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

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Bell's Cherry StoutBell's Cherry Stout
2,598 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: 2,598 |  Reviews: 1,037
Photo of mbusster88
2.43/5  rDev -31.4%
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.

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Photo of veinless
2.64/5  rDev -25.4%
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.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
2.56/5  rDev -27.7%
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 +0.8%
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.

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Photo of aubuc1
3.18/5  rDev -10.2%
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 -5.1%
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.

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Photo of bigbelcher
4.12/5  rDev +16.4%
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.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.38/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

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Photo of sixerofelixir
2.55/5  rDev -28%
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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Photo of milkbaby9
2.96/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

12 ounce bottle, batch 9993 tasted 3-4-2011 poured in Duvel tulip. Barely a 1 finger dark tan head that flees immediately leaving some large bubbles forming a ring around the edge. Very opaque ruby-brown black color in the glass.

Aroma of... Robitussin! Then a little bit of the roasty malt. A bit sweet and syrupy like the concentrated soda syrup they use to make cherry coke or cherry soda pop. Ehhh... not that promising...

Upon first taste: Whoa it's tart cherries! But actually what first hits the tongue is more of a subdued cherry soda taste. Then as it develops in the mouth, the tartness comes up more. The tart cherry definitely dominates in the middle on through the finish. A bit of an earthy coffee comes through with a bit of a leafy to herbal hoppiness.

The cherry seems to push the alcohol taste forward a little. The acidity reminds me a bit of red wine. There's a hint of smokiness and dark toast towards the finish where a gentle sweetness also tries to just creep in. Low carbonation and a medium bodied somewhat coating mouthfeel.

Worth trying once, but not a beer I'd have often. Not personally a big fan of numerical ratings, but I gave this an extra half point above average in the taste category for being different. The cherries definitely make their presence known, tart though not quite as over-the-top tart to me as some of the other reviewers here mentioned. Wish there was a heavy chocolate flavor as that may have really meshed with the other flavors well and pulled this up to another level.

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Photo of Nerudamann
3.83/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a stein.

Look - jet black with about half a finger's worth of tan-colored foam.

Smell - a bit malty-smelling. If I hadn't know what to expect, I might have been tempted to say that it has more of a molasses type of smell, but knowing what it's supposed to be, I can discern a black cherry smell.

Taste and Mouthfeel - roasted malt flavor with a syrupiness to it from the cherry juice. Tart in the middle and finish. Texture is syrupy too, and a little filmy at the finish.

Drinkability - Interesting brew, not quite like the other cherry-flavored beers I've tried. Don't love the taste, but I appreciate the brew and what they were going for.

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Photo of theboozecruise
3.35/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A- dark brown with a small white head.

S - chocolate covered cherries. Yummy.

T - stout flavors, again it's like chocolate and cherries. Not very dark or roasted, a little lighter flavor.

M - a little thin. It's alright but doesn't impress.

D - it's okay but I don't really need another one of these. Moving on.

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Photo of EricCioe
3.7/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this on tap at Pints & Quarts as the leftovers from the Bell's Takeover the Taps event the night before.

This pours almost black with red highlights around the edges, an off-white small head, and a little bit of lacing. On the nose the cherries jump out, tart and huge, but under that there is some caramel malt. In the mouth the tartness becomes even bigger, the cherries are just huge in this beer, but there is caramel lurking underneath. The finish is long on tart, but the mouthfeel is a little thin to me. I'm glad I had it, and I would have it again, but to me this is a one-and-done beer because of the cherry intensity.

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Photo of justintcoons
2.79/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Pours black with a half finger head that dissipates quickly. Low carbonation.

N: Fudge, dark chocolate, cappuccino and maraschino cherries.

T: Very tart cherry juice, Warheads, cocoa, brown sugar and coffee.

M: Medium bodied and creamy.

D: Too tart and sour for my tastes but an okay brew.

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Darkest brown color, only a hint of highlighting. Light brown foam with good stick, although the lacing is spotty at best. The aromas most easily noted are chocolate, cherry, and coffee.

The initial flavor and body of this stout are beyond reproach but everything else kind of jumps in....somewhat metallic, sour, and tart notes of the cherry comes in full force.

Body is too thin to handle this flavor. Bulk it up and even out the balance and it's looking like a damn fine flavored stout.

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Photo of machostacos
4.15/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle to my favorite pint glass.

A: Opaque black with a tiny mocha head. No real lacing to speak of. Definitely looks like a stout.

S: Huge aroma - roasted dark malts, licorice, dark fruits, and a noticeable tartness. Very intriguing.

T: Tastes exactly like Bell's Kalamazoo Stout with cherries added. Roasted malts and black licorice dominate the flavor with a tart cherry flavor bringing up the rear. This is certainly an interesting beer - the flavors are well balanced between Kalamazoo Stout and cherry. I've had several cherry-flavored beers before, and this easily has the most "real" cherry flavor (not medicinal or made-in-a-lab flavors). Different enough, but decidedly tasty.

M: Thick, rich, and decadent. Bell's knows their stouts, and this is certainly no outlier there. Carbonation is very noticeable, though it doesn't really detract from the mouthfeel overall.

D: This is definitely a tasty stout, and is different enough to be notable. However, the tartness from the cherries and the heavy licorice character keep me very satisfied at a single serving.

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Photo of VMWhelan
2.53/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Pours almost black with a one finger brown mocha head.

Smell is chocolately and slightly earthy with a hint of cherry. Some roasted coffee notes as well.

Taste is very sour. Not what I was expecting at all. The cherry adds a fruity sourness on top of an earthy roasted malt flavor. Very tart.

Mouthfeel is medium-light bodied. Carbonation is low.

Drinkability is low. I was worried when I bought this, but interested. Wasn't sure how the cherry flavor and a stout would mix but I had high hopes. Didn't turn out like I had hoped. This would fare better with more chocolate flavor up front. It's not awful, but I'm not really enjoying it too much.

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Photo of readbaron
2.88/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Pours a deep, dark, fairly viscous brown with a decent mocha head.

Smells primarily malty and roasty. The cherry is definitely noticeable - lends a sweet tart character to the nose. A bit of chocolate is also present. Smells a lot like a chocolate covered cherry.

Wow. Very tart. Not what I was expecting, and not terribly pleasant. There's a bit of chocolate flavor and a surprisingly smooth malty finish. Leaves a sour taste behind. Unfortunately there's something unpleasant about the way the sour and malt combine - it's not a crisp sourness.

Mouthfeel is nice - thick and creamy.

I couldn't finish the beer. Had to leave about 1/4 of it.

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Photo of julian
3.76/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: pitch black pour with engine oil like viscosity. Aggressive pour yields a nice inch of dark tan head, which dwindles to a nice ring that sticks.

S: Something about those Michigan (Montmorency) cherries that just imparts a unique flavor to beers that contain them. I love it. It's mostly a sweet oaky vanilla cherry aroma with hints of roasted malt.

T: semi sweet, vanilla, Montmorency cherries, mild toasted malt. A little lacking on some of the main stout "characteristics" but they are there, albeit subdued, but mostly overwhelmed by the cherries. Not that I'm complaining, I think it's great!

M: perfect level of carbonation, medium bodied, coats the mouth appropriately for the style, and leaves you wanting more.

D: Tasty brew indeed. Not sure why it's classified as fruit/vegetable beer when Bell's clearly classifies this as a "cherry stout" but whatever. I could drink a few, or 6.

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Photo of AdamBear
4.13/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A-black with a thin pink head

S-smells like a chocolate covered cherry. its a weak scent.

T-hits the tongue with some nice tart cherry and then goes to a mocha taste. the after-taste is very similar with the cherries and mocha. there are no negative tastes to it. this is a very decent and unique beer. It has a perfect blend of sourness and stout. Its a fun mix that i woudln't mind seeing more of.

M-pretty heavy, very dry medium carbonation with a dry finish.

D-well i didn't think i was gonna be able to drink this too quickly but it did disappear fast! the taste stays well.

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Photo of TheDTrain
3.6/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sometimes less is more. This should be called Stout Cherry beer cause it's mostly cherry flavor. Nose was huge with cherries and some roasted malts and subtle coco. Mouth was WAY sweet and cherry dominated too much.

Definitely a dessert beer. Good when you're in the mood for something really sweet. Bell's should pull back on the cherry and let the stout out!

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Photo of KajII
3.28/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

[Best served in an English pint]

Poured a deep black with a medium brown creamy head that was mostly lasting and had fair lacing. The aroma was mild of roasted malts, a sweet yeast and strong notes of cherries and dark chocolate. It tasted mildly sweet with a strong cherry flavor at first and ended with a sweet-tart cherry flavor that had a hint of chocolate with the taste of cherries lingering on you taste buds for only a short while. Mouthfeel was medium in body and creamy yet watery in texture with a flat carbonation. Overall a tasty stout, a nice change from the norm.

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Photo of psuKinger
4.43/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle poured into my standard curved-rim pint glass.

A: Deep, ruby red-tinted and dark dark beer with a light brown bubbly head on the top that disippated quickly.

S: A moderate nose of roasted malts and a hint of chocolate and cherry.

T: Smooth easy-drinkin' beer that starts roasty with flavors of coffee. A chocolate presence peeks out in the middle, and the cherry flavors overwhelm on the finish.

There's no trace of an alcohol burn anywhere in this guy. It's just a very smooth, easy-drinkin' stout.

M: Thick and full with the mouth, with a moderate level of creaminess on the finish.

D: High. Very high. This is one of my all-time favorite "first beers of the night". I like to start with a stout, and this is one of my go-to's.

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Photo of Jesse13713
3.72/5  rDev +5.1%

Appearance - Pours pitch black with hints of crimson red in the half of a finger head it produces. Low carbonation with average lacing.

Smell - Obviously hints of coffee and dark cherry. A hint of barley as well.

Taste - A strong tart with a cherry zing. Tastes much more like coffee than I expected. A very strong coffee bean aftertaste that is more like expresso. The tart cherry blends quite nicely with the sweeter, bolder coffee notes.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied and tart.

Drinkability - A very drinkable stout because of its cherry sourness. Very enjoyable.

Verdict - This stout has all the right elements going for it here. I felt like it was a little too sour for a stout for my tasting, however. I was still an enjoyable drink, but I would not purchase an entire pack of it.

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Photo of PhillyStyle
1.61/5  rDev -54.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

The beer poured a nice black with ruby red highlights when held up to light and there are some noticeable particles floating throughout the beer. The beer produces a nice 1-finger head, also with some subtle hints of red. The head is not well retained, but does leave a bit of lacing.

The aroma is dominated by the cherries. Some faint hints of the roasted malts. I expected less cherry, more malted barley aroma.

The taste...drain pour. Way to much cherry. Excessive amounts of cherry. I was expecting a nice stout with a hint of cherry, but it was not a hint.

Medium body feel to the beer, defiantly light on the carbonation. Obviously the beer's drinkability suffers from the overwhelming cherry taste. This one was really disappointing for me as Bell's is one of my favorite breweries.

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Bell's Cherry Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 3.54 out of 5 with 2,598 ratings