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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.

2,257 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,257
Reviews: 977
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 16.19%
Wants: 96
Gots: 192 | 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: 2,257 | Reviews: 977 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of alcstradamus
2.59/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Reviewed from notes

Black pour with two fingers of head. Aroma is slightly sour cherry, oak, roasted malts, and lip gloss. The flavor is tart cherry up front on top of a bed of lightly toasted malts, with an odd lip gloss finish. The body is medium and the carbonation is somewhat high. Finding a good cherry stout seems to be a tough task...I thought if anyone could do it Bell's could, but unfortunately this beer just is not very good.

Photo of taylorhamrick
3.76/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Review from Notes, January 2010

Pours black, dark black, with a nice little 2 cm brown head. The bubbles are a little loose, and dissipate kind of quickly. No real lacing to speak of. Looks right around average. The aroma is immediately filled with cherries. A bit of sweetness, like overripe ones, and a bit of tartness, like the slightly yellow and orange ones. Nice cherry aroma, but still enough of the coffee, chocolate smells to let you know that it's a stout under there. Overall, a good smell, it does what it says here. The flavor is interesting, tart, juicy, and fruity, backed up with coffee, with a taste of dark chocolate. But the dark cherry flavor dominates overall. It finishes a bit dry, I wish there was more chocolate sweetness to accent the cherry flavor, as opposed to sort of bitter astringent coffee, but it's a great blend of stout flavors and cherry flavors. The body, is medium, maybe a little heavier than that, but still lighter than I expected, maybe because of the cherries. A decent chewiness though. The carbonation is very low - I would've liked a little more, though I can see how it would be easy to have too much in a beer like this. It's a little high on the ABV scale, woudln't want more than one, though I did enjoy the one I had. I could see this being much better - primarily with a slightly more sweet stout, but it was a pretty good beer.

Photo of Riccymon
3.02/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bell's web site tells me this was bottled in November of 2007-- must have been sitting on the shelf for a while, as I bought it in August 2009. Pours from the bottle an inky black, darker than I'd expected. Just a smattering of brown heads fizzes and fades as fast as a can of Coke. Smell isn't spot-on for cherry, but it smells like a fruit juice blend of blueberry, cherry, and raspberry. Some chocolate malt in the nose as well, but not quite as much as I'd like in something labeled a stout.

Tastes of sour cherries and peach juice accompanied by a wood and chocolate note that sort of reminded me of some red wines. Mouthfeel is delicate and silky in texture, but its sour nonetheless. A touch of alcohol rounds out smell, taste, and mouthfeel, probably most noticeably at the end of each sip. Cherry Stout is interesting, and I'm glad I grabbed a bottle, but I'm equally glad I didn't buy a six-pack.

Photo of boudreaux
3.83/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into my Naked Pig Back Forty pint glass. No batch number.
Pours a creamy, dense, fat-two-finger thick, nicely browned head. The beer is almost perfectly black, and when held to the light, reveals an opaque, dark chocolate black / brown color. Rich, roasted malt notes dominate the nose with aromas of espresso, deeply toasted whole grain bread, some roast-acidity reminiscent of black coffee, rich dark chocolate notes and in the finish notes of toasted whole grains with just a hint of toasted grassiness. The cherry is very subtle in the nose, and reminds me of a fresh-opened box of cherry cordials. As a stout the aroma is quite nice and rich.

The beer as it first hits my tongue reveals a rich, unctuous texture that coats the palate nicely. A tart cherry note provides some acidity and a touch of palate cleansing character to balance the richness. My second sip sees me noticing more sweetness, and thus more of the floral cherry character, underneath the dominant roast character. The roast provides notes of espresso, touches of bitter dark chocolate, big roasted grain notes and perhaps a hint of burnt vegetal character to the finish.

This is quite nice, I really like how the rich Stout / malt character is balanced by the kiss of tart cherries; I can't imagine the texture of the two components working together any more harmoniously than they do. The fruit and the roast grain somehow combine to contribute an almost smoked prune sort of flavor (more fruity than smoked). I didn't expect cherry-flavored coffee flavor to work, but Bell's figured it out.

Photo of pwoody11
3.59/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Beer was refridgerated. Drank at around 40 degrees.

Pours a dark brown, nearly black. Head was weak even with a somewhat agressive pour. Maybe 1/2 a finger of light brown head. Actually ended up leaving some lacing.

No surprises in the aroma for me. Roasted Chocolate malts and some light cherry notes pushing through.

Tastes like it smells. Chocolate malts with a hint of cherry. I feel it could go just a little stronger on the cherry flavor.

Overall I found this brew enjoyable and wouldn't hesitate to purchase it again.

Photo of Jmoore50
3.51/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this in my Black Booty BIF. This was an interesting beer from Bells.

The appearance poured a dark black with a nice brown head. It was a crisp head that poured one finger and quickly turned into a haze over the top. No lacing.

The smell is very faint, but what is there is chocolate malts with roasted grain. There is some earth and a sweet cherry.

The taste is unusual and unlike any stout I have had of late. It has a very strong cherry flavor that is incredibly tart and sweet. I am actually just now noticing a red tint to the foam left on top of this brew. It has a background, but it is so shadowed that I cannot tell what exactly is going on. Cheery bomb.

The mouthfeel is tart and dry, with some sweet notes. Nicely carbonated and good finish. Its such an interesting beer that it is actually starting to grow on me more and more.

Photo of jampics2
2.61/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap at the Winking Lizard.

Black with no head and ruby red edges.

Smells of roasted malt and cherry. Not appealing, smells like subdued notes of cough syrup.

Ewww. This is just not good. Dark roasted malt. Sweet and sour cherry. Booze. Just a mess, really. I'm surprised this beer is still made by Bells - this really sucks.

Mouthfeel was ok. Nice carb and crisp feel.

Drinkability was bad - this tastes horrible and I do not want to take another sip.

Worst Bells Beer ever, including that smoked anniversary beer my 21 year old palatte wasn't quite ready for years ago...


Photo of goblue3509
3.61/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown almost black color with a thin dark tan colored head which gaves way to some lacing. The smell is of roasted malts, coffee malts and cherries. The tasted is of deep roasted malts and caramel malts. The first couple sips were of tart cherry with the rest tasting more like a sweet cherry. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and thick. The drinkability is good, it is smooth and has good flavor it could get a little old though the cherry could get a little bit much after a while.

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

Bottled on September 28th, 2009.

Bell's Cherry Stout pours a dark, dark brown with a thin, fizzy tan head on top.

Bits of chocolate malt and burnt toast rise up from the glass. I also get some roasted coffee beans and possibly the faint hint of cherries. I was expecting some fruit presence in the nose, but there doesn't really seem to be any. Maybe the cherry is only present in a fresher batch.

The bottle says "brewed with cherry juice" and that is exactly what this stout tastes like. Upfront the flavor is mostly well roasted darker malts, but as the beer transitions to the back of your tongue its like a wave of cherry juice.

Mouthfeel is a little on the watery side. It almost feels like someone took a normal stout and watered it down a little bit with cherry juice. Overall, pretty smooth with low carbonation. I guess you could call this stout "juicy".

Drinkability is a little above average. The stout base is pretty good and the taste lives up to the name. You definitely taste cherries. Pretty much a one and done beer, but fairly enjoyable.

Overall, this is a decent stout. The cherries really come across as cherry juice, like the bottle says, but it seems like they could be incorporated in a better fashion. Glad I got to try this but I probably won't seek it out in the future, especially with Bell's other offerings.

Photo of abuliarose
3.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to adamharbaugh for this awesome Bell's hookup.

Pour reveals an opaque black body with thick, tall, fast-dissipating crema head (and a nice foamy noise). There may be flecks of red in that foam or it could be the cherry talking. Smells like a nice stout with some meaty, sourish metallic notes which smack of cherry just slightly. More like an off-stout than anything discernible.

Tastes like stout with cherry juice! Heavier on the cherry juice than the smell would divulge; the tartness really comes through and is cut off by black patent grainy roasted malt flavors but leaves a lingering sour tinge in the corners of the mouth. Carbonation is small and tingly, lending some creaminess to an otherwise heavier body and dry mouthfeel. Because of the sour and dryness, it's pretty drinkable... and refreshing.

Hats off to Bell's for this one. It's the first Cherry anything I've had besides sours and it has set a commendable bar.

Photo of rawthar
3.3/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle from my Bell's Dark Side case into a Brooklyn chalice.

A- After an aggressive pour, an espresso-colored half finger of bubbly head quickly dissolved into a galaxy shaped residue. Tiny bubbles continued to rise from the black depths long afterward. I'm not sure if it's real or in my mind, but I think I see a tinge of cherry red where the light meanders through the meniscus. Nice legs and collar on the side of the glass.

S- The roasty malts and a sticky caramel are more apparent than the cherry at first whiff. There's a creme brulee kind of burnt brown sugar aroma that reminds me of Bell's Double Cream.

T- A bit of sour on the tip of the tongue to start off, followed swiftly by the sweetness of the roasted malts. The cherries provide a wave of tartness that I initially mistook for an alcoholic tinge. The further I got down the glass, the more potent this tartness became.

M- Thick and slick, and seems to leave a pleasant coating behind over the tongue and inside of the cheeks.

D- Like a lot of the stouts I've been drinking, this one is cpmplex enough to savor, but works well in large gulps as well. I'm not sure I could string too many together though, because of the sweet and tart intensity.

Photo of angelmonster
3.57/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown head that immediately dies. Body is pitch black. Head retention and lacing werent really present

Smell is of sweet malt and lots of tart fruit. Not really cherries but more like cranberries or raspberries. Hops and alcohol arent present.

Taste is similar to the smell, very sweet and tart. Aside from the color, this doesnt really taste like a stout. The malts were really overpowered by the cherries. As the beer warms some roasted malt comes through. Hops and alcohol were pretty non existent.

Mouthfeel is decent. Body is light for a stout and lack of any head didnt help. Level of carbonation was good.

Drink ability was good. For 7 percent this is like candy. Just think the tart cherries were too overpowering and hid the stout characteristics that make them my favorite style of beer.

Photo of Mistofminn
3.8/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours like any other biggish stout, black in general with light only visable through at the extreme edges. A very dark brown-sugar colored head sits atop the beer for a minute, but fades fast to a small ring. It does manage to leave some lacing.

The nose gives little to no hint of the cherry character that awaits. I get a toasted barley aroma that completely dominates. Possibly some subtle chocolate and caramel, but mostly just the roasty character.

The cherry character comes out big time in the taste. Its tart and fresh and really interesting. If I didn't know any better I might assume this is infected because its just like a sour stout. Interesting, but just not my kind of thing I guess.

Mouthfeel is medium in body, with a tart finish (surprisingly tart). Light bitter aftertaste left behind from the toasted malts. Drinkability is pretty good.

Overall, a pretty good beer. I don't think my score reflects how much I liked this, but I swear I enjoyed it. It's unique and good enough to keep me coming back for more.

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

A – Basic dark stout with a smallish ruby head, some slippery lacing.

S – It is mostly ok, but I keep getting the sensation that it smells overripe; honestly a bit like a garbage can of rotten fruit and coffee grinds. I guess at this slight level, it keeps it interesting...

T – Underachieving. The flavors are just not cohesive. The tartness is not tart enough, nor is the stout sufficiently heavily roasted to overcome the oxidized and acrid taste. The tap is no better than the bottle.

M – Fairly reasonable; full bodied, moderately carbonated.

D – A lesser brew by one of the great breweries. That still equals quite drinkable.

Photo of scottyshades
3.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Probably the darkest beer I've even poured. Pitch black with a mocha colored head that retains for a few seconds.

S: Nice and roasty/toasty with a lot of lactose on the nose. Cherry juice and pomegranate among other dark fruits.

T: Similar to the nose. Hardly any hop presence. Cherry is a little sour, but easily drinkable. The lactose mixes nicely with the roasty/toasty flavors of the brew. Nicely done, just a little unbalanced.

MF/D: Viscous, full bodied, short sour cherry/lactose finish

Definitely recommended, a little different than some of the other styles and a refreshing change.

Photo of yemenmocha
3.18/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours opaque black with light tan head. Nose has a whiff of cherries but is surprisingly light for this style. Palate has plenty of sour cherries, not overly sweet, but just mostly sour cherries with a poor attempt at the roasty malt flavors to balance it out somewhat. Low carbonation and a very light, watery finish.

Photo of PDXHops
3.49/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, poured into a La Chouffe tulip.

Exceedingly dark body capped with a dark tan foam that impressively inflates to 3 fingers, but then shrinks down to a skim after a couple of minutes. A bit of lacing.

Smells good- cherry with chocolatey malts and mild coffee, blended together nicely. This harmony doesn't quite carry over to the taste, though. The cherry gets quite tart (a good thing), but is so strong as to somewhat overpower the other flavors. A bit of coffee and chocolate fight to make themselves known. Seems unclear whether this is supposed to be a fruity stout or just a fruit bomb. Pretty tasty, but the flavors seem like they need time to mix and mingle a bit. Medium-thick body with lowish carbonation and lingering sticky cherry.

Overall impression: Not bad at all, but the more I think about it, the more I think this is a good candidate for cellaring. Seems like it could improve if the cherry is given a chance to blend with the other elements. I might pick up a few more to experiment with.

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

I grabbed this at the wonderful Neil St. Piccadilly and, after a brief confab at the register with the terrific and highly knowledgeable manager JD, was eager to try this. One and one-half fingers of rich mocha froth top a deep mahogany body with dark ruby trim; decent duration and some lacing ensure a nice look.

Mild-flavored coffee blend with tart cherry in both the smell and taste, with a bit of dark chocolate emerging in the flavor as the beer warms. The cherry, however, is sour when sweet would seem to blend better with the coffee-chocolate combination. Instead, the sour cherry at times tamps down the coffee malt, while also reducing the mouthfeel to a pucker rather than a lip-smacking appreciation of what could be a rich and more complex stout. Sweet cherry, that is, could let the flavors converge rather than submerge each other.

Bell's deserves some points for creativity, for cherry and fruit generally can work well when the flavors blend instead of conflict, and for my palate, anyway, when sweet and sour are in more harmonious balance. JD mentioned in our discussion that he found the cherry and coffee more disharmonious in the past than in this manifestation of Cherry Stout. Unfortunately, I must disagree, for it seemed to be moving in different, somewhat incompatible directions in this version. A sweeter version, with lots of caramel, would be very interesting to taste.

Photo of CampusCrew
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: deep dark black, nearly ebony,no head retention

smell: a hint of tartness from the cherry. Proba ly would have been stronger but typical the chocolate/coffee aroma covered most of it up.

taste: wow, a sour aspect in a stout. would have never picked up the cherry flavor if I didnt know. It's more of a sublte sour stout.

mouthfeel: medium and on the light side for a stout.

drinkability: sessionable stout, no bad, I think it's undertaed on here because it has fruit in it.

Photo of pasdachuri
4.1/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with tints of amber holding a tan head with good retention.

Scents of bittersweet chocolate and fresh, tart cherries.

Like it smelled, taste has tart cherries up front followed by dark malts, cocoa, molasses, subtle hops and espresso. Very well balanced.

The mouthfeel is thick and creamy with mild carbonation.

This is a good session beer that hides its alcohol content well.

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

A: Pours a deep brown color with only light making it through the margins of the beer. The warm bottle was poured hard into a Westmalle chalice, where it formed a sienna head that held for about a minute. Carbonation kept a small layer of thin foam on the surface.

S: Smell is a bit of toasted malt and cherry. The cherry is pretty direct, maybe just a hint of chocolate. Nothing offensive, but also nothing too complex or

T: Now not too much too my liking. The cherry seemed a little too direct and was less a nice supplement to a solid stout than a distraction. I'm not tasting much tartness in the cherries, but just the sensation that I'd eaten a cherry candy at some point before starting the bottle. However, it's not overly sweet, which is good.

M: Just ok. Nothing too substantial and the carbonation is about right. Somehow the texture feels like it would be sweeter than it tastes, slightly sticky and thick.

D: This is a decent beer, but I think I'd prefer it without the cherry addition. It seems that the reviews are a mixed bag on this one - I fall somewhere in the middle. If I had my choice, I'd probably just opt for a brooklyn chocolate if I wanted a sweeter stout or even just a straight expedition.

Photo of afausser
4.05/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased on a trip to Orlando from Knightly Spirits.

A: Pours with two fingers of coffee-colored head, which quickly disappears. The body itself is a dark purple/maroon, and it's quite opaque. There's a bit of lacing, but not much.

S: Sour cherries are immediately apparent in the nose, and with them strong notes of barbecue and soy sauces. There are also quite prominent raspberry and strawberry notes along with chocolate syrup and light caramel, which blend oddly well with the sauce notes and the sour cherries.

T: Barbecue sauce and sour cherries blend with coffee, notes of dark chocolate, and bitter hops. The hops are quite prominent in the aftertaste, which comes across as burnt--and as it warms, has a hint of lemon. As it warms, particularly, there's a slight anise note. Slight hint of strawberries and raspberries.

M: Low carbonation, but good. As it warms and sits, it's a little flat and there's quite a bit of alcohol--but this ends up complimenting the cherries somewhat nicely.

D: One to sip. Only a 7% and I need to sip it. It's a good beer...but...

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

A - Poured a bottle of this into a pint glass. Pours black-brown with a foamy, thin, dark khaki head that quickly dissipates.

S - Dark roasted malts, cocoa, and tart/sweet cherry aromas.

T - Well it tastes like a good quality stout, that much isn't a surprise, but the level of cherry flavor is way higher than I expected. And I liked it.

M - Thick, chewy, viscous.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Westvleteren chalice. Pours a DARK black color, slightly thick consistency, and leaves a medium size tannish-brown head/creamy and leaves quickly sliding tan creamy lacing.

Aroma isn't bad, but rated on the average because it's not very strong. Burnt coffee and malts, lots of cherries...go figure. Not boozy at all in the nose.

Flavor...Brett? haha, I don't remember hearing or reading anything about Brett, but the sour and tart cherries really resembles the characteristics. Tasty, sweet and tart...like dark chocolate covered cherries. Smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Very good adventurous stout.

Photo of gregalobeer
2.98/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

I had to try the Cherry Stout. Not sure what I was expecting, but I think I'm in over my head. The cherry is so intense and so tart.

The beer pours beautifully from the bottle, pitch black with an oily texture. The head is initially also dark, like an over-toasted espresso crema, heterogeneous bubbles, thick body. Then the head disappears right away leaving only a tiny lacing around the edges. I don't mind because the blackness of the beer really is very pretty.

First sip, woa. Jeez, that is a LOT of cherry. Too much. Do I drink more, and if so, how much can I tolerate? Although the cherry taste arrives late, it overshadows a lot of the typical stout qualities that I'm looking for. No coffee, no chocolate, no toastiness, and I can't even taste the malts really.

I bought a 6-pack and I'm on the 5th bottle now. It's growing on me, but the cherry taste never integrates or tames enough for me to enjoy it. It feels like a grenadine chaser. But I don't want a grenadine chaser. I want a creative flavorful stout.

Bell's Cherry Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
80 out of 100 based on 2,257 ratings.