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

Bell's PorterBell's Porter

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

1,963 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1963
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
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Ratings: 1,963 | Reviews: 944 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of garymuchow


4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Initially a really nice chocolate aroma that's sweet like milk chocolate. This moves quickly to coffee roast then moves to a duller flatter malt and possibly a yeast quality.
Extremely dark brown. Solid lacing. 1/4 inch head.
Full rich flavor with same qualities as in the aroma, but with a firm rich robust malt character. Kinda sweet with a nice bittering taste. Low burnt taste. Dryness is short lived.
Felt thicker at first, but seems to thin in time to less than medium. Carbonation is soft and full.
Solid porter. Really like the subtle sweet chocolate flavor.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2004 21:23:35 | More by garymuchow
Photo of santoslhalper


3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearence: Pours a dark brown with a little biege head. Head leave a few random spots of lacing.

Smell: Smells mostly of roasted almonds and chocolate. Very malty and bitter smelling.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The taste is a very solid, rich chocolate taste. Roasted nuts also come to mind. The hops shine through fairly well with a decent bite at the end. The mouthfeel is almost dead-on. Thick and chewy, but not syrupy.

Drinkability and Overall: Another great offering from Bell's, but not their best. This is a solid porter that is quite enjoyable to drink, but offers nothing special. I'd have another, but would I buy a case of this? No. Still quite good.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2004 21:16:22 | More by santoslhalper
Photo of DrJay


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

Had this one on a recent trip to Ann Arbor and I wasn't disappointed. It poured a nice dark brown with ruby highlights and a dense, light brown head that showed good retention and lacing on the glass. Very pretty. The aroma was a pleasant combination of rich roasted malts and nuttiness. The flavour was very malty, with plenty of roasted character and a light, balanced bitterness. The finish was slightly dry and conducive to having another bottle/pint. Medium bodied and medium carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2004 02:39:23 | More by DrJay
Photo of walleye


3/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

nice brown color, with off white head.nice lacing. aroma, malts, roasted nuts, coffee, caramel.flavor, got malts and roasted nuts aroma, with coffee and chocolate a slight bitter after taste and a little watery not a bad porter but I have had better.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2004 02:01:38 | More by walleye
Photo of ken3c


4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It seems like a great adventure when I pop the cap of a beer I think I'll like and there is fog in the neck of the glass.

Very dark brown with a tan head that shrinks down to a thin layer of foam. The empty glass has light lacing all along the back of the glass.

Coffee, nutty, and maybe fruity and chocolate aromas. Very complex.

Very little sweetness, quite tart like a grapefruit, then bitter like coffee and cocoa with a hint of hops. Very dry finish.

Full-bodied. Medium carbonation. slight sense of warming.

This beer didn't disappoint me. The longer I drank the more I liked.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2004 05:21:41 | More by ken3c
Photo of profzoom


3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was excited to try this beer, as it represents one of my favorite styles from one of my favorite breweries. Sadly, I was not very impressed. The appearance is quite nice - a deep, dark black that only lets the tiniest bit of golden brown shine through at the bottom of the glass when held up to a light. The head is rather thick and is a creamy, brownish ivory color. The aroma is the weakest aspect of this beer in my opinion. I don't get the complex roasted scent I normally pick up from a porter, but rather an almost unpleasant smell that reminds me somewhat of my least favorite Bell's concoction, the Third Coast Beer. The taste is definitely a step up from the smell, but still is not up to what I consider a really good porter. The hoppy, chocolately, roasted elements that make up a porter are all there, but seem a little hidden behind a rather boring watery base. I doubt I'll pick this one up again.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2004 03:46:10 | More by profzoom
Photo of Crosling


4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3


Heavily aromatic; a truly remarkable bouquet of fudge, coffee beans, chocolate, nutmeg and vanilla.

Lovely, malt accented, rich in flavor with notes of deep roasted malt, cocoa, chocolate, a kiss of hops and a hint of dark fruits.

I sampled this next to a bottle of Edmund Fitzgerald Porter from Great Lakes and this was much better.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2004 15:04:17 | More by Crosling
Photo of scottum


4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to my friends Mike and Michelle for bringing this tastey treat back from MI for me.

Pours out deep dark brown black with a nice thick light tan head. Tastes good and roasty with a very smooth mouthfeel. Hop balance is light and restrained, yet crisp. Without question amoung the best porters I've tried.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2004 00:23:59 | More by scottum
Photo of BrewMaster


3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a standard pint glass. The beer looks fantastic in the glass. Rich colors and a picture perfect head make this beer look like a supermodel of beers. The aroma is very enticing with coffee and mocha flavors in it. A sweet scent that may be slightly floral comes up too. At this poinit the beer is very attractive.

But the beer takes a sad turn here. The aroma and appearance lead me to believe that the flavor would be spectacular but it is anything but that. The taste has some coffee, nuts, and earthy leaf in it. A bit of sourness causes some puckering. Overall the flavor and body are disappointing for such a great looking brew.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2004 01:00:01 | More by BrewMaster
Photo of IronDjinn

Alberta (Canada)

4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an exquisitely drinkable porter, I was hooked after the first sip. Pours out a deep black colour with a dark walnut brown nimbus, big spongy biege head that eventually recedes to a ring and leaves some lacing. Some floating sediment can be seen even in the black body, suspended yeast particles would be my wager. Very enticing bold aroma of dry roasted malt, dark chocolate, and almost a burnt hickory woodsy aroma kicking around in there, as well as small traces of coffee beans. The flavour profile seems pretty simple to me, just a whirling unison of roasted malt and sweet chocolate, with a dry earthy aftertaste, but it works in all the right places. By far the best porter I have tried all year. A little watery in the mouthfeel, but that is the only slight blemish I am experiencing. A rousing round of applause for northyorksammy for sending one of these over to me, it was greatly enjoyed.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2004 21:57:56 | More by IronDjinn
Photo of lackenhauser


4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice deep brown color-almost black actually.Nice malty aroma-slight hints of chocolate,some roastiness.Really good toasted chocolate flavor up front.Very slight hop bitterness.Some residual sweetness.Good mouthfeel-has a tinge of oiliness to it-somewhat stout like but fits in well here.A great beer-well worth trying and enjoying on a regular basis.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2004 02:30:08 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of WesWes

New York

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

The beer pours a deep dark brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice roasted/toastey scent with chocolate hints and a sweet,yet dry finish. The taste is good. It has a crisp, dry, yet malty flavor that has a roasted quality and a slightly sweet finish. It has a chocolate aftertaste. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a fine porter. It has excellent aroma and flavor; a good drinker.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2004 22:31:16 | More by WesWes
Photo of bigbubba


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

It was dark, near black, with very little head that died quickly. There was some lacing but it wasn't sticky enough to last. There was a roasted malt smell and not much else. The taste was slightly bitter, dry, with roasted malt. The mouthfeel was thin and flat.

It kind of reminded me of a a watered down Guinness.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2004 23:56:44 | More by bigbubba
Photo of GCBrewingCo

North Carolina

4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured hazy transluscent black with a compact tan head which stuck around long enough to lace the glass.

The aroma was chocolate, caramel malt, and some coffee, also present was some dark fruit.

The flavor was coffee with chocolate in the background. The beer had a real expresso kick. The caramel malt present in the aroma was not present in the flavor.

The finish was dry with expresso bitterness that lingers into the aftertaste. The body was medium.

Nicely done though not overly complex.

12 ounce bottle smuggled back by AKSmokedPorter.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2004 00:43:12 | More by GCBrewingCo
Photo of noclue


3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving type: 11.2 ounce bottle. Served in a 16 ounce shaker.

Appearance: Pitch black pour. Small short-lived brown head with tiny bubbles. Nice sticky lacing covers the glass. Extremely light carbonation.

Smell: Roasted malt. Chocolate. Toffee. Coffee. Typical American Porter aroma. Slightly earthy.

Taste: Caramel, toffee, black patent malts. Pleasing hoppy bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Flat. Medium to light bodied. Fairly boring.

Drinkability/Overall: I love Bell's, but I was not too impressed with this brew. I haven't lost hope yet though, because I know they have had problems with bottling. This is the first opened beer of a six-pack, so if I notice any dramatic differences, I will edit my review.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2004 02:07:14 | More by noclue
Photo of jayb


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

Poured into a 20 oz pint glass. poured black in dim lighting. a whip cream thick, khaki-colored head. this one stuck around throughout the glass. lacing left rings in the glass, quite a beautiful thing. nose was not too strong, but as with all porters, it was of roasted malts, rather earthy. taste was of dark bitter chocolate, coffeebeans, and i noticed a bit of a woody taste, i cant say what kind, but it was there. there was a bit of an alcohol bite, but it was nowhere near overpowering or a detriment to the brew. Mouthfeel was thick without being too heavy, very nice. an easy drinking brew, not something that one could put down massive amounts of though, rather filling. overall i thouroghly enjoyed this porter. one of the best ive had to date. delightful.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2004 03:42:18 | More by jayb
Photo of sabrills70

North Carolina

4.4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance of this beer is a deep deep deep amber, almost black but you can still see through it when held up to the light. Poured with a medium tan colored and had good lace. Smell of sweet roasted malt with some chocolate and coffe overtones and a hint of smokiness. Taste is very good, a beautiful blend. Not to roasty or smoky like many other porters, but close to a perfect porter blend. The matiness bleds extreamly well with the roastyness. Mouthfeel is very good for a porter, normally I can only drink one porter but I could easily drink 2 or 3 of these. Its not too heavy of overpowering, nor does it leave a long strong aftertaste. A truely great porter.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2004 02:54:32 | More by sabrills70
Photo of aracauna


4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bell’s should have the rights to "Perfect Porter" instead of Bert Grant’s. This is possibly the best porter I’ve had, which doesn’t surprise me coming from the Kings of the Dark. The body is a very dark mahogany-brown. It’s almost black, but light pierces through even the center of the beer. The dark beige head is thick and pitted and lasted nicely. The aroma is fully and malty sweet with chocolate malt riding over a hint of roast. The flavor is thick with an almost chocolate cake with mocha icing. Maybe the tiniest bit of smoke. The body is full for a porter, but not a heavy as a stout. A bit velvety.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2004 15:46:16 | More by aracauna
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

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

Vanilla and wine Aroma and taste like a bit of wine. Top porter. Tan foam on black. Malty with Coffee bean, buttery chocolate and hickory, and carbonation. Creamy with yeast and caramel, a winning pleasure. Spicy aftertaste. Markled it down a bit on tasting May 2005.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2004 05:08:08 | More by Sammy
Photo of ALESwhatCURESya


4.88/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is absolutely AMAZING!!! First of all, I would almost always choose a hefty ale over a stout or porter, so for this to knock my socks off was very impressive. The head on this lasts forever and the flavors emerge more with each sip. There is definately a hint of vanilla in this one. A very clean finish with a sweet taste. This is a much more lively porter than others I have tried. Overall, this is no doubt becoming my saftey blanket porter!

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2004 22:26:19 | More by ALESwhatCURESya
Photo of mobyfann


4.4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Paid $7.99 for a 6 pack

The appearance on this is a beautiful dark brown base with a moderately sized darker than normal light-brown head. As I finished this beer the glass still had interesting lacing throughout the glass from where the beer held it's smaller head.
The smell is a very bold one of coffee and chocolate.

The taste is where the party is at; lightly carbonated taste with what the smell gave away, malty-choco coffee goodness. Yum.

Mouthfeel is as smooth as a porter can be and the drinkability factor is very high where the beer evaporates down your throat more quickly than realized.

Final Thought: Save this for your first, maybe second beer in a sitting or session, pending your tolerance.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2004 01:51:37 | More by mobyfann
Photo of Gritsak

West Virginia

4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

picked up a 6pack for $7.99 at a local store...and happy i did

appearence in like a porter should be...nice deep brown...the head is brownish/tan and pretty small, but stays throughout the whole beer.

aroma of coffee and dark chocolate

taste is pretty close to perfect. nice burnt/smoky aftertaste with strong hints of expresso and a little vanilla

mouthfeel is thick, but not overly with light carbonation

drinkability is high...the taste doesnt get old and always goes down smooth.

with porter being my favorite style i would have to reccomend this beer. it ranks up pretty close to my fav. ed, fitz but just a little off. definitely worth a try though

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2004 06:11:44 | More by Gritsak
Photo of koolkat

United Kingdom (England)

3.55/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a nice deep brown with a light head. The first sip is bitter but not overly so. It has the pleasant almost nutty flavor. A rather mild porter without a stong hop bite, very malty. The hops are very cubtle yet distinctly there in the back of the throat. Very little hop aroma but still overall a very drinkable beer. I would easily drink this one again (but then again it is rare to find one that I wont drink again hehe)

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2004 00:04:06 | More by koolkat
Photo of psyco1


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

It poured black with a thin light tan head that died quickly.

It smelled of roasted malts,chocolate, coffee and a hint of nuttiness and alcohol.
The taste started sweet and was of the roasted malt mixed with the chocolate and coffee, then a slighly bitter hop aftertaste.

A drinkable porter, not outstanding, but good.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2004 03:00:51 | More by psyco1
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh


4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured an attractive inky darkness with tinges of ruby at the edges. Initial thick brown sugar-colored head fades quickly to a very minimal ring. Attempts are made at lacing, but don't quite measure up. Aromas are toasty malt, cocoa powder, freshly-brewed coffee. Flavor is tasty, with a nicely-balanced mixture of chocolate, coffee, and sweet malt. Finishes with a good dose of bitter chocolate with a hint of smoke flavor lingering in the background. Medium-high body and quite smooth on the palate. Very easy to drink and one hell of a session beer that got immensely better as it warmed.

Another winner from Bell's.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2004 02:43:12 | More by OldFrothingSlosh
Bell's Porter from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 1,963 ratings.