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Bell's Bourbon Barrel Aged Cherry Stout - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Bell's Bourbon Barrel Aged Cherry StoutBell's Bourbon Barrel Aged Cherry Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

308 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 308
Reviews: 108
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 12.25%
Wants: 295
Gots: 44 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
American-style stout with tart Michigan cherries aged in bourbon barrels from various distilleries.

(Beer added by: mcallister on 07-21-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 308 | Reviews: 108 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brewandbbq
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from a few years ago IIRC.

Pours opaque black with a quick whisp of beige foam. A placid surface with zero lacing for the duration.

Aromatics lead off with roasted malts, bourbon, and cherries. Coffee grounds, bakers chocolate, vanilla, and char follow through.

Fullish bodied with a slick, oily mouhtfeel. Thin for the style.

Bourbon-laced smokey malt with ripe, red fruit starts the palate. Slightly tart and plenty boozy with a charred sweetness and background dark chocolate.

Finishes with lingering bourbon, cherries, and stout essence. Slightly vineous.

Tasty beer, but thinnish for a stout and the tart character doesn't jive.

brewandbbq, Nov 06, 2012
Photo of JDizzle
3.8/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap @ the Eccentric Cafe. 2012 version

Looks really nice. Super dark black in the middle with light brown edges. Not much head to speak of.

It smells like a bourbon barrel aged stout. Not a whiff of cherries? Still, smells good.

I thought I would love this, but its not the case. The bourbon barrel is upfront and powerful the tart cherry hits in the middle, but keeps on lingering too long through the finish. Almost like an cherry that is not ripe. Kinda reminds me of Skoal cherry...

Not as thick and chewy as I thought it would be. Low carbs. Sour finish.

Glad I was able to try this one.

JDizzle, Oct 19, 2012
Photo of AbyssalJS
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

AbyssalJS, Oct 18, 2012
Photo of warnerry
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Eccentric Cafe 2012 version

A – Pours deep brown, essentially black with very little head and no lacing.

S – Nice bourbon aroma. Actually a little subtle, but in a good way. Lots of vanilla, some oak and caramel, only a little noticeable alcohol. Some nice tart cherry coming through as well.

T – Tart cherry is much more prominent in the taste. The barrel aging is a very nice complement here, providing some depth in the flavor with vanilla and caramel, and subtle oak. I’m not a huge fan of the regular cherry stout, which seems a bit one-dimensional and thin, but this is very enjoyable.

M – Medium mouthfeel, not particularly heavy. Starts tart, and actually has a bit of earthy bitterness on the finish.

O – Trying not to overrate this just because it is barrel-aged, but this is much better than regular Cherry Stout. It is a meaty beer, but not overly heavy in any way really. Hope they make this more regularly.

warnerry, Oct 09, 2012
Photo of Magery
3.75/5  rDev -8.1%

Magery, Oct 06, 2012
Photo of Zaphog
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

Zaphog, Oct 02, 2012
Photo of schneid
4/5  rDev -2%

schneid, Sep 13, 2012
Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

t0rin0, Aug 22, 2012
Photo of TATURBO
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

TATURBO, Aug 01, 2012
Photo of wakajawaka76
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%

wakajawaka76, May 30, 2012
Photo of Tunguska
3/5  rDev -26.5%

Tunguska, May 27, 2012
Photo of brystmar
3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by blatantdream, thanks!

Black body, tons of brown head atop the surface. Strong cherry aroma reminds me of a rouge. Bourbon is there too, though not as strong as expected.

Sharp, tart, biting cherries overwhelm the stout base initially. Balances better as it warms. Bourbon and chocolate soothe my throat after swallowing. This is interesting, though it's more Denise's thing than mine.

brystmar, May 19, 2012
Photo of stakem
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a tulip. Batch 7777 (I don't know why i'm stating that since its the only batch for this one I believe.) The brew pours black in color with a thing mocha topping that dissolves down to a thin line across the top. Rising bubbles of carbonation maintain a ring around the rim of the glass and produce a small island of lace consistently throughout the duration. A light swirl revives less than a half finger of froth that again quickly dissolves and produces some small patches of lacing effect on the glass.

The smell is inviting with barrel presence bringing forth lots of vanilla that really augment the roasted grain quality which smells like chocolate. The more I smell this, the more decedent it gets with a very strong dessert appeal like creme brulee. After the vanilla subsides, there are caramel notes before the onset of the cherry inclusion. The cherry is present with a pronounced fruity scent that blends the transition nicely between chocolate grain and barrel sweetness to the nose. Once warm, the faintest touch of soy is noted which keeps this back from being a 4.5-5 score.

The taste is shocking. This is 100% strikingly reminiscent of a cherry flavored tootsie pop. The first thing that hits your tongue is a juicy flavor of cherry juice that almost becomes tart but then fades into a rich sweetness. The barrel presence here is equally as impressive and as bold as the aroma of this brew. A strong flavor of vanilla blends into a rich chocolate taste from the grain. A hint of anise is noted across the middle before finishing with some earthy notes of leather/coffee. As it warms up, this brew gets progressively warming with the alcohol being felt all the way down. After the brew gets warmer, a hint of oxidation is noted with a bit of almost soy sauce and savory aspect.

This is a medium bodied brew with a perfectly level and feel of carbonation. For 8.5% it is dangerously drinkable and very rich and flavorful. I honestly wish I had more of this to share with my family who are not big beer fans. I am sure this would get them hooked simply based on the cherry tootsie pop idea.

stakem, Mar 28, 2012
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.23/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Trevor for this beer! Really excited to try this rarity from Bells!

Vintage 2008. Batch Number 7777; it was packaged on 11/10/08.

poured into oversized tulip.

Appearance: black bodied beer with less than one finger of a deep red and brown head. This beer really stains the beer glass. Head drops down to a ring around the glass really quickly.

Smell: Jet fuel and really tart cherries. I think it get some oak, but its really hard to pick out.

Taste: Okay, the nose scared me and I was thinking that this beer was way past its prime and was going to be a disaster. Its better tasting than I expected. Beer starts out with tart cherries. Little bit of oak, tobacco, and its got a sour note to it. I am guessing that the sour note is what happened to the bourbon notes from aging in the bottle for this long. The cherries notes are decent to me because they do not taste like cough syrup like most other cherry stouts do, but the beer is all cherries from start to finish. Where is the stout hiding at in this beer?

Mouthfeel: moderate bodied beer with low to moderate carbonation. The beer still has decent carbonation for its age. A little swishing of the beer in your mouth brings the beer back to life as far as the carbonation goes. This beer has no heat to it and its not syrupy or boozy.

Overall: Never drank this beer fresh, but I stumbled upon it in my travels with a fellow BA while driving up to the Founders KBS release last weekend. All things said...I think that this beer is past its prime. It was awesome to be given this oppurtunity to review the bottle! Thanks again for the beer Trevor!

4DAloveofSTOUT, Mar 16, 2012
Photo of jhimstedt
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

jhimstedt, Mar 02, 2012
Photo of Tyrawlings
4/5  rDev -2%

Tyrawlings, Feb 19, 2012
Photo of alampear
4/5  rDev -2%

alampear, Feb 09, 2012
Photo of zchall23
5/5  rDev +22.5%

zchall23, Feb 01, 2012
Photo of imperialking
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

imperialking, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -2%

ygtbsm94, Dec 27, 2011
Photo of jpmclaug
4/5  rDev -2%

jpmclaug, Dec 13, 2011
Photo of sincereNc
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%

sincereNc, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of thagr81us
4.43/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks goes out to my boy sincereNC for sharing this one with the table at the ORF '11 release! Served from bottle into a sampler snifter. Poured pitch black with a half finger tan head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, cherry, dark chocolate, and sweet alcohol. The flavor was of sweet malt, cherry, dark chocolate, wood, and sour cherry. It had a medium feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a great brew. This one was one of the highlights on the morning for me if I am honest. This was really pleasant and tasty much to my surprise. I really wish this one would have come in a larger format bottle so I could have drank this all morning. Really glad I got the chance to try this one as I would definitely try to seek this one out to have it again.

thagr81us, Aug 16, 2011
Photo of tmoneyba
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured dark reddish brown color with a large frothy brown head that mostly lasted with good lacing. Moderate to heavy toasted chocolate malt, cherry and sweet woody bourbon aroma. Medium to full body with a smooth texture and flat carbonation. Medium to heavy toasted malt and bourbon bing chery flavor with a medium to heavy sweet finish of moderate to long duration. Standout brew that exceeded my expectations.

tmoneyba, Jul 15, 2011
Photo of Phelps
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared by tlay10, this is Batch 7777, which means it was packaged Jan. 2, 2007.

Pours an inky sable. A cinnamon-colored head rises after a vigorous pour but fizzles away after a few seconds, leaving a thin, frothy ring.

In the nose: chocolate-dipped cherries and a heavy bourbon aroma of vanilla and toasted oak.

Lip smacking! There’s way more cherry tartness here than in the usual version. The flavor begins with sweet and tart Bing cherries, then blends into smooth chocolate. Barrel flavors arrive last: vanilla, toffee, oak. It’s a perfect blend of sweet and tart.

The medium-light body, peppered with lightly massaging bubbles, holds together very well as it moves. Alcohol is fairly noticeable in the nose, and the tartness stays nice and mild.

Good stuff. A smooth, complex, well-balanced blend that’s vastly superior to the standard Cherry Stout.

Phelps, Jun 03, 2011
Bell's Bourbon Barrel Aged Cherry Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
91 out of 100 based on 308 ratings.