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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.

2,176 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,176
Reviews: 954
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 16.48%
Wants: 91
Gots: 159 | FT: 13
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
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Ratings: 2,176 | Reviews: 954 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ImusBeer
3.48/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

, review from notes
Bought a six of this from the local grocery store one evening of shopping. I had visited this brewery in MI while living there back int he early 90's, at the time it was the Kalamazoo Brewing Company I believe.

Poured very dark out of a 12oz bottle some dark tan head about a fingers worth.

Aroma of some roasted malts.

I didn't think this beer had enough cherry flavor, it was very sour like a sour cherry

Didn't have the mouth feel of a Guinness, a lot thinner but a nice flavour all the same. Got better as it warmed up.

Photo of BrewsCrewSA
2.35/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Well, I like cherries and krieks, and I love a good stout so I thought this would be a useful, intriguing combination, but actually I was dead wrong.

A - Looks good, like a true stout. Pours dark, looks like a cola with tan, brown head. Not very much carbonation, hence only a quarter to eighth-inch thick head that dissipates after a few minutes. No retention on the sides.

S - Smells like a true stout, too. Malty, burnt sugars or caramel except this one has a sweeter scent, must be the cherry juice.

T - Unfortunately, here's where I have a problem. The cherries come off too strong and disrupt the mellowness of the stout. It's a rude interruption as the tartness hits the tongue first when one would expect the maltiness of a good stout. Same tartness carries the alcohol too, and the blend just gets too weird. It's barely enjoyable in my opinion. Leaves an unpleasant aftertaste, too. Just damn disappointing.

M - Would be good if it wasn't for the taste, I just can't keep it in my mouth long enough to tell!

D - Not.

Well, hats off to Bell's for trying something new and unique. I don't mean at all to knock this attempt or the brewery, it just doesn't sit well with me. Hope you enjoy it more than I did.

Photo of JamesS
3.6/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark color, with hints of red in the stream. Almost no head and no lacing, though, poor for any beer, especially for a stout, although the little bit of head did have an interesting pink tinge to it. Little scent, a bit of burnt grains and coffee, along with a very slight sour cherry aroma, but that's it. Too many flavors crossing paths, giving it a poor taste. The slight stout taste that would probably be good normally is completely over run by the sour cherry and alcohol taste. It's more of a stout flavored cherry drink. I don't think I'll ever have any more of these.

Update: I wonder if the sixer I got over a year ago was bad. I had it on-tap in Pittsburgh and it was quite good. Still not as much stout taste as I would like, but it wasn't overly cherry. Nice dark color with good head. Went down smooth with some good stout characteristics.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.73/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Nonic. 7.0% ABV. Batch # 8730 Packaged on Sept. 16 2008
Thanks to Sweemzander for the trade!

A - Cherry stout poured slightly viscous but clear and very dark red-hued brown. In the glass it's totally opaque and had a one-finger, dark brown, loose head. Low retention to a thin layer with no lacing.

S - Dark black cherries with a dusty cocoa powder aroma blend to make a dark chocolate-covered-cherry nose that smells delicious. The roasted malts give it a burnt and bitter aroma. Great presence.

T - Overwhelmingly tart from the cherries and bitter from the roasted malts. The robust malt concentration that gives off coffee and cocoa notes balance well in flavor with the cherry. It gets crisper and smooth on the finish but also really tart too. Strikingly different at first, it gets better as it warms a bit.

M - Heavily full-bodied and robust in a syrupy way. Low carbonation leads to a smooth mouthfeel that's a touch oily yet dry and the finish is a combination of tart and bitter that will make your face twitch.

D - It's flavor is a good experiment into fruit-added beers but this one is, for drinkability, a hard combo to handle. The burnt, bitter malts and tart cherries in conjunction are rather harsh and will cause involuntary head twitching. A good beer overall though. One that may be best enjoyed on a cool fall evening as it warms up.

Photo of Ryan011235
3.88/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter on 8/8/09

A - Dark ruby as it pours & settles to nearly black. 1/4 inch head with minimal retention. Not much lacing of which to speak.

S - Enticingly sweet aroma. Cherry & some chocolate. Hints of roasted coffee.

T - As the description on the bottle suggests, the cherry characteristics are indeed "tart" & are in abundance. A smooth malt profile supports the cherry with ample chocolate & a dollop of coffee. An interesting interplay between the ingredients.

M - Smooth & creamy with moderately low carbonation. Appropriate heft of body. Quite nice.

D - Expecting this to be a good beer, I was not disappointed. Though not an everyday stout, I contend that it does have a time & place. When said time & place arrive, it's spot-on.

Photo of TheViolator666
3.48/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into stout glass.

Batch 8731 - 09/2008 Vintage

A: Poured with very thin brown head, thinned out very quickly into almost nothing. This one's pretty opaque, and looks great coming out of the bottle. No signs of lacing.

S: Hard to locate the cherry in here, smells more of dark chocolate and typical stout qualities.

T: Taste is strange, hit by the tart cherries immediately and the tartness lingers 'til the aftertaste. Followed by all of the essential flavors that come with any other stout. The cherry is definitely present in this one, maybe too present.

M/D: The cherries give this one a strange mouthfeel, very fizzy and gives that carbonation feeling similar to that of drinking a warm soda. For some reason, I enjoy it. No sign of the alcohol.

The taste is good, I just think that there could be more complexity. I would definitely like to try this one again fresh.

Photo of kegger22
3.48/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured dark brown with some red tints. Modest head that reduce down to nothing very quickly. Aroma? I got some sweet something, may have been cherries, not much else. The taste was sour cherries and the barest hint of chocolate late, at the back of the throat. Feel was full bodied with minimal carbonation. Drinkability defaults to above average because this is not a beer for everyone, but if it's in your taste wheelhouse, you could drink a few. This was an interesting beer. The sour cherry taste was true to form, as advertised. As mentioned, not a beer for everyone, and I'm of two minds about it myself. The beer could almost replace a wine in certain situations.

Photo of KI9A
4.28/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark as night cola, brown, fast disapating head. Some lace splashes.

S: Roasted malt, cocoa, hard to pick up the cherries.

T: Tart cherries, dark chocolate. Like biting into a dark chocolate cherry, but, not as sugary. Some roasted malts.

M: Thinner than some stouts, but, that's a good thing on this. OK carbonation.

D: This beer is dangerous as hell. At 7%, it is EXTREMELY quaffable. If I give a 4.5/5 on drinkabilty, it normally means I have hard time putting the glass down. This holds true. As soon as the glass hits the table, I'm ready for more. Awesome beer. Only thing keeping it from a 5 is not sure I can do 2 in a row.

Photo of twaddlac
4.1/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pitch black with very little head and litte lace but pours like motor oil

S- Slight male, licorice, very strong chocolate, and a cherry smell that is only released when swirling it but not very noticeable at all

T- Heavy cocoa, 90% dark chocolate, the very bitter but that hint of sweet to negate the bite. The cherry taste is very faint and depressing when looking for something to light up your taste buds

M- Very thick with stinging carbonation, good texture that leaves residue after swallowing with a slight dry feeling

D- Very good dessert beer, would compliment nicely with almost any pastry (chocolate of course) and I would suggest something with cherry flavor as well (hoping to amplify the cherry taste of the beer). Overall wonderful beer, though I do not think that I could drink more than two at one sitting, but definately need to try it!

Photo of Gtreid
1.68/5  rDev -52.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

12 oz. bottle, batch 8730. Poured into a tulip.

A: Pours a very, very, dark rotten cherry red. Not a bad thing. A big one and a half inch tan head appears and retains well. The beer left next to no lace.

A: I get nice roasty malts, and just enormous amounts sweet, syrupy, cherry. Some earthiness from the hops come through, but it is hard to get by the huge cherry smell.

T: No thank you. I think this is just a mess. The combination of sweet and tart cherries just don't do it for me here. Way too sour. Way too sweet. Way too much cherry. Not pleasing at all.

M: Heavy body, good amount of carbonation. Just too syurpy.

D and overall impression: Drinkability is very low, due to the sweet, sour combination of the cherries. Overall, I really enjoy Bell's offerings, but this one, I'm afraid, will be a drain pour for me. Will not buy again. Skal.

Photo of rfgetz
4.22/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown to black... thin khaki head

S - Dark roasted malts and actual, real cherry. Hints of roasted coffee and semi-sweet chocolate.

T - perfect balance of dark roasted malts and a natural cherry flavor. the cherry is more on the sweet side than tart. hints of the above mentioned roasted coffee and semi-sweet chocolate.

M - on the lighter and thinner side of stout

D - suprisingly plesant, ABVs hidden well, the natural cherry flavor is a plus

Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
4.8/5  rDev +36.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: This brew poured into a pint glass was pitch
black with an almost devil's food colored
head. The dense head was brown and deep red
throughout. Gorgeous.

S: The aromas were faint but after some drink-
ing the typical stout aromas came through...
malty with a little coffee and a bittnerness
provided by the cherries, I imagine.

T: Typical quality stout at inception and when
the beer makes it to the back of your tongue
it turns your face into a knot. The bittner
ness is intense. It is quite a feat in that
such a strong flavor is imparted with a
delay and that the flavor is so fleeting.
The bitterness is not lingering on the
pallet and is not so overpowering that it
eclipses the other roasted malt characters.

M/D: I drank three and the last sip was as
impressive as the first. The creamy and
smoothness of this beer was fantastic. I
was very happy to see a fruit and porter
marriment that didn't go sweet but rather
allowed the bitterness of Michigan
cherries to compliment a brew style that
is often at its best when there are bitter
notes and flavors.

Photo of Gyle41386
3.28/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a nonic. Batch 8957.

Dark, dark brown pour. Hell, let's call it black. A vigorous pour produces maybe a finger's worth of chocolatey foam, which disappears in the time it takes me to rinse out the bottle. Not a whole lot going on in the lacing department.

Very interesting aroma of rich chocolate, light roast, and tart cherries. Pretty solid stout-y nose, which erases my early concerns that, well, this wouldn't be very stout-y.

Wow. The cherry plays a supporting role in the nose, but it dominates the taste. The tartness overwhelms the chocolate. After the sweet and sour wave of cherries, there's a little bit of chocolate malt and light roast, but the cherries overshadow the flavor components of the actual stout. I know, I know, "What did you expect from a cherry stout?" Well, a stout.

Thin body for a stout. It's relatively smooth, but too light. The unpleasant sourness ultimately makes this a tough one to swallow.

Photo of buschbeer
3.71/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I poured into a pint glass to absolutely no head. There was a thin brown film on top, but that's it. The brew is jet black. There is not even a hint of light coming though and very little carbonation. I smell tart cherries, roasted malt, and alcohol. I immediately taste the cherry flavor. It is very tart. The tart cherry flavor sticks to my lips. It is followed by bitter, coffee flavor. The more I drink, the more tart and bitter it becomes. It's not terrible, I just would have trouble downing more than one or two as is the case tonight. Bell's makes some great beer this is not one of their best.

Photo of drcarver
2.45/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A - a rudy dark brown color with a medium brown head. The head sat creamy and thick on top. Quite a pleasant appearance... how decieving.

S - Roasted maly, toffee, and a touch of alcohol. Strangly not a hint of cherry.

T - Here is where everything goes wrong. Sweet, almost painfully sweet. It overpowers the tongue. Stout burnt flavors finally wrestle past followed by an off putting sour.

M - There is a neat tang, but it is almost bitter. Syrupy, that my be my mind playing tricks on my tongue since it is so sweet.

D - Too weird and too sweet. I'll pass.

Photo of ThatWineGuy
3.88/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Inky blackness, subdued tan head, ring and minor lace. Tipping the surface reveals small bubble carbonation in all that blackness. Smell is strong coffee, cherry liqueur. Taste is sweet dark cherry, mid swallow chocolate layers, black forest cake, tort with stewed prunes, over ripe cherry. Nice balance with bitterness, chocolate malt, black liquorice, low to medium astringency not really a factor. With air, more dark sour fruit, maraschino cherry in brandy, increasing sourness with air and warming. Medium bodied mouthfeel .. very nice overall, an interesting beer, could also pass for a porter.

Photo of sonicstylee
3.53/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

heard a lot about this one and it didn't quite live up to the hype for me. pours a dark brown with a slight amber hue. thin but easily agitated medium tan head. smells of tart chocolate. definite cherry tartness balanced decently with chocolate roastiness. goes down fairly easy with a residual tart after taste. not bad, but I was led to expect more.

Photo of wnh
3.48/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours an opaque chestnut-brown-tinted black with a smallish, lightly foamy dark tan head. Nose is sweet, slightly tart fruit on top of a decent roasted grain backbone. The fruit, though not exactly dominant, seems to overwhelm the more subtle stout characteristics I'd expect. First few sips are interesting, with tart, sour cherry and burnt grain both vying for center stage, neither quite attaining it. Finishes with a lingering, bitter burnt grain finish.

On the whole, it's almost as though this is two different beers poured into one, each beer somehow remaining separate from the other. I like the idea, and I really liked this beer at first, but as I moved through the glass the cherry just became overwhelming and unappetizing, and almost sickeningly tart and sour.

Photo of marvin213
2.83/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

It's black and looks like syrup. Though the head is surprisingly lacking, the little bit of fizz tinges red. It makes the top of this malt-monger look like a Cheerwine. Were there more head, I'd rate its looks higher; nevertheless, it appears as described on the bottle, and it looks basically like a cherry stout should.

Malty alcohol meanders through nasal passages as it brings with it a fruity (definitive cherry) vibe. Similar to aftertaste, it's like an aftersmell. I know it's a stout, and I know it's a beer, but I'd like some more cherries. They're definitely secondary to more traditional beer flavors, at least in the waft.

Cherry is more pronounced in the taste, but it's got a sourness unsensed in the smell. It's not sour like bad milk, but like I'd expect from the concentrate at the bottom of maraschino cherry containers. It also tastes concentrated because, like the smell, the cherry comes thru most in the aftertaste. With each sip, the beer's malty body is stomach-bound while the cherry juice pools in your oral cavity. It makes me squint and tend to grimace. I'm not totally convinced it'd go that well even with a cherry dessert.

The malty appeal at the forefront of each sip is enjoyable, but the lingering sour negatively balances things for me. I yearn for a more natural cherry feel. It's a strong body overly juiced [insert Jose Canseco joke here]. The peculiar mouthfeel leaves this one tough to finish.

Photo of Azumel
3.78/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very nice and thick, I brought a few of these back to Florida from Michigan. While Expedition is still my favorite from Bell's, who knew that I would enjoy a cherry stout. The head drops down quickly, the smell is, well, very cherry. Taste wise it's a bit like chocholate covered cherry coffee with a bit of alcohol in it, perhaps a perfect breakfast beer. I can't say I'd really want more than two of these at a time, it's still a good 'fruity' stout, so I enjoy it for what it is. Worth a try.

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

12 ounce bottle - $2.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Batch 8957. "Your Bell's Cherry Stout was packaged on February 5, 2009". Fascinating!

Appearance: Pours a deep, black body with a rather tall, frothy, tan-colored head.

Smell: Quite a mixture of deeply roasted barley, bittersweet chocolate, chicory, and tart-scented cherries. A bit like a Black Forest cake.

Taste: Roasted barley interspersed with some burnt malts. Heavy bittersweet chocolate sauce taste mingled with ground chicory. Moderately sweet. Blitz of tart, sourish dark cherry juice with a touch of acidity. Lightly earthy hops alongside the roasty bitterness of the malts. Slightly tart, roasty finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation. Smooth, slick mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Decent. I do so love a great stout and Bell's does make a great many of them, but, well, this one just doesn't quite do it for me. Pass the Kalamazoo or Expedition, please!

Photo of Anthony1
3.38/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

poured into a snifter

Pours dark, almost black. bells company was kind enough to unclude a thin, tan head and some medium lace. smelled like coffee, malts, cherries, and some coco. the flavor was of cherries and coco, but tart. felt full and creamy. was ok, but won't be getting any others

Photo of BrewIndy
3.38/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I'm not a huge fan of cherries anyhow which may lead to my low taste rating.

A: Dark dark dark with hints of red. No head whatsoever.

S: I didn't get much of the nose on this. Some fruity hints but nothing real strong like I expected.

T: again, cherries aren't my thing but my wife loves this beer so if you like cherries and stouts you'll like this. Good stout taste up front with a sweetness to it. Finishes with the fruity taste.

D: I could have one or two. It's not awful just not my style.

Photo of bakeller
3.98/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into my new DFH signature glass. From batch 8870 bottled Dec 10th 2008

A: pours pitch black with a minimal tan head that dies down to a beautiful creamy appearing ring. Vigorous bubbles elevate from the enucleation point at the bottom of the glass.

S: Has an amazing smell full of coffee, chocolate, dark fruits, and cherry. This beer really has a wonderful aroma.

T: Has a very slight bitter coffee taste that opens up into a sweet chocolate covered cherry. There is a nice roasted malt balance. The taste is very similar to the smell.

M: Creamy smooth mouth-feel. Carbonation is a little much in my opinion and cuts down on the smooth/velvety texture.

D: Very drinkable, a great, fairly complex stout without a huge ABV. I could enjoy a few of these on a cool night. Really like how the cherry flavor does not get lost in either the aroma or taste. Look forward to more of these in the future.

Photo of hustlesworth
4.45/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- very vigorous pour to get some head, but it ends up a creamy and frothy cappuccino colored chunk floating over a pitch black brew with only a shred of garnet red shining through the bottom of the glass. curtains of lace slide down without much stickage.

S- some tart cherry sweetness hangs in the background but overall the aroma is that of a quality stout- coffee, cocoa, and deeply roasted grains with a touch of charcoal and burnt bread smokiness. emphasis on the coffee. malt sourness is evident as well with some soil, compost, and damp log.

T- cherry flavor however, blends perfectly with all things roasted. this one is smokey and intensely burnt, with charcoal flavors reminiscent of monte alban mezcal only here the peppery flavors are replaced with sweet/tart bing cherry juice. and grain. cherry flavor becomes more pronounced and smokiness fades as the drink goes on and in my opinion, they're a quintessential match for this type of stout. real cherries covered in dark chocolate are a good example of the counterbalance between fruit and bitter. coffee still stands out as well as burnt wood and messed up toast and even without the cherries this would be a killer stout. in this circumstance the killer stout has been elevated to another level, as the acidity provided creates a whole nother level of depth. as it should. finishes roasty with some cascade like character, but the roasted malt is bitter enough to leave me satisfied even without much hop flavor. definitely toppin the 'fruit beer' list!

MF- a little over carbonated for me, i like a punch-you-in-the- mouth heavy american stout, and this one is sticky and juicy with some grainy feel, but not too much heft. mix a full bodied espresso with macerated cherries and this is what you get. they definitely did not skimp on the juice. don't get me wrong, it isn't anything less than super full bodied but it doesn't possess that major blast of richness.

D- kicking ass in flavor and seemingly lackluster in other departments, this is still one delicious and dangerously drinkable stout. no evidence of booze in this flavor packed monster and the cherry juice makes it inviting enough to keep drinking away without regard for the rustic burnt flavor. bell's has created quite an anomaly for me here, and my first fruit stout worth remembering.

Bell's Cherry Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
80 out of 100 based on 2,176 ratings.