I poured a 12oz bottle into a nonic pint glass. It was bottled on 11/27/12 making it just over four months old.
Appearance: Opaque black body with ruby red highlights. Forms a large, tan, frothy head which retains and laces wonderfully.
Smell: Closer to a milk stout aroma with a distinct dairy-like scent and a general dark malt smell.
Taste: This is a beer that could be mistaken for a stout. Whereas most
porters tend to have a milder, toasted malt flavor, Bell’s Porter is a
bit bolder and significantly more bitter than your average brew of the
style. A light, faint milk chocolate taste throughout most of the first
half with strong bitterness through the middle. Reminiscent of robust
coffee and maybe a touch of bittersweet/baker’s chocolate. The
bitterness doesn’t let up on the finish, either, which is rather bold
for the style. I’d prefer more distinct flavors that simple a
sweet/bitter repetition, but this tastes good to me and never got old so
I like it.
Drinkability: What’s nice about this beer is how remarkably easy it is
to drink. The mouthfeel is quite comfortable with a thicker, softer
texture, but calm energy level. There is only slightly dry aftertaste,
but it’s as tolerable as eating dark chocolate. At 5.6% ABV, Bell’s
Porter has a lot of character for such relatively small body and it’d be
tempting to drink several of these in one sitting.