1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

3,246 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,246
Reviews: 1,424
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 10.53%
Wants: 147
Gots: 230 | 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: 3,246 | Reviews: 1,424 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wheatyweiss
wheatyweiss

Wisconsin

4.13/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark coffee color. Head is immense and leaves a thick, sticky lace and spotting.

Aroma is of dark corn syrup, molasses and dark brown sugar. Slight roasted coffee aroma.

Taste is of Dark roasted malt, coffee and peat. A little smoke and a sweet dextrin like corn syrup flavor. The is a deepness to the sweet part of this beer I can't place.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth. Very nice.

Good stout, I enjoyed it very much.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2008 05:14:42 | More by wheatyweiss
Photo of BamaBeerBuff
BamaBeerBuff

North Carolina

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

A: Jet black with a large mocha colored head that pits as it recedes, leaving some nice patterns of lace.

S: Yummy. Before the head fully settles the smell is rather lackluster, but once everything settles down, smooth coffee and dark chocolate aromas emerge. There's a strong yeast component too that gives the dark malts a bready feel. Some sweetness is also strongly evident, giving a candy-like feel to the nose. I'm a fan.

T&M: Taste is rather bitter with coffee, though some sweeter notes of chocolate come through, as well. Bitter coffee/espresso is the main attraction here, however. I would appreciate just a touch more of sweetness, because the initial bitterness is a bit too much for my liking. The finish, however, is long and pleasant with a strong coffee flavor. The body is rather heavy with a creamy, smooth mouthfeel--very appropriate for a stout.

D: Too much bitterness for me to drink it so quickly, but it's a decent stout. Looks and smells wonderful with a solid flavor. Definitely one of the better stouts I've had--it's almost like a RIS-lite.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2008 00:23:24 | More by BamaBeerBuff
Photo of birchstick
birchstick

Colorado

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

Picked this up while on vacation in Holland, Michigan this summer.

A - Poured jet black with a gorgeous, chocolately one-finger head into a snifter.
S - Smells of milk chocolate, malts, and faint hops. Very sweet overall.
T - Very rich tasting. Subtly sweet, with a little bit of chocolate and licorice, followed by burnt/toasted malts and a touch of coffee.
M - not as full as a milk shake, but goes down in a similar fashion.
D - this is a great stout. It definitely holds its own in the flavor and interest departments for me. I will definitely seek this out again.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2008 04:25:20 | More by birchstick
Photo of luciusgilmer
luciusgilmer

Michigan

4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip glass from a bottle; cold.

A: Nice dark (cola like) pour. The head is not so creamy as some other stouts, and it dissipates somewhat quickly, leaving a spotty tan/white covering. Very thick looking.

S: I got a hint of chocolate off the bottle for this tasting, and in the glass I get hints of coffee, licorice (which is supposedly in the brew) and malts. Really nice.

T: My first taste of this confirmed the licorice ("brewer's licorice" is listed below the name), which was nice, rich, bitter. There's a rich, balanced mix of coffee, cocoa, and licorice tastes, and a bit of creaminess, too.

M: Sipped slowly, this is rich on the tongue and easy on the back of the throat. Not overly carbonated. Smooth.

D: Because of the bitterness, this can be a slow beer, and one does not always want to savor quite so slowly. You can take quick gulps, too, and it's pleasant going down, but not special.

My first stout tried was Guinness at the factory in Dublin, and this is no Guinness (though American Guinness is not, either, sadly). This stacks up well as a stout in its own right due to the nice licorice hints.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2008 01:25:46 | More by luciusgilmer
Photo of bunnyhustle
bunnyhustle

Illinois

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

Pours dark as can be (a little dark cherry color around the edges when held to the light) with nice, thick, dark tan head. Lacing is ok, retention isnt great but a very thin cream is left on the beer for the remainder. Smell is of dark sweet chocolate, some coffee grinds, and a tiny bit of black licorice. Taste is great, let this one warm up and it has a sweet milk chocolate-ness too it. Very pronounced chocolate flavor with some toasted grains as well. Very slight bitterness as it goes down but I dont detect any hops. Mouthfeel is very smooth and velvety, more on the fuller side. This is a great beer from Bell's I must say. This might be my favorite right up there with Two Hearted.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2008 02:45:57 | More by bunnyhustle
Photo of bonbini26
bonbini26

New Jersey

3.7/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

on tap @ monks cafe

Apperance- The beer pours a deep dark black color with a thick frothy brown head that fades to lacing.

Smell- The aroma is good. It has a rich dark malt scent that is dominated with chocolate and roasted barley. It is sweet to the nose and seems a bit creamy.

Taste- The taste is good. It has a dry black malt flavor with some chocolate hints and a semi-sweet finish.

Mouthfeel- The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a fine stout. It has great aroma and flavor a good sessions ale.

Serving type: on-tap

09-29-2008 15:19:22 | More by bonbini26
Photo of psugrad98
psugrad98

Pennsylvania

4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured rich reddish black with creamy off white foam. Aroma was of toasted malt and fresh backed pumpernickel.

Very velvety smooth with taste of coffee and dark chocolate. Slightly sweet with slight hoppy finish. Brussels lace hung nicely down side of glass. A very smooth drinking delicious stout!

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2008 13:07:47 | More by psugrad98
Photo of hunteraw
hunteraw

China

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

Appearance: Pours an absolutely opaque brownish/black into the glass. One finger dark khaki head, with decent retention. Not much lacing.

Smell: Seriously roasty - stale coffee, dark chocolate. A little later, almost like an iced latte. I'm not picking up on the licorice, which is a good thing as anise is not one of my favorite flavors. More burnt aromas come out as it warms.

Taste: Best tasting stout I've had in a while. Bitter cocoa dominates. Sweet middle, like sweetened iced coffee. Finishes crisply and dry. Warming - would be a great winter beer. Again, I'm not getting the licorice?

Mouthfeel: More medium than full in body (a bit surprisingly, given how dark this beer is), smoothly carbonated - almost milky in consistency and the way it coats your mouth.

Drinkability: Very solid beer. I'm so glad Bell's is now distributed in Florida.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2008 22:47:48 | More by hunteraw
Photo of bluemoonswoon
bluemoonswoon

Illinois

4.13/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep browinsh black and topped with a thick and creamy sandy white one and a half inch head. The head bubbles down slightly to form a thin cap and leaves a good bit of lace down the side of the glass on the way down.

S: Nice roasted chocolate malt, mild hot chocolaty sweetness. Not too milky but still very sweet nonetheless.

T/MF: Rather roasty, bitter chocolate malt in the beginning, smoothing out considerably to a milky sweetness in both the middle and end of tasting and closes with a dark toasted chocolate and coffee bitterness that lingers for a bit on the tongue. Carbonation is mild and the mouthfeel is just the slightest bit too watery for my taste, but does a good job coming across as medium bodied otherwise.

D: Solidly drinkable, very very tasty and before I even realized it, my glass was empty. Nice and smooth couterpoint stuck between this beer and the Bell's Porter.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2008 04:59:01 | More by bluemoonswoon
Photo of twiggamortis420
twiggamortis420

Texas

4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black as night. Rich tan head that fades rapidly but leaves a nice clingy collar.

Sweet chocolate dominates the nose. I think I smell the licorice, but that could be in my head after reading the label. Rich maltyness and hints of honey are also evident in the smell.

Taste is much more complex as espresso nutty notes, subtle hops and toffee flavors blend nicely with the ever present chocolate/cocoa character. Sweetness and licorice flavors come out to play as the beer warms up a bit. Bitter, dry finish.

Overall, a pretty good stout with some complexity and uniqueness. I would definitely buy this again!

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2008 04:48:02 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of r3zim
r3zim

Ohio

4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A:
Poured chilled into a room temp pint glass with a full tan head that stays throughout the session. Carbonation appears medium to high. Color is black.

S:
Smell is of coffee, roasted malts, and chocolate.

T:
Taste is full of roasted and chocolate flovors. Finishes with a medium bitterness.

M:
Smooth with a chalky aftertaste.

D:
Very drinkable. Carbonation is just right.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2008 01:26:24 | More by r3zim
Photo of mpyle
mpyle

Maryland

3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed quite warm (55-60 F)

App - Opaque appearance - pours a robust tan head, quite creamy and long lasting.

Aroma - roasty, chocolately, and sweet

Taste - Roasty and sweet initially, matching the aroma. A bit of a blood like, copper penny taste late that definitely brings down the score. A twinge too much of the really dark malt/roasted barley?

MF - medium-full body, moderate carbonation. No astringency, and just a slight hint of alcohol warming.

D'ability - A heavyweight stout even if just 6.5% ABV, but a good choice if in the mood for a big, flavorful stout. I could see myself buying it again, but drinking it a bit cooler.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2008 01:10:36 | More by mpyle
Photo of beerthulhu
beerthulhu

New Jersey

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

A: Pours a dark roasted color with a cherry tan head.

S: dark roasted malt, fresh coffee beans, dry chocolate and some black licorice.

T: The palate and flavor is very dark and rich coffee and roasted malt along with a nice hearty chocolate presence. Very grainy feel and dark roasted lacing on the tongue. There is a malt sweetness that balances the dark grains nicely. A nicely rounded beer and flavor making for a decent session stout. pretty decent all around but just falls short or being really impressive enough to bump this to the next level.

M: creamy with some bittering chocolate.

D: Overall a good stout with an easy drinking quality.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2008 23:36:42 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of mothman
mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

4.13/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 8432. Packaged on April 11, 2008.

Pours a thick brown/tan head. This beer is pretty much as black as the night sky (but really just a extremely dark brown). I was in awe when I first saw this beer come out of the bottle. The head stayed up almost the entire time, while the lacing was dominate. That's right dominate.

The smell is of roasted/chocolate malts, while the beer is amazingly balance between the hops and the malts. The presence of both were well represented. I could again taste the same roasted/chocolate malts and the hop flavor was grassy.

This is such an amazing beer and I would recommend this to anybody! I am so impressed with Bells on this one!

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2008 00:51:10 | More by mothman
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

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

Got this one from tpd975, cheers Greg!

Pours mahogany/ebony with 2 fingers of mocha head with molasses colored flecks. Above average lacing & average head retention

S: Mocha, charred grain &, a kiss of oaky vanilla & dark fruit once warm

T: Dark choclate & mocha & much cocoa powder dryness up front. A touch of grainyness, more chocolate, a bit of raisin, & coffee as this warms.

MF: Smooth, medium bodied with low carbonation

Drinks easy, a good, not great stout, middle of the road as Bell's offerings go

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2008 03:27:06 | More by russpowell
Photo of ATPete
ATPete

New Jersey

4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle received in a trade

The Kalamazoo pours a dark brown almost black color with some small reddish brown light slivers and a 2 finger brown head after a rigorous pour. A subtle but direct nose of big roasted chocolate malts. Same is with the taste, toasty chocolate malt and coffee notes are right upfront, followed by semi-sweet bakers chocolate, molasses and brown sugar. The flavors of the licorice used is very subtle and by no means threatening, this stout is so toasty it simply adds more complexity and pleasant bold nuances. Some hop bitterness is detected on the finish as well as some slight alcohol heat. It sports a surprisingly light/medium body, very smooth and sort of creamy, the after taste is long, lingering and very enjoyable. Excellent beer, must try.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2008 17:30:04 | More by ATPete
Photo of unclecrappy
unclecrappy

Pennsylvania

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

This is a fall staple for me; I was actually surprised I hadn't reviewed it before.

A: A beautiful darkdarkdark brown with hints of red when you hold the glass up to a light. Nice tan head that recedes quickly, leaving just a little lace behind.

S: As it should be for the style: Roasted coffee, a little chocolate and something kind of sweet besides the chocolate -- hard to identify, at least for me.

T: I don't get any licorice at all, but the hints of sweet are just a touch more prominent than everything else that's going on with this stout. I also notice something bready -- a pleasant side note.

M: Rich. Yum.

D: I love this stuff, and I say that while admitting I like bigger, heavier stouts. I'll always be happy to bring it home.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2008 18:58:34 | More by unclecrappy
Photo of stumac
stumac

Texas

4.75/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

...Didn't even remember drinkin this one!....

this brew poured up a dark brown color with a light brown head...perfect little appearance...the nose was delicious dark chocolate malts....love it....the taste was very nice and straight forward...subtle sweetness and dark chocolate malts...subtle alcohol blended in the flavor....not bad at all though....wish I could get my hands on a sixer!

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2008 16:27:54 | More by stumac
Photo of drinksandeats
drinksandeats

Massachusetts

3.1/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle purchased at Total Wine in Chantilly, VA.

Appearance: DARK! Brown bordering on black. Small amount of foam with large strong bubbles. Nice lacing. Tilted the glass to see the light shine through the beer; only a very small sliver of beer shone clear.

Aroma: Rich and thick. Mocha, earthy and full. No licorice.

Taste: Here I was hoping for the hint of brewer's licorice as promised on the bottle. I got just the slightest hint of it upon contact with my tongue before it was overpowered by a bitter coffee taste. Burnt and acidic. Not pleasant.

Mouthfeel: Slightly abrasive. Not creamy at all.

Drinkability: Not bad, not great, one was enough.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2008 01:52:45 | More by drinksandeats
Photo of SouthLoopSuds
SouthLoopSuds

Illinois

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

I'm so happy we have Bell's back in Chicago! It was sorely missed!

I've drank a few of these, and they always seem to satisfy. The hint of licorice sets it apart from other stouts, so it's a nice change of pace.

I like the color, it's nice and dark . The aroma is quite pleasant. And the feel is robust but not to thick.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2008 18:25:14 | More by SouthLoopSuds
Photo of wagenvolks
wagenvolks

Texas

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

Not quite sure why I haven't made it around to reviewing this one yet, but here's my late homework. 12 oz. bottle @ 42nd Street Oyster Bar in Raleigh, NC.

Pours a murky, seal brown body that develops a short-lived inch of manila foam, quickly dissipating to a ring of large bubbles. Looked like a thousand spider eyes staring at me (and occassionally popping) with every sip. The aroma smelled how a good stout should: rich, dark chocolate notes paired with roasted espresso, sweet cocoa, and some earthy hops.

The taste was surprisingly hoppy for the style, not that I really minded. Bitter, resinous hops coated the palate, while baker's chocolate and black licorice added a great balance. The chewy, thick body was perfectly carbonated and the hop bite at the finish made the experience all the more enjoyable. Bell's makes very few brewing erros, and Kalamazoo isn't one of them...not by a long shot.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2008 03:52:44 | More by wagenvolks
Photo of 3Vandoo
3Vandoo

Quebec (Canada)

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

Dark pitch black beer with some shy red hues, no head at all.

smell is of chocolate, dark roasted coffee and toffee flavours.

taste wise is melasse flavours with shy licorise, malty, dark chocolate with a shy bitterness, some hints of coffee notes are present too

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2008 19:14:08 | More by 3Vandoo
Photo of chemmie
chemmie

Florida

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

Pours an opaque dark chocolate color from the bottle with a beautiful thick chocolate milk head. It has a slight chocolate milk smell, combined with the roasted malts. Neither smell is overpowering. A little sweet, a little roast.
The taste has just a little sweetness. The roasted malts come through, but they aren't overpowering. Like many Bell's beers, it has great balance. Not too much of a single flavor.
I'm very picky with stouts and this is one of my favorites. I don't like too much roasted malt flavor, and this certainly isn't heavy. It is a great balanced stout with just enough of everything. Very drinkable for a stout.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2008 00:44:08 | More by chemmie
Photo of Billolick
Billolick

New York

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

12 ouncer with different art work then shown on this site, no freshness into be had. This one pours stout black, dark tan head, well knot, retentive and then leaves plenty of slippery and then sticky lace. Roasty/malty nose. Yummy, easy drinking stout, with notes of sweetened coffee, molasses, dark toast. Sweet and roasty, silky as it rides over the tongue and swirls in the mouth. Top notch in all ways, more fine suds from Bells

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2008 23:14:52 | More by Billolick
Photo of kmeves
kmeves

Wisconsin

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

Pours an opache black with a small tannish head. Aroma is sweet chocolate and coffee. Maybe just a hint of dark fruit buried underneath all of the dark malt. Flavor is really more of the same although the fruit shines through a bit more. Finishes somewhat short and cocoa bitter. Medium bodied, very smooth texture.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2008 13:23:16 | More by kmeves
Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 3,246 ratings.