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

1,012 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 1,012 | Ratings: 2,525
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.


 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.


 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 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

Photo of neonbrown82
2.78/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

The beer pours to an opaque black with a thin mocha head that almost seems to have a cherry hint to it. The head dies down within seconds, however, leaving only a small ring as a reminder.

The smell is not particularly mind-blowing. A bit of chocolate malt and cherry, a bit of roast. The aromas aren't exactly strong for what I was expecting out of a cherry stout.

The taste is pretty much terrible. The label says this is brewed with cherry juice as opposed to actual cherries... it is noticable. Tastes like they used some cheap shit they bought in bulk at Sam's or something. Very tart with a horrible aftertaste as the rich roasted chocolate begins to join in.

This is obviously not a beer I would want to sit around and drink all night. Hell, I may not even finish this whole 12 oz. Consider this beer fodder for guests.

 835 characters

Photo of bahumutx
3.82/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours black with a very small tan head.

Smell: Coffee and chocolate. Also hints of bitterness and cherries. What a great smell!!!

Taste: Roasted coffee flavor throughout. At first it is sweet and then moves onto a tartness with a slight cherry flavor. There is also a hint of chocolate. As the beer warms that tartness tones down and more cherry flavor comes through along with more roasted coffee.

Mouthfeel: Medium to Thick Mouthfeel.

Drinkability: I could drink 1 or 2 of these in a sitting.

Another good beer from Bells. The tartness can be somewhat overpowering but was balanced well the sweetness and roasted coffee flavor. Keep up the good work bells.

 735 characters

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

Poured from 12oz bottle into IPA glass (small pint-style glass). Brown color with red tints. No head.

Smells stouty, can't pick up the cherries in the aroma. The cherries come through in the flavor though. Not too strong, just a hint of cherries. Mostly this tastes like a classic stout. A little light in body, but pretty good.

 331 characters

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

Poured from the bottle into a pub glass.

Appearance: The beer poured a very nice black. The head was ruby cherry tinged off whiteness. There was very thick lacing left behind on the glass.

Smell: The beer smells like chocolate dipped cherries combined with coffee.

Taste: The beers taste was a major let down for me. The cherry taste was tart as expected but somehow not enough cherry taste was present. The coffee back ground tasted like old cheap coffee left to burn on the heater.

Mouthfeel: The beer was a bit on the light side for my taste. The carbonation was not enough for a beer this light.

Drinkability: This is an ok beer. It did not meet the sink but I will not be buying this one any time soon. Maybe if the beer is given time to cellar it will be ready to drink by this summer.

 808 characters

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

The batch is very good this year.
pours a very deep dark ruby almost like a black muscot has a light lacy dark pink head.
the smell of alcohol, cherries, and chocolate lingers from the glass.
the flavor of tart cherries and chocolate with a light hop spice.
mouthfeel is slippery thick.
beer is very drinkable but i most enjoy on a cold night.

 348 characters

Photo of RedHaze
3.52/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 6690, bottled 12-06-04.

Pours an inky black that allows no light to penetrate even the edges, with a very small dark brown head that fades quickly to a thin ring with trace amounts of lacing.

Smell; there's a bit of a bitter hop presence at first, but then the cherries come through with some nice chocolate malts, with a hint of coffee.

Taste; the tart cherries really stand out on the initial sips. As it warmed up the chocolate malts and coffee flavors start to come out, along with a some hoppy bitterness. It's a little hard to get used to the tartness, especially in a stout, but it deifinitely gets better as it gets warmer. I only noticed the alcohol as a slight warming, not at all in the taste. Mouthfeel was a bit thin and watery for a stout, especially with the low carbonation.

 805 characters

Photo of ypsifly
4.39/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12oz batch# 7127 bottled on 11-14-05 and poured into a pint glass.

Black with a decent sized light brown head that shows some tenacity, but doesn't show much for lace.

The roasted malt aromas are dominate with the cherries and lactic notes in the back. There's a woody presence that reminds me of the Special Double Cream Stout and just enough hop aroma to add to the complexity.

Very full and creamy mouth. Amazing! A five in that category for sure.

This doesn't taste as roasted as it smells. It still has plenty of flavor from the dark malts, but the cherries balance the eqation....thus the virtual experience of chocolate dipped cherries. Not as contrasted as the real thing, but its there. Damn tasty.

The only factor that could hurt the drinkability is the abv, which is totally masked and can sneak up on you.

 833 characters

Photo of stewart124
3.87/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Fizzy brown head that does not last long on top of this dark stout with ruby highlights. After 5 seconds the head is down to nothing. Smells of dark roasted malts and faint hints of sweetness. Bits of chocolate and coffee present.
Very smooth body and texture leaning towards creamy. Dark malts are a definite and coffee tastes are there. Warming with a slight sweetness in the finish. Reminds me of a piece of chocolate cake or chocolate covered cherries. A bit sweet but still a pleasing beer. Maybe better after it has warmed a bit. Not the most drinkable beer but still worth a try.

 587 characters

Photo of benito
2.84/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From the bottle, this pours an impenetrable black with a sizable tan head that holds on strong. Later, with less beer in the glass, I noticed dark ruby hints along the liquid's edge that contrasted with the dark cocoa shades of its center: as though chocolate-covered cherry were liquifiable.

The bouquet is a powerful cherry, with its tart overtures in full throttle. And, that more or less sums up my experience with the actual drinking of this beer as well. The taste is a strong cherry, more like tart juice than anything else. I struggled to find any 'stout' like qualities and was disappointed that there was virtually no bitter balance to dry out the cherry flavor. Rather medium bodied, this brew is drinkable and has a nice feel to it. Were the flavor profile more complex, I think it would be easy to have two or three of these.

Whoever first reviewed this on BA was spot on in categorizing this as a 'fruit beer' rather than a stout. Not bad overall, but in general I'll stick to Bell's other, great beers.

 1,024 characters

Photo of goodbyeohio
4.23/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

i hereby dub this beer, "Three Philosophizers"

this is a dark beer with a sincere redness to it.. is it a tinge to the foam, a hue, or my imagination? no real foam left soon and no lacing. aroma is laden with cherry syrup, reminiscent of lindeman's raw power. sweet chocolatey stout aroma exists minimally. nose lacks earthy, nutty qualities and combines nicely with the fruit.. black forest cake comes quickly to mind.

flavor, again, is dominated by the tart sour cherry character. this is ultimately a fruit beer, despite my expectations of a coffee dominated brew with estery notes. instead, cherry here is accented by dark sweet malts, cocoa, dirt, and mild hops.

nothing too complex and something that could probably be mixed at home with two other commercially available products. however, bell's thought to do it in one bottle, and they get points for that. im sure this beer has its enemies, but this runs right up my alley. kudos.

 950 characters

Bell's Cherry Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
3.56 out of 5 based on 2,525 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.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.