Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

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Robust Porter
Ranked #32
Ranked #15,489
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: 1,131 | Ratings: 3,132 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Bluerabbitbell
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.

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Photo of Shiredave
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.

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Photo of tradershmulie
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 i expensive porter.

Would definitely try to stock.

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Photo of Charliethebrit
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

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Photo of Alieniloquium
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.

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Photo of MNAle
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.

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Photo of defunksta
4.23/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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

Aroma: Incredibly strong aromas of toasted chocolate with nuts. Authentic Belgian and milk chocolate flavors. Then some authentic espresso and coffee bean roast flavor which is delicate and balanced. A strong roastiness. Authentic for a porter. (4.25)

Flavor: Strong bittersweet and creamy chocolate. Then some milky cappuccino. Some coffee roast, but less than the nose. Some hints of woodiness on the back end. Finishes rather milky & sweet like sweet cream. Again authentic for a porter. (4.25)

Feel: Medium-bodied. Light carbonation that lends a sweet cream & chocolate feel overall. (4.00)

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.

Overall: A delicious and well-drinking porter. It's not too strong or roasty bitter. Nice chocolate, with a smaller roast to support. However, the roast is authentic espresso and coffee bean. Very pleasant and one of the most well-balanced porter that exists. (Final Rating: 4.03)

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Photo of BEERMILER12
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

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Photo of barnzy78
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.

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Photo of DavetotheB
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.

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Photo of sseisele
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a regular mug at between 40 and 45 degrees.

Thick black in color like cola. One finger head. Nice roasted smell. Pretty bitter taste, mouthfeel, and aftertaste. Not as sweet as other porters. Mild lacing helps keep the flavors intact. Would drink again.

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Photo of MacMalt
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottled on 9/19/2019. Poured into a Bell's snulip glass. It pours almost jet black with a half finger of lite khaki-colored head and significant lacing. On the nose is roasted malt, burnt coffee, tobacco, charred nuts, and a whiff of bakers chocolate. The taste is a mellow combination of earthy, burnt nuts, coffee grounds, and bakers chocolate. It's a good, bitter, porter taste. There is a slight vanilla sweetness but the taste finishes bitter and somewhat hoppy. It has a great mouth feel for a Porter: rich and creamy, And at only 5.6% ABV it's highly drinkable. Overall, this is a first rate American Porter, which should be no surprise coming from Bell's.

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Photo of CaptainHate
3.79/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Had at a bar at a music club. 12 ounce bottle poured into a snifter. Very dark brown body with small tan head. As is usually the case, it was served much too cold and as a result the smell and taste were muted. The smell and taste were of roasted malts, almost no char and a hint of chocolate. Mouthfeel was refreshing but maybe a bit thinner than expected. A solid robust porter.

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

From notes 8/17/12: Pours a very dark brown with particulates. The pour produces a 2 finger, soap bubble frothy, tan, moderately lasting head that leaves nice rings and webs of lace behind. Aroma is roasted and burnt malts, coffee, semisweet chocolate, roasted nuts and smoke. Taste is roasted/burnt malts, biscuit, bitter chocolate, coffee, toffee, roasted nuts with a fine spicy, bitter and aggressive pepper and smoke finish. I know it sounds odd for a porter but there is something a little pine resin-like lingering bitterness in the aftertaste. Rich in flavor the mouthfeel is medium bodied with just the right amount of carbonation; smooth and creamy.

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Photo of Niceandbadass
3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This beer is very well balanced. Not a heavy porter but great mouth feel. moderately carbonated. Flavors of cocoa, barley, and carmel were noticable.


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Photo of dele
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bell's Robust Porter pours a solid black in the glass, with a quickly dissipating lace head. It looks like a porter should. Its nose is roasted malt with a touch of coffee and chocolate. Not the strong cocoa that one sometimes gets from a stout; a more understated nose. The taste is like the smell: coffee and chocolate, but restrained, with a nice roasted malt backbone and just a touch of hop bitterness. The beer is a little thinner than some other porters, and carbonated more heavily than one might expect for the style.

Overall, a perfectly good porter, but not as exemplary relative to the style as many of Bell's other offerings are.

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Photo of Brook82
3.96/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nothing sub standard about this beer, enjoyable in every aspect. A lot of good porters out there by dedicated brewers, Bell's is right up there. I will be purchasing again.

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Photo of NickAdams55
4.24/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

When I used to live in NY I used to dream of Bell’s. Since I’ve moved to the Midwest my opinion has been tempered. Big Two Hearted has the best name of any ipa ever, but it’s not that impressive. This porter, on the other hand Is pretty good. One of my favorite styles and Bells pulls it off. Founders and Fuller’s London beat it handily, as did the sadly extinct Otter Creek Stovepipe Porter...but not at all bad.

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Photo of Urtravel
4.69/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

L: dark chocolate brown with frothy head and lace
S: upfront roasted chocolate coffee with slight hop at backend
T: follows smell pretty much on point
F: full bodied rich and smooth
O: a great beer, nicely done

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Photo of GuyFawkes
4.34/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 5/16/15; drank 7/3/15 @ the Family Compound.

Brown/black appearance.

Tan head; frothy lace.

Lightly roasted coffee beans, cream & oats in the nose.

Medium thick mouthfeel.

Burnt caramel, cream & coffee flavors up front; a mild hop bite on the finish.

A flavorful, balanced porter; very well done.

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Photo of CodyBasden
4.06/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Nice dark Porter with tan fluffy head and tough lacing, good smell of roasted barley and coffee, nice coffee taste that fades away to a barley taste that lingers, medium body creamy good carbonation

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Photo of KTCamm
4.01/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

4/27/19...pours very dark brown. light white foam that settles out to all but a scant rim. Dark chocolate/espresso nose. Rich coffee flavor. Modest grit. Creamy mouthfeel. Chocolatey. Real tasty.

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Photo of beersampler6
4.06/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really a very, very good porter and I have to constantly remind myself not to rate it as a stout. Tried this one on tap at Bell’s Eccentric Cafe. Looks great, deep dark brown, almost black opaque color with a nice small amount of white lasting head and sheets of abundant lingering lacing that just lasted and lasted. Smells of some roasted nuttiness, medium roast coffee, mild milk chocolate, malt and some toast. Taste follows the nose, along with some mild vanilla. Very smooth and easy to drink, yet with some depth and complexity as well. Smooth, mild mouthfeel with just a hint of creaminess. Just enough carbonation. An outstanding porter!

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Photo of wmscottsimpsonjr
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap in Kalamazoo. Black. Tootsie roll, roast, licorice. Smoke, grass, citrus, earth, spearmint on the finish. Quite complex. Very smooth with a medium high mouthfeel.

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Photo of good_to_sea
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Look: Brownish-black with a huge, foamy cream-colored head.
Smell: Toasted malt, chocolate, some fruity citrus hops. Very nice aroma.
Taste: Toasted malt with some coffee and chocolate. Aftertaste is like dark chocolate with a small hint of smoke. Slightly seltzer-like aftertaste. I get some bitter hop flavor as well. Overall, pretty mild and balanced.
Feel: Medium-bodied and creamy.
Overall: A really nice beer with balanced, complex flavors -- I'll be looking for more of this one.

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Porter from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 3132 ratings