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

Not Rated.
Bell's PorterBell's Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

993 Reviews
THE BROS
87
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 993
Hads: 2,620
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 9.77%
Wants: 90
Gots: 270 | 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: 2,620
Photo of johnnnniee
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received in trade from sholland119, Thanks for the opportunity.

Pours a solid chocolate brown with a decent tanish head that sticks around for a bit. Aromas of chocolate and coffee, a little fruity with some roast in there too. Taste is some chocolate, some fruit and bitter roast with a little ash at the end. Mouthfeel starts creamy, but leaves your mouth dry in the finish. Medium carbonation. Decent brew, I could see myself drinking these a lot if they sold it here. (472 characters)

Photo of corby112
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown color with slight mahogany edges and a thin foamy beige head. Roasted malty aroma with sweet chocolate notes. This beer tastes kind of smokey with lots of roasted chocolate maltiness, oatmeal, caramel and burnt toast. Slightly creamy body with a dry bitter finish. (288 characters)

Photo of weeare138
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appears an opaque black with deep chestnut toned edges when held to the light. A thick, dark tan head of foam slowly fades into a mild film and hearty collar. Scattered bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of caramel, mild roast, turbinado sugar, ripe fruit, milk chocolate, toasted nuts, espresso, and yeasty, devil's food cake.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with standout ripe fruit and yummy dusted cocoa powder cake.
Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied, fruity up front, leading to a spritzy dance along the palate before becoming a roasty, dry finish.
Addictive and extremely drinkable at under 6%. I think I just found a new session beer!
Try pairing this one with Mole Chicken. (697 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, the beer is an extremely dark brown coloring, with a healthy, frothy, biege colored head that starts around the one inch mark and quickly settles into a sparse film. Aromas of coffee, sweet nut, and oak. The beer is light and crisp in mouth, and the flavors are light and creamy coffee, with a slight bittering at the end, with highlights of caramel sweetness. The increased levels of carbonation keep the beer light in mouth, and the finish is crisp and quick. The aftertaste is hazelnut coffee. This beer, although light, leaves a great lacing along the glass. Very tasty and light, making it way too easy to drink...good problem to have. (680 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.15/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured dark brown with a nice sized tannish head. Nose of light chocolate, coffee, a little hops as well. Taste is sudbued. Nose is misleading. Roasted malts on taste with a dash of cocoa but thats about it. Not really impressed. it was good but not great. Thin mouthfeel and body. I expected more robust porter I suppose. (322 characters)

Photo of biegaman
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bell's Porter is black but far from opaque; loads of terra brown highlights show up in the light and even render peeks of clarity amidst the shadowy, dark complexion. Its thin but persistent head provides an embroidery of gauze-coloured lacing only a skilled seamstress could replicate.

Coffee grounds combine with enough vanilla extract and brownie flavour to make the aroma a little more sweet than roasty. It certainly has a good quantity of both; this smells vivid and delicious and is clearly a beer of the utmost craftsmanship and quality ingredients.

The first sip has enough chocolate and vanilla flavour to make me want to run out to the nearest ice cream shop. It simulates the gratification of a slice of dark caramel-chocolate cheesecake and side of Caffè Americano; it's a mocha flavour right off the menu at Starbucks.

All these rich, dessert-y flavours exist within the thinner, lighter framework of a porter and lack the smoke, burnt roast qualities, and weightiness of a stout. Make no mistake, however, this is about as full-bodied as porters come; this is hearty as a chunky steak and mushroom pie.

The truly dark, rich flavours are normally reserved for stouts but there's little that Bell's Porter doesn't provide. Whether you own a massive beer cellar or simply a bottle opener, this is a must-have beer to keep on-hand. Trade, plan a road trip to Michigan - do whatever it takes. (1,410 characters)

Photo of liamt07
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Siciliano's in Grand Rapids. 12oz into a tulip. Batch 11039, packaged March 30, 2012.

Dark brown, almost black. Tan head, good retention and lace. Cocoa and coffee roast in the nose, chocolate as well. A bit sweet, some brown sugar. Everything in nice proportion. More roast, dark malt, chocolate and a bit of tartness in the finish. Mouthfeel is lighter medium, perhaps a little moreso than I dig. Still creamy though. A really nice porter, something to be had many times over. (491 characters)

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

(Served in a Nonic glass)

A-This beer pours a thick dark black body with a slight brown hue and a nice creamy tan head.

S- Very strong roasted malt, caramel, and nutty aroma. Some faint notes of chocolate and coffee with biscuit aswell.

T- Nice roasted to burnt qualities in the malt. Some coffee flavors with a gentle hops bitterness and a slight tanginess.

M- Nice medium-light body with nice gentle carbonation

D- This is a wonderful porter and a very drinkable beer. It has all the big taste of a porter but the grain bill is not a watered down stout. (572 characters)

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

Pours a five finger brown head that fades to a thin layer leaving a good lace. Nearly black, faint hints of mahogany color. Light-medium carbonation and heavy bodied. Slight baker's chocolate nose. Starts balanced, flavor is baker's chocolate. $1.49 for a 12oz bottle from Chalet Party Goshen, In. Batch #7156. (310 characters)

Photo of akorsak
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The porter is black as oil with a small head and spots of lacing. As you sip the beer, hints of coffee-colored deep brown/black emerges.

S: The aroma is a chocolatey roasted malt aroma with a slight stale sour tartness.

T: The taste is chocolate and toffee sweetness with a very subtle tartness that, to me, epitomizes a good porter. The roasted malt finish is dry and provides a pleasing chocolate aftertaste.

M: The ale sits very well on the palate with a nice aftertaste.

D: The porter is very drinkable, an enjoyable darker brew for the fall season. (568 characters)

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

Thanks to CRJMellor for this one.

Batch 7662

Pours a dark brown color, nice carbonation, nice fizzy tan head, very nice sticky lacing afterwards and throughout the drink. The nose is slightly malty, and caramel. The taste pretty much follows the nose, malty and slight caramel. Light-Medium body. Drinkable, a nice little porter. (335 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
2.4/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured in to a Duvel tulip. Batch #9537

A - Dark black in colour with one finger of fluffy light brown head.

S - Roasted malts with a strong licorice scent.

T - A bitter, somewhat sour licorice/anise taste dominates the palate, so much so that the roasted malts become very subdued and barely form the background of the beer. Faint roasted malts are present in the background but the licorice taste masks any specific notes of the malts. Way too much brewer's licorice for me.

M - light to medium body. moderate carbonation.

D - Didn't finish this one. This is the only Bell's beer I've had that I haven't liked and to say that I didn't like this one is an understatement. Very disappointing. (700 characters)

Photo of Axnjxn
4.28/5  rDev +10%
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. (721 characters)

Photo of Duff27
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch 9022 - Packaged on March 11th, 2009.

A- Pours a one fingered light mocha head. atop a dark brown /black beer. Head is short lived and lacing is minimal.

S- Dark chocolate.

T- Very robust chocolate taste. Leaves a coffee-ish aftertaste.

M- Highly carbonated for the style to me.

D/O- It's a good, solid porter but nothing to seek out with so many other examples of the style out there. Would be a good value and "sessionable" buy. (441 characters)

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

An opaque black beer with a small, quickly dissipating head, spotty lacing. Visibly carbonated and on the thin-bodied side. Roasted, malty aroma with dark coffee, molasses, and a touch of fruity sweetness underneath.

Flavor is very much the same but has a more assertive, bitter hoppiness. Coffee flavors become much more vivid over time. Nice roastiness.

Lively carbonation that prickles the tongue a bit; a little thin but appropriate for the style. Very easy drinking. A beer that really opens up as it breathes; complex roast, coffee, hop, char, burnt sugar and creme brulee flavors emerge. (596 characters)

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

12oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a light brown 1/2" of thick, foamy head, and laced well. Barely translucent dark brown brew. Deep, dark malts such as coffee and chocolate and maybe, just maybe a smidgen of smoke, dominate the aroma, and the flavor exhibits these characteristics as well. Extremely smooth, and the coffee/chocolate flavors fight for dominance on the tongue. An excellent represntation of the porter style. (512 characters)

Photo of beertunes
3.42/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Received as a gift after a friends recent trip to visit family. Thank you, Mara!

Batch # 9188. Poured from bottle into straight pint glass. Poured a very dark brown, just slightly translucent, with a half inch of deep tan head that quickly dissipated, leaving minimal lacing.

A strong roasty aroma hits the nose, more of a stout aroma than a porter aroma in my view, with a slight caramel scent underneath. The flavors seem to lean towards the stout side of the scale as well. The roast is dominant, with just a bit of a sweet finish.

The body was a little thin for the style. The beer flowed easily over the tongue, and drinking several would be an easy thing to do.

Overall, a nice example of the style and were it available to me, it would be in my regular rotation. (774 characters)

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

A: Pours a dark cola color with a cherry tan head.

S: light roasted malt, coffee and dry chocolate.

T: For flavor there is some dry chocolate, and coffee notes along with a bittering earthy hoppiness and a slight smoky woodiness.

M: a light creamy and milky texture. A nice clean finish of coffee and chocolate that fades off the tongue leaving you wanting more. There is a slight acidic nature as well in the finish.

D: Overall a solid good beer, enjoyable. (464 characters)

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

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Packaged 2/15/12.

Appearance: extremely dark brown hue with traces of ruby when held up to the light. Head pours two fingers of frothy tan foam with decent retention. Nice!

Smell: smooth, chocolatey malt aroma with just a hint of vegetal hop character. A good, solid porter bouquet.

Taste: rich, malty flavor; slightly sweet with a fair amount of chocolate character and a hint of roastiness. Dries out a little toward the end, where it meets up with that light vegetal character. Solid!

Mouthfeel: medium body with a somewhat low level of carbonation but a nice smoothness nonetheless. I like it.

Overall: a very tasty, well-crafted porter. This would be a go-to beer for me if it were sold around here. (752 characters)

Photo of Derek
4.27/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black with a slight reddish twinge; tan head, very little retention, some lace.

S: Chocolate, dark bread, hints of ale esters, brown sugar.

T: Chocolate, mild acidic roastyness, dark bread, a little nut, caramel, slight hint of licorous.

M: Moderate to full body is creamy. Moderate carbonation.

D: Very good. (324 characters)

Photo of tone77
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of roasted malts, some coffee notes are detected. Taste is of roasted malts and coffee up front, some hops are present, a touch of chocolate. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a good quality beer. (294 characters)

Photo of DrJay
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
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. (493 characters)

Photo of cjgator3
4.11/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle

A- Poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark brownish black with a large creamy light tan head that possesses excellent retention and lacing qualities.

S- The aroma is dark roasted malts with hints of chocolate and coffee. A little fainter than expected, but still good.

T- The taste like the aroma is dominated by the roasted malt with some bittersweet chocolate and roasted coffee flavors. The taste starts out sweet and finishes with an mild lingering bitterness that slowly increases. Very tasty!

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, this is a very tasty that I would definitely purchase again when I am in the mood for a Porter. Recommended! (704 characters)

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

Bottle courtesy of russpowell. Thanks Russ!

It pours a near pitch black..I can just see some light shining through when I hold my glass up to the light. Ok, I'll call it a very dark brown.

It certainly isn't lacking in the foam...got 2 fingers worth of offwhite goodness looking at me. Very billowy and it sticks to the side of my glass nicely.

The smell is all roasted malt with a hint of some dark chocolate. Pretty simple but sometimes simple is better.

The taste is delicious. Roasted malt with a good infusion of chocolate that bring both sweet and bitter notes. It kind of reminds me of the excellent Cutthroat Porter from Odell without the coffee.

Medium bodied with slightly under medium carbonation. It has a pleasing roasted and slightly bitter finish.

Drinkability? This is an easy one to sit down and drink multiple bottles of. Seiing as this is my only bottle, that won't work for me but folks who have access to this sure can and should. A very nice brew. (975 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)

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