I’ll admit I set the bar rather high for Bell’s Cherry Stout (7% ABV) purely based off my love for their Oberon Ale. Admittedly, my experience with the brewery’s catalog of beers is shockingly low for one variety I consider one of my all-time favorites. Cherry Stout proved to be somewhat of an underachieving cousin of a beer that’s made my regular rotation.
No mistake, Bell’s Cherry Stout is a good beer that becomes even better given the right conditions – I can easily see this being a favorite seasonal stout for some people. The brew is created using authentic Michigan cherries, giving its trademark tart all its needed authenticity. It was this arrangement of sweet cherry and bitter stout that made this beer so alluring to me in the first place, and the latter seemed to be lost in the shuffle.
The beer pours black with a very thin and rather unremarkable head, not uncommon among stouts. The aroma packs on heavy roasted malt with very light notes of the cherry within. The mouthfeel isn’t quite so smooth as other stouts you might have tried. For a complex pairing of cherry and dark chocolate stout, this beer is almost disappointing in its simplicity.
The tart quality of Bell’s Cherry Stout overtakes this craft brew, leaving those seeking the stout element amiss. I personally found this beer surprisingly sweet. Perhaps I simply underestimated the power of the cherries within, my apologies to the great state of Michigan.
If you’re looking for a great seasonal stout, I recommend you pick up the Breckenridge Vanilla Porter. This pairing has always worked pretty well without masking the stout qualities within.