1. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $14.99 (US/print only). Offer ends April 30. Subscribe now! (Because great beer deserves great stories AND readers.)

Bell's Cherry Ale - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Bell's Cherry AleBell's Cherry Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
77
okay

55 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 55
Reviews: 52
rAvg: 3.31
pDev: 20.24%
Wants: 6
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Fruit / Vegetable Beer |  ABV ?

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Wildman on 11-06-2004

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 55 | Reviews: 52
Photo of kbutler1
3.2/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle with a batch # of 6898. A very old bottle indeed! Bottle popped open with very little carbonation. Poured an opaque reddish brown hue with zero head. The aroma is fruity but not overly so. Tart fruit and then a very 1 sided fruity wheat flavor. The bottle is very old so I don't really know what to expect out of this. Bitter flat aftertaste. Tasty for being old/flat but not too bad, would have loved to taste this one in its heyday! Medium mouthfeel

Photo of mothman
3.37/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Batch 6898 shared by kbutler1

Poured into Bells tulip.

Pours no head. Color is a murky raspberry red.

Aroma: Cherry concentrate and wheat. Pretty straight forward

Taste: Dry, but tart cherries. Wheat. Sweetness. The cherries seemed to have held up fine. A very straightforward beer.

Mouthfeel: Light tartness, smooth, refreshing. Medium bodied, medium carbonation. Ends clean with cherries.

Overall, this is more of a dessert beer. The cherries held up. Not overly tat, but enjoyable. Decent drinkability. A little sweet.

Photo of jujubeast6000
1.96/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed 9/29/2006 (12oz tap @ Kalamazoo brewery):

Dark red, color, clearish/cloudy, almost no head (bartender may wanted to give me more beer for my $), white, lasting. Sweet cherry aroma, but not much. Cherry taste, nutty, fresh, not too tart, some fizz Not much flavor. A little disappointed.

Photo of Dogbrick
3.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sample at the Bell's tasting at Brews Cafe on 3/6/08: The beer pours a luminous red color with a medium thin off-white head that dissipates steadily. Spotty lacing. Aroma of tart cherries and wheat. Medium, clean body with dark cherry and bready malt flavors. The finish is fruity with lingering cherry aftertaste. Might suffer from the recent New Glarus Fruit beers I have had, but not bad overall.

Photo of nmyers
4.15/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

With a bright ruby red color and a very strong cherry aroma this beer lives up to its name. It also has very light carbonation and a very thin light red head on it with minimal retention. The taste of this beer was a little tart at first, but finished off sweet with a little bit of a lingering cherry after taste. This was a very drinkable beer, but I couldn't have more than a couple in a night.

Photo of mcallister
3.93/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

What can I say, it looks like cherry juice with a steady flow of bubbles rising up the glass. A pink this yet high rising head fades quickly.

Cherry and malt with vibrant acidity. Malt is really chunk and exuberant in the nose.

Good carbonation, tart cherry flavors, thick malt with very good balance. Smooth and easy to drink. The lack of residual sugar and prickly carbonation really make this a easy drinking refreshner of a beer.

Photo of OStrungT
3.67/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a murky orangish brown color with almost no head. There is a little head floating in the middle of the glass. It is tan. It leaves a surprising amount of laces.

This beer smells like apple juice. A slight cherry aroma is present, but mostly I smell apple juice. It smells slightly tart.

This beer tastes just like it smells. Apple juice like. A slight cherry flavor is present. It tastes sweet, and slightly tart.

This beer leaves a ciderlike aftertaste. It is low in carbonation.

This beer might be a good session beer. I assume it is low in alcohol, and the flavor is nice, and mild.

Overall: Thanks Faro for this beer. I love Bells, and I love fruit beers. This one, is not my favorite from Bells, or from the style. However, I am happy to have had the chance to try it.

Photo of KC8LTL
3.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had no idea what to expect for a Cherry Ale since this is hardly a well-defined style or even something I would normally drink. However, I was at Bell’s and wanted to try something off the wall that they had.

When I got it from the bartender, I saw a red-tinged amber liquid with about a half inch of off-white head which stuck around enough to seem like beer. Smell had a distinct and inviting cherry smell, and the taste was dominated by tart cherries. I am a bit of a hophead I guess, so bitter tart cherry does not bother me, even if a bit unusual in a beer. There is enough of a malt backbone to tell it is there and to support the cherries, but by far the dominant flavor is of the cherries. Rather light body. If you can enjoy the tart cherries, it is quite drinkable, even if it is hardly something I would reach for if thirsty.

Photo of TechMyst
4.35/5  rDev +31.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

CONTAINER VOLUME: 8oz

CONTAINER TYPE: glass

FRESH: y

PURCHASED @: Irish Rose

COST: n/a

HEAD: none

LACE: minimal

COLOR: yellow w/ red tint

AROMA: sweet cherry

MOUTHFEEL: medium

PALATE: adjusts quickly

COMMENTS: Had on draft at Irish Rose in Rockford. Beautiful to the sight and smell. Quality brew. I believe this is 6% ABV...

CONDITIONS:
MOWING/WORKING ON CAR- n
WITH FRIENDS- y
SIPPING- y
GET MY BUZZ ON- y

Photo of CharlesDarwin
2.5/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Originally reviewed July 27, 2005. 12 Oz Bottle. Clear, red tinged amber, with a nice creamy, foamy off-white head. Sourish standard ale aroma, tinged with slightly rotten cherries. Super sour and very tart flavor, with a heavy coppery metallic flavor stinging my mouth. Some light creamy notes. Gross, this beer is not drinkable. Palate is dry and metallic. I’m not impressed.

Photo of sullysbeer
2.05/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Aroma: Malty Sweet Tart, Bares Traces of Cherry Juice, Slight Metallic Aroma

Appearance: Murky Orangeish Red with an Off White Head

Flavor: Sweet Maltyness Up front Followed by an Intense Cherry Tartness that Fights with the Caramel Malts and Finishes with a Very Light Hop Bitterness. Slightly Metallic or Blood Like Flavor

Mouthfeel: Medium Bodied, Buttery Mouthfeel

Overall Impression: Very Smooth. Not as Refreshing as I Thought it was going to be. The Metallic/Blood like Flavor didn't do much for me on this one. For sure try this one as it is a Bell's Beer. I probably won't pick this one up again.

Photo of gmcfarre
2.51/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Batch 6898 - Poured into half pint glass
According to the website, it was packaged on June 6, 2005, making it almost a year old. I bought it a week ago, so most of its life was spent on the store shelf.

A - Pours a cloudy light brown/orange color with no real hint of the red I was expecting. Head is minimal, perhaps lost during the aging process. Lacing is basically non-existent as well.

S - Honestly, the tartness of the cherries makes this brew smell a lot like apple juice. Ok, upon closer inspection, I get a hint of the cherries, but my thoughts immediately leapt to apple juice when I poured the thing. There is a thin malt presence, but the fruit takes center stage.

T - Tart is the operative word here, with a bit of sweetness and very little else going on. When something is this tart its hard for other tastes to compete.

M - Mouthfeel is dominated by what seems to be a tingly carbonation feeling, but the lack of head makes me question this. Perhaps it is the tartness that is confusing. Going down it has a bit of a bite on the back of your tongue, but no bitterness to speak of.

D - You almost have to sip this one because of the tartness. I wouldn't have more than one of these at a time, although I probably won't have another in the first place.

Photo of Blakaeris
2.51/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours cherry-copper color with very little head and minimal lacing.

Smell is dominated by cherries, but not overly tart. Maltiness comes through with a touch of vanilla.

Taste is rather tart cherry up front, but it blends to a sour finish. Sweet with brown sugar. It has a cider character to it that I'm not thrilled with.

Mouthfeel is thin to medium bodied.

Bell's can make some great beers. But this one isn't one of them. As far as fruit beers go, this one is OK. Nothing to get excited about.

Photo of Crosling
2.31/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Red tinted magenta. Nice color. Subtle aroma, with a light yeast presence (dough, barnyard), cherries mainly (though non-vibrant) and a light hint of pancake batter and alcohol. Light body with an oily texture. Salty cherry flavor, with clashing tartness and sweetness. Terrifyingly bad.

Photo of jj21
3.97/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle
Cloudy, deep red color. Quickly disappearing head. Tart Cherry aroma (Duh) is very pungent. Tart Red Cherry and Black currant and Wheat flavor. Crisp, light and tart mouthfeel is refreshing. Almost lemony Too tart to have a lot but tasty.

Photo of aforbes10
4.1/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 6898. single bottle on shelf at Bambers Superette in South Bend.

Pours red with little head. nice and clear, looks good. Tart cherry odor as expected. Taste is not sweet at all, cherry flavor is not heavy and really it's just got a good light malt flavor with some cherry undertones. great, full mouthfeel. fantastic drinkability for the style, i was surprized to be this impressed considering its a beer with fruit in it.

Photo of UncleJimbo
3.68/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, capped.

This ale poured a clear, reddish amber brown color with creamy, tan foam that settled. There was good carbonation from the bottom of the glass. The smell was malty with a light, tart cherry aroma, though this was modest for a beer with "cherry" in the name. The taste was tart cherry with some malt beneath. Not an overly complex flavor. The mouthfeel was dry and tart with medium body and good carbonation. The aftertaste was lightly tart and fruity. This was a decent fruit ale, and was easy to drink.

Photo of merlin48
3.37/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle with a very attractive label, pours a hazed copper body with no head on an aggressive pour. Some large bubbles form a collar, but there is only scant evidence of minor patch lace. Aroma is unremarkable, with malty caramel and some tart cherry. Mouthfeel is unimpressive, exhibiting a light body and medium carbonation. Taste has lots of tart cherry on a caramel malt base. The cherry flavor is syrupy at times. No significant hops character, but for a hint of earthy bitterness. This is a very unusual interpretation of a fruit beer that just doesn't come together very well. Worth a try, simply for the beautiful red cherry on the label.

Photo of Ahhdball
2.9/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Had this at a local Winking Lizard. I've always been interested in trying it.
Slight ring of beige tops the pour leaving no lace. The color was deep brown to black with trace amounts of red hue.
Smell was slightly medicinal with a hint of malt.
Taste had too much cherry syrup, it was thick and chewy with the same cough syrup style flavor. It was almost like someone put a shot of robitussin in a chocolate stout. Not agreeable at all.
I'm glad I tried it but I won't have it again.

Photo of sopor
2.61/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Reddish hazy amber with gold highlights and a thin creamy head that is dissipating quickly. Very little smell but of slight sweetness.

Sweet and sour Cherry is dominant, overpowering any hint of malt. Almost lambic like in the sourness, but not quite. I expected and hoped for more beer flavors, but the cherry is it. Slick but not thick with little carbonation, the mouthfeel is pretty pleasant.

Not very drinkable by my standards, I will avoid!

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.85/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another really cool labeled bottle from Bell's featuring a single cherry on the white background. Pours from the bottle into my Orval chalice a deep dark red with hints of brown and a nice bone colored bubbly head that falls to a ring around the brew. Aromas of tart cherry juice upfront, similar to a Polish sour cherry juice I've had many times. Mellow pale maltiness lingers as an afterthought. Some nice characteristic Bell's yeast notes pop up as well.

First sip begins with the tart cherry juice once again balanced nicely by some sweet pale malts. Notes of grain and earthy yeast with mellow spiciness comes through mid sip. This does a good balancing act between the sweet and sour flavors and does not come off as tasting artificial. Quite a tasty fruit beer with good body.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a nice rush of carbonation. Goes down smooth and is quite refreshing. If you enjoy tart cherry flavors I imagine you will like this brew...nicely executed by Bell's as always. This ranks up there as one of my favorite straight up fruit beers. Give it a shot!

Photo of far333
3.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy dark honey color with a thin and low off-white head. Aroma is faint, and doesn't scream cherry. More malty with low hops and fruit essences that could have come off as something other than cherry if I wasn't expecting it. Flavor is vacant toward the front of the tongue, morphing to tagy tart cherry as it rolls across. Malt and hops are both understated. Cherry turns to a tinny finish, and a tartness lingers. Seems like perhaps more of a novelty offering? Thanks to Brent for letting me try, but I probably wouldn't make it part of my regular rotation.

Photo of Oxymoron
3.05/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

What no base style? Pours a darker amber to chestnut brown with stronger red hues throughout. Red is the dominate color when held to the light. A decent head that has a mostly white color with off white tinges to it. The head and lace both disappear over time.

The smell has a pretty even combo between a brown ale malt smell and a tart somewhat cherry, some what bitter apple aroma. Some yeasty notes that is specific to Bells. A light bready, woody aroma on the back end. No real hops notes to call on.

The taste is similar. The first thing noticed is the tart cherry flavor. A little bit of a zip on it with a tangy almost grapefruit quality. The malt is not as balanced as the nose. Some hints of malt but limited overall. Some light hints of toasty and nutty notes. Not really sweet but really heightens the cherry flavor.

The carbonation is rather high. Which I believe also heightens the tartness of the cherry flavor. The body is light but the tanginess and tart flavors really limits on how many you might want to try. Almost like it fermented in the bottle but not really. Ok for a fruit beer but missing some beer qualities.

Photo of Gaisgeil
3.65/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Hm, an interesting ale to be sure, but definatly teetering on the disjointed side.

Pours a medium copper in color with a thin head that lacked retention. Nose is slightly medicinal, hints of cherry and malt, fresh. Taste starts off with a slightly sour cherry but that quickly tails off into a standard Bell's ale flavor profile with very little interaction between the two. The cherry dissapated very quickly, almost disturbingly so.

Not a bad little ale, more enjoyable than the cherry stout, but something really needs to be done to bring this one together overall.

Slàinte!

Photo of jokelahoma
3.36/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a nice amber color, with a head that, while decent, dissipated rapidly. It was almost as though there were no head at all.

Smell was reminiscent of cherries, but not overwhelmingly so. Just a bit of cherry in the nose. Enough to let you know there was fruit in the beer, but not much more.

The taste was tart cherry up front, but then, sadly, mostly copper. Imagine either A) you've just stuck a few pennies in your mouth and sucked on those for a bit, or B) you've just insulted some lady and her humongous boyfriend just popped you in the mouth. Either way, you get the taste I got from this bottle: Pure copper. I didn't taste cherry, I tasted copper, copper, and even more copper. It was so huge an amount of copper I was wondering if Francisco D'Anconia had a stake in the brewery (bonus points to those getting the reference). I guess "Copper Ale" wouldn't sell, so cherry it is. I completely missed the cherries in all the copper unfortunately.

The mouthfeel was fine, really. A decidedly light mouthfeel, not heavy at all. Quite easily drinkable, once one gets past the copper.

It was a drinkable beer, all in all. It's very metallic out of the bottle. Perhaps tap is a bit better. I've heard good things about it. The Cherry Stout I've heard is wonderful. This one is a give or take. Give it a try from the bottle if you don't mind a huge amount of metal. Pass it up if you do. Hopefully I'll be able to try it on tap and get a better idead what it is like, maybe even at GABF. Until then, it's rated what I rate it. Not bad, but not so good.

to view more.
Bell's Cherry Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
77 out of 100 based on 55 ratings.