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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

3,353 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,353
Reviews: 1,431
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 10.53%
Wants: 147
Gots: 253 | 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
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Ratings: 3,353 | Reviews: 1,431 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wvsabbath

West Virginia

4.33/5  rDev +8.5%

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.

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

North Carolina

3.68/5  rDev -7.8%

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.

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

New York

3.85/5  rDev -3.5%

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.


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


4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

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.

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


4.43/5  rDev +11%

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

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


4.35/5  rDev +9%

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.

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


4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

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!

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


3.98/5  rDev -0.3%

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.

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


3.83/5  rDev -4%

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.

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


4.05/5  rDev +1.5%

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

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


3.88/5  rDev -2.8%

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.

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


4.1/5  rDev +2.8%

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.

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


4.28/5  rDev +7.3%

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.

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


4/5  rDev +0.3%

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.

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


4.15/5  rDev +4%

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

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


4/5  rDev +0.3%

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.

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


3.98/5  rDev -0.3%

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.

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


4.43/5  rDev +11%

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.

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

New York

4.38/5  rDev +9.8%

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 .

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


2.85/5  rDev -28.6%

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.

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


2.93/5  rDev -26.6%

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.

08-16-2010 02:49:53 | More by Erish
Photo of king75


4.38/5  rDev +9.8%

Appearance is black, with a cream colored foam head about an inch thick.

Smell is complex with chocolate, toffee, and coffee present, along with a slight scent of licorice.

Can taste the coffee chocolate right off the bat, and then the toffee hits the palate with a slight bitterness leaving a smooth feel in the mouth.

A very solid stout, fairly heavy, but it's flavors and complexity are what one would expect out of a good American Stout.

08-15-2010 16:52:42 | More by king75
Photo of claminat420


4.35/5  rDev +9%

....a bell's beer with no number batch number???

A- poured the typical stout dark as hell. nice frothy tan head. medium to heavy lacing. a true stout.

S- just a nice smokey chocolate malt scent.

T- has a very light coffee taste. same as smell. alcohol is undetected. has a nice subtle bitterness made only for a stout.

M- medium bodied. good cabonation.

D- buy the six and not a single!!!

Overall- i would compare all other american stouts to this one. bell's really went to work on this american crafted piece of excellence. for being an ipa fan and mostly that this brew is great for a change of pace. i highly suggest you all to give this a try.

08-14-2010 04:50:26 | More by claminat420
Photo of cosmicevan

New York

4.55/5  rDev +14%

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A - Poured a jet black with a thin tan head with pretty sticky lacing.

S - Caramel and vanilla malts. A bit of roasted nut, but mostly caramel and vanilla.

T - Roasted coffee. Much more malty than the nose would lead you to believe. Really creamy and delicious.

M - Smooth and alive. Cooling. Somewhat thick.

D - Awesome stout. Easy to drink and extremely tasty. Fantastic finish to my around the world tour of a bells variety pack.

08-14-2010 02:44:01 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of Arithmeticus


3.65/5  rDev -8.5%

A: black body with prominent head; nice lacing on the glass
S: hints of orange with molasses in the aroma
T: good solid stout with citrus notes; it is not as complex as Bell's Expedition, and lower in ABV, but it reaches a better balance in flavor
M: silky
D: not as challenging as some imperial stouts, so it's very approachable

08-11-2010 13:16:29 | More by Arithmeticus
Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 3,353 ratings.