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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

3,257 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,257
Reviews: 1,424
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 10.53%
Wants: 147
Gots: 231 | 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: 3,257 | Reviews: 1,424 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CHADMC3
CHADMC3

Connecticut

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

Pours a rich black body with a creamy tan head that dissolves to leave a constant layer of lacing atop the beer and glass.

Plenty of roasted malt aroma, a hint of coffee, and also a bit toasty.

The flavor is much more abundant featuring roasted malt, hints of sweet chocolate, and licorice.

Medium to full in body with medium carbonation, and a slightly drying finish.

This is a very nice beer, easy to drink, with just enough character, and certainly something I would like to enjoy again.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2010 01:32:40 | More by CHADMC3
Photo of prdstmnky
prdstmnky

Vermont

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

*review from notes on 2/21/10*

Batch #9457

Normal pour into a pint glass leaves 2 fingers of mocha colored head, with light lacing. Somewhat muted scents, maybe some roasted malts, some dark fruits as well. The taste is much more pronounced than the nose - malty with a bit of sweetness upfront, also some semi sweet chocolate which is followed by licorice / fruity flavors on the finish. Complex and well balanced, maybe just a touch thin in the mouth. Otherwise, another nice offering from Bell's Brewery.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2010 21:25:39 | More by prdstmnky
Photo of MbpBugeye
MbpBugeye

Ohio

3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- A nice, tall, dark and handsome head has a cascading effect on top of this deeply colored beer. Plentiful lacing.

S- A slightly disappointing nose. Its not very strong and it doesnt seem to have a whole lot going on. Its mostly just hops, wet grass like hops. Some of the usual coffee and chocolate found in most stouts is there.

T- Really darn good. Nice balance, but the beer leans towards bitter with roasted coffee and biting hops. Sweetness from figgy dark fruits and licorice rope dance across the tongue. The finish is bitter, hoppy and much like a cup of black coffee. Slightly oily.

M- Dry. Carbonation is a bit too high. It takes away this beers chances at smoothness. I think it would be phenomenally creamy for what it is if the prickliness was toned back.

D- This is one tasty brew. Im ashamed that it took me this long to try it.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2010 03:31:52 | More by MbpBugeye
Photo of DrDemento456
DrDemento456

Pennsylvania

4.58/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Man whats with this brewer an licorice? I kind of hate the taste but here I go.

A - Jet fuel black with at least an inch of cocoa head. Looks pretty impressive.

S - Well you get slight coffee on the nose with chocolate. Can't really smell any licorice but I can't remember what the stuff smells like anyway since I have a cold.

T - The bitterness of the coffee seems to be subdued by the sweetness of the licorice but the bittersweet chocolate leaves the palate bitter at the end. Very solid brew.

M - Medium bodied and enjoyable.

D - Well I did like it and may pick up a six pack in the future but it defiantly treated me better than the batch 9,000. Soild stout.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2010 05:09:45 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of wvsabbath
wvsabbath

West Virginia

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

Serving Type - Bottle

APpearance - Black, very dark, nice creamy 2 inch head

Smell - Strong coffee odor. Stout malts, some smokey tones also present

Taste - Wow, really strong coffee stout taste. I can taste the licorice in it but not as much as i hoped. Its very stout with the smoked flavor. Theres some mild sugar flavor, as is malts and barley. Theres even some hop kick in there. Very nice stout, im impressed.

Mouthfeel - Great, very yummy stout. Not too sweet, no to bitter. Coats mouth with all the mentioned flavors and doesnt have a long lasting aftertaste.

Drinkabilty - High. Id love a case of this but ive never seen this around til i hit a bottle shop on a trip. I could see drinking 4-6 of these if i didnt watch it. Has everything you'd want in a regular stout.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2010 04:39:06 | More by wvsabbath
Photo of tylernim
tylernim

North Carolina

3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark and rich. Thick head.

S - Typical stout. Chocolate and coffee.

T - Smokiness. Coffee, chocolate, and malts follow.

M - Chewy and Thick.

D - Drinkable, but I would probably move on to something else.

Good, but there is some better stuff around for sure.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2010 16:15:52 | More by tylernim
Photo of CooperEllis
CooperEllis

New York

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

12oz bottle into DFH snifter.

Nice pour, slightly less than black, with a tan head, maybe a 1/2" which leaves little lacing.

Aroma is all roasted malts. No alcohol in the aroma.

Taste is stout. Roasted malts up front, a nice full roasted flavor with a nice sweetness on the finish.

The mouthfeel is a little light, for a stout. There is a lack of carbonation at the start. It doesn't impact the flavor and enhances the mouthfeel.

Easily one of the more drinkable stouts I've had recently. In some ways the aspects of this I find the more average/less like the 'perfect' stout make it more drinkable.

(32)

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2010 01:54:06 | More by CooperEllis
Photo of Pellinore1
Pellinore1

Illinois

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

From a bottle into an imperial pint glass, it pours very dark brown with a minimal tan head.

The only smell I pick up is that of roasted malts, and what a fine smell that is.

Bitter, roasted malts are the dominant flavor, followed by hints of toffee, perhaps dark chocolate.

Fine, smooth mouthfeel, and good drinkability bring together the whole package.

This is one of my favorite stouts, without dipping into the imperials. A very solid brew, and one I will purchase again and again.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2010 04:32:20 | More by Pellinore1
Photo of micromaniac129
micromaniac129

Pennsylvania

4.43/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The color is that of black coffee deep tan head that is dense.
Smells sweet and a rich roasted malt aroma. I didn't really pick-up any coffee or chocolate that is common in some brands.
A nice roasted malt taste, maybe some hops for balance. it does have a drier finish.
Porter like.
Smooth and balance with some heaviness to it.
Good flavor for this style.
Drink well my friends

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2010 18:28:23 | More by micromaniac129
Photo of bmillen22
bmillen22

Wisconsin

4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Been waiting to try this beer for a while. Found it in my dad's basement. Little did he know he had been cellaring it for me for the last 1 1/2 years.

Looks- poured thick like motor oil into my Stone RIS sniffter. Very little head.

Smell- smells strong of chocolate with some coffee.

MF- thick and chewy, just the way I like my stouts.

Taste- chocolate, coffee just like the smell. Easy drinker. Wouldn't be able to drink more than one or 2 per sitting though.
I would like to try a fresh one now too, just to see if the freshness would make a change in the appearance and taste.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2010 02:10:51 | More by bmillen22
Photo of elgiacomo
elgiacomo

Georgia

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

12oz bottle, batch 9801, bottled June 4, 2010. Served at around 50F.

Pours very dark brown/black with a massive foamy four-finger light brown head that slowly recedes and leaves plenty of foamy lacing behind.

Aroma features roasted malts, chocolate, licorice, coffee, some yeast and a touch of mustiness. Moderate to good strength.

Rich and robust flavor of milk and dark chocolates, licorice, some dark fruit, coffee, caramel, toffee, very malty with just a touch of hops on the finish. Delicious.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and quite creamy and velvety smooth, low to medium carbonation.

One of the most flavorful regular stout I've ever had...can't believe I hadn't reviewed it yet as I've gone through a number of sixers through the years and will continue to do so. Fantastic stuff!

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2010 20:02:22 | More by elgiacomo
Photo of sixthglass
sixthglass

Indiana

3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Poured into snifter, Dark, held up to light could not see through. Carmel colored head, which quickly faded. Wonderful lacing.

S- cocoa, tart fruit, slight smokiness.

T- starts sweet, fades into tart, then into a deep smoky flavor to finish.

M- thinner then I like in a stout. But still good.

D- This would be a great beer to drink by a campfire.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2010 23:02:06 | More by sixthglass
Photo of BeerImmediately
BeerImmediately

Pennsylvania

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

12oz bottle into pint glass at 45 degrees.

Pours with a short dark tan head over a deep black body. Touch of cola to ruby on the edge. No lacing.

Aromas of cocoa nibs, tart cherry skins, and a light roastiness.

Pretty tight and almost prickly across the palate. Flavors include bittersweet chocolate, roasted coffee beans, and plenty of hop bitterness in the finish. Quite dry overall.

Drinkability is limited somewhat by the bitterness, but it's tasty and pretty well balanced. Nice representation of the American Stout.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2010 02:25:58 | More by BeerImmediately
Photo of CheckmateBrew
CheckmateBrew

Georgia

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

Yes, there is really a a Kalamazoo!

Kalamazoo Stout pours a nice dark brown with a 2 finger head tan head.

The smell is very nice with notes chocolate and roasted malts Very close to an ideal smell for a stout, well balanced between the hops and malt.

Very nice taste with excellent balance of all the flavors and hops.

A true stout would be a bit thicker, but this is still very good

This is a very drinkable. beer. I will buy more and the club found this to be the top or next to top domestic stout that we tried.

Serving type: bottle

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2010 04:04:58 | More by CheckmateBrew
Photo of jporf911
jporf911

Virginia

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

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle with no freshness date.The cover shows a black-and-white sketch of what really looks a friggin serial killer. Leave it to serial killers to put licorice in their beer. Seriously, it looks like the unibomber with less hair and more anger. Hopefully you won't see me on CNN after I drink this. (Note- according to the website, the label art varies by bottle, but it's all portraits of creepy old men done by a local Michigan artist from what I can tell).

Appearance- 3.5 out of 5. This beer is black. Imagine that. It's pretty hard to grade the appearance of stouts since the only distinguishable problem would be that they weren't opaquely-black. The head is a little disappointing, not even one finger, but it's a nice dark brown color.

Smell- 4 out of 5. Most Stouts smell somewhat roasted. This one smells straight up burned-- not in a bad way, mind you. It's just more powerful than usual, reminiscent of the smoke itself instead of just roasted barley. The other high note in the nose is the unusually strong scent of hops, which are often only used in small quantities in Stouts; then again, American brewers love throwing hops into damn near any fermenting brew they can get their hands in. A bit of coffee shows up as well.

Taste- 4 out of 5. The hops aren't nearly as strong in the taste as they are in the smell, but the smokiness remains. With the combination of baking chocolate and a slight tinge of sweetness, it tastes like a Smores cooked over thick wood smoke; I can taste the charred wood in addition to the chocolate. The licorice is rather difficult to distinguish from the other tastes but provides a pleasant undertone. It's definitely not the main flavor, which had concerned me when I initially read the label. The bittersweet aftertaste leaves smoky malt and pine hops, like walking through a forest of smoldering Christmas trees.

Mouthfeel- 4 out of 5. Thick and chewy, like a liquid smores that someone held too long over the flames. Luckily, it goes down smooth.

Drinkability- 3.5 out of 5. I'm a little disappointed that the licorice was mostly lost, but it was otherwise a good beer. It's certainly not a Stout for beginners given how strong the smoke is, but I recommend it for anyone who loves thick, dark, roasted beers. However, two or three would probably fill you up, but that's the case with most Stouts aside from somewhat lighter ones like Guinness Extra Stout (ironic, considering the name).

To be fair, if I didn't like smoky beers, the taste would probably have turned me off. Given my bias, I give it a B.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2010 21:35:56 | More by jporf911
Photo of GDBEERMAN
GDBEERMAN

Colorado

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

12oz bottle into snifter.
A: A deep black body pours a tan head with a slight red hue in the head. Head retreats slowly to a thin layer. A small bit of foamy lace is strone about the glass in no order at all.
S: A note of sweet cherries, brewers licorice and caramel. Great malt balance, as well as the medium intensity of the aroma.
T/M: A nice subtle sweetness to the taste, but it is all mellowed out very nicely. The malt front brings a smooth and lively carbonated mouthfeel. The body is a sweet roasted sensation, with a long finish of caramel. The balance of the taste is blended nicely and the ABV is hidden well.
D: I would stick to this as a goto Stout, as well as recommend to a person willing to expand their styles.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2010 02:49:13 | More by GDBEERMAN
Photo of TCgoalie
TCgoalie

Michigan

4.28/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Kalamazoo Stout pours black with just a little bit of tan head that quickly recedes. There is no evidence of lacing.

The smell is very nice with notes of milk chocolate and roasted nutty coffee. A bit of malt smell creeps in which takes away from the overall impression. Overall, it is a good smell.

I really enjoy the taste of this stout. Chocolate malts lead the flavor followed by roasted coffee and a nice bitterness. It is hard to tell if the bitterness comes from coffee or hops, but it is present in the taste. The overall balance is very good.

The mouthfeel is medium with a soft feel. Some drying occurs with a bit of stickiness.

Given the style and ABV, this is a very solid single stout. Tally another + for Bell's.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2010 02:08:30 | More by TCgoalie
Photo of herman77
herman77

Minnesota

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

A: Black with a thick tiny-bubbled light brown head that lasts and lasts. Great lacing.

S: Sweet cream, milk chocolate carmel coffee. A little bit of roasted-ness.

T: Sweet chocolate and carmel malts up front that give way to more of a toasted almost burnt/smokey malt flavors. Hops come through. Earthy bittersweet balance. Bittersweet licorice is also very prevalent all the way through. Finishes with roasted bitter malt with a mocha aftertaste that lasts long.

M: Medium body, low, soft carbonation makes it feel very creamy and smooth.

D: Good drinkability. I would get sick of it after a few or so. It does drink fairly easily though.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2010 17:38:20 | More by herman77
Photo of harpus
harpus

Alabama

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

A- pours very dark black. Some light passes through the edges when held up to the light. 2 finger dark tan head that dissipates to a thin ring. Some decent lacing left behind.

A- roasted malts, dark chocolate, coffee, and some licorice.

T- same as the nose with the chocolate being most prominent. The licorice isn't as strong as I expected but I don't miss it either. The coffee and coco blends nicely with the other flavors. Nicely balanced.

M- nice and creamy. Not to chewy. nice level of carbonation. With a very nice finish.

D- really nice. I also drank this in a Stout tasting of 14 different stouts I setup. This beer was ranked #2 second only to Bells Expedition

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2010 12:36:20 | More by harpus
Photo of ectomorph
ectomorph

Tennessee

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

12 oz bottle with no freshness date into a tulip.

A - Pours black as coal and you see nice carbonation rush up the sides to form the small foamy tan head. Fades quickly with little lacing.

S - Dark roasted coffee, chocolate, caramel, and dark fruit malt goodness. Zero hop character expected or noticed.

T - Chocolate and again dark coffee. Mild smoke mixes with an almost balancing hops bitterness. Malt monster. Licorice and caramel sweetness.

M - Medium body, ample carbonation with a crisp but not overly dry finish. Mild burnt aftertaste clears quickly.

D - Moderate. Good with Mexican food and any cooler evening adventure.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2010 21:52:05 | More by ectomorph
Photo of dubinsky
dubinsky

California

3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured into my Brooklyn Brewery snifter with a deep dark brown, almost black color with a one finger burnt caramel head that dissipated as quickly as the beer was poured. No visible carbonation present.

S: Coffee(especially espresso bean), roasted malt, and dark chocolate. Not the smell i expected from a 6%abv stout. More reminiscent of an Imperial Russian Stout. The smell is very pleasant, smooth and overall good.

T: As others have mentioned, the taste follows the smell closely with strong tastes of coffee, espresso, dark chocolate and dark malts. Slight hints of licorice, brown sugar and molasses and burnt toast. This is the first time i can actually taste what others have described as burnt toast.

M: Smooth and lighter than i expected from a stout like this. Its not very chewy in my opinion. Gentle carbonation with a slightly sour finish.

D: This is an excellent example of this style of beer. Its smooth and drinkable, yet very complex. Bell's beers rarely disappoint me. I wish bell's distribution channel would bring it to the west coast so that i can enjoy these beers more often.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2010 04:43:29 | More by dubinsky
Photo of StoutHunter
StoutHunter

Michigan

4.43/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a 5 ounce sampling mug.

A- This one pours an opaque pitch black with a fingers worth of creamy off white head that quickly faded to a ring.

S- The beer is dominated by strong roasted malts and chocolaty sweet coffee. This is what a good stout should smell like.

T- Pretty similar to the smell, the coffee tastes are balanced perfectly with the sweet roasted malts that weren't as prominent in the nose. This beer tastes damn good.

M- Thick, creamy, and chewy. Carbonated perfectly.

D- This is about as drinkable as stouts get, ran through my six pack faster then i thought, cant get enough of this stuff.

Overall this one damn tasty beer. Bells set the benchmark for stouts with this brew. This beer is great example of not going overboard, just a great stout overall and one of my favorites. A classic example of focusing on staying true to the style rather then breaking the mold.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2010 03:48:58 | More by StoutHunter
Photo of nickadams2
nickadams2

New York

4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A_Jet black with a thick and creamy beige head.Lacing coats the glass.

S_Prominent roast. Very roasty. Coffee and chocolate.

T_Same as smell. Very roasty. Almost charred/burnt flavor. Little bit of smokiness. Coffee and bitter chocolate.

M_Full bodied and not too thick. Spot on for the style.

D_Full bodied,full flavored American stout. Extremely session-able Extremelyflavorful .

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2010 07:07:14 | More by nickadams2
Photo of NODAK
NODAK

Tennessee

2.85/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Smell on this one is pretty straight forward, I think. Very malty, very chocolatey. Standard, but pretty good.

For a stout, mouthfeel is pretty thin here. I'm actually surprised by it.

Taste is pretty malty with roasted chocolate flavors mixed in with some tanginess...perhaps that's the licorice that's advertised on the bottle. Finish is full of bitter chocolate and a little sourness too. Some alcohol is even noticeable as well.

As far as stouts go, I don't think this would be among my top choices, as the chocolate is a bit on the bitter side for me, and it's just too thin. Pretty average.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2010 03:26:28 | More by NODAK
Photo of Erish
Erish

Illinois

2.93/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I poured this 12 oz. bottle into an English pint glass.

A: dark brown, nearly opaque, lovely cappuccino-colored head that falls into a persistent cap with nice lacing.

S: coffee, spoiled milk, soy sauce, hint of chocolate.

T: spoiled milk, coffee, farmer's cheese, the middle is soy sauce, chocolate milk, and the finish is off-dry mocha, earthiness, and some lingering hop bitterness. To be honest, this beer was entirely disappointing.

M: medium-bodied, slick, somewhat watery.

D: Maybe I got a bad batch, but I have to say this beer tasted off and was not harmonious at all.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2010 02:49:53 | More by Erish
Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 3,257 ratings.