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

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1,047 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: 1,047 | Ratings: 2,843
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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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 ColoradoBobs
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice large light tan head over a dark amber body. Smell is a bit thin, but malty and vinous. Taste follows suit: vinous maltiness and a nice dry hop bitterness, but a little light. Where this baby shines is in mouthfeel: good and round.

Think of this as a light porter. Pretty good, but light, and therefore very drinkable.

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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.

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

Thanks to thefatkid13 for the trade. Pours very dark for a porter, a deep, deep brown nearing black. A small brown head is present for just a flourish before retreating to a thin coating. Nice aroma of rich roasted malt, with a hint of dark sweet fruit. Palate is nice and complex - roasted malt, raisins, muted fruity hops, and a little bit of lactose sweetness. Body is nice and sturdy, although it could stand to be a bit creamier. Overall, a nice, well-balanced porter.

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

Near black in color. Perhaps the bartender poured it a little too safely, but regardless, there was no head. Roasted malt and dark chocolate on the nose. Full-bodied mouthfeel. Flavors of dark chocolate and roasted bitterness are detected first. Then the flavor sort of takes a step back midway through before a strong vinous finish. Hop bitterness is higher than average for a porter, but adds more depth the overall flavor rather than detract from it. Very enjoyable. 5.25% is a little high to qualify as a session, but I could drink this all night long.

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Photo of ndekke39
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch number marked the packaging date at Dec. 16, 2005.

A: Poured from the bottle with a dark chocolate color. Medium off-white head.

S: Hints of dark-roast coffee, dark chocolate, and nuts. Sweet aromas from the nuts.

T: Dark nuttiness at first, hints of maybe hazel nut. Bitter hoppiness at the finish. Nice balance between the two.

M: Carbonation at the front of the tongue. Nice, thick creaminess to it.

D: Very good. Goes down smoothly.

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

Poured with a nice tan head and a dark brown color. It had a roasted, slight nutty aroma, with maybe a hint of something chocolatey. The taste was similar, but more complex, with some flavors I couldn't pick out. Maybe banana. Plenty of generic "dark roasted" flavor, but it was good. The mouthfeel was smooth and creamy, and it drank easy. A good porter.

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Photo of mjd83goblue
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, Batch 7316, 6er for $8.99

A: As it pours from the bottle, its a chocolately brown, but by the time its in the glass, its pretty much black. About 1/2" head that fades into a ring that stays. Beautiful.

S: Lots of chocolate, some dark roasted malt, and maybe a little coffee.

T: Damn good porter. Rich and chocolately. Some bittering hops at the end along with a butter/toffee taste at the end.

M: Nice, creamy, and thick.

D: Very drinkable beer

This and GLBC's Edmund are my favorite porters. Another great beer from Bell's.

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Bell's Porter from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.88 out of 5 based on 2,843 ratings.
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