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

1,944 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,944
Reviews: 933
rAvg: 3.53
pDev: 16.71%
Wants: 86
Gots: 114 | 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: 1,944 | Reviews: 933 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of OnThenIn
OnThenIn

Ohio

2.63/5  rDev -25.5%

A: Pours with a finger of head that is a dark tan with a hint of red. The beer is black. The head dies down quickly but leaves nice lacing.

S: Roasted notes and cherry are prominent. Not really that pungent or distinct.

T: The taste starts out like roasted malt with a bit of chocolate and other roasted notes. The cherry then dominates the taste. There is a bit of a sour note. The two rather different flavors really don't meld well.

M: The carbonation is a lot lower than I would like it to be. Lighter body, which wouldn't be bad with higher carbonation.

D: The taste really turns me off so that hurts drinkability, as does the lower carbonation.

02-02-2011 04:16:54 | More by OnThenIn
Photo of sophisticated
sophisticated

Michigan

4.25/5  rDev +20.4%

This Bell's winter seasonal poured a beautiful black with ruby/cherry higlights and a dark brown sudsy head. Very nice looking. The smell was strong with malts, cherry, and a little alcohol (7% ABV) all standing out. And the taste - wow. The cherry is not subtle. And it is real cherry flavor, as this bad boy is brewed with cherries from Traverse City. Loud and Proud. Also coffee notes, overall a sweet stout with a tart real cherry flavor. It was smooth and medium-bodied, and great drinkability.

01-30-2011 17:46:04 | More by sophisticated
Photo of JayS2629
JayS2629

Alabama

4.05/5  rDev +14.7%

A- Dark black cola color with creamy tan head, little retention or lace.

S- Roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, and tart cherries peaking through.

T- Roasted malts and chocolate on the front with a hint of coffee. Tart cherries take over once you swallow.

M- Medium bodied and creamy

D- Its a sipper and the tartness makes it one to drink slow. It gets better as you acustom yourself.

01-30-2011 00:16:22 | More by JayS2629
Photo of gigaknight
gigaknight

Illinois

1.78/5  rDev -49.6%

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.

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

California

3.63/5  rDev +2.8%

Pours a deep black. Had to pour it super hard to get a head and that head dissapated to nothing. No lacing.

Aroma is just kinda roasty. Little bit of malt. not alot of aroma.

Taste is interesting. It's roasty but has that tartness from the cherries. Tasty but kind of different.

Mouthfeel is good. No complaints.

Overall I don't think I could drink alot of this. It's good but 12 oz's is kind of alot. It's The tartness of the cherries moxed with the roast that I think makes it soo different.

01-25-2011 08:52:39 | More by PeprSprYoFace
Photo of bucklemyshoe
bucklemyshoe

Georgia

2.3/5  rDev -34.8%

Notes from 07/24/2010:

12 oz bottle at 45 degrees into a snifter. Best by: 09/2010.

A: It pours pitch black with no head whatsoever. It looks like a flat coke.

S: A nice coffee, chocolate, and cherry blend. This was an enticing lure at least.

T: A little chocolate, coffee, and smoke but later dominated by sour cherry juice (think roasty porter mixed with Lindeman's Kriek). Gross.

M: It has a light body - probably from cherry juice - with almost no carbonation and an atrocious aftertaste of rank cherry juice.

D: This is a huge miss. It is impossible for me to enjoy this.

01-23-2011 20:19:03 | More by bucklemyshoe
Photo of titosupertramp
titosupertramp

Tennessee

3.4/5  rDev -3.7%

Thought this might be a good follow up to Jolly Pumpkin's La Roja.

A: About as dark as it gets. Little to no carbonation.

S: Different for sure. Roasty, sweet, tart. Coffee, chocolate, cherry.

T: Well, what you notice in the nose is what you get in the taste. The cherry flavor is pretty well balanced with the normal stout flavors.

M: Dry and tart.

D: Ehh..not sure if I could drink more than one of these.

Glad I tried it..open to drinking it again...would never buy an entire 6 pack of this. Thank you Chuck's for selling singles.

01-23-2011 04:24:19 | More by titosupertramp
Photo of billshmeinke
billshmeinke

California

3.9/5  rDev +10.5%

Pitch black with a slim layer of bubbley khaki foam on top. Kinda thick with some lacing left behind. 4

Smells of coco powder and perhaps a touch of coffee. A lot of roastiness. The dark cherries are hardly present in the nose. I want to say there is a touch of lactic sweetness in there as well, but I'm not a 100% sure that's what I'm picking up. 3.5

The taste is ery roasty with some caramel notes and coffee juxtaposed against a tart dark cherry back drop. Kinda of like a chocolate bar with some espereso beans and dark cherries mixed in. Finishes on a smokey roasted barley note. 4

The mouthfeel is fairly smooth with lots of carbonation and it's even a touch dry on the finish from all the roasted malt presence. 4

A good beer overall. I wouldn't buy this often if it were available in CA, but it's interesting and I was glad to try it. 4

01-22-2011 22:19:16 | More by billshmeinke
Photo of secondtooth
secondtooth

Indiana

3.33/5  rDev -5.7%

Pours a deep black with only a slight amount of head.
Olfactories report a pleasant sweetness, very much a tart cherry character.
Flavor is a rush of cherry sweetess up front, followed by a wash of sour. There seem to be very few roasty notes here, or they're submerged in the cherry.
Unusual, and worthy of a taste, but not something I'd care to revisit.

01-22-2011 01:53:47 | More by secondtooth
Photo of kalkavekkian
kalkavekkian

Michigan

3.65/5  rDev +3.4%

A- poured a bottle into a weizen glass. Color was a deep, dark coffee black with a brown head that quickly dissipated.
S- aroma was an almost equal blend of tart fruits and roasted malt with the cherry noticeable.
T- taste was very good and mellow, not overblown on the malts like so many within this style. Cherries and slight coffee in the background. Tart finish. More of a coffee aftertaste as it warms.
M- medium-light mouthfeel
D- much easier to drink a few of these than some of the thicker stouts. I like this!

01-21-2011 00:11:38 | More by kalkavekkian
Photo of ChadQuest
ChadQuest

Illinois

4.13/5  rDev +17%

Dark brown, possibly black, but brown around the edges, looks like you'd expect a 7% stout to look.
The aroma has an acidity in it that is impossible to miss, if i didn't know that this wasn't a typical stout i'd be fearing a ruined beer, but knowing what has been put in here it only opens up more excitment. The flavors are very much like a dry dark chocolate covered over dark cherries, like a fruity cocoa powder thrown into a pressed juice. It's really more of a dryness with a light tartness and it works so well, it tastes so natural. So tasty and drinkable i'm over half through my glass in no time.

01-19-2011 07:00:26 | More by ChadQuest
Photo of rembrant
rembrant

Ohio

3.68/5  rDev +4.2%

Poured full on black with a tan 1/2" head. I saw Garnet highlights as it poured but in the glass it's light proof.

Aromas- There's rich aroma of dried fruits with Cherry one of the elements. as it warms the malts start to appear with deep coffee.

Flavor. May not be warmed enough. The cherry tang is there,the malts are hanging back for the moment,teasing. Waiting for it to heat up some I'm getting a rather dry version of Dr Pepper.

As it warms more,the malt are coming out to play,with a tease of coffee and some dark chocolate.
Finally,near room temp...Cherry Stout does merge Rather than the effect of cherry juice or Dr pepper added to a Stout,It's become a rich and complex brew...and alas,there's not much left now.

This is one I'll have to revisit. It's quite fussy about temperature and I may have had some aftertastes from before it softened up.

Mouth- Medium full

Drinkability, I'm not that jazzed about what the cherry adds,but it's pretty good. Quite a bit better once to it's favorite temp,which is a bit of a hassle.

01-18-2011 05:38:08 | More by rembrant
Photo of BARFLYB
BARFLYB

Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

A pint on Tap, I've been dodging this beer for a while now.

Bell's Cherry Stout is black like all the others, a big black stout with a thin layered light tan cap up above that left no traces. Swirls could not even bring up a inch of foam. Smell is all cherry, tart cherry, although I know it's not the real deal, just juice. A blast of cherry backing a smallish stout with some chocolate in the back, slight roast, not in the big picture though. Getting some licorice and malt with the cherry. Feel is tangy, slightly tart, not funky. Body is medium with a lively carb, perhaps too much, it was a bit bitey. Another great one from Bell's but one that is a single go for me.

01-17-2011 04:39:44 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of oglmcdgl
oglmcdgl

Pennsylvania

3.83/5  rDev +8.5%

A pint on tap at terrace taproom.

A- comes to me filled to the brim so no head but my buddies had a small cap of tan head that settled instantly leaving on a thin ring. Very dark brown almost black with a red brown glow at the edges.

S- sweet and tart cherries with a dark roasted malt hit behind. All things considered a rather simple and light nose.

T- there's no missing the sour cherry in this one cherries are big and bright with a good tart and sour twang before the deep dark malts kick in and hit you up with the chocolate and a touch of coffee. The cherries never give up the lead but as the brew warms the malts make a slightly bigger impression. Tart finish.

M- a bit above medium in body with a bright carb that adds to the good pucker that comes with this one.

D- I was surprised by this one that's for sure. Did not expect this much of a sour cherry presence but I dug it.

01-16-2011 01:52:01 | More by oglmcdgl
Photo of Landfill21
Landfill21

Ohio

3.28/5  rDev -7.1%

Poured into my trusty guinness pint glass this evening. Pours into a very dark color, almost no light gets through it holding it up. Leaves no head and no lace as you drink it.

Smells of chocolate, hint of cherry, roasted nuts and molasses.

Has a sour cherry nose, the body is a light mouthfeel and a sour finish.

Not very impressed with this beer, especially for the price. I would not recommend this to a friend.

01-15-2011 01:43:08 | More by Landfill21
Photo of TheQuietMan22
TheQuietMan22

Iowa

2.85/5  rDev -19.3%

Appearance: Straight pour into a pint glass. The color is a sinister, opaque black; no light passed through when I held it to my lamp. Two fingers of tanned head developed and dissipated quickly to leave a bubbly lacing and ring around the edge.

Smell: Very smooth and enticing aroma of lightly roasted dark chocolate, coffee, caramel, and molasses. There is a slight hint of cherry in keeping with the namesake. It does not, thankfully, smell like chocolate covered cherries.

Taste: The mouthfeel is heading toward thick and creamy, but the flavor makes it feel watered down. Up front is a nice roasted character, which is followed by a soda-like, syrupy gap before the cherry kicks in. The cherry is tart and authentic, unlike other cherry beers that use processed syrup.

Drinkability: Once again, it smells great, but the taste is another story. I just don't dig this style at all. Though there is promise, it is an overall letdown.

01-14-2011 19:56:14 | More by TheQuietMan22
Photo of steve8robin
steve8robin

Massachusetts

4.08/5  rDev +15.6%

Got this beer on a work trip to Georgia. 12oz bottle. #9969...

A: Super dark with a very tiny tan colored head that fades very quickly to bubbles around the top of the brew. Ok.

S: I get some bitter roastiness upfront with very faint cherry on the back. Hints of molasses in the middle. Eh.

T: Hmm, very unique. I think it lives up to how it's advertised. Seems like a American Wild Stout! Some bitter watery roast upfront quickly followed by some tart sourness, but not overwhelming. Finished with some vanilla and faint chocolate. Very unique taste. Very good.

M: Medium body with a fantastic carbonation balance! A nice clean and flavorful finish. Amazing here!

D: Goes down very easy compliments to the great blend of flavors. Very good.

All in all, the MO for this brew is BALANCE! With the exception of the nose and the appearance, this brew has amazing balance in all other categories! Not only is it balanced, but it brings something unique, new, and fresh to the craft beer scene. An AMERICAN WILD STOUT! That's the only way I can classify this. I think BA should make a new category. Great to try if you like well balances beers, wild ales, and stouts.

01-13-2011 03:33:04 | More by steve8robin
Photo of Albinoh
Albinoh

Mexico

2.6/5  rDev -26.3%

I did not enjoy this one, too acid, the smoky burned flavor of the stout is overshadowed by the acidity, even from the first sip... so it gets a little old fast... Good initial appearance, decent color and head but nothing special. Has a thin mouthfeel, compared to other stouts

Side note:
I guess this can be useful for cooking... but not very much for drinking...

01-13-2011 03:01:34 | More by Albinoh
Photo of Brez07
Brez07

Maine

3/5  rDev -15%

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Reviewing from notes

A: Dark pour with brown/dark red highlights. Pretty much no head or lacing

S: Sour cherries right up front. Accompanied by roasted and chocolate malt. Taken back a little by how sour this smells

T: I get a strong tartness from the cherries. After a few sips this is slightly masked by the malt. Kinda like a sour stout, but not well balanced. Flavors of sour cherry, maybe grape

M: Full bodied. Definitely well carbonated, maybe a little too much. Tart upfront, roasty in the finish

D: Not sure if cherry was a good choice for a stout. The tartness was too prevalent for me. Although I found it flavorful at first, this ended up being hard to finish

01-12-2011 02:00:48 | More by Brez07
Photo of soze47
soze47

Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev +6.2%

Appearance: Very dark black, yet dark cherry red highlights come through on the edges. Almost a fizzy ruby brown head comes and goes quickly.

Aroma: The aroma is a robust flavor that is hard to dissect. There is some tart cherry notes for sure, but a more complex malt bill hints of sweetness and bitterness. Almost candy like if it weren't for the slight boozy heat, especially as the glass warms.

Taste: Wow. A lot more cherry taste than smell on this beer. Very tart and authentic cherry tang. The malt that was so much bigger on the nose now is still there, slightly burned/slightly roasted/slightly caramelized.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Has an almost cherry cough syrup texture in the mouth, but it isn't nearly that viscous. It really hits your palette hard at first, but the linger is light enough to not be cloying.

Overall: This one is almost to sour proportions of beers. Don't expect a malt forward taste, the cherry tartness is what hits hardest and longest.

01-12-2011 00:31:11 | More by soze47
Photo of SickGnar
SickGnar

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev +6.2%

A: Very nearly jet black. Short light brown head of fine bubbles that settles fast, but leaves a little bit of lacing. Sort of limp look.

S: Sweet / tart dark fruit aroma that is not plainly cherries but does lean strongly that way. Darkly roasted malts, burnt sugar at edges, faint bittersweet cocoa and hints of coffee. Good stout scent along with fruit.

T: Whoa....This is one different beer. Very distinct tart cherry. Everything else stays in background, especially at first. Hints of other dark fruits, but sweetly and mixed with the roasty malts. Like black plum/prune jam spread on nearly burnt toast. Faint ghost hints of coffee. Cocoa from the nose has disappeared. Tartness lingers as cherry fades. Roastyness fills in softly as burnt toast and coffee grounds - especially in the finish. Sharp edge for dark roast grains contributes an earthy character approaching bitterness (some of this might be hops). Gets a touch astringent as it warms.

M: A bit over medium body with slightly subdued carbonation. Lush and smooth, but really rich enough to be creamy. Some dextrins to chew on before leading to tart / dry finish. Slight alcohol warmth.

D: As others have mentioned this is sort of Black Forest Cake of a beer. Lots going on and it pulls it off nicely. It is an interesting, different and tasty fruit beer. Emphasis on the beer and the fruit - nothing fake or unhinged here. The dark side though, rather than the usual "whatever" wheat ale. Tart cherry is reasonably balanced by a by a relatively narrow profiled dark roasted malt. I think this would be better with more malt sweetness and rounded character. It is a nice treat - a desert beer even.

01-11-2011 12:56:53 | More by SickGnar
Photo of welldigger888
welldigger888

South Carolina

2.53/5  rDev -28.3%

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!

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

Ohio

1.95/5  rDev -44.8%

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

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

Missouri

3.9/5  rDev +10.5%

Pours a dark black color. 3/4 inch head of a tan color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of roasted malt, sweet malt, citrus, and slight hop. Fits the style of a Fruit / Vegetable beer. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. There is also a slight acidic feel. Tastes of citrus, hops, roasted malt, and sweet malt. Overall, great appearance, good aroma, and good mouth feel. The body is a little lacking though. The cherries are not strongly noticeable, but I enjoy that more than most probably would.

01-05-2011 02:06:42 | More by Tone
Bell's Cherry Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
80 out of 100 based on 1,944 ratings.