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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

3,709 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,709
Reviews: 1,464
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.55%
Wants: 169
Gots: 379 | FT: 8
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
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Ratings: 3,709 | Reviews: 1,464 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Urbancaver
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours very very dark. A reddish tint around the edges. A small amount of brown head that sticks around for a bit. Smells roasty and chocolatey. Lots of bitterness on the nose from the dark chocolate. Tastes sweet and malty. Lots of roasted flavours and a tough of licorice backing it all up. Coffee and licorice blend well. Thick solid mouthfeel. Well carbonated. Fairly drinkable but its a pretty low abv

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

Thanks ChadQuest for the extra.

It's really important to let this beer warm up. I had a few sips while it was cold out of the fridge and it tasted almost 1 dimensional and limp. As the beer warmed it really came to life. Take it out and let it sit for 15-20 before you even crack it.

Appearance: A great looking beer. Dark but not quite pitch black. Some dark raisin colors around the edge. Beautiful 1/2 finger mocha head with average retention. Better than average lacing.

Smell: Dark roast coffee beans and bakers chocolate. This smells rich. The hops are definitely hinting at a bitterness.

Taste: This almost tastes like an IPA up front. There is a malty sweetness to it, it's actually quite hoppy and somewhat bitter. As it finishes however the richness of the chocolate and coffee beans pull through. Quite an interesting beer. They mention licorice on the bottle but I don't really taste too much.

Mouthfeel: The viscosity is just about right, but I think this is over carbonated for my taste.

Drinkability: Well crafted and complex without being huge and in your face. What a delicious beer. I think you can sip this for an evening, and I think you put 3-4 back in an evening as well. It's actually pretty versitle thanks to a wonderful taste profile combined with a reasonable ABV.

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

poured into a tulip


Your typical stout. A deep dark brown color that looks black once in the glass. About 3 fingers worth of dense light brown head.


I'm getting some nice roasted malts...almost coffee-like. Perhaps a little smokiness in there. As it warms up I get a little more bitter chocolate aroma as well. Pretty good beer.


just like aroma. Light notes of bitter chocolate, coffee, perhaps a little licorice. Was hoping for a little more on the taste but I've should've expected it from a "single" stout with only 6 ABV. A small touch of bitterness in this beer as well which goes well.


almost medium bodied. A little watery for my taste. Carbonation a little low but nothing terrible. A slight dry finish as well.


Overall a pretty good beer. I'd go for an expedition stout over this every time, but this is a little cheaper and easier to find.

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

Pours solid black with khaki head that fades quickly and leaves just a little lacing.

In the smell I get roasted coffee and pine. There is a very fresh earthiness to it.

The taste is roasted coffee, a little burnt chocolate, and a smoky flavor on the back.

The mouthfeel is a little bit chewy.

Overall its not a bad beer.

Photo of Gmann
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pitch black color with a big frothy brown head that quickly disipated into a light ring.

Big roasted malt aroma kicks things off. Some milk chocolate, caramel/toffee and vanilla notes follow. Licorice, charred wood and carob round out the aroma profile.

Strong roasted malt and coffee flavor are dominate with some mocha, licorice and caramel following nicely. A bit of a woody/ashy flavor as well.

Full body with soft carbonation lead to a silky feel. Starts sweet on the palate but finishes with a roasty bitterness that lingers a bit. Perhaps a touch sticky.

This is a very flavorful stout for 6%. Loads of roasted flavors as well. I expect these flavors in a RIS so it is really nice to see in a lower abv brew. Caramel and buttery notes come out more as the beer warms which adds an odd flavor so I prefer to drink this stout a bit colder.

Photo of ramseye4
4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A=Dark brown color, light brown head, gobs of lacing on the sides of the glass.
S=Massive roasted malt hits the nose first, faint smoky aroma, a bit of chocolate as well. The roasted malt dominates, however.
T= Burnt, roasted malt comprises the majority of the taste, some espresso flavors, a bit of chocolate in the aftertaste.
M=Full bodied and highly carbonated, a bit rough, but in a pleasant way,
D=Outstanding, especially for this style. The low ABV definitely helps, along with the good, but not overly complex taste.

Photo of KajII
3.38/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

[Best served in an English pint]

Poured almost black with a huge light brown rocky head that lasted throughout and had excellent lacing. The aroma was of burnt cereal malts, a leathery yeast with notes of molasses, chocolate and coffee. It tasted mildly bitter and acidic in the beginning and finished with a sweet/bitter coffee flavor that stayed with you for an average length of time. Mouthfeel was full in body and creamy in texture with a flat carbonation. Overall a pretty basic stout.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

Hey, my label's different! (I'm sorry, it's all I had to start with. I'll try better next time...) No matter, it pours sleek obsidian (that seems to want to be tinged with either ruby or garnet, but just can't quite get it done) topped by a finger of sandstone foam. The nose comprises roasted malts, light char, a very light touch of anise, and a sprinkling of dark chocolate. Though there may be more listed there, the roast is king, and everyone 'round town knows it. The taste mimics the smell, with roasty dominance continuing. However, here the dark chocolate and anise shine through a bit more, along with a dull cut of coffee in the back room. The body is a solid medium, with a light carbonation and a smooth feel. Overall, a pretty nice stout, kinda one-dimensional (and then some), but it definitely hits the spot when a stout is desired.

Photo of n2185
3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours black and I managed to get about 3 fingers of chocolate-colored head on it. The head eventually faded into a solid layer, leaving behind a good amount of lacing.

S: Lots of roasted malt, some bitter dark chocolate and burnt aromas. There's some smoke in there as well.

T: Roasted malt up front with some slightly sweet chocolate flavors that follow. The finish has some bitter coffee flavors.

M: Medium body with medium carbonation. There's a nice thick, creamy feel to it despite the carbonation though.

D: Goes down pretty smoothly with the creamy body.

Overall, a pretty decent stout. Nice and creamy, though the burnt coffee aftertaste is a bit unappealing.

Photo of beersensei305
3.6/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- opague black with a nice foamy head thats tan in color. good lacing

S- Roasted Malts, Coffee, Chocolate, faint yeast

T- Roasted Malts and Cocoa, kinda coffee ish, bitter from char, the licorce is noticeable as it warms

MF- Char feeling in the mouth not that heavy

D- Good but i am not a licorce fan

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

12oz bottle from 2009.

Pours opaque black with a quarter inch of brown froth. A partial skim coat with dotted lacing throughout the glass.

Aromatics are chock full of bitter chocolate, coffee grounds, brownie batter, nougat, and char. Very roasty with a hint of smoke.

Full bodied with a chewy, doughy body. Plenty of gription and tack.

Black fudge, chocolate cake batter, espresso, burnt malt, and Oreo shells lead off the palate. Hints of Kahlua, licorice, and a bit of heat follow through.

Finishes with lingering char, chocolate, and espresso.

The amount of body and flavor are impressive for a 6% brew. Pretty substantial beer and this one seems to have aged quite well, although any licorice is barely detectable and only found because I was looking for it.

Photo of ChugginOil
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours very dark brown which ends black once settled in the snifter. The tan colored head fluffs to about an inch and slowly settles. The nose offers scents of toasty malt and light coffee. A calm sweet scent is also present. The taste is bold and toasty. The roasted and sweet malts are balanced well in combination with a subtle coffee/cocoa taste that offers a bit of bitterness at the finish. The mouthfeel is rich and creamy with just enough carbonation to tickle the palate. This this stout is very drinkable due to a well hidden ABV and great taste.

Photo of brstls4drmrs
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured dark as night from a bottle into a pint glass. A thin caramel head quickly vanished but created a light brown ring surrounding the glass. Very good coffee and chocolate notes for the nose which gets enhanced on the taste. Roasty chocolate malts on the tongue make for a real easy drink. A slight bitter finish but not filling at all.

Photo of ptykozoon
3.43/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The usual dark brown, dark fizzy head implodes fast. No lacing or head after a minute though.

Subtle scents of syrup, dry cocoa.

Well rounded and decently complex taste for the lowerish 6%. Quite tasty, mostly licorice, roasted chocolate.

Bitter mouthfeel, dry and roasty.

Pretty good lil stout. Probably wouldn't seek out again though, could really use some more sweetness in my opinion - vanilla, chocolate or something.

Photo of Murrdogg
4.16/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A- beautifully dark as it should be. Deep amber/ruby when viewed at extremes in the light

S- slight coffee and toasted chocolate

T- Smokiness hits you immediately, a robust coffee taste is blatant, and a lighter chocolate aftertaste. Dark cherries and burnt sugar are there if you look for them. Very unexpectedly smooth

M- surprisingly light and smooth feel, despite the robust taste

D- Though this stout is a bit too coffee-ey for my likings, it was very easy to drink, and is complex enough for my likings. It was perfect with a chocolate-based dessert

Photo of metter98
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a thin mocha colored head that quickly died down and left wispy patterns of bubbles floating on the surface.
S: There are aromas of roasted malts and hints of coffee and sweetness in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, except that there are noticeable flavors of licorice as well as hints of chocolate and coffee. There is a slight amount of bitterness in the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied, creamy and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is easy to drink because it isn't very filling.

Photo of schmit01
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found it at the local Minottis Liquor store while searching for the Sierra Hoptimum....
Not what I was looking for, but happy nontheless
Great foamy head.
Good Roasted Coffee Aroma.
Smooth and Delicious Flavor
Alcohol a little high for more that a couple, only down side....

Overall... anoth Bells to be very happy with

Photo of Landfill21
4.55/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours into a opaque black and leaves a fingernail head that follows all the way down the glass.

Has a great smell of roasted nuts, coffee, and malt.

Tastes great and has a smooth finish. Would recommend another quality Bell's beverage.

Has a light mouthfeel which makes the drinkibility high. This is a highly complex brew.

Photo of titosupertramp
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Very dark brown with a finger of mocha/tan head. Not a lot of lacing.

S: Different smell, but I like it. Sweetness actually dominates here, but there's a roastiness, toasted smell in the background. A little nutty.

T: Toast, roasted flavors. Pretty hoppy actually. Licorice is present.

M: Hops make it a little dry and sticky. Otherwise, it's a pretty smooth.

D: Something about this makes me think I probably couldn't have more than a couple of these in a sitting. Not the alcohol necessarily...something I can't place.

Good beer. Would pick this up again.

Photo of EgadBananas
4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours very thick in appearance, black with no noticeable lighter tinges. Head was very frothy and creamy, about two fingers, retention was good and it left spongy lacing down the side.

Aroma is nice and lightly sweet, with hints of chocolate and roasted malts and faint background hops.

Taste is very roasted, with some charred sugary notes, chocolate, and some pleasant hints of roasted coffee that the nose didn't reveal. The finish is slightly bitter, which is very nice.

This brew has a full, robust body, creamy texture, with a welcomed and slightly chewy feel. Very smooth, and mildly coating.

Drinkability is great over all. Very easy to drink, with good tastes and aromas...multiples should be a must.

Photo of Brunite
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving: Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Black as night. Yields a super head with great retention that turns pitted and fluffy. Looks like something you would want to eat with a spoon. You almost get a nitro-effect pouring from the bottle.Nice artistic lacing that remains.

Smell: Roasted as well as some sweet notes coming through.

Taste: Very complex. A lot going on. Lots of flavors from sweet all the way to bitter. Dark roast coffee, cocoa beans, grapefruit, raisin, dark cherry, a touch of licorice. This is delicious. A perfect balance between sweet and bitter. The flavors linger on. Dry on the tongue....sweet on the backside. Did I mention nice balance here?

Mouthfeel: Creamy, chewy.

Drinkability: This is delicious. It goes down easy. Like drinking a 85% cocoa dark chocolate bar dipped in coffee and then rubbed in some macerated dark fruits.

Overall: Probably my favorite American Stout. Another great beer from Bell's. This is going to be a regular in my rotation. Highly recommended. Only negative here is the lame label!!

Photo of DocAJ
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle to pint glass

A-Beautiful black color with a creamy tan head that left nice lacing

S-Choc and coffee aromas, dark cherry

T-follows nice, plus subtle licorice flavor and subtle hop taste that balances nicely

M-Creamy, medium bodied

D-Smooth drinker, could drink a couple of these

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

Billed as a stout brewed with brewer's licorice, this one pours a deep black with a khaki/tan head of foam.
Scent is of dark rum, coffee, and burnt licorice.
Flavor is pretty middle-of-the-road, and not too out-there, but with hints of candy and rum -- a pleasant and unusual mix.
A complex and suble stout, with a unique bit of nuance.
A winner!

Photo of thedoubler55
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle poured into a tulip glass

A: DARK COPPER COLOR, a bit of tan head at the top the dissapates into some nice lacing around the glass.

S: Lots of roasted nuts, and dark fruits, with a bit of chocolate smell at the end

T: Licorice up front with roasted nutty taste at the tail end with some hint of chocolate almost like the smell

M: Medium bodied and creamy

D: One of my fav's from bell's will definitely be having this one again.

Photo of bnes09
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep black and completely opaque. Beautiful dark tan head with awesome frothy lacing.

Big roasted coffee and licorice aromas. Hint of smoke in the nose as well.

Taste follows suit with a bitter coffee roastiness that is hearty and satisfying. Licorice spice. Smooth molasses sweetness. Hint of bourbon and hickory smoke. Touch of herbal hop for balance. Well rounded and rich flavors.

Solid medium body. Moderate carbonation brings the flavors to your palate well. Even and smooth mid-drink with a crisp, dry finish.

Exceptional example of an American stout. Tons of flavor with excellent balance.

Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 3,709 ratings.