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

Cherry Stout - Whiskey Barrel-AgedCherry Stout - Whiskey Barrel-Aged
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Style:
American Imperial Stout
Ranked #1,458
ABV:
9.3%
Score:
92
Ranked #4,369
Avg:
4.1 | pDev: 7.32%
Reviews:
77
Ratings:
193
From:
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
 
Michigan, United States
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Cherry Stout - Whiskey Barrel-AgedCherry Stout - Whiskey Barrel-Aged
Notes: 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.
Reviews: 77 | Ratings: 193 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Wolvmar
3.7/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Mar 2020 Review
Dec 2017 bottle.
Pour: deep reddish brown with small head and little lacing or clouds. 3.0

Nose: pretty similar but fairly faint. 3.25

Taste: subtle cherry, chocolate, whiskey, a little vanilla on the backend. Much more mellow than when fresh, much more enjoyable. 4.0

Mouthfeel: low to moderate carbonation, slight oiliness, medium viscosity. 3.75

Overall: look and smell were nothing special this time but taste is much improved over fresh and probably a bit better with another year+ age. I would buy again but only to cellar immediately and enjoy after a year or more. Heavily weighting overall score to taste. 3.75


Nov 2, 2018 Review
Bottle dated Dec 2017. Similar pour and smell. Taste is where things improved. Maybe just the night but I found the cherry much subtler and more in balance with the whiskey, dark fruits and chocolate flavors. Really enjoyed this although Not an all time favorite. If you’ve tried it once relatively fresh, try it again after a year, or maybe more, of aging. I’m going to pick up another bottle if I see it and try again in another year and more. Bumped taste and overall ratings to 4.0 from 3.75

Dec 2017 vintage poured into a pint glass. I’ve had Bell’s Cherry Stout in the past and haven’t been a big fan.

Pours dark brown with very little head. Kept a collar while drinking with some fine bubble lacing.

Smell: cherry, dark chocolate, slight whiskey aroma. A little vanilla and dried dark fruit. I liked the smell. It didn’t overpower you with the cherry like the regular stout.

Taste: similar to the smell but cherry sweetness more upfront with some alcohol and hops bitterness softening the blow as you drink. Chocolate and some vanilla Round it out. I think this is reasonably well done with more complexity than the regular cherry stout. Also a softer cherry taste makes it more enjoyable. However, still too many things going on for me and balance is off a bit. I love cherries but even with the whisky barrel aging, the cherry is overpowering.

Mouthfeel: very slight carbonation which is fine by me. Slightly oily feel but not a milkshake or watery. Pretty solid.

Overall: I’m impressed with this compared to the regular cherry stout but not a huge fan in general. It’s sweet and borders on overdone. Somewhat like Founders Frootwood but not as well balanced. I think it will get better with age and have two bottles in the cellar. More in a year or so...

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Photo of Treyliff
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter
Bottled Dec 2017

A- pours deep black in color with a one-finger creamy khaki head that reduces to a ring around the edge

S- equal parts oaky bourbon barrel and stewed cherries up front, followed by notes of chocolate, caramel, vanilla, molasses, as well as some red wine-like notes. There's also a tartness that smells like stewed cranberries

T- bit hit of tartness up front, followed by equal parts chocolate and cherry, as well as caramel and vanilla cream. The finish brings out a hint of barrel, adding oak and bourbon, lingers of cherry and roast

M- medium body with moderate-low carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel that turns slightly creamy into the finish

O- the tartness of the cherries works well with the base beer. Bourbon came across strong on the nose but subdued on flavor

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Photo of fountainofyouth
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Regular Bell's Cherry Stout was an old favorite, so eager to try this one.

Appearance: Near black, almost no head.

Smell: Bourbon barrel and red fruit. Smells almost like a pinot noir.

Taste: Gentle vanilla and oak, cherry juice, dark chocolate. Pleasant.

Feel: Smooth, creamy, and sugary, with light carbonation. Dry finish at the back.

Overall: Been a while since I've had the original, but it does taste what I remember the original to be like, plus some barrel flavor. A very good sweet imperial stout.

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Photo of MikeWard
4.19/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle into a tulip. Packaged 12/5/17, so 2 years in the bottle on top of a year in the whiskey barrel.

Looks good in the glass. Jet black body, small tan head dissipating to a ring and faint covering. Light lacing

Mild aromas of cherry and whiskey.

On tasting, the aging has smoothed out the whiskey, so this is a very pleasant drink. Cherry taste is luscious, and the warmth of the whiskey is clean. Hard to find the stout base in this though.

Mouth a little above medium, finish, as it warms, a luscious cherry taste.

Overall, good beer, happy to have tried it with some age on it, as harsh booze in a beer is not my thing.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.83/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Black in color with no penetration to light. There’s a fingernail of brown around the rim and covering two thirds of the middle. The aroma is of sweet whiskey and faint dark cherries. I’m tasting a lightly sweet whiskey, dark cherry, and dark malt flavored beer. The mouth is lightly chewy and sticky. Honestly, considering the ABV it’s pretty smooth.

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Photo of dd53grif
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with a foamy that disappeared quickly. Aroma of whiskey, fruit and vanilla. Taste of tart cherry up front with a slight alcohol taste at the end. Good mouth feel.

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Photo of 5toutman75
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I like the look and mouthfeel the most. The lacing sticks around for a few minutes at least and it feels reasonably thick and syrupy. The best stouts are still thicker for me though. I like the cherry smell too but it’s lacking the whiskey notes that I really love. It’s there but just not as strong as I prefer. I’m surprised it’s been aged a full year in a whiskey barrel as it’s under 10% abv and I few could use more barrel.

Taste wise I like the slight tartness the cherry brings. This was bottled about a 17 months ago, so I think some of the cherry has died down. It sounds like it has improved in age as I read some of the reviews. Even so, I’m not finding this terrible complex. I like this, but probably won’t seek it out again unless I’m really in the mood for a cherry stout. I will save my money for BA Expedition forever.

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Photo of stortore
3.99/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into a snifter. Bottled 12/5/17, had 6/26/18.

Pours a dark brown, opaque, with a quickly dissipating short head and spotty lacing. Aromas of cherries, some whiskey, smoke, oak, malt, light chocolate, some caramel, a little burnt wood. The taste is cherries, malt, oak, more chocolate than the nose, some caramel and vanilla, a little whiskey, a light sourness from the cherries. Smooth, a good medium to full body, well carbonated.

Good overall, but for being aged “up to 12 months”, it lacks depth and complexity, it’s fairly straightforward. Aging a couple, hopefully that will help. Worth a try, but it was at a pretty high price point for what you get.

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Photo of VolatileAgent7744
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

4 pk with a package date of 12/17. Poured into a Spieglau tulip.

I love this. Dark chocolate with subtle sour cherries peeking through. Mouth feel a little thin, and I wish it had a bit more of a spirit profile...but I will definitely be buying more of this to cellar.

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Photo of beersampler6
3.52/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I think these cherry imperial stouts that Bell's puts out - similar to the 30th Anniversary Cherry Stout Reserve that I tried a while back - just aren't for me. Hyped and well-reviewed, but the cherry flavors just don't do it for me, and that's a shame as I love Michigan cherries. Pours a nice deep, dark black color with a little tan head and very scant spotty lingering lacing. Smells of sweet, tart cherries, a little bourbon, wood and coffee. Tastes of very tart, not-overly-sweet cherries - and then there's everything else in the background. Bourbon, oak, malt, milk chocolate, dark coffee, caramel. Unfortunately the cherry flavor just overpowers everything else and that tartness is just too much for me - although admittedly I'm not a fan of sours. No real cloying factor, though. Thin, mild mouthfeel with decent carbonation. If I liked my fruity flavors more tart then I'm sure I would have enjoyed this beer more.

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Photo of HattedClassic
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a nice brown head that dissipates quickly. The beer itself is a very nice dark chocolate brown that strongly resembles a black color. The texture is very nice looking and appears to be fairly smooth with a nice heavy look to it.

The smell is good. It has a good moderate whiskey note of vanilla with bits of spice and leather. The whiskey is supplemented with a good cherry tartness that works well but can seem a a bit off putting. The chocolate is sweet but is heavily hidden by the other notes.

The taste is good. It has the same notes but the cherry tart comes out more and ahead of the other notes. The whiskey comes out more in the finish than upfront.

The feel is good. It's a heavy bodied beer but comes off as fairly drinkable and slick. There is also a nice acidity to it all.

Overall, a pretty unique beer that is fairly interesting and a fairly interesting choice for the brewery to amke and actually works to a certain extent.

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Photo of buschbeer
4.21/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 FL OZ bottle
Served in a snifter

This beer pours black and with little mocha head that leaves no lacing.

The smell is pretty special. I get whiskey, oak, dark chocolate, and tart cherry.

The taste doesn't have as much of the whiskey. I taste dark chocolate and tart cherry. The cherry kind of takes over for a minute, but then the dark chocolate comes around in the finish. I only get hints of the whiskey. I get some oak in the finish.

Medium bodied with a semi dry mouthfeel

I really enjoy this beer. I should have got a six pack insteead of a single. Sometimes I screw myself being a tight ass.

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Photo of TooManyGlasses
3.94/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Single bottle acquired fin Mack’s Beverage in Cleveland at $6.99 US (like $30 CDN - not quite but...more $CDN). A very interesting beer - not had a lot of whiskey barrel aged beers. Packaged date 12/05/17 so depending on whether that is May or December 12-18 months old. Bottle does tell me “Shelf Life - Unlimited”.
Pours a clear black with 1/2 finger reddish browny head that dissipates quickly leaving some faint reddish notes along edge of glass. Aroma when poured was a bit muted (my bad - too cold), but as warmed got a good dose of the whiskey on the nose with hints of cherry fruitiness and some vanilla.
The taste is up front whiskey laced tart cherry with hints of chocolate - a tart Black Forest cake boozed up with whiskey. The whiskey takes over at the finish, fighting off the cherry chocolate.
A little thinner on the palate than expected, but medium and appropriate - actually gets a little bit creamy and finishes with a slightly boozy spark. I did like this, though at $7 US for 12 oz bottle not sure I would jump at again - think if more of a sour fan would really like. Would like to try the bourbon barrel aged version though.

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Photo of Jeffo
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this one from rutger a couple summers ago. Thanks, man!

From a bottle into a snifter

APPEARANCE: A black pour yields a two finger, medium looking, somewhat creamy tan head with good retention. Black body with higher levels of carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a full wisp, then ends up in a splotchy wisp and leaves falling dots of lacing as the glass empties.

SMELL: Whisky, oak, vanilla, milk chocolate and a hint of cherries in the back somewhere. Pretty nice, really.

TASTE: Tart cherries with whisky, oak, vanilla and milk chocolate up front. Flavorful for sure. Bold finish of whisky, vanilla, sweet cream, milk chocolate and a bit of tartness. Some booze as well.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. Slightly foamy on the palate, goes down fine with a slight scratch and finishes sticky. A bit of heat lingers.

OVERALL: Pretty good stuff. The cherries are a minor player at this point in the game but the base whisky barreled stout is solid all around. Usually Bell’s is hit-or-miss with me and this one was rather nice. Thanks again, rutger!

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Photo of colts9016
3.35/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I received this beer from a past BIF. I have drunk eight beer from this brewery. The beer is solid but nothing spectacular. I am unsure what to think about this beer, cherries and barrel age. The beer is 48 degree and served in a tulip glass. The hard pour in the glass produced a one finger head. The head is dark brown with a reddish tint. It dissipated remarkably fast leaving nothing behind. The color is dark brown almost black and opaque.

The aromas in the beer are cherries, cough syrup, bourbon, alcohol, vanilla, wood, raisins, dark roasted malt, bready, char, molasses, chocolate, coffee, and earthy.

The first sip of the beer was immense cherry notes. The second taste is chocolate, dark roasted malts, char, molasses, coffee, and earthy notes. I rolled the beer in my mouth I got vanilla and raisins.

The mouthfeel of the beer is tart and thin.

The body of the beer is full, medium carbonation, and a full finish.

I do not like this beer. Everything about this beer screams incomplete. The balance in the beer is off kilter. The cherry tartness overpowers the rest of the flavor profile. The beer has this sourness that comes from the cherries. The body of the beer is thin and wanted a thicker body. The barrel age does come through; however, it does little to lend to the profile.

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Photo of AyatollahGold
3.36/5  rDev -18%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Side by side with regular and the 30th anniversary reserve. Pouring from a 12 oz. bottle into a tasting glass. This beer pours pitch black and forms a tan crown. The smell is whiskey and whiskey with oak and slight cherry. The taste is once again whiskey, whiskey, whiskey and then slight cherries. Surprising me on this one, because I always look to Bells to have great balance and this isn't quite bringing that. I like the dry oak notes and think they go good with the cherries, if that damn whiskey was just toned back a little this could be so much better. The mouthfeel is dry from the oak. Overall, this was my least favorite of the three because I am a beer drinker, not a whiskey drinker, and while I do enjoy good barrel aged beer offerings, I prefer them to have more balance than this. If I want whiskey, I'll buy it.

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Photo of zeff80
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Poured out a jet-black color with a very, very small tan head of foam. It smelled of whiskey, oak and cherry. Sweet chocolate and cherry with a boozy finish.

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Photo of RyanPoff
4.24/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle dated 12/17 into a snifter.

A: Pours a Coke color brown with about a half a finger of quickly retreating. Good just wish it had more head.

S: Sweet dark chocolate, cherries, whiskey. About what I'd expect.

T: Very complex - you get a hit of sweet cherry and some tartness. Malts, and some melted chocolate flavors as the beer warms.

M: It's actually very light and almost spritzy. Not heavy or filling at all.

I usually don't drink something like this in the summer, but it's surprisingly balanced

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.34/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle, packaged on 12/05/2017. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch tan head that stuck around for a bit. There's a decent amount of lacing. I like the aroma a lot, the brew smells like cherries, whiskey, vanilla, chocolate, and roasted malt. I think the taste is pretty much just like the aroma, but with the addition of some oak. Good amount of tart cherry and whiskey flavors noticeable, I really like the overall taste of this brew. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit coating and smooth with a moderate amount of carbonation. I liked this a lot, after 6 months it's drinking pretty good right now. Definitely worth picking up a bottle or 2! $6.99 a bottle, bought this last month so I assume there's still some sitting around on the shelves.

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Photo of Harrison8
4.21/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours black with a finger of khaki foam. Aroma is cherry followed by an immediate hit of whiskey. Roasted and toasted malts are abundant behind. Flavor profile is deep notes of cherry, whiskey, and roasted and toasted malts. Whiskey is a touch hot, but mixes well with the slightly tart cherries to form a complex brew. While the flavor is focused on a heavy stout mixed with cherries and whiskey barrels. Mouth feel is thick with a velvety, but rather smooth texture. Time in the barrel really smoothed things out. Overall, a tasty, interesting brew. Tart cherries meet a little whiskey heat, all layered over dark, dense malts.

Served in a 12oz snifter from a 12oz bottle.

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Photo of brentk56
3.78/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours fudge brown with a frothy tan head; leggy, with splashy dots lining the side of the chalice

Smell: Tart cherry and oak with hints of roast, vanilla and whiskey

Taste: Sweet cherry flavors dominate the front end, with the tart tones building in the back; a lot of oak forward, as well, with vanilla prominent; in the middle, the tart cherry and oak combine with hints of whiskey; the finish fades into fruit and oak; a touch of chocolate in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation; surprisingly thin for the ABV

Overall: Somewhere in this fruit beer hides a barrel-aged stout; maybe time will allow that aspect to emerge

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Photo of REVZEB
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I would submit that this is the perfect stout for late spring/early summer. Let's start with the body, which is lighter and thinner for an imperial, but it is exactly what this beer needed. The whiskey barrel, malts, including the vanilla and dark chocolate notes, and ultimately the cherries, are plenty rich and deep for the flavoring, so the body didn't need to robust nature. In fact, the cherry finish floats up the palate with the warm whiskey spice perfectly with this body.

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Photo of Junior
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L - Very dark brown, almost black, with a thin mocha head.
S - Whiskey, roasted malt and a hint of something sweet.
T - Sweet, roasted malt, with a tart cherry finish and the slightest hint of whiskey.
F - Full bodied, but crisp, with a little heat at the end. Very well balanced flavors.
O-Very good. The tart cherry finish mixes very nicely with the other flavors. Very easy drinking, all things considered.

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Photo of PicoPapa
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with a Packaged on date of 12/05/2017. Pours a brownish black color with no head. Minimal lacing. The aroma is boozey and woody with some dark cherries, roasted malts, caramel and dark chocolate. The taste is Whiskey soaked sour cherries. Some chocolate and roasted malts as well but this one is mostly booze and cherries. Vanilla and wood at the end with a dark cherry finish. Medium body with low carbonation. Slightly puckering.

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Photo of TH28
4.01/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. 12/5/17 bottle date. Appearance: Typical jet black and opaque with a low lying, thick bubbled, brown head.
Aroma: Charred oak, chocolate, touch of roast.
Taste: Rich malt sweetness heavy on chocolate and roast, turning to a tart dark chocolate. Oak and vanilla character appear on the backside with a fairly strong bitterness.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a light carbonation and a light warming alcohol that blends in nicely
Finish: Tart cherry leads the way over an underlying roast and chocolate. Charred oak character pops up retronasally.
Overall: Really nice imperial stout that adds a pleasant tart cherry contrast over a very light whiskey barrel character of charred oak and vanilla. Chocolate still the dominant character throughout. Alcohol heat is well restrained and pleasant

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Cherry Stout - Whiskey Barrel-Aged from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 92 out of 100 with 193 ratings