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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.

3,623 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,623
Reviews: 1,450
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.8%
Wants: 157
Gots: 327 | 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: 3,623 | Reviews: 1,450 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Billolick
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ouncer with different art work then shown on this site, no freshness into be had. This one pours stout black, dark tan head, well knot, retentive and then leaves plenty of slippery and then sticky lace. Roasty/malty nose. Yummy, easy drinking stout, with notes of sweetened coffee, molasses, dark toast. Sweet and roasty, silky as it rides over the tongue and swirls in the mouth. Top notch in all ways, more fine suds from Bells

Photo of kmeves
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opache black with a small tannish head. Aroma is sweet chocolate and coffee. Maybe just a hint of dark fruit buried underneath all of the dark malt. Flavor is really more of the same although the fruit shines through a bit more. Finishes somewhat short and cocoa bitter. Medium bodied, very smooth texture.

Photo of changeup45
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a black color topped with just a thin brown head. Aroma is roasted chocolate and malts but rather mild. There is however quite a bit of flavor to this one. It starts off with a nice rich toasty dark chocolate flavor blended in with malts and traces of coffee in the background. A bitter aftertaste lingers a while. Mouthfeel is nice and full. In between sips I keep tasting a roasted, almost burned, dark chocolate, bitter flavor. This is good.

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

Opaque black brew with a thick tan head. Beautiful retention and lacing. Malts, caramel and licorice, seem to predominate with this one on the nose.
Those same aromas lead you to the sweet brew of caramel and licorice again. There is a light bitter coffee finish just to keep them honest.
Full flavored, medium bodied brew that finishes with a sweetness that lingers.
Overall, very good stout with a creamy mouthfeel. The softness of it would lead to several brews, something one can't get with many heavy hittin' craft brew stouts.

Photo of nickfl
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - One and a half fingers of dark brown head on top of an opaque, black body. The head settles pretty quickly, but leaves good lace behind.

S - Strong dark chocolate and coffee aromas backed up by caramel malt.

T - Lots of nutty chocolate up front followed by mild, smooth sweetness. Roasty flavors come to the front in the finish along with mild malt bitterness.

M - Moderately thick body and medium-low carbonation, with a sweet finish.

D - An enjoyable and reasonably complex beer. Pretty drinkable, but with this level of sweetness I wouldn't want more than one. The chocolate notes in the flavor and aroma are particularly nice.

Photo of glid02
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this from the Liquor Loft in Tallahassee.

Pours an opaque black with a two-finger light chocolate colored head. The head sticks around for a while, and there's not a whole lot of lacing.

Smells both roasty and chocolatey, with a faint hop smell. I tried really hard and could smell the licorice.

Tastes much more roasted in the taste than in the smell. There's a good deal of bitterness at the end.

Mouthfeel is very good. The thickness is good and I hardly even have to swallow for it to go down it's so smooth.

This is a pretty drinnkable beer. Nothing is too intense, and the fact that it's so smooth certainly helps.

Overall this isn't a great beer, but it is a very good one. Worth a shot.

Photo of SpecialK088
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a snifter

A-Black and i mean black pour with as odd as it sounds a near purple head no real lace but head lingers the whoel time.

S-Black cherry, chocolate as well as all the standared stout qualities.

T&M-Smooth naer silky medium body notes of cherry chocolate that get more and more notable as it warms, coffee flavors in the middle and a nice coffee bitterness in the finish.

D-One of the best stouts I have had in a while I have been very hit or miss with Bells and this is for sure a direct hit.

Photo of naterock
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black as night, adly enough a purpleish head, good retention.

Smells of cherries like bing cherries and chocolate. but ever so slight I mean VERY slight.

Tastes of chocolate and slightly espresso, nuanced with cherries. bitter malt qualities

Nicely carbonated helps the bitterness make a comback from the chocolate sweetness.

Definitely a good stout worth the money you pay for it.

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

poured into my duvel tulip, thick tan head, some lacing, body of the beer is black with brown high lights. tiny bubbles at the surface, seems to be fairly carbonated for a stout.
smeels decent, fairly soutlike, getting hints of the licorise the label mentions.
tastes of rasted malt, bit of bitterness from that, maybe some hops in the background. licorice in the aftertaste. not overly thick for a stout, and a bit too carbonated for my taste.
a decent stout the licorice is a nice touch, i'd buy it again, but not really seek it out.

Photo of bound4er
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Another day, another great beer from Bell's. Pours to a thick, rich head of dark tan that leaves nice lacing. The smell is somewhat muted - I get some tree bark, coffee and roasted malts with a faint, sweet note. What this lacks in the nose is made up for in taste and body - wow! Black licorice, roasted coffee and a nutty bitter finish that lasts and lasts. All of this is nicely built on top of a rich, thick, sweet frame. I will be keeping more of this around as our nights begin to cool.

Photo of johnd513
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer tastes and smells of bitter chocolate/coffee, raisins and has a big malt profile. A bit on the sweet side. I absolutely love the carbonation and mouthfeel of this beer, very smooth. Drinkability is relativly high on this one. A great session beer even with the ABV being a little higher.

Photo of spointon
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured this one from a 12oz brown bottle into a pint glass.

A= This ale poured a nearly black color with a big 2.5 inch chocolate tan head. The head slowly dropped to leave serious sticky lace down the glass.

S= This ale had aromas of sweet malts, ripe fruitiness, toasted notes, treacle, caramel, and a hint of licorice.

T= This stout was definitely sweet in flavor. I picked up flavors of black licorice, heavy ripe fruit, chocolate, and even roasted coffee and caramel.

MF= This was a heavy/medium bodied stout with a nice creamy mouthfeel. Carbonation was soft and subtle.

D= A damn fine stout! Despite the ABV, its still a session beer. I really enjoyed this one and will drink again.

Photo of Strix
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Opaque black, decent head with some lacing.

Smell is weak, I do pick up licorice, along with charcoal.

Taste is quite dark. Charcoal and burnt flavors predominate.

Heavenly smooth mouthfeel typical of Bell's stouts.

The taste on this one didn't really do it for me, compared to Bell's other stouts. I didn't find it that interesting. I really really dug Java, Double Cream, and Expedition stouts, but I didn't find this one to be as interesting. Excellent mouthfeel saves this though; It's certainly not bad, I think my expectations for Bell's are now very high.

Photo of daythree16
4.43/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a dimpled mug. Dark brown to black in color with a very small amount of head.

The smell is very rich and sweet with toffee, some chocolate, and just a hint of licorice coming through. The taste has just a hint of licorice like the aroma, but it's not very strong. The main flavor I'm getting can only be described as chocolate covered nuts. There is a nice sweet dryness to it. There is also a really awesome caramel finish that provides a fantastic aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is medium and a bit dry, and the drinkability is way up there.

Photo of Proteus93
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Looks pretty much black as night, with a hint of brown making it through. Head is a very light tan, with a fairly large bubbling in an otherwise creamy head.

S: Quite a big malt aroma, followed by some coffee and a little raisin.

T: Older coffee, a malt roast, some bittersweet notes. A little unsweetened chocolate, with a balancing of hops.

M: Both creamy and sparklingly carbonated. They've managed a marriage between the two quite nicely, making this go down wonderfully.

D: Sip or go on and indulge a little more carefree. It is suitable for either, which is a a plus. An interesting flavour contrast, this one might take a couple experiences to really get a feel for.

Photo of corey0212
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received in a trade with chemmie!

Pours almost-black, shades of brown around the edges of the beer when held up to the light. Massive frothy mocha-colored head fades very slowly, and leaves behind big gobs of lacing. Sweet smell, almost a touch of cookie dough in there, some smoky aromas, mild coffee. Bitter coffee taste, some milk chocolate, charred background. Pretty active carbonation, medium-bodied stout, really smooth. I'd have this one again, a really solid brew.

Photo of leif86
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Black body that light cannot penetrate. The head is thin, coffee colored, and yields to lasting lacing.

S: Smells like sweet cocoa. Also a roasted nut aroma in the back. The best part about this brew.

T: It begins very malty and with caramel that gives way to a bitter coffee/bitter chocolate taste. This latter taste lingers for some time.

M: Well carbonated (a little too much for my personal taste) but still retains some creaminess.

D: A good overall stout, I've had better though. Could probably only have about 2 consecutively before my mouth was overpowered. I could definitely see myself buying more of this if it was available in my area.

Photo of roadhouse
4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First off, this is NOT a milk stout. That's coming from Bell's themselves. They said "not even remotely". I mean, BJCP even lists it as an example for American Stout. I don't know why BA refuses to correct that.

Anyway, on to the review. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appears a nearly opague black, but when held up to the light red highlights are still visible. One and a half finger tan head dissipates to a thin coating on top.

Aromas of coffee, charred wood, bittersweet chocolate and some earthiness in the back.

Taste is first of the coffee and charred wood - that probably comes from licorice root - and some dark chocolate. I'm talking 90% cocoa type stuff. All these wonderful heavily roasted flavors meld together in a silky smooth creamy finish (from oats possibly?).

Mouthfeel is on the fuller side of medium. Finish is very silky, not quite as much as an oatmeal stout. Carbonation level is good.

This is probably one of my favorites in the American Stout category. Very tasty, very smooth, and quite drinkable. Another great beer from Bell's.

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

Deep black with a small tan head. Small ring around glass. No lacing to be found here.

Big roasted coffee aroma right up front. Slight sweet or sour aroma as well.

Sweet milk flavor with a nice smokiness & coffee flavors. Slight medicinal flavor, may be the licorice. Tastes nice.

Full bodied.Smooth & creamy. Taste lingers for quite awhile.

Drinks well as it's very tasty. Nice nightcap.

I really enjoyed this beer from Bell's. Can't wait to get me some more.

Photo of SirSketch
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Black as night in color. Pours a small, half finger, light brown head that goes away quickly leaving a small ring at the top. A nice ring of foam settles with every sip.

S - Smells like a dark roasted cup of coffee.

T - Initial taste is of coffee/espresso. Caramel notes come next. Very sweet malty aftertaste that stays with you.

M - Full bodied with little to no carbonation. Even has the consistency of a dark coffee drink.

D - Very, very drinkable. One of the only stouts I could continue drinking all night.

This is definitely not your normal stout, but I rather enjoyed it. I would recommend it to anyone wanting to try something new, or during a large, hearty meal.

3.33/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle into an 8 oz. taster.
A vigorous pour released a hearty, pillowy, 2 finger, coffee colored, foamy head. Almost like the top of a root beer float or similar to steamed milk foam. Black as tar....with a brief reverse cascade. Beautiful lacing rides the glass throughout & remains stenciled on the sides long after it's empty. This is how you want a stout to look.

Smells of dark black coffee or espresso, sweet, smokey roasted malt & a hint of black licorice(?)

The mouth is initially smooth & creamy. Nicely carbonated. Not too heavy. Sharp, peppery hops at the finish & through the swallow. A little hot on the back side for me. Alcohol presents after the swallow.

Taste follows the smell closely with a hint of licorice, molasses, milk chocolate, coffee & fresh baked bread. A dry, oily, astringent hop finish that lasts long after the swallow. Delayed alcohol warming.
The oily film on the glass sticks to the mouth as well.

Listing this beer as a milk stout is a little misleading. Creamy & smooth....it's a nice example but there's really nothing milky about it.
Worth trying if you can get it.

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

Had a bottle of this last night at the pub. I saw it in the glass case and it intrigued my interest. As a fan of Bell's brews, this was next on my list to try.

Appearance was very motor oily, but it did possess a nice, aptly thin head with a decent amount of lacing. It was very dark indeed.

Smell was very strong iin coffee and chocolate malts. This was a very rich stout indeed.

Taste was delicious. Although it possessed a nice strong taste at first, it somewhat faded quickly. Not bad, but it did fade rather quickly.

Mouthfeel was very rich in flavor and frothy with a nice thick finish. Certainly a good finish at the end of the beer.

Drinkability is pretty top notch. While the flavor does somewhat fade quickly, the overall brew as a whole is nicely done. A good Bell's beer!

Photo of Brad007
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a pitch black color with a thick brown head. Spot on.

The aroma is made up of roasted coffee and creaminess/sweetness that is defined by the style.

Taste is very sweet and creamy upfront with a hint of coffee and roasted malt at the back of the throat. Smooth. I can even detect a bit of smokiness here.

Mouthfeel is roasty goodness with only a slight hint of sweetness. Lingers quite a bit.Chewy.

Overall, a very drinkable example of the style that I feel falls a bit flat on mouthfeel and taste. I tend to lean more towards the Double Cream though. However, this is a good starting point for a stout and if you like it already, seek out the Double Cream for more of the goodness.

Photo of mgp80
3.55/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A likeable, fairly straightforward stout. Roasty aromas and flavors dominate, with some coffee and bitter chocolate and a solid licorice presence. Goes down smooth and easy, and the reasonable abv makes this a nice one to spend a quiet evening with. This isn't one of those stouts where every sip is a long flavor journey, but what's there is quite pleasant. Bell's seems to excel at making solid, yet approachable beers, and this is no exception.

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

the stout itself is excellent. pours a dark brown, almost black, with a small bit of foam which settles out fairly quickly. it goes down smooth, not heavy at all, leaving a slight brussels lace trail on my guinness glass (sorry guinness) between sips. i can definitely taste hints of coffee and dark chocolate, along with licorice. very faint, but it is there indeed. i am not a licorice fan, in fact, i rather do not like it, which is why i was hesitant for so long to try the Bell's Kalamazoo Stout which is made partially with licorice.

i should know better by now - all good beers deserve a fair try. the first sips right out of the fridge where cool, which slightly masked the spectrum of flavor, but as the stout warmed a bit, more of the licorice and dark chocolate come into play. i definitely recommend giving the Kalamazoo Stout a few minutes to warm before having a quaff.

overall, a very drinkable interpretation of a stout.

Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
90 out of 100 based on 3,623 ratings.