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

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Bell's Cherry StoutBell's Cherry Stout

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2,327 Ratings
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Ratings: 2,327
Reviews: 996
rAvg: 3.53
pDev: 16.15%
Wants: 97
Gots: 221 | FT: 11
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Stout |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Mitchster on 01-09-2002

"A mysterious dance of tart Michigan cherries with the dark, roasted malts of a big and bold stout." and "Stout brewed with cherry juice."
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,327 | Reviews: 996
Reviews by jwc215:
Photo of jwc215
3.59/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 11/07/13:

Pours black with slight ruby tinge on the edges. No head. No real lacing.

The smell is of chocolate-covered cherries with alcohol. Reminds me of mildly spiked Black Forest Cake.

The taste of sour cherries dominate. There is a bitter chocolate. This one is sour and bitter with very little sweetness. A vague earthy touch mixes in - between anise and chickory. Not bad tasting if you like sour cherries, but the imbalance, along with the noticeable alcohol slow it down.

I do give credit for cherries tasting real, but the cherries are almost too tart. For the price, I wouldn't get it again. Worth trying one time, though.

More User Reviews:
Photo of MaximalC
3.38/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours seal brown with good opacity and a minimal cap of mocha foam. Aroma smells of molasses and toffee--no cherry to speak of.

The tartness of the cherry juice is definitely noticeable in the taste, however. There’s also an aggressive prickliness on the palate that I can’t place. It would have to be terribly poorly concealed alcohol for this ABV, yet it doesn’t taste quite like spicy hops either. Whatever it is, it’s definitely there, and it’s dominant. The malt flavor is mostly molasses with a bit of roast, but it’s not very pronounced. Some peat comes through in the finish once it’s warm enough. The body is a little thin for the style, but not aggregious, with a slick mouthfeel.

Overall, this is more of a novelty beer than anything. The cherry taste is contrived and achieves no synergy with the rest of the flavor profile. The harsh prickliness is offputting, and there’s just not enough else there to overcome its flaws. If you want cherry, find yourself some New Glarus or a good sour ale.

Photo of vma
4.48/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

if you like the taste of tart sours and stouts you should try this beer. it really is good I really enjoyed it

Photo of oberon
3.44/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to AKSmoked Porter for this bottle,pours a oily looking black with no head or no carbonation looked like a oil slick no trace of head here at all.Nice aroma though of tart cherries and bitter chocolate,big tart cherry flavor hits right away with some baking spices notes, with a taste of earthiness in the finish.Felt like a oil slick in the mouth as well Iam not sure what that feels like but this is it,a little cloying in sweet/sour dept as well.Probably the worst offering I have had from Bells but it was nice to try.

Photo of brewdogmrb
4.18/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Into a pint glass -- It poured a thick and dark black with a little bit of red. The head was super attractive and also reddish, and it smelled great as soon as it poured. Out of a limited selection of Bell's beers, I chose a fruit beer. Here's why: Michigan is where sour cherries are from, Sour Cherries are one of my favorite fruits, I love a good stout , and Bell's stouts are amongst their most well regarded beers. This 12oz bottle did not disappoint. A big stout with the traditional roasted flavors, big amounts of coffee and chocolate, balanced and countered with the sourness from the cherries. Not too much sweetness, and seriously, it smells just great. Not a beer I would drink several of in a row, but it definitely lives up to its reputation and I can't wait to get into more of the Bell's.

Photo of brownbeer
3.36/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oily black pour without much head.

The aromas are a bit restrained and a little difficult to coax out. Reminds me of cookies with cherry on top, a hint of smoke and black olive.

The flavors are muddled between deeply roasted malt (light smoke&coffee) and tart cherries. For me, not the smoothest transition of flavors.

I've had this on-tap and other bottles and it has shown better in the past. In this price range it's hard for me to not pick up their old ale instead.

Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
4.76/5  rDev +34.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: This brew poured into a pint glass was pitch
black with an almost devil's food colored
head. The dense head was brown and deep red
throughout. Gorgeous.

S: The aromas were faint but after some drink-
ing the typical stout aromas came through...
malty with a little coffee and a bittnerness
provided by the cherries, I imagine.

T: Typical quality stout at inception and when
the beer makes it to the back of your tongue
it turns your face into a knot. The bittner
ness is intense. It is quite a feat in that
such a strong flavor is imparted with a
delay and that the flavor is so fleeting.
The bitterness is not lingering on the
pallet and is not so overpowering that it
eclipses the other roasted malt characters.

M/D: I drank three and the last sip was as
impressive as the first. The creamy and
smoothness of this beer was fantastic. I
was very happy to see a fruit and porter
marriment that didn't go sweet but rather
allowed the bitterness of Michigan
cherries to compliment a brew style that
is often at its best when there are bitter
notes and flavors.

Photo of weatherdog
3.33/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into a Duvel tulip glass

Batch 9367

Poured a dark brown but with a distinct redder hue than a 'standard' stout. The head was also much darker and redder most other beers I've drank. it was bordering on cherry wood.

The aroma was of medium roasty coffee notes with just a little bit of tart cherry on the end.

A kind of astringent roasty flavor dominates most of the flavors but finishes with a distinct tart cherry taste. To me the fruit taste is just a little too tart and doesn't compliment the stout to its full potential. I think a little less roasty coffee flavors from the stout and a little smoother cherry taste and it would have been pulled off better.

The upfront astringency is hampering the mouthfeel a little bit, otherwise it drinks fine. Drinkability is a hair above average for a stout of the ABV.

Photo of The_Beer_Connoisseur
3/5  rDev -15%

Look: 12 oz bottle poured into a "frosty mug". Dark brown with reddish highlights or tint. Very little head that doesn't stay long.

Smell: Slight chocolate or mocha with a sweet lingering scent of cherries. I currently have a cold but the sweet cherry smell is very evident not much else is.

Taste: As it hit my lips I could taste the tart cherry and it was also the first and most powerful flavor once on my pallet. Immediately after swallowing I got a very powerful flavor of chocolate then right back to the tart cherries. Not a great flow between flavors at all, more of a stop and go effect.

Feel: The feel of this beer is not that of a normal stout. It feels much more like an ale to me. A easy to sip lightweight feel.

Overall: it's not a bad beer if you are ready for tartness. The first sip of this beer took me by surprise arena was not enjoyable but a renderer that me pallet adjusted and it wasn't too bad. I was able to sip through it and enjoy it. Personally I wouldn't order it at a bar at full price and I wouldn't buy it but as a special at the bar and considering it is 7% it's not bad to have one and switch it up.

Photo of sgoodship
3.87/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

OK, I have feared this brew for a few weeks now and yet, here I am reviewing it. I was terrified that I would hate the cherry flavor and pour it. A terrible fate for any beer! So, it has been sitting there, taunting me. Every time I opened the refrigerator door, it made me ashamed. Am I a real beer drinker?? Well, I decided tonight that this was the day that I would dominate that little Cherry Stout. Here goes... Oh, and BTW, my friend Brian donated this one. Thanks buddy!

A: I didn't pour vigorously enough, so I didn't get to see the full spectacle. Small, attractive reddish brown head. Dissipated very quickly. Carbonation visible through the fine dusting on the surface. Thin ring and dusting remained throughout. Black liquid but definitely has a reddishness to it. A hint of red on the edges against the light but barely. This is a dark brew for sure. No lacing to speak of.

S: Nice malt. Roasty, slight smokiness. A little coffee, a little licorice and plenty of dark chocolate. Dark cherry is there obviously but isn't as pronounced as I was expecting it to be. I did catch a whiff of stronger cherry when I popped the cap.

T: Wow. Not expecting that. Got me either side of my jaw bone. A zing and tartness. Very interesting. Upon further exploration, the sweetness is right up front. It is cherry but it is very light and mixed with the carbonation. It hits you right in the palette of your mouth. Almost a sweet red wine-like tannin aftertaste. The zing even gives you a little tingling on the lips. After letting it warm up a bit, the cherry seemed to take on a more blackberry flavor. It retained it's tartness to the last. That was to be expected.

M: Very light for a stout. The carbonation and tanginess makes it feel even lighter. I like my stouts heavier and rounder in the mouth. After warming and letting the carbonation run it's course, the mouthfeel felt fuller, thicker and more rewarding.

D: I was happy to drink it but I am not sure that I could have had more than one in a sitting.

I am not a fan of cherry, so this was never going to be a big win for me. I did find this brew to be a very interesting experience. Bells makes a fine brew and although this one is not for me, I can still appreciate the art that went into it. For those wanting to try a fruit beer, I would recommend giving this a try.

Photo of SIRIUS2
4.17/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: Deep dark brown to black in color. No head but a sparce line of bubbles barely formed a ring around my glass. No lacing.

S: Very malty, almost a light molasses or corn syrup on the nose with a trainling hint of tart cherry.

T: Interesting. Heavy malts are very much present but there is a tartness that I can only guess is from the cherries because there wasn't the bitterness that is normally present from hops. The malts tend to have hints of coffee and the finish tends to linger to the bitter side.

M&D: Very heavy mouthfeel from the malts. The carbonation is extremely light, to the point that it only exists as single points exploding on the tongue. Drinkability is very good but this is very heavy so I'm not sure how many I would put down in a sitting. Smooth. Nice.

Photo of skybluewater
3.03/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a pitch black color, with nary a hint of cherry. Smells like fresh squeezed cherry juice (if there is such a thing). Taste isn't all that great. The cherry flavor's way too tart for me, and there's not enough of the stout backing to it.

Overall, this is not a great brew. I wouldn't buy again, and I'm glad I only had this one (rather expensive, at $2.50) bottle, instead of three more kicking around my cellar that I don't care to drink.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.15/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been excited to try's my first Bell's stout! Deep charcoal black pour with a nice two finger tan head with slight hints of red. No light is getting through this one....nice lacing as well. Sour maraschino cherry syrup drizzled with dark chocolate...intoxicating.

Tart, sour cherry melds with a nice roasted, toasty chocolate...a bit mouth puckering. The cherry takes the center stage and puts on a good show. Quite a nice marriage of fruit and stout. I like this one.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, however I actually think this could use a bit more body...a bit more thickness. Overall, it's just a damn tasty brew and one that I would be more than happy to have a few of. Kudos to Bell's and I look forward to trying more of their stouts.

Photo of warnerry
3.41/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes. Bottle ca. 3 months old.

A - Pours pitch black with two finger brown head. Not much head retention.

S - Smell is tart/sourness with some cherry coming through. Some earthy malt, though this is pretty muted.

T - Massively tart for a non-sour, and non-infected beer. The tartness mostly covers up all the earthy richness I like from a stout. Interesting, but less sour cherry would bring some much needed balance. The cherry is nice, just a bit much. Some chocolate on the finish.

M - Medium mouthfeel with a bit of puckering.

O - One is enough with the intensity of tart cherry.

Photo of marvin213
2.88/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

It's black and looks like syrup. Though the head is surprisingly lacking, the little bit of fizz tinges red. It makes the top of this malt-monger look like a Cheerwine. Were there more head, I'd rate its looks higher; nevertheless, it appears as described on the bottle, and it looks basically like a cherry stout should.

Malty alcohol meanders through nasal passages as it brings with it a fruity (definitive cherry) vibe. Similar to aftertaste, it's like an aftersmell. I know it's a stout, and I know it's a beer, but I'd like some more cherries. They're definitely secondary to more traditional beer flavors, at least in the waft.

Cherry is more pronounced in the taste, but it's got a sourness unsensed in the smell. It's not sour like bad milk, but like I'd expect from the concentrate at the bottom of maraschino cherry containers. It also tastes concentrated because, like the smell, the cherry comes thru most in the aftertaste. With each sip, the beer's malty body is stomach-bound while the cherry juice pools in your oral cavity. It makes me squint and tend to grimace. I'm not totally convinced it'd go that well even with a cherry dessert.

The malty appeal at the forefront of each sip is enjoyable, but the lingering sour negatively balances things for me. I yearn for a more natural cherry feel. It's a strong body overly juiced [insert Jose Canseco joke here]. The peculiar mouthfeel leaves this one tough to finish.

Photo of Beaver13
3.71/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, batch 8731 (9/15/08). Pours a dark black with a creamy dark brown head that diminishes to a thin film that laces the glass.

The aroma is roasted chocolate malts and coffee with a little DMS. Cherries come out as it warms.

The flavor is a quick touch of roasted chocolate malts that is quickly overwhelmed by tart mouth-puckering cherries. As it warms the flavors blend a little better - more chocolate covered cherries. The mouthfeel is medium to full with creamy carbonation.

Overall, a bit one dimensional with the cherries in the flavor, but fun nonetheless.

Photo of babyhobbes
3.23/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours with very little head even when pouring straight into the glass. There is only a super small ring of foam. The color is dark mahogany.

A deep sniff reveals malt and some cherry scent. There isn't the typical coffee or chocolate scent often associated with stouts.

The taste is strongly cherries. Tart cherries dominate the taste buds. There is some maltiness and a little flavor of alcohol as an endnote. Really the flavor is huge cherries. This is what I imagine a cherry cider would taste like!

The mouthfeel is kind of syrupy, although this isn't a sweet beer.

If you like a sour cherries this is the beer for you! However, this isn't the beer for me. This is certainly something to try if you wonder how beer could be overpoweringly fruity and not sweet.

Photo of shapudding
3.93/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very dark, thick pour with no head to speak of. Scents of cherry and maybe slightly of coffee, but nice and not too overpowering. Nice sour cherry taste that fades to coffee. Little bit of a toffee flavoring that lingers. Nice stout body, nice smooth mouthfeel, not too thick and just the right amount of carbination. After a few more sips the coffee flavor seems to become more pronounced. Those who do not like the sour beers may be get a thrill, but being a fan of stouts, sours, and well, anything slightly different... I find this quite nice. Not a session beer by far, but a nice one to throw in the mix every once in a while.

Photo of barhoc11
3.25/5  rDev -7.9%

Its a different stout, not something I would crave but its not undrinkable. It is a good blend of the great Michigan Cherries with Bell's stout

Photo of generallee
4.1/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Appearance: It’s dark and thick with a light tan head. The slowly fades out leaving just a ring of foam at the edge of the glass. Lacing is mostly slick. Smell: The aroma has a light toasted grain character with hints of almond like nutty notes and cherries. Taste / Palate: The flavor has a tart cherry roasted maltiness up front. As it warms I get more roasted coffee like malt notes. The finish has a mix of light tartness and bitterness. Carbonation and palate feel right on.

Photo of merlin48
3.53/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an opaque, dark brown with a medium sized brown head that retains well and leaves sheets of lacing. Aroma is interesting for a stout, with lots of chocolate but no coffee notes. Tart cherries are easily picked up in the nose. Mouthfeel seems light bodied from minimal carbonation, and there is tart acidity from the cherries. Still, an overall smooth mouthfeel. The roasted malts and coffee come on strong in the taste, as well as a medium chocolate presence. The tartness of the cherries seems out of place here, and something seems to be missing in the middle. It seems watered down at times. Finishes with a dry, roasted maltiness that is typical of a stout. Chocolate and Cherries offer a lot of promise for an excellent stout, but Bell's just hasn't got it right here, yet. Perhaps, this could use more toasted malts for a better balance. Not a bad stout, but there's a lot of room for improvement.

Photo of Billolick
3.7/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ouncer purchased today at the brewery. Enjoyed in a Bell's tulip glass. (also from the brewery today...) Pours quite black under a reddish, dark tan head and leaving respectable lace on the glass. Nose is strongly of ripe cherries. Dark Chocolate, sour cherries, and more sour cherries. Pungent layers of cherry, over chocolate, some chalky drying out late. Not the greatest take on the style, but I'd like to try this as an after dinner/dessert beer....give me a piece of chocolate cake with this beer and I likely will be a happy man

Photo of warriorsoul
3.76/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to stonecrusher for this one of many...poured as advised by the master.
Black in color with a full finger of dark tan head that disappears almost instantly.
Nothing screaming out in the nose, but a inviting chocolate covered cherry aroma is there beckoning me for a closer inspection.
Taste is very unique and most extreme cherry profile, but so well balanced into the characteristics of a stout. Dark chocolate, vanilla, roasted malt and the slightest hop bitterness.
Mouthfeel is quite thick and the carbonation is excellent for this one...finishes clean and goes down too easy. The alcohol is nowhere to be found which could be quite dangerous.
I may not drink this one all evening, but it is one I'd love to end most evenings with...another solid offering from Bells.

Photo of tigg924
2.6/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: red/dark brown in color, with 1/3 inch head, opaque

Smell: dark cherries and roasted malt

Taste: dark cherries, roasted malt, sugar, and cinnamon

Mouthfeel: medium body, high carbonation, cloyingly sweet

Drinkability: Big disappontment. This one tastes like cough medicine to me. It gets better as it goes, but the spicing--cinnamon I believe-takes over too much. I have had better from Bells.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a dark brown to black color with a tan head. The aroma is cherries, chocolate and cream. The flavor is more of the same. I get some cream, smoke, cherry, chocolate and roasted malt. There is a roasted aftertaste. The cherries are slightly tart, but not as tart as I was expecting. Creamy, thick mouthfeel and low carbonation.

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Bell's Cherry Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
80 out of 100 based on 2,327 ratings.