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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Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Michigan, United States
American Imperial Stout
Ranked #1,589
Ranked #7,754
4.07 | pDev: 7.86%
Dec 23, 2023
May 22, 2017
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.
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Photo of Whyteboar
Reviewed by Whyteboar from Michigan

3.8/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
Poured my last bottle (2017) into my snifter and wondered if it would still be the cherry bomb it was when fresh.
The appearance is similar, a touch lighter than typical stouts and the light brown head was very short ( 1 cm ) but resisted dissipation for the duration.
The aroma is now lost to me, stupid Covid.
The taste is much more balanced, the cherry is still the focus but the whiskey has a part as well as the stout itself, which Bells always does well.
The feel is lighter than I remember, not sure if I am misremembering and got used to thick, chewy BA stouts so expected the same, but this one is a throwback to the days before most of those. Larry really led the way for a lot of brewers.
Dec 23, 2023
Rated: 3.5 by Mickt465 from New Hampshire

Oct 09, 2021
Rated: 3.59 by Gemini6 from Michigan

Jun 22, 2021
Rated: 3.9 by Dharmelink from Wisconsin

Nov 07, 2020
Rated: 3.83 by EMV from Pennsylvania

Aug 06, 2020
Rated: 2.75 by Nichols33 from Massachusetts

Aug 06, 2020
Rated: 4.51 by kkazemi from North Carolina

Apr 06, 2020
Photo of Wolvmar
Reviewed by Wolvmar from Michigan

3.7/5  rDev -9.1%
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...
Mar 15, 2020
Photo of Treyliff
Reviewed by Treyliff from West Virginia

4/5  rDev -1.7%
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
Mar 10, 2020
Photo of fountainofyouth
Reviewed by fountainofyouth from District of Columbia

4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
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.
Feb 17, 2020
Photo of MikeWard
Reviewed by MikeWard from Pennsylvania

4.19/5  rDev +2.9%
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.
Jan 25, 2020
Rated: 4.91 by TP2MSU from Michigan

Dec 08, 2019
Rated: 4 by prototypic from Ohio

Sep 02, 2019
Rated: 4.02 by NolaHopHead from Louisiana

Aug 30, 2019
Photo of Franziskaner
Reviewed by Franziskaner from Missouri

3.83/5  rDev -5.9%
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.
Jul 27, 2019
Photo of dd53grif
Reviewed by dd53grif from Michigan

4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
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.
Apr 28, 2019
Photo of 5toutman75
Reviewed by 5toutman75 from Illinois

4.17/5  rDev +2.5%
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.
Apr 27, 2019
Rated: 4.03 by BrookW from Virginia

Feb 24, 2019
Rated: 4.06 by y2kawakami from Hawaii

Feb 16, 2019
Photo of stortore
Reviewed by stortore from Illinois

3.99/5  rDev -2%
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.
Feb 15, 2019
Cherry Stout - Whiskey Barrel-Aged from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 199 ratings