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

3,190 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,190
Reviews: 1,419
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 10.53%
Wants: 145
Gots: 222 | FT: 11
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: 3,190 | Reviews: 1,419 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of robwestcott


4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured with purpose into a dogfish head signature glass - pours near black with a solid two finger dark tan, long-lasting head.

wow, that must be the licorice ? i want to say the first couple sips are a hearty coffee / chocolate, but there's a tease of something else not easily placed. a bit bitter near the back of the mouth, but not to the point of distraction.

it impresses as something of a sipper, but the abv is only 6%...

thumbs up.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2010 01:02:01 | More by robwestcott
Photo of ghostee


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

Pours black with about 2 fingers of tan colored head. The head recedes fairly quickly, leaving a creamy layer on top and some lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell is predominantly roasted malts, with a bit of coffee and vanilla.

Tastes mostly follows the nose. Roasted malts are dominant, with some chocolate, coffee, and a hint of dark fruit. Alcohol is faintly noticeable. Taste is creamy and smooth.

Mouthfeel is lighter bodied for a stout, medium carbonation, and smooth. A bit bubbly on on the tongue.

Drinkability is high. The 6% ABV on this one along with the smooth taste make it easy drinking.

It's nice to have a tasty easy drinking stout of a lower ABV after drinking BCBCS and KBS lately. Would definitely buy this again.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2010 20:44:26 | More by ghostee
Photo of rye726


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

Pours a dark, blackish brown with a silky tan head. Good lace and retention.

Nose has roasty malts, cocoa, molasses, floral hops and coffee.

Taste is also quite roasty, yet well balanced.

Medium body well carbonated.

Nice session beer to wash down a burger.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2010 06:09:59 | More by rye726
Photo of steve8robin


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

Scored this one on a trip to Kalamazoo...

A: Super dark with very faint ruby red highlights. Small 1/2 inch mocha colored head that fades quickly. Decent.

S: Smells of chocolate, raisin, and boozy blended well upfront. Hints of roasty hops in the middle with sweet sugars on the backend. Very good.

T: Hmm, interesting twist. Bitter chocolate upfront with bourbon booziness in the middle and dark fruit and creamy almond blended on the backend. Very good.

M: Leaves a decent stickiness on the palate, but not over powering. Very good.

D: Goes down super easy. Very good.

All in all, this is a good beer. I was very surprised by the well blended flavors in this one. If you like stouts, then this is a definitely must try. Worth hunting down.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2010 05:15:26 | More by steve8robin
Photo of magine


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

Poured into a pint glass.

Pours a near black color, has a dark tan head. Head is chunky and stays for a while, settles to a lace island. Some lace.

Brew has the smell of roasted malts, chocolate, coffee.

Brew has a roasted coffee, chocolate and slight licorice taste in the finish. Has a peppery mouthfeel initially and has a dry finish. Smooth mouthfeel in the middle as well. Very good balanced flavor.

This is a very good, easy drinking brew. This is yet another sessionable brew from Bells.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2010 01:00:16 | More by magine
Photo of tegelaar


4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a thick black with a tiny tan head. Smells rich and wonderful; notes of chocolate and vanilla with a hint of spices. Taste is also excellent - a bitter blend of cocoa and a hint of licorace. Not very sweet at all. Mouthfeel is thin and a bit overcarbed. Very drinkable despite the richness of this beer. Very nice.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2010 01:00:30 | More by tegelaar
Photo of Aenema


3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours pitch black with a fluffy two finger tan head. Leaves behind a small amount of splotchy lacing.
Smell - Chocolate, licorice, roasted malts.
Taste - Roasted malts, cocoa.
Mouthfeel - Strange - much more highly carbonated than expected, I would say it was medium to highly carbonated. Medium-bodied.
Drinkability - Not as filling as the nose indicates. Definitely tastes like much more than a 6% beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2010 01:49:47 | More by Aenema
Photo of TCHopCraver


4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: This is pretty much the standard appearance for a 6% stout: black body with a 1-finger head that vanishes rapidly. The fast fading head is a khaki-brown and the lacing left behind is light and dotty on the sides of my oversized wine glass.

S: I pick up a wonderful roasted coffee aroma with hints of dark chocolate, toffee, and light vanilla flavors. I find this to be an impressively big smell for a not big beer. Definitely the standout component of this brew.

T: Roast-y toasty. Scorched dark grains and burnt toast are the biggest players on my palate. Bitter chocolate and coffee flavors are present, but in the background. The roasted, burnt flavors become less bitter and give way to the sweeter tastes as my mouth becomes more accustomed to swishing this around.

M: Medium bodied with a nice bitter, puckering finish - a nice hop contribution to this malt heavy brew.

D: I would have another, for sure. This is a well-crafted beer that would be highly session-able for the stout lover. Pretty decent price tag, too.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2010 00:43:57 | More by TCHopCraver
Photo of jwhawkins81


2.88/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Batch 9457 Packed on 11/19/2009 tasted on 3/31/2010

Aroma - Dark roasted malts with a hint of sweetness with a light aromatic hop aroma in the background

Appearance - Dark with a big light brown head that slowly dissipated

Taste - Sharp hop bitterness upfront with hints of coffee and roast but that hop bitterness is overpowering

Notes - Plenty of carbonation

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2010 15:16:09 | More by jwhawkins81
Photo of Destral


4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottled shared in a small goblet

A deep dark brew, though not quite black, with a nice brown head.

Licorice is very dominant, with a tingle of coffee and the roasted malt.

Again the licorice lets itself be known. Little bit of sweetness and coffee really balance it out well though. Not too bitter and not too sweet. I really thought the licorice would overpower but it didn't.

Not too heavy. Fairly smooth.

This is a very flavorful stout, without needing to be some crazy 10%+ beer. Very drinkable. If only I could get Bell's here!

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2010 03:33:47 | More by Destral
Photo of magnj

New Jersey

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

A - Pours out thick and dark and produces a dense 2+ finger head upon a moderately vigorous pour. In the glass the color of the body is black and the head is a muddy off white.

S - Malt driven obviously, rich roasted grains and coffee. Some kind of sweet aroma in there but not sure how to describe it.

T - Very nice flavor all the way through. Roasted malts, maybe some coffee. Bitter from the malt and hops, not chocolatey or sweet really. Towards the end something strange starts to poke through and as it thins out and trails off the licorice shows up and plays with the dry roasted grain character.

M/D - Full body but thinner than the smell suggests. Lacks residual sweetness, ends dry. Relatively easy to drink, lowish ABV and big flavor, good beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2010 22:22:23 | More by magnj
Photo of kbraniga


2.25/5  rDev -43.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

The flavor of this beer, after the coffee-chocolate of a good stout, was vegetal and over-mashed. It left an unpleasant bitterness inside my mouth. While I love licorice, it did not blend with the taste of the stout, and did not improve the experience. I have enjoyed arrogant bastard and nosferatu, and the bitterness did not work to the beer's advantage. This beer was not well executed and I had no desire to finish it.

Served cold from bottle into glass, leaving yeast in bottle. 2 fingers of beautiful tan head that lingered for 15 minutes. Great black color. Initial taste was fine with the licorice adding an interesting layer, followed by one of the worst lingering tastes I have ever experienced in a beer. The mouthfeel was viscous without being dense. I could not drink more than 1/2 of this beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2010 05:45:33 | More by kbraniga
Photo of KI9A


4.47/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow! Had this at the Wine & Cheese Place in St. Louis, during a tasting.

A: Deep, cola black, typical cask induced thin head.

S: Chocolate malt. Period.

T: Above, but mixed with vanilla. The sweetness balances with a nice light hop bite.

M: Medium, not too sweet, not to clingy, just about right.

D: Well, it's D is high..I made a few trips back to the cask, it was just addictive as hell. Nice job on this beer!

Serving type: cask

04-11-2010 18:39:45 | More by KI9A
Photo of Zekezilla


4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up on a whim, so glad I did. An exceptional stout. Incredibly chewy in feel. Complex and warm. This stout is a little more smoky than chocolate or coffee but not an overwhelming smokiness. Dark fruits also come through. A little thinner than some stouts but it really works for this one. Also beautiful black appearance.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2010 01:01:42 | More by Zekezilla
Photo of HURTemHIZZY


4.68/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a standard pint glass.

Pours a almost completely opaque dark brown/black. Lets a slight bit of light through the very edge of the liquid when held up to the light. Pour yields a great two finger deep tan head that lingers for a good bit. Leaves a thick ring around the brew until the beer is finished. Decent amount of lacing is left behind.

Smell is of a bit of licorice up front, but that disappears quickly and leaves flavors of coffee, rich chocolate and caramel. Nice aroma, a bit subdued though.

Taste starts off with a bit of hop bitterness, that rounds smoothly into very rich flavors of chocolate and caramel all complimented by great deep coffee undertones. Couldn't get as much licorice from the flavor as i did from the aroma, but it honestly didn't need it. This is definitely one of my favorite american stouts. Delicious.

Has a nice chewy, full bodied mouthfeel, with a nice level of carbonation present throughout the brew yet still very creamy. Perfect mouthfeel for a stout.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2010 20:23:44 | More by HURTemHIZZY
Photo of Pabs311


4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a nice dark black with rich mocha head, settling to leave some spotty lacing on the glass.

S- Dark roasted malts manifesting in coffee, bittersweet chocolate, smoke, licorice and hints of dark fruit.

T- Same characteristics as aroma. with coffee, smoke and licorice being most prominant. nice taste.

M/D- Smooth silky mouthfeel. medium-full bodied, low carbonation. nice easy drinking stout, not overpowering of the senses.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2010 18:48:01 | More by Pabs311
Photo of BrewFanatics


4.8/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Love this beer! Super dark color. No light getting through. I gave it a medium-rough pour and it produce a nice, one-inch, dark tan head. Receded to leave some great lacing. Nice roasted coffee, caramel aroma (although there is something odd in the aroma that I can't seem to put my finger on). Great taste of roasted coffee, dark chocolate, and caramel. Perfect bitterness. Very smooth and easy to drink. Highly recommended.

Rating by Tommy Davis from www.BrewFanatics.com

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2010 03:23:43 | More by BrewFanatics
Photo of drinkankuss


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

A- Dark Black good stout appearance no sediment. Head dissolves pretty quickly

s - very nice toasted malt smell with subtle black liquiroce

t - very similar to the smell lots of roasted flavor, but not too much, hard to taste the liquiroce root, but flavors linger, good balance.

m - I would say this has excellent mouthfeel lighlty carbonated, relatively low fg from what I can taste, lingers a little long

d - I would not have a problem drinking this by the mug. goes down easy and flavors are enjoyable

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2010 23:04:52 | More by drinkankuss
Photo of zoso1967


4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served up deep, dark, nearly opaque black brown (like the Ikea wood tone) with a beautiful creamy tan head. Aroma of roasted malts, some coffee and a touch of bitter cocoa. Damn, this IS a tasty beverage. I had never had the K-zoo stout until now and am feeling major regret over what I have missed. The flavor is very well balanced between malt sweetness and the roasted coffee and chocolate character. Not too sweet or too dry, it really hits the target dead on. Full bodied, chewy and insanely smooth coming out of the cask. Nice, bittersweet finish that begs for another sip. I could drink this all day. Superman wears Larry Bell underpants.

Serving type: cask

03-22-2010 22:15:26 | More by zoso1967
Photo of atremains


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

Pours opaque with a small head. Cloudy cap and some good lacing. Smell is licorice malt and some vanilla. Taste is malty. Vanilla is great. My favorite aspect. Licorice and malt some coffee. Drinkable light mouthfeel. A little thin at times. Overall good brew

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2010 03:54:54 | More by atremains
Photo of tai4ji2x


3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, obtained in trade. batch number 8927. poured into tulip glass. tasted in early june 2009

nearly opaque black, with red brown tint under the light. 1-finger tan head fades to wisps and ring. a solitary, splotchy, 3-inch line of lace, and not much else.

aroma: light licorice is noticeable upfront, mixing w/ dark, malty caramel and light roast notes of coffee and roasted malt, plus hints of cherry and vanilla. mild, earthy hop accompanies the roasted tones.

taste: rooty, herbal licorice notes again upfront. malt is dark caramel and light roast, w fruity tones and coffee, mixing w/ leafy hops for moderate bitterness that lingers and mingles more with those hints of licorice.

light to medium body w/ momentary thinness, plus light acidity and astringency into finish. carbonation is slightly fizzy, tho can sometimes provide lift and fluffiness.

the licorice isn't as subtle as i hoped, but is nonetheless interesting and harmonized into the brew.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2010 11:37:31 | More by tai4ji2x
Photo of ryanonline


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

Appears very dark brown with a thin tan head. No real lacing.

Smells fairly typical of stout smells. Coffee, licorice even tobacco.

The taste is much better, though similar, the flavors shine through better on the tongue than in the nose.

Thin body and creamy mouthfeel combine with a prickly carbonation to make a lovely sensation on the palette.

Seems kind of filling, maybe I'm imagining things.

Nice stout. I've had better but this one has some nice individual characteristics.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2010 06:01:55 | More by ryanonline
Photo of billab914


3.6/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Stone RIS glass. Poured black with a big bubbly mocha colored head. The head settled down eventually to a thin covering but it left some very good lacing on the glass.

The aroma has the strong presence of the brewers licorice with some sweetness and a little roastedness to it. The licorice is also very present in the taste and has an almost caramel like taste to it. It also has some roasted grains with notes of bitter coffee and chocolate coming through. The bitterness helps balance out the caramely sweetness of the licorice.

The mouthfeel is on the thicker side with below average carbonation. Drinkability is good, I've never been a big fan of licorice but it wasn't too overpowering in the beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2010 00:17:14 | More by billab914
Photo of kjyost

Manitoba (Canada)

3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 8773 - Bottled Oct 2, 2008 (1.5 years ago). Received in trade Feb 2010.

Pours a beautiful opaque black with a nice mocha head atop it. The beer has a wonderful nose. Licorice, molasses, chocolate, sweetness, yummy. The beer tastes quite nice with a rich body that has a traditional stout maltiness with a bit of a bitter kick and a great deal of molasses in the finish. The flavour would likely have been a 4.5 if the mouthfeel had been better. Perhaps it was the aging, but the carbonation was too low and it didn't have any real carbonation in the mouth to make more flavours burst out. It was so antithetical compared to the large head that was poured... Bad mouthfeel contributes to the lower drinkability grade, even though the beer could have been 4+'s across the board with more carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2010 22:36:27 | More by kjyost
Photo of arizcards


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

Batch 9526 packaged 12-30-09, picked up at Total Wine in late February for $9.49.

Beer poured black with a nice two finger tan head that is long lasting. Nose is roasted malts. Taste is roasted malts with a coffee presence, finish is hoppy. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and very smooth. Drinkability is quite good. This is a nice roasty hoppy stout that is almost at a sessionable abv level. A beer definitely to put into the rotation!

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2010 00:38:58 | More by arizcards
Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 3,190 ratings.