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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
91
outstanding

1,484 Reviews
THE BROS
83
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,484
Hads: 3,903
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 9.38%
Wants: 177
Gots: 476 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bell's Kalamazoo Stout Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,484 | Hads: 3,903
Photo of mikul93
3.01/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A Pours black with medium viscosity. Nice healthy light tan head with heavy lacing.

S A bit one dimensional. I get a tad bit of roast, but all I'm really smelling is the licorice. It actually smells a little like soy sauce.

T Again, all I'm really getting is the licorice. It hits the tongue immediately and finishes with it as well. I'm not getting any coffee or malt. Some bitter hops at the end, but just slight.

M It's a clean drinking beer. It's easy to drink and actually refreshing.

O Disappointed with this beer. Was looking forward to it but I will definitely not be seeking this out again. (607 characters)

Photo of Klym
3.03/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to SPDKilz for hooking Cavery up with this! Also, thanks to Cavery for sharing. Poured into a Stone nonic.

A: Black, slightly tanned and very spongy head with spider lacing. Looks good for a single stout.

S: Chocolate with a pretty defined lactose character, brown sugar, dark fruits, a little roast and some caramel. Lots of sweet things swimming around but more of a lactose air than an overly sweet one.

T: How bizarre. No lactose and not a great deal of sweetness in the taste. Hits with a little chocolate, brown sugar, and dark fruits then the taste almost completely goes empty besides some linger, and then a bitter coffee/dark chocolate/char taste kicks in and finishes it out. Very subdued flavors that die off very quickly.

M: Plenty of carbonation in this which is nice. I can't criticize the mouthfeel too much but it's awkward that it's probably more of a centerpiece to this beer than the flavors, as the mouthfeel lasts longer and provides more of an attention-grabbing sensual experience. Hard to have an amazing mouthfeel when there's not too much flavor to accompany it.

O: Glad I tried this and very happy to try some bells things, but this was pretty mediocre. Volume definitely needs to be turned up on the flavors and their development. If the same flavors were amped, this would be an easy B or B+. As it is, hard to really recommend this beer unless you like your stouts unusually light and fleeting. (1,443 characters)

Photo of KevChiTown
3.04/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Not bad, a little disappointed with Bells lately. Kalamazoo needs a little something more to be better then just above average. I don't really pick up the licorice, but I do get a nice amount of dark coco. I would drink again, but I wouldn't go out of my way to search for it. (276 characters)

Photo of dmamiano
3.05/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer poured a beautiful think egggshell colored head that left nice lacing on the glass as it was consumed.
The color was very typical of a stout, black with no light able to get through this beer. Mouth feel was very average, although highly carbonated.
As far as the taste of the beer itself, I found it very average at best for a stout. Had a fairly bitter finish with lingering flavors of coffee. (407 characters)

Photo of jonziefle
3.05/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Poured a deep, opaque black. Two finger dark khaki head, with excellent retention. Moderate lacing.

Smell: Smokey burnt malts, chocolate and coffee. Syruppy sweetness.

Taste: Very smokey malts, with plenty of bitterness (not the bad kind). Burnt chocolate is a very strong flavor. The sweetness is light and comes on too late to balance out the burnt character. A slight buttery taste as well. Dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied, with a nice bitter bite to start. Smooth, but not overly so.

Drinkability: An overly burnt tasting stout, that doesn't have much else in it to balance it out.

Buy Again? No. (630 characters)

Photo of polisanl
3.07/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Dark in color with 2 fingers worth of tan head. Laced through out with a good amount of carbonation. Not much of a nose here. Flavor is robust. Lots of burnt malts and strong coffee. Heavier part of medium thickness in mouthfeel. Would definitely not be on the top of the stout style IMO. (288 characters)

Photo of Sydney10
3.08/5  rDev -24%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Visual: Pours an attractive dark chocolate color.
Smell: Intense smell of coffee.
Taste: Burnt coffee overwhelms the taste of the beer. Light chocolate and black licorice flavors as well.
Overall: Very bitter and taste is too much related to coffee. I would not drink this again. (282 characters)

Photo of soilguy
3.11/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pint glass arrived with a nice, creamy, thick tan head. I must say that the appearance of that glass as the server brought it was the best part of the beer. A nice lace coated the glass from the top to the last drop. It has a slightly sweet, faintly licorice odor. It also had a fairly noticeable licorice flavor that I personally didn't care for. A nice roastiness tried to chase it away, and that is what saved the beer and made it drinkable. It did have a full, substantial mouthfeel. Overall, I thought it was adequate but unremarkable. (540 characters)

Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.12/5  rDev -23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dispensed from 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Huge, mocha head forms and stays around for a long time, leaving copious amounts of lace down the side of the glass. Pitch black, opaque colored beer.

Aroma is burnt grains, mustiness, and mettalic aromas close to battery acid. Not a lot of chocolate or coffee or anything else I usually find in stouts. Just smells like beer.

Bitter burnt grains with some minimal chocolate and coffee flavors. Mostly bready with a hint of smoke.

Not really a sweet or milk stout if you ask me. Certainly isnt sweet. Bitter flavors abound and the finish is bitter, borderline astringent. Drinkabilty is lower due to the bitterness of the beer overall and its astringency. Medium mouthfeel. Very Average Stout. (750 characters)

Photo of StuyBeerGuy
3.13/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

The beer pours with an enticing dark color and a thin purple head that fizzes off quickly

This beer has a soft aroma of fermented soy sauce and licorice.

The flavor underwhelms after a season of stouts to celebrate Saint Patrick's and the mouthfeel lingers, a characteristic of beer that I normally enjoy but in this case was unfortunate.

I will try some more of Bell's Brewery's offerings since I have heard positive comments about the beers but do not believe I will return to their stout. (495 characters)

Photo of dejrrma
3.15/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

a- pours black, little head that quickly dissipates. looks pretty still in the class.

s- hints of licorice, coffee, and cherry. cannot really smell much else.

t- like it smells. there's a slight hoppy taste, but that's quickly overpowered by stale licorice. The rest of the flavors a bit muddled.

m- under-carbonated and extremely thin. This stout is very, very runny.

o- not really a fan, and I wouldn't purchase again. It doesn't taste too bad, just average. (466 characters)

Photo of drinksandeats
3.15/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle purchased at Total Wine in Chantilly, VA.

Appearance: DARK! Brown bordering on black. Small amount of foam with large strong bubbles. Nice lacing. Tilted the glass to see the light shine through the beer; only a very small sliver of beer shone clear.

Aroma: Rich and thick. Mocha, earthy and full. No licorice.

Taste: Here I was hoping for the hint of brewer's licorice as promised on the bottle. I got just the slightest hint of it upon contact with my tongue before it was overpowered by a bitter coffee taste. Burnt and acidic. Not pleasant.

Mouthfeel: Slightly abrasive. Not creamy at all.

Drinkability: Not bad, not great, one was enough. (676 characters)

Photo of midaszero
3.16/5  rDev -22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Batch 8432

A - Opaque brown with one finger of coffee head and good lacing

S - Raw chocolate and licorice kind of faint

T - Faint chocolate and licorice taste with a little bit of sweetness

M - Light medium body with medium high carbonation

D - good to session but not something to really seek out (302 characters)

Photo of caresville
3.16/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a- pours jet black with a huge fluffy tan head that subsides quickly. nice lacing throughout pint glass, overall quite appealing.

s- smells sweet. coffee, chocolate, vanilla, molasses, brown sugar.

t&m- very thin, not overpowering. thats not necessarily a bad thing though. licorice pulls through, hints of dark dried fruits (plums, raisins, prunes, etc.) and chocolate chips. surprisingly no coffee taste is present on this one. nothing really stands out with this one.

d- velvety and smooth. easy drinking, but just not my style of stout. i like em big and real thick ;) (575 characters)

Photo of Jparker37
3.16/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Bottled on 8/22/11

A - One finger thick dark brown head dissipates quickly but looks delicious. Very opaque black with no cling of lacing.

S - Awesome complex dark chocolate malt. More subtler coffee roastiness. I don't quite get the licorice yet. Very rich! Hint of smokey tobacco as it warms.

T - Not creamy nor sweet, but complex with coffee roast and dark chocolate. Finishes with a sharper roasty bitterness.

M - A thinner mouthfeel was unexpected. On the dry side for the style with little carbonation.

O - The licorice never really crossed my palate or was identified. I thought the smell was unmatched for a simple American stout but lacked depth in taste. Still very much enjoyed. I blame some of the quality on the store which I purchased this single beer from (world market) where this beer was stored warm for multiple months. I can easily get a six pack fresh which I will do and re-review. (935 characters)

Photo of mwilbur
3.18/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 12 oz bottle into imperial stout glass.
A: Black with 1/2 inch dark tan head that quickly dissipates.
S: Slightly odd bready yeast aroma with roasted malt.
T: Oddly, taste is dominated by grain notes: wheat, rye, etc. Some dark roasted malt. I get no cream...which is odd for a purported milk stout. Unsatisfying, acidic, and dry finish.
M: Light body...uninspiring.
D: One is enough for this average brew. (418 characters)

Photo of vfgccp
3.18/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A – Dark, almost black, with thin brown highlights around the edge of the glass. Trace amount of off-white head.

S – Hammy smoke, and mahogany wood.

T – Definitely get the salty, ham-like smoke from the nose up front. Burt toast and bitter roast coffee catch up to the smoke mid profile, and a dark, woody note rounds out the backend.

M – Thin, just a shade away from watery. Light roast character to the finish.

O – Roaster than I typically like in the style, and I feel like the smoke note is a little unbalanced, but not a bad beer. (549 characters)

Photo of davidbowers13
3.2/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A - Pitch black. Moderate to vigorous pour yielded one to 2 fingers of tan head.

S - Black licorice, coffee, chocolate and roasted malts.

T - Coffee and licorice dominate the front. The finish is smooth, but not much there. Kind of one dimensional.

M - Very thin for a stout. It leaves a coating, but not a overly powerful one.

O - Overall a good to average beer. A little one dimensional, but enjoyable. Not sure I'll rush back to it any time soon. (497 characters)

Photo of greenbeaner
3.21/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle, no freshness date, very dark brown, almost pitch plack. Huuuge dark frothy head, 3 or 4 fingers, but it fades to 1 finger pretty quick... leaves behind a chunky foam around the glass. This head is pretty ridiculous.

Fairly weak on the nose, there are hints of roasted espresso and malt, and some yeast as well. A bit of hop.

Taste is smooth and malt and cream up front. Strong flavor of bold coffee and vanilla and just a hint of liquorice. There is quite a large hoppy bite near the finish. Flavors are a bit unbalanced however, and it leaves you feeling like something is missing.

Medium bodied, slippery cream in the mouth. Leaves your mouth feeling slick and wet.

It's not that I didn't enjoy this beer, it was tasty and satisfying...but, overall it's quite a bit unbalanced in my opinion, and feels like there are some flavors that could be there but aren't being let shine through due to the imbalances. I kept noticing myself thinking I was about to taste something that never actually came. Still though, not too bad overall... would I buy it again? Probably not. (1,112 characters)

Photo of younger35
3.21/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Received this brew from ClockworksOrange (along with about 143 other extras) and from TheodorHerzl. Bells is a great brewery and I haven't had a bad brew yet, I'm certain this will be no exception. Drank from my Sam Adams pint glass.

Appearance- Pours a dark brownish/black with hues of crimson around the edges. Great two finder dark tan head that leaves a thick cap and collar with loads of frothy, sticky lacing.
Smell- Loads of big bold coffee and espresso. Slightly sweet with a milk chocolaty presence and a little bit of very feint black licorice (although I might be stretching it a bit).
Taste- Very roasted with a super charred start and an extremely potent shot of espresso. Very slightly sweet with fudge brownie like character and a whipping cream vanilla smoothness. Bits of dark fruits show that there is some hop presence but not really all that much. Finishes with a semi lingering bitterness although I think it's more from the roasted malts than the hops.
Mouthfeel- Thick and rich with a super smooth feel and light prickly carbonation.
Drinkability- Not a bad brew but overall as much as I love my dark beers this one just wasn't what I was looking for. I don't think the flavors meld very well and something just seems misplaced. The best part of this brew is the mouthfeel. Thanks again to ClockworksOrange and TheodorHerzl! (1,349 characters)

Photo of winomark
3.23/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pithc black, witha slightly frothy brown head.

Aroma: Mild nose, with slight coffee and smoky tones.

Taste: Slightly meaty nad smoky. Rich and flavorful. Dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Coating up-front, but dry and slightly short on the finish.

Drinkability: A good, solid stout. Could drink this one wuite often.

Tasted blind at the Saint Loius BA tasting 12/14/03 (384 characters)

Photo of Rastacouere
3.24/5  rDev -20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It pours opaque black with a very generous, long-lasting sticky tan head in my fin du monde glass (great with stouts I find). Aroma displays very creamy malt, I could have believed this was a milk stout. Roasted chocolate and burnt coffee grains complement the sweetness. Very round and full mouthfeel, creamy. Particularly low carbonation. Alcohol hint accompanies the restrained bitterness in the finish-> alcool which I thought should not be felt at all in a 6.5% beer with all that roasted malt. Once again, this stout got this milky aspect that I came to dislike when combined with an almost still mouthfeel. It feels, not unlike a wine, just dead in the mouth despite all the licorice, molasses, chocolatey flavors from the dark malts. Well done, but still severly overrated to my tastes and definitely nowhere near as complex as expedition. Smooth, yet ultimately close, but no cigar. (894 characters)

Photo of WheelsPSU
3.24/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Not a fan. The malt tasted burnt and I didn't pick up too much licorice. The chocolate from the roast was the only redeeming quality I found.
Extremely light bodied for a stout. Carbonation was fine (198 characters)

Photo of hophugger
3.25/5  rDev -19.8%

decent beer. A light stout with a beautiful color and ample head. The bitterness and sweetness do blend together weel to give a nice balanced flavor. Overall, not as strong as I expected band not one of my favorites from this brewery (233 characters)

Photo of rebel1771
3.26/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a pitch black with a brown head that sticks around a while.

S: Subtle aroma of chocolate, coffee, and a hint of licorice.

T: Strong flavor of cocoa powder along with a burned coffee flavor. I didn't really notice the licorice much at all.

O: This is a decent brew, definitely worth a try. (301 characters)

Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
91 out of 100 based on 1,484 ratings.