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

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1,047 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: 1,047 | Ratings: 2,843
Photo of jahred
3.62/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an extremely dark brown (almost black) color with streaky lace and a thick, bubbly tan head. A nice aroma of sweet caramel and faint hints of chocolate puts me in a good mood. The taste is roasty and chocolately, with a slight hop bite and lingering fusel alcohol aftertaste. The roasty flavors, the first thing I notice from the taste, sticks around as the predominant flavor through the glass.

Overall, pretty tasty, but somehow just not as smooth and drinkable as my favorite porters (Anchor Porter, Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Fuller's London Porter and Goose Island English Malt Porter all come to mind as much more drinkable).

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Photo of Mrbseward
3.77/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice dark brown with a finger of tan head with just a hint of lacing residue. Smell is very pleasant with hints of roasted malt, coffee, some caramel. Taste is smooth and lighter than expected. Leaves an after taste of coffee after a drink which is very nice. Feels smooth, light, very drinkable. Nice overall porter that is light to drink and has a good taste.

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Photo of bearrunner44
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Pitch black color. You can make out some ruby tones if you hold it up to a bright enough light, but it's pretty opaque. Moderate head; light tan in color, and it dissipates quickly.

Smell- Smoky, wheaty aroma. Hints of molasses.

Taste- Burnt, grainy taste. Carbonation matches up well with the beer's thickness. Very slight, raisin-like sweetness in the finish. Eventually finishes pretty dry.

Verdict- Not a bad porter. It didn't blow me away, but it's a flavorful and pleasing beer.

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Photo of drgonzo3705
4.31/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a black color with just a tinge of brown with a fluffy off white head.

S: Burnt smokey coffee mostly coming through slight underlying maltiness.

T: Buttery and smokey. Light malt sweetness.

M: Medium body with a light hoppiness and a little creamy.

D: Very good! Good flavors going on and not too much alcohol combined with the smoothness of the cask condition makes this very enjoyable.

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Photo of bigbubba
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It was dark, near black, with very little head that died quickly. There was some lacing but it wasn't sticky enough to last. There was a roasted malt smell and not much else. The taste was slightly bitter, dry, with roasted malt. The mouthfeel was thin and flat.

It kind of reminded me of a a watered down Guinness.

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Photo of jpkoch1962
3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice middle of the road porter. Poured a dark ruby red with a thick long lasting brown head. The aroma was faint with whiffs of roasted coffee and malt. The body was firm, with decent warmth from the alcohol. From start to finish, the taste was smooth, creamy with enough malts, roasted coffee, and toffee balanced by a moderatly dry finish. Could have used some English Goldings and Fuggles; otherwise a nice session beer.

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Photo of Nyg
3.99/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dark roasted malt chocolate deliciousness. The head adds nice scent and malt taste. Top 10 porter. Not very heavy and an easy drink. A 6 pack and your good

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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 uccle81
1.91/5  rDev -50.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 1.75

Thick and syrupy. Tasted like burned caramel and grain alcohol. I like some of Bell's products, but this was rough. I opened the first bottle, tried it and then poured it out assuming that it was skunked. Tried the remaining 5. Same result. Other than the nasty Michelob Amber Bock, this is the ONLY beer I've ever poured down the drain. Sorry Bell's, I may buy a single one day to give it another shot.

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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 slusk
3.72/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a dark almost black with a short lived tan head. Good lacing.

S: Coffee and a bit of cocoa up front, a bit of brown bread and musty hop aroma that is reminiscent of olive, not an off-putting aroma however... quite nice. The nose shifts to the coffee side as it warms.

T: Sweet coffee, toffee and cocoa with some black bread crust. Somewhat bright and distinct malt flavors with a light smoky underpinning. A bit nutty but surprisingly finishes somewhat semi-dry. Alcohol is well hidden.

M: Medium full body, leaning a bit to the creamy, coating side. I little astringency in the finish. Low carbonation.

O: This is a nice porter. It's starts sweet but doesn't finish quite as sweet, the dark roasted malts seem to add to the semidry finish. A nice porter overall, but there's a nit of mustiness that seems to detract from this brew for me. Overall, a great example of the style that may appeal to some, just not one of my favorites,

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Photo of ken3c
4.42/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It seems like a great adventure when I pop the cap of a beer I think I'll like and there is fog in the neck of the glass.

Very dark brown with a tan head that shrinks down to a thin layer of foam. The empty glass has light lacing all along the back of the glass.

Coffee, nutty, and maybe fruity and chocolate aromas. Very complex.

Very little sweetness, quite tart like a grapefruit, then bitter like coffee and cocoa with a hint of hops. Very dry finish.

Full-bodied. Medium carbonation. slight sense of warming.

This beer didn't disappoint me. The longer I drank the more I liked.

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

A - Pours very dark brown, almost black with a generous medium brown head that leaves plenty of lacing on the glass.

S - Roasted grains

T - Roasted grains, mild bitterness.

M - Thin to moderate, initial bitter bite.

D - Smooth beer. Very drinkable.

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Photo of PartyHatjo
4.01/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was the third NCAA victory beer I've had...complements of ppoitras.

The pour is a chocolate brown coming out of the bottle, but black in the goblet, with a nice tan head. Head doesn't last too long.

Smell is light with hops, heavy with malts. Chocolate and coffee are predominant.

Chocolate is prevalent in the flavor. Coffee comes through more in the aftertaste--providing a mocha like character to the beer. The slight sweetness is welcome. There is a bit of hop flavor trying to peak through the malts, it hits more in the initial seep, and is then drowned out by the other flavors.

Body is medium--boosted by the sweetness, and balanced well by the hop bitterness.

Very easy drink. I don't usually drink porter, going more for the stouts, but this will be a repeat performer.

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Photo of lester619
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Almost completely black when poured into a glass mug. Beutifull thick frothy mocha colored head. This is a gorgeous looking beer. A lot of burnt chocoalty roasty notes in the nose. Smokey burnt toast flavor up front, the head adds a mellowing frothy bitersweet chocolatey flavor that balances nicely. A little hop bitterness, but mostly the smokey chocolate coffee richness takes over. Thick and creamy mouthfeel mostly from the foam that hangs around for the duration. It's like one of those creamy mocha coffee latte things you get at the coffee house. This is an excelent porter. It's not my favorite style, mainly because I feel like there's a beer milkshake in my gut after I drink it. Aside from that, the flavors of this beer are phenominal.

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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 maundythirsty
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A fairly sharp looking translucent dark brown that goes clear mahogany where the light pokes through. Lots of little motes floating around in there. Nice cream-colored and reasonably deep head that produces a little lacing. Smells pretty musty, with toasted malt and yeast.

A good touch of coffee in the taste, with more toasty malt flavor and a little bittersweet chocolate. The bitterness comes across very musty and earthy, as in the smell. Pretty darn smooth beer, with a mouthfeel that seems substantial without being too heavy.

A heckuva nice porter. Right up there with the best of them.

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

The smell of this Bell's brew is simply magical. A great beer from Bell's. The appearance is wonderful, poured into my Sam Adams Sensory Glass with a frothy head from the Sam Adams tag line on the glass to up and over the top bead of the glass. The beer is much better as it warms up as I've found in drinking a couple of these in the last week. But I'm wondering if this is the freshest porter possible from Bell's, because I find this batch was made on Sept. 5, 2008 (batch # 8726). I purchased the 6 pack at Mid-Town Liquors in Bridgman, MI on March 14, 2009 so I'm a bit surprised to get a porter made 6 1/2 months earlier. Still, I enjoy porters so the review must go on. Not quite as good as Founder's Porter, which is in a league of its own, but this Bell's brew holds its own with a rich, delectable smell and taste. Obviously, age hasn't affected this porter. Thanks Bell's for a great beer.

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Photo of arboristfish
4.5/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a thick black color, with an off white head. You can sort of pick up an amber hue in it, but for the most part you cant see through it at all. The aroma is of smokey, roasted malt. The flavor is light and yet has a balanced delicate roasted flavor to it. The mouthfeel is thick and the taste is light. Overall a very good beer.

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Photo of midnite2sixman
4.28/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my sam adam's beer glass with a perfect head rising above the surface of a dark beer, strongly resembling coca-cola in the glass: dark, but with a hint of redness when held up to a light.

Roasted coffee on the nose, hints of bitter chocolate and toasted marshmallows.

Taste is very balanced, smokey hints of coffee and roasted malts abound, backed up by a light hop taste.

Mouthfeel is medium body, with a nice smooth finish and a lingering smoky malt taste.

Quite a good example of a porter. I support this one entirely!

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

Appearance: Dark brown - little to no head

Smell: Tobacco, chocolate, coffee

Taste: Coffee, Chocolate, Tobacco - faint vanilla - would be great aged in whiskey barrels.

Mouthfeel: Thin effervescence - smooth - warm

Drinkability: sipper- a beginners porter. Meant to savor. Nice when it warms up a little bit.

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

This tasting possible from a trade with NDPDuke, Thank you

P: 12 oz. brown longneck bottle. Pours a dark brown with reddish tints with a robust two fingers of light brown foam that very slowly reduces to a thick cover

S: Sweet dark brown sugar, chocolate and dark coffee without the cream.

T: Rush of bittersweet chocolate that is quickly followed by medium roasted coffee sans sweetener. Great aftertaste, as all of the flavors fight to dominate and win. I think the roasted coffee wins!

M: A brisk porter that has a nice taste and body without any cloying sweetness or thickness to interfere with the roasted grains.

D: My hat is off to the brew master as this is a real honest and well-balanced porter that is a great example of a great tasting profile. Since this is not sweet or heavy, I think that this could be an excellent choice for a session porter.

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

A- poured a dark solid brown color. No hint if any other shades even when held to a light. 2 & 1/2 finger head with good retention and nice lacing

S- dark chocolate, coffee and some roasted grains. Maybe a hint of dark fruit there

T- tastes very much like it smells. Bitter dark chocolate, moderate coffee flavor and some slight toasty grains.

M- mouthfeel was medium. Finish was medium with good carbonation to give it done crispness

A soild porter from Bells. Not exciting but still rather nice

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Photo of sauron681
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark goldish red color. Decent head that does not dissapear to quick. Good sticky lacing. Lots of carbonation, I could actually hear the CO2 popping at the surface-sounded like rice krispies. Very creamy looking as well.
Slightly sweet aroma with a hint of smokiness.

Taste was of sweet malt and lemony. Finishes a tad bitter with a citric overtone. Medium light feeling in the mouth, harsh carbonation on the tongue. Overall a good porter that would be hard to improve upon, but could. I could drink this on a regular basis

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Bell's Porter from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.88 out of 5 based on 2,843 ratings.
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