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Beer Information
Average Review High Score Low Score Reviews Tried Consumed
90 96 80 5 25 7
Bourbon Barrel Aged Cherry Stout by Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Cafe
American Stout
7.00 % ABV

Review by joe1510 on 02/20/10  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
80 3 9 16 4 8 2010
12oz Bottle

Batch #7777

I have the opportunity to try this Bell's specialty thanks to the one and only hoppymeal, here's to you Derek! Bell's Bourbon Barrel Cherry Stout exits the bottle looking like strong black coffee. As the bulb on my snifter fills the liquid takes on the color of darkness, zero light is permitted through the body. A finger of tan head presented itself on the pour that eventually fizzled down to a thin cap and fat collar. The collar leaves behind some impressive drink lines.

The aroma on this sucker is big and oaky to the core. I'm smacked around immediately by buttery vanilla that's so intense at times it's like candy. Bourbon sweetness floats around beneath with a bit of char. Cherry shows up in the form of the sweet liquid that oozes from cherry cordials with the first bite. The only contribution from the actual stout is a roasty quality swimming around in the background. As this stout gets closer to room temperature there's a touch of lactic sourness that comes and goes but never gets in the way. This is an inviting brew on a bitterly cold evening like tonight.

The barrel aging is much more under control in the flavor. The second this beer washes over my tongue I'm hit with bourbon, charred oak, coconut, and vanilla all in that order. Semi tart, but also rich, cherry flashes through mid-palate while the delicious stout lingers underneath and lays down a foundation. The cherries actually bring along some tartness before the smooth buttery vanilla evens it out and a mild roastiness adds a touch of bitterness. As this stout warms some alcohol fumes rise through my nose but the alcohol is never tasted. This beer has layers, many of them, and I enjoy them all.

The body is airy as it first hits the tongue but quickly becomes richly silky smooth. The weight is on the lower side of heavy and leaves behind just enough stick to allow those charred qualities to linger. The carbonation is moderate and works very well here.

This is a big stout with robust flavors but the drinkability is high when taking that into consideration. It is by all means a sipper but an easy one to tip back. With zero noticeable alcohol this is a joy to drink.

Bells hit the nail on the head with this brew. I thoroughly enjoy this beer and would love to have a couple more. Hopefully this one gets made again. Thanks again for the treat Derek!

Reviewed: 1/17/09

Served In: Snifter

Review by Tip Top on 08/21/08  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
90 3 11 18 4 9 2008
Thanks to beagle for the bottle.

A - Pour produces a loose cocoa colored head. Bubbles are of all sizes. Head quickly recedes to a couple clumps on the surface and a ring around the glass. Body is very dark, just short of black, and completely opaque. There is no light getting through this one.

S - Wow, different than I expected here. There are huge waves of vanilla that come at you. Sort of reminds me of vanilla pudding even. When you breath it a little deeper, you get big bourbon vapors penetrating your nasal passages. There is some other sweetness coming at me here that I am having a hard time pinning down. Distinct woodiness here finishes it off. Great aroma here.

T - Like the smell, but with the added element of the cherry flavors. Very sweet up front with big vanilla tones. Bourbon comes in, but is much more subdued than in the aroma, which is a good thing. Acts as more of a highlight, rather than dominating the brew. The strong sweetness of the cherries comes in. Very slight tartness, the cherries here are more sweet than tart. Finish is surprisingly clean, not leaving much lingering on the tongue.

M - Medium bodied and very smooth.

Overall - I don't know why, but I wasn't overly excited for this beer. There have been so many bourbon beers lately that haven't really hit the mark, but this is definitely an exception to that. Well crafted and well balanced brew.

Served In: Snifter

Review by Kegergator on 08/20/08  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
90 3 11 18 4 9 2008
Thanks to mikesgroove for this brew>

A- Extremely dark with a pretty dark, thin bubbly head.

S- {WOW} Sweet.Tart.Vanilla.Cherries.Alcohol. All blended into one. Serious aroma here. The bourbon is in the forefront, and the cherry blends well with it.

T- Again, Wow. Super sweet, vanilla and alcohol upfront with a slightly tart finish. SUPER SMOOTH. Light chocolate flavor blended in there. Again, as I mentioned about another brew, this one tastes like chocolate covered cherries...only dipped in bourbon. :EXCITE:

M- Very smooth brew for what is doing here.

O- Another awesome brew from Bell's. Can't wait to try this with a little age on it. beagle> hey

Served In: Bottle

Review by seaoflament on 06/25/08  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
92 3 11 19 4 9 2008
Big thanks to hoppymeal and BidDaddyWil for sending me this beer as an extra, I really wanted to try it! Cheers to both!

Pours an intensely dark color, and even a slow pour produced a good inch of foam that settled to a thin layer in about one minute.

Wow, intense aroma of bourbon and whiskey, so much that it made me shiver and shake and have flashbacks of pounding the hard stuff in my teens. Not a huge fan on such an overwhelming liquor aroma in my beers but I’ll try. Ok, after the initial shock this smells incredibly good. The bourbon tones down quite a lot and what is left is a mixture of vanilla, Irish crème, condensed milk, sweet chocolate, oak, rocky road ice-cream, maraschino cherries, whipped cream and bourbon in the background. There is so much going on in this beer; there is also brown sugar, charred wood, roasted barley, bitter chocolate and oak. Very complex but well integrated. There’s still quite a bit of heat that overlaps with the other aromas.

Now on to the first sip….wow there’s the cherry, oak, wood, chocolate, bourbon, roasted barley…hold on hold on, let me catch my breath! A little tart at first because of the cherries, then it leads to vanilla, chocolate and lots of oak (the oak profile in the flavor reminds me of the Abyss). After a few sips I begin to taste the Irish crème flavor, maybe some hazelnut, definitely some nutty flavors near the finish and aftertaste. The aftertaste is a little dry with oak chips, a touch of bourbon, chocolate and vanilla, maybe some sugar cookie too.

During the pour I could see the tiny bubbles quickly forming and bursting rather quickly, which I’ve experienced with other beers and the mouthfeel tends to be overly carbonated and sharp on the tongue, but that is not the case with this one. Well carbonated and smooth on the palate, the sourness of the cherry is what hits the tongue first and then the carbonation passes smoothly and cleans the palate.

This beer is an interesting one. I was a little apprehensive at first with the blast of bourbon but it turned out to be delicious.

Served In: Pint Glass

Review by Organized Chaos on 06/02/08  
Score Appearance Smell Taste Mouthfeel Overall Impression Year
96 3 12 19 4 10 2008
I heard about this beer and made the trip to Bell's to pick up some.

So, I first shared one of these last night, now I'm going to try and review it.

I poured this one into an oversized wine glass. With a fairly aggressive pour, there is a thin layer of dark tan bubbles covering the deep black beer. The bubbles dont stick around long and I am now looking at a solid black beer with a ring of bubbles around the top.

Smell is amazing, I will admit to being a big fan of bourbon barrel aged stouts, but this one has quite the nose on it. First and most prominent smell is the slam of Bourbon, then you notice Oak, Chocolate, Michigan Cherries and its kind of wierd, but it just smells sweet after you keep your nose there for a few seconds.

I love the taste of this beer. The oak and bourbon are at the forefront of the tastebuds and stick around after this one is swallowed. Amazingly for the smell and the initial sip, the sweet/tartness of the cherries and the roasted malts really balance out the oak/bourbon. Alcohol is perfect on this beer as it doesnt linger, and smells much stronger then it tastes.
As this beer warms it becomes much more about the cherries and less and less about the aging.

Beer has appropriate carbonation for this style, very smooth. The tartness of the cherries seems to linger with this one.

Overall, I wish I had bought more of this one as it is was a limited release and it a very good after dinner, any time of the year stout.

Price: $2.99 Served In: Wine Glass

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