Steph’s New Brew Review: Bell’s Cherry Stout and Hopslam

Steph’s New Brew Review: Bell’s Cherry Stout and Hopslam

Bell’s Brewery Cherry Stout, a 7% ABV Stout brewed with cherry juice and Hopslam Ale, a 10% ABV Double IPA

Bell’s Brewery holds a special place in our hearts here at Beer Busters Podcast. After meeting Laura Bell, Vice President of Bell’s Brewery, at Pub on Passyunk East during Philly Beer Week this past June, the love grew even more. For this reason, it’s only fitting that during the most love-filled week of the year we feature two beers from this wonderful brewery.

CherryStoutBell’s was founded by Laura’s father, Larry Bell as a home brewing supply shop in 1983 in Michigan. Their first commercial beer was sold in September 1985 and was first brewed in a 15-gallon soup kettle. Their production has since skyrocketed, brewing over 216,000 barrels in 2012. They currently brew over 20 beers for distribution and serve several small batch brews at their pub and tasting room.

Beer #1: Bell’s Cherry Stout is a winter seasonal, available October through March. This ruby-black brew is brewed with 100% Montmorency cherries grown in Michigan’s Traverse City region. The tart cherry flavor balances the warm, dark chocolate notes from the malts. The 7.0% ABV Cherry Stout is available in bottles and on draft.

Bell’s describes Cherry Stout as “a mysterious dance of tart Michigan cherries with the dark, roasted malts of a big and bold stout.”

Appearance

Opaque black, hints of red, light brown head.

Aroma

Dark roasted malts, cherries, chocolate.

Taste

Tart cherry juice up front, roasted malts, a bit nutty, dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel

Medium bodied, creamy, lower carbonation.

Overall

The thing I love the most about this beer is that the cherry flavor is tart instead of sweet. I recommend letting this one warm up a bit before enjoying. The tartness is more noticeable and the lingering chocolatey goodness is more intense when the beer is at room temperature. Give me a bottle of this instead of a box of chocolates.

HopslamBeer #2: Hopslam Ale, the ever popular and limited release is available January through March.

This Double IPA begins with six different varieties of hops added to the brew kettle and ends with a massive dry-hop addition of Simcoe hops, making it the most complex hopping schedule of all the Bell’s beers.

The Pacific Northwest hops contribute a pungent blend of grapefruit, stone fruit, and floral notes, while the generous malt bill and dose of honey provide the right balance, making a surprisingly drinkable Double India Pale Ale. This brew is also available in bottles and on draft.

Bell’s describes Hopslam as “a biting, bitter, tongue bruiser of an ale. With a name like Hopslam, what did you expect?”

Appearance

Opaque black, hints of red, light brown head.

Aroma

Dark roasted malts, cherries, chocolate.

Taste

Tart cherry juice up front, roasted malts, a bit nutty, dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel

Medium bodied, creamy, lower carbonation.

Overall

The thing I love the most about this beer is that the cherry flavor is tart instead of sweet. I recommend letting this one warm up a bit before enjoying. The tartness is more noticeable and the lingering chocolatey goodness is more intense when the beer is at room temperature. Give me a bottle of this instead of a box of chocolates.

Check out… this video from Bell’s Brewery as they install a new 800-barrel fermentation tank.

 

Wanna pick these up? Check out Bell’s Beer Finder.

If you are interested in touring Bell’s Brewery, visiting the General Store, or dining at the pub/tasting room, click here to learn more.

If you have a beer you think we should review, let us know!
And as always, toast our check-in on Untappd, and let us know what YOU think!

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