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

Not Rated.
Bell's Kalamazoo StoutBell's Kalamazoo Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

3,224 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,224
Reviews: 1,423
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 10.53%
Wants: 146
Gots: 224 | 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:
Stout brewed with Brewer's Licorice.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-11-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bell's Kalamazoo Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,224 | Reviews: 1,423 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rebel1771
rebel1771

Florida

3.25/5  rDev -18.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2011 22:58:23 | More by rebel1771
Photo of tobelerone
tobelerone

Connecticut

4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black color, very little head or lacing. Roasty aromas that continue in the mouth, with bitter hops, coffee and bittersweet chocolate flavors also present. Medium mouthfeel, not too thick or carbonated. Modest ABV allows for decent drinkability. Yummy and typical of the style. No surprises here, just delivers the goods. A very nice stout indeed. Not too big or over the top. Gotta find myself a bottle of their Imperial Stout next!

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2011 14:26:01 | More by tobelerone
Photo of DrewV
DrewV

New York

3.5/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle (date code 10175 = Jan 2011) out of the beer fridge at 45 degrees F into a snifter.

A: Nice motor oil color with a 1/2-finger mocha colored head. Not much lacing left behind. A bit disappointed in the lacing.

S: Muted aromas, very restrained roast coffee, some chocolate, not much else.

T: Again, a muted flavor profile with the roast malts leading the way. Not much balancing bitterness here.

M: Average carbonation, a bit watery actually.

O: Let me just say that the difference is night and day between this particular bottle and the pint that I had on tap just last week. This bottle has been sitting on the shelf for about 6 months and it seems that the flavors have all softened considerably. It's drinkable for sure, but a huge disappointment compared to the fresh draft version.

From the wide variation in reviews here on BA, it seems that this brew is very sensitive to age and whether it's in a bottle vs. on tap.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2011 15:09:36 | More by DrewV
Photo of VoiceOfTheSoul
VoiceOfTheSoul

Pennsylvania

4.45/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had this sitting in the fridge for a few months. I was just waiting for the right time, I guess. I came home from work and picked up a few lighters beers at the store, but I was more craving something dark and roasty.

It poured a very deep dark brown, which was black most of the time except in a few spots where the light managed to get through. It had a short, dark tan head that managed to hang as a murky froth laying on top. It smelled bready and malty with a large amount of roast and some chocolate, with some tar-y, piney hops sprinkled around. It was big up front with the roast, burnt and espresso tastes, good amount of chocolate, but nothing too strong. It had a sweetness like marshmallows, all over a bready, malty bottom. I only found a slight licorice taste, and almost none in the nose. It was thick and smooth with a small amount of carbonation, as I had expected.

I found myself literally saying "mmm" without thinking after every few sips. I don't believe I've ever done that before. It was very hard to put down. I know I'll have to get my hands on some more of this. Luckily, one of my local places does get Bell's in.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2011 05:17:09 | More by VoiceOfTheSoul
Photo of PeprSprYoFace
PeprSprYoFace

California

4.08/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. Got as an extra in a trade. Thanks bro. Pours a deep black. A thin tan head formed but dissapated to a ring. Slight lacing.

Aroma is the best part. Caramel and coffee and dark chocolate roasty goodness. Bit of that English ale yeast aroma I get I'm my homebrew.

Taste falls a bit shot but it's still tasty. It's a bit toasty with some charamel tones and a bit of chocolate. It could use a bit of boost in flavor since the aroma suggests a more flavorfull beer. Bit of that English ale yeast taste too.

Mouthfeel is smooth but a bit thin and good medium-low carb.

Overall a solid stout that if they had six packs around me of I would buy as an every day stout.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2011 05:57:12 | More by PeprSprYoFace
Photo of HattedClassic
HattedClassic

Virginia

4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Black with a shade of purple. Pours a decent one fingered head then dissipates quickly and leaves a small cover. Decent lacing.

Smell: Small hints of licorice with a whiff of dark chocolate. The main smell is coffee with roasted malts.

Taste: Roasted malts with coffee dominate the palate. Black licorice makes more of an appearance as the beer warms and gives a sweet flavor and aftertaste to the beer.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation with a thick feel to it.

Overall: A nice stout worth drinking at least once.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2011 15:05:35 | More by HattedClassic
Photo of jgreenearrow
jgreenearrow

Virginia

4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a deep brown, nearly black color with a thin caramel colored head forming at the top of the pour. No lacing on the sides.

S: Rich espresso, roasted malts, and chocolate are all present in the nose.

T: Sweet malts and cocoa begin the sip. Some roasty bitterness and coffee flavors enter in the middle followed by strong bitterness and espresso in the finish.

M: The beer is medium bodied with ample prickly carbonation.

Overall, this is an excellent stout. The roasty bitterness blends well with the slight sweetness to create good balance.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2011 02:41:22 | More by jgreenearrow
Photo of schwaeh
schwaeh

Ohio

3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a Jackie O's snifter

A: Nice jet black color with a half finger brown head. Light lacing.

S: Lots of roasted malt and licorice. Maybe a little cocoa/milk chocolate smell. Some faint hops.

T: Very dark chocolate, Licorice, malts aren't burnt but rather nicely roasted. The hops are fading out on this late April bottle. The alcohol is subdued in this standard stout letting the flavors stand on their own. The roast and licorice build with each further drink.

M: Heavier side of medium with great carbonation. This is a fairly creamy stout which make it very pleasant.

O: This is a great year round stout to scratch an itch for the darker beers. Just solid simple brewing in this beer. One of the best in the $9-$11 sixer range for me.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2011 20:08:02 | More by schwaeh
Photo of BarryMFBurton
BarryMFBurton

Indiana

3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It’s great to have a much beloved brewery like Bell’s in the region where I live; so great, in fact, that the abundance of their famous brews has made me take them for granted. I’m so busy trying imports and trading for non-local brews that I forget about the legends that are right here at my constant leisure. But not tonight. Tonight, I’ve decided to show these guys the respect they deserve by filling my glass with their Kalamazoo Stout. And I couldn’t be happier! I’ve been craving something dark all day, and this will surely give me my fix. I’m not sure if it will be an extraordinary drink, but I guess that’s what I’m here to find out.

To Bell’s, FFF, Sun King, and all the other breweries that are in my general area; may I never grow jaded to the epicness of your beer!

A: A heavy, crude-oil black body that is ordained with a miniscule head of dark tan micro-bubbles. It’s more of a film than anything, as is the lacing, which wraps all the way around the glass with substantial staying power. The carbonation that’s visible as it moves through the body is surprising – it’s high volume for such a dark stout. Surprising or not, it looks excellent.

S: What an awesome, roasty nose on this one. The roasted oak and coffee scents are big, as always, but not without a little licorice underneath. Interesting. Chocolate is strong, too, showing its character as it mixes with some lemony yeasts. A hint of earthen hops in the finish and we’re golden. Great start.

T: Just like the nose, but backwards. A hoppy bitterness reigns strong first and foremost here, turning my whole idea of this brew upside-down. Then comes the roasts – mostly coffee and dark chocolate. It’s disappointing that the woody, flame-seared tastes, though there, are so weak, mostly because I don’t like them as a mere afterthought. Bigger is better there, especially with a palate like this; soon, the sugary licorice/acidic yeast tastes show up, and they would have been complimented in an even better way if they had that roasted flavor to hang onto. Anyway, the whole thing comes out pretty nicely dry, which is good for a stout (even though it does show a lack of balance towards the hoppy end of the palate).

M: Feel is such a huge thing for me with stouts like this. It has to be rich and creamy – or at least thicker in the body. This one doesn’t quite cut it. The thing I most noticed with my first sip, in fact, was the persistent watery atmosphere. Thinness is jarring and apparent, but I’m not sure you could ask for much else with a 6% beer.

O: Well, this has a definite following amongst Bell’s lovers, stout lovers, and just plain ol’ beer lovers; now I see that it’s for good reason. I only wished that this beer had a bigger presence: more ABV, thicker body, bigger roasts, etc. Other than that, though, it has earned its place in my heart and mind as a Bell’s classic. Thanks again, guys! I’ll be sure to think twice next time I’m tempted to just walk by your other offerings.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2011 03:58:23 | More by BarryMFBurton
Photo of LtCracker20
LtCracker20

Connecticut

3.78/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a deep dark, almost black, body with ruby hues around the edges. 2- finger tan head that falls to a thick cap and leaves some all right lacing.

S- Great roasted malt and burnt bittersweet chocolate, and a nice sweet aroma.

T- Mild hops, roasted malts, bittersweet dark chocolate.

MF- Almost full bodied, but creamy and smooth.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2011 02:51:35 | More by LtCracker20
Photo of nukem5
nukem5

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a pitch black color with reddish edges and a great tan cap.

S: Aroma is of malty, hoppy, and licoric.

T: The first thing you get is dark roasted almost burnt or smoked malts and the flavor shifts to a bitter black licorice taste, with notes of robust coffees. A very robust and complex maltiness about it and it says lovingly as silk drink me down.

M: medium to full bodied and a good carbonation level which helps to clear away and refresh the palate to help always get the next flavor.

O: Definitly a drinker over and over again, good till there aint no more.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2011 04:40:41 | More by nukem5
Photo of beerprovedwright
beerprovedwright

Georgia

4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First I must admit I am originally from Michigan, and second I like Stout...not that it would bias my rating.
Sort of a thick pour, like used motor oil into my glass, resulting in a two finger head of moderately dense foam of light brown color. Lace is somewhat clingy. Color is a 30 on the SRM beer color chart. Smell is intriguing, with aromas of licorice, currant, honey, coffee, coco, and lemon peel. The taste, well was not quite a full and robust as I thought it would be, lots of flavor, but not so intense to knock my shoes off. There are flavors of coffee, coco, anise, molasses, charred oak, celery, grapefruit/lemon/pine, and roasted malt. Mouthfeel is thick, creamy, and has some pop from the carbonation. A bit of drying/stickiness on the sides of my tongue and back of my soft palate. Yes I would like to drink some more of this brew, but I got the last bottle and being at the end of the supply chain, I can only dream.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2011 19:27:54 | More by beerprovedwright
Photo of polisanl
polisanl

Florida

3.08/5  rDev -22.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2011 18:42:10 | More by polisanl
Photo of gregshead
gregshead

California

4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown color pours from bottle to glass. A finger of light chocolate colored head slowly dissipates

S: Rich coffee/cocoa smells. With a deeper sniff I catch more dark chocolate on the nose.

T: A sweet molasses start with some espresso tones in the middle. Some burnt oatmeal notes in the finish. I don't take the licorice in it.

M: Some carbonation up front but finish is slick/creamy

O: A very tasty brew. I would get it again it it was distributed to my state.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2011 03:20:14 | More by gregshead
Photo of vandemonian
vandemonian

Maryland

4.18/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bells Kalamazoo stout is a tasty and fairly dry stout. Yum.

A: Black colour and a 3cm head that fades to good lacing. 4

S: Blackened malt and a sweet bubblegum tang. 4

T: Roasty malt with some caramel into a dry earthy aftertaste. Very nice. 4.5

M: Pretty foamy. 3.5

O: A very tasty stout. 4

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2011 02:03:30 | More by vandemonian
Photo of papat444
papat444

Quebec (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Hawthorne's on a quick day trip to Philly (from NYC area) last May.

Poured from a 12oz. bottle. Batch 10232 (packaged Feb. 23, 2011).

Appearance: A dark tan head sits atop a black-brown body. Pock marked head holds strong @ 2 fingers. Long lasting and nice to look at.

Smell: Quiet at first but opens to licorice with a nice roasted aroma.

Taste: Roasted flavor in the back. Black licorice is there but stays in its place. Some dark chocolate with coffee notes in the middle.

Mouthfeel: A bit of carbonation at first but segues into a really smooth feel. Decent bitterness in the tail end. Could be a bit fuller in body.

Overall: A nice stout but i found it lacked a bit of oomph. Well made though and worth a look.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2011 01:07:26 | More by papat444
Photo of plfahey
plfahey

Illinois

4.18/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Inky black, though not quite a black hole like an Imperial Stout would be. Moderate crop of brownish foam with decent retention.

Aroma-Mmm roasty. This one smells of bittersweet chocolate, coffee, and roasted malt with a touch of burnt charcoal. Some earthy/herbal hop aromas are present, along with a light acrid roast quality.

Flavor-Quick flash of bittersweet chocolate is overtaken by more powerful roasty flavors (some coffee). In the mid-palate and finish there are some moderate earthy/herbal hop flavors, which give the flavor a sort of "mole" kind of feel to it when blended with the chocolate. Moderate hop bitterness and slightly bitter roast flavors create a dry finish with lingering notes of earthy hops, burnt wood, and espresso roast.

Mouthfeel-Medium body with soft, moderately low carbonation. Rather smooth on the palate, with a some bitterness from the roast, but no astringency.

A very solid American stout. Lacks the bright hop flavors and aromatics of some American stouts, but has the characteristically big flavors and big roast. This beer would pair fantastically with a number of desserts.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2011 07:25:00 | More by plfahey
Photo of tone77
tone77

Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has an inky black color with a 1/2 inch head, considerable lacing throughout. Smell is of roasted malts and chocolate. Taste is the same, chocolate and roasted malts, very little in the way of licorice. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall is a very enjoyable beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2011 15:38:23 | More by tone77
Photo of FanofHefe
FanofHefe

Illinois

4.45/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 10328, bottled April 8, 2011. Pours a near perfect black color with no light penetration. Just a hint of red hue around the edges. Mocha colored head that leaves good lacing.

Rich aroma of roasted malt followed by a hint of dark fruit. Coffee and chocolate in the background with a touch of smokiness.

Excellent flavor mix that follows the aroma. Heavy roasted malt flavor is pleasantly combined with some sweet milk chocolate notes, and a bit of dark fruit. In the background, there is a light note of smoked almonds.

Light mouthfeel, but not unexpected for the moderate abv. Overall, very drinkable and an excellent stout.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2011 00:24:04 | More by FanofHefe
Photo of BeerAmbassador
BeerAmbassador

Arizona

4.4/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer pours a thick black with tan creamy head. Decent retention and nice lacing. Roasted aromas of coffee and cocoa, some char and maybe leather. Flavor is roasted coffee and some sort of dark fruitiness. A really nice stout that I will definitely come back to.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2011 03:32:18 | More by BeerAmbassador
Photo of jera1350
jera1350

Minnesota

3.58/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Jet black with a thin mocha head. Decent lacing.

Roasty with moderate sweetness in the form of molasses.

Lots and lots of deep roasted malt, bordering on smoked. Some smoke notes perhaps. A touch of sweetness with some coffee grounds on the back end.

Nice feel from the carbonation. Smooth and medium bodied.

A decent brew. Very roasty and a bit one dimensional. There is too much out there that I enjoy more for me to go back to this one again.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2011 02:12:30 | More by jera1350
Photo of davidbowers13
davidbowers13

Illinois

3.18/5  rDev -20.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2011 01:55:47 | More by davidbowers13
Photo of ktrillionaire
ktrillionaire

Florida

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

Revisting an old favorite tonight...

A - It pours a gloriously robust bowling-ball black, and is capped with a sturdy head of mocha froth which deposits copious lace upon the walls of my Sam Smith pint glass. As I poured it, the head filled over 50% of the glass initially, and showed a cascading effect a la Guinness, finally settling at about a finger's worth of tight head. This is an exceptional looking brew.

S - The nose is pleasant, but somewhat vague. The aroma is comprised of of roast and naked grain, herbal hops, fruity English Ale yeast notes and perhaps faint licorice if you search for it. Fruity English Ale notes stand out the most, as the glass empties.

T - There is a lot more dynamic to the flavor than there is with the nose. There are good doses of roast and caramelized grain, some hints of chocolate and graham cracker and some herbal bitterness on the finish. Again, I don't get huge licorice flavor, but I seem to detect it vaguely in the finish.

M - The feel is creamy, airy, almost fluffy...the body has some tooth, perhaps just about square-at medium, but has a hugely refreshing quality that adds a lightness that transcends the true weight.

O - I know why I used to love this stuff. I do not know why I haven't got back with this sooner. Now, some controversy: though different styles (and intents), Kalamazoo is a WAYYY better beer than Expedition. Yes I've had fresh Expedition. Yes I've had (x)-year-old Expedition. Kalamazoo FTW.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2011 01:33:45 | More by ktrillionaire
Photo of HuskyinPDX
HuskyinPDX

Washington

3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bauermj for this bottle.

12oz bottle poured into a snifter glass.

A - Brown, as close to black as you can get with a one finger dark tan head.

S - coffee, and chocolates.

T - Strong nutty taste, coffee.

D - Mild carbonation. not as sweet as many stouts. Nice.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2011 05:48:37 | More by HuskyinPDX
Photo of drewba
drewba

Illinois

4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - deep, dull black with a puffy, two finger khaki head that drops to a bunch of large bubbles sitting on top. Great lacing.

S - This has a great balance of chocolate, roast and caramel. Simple, straightforward and smells great.

T - Boatloads of roasted malts are king here that has a charred flavor through the finish. That char is evened out by some chocolate sweetness, molasses and just a hint of dark fruit. The chocolate sweetness morphs into dark chocolate packing a punch in the finish with more of that charred malt.

M - body is pretty substantial, carbonation is on the high end in a good way, it's nice and tingly.

O - I strongly dislike licorice, so I was a little hesitant picking this up but I'm happy to report I'm not picking up any licorice at all. The bottle says this is brewed with "brewers licorice" - I'm not entirely sure if brewers licorice has a completely different flavor profile than your standard old school licorice, either way, I'm really enjoying this. The flavors are bold and straightforward, not any complexity, but this is exactly what I'm looking for right now. A great stout for a cold winter night, or in my case, a humid thursday night.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2011 05:35:52 | More by drewba
Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 3,224 ratings.