Bell’s Cherry Stout

Bell’s Cherry Stout, Bell’s Brewery, Inc., Comstock, MI


History: “A rich and powerful beer with tart cherry appeal, make this a fine stout.” (From the Label) “A mysterious dance of tart Michigan cherries with the dark, roasted malts of a big and bold stout.”

Despite the fact -or else because of it- that Bell’s is a local brewery (in fact, less than ten miles away), this particular six pack of Bell’s Cherry Stout set me back nearly $20. Believe me, the thought had crossed my mind pre-purchase whether or not the taste would justify the cost as this is, surprisingly, the first time I’ve had the pleasure of drinking this brew. Now I’ve been to Bell’s more often than I can readily count, and for some reason I just never made the conscious decision to try this. So, this will be a first for all of us.

The pour is thick and rich, just as you’d expect from a healthy stout. The scent is at once heavy with both cherries and malt as the mix of odors inundate your nose. I can immediately detect a vague comparison to something like Sam Adams Cherry Wheat or even a Pete’s Wicked Strawberry Blond: just that familiar tangy fruitiness that both berries (or droops, for those of you paying attention) offer. The head is creamy and light, disappearing after a minute leaving it’s shadow just enough to leave remainder lines.

There’s no doubt that the taste is heavy. It is, after all a stout; not a light beer by its very nature. The flavors of both the tangy, tart cherries and the bombarding toasted malts is like having a buckwheat pancake slathered in cherry syrup in your mouth. I like this a whole lot. There really is no other flavor notes to speak of, aside from the quite hidden bitter hops that don’t really make any kind of fight for the front until you swallow. And then they’re gone. This is such a nice beer even with its inherent thick weightiness that it could easily be used as a dessert beer after something juicy and red, like a steak or a roast. Or, why not serve it with the very same meal. Delicious. I could even see using this in a sauce, maybe a reduction. Good quality and great flavor. Call me, I’ll send you some even if your tastes stray from stout to fruit or vice versa. You’ll thank me.

Rating: * * * *
Though I love stouts in general, I’m not too big on fruit. However, though this could easily have tasted like cough medicine, it didn’t. Very good.