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

Secret Santa 2004 - #1

A surprisingly loud, fizzy sounding pour.

An extremely dark brown- to black body, a dash of ruby along the bottom. A tan head of big bubbles is topped by a tighter, rocky mountaintop which rose above the glass, before rapidly dropping down to a table top. Some decent lacing.

A rich mocha aroma is evident as soon as the bottle opens.

Taste kicks off with a enjoyable light-coffee (but not overly roasty) and chocolate start, and is quickly joined with a fine earthy and herbal hop wash, which carries thru even as the "darker" flavors fade.

A proper porter mouthfeel, not watery, but not stoutish thick either.

Going down a bit too fast, this would make a very enjoyable session beer.

A proper porter, from a brewery reknown for stouts.

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Photo of Tballz420
4.17/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This black colored brew lets some amber hues through with the light, and is topped with a khaki head. Rich coffee scent, bits of chocolate. Taste is rich creamy malts, both cocolate and coffee, and is followed by a nice light hop presence. Full creamy mouth. This isnt my favorite style but this one was quite good.

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Photo of Ahhdball
4.5/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My reviews haven't been favorable to Bell's recently but I'm changing quickly.
Poured rich and thick. Deep mahogany to black with a nice 1 inch head that dissappates quickly leaving some nice lace in remembrance.
Smell of roasted chocolate and coffee. Hints of espresso linger complimentary. Small amount of smokey wood present.
The taste is heavy malt to start, coffee and espresso mildy join the game and it finishes nicely with a slight bite of hops.
Thick and chewy mouthfeel that doesn't dissappoint. It leaves a nice coating of slick malt as it dissappears. I'm going for another, awesome beverage!

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Photo of garymuchow
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Initially a really nice chocolate aroma that's sweet like milk chocolate. This moves quickly to coffee roast then moves to a duller flatter malt and possibly a yeast quality.
Extremely dark brown. Solid lacing. 1/4 inch head.
Full rich flavor with same qualities as in the aroma, but with a firm rich robust malt character. Kinda sweet with a nice bittering taste. Low burnt taste. Dryness is short lived.
Felt thicker at first, but seems to thin in time to less than medium. Carbonation is soft and full.
Solid porter. Really like the subtle sweet chocolate flavor.

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Photo of santoslhalper
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearence: Pours a dark brown with a little biege head. Head leave a few random spots of lacing.

Smell: Smells mostly of roasted almonds and chocolate. Very malty and bitter smelling.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The taste is a very solid, rich chocolate taste. Roasted nuts also come to mind. The hops shine through fairly well with a decent bite at the end. The mouthfeel is almost dead-on. Thick and chewy, but not syrupy.

Drinkability and Overall: Another great offering from Bell's, but not their best. This is a solid porter that is quite enjoyable to drink, but offers nothing special. I'd have another, but would I buy a case of this? No. Still quite good.

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

Had this one on a recent trip to Ann Arbor and I wasn't disappointed. It poured a nice dark brown with ruby highlights and a dense, light brown head that showed good retention and lacing on the glass. Very pretty. The aroma was a pleasant combination of rich roasted malts and nuttiness. The flavour was very malty, with plenty of roasted character and a light, balanced bitterness. The finish was slightly dry and conducive to having another bottle/pint. Medium bodied and medium carbonation.

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Photo of walleye
3/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

nice brown color, with off white head.nice lacing. aroma, malts, roasted nuts, coffee, caramel.flavor, got malts and roasted nuts aroma, with coffee and chocolate a slight bitter after taste and a little watery not a bad porter but I have had better.

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Photo of ken3c
4.42/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It seems like a great adventure when I pop the cap of a beer I think I'll like and there is fog in the neck of the glass.

Very dark brown with a tan head that shrinks down to a thin layer of foam. The empty glass has light lacing all along the back of the glass.

Coffee, nutty, and maybe fruity and chocolate aromas. Very complex.

Very little sweetness, quite tart like a grapefruit, then bitter like coffee and cocoa with a hint of hops. Very dry finish.

Full-bodied. Medium carbonation. slight sense of warming.

This beer didn't disappoint me. The longer I drank the more I liked.

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Photo of profzoom
3.34/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was excited to try this beer, as it represents one of my favorite styles from one of my favorite breweries. Sadly, I was not very impressed. The appearance is quite nice - a deep, dark black that only lets the tiniest bit of golden brown shine through at the bottom of the glass when held up to a light. The head is rather thick and is a creamy, brownish ivory color. The aroma is the weakest aspect of this beer in my opinion. I don't get the complex roasted scent I normally pick up from a porter, but rather an almost unpleasant smell that reminds me somewhat of my least favorite Bell's concoction, the Third Coast Beer. The taste is definitely a step up from the smell, but still is not up to what I consider a really good porter. The hoppy, chocolately, roasted elements that make up a porter are all there, but seem a little hidden behind a rather boring watery base. I doubt I'll pick this one up again.

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Photo of Crosling
4.19/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3


Heavily aromatic; a truly remarkable bouquet of fudge, coffee beans, chocolate, nutmeg and vanilla.

Lovely, malt accented, rich in flavor with notes of deep roasted malt, cocoa, chocolate, a kiss of hops and a hint of dark fruits.

I sampled this next to a bottle of Edmund Fitzgerald Porter from Great Lakes and this was much better.

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Photo of scottum
4.23/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to my friends Mike and Michelle for bringing this tastey treat back from MI for me.

Pours out deep dark brown black with a nice thick light tan head. Tastes good and roasty with a very smooth mouthfeel. Hop balance is light and restrained, yet crisp. Without question amoung the best porters I've tried.

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Photo of BrewMaster
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a standard pint glass. The beer looks fantastic in the glass. Rich colors and a picture perfect head make this beer look like a supermodel of beers. The aroma is very enticing with coffee and mocha flavors in it. A sweet scent that may be slightly floral comes up too. At this poinit the beer is very attractive.

But the beer takes a sad turn here. The aroma and appearance lead me to believe that the flavor would be spectacular but it is anything but that. The taste has some coffee, nuts, and earthy leaf in it. A bit of sourness causes some puckering. Overall the flavor and body are disappointing for such a great looking brew.

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Photo of IronDjinn
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an exquisitely drinkable porter, I was hooked after the first sip. Pours out a deep black colour with a dark walnut brown nimbus, big spongy biege head that eventually recedes to a ring and leaves some lacing. Some floating sediment can be seen even in the black body, suspended yeast particles would be my wager. Very enticing bold aroma of dry roasted malt, dark chocolate, and almost a burnt hickory woodsy aroma kicking around in there, as well as small traces of coffee beans. The flavour profile seems pretty simple to me, just a whirling unison of roasted malt and sweet chocolate, with a dry earthy aftertaste, but it works in all the right places. By far the best porter I have tried all year. A little watery in the mouthfeel, but that is the only slight blemish I am experiencing. A rousing round of applause for northyorksammy for sending one of these over to me, it was greatly enjoyed.

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Photo of lackenhauser
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice deep brown color-almost black actually.Nice malty aroma-slight hints of chocolate,some roastiness.Really good toasted chocolate flavor up front.Very slight hop bitterness.Some residual sweetness.Good mouthfeel-has a tinge of oiliness to it-somewhat stout like but fits in well here.A great beer-well worth trying and enjoying on a regular basis.

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

The beer pours a deep dark brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice roasted/toastey scent with chocolate hints and a sweet,yet dry finish. The taste is good. It has a crisp, dry, yet malty flavor that has a roasted quality and a slightly sweet finish. It has a chocolate aftertaste. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a fine porter. It has excellent aroma and flavor; a good drinker.

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Photo of bigbubba
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It was dark, near black, with very little head that died quickly. There was some lacing but it wasn't sticky enough to last. There was a roasted malt smell and not much else. The taste was slightly bitter, dry, with roasted malt. The mouthfeel was thin and flat.

It kind of reminded me of a a watered down Guinness.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.17/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured hazy transluscent black with a compact tan head which stuck around long enough to lace the glass.

The aroma was chocolate, caramel malt, and some coffee, also present was some dark fruit.

The flavor was coffee with chocolate in the background. The beer had a real expresso kick. The caramel malt present in the aroma was not present in the flavor.

The finish was dry with expresso bitterness that lingers into the aftertaste. The body was medium.

Nicely done though not overly complex.

12 ounce bottle smuggled back by AKSmokedPorter.

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Photo of noclue
3.66/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving type: 11.2 ounce bottle. Served in a 16 ounce shaker.

Appearance: Pitch black pour. Small short-lived brown head with tiny bubbles. Nice sticky lacing covers the glass. Extremely light carbonation.

Smell: Roasted malt. Chocolate. Toffee. Coffee. Typical American Porter aroma. Slightly earthy.

Taste: Caramel, toffee, black patent malts. Pleasing hoppy bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Flat. Medium to light bodied. Fairly boring.

Drinkability/Overall: I love Bell's, but I was not too impressed with this brew. I haven't lost hope yet though, because I know they have had problems with bottling. This is the first opened beer of a six-pack, so if I notice any dramatic differences, I will edit my review.

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

Poured into a 20 oz pint glass. poured black in dim lighting. a whip cream thick, khaki-colored head. this one stuck around throughout the glass. lacing left rings in the glass, quite a beautiful thing. nose was not too strong, but as with all porters, it was of roasted malts, rather earthy. taste was of dark bitter chocolate, coffeebeans, and i noticed a bit of a woody taste, i cant say what kind, but it was there. there was a bit of an alcohol bite, but it was nowhere near overpowering or a detriment to the brew. Mouthfeel was thick without being too heavy, very nice. an easy drinking brew, not something that one could put down massive amounts of though, rather filling. overall i thouroghly enjoyed this porter. one of the best ive had to date. delightful.

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Photo of sabrills70
4.38/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance of this beer is a deep deep deep amber, almost black but you can still see through it when held up to the light. Poured with a medium tan colored and had good lace. Smell of sweet roasted malt with some chocolate and coffe overtones and a hint of smokiness. Taste is very good, a beautiful blend. Not to roasty or smoky like many other porters, but close to a perfect porter blend. The matiness bleds extreamly well with the roastyness. Mouthfeel is very good for a porter, normally I can only drink one porter but I could easily drink 2 or 3 of these. Its not too heavy of overpowering, nor does it leave a long strong aftertaste. A truely great porter.

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Photo of aracauna
4.23/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bell’s should have the rights to "Perfect Porter" instead of Bert Grant’s. This is possibly the best porter I’ve had, which doesn’t surprise me coming from the Kings of the Dark. The body is a very dark mahogany-brown. It’s almost black, but light pierces through even the center of the beer. The dark beige head is thick and pitted and lasted nicely. The aroma is fully and malty sweet with chocolate malt riding over a hint of roast. The flavor is thick with an almost chocolate cake with mocha icing. Maybe the tiniest bit of smoke. The body is full for a porter, but not a heavy as a stout. A bit velvety.

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

Vanilla and wine Aroma and taste like a bit of wine. Top porter. Tan foam on black. Malty with Coffee bean, buttery chocolate and hickory, and carbonation. Creamy with yeast and caramel, a winning pleasure. Spicy aftertaste. Markled it down a bit on tasting May 2005.

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Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
4.85/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is absolutely AMAZING!!! First of all, I would almost always choose a hefty ale over a stout or porter, so for this to knock my socks off was very impressive. The head on this lasts forever and the flavors emerge more with each sip. There is definately a hint of vanilla in this one. A very clean finish with a sweet taste. This is a much more lively porter than others I have tried. Overall, this is no doubt becoming my saftey blanket porter!

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Photo of mobyfann
4.38/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Paid $7.99 for a 6 pack

The appearance on this is a beautiful dark brown base with a moderately sized darker than normal light-brown head. As I finished this beer the glass still had interesting lacing throughout the glass from where the beer held it's smaller head.
The smell is a very bold one of coffee and chocolate.

The taste is where the party is at; lightly carbonated taste with what the smell gave away, malty-choco coffee goodness. Yum.

Mouthfeel is as smooth as a porter can be and the drinkability factor is very high where the beer evaporates down your throat more quickly than realized.

Final Thought: Save this for your first, maybe second beer in a sitting or session, pending your tolerance.

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Photo of Gritsak
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

picked up a 6pack for $7.99 at a local store...and happy i did

appearence in like a porter should be...nice deep brown...the head is brownish/tan and pretty small, but stays throughout the whole beer.

aroma of coffee and dark chocolate

taste is pretty close to perfect. nice burnt/smoky aftertaste with strong hints of expresso and a little vanilla

mouthfeel is thick, but not overly with light carbonation

drinkability is high...the taste doesnt get old and always goes down smooth.

with porter being my favorite style i would have to reccomend this beer. it ranks up pretty close to my fav. ed, fitz but just a little off. definitely worth a try though

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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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