Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

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Porter - Robust
Ranked #41
Ranked #18,455
3.88 | pDev: 10.05%
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Michigan, United States
Very Good
Notes: Our award winning Porter bridges the gap between malty brown ales and heavily roasted stouts. Notes of chocolate, coffee and roasted barley are offset with just a slight hop bitterness. Enjoy any time of the year.
Reviews: 1,148 | Ratings: 3,165 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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UrbanCaveman from Ohio

4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle, poured into a snifter at 40 degrees F, and allowed to warm to near ambient during consumption.

L: Pours a nigh-opaque, but not quite once the levels get low, ruddy chocolate brown. Forms a finger or so of tan head that dwindles to a cap and ring in short order. Not much lacing to speak of.

S: The nose is bread, toffee, coffee, and old fence post wood. As it warms, some chocolatey notes appear.

T: When cold, this is a blast of bitter roast coffee over black bread and pine tar. As it warms, the pine tar fades back and allows some chocolate tones to manifest, while the coffee smooths out. Bits of burnt nutshell pop in here and there.

F: Full and creamy.

O: This is an enjoyable porter.

Jul 06, 2021
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KT3418 from Colorado

4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Im more of a stout person so far and this does remind me of that as the description of the style would infer. It's still a porter but I love the stout qualities. I definitely enjoyed this and it seems to be another staple by Bells. Glad to cross it off the list

Apr 23, 2021
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rudiecantfail from Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

L---Darkest brown color. Densely bubbly tan head is reminiscent of a properly poured Guinness. Very good retention and beautiful lacing.

S---Roasted malts. Some dark chocolate and a light touch of coffee.

T---Roasted malts follow through from the nose. So do the chocolate & coffee, along with some caramel.

F---Creamy, medium body with good carbonation.

O---A really nice Porter from an excellent brewery. It's really hard to believe I've never had this one before.

Apr 12, 2021
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klarcbarr3 from Michigan

3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A cold one yields a light brown, almost white one inch head, which sustains nicely, and yields ample beautiful lacing. The beer is a good looking dark brown, with surprisingly little aroma.. the faintest roasted malt scent is barely detectable. The taste, however is very good.. coffee notes dominant over a malted smokiness, with faint cocoa lending a touch of sweetness to the brew. The mouthfeel is also good, slightly thick and lingering nicely over the tongue. This is fairly mild for a robust porter, but quite true to the classic porter style. A good beer, worthy of entering my beer rotation periodically.

Apr 10, 2021
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larryi86 from Delaware

3.92/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, dated 2/3/21, poured into a tulip

A- Black with a two finger mocha head.

S- Roasted malts, bakers chocolate, touch of caramel malts, a little nutty, touch of coffee.

T- Roasted malts, some coffee, chocolate, a little nutty, some caramel malts, slightly earthy.

M- Smooth, medium body.

O- A straight forward and easy to drink porter. Nose is more robust than the taste, still well balanced.

Mar 12, 2021
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smcolw from Massachusetts

3.89/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Beige head that settles to rim bubbles. Some small streaks on the glass. Deep brown color, but bright light does pass through the center of the glass.

The smell is chalky with a powdery semisweet cocoa aroma.

The body is relatively thin given the style. The carbonation is also a bit high. The taste is drier than the smell. The cocoa isn't as "dark" or bitter as Baker's Chocolate but the flavor seems to be devoid of sugars. No notable milk/cream. Overall, I like the flavor but not the mouthfeel.

Feb 28, 2021
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MrGraybeard from Wisconsin

3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown, almost opaque, with a slight head that dissipates quickly. Slight caramel aroma. Flavor has coffee and nutty notes with a slightly dry, almost astringent finish that is not unpleasant. Mouthfeel is creamy but a little thin compared to some Wisconsin porters I've sampled lately.

Feb 12, 2021
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Reef from South Carolina

3.92/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle. dated 2/28/2020

Mahogany brown, tan head, full cap and lacing.
Mocha, coffee aromas.
Nutty, light char, coffee flavors
Good carbonation, substantial body, slight bitterness, dry finish.
Tasty, great with barbecue.

Jan 02, 2021
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Dr_Bahmbay13 from Michigan

4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is a very good beer! Very malty sweetness going on inside of the roasty chunky taste. Taste like a chocolate secruity beer. Malt forward with a dry roasted hop presence pork chop in a beer.

Dec 19, 2020
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VelvetExtract from Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Textbook Porter. Not always the right beer but when the time calls, it delivers. Simple, effective and clearly well made. I really like where they set the ABV. Just enough to feel sturdier than your typical beer but not a nuke. Really a timeless brewski.

Nov 27, 2020
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Peach63 from New York

3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a 1/2 inch tan head, which dissipates. Moderate lacing.

Aroma of coffee, dark roast malts.

Taste is coffee, dark roast malts, chocolate.

Full bodied, light carbonation. Dry, astringent finish.

This is a nice porter for those crisp fall days.

Nov 16, 2020
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SimplySinister from Florida

3.25/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A - Restrained pour into a goblet producing a dark colored, clear brew sporting a very small parchment head. This porter has minimal carbonation; it almost seems flat. Packaged 08/18/2020 and best by six months following packaging. So, I assume this carbonation level is on point.

S - Malt, barley, chocolate, lactose, coffee.

T - Malt, barley, chocolate, lactose, coffee. This brew tastes very mild up until the finish. Some bitterness. The flat characteristic really takes away from this brew's charisma.

M - Thin viscosity.

D - It is possible I received a bad batch. With that being said, given the level of carbonation and bitter finish, I couldn't imagine being too generous with the scoring. I'll try it again and revise my review but, as is, I'm not impressed.

Oct 22, 2020
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keith_katt from Kentucky

3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This beer pours very dark with an almond color head that lingered through the first half of the beer. The lacing lined the glass all the way through as I drank it. Initial smell was malt and a few hints of coffee. The taste agreed. Malt and coffee with a bit of chocolate. Only a bit of bitterness. It is pretty smooth in the mouth with a good bit of carbonation. I got it in a mixed craft flight of six but I would buy it again.

Sep 17, 2020
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Wattie83 from Pennsylvania

4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks dark brown with some ruby highlights when held in the light. Khaki head falls off with some small islands left behind. Aroma is fresh roast coffee and cocoa. Taste is dark malt, coffee, cocoa, tobacco. Hop bitterness is present and provides a nice earthiness to the beer. Feel is medium-light, a bit dry, good dose of carbonation. I give it an "A". This is a tasty beer that's easy to drink and has enough flavor to stay interesting through the whole glass. The dryness I get is a nice touch.

Sep 05, 2020
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woemad from Washington

4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle courtesy of Whyteboar. He included two bottles of this in his NBS BIF #11 box to me. I thought I'd already drank both and reviewed it, but this peeped out at me when I was looking through my fridge for a NBS candidate. According to the rear label, this was bottled on January 22, 2020. Different label than the one pictured here.

Poured into a snifter, this was a very dark brown, virtually black, with a big, creamy head that fell somewhere between beige and tan in color. Lots of lace.

Not a huge aroma to this, but it's exactly the kind you'd expect for a porter. There's some roasted maltiness that imparts some dark chocolate and a bit of coffeeish bitterness.

Taste is similar to the nose. Roasted malts dominate the flavor. It's a bit more bitter than the nose led me to believe. Molasses and coffee are what the taste buds are reminded of. Finish is fairly dry.

Medium bodied, with a somewhat creamy mouthfeel.

Nothing that blows me away, but a very solid porter. It doesn't seem to have suffered from being opened up 5 months after bottling. If I'd been smart, I'd have done a side by side of it and Deschutes' Black Butte (haven't had one in a long while now). If it were local, it'd make a nice fridge porter. Thanks, Craig!

Jun 21, 2020
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Bluerabbitbell from Pennsylvania

3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This toasty malty Porter is a great and almost "home" taste. It's so good to be out again after everything shutting down for covid 19. Had this at Pies and Pints.

May 29, 2020
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Shiredave from New York

4.11/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Jan. 9 2020 bottling date. Label reads " 6 month shelf life". Looks like I'm in under the wire.
The beer pours a deep. bakers chocolate brown sporting a tall. tan head at first, slumping to a film with a speck of lace or 2.
Aroma is nice - lots of coco and coffee but distinct roasted barley notes along with some smokey undertones and caramel apples.
The roasted smell implies a stout ahead but first sip tells you this is less and more. The dark grain character remains wrapped in the caramel dripping off those apples I smelled. Wonderful dark and caramel malt flavors develop as it warms though some fruitier notes are dulled and masked by a solid hop bite. The bittering is earthy and leathery, which tastes right if a bit harsh.
Body is on the heavy side of light while the flavor argues it's bigger than it is.
Not quite a Robust porter in my book but a very tasty, balanced and drinkable Porter it is.
I don't think making a brown porter darker makes it robust but hey - Bell's can call it whatever they want - I'll drink it again.

May 25, 2020
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tradershmulie from Connecticut

3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A very respectable beer.
Nice head. Smooth taste. Not bitter at all.
Definitely worth having as a top notch inexpensive porter.

Would definitely try to stock.

Apr 30, 2020
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Charliethebrit from Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass
Deep brown porter, thin brown head, not retained
Dark malt sweetness on the nose, hint of toasted almonds
Taste is low IBU with dark malt profile. Noticeable coffee, with hints of chocolate, black licorice, faint hint of herbal, typical of good British Goldings and Fuggles hops, among my favorites
Feel is good, natural carbonation
I would love to taste this on tap, especially at the brewery tap. It would have better potential

Feb 28, 2020
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Alieniloquium from Florida

4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle. Pours black with a khaki head. Smells of aggressive grassy hops and strong roasted malt. Tastes of roasted malt, chocolate, coffee bitterness immediately, slight malty sweetness, and some grassy and spicy hop bitterness. Medium body and remarkably drinkable. This is wonderful.

Feb 06, 2020
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MNAle from Minnesota

4.17/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nice strong aroma of roasted malts, hints of coffee, chocolate, and dark fruits.

Nearly black from the front, dark ruby with a backlight. Tall, thick, khaki head, creamy, with good retention. As it recedes, the top is cratered and bubbly, leaving good looking thick strings of lacing down the glass. Ample rising bubbles visible.

Taste is roasted coffee/malts, and as with the aroma, hints of chocolate and dark fruits. Mild bitterness shows up in the middle and carries through to the finish and aftertaste. The finish is semi-dry with the mild hops bitterness providing excellent balance to the dark malts. This lingers into the aftertaste.

The body has some heft for the style, but objectively medium bodied tending toward the thin side. The mouth feel is somewhat dry with good carbonation sparkling.

Overall, an excellent Robust Porter. To my taste, in the same class as the Founders, only slightly better in the strength of the aroma and taste.

Jan 14, 2020
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defunksta from North Dakota

3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark, dark brown color with a massive, medium to light colored, tan, and foamy head. SRM of 24. (4.25)

Aroma: Mild aromas of chocolate, nuts, leather. Authentic Belgian and milk chocolate flavors. Then some authentic black leather, beef jerky aromas. Minimal espresso and coffee bean roast flavor. A mild roastiness. Authentic and malty for a porter. (4.00)

Flavor: Mild flavors of chocolate. Some cream. Then some black leather, jerky, and smoke flavors. Minimal coffee roast, and less than the nose. Some hints of dark beets or woodiness on the back end. Finishes rather malty like chocolate and beef. Again, authentic and robust maltiness for a porter, but devoid of hops. (4.00)

Feel: Medium-bodied. Light carbonation that lends a sweet cream & chocolate feel overall. Could use more carbonation. A bit flat. (3.50)

Compared to Founder's Porter: Very similar. Pours a lighter tan head. Pours lighter and less syrupy. More bitter, roasty, and milky flavor than robust chocolate. Less heavy and robust. Milkier and lighter overall.

Compared to Bell's Kalamazoo Stout 4/12/20: Pours a slightly lighter color with a lighter tan head. Similar aroma strength. Flavor more of simple chocolate and espresso roast, typical of a porter. Less cream, wafer, dark malt. Finishes with more roast, less body, and dryer.
2/10/21: Similar color but stronger, lighter tan head. Milder aromas. More faint cream. Less chocolate and lighter. Less roast.
4/8/21: Similar, but lighter tan head. More mild, milk chocolate. Less dark chocolate and roast.

Compared to Edmund Fitzgerald 1/17/21: Pours a nearly identical color. Leans more malty with chocolate, dark malt, dark bread. Minimal roast, bitterness and much less than Edmund Fitzgerald. More lactose, smooth and malty. Winner: Edmund Fitzgerald (I think, but this Bells was a year old)
2/25/21: Pours a similar color. More tamed and malty aromas. More chocolate, and nut malty flavors. Less roast.
4/14/21: More milk and rich chocolate. More smokey and nuts. Less dark chocolate and airy espresso roast. Leans maltier.

Compared to Founder's Porter 1/31/21: Pours a slightly lighter color with a lighter tan head. More robust and sweet chocolate. More dark lather and beef jerky flavor. Less espresso and roast. More malty and dark. Less lactose and espresso roast. Similar sweetness though. Leans more malty and smooth.

Compared to Summit's Great Northern Porter 2/11/21: Pours a similar appearance. More deep and dark chocolate on the aroma/flavor. Less aired roast and clean. Finishes with more chocolate and slightly more malty. Less carbonation and more flat & dry.

Overall: A delicious and well-drinking porter. Slightly more malty than most with mild CHOCOLATE & NUTTY malts with subtle Leather and Beef Jerky flavors. Minimal roast, but It's not too strong. Maybe once, the most well-balanced porter that exists, but now it is quite malty and smooth. Devoid of hops. Good, maybe great, but not extraordinary. (Final Rating: 3.97)

Jan 05, 2020
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BEERMILER12 from Maine

3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a near pitch black color with 2 fingers of head that fades down to a nice cap that leaves good lacing

S: Roasted malt, dark chocolate, dark fruit, coffee, and caramel

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with the roasted malt, dark chocolate, and caramel. Picks up some coffee and very light dark fruit. Finishes with lingering roast

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: A very good porter that is easy to drink. Simple and effective

Dec 24, 2019
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barnzy78 from Illinois

3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, PKG 09/19/2019. I have had this many times but somehow never reviewed it until now. A thin foamy tan head caps a dark brown beer. Dark malt, brown sugar, molasses, cocoa, and earthy hops are all in the rich aroma. Nice blend of flavors: earthy & spicy hops give it some bitterness to go with the hefty malt backbone notes of toasted grain, dark malts, brown sugar, molasses, cocoa, coffee, and a but of roasted barley. Fuller body, ample carbonation, finishes moderately bitter and semi-dry. Just as good as I remember it being.

Dec 17, 2019
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DavetotheB from Pennsylvania

3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From a 12oz bottle dated 11/5/19 into a pint glass. Pours black with about a finger of light brown head that disappears quickly leaving a medium amount of lacing on the inside of the glass. Smells of coffee and smoke. Tastes same as the smell with a little bit of dark chocolate bitterness thrown in. Drinks fairly smooth and thin. Overall, a pretty standard porter, but very good.

Dec 11, 2019
Porter from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 3165 ratings