1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

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

Bell's PorterBell's Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

1,960 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1960
Reviews: 944
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 10.62%


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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bell's Porter Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,960 | Reviews: 944 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of icehawk
icehawk

South Carolina

3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (bottled 6/13)

Appearance: Pitch black with off-white head

Aroma: Chocolate, coffee, sweet malts

Taste: Bitter-sweet chocolate, cocoa, hints of smoke

Palate: Fairly heavy mouthfeel, slight carbonation, bitter cocoa finish.

Overall: Really enjoyable porter. Nothing crazy, just a solid, easy drinking beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2013 18:03:17 | More by icehawk
Photo of Beric
Beric

Indiana

4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Serving: Bottle into tulip
Served: 27 Jul 2013
Bottle date: packaged 6/03/13

Appearance: Absolutely pitch black- no light is getting through this one when held up directly towards a light source. The beer pours with a great two finger light-brown head that eventually dissipates to a light sheen of brown bubbles over the top of the beer. Great lacing down the sides of the glass.

Smell: BItter and roasty. Hints of dark chocolate and coffee.

Taste: A magnificent blend of roasted malt and bitterness. The porter finishes pretty dry, which really compliments the overall bitterness from the dark, roasted malt. I think that the roasted malt comes out more in this beer than any hints of coffee or chocolate.

Mouthfeel: This is my first porter, and I know that they are supposed to be like a stout but dialed back a bit. I definitely am wishing that these flavors would come out in a slightly fuller-feeling beer. The beer does taste a little thin, given its flavor profile that is normally associated with thicker feeling beers. That being said, it is a nice change from the stout style- it feels just a little lighter (almost like how a Guinness can sometimes feel watery) but really packs a strong flavor punch.

Overall: An incredible beer by Bell's that I would definitely drink again. Comparable to their Kalamazoo Stout, but with less complexity. A great beer for cool evenings- I could definitely see this as an early-fall beer where one is not yet ready to hit up the boozy imperial stouts or anything, but desires that warming roastiness.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2013 23:18:36 | More by Beric
Photo of dakotaben
dakotaben

North Dakota

4.09/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - 27-29 on the color sclale with a one finger, persistent head. Strong lacing as I drink

S - Light malt sweetness - slight hazelnut flavor

T - Nutty clove flavor with tones of coffee

M - Medium body with a longlasting finish

O - I typically enjoy bells and this is no different. I am also new to porters, but this seemed to have a nice, well balanced profile that was not overpowering. I liked it quite a bit.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2013 00:34:01 | More by dakotaben
Photo of jroberts8811
jroberts8811

Missouri

4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into O'dell "Pint"

A: Coffee, cocoa, roasted malt, burnt sugar, caramel,

T: coffee, roasted malt, lingers for a while.

M: medium-full, syrupy, coats the palate

O: very lightweight beer, but you'd never know by the punch this one packs. full bodied, roasty flavors. hard to put down.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2013 01:00:22 | More by jroberts8811
Photo of cyclonece09
cyclonece09

Maryland

3.99/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours pitch black with a small light brown head that leaves a little lacing. Smells of coffee and sweet sugar. Tastes of coffee and slight chocolate. Beer has good carbonation and medium bodied, goes down smooth. Overall, a very good beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2013 01:14:28 | More by cyclonece09
Photo of gillagorilla
gillagorilla

Maryland

3.51/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a Burley Oak snifter (bottle on 4/15/13)

A: Looks pitch black but I think it is just a very dark brown. Minimal head with ok lacing.

S: Quite dry smelling with a dry malt sweetness that is similar to cold and old, cheap black coffee.

T: Pretty dry with just that minimal malt sweetness in there. Minimal dry aftertaste, with just a bit of coffee bitterness in there.

M: Nice even coarseness throughout, with a bit of a spike of carbonation.

O: Not a big fan. It is super dry tasting with no leading flavors. Everything seems subdued.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2013 21:27:48 | More by gillagorilla
Photo of Morey
Morey

Pennsylvania

4.04/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours dark brown in color, although you can get some reddish hues when it's held to the light. Two fingers of tan head eventually settled to a thin a spotty lace. Good retention and lacing on the glass as you move through the beer.

Aroma: Cocoa, Cola, Roasted Malts, Sugary Sweetness, and a hint of Coffee.

Taste: Nice roasted flavor right up front, followed by a touch of coffee. Towards the middle there's some really nice cocoa/chocolate flavors that surface. You get a bit of sweetness, but it's short lived, because there's also some bitterness on the back end that helps round out the finish.

Mouthfeel: It's not overly thick, but there's almost a granulated texture that seems to impart from the cocoa flavor in this beer. Low carbonation level.

Morey's Bottom Line: What this beer lacks in aroma and feel, it more than makes up for on the taste. Really solid Porter in my book.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2013 21:54:20 | More by Morey
Photo of Axnjxn
Axnjxn

North Carolina

4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle into a pint glass. 3/17/13 bottling date.

Pours a dark brown, almost black color with a light head. Smell is intense and big. A huge whif of chocolate shoots out at you the moment you pour this into the glass. Very nice! The taste is amazing too. Huge cocoa, chocolate and coffee flavors dominate the palate. Really loving this one. Medium bodied with light carbonation, super easy to drink and an appropriate feel for a porter.

Overall this beer impressed me a lot, I wasn't expecting it to be as good as it was. Bell's is always top notch, but I've passed this beer on the shelf too many times. Finally gave it a shot and I'm in love. Will be returning to this one again when I'm in the mood for a porter.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2013 23:43:51 | More by Axnjxn
Photo of cindyjeffsmith
cindyjeffsmith

Georgia

3.69/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: very dark brown. Nearly opaque but some cola highlights when held up to the sun here by the pool.
Smell: subtle smoke up front. A gentle and pleasing nose. Nothing to knock the socks of and that's ok. Some light cocoa.
Taste: much like the nose. Not a dazzler but an easy going gentleman of a porter.
Mouthfeel: fairly strong carbonation.
Overall: a nice easy drinking porter.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2013 21:28:17 | More by cindyjeffsmith
Photo of elNopalero
elNopalero

Texas

4.56/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This pours a ruddy dark brown with thick foaming.

There’s an evident roast to the aroma with a hint of toffee and chocolate maltiness. Some sweet notes round it out.

Great up-front roasty flavor with a taste of coffee and a hint of toffee. A welcome warmer for the winter months—or any other time of the year!

Serving type: on-tap

05-25-2013 05:07:56 | More by elNopalero
Photo of thedoubler55
thedoubler55

New Jersey

3.89/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a very dark brown, almost black in color, with a nice finger of tan head at the top that goes away pretty quickly, a slight bit of lacing around the glass.

S: Slight hints of chocolate and coffee up front, with a hint of brown sugar as well, the malts are present.

T: Up front is a hint of espresso beans with a little bit of dark chocolate, some nice roasted malts throughout.

M: Medium bodied, a good amount of carbonation, a little sticky on the tail end.

O: I feel that this was a good porter, being from my favorite brewery Bell's I was expecting a lot more, but this wasnt bad at all. Bought this in a variety case from shangys in PA.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2013 18:23:50 | More by thedoubler55
Photo of mikeg67
mikeg67

New Jersey

3.89/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pours dark brown with tall, short-lived, beige, creamy head. Aroma is of dark fruit, coffee, chocolate, toasted, nutty malt, bread crust, cacao. Body is full and smooth. Taste is herbal hops, roasted malt, coffee and cream, dark fruit and brown sugar. Finish is long and earthy. Wonderful Porter.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2013 18:40:41 | More by mikeg67
Photo of wac9
wac9

Pennsylvania

3.3/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

well i like this beer pours great in glass , a little swett tasting but the way it rolls around in your mouth is very pleasent so enjoy great color great taste doesnt blow you away but there a taste in there that make you come back for more enloy this beer the one guy compares this beer to the heavy hitter of edmund and and founder this is not them but a very enjoy triple a beerdrink and enjoy

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2013 01:42:12 | More by wac9
Photo of Roman5150
Roman5150

Spain

3.23/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

bottle into tulip

appearance: dark black, not pitch black though, not much head retention

smell: subtle coffee, biscuity bready malt, not too much aroma

taste: follows the nose, not a whole lot of flavor. slight coffee and roasted malt flavors, very minor dark chocolate but not really a whole lot going on here, pretty watery for a porter.

mouthfeel: decent amount of carbonation, very thin feel

overall: did a blind test with Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald and Founders Porter, this was my least favorite and the lightest of the bunch. A decent porter, but just lacking the flavor and chocolately kick I expect from a porter. One of my least favorite beers from Bells.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2013 02:56:17 | More by Roman5150
Photo of thecheapies
thecheapies

Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours out very dark brown with a half-inch tan cap. Lacing is weak. Looks like a porter.

Malty roast and grain with an obviously nutty coffee aroma. Hints of earthiness aided by light hopping.

Great porter flavor. Coffee, dustiness, wet earth, dark roast, pumpernickel, and some dried berry fruitiness. Has some char, has some malt sugar, has some bitterness. Low on hop flavor. Quiet alcohol. Sessionably greeting. A little singe from the carbonation perks up the feel. Good stuff.

Great tasting porter from a prestigious Michigan brewing company. Why have I never had this before?

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2013 13:32:57 | More by thecheapies
Photo of TheSixthRing
TheSixthRing

California

3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on date of 01/04/13

Appearance - Pours a dark cola brown with a light tan finger width head. Good retention, leaving a nice of bubbles to coat the surface. Strong lacing around with glass with good stick.

Smell - Lots of cocoa and milk chocolate character. Faint roastiness.

Taste - Milk chocolate upfront. Touches on butter toffee. Faint roast on the finish.

Mouthfeel - Light to medium body with low to moderate carbonation. A little thin for the style. Goes down easy.

Overall - A decent porter. Nothing that would make me seek it out again, especially given the difficulties at a lack of California distribution.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2013 04:56:08 | More by TheSixthRing
Photo of KYGunner
KYGunner

Kentucky

3.84/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Deep dark rubiness tends to a black appearance there was a thin wispy head with little retention.

The scent was dry cracker malty with touches of sweet chocolate and coffee. Very weak, the scent is nice but thin.

This porter does excel in taste with dry chocolate malt and roasted malt or toasted bread/cracker. Hints toward a red ale the dry chocolate lends back to a stout which makes this porter slightly schizophrenic. The feel is easy but substantial and holds this beer together.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2013 01:31:57 | More by KYGunner
Photo of mecummins
mecummins

Illinois

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

A- poured a dark solid brown color. No hint if any other shades even when held to a light. 2 & 1/2 finger head with good retention and nice lacing

S- dark chocolate, coffee and some roasted grains. Maybe a hint of dark fruit there

T- tastes very much like it smells. Bitter dark chocolate, moderate coffee flavor and some slight toasty grains.

M- mouthfeel was medium. Finish was medium with good carbonation to give it done crispness

A soild porter from Bells. Not exciting but still rather nice

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2013 21:25:54 | More by mecummins
Photo of facundoCNB
facundoCNB

New Jersey

3.76/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

a nice brown almost black pour with 2 fingers of tan head, great retention and nice amount of lacing left behind. smells of chocolate, grapes, and toasted grains. a light refreshing chocolate and dark roasted grain flavor. not much there, but the toasted grains make their presence known, as does the sweet chocolateyness. medium body with high carbonation. crisp and refreshing for a porter, sweet yet still has the roasty bitterness. overall, a great porter.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2013 07:24:24 | More by facundoCNB
Photo of stephenjmoore
stephenjmoore

Maryland

4.26/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- Pitch black body, very thin layer of tan bubbles that leave good lacing.

S- Lots of roasted malts, bitter coffee, bitter dark chocolate, smells great.

T- Really similar to the aroma. Lots of roasted malts with a hint of smoke. Coffee and chocolate come through a lot in the middle and towards the end.

M- Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Slight carbonation tingle towards the end, but overall pretty smooth.

O- Another strong offering from Bell's. Great aromas, great flavors, excellent porter.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2013 02:00:02 | More by stephenjmoore
Photo of AmitC
AmitC

Indiana

4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bell's porter bottle dated 1/4/2013. 12oz.

Poured into snifter. A brown colored medium thin pour. Black color inside the glass. Solid one finger thick tan colored head that stays well. Excellent lacing on the sides. Opaque.

Typical porter like roasted malts. More roasted than burnt up. Strength is moderate yet persistent. Very one dimensional.

Taste is very similar to the nose. A good amount of roasted malts with slight amount of charred or burnt up flavor. Some hops may be but only lightly. Finish is dry and slightly full of burnt up taste.

Mouth feel is medium bodied. Low to moderate carbonation. No astringency. No booze throughout. A light easy drinking sessionable porter.

Style Rate: 4
Personal Rate: 3.75

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2013 15:53:20 | More by AmitC
Photo of frankiepop
frankiepop

Pennsylvania

2.85/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I think this Porter violates the Porter rule, and that is a Porter comes with more smoothness and sweetness to the taste. This damn thing ends with some hoppy bitterness type flavor that just fails for me. Maybe its a coffee or hops to balance the products, but once again the Bell's company just doesn't meet my taste expectations. Thumbs down.

Would pair well with music from Earth Wind and Fire.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2013 15:31:42 | More by frankiepop
Photo of garuda
garuda

Pennsylvania

3.59/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Nearly black, tan head has good retention and lace.

S/T - Smooth coffee roast, touch of chocolate sweetness, then finishes with just a level of pine hops that makes it half bitter, half sweet. Not really smooth in the finish, a little messy.

M - Medium body, medium carb, smooth across the palate, but finishes a little messy with pine hop bitterness battling the coffee roast.

O - Good until the finish. Not sure if it wants to be hoppy or smooth roast.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2013 14:31:57 | More by garuda
Photo of tdm168
tdm168

North Carolina

4.01/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - black with a large, dense, brown head that has good retention

S - roasted malts, some coffee, some chocolate

T - roasted malts, faint coffee, faint chocolate, mildly bitter finish

M - medium bodied, a bit crisp but well carbonated

This is a nice, easy-to-drink porter. The flavor isn't over the top or too boldly forward, but it is a solid flavor profile. This one is enjoyable and worth checking out.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2013 02:44:04 | More by tdm168
Photo of Jacurdy60
Jacurdy60

Alabama

3.61/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A-Pitch black color similar to a stout with flashes of a deep ruby red on the edges. Brownish-red head that dissipates quickly. Minimal lacing the falls down the glass quickly

S-strong roasted malt smell, along with dark chocolate and coffee

T-Coffee and roasted oats with a strong malty aftertaste

MF-A little dry, but very satisfying. Goes down very smooth

O-A decent brew, the smells are the best part but they do no show up too strong in the taste. I'd buy it again, it is above average

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2013 03:27:56 | More by Jacurdy60
Bell's Porter from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 1,960 ratings.