1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. 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

2,022 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,022
Reviews: 938
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 16.76%
Wants: 93
Gots: 134 | FT: 12
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: 2,022 | Reviews: 938 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hwwty4
3.25/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a 12oz bottle into a generic shaker glass. Pours a thin jet black with ruby highlights, and left absolutely no lacing whatsoever. The beers aroma is tart pie cherries, dark chocolates and vanilla. The taste is much the same with the sour pie cherries coming out big up front, which I find distracting. Also espresso and dark chocolate come through on finish. The mouthfeel is really thin for the style. All in all its good for a drink but I don't think that I would order another.

hwwty4, May 28, 2008
Photo of macster
3.88/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 8219, bottled 11/12/07.

Poured a moderately thick and viscous jet black color. Certainly not the motor oil texture of Expedition. Pour created a 1/2" tan head which dissapated quite hastily. Some isolated small spots of foam remain as the snifter is consumed. No lacing.

Aroma was a subdued presentation of dark chocolate covered bing cherries, coffee, roasted malts, dark dried fruits and a touch of vanilla.

Palate was quite full, creamy and a touch oily with a minerally dry finish.

Taste was quite the surprise with the initial flavor being that of a typical roasted malt / dark chocolate presentation which was immediately followed by an assertive tart, semi-sour cherry finish. Certainly cuts right through any expectations of a sweet ending.

Certainly an interesting beer and worth the try, but I doubt I'd go back for more.

macster, May 25, 2008
Photo of kzoobrew
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours opaque black, creamy tan head diminishes quickly leaving a slight cap. Some stick lacing.

Aroma is quite enjoyable. Blend of sour Michigan cherries with rich roasted malt resulting in dark chocolate and coffee scents.

Taste is big sour cherry and little dark chocolate up front. Roasted malt, slight smokiness follow. Slight coffee and vanilla on the palate. I believe the flavors to work better together serving on the warmer side.

Mouthfeel is medium to heavy slightly oily. Carbonation is well suited.

I am enjoying the hell out of this one. While this is a rewrite of a previous review this beer has grown on me. Flavors are fantastic and drinks rather easily. This is Bell's most polarizing beer, as for me I thoroughly enjoy this one.

kzoobrew, May 24, 2008
Photo of RixBeer
3.35/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Jet black, thin ring of head. NO LIGHT COULD PENETRATE THIS BREW.

Huge odor of sour cherries along with hints of maraschino cherries, roasted barley, light chocolate and a very faint burnt smokiness.

Bitter/sour twang from the cherries are up front and the most noticeable flavor. Light burnt chocolate flavor in the after taste.

Extremely full bodied. A must grab! This beer is gonna fill you up and overwhelm the senses.

Ok I don't know how drinkable this beer is, it's very full and very much a sipper! An awesome brew by Bell's!

RixBeer, May 19, 2008
Photo of jenitivecase
3.93/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: pours pretty much opaque coffee color with little to no head.

S: predominately coffee with strong cherry overtones (obviously) and malty notes.

T: SOUR holy shit. bitter cherry initial taste turns sweeter and acquires strong coffee flavors as the taste progresses. Seems like it should be cloying, but isn't particularly. The duality of the cherry and strong espresso flavors makes for a very unique taste.

M: Hits hard and leaves a lasting tartness in the mouth. Not exactly what I'd call an easy drinker, but intriguing in its sourness and intensity. Leaves a tingle.

D: The more I drink of this, the more I enjoy it.

jenitivecase, May 18, 2008
Photo of oelergud
3.43/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Standard brown 12oz glass bottle, pry-off cap. A tree and three cherries on the label.
Opaque body with a dark tan head, not much retention or lace.
Fruity stout smell, alcoholic and slightly smoked. Some nutty hops and spice.
Cherry inspired roasted malts somewhat off center, alcoholic and sweet. The aftertaste is a short lived but pleasant cherry hop mix.
Medium body with a bit of coating. Slightly dry finish.
Interesting brew, definitely different from the norm.

-Oelergud

oelergud, May 11, 2008
Photo of brewdogmrb
4.18/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Into a pint glass -- It poured a thick and dark black with a little bit of red. The head was super attractive and also reddish, and it smelled great as soon as it poured. Out of a limited selection of Bell's beers, I chose a fruit beer. Here's why: Michigan is where sour cherries are from, Sour Cherries are one of my favorite fruits, I love a good stout , and Bell's stouts are amongst their most well regarded beers. This 12oz bottle did not disappoint. A big stout with the traditional roasted flavors, big amounts of coffee and chocolate, balanced and countered with the sourness from the cherries. Not too much sweetness, and seriously, it smells just great. Not a beer I would drink several of in a row, but it definitely lives up to its reputation and I can't wait to get into more of the Bell's.

brewdogmrb, May 09, 2008
Photo of neenerzig
3.98/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a single 12 oz bottle of this A single recently purchased during my trip to the Party Source (located just across the Ohio River in Bellevue, KY) when I was visiting my brother in Cincinnati. I had been wanting to try this Bell's offering for awhile but it sold out around here a few weeks ago so I didn't get the chance until now. Poured into my pint glass. This beer is a very dark, brown, almost black color with a bit of a dark red hue. Lets in no light whatsoever. The tan head even has a red hue. Head is pretty poor even when the beer is first poured, a light surface coating before settling to a decent tan ring lining the inside of my glass. Little lace. Aromas of sweet malt and tart cherry is certainly present. The taste is pretty much the same. Sweet malt upfront with hints of caramel, chocolate and some cherry tart. The taste of alcohol is certainly present too. Very little to zero hop bitterness. Has a crisp and smooth mouthfeel with a medium to full body and light to moderate carbonation. Easy to drink. A fairly good beer overall but I must say I expected a bit more from Bell's here.

Eric

neenerzig, May 09, 2008
Photo of Jwale73
3.93/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at the Bell's General Store next to the Eccentric Cafe. No freshness dating, but 8339 printed on the bottle. Served in a nonic. Poured black with red highlights around the edges. One and a half inch mocha-colored head with decent retention, good consistency and lingering bands of lacing during the tasting. Scent of malt and dark fruit; very subdued but good presentation. Cherry flavor reveals itself as somewhat tart and is a nice complement to the chocolate flavor and malty backbone. Nice slick mouthfeel with good consistency; smooth and silky without being viscous. Really nice brew, but drinkabiity is somewhat limited in my opinion. I could see myself enjoying one or two on occasion, but not an all purpose go to stout in my opinion. However, delicious nonetheless.

Jwale73, May 02, 2008
Photo of nickfl
3.55/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Small, tan head settles quickly. The body is black with ruby highlights.

S - Black coffee/ espresso aroma with moderate hop character.

T - A mix of fruit and coffee up front, followed by chocolate notes and a distinct cherry essence in the middle. The cherries strengthen in the finish and overwhelm the malt, though there is some hop character shining through.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - Moderately drinkable. While the base stout is solid and the cherry essence is nicely done, but the two elements do not mesh as well as I would have hoped. The cherries clash with the malt more than they compliment it, and the percived sweetness is a bit over the top.

nickfl, Apr 24, 2008
Photo of athensbeermaster
3.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer Poured a light quick dissapating head.
With some small lacing on the glass. The nose had a great sour cherry scent with a slight smoky quality. The color was a deep dark red with a little bit of light peaking thru. The taste was lush toasted grains and a sour cherry
flavor that left a dry aftertaste. The mouthfeel was dissapointed for a stout. The mixing of cherrie juice must of watered down the mix a touch. Still a very easy to drink brew.

athensbeermaster, Apr 23, 2008
Photo of barleywinebrewer
3.63/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

358 reviews as of this writing. I find beers with fruit in them to be either very artificial or only slightly artificial. I know I tend to be harsh on cherry brews but heh, I'm consistent. This is a dark stout with a solid leaning towards roasted / burnt grains. The cherry start's off softly then steps up loudly by the end of the glass and fully takes over. The cherry does take on an almost medicinal aspect but stays out of cloying or very artificial.

worth a try but not one I'm going to pick up a six pack of any time soon

barleywinebrewer, Apr 15, 2008
Photo of codyw
2.4/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Dark black. Little to no head.

S: Smells of sour burnt cherries. Not much other smell

T: Sour, tart, dark cherries. I feel like there should have been more body. Slight hint of coffee, but the cherry flavor was excessive, and not in a good way.

M: Felt a little light for a stout. I wish it were a little thicker like other stouts.

D: I can't get past the sour cherries. It is an interesting brew, but I wouldn't want another.

codyw, Apr 12, 2008
Photo of joepais
3.33/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to goryshkewych for the opportunity to try this one
Bottle from batch #8339 poured into my tulip glass produced a fingers worth of tan head that turned into a ring of lace around the glass .the body was jet black in color

Aromas of cherries and chocolate along with roasted malts fill your head

Flavors of sour cherries dark chocolate and coffee

Mouthfeel is not as thick as I like for a stout

Drinkability is a hard one on this, it's an interesting combination of flavors not one I would have thought went well together but it worked for me. I sipped my way through the glass and enjoyed it .I wouldn't want one every night but once an a while would work I would label it a must try at least one to pass judgment on yourself

joepais, Apr 12, 2008
Photo of MiScusi
4.22/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle code on back of 7777 indicating a bottling date of Jan 2, 2007. The smell has a bit of sourness to it and when you get into the taste its slightly roasty but has a sour cherry syrup presence there the entire time. I actually like that quite a bit. I didn't find it overpowering but a nice compliment.

MiScusi, Apr 06, 2008
Photo of Traquairlover
3.83/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12-oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

A = Very dark brown bordering on black, small dark brown that dissipates just a little too quickly and resolves to light lacing on surface, none on glass.

S = Strong tart fruit at first, obvious cherry smells but also apricot and honeysuckle, right beneath the fruit is a good roasted coffee, smoked charcoal and dark chocolate.

T = The fruity, cherry tartness is unmistakeable from the first sip, but past mid-palate it simply adds to the long, bitter finish. The main backbone to this is not the tart fruit, but good strong stout tastes of coffee (almost a chicory coffee), unsweetened dark chocolate, and smokey roasted grains.

M = Medium bodied, good mouthcoating, carbonation sting my tongue just a little too much.

D = This is an enjoyable beer but I cannot imagine drinking too many of them too often. Very tart and a little strong on the tongue. Definitely worth a try if you haven't had it though. To get the full flavor of the stout ()as opposed to just tart cherry) should not drink too cold.

Traquairlover, Mar 31, 2008
Photo of number1bum
3.63/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of NEPA BC split #13.

Pours a deep, black color wiht a nice two fingers of creamy looking dark coffee colored head. Head retention isn't all that good, though, as it recedes pretty quickly and leaves a decent lace but no stick.

Smells of coffee, roasted and a little bit of chocolate. Cherry is in there, slightly tart but pleasant.

Taste starts out with some bitters dark chocolate and roasted flavor, and then comes the cherry. Cherry flavor is more tart and acidic than the nose indicated. Through the finish there is more roasted malt, almost a little bit charcoalish actually. The roasted and tart cherry flavors really dominate. It's ok, but I don't love it.

Mouthfeel is not as full as I would have thought for an 8.5% beer. It's a solid medium body but it feels a little thin, if that's not too paradoxical for ya. It's on the dry side, too.

Not bad. I don't think this is something I'd drink with any regularity. It's a good beer, though, and if you are looking for a fruit flavored stout I would imagine this is one of the better ones you'd find.

number1bum, Mar 28, 2008
Photo of CrazyMacHarris99
3.8/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a opaque black with a thin mocha colored head that left a thin ring with heavy lacing. Smelled of roasted coffee and a hint of chocolate but was overpowered by the tart cherry. Tasted mostly of tart sour cherries with a slight roasted taste that really comes out in the finish and aftertaste. Hard to describe this as a stout. The mouthfeel doesn't feel like a stout but it is still creamy and smooth. The drinkability is a little low because of the tartness of the cherries. Still a good offering from Bell's as expected.

CrazyMacHarris99, Mar 24, 2008
Photo of Nipitato
3.85/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased a bottle at Rozzi's Wine House in Lakewood, OH.

A: Jet black color with a tan head that rings the glass. Opaque. Legs. A nice looking beer.

S: From other reviews I was expecting a very strong cherry aroma but I did not find the cherry character overwhelming or particularly strong. Thought it was a nice combo of bitter chocolate and cherry.

T: An interesting taste. The typical stout flavors of sweet malt and chocolate/coffee stand up well to the sour cherry flavor from the cherry juice. Sour and tart - not overpowering though.

MF: Full body lightened by the cherry juice. Tart and dry - somewhat astringent. low carbonation.

D,notes: I wouldn't call this drinkable - too tart for sessionability. That being said an interesting and unique take on a stout.

Nipitato, Mar 19, 2008
Photo of auxiliary
3.58/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance - Black color, not much head here.

smell - Chocolate and cherries are present.

taste - Lots of cherries here with roasted chocolate.

mouthfeel - Medium body.

drinkability - At first I was like ahhh this is good, then half way I was like...am I done yet? The cherry taste was too much for me.

auxiliary, Mar 11, 2008
Photo of JDV
1.93/5  rDev -45.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Thanks to gregis for getting me this from my want list
Pour is black with small tan head. Smell is soy sauce and tart unsweetened cherry juice. I was making chinese food for dinner so I brought out the Kikkoman to do a side by side smelling, and it was verified. Taste is unsweetened sour cherry mostly. Not getting a lot of roastiness, except for in a slight soy sauce way. Not pleasant, and I really wanted to like this as it was one of the first beers I put on my want list after joining the site. Absolutely could not finish it.

JDV, Mar 02, 2008
Photo of Metalmonk
4.65/5  rDev +32.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A "fruit beer"? C'mon...

Pours an incredibly dark color with a brown head that minimizes to a bubbly ring quickly.

Aroma reminds of a chocolate-pudding pie topped with curled chocolate shavings. The cherry comes out big and beautiful, mingling with the chocolate, and alcohol provides a dessert-liqueur kind of vibe. If only the alcohol didn't jut out so obviously, this would rate incredibly high for aroma alone.

This is my third try of this stuff in the past 10 days or so, and every time I'm astounded at how rich, flavorful and just plain delicious it is. While some might flinch at the warming nip it provides, I love it. The alcohol accents and heightens the sweet chocolate and tart cherry flavors. There's also a bit of graham cracker and espresso hiding in the background, adding depth and further character. Finishes sour, sweet and sticky, like a chocolate/cherry cheesecake.

If there's something better than the wallop of dessert-y flavor, it's the texture. It's sticky and chewy in a candy-like way, but also incredibly smooth, with just the right amount of carbonation to keep it lively. Buttery. Milky. Not at all cloyingly thick as you might imagine. Mmm...

If a stout is brewed with cherry juice, does that necessarily qualify it more as a fruit beer than a stout? That's crazy. This is simply one kick-ass stout that happens to have some cherry accents. People look at the Style listed and their prejudices take over. Anyone who steers away from fruit beers on principle is going to miss out on a great beer.

Metalmonk, Feb 27, 2008
Photo of SierraGS
3.35/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This stout is dark as night with a head that quickly fades. The aroma of subtle fruit and coffee, and a bit of alcohol and smoke come off this black liquid. There is a juicy tart cherry flavor that dominates the profile of chocolate and bitterness. The flavors could be more balanced, as my palate becomes a bit confused and the warm alcohol astringency is more than I care for in this flavor pairing.

SierraGS, Feb 27, 2008
Photo of ElGrecoVerde
3.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Finally, a beer with cherry's that doesn't overdo the theme.

Without the cherry, this would be just an average stout. There's not a whole lot of those warm flavors in this one. Hints of chocolate are evident, but mostly it's about how the cherry interacts with those flavors.

The tart cherries and cocoa flavors work well together, especially since they didn't overload the cherries, as many beers do.
Feel was nice, creamy and frothy. It comes off a little sweet, but is certainly worth trying.

ElGrecoVerde, Feb 26, 2008
Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.38/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

10/16/07 On Draft at the Comet:
-Pours a very dark brown in color. Has a nice half inch thick head that is mocha in color. Very nice looking beer. Smell is subtle chocolate covered cherries. Taste is much the same. I was told this came from a keg that was about a year old. The cherries were much more subdued than fresh. Full on flavor and mouthfeel. This is a great beer at a year old.

10/16/07 Bottle of 2003(no neck or back label)
-Pours a very dark brown with no head. Smell is cherries and some port. Very smooth and delicious. Hardly any oxidation that I could detect. This is a very good reminder on why we age some beers. This is the perfect example.

FtownThrowDown, Feb 25, 2008
Bell's Cherry Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
80 out of 100 based on 2,022 ratings.