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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

3,349 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,349
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: 3,349 | Reviews: 1,431 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of timtim

District of Columbia

4/5  rDev +0.3%

dark dark with a big dark tan head. big lace. smells of hops, roasty malt, coffee, chocolate, licorice. tastes like roasted malt, coffee, subtle hops, and licorcie for sure. well blended, complex and sweet. smooth, silky, thick and velvety. goes down nice. i'll have another please.

08-23-2007 03:39:30 | More by timtim
Photo of daaru


4.53/5  rDev +13.5%

bell's kalamazoo stout is a very good thing. not a whole lot of head but it holds for a long time. rich, malty aroma with floral, hoppy accents, and a rich malty, not aggressively hopped taste with a smooth finish. and dark, very dark--almost as dark as darth vader's soul. if the seasonal double cream is better, as some people telll me it is, i'm going to buy a case as soon as it is available.

perfect for a gloomy, rainy afternoon.

08-19-2007 18:33:08 | More by daaru
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

4.55/5  rDev +14%

Appearance: Pour s desperately black color with a rocky tan head that never quits and leaves plenty of lace to boot

Smell: Mocha cream, licorice and some smokey charred wood

Taste: Starts with a milk chocolate flavor that is joined by some charred undertones, coffee elements and lots of hoppy bitterness, mid-palate; after the swallow, the flavors break loose with a burst of coffee and undertones of sweet licorice through to the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and creamy with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Simply astounding

08-14-2007 00:56:23 | More by brentk56
Photo of bluegrassbrew


4.15/5  rDev +4%

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a nice deep brownish black with a good 2 finger tan head that leaves good lace.

Smell is roasted malt and just a twinge of alcohol.

Taste is sweet malts with just the right amount of roastiness. A slightly noticable sour taste in the finish. Brewer's liquorice?

Very creamy mouthfeel, but not too thick to prevent sessionability.

Overall, a tasty brew that is easy drinking. Yet another fine brew from Bell's. I'm thrilled that they are making their way into Florida!

08-14-2007 00:43:07 | More by bluegrassbrew
Photo of neenerzig


4.33/5  rDev +8.5%

Had this fine beer on tap last night. It took over 10 minutes to totally draw it from the tap. It had to be drawn bit by bit, letting the huge light brown head settle before more could be drawn. Served to me in a standard pint glass. This beer is a very dark brown color with a light brown head. When the beer was finally served to me the head was still well over an inch thick. It eventually settled to a very nice surface layer, in fact the best I have ever seen. It stayed nice and thick right down to the last sip. very nice lacing too. Sweet, malty roasted aromas of chocolate and coffee were strongly present but not much else. It tasted pretty much like it smelled, deep roasted sweet malt undertones and the bitter sweetness of dark chocolate and the bitterness of black coffee. Very good balance. I have had this beer in the bottle before and I must say it is almost like having a totally different, and better, beer when on tap. At least that was my experience. Has a nice smooth and creamy mouthfeel with a full body and mild to moderate carbonation. Drinkable in the way a great beer should be. I really hope to have this on tap again!


08-12-2007 03:59:17 | More by neenerzig
Photo of seaoflament


4.47/5  rDev +12%

Thanks to SPLITGRIN for sending me this nice brew!

This review will be for a 12oz bottle with a batch number 7952.

I had not notice until now the statement at the bottom of the bottle claiming that this beer includes licorice. I like licorice, so on to the beer.

Wow, this beer pours pretty viscous. It is dark and thick. A minimal amount of head but retains a nice fluffy ring of foam. This beer has a nice roasted aroma and includes chocolate, toffee, mild coffee and I think I can detect a sweet wood aroma that might be the licorice. The taste is great. It has a clean, yet bitter, roasted malt profile upfront with the rest of the aromas: coffee, toffee, and chocolate. The beer maintains a good sweet/bitter balance and it has a pleasant smokey finish. The mouthfeel is very good indeed. I take my time with this one and let it warm up and it gets better and better.

Overall, this is a very well made stout and one I hope to run into again. Now I can hardly wait to open the Expedition Stout!

08-11-2007 06:31:06 | More by seaoflament
Photo of msubulldog25


3.98/5  rDev -0.3%

A 12 oz bottle, Batch 7785, poured to a pint glass.

A: Pours with a thick, creamy sandy head, about 2-fingers high and slow to recede.. Dark brown, impenetrable, but with a modest amount of floating yeasty funk. Lace sticks in long gobs of gooey cream; there's more lace than glass showing...

S: Smells lightly roasted and malty, a little charcoal , some roasted coffee beans and a little lemony/lactic souring. Something metallic and 'brown ale'-like in the finish...

T: Starts with a bit of grainy sweetness, burnt yet savory. Becomes more and more bitter, with a lingering astringency that's chocolate-y and dries the palate out. Coffee and a burnt, reduced caramel are the residual flavors.

M: Medium-full bodied stout, with moderate carbonation. Lasting burnt/roasted malt flavor and a creeping bitterness. Outstanding roasted-ness lingering for many minutes...

D: A mouthfull of flavor with a nice lingering bitterness. Not quite as sweet , but certainly full enough, for my liking. A bit strong for a sessionable stout, but a well-balanced one that I'd love to have again. thanks to CRJMellor for sending this one several months back...

08-10-2007 04:32:52 | More by msubulldog25
Photo of cjgator3


4/5  rDev +0.3%

12oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a dark black color with a thick creamy medium colored tan head that leaves lacing all around the glass. The aroma is dark roasted malt with some cocoa. The taste is roasted malts with a semi-sweet and bitter finish. Overall, this is a solid stout that is recommended.

08-06-2007 04:26:07 | More by cjgator3
Photo of TheBierBand


4.05/5  rDev +1.5%

Poured from the 12 oz bottle into a pint glass to produce a perfect 1" tan head that slowly dwindled down to a clumpy cap leaving loads of thick lacing on the glass. The beer is opaque ebony.

The smell was subdued, but I picked up a typical chocolaty scent.

Taste: Nice and sweet with malty dark chocolate, vanilla bean, and dried fruit. Overall, a nice smoky flavor. The label spoke of using "Brewer's Licorice"... thank goodness I couldn't taste any licorice.... that would have ruined it for me.

Mouthfeel: Nice and creamy good! adequate carbonation. Awesome mouthcoating and aftertaste.

Drinkability: I could toss back a few of these without any trouble whatsoever! Nothing offensive at all.

08-06-2007 01:30:31 | More by TheBierBand
Photo of Slatetank


4.33/5  rDev +8.5%

A - An opaque black w/ tan head and generous lacing.

S - roasted coffe and anise odors dominate.

M - Sweet, creamy, roasted and medicinal w/ good carbonation.

T - A deep molasses and roasted coffee taste at first taste. The smooth stout blends so effortlessly w/ a prominent black licorice taste. The anise comes in and catches you off guard w/ a nice herbal finish that is tasty and slightly dry.

D - A full bodied stout w/ a good hop profile + licorice flavor with tinges of molasses. The sweetness is balanced by the herbal flavors. It is not one I would drink single every day, but so smooth I probably could.

08-05-2007 22:00:59 | More by Slatetank
Photo of iconoklaztor


4.08/5  rDev +2.3%

This is a great stout! The smell is good but the best part is the mouthfeel and appearance! Here is what I taste (keep in mind I had a few beers before I cracked this open)

Taste: A decent alcohol sting. The main taste, however, is hard to describe. It doesnt have a strong coffee taste like a lot of stouts. I can't seem to pinpoint the taste...better have another:

After another taste I would say it has a hint of chocolate, creme, and a slight hint of toffee. I apologize but this is a difficult beer to review. I will, however, be buying more of these stouts because they are good. Also, I will be reviewing this again with a different bottle.

Get a bottle and try your hand at reviewing this.

08-03-2007 02:28:58 | More by iconoklaztor
Photo of bradford


4/5  rDev +0.3%

Received this in a trade from davide169 and tasted on 7/28/07
Appearance: A dark brown, almost black beer with a nice tan head
Smell: Roasted barley and oats, black licorice
Taste: Sweet, roasty, a hint of chocolate malts
Mouthfeel: Smooth, above average stout feel
Drinkability: Pretty good. I could drink a few of these

07-29-2007 21:12:54 | More by bradford
Photo of surlyseth


3.35/5  rDev -16%

At The Depot in Minneapolis.

Looks brown to black with a deep red glint. Looks like a coke with a somewhat thicker head and less carbonation

[Sniff] Maybe some toast, maybe a little licorice. I wasn't getting much, but what I was getting was interesting enough.

Tastes bitter! ...And then dark chocolate and coffee.

Feels strangely thin. It does lubricate my palette with a syrup long after it's gone. I like that. I guess that's the sweet part.

Probably way too sophisticated for my palette since I was thinking about my next beer halfway through this one. It was just kicking the back of my tongue's ass, and I wasn't into that at the time.

07-25-2007 05:05:21 | More by surlyseth
Photo of bboven


5/5  rDev +25.3%

My favorite stout hands down. It has a unique bitterness for a stout that smacks your tongue instead of shaking its hand. The initial pow is balanced with malty, coffeey, chocolaty, desserty tastes. It smells of all the best things available to the style.

07-25-2007 01:16:23 | More by bboven
Photo of Metalmonk

North Carolina

4.4/5  rDev +10.3%

Poured an inch-thick head made of tiny, tight bubbles, very creamy looking. Retains well. The color is impenetrable blackness. Quite a beauty.

Aroma is Ovaltine, fresh cream, cocoa powder, toasted marshmallow.

Taste: Chocolate sweetness with a delicious milkiness to it, and a balancing bitterness that recalls chocolate or coffee on the darker end of the scale. Like a primo dessert in an a very classy restaurant. Toasty, creamy, sweet, slightly nutty...again I'm reminded of toasted marshmallows. Or s'mores.

After sitting and sipping this awhile, it occurs to me that this would be an excellent stout for those new to the style. Superbly balanced, straightforward but not simple-minded, and purely delicious. Also, Bell's needs to put their stuff it bigger bottles...it always disappears to quickly. Another fine entry by this excellent brewery.

07-18-2007 22:20:21 | More by Metalmonk
Photo of jwc215


3.4/5  rDev -14.8%

Pours nearly black with a thin, tan head.

The smell is of licorice, slightly burnt coffee and toast with chocolate notes.

The taste is of licorice and plenty of it. Reminds me of licorice candy. Coffee and chocolate notes mix in. Earthy bitterness balances out the sweetness. There is a mix of burnt, though not really smoky, (coffee?, or just "burnt...") that gets in the way, as well as some chalk, which is a shame, as it otherwise would be very good. Finishes with a balanced, though slightly awkward, finish.

Something seems "off" and astingent. I do like it, especially the way the licorice plays in, but too chalky and burnt to really enjoy.

07-16-2007 02:51:56 | More by jwc215
Photo of letsgopens


4.13/5  rDev +3.5%

This decadent stout pours a dark near black opaque with a creamy dark tan head that holds well and leaves nice lace.

The aroma is sweet and malty, with milk chocolate and a nice roastiness. Pleasant and very appetizing.

Sweet milk chocolate initiates the flavor followed by some welcomed roasted malt. A hint of dark fruit and some more bitter cocoa are present in the finish. Short notes of leafy hops round everything out.

The mouthfeel is heavy and creamy with a bit of natural carbonation. Very smooth and dessert-like throughout.

07-15-2007 02:13:28 | More by letsgopens
Photo of soupyman10

District of Columbia

4.45/5  rDev +11.5%

UPDATE: 6/1/08 - 4.5/4/4/4.5/4 - Had it again in a mixed sixer. Again, quite delicious, although I lowered the scores a little bit as the complexity of the aromas and taste didn't quite blow me away this time. Roasted malt, coffee, chocolate. Feel is thick and creamy. Still, a delicious brew...Bell's certainly does their stouts well. With this one, the Java, Expedition, and Cherry for some variety, outstanding.

ORIGINAL: 4.5/4.5/5/4/5 - Pours the first totally black beer I've ever seen, with a solid finger of tan head on top that disappears fairly slowly. Nose is strong on molasses, dried fruit, caramel, and maybe some chocolate too. Feel is solid, although maybe a little thin for a stout. Taste is excellent as well. All over the place. Up front is some sweet chocolate. Crazy roasted malts, and then some nice and pointedly sweet flavors of raisins and brown sugar in the middle. Roasted malt shows up again, a little more often as the beer warms. Ends with a solid, slightly hoppy bitter aftertaste. Solid aftertaste though, which sticks around with a nice sweet/bitter mix. This one's outstanding as well. I'm really stunned by how consistently great Bell's offerings are. I'll be picking this one up again. Possibly topped only by the incredible Expedition Stout.

07-12-2007 01:07:30 | More by soupyman10
Photo of tpd975


4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

A: Deep black in color with a nice espresso head that fades to a nice ring atop the glass.

S: Nice malty brew. There are definite Coffee, Chocolate, and Caramel aromas here.

T: I like this one, not the best of the Bell's bunch but good nonetheless. Has a nice smokiness to it. I can taste hazelnuts, chocolate, dark roasted coffee, and charcoal.

M: It's an easy drinker. Medium in body, but goes down ever so smooth.

D: This beer is very sessionable for a stout. I could drink it morning, noon, or night.

Overall: Good brew. I like some of Bell's other stouts better, but this is the only one currently available in Florida. It's an easy drinking stout that I can get my hands on which scores it extra points. It is complex in taste and I love the added smoke in there. There is no easier drinking stout around. Bell's in my opinion is one of the top 5 brewers around and this is one of the reasons why. Please I am begging you bring your entire line to the sunshine state.

07-11-2007 19:04:58 | More by tpd975
Photo of trentley87


4.03/5  rDev +1%

A: Nothing beats a nice dark stout for attractive appearance in my book. This one pours nearly pitch black with a thick, creamy tan head.

S: The aroma of the beer, while not overly complex, made me want to drink it...fast, unfortunately, so fast I forgot to take any notes...so it was pretty good. Lots of malts and sweet smells coming out of this one.

T: Hard to pick out individual flavors in this concoction, but whatever is going on is working for me. Coffee and cream with only a mild hint of the supposed licorice flavor (which was fine by me)...no real bitterness just a nice creamy sweet taste. Unbalanced? Maybe. Delicious? Definitely. Pleasant sweet finish lingers for a while.

M: Right on for the taste of this beer, smooth and creamy, carbonation is right on.

D: Purely subjective, its not for everyone, but I could drink this all night long.

07-10-2007 04:47:30 | More by trentley87
Photo of ChainGangGuy


4.22/5  rDev +5.8%

Appearance: Pours a dark, opaque black body with a rich, creamy beige head.

Smell: A sweet, succoring aroma of milk chocolate, licorice, and an iced caramel macchiato.

Taste: Rich, roasty espresso and dark chocolate flavor smoothed out with a shot of cream. A noticeable, fruity twang and a hint of licorice keeps things interesting. The finish is strongly roasty, and sightly astringent.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Quite nice! It should be on anyone's list of things to drink before they die.

07-07-2007 23:12:07 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of xgrafcorex


4.35/5  rDev +9%

mmm very good stuff! i didn't notice on the bottle it said that it's "..brewed with brewers licorice" i'm not a big licorice fan, luckily it is more of a background flavor in this beer. this is my first beer from bell's brewing co. and i had heard good things about them. i was at my parents and happened to find some over on that coast so i quickly added this to the variety 6 pack i was building. glad i did too...the only disappointing thing is that i still can't get any here, so i'll have to go over there again to get more or try their other beers.

the smell is very nice. roasted malts, coffee, unsweetened chocolate, and a hint of licorice at the tail end.

the taste is much of the same, roasted malts and coffee being the dominant flavors. i don't really notice the licorice as much at all. which means to me, it's just the right amount. enough to add to the flavor, but not enough for me to refer to this as "the licorice stout." fairly heavily bodied, though surprisingly easy to drink. theres a somewhat bitter aftertaste too it. not a bad thing really, just makes me want to drink more. i'll have to slow down though...this is the only one i bought.

07-04-2007 08:05:50 | More by xgrafcorex
Photo of bigdeuce


4.1/5  rDev +2.8%

An excellent representation of the style. Pours a nice oft beige head and leaves tons of lacing down the glass. Tastes better as it warms. Lots of chocolate with some nice hoppy dryness towards the back of the tongue. Nice smelling brew. Possible coffee and milk shine through. A great interpretation of a milk/sweet stout, and very comparable to St. Pete's cream stout.

07-04-2007 02:57:25 | More by bigdeuce
Photo of trevorwideman

Manitoba (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +2.8%

12oz bottle sent to me by demcorhip! Poured into a pint glass.

Pours as black as Satan's soul, lands with a 3/4 inch head, leaves lots of lace. Medium carbonation from what I can tell. Aromas of roasted malt, very heady. Some milk chocolate and spicy black pepper notes as well. Clean and delicious smell, very enjoyable.

Taste is very heavily of roasted malt, the brewers licorice adds a lovely subtle dimension, especially in the finish. Dark chocolate, coffee, black pepper and a light buttery sweetness to finish. Very well executed. Mpouthfeel is not overcarbonated with a full body and a bit of dryness after a thick, bitter finish. This is a stupidly drinkable stout, Not overly complex to me, but that's what I like about it. It's not muddled, it's well made and super sessionable. What more can you ask for?

06-24-2007 02:42:18 | More by trevorwideman
Photo of markaberrant

Saskatchewan (Canada)

4.2/5  rDev +5.3%

A - black with a thick, dark tan head. Nice lacing.

S - milk chocolate, roast malt and a touch of sweetness. Nothing too exciting, but decent.

T - Short burst of sweetness is quickly overcome by a smooth roast malt. Then some dark fruit and licorice jumps in before it all wraps up in solid bitterness. Hazelnut shows up in the long aftertaste.

M - Has a nice weight to it and is velvety smooth. Dry finish cleans the palette.

D - Goes down quite easy, I could definitely have a couple in a row.

An oustanding stout with a complex flavour profile. Very enjoyable!

06-23-2007 21:04:14 | More by markaberrant
Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 3,349 ratings.