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

Not Rated.
Bell's Cherry StoutBell's Cherry Stout

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981 Reviews
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Reviews: 981
Hads: 2,349
Avg: 3.56
pDev: 16.01%
Wants: 97
Gots: 226 | FT: 8
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 981 | Hads: 2,349
Photo of DoubleJ
3.77/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Putting cherry juice in a stout sounds like fun. From a 12 ounce bottle, on to the beer:

A visible reddish hue is found in this mostly ink black beer. A half-inch of mocha tanned head leaves spotty lace around the glass. I smell sweet cherries upfront. Dark chocolate and roasted malt follow and create the aroma that I would expect from a Black Forest Cake. When I tasted it,the beer was even more dominant of cherries. There are soft tones of dark chocolate and roasty stout, but given the right disguise, could be mistaken as a sour stout. The medium-full body is extremely smooth and uplifting, and while there are other stouts that I prefer, Bell's Cherry Stout is a fun beer to try.

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Photo of Buck89
3.28/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a snifter. Nice dark brown with a medium tan head. Smells like roasted malt with caramel and dark fruit. Taste is overwhelming tart cherry with a sticky cloying finish - like a Tootsie cherry pop. Digging deep I recognized the stout base, but not my thing.

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Photo of manfromanotherplace
3.17/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Guy in the beer store tried to talk me out of buying it.....i should of listened!thank god i only bought one,this is a weird one and in my opinion one that just doesnt work too well.

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Photo of Grant_Satterthwaite
4.54/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep burgundy color, like the darkest cherry one has ever seen. Somewhat opaque, yet it's difficult to see through it. Smells of tart cherry, not typical of a stout. Some hop character off the nose and slight alcohol astringency. Tastes nearly like it smells, though if you have the expectation that this stout will be traditional, you will be left disappointed. At first I didn't like the taste because I had the expectation that it would be a smooth, chocolatey stout. As I kept drinking it, I found that it was really outstanding no matter how weird it seemed. The cherry flavor was upfront, but there was mild hop bitterness and hints of unsweetened chocolate as well but predominately cherry. The feel was smooth, typical of a stout. Overall, it's definitely worth a try. It's a bit out there, but you could end up like me and really enjoy it.

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Photo of heresy22
2.38/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Look: black, with a slight red/brown tint on the edge.

Smell: faint cherry and coffee. Not much aroma.

Taste: sweet, overwhelming cherry. Cherry masks any other flavors. Maybe a slight roastiness hiding under a thick blanket of cherry.

Feel: medium body, mild carbonation.

Overall: not pleasant. Looked and felt much better than it tasted. Dumped after a few sips.

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Photo of HorseheadsHopHead
3.55/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, nearly nine months old, poured into a tumbler glass.

LOOK: Almost pitch black with some dark brown on the edges. An unaggressive pour didn't produce much head, but some brown lacing is visible.

SMELL: The first thing that hits me is coffee, despite not having any coffee, to my knowledge. Then I get dark chocolate, and some dark fruit notes, though not much cherry. Maybe a bit of black cherry, but there are notes of prunes and raisins.

TASTE: A big blast of cherry sweetness upfront. The cherry is much more prominent in the taste than in the nose. Dark chocolate, coffee, and roasted barley notes are present in the middle, and then it finishes like a milk stout with some creaminess. The aftertaste smacks of both sweet and sour cherries.

FEEL: The body is medium, but leans toward heavy. Creamy on the finish. Carbonation is light, but leaning moderate.

OVERALL: While not ridiculously authentically cherry-tasting, this is a beer for those who like it sweet and fruity. A bit too sweet for my taste. Well-made, though. I wouldn't refuse this if offered, yet I wouldn't go out of my way to seek it, either. A decent fruit stout.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.9/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Ratings are correct below, but I changed some marks above to make the final rating as close as possible with Beer Advocate's "revamped" system. The 3.90 overall rating is accurate.

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: Karl Strauss 26th anniversary snifter glass
From: Palm Springs Liquor in La Mesa (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $2.99
Purchased: June 14, 2015
Consumed: June 19, 2015
Misc.: Born on Nov. 6, 2014

Poured a pitch black color with 1-to-2 fingers of dark tan, frothy head, that thinned out rather quickly. Light amount of foamy lacing on the sides of the glass. Below average retention on the top all the way down. (Sight - 3.50)

First smell was dark chocolate, coffee and roast malts. Second go around was dark cherry, cherry nuts, cherry wood, dark cocoa, chocolate milkshake and toffee. Not as pronounced cherry as I would have thought though. (Smell - 3.75)

Tasted a little better than the nose, but not as good as I was hoping. Got dark chocolate, roasty malts, smoky fire, tart black cherries, toffee, caramel, chocolate covered cherries, chocolate milk, fudge, toffee, caramel, faint Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia and dark cranberry. (Taste - 3.88)

Full-to-medium body. Sticky texture. Average carbonation. Long, smooth finish. Best part of beer by far. (Feel - 4.50)

I have to say I was disappointed overall. I did like it, just not as much as I thought I would. I’d still have it again. (Overall - 3.88)

3.90 | 88 | B+

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.07/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, pitch-black color with a half of a finger of chocolate-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Nice, soft, subtle aromas of roasted malt, imparting notes of slightly burned toast, freshly brewed coffee, dark chocolate, sour cherry and a touch of licorice and brown sugar.

Taste: Interesting. Strong flavors of roasted malt up front, such as slightly burned toast, freshly brewed coffee, dark chocolate, dark molasses and a touch of licorice. Then there’s flavors of tart, sour cherries, not sweet, but not too sour, more as an accent as opposed to a dominate flavor. The cherry blends pretty well with the stout.

Mouthfeel: Slightly chewy and very smooth as there is no carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 7.0%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is an interesting stout. I was expecting a sweeter beer, one evoking chocolate covered cherries or cherry cordials, rather than a blend of stout and sour, tart, cherries, but it all blends pretty well in a satisfying, interesting stout. Recommended.

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Photo of BenwayPHD
3.9/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light black with a very thin red brown head. The smell is reminiscent of cherry pie, but with some chocolate. There is also mild coffee and caramel notes. The flavor is very tart/sour upfront coupled with mild chocolate. This is shortly followed by a bright sweetness, like cold brewed coffee. It finishes with a soft bitterness. I like it, but i don't love it.

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Photo of Gear54
3.61/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

From a bottle into a snifter

Pour is pitch black with 1/2 finger of kaki foam. Very little carbonation and no lace left behind.

Smell is sweet tart cherry with coffee and dark chocolate in the background. Smells very unique compared to other stouts.

Taste is interesting. It follows the nose exactly, however, I'm not sure that's a good thing. Way over the too on cherry tartness and sweetness. Almost artificial like cherry syrup. It masks almost all of the coffee and chocolate flavors that are such a nice pairing in the smell category.

Feel is good. Sticks to the palate well and coats the mouth. The syrupy sweetness hurts the drinkability for me personally.

If the cherry was toned back a bit to complement the coffee and chocolate instead of hide it this would be an amazing beer. I rate it as average. Not my favorite from Bells

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Photo of moonboogie_n8
3.15/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

hhhmmmmm, sorry too much cherry flavor.... "syrup-like" cherry flavor at that.
so much so that it imbalances everything else in the brew.
the chocolate & roasted coffee are there but quickly leave the palette once the fruit hits the tongue. nice body & head that leaves some weak lacing for a stout. not my favorite from bell's, and may have scared me away from cherry stouts all together.

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Photo of generallee
4.1/5  rDev +15.2%
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.

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Photo of ClavisAurea
2.08/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2

Aged bottle; dated 9/18/2014 so it is 6 1/2 months old when I'm trying it. Served at cellar temps in a pint glass. Here we go...

Appearance: Poured a fairly thick brown with a slight red hue. There was initially no head but there is a small rim of brown foam on the edges. No sediment and the beer appears to be opaque.

Nose: Roasted malt acidity, sour cherries, cheap chocolate bars, slight vanilla from some oak (is this barrel aged or something???), no alcohols at all

Taste: sour cherries, thin mouthfeel, really dried out, the cherries are really overpowering, there is a little roasted character in there but I just can't get past the cherries. It's not like a good cherry either. Kind of a thin cough syrup like flavor. Good cherries=kriek; bad cherries=this beer (and Liney's Big Eddy Cherry Doppleschwartz for that matter). No alcohol presence at this age (don't know if they were there when this one was younger.

Overall: Fail, at least with some age on it. I really needed to try this one fresh to get the true flavor but I can guarantee you that it should not be aged. The mouthfeel dries out too fast and there isn't enough body to sustain it in the cellar. The cherries should have stayed on the trees or gone into some nice preserves or something. Keep your cherries out of my beer please. Skip this one in the future and pay the extra money for the Bell's Expedition Stout; totally worth it.

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Photo of chopp02
3.79/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The look and the smell of this beer is fantastic, however, the taste is too tart for me and I did not like the texture of this beer while I was drinking it. If you like sour beers, though, you will enjoy this one.

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Photo of Mersh
1.98/5  rDev -44.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Maybe this isn't my cup of tea but the cherry tasted so artificial it made me gag. I am a huge stout lover but this was a bad representation of the style.

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Photo of Nolo
4.19/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Look: Looks like motor oil like Greg says, a really dark stout. Dark beige small thin head, looks like an espressos crema.

Smell: Really couldn't smell the cherry juice in this one, it is present but its really low compared to the usual roasted barley, coffee, chocolaty smell. I also get a hint of some nuts in it. Its still pleasant.

Taste: You can totally feel the cherry juice hit your palate, very nice and smooth, a little soury in my opinion and it doesn't ruin the chocolate, coffee and roasted malt flavor. Sweet indeed for a stout. Really good.

Feel: Slightly crisp due to the cherry juice and kinda dense. It doesn't leave a bitter taste in your mouth. Its just awesome.

Overall: I really, really liked this beer. The ABV is not that high and it goes great as a dessert or with some kind of chocolate or vanilla or cheesecake. I don't understand the low ratings on this one.

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Photo of wattoclone
4.44/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not much cherry in the aroma, smells like an aromatic, vanilla laced chocolate stout. The tart cherries hit you in the taste with dark chocolate, reminiscent of of a holiday boxed dark chocolate with sour cherry filling. At first it was a little strange for a stout lover who loves the roasted malt and dark chocolate, but after having a bite of whole wheat bread this beer truly shines. Not a session beer but is superb with a meal.

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Photo of Tripel_Threat
4.46/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

4th of the evening. Smooth, black, with a mocha head and a hint of amber. Smells roasted, bitter, tart, and tastes very much much the same. Best cherry Stout I've had so far, not cloying, artificial or overwhelming like others I've had.

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Photo of Modernrickk
3.44/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Not sure how to put this lightly but this beer is like a stout that someone accidentally poured cherry juice into..

The dark malts taste and smell decent .. The tart initial taste tho isn't really my cup o tea.. I wouldn't mind NOT having this again.. But I still have 5 bottles lol
Mouthfeel is thick.. Syrup like and pours out weird.. Even the way it rolls out of the bottle is strange.. Like syrup ..

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Photo of Jsmick
1.98/5  rDev -44.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.75

I can't believe Bell's put this out...... Maybe if this were going to be a sour stout, it might have been better, but this beer tastes unfinished. The sourness of the cherry juice overpowers the rest of the stout. I'm a huge sours fan, but this basically taste like a stout that was infected, and not in a good way. I can smell the cherries and the roast, but that doesn't come through in the taste.

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Photo of WheelsPSU
2.44/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I like Bell's but this was not good. There was absolutely no head when this poured and gave off a slight roasted malt and sour smell. The taste was medicinal cherry, chocolate and roasted malt. The flavors just did not mesh together.

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Photo of keithmurray
3.38/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Appearance- brown body with tan head

Smell - roasted malts, chocolate

Taste- chocolate, roasted malts, sour cherry

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, medium carbonation, roasted stout qualities upfront, sour/tart cherries in the back, flavors clash

Overall - i can't say that I enjoyed this beer. The cherry flavors aren't integrated well with the base stout

Price Point - $1.67/12 oz bottle

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Photo of kojevergas
3.06/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 fl oz. Brown glass bottle. Truncated review below:

HEAD: None. No lacing.

BODY: Opaque solid black with amber/red hues. No yeast particulate or hop sediment.

Looks typical of the style overall.

AROMA: Vague fruit - I guess cherry. Dark malts. Indistinct malty sweetness. Cream. The cherry isn't as authentic as it could be, but isn't puree-esque or extract-y. It's a pleasant marriage of fruit to dark malt build.

No yeast character, alcohol, or off-notes are detectable.

Aromatic intensity is above average.

TASTE: Heavier on the fruit/cherry than I anticipated. Slightly syrupy. Heavy dark malts, chocolate malts. Some pomegranate. No yeast character, alcohol, or off-notes. Some raisin. It's just not that well balanced for what it is, but I do like it. Not complex/intricate, subtly executed, or nuanced. Pretty straightforward and plain.

Average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour.

TEXTURE: Smooth, wet, medium-bodied, a biteen too thick. Suits the taste decently, but doesn't elevate the beer. Overcarbonated. Too coarse on the finish.

OVERALL: Not a good execution of the premise. I do like it generally, but I expected better from Bell's. I wouldn't recommend it to friends or trade partners. Drinkable.


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Photo of soulcougher
4.34/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nice tasting stout with good reason to call it cherry. The cherry is immediately noticeable. Has almost a slight burn effect when drinking it which I liken to a whiskey.

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Photo of JohnnyI
2.98/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Pours a rich black color with cherry red accents visible during the pour. Once it hits the glass, the subtle red hue is barely detectable. An interesting and unique appearance, despite the lack of lacing or head retention. The scent is that of a silky porter, with chocolate malts and light roast. There's a sour cherry aroma hiding in the background. The first sip is surprising to say the least. The slight chocolate malt sweetness is absolutely crushed by a shockingly sour flavor. A lemon-like puckering tartness and vague cherry gives way to an ashy finish. The body and carbonation are thin, with little intrigue. Wow, pretty much a train wreck! It was as if someone poured lemon juice in to a nondescript porter, then emptied their ashtray in to it. If I didn't know better, I'd think this one was spoiled. Judging by the bottle date (11/6/14) and the other comments, this is the intended product. I nearly relegated this to drain pour status, but a part of me was really rooting for Bells, so I gave it the old college try. I must admit, I am not particularly fond of sours. After it reached room temp, it was considerably easier to drink. The underlying flavors of the stout became more discernible and attempted to keep the sour notes in balance. Attempt is the key word. Either way, this is one sour beer, and the flavor profile just doesn't add up. Ashy, tobacco smoke and citric sour cherry tartness are just an odd combination. Quite frankly, it just doesn't work.

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Bell's Cherry Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
81 out of 100 based on 981 ratings.