Tonight, I would like to review a Porter for you guys. It’s one of my favorite styles, so I was a bit shocked to notice that I had only posted one review of its kind. This version comes from the Bell’s Brewery in Galesburg, Michigan, which is right outside of Kalamazoo.
The brewery produces an outstanding array of brews in just about every conceivable style and for just about every occasion. Be sure to check out the website, bellsbeer.com, for a complete listing.
From the website regarding the Porter:
Brewed with a generous mix of chocolate malt and roast barley, our Porter matches subtle coffee aromas to a solid malt finish. Lighter in body than its stouter cousins, Porter earned a prominent place in our portfolio of beers with its balance of roasted flavors. First brewed in 1987, Porter remains a favorite among both our brewers and Bell’s drinkers alike.
Bell’s is a tremendous brewery in my opinion, so I have no reason not to believe that this beer will be more than satisfactory.
This Bell’s offering comes in a 12 oz. bottle and has an ABV of 5.6%.
Once it was poured into the pint glass, the beer showed an exceptional black/dark brown color with ruby highlights at a bare minimum around the edges. A nice 2-finger sized, tan head, which was more than adequate, creamy and smooth. It left some sufficient lacing, but it didn’t quite have the retention I was hoping for. Still, it showed pretty well.
The aroma filled the profile of a solid Porter nicely by revealing the dark malts of roasted coffee and a bittersweet chocolate. I did detect a couple of uncommon characteristics in regards to this style however. My nose found a quaint rye bread type of note accompanied by a toasty walnut. I thought it was a pleasant change and it gave it a little twist to set it apart from others. Nice and balanced.
The taste was very similar to the fragrance by recalling the roasted coffee and chocolate, which gave it a touch of bitterness. The breadiness made a curtain call that brought forth a dryness that was very appealing. Only a fraction of alcohol warmth was detected, however the booze wasn’t “tasted” at all. Again, well balanced.
The mouthfeel was medium, very dry, smooth and mostly creamy. I found the aftertaste to be somewhat chalky in texture, but that was ok with me and it definitely covered the palate well, so I was happy.
I think this is a very, very solid representation of a Porter. Warming and inviting. Smooth and easy drinking. Ample amounts of flavor were to be had and it looked attractive in the glass. I would have no problem picking up a few of these and making a night of it during the cooler months. I have had the opportunity to sample quite a few brews from Bell’s and each one is worthy in my opinion. This is a drink that could be enjoyed by both craft beer enthusiasts as well as a novice. Pick up a bottle and give it a try. I would like to hear what you think of it.
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Score: 4.0 out of 5