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

very good
2,926 Ratings
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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,926 |  Reviews: 1,065
Photo of carrollmel7
4.5/5  rDev +16%

Photo of steve8robin
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tried this on a trip to IA. 12oz bottle...

A: Deep dark translucent black with a very tiny off-white head that quickly fades to a lace atop the brew. Decent.

S: Smells roasty with a good balance of malts to help settle down the roast. Licorice and molasses in the middle with some dark chocolate and espresso on the backend. Good.

T: Watery roastiness upfront. A blend of watered down burn coffee bean and chocolate blended with hints of licorice and molasses. Decent.

M: Leaves kind of a metallic roasty taste on the palate. Very light here than what it should be. Decent.

D: Go down easy. Good.

All in all, this is a decent brew. Nothing to write home about, but decent. Maybe worth one try if you have access, but not worth hunting or going out of your way for. Many better in the style.

 796 characters

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

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

Appears a very dark murky brown, with one and a half finger tan head that sinks to a skim. Leaves a bit of lacing behind.

Aromas of chocolate and a bit of coffee. The usual roasted malt smells only toned down.

Taste is not much different. Chocolate and coffee followed by some hop bitterness and a bit of smokiness. The roasted malt almost seems watered down or something.

Mouthfeel is a bit light and watery, carbonation maybe a bit too high as well.

One of the few Bell's beers that disappoints me. It doesn't taste bad but something is missing here, it just reminds me of a weaker version of their Stout.

 659 characters

Photo of putnam
3.29/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Great natural look but it smells like a sack of government grain that has been rained on for two or three seasons. The taste gives nice, clearly defined cocoa and coffee. Dry. An echo of metal and rotting grain on the palate. This was probably my first brand of Porter. The question is: Has KBC quality changed or have my tastes? Probably both. I can't imagine ever having been entranced by such mediocrity.

 407 characters

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

Bottle into Sam Adams lager glass, big thanks to Jeff (mnjeff) for the bottle! One of my favorite styles from one of my favorite breweries - I have high hopes for this one. This particular one was bottled on Dec. 9, 2008 according to the batch indicator - it's aged very nicely if you ask me.

Pours black, dark ruby brown around the very edges, with a dense one finger tan head on top that has great retention - just doesn't want to go away. Great stickage.

Nose is very roasty, a slight edge of acidity, dry, a bit smoky even.

Taste is nice - a nice dry, roasty body, bit smoky, with a dense, super-dark chocolate richness that isn't as apparent in the nose. Certainly a nice acidity in there as well to provide just a bit of bite. Immensely satisfying beer on this fall day.

Mouthfeel is creamy, nicely carbonated with a medium-full body.

Drinkability is fantastic - packed with flavor, yet with a relatively modest abv. Bells never fails to impress me.

 963 characters

Photo of JimGlonke
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of Lynn
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of xJMFCx
4/5  rDev +3.1%

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

the head dropped quickly to a solid film. it's thin but the bubbles are tight. the liquid itself is dark¬ónot opaque but a deep mahogany

the aroma emanating from the foam is not voluminous but sports some dry roasty scents, like chocolate chips and chicory. hops are not very prevalent

the flavor mirrors what i experienced through my nose; dry roastiness. mild bitterness and an easygoing mouthfeel

 405 characters

Photo of CNoj012
3.74/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The look of this beer is very dark brown with a small tan head, great lacing. Smell is roasted malts and chocolate with hints of coffee. Taste is very malty with some bitter chocolate. Can definitely taste straight up hop bitterness on the back end. Feel is extremely light. Overall good porter, but wish it was a little more thick and voluptuous.

 347 characters

Photo of jemarent
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Radome
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A - Color is an extremely dark brown, almost black. It doesn't let light through when held up to a bulb. The head is a dark beige/gray color. It piles up fluffily, looking very much like a fermenting beer's yeast cap at full krausen. Eventually it drops to a thin sheet, along with thick, sticky lacing.

S - The aroma is dominated by cracked grain and roast, coffee-like notes. Very clean. No obvious hops or yeast characteristics.

T - Strong roasted malt flavor dominates. Not much else can show through. The roasted flavor does not come across as harsh, despite its strength.

M - Medium to heavy body. Low, prickly carbonation. There is a silky texture that may indicate oatmeal is in the grain bill. Low hops bitterness in the background. No alcohol burn.

O - This is a well-made porter. It is not very layered or complex, but is very enjoyable.

 902 characters

Photo of TooGood
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of cvm4
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a very dark brown. Nice tan 2 finger head. Great lacing as it's drank down.

S - The roasted malt and coffee are there along with a faint smell of dark chocolate.

T - Sweet and malty with some dark cocoa on the finish.

M - On the light side of medium in carbonation.

O - A solid porter that won't blow you away but is there for you when you're not looking to concentrate on a beer.

 396 characters

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

Photo of cfinch2
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of ColdOneKev
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of mattcrill
4.45/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours dark chocolate to black with a puffy tan head on the top. No light gets through this monster. Can't see any carbonation at all. Looks beautiful in my pint glass...

Smell: Out of control! I get dark chocolate, vanilla, oak, roasted marshmallows. All sorts of roasty goodness spilling out of this glass.

Taste: Follows smell. The chocolate, roasted malts, and vanilla is dialed in. I get hints of chocolate sweetness and coffee bitterness that lobby for control of my palate. This is a beautifully complex porter.

Mouthfeel: A touch to thin for me but definitely true to style. Carbonation keeps it interesting and a touch of a bitter coffee finish coats the tongue.

Drinkability: I could easily see myself going through a ton of these. This immediately jumps to the top of my list of porters and only stands behind Edmund Fitzgerald as far as I'm concerned. KBC got this one dead on...nice job.

 923 characters

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

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

Dark brown, thin off white head recedes promptly, little lacing. Still, a handsome one.

Smells of sweet malt, dark roasted grains and chocolate, blended very nicely. Perhaps a hint of coffee. If not particularly long ones, does have some legs.

Slightly less malty than roasty, but pretty balanced. Noticing the sweetness of the malt more in the middle. Some mild bitterness in the finish, possibly from dark grains and hops, but still very much in balance. Doesn't have the dryness accompanying the bitter finish as so many others do. I like it alot. ... getting better, sweeter, richer as it warms...

Modest carbonation with some effervescent sensation. A bit of warming, and a thin but pleasant coating of the mouth. Medium bodied. Nice.

Way very drinkable. Not a thick sipper or heavy with alcohol, but with enough body and flavor to be very satisfying. A solid effort.

 878 characters

Photo of zrab11
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%

Photo of Shaw
3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours as black as a stout with a foamy and sticky light tan head.

I'm smelling coffee, molasses, chocolate and caramel.

The aroma carries over into the taste, with nice roasted malt flavors mixing with hints of sweetness.

The body is glassy and smooth and lightly creamy.

Another good beer from Bell's. Like I have written before, I'm not sure you can really mess up a porter.

 380 characters

Photo of gpblackgt
4/5  rDev +3.1%

Photo of Gehrig
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Just delicious, easily one of the best I've had from Bell's. Pours a finger of tan froth atop a very dark body. Good aromas emerge--coffee, chocolate, good malt, nice all around. The taste brings all these together very well, combining with a splendid moutfeel to blend the somewhat roasted malts, well represented by all the flavors mentioned above. The carbonation is just right, providing an easy-going smoothness along with the occasional bite. One of the better porters I've had, and a real treat from Bell's. This, people, is good porter.

 544 characters

Photo of jkermitj
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bell's Porter from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.88 out of 5 based on 2,926 ratings.
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