Dismiss Notice
Extreme Beer Fest:Los Angeles

Join us December 9th in Los Angeles for the ultimate throwdown of craft beer creativity!

Learn more...
Dismiss Notice
Introducing: Project Extreme Brewing (a Dogfish Head + BeerAdvocate project)

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

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Bell's Cherry StoutBell's Cherry Stout
2,557 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,557 |  Reviews: 1,023
Photo of rembrant
3.7/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured full on black with a tan 1/2" head. I saw Garnet highlights as it poured but in the glass it's light proof.

Aromas- There's rich aroma of dried fruits with Cherry one of the elements. as it warms the malts start to appear with deep coffee.

Flavor. May not be warmed enough. The cherry tang is there,the malts are hanging back for the moment,teasing. Waiting for it to heat up some I'm getting a rather dry version of Dr Pepper.

As it warms more,the malt are coming out to play,with a tease of coffee and some dark chocolate.
Finally,near room temp...Cherry Stout does merge Rather than the effect of cherry juice or Dr pepper added to a Stout,It's become a rich and complex brew...and alas,there's not much left now.

This is one I'll have to revisit. It's quite fussy about temperature and I may have had some aftertastes from before it softened up.

Mouth- Medium full

Drinkability, I'm not that jazzed about what the cherry adds,but it's pretty good. Quite a bit better once to it's favorite temp,which is a bit of a hassle.

 1,038 characters

Photo of BARFLYB
3.52/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A pint on Tap, I've been dodging this beer for a while now.

Bell's Cherry Stout is black like all the others, a big black stout with a thin layered light tan cap up above that left no traces. Swirls could not even bring up a inch of foam. Smell is all cherry, tart cherry, although I know it's not the real deal, just juice. A blast of cherry backing a smallish stout with some chocolate in the back, slight roast, not in the big picture though. Getting some licorice and malt with the cherry. Feel is tangy, slightly tart, not funky. Body is medium with a lively carb, perhaps too much, it was a bit bitey. Another great one from Bell's but one that is a single go for me.

 674 characters

Photo of oglmcdgl
3.82/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A pint on tap at terrace taproom.

A- comes to me filled to the brim so no head but my buddies had a small cap of tan head that settled instantly leaving on a thin ring. Very dark brown almost black with a red brown glow at the edges.

S- sweet and tart cherries with a dark roasted malt hit behind. All things considered a rather simple and light nose.

T- there's no missing the sour cherry in this one cherries are big and bright with a good tart and sour twang before the deep dark malts kick in and hit you up with the chocolate and a touch of coffee. The cherries never give up the lead but as the brew warms the malts make a slightly bigger impression. Tart finish.

M- a bit above medium in body with a bright carb that adds to the good pucker that comes with this one.

D- I was surprised by this one that's for sure. Did not expect this much of a sour cherry presence but I dug it.

 896 characters

Photo of Landfill21
3.29/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured into my trusty guinness pint glass this evening. Pours into a very dark color, almost no light gets through it holding it up. Leaves no head and no lace as you drink it.

Smells of chocolate, hint of cherry, roasted nuts and molasses.

Has a sour cherry nose, the body is a light mouthfeel and a sour finish.

Not very impressed with this beer, especially for the price. I would not recommend this to a friend.

 417 characters

Photo of TheQuietMan22
2.95/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Straight pour into a pint glass. The color is a sinister, opaque black; no light passed through when I held it to my lamp. Two fingers of tanned head developed and dissipated quickly to leave a bubbly lacing and ring around the edge.

Smell: Very smooth and enticing aroma of lightly roasted dark chocolate, coffee, caramel, and molasses. There is a slight hint of cherry in keeping with the namesake. It does not, thankfully, smell like chocolate covered cherries.

Taste: The mouthfeel is heading toward thick and creamy, but the flavor makes it feel watered down. Up front is a nice roasted character, which is followed by a soda-like, syrupy gap before the cherry kicks in. The cherry is tart and authentic, unlike other cherry beers that use processed syrup.

Drinkability: Once again, it smells great, but the taste is another story. I just don't dig this style at all. Though there is promise, it is an overall letdown.

 939 characters

Photo of steve8robin
3.98/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Got this beer on a work trip to Georgia. 12oz bottle. #9969...

A: Super dark with a very tiny tan colored head that fades very quickly to bubbles around the top of the brew. Ok.

S: I get some bitter roastiness upfront with very faint cherry on the back. Hints of molasses in the middle. Eh.

T: Hmm, very unique. I think it lives up to how it's advertised. Seems like a American Wild Stout! Some bitter watery roast upfront quickly followed by some tart sourness, but not overwhelming. Finished with some vanilla and faint chocolate. Very unique taste. Very good.

M: Medium body with a fantastic carbonation balance! A nice clean and flavorful finish. Amazing here!

D: Goes down very easy compliments to the great blend of flavors. Very good.

All in all, the MO for this brew is BALANCE! With the exception of the nose and the appearance, this brew has amazing balance in all other categories! Not only is it balanced, but it brings something unique, new, and fresh to the craft beer scene. An AMERICAN WILD STOUT! That's the only way I can classify this. I think BA should make a new category. Great to try if you like well balances beers, wild ales, and stouts.

 1,168 characters

Photo of Albinoh
2.65/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I did not enjoy this one, too acid, the smoky burned flavor of the stout is overshadowed by the acidity, even from the first sip... so it gets a little old fast... Good initial appearance, decent color and head but nothing special. Has a thin mouthfeel, compared to other stouts

Side note:
I guess this can be useful for cooking... but not very much for drinking...

 366 characters

Photo of Brez07
3.02/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Reviewing from notes

A: Dark pour with brown/dark red highlights. Pretty much no head or lacing

S: Sour cherries right up front. Accompanied by roasted and chocolate malt. Taken back a little by how sour this smells

T: I get a strong tartness from the cherries. After a few sips this is slightly masked by the malt. Kinda like a sour stout, but not well balanced. Flavors of sour cherry, maybe grape

M: Full bodied. Definitely well carbonated, maybe a little too much. Tart upfront, roasty in the finish

D: Not sure if cherry was a good choice for a stout. The tartness was too prevalent for me. Although I found it flavorful at first, this ended up being hard to finish

 714 characters

Photo of soze47
3.84/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Very dark black, yet dark cherry red highlights come through on the edges. Almost a fizzy ruby brown head comes and goes quickly.

Aroma: The aroma is a robust flavor that is hard to dissect. There is some tart cherry notes for sure, but a more complex malt bill hints of sweetness and bitterness. Almost candy like if it weren't for the slight boozy heat, especially as the glass warms.

Taste: Wow. A lot more cherry taste than smell on this beer. Very tart and authentic cherry tang. The malt that was so much bigger on the nose now is still there, slightly burned/slightly roasted/slightly caramelized.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It really hits your palette hard at first, but the linger is light enough to not be cloying.

Overall: This one is almost too sour proportions of beers. Don't expect a malt forward taste, the cherry tartness is what hits hardest and longest.

 885 characters

Photo of SickGnar
3.77/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very nearly jet black. Short light brown head of fine bubbles that settles fast, but leaves a little bit of lacing. Sort of limp look.

S: Sweet / tart dark fruit aroma that is not plainly cherries but does lean strongly that way. Darkly roasted malts, burnt sugar at edges, faint bittersweet cocoa and hints of coffee. Good stout scent along with fruit.

T: Whoa....This is one different beer. Very distinct tart cherry. Everything else stays in background, especially at first. Hints of other dark fruits, but sweetly and mixed with the roasty malts. Like black plum/prune jam spread on nearly burnt toast. Faint ghost hints of coffee. Cocoa from the nose has disappeared. Tartness lingers as cherry fades. Roastyness fills in softly as burnt toast and coffee grounds - especially in the finish. Sharp edge for dark roast grains contributes an earthy character approaching bitterness (some of this might be hops). Gets a touch astringent as it warms.

M: A bit over medium body with slightly subdued carbonation. Lush and smooth, but really rich enough to be creamy. Some dextrins to chew on before leading to tart / dry finish. Slight alcohol warmth.

D: As others have mentioned this is sort of Black Forest Cake of a beer. Lots going on and it pulls it off nicely. It is an interesting, different and tasty fruit beer. Emphasis on the beer and the fruit - nothing fake or unhinged here. The dark side though, rather than the usual "whatever" wheat ale. Tart cherry is reasonably balanced by a by a relatively narrow profiled dark roasted malt. I think this would be better with more malt sweetness and rounded character. It is a nice treat - a desert beer even.

 1,669 characters

Photo of welldigger888
2.54/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Well, poured from growler into my trusty bell's shaker pint. Nice pitch black hue with a slight tan head that receeded quickly leaving little or no lacing.
Jan. 2010 vintage on keg!
Aromas are of a roasted grain and bad cherries for me.
Bitter cherry skins seem to dominate with some bitter chocolate on finish. Dry dry dry on finish as well, which is not a bad thing, trailing off with a tart cherry flavor that is pleasant.
Seems to be oily and slick with descent carbonation and a creamy stout like quality.
The aroma and flavor is a bit off putting for me on this brew!

 573 characters

Photo of JDFish
1.98/5  rDev -44.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Poured very dark, and a darker than usual head that was very thin. Initial smell was of Cherry Coke and sweet malts including molasses. Initial baker's cherry blast, very tart. That in itself is ok, but the rest of the flavors made this practically undrinkable. This is the second beer I've dumped in the last 10 years..the first being the Bell's Porter. Both of these are just kinda gross. Sorry

 396 characters

Photo of Tone
3.95/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black color. 3/4 inch head of a tan color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of roasted malt, sweet malt, citrus, and slight hop. Fits the style of a Fruit / Vegetable beer. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. There is also a slight acidic feel. Tastes of citrus, hops, roasted malt, and sweet malt. Overall, great appearance, good aroma, and good mouth feel. The body is a little lacking though. The cherries are not strongly noticeable, but I enjoy that more than most probably would.

 536 characters

Photo of dbossman
3.67/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Black with a thin head that dissipates quickly--very still with little obvious carbonation

S: Roasted malts and cherry and chocolate overtones; maybe a touch of coffee and vanilla

T: Lots of cherry; almost vinous; a pleasant malty backbone; a tad tart

F: A touch thin but decent mouthfeel

D: An interesting stout but the sweet cherry flavor is a bit too much

 365 characters

Photo of BarrelO
3.82/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Batch #9993, packaged on September 27, 2010.

A: Black body with little head and hardly any lacing.

S: Fruity, roasty, and sweet. Reminiscent of a chocolate cherry torte.

T: Big-time cherry sourness up-front. Once that recedes, the typical coffee/chocolate stout notes come to the forefront. It's like two beers in one. Both parts are decent, but they don't come together to become something greater than the sum of its parts.

M: Medium-bodied, pretty smooth.

D: Sour cherry notes aren't something that I thought would mix well with stout flavors, and this beer didn't really change my mind. I think this is about as good as a beer like this could be, but it's still not something I'd want to go out of my way for.

 757 characters

Photo of wvsabbath
3.15/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Black with some red tint. No head, some lacing

Smell - Cherries, barley, chocolate overtones. Kinda bland really

Taste - Of course, strong dark cherry flavor. Pretty sour in a v8 juice kind of way. The barley and chocolate flavors are present and are the backbone to this. Surprized how bitter this is. Are actually cherries used or is it just juice? Maybe real sweet cherries would make this more balanced and better

Mouthfeel - Leaves tounge bittered and not much else. Its alot thinner than i figured, and lacks sweet cherry flavor.

Drinkabilty - If you enjoy this style then you could drink a few of these since the alcohol is masked very well. This is too bitter and bland for me, one and for sure done

 748 characters

Photo of TheKtulu7
3.55/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Very dark. Black with a red-brown head, thin, fades quickly. After it fades completely you can see cherry red tinting around the edges of the beer.

Smell: Chocolate and cherries. Kind of muted.

Taste: Tart cherries, a bit of chocolate. Lots of cherry juice, especially until the beer warms up some more. It balances a bit more as it warms so the chocolate comes more to the front.

Mouthfeel: Thin and smooth.

Drinkability: It's smooth and when it warms it's pretty good, but it's pretty bad before that.

 519 characters

Photo of damndirtyape
3.62/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Single bottle (batch 9969) poured into shaker pint glass.

Appearance: Pitch black beer with a dark tan foam ring around the edge of the glass. Not much of a head formed at all upon pouring and what was left behind was just the ring. Very little lacing - an island here and there.

Smell: Definite tart cherry in there along with roasted malt and coffee/bittersweet chocolate smells.

Taste: The cherry flavor starts at the beginning, the mixes with coffee and roasted malts in the middle, and then finishes at the end as well. As someone who has had those wonderful tart northern MI cherries before, this beer really screams that flavor. In fact it seems like the other flavors are just along for the ride - they compliment a tad, but the cherry is the main flavor here.

Mouthfeel: Very little carbonation - some on the tongue but it disappears quickly. The beer is very juice-like in consistency. Given the strong cherry flavor - I'd almost say it is cherry juice with some stout mixed in.

Drinkability: I'm glad I tried it,but I think you have to be a real cherry lover to reach for another one. As much as I like the tart cherry flavor of Northern MI, I usually have it an pie or a small glass of cherry juice. 12oz is a bit much after awhile. Maybe combined with the right desert this beer would be really something, but by itself it's a bit much.

 1,358 characters

Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.49/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 9969

Appearance -- Pours a deep, dark brown with a slim and sudsy brown head that dissipates quickly. Coats the glass quite well. Dig it.

Smell -- Finely roasted malt, espresso, slight mineral character, and the faintest shadow of cherry, which could certainly be a figment of my imagination. Let's assume it is not.

Taste -- Coffee with cream, dark toast, bakers chocolate, light molasses, and sweet/tart cherry juice. The rich roastiness of the stout base is in the forefront with the cherry, while being prominent, takes a backseat. This is the polar opposite of the New Glarus Cherry Stout. Lingering flavor of dark chocolate and burnt breadcrust.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-light in body with moderate prickly carbonation. Not bad, really.

Drinkability -- Clearly a well-crafted stout -- Bell's knows what they are doing -- but it's not my cup of tea. As a Fruit/Vegetable beer, it's pretty good aside from the lack of cherry in the aroma, but as a stout I could take or leave it.

 989 characters

Photo of SpdKilz
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a dark chocolate into a generic tulip I have at home. Just a hint of light shows through the edges of the glass. About a finger of black head that dissipates quickly leaving spotty lacing.

Smell - Dark roasted malts, dark chocolate, slight cherry (almost medicinal) aroma, and stale coffee. Also, just a hint of alcohol.

Taste - Similar to the nose. The cherry flavor does come through quite nice but there is just something a bit off. Not as "real" of a cherry flavor as I was hoping for. There is a heavy roasted grain characteristic, a slight rubbing alcohol flavor, and cheap chocolate and coffee notes.

Mouthfeel - Medium to light bodied, lower carbonation.

Drinkability - One and done. The cherry sweetness comes through more as it warms up, and becomes a cloying sweetness. Glad to try, glad I only got a single.

 842 characters

Photo of kiddynamite920
3.8/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown with a light brown head, very close to black in color. Wasn't expecting this depth in darkness. Head is sticking around one finger.

S: Smells rich and sweet like a milk stout with a bit of acidity from the cherries I suppose. Has a chocolate covered cherry aroma. Not overly roasty, which allows the cherry to come through.

T: Wow! Unexpected amount of tart cherries on the palate. Almost loses the stout body though with all the tartness upfront. Michigan cherries are quite potent indeed. Lacks a substantial roasted character to balance the overpowering cherries.

M: A very interesting beer for sure, the body of the stout remains through but the flavor doesn't. Has the fairly aggressive tart quality that puckers the mouth a bit, but finishes with an almost chalky, sweet stout type of feel. Enjoyable beer.

D: This is a nice "change of pace" beer, definitely not what I expected on the nose or palate. I guess you could say it is a surprising beer. Don't think I'll be grabbing more than one of these at a time, but it was a nice experience. Solidly interesting beer.

 1,093 characters

Photo of marchoftheclouds
4/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

I've only had one other cherry beer ... Wisconsin Belgian Red from New Glarus and it to me was more like wine. More cherry than beer flavor ... but good grief, it's absolutely LOADED with Wisconsin cherries.


This had a very dark color, chewy mouthfeel, with a bit more carbonation that I'm comfortable with. I won't have any trouble drinking this 6-pack. It has a warming, but not in your face alcohol "burn". First impression is coffee and cherry. I wouldn't mind getting this again, but since I'm new this year to trying different beers every time I go to Friar Tucks ... I might wait awhile.

 651 characters

Photo of GLM0011
3.57/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tastes like an imperial stout but lighter on the bitterness. Cherry tart backend. I liked it but wouldnt drink it all the time. Still a good beer if your looking for something different. It became more enjoyable as I got into a few of them. Drank five. I will drink again for sure.

 281 characters

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

A: practically black, thin tan head, not much lacing; bottle-poured stouts always are a little disappointing for the lack of head

S: very malty, a bit of a coffee scent and a hint of sour cherry

T: very good, very quality stout, with just enough cherry flavor to balance out the malt; the sourness of the cherries lasts past the roasted malt

M: different than the normal stout, the sourness leaves a bite rather than the creaminess of most stouts

D: good, but probably would only drink one in a row, though definitely leaves you wanting another stout; would love to follow it up with a mocha stout

Bell's and Southern Tier are my go-to's for stouts, both do very interesting ones that are based off of quality stouts; the Cherry Stout is a very good one from Bell's that makes me want to follow it up with Choklat or Mokah from Southern Tier

 846 characters

Photo of micromaniac129
3.85/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours very dark brown with a thin tan foam head. Fades to just some lacing on surface.
Smells of roasted malt and coffee. A tart cherry aroma is present.
Tart and acidic are the first thing I get from a deep drink. Cherry flavor is sutle and not as strong as one would think.
There is a nice roasted maltiness that balances out nicely with the tart cherries.
medium mouth feel and acidic aftertaste.
A little to tart for me to drink many. I would drink another

 460 characters

Bell's Cherry Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 3.54 out of 5 with 2,557 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.