Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...
Dismiss Notice
Join The Buzz! Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest BeerAdvocate updates delivered to your inbox.

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

1,485 Reviews
THE BROS
83
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,485
Hads: 3,911
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 9.38%
Wants: 176
Gots: 480 | 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
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 1,485 | Hads: 3,911
Photo of Sammy
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

very roasted malts, sweet and bitter. The rich cream is an attributeand supports the Creamy head. chocolate malts, expresso coffee but not overpowering. Some anise and other oils. Before dinner, after dinner. Had a bottle after 20 months and enjoyed its pure roasty stout, but downgraded it a bit.
Had this again after three years and it really hits the spot, often imitated never copied. Bitterness is so well controlled by roast and malt, not overwhelming coffee either. (473 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.64/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to shrek086 for sending me this one!

Pours an opaque black with a 1/2 foamy khaki head that settles to a film on the top of the beer. No lacing on this one on the drink down. Smell is of uncooked bread dough, slight chocolate, and oddly enough a bit like playdough. Taste is of dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, and some mild coffee bean flavors. I am not getting licorice in either the smell or taste. A mild roasty bitterness quickly fades from the palate after each sip. This beer has a crisp level of carbonation with a nice bubbly mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good stout but nothing that great in the long run. I enjoy the way this beer smells more than the way it tastes. (692 characters)

Photo of t0rin0
3.61/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very dark, brown foam, no light gets through. Decent retention with alright lacing.

Smell is of alcohol and roast. Mildly complex but not much there.

Flavor is heavy on the roast. Theres a dry bitterness and a nutty aftertaste. The only sweetness that comes through is at the end of the aftertaste.

Body is medium/heavy and oily. More suited to a double stout but where does it say that milk stouts can't be thick? Definitely drinkable if you like roast and coffee flavors, I don't however. (494 characters)

Photo of metter98
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a thin mocha colored head that quickly died down and left wispy patterns of bubbles floating on the surface.
S: There are aromas of roasted malts and hints of coffee and sweetness in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, except that there are noticeable flavors of licorice as well as hints of chocolate and coffee. There is a slight amount of bitterness in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied, creamy and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is easy to drink because it isn't very filling. (587 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.58/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

G: Poured into a pint glass.

A: Very dark with a pretty good head.

S: Some lactose sweetness along with some dark malts, fruit, and maybe a tad bit of caramel.

T: Much like the smell, with some hops and a wee bit of coffee.

M: Fairly thick, but not overly so.

D: Fairly drinkable. A less-intense stout experience. (319 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.84/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

one of the great stouts of the Midwest, this is a real winner. shiny black, dense to light, and sporting a lovely just off white head over an inch tall, full of air, and leaving plenty of lace. big bitter roast barley aromatics with just enough hops. smoke, wet earth, and acidic coffee all contribute to the nose and taste of this beer as well, but what I love about it is its straightforward nature, no frills, just good roasty stout. its really clean for the style, finishing quickly and not drinking too heavy at all. kind of an all year stout rather than just a short day cold weather beer. its not overly creamy in feel either, with a slick sort of coating mouthfeel, thin enough to drink several off, but big enough to satiate me after that many. sweet in the middle comes out of nowhere, but the bitter finish triumphs. one of bells less exotic but most trustworthy beers. (880 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.55/5  rDev +12.3%
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 (534 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a deep black color, the head was thick and tan colored. The smell of the beer is roasted and has a light chocolate aroma in there too. The taste of the beer had heavy roasted malts, and hints of chocolate too. The mouthfeel of the beer wasn't as thick as I was hoping for. Overall this beer isn't too bad. I would gladly drink it again, I just feel there are better stouts out there. (407 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another impressive stout by Bell's. This has a similar flavor, aromatic, and visual profile as the Expedition Stout--Just kicked down a notch. This is impressive with it's balance of roasted, chocolate, caramel, and barley malts. Hopped only for balance. Slight tartness. Creamy with sight bittering; no astringency or graininess. Present alcohol, but never dominates. Finishes slightly bitter with nice linger period. (418 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a medium brown color head with great retention. Aroma of roasted malt with faint chocolate in the back. Taste is very creamy-like with a nice dose of chocolate. Not a whole lot of hops but I think this is for the best. Very well balance beer. (288 characters)

Photo of largadeer
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle from Dyan, consumed for lunch today with a couple of wheat thins. Can't think of a much better lunch.

Appearance: Pours the darkest of browns, opaque in my glass with a finger of dark tan foam. Retention isn't great, but there's a solid and persisting ring.

Smell: Brownies, the homemade dark chocolate variety, not the sugary sweet stuff you'd find at the corner store. There's a bit of spicy licorice present as well, along with a dash of light roast coffee. Malty sweetness is in perfect balance here; present but not overbearing.

Taste & mouthfeel: Dark chocolate and light roast coffee in even portions with a nice creamy backbone. The use of brewers licorice lends a spicy undercurrent, though it's subtle enough that it doesn't distract from the malt. Great mouthfeel, velvety and rich but not overly thick. The dryness of the finish really enhances the drinkability for me, as I'm generally not a huge fan of beers that are sweet from beginning to end. Great stuff here, probably a top example of the style. (1,031 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
3.96/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, a souvenir from a visit to a kick-ass liquor store in Dearborn, Michigan, a few weeks ago.

This beer pours a solid black, with slight cola highlights, and one fat finger of dense puffy pale beige head, which leaves a broad swath of a lace paint job around the glass as it settles. It smells of gritty, chalky baker's chocolate, caramel malt, earthy licorice, and leafy hops. The taste is still big into the chocolate - bittersweet, and enveloping, with a narrow coffee stripe. The licorice is there, a tight somewhat astringent natural black anise essence, cutting into the cocoa blanket, aided by some mild booze and underwhelmingly edgy hops. The carbonation is present, on a low-fi fizzy plane, the body damn-near full, expansive, and smooth, with a creamy predilection. It finishes with butterfly-imitating malt, bursting forth from below, finally joining the chocolate, middling licorice, and oafish hops, late to the party.

A decent, well-flavoured, dessert-adjacent Yankee stout. The extra point of ABV well-obfuscated, the licorice not overplayed - what's not to like? (1,091 characters)

Photo of emerge077
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Kzoo stout is my go-to stout. Always satisfying, and consistently solid.

Pours an opaque jet-black. Head is present and lingers throughout. Roasted malt comes out first and foremost. Taste is rich and roasty without extra weight to burden it down. Very well balanced and smooth, cascades across the palate.

Must resist the urge to down 6 at a time...

Notes: Cellared 7289/March '06 bottle. Consumed 11-21-07, 20 months old.

Retains a good head of foam. Sweet brown sugar and chocolate malt in the nose. Ahh...that supreme roast flavor takes me back to the last Kalamazoo Stout I had almost a year ago. It builds up on the palate. Appropriately bitter with a hint of chicory or coffee in the aftertaste. Still vibrant and packs a punch after 1-1/2 years in the cellar. (774 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.55/5  rDev +12.3%
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. (1,327 characters)

Photo of zeff80
4.24/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a solid black color with a one-finger, chocolate-brown head. It left small traces of lace.

S - It smelled of caramel and chocolate. It had a very sweet nose.

T - Tasted of sweet chocolate at first sip. Also, some creamy caramel flavors. There is a slight bitter kick as it warms.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very good stout. Not a surprise that Bell's churned out another good brew. (437 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Finally able to taste a Bell's stout, picked this one up at Brawley's on my last trip. Poured a thick deep dark black with a big creamy brown head. Faded from the initial 2+ inches to a 1/2 inch lace that stayed till the bottom of the glass. Very nice light brown coating left down the sides. Smell was very sweet, first hints were of coffee, and licorice, followed by sugary sweetness, and rootbeer. As it warmed hints of rootbeer or cream soda were apparent, and suprisingly pleasent. Smells were not too strong, a little more pronounced and it would have been perfect. Taste was very rich and creamy, with a soda like consistency due to the light feel and high carbonation. Predominant taste was coffee and caramel, again with hints of some kind of sweet cola taste. Only complaint on this was it came off a bit thin. Other than that this was a fine brew, just a bit thin, but a good session beer. (900 characters)

Photo of oberon
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pitch black with rather big creamy almond colored head,the aroma is a mocha coffee and some nuttiness.Tastes sweet and roasted with some chocolate tones nice and creamy tasting.Its a beer to drink and savor for sure, this an Expedition are definently high quality stouts worthy of high marks. (300 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for sending this one my way, Matt.

A: The beer is almost black in color and pours with about a finger of dark tan head.

S: Plenty of roasted malt and coffee notes to the nose followed up by dark chocolate and licorice. Actually, a lot of licorice. Molasses is present as well is a touch of soap.

T: The flavor is very similar to the nose, with a nice roasted character, though not overwhelming or charred in nature. Toffee and molasses flavors provide the bulk of the sweetness along with a bit of licorice.

M: Medium in body with a medium level of carbonation.

O: Really nice easy drinking stout. You could definitely have a couple of these. (654 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark, opaque black body with a rich, creamy beige head.

Smell: A sweet, succoring aroma of milk chocolate, licorice, and an iced caramel macchiato.

Taste: Rich, roasty espresso and dark chocolate flavor smoothed out with a shot of cream. A noticeable, fruity twang and a hint of licorice keeps things interesting. The finish is strongly roasty, and sightly astringent.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Quite nice! It should be on anyone's list of things to drink before they die. (532 characters)

Photo of nickfl
4.17/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - One and a half fingers of dark brown head on top of an opaque, black body. The head settles pretty quickly, but leaves good lace behind.

S - Strong dark chocolate and coffee aromas backed up by caramel malt.

T - Lots of nutty chocolate up front followed by mild, smooth sweetness. Roasty flavors come to the front in the finish along with mild malt bitterness.

M - Moderately thick body and medium-low carbonation, with a sweet finish.

D - An enjoyable and reasonably complex beer. Pretty drinkable, but with this level of sweetness I wouldn't want more than one. The chocolate notes in the flavor and aroma are particularly nice. (638 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

Hey, my label's different! (I'm sorry, it's all I had to start with. I'll try better next time...) No matter, it pours sleek obsidian (that seems to want to be tinged with either ruby or garnet, but just can't quite get it done) topped by a finger of sandstone foam. The nose comprises roasted malts, light char, a very light touch of anise, and a sprinkling of dark chocolate. Though there may be more listed there, the roast is king, and everyone 'round town knows it. The taste mimics the smell, with roasty dominance continuing. However, here the dark chocolate and anise shine through a bit more, along with a dull cut of coffee in the back room. The body is a solid medium, with a light carbonation and a smooth feel. Overall, a pretty nice stout, kinda one-dimensional (and then some), but it definitely hits the spot when a stout is desired. (895 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque black (no highlights when held to the light, but the yeast sediment is clearly visible at the bottom of the glass) with a frothy light tan head that holds fairly well before dropping to a decent collar and whispy surface covering. A short creamy head can easily be brought back, however, simply by swirling the glass, and it leaves some nice as well. The nose is rich with a sharp roastiness and notes of bittersweet chocolate, but also offers some floral and lightly earthy hops in the background. The medium body is enhanced by an exceptionally fine carbonation from bottle conditioning that leaves it creamy and smooth in the mouth. The flavor is also affected by the creamy carbonation, softening it's bitterness and rounding it's sharp roasted edges. It starts with an underlying fruitiness and dark chocolate, but immediately becomes quite roasty. It warms to reveal some caramel sweetness as it crosses the palate but reverts to deep roastiness and a solid bitterness in the finish. A rich, dark roasted coffee flavor lingers in the mouth long after the liquid had gone and occassional flashes of hop flavor can sometimes be found. Rich, complex, and highly enjoyable. This makes a great after-dinner drink or nightcap. Highly recommended and well worth seeking out. (1,289 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Acquired via trade from JAYW, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a very dark brown color with a thin but dense brown head that fades quickly and leaves a thick and even lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is robust, creamy and malty with chocolate & coffee.

T: The taste is smoky and sweet with malty flavors of roasted coffee & dark chocolate. There’s a very faint bit of hops, but there’s no bitterness at all, even the bitterness that you usually get from the intense chocolate & coffee flavors isn’t there. The after-taste is cream and sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium-to-heavy body, light-to-medium carbonation, sticky finish.

D: Very tasty, goes down very easily, slightly filling, decent kick, this one is an excellent sipper, especially if you’re looking for a beer with the flavor of an RIS but less of the alcohol punch. (928 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - An opaque black w/ tan head and generous lacing.

S - roasted coffe and anise odors dominate.

M - Sweet, creamy, roasted and medicinal w/ good carbonation.

T - A deep molasses and roasted coffee taste at first taste. The smooth stout blends so effortlessly w/ a prominent black licorice taste. The anise comes in and catches you off guard w/ a nice herbal finish that is tasty and slightly dry.

D - A full bodied stout w/ a good hop profile + licorice flavor with tinges of molasses. The sweetness is balanced by the herbal flavors. It is not one I would drink single every day, but so smooth I probably could. (625 characters)

Photo of Jason
3.34/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

Appearance: The thick foaming light brown head leaves big sticky chunks in the glass, the colour is a shade or two from pitch black.

Smell: Yeasty aroma, dark fruitiness under a wild estery and buttery burnt caramel smell.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Full bodied, creamy smooth and on the sweet side ... the sweetness seems clouded though. Big yeast bite mixes it up with the roasted character. Ghost like beef broth and dark fruit. Bitter chocolate and some roasted coffee bean in there. A bit hoppy with some flavour middle to end, lots of soft charcoal flavour as well.

Notes: The minimal astringency does not get in the way yet the flavours just don’t meld well together … a little unbalanced some would say. I am not say it is bad, I enjoyed it but it certainly did not rock my world.

Thanks to sakaroo for the sample. (875 characters)

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
91 out of 100 based on 1,485 ratings.