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

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Bell's Kalamazoo StoutBell's Kalamazoo Stout

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1,479 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,479
Hads: 3,876
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 9.38%
Wants: 176
Gots: 466 | 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
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Reviews: 1,479 | Hads: 3,876
Photo of meathookjones
4.73/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a pitch black with a slow forming head that works its way up to about an inch and a half of brown foam. As the head recedes down to a smaller on that lasts throughout rings of lace are left decorating the glass. Picture perfect looking brew here nice head good lace, what more could you want. Strong aroma with roasted coffee and dark chocolate coming out the most. I was able to smell this as I was pouring it. Taste is similar with a bitter coffee flavor up front and a slight earthy hoppiness as well. Slight bit of cream to the flavor before it ends in a lingering bitter coffee aftertaste. Mouthfeel is slick with a medium to full body. Great drinkability as this went down very easy and I would have had another if I had it. (740 characters)

Photo of Skidz
3.43/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Batch 6588

Pours out dark ruby brown and sits jet black in the glass with a large, fluffy brown head, nice lacings too.

Smells quite roasted, coffee and espresso abundant. Light, chocolate powdery aroma behind the overall blackend smell of the beer.

Tastes just lightly sweet up front and meanders its way into a load of sharp roasted flavors. Coffee grinds and blackened malt grit away at your toungue with light abrasiveness. Traces of bitter chocolate found within the almost sour taste to this beer. Nothing citrusy, but a bit puckering at the sides. Well bittered, hopping clean and efficient. Finished nicely bittered, but still has some of that sourness from the roasted grain.

Rich and smooth in the mouth with medium carbonation. Nice body, but doesn't quite match up with the heavy dose of roast. Not a bad stout by any means, but not one to be consumed in large quantities. (896 characters)

Photo of Crosling
4.37/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


A truly exceptional aroma hits the nostrils and causes immediate drooling in the mouth. Notes of coffee beans, deep chocolate, roasted malts and cocoa in the nose.

Rich, full flavored, deep roasted malt profile, containing notes of coffee, molasses, a slight hint of anise, deep chocolate, cocoa along with a lingering finish of coffee and flowery hop bitterness. . Medium bodied and creamy as hell.

Can they make excellent stouts or what? (455 characters)

Photo of rajendra82
4.36/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer came in a brown 12 oz. bottle. When poured into a standard pint glass, the body was black with brown tones. The head was rich and creamy and khaki in color. The aroma was very roasty with strong black coffee being the prominent smell. The taste was robust with bitter coffee, burnt toast, raisins, and unsweetened cocoa powder. The mouthfeel was smooth and creamy with a soft carbonation. The aftertaste was dry and slightly peppery. Very nice and drinkable stout that has an amazing depth of complexity to boot. Many thanks go to Ninjaworm for this bottle in trade. (575 characters)

Photo of BrewMaster
3.73/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a tiny and bubbley dark brown head. The smell is sour and acetyl with a woddy smell (oak?). The texture of this beer is fantastic on the palate. It has a frothy creaminess to is, but the beer is a bit empty of flavor. It is very roasty but not complex at all which leaves a lot to be desired. (303 characters)

Photo of sutcliff
4.68/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Simply excellent. As soon as I finished my first bottle, I was online looking up the brewery and how far it was from St. Louis. The aroma was sublime. The taste was warm, sweet, and urging me to take another sip. The color was black as a moonless night. The head was nice and thick with good lacing throughout the glass. (320 characters)

Photo of Bierguy5
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the bottle comes a deep dark black liquid with a great tan creamy, fluffy head. The head on this beer was present for much of the beer, and there was a decent amount of lacing on the glass. What a great looking beer so far. Smells of milk chocolate, cocoa, maybe a hint of coffee, and slight dark fruit. Tastes are a nicely roasty malt, followed by some sweet chocolate flavors. Maybe just slightly smoky. Slight hop bitterness at the end. Low carbonation, and a creamy mouthfeel. This could probably be a little fuller, but that is about all I can complain about. Pretty drinkable, although it is slightly sweet. Another winner from Bell's. (646 characters)

Photo of trumick
4.16/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The appearance is a deep dark color with a finger head that lasts for a while leaves a nice lacing.
The smell is of sweet malt and roasted coffee maybe a little chocolate.
The taste is incredible, deep roasted malt and chocolate expresso flavor with a very nice bittersweet finish.
The mouthfeel is soft and velvety just the right amount of carbination to compliment the feeling.
I could easily drink a six of these, nice and slow.
What a nice beer from Kzoo, this is the best beer I have had from Bells. The kind Kzoo brew. (530 characters)

Photo of Maestro
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It has been a while since I have sampled a milk stout. This one is quite nice. The head is thick and leaves an intricate lacing. The nose is quite varied with hints of chocolate and coffee. The hops are subdued but they compliment the sweet character very well. Tastes of chocolate combine well with a literally "bittersweet" character. The mouthfeel is quite dry which is suprising for this style of beer. Quite drinkable and tastey. Drink up! (444 characters)

Photo of ramrod666
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a pitch black stout with a small saddle colored head that faded to a ring before long. smell eas of dark coffee and semi-sweet chocolate with a gentle acididty to the back. taste is slightly hoppy for a milk/sweet stout but, not imperial hoppy. chocolate malts with a slight sour coffee are dominant. slight pepper in the aftertaste. mouthfeel is nice and heavy. thick. very nice beer to break up an all day drink-a-thon. will try again. (437 characters)

Photo of WesWes
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep dark black color with a thick frothy brown head that fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a rich dark malt scent that is dominated with chocolate and roasted barley. It is sweet to the nose and seems a bit creamy. The taste is good. It has a dry black malt flavor with some chocolate hints and a semi-sweet finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a fine stout. It has great aroma and flavor a good sessions ale. (486 characters)

Photo of HopHeadKen
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I received a 'sixer' of this as payment for a favor I did for a friend; and was concerned because when I inspected the bottles, I could see some sort of deposit on the inside of the neck.

I store and drink stouts at cellar temp (66 deg. F in summer) I think this brings out the flavor better.

I could smell the toasted malt when the cap came off, and it pourde from the bottle with a lot of carbonation and foamy brown head that dissapated to almost nothing in a few minutes.

The taste is rich toasty malt - coffee - carmel - chocolate; with a lingering alcohol and hop bitterness in the aftertaste.

I will not have any problem drinking the rest of this sixpack ! (675 characters)

Photo of mattcrill
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours blacker than black. Ain't no light getting through that glass! Beautfiul chocolate brown head that settles in for a wonderful looking brew

Smell: Roasted coffee with cream. Finishes with some bitterness due to the hops

Taste: Complex with bitterness being more prominent than I expected. Espresso, chocolate, and vanilla are there but the hop bitterness and alcohol taste is suprisingly overpowering

Overall: A finely crafted beer but it wasn't what I expected. Good but not great. (502 characters)

Photo of mobyfann
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Paid $8.99 for a 6pack...

The apperence on this is quite wonderful, let's start this off with a deep dark brown base with a huge fluffy and three-dimensional dark tanish head with great retention and some good lacing that is almost pure perfection... The aroma is nice, just nice... there was a few distinct "stout" ingredients in the smell such as chocolate and coffee, maybe a little cream as well?

The taste is fantastic on this one, first off it's smooth as hell... secondly it's all over the place with the roasty flavor, which isn't overpowering, but is quite nice... The mouthfeel is smooth on the palette, nothing stingy here. The drinkability is tough to judge, based on the fact that it's a 6.5% beer, I'd say it's really high... however it's quite sweet, so too many and you'll feel like you visited Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory, so it's overall good when you consilidate it all together...

Final Thought: The Bell's line is quite impressive with this being the best of the breweries stout line... tastes like a full flavored Guinness! (1,058 characters)

Photo of RoyalT
4.73/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance – Beautifully black in color with a large, dark tan head that showed great retention and left a bit of lacing.

Smell – This is a nice combination of sweet cream, roasted malts, light espresso, and hints of chocolate.

Taste – Oh, this is good. It’s a lot bigger than it smells. Most Cream/Milk Stouts that I’ve had are heavy on the sweets and light on the malts, but this one is expertly balanced. The big, bitter, burnt toast malt just hits the nail on the head.

The other side of the coin is just as good. This doesn’t have a big milk flavor like most other examples of the style. This is true cream. It is good. It is luscious. It is right on without overpowering.

Mouthfeel – This is medium-bodied and will drive your saliva glands crazy. They got just the right combination of stouty roasted malts and fine, rich cream. This one also has a fluffy mouthfeel that will put you on cloud 9.

Drinkability – I wasn’t a huge fan of the Milk/Sweet Stout until trying this one. It is a great beer for introducing a stout lover to the style.

Comments – Big thanks to feloniousmonk for the hook-up! (1,130 characters)

Photo of IrishRedRock
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A lover of all stouts, indeed I am. Generally the sweeter stouts are not my favorite of this breed, but there have been high praises for this one. Let's see what she got.

This beefy looking stout is utterly black with a short but very thick tannish head on top. Malty, dark chocolate nose with traces of nuts and what reminds me of strawberry shortcake. For a sweet stout, this is not so sweet, which is a good thing for me. Not smacking with flavor, but does show off some nicer milk chocolate notes than would, say, an Irish Dry. Mouthfeel is smooth and coating, leaving just the slightest tingle on the tongue with a touch of bitterness from the hops.

I think this would be my favorite sweeter stout to date; would make a very good session stout and would be perfect with dessert; preferably a heaping of vanilla ice cream. (834 characters)

Photo of jayb
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured an ink black that allowed no light through even when held up to a lamp. good deal. a moderatly thick head that thinned out before i got through half of the glass. little to no lacing. last couple beers have been like that, maybe its me. aroma was of burnt malts, very roasty. taste was of expresso, with a ting of milk sweetnes peeking through. aftertaste was that of a sweetened coffee. mouthfeel was of a full bodied brew. this was a thicker brew and i dug it. a fine beer in my opinion. damn fine (506 characters)

Photo of SilentSabre
4.55/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured black as crude oil with a monster chocolate-milk coloured foamy head. Very chocolate/coffee like in smell almost like melted, warm chocolate ice cream, and extremely so in taste. Quite tasty! This is my favourite style of brew to begin with, but I'd have to place this one in particular in my top five. The mouth feel is nice and smooth and quite easy to drink. A bit heavy, but so is the nature of the beast. I have yet to have a brew of this style that wasn't a least a little bit heavy. I strongly recommend this to anyone who fancies porters/stouts. (560 characters)

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

Pours out an oily, brownish black. Small head that clings to life ever so tenaciously.

Smell is smoky mocha roasted coffee beans.

Taste is much like the smell. Roasted espresso beans that have been dipped in cocoa powder comes to mind. Sweet creaminess in the mid-palate with a pleasant coffee finish at the end. Velvety smooth mouthfeel.

Simply one of the best sweet stouts I've ever tasted. (401 characters)

Photo of DPMomutant
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This stout is the expected pitch black in the body. The pour riles up a creamy, two-finger head. About half of it sticks as the head goes down gradually.

The smell is nice, almost just like sweetened coffee with creamer but keeping the black coffee color.

The taste is mostly true to the smell. A very small hint of chocolate in the aftertaste.

I find the mouthfeel very good in both carbonation and body. Goes down very well. The carbonation is subtle, which I prefer in this style. The body was balanced to me allowing me to keep each sip in my mouth to enjoy it.

This stout is very drinkable for dessert and after. Might be a bit sweet for most dinners but starting with dessert and even a couple after it would be very enjoyable. (745 characters)

Photo of AllThingsNinja
4.57/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Peering out through its opacity, I was impressed by the depths of the k-zoo stout’s darkness. There wasn’t much head – but the color of the beer almost made up for that failing. The coffee and chocolate aroma drew me deeper in love with this black beauty. The strong flavors of roasted malt provided a foundation for chocolate, coffee, and a few hop notes. It’s a most excellent, full bodied and warming beer. The alcohol doesn’t play on the palate, but it contributes significantly to the mouth feel. (506 characters)

Photo of lackenhauser
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a distinctly opaque black.Nice slight tan head atop.Nice roasted aroma-hints of coffee and dark chocolate.Huge roasted flavor.Theresa great combination of mocha,licorice,roasted malt and chocolate.Really well done-not overly complex.I dont find the residual sweetness you get in some other milk stouts.Nice full mouthfeel-full bodied but not too big and "oily".Very drinkable beer. (388 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 koolkat
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a deep black with a very brown head. THe nose is mainly burnt and the dark roasted malts are very pronounced.

The first sip is nice with a rich roasted maltiness that lingers on your palate with a slight twinge of sweetness at the end. A nice low hop bite is present that is rather subdues by the roasted flavors.

The beer isnt thin yet it also isnt very thick also. It lacks the really heavy taste akin to a brooklyn black choc stout but it is still rather good on its own right. I'd pick up another sixer of this sometime for sure. (556 characters)

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)

Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
91 out of 100 based on 1,479 ratings.