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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.

2,250 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,250
Reviews: 975
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 16.19%
Wants: 96
Gots: 188 | 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: 2,250 | Reviews: 975 | Display Reviews Only:
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

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

Pours dark with little head. What little head there was didn't stay around long. Head was brown in color.

Smell is of roasted malt and chocolate. A hint of cherry, but not much.

Cherry comes through very much in the taste. Taste is almost tart with a roasted coffee finish, hints of chocolate throughout. Strong cherry taste, but not so strong as to bury the roasted malts.

Drinkability is good if you like cherries, which I do.

Some might be put off by the powerful cherry taste, but I found this stout to be enjoyable. It's definitely not your typical stout. Makes a good dessert or after dinner beer, but would not recommend it with a meal.

Photo of dukedevil0
3.45/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Single 12oz from Archer Liquors in Chicago, IL.

A: Pours dark black with a reddish copper head that reduces

S: Smells like coffee and more so chocolate, not too different from a regular stout...don't really pick up any cherry though

T: definitely taste the cherry though, with the chocolate and coffee in the background

M: coats the palate, but seems a little thin for a stout, might be the cherry that thins it out or something

D: alcohol isn't very noticeable, but the flavor isn't very preferable to me so i wouldn't keep drinking it

Photo of Vancer
3.98/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black pour into the Corsendonk tulip, thick and foamy tan head volcanoes up, even with the semi-big 8.5% alcohol. There was a ton of yeasties on the bottle bottom, which I swirled up and added.

Chocolate malt in the aroma, which surprisingly only has a slight hint of cherry. But it hammers through in the quaff, a sour mash cherry taste, very nice. Almost reminds me of a cherry bourbon barrel aged brew.

Rich and creamy with a sour twang in the finish - a great beer to get Super Sunday off an running.

Photo of evoljetta
3.76/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2nd time drinking the beer....it has been out of Chicago for a few years..

Pours nice and dark...good head...
Smell..not much to the nose...a faint wiff of cherries
Taste...nice..but could use more stout..less cherries....I like the idea of the two flavors...but the tart cherries overpowered the stout a tad bit.

Overall....Ill get this again..part out of a nice change to stouts..part out of fear that Bells might leave Chicago again...

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

Bottle, batch 8730 (9/16/08). Pours black with a small dark tan head that fades quickly. Aroma of rich roasted malt, slight roasted nuts/coffee, and bitter chocolate. Flavor is initially quite sweet with sour cherry notes. Roasty finish. Flavor is a touch medicinal, especially as you continue to drink. Solid malt backbone though. Pretty good stout but gets a little tart/medicinal at times.
7/4/7/4/15 (3.7/5)

Photo of stemcell001
3.99/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured black as I would expect from a stout, but the head dissipated much more quickly than I would have wanted. The first whiff is cherries, dark tart cherries with subtle malt aromas. True enough, I was hit with tart cherry flavor. I was a little off put at first and then warmed to the experience over the course of the bottle. Perhaps the 8.5% ABV may have had something to do with it. I did notice some coffee and bitter chocolate malts in the back of the sip. After adjusting to the initial shock of being hit with tart cherries, I came to really like this ale and proceeded to drink another.

Photo of cnjohn19
3.56/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A - typical stout appearance when poured except the head almost immediately disappeared...

S - chocolate, roasted almonds, black licorice, and natural cherries all come to mind...niiice...

T - roasted malts seem to dominate...the cherry is a very natural cherry, like eating a dark red cherry straight from a produce stand...

M - not at all impressive...the taste travels nowhere and the aftertaste is not pleasing (like drinking coffee which was sitting for an hour too long)

D - probably will be one and done with this one...

Overall not too impressed...i'll admit I am not as familiar with stouts as I am a good hoppy beer...but i'm open to keep trying...

Photo of aggiearcher13
4.02/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The bottle on this says 7.0% ABV. Poured into a brandy snifter.

A: This is one dark stout. Pours with barely any head, just leaves a ring of tan bubbles around the edge of the glass. A little disappointing to be honest.

S: Smells like cherry and chocolate, quite nice. Maybe a little bit of coffee.

T: The first thing I taste is the tartness of the cherries, right up front, very acidic. The malts are really noticeable on the finish, very smooth with toasty flavors of chocolate and coffee. I'm such a big fan of tart cherries, I really like this a lot.

M: Nothing outstanding about the mouth feel, I was hoping for it to be a little creamier, but it's pretty darn good.

D: I could have a couple of these no problem, but any more and I'd be pretty tired of it.

Photo of TexIndy
3.11/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle that I brought back from Indy during Xmas. The back label has a dating code (#8730) that you can type into the website and get date and beer info. It was black in color with ruby highlights. Good amount of carbonation and no lacing. It had a finger of dark brown head that faded to a collar and some center carb foam.

The aroma was chocolate and cocoa mainly with some cherry but nowhere near what you would expect. I read other reviews about overpowering cherries but I didn't get that at all. The cherry was very subdued. Same on the taste. It's definitely a cherry beer but not tart or puckering. Had more of the stout and chocolate taste than cherry for me. I would have preferred more cherry as that was what I was expecting and wanting. I love cherry beers and NG Belgian Red is a personal favorite.

Overall, a good beer that is worth trying but don't hurt yourself trying to get it. I love most Bell's but this one is single instead of a triple or homerun that they usually put out.

Photo of semihobo
2.4/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Batch 8731. 7.0% ABV according to the label.

Pours a syrupy black with a hint of brown. Head is strikingly dark, a deep foamy brown. Average retention.

Smells of nuts, coffee, and of course, cherries. Some prunes on the smell as well, with some grassy hops.

Holy crap, Bell's was not cheap with the cherries. The tartness dominates, not the sweetness often found in cherry beers -- this is pretty dry. Toasted malts are swept away in a tide of sourness and don't return until the bitter finish. Very cherry, almost puckeringly so. As far as I'm concerned, this is overboard on the tartness.

Mouthfeel is sticky and acidic, leaving me thirsty for water like a kid who ate too many starburst candies on Halloween.

Low drinkability, between the ABV, price, and the sour cherry bomb with a coffee grounds backbone. I give respect for the idea, and this might be someone's favorite. They say go big or go home... and Bell's went big. But coming from a fan of fruit beers, this one is out of control.

Photo of AdmiralDiaz
3.68/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle to pint glass.

A: Poured with almost no head at all and what little there was dissipated in a matter of seconds leaving no lacing.

S: My favorite thing bout this beer. Smells like cherry chocolate truffle.

T: Here's where the drink got interesting. I was expecting a stout with a bit of cherry flavor but ended up getting the opposite. When you take the first sip, cherries hit you straight up with a slight tartness then the stout flavor kicks in only to go back to a very cherry strong, dry, and bitter finish. I wouldn't call the taste complex as much as describe it as waves of flavors. It's unique I can say that much.

Overall It was different than I had expected. It's very interesting and I recommend trying it just to get your won opinion on it. I can't see myself buying this one again though.

Note: My bottle said 7.0% abv and the site here says 8.5%

Photo of waldoiverson
3.45/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle into US Pint

A: dark brown with redish tint as poured into glass, dark brown head

S: Alcohol, Cherry, Dark Biscuity malts

T: acidity followed by sweetness, then very toasty malts, then a bit more sweetness, the alcohol is in there but behaved,

m: tart and very clean in the longrun but makes your tongue tingle at first drink

d: this one is difficult as it is such a unique beer. i like it but it is a slow sipper and one that would take off your tongue if you had back to back sessions. the abv works its magic too. as another reviewer put it, more cherry than stout but the stout toastiness is the final taste. However, the cherry doesn't let you forget that it's there and that is what you are left with.

Bell's Cherry Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
80 out of 100 based on 2,250 ratings.