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

3,844 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,844
Reviews: 1,504
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.8%
Wants: 172
Gots: 450 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bell's Kalamazoo Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,844 | Reviews: 1,504
Photo of jwhawkins81
2.93/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Batch 9457 Packed on 11/19/2009 tasted on 3/31/2010

Aroma - Dark roasted malts with a hint of sweetness with a light aromatic hop aroma in the background

Appearance - Dark with a big light brown head that slowly dissipated

Taste - Sharp hop bitterness upfront with hints of coffee and roast but that hop bitterness is overpowering

Notes - Plenty of carbonation

Photo of clvand0
2.93/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This one pours a very dark color with a small brown head that leaves a small bit of lacing on the glass. The aroma was comprised of roasted malts and hints of coffee and chocolate. The flavor was much the same as the aroma: mostly roasted malts, coffee and chocolate with possibly a hint of caramel. I didn't find anything special about this brew and there are other milk stouts that better represent the style.

Photo of theboozecruise
2.94/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - dark with a really small head. Not black but a dark brown.

S - kinda weak really. I'm not picking up much licorice. It's a standard stout aroma really.

T - Theres a little licorice here but nothing overwhelming. Just a middle of the road stout.

M - just average here. Nothing too exciting but nothing taking away from my enjoyment.

D - I've had better stouts. From Bell's. It's just decent to me.

Photo of MonkeyBread
2.95/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thin, watery, terrible body. No interesting tastes, just bland nothingness. Barely any smell. This is an awful stout.

Photo of Ragingbull
2.97/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Black in color with a mocha colored head after pouring from a bottle. Nose is so faint that I am not even able to place it. It teases, but doesn't make itself available. Coffee flavor is very strong and there appears to be a strong flavor of anise that I am guessing comes from the brewer's licorice. Heavy smoke flavor. I rated it a C but must admit that it varied from many of the "normal" stouts you might try so it almost dares you to try and pin it down.

Photo of maggotbrain
2.97/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

The beer is a deep black color with a thick tan head, which has receded to a thin film. Each sip produces rings of lace down the sides of the glass. Attractive.

The beer has an odd sour smell, sort of like old milk.

In terms of flavor, this beer is okay. It has an odd mix of roasted bitterness against a mildly sour background. The flavor is a bit thin. This beer looks bigger than it tastes.

The mouthfeel is about right for a stout, a bit thick with low carbonation.

As far as drinkability goes, this beer is not the best. The flavor isn’t engaging enough for me to want another, and I have a feeling that the thickness of this beer would get to me after a while.

Photo of Raziel313
2.99/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Very average beer. Not great, not bad

Photo of JDV
2.99/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thank you to DrBayern for this bottle
Pours basically opaque black with a sticky staying big tan head. Smell is big and roasty at first, with some dryness about it. As it opened up I didn't enjoy the smell quite as much. Tastes of dry, unsweetened roastiness but with a tart soy flavor creeping up more and more as I drank it. Creamy, nice body and mouthfeel with good a carbonation level, but I get the roast & "soy" flavor more than coffee and chocolate. Still not bad, but just had a component I'm not crazy about.

Photo of merlin48
3/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, no freshness date. Pours a deep, opaque brown, essentially black. Small tan head falls flat in seconds. No lacing.

Aroma is a bit subdued, with chocolate and roasty dark malts. A faint note of floral hops.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, but seems low on carbonation. A mild, peppery hops bite on the tongue.

Taste is dark roasted malts, with predominant coffee and cocoa. Alcohol is well hidden. There is a sour flavor noted midway through that is difficult to pinpoint. I wouldn't call it a fruity sour, and it is a definite distraction. There is very little carbonation in the taste. Smooth and rich, and quite drinkable, but this isn't up to par with other Bell's I've tried.

Somewhat disappointed in this one. Bottle appears to be fresh, and has been stored properly, to the best of my knowledge. Possibly, an off-bottle here, judging from other reviews. Lack of carbonation and the mysterious sour element in the taste are my reasons for wondering about this one.

Photo of dmarch
3.01/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Man I was pumped up about this beer, my first from Bell's. Looks nice. Pitch black with a thick tan head. Roasted coffee and a little bit of chocolate in both the aroma and the taste. Very sweet. But then there is that off flavor. Tastes like a plum that's a bit stale. It adds a bit of sourness that I find quite undisirable. I know Bell's has a reputation for being inconsistant at bottling, but I haven't got one yet that blew me away.

Photo of mikul93
3.01/5  rDev -24.4%
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.

Photo of Klym
3.03/5  rDev -23.9%
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.

Photo of KevChiTown
3.04/5  rDev -23.6%
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.

Photo of dmamiano
3.05/5  rDev -23.4%
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.

Photo of jonziefle
3.05/5  rDev -23.4%
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.

Photo of polisanl
3.07/5  rDev -22.9%
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.

Photo of Sydney10
3.08/5  rDev -22.6%
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.

Photo of soilguy
3.11/5  rDev -21.9%
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.

Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.12/5  rDev -21.6%
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.

Photo of StuyBeerGuy
3.13/5  rDev -21.4%
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.

Photo of dejrrma
3.15/5  rDev -20.9%
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.

Photo of drinksandeats
3.15/5  rDev -20.9%
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.

Photo of midaszero
3.16/5  rDev -20.6%
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

Photo of caresville
3.16/5  rDev -20.6%
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 ;)

Photo of Jparker37
3.16/5  rDev -20.6%
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.

Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 3,844 ratings.