mxsinder (2) - Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, USA - NOV 18, 2005 does not count
This beer is one of Bell’s best, but because of the cherries tends to vary greatly from batch to batch. I have been disappointed some seasons with this beer, however, on other occasions this was one of my top 5 beers ever and have worked hard to order it all over the country. TheEnemy (564) - Chicago, USA - NOV 5, 2005
12oz bottle.OhioDad (2492) - Hilliard, Ohio, USA - OCT 31, 2005
Dark reddish black, almost inky. Medium reddish tan head forms and soon retreats to the sides where it leaves lots of lace. Aroma of roasted grain and tart cherries. Flavor mostly the same. Cherry flavor tastes quite natural and in just the right quantity. Bitter roast just a touch overbearing. Medium hop bitter. Slightly gritty palate. A very pleasant offering. I look forward to another bottle.
12oz bottle batch #6690 - Pours black with a short mocha head. Aroma is roasted malt, a touch of chocolate, a little cherry, and some coffee. Flavor is roasted malt, some chocolate, coffee, and definitely some cherry tartness behind it all and very evident on the finish.. Interesting the way the dark roasty flavor blends with the sharp contrasted fruitiness. Palate is medium bodied. Not as rich and creamy as other bell’s stouts this one seems to be built more around the fruit. Not much carbonation. Alcohol is covered well. Interesting beer and quite different for a fruit beer. DarkElf (3066) - La Jolla, California, USA - OCT 29, 2005
(12 oz bottle: Obtained in trade with Goblincat, thanks Mike!) Aged for one year. Wow, now this is one black beer; I can’t even see a slight translucence at the edge of the glass. Unfortunately, the beer’s appearance is dragged down because the tan head is very slow to form after the pour, barely generating more than a filmy covering, and quickly fades to a small ring. Aromas of dark roast, cherries, spices and smoke are very nice. The flavor is a bit less interesting, but the dark roast and tart cherries are both very evident and in nice balance. A fair amount of smoke comes out late in the finish as well, which is also quite pleasant. But what I’m not liking is the pretty obvious yeastiness of the flavor, a flavor that reminds me of my old mediocre homebrewing days. Body is lighter than expected, hitting around medium on my perception chart, and while carbonation is gentle, it seems sufficient for this beer. Overall, this is a tasty beer offering a nice blend of fruit with a roasty stout. can8ianben (1577) - State College, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 26, 2005
Not bad, the flavour was nice, subtle fruit much like the cherry ale they brew. I was dissapointed that there wasn’t more cherry flavour, and was also dissapointed to find that the carbonation was almost non-existant. It does have a very nice malty backbone, not a wimpy fruit beer, but lacks something over the top.
Schultsc (572) - San Diego, California, USA - OCT 23, 2005
Dark brown/black color with a dense, dark head. Roasted aromas of coffee, chocolate, and a hint of the cherries--really smells like really good dark chocolate covered dried cherries. The flavor is more of the same with the addition of some nice tartness and well-balanced bitterness--the chocolate flavors are quite prominient. The flavor profile is deep and penetrating which makes for a complex, very balanced mouth feel with a long complicated finish. There are a lot of cherry beers out there--this is one to look for. It is not defined by the cherries it contains, but uses them to flesh out its flavors into an amazingly structured ale. GTown (127) - New York, USA - OCT 13, 2005
An excellent stout with the right amount of tartness. Michigan cherries are the best of the breed, and as go fruit beers, so is this. Enjoy... Handle (10) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - OCT 7, 2005
Strong cherry taste but definitely a strong burnt caramel aroma that for me is not so great. PeterLikesBeer (104) - Berwyn Heights, Maryland, USA - OCT 7, 2005
The beer purs a dark black with a tan head. Aroma is of coffee and chocolate. Beer tastes tart at first but has a cherry finish. Not much to say great beer that I hope to be drinking more of! ryan (3186) - Beltsville, Maryland, USA - OCT 7, 2005
UPDATED: JUN 17, 2010 1 year old bottle. Pours jet black with big creamy tan head. Mostly lasting, some lacing. Aroma is cherries, coffee and chocolate. Flavor starts out with tart cherries, then the sweet malt and chocolate comes through. Flavor has mellowed and blended quite well with age. Texture is smooth and very creamy. Long finish.