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

Bell's Kalamazoo StoutBell's Kalamazoo Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,994 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2994
Reviews: 1407
rAvg: 4
pDev: 10.5%

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:
Stout brewed with Brewer's Licorice.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-11-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,994 | Reviews: 1,407 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of PeatReek


4.53/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 7061: Bottled Sept. 2005.

Aroma: Subtle, a little sweet, wine-ish, with a hint of roasty chocolate.

Taste: Wow. Starts woody, a bit of a wine taste (but not very strong), resolving to a full, dry, roasty chocolate finish. A few sips later: the finish is very roasty! And chocolatey.

Appearance: 1/4 in. head dissolves pretty quickly to a rim. Beer is black, brownish around the edges where the light can get through.

Mouthfeel: a little thin for a stout, and kind of slippery. Light carbonation accents the roast flavor very well. No alcohol bite.

Overall, the more I think about it, the less my "taste" description does it justice. This beer is not especially complex, it's no imperial stout, but the balance of roast, chocolate, and woody flavors is sublime. Expedition may be the showpiece of Bell's stouts, but this one's definitely the bread and butter - I could drink Kalamazoo stout all night long.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2005 19:44:59 | More by PeatReek
Photo of Georgiabeer


4.53/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours extremely dark, pretty much black. Nice thick head with great lacing.

Smells roasty with a nice astringency. Unsweetened licorice is there as well as some lactic sweetness as well.

Taste is magnificent, although a little dry for the style. Creamy and quite dry. Nice bitterness and beautiful balance between astringency, roastiness and sweetness. Fantastic. The licorice is noticeable and contributes a lot of body and bitterness, but not sweetness.

Very nice mouthfeel- quite creamy and dry, and good body.

Very drinkable. Has enough interestinf flavors to keep you going, but its dry enough to not at all be cloying.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2006 01:27:16 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of HoustonTX


4.53/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First Bell's beer I've tried, and an excellent style as well.

Pours deep brown, with a thin off-white head.

Aroma has a laid back flavors of licorice, coffee creamer, and chocolate malt. Crisp and perfect for the style.

First sip brings about a very pleasant roastiness, that is not overly done. Almost a sweet roastiness, balanced and no where near cloying, a definitive and rare characteristic for this style. Roasted carmalized malt with coffee grind rounds envelop the edges of the brew providing solid mouthfeel and drinkability. Inviting you for another sip, or maybe several... A nice oily hop build balances the beer and provides an ample amount of bitterness.

A unique and superbly crafted Milk stout. My favorite to date, highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2007 05:09:29 | More by HoustonTX
Photo of daaru


4.53/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

bell's kalamazoo stout is a very good thing. not a whole lot of head but it holds for a long time. rich, malty aroma with floral, hoppy accents, and a rich malty, not aggressively hopped taste with a smooth finish. and dark, very dark--almost as dark as darth vader's soul. if the seasonal double cream is better, as some people telll me it is, i'm going to buy a case as soon as it is available.

perfect for a gloomy, rainy afternoon.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2007 18:33:08 | More by daaru
Photo of kenito799

New York

4.53/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Duvel glass. From a mixed case dated 7/18/07. "Stout brewed with brewer's licorice"

Pours a dark coffee-black, nearly opaque, some chocolate-brown highlights appear when held to a strong light. The milky-brown, creamy head recedes but swirling brings it back to life. Nice rings of lace. Excellent-looking beer.

Poured cold, and prompted by the label, the first aroma I detected was licorice. This beer is much better cool, not cold, and the heady sweet aromas of mocha--coffee plus bitter chocolate--are complemented by that spicy hint of licorice, cinnamon, cola and root beer. Wonderfully complex nose for a stout.

Mouthfeel surprisingly crisp for a sweet stout, with carbonation that is not quite creamy, but that's really all to criticize with this brew. The flavors of dark roasted coffee and bitter chocolate form the backbone, with various spicy and hoppy notes dancing and fleeting. Just enough dextrinous sweetness to balance the bitters, but this is a remarkably refreshing dark inky black awesome beer. Longgg finish. Incredibly enjoyable stout, another great effort from Bell's.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2007 05:13:27 | More by kenito799
Photo of marcpal

New Jersey

4.53/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into a dogfish chalice.

Thank you to a couple recent Midwest traders for sending this one along.

A: Poured black as a strong coffee. Thick viscocity on the sides of the glass. Brown head there for a short time only.

N: Barley and malts. Not as licorice focused as I had worried. Bunches of sweet malt.

T: Matching the taste- malts giving off a bill of caramel, coffee, semisweet chocolate. Extremely well rounded, find the taste of this far far superior to their java stout. Still not catching the licorice but good tight bitterness.

M: Sweet on the tongue and clean carbonation. Creamy texture.

D: Extremely nice beer that I hope to have access to more out here in NJ in the future. Havent like Bells other stouts all that much, but this one is on the top of my list. So much roasted malts for a low abv beer.

Usually more of a fan of the more hop forward Bells offerings, this one impressed.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2008 23:55:20 | More by marcpal
Photo of bsp77


4.53/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Black, completely opaque, thin head that dissipates. Would have scored higher if better head retention.

Smell: Roasted malts, chocolate and licorice.

Taste: More bitter than I would expect from a Sweet Stout, and only slightly sweet. Bitterness seems to come from both hops and heavily roasted malts. Coffee, chocolate and licorice flavors.

Feel: Full-bodied, exceedingly smooth, relatively low carbonation.

Drinkability: Between the smoothness and fantastic taste, this is one of the most drinkable stouts.

Not sure if this is an English Sweet Stout or an American Stout. Doesn't matter, as either way, this is the best non-Imperial Stout I have ever had.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2009 00:53:59 | More by bsp77
Photo of tigg924


4.53/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: dark brown, high carbonation, nice lacing, one inch head

Smell: chocolate, molasses, and sweet malt

Taste: cream, dark chocolate, slight burnt malt, molasses

Mouthfeel: sweet, smooth, medium body, low carbonation, slick

Drinkability: One of the top two in the style I have tried so far. Definately worthy of my 200th review on this site. A great beer by one of my favorite breweries, you barely notice the high abv...Really tasty stout

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2009 13:41:13 | More by tigg924
Photo of BrewCrew2010


4.53/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: The beer pours almost like oil into the glass. It's very dark, black color, with a tan head that is mostly lasting.

S: This beer has a strong chocolate malt/roasted coffee aroma. Almost reminds me of chocolate milk. There are also hints of espresso and dark sugars.

T: This beer has hints of chocolate and coffee/espresso. You can really taste the malts in this beer. As you drink it, on the back of your tongue is a subtle bitter aftertaste. Very good with a long lasting finish that makes this beer very well balance.

M: Medium bodied with mild carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel.

D: A must try. Could drink this again.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2010 00:45:17 | More by BrewCrew2010
Photo of NuclearDolphin


4.53/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass

Appearance - Jet black with a very tan 1 finger head with some good retention and lacing

Smell - Licorice, cocoa, coffee, burnt malts and yeasts. It's got a very sweet smell for a stout beer.

Taste - Burnt Malts, Licorice, coffee, cocoa and roasted barley. The sweetness is still sort of present in the flavor, but it's overtaken by a burnt (almost smokey) flavor; In other words, just how a stout should be! I love this!

Mouthfeel - Heavy bodied and it has a thickness almost like molasses. The carbonation is a little stronger than what I expected but oddily enough once the beer warms up, it compliments the flavor quite nicely. With that said, this is a sipper beer, once that you have to sit down and appreciate

Overall - For a stout, it has alot going for it. It's got rich flavors, a great smell and a balanced mouthfeel. This is hands down one of the best stouts I've ever had and it's absolutely worth checking out!

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2012 03:28:55 | More by NuclearDolphin
Photo of SeaOfShells


4.53/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. into Duvel tulip

A: Pours fairly dark, but once in the glass it's completely opaque. The faintest tinges of red peak out from the curves of the glass. The beer kicked up a 2 finger dark tan head leaving decent lacing as it receded.

S: well, it's pretty typical actually, but for some reason this one stands above the others. Roasted malts take center stage, and there is a decent coffee scent. Deeper down I get licorice and sweet bread. It's a winner.

T: full flavored. Roasted malt again, finishing with a brilliant coffee bitterness. No alcohol can be detected. There's a fair amount of sweetness up front, which eventually gets crushed by the bitterness from the roasted malts (or is it the hops?). A stout that stands taller than its contemporaries. Well done.

M: the fuller side of medium bodied. It feels great in the mouth. The perfect amount of carbonation, creamy and slick. I'll have another.

O: it's always a treat to get the chance to try a Bell's beer here in California. I've had several varieties, and haven't been let down yet, save for Cherry Stout. They sure know what they are doing in MI. I can see myself buying this on a regular basis. The only other year round un-imperial stout that holds a candle is Deschutte's Obsidian.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2012 02:50:28 | More by SeaOfShells
Photo of jeffboo


4.55/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A really nice stout from one of my favorite brewers. A very opaque black brew with dark brown head appears out of the bottle. it has a huge roasted malt aroma, espresso with bitter chocolate and a slight whiskey undertone in the nose. The flavor is a great balance between the roasted malt and sweet malt with a long roasty finish. It finishes dry with a nice espesso acidity and a hint of smoke. It has a great drinkable medium body that isn't too rich for another bottle. Highly recommended stout.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2003 15:06:44 | More by jeffboo
Photo of feloniousmonk


4.55/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Color is deep, dark black, black as a licorice whip, and, we find, it tastes like one, too. Good, thick, boggy and bubbly brown head. And an aroma that is roasted flavors to gills, as charred and heady a stout this side of an Imperial. Full of flavorful connotations, chocolate, coffee, more rich flavors, mollasses, syrup, anise.
Hugely flavorful hop bitterness jumps right on board the palate and swims through the mouth. Full, thick, rewarding, delicious. This one sticks in the mouth like peanut butter, constantly abiding finish. Perfect balance, with massive amounts of everything, it contains certain essences of Imperial stouts, without going overboard in alcohol.
I'm not sure if the style milk/cream/sweet stout is appropriate here, but then I'm not sure what to call it, myself.
Who cares? It's delicious!

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2003 17:13:59 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of Bruiser81


4.55/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ah I've been saving this brew for a while now.
The pour was solid black with a huge chocolate milk like head that lasted through the whole brew at about a half inch thick, wow. The lacing was also amazing. Looks like a delicious beer.
The smell was dominated by cocoa and roasted malt. Hints of coffee and light alcohol spices were also present.
Turns out this is a very tasty beer : ). Taste again was dominated by the roasted malt, can't say I'm surprised. Chocolate, coffee, and toffee were thrown in the mix. The spice from the alcohol was barely noticeable on the finish, along with a slight hoppiness.
The best part of the brew was the mouthfeel, very full and creamy. This is probably the smoothest beer I've ever had. I could drink this stuff all night. Too bad I only have the one. Not available here.
A huge thanks to feloniousmonk for sending this one my way.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2003 20:43:32 | More by Bruiser81
Photo of BuckeyeNation


4.55/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Glistening ebony with mahogany highlights. Even with bright sun behind the glass, light penetration is nil. Atop the beer is an impressive mocha colored head of dense, pitting foam that generously plasters itself to the glass in a further attempt to keep light at bay. Now this is what a stout should look like. Very well done.

The coffee-laced, fudge brownie nose is a pleasure to inhale. If the flavor follows suit, Kalamazoo will be one impressive stout. It does and it is! Bell's brewery continues to astound. Just as in the nose, gooey fudge comes to mind on the palate: rich, glossy, sweet, sticky, mouthfilling, decadent goodness in a glass.

The bitter coffee flavor is a bit too pronounced for me, but is easily overlooked because this is such delicious beer. The degree of roastedness is fairly high with a mild char that works well in the grand scheme of things. Bitter and sweet intertwine beautifully, even throughout the long, lingering finish. The body/mouthfeel is decidedly full and crushed velvet smooth.

Kalamazoo Stout is the best milk/sweet stout that I've had yet, surpassing Bell's own Special Double Cream Stout (although it's been a while since I sampled SDCS). It's one of the biggest and boldest 6.5% ABV beers that you're ever likely to drink and is truly one of the best. Kudos all around.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2004 16:05:46 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of jasonpeckins32


4.55/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one is black, and I mean BLACK. No light or any other color shines through when held up to the light. There is a somewhat small, yet brilliant dark brown colored head. Maybe the darkest colored foam I've seen on a beer. The smells are strong of sweet roasted malts and maybe a hint of chocolate. Quite sweet scents. The taste is gordgeous. Quite possibly the perfect balance of roasted malts and hops with a nearly citrusy-sweet finish. Wonderful tasting beer. The mouthfeel is full-bodied and nice. The carbonation is present, which I was hoping for. The drinkability is nice as well. Its a sipper, but you should'nt get bored with it. Definitly worth a try if you find it on the shelf.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2005 12:31:32 | More by jasonpeckins32
Photo of DarkerTheBetter


4.55/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours out of the bottle in a stream the reminds me of used motor oil. Once in the glass, it’s a glowing black with a dark and murky tan and copper head.

Smells of a great blend of dark, smoky barley, coffee and a creamy nuttiness. The dryness of the burnt elements are delightfully offset by a slight malty sweetness.

The flavor starts with a mild barley, toasted marshmallow and nut foundation that picks up dry elements with the onset of the carbonation. This releases the expected smoky elements and a touch of honey. This beer then finishes off with a smooth coffee and smoke.

The mouth feel is surprisingly glassy and smooth with a micro-bubble carbonation.

As far as the smokier stouts go, this one’s top notch. It’s charred, but still smooth and clean with a superb silky mouth feel.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2006 22:04:54 | More by DarkerTheBetter
Photo of Phatz


4.55/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours pitch black with a creamy chocolate brown head that lasts and lasts. Spectacular lacing.

Smell: A rich aroma of roasted malts and coco fill the nose. There is a subtle red berry or cherry suggestion and some sweet caramel as well. This is a very enticing aroma.

Taste: Bitter sweet chocolate; unsweetened coco powder, molasses -Karyo Syrup, and a hint of berries flood to my mind faster than I can type. It is roasty! Beautifully roasty; and oh so creamy smooth in taste and fee, followed by gentle earthy hops that make this beer perfectly balanced.

Mouthfeel: This beer is so thick and rich an full bodied creamy smooth it is a pleasure to swirl around the tongue. This is what a beer should feel like.

Drinkability: A beautiful looking sniffable great tasting beer the is the perfect texture in the mouth and a beer that leave you not just "wanting" but week in the knees for more after every sip, you better believe it is damn drinkable. OH MAN YEAH! This is what I love about stouts all wrapped up into a beer that has it all; even high drinkability! Sensational!!!

Hope this is helpful.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2006 06:16:24 | More by Phatz
Photo of david131


4.55/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- The beer pours a beautiful pure black and forms a great brown head. The head settles down to a sheet that covers the top of the liquid. Hardly any light can get through the liquid.

S- Coffee, chocolate, caramel. Not a very powerful smell.

T- Awesome. A very powerful chocolate and coffee presence. A very good balance between the sweetness and the bitterness.

M- This is a pleasure to drink. It is so smooth and the carbonation is perfect.

D- This goes down like water. Very refreshing- for a stout.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2007 03:16:21 | More by david131
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

4.55/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pour s desperately black color with a rocky tan head that never quits and leaves plenty of lace to boot

Smell: Mocha cream, licorice and some smokey charred wood

Taste: Starts with a milk chocolate flavor that is joined by some charred undertones, coffee elements and lots of hoppy bitterness, mid-palate; after the swallow, the flavors break loose with a burst of coffee and undertones of sweet licorice through to the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and creamy with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Simply astounding

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2007 00:56:23 | More by brentk56
Photo of ViveLaChouffe


4.55/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I love Bell's Brewing. I unabashedly state that they are the best brewers of stout in the country. So I am thrilled to finally get ahold of some Kalamazoo Stout, one of the few Bell's stout varieties I have not tried.

This beer is pitch black in the glass with a dense tan head that could support small coins. Smells sweet and chocolatey with light hints of mocha. Very nice.

There is much more coffee in the flavor than in the nose. More bitter than I was expecting but with a sweetness that offsets it. The bitter and the sweet lead to flavors reminiscient of dark chocolate.

A nice thick body that is just heavenly in the mouth. Drinks smooth as silk with some light smokiness in the aftertaste acconpanied by hints of coffee and a creamy sweetness.

It's money. I might drink nothing but stout if Bell's distributed to Atlanta...

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2007 18:59:34 | More by ViveLaChouffe
Photo of gonzo46and2


4.55/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep inky dark black that allows only the slightest bit of light through. A dark tan head crowns this king nicely and laces all over the glass due to it's sugary sweetness.

Aroma is licorice, nuts, roasted coffee and other toasty flavors.

Taste is sweet and malty. Very drinkable and delicious. The beer is so mild on the palate, it's like drinking unfrozen chocolate ice cream. Soo yummy!

I'd put this stout in my top five for any variety. (RIS, Dry Irish, Milk Stout, Oatmeal, etc)

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2008 00:57:43 | More by gonzo46and2
Photo of gford217


4.55/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of masonjer poured into a Bells snifter.

Pours dark, dark brown, almost black with very little light showing through even the edges. The head is two fingers and tan and lingers as a cap for a while leaving some sporadic lacing.

Wow, does this smell great - big roasted malt backbone with hints of coffee and dark, sweet chocolate. It all melds together so well as a single wonderful aroma.

The taste didn't quite live up to the aroma, with the sweet chocolate and dark roasted malts still dominating. The main reason it falls slightly short is the bitterness of the coffee which is a little overpowering in the finish.

The mouthfeel is as good as I have ever experienced for a stout of this style. It's so decadent and smooth with a perfect amount of carbonation that accentuates the taste. Beautiful feel on the palate.

Bells knows how to knock their stouts out of the park and this is no exception. This is a fantastic stout and one of the best of its style. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2009 03:32:03 | More by gford217
Photo of dmfrench


4.55/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Near flawless Milk Stout.

A: Black as night, even up to a light. Tight and persistent two finger khaki head lingers as it crawls down the glass.

S: Dry cocoa and coffee. Salt and a hint of alcohol.

T: Oh dear God. Instantly my favorite Milk Stout, over Special Double Cream, Young's, everything. Oh, right, specifics: What can I say? Just a perfect balance of bittersweet cocoa and hop dryness.

M: Just about perfect. Errs very very slightly on the thin side.

D: Very drinkable for such a serious beer. Could drink 3-4, but wouldn't out of respect.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2009 21:50:08 | More by dmfrench
Photo of vishneda


4.55/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into a glass mug.

Love: Beautiful looking stout with seriously dark color. Solidly opaque. Strong chocolate colored head of foam on top. Rich and hearty beer with a slightly creamy feel. Great espresso-roast style aftertaste.

Like: Nice malted aroma with some yeast profile and a light floral pattern. Light anise notes in the flavor are great coupled with the roasted dark chocolate and fruit hints.

Needs Improvement: Not much to improve on this one, but I think I'd like it with a little sweeter profile. Lacing and as stronger aroma would make this amazing.

(From tasting notes dated 23 Aug 2009)

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2009 22:59:58 | More by vishneda
Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
90 out of 100 based on 2,994 ratings.