1. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

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

Bell's Cherry StoutBell's Cherry Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,801 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1801
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 1,801 | Reviews: 924 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of glid02


4.2/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cask at the Brick Store.

Pours a dark brown color with a large-bubbled off-white head. The head recedes into a thin ring around the glass leaving light legs and almost no lacing.

Smells of tart cherries first and foremost with decent amounts of dark chocolate and lightly roasted malts. As the beer warms the cherries gain a very light sweetness but remain on the tart side of the spectrum.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Lightly roasted malt flavors are overtaken quickly by solidly tart cherries and hints of dark chocolate. Midway through the sip the cherry flavors intensify before receding up to a mildly tart and bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a slick thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could have another.

Overall I thought this beer benefitted greatly from the cask conditioning - the cherry flavors were fuller and better integrated. Worth a shot.

Serving type: cask

01-20-2010 01:02:48 | More by glid02
Photo of Travlr

District of Columbia

4.15/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Very dark maroon with no head and no lacing to speak of.
S: Aroma of chocolate, cocoa and roasted coffee.
T: Flavor begins with sweet malt and caramel, then progresses to chocolate. Cherries come in rather suddenly near the finish, a pleasant surprise.
M: Medium body.
D: Good one, very drinkable.

Serving type: cask

01-12-2010 02:54:08 | More by Travlr
Photo of mdawson


4.13/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hand-pumped from a cask @ the Muddy Pig.

Came to the table cascading in a shaker pint, a fall of tan bubbles that resolved themselves into a fluffy, long-lasting head and a jet-black beer. Really can't ask for a better look for a stout.

Aroma is bittersweet chocolate and ripe, fresh tart cherries: Black Forest cake in a glass.

Waves of roast grain wash across the mouth, baking chocolate and cafe americano, its edge blunted by big, round malt. The cherries show up at the end, tangy and fruity. The finish is very well-balanced between fruit and roast malt; hops stay out of sight (at least for the cask version).

The body is big and full, which nicely offsets the acidity of the fruit and roast grain; and the CO2 level was very pleasantly low - love me some cask ale!

With the exception of Belgian lambic, I am not a fruit beer guy, but my buddy talked me into trying one and I liked it enough I ordered it again. I have a feeling I wouldn't like it as much from a bottle or standard tap with a higher level of carbonation, but ... only one way to find out.

Serving type: cask

12-25-2009 01:42:36 | More by mdawson
Photo of Lunch


3.73/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap at ChurchKey in Washington, D.C. into 16oz. il nonic pint at the appropriate temperature.

A: Pours and extremely dark shade of brown with a rather thin frothy cappuccino colored head that dissipates quickly. The beer itself seems rather thin and watery.

S: Nice scents which include chocolate covered cherries, sour cherries, chocolate, and some licorice malt.

T: Chocolate and cherries dominate the flavor profile leaving a rich, slightly sour, and sweet taste which is accompanied by an interesting licorice malt and a slight amount of bitterness. I'm not normally a cherry fan, but this is done rather well and really works for this style.

M: medium-bodied with low carbonation with a slightly watery texture that seems to hid its 7%abv quite well.

D: I would say that this is fairly drinkable, but do to the sweetness and cherry flavor, one was enough for me.

Overall this was an interesting stout, that I actually enjoyed more than I thought (this was a recommendation by a staff member). Worth a Look.

Serving type: cask

12-14-2009 18:49:48 | More by Lunch
Photo of DefenCorps


3.98/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow, I can't believe I'm the first person to review this beer on cask. I drank an pint of this last night at Church Key.

The pour is fairly standard, black with a thin dark brown head that recedes to nothingness rather quick. The nose is great, I like it a lot more than out of the bottle. Chocolate, licorice and a excellent sour cherry character, the chocolate being the most dominant. Noticeable roast with a mild malt bitterness present, but not so much as to clash with the tartness from the cherry. The palate opens with a tart cherry character, almost tannic with sourness quite prominent. This is followed by the chocolate and licorice that balance the sourness. Chocolate character is mostly dark choc in nature, lending a bitterness that persists on the finish with the cherry tartness carrying through as well. Carbonation is on the low side, enhancing the experience, and allowing the medium body, tart cherries and dark chocolate the come together quite well. While I spent close to 30 minutes nursing my pint, unlike the bottle, this is something I'll gladly revisit. Now, if only I could get down to CK when they had Two Hearted on cask...

Serving type: cask

12-14-2009 00:22:52 | More by DefenCorps
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
Photo of CloudStrife

New York

3.6/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Packaged on 11/07/13.

A: Pours a dark brown with an obvious red quality yet this beer still appears black in the glass. A slightly tanned head sits on tops of this and is somewhat quick to dissipate.

S: Yup this is a stout with cherry juice added. Has the typical roasty and chocolaty tones you would expect in a stout with a dose of tart cherry. Chocolate adds a bit of a chalky aroma.

T: The cherry juice is an interesting addition yet I am not sure I'm a fan. The chocolate qualities in this are real nice though. A bit of nuttiness in the backend. Roasty like a malt should be.

M: Medium body with a nice creamy aspect to it. Easy drinking for 7%. Moderate to low carbonation.

Overall this one just doesn't strike my fancy. The cherry comes across a bit fake and subtracts more than it adds to the flavor profile. Thinking it would be better as a regular milk stout.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2014 02:20:55 | More by CloudStrife
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Bell's Cherry Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
80 out of 100 based on 1,801 ratings.