Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Bell's Cherry Stout | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
1,012 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Bell's Cherry StoutBell's Cherry Stout

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
"A mysterious dance of tart Michigan cherries with the dark, roasted malts of a big and bold stout." and "Stout brewed with cherry juice."

Added by Mitchster on 01-09-2002

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,012 | Ratings: 2,520
Photo of Motleydrunk56
3.46/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle.Smell is a very strong cherry smell,with not much else.Taste is such an overpowering cherry that I found I really couldn`t enjoy it that much.More like drinking wine than beer.This is not one I will be revisiting.

 226 characters

Photo of TX-Badger
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown color with tan head. Cherries, just like the name says, with some roast and cocoa on the nose; follows onto the palate. Medium bodied. Finishes with a chocolate covered cherry flavor.

 202 characters

Photo of WestmontStorm
2.11/5  rDev -40.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Did you ever bite into a chocolate candy that's part of an assortment and get the nasty one filled with a fruity gel? If you like those candies, this one's for you. Starts with a nice stoutly flavor then ruined, for me at least, by the sour cherry flavor. Loves Bell's but not this one.

 286 characters

Photo of Myotus
3.68/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured hard at 47°F from a 12oz bottle (packaged 13Nov15) into a Spiegelau Stout glass. Consumed on 16Feb16.
LOOK: Pours with a finger and a half's worth of cinnamon colored foam that dissipates into a quarter fingers worth of khaki foam after 45 seconds. Black in color with an orange tint. There is a moderate amount of small, rising bubbles. Lacing is moderate in quantity and thin with some spotted areas of thickness.
SMELL: Mild aromas of sweet coffee, roasted malts (not bitter, though), sweet chocolate, and tart cherries entangle with subtle vanilla aromas.
TASTE: Strong bittersweet/tart cherry flavors first strike the palate. I was not expecting that based on the smell of the beer. Mild sweet chocolate and bitter roasted malt flavors immediately follow. Subtle vanilla and sweet coder flavors enter lastly as sweet chocolate and bitter roasted malt flavors push on. The cherry flavors don't necessarily grow stronger, but rather the sweetness fades, resulting in a lingering bitter/tart flavor.
FEEL: Somewhere between medium-bodied and light-bodied. Carbonation is low. Goes down smooth and somewhat creamy. Finishes with a mild dryness.
NOTE: What smelled amazing, turned out to taste okay. Even as I drank this, this smell did not match the flavor profile. The cherry juice just took a whole different (and displeasing) approach in the taste than the smell.

 1,376 characters

Photo of Marraybay
2.98/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Look: Jet black: Not much head; nothing remarkable wrt lacing.

Smell: Soy Sauce.

Taste: Espresso-charcoal upfront, that immediately mingles with a tart vinous fruit;
Tartness lingers on the palate as a sour note vs. bitterness.

Feel: Largely non-descript.

Overall: Finished the pour; Not a fan generally of overly smoking or roasty stouts,
since those flavors themselves can accentuate tartness. This is a little different,
since the tartness is more a component by design vs. a byproduct. That aspect
makes it somewhat unique, but I still like my stouts sweet!

 570 characters

Photo of PA-hunter
3.67/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured 12oz bottle into glass. 7% abv

Appearance- Pours a dark reddish brown with two finger light brown head quick to dissipate. Opaque.

Smell- Chocolate, cherries, and roasted malt.

Taste- Slightly roasted, milk chocolate malt up front. Prominent cherry flavor builds, and blends with the chocolate malt tones. The cherry flavor is not so sweet, but is very much on the tart side. The tartness only builds, and goes right through into the finish. Finishes tart and dry.

Mouthfeel- Medium in body with medium carbonation.

Overall- An interesting stout that mixes it up from the norm of stouts. Bell's could have chosen a sweeter cherry over the tart variety in this beer as it is borderline sour. This aspect really makes this a sipping beer only on the basis it is brewed with lots of cherries.

 801 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.96/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dark brown on the edges, black in the middle. Thin, cherry cola like head, 1/5". Aroma was cherry. Dark cherry and thick roasted malt.

Tons of cherry, massive thick mouthfeel a consistency that leads some to say cough syrup, I get it, even if the taste only has minor shared tendencies.

You really have to like lots of cherry in your stout to enjoy this one. Can't wait to try the barrel aged version.

 411 characters

Photo of Gajo74
3.73/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a black color with a hint of ruby, very thin tan lace that didn't retains barely and only after swirling it in the glass. What's most unique about this brew is the cherries. Sour cherries in the aroma as well as the typical roasted malt, chocolate and coffee associated with stouts. Likewise, the taste is tart, a product of the cherries, but with a roasted malt backbone. I feel the cherry juice in the finish as well as some hops bitterness that becomes more prominent towards the end of the drink. The body is lighter for a stout, softly carbonated but with some crispness. The tartness tends to make it less smooth than other stouts.
Overall, this is an unusual and interesting stout. The sour cherry tartness is perhaps a bit much, as I would have liked for the roasted malts to take more of the center stage, with the cherries serving as more of a garnish. It is a thus a slightly flawed brew but I'm glad I tried it.

 929 characters

Photo of J1moyer
5/5  rDev +40.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Yummy! Bell's Cherry Stout is on tap at Fishpaw's Marketplace in Arnold, MD. Check it out. They offer many beers, wines and spirits. Cheeses are available too!

 159 characters

Photo of Danny_Brewstein
3.9/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I remembered this being more sour and tart last year. Also the bottle poured with no head what so ever. When it was cold, the cherry flavor was really not present, just the tartness and some bitterness from the dark roasted malts. Tasted best to me just above room temp, when the cherry flavor came through to help balance out those other notes.

 351 characters

Photo of bubseymour
4.25/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Really nice beer in the glass but the head was small and doesn't hold that great. Nice chocolate, coffee, roasty and cherry smells. Seems to work well. Taste is quite interesting and tart cherries mix pretty well with the stout characteristics for the most part. Not a home run, but I respect the craft and artisanal attempt at this mix and overall it's pulled off quite well and drinkable.

 394 characters

Photo of Dragginballs76
4.06/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours jet black small tan head gone quickly no lacing no head in under a minute.
Smell bitter chocolate cherry some roasted notes sourness from the cherries the smell I thought could have been better.
Taste bitter chocolate very tart cherry sourness roasted or smoked flavor on the back end.
Feel medium body kind of dry from the cherry bitterness not a huge fan of the feel
Overall not a bad example of a tart cherry stout I would probably have this again.

 458 characters

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

Foamy head, dark brown.

As many have said, this is sour, but seems accidentally so. Maybe just using rejected cherries, or else cherries just don't work well with Bell's stout.

 177 characters

Photo of HopHunter19
3.99/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - nice dark beer, pitch black but with no head, surprising for 7%
S - dark, roasted chocolate malts with tart cherry in the background. Not mind blowing but substantial. There's a distinct bells stout character to this that seems to be present in all of bells stouts across the board
T - dark roasted malt, chocolate, tart cherry, smoke. The tart cherry lingers but isn't overwhelming.
M - medium to heavy mouthfeel, alc covered, aftertaste is cherry mixed with dark malts.
O - decent stout unlike any other that I've had. It has a distinctly natural taste that most flavored stouts don't have.

 598 characters

Photo of UrbanCaveman
2.85/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Appearance: Standard stout black, capped with roughly half a finger of incredibly short-lived pale off-white head. It barely leaves even a ring as it dies.

Smell: Dark roasted grain and tart cherries, in roughly equal measure, accompanied by some mild sweetness and light coffee notes.

Taste: That is...interesting. This beer opens much like a milk stout, fairly sweet and malty, and then is abruptly transformed by the arrival of the cherry flavors. While tart, said fruit mixes with the sweetness of the beer to present a flavor not unlike that of a Luden's cough drop (for those old enough to remember those little red rectangular lozenges, anyway - I haven't seen them in over a decade). The cherry tartness intensifies as it goes, until the aftertaste seems almost like what one would expect from a cherry sour beer.

Mouthfeel: Fairly thin, especially for something with the designation of a stout, this is bordering on light-bodied. The carbonation level seems fairly lively, however, which saves the beer from feeling too watery.

Overall: While interesting to try, this will not be a repeated beer in my drinking rotation, even seasonal as it may be. While the Luden's-esque flavor was something of a trip down memory lane, said memories generally involved being sick, so that plus a vaguely medicinal profile make this a below average offering in my book.

 1,367 characters

Photo of CHickman
3.65/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 11/13/15: A fresh bottle, it pours black with a 2 finger foamy tan head that had tons of bubbles in it, popping and dissipating slowly as the head eased down leaving decent spotty lacing and a creamy layer on top.

Smells of roasted grains, coffee grinds, cherries, light yeast, toffee, char and dark fruit. It's rather simple smelling, but this is a stout brewed with cherry juice so it shows off the cherries, char and roasted grains. Not the most complex nose, but accomplishes the brewers set out to do so I give them props for that.

Tastes of black cherries, coffee grinds, light yeast, toffee, charred wood, peat moss, cocoa powder, dark fruit like raisin and dates, burnt grains and a sweet bitterness which must be from the cherry juice. It's a tad bit too sweet, but I like the complexities which come from the cherry and fruit sweetness as they mix with the burnt malts and smoky flavors.

Mouthfeel is thin, watery and very light feeling, the body is light to medium, This brew hides the 7% ABV very well, and went down smooth even with the mild bitterness and cherry sweetness. Aftertaste has minerals and earthy notes, which tame the bitterness but can't subdue the fruit sweetness of those local Michigan cherries. It was good overall, but I'd grab other Bell's stouts over this one.

 1,307 characters

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.65/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours deep, dark and near black with cola brown edging. The head is tan, but nary sits a half finger's width and is gone within 30 seconds, revealing a somewhat barren surface. Lacing is mostly spotty with a few broken lines.

Smell - Plenty of chocolate on the nose, with hints of roasted malt and a trace of cherry fruit.

Taste - More tart than the nose leads on, as cherry is the predominant flavor here, backed by lesser notes of chocolate and some earthen coffee character. Not much else here, and there's not much change from the front end to the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium in body with moderate carbonation. The tartness lends to deliver a bit of a crisp bite. Fairly smooth finish.

Overall - Eh, it's okay. A bit simplistic, though it has it's charms. The earthy coffee flavor clashes a bit with the tart fruitiness, but not to the point of hindrance. I wouldn't mind drinking it again, though I'd certainly not go out of my way to get or buy it.

 971 characters

Photo of CraigP83
3.84/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Black as night, thin fading tan head. Smell is slightly earthy, faint raw coffee mixed with berries, hint of cacao. Taste is coffee grind, tart cherry fruit juice and soil.

 172 characters

Photo of FriedSlug
3.66/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Nice dark pour with a brown head that rushed to the edges of the glass and left a bit of lacing. Smells a little bit like cherries but mostly roasted malt and even that isn't super strong. The taste is mostly overpowered with the tart cherry juice but there is not enough sweetness to balance the flavor for me.

 311 characters

Photo of thorkelson
2.52/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

This one did not work for me whatsoever. Tasted like welch's cherry juice mixed with like roasted crappy coffee. Didn't look at the rating before I picked it up... nasty beer, man. Dang Bell's, why?

 198 characters

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

This was poured into a pint glass.
The appearance was mostly a black color with a thin cap of a little white head that dissipated pretty quickly. Lacing was slightly stringy but basically thinned out on the spot.
The smell had some sweet and tart cherries up front arranging themselves amongst dark chocolate and some roasted malt.
The taste takes the cherries to eloquently combine with the dark chocolate and roasty malt. The aftertaste leans more towards the chocolate and malt, cherries really take a backseat. The finish is really quick.
The mouthfeel was about a medium on the body with a decent dry sessionable sort of feel to it. Carbonation seems to feel right as an American Stout allowing the roast to compensate for the make up of a slightly creamy dry sort of feel to it.
Overall, nice American Stout and with the cherry idea to it. Sure, good job Bell's, I'd have this again.

 889 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
3.77/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Putting cherry juice in a stout sounds like fun. From a 12 ounce bottle, on to the beer:

A visible reddish hue is found in this mostly ink black beer. A half-inch of mocha tanned head leaves spotty lace around the glass. I smell sweet cherries upfront. Dark chocolate and roasted malt follow and create the aroma that I would expect from a Black Forest Cake. When I tasted it,the beer was even more dominant of cherries. There are soft tones of dark chocolate and roasty stout, but given the right disguise, could be mistaken as a sour stout. The medium-full body is extremely smooth and uplifting, and while there are other stouts that I prefer, Bell's Cherry Stout is a fun beer to try.

 689 characters

Photo of Buck89
3.28/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a snifter. Nice dark brown with a medium tan head. Smells like roasted malt with caramel and dark fruit. Taste is overwhelming tart cherry with a sticky cloying finish - like a Tootsie cherry pop. Digging deep I recognized the stout base, but not my thing.

 268 characters

Photo of manfromanotherplace
3.17/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Guy in the beer store tried to talk me out of buying it.....i should of listened!thank god i only bought one,this is a weird one and in my opinion one that just doesnt work too well.

 182 characters

Photo of Grant_Satterthwaite
4.54/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep burgundy color, like the darkest cherry one has ever seen. Somewhat opaque, yet it's difficult to see through it. Smells of tart cherry, not typical of a stout. Some hop character off the nose and slight alcohol astringency. Tastes nearly like it smells, though if you have the expectation that this stout will be traditional, you will be left disappointed. At first I didn't like the taste because I had the expectation that it would be a smooth, chocolatey stout. As I kept drinking it, I found that it was really outstanding no matter how weird it seemed. The cherry flavor was upfront, but there was mild hop bitterness and hints of unsweetened chocolate as well but predominately cherry. The feel was smooth, typical of a stout. Overall, it's definitely worth a try. It's a bit out there, but you could end up like me and really enjoy it.

 857 characters

Bell's Cherry Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.56 out of 5 based on 2,520 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!