Cherry Stout
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

Cherry StoutCherry Stout
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American Stout
Ranked #920
Ranked #43,976
3.58 | pDev: 15.92%
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Michigan, United States
Cherry StoutCherry Stout
Notes: "A mysterious dance of tart Michigan cherries with the dark, roasted malts of a big and bold stout." and "Stout brewed with cherry juice."
Reviews: 1,063 | Ratings: 2,673 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of CTHomer
3.87/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: opaque; very dark brown in color; 1 finger medium brown head that receded to a splotchy cap; little lacing;

S; deeply roasted grain and milk chocolate;

T: deeply roasted grain to the middle; cherry creeps in then and becomes dominant by the finish;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation; moderately dry finish;

O: nice cherry character in the flavor;

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CTHomer from Connecticut, Apr 21, 2020
Photo of NYNorseman
4.07/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bells 30th Anniversary Cherry Stout Reserve is 9% ABV and loaded with sour cherry flavor. This is a good stout- not world class. Bells is a solid brewery and this stout holds up well enough.

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NYNorseman from New York, Mar 17, 2020
Photo of dream
3.56/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This beer has a lot of smoke to it. So much so that I wonder if that's how they make it. Definitely not a traditional stout. If it is, they are using an extremely smokey malt. Think smoke and slightly tart, although not off putting cherries,. definitely not for everyone.

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dream from Nevada, Dec 21, 2019
Photo of TuMadre
3.36/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I wish I would have read some reviews before buying this. By far the most mundane Stout I've ever drank. The cherry comes through, but more like a cough medicine aftertaste. The brew is flat on the palate, and leaves a somewhat bitter aftertaste. Too bad it doesn't taste as good as it looks in a tulip.

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TuMadre from North Carolina, Dec 01, 2019
Photo of BEERMILER12
3.83/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A:Pours a near pitch black color with 2 fingers of head that fades down to a thin cap

S: Roasted malt, cherries, dark chocolate, caramel, and a general dark fruit undertone

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with the roasted malt and some tart cherries and then picks up the caramel and dark chocolate. Tart cherry mostly up front. Finishes with lingering cherry and roast

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: A solid cherry stout that definitely puts the cherries front and center. Could benefit from a bit more sweetness to balance the tartness. The roast just doesn’t cut it enough

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4.17/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

(12 oz bottle, PKG 10/03/2019; purchased single off shelf at Total Wine... poured into fat tulip, though I should've decanted)

L: poured mostly clear deep dark brown until last oz carried in murky slug, probably affecting the foam retention; dark tan head on pour, messy collapse in the middle, but left bubbly collar; little lace

S: roasty coffee and dark chocolate chips; no cherry immediately apparent... burying my nose further into the glass, the dark roasty malts become richer, the coffee note becomes nuttier, but still no overt cherry - a subtle dried fruit note at best? - regardless, a lovely, inviting display of malt; little-to-no apparent booze... after a couple sips, an earthy, leathery scent envelopes the bready grains

T: even before it hit my palate, the approach of the liquid brought and immediate tart cherry note, but it merely accents the robust yet relatively dry, concentrated malt foundation, rather than expressing any sweetness or vibrant (tart) juiciness... the absence of a cordial angle is a big plus... nutty and roasty like a molasses cookie, with very little if any residual sweetness; a nip of acrid bitterness later surfaces along with a touch of tartness

F: mellow unfiltered furry texture, very subtle sparkle of gas in the finish; medium-bodied but attenuated a touch in the finish by the sedate booze; subtle heat lingering at the back of the palate... soft stun upon the tongue from aforementioned bitter/tart hum

O: immediate fan here, appreciating its simplicity - definitely not a dynamic brew, but certainly after my own heart with its understated approach and layered, rustic graininess; dirty malt milk... could possibly give into a sixer, who knows; worth having another though (1606)

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Bouleboubier from New Jersey, Nov 16, 2019
Photo of ichorNet
3.71/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

As a fan of darkly-fruity stouts, I was happy to see this classic Bell's offering on the shelves of a local beer store... I am generally a fan of Bell's darker beers versus their lighter ones (discounting Two-Hearted and Double Two-Hearted from that, obviously), and their brown and Kzoo stout are some of the best dark-leaning, malty beers I've had in recent memory. Adding Michigan tart cherry juice should elevate a well-brewed stout to the next level, then, shouldn't it? Let's find out...

Pours a nearly-impenetrable deep brown/maroon color with some very slight maroon highlights toward the bottom of the glass when held up to direct light. In other words... this brew is very, very dark. Its head is a light-mocha/khaki color with great retention at the cost of some showiness right upfront. It doesn't build up to more than a finger even when the whole 12 oz bottle is hard-poured, but what's there lasts permanently. Very light, soapy lace and decent legs. Surface is slightly clouded by a tiny bit of grouped foamy bubbles. Not special but solid.

Fairly metallic scent with some roasty and semi-sweet, chocolate-like maltiness crossed with deep caramel and coffee upfront. Kinda turned off by the metal scent, but the light fruitiness draws me in. Must be the cherries... and here lies the double-edged sword. The fruit addition is likely what is giving off this off-putting element, but it's also the aspect I want the beer to lean into the most in order to define itself against a lot of more generic stouts. Slight acidity/tartness once it warms a bit.

On the tongue, this has an ashy malt flavor with intensely-roasted malt tapering off in the mid-palate while a lasting acidity from the tart cherries sits on the tongue without much of a transitional thing happening. It's just really roasty and rough, then dark fruity and almost-sour. Has some balance issues, for sure. I feel like it almost wants to be a dry Irish stout or even an English porter-kinda thing, but then the fruit really messes with the balance. With each sip, I remain unconvinced by this beer. I want the cherry (and fruit in general when it comes to a stout) to bolster and work with the malt bill, but this seems like a sour beer dropped into a generic stout. Can't really get into it. Feel is medium-heavy, with light and semi-prickly carbonation. Wouldn't bother getting again.

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ichorNet from Massachusetts, Oct 27, 2019
Photo of PatrickCT
3.34/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Black body with ruby hues. The faint beige head dies down quickly to a bubbly, broken ring.
The aroma is toasted malts, semisweet chocolate, hints of cherry sweetness and coffee.
A flash of roasted malts and chocolate followed by cherries. Lots of them.
Medium body. Puckering mouth feel.

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PatrickCT from Connecticut, Mar 08, 2019
Photo of Nass
3.96/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

There is a bottled on date on the back of the label. The taste is rich roasted malts. some dark chocolate, & of course cherries. I must have to admit that after drinking a few sips of this that cherries & stout go great together. Bell's still remains as one of the best stout brewers on the east coast. Cheers! B

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Nass from Florida, Mar 04, 2019
Photo of MikeWard
3.56/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass. Bottled 10/4/17, so 15 months old. Lets see how it's aged.

Jet black body. Despite a vigorous pour, the tan head rapidly fizzles out to just a thin ring. no lacing.

Still a pretty decent cherry whiff though.

And the cherries come through very strong on the taste as well. Beer is a little on the tart side. There is a faint burn from the 7.0abv. No chocolate notes present. The cherry juice dominates. Not a luscious taste though, just strong.

Mouth around medium, sometimes feeling less. The finish is cherry, tart, and on the dry side.

Overall, the problem with this beer, and I guess it might be an age issue, is that the cherry taste is so strong that about halfway through, I was done. It doesn't taste bad, just a bit one dimensional. cherries strong & not lush, and no other flavors to balance it out.

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MikeWard from Pennsylvania, Jan 12, 2019
Photo of Maestro0708
3.98/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours near pitch black with a one finger tan head that has good retention.

The aroma features tart cherries and dark roasted malts boasting dark chocolate and subtle coffee notes.

The flavor follows the aroma with a good balance of tart cherry and roasted malts. There's a lot of smooth chocolate, with the roast character being somewhat restrained.

The body is a touch more thin than I would expect for a stout, but it works.

Overall, this is a tasty beer that Id be happy to come back to.

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Maestro0708 from Kentucky, Dec 29, 2018
Photo of RozzieBoy
3.84/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pkg on 10/10/18
L - near black with thin tan head. Ruby tint to the head. Lacing retained with head all the way.
S - fruity. Not your typical stout for sure .
T - cherries for sure. Tart indeed. Cherry taste lingers in a nice way.
F - Thin mouthfeel. Fairly smooth.
O - better than I expected, but only because I’m not a big fan of fruit flavored beer. This works.

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RozzieBoy from Rhode Island, Dec 19, 2018
Photo of rudiecantfail
3.79/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle poured into a tulip glass.

L---Poured through sunlight, the liquid was clear. In the glass, it is impenetrable black. Small, brown head quickly went down to a coating and then down to a collar. Not much lacing.

S---Dark chocolate is dominant. Very light on the cherries.

T---Well, now, there's the cherries. Still more chocolate, but there's definitely a good mix. Not much else going on except for some maltiness. Not complex, but a good cherry cordial flavor..

F---Thick & creamy. Not much carbonation.

O---A nice stout. Wouldn't seek it out, but I wouldn't turn down another one, either.

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rudiecantfail from Pennsylvania, Dec 07, 2018
Photo of MasterfulIdiot
5/5  rDev +39.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Riedel wheat beer glass from a bottle dated 9/5/18. The pour kicks up a modest mocha-colored head that reduces to a film within a few minutes, but leaves rings on the side of the glass on the way down. The liquid is pitch black.

Aroma is a bit sour, with cherries dominating and hints of cocoa and coffee.

Taste is sort of the reverse, with cocoa and coffee up front followed by a kick of tart cherries mid-palate. The two mix together perfectly on the finish, tasting almost exactly like a chocolate-covered cherry. The tartness dies down fairly quickly after the swallow, leaving you with a slightly sweet chocolate aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is milky with a small but sneaky amount of carbonation.

Overall, I think this is a very unique mix of chocolate and fruit flavors, coming out to a decadent treat that isn't cloyingly sweet by the end of it. I love it!

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Photo of Retroman40
3.27/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A - Almost black with a nice persistent brownish head. Very good lacing throughout.
S - Very malty with just a hint of cherry. No perception of hops at all.
T - Again, the taste follows the smell with the rich malt leading and just a hint of cherry in the finish.
M - Very nice and creamy and rich as you would expect from a stout.
O - Much more "Stout" than "Cherry". I was a tad disappointed in how subdued the cherry flavors were but there is nothing "bad" about this beer, it just doesn't fit my expectations. Overall this is a nice stout and worth a try - just don't expect too much cherry.

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Retroman40 from Florida, Nov 22, 2018
Photo of Pratik
3.44/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

The best possible explanation for this would be a Black Forest cake which is turning sour. It’s still edible, but it’s turning sour. It sounds nasty, but for a beer it isn’t that bad. It has a good black color with a cherry red hints and flat head. No lacing and clean drinking beer

Look: 4.25/5. This is the best thing i find about this beer. It can be a perfect pour and looks fine like an expensive drink

Smell: 3.25/5. It has a sour smell, and might not be the best one for a stout, but it isn’t bad either. It’s good if you concentrate of the flavor and enjoy stouts

Taste: 3.5/5. I like to experience and experiment different beers, so this was a good taste, enjoyed the mild cherry flavor.

Feel: 3.5/5. I would think again before buying this, but this would be a perfect beer for someone who is on a first date or eithe going through a breakup. It will help you stay calm and work the beer

Overall: 3.25/5. As i said not my absolute favorite, but not bad either. Good to try it once at least.

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Pratik from Michigan, Nov 09, 2018
Photo of jkblr
3.72/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottled 9/27/18 (43 days ago) poured into a Spiegelau stout glass at fridge temp 7% ABV. The beer pours dense black with red tinted chocolate colored head. The head recedes to a few bubbles and a pencil thin ring. The aroma is roasty dark chocolate with hints of cherry. The taste is sweet & tart cherry right up front switching to dark roast (dark chocolate) before the cherry sneaks back in on the finish. The subtle sweetness and tart flavors of the cherry keep the perceived bitterness to a minimum and the finish is mostly dry for the same reason. Mouthfeel is medium to thin bodied and adequately carbonated. Overall, very good. I can see this being a divisive combination. It's a very well made fruited beer, but not on my list of favorite stouts. If you love cherries and don't mind a little roast malt, this may be the beer for you.

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jkblr from Indiana, Nov 09, 2018
Photo of SB2017
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Somehow this beer smells like an olive. It also has an almost salty taste to it. Overall it's chocolate and cherries, and a little too juicy. I've been meaning to try this beer for some time, as Bell's other stouts have been among my favorites, though this comes across a little thinly. I expect it to grow on me after I get through another couple bottles.

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SB2017 from Iowa, Oct 11, 2018
Photo of ajm5108
3.23/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I didn’t really pick-up a tremendous amount of cherry flavor, just little flashes here or there, but the base stout is kinda bland & washed-out, also pretty thin

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ajm5108 from Pennsylvania, Jul 29, 2018
Photo of Shade1951
2.71/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Surprisingly creamy on first tasting it. Tart cherry flavor prevails, with some chocolate. Upon further sipping, I found the flavor to be somewhat cloying. Not that it's sweet, though there's a hint of sweetness. Just that the combination of earthy, roasty flavors with tartness and chocolate didn't work for me. It began to taste, for want of a better word, "dirty."

Also, there is a tart, but slightly medicinal aftertaste that lingers between sips.

Interesting, but just not for me.

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Shade1951 from Pennsylvania, Jul 14, 2018
Photo of Billet
4.47/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 10/2017, very well printed date. Shelf life is rated for 12 months, probably longer would be fine too. This is an excellent Cherry Stout, the flavor has a nice mix of chocolate and tart cherries. It has a strong flavor but still clean tasting. It is certainly not mild. It seems to be getting smoother with some age on it. Very nice!

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Billet from Michigan, Jun 17, 2018
Photo of jjamadorphd
4.18/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really liked this like no other Bell's...

The thing that made me stop actually pouring the beer in mid-stream was the dark, ruby-red color of the liquid, it was unlike anything I have poured to date. The smell was an altos perfect blend of cherries, cocoa, and the booziness that it contains at 7% ABV. The mouthfeel is very thick, creamy, and certainly heavy without being oppressive as I have tried in others. The taste was part sweet, part tart, and with only a touch of heat from the booze - truly outstanding. Bell's is one of those brewers I wish I could try more, but rarely get the chance. I'm glad this showed up in my local beer store.

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Photo of Quackershnoc
1.27/5  rDev -64.5%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

totally black; mocha head that leaves islands and rims around

kinda weird smell; the tart cherry comes out strong and doesn’t really jive with the rich, toasted malt aromas; hints of coffee and chocolate; some kind of sweetness gets in there too

wow…this is totally dominated by tart cherries; I can barely taste anything else; there is some roasted malt in the middle; some coffee on the finish, but this is straight cherry juice and someone accidentally spilled a little stout in it

juicy; slightly creamy; medium-bodied

I really do not like this beer at all (and it pains me to say this, because I love Bells!); in no way do I want to finish this beer; I have another and I might cellar it for a year or two and see if it mellows out some, because this is so extremely unbalanced that I really cannot drink it; a complete miss/mess; drainpour

From notes taken on 10/25/2013

UPDATE: 12/15/2017
I aged the other bottle. It was still completely disgusting. Drainpour.

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Quackershnoc from Michigan, Mar 18, 2018
Photo of connecticutpoet
3.78/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance – Dark brown clear body with a two finger head.

Aroma – Cherry, coffee, bitter chocolate.

Taste – Sweet, light cherries atop rich roasted malt.

Mouthfeel – Smooth and very creamy.

Overall – A well balanced beer that did not lose its stout character in the fruit.

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connecticutpoet from Connecticut, Feb 20, 2018
Photo of TheBrewsky
4.24/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I personally think this is fantastic.

On the nose, right away I get notes of chocolate, with toasty/smoked scent. The cherries come into play next, with tart and sweet (really cherry-like) aromas. Overall, the nose was prominent of chocolate, with some toasty/smoky scent, with cherry smells backing them up.
Malt, chocolate, and of course, cherries. The malt level was superb, and blended really nicely with the chocolate which gave it a really solid mouth feel. Initially, it was straight malt and chocolate, but not in an overly sweet way. The backend was where the cherry flavor came through. More tart that sweet, but I really liked that. I was worried it was going to be a Lizard of Koz experience, where the sweetness and tartness was way out of balance. I found in this case, it was more stout-y than tart or sweet, and that the cherries complemented the smoky/malty complexity of the stout. This stout didn’t lose focus on being a stout, which is what I was hoping for. The smell backs up the taste, and the cherry was not overpowering, enabling it to remain as a desired stout.
Poured little to no head, but had a good solid mouthfeel. All in all, I was weary of it despite the reviews. I actually really liked it and enjoyed it. I found it enjoyable right out of the fridge too, and warming it up a bit did not seem to make a huge difference. I can see where some might not like it, but it hit the spot for me tonight.
I definitely think it is worth a try!
It was bottled on 10/04/17 for extra info. Bells says it has a shelf life of 12 months.

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TheBrewsky from California, Feb 09, 2018
Cherry Stout from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 81 out of 100 with 2673 ratings