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

Not Rated.
Bell's PorterBell's Porter

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very good

993 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 993
Hads: 2,616
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 9.77%
Wants: 88
Gots: 269 | FT: 7
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 993 | Hads: 2,616
Photo of beerceller99
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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. (265 characters)

Photo of scruffwhor
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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. (459 characters)

Photo of Vancer
3.45/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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. (383 characters)

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

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. (477 characters)

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

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!! (811 characters)

Photo of blackie
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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. (859 characters)

Photo of CortexBomb
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (744 characters)

Photo of markman
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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… (582 characters)

Photo of ypsifly
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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. (639 characters)

Photo of benito
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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. (1,006 characters)

Photo of Dogbrick
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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? (385 characters)

4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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. (495 characters)

Photo of Shovelbum
4.43/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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. (742 characters)

Photo of jasongootjes
4.9/5  rDev +26%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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. (251 characters)

Photo of klewis
3.18/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a very dark brown with a tan, fizzy head that quickly subsides to a light ring around the glass.

S: Relatively weak aromas of chocalate and cappachino.

T: Flavors of chocalate-covered espresso beans highlighted with a modest earthiness. The flavor is nice, but as the smell, is somewhat light.

M: Highly carbonated and quite thin. Not impressed here.

D: This is a very non-obtrusive porter that goes down easy and might be a good introduction to darker (or perhaps more flavorful) beers for the uninitiated. For me, I'll go with Fuller's London or GL Edmund Fitz next time. (595 characters)

Photo of Viggo
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear dark brown, some red highlights lurking on the edges, a pretty thick tan head, some nice lacing on the glass. Smell is chocolate, mocha, toffee, very roasty and rich. Taste is chocolate roast, coffee, clean and malty goodness, toffee and nice roast bitterness. Medium bodied, medium carbonation, very smooth and my favourite porter. (346 characters)

Photo of whartontallboy
3.87/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a dark brown with a medium-sized brown head of big bubbles and light brown highlights. Head fades pretty quickly.

Aroma is coffee, baker's chocolate, roasted barley, and a light hoppiness.

Flavor follows the smell pretty closely, the coffee and roasted barley are on the front end and right in your face, but the dark chocolate comes through to balance it out. A tad sour in the finish, but nicely so. Mouthfeel is relatively chewy, probably on the big side of medium.

Overall: Nothing amazing or Earth-shattering, but a tasy, well-made porter. It's not my favorite in the style, but it's a solid choice. (626 characters)

Photo of frazbri
4.74/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours black with ruby accents. The head was offwhite in color and short. Aroma was fruity with chocolate and cherry notes. Chocolate and cherry flavors emerged. Fairly thick body and modest carbonation.

This is a fantastic beer. The only negative aspect was the lack of head. Rich, malty and complex. This is a great american porter. (337 characters)

Photo of Bumpon10s
3.13/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours black with no head and a sticky lace.

S - Very malty smell, licorice style nose.

T - Malts, and coffee. However, at that junction, it isn't complex, seemingly just malt, coffee and alcohol.

M - It is a bit unbalanced, things just don't blend well, and it doesn't do to well in the mouth.

D - At the 5.25% it is a bit redeeming, but not the best porter you'll have. (386 characters)

Photo of Frozensoul327
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another solid staple beer from Bell's. Poured out to a nice black color that let little light through when held to the light. Nice brown cream colored head was thick and dense. Aromas of smoke, chocolate and mild malt were well received and prepared the drinker for the taste that was to follow. Taste was great, very well balanced and complex; flavors of malt, roasted nuts, smoke and earth were interweaved well, with a solid malt backbone. Very nice. Mouthfeel was full, yet not overly heavy as one would expect. High level of drinkability, this is going to a a great brew for the winter months that lay ahead. Highly recommended. (633 characters)

Photo of KarlHungus
4.65/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This brew pours a brownish black with a large tan head. The aroma is of rosted malt and coffee. The taste is absolute heaven. Rosted malt with a hint of coffee. Not overpowering or ni your face, but still flavorful. This just might be the perfect session beer. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with perfect carbonation. Overall, this is another great beer from Bell's. (366 characters)

Photo of SurgeonGeneral
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving temperature: 48F Serving glass: Pint Glass

Presentation: 12 oz. brown bottle, no freshness date. Old parchment looking drawing of a man lugging a huge barley stalk & hop branch. Bells logo of three bells.

Appearance: Solid black pour into the glass, with only faint hints of ruby peeking thruogh the edges. Creamy, light tan head forms well and retains throughout the entire drink, although reducing to a thin film rather quickly.

Smell: Slight floral scents, medium hop presence. I can sense some raostines, though not much. Nothing special here.

Taste: Bitter taste up front, but balanced well with roasted grain taste and a touch of coffee followed by a bit of sweetness reminiscent of toffee. Moderate astringent aftertaste, especailly after letting the beer warm a good degree in the mouth. As the beer warms in the glass, a good bit more sweetness comes out.

Mouthfeel: Low viscosity, yet coats the mouth well, very smooth. Moderate stinging on the tongue and you can feel the carbonation just a bit in the back of your throat as you swallow. Perfectly carbonated, IMO.

Drinkability: Nice session brew here. It won't knock your socks off with complexity, but a solid porter. Very easy to drink, and reasonable ABV. (1,246 characters)

Photo of goodbyeohio
4.09/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

very dark brown pour with slight tan head, splotchy foam atop a dark as night beer. aroma here is intense, 100% mochaccino nose with sweet caramel accent. some toffee.. one of the best smells ive ever gotten from a porter. body is a bit thin and bubbly for what i expect, but this beer does not skimp on flavor. medium coffee ground bitterness and a more pointed bitterness from hops combine to even out a sweeter subtle flavor of cream and underripe red fruit. very drinkable and good at both room-temperature and a chilled degree. bell's is one brewery i've found to be consistently above-average to good and i will continue to seek out their products. (654 characters)

Photo of Backer2004
3.49/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Man, before I even taste it, the coffee and caramel smells are almost overwhelming. Not a great head or lacing, a bit thin in that catagory. This one gets better as it settles to room temperature, but not by too much. Malty and roasted, a bit acidic as well. Pretty easy to drink for the style and okay mouthfeel. (313 characters)

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.86/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The Bell's Porter pours from the longneck bottle into my SN tulip with a deep dark onyx hue and a nice foamy tan cap on top. Only a slight hint of dark brown escapes from the edges when held up to the light. Looks like a good porter should! Aromas of dark roasted malts along with some caramel and raisins. A smattering of light coffee with a citrusy hop background. Nice...but a bit too mellow for me personally.

First sip brings a rush of charred roasty maltiness across the palate with notes of roasted coffee and dark fruits. Slightly dry and chalky on the way down...burnt toast. There's just a slight citric hoppiness on the finish that works nicely in the overall brew. A nice, easy drinking porter.

Mouthfeel is slightly dry with active carbonation...very roasty on the palate. I would not be against having a few of these...could even be sessionable. Overally, it's a tasty, unique porter. (904 characters)

Bell's Porter from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 993 ratings.