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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.
BA SCORE
81
good

979 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 979
Hads: 2,341
rAvg: 3.56
pDev: 15.45%
Wants: 97
Gots: 223 | FT: 9
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
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Reviews: 979 | Hads: 2,341
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 (163 characters)

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. (369 characters)

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. (548 characters)

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. (1,072 characters)

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. (423 characters)

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. (1,137 characters)

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. (800 characters)

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. (1,032 characters)

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. (603 characters)

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. (1,165 characters)

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 (749 characters)

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. (445 characters)

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 (496 characters)

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. (156 characters)

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. (791 characters)

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. (667 characters)

Photo of WestHam973
1.5/5  rDev -57.9%

The Tart Cherry is just to overwhelming for my tastes, I could no even finish the bottle. I would have preferred a more subtle cherry. I'm sure there are those who will love this it's just not for me (199 characters)

Photo of Dwkasper
4.25/5  rDev +19.4%

A: Dark, no transparency, finger of light khaki foam with consistent lacing

S: A hint of tart fruit, cola, hint of dark chocolate

T: Solid stout taste up front with a very fresh sour cherry finish. Not too sour, just write. This beer is not a sweet beer, it's a little tart but taste compliments the stoutness very well.

M: Smooth, a little carbonation with a fresh sour cherry aftertaste. Leaves a lingering taste that reminds me of eating fresh cherries during the summer.

O: This is a great beer and is very refreshing for a stout. Highly recommend and don't understand why it only has a score of 80 except that people may expect it to be a sweet cherry taste. (675 characters)

Photo of foobula
4.3/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 10/4/11, enjoyed 10/14/14. Appearance is dark black with a reddish tinge around the edges. Not much of a head to speak of. Smell is roasty & a bit sour. Taste is quite tart. I'm pleasantly surprised at how much tartness it has. There is a subtle sweetness from the cherries too. It's nowhere near being a cherry bomb, but the cherry notes really do add something special to this beer. As a stout it's got good roast also. I'd buy it again, age it again, and consider it pretty underrated at a mere 80 points BA score. (525 characters)

Photo of Fargrow
3.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours black with a medium brown head. The head was only about an inch and I poured vigorously. It disappears very slowly.
S: Dark malts, smoke, coffee, but also tart cherry. The combination kind of smells like garbage that needs to be taken out.
T: At first you get the dark roasted malts, milk chocolate, smoke, but then you're hit hard with the tart cherries. This could be great if the cherries were more subtle. I've never heard anyone say this needs more cherry.
M: Nice medium mouthfeel until you get the tart of the cherry at the end.
O: This is a decent beer, but not one I'd really want to drink again. It reminds me how I wish the the BB version was better as well. More malts, less cherries, and this could be great.

Bottled: 9/18/14. Poured into a snifter. (773 characters)

Photo of PBRmeasap1980
3.8/5  rDev +6.7%

Bottled 10/8/13

The cherries are still tart and delicious while the base stout is roasty malt with a slight bitterness. If memory serves correct, this beer tastes a lot like it did fresh. (189 characters)

Photo of Rizalini
3/5  rDev -15.7%

12 oz. bottle dated 10/08/13

The smell is fantastic! Rich and roasty malts with just a hint of cherry. The taste on the other hand is very tart and briney. I'm trying really hard to enjoy this one, but if can't get past the initial taste of olive juice type flavor. I personally think that the cherry juice needs to toned down a lot in order to make this one palatable. Glad I can say I've tried this one, but I personally didn't care for it and wouldn't drink it again. (473 characters)

Photo of allengarvin
4.03/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark, dense brown with a small tan head.
S: Lots of cocoa and toffee, though no cherriness I can detect.
T: Cherries do come through in the flavor, and thankfully with no added sweetness. The tartness blends quite well to balance the malt sweetness, which offers lots of chocolate malt notes. Bitterness is low, appropriately. This is a marriage of malt and cherries, and it's very well done.
M: Soft, creamy, not too carbonated.

Good beer! Nice to have at the end of cherry season, too. (491 characters)

Photo of Swettenham_Shire
3.89/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Got excited when I saw this bottle at the store. Then I realized it wasn't the barrel aged version. Oh well, still gave it a shot.

The appearance and smell bring forth the stout. Don't get any cherries on the nose. Those came later on the finish; slightly sour, which I like. This beers starts out all stout then finishes almost all cherry syrup. Occasionally you'll get the stout mixed with cherry tartness - which is excellent. Good, but not great. Would like to try the barrel aged version sometime. (503 characters)

Photo of antott0523
2.96/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Notes from 7/16/14 at Hopleaf in Chicago, IL

Bottle into pint glass.

A: Opaque dark brown with a light brown head that disappears. Minimal lacing

S: Tart cherries, dark chocolate. Yeasty and musty.

T: Tart cherries. Roasted malts.

M: Thin a mildly carbonated. Too thin for what I was looking for in a stout.

D: Not very drinkable. Thin and tart. Does not hold up well to room temperature. This is cherry juice with a little stout, not the other way around, unfortunately. (481 characters)

Bell's Cherry Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
81 out of 100 based on 979 ratings.