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

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BA SCORE
87
very good
1,043 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:
1,043
Ratings:
2,814
Avg:
3.88
pDev:
17.01%
 
 
Wants:
107
Gots:
371
For Trade:
6
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,043 | Ratings: 2,814
Photo of DoubleJ
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It's a rare Bell's kind of night in California. If I wanted to go all-out, I could eat some Taco Bell with the beer, however there's no way that my stomach will allow that. Just the beer tonight, and that's fine. Let's add Bell's Porter to the line. Another 12 ounce bottle, and another on to the beer:

More than half an inch of semi-soapy foam sits on top a beer that's cola black with reddish hues. Retention is modest, leaving a few spots of lace around the glass. It smells like something else was added to this porter....a big crate of milk perhaps? The aroma is milk sweet and still features an edge of roasted malt.

Respectable taste. It starts with a little roast, then comes in a mocha-like sweetness, a milk sweet accent, and a spot of grassy hops. The beer is lighter-medium bodied, has a lightly roasted aftertaste, and does go down easy.

In the world of porters, Bell's sits a tick above average. It may not sound like much to some, but because I adore porters more than many other styles, I wouldn't shy away to "porter" myself another bottle!

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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 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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Photo of BARFLYB
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A pint on tap,

Bell's porter looks the standard mix of deep dark browns mixed with some black with a bit of seepage when up to light. A big inch of loose brown foam that left no stick, eventually died down. Smell is the standard porter roasted malt mixing in with some burnt and vanilla. Taste is roasted malt, vanilla, peat, chocolate, slight bitter coffee. Feel is a bit thin, I would say a step under medium, it needs a boost. Carb is adaquate but lacking as well. I drank it and next time I'll opt for a Founder's porter. The feel kinda kills this one for me.

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

Bottled July 2006, Sampled November 2006
Definitely an opaque, black colored brew. It is topped by a frothy, almost creamy consistency, initially two-finger thick, brownish leaning tan colored head. The aroma is quite burnt and roasted. It even has a note like burnt grain husks, in fact it is quite husky in its grain aromatics. Notes of chocolate cover malt balls add a bit of roundness to the harsher burnt notes, which actually are not all that harsh in this beer. Towards the end it picks up a note that reminds me of the acidity in a sweetened espresso.

The mouthfeel on this is quite light up front, after the beer has left my mouth it takes on a touch of fullness. It actually leaves a chocolate like mouth coating that has a touch of malt sweetness to it. There is some burnt grain acidity to this beer, but it seems just enough for the sweet chocolaty malt and the body to balance out. This beer is defined by the dominant roasted grain flavors, they even add bitterness to this beer (though some of the bitterness in this brew is certainly hop derived).

This is really quite the quaffable brew, especially as it warms a bit. As it warms the roast character becomes a bit more balanced by the sweeter chocolate like maltiness and a mouthfeel that picks up a bit more heft to it. Quite the enjoyable brew, definitely a good beer for this "Arizona chilly" evening.

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Photo of tone77
3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of roasted malts, some coffee notes are detected. Taste is of roasted malts and coffee up front, some hops are present, a touch of chocolate. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a good quality beer.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bell's Porter

Pours a deep brown color, off white khaki colored head forms and leaves some lace down the glass. Aroma is full of roasted malts, chocolate, dark bread, and toast. In the flavor, nice roasted malt presence, undertones of coffee, nuts, and chocolate. Mild bitterness, and little hop flavor. Medium bodied feel with a good amount of carbonation. Overall, a stand out porter, worth getting every time.

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Photo of biegaman
4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bell's Porter is black but far from opaque; loads of terra brown highlights show up in the light and even render peeks of clarity amidst the shadowy, dark complexion. Its thin but persistent head provides an embroidery of gauze-coloured lacing only a skilled seamstress could replicate.

Coffee grounds combine with enough vanilla extract and brownie flavour to make the aroma a little more sweet than roasty. It certainly has a good quantity of both; this smells vivid and delicious and is clearly a beer of the utmost craftsmanship and quality ingredients.

The first sip has enough chocolate and vanilla flavour to make me want to run out to the nearest ice cream shop. It simulates the gratification of a slice of dark caramel-chocolate cheesecake and side of Caffè Americano; it's a mocha flavour right off the menu at Starbucks.

All these rich, dessert-y flavours exist within the thinner, lighter framework of a porter and lack the smoke, burnt roast qualities, and weightiness of a stout. Make no mistake, however, this is about as full-bodied as porters come; this is hearty as a chunky steak and mushroom pie.

The truly dark, rich flavours are normally reserved for stouts but there's little that Bell's Porter doesn't provide. Whether you own a massive beer cellar or simply a bottle opener, this is a must-have beer to keep on-hand. Trade, plan a road trip to Michigan - do whatever it takes.

 1,410 characters

Photo of yourefragile
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle with batch number on back

A: Very dark amber, nearly black color, not entirely opaque with a thin tan head that quickly dissipates to a ring around the edge. No significant lacing
S: Roasted malt, caramel, very pleasant but not that persistent
T/M: Medium bodied, creamy and moderate carbonation. Big roasted malt flavor with some light hop bitterness. Something is holding me back from really liking this, but I can't place it. Some hint of coffee in dry finish.
D: Very enjoyable porter, nothing fancy but nothing to keep me from coming back to this if I want a simple, good porter

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

Pours a dark walnut in color, with an offwhite head that eventually fades to a ring and leaves some slight lacing. Smells slightly sweet and earthy, with a hint of roastiness and some aromas of brown bread. The taste is similar. On the lighter side for the style, but very well balanced and with a long, slightly bitter, and slightly peppery finish that exhibits roasty notes and some earthy depth. Smooth, and although somewhat light bodied, it has a long finish. Quite good.

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Photo of tobelerone
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An opaque black beer with a small, quickly dissipating head, spotty lacing. Visibly carbonated and on the thin-bodied side. Roasted, malty aroma with dark coffee, molasses, and a touch of fruity sweetness underneath.

Flavor is very much the same but has a more assertive, bitter hoppiness. Coffee flavors become much more vivid over time. Nice roastiness.

Lively carbonation that prickles the tongue a bit; a little thin but appropriate for the style. Very easy drinking. A beer that really opens up as it breathes; complex roast, coffee, hop, char, burnt sugar and creme brulee flavors emerge.

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

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Packaged 2/15/12.

Appearance: extremely dark brown hue with traces of ruby when held up to the light. Head pours two fingers of frothy tan foam with decent retention. Nice!

Smell: smooth, chocolatey malt aroma with just a hint of vegetal hop character. A good, solid porter bouquet.

Taste: rich, malty flavor; slightly sweet with a fair amount of chocolate character and a hint of roastiness. Dries out a little toward the end, where it meets up with that light vegetal character. Solid!

Mouthfeel: medium body with a somewhat low level of carbonation but a nice smoothness nonetheless. I like it.

Overall: a very tasty, well-crafted porter. This would be a go-to beer for me if it were sold around here.

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Photo of weeare138
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appears an opaque black with deep chestnut toned edges when held to the light. A thick, dark tan head of foam slowly fades into a mild film and hearty collar. Scattered bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of caramel, mild roast, turbinado sugar, ripe fruit, milk chocolate, toasted nuts, espresso, and yeasty, devil's food cake.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with standout ripe fruit and yummy dusted cocoa powder cake.
Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied, fruity up front, leading to a spritzy dance along the palate before becoming a roasty, dry finish.
Addictive and extremely drinkable at under 6%. I think I just found a new session beer!
Try pairing this one with Mole Chicken.

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Photo of Derek
4.27/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black with a slight reddish twinge; tan head, very little retention, some lace.

S: Chocolate, dark bread, hints of ale esters, brown sugar.

T: Chocolate, mild acidic roastyness, dark bread, a little nut, caramel, slight hint of licorous.

M: Moderate to full body is creamy. Moderate carbonation.

D: Very good.

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

Pours a five finger brown head that fades to a thin layer leaving a good lace. Nearly black, faint hints of mahogany color. Light-medium carbonation and heavy bodied. Slight baker's chocolate nose. Starts balanced, flavor is baker's chocolate. $1.49 for a 12oz bottle from Chalet Party Goshen, In. Batch #7156.

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Photo of corby112
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown color with slight mahogany edges and a thin foamy beige head. Roasted malty aroma with sweet chocolate notes. This beer tastes kind of smokey with lots of roasted chocolate maltiness, oatmeal, caramel and burnt toast. Slightly creamy body with a dry bitter finish.

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Photo of dar482
3.92/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The beer comes in a Coca Cola dark brown.

The aroma has a fresh lightly roasted coffee, milk chocolate, some medium roasted malt. A hint of dark fruit as well.

The flavor follows with watered down black coffee, cocoa, a semi sweet chocolate, a gentle fruit character from the yeast.

The body is light plus.

A very good attempt at the style. A bit simple for me, but definitely fantastic for pairing with food.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.15/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured dark brown with a nice sized tannish head. Nose of light chocolate, coffee, a little hops as well. Taste is sudbued. Nose is misleading. Roasted malts on taste with a dash of cocoa but thats about it. Not really impressed. it was good but not great. Thin mouthfeel and body. I expected more robust porter I suppose.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark cola color with a cherry tan head.

S: light roasted malt, coffee and dry chocolate.

T: For flavor there is some dry chocolate, and coffee notes along with a bittering earthy hoppiness and a slight smoky woodiness.

M: a light creamy and milky texture. A nice clean finish of coffee and chocolate that fades off the tongue leaving you wanting more. There is a slight acidic nature as well in the finish.

D: Overall a solid good beer, enjoyable.

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

(Served in a Nonic glass)

A-This beer pours a thick dark black body with a slight brown hue and a nice creamy tan head.

S- Very strong roasted malt, caramel, and nutty aroma. Some faint notes of chocolate and coffee with biscuit aswell.

T- Nice roasted to burnt qualities in the malt. Some coffee flavors with a gentle hops bitterness and a slight tanginess.

M- Nice medium-light body with nice gentle carbonation

D- This is a wonderful porter and a very drinkable beer. It has all the big taste of a porter but the grain bill is not a watered down stout.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark brown with offwhite head that sticks around a little and leaves some lace. A roasted and somewhat coffee malt smell with hints of caramel and a little floral hop bitterness. A mild sweetness in a light to medium body that is smooth, creamy and light. Very minor hoppy, fruity flavor and a tad bit of breadiness for a somewhat dry backbite. Passes easily and while a simplistic porter it is enjoyable.

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

A: The porter is black as oil with a small head and spots of lacing. As you sip the beer, hints of coffee-colored deep brown/black emerges.

S: The aroma is a chocolatey roasted malt aroma with a slight stale sour tartness.

T: The taste is chocolate and toffee sweetness with a very subtle tartness that, to me, epitomizes a good porter. The roasted malt finish is dry and provides a pleasing chocolate aftertaste.

M: The ale sits very well on the palate with a nice aftertaste.

D: The porter is very drinkable, an enjoyable darker brew for the fall season.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.11/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle

A- Poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark brownish black with a large creamy light tan head that possesses excellent retention and lacing qualities.

S- The aroma is dark roasted malts with hints of chocolate and coffee. A little fainter than expected, but still good.

T- The taste like the aroma is dominated by the roasted malt with some bittersweet chocolate and roasted coffee flavors. The taste starts out sweet and finishes with an mild lingering bitterness that slowly increases. Very tasty!

M- The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Overall, this is a very tasty that I would definitely purchase again when I am in the mood for a Porter. Recommended!

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Photo of beertunes
3.42/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Received as a gift after a friends recent trip to visit family. Thank you, Mara!

Batch # 9188. Poured from bottle into straight pint glass. Poured a very dark brown, just slightly translucent, with a half inch of deep tan head that quickly dissipated, leaving minimal lacing.

A strong roasty aroma hits the nose, more of a stout aroma than a porter aroma in my view, with a slight caramel scent underneath. The flavors seem to lean towards the stout side of the scale as well. The roast is dominant, with just a bit of a sweet finish.

The body was a little thin for the style. The beer flowed easily over the tongue, and drinking several would be an easy thing to do.

Overall, a nice example of the style and were it available to me, it would be in my regular rotation.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of russpowell. Thanks Russ!

It pours a near pitch black..I can just see some light shining through when I hold my glass up to the light. Ok, I'll call it a very dark brown.

It certainly isn't lacking in the foam...got 2 fingers worth of offwhite goodness looking at me. Very billowy and it sticks to the side of my glass nicely.

The smell is all roasted malt with a hint of some dark chocolate. Pretty simple but sometimes simple is better.

The taste is delicious. Roasted malt with a good infusion of chocolate that bring both sweet and bitter notes. It kind of reminds me of the excellent Cutthroat Porter from Odell without the coffee.

Medium bodied with slightly under medium carbonation. It has a pleasing roasted and slightly bitter finish.

Drinkability? This is an easy one to sit down and drink multiple bottles of. Seiing as this is my only bottle, that won't work for me but folks who have access to this sure can and should. A very nice brew.

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Bell's Porter from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.88 out of 5 based on 2,814 ratings.
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