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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.

983 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 983
Hads: 2,357
Avg: 3.56
pDev: 25%
Wants: 96
Gots: 232 | FT: 8
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 983 | Hads: 2,357
Photo of Modernrickk
3.44/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Not sure how to put this lightly but this beer is like a stout that someone accidentally poured cherry juice into..

The dark malts taste and smell decent .. The tart initial taste tho isn't really my cup o tea.. I wouldn't mind NOT having this again.. But I still have 5 bottles lol
Mouthfeel is thick.. Syrup like and pours out weird.. Even the way it rolls out of the bottle is strange.. Like syrup ..

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Photo of Jsmick
1.98/5  rDev -44.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.75

I can't believe Bell's put this out...... Maybe if this were going to be a sour stout, it might have been better, but this beer tastes unfinished. The sourness of the cherry juice overpowers the rest of the stout. I'm a huge sours fan, but this basically taste like a stout that was infected, and not in a good way. I can smell the cherries and the roast, but that doesn't come through in the taste.

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Photo of WheelsPSU
2.44/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I like Bell's but this was not good. There was absolutely no head when this poured and gave off a slight roasted malt and sour smell. The taste was medicinal cherry, chocolate and roasted malt. The flavors just did not mesh together.

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Photo of keithmurray
3.38/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Appearance- brown body with tan head

Smell - roasted malts, chocolate

Taste- chocolate, roasted malts, sour cherry

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, medium carbonation, roasted stout qualities upfront, sour/tart cherries in the back, flavors clash

Overall - i can't say that I enjoyed this beer. The cherry flavors aren't integrated well with the base stout

Price Point - $1.67/12 oz bottle

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Photo of kojevergas
3.06/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 fl oz. Brown glass bottle. Truncated review below:

HEAD: None. No lacing.

BODY: Opaque solid black with amber/red hues. No yeast particulate or hop sediment.

Looks typical of the style overall.

AROMA: Vague fruit - I guess cherry. Dark malts. Indistinct malty sweetness. Cream. The cherry isn't as authentic as it could be, but isn't puree-esque or extract-y. It's a pleasant marriage of fruit to dark malt build.

No yeast character, alcohol, or off-notes are detectable.

Aromatic intensity is above average.

TASTE: Heavier on the fruit/cherry than I anticipated. Slightly syrupy. Heavy dark malts, chocolate malts. Some pomegranate. No yeast character, alcohol, or off-notes. Some raisin. It's just not that well balanced for what it is, but I do like it. Not complex/intricate, subtly executed, or nuanced. Pretty straightforward and plain.

Average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour.

TEXTURE: Smooth, wet, medium-bodied, a biteen too thick. Suits the taste decently, but doesn't elevate the beer. Overcarbonated. Too coarse on the finish.

OVERALL: Not a good execution of the premise. I do like it generally, but I expected better from Bell's. I wouldn't recommend it to friends or trade partners. Drinkable.


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Photo of soulcougher
4.34/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nice tasting stout with good reason to call it cherry. The cherry is immediately noticeable. Has almost a slight burn effect when drinking it which I liken to a whiskey.

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Photo of JohnnyI
2.98/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Pours a rich black color with cherry red accents visible during the pour. Once it hits the glass, the subtle red hue is barely detectable. An interesting and unique appearance, despite the lack of lacing or head retention. The scent is that of a silky porter, with chocolate malts and light roast. There's a sour cherry aroma hiding in the background. The first sip is surprising to say the least. The slight chocolate malt sweetness is absolutely crushed by a shockingly sour flavor. A lemon-like puckering tartness and vague cherry gives way to an ashy finish. The body and carbonation are thin, with little intrigue. Wow, pretty much a train wreck! It was as if someone poured lemon juice in to a nondescript porter, then emptied their ashtray in to it. If I didn't know better, I'd think this one was spoiled. Judging by the bottle date (11/6/14) and the other comments, this is the intended product. I nearly relegated this to drain pour status, but a part of me was really rooting for Bells, so I gave it the old college try. I must admit, I am not particularly fond of sours. After it reached room temp, it was considerably easier to drink. The underlying flavors of the stout became more discernible and attempted to keep the sour notes in balance. Attempt is the key word. Either way, this is one sour beer, and the flavor profile just doesn't add up. Ashy, tobacco smoke and citric sour cherry tartness are just an odd combination. Quite frankly, it just doesn't work.

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Photo of B967ierhunter177
4.61/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Tastes like dark chocolate covered cherries and toast. Great by itself and would be good with chocolate cake. Highly recommended. My 700th different brew!

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Photo of leroybrown10
3.57/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with minimal head. Smells of roast malt, some chocolate and licorice. Cherry comes through on the tongue, slightly tart. Some chocolate, dark molasses, licorice, hint of coffee, and burnt toast. Medium body, a bit thinner than expected. Good beer that I found rather unique but not a standout by any stretch.

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Photo of JoshFrantz
2.37/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Looked great. Disappointing otherwise. Smell as taste were reminiscent of something aged in bourbon barrels. Rather thin as well. Nobody is immune to a clunker

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Photo of mtomlins
2.93/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

There is just something off-putting about this beer for me. I freely admit that I am a Bell's fanboy so I have tried Cherry Stout now a few times across many years, but everytime, I get the same sour, cloying aftertaste. Not a sour stout like Funk Metal or Tart of Darkness, more like it was spoiled. I have given up on this one and have moved onto greener pastures.

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Photo of mschantz
3.43/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on tap at Surfside Tap House on Oceanside. Full disclosure this beer had been on tap over 2 months so perhaps not the experience the brewer intended. Pours a very attractive rich black color with a beautiful dark tan head. Smell is dominated by chocolate with a bit of cherry sweetness lurking. Wow- taste is surprisingly tart. Maybe like a tart version of a chocolate covered cherry. While I generally dig sours, this combination is a bit off putting. Mouth feel is almost gritty. Interesting but not something I need to try again.

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Photo of Gmann
3.64/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a black color with a big bubbled brown head. The head settled fairly quick and into a light ring.

The aroma is of a light roasted malt with a hint of caramel sweetness. The cherries provide a subtle tart aroma. Kind of hard to tell it is cherry without the advanced knowledge that it is. Nice aroma just not very strong.

The taste starts off with a moderate roasted malt. The malt provides some charred wood notes before it gets smacked down by the tart cherry. The cherries have a slight sweetness but mostly deliver a big tart edge. Perhaps too much of a juice flavor instead of mashed up fruit but the tart cherries do work well with the malt. The malt pops back out in the finish with a toasted pumpernickel flavor.

The feel is moderate, a bit light for a stout. Good balance between the roasted bitterness and the sweet tart. Tingly carbonation. The stout is bitter and sticky in the finish.

An enjoyable stout. The tart cherry can be a bit strong at times but I think it mixes well with the stout body. The body can be a bit beefier I suppose.

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Photo of Roxie_B
3.07/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Looks: Opaque black with aubergine highlights and two fingers of brown head
Smell: Chocolate, coffee, some cherry and molasses-y malt. Linear.
Taste: Sour pie cherries, chocolate and American hops.
Mouthfeel: Lighter bodied than most stouts.
Overall: I feel that this would have been better as a milk stout with more chocolate malt. Solid but not awe inspiring. A novelty but nothing I would do more than get a single of.

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Photo of The_Beer_Connoisseur
3/5  rDev -15.7%

Look: 12 oz bottle poured into a "frosty mug". Dark brown with reddish highlights or tint. Very little head that doesn't stay long.

Smell: Slight chocolate or mocha with a sweet lingering scent of cherries. I currently have a cold but the sweet cherry smell is very evident not much else is.

Taste: As it hit my lips I could taste the tart cherry and it was also the first and most powerful flavor once on my pallet. Immediately after swallowing I got a very powerful flavor of chocolate then right back to the tart cherries. Not a great flow between flavors at all, more of a stop and go effect.

Feel: The feel of this beer is not that of a normal stout. It feels much more like an ale to me. A easy to sip lightweight feel.

Overall: it's not a bad beer if you are ready for tartness. The first sip of this beer took me by surprise arena was not enjoyable but a renderer that me pallet adjusted and it wasn't too bad. I was able to sip through it and enjoy it. Personally I wouldn't order it at a bar at full price and I wouldn't buy it but as a special at the bar and considering it is 7% it's not bad to have one and switch it up.

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Photo of Taybeh
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

From a single into a Bells snifter
A: dark brown/black, with a thin crown of khaki foam
S: faint cherries, a little chocolate; mainly some roasty astringency. All in all, not a lot on the nose.
T: roasted almost smokey malts right away, then comes some tart cherry which carries into the finish, which also features a little coffee, a little chocolate but probably not enough. Not much in the way of hoppy bitterness.
M: pretty smooth, even though the cherries are tart/sour.
Overall: I love the tart Michigan cherries that Bell's is using in this, so I really want to like this beer. However... You do get the tart cherry notes... but it just isn't integrated in a way that comes together for me. Maybe if there was more chocolate? I don't know...this is my least favorite of Bell's stouts.

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Photo of MaximalC
3.38/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours seal brown with good opacity and a minimal cap of mocha foam. Aroma smells of molasses and toffee--no cherry to speak of.

The tartness of the cherry juice is definitely noticeable in the taste, however. There’s also an aggressive prickliness on the palate that I can’t place. It would have to be terribly poorly concealed alcohol for this ABV, yet it doesn’t taste quite like spicy hops either. Whatever it is, it’s definitely there, and it’s dominant. The malt flavor is mostly molasses with a bit of roast, but it’s not very pronounced. Some peat comes through in the finish once it’s warm enough. The body is a little thin for the style, but not aggregious, with a slick mouthfeel.

Overall, this is more of a novelty beer than anything. The cherry taste is contrived and achieves no synergy with the rest of the flavor profile. The harsh prickliness is offputting, and there’s just not enough else there to overcome its flaws. If you want cherry, find yourself some New Glarus or a good sour ale.

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Photo of EHopkinsi
3.7/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured in a tulip pint and consumed 28 November 2014. Bottle packaged 16 October 2014.

Look- Pours a viscous chocolate with reddish undertones. No head at all. Looks thinner once it's in the glass than it did when it was pouring.

Smell- Understated malt, and chocolate, with a hint of cherries.

Taste- huge sour cherries, lots of coffee. Earthy aftertaste. It is what it says it is.

Feel- Thin, yet syruppy...

Overall- I can't say they didn't tell me what it was. Still, it's kinda disappointing. Not terribly balanced. If you don't like big fruit notes, especially tart ones, stay away.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.98/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

do people really not like this? I thought it was a brilliant fusion of tart cherries and rich earthy stout. the fruit is maybe a little medicinal in the nose of this dark chocolate colored forthy tan headed wonder. sharp sting from the cherry and the alcohol is maybe a little much on the nose, but I think its pleasantly mellowed by the charred dark barley character and a hint of sweet cocoa. the flavor is better balanced I think than the nose, but equally dynamic. it is a stout first, lots of nice deep dark grain properties and a perplexing smoothness, while the cherries come on later. they marry well into the dark grain, a definitely chocolate covered cherry thing going on here, like those little ones soaked in booze you eat at holiday time. dark authentic fruit with enough tartness to almost trick me into tasting wild ale yeast or bacteria. its not though, its just piquant enough too, and clean in the finish for the style, not the least bit sweet. I like its complexity and its drinkability. it feels perfect with snow and chirstmas coming on, and like all bells beer, its expertly made. I would definitely buy this if it were available in Colorado.

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Photo of tigerbeer90
3/5  rDev -15.7%

On tap poured into a snifter

A: Jet black, no head. Looks like a stout should

S: Some medicinal type of cherry smell. Some chocolate and then just a kind of funkiness I can't place atm.

T: Tart up front, not really a cherry tart just tart. Follows sweet and washes away the tart aspect. Get a little medicinal cherry in the aftertaste. Rather odd.

M: Good mouthfeel for a 7% stout, not too thin

O: Not what I expected from a Bell's stout, much less a cherry stout. The cherry was apparently code for sour stout, with some cherry qualities. I've seen this in six packs, and loving most Bell's I had reluctantly passed this up for others on the shelf. Glad I did, a pint was all I needed. Try it, but at a bar first before purchasing the 6-er

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Photo of ordybill
3.73/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass.
Aroma- Has malt, chocolate and maybe some cherry extract in the mix.
Appearance- The beer is brown with a moderate tan head.
Taste- I can taste the cherry, chocolate and malt, it has a nice flavor.
Palate- This is a medium bodied, medium carbonated brew. It has a slightly oily texture to it.
Overall- This is a pretty good beer, but hey, it comes from "Bell's" so the expectations are always high.

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Photo of BeerDawgs
3.84/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A 12oz bottle with a bottled on date of 10/16/14

L - Pitch black with 1 finger of tan head and sticky lace left on the glass

S - A deep rich stout with cherries of course. Aroma is really kicking, and cherries are strong.

T - A sweet cherry stout. Cherries make it a little sweeter than I would like. But an original twist and worth a drink or 3

F - Full bodied and well carbonated

O - A good stout, but I prefer mine cherry-less. However, if you like cherries and stouts you are in luck

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Photo of ksimons
3.6/5  rDev +1.1%

An interesting mix of tart cherries and roasted malt. Medium body with moderate carbonation. Not sure I would seek this beer out again but glad to try it.

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Photo of byronic
3.25/5  rDev -8.7%

Straight out of the gate this one leaves me conflicted. I want to like this beer. It pours jet black and almost oily devoid of any carbonation or even lacing. It's nose is it's best feature, a malty sweetness with presence of coffee and cherries. It tastes like a nice stout with some great malt accompanied by coffee which introduces some bitterness. The second half of it's flavour quickly turns into a sickly sweet experience before the tart cherries finish it off. This is the part which leaves me conflicted. The stout by itself would be great, the middle is very off-putting and the cherries at the end just don't seem to belong. In the end the mixture of sweet, alcohol and tart is reminiscent of cough syrup. I have a second bottle and hope to revisit this after a better experience.

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Photo of DeanMoriarty
4/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours midnight black, a decent tan head that dissipates somewhat quickly with average retention, lacing is nice though, coating my glass from start to finish. Smell is classic Export Stout - roasted malt, chocolate and faint coffee - no cherries in the aroma for me (???). The flavor saves this one for me - a ton of fresh tart cherries up front, followed by roasted malt, chocolate, mild sweetness, and espresso. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and extremely creamy, finishing just a bit dry and somewhat chalky. Overall very enjoyable and tasty Cherry stout that is well balanced and definitely left me wanting to drink another. A great beer for the Fall season upon us.

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Bell's Cherry Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
81 out of 100 based on 983 ratings.