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Bell's Cherry Stout - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Bell's Cherry StoutBell's Cherry Stout

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BA SCORE
80
good

2,286 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,286
Reviews: 985
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 16.19%
Wants: 98
Gots: 209 | 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: 2,286 | Reviews: 985
Photo of mcann2pu
2.79/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A - Pours into glass unexpectedly dark, brown, a small amount of tan head that dissipated fairly quickly leaving no lacing,

S - the smell of cherries most notably, also some chocolate,

T - bitter sweet cherry taste, malt, overall a bit too sweet for me,

M- ok, could have benefited from being thicker,
D- not bad, but not my favorite,

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

Served on-tap at ChurchKey in Washington, D.C. into 16oz. il nonic pint at the appropriate temperature.

A: Pours and extremely dark shade of brown with a rather thin frothy cappuccino colored head that dissipates quickly. The beer itself seems rather thin and watery.

S: Nice scents which include chocolate covered cherries, sour cherries, chocolate, and some licorice malt.

T: Chocolate and cherries dominate the flavor profile leaving a rich, slightly sour, and sweet taste which is accompanied by an interesting licorice malt and a slight amount of bitterness. I'm not normally a cherry fan, but this is done rather well and really works for this style.

M: medium-bodied with low carbonation with a slightly watery texture that seems to hid its 7%abv quite well.

D: I would say that this is fairly drinkable, but do to the sweetness and cherry flavor, one was enough for me.

Overall this was an interesting stout, that I actually enjoyed more than I thought (this was a recommendation by a staff member). Worth a Look.

Photo of DefenCorps
3.97/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow, I can't believe I'm the first person to review this beer on cask. I drank an pint of this last night at Church Key.

The pour is fairly standard, black with a thin dark brown head that recedes to nothingness rather quick. The nose is great, I like it a lot more than out of the bottle. Chocolate, licorice and a excellent sour cherry character, the chocolate being the most dominant. Noticeable roast with a mild malt bitterness present, but not so much as to clash with the tartness from the cherry. The palate opens with a tart cherry character, almost tannic with sourness quite prominent. This is followed by the chocolate and licorice that balance the sourness. Chocolate character is mostly dark choc in nature, lending a bitterness that persists on the finish with the cherry tartness carrying through as well. Carbonation is on the low side, enhancing the experience, and allowing the medium body, tart cherries and dark chocolate the come together quite well. While I spent close to 30 minutes nursing my pint, unlike the bottle, this is something I'll gladly revisit. Now, if only I could get down to CK when they had Two Hearted on cask...

Photo of nickd717
3.85/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from Chevy Chase Wine & Spirits in DC. If I had to pick a song to describe this beer, it would probably be "Strange Brew," because (get this) it is a strange brew. I thought it was good personally, but my family was a little weirded out by it.

Pours nearly black with slight reddish-purple hues. One-finger tan head with average retention.

Aroma is mildly tart with roast, chocolate, cherries, and red wine. You can tell from the get-go that this is not your run-of-the-mill stout.

Flavor is tart cherries, roasted malt, chocolate, slight cheesiness, and lots of vinous notes. Almost falls into the sour category - not a lot of sweetness.

Palate is somewhat acidic with medium body and a long finish. Poured the last little bit through a wine aerator that my wine snob family was using, and this definitely made the flavor better and well-rounded.

Drinkability suffers a bit from the oddity, but is still above average.

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

12-oz bottle. Thin brown head the disappeared rapidly. No lacing. Black, black, black. Not much aroma either. Some coffee, dark chocolate and cherry. Actually smells a lot like a chocolate covered cherry. Taste is sour and only slightly bitter. Texture is medium with mild carbonation. Long finish with a touch of tinniness on the end. A very interesting brew. I would try this again with food but not by itself. Taste buds need recovery time between sips to recover from sourness.

Photo of HoppyMcStout
4.41/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Oh, Bell's Cherry Stout. Why are you so misunderstood?

I am a huge fan of this brew. It has been tradition for me the past several years to crack open a few when putting up the Christmas tree.

Finally getting around to formally reviewing this one...
The scent from the bottle is surprisingly sweet. After the pour, for some reason I'm not getting a whole lot of sweetness, but rather a very mild smokiness - seems on par with most stouts. Pours like you would expect a stout to in terms of color. Modest head with a slight reddish hue that fades quickly. The payoff here is the taste. You get a blast of VERY tart cherry which forms the base of the brew! Here is what makes this beer excellent in my opinion - so many beers with fruit in the title end up having very synthetic fruit flavors (i.e., SA Cranberry Lambic and Cherry Wheat) but this one doesn't have an artificial syrup flavor. (Additionally, I am at a loss for those reviewers who can't figure out why this beer is so 'tart', especially when the bottle tells you to expect it to be so!!!). The tartness then mellows a bit and you can taste some smoky coffee notes you would expect from a stout. Mouthfeel is good - seems a little thicker than your average stout, which I like. As this one warms the tartness dies a little and gets sweeter just as you would expect. I can recall when this beer had a higher abv and was even thicker and richer (and a little better from what I can recall, honestly)...too bad it changed, but still a fabulous winter brew!!! Easily my all-time favorite seasonal.

Photo of billab914
3.54/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a perfect pint glass.

Pours near black with a thin tan film barely covering the top of the beer.

Aroma is slightly sweet with cherry flavoring. The roasted grains come through as well with a little bit of chocolate flavor.

Taste is very strong with sweet cherry juice. A little too much juice flavor for me. Also present is some of the roasty malt flavors.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and carbonation is moderate.

Drinkability is average, I can finish one of these but the cherry juice is too sweet for me to drink much more. Overall it is an interesting beer but I would have preferred the cherry flavor be a little more subtle.

Photo of StarlightSeraph
3.15/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark, opaque brown, with bare hints of red around it as it pours. A thin layer of dark brown head that subsides almost immediately. Minimal lacing.

Smell: Sweet and sour aromas from the cherries, backed up by roasted malts. There's a bready aroma in the background as well.

Taste: More sour than sweet from the cherries. A bite of sour cherry, backed by mild roasted malt flavors. The cherry flavor is almost unpleasant - it is very astringent, and not very...well, cherry. It dominates the beer, lingering into the aftertaste. There is some malt backbone, as I said, but it seems to clash with the astringency of the cherries. Only in the aftertaste do the two flavors begin to blend together.

Mouthfeel: Much thinner than it looks. Decent carbonation.

Drinkability: This was the first beer I've had from Bells' that I wasn't really a fan of. The flavors just didn't come together for me, and the sourness of the cherries was off-putting in this style of beer. The cherry flavor seems more of a distraction from the stout flavors. While it wasn't terrible, I probably wouldn't buy it again. Maybe just not my thing.

Photo of techfed87
3.72/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into an English pint glass. Pours a dark brown/amber red head. Has a very delicate scent of cherries to it that gives off a flavor that is distinctively more complex.

Taste comes off first as conflicted, being of the sweetness of the cherries and the bitterness of the malt; however both seems to blend together as the flavors progress.

Usually I don't appreciate sweeter beers, but this one seems pretty good. A nice, solid stout.

Photo of Onenote81
3.72/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my pint glass. Pours a thick dark black with a thin tan head on top. As this recedes, I see some light pinkish hues to the froth, from the cherries I suspect. No lace whatsoever. Scents of roasted cocoa beans, dark breads, chocolate, and nuts. The fruit aspect is surprisingly absent.

Moderate amount of carbonation gives this beer a pretty full, well-rounded body. Still retains some creamy feel. Flavor starts out pretty tart from the cherries. Plenty of roasted flavors in there as well, with a touch of dark chocolate. Lightly sour finish. The more I sip this, the more I like it. It was a bit odd at first, but this is pretty good. Not my go-to stout for sure, but a pleasant break from the norm.

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

Cherry Stout pours a dark chocolate fudge color. It's nearly opaque. A little penetrating light reveals some burgundy highlights at the edges. The head looked to be mocha colored and didn't quite rise to a finger in depth. It receded extremely fast. Lacing is minimal down the glass.

The nose is underwhelming. It's severely lacking in terms of strength. There's not a great deal here to discuss. Chocolate malts are noted. There is some light roasted coffee, but it's minimal. I'm picking up a little cherry. I was expecting more. It's a little yeasty. That's about it. The nose needs work. It's just so weak and underpowered that it's really tough to get anything meaningful out of it. Very average.

The flavor profile is a little better, but it is disappointing for a Bell's release. Chocolate malts give it a decent base. It's not sweet, but rather has more of a dark chocolate, bittersweet flavor. Sour cherries are easily noted and are much stronger here. I'm not crazy about it. I was hopeful that coffee would be more prominent, but it's not. There's a hint of it, but it's far too subtle. A light yeast flavor is noted throughout. Alcohol isn't noticeable. It finishes sour. It's above average, but not by much.

Cherry Stout has a medium body that's not quite smooth. Carbonation is probably a little too high. It's not a bad feel and is above average, but could use some work. Drinkability is rather average. I don't like the flavor enough to pick it up again. I guess it goes down easy for whatever that's worth. I wouldn't say I've enjoyed it very much.

Bell's usually releases great beer. This is one of those rare cases where they miss the mark. Cherry Stout needs a little more of everything except cherry to succeed. More malt, more coffee, more body, more strength in the nose. You get the picture. If you're looking for a good Bell's beer, you can do much better than this one. Keep looking.

Photo of pzrhsau
4.5/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a deep dark brown/opaque color. When held up to the light you can see a nice red hue in the light. Medium head with good retention.
Smell: It smells of malt and cherries.
Taste: This beer is very complex It has a nice chocolaty malt flavor to it with a cherry finish. There is also a deep oak flavor that almost boarders on a wine feel to it.
Mouthfeel and Drinkability: Very good stout, easy to drink. Good alcohol content for the flavor it has.

Photo of younger35
3.1/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up a single of this from Casanova's in Hudson Wisconsin. I've been wanting to try this brew from quite a while but didn't want to pay like $16 for a sixer. Drank from my Surly nonic pint glass.

Appearance- Pours a pitch ass black with a very small cap that quickly dissipates from the top of the beer quickly. No cap is maintained, but a nice thick collar stays the entire beer. Zero lacing.
Smell- Super dark and roasty with that same amazing stout char that is in Bell's Java Stout. This has gotta be the same base brew. Lightly chocolaty with a touch of caramel hiding in there somewhere. Maybe a hit of vanilla as an extremely light amount of tart cherry peaks in.
Taste- Starts very tart and sort of unbalanced, I'm not 100% sure I'd pick this out as cherry. I might think it had soured or something because (ignoring the nose) nothing in the flavor says cherry. Some chocolate mixes in giving the sort of chocolate covered fruit aspect but it's missing something. I never thought I'd say this but its some sweetness. As much as I HATE cloying beers, this just needs a touch of something to help prop up that tartness and chocolate. The finish is a touch of cocoa and a light sharp tartness on the back of my mouth.
Mouthfeel- Way to slim for the beer. Needs a bit more body to really be a nice thick stout.
Drinkability- Not the greatest brew I've ever had. The tartness of the cherry is too much for the rest of the beer. It all doesn't work well together and I either need more stout or less cherry. Either way, really glad I tried (and didn't buy an entire sixer).

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

I bought a sixer of this last Friday, and this review is of my third bottle. By the third bottle, I learned that you practically have to throw this stuff in the glass to get a head. That's probably not wise, because that technic drained the beer of just about all of its carbonation.

Smell: I'm getting some kind of fruit here. It's familiar, but I can't quite identify it. Ah! There it is! Cherries! Not like the cherries you get on top of a sundae, but real cherries. Other regular stoutish smells are there too.

Taste: I like it. Very interesting combination of sweet, tart and bitter. Suprisingly, there is a very clean finish. Something in there is making my salivary glands active. I love this taste, but can easily recognize that more than one per session might be fatiguing.

Mouthfeel: Thinner than anticipated, but it seems to work. Low carbonation, even on the bottles I poured carefully.

I really enjoyed this.

Photo of bret27
3.2/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle to glass.

A - Black w/slightly redness through the light. Thin light brown head.

S - Smells of burntness, coffee, cherry(sweet and tart), chocolate.

T - Mostly cherry mixed w/burnt chocolate. They almost balance eachother but not quite for me. Not any hop presence, Some bitterness but mostly burnt coffee and cherry juice come out. I know they use real cherries in this but it tastes sweet/artificial to me for some reason.

M - Medium to thin body.

D - An ok beer, but not my style. Too sweet.

Photo of MetalHopHead6
3.97/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bell's Cherry Stout poured black with a small chocolate colored head that quickly dropped to a ring. The glass was left clean.

The smell and taste were dominated by, um, sweet dried cherries. The flavor was particularly good and the feel was extremely creamy and smooth, with little-to-nothing left behind. It was a pleasure to sip on a cold night.

Bell's Cherry Stout is sweet--literally and figuratively. Not as thick as the best stouts, with a wine-like taste and feel, but very tasty and worth seeking out every autumn.

Photo of hosehead83
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a twelve ounce bottle into a standard pint glass
Black in color with tinges of ruby, tan/reddish thin head of foam
Aroma-Coffee, cherry cordial
Taste-Coffee, tart cherry, some underlying smokiness
Overall, very drinkable, and pretty well balanced

Photo of confer
3.27/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Choose a case from last years production, about 19 months, over waiting a few day few one from this years batch. Not sure if I made the right move. This wasn't what I was expecting.
I had to work to get a 1/2 finger head that was gone in no time. What was left was looked like a flat diet coke.
The smell changes as it warmed. Started like cream soda went to a faint smoke smell and then back to sweet smell again.
At first the taste was bitter molasses with a smoke flavor that appeared after a few seconds. The smokiness started arrving faster with a FAINT cherry flavor.
Not sure I really care for this beer. I would not buy again. This was this months selection in the office BOTM club.

Photo of trbergman
3.72/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A - Inky black with ruby highlights when held to the light, the beer has only a thin lace of cinnamon-colored head.

S - Smells of roast barley, a little char, with plenty of dark chocolate and some kriek-like cherry aroma.

T - Loads of cherry flavor up front that fades in and out as chocolate and espresso try to assert themselves. As the beer warms, the component flavors begin to blend. Bitterness is just enough to cut the sweetness, with no trace of hop flavor, save perhaps a slight earthiness.

M - A tad thin-bodied for a stout of 7%, but smooth on the tongue, with low carbonation.

D - A good beer, but not an everyday beer. This could pair really well with chocolate desserts, though for most purposes I'd prefer a simple oatmeal stout.

Photo of OSUBeerStudent
4.07/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into a pint glass. Have had this beer umpteen times, but first time reviewing it. 2009 batch.

Nice look. Dark and stouty with a half finger, moderately retaining head. Maybe a little, tiny bit of lacing. What I expect from a decent (non-imperial) stout.

Smell is good. Not too strong, but whiffs of chocolate, coffee, cherry, roasted malts. Yum.

More of the smell. Not a sweet cherry beer, the tartness of the cherries is excellent. This is largely cherry flavor. Starts sour and evolves into chocolate/roasty malts. No real hop bitterness here, which is reasonable. Good taste.

Mouthfeel is rather good, as Bells usually is. Carbonation is just right, not very thick or thin, a medium feel.

Drinkability is up there. This goes down smooth and doesn't have a hint of alcohol, and the nice mouthfeel makes it even easier. Confession: I've played beer pong with this beer before, it's so drinkable. A nice quality beer from my favorite brewer and a great seasonal one to pair with food, especially desserts.

Photo of ckeegan04
3.53/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark chocolate brown, verging on black. Thin brown head quickly fades to a thin foamy ring.

S - Roasted malts, hints of chocolate and just a touch of sour cherry. Roastiness dominates the nose.

T - Light roasted malts and sour cherries. A rather unique mix. The cherry is a little overwhelming as the roastiness tries to come through. Hints of chocolate as the beer warms. As it warms even more it takes on a distinct cough syrup taste which just is not good at all.

M/D - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. The cherry is a touch too strong and brings the drinkability down a notch, but still rather drinkable. Be sure to drink colder than you would most stouts though because it becomes rather unpleasant as it becomes warm.

Photo of samie85
2.8/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Reviewed from notes, consumed last night. Batch 8870, so it has some age on it(11 months).

A- Pours a pitch black/oil color with a reddish brown head.

S-Chocolate and tart cherry with a roasted malt characteristic. A bit of sweet alcohol as well.

T-Wow, never had anything like this before. Very tart cherry with a coffee like flavor.

M- Pretty thin actually, a little disappointing. It had medium carbonation and was oily, but not in a good way.

D- This beer lacks balance in my opinion, and the mouth feel was really too thin for what I like in a stout. The tart cherry(almost vinegary) flavor really stays with you for awhile. I'm glad I tried but also very happy that I only bought a single bottle.

Photo of pmccallum86
3.4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark chocolate looking body with a cocoa colored two fingered head that dissapates quickly.

The smell is of coffee, chocolate and cherries.

Taste is of tart cherries and dark chocolate. The Cherries leave a tart bitter aftertaste which seems to last for quite awhile. Very original taste, not bad.

Mouthfeel is thick and chalky. Not too enthused here, very interesting though.

Not very drinkable all things considered, very bitter and thick. Good to try though.

Photo of gatornation
3.18/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a dark black color with a black cherry ring and some nice lacing..looks good..the smell was chocolate and currant fruit semi sweet chocolate and cocoa the taste was ok it had a bad cherry flavor was not tart enough and the stout was not balanced between the tartness the hops and malts the cherry flavors did not take this stout anywhere it just was not in balanced IMO wont be buying again

Photo of DocTheDJ
3.25/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Whooeee that is one sour brew!
Looks and smells very good on the pour. Scent of dark chocolate or cocoa, just a tinge of dark fruitiness and definately some smokeyness. Salty, tangy, taste is chocolate and cocoe and sweet at first then the stout characteristics and the longer it sits the more sour/tart it gets. Bitter and refreshing it is! - But a bit to much sour/tartiness for this toungue. The cherry taste and smell is completely lost in my opinion. A nice unique brew and not a bad brew but I dought my puckered cheeks can handle this one again any time soon. Not sesionable for me.

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Bell's Cherry Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
80 out of 100 based on 2,286 ratings.