Reviewed by Ron DeGregorio
It has been COLD here in Toledo, Ohio as of late. As a sign that the weather gods hate Northwest Ohio, the annual crime against humanity; snow, came early this year. There is nothing better to combat the chill of Jack Frost than a nice, hearty stout.
I absolutely love stouts. They may be my favorite style. So many varieties with so many different flavor profiles. I also love cherry beers. Imagine my surprise and joy when I discovered Bell’s Cherry Stout. I LOVE Bell’s Brewery. They are definitely one of my top ten favorite breweries worldwide, and I was so happy to be able to visit their brewpub in Kalamazoo, Mi recently.
Here is what Bell’s has to say about their Cherry Stout: “Tinted ruby-black, Cherry Stout gains its signature tartness from 100% Montmorency cherries grown in Michigan’s Traverse City region. Rather than doubling up on sweetness, this tart cherry varietal serves as a counterpoint to the warm, dark chocolate notes from the malt bill. Lightly hopped for balance, this stout is one of the cornerstones of the Bell’s stout portfolio.”
The fact that Bell’s uses cherries from Traverse City also makes me an instant fan, as TC is one of my absolute favorite places in the world. Just a great place. Get there if you get the chance!
Let’s see what I thought of this combination of two of my favorite things; stouts, and cherries!
Appearance: Bell’s Cherry Stout is a deep, dark red. The cherry is visually present. It is a beautiful beer. There is very little head to speak of.
Aroma: Cherry Stout smells delicious. There is a lovely chocolate covered cherry aroma. A sweet, yet bitter aroma is picked up even when the beer is on my table. It is strong, but very enjoyable. This one smells great.
Taste: Very interesting taste! Cherry stout at first and foremost has that very typical stout flavor. There is a chocolate malty taste with roasted grains. As you swallow the beer, that cherry tartness coats your tongue. It is a perfect marriage between a chocolate style stout and a cherry beer. I don’t taste any hops at all, which is a good thing, I think, as I believe that would be a very unwelcome flavor in this beer. This thing tastes wonderful.
Conclusion: Overall, I give Bell’s Cherry Stout a 93%, or an A-. It is really a great beer. The only thing I personally would change is maybe just have a tad bit stronger cherry flavor. I want just a little bit more tart to go with that wonderful chocolate bitterness. If you are able to get your hands on this beer, I would highly recommend it in either a 6-pack, a case, or getting in on tap at your local bar. It is a wonderful marriage of two very different flavors, and is a nice deviation from a common stout.