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Bell's Big Porch Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Bell's Big Porch AleBell's Big Porch Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

65 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 65
Reviews: 39
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 12.33%
Wants: 9
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-01-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 65 | Reviews: 39 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by PeatReek:
Photo of PeatReek
3.43/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A solo bottle brought across the country when my parents visited for graduation - I have great parents. Pours a nice clear light amber color with a nice tight whitish-tan head puffing over the top of the glass. Smells sweet and intensely floral-hoppy. The first sip is a little bit cloyingly sweet, followed by an American hop flavor that is somewhat more subdued than I had anticipated from the aroma. The prominent bitterness cuts well against the sweetness, however.

Towards the middle of the glass, some nice malty caramel overtones are starting to come through, maybe some Maerzen flavors even. Unfortunately, so is the "dirtiness" of the hop character, and somehow these flavors don't really balance each other out. Overall, it's a sight better than most amber ales out there, but not truly phenomenal. As to sessionability, I'd probably switch after just 1 or 2.

(Batch 7872... Bell's website has never heard of it. Ha!)

PeatReek, Jun 22, 2007
More User Reviews:
Photo of orbitalr0x
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle pours into my glass a hazy amber after I accidentally pour a good bit of yeast in. Creamy half inch of bone white head sticks to the top of the brew. Steady active carbonation. Aromas of sweet caramel and lightly toasted grain with floral hops.

First sip brings a sweet caramelly maltiness. Lightly toasted and a bit nutty with a nice floral hop bite to it as well. Flows down crisp and clean with a grainy touch. Finishes with a bit of bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and easy to drink. Smooth and creamy I could have a few in an evening, but then I'd want to move on to a different flavor. A tasty amber ale through and through. As far as I know this is the Amber Ale repackaged and it's just as good as Bell's Amber has always been.

orbitalr0x, Nov 10, 2007
Photo of mikerap100
3/5  rDev -17.8%

mikerap100, May 25, 2013
Photo of Jorge
4.22/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Rich, cloudy brown; light tan head, which quickly dissipates.

Aroma: Pleasant, slightly funky nose; a blend of hops and malts.

Taste: Mellow, slight hoppiness, chocolately malts, slightly acidic aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Slightly medicine bitterness if you let is rest on the tongue.

Drinkability: Extremely drinkable, a delicious brown ale. More distinctive than the Bell's Best Brown.

Jorge, Jun 16, 2008
Photo of Kegatron
3.38/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Big thanks to Chad Ferris for this extra!

Pours a dark, murky amber with of yeasty floaters in it and a finger or so of creamy off-white head. Retains with a thin layer across the top that leaves some light lacing. The aroma is actually a bit subdued. I'm getting some bready smelling malts with a touch of sweetness, as well as some light citrus and floral accents.

The taste is a mix of toasted and caramel malts with a tinge of citrus character making its presence known as well. I'm also picking up a bit of a light hop profile in the backend. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a tad too much prickly carbonation for an overall softer flavor profile.

Decent Amber. I'm not sure what was up with the yeast and subdued aroma. Old bottle maybe? Still drinkable though, as I had no problem polishing off the bottle.

Kegatron, Aug 06, 2008
Photo of Danielr26
3.25/5  rDev -11%

Danielr26, Jul 27, 2014
Photo of alfie
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

alfie, Sep 06, 2013
Photo of HoneyLamb
4/5  rDev +9.6%

HoneyLamb, Jan 01, 2012
Photo of chrisbokmuller
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

chrisbokmuller, May 10, 2012
Photo of mikesgroove
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pour was pretty good with a nice medium amber color with nice clarity to it and a small white head on top. Aroma of nice carmael malts and a dose of piney hops. Warming really brought out the sweet notes here, very solid. Nice medium body and very well carbonated. Strong caramel and bready malt undertones were very prominant with hops an afterthought but strong enough to really shine through in the finish.

mikesgroove, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of Another6Pack
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Another6Pack, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of Tyrawlings
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Tyrawlings, Feb 11, 2012
Photo of Imsothirsty
5/5  rDev +37%

Imsothirsty, Jan 28, 2012
Photo of oline73
3.2/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a goblet at the Grand Hotel.

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with just over a finger of fluffy off white head. The head fades quickly leaving hardly anything behind.

Smell: Sweet caramel malt, mildly fruity. Pretty simple.

Taste: Quite malty, bready and mildly sweet. There is a slight bitterness in the finish as well.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, tingly carbonation, and a hint of dryness in the finish.

Overall: Just an average amber ale. Nothing unpleasant, but not a whole lot of complexity either.

oline73, Sep 06, 2011
Photo of Zaphog
3/5  rDev -17.8%

Zaphog, Aug 13, 2013
Photo of Donnelj
4.2/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Very nice amber. I wish I could get this at the store.

Plots a very nice color with excellent pearly white head. Head does not retain well but nice lacing is present.

Smell is not much to talk about. Slight grassy aroma but very slight.

Taste is quite pleasant. It's a mild beer with slight hoppiness. Finish is crisp and refreshing. great session beer!

Mouth feel is nice but a little thin feeling.

Overall a very good product by Bells!

Donnelj, Jun 19, 2013
Photo of GbVDave
4.1/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 20oz imperial pint. Thanks to HeatherAnn fo the assist!

2008 Batch # 8470

A: Pours a lovely & hazy looking tarnished copper color with a creamy, off-white, 1 1/2 finger head that recedes quickly to a swirly skim and thick & bubbly ring. Sticky sheets of lace.

S: Nice aromas of citrus and gradually a little pine bough. Toasted malt, biscuit-y yeast, and an earthy herbal hop finally emerges around mid-glass.

T: Dry, toasted malt and dry, peppery hops counter the citrus/pine flavors as well as the nutty yeastyness. Great toasted malt and roasted nut in the finish.

M: Opens pretty dry and astringent and quickly becomes juicy and oily in the middle. During the finish a peppery/herbal quality takes hold and keeps things interesting.

D: Excellent drinkability. I really liked the nutty flavors that came out as its' temperature rose. Another great summer beer!

GbVDave, Jun 06, 2008
Photo of soupyman10
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got these ones randomly on a back shelf at a MI Meijer (still doesn't make much sense to me, but little about that store does). Pours a crystal clear amber color with two inches of fluffy head on top that leaves solid lacing and takes its time dissolving. Nose is strong on malt, with a touch of grain in there too and some mild hops at the end. Taste is fairly similar; sweet caramel malt up front, with a good bit of grain in the middle and some mild hops in the short aftertaste. Feel is average, good carbonation and medium body. Although some people are arguing that Bell's seems to have just rebottled their Amber as the Big Porch, I definitely noticed a subtle, grainy difference between the two - and I come down on the Amber side of the fence. Nonetheless, this one's just fine for a drinkable beer on most occasions.

soupyman10, Jul 04, 2007
Photo of Goldfoot
5/5  rDev +37%

Goldfoot, Dec 16, 2011
Photo of youngblood
3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours coppery brown into a glass. Head retention is descent, about a minute or so. In the nose, you can sense the expected caramel sweetness of the malts, while a small bit of hops balance it out nicely.
Taste follows the nose closely with the main focus being on the malts. It is very well structured with a smooth texture to the ale.
Overall, it's a good amber.

youngblood, Sep 29, 2008
Photo of Thorpe429
3.05/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle purchased at the Bell's retail shop. Served in a snifter.

Pours a very light copper color with a good white head and plenty of lacing on the way down. The nose has a bit of bread plus a touch of cream-like yeast. Bready throughout. Very much so. The taste is mildly malty; again, there is a bit of light sweetness and a very mild earthy character plus gobs of bread. There is a light tannic grainy bitterness there as well. I'd waited awhile to try this one and it was quite disappointing. Too bad.

Thorpe429, May 03, 2011
Photo of BrewMichigan
4.13/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I bought this one at Meijer. Doesn't seem too exclusive if I can get it in Flint, anyways...

A - A hazy amber color.
S - Not a whole lot of aroma, slight hop smell.
T - Much more malty than hoppy. Has a slight english character to it but not fruity. More biscuit flavor than other American Ambers but very clean finish.
M - Good mouthfeel, not too slick, not to astringent.
D - I could do a couple of these on the "Big Porch" on Mackinaw.

Overall a very solid beer but nothing to write home about. This could be very good on a hot day at the lake.

BrewMichigan, Jun 04, 2008
Photo of SiRCRX
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

SiRCRX, Jul 27, 2012
Photo of TasteTester
4/5  rDev +9.6%

TasteTester, Dec 17, 2011
Photo of BeaBeerWife
4.5/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

outstanding amber, as it has always been, under it's traditional name Bell's Amber. The original founder of this recipe is quite talented and I look forward to enjoying his new line-up of brews at Muskegon Brewing & Distilling, Michigan... (once it opens) hopefully later this year!!!

I've got the 2008 edition, right on the label. I also have some of last years left over, of which they did not put the year on the label.

PS - do a taste test of this brew with Bell's Amber!

:)

BeaBeerWife, Jul 29, 2008
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Bell's Big Porch Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
83 out of 100 based on 65 ratings.