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

Not Rated.
Bell's Kalamazoo StoutBell's Kalamazoo Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

3,664 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,664
Reviews: 1,458
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.55%
Wants: 165
Gots: 351 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-11-2001

Stout brewed with Brewer's Licorice.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,664 | Reviews: 1,458 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Zadok
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a pitch black with a fleeting dark brown head.

Light malt and coffee fragrance.

Deep, rich coffee and malt flavor. The coffee kind of takes command and leaves a slight acidic coffee aftertaste.

Very rich and creamy, low carbonation. Has no problem in coating the palate.

A very enjoyable stout with great flavor and balance. Would highly recommend and look forward to another.

Photo of allergictomacros
4.06/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pitch black. Huge, solid brown foam with fantastic lace.

S - Roasted grain and related dark, toasty aromas. Coffee.

T- Big astringent toastiness with a leafy backdrop. Very bitter. Not tasting any licorice - I guess it's been obliterated by other flavours. Quite dry, and acidic up front with a bit of an apple presence.

M - Medium mouthfeel with a moderate carbonation. Dry.

D - Easy drinking, tasty stout.

Photo of treyrab
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Grabbed this one the last time I was in Pittsburgh and decided to pour it on the first snowfall of the year into my pint glass...

A: Pours an extremely dark brown (no this one is not black like most) with nice ruby hues around the edges when held to light. Creates a massive two finger head that clouds above the dark liquid and the head doesn't fade.

S: The smell is straight Folger's coffee in the glass. Bitter coffee, bitter roast, some sweet molasses perhaps and fresh green hops.

T: I was not expecting this, so this blew me away. The taste was not sweet like I was expecting, nor light. It has great flavors of coffee, and bitter coffee at that. Very creamy and smooth bitter coffee that leads into a nice dark roast. Some bitter hops are present as well. Great taste

Overall, this is a spectacular showing by Bell's. Not sweet like a milk stout, but a nice, big bold stout that deserves another go.

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

A- Pours a huge thick tan/brown head over a black body. Talk about retention.... wow. As the head finally recedes, I get some slight lacing.

S- Big toasty malts, coffee,some dark fruits and hints of anise.

T- Starts out very dark and toasty with big suggestions of coffee and slight hint of anise. The finish is dry with some residual dark dry chocolate.

M- Silky smooth. Great feel.

D- This was a very nice stout. It's dark and toasty and the anise note is very well balanced. Perfect for MN winter!

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

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into my shaker glass a deep dark brown color with a healthy three fingers of fluffy ecru colored head. Smells of milk chocolate, roasted grains, coffee, and anise seed. Tastes like a mocha coffee with a shot of black sambuca added to it (minus the alcohol burn). Rather complex with a bitter finish. Medium in both body and carbonation. A nice bitter stout that I like to revisit from time to time.

Photo of vurt
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle picked up from the absurdly good Lone Hill Liquor in Glendora, CA. Enjoyed in a nonic pint glass. The label indicates this is batch number 8652. I've been waiting to try this one all week.

Opaque, inky black in the glass, except at the edges, where there are attractive dark red-brown highlights. The head is a mass of thick, rich, dark caramel tan foam, made of tiny bubbles interspersed here and there with larger ones. Very attractive. Eventually it settles into a thin disk with a heavier collar. The foam leaves good lacing on the walls of the glass, and the beer looks slightly viscous.

Rich and roasty dark malts, with plenty of chocolate milk in the background. Reminds me of a chocolate Hobnob, really. There is also a mild nutty component like brazil nuts and pine nuts. Other notes include dark earth, a touch of campfire smoke, and a faint tartness that grows as the beer warms. I really don't get much of the brewer's licorice that the label says this is brewed with.

Starts off creamy and chocolatey, like a cooled-down cup of hot chocolate made with heavy milk. Roasty and bitter coffee flavors follow. In the complex middle, the milk chocolate gives way to dark dried fruits (raisins and figs), salted caramel, and the zesty licorice note I couldn't find in the aroma. Ends with dark chocolate and more coffee with a lingering herbal bitterness. A delicious light, piney smokiness comes through in the aftertaste.

Full-bodied, palate-coating, velvety, slightly sticky, and infused with a perfect level of carbonation. The carbonation and the lingering bitterness rejuvenate the palate and leave you ready for the next sip. Alcohol provides a little soothing warmth.

This is a gratifyingly rich and satisfying beer. It has as much flavor as some smaller imperial stouts, but with less alcohol and heaviness. An excellent beer to take you from fall into winter. I would love to try this one on tap. Or better yet, on cask.

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

Poured into a mug from a 12 oz bottle.

a- Beautiful two-finger tan head that retains nicely. Little hills at the top of the glass. Inky black typical of the style but not completely opaque as ruby red notes can be seen throughout the glass.

s- Sweet and roasty, though the alcohol smell is coming through a bit more than I'd expect here. Definitely cream and chocolate.
Pleasant and layered, making me want to have a taste.

t- Up-front sweetness and roasted coffee and chocolate. The cream here is wonderful, too. Hop bitterness is surprising and welcome along with the alcohol. Finishes a dry dark chocolate, lactose and nuts.

m- Medium bodied and biting carbonation. In a weird and not at all bad way it feels like cola, though chewier and less a little less biting.

d- I'd take several of these. 6.0% as marked on the bottle is I think right where this should be.

I've tried a lot of beers in this style and it's a little hard to choose a lot of the time. This one has its own unique character and it's a little more iced coffee than the dark hot mochas of other milk stouts. Enjoyable and worth a reccommendation.

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

Bell's Kalamazoo Stout pours a creamy dark as night black, with a fluffy tan head. It smells of burnt grains and roasted coffee, with sweetness that I can't pinpoint. It tastes much like it smells which is great; it's smooth and creamy with a mild crispness in the back of the mouth. Like all stouts it's pretty filling and a bit thick. All in all, another great beer from bells.

Photo of TonyT
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into imperial pint glass.

Thick, two finger, off white/brownish head. Lacing remains as the level decreases. Thin head also remains. Roasted malts peak through the smell. Solid taste, malty and earthy with the hints of licorice in the aftertaste. Silky throughout with a mellow dryness at the end, with a slight cola taste. The mellow cola carbonation gives it a crisp mouthfeel.

This beer is very well balanced and allows you to partake in a couple. Not heavy but has enough meat in its body. It's almost as if you want another one, just to experience it all again.

Photo of MMAJYK
3.62/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Black in color and very inky. Head is slow to rise to the top, but is light brown and very spotty. It is actually going away quite fast, too.

S- Coffee, cream, chocolate, maybe some light toffee and vanilla. Digging deeper you will find a light roast and/or campfire aroma.

T- Roasted malt, black patent malt, coffee malt, and vanilla creamer. Midstream, you can actually feel a little bit of the bittering hop blend with some malt astrigency.

M- Somewhat milky with low carbonation.

D- I am not too crazy about it. Just a decent milk stout to me; definitely not standoutish but glad I could try it.

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
3.86/5  rDev -3%
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
3.61/5  rDev -9.3%
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
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
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
4.01/5  rDev +0.8%
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
3.87/5  rDev -2.8%
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
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
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
4.1/5  rDev +3%
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
4.02/5  rDev +1%
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
4.26/5  rDev +7%
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
4.31/5  rDev +8.3%
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
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
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
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
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
4.21/5  rDev +5.8%
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!

Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 3,664 ratings.