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

BA SCORE
87
very good
1,053 Reviews
Bell's PorterBell's Porter
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States
bellsbeer.com

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:
1,053
Ratings:
2,878
Avg:
3.88
pDev:
10.31%
 
 
Wants:
106
Gots:
397
For Trade:
6
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,053 | Ratings: 2,878
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 mikesgroove
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle served right out of the fridge and poured into a pint glass

A - Poured a very nice hazelnut brown color with a very nice and somewhat hazy consistency to it. Enough light was coming through though so as not to give it the impression of being too dark and you could definitely make out the carbonation chains reaching up toward the surface. A very nice tan colored head of approximately three fingers in height formed almost immediately across the top of it, and where it met the cloudy dark liquid below it, some nice cascading bubbles gave it a nice effect and let you know there was some thickness to it. Very nice retention as the head stuck around for a good few moments before resting and coming down to about an inch and staying that way throughout the session. There was very nice side glass lace as well, which contributed nicely to the overall appearance.

S - The aroma was very nice and more then adequately strong in that you could easily pick up the different aromas and make out some subtleties in the profile. There was a strong smoky aroma going on here, which I was not expecting, but blended in very nicely with the rich malty profile on this one. Very nice deep earthy smells, caramel, and sugar with some grain making it very nice. There was a slight grass like hoppiness to it as well, there gave it a little bright spot in an otherwise dark smell. There was the slightest bit of dark chocolate present towards the end of the session as well, once it had warmed, that seemed to be a little bitter.

T - The flavor was very nice, and followed along well with the aroma, making this one more of a smoked porter then a sweet one. There was definitely that smoked flavor that translated over to it and gave it a good little bit extra that made it a bit different then normal. The base was a rich mixture of earthy malts, lots of grains and chocolate like flavors mingling around and mixed in very well with a touch of caramel sugar that sweetened it up a little. Perhaps a touch of roasted coffee in there, more likely though this was more of the smoke coming through. The finish was typical for a good porter with a strong hoppy bitter finish that drew out the flavor and made it a little longer lasting then I thought it would have been.

M - Very nice medium bodied porter, to be honest at times it bordered on being a little bit more, but had a bit of a lightness to it, which was good, as you want a porter to be a porter. Very smooth and creamy with the finish giving it a bit of a crisp edge that served to have it be more refreshing than a thick filling porter would be. Very nice and quite classic for the style, nothing really bad you could say about this here.

D - Really a very nice and quite high quality session beer. This one worked quite well as a nightcap to, which was the way I actually enjoyed it. I wanted something a bit lighter as it was already late, so I decided to go with this one, and it was a good choice, as the flavors were rich enough to stand on their own, but also this was definitely sessionable in a different environment.

Overall this was am excellent porter, and something that is quite useful as a staple or standby beer for everyday use in the fridge. I could easily have had another and thought it came off quite fresh. Another quality offering from Bell's regular lineup. I would recommend giving this one a try.

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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 Tone
4.01/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a black color. 1/2 inch head of a tan color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of strong sweet malt, slight roasted malt, lactose/oatmeal, slight chocolate, slight alcohol, and slight hops. Fits the style of an American Porter. Mouth feel is sharp and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of roasted malt, sweet malt, hint of hops, slight chocolate, and slight alcohol. Overall, well balanced, good appearance, aroma, and blend.

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Photo of Duff27
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch 9022 - Packaged on March 11th, 2009.

A- Pours a one fingered light mocha head. atop a dark brown /black beer. Head is short lived and lacing is minimal.

S- Dark chocolate.

T- Very robust chocolate taste. Leaves a coffee-ish aftertaste.

M- Highly carbonated for the style to me.

D/O- It's a good, solid porter but nothing to seek out with so many other examples of the style out there. Would be a good value and "sessionable" buy.

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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 Gavage
4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: arrived in a pint glass looking black as can be, with a 1" dark tan colored head. A spot or two of lace developed.

Smell: roasted tones and hints of chocolates.

Taste: roasted malts, dark chocolates, hint of espresso, and a mild bitterness. Solid and straight forward.

Mouthfeel: smooth with a hint of prickles at the start, very smooth at the finish. Medium bodied. Short aftertaste leaning towards the roasted tones.

Drinkability: this one goes down very easy for the style. Flavorful and this is considered a session porter in my book. Great on tap.

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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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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 Wasatch
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to CRJMellor for this one.

Batch 7662

Pours a dark brown color, nice carbonation, nice fizzy tan head, very nice sticky lacing afterwards and throughout the drink. The nose is slightly malty, and caramel. The taste pretty much follows the nose, malty and slight caramel. Light-Medium body. Drinkable, a nice little porter.

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Bell's Porter from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.88 out of 5 based on 2,878 ratings.
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