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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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2,286 Ratings
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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 waltonc
4.03/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first time having Cherry Stout in several years. The last couple times I had it I was not a big fan. Either my tastes, or this beer, has changed - because I like this a lot. Pours nearly black in color with generous tan head that recedes to a wave of nice lacing on the surface of the brew. Smells predominantly of cocoa with subtle dark cherries and vanilla. Taste is more cocoa, vanilla, and cherries; but this time the cherries are slightly tart. But not nearly as tart as I remember previous bottles of this being. Body is on the heavier side, with plenty of carbonation. For a fruit-flavored stout, I find this highly drinkable, even sessionable. I'll seek this out when visiting my family for Christmas.

Photo of homebrew311
3.52/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into New Belgium globe

A: pours a nice thick black with a razor thin tan head that hangs around. A lot of lacing here, appears to be sticky

S: tart cherries, vinous fruits, some grape notes all on top a chocolate malt character. I smell more fruit than malts.

T: the fruit isn't as present in the taste as the aroma, but is still there. The cherry juice lends a rather tart character that marries well with the stout flavors. I would have hoped for a bigger stout to support the cherry flavors. The chocolate characteristic is nice nice, but leaves an undersirable after taste that is a little bit sticky and sour. I wish the flavor profile would have followed suit with the nose a little more closely. Still a solid offering from Bell's.

M: very thick and heavy body which coats the mouth in stickiness. It is very nice while going down, but the mouthfeel afterwards is not my favorite

D: this beer is rich and heavy in the tart fruit characteristics. Not exactly a session beer... and at the hefty price tag, its not exactly a go to beer. It's a nice unique stout, but I was hoping for something a little different, a bigger stout character would have been desired.

Photo of BeerCoffeeWater
3.8/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

First time I've had this in about a year, let's see if it's as tasty as I remember.
A: Pours a dark black with very little head. I remember it having more head last time, oh well. Totally opaque. I want to say slightly reddish around the little lacing it leaves as I drink it, but this may be me wanting to see cherries.
S: Smells a lot more like coffee than I expected. Apparently I don't remember much from having this previously. I don't smell any cherry.
T/M: Tastes like a tart cherry infused stout (who would've guessed?) I get a nice tart cherry up front, and it finishes with a creamy thick mouthful of stouty goodness with some malty coffee-iness. Definitely a sweeter/stickier stout.
D: Average, the sweetness may be the only thing that keeps this down.

Photo of bbeane
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Poured into a tumbler... about a finger thick brown head that disappears leaving no lacing. Beer is black like coffee, with no transparency when held up to light

S- Definately coffee smell with an intensely sweet notes of cherry

M- Very tasty. Tastes like a tasty roasted coffee stout with a present, but not over powering, constant cherry taste that starts and finishes with every sip... chocolate or cocoa in the beginning while the cherry notes seem to get stronger in the finish

M- Medium to full bodied with little carbonation. Pretty smooth

D- Might start to get a bit too sweet after a few, but very tasty. I'd drink as many as I could till I got to that point


Photo of jt31914
1.55/5  rDev -56%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

12 oz. bottle

A: Dark black cherry color - no head and hardly carbonated.

S: Smells like wine and tart cherries.

T: Strong overpowering cherry with chocolate late in the finish. This tastes more like cheap wine than beer.

M/D: Pretty poor and not very drinkable

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

Batch 8144
Pitch black in color with a 1/2 finger head. Aroma is of dark fruits, chocolate, and roasted malts. Taste is dominated by tart cherry with a light acidity plus chocolate/roasted malt and coffee. Medium mouthfeel and a short sweet finish. At two years old, I think that this still has the staying power for a few years to come. I can't wait to find out.

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

Poured without much of a head. Bit of a funky smell. Dark like oil. Resembles black coffee.

First sips, a mild roasted flavor, not strong, but mixed with a sour cherry essence. Not sweet at all. More like a sour ale than a fruit beer.

Overall good, not great, but good. Bought a single bottle at Capone's in Norristown, PA. Drinkable, but I would pair this with cheese or a dessert rather than with a meal.

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.48/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep opaque sable with a fairly thick tan head. Aroma is rich and smoky with undertones of coffee, cherries and unsweetened chocolate. Smoky, slightly sweet flavor has a firm and slightly sour cherry tone as well as hints of coffee and chocolate. Silky smooth texture is just a little tingly.

Photo of philbe311
3.09/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A - A deep dark tan, teetering on brown, slight head quickly fades away leaving only a slight milky way lacing in the center of glass with a minor ring around the edges of the glass... Carbonation bubbles can be seen rising all the way to the top... A flat black color with a faint brownish hue... A minimal amount of light leaks in through the top...

S - Cherry... Milk chocolate... Caramel... A very minor roasted malt presence... Perhaps a hint of raspberry... Black forest cake... Enticing all the way around...

T - Exceedingly tart... Almost artificially tart... Raspberry... Sweet cherry... Chocolate cake... Coffee that has been sitting out way too long... The pieces don't seem fit here...

M - An ever so slight carbonated presence on the tongue to start... Sleek... Medium bodied... An odd combination of thick and thin both at the same time... A very slight chalky texture left post sip...

D - Definitely a dessert beer... Unique and memorable, but not necessarily in a good way... The components here seem a little forced... An excellent appearance and aroma aren't complemented by the disappointing taste, mouthfeel and drinkability... Honestly is a little bit of a struggle to get all the way down...

Photo of cvfish
4.12/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A - This beer poured a dark brown color that produced a frothy brown head that had decent retention and laced the side of the glass moderately

S - The aromas produced by this beer had some roasted malts, dark chocolate and cherries

T - The taste of this beer was exactly how I imagined it, roasted malts and dark chocolate were the Stout aspects, and the sour cherries were the Sour aspects of the beer, both of these in perfect harmony

M - The mouthfeel of this beer was very lacking in this Stout, very light to medium body and a moderate amount of carbonation

D - This beer is very good to me, but two of my favorite styles are Stouts and Sours, so naturally you combine the two, and you have a beer that isn't for everyone, but perfect for me

Photo of ImusBeer
3.46/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

, review from notes
Bought a six of this from the local grocery store one evening of shopping. I had visited this brewery in MI while living there back int he early 90's, at the time it was the Kalamazoo Brewing Company I believe.

Poured very dark out of a 12oz bottle some dark tan head about a fingers worth.

Aroma of some roasted malts.

I didn't think this beer had enough cherry flavor, it was very sour like a sour cherry

Didn't have the mouth feel of a Guinness, a lot thinner but a nice flavour all the same. Got better as it warmed up.

Photo of BrewsCrewSA
2.41/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Well, I like cherries and krieks, and I love a good stout so I thought this would be a useful, intriguing combination, but actually I was dead wrong.

A - Looks good, like a true stout. Pours dark, looks like a cola with tan, brown head. Not very much carbonation, hence only a quarter to eighth-inch thick head that dissipates after a few minutes. No retention on the sides.

S - Smells like a true stout, too. Malty, burnt sugars or caramel except this one has a sweeter scent, must be the cherry juice.

T - Unfortunately, here's where I have a problem. The cherries come off too strong and disrupt the mellowness of the stout. It's a rude interruption as the tartness hits the tongue first when one would expect the maltiness of a good stout. Same tartness carries the alcohol too, and the blend just gets too weird. It's barely enjoyable in my opinion. Leaves an unpleasant aftertaste, too. Just damn disappointing.

M - Would be good if it wasn't for the taste, I just can't keep it in my mouth long enough to tell!

D - Not.

Well, hats off to Bell's for trying something new and unique. I don't mean at all to knock this attempt or the brewery, it just doesn't sit well with me. Hope you enjoy it more than I did.

Photo of JamesS
3.65/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark color, with hints of red in the stream. Almost no head and no lacing, though, poor for any beer, especially for a stout, although the little bit of head did have an interesting pink tinge to it. Little scent, a bit of burnt grains and coffee, along with a very slight sour cherry aroma, but that's it. Too many flavors crossing paths, giving it a poor taste. The slight stout taste that would probably be good normally is completely over run by the sour cherry and alcohol taste. It's more of a stout flavored cherry drink. I don't think I'll ever have any more of these.

Update: I wonder if the sixer I got over a year ago was bad. I had it on-tap in Pittsburgh and it was quite good. Still not as much stout taste as I would like, but it wasn't overly cherry. Nice dark color with good head. Went down smooth with some good stout characteristics.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.75/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Nonic. 7.0% ABV. Batch # 8730 Packaged on Sept. 16 2008
Thanks to Sweemzander for the trade!

A - Cherry stout poured slightly viscous but clear and very dark red-hued brown. In the glass it's totally opaque and had a one-finger, dark brown, loose head. Low retention to a thin layer with no lacing.

S - Dark black cherries with a dusty cocoa powder aroma blend to make a dark chocolate-covered-cherry nose that smells delicious. The roasted malts give it a burnt and bitter aroma. Great presence.

T - Overwhelmingly tart from the cherries and bitter from the roasted malts. The robust malt concentration that gives off coffee and cocoa notes balance well in flavor with the cherry. It gets crisper and smooth on the finish but also really tart too. Strikingly different at first, it gets better as it warms a bit.

M - Heavily full-bodied and robust in a syrupy way. Low carbonation leads to a smooth mouthfeel that's a touch oily yet dry and the finish is a combination of tart and bitter that will make your face twitch.

D - It's flavor is a good experiment into fruit-added beers but this one is, for drinkability, a hard combo to handle. The burnt, bitter malts and tart cherries in conjunction are rather harsh and will cause involuntary head twitching. A good beer overall though. One that may be best enjoyed on a cool fall evening as it warms up.

Photo of Ryan011235
3.87/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter on 8/8/09

A - Dark ruby as it pours & settles to nearly black. 1/4 inch head with minimal retention. Not much lacing of which to speak.

S - Enticingly sweet aroma. Cherry & some chocolate. Hints of roasted coffee.

T - As the description on the bottle suggests, the cherry characteristics are indeed "tart" & are in abundance. A smooth malt profile supports the cherry with ample chocolate & a dollop of coffee. An interesting interplay between the ingredients.

M - Smooth & creamy with moderately low carbonation. Appropriate heft of body. Quite nice.

D - Expecting this to be a good beer, I was not disappointed. Though not an everyday stout, I contend that it does have a time & place. When said time & place arrive, it's spot-on.

Photo of TheViolator666
3.48/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into stout glass.

Batch 8731 - 09/2008 Vintage

A: Poured with very thin brown head, thinned out very quickly into almost nothing. This one's pretty opaque, and looks great coming out of the bottle. No signs of lacing.

S: Hard to locate the cherry in here, smells more of dark chocolate and typical stout qualities.

T: Taste is strange, hit by the tart cherries immediately and the tartness lingers 'til the aftertaste. Followed by all of the essential flavors that come with any other stout. The cherry is definitely present in this one, maybe too present.

M/D: The cherries give this one a strange mouthfeel, very fizzy and gives that carbonation feeling similar to that of drinking a warm soda. For some reason, I enjoy it. No sign of the alcohol.

The taste is good, I just think that there could be more complexity. I would definitely like to try this one again fresh.

Photo of kegger22
3.46/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured dark brown with some red tints. Modest head that reduce down to nothing very quickly. Aroma? I got some sweet something, may have been cherries, not much else. The taste was sour cherries and the barest hint of chocolate late, at the back of the throat. Feel was full bodied with minimal carbonation. Drinkability defaults to above average because this is not a beer for everyone, but if it's in your taste wheelhouse, you could drink a few. This was an interesting beer. The sour cherry taste was true to form, as advertised. As mentioned, not a beer for everyone, and I'm of two minds about it myself. The beer could almost replace a wine in certain situations.

Photo of KI9A
4.23/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark as night cola, brown, fast disapating head. Some lace splashes.

S: Roasted malt, cocoa, hard to pick up the cherries.

T: Tart cherries, dark chocolate. Like biting into a dark chocolate cherry, but, not as sugary. Some roasted malts.

M: Thinner than some stouts, but, that's a good thing on this. OK carbonation.

D: This beer is dangerous as hell. At 7%, it is EXTREMELY quaffable. If I give a 4.5/5 on drinkabilty, it normally means I have hard time putting the glass down. This holds true. As soon as the glass hits the table, I'm ready for more. Awesome beer. Only thing keeping it from a 5 is not sure I can do 2 in a row.

Photo of twaddlac
4.01/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pitch black with very little head and litte lace but pours like motor oil

S- Slight male, licorice, very strong chocolate, and a cherry smell that is only released when swirling it but not very noticeable at all

T- Heavy cocoa, 90% dark chocolate, the very bitter but that hint of sweet to negate the bite. The cherry taste is very faint and depressing when looking for something to light up your taste buds

M- Very thick with stinging carbonation, good texture that leaves residue after swallowing with a slight dry feeling

D- Very good dessert beer, would compliment nicely with almost any pastry (chocolate of course) and I would suggest something with cherry flavor as well (hoping to amplify the cherry taste of the beer). Overall wonderful beer, though I do not think that I could drink more than two at one sitting, but definately need to try it!

Photo of Gtreid
1.72/5  rDev -51.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

12 oz. bottle, batch 8730. Poured into a tulip.

A: Pours a very, very, dark rotten cherry red. Not a bad thing. A big one and a half inch tan head appears and retains well. The beer left next to no lace.

A: I get nice roasty malts, and just enormous amounts sweet, syrupy, cherry. Some earthiness from the hops come through, but it is hard to get by the huge cherry smell.

T: No thank you. I think this is just a mess. The combination of sweet and tart cherries just don't do it for me here. Way too sour. Way too sweet. Way too much cherry. Not pleasing at all.

M: Heavy body, good amount of carbonation. Just too syurpy.

D and overall impression: Drinkability is very low, due to the sweet, sour combination of the cherries. Overall, I really enjoy Bell's offerings, but this one, I'm afraid, will be a drain pour for me. Will not buy again. Skal.

Photo of rfgetz
4.2/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown to black... thin khaki head

S - Dark roasted malts and actual, real cherry. Hints of roasted coffee and semi-sweet chocolate.

T - perfect balance of dark roasted malts and a natural cherry flavor. the cherry is more on the sweet side than tart. hints of the above mentioned roasted coffee and semi-sweet chocolate.

M - on the lighter and thinner side of stout

D - suprisingly plesant, ABVs hidden well, the natural cherry flavor is a plus

Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
4.76/5  rDev +35.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: This brew poured into a pint glass was pitch
black with an almost devil's food colored
head. The dense head was brown and deep red
throughout. Gorgeous.

S: The aromas were faint but after some drink-
ing the typical stout aromas came through...
malty with a little coffee and a bittnerness
provided by the cherries, I imagine.

T: Typical quality stout at inception and when
the beer makes it to the back of your tongue
it turns your face into a knot. The bittner
ness is intense. It is quite a feat in that
such a strong flavor is imparted with a
delay and that the flavor is so fleeting.
The bitterness is not lingering on the
pallet and is not so overpowering that it
eclipses the other roasted malt characters.

M/D: I drank three and the last sip was as
impressive as the first. The creamy and
smoothness of this beer was fantastic. I
was very happy to see a fruit and porter
marriment that didn't go sweet but rather
allowed the bitterness of Michigan
cherries to compliment a brew style that
is often at its best when there are bitter
notes and flavors.

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.

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