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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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Reviews: 1,012 | Ratings: 2,516
Photo of CHickman
3.65/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 11/13/15: A fresh bottle, it pours black with a 2 finger foamy tan head that had tons of bubbles in it, popping and dissipating slowly as the head eased down leaving decent spotty lacing and a creamy layer on top.

Smells of roasted grains, coffee grinds, cherries, light yeast, toffee, char and dark fruit. It's rather simple smelling, but this is a stout brewed with cherry juice so it shows off the cherries, char and roasted grains. Not the most complex nose, but accomplishes the brewers set out to do so I give them props for that.

Tastes of black cherries, coffee grinds, light yeast, toffee, charred wood, peat moss, cocoa powder, dark fruit like raisin and dates, burnt grains and a sweet bitterness which must be from the cherry juice. It's a tad bit too sweet, but I like the complexities which come from the cherry and fruit sweetness as they mix with the burnt malts and smoky flavors.

Mouthfeel is thin, watery and very light feeling, the body is light to medium, This brew hides the 7% ABV very well, and went down smooth even with the mild bitterness and cherry sweetness. Aftertaste has minerals and earthy notes, which tame the bitterness but can't subdue the fruit sweetness of those local Michigan cherries. It was good overall, but I'd grab other Bell's stouts over this one.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.65/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours deep, dark and near black with cola brown edging. The head is tan, but nary sits a half finger's width and is gone within 30 seconds, revealing a somewhat barren surface. Lacing is mostly spotty with a few broken lines.

Smell - Plenty of chocolate on the nose, with hints of roasted malt and a trace of cherry fruit.

Taste - More tart than the nose leads on, as cherry is the predominant flavor here, backed by lesser notes of chocolate and some earthen coffee character. Not much else here, and there's not much change from the front end to the finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium in body with moderate carbonation. The tartness lends to deliver a bit of a crisp bite. Fairly smooth finish.

Overall - Eh, it's okay. A bit simplistic, though it has it's charms. The earthy coffee flavor clashes a bit with the tart fruitiness, but not to the point of hindrance. I wouldn't mind drinking it again, though I'd certainly not go out of my way to get or buy it.

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Photo of CraigP83
3.84/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Black as night, thin fading tan head. Smell is slightly earthy, faint raw coffee mixed with berries, hint of cacao. Taste is coffee grind, tart cherry fruit juice and soil.

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Photo of FriedSlug
3.66/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Nice dark pour with a brown head that rushed to the edges of the glass and left a bit of lacing. Smells a little bit like cherries but mostly roasted malt and even that isn't super strong. The taste is mostly overpowered with the tart cherry juice but there is not enough sweetness to balance the flavor for me.

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Photo of thorkelson
2.52/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

This one did not work for me whatsoever. Tasted like welch's cherry juice mixed with like roasted crappy coffee. Didn't look at the rating before I picked it up... nasty beer, man. Dang Bell's, why?

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Photo of Back_in_the_Saddle
3.75/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This was poured into a pint glass.
The appearance was mostly a black color with a thin cap of a little white head that dissipated pretty quickly. Lacing was slightly stringy but basically thinned out on the spot.
The smell had some sweet and tart cherries up front arranging themselves amongst dark chocolate and some roasted malt.
The taste takes the cherries to eloquently combine with the dark chocolate and roasty malt. The aftertaste leans more towards the chocolate and malt, cherries really take a backseat. The finish is really quick.
The mouthfeel was about a medium on the body with a decent dry sessionable sort of feel to it. Carbonation seems to feel right as an American Stout allowing the roast to compensate for the make up of a slightly creamy dry sort of feel to it.
Overall, nice American Stout and with the cherry idea to it. Sure, good job Bell's, I'd have this again.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.77/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Putting cherry juice in a stout sounds like fun. From a 12 ounce bottle, on to the beer:

A visible reddish hue is found in this mostly ink black beer. A half-inch of mocha tanned head leaves spotty lace around the glass. I smell sweet cherries upfront. Dark chocolate and roasted malt follow and create the aroma that I would expect from a Black Forest Cake. When I tasted it,the beer was even more dominant of cherries. There are soft tones of dark chocolate and roasty stout, but given the right disguise, could be mistaken as a sour stout. The medium-full body is extremely smooth and uplifting, and while there are other stouts that I prefer, Bell's Cherry Stout is a fun beer to try.

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Photo of Buck89
3.28/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a snifter. Nice dark brown with a medium tan head. Smells like roasted malt with caramel and dark fruit. Taste is overwhelming tart cherry with a sticky cloying finish - like a Tootsie cherry pop. Digging deep I recognized the stout base, but not my thing.

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Photo of manfromanotherplace
3.17/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Guy in the beer store tried to talk me out of buying it.....i should of listened!thank god i only bought one,this is a weird one and in my opinion one that just doesnt work too well.

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Photo of Grant_Satterthwaite
4.54/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep burgundy color, like the darkest cherry one has ever seen. Somewhat opaque, yet it's difficult to see through it. Smells of tart cherry, not typical of a stout. Some hop character off the nose and slight alcohol astringency. Tastes nearly like it smells, though if you have the expectation that this stout will be traditional, you will be left disappointed. At first I didn't like the taste because I had the expectation that it would be a smooth, chocolatey stout. As I kept drinking it, I found that it was really outstanding no matter how weird it seemed. The cherry flavor was upfront, but there was mild hop bitterness and hints of unsweetened chocolate as well but predominately cherry. The feel was smooth, typical of a stout. Overall, it's definitely worth a try. It's a bit out there, but you could end up like me and really enjoy it.

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Photo of heresy22
2.38/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Look: black, with a slight red/brown tint on the edge.

Smell: faint cherry and coffee. Not much aroma.

Taste: sweet, overwhelming cherry. Cherry masks any other flavors. Maybe a slight roastiness hiding under a thick blanket of cherry.

Feel: medium body, mild carbonation.

Overall: not pleasant. Looked and felt much better than it tasted. Dumped after a few sips.

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Photo of HorseheadsHopHead
3.55/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, nearly nine months old, poured into a tumbler glass.

LOOK: Almost pitch black with some dark brown on the edges. An unaggressive pour didn't produce much head, but some brown lacing is visible.

SMELL: The first thing that hits me is coffee, despite not having any coffee, to my knowledge. Then I get dark chocolate, and some dark fruit notes, though not much cherry. Maybe a bit of black cherry, but there are notes of prunes and raisins.

TASTE: A big blast of cherry sweetness upfront. The cherry is much more prominent in the taste than in the nose. Dark chocolate, coffee, and roasted barley notes are present in the middle, and then it finishes like a milk stout with some creaminess. The aftertaste smacks of both sweet and sour cherries.

FEEL: The body is medium, but leans toward heavy. Creamy on the finish. Carbonation is light, but leaning moderate.

OVERALL: While not ridiculously authentically cherry-tasting, this is a beer for those who like it sweet and fruity. A bit too sweet for my taste. Well-made, though. I wouldn't refuse this if offered, yet I wouldn't go out of my way to seek it, either. A decent fruit stout.

 1,165 characters

Photo of BucannonXC5
3.81/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: Karl Strauss 26th anniversary snifter glass
From: Palm Springs Liquor in La Mesa (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $2.99
Purchased: June 14, 2015
Consumed: June 19, 2015
Misc.: Born on Nov. 6, 2014

Poured a pitch black color with 1-to-2 fingers of dark tan, frothy head, that thinned out rather quickly. Light amount of foamy lacing on the sides of the glass. Below average retention on the top all the way down. (Sight - 3.50)

First smell was dark chocolate, coffee and roast malts. Second go around was dark cherry, cherry nuts, cherry wood, dark cocoa, chocolate milkshake and toffee. Not as pronounced cherry as I would have thought though. (Smell - 3.75)

Tasted a little better than the nose, but not as good as I was hoping. Got dark chocolate, roasty malts, smoky fire, tart black cherries, toffee, caramel, chocolate covered cherries, chocolate milk, fudge, toffee, caramel, faint Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia and dark cranberry. (Taste - 3.75)

Full-to-medium body. Sticky texture. Average carbonation. Long, smooth finish. Best part of beer by far. (Feel - 4.50)

I have to say I was disappointed overall. I did like it, just not as much as I thought I would. I’d still have it again. (Overall - 3.75)

3.81 | 86 | B+

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.07/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, pitch-black color with a half of a finger of chocolate-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Nice, soft, subtle aromas of roasted malt, imparting notes of slightly burned toast, freshly brewed coffee, dark chocolate, sour cherry and a touch of licorice and brown sugar.

Taste: Interesting. Strong flavors of roasted malt up front, such as slightly burned toast, freshly brewed coffee, dark chocolate, dark molasses and a touch of licorice. Then there’s flavors of tart, sour cherries, not sweet, but not too sour, more as an accent as opposed to a dominate flavor. The cherry blends pretty well with the stout.

Mouthfeel: Slightly chewy and very smooth as there is no carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 7.0%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is an interesting stout. I was expecting a sweeter beer, one evoking chocolate covered cherries or cherry cordials, rather than a blend of stout and sour, tart, cherries, but it all blends pretty well in a satisfying, interesting stout. Recommended.

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Photo of BenwayPHD
3.9/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light black with a very thin red brown head. The smell is reminiscent of cherry pie, but with some chocolate. There is also mild coffee and caramel notes. The flavor is very tart/sour upfront coupled with mild chocolate. This is shortly followed by a bright sweetness, like cold brewed coffee. It finishes with a soft bitterness. I like it, but i don't love it.

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Photo of Gear54
3.61/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

From a bottle into a snifter

Pour is pitch black with 1/2 finger of kaki foam. Very little carbonation and no lace left behind.

Smell is sweet tart cherry with coffee and dark chocolate in the background. Smells very unique compared to other stouts.

Taste is interesting. It follows the nose exactly, however, I'm not sure that's a good thing. Way over the too on cherry tartness and sweetness. Almost artificial like cherry syrup. It masks almost all of the coffee and chocolate flavors that are such a nice pairing in the smell category.

Feel is good. Sticks to the palate well and coats the mouth. The syrupy sweetness hurts the drinkability for me personally.

If the cherry was toned back a bit to complement the coffee and chocolate instead of hide it this would be an amazing beer. I rate it as average. Not my favorite from Bells

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Photo of moonboogie_n8
3.15/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

hhhmmmmm, sorry too much cherry flavor.... "syrup-like" cherry flavor at that.
so much so that it imbalances everything else in the brew.
the chocolate & roasted coffee are there but quickly leave the palette once the fruit hits the tongue. nice body & head that leaves some weak lacing for a stout. not my favorite from bell's, and may have scared me away from cherry stouts all together.

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Photo of generallee
4.1/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Appearance: It’s dark and thick with a light tan head. The slowly fades out leaving just a ring of foam at the edge of the glass. Lacing is mostly slick. Smell: The aroma has a light toasted grain character with hints of almond like nutty notes and cherries. Taste / Palate: The flavor has a tart cherry roasted maltiness up front. As it warms I get more roasted coffee like malt notes. The finish has a mix of light tartness and bitterness. Carbonation and palate feel right on.

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Photo of ClavisAurea
2.08/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2

Aged bottle; dated 9/18/2014 so it is 6 1/2 months old when I'm trying it. Served at cellar temps in a pint glass. Here we go...

Appearance: Poured a fairly thick brown with a slight red hue. There was initially no head but there is a small rim of brown foam on the edges. No sediment and the beer appears to be opaque.

Nose: Roasted malt acidity, sour cherries, cheap chocolate bars, slight vanilla from some oak (is this barrel aged or something???), no alcohols at all

Taste: sour cherries, thin mouthfeel, really dried out, the cherries are really overpowering, there is a little roasted character in there but I just can't get past the cherries. It's not like a good cherry either. Kind of a thin cough syrup like flavor. Good cherries=kriek; bad cherries=this beer (and Liney's Big Eddy Cherry Doppleschwartz for that matter). No alcohol presence at this age (don't know if they were there when this one was younger.

Overall: Fail, at least with some age on it. I really needed to try this one fresh to get the true flavor but I can guarantee you that it should not be aged. The mouthfeel dries out too fast and there isn't enough body to sustain it in the cellar. The cherries should have stayed on the trees or gone into some nice preserves or something. Keep your cherries out of my beer please. Skip this one in the future and pay the extra money for the Bell's Expedition Stout; totally worth it.

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Photo of chopp02
3.79/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The look and the smell of this beer is fantastic, however, the taste is too tart for me and I did not like the texture of this beer while I was drinking it. If you like sour beers, though, you will enjoy this one.

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Photo of Mersh
1.98/5  rDev -44.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Maybe this isn't my cup of tea but the cherry tasted so artificial it made me gag. I am a huge stout lover but this was a bad representation of the style.

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Photo of Nolo
4.19/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Look: Looks like motor oil like Greg says, a really dark stout. Dark beige small thin head, looks like an espressos crema.

Smell: Really couldn't smell the cherry juice in this one, it is present but its really low compared to the usual roasted barley, coffee, chocolaty smell. I also get a hint of some nuts in it. Its still pleasant.

Taste: You can totally feel the cherry juice hit your palate, very nice and smooth, a little soury in my opinion and it doesn't ruin the chocolate, coffee and roasted malt flavor. Sweet indeed for a stout. Really good.

Feel: Slightly crisp due to the cherry juice and kinda dense. It doesn't leave a bitter taste in your mouth. Its just awesome.

Overall: I really, really liked this beer. The ABV is not that high and it goes great as a dessert or with some kind of chocolate or vanilla or cheesecake. I don't understand the low ratings on this one.

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Photo of wattoclone
4.44/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not much cherry in the aroma, smells like an aromatic, vanilla laced chocolate stout. The tart cherries hit you in the taste with dark chocolate, reminiscent of of a holiday boxed dark chocolate with sour cherry filling. At first it was a little strange for a stout lover who loves the roasted malt and dark chocolate, but after having a bite of whole wheat bread this beer truly shines. Not a session beer but is superb with a meal.

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Photo of Tripel_Threat
4.46/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

4th of the evening. Smooth, black, with a mocha head and a hint of amber. Smells roasted, bitter, tart, and tastes very much much the same. Best cherry Stout I've had so far, not cloying, artificial or overwhelming like others I've had.

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Photo of Modernrickk
3.44/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Not sure how to put this lightly but this beer is like a stout that someone accidentally poured cherry juice into..

The dark malts taste and smell decent .. The tart initial taste tho isn't really my cup o tea.. I wouldn't mind NOT having this again.. But I still have 5 bottles lol
Mouthfeel is thick.. Syrup like and pours out weird.. Even the way it rolls out of the bottle is strange.. Like syrup ..

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Bell's Cherry Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.56 out of 5 based on 2,516 ratings.
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