1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

1,943 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,943
Reviews: 933
rAvg: 3.53
pDev: 16.71%
Wants: 86
Gots: 113 | 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:
"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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,943 | Reviews: 933 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kylesobrien
kylesobrien

Quebec (Canada)

3.38/5  rDev -4.2%

Pours an opaque deep brownish-black, with a chocolate-colored head. Very attractive in the glass, though without much lacing.

Mouthfeel is moderate for a stout; there's definitely some body, but I would hardly characterize this as thick and chewy.

First sips -- sweet and tart flavor, with a smooth malty aftertaste; the taste of roasted grains is very subtle. While the sour fruit character is obvious, it is neither overwhelming nor overtly cherry-like. As it warms, the cherry flavor grows more evident, and the sweetness is less perceptible. I'm not sold on the cherry stout concept, but I have to admit that the tart/malty/slightly bitter combination is intriguing.

I'm tempted to compare this to eating a piece of cherry fruit leather between sips of stout. It works in some strange way, though I'm not sure it's an experience I would deliberately seek out. At about $14 per six-pack, it's an expensive one to sample. I was able to buy a single, which turned out to be a wise decision, since I doubt I'd be able to finish six of these in a month. It's been an hour since I opened the bottle, and I'm not in a hurry to finish anytime soon.

Overall, I really like Bell's Brewery. I've enjoyed, to varying degrees, each of their beers I've tried. I've been looking forward to trying the Cherry Stout for a while. Staring at a half-filled glass, I'm hard-pressed to say that I'd give this one a shot again.

03-10-2011 00:34:51 | More by kylesobrien
Photo of bigbelcher
bigbelcher

Arizona

4.1/5  rDev +16.1%

Had a local microbrewed cherry stout first so this was a good comparison. Was surprised at almost how identicle it was to Sun Up's Cherry Bomb. Color was black. Small head. Big cherry aroma and a sweet cherry flavor, reminiscent of marchiano cherries. Some warmth from the alcohol but not in a bad way. Felt like the beer was just to young and that it could age some.

03-08-2011 17:07:43 | More by bigbelcher
Photo of GarthDanielson
GarthDanielson

North Carolina

3.38/5  rDev -4.2%

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, the beer presents a deep black, with amber-brown highlights and a thin, milk chocolate colored head that quickly disappears. Aromas of molasses and dark cherry, with some dark chocolate highlights. The beer has an initial bitter dark roasted coffee flavor, quickly switching to a tast, sweet dark cherry flavor. The dark roasted malt and molasses flavors also peek in for a bit. Sweetness is there in the aftertaste, too, and with the rich and slightly oily/slick body, this one can be overpowering. The finish is a little boozy and a little syrupy. Not unpleasant, but rich, and not one I would drink in succession.

03-08-2011 07:58:27 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of sixerofelixir
sixerofelixir

Ohio

2.53/5  rDev -28.3%

12 oz bottle with batch code on back label, easily looked up on their website.

Pours super-dark, mahogony black. Perhaps the darkest head ever recedes very quickly. This stuff looks like beer bile, really. Smell is smooth coffee, sort of mild in fact.. maybe played down by some tartness. Which describes the taste. I'm someone who likes cherries, but I don't think they work with this beer. There is a feud between the malts and cherries which ends up tasting sour and sort of like beer bile. Thin feel, mostly cherry tartness and a bit of burn after-the-sip. I wouldn't drink another.

03-08-2011 05:47:57 | More by sixerofelixir
Photo of milkbaby9
milkbaby9

Florida

3.03/5  rDev -14.2%

12 ounce bottle, batch 9993 tasted 3-4-2011 poured in Duvel tulip. Barely a 1 finger dark tan head that flees immediately leaving some large bubbles forming a ring around the edge. Very opaque ruby-brown black color in the glass.

Aroma of... Robitussin! Then a little bit of the roasty malt. A bit sweet and syrupy like the concentrated soda syrup they use to make cherry coke or cherry soda pop. Ehhh... not that promising...

Upon first taste: Whoa it's tart cherries! But actually what first hits the tongue is more of a subdued cherry soda taste. Then as it develops in the mouth, the tartness comes up more. The tart cherry definitely dominates in the middle on through the finish. A bit of an earthy coffee comes through with a bit of a leafy to herbal hoppiness.

The cherry seems to push the alcohol taste forward a little. The acidity reminds me a bit of red wine. There's a hint of smokiness and dark toast towards the finish where a gentle sweetness also tries to just creep in. Low carbonation and a medium bodied somewhat coating mouthfeel.

Worth trying once, but not a beer I'd have often. Not personally a big fan of numerical ratings, but I gave this an extra half point above average in the taste category for being different. The cherries definitely make their presence known, tart though not quite as over-the-top tart to me as some of the other reviewers here mentioned. Wish there was a heavy chocolate flavor as that may have really meshed with the other flavors well and pulled this up to another level.

03-07-2011 06:36:34 | More by milkbaby9
Photo of Nerudamann
Nerudamann

Oregon

3.85/5  rDev +9.1%

Poured from a bottle into a stein.

Look - jet black with about half a finger's worth of tan-colored foam.

Smell - a bit malty-smelling. If I hadn't know what to expect, I might have been tempted to say that it has more of a molasses type of smell, but knowing what it's supposed to be, I can discern a black cherry smell.

Taste and Mouthfeel - roasted malt flavor with a syrupiness to it from the cherry juice. Tart in the middle and finish. Texture is syrupy too, and a little filmy at the finish.

Drinkability - Interesting brew, not quite like the other cherry-flavored beers I've tried. Don't love the taste, but I appreciate the brew and what they were going for.

03-07-2011 02:31:53 | More by Nerudamann
Photo of theboozecruise
theboozecruise

Louisiana

3.3/5  rDev -6.5%

A- dark brown with a small white head.

S - chocolate covered cherries. Yummy.

T - stout flavors, again it's like chocolate and cherries. Not very dark or roasted, a little lighter flavor.

M - a little thin. It's alright but doesn't impress.

D - it's okay but I don't really need another one of these. Moving on.

03-05-2011 00:35:41 | More by theboozecruise
Photo of EricCioe
EricCioe

Montana

3.7/5  rDev +4.8%

Had this on tap at Pints & Quarts as the leftovers from the Bell's Takeover the Taps event the night before.

This pours almost black with red highlights around the edges, an off-white small head, and a little bit of lacing. On the nose the cherries jump out, tart and huge, but under that there is some caramel malt. In the mouth the tartness becomes even bigger, the cherries are just huge in this beer, but there is caramel lurking underneath. The finish is long on tart, but the mouthfeel is a little thin to me. I'm glad I had it, and I would have it again, but to me this is a one-and-done beer because of the cherry intensity.

03-04-2011 20:34:03 | More by EricCioe
Photo of justintcoons
justintcoons

Pennsylvania

2.68/5  rDev -24.1%

A: Pours black with a half finger head that dissipates quickly. Low carbonation.

N: Fudge, dark chocolate, cappuccino and maraschino cherries.

T: Very tart cherry juice, Warheads, cocoa, brown sugar and coffee.

M: Medium bodied and creamy.

D: Too tart and sour for my tastes but an okay brew.

03-04-2011 01:15:56 | More by justintcoons
Photo of BretSikkink
BretSikkink

Mexico

3.63/5  rDev +2.8%

Darkest brown color, only a hint of highlighting. Light brown foam with good stick, although the lacing is spotty at best. The aromas most easily noted are chocolate, cherry, and coffee.

The initial flavor and body of this stout are beyond reproach but everything else kind of jumps in....somewhat metallic, sour, and tart notes of the cherry comes in full force.

Body is too thin to handle this flavor. Bulk it up and even out the balance and it's looking like a damn fine flavored stout.

03-01-2011 04:03:55 | More by BretSikkink
Photo of machostacos
machostacos

Indiana

4.18/5  rDev +18.4%

Poured from bottle to my favorite pint glass.

A: Opaque black with a tiny mocha head. No real lacing to speak of. Definitely looks like a stout.

S: Huge aroma - roasted dark malts, licorice, dark fruits, and a noticeable tartness. Very intriguing.

T: Tastes exactly like Bell's Kalamazoo Stout with cherries added. Roasted malts and black licorice dominate the flavor with a tart cherry flavor bringing up the rear. This is certainly an interesting beer - the flavors are well balanced between Kalamazoo Stout and cherry. I've had several cherry-flavored beers before, and this easily has the most "real" cherry flavor (not medicinal or made-in-a-lab flavors). Different enough, but decidedly tasty.

M: Thick, rich, and decadent. Bell's knows their stouts, and this is certainly no outlier there. Carbonation is very noticeable, though it doesn't really detract from the mouthfeel overall.

D: This is definitely a tasty stout, and is different enough to be notable. However, the tartness from the cherries and the heavy licorice character keep me very satisfied at a single serving.

02-27-2011 07:40:17 | More by machostacos
Photo of VMWhelan
VMWhelan

Pennsylvania

2.5/5  rDev -29.2%

Pours almost black with a one finger brown mocha head.

Smell is chocolately and slightly earthy with a hint of cherry. Some roasted coffee notes as well.

Taste is very sour. Not what I was expecting at all. The cherry adds a fruity sourness on top of an earthy roasted malt flavor. Very tart.

Mouthfeel is medium-light bodied. Carbonation is low.

Drinkability is low. I was worried when I bought this, but interested. Wasn't sure how the cherry flavor and a stout would mix but I had high hopes. Didn't turn out like I had hoped. This would fare better with more chocolate flavor up front. It's not awful, but I'm not really enjoying it too much.

02-25-2011 04:55:20 | More by VMWhelan
Photo of readbaron
readbaron

Illinois

2.83/5  rDev -19.8%

Pours a deep, dark, fairly viscous brown with a decent mocha head.

Smells primarily malty and roasty. The cherry is definitely noticeable - lends a sweet tart character to the nose. A bit of chocolate is also present. Smells a lot like a chocolate covered cherry.

Wow. Very tart. Not what I was expecting, and not terribly pleasant. There's a bit of chocolate flavor and a surprisingly smooth malty finish. Leaves a sour taste behind. Unfortunately there's something unpleasant about the way the sour and malt combine - it's not a crisp sourness.

Mouthfeel is nice - thick and creamy.

I couldn't finish the beer. Had to leave about 1/4 of it.

02-24-2011 02:13:16 | More by readbaron
Photo of julian
julian

Washington

3.75/5  rDev +6.2%

A: pitch black pour with engine oil like viscosity. Aggressive pour yields a nice inch of dark tan head, which dwindles to a nice ring that sticks.

S: Something about those Michigan (Montmorency) cherries that just imparts a unique flavor to beers that contain them. I love it. It's mostly a sweet oaky vanilla cherry aroma with hints of roasted malt.

T: semi sweet, vanilla, Montmorency cherries, mild toasted malt. A little lacking on some of the main stout "characteristics" but they are there, albeit subdued, but mostly overwhelmed by the cherries. Not that I'm complaining, I think it's great!

M: perfect level of carbonation, medium bodied, coats the mouth appropriately for the style, and leaves you wanting more.

D: Tasty brew indeed. Not sure why it's classified as fruit/vegetable beer when Bell's clearly classifies this as a "cherry stout" but whatever. I could drink a few, or 6.

02-23-2011 02:30:24 | More by julian
Photo of AdamBear
AdamBear

Pennsylvania

4.15/5  rDev +17.6%

A-black with a thin pink head

S-smells like a chocolate covered cherry. its a weak scent.

T-hits the tongue with some nice tart cherry and then goes to a mocha taste. the after-taste is very similar with the cherries and mocha. there are no negative tastes to it. this is a very decent and unique beer. It has a perfect blend of sourness and stout. Its a fun mix that i woudln't mind seeing more of.

M-pretty heavy, very dry medium carbonation with a dry finish.

D-well i didn't think i was gonna be able to drink this too quickly but it did disappear fast! the taste stays well.

02-20-2011 02:24:35 | More by AdamBear
Photo of TheDTrain
TheDTrain

Wisconsin

3.58/5  rDev +1.4%

Sometimes less is more. This should be called Stout Cherry beer cause it's mostly cherry flavor. Nose was huge with cherries and some roasted malts and subtle coco. Mouth was WAY sweet and cherry dominated too much.

Definitely a dessert beer. Good when you're in the mood for something really sweet. Bell's should pull back on the cherry and let the stout out!

02-17-2011 21:57:57 | More by TheDTrain
Photo of KajII
KajII

North Carolina

3.28/5  rDev -7.1%

[Best served in an English pint]

Poured a deep black with a medium brown creamy head that was mostly lasting and had fair lacing. The aroma was mild of roasted malts, a sweet yeast and strong notes of cherries and dark chocolate. It tasted mildly sweet with a strong cherry flavor at first and ended with a sweet-tart cherry flavor that had a hint of chocolate with the taste of cherries lingering on you taste buds for only a short while. Mouthfeel was medium in body and creamy yet watery in texture with a flat carbonation. Overall a tasty stout, a nice change from the norm.

02-15-2011 18:07:56 | More by KajII
Photo of psuKinger
psuKinger

Pennsylvania

4.45/5  rDev +26.1%

Bottle poured into my standard curved-rim pint glass.

A: Deep, ruby red-tinted and dark dark beer with a light brown bubbly head on the top that disippated quickly.

S: A moderate nose of roasted malts and a hint of chocolate and cherry.

T: Smooth easy-drinkin' beer that starts roasty with flavors of coffee. A chocolate presence peeks out in the middle, and the cherry flavors overwhelm on the finish.

There's no trace of an alcohol burn anywhere in this guy. It's just a very smooth, easy-drinkin' stout.

M: Thick and full with the mouth, with a moderate level of creaminess on the finish.

D: High. Very high. This is one of my all-time favorite "first beers of the night". I like to start with a stout, and this is one of my go-to's.

02-13-2011 17:32:00 | More by psuKinger
Photo of Jesse13713
Jesse13713

Ohio

3.23/5  rDev -8.5%

Appearance - Pours pitch black with hints of crimson red in the half of a finger head it produces. Low carbonation with average lacing.

Smell - Obviously hints of coffee and dark cherry. A hint of barley as well.

Taste - A strong tart with a cherry zing. Tastes much more like coffee than I expected. A very strong coffee bean aftertaste that is more like expresso. The tart cherry blends quite nicely with the sweeter, bolder coffee notes.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied and tart.

Drinkability - A very drinkable stout because of its cherry sourness. Very enjoyable.

Verdict - This stout has all the right elements going for it here. I felt like it was a little too sour for a stout for my tasting, however. I was still an enjoyable drink, but I would not purchase an entire pack of it.

02-11-2011 18:36:15 | More by Jesse13713
Photo of PhillyStyle
PhillyStyle

Georgia

1.53/5  rDev -56.7%

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.

02-10-2011 17:23:39 | More by PhillyStyle
Photo of mjsheehan08
mjsheehan08

Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

There is some ruby notes shooting outside the rim of my snifter glass. A cherry red head started off at about a 1.5 finger hieght, but slowly decreased to a very thin ring of mocha around the glass.

Smell is pretty simple, cherry, malt chocolate and vanilla. A little wood is possibly present.

Initial taste is very tart, and the sourness from the cherries lingers in the aftertaste. It is a really smooth mouthfeel that pricks the tounge with the cherry flavor as it swishes around the palate. There are some really pleasant dark chocolate malts present with a hint of vanilla. Along with the finish on more cherries, I am detecting a little smokiness.

Overall, an interesting beer that I am glad I tried, but I don't know how often I would return to it. Its a good stout, but I feel like bells just poured some really delicious cherry juice into my glass.

02-10-2011 02:48:47 | More by mjsheehan08
Photo of scottfrie
scottfrie

California

3.28/5  rDev -7.1%

12oz bottle into 25oz snifter.

A: Pours black with a thin dark dirty-brown head that quickly into a faint scum and collar. Faint lace is left.
S: Smells of dark malts, vanilla, faint maraschino cherry and just a hint of cream.
T: Tingly flavors of semi-sweet, semi-bitter black cherry juice and dark malt make this a very uniquely flavored brew. I get notes of marshmallow in the finish, and the aftertaste is fruity and lingers on my lips, and there is a hint of smoke as well.
M: Medium-full body with a spritzy mouthfeel due to ample carbonation. There is a touch of sourness to the brew as well, presumably from the cherries. It's not necessarily off-putting, but I'm not loving it either.
D: This one is a little strange. It's not bad, but I'd never want to have it again. It doesn't quite taste like a stout, but it doesn't quite taste like fruit beer either. It could be better.

02-09-2011 03:34:22 | More by scottfrie
Photo of earthboundagain
earthboundagain

Colorado

3.4/5  rDev -3.7%

A- Pours a nice shade of black with a lovely brown head.

S- We have chocolate, cherry, and some malt

T- Big sour cherry followed my chocolate and roasted malt, back to a slightly less sour cherry.

M- Smooth but a little too much carbonation.

D- Not so much

Notes: This beer is very unique and has a lot of potential. Though it does get better as it warms the flavors just don't seem to meld together like they should. I wonder if a little age would help this beer.

02-07-2011 16:54:23 | More by earthboundagain
Photo of kickert
kickert

Kentucky

3.33/5  rDev -5.7%

I echo many of the comments already listed. This is a unique pour for sure. The tartness and intensity of the cherries were more than what I was expecting. The completely overshadow the stout qualities. There is a slightly sour note that is not bad, but is out of the ordinary. The head on this was minimal and I agree, I would have liked to see more carbonation. The high ABV is not apparent.

This is beer I think I would enjoy more the second or third pour after I had a good idea of what to expect.

02-03-2011 01:17:53 | More by kickert
Photo of n2185
n2185

North Carolina

3.9/5  rDev +10.5%

A: Pours a dark black with about a finger of chocolate-colored head that retains fairly well. It eventually dissipates into a ring with some lacing.

S: Dark, roasted and malt and dark chocolate up front followed by some tartness from the cherries. There's a bit of smokiness in there as well.

T: Very similar to the nose, there's the dark roasted malts with some bitter chocolate first. The cherries kick in, providing a tart flavor that isn't too sweet. The aftertaste is of smoke and cherries.

M: Medium body with a good amount of carbonation that goes well with the tart cherry flavor.

D: The cherry flavor, while not subtle, is not cloying either. The tartness doesn't overstay its welcome and the fairly light body for the style make this a pretty drinkable beer.

Fruit beers definitely aren't my main cup of tea (or beer), but this one is one of the better ones. The roasted malts prevent the fruit from becoming too overpowering.

02-02-2011 22:27:56 | More by n2185
Bell's Cherry Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
80 out of 100 based on 1,943 ratings.