Whiskey Barrel Aged Cherry Stout | Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

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Whiskey Barrel Aged Cherry StoutWhiskey Barrel Aged Cherry Stout
118 Ratings
Whiskey Barrel Aged Cherry StoutWhiskey Barrel Aged Cherry Stout

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Michigan, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.30%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Aged for up to 12 months in whiskey barrels, our signature Cherry Stout evolves into something even more flavorful and complex. Notes of oak, vanilla and dark chocolate are intertwined with tart Michigan cherries in a stout that seduces the palate.

Added by gatornation on 05-22-2017

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 118 |  Reviews: 41
Photo of Sammy
3.79/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I get almost no improvement over base beer, that is still cherry cola and medicinal after all these years. More chocolate though. A yesteryear formula. More whiskey I guess, more balance the objective.

 201 characters

Photo of SHODriver
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Poured into a snifter to a black beer topped by a finger of dense tan head which fades quickly to a collar around the edge of the glass with minimal lacing
S: Smells of cherries, chocolate, vanilla, oak, caramel and a hint of coffee
T: Taste is tart cherries, chocolate, hint of coffee, oak, caramel and vanilla. Swallow is more tart cherries and bourbon barrel flavors along with some lingering chocolate and roasted malt.
M: This beer has a fairly full mouthfeel but it isn't super heavy. Carbonation is a little more than necessary as well while the beer has a drying finish.
O: Interesting experiment but I think the fruit takes this beer in the wrong direction. It doesn't taste bad but if they didn't call this a cherry stout I'd think it was soured unintentionally. I enjoy sour beers but this one just doesn't do it for me. Worth a try if you don't mind expanding your horizons and palate though.

 917 characters

Photo of kbuzz
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of fehrminator
3.56/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of imbibehour
3.55/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass. Packaged December 5th 2017.

Big opaque and dark walnut red body color, barely any light getting through the body at all. Pours slightly inky but with a rich and light looking texture. Faint mocha and nice tan color, fleeting half top head but leaving a very large bubbled collar.

Hints of cherry kirsch like brandy character on the nose, but without large booze. Hints thick oak a little, and soft sweet roast qualities. Fruit dominates at first, but moves away after sometime, letting more coffee and chocolate notes come through, bitter and thick in many ways. Quite a nice mixture going on.

Palate takes a bit unexpected turn. Tart cherries on first sip that dominate. Mid palate fills with touches of acidic cherry juicy with an extremely wet body. Finishes watery and almost metallic tasting. What is surprising, is what seems to be missing from the hinted nose. No roast quality or chocolate flavors. No hints of sweetness or even oak like flavors and texture. Extremely ordinary texture, with a light body for a barrel aged beer.

So where's the rich barrel and even roast qualities one would find on a barrel aged stout here? Starts off quite solid and comes out pretty underwhelming unfortunately. Drinkable, but tastes like an ordinary fruited stout, and a one note flavor for that.

 1,355 characters

Photo of Roguer
4.4/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a good, 3/4 finger dark tan head with solid retention for the style. You probably don't need me to tell you the body is a nutty, extremely dark brown, bordering on black.

The nose is divine, featuring just about everything you want in a brew like this: sweet, tempting whiskey notes; layers of roasted barley, manifesting as chocolate, coffee, and a touch of char; an an oaky throw blanket on the end. It's possible I'm picking up on the tart cherries, but they meld into the familiar malt and yeast profile common to many imperial stouts (in particular RIS) of slightly sharp grapes and dark fruit. Brown sugar and caramel compete for some stage time as well, and the yeast provides just a hint of banana.

The cherries are prominent on the palate, immediately adding a slightly sharp edge to the up-front whiskey. The cherries swiftly move through stages, with a building tartness matching a growing sweetness - resulting in a juice-like peak around mid-palate, surrounded by peel and pit notes for an overall organic cherry flavor.

Smooth notes of chocolate and minor char provide the stout base. The barrel aging adds the whiskey notes up front, but further add depth and punch to the overall profile. Light oak and leather notes, toast, brown sugar, and vanilla round out the profile. It's mostly the cherries' show here, but everything else comes together to allow them to shine without being a one-trick pony.

Thick and smooth, with a touch of heat. Sticky finish.

Stronger, smoother, more complex, and thicker than the base beer - and tastier, while I'm at it. A very well done and enjoyable brew. The only things keeping this from Cherry Bourbon County territory are a thicker feel, a couple more points of ABV, and a stronger showing from a smooth, sweet malt base.

 1,785 characters

Photo of Hop_God
4.19/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of khargro2
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of FalconOne
4.12/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of paulish
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of pathman
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2/24/18 draft WL BA Beer Fest

29 characters

Photo of AdamSteve
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.04/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Imperial stout brewed with cherries and aged in whiskey barrels. Poured from a bottle into a Stone IRS tulip. The pour is very dark (nearly black), not too viscous, and sports about a finger of light brown head. The nose has strong notes of sweet malt, vanilla, and some roast and toasted oak.

Medium-full body with a silky feel. Fairly strong hit of cherries right up front along with some toffee and roast. The cherries intensify at mid-palate and the beer grows quite tart, but never sour or unpleasant. The cherries do, however, overpower most of the barrel character that is in the beer. Other than the vanilla notes up front and a little toasted oak towards the back of the palate, I'm not sure I could easily distinguish this from the regular Cherry Stout. I suppose it's rather impressive that the cherry flavor is still so strong considering the time spent in the barrel. The cherries power right to the finish and leave their tart flavor imprinted on your palate. Overall a good beer, but I think the tartness is strong enough to demand a little more malt support.

 1,075 characters

Photo of LeftHanded666
4.21/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Whiskeydeez
3.5/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Stevedore
3.6/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, served in a snifter glass. Pours a dark cola brown body, nearly black, half finger offwhite head, no retention, no lacing. Smell is tart cherry and dark fruit, light whiskey and oak, touch of smoke. Altogether a little bit metallic. Flavour is somewhat buttery smooth cherry tartness, light cherry juice, a bit of milk chocolate and whiskey, a little vanilla and oak. Interesting, but not particularly captivating. Flavour is medium-lighter bodied, a bit too thin for its own good, a bit of buttery cherry on the finish. Didn't work that well for me, though it certainly isn't a bad beer. It's a matter of whether you like cherry in your stouts. I usually do, but in this case, it didn't work as well as I'd like.

 726 characters

Photo of jak
4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of bbtkd
4.12/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bell's Whiskey Barrel Aged Cherry Stout, 9.3% ABV. Pours dark brown to light black with a slight tan head. Aroma is whiskey and cherries, taste is sweet cherries, slightly tart, not much bitterness, and not much whiskey taste. Decent mouthfeel, overall nearly outstanding. I liked this better than Central Waters BBA Cherry Stout, which was too tart.

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Photo of shigg85
4.31/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Sparty1224
4.37/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Brief Review:

O: Missed out on Bourbon Barrel Cherry Stout, but this was a nice surprise distro from Bell's. Aroma is a little lacking. The cherry isn't very fresh or robust. Flavor is nice though, the cherry is brighter here. Whiskey is subtle, but adds a nice twist to the original, tart cherry stout. Mouthfeel could be more robust. Overall, not a bad release here.

Recommendation: Definitely worth picking up if you see it.

 430 characters

Photo of bret717
4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look- pours pitch black with tan head that fades to a ring around the edge of the glass. Head a slight reddish tint to it

Aroma- dark chocolate, coffee, whiskey, a little smoke and slight bit of cherry that comes out more as the beer warms

Taste- follows the nose, but w/ a steady tart flavor underlying everything else

Feel- medium bodied

Overall- very nice, like eating a whiskey-soaked chocolate-covered sour cherry

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Photo of jzlyo
4.08/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Aroma is whiskey, mild cherries, dark malts and a hint of dark bread. The flavor is cherries, whiskey, fruit/dark fruit, dark malts and a tart/acidic/warming alcohol finish.

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Photo of Stinger80OH
3.74/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.63/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle. bottled on: 12/05/2017.

A black bodied beer with light brown head. Cherry aroma is nice and smells authentic. Nice whiskey notes as well. Smokey oak and char, rich whiskey nose. Base stout smells of very dark chocolate almost to the extreme of bakers cocoa or cocoa nibs. Very balanced nose. Its quite nice. The flavor profile of this beer has quite a disconnect from the nose/aroma. I find this beer to taste unpleasant. The cherry is way too tart for this stout; the tartness gives the impression that this stout is infected...even though it is not. The tart cherry flavor is definitely what Bells was going for. There is not much whiskey presence or richness like the aroma leads you to believe. In the finish you get a hint of the whiskey with cherry cough syrup and metallic flavor. These factors really make the stout fall on its face (for my personal tastes). A medium bodied stout. Low adequate carbonation. The beer feels thin for a medium bodied stout. My final thoughts of this beer is its a well below par effort for the Bells barrel program. Tart cherries don't work well for the flavor of this barrel aged stout. The aroma was very nice, I wish the stout tasted how it smells. I will also mention that I don't have much fanfare for cherry stouts (out of fairness to Bells). Was hoping to find another cherry stout that is enjoyable and thought Bells might give it a good shot. The only two cherry stouts I have ever felt are good include: Cherry Rye Bourbon County and Deth by Cherries.

 1,517 characters

Photo of barnzy78
4.23/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle. Pours black with a light brown head. Cherry stout aroma with roasty char and boozy oaky whiskey. For flavor, the base cherry stout holds its own with the whiskey adding complexity and warmth with some notes of chocolate & roasted barley. Full body, ample carbonation. Overall, much better than expected because I'm not a huge fan of the base Cherry Stout, but the whiskey barrel aging added some booziness and an element of complexity to make it superb. Glad to try a Bell's rarity!

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Whiskey Barrel Aged Cherry Stout from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 4.11 out of 5 with 118 ratings