tastes of dark roasted malts with a little chocolate, very nice finish.

Very pleasent smell. The sweet smell of the chocolate was just slighter more than that of the roasted malts.

I really enjoyed this glass and thinks it's worth a try.

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

Poured to a two fingered head. Head tasted on the bitter side. Head also had some big bubbles. Left some good lacing. Porter was black in color. Smelled of malt,chocolate, and burnt coffee. Maybe a hint of alcohol. Tasted of burnt coffee, chocolate, malt and a slight cream flavor. Had a slight bitter aftertaste that hung around awhile. Felt smooth and thick in the mouth. Carbonation was good. I think this is one of those beers that if you did a session with it, you would have to be carefull. It tasted so good, that all I wanted to do was gulp it down. With the little higher alcohol content you would probably get in trouble real fast.

Photo of FishHeadLover
4.32/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- The beer poured blackish with a brown head that laced around the edge of the glass.
S- It smells of mild chocolate and coffee.
T- This beer is a pretty good representation of what I expect in a porter. Chocolate and mild coffee leaving a nice taste, silky.
M- Silky with no bit from any hops.
D- Very drinkable. I had this beer along time ago on tap and liked it so I suggested it be put on tap where I work and am happy I did,

Photo of xfactor9600
2.7/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: A dark brown with a light tan head. So far so good.

S: an "off" coffee aroma.

T: Carmel mixed with malts and what tasted like bad coffee. I suspect I had a bad batch.

M: Creamy

D: Perhaps I was expecting something different or I had a bad batch. But the taste was not what I expected. I may try again just to see if I have a better experience.

Photo of mothman
3.34/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Sam Adams Sensory Glass. Batch 8726.

Color is a dark coffee brown. Tan head, that leaves little lace.

The aroma is a little off on this beer. Smells like burnt coffee, that is really old. The taste however is much better. Taste is of toasted malts. Coffee and carmel flavor as well.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, with a hint of bitterness at the end.

Overall, the smell was a big turn away from this beer. The taste was normal, but I couldn't get over the smell. I would try it, just to compare to other porters, but wouldn't buy it again.

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

Dark brown, thin off white head recedes promptly, little lacing. Still, a handsome one.

Smells of sweet malt, dark roasted grains and chocolate, blended very nicely. Perhaps a hint of coffee. If not particularly long ones, does have some legs.

Slightly less malty than roasty, but pretty balanced. Noticing the sweetness of the malt more in the middle. Some mild bitterness in the finish, possibly from dark grains and hops, but still very much in balance. Doesn't have the dryness accompanying the bitter finish as so many others do. I like it alot. ... getting better, sweeter, richer as it warms...

Modest carbonation with some effervescent sensation. A bit of warming, and a thin but pleasant coating of the mouth. Medium bodied. Nice.

Way very drinkable. Not a thick sipper or heavy with alcohol, but with enough body and flavor to be very satisfying. A solid effort.

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

Pours a deep amber brown with a small tan head. Aroma is medium sweet with some woody notes, light chocolate and caramel. Flavor is coffee bitter, chocolate malt and roasty. Medium bodied, smooth texture. Finishes somewhat long and roasty. This one along with the Kalamzoo are definitely coffee inspired.

Photo of SmithwicksNut
4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A very dark brown beer, hard to see through even when held to the light. A wonderful tan head that dissipates.

S: Robust, chocolate, coffee and toasty aromas. some really great smells.

T: As in the aroma robust, chocolate, coffee and toasty. A very rich and roasted malts.

M: Medium carbonation with a wonderful smooth feel.

D: I am a porter fan and I thought this beer was right on for a porter. I enjoyed it and find it easy to drink a few of these.

Photo of corby112
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown color with slight mahogany edges and a thin foamy beige head. Roasted malty aroma with sweet chocolate notes. This beer tastes kind of smokey with lots of roasted chocolate maltiness, oatmeal, caramel and burnt toast. Slightly creamy body with a dry bitter finish.

Photo of Deuane
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Deep, black tinged, chestnut brown with lighter toned edges. A thin tan head holds on and leaves a nice lace.

S-Light milk chocolate, a bit of caramel, roasted malt and a bit of brown sugary sweetness.

T-Cocoa dryness with milk chocolate/brown sugar sweetness. Some roasted malt bitterness and a hints of dark fruit notes.

M-Medium bodied, with a lasting roasted dry finish.

D-A tasty and delightfully sessionable american porter. With plenty of flavour to keep things interesting this one has every day drinking porter written all over it. Well done.

Photo of Metalmonk
3.56/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This thing is gorgeous in the glass. A creamy froth of light tan sits on top of a very black liquid. Perhaps the darkest regular porter I've ever seen, which would indicate tons of roast and char await the taste buds.

Lots of charred grain in the nose, with just a sweeter carob thing in the background. Typical of many porters and even stouts. Not a lot of depth or complexity in the aroma, but it conveys very well what this beer is all about.

Flavor is unsurprisingly focused on roasty, toasty grains, which inevitably bring smoke along with them. A mineral essence as well as a rough cocoa powder keep things from getting one-dimensional. Slight lactic sweetness at the end of the sip and finish, with a trace of raw bitterness far back in the finish.

Texture is just a little sharp from carbonation, but not overly so. It's medium bodied at most. Smooth and clean.

No doubt this is a well-made porter. It doesn't outclass others in its category by a mile, the way Bell's have done with so many other styles. But it's fine, and if you really, really dig porters, you might just love it.

Photo of weeare138
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appears an opaque black with deep chestnut toned edges when held to the light. A thick, dark tan head of foam slowly fades into a mild film and hearty collar. Scattered bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of caramel, mild roast, turbinado sugar, ripe fruit, milk chocolate, toasted nuts, espresso, and yeasty, devil's food cake.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with standout ripe fruit and yummy dusted cocoa powder cake.
Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied, fruity up front, leading to a spritzy dance along the palate before becoming a roasty, dry finish.
Addictive and extremely drinkable at under 6%. I think I just found a new session beer!
Try pairing this one with Mole Chicken.

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

Poured from a bottle into a snifter. A small 1/2 inch tan head forms that reduces to minimal lacing. It pours a dark black and is opaque when held to the light.

Aroma primarily of chocolate and roasted malts. Mild coffee notes are present.

The taste also has some roasted components and a dark coffee taste that lingers as a pleasant bitterness. Mild malty and caramel are also present. They blend nicely.

The mouthfeel is a bit unusual to me because it comes across as quite carbonated. Seems like it would benefit from a little bit heavier body.

Overall, this is a quite drinkable beer and is a good porter, although there is room for improvements.

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

Poured from the bottle a deep black color with a huge and frothy mocha head.

Aroma of toasted malts, dark chocolate, caramel, and a touch of sourness.

The taste was not as big as expected. A medley of lightly smoky toasted malts, coffee, dark chocolate, nuts, and black pepper.

Light-medium mouthfeel, smooth, and lightly carbonated.

A very drinkable porter from the folks at Bell's.

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

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appears a very dark murky brown, with one and a half finger tan head that sinks to a skim. Leaves a bit of lacing behind.

Aromas of chocolate and a bit of coffee. The usual roasted malt smells only toned down.

Taste is not much different. Chocolate and coffee followed by some hop bitterness and a bit of smokiness. The roasted malt almost seems watered down or something.

Mouthfeel is a bit light and watery, carbonation maybe a bit too high as well.

One of the few Bell's beers that disappoints me. It doesn't taste bad but something is missing here, it just reminds me of a weaker version of their Stout.

Photo of Buebie
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter.

Color is black with a red glow when held to light.
1 finger cola like off whie head. Fizzles down leaving an assortment of bubbles. Thin drapes of lace.

Chocolate malts at the nose, with a sweet malty aroma.
Creamy mouthfeel, mild carbonation. Bittersweet chocolate grain flavor, brown sugar, a touch of tobacco, and somthing remeniscent of walnuts.

Good sessionable porter.

Bell's Porter from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 2,485 ratings.