Thursday, July 12, 2007

BELL’S PORTER – A SURPRISING WASHOUT

This was not the review I expected to pen when I popped open this illicitly-acquired bottle of BELL’S PORTER from our pal Wortwurst. After all, I downed a bottle of BELL’S BREWERY’s HOPSLAM a few months ago and loved it – the best (and right now only) Michigan IPA I’ve ever had. So it’s cold in Michigan, porters are good for colder months, these guys are gonna serve up a whopper, right? Wrong. I can say with some confidence that BELL’S PORTER is the weakest, most uninteresting porter I have tasted in a great while. I’d compare it to something you’d get at a chain brewery like a ROCK BOTTOM or BJ’S. Super dark, incredibly fluffy head promised freshness and great things to come, but man was I underwhelmed when I finally started drinking the thing. No great flavors lept to the fore and did the usual dance on my tongue, expect maybe a viscous oiliness combined with some deep but flat roasts. Oiliness – that’s totally what I remember. Low carbonation and a weak finish. It was easy to drink, but it wasn’t enjoyable. 4.5/10.

6 comments:

Steve said...

Have you had the BJ's PM Porter, because if not, please do try it. It is thick, rich, and very nice overall... They don't skimp on the ingredients.. in fact, a large portion of the beers at BJ's are above average to great.

Jay said...

Steve, that swipe at BJ's wasn't fair. I've never been there, and actually have heard some good things about the place - the fact that brewers at each location are encouraged to try new wild recipes. So I stand corrected.

Kyle said...

Yeah, I actually liked BJ's Hefeweizen quite a bit as well. They aren't all that bad.

Dale said...

Being a proud Michigander (or is that Michiganian) I always hype Bell's to out of state visitors when they're passing through but, yeah, their porter is not that stunning which, even as a resident of the Great Lake State, is surprising cuz usually they really know what they're doing.

Wörtwurst said...

Wow...maybe it was a bad bottle. Then again I don't really remember it being extraordinary. Just not boring. Ah- well!

KevBrews said...

Jay,
Read this and smiled b/c I actually felt the same way about the Deschutes Porter that I traded for (which you commented on). I think this may have been a bad bottle because this stuff is great on tap--I may stand alone on this, but I stand by placing it in my top 5.