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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.

2,264 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,264
Reviews: 978
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 16.19%
Wants: 95
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: 2,264 | Reviews: 978 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Gyle41386
3.32/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of buschbeer
3.72/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

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

Photo of drcarver
2.53/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of sonicstylee
3.52/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

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

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

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

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

Photo of marvin213
2.88/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

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

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

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

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

Photo of Azumel
3.82/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of Anthony1
3.37/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

poured into a snifter

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

Photo of BrewIndy
3.36/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of bakeller
3.97/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of hustlesworth
4.39/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of sweemzander
3.22/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint. Batch # on the back of the bottle.
(A)- Poured with zero foam. Thin haze of brown lace around the top surface. Completely opaque dark dark brown; almost black. No lacing at all.
(S)- Strong smell of ripe cherries, chocolate, and coffee. Strong alcohol burn mettled in with it too. Smell-wise, this is really potent stuff!
(T)- Lots of dark chocolate, but far overshadowed by lots of tart cherries. The cherry bite gives an interesting acidity level to the beer that gets kinda funky with the carbonation, but not in a bad way. Just different.
(M)- These are strong flavors! A heavy pucker from the cherries. Plenty of carbonation. This is really really sour, but in a good way.
(D)- Most definitely a sipper. For 7%abv, this feels alot stronger than that due to how potent the acidity is that the cherries give off. One would be good for me at a time. Its a nice beer that should be enjoyed slowly though.

Photo of portia99
3.35/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle received in trade from BeerLovinGrl poured into a Portsmouth goblet. Batch #8870. Glad to get a chance to try this one. Thanks.

A - Poured a deep, deep brown - almost black with a tiny,thin soda, like brown/tan head. Dissipates immediately into an extremely small ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass. No lacing at all.

S - Dark fruits - cherries mixed with others...slight sourness, mild malty sweet aromas.

T - Tart, sour cherries with molasses, coffee, roasted malts in the background with a slight bourbon flavor in the swallow.

M - Thick, full and fine bubbled carbonation. Very mouth puckering from the sourness - a feeling that lingers well after swallowing.

D - I am enjoying the flavor of this beer. It is definitely just a sipper for me. A good sized gulp just makes the puckering effect a little too much for me. This puckering really reduces the overall drinkability for me.

Photo of stumac
3.23/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

this brew pours up jet black in color with a nice tan head. the nose is cherries, dark malts, chocolate, marshmallows. I taste big malts immediately followed by super sourness! same deal....cherries and chocolate malts, full bodied, low carbo. Good buuut I could do without the sour insanity here....

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

Pours very close to dark brown with a reddish hue with cream head.
Smells very faintly of toasted malt and some cherry.
Tastes is mildly cherry with a very watery toasted taste near the end.
Finish is muddy with a little cherry pit flavor that stays just a bit.
Drinkable, the cherry helps the alcohol go down.

Photo of JAA
3.65/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Alright, batch 8339, Bell's cherry stout. The first time i tried this, i was on vacation in Orlando. It was absolutely the worst thing i had ever tasted. A total drain pour. I bought a sixer.

It is now 14 months old. The funk has finally calmed down.

Poured into my Duvel Goblet. One finger head disappeared very quickly. Now i have a thin ring of head on the edge of the glass. Color is absolute black. No lacing.

Smells like nothing but dark cherries. Just like before.

Tastes like nothing but dark cherries, much like before. But now the alcohol and the overt offensiveness of the tartness have lessoned exponentially. Much easier to drink. Almost enjoyable.

I enjoy black cherry juice. So the taste of this brew is not lost on me. But, it took a year for the harsh flavors to calm enough for this to be enjoyable.

Buy this if you dare, but you must like cherries, and you must have patience.

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

Bottle into Sam Adams Lager glass.

Pours black, thin fluffy tan head.

Nose is roasty, some espresso and cherry, fairly straightforward. More cherry as the beer warms.

Taste is a bit cherry up front, some underlying roastiness, and lots of juicy cherry towards the finish. The cherry note isn't bad, very lightly sour, not artificial, but it is slightly cough syrupy at times (especially when paired with vanilla ice cream - don't make that mistake). What's a bit odd, though, is that the "stout" part of the beer really doesn't come through much at all, and the finish comes off primarily as a shot of sour cherry juice; little sweetness, very light sourness, lots of cherry. Roasted malt only comes out very lightly in places in the finish.

Mouthfeel is smooth, lightly carbonated. Medium-full body. Lightly acidic.

Drinkability is ok. If I wanted more. Thing is, the cherry just comes off a bit too juicy, like the stout and cherry juice never really blended together all that well. As a result, I don't get as much actual stout flavor as I'd like.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.72/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Very dark with a tanned head.

S: Plenty of cherries present in the nose, along with a good amount of chocolate.

T: Lots of cherries and chocolate. A decent amount of complexity.

M: A little bit thin and a little too tart. I'll have to take some advise I've heard and age one of these for a while.

D: Drinkability is average. The flavors are a little overpowering and the mouthfeel is a tad off, but a pretty good tasting beer.

Photo of Seanibus
1.78/5  rDev -49.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

Apparently, someone likes this beer, but I cannot count myself among the crowd. This was one of the strangest and least appealing beers I have ever had.

Pours hazy cloudy black with an enormous purplish head. The smell is slight and roasted. But, Oh, the Flavor - the Flavor is overwhelmingly sour cherry, it simply blasts everything else away. The mouthfeel is fairly smooth, but that intense, overwhelming cherry flavor makes this beer nearly undrinkable

Photo of ATLbeerDog
3.95/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2008 - One Year Cellared - Pours pitch black completely opaque with a small very quickly receding caramel colored head. Smells of cherries, coffee, and tobacco notes comprise the nose. First sip is cherries, past ripe dark fruits, deep roasted malts, and a splash of tobacco. I had this fresh when the cherries were ruling this beer, now the cherries have mellowed and stepped aside allowing for a more welcoming brew. Medium bodied and now less carbonated, the beer never gets too sweet or too bitter.

Photo of Shumista
3.04/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I had been meaning to try this for a while now so I picked up a single at the store today, much better than spending 16 bucks on sixer.

Pours like a lighter stout. The aroma is pretty unimpressive, I don't smell much except for tart cherries.

I think I expected this to have some subtle cherry flavor in the background but for the flavor to be dominated by the roasty malts of a stout. The opposite turned out to be the case. This is definitely a cherry beer before it is a stout. The flavor is dominated my sweet, tart cherries, with some stout flavors in the background. Not bad, just not what I expected.

I'm glad I just bought the single, this beer isn't really my thing. Good to try though if you are a Bell's fan.

Photo of webmanspidey
3.93/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown/black with purplish head. Smell is sweet and acidic cherry and raspberry juice, mixed with background chocolate. Taste is extremely sweet and extremely cherry. Not very bitter or hoppy at all but not too malty either, but a dark and thick alcoholic cherry juice. Drinkability is excellent.

Other than appearance, this doesn't really come across as a stout to me. (Perhaps why it is classified as it is here despite the name). Fruity, sweet, tart, and syrupy.. it is one of the better fruit-flavored beers I've had.

Photo of damienblack
4.03/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Thanks to Loki for this beer in trade!

This is a tale of two beers. The first comes from the senses of sight and smell. Pours standard very dark brown, minimal head and lacing. Doesn't really leave any bubbles or anything when agitated. Smells very faintly of expresso, a little roasty, other than that, there's no smell.

The other beer comes when you taste it, and this is where it shines. The perfect balance of roasty, chocolatey stout and tart cherry. Doesn't really shine so far as complexity goes like a lot of the bigger stouts, but it's a nice beer interpretation of a chocolate covered cherry. Starts off roasty and cocoaey, and quickly turns tart - the cherry is all tartness and not at all cloying sweetness, which I love. For me, it's close, but taste is closer to a 4.5 than a 4. There is little (hardly any) carbonation here, and the mouthfeel really doesn't pack a punch at all. Drinkability is amazing - I could keep knocking these back forever. Definitely not a complex beer, but great for a relaxing, straightforward fruit beer. Far better than many I've had. I would love for this to be available here.

Bell's Cherry Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
80 out of 100 based on 2,264 ratings.