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

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

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very good

3,630 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,630
Reviews: 1,450
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.55%
Wants: 158
Gots: 330 | 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: 3,630 | Reviews: 1,450 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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

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...

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.

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..

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Photo of IBUnit63
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Looks like root beer. Tight, 2-3-finger head; good lacing. Thick, dark licorice color.

Smells like fresh-baked bread. Dark malt character with hints of hops and alcohol.

Clean, velvety vanilla- licorice is mild; alcohol makes itself known

Slight bitter aftertaste. Creamy, a little chunky.

Definitely something to sip and enjoy.

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

On Tap in my kegerator. Bought from Total Wine & More in Springfield, VA. Totally pitch black with a dark head. Tastes of anise, coffee.
Nice mouthfeel of heavy stout but not too chewy.
I hate when a porter or stout feels watery.

Not much ofr aroma but I probably had it served too cold.
It's a heavy stout but very drinkable. Medium alcohol level, but after a few you know you've been drinking it.

Photo of thirtysixbelow
3.43/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a - very dark. a slight dark brown around the edges. The head on this beer is a joke. It maybe gets a half of a finger high and immediately disappears. Not much lacing. :(

s - sweet chocolate and coffee, as expected.

t - nice roasted character with a pretty powerful bite at the end. Not sure if it's hops or something else, but the bite of this beer makes it kind of hard to distinguish other flavors. This is supposed to be a sweet stout but it's more of a standard stout to me.

m - creamy with slight carbonation

d - not what I was expecting from a milk/sweet stout. It was ok. There are way too many other stouts out there that blow this out of the water to spend too much time here again.

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

12 oz bottle from Dyan, consumed for lunch today with a couple of wheat thins. Can't think of a much better lunch.

Appearance: Pours the darkest of browns, opaque in my glass with a finger of dark tan foam. Retention isn't great, but there's a solid and persisting ring.

Smell: Brownies, the homemade dark chocolate variety, not the sugary sweet stuff you'd find at the corner store. There's a bit of spicy licorice present as well, along with a dash of light roast coffee. Malty sweetness is in perfect balance here; present but not overbearing.

Taste & mouthfeel: Dark chocolate and light roast coffee in even portions with a nice creamy backbone. The use of brewers licorice lends a spicy undercurrent, though it's subtle enough that it doesn't distract from the malt. Great mouthfeel, velvety and rich but not overly thick. The dryness of the finish really enhances the drinkability for me, as I'm generally not a huge fan of beers that are sweet from beginning to end. Great stuff here, probably a top example of the style.

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

Poured into a tulip glass.

A - Pitch black brew with a massive bit of brownish froth that sat around for a while, then reduced itself to scattered icebergs of head. Lacing was spotty.

S - Bitter chocolate malt aroma with some hints of burnt toffee.

T - Plums, licorice, dark chocolate, smoke, this is a smooth and sweet brew with a fine balance. Bitterness is fairly low.

M - Full bodied, smooth on the palate, low carbonation level, dry finish.

D - Very enjoyable, this stuff goes down way too easily. Great brew, if you see it, don't hesitate, recommended.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz given to me tonight by trading partner.. SAS ... poured into my New Belgium snifter.

2 finger light brown head drops leaving lace collars.. brew is pretty much black.

Aroma is stuck in the mids.. Pronounced roasted grains .. Light creamy chocolate mocha notes. No hops that my untrained nose can pick out.

Flavor is much better... This is a great tasting stout. Dark malts and roasted grains without any distinct caramel to get in the way. Sweetness is spot on for the style .. makes all the different dark malt flavors play nice... Light chocolate and a nice French Roast Bitterness... very long finish... I can't believe I have only a little bit left.. I would pick this brew up regularly if it was available in Boise.

Mouthfeel is also pretty much perfect.. deep medium with creamy small bubble carbonation... Drinkability is very high.. I want another warming up right now just to make sure my review was spot on.

This is the first time I've had the pleasure of the Kalamazoo Stout.. very very good brew. Until now, I thought Widmer Snow Plow was the ultimate milk stout.. It would be a treat to try them side by side... but judging by my grin.. I would give the edge to Kalamazoo.

Thanks a bunch Steve.

Photo of Monkeyknife
4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle a very dark brown-almost black with a thin, foamy mocha head.

Aroma is light with hints of chocolate, vanilla, and dark fruit.

Smooth, sweet, and creamy with chocolate, coffee roasted malts, and that dark fruit.

Full mouthfeel, rich and creamy, and lightly carbonated.

This is a really nice stout, and easy to drink for sure. Highly recommended.

Photo of jettjon
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 12 oz bottle, no visible freshness date. Into a pint glass, it's a pitch brown color with no light penetrating. Creamy one-finger brown head fades at a moderate pace leaving some sticky lacing along the sides. Nose of rich toasted chocolate malt. Good toasted malt flavor with suggestions of dark chocolate. Dry in character with low hops presence. Dry and slightly bitter finish. Mouth is semi-viscous with mid- to low carbonation. Crisp on the tongue; goes down easily. Drinkability is quite good; it's tasty and easygoing despite 6% ABV.

Overall: An enjoyable classic stout with great chocolate/malty flavor. Recommended.

Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 3,630 ratings.