Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

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

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
81
good
1,012 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
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
Reviews:
1,012
Ratings:
2,520
Avg:
3.56
pDev:
25.28%
 
 
Wants:
109
Gots:
306
For Trade:
9
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,012 | Ratings: 2,520
Photo of AltBock
3.67/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle with a simple white label with a crimson trim. In the center of the label is a big cherry tree growing out of a field of yellow grass. Below the tree are cherries that are bigger than the tree itself. They were just put there to get their point across that this beer has cherries in it. Below the picture is where they tell you it was brewed with Cherry juice. The back of the label had a small paragraph describing the beer, the govt. warning, and a Batch #. Mine being Batch #7220.

Appearance: I really thought that when I would pour it into a mug, that beer would be a crimson red color. I was actually quite surprised when the beer came out of the bottle a dark brownish black color with a hint of red in it. You really need to be looking to spot the red in this beer. The head foam was very disappointing. I all got was a skim of tan colored foam and even that dissipated too fast into very few rings and no tan lace around the glass.

Smell: It smelled exactly like tart chocolate covered cherries with a malty background. When I say tart, I don't mean Flanders Red tart, I mean a subdued tart aroma. The tartness of the cherries was covered up by the large amount of chocolate.

Taste: The taste was very much like the aroma except, the malt was in the beginning, then the chocolate covered tart Michigan cherries was next, and then I noticed something that wasn't in the aroma, roasted coffee. After all that I noticed just a slight alcohol burn coming through. To me there was more chocolate in this than those Michigan cherries. Here I thought that this beer was just going to taste like sweet diluted cherries.

Mouthfeel: Even though this beer is at a 8% ABV I really couldn't taste of fell that much alcohol. It was medium bodied and that aftertaste of chocolate covered tart cherries doesn't seem to want go away anytime soon.

Drinkability: It was a good beer offering from Bell's, but it wasn't that good, unless you really like chocolate covered cherries. If you do, than this is your beer!

 2,032 characters

Photo of hanco005
3.82/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle of batch 7127 poured into a pint glass

A—solid black, no head at all, no lacing at all, thick and hearty looking

S—coffee and cherries are balanced well, a touch of chocolate, too, I figured the cherry tone would be stronger

T—a big and bold stout, indeed, coffee is strong up front, then cherry sourness jumps out and dominates until the dry finish

M—thick and a bit slimy, full bodied, very light bodied

D—not bad, not as much sour cherry as I thought there would be, I’d have it again, but it’s a sipper for sure

 550 characters

Photo of budgood1
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours out a completely impenetrable black with crimson hues. thin tight tan head appears with a hard pour....sticks a bit and leaves some lace. chocolate covered cherry aroma. pretty nice. tart cherry flavour is melded together with a pretty subdued stoutness that lets the cherry flavour shine. tart, sweet, and sour from either the cherry juice or the yeast...it's a nice match nonetheless. there is an alcohol note in the background...it's very masked for a high ABV brew. mouthfeel is extremely smooth and juicy. the body seems a bit on the light side for a stout of this stature although it seems a bit filling in the belly. drinkability is surprisingly refreshing....again, i was expecting a sweet stout of greater magnitude than this but am pleasantly surprised by the overall refreshing and tasty notes this provided after a hot day in the sun. it's still a stout to be reckoned with...and i think i'm going to lay down a few bottles to see how it does in six months.

 975 characters

Photo of karst
4.5/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 7220 Bell's Cherry Stout was packaged on January 16, 2006.
From the General Store outback of Eccentric Cafe

Pours nearly solid black slightly brown around the edges of the 0.4 L rastal New Belgium sniffer. Fine beaded brown head is quickly falling but keeps active with a swirl and thin but eternal ring that offers a little lace

The Kriek like cherry juice flavor from real Michigan tart cherries blends well with the dark roasted malts that offer a touch of semisweet dark chocolate.
At close to room temperature a little alcohol is present in the nose but well disguised as a flavor. Tart cherries aid a modest IBU bitterness to clear andy caramel malts - only nearly ripe tart cherry lingers (the flesh close to the stones) and I am thankful it is not immitation flavored.

It is hard to know if some lactose has been added as it closely resembles the tartness of cherries. May be a lambic like nature from wild yeast introduced from the cherries. Easy to hold in the mouth with good balance and dextrinous mouthfeel. A classic must try. I can't believe I am just getting around to this one the new crop of cherries will be ready in about a month.

 1,167 characters

Photo of hoppymeal
3.52/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours dark black with a khaki brown head. Some roasted malt and coffee aroma mix with a tart cherry aroma and also a rich sugary sweet smell. The sweetness does not present itself in the taste, rather a tart sour cherry and milk taste dominates. Also a hint of the roastiness in the taste Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a puckery acidicness from the tartness wiht a dry finish.

 378 characters

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

Had this one from the cellar at The Publick House. Served in a red wine glass.

Pitch black in hue. Held it up to a light and nothing got through. Not much of a head but I thought that was intentional. Served at cellar temp which brought out the sour cherry nose nicely. Also lots of dark cocoa too.

Flavor was a wallop of dark cocoa and sout cherries. Very nice and different I thought. Hints of caramel around the edges too. Really sweet but the sorness gave this beer a nice balance. Heavy bastard that really clung to the tongue. Very drinkable but more of a dessert beer like a port wine.

 598 characters

Photo of RonfromJersey
3.66/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Absolute black body, topped by a level slab of dark tan foam, doing a very load snap, krackel, and pop rendition, as it shrinks toward the black hole below.

An initial bottle opening burst of cherry aroma quickly gives way to a subdued coffee scent. Inhale fast when opening.

Taste is dominated by a mix of roast coffee and chocolate, though neither is particularly impressive, while the cherry lurks in the background and around the edges. Nice snap of hops just before the cherries make a big splash at the finish. Which makes for a bit of a roller coaster as you slide from sweet to roast to bitter to sweeter. It all comes together, then leaves behind a mild and well blended aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is a little less slick and thick than I prefer.

Drinkability is a pleasant surprise considering the the ABV and the cherry flavors. Goes down easy.

Not a classic, but not a bad Bell's Stout.

 907 characters

Photo of dfried
4.18/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I am a sucker for jet black beers that have a bit of deep ruby around the edges. The head was suprising absent from this beer, but it didn't take away from it. The smell was a good description of what was to come, sweet maltiness offset by tart cherry. The taste was very much so like eating a chocolate covered cherry, sweet chocolate malt, some coffee and other dark malts, along with a tart but fresh cherry flavor. The lack of carbonation and the tart character took a bit away from the mouthfeel. This is definitely not a session beer, but one or two go down well. To get the maximum enjoyment out of this beer it would have to be cosumed with a dessert, but don't be fooled, it is an awsome brew.

 702 characters

Photo of bluejacket74
3.36/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The Bell's Cherry Stout pours dark brown, with some red tones as well. Not much of a head with this beer either. It smells like cherries, with a bit of roasted coffee, chocolate and malt. The smell is pretty mild, I expected it to be stronger. Luckily the flavor is stronger, but it's mainly bitter cherries that I can taste at first. There's a sweet cherry and coffee aftertaste. The mouthfeel is pretty thin, slick and watery. I guess it's an 8% ABV beer, but you really can't tell from the taste. For the most part it's easy to drink. I wasn't too impressed after my first couple drinks, but as the beer got warmer it got better, with more of the taste coming through. Not a great beer, but it's still a good one. I'd drink it again.

 736 characters

Photo of Phatz
4.44/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to Woody Chandler for sharing this truly fantastic masterpiece. It is unique and I don't think it is a beer that everyone will love. I also thinks it is probably the antithesis of what some would call a transition beer. It is bold and friendly at the same time but the sour nip mmm may cause a few people to leave more for me :)

Appearance: We were sitting in minimal light on the patio and it looked black to me. Until I held it up directly to the flood light then it has some dark brown and deep ruby highlights.

Smell: The aroma is one I call "RED." If you don't know the aroma I mean then you might think of how red freeze pops, red lollypops, cherry Juicy Juice and other red flavored foods smell 'red'. Nonetheless, it is an enticing aroma that launches from the bottle the moment it was open and sits tall in the glass. It is not extremely sweet red though it has a bit of a sour cherry attribute. mmm. It is so enticing I was salivating over it.

Taste: Sweet malts and chocolate hit the palate first with cherry following. It made me think of my favorite chocolate covered strawberry candies but not quite so sweet. It was more of a slightly sour black cherry than a maraschino cherry. The sweet cherry juicy flavor was intense but with the tartness it did not become cloying. There was also a bit of dark malt and coffee following the bittersweet chocolate. The finish was pleasantly minty and lingered for quite some time.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel was medium light and very smooth and easy. The flavor of the cherries really took over and distracted from the actual body of the beer.

Drinkability: I really enjoy a roasty stout and the cherry syrup and sprinkle of sour were a very refreshing change. I would like a case of this beer to mix up my regulars between Guinness and SN Porter. I don’t think it is a beer for everyone though. It could be a bit intimidating.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers!

 1,937 characters

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

Poured from 12 oz bottle into Sammy Smith pint glass
Batch 7220 - packaged on January 16, 2006

A - Pours a thick black with a good 3/4 inch tan head. Lacing is moderate after the head fades to a thin layer.

S - Coffee and dark malt are king here, with traces of what might be chocolate covered cherries. Smells like any good stout with a slight fruit twist.

T - Oh, there's the cherries! Yep, they jump out at you with their tart sweetness, which is much stronger than the rest of the usual stoutness of this brew. The tart taste carries through each sip, and the other players in this taste game only make brief appearances. Coffee, dark barley malt be their names.

M - Thick with a slight carbonation tingle, goes down fairly smooth.

D - Sadly the sweet, mouth puckering tartness of the cherries leaves me wanting another, different beer for my next brew. You're better off choosing any of Bell's other excellent stouts, IMO.

As I found with Bell's Cherry Ale, it seems that the Cherry is a dangerous fruit to use in a beer. It is entirely capable of overpowering all other tastes with its sweet, mouth puckering tartness. Beware brewers of this dangerous fruit!

 1,188 characters

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

Pours a black color with red hues around the edges. A good brown head with good retention and decent lacing but both don't last through the sampling.

The smell is mostly malty with roasted and sweeter malt tones. Some fruit aromas as well, with no surprise, cherries and a touch of caramel as well. More of a sweet cherry aroma (versus tart etc). Some minor citrus hops helps bring this out. Mostly clean on the yeast side.

The taste is a bit of a change. The cherry flavor is well represented and very tart. Mostly represented at the front with a bitterness that enhances the flavor. But roasted malt and some chocolate coffee flavors come out and subdue the taste more a more mellow dessert like flavor. The tart doesn't exactly go away it just co-mingles and leaves a acidic aftertaste that is more of a deterrent. Overall would like a bit more malt.

The body is a medium flavor and a lighter carbonation which is acceptable. Overall the tart is such a strong presence that is masks some of the stout flavor. Though unique I would agree that it is more of a fruity beer then stout.

 1,088 characters

Photo of Frozensoul327
3/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A unique offering from Bell's. Pours out like any other Stout; dark, thick, black, lower carbonation. No lace. Aromas are medium bodied, and fill the nose with cherries, roasted malt, and wood elements. Taste was not enjoyable IMO; sour cherry and dark fruit flavors assault the tongue, with roasted malts taking the backseat and hints of herbs and clove in the wings. Mouthfeel is typical for the stout style, perhaps a bit light. Drinkability is not great. Even for someone who dug this beer, I can't see drinking more than one every once in a while. Not for me.

 564 characters

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

12 oz bottle, poured into my Corsendonk Christmas Ale glass.

Pour - no head at all, but poured an ineresting almost purple/black color.

Awesome taste of black cherries and chocolate, very very sweet.

I don't like giving the taste a 3.5, but it is not an excellent taste, but overall a very good beer.

Mouthfeel is a bit to be desired, as it sweet and interesting, but it could have been a bit heavier as the alcohol would suggest.

Absolutely suggest trying this beer, cherry flavor is awesome, easy to drink - but too sweet to have many of in one sitting.

Worth a try, great company, unique product.

Cheers.

 628 characters

Photo of aforbes10
4.12/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks like a stout but nothing special. some red color coming through the darkness. little head retention, probably due to the acid in the cherries. good lacing. no cherry odor that i can pick out here...light coffee odor and some burnt qualities too. very tasty beer...initital taste is very malty and coffee like. then you get a sweet chocolate flavor, followed by the cherry making an appearance....tart and lip smacking. i like it. nice and thick, coffee and cherry hang out on your tongue. good drinkability although the cherry might get old.

 547 characters

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

I got this beer as part of the 2006 Great Race BIF from MABZ.

This beer pours a dark brown, with a ruby red tint to it. It has a very small brown head. The head fades quickly, leaving minimal laces.

This beer has a sweet cherry aroma. It smells malty also. It has a light coffee aroma also. I can detect a slight aroma of dark chocolate.

This beer tastes a lot like a chocolate covered cherry. It is slightly sour, but only just for a second, until the other flavors take over. It has a good chocolate flavor. I can also taste some coffee.

This beer goes down smooth, leaving a mix of coffee, cherries, and chocolate on the palate. It is carbonated well for the style.

This beer might make a good session beer. I would be a little concerned with the 8%ABV. Also, it is a little aggressively flavored. It is a great beer though, and I thank MABZ for semding it.

 876 characters

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

Has a nice cherry smell with some yeast noticeable. Pours a deep brown-black body under a soda fizz that results in no head. Sweet, deep cherry continues in the taste, plus chocolate roast that alternates between barely there and chocolate-covered cherry. Despite being bottle-conditioned, it’s fizzy like a cherry soda—but that fits well with its flavor profile. Further down, sweetness is replaced by a dry red wine component, ending with a flare of wine dregs. Too bad I didn’t notice their description or the ABV on the label, else I’d have tried to cellar this a while.

 578 characters

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

An interesting beer, and I can't remember who I need to thank for the trade!!!

Pours up black with blood red highlights. Thin, tan head with a hint of redness in color.
Smell was not strong, a bit of sweet malt, vinegar-cherry, and a slight hop note.
Taste was strong malt with just a slight hint of tangy cherry. Pretty tasty brew, this one was. Seemed like a bit stronger than a typical stout, but not double in nature. I like.
Mouthfeel was thin to medium, moderate carbonation. I would drink more of this (and all Bell's beers) if I could find them.

cheers...

 572 characters

Photo of ski271
3.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown, almost pitch black, with a large, tan, fizzy, rapidly diminishing head. Very little lacing. The smell is of dark roasted malts and cherries. Chocolate, molasses and cola. That taste is mostly more of the same malts and sweet cherries, that turns tart toward the finish. It has a medium-full body, lightly syrupy texture and moderate-lively carbonation. I’m not much of a fan of fruit beers so I’m giving this higher marks than I originally had. Compared to the other fruit beers I’ve had, this one isn’t so bad. Though I won’t be coming back for seconds.

 584 characters

Photo of veggiemafia
4.12/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. into a pint glass, with some salad with balsamic vinegar/rosemary and apples, walnuts and blue cheese, went really well.

Really thick and oily looking. Small tan head with a hint of red to it.

Smell is really really roasty with the cherry spine in the back. Really nice blending of the coffee/bittersweet chocolate/tart ass cherry smells.

Taste is more of the same with the cherry tartness sitting on the back of your tongue and almost making you pucker, but in a good way.

Mouthfeel is pretty slick and heavy, kind of syrupy, I guess from the cherries, but still pretty nice.

I could stand to have a few of these, it's unique, but still really solid.

Great fruit beer without tasting like a usual fruity sweetness overload.

 748 characters

Photo of warriorsoul
3.76/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to stonecrusher for this one of many...poured as advised by the master.
Black in color with a full finger of dark tan head that disappears almost instantly.
Nothing screaming out in the nose, but a inviting chocolate covered cherry aroma is there beckoning me for a closer inspection.
Taste is very unique and most pleasant...an extreme cherry profile, but so well balanced into the characteristics of a stout. Dark chocolate, vanilla, roasted malt and the slightest hop bitterness.
Mouthfeel is quite thick and the carbonation is excellent for this one...finishes clean and goes down too easy. The alcohol is nowhere to be found which could be quite dangerous.
I may not drink this one all evening, but it is one I'd love to end most evenings with...another solid offering from Bells.

 798 characters

Photo of GreenWBush
3.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Traditional Kalamazoo light-consuming black. No head to speak of, and I wonder if there's some carbonation/age issues with this particular example only in that there's a weird satanic yeast beast that plops out of the bottle.

Nose is coffee grounds, burnt leather, rubber, anise, while the cherry only registers as a drop in a roasty bucket. Cherry pie-filling dropped into a cappucino. Everyone else in the room said 'urine' too, and even if I disagree with the sentiment consensus matters.

I'm amazed that stout and cherry flavors can co-exist, let alone actually enhance one another. The tartness of cherry essence is felt mostly at the back end of the slurp, that comes off stronger on the palate proper than in the flavor. Interestingly odd and captivating all at once, but nothing that I instantly crave.

Sharp carbonation with a light body that doesn't serve the multitudes of flavors whirling around. Has the biting mouthfeel of coffee grounds, which isn't particularly pleasant. The cherry thing going on in the mouth, however, is luscious and amazing.

The tart cherries linger on the lips long after the bitter roast subsides, ending this odd adventure of a beer like a fantastic end sequence on a decent film.

 1,233 characters

Photo of KarlHungus
3.47/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours an opaque black color with no head to speak of. The aroma is of roasted malt with cherries in the back gorund. The taste has a lot more cherry in it than the aroma suggests. There is a base of roasted malt, but I would like this brew more if the malt showed through more clearly. The mouthfeel is full bodied with nice carbonation, and an overall smoothness. This brew is pretty good, but Bell's make so many great beers that I would choose before this one.

 473 characters

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

Given the mixed bag of reviews, I was not sure what to expect with this beer. Expect this...a pitch black pour with ruby highlights and a 2 finger high head of pink stained khaki froth that leaves snail trails of lace as it slides down my pint glass.

Aroma is interesting, toasty dark and chocolate malt notes, acidic day-old coffee, bittersweet baking chocolate, and sweet/tart cherries. Very dessert like, chocolate-cherry cheesecake?

Flavor begins with thick, darkly roasted malt, stale chocolate, strong coffee, pumpernickle bread, and a sweet and lightly acidic cherry flavor that reminds me of a Harry & David chocolate covered dried cherry. My fiancee thinks it tastes like cherry Robitussin. As it warms, I begin to agree w/ her.

Body is just medium, and could use some more beef. Soft carbonation lends to a smooth, creamy texture that finishes with an undesirable chalky dryness. I didn't realize it was 8 % till' I did this review. ABV well concealed.

 971 characters

Photo of Ricochet
2.46/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pitch black pour with no head, just the faintest light getting through, and I think there is a slight redness from the cherries, but is probably my imagination. Smelled like an imperial, no detection of the cherry, mostly toasted malt and alcohol. Mouth was average for stouts I've tried, that's all. Washed like other beers.

Taste is where this beer takes a deep downward swing. I have liked raspberry porters, and other fruity beers, but when a beer has a tart fruit like Cherry or Cranberry, the tartness of the fruit overpowers the beer, no matter how good the beer is, and that is the case here. Almost imperial for strong alcohol, nice malt finish, slight chocolate flavor, but the cherry seems weak and makes me think of SA's Cranberry Lambic, only this can be tolerated.

An out of place effort for a stout. Could be better with tweaking. Not my cup of tea as is.

 878 characters

Bell's Cherry Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.56 out of 5 based on 2,520 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!

    Subscribe