Bell's Kalamazoo Stout - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

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Bell's Kalamazoo StoutBell's Kalamazoo Stout

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,479 Reviews
THE BROS
83
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,479
Hads: 3,875
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 9.38%
Wants: 176
Gots: 464 | FT: 10
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Stout |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-11-2001

Stout brewed with Brewer's Licorice.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,479 | Hads: 3,875
Photo of goindownsouth
4.92/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Young's Double Chocolate Stout has been a favorite Stout beer, until I tried Kalamazoo Stout. This beer is the Stout of all Stouts. It has a very rich, black color with a brown earthy head. The exceptional smell of deep "roastyness" is unique. You get a slight burnt flavor, yet at the same time, a long lasting and residual chocolatey sweetness. This is not a bitter beer. I highly recommend! (393 characters)

Photo of aaronh
4.89/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep reddish chestnut color, almost black, with a thin tan head. The aroma is very strong with sweet fruits, like cherry and pear. Scents of the finest chocolate in the world tease the nostrils. A bit of hop spiciness mixed in as well. Truly delicious aroma. The taste is strong on dark, bittersweet chocolate. A nice sweetness follows, as well as defined roasted notes. The finish presents more fruity chocolate, with a wisp of smoke. A bit of vanilla is present as well, mixed in with the solid malt flavor in the background. As you can tell, this is one very complex beer. I also sense a bit of nuttiness in there as well. The mouthfeel is very smooth, and shows a moderate body. Not as thick as some sweet stouts, but flavor is what this beer is all about. I would gladly trade a handful of Guinness beers for just one of these. However, I could drink this beer exclusively and soon forget that there was ever any other beer in my life. While each bottle may not last that long, I can see this is the beginning of a long-term relationship with Kalamazoo. Oh, what a beer! Thanks to cretemixer for the trade. (1,119 characters)

Photo of waughbrew
4.88/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

wow. just sniff this! in-your-face roasted grains, oat cream pie. sweet caramel covered strawberries. light maple molasses. earthy yeast and a hint of chemicalliness. flavors of nutmeg and anise are possibly just enduced psychadelia. leaves a nice burnt coffee bean character on your tongue after the sweetness has slid down. full body to say the least, yet it is rediculously drinkable. an amazing beer.

[mad props out to PaulB for the hookup] (447 characters)

Photo of StevieW
4.87/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle. Who's the guy on the label ? Black nothing brown about it. Creamy full tan densly bubbled head. Super smooth Hershey's milk chocolate smell. Taste is a sharpley contrasted yet perfectly balanced combination of smooth, creamy chocolate malt, and slighty burnt bitter coffee charge. There is just a whisper of burnt bitter candied apples, or more like plums. Just a hint of medicinal flavors, but it reminds its a stout, IMO. Hop bitterness finish up quickly, leaving your taste buds, aching for more. Medium bodied, noticable carbonation may set some off, make it too thin or bubbly, less viscous than some stouts, but not me. Felt perfect going down. Overall a creamy super smooth, perfectly balances chocolate sweetness and striking bitterness just at the last second. We've got a winner here. Yep it earns my highest compliment......Magic in a glass !

Part of the MJR Blockbuster deal. (904 characters)

Photo of aepb1
4.85/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Opaque deep dark brown with a creamy light brown head and light lacing

S- Rich coffee, chocolate and a hint of caramel as well

T- Coffee and roasty malts, chocolaty and creamy

M- Nice balance between carbonation and creaminess. Very full-bodied as a stout should be!

D- Excellent American stout and one of my favorite beers. If I were closer to home (Michigan) and this were more readily available, I'd drink this more often! (432 characters)

Photo of philberinghele
4.85/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Forbidden Pleasures
Mysterious Black Magic
Winter calls for bells

I can not believe that people in Indiana of all places can enjoy what we in the only outpost of civilization in the entire midwest are forbidden. This is the finest stout made. Not quite as black as I would prefer, but if you dim the lights, you will not notice. Easily the most drinkable stout that I have enjoyed and perhaps what made me finally appreciate the genre. Give your guiness to a small child and awake to the good news, BELL'S BEER IS ALIVE!!! (527 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
4.83/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a big ol' 1" mocha-hued head above an opaque dark brown/black brew. Dense head has good staying power, and laced tremendously. Aroma is of coffee and choco malts, with a bit of milk sweetness that rounds it out nicely. The taste is follows the aroma's map, and the sweetness really rounds out the flavor on the palate. Don't know where that 6.5% is hiding, but it was cloaked with some artistic brewing. If I had to find a fault, I think the mouthfeel is a bit thin for such a hearty brew, but this is really nit-picking. One of the best stouts I've enjoyed, just wish it was more widely available. (721 characters)

Photo of RBorsato
4.83/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pitch black with a full creamy brown/dark brown head, decent carbonation, lasting low head, and leaves nice lace sheets. Big rich roasty malt aromas. Big roasty malt flavors with a good bit of sweetness and dark chocolate tones. Full-medium bodied with a big smooth creaminess and a nice roasty sweet finish.

Big and bold... let it warm a bit.

Per Label: "Stout brewed with Brewer's Licorice"

Per Bell's website:
OG: 1.063
ABV: 6.0%

Batch # 7752 ('6286' lasered on bottom)
Bottled: 12/01/06 (per case box)
Tasted: 01/20/07

($8.49 / 6-pack) (558 characters)

Photo of proc
4.83/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Re-rate: 12/27/02...This is my go-to stout.

It is a staple of my 'fridge.

It is my beer comfort zone.

This is one of the best stouts anywhere. Pours out to a jet black in the glass with a brown head that reminds your of caramel. The smell is that of coffee, molasses and hops. Yes, hops. Bell's put enough in to let you know its one robust stout. Wonderful roasted malt with that hop kick at the end that make you want another.

ORIGINAL RATING: One of my all-time favorites. Even better if you get it on tap at the Bell's Beer Garden. Nice, rich taste of molasses and a velvety smooth mouthfeel. Bell's knows their stouts. (634 characters)

Photo of Gehrig
4.83/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

After having sampled (or re-tried) some genuine duds lately, this was a breath of fresh air, and truly one of the best stouts I've had. Kalamazoo Stout wins one over from the beginning, announcing its presence with authority--two dense fingers of dark tan froth over a jet black body. It's a sight to behold, but there's much more. The aromas are excellent--lots of coffee, but rich chocolate, and hints of fruit. The taste is wondrous, rich in chocolate and coffee, nicely roasted with caramel occasionally intruding--just incredible. It stands up well, and I certainly didn't give it much time to wait, with balanced carbonation and creamy texture. I found it impossible to have just one, and intend to stock up on this and other wares from Bell's.

Close to a masterpiece, without a doubt. (793 characters)

Photo of jdg204
4.82/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Us poor folks here in PA have finally started to progress from the Dark Ages with the selling of 6 pack's at Wegmans. Wegman's also deserves mucho credit for pulling in some great brands, especially the first Bell's siting in the area.

A: Black in color with a large, dark tan head that showed some retention and left a bit of lacing.

S: Great combination of sweet cream, roasted malts, light espresso, and hints of chocolate.

T: The big, roasted malt just hits the nail on the head and is balanced by not just milk, but real cream! Nice portion of hops provide a nice add-on. AMAZING BALANCE!

M: This is medium-bodied and really drinks smoothly. It has a fluffy mouthfeel that will satisfy.

D: Never had a memorable milk/ sweet stout before this one and then this came and broke the bank! Bell's has a huge winner here, this is an amazing brew which is amongst the elite I've had at this point. I've been wanting to try more Bell's and this has me officially hooked, I'm on the lookout for more of their luscious stouts now! (1,032 characters)

Photo of schoolboy
4.82/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am sure lots of great things have been said about this wonderful brew. I just need to go on record (for myself, if for no other reason) as saying this is one of the best stouts.

I drank it blind. And after read the label and went, oh yeah. That was licorice in there. Nice job. (283 characters)

Photo of Gorgoroth
4.8/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: Standard brown bottle typical of Bell's with fairly minimalistic but professional artwork. Rather unsuspecting-looking for the powerful brew contained within.

Appearance: Pours into an oversize snifter with a deep brown/black color, little-to-no carbonation and half-a-fingerwidth of creamy, caramel and creme colored head.

Smell: Potent shock of coffee, roasted malt, and dark chocolate. I'd almost expect an aroma like this to come from an imperial stout rather than a regular one, but it is a pleasant surprise.

Taste: Follows the smell closely with strong currents of coffee, roasted malt, and dark chocolate, supported by notes of dried fruit such as black cherry and apricot, licorice, molasses, brown sugar, and burnt toast.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy with a very full, chewy body, as expected of a good stout. Fairly flat with a bitter finish and slight alcohol warmth.

Drinkability/Final Thoughts: Very smooth and drinkable; quite complex for a standard stout yet very inviting. Bell's puts out many solid beers, and this is no exception. This is a very potent drink which almost comes off as an imperial or experimental stout, though it is technically a standard American stout. It is quite cheap and widely available in my area, which results in a great deal because the brew itself is superb. (1,325 characters)

Photo of Zaktcc
4.79/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Pours a dark brown, borderline black color with a 2 finger, toffee colored head. Good head retention and lacing is present.

S - The beer showcases a very robust and well defined aroma. Roasted malts and coffee are the most dominant aromas I can pick up on. A more underlying sweetness is present as well via chocolate aromas. Very appeasing to the nose.

T - One of the best stouts I've had regarding flavor. The flavors in the beer are very pronounced and well defined; living up to the aromas. Notes of coffee and "smoked" flavorings up front proceeded by the roasted malts and subtle hints of sugar. Leaves a subtle sweetness on your lips.

M - Medium bodied beer with mild carbonation that isn't too notable with each sip. Leaves a foamy/ frothy mouthfeel with each sip and a lingering aftertaste of roasted malt. Fairly dry beer, as to be expected with a stout. No complaints in feel.

O - Bell's has yet to let me down. A phenomenal stout overall with robust flavors and aromas. Personally I'm not a big coffee fan (aside from the smell) though I've come to start appreciating the flavor within beer. No complaints and happy I bought the six-pack! (1,161 characters)

Photo of Roxie_B
4.79/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout.
Serving: Bottle
Appearance: 1 finger of tan head that dies down to a creamy lacing.
Smell: Dark fruit, malt, coffee, chocolate covered raisins, chewy bread.
Taste: Sweet malty fruit, raisin toast, coffee.
Mouthfeel: Creamy, satiny with the slightest bit of carbonation.
Overall: I have a new favorite beer. (333 characters)

Photo of jellis00
4.77/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a really good stout. This is my favorite beer by Bell's.

A: Dark with really small bubbles.

S: smells like a coffee shop.

T: What a great taste. Very bold flavors that compliment each other nicely (coffee, caramel, etc).

M: It sits in the mouth nicely. Smooth drink.

O: I would recommend this beer where Bell's is housed. I could keep drinking it all day.

This may be my favorite stout I have had all year. (424 characters)

Photo of osant37
4.76/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

pours a used motor oil black that i cant see any light through. about 1 finger of a brown mocha colored frothy head that dissapates rather quickly. leaving good lacing on the glass. the smell is straight roasted coffee almost a milky chocolate ,lactose type note to the smell. i dont detect any of the licorice that used in the brewing process. the taste is pure coffee and creamy chocolate. nice bitterness & roastyness. i get the licorice on the back of the tounge just faintly after a sip. mouthfeel is medium bodied and creamy. this beer must be great on nitro tap if thats even available. overall a damn good stout! definatly something id pick up again. too bad the abv is a little to low for any real cellaring...cheers! (726 characters)

Photo of BrewFanatics
4.76/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Love this beer! Super dark color. No light getting through. I gave it a medium-rough pour and it produce a nice, one-inch, dark tan head. Receded to leave some great lacing. Nice roasted coffee, caramel aroma (although there is something odd in the aroma that I can't seem to put my finger on). Great taste of roasted coffee, dark chocolate, and caramel. Perfect bitterness. Very smooth and easy to drink. Highly recommended.

Rating by Tommy Davis from www.BrewFanatics.com (474 characters)

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I haven't had a beer that approaches perfection in a while, this was a nice surprise. Pours an opaque black into a Belgian glass. One finger of head, reduces to a thin covering.

Very aromatic, big chocolate and roasted coffee nose (with 2 sugars, please), even some cinnamon coffee cake?

Tastes of dark roasted coffee beans, slightly grassy, turns bittersweet and charcoal. Good bitter aftertaste (maybe a bit much) with some smoldering, smoky roasted malts.

Fairly good body for a stout, Nice coating but not as oily feeling in the mouth as it appears on the glass. Good carbonation makes this a treat to drink.

Reasonable abv, tasty enough to be on the short list whenever a good stout or 3 is necessary. Deserves permanent shelf space in my fridge. (763 characters)

Photo of RoyalT
4.73/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance – Beautifully black in color with a large, dark tan head that showed great retention and left a bit of lacing.

Smell – This is a nice combination of sweet cream, roasted malts, light espresso, and hints of chocolate.

Taste – Oh, this is good. It’s a lot bigger than it smells. Most Cream/Milk Stouts that I’ve had are heavy on the sweets and light on the malts, but this one is expertly balanced. The big, bitter, burnt toast malt just hits the nail on the head.

The other side of the coin is just as good. This doesn’t have a big milk flavor like most other examples of the style. This is true cream. It is good. It is luscious. It is right on without overpowering.

Mouthfeel – This is medium-bodied and will drive your saliva glands crazy. They got just the right combination of stouty roasted malts and fine, rich cream. This one also has a fluffy mouthfeel that will put you on cloud 9.

Drinkability – I wasn’t a huge fan of the Milk/Sweet Stout until trying this one. It is a great beer for introducing a stout lover to the style.

Comments – Big thanks to feloniousmonk for the hook-up! (1,130 characters)

Photo of meathookjones
4.73/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a pitch black with a slow forming head that works its way up to about an inch and a half of brown foam. As the head recedes down to a smaller on that lasts throughout rings of lace are left decorating the glass. Picture perfect looking brew here nice head good lace, what more could you want. Strong aroma with roasted coffee and dark chocolate coming out the most. I was able to smell this as I was pouring it. Taste is similar with a bitter coffee flavor up front and a slight earthy hoppiness as well. Slight bit of cream to the flavor before it ends in a lingering bitter coffee aftertaste. Mouthfeel is slick with a medium to full body. Great drinkability as this went down very easy and I would have had another if I had it. (740 characters)

Photo of becktone
4.73/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Eye: First thing I notice about this beer is the huge head that forms, three fingers. Creamy dark tan head that leaves some lacing as it continually recedes. Color of the brew is pretty much black, right at the bottom of the glass, where light comes from the sides and the bottom-garnet hues.

Nose: Heavy sweet smell, strong with the malts-bits of roasted and chocolate malts-more so chocolate, and something that reminds me of a milk smell. No hops present in the aroma. Some alcohol detectable to my nose. More of a potent aroma would be welcome.

Tongue: This beer is full of flavor, I don't think that I've ever had a beer with so much flavor. I don't think that its possible to pack more flavors into a beer than this. It can be described as an organized jumble of flavor including roasted, chocolate and milkish flavors. The milk/lactose added to the beer is evident, it really sets it apart from other subcategories of stout.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: Quite possibly the best feeling beer I've ever had in my mouth. A full heavy, creamy body is what I expect from a stout and here my expectations are surpassed. The beer is easy to drink with light carbonation this beer slides down easily. This is a beer I'll definitely buy again and in addition to that I'll be sure to check out more milk stouts as this is my first. It just beats the normal dry stout if you ask me. (1,386 characters)

Photo of fountainofyouth
4.73/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased a six-pack after hearing so many good things! Poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a pretty big, two-finger light brown head. This could easily be mistaken for crude oil, no chance of light getting through. Good lacing.

Smell: Sweetish and almost oaty, despite no use of oat in the malt. There are also hints of caramel and sweet chocolate.

Taste: This beer is like having a piece of very dark, almost burnt toast -- I want to chew on it! The semisweet oat quality is also present. Virtually no hops.

Mouthfeel: There's a strange and unique duality -- a clean finish on the palate, but a heavy coating on the tongue. Light carbonation that doesn't interfere with the taste at all.

Overall: An excellent stout in all regards. Very hard to beat. (778 characters)

Photo of bozebus17
4.72/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This one is as dark as beer comes, it is blacker than black, the same color as coca-cola. The head is toffee colored. It starts off full and rocky but thins out to about a quarter-inch. It lasts all the way down.

The beer has one of the strongest scents I have come across. As I swirled it in the glass a lady across the room who doesn't like beer complained that she could smell it. One whiff of this and you know you have a stout in front of you. Roasted malt and coffee pull through stronger than anything else. There is also a really sweet smell that I cannot put my finger on.

As soon as this beer hit my lips I was in another world. I am a stout lover and this is one of the best I have come across. I am hit with a sweet caramel flavor along with the roasted malt. It is perfectly balanced with just the right amount of bitterness. But beware, this beer has a lot of everything. As strong as the scent is the flavor has twice the potency.

The mouthfeel was luxurious. It was rich and creamy, is this a beer or a milkshake? After I swallowed each gulp I was left with carbonation dancing on my tongue.

For being as full as it is this beer is extremely drinkable. I had three of these in one session tonight and I had to resist the urge to open a fourth. The alcohol is not apparent, it might be easy to get in trouble with this beer. I found myself having a hard time taking polite sips. You'll want to gulp this one. A great offering from Bells stellar lineup.

I notice my review is higher than many of the others. Maybe being in Michigan I have the chance to get this beer a lot fresher than BAs out of state. (1,636 characters)

Photo of Frozensoul327
4.71/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow. This one is really amazing. Poured out to a really nice black color. Really, it was totally black, couldn't see through it.Perfect carbonation and an nice 2 inch head ( I poured it with the intent of creating a large head). Some minor lace was noted around the glass. Aromas of sweet cream and earth are present, albeit very light. The flavor is phenominal; smooth cocoa and chocolate, caramel, coffee bean, raw sugar, and an earthy roasted taste. Very well balanced. Not much of an aftertaste, but this brew went down with a very creamy mouthfeel, making the glass quite hard to put down. Finished like on a roasted nutty note. This is a top beer for me, I just wish I had bought more. Highly Recommended for all BA's. (724 characters)

Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
91 out of 100 based on 1,479 ratings.