I’m all about porter, and the best I’ve ever tasted is the Founders Porter. But the Founders Porter is so incredibly good that I feel I must reserve it for special occasions. Drinking it is like eating caviar and truffles – I would feel guilty about sucking down a bottle and not savoring every scrumptious drop. And even if I wanted to drink it all the time, I couldn’t afford to! Luckily, I don’t need Founders to be my every day porter. I’ve already got an every day porter: Bell’s! Mmmmmmmmm!
With its burnt, roasty flavor, Bell’s Porter is delicious in all the ways a porter should be. Yet it’s not as intense as some of the porters out there. It strikes a perfect balance between quality and everyman accessibility – if I had to recommend an American porter to a Joe Sixpack type beer drinker, this would be the one. I’ve had tons of porters, and a lot of them are a little too, uh, “challenging” for every day use – some too hoppy, and some too intensely flavored with chocolate or coffee notes. The Bell’s Porter gets it just right – it’s creamy and goes down smooth, with an extraordinarily balanced blend of sweet malts, roasty coffee and cocoa, and moderately bitter hops. It goes perfectly with a meal, but I can also drink it sans food, enjoying the taste as I relax in my recliner and ponder deep thoughts like, “You know, the Sixers would actually be good if they could only shoot, rebound, and play defense” and “Glee would be unwatchable without Sue Sylvester” and “Could the Hoveround be used as a weapon?” And while no one beer can accommodate my varying moods and seasonal needs, Bell’s Porter may be the closest thing I’ve got to a definitive go-to brew. Even when it’s not porter season, Bell’s hits the spot. And when it is, it’s the porter you’ll most likely find me drinking. Five stars!