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

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Bell's PorterBell's Porter

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BA SCORE
87
very good

990 Reviews
THE BROS
87
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 990
Hads: 2,596
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 9.77%
Wants: 86
Gots: 260 | 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: 990 | Hads: 2,596
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Acquired via trade from JAYW, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark brown color with a short foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a very thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is very creamy and full of roasted coffee along with nuts, a touch of dark fruit and some hops.

T: The taste is very well-balanced, with flavors of coffee, nuts, smoky malt, dark fruit and a good amount of hops for a beer of this style, all complimenting each other. The coffee flavor stands out but not too much. It’s also not overly sweet like some porters can be. The after-taste is bitter-sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, slightly sticky finish.

D: Very tasty, goes down very easily, not very filling, good representation of style and one of the best American Porters that I’ve had. If I’m in a porter kind of mood, I could see myself drinking quite a few of these, if only Bell’s were available here. (1,025 characters)

Photo of jlindros
3.96/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another review coming from Noslenwerd.

A: Big frothy 1 finger thick rich head with darker color. The color of the beer is very dark brown with almost no light escaping.

N: Nose has some dark malts, some light roast, light chocolate, a nice porter roasty aroma. Some very light spicy hops. It's almost the epitome of a good porter but on the lighter side.

T: Starts with some dark malts, roasted characters quite a bit. Adds slight chocolate and more lush malts. Slightly sweet. It has some bitter stout like flavors from charred malts. Slight creaminess. Rich and more flavorful than I expected from the nose. It's almost a juicy malt flavor.

M: Semi thick, luscious, creamy, decent carbonation.

F: FInishes a little drier but still slightly sweet, it has a nice earthy spicy bitter feel on the finish, and almost that clean mouth feel you get from higher abv beers. The lingering bitter stouty roasted flavor remains for a bit. (934 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours extremely dark - just one step below opaque. Big tan head off a very firm pour, but it falls fast. Mildly roasted nose. Touch of a sweet tone. Malt tones are there for sure. Flavor is pretty thick with roasted tones and minimal coffee with a lot of malts of course. Feel has a lot of carbonation really going at the tongue and the liquid is thick enough. A nice, hearty porter. Definitely worth trying. (408 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tasted in a Bass trademark ale glass
A - Opaqe deep brown no light pervades this dark ale. A Pale tan head quickly recedes leaving a thin lace behind.

S - Scents of Roasted coffe with cream and nuts. Crisp fruit aroma and roasted grain lingers in the background.

T - Crisp smooth flavor of brown malts. Creamy and nutty toffee and slightly vegetal flavor emerges . Minimal hop taste stealthily hides in the midst. Woody dryness as it warms and almost burn bean essence plays with the tongue as the creamy caramel sweetness relaxes.

M - Moderately full, chewy sweetness dominates with active carbonation and creamy edges.

D - Very good in the drinkability category and represents the style well. It is a sweet beer, so multiple tastings seems difficult. The flavor is pleasant and is good to return to on occasion for a sweet dark treat. (840 characters)

Photo of Jason
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to UncleJimbo for this sample!

Presentation: 12 oz brown bottle with a batch code on the back label … this means nothing to me as far as freshness.

Appearance: Thick frothy head forms as soon as I poured, not a gusher but there is a good amount of carbonation here. Black, black and black.

Smell: Fruity, malty with a roasted … almost burnt biscuit aroma. Mild buttery diacetyl in the back.

Taste & Mouth Feel: Semi-smooth with a creamy medium body. Mildly acrid burnt snap up front, lots of burnt husk flavor … not astringent but it has a bite. Solid yet balancing hop bitterness plays with the dry malt character. Finishes with a drying burnt chicory flavor.

Drinkability & Notes: Just an easy drinking middle of the road porter that has a good amount of flavor pack in it. (800 characters)

Photo of russpowell
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers to BARLEYWINO for this delight

Pours chestnut with some mahogany & purple tints, plus 2+ fingers of tan colored head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Toasted malt & some coffee notes

T: A little bit of chocolate, dryness & hints of coffee grinds up front. Hints of iron & slight smokeyness as this warms. Finishes with some mocha & dryness

MF: Medium-bodied with low carbonation & oilyness

Drinks good, but given how stellar most of Bell's beers are, I'm a bit disappointed, a solid porter (506 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a deep ruby brown chestnut when held up to the light appears with a magnifiant fluffy tan head leaving a big sturdy collar of lacing. Aroma: Not overly sweet but the deep roasted malted barley is robust filled with chocolate and coffee tones, nice and creamy edge. Taste: Flavor is slightly grainy with the dark roasts leaving bitterness in the finish a bit dry as well, ties flavors together solid porter from front to back dead on. Mouthfeel: Creamy texture paints the palate coats it done with a sweet rising moccha cream tone, very nice brew full body wonderful. Drinkability: The best sipping porter none go down easier than this one just so good and flavorful clean well crafted I have much thanks for aaronh for hunting this jewel down for me. (768 characters)

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

Nearly black in color, with a full, dark tan head. Aroma is rich and roasty, toasty, even slightly burnt. Dark chocolate comes out on top, with hints of nuts and spices. Full-bodied, good texture, with loads of tingly hops. A fine rendition of the style. (254 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a very dark brown color with two inches of tan head and moderate carbonation evident. No lacing or real retention.

s - Smells of chocolate, roasted malts, light coffee, vanilla, and light dark fruits. Pretty nice.

t - Tastes of coffee, roasted malts, chocolate and very light vanilla. A step down from the nose, but still good.

m - Medium to full body and moderate carbonation. Very smooth and creamy.

d - A nice porter. I liked the smell a lot and the taste was still pretty good. I wish the taste had less coffee as that slightly dominated the other tastes, but would certainly have again. (653 characters)

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

On draft at Churchkey, served in a snifter. Beer is dark brown / black with a thin tan head of small bubbles, some lacing, low retention.

Aroma is mildly sweet with a little roast, smells good.

Beer is medium to light in body, a little sweet / chocolaty on the front with a mild maltness, thins out toward the back, mildly roasty / bitter. I enjoyed it. (355 characters)

Photo of jwc215
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a thick off-white head that descends to a thin, lasting cover. Rings of lacing stick to the glass.

The smell is of charcoal smokiness and dark fruits.

The taste is of dakr malt - chocolate and coffee. Dark fruits give it a nice balancing support. Smoky and earthy characteristics come into play. Candy-sweet finish.

The body is medium - on-target for style.

A truly "sessionable" porter. Nicely balanced - A good example of an American Porter! (472 characters)

Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into signature pint glass, bottled 9/6/2012. Pours lightly hazy very dark reddish brown color with a nice 1-2 finger dense khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings down the glass. Aromas of big chocolate, caramel, roasted malt, toffee, coffee beans, toast, light dark fruit, cream, and herbal hops. Very nice aromas with good strength and balance. Taste of milk chocolate, roasted malt, caramel, toffee, toast, light coffee, earth, and herbal hops. Lingering notes of milk chocolate, roasted malt, caramel, toffee, and herbal hops on the finish for a bit. Nice balance and robustness of flavors; zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy, slick, and smooth mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with nearly zero warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very nice porter. Nice balance of nicely robust roasted flavors; very smooth to drink. Very enjoyable and sessionable porter. (1,026 characters)

Photo of chinchill
3.84/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark brown and nearly opaque in my snifter despite being clear. The sudsy tan head is mildly disappointing at first, but largely redeems itself with some retention and lacing.
The aroma is very promising, with a bit of caramel sweetness, and more subtle notes of roasted malt, chocolate and coffee. The roasted malt comes to the fore in tasting, especially mid-taste onwards. Some dark chocolate, sweet caramel and a bit of a spicy hop flavor too.

M: Medium body; very smooth; would be creamy were it not for the lively, moderate carbonation.

O: Not exotic or extreme (and it shouldn't be) but a quite good porter in all aspects.

{12 oz bottle produced essentially the same impression and ratings - March 2013 & again August 2013} (740 characters)

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

A: Pours an opaque very dark brown (almost black) in color with some very dark amber and garnet red highlights as well as light to moderate amounts of carbonation at the surface. The beer has a two finger tall creamy tan head that slowly reduces to a large thick patch, a thin film covering the rest of the surface of the beer, and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light aromas of roasted malts with some very light hints of coffee and dark chocolate.

T: Similar to the smell, this beer has a light flavor of roasted malts upfront with some notes of coffee and dark bittersweet chocolate that become more apparent as the beer warms up. Very light notes of bitterness that fades but not too quickly.

M: Just shy of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly creamy and smooth.

O: With the lighter body/mouthfeel, this is a very easy to drink beer and would be a nice late fall/early winter session beer. (978 characters)

Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +2.8%
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. (493 characters)

Photo of mothman
3.34/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Sam Adams Sensory Glass. Batch 8726.

Color is a dark coffee brown. Tan head, that leaves little lace.

The aroma is a little off on this beer. Smells like burnt coffee, that is really old. The taste however is much better. Taste is of toasted malts. Coffee and carmel flavor as well.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, with a hint of bitterness at the end.

Overall, the smell was a big turn away from this beer. The taste was normal, but I couldn't get over the smell. I would try it, just to compare to other porters, but wouldn't buy it again. (561 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to RBlaszak for sending this bottle as an extra.

The beer pours a dark brown color with a tan head. There are some red highlights at the bottom of the beer. The aroma is classic porter. I get a lot of roasted malt as well as some chocolate and coffee.

The flavor is great. I get roasted malt with a lot of milk and dark chocolate. There is also some coffee, but it is hidden behind the other flavors. There is some bitterness from the malt.

Medium to thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation. (500 characters)

Photo of stakem
3.39/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a mug just for giggles.

Deep dark brown color, redish around the edges. Pours with a nice 3/4 inch head that is slightly tanned. Has a bit of lacing. Initially this beer smells like yeast and I don't pick up much more from it in the scent department other than trace bits of coffee. (More chocolate/coffee scent comes through as you come close to finishing the beer.) Taste is kinda bland, very minor chocolate and coffee notes but I keep feeling like this beer seems to be watered down. Not much carbination, mouthfeel is ok but nothing exciting. It is well balanced and I gotta admit it is easy drinking but I am not as excited about it as I was the other products from Bells which is surprising because I am a big fan of porter. (758 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled July 2006, Sampled November 2006
Definitely an opaque, black colored brew. It is topped by a frothy, almost creamy consistency, initially two-finger thick, brownish leaning tan colored head. The aroma is quite burnt and roasted. It even has a note like burnt grain husks, in fact it is quite husky in its grain aromatics. Notes of chocolate cover malt balls add a bit of roundness to the harsher burnt notes, which actually are not all that harsh in this beer. Towards the end it picks up a note that reminds me of the acidity in a sweetened espresso.

The mouthfeel on this is quite light up front, after the beer has left my mouth it takes on a touch of fullness. It actually leaves a chocolate like mouth coating that has a touch of malt sweetness to it. There is some burnt grain acidity to this beer, but it seems just enough for the sweet chocolaty malt and the body to balance out. This beer is defined by the dominant roasted grain flavors, they even add bitterness to this beer (though some of the bitterness in this brew is certainly hop derived).

This is really quite the quaffable brew, especially as it warms a bit. As it warms the roast character becomes a bit more balanced by the sweeter chocolate like maltiness and a mouthfeel that picks up a bit more heft to it. Quite the enjoyable brew, definitely a good beer for this "Arizona chilly" evening. (1,379 characters)

Photo of BARFLYB
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A pint on tap,

Bell's porter looks the standard mix of deep dark browns mixed with some black with a bit of seepage when up to light. A big inch of loose brown foam that left no stick, eventually died down. Smell is the standard porter roasted malt mixing in with some burnt and vanilla. Taste is roasted malt, vanilla, peat, chocolate, slight bitter coffee. Feel is a bit thin, I would say a step under medium, it needs a boost. Carb is adaquate but lacking as well. I drank it and next time I'll opt for a Founder's porter. The feel kinda kills this one for me. (565 characters)

Photo of Gavage
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
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. (576 characters)

Photo of tdm168
4.02/5  rDev +3.3%
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. (409 characters)

Photo of Billolick
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, no freshness indication that I can find, pours rich, dark brown, darker tan head and so so lace left behind. Malty, vanilla nose. Tasty roasty, sweetish porter, more vanilla noted, then darker malts, some cafe au lait and milk chocolate and moderate hop dryadge late. Easy drinking porter, I would like to try this one with some BBQ, pleasant enough porter, worth a try. (387 characters)

Photo of billab914
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Stone RIS glass. Poured black in color with a half inch of creamy tan head covering the beer. The head faded away after a few minutes but left some very good lacing on the glass.

The aroma has some good roasted malts to it with a slightly sweet chocolate and caramel smell to it. The taste is similar to the nose in that I get mostly roasted malts with some chocolate and caramel sweetness. it has some bitterness to it that helps it from becoming too sweet. A very good straight forward porter.

Mouthfeel is on the thicker side with below average carbonation. Drinkability is very good, it's a very well made and good tasting porter. Overall it's nothing fancy, just a very good all around porter. (734 characters)

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

12 oz bottle with batch number on back

A: Very dark amber, nearly black color, not entirely opaque with a thin tan head that quickly dissipates to a ring around the edge. No significant lacing
S: Roasted malt, caramel, very pleasant but not that persistent
T/M: Medium bodied, creamy and moderate carbonation. Big roasted malt flavor with some light hop bitterness. Something is holding me back from really liking this, but I can't place it. Some hint of coffee in dry finish.
D: Very enjoyable porter, nothing fancy but nothing to keep me from coming back to this if I want a simple, good porter (598 characters)

Bell's Porter from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 990 ratings.