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

Bell's Cherry StoutBell's Cherry Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,804 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1804
Reviews: 924
rAvg: 3.53
pDev: 16.71%

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Stout |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
"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 added by: Mitchster on 01-09-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,804 | Reviews: 924 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of PhillyStyle


1.53/5  rDev -56.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

The beer poured a nice black with ruby red highlights when held up to light and there are some noticeable particles floating throughout the beer. The beer produces a nice 1-finger head, also with some subtle hints of red. The head is not well retained, but does leave a bit of lacing.

The aroma is dominated by the cherries. Some faint hints of the roasted malts. I expected less cherry, more malted barley aroma.

The taste...drain pour. Way to much cherry. Excessive amounts of cherry. I was expecting a nice stout with a hint of cherry, but it was not a hint.

Medium body feel to the beer, defiantly light on the carbonation. Obviously the beer's drinkability suffers from the overwhelming cherry taste. This one was really disappointing for me as Bell's is one of my favorite breweries.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2011 17:23:39 | More by PhillyStyle
Photo of jt31914


1.58/5  rDev -55.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

12 oz. bottle

A: Dark black cherry color - no head and hardly carbonated.

S: Smells like wine and tart cherries.

T: Strong overpowering cherry with chocolate late in the finish. This tastes more like cheap wine than beer.

M/D: Pretty poor and not very drinkable

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2009 18:02:47 | More by jt31914
Photo of Pignuts


1.6/5  rDev -54.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I really like Bells beer, this was the first time that I ever did not like one, I looked a little flat when I poured it, and the taste was bad, cherry and dark beers should go well together, and this one did not. I know I will never drink this one again.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2008 22:00:53 | More by Pignuts
Photo of pwoods


1.65/5  rDev -53.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

12oz. brown bottle, purchased at Party Source, poured into a pint. Batch 8244.

A: Pours solid black with no visibility. 1ish finger of mocha head forms and makes a slow descent. Some decent lacing(from what I got through).

S: A weak cherry sweetness and cola mixture. Malts are a bit like cocoa powder but pretty weak.

T/M: Yack! The first second or so isn't terrible. Some plump fresh cherries like in the summertime with a bit of cocoa powder. Immediately rushing in is an extremely sweet cherry cough syrup taste. Three swigs and I'm done. Body is medium and very chalky.

D: Nope.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2008 04:00:10 | More by pwoods
Photo of Gtreid


1.68/5  rDev -52.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

12 oz. bottle, batch 8730. Poured into a tulip.

A: Pours a very, very, dark rotten cherry red. Not a bad thing. A big one and a half inch tan head appears and retains well. The beer left next to no lace.

A: I get nice roasty malts, and just enormous amounts sweet, syrupy, cherry. Some earthiness from the hops come through, but it is hard to get by the huge cherry smell.

T: No thank you. I think this is just a mess. The combination of sweet and tart cherries just don't do it for me here. Way too sour. Way too sweet. Way too much cherry. Not pleasing at all.

M: Heavy body, good amount of carbonation. Just too syurpy.

D and overall impression: Drinkability is very low, due to the sweet, sour combination of the cherries. Overall, I really enjoy Bell's offerings, but this one, I'm afraid, will be a drain pour for me. Will not buy again. Skal.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2009 20:45:49 | More by Gtreid
Photo of Aprice34


1.69/5  rDev -52.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.5

While I usually enjoy beers from Bell's, I was very disappointed with the Cherry Stout. I like both cherries and stout, but the BCS was, in my opinion, difficult to drink, as each sip left a lingering bad aftertaste on the palate. In addition, it was hard to taste the cherry juice. The beer tasted "artificial"

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2014 09:41:38 | More by Aprice34
Photo of PorterLambic


1.75/5  rDev -50.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Pours pitch black. Black hole black. Absolutely no light penetration at all. Extremely little head. dissipates quickly and leaves no lace.
Very little smell at all. What there is, is roasted malt, toasted oak & smoke.
Taste is very sour cherry, almost acidic, malt with vinegar-like overtones.
Medium body, light effervescence.
I've enjoyed every other Bell's beer I've had but this was so bad, I gave it away to the bartender (who enjoyed it and confrimed that it was not skunked).

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2008 15:55:22 | More by PorterLambic
Photo of Seanibus


1.75/5  rDev -50.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

Apparently, someone likes this beer, but I cannot count myself among the crowd. This was one of the strangest and least appealing beers I have ever had.

Pours hazy cloudy black with an enormous purplish head. The smell is slight and roasted. But, Oh, the Flavor - the Flavor is overwhelmingly sour cherry, it simply blasts everything else away. The mouthfeel is fairly smooth, but that intense, overwhelming cherry flavor makes this beer nearly undrinkable

Serving type: on-tap

04-21-2009 17:18:59 | More by Seanibus
Photo of KeggerKen


1.78/5  rDev -49.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Worst beer I've ever had.

This is one of my favorite breweries and stout is my favorite beer but this looks liked dirty transmission fluid! It smells like someone already had drank it once and for the cost I could get a nice Russian Imperial.

****1st beer I've ever had to dump out before finishing!

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2008 00:08:25 | More by KeggerKen
Photo of gigaknight


1.78/5  rDev -49.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Long-time reader and first-time poster here, inspired to write my first review solely by my pure hatred for this beer.

I was inclined to buy it after enjoying a small-batch Two Brothers brew at their taphouse which was Northwind Imperial Stout brewed with Door County cherries, and reading somewhere that it was created using the same cherries as Bell's Cherry Stout. For a $15 6-pack from an otherwise impressive brewery, it was an absolute drain pour. (I actually gave the rest to friends I don't like, and mixed the remaining portion of mine with Northwind in an attempt to salvage the drink.)

I checked the batch number and it was definitely fresh, despite the overwhelming tartness and imbalance. The appearance in a tulip glass was at first rather pleasant, with some nice ruby color showing around the edges, a reasonable finger of head, and the aroma had noticeable if a bit understated notes of dried cherry. Then, tragedy at first taste.

There's a passing flash of toasty malt flavor initially, followed by a crescendo of abrasive tartness which even seemed to affect the mouthfeel of the beer (going from nearly chewy to thin and filmy). The astringent aftertaste of off-cherry juice mixes poorly with the slight bitter hop profile, and lingers unpleasantly until I wash it out with a more palatable stout. If you value your taste buds, leave this one on the shelf.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2011 05:19:36 | More by gigaknight
Photo of maximum12


1.83/5  rDev -48.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Rec'd in a long-ago trade. Have high hopes for this, maybe the base is Expedition Stout, one of my favorite stouts, ever.

Smells weird & looks black. Tastes...terrible. First Bell's brew I've had that was just off. The cherry taste is rather sickening, not even rising to the pleasantry of cough syrup. The malt interacts with the cherry yuckily. Blech. Thankfully my wife is around to finish it, she likes it quite a bit. Away it goes.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2009 03:06:30 | More by maximum12
Photo of ShogoKawada

Rhode Island

1.83/5  rDev -48.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Got this in a BIF, been looking forward to trying it. 12oz into scotch glass.

A- Dark, minimal head but decent retention on a rusty brown body. Head is off-white and settles to 1/2 a finger quickly.

S- Cherries, coffee beans, a hint of smoke.

T- Ugh. The stout hits your first, and it's good. Then the cherries come in. They too are good, for a fleeting moment. Then the cherry juice makes its presence known and the tart, pungent, and gross tanginess kicks in. Almost like overripe/borderline rotting cherries. Really out of place.

M- Again, no. The tartness of the cherries combine with a slick, syrupy, cloyingly sweet mouthfeel that just weirds me out. Not really good at all.

D- Drain pour. And I *never* drainpour beers. Just not my cup-of-tea I guess. I like Bell's IPAs, this stout left a bad taste in my mouth. I cannot recommend this beer, too much of an acrid tangy fruity mess.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2010 14:26:30 | More by ShogoKawada
Photo of bsp77


1.85/5  rDev -47.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Jet black with very thin tan head and almost no lacing.

Smell: Chocolate, cherry and sweet roasted malts. Subdued aroma overall; I certainly expected more cherry.

Taste: Very tart biting cherry with some chocolate roasted malts. Strange combination, and I find the tart cherry to be ridiculously overwhelming. Why are the cherry beers I try either way too tart (like this) or way too artificially sweet (like Sam Adams Cherry Wheat)? Where is a cherry beer with a happy middle ground?

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium body, finish is very tart and leaves a lingering feel which I can't stand.

Drinkability: Hard for me to tell if this is well crafted or not, as I can't finish it.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2010 04:37:52 | More by bsp77
Photo of teromous


1.85/5  rDev -47.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A: It pours a maple-syrup brown-black color with a nice tan head that quickly fades to a thin foamy ring with islands on the top of the beer. There is some lacing.

S: My first whiff is a metallic scent, like a rusty iron can. Unfortunately I get nothing else from the scent. I have to give it a 2.0 because it doesn't have any real smell other than metal, but it's not bad enough to call it awful.

T: The taste is very interesting...it's a bit hard to describe. When I first sip it tastes like it's going to be a normal stout, then this sour flavor pops out. It has a kind of sickly spoiled flavor to it. It kinda tastes like somebody mixed prison hooch with beer. It does have a prominent sweetness and sourness to it.

M: The mouthfeel is a bit syrupy and unpleasant. This beer is not easy to drink at all. It's a sipper, but it's rough going down as it leaves some awkward flavor in the aftertaste.

O: Overall I think a person could get some enjoyment out of the malt sweetness, but the fruit flavor has an alarmingly pungent flavor that is off-putting. Not really the same as what I get from Lambics, but just...off. I don't recommend the beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2012 22:36:29 | More by teromous
Photo of JDV


1.93/5  rDev -45.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Thanks to gregis for getting me this from my want list
Pour is black with small tan head. Smell is soy sauce and tart unsweetened cherry juice. I was making chinese food for dinner so I brought out the Kikkoman to do a side by side smelling, and it was verified. Taste is unsweetened sour cherry mostly. Not getting a lot of roastiness, except for in a slight soy sauce way. Not pleasant, and I really wanted to like this as it was one of the first beers I put on my want list after joining the site. Absolutely could not finish it.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2008 16:45:24 | More by JDV
Photo of JDFish


1.95/5  rDev -44.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Poured very dark, and a darker than usual head that was very thin. Initial smell was of Cherry Coke and sweet malts including molasses. Initial baker's cherry blast, very tart. That in itself is ok, but the rest of the flavors made this practically undrinkable. This is the second beer I've dumped in the last 10 years..the first being the Bell's Porter. Both of these are just kinda gross. Sorry

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2011 03:00:01 | More by JDFish
Photo of AgentZero


1.95/5  rDev -44.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - Nice looking brown beer with a small khaki head that left some splotches and chunks on the side.

S - This beer smells pretty bad, like cherry cough syrup on top of malts mostly.

T - Wow, taste is horrible. A fruit beer is one you can generally give to non-beer drinkers and they will like it. Everyone hated this, medicinal-cough syrup like flavor accounts for the "cherry" in the Cherry Stout. The "stout" would be a mess of burnt malts. Whole thing is a disaster.

M - Creamy, medium bodied, lower carbonation.

O - Train-wreck of a beer. Must be better in bottles because that B rating is much too high.

Serving type: on-tap

03-28-2011 17:17:58 | More by AgentZero
Photo of proc


1.98/5  rDev -43.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bell's is one of my favorite breweries, if not my favorite. Having said that, not all beers are to my liking from any one brewery. The dark appearance is wonderful, but the cherry taste seems to overpower the stout. Sweet and tangy. Sweet Stout lovers will like this one. I'll take the regular Bell's Stout thank you.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2002 10:38:32 | More by proc
Photo of Bounty628


2/5  rDev -43.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

With a nice ABV of 8.50%, the Cherry Stout is classified as being a nice winter offering and should you enjoy this style of beer I would imagine that this particular beer could serve as a nice session beer. The alcohol level of this beer is nicely muted by the complexity of the stout and the overwhelming cherry nature at work in the beer.

When poured, the stout reveals a very dark black complexity with almost no mixed hues at all. There is very little head on the pour and what is there is a thin layer of off-white foam. What is most interesting about this pour is the amount of carbonation that dances up and down the pint glass. For a stout, by visualization alone the beer seems to be remarkably over-carbonated. The mouthfeel will be the real test for this.

The smell does not bring out any sense of roasting or darkness for the stout, rather what is clearly noticed is the cherry. The smell of the cherries immediately seems to highlight a sort of fakeness to the cherry taste that is to come as it is almost too much to really take in. The smell has a bit of chocolate that mixes in with the tartness of the cherry smell.

The carbonation that was so apparent in the pour came through just as explosively in the mouthfeel as it did in the pour. Perhaps a bit strange to have such a highly carbonated stout, when tasted the carbonation highlights that this offering is a rather thin and smooth stout, as well.

Unfortunately what disappoints the most with this offering is the taste of the beer. The taste is sour and fake tasting and unfortunately there is not much that impresses with Bell's Cherry Stout. The cherry taste within the stout is reminiscent of a cough syrup fake cherry flavor and unfortunately because the cherry is so overpowering it takes away from anything else in the stout taste. Though there is a mild roasted nature to the stout, it is muted by the fact that the cherry nature of the beer is so overly highlighted in the taste. Had the cherry been a bit more subtle and a bit less sour, perhaps this offering could have panned out alright.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2009 17:40:01 | More by Bounty628
Photo of trinitone


2.08/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I'll start off by saying that I was let down by this beer. I was hoping my experience would be better than the majority of the reviews here. Unfortunately, it wasn't.

A - Pours quite black with a reddish tint against the light.
S - Faint cherry aroma mixed with an ever so slight hint of malt.
So far so good... Here's where it goes downhill
T - Tart cherry flavor is overpowring and does not mix well with the roasted malt. Tastes of dark chocolate and bitter coffee linger on the palate.
M - This beer seems a bit thin for a "stout". Carbonation is definitely in there but hidden by the bite of the cherries.
D - This may fit the bill for some people but I am just trying to finish this bottle.

I really like a lot of the other Bell's beers and I will likely try this again just to make sure this wasn't a fluke of some sort.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2006 01:37:55 | More by trinitone
Photo of sjohansen


2.13/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Pours extremely dark out of the bottle. It looks like motor oil mixed in with dark cherry paint. There is a very thin head that dissipates quickly. The head is caramel at the top, but shows some of the cherry redness as it gets closer to the stout.

I could smell the cherries as I was pouring out of the bottle. There is definitely chocolate notes on the first heavy sniff I give the pint glass.

I have not tried any Bell’s beforehand, and was expecting something sweeter. The first sip was kind of shocking. A brief sweet chocolate cherry up front, but then bitter. The aftertaste was sour Vicks cherry cough syrup. The 8.5% is disguised well, but the tartness of the cherries was way overpowering. I waited and let it warm. It got much smoother, and if you can keep it away from the sides of your tongue it was actually quite tasty. But… I was disappointed that the cough syrup aftertaste never went away, the extreme cherry tartness turned almost sour as it warmed.

The mouth feel was ok. Thick but it had almost a greasy feel.

I consider myself a fan of tart beers, even sour when it comes to lambics, but this is the first time I’ve had that taste in a stout, and I didn’t enjoy it. It doesn’t mean it’s not a complex beer, because it is, just means that it may not be for everybody. I’ll definitely try some of Bell’s other offerings as I have heard good things.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2007 02:30:11 | More by sjohansen
Photo of ballenc


2.15/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Served into a conical glass from a 12oz. brown long neck bottle with a crimped-on cap

Opaque,predominantly black hue with a hint of deep red/brown, very thin mocha brown head, no lace.

Light aromas - mostly roast and faint cherry notes

Limited cherry taste - not as much malt flavor as a typical stout - definite smokey finish.

Thin, weak mouthfeel - probably the thinnest stout I've ever had.

I was intrigued by this beer, but after the first bottle, it's a disappointment.

I am a big Bell's fan (love Two-Hearted), but the Cherry Stout is not what I was expecting or hoping for.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2006 20:23:12 | More by ballenc
Photo of skrib09


2.17/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

poured pitch black with a red-brown head.

smells russian imperial... cherry. tart smell with a hint of soft molten caramel.

taste is cherry juice with a thick mud feeling. burnt clotted chocolate wants to come through.

this is remix of a bad chocolate cherry custard. i don't taste any flavors, i feel a clotted egg protein sensation. the tartness at the back of my throat wants me to drain pour it.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2009 23:23:58 | More by skrib09
Photo of Arbitrator


2.17/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Chilled bottle into a glass. An extra from semibaked. Thanks!

Batch 9993.

A: Pours a nearly pitch black body (light penetration at the edges reveals it is a dark, dark brown) with a mocha head. Retention is pretty short. No lace or film on the beer.

S: When cold, bittersweet chocolate and roast dominate the nose (which could use more pungency). Yep, it's a stout! Even when it warms, the cherry becomes only mildly expressive. Just not a strong nose on this one.

T: Unlike the nose, the taste is unabashedly cherry-driven even when the beer is cold. Roasted grain, bittersweet chocolate, and tart, dark cherries that almost taste sour. I can be convinced that chocolate and some fruit flavors can marry, but it's not a combination I will seek out. When tartness is in play as much as it is here, the needle swings right back toward "clashing." It just doesn't work for me.

M: Medium-bodied. Low-moderate carbonation. A small touch of alcohol. It sits well on the tongue, but the clashing flavors make it a jarring experience: starting from tart cherry juice and progressing toward bittersweet chocolate on the finish.

O: A very surprising failure from Bell's.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2011 01:47:33 | More by Arbitrator
Photo of matthageman


2.18/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I didn't realize how powerful the cherries would be. It took over the flavor and made the beer undrinkable. I felt burned after paying $16 for a six pack. I've been sitting on the other 5 for about 2 months, offering them to people that come over. There is an audience for this, but it's not me.

Edit: I let it sit for about 6 weeks and found it much more palatable. I've got a few left and I am going to age them a little longer.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2012 02:50:31 | More by matthageman
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Bell's Cherry Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
80 out of 100 based on 1,804 ratings.