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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.

3,563 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,563
Reviews: 1,443
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.55%
Wants: 156
Gots: 310 | 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
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Ratings: 3,563 | Reviews: 1,443 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AMo
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bell's Kalamazoo Stout pours a medium thick black with a short tanish head. The smell is moderately strong of roasted malts with a slight hint of liquorice. Taste is very malty with just a touch of tart bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is silky smooth, light to moderately thick, and has a low amount of carbonation. The small amount of carbonation is just enough for a really nice feel. Overall drinkability is good, I wish this had more flavor, but the silky smoothness goes a long way and makes this one quite enjoyable.

AMo, Jun 12, 2008
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I got bottles of this brew in trades with johnnnniee and STLStoutAddict, Thanks John and Steve!

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - black color with a rolling tan head that settled to a layer, leaving spots of sticky lacing.

S - black licorice and roasted malt.

T - sweet malty taste with the flavor and bitterness of black licorice coming through near the finish.

F - full bodied, creamy mouthfeel.

D - good brew, drink two!

JoeyBeerBelly, Jun 11, 2008
Photo of Natural510
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pitch-black pour from 12oz bottle without a hint of any other off-color. Thick, dense head which left a creamy layer & lacing on the glass.
Smells of dry, roasted malts with a faint cocoa character.
Charcoal roasted malt flavor with a kick of bittersweet chocolate and coffee bean. Hop presence comes through well. Leaves a slightly sweet presence on the palate as consumed.
Hops tingle the mouth with delight and trademark chalkiness of a dry stout remains on the tongue.
All in all a good stout selection. Not as sweet as milk stouts from England which I've sampled, but it is more subtle. If you don't care for the milk-chocolate quality of that variety, this may be more to your liking.
Another quality offering from the Bell's camp.

Natural510, Jun 05, 2008
Photo of aubuc1
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from a 6 pack into an imp pint glass. Pours black black with a tan head. Sweet coffee and roasted malt smell. Coffee taste that holds in the mouth with licorice in the back. I rated it a 4 in taste, because I don't like coffee, but if I liked coffee I would rate higher. The mouthfeel is pretty light, and it is a smoothe stout.

aubuc1, Jun 04, 2008
Photo of Tbn2
4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass.

A-Black. When back lit, no light shines through. Typical tan head settles to the top and stick around for the duration. Leaves some lacing.

S-Chocolate and sweet malts are there. Toasty/smoky smell is also present. The yeast make an appearance in this one as a major player as well. A little coffee in the back of the nose.

T-Coffee taste is much upfront now. Fades to a smoky/chocolate taste. Hops kindly remind you they are present with a piney taste at the very end.

M-I would have liked a little more body. Hops leave you with too dry of a taste I feel. I like my Milk Stouts to finish sweet.

Overall a good brew from Bells. Get it, you won't be disappointed. Thanks to lvnloud for this libation.

Drink em' if ya got em'

Tbn2, May 29, 2008
Photo of PatrickJR
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Deep, opaque brown with 1/2 - 1/4 inch brown head. Decent retention, with some lacing.

S - A little of the licorice aroma is present, but mostly dominated by roasted malts. A little wood and smoke as well, with buttery notes.

T - Huge roasted malt character with ample sweetness. Licorice from the nose is absent. A bold sweetness lessens into a buttery taste and eventually dies in a moderate bitterness. Some woody notes come through late palate and in the aftertaste.

M - Nice and full bodied, although the carbonation is quite high for the style. The flavor is excellent, though I think the carbonation brings it down a little.

D - A decent session beer. Probably not something I would drink one after the other of, but for a stout it's nicely drinkable.

PatrickJR, May 27, 2008
Photo of cvstrickland
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a seidel yields an opaque mahogany body with ruby highlights at the edges... topped with three fingers of rocky tan foam that reduces to a chunky sheet and leaves patches of lacing.

Smells of licorice and buttery caramel and roasted barley; slight chocolateyness.

Sweet drink; dry dark chocolate milk and bitter coffee, chewy mild licorice with an alkaline cocoa finish.

Medium-bodied, dry and somewhat crisp up front, with a lingering sticky, chewy oily character in back. Lively carbonation.

cvstrickland, May 25, 2008
Photo of mattster
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured 12 fluid ounce bottle into nonic glass.

Poured little to no head atop a brown opaque ale... Actually has reddish hues.

Smell has a clean milky/malty smell. Taste follows through with additional notes of chocolate and coffee. Really nice finish. Bubbles are a bit more than I'd normally like, but otherwise a pretty smooth brew with a more than decent taste.

mattster, May 23, 2008
Photo of marcpal
4.53/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into a dogfish chalice.

Thank you to a couple recent Midwest traders for sending this one along.

A: Poured black as a strong coffee. Thick viscocity on the sides of the glass. Brown head there for a short time only.

N: Barley and malts. Not as licorice focused as I had worried. Bunches of sweet malt.

T: Matching the taste- malts giving off a bill of caramel, coffee, semisweet chocolate. Extremely well rounded, find the taste of this far far superior to their java stout. Still not catching the licorice but good tight bitterness.

M: Sweet on the tongue and clean carbonation. Creamy texture.

D: Extremely nice beer that I hope to have access to more out here in NJ in the future. Havent like Bells other stouts all that much, but this one is on the top of my list. So much roasted malts for a low abv beer.

Usually more of a fan of the more hop forward Bells offerings, this one impressed.

marcpal, May 22, 2008
Photo of drxandy
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From batch 8xxx, poured from 12oz to mini snifter
Pours a deep deep brown/opaque black, nice foamy tan head/bubble lacing

smells of chocolate, coffee, lactose, malt, spiciness

tastes of roasty bitterness, the licorice plays in nice creating a unique smokey flavor, lactose smooths things out and makes my mind think that oats are in play, chocolate, coffee, really well blended

mouthfeel is creamy with lots of texture, roasty, dry/bitter finish, delicious! one of my most favorite stouts from bells :D

drxandy, May 21, 2008
Photo of dsa7783
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this in bottle-form at Eulogy bar in Philadelphia...
Pours a deep, dark, jet-black, opaque, ebony hue with an immense foamy and frothy head that left a lot of lacing around the serving glass...
Strong aroma bursting with cocoa powder, and rich, deep, dark chocolate...
As expected, the taste strongly paid homage to the aroma, with a heavy suggestion of creamy, rich, roasted malts... Strong nuances of burnt chocolate, dark cappuccino, and strong mocha dominate this flavorful brew...
Rich, creamy mouthfeel, however the overall drinkability took a hit due to the excessively rich suggestion of roasted malts and super-sweet chocolate...
Good stuff...

dsa7783, May 11, 2008
Photo of tprokop7
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got to try this bottle after a local BA got ahold of it via trade. Half a 12oz poured into a DFH snifter.

Dark and a bit thick with a little head. Smell is smoky and complex, and the taste follows that lead with notes of molasses and dark roasted malts. At the end of the glass, this is definitely a beer I wish I had more of... Bell's knows what they're doing with their line of stouts for sure.

tprokop7, May 07, 2008
Photo of Tilley4
4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to tayner for this great little brew..

Into the DFH pint glass goes this pitch black brew, forming a very impressive khaki head and some of the best lacing I've seen in a while..

Terrific aroma of dark roasted malts, perhaps some cocoa and coffee, and what I'm guessing is the brewers licorice talked about on the bottle. Fairsly sweet smelling but in a good way..

Very delicious sweet flavor of chocolate, dark malts, maybe some coffee, and that licorice flavor again. This is terrific! Its balanced nicely by the long bittersweet finish that lingers long after the sip..

Another kick ass offering from Bells. These guys know how to get it done..

Tilley4, May 06, 2008
Photo of kbeals
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours out very dark with a lot of creamy caramel colored head. Lacing was very good. The smell is very strong, lots of roasted malts. The malts pretty much dominate the smell, maybe a hint of coffee. Taste was outstanding. Once again the roasted malts dominate. The beer is very smooth and full-bodied, also has a very thick almost syrupy feel. Overall this beer was excellent and a definite recommendation to anybody that likes stouts. I would definitely drink this again.

kbeals, May 04, 2008
Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to SuzyGreenberg for this extra.

Pours thick black with a good tan head that leaves good lace. Nose is of roasted malt, some copper. Taste is quite good with great roasted malt flavor, a great sweetness that is nice and mellow rather than sickly thick. Very robust. Some slight coffee and a bit of chocolate flavor. Nice little bitterness on the finish that is just about perfect. Very crisp and snappy mouthfeel, which is refreshing. Drinkability is quite good for the style, would love to session this one if it was locally available. Defenitely would be a go to stout for me. Too bad I live on the ends of the earth. Defenitely a unique and impressive stout from Bell's. Has inspired me to dig out one of my expeditions and try it again. This is quickly becoming one of my favorite all around stout breweries. Great.

AKBelgianBeast, May 02, 2008
Photo of jeonseh
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a rather fresh batch brewed on 4/3/08 and poured in my Duvel tulip.

A - Pitch black with a nice mocha colored head that sits on top. The head is covered with bubbles all around it and had a ton of lacing as well. Looks like it has a decent body and it has a nice reflective quality to and can see none of the carbonation as well.

S - Get a whiff of coffee and chocolate. Also mixed in with a hint of toffee. Has a hint of burnt malt in there as well.

T - At first, get a creaminess in the brew that really seems to impart a little bit of sweetness but not much taste. As it sits around in the mouth, get a huge hit of chocolate and coffee. The roasted flavors really hang around in the aftertaste as well. Get a bit of a bitterness in there as well that gives it a rough feeling but it is balanced out by the nice sweetness. Seem to have a light hint of smokiness in it as well. Actually seems to have a hint of blueberry flavor as well as I get a hint of tartness in it.

MF - Has an average body. The one thing that really stands out is that this beer has a nice bit of carbonation that helps to bring the bitter flavor and as it fades off, the roasted flavors just roll in as well. Finishes rather dry and astringent as well and the aftertaste is a bit tingly. Bit thinner than I would like as well .

D - Overall a stout that packs a lot of punch and is yet easy to drink. Reminds me a bit of the Expedition except I found this to be more balanced. One thing I have noticed about Bell's stout is that they seem to have some earthiness and some bitterness to it that you have to get used to. However, I was rather impressed by this one and it would be a great one to have as a session stout.

jeonseh, Apr 30, 2008
Photo of botham
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

pours opaque black with a single finger of brown head that remains for a couple minutes. moderate lacings.

aroma is roasted, with a sweet character, and notes of coffee, chocolate, and a nutty base that really gives the brew a rich profile, working very well with the aromas present.

taste is malty, with the same roasted, coffee, chocolate, and nutty flavors from the aroma. finishes with light residual roasted and coffee notes. very malty on the palate, with little to no hop presence.

mouthfeel is full bodied with a rich and silky smooth texture. a creamy finish with a nicely coated mouth make this one an excellent stout.

drinkability is great. this is a smooth and easy-going stout that does not overpower the palate, but provides rich and complex flavors at the same time. a solid offering from Bell's. cheers!

botham, Apr 30, 2008
Photo of Lupe
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a magnificent brown head that is 2-3 fingers in size. Great head retention and sheets of lace are left along the sides of the glass.

Mild roasted malt aroma. Some chocolate fudge, graham cracker, a touch of anise, and a solid hop bitterness.

Bigger flavors than typical milk/sweet stouts. Lots of chocolate, dark and sweet, some nuttiness, and rich roasted malt. Nice balance between the roasted and sweet malt flavors. Solid hop bitterness is present as well. Cafe Mocha aftertaste lingers as it finishes dry. Did not get any licorice which was a little disappointing.

Big full body, smooth and creamy. Just a little chewy. Tastes and drinks much bigger than your typical 6.5% beer, which takes a notch away from the drinkability. The flavor and complexity does keep you coming back for more. Not quite a sipper, but not a session beer either. What ever it can be classified as, this is one damn good beer.

Lupe, Apr 27, 2008
Photo of mwilbur
3.15/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 12 oz bottle into imperial stout glass.
A: Black with 1/2 inch dark tan head that quickly dissipates.
S: Slightly odd bready yeast aroma with roasted malt.
T: Oddly, taste is dominated by grain notes: wheat, rye, etc. Some dark roasted malt. I get no cream...which is odd for a purported milk stout. Unsatisfying, acidic, and dry finish.
M: Light body...uninspiring.
D: One is enough for this average brew.

mwilbur, Apr 26, 2008
Photo of GatorBeerNerd
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: I assume it is a dark brown, but I would call it black in the glass. You can not see any light through it at all. A 2 finger frothy thick tan head hangs around for quite some time. It is a very impressive looking beer.

S: It has a sweet chocolate smell with a good amount of hop aroma mixed in.

T: Much more smooth than I expected from the aroma. It has the taste of semi-sweet chocolate. It is sweet but not overly so. It is very balanced. In fact the after taste is rather dry. One of the better mixes of sweet and dry that I can recall.

M: A very full bodied creamy brew. It could be slightly more interesting with some in mouth carbonation or maybe some kind of spicing.

D: It has a slight drying after taste that makes you want to come back for more. For its style, its much more drinkable than most, but its far from a session beer.

GatorBeerNerd, Apr 26, 2008
Photo of yourefragile
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Dark brown, nearly pitch black opaque liquid with a thick tan head that has nice retention and clumpy streaks of lacing.
S: Not quite as strong as expected, faint malty, fudge-like chocolate, nutty aroma. Slight hop bitterness as well.
T: Full bodied, very thick and creamy but not as cloying or lactose-y as some other milk stouts. Body has a slightly stronger nutty chocolate taste than expected and lots of rich, roasted malts. Aftertaste is more chocolate than milk. Throughout there is a subtle hop bitterness providing nice balance. One of my favorite easy drinking stouts, not just for milk stouts.

yourefragile, Apr 20, 2008
Photo of Rootdog316
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with small cocoa head. Sweet aroma of chocolate, caramel and unknown spice, perhaps clove. Tastes of medium-sweet chocolate, roasted coffee, clove, with delicious slightly sour-bitter ending on back of tongue that lasts. Everything in perfect balance. Creamy, rich mouthfeel.

Rootdog316, Apr 19, 2008
Photo of charlzm
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Consumed 04/09/08 from bottle that read 6.0% ABV.

Pours a deep, dark brown. A head of fine tan bubbles emerges just after the pour and rises to about two fingers' height before settling down over the next few minutes to a thin foamy skin.

Rich roasted sweet chocolate aroma: almost fudge! Coffee, slight sourness and a vague metallic note.

Flavor is a touch sour at first with roasted (burned?) malt character. Roasted flavor is muted and does not lean too far towards either coffee or chocolate. Touch of anise towards the end. Some modest bitterness at the end.

Texture is a little thick and slippery. A little astringency but very creamy.

Easy drinker, but not sure about sessioning this one. Nonetheless. it's a fine stand-alone beer. Should go well with red meat.

charlzm, Apr 10, 2008
Photo of MiScusi
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle code on back is 7837 indicating it was bottled on Feb 21st, 2007. So it's a about 13 months old, perhaps past its peak or getting close. Has sort of a soy, or slightly sour dark malt smell to it. The taste has a little creaminess in flavor maybe from added lactose, some very mellow coffee in the background but not much else in terms of roasted flavor. Not bad, this one is probably better right when it comes out of the tanks.

MiScusi, Apr 06, 2008
Photo of Pencible
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This poured pitch black with a little bit of dark tan head. It smelled like a cappuccino, with dominant milk and coffee scents, and a bit of licorice that it was brewed with. It tasted stronger than expected, like bitter coffee and burnt chocolate mixed with the surprising presence of floral hops. It was slightly thick with no carbonation and a bitter coffee aftertaste. Overall this was a pretty good stout with some unique characteristics, but it wasn't the best of Bell's brews.

Pencible, Mar 27, 2008
Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
90 out of 100 based on 3,563 ratings.