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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
77
okay

55 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 55
Reviews: 52
rAvg: 3.3
pDev: 20.91%
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:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Wildman on 11-06-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 55 | Reviews: 52 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jujubeast6000
1.93/5  rDev -41.5%
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.

jujubeast6000, Jan 24, 2009
Photo of cokes
2/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Opaque apricot mud with scattered, clotted flakes. The brief tan head hastily retreats to a piled lace around the rim.
Nose of damp moss, store brand cherry pie filling, and bread crust.
It storms in thick, but lacking normally expected malt traits. What is here is loose and doughy in a damp and stale sort of way. Tiny trickles of caramel goo ooze out as it warms, as a cider notion grows. The yeast is thick, humid, and earthy, and not congruent in the least. It ventures towards cherry cheesecake, with an over ripe sense of marscapone and mushy canned cherries. The back end is all coagulated blood and rusted iron and worm-eaten pears, as what is left of its wheels fall off.
Obese and sticky in the mouth. It thins a bit as it progresses, but still exudes a binding sense of girth, especially in absense of any likeable flavors.
In all honesty, it's probably only a step or two away from a passable Flanders Red. But as is, it's ten thousand miles from anything respectable.
Yuck.

cokes, Jul 06, 2005
Photo of bradfordjohnson
2/5  rDev -39.4%

bradfordjohnson, Sep 05, 2012
Photo of sullysbeer
2.05/5  rDev -37.9%
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.

sullysbeer, May 30, 2006
Photo of Crosling
2.23/5  rDev -32.4%
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.

Crosling, Apr 13, 2006
Photo of walleye
2.3/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

from the bottle. poured a reddish brown, with a off white head that didn’t hang around for very long. aroma, tart cherries, malt, and metallic. flavor get mostly tart cherries but a little bit of sweetness creeps in there and some malts. it does have a clean finish.

walleye, Aug 17, 2005
Photo of Brent
2.35/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Overall, I'm a fan of Kalmazoo, and this was a nice try, but I have to give it rather low marks. This is obviously all about the cherries - brewed with cherry concentrate - but the cherry flavor was neither sweet nor tart - either way would have made more of a statement. Cherry juice flavor was present, but needed either sweetness or tartness to give it some personality. As it was, it was just pretty uninteresting fruit flavor component to the beer. The finish was a very blunt, tannic cherry pit-like bitterness which really turned me off.

Brent, Aug 28, 2005
Photo of CharlesDarwin
2.48/5  rDev -24.8%
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.

CharlesDarwin, Aug 11, 2006
Photo of TastyTaste
2.48/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nothing like a beer brewed with cherry concentrate! Seems more like minute maid than Bell's at first impression. Very red body, a little bit dark maroon colored. Head is not much, other than just a wisp across the top of the beer. Light cherry tartness in the nose, light malt, also. Taste also has a lot of cherry tartness, backing is light and fairly thin. This is not very good compared to the Cherry Stout. To thin in everything else except the cherry flavor. This almosts tastes like a cherry cola, or possibly kool-ade.

TastyTaste, Aug 06, 2005
Photo of Blakaeris
2.48/5  rDev -24.8%
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.

Blakaeris, Apr 22, 2006
Photo of gmcfarre
2.5/5  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.

gmcfarre, May 23, 2006
Photo of sopor
2.6/5  rDev -21.2%
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!

sopor, Oct 13, 2005
Photo of bashiba
2.68/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a cloudy Amber color with minimal head.

Smell was slightly sweet with a touch of cherry.

Slightly sweet malty apple flavors at first finishing with a dry tart cherry finish. The Cherry is really subdued, especially for something called cherry ale. Nothing real great here, I'll finish the six, but can't imagine picking this up again.

bashiba, Jul 03, 2005
Photo of Bighuge
2.7/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Mahogany/cherrywood tone. Very little head. Lace is minimal. Aroma of cherry-vanilla and slight whiffs of malt, but nothing really stands out. Taste is simple. Brown sugar, cherry syrup and tart apples. This one just doesn't do it for me. I'm not usually a big fan of beers that use fruit concentrate and this one just reaffirms my feelings. They tend to be a little syrupy. Teetering on that cloying feeling. This is definitely not one I'll revisit in the future.

Bighuge, Jul 02, 2005
Photo of antoines15
2.75/5  rDev -16.7%

antoines15, May 01, 2012
Photo of Ahhdball
2.85/5  rDev -13.6%
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.

Ahhdball, Nov 14, 2005
Photo of kmpitz2
2.98/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks Chris.

Lets see how this compares to the tap version. It pours a hazy reddish color with a light coating over top. The nose is not as fruity cherry as I would like. I get a sweet creamyness. If I take a very deep breath, I get the cherry. A little disappointing. The flavor is also not as impressive as I remember. The first and most intense flavor is metallic. Behind that, there is a light tart cherry, but the metallic taste is hard to get past. The feel is moderate with a moderate carbonation. I'm not as impressed with this in bottle. The flavor is really a bit off-putting. Overall, fairily lacking.

kmpitz2, Jul 06, 2005
Photo of lackenhauser
3/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly reddish tinged coppery color. Somewhat cloudy. Low aroma-trace of fruit. Malty flavor with a slight trace of cherries. Somewhat tart. A little bland except for the tartness. The cherry doent really announce itself. Ok body. Overall this beer could use some work. Really nothing to get excited about. Get the cherry stout thats a winner from Bells.

lackenhauser, Jul 06, 2005
Photo of clvand0
3/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one pours a red color with very little head and doesn't leave any lacing on the glass. The aroma is a little creamy, but I don't get much cherry in there. The smell is kind of stale and musty. The flavor has some strange tart apple tones along with some syrup and a hint of cherry. Not what I was expecting. Something in there is not tasty - might be metallic. The body is moderate. The drinkability is ok, but I don't care for the flavor.

clvand0, Jul 06, 2005
Photo of Oxymoron
3.03/5  rDev -8.2%
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.

Oxymoron, Oct 06, 2005
Photo of ADR
3.08/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Definitely red-hued darker amber appearance, clearish and not as yeast clogged or hazy as many Bell's brews. Head is speckly in appearance, but not long-lasting. Minimal string laces. Aroma features cherries, but not in an overly tart manner, more like a cherry pie sense. And...cherry pie carries into the flavor (what is meant by cherry concentrate on the label, I don't really know), canned sweet, a little cloying, doughy with pie crust notes. Not at all astringent or even as forward as the old Cherry Stout. Finishes with slightly bitter tones and no thinning of the mouthfeel. Pretty reserved overall, needs some things to give more interest and to tone down the sugary qualities.

ADR, Jul 08, 2005
Photo of BrianKeyes
3.18/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Average at best. Tasted like someone put a shot of cherry <generic kids drink here> in a standard ale. Not to say that I didnt enjoy it, but it is not something I will be going out of my way to pick up while in season. Perhaps part of the problem was the first bottle I opened was flat, it might have spoiled my experince. That sort of QC is not something I expected from Bell's.

BrianKeyes, Aug 19, 2005
Photo of kbutler1
3.23/5  rDev -2.1%
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

kbutler1, Sep 24, 2010
Photo of KC8LTL
3.35/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

KC8LTL, Sep 23, 2007
Photo of jokelahoma
3.35/5  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.

jokelahoma, Sep 12, 2005
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Bell's Cherry Ale from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
77 out of 100 based on 55 ratings.