Bell's Kalamazoo Stout - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

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Bell's Kalamazoo StoutBell's Kalamazoo Stout

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very good

3,629 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,629
Reviews: 1,450
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.55%
Wants: 158
Gots: 328 | FT: 9
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: 3,629 | Reviews: 1,450 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of youngleo
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured to a good two inch head. Head was light brown in color. Stout was black in appearance. Head hung around awhile and had some good lacing that left rings with every swallow. Smelled a slight sweet cream, coffee, and malt. Had a strong burnt coffee taste with again a slight cream. Had a slight burnt coffee bitter aftertaste that seemed to linger in your mouth. Felt good in the mouth. I thought the carbonation was right. Almost felt a little thicker. I would enjoy these on a cool October day like this one, but it wouldnt be my brew of choice on a hot summer day. Ill buy again and perhaps this fall once again.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours dark brown/black with a full tan head with excellent retention, almost like a nitro beer, good lacing as well.

S: Smell has distinct notes of chocolate and coffee, a little bit of cream.

S: Stronger bitterness than I expected in a sweet stout, burnt malt and coffee form the main flavour. The beer ends with a long finish and aftertaste of dark cocoa.

M: Medium-bodied, mild carbonation, oily and slick, I thought it could use a bit more body, but still good overall.

D: A nice drinkable stout from Bell's. With it not being distributed here I don't think I'll have it for a while, but I'll definitely revisit it if given the chance.

Photo of t0rin0
3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very dark, brown foam, no light gets through. Decent retention with alright lacing.

Smell is of alcohol and roast. Mildly complex but not much there.

Flavor is heavy on the roast. Theres a dry bitterness and a nutty aftertaste. The only sweetness that comes through is at the end of the aftertaste.

Body is medium/heavy and oily. More suited to a double stout but where does it say that milk stouts can't be thick? Definitely drinkable if you like roast and coffee flavors, I don't however.

Photo of paco1029384756
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours very dark brown with a small tan head and good lacing.

Scent of chocolate, roasted malts, raisins, anise and a hint of coffee. A nice robust aroma, very inviting.

Taste of chocolate, anise and coffee initially with some alcohol. Finishes with roasted malts and raisins.

Mouthfeel is light and biting, I would prefer it to be smoother.

A good session stout, but it's not my first choice.

Photo of peck95
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

very dark typical stout, the large head from a moderate pour is refusing to dissipate
don't get much from the aroma a nice choc malt smell but very little hop aroma
taste is very different a nice rich chocolaty taste and a bitter hop background
mouth very smooth well rounded brew
drink is very good wish it was a little higher abv for its desert style taste

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

poured into a guiness pint. black color with a small amount of head. what little there is a milk chocolate brown/ cream color. nice lacing that slowly falls.

smell is rich. i get some sweet/sour notes. followed closely by an assault of roasted malt.

taste is very nice. smooth sweet flavor hits you at first. i do get a very similar flavor to great lakes edmund fitzgerald. i get a nice amount of malt. slightly creamy.

mouth feel definitely gets better as it warms. i am not a fan of this beer right out of the fridge. very satisfying as it reaches 55.

all in all a good beer. i would grab it again. i would really like to try it off cask

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

The nose on the beer has a sweetness that comes through with a great hint of roastiness. The beer is super black with a nice tan head, about a centimeter in height with good retention. Looks beautiful. Not much carbonation though. The flavour of this beer is pretty roasty and not very sweet; I don't think this is a sweet stout, but the flavours are quite strong. They have a good mixture of roasted barley with chocolate. The bitterness comes from the roasted malts, and the hops are far in the background. The beer is pretty creamy with a bite from carbonation. The beer is drinkable.

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

12oz. brown bottle.

A: Dark brown with a tan head.

S: Aromas of roasted malts with a bitter character.

T & M: The smooth, creamy mouth feel leads to tastes of burnt malts that predominate over any underlying sweetness from this "Milk/Sweet Stout". I could sense this is a well made Stout, but I found the flavor to be no more than ordinary. Perhaps I was expecting more from the folks at Bell's, but for me this one lacked either a sweetness, or on the opposite end, a coffee flavor to bring it out.

D: Not bad, but just not great.

Photo of wheatyweiss
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

Photo of BamaBeerBuff
4/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Photo of birchstick
4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

Photo of luciusgilmer
4.3/5  rDev +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.

Photo of bunnyhustle
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

Photo of bonbini26
3.7/5  rDev -7%
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.

Photo of psugrad98
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
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!

Photo of hunteraw
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
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!

Photo of r3zim
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

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.

Smell is of coffee, roasted malts, and chocolate.

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

Smooth with a chalky aftertaste.

Very drinkable. Carbonation is just right.

Photo of mpyle
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
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.

Photo of beerthulhu
4/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Photo of mothman
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
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!

Photo of russpowell
3.98/5  rDev 0%
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

Photo of ATPete
4.22/5  rDev +6%
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.

Photo of unclecrappy
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 3,629 ratings.