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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

1,964 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1964
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
Ratings: 1,964 | Reviews: 944 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Biggness

New York

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

This beer certainly was the talk around the Eccentric Cafe so I certainly had to try it. This porter poured dark with a slight head. It smelled nice with the underlying flavors of coffee and chocolate. This was not my favorite beer @ the brewery but I would say it was #3 or 4 for me. The taste was nice and you could tell it was a well crafted beer. It was a smooth drinker and I could see why everyone was raving about it. Complex flavor that went down easy. Well done

Serving type: on-tap

06-14-2008 12:45:41 | More by Biggness
Photo of hrking


4.8/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I get this on draft every once in awhile..It is a staple in my beer diet. This is everything a porter should be and all other should be compared to the Bell's Porter when judging the taste of a porter.Hands down my favorite porter to date. Easy on the pallet and can easily be made into a session beer which I seldom do! Cheers and hats of to Bell's brewery for this exceptionally fine brew!

Serving type: on-tap

03-13-2008 13:10:35 | More by hrking
Photo of MrIncognito


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

Another one had on tap at Tuskies in Leesburg, VA.

Pours a dark brown, almost black. Some light comes through.

I smell chocolate with some alcohol and dark fruits.

I taste chocolate. That's pretty much what takes over this beer. Maybe some dark fruit, like prune, comes thru. But I really, really taste cocoa.

Nice mouthfeel. Light carbonation.

This beer is good, but not great. It would go great with a tiramisu or other dessert. The beer itself is, in fact, a dessert.

Serving type: on-tap

02-19-2008 14:11:00 | More by MrIncognito
Photo of IgnatiusReilly

New Jersey

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

Poured on-tap to pint glass at Eccentric Café, Bell's Brewery.

Color is pitch black with a thin tan head that dissipates quickly. Burnt aroma, bready, hint of fruit and raisin. Tastes dry, roasted coffee and some underlying fruity sweet tones, toffee. Not too hoppy, but there is definitely enough hops to provide decent balance. Finishes dry as well. Oily and slick going down, fair amount of carbonation. Very drinkable, I enjoyed this porter.

Serving type: on-tap

02-13-2008 01:18:23 | More by IgnatiusReilly
Photo of ElGrecoVerde


4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown color and thicker looking than most porters.

Aromas were toasty and semi sweet, with a lot of caramel and roasted coffee. A bit mild, however.

The taste did not disappoint. Flavors of toast and coffee were rampant in this beer. Caramel and bitter dark chocolates round out the flavor list.

Felt smooth as silk, with just enough carbonation to help it down. Really incredible feeling. Creamy, with no bad oily feel at all.

Serving type: on-tap

02-03-2008 17:47:42 | More by ElGrecoVerde
Photo of SMark


3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer was served in a pint glass with the head greatly subsided and a very clean black color.

The aroma was reminiscent of roasted barley. This was an indication of things to come.

Coffee, chocolate and roasted barley came across the palate as expected. Very nice smooth taste.

Did not overwhelm but left a nice tactile sensation and seemed slightly sweet at times. Maybe some brown sugar.

I would drink this again and may try in the bottle if I can find.

Serving type: on-tap

11-18-2007 03:57:43 | More by SMark
Photo of Tyrawlings


3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap and poured into a pint glass.

A: Deep dark brown in color with ruby hues. Creamy tan head pours one finger thick. Decent retention. Thin lacing crawls on the sides of the glass.

S: Roasted coffee. Burnt husk. Raw hops. Chocolate. Caramel.

T: Flavors of deep roasted coffee bean and a burnt husk bitterness are followed by a sweet dark chocolate. A soft touch of raw wet hop leaf gives way to toasted caramel malts that lend balance to this offering. A touch of molasses and vanilla is followed by more roasted coffee.

M: Creamy and smooth. Medium carbonation. Slighy dry.

D: A bit thin in the mouthfeel but a nice flavored porter none the less. Easy and enjoyable to drink. Recommended.

Serving type: on-tap

06-12-2007 00:34:33 | More by Tyrawlings
Photo of BEERchitect


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

The 'tap' version of the beer offers a better experience than from the bottle. The beer is typically colored with a deep walnut hue and nearly opaque. Well headed and modestly carbonated gives visual weight and stability to the brew. Faint aromas of coffee, chocolate, toasted malts, and heavy cream. The flavors of malt sweetness pronounce early, but are quickly tempered by bold columbian coffee notes and acidity, fresh bitter hops, walnuts, cocoa, and milk sugars. Creamy textured and silky smooth, not relying on carbonation to lighten the feel. Finishes with a simple coffee and milk aftertaste that lingers into a slight bitterness. As nicely flavored as I had remembered, but better bodied from the tap.

Serving type: on-tap

05-03-2007 17:10:41 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of alysmith4

District of Columbia

2.6/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Not terribly impressed with this beer. Found it on tap at a local restaurant. Thought the roasted malt tasted slightly burnt and somewhat dirty. There was a definite coffee and chocolate flavor coming through, and I could taste a little bit of cola as well. Not bad, but not exactly worth a try imo.

Serving type: on-tap

04-20-2007 18:57:16 | More by alysmith4
Photo of beveritt


3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: Presented in a standard pint glass, logoed for the bar.

Appearance: About 1.2 inch of tan head. Settled slowly and stuck around as a thin layer/ring for most of the beer. A decent amount of lacing. The beer itself looks extremely dark brown or black, you can pick up hints of red at the edge if you hold it up tot the light.

Smell: Smells strongly of roasted barley with hints of chocolate.

Taste: Nice and bitter from roasted barley. Aftertaste is of baker's chocolate and toffee.

Mouthfeel: Less than average level of carbonation, as expected for a porter. Body is so-so.

Drinkability: Nice session beer. I really like that not all brewers have gone solely "extreme."

Serving type: on-tap

02-03-2007 22:30:07 | More by beveritt
Photo of jmatthew


3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served up in a pint glass as black as could be with barely a trace of a head remaining after only a brief 10 foot journey from the tap. Smell is decent although faint, and offers roasted malts with some coffee. Taste is very smoky upfront, which dissolves into espresso, chocolate and nutty flavors with an overall mustiness that carries through to the end. Somewhat thin, but oily with a lasting roasted malt flavor. Nice smooth session type porter.

Serving type: on-tap

09-27-2006 16:39:01 | More by jmatthew
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: arrived in a pint glass looking black as can be, with a 1" dark tan colored head. A spot or two of lace developed.

Smell: roasted tones and hints of chocolates.

Taste: roasted malts, dark chocolates, hint of espresso, and a mild bitterness. Solid and straight forward.

Mouthfeel: smooth with a hint of prickles at the start, very smooth at the finish. Medium bodied. Short aftertaste leaning towards the roasted tones.

Drinkability: this one goes down very easy for the style. Flavorful and this is considered a session porter in my book. Great on tap.

Serving type: on-tap

09-15-2006 12:21:28 | More by Gavage
Photo of NJpadreFan

New Jersey

3.2/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bell's- Porter

On tap at Isaac Newton's- Newtown, PA

Appearance- dark brown/ black with a 1 finger thick tan head.
Smell- roasted coffee beans and BBQ sauce?!
Taste- Smokey malt with a big BBQ sauce flavor. Sweet with hints of brown sugar and molasses.
Mouthfeel- Sweet at first but mellowing out and becoming a solid smokey slighty ashen flavored beer.

Overall- An OK porter that, for me, was all over the place. The look, taste, and feel were all inconsistant. Not bad though!! I'd definitely drink again!

Serving type: on-tap

09-01-2006 21:01:05 | More by NJpadreFan
Photo of Dogbrick


4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
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?

Serving type: on-tap

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


3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Noticeably different than the bottled offering, the on-tap seems to have less of a sharpness and more smooth coffee-like, chocolate tones. It drinks like a robust porter, but just doesn't have the alcohol to back it up. A great, easy drinking porter.

Enjoyed on-tap at the Blue Nile.

Serving type: on-tap

03-31-2004 19:07:04 | More by truthbrew
Photo of CRJMellor


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

Pours a dark brown, midnight color with hints of tan in small, thin off -white head. Low carbontion just right for style.
Smell of chocolate, toffe, nuts and maybe caramel.
Taste - roasted malt prevalent, slight chocolate hints on front note, finishes with a pleasant bitte coffee taste.
Strong tasting porter, almost a stout profile to me.

Serving type: on-tap

11-25-2003 20:15:54 | More by CRJMellor
Photo of TheDM


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

This beer has a very nice chocolate and coffee aroma. It poured a nice head that lasted a very long time and was filled with small to medium bubbles. It has a strong coffee taste with a mild after bite. It went down very smoothly. It has a dark black all but opaque at the bottom of the glass color.

Serving type: on-tap

07-04-2003 07:22:33 | More by TheDM
Photo of BurdockBoy


3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle to a pint glass. I got this on a trade and it's been sitting in the refrigerator a couple weeks. I was craving breakfast burritos for dinner and this was a nice addition.
A: dark cola color with a lovely khaki head with nice lacing. Ok retention.
S: not a whole lot there for a porter. But a little toastiness.
T: the way a porter should taste. That is all.
M: a little more carbonation than I would like. Medium body.
O: I really enjoyed this. Not a lot of complexity, but very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2014 01:44:56 | More by BurdockBoy
Photo of DoubleJ


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

It's a rare Bell's kind of night in California. If I wanted to go all-out, I could eat some Taco Bell with the beer, however there's no way that my stomach will allow that. Just the beer tonight, and that's fine. Let's add Bell's Porter to the line. Another 12 ounce bottle, and another on to the beer:

More than half an inch of semi-soapy foam sits on top a beer that's cola black with reddish hues. Retention is modest, leaving a few spots of lace around the glass. It smells like something else was added to this porter....a big crate of milk perhaps? The aroma is milk sweet and still features an edge of roasted malt.

Respectable taste. It starts with a little roast, then comes in a mocha-like sweetness, a milk sweet accent, and a spot of grassy hops. The beer is lighter-medium bodied, has a lightly roasted aftertaste, and does go down easy.

In the world of porters, Bell's sits a tick above average. It may not sound like much to some, but because I adore porters more than many other styles, I wouldn't shy away to "porter" myself another bottle!

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2014 05:49:17 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of lochef81


3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This porter pours a deep almost black brown color with a handsome and lasting tan head and decent lacing. The nose is unremarkable with notes of coffee and roasted malt. It is light in aroma as well as in taste. The flavor follows the nose with a surprising amount of alcohol flavor given the low abv. The body is light to medium with a bit if a dry chew on the tail. This is a good porter but when you have offerings like Founders and Edmund Fitzgerald porters, why settle for good?

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2014 04:27:10 | More by lochef81
Photo of byronic

Ontario (Canada)

3.64/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a very nice dark brown with a thin lacing of head which dissipates in a short span of time.

Couldn't identify any specific smell as this specific pour wasn't very fragrent.

Very mild taste of roasted malts with a carbonated mouth feel.

A very nice but simple sessionable Porter.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2014 23:04:39 | More by byronic
Photo of Gmann

New York

3.94/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very deep brown color with a fluffy toasted khaki colored head that settles into a puffy cap.

The aroma is of caramel and nutty bread. Some light wood and brown sugar. It is a nice aroma but it is a bit faint.

The taste is of a nutty pumpernickel malt. Caramel and honey provide some sweet notes. An earthy wet bark flavor. Quite smooth. Slight lemony note in the end. Very nice flavors.

Moderate feel with prickly carbonation. Well balanced on the palate and very drinkable.

A nice hearty porter. Ranks up there with Founders.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2014 23:51:43 | More by Gmann
Photo of polloenfuego

Ontario (Canada)

3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass.

Pours a deep brown with a thumb of head that is steadfast as you drink. Nice lacing develops as a result and the beer looks good. The aroma is mostly roasts and coffee with some chocolate. Taste continues the aroma, but the chocolate is more prominent. There is a sweetness that comes through as well. Feel is light with medium carbonation.

Not a bad Porter, a good after work brew. So far Bell's is three for three for me and I have more to go...

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2014 21:37:00 | More by polloenfuego
Photo of alphagnome


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

Pours a deep brown, borderline black body with a finger-thick beige head. Good retention & lacing.

Rich chocolate malts and coffee are dominant with light nuttiness and sweet caramel notes.

Follows the nose brilliantly. Simple coffee bitterness hits right up front with tasty chocolate sweetness balancing things out shortly thereafter. Nutty aftertaste and a hint of molasses.

Smooth and crisp. On the lighter side of medium-bodied. Extra light carbonation. Semi-dry finish.

Fantastic porter. Smooth, delicious, and easy to drink. Well worth your money.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2014 21:05:37 | More by alphagnome
Photo of ZagZagg


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

12 oz bottle poured into goblet glass

A: Two finger effervescent head with some audible snap crackle and pop. Head has moderate retention and a kaki color that leaves some webby lacing marking its former self. The brew itself is mean and black, like the abyss. Little froth appears to have a solid body.

S: Roasted chocolate malt, but also quite bitter, lots of coffee and bakers chocolate. The malt is very interesting, somewhat bready but also ever so smoky. There’s a nuttiness present too, playing off of the malt profile.

T: Hmm, malty, chocolaty, roasted, well-blended combination of coffee bitters and some caramel, scotch, and malt derived un-metabolized sugars. Hops take the backseat here and hide within the roasted coffee, which is offset by the malt and bready flavors. I don’t want to say this is two-dimensional because it is very well balanced, but nothing is really grabbing my attention either.

M: I just wish it were bigger. This is medium bodied, but I want it to be fuller. Light carbonation that’s pleasant. Not too much aftertaste, sorta sweet, somewhat dry.

O: A pleasant porter, for sure. Has the elements you look for in a porter, but it’s just that. It’s like the foundation for a superior beer without pushing the envelope and taking to that next level. Probably a good beer to start with if you’re trying to get into the style or stouts. That jaw dropping pizzazz is just missing.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2014 01:17:25 | More by ZagZagg
Bell's Porter from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 1,964 ratings.