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

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BA SCORE
87
very good
1,040 Reviews
Bell's PorterBell's Porter
BEER INFO

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,040
Ratings:
2,805
Avg:
3.88
pDev:
17.01%
 
 
Wants:
105
Gots:
366
For Trade:
6
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,040 | Ratings: 2,805
Photo of chinchill
3.84/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark brown and nearly opaque in my snifter despite being clear. The sudsy tan head is mildly disappointing at first, but largely redeems itself with some retention and lacing.
The aroma is very promising, with a bit of caramel sweetness, and more subtle notes of roasted malt, chocolate and coffee. The roasted malt comes to the fore in tasting, especially mid-taste onwards. Some dark chocolate, sweet caramel and a bit of a spicy hop flavor too.

M: Medium body; very smooth; would be creamy were it not for the lively, moderate carbonation.

O: Not exotic or extreme (and it shouldn't be) but a quite good porter in all aspects.

{12 oz bottle produced essentially the same impression and ratings - March 2013 & again August 2013}

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

Acquired via trade from JAYW, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark brown color with a short foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a very thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is very creamy and full of roasted coffee along with nuts, a touch of dark fruit and some hops.

T: The taste is very well-balanced, with flavors of coffee, nuts, smoky malt, dark fruit and a good amount of hops for a beer of this style, all complimenting each other. The coffee flavor stands out but not too much. It’s also not overly sweet like some porters can be. The after-taste is bitter-sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, slightly sticky finish.

D: Very tasty, goes down very easily, not very filling, good representation of style and one of the best American Porters that I’ve had. If I’m in a porter kind of mood, I could see myself drinking quite a few of these, if only Bell’s were available here.

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Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into signature pint glass, bottled 9/6/2012. Pours lightly hazy very dark reddish brown color with a nice 1-2 finger dense khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings down the glass. Aromas of big chocolate, caramel, roasted malt, toffee, coffee beans, toast, light dark fruit, cream, and herbal hops. Very nice aromas with good strength and balance. Taste of milk chocolate, roasted malt, caramel, toffee, toast, light coffee, earth, and herbal hops. Lingering notes of milk chocolate, roasted malt, caramel, toffee, and herbal hops on the finish for a bit. Nice balance and robustness of flavors; zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy, slick, and smooth mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with nearly zero warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very nice porter. Nice balance of nicely robust roasted flavors; very smooth to drink. Very enjoyable and sessionable porter.

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Photo of mothman
3.34/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Sam Adams Sensory Glass. Batch 8726.

Color is a dark coffee brown. Tan head, that leaves little lace.

The aroma is a little off on this beer. Smells like burnt coffee, that is really old. The taste however is much better. Taste is of toasted malts. Coffee and carmel flavor as well.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, with a hint of bitterness at the end.

Overall, the smell was a big turn away from this beer. The taste was normal, but I couldn't get over the smell. I would try it, just to compare to other porters, but wouldn't buy it again.

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

Thanks to Jason for this nice extra.

A: The pour is a very dark brown with a bit of reddish notes and a thin khaki head.

S: There's quite a bit of sweetness to the nose. I get caramel and sweet chocolate. The roasted malt and coffee notes are a bit more subdued.

T: As much as the roast is in the background on the nose, it's surprisingly strong and "featured" on the palate. Lots of roasted malt flavor with a nice bitter chocolate compliment. Some slight caramel sweetness and a bit of an earthy hop flavor.

M: The body is medium with a smooth and almost creamy feel on the tongue. The carbonation is moderate.

D: Not quite an amazing porter, but quite good. Solid in all aspects.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tasted in a Bass trademark ale glass
A - Opaqe deep brown no light pervades this dark ale. A Pale tan head quickly recedes leaving a thin lace behind.

S - Scents of Roasted coffe with cream and nuts. Crisp fruit aroma and roasted grain lingers in the background.

T - Crisp smooth flavor of brown malts. Creamy and nutty toffee and slightly vegetal flavor emerges . Minimal hop taste stealthily hides in the midst. Woody dryness as it warms and almost burn bean essence plays with the tongue as the creamy caramel sweetness relaxes.

M - Moderately full, chewy sweetness dominates with active carbonation and creamy edges.

D - Very good in the drinkability category and represents the style well. It is a sweet beer, so multiple tastings seems difficult. The flavor is pleasant and is good to return to on occasion for a sweet dark treat.

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Photo of russpowell
3.82/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers to BARLEYWINO for this delight

Pours chestnut with some mahogany & purple tints, plus 2+ fingers of tan colored head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Toasted malt & some coffee notes

T: A little bit of chocolate, dryness & hints of coffee grinds up front. Hints of iron & slight smokeyness as this warms. Finishes with some mocha & dryness

MF: Medium-bodied with low carbonation & oilyness

Drinks good, but given how stellar most of Bell's beers are, I'm a bit disappointed, a solid porter

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

Hopefully this brew won't have too bitter a taste thanks to my Bears really getting their asses handed back to them against the Pats. It pours a deep ruby brown topped by a short finger of ecru foam. The nose comprises light roasted malts, a very light hickory smoke, brown sugar, light molasses, and a good helping of black pepper. The taste goes a bit heavier on the pepper and smoke (less of the latter) and adds some mild greens, but, beyond that, everything from the nose returns on the tongue. The body is a lithe medium, with a moderate carbonation and a fairly dry finish. Overall, a very nice porter, but a bit too dry and fizzy for me to really get into it. other than that, though, it's pretty solid.

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Photo of Jason
3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to UncleJimbo for this sample!

Presentation: 12 oz brown bottle with a batch code on the back label … this means nothing to me as far as freshness.

Appearance: Thick frothy head forms as soon as I poured, not a gusher but there is a good amount of carbonation here. Black, black and black.

Smell: Fruity, malty with a roasted … almost burnt biscuit aroma. Mild buttery diacetyl in the back.

Taste & Mouth Feel: Semi-smooth with a creamy medium body. Mildly acrid burnt snap up front, lots of burnt husk flavor … not astringent but it has a bite. Solid yet balancing hop bitterness plays with the dry malt character. Finishes with a drying burnt chicory flavor.

Drinkability & Notes: Just an easy drinking middle of the road porter that has a good amount of flavor pack in it.

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

A: Pours an opaque very dark brown (almost black) in color with some very dark amber and garnet red highlights as well as light to moderate amounts of carbonation at the surface. The beer has a two finger tall creamy tan head that slowly reduces to a large thick patch, a thin film covering the rest of the surface of the beer, and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light aromas of roasted malts with some very light hints of coffee and dark chocolate.

T: Similar to the smell, this beer has a light flavor of roasted malts upfront with some notes of coffee and dark bittersweet chocolate that become more apparent as the beer warms up. Very light notes of bitterness that fades but not too quickly.

M: Just shy of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly creamy and smooth.

O: With the lighter body/mouthfeel, this is a very easy to drink beer and would be a nice late fall/early winter session beer.

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Photo of billab914
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Stone RIS glass. Poured black in color with a half inch of creamy tan head covering the beer. The head faded away after a few minutes but left some very good lacing on the glass.

The aroma has some good roasted malts to it with a slightly sweet chocolate and caramel smell to it. The taste is similar to the nose in that I get mostly roasted malts with some chocolate and caramel sweetness. it has some bitterness to it that helps it from becoming too sweet. A very good straight forward porter.

Mouthfeel is on the thicker side with below average carbonation. Drinkability is very good, it's a very well made and good tasting porter. Overall it's nothing fancy, just a very good all around porter.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a very dark brown color with two inches of tan head and moderate carbonation evident. No lacing or real retention.

s - Smells of chocolate, roasted malts, light coffee, vanilla, and light dark fruits. Pretty nice.

t - Tastes of coffee, roasted malts, chocolate and very light vanilla. A step down from the nose, but still good.

m - Medium to full body and moderate carbonation. Very smooth and creamy.

d - A nice porter. I liked the smell a lot and the taste was still pretty good. I wish the taste had less coffee as that slightly dominated the other tastes, but would certainly have again.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a deep ruby brown chestnut when held up to the light appears with a magnifiant fluffy tan head leaving a big sturdy collar of lacing. Aroma: Not overly sweet but the deep roasted malted barley is robust filled with chocolate and coffee tones, nice and creamy edge. Taste: Flavor is slightly grainy with the dark roasts leaving bitterness in the finish a bit dry as well, ties flavors together solid porter from front to back dead on. Mouthfeel: Creamy texture paints the palate coats it done with a sweet rising moccha cream tone, very nice brew full body wonderful. Drinkability: The best sipping porter none go down easier than this one just so good and flavorful clean well crafted I have much thanks for aaronh for hunting this jewel down for me.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours extremely dark - just one step below opaque. Big tan head off a very firm pour, but it falls fast. Mildly roasted nose. Touch of a sweet tone. Malt tones are there for sure. Flavor is pretty thick with roasted tones and minimal coffee with a lot of malts of course. Feel has a lot of carbonation really going at the tongue and the liquid is thick enough. A nice, hearty porter. Definitely worth trying.

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Photo of stakem
3.39/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a mug just for giggles.

Deep dark brown color, redish around the edges. Pours with a nice 3/4 inch head that is slightly tanned. Has a bit of lacing. Initially this beer smells like yeast and I don't pick up much more from it in the scent department other than trace bits of coffee. (More chocolate/coffee scent comes through as you come close to finishing the beer.) Taste is kinda bland, very minor chocolate and coffee notes but I keep feeling like this beer seems to be watered down. Not much carbination, mouthfeel is ok but nothing exciting. It is well balanced and I gotta admit it is easy drinking but I am not as excited about it as I was the other products from Bells which is surprising because I am a big fan of porter.

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Photo of jwc215
4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a thick off-white head that descends to a thin, lasting cover. Rings of lacing stick to the glass.

The smell is of charcoal smokiness and dark fruits.

The taste is of dakr malt - chocolate and coffee. Dark fruits give it a nice balancing support. Smoky and earthy characteristics come into play. Candy-sweet finish.

The body is medium - on-target for style.

A truly "sessionable" porter. Nicely balanced - A good example of an American Porter!

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

Nearly black in color, with a full, dark tan head. Aroma is rich and roasty, toasty, even slightly burnt. Dark chocolate comes out on top, with hints of nuts and spices. Full-bodied, good texture, with loads of tingly hops. A fine rendition of the style.

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

Received in trade from sholland119, Thanks for the opportunity.

Pours a solid chocolate brown with a decent tanish head that sticks around for a bit. Aromas of chocolate and coffee, a little fruity with some roast in there too. Taste is some chocolate, some fruit and bitter roast with a little ash at the end. Mouthfeel starts creamy, but leaves your mouth dry in the finish. Medium carbonation. Decent brew, I could see myself drinking these a lot if they sold it here.

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Photo of tdm168
4.02/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - black with a large, dense, brown head that has good retention

S - roasted malts, some coffee, some chocolate

T - roasted malts, faint coffee, faint chocolate, mildly bitter finish

M - medium bodied, a bit crisp but well carbonated

This is a nice, easy-to-drink porter. The flavor isn't over the top or too boldly forward, but it is a solid flavor profile. This one is enjoyable and worth checking out.

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

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Packaged November 29th 2011.

A very large and nice uniform head that is off tan, with some good retention, sits at a good three fingers. Body color is a very dark walnut black, has some red to it as well. Very nice looking.

Nose is a nice soft roasting malt, some chewy faint dark chocolate. Fairly nice and pleasant.

Taste is a nice bodied roast character. Nearly silky but with a nice rich feel. Some tight char and nice carbonation. Some faint chocolate, and classic porter tastes come out that roll around, coffee, carbon, but nothing too crazy

Overall just a simple good style of the drink and enjoyable.

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

On draft at Churchkey, served in a snifter. Beer is dark brown / black with a thin tan head of small bubbles, some lacing, low retention.

Aroma is mildly sweet with a little roast, smells good.

Beer is medium to light in body, a little sweet / chocolaty on the front with a mild maltness, thins out toward the back, mildly roasty / bitter. I enjoyed it.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, the beer is an extremely dark brown coloring, with a healthy, frothy, biege colored head that starts around the one inch mark and quickly settles into a sparse film. Aromas of coffee, sweet nut, and oak. The beer is light and crisp in mouth, and the flavors are light and creamy coffee, with a slight bittering at the end, with highlights of caramel sweetness. The increased levels of carbonation keep the beer light in mouth, and the finish is crisp and quick. The aftertaste is hazelnut coffee. This beer, although light, leaves a great lacing along the glass. Very tasty and light, making it way too easy to drink...good problem to have.

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Photo of Billolick
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, no freshness indication that I can find, pours rich, dark brown, darker tan head and so so lace left behind. Malty, vanilla nose. Tasty roasty, sweetish porter, more vanilla noted, then darker malts, some cafe au lait and milk chocolate and moderate hop dryadge late. Easy drinking porter, I would like to try this one with some BBQ, pleasant enough porter, worth a try.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
2.4/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured in to a Duvel tulip. Batch #9537

A - Dark black in colour with one finger of fluffy light brown head.

S - Roasted malts with a strong licorice scent.

T - A bitter, somewhat sour licorice/anise taste dominates the palate, so much so that the roasted malts become very subdued and barely form the background of the beer. Faint roasted malts are present in the background but the licorice taste masks any specific notes of the malts. Way too much brewer's licorice for me.

M - light to medium body. moderate carbonation.

D - Didn't finish this one. This is the only Bell's beer I've had that I haven't liked and to say that I didn't like this one is an understatement. Very disappointing.

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Photo of tempest
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a brown bottle. Batch 8318.

This is a classic American porter and darned tasty. It's on the dry and drinkable side of the spectrum, maybe a little more brown than robust, like a Sierra Nevada Porter instead of an Anchor Porter. The flavor has rich roasted malts that give off toffee, caramel, and semisweet chocolate flavors with a multigrain bread undertone. Definitely a beer for porter lovers.

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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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