1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.
very good

3,316 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,316
Reviews: 1,427
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 10.53%
Wants: 147
Gots: 247 | 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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bell's Kalamazoo Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,316 | Reviews: 1,427 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of theboozecruise


2.95/5  rDev -26.1%

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.

03-05-2011 00:02:02 | More by theboozecruise
Photo of kenpo23


3.8/5  rDev -4.8%

Took one sip of this and said 'ooh, thats good' and then i got distracted and came back to it 10 minutes later. glad i did as i got alot more flavor from it after letting it warm up some.

A: nice roasted brown color but not quite black. decent lacing.

S: smells really nicely of cocoa/coffee with a little hidden licorice smell mixed in there. i almost wouldn't have noticed the licorice if i had had other brews first.

T: tastes pretty good...i was pretty surprised that i found myself liking it as much as i did. it just has that nice stout taste (stout lovers will understand what i'm talking about!). very very nice malty taste with just the right amount of roastiness.

M: medium body, could have been a tad thicker for my tastes but very smooth.

D: i could kill a few of these fairly quick due to the smooth goodness of them. i would absolutely drink this again.

03-03-2011 21:10:16 | More by kenpo23
Photo of THECPJ


3.73/5  rDev -6.5%

reviewed from notes:

appearance: very dark brown almost black with 2 finger mocha head.

smell: caramel, malts,

taste: caramel, hints of chocolate, bitter finish,

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, smooth,

drinkability: Do to the smooth texture it's an easy drinker.



03-03-2011 16:22:32 | More by THECPJ
Photo of AwYeh


4.15/5  rDev +4%

12 oz bottle, poured into tulip pint. Batch 10162 (bottled 12/27/10).

A: Pours a dark, dark, opaque brown. One finger of creamy suede head which dissipates fairly quickly, leaving spotty lacing.

S: Dark roasted malts kick things off; so dark I almost think I'm picking up smoky or woody notes. Bittersweet cocoa really comes out with swirling, as do hints of espresso and licorice.

T: Very rich and robust; roasted malts are immediately very noticeable and help communicate the beer's quite bitter dark chocolate flavor. Cocoa shows up once again on the finish, along with a quite pronounced (presumably hop) bitterness. Great example of a bitter stout taste.

M: Medium-bodied with quite lively carbonation, maybe a bit more than I would have liked. Smooth, with a lightly sticky finish.

D: I really enjoyed this glass and will certainly be picking this up again; glad I gave it a second chance after picking it up initially and being disappointed (maybe I was expecting something much more similar to an imperial stout- this is a totally different, but equally enjoyable style).

03-03-2011 05:21:30 | More by AwYeh
Photo of BeerBuckeye


3.73/5  rDev -6.5%

A - Pours a dark brown, no light getting through this one. Creamy, 1 finger, mocha head that leaves some lacing.

S - Almost a chocolate mocha smell, bits of cocoa with just a bit of roasted coffee in the background. Perhaps a hint of that licorice

T - Drinks a very bitter chocolate, as if it's baker's chocolate. Very pleasant roasted taste at first that--at the end--sort of feels a bit iron-y. The taste is pretty good, just an odd finish.

M - A bit thinner than I was expecting, taste is a bit sticky in the mouth. Not wholly unpleasant, just not what I was expecting in a stout.

D - Very, very drinkable. The thinness of the beer goes down very smooth and it carries the ABV well

03-03-2011 01:00:19 | More by BeerBuckeye
Photo of ProudBeerSnob

New York

3.45/5  rDev -13.5%

Poured from bottle into pint glass. Very dark, jet black body topped by a thin tan colored head that dissipates rather quickly.

Very dry nose. Can really smell the licorice here. Very interesting.

Taste in line with the nose, with the licorice even more asseritve upfront in the palate. Roastewd malt to finish.

A daring beer, complex but a bit too much. not a chore to finish, but kinda close.

03-02-2011 02:04:09 | More by ProudBeerSnob
Photo of jessycho


3.6/5  rDev -9.8%

Appearance - Daaarrk Daark Brown. Great caramel tone head on top. Held it up to a light, could not easily see through it until I had the glass against my face. Looks like a great cup of black joe.

Smell - The more you're able to swirl it, you'll notice more and more of a chocolatey smell. It starts with a true cocoa smell, and then as you continue to swirl it, the head will grow darker and more of a dark to milk chocolate.

Taste - You can taste that great stout taste. A nice dark cocoa taste and as promised, that licorice is definitely there.

Mouthfeel - Pretty good feel. I like the high carbonation on my tongue, but I wish it'd have more of a bubble going down. Not terribly dense. Much smoother and lighter some oatmeal stouts I've had.

Drinkability - Very drinkable beer. Especially if you like black coffee or licorice. Not my drink of choice, but definitely a great beer.

02-28-2011 03:24:33 | More by jessycho
Photo of Urbancaver


3.93/5  rDev -1.5%

Pours very very dark. A reddish tint around the edges. A small amount of brown head that sticks around for a bit. Smells roasty and chocolatey. Lots of bitterness on the nose from the dark chocolate. Tastes sweet and malty. Lots of roasted flavours and a tough of licorice backing it all up. Coffee and licorice blend well. Thick solid mouthfeel. Well carbonated. Fairly drinkable but its a pretty low abv

02-26-2011 05:17:48 | More by Urbancaver
Photo of websherpa


4.1/5  rDev +2.8%

Thanks ChadQuest for the extra.

It's really important to let this beer warm up. I had a few sips while it was cold out of the fridge and it tasted almost 1 dimensional and limp. As the beer warmed it really came to life. Take it out and let it sit for 15-20 before you even crack it.

Appearance: A great looking beer. Dark but not quite pitch black. Some dark raisin colors around the edge. Beautiful 1/2 finger mocha head with average retention. Better than average lacing.

Smell: Dark roast coffee beans and bakers chocolate. This smells rich. The hops are definitely hinting at a bitterness.

Taste: This almost tastes like an IPA up front. There is a malty sweetness to it, it's actually quite hoppy and somewhat bitter. As it finishes however the richness of the chocolate and coffee beans pull through. Quite an interesting beer. They mention licorice on the bottle but I don't really taste too much.

Mouthfeel: The viscosity is just about right, but I think this is over carbonated for my taste.

Drinkability: Well crafted and complex without being huge and in your face. What a delicious beer. I think you can sip this for an evening, and I think you put 3-4 back in an evening as well. It's actually pretty versitle thanks to a wonderful taste profile combined with a reasonable ABV.

02-25-2011 00:00:22 | More by websherpa
Photo of cetherid


3.95/5  rDev -1%

poured into a tulip


Your typical stout. A deep dark brown color that looks black once in the glass. About 3 fingers worth of dense light brown head.


I'm getting some nice roasted malts...almost coffee-like. Perhaps a little smokiness in there. As it warms up I get a little more bitter chocolate aroma as well. Pretty good beer.


just like aroma. Light notes of bitter chocolate, coffee, perhaps a little licorice. Was hoping for a little more on the taste but I've should've expected it from a "single" stout with only 6 ABV. A small touch of bitterness in this beer as well which goes well.


almost medium bodied. A little watery for my taste. Carbonation a little low but nothing terrible. A slight dry finish as well.


Overall a pretty good beer. I'd go for an expedition stout over this every time, but this is a little cheaper and easier to find.

02-24-2011 01:36:42 | More by cetherid
Photo of Eriktheipaman


4/5  rDev +0.3%

Pours solid black with khaki head that fades quickly and leaves just a little lacing.

In the smell I get roasted coffee and pine. There is a very fresh earthiness to it.

The taste is roasted coffee, a little burnt chocolate, and a smoky flavor on the back.

The mouthfeel is a little bit chewy.

Overall its not a bad beer.

02-22-2011 04:00:52 | More by Eriktheipaman
Photo of Gmann

New York

4.22/5  rDev +5.8%

Pours a pitch black color with a big frothy brown head that quickly disipated into a light ring.

Big roasted malt aroma kicks things off. Some milk chocolate, caramel/toffee and vanilla notes follow. Licorice, charred wood and carob round out the aroma profile.

Strong roasted malt and coffee flavor are dominate with some mocha, licorice and caramel following nicely. A bit of a woody/ashy flavor as well.

Full body with soft carbonation lead to a silky feel. Starts sweet on the palate but finishes with a roasty bitterness that lingers a bit. Perhaps a touch sticky.

This is a very flavorful stout for 6%. Loads of roasted flavors as well. I expect these flavors in a RIS so it is really nice to see in a lower abv brew. Caramel and buttery notes come out more as the beer warms which adds an odd flavor so I prefer to drink this stout a bit colder.

02-20-2011 01:19:30 | More by Gmann
Photo of ramseye4


4.2/5  rDev +5.3%

A=Dark brown color, light brown head, gobs of lacing on the sides of the glass.
S=Massive roasted malt hits the nose first, faint smoky aroma, a bit of chocolate as well. The roasted malt dominates, however.
T= Burnt, roasted malt comprises the majority of the taste, some espresso flavors, a bit of chocolate in the aftertaste.
M=Full bodied and highly carbonated, a bit rough, but in a pleasant way,
D=Outstanding, especially for this style. The low ABV definitely helps, along with the good, but not overly complex taste.

02-18-2011 01:51:05 | More by ramseye4
Photo of KajII

North Carolina

3.38/5  rDev -15.3%

[Best served in an English pint]

Poured almost black with a huge light brown rocky head that lasted throughout and had excellent lacing. The aroma was of burnt cereal malts, a leathery yeast with notes of molasses, chocolate and coffee. It tasted mildly bitter and acidic in the beginning and finished with a sweet/bitter coffee flavor that stayed with you for an average length of time. Mouthfeel was full in body and creamy in texture with a flat carbonation. Overall a pretty basic stout.

02-15-2011 18:05:54 | More by KajII
Photo of TMoney2591


3.9/5  rDev -2.3%

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.

02-14-2011 05:45:36 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of n2185

North Carolina

3.58/5  rDev -10.3%

A: Pours black and I managed to get about 3 fingers of chocolate-colored head on it. The head eventually faded into a solid layer, leaving behind a good amount of lacing.

S: Lots of roasted malt, some bitter dark chocolate and burnt aromas. There's some smoke in there as well.

T: Roasted malt up front with some slightly sweet chocolate flavors that follow. The finish has some bitter coffee flavors.

M: Medium body with medium carbonation. There's a nice thick, creamy feel to it despite the carbonation though.

D: Goes down pretty smoothly with the creamy body.

Overall, a pretty decent stout. Nice and creamy, though the burnt coffee aftertaste is a bit unappealing.

02-07-2011 22:23:09 | More by n2185
Photo of beersensei305


3.58/5  rDev -10.3%

A- opague black with a nice foamy head thats tan in color. good lacing

S- Roasted Malts, Coffee, Chocolate, faint yeast

T- Roasted Malts and Cocoa, kinda coffee ish, bitter from char, the licorce is noticeable as it warms

MF- Char feeling in the mouth not that heavy

D- Good but i am not a licorce fan

02-07-2011 03:00:43 | More by beersensei305
Photo of brewandbbq

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev +0.3%

12oz bottle from 2009.

Pours opaque black with a quarter inch of brown froth. A partial skim coat with dotted lacing throughout the glass.

Aromatics are chock full of bitter chocolate, coffee grounds, brownie batter, nougat, and char. Very roasty with a hint of smoke.

Full bodied with a chewy, doughy body. Plenty of gription and tack.

Black fudge, chocolate cake batter, espresso, burnt malt, and Oreo shells lead off the palate. Hints of Kahlua, licorice, and a bit of heat follow through.

Finishes with lingering char, chocolate, and espresso.

The amount of body and flavor are impressive for a 6% brew. Pretty substantial beer and this one seems to have aged quite well, although any licorice is barely detectable and only found because I was looking for it.

02-06-2011 21:59:01 | More by brewandbbq
Photo of ChugginOil


4/5  rDev +0.3%

Pours very dark brown which ends black once settled in the snifter. The tan colored head fluffs to about an inch and slowly settles. The nose offers scents of toasty malt and light coffee. A calm sweet scent is also present. The taste is bold and toasty. The roasted and sweet malts are balanced well in combination with a subtle coffee/cocoa taste that offers a bit of bitterness at the finish. The mouthfeel is rich and creamy with just enough carbonation to tickle the palate. This this stout is very drinkable due to a well hidden ABV and great taste.

02-06-2011 21:19:36 | More by ChugginOil
Photo of brstls4drmrs

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +0.3%

Poured dark as night from a bottle into a pint glass. A thin caramel head quickly vanished but created a light brown ring surrounding the glass. Very good coffee and chocolate notes for the nose which gets enhanced on the taste. Roasty chocolate malts on the tongue make for a real easy drink. A slight bitter finish but not filling at all.

02-05-2011 04:34:37 | More by brstls4drmrs
Photo of ptykozoon


3.45/5  rDev -13.5%

The usual dark brown, dark fizzy head implodes fast. No lacing or head after a minute though.

Subtle scents of syrup, dry cocoa.

Well rounded and decently complex taste for the lowerish 6%. Quite tasty, mostly licorice, roasted chocolate.

Bitter mouthfeel, dry and roasty.

Pretty good lil stout. Probably wouldn't seek out again though, could really use some more sweetness in my opinion - vanilla, chocolate or something.

02-04-2011 05:18:45 | More by ptykozoon
Photo of Murrdogg


4.15/5  rDev +4%

A- beautifully dark as it should be. Deep amber/ruby when viewed at extremes in the light

S- slight coffee and toasted chocolate

T- Smokiness hits you immediately, a robust coffee taste is blatant, and a lighter chocolate aftertaste. Dark cherries and burnt sugar are there if you look for them. Very unexpectedly smooth

M- surprisingly light and smooth feel, despite the robust taste

D- Though this stout is a bit too coffee-ey for my likings, it was very easy to drink, and is complex enough for my likings. It was perfect with a chocolate-based dessert

02-03-2011 04:58:01 | More by Murrdogg
Photo of metter98

New York

4.13/5  rDev +3.5%

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.

02-02-2011 00:03:05 | More by metter98
Photo of schmit01


4.35/5  rDev +9%

Found it at the local Minottis Liquor store while searching for the Sierra Hoptimum....
Not what I was looking for, but happy nontheless
Great foamy head.
Good Roasted Coffee Aroma.
Smooth and Delicious Flavor
Alcohol a little high for more that a couple, only down side....

Overall... anoth Bells to be very happy with

01-30-2011 14:01:45 | More by schmit01
Photo of Landfill21


4.55/5  rDev +14%

Pours into a opaque black and leaves a fingernail head that follows all the way down the glass.

Has a great smell of roasted nuts, coffee, and malt.

Tastes great and has a smooth finish. Would recommend another quality Bell's beverage.

Has a light mouthfeel which makes the drinkibility high. This is a highly complex brew.

01-29-2011 19:32:33 | More by Landfill21
Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 3,316 ratings.