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

Cherry StoutCherry Stout
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Style:
Stout - American
Ranked #926
ABV:
7%
Score:
81
Ranked #45,429
Avg:
3.59 | pDev: 15.88%
Reviews:
1,066
Ratings:
2,694
From:
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
 
Michigan, United States
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Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  116
Gots
  359
SCORE
81
Good
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: 1,066 | Ratings: 2,694 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of ZenAgnostic
ZenAgnostic from Texas

3.01/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

12oz bottle poured into Duvel tulip. There appear to be some dates printed on the neck but it's hard to make them out. I believe it says 101420 which I presume is the born on date? Which means this is almost 3 months old. Plenty fresh.

Appearance - Pitch black, even on backlight. Pours one finger medium brown head. Maybe not exactly The Abyss, but not far off. Impressively dark. 4.75

Smell - Luxurious, creamy and sweet on top of the expected roasted characters. No off tones. None of that weird soy sauce or vinegar or anything like that you often get with stouts. Very smooth. Very slight alcohol peaking through. 5

Taste - Cherry up front right away, but quickly followed by thinned out coffee, dirt, and some chocolate. A little disconcerting. Weird. A bit unpleasant and off. Doesn't exactly live up to the perfection that was its nose. But actually on subsequent sips I'm starting to enjoy it a bit more. The cherry is becoming even more noticable. Too bad there's this powerful bitterness that really throws it off balance. Maybe my frame of references is wrong. I should be thinking of this as a strong stout with some cherry flavoring instead of something that's meant to be cherry flavored. At any rate it's a little strong. Maybe the alcohol or hop or something but way too bitter. I think the dark roasted quality and light cherry sweetness really clash in an unenjoyable way. 2.25

Mouthfeel - Astringent. Medium bodied but for some reason that cherry quality gives it a bit of a thin and watery and even refreshing note amidst the murkiness. 2.25

Drinkability - Interesting. But definitely would never have it again. Will actually take a bit of a concerted effort to finish this one bottle. Very low drinkability. 2

Jan 08, 2021
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KRug from Massachusetts

3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 10/14/20

This was one of the first beers I stumbled upon the reviews of when I first found this site. I'm not sure how I found it given its lowish ratings, but I always thought it was a cool concept so naturally I jumped on this one when I saw it

Pours pitch black with less than a finger of light brown head that quickly fades to a thin ring and leaves minimal lacing

The nose is not overly complex, some astringent roast, lightly tart cherries, chocolate malt, and char. Not bad but not exciting either

The sip starts out with notes of tart black cherry and roasted malt. The swallow brings even more of both, along with a smooth medium roast coffee, and a touch of charred oak

A medium full body combines with mild carbonation which creates a rather interesting feeling beer between the roast and the tartness. Finishes a tad sticky but it does not hurt it

So, this one didn't turn out to be the perfectly balanced beer I had built up in my head, but I don't think it's nearly as bad as some make it out to be. Definitely interesting for what it is, but I probably wouldn't have too much of this

Nov 13, 2020
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hopsputin from New Jersey

3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: dark black color. Almost matte. No light penetrating. Thin dark tan head

S: roasted malts, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, sweet caramel, oak, and a touch of dark cherry

T: roasted malts and sweet cherries upfront. Caramel, molasses, and brown sugar. A slight woody note and more sweet cherry juice to close

M: lighter side of medium with moderate carbonation

O: alright, but almost tastes like a cherry soda. Could use a bit more body and a bit more malt. Not bad, but not mind-blowing either

Nov 08, 2020
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CTHomer from Connecticut

3.87/5  rDev +7.8%
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;

Apr 21, 2020
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NYNorseman from New York

4.07/5  rDev +13.4%
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.

Mar 17, 2020
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dream from Nevada

3.56/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

Dec 21, 2019
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TuMadre from North Carolina

3.36/5  rDev -6.4%
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.

Dec 01, 2019
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BEERMILER12 from Maine

3.83/5  rDev +6.7%
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

Nov 18, 2019
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Bouleboubier from New Jersey

4.17/5  rDev +16.2%
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)

Nov 16, 2019
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ichorNet from Massachusetts

3.71/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

Oct 27, 2019
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PatrickCT from Connecticut

3.34/5  rDev -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.

Mar 08, 2019
Photo of Nass
Nass from Florida

3.96/5  rDev +10.3%
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

Mar 04, 2019
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MikeWard from Pennsylvania

3.56/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

Jan 12, 2019
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Maestro0708 from Kentucky

3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
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.

Dec 29, 2018
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RozzieBoy from Rhode Island

3.84/5  rDev +7%
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.

Dec 19, 2018
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rudiecantfail from Pennsylvania

3.79/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

Dec 07, 2018
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MasterfulIdiot from Georgia

5/5  rDev +39.3%
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!

Nov 29, 2018
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Retroman40 from Florida

3.27/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

Nov 22, 2018
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Pratik from Michigan

3.44/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

Nov 09, 2018
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jkblr from Indiana

3.72/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

Nov 09, 2018
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SB2017 from Iowa

3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

Oct 11, 2018
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ajm5108 from Pennsylvania

3.23/5  rDev -10%
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

Jul 29, 2018
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Shade1951 from Pennsylvania

2.71/5  rDev -24.5%
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.

Jul 14, 2018
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Billet from Michigan

4.47/5  rDev +24.5%
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!

Jun 17, 2018
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jjamadorphd from Florida

4.18/5  rDev +16.4%
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.

Apr 01, 2018
Cherry Stout from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 81 out of 100 with 2694 ratings