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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

3,389 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,389
Reviews: 1,431
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 10.53%
Wants: 149
Gots: 263 | 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: 3,389 | Reviews: 1,431 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Absumaster
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%

A deep black beer with a thin off-white head has a viscous pour.

Smell is subdued but has burned and roasted with light coffee notes. Some faint hoppy, earthy smells.

Taste is burned with coffee and dark chocolate and a strong maltbitter. There is also a good hopbitterness, which, together with the roasted side, are the 2 key players in this beer. The burned notes could have been a little more pronounced or sharper. Body is slightly sweet and medium. Drinkability is good

Absumaster, May 13, 2007
Photo of macpapi
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%

Bell's Kalamazoo Stout pours a dark black color. It has a thin, tannish head. This is a very, very dark, syruppy-looking beer--even for a stout. There is also decent lacing.

Smell seems somewhat muted. There is some malt, toffee and caramel along with other sweetness. Not terribly strong or complex aroma.

Taste is full and rich. There is a strong malt presence along with some bitterness. Also notable elements of candy on the tongue. Roasted coffee pull is also there. Complex and impressive.

Mouthfeel is full and bitter. Moderate carbonation is notable. A very good presence on the pallette.

This is a very impressive American Stout. It is flavorful and potent. A sipper at the start, but good for more than one.

macpapi, May 06, 2007
Photo of tapman
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

First in a line of a tour of Bell's brews that I picked up last time I was in Ann Arbor at the Kroger.

This interesting stout pours a black inkyness with a coffee colored head that gets up to 2 fingers with a good pour. The head dissipates quite quickly, but a 2 milimeter head sticks around for the rest of the drink.

The smell is of espresso malts mixed with licorice liquer. These combined aromas sting the back of the nostrils upon inhalation.

The malts taste roasty as hell, supported by the sweet licorice back. The bottle says bakers licorice so I guess that must be different than regular licorice? If I was blindfolded I would believe that this was a spiked starbucks darkroast.

Mouthfeel is thick and creamy with complex roasted malts that once again sting the back of the throat, like with the nose.

As far as drinkability is concerned it is pretty thick, but for a stout-lovin guy that's all right. Its very, very sweet. Maybe I wouldn't have too many of these if I was out with other option, but two of these makes me smile pretty good.

tapman, May 03, 2007
Photo of jjayjaye
4.08/5  rDev +2.3%

12oz serving...Sunday comics...what's different about the picture on my bottle? My guess is that Mr. Bell Kalamazoo shaved his beard, got a haircut and is now sporting eyeglasses.

Pours an opaque brown color with a full finger foamy tan head that resists fading. A good amount of lacing observed.

The smell is pretty subtle, but my guess is that it's 'true to style'. Primarily light roast malt and a bit of dark fruit.

The mouth feel is very nice. Smooth and creamy. A little sweet with a good balanced hop signature that really adds to the complexity. I'd go higher than 4.5 but i hesitate to give it 'exceptional'...how about exceptional minus.

Drinkability - The 6.5% ABV is well hidden beneath the rest of what's going on with this one. I could 'nurse' a couple more watching the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Many thanks to drunkmonk... Go Sabres!

jjayjaye, Apr 29, 2007
Photo of BigBry
4.03/5  rDev +1%

This is what was offered to me when I asked for something locally made, while visiting Detroit - good choice.
12 ounce long neck bottle, but with a different label than shown above. The beer has a very dark color, basically black, with just a hint of light able to shine through when held to the light. It has a thick brown head, great stability with sheets of lace. An excellent looking brew. Beer was served cold, so had to let it warm up a bit so all of the aromas and flavors came through. Roasted malts aroma with some fruitiness, coffee and cocoa. Tastes slightly bitter, roasted coffee, dark chocolate, all the flavors you want in a sweet stout. Balanced by some sweetness in the end. Full bodied, creamy smooth, with just enough alcohol warmth. Very enjoyable, solid beer, worthy of its praise.

BigBry, Apr 25, 2007
Photo of brdc
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Pitch black brew with a tan head that shows little retention.
A somewhat unidimensional smell of roasted malts, pleasant but relatively faint compared to the best offerings of the style, and relatively flat and nondescript - I cannot really identify different things in the middle of those roasted malts.
It has a medium body, and a sweetish beginning that eventually gets dry/bitter, even unpleasantly bitter at times, without very discreet or noticeable flavors.
Average beer, I am definitely unimpressed, their Expedition Stout is infinitely better.

brdc, Apr 19, 2007
Photo of AaronHomoya
4.13/5  rDev +3.5%

Jet black color with nice, dark-tan head. Creamy head with good retention.

Aroma is a wonderfully complex blend of roasty malts, sweet lighter malts, brown sugar, chocolate and root beer.

Roasty flavor with some coffee and hops bitterness at the finish.

Mouthfeel is creamy and medium-bodied. Very smooth.

A tasty stout with great aroma and complexity.

AaronHomoya, Apr 16, 2007
Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.3/5  rDev -17.3%

A - Black brew with a large mocha brown head. Strong lacing in thick clumps.

S - Coffee and chocolate, faint licorice.

T - Coffee mostly. Faint licorice too. Aftertaste is mostly a faint chocolate malt.

M - Rather harsh, medium bodied, a tad drying.

D - Okay, I might have again, certainly worth a try.

mrasskicktastic, Apr 16, 2007
Photo of BMoney575
4.18/5  rDev +4.8%

Sampled on 4-11-07
Batch 7752
Bottled on 11-30-06

Pours black with red edges, a small tan head lasts a long time.

Smell is sweet with aromas of chocolate, coffee, and smoked malts.

Taste is good, roasty malt with a hint of licorice. Coffee comes through at the end with a surprising kick of hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is a little thinner than expected, but still good.

Drinkability is very good, the hop bitterness fades after awhile, and the flavors do not overpower.

Overall, a good stout to keep around. Not too extreme on any front, but with enough complexity to be rewarding.

BMoney575, Apr 12, 2007
Photo of mortarit
3.63/5  rDev -9%

A little confused here

This is class as a Milk Stout which I had one last night from Duck-Rabbit but appearance is alot different. This one is pouring like the porter I just had from Duck-Rabbit. I am going to have to take notice on this and see if there is similar across the industry standard.

Head is darker, light molasses tan, body is dark no see through

Not much lacing going on here

The taste is more mellow than the Duck, so better balance I would say with the increase of alcohol too.

As representation of the style, I don't know yet because the comparison is alot different.

The Take: I would get this again I have to for more fine tuning, Good Choice

mortarit, Apr 10, 2007
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%

Acquired via trade from JAYW, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a very dark brown color with a thin but dense brown head that fades quickly and leaves a thick and even lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is robust, creamy and malty with chocolate & coffee.

T: The taste is smoky and sweet with malty flavors of roasted coffee & dark chocolate. There’s a very faint bit of hops, but there’s no bitterness at all, even the bitterness that you usually get from the intense chocolate & coffee flavors isn’t there. The after-taste is cream and sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium-to-heavy body, light-to-medium carbonation, sticky finish.

D: Very tasty, goes down very easily, slightly filling, decent kick, this one is an excellent sipper, especially if you’re looking for a beer with the flavor of an RIS but less of the alcohol punch.

TheManiacalOne, Apr 05, 2007
Photo of barefootbrewer
4/5  rDev +0.3%

This was like pouring carbonated oil into a glass. It was black with a beautiful thick tan head. The aroma was faint of malt mostly. The taste is malty and spicy. It is robust but not overpowering. It ends with a faint taste of licorice. The mouthfeel is heavy and carries the beer quite well. I admit that I am happily surprised at this beer brewed with licorice, and find it quite drinkable.

barefootbrewer, Apr 02, 2007
Photo of drpimento
3.93/5  rDev -1.5%

Pours pitch black with lots of lace and a head that lasts all the way down. Very roasty, malty, dark fruit, coffee, cocoa aroma. Flavor is the same but much more intense. Carbonation is spot on. Finish is actually better than the taste. Gets rid of the dark fruit thing. Not into that so much. Solid stout character.

drpimento, Apr 02, 2007
Photo of AltBock
3.4/5  rDev -14.8%

12 oz. bottle with a label that's different from the one picture to the right on BA. Mine has a very crude drawing of an old grizzled man that resembles an old Truman Capote or our 34th President of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower. He has this look on his face that just screams "get off my lawn you little SOB" and "why did you put me in a nursing home?" The blue diamond backdrop really brings out his facial expressions. Below the old man is where Bell's says that this "stout is brewed with brewers licorice." The back label has a little blurb about the beer, Government warning, and a batch number that you need to enter into Bell's website to see when it was packaged. Mine was batch #7694. That means that mine was packaged on October 12, 2006. I served it in an official Bell's Brewery American pint glass. I knew that would come in handy one of these days.

Poured a black licorice black with some light penetrating the beer at the bottom and at the top. It just had a thin and tan colored head of foam that just dissipated away in a matter of only a few seconds. There wasn't much of it to dissipate away anyway. When it dissipated away, it left behind a small trace of mocha rings and tan colored lace around the glass. The aroma was just a little bit this and a little bit of that. It just had a little bit of roasted malt, caramel, chocolate, molasses, and a little bit of herbal hops to finish off the aroma. The taste was a little different. It had a dominate element and that was the dry roasted malts. After that came the baker's chocolate, dab of sweet molasses, a touch of roasted coffee beans, and the slightest hint of dry roasted herbal hops at the end. It's a smooth medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation and with a simple aftertaste of just dry roasted malts and nothing else. Overall it's just an above average decent offering from Bell's. I kinda expected more from a beer with a grizzled Dwight D. Eisenhower on the label.

AltBock, Apr 01, 2007
Photo of weasbri
4.68/5  rDev +17.3%

Had this on St. Patrick's Day as my Guinness alternative. Not really a fair comparison though. I'm also not 100% convinced of the milk/sweet stout label either, but what do I know?
Midnight black color, the head has strong retention and laces the glass nicely. Nice roasty aroma, a tinge of something else chocolatey.
Full-bodied flavor, full of caramelly roast character, mixed with some bitterness, a bit hoppy and a bit coffee. Just a smidge of licorice flavor too. This is an interesting beer, as I found that the flavors would alternate while in my mouth, so there would be a bit of sweet roastiness, some bitterness, more sweet, then more bitter.
Solid stout, one I'll seek out again.

weasbri, Mar 26, 2007
Photo of ColForbinBC
4.03/5  rDev +1%

Presentation: 12 oz bottle, batch 7767

Appearance: A thick ink black that pours a nice brownish (almost red) head that leaves a light lace all the way down the glass.

Smell: Roasted espresso and caramel. Toasted almonds.

Taste: Does not taste as thick as it looks. Heavy roasted malts and dark chocolate. Nice hop backbone, balanced very nicely, almost hidden. Slightly sweet, but not overbearing.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied and very smooth, creamy. Easy on the palate.

Drinkability: This is very a very smooth stout; the alcohol presence can sneak up on you.

Overall: This is not an overpowering stout. Extremely well-crafted and balanced. The espresso flavor lasts for a while and is quite mellow. A very laid back stout with a lasting flavor.

ColForbinBC, Mar 24, 2007
Photo of dogger6253
4.35/5  rDev +9%

Very opaque; dark, dark brown with a decent-sized, tan head that settled down after a minute or so, but retained a ring throughout; decent lacing as well.

Scents are chocolate and roasted malts with hints of coffee. Smells very robust and earthy with a slight touch of hops.

This beer tastes wonderful; chocolate, dates, figs, coffee, licorice are what definitely come to mind right away. Toward the finish, more of the earthy flavors smelled as well as the smoky, roasted malt. There's a slightly bitter aftertaste, but overall tastes pretty sweet, similar to chocolate milk in a way. No alcohol tasted.

Feels creamy in the mouth, not extremely heavy, but definitely a little dry. All-in-all, one of damn fine beer, not the best, but something I wouldn't hesitate to buy again. In fact, I may pick up a couple more just to share them with friends. A very unique and wonderful experience.

dogger6253, Mar 21, 2007
Photo of happygnome
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

a: pours a dark brown almost black little tan head that disapears fast little lacing
s: roated and sweet malts i can smell them both,
t: deffinate a lightly roasted malt flavor with a little extra sweetness
m: a medium to heavy bodied beer very nice very smooth very good

overall this is one of the better beers ive had, a deffinate favorite

happygnome, Mar 21, 2007
Photo of khiasmus
4.43/5  rDev +11%

A- Almost opaque in blackness, with ruby highlights when held to the light, and a creamy light tan head.

S- Sweet, cream, strong malt, slightly burnt, light hops in the back.

T- Dark-roasted malts, sweet cream, coffee, chocolate, slightly bitter finish.

M- Perfect to style. creamy, thick, low carbonation, smooth.

D- Very drinkable for a sweet stout. So well balanced, and dry in the finish... leaves you wanting more.

khiasmus, Mar 21, 2007
Photo of jeffmonarch
4.72/5  rDev +18.3%

12 oz. bottle in a pint glass

A - Beautiful, nice dark brown with a hint of red, nice caramel brown head.

S - Good, chocolate, earthy

T - Chocolate, a hint of coffee. It has a nice smoky flavor to it.

M - Creamy smooth, flavors change as it moves through the mouth and leaves with a smoky after taste.

D - This is one of my favorite stouts. I could drink these all day.

jeffmonarch, Mar 16, 2007
Photo of udubdawg
4.08/5  rDev +2.3%

12 oz bottle.
Hope this compares well to the Mackeson XXX I had last night.

Dark brown pour, with a tan head. Nice retention, and sticky lacing over a good portion of the glass. Nose doesn't impress me as much as the Mackeson, but is quite good. Coffee and chocolate as expected. A little less of a lactic quality. Noticeable hop notes for the style.

Very tasty beer. Might be a little more complex and a little less sweet than the Mackeson. Me likey. Nice roastiness, but no smoke noted. Some bitter that does not overwhelm the overall sweetness or detract from the high drinkability

Mouthfeel is a bit creamier (and in my opinion, better) than the Mackeson. Both are superbly drinkable and extremely tasty. Well done.

udubdawg, Mar 14, 2007
Photo of Tyrawlings
3.78/5  rDev -5.3%

12 oz. Bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Soft black in color. Fluffy tan head pours two fingers thick and stays for most of the sample. Nice sticky lacing clings to the glass.

S: Roasted coffee. Chocolate. Toffee. Dark Fruit. Earth.

T: Delicate roasted coffee melds well with the taste of milk chocolate. A soft hop bitter bite is taken over by the sweetness of molasses and a roasted caramel malt wave. Sugared dark fruits are followed by a faint earth and smoke finish.

M: Silky smooth and creamy. Full body. Minimal carbonation. Slightly astringent and dry.

D: This stout performed the balancing of sweetness and roasted bitterness quite well. Extremely drinkable and enjoyable.

Tyrawlings, Mar 12, 2007
Photo of MmmIPA
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Huge brown head with a black body and some very nice lacing on the glass.The taste is roasted malts and some faint chocolate.Its very smooth since its a milk stout and very easy going down.Carbonation is very easy also and its sorda between thick and thin side.I cant smell any of the smells in it.I may enjoy this more as I drink it, I think the hype hasnt set in that Im drinking a Bell's Kalamazoo stout, all in all its a damn good stout.

MmmIPA, Mar 11, 2007
Photo of meatyard
4.03/5  rDev +1%

Pours a large, tan head and leaves quite a bit of lacing as it dissapates. The color is basically black. The smell is of chocolate, coffee and figs. Tastes of dark roated malt and coffee with a slight bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium. Another very drinkable, quality beer from Bell's.

meatyard, Mar 10, 2007
Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.13/5  rDev -21.6%

Dispensed from 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Huge, mocha head forms and stays around for a long time, leaving copious amounts of lace down the side of the glass. Pitch black, opaque colored beer.

Aroma is burnt grains, mustiness, and mettalic aromas close to battery acid. Not a lot of chocolate or coffee or anything else I usually find in stouts. Just smells like beer.

Bitter burnt grains with some minimal chocolate and coffee flavors. Mostly bready with a hint of smoke.

Not really a sweet or milk stout if you ask me. Certainly isnt sweet. Bitter flavors abound and the finish is bitter, borderline astringent. Drinkabilty is lower due to the bitterness of the beer overall and its astringency. Medium mouthfeel. Very Average Stout.

SaCkErZ9, Mar 08, 2007
Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 3,389 ratings.