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

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1,040 Reviews
Bell's PorterBell's Porter

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

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: 1,040 | Ratings: 2,805
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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Photo of Brian700
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a deep brown with a darker colored head on it that slowly fizzles out to a ring around my glass. There is a little bit of lacing going on.

The aroma is a good balance of malt and mild hop bitterness with traces of chocolate and coffee.

The flavor is well balanced with the malt and hops and there is an equal balance in the chocolate and coffee tones that are present in the background.

The mouthfeel is medium/full bodied with medium carbonation.

This is a really good session beer. It is highly drinkable in my opinion.

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Photo of beveragecaptain
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle. Bell's Porter pours out a very dark brown color with a large, tan head. Nice lacing. Grainy aroma along with some chocolate. Grainy malt flavor with some burnt coffee. There is a bit of astringency. Some woody hops come in at the finish. Slightly creamy mouthfeel, though the carbonation is higher than average. Good drinkability. Overall, this is a pretty good, flavorful porter, but it's nothing exceptional.

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

A - alos pours very dar, but unlike the Bell's Double Cream or Java Stouts this is penetrable by light, it shines through like ruby highlights, it pours with a thin brown lacy head that disappears quickly

S - hmmm, has a chocolatey aroma, no real smoky aroma that i expected, there is also a slight hint of fruity esthers in the background, like raspberries almost

T - theres the smokiness, very slight and mixed in with the coffee and chocolate flavors, its extremly faint but present

M - a well balanced beer with medium body, pretty good, maybe i was spoiled by having the java and double cream earlier, but this is still damn good

D - a bit more acidic, so slightly lower, but still easy down, just harder to pound

100th review YAY!!!

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Photo of cproioi
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark ruby red color that stood out when held to a candle. Poured a one finger tan head that, at least for this one, disipated rather quickley.

S: Had a coffee aroma with hints of the roasted malts.

T: Pretty much what the smell hinted to me which was a very good thing.

M: Had a thick feel to it almost syrupy.

D: It was over all good but I can't see myself rushing out and getting another one.

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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 jaluria
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to feloniousmonk for sending this along as part of a trade.

Appeared black in color with a thick, mocha colored head leaving behind splotches of lacing. Aromas of mocha, chocolate, alcohol, and roasted malt. The taste followed the scent with the addition of subtle hop flavors. A nice bitter finish making the beer more bitter-sweet than sweet alone. Somewhat creamy and bready, but not overdone. Smooth finish adds to the drinkability.

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Photo of jlh8643
3.4/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with a batch code on back. Poured into a pint glass.

A: almost black body but little to no head.
S: a touch of chocolate and roasted malts with a whiff of floral hops
T: a little acrid dark malt at the start with some hop bite but not
much else.
M: on the this side. Doesn't leave much in the way of an aftertaste.
D: I said good because I didn't find anything offensive or out of line
but not all that impressed or memorable.

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Bell's Porter from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 1,040 ratings.
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