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

very good
1,036 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: 1,036 | Ratings: 2,797
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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Photo of koolkat
3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a nice deep brown with a light head. The first sip is bitter but not overly so. It has the pleasant almost nutty flavor. A rather mild porter without a stong hop bite, very malty. The hops are very cubtle yet distinctly there in the back of the throat. Very little hop aroma but still overall a very drinkable beer. I would easily drink this one again (but then again it is rare to find one that I wont drink again hehe)

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Photo of psyco1
3.82/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It poured black with a thin light tan head that died quickly.

It smelled of roasted malts,chocolate, coffee and a hint of nuttiness and alcohol.
The taste started sweet and was of the roasted malt mixed with the chocolate and coffee, then a slighly bitter hop aftertaste.

A drinkable porter, not outstanding, but good.

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Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.07/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured an attractive inky darkness with tinges of ruby at the edges. Initial thick brown sugar-colored head fades quickly to a very minimal ring. Attempts are made at lacing, but don't quite measure up. Aromas are toasty malt, cocoa powder, freshly-brewed coffee. Flavor is tasty, with a nicely-balanced mixture of chocolate, coffee, and sweet malt. Finishes with a good dose of bitter chocolate with a hint of smoke flavor lingering in the background. Medium-high body and quite smooth on the palate. Very easy to drink and one hell of a session beer that got immensely better as it warmed.

Another winner from Bell's.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Close-to-opaque mahogany brown with lighter brown highlights at the bottom edge of the glass. It looks a good deal more substantial than most porters, a definite plus. The toasted tan head is fairly large, lasts a while and leaves broken sheets of lace on the glass. The nose is of roasted black malt with chocolate and hops. So far, so good.

This is a very good porter. The flavor, like the aroma, is considerably roasted malty with a lovely bittersweet chocolatiness. Coffee peeks through in the second half of the mouthful, but is still subservient to chocolate.

There's also a restrained hoppiness that isn't up-front enough to gum up the works for the malt lovers. The finish is long and increasingly bitter, especially as the beer warms. Firm, not quite full body with a slightly too lively carbonation. Good mouthfeel overall; I'll let the minor degree of fizziness slide since it doesn't last for the entire bottle.

Bell's Porter is a quality, quaffable version that lovers of the style should seek out. I acquired this bottle from deejaydan and wish now that it had been multiple bottles.

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Photo of abents
3.47/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with light mocha head. Great lacing present throughout the glass. Aromas are big here with nice roasted malts, chocolate, and coffee smells. The taste is just as nice. Real roasted malty taste starting things out with a bitter hops lingering at the end. Bitter chocolate very present, but that sweet malty taste smooths things nicely. Moderate carbonation with a relativly light body and no real creamy taste that you get from some porters. It's a decent porter in taste, and you can probably drink these pretty regularly, but I find it too light bodied for me and desire something more here.

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

Appearance: Glows ruby when held to a light, otherwise it looks deep brown-to-black. An aggressive pour achieved a small head that faded pretty quickly. Spots of lacing.

Smell: Roasted malts dominate, with occasional hints of coffee, chocolate, and a toffee sweetness.

Taste: Moderately carbonated, accounting for a somewhat creamy mouthfeel, but then again almost feels a bit thin at times. Slight initial sweetness with heavy roasty, chocolate malt flavors in the middle. Finishes fairly dry, with lingering bittering hops. Much better as it warms, allowing the roasted flavors to shine through.

Nice porter. Thanks to feloniousmonk!

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Photo of PartyHatjo
4.01/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was the third NCAA victory beer I've had...complements of ppoitras.

The pour is a chocolate brown coming out of the bottle, but black in the goblet, with a nice tan head. Head doesn't last too long.

Smell is light with hops, heavy with malts. Chocolate and coffee are predominant.

Chocolate is prevalent in the flavor. Coffee comes through more in the aftertaste--providing a mocha like character to the beer. The slight sweetness is welcome. There is a bit of hop flavor trying to peak through the malts, it hits more in the initial seep, and is then drowned out by the other flavors.

Body is medium--boosted by the sweetness, and balanced well by the hop bitterness.

Very easy drink. I don't usually drink porter, going more for the stouts, but this will be a repeat performer.

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Photo of soper2000
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Notes from my Bell's tasting:
Pours a nice light black color with a medium sized tan foam head. Nose was full of malt and some roast. Taste is a burnt coffee/chocolate mixture. Pretty good if you ask me. This beer finishes with a little bit of hops left on the tongue. It seemed a little bit thin to me. I'd like some additional body in this one, but it is pretty drinkable.

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

12oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a light brown 1/2" of thick, foamy head, and laced well. Barely translucent dark brown brew. Deep, dark malts such as coffee and chocolate and maybe, just maybe a smidgen of smoke, dominate the aroma, and the flavor exhibits these characteristics as well. Extremely smooth, and the coffee/chocolate flavors fight for dominance on the tongue. An excellent represntation of the porter style.

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Photo of truthbrew
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Noticeably different than the bottled offering, the on-tap seems to have less of a sharpness and more smooth coffee-like, chocolate tones. It drinks like a robust porter, but just doesn't have the alcohol to back it up. A great, easy drinking porter.

Enjoyed on-tap at the Blue Nile.

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Photo of Loki
4.36/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a 12oz bottle thanks to feloniousmonk for one bottle and AKSmokedPorter for the other.

Appearance: Pure mahogany darkness. Nearly black, completely opaque. Beautiful beige head with sticky ridges of lacing.

Smell: Malt, toffee, and caramel with hints of Bell's yeast, whatever strain they use.

Taste: Roasted malt, caramel, and toffee sweetness. Coffee bitterness on the end with a nice yeast finish. Slightly muted.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy with light sticky finish.

Drinkability: Great. Wonderful porter. If I could get it here I would drink some every week.

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Bell's Porter from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 1,036 ratings.
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