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

Not Rated.
Bell's Kalamazoo StoutBell's Kalamazoo Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

3,850 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,850
Reviews: 1,507
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.8%
Wants: 172
Gots: 455 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,850 | Reviews: 1,507
Photo of Gehrig
4.83/5  rDev +21.4%
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.

Photo of jdg204
4.82/5  rDev +21.1%
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!

Photo of schoolboy
4.82/5  rDev +21.1%
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.

Photo of Gorgoroth
4.8/5  rDev +20.6%
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.

Photo of Roxie_B
4.79/5  rDev +20.4%
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.

Photo of jellis00
4.77/5  rDev +19.8%
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.

Photo of CashChel
4.77/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Great dark beer with full body, a delightful coffee aroma and smooth taste with hints of licorice.

Photo of osant37
4.76/5  rDev +19.6%
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!

Photo of BrewFanatics
4.76/5  rDev +19.6%
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

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.75/5  rDev +19.3%
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.

Photo of RoyalT
4.73/5  rDev +18.8%
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!

Photo of meathookjones
4.73/5  rDev +18.8%
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.

Photo of becktone
4.73/5  rDev +18.8%
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.

Photo of fountainofyouth
4.73/5  rDev +18.8%
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.

Photo of bozebus17
4.72/5  rDev +18.6%
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.

Photo of Frozensoul327
4.71/5  rDev +18.3%
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.

Photo of stumac
4.7/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

...Didn't even remember drinkin this one!....

this brew poured up a dark brown color with a light brown head...perfect little appearance...the nose was delicious dark chocolate malts....love it....the taste was very nice and straight forward...subtle sweetness and dark chocolate malts...subtle alcohol blended in the flavor....not bad at all though....wish I could get my hands on a sixer!

Photo of kunzbrew
4.7/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours an opaque black with a monster tan head that when it reduces slowly leaves a rocky mountains in the glass. The lace that is left behind is almost poetic.

The smell of hops, robust malts and coffee fill the nose. The undertones of the malt hit the nose strong but the robustness of malt takes the cake.

This full bodied stout has a butter flavor that is nice to match the strong coffee and robust malt flavor kick ass. The twang of coffee is the strongest flavor that fills the palatte.

This is another great brew from this great brewery.

Cheers

Photo of AudioGilz
4.7/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This stout is simply one of the best. It's pitch black, very opaque, and has one heluva roasted aroma. There is also a small hint of chocolate in the aroma as well. The mouthfeel is so smooth and creamy, with also a crisp carbonation if you leave a swig in your mouth for a little while. Taste is very much dominated by the roastiness and wow is it enjoyable. Chocolate comes through a little bit, more so in the finish along with the bittersweetness. The aftertaste lasts long and is burnt coffeeish. I can't find anything I don't like about this stout. It's one of my favorites and I could easily drink one for dessert, or even a few in a row if I really want to indulge.

Photo of kbnooshay
4.7/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a black as he'll color with no head. Smells like a rich milk chocolate and roast roast roastiness. Tastes the same with rich chocolate flavor and coffee hints. Feel is super smooth and moderate to thick with the slightest carbonation. Creaminess and roastiness. Come on bells. Just fucking distribute to western ny already.

Photo of tavernjef
4.69/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Good color of a solid stout, very dark brown, nearly black with super deep ruby amber highlights up to the light. Thin creamy foamed head of a very tan brown, looks like a pancake cooking. Strange glaring, hazy, spotty lace. Smell is a very nice sweetly dark chocolatey tone, roasty, with notes of earthy fresh hops, dark fruits of banana, cherry, and starfruit. One excellent nose on this stout. Taste is a medley of bold and rich chocolate malts and some caramel malts noted, roasty/toasty and thinly sweet, mostly covered in chocolateyness, dark and close to espresso-like in its earthyness and bitterness. Mostly middle flavors is where it goes complex on your taste buds. Perfect balance with the late hops, notes of dark coffee beans and roasted pecans. Very nice stout indeed. Feel is beautifully full, pleasurable, luscious, rich, creamy, with a late tangy dryness holding forever it seems on the roof of my mouth. One yummy, scrumptious stout. Another Bell's goody thats deserving of notoriety.

Photo of elNopalero
4.69/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had on tap while visiting the hometown. Always a treat!

This pours a thick rich creamy chocolate color with a tight cocoa lace.

It has a smooth chocolate roast aroma to it. Flavor is wonderful—dark cocoa, dark roast—big, rich, and smooth. Great finish. As enjoyable as I remembered!

Photo of aforbes10
4.69/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bought just a single bottle from a cooler at Bullseye liquors in South Bend. Batch 7051 packaged on september 6th, 2001.

Poured into a pint glass and was impressed with the look of this beer. dark, reddish brown color with a 1in. caramel colored head. head is creamy on top supported by large bubbles. Fantastic odor. like i expect stouts to smell. closest description i can come up with is cold, alcoholic chocolate chip cookies. Smotoh, coffee/chocolate flavors. bitter citrus-like hop taste on back of tongue. bitter roasted malt finish. tangy quality that is midly odd. mouthfeel is smooth going in. prickly going down. nice and thick. Great finish lingers and leaves me wanting more. this is a great stout.

Photo of Shovelbum
4.68/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A robust mocha head over a black body. The head lingers to the bottom of the glass and a Smells of sweet and roasted malt and espresso. Sweet malt flavors upfront joined by vinous fruit. Notes of espresso, bittersweet chocolate and roasted grain as well. Balanced by a mild bitterness. Full-bodied and moderate carbonation. Smooth in the mouth with a slightly drying finish.

The sweetness of this beer might be a bit too much for some, but I like it and it is a “sweet stout” afterall. That being said the k-zoo stout is very well balanced and has an exceptional amount of complexity. This is a mainstay around our house.

Photo of happy4hoppybeer
4.68/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A=Pitch black with thin head that fizzles away rather fast,leaving only faint,moderate lacing.

S&T=Roasted barley,toffee,cocoa, some natural dark flavors. Comes through fairly thick. Very impressive.

M=Medium to heavy body, ditto with the carbonation. Could use less carbonation,IMO.

Really good example of stout. Thick,creamy and bursting with rich dark stout flavors, highly recommended.

Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 3,850 ratings.