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

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very good
1,045 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: 1,045 | Ratings: 2,827
Photo of alexgash
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark cola brown inkiness. Soft, fluffy, stable head of light cocoa brown. Wet cordwood, campfire, roasted brown sugar, tobacco, chocolate liqueur. Light roasted bitterness up front. Peaty, baking chocolate sweet middle gives way to roasted tobacco hop bitterness. Finish shows flashes of malt sweetness. Medium-bodied with a creamy, yet lively feel. Not my favorite Bell’s brand, but solid.

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Photo of phisig137
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown, with a one finger head and little retention. mahagony highlights around the edges, and no lacing.

Aroma is chock full of chocolate, toasted grains, and toffee malt notes.

Flavor is quite toasty, with a slightly dry finish. Chocolate notes are present too. No hops or alcohol detected. Mouthfeel is a little thin, but drinkability is excellent.

A great beer all around, but doesn't have a huge "wow" factor. I've enjoyed everything that I've had from bell's so far. Can't wait to try some more of them.

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Photo of akorsak
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The porter is black as oil with a small head and spots of lacing. As you sip the beer, hints of coffee-colored deep brown/black emerges.

S: The aroma is a chocolatey roasted malt aroma with a slight stale sour tartness.

T: The taste is chocolate and toffee sweetness with a very subtle tartness that, to me, epitomizes a good porter. The roasted malt finish is dry and provides a pleasing chocolate aftertaste.

M: The ale sits very well on the palate with a nice aftertaste.

D: The porter is very drinkable, an enjoyable darker brew for the fall season.

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Photo of Phatz
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I admit, I have a soft spot for roasty Porters. mmm. I love ‘em, Bell's included. I let this one warm a while first and then enjoyed every last drop.

Appearance: Pours an almost opaque almost black color with a light brown creamy head and blotches of sticky lacing.

Smell: Dark roasty malts, chocolate and molasses and dark fruits.

Taste: Dark chocolate, burnt butterscotch, a hint of berry and a Maduro tobacco leaf stirred into the mix; start off the rich but well blended flavors of this tasty porter. Further into it more coffee and mocha appear and the finish is simply lip smacking, and beckons for the next sip.

Mouthfeel: Creamy smooth medium body beer that is astringent around the edges but almost chewy milky in the slick center.

Drinkability: I love this beer. The balance of bitter sweet and astringent and slick and the creamy smooth texture all add up to one thing. A *very* drinkable brew!!!

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of beermanbrian
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep brown color with a tan head. Very active carbonation bubbles give it a cola appearance. Smell of burnt toasted malt and chocolate. Also some earthy hop notes. Taste is nice, with a good chocolate sweetness followed by some finishing bitterness and that typical porter smokey taste. Mouthfeel comes off a little thin, but i think this is due to the high carbonation level, it's very bubbly on the tongue. I enjoyed this one.

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Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark chocolate brown with a beige head that displays good retention and some shards of lace

Smell: Alternating wafts of dark bread, chocolate and roast

Taste: Starts out with a bread and chocolate flavor that grows increasingly chocolatey by mid-palate; after the swallow, the chocolate is joined by hints of coffee bitterness through to the finish; some vanilla sweetness in there, too, but the aftertaste is rather roasty

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A nice middle of the road porter, with good chocolate flavor and a commendable balance of sweet and roasty flavors

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Photo of terrabyte
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a very black with a hint of ruby at the thinner ends. Had a with medium off white head.

A nice roasted malt smell with a sweetness of dark fruit. Very little whiff of chocolate and coffee.

The flavor starts out very strong with roasted malts and a hint of nuttiness. A bite from the carbonation occurs from the middle. Then it tapers off with a hint of chocolate and coffee. The aftertaste lingers with an enjoyable earthy, mild coffee bitterness.

A bit overcarbonated, but unique. Very smooth. There is a bit of cola thinness/carbonation that I can't get out of my mind.

Very drinkable. Strong flavors throughout without being heavy at all. Even light. Carbonation probably helps with that, although my only disappointment.

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Photo of Applesauce1
3.52/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I got the Bell's Porter at the Pit Stop in Nelsonville, OH. There was no freshness date on the bottle (some little code # 7267).

Appearance: Dark, pretty much black with a small off-white head, not much head retention
Smell: coffee, nuts, and a little bit of chocolate
Taste: coffee is dominant, but some chocolate, no hops present, a little watery for a Bell's
Mouthfeel: medium bodied, a little to much carbonation (possibly bad pouring on my part)
Drinkability: decent, i could have another one later on tonight

Overall, a decent beer, but I was expecting something more from Bell's.

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Photo of pvsob
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - A deep brown/black color with ruby highlights around the edges. Had a small mocha colored head that faded quickly and left little to no lacing.

Smell - Big roasted malt aroma with hints of dark fruits, (raisins, dates), chocolate, and some coffee.

Taste - Nice burnt malt bitterness is present from start to finish with small hints of coffee and chocolate rearing their heads throughout the tasting experience.

Mouthfeel - Medium mouthfeel with some carbonation.

Overall - This was a good American Porter. Nicely balanced and has morning to night drinkability potential. Maybe not the best that's out there, but worth a try if you run across it.

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Photo of TechMyst
3.06/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

CONTAINER TYPE: bottle - conditioned
FRESH: packaged 9-24; consumed 10-3
COST: $7.99 / 6 pack
HEAD: none
LACE: small spots slide quickly down side of glass
TRANSMITTED- black w/ orange tint
AROMA: dark malts
MOUTHFEEL: thin; foamy/fizzy
PALATE: slick; tinny
TASTE: cola; slightly bitter aftertaste
COMMENTS: too much conditioning bite (suprising b/c it’s BC and low carbonation). very thin; little character. The trick here is at room temp it tastes no worse than cool; so due to its thin-ness and low carbonation slamming this is not a problem.

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.28/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz glass to a pint glass. The liquid is a dark as night, Black. The carbonation is grate and the yeast flouting around are great as well. The head is smallish 1 thick finger, nice tan colorant great lacing.

The smell is also quite good, An initial odd scent the give way to full classic porter aromas, Coffee, chocolate and lots of dark fruit and some burnt bread.

The taste follows, Sweet burnt toast taste followed with dark fruit, coffee and espresso, Some chocolate notes a well.

The mouth feel is excellent smooth full body not watery like some porters, good carbonation and a descent bite.

The drinkability is great, nothing done wrong here. Thank you shbobdb for suppling this fine brew. Prosit, MK

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Photo of Westsidethreat
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours thinner than I was expecting. Perhaps I've been drinking too many stouts. Dark, clean with amber highlights when held to the light. Head is above average for sure, holding thick for quite some time.

S: Roasted barley, dried cocoa, light hops.

T: Begins on the sweet side, some smores with all three ingredients playing a part. Very minor cola twang hits the tip of the tongue before a gentle wash of lactose like sugar descends across the center of the tongue. Roasted grains move in and push about 3/4 of the sugar away from the palate take over. Finishes with reminiscent charcoal and mellow lactose.

M: Medium body, smooth mouthfeel. Carbonation actually feels thin for the copius amount of head still remaining.

D: Not a bad porter. Nothing really stand out but certainly enjoyable.

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Photo of jmatthew
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served up in a pint glass as black as could be with barely a trace of a head remaining after only a brief 10 foot journey from the tap. Smell is decent although faint, and offers roasted malts with some coffee. Taste is very smoky upfront, which dissolves into espresso, chocolate and nutty flavors with an overall mustiness that carries through to the end. Somewhat thin, but oily with a lasting roasted malt flavor. Nice smooth session type porter.

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Photo of wcudwight
4.45/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to Dertbert for all of the fine Bell's beers which is fast becoming my favorite brewer.
Pours black. Imperial Stout black. Thin head with lot's of carbonation that left rather quickly and the beer has spotty lacing.
Smell is smokey, chocolate and dark fruits.
This is a heavy, very robust and flavorful porter. Lot's of roasted malts. It has a wonderful rich black chocolate coffee flavor. One of the top two if not the most flavorful porter I've had. The excellent roasted flavor is topped off by a sweet fruity finish.
Mouthfeel is heavy for a porter or maybe the flavor gives it that impression.
I could sip on this beer all night and wish I had enough to do so.
This one gives Edmund Fitzgerald a run for it's money and may be better in my very humble opinion.

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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 pmcadamis
4.28/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Very classy bottle with an antique chap holding some hops and barley. This brew is dark brown bordering on black, and has only a small head that fades to a smokey haze in a minute or two. Soem nice wet lace is left on the glass.

This one smells deeply vinous with a barnyard aroma of musky hay. Also, a detect a hint of cheese strangely enough.

This one is very smooth, easy going, and refined. Tastes very outdoorsy and musky (a little like wet hay). Some mild chocolates with a big hop presence for a porter. There is a nice chalky roasty at the finish.

Not as full in the mouth as I would like, but nicely carbonated and very drinkable!

This one is an easy going easy drinker that could be very very sessionable.

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Photo of Gavage
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: arrived in a pint glass looking black as can be, with a 1" dark tan colored head. A spot or two of lace developed.

Smell: roasted tones and hints of chocolates.

Taste: roasted malts, dark chocolates, hint of espresso, and a mild bitterness. Solid and straight forward.

Mouthfeel: smooth with a hint of prickles at the start, very smooth at the finish. Medium bodied. Short aftertaste leaning towards the roasted tones.

Drinkability: this one goes down very easy for the style. Flavorful and this is considered a session porter in my book. Great on tap.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.23/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bell's- Porter

On tap at Isaac Newton's- Newtown, PA

Appearance- dark brown/ black with a 1 finger thick tan head.
Smell- roasted coffee beans and BBQ sauce?!
Taste- Smokey malt with a big BBQ sauce flavor. Sweet with hints of brown sugar and molasses.
Mouthfeel- Sweet at first but mellowing out and becoming a solid smokey slighty ashen flavored beer.

Overall- An OK porter that, for me, was all over the place. The look, taste, and feel were all inconsistant. Not bad though!! I'd definitely drink again!

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Photo of Illinick
3.92/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Black! with a tan head that rises after the pour to a nice medium sized level. Relatively thick and the lacing is superb. It stuck to glass like glue. The head remains a thin, but full layer throughout.
S: The first thing that hits your nose is a burnt scent. Some roasted coffee beans and burnt coffee as well as some burnt wood scents in there.
T: Like the nose, the burnt flavors are abound here and seem to be the driving force of the flavors. Roasted and semi burnt coffee bean flavors-not like drinking coffee, rather like eating roasted coffee beans-and roasted nut. Some chared wood and some dry hop flavors in there around the middle to middle end. Finishes with more burnt flavors.
MF: Medium and buttery at times.
Overall: A solid offering, with a unique flavor profile-mostly because of the amount of burnt flavors. I liked it a lot, but I'm not sure if it is for the "everyday Porter drinker." I would have liked to see smoother flavors. Worth a pick up.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.23/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of Hogtownharry: Poured a pitch black porter with a medium foamy head with good retention and lacing. Aroma of roasted malt with some very subtle coffee notes is interesting but a bit weak. Taste is a mix between bitter roasted malt with some subtle sweet chocolate note. Body is a bit thin IMHO. Definitely not the best offer from this otherwise fine brewer.

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Photo of gmfessen
4.28/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured out into a pint glass, beer had a nice head that eventually died down to a thin layer around the top. Beer has a very dark color, with a good amount of lacing that follows down the glass. The smell is of nutty roasted malt, and the taste reflects the same with a good balance of hops with a slight aftertaste kick of hops. After drinking, the standing taste is of the roasted malt, actually pretty nice. The mouthfeel is very good; it is perfectly carbonated and has a relatively heavy body. Overall this beer is pretty drinkable and I would recommend trying it.

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Photo of indy169
4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bell's is making some of the finest beers around and their Porter is no exception.
From first smell, this Porter makes a statement and claims its ground. Rich and nutty, with a hint of cocoa and very little noticable alcohol on the nose. The color is deep, dark and thick. Lacing holds nicely. Think a bit thinner than Guinness.
Mouthfeel is initially slightly zesty, then dissapates into the character promised in the nose. Very tasty, and lingers quite well in the mouth. Smooth and solid. This is my new standard for American Porters. Thank you Bell's. I wouldn't change much with this one & yes, I'll take another.

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Photo of Derek
4.27/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black with a slight reddish twinge; tan head, very little retention, some lace.

S: Chocolate, dark bread, hints of ale esters, brown sugar.

T: Chocolate, mild acidic roastyness, dark bread, a little nut, caramel, slight hint of licorous.

M: Moderate to full body is creamy. Moderate carbonation.

D: Very good.

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Photo of hanco005
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle of batch 7233 was poured into a pint glass

A—dark blackish brown, no light can this through this one, a thin wispy tan head makes a cameo appearance, spotty lacing is produced as I drink

S—the chocolate and caramel malts are balanced well in the smell, roasted coffee is faint, mild alcohol is coming through, too

T—roasted bitter chocolate and coffee are all that I can taste…and that’s really good. This is a great porter.

M— a little dry, medium bodied, good carbonation

D—a solid porter. I would have this again in a heartbeat. It gets much better as it warms.

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Photo of thelagerheads
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tubal, Gog, Magog, Rosh, Meshech and Gomer walk into a bar. The bartender says, "Oh my God is this the end of the world?" To which Tubal sternly replies, "No, we're just here for a little BREW-haha." HA HA HA right? Well this isn't funny beer nor is it holy. But I did once write the reknowned preacher Jack Van Impe and he told me during his television program broadcast to millions of pilgrims across the globe that even though I was a heathen I had a good heart and was on the right path. With this porter you too are on the right path. Maybe not to salvation or armageddon(be that your thing) but to a little-lot of satisfaction. It's not the velvet licorice of "the Pils" per se nor does it wear the choco-mocha halo that other black lagers do but it definitely brings home a little divinity and by God you need some you little warthogs!

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Bell's Porter from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.88 out of 5 based on 2,827 ratings.
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