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

very good
1,057 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

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Reviews: 1,057 | Ratings: 2,897
Photo of yemenmocha
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours nearly black with brown head. Roasty aromas are present on the nose. On the palate there's a smoky quality that pairs with the roasty flavors as well. Some malt sweetness is there too, perhaps some spent coffee grounds also. Surprisingly drinkable for such a roasty porter.

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Photo of wattoclone
4.21/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark, almost black, delicious malty, cocoa flavor that is extremely drinkable. No detectable hop bitterness. Aftertaste is bitterness of dark chocolate. Very well balanced. Almost as good in the bottle, although slightly more bitterness. Large amount of yeast sediment in bottom of bottle that was resuspended upon vigorous swirling. A full bodied mouthfeel rich and creamy.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.21/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to gkatsoris for this extra!

Pours almost opaque with good lacey off white head. Smell is kind of weak and has some coppery tones but is ok. Taste is very nice. Roasty and toasty malts, a nice creaminess through the middle, and nicely balanced bite on the finish. Mouthfeel could be a bit thicker, drinkability is superb. This one reminds me of edmund fitzgerald but a little lighter it seems. A superb porter, would defenitely be a session beer for me if it was readily available. Thanks again to gkatsoris.

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Photo of dorianmarley
4.21/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Dark, cola-brown with a light, off-white head and nice lacing.

Nose is savory. It is nutty and roasted. Salted almonds, cola, and chicory. A very appetizing smell.

Flavor is nutty, almost salty. Not overly dry like many porters. Coca-cola sweetness with a light biscuit finish.

Mouthfeel is clean and refreshing. Plenty of carbonation that makes it very balanced for a porter.

Overall, this is a well-balanced, well-executed porter that is roasted, but never gimmicky.

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

Poured into a perfect pint glass, it shows a nice Nestle Quik looking head. Recededs quickly to a foamy ring. It appears almost solid black, but a hint of light can sneak through and show some brown almost reddish around the bottom.

Smells sweet and malty. Chocoaltey perhaps, with some dark roasted coffee as well. Very promising..

Taste: Not nearly as sweet as it smells. The dark roasted dominates this one, with a roasted bready kind of taste. Not too bitter, bit there are definitely some hops in here.

Feels thinner than it looks, but theres a nice silky lacing left behind. A little bit of carbonation fizz too.

Very drinkable and would be a cold weather favorite of mine if it were easier to find. Another job well done from the guys at Bell's. Why can't I get this in Massachusetts?

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Photo of tigg924
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: minimal head, clear, dark brown in color, moderate carbonation

Smell: roasted malt and chocolate--both dark and milk--this beer smells amazing

Taste: charred roasted malt and chocolate--both milk and dark

Mouthfeel: medium body, full and robust slightly sweet flavor, medium carbonation

Drinkability: A very nice solid chocolaty porter that smells great. I could have three or four easily. The more I drink Bells beers, I find that they excel in taking basic styles and making them amazing beers. This is no exception to that rule.

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Photo of srv33
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally got around to giving this brew a proper review. Pours a very dark brown, with a light brown head and alright lacing. Scent of caramel, roasted malt, and milk chocolate. Taste follows the nose very well - with additional notes of a lighter coffee and a hint of what seems like chicory. Really a fantastically balanced porter, and while there is nothing standout spectacular about this brew - in my opinion it is *the* baseline for what a porter should taste like, and that is definitely a remarkable accomplishment.

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Photo of carln26
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep brown color with a ½ inch tan head. The head receded quickly, and left little lace. The aroma is subtler than most porters I’ve had. It has the roast malt with espresso aromas I’m used to, but there is also a bit of walnut, and toffee in the nose. The flavor was a real surprise. There is a sweetness to the beer that is tough to characterize. It has a bit of black cherry, more of the toffee, and the espresso in the finish. The hops just give it a nice kick of bitterness. Nice smooth, rich mouth feel I expect from this brewery. Great drinkability. I could really get to like porters drinking this beer.

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Photo of liamt07
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Siciliano's in Grand Rapids. 12oz into a tulip. Batch 11039, packaged March 30, 2012.

Dark brown, almost black. Tan head, good retention and lace. Cocoa and coffee roast in the nose, chocolate as well. A bit sweet, some brown sugar. Everything in nice proportion. More roast, dark malt, chocolate and a bit of tartness in the finish. Mouthfeel is lighter medium, perhaps a little moreso than I dig. Still creamy though. A really nice porter, something to be had many times over.

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

Deep, dark brown with a thick mocha colored head. Smells of smoky roasted malts, a little nutty, and suprisingly, a faint whiff of alcohol. Taste is sweet caramel, slightly burnt, some coffee notes and bittersweet chcolate. Well balanced hop finish. Mouthfeel is very smooth. I could throw these back all night long.

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Photo of aggiearcher13
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Watching a little hockey and having a nice porter, it sure beats writing a thesis any day... But this is about the beer.

Poured into an imperial pint glass.

A: Pours a nice dark ruby-brown, can see through it when held up to the light. About a half inch of head, fades after a minute or two but leaves a little lacing on the glass and some whispy traces on the top of the beer.

S: Very malty, a little bit of a roasty-coffee like aroma, but it's very faint.

T: Malty, I love it. Just a faint roastiness, not bitter at all. Some faint coffee and chocolate notes. Some hops in the background. And of course that Bell's yeast strain that leaves it a little sweet on the finish.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation. Very smooth and creamy.

D: Pretty high, this is a darn good and easy drinking beer.

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Photo of Smithj86
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Smoky, roasted aroma--enticing and intriguing. Black as Cheney's heart, with a thin head that quickly disappears, leaving lacey trails of foam composed of tiny bubbles. Deep, dark roasted flavor with a hint of smokiness. Contains espresso-like hints. Good mouth feel--turns to foam if sloshed in the palate. Slight, but rather pleasant, aftertaste. Very rich, flavorful porter. From bottle into glass.

I generally like porter, and this is one of the better ones I've had.

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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 rembrant
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

looks- Real dark,a finger of beige head that's more bubbly than frothy

aromas- Coffee,a little smoky,roasty malt,brown sugar,raisin and a slight brandy vapor.

Taste- A full,well roasted maltiness that never quite goes to dark coffee,but it teases it. Maybe a hint of licorice,dark fruit,and a hint of alcohol. The Alcohol is integrated in a good wall of flavors and isn't a negative.
Probably less deep/complex than Edmund Fitzgerald or Black Butte but ahead of most others. A very solid Porter.

Mouth- Sweet on the lips and rich in the mouth. Finish is a roasty-toasty bitter that's right for the type,never goes watery or sourish

Drinkable- More than you'd expect,I'd hav no objection to some more

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Photo of JDJorgenson
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

An excellent expression of a straight porter. The aroma is full, complex, and inviting. Slightly over carbonated hurts the mouth feel, but an otherwise superior porter.

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Photo of fx20736
4.23/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bought a single bottle from Beers of the World on 11/22/13. Served cool in a Samuel Smith's Pint glass.

Appearance: black as anthracite coal with a thick tan head and nice lacing.

aroma: coffee, char, some chocolate and smoke.

mouthfeel: good.

taste: roast, coffee, a hint of smoke.

notes: maybe not Eddy Fitz but this is a damn good Porter. Looking forward to a taste test between Bell's, Founder's and Eddy.

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Photo of Raime
4.23/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bells Porter.

Now this one outta be some fun. Thr legendary Porter from my favorite brewery. Grabbed a single for $1.89 at my local Meijer. No time for cooling, I wanna drink NOW!.

Look - From the bottle into a pint glass. Pours a very deep brown with hints of ruby if held up to the light. The head is massive, very frothy and very bubbly, standing nearly half the glass in height. Carbonation is tough to read due to the darkness of the beer. A large amount of sticky lacing is left all around the glass as though building a stairway to * insert your religious afterlife of choice here *.

Smell - Nose is very roasted malt forward with an odd, almost metallic twang I guess you could say as it embraces your nostrils. Hop levels are kept to ablut moderate and there is also a large medium coffee aspect due to the beer being nearly room temperature.

Taste - The roasted malt and moderate level of medium coffee are the star players on this brew. The metallic twang ks there though not bothersome. Hops are very crisp and refreshing and nearly grapefruit like in nature.

Feel - The feel is absolutely perfect for the style. Body is very full and coats the mouth in rich roasty goodness and it is highly creamy due to the beautifully retained head. Carbonation is minimal and the beer swallows like a dream. Flavors lean more towards milk chocolate as the brew sits.

Overall - A very solid Porter. Great, actually. Probably one of my favorites out of the specific style. Very easy drinking aslnd sessionable to high hell. This would make a fine introduction porter for somebody just getting into the style. Bell's really cannot do much wrong. I'd have again for sure..

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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 chilly460
4.23/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Very dark brown with red tones. Great tan head that barely dissipated.

S - Malty, with very strong coffee and some dark berry

T - I really enjoyed this one. Malt background, but just a very smooth and even coffee taste, followed by some raisin and dark berry. No hops that I could detect.

M - Again, very nice. Nice thickness, smooth almost chewy feel.

D - Very good, but a "heavy" enough beer that I wouldn't exactly call it a session beer.

Overall, I really liked this porter, very warm flavor.

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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 Beric
4.23/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Serving: Bottle into tulip
Served: 27 Jul 2013
Bottle date: packaged 6/03/13

Appearance: Absolutely pitch black- no light is getting through this one when held up directly towards a light source. The beer pours with a great two finger light-brown head that eventually dissipates to a light sheen of brown bubbles over the top of the beer. Great lacing down the sides of the glass.

Smell: BItter and roasty. Hints of dark chocolate and coffee.

Taste: A magnificent blend of roasted malt and bitterness. The porter finishes pretty dry, which really compliments the overall bitterness from the dark, roasted malt. I think that the roasted malt comes out more in this beer than any hints of coffee or chocolate.

Mouthfeel: This is my first porter, and I know that they are supposed to be like a stout but dialed back a bit. I definitely am wishing that these flavors would come out in a slightly fuller-feeling beer. The beer does taste a little thin, given its flavor profile that is normally associated with thicker feeling beers. That being said, it is a nice change from the stout style- it feels just a little lighter (almost like how a Guinness can sometimes feel watery) but really packs a strong flavor punch.

Overall: An incredible beer by Bell's that I would definitely drink again. Comparable to their Kalamazoo Stout, but with less complexity. A great beer for cool evenings- I could definitely see this as an early-fall beer where one is not yet ready to hit up the boozy imperial stouts or anything, but desires that warming roastiness.

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

Pours dark chocolate brown, almost black. Awsome 2 finger head that set up in a light brown color.

Medium lacing, very thick in places

Tastes of dark roasted malts with a little chocolate, very nice finish.

Very pleasent smell. The sweet smell of the chocolate was just slighter more than that of the roasted malts.

I really enjoyed this glass and thinks it's worth a try.

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Photo of bob182
4.24/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is my favorite porter: It is just so drinkable. Never too heavy, never tastes too much of chocolate or bitterness or sweetness or whatever gimmick is going on at the time (though I think stouts do this more than porters). I could say it's not very distinctive, but I count this in it's favor. It's just doesn't go too far over the line, where all you remember is that one, over-done flavor profile.

I love to start with this and then go elsewhere. It has a very clean (again, drinkable) taste where you could stay with this all night, were you in the mood, and not bother to change it up.

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Photo of mentor
4.24/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased from Beer Depot in Ann Arbor. Pours a 1.5 finger brown head that's creamy thick. The beer itself is pitch black with brown edgings when held to light. Smells chocolate with some black patent and a grassy dry coffee. Tastes wet sweet fighting a dry roast. Noticable chocolate is complimented by and compliments the malt sweet. A strong, but not over-bearing cherry sour from black malt pulls the beer in an interesting direction. Well done. Woody or cotton-like hop feel with a Fuggles flavor. Nice lacing on the inside of the glass. Md body and a bit too sharply carbonated. After swirling to release carb, the beer became much drier and the coffee flavor was augmented.

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Photo of Hauckstadtjr00
4.24/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A- Poured into a Guinness stout snifter from a growler. Very dark in appearance. 1/2" layer of a white foam head. Some lacing at the top.

S- Very nice malt profile coming through with some smokey roasted malts as well. Enjoyable.

T- Much like the smell a nice smokey roasted malt profile stands out. Not much else just a good classic porter, and one of the better porters I've tried.

M- Very smooth as it glides over the tongue. Not over-bearing, good mouthfeel as well.

O- I enjoyed this beer quite a lot. I recommend this beer to anyone who likes classic porter, or someone who is just trying to get into dark beers. I can see why this beer received the score it did. TRY IT!!!

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Bell's Porter from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.88 out of 5 based on 2,897 ratings.
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