kms399 (267) - plymouth, Minnesota, USA - MAR 23, 2005
2.8 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
this is the first bells product i have not loved. looks nice but there isnt much going on here. i smell a little hops and mabye some chocolate or a faint coffee. mouth feel is thin with not much to taste at first but then you get a bit of coffee and some hop bitterness. not at all impressive. but compared to bud it is awsome.
richlikebeer (838) - Easton, Pennsylvania, USA - MAR 22, 2005
1.9 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 3/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 7/20
as i drink this, i am wondering if i have a bad bottle. virtually no aroma, what little there was was vaguely like coffee. the beer looked nice, a deep brown, barely translucent color with a creamy tan head. the flavor was what baffled me. an astringent bitterness carried all the way through the beer. i only got hints of chocolate and coffee, with the main component of the flavor being HOPS!? the aftertaste is disgustingly bitter, and the body of the beer is thin and watery. i cant believe this is what this beer is supposed to taste like...i’ll have to work on getting another one and rerating it, but for now, this is the worst porter ever.
growler (74) - West Virginia, USA - MAR 19, 2005
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
12 oz bottle. Dark brown with hints of amber when held to the light with a light wispy tan head. Light smokey aroma. Fine roasty malt flavor with a very light hint of chocolate and coffee. Very good porter.
DrnkMcDermott (2912) - Downers Grove, Illinois, USA - MAR 15, 2005
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: JUN 16, 2009 Bottled. So I’m sitting here at home after driving around with the wife and kid and her sisters and their kids to the museum, with my car in the shop, and not finding out until late in the evening that they have to keep it another day because the spark plug that they stripped the threads putting in wrong two years ago would have to be worked out carefully, and it was too late to get a loaner so I could go to work tomorrow, and I say to myself, "Self," I say, "You need to settle down with a nice porter. What’s in the fridge?"
Well, this, for one. Pours out a nice deep brown body and a thin brown head. Good smell of chocolate malts. More chicory than coffee. Just a touch of astringency that almost pushes it into stout territory. Roasty and slightly smoky. Nice warming alcohol, despite being a mere 6%. Just the thing to lift my mood, and a great beer to have as part of Bell’s regular lineup, available in finer stores in the Chicago area, too.
Dogfish120 (143) - Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA - MAR 14, 2005
2.5 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
Bottle: pours dark brown with little head, slight carbination, malty chocolate/coffee, but more chicory not much to say about it.
StewardofGondor (1934) - Washington Heights - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - MAR 11, 2005
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: MAY 26, 2005 Slight rerate - originally claimed this was my favorite Bell’s brew to date. Then I met Expedition. Nevertheless, the original review... Smells robust, chocolatey and dry hopped. Full tasting; slick, oily feel on the palate. Resonating tobacco and roasted - but not yet burnt - chocolate characteristics. Smooth and complex. Smokey aspects, but they’re subtle. Great interpretation of the style, and my favorite Bells brew to date.
BeerandBlues2 (10842) - San Diego, California, USA - MAR 10, 2005
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Thanks to jsquire for this brew. Pours jet black with a small light brown head. Dark chocolate malt aroma with toast notes. Deep rich dark chocolate malt flavor with a hoppy finish. Full-bodied and fizzy palate.
ChrisPants (317) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - MAR 9, 2005
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Like liquid UPS, this palatable porter tastes, above all, brown. The respectable tan head emits sniffs of raisins soaked in chianti and dropped into the bottom of a glass of champagne (cuvee, not brut). And, like your best friend’s mom growing up, she’s a bit of a tart over the top (and the palate) at the finish. There aren’t many porters both tasty and session worthy, but this is one.
JahNoth (1039) - Rochester, New York, USA - FEB 24, 2005
4.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Very subdued, roasty aroma. Garnet black pour with no head. Terrific flavor of raisin, burnt berries, sweet cherry and dry chocolate. Slight smoke lingers on the teeth. Finishes with some bitterness. A very nice porter!
Brad (364) - Berkley, Michigan, USA - FEB 18, 2005
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Good example of the style, nice chocolate and coffee flavors come through. I missed the "roasty-ness" some other raters have described.