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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.

2,112 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,112
Reviews: 943
rAvg: 3.52
pDev: 16.76%
Wants: 93
Gots: 147 | 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: 2,112 | Reviews: 943 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Chaz
4.43/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Bell's tulip, chiled but not cold. Cocoa-brown in color and totally opaque when held up to direct sunlight. Topped by a one-fingered medium tan head (with hints of auburn/rust) and with good lacing evident; lacing and head stuck around quite a while. The nose is truly extraordinary, offering something for everyone. There's the expressive malt character (from the bready/yeasty to the toasty and roasted) with slight espresso notes, as well as the fruit aspect (a semi-lactic sour cherry tang) to consider here, and if anything the hops are subdued on the nose. Either way, the nose alone is worth the experience of ordering this one from the tap line up. There's a bright cherry tang on the first sip, but it is quickly subsumed by the interplay of rich malt. Complex . . . the herbaceous cherry notes return at the finish and spar with the toasty malt. The cherry really lingers here, in the way that hop bitterness typically lingers, and is very expressive in the aromatic element as well. In the past I've found this beer to 'open up' and become more flavorful after a year or more in the bottle, but not so here, this is drinking like a two year old (and well-kept) bottle! As it warms the creamy mouthfeel and medium-full body help to underscore the notes of bitter chocalate and espresso, which play out midway through the palate. Biscuity malt notes combine with light cocoa (bitter chocolate) notes, and give the body a pleasantly grainy texture, especialy as it warms. Carbonation is moderate throughout - this never feels downright 'heavy', even though it is a fairly big beer. For that matter the alcohol is never intrusive, and is gently warming. It should be noted that the ever-present cherry is of the fruity-dry quality rather than the fruity-sweet; this ain't no girly fruit beer! There's a light sweetness to the malt and a very agreeable bitterness, too. This is a marvelous rendition of a flavored stout, and with great balance being a big plus in the crafting of such a substantial brew. Outstanding.

Chaz, Mar 17, 2007
Photo of boxofepilepsy
4.13/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- bottle to pint glass. very dark burgundy doesn't seem totally stoutish. small head is redish brownish

S- smell is interesting too. cherries obvious along with alchol. chocolate is there too.

T- bitter cherries first but not overly fruity. chocolate is masked but compliments nicely. finishes very sweet.

M- a little carbonation. light for a stout, though.

D- alcohol is almost totally masked, which is a plus because of the content. cherries not overly tart but a little strong, making the beer a little too sweet for more than a couple in one sitting. good buy tho.

boxofepilepsy, Mar 13, 2007
Photo of Kegatron
3.9/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From batch # 7674

Pours almost reddish brown with a similar colored head. Aroma is very strong with tart cherries and some light chocolate & malt.

Mouthful is creamy with some light carbonation. Taste of malt & chocolate up front that is then nearly hidden by an overpowering finish of sour cherries. A very stark combination of a stout and some kind of fruit beer.

Even without much of a balance between the stout flavors & the sour cherry taste, I still really dug this. It would maybe work better with less of a sour taste but I still found it to be highly drinkable.

Kegatron, Mar 11, 2007
Photo of psinderson
3.93/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served on-tap in pint glass.

Appearance: Dark, typical stout color. Huge caramel head that lasts.

Smell: Not much here. Some caramel, a little cocoa, malty.

Taste: Very complex and yummy. Almost like chocolate-covered cherries, but not as sweet. Some citrusy hops inthe background. The cherry carries through to the end, but it is not overwhelming.

Mouthfeel: Thinner than I expected. A little tangy in the mouth.

Drinkability: The extreme complexity of this beer unfortunately hinders the drinkability. One at a time is probably all that most could handle.

psinderson, Mar 09, 2007
Photo of drseamus
4.3/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

According to the back, this is batch 7734. This will be my first Bell's, so I am excited to try it.

This beer pours very dark, but the stream from the bottle has a very dark red color in it. There is almost no head even when poured from a decent height.

There are two equal aromas, cherries and roasted malt. The beer is about 50 degF but the aroma is still pretty weak.

The flavor constantly changes as it progresses along my tongue and mouth. It starts off with roasted malt but quickly changes to sweet cherries and then finishes with a great tart cherry flavor. I really like how complex the flavor is and how it is dynamics. By the end, I can almost picture eating fresh cherries, although it is by no means too strong. This is perhaps the best fruit beer I have had.

I do have to limit the drinkability because it is a bit sweet to drink a bunch of them.

drseamus, Feb 26, 2007
Photo of weasbri
2.85/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I had high hopes for this beer. Michigan cherries in a stout? How can you go wrong?
Well, it went just a tad wrong. There's a balance that is lacking, it seemed to me.
The beer pours a deep black, with a hint of red to the insignificant head. There's a hint of cherry in the aroma which is dominated by coffee and cocoa.
Then you take a sip, and each flavor hits you: sour cherries, cocoa stout, and a slightly off-putting alcohol aftertaste that stays around in the mouth.
This one just didn't strike the right balance of flavors for me. Individually, it sounded like a good idea, but putting them together just didn't work for me.

weasbri, Feb 21, 2007
Photo of Sephiroth
3.9/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 7734. Pour is normal enough, the beer is black. Nice aroma of chocolate and roasted malts, the cherry juice blends well with everything.

There is a battle between the tartness of the cherry juice and the sweetness of the malts. This is like a chocolate covered cherry, with half of the chocolate being sweet, the other half is dark and bitter. Mouthfeel is thick, the bubbles are small. I will probably buy this again, but one is enough for now.

Sephiroth, Feb 11, 2007
Photo of Fish113d
4.38/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, it pours a dark brown with dark ruby notes througout the body. The head is fizzy, lite, and a tannish color w/ also ruby tones. Fizzles out to a slight edge layer on the sides. Lots of sour cherries on the nose along with a big robust dark-roast coffee & chocolate aroma. I also get a bit of almond in there as well. Very roasty, fruity, and lots of chocolate basically; yummy! Tart cherries highlight the sip mostly, but a dash of alcohol kills off some of that leaving a nice shot of roasty chocolate flavors. The carbonation is mediocre, while it fizzes out, the alcohol comes to visit, and it helps dry out the finish. Overall, a delicious brew in my opninion that a few of my friends and I enjoyed together during the Super Bowl. A great buy!

Fish113d, Feb 09, 2007
Photo of jhicks12
3.7/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured a nice midnight black with red hue.

Smell: Very nice chocolate roast malt smell and nice cherry nose.

Taste: I had great expectations for this beer on a taste point since I dig Bells beer and love stouts and cherries but the cherries made this beer dry and too sour cherry for me.

Mouthfeel: It had a nice medium, lively mouthfeel.

Drinkability: I would like this beer from time to time, but to me a little bit too sour cherry taste but still another quality beer from Bell's

jhicks12, Feb 03, 2007
Photo of Higravity
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Looks like a dark stout with slight red tones on the edges. Smells of cherry tartness and roasted malt. The flavor is a wallop and the cherries are right up front offering tartness with the cherry flavor with out being cough syrup by avoiding the sweetness. The roasted stout comes through in the finish and provides and nice ending to the beer that might be overpowering without it. The mouthfeel is good but this is something to be enjoyed singlely.

Higravity, Feb 02, 2007
Photo of JohnnyM2002
3.43/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampled from a 12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass at 40 degrees.

A - Pours a deep brown with ruby red highlights and a small caramel-brown head. Too cloudy to notice any carbonation.

S - Smells of cocoa and burnt toffee/malt with only a light cherry background.

T - Cocoa and coffee stout flavors up front with a tart cherry finish...it's really like night and day. One minute I think I'm drinking an American Stout, but it finishes like a fruit beer...confusing. If the cherries were more blended with the other rich flavors, I would have enjoyed it more...instead, the fruity finish seemed like overkill.

M - Creamy body with good carbonation...just too tart of a finish for me.

D - Too bad about this one...I bought it for my wife, and she did say that it is helping her adjust to stouts...which is a good thing, so I guess it served its purpose. I don't believe I'll be purchasing another of these - it's not bad, but if I want a fruit beer, I'll go for a lighter wheat selection.

JohnnyM2002, Jan 31, 2007
Photo of mmmbeer
3.9/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, brewed with cherry juice - batch 7674 (packaged October 12, 2006). It pours an almost impenetrable black that reflects like an obsidian mirror, and is topped with a thin, orange/brown head that reduces to a collar and leaves light lacing. It has a luscious, almost intoxicating aroma that consists of tart cherries, roasted malts, and green/piney hops. Not too complex, yet divine. The flavor is mouth-puckeringly tart with big sour cherry overtones that mask the other flavors, which consist of coffee/roasted malts, chocolate?, raspberry, and a mild bitterness. A downside is that the tartness of the cherries makes it hard to savor the flavors and forces an almost immediate swallow. The body is medium with medium carbonation and finish, and is fairly dry due to the cherries. It is reminiscent of the "chocolate truffle" (Legend Imperial Stout + Lindeman's Framboise) I tried at a beer bar in Ghent, but overall it is too tart for a stout. The amount of cherries is sufficient for the aroma, but it's an overload on the palate. Perhaps a better addition would be some kind of sweeter fruit like blackberry or strawberry. However, glad to try this unique offering, especially because of its wonderful bouquet.

mmmbeer, Jan 28, 2007
Photo of asabreed
4.22/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Dark as the night without the lights, though the head fades too fast. Still some lines and spots of lacing around the top of the glass and a ring around the edge.

Smell: For me, Bell's Stouts (in any form) always have a particular aroma, though I can never fully put my finger on it. Could be the water in that case, and it probably is. But regardless, here I'm getting only a faint whiff of cherries, as a nice addition, and which is probably for the best. Some nicely balanced roasted malts and sweetened chocolate also. Not the most complex, but balanced and nice.

Taste: I have to say, I like how the cherries are adding both a sourness and a certain amount of depth to the finish, where the ripeness and freshness is felt. To me this doesn't feel like syrup at all, but real cherries, and I hope that's the case. Initially, though, this is certainly a big stout, with the burnt and roasted characteristics of the malt coming to the front, and the cherries slowly catching up to add a cut, some sourness, and some freshness to the mix. Finish is fairly long and a nice balance of the stout complexity and the additional cherries for a nice compliment.

Mouthfeel: Certainly thick and rich, with enough backbone to coat well and not be too astringent or poorly carbonated to not adhere to the thickness of the brew.

Drinkability: Since I just purchased one bottle, I'm happy with it. One thing is, as with most good big stouts I suppose, the alcohol isn't very present at all, and with the 8.5% I'm surprised. Probably wouldn't want to drink more than one in a sitting, but I really liked this, especially for the fruit and stout combo, which I imagine doesn't sit well with a lot of folks trying concoctions from many breweries--this formerly skeptical guy included.

asabreed, Jan 20, 2007
Photo of gmfessen
3.93/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer is thick and dark with a slight red hue and a huge bubbly brownish-red head. Smell is primarily of roasted malts, chocolate, coffee and only very slightly of cherries. Taste is initially reminiscent of cherry juice, followed by a toasted malty finish. Alcohol is well covered. Mouthfeel is viscous yet light in body with little carbonation. This is a good sampling beer but I don't think I could drink a whole six pack in one sitting.

gmfessen, Jan 10, 2007
Photo of arguemaniac
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a fairly viscous, oily black with a creamy brown head. Sweet aroma with a touch of fruitiness. There are some heavy roasty notes and strong bitter burnt coffee flavors in the palate, along with a surprisingly refreshing tart cherry flavor, but all of that is somewhat masked by an intense sweetness. In fact, I would really have to say this brew reminds me of many of the sweet/milk/cream stouts that I’ve tried; it’s got that same slightly sour sweetness to it. Not bad, the tart cherry and “sweet and sour” flavors make this moderately thick stout pleasantly drinkable. Recommended.

arguemaniac, Jan 02, 2007
Photo of timtheenchanta
3.38/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

01.16.2006 bottling courtesy of BeerBeing in the Birthday BIF.

Still a little carbonation left in this one after a year. The pour doesn't leave as much head as it otherwise would have but there's still a thin line on top. It's pitch black with thin lines of red (not light shining through the edges but an actual red tint... I guess from the cherries... Not much lacing.

Slightly tart smelling fruit (cherries obviously) which is almost reminiscent of tasty cough medicine or something of the sort.

Coffee flavor with a sour cherry flavor. A bit different cherry taste than I was expecting. It's not necessarily bad but it is more sour than sweet.

Not a bad offering. Very different. Nothing spectacular but not an A lister.

timtheenchanta, Jan 02, 2007
Photo of Atlas1
3.78/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a Belgian beer snifter. It's a deep dark black color. Very nice and rich-looking, with a thin burnt-orange head which dissipated faster than expected. Little to no lace left on the glass. The aroma is nice and pleasant. Very mild, but that's not a bad thing. A nice malty fragrance with notes of cherry floating up and catching my scent in the back of the nose. Quite enjoyable, and unlike any other stout (or beer) that I've had before. The flavor is, as predicted, dotted with cherries along the way. A nice, smooth, malted stout with a quality fruit impression seems to me like it would be hard to pull off, but Bell's does so with ease here. The mouthfeel is solid and I'd call this a most drinkable beer. I'm pretty sure that I'm not always in the mood for cherry stouts, but this is definitely where I'm going when I am. A most pleasant way to start off my New Year's eve celebration, I'd say. Well done.

Atlas1, Dec 31, 2006
Photo of CH3CH2OH
4.33/5  rDev +23%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In appearance, pretty much like any stout. Came to the table with a thick head that looked almost nitro. A strong boquet of roasted malt and cherries. Flavor is wonderful - sort of a Dr. Frankenstein-like admixture of a strong stout with New Glarus' Belgian red. The tart cherries act as a perfect balance to sweet malt. The mouthfeel is thicker than a typical draft stout, thinner than an imperial stout. Drinkability was surprisingly good. I see it as a dessert beer, but it is not too sweet to drink with strongly flavored food.

CH3CH2OH, Dec 30, 2006
Photo of objectivemonkey
4.1/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Into a Guiness glass, pours pitch black, nice half inch tan head that recedes kind of quick, ok splotchy lacing, and if I'm not deceiving myself, just the slightest red with tan around the ring of head thats left. Aroma is full of cherry of course, but done pretty well, thanks in large part to the roasty dark malts with some coffee and sweetness. As for the taste, if fails as all other cherry whatevers have failed... i just can't get past the cherry taste, no matter how authentic. But for the style, it pulls it off pretty well. Its pretty sweet, and not jsut due to the cherry, but there is good bittering and in all its a well rounded beer, quite polished. Mouth is also pretty damn good, medium mouth and good carbonation, pretty smooth. In all, I won't drink another cause I just don't like cherry-themed beers, but its a good one either way.

objectivemonkey, Dec 29, 2006
Photo of foureyedgeek
3.15/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 7220 which, according the Bell's website, was packaged January 16, 2006. Not concerned about the time span, its pretty minor considering the style and ABV.

Poured into a pint glass. Pretty lackluster in the glass, merely a small thin pink-tan head from the get-go which fades to a small ring of foam very quickly. Dark body.

Smells of roasty malts, though thats about it, no strong cherry aroma, just a slight hint.

Taste is quite smoky with a nice touch of cherry through the swallow. Quite tart/sour in the finish, as well. In regards to style, this beer does well, its got a lot of fruit in the idea but the follow through seems a tad weak. I'd expect a tad more fruit and the smoky flavor really seems off to me.

Mouthfeel is full-bodied, though not as thick as I'd think from a stout.

Drinkability is ok, the sourness is a little too much and coupled with the high ABV, its tough to want more than one. A decent and unique sipper, but nowhere near my favorite Bell's beer.

foureyedgeek, Dec 23, 2006
Photo of clabaugh
3.13/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Deep, dark brown with a one finger head colored burnt siena. Very handsome looking. It's a pity the head doesn't retain terribly well. Lacing is extremely sparse.

Smell: Decadently malty, smelling foremost of chocolate, toasted barley, and sweet, ripe cherries. Not exceedingly complex in the nose, but pleasant.

Taste: Subtly chocolatey, with a tartly acidic cherry flavor. Confers a striking resemblance to chocolate-covered cherries.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied for a stout. Creamy, and a spot tingly. Somewhat sour in the finish. Not this beer's best attribute.

Drinkability: The acidity of the cherries seems to accumulate, which really limits one's enjoyment of the beer.

clabaugh, Dec 21, 2006
Photo of Minkybut
2.25/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Pourded beer into a tumbler at 50 degrees.
Beer was a pretty dark color with a reddish hue, thin brown head. Smell was faint of cherry and vanilla, actally smelled oretty good. Whew, taste was just too strange for me. A kinda sour cherry taste with the stout taste getting way lost in the mix. i had to pour it out after drinking about half. Will not purchase again.

Minkybut, Dec 20, 2006
Photo of trinitone
2.08/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I'll start off by saying that I was let down by this beer. I was hoping my experience would be better than the majority of the reviews here. Unfortunately, it wasn't.

A - Pours quite black with a reddish tint against the light.
S - Faint cherry aroma mixed with an ever so slight hint of malt.
So far so good... Here's where it goes downhill
T - Tart cherry flavor is overpowring and does not mix well with the roasted malt. Tastes of dark chocolate and bitter coffee linger on the palate.
M - This beer seems a bit thin for a "stout". Carbonation is definitely in there but hidden by the bite of the cherries.
D - This may fit the bill for some people but I am just trying to finish this bottle.

I really like a lot of the other Bell's beers and I will likely try this again just to make sure this wasn't a fluke of some sort.

trinitone, Dec 19, 2006
Photo of ballenc
2.15/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Served into a conical glass from a 12oz. brown long neck bottle with a crimped-on cap

Opaque,predominantly black hue with a hint of deep red/brown, very thin mocha brown head, no lace.

Light aromas - mostly roast and faint cherry notes

Limited cherry taste - not as much malt flavor as a typical stout - definite smokey finish.

Thin, weak mouthfeel - probably the thinnest stout I've ever had.

I was intrigued by this beer, but after the first bottle, it's a disappointment.

I am a big Bell's fan (love Two-Hearted), but the Cherry Stout is not what I was expecting or hoping for.

ballenc, Dec 16, 2006
Photo of scruffwhor
2.63/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours that thick black with streaks of brown. All opaque, no light allowed to pass. Medium tan head seems to crawl up the sides of my glass. Leaving a little lacing here and there. The aroma is a very subdued roast with a tartness not characteristic of most stouts I've had. Must be the cherries. Hints of licorice from the puckery smelling cherries. The taste is a little tart for taste. Doesn't mix well with the light roast. I was hoping for a better balance between the malts, hops, and cherries. Instead all three clash to leave an odd cloying. Almost like vinegar in acidity. Viney even.

scruffwhor, Dec 16, 2006
Bell's Cherry Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
80 out of 100 based on 2,112 ratings.