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

very good
1,057 Reviews
Bell's PorterBell's Porter

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by Mitchster on 02-06-2002

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,057 | Ratings: 2,896
Photo of proc
4.7/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love this beer. Dark, roasty, excellent malt presence with a nice hop finish. Definetely a beer to drink during the cool weather. Bell's does not make beer for those with sensitive taste buds.

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Photo of RBorsato
4.65/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black with a decent light brown head and good carbonation which allows the head to come back to life when swirled. Dark chocolate and roasted malt aromas. Similar flavors... nice and robust. Medium-light bodied with a strong dry roasty finish.

Delicious Robust Porter !

Per Bell's website:
OG: 1.055
ABV: 5.6%

Batch #7739 ('6288' lasered on bottom)
Tasted: 01/01/07

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.65/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This brew pours a brownish black with a large tan head. The aroma is of rosted malt and coffee. The taste is absolute heaven. Rosted malt with a hint of coffee. Not overpowering or ni your face, but still flavorful. This just might be the perfect session beer. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with perfect carbonation. Overall, this is another great beer from Bell's.

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Photo of RickS95
4.6/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a good looking beer, though I'm fond of dark beers. Thin, fluffy, tan head on top of a black syrupy beer.

Nose is overwhelmed by roasted malt, with hints of coffee in the background.

Gives you a creamy, smooth feel in the mouth. Thing lacing circles the glass.

Has an Earthy, roasty flavor, the malt dominates, but hints of bittersweet come through in the background. The sweet malt balances nicely with the bitter giving a very smooth finish.

This beer looks good, smells good and is smooth from the moment you pop the top til after you swallow. Not highly alcoholic (5.6%), this is a beer you don't mind drinking a lot of on a winter night.

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Photo of carlborch
4.6/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a beautiful dark brown with 2 inch tan head formation. The pouring suggests a medium body, which is later confirmed. The head is persistent and settles in at 1.5 inches a flat, creamy top and plethora of micro-bubbles intermingled with larger cavities up to 1/8th inch. As you drink this ale the Belgian lace is well formed and decorative. The nose provides deep roasted notes. Hops are not evident. The porter has a medium body with a light cream texture. The suggestive chocolate and coffee notes join the maltyness, making the ale very nicely balanced. Carbonation is pleasant. The alcohol is moderate and not noticeable on the palate. Combined with delicious lingering this porter definitely invites repeat tastes. Another moreish ale! Light enough to be a restorative and a refresher, yet full enough of flavor to satisfy most any palate.

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Photo of fretlessman71
4.6/5  rDev +18.6%
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)…

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Photo of ADR
4.59/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

My favorite style of beer and Bell's is up to the challenge of one of the best bottled Porters I've ever had...toffee/coffee, with excellent can get chunky as its unpastuerized, but that's not at all offputting to me....this brewery seems to be expanding its regional distribution, so eventually the world will expect great things from this outstanding regional...

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Photo of Pencible
4.59/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This poured a nearly opaque black with a little light tan head. It smelled like delicious milk chocolate. It had a dominant flavor of chocolate as well with some hops and malt noticeable. It had a slightly oily texture with no carbonation and a mild dark chocolate bitterness in the aftertaste. Overall this was easy to drink, very chocolaty, and very nice.

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Photo of mogul37
4.58/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this one into a pint glass. Very dark appearance with a head that sits well and doesn't settle too fast. Smoky aroma with traces of coffee. Excellent, full flavor that's as good as any available porter. Goes down very smooth with only a little carbonation.

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.57/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Slightly translucent maroon color, creamy tan head. Smells more like a dunkel, dominated by roasted malt. Taste is of coffee, malt, and black licorice. Nice hops finish, but it enhances, not dominates the flavor. Full mouthfeel, perfect amount of carbonation. Very smooth, extremely drinkable.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.57/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This pours a ruddy dark brown with thick foaming.

There’s an evident roast to the aroma with a hint of toffee and chocolate maltiness. Some sweet notes round it out.

Great up-front roasty flavor with a taste of coffee and a hint of toffee. A welcome warmer for the winter months—or any other time of the year!

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Photo of PorterLambic
4.57/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Damn, this is good beer!

Pours a dark, mahogany brown with ruby red edges that little light penetrates. Big (2 inch), tan head with some waterfall effect. Slightly creamy with little to no lace.
Smell is brown sugar, molasses, smoke, peat, coffee, roasted malts, dark chocolate. Very well balanced nose.
Taste is exactly the same: brown sugar, molasses, smoke, peat, coffee, roasted malts with just a touch of root beer candy. A faint touch of alcohol in the throat very late.
Medium/full body with a light effervescence, slight warming in the back of the mouth. Smooth, creamy to a degree.
As I said to begin with, this is damned good beer. Buy several. Wish I had room in my trunk for more than the one mixed case I'm taking back to FL with me. :)

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Photo of JamesS
4.55/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an excellent dark brown/black color, with some great initial, tan head, that diminishes to a still nice thin head, with some very nice lacing to it. Great scent, semi-sweet, but a huge amount of burnt grains and a smidge of chocolate. Excellent taste, as well, nice and thick, great burnt grains without going overboard. It goes down very, very smoothly. This was a great porter.

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Photo of templar316
4.55/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A phenomenal example of the style from Bells. A rich dark color with ruby around the edge when held to the light. The rich nutty, malty aroma gets me excited about drinking and the flavor delivers. Chocolate malt, Caramel Malt, a malt lovers dream. I could drink this all night.

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Photo of morimech
4.54/5  rDev +17%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

It pours a very dark brown but the head is disapointing with poor retention. But things improve.

The smell is smokey and slightly sour. Good but nothing earth shattering to make it stand out. The taste is spot on perfect for a porter. Roasted malt goodness with just a hint of smokiness. Finishes slightly bitter. It has a crisp bite from the carbonation which is a little high for a porter. Light/medium bodied and very drinkable. I will definately seek this out for future consumption.

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Photo of Minks
4.54/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Oh Bell's. You never make a mediocre beer do you?

Well first off I drank this beer straight out of the bottle.

Sorry guys, but with no clean glasses and a mighty hankering for some good beer, what else was I going to do?

Well it wasn't washing the glasses, I'll tell you that.

The Bell's P. has got an incredible smell. I mean it. Herbal, cypress, coffee and malt.

Anyway this beer has got a lot of bubble to it, crisp but balanced with some staunch flavors. A bit milky near the end of the sip/swig.

It's got a lot of stocky malts and a bit of herbal hops, wheat toast, Grandpa's tobacco, toffee and coffee with a lot of splendid bitterness. It's reminiscent of chilly Canadian mornings when beefy lumberjacks would gather over a pot of coffee, breakfast, and chest hair comparisons.

Finish is great, both crisp and silky, with a pleasant beery aftertaste.

Not the best Porter I've ever had, but one of the better ones. It is certainly worth drinking, so go out and drink it!

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Photo of claytri
4.53/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The beer poured a pleasant black with a nice tan head. The aroma was of caramel malt and a delightful hint of cherry. The taste was of toasty caramel malt and tart cherry. The feel was medium and dry. This was an excellent and interesting beer, combining toasted malt and tart flavors to give a unique porter experience.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.52/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a nonic pint glass.

Look: Pitch black body, dark cream colored head that recedes to a healthy film. World map lacing.

Aroma: Rich dark chocolate, subtle sucrose sugar, charred grain, lightly roasted coffee.

Taste: Burnt malts and charred grains, touch of charcoal, bitter dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Medium to thin, perfect for the style.

Overall: Excellent in all the categories. Smells good, tastes good, feels good.

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Photo of Ahhdball
4.5/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My reviews haven't been favorable to Bell's recently but I'm changing quickly.
Poured rich and thick. Deep mahogany to black with a nice 1 inch head that dissappates quickly leaving some nice lace in remembrance.
Smell of roasted chocolate and coffee. Hints of espresso linger complimentary. Small amount of smokey wood present.
The taste is heavy malt to start, coffee and espresso mildy join the game and it finishes nicely with a slight bite of hops.
Thick and chewy mouthfeel that doesn't dissappoint. It leaves a nice coating of slick malt as it dissappears. I'm going for another, awesome beverage!

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Photo of JoeyHotrod
4.5/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

4.5's across the board on this beauty.

Quite well made and among my favorite Porters, Bell's version of the style is a true love affair.

The beer pours to a nice deep black color and a head that's quite evident. The sort of look that makes non beer advocates cower in fear.

The smell is sweet malt, with a little bit of hop sneaking in as well. It's no doubt a very nice smelling beer and it's scent, matches the equally solid look to a tee.

The taste is all over the spectrum, but great in each and every way.

Roasted malt... chocolate... coffee.. even an ever so slight hop bitterness adds to the complexity.

In my humble opinion, this is about as drinkable a porter as one is apt to find. Could easily see myself drinking a few bottles with ease.

Bell's with another winner, not a surprise in my book, as they are quite possibly my favorite of all American Breweries.

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Photo of dfried
4.5/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pretty dark in color, but a fair amount of reddish mahogany through the bottom and edges. Caramel colored head drops quickly to a ring. The Aroma is rich and creamy, coco and malty like, some roasted coffee, and some good fresh hops as well. I was really impressed with the flavor of this beer so let me gush, the flavor was like a mint leaf on chocolate ice cream, only the mint was fresh floral hops and the chocolate ice cream was roasted barley malt. There are some good espresso notes in the background as well. I might have to go out on a limb and say this is my favorite porter I have ever had. Relativly smooth mouthfeel and oh so easy to drink. One of Bell's year round beers that gets over looked all too often.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.5/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is dark ruby, almost black. It pours a pillowy cream light brown head that has some retention. There really nice chocolate and roast tones on the nose. Very nice bitterness in the taste coming from the roasted malt. There's a bittersweet chocolate taste making its presence known as well. Smooth and velvety mouthfeel. Medium body. A nice lingering bitterness. Very solid porter.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A dark black brew, that is nearly opaque. The head is a tan/beige colour and it stays around big time leaving waves of brown lace on my pint glass. The aromas are excellent! Coffee, chocolate, big time caramel malts, and more! The taste follows suit with a lovely smooth mix of hops and malts up front, lovely coffee notes and caramel in the middle, and a smooth as hell maltball finish. The mouthfeel is creamy, smooth, and just right, and the drinkability is great as well! Another winner from Bell's!

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Photo of ultralarry2006
4.5/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Left a three finger espresso foam colored head that receded to surface skim with good retention, not much lacing. Body was the deepest brown.

Smell - roasted malts. Dark breads, toffee, caramel. This is mouthwatering.

Taste - same as the smell. Dark breads, toffee, caramel, some chocolate, slight coffee. Very rich roasted flavors throughout. Some lemons on the finish. Very good.

Mouthfeel - full, smooth, low carbonation.

Drinkability - this is excellent ale. It goes down well, and is very sessionable.

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Photo of schoolcb
4.5/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz longneck

Aroma: Malty aroma characteristic of a dark bread. Appearance: Garnet and so dark you cannot determine clarity. A thin tan head dissapated quickly leaving a ring of fine bubbles in the glass. Flavor: As my eyes roll back in my head from the ecstacy of this top notch porter. Dark roasted malts contribute a nice roasted coffee and chocolate flavors to the malt backbone of this brew. Bitterness balances the malt well carrying through in the aftertaste. Finishes a bit sweet. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, and appropriately carbonated. Overall: Damn, even though I don't smoke, I need a cigarette. IMHO this is the best commercial example of a Robust Porter to be found anywhere.

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Bell's Porter from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.88 out of 5 based on 2,896 ratings.
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