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

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

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BA SCORE
89
very good

3,842 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,842
Reviews: 1,504
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.8%
Wants: 172
Gots: 446 | FT: 9
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: 3,842 | Reviews: 1,504
Photo of Robalypse
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance:
Syrupy, dark brown body with a prominent, malty, chest nut colored head.

Smell:
Faint hints of malt and licorice.

Mouthfeel:
Medium-heavy with noticeable carbonation and plenty of fizz going down. Doesn’t feel heavy like the coloration and consistency might suggest.

Taste:
Definitely a very slight licorice taste up front with a bit of grain, almost a hint of rye. Nothing very strong or dominating stands out, but a very sharp, tasty beer in its relative simplicity.

Overall:
This a great, quality tasting stout, especially given the good price I picked a bottle up for on a whim. Often it seems stouts can be a little heavy on coffee or chocolatey tastes, but there was none of that noticeable to me in this beer which works to its benefit. Because of its fairly low profile, but all around crisp and relatively mild flavor, it’s definitely something I could drink with some regularity. I will certainly be purchasing it again in greater quantity in the future.

Photo of DannyDan
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours into a black beer with a tan head that has very good retention, excellent lacing and moderate carbonation. The smell is of licorice, roasted malts, faint scent of chocolate and coffee. The taste is licorice followed by some floral hops, some chocolate, toffee, and coffee notes. The after taste is licorice balanced with a mix of bitterness and sweetness that is nicely balanced. The mouthfeel is a medium soft creamy feel that is also thick and chewy at the same time. This is a very drinkable beer and is now one of my favorites after trying it for the first time. This is a must try stout for any beer lover that likes a good beer.

Photo of spointon
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured this one from a 12oz brown bottle into a pint glass.

A= This ale poured a nearly black color with a big 2.5 inch chocolate tan head. The head slowly dropped to leave serious sticky lace down the glass.

S= This ale had aromas of sweet malts, ripe fruitiness, toasted notes, treacle, caramel, and a hint of licorice.

T= This stout was definitely sweet in flavor. I picked up flavors of black licorice, heavy ripe fruit, chocolate, and even roasted coffee and caramel.

MF= This was a heavy/medium bodied stout with a nice creamy mouthfeel. Carbonation was soft and subtle.

D= A damn fine stout! Despite the ABV, its still a session beer. I really enjoyed this one and will drink again.

Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured into the glass clear black with a brown low head that was persistent enough to lace the glass.

The aroma was estery and lightly fruity with a strong chocolate and caramel presence. The aroma contained a roasty character and a dark chocolate note that had hints of smoke.

The flavor was fruity as it first contacted the palate and then the flavor immediately changed to chocolate and coffee. The coffee and chocolate were accompanied by a caramel impression, but more important was a grassy hop presence behind the roast and coffee. The balance was toward bittering, but was well achieved. The grassy hop flavor worked very well with the chocolate and coffee components.

The finish was dry with a lasting coffee and chocolate with a light roast and some grassy hops into the aftertaste. The body was just above medium full with a moderate carbonation. A truly great stout.

12 ounce bottle. Thanks BeerBeing!

Photo of mickstepp
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark, almost opaque color with a thin tawny head. Aromas of burnt coffee and faint hints of chocolate. Some fruity and hoppy notes as well in the nose. Msdium bodied and smooth. The taste is consistnet with the aromas. Nice coffee bitterness. Chocolate and caramel and toffee even a little vanilla bean. Very easy drinking stout. Not at all heavy. Makes you want more than one. A very, very competent offering by a premier brewery.

Photo of ngeunit1
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a dark black color with just a hint of brown around the edges and a finger of frothy chocolate colored head. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some light lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of roasted chocolate and dark malts. There is just a touch of dark fruit, coffee, and smoke as well.

T - Starts off with a mix of roasted chocolate and dark malts with a touch of plum and other dark fruits. Through the middle, a bit of lactose sweetness comes through alongside some light smoke and a bit of coffee. The finish is a mix of lightly burnt chocolate, a bit of bitterness, vanilla, and a hint of coffee.

M - Medium-plus bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a dry and lightly sweet finish.

D - Very drinkable. Excellent example of an American Stout. Balance is spot on.

Photo of Gambrinus1184
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a Thomas Hooker pint glass.

A: Black body with medium ruby-brown, edged highlights shown in the light under a two-finger head of craggy and creamy brown foam. retention settles to a bubbly slick and lacing is good.

S: Nice, roasty aroma with a spicy, herbal hop essence. Smells of cocoa, caramel and a creamy, coffee drink and a bit of gingerbread too.

T: Smooth, creamy and bitter malts up front with a bittersweet, chcocolately, roasted malt body and a dry, herbal, burnt sugar finish. Malts range from smooth, creamy and cocoa to burnt wood, coal and tobacco resin. Slightly smokey and dry, herbal finish carries a bit of licorice, spiced fruitiness and a touch of alcohol.

M: Full-bodied, creamy and slick feel with a resinous middle and a dry, lingering bitter finish.

D: Quite the tasty American stout, complete with the herbal, semi-fruity bitterness of American hops married to a dark-roasted, creamy and bittersweet malt blend that warms with its 6% ABV. Full-bodied and roasted indeed, the Kalamazoo stout is a very good, traditional American stout.

Photo of botham
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

pours opaque black with a single finger of brown head that remains for a couple minutes. moderate lacings.

aroma is roasted, with a sweet character, and notes of coffee, chocolate, and a nutty base that really gives the brew a rich profile, working very well with the aromas present.

taste is malty, with the same roasted, coffee, chocolate, and nutty flavors from the aroma. finishes with light residual roasted and coffee notes. very malty on the palate, with little to no hop presence.

mouthfeel is full bodied with a rich and silky smooth texture. a creamy finish with a nicely coated mouth make this one an excellent stout.

drinkability is great. this is a smooth and easy-going stout that does not overpower the palate, but provides rich and complex flavors at the same time. a solid offering from Bell's. cheers!

Photo of khiasmus
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A- Almost opaque in blackness, with ruby highlights when held to the light, and a creamy light tan head.

S- Sweet, cream, strong malt, slightly burnt, light hops in the back.

T- Dark-roasted malts, sweet cream, coffee, chocolate, slightly bitter finish.

M- Perfect to style. creamy, thick, low carbonation, smooth.

D- Very drinkable for a sweet stout. So well balanced, and dry in the finish... leaves you wanting more.

Photo of celticfutblclub
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks to aguirre for this!

12 oz bottle into hill farmstead glass

A - dark brown to black. one finger coffee colored head fades quickly but leaves a nice trail.

S - roasted notes, coffee, chocolate sweet malts and maybe some lactose in there as well.

T - big roasted coffee notes backed up with great hop presence (grassy with a twinge of pine). some milk chocolate in the back as well.

M - medium to full bodied with lots of carbonation. some astringency from the hops but not overpowering. coarse feel to the body with a dryish finish for the style.

O - superb stuff from bell's definitely need to get more of this in the future.

Photo of mntlover
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a black on black no light thru this baby with a big fluffy chocolate colored head that leaves a good lace coat, looks great. Smell is lightly roasted malt with expresso and chocolate present some light fruits in background. Taste is great lightly roasted malt expresso flavors with some hints of chocolate . Moves from lightly sweet malt to burnt bitterness from malt aided by good dose of hop bite. A great stout wish I could get this down in TN. Mouthfeel is right side of medium not heavy enough to be creamy but still feels good. Drinkability is good, man this is one tasty beer, thanks go to merlin48 for this tasty treat. If I ever make it to the Liquor Barn in Lexington this will be on my list of must haves.

Photo of ManekiNeko
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle served at cellar temp in a pint glass.

Appearance: Black as the abyssal depths topped by a hearty dark brown head that's thick, frothy and slightly rocky. It sticks around for quite some time before settling down to a smallish layer of foam and then finally a ring of bubbles. Healthy amounts of lacing are left on the glass.

Smell: Hearty and dark nose composed of high quality cocoa, toasted malts, and medium roasted coffee. Dark dried fruits and piney hops lurk in the background.

Taste: Bittersweet dark malts with cocoa and coffee highlights. Faint bitter hops, raisins, and cherries on the finish. A very compelling taste, overall.

Mouthfeel: A touch on the anemic side. I was hoping for something a bit thicker, so the slightly watery mouthfeel is jarring given the intensity of the smell and taste.

Drinkability: Almonst an imperial stout at times. Very enjoyable and well made. I would definitely get this (along with Java Stout and Expedition Stout) if it were available locally. I suspect my girlfriend would like this as well.

Other: Choose a good 'un for review 250. Thanks to feloniousmonk for directly making this possible and xlperro for indirectly doing it.

Photo of ghostee
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours black with about 2 fingers of tan colored head. The head recedes fairly quickly, leaving a creamy layer on top and some lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell is predominantly roasted malts, with a bit of coffee and vanilla.

Tastes mostly follows the nose. Roasted malts are dominant, with some chocolate, coffee, and a hint of dark fruit. Alcohol is faintly noticeable. Taste is creamy and smooth.

Mouthfeel is lighter bodied for a stout, medium carbonation, and smooth. A bit bubbly on on the tongue.

Drinkability is high. The 6% ABV on this one along with the smooth taste make it easy drinking.

It's nice to have a tasty easy drinking stout of a lower ABV after drinking BCBCS and KBS lately. Would definitely buy this again.

Photo of Sixpack595
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Another great Stout from Bells. I was surprised at the amount of head, it poured a thick chunky head that lasted the whole pint (more than any of the other Bell's Stouts I tried tonight). Very dark with tan head.Strong coffee, and chocholate milk flavor. Good stuff.

Photo of BeefyMee
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Head took a little coaxing but after that it was picture perfect.

S: Some nice roasted malt and cocoa notes. Not too big of a nose.

T: Chocolatey richness with a little bit of a bitter kick. Kind of like strong dark chocolate around 75%. The roasted aftertaste is very bold and sticks with you for a while.

M: Thick and creamy at first followed by some playful carbonation.

D: About as drinkable as they come.

Photo of Nowhereman529
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: poured a very nice silky black from the bottle with just a film of brown head that was there and gone in no time at all.

S: Sweet chocolate is at the heart of the smell on this one. Also a considerable amount of roasted maltiness shines through as well.

T: Dark roasted malt and chocolate head up the flavors of this brew. Taste is somewhat sweet to start and finishes with a little bit of coffee bitterness.

M: Very smooth feeling going down. This has a nice heavy body for a stout, a good hearty beer.

D: Very good stout, one of the best I've had in a while. Would be perfect as an evening beer. Highly recommended, would drink again.

Photo of barnzy78
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. Pours pitch black with zero transparency. Nice tan head that coats the glass and leaves some sticky lacing. Aromas are of roasted malts, molasses, and anise. Mouth-feel is medium and silky smooth on the palate. Flavors are also of bold roasted malts, molasses, and espresso with notes of brown sugar, cocoa, and anise. Nice balanced finish - dry with a slight sweetness. This has always been a favorite of mine. Fantastic through and through - I wouldn't change anything about this brew.

It's funny how reviews and tastes can change over time:
12/19/2012
Pours black with a huge rocky tan head that holds great ret & leaves an explosion of lacing. Aromas and tastes are chocolate, roasty, espresso creamy, rich, dark bitter bakers chocolate, roasted barley, french roast coffee, anise, ashy. Mouth-feel is velvety smooth, creamy, full body. Overall, great to go back to this and reaffirm its awesomeness.

Photo of steve8robin
4.44/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Scored this one on a trip to Kalamazoo...

A: Super dark with very faint ruby red highlights. Small 1/2 inch mocha colored head that fades quickly. Decent.

S: Smells of chocolate, raisin, and boozy blended well upfront. Hints of roasty hops in the middle with sweet sugars on the backend. Very good.

T: Hmm, interesting twist. Bitter chocolate upfront with bourbon booziness in the middle and dark fruit and creamy almond blended on the backend. Very good.

M: Leaves a decent stickiness on the palate, but not over powering. Very good.

D: Goes down super easy. Very good.

All in all, this is a good beer. I was very surprised by the well blended flavors in this one. If you like stouts, then this is a definitely must try. Worth hunting down.

Photo of Fish113d
4.44/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass at room temperature, it pours a dirty motor oil color with a nice, hefty 3cm of tan, dense head on top. Absolutely no light gets through this one.

I can smell it at least 1 1/2 feet away! Huge billowing chocolate malts jump out at me along with some roastiness (roasted almonds or peanuts). I also get a bit of alcohol tickling my sinuses. Being as I live near Hershey, PA, I can say that this one reminds me of driving into town and smelling the roasted nuts and chocolate! Superb!!!

Sipping reveals a nice dose of roasted nuts and chocolate right away, with an almost beechnut flavor following this one across my palate and down my throat. I also get some hopiness helping to balance this out on the finish.

Body is medium to full with well-rounded qualities. Carbonation is not too heavy or tingly, and I can tell that there IS a bit of alcohol in there. Nicely done.

Overall, I don't know if this is one I could sit and drink all night, but it is one of the better well-rounded, blanced brews I've had recently. I could easily drink another bottle.

Photo of TKEbeerman
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Stouts don't get much darker then Kalamazoo. Poured right, this beer pours a deep, dark black with a light mocha colored head. Great lacing is present on my pint glass as this beer goes down.

With stouts like this you expect the normal chocolate/espresso type nose. With this Bells brew, however, the nose would be best described as a young, playboy type, stout and a nice nut brown ale, had a baby, and decided to name it Kalamazoo.

The taste profile of this beer is excellent. Light nutty and roastyness. Very subtle hints of liquorish and coffee. Overall, Kalamazoo has a great balance of coffee and nutty notes, but something about the liquorish seems to smooth this stout out.

I love the mouth feel of this beer. It's full without being too over powering, very light carbonation, and the finish is as smooth as silk, which leaves you with the ruminates of a wonderfull flavor profile.

I'm giving this beer a 5.0 for drink-ability. It's very rare when you can find a good stout with a decent ABV that you feel like you can kill 3-4 of them a not kill your mourning after.

Bells, I've had many of your beers now, and I have to say Kalamazoo is one to be remembered. Would love to have a chance to try their cream stout, expedition stout, and this tasty brew side-by-side. I know that would make for one hell of a night.

Photo of dbtossi
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Didn't expect the coffee, chocolate, and carmel flavors. I very much enjoyed this beer.

Photo of PEBKAC
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Batch 8861

I've received this a few times over in trades but never really sat down with one.

Poured into a Sly Fox shaker/paperweight. It glugs the consistency of cola, but it's as dark in the glass as a bucket of molasses. A faltering, dark sand head pushes up mellow scents of condensed milk, almond liquor, & light smoke.

Good bitter roast, great beaded carbonation. A bit burnt toast, Lactose is lighthearted, but gives it just enough to turn the bitterness away. A shaving of bark & dark chocolate. Slight hint of coffee & grain on the finish. Maybe a little oxidation, but that's probably my fault.

It trades off a little body for drinkability, but that's just nitpicking. It's obviously a great beer.

Photo of IronDjinn
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a 12 oz brown bottle, sample provided by rudge75 and fisherman34 (a humble bow to you two gentlemen).

Pours out pitch black, like midnight on the darkest night of the year in the most remote dark part of the planet, while you're wearing a blindfold deep in a cave underneath that spot. Deep chocolatey spongy head that retains to a point, and then recedes to a thin deep tan cap.

Wow. After my first sip I just want to say wow. There, I said it. Toasted malt, cocoa, carob nut, chocolate wafer, cafe au lait, that's what greets me as I sip this. Not overtly complex, but this stout just seems to have it all in the right places.

The mouthfeel is a bit on the light side for a stout, but still retains a silky smooth texture that helps make this stout so deceptively easy to quaff.

An absolute pleasure to drink, it's been quite a while since I've come across a stout that I've enjoyed this much. It just all seems to work. It's not bombastic, it's not over the top, it's not overwhelming, just a great session-worthy stout after my heart. I'd reach for this again and again if it were available locally.

Photo of Durtdiggler
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle with 2/15/13 date into snifter glass.

Pours dark black as night and settles with nice creamy, light brown head quickly leaving some thin lacing on the glass.

Aroma is very dry medium roast coffee, can pick up the licorice but feels a bit more like bourbon and chocolate. The roast coffee stands out the most which which is how I think this style should be versus baltic porter.

Very roasty backed by big hop bitterness all balanced well, slightly sweet with cocoa and dried dark fruits. Flavor is very complex from start to finish.

Light medium mouthfeel. Extremely drinkable.

Alot of complex flavor without the the big alcohol volume. This beer fills the void in the quest for big stout like flavor that it might be a while before I pick up an Imperial stout again. I might have to try Founders side by side:). Bell's nailed it.

Photo of soupyman10
4.45/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

UPDATE: 6/1/08 - 4.5/4/4/4.5/4 - Had it again in a mixed sixer. Again, quite delicious, although I lowered the scores a little bit as the complexity of the aromas and taste didn't quite blow me away this time. Roasted malt, coffee, chocolate. Feel is thick and creamy. Still, a delicious brew...Bell's certainly does their stouts well. With this one, the Java, Expedition, and Cherry for some variety, outstanding.

ORIGINAL: 4.5/4.5/5/4/5 - Pours the first totally black beer I've ever seen, with a solid finger of tan head on top that disappears fairly slowly. Nose is strong on molasses, dried fruit, caramel, and maybe some chocolate too. Feel is solid, although maybe a little thin for a stout. Taste is excellent as well. All over the place. Up front is some sweet chocolate. Crazy roasted malts, and then some nice and pointedly sweet flavors of raisins and brown sugar in the middle. Roasted malt shows up again, a little more often as the beer warms. Ends with a solid, slightly hoppy bitter aftertaste. Solid aftertaste though, which sticks around with a nice sweet/bitter mix. This one's outstanding as well. I'm really stunned by how consistently great Bell's offerings are. I'll be picking this one up again. Possibly topped only by the incredible Expedition Stout.

Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 3,842 ratings.