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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
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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 stercomm


3.79/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a growler into a big Left Hand tulip glass

A - Very dark oily in color, got a slight mocha head that receded quickly leaving a slight bit of lacing around the glass.

S - Getting a lot of dark roast, some chocolate, hint of cherry that is almost menthol like

T - Similar to the scent, dark roasted malts, chocolate, a very slight tart cherry. Not a real distinct taste but not bad. Might like a bit more tartness and cherries.

M - Medium bodied, get a slight tart tingling, medium carbonation a bit of a creaminess.

O - As I think this it is growing on me, I'm not a big over the top stout person. Given it is a cold windy day here in Ohio, this is a nice brew to be sipping while sitting outside by the fire.

Serving type: growler

10-26-2013 19:43:51 | More by stercomm
Photo of Brenden


4.4/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is a serious stout; it's as thick, heavy-looking and viscous as almost an RIS out there. It's big, bold and black, and it forms a full finger's height of strong brown head that crowns the beer heavily. Plenty of patchy lacing is left stickily on the glass, followed by heavy spotting and spreading out a little webbing, too.
This one is straightforward, exactly what it says it is, but at a strength most beers would identify with as "Imperial." Cherry juice is fresh and tart, and there's a ton of roast in the malts. It's bittersweet, with lots of char from roast but no acridity or astringency, and a little sweetness in the cherry and perhaps a touch to the malts themselves.
This beer is delicious. Tart Michigan cherry is distinguishable from Bing or the like, bringing more dark, stronger, tart flavor than sweetness. The backbone is massively roasty heavy barley grains. There's a hint of bittersweet cocoa and espresso with some heavy earth.
This is a rich, thick beer that's very big-bodied and robust without being too heavy. It's smooth, with a little prickly from carbonation but otherwise moving like velvet on the tongue.

Serving type: growler

10-22-2013 15:05:01 | More by Brenden
Photo of blackcompg


3.5/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from their 12oz bottle...

Appearance - Poured a half finger of cinnamon brown head, color of the stout is an opaque dark brown. The head diminishes in less than a minute. Lacing is very minimal.

Smell - Cherries and roasted malts, with a touch of dark rich coffee.

Taste - Starts with juicy tart dark cherries, more juicy tart cherries at the center with dark chocolate and rich roasted malt, slightest hint of black coffee astringency. Finish is lingering cherry juice tartness, roast flavors and toasty dark breadcrusts. The juicy tart cherry flavor dominates the entire sip from start to finish along with a good roasted malt backbone, and tart cherries linger between sips.

Mouthfeel - Medium with some craminess, and a nearly medium carb accentuates the juicy tartness of the cherry flavors, making it harder to find the dark chocolate and coffee nuances. Drinkability is somewhat interrupted by the tart presence of the cherries, making the mouth water with each sip.

Overall - This is a very unique and very tart cherry forward stout. It is very good if you like cherries, but would be very difficult to have more than one if your not a big fan of tart cherries. I do like this, the cherries almost yield a wine-like feel, but many may not want to session something like this.

Serving type: growler

02-09-2012 05:00:06 | More by blackcompg
Photo of doopydoogle

Nova Scotia (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Black with a thin reddish-brown head.

S - Chocolate, metal, cherry juice, some mineral

T - Tart front with rounded chocolate, cherry, and some toffee/caramel flavors coming through. The cherry really gives it some bit, but not necessarily at the expense of the stoutness. Finish is a pleasant mild chocolate with some nice malt tones coming through and an odd almost biscuity flavor.

M - Great carbonation, and the tartness of the cherry juice gives it a very interesting mouthfeel.

O - Nice, if you like REAL cherry juice and stouts. It's a great marriage!

Serving type: growler

11-09-2011 02:05:26 | More by doopydoogle
Photo of MarcatGSB


4.08/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased from Fitzgerald's in Eagle River, MI. Poured from growler into Goose Island Pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep black with minimal quarter finger, soft looking head. Lacing is actually fairly thick with a decent amount of legs.

Nose: The nose is very interesting. Not a whole lot of malt or sweetness that I am accustomed to from other Bell's stouts. Little bit of tart cherry...very interesting. It's a sweet smelling stout, but not a malty sweetness.

Taste: Ya know, this is a solid beer. It's got some really Geuze-esque character going on (and I've only tasted this character on tap, not out of a bottle. Freshness may have been an issue in the past). Real nice chocolate forefront followed by a burst of bitter cherry. Excellent, honestly.

Mouth: Nice creamy texture followed by a slightly puckering cherry sensation. Dries out the back of my tongue, but that is welcomed.

Drink and overall: Overall, I really enjoy this stout (on tap). This beer does not age well in a bottle, for whatever reason. The cherry fades, and turns into an unappealing mess. But fresh on tap, it's a work of art. I really enjoy what Bell's has done.

Serving type: growler

07-16-2011 03:31:48 | More by MarcatGSB
Photo of welldigger888

South Carolina

2.53/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Well, poured from growler into my trusty bell's shaker pint. Nice pitch black hue with a slight tan head that receeded quickly leaving little or no lacing.
Jan. 2010 vintage on keg!
Aromas are of a roasted grain and bad cherries for me.
Bitter cherry skins seem to dominate with some bitter chocolate on finish. Dry dry dry on finish as well, which is not a bad thing, trailing off with a tart cherry flavor that is pleasant.
Seems to be oily and slick with descent carbonation and a creamy stout like quality.
The aroma and flavor is a bit off putting for me on this brew!

Serving type: growler

01-09-2011 01:11:58 | More by welldigger888
Photo of StoneTSR


3.46/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

APPEARANCE: Dark as night almost all the way through, but JUST at the very surface a little reddish-brown light gets through. A sizable, finger-and-a-half tall head foams up, but has almost zero retention as it quickly collapses into exceptionally thin wisps that resemble a distant galaxy. No lacing.

SMELL: Medicinal cherry aroma with a bitter, coffee smell and a touch of dark chocolate.

TASTE: Hoowee...that is TART. Certainly not as tart as a good sour, but way more tart than I anticipated. This is not the sweet, candy-like cherry that a lot of other beers have, it's legit, Michigan Cherries. Wow. Dark chocolate provides a backbone along with some hints of roasted coffee beans.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium to big bodied with a bigger sparkle than one might expect. Dry throughout the start, almost to a point of puckering, with a sweet finish.

OVERALL: I like what Bells tried to do here, but I think it missed the mark. The cherries are a little too tart, while (somewhat contradictory) the finish is too sweet. Good beer here and I'll revisit it in the future, but this just didn't do it for me the way most Bells Beers do.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2014 04:29:35 | More by StoneTSR
Photo of schoolboy


4.01/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was in the mood for a stout and I'm always in the mood for a treat, so this creation fits the bill nicely. It sits all black with a pretty little edge of foam. The aroma is faintly of cherry with just a nice roast smell underneath.

The taste is much more of cherries, and these are no artificial cherries, this is the reel deal. It tastes as though someone took a well behaved stout and then took some freshly squeezed tart cherry juice and added it somewhere along the way.

By itself it is pretty sour for a stout, but with some food, it is really good. It definitely is an interesting concoction and the kind of treat I deserve!

Serving type: on-tap

04-05-2014 16:55:41 | More by schoolboy
Photo of gillagorilla


2.7/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a Burley Oak snifter (281 1612 12386, packaged 10/8/13 B)

A: Very, very dark brown to pitch black. Only the slightest mocha head.

S: Roasted malts with a strong cherry scent. Weird scents here. There was a familiar scent early on, but I can't catch that smell again.

T: Tart and weirdly sour, like tart/sour cherries. I was quite excited to try this because I loved their Expedition Stout. It starts off with a bit of the characteristic roast of a stout, but then the odd cherry flavors bumrush it and just take over your palate.

M: Smooth for the most part with only a hint of carbonation.

O: I am extremely disappointed here, but I still want to try the Java, Special Double Cream and Black Note (obviously). I don't think I'm going to be able to finish this. but will probably just share it with someone or cook with it.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2014 21:50:14 | More by gillagorilla
Photo of redbeerdviking


2.89/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

A- Pours a jet black color with little to no lacing.

S- Faint smells of cherry with toasted malts and coffee.

T- Starts off with coffee, then gets smokey and tastes like charred oak. Finishes with tart cherries. This is definitely a sour stout.

M- Very easy to drink, not overpowering with alcohol. Nice consistency throughout.

O- I enjoy the complexity of flavors offered in this brew, but I thought it was just a little too much with the coffee, smokey flavor, and sour cherries together. I really like the idea of a sour stout, and will be looking for beers of similar style.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2014 03:25:17 | More by redbeerdviking
Photo of digitalflood

New York

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

Thick black solid body. Nice lacing. Wet mouthfeel. Smells of sour cherries. Front palate is all port and merlot. Lots of sour cherries and some coffee bite mid-palate. Full bitter stout riding over chocolate covered cherries with some more Merlot. Lots of sour. It's real hard to make a consistent beer flavor with something this sour-- but they pull it off. Very drinkable despite the complexity. Not for amateurs. A real sour beer in stout form. 3.5 out of 5. Good.

Serving type: on-tap

03-22-2014 02:50:00 | More by digitalflood
Photo of WettNutz


2.4/5  rDev -32%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Poured into a pint glass

A - Beer was pitch black, with no head, none.

S - Only faintly smelled of cherries. Smelled more like beer than cherries really.

T - Sweet at first, but finished with tartness. This was the most interesting aspect of this beer. Besides that, there was only just a hint of cherry to it, and had a hint of coffee. I really wished it tasted more like cherries. If it were bolder, it would be much better.

M - Medium to full bodied, and went down smooth.

O - Not necessarily a bad beer, but at $17.99/6pk, not at all worth the money. I really wish it was more flavorful and cherry-ier, as this would really accentuate the transition from sweet to tart. If I had paid $9.99/6pk like most of Bell's beers, I would have a much better opinion of this beer. Probably better on tap.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2014 21:59:20 | More by WettNutz
Photo of alphagnome


3.05/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Pitch black body that allows no light to break through the glass. Brown head has a slight red hue to it at first, but once it fades to a simple ring around the glass, it's a light brown color. Zero lacing.

Rather lacking. Light chocolate malt laced with hints of cherry. Light peat character. Nothing else here, unfortunately.

Truth in advertising.. This is one tart stout! Right upfront, you are hit with a light bitterness and tart, tart cherries! A bit of roasted chocolate and cola. Not my cup of tea, but it's hard to fault Bell's for that because it's exactly what they advertised it as.

Pretty run of the mill for a stout.. Medium bodied, light carbonation. A bit watery. Dry finish.

Bell's is my go to brewery, when I can't decide on what I'm in the mood for. I love cherries and stouts, so I imagined this being a match made in heaven... unfortunately, it was far from that. I'm a guy that likes tart, so when I say it's tart - take notice... It is! Worth trying if for no other reason than to add it to your palate of tastes.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2014 02:10:57 | More by alphagnome
Photo of HardTarget


2.91/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Deep black showing only a line of tan when back lit. Doesn't hold much of a head, a thin halo tries to hold on.

Smell: Dark roasted grain, a bit of a cola profile, maybe thinking of a cherry coke. Whiffs of a sour note.

Taste: Everything in the smell, multiplied. The roasted grain goes burnt and ashen, the sour note goes through the roof with a hint of cherry pie filling as it goes by, then the cherry pit/cherry pie flavors linger for a while. It's quite a ride.

Mouthfeel: Pretty flat, almost still (no carbonation going on really), medium body, thin finish, bit oily in texture.

Overall: A bit too much going on. The over-roasted grain along with the sour note don't do much for me. The cherry flavor is good, and tastes natural (over ripe juicy) but the soutness overwhelms most of the goodness going on.

Thanks to Illudium for the sample!

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2014 00:56:57 | More by HardTarget
Photo of metter98

New York

3.51/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Alewife, Long Island City, NY

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with just a few bubbles on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of dark malts and black cherries are present in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste has flavors of dark malts along with notes of dark cherries and hints of roasted malts.
M: It feels just about medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer isn't really that heavy compared to other beers in the style but has a nice mixture of cherry flavors.

Serving type: on-tap

03-08-2014 17:52:11 | More by metter98
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 TreyIsWilson


3.69/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a deep black with a red tint. Two-finger tan head that dissapates very quickly. No lacing.

S - Smell of roasted malts and light coffee. Not picking up any cherries.

T - Tart cherries right upfront produce a nice amount of bitterness. The cherries are balanced out by dark roasted malts. Finish is mostly bitter cherries.

M - Medium bodied with low carbonation. Syrupy mouthfeel.

O - Not something want all the time but a nice change of pace stout.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2014 03:20:53 | More by TreyIsWilson
Photo of KrugTheSuperAmazing


4.15/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from a 6 pack, poured into a gulden draak tulip glass.

A- Very strange, doesn't pour like a beer. Very dark in color, but no head whatsoever even after a (in my opinion!) pretty good pour, no lacing of course to follow.

S- For me im getting a lot of cherries, little bit of chocolate, some nice roasty malt, smells quite nice to me, very dessert like in the smell. Cherries, cherries!

T- Dang, talk about tart, right up front I feel like im drinking a cherry fruit beer, the tart is crazy, but then i get a little chocolate and malt in the background, it really reminds me a dark chocolate covered cherry you would find in a valentines day assorted chocolate box, personally for me, having a huge sweet tooth, I like this quite a bit. It leaves a cherry aftertaste which is quite pleasant if you like cherries and sweet things!

M- Id say its fairly thin on the mouthfeel, carbonation is low, and after sipping for about 30-40 minutes the carbonation is almost gone. Again, nice cherry after taste that I personally like.

O- I think its great, I do warn you though its super tart, and the cherries really give your taste buds the blam style, but its still got that nice bitter chocolatey, malty background to remind you its a stout. If youre new, and wanting to get into stouts, I would recommend this to you! If youre not a "sweet" beer person, id still say try it! But just be warned its sweet and tart.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2014 03:04:51 | More by KrugTheSuperAmazing
Photo of kilo_005


4.39/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft
A: this is the drawback of the beer. It doesn't look like beer. No head. No lacing. No visible carbonation. The color is of a Bordeaux. But...
S: good candied fruit/raisin type of aromas. Smells like a sweeter Sherry like a PX. Good
T: I think this beer is exquisite on taste. You have all the notes of a great stout plus this striking sour cherry flavor. The finish is excellent.
M: interesting. Kind of viscous of the finish. Some might like that some might not.
O: I'm surprised how low this beer scores. It's a very innovative and unique beer. People flavor ales all the time with cherry juice but they do it in a stout and pull it off. Try it.

Serving type: on-tap

02-27-2014 00:59:44 | More by kilo_005
Photo of FLima


4.14/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Deepest black color with a thin dark caramel head with low retention.
Aroma of roasted malt, chocolate and hints of cherries.
What a surprising relatively tart flavor, super concentrated, predominant sour notes of cherries, melted chocolate, smoke, red wine and licorice .
Full body with low carbonation.
Incredible beer, with an initial sourness that balanced with its cherries notes and strong roasted and hoppy base.

Serving type: on-tap

02-26-2014 14:06:46 | More by FLima
Photo of SHerninko


3.91/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap @ Via Marconi Pizza Pub

Dark. Slight tan head. Ok very dark black oil color.
Some slight carbonation. No lacing that sticks but appears on each swirl.
Smell is just dark beer. I get no cherries.
Taste is a balanced lighter stout upfront, some tiny cherry bitterness but very quickly it is BOOM--dark, smokey stout.
Mouthfeel is medium to thick.
Try it but it's not tart or sweet like you'd think for a dessert in a glass.

Serving type: on-tap

02-22-2014 17:35:01 | More by SHerninko
Photo of brutusmuktuk


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

A dark brown beer with a red tint and a nice tan head. The tart flavor was off-putting at first, but as I continued drinking it I began to enjoy the combination of tart cherry and roasty caramel. This is one I would revisit again, maybe after aging it some.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2014 19:12:37 | More by brutusmuktuk
Photo of Treyliff

West Virginia

3.59/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter

A- Pours pitch black with a small foamy light tan head that disappears quickly, leaving just a few bubbles and no lace behind

S- roasty malt with a hint of coffee, the cherry is subtle, but noticeable. Slightly tart with red licorice, woodsy and herbal

T- The cherry juice is quite tart up front, nearly puckering at first, but is pretty authentic tasting. The base stout has a bit of smoky roasted malt flavor on the finish with a little bit of coffee on the linger

M- medium body and carbonation leads to a light foamy mouthfeel with a tart yet dry finish

O- A nice change of pace for the stout world, I actually like the tartness of the cherry juice. However, it somewhat overpowered the base stout. Would like to see more emphasis on chocolate malt to give it that chocolate covered cherry effect

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2014 03:17:52 | More by Treyliff
Photo of M_C_Hampton


3.38/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, very dark red brown with a short dark tann head that lingers leaving some lacing, clear

S: toasty malt, brown sugar, vanilla, cherry

T: shockingly sour up front, very tart cherry, the sourness overpowers the flavors of the beer

M: full with lower carbonation

O: the sourness creates imbalance without providing much cherry flavor, the qualities of the base beer are good, the tartness is mouth puckering

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2014 00:52:44 | More by M_C_Hampton
Photo of psoriasaurus


3.48/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into rogue pint glass. Very dark, syrupy appearance when poured, light brown head that dissipates quickly. Chocolate/cherry/metallic nose. Label says "Stout brewed with cherry juice." This drinks more like cherry juice with a little bit of stout added. Strong, sweet cherry syrup taste. Interesting, but less than moderately appealing. It's an OK beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2014 17:12:33 | More by psoriasaurus
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Bell's Cherry Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
80 out of 100 based on 1,804 ratings.