1. The BeerAdvocate Store is back! Pre-order your stuff now. Items begin shipping Dec 15. Christmas deadline = Dec 18 @ 5pm EST.
  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.

2,169 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,169
Reviews: 953
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 16.48%
Wants: 92
Gots: 155 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,169 | Reviews: 953 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of UDbeernut
3.63/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into pint glass

A: deep amber almost black, small head that reduces quikly

S: cherry, chocolate, roasted malt

T: same as smell, hint of alchohol

M&d: dry mouth, most likey due to alchohol pretty drinkable given style and ABV.


Photo of paco1029384756
3.45/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours black with one half inch of dark tan head with good lacing.

Scent of roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, and some cherries. Cherry scent is more subdued that I thought, I like it.

Taste is substantially sweeter, cherries are much more lively here with some molasses, a hint of chocolate, and some roasted malts. Finishes with roasted malts and some cherries.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, but somewhat oily, and little texture.

Photo of schellsbeer
4.13/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 edition.

First thought....what is this junk. That was my thought after the first 2 sips but then everything changed.

Let this very dark beautiful stout warm up a bit.

If you love a tart cherry chocolate flavor, you should love this stout.

I did.

One of the best looking stouts in Bell's line-up.

Dark black with a hint of burnt red coloring.

Thick and warming.

The last part of the bottle was the best so I just had to open another bottle. Dark Chocolate, Bitter Chocolate, Tart Cherries....fantastic.

Let this one warm up a bit...a long bit...and you should really begin to enjoy it.

If you don't like Chocolate Covered Cherries made with dark Chocolate, don't get this beer.

Otherwise, great stuff. Way to go bells!!!

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

A. Black. Slight dark reddish brown around the edges, half finger dark kahki head that disolves to a ring very quickly

S. Full blast of cherry, hint of cream

T. Cherry all the way as could have been forseen after taking a whif of this badboy, fairly creamy and smooth with slight carbonation which came as a surprise based off of the appearance, ends with a slight amount of choclate

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.43/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bell's Cherry Stout does what most don't, it combines true stout flavor with gosh-darnit-honest tart and lightly sweet cherry flavor. There's nothing at all fake about it.

It pours the typical stout appearance with an opaque brown-black body topped by a creamy head of dark tan froth, but unfortunately the head retention is quite limited and only very minor spots of lace are left behind.

The nose is more stout than cherry, but it's there for sure amidst the cocoa and soft roastiness.

In the flavor the tartness of the cherry hits you first, bright and brash, and then softens to reveal chocolatey and cocoaish notes followed by soft roastiness, and then some more fruit. The bitterness is kept to a minimum, as might be expected. It's smooth and creamy in the mouth, and it finishes the same way. It's kind of like a blend of an Oud Bruin and a softly cocoaish and chocolatey stout - very unique - and the fact that you can taste both the cherry and the stout seperately is really remarkable.

I enjoy it as an apertif or dessert beer, although I'm sure there are many great food pairings for it. Really remarkable. Worth seeking out.

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

On-tap at Liberty St. Tavern. Served in a goblet and paired with their habanero butternut squash soup. Appears a dark, murky brown with short tan head. The beer has a cocoa powder and cherry liquor aroma. The flavor is very juicy with the cherry upfront and all around, the malts take the backseat with mild roasted barley in the background. Very tangy mounthfeel, puckering, but still drinkable. Like cherries? Give this a try.

Photo of mikereaser
4.15/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 8244

A - pours a dark brown with hints of ruby, no foam at all, just a ring of bubbles around the glass

S - roasted malt, hints of cherry and bitter chocolate

T - Cherry throughout, light roasted malt flavor with a strong cherry and bitter chocolate finish

M/D - Very nice light bodied stout with nice cherry and chocolate flavor. I don't think its an every day beer for me, but it would be great with dessert.

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

On tap at Beer Run, Charlottesville, VA. Served in a 10 oz. nonic.

Appearance: Comes a dark, heavy brown with a sheen of fine, clean, cocoa-colored foam and a thin, delicate ring of lace - filled to the brim, so I can't fault the bartender for not giving me a good head! Lacing is splotchy, leaving pockmarks randomly scattered on the sides of the glass. I'm not sure what color I expected this one to be, a bright red? Either way, it's pretty standard/average looking for a stout - nothing good, nothing bad either.

Aroma: Not much cherry coming through here - it's mostly a solid array of roasted notes, with coffee astringencies and a faint smokiness coming through. There's definitely a fruit note, though I wouldn't necessarily identify it as cherry or as anything else; it's just a nice fruity aura, if you will.

Taste: Oh holy crap. People told me that it tasted like cherry barbecue sauce, but I didn't believe it 'til I just tried it. There's tons of tart and sweet cherry notes here - more tart than sweet - but very genuinely fruity throughout. It's initially pretty jarring, but though I can't say it grew on me, I can say it became pretty tolerable with time. The cherry is presented to you upon a bed of heavily toasted malts, not burnt or smoky, but faintly chocolate-like, faintly coffee-like, and the rest just dark and ever-so-slightly astringent. This one may have some hop bitterness somewhere in there, but lord knows I couldn't find it.

Mouthfeel: Almost no carbonation, leading to a very thick, syrupy, still beer.

Drinkable: I appreciate this beer as a cherry stout. That being said, I really wasn't a fan. I found it a little too tart and a little too overpowering for my tastes - this was more of a cherry beer with stout overtones than a cherry stout. In addition - though it was undetectable, which I appreciate - the alcohol was pretty high, which has gotta knock it down another half point or so. It took me a while to finish, as well, which is always a bad sign. Still, it's worth at least a try, as I'm actually sort of impressed they managed to dump this much flavor into a beer.

Photo of gdfan47
4.28/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- pours a pretty black color with a little brown head, doesnt appear overly thick
S- Like cherries, a little on the tart side too
T- Wow really interesting, def some cherries of course, but also some coffee and chocolate tones It finishes a little sour as well, but good sour
M- really nice, they call it a stout, and it is dark, but its not as drudgy and heavy as other stouts I have had
D- goes down pretty good, the alcohol is really well hidden

Overall a home run for bells, another beer which is a little off the beaten path. Fans of stouts and sours will esp like this one.

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

12 oz bottle poured into a nonic, Batch # 8731

A: Very dark, near black with little light passing through the liquid. Dark brown head, finger thick, that recedes to a thick ring and little lacing. Looks like a nice stout, nothing remarkable.
S: Big on roasted malt and sour fruity/cherry aroma. Slightly smokey, dark chocolate and more dark cherries. Not my favorite, but very nicely balanced and subtle.
T: Full body, very smooth, light carbonation, but also a strong prick of sour and tart from cherries. Interesting balance of sweet and sour from the start. Strong roasted malt, chocolate like body, remind me of a lighter Expedition but has a very strong sour, dark cherry bite that dominates the finish and lingers for a long time afterwards. Very little presence of alcohol. A very nice stout, and very drinkable but not for everyone.

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

OK, I have feared this brew for a few weeks now and yet, here I am reviewing it. I was terrified that I would hate the cherry flavor and pour it. A terrible fate for any beer! So, it has been sitting there, taunting me. Every time I opened the refrigerator door, it made me ashamed. Am I a real beer drinker?? Well, I decided tonight that this was the day that I would dominate that little Cherry Stout. Here goes... Oh, and BTW, my friend Brian donated this one. Thanks buddy!

A: I didn't pour vigorously enough, so I didn't get to see the full spectacle. Small, attractive reddish brown head. Dissipated very quickly. Carbonation visible through the fine dusting on the surface. Thin ring and dusting remained throughout. Black liquid but definitely has a reddishness to it. A hint of red on the edges against the light but barely. This is a dark brew for sure. No lacing to speak of.

S: Nice malt. Roasty, slight smokiness. A little coffee, a little licorice and plenty of dark chocolate. Dark cherry is there obviously but isn't as pronounced as I was expecting it to be. I did catch a whiff of stronger cherry when I popped the cap.

T: Wow. Not expecting that. Got me either side of my jaw bone. A zing and tartness. Very interesting. Upon further exploration, the sweetness is right up front. It is cherry but it is very light and mixed with the carbonation. It hits you right in the palette of your mouth. Almost a sweet red wine-like tannin aftertaste. The zing even gives you a little tingling on the lips. After letting it warm up a bit, the cherry seemed to take on a more blackberry flavor. It retained it's tartness to the last. That was to be expected.

M: Very light for a stout. The carbonation and tanginess makes it feel even lighter. I like my stouts heavier and rounder in the mouth. After warming and letting the carbonation run it's course, the mouthfeel felt fuller, thicker and more rewarding.

D: I was happy to drink it but I am not sure that I could have had more than one in a sitting.

I am not a fan of cherry, so this was never going to be a big win for me. I did find this brew to be a very interesting experience. Bells makes a fine brew and although this one is not for me, I can still appreciate the art that went into it. For those wanting to try a fruit beer, I would recommend giving this a try.

Photo of emerge077
4.05/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served with a small tasting glass at Jerry's in Chicago.

Black body that has a ruby glint around the edges. First pour was headless, but the second one managed to get a mocha cream layer on the surface. Aroma was slightly lactic, milk sugar, chocolate. Cherry was slight if there at all, it may have been residual after a few sips. Chocolate and cherry tartness in the taste. Cherry isn't sweet, or fruity really. It reminded me of more tart dried cherries that have a little acidity even. Very smooth and velvety body, rich and malty. Easy to finish, although I didn't really want more than one...

Photo of adamette
4.15/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my Sierra Nevada Anniversary Ale pint from a bottle exactly like the one pictured above.

A Interesting. There is a short lived dark brown head over a deep, deep black body. I thought that I had seen hues of a deep red (from the cherry presumably) but held my glass up to direct light and absolutely no light comes through. I love the way that this looks.

S Well, smells like a stout..with cherry. No problem with that. It, like other stouts that I have had, does not have a tremendously intense smell. It is subtle.

T oooo...I really like this...there is a strong tangy sweetness in the front of cherry, but black cherry...stronger and more confident than any Maraschino cherry would be. You know, on second thought...it is just like regular cherry (naturally sweet without the faky sugar sweetness of the Maraschino. The stout aspect is great, just like I would expect from Bell's, having recently had their Expedition Stout.

M Full for sure. Not very much carbonation, goes in and down like bitterweet matly cherry nectar. I can hear Jason Alstrom saying, "where is the carbonation?" as he did in his review of Expedition Stout.

D Not a session beer IMO but very tasty. I could imagine sharing a six pack with two friends and being very satisfied.

Notes: Another great entry from Bell's. I recommend it.

Photo of WakeandBake
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle. Pours deep black with a light brown head that disapates fairly quickly.A light aroma of dark roast and tart cherries. Medium body, with some sweetness upfront. Warming sensation in my chest indicating alcoholic strength. Flavor is dominated by the sour cherries. Roast is evident, but not prominent. Some chocolate notes as it warms. Finishes slightly dry with a fair amount of tartness. Overall, a very nice beer, but certainly not what I was expecting. This stout pales in comparison to the other fine stouts Bells puts out, and while the sour cherries are fantastic, it just doesn't quite live up to expectations.

Photo of IBUnit63
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 8731 into Duvel tulip on Thanksgiving Day...

Spent motor oil black with 1/2 finger maple-chestnut-gingerbread brown head. Lacing is moderate, carbonation sparse. Very formidable.

Hop pine is present as is austere, woody chocolate-roasted malt and clean sour cherries. Slate-ish yet quite eclectic. Stewy and warm.

Creamy roasted malt with solid matural cherry nectar feel - tartness brightens this up - moderate hop grass & pine...not quite Beautiful Chemistry but very solid and enjoyable.

The bitter grassy hops, copious sour cherries and austere chocloate roasted really emerge with warmth. Finish is quite clear and there's a bit of depth. Wicked enjoyable.

A lot goin' on with this one. Quite enjoyable but a little on the heavy side...

Photo of Greggy
3.3/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Pours a dark tan head , semi soapy, 1.5 fingers in height. As it recedes, it leaves some light lacing. The body is pitch black with no light showing through.

S- Big dark roasted chocolate, hints of coffee, and toasty grains with a nice balanced cherry dancing in the middle.

T- Starts out with a chocolate, then bam, a huge tart cherry that is semi sour and drying. The finish has the cherry, a bit of chocolate, and some sourness.

M- Low carbonation. The tartness is a bit off putting and hides the stout characteristics.

D- This was a bit painful without food. Paired with some chocolate, it became more balanced. I still, however, will not drink this again.

Photo of orcasteve
4.35/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured a rich black with a hint of red that cant be seen through with a heavy tan head that rises on this one. the sent of rich malt and tart black cherrys filled my nose, the taste in the begining is sour tart cherrys and coffie, the middle is the cherrys fading to a mild sweetness mixed with heavy dark roasted malt taking the forground, and the end is sour but sweet at the same time cherrys begging you to drink more! all the while the 8.5 % alchoal is hiden well. this is a great beer

Photo of corby112
3.25/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at Monks Cafe in center city Philadelphia.

Pours a very dark almost black color with burgundy edges and a small off white foam head. Roasted malty aroma with a strong cherry scent. Odd combination of roasted chocolate maltiness, coffee, oatmeal, toffee and sweet cherry flavor. Sweet and malty with a very dry finish.

Photo of DoctorDog
3.85/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

**NOTE** This brew is listed here as having an 8.5% ABV, while the Bell's site lists it at 7.0% ABV.

Presentation: 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A- Deep mahogany/black and opaque. Pours with ~1 fingers of sturdy brown head, which fades gradually, leaving a thin coating. No lacing noted.

S- Earthy notes, with a bit of cherry cordial.

T- Sweet, sour, acidic cherry, along with coffee and cocoa notes. A bit of mid-tongue astringency, and mild bitterness on the finish. 8.5% ABV (?) is extremely well concealed. Contrary to the recommended 40-45°F serving temperature posted here, this one started out all over the place at that range, but really came together and balanced out pretty well as it warmed up.

M- Somewhat thin and watery, though this seemed to fit this brew better than most stouts.

D- Tough call here. Interesting drink, to be sure, but the sour/acidic/astringent aspects would probably keep this one down a little bit. Could probably muster a few in a row.

Future outlook: Situationally likely to purchase again. Might be interesting to try aged, so I'll probably sock a few of them away for another time and place.

Photo of nick76
3.08/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The aroma is really the best part of this beer. It's got cherries and toasted malt with chocolate and coffee. The appearance is dark brown with a small head. The taste has all the elements from the aroma but it is also sour and bitter in an astringent way. Not good. The palate is thick. Overall it's good but not really something I want a lot of.

Photo of Imstillthegman
3.55/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Just for notes sake, this was bottled on Jan. 2, 2007...so it's been aged awhile. Batch 7777.

Pours a completely opaque, deep, dark, brown. Thin tan head formed and quickly faded to a ring. No lacing in sight.

The aroma has some dark cherries, chocolate, roasted grains (almost oat-like), light coffee, and a hint of port wine. Interesting....

The flavor is a sweet, black cherry slap to the tongue. After the initial shock, the sweetness turns a bit sour then fades into some coffee and bakers chocolate. Tart at the finish. Wow...what interesting ride for my taste buds. Sweet, sour, bitter, tart...

Medium body, lighter carbonation. Leaves a Warhead candy type of sour tartness in the mouth for an aftertaste. This one is going to be hard to finish. Maybe it's the age, maybe it's just the beer....I don't know. This one isn't working for me, though.

Photo of Proteus93
3.6/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A thick, inky brown... completely opaque. Head is a brownish cream, but it doesn't last long. Traces the edges of the brew when all is said and done.

S: Dark chocolate covered cherries and a warming graininess of malts. Smells like dessert.

T: Many of the stout qualities are a bit drowned out by the cherry flavours - and cherry juice, at that. It's that taste more like "from concentrate" than actual cherry mash. The fruit flavour would do well to be a little more subdued, in my opinion... with some delicate touches, this could be a fabulous beer.

M: Slick and a little fuller... the tart cherry almost lends a 'sharp' feeling on the tongue.

D: The bottle I had lists the ABV as 7% rather than 8.5, which would make a little difference in overall drinkability. With the big, tart flavour, it's still a sipper, though.

Photo of drumrboy22
3.25/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Received as an extra in a trade with nflmvp. Thanks! Batch 7220 - bottled January, 2006. I didn't intend on aging this one, but I forgot it was in the cellar.

Poured from 12oz. bottle into an Urthel chalice. Beer was black in color with a quickly fading, small tan head. Soft carbonation and no lacing around the glass.

Aroma was thin, but had faint notes of cherry, vanilla and coffee.

Taste was tart, almost sour cherries. Some light bitter coffee flavors are also present, but the tart cherries take over on this one.

I'm generally a big fan of Bell's beers, but this one just isn't working for me. It's not bad, but I'm disappointed by it. I've never had it fresh, so it could be the accidental aging that I don't care for. I'm not sure. I won't go out of my way to find this one again.

Photo of sholland119
3.9/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at TJs Everyday.

A-Pours a rich deep brown. A rich creamy tan head which has hints of raspberry and very nice lacing.

S-Mocha and cherries with some caramel also.

T-Taste starts with a milk chocolate sweetness that quickly is overtakes by a surprisingly sour cherry flavor. It appears not everyone enjoys this astringent flavor but I dug it.

M-Nicely creamy and rich with medium carbonation.

D-Having said all that, the sourness makes this a once a session drinker. Very nice, though.


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

12oz sized bottle.

This one poured a dark black color with almost no head. Light and subtle cherry aromas with chocolate, and roast. Tastes of the same subtle cherries, chocolate, and coffee. Finished with a little sour and tartness.

Notes from 8/24/04

Bell's Cherry Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
80 out of 100 based on 2,169 ratings.