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

very good
2,931 Ratings
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 Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,931 |  Reviews: 1,066
Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown body, fluffy creamy light tan head, sparse lace. Aroma is wonderful, lots of raw cacao bean, pulpy wood, mild hop bitterness. Flavor has more hop bitterness, acidity and some mild earthiness, dark malt (dark, not toasted/roasted) and chocolate has taken a step down. Slightly sweet, well balanced by bitterness. Medium body, love that fluffy head.
Great presentation, including the nose, hops and their bitterness had too much sway on the flavor for my tastes. Otherwise a great, expressive, balanced beer.

 517 characters

Photo of Henrich
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours an almost opaque black, but with small glints of ruby, when you try to find it. Heat is a satisfying beige with larger bubbles than I would like. Foam predictably has little staying power and fads into a thin dusting over the top.
Smell: Malty roastiness mixed with a slight sweetness, but you have to try hard to pick out any distinct smell.
Taste: Exceptional taste. Malty sweetness quickly yields to intense dark chocolate taste, followed by a slight lingering bitterness. Surprising after the disappointingly lackluster smell.
Mouth-Feel: No real complaints. Delivers the taste well. Little carbonation, but you still know it's there.
Overall: Excellent offering. I have reviewed other porters quite harshly, but it was difficult to say a bad word against this one. Not cloying like many porters; complex and delicious.

 841 characters

Photo of Sappyjoker
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of micromaniac129
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bell's porter is deep deep brown with some rubby high lights. When poured it produces about one inch of desent head fading to a wisp ring .
Aroma is rich with roasted malt slightly sweet. Hops are present but not much.
Smooth and rich roasted, slightly burnt malt taste is present. Hops are there just for balance purposes and are not a major player.
Has a rich full taste but I would like to taste some of the flavors we come to associate with a rich and complex malt bill.
Variety and difference is just as good.
A well made beer I can enjoy time and time again
Drink well my friends

 585 characters

Photo of TheSSG
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a soapy, tan head with great persistenc. Toasted, acidic aroma. Black. Starts with an acidic, toasted malt. Low bitterness. Finish is toasted malt over lingering, mild bitterness.

This is really solid. Not overly complex, but just phenomenal in it's refinement.

 271 characters

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

Bottled-on-date of 10/7/13; consumed on 11/7/13, so this is quite fresh.

A: Poured into a pint glass. Body is black with a half-finger of tan head and ruby/mahogany highlights on the edges when backlit.

S: Very roasty, but also with some coffee and dark chocolate. Good porter nose.

T: Modest roast, roasted coffee beans and ash. Touch of chocolate. Finishes with a nice lingering roasty, charcoal-like bitterness.

M: Thinnish in feel, with slightly over-active carbonation.

O: Good stuff.

 494 characters

Photo of BlindPig
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Thick tan head on a dark brown body with a few amber hues.
S- Strong roasted grains, coffee, chocolate, burnt, light breads, and almost a light smoky aroma.
T- Pretty much follows the aroma. There are some grass hops thrown in there too though. Some nice earthy tones. It just seems everything is better balance than in the aroma. Dry light bitter aftertaste with some toasted malts.
M- Medium body with medium carbonation.
D- I wouldn't mind having more of these. Doubt I will go out specifically and try to get them but if I could get them here I would buy a 6-pack every once in awhile.

 597 characters

Photo of KI9A
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Cola-black, decent, fluffy head.

S: Roasty malts

T: malty sweetness, semi-dark chocolate, some light coffee.

M: Medium + body, very creamy feeling in the mouth...very nice!

D: 1st bottle didn't last too long. After the initial tasting, the rest was quaffed like a light pils, on a hot summer day! Great beer..

 317 characters

Photo of corby112
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown color with slight mahogany edges and a thin foamy beige head. Roasted malty aroma with sweet chocolate notes. This beer tastes kind of smokey with lots of roasted chocolate maltiness, oatmeal, caramel and burnt toast. Slightly creamy body with a dry bitter finish.

 288 characters

Photo of nrbw23
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a black color when held to the light not too much passes through expect on the edges. A nice foam like cream colored head that leaves pretty much no lacing.

S- Smells are a tiny bit weak compared to other porters but still not terrible by any means. Roasted malts, coffee and some chocolate.

T- As expected, roasted and chocolately along with a nice sweetness. Pretty much just as I'd expected.

M- This has to be just about perfect here.

D- A very solid brew and even more special on cask.

 503 characters

Photo of TonyTwins
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

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

Photo of JOrtiz
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Photo of Illini5596
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not a bad stout, definitely not my favorite but it shows a lot of promise, good initial taste moving to something a bit too sour for me, but still very drinkable. I imagine this is much better on tap. An almost bitter finish. Not bad for quenching my thirst, but I can think of better stouts that are just as available. Overall a nice try, but not my cup of tea.

 362 characters

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

Photo of divineaudio
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a - dark brown with deep red highlights and a big foamy head, leaves a quite a bit of lacing behind as well.

s - a subtle mix of hops and coffee.

t - a big blast of roasty deliciousness balanced with a slightly hoppy finish. notes of coffee and dark chocolate as well.

m - smooth with just the right amount of carbonation.

d - balanced flavors, smooth mouthfeel and fairly low abv make this a nice session beer imho. can and will have another!

this is one of my default "go to" beers, a rock solid example of an american style porter.

 540 characters

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

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

Deep black, with a thick head of tan bubbles. Lace is minor, but fairly ornate.

Nose is roasted malts, most notably with a chocolate tone.

Taste is more roasty chocolate -- chewy, but ultimately smooth and easy to drink.

An exceptional session porter here, and one of my favorites from Bell's, for sure.

 307 characters

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

A-Poured a rich brown w/faint red highlights on the edges. Formed a nice beige head that faded into persistent cap and left tracing.
S-Roasted coffee, chocolate malt, light hops w/faint citrus and dark fruit.
T-Burnt coffee w/light chocolate, sweeter upfront w/rich malt, and fruit opens up midway into citrus and faint esters, and finish is dry hops (grapefruit dominates in the end) w/burnt coffee that leave a pleasant, bitter aftertaste that mixes nicely w/remnants of sweet malt.
M-Body is medium w/good carbonation.
D-Quite drinkable and pleasant on the taste buds. Another good delivers from Bell's.

 608 characters

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

From the bottle to a pint glass, pours a very dark brown almost black hardly any head at all and it quickly vanishes. Little to no lacing down the glass. Roasty aroma, hints of chocolate and coffee sneaking through. Kind of sweet overall, a hint of caramel. Taste is very roasted. A hint of chocolate comes through followed by coffee. The aftertaste is dominated by coffee with a small hint of chocolate. No thickness here in the mouthfeel, it's fairly medium bodied. Not a high ABV so it's not noticeable. I do like porters though I'm not huge into them as I'd rather have a nice stout but this one is good. Easily drinkable and pretty good tasting.

 650 characters

Photo of zak333
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

Picked up a couple porters at Sendik's, this, Butte Creek Organic Porter, and Summit Great Northern Porter.

A very thick porter, almost opaque. Not much head, but pretty good lacing. Smells nice and roasted, a little hoppy, and, unexpectedly, a little vinuous. Tastes vinuous as well, and the carbonation makes it seem eerily similar to sparkling grape juice. Has a nice hop bite at the end to complement the upfront sweetness. Ordinarily, I'd be much more surprised at how hoppy this porter is, but it really can't compare to the Summit Great Northern--which is a good thing. Bell's is much more sensibly hopped, more balanced, and much better. Definitely different than any other porter I've had.

 701 characters

Photo of tykees88
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a- A little lightly colored black brown here. Not a very great head or lacing though. But still looks nice.

s- Smells roasty nice. real nice. There is a super present hop aroma. I like where this is going.

t- A nice coffee up front flavor. Followed by a floral hop flavor. The roasted malts are very nice as well. A tasty porter.

m-Medium to lighter bodied porter. I am becoming more and more fond of this style

o-very nice very drinkable. should be a go to porter at my place now.

 486 characters

Bell's Porter from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.88 out of 5 based on 2,931 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Learn More