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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

2,210 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,210
Reviews: 966
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 16.19%
Wants: 93
Gots: 178 | 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:
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,210 | Reviews: 966 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tbeq00
4/5  rDev +13.6%

Photo of jsprain1
3.42/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Very very darkcolor. Very nice color. Head is one finger and tan, doesn't last well.
S- The aroma has cherry but it doesn't hit you over the head. Mostly dark/roasted malt, with a slightly smokey presence.
T- It's tart up front, but the cherry flavor doesn't really develop beyond the tartness. There's some dark chocolate as well. The tartness mostly overwhelms everything else.
M- Medium body for stout, light carb.
O- This beer would have benefitted either from more cherry flavor (without adding more tart), or toning it down more. As it stands, it came across just as a tart stout, without the vibrant fruit flavor I hoped for.

Photo of doopydoogle
3.88/5  rDev +10.2%
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!

Photo of engagechad
3.68/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased as a single - tulip glass

Pours a thick, dark blackish purple with a nice cherry cola looking head. Smells nice, cherry is faint but good. Taste is tart and a little syrupy. not sure if it's a good feeling really but it's interesting that's for sure.

taste is good but not really something I would seek out again.

Photo of Viciousknishs
4.12/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- pours black with a finger of tan head. Ok head retention.

S- aromas of cherry pit, tartness and ground coffee bean. Light chocolate on the finish.

T- initial tart cherry flavor that blends with a semi-sweet chocolate. Light coffe tone on the finish.

MF- smooth mouthfeel with a medium body and medium carbonation.

D- very drinkable with big tart cherry flavor.

Overall a great fruity stout.

Photo of Pintofbrown
3.67/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- This is quite the slick pour. The chocolate milk head builds to an even finger. The cap is rather smooth. The head retention isn't the greatest and there isn't much lace to be seen. The body is dark and opaque as it should be.

Smell- There is really strong coffee-roast and leather scents. Under that is a chocolate sweetness, there is also some tart cherry and woodiness. If you want to give points for being subtle, this is where they are given.

Taste- The drink starts with that roasted malt and it rides the tongue heavily into the finish with a strong char, maybe a little overdone. You know that feeling you get when you eat a cherry and you get that slick, tart feeling in your mouth for a while? That is here. That is exactly what I get on the palate, but not really any cherry flavor.

There is some caramel malt, and maybe even some cherry sweetness, but it is subtle, not as forward as that roasted malt.

Mouth feel- This stout is medium bodied, wish it filled up the mouth a little more. No problems with how smooth it feels when drinking it. This is about as "bad" as Bell's will get with mouth feel, and it's not even "bad".

Overall- In a cherry stout, of course you would like some cherry. And I can't argue that the essence of cherry isn't there, because it is. This beer errs more on the side of a traditional stout with a high roasted malt profile.

So yes, technically this is a sound beer. But if you are expecting to taste something a little different, this one will probably let you down in that category.

Photo of biglobo8971
3.79/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured from bottle into snifter. First off, this beer is black as hell. No head at all, faint frothy edges, faint lacing down glass. Smell is of cherry with a slight roast backing it up. The taste is sweet, surprise. A lil too sweet, but very drinkable.
Overall, a lil too sweet, but a very well done beer. Would have to be in a specific mood to enjoy one again.

Photo of Knapp85
3.28/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a nice rich looking black color with a thin tan colored head on top. The head faded and doesn't really lace the glass all too much. The smell of the beer is sweet, roasted and has a tart cherry aroma coming off of it. I was hoping for more of a sweet cherry but either way you can tell there will be some cherry in there. The flavor if the beer is just a little off in my opinion. I was thinking that this would have gone better together but I felt the cherry was just a little too tart for me. The mouthfeel was a bit on the light side also which hindered my thoughts on this beer too. Overall this brew was fun to try but I haven't really got much desire to have it again.

Photo of russwbeck
3.65/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: The pour is pretty dark, a thin brown head rises, but falls quickly. Very bubbly, no lacing.

S: The smell is very, very sweet. Roasty, with some tart cherries. Basically smells like your run of the mill sweet stout with cherries added.

T: It's actually pretty tasty. Sweet and roasty, with a nice tartness underneath. I was worried it was going to be too sweet, but that isn't the case.

MF: Medium to heavy body. Carbonated well.

O: It isn't all that drinkable. The sweetness, while headed off by the tart cherries and roastiness, is undeniable and sort of takes over after a while. Strange aftertaste.

Photo of tfratzke
2.64/5  rDev -25%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pitch black head with brown/tan head. Smell of tart cherries, maybe slight chocolate? but that may be my mind playing tricks on me by it's appearance. Taste is tart cherries, and smoke. This was a lot more sour/tart than i was expecting. Slight chocolate taste. Mouthfeel is way too watery for a stout for me. This was the them most disappointing aspect of this brew for me. Overall, it's interesting, but i would pass on it next time around.

Photo of tsauce2
3.91/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

P: 12 fl oz bottle in to a pint glass

A: SRM is very dark brown with slight red tinge. Head is 1 in, tan, dissapates to line the rim of the glass. Medium lacing.

S: Roasted malts and cherry juice, but slightly faint smelling.

T: Deep roasted malts, dark chocolate with pronounced natural, slightly sweet, slightly tart cherry flavor. Slightly bitter roasted malt taste with cherry.

M: Malty/creamy with cherry tingling the palate. Semi-wet finish.

O: Very enjoyable stout. A bit more malty than I prefer. Excellent use of the fruit component; blends very well with the stout without overpowering.

Photo of gdrydenc
2.88/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours black with very limited brown head. Although the color is what I'd expect, with the cherry added I would have thought a hint of red or auburn in the head would be expected.

S - Smells like a stout with a bit of cherry to it. Plain and simple. Not a great combo of smells.

T - I don't know if I just don't like sourness in my stouts, but this is not a delicious beer for me. The cherry adds just sourness, not a lot of cherry flavor. Maybe in the finish there's a bit, but not a great taste.

M - Fairly average mouthfeel; the issue I have is still with the bitterness. It almost makes me pucker, which is not conducive to tasting a stout.

Overall, I don't like the addition of the cherry juice to this. I think it overpowers the malts of the stout and ruins the taste. Not a huge fan.

Photo of dorianmarley
3.58/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The appearance is a dark black with a red tint, especially in the head.

Smells of smoke, with some cherry.

Taste is dark chocolate with smoke and tart cherry in about 25-25-50 percentages.

Mouthfeel is smooth, as opposed to creamy and has nice carbonation--making the strong flavors easier to drink.

Overall, strong flavors, but well-balanced for what it is.

Photo of shortbus7
3.45/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A very dark black with a slight hint of redness when held to the light.
S: Burnt malt, coffee, alcohol, and cherries.
T: Burnt malt, alcohol, and a slight tartness from the cherries.
M: Medium to thin body with a slight creaminess.
O: This beer just does not do it for me. The tartness of the cherries is there but the flavor does not come though enough for me. I feel that the cherries either need to make more of an appearance or not be in the beer at all.

Photo of heysuz
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Intro: Split a 12oz with a friend in tulip glasses.

Appearance: Dark red plum coloring. Not much head but what is there is a burnt brown, a thin rim of lacing that clings to the glass.

Smell: Cherries soaking in alcohol smell, faint aroma of coffee in the background.

Taste: Strong cherry flavoring with a light vinegar taste. Hint of roasted nutty coffee notes as well.

Mouthfeel: Overall rather clean feel in the mouth, not too dry or sweet, good balance.

Overall: Traditional stout base with lots of cherry infused into it at all levels. Strong alcohol feel and taste which is surprising since it is a low ABV beer.

Photo of JRed
3.43/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

More of an opaque brown than black (if I can get away with saying that). Bubbly light coffee head that stays. Strong aroma of booze, slight cherry, earth, medicinal notes and raisins, dark chocolate and sharp cinnamon. Whoa! Chocolate, tangy and sour fruit, cherry purée, booze, and rides sharp tang to the finish. Heavy in body and light in carbonation. The cherries are a bit strong here and personally would like it more as an accent in the drink rather than being at the forefront.

Photo of DannyDan
3.61/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a dark brown hue with a thin tan head that maintains good retention and decent lacing. The nose has a strong cherry aroma with some chocolate and sweet malts in the back. The taste is similar to the smell in which the cherries over takes everything. The cherry taste stays through out and in the aftertaste. I do get some chocolate, coffee, sweet malts and a hint of hops in the back. Everything is well balanced, but the cherries was a bit too much. I think it would have been better with a little less cherries in this beer. The mouthfeel is smooth, creamy and easy drinking and if you like a strong cherry taste in your stout than this is the beer for you.

Photo of Flux
3.3/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On-tap at Bell's Eccentric Cafe, served in pint glass.

A- dark reddish brown to black. Not a lot of head and very minimal lacing.

S- Definite cherry aroma, and a little green/tart smelling. Roasted, chocolate and biscuit malt aroma. Minimal hop aroma.

T- Upfront tart cherry with chocolate roastiness.

M- Felt thin for a stout, low carbonation.

O- I'm all for adding fruit to a stout but it would be nice to pick up more on the malts without all the sour cherry taking over. I love a good sour beer, but not when i'm expecting a nice rich, deep, complex, roasty, and malty stout.

Photo of TheStove
3.82/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a 12oz glass.

Poured a deep inky black with tinges of cola color when held to the light. A very light brown head forms at the top and quickly disappears. Looks like black water. Beverage smells of a delightful play of maltiness and cherry. The cherry smell is multi-layered, smelling sweet but also fleshy (odd, I know).

Sips with a prominent flavor of sweetness, which is primarily cherry backed by malt. Mid sip gives way to more malt characteristics before kicking in with a slight bit of cherry sweetness, mixing with caramel and light chocolate malt flavors and finally finishing with that tart cherry flavor described on the bottle. Finish is a tad syrupy and reminiscent of cherry juice but still enjoyable. Malt flavors become more apparent as beverage is consumed and add to enjoyment in mixing with cherry flavor.

Overall a great beer given it incorporates fruit but I'm not sure how it works singularly as a stout. The interplay of cherry and malt flavor alone makes this worth drinking and almost makes it a lower gravity dessert beer if you weren't into drinking an eisbock. I aged this bottle for a year and while it liked it better fresh, this is still a great one for a cold night.

Photo of rhong187
3.4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2010 vintage poured into tulip from a 12oz bottle

A - pours jet black, with a half finger head

S - little sweetness, roasted malts... smells like a Cella's chocolate covered cherry..

T - i thought that aging this bottle for several months would have subdued the tartness of the cherries, but it is still very prominent. It imbalances the flabor a little bit, and takes it down a notch..

M - medium body with low carbonation.

Certainly not the best beer I've ever had from Bell's, but still worthy.

Photo of xnicknj
3.44/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

on tap at khyber in philly

Pours a deep black color with a thick layering of off-white head. Some spots of lacing on the glass with a few wisps of film on top.

Complex nose with chocolate and roasted dark malts. Plenty of cherry with faint tartness, some darker fruit tones as well. Slight warmth with sweetness.

Heaping amounts of tart cherry up front with skin and unripe notes. Chocolate and roasted malts come through with a decent amount of sweetness. The backbone holds together for a bit, but the tart cherry seems to overwhelm most of the profile. Finishes sweet and sour.

Fuller medium body, decent carbonation, sticky and chewy on the tongue. This smells delicious, but the overwhelming tart cherry became a turn off for me.

Photo of patol8
4.15/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Starts off with a bit of sour cherry taste mixed with the dark chocolate aftertaste. Moutfeel is pretty good, I'm not the best judge for this category, it honestly felt like a lot of other stouts by Bells. I would like to try it on tap more often, so will have to get lucky at Ashlys or make a trip out to Bells when its on tap at the Eccentric Cafe.

Photo of zeledonia
3.65/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 9993, bottled 27 September 2010. I almost want to wait for its birthday, but nope, into the glass it goes!

Pours a very dark brown, nearly black. As it left the bottle, I could make out a reddish brown color, but that quickly disappeared in the glass. Two-finger light brown head, but it's mostly big bubbles, and fades fast. A bit of spongy lacing that quickly slides down the glass.

Smell is mostly stout, with only a faint hint of cherry in the background. Smooth coffee, dark chocolate. Not much hop aroma. A nice clean stout smell.

Cherries come through much more clearly in the taste. In fact, I'd say they overpower the stout flavors, which I wouldn't have expected at all from the smell. The cherry has a weird bite to it that I also encountered in Founders Cerise (something about Michigan cherries, perhaps?), though it's much fainter and less bothersome here. The hops come through late with a nice little pinch of bitterness. But in general I find the components poorly integrated. It's got cherries, and dark roasted malts, and hops, but they're all playing their own slightly different tunes, rather than coordinated as an ensemble.

Mouthfeel is medium-heavy with mid-low carbonation. Long finish.

Overall, it's good, but the pieces don't really come together. It also has a bit of bite that brings it down a notch for me. Not bad, but not great.

Photo of doppelme
3.45/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Smells slightly of cherries but mostly hidden by the strong chocolate malt smell. It pours a deep black with a fizzy brown head that settles quickly. It tastes a bit sour from the cherry juice and that is followed by a sweet chocolate taste. Smooth on the palate but it is a bit heavy. Overall this is a beer that I could drink more of and I would like to see if it is a bit better on tap.

Photo of AARomanov
3.58/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a dark almost ruby color that I swore I saw transferred to the head, which was minimal and settled at a deep tan.

Aroma - Sweet flavors reminiscent of a dubble. Could not pick up the chocolate notes other's are referencing. Cherry does come through.

Taste - Ironically enough I took a sip right as I got a windows error message. The upfront and shocking tartness definetly matched my disdain. Can't say that I like the flavor. Maybe it's not my style of beer, but it just tastes like a bad combination of a kriek and a stout (two great tastes that don't taste great together)

All that being said, it does start to grow on you. I think it needs to be warmed up a little and not served too cold, otherwise, it's way to shocking at first.

Drinkability - More of a sipping beer that opens up once it hits 45 degree.

Bell's Cherry Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
80 out of 100 based on 2,210 ratings.