Bell's Kalamazoo Stout - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Bell's Kalamazoo StoutBell's Kalamazoo Stout

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very good

3,630 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,630
Reviews: 1,450
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.55%
Wants: 158
Gots: 330 | FT: 9
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: 3,630 | Reviews: 1,450 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nandemo1
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pitch black with a thin tan head that falls quickly. Leaves little lacing.

Smell is sweet roasted malts and some licorice. Taste contains dark chocolate and roasted malt, with a slight bitterness in the background.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and a little oily.

An impressive everyday stout that mixes in some flavors other than straight coffee. Really liked the licorice scent.

Photo of chilly460
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours darker black with 1 1/2 mocha head. Dissipates quickly with marginal lacing.

S: Pick up cocoa and dark roast espcoffee. Definite hint of the brewer's licorice.

T: First shot is the roasted coffee flavor. Some chocolatey tones as well, then you get a licorice and some ripe plum as well. Pretty complex for an american stout, flavor is a bit muted.

M: Creamy and smooth with a dry finish.

O: Really solid, licorice is a differentiator. Flavors could be a little more bold.

Photo of fountainofyouth
4.75/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased a six-pack after hearing so many good things! Poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a pretty big, two-finger light brown head. This could easily be mistaken for crude oil, no chance of light getting through. Good lacing.

Smell: Sweetish and almost oaty, despite no use of oat in the malt. There are also hints of caramel and sweet chocolate.

Taste: This beer is like having a piece of very dark, almost burnt toast -- I want to chew on it! The semisweet oat quality is also present. Virtually no hops.

Mouthfeel: There's a strange and unique duality -- a clean finish on the palate, but a heavy coating on the tongue. Light carbonation that doesn't interfere with the taste at all.

Overall: An excellent stout in all regards. Very hard to beat.

Photo of zachary80
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into New Belgium Globe. Batch 10232

Black body, brown head fades relatively quickly. Lacing could be better.

Aroma is mostly a malty sweetness, with what I guess are notes from the brewers liquorice. Smell is very full and almost heavy

Taste is quite full for a regular stout, and has a nice balance of bitterness to sweetness.

Mouthfeel is almost perfect for a stout, could be perhaps a bit smoother which would be perfect. Carbonation is nicely mellow.

Kalamazoo Stout is an amazing American Stout.

Photo of Rifugium
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at City Tap House, Philly, PA

Great stout. I've had this on tap and in bottles. Pours opaque black with a cream beige head. Aroma of roasted malts, milk chocolate, and licorice. Taste of dark roasted malts with coffee notes, sweet chocolate, caramel, and light sensations of dark fruits and licorice. Full-bodied, smooth and rich, and nicely drinkable.

Photo of Phocion
3.25/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into a pint glass with a small but highly retentive frothy brown head sitting on top of a nearly pitch-black body. Thick, sticky lacing.

Aroma is full of roasted malts. Slight hints of acidity and anise, very nutty and full of dark chocolate and bitter coffee.

Flavor is coffee and bitter dark chocolate. Slight toffee flavor. Very bitter, almost charred finish.

Medium-bodied and medium carbonation. Surprisingly slick and oily.

Overall, too bitter. Not necessarily in a hoppy way, but more of a burnt manner. Mouthfeel is too oily. Not overwhelmingly impressed.

Photo of ehammond1
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle (2010)

Acquired via trade
Thanks sendsilk!

(Aged for 1 year)

Black as can be with an espresso brown head. Sheets of lacing mess the glass.

Incredible aroma. Significant roasted malt and coffee but lots and lots of chocolate (a nice balance between bitter/sweet). There's a hint of stinging licorice, but it really is quite faint.

The flavor follows the aroma except there's far more licorice character present than in the aroma. There's still lots of roast, coffee, and chocolate, but the licorice is definitely a major player in the flavor.

Medium to thick mouthfeel.

A delicious stout. Thanks again!

Photo of Hoptometrist
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from the bottle into a nonic glass

A- Poured black with a one and a half finger dark mocha head with nice lacing.

S- Big roasty coffee notes, chocolate, and mineral qualities in the aroma

T- Lots of bitter dark chocolate and milk chocolate, nice amount of roastiness, and mineral flavor on the finish

M- Creamy mouthfeel with nice prickly carbonation on the finish

O- Reminds me a lot of Edmund Fitzgerald, but with the chocolate notes being at the forefront of this one rather than the roasted coffee being at the forefront of the Edmund Fitzgerald. Good balance of sweet, roasty, and bitter though and very drinkable.

Photo of backfat
3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to my buddy natedog for this bottle. Bottle number 9801.

Pours a fizzy black with brown highlights. An impressive rocky khaki head dances on top. sticky lace.

smells of roasted chocolate, sugary candies, toasted malt, and a touch of anise. maybe a bit of dark fruit in there as well.

The taste is smoky. cream, fudge, and some soft bitterness on the back of the tongue.

A nice milky viscosity with appropriate carbonation.

This has always been a beer I have avoided because I really don't like anise. I think time may have faded it a bit to a "not that bad" beer.

Photo of BucannonXC5
3.78/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass at Dema (Westin) in Detroit, Mich. Color was coffee caramel. More than an inch of head. Healthy amount of lacing. Lots of film on the sides.

Smelled mostly of roasted coffee malts.

Coffee heavy on the taste. Malty, smoky finish.

Full body. Creamy texture. Lively carbonation. Almost felt kind of fake. Flattened out at the end.

I couldn’t get behind this as much as the other three Bell’s I had (Pale Ale, Two Hearted, Amber Ale), but that won’t stop me from trying more Bell’s.

Photo of 1fastz28
5/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

well money has been tight so i haven't had the luxury to buy some good beer but i decided to splurge for something new. Beer pours darker than almost any other beer i can think of, its as dark as celebrator easily. It may be the darkest beer i've ever had. Smells of toffee and sweet roasted malt, with maybe some chocolate in there. Taste is fantastic as one would expect from bells, the alcohol is barely noticeable and the chocolate smell is much more pronounced in the mouth. It really is a good beer, and i'm going to savor this 6 pack.

Photo of tvv375ia
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass

A-dark brown/almost black with about a finger of tan head

S-first smell I got was smoke follwed by coffee and a touch of sweetness

T-roast coffee is the the flavor that comes through first with some somky malt balanced out with a little hops at the end

M-lgiht creaminess

O-this is a good resonably priced stout

Photo of jellis00
4.8/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a really good stout. This is my favorite beer by Bell's.

A: Dark with really small bubbles.

S: smells like a coffee shop.

T: What a great taste. Very bold flavors that compliment each other nicely (coffee, caramel, etc).

M: It sits in the mouth nicely. Smooth drink.

O: I would recommend this beer where Bell's is housed. I could keep drinking it all day.

This may be my favorite stout I have had all year.

Photo of kbuzz
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle w/ a date of 8/1/ almost two months old.

A: Poured an opaque black with about a two finger head from a fairly agressive pour. Head is a tan/mocha color with tight fizzy looking (not frothy) bubbles. Head quickly dissipated, leaving plenty of lacing.

S: Plenty of roasty malts...a bit of smoke in there with maybe just a mild earthy/spicy hop aroma.

T: Much more in the taste than in the aroma. A hint of hop bitterness in the front. Plenty of roastiness/coffee...some brown sugar and definitely a lingering somewhat bitter dark chocolate flavor that I'm enjoying in the back of the throat. Supposedly brewed with licorice, but I don't really get any of it...MAYBE at the very end along with that dark chocolate taste.

M: A solid, solid mouthfeel on this. Very thick, very drinkable. Maybe just a tad overcarbonated, but it doesn't hurt anything really.

O: A pretty good stout. Nothing mind-blowing and doesn't really deliver on the licorice flavor, but definitely a solid beer. I enjoyed the mouthfeel on this one a lot...very thick and very drinkable...a good session beer, although maybe just a tad high at 6%...

Photo of antlerwrestler19
3.78/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep brown to black with maroon highlights when the light barely shines through. One finger toffee coloroed head fades pretty quick leaving the thinnest webbed lacing. Smells of anise and black licorice, roasted chocolate maltiness with a faint smokiness. The flavor follows suit but it also incorporates a lot of bitter chocolate and a bitter hop presence as well. The mouthfeel is smooth and on the lighter side of full bodied. This beer didn't really jump out at me, I enjoyed it but the licorice characteristics are probably what hurt this stout's quality for me. Still a good somewhat low abv. drinkable stout.


Photo of trxxpaxxs
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark, almost pitch black. Even being held to the light produces no transparency. There is a tiny mocha head on this beer but it fades quickly. It looks dark and delicious... exactly how I like my beers.

S: Smells of coffee, licorice, molasses, and plums. I can't wait to try it.

T: It starts sweet, but turns to bitters. I really wasn't expecting that at all. I'm very perplexed by this beer. There is quite a mix of malty sweetness and hoppy bitterness. It's almost too bitter for what I was expecting.

M: Decent mouthfeel for this beer. There are some nice sticky and chewy textures, but nothing too intense.

O: I like this beer, but the appearance and nose totally deceived me. That being said, it's still a good beer that I'd like to try again.

Photo of BeerDawgs
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pitch black, with a tiny bit of head, and not much lace retention

S - Licorice, deep roasted malts. Coffee

T - Pretty good. Roasted malts, slight chocolate and coffee flavors. Nuts. Licorice adds a slight sweet finish.

M - Very creamy and smooth mouthfeel.

O - A very good stout. Another well done beer from Bells

Photo of lurpy1
3.55/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Brownish black pour, good head. Pretty beer. Smell is somewhat smoky but stops short of bacon beer. Nice sense of roasted malts and a little bit of nut.

Taste is less than overpowering, smoke fades, overall becomes more roasty and grainy.

Mouthfeel did not work for me. This beer had the right level of viscousity and thickness, but it came with an unpleasant grittiness and a permeating chalky sensation.

Overall, a slightly above-average stout. Not at all bad, but right after this I had a Founders Breakfast Stout, and I was blown away by how much better Founders Breakfast Stout is.

Not sure what to make of Bell's stout offerings - one of the hallmarks of a great brewery is a superlative stout, and having had Expedition, Kalamazoo, and Java, all come well short of that distinction. Yet everything else I've had from Bell's is invariably great. I guess stouts just aren't their sweet spot.

Photo of spinrsx
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle - thanks zacs!

Appearance - The beer pours a black/brown colour with a large frothy light brown coloured head. I can't see much carbonation due the darkness of the beer and there is some great lacing on the sides of the glass. The head lasted for 6 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Chocolate, malts, coffee, smoke

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation and it feels slightly creamy on the tongue. I can taste chocolate, coffee, and some malts. There is also a nice amount of smoke/roasted notes and a little bit of a metallic flavour. The beer finished with a smokey and roasted bitter aftertaste.

Overall – Bell's is quickly becoming my favourite brewer. I've yet to be disappointed with any of their beers. The mouthfeel with this beer was amazing and it has a fantastic appearance in the glass. The taste was great and it was very easy to drink. I'd buy it again in a heartbeat.

Photo of GarrettMD
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a deep black letting no light through, even on the edges. Nice mocha colored head, just a thin layer but it sticks around. Some slight lacing but not much.

S - Rich malts dominate this aroma. You can definitely smell the licorice in it as well. All malts in the aroma, no hops at all. Chocolate and some hints of coffee come through the sweet malts and licorice.

T - I can definitively taste black patent malt as the dominant malt in this beer. It is mostly a bitter chocolate/coffee taste, but I have used that malt and tasted it raw enough to know that is the primary specialty malt used in this beer. The licorice also follows up nicely.

M - Thick body, creamy texture, perfect carbonation, the sweetness sticks to the sides of your mouth, but it isn't cloying. Finish lingers forever and is a sweet chocolate/licorice taste.

O - I love this stout. It's not my favorite, and not my go-to, but it is still fantastic. The flavors meld perfectly.

Photo of BYOFB
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From bottle to tulip

Agressive pour yields a nice thick, dense, light brown head. Fades rather quickly with minimal lacing. Aroma of cocoa, licorice, and roasty malt.

Roast malt flavor with espresso, licorice, and a slight acidity. Nice dark chocolate and roast espresso finish that lingers. Medium mouthfeel.

Overall, a good, well rounded, drinkable stout. Not overly complex and I enjoy the licorice.

Photo of StarshipPoopers
4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Opaque black. Good retention, small amount of lacing.

S - Coffee, chocolate, slight booziness. I took notes on this and they're pretty vague, but it was a lighter stout.

T - Roasted malts, chocolate, bitter coffee, strong but simple flavours.

M/D - Medium mouthfeel, smooth drinking

O - Solid but simple. I'd buy it again.

Photo of Cummins9110
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into glass, almost had to scrape it into the glass! this boy is THICK! ok thats a little exagerated but its pretty thick

A - dark black, with brown/carmel head, looks like coke held it up to a light and cannot see any light through it

S - rich robust, coffee/chocolate, chocolate

T - very chocolatey and cofee like, allergies are acting up so thats about all ii can taste

M - very thick, almost like milk or something very thick and heavy

overal this is a very good stout

Photo of McNealc31
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Taste of roasted malt and some licorice in there. Late kick from the hops, too.

Smooth, yet still big and chewy, it's a mouthful. Very complex with bitter chocolate, hints of charred wood, and those anise notes. Maybe even some grape in there, too. It all leads to a dry, chalky, woody, lingering finish.

Photo of wcintula
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty excited when a customer dropped this off at the store for us to try. The beer pours black with brown around the edges with an espresso head. Smells big and roasty. The taste has got a lot going on, big ashy charred flavors, roasted coffee bitter chocolate, touch of licorice. I'm not a licorice fan but I like the stout, not something to avoid, even if you don't like licorice. This is a wonderful, full-bodied stout that I'm honored to try outside of distribution. Bell's, come to NY!

Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 3,630 ratings.