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

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1,045 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: 1,045 | Ratings: 2,827
Photo of AwYeh
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours an opaque black/very dark brown, with a finger head that dissipates moderately quickly.
S: Great smoky smell; elements of salty meat and chocolate remind me of a bacon chocolate bar I had once.
T: Taste has elements of bitter dark chocolate and roasted malts.
M: Medium to heavy body, with moderate carbonation. Pleasant slightly bitter aftertaste accompanies light mouthcoat after swallowing.
D: Very drinkable; I could easily put a few of these away in a night.

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

Appearance is dark brown to almost black with a tan head. Head retention is average, with lacing slightly above average. A nice combination of cocoa, coffee, and dark fruit scents make for a very enjoyable smell. The taste is flavorful - very well balanced with nice complexity. A panorama of flavors including dark fruit, chocolate, coffee, and bitter citrus cross the palate in approximately that order. Mouthfeel is good but not outstanding for the style. I'd put this among the best porters that I've had.

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

Poured from a bottle into a pint

A. A nice rich brown. 90% opaque. 2 finger frothy head. Nice lacing.

S. Roasted malts, chocolate, vanilla. Smells really nice and clean.

T. Agreeing with the nose I get nicely roasted malts, chocolate and vanilla. Blonde coffee notes. A very nice flavor to a regular porter.

M. Medium body with some carbonation. Not a whole lot. But just enough.

O. Really enjoying this porter. Good balance. Nice body. A win for me. Will drink again.

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Photo of far333
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Compliments of BA Brent, this one pours a deep dark brown, almost black, with a light brown thick head that rests on top of the liquid. I can see particles suspended through the glass. Smell is sweet like brown sugar, with hints of licorice, cocoa, and fig. Flavor is rich, but not overbearing. Coffee, tea, and raisins, finishing with cocoa. Bitter coffee and chocolate fades in from the finish. A few seconds later this turns into a caramel flavor. The flavor morphs as it rolls around the mouth. The finish stays with me. This is a truly awesome beer.

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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 Kris450
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

I love a good porter and that's exactly what this is. Rich malty flavor that cascades in a caramel climax that is maybe a bit pronounced, But I like it nonetheless. Very drinkable and not overly heavy. Pours a dark opaque brown, not quite black, yet extremely dark. A very good beer for a night in, a fire, and a steak.

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Photo of crossovert
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle.

It pours a nice dark brown, black in the glass with a rightly foamed tan head that sticks very nicely It recedes with some nice lacing.

The smell is classic American porter in every sense of the style. There is a strong roastiness, a little kiss of hops, caramel, and chocolate.

The taste is very good, It could use a bit more body but the flavors are great. Tons of chocolate and roastiness dominate the profile but there is also some caramel and hops. The bitterness is at a great level in comparison to the sweetness, especially for the style. It is balanced and drinkable.

The guy below me has it right: not quite Edmund Fitz or Blake Butte but this one is one of the supeb examples of the style.

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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 Thedaver4220
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an almost black with a small tan head. It smells of roasted coffee with hints of chocolate. Smooth brew and very easy drinking with roasted chocolate after taste that doesn't linger in your mouth. Very nice porter all in all. I like Bells and this lived up to my expectations.

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

Appearance- Poured a one finger head, but the dark, dark brown hue appealed to my dark nature. To dark to see any lace.

Smell- A hint of pepper amongst mostly roasted malts and a few nuances of smoke.

Taste- Lots of roasted malts at the beginning, some hops subdued hops in the midle, and wnded with hints of smoke.

Mouthfeel- a pretty smooth palate, slightly chewy though.

Drinkability- Another great sessions beer if you like the dark stuff.

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

12 oz bottle poured into a new sam adams glass. poursa deep chocolate brown with amber highlights. two fingers of tan head that leaves moderate lacings.

aroma is malty, with notes of roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, and a subtle nutty character. a very subtle earthy character, almost smoked, lingers far in the background.

taste is rich, with the same notes as above, only with a more roasted profile. finishes smooth with a bit of residual hops among roasted malts.

mouthfeel is full bodied with a very smooth and creamy texture. finishes silky smooth with a moderately clean mouthfeel.

drinkablility is great. this is a rich porter that is not too heavy, but provides enough flavors and body to create a solid porter. cheers!

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Bell's Porter from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.88 out of 5 based on 2,827 ratings.
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