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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.

997 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 997
Hads: 2,433
Avg: 3.56
pDev: 25%
Wants: 102
Gots: 275 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States | website

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
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Reviews: 997 | Hads: 2,433
Photo of Gear54
3.61/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

From a bottle into a snifter

Pour is pitch black with 1/2 finger of kaki foam. Very little carbonation and no lace left behind.

Smell is sweet tart cherry with coffee and dark chocolate in the background. Smells very unique compared to other stouts.

Taste is interesting. It follows the nose exactly, however, I'm not sure that's a good thing. Way over the too on cherry tartness and sweetness. Almost artificial like cherry syrup. It masks almost all of the coffee and chocolate flavors that are such a nice pairing in the smell category.

Feel is good. Sticks to the palate well and coats the mouth. The syrupy sweetness hurts the drinkability for me personally.

If the cherry was toned back a bit to complement the coffee and chocolate instead of hide it this would be an amazing beer. I rate it as average. Not my favorite from Bells

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Photo of moonboogie_n8
3.15/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

hhhmmmmm, sorry too much cherry flavor.... "syrup-like" cherry flavor at that.
so much so that it imbalances everything else in the brew.
the chocolate & roasted coffee are there but quickly leave the palette once the fruit hits the tongue. nice body & head that leaves some weak lacing for a stout. not my favorite from bell's, and may have scared me away from cherry stouts all together.

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Photo of generallee
4.1/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Appearance: It’s dark and thick with a light tan head. The slowly fades out leaving just a ring of foam at the edge of the glass. Lacing is mostly slick. Smell: The aroma has a light toasted grain character with hints of almond like nutty notes and cherries. Taste / Palate: The flavor has a tart cherry roasted maltiness up front. As it warms I get more roasted coffee like malt notes. The finish has a mix of light tartness and bitterness. Carbonation and palate feel right on.

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Photo of ClavisAurea
2.08/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2

Aged bottle; dated 9/18/2014 so it is 6 1/2 months old when I'm trying it. Served at cellar temps in a pint glass. Here we go...

Appearance: Poured a fairly thick brown with a slight red hue. There was initially no head but there is a small rim of brown foam on the edges. No sediment and the beer appears to be opaque.

Nose: Roasted malt acidity, sour cherries, cheap chocolate bars, slight vanilla from some oak (is this barrel aged or something???), no alcohols at all

Taste: sour cherries, thin mouthfeel, really dried out, the cherries are really overpowering, there is a little roasted character in there but I just can't get past the cherries. It's not like a good cherry either. Kind of a thin cough syrup like flavor. Good cherries=kriek; bad cherries=this beer (and Liney's Big Eddy Cherry Doppleschwartz for that matter). No alcohol presence at this age (don't know if they were there when this one was younger.

Overall: Fail, at least with some age on it. I really needed to try this one fresh to get the true flavor but I can guarantee you that it should not be aged. The mouthfeel dries out too fast and there isn't enough body to sustain it in the cellar. The cherries should have stayed on the trees or gone into some nice preserves or something. Keep your cherries out of my beer please. Skip this one in the future and pay the extra money for the Bell's Expedition Stout; totally worth it.

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Photo of chopp02
3.79/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The look and the smell of this beer is fantastic, however, the taste is too tart for me and I did not like the texture of this beer while I was drinking it. If you like sour beers, though, you will enjoy this one.

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Photo of Mersh
1.98/5  rDev -44.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Maybe this isn't my cup of tea but the cherry tasted so artificial it made me gag. I am a huge stout lover but this was a bad representation of the style.

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Photo of Nolo
4.19/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Look: Looks like motor oil like Greg says, a really dark stout. Dark beige small thin head, looks like an espressos crema.

Smell: Really couldn't smell the cherry juice in this one, it is present but its really low compared to the usual roasted barley, coffee, chocolaty smell. I also get a hint of some nuts in it. Its still pleasant.

Taste: You can totally feel the cherry juice hit your palate, very nice and smooth, a little soury in my opinion and it doesn't ruin the chocolate, coffee and roasted malt flavor. Sweet indeed for a stout. Really good.

Feel: Slightly crisp due to the cherry juice and kinda dense. It doesn't leave a bitter taste in your mouth. Its just awesome.

Overall: I really, really liked this beer. The ABV is not that high and it goes great as a dessert or with some kind of chocolate or vanilla or cheesecake. I don't understand the low ratings on this one.

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Photo of wattoclone
4.44/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not much cherry in the aroma, smells like an aromatic, vanilla laced chocolate stout. The tart cherries hit you in the taste with dark chocolate, reminiscent of of a holiday boxed dark chocolate with sour cherry filling. At first it was a little strange for a stout lover who loves the roasted malt and dark chocolate, but after having a bite of whole wheat bread this beer truly shines. Not a session beer but is superb with a meal.

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Photo of Tripel_Threat
4.46/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

4th of the evening. Smooth, black, with a mocha head and a hint of amber. Smells roasted, bitter, tart, and tastes very much much the same. Best cherry Stout I've had so far, not cloying, artificial or overwhelming like others I've had.

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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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Bell's Cherry Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
81 out of 100 based on 997 ratings.