1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,212 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,212
Reviews: 966
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 16.19%
Wants: 93
Gots: 178 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,212 | Reviews: 966 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of everetends
3.55/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle thanks to the great BA spointon. Served up in a tulip.

A: Pours a nice black body that lets no light through whatsoever. The head was a nice brown finger, but it faded immediately. I mea it went away at least 2 minutes after the pour. The ring it faded to was incredibly thin and creates no lacing because there is really nothing to offer. It appears there is quite a bit of carbonation going on in here. Not a bad looking brew but its really blowing my mind.

S: Smell is actually a lot like the look, not awe inspiring at all. There is some nice roasted malt in here with a touch of coffee peeking through. I am actually not getting any cherry aroma coming out. Thats a bit disappointing. I just want something that is in the name to come out in the flavor and aroma, and its not showing up in the aroma. On the back end there may be a touch of hops bite coming through.

T: Taste is actually a nice suprise from the above categories. The malts are nicely roasted and bring out a really nice dark chocolate flavor. Unsweetened and a touch bitter. The cherries are dark and compliment nicely with some ever so slightly tart cherry meat. The cherry is very there and I can see how some could have a problem with this but I think it works here. Touch of black coffee follows with some more nice roast and bitterness, complimenting the slight kiss of hops in here. This is tasty stuff.

M: This is medium in body and it does mess with me a touch because I really do like my stouts on the heavy side. This does have a pretty hefty carbonation quality that works nicely here. ABV is not a factor at all, doesn't play a role. Aftertaste is some residual cherry and chocolate. Not bad at all.

D: This is not bad. I mean the flavors work for me and it goes down pretty easy. The feel is a bit off for me and the look and aroma are bit of a let down. Still it doesn't fall below the average area, just a lot of it is average at times. With that said, I am glad I gave it go and I would not mind having this again. Not bad at all.

Photo of Bounty628
2.02/5  rDev -42.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

With a nice ABV of 8.50%, the Cherry Stout is classified as being a nice winter offering and should you enjoy this style of beer I would imagine that this particular beer could serve as a nice session beer. The alcohol level of this beer is nicely muted by the complexity of the stout and the overwhelming cherry nature at work in the beer.

When poured, the stout reveals a very dark black complexity with almost no mixed hues at all. There is very little head on the pour and what is there is a thin layer of off-white foam. What is most interesting about this pour is the amount of carbonation that dances up and down the pint glass. For a stout, by visualization alone the beer seems to be remarkably over-carbonated. The mouthfeel will be the real test for this.

The smell does not bring out any sense of roasting or darkness for the stout, rather what is clearly noticed is the cherry. The smell of the cherries immediately seems to highlight a sort of fakeness to the cherry taste that is to come as it is almost too much to really take in. The smell has a bit of chocolate that mixes in with the tartness of the cherry smell.

The carbonation that was so apparent in the pour came through just as explosively in the mouthfeel as it did in the pour. Perhaps a bit strange to have such a highly carbonated stout, when tasted the carbonation highlights that this offering is a rather thin and smooth stout, as well.

Unfortunately what disappoints the most with this offering is the taste of the beer. The taste is sour and fake tasting and unfortunately there is not much that impresses with Bell's Cherry Stout. The cherry taste within the stout is reminiscent of a cough syrup fake cherry flavor and unfortunately because the cherry is so overpowering it takes away from anything else in the stout taste. Though there is a mild roasted nature to the stout, it is muted by the fact that the cherry nature of the beer is so overly highlighted in the taste. Had the cherry been a bit more subtle and a bit less sour, perhaps this offering could have panned out alright.

Photo of FLBeerGuy
2.6/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Pours a deep black with a nice creamy 1 finger tan head.

Smells malty with some cherry

Taste is sour cherry and malty, a little too sour for my taste.

Drinkability is not very good, leaves a sour taste in my mouth. My bottle says 7% ABV.

Bells makes some good beers, this is not one of them in my opinion.

Photo of psulovesbeer
3.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass with a little
Head and thick lacing as the blackness disapears.
Smells smokey with a hint of the cherry
Taste is a very smooth stout creamy and toasty but then bam cherry comes through in a great way
Feels full and creamy in the mouth with the cherry wanting more and more
Very drinkable except the high abv

Photo of maximum12
1.9/5  rDev -46%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Rec'd in a long-ago trade. Have high hopes for this, maybe the base is Expedition Stout, one of my favorite stouts, ever.

Smells weird & looks black. Tastes...terrible. First Bell's brew I've had that was just off. The cherry taste is rather sickening, not even rising to the pleasantry of cough syrup. The malt interacts with the cherry yuckily. Blech. Thankfully my wife is around to finish it, she likes it quite a bit. Away it goes.

Photo of brewandbbq
3.87/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz undated bottle at 55 degrees.

Pours opaque black with a quarter inch head of beige that fell instantly. A fine bead of foam rimmed the placid surface, and no lacework for the duration of the glass.

Aromatics lead off with charred malts, bitter chocolate, and coffee grounds. Hints of tart cherries and fudge follow through.

Full bodied and plenty chewy. A tartness cuts through the mouthfeel.

Rich chocolate, roasted malts, and fudge batter start the palate. A mild, tart, fruit note steps forward and adds some depth.

Finishes with lingering roast, chocolate and tart fruit.

The base beer is pretty tasty on it's own, but the Cherry doesn't really add much beyond a light fruit character and tartness which seems out of place.

Photo of Martin2D
4.47/5  rDev +27%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Classic stout coloration with a small tanish head that faded quickly

S - Cherry and roasted grain

T - Cherries on the forefront, classic roasted flavors after.

M - Slightly thin on the mouthfeel for my tastes, but carbonation was adequate

D - Tough one, one might think this is an odd combination. From the nose I thought for sure there was going to be too much cherry flavor, but it's so balanced! Wouldn't want to drink a sixer (and probably couldn't!), but I would definitely want to drink this all the time if it was available.

Photo of mothman
3.58/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 8219

Poured into Sam Adams Sensory Glass

Pours a 1/2 finger fizzy head. Tan head that has a slight pink touch. Fizzles down to a thin layer. Color is a deep black. Can't see through it when held to the light.

Aroma is of soy sauce, sun-dried cherrys, and roasted malts. Maybe some chocolate (like chocolate covered cherrys).

Taste is of soy sauce at first. Then cherry tart comes through. Has a roasty taste to it.

Mouthfeel is kind of crisp, smooths out a lot and then becomes clean. Goes down easy with a slightly roasted aftertaste, but clean.

Overall, I was scared that it was too old (soy sauce taste) but I really enjoyed the cherrys. I am slowly sipping away at this one. Probably a one-only beer. But I will enjoy another one some other night.

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

*Note* My beer has 7,0%abv on the label contrary to the 8,5% listed here on BA.

Poured up absolutely black with a medium brown coloured, loosely knit foamy head that dwindled away in less than a minute. Smells like loads of other stouts with the dark chocolate and spent coffee grounds aromas so signature to the style. However, there is a very subtle sweetness present that makes this a bit better than average. Taste really caught me off guard. When you see / hear of this beer for the first time, you're probably thinking what I though: Stout + (candy/artificial) Cherry flavour. Nothing could be further from the truth. The cherry flavour present here is *real* cherry, so it's more sour than anything else, but it's a delightful combination. The drink begins with, again, signature stout characteristics (coffee, baker's chcolate, etc) but then, toward the finish, it begins to turn sour, but with a sour cherry flavour that really blends well with the heavy stout attributes. This is a rather unique beer that I find very intriguing. I wish I had bought a lot more than what I did. Mouthfeel is quite thick, and precisely where it should be for stout to my liking. Carbonation, while present, is very muted. Also, to be as thick in the mouth as it is, and with the abv at 7%(+?), I could steadily sip this all evening long and into the night, were it cold enough outside; very drinkable, all things considered.
I am thoroughly impressed with this *wonderfully* crafted stout of Bell's. Quite possibly one of the best stouts I have ever had. Brilliant!

Photo of dfillius
3.96/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Single from a mixed six poured into a pint glass

A: Aggressive pour yields 1.5 fingers of dense brown head with good retention. Black opaque liquid. Perfect.
S: Chocolate, hints of cherry, a little hint of pleasant fruity alcohol comes on stronger as it warms.
T: Tart cherry followed by roasty malt. Where'd that cherry come from?? Very tasty. Cherry and stout flavors don't always mix perfectly.
M: Puckeringly sour, then creamy smooth.
D: Good, though I wouldn't order another or buy in a six-pack.

Photo of ThePeskyDingo
3.87/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch number 8219, so its about a year and 5 months old. Still tastes very good though.

Picked up a 6 pack to split with my 2 friends mothman and DerrickBerg.

1/2 finger rich brown head. No light is let through, barely any near the edges.

Smells like rich chocolate and cherry. We pick up a slight soy sauce smell.

Has a tart cherry taste with light chocolate tastes. That ends with with a roasted malt taste.

Mouthfeel is somewhat thick, but ends clean.

This is a one and done for the night kind of beer. Its a sipper, very good though.

Photo of hardy008
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Black with a little ruby showing when held up to the light. Poured a 1 finger foamy head, faded quickly.

Smell - Malt, coffee, and cherries. A fairly mild aroma.

Taste - Sweet malt, cherries, and some bitterness of coffee. Good flavor.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full bodied. Almost a "sticky" aftertaste. Somewhat dry.

Drinkability - Drinkable, but it is a sipper to be sure.

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

Picked up a single bottle at Abe's in Bethlehem for around $2. I'm tasting this side by side with the Bell's Bourbon Barrel Cherry Stout. Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into my shaker glass. Appears a dark brown, almost black color with about an inch of dense tan foam. The foam settles to a thin layer within a minute or so. As expected, this beer is quite different than it's barrel aged brother. Smells of sour cherries, coffee, and chocolate malts. Tastes of tart cherries, mocha, like a cherry infused sweet & sour sauce, and molasses. Medium in both body and carbonation. I favor the complexity of the barrel aged version, but this is still a tasty stout. Worth checking out if you have the chance.

Photo of abecall98
4.33/5  rDev +23%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thank you so much dukedevil0 for allowing me to try this brew. Nice trade.

A - This beer is dark, pours a nice half inch tan head, that dissipates rather quickly, leaving almost no trace of lacing.

S- this beer, I am supposing due to the weak head, has almost no noticeable smell. The aroma ( the slight one there is) is of roasted malt.

T- I may be biased, I love Stouts, and I love Cherries. This beer does both wonderfully. It starts off with a malty stout robust chocolate flavor, then finishes smoothly with the sweet taste of cherries. Excellent.

M - The beer is only slightly carbonated, but compliments this beer very well. The mouth feel is very dry after wards. Again, this is what I expect from a sweet stout.

D - This beer is something I could see myself getting into in large quantities, it is not filling, and the dry smooth aftertaste makes you want another drink pronto.

This beer is delicious. I will definitely be looking for more of this Gem.

Photo of Contagion
3.92/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The color is a nice dark ebony. There is a slight reddish tint to it. It's so dark and thick that light doesn't pass through the beer. Even when held to the light you can barely see light passing through the edge of the beer. Almost no head formed when poured into the glass. What head formed was thin and tan. It faded quickly to nothing. There was some very minimal lacing on the side of the glass.

The smell is a combination of Chocolate and rich Coffee malts. A mild cherry mild scent enhances the malt scent. The flavor was much like the scent. The main flavor is a strong coffee and chocolate malt combination that is common with stouts. A slight tart cherry flavor rounds the flavor out. The cherry flavor really does enhance the rest of the beer. The aftertaste is very pleasant and fades quickly.

This is a full bodied beer. There is some creaminess, but for a stout there could be a bit more to it. Still there is more than what you get in most American stouts.

Anyone that has been drinking with me has heard me say, "Fruit does not belong in beers" or "If you have to add fruit to a beer to make it drinkable, then it is not a good beer." This, however, is the exception to the case. The cherry flavor is so mild, that it just enhances the richness of the malts. It opens up the taste buds to really appreciate the total experience. Even if you are like me and am not a fan of fruit beers, I would recommend at least giving this one a chance.

Photo of Dripdry
2.6/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Bought 1 bottle of this because I remembered it being awesome last year at Dark Lord Day, but wasn't sure (I had a lot of beer that day)

A-Not bad. dark and inky with a reddish brown head
S-Alright. acidic smell of tart cherry with espresso
T- Eh. VERY tart. I can see how they didn't want a cloying taste, but this is overboard. It gets better as it warms up, though.
M-Sticks around and hangs on, which actually is very good. I think the aftertaste of this beer might be its best quality.
D- It's tough getting through this one, but I can finish it. Would I be able to get down another one? Probably not.

Photo of jwinship83
3.82/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, batch 8870 (dec 10, 2008) with a marked 7.0% abv poured into an american pint glass.

A- This one comes out of the bpttle a thick looking black with ruby around the edges when held up to the light. the had is very small, tan, and quickly becomes no more than a crown.

S- roasted malts and coffee take the lead on this one. some cherry can be smelled, but its not over powering. better than i was expecting.

T- upfront this comes off as a typical stout. roasted malts, a bit of chocolate, and a lot of bitter coffee/hops. at the end comes a blast of tart cherries. pretty intense, but not overwhelming. slightly puckering for my taste, but im not a huge sour head. the more i drink, the more i like this.

M- medium to thick bodied with maybe a little bit too much carbonation.

D- kind of a novelty. the bottle was easy enough to finish, but i cant see myself going for more than one of these at a time.

Photo of beeragent
4.13/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle.

A - The beer pours a thick dark brown almost black, forming a 1/2 inch mocha head. No lacing is visible on the glass.

S - Nice aroma of roasted malts and light chocolate. Not as strong an aroma as I would like.

T - Very intersting. Roasted malts dominate the taste up front, then give way to a very noticeable black cherry flavor. Like roasted malts added to a black cherry sode.

M - Not as thick as expected but still heavy bodied. Very smooth.

D - Very unique flavor! Not as much "stout" taste as I would expect. There's definitely more focus on the cherry aspect of this beer. Very easy to drink, but a little more complex than I think I'm tasting. Definitely a tasty beer and one I'm going to have to try again to fully appreciate.

Photo of jnn4v
4.37/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've tried this beer several times in the past year, and I have to say that either my tastes have changed, or the beer itself ages well (probably a combination of the two).

The ratings in this review are based on the 1-year aged bottle I just had.

A: It appears stouter than the average stout. Almost imperial-stout like in texture, color, and head. Although the head may be even darker or rustier in color than some imperials. Opaque, black, oily color and texture.

S: All of the classic scents from a big stout (coffee, toasted malt, both bitter and sweetness rising, molasses) yet with a black cherry or sour cherry scent underneath. It's definitely a subtle cherry scent, though.

T: Glorious flavor. It's not at all the candy-like cherry and chocolate combination some may anticipate. It's a beautiful stout (borderline imperial stout) flavor with the coffees, chocolates and cherries all balanced.

M: Rich, thick, perfect mouthfeel for a stout. Not much carbonation.

D: The intensity of flavor doesn't throw me off. I could have several and enjoy every last drop. But it is very thick, and that does impede drinkability ever-so-slightly.

Photo of skrib09
2.21/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

poured pitch black with a red-brown head.

smells russian imperial... cherry. tart smell with a hint of soft molten caramel.

taste is cherry juice with a thick mud feeling. burnt clotted chocolate wants to come through.

this is remix of a bad chocolate cherry custard. i don't taste any flavors, i feel a clotted egg protein sensation. the tartness at the back of my throat wants me to drain pour it.

Photo of BierFan
4.08/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch number of 8730 lets me know that it was bottled on September 16th 2008. The abv is listed on the back label as being 7.0%. Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Thick brown head sits on top of a black body. Pretty good lacing and head retention. Aroma is very roasty with hints of tart cherries. The taste is a combination of roasted coffee sweet chocolate and loads of tart cherries. Perfect beer for anyone that likes fruit flavored beers and stouts.

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

12 oz bottle tried 23 Feb 2009. Courtesy of R&S as part of their fruit beer gift pack, thanks!

Poured in shaker pint glass. No head to speak of despoite a fairly vigorous pour. Very dark brown with red highlights. Smells like dark chocolate covered cherries with an espresso center. Starts quite puckery. Dark bittersweet chocolate, espresso and tart cherries throughout. Quite sour. Cocoa finish. Chewy mouthfeel, heavy body. Alcohol well hidden.

Cherries make a nice highlight in this stout.

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

I poured a bottle halfway up a wine glass. The appearance is black with very little head. Smells faintly of chocolate and fruit and some slight coffee, not a lot of nose on this in general. Taste is the same with a black cherry tone, just a bit of tartness in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is smooth and silky medium body, not to sticky for a fruit stout. I could drink a fair amount of these in the winter, the acid balances out the sweetness well. Certainly worth a try, another fine Bells Stout.

Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.32/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12oz brown pry off

Appearance: BLACK, utterly opaque, even up to the light, with a dark tan cap with slight hints of garnet...there is a LOT of BIG yeast sediment in this beer, which goes straight to the bottom and sits...I must have really screwed up the pour, but I didn't expect this much sediment

Smell: Roasty dark malts, coffee, chocolate, and a hint of tart, natural cherry, just a TOUCH of alcohol...quite nice

Taste: Woah! Puckering(!), fresh, juicy cherry, backed up by dry roasted malt, burnt toffee, coffee, etc. The initial taste is simultaneously ultra-sweet and super-tart...

Mouthfeel: Viscous and rich

Drinkability: A bit too sweet for more than one or two

Conclusion: Quite an interesting fruit beer for sure...It's pretty tasty, just a little overwhelming in its combination of ultra sweet and ultra tart characteristics...probably not a beer I'd drink on its own again, but maybe split a 12oz between me and the lady with some bittersweet chocolate cake?

Photo of russpowell
3.44/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours mahogany with a finger of mocha colored head. Below average head retention & lacing

S: Cherry juice & some cocoa & prunes?

T: Dark chcolate, sour cherry & oakyness up front. A strong pruneyness battles with the tart cherry favor as this warms. Finishes tart, dry & with a slight smokeyness

MF: Dry, oily with low almost zero carbonationn

Drank okay the ABV is well hidden, but, the tastes weren't really pulling together for me, expected so much more from this one

Bell's Cherry Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
80 out of 100 based on 2,212 ratings.