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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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.79/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Pours black with a large fading head.
Nose shows chocolate, roasted malt and chocolate fudge.
Flavours include more chocolate and roast but there's also an acidity from the cherry along with authentic cherry flavours. Could use more roast.
Carbonation feels a bit too lively.

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

Poured very dark, two finger head, plenty of lacing.
Smelled of roasted coffee with hints of cherries and malt.
taste was strong coffee and malt that faded to a tart cherry wine followed by a chocolate finish.
I will definately be drinking more of these, and hopefully the barrell aged variety as well.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Dark black in color and impenetrable to any light. The head is minimal,dark brown,and does not cover half of the top of the beer. Aroma of roasted barley, along with more of a sweet cherry note that seems almost along the lines of a plum note. The sweetness of the cherries is on the front end and nicely transitions into a bitterness from the roasted barley. The mouth is pretty carbonated and creamy.

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Photo of TheBeerDrinker
3.68/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This bottle is probably about 5 months old (lost in the refidgerator) so take it for what you will. I would have thought this would have held up but seems to have dove a tiny bit.

Pours out dark brown but is nontranslucent black in the glass with a tiny light brown head with not much retention.

Smell dark malts, molasses, definitely malt forward with no hint of hops or cherry.

Taste is dark malts, molasses, burnt malts, with a nice tart cherry in the background. From memory the cherry was more prominent when fresh but this is what I'm reviewing.

Mouthfeel is mid thickness and about right for this type of smaller stout.

Overall a really drinkable beer that I love and will definitely be buying it every year.

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Photo of jwc215
3.59/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 11/07/13:

Pours black with slight ruby tinge on the edges. No head. No real lacing.

The smell is of chocolate-covered cherries with alcohol. Reminds me of mildly spiked Black Forest Cake.

The taste of sour cherries dominate. There is a bitter chocolate. This one is sour and bitter with very little sweetness. A vague earthy touch mixes in - between anise and chickory. Not bad tasting if you like sour cherries, but the imbalance, along with the noticeable alcohol slow it down.

I do give credit for cherries tasting real, but the cherries are almost too tart. For the price, I wouldn't get it again. Worth trying one time, though.

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Photo of Tsar_Riga
3.74/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Solid black, red edged, with very minimal head that fades to nothing. No lacing.

S - Very good roasted malt. A certain sour undercurrent may signal the cherries, but it is very subtle.

T - Until you drink the beer, at least; then the sour comes up and out front. The fruit elements, beyond the sourness, are muted, however. As the initial sourness fades down into the close, you get more roasted malts, along with a bitterness that trails out.

M - The sour line is strong, enough for mild puckering. Carbonation is present, making itself clear in a bubbling sensation during the swallow.

O - Interesting beer, but I find the sourness somewhat distracting in a stout that, absent the cherry, would be offering a smooth lusciousness and very nice roasted malt characteristics. As it is, I'm glad I tried it, but pretty sure it won't enter the short list of my go-to options.

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Photo of StoneTSR
3.47/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

APPEARANCE: Dark as night almost all the way through, but JUST at the very surface a little reddish-brown light gets through. A sizable, finger-and-a-half tall head foams up, but has almost zero retention as it quickly collapses into exceptionally thin wisps that resemble a distant galaxy. No lacing.

SMELL: Medicinal cherry aroma with a bitter, coffee smell and a touch of dark chocolate.

TASTE: Hoowee...that is TART. Certainly not as tart as a good sour, but way more tart than I anticipated. This is not the sweet, candy-like cherry that a lot of other beers have, it's legit, Michigan Cherries. Wow. Dark chocolate provides a backbone along with some hints of roasted coffee beans.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium to big bodied with a bigger sparkle than one might expect. Dry throughout the start, almost to a point of puckering, with a sweet finish.

OVERALL: I like what Bells tried to do here, but I think it missed the mark. The cherries are a little too tart, while (somewhat contradictory) the finish is too sweet. Good beer here and I'll revisit it in the future, but this just didn't do it for me the way most Bells Beers do.

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Photo of schoolboy
4.02/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was in the mood for a stout and I'm always in the mood for a treat, so this creation fits the bill nicely. It sits all black with a pretty little edge of foam. The aroma is faintly of cherry with just a nice roast smell underneath.

The taste is much more of cherries, and these are no artificial cherries, this is the reel deal. It tastes as though someone took a well behaved stout and then took some freshly squeezed tart cherry juice and added it somewhere along the way.

By itself it is pretty sour for a stout, but with some food, it is really good. It definitely is an interesting concoction and the kind of treat I deserve!

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Photo of gillagorilla
2.72/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a Burley Oak snifter (281 1612 12386, packaged 10/8/13 B)

A: Very, very dark brown to pitch black. Only the slightest mocha head.

S: Roasted malts with a strong cherry scent. Weird scents here. There was a familiar scent early on, but I can't catch that smell again.

T: Tart and weirdly sour, like tart/sour cherries. I was quite excited to try this because I loved their Expedition Stout. It starts off with a bit of the characteristic roast of a stout, but then the odd cherry flavors bumrush it and just take over your palate.

M: Smooth for the most part with only a hint of carbonation.

O: I am extremely disappointed here, but I still want to try the Java, Special Double Cream and Black Note (obviously). I don't think I'm going to be able to finish this. but will probably just share it with someone or cook with it.

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Photo of redbeerdviking
2.91/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

A- Pours a jet black color with little to no lacing.

S- Faint smells of cherry with toasted malts and coffee.

T- Starts off with coffee, then gets smokey and tastes like charred oak. Finishes with tart cherries. This is definitely a sour stout.

M- Very easy to drink, not overpowering with alcohol. Nice consistency throughout.

O- I enjoy the complexity of flavors offered in this brew, but I thought it was just a little too much with the coffee, smokey flavor, and sour cherries together. I really like the idea of a sour stout, and will be looking for beers of similar style.

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Photo of digitalflood
3.53/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thick black solid body. Nice lacing. Wet mouthfeel. Smells of sour cherries. Front palate is all port and merlot. Lots of sour cherries and some coffee bite mid-palate. Full bitter stout riding over chocolate covered cherries with some more Merlot. Lots of sour. It's real hard to make a consistent beer flavor with something this sour-- but they pull it off. Very drinkable despite the complexity. Not for amateurs. A real sour beer in stout form. 3.5 out of 5. Good.

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Photo of WettNutz
2.39/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Poured into a pint glass

A - Beer was pitch black, with no head, none.

S - Only faintly smelled of cherries. Smelled more like beer than cherries really.

T - Sweet at first, but finished with tartness. This was the most interesting aspect of this beer. Besides that, there was only just a hint of cherry to it, and had a hint of coffee. I really wished it tasted more like cherries. If it were bolder, it would be much better.

M - Medium to full bodied, and went down smooth.

O - Not necessarily a bad beer, but at $17.99/6pk, not at all worth the money. I really wish it was more flavorful and cherry-ier, as this would really accentuate the transition from sweet to tart. If I had paid $9.99/6pk like most of Bell's beers, I would have a much better opinion of this beer. Probably better on tap.

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Photo of alphagnome
3.04/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Pitch black body that allows no light to break through the glass. Brown head has a slight red hue to it at first, but once it fades to a simple ring around the glass, it's a light brown color. Zero lacing.

Rather lacking. Light chocolate malt laced with hints of cherry. Light peat character. Nothing else here, unfortunately.

Truth in advertising.. This is one tart stout! Right upfront, you are hit with a light bitterness and tart, tart cherries! A bit of roasted chocolate and cola. Not my cup of tea, but it's hard to fault Bell's for that because it's exactly what they advertised it as.

Pretty run of the mill for a stout.. Medium bodied, light carbonation. A bit watery. Dry finish.

Bell's is my go to brewery, when I can't decide on what I'm in the mood for. I love cherries and stouts, so I imagined this being a match made in heaven... unfortunately, it was far from that. I'm a guy that likes tart, so when I say it's tart - take notice... It is! Worth trying if for no other reason than to add it to your palate of tastes.

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Photo of HardTarget
2.93/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Deep black showing only a line of tan when back lit. Doesn't hold much of a head, a thin halo tries to hold on.

Smell: Dark roasted grain, a bit of a cola profile, maybe thinking of a cherry coke. Whiffs of a sour note.

Taste: Everything in the smell, multiplied. The roasted grain goes burnt and ashen, the sour note goes through the roof with a hint of cherry pie filling as it goes by, then the cherry pit/cherry pie flavors linger for a while. It's quite a ride.

Mouthfeel: Pretty flat, almost still (no carbonation going on really), medium body, thin finish, bit oily in texture.

Overall: A bit too much going on. The over-roasted grain along with the sour note don't do much for me. The cherry flavor is good, and tastes natural (over ripe juicy) but the soutness overwhelms most of the goodness going on.

Thanks to Illudium for the sample!

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Photo of metter98
3.52/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Alewife, Long Island City, NY

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with just a few bubbles on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of dark malts and black cherries are present in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste has flavors of dark malts along with notes of dark cherries and hints of roasted malts.
M: It feels just about medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer isn't really that heavy compared to other beers in the style but has a nice mixture of cherry flavors.

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Photo of Aprice34
1.77/5  rDev -50.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.5

While I usually enjoy beers from Bell's, I was very disappointed with the Cherry Stout. I like both cherries and stout, but the BCS was, in my opinion, difficult to drink, as each sip left a lingering bad aftertaste on the palate. In addition, it was hard to taste the cherry juice. The beer tasted "artificial"

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
3.68/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a deep black with a red tint. Two-finger tan head that dissapates very quickly. No lacing.

S - Smell of roasted malts and light coffee. Not picking up any cherries.

T - Tart cherries right upfront produce a nice amount of bitterness. The cherries are balanced out by dark roasted malts. Finish is mostly bitter cherries.

M - Medium bodied with low carbonation. Syrupy mouthfeel.

O - Not something want all the time but a nice change of pace stout.

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Photo of KrugTheSuperAmazing
4.12/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from a 6 pack, poured into a gulden draak tulip glass.

A- Very strange, doesn't pour like a beer. Very dark in color, but no head whatsoever even after a (in my opinion!) pretty good pour, no lacing of course to follow.

S- For me im getting a lot of cherries, little bit of chocolate, some nice roasty malt, smells quite nice to me, very dessert like in the smell. Cherries, cherries!

T- Dang, talk about tart, right up front I feel like im drinking a cherry fruit beer, the tart is crazy, but then i get a little chocolate and malt in the background, it really reminds me a dark chocolate covered cherry you would find in a valentines day assorted chocolate box, personally for me, having a huge sweet tooth, I like this quite a bit. It leaves a cherry aftertaste which is quite pleasant if you like cherries and sweet things!

M- Id say its fairly thin on the mouthfeel, carbonation is low, and after sipping for about 30-40 minutes the carbonation is almost gone. Again, nice cherry after taste that I personally like.

O- I think its great, I do warn you though its super tart, and the cherries really give your taste buds the blam style, but its still got that nice bitter chocolatey, malty background to remind you its a stout. If youre new, and wanting to get into stouts, I would recommend this to you! If youre not a "sweet" beer person, id still say try it! But just be warned its sweet and tart.

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Photo of kilo_005
4.36/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft
A: this is the drawback of the beer. It doesn't look like beer. No head. No lacing. No visible carbonation. The color is of a Bordeaux. But...
S: good candied fruit/raisin type of aromas. Smells like a sweeter Sherry like a PX. Good
T: I think this beer is exquisite on taste. You have all the notes of a great stout plus this striking sour cherry flavor. The finish is excellent.
M: interesting. Kind of viscous of the finish. Some might like that some might not.
O: I'm surprised how low this beer scores. It's a very innovative and unique beer. People flavor ales all the time with cherry juice but they do it in a stout and pull it off. Try it.

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Photo of FLima
4.13/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Deepest black color with a thin dark caramel head with low retention.
Aroma of roasted malt, chocolate and hints of cherries.
What a surprising relatively tart flavor, super concentrated, predominant sour notes of cherries, melted chocolate, smoke, red wine and licorice .
Full body with low carbonation.
Incredible beer, with an initial sourness that balanced with its cherries notes and strong roasted and hoppy base.

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Photo of SHerninko
3.9/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap @ Via Marconi Pizza Pub

Dark. Slight tan head. Ok very dark black oil color.
Some slight carbonation. No lacing that sticks but appears on each swirl.
Smell is just dark beer. I get no cherries.
Taste is a balanced lighter stout upfront, some tiny cherry bitterness but very quickly it is BOOM--dark, smokey stout.
Mouthfeel is medium to thick.
Try it but it's not tart or sweet like you'd think for a dessert in a glass.

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