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

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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

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Ratings: 2,539 |  Reviews: 1,016
Photo of vrushing88
3.9/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

The blackest beer meets the reddest fruit, and make the blackest beer with a cherry smell.

Dark black pour, with a thin gray head. Potent aroma of cherries, that yields a light cherry cough syrup taste. The cherries are prevalent enough to tell these are very likely real cherries, and pretty fresh. A bit too much malt (Black Patent) for my taste though. The alcohol comes a bit to hard and bitter, but still well worth trying.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.99/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Pint glass.

A - Dark brown, with a dark tan head that fizzes away almost instantly.

S - Coffee, chocolate, and some slight cherry tones.

T - Sweet chocolate covered cherries. Yum!

D - No carbonation at all, oily in the mouth.

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Photo of NurseJody
2.82/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a pint World of Beer..

Well, just like the label says.... A Cherry Stout it is....

Pours a dark red, almost black, into the glass, with about a one finger head. Slight lacing.

Taste was as it sounds... A cherry stout. More cherry flavor than the cocoa and caramel flavors of a stout. I didn't taste too much more than just that...Caramel's and cherries.

Overall, I wouldn't buy this again. It's one for the books, as they say. Something to try... But - if you like cherries and stouts, it's all for you!

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Photo of woodychandler
3.85/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Transcribed from notes dtd Sa, 18 Dec 2010.

It was presented to me with a foamy finger-and-a-half of deep-brown head that fell pretty quickly. Color was a deep, inky blackish-brown with limited light penetration. Nose had a strong sour cherry bite. Mouthfeel was medium with a tart, sour cherry bite right away on the tongue. I am not one of the current sour/lactic/pedio/brett freaks and I actually generally eschew such beers, but this was pleasantly tart. The cherry really dominated the taste, overpowering the stout flavors. Finish lingered with cherry and a dryness that left me thinking of wine. I would not want a steady diet of this beer.

The above was for an on-tap version and I will not overwrite an on-tap review unless it is for a CAN with the hierarchy being 1. CAN; 2. Cask; 3. On-tap; 4. Bottle; 5. Growler; 6. Nitro.

Today is M, 11 August 2014 and I uncovered a bottle as part of the Great Bottle Purge of the Summer of 2014. Let's see what's what.

From the bottle: "A mysterious dance of tart Michigan cherries with the dark, roasted malts of a big and bold stout."

I used a very gentle pour as I was concerned that lees may have formed over time. I am unsure that it mattered, however, as there was very little carbonation present and even a vigorous swirl failed to produce any head. Color was an Opaque Black (SRM = 44) with only some cola highlights visible at the edges. Nose was filled with the scent of dried tart cherries, slightly medicinal, but still pleasant. Mouthfeel was thin-to-medium and without carbonation, as I had previously mentioned. This allowed the tartness of the cherries to really shine and I feel as though I have come a long way since my original review. I did not find it to be at all unpleasant. Instead, I liked the way the cherries had really come to the forefront, especially since I was not getting much in the way of the dark malts. Finish remained tart, but not puckering. It was an interesting experiment, to be sure, but I am coming to the realization that fresher probably would have been better. My last pour was that of the lees, agitated back into suspension. This last bit was much more tart than the rest, which is worth noting.

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Photo of Janderson91
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bell's usually makes great stouts so I'm expecting a lot out of this one. Batch #9993. Bottled in September 2010, Enjoyed on 06/12/11.

A - Poured into a DFH snifter at just below room temperature. Jet black with no light getting through whatsoever. A one finger light brown colored head. Leaves little to no lacing.

S - The aroma is my favorite part of this beer. Chocolate, roasted malts, light coffee, and tart/sour cherries. Very well balanced and complex, playing off each other very well.

T - Pow! A big hit of sour cherries that overpower all the malt and chocolate flavors. Not as well balanced as the aroma. Roasted maltiness comes through a little more in the finish.

M - Mouthfeel is good. Might like it to be just a little thicker but it's pretty medium bodied with high carbonation.

O - Overall, I liked this beer and I'm glad I tried it. Could be an excellent beer if the cherry were a little more subtle but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

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Photo of Hoptometrist
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass

A- Pours a very dark brown, almost black, with a small dark mocha and red tinged head that leaves a ring around the top

S- Tart cherries, dark chocolate, and espresso

T- Tart, sour cherries are pretty dominant with a dark chocolate and espresso backbone

M- Oily, thick mouthfeel, not real sticky though

O- I wish this was a little more roasty and had some better balance, a little too cherry forward. Definitely a sour, tart cherry flavor, but I like sour beers so the sourness did not bother me but the chocolate and espresso background got lost some. If this tasted more like the aroma this could be great.

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Photo of BigBry
3.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another single bottle, thanks for sharing M & B.
"Stout brewed with cherry juice, A mysterious dance of tartMichigan cherries with the dark, roasted malts of a big and bold stout."

Pours a deep brown, almost black, color. One finger of dark tan foam. Good head retention, but not much lacing. Smells of chocolate, roasted malts, vanilla, dark fruits, and of course the cherry. Taste is a more on the sweet side than the roasted, smoky side. More cherry fruitiness come through as we worked our way through this one. A nice full flavored stout with additional shot of cherry. I have really enjoyed all of Bell's stouts and this was no exception. The fruit addition added to, rather than distracted from, the base beer. Medium towards full body and moderate carbonation. Creamy and smooth, easy to drink for a stout.
Overall, really liked this one.
Personal opinion only: I still prefer my local Wildrose Cherry Porter - wish I could have tried them side by side.

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Photo of jamescain
3.72/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Saint Arnold’s sniffer, thanks texasclimber for sharing this one.

Appearance: Pours black with a dark brown head that recedes into a ring around the glass.

Aroma: the aroma consist of sweet cherries, chocolate, roasted grain, toffee, and licorice.

Taste: the best way to describe this beer’s flavor would be chocolate covered cherries. Chocolate and tart cherries dominate. It is not that tart, mostly just complimenting, but not anywhere near a dark sour.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation, which I have come to expect from the big dark beers from Bell’s. Thick without any apparent alcohol.

Overall: I enjoyed it, although, the flavor profile did not provide the depth that the aroma provided it was still enjoyable.

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Photo of pmarlowe
3.27/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Batch 9969. Tulip glass.

Pours black with a finger of dark khaki foam. Decent retention, but no lacing. Aroma is a nicely balanced dark chocolate/cocoa, roasted malt, and a hint of cherry fruit. Smells tasty. The taste opens with a burst of tart, mouthwatering cherry which slowly fades over a good 30 seconds--impressive if it were balanced with other stout-y flavors, but it turns out like cherry juice. I do get some cocoa on the finish, which turns out to be better than the beer itself. Carbonation is low, too low for the style. Overall, the nice aroma got my hopes up, but this beer doesn't avoid the trap common to cherry stouts of ham-handedness over subtlety.

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Photo of SFLpunk
3.3/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown glass pry top bottle. Batch 9969. Purchased at Knightly Spirits OBT, Orlando, FL.

Pours pitch black with almost no head at all. Nose is somewhat muted but along the lines of Guinness or Murphy's stout. Palate is somewhat tart but mostly just tastes roast and like coffee, molasses and malta. Sounds more interesting than it actually tastes. Cherry does manage to not seem artificial which is a plus.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.58/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer #8 from Kyle. Not quite as blind as the cap exposed that it was from Bell's but still very much looking forward to whether I can pick the exact beer or not. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my Duvel tulip.

a - Pours a deep brown, almost black, color with an inch od dark tan head and lith carbonation evident. Head lasts for a minute and leaves no lacing. Looks like maybe a stout so far.

s - Smells of chocolate, roasted malts, vanilla, dark fruits, and maybe a tiny bit of bitter coffee or chocolate. Overall pretty nice, still leaning towards stout, though I don't think it is Expedition or Kalamazoo.

t - Tastes is pretty interesting and not quite what I was expecting after the nose. I think it's a bit sweet, and tastes of sweet fruity malts, sweet dark fruits, licorice, roasted malts, and alcohol. Oddly sweet; nice but a tad too sweet for me. I feel like there is some cherry in there, so at this point I'm thinking Bell's Cherry stout.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Decently thick and smooth for a stout.

o - Overall an interesting stout; I'm going to stick with my guess of Bell's Cherry Stout. Some definite sweet cherries and dark fruits in the taste, while the look and nose is that of a stout.

And the beer is...Bell's Cherry Stout! 2 for 2 guessing beers when I know the brewery now, otherwise I've been off. Thanks a lot Kyle, this is a beer that should have been on my Wants list!

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Photo of thscc1659
4.08/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very thick, dark brown in color, with thin but lasting head. The scent was full of malt and chocolate with a hint of cherry, which was much more present in the taste. Tart cherry dominated the taste, following an initial chocolaty smoothness. Overall this was an excellent beer, and it makes an great dessert drink.

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Photo of DCon
4.31/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bought a 12oz bottle of this from the Wolf Public House in Ballwin, MO for $3 (employee discount). Poured into my iTap Passport Club Pint Glass and has a Batch #9969 printed on the back.

Apperance- Pours the darkest Hickory/Brown Color body you can ever find with a 3 finger of dark brown head. Very opaque (not transparent) and has a good retention. Not much lacing at all... Very strange. Also, tons of yeast are hanging out in the bottom of the glass.

Smell- Huge chocolate and light espresso aromas. There is a small fruit smell but very light. Thought there would be more cherry but the roasted malt is definitely covering this up!

Taste- The first taste is a strong dark chocolate flavor and then as it moves over the tongue, it turns in a dark cherry taste. Very strange cherry as well! Almost as though you crushed a cherry with your teeth and then let the juices stay around on the palate. Great! Also a mild tartness to it. –

Mouthfeel- Full Bodied, Medium Viscosity, Creamy at times through the drink, but leaves the coolest cherry lasting flavor on the palate afterwards! Nice!

Overall- Wow! You have to try this stout to enjoy it! Not sure I would name this a Fruit/Vegetable Beer because it definitely has the attributes of an American Stout. Drinkability was decent but wouldn't drink more than 2 in a night. –Perfect beer with a chocolate cheesecake or dessert. Will be promoting this beer without a doubt!

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Photo of ChugginOil
3.48/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to my favorite cousin for this brew!

Batch 9969

This pours a dark mahoganey brown and settles black with dark ruby lacing. A fingers worth of fast dissipating tan head is present. No lacing.

The nose smells like dark cherries and some chocolate. Smells a bit of oxygen has infiltrated this brew.

The taste is a oddly tart barely chocolatey one at that. The bing cherries are certainly present but are ruling the taste a bit too much. Kind if cloying.

The mouthfeel is sticky and oily with a medium-bodied feel and a tart crispness.

Overall, decent but certainly not worth the hefty pricetag.

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Photo of antoines15
2.54/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

i was not impressed with this beer. The smell is good enough, lots of tart cherries but not much else works for me. Very light on the mouthfeel and the taste lingers but i don't care for the taste. It has a medicinal taste and not in a good, sizzurpy kind of way. It is very light for a "stout" and I don't think I would purchase this again. In a word, "meh."

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Photo of vandemonian
3.61/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bells cherry stout is a cherry stout...

A: Black colour with a nice brown head. 4.5

S: Malty roast flavour. Not much else. 3.5

T: Smooth roasty opening into sour roasty flavour and aftertaste. 3.5

M: Foamy. 4

O: Decent, but too sour for me. 3.5

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Photo of JunkYardJake
2.65/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle to oversized wine glass.
Dark brown in color with a small whispy head. Smells pretty interesting but not overly appetizing. Roasted grains, chocolate and cherry that is somewhat medicinal. Palate is basically the same as the nose with more of the tart cough syrup flavor. Very fluid mouthfeel with low carbonation. Seems a bit too thin and watery for a stout. Not a great beer by any means but could be worth a try if cherry flavor is your thing.

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Photo of travis224
2.86/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not one of my favorites from Bell. I get what they were going for but it doesn't seem to do it for me. The blend of tart cherries and malty coffee, just doesn't seem to work. Right off the bat the beer looks great but the nose and taste leave something to be desired. If there was a little more sweetness to the beer to balance out the tart that might help. Tart and bitter, in this case, not a great combo.

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Photo of jessycho
3.71/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Black. Come on now, it's a stout. Haha. Very dark, no light gets through, tiny caramel colored head.

S - Besides the typical coffee / mocha / cocoa scents, not getting a whole lot of aroma from this guy.

T - Definitely interesting. Packs a lot of sour / tartness that I did not expect. THANKFULLY, it does NOT have a fake/artificial cherry taste like medicine, but still the sourness throws me off.

M - Full body. Almost as if I could chew on it. Very thick beer. Love it.

O - Not sure if I could drink more than one of these. Definitely packs a lot of cherry citrus, with the coffee in the front and the back. Might have to chase it with a good ole Two Hearted, definitely worth a shot and a very good beer nonetheless, just might not be for me...

**NOTE Not sure how "fresh" this beer is. Could be affecting some of the tartness I'm getting out of this beer...

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Photo of matt20102
3.68/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from bottle into goblet at refrigerator temperature. Pours jet black with an appropriatly thick brown head. The aroma is quite subtle and doesn't offer much of a hint to the large flavor to come- a flavor which is dominated by tart michigan cherries. The cherry flavor, which is quite authentic and doesn't resemble cough syrup or candy at all, is far and away the most dominant flavor in this brew. The flavor is more "adult" than other mass-market cherry beers, owing much to the tart cherries, but is still very cherry indeed. Although very tasty, I believe that the best use of this beer is in cooking. This is not a complaint- this would make a great component to a sweet dessert. For drinking, though, it would be tough to drink more than one, but the quality is quite evident and I would definitely recommend trying this one.

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Photo of Kromes
3.85/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pitch black with a thick brown head.

S: Roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, dark fruit, a little hop and it has a woody character to it also.

T: A very nice initial tast of chocolate and roasted malt. Then the big sweetness and tartness of the cherry takes over. The beer finishes tart.

M: Heavy and low carbonation. Very nice smooth feel to it.

O: It's interesting and well crafted. I like the deep roasted stout flavor, but the cherry tartness and sweetness was a bit strong...good beer nonetheless.

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Photo of ne0m00re
3.55/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Live review of a bottle from Batch 10162.
A: Opaque black with a decent caramel head that creates somewhat a lacing with quick bubbles.
S: Fresh cherries and a woody character with a mild coffee and milk chocolate. Decent.
T: Tart woody cherries on top of a thick coffee and chocolate stout with a good dose of smokiness. Not a lot of sweetness here, and it kind of comes off like a pudding mixed with tart cherries.
M: Creamy fading to a bright thin tartness.
O: OK. I buy this occasionally. It's interesting to try. I like sour stouts, so this is more up my alley, but it can't hold a candle to Madrugada Obscura.

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Photo of Arbitrator
2.19/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Chilled bottle into a glass. An extra from semibaked. Thanks!

Batch 9993.

A: Pours a nearly pitch black body (light penetration at the edges reveals it is a dark, dark brown) with a mocha head. Retention is pretty short. No lace or film on the beer.

S: When cold, bittersweet chocolate and roast dominate the nose (which could use more pungency). Yep, it's a stout! Even when it warms, the cherry becomes only mildly expressive. Just not a strong nose on this one.

T: Unlike the nose, the taste is unabashedly cherry-driven even when the beer is cold. Roasted grain, bittersweet chocolate, and tart, dark cherries that almost taste sour. I can be convinced that chocolate and some fruit flavors can marry, but it's not a combination I will seek out. When tartness is in play as much as it is here, the needle swings right back toward "clashing." It just doesn't work for me.

M: Medium-bodied. Low-moderate carbonation. A small touch of alcohol. It sits well on the tongue, but the clashing flavors make it a jarring experience: starting from tart cherry juice and progressing toward bittersweet chocolate on the finish.

O: A very surprising failure from Bell's.

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Photo of oline73
2.75/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours almost black with some light coming through at the edges. There is a finger and a half of bubbly dark tan head that goes away completely.

Smell: Mildly sweet and quite roasty. I'm only picking up a hint of the fruit in the smell.

Taste: I don't really like the way this one goes together. I feel like the roast and the tart cherry are fighting each other. There is a sourness from the cherry that I'm not in love with. Not awful or anything, just doesn't work for me.

Mouthfeel: Quite thick and smooth. There is only a very little bit of carbonation. The finish is really dry, especially given the body.

Overall: I just didn't like the way this one came together. The roast and the tart fruit kept fighting for my attention.

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

Poured into a pint glass. Not a lot of head, just less than one finger of tan foamy head. The aroma is of black cherries and roasted cold coffee beans. The favor plays rigth into the smell. Subtle cherry/blackberry favor, drying winey note that reminds me of the use of real fruit when I brew. The alochol is hidden, but there just seems something missing; still a good brew.

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Bell's Cherry Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.56 out of 5 based on 2,539 ratings.
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