Dismiss Notice
Hello, is it beer you're looking for?

Learn more about beer. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for as low as 68% off the single issue price.

Subscribe now →

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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,488 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,488
Hads: 3,941
Avg: 4.03
pDev: 17.37%
Wants: 176
Gots: 495 | FT: 11
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bell's Kalamazoo Stout Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,488 | Hads: 3,941
Photo of tavernjef
4.69/5  rDev +16.4%
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.

 1,003 characters

Photo of elNopalero
4.69/5  rDev +16.4%
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!

 289 characters

Photo of aforbes10
4.69/5  rDev +16.4%
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.

 714 characters

Photo of Shovelbum
4.68/5  rDev +16.1%
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.

 626 characters

Photo of happy4hoppybeer
4.68/5  rDev +16.1%
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.

 392 characters

Photo of jmbranum
4.68/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

AR 4.5 AP 5.0 F 4.75 MF 4.5 OA 4.75

Bought in a bottle in Elkhart, IN. Transported home by bicycle, car and then train to get it home. Poured into a wine glass for sampling here in Oklahoma.

Pours a glorious almost black with a nice dark tan head.

Toasted coffish aroma.

The flavor is gloriously dry. Lots of toastyness but nothing is out of place. Lots of interesting spicy notes. The label mentions licorice but I can pick up some other root beer like flavors. 90% cocoa dark chocolate. A little of raisins maybe. Lingering roasted notes. Nice smooth finish.

Mouthfeel is smooth and full. Maybe a tiny bit too much carbonation but I'm really neatpicking here.

An extremely good beer. The best dry stout I've had in a while.

 731 characters

Photo of jeffmonarch
4.68/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle in a pint glass

A - Beautiful, nice dark brown with a hint of red, nice caramel brown head.

S - Good, chocolate, earthy

T - Chocolate, a hint of coffee. It has a nice smoky flavor to it.

M - Creamy smooth, flavors change as it moves through the mouth and leaves with a smoky after taste.

D - This is one of my favorite stouts. I could drink these all day.

 384 characters

Photo of Kirsten_Ann92
4.68/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer is the ideal stout. It comes out of the bottle very dark and coffee looking. It is bitter to the smell and reminded me of a great cup of coffee. It is really easy to drink and doesn't sit heavily in your stomach like a lot of dark beers. It also has subtle notes of coffee within. I personally love stouts and porters, so this beer holds a great place in my heart.

 374 characters

Photo of vladtheimpaler
4.68/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle. Deep dark brown, big tan head, bordering on brown. Decent lacing. Nice roasty coffee aroma, with hints of chocolate and lots of roasty grains. Nice full bodied roasty flavor. Hints of coffee and sweet dark chocolate. Roasty bitterness lingers on the palate. This is exceingly drinkable for a stout lover. Rich and satisfying. I think the best of the style.

 364 characters

Photo of sutcliff
4.68/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Simply excellent. As soon as I finished my first bottle, I was online looking up the brewery and how far it was from St. Louis. The aroma was sublime. The taste was warm, sweet, and urging me to take another sip. The color was black as a moonless night. The head was nice and thick with good lacing throughout the glass.

 320 characters

Photo of badbeer
4.67/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out black with a nice tan head with very good retention. Smell is very complex, reminds me of Dark Lord, full of coffee, chocolate, and different dark fruits, very very good. Taste is awesome as well. Starts out deceiving, but then all of a sudden it hits you with an onslaught of taste. Beginning is green, then roasty, changing quickly into cherries, plums, other dark fruits, then adds some chocolate and coffee flavors to finish it off. If it didn't start off a little weak with the green flavor it would be an easy 5 for taste. Medium carbonation, medium to full bodied, slick on the tongue. If the very beginning of the taste was eliminated this would just be beyond a great beer, the green flavor isn't bad, but doesn't seem to fit with the rest of this beer. Seriously get this if you see it. Highly recommended. Oh, and criticize if you want, this reminds me of a baby Dark Lord, I love it.

 905 characters

Photo of EvoRich
4.67/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Look. Poured into a Pint, it pours very very dark. Basically black. About a finger of caramel head which dissipates after a few moments.

Smell: Deep, roasted, dark chocolate, hint of coffee and sweetness.

Taste: Very dark roasted flavors with just a hint of chocolate and coffee. Very little hop bitterness, but a lot of maltiness. Very good!

Feel: Full bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall: I'm liking this stout much more than I anticipated. Unsure as to why the ratings aren't higher.

 496 characters

Photo of baos
4.67/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. into my smaller Trappist glass

A: Very dark pour with dark big bubbled head about one finger that dissipated to a thin ring around glass. Very nice lacing.

S: Coffee and Chocolate and a deep loamy greenhouse goodness. childhood wood-burning kit.

T: Super roasted malty-hoppiness. Starts sweeter than most stouts and ends bitterer. Nice blackened taste as well.

M: Nice and creamy not as full as some I've had but this beer is great.

D: I give her an A!

 464 characters

Photo of jwilli7122
4.65/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

dense reddish black with a chunky tan head which lasts long and fades unevenly. head size seems to vary by the bottle.

big malt and alchohol smells but it is more complex than that, and quite outstanding. i don't know the names for the aromas. check it out yourself.

taste is roasty and hopped for a stout. some fatty flavors in there too. very good.

full mouthfeel without a lot of carbonation.

one of the best stouts i've ever had.

 445 characters

Photo of mooseisloose
4.64/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Completing my Bell's Beer Slam of tonight with this stout brewed with brewer's licorice. Smell is chocolate, both milk and semi-sweet and cinnamon, some coffee, cookies and cream ice cream, wow. Pours to a jet black with a creamy tan head. Taste is roasted malts, sugars, chocolate milk and some coffee hints. Only slightly bitter at the end but overall sweet. This style is really starting to grow on me and this brew is definitely in the upper echelons of this style. Complex and delicious. A typical offering of Bell's in that it has a spectrum of flavors throughout. The mouthfeel is heavy but smooth. A little sweet to be a sessioner but these would be great rotated in with a hoppy brew.

 693 characters

Photo of ColoradoBobs
4.64/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Darkest opaque brown/black with only the slightest hint of cola red-brown around the edges, under a tan thick 2 inch head that fades to a solid lid with moderate lacing.

Great smell of chocolate-coffee, toffee, bitter-roasted chocolate malt, darkest chocolate and more malted maltiness. Rich, wonderful, smooth aroma. The taste follows suit. Wow! Best stout I've had. I mean wowowow! So chocolatey-coffee-bitter-smooth you want to chew it rather than swallow.

Mouthfeel is decent, round and smoooth.

At 6.5%, this is just a bit on the strong side for a stout.

I have GOT to get me some more of this. I mean, this is great. The malt magicians at Bell's have done another magnificent job.

 698 characters

Photo of Duhast500
4.64/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to freezedriedipa for this one.

Poured from the 12oz. bottle into a mug.

The color is a dark black with no highlights and a thin less then a finger brownish head with no lacing.

The smell is roasty with some coffee like flavors that are waking me up a bit. Some toffee flavor plays with me as I think of more coffee beans. Some sweet malt flavor is there just as I take a last sniff.

The taste is dark chocolate with some coffee bean flavor that was also in the nose. Some black licorice is there as well in the background with some malty sweetness and a small touch of a bitterness that is there as a stake in this beer holding it up.

The feel of this beer is hearty and full bodied. It is big but not heavy, going down with little effort it tickles as it goes down. A really delicious stout.

 805 characters

Photo of nomad
4.64/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured damn dark with light mocha colored, very bubbly foamy head. Smell was a roast scent sweeter and less coarse in dynamic than most roasty beers - even still, it was a dark and heavy roast smell. Seemed like a milkier coffee – like coffee ice cream. Intensely dark and malty but intensely roasty, it was also almost rosy and oaky like a wine with dark fruit tones. Great balance.

Taste was dark and roasty, as it slowly coated my mouth with the tasty mouth-watering flavor: chocolate and coffee mixed together, fabulous balance of dark and sweet malts, bitter hops, and roasted barley. Not too thick a mouthfeel, this beer's flavor went everywhere in one setting while being equally centered and complementary. Deep without being an abyss, simple but presenting rich round flavors - such attributes are a rare find.

Much more a session than most stouts, and that’s the icing on the cake of milk stouts. An all-time favorite, no doubt.

 947 characters

Photo of weasbri
4.63/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on St. Patrick's Day as my Guinness alternative. Not really a fair comparison though. I'm also not 100% convinced of the milk/sweet stout label either, but what do I know?
Midnight black color, the head has strong retention and laces the glass nicely. Nice roasty aroma, a tinge of something else chocolatey.
Full-bodied flavor, full of caramelly roast character, mixed with some bitterness, a bit hoppy and a bit coffee. Just a smidge of licorice flavor too. This is an interesting beer, as I found that the flavors would alternate while in my mouth, so there would be a bit of sweet roastiness, some bitterness, more sweet, then more bitter.
Solid stout, one I'll seek out again.

 695 characters

Photo of citizencane
4.63/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Very dark appearance with decent head. Reddish tint, perhaps?

S: Smells of stout and licorice, though is not too fragrant. Smells damn good but the smell doesn't seem to carry far, and I found myself having to stick my nose deep into the glass to smell anything at all.

T: taste is where this beer shines. Solid stout flavor with a suitable amount of licorice. Delicious.

M: slightly too carbonated for my taste.

O: If you like stouts and licorice, get this. It's delicious.

 486 characters

Photo of jackndan
4.63/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout: Absolutely black beer, with a dense brown head that sticks to the glass al the way down.. Full rich aroma like rich strong coffee and dark chocolate. Very rich roasted almost burnt malt, with a bit more bitter bite than I’d anticipated, although not in a bad way at all. A definite sipping beer, and two can last all night. Excellent.

 375 characters

Photo of HURTemHIZZY
4.63/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a standard pint glass.

Pours a almost completely opaque dark brown/black. Lets a slight bit of light through the very edge of the liquid when held up to the light. Pour yields a great two finger deep tan head that lingers for a good bit. Leaves a thick ring around the brew until the beer is finished. Decent amount of lacing is left behind.

Smell is of a bit of licorice up front, but that disappears quickly and leaves flavors of coffee, rich chocolate and caramel. Nice aroma, a bit subdued though.

Taste starts off with a bit of hop bitterness, that rounds smoothly into very rich flavors of chocolate and caramel all complimented by great deep coffee undertones. Couldn't get as much licorice from the flavor as i did from the aroma, but it honestly didn't need it. This is definitely one of my favorite american stouts. Delicious.

Has a nice chewy, full bodied mouthfeel, with a nice level of carbonation present throughout the brew yet still very creamy. Perfect mouthfeel for a stout.

 1,028 characters

Photo of Gusler
4.63/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The pour as dark as they come with an extravagant head, a large olde frothy "Thang", long lasting and chocolate brown in color with the lace in voluptuous sheets. Nose, coffee, bitter-sweet chocolate, roasted malt, ah yes my friends one "Sniffable Beer". Front malt, sweet, the top portly, the finish is benignly acidic, stupendously hopped, lordly dry. It's a good thing that I have to beg borrow and steal these beers, as my total would be much less as why sample the rest, when you can have the best. #10 of their beers sampled, not a "loser in the bunch". Trust the olde spavined "Gusler", when I tell you this line of beers is phenomenal.

 643 characters

Photo of BaronVonHawkeye
4.63/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: This beer looks like a stout. Period. Absolutely gorgeous. The head is a little thin, but it leaves beautiful light brown lace rings.

Smell: Smooth smell of chocolate and coffee mix very well. A little strong on the singular smells, there is no true depth to the nose.

Taste: My first Kalamazoo Stout was from the tap in a small bar near Grand Rapids and it was delicious. This bottle (batch 7715) lives up to my memory. The flavors just explode in your mouth, great coffee and roasted flavors.

Mouthfeel: While a little light for a stout, this is certainly not weak or sharp.

Drinkability: If it wasn't for the fact that it is above 6.0% ABV, I could drink this all day. A great beer after 18 holes or after a hard day at the office.

 758 characters

Photo of DRjester
4.63/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'll say up front that normally I prefer a drier stout to the "Sweet Stout" style, but this beer is transcendent; it is at the same time both an excellent example of its style, and a fantastic stout to please a wider palate.

I had it as a 12oz bottle poured into a glass handled mug.

Appearance: The stout poured out of the bottle smoothly, like molasses, and settled into an inky near-blackness with nearly 2 fingers of thick, rocky head the color of good cappucino. No light could penetrate the brew, and the head settled slowly and left nice lacing on the glass. Overall, it looked exquisite.

Smell: The first scent of this brew is a shot of espresso-like dark coffee, followed by a rounded roastiness. Further investigation reveals bittersweet chocolate, hints of sweet dark fruit, and just a touch of earthy hop bitterness.

Taste: The taste follows well after the nose, with flavors of coffee, dark roasted malts, and chocolate predominating. The genius of this beer for me is that while it clearly has the milky sweetness that is the hallmark of the style, it is not so pronounced as to be overwhelming (as in Mackeson's XXX, for example), and the finish has just enough hop bitterness to balance out the profile.

Mouthfeel: Another strong point for the stout, it goes down smooth and creamy, almost luxuriously, but with just a hint of dryness to keep it from tasting syrupy.

Drinkability: I was actually astonished with how quickly I downed the first half-pint, and had to pace myself a bit on the second half. A bit of warming does this beer a good turn, and with it's good but not overly high abv, I can see this being a fantastic session beer.

All in all, the finest Milk Stout I've ever had.

 1,710 characters

Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
90 out of 100 based on 1,488 ratings.