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

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81
good
2,539 Ratings
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Bell's Cherry StoutBell's Cherry Stout
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
2,539
Reviews:
1,016
Avg:
3.56
pDev:
16.01%
 
 
Wants:
115
Gots:
318
For Trade:
10
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,539 |  Reviews: 1,016
Photo of BeerArtEtc
3.71/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It pours black with a reddish-brown two-finger head that's slow to fall. When cold, the nose is a bit difficult to distinguish. As it warms, the aromas of tart cherries and bittersweet chocolate are apparent. This is definitely another sipping beer. The cherry flavor is strong and tart, far from the over-sweetened brew I expected. It's roasty and malty with a nice bitter chocolate coffee finish but it's a bit too carbonated. I am inclined to marinate pork in this one.

 472 characters

Photo of MNJR
3.18/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Completely opaque dark brown. Syrupy looking on the pour, almost no head but what there is looks like espresso foam. Smells a bit tart with alcohol on the nose. But the smell is surprisingly weak. The flavor is very interesting and hard to pin down whether it's good or kind of bad. I guess it depends on your mood. The positives are a sweet, chocolaty, tart cherry medley which makes this come off as a dessert beer, if there is such a thing. The downside is it can lean towards a cough syrup flavor and consistency. So, not good there. But it plays tricks on my tasting facilities: one sip is "hey this is pretty good," and the next is "no it's not my thing." A strange brew, to be sure. I'd try it rather than pass it up, if only for the experience with this rare style of beer. Overall I'd say it lacks dimension, but it may be what some people are looking for.

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Photo of Teleweizen2
3.1/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Batch 9993

A - pitch black apperiance. Completely opaque. Minimal light tan foam. Quickly dissipates into a ring around the edges.

S - very malt forward. Tons of chocolate, Brown sugar, and some cinnamon maybe, some sort of slight spice anyway. Malts are rounded out by the acidic cherry aroma.

T - starts off malty with some sweetness and mild chocolate. Then the sour cherries come in and dominate. Sour cherry finish.

M - thin bodied. Slight creaminess. Very low carbonation.

O - this beer is decently made, but not my cup of tea. I was expecting more chocolate cake with cherries then a pile of cherries masking the cake. The aroma is very nice but the flavor just wasn't balanced. If they cut down on the cherries a little I think it would be much better.

 766 characters

Photo of srandycarter
3.41/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Fairly black, can't see light. Tan head leaves fast to ring. Very little cling, mostly around the edge.

S - Lightly sweet cherry, malt behind.

T - Somewhat cloying cherry mixed into a porter/stout.

M - Simple, cherry and stout, finishes to the cherry.

D - Not my favorite, but always fun to try something different.

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Photo of trappistlover
3.78/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

(12oz bottle). Pours black with light brown head. Aroma has plenty of coffee and dark chocolate, which predominate, with a little bit of smoke or ash. I'm not getting cherries at all in the nose. The taste, however, is different. The taste is tart cherry which off-sets the intense roasty bitterness in a clunky, but pleasant way. Thin bodied with slick texture and dry finish. I first had this beer 10 years ago and hated it. Glad to see that I can understand the play in flavors a bit better. I could see myself grabbing a 6'er of this.

 538 characters

Photo of aval89
3.61/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: poured in left hand milk stout glass. Pours a rich black color with an impressive tan almost brown head.. leaves nice lacing..

S: cherries with a slight metallic tartness.. some roasted malts pull through .. but its mostly sweet..

T: roasted malts upfront..but that is quickly overtaken by the cherry flavors.. sweet & tart cherries.. almost like you picked them a little too early.. more of that slight metallic flavor.. finishes dry & somewhat tart.. it blends good but gets too sweet as it warms..

Mf: smooth & creamy with a full body, but doesn't feel heavy for a 7% abv..

O: decent brew.. I could probably only drink one.. gets overly sweet towards the end..

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Photo of bennetj17
3.6/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Finally got around to buying this, I was leery due to its average rating, but I'm gonna make my own judgement. Pours looking inky black, moderately thick, and leaves a thin brown head that hangs for a moment. The aroma has a nice chocolate malt chracter, with slight alcohol, but only few hints of cherry.

Tart fruit domintates the taste, yet it still isn't distinctly cherry. The stouty flavors are kept more in check until the finish, when a dry and chocolatey note settles in. It leaves my palate with a heavy coating, like I just took a sip of chocolate milk. I'm not sure whether I really like the finish, but boy does it just hang there.

The tangy fruit and the stout flavor are good in this beer, and while they are balanced nicely they just don't pair well enough to make a winner. Overall worth a try.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.95/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I picked up a single of this at the Lager Mill for $2.49. The only other cherry stout I have had was from Atwater and I was pretty disappointed in it. So in the quest to find a good cherry stout I find myself with a bottle of Bell's Cherry Stout, lets see if Bell's can give this beer justice. Batch# 10163 packaged on January 6th, 2011. Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a pint glass.

A- This beer has a nice simple label of a cherry tree and some cherries, I like it, its simple and classic looking. This beer pours a deep dark black that doesn't let any light come through. It had two fingers worth of mocha colored head that died down to a thin ring that stayed the rest of the time.

S- By smelling this beer I can tell it is a cherry stout. I pick up a nice aroma of tart cherrys that smell natural not artificial. The base stout smells as expected, nice and roasty with some chocolate and coffee aromas going on. It smells a little sweet but I am guessing most of that sweetness is coming from the cherries.

T- Wow, the cherries are definitely there and they are quite tart. At first the tartness was a little overwhelming but after a couple sips and letting it warm up a little bit the tartness really grew on me and provided great contrast from the roasted malts. The balance in this beer is excellent, the flavors from the stout are chocolaty and bold and the tart cherries are also bold, but neither overpowers each other.

M- Medium bodied and a little thinner then most stouts. Great carbonation.

Overall I have to say I really enjoyed this beer. All the cherry flavored beers I have had before now have all had an overpowering artificial cherry flavor to them, this beer did not. This beer focused more on the tart side of the cherries and I feel like that is a way better match for a stout then the cough syrup cherry flavor. I have never had a stout that tasted tart so this was a new experience. This beer beat the hell out of Atwaters version and while it may not be everyones cup of tea, I sure enjoyed it. I would buy this again and recommend it to anyone who likes unique brews.

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Photo of Phelps
3.2/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle marked Batch 10163, which means it was packaged on January 6, 2011. Into a tulip it goes.

Pours deepest black -- not a hint of light is getting through this one. Atop the inky liquid sits a dense, sticky one-finger head the color of cardboard that gradually fades, leaving a moderately-sized ring and some tracts of horizontal lace.

Nice, sweet roastiness in the nose. Molasses, dark chocolate, light roast coffee. The tang of tart cherries (Montmorency, grown in the Traverse City region of Michigan, according to the website) emerges to meet the other dark flavors, balancing them with equal strength.

Yikes. The balance I found in the nose is nowhere to be found here -- the cherries have revolted and overthrown the stout completely. Their slightly puckering tang is the first and last flavor I notice. Hidden somewhere in the background, are the rich roasty flavors I picked up in the nose: coffee, burnt toast. I can only weep for them as they squeak helplessly amidst this cherry-driven onslaught.

The body isn't half-bad, a soft, creamy medium with prickly carbonation that matches the cherries, whose tartness grips the sides of the tongue between sips.

Perhaps these aren't the right cherries for this beer. Their sourness makes this feel less a cherry stout and more a lacto-infected mess. I finished the glass, but I wasn't happy about it.

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Photo of AgentZero
1.99/5  rDev -44.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - Nice looking brown beer with a small khaki head that left some splotches and chunks on the side.

S - This beer smells pretty bad, like cherry cough syrup on top of malts mostly.

T - Wow, taste is horrible. A fruit beer is one you can generally give to non-beer drinkers and they will like it. Everyone hated this, medicinal-cough syrup like flavor accounts for the "cherry" in the Cherry Stout. The "stout" would be a mess of burnt malts. Whole thing is a disaster.

M - Creamy, medium bodied, lower carbonation.

O - Train-wreck of a beer. Must be better in bottles because that B rating is much too high.

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Photo of projectflam86
3.56/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a deep dark brown color with a thick coffee colored head that leaves nice lacing.

S- I can definitely pick up the cherries in the nose. Lots of roasted scents and dark fruits.

T- Loads of tart cherry flavor. I didn't expect the cherries to be as dominant or for the overall flavor to be as tart as this. Some roasted flavors in the finish with a touch of alcohol heat.

M- Medium/full bodied with decent carbonation.

O- Overall, this was a very interesting beer. I thought going in that this would be a stout with a hint of cherry. But I was wrong, this is definitely a cherry dominated brew.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Kelly88 for sending me this one!

Pours a thick and opaque black with no head whatsoever. There is a tiny bit of a film on the top of the beer. Smells of roasted espresso beans, bittersweet chocolate, and sour cherry puree. Taste is of sour cherry juice up front with the dark malts, roasted coffee, and bittersweet chocolate on the finish. There is an acidic/sour twang to this beer with each sip. Somewhat of a high level of carbonation. A bit sticky in the mouth. Overall, a neat idea but something that is an acquired taste.

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Photo of chinchill
3.67/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - an appealing red-tinged opaque black, but with no head.
{Possibly improper handling by Hopjacks (Pensacola, FL) -- the guy next to me returned his Magic Hat beer because it was completely flat.)
S - sweet and fruity stout with a clear cherry note.
T -substantial (sour?) cherry flavor. Tart and a bit salty. Decent finish.
M - smooth but not quite creamy; light but detectable carbonation.

 396 characters

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

A - black. nothing to be seen through.

S - some fruity/sour type funk going on here.

T - tart, hidden cherry mixed in with the roasted malt...reminded my gently of a jolly pumpkin type funk on this one...

O - Pretty good... I'd like to compare it to the bottle at some time...

 279 characters

Photo of shand
4.32/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a mug.

Pours a deep brown with a tiny mocha-red head that leaves some retention around the sides. The aroma is a nice mix of traditional stout flavors and some tart cherry. The taste is quite close to the nose, but more delicious. The stout flavors come in first, they're a little subuded for a stout but still delicious. The finish brings on a huge rush of tart, juicy cherry though that's absolutely delicious. It's honestly great tasting.

The mouthfeel is nice and satisfying, it's decently thick and has some nice prickliness on the way down to go with the fruit flavors. The drinkability is superb for such a stout. Overall, I really enjoyed this one. It's a great fruit beer for the dark beer lover. Looking forward to next year's batch already.

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Photo of atomicbeer
2.33/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours garnet-black with no head. A few bubbles effervese to the surface. Aroma is deep roasted malt, mocha, and a touch of sweet dark cherries. First sip is really dissapointing. Mouthfeel is syrupy, watered down, flat, and dry. Roast vegetal flavors (celery? carrot?) followed by a cough syrup cherry. Not horrible, but not recommended.

 337 characters

Photo of mbusster88
2.43/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours dark body with red hue around edge. Nealy no head generates on this beer and it has no carbonation bubbles.

S: Smells slightly like a stout but more of fruity notes. Some funky kind of fruit aromas are present and make the nose not so appealing.

T/M: First flavor is dark malt base. However, there is then a big tart flavor and it doesnt go away. Really hard to get past the tart cherrys in this, not that its bad but its not great.

D: I would not be getting this one again thats for sure.

 502 characters

Photo of veinless
2.64/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Jesse13713 for this beer, he sent it in a trade as part of an awesome package.

Pours an oily black with complete opacity and an utter lack of any head whatsoever, even with aggressive pouring. Did have a unique red bubbling from time to time during the pour, and looking at the top of the beer, there is a very slight dark red tint.

Smells of roasted malts, with a baked goods/fruitcake aroma. Get a very slight tartness at the end, but it isn't anything to write home about.

Taste finally provides those cherries the beer talks about, with sour and slightly sweet cherries pairing with the roasty, slick and chewy tobacco malt for an odd combination. The cherries offer a good, but oversimplified flavor. More chocolate would have been helpful to go with the cherries. As it is, it leads to a weird sweetened charred fruit finish that doesn't work for me.

Mouthfeel is acidic while being full and syrupy, again a weird combination. Solid feel, just strange and unpleasant in parts. Drinkability suffers from the acidity and strongly flavored roast not pairing well, although the abv is hidden very well. I laud the effort, but the beer just never comes together.

 1,177 characters

Photo of SkeeterHawk
2.56/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I picked this beer up at Hop City in Atlanta. Let's give it a go:

Appearance: Pours very dark and still with surprisingly little anything going on, on top of the beer. There are a few bubbles rising, but they don't stick at all. This beer seriously looks like a day-old Coke with no ice. Unfortunately there was a decent pop when I popped the cap, so I guess it is supposed to look like this. Quite disappointing as I don't want ANY style beer to look this still in the glass. I guess I will give it a bit of credit as it doesn't look like mud in my glass.

Aroma: Some mild cherry along with evident roast and some chocolate and a bit of dark caramel. There are a few toasty notes, but they are reserved.

Taste: The cherry is a much bigger player in the flavor than in the aroma. The roast profile is also a big player in the flavor and is giving lots of coffee in the flavor and finish with some acidity left on the back of the throat to linger for a while. There is a tad of chocolate in the flavor, but the coffee is the biggest player. The body is medium with low carbonation. The malt is in charge of this beer with only some grassy hops and some floral being noticeable. The finish is bordering on the harsh side with the acidity from the dark malts adding to some alcoholic warming and subtle hopping.

Opinion: Wow, I have always been happy with Bell's products, but this is the exception. This beer failed from square one for me and I wouldn't drink it again. It isn't as horrible as Sam Adams Cherry Wheat by any means, but it is absolutely my least favorite offering from Bell's. I had pretty high hopes for this one, and unfortunately for me, my palate, Bell's, and anyone else that will listen, this beer was a pretty major let-down.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.57/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Mom and Dad grabbed this in PE the last time there were down, and sis and bro flew it over a few weeks back. Thanks everyone.

From a bottle into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: A relatively black pour yields a small, medium looking, mocha colored head with pretty lousy retention. Head quickly fades to a splotchy wisp and ring. Jet black body and zero carbonation evident. Slight ring remains but leaves no lacing. A thicker pour and a lousy head balances the scores out some.

SMELL: Roasted malts, dark chocolate, and some definite cherry aromas. Decent strength nose and the cherry is very present. Touches of caramel and molasses under there too. Very nice nose, though it could be a bit bigger.

TASTE: Some roasted malt and dark chocolate, but the cherry flavors are very present, taking a leading role. Sweet cherry and slightly tart, though very well controlled and well balanced. Mild sourness / tartness here. Bitter-sour aftertaste has plenty of cherry flavor, dark chocolate, and is bolder and lingers nicely. Pretty good stuff.

PALATE: Thinner and lighter body on this one. A little airy on the palate; not quite as smooth as hopped. Goes down fine and finishes slightly sticky. Could be a little fuller and smoother.

OVERALL: A decent cherry stout for sure. The palate needs a little beefing up, but the flavor definitely fits the bill. Enjoyable and drinkable, this is one worth checking out if you get the chance. Thanks again for doing the legwork guys. Recommended.

 1,485 characters

Photo of aubuc1
3.18/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle with code 10163 poured into a tulip pint glass.

pours black with a rich light brown head.

Smell is stout. roasty, coffeeish, but no signs of cherries.

Sharp taste of sour, tart cherries bursts like a candy and out maneuvers the stout. Interesting, but not great.

Mouthfeel is pretty thin.

Drinkability is pretty average considering the vibrance of the cherry.

I had been looking forward to this, but am glad I didn't get a 6 pack. Pretty pricey and not as good as I had hoped. I love Bells.

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Photo of kylesobrien
3.36/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours an opaque deep brownish-black, with a chocolate-colored head. Very attractive in the glass, though without much lacing.

Mouthfeel is moderate for a stout; there's definitely some body, but I would hardly characterize this as thick and chewy.

First sips -- sweet and tart flavor, with a smooth malty aftertaste; the taste of roasted grains is very subtle. While the sour fruit character is obvious, it is neither overwhelming nor overtly cherry-like. As it warms, the cherry flavor grows more evident, and the sweetness is less perceptible. I'm not sold on the cherry stout concept, but I have to admit that the tart/malty/slightly bitter combination is intriguing.

I'm tempted to compare this to eating a piece of cherry fruit leather between sips of stout. It works in some strange way, though I'm not sure it's an experience I would deliberately seek out. At about $14 per six-pack, it's an expensive one to sample. I was able to buy a single, which turned out to be a wise decision, since I doubt I'd be able to finish six of these in a month. It's been an hour since I opened the bottle, and I'm not in a hurry to finish anytime soon.

Overall, I really like Bell's Brewery. I've enjoyed, to varying degrees, each of their beers I've tried. I've been looking forward to trying the Cherry Stout for a while. Staring at a half-filled glass, I'm hard-pressed to say that I'd give this one a shot again.

 1,412 characters

Photo of bigbelcher
4.12/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a local microbrewed cherry stout first so this was a good comparison. Was surprised at almost how identicle it was to Sun Up's Cherry Bomb. Color was black. Small head. Big cherry aroma and a sweet cherry flavor, reminiscent of marchiano cherries. Some warmth from the alcohol but not in a bad way. Felt like the beer was just to young and that it could age some.

 367 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.38/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, the beer presents a deep black, with amber-brown highlights and a thin, milk chocolate colored head that quickly disappears. Aromas of molasses and dark cherry, with some dark chocolate highlights. The beer has an initial bitter dark roasted coffee flavor, quickly switching to a tast, sweet dark cherry flavor. The dark roasted malt and molasses flavors also peek in for a bit. Sweetness is there in the aftertaste, too, and with the rich and slightly oily/slick body, this one can be overpowering. The finish is a little boozy and a little syrupy. Not unpleasant, but rich, and not one I would drink in succession.

 656 characters

Photo of sixerofelixir
2.55/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle with batch code on back label, easily looked up on their website.

Pours super-dark, mahogony black. Perhaps the darkest head ever recedes very quickly. This stuff looks like beer bile, really. Smell is smooth coffee, sort of mild in fact.. maybe played down by some tartness. Which describes the taste. I'm someone who likes cherries, but I don't think they work with this beer. There is a feud between the malts and cherries which ends up tasting sour and sort of like beer bile. Thin feel, mostly cherry tartness and a bit of burn after-the-sip. I wouldn't drink another.

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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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