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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.
very good

3,396 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,396
Reviews: 1,432
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 10.53%
Wants: 149
Gots: 264 | 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
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Ratings: 3,396 | Reviews: 1,432 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kk73
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into my glass. Batch #10175, thanks to Wisconsinality.

A - Big and black with a big tan head, and some lacing.

S - Roasty, chocolate with a trace of alcohol.

T - Hints of chocolate, licorice, and dried fruit. Very little alcohol detection.

M - Medium bodied, slick, and creamy. Good carbonation for a stout.

O - A nice wellcrafted stout by Bells. They seem to make nothing but good beers. Very glad I got to try this. Very easy drinking a good beginner stout.

kk73, May 17, 2011
Photo of 1Adam12
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Was a little skeptical about the licorice, but I really enjoyed this brew. Poured black with a small carmel head. Roasts on the nose, but not as strong as I like. Nice balance between creamy and carbonation, very nice. Chocolate and malt, although not as much malt as I was expecting, and I expected more licorice but I'm ok with the subtlety. Finish lingers of roasts and coffee. Very nicely balanced. I'd prefer a little more umph from it as far as ABV, I think that would add to the overall, but all in all very nice beer.

1Adam12, May 17, 2011
Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.18/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the Brewery in early April 2011. Surprised I havent actually had this before with all the bell's I've consumed in my beer life.

Looks black with and small off white to tan head, not much lacing. Smell is faint with roast dominated and a little toasted black malt poking through, maybe some cocoa.

The taste is a beautiful thing with a dry chocolate and roast mix thats very full bodied and smooth. Some faint licorice notes but mostly it has an almost RIS level of roast and burnt qualities that I really like. Easy drinking and tasty stout.

Dreadnaught33, May 16, 2011
Photo of legalpete19340
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured very dark brown with a good thick two fingers of dark brown head. Laced well.

S: Great roastiness. Coffee, roasted malts, barley, baked raisins.

T: Comes out with a bit coffee, then strait to soft and not over powering roasted malts. Bit of dark chocolate. More coffee and bit of burnt bitterness at the end. As it warms I get the licorice which sort of floats across the top of all the other flavors.

M: A little on the chewy side but medium.

O: This is a solid refreshing stout. The flavors were solid roasted malt and dark notes. Nothing too adventurous. Delicious brew. Didn't blow my mind but very good and will certainly drink it in the future.

legalpete19340, May 13, 2011
Photo of harrymel
4.13/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 10175 (Jan 7, 2011)

A: pours a black ale with little/no translucency except in the final ounce. Two fingers toasted cocoa falls slowly to a thick sheet of the same. Cobweb lacing.

S: cocoa, coffee, wood, grain, molasses, dark chocolate. the nose is what gets me every time on this beer. Beautiful smell.

T: Dark chocolate, espresso. Graham. Dates, lightly. Bitterness that plays around at the base. The malts on this are slightly spicy at the rear of the palate as well. Hints of cream at the back-end. This beer resonates for-ev-errr.

M: Thick and silky. Low to medium carb. Both dries and slicks the palate.

O: So far, my second favorite stout. Excellently crafted. Obsidian still holds the top for me, but this would be a great substitute.

harrymel, May 09, 2011
Photo of LaCoursiere
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 10134 bottled on Dec. 3, 2010.

A - A soft pour into a snifter yielded a half finger tan head that dissipated to a thin covering. It has a very dark coffee color. No light comes through when held near a lamp.

S - Nose is not very big on this one. It has notes of roasted malt, black licorice and cocoa. A trace of alcohol is in the nose as well.

T - Caramel malt up front with a sprinkling of brown sugar, coffee, anise and vanilla with a slight hop bitter and slightly smoky roasted malt in the finish.

M - Smooth and silky with medium body and light carbonation. Slight alcohol warmth.

O/D - I would call this a good session stout. Not too heavy and the flavor is a good balance of sweet, bitter and trace smoke. I will be picking this up again.

LaCoursiere, May 09, 2011
Photo of damndirtyape
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle (batch 10232) poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Dark brown black beer - no light gets through. Pours an initially 1/3" thick puffy dark tan head that dies down to a thick ring and a thin skin across the top. Sheets, islands, and strands of lacing all over the glass.

Smell: Deep rich cocoa and coffee with a hint of licorice at the end. The anise smell really is in there but it's somewhat hidden by the other rich smells. Very appealing.

Taste: Very roasty coffee flavor moving into some chocolate flavors with a solid bitter finish. Definitely a beer for sipping and savoring. Malt sweetness is just enough present to counter the bitterness from being overwhelmed. Well done!

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation on the tongue, with a thickness that isn't quite creamy, but smooth...like milk or half and half.

Overall / Drinkability: Hmmm....I think this would be good with steak, but by itself it's a nice beer to sip, savor, and finish the evening with. But just one is enough per evening. It's very intense in flavor which is good, but by the end, I'm pleasantly sated. I think this would also be a good beer to pair with desert, especially something chocolate.

damndirtyape, May 09, 2011
Photo of shand
4.13/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a mug.

Pours a very dark (not quite black) color with a minimal head, especially for the style. The aroma is very very roasty and a bit smoky, with almost a bit of a meatiness to it. There's also some overroasted coffee The taste is very very roasty, at times crossing over into smoked. There's not much sweetness, this is quite bitter and delicious. The highly roasted coffee just adds more to the bitter factor here. There's also some nice coffee aspects and just a touch of dark fruits.

The mouthfeel is a little weak, this feels way too carbonated. I'd like something a bit smoother for sure, maybe a bit more thickness too. Let it sit for a while to let the carbonation mellow and it becomes more enjoyable. The drinkability is very good. Overall, this is a great unique stout that I highly recommend.

shand, May 08, 2011
Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.78/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Black stout body with a thin beige head.

S - Powdery chocolate notes and sweet dark breads and grains. A minor malt sweetness in the nose. Typical roasty aroma throughout.

T - The taste was milder than expected from the beer's smell. Mostly a toned back roasty profile with some bitter cocoa powder thrown in.

M - Light bodied, and mild dried finish. This beer was easy drinking, and had some charachteristics of a schwarzbier.

O - A less bold stout, a nice starter to your stout night.

BeerForMuscle, May 04, 2011
Photo of badboyrsl84
3.63/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours jet black with a nice tan head.

Smell - not alot if aroma. Some roasted malt and chocolate

Taste - starts off chocolatey with a huge almost roasted grain taste. Finishes with a little more chocolate.

Mouthfeel - this probably the best part about this beer. It's very creamy and smooth. Nothing else really stands out to me.

Overall - its a good but not great beer. I probably wont think to have to have this beer again.

badboyrsl84, May 03, 2011
Photo of vfgccp
3.2/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A – Dark, almost black, with thin brown highlights around the edge of the glass. Trace amount of off-white head.

S – Hammy smoke, and mahogany wood.

T – Definitely get the salty, ham-like smoke from the nose up front. Burt toast and bitter roast coffee catch up to the smoke mid profile, and a dark, woody note rounds out the backend.

M – Thin, just a shade away from watery. Light roast character to the finish.

O – Roaster than I typically like in the style, and I feel like the smoke note is a little unbalanced, but not a bad beer.

vfgccp, May 01, 2011
Photo of lennerja
3.7/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours an opaque black with a slight head that dissipates to leave some good lacing.

S- Pick up some chocolate and coffee notes.

T- Not as sweet as some stouts, but has some coffee and chocolate notes. Also has a slight hop bitterness.

M- This is a full bodied beer with a rich creamy feel to it.

O- This is a good stout but not what I was expecting. A little more hop bitterness than a normal stout. I enjoyed the feel of it and the hints of coffee and chocolate.

lennerja, Apr 29, 2011
Photo of SuperSpy
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours very thick and dark, with a chocolate milk colored head. Very good head retention and very good appearance overall.

The aroma is a bit smoky with charcoal, licorice and dark molasses. There is plenty of roasted and burnt malt.

Full-bodied and very smooth. It has even more of those dark roasted malt flavors than the aroma would suggest. Initially it delivers black currant, and roasted malt, but it quickly transitions to charcoal, licorice and burnt malt. The finish is a balanced mix of burnt and roasted malt with a bitter hop finish. Overall this beer is a great experience.

SuperSpy, Apr 26, 2011
Photo of mrmin123
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into Ikea beer mug. Black-brown opaque with a very thin cocoa brown head. Very faint smell of a frothy mix of coffee and chocolate. Tastes of malt right off the get go all the way to through the middle, and finishes with a delicious hint of coffee and chocolate. Feels smooth and creamy on the tongue; enjoyable to drink.

mrmin123, Apr 26, 2011
Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black, absolutely jet black, with a very nice brown head that takes its time settling down, leaving good lacing.

Smells milk-chocolately, with smooth roasty malts, touches of coffee, and a bit of fresh baked bread aroma too. Nice but understated, the smell is more like a milk/sweet stout to me.

Tastes nothing like a sweet stout, it's more like a RIS than I expected, quite bold and full flavored, but without the high alcohol content. Bold roasty malts are pretty up front, with only an accent each of coffee and chocolate. There's just a bit of licorice and a smidge of nice hop bitterness too.

Feels great, very smooth, creamy, and full bodied.

Drinks pretty well. A good offering from bell's.

AlCaponeJunior, Apr 25, 2011
Photo of mdaschaf
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours an inky black with a one finger mocha colored head. Decent retention leaving a little bit of foam in the center and ring on the outer edge. Moderate lacing.

S: Not overly strong smelling. A sweet smelling beer, coffee, licorice, some brown sugar, and molasses. I get a little bit of butter as well.

T: The predominant flavors are coffee and mocha, but the coffee is more like coffee ice cream than hot coffee. There is a roasted malt flavor in the middle a little bit as well as hints of chocolate, molasses, and oatmeal.

M: Creamy and chewy. Medium to full bodied, nice carbonation that seems to fit well. Has a surprisingly dry finish.

O: Quite happy with this beer. Glad that the coffee doesn't overwhelm the beer since I am not a fan of coffee beers. Not my favorite stout, but I wouldn't turn it away.

mdaschaf, Apr 22, 2011
Photo of zrab11
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a Dark Brown color with a nice 1 1/2 finger off white head

S- Has a Great smell of roasted malts with some nice hints of chocolate and coffee followed by some booze and licorice

T- Nice Roasted malts hits you right away then has come nice coffee flavor with dark chocolate mixed in, in the middle then finish's with a nice booziness but smoothness

M- light to medium body with nice carbonation

D-Overall this a a great stout.Lots of good flavors come out, very drinkable. Great smell and taste. Goes down soo smooth. Love this stout

zrab11, Apr 20, 2011
Photo of haazer
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A- Pours a very dark brown beer, although from the pour it seems light for a stout. Head is a mocha color, towering at first but sinks down to about 1/4 inch. Some lacing is left on glass.

S- Strong toffee aroma in the beginning, and deeply roasted malts. It then leads into black licorice and some bread. The aroma ends with coffee and subtle hints of chocolate, all in that order for me. Interestingly all the aromas are about even except the chocolate. This smells great.

T- Flavor is not as good as the nose. Not as complex, still pretty good though. Roasted malts start on the palatte. The anise(black licorice) is not very pronounced thankfullly, and the flavor rounds out with bitterness. Perhaps the slightest hint of smokiness.

M- Mouthfeel is creamier than the pour would suggest but still in between light and medium. The bittering on the end is a plus.

O- I thought I wasn't going to like this with the black licorice and all but it's not as dominant as I thought it'd be. The mouth could be thicker, but this is drinkable. Curious to try other stout offerings from Bells, and their brews in general.

haazer, Apr 19, 2011
Photo of smakawhat
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Big three to four finger light cocoa brown head with good retention, nice cap on this. Body is dark walnut brown with just a hint of red. A little soapy but manages a nice ice cream chunk while drinking.

Smell is a good mix of first chocolate then roast coffee. Good and simple, real solid. Chewy grain texture.

Taste is slight prickly licorice, and milk chocolate ovaltine finish. Just right on the wetness scale it seems, so easy drinking.

Overall solid good light stout, very nice and enjoyable easy drinking, good flavor and feel.

smakawhat, Apr 17, 2011
Photo of kbutler1
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft. Served on cask at Town Hall Tap. Poured into a nice nonic glass a dark brown color with a mocha tan head. Cask causes it to cascade like a nitro beer. Heavy roasted nose along with dark chocolate and slight leather. The head is intense and sticks around for quite a while. Medium mouthfeel, a tad light than expected. Very smooth flavors. Dark roast coffee notes upfront with some vanilla and chocolate flavors as well. Slight bitterness in the end.

kbutler1, Apr 11, 2011
Photo of bum732
4.08/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

S: Liqourice earthiness, some dark fruits, dry roastiness.

L: Black as night, light tan head, solid retention, some lacing.

T: Very dark cherry and black liqourice off the bat. This leads to minimal earthy bitterness yielding to a mellow coffee roastiness. Finishes semi-dry with some residual sweetness.

M: Medium bitterness, creamy medium-full body. Some alcohol detected.

Solid beer, the liquorice definitely comes through. If you don't like black liquorice, you probably won't like this beer.

bum732, Apr 11, 2011
Photo of Roke87
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter at cellar temperature, batch number 9801.

Appearance - Pours a dark dark brown colour, and pretty much completely opaque even when held up to a light. A good one finger head that dissipates to thin lace in about a minute or so.

Smell - Is amazing! You get the roasted malts right away, coffee hits the nose followed by a faint smell of chocolate and also a very faint smell of the licorice. Love the smell of this stout.

Taste - Heavy roasted malts hit you right away and especially in the finish, some coffee taste paired with a slight chocolate taste, I didn't taste a whole lot of licorice but you can tell it's there.

Mouthfeel - Is a very typical stout, but maybe a bit on the lighter side, still very smooth and creamy, taste is robust and the roasted malts stick around for a while on the taste buds.

Overall - All in all a very solid stout, good carbonation, great smells, and a great taste that lingers, a definite go to for me as far as stouts/porters go.

Roke87, Apr 10, 2011
Photo of heebes
3.55/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle.
Batch 10162.

Pours a deep black with a decent tan coloured fizzy head with little retention. Nose has plenty of roasted malts, giving way to burnt coffee, dark chocolate and black licorice. Taste is similiar to the smell; theres the dark brewers licorice flavour with toasty cocoa notes. Full bodied mouthfeel, well rounded with a creamy mouthfeel and a bitter dry finish. A decent stout with a unique overall taste of licorice. Well priced and another quality beer from Bell's lineup.

heebes, Apr 08, 2011
Photo of greenmonstah
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into pint glass.

A - Pitch black with a finger of light cocoa brown head. Nice lacing.

S - Roasted malt, licorice, chocolate, some bitter coffee, all very crisp.

T - Roasted malt, bitter dark chocolate, some licorice. Finish is dry chocolate.

M - Medium body, pretty wet. Finish dries out a bit. Active carbonation.

O - Overall a pretty good stout. Rises above average by being more complex than a lot of its competitors. A great year round beer.

greenmonstah, Apr 08, 2011
Photo of gdrydenc
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a deep, dark black. Head is a dark caramel. It lasts a long time, and eventually dissipates to a dark brown ring around the edge.

S - Besides typical stout characteristics, there is quite a bit of the licorice that this is apparently brewed with. It's matched by the chocolate and slightly coffee taste that come with most stouts.

T - The chocolate and coffee are certainly there, much like the smell. However, the licorice is really a cool aspect of this beer. I wasn't expecting this until I smelled it, and when I did, I read the label. Awesome addition to this beer, and I really like it.

M - Slightly watery for what I was expecting, but that may have something to do with the lower ABV here. I would have liked to have it a bit more syrupy, but the flavor still lasts in the mouth a long time.

Overall, a cool new addition to an old style. One of the few times I've seen a cool twist on a stout.

gdrydenc, Apr 06, 2011
Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 3,396 ratings.