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

Bell's Cherry StoutBell's Cherry Stout
2,540 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,540 |  Reviews: 1,016
Photo of xnicknj
3.44/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

on tap at khyber in philly

Pours a deep black color with a thick layering of off-white head. Some spots of lacing on the glass with a few wisps of film on top.

Complex nose with chocolate and roasted dark malts. Plenty of cherry with faint tartness, some darker fruit tones as well. Slight warmth with sweetness.

Heaping amounts of tart cherry up front with skin and unripe notes. Chocolate and roasted malts come through with a decent amount of sweetness. The backbone holds together for a bit, but the tart cherry seems to overwhelm most of the profile. Finishes sweet and sour.

Fuller medium body, decent carbonation, sticky and chewy on the tongue. This smells delicious, but the overwhelming tart cherry became a turn off for me.

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Photo of patol8
4.15/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Starts off with a bit of sour cherry taste mixed with the dark chocolate aftertaste. Moutfeel is pretty good, I'm not the best judge for this category, it honestly felt like a lot of other stouts by Bells. I would like to try it on tap more often, so will have to get lucky at Ashlys or make a trip out to Bells when its on tap at the Eccentric Cafe.

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Photo of zeledonia
3.65/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 9993, bottled 27 September 2010. I almost want to wait for its birthday, but nope, into the glass it goes!

Pours a very dark brown, nearly black. As it left the bottle, I could make out a reddish brown color, but that quickly disappeared in the glass. Two-finger light brown head, but it's mostly big bubbles, and fades fast. A bit of spongy lacing that quickly slides down the glass.

Smell is mostly stout, with only a faint hint of cherry in the background. Smooth coffee, dark chocolate. Not much hop aroma. A nice clean stout smell.

Cherries come through much more clearly in the taste. In fact, I'd say they overpower the stout flavors, which I wouldn't have expected at all from the smell. The cherry has a weird bite to it that I also encountered in Founders Cerise (something about Michigan cherries, perhaps?), though it's much fainter and less bothersome here. The hops come through late with a nice little pinch of bitterness. But in general I find the components poorly integrated. It's got cherries, and dark roasted malts, and hops, but they're all playing their own slightly different tunes, rather than coordinated as an ensemble.

Mouthfeel is medium-heavy with mid-low carbonation. Long finish.

Overall, it's good, but the pieces don't really come together. It also has a bit of bite that brings it down a notch for me. Not bad, but not great.

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Photo of doppelme
3.45/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Smells slightly of cherries but mostly hidden by the strong chocolate malt smell. It pours a deep black with a fizzy brown head that settles quickly. It tastes a bit sour from the cherry juice and that is followed by a sweet chocolate taste. Smooth on the palate but it is a bit heavy. Overall this is a beer that I could drink more of and I would like to see if it is a bit better on tap.

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Photo of AARomanov
3.58/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a dark almost ruby color that I swore I saw transferred to the head, which was minimal and settled at a deep tan.

Aroma - Sweet flavors reminiscent of a dubble. Could not pick up the chocolate notes other's are referencing. Cherry does come through.

Taste - Ironically enough I took a sip right as I got a windows error message. The upfront and shocking tartness definetly matched my disdain. Can't say that I like the flavor. Maybe it's not my style of beer, but it just tastes like a bad combination of a kriek and a stout (two great tastes that don't taste great together)

All that being said, it does start to grow on you. I think it needs to be warmed up a little and not served too cold, otherwise, it's way to shocking at first.

Drinkability - More of a sipping beer that opens up once it hits 45 degree.

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Photo of bertram
3.5/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured form a bottle into a snifter - pours a dark, rich red-black with a slight tan head.

There's not a lot of cherry to the smell (maybe it was just my bottle)...instead it smells of a sweet stout.

The cherries that were missing in the smell were definitely there in the taste. It's quite strong, almost the opposite of the smell, where the taste is strong with cherry and low on traditional imperial stout flavor.

The mouthfeel is solid - nice and thick, and with the cherry, it leaves a dry finish.

Overall a good stout, but in my opinion nothing spectacular.

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Photo of carolinabeerguy
3.68/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at World of Beer Fort Myers. Poured into a shaker pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark cola brown with a 1 finger creamy dark tan head. Nice lacing.

Smell: Dark roasted malt, coffee and a touch of cherry.

Taste: Dark roasted malt up front followed by coffee in the middle and ending with sour cherry at the finish. Aftertaste is a mix of sourness and coffee. A little bit too much sourness for me.

Mouthfeel: Medium-to-full-bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Decent drinkability. You could knock back a couple without any problem.

Overall: Good beer overall. Not my favorite, but the cherry adds an interesting element. Worth a shot.

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Photo of doughanson78
4.28/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Thanks to 67couple for this.

A: Very black with a beautiful, deep, dark red tint to it during the pour. In the glass it is pitch black. Pretty damn thick for a non-Imperial. Half finger dark brown head, with a slight red tint and lots of big bubbles in it. Head fades pretty quick and doesn't leave much lacing. Still a beautiful beer.

S: Big roasted coffee and dark chocolate dominate. A very pleasant dark cherry aroma behind all the roastiness. Very big nose for a regular stout.

T: Huge burnt malt flavors and slight sweetness upfront. Then tart cherries take over and dominate the palette. Finishing with a nice roasted mocha flavor with a slight lingering tartness. If the cherries weren't so tart I would give this a 5.

M: A tad light on the body but not watery at all. Could still be fuller. A mild carbonation. A little puckering going on because of the tartness of the cherries. Really don't want to pucker when I drink a stout.

O: Very impressed with this beer. The massive domination of the cherries are the only thing wrong. If not so tart and a little sweeter and more hidden this would be a truly awesome beer.

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Photo of avaldivia
3.2/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pretty typical appearance for a stout. Very dark. Small head with not retention and virtually no lacing.

S: Tart cherry. Roasted malts. A smell at the end that reminds me of olives. Liked all the scents except that one.

T: Tart cherry. Some nice roasted notes. A bit acidic. Gets better at room temp. The acidity mellows out because the roasted flavor becomes more prominent.

M: Lighter than I expected. Low carbonation. Completely coats palate and has an aftertaste that I am not crazy about.

O: Not my favorite stout. Happy to be able to try it considering Bells does not distribute here. I doubt I would ever get it again.

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Photo of Retail1LO
2.97/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Received this as an extra in a trade. Poured with a nearly nonexistent head despite a fairly vigorous pour. The nose starts off with a faint cherry scent. Fast forward to the taste, and it's all cherry all the time. Big, bold, sour cherry. This is like...a sour stout. Mouthfeel is very tart. This one's hard to retain. Intake, swallow, repeat. The longer it's in your mouth, the more twisted and contorted your face is sure to become. Overall, this is average at best. Wouldn't make an effort to revisit, and might not drink if it was the only beer option. Interesting nonetheless, and glad I got to try it.

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Photo of mdvatab
3.48/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Received in trade w/ DCon.
Poured from 12 oz bottle into snifter.
No bottled on date.

Aroma: Dark cherry up front, which transitions to balsamic vinegar, dark chocolate, black olive, cabernet, and sashimi soy sauce.

Appearance: Dark brown-black body w/ tinged of brown around the edges. 1/2 finger dark brown head disappears very quickly. No lacing expected nor seen.

Flavor: Rich balsamic vinegar tartness up front, followed by earthy, roasty, smoky malt. Deep, dark chocolate toward the end, and then a slightly bitter finish. I was honestly expecting a softer, sweet cherry profile, but found a surprising acidic tartness in this one. I didn't care for the flavor initially, but I began to enjoy it the more I drank it.

Mouthfeel: Medium CO2, full-bodied, and a puckering tartness.

Overall: This is definitely the tartest stout I've ever had. It's a unique brew that one could order to mix things up later in a drinking session. I generally like rounder, roastier, maltier/sweeter stouts, but this one was an enjoyable change.

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Photo of gregshead
3.45/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 6/17/11. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a thinner brownish black w/ almost no head.

S: Roasted smells w/ sweet cherry which becomes more prominent as it warms up

T: Lots of sweet flavor throughout. The sweet cherry flavor is not as strong as other cherry flavored beers. Balance by the darker malt flavors.

M: Pretty light on the feel. A little syrupy/oily feel on the end/after-feel

O: Although not my favorite stout, this brew has me interested in cherry stouts even when I didn't think I would enjoy them.

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Photo of 2BDChicago
4.42/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark, non-transparent chocolate, and a slight tint of red when you swirl the brew in your snifter (assuming you are civilized and that's the vessel you are drinking from). Foam is light brown, but only reaches a couple of ml's above the pour.

S: Soft, dark chocolate notes and a faint background of sour cherries. It's a subtle nose, and not a single off note. Like any great creation, the intermingle of parts results in a single entity of smells real nice.

T: The cherries are definately sour, and there's vitually no sweetness. Almost wine-like in dryness and acidic-sour fruit flavor notes. The malt is bitter chocolate and smoky anocho chilli stylisticly speaking. The mouthfeel would be thick, but again the port-like characteristics really reduce any malt profile.

O: This is a treat to be appreciated. In the wrong tasting context, or with an expectation of a different experience, it would be easy to write off this brew as a creators indulgence. However, I was lucky enough to taste after a late summer meal of fresh vegatables and only IPAs to influence my palate. I taste and imagine this brew and it's ingrediants all mellowed from time stored in american oak barrels. A beer perfectly suited for a last of the night choice, esp in the context of slow and relective evaluation of events of the day...and this brew. Demonstrates the top capability of a very experienced brewer.

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Photo of lisomiso
3.3/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I don't like this beer as much as I expected to. I guess cherry juice + roasted malts = too much acid. If I reframe it as a sour beer, it's a little more palatable, but too roasty. The mouthfeel is a little thin. Oh well. Not an awful beer, but I won't be seeking it out again.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
2.87/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Dark brown/black with some darker reddish tinges when held to direct light. Head is coffee with cream in color and leaves a ring of foam around the glass. No lacing.

Smell: Roasted malts play over some slightly burnt aromas. Tobacco and molasses make an appearance. Quite unexpected. Hints of cocoa, and of course, a tart cherry aroma. It smells of cherry flesh with a touch of almost cherry candy in the back. Pulls stronger than I would expect from the style. Almost hits some of the deeper fruit notes I would expect from a RIS.

Taste: Burnt, super burnt. Cocoa lingers. Char. Tart cherry pulls through the back and tries to make heads or tails of the absolutely destroyed malts. It can't. Fresh-cut tobacco on top of it all. Hints of vanilla and a bready grain are in there somewhere. This sticks somewhere between the taste of disappointment and the conquered South.

Mouthfeel: Right about where it should be. A little thin, but that might just be my tongue reeling from the taste.

Overall: I put this akin to my first experience with Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout. It's all tobacco and burnt. There's a chance I'll love it in a few years, but right now it's a charred mess. It's definitely unique, but it's not the strongest beer in Bell's lineup...not by far.

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Photo of meatyard
2.9/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A hard pour gives a 3-finger cola colored head that falls remarkably fast to a ring without lacing while the body is an opaque, dark brown with reddish tinges.

The smell is a bit cough syrup-like.

The taste is sour cherry syrup with a hint of roasted malt.

Mouthfeel is medium tending toward full with very mild carbonation.

Overall: This sure seems like a big miss for Bell's. This is one that should be dropped from their line-up, IMO. This took some effort to finish.

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Photo of actone2001
3.06/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz. Bottle ployed into a bruery snifter. I got to taste this as an extra, thanks to RC0032!

A - Black, quick dissipating brownish head.

S - very little roast comes out, definitely get a cherry smell in the background. Soy sauce up front maybe?

T - strange. Sour cherry dominates, but there is very little to support it. No real malty stout aspect, just a sour cherry roast. No sweetness at all.

M - Things that I don't like to describe a stout with... Thin, good carbonation, light on the tongue.

O - Interesting brew. If I look at it from my wild ale/sour loving perspective, this is definitely an ok beer. I was expecting something a little more stout-ee, and didn't get that at all. It's a confused brew. Not quite sour, but not quite a stout. If you like roasted sour cherries, give it a go... I probably won't be trading for it any time soon though. Glad I got to try it!

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Photo of beerboy9960
3.98/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a snifter.

A: It appears pitch black with a very tiny dark brown head.

S: The smell is of roasted malts, chocolate, and maybe a hint of expresso. There is also a smell of sour cherries.

T: Roasted malts and chocolate dominate this beer up front, but the aftertaste is that of sour cherries with a hint of chocolate.

M: A very thin mouthfeel for a stout with almost no carbonation at all.

O: Overall I'm surprised to say that I really liked this beer since I'm not a huge fan of cherries. The tartness from the cherries really blends well with the roasted malts. I would love to be able to purchase this on a regular basis. Highly recommend you try if you have the chance.

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Photo of warnerry
3.41/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes. Bottle ca. 3 months old.

A - Pours pitch black with two finger brown head. Not much head retention.

S - Smell is tart/sourness with some cherry coming through. Some earthy malt, though this is pretty muted.

T - Massively tart for a non-sour, and non-infected beer. The tartness mostly covers up all the earthy richness I like from a stout. Interesting, but less sour cherry would bring some much needed balance. The cherry is nice, just a bit much. Some chocolate on the finish.

M - Medium mouthfeel with a bit of puckering.

O - One is enough with the intensity of tart cherry.

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Photo of illidurit
3.85/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle shared at the July Santa Cruz tasting. Pours dark brown with a light tan head. Aroma is chocolatey, but sort of salty too, like, uh, those salted chocolates. A touch of soy and smoke, coffee, and a mild cherry tartness. Flavor is dark chocolate and cherry juice with a nice dry finish.

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Photo of jgurley
3.47/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours black and syrupy with a small dark brown head and a minimum of lace. Some sediment is present. Smell is roasty and a bit of smoke with a TON of cherry. The malty stout aroma floats in the middle. Taste is smoky roast on the front with some minimal sweetness in the middle with bittersweet sour cherry at the finish. Tartness is a bit of a shock, but grows on you quickly. Very complex. Slippery mouthfeel with not a lot of carbonation. Actually the cherry is very tart throughout. Aftertaste is sour cherry and lots of smoky bitterness. This is not your girly fruit beer. The taste is complex and smoky, and the cherry is bitterly tart. This cries out for a bold smoky ham sandwich with sharp cheddar.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.23/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: The pour on this one is almost black with a tall tan head.

S: Strong notes of roasted malts and a bit of dark chocolate, too. The cherries really stand out and there is a big fruitiness. Strangely, there is a slight tartness to it, but I like it.

T: Woah, the tartness on the palate is rather strong. Quite acidic, much more so than just some sour cherry juice/fruit flavor. There is a lot of cherry flavor and a fair amount of roasted malt.

M: Medium in body with a medium to high carbonation.

O: The tartness on the nose was nice and added some depth, but it really took over on the palate and became too much.

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Photo of zaphodchak
3.8/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Bell's tap Takeover at Mellow Mushroom in Charlottesville, VA.

Quarter-finger of tan head, dark brown body with garnet highlights.

Stouty nose with malt and some roast character, but no cherry...

Cherry taste, but kriek cherry, not that cough syrup stuff. Kind of a 'Flemish Stout'? Interesting-- tart, almost vinegary character.

Mouthfeel is thick enough to not be vinegar, but not much else there.

Overall exciting fruit stout, good for lambic/Flemish fans.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
2.68/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I stored this bottle in the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for about 25 minutes before pouring it into a beer snifter. It poured out black with a thin dark tan head that quickly dissipated. Having had cherry beers before, I expected a more assertive nose than this one had. I only get a faint whiff of roasted malt and cough medicine.

The taste opens with a quick hit of malt which is quickly overpowered by cherry tartness. As the flavor develops, the malt dies down and the tartness becomes even more pronounced. I found the mouthfeel to be rather thin.

Drinking this beer made me think of black forest cake. Since I'm not a huge fan of black forest cake, this did not bode well for my enjoyment of this beer. If you can handle the clash of tartness and richness, you'll like this beer. Personally, the cherry tartness just didn't quite work for me. I won't buy this again.

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Photo of MarcatGSB
4.07/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased from Fitzgerald's in Eagle River, MI. Poured from growler into Goose Island Pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep black with minimal quarter finger, soft looking head. Lacing is actually fairly thick with a decent amount of legs.

Nose: The nose is very interesting. Not a whole lot of malt or sweetness that I am accustomed to from other Bell's stouts. Little bit of tart cherry...very interesting. It's a sweet smelling stout, but not a malty sweetness.

Taste: Ya know, this is a solid beer. It's got some really Geuze-esque character going on (and I've only tasted this character on tap, not out of a bottle. Freshness may have been an issue in the past). Real nice chocolate forefront followed by a burst of bitter cherry. Excellent, honestly.

Mouth: Nice creamy texture followed by a slightly puckering cherry sensation. Dries out the back of my tongue, but that is welcomed.

Drink and overall: Overall, I really enjoy this stout (on tap). This beer does not age well in a bottle, for whatever reason. The cherry fades, and turns into an unappealing mess. But fresh on tap, it's a work of art. I really enjoy what Bell's has done.

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Bell's Cherry Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 3.53 out of 5 with 2,540 ratings
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