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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,963 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,963
Reviews: 934
rAvg: 3.53
pDev: 16.71%
Wants: 88
Gots: 120 | FT: 12
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: 1,963 | Reviews: 934 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Ricochet
2.4/5  rDev -32%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pitch black pour with no head, just the faintest light getting through, and I think there is a slight redness from the cherries, but is probably my imagination. Smelled like an imperial, no detection of the cherry, mostly toasted malt and alcohol. Mouth was average for stouts I've tried, that's all. Washed like other beers.

Taste is where this beer takes a deep downward swing. I have liked raspberry porters, and other fruity beers, but when a beer has a tart fruit like Cherry or Cranberry, the tartness of the fruit overpowers the beer, no matter how good the beer is, and that is the case here. Almost imperial for strong alcohol, nice malt finish, slight chocolate flavor, but the cherry seems weak and makes me think of SA's Cranberry Lambic, only this can be tolerated.

An out of place effort for a stout. Could be better with tweaking. Not my cup of tea as is.

Ricochet, Jan 21, 2006
Photo of neonbrown82
2.73/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

The beer pours to an opaque black with a thin mocha head that almost seems to have a cherry hint to it. The head dies down within seconds, however, leaving only a small ring as a reminder.

The smell is not particularly mind-blowing. A bit of chocolate malt and cherry, a bit of roast. The aromas aren't exactly strong for what I was expecting out of a cherry stout.

The taste is pretty much terrible. The label says this is brewed with cherry juice as opposed to actual cherries... it is noticable. Tastes like they used some cheap shit they bought in bulk at Sam's or something. Very tart with a horrible aftertaste as the rich roasted chocolate begins to join in.

This is obviously not a beer I would want to sit around and drink all night. Hell, I may not even finish this whole 12 oz. Consider this beer fodder for guests.

neonbrown82, Jan 18, 2006
Photo of bahumutx
3.78/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours black with a very small tan head.

Smell: Coffee and chocolate. Also hints of bitterness and cherries. What a great smell!!!

Taste: Roasted coffee flavor throughout. At first it is sweet and then moves onto a tartness with a slight cherry flavor. There is also a hint of chocolate. As the beer warms that tartness tones down and more cherry flavor comes through along with more roasted coffee.

Mouthfeel: Medium to Thick Mouthfeel.

Drinkability: I could drink 1 or 2 of these in a sitting.

Another good beer from Bells. The tartness can be somewhat overpowering but was balanced well the sweetness and roasted coffee flavor. Keep up the good work bells.

bahumutx, Jan 16, 2006
Photo of TurdFurgison
3.95/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into IPA glass (small pint-style glass). Brown color with red tints. No head.

Smells stouty, can't pick up the cherries in the aroma. The cherries come through in the flavor though. Not too strong, just a hint of cherries. Mostly this tastes like a classic stout. A little light in body, but pretty good.

TurdFurgison, Jan 08, 2006
Photo of nlmartin
3.03/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle into a pub glass.

Appearance: The beer poured a very nice black. The head was ruby cherry tinged off whiteness. There was very thick lacing left behind on the glass.

Smell: The beer smells like chocolate dipped cherries combined with coffee.

Taste: The beers taste was a major let down for me. The cherry taste was tart as expected but somehow not enough cherry taste was present. The coffee back ground tasted like old cheap coffee left to burn on the heater.

Mouthfeel: The beer was a bit on the light side for my taste. The carbonation was not enough for a beer this light.

Drinkability: This is an ok beer. It did not meet the sink but I will not be buying this one any time soon. Maybe if the beer is given time to cellar it will be ready to drink by this summer.

nlmartin, Jan 07, 2006
Photo of plaztikjezuz
4.33/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The batch is very good this year.
pours a very deep dark ruby almost like a black muscot has a light lacy dark pink head.
the smell of alcohol, cherries, and chocolate lingers from the glass.
the flavor of tart cherries and chocolate with a light hop spice.
mouthfeel is slippery thick.
beer is very drinkable but i most enjoy on a cold night.

plaztikjezuz, Dec 31, 2005
Photo of RedHaze
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 6690, bottled 12-06-04.

Pours an inky black that allows no light to penetrate even the edges, with a very small dark brown head that fades quickly to a thin ring with trace amounts of lacing.

Smell; there's a bit of a bitter hop presence at first, but then the cherries come through with some nice chocolate malts, with a hint of coffee.

Taste; the tart cherries really stand out on the initial sips. As it warmed up the chocolate malts and coffee flavors start to come out, along with a some hoppy bitterness. It's a little hard to get used to the tartness, especially in a stout, but it deifinitely gets better as it gets warmer. I only noticed the alcohol as a slight warming, not at all in the taste. Mouthfeel was a bit thin and watery for a stout, especially with the low carbonation.

RedHaze, Dec 30, 2005
Photo of ypsifly
4.4/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12oz batch# 7127 bottled on 11-14-05 and poured into a pint glass.

Black with a decent sized light brown head that shows some tenacity, but doesn't show much for lace.

The roasted malt aromas are dominate with the cherries and lactic notes in the back. There's a woody presence that reminds me of the Special Double Cream Stout and just enough hop aroma to add to the complexity.

Very full and creamy mouth. Amazing! A five in that category for sure.

This doesn't taste as roasted as it smells. It still has plenty of flavor from the dark malts, but the cherries balance the eqation....thus the virtual experience of chocolate dipped cherries. Not as contrasted as the real thing, but its there. Damn tasty.

The only factor that could hurt the drinkability is the abv, which is totally masked and can sneak up on you.

ypsifly, Dec 22, 2005
Photo of stewart124
3.88/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Fizzy brown head that does not last long on top of this dark stout with ruby highlights. After 5 seconds the head is down to nothing. Smells of dark roasted malts and faint hints of sweetness. Bits of chocolate and coffee present.
Very smooth body and texture leaning towards creamy. Dark malts are a definite and coffee tastes are there. Warming with a slight sweetness in the finish. Reminds me of a piece of chocolate cake or chocolate covered cherries. A bit sweet but still a pleasing beer. Maybe better after it has warmed a bit. Not the most drinkable beer but still worth a try.

stewart124, Dec 10, 2005
Photo of benito
2.83/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From the bottle, this pours an impenetrable black with a sizable tan head that holds on strong. Later, with less beer in the glass, I noticed dark ruby hints along the liquid's edge that contrasted with the dark cocoa shades of its center: as though chocolate-covered cherry were liquifiable.

The bouquet is a powerful cherry, with its tart overtures in full throttle. And, that more or less sums up my experience with the actual drinking of this beer as well. The taste is a strong cherry, more like tart juice than anything else. I struggled to find any 'stout' like qualities and was disappointed that there was virtually no bitter balance to dry out the cherry flavor. Rather medium bodied, this brew is drinkable and has a nice feel to it. Were the flavor profile more complex, I think it would be easy to have two or three of these.

Whoever first reviewed this on BA was spot on in categorizing this as a 'fruit beer' rather than a stout. Not bad overall, but in general I'll stick to Bell's other, great beers.

benito, Dec 04, 2005
Photo of goodbyeohio
4.28/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

i hereby dub this beer, "Three Philosophizers"

this is a dark beer with a sincere redness to it.. is it a tinge to the foam, a hue, or my imagination? no real foam left soon and no lacing. aroma is laden with cherry syrup, reminiscent of lindeman's raw power. sweet chocolatey stout aroma exists minimally. nose lacks earthy, nutty qualities and combines nicely with the fruit.. black forest cake comes quickly to mind.

flavor, again, is dominated by the tart sour cherry character. this is ultimately a fruit beer, despite my expectations of a coffee dominated brew with estery notes. instead, cherry here is accented by dark sweet malts, cocoa, dirt, and mild hops.

nothing too complex and something that could probably be mixed at home with two other commercially available products. however, bell's thought to do it in one bottle, and they get points for that. im sure this beer has its enemies, but this runs right up my alley. kudos.

goodbyeohio, Nov 02, 2005
Photo of beveragecaptain
3.23/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle. This beer has a nearly black color topped with a thick layer of dark brown foam. The aroma is chocolate, roasted barley, and cherries. Roasted malt flavor with some tangy tartness. Cherry flavor comes through in the finish, but it's a creamy sour flavor that I don't really enjoy. Mouthfeel is too thin. Not very good drinkability. The stout flavor is pretty good, but I don't like the fruitiness.

beveragecaptain, Oct 17, 2005
Photo of blackie
3.78/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

re-reviewed July 09, 2008

Batch # 8244 - November 30, 2007

a: pours a modest mocha head, the beer is nearly black in color

s: love how the tart cherries peek out from behind the roasted malt background, freshly dried cherries covered in a fine dark chocolate, german chocolate cake with a thick cherry sauce, cherry compote over a chocolate cheesecake, any other dark chocolate-cherry dessert you can think of, quite nice

m: low-medium carbonation, medium-full body

t: roasted chocolate over a tart dried cherry filling, finishes very roasty, not as intriguing as the aroma but still quite good

d: an enjoyable beer, especially camping in the winter

single bottle from Team Beverage Raleigh

old review:

appearance: fizzy, dark brown head dissipates very quickly. The beer itself is very dark in color with only a little hint of reddish brown coming through the edges. Batch # 6587

smell: An obvious, but not so much as to be too overdone, cherry smell is present. Maybe some chocolate and dark fruity notes. Slight alcohol twang and a little roasted coffee. Hop aroma is low or masked. I am picking up some not too pleasant smells in this one, including some of the vinegeriness I usually associate with oxidized red wine.

mouthfeel: pretty high in carbonation, body is a little below medium

taste: Strange. Chocolate, dark malty flavors and cherries dominate. Immediately after swallowing I notice a bad astringency that only gets worse. It is quite detracting. Some coffelike flavors. Some hop bitterness. I can feel the 8% alcohol after a while.

My least favorite of the Bell's line


bottle dated 10.08.13 consumed 12.06.13 as number 3/6 in my Bells back-to-my-roots six-pack night...had a great experience with this tart, roasty goodness backpacking one winter night awhile back, and that always sticks in my mind, not quite sure where we were, but it remains a special thought - best upon warming as the cherries start to pull through better, the roast and tart cherry interplay is enjoyable - particularly on the nose, the char and fruit acids compete a bit on the tongue, pulling out some tarred flavors, overall an enjoyable sip

slight score change, previously 3.5, 4, 3.5, 3.5, 4

blackie, Oct 08, 2005
Photo of UncleFlip
3/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Nice and dark (ruby around edges) with a very healthy head that's a mix of tighter and looser bubbles (one or two massive ones in there). Head disapates fairly quickly, leaving little lace behind.

The smell is thick and sweet, like an oatmeal cookie dough smell, mixed with a hearty dark crusty bread and cherries.. It's a buttery mollasses smell. Reminds me of some smells from the kitchen where I spent time as a child, but it's not one I would think of when I think of beer.

The cherry flavour (STRONG flavour of black cherry juice) is rather overbearing. Somewhere under there is some stout flavour, but it seems way too weak. A better balance of the flavours would be much better, IMO- and maybe smething more subtle than black cherry.

The tight carbonation dances on the tip of your tongue. At the same time, the liquid underneath is just a bit thinner and more watery than I expect in a stout.

I give this one low marks on drinkability because the cherry is WAY too overbearing, and would put me off after just one. I would also want more stout quality to keep my attention.

Great concept (I like fruit and stout), but this one misses the mark.

Be well

UncleFlip, Sep 28, 2005
Photo of dirtylou
3.68/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

appearance: quite a pour. very dark with dark brown/ruby had that fades after a minute or two. quite intriguing

smell: sweet michigan cherries are potent, with a dark roast scent in the background

taste: sweet cherries, medium coffee roast, which at first seem to mix kind of strangely. it takes the taste buds a minute to get used the complexity.

mouthfeel: very sweet and rich

drinkability: alcohol was definately masked by the bold flavors, probably dont need more than 1 or 2 at a time though

this is certainly worth trying, as is any stout that Bell's unleashes on the market. I dont know what I would do with a 6 pack of these though, glad i just got a single.

dirtylou, Aug 09, 2005
Photo of BEERchitect
4.08/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Plops thickly and richly into the glass. Has all of the lacing and legging that you look for in a strong stout. Tart and sour aromas from the fruit flavors. Coffee and chocolatey as well. Tastes devinely sweet and tart. Like a chocolate covered cherry and coffee. The hop bitterness / flavors and the cherry sourness makes a bit much salty and metalic. Get some apple and oak flavors out of this. Full rich body makes me look for a fork and a knife. Creamy texture slides down easily. She's a sipper, but well worth the effort.

BEERchitect, Aug 04, 2005
Photo of Golden2wenty1
3.93/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a single at Riley's here in Madison.

Pour is a thing of beauty...pitch black with ruby highlights and a gorgeous coffee colored head. I love a dark headed beer. Smell, interestingly enough, is of cherry flavored yogurt. A little sour, with some hops and alcohol notes. Taste is quite unique - smoked wood, bittersweet cherry juice, with alcoholic vapors. It's pretty sweet and a little syrupy, but I don't mind, I like a thick beer. Many might think it's a little cloying, but I enjoyed this fruit-themed stout from Bell's, a brewery yet to disappoint me. Have some balls and give this one a try.

Golden2wenty1, Jul 30, 2005
Photo of DrJay
3.1/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very dark, black, with faint brownish red highlights. Meager ring of head, chocolatey brown with a slight reddish quality. Strong roasted aroma, chocolatey malt, light alcohol, and cherries, smells almost like black forest cake. But there's also a bit of acrid burnt character that's less pleasant. Slightly acidic all the way through with some fruity sweetness. Malty base with lighter roasted and chocolate than in the aroma. Finishes dry from malt and fruit, with lingering cherry and very mild alcohol. Low carbonation, medium body. Fairly tasty, but more maltiness with less astringency would help balance this one out quite a bit.

DrJay, Jul 22, 2005
Photo of mynie
4.05/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark, not quite opaque but close. Incredibly large head that fizzes out quickly.

Smells of a deep coffee stout along with a cherry wheat. Strange, is all I can say. Nice.

Sour tasting. Big cherry, like candy gum, rushes of coffee and roasted malt in the middle. Nothing intense, just a lot of niceness that happens to run togehter well. Faded grain aftertaste. Nice.

This is a nice beer. Easy drinking and tasty.

mynie, Jul 20, 2005
Photo of SupaCelt
3.6/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Damn near black. Not black though. No such colour exists according to the intellectuals. Close. A micro head caps the apex for just a blink. It is ruby to tan and rings the rim after the half hearted display is over. Sparse croppings of carbonation bubbles appear in isolated regions of the inner circle. Lace mostly slimes back into the ring apart from a few random splotches.

The nose throws major sweet cherry tones that seem to mute the stout tones. Some cream comes through, but chocolate and coffee standards are seemingly quelled. Not completely eclipsed, but kept in check like a battered wife. Actually, if I had blindly sniffed this brew, I may have ventured a guess that the fruit was something other than cherry. The stout scents distort the cherry. Okay, the two aromas produce some weird effects. I feel as though I am contradicting myself here. I say it smells like cherry and that it does not reek of stout and then I say it smells like neither or maybe it does. (Taste) Drink the damn thing and try to understand where I am coming from. This sucker flips the script. I need my meds. So do I. Shut up. No, you shut up! The body is thin for a stout...or so it seems because of the sweet cherry that I think might be in here. But it isn't a stout. Yes it is! There is no cherry. Bull roar! I cannot drink this again, for I will have an episode. No more. Too much. I am sticking to the traditionals. Who needs fruity brew anyhow. The flavour is the same as the smell. Confusing. Interchange them as far as this document is concerned. Cherry stouts are not to be trusted.

SupaCelt, Jul 16, 2005
Photo of schoolcb
3.2/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark garnet with a reddish hue I reckon is contributed by the cherry. Little head, but what is there persists as a reddish tinged lace of tan bubbles. Aroma of roasted malts competes with the sweet cherry smell. This beer is all about the cherry. It's the first thing you taste and the last thing you taste. The stout flavor is in there, and it's good but it has a hard time peaking out from behind the cherry. The cherry adds a cloyingly sweet aftertaste that actually leaves a puckering "after-feel" in my mouth. I heard good things about this particular beer and I have to say I'm a little dissappointed. Back off on the cherry and I think they'd have a winner.

schoolcb, Jul 13, 2005
Photo of Quaffer
3/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Picked this up at Gomer's in KC, MO. Not available here in Wichita.

Appearance: This beer poured a very dark, reddish-brown color. It didn't let any light through when I held the glass up to the window. The slightly viscous fluid produced a dark brown head less than one finger in height. That disappeared quickly until only a thin ring of bubbles remained around the circumference of the glass. There was no lacing.

Smell: Fresh cherries, sweeter in character that what I usually detect in stouts, were strong right after the pour. This aroma mellowed out and became sharper as the beer settled. It was joined by deep roasted malts, a light charred aroma, and a subtle smokiness. A little bit of sweet vanilla and spice was in the background.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, sometimes almost slipping into the full-bodied catagory. It had an oily and somewhat coating quality to it. Overall smooth with a light carbonation developing in the throat.

Taste: Damn, I hope you like cherries. A strong, tart cherry flavor dominated the flavor and lingered for longer than it needed to. There was some heavily roasted malt in the background, as well as some alcohol on the finish. But that was it. The cherries were dark and sour, making the mouth water on almost every drink.

There is nothing subtle about the cherry flavor in this beer. Not like I was expecting. I was hoping for a better blend of the cherry flavor and the stout characteristics. Somethiing rounder and fuller would have been nice.

Quaffer, May 30, 2005
Photo of whynot44
4.15/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Very dark opaque, almost black with just a touch of red at the edges and a creamy chocolate colored head that dissipates quickly to only a trace of lace.

The aroma is interesting with dark roast malt predominant, hints of chocolate and cherries are also present.

The taste is slightly vinous due to the cherry flavor. It is a little like eating a black forest torte with coffee. The cherry flavor is always present but is not overwhelming and blends well with the chocolate and roasted malt flavors. Finishes slightly sour but creamy with a lingering choclate cherry flavor.

Full bodied, almost like an oatmeal stout, the alcohol warmth is nice at the end. This is definitely not a summer cooler or session beer but could make an excellent desert or after dinner drink.

whynot44, May 16, 2005
Photo of amatuerbeerguy
3.3/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reddish brown head, low retention, medium carbonation. Dark color body, a nice aroma of malt, chocolate, and cherry tingle the senses. Some what harsh translation between the chocolate and the cherry flavors. Semi sweet chocolate gets overwhelmed by the highly sweet cherry. Moderate mouthfeel, lending itself to a drinkable fruity stout.

amatuerbeerguy, May 05, 2005
Photo of UnionMade
3.3/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Mikeys01 for the bottle!
Upon first pouring, I thought the beer was flat. Not a trace of head. A thin rise of bubbles sluggishly forms a weak collar, but that's about as much head as this beer forms. Inky black, completely opaque.
The aroma initially smells a little winey and oxodized. Sniffing further, it's really just a mellow black cherry undertone to the roastiness. Not much else is present.
The flavor presents itself nicely. So far this was looking pretty lackluster, but the flavor is good. Solid roasty goodness up front, chocolatey. Very fruity, driven forward by a luscious black cherry flavor. Hints of plum and red grape. Some sourness into the finish, framboise-esque, offering balance to the sweetness. A bit of a voinous, cardboardy oxodization in the end, finishing with chocolate covered sweetness. Syrupy heavy body, with soft carbonation sluggishly pulling it along.
Kind of a stout/framboise hybrid. Interesting and tasty. The closest comparison I can think of is Magic Hat's Feast Of Fools or one of those fancy chocolates with the cherry inside. I think my bottle may have been a bit old, I'd like to try this again when I know it's fresh.

UnionMade, Apr 29, 2005
Bell's Cherry Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
80 out of 100 based on 1,963 ratings.