1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

3,663 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,663
Reviews: 1,458
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.55%
Wants: 164
Gots: 350 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-11-2001

Stout brewed with Brewer's Licorice.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bell's Kalamazoo Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,663 | Reviews: 1,458 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Ehrnstrom
4.07/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

appearance: pours a dark, chocolate color. mocha colored head that disappears very quickly.

smell: maybe the best aspect of this beer, roasted malts, chocolate, and coffee flavors are all present.

taste: rich chocolate that balances out the roasted malts and subtle addition of coffee

mouthfeel: could be a little more full-bodied, but for an affordable 6 pack, this is one of the better stouts you can get

overall: really the first beer that got me into craft beer. just an overall great beer.

Photo of biboergosum
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, a souvenir from a visit to a kick-ass liquor store in Dearborn, Michigan, a few weeks ago.

This beer pours a solid black, with slight cola highlights, and one fat finger of dense puffy pale beige head, which leaves a broad swath of a lace paint job around the glass as it settles. It smells of gritty, chalky baker's chocolate, caramel malt, earthy licorice, and leafy hops. The taste is still big into the chocolate - bittersweet, and enveloping, with a narrow coffee stripe. The licorice is there, a tight somewhat astringent natural black anise essence, cutting into the cocoa blanket, aided by some mild booze and underwhelmingly edgy hops. The carbonation is present, on a low-fi fizzy plane, the body damn-near full, expansive, and smooth, with a creamy predilection. It finishes with butterfly-imitating malt, bursting forth from below, finally joining the chocolate, middling licorice, and oafish hops, late to the party.

A decent, well-flavoured, dessert-adjacent Yankee stout. The extra point of ABV well-obfuscated, the licorice not overplayed - what's not to like?

Photo of OWSLEY069
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours jet black with a light tan head. In the aroma, roasty and a small, sweet licorice presence. In the taste, a small roast, sweet coffee, and notes of licorice. A small bite, yet mainly smooth and a medium to bigger bodied mouthfeel, with a dry and roasty coffee and licorice in the aftertaste. Nice sweet to dry coffee and notes of licorice.

Photo of DIM
3.36/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

a: This had a black body and it poured with a medium sized tan head.

s: Fairly strong licorice with roasty, lightly astringent coffee and dark chocolate.

t: Sweet licorice with chocolate notes up front with a strongly bitter coffee-ish finish.

m: Surprisingly thin, borderline watery.

o: Just okay, not something I would revisit.

Photo of shoky01
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz chilled and poured into a pint.

A: Dark black, almost opaque. Oil slick. 1/4 inch brown tan head. Light carbonation.

S: Malts, a light smokiness with licorice.

T: Coffee, and bitterness. Its more real black licorice than jelly bean. Slight vanilla.

MF. Fizzy and smooth. Little sticky.

OA: Its okay, more regular stout than licorice. I liked the Stone Belgo Anise IRS better, just had the stronger anise.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.64/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to shrek086 for sending me this one!

Pours an opaque black with a 1/2 foamy khaki head that settles to a film on the top of the beer. No lacing on this one on the drink down. Smell is of uncooked bread dough, slight chocolate, and oddly enough a bit like playdough. Taste is of dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, and some mild coffee bean flavors. I am not getting licorice in either the smell or taste. A mild roasty bitterness quickly fades from the palate after each sip. This beer has a crisp level of carbonation with a nice bubbly mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good stout but nothing that great in the long run. I enjoy the way this beer smells more than the way it tastes.

Photo of BeerNutz324
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle into an oversized wine glass

Ap- more black than brown. can't see through it at all. nice cinnamon colored head that looks delicous. doesnt last long though.

Ar- roasted, burnt malts with a little coffee flavor. the licorice doesn't come thru till the end.

T- tastes like your typical stout up front. lots of roasted malts, a little coffee flavor. The bitterness of the licorice hits ya at the end. Pretty much follows the nose.

M- medium/heavy body. lightly carbonated which is good for this style.

O- not a bad take on a stout. the licorice at the end is kinda different but that isn't always a bad thing. I enjoyed this but it didn't wow me.

Photo of MattyG85
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a stout glass.

Appearance: Dark black with a little brown color shining through the bottom. Decent two fingers of tan head fade into a patchy layer. Moderate amount of lacing.

Smell: Dark roasted caramel malts with big notes of dark chocolate and roasted coffee. Hints of nuts, milk, and liquorice. Smells very roasty and full.

Taste: A lightly sweet and fairly bitter mix of dark roasted malts, dark chocolate, and roasted coffee. Solid hints of chocolate milk, caramel, nuts, and liquorice. Bitter notes of coffee linger in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with a lower level of carbonation. Creamy and finishes slightly dry.

Overall: A very solid stout that is very full flavored and heavy for a non imperial stout.

Photo of nandemo1
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
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
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
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
4.73/5  rDev +18.8%
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
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
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
3.3/5  rDev -17.1%
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
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
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
3.77/5  rDev -5.3%
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
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
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
4.77/5  rDev +19.8%
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
3.78/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle w/ a date of 8/1/11...so 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
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
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
3.77/5  rDev -5.3%
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
3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
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

Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 3,663 ratings.