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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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2,171 Ratings
no score

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Ratings: 2,171
Reviews: 953
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 16.48%
Wants: 91
Gots: 156 | FT: 13
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Stout |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
"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 added by: Mitchster on 01-09-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,171 | Reviews: 953 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Strix
3.2/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Appearance gets high marks for being really black, low marks for head retention, averages out to average.

Smell is intriguing, I do get real cherry flavor over a burnt, roasted malt background.

The taste is all over the place. Starts out cherry, then turns burnt, then turns roasted with cherry still in there somewhere sort of resolves to an artificial cherry medicinal flavor. I don't know. It's interesting, and grew on me a bit throughout the bottle, but it's just too discordant for me.

Mouthfeel nice and smooth.

Drinkabilitywise, I don't think I could ever finish more than 1 bottle.

I found some of Bell's other stouts to be amazing (Java, Expedition, Double Cream), but this one is too experimental for my tastes. Might be worth a try if you're feeling up to it, but the flavors don't mesh well for me.

Photo of dancinwillie
2.23/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Appearance is black, with a sizable mocha colored head that slowly bubbles it's way down. The head itself appears thick and frothy.

Aroma is cherries, some roasted coffee, and a little unsweetened chocolate.

Taste is well, not good. I've had this before, many times a few years ago. And I thought it was delicious. My palate has done some serious evolving apparently however. Tastes of sour cherries, and sour milk, metal, this is bad. I will buy a single and re-review it in fairness to what I consider to be a fine brewery, and hopefully this is just a bad batch.

Mouthfeel, gonna go with average, because the taste is so bad, I don't really know.

D: not good. not good at all.

Photo of birchstick
4.13/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - super black with no head whatsoever
S - you can definitely smell the cherries in this one, mixed with huge hits of dark chocolate.
T - The cherry taste was very strong from the tip of the tounge to about three-fourths of the way back. Then the stout characteristicsshone threw with a nice blend of dark chocolate and burnt malts. The cherry taste lingered around for a while and there was a nice chocolate and cherry aftertaste.
MF - pretty full and goes down easily. Leaves a dry, tart feeling in the mouth
D - Definitely not what I was expecting in a good way. Most fruit beer usually are not the best, but the cherries in this taste like the cherries I get in August when I visit Michigan and worked well in a stout setting. This makes for an excellent sipping and dessert beer.

Photo of gonzo46and2
3.33/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Tried this a beertopia at Tank's Taproom. Appearance is stout darkness with a tinge of red when held to the light.

Smells of coffee and sour cherries. Little bits of dark chocolate and malt characteristics. I like the aroma of Bell's yeast too.

Taste is average. There's a good amount of sour and bitter from the cherries and chocolate/coffee malt profile.

Mouthfeel is a bit puckering but not too bad. This is heavy but not heavy for a stout if that makes sense.

Drinkability is ok. Not a beer I'll search for but wouldn't turn one down. Good for dessert.

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

12 ouncer purchased today at the brewery. Enjoyed in a Bell's tulip glass. (also from the brewery today...) Pours quite black under a reddish, dark tan head and leaving respectable lace on the glass. Nose is strongly of ripe cherries. Dark Chocolate, sour cherries, and more sour cherries. Pungent layers of cherry, over chocolate, some chalky drying out late. Not the greatest take on the style, but I'd like to try this as an after dinner/dessert beer....give me a piece of chocolate cake with this beer and I likely will be a happy man

Photo of botham
3/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a nonic. pours opaque black with one finger of brown, tight and frothy head. weak retention.

aroma is of roasted malt and sweet cherry that envelops the malt, and drowns out any other aroma. very simple in the nose.

taste is sweet and fruity, with black malts and a subtle chocolate and cream note. closely resembles liquified chocolate covered cherries. the fruit juice is somewhat overpowering, creating an overly sweet brew.

mouthfeel is full bodied with a creamy texture and a smooth, tart finish. very sweet on the palate.

drinkability is dissapointing. the overly sweet nature of the brew and the simplistic profile make this a one dimentional brew, without much else besides black malts and cherry flavor. for what it is, it is not bad, but the overpowering sweet juice and black malts do not come together to produce a complete brew.

Photo of markaberrant
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - jet black, avg dark tan head, no lacing.

S - black forest cake-like, slightly tart cherries and cocoa, balanced to the cherry side

T - tart cherry hits the tongue first, but stout character quickly follows. Tart cherry flavour carries all the way through. Aftertaste is slightly more burnt than cherry, finally giving us a reprieve from the cherry.

M - medium bodied, smooth. The tartness from the cherries is mildly puckering in the mouth, even in the finish, which is mildly distracting. Carbonation is avg.

D - Good tart cherry flavour, good stout flavour (from what I can actually taste of the stout). The 2 do not work together very well.

This beer is completely out of balance, way too much tart cherry for this cowboy. You'll see I also just reviewed Verhaeghe's cherry beer, and I gave it very high scores because the tart cherry character works in that beer. It doesn't in this one. I want more stout character and less tartness in my cherry stouts please and thank you.

Photo of aerozeppl
3.58/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Poured mostly black with a finger of mocha head. Head quickly retreated to the rim of the glass.

S: Chocolate covered cherries. Sweet dark chocolate. Little bit of roasted coffee as well.

T: Starts off fairly tart then goes into a slightly unpleasant hint of tartness and roast. Tons of flavors in this beer but they work against each other in some ways.

M: Medium body. Carbonation is good. Not as thick as I thought it would be.

D: The taste while interesting really cuts it down for me. The roast and the cherries are pulling this beer in totally different directions. Nice attempt but fell just short.

Photo of KeefD
3.2/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours dark brown/black color with barely any light reaching through the glass. Small amount of foam, little lacing. Slight cherry aroma, a bit of coffe, and bitter chocolate. Taste is equal to the nose. There are equal parts tart sourness to creamy malt. Lots of silky, dark malt flavors in the back with a slight cherry tint to a strange sourness. It's interesting to say the least. It's different from anything I've ever had. Tastes more like a winter warmer than a fruit beer, as the fruit flavor is not ever-present. Interesting stuff, but not one I would drink more than one of at a time.

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

Pours a pretty straight black color with a nice lid fine bubbled, bordering on creamy, roasted light brown color with a hint of cherry red in it.

Pleasant nose of some roasted and coffee aromas with hints of dark chocolate and a nice strong cherry presence.

The taste comes in subtly dark roasted and black malts with a touch of chocolatey sweetness, and a lightly nutty character. A fair amount of cherry, leaning toward the tart side, modestly overpowers the previous flavors. Light and fresh piney hops finish mellowly bitter mingling with the lightly toasted and black malt bitterness.

Well done and not over the top. It a good fruited beer and well worth a try for something a bit different if you can get your hands on some.

Photo of Brad007
3.48/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Received in a trade from csmiley

Color: Pours a deep black color with a thick brownish-red head.

Aroma: Creamy with the faint aroma of cherries and aromas of coffee and chocolate.

Taste: Cherries show up in the flavor but compete with creaminess and a faint taste of coffee and chocolate flavors. Seems to be too much cherry flavor at first but it does mellow on the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Cherry juice under a base stout.

Drinkability: I feel that the cherry overwhelms the base stout flavors that I was expecting. It adds a bit too much sourness that detracts from the roastiness that wants to stand out in this stout.

Not a bad stout overall but I don't think that cherries belong anywhere near a stout, unless you're having a stout with a cherry-flavored dessert.

Photo of Jerzdevil1116
4.03/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle purchased at Bell's brew pub. Served in a pint glass.

A: A dark, almost black opaque body with maroon highlights. 1 finger tan (with red tinge) head.

S: Roasted malt and cherries. Hints of dark fruit, chocolate and a faint presence of alcohol.

T: Big presence of sour cherries and dry, roasted malt.

M: Medium to full body. Smoothe and velvety with little carbonation.

D: A nice easy drinking beer. One of the best fruit beers I've had. Would love to try it with a dessert such as ice cream. A little on the filling side to drink more than one, but I'd definitely buy it again.

Photo of grandq
2.78/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a deep brown with a remarkably thin tan head for the force of the pour. Head doesn't stick around too long. The nose notes plum first, then cherry compote. Fairly vinous with a musty, malty base. Wowza, the cherry flavor is way more upfront than I'd anticipated and I can at first sip see this getting cloying. Pretty tart, but the sourness morphs into a kind of lactic sweetness that I quite like in a stout. Unfortunately the sweetness continues to linger as toasty oat and nut try to peak out, drowning them out for a saccharine finish. The mouthfeel is pretty good - appropriately creamy - but leaves off with a milk like film that traps the sour cherry aftertaste against the back of the throat. Almost enjoyable on a lot of counts (Bell's does make some of my favorite stouts), but the cherries could be dialed back more that a bit. Some kind of cocoa or bitter dark chocolate note might help things here. Glad I tried it, but this isn't something I'm inclined to go back to.

Photo of cvstrickland
2.25/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12-ounce bottle with no freshness date poured into a pint glass yields a dark, opaque body capped with a half-finger of luscious swirled mocha-khaki foam that, in a flash, settles to a fat ring that leaves no lacing on the glass.

Malty cherries, a weird dry-earthy-sour combination, dominate the nose, with a bitter plum note at the edges. "Good-smelling" cherries emerge only as the beer warms, but too late to save the experience.

The bitterness I smelled is the dominant flavor of the beer, with sour cherry and dry malt and a pervasive astringency. The slightest flavor of sweet cherry fruit appears briefly, knocked flat by dry malt and an unpleasant sourness. No roasty notes to speak of, nor coffee, caramel, toffee, or chocolate, for that matter, but as with the nose, a few succulent notes of cherries hide out until 'room temperature' is the next stop on the thermometer. Too little, way too late.

Not very drinkable, nor tasty, nor particularly impressive in the glass, this is the kind of brew that makes me glad my local bottle shop sells singles instead of just sixers. This way, I don't have to figure out what to do with five mediocre non-fruity 'fruit' 'stouts' that don't taste like 'stout', either.

Photo of SrMonkey
3.05/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Very deep, almost black, with red tint. Scant head, cream also with a slight red tint.

Smells of cherries, molasses, maybe a little lactose.

Sweet cherry and molasses upfront, going to sour cherry and burnt toast at the finish.

A little thin for my liking, and sour! The cherry taste lingers long after the other flavors.

The lingering cherry flavor gets old after awhile, as does the sourness.

Pretty decent stout - first fruit stout I've had, so we'll see how it holds up. I'd take Bell's Kalamazoo over this in a heartbeat.

Photo of tdrshayden
4.25/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Deep black in color with a light touch of dark red and some small lacing on the glass. The nose had a faint sour cherry scent. The taste was lush toasted grains and a sour cherry
flavor that left a dry aftertaste. The cherry flavor was more towards the finish. a very easy to drink brew, certainly not one of Bell's best stouts but a very tasty one.

Photo of AMo
2.8/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bell's Cherry Stout pours a dense deep black with a short stiff tan head. The smell is decent with medium strong hints of malt and cherries. First taste is a thick and malty with an odd sour cherry flavor in the back. Mouthfeel is medium thick, slightly carbonated, and a little too much on the syrupy side. As a stout is does get a little better as it breaths a bit, the taste mellows slightly, but still isn't really that pleasant. Overall this is drinkable, but I'm not that impressed and wouldn't recommend it as a fabulous cherry stout one should have to try.

Photo of johnnnniee
3.78/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received this in trade from sholland119, Thanks for the opportunity to try this one.

Pours a solid black with a very little tan head that dissipates almost instantly. Aroma is a subtle dark chocolate and some sour cherries, a bit vinous with a chocolate flair, really nice nose. Taste is tart cherries with a bit of chocolate in the background, but the cherries command your mouths full attention. Its tart in the front, coats your entire mouth in tartness, some bitter roast makes its way through for a couple then your left with a tart cherry aftertaste. Sticky mouthfeel, low carbonation. Very unique brew. I'm not sure I'd seek this one out again, but I'm glad I got to try it.

Photo of Dodo2step
4.1/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

P- Grape and Gourmet in Va Beach. Thanks Joe!

A- pours a creamy dark motor oil in color with tints of red throughout. a light brown burnt lacing coats the glass nothing too exciting.

S- cherries and burnt toast smell. malty and not very much alcohol smell to it.

T- The cherry is really strong in the flavor and coats the mouth. It is more of tart or sour cherry as well. A burnt or crispy type of flavoring is also there. The alcohol is well hidden and i cant even taste it at all. Very nice!

M-cherry coats the mouth. It feels like a cherry busted open in my mouth. Very silky and thick.

D- this seems easy to put down but it is a lil thick. a nice beer for the summer as my friend says but i think this beer would be great with a wings.

Photo of BeerImmediately
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours nearly opaque black - can see some sediment suspended in the thick abyss.

Smells like port wine - more grape than cherry, and faint phenol alcohol. Light smokiness that becomes apparent as you drink it.

Tart cherry rinds dominate the flavor, with some bittersweet chocolate, and a wee kick o' charcoal. The acidity (orange peel quality) becomes more apparent as it warms.

Little biting mouthfeel, with a lingering musty smokiness.

Ok on the drinkability meter, and if nothing else, this is a unique brew. Would recommend pairing with a dry, 'dark' food.

Photo of HugoGrim
3.38/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served on tap in a standard pint. Jet black body with a thick head which thins quickly, though retains decent lacing throughout the inside of the glass.

Aroma is of coco and is slightly smoky. Black sour cherry also detectable.

Dark syrupy cherry flavor. Sweet and sour fruit notes overpower the smooth stout flavor. The flavor is a bit too, well... flavored I guess I would say for my taste. I would prefer a more traditional stout flavor with only hints of cherry, but this is more like a cherry beer with hints of stout. Not bad though.

Photo of Pignuts
1.6/5  rDev -54.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I really like Bells beer, this was the first time that I ever did not like one, I looked a little flat when I poured it, and the taste was bad, cherry and dark beers should go well together, and this one did not. I know I will never drink this one again.

Photo of tiger88
3.93/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown with red tinges, almost like a coca cola. Forms a nice, small tan head that disappears rather quickly. The cerries come to the fron of the nose with coffee backing them up quite nicely. The cherry taste does not reflect the smell but they're there nonetheless. Subtle and sweet. Rather light mouthfeel for a stout, especially a Bell's stout. Pretty drinkable but I wouldn't want more than on just because the tongue really couldn't take another one.

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

On tap 5/25/08 @ crunchy's in east lansing, mi
served in 25oz mug, half off after 8pm on sundays, so this came to only $2.25 to my surprise - what a bargain!

deep opaque reddish brown, deep brownish red head, looks fantastic

served a bit colder than i would have liked, so not much was noticable smell wise other than cherry, chocolate, and other maltiness

taste is wayyyy better than bottled, really nice fermented cherry flavor, roasty malts, chocolate, bitterness, nice balance, slightly astringent, the cherry makes it taste dry like a cabernet sauvignon, loved the dry red wine aspect in comparison to the bottle i had last winter (maybe age made it better?, not sure how old the keg is)

mouthfeel was thick, smooth, easy to drink, bitter with that delicious dry red finish

very nice

Photo of hwwty4
3.25/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a 12oz bottle into a generic shaker glass. Pours a thin jet black with ruby highlights, and left absolutely no lacing whatsoever. The beers aroma is tart pie cherries, dark chocolates and vanilla. The taste is much the same with the sour pie cherries coming out big up front, which I find distracting. Also espresso and dark chocolate come through on finish. The mouthfeel is really thin for the style. All in all its good for a drink but I don't think that I would order another.

Bell's Cherry Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
80 out of 100 based on 2,171 ratings.