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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.

2,997 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2997
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: 2,997 | Reviews: 1,407 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Hopswagger

South Carolina

4.39/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

P: Pitch black abyss that shows no signs of light. Capped with a bubbly dark chocolate milk froth. Thick sticky lacing.

S: Chocolate syrup, biscotti, praline, brown sugar, prunes, melted chocolate ice cream, cinnamon and roasted dark grains.

T/M: Bitter dark chocolate, with hints of black licorice swimming around. Ground spices, tree bark, earthiness that reminds me of moss, cracked black pepper, spicy sting of what seems like chilies hits the tongue toward the end of the swallow. Finishes with an effervescent tingle and lasting medicinal notes. Alcohol is very subtle and is heard to seek out.

O: A smooth easy drinking stout that has sweetness and lots of earthy bitter notes to round out the taste. I was worried at first because I'm not a fan of licorice forward beers but it works well with this beer and compliments nicely. A great stout to stock up on.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2014 23:53:00 | More by Hopswagger
Photo of FLima


4.19/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deepest black color with a dark caramel head with low retention.
Nice aroma of high quality coffee and chocolate with some licorice.
Intense flavor of roasted coffee followed by equally intense dark chocolate, with notes of earthy and citrusy hops, pepper, licorice and lactic acid.
Quite dry aftertaste with residual notes that keep mutating.
Full body with low carbonation.
Perfectly crafted Stout, likely more hoppy than it feels, but it is completely balanced by its bold malt profile.

Serving type: on-tap

02-25-2014 21:09:22 | More by FLima
Photo of osant37

New York

4.76/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

pours a used motor oil black that i cant see any light through. about 1 finger of a brown mocha colored frothy head that dissapates rather quickly. leaving good lacing on the glass. the smell is straight roasted coffee almost a milky chocolate ,lactose type note to the smell. i dont detect any of the licorice that used in the brewing process. the taste is pure coffee and creamy chocolate. nice bitterness & roastyness. i get the licorice on the back of the tounge just faintly after a sip. mouthfeel is medium bodied and creamy. this beer must be great on nitro tap if thats even available. overall a damn good stout! definatly something id pick up again. too bad the abv is a little to low for any real cellaring...cheers!

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2014 01:31:38 | More by osant37
Photo of Act25

New Jersey

4.34/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Stouts just get better & better, and I wonder sometimes if all the best ones are not all 4.5s?

Appearance: Beautiful body sports a rocky, persistence head and with tons of lacing.

Smell: Smoke, charred wood, licorice, grass.

Taste: Follows smell, with sweet and charred wood start, then coffee with lots of hop bitterness, and in the finish, the flavors burst with complexity: roots, sarsaparillas, burst of coffee, chocolate licorice, molasses, and a tempering tingling, bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Full and creamy with moderate carbonation, great feel.

Drinkability: Another top stout without too much ABV, one of my favorites.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2014 00:50:45 | More by Act25
Photo of brutusmuktuk


4.2/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Dark brown ale with a slight tan head. Has a roasty aroma and a slight roasty flavor with a hint of coffee in the finish. The beer is smooth and has a nice full body feel. Nicely balanced. This is a beer that is just a pure joy to drink on any occasion.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2014 17:47:45 | More by brutusmuktuk
Photo of Hopdaemon39

New York

4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I'm so glad bells is in NYC now- I've been dying out here I'm the beer boonies.

Looks very dark with a slight tan head of one finger, good retention and nice lacing. Could be more but very nice looking.

Smells pretty normal but very good- nice full roasted malt notes and a hint of anise.

Tastes great- full flavored roasted malt body, a nice little licorice note and finishes slightly sweet. Excellent.

Nice mouthfeel- medium full bodied, moderate carbonation. I like this beer. You will too.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2014 01:33:40 | More by Hopdaemon39
Photo of BierJager89


4.11/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Beautiful black with a creamy brown head.

S: Nose is medium roast coffee milk chocolate deliciousness.

T: Milk chocolate, almost a bit earthy, with some nice mild, medium roast coffee. Akin to the nose. Delicious.

M: Medium bodied, not smooth.

O: This is a nice, mild, not so in-your-face, but definitely flavorful stout. I generally prefer milk chocolate flavor to dark chocolate flavor, which is what you'll find in this beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2014 01:22:09 | More by BierJager89
Photo of Bouleboubier


4.18/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: darker brown (high portion of roasted barley?), spongy foam.... super dark liquid.... no lace, steady but weak collar

S: roasted barley (mild char) with a clean herbal (dried leaves or wood) bent.... very light licorice and even lighter chocolate in the background.... warmer: dried flowers and licorice.... fairly potent smell altogether

T: smooth, slightly sweet, cookie malt flavor.... very mellow roastiness, slow-emerging, bitterness (neutral hop flavor) that lasts long past the finish.... mild, residual bitter chocolate syrup... not much discernible licorice flavor - it's there in the finish, but not in a candy-like way

M: mostly silky and an expanding sensation through the palate (effect from alcohol?)... bit of an after-spritz on the finish.... smooth, satisfying, and fulfilling

O: overall, bittersweet with a tiny hint of licorice in the aftertaste.... not terribly hoppy, if at all.... darn good stout - I would certainly try this again

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2014 18:08:06 | More by Bouleboubier
Photo of stinkydaddy


3.68/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

a - roasty chocolate, picking up dark fruit as it warms, a very small bit of floral could be hops

a - pours a medium tan head with tight creamy bubbles. Opaque. Light does not even show through the edges. Head dissipates to thin and laces nicely.

f - as it smells. dark malt. chocolate. roasty. hops are earthy and provide balance but this is all about the malt. a bit of yeast but this is a 8 month old bottle.

M - Creamy and thick. Oily. Exactly what you want from a stout. Low carb adds to body.

O - A very nice stout highlighted by an amazing body

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2014 01:43:47 | More by stinkydaddy
Photo of Badger6


4.01/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Very dark body, with a thick, brown head. Minimal lacing.

S: Distinct roasted malts. Hints of anise (licorice) and chocolate. Stings the nostrils....in a good way, a formidable scent. But, seriously, this is a distinctly bold aroma, but one that begs to tasted.

T: Malts immediately, a mellow yet well defined taste of roasted and charred malts. But very smooth. Some chocolatey sweetness, but not overpowering or out of balance to the roasted flavors. Some bitterness starts to show at the end, and lingers into the aftertaste. Licorice appears then disappears in the end as well.

M: Very robust body, but so smooth that it drinks easily and is very satisfying. The carbonation is not powerful, giving this beer a creamy feel.

O: This is a really smooth example of a strong American stout, why can't imperials be this good? If you've never had it, try it, if you have had it, why aren't you drinking it now?

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2014 02:04:41 | More by Badger6
Photo of ChrisL24481

New Hampshire

4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Pours a dark, dark brown with a half inch, soft/creamy light brown head. Some lacing is retained and a dense ring is left around the rum. A little bit of carbonation can be seen with the a few lingering bubbles at the top.

Aroma - An excellent aroma emanates from the nose. Roasted coffee, chocolate, and slight bit of caramel blend together for a nice, nice smell on this stout.

Taste - The taste is similar to the smell. You have roasted coffee and chocolate at the forefront with a blend of caramel sweetness and a touch of nuttiness as well.

Mouthfeel - This is a medium to full bodied stout with a smooth and creamy feel on the tongue. A bit of bitterness comes forward at the end and the beer leaves a sticky feel around the mouth/lips as well.

Overall - A simple, well-crafted stout by an excellent brewery. It is flavorful and full bodied, and meets all the criteria you would like for in a regular stout.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2014 17:34:54 | More by ChrisL24481
Photo of cambabeer


3.89/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Seems to be pitch black, but close examination shows its just a little off, some brown hues in there, but thick and completely opaque. Nice light brown head that lingers and a lace that clings to the glass nicely. Nice smoky sweet aroma that is balanced by some maltiness and clean bitterness in the nose. The taste follows the aroma, very coffee bitter like with some dark chocolate and burnt wood flavors. Some deep fruit notes like raisins or plums, but only slight. There is a little hop bitterness that hangs out on your mouth with the burnt flavors to make a very pleasant aftertaste. Not groundbreaking, in my opinion, but a solid stout.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2014 16:23:35 | More by cambabeer
Photo of rangerred


4.18/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours pitch black with a very dark tan one finger head. Great head retention and lacing.

The smell, apart from a slight metallic note, is awesome. Tons of toast and roasted malt with a good shot of coffee. There is some fruitiness going on too.

The flavor is a lot more bold than the aroma. Dark roast coffee and dark fruit along with some burnt caramel. Dark chocolate accompanies a high bitterness with a bit of cream to finish is off. Moderate mouthfeel with a fairly dry finish.

Overall, a really good, if not excellent, stout. While the aroma is lacking a bit it is full of flavor and stops short of being over the top remaining quite drinkable. Very nice.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2014 01:24:50 | More by rangerred
Photo of sully11277


4.4/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my snifter

A- Dark as night with a very light caramel head on it.

S- You get a lot of roast, coca, caramel, sweet, and coffee

T- It is sweet those coca and caramel taste hit you first then you get the roast/coffee towards the end of it.

M- Very smooth, malty, and sweet

O- It's a great stout with a lot of flavors going on that work well together. It's a great winter beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2014 20:37:59 | More by sully11277
Photo of AUGRAD06


4.46/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

So I picked up the Bell's Kalamazoo Stout without really checking it out. I figured, "It's cold outside, a Stout sounds good." It wasn't till I got home that I realized it was brewed with licorice. I've been a huge licorice fan since my childhood. It poured dark and silky into my glass. A nice coffee scent with just a hint of licorice. The taste was the same with very light carbonation. A great stout. I will definitely get this beer again!!!!

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2014 01:39:05 | More by AUGRAD06
Photo of Emnmarko


4.39/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A- Dark as midnight, deep, robs light. Caramel/dark tan head

S-Coffee, caramel, chocolate

T-Creamy coffee mocha and caramel. Mild hop flavor, less licorice. Nutty.

M- Smooth, creamy, malty. Nice for a winter day.

O- 4.25 Very nice beer. Smooth and delicious.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2014 20:08:30 | More by Emnmarko
Photo of cottonkoozie

North Carolina

4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Pours almost black. Dark brown 1 finger head with decent retention but I would have liked a little more. Moderate lacing.

S - Roasted caramel malts jumped out at me first. Some chocolate malts underneath. A hint of boozy smell, not much but more than I expected from a 6% abv. Not a lot of smell really, but whats there is good.

T - Much more complex than the smell. Still a lot of the caramel malts and the chocolate undertones, but the roasting really brought them out. Nice malt complexity, and a perfect amount of hop balance for a stout. Very good.

M - Great for the style. Very full, but not too heavy.

Overall this is a very good stout. Nicely balanced and good for a session beer. I've seen this one on draft before and will probably try it on draft as well.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2014 00:02:29 | More by cottonkoozie
Photo of WanderingFool


3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Kalamazoo stout pours black into the glass with a small light tan head on top. The foam fades away quickly leaving a few spots of lace on the glass.

The aroma is rich with roasted malt, plus a little chocolate and dark fruit.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is smooth and a little oily. The flavor has roasted malt, chocolate, and nuts. A bit astringent. It finishes a little tart with a taste of plum. Once gone the roast malt and chocolate lingers on the palate.

A pretty good stout. Middle of the road for the stouts I've enjoyed.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2014 23:42:31 | More by WanderingFool
Photo of tbeckett

Ontario (Canada)

4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

My Girlfriend brought this back from Florida for me. Bottled July 30. From notes.

A - Poured black with one finger of beige head that went fast. Mild carbonation. No lace and no retention.

S - Lot's of roast. Some iced coffee and a fair bit of chocolate.

T - Cola. Huge roast, chocolate, coffee, leather, some wood, milk chocolate, licorice. Nice stout flavour with chocolate really pushing to the forefront, but maintaining lot's of complexity.

M - Nice carbonation, medium body, roasty bitterness.

O/D - A pleasant stout. Great drinkability. Complex for its strength and hits all the requisite notes for me.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2014 00:59:45 | More by tbeckett
Photo of ONUMello


3.89/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler into a pint glass
A: Pitch black with a two-finger mocha head that slowly settles
S: Tons of chocolate up front, roasted malts and a bit earthy
T: Cocoa, a bit of the licorice mentioned, some dark malts, but overall not quite as complex as I'd hoped
M: Medium-bodied, a pleasant bitterness though the finish is very short
O: A solid stout overall just not my favorite out there

Serving type: growler

12-30-2013 21:15:35 | More by ONUMello
Photo of StonedTrippin


3.84/5  rDev -4%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-21-2013 06:29:01 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of Cyrion


4.15/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a nonic pint, and consumed in celebration of something or other.

Appearance: Completely black, and has a short, tan 1" head that vanishes quickly.

Aroma: Chocolate, malt, and a decent amount of brown sugar. No discernible coffee aroma.

Taste: A combination of bitter dark chocolate and malted milk. They don't blend together- I can taste both on my tongue at the same time, each one on its own, complementing but not mingling with the other. This is weird, but a good weird. The dark chocolate has an unusual flavor to it. I'm guessing that's the licorice influence, but since I have no idea what brewers licorice is, I'm going to drink some more of it.

Mouthfeel: Thick and clingy. Coats the mouth like an appropriate stout.

Overall: This stout is low alcohol (6.0%) but it's a formidable beer on taste alone. The absence of coffee and the presence of dark chocolate, makes this a memorable beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2013 01:35:43 | More by Cyrion
Photo of SportsandJorts


3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: dark brown almost black. opaque. a small amount of tannish foam. leaves a lacing behind.

Smell: sweet chocolate. bitter and roasty malts. good but simple

Taste: opens up with some sweet chocolate. moves towards a roasty malts. a bitterness hits at the end.

Mouthfeel: fairly light and drinkable and some lingering bitterness

Overall: a nice lighter stout. not super unique or complex but very well done.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2013 01:23:23 | More by SportsandJorts
Photo of ONovoMexicano

New Mexico

3.81/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a six pack in November of 2013 in Tucson, Arizona and brought back to New Mexico.

Poured into a snifter.

It's a good-looking beer. Jet black and smooth flowing out of the bottle, the beer forms a two finger head, khaki-brown in color and light and fluffy. After the head dissipates, there's lacing on all sides of the glass and a film of head above the liquid.

A roasted, coffee-like aroma meets my nose. There's chocolate and slight hints of booze.

Bitter chocolate stands out on the taste and baker's chocolate lingers on my tongue long after each sip. There are hints of vanilla and toffee and some malt in there too.

The beer is not as creamy and smooth as I'd hope for, but it's enjoyable. A beer I wouldn't mind drinking regularly, although I think my local stout beats it.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2013 04:02:12 | More by ONovoMexicano
Photo of BeerYoss


3.75/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

two finger large bubbled head dissipates quickly to a thin film. decent lacing.

you can smell the alcohol but there is some great earthy chocolatey goodness in there too.

dark chocolate

there's a lightness to the mouthfeel that is at odds with the overall taste

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2013 02:57:10 | More by BeerYoss
Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
90 out of 100 based on 2,997 ratings.