Bell’s Cherry Stout will celebrate its 30th anniversary this year. The beer is a 7 percent ABV stout brewed with Montmorency cherries grown in Traverse City, Mich. This month, Bell’s Brewery will be releasing a beer made just for the anniversary, but in the meantime, I’m reviewing another variant.
Whiskey Barrel Aged Cherry Stout is exactly what it sounds like, a barrel-aged version of the popular stout. Bell’s says it ages the beer for up to one full-year, which increases the ABV from the base beer’s 7 percent to 9.3 percent, which is a bit lower than what labels originally showed the beer would come in at.
The beer was first released in late 2017, with my bottle showing a bottling date of December 2017.
Bell’s Whiskey Barrel Aged Cherry Stout pours a near black color with about a half finger of tan head. Aromas hit the nose with whiskey, dark cherries and a malty sweetness. Taste follows with some of the same aromatic characteristics with whiskey-soaked cherries, sweet malts, lightly bitter hops and a touch of oak.
The mouthfeel is unexpectedly smooth and clean with a bit of an alcohol burn and a pleasant finish of dark chocolate covered cherries. A great balance showcases all of the elements without any of them overtaking the others.