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.

1,949 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,949
Reviews: 933
rAvg: 3.53
pDev: 16.71%
Wants: 87
Gots: 117 | 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: 1,949 | Reviews: 933 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of L4t3rg4t3r


3.03/5  rDev -14.2%

Poured a very dark brown with a red tinge.

Smell: Tart Cherries and Coffee

Taste: At first, the tart cherry flavors were almost over powering. As it warmed, the cherry flavors became more muted and roasted coffee flavors began to emerge.

Mouthfeel: When just poured, the brew was somewhat thin and highly carbonated. As the beer warmed, the carbonation subsided, but the somewhat thin mouthfeel remained. This wasn't bad, just not what I expected from a stout.

Drinkability: An interesting style to be sure, but not for me. I thought that the combination of the Cherries and Coffee flavors was unique, but I think that the high carbonation and tartness of this beer limit its drinkability.

10-31-2007 03:21:36 | More by L4t3rg4t3r
Photo of tayner


2.98/5  rDev -15.6%

this beer poured dark inky with a ruby red edge when held to light, not much of a head and very minimal lacing

It smelled strongly of cherry and even other dark fruit

It tasted like very tart cherries. there was little to no roasted malt flavor as i expected with a stout. with the first taste it was okay, but as i swallowed the taste was almost too tart, like eating sour candy.

it was not as heavy as i expected from a stout.

as for drinkability, one was enough. it was too tart to be smooth, and in my opinion there was not enough roasted malt to counterbalance the tart cherry flavor.

10-29-2007 04:54:28 | More by tayner
Photo of BeerBelcher


3/5  rDev -15%

This beer poured a slightly viscous black, with a very small amount of dark-tan head. Aroma is roasty with just a touch of fruit...which to my nose smells of cherries or perhaps grapes. Flavor is more of sour cherries than it is of stout. If I tasted this with my eyes clothes, I would've imagined this beer would be pink or red rather than the inky black that it is. Flavor is dissapointingly not roasted, but is still pretty good. If this were a fruit beer I wouldn't really be disappointed by the taste...but for a beer that is advertised as a stout, I feel a bit let down. Mouthfeel is tart and puckery up front, but sort of slick and sticky as it sits in your mouth. Not bad.

I'd weakly recommend this beer. Bells has a sterling reputation in the craft beer scene, but I'm guessing it is not because of this beer.

10-28-2007 02:35:47 | More by BeerBelcher
Photo of Wasatch


3.98/5  rDev +12.7%

Thanks to bort11 for this brew.

Pours a dark brown color, nice carbonation, tiny fizzy tannish head, no sticky lacing follows. The nose is big on malt/caramel, slight cherry hint, some roastyness going on as well. The taste is big on caramel/malts, nice tangy/bitterness of the cherries, and some roastyness. Medium body. Very drinkable, I really like this one very tasty indeed.

10-28-2007 02:18:20 | More by Wasatch
Photo of hellcatsjg


3.9/5  rDev +10.5%

Appearance: Typical stout. Dark black beer with a small bit of tan head and no lacing as you go.

Smell: Decent aroma of sweet cherry along with a small amount of roasty and nutty smells.

Taste: Starts off quite good. Sip begins as chocolate covered cherries and slowly morphs to a more tart cherry flavor, which gives way to a roasted malty swallow. As the beer warms, however, the sweet beginning disappears and you get too much of the tart cherry flavor. Drink this one quicker, it is one beer that loses something as it warms.

Mouthfeel: Decent amount of thickness and quite smooth. The tart flavor as the beer warms becomes a bit much and lingers in your mouth for a bit too long.

Drinkability: This is a good beer, but not one that I would want to line up several of. If it maintained its chocolatey flavors it would gain points here, but the overwhelming tartness becomes too much.

10-27-2007 03:56:58 | More by hellcatsjg
Photo of atsprings

North Carolina

4.43/5  rDev +25.5%

Pours a very opaque black with a deep tan head that diminished to a ring. Aroma was roasted barley, dark bitter chocolate and burnt espresso. The taste is a wonderful cherry sweetness overpowering the roasted barley and other usual stout flavors that still linger in the background and finish. The beer is on the low side medium bodied and the cherry sweetness does a wonderful job of masking the alcohol content. This is a wonderful unique variation on one of my favorite styles.

10-25-2007 04:59:58 | More by atsprings
Photo of Georgiabeer


3.5/5  rDev -0.8%

Pours black with a red tinged beige head that fades to a ring. Nose is slightly chocolatey and has a tinge of cherry on the end. A slight roastiness underlies it all. The taste is a somewhat strange amalgamation of roastiness and sour cherry. One minute I love it and the next it clashes terribly. It isn't exactly integrated, and the flavor yo-yos a bit. There is also a dutched chocolate flavor throughout as well as a creaminess that wars a bit with the cherry sourness. Interesting, but not Bell's best. Something about this does draw me back though.

10-25-2007 03:05:57 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of jdubjacket


3.28/5  rDev -7.1%

Acquired in a trade with limesmut.

Pours a (what else?) deep brown - nearly black color. Head disappears rather quickly with minimal lacing on the side of the glass.

Smell is of coffee, chocolate, and faint cherries.

Unfortunately, it smells better than it tastes. Fairly prominent cherry flavor to start off that subsides rather quickly. Not a whole lot of balance here.

There is a decent amount of carbonation, but it's a little bit more watery than I would like.

Overall, I'm glad I tried this, but I don't think I would seek it out in the future.

10-25-2007 00:45:21 | More by jdubjacket
Photo of dedrinker


2.98/5  rDev -15.6%

Pours a deep oily black with a tan brown head. I like to smell the aroma as I pour into the glass, and this smelled fantastic - fresh roasted coffee and cocoa. Game over. The cherry flavor dominated any stout flavor and lent an unpleasant sourness to the beer that came close to mimicking an infection. The mouth feel was very hard to discern with the sour cherry gripping my tongue, and the finish was a sad affair as once again the cherry flavor/ sourness just pushed it all around. I would not drink this again, and I believe I will not finish this bottle. Great aroma though.

10-24-2007 04:17:24 | More by dedrinker
Photo of NCSUdo


3.83/5  rDev +8.5%

12 oz. bottle

A: Pours a black, not quite oil consistancy, under a very small brown head that goes away quickly but does stick around the rim.

S: Some roasted/burnt character with hints of chocolate. The cherry character tends to show up in two different ways. There seems to be a fruity, but not sweet, more like a cherry skin quality up front. Near the back a sweeter cherry shows up but it tends to lend a medicinal character rather than a fruitiness.

T: This is where the brew kind of loses me. There just is not enough balance. Up front is a really nice tart/slightly sour cherry. On the finish is where the stout character shows up in some roasted/burnt bitterness. However, the bitterness that shows up completely upends the nice cherry character up front rather than compliment it. It's almost like drinking 2 different beers.

M/D: The body is a full but it's a little lighter than expected. Carbonation is also right on. Drinkability is actually pretty high as long as you can get past the unbalanced taste.

Overall this an average beer. I really had high expectations for this and was little let down. More balace in the taste would go a long way for this one. I think that this brew still has a lot of potential.


10-21-2007 03:40:23 | More by NCSUdo
Photo of timtim

District of Columbia

3.8/5  rDev +7.6%

dark with a little dark tan head that has poor retention and leaves little lace. smells pretty good. like cherries, roasted malt and a hint of chocolate. i also pick up a little hop character as it warms. taste loses just a little for not having a real fresh picked chunky cherry taste. Nonetheless, it tastes nice, like cherries and roasted malt with a faint faint faint hop taste. Full bodied, but not incredibly full bodied. I gave it a 4 for drinkability because i remember having one for breakfast once and loving it. In the past two days, I've had bell's java, double cream and expedition stouts. all of them are phenominal. this one is good too, but it's hard to give it high marks while the memory of the others are fresh in my mind. good beer. i imagine this might be the stout for people who love cherries as much as i love coffee and chocolate... and hops.

10-19-2007 04:27:59 | More by timtim
Photo of whatsleftofyou


3.8/5  rDev +7.6%

Batch 7674, bottled 10/12/06.
Poured from bottle into Sam Adams glass.

A: Finger-thick head, deep brown/red, faded to brown, settled quickly to 0 head or lacing. Almost no light getting through this bad boy, but can see a bit of reddish/burgundy hue at the very edge of the liquid.

S: Nothing much, slight tart cherry smell

T: rich coffee-like flavor before the cherry punches you in the mouth for a moment before giving way to a long-lingering dark roast, slight chocolate flavor. Chocolate covered cherries, anyone?

M: Despite the lack of head, this is perfectly carbonated as the bubbles seem to wake up your taste buds at the same moment that the cherry flavor says 'good morning!'

D: I really like this beer, but would probably not want to have more than 2 in a session. After that I think the cherry flavor would get to be a bit much. Until that point though it's quite tasty.

10-11-2007 02:55:19 | More by whatsleftofyou
Photo of Monkeyknife


3.33/5  rDev -5.7%

Poured from a bottle a dark, thick black with a thin chocolate-colored head. Lacing was light.

The smell was like opening a box of chocolate-covered cherries. Seriously. Nothing else, just that.

The taste was, again, chcolate-covered cherries. There were also notes of coffee and toffee. The cherry added a real sour tartness to the beer.

Mouthfeel was light to mid with a mild carbonation.

This cherry stout was just what it said it was...but not something I really loved. More and more I'm realizing that fruity beers just aren't my thing.

09-22-2007 00:59:31 | More by Monkeyknife
Photo of scoobybrew


3.9/5  rDev +10.5%

This was poured from the bottle into a pint glass. It has a black opaque color with a thick head that settles, but is well retained. It has a roasted, chocolately, coffee-like aroma with cherry accents. The flavor is initially roasted malt with a strong cherry flavor. The finish is almost red wine-like in character. It has a medium body with moderate carbonation.

This is a very nice fruit beer. It's no where near sweet and cloying like many commercial fruit beers I've had in the past. The cherry flavor is very tart and tasty.

09-04-2007 00:26:17 | More by scoobybrew
Photo of Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev +10.5%

Thanks to Lexx for picking this up in Michigan.

Pours a very opaque, deep black, no light penetrates, thick brown head forms, settles down to a thin layer/ring, lace spots, not bad. Smell is sweet cherries, caramel, chocolatey roast, tobacco/smoke, touch of alcohol, pretty neat although the cherry is a bit sweet. Taste is very sweet, smokey malt, toffee, chocolate, cherry, roast, tobacco, good play between the flavours, very sticky, doesn't taste 8.5%. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation, sticky mouthfeel, easy to drink, not bad! Thanks Alexa!

08-30-2007 01:56:51 | More by Viggo
Photo of rhoadsrage


3.65/5  rDev +3.4%

(Served in an American pint glass)
date code 7734
A- This beer has a jet black body with a creamy light brown thick film which fades to a thick ring around the edges. The body is too dense to see any carbonation.

S- This beer has a note of fresh tart cherries with a dark milk chocolate malt and cream smell.

T- The taste of dark chocolate cocoa and dark malt flavors with a slight cherry tart flavor at the end. There are some cherry jam notes at the finish that increase as the beer warms and there is also a chocolate caramel candy note when it warms aswell.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a pretty sweet finish.

D- This beer has a nice big cherry smell but it is a bit lighter in cherry flavor. The malt notes are a bit on the sweet side but that blends well with the tart cherries. I didn’t taste the black malt and black grain notes typical of stouts, instead there were more chocolate notes.

08-29-2007 02:36:43 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of TheBierBand


3.95/5  rDev +11.9%

Poured from the 12 oz brown bottle into a pint glass. The code on the bottle was:7674... I know not how to decipher the date codes on Bell's bottles.... so, I don't know just how old this bottle was...

A hard pour produced a 1" tan head that took it's time to dwindle to a thin cap leaving no lacing.

The aroma was pronounced chocolate and caramel... didn't pick up any cherry to speak of.

Taste: Initial chocolate and coffee taste is quickly replaced by a sour cherry taste that dominates the finish. I like that effect... Tastes different but good.

Mouthfeel: Just a bit too fizzy for my taste.... but not bad. Nice and creamy going down with a nice mouth coating and aftertaste.

Drinkability: If you like this sort of thing.... it's great.... very pronounced fruit taste... which I like. The only detraction is the carbonation level (on the high side).... Just swirl the glass more....and problem corrected!

08-28-2007 17:07:12 | More by TheBierBand
Photo of genog


3.63/5  rDev +2.8%

Pours a stout color, dark brown black color with a slight creamy tan head that fades away on top of this one. Aroma is laced with the cherry scent, as well as some cocoa and a hint of a malt from a stout. The taste is bitter cherries followed by a creamy cocoa and dark malt flavors. Nothing like a heavy stout but a little subtle creaminess followed by the cherries, definitely a surprise for a "Fruit beer". The mouth feeling is reminiscent of a stout, and certainly not a fruit beer. A surprise for my drink the other night.

08-28-2007 12:46:37 | More by genog
Photo of brewcrew76


3.95/5  rDev +11.9%

A - Pours black with ruby highlights and a touch of brown head that turns into a ring of skim immediately.

S - Roasted malt with a milky caramel/toffee and tart cherries.

T - Sour cherries with roasted malt and milk chocolate and a touch of burnt coffee.

M - On the thin side with little carbonation but it works nicely with the tart cherries and the dry finish.

D - ABV is totally hidden. A nice mix of tart cherries and roasty stout. A well done offering.

08-25-2007 01:58:00 | More by brewcrew76
Photo of bboven


4/5  rDev +13.3%

Stout to a T on appearance. Black body and light brown head that sticks, though no lacing to be found.

Smell is very roasty, chocolaty, a little coffee. No Cherry, though.

There's the cherry. The stout taste is there at the beginning, then the end is very very sour cherry. Different, but very good.

Feels a bit over carbonated and thin for the style. IMO it's force carbonated, and a bottle ferment would make for a much fuller, less bubbly mouthfeel.

Pretty drinkable, especially for cherry lovers. It's surprisingly just a little drying, which helps. The sour cherry taste might turn some people off, though.

08-24-2007 23:55:07 | More by bboven
Photo of soupyman10

District of Columbia

3.8/5  rDev +7.6%

Pours a black color with no lacing and a light brown/amber head. Nose is straightforward, although mild: cherries. Flavor's a little more interesting, although not too. Lots of cherries, along with a good hint of chocolate. Some light roasted malt, mocha flavor as well. Fairly strong sourness as well, although that could just come from the fruit. Overall, as with most good fruit beers, this one serves as a tasty diversion, but not one I'd be drinking too many of.

08-24-2007 13:53:54 | More by soupyman10
Photo of flowerysong


3.05/5  rDev -13.6%

Appearance: Deep, dark brown with a very slight red tint. Minimal reddish-brown head quickly dissipates.

Smell: A hint of roasted malt at the beginning is quickly overwhelmed by sweet and tart cherry aromas.

Taste: Malt presents mainly as cocoa, with a bit of coffee flavour. Sweet-tart cherry overlays the rest, but the flavour doesn't feel integrated at all. Sweet with a sharply sour bite from the cherries. The finish is fairly pleasant, and sticks around for a while.

Mouthfeel: A bit light for a stout, but a good level of carbonation.

Drinkability: Persistently mediocre. Not bad, but not good either.

08-17-2007 01:05:48 | More by flowerysong
Photo of tpd975


3.85/5  rDev +9.1%

I was coming to Indiana for a vacation so I had my brother pick me up some good Midwest brews to enjoy upon my arrival. This was one of them.

A: Very dark black with hints of blood red shimmering thru as you swirl the glass. There is little to no head right from the pour. If you swirl the glass you can awake some tiny bubbles though, which will form a head just big enough to cover the top of the brew.

S: Very nice. Deep dark fresh ground coffee aroma with a definite smell of ripe cherries. There is a hint of chocolate as well that helps to gives it a unique chocolate covered cherry type aroma.

T: Very unique. Had I not seen any reviews before drinking this one I would have been very surprised. The cherry taste is of bitter cherries. Not what I expected but very nice nonetheless. As soon as this obsidian concoction hits the tongue you taste these tart cherries. This gives way to a nice chocolaty malt base which finishes with the taste of fresh brewed coffee.

M: Medium to thin in body actually. I would like it to be a little thicker. It does has a somewhat creamy quality though which helps to make up a bit for the thinness.

D: It's a pretty sour stout, which makes it a one-bottle brew for me. It would serve as a great dessert beer or breakfast brew, but is in no way suitable for sessioning.

Overall: Very unique beer by Bell's. I am a big fan of their brews and this one is like no other stout I have ever had. Bell's make very solid brews it seems for each and every beer style, but with this one it is as though they decided to push the limits. They went for something out of the ordinary and they succeeded.

If you want a great stout that is reminiscent of its class grab a Kalamazoo or an Expedition. If you want to go outside the boundaries and walk on the WILD SIDE, reach for the Cherry Stout. It's Unique, It's Different, It’s another great brew by Bell's.

08-12-2007 13:35:50 | More by tpd975
Photo of cyrenaica

Ontario (Canada)

2.83/5  rDev -19.8%

I tried this beer on July 27, 2007 at the 'Beer Bistro' in Toronto on the waitress' suggestion (should I get this or Unibroue's Trois Pistoles).

The version I tried was only 7% ABV

It poured coca-cola black into a tulip glass with absoloutely no head. The aroma was that of coffee and cherries. The mouthfeel was crisp and full-bodied with a medium level of carbonation. The taste started off good with chocolate and cherries but by the end, it was so tart on the back of the tongue, it was all I could do to finish.

07-28-2007 01:05:56 | More by cyrenaica
Photo of bigman147

New Hampshire

3.88/5  rDev +9.9%

Appearance: Pours black maybe slightly brownish. Dark tan head fades quickly with some slight amount of lacing around the edges.

Aroma: Smell of dark malts. Slightly sweet with a tart cherry aroma. Similar to most of Bell's stouts but maybe slightly less robust.

Taste: Tart cherry gives way to slightly sweet maltiness. A little thinner body than some of the other Bells. Slight hop bitter and toasted grain character. The cheery flavor is strong. Maybe too strong for some.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is good and adds some character. Cherry tartness lends to a slight astringent drying mouthcoat. Sweetness helps balance tartness.

Drinkability: Beer is very drinkable. Not for everyday consumption.

07-16-2007 00:33:43 | More by bigman147
Bell's Cherry Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
80 out of 100 based on 1,949 ratings.