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

very good
2,924 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: 2,924 |  Reviews: 1,065
Photo of Bluegrass49
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle to a 16 oz altbiers glass. Dark brown with a tan 2 finger head with moderate lacing. A typical porter with hints of chocolate, roasted malt and coffee. Hops bitterness is very moderate. Overall a very enjoyable beer experience. I'll have another, please!

 280 characters

Photo of mfnmbvp
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, with bottled on date of 06/03/2013 printed on the label. A beer from Bell's that I haven't had before. Expectations are high since I enjoy Bell's beers and I tend to enjoy porters.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter glass.

A - Pours a dark cola brown colored body; opaque in the glass. One finger of tan head disappears quickly to a ring.

S - Big dark roasted malts, iced coffee, coffee beans, touch of hazelnut, and some bold smoke / char. Not terribly amazing, but hits it's mark indefinitely.

T - Taste is big rich and robust, just as the label describes. Deep roasted malt character, dark chocolate, cold black coffee, and some char on the finish.

M - Feel is of bitter chocolate & coffee bean roast, with a dry nutty finish. Ideal carbonation for the style.

Overall, a solid porter from Bell's. Not exactly straying from the path or breaking any new remarkable ground, but what a classic, well-brewed Michigan porter should taste like. Bell's rarely ceases to please me, and it's a shame that I overlook their beers as often as I do.

Bell's Porter ---4/5.

 1,084 characters

Photo of Bustersuess
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of psuKinger
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into my Sam Adams Perfect Pint Glass.

A: Pours a moderately dark shade of black, with a nice tan head on top, moderately sized, which receded fairly quickly but didn't completely disappear.

S: Roasty and creamy, a nice combination of coffee and vanilla as well. Maybe just a hint of grapefruit shining through.

T: Flavor begins with classic roasted notes. Vanilla begins to make itself present as the glass warms. A light blast of pine and grapefruit arrive near the end.

M: A bit thin for my liking. Nice creaminess, though. Certainly not a dry finish.

D/O: Vanilla-roast became more pronounced, and the finish improved, as the beer warmed. But it still remained a bit thin. This would probably be an enjoyable Porter during the heat of Summer, but it's not an ideal Winter Porter.

 801 characters

Photo of SicemWT
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of craigbelly
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of PatrickCT
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Slynger
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deepest of browns with a more than adequately sized lid of fuzzy light brown leaves slinky, slippery, lace.

Modest nose of dark chocolate and roasted malts with a sweet, woody character.

Well balanced flavors of bittersweet chocolate and dark roasted malts with a bit of coffee; sweet woody overtones bring it together nicely. Light-medium body has a good amount of soft, cushioning carbonation and smoothness.

Bell's Porter is an extremely approachable, well balanced, and nice tasting brew that I could happily enjoy by lone bottle or sixer.

 548 characters

Photo of Wasatch
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to CRJMellor for this one.

Batch 7662

Pours a dark brown color, nice carbonation, nice fizzy tan head, very nice sticky lacing afterwards and throughout the drink. The nose is slightly malty, and caramel. The taste pretty much follows the nose, malty and slight caramel. Light-Medium body. Drinkable, a nice little porter.

 335 characters

Photo of Anthony1
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured into a snifter

poured very dark chocolate tone. had a thin tan head, creamy.

smells very coffee like. malty and rich and chocolate flavored. decently bittered, but could use a bit more sweets. some nice woody taste, all roasted. nice and creamy feel, and nice to drink.

 278 characters

Photo of birchstick
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - very dark, with a chocolaty, tan head
S - lots of semi-sweet chocolate malts; licorice; hint of hops
T - this is pretty sweet - roasted malts followed by lots of dark chocolate at the end, with an overall roasted-ness settling in my mouth
MF - a bit thin
D - very good overall, just not something I want to drink over and over in a sitting

 343 characters

Photo of AMCPhD
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of markman
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bell's Porter:

Nice classic porter look…mahogany brown with a nice head full of tiny bubbles, and a promise of fine lacing. Nice roasted mocha flavor, but kind of lackluster…no balls, and slightly acidic with a long burnt finish. Thinnish bodied…I’d like it a bit more creamy. That said, I could drink these all night long. Very quaffable this porter is. But not one I’d return to often given the other options for a session porter out there (read, Rogue, Smuttynose, Atlantic, Stone, Fuller’s, Otter Creek, etc, etc).

Big thanks to richdude for the sample.


 582 characters

Photo of xnicknj
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at khyber in philly

Pours an opaque brown color with a beige head, retains pretty well with some filmy notes resting on top and some patchy lacing on the glass.

Plenty of roasty malt in the nose with nuts and sweetness. Hints of caramel and coffee beans with chocolate. Faint hops as well.

Slightly bitter up front with a blast of roasted malts. Pleasant wave of coffee beans with lighter chocolate notes. Bready malt with roasted tones and decent sweetness. Finishes a little bitter and sweet.

Medium body, nice carbonation, chewy and slightly dry on the tongue. Drinks nicely with a solid balance between coffee and malt, another hit from Bells.

 662 characters

Photo of bigleague
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of KSOZE
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Roasty porter, but not my favorite of the style by a long shot.

63 characters

Photo of Thanby
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice chocolate appearance, typical of porters. Wonderful mild chocolate nose, coffee undertones. Milder taste, not overwhelmingly bitter like many porters, the coffee flavor sets in late as it warms a little. Light body for a porter, lingering coffee malt. Simple and tasty, bitter but mild.

 291 characters

Photo of BMMillsy
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark brown or black with small khaki head. Smells of roasted malt and coffee, light sweetness, nice and pleasant. Taste follow the nose, with some light roasted malts, a hint of coffee, and light chocolate sweetness, but could be a bit more robust. Medium bodied, with low to medium carbonation. Would like a little more body on this. A solid porter overall and pretty easy drinking.

 389 characters

Photo of MSchae1017
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was poured from the 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

The beer pours brownish-black with hints of amber. The head is tan, but not too big. It dissipates down to a ring and wisps leaving little lace. The aroma is chocolatey and sweet. The flavor is chocolatey with hints of coffee. The mouthfeel is a bit on the thin side of medium but quite smooth. Overall, a good porter.

 380 characters

Photo of HugoGrim
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Jet black body with a khaki head which reduces to nearly nothing. Minimal lace.

Aroma boasts some nice bitter coffee and chocolate notes. Rich sweet cream base complements toasted malts. Hops are quite faint.

Flavor is a nicely mellow bitter coco with hints of hops. Definitely not an in your face type of porter, more the after dinner sipping type. Malts are smooth and creamy. This would complement almost any desert very well.

 431 characters

Photo of dasenebler
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A hard pour produces a modest tan head sitting atop a very dark, near-opaque garnet elixir.

The aroma is subtle, with notes of roasted malt, fig and peat.

Flavor is very nice. It's packed full of roasted malt goodness, with a dry, peaty finish a la English Porters and Stouts. There are notes of brown sugar and molasses as well. Not a whole lot of hop bitterness or flavor, possibly a hint of tangy citrus, but mainly roasted dryness and bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium-light, but pleasant smooth and a bit milky. Goes down very, very easily.

An extremely drinkable and session-worthy porter that does not skimp on the flavor.

 631 characters

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.86/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The Bell's Porter pours from the longneck bottle into my SN tulip with a deep dark onyx hue and a nice foamy tan cap on top. Only a slight hint of dark brown escapes from the edges when held up to the light. Looks like a good porter should! Aromas of dark roasted malts along with some caramel and raisins. A smattering of light coffee with a citrusy hop background. Nice...but a bit too mellow for me personally.

First sip brings a rush of charred roasty maltiness across the palate with notes of roasted coffee and dark fruits. Slightly dry and chalky on the way down...burnt toast. There's just a slight citric hoppiness on the finish that works nicely in the overall brew. A nice, easy drinking porter.

Mouthfeel is slightly dry with active carbonation...very roasty on the palate. I would not be against having a few of these...could even be sessionable. Overally, it's a tasty, unique porter.

 904 characters

Photo of BurdockBoy
3.86/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle to a pint glass. I got this on a trade and it's been sitting in the refrigerator a couple weeks. I was craving breakfast burritos for dinner and this was a nice addition.
A: dark cola color with a lovely khaki head with nice lacing. Ok retention.
S: not a whole lot there for a porter. But a little toastiness.
T: the way a porter should taste. That is all.
M: a little more carbonation than I would like. Medium body.
O: I really enjoyed this. Not a lot of complexity, but very drinkable.

 516 characters

Photo of BigGold
3.86/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

First had this beer poured from 12-oz. bottle into faceted mug. Bell's has a very solid porter here. There was no need to rebrand it as a "Robust Porter."

 154 characters

Photo of BlackBelt5112203
3.86/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass at fridge-cellar temperature.

L – Deep brown, almost black color with a 1.5-finger foamy, frothy tan head. Excellent retention and some great lacing.

S – Roasted, chocolate, caramel, and grainy malts with some dark fruit aromas.

T – Starts off sweet with chocolate, caramel, and dark fruits. Grainy malt comes through mid-taste and bitter roasted coffee-like malts shine at the finish.

F – Medium-bodied with good carbonation, a creamy mouthfeel, and a slightly bitter finish. Roasted and grainy malt flavors linger.

O – This is a pretty good porter. The aroma is a little subdued and the mouthfeel is a little thinner than I would like, but it looks great and is tasty. There’s nothing special here, but it’s a very solid and drinkable example of the style.

 815 characters

Bell's Porter from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.88 out of 5 based on 2,924 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

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