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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

2,204 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,204
Reviews: 956
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 10.62%
Wants: 49
Gots: 108 | FT: 3
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: 2,204 | Reviews: 956 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sopor
sopor

Oregon

3.58/5  rDev -7.3%

Dark brown brew shows no light under an ample dark-tan head that leaves a bit of nice lacing. Smells bitter and roasty, with a slight sweetness and some coffee. Flavor starts out sweet and fruity, with notes of apples and grapes. Dark roast malt flavors are light, well balanced with the sweets. Very little hop bittering makes for a sweet finish. Moderate body with pleasant carbonation is right on target for this brew. Drinkable, but basic. A little more robustness would be welcome.

02-20-2006 15:09:31 | More by sopor
Photo of Ricochet
Ricochet

Ohio

3.38/5  rDev -12.4%

A: Almost black, tiny bits of yeast all through the beer , head started great but went away quick. Never saw a chunky porter before.

S: Coffee. Alcohol is light. Syrupy , sweet scent almost like a milk stout.

M: Foamy, creamy, with a nice bitter taste. Pretty true for a porter.

T: The coffee is slight, mostly burnt malts but there is an odd taste, closest thing I can say, is a crayon taste? The alcohol richness makes up for the odd taste notes, so I'd say above average.

D: Okay, but I don't think I'd get this again. Other porters do the style much better.

02-19-2006 06:32:04 | More by Ricochet
Photo of kmpitz2
kmpitz2

Tennessee

4.2/5  rDev +8.8%

Pours a very deep brown color with faint ruby hues at the edges. A finger of tan head falls to a full quarter inch over top of the brew without breaking. Very solid looking beer. Nose is not quite where I was expecting it to be. I'm getting nuttyness, light roast and a kiss of caramel sweetness. There is a touch of coffee when I take a really big whiff, but the nutty character is dominant. Flavor is better. Very solid roasty character, moving to a light coffee with caramel sweetness and light chocolate notes. This is a tasty brew. The sweetness and caramel follow up in the finish as well. Feel is at the fuller end of moderate with a solid moderate carbonation to balance things. Substantial, but not overwhelming. This is easily a session beer. I think the flavor and feel are the best parts of this brew. A porter I could have any season. Its pretty good.

02-18-2006 02:24:06 | More by kmpitz2
Photo of CultureJamMN
CultureJamMN

Minnesota

4/5  rDev +3.6%

From Batch #7156 which was brewed Nov. 23, 2005

Pours almost opaque, not quite a black hole, but damn it's dark. Nice finger head that retained fairly well, lacing was pleasant.

The smell is roasty, with hints of coffee and toast. There is also a thin hint of citrus (probably the hops)

The taste is of toast, and roasted malts, good hop balance. There is an underlying complexity here, and i'm picking up dark chocolate (yum!) and espresso beans, there is a hoppy note to the taste that is just on the side, and never overly asserts itself.

There is a creaminess in the mouthfeel, a slight tingle showing good carbonation, very substantial, you can tell that it's a porter, The smokyness lingers a bit in the aftertaste.

This is a very good porter. Not best in class, but a great benchmark porter. As per usual, Bell's doesn't make a bad beer that I've noticed.

02-03-2006 21:56:24 | More by CultureJamMN
Photo of thebarnesbomb
thebarnesbomb

Indiana

3.65/5  rDev -5.4%

Fortunately for me, this was given to me by my friend as my first Porter. I was very impressed with a bold and unfiltered flavor.

Appearance- Unfortunately it was straight from the bottle, which I will have to try again in its proper pint glass form. I would imagine a dark, almost opaque color

Smell- It has a strong smell of coffee, black. A heavy, unfiltered aroma, almost intimidating

Taste- The taste was a strong follow up of the smell. The strong coffee taste was most easily detected, along with a bitterness of hops and not much carbonation, so the flavor is strong. Perhaps a little creamy. Aftertaste is bitter coffee, a good aftertaste

Mouthfeel- very thick in the mouth, allows you to really get a feel for the flavors in this beer

Drinkability- Because everything about this beer is so strong, almost overpowering, it is difficult to have a high drinkability rating. More than two of these would be next to impossible I would say, one is just enough to take in and enjoy its bold flavor.

01-29-2006 06:09:07 | More by thebarnesbomb
Photo of MuddyFeet
MuddyFeet

North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev +6.2%

An excellent, excellent porter. I can only imagine how this is fresh from the tap. Poured a very dark brown in color. Light only breaks through after an epic struggle. Big foamy head that was slightly tinged brown. Nose is malty with some great hints of charcoal.

Very full and warming flavor. Perfect at room temperature. Great winter beer. Little bits of sulfur wrapped loosely around heavily toasted malts. Little bit of dark chocolate. Anotehr flavor that reminds me of roasted marshmallows. Slight hop bitterness that at first was not very apparent but came out the more I drank--a very subtle pine. Full feel and very smooth. Tough to put this beer down.

01-26-2006 20:08:33 | More by MuddyFeet
Photo of Jredner
Jredner

Florida

4/5  rDev +3.6%

Roasted coffee/malt/chocolate dominate the aroma. Deep black with a thumb thick, lasting, mocha head. Flavor is dominated by the dark malt then you get some coffee, chocolate and even mild molasses notes. A fantastic tasting porter that stands up to the best Porters in the world.

01-20-2006 17:32:38 | More by Jredner
Photo of bearrunner44
bearrunner44

Illinois

3.68/5  rDev -4.7%

Appearance- Pitch black color. You can make out some ruby tones if you hold it up to a bright enough light, but it's pretty opaque. Moderate head; light tan in color, and it dissipates quickly.

Smell- Smoky, wheaty aroma. Hints of molasses.

Taste- Burnt, grainy taste. Carbonation matches up well with the beer's thickness. Very slight, raisin-like sweetness in the finish. Eventually finishes pretty dry.

Verdict- Not a bad porter. It didn't blow me away, but it's a flavorful and pleasing beer.

01-20-2006 00:08:09 | More by bearrunner44
Photo of danielocean03
danielocean03

Indiana

4/5  rDev +3.6%

Poured a Guiness-like black into a pint glass with full foamy, two finger head that is tan in color. Twelve ounce bottle marked batch #7156. Smells of roasted coffee, grains, a little grassy, dark chocolate bitter sting in the nose. Taste is very much the same, hoppier than expected yet well balanced. Light on the tongue, moderate carbonation, finished slightly bitter at the end. Nice porter, I've had better examples of this style but still well executed brew nonetheless.

01-16-2006 18:04:43 | More by danielocean03
Photo of dciskey
dciskey

Illinois

3.93/5  rDev +1.8%

Batch 7156, bottled 11/23/05. Pours dark brown/light black with an off-white head that looks a little fizzier than maybe it should. Not much lacing as I drink.

Smell is roasted malts, powdery chocolate, and a touch of hops. Taste is roasted malts, then a touch of carmel sweetness, followed by chocolate that reminds me of brownie mix, and then a tiny kiss of hops. Smoky chocolate lingers on the palate. I love exhaling through my nose after taking a taste of this beer; the flavors just continue on and on.

Moutfeel is a bit thin/fizzy. I almost feel like the carbonation is getting in the way of the taste. I've had this beer on tap before and there was just more flavor all around. Still, quite a drinkable porter (though Bell's website says 6% ABV, not 5.25). One of my favorites of the style.

01-15-2006 02:24:58 | More by dciskey
Photo of mentor
mentor

Colorado

4.28/5  rDev +10.9%

Purchased from Beer Depot in Ann Arbor. Pours a 1.5 finger brown head that's creamy thick. The beer itself is pitch black with brown edgings when held to light. Smells chocolate with some black patent and a grassy dry coffee. Tastes wet sweet fighting a dry roast. Noticable chocolate is complimented by and compliments the malt sweet. A strong, but not over-bearing cherry sour from black malt pulls the beer in an interesting direction. Well done. Woody or cotton-like hop feel with a Fuggles flavor. Nice lacing on the inside of the glass. Md body and a bit too sharply carbonated. After swirling to release carb, the beer became much drier and the coffee flavor was augmented.

01-05-2006 04:46:09 | More by mentor
Photo of beerceller99
beerceller99

Louisiana

4.1/5  rDev +6.2%

12 oz. bottle, Batch # 6844. Black color with a light tan head. Nice roasted grain, nutty smell. Medium bodied with a smooth mouthfeel. Flavor is not a surprize with roasted grains and chocolate malts. Has a light bitterness to finish.
A solid, robust Porter here.

12-24-2005 10:12:08 | More by beerceller99
Photo of scruffwhor
scruffwhor

Illinois

4.28/5  rDev +10.9%

Appearance- Poured a one finger head, but the dark, dark brown hue appealed to my dark nature. To dark to see any lace.

Smell- A hint of pepper amongst mostly roasted malts and a few nuances of smoke.

Taste- Lots of roasted malts at the beginning, some hops subdued hops in the midle, and wnded with hints of smoke.

Mouthfeel- a pretty smooth palate, slightly chewy though.

Drinkability- Another great sessions beer if you like the dark stuff.

12-21-2005 21:12:05 | More by scruffwhor
Photo of Vancer
Vancer

Illinois

3.48/5  rDev -9.8%

Bell’s porter, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed in this one. Very average across the board;

Pour – dark brown, but a quickly dying head.
Aroma – almost none, just a hint of weak sour ale.
Taste – Dry powdery with hints of burnt toast Weak.
Mouth/Drink – Sharp and crisp, but very light bodied, almost watery. You can drink these, but I sure expected more.

12-17-2005 22:12:48 | More by Vancer
Photo of Shultzerdugen
Shultzerdugen

Missouri

4/5  rDev +3.6%

12 oz. brown bottle.

The color is nearly black and opaque with a healthy tan head. Decent lacing down the glass.

The nose has roasted coffee, chocolate powder, and a touch of buttery diacetyl.

Almost silky smooth with a mellow carbonation and a juicy malt body. A definite roastiness is apparent, but not as powerfully coffee/chocolate as I expected. A chocolate cake flavor, some caramel, and an underlying fruitiness all come out.

This is an easy drinking porter.

12-16-2005 22:09:15 | More by Shultzerdugen
Photo of bahumutx
bahumutx

Michigan

4/5  rDev +3.6%

Served from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours very dark with small amber highlights. Has a small tan head.

Smell: Coffee and Roasted Malt and slight chocolate.

Taste: Starts slightly sweet. Ends with a roasted malt and coffee flavor. There are also flavors of chocolate and hops throughout. The hops are not overpowering and provide a nice balance to the malt.

Mouthfeel: Full Mouthfeel with the right amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. A good session porter.

This is the second time that I have reviewed this beer. The first time I reviewed it was from a bottle while I was in a bar. I thought this beer deserved a fair review. (The first review was one of my first on this site.)

Another solid beer from Bell’s Brewery, Inc. Keep up the great work!!

12-16-2005 02:36:24 | More by bahumutx
Photo of blackie
blackie

California

4.4/5  rDev +14%

appearance: The pour into my imperial pint glass creates a low, khaki head that recedes until a series of carbonation fed islands remain. The beer is a very dark brown in color, the only light that escapes come from the edges.

smell: The smell is a mixture of roasted aromas. Somewhat bittersweet with just the right amount of hop aroma. Some bitter chocolate, slight coffee. Solid.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is medium and the body on the lighter end of the medium range.

taste: A nice smoky flavor is the first thing I notice, and it is really good. Also some moderate coffee, an earth woodiness, and a balancing hop bitterness.

drinkability: A very good porter, and very drinkable.

The code 7098 printed on the back label indicates that my Bell's Porter was bottled on October 6, 2005. Received this bottle from CRJMellor as part of SS '05.

12-16-2005 00:20:51 | More by blackie
Photo of CortexBomb
CortexBomb

Michigan

3.88/5  rDev +0.5%

Pour is standard for a porter, very dark, not much light getting through. Not much head though, somewhat disappointing in that regard.Some lacing present though. Smell is strongly dominated by roasted malts.

Taste starts out nicely malted, even over malted with a strong chocolate backbone. Very sweet, certainly sweeter than Kazoo Stout, which is a milk stout for god's sake! Hops provide a mild kick on the back of the tongue, but are still at the mercy of the malts. There is also some coffeeish tones in this. Finish is dry, clean. Impressive porter, I like it.

Mouth, it offers bitter in the right places, and seems pretty creamy. Again, good. Drinkability is rock solid, very quaffable. Another solid year around offering by Bell's.

12-13-2005 00:27:11 | More by CortexBomb
Photo of markman
markman

Connecticut

3.83/5  rDev -0.8%

Bell's Porter:

Nice classic porter look…mahogany brown with a nice head full of tiny bubbles, and a promise of fine lacing. Nice roasted mocha flavor, but kind of lackluster…no balls, and slightly acidic with a long burnt finish. Thinnish bodied…I’d like it a bit more creamy. That said, I could drink these all night long. Very quaffable this porter is. But not one I’d return to often given the other options for a session porter out there (read, Rogue, Smuttynose, Atlantic, Stone, Fuller’s, Otter Creek, etc, etc).

Big thanks to richdude for the sample.

Cheers…

12-09-2005 01:01:59 | More by markman
Photo of ypsifly
ypsifly

Michigan

4.22/5  rDev +9.3%

12oz with the batch# 7129 bottled on 10-28-05 as per the Bell's website, poured into a pint glass.

Such a dark brown it borders on black. Two fingers of tan that shows strong retention.

Lots of roasted malt with toffee and a bit of milk chocolate. Just enough hop presence to round it out. Intricate lace effect.

The taste follows along the same lines but the hops are turned up a notch or two in the finish and the chocolate tastes a little darker than it smells. There's also a quick flash of sour, and the finish develops a woody flavor as it warms. Solid.

Full mouth that leaves just a trace of oil. A solid session porter.

11-25-2005 03:44:42 | More by ypsifly
Photo of benito
benito

Oregon

4.08/5  rDev +5.7%

One of Bell's flagship brews, and quite a treat!

From a 12 ounce bottle with no date on it, this pours a light-swallowing ebony with hints of a lighter mahogany only at the edges and only after beind held to the light directly. Little head, but that may be because I've had this on the shelf for several months. Carbonation is evident on the pour along the edges of the pint glass, but any other signs are held hostage by the beautiful brown stuff.

The bouquet has a nice mix of licorice and chocolate. It heralds what will clearly be a sweet and hefty beverage. The taste has a deceptive, and nice, hoppiness to it to counterbalance the strength of the burnt chocolate and candy flavors. This lends itself to an aftertaste that mixes sweet and bitter, a tempting combination, particularly for a porter that is, simultaneously, light enough in body to entice me to keep drinking and heavy enough to make it clear that I'm drinking BEER.

All-around this is an excellent porter; highly recommended.

11-22-2005 22:48:22 | More by benito
Photo of Dogbrick
Dogbrick

Ohio

4.03/5  rDev +4.4%

On draught at BW3 of all places. Deep opaque brown with a medium tan head that lasts nicely. Good lacing too. The aroma is chocolatey and bready. Smooth and rich on the palate, and consists of chocolate, coffee and malt flavors. Lightly bitter coffee and hops in the finish. 3 tall glasses of this went down easy during the 2nd half of a football game, what more can you ask of a beer?

11-21-2005 16:27:40 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of SPLITGRIN
SPLITGRIN

Kentucky

4.05/5  rDev +4.9%

Pours to a perfect stout black with a deep dark tan nougat colored head.

Nose carries a slightly smokey malt with a decent sest. That familar feel of bottle conditioning is deffinetly present.

Very smooth richness enters the mouth with a well balanced blend of malt and hops. Noticeable notes include toffee, coffee and a nice finish that is complimented by a mellow hop bitter feel. Mouthfeel is very clean. Very drinkable for any remote fan of porters. One of the best porters I've had.

10-24-2005 03:44:19 | More by SPLITGRIN
Photo of Shovelbum
Shovelbum

Massachusetts

4.45/5  rDev +15.3%

Had this off the hand-pull tap at Ashley’s in Ann Arbor, MI.

Robust, creamy, deep-tan head. The body was a black with ruby edges. Nice bands of stratigraphic lace. Light hop aroma, but overall very clean in the nose. Creamy, velvety smooth body with mild hop bitterness and notes of roasted coffee. Slightly sweet, but not overwhelming. Not syrupy, but definitely a medium to full body. Low carbonation of the hand-pull, accentuating the velvet mouthfeel.

The cask-conditioning and hand-pull may have had something to do with it, but this was an excellent porter. Smooth mouthfeel, great balance between the hops and roasted malts and tame sweetness, combine to make this one of the most ideal session porters that have passed my lips.

10-20-2005 20:52:14 | More by Shovelbum
Photo of jasongootjes
jasongootjes

Michigan

4.9/5  rDev +26.9%

Very good beer. I had it from a 12 oz bottle. Poured very dark with an almost tan head. Excelent taste, great smell, and aftertaste was great. Had a dark roasted taste. I loved it. I would recomend this beer to anybody. I can't wait to drink it again.

10-20-2005 04:16:36 | More by jasongootjes
Bell's Porter from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 2,204 ratings.