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

Not Rated.
Bell's PorterBell's Porter

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

993 Reviews
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 thedrewski86
3.59/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured this into a pint glass. Not a lot of head; about 1/4" of tan foam. No lacing. The smell is sweet and smoky. The taste is typical porter with a smoky kick. I would normally like that a lot more but I was a little under-whelmed with this beer. It feels a lot like a stout. Nice malt character though with some biscuit notes. Very little carbonation, kinda makes you think of a flat coke. I don't want to be too negative about this beer though, I would drink it a lot if I had it around all the time. It still has a pleasant flavor and drinkability is good. (561 characters)

Photo of brown2cu
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a seemingly black but when light passes through it, hints of ruby are present. There was initially a half finger of head but it quickly dissipated into a ring that sticks around; no lacing.

S: The nose is primarily chocolate not a lot of complexity.

T: Again, primarily chocolate. There is a pleasent hop bitterness that balances out the profile.

M: perfect balance! nice and smoothe

O: Really solid example of a porter. Nothing over the top but a wonderful brew nonetheless. (488 characters)

Photo of adams82
3.62/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 7766, packaged December 13th, 2006.

Pours a deep, dark, translucent ruby-black (if there is such a color). Minimal off white head on the pour, but some nice lacing is left behind.

Smells of some bittersweet black malts, hints of coffee and chocolate and a touch of hops. While not a bold aroma, it is very nice and pleasing to the nose.

The dark malts are evident throughout the tasting experience as bittersweet flavors revolve around subtle hints coffee and caramel with a nice hop finish.

This is pretty chewy for what I would consider to be a medium bodied beer. Maybe a bit much on the carbonation but otherwise good.

This is a nice porter that is fiarly drinkable. And while it's a sold offering, I think I would pass this up for something either more bold or sweeter, especially as winter rolls in. (826 characters)

Photo of Spiekerbox
3.56/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank on tap at Bell's Eccentric Cafe

A- Dark brown color with a soft tan head.

S- Toasted malts stand out with a slight sweetness in the background, no particular other scents that I can find

T- The toasted malts stand out, with a slight coffee and nutty flavor. Nothing too special but is a more of just a "plain" porter. That isn't a bad thing really though.

M- Medium body, neither crisp or creamy, medium carbonation, actually quite a middle ground of a mouthfeel

D- Not a bad beer, was one of the only ones on the list at Bell's that I had not drank before, and I was not disappointed that I tried it. Would not be my first choice of beer but overall it is another solid offering from one of the best breweries in the country. (737 characters)

Photo of jlh8643
3.4/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with a batch code on back. Poured into a pint glass.

A: almost black body but little to no head.
S: a touch of chocolate and roasted malts with a whiff of floral hops
T: a little acrid dark malt at the start with some hop bite but not
much else.
M: on the this side. Doesn't leave much in the way of an aftertaste.
D: I said good because I didn't find anything offensive or out of line
but not all that impressed or memorable. (449 characters)

Photo of Jettanbass9
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

purchased from my only source, The Foodery in Northern Libs.

A - dark dark tan, tight light tan head, ruby red highlights and suprising clarity.
S - sweet malty aroma crosses with roasted barley, coffee and dark chocolate.
T - Sweet chewy malt along with dark coffee, dark chocolate and roasted flavors. Clean yeast profile and barely noticable hop bitterness.
M - Coats the mouth, with a smooth, low carbonated feel. It literally slips right down.
D - Cases, kegs, bombers, bottles, whatever you got if this was around more it would be a staple. Goes down extremely easy, during the fall, winter or spring i would keep a six pack real close. (643 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 BigHead
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours out into a dark brown brew with a thin, thin head. Mmmm..I smell dark coffee grounds (lots of em), dark roasted malt and of course, a hint of cocoa. Roasted malts dominate, with burnt flavors coming through and hints of smoke and charcoal. Leaves kind of an oatish feel at the back. It has a fizzy texture on the tongue, which is different. (346 characters)

Photo of Fieldzy27
4.45/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter

A-Inferior stouts should fear the darkness of this porter, I have seen some lackluster offerings that would give their first born to have an SRM like this. To be expected from one of the most consistent brewers in the biz. the head is kaki colored and was comprised of a combination of small and large bubbles. As it deflates big bubbles hang around and lace starts clinging to the glass. In a perfect world I would like the head to hang longer and have a little more color but this doesn't hurt the score. No sediment or haze .

S-hints of light roasted coffee and some nuttiness, the aroma isn't huge but its present. in all honesty after the look of it being so good I expected more but there is nothing wrong with it. I assume the taste will redeem it.

T-a great porter, falls more into the english side I feel as it does not have a massive amount of complexity or hop character although it is black and not brown. Black coffee is first to strike followed by roasted pecans. A slight amount of astringency is noticeable and hints of dark roasted malt are scattered throughout. Not a ton going on here but it was clearly crafted with care. No discernible alcohol and also no real hop character accept for a flash on the finnish that takes effort to find. So minuscule that they cant be identified. A well rounded and balanced porter.

M- This beer is full and smooth. Doesn't coat the mouth or leave any astringent hints lingering. Built to session I feel. Nothing to argue with here.

O- A well crafted porter. Doesn't burn itself into the memory with excitement but I feel this is a good thing. Many times I have passed this up for bigger offerings but every time I return to it im never disappointed. A wonderful example to show someone a textbook porter. (1,804 characters)

Photo of hrking
4.76/5  rDev +22.4%
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! (391 characters)

Photo of Roxie_B
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bell’s Porter
Serving: Bottle into a pint glass.
Appearance: Black and opaque with slight amber highlights when held to the light. Thin collar and a swirl of lacing.
Smell: Dark fruits, raisins, floral notes and bagels. Perhaps a hit of caramel.
Taste: Stone fruits, raisins, coffee and yes more raisin bagel. This is a delicious and awesome beer. As it warms up you I get more toasted bread and coffee.
Mouthfeel: Slightly lighter than some porters but still leaves a nice lingering finish without any stickiness.
Overall: Excellent. This can be a new go to for me. Would order again and would recommend to anyone! Fantastic. (628 characters)

Photo of oneeye
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.
A. Pours a coffee brown with a tan head. Minimal lacing with ruby highlights.
S. Smells of bitter chocolate and roasted malts.
T. The taste of roasted malts, chocolate, and espresso. The toasted malts dominate this Porter.
M.The mouthfeel is a bit thin. Creamy with a little bitterness at the finish.
D. Drinkability is average. An easy drinking porter that i would drink again. (405 characters)

Photo of IgnatiusReilly
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
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. (447 characters)

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

Again, a recommendation for a porter from the sales clerk was this porter from Bell's.

Nearly black in appearance with a tan head of less than an inch. The slowly dissipating head left lacing on the glass and surface of the beer.

My mouth started salivating at the smell. Hints of coffee and chocolate along with a floral scent and i'm already expecting a balanced beer.

Chocolate at the front of the taste with some coffee bitterness following. I'm in heaven. Mouth feel showed a medium body.

Overall a very good beer. Not too alcoholic and very pleasant. I'm already looking forward to my next one. (604 characters)

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

Served on cask in a nonic glass at The Pub in Columbus, OH.

I had not tried this Bell's offering before but was excited to see it available on cask. Appearance was what I would expect from a porter--nearly black with ruby hues and a creamy 1 inch head on top.
Smell was a little weaker than I would like but roasted aromas were present.
Taste was excellent with a rich roasted flavor with coffee and hints of chocolate followed by a little of the bite (sourness?) that I have noted in many porters. Slight sweetness. Minimal hop presence here.
The mouthfeel was a highlight of this beer. On cask, it was smooth, rich, creamy. I have not had this on-tap or bottled so I can't compare.
Drinkability was very good. The alcohol was not noticeable at all. Overall, this was a treat to drink. On cask, I would put it up with some of my favorite English porters (Sam Smith's and Fullers). Will definitely have to revisit this in bottled form when I get the chance. (959 characters)

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

Poured into a perfect pint glass, it shows a nice Nestle Quik looking head. Recededs quickly to a foamy ring. It appears almost solid black, but a hint of light can sneak through and show some brown almost reddish around the bottom.

Smells sweet and malty. Chocoaltey perhaps, with some dark roasted coffee as well. Very promising..

Taste: Not nearly as sweet as it smells. The dark roasted dominates this one, with a roasted bready kind of taste. Not too bitter, bit there are definitely some hops in here.

Feels thinner than it looks, but theres a nice silky lacing left behind. A little bit of carbonation fizz too.

Very drinkable and would be a cold weather favorite of mine if it were easier to find. Another job well done from the guys at Bell's. Why can't I get this in Massachusetts? (795 characters)

Photo of fretlessman71
4.6/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pertinent Preliminary Comments: It’s been so long that I can’t remember who sent this to me (actually, I had a few, so there’s at least two of you – Bruno_78? Kevin? Jake? Losing my mind these days), but know that you are appreciated.

Haven’t had a bad Bell’s beer yet. Two Hearted Ale is one of my favorite IPAs.

APPEARANCE: Dark translucent brown with reddish brown highlights. HUGE head; tan, dense, thick, and stubborn. Couldn’t even get ½ my beer into my glass on the first pour. Light to moderate lacing as head subsides.

AROMA: Coffee grounds, merlot, dark fruit. Very light hops coming through.

FLAVOR: MMMmmm…. Smoooth. Bitter (but smooth?) coffee comes through in the beginning, good roasty chocolate malt backbone and a medium sweet finish. This one’s going down like a cold carton of chocolate milk. Hops are perfectly balanced; just enough to cut the sweetness and no more.

MOUTHFEEL: Very good – a little fizzy at first, but that’s easy to fix.

DRINKABILITY: As smooth as this is and at only 5.25% ABV, this could make a great session beer.

OVERALL COMMENTS: Didn’t have to work too hard to find out what a terrific brew this is, and how worthy it is to carry the Bell’s name on the label. Almost makes me wish I lived in Michigan (well, let’s not get carried away)… (1,317 characters)

Photo of hangh
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice dark brown nearly black color with a thin tan head. Leaves a little bit of lacing and the head is pretty fine. Head's gone after about 3 minutes leaving a few islands on the surface. It's a shame because the first few sips were my favorite. Very strong chocolate/coffee smell, it's refreshing and lingers for a while. Taste is excellent. This is what I want when I get a porter. Sweet smoked chocolate and coffee malts give way to a quick bitter ending with a pleasant aftertaste. Nothing is overpowering and everything seems to be in a good balance. It's a lighter bodied porter with some mild carbonation but it is very good. If I'm in the mood for a porter, this is the first thing I'm looking for. (706 characters)

Photo of paperbackfoster
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - A dark chocolate pour with a surprisingly active one finger head. It stays foamy, leaving a heavy retention.

S - Dark malts with a sharp, not quite burnt roast character. Plenty of coffee notes. There’s a dark sweetness, like black currant or dark cherry.

T - Dark caramel and toffee notes. The coffee is more of a quality than a flavor - it’s a vehicle for other flavors, like the roast and dark fruit notes. This is a sweeter porter, as opposed to smoky. Nicely hopped, creamy finish.

M - A little on the thin side. Given the sweeter flavors, I think a little bit of zing from higher carbonation could do it some favors. Still, not at all bad.

Overall: Definitely a session porter, but I’m inclined to like it. It goes down easy and keeps the palette light without lacking. It’s not a beer that really develops with time or temperature.. It’ll be the same quaff from first sip to last, and I imagine from beginning to end of a session. Take that as a pro or con. (984 characters)

Photo of BigMarty1980
4.34/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- Pours out almost as dark as a black lager

S- Rich aroma of roasted malt.

T-Notes of chocolate & coffee

M- Moderate body.

O-Not the best Porter I've ever had but it makes my Top 5. If you have a chance to have 1, do it. Would be a delicious companion to Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. (294 characters)

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

A: Into an imperial pint glass, it appears a very dark brown. The reddish amber around the edges shows it to be transparent, not translucent. The thick, foamy and head collapses to half its size quickly, but sticks around through some sipping.

S: The aroma is of roasting coffee, with sweet tea and hints of linen.

T: I taste cold coffee, cream, brown sugar, cola, some aromatic vanilla and linen, with a balanced dry/sweet aftertaste. The flavor is in step with the aroma, which I always enjoy.

M: The mouthfeel is light and sparkling, no trace of alcohol, and the finish is neither drying nor coating.

D: The light mouthfeel, balanced flavors, pleasant aftertaste, and sane ABV make this a beer of which I always have more than one glass.

Notes: This was my number one, if-I-can-drink-anything beer while I was in undergrad in mid-Michigan over ten years ago. Trying it now, I'm relieved that I had good taste back then. (927 characters)

Photo of madeofsteel
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured into a pint glass, it pours black, except on the edges where a little light is able to get through it seems to be dark brown. Almost non-existent head, dark tan ringlet. Little lacing to speak of.

S - Very warm roasted malts, and possibly molasses? Kind of sweet smelling.

T - Very roasty, but also has a fairly prominent licorice flavor. Molasses is also present, but sort of takes a backseat to the licorice. Normally I don't like licorice flavorings, but the bitter it lends to this beer balances it out quite nicely.

M - Kind of dry finish, minimal carbonation.

O - Bell's rarely disappoints me, and this is no exception. I can see coming back to this beer, especially during the winter. (706 characters)

Photo of boogles
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a decent, well balanced porter, a true porter, but nothing special as I would have expected from Bell's. It was good, but not good enough to seek out again.

I purchased a mixed pack of Bell's beers to see how they stacked up against each other, and I found that this one was too true to style for me, the least exciting of the bunch. That said, I was very impressed by the balance and texture, which never seems to come together in porters. Flavor without stout-like thickness. (487 characters)

Photo of schanker21
3.79/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Very very dark. Almost no light comes through this at all. Frothy tan head dissipates very slowly.

S- Subdued. Chocolate, roasted malts.

T- Roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, lactic acid. The smell betrays this. It's pretty complex and well-balanced.

M/D- Pretty good. Not a stellar porter by any means, but definitely very sessionable. Would buy again. (358 characters)

Photo of Allpe45
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown in the pour, darker brown in the glass. Very small creamy off-white head.

Rich roasted malt smell, plus coffee and earthy hops

Roasted malt, dark chocolate, coffee; hop bitterness in the finish.

Medium bodied for a porter, with creamy mouthfeel but prickly carbonation.

This a typical American porter. Fairly easy to drink, but doesn't amaze by any means. (370 characters)

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