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

Not Rated.
Bell's PorterBell's Porter

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very good

2,451 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,451
Reviews: 981
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 10.62%
Wants: 70
Gots: 196 | 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

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,451 | Reviews: 981 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of csmiley
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a color that is close to black. Colors of cola are evident around the edges. The mocha head is minimal and sticks around for a while before settling to a nice cap. Heavy lace is left behind in the glass.

S - This one is light in the aroma department. Roasted notes stand out in front of other aromas. Coffee comes in toward the end and is pretty hard to pick up.

T - Flavor is bigger than expected. Roastiness hits the palate first. Comes across as a little smokey too. Coffee and bittersweet chocolate come in around the middle. Alcohol is bareley detectable on the tail end.

M - Medium to full bodied with alot of carbonation. Kind of chewy for a porter. Finish is bittersweet with a touch of dryness and sticks around for a while.

D - Drinkability is good. This isn't my favorite selection from Bell's but still a good beer nonetheless. The low alcohol and pleasant flavor really make this one quite easy to drink. I could drink a few of these with no problem at all.

Photo of chaz410
3.51/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer had little to offer on the nose. Very faint hints of cocoa and malts, maybe caramel??, were present but other than that, very little in the smell department.
This beer had a lot of carbonation which was nice. The taste really put the cocoa and chocolate malts first and foremost and really hit nice sweet roasted flavors throughout the mout feel. A good sweet finish at the end.

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

From notes:

Served on a Pils glass.

Nice headiness that went away to nearly nothing.
Heres my notes:

Nice caramelly malty nice hop bite good feel. Nose is maltiness dark caramel.

I have had this beer many times and never took notes for a review. Here my notes are lacking but i remember a nice full beer that I had three glasses of. Very Dark and very good.

Photo of Greggy
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a big fluffy 3 finger head into an imperial pint glass. The head is tan and has excellent retention. As the head slowly recedes, it leaves some nice lacing.

S- Dark chocolates, graham crackers, cream, coffee and nice roasted malt.

T- Starts with some very dark dry baking chocolate notes, some coffee, some toasted grains. The finish has a nice dryness with some residual hop oil notes.

M- Mouthfeel has appropriately low carbonation and a nice dryness.

D- This isn't you typical porter. It has more of a hoppy presence than the more traditional sweet porters. This could definitely be sessionable.

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

A: Pours a deep black, with a big, frothy, light-tan head with good retention. Some decent lacing.

S: Whiffs of coffee with milk, some chocolate, burnt malts. A bit sweet. Maybe some hints of cherry.

T: Definite notes of chocolate and coffee, with some burnt flavors. Hops are noticeable and provide balancing bitter snap.

M: Somewhat smooth and full-bodied, with a drying astringent quality at the finish.

D: Nothing wrong with this one. It's a solid, if somewhat unspectacular porter.

Photo of zeff80
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, dark brown color with a small, foamy, caramel-colored head. It left small thin traces of lace.

S - It smelled of roasted malt, dark chocolate, dried fruit (cherry), and toffee. Also, some light floral notes.

T - This is a nicely balanced porter with a bittersweet blend of hops and caramel roasted maltiness. Some chocolate flavors add to the complexity of this beer.

M - It was soft and smooth. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very nice porter. Yet another fine offering from Bell's.

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

A: Pours a dark cola color with a cherry tan head.

S: light roasted malt, coffee and dry chocolate.

T: For flavor there is some dry chocolate, and coffee notes along with a bittering earthy hoppiness and a slight smoky woodiness.

M: a light creamy and milky texture. A nice clean finish of coffee and chocolate that fades off the tongue leaving you wanting more. There is a slight acidic nature as well in the finish.

D: Overall a solid good beer, enjoyable.

Photo of danielharper
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

How is it I've never reviewed a beer from Bell's before now? Ah, well, now that they're my new local I guess that's going to change quickly.

Appearance: So dark brown it's black, thick foamy head that dissipates and leaves some lacing. Beer is opaque to even a moderate light source.

Smell: Raisiny malty sweetness. A touch of astringency, very grainy, touches of oatmeal and what. A very interesting aroma, much more complex than most porters.

Taste: Almost the definition of a good porter. A strong sweetness up-front, grainy and with a hint of raisins, followed by a mellow middle and a dry finish. Some alcohol astringency present, but not too strong.

Mouthfeel: Moderate thickness with mild carbonation. Goes down smoothly.

Drinkability: I'm not usually a big fan of porters, preferring to just get the "real thing" in a stout already, dammit, but this is a very good example of the style. Well executed and depending on your taste and alcohol tolerance probably a fine session beer, despite the 5.6% ABV. Lovers of porters should seek it out.

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

Had last night at Zeno's Dark Side Day. Had it poured into a pint style glass...

A: Pours a nice dark brown with a chocolate colored head. Laces only slightly and has nice red hues around the edges.

S: Very sweet smelling porter similar almost to a milk stout smell. Chocolate sweetness and a tad bit of roast thrown in the mix as well.

T: Also like the smell. Kind of sweet chocolate that blends well with a little bit of roast. The hops are lacking a tad here, which further leads to its sweetness.

Overall, a good showing by Bell's. A decent porter with good flavor and a hell of a lot of sweetness

Photo of MSchae1017
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was poured from the 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

The beer pours brownish-black with hints of amber. The head is tan, but not too big. It dissipates down to a ring and wisps leaving little lace. The aroma is chocolatey and sweet. The flavor is chocolatey with hints of coffee. The mouthfeel is a bit on the thin side of medium but quite smooth. Overall, a good porter.

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

Crazy darkest brown-to-virtually black with a light tan head. Aromas of cocoa and carob. Almost-but-not-quite-coffee-like aroma - more on the chocolate side. Flavors of more cocoa, more "almost but not quite coffee-like" and and some roasted malt. Tilting towards full body with dark bitter-sweet chocolate on the finish. All in all a good solid porter. I braised some skirt steak with this and it did well. Use this as your bottle of beer in a chili recipe instead of something dumb.

Photo of orcasteve
3.06/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

this one had alot of floating particals in it, so i think this bottle isnt fresh, this has some coffie or bitter dark coco flavers in the begining and some big hops at the end, this one was ok but i want to try a fresh bottle befor i form my final opinion

Photo of tempest
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a brown bottle. Batch 8318.

This is a classic American porter and darned tasty. It's on the dry and drinkable side of the spectrum, maybe a little more brown than robust, like a Sierra Nevada Porter instead of an Anchor Porter. The flavor has rich roasted malts that give off toffee, caramel, and semisweet chocolate flavors with a multigrain bread undertone. Definitely a beer for porter lovers.

Photo of CaptainIPA
3.28/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presented in a brown, 12 oz. bottle with cryptic batch code: 8253. Poured into a Smithwick's pint glass.

A: Pours an opaque anthracite color with a frothy and pitted, two-finger head with good retention.

S: Honey, roasted malt, bitter chocolate, vanilla and licorice.

T: Dark, roasted malt upfront with notes of chocolate, coffee, vanilla and licorice. Toasted caramel snap on the back end. Finishes dry with a sweet tang. Not exactly robust.

M: Smooth and heavily carbonated. Rather thin-bodied and somewhat watered-down for the style.

D: Its light-bodied character and subtle flavor profile make it very easy to drink.

Photo of ckeegan04
3.64/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown with thick foamy head. Head slowly fades to about one finger. Excellent lacing.

S - Weak aroma of dark malts. A little coffee in the nose. Yeah, it smells like a porter, but it has nothing special going for it.

T - Slightly sweet malt taste up front before being overtaken by a somewhat bitter chocolate and coffee taste. No real hop presence to speak of. Finishes with a somewhat bitter chocolate taste.

M/D - medium to full bodied and very very creamy and smooth. Excellent feel. It is a passable porter but the taste just isnt anything great.

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

A - Dark, dark brown. Opaque. Thick creamy brown head with excellent lacing.

S - Coffee, dark sugars and hints of funk, sourness and dark fruit.

T - Acidic opening followed by apples and toasted grain. Sweet in the middle with some toasted bitterness. Finish is a bit mild.

M - Medium bodied with a suggestion of chewiness. Slight astringency.

D - Quite drinkable and full flavoured for the most part.

Photo of MMAJYK
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Deep, dark brown with lighter brown head. Head is thick and made of tightly compressed, soft bubbles. Lacing appears to last for the duration of the drink.

S- Very milk chocolatey, smokey and roasted, light vanilla and cream.

T- Roasted and burnt malts, good and bitter midstream, chocolate, cocoa and a creamy lactose like effect. Very nice, quite possibly my favorite Porter to date.

M- Creamy, soft, and thick with pleasantly high carbonation.

D- Oh-so-drinkable. This is my favorite beer of the style. Nothing over the top, but consistant as Bell's Brewery is famous for. I will try to have a few more of these on hand for the coming Winter months.

Photo of bluejacket74
3.91/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, Batch 8390 bottled on March 20, 2008. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours dark brown with about an inch frothy tan head. Head retention is pretty good, lacing is good as well. Aroma is roasted malt, chocolate, coffee and a little bit of hops. However the aroma is a bit on the weak side. The taste is similar to the aroma (but stronger), it tastes like bittersweet chocolate, roasted/burnt malt, coffee and some earthy hops. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's smooth and has average carbonation. Drinkability is good too, it's easy to drink and has a dry finish. Overall I think this is a good brew, I could have this as an occasional session beer.

Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The first cask I've ever seen at Bocktown for Firkin night featuring Bell's porter. The brewer from Bell's was also present and it was cool to meet him.

This was a nice porter with the typical appearance but the head fades quickly...especially for a cask beer. This is a nice drinkable porter that's smell and flavors lean on the coffee side. Not very much roasted bitterness but just enough to give you that authentic feel. A nice light drinkable porter body. A really good representation of the typical porter without any crazy deviance from the style. I liked this one but I know that it wouldn't be as good in a bottle.

Photo of oneeye
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.
A. Pours a coffee brown with a tan head. Minimal lacing with ruby highlights.
S. Smells of bitter chocolate and roasted malts.
T. The taste of roasted malts, chocolate, and espresso. The toasted malts dominate this Porter.
M.The mouthfeel is a bit thin. Creamy with a little bitterness at the finish.
D. Drinkability is average. An easy drinking porter that i would drink again.

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

A_Pours a very dark brown, almost black with a huge cappacino coloured three fingered head. good staying power with lots of lacing. Nice looking beer.

S_Nicely roasted sweetish malt with a slight bit of coffee as well.

T_Those same roasted flavours comethrough big in the taste. Nicely roasted malt is the first thing that hits. This gets followed up by a slight sweetness and a bit of acidity. The finish and aftertaste are again roasted, this time in a chicory coffee sort of way. Almost like Cafe Du Monde. The finish is slightly astringent dryness.

M_Medium bodied, with a mild carbonation.

D_An easy drinking porter with bold assertive flavours. Another winner from the folks at Bell's.

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

12-ounce bottle poured into a shaker pint glass yields a rich, opaque, dark chestnut body with a cap of fine tan foam. The head reduces to a thin collar that leaves misshapen swatches of lacing on the glass.

The smell of the drink is malty with a little dark chocolate. A whiff of coffee lurks underneath.

The taste is sweet with plenty of dark, malty, lightly-sweetened chocolate and an astringent touch of black coffee. Dry, earthy finish.

Bell's Porter is a bit thin-bodied, but with nice carbonation and good drinkability.

Photo of BoitSansSoif
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Poured a rich brown w/faint red highlights on the edges. Formed a nice beige head that faded into persistent cap and left tracing.
S-Roasted coffee, chocolate malt, light hops w/faint citrus and dark fruit.
T-Burnt coffee w/light chocolate, sweeter upfront w/rich malt, and fruit opens up midway into citrus and faint esters, and finish is dry hops (grapefruit dominates in the end) w/burnt coffee that leave a pleasant, bitter aftertaste that mixes nicely w/remnants of sweet malt.
M-Body is medium w/good carbonation.
D-Quite drinkable and pleasant on the taste buds. Another good delivers from Bell's.

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

12oz bottle poured into an imperial pint glass.

A: Pours a dark brownish black with dark ruby high lights and topped with an inch of tight and foamy khaki colored head.

S: Smooth, roasty, mild chocolate, mild coffee, mild hop fruitiness all wrapped within a bit of alcoholic heat.

T/MF: Rather smooth, mildly fruity and relying heavily on roasted malt. Mild alcoholic burn, tobacco, roasted grain and coffee and chocolate. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and very smooth for a porter, not too much husk or powdery graininess, leaves a mild bitterness on the tongue.

D: Not bad, I've had better porters but this is not without its charms.

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

Jet black body with a khaki head which reduces to nearly nothing. Minimal lace.

Aroma boasts some nice bitter coffee and chocolate notes. Rich sweet cream base complements toasted malts. Hops are quite faint.

Flavor is a nicely mellow bitter coco with hints of hops. Definitely not an in your face type of porter, more the after dinner sipping type. Malts are smooth and creamy. This would complement almost any desert very well.

Bell's Porter from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 2,451 ratings.