1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.
very good

3,258 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,258
Reviews: 1,424
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 10.53%
Wants: 147
Gots: 231 | 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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bell's Kalamazoo Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,258 | Reviews: 1,424 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of vladtheimpaler

New Jersey

4.68/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle. Deep dark brown, big tan head, bordering on brown. Decent lacing. Nice roasty coffee aroma, with hints of chocolate and lots of roasty grains. Nice full bodied roasty flavor. Hints of coffee and sweet dark chocolate. Roasty bitterness lingers on the palate. This is exceingly drinkable for a stout lover. Rich and satisfying. I think the best of the style.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2005 23:50:24 | More by vladtheimpaler
Photo of whynot44


4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Full bodied, very dark coffee color with a large dark tan head.

Aroma is dark roasted malt and coffee.

Taste is along the same lines, sweet smoky roasted malt, rich coffee, caramel and maybe some dark chocolate, finishing with a touch of hops.

Creamy smooth, very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2005 06:33:45 | More by whynot44
Photo of malty


4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. longneck - no freshness date.

Beautiful light beige head sits on an opaque dark brown liquid with faint dark mahogony highlights. Gorgeous thick lacing all the way down.

Scent is of fresh real cream, nice rounded roasted malts. Scent is subtle but very fresh.

Flavors are round and very balanced first-off. Milky chocolate and fresh cream (again). The hops accompany the finish nicely with a calm, dry ending. Balanced, balanced, balanced.

Mouthfeel if fluffy with a moderate amount on cabonation. Medium bodied and gentle all the way through.

Drinkability is very good due to it's medium body and reasons to follow.

Overall this stout can be many things to different palates. What I mean is, this stout really 'breathes'. The flavors have enough 'space' between them that leave room for many interpretations. I love it for it's subtleties - soft, silky, fluffy and a tad dry - but never chalky. Not sweet but very creamy. Roasted malts but not burnt or coffeeish. Probably the perfect balance between a milk and dry stout - a marriage of the two styles, if you will. I most definitely will be trying this throughout the year to experience more nuances I might detect. A true flagship from Bell's.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2005 02:40:26 | More by malty
Photo of BeerFink


4.45/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours opaque black with a khaki colored head. Milk chocolatey aroma mixed coffee and roastedness. Very creamy bittersweet chocolately taste, with plenty of roasted character. Some hops bite out admist the huge malty smoothness. Finish is roasted dry, with a lingering coffee like aftertaste. Very pleasant to sip and admire the finish. Definitely another good stout from Bell's, who I have come to respect as talented in the stout field.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2005 23:46:33 | More by BeerFink
Photo of GClarkage


4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

04/18/05- Received as a gift from BA member Spinlock.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with no dates. Poured into my Reaper pint glass.

Appearance- Fairly black in color with a nice 1/2 inch head and average lacing.

Smell- Nice and sweet with a bit of roasted scent.

Taste- Yummy sweetness with a nice chocolate kick. Maybe a tiny bit of coffee and nicely rounded malt texture.

Mouthfeel- Mouthcoating chocolate as it warms. Lower carbonation.

Drinkability- One of the best stouts I have had. Creeping fairly close to Stone IRS. Wish I had easy access to these. I've been damn lucky with stouts and porters as of recent.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2005 03:42:42 | More by GClarkage
Photo of beveragecaptain

New Jersey

4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours out thick and dark with a dark brown head. Sweet malty aroma with some chocolate. The aroma is good, but not strong enough. The flavor is very strong, with a big malty flavor up front, followed by chocolate and a solid roasted flavor. Full mouthfeel, mikshake like in the consistency and the sweet flavor. Highly drinkable too. This is a very nice beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2005 18:32:10 | More by beveragecaptain
Photo of bozebus17


4.75/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This one is as dark as beer comes, it is blacker than black, the same color as coca-cola. The head is toffee colored. It starts off full and rocky but thins out to about a quarter-inch. It lasts all the way down.

The beer has one of the strongest scents I have come across. As I swirled it in the glass a lady across the room who doesn't like beer complained that she could smell it. One whiff of this and you know you have a stout in front of you. Roasted malt and coffee pull through stronger than anything else. There is also a really sweet smell that I cannot put my finger on.

As soon as this beer hit my lips I was in another world. I am a stout lover and this is one of the best I have come across. I am hit with a sweet caramel flavor along with the roasted malt. It is perfectly balanced with just the right amount of bitterness. But beware, this beer has a lot of everything. As strong as the scent is the flavor has twice the potency.

The mouthfeel was luxurious. It was rich and creamy, is this a beer or a milkshake? After I swallowed each gulp I was left with carbonation dancing on my tongue.

For being as full as it is this beer is extremely drinkable. I had three of these in one session tonight and I had to resist the urge to open a fourth. The alcohol is not apparent, it might be easy to get in trouble with this beer. I found myself having a hard time taking polite sips. You'll want to gulp this one. A great offering from Bells stellar lineup.

I notice my review is higher than many of the others. Maybe being in Michigan I have the chance to get this beer a lot fresher than BAs out of state.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2005 07:00:05 | More by bozebus17
Photo of AlexJ

North Carolina

4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A real treat, sampled at a recent homebrew club meeting. It' sblacker than India ink, and twice as thick. Topped off with a blob of brown head resembling a melted Hershey bar. Lacing is thick and clumpy.

A sniff reveals deep, dark, roasty malts, followed by chocolate and coffee. There's a bit of perfumed, flowery hops and plenty of plumprunes, and other dark fruit.

Mmm, all that and then some! Very roasty-sweet initially, then a balancing act of bittersweet chocolate and smokey French Roast coffee takes over.

Mouthfeel is luch, creamy, and luxurious. Carbonation is very light, which suits this style just fine. Delicious in every respect. More please.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2005 22:46:27 | More by AlexJ
Photo of Gaisgeil


4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a fine example of a sweet stout. Nothing about it is particularly outlandish or what not, but it is just very well balanced and easy drinking, a real pleasure to say the least.

Pours a rich a dark black with a medium toned brown head to match, a thin slice of which stays throughout. Nose is rich and dark, chocolate, roast, nuts, malt and cream. Flavor is sticky and rich. Roast and malt dominates the whole ordeal. Coffee and cream in the back that sticks on the palate long after swallowing. Mouthfeel is generous and rich, not overly thick but quintessential stout nontheless. Very well balanced, just enough hop bite to take the edge off.

This is easily a staple type beer, I could drink myself under the table with these, easily.


Serving type: bottle

03-03-2005 03:06:57 | More by Gaisgeil
Photo of gimmehead


4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours inky black with a nice mocha colored head and decent lacing. The nose is smoky and bittersweet. Tastes much like the nose: smoky roasted malts, sweet sugar, bittersweet chocolate, and a slightly salty, hoppy balance. Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth. The perfect balance between bitterness and cloying sweetness. Best stout I've had in a while.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2005 01:09:28 | More by gimmehead
Photo of bditty187


4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes…

Black in hue, it is damn dark. When backlit there is a slight dark brown highlight around the edges. The color is beyond ideal. The head was brunette in color; the tightly compacted bubbles formed a head of two fingers in height. The head retention was excellent and the tight cap lasted forever. There was some spotty subsequent lacing, clingy. The appearance is good. The nose is soft and well-rounded, it smells like espresso with milk and a side of gourmet chocolate. Lightly acidic. The potency is moderate. I like what this beer is saying. It is fairly complex for they style but straightforward. It is pleasant to sniff. The palate matches the nose perfectly; softly roasty malts supply some coffee notes and kisses of chocolate. Milky sweetness. Dry finish with a long, roasted coffee bean aftertaste. I’m sure this beer would be killer with cheesecake. The palate is a bit straightforward but it is plenty tasty! Balanced. Medium in body, low but natural carbonation with a pleasant creamy mouthfeel, it feels right for this beer. This beer is very drinkable and quite sessionable if you’re a stout fan. Well, it should be noted that the 6.5% abv is not really conducive to drinking a six-pack at once. It if is any consolation the alcohol is hidden in the taste… maybe it would bypass your brain as well? Just a thought. It is no frills but good overall. It is more roasty and dry than say Mackeson Triple XXX Stout, both are good beers but both offer different interpretations on the Sweet Stout style. I obtained a six-pack of Bell’s Pale Ale and I drank five of them, I went to review the last bottle and this is what I pulled out! Bastards! Oh well, payback is a bitch as I’ve substituted beers before. This was purchased in Kansas City, MO. It is a solid beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2005 16:42:03 | More by bditty187
Photo of LuckySevens82


3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle courtesy of feloniousmonk
Poured into a Stone Imperial Stout glass. Pours black as night. One finger, tan head. Good lacing.
Smell is very roasty, a little bit of chocolate, and some coffee in there as well. It smells a little bit like it might be a tad oxidized.
Taste shows no oxidation at all, so perhaps that's just me. Taste is very much focused on coffee, roasted malts, and a bit of hop bitterness.
This is a nice, full-flavored stout. I'm not disappointed with this one at all.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2005 23:27:17 | More by LuckySevens82
Photo of ahking


4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Great drinkable stout! One of the best tasting and balanced stouts I have ever had. Smooth, malty, roasty with a hint of chocolate. These flavors really come out as it warms. A nice 6.50% ABV. Pours rather thick (but not too thick) with a creamy-tan head. Lacing goes all the way down the glass. Recommended!

Serving type: on-tap

02-01-2005 05:20:25 | More by ahking
Photo of deejaydan


3.7/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served at Cellar temp, in an Imperial nonick Pint glass.

One inch to an inch and a half head on this dark beauty. Wonderful lacing as well. Toffee aroma. I'd expect a bit more roastiness in the aroma for a stout, but that's just me. Taste is okay, a bit of the bells yeast funk going on, roasted flavors are rather muted as well. Mouthfeel is good and coating. This isn't a bad stout by any streach of the imagination, but it fails to "wow" me.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2005 00:03:25 | More by deejaydan
Photo of irishmoss


4.58/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This pours black in the glass with a thick billowing root beer float kind of head that leaves nice patches of lace down the sides of the glass. The aroma is sweet malts, biscuits, and chocolate. The taste is sweet chocolate and caramel with some hop bitterness and roasted/burnt coffee flavors in the end. Absolutely smooth and velvety across the mouth, medium to full body…very drinkable. Wildly impressed with this stout…

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2005 05:28:24 | More by irishmoss
Photo of twelvsies


3.6/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A dark typical looking stout with a bit of bubbly brown head floating around. Smells of chocolate milk, coffee grounds, sweet roasted malts. Taste is a bit off though. It tastes too much like coffee I think. It's a great flavor to have in a beer, but not when it overpowers everything else. I think that's the case here. Dry mouthfeel but a bit thick as well, strange. Not the most drinkable beer. It's a nice try, maybe it'd be better if they toned down the coffee taste.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2004 04:36:12 | More by twelvsies
Photo of BuckeyeNation


4.55/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Glistening ebony with mahogany highlights. Even with bright sun behind the glass, light penetration is nil. Atop the beer is an impressive mocha colored head of dense, pitting foam that generously plasters itself to the glass in a further attempt to keep light at bay. Now this is what a stout should look like. Very well done.

The coffee-laced, fudge brownie nose is a pleasure to inhale. If the flavor follows suit, Kalamazoo will be one impressive stout. It does and it is! Bell's brewery continues to astound. Just as in the nose, gooey fudge comes to mind on the palate: rich, glossy, sweet, sticky, mouthfilling, decadent goodness in a glass.

The bitter coffee flavor is a bit too pronounced for me, but is easily overlooked because this is such delicious beer. The degree of roastedness is fairly high with a mild char that works well in the grand scheme of things. Bitter and sweet intertwine beautifully, even throughout the long, lingering finish. The body/mouthfeel is decidedly full and crushed velvet smooth.

Kalamazoo Stout is the best milk/sweet stout that I've had yet, surpassing Bell's own Special Double Cream Stout (although it's been a while since I sampled SDCS). It's one of the biggest and boldest 6.5% ABV beers that you're ever likely to drink and is truly one of the best. Kudos all around.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2004 16:05:46 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of kmpitz2


4.18/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this beer up a few days ago because I tried the Double Cream Stout a little bit ago, and wanted to see where this fell in relation to it. The beer pours a very black color with a half finger of head that falls to ring the beer. The nose is great. Balanced between the chocolate and the milky marshmellow creamyness. Wow. The flavor is not quite as creamy as the nose tells. There is a lot of chocolate that finishes coffee, with only a slight bit of the creamy milky tones. Not bad, but not as good as their Double Cream, but not a bad flavor. The feel is nice and thick with a velvety creamy smooth texture. Good feel. Overall, this is a really nice beer. I enjoy all the parts of it. I will have to have this again when I find it. Solid beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2004 03:55:41 | More by kmpitz2
Photo of mntlover


4.45/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a black on black no light thru this baby with a big fluffy chocolate colored head that leaves a good lace coat, looks great. Smell is lightly roasted malt with expresso and chocolate present some light fruits in background. Taste is great lightly roasted malt expresso flavors with some hints of chocolate . Moves from lightly sweet malt to burnt bitterness from malt aided by good dose of hop bite. A great stout wish I could get this down in TN. Mouthfeel is right side of medium not heavy enough to be creamy but still feels good. Drinkability is good, man this is one tasty beer, thanks go to merlin48 for this tasty treat. If I ever make it to the Liquor Barn in Lexington this will be on my list of must haves.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2004 16:20:58 | More by mntlover
Photo of necoadam


3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured out a medium black color with a light tan head that left a good lacing around the glass.

Smell consisted of chocolate, coffee, along with some good undertones of roasted malts.

Taste was on the big side. Malts kick upfront along with some bittersweet chocolate and an undertone of coffee flavors. A little bit on the sweet side. It's quite creamy as well. Funny to call it a milk stout, but really it has more character of a cream than milk.

This was a good beer, but perhaps it needed a little balancing to make this a truly great beer. I enjoyed it for sure, but perhaps some tweaking could be used here.

Thanks to Pisskynights and Feloniousmonk for sending a bottle each, respectively.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2004 20:16:15 | More by necoadam
Photo of jwilli7122


4.65/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

dense reddish black with a chunky tan head which lasts long and fades unevenly. head size seems to vary by the bottle.

big malt and alchohol smells but it is more complex than that, and quite outstanding. i don't know the names for the aromas. check it out yourself.

taste is roasty and hopped for a stout. some fatty flavors in there too. very good.

full mouthfeel without a lot of carbonation.

one of the best stouts i've ever had.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2004 20:12:46 | More by jwilli7122
Photo of Boto


4.5/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle: This pours an inky, dark brown color. There was very little brown head to this one. The aroma is raosted coffee, with some sweetness also. Possible chocolate and caramel. The taste is quite rich. It is silky, sweet, and has roasted coffee, chocolate. Full bodied. Extremely nice!

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2004 22:42:01 | More by Boto
Photo of Quaffer


4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up in Missouri. Not available here in Wichita.

Appearance: A very dark beer, to the point that light could just barely pierce it around the edges. The dark tan head rose up to two fingers and dissipated slowly, leaving a thin skin of bubbles on the top of the brew. Thin tendrils of lace were left behind. A decent amount of sediment could be seen on the bottom of the glass when viewed from below.

Smell: Right after the pour, this beer was heavily sweet with cream, cocoa, and sweet and roasted malts. After settling down, some dark cherries, plums, dark chocolate, and coffee rose up and balanced out the sweetness. Definitely gave the nose a bite with the sharpness of the aroma. No hops present at all.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and creamy smooth on the tip of the tongue. It became pretty rough as it hit the back of the mouth and the throat.

Taste: Heavily roasted malt, bitter chocolate, and coffee were the dominant flavors that kicked in from the start. Overlying this was an indistinguishable sweetness that helped to balance out the bitterness, but it didn't quite hold up its end of the deal (not that that is bad). On the finish was a nice smokey flavor and a hint of leafy hops.

Very straightforward and not overly complex, but still a fine stout.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2004 01:15:11 | More by Quaffer
Photo of bigbubba


4.58/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This has a deep black color and a huge brown head. Almost as dark but not as oily looking as an imperial stout. The head leaves heavy lacing. There is a delicious sweet, malty, chocolaty aroma that is very appealing. The taste is great. It starts out sweet, then the chocolaty roasted flavor hits, and it finishes dry with a slight bitter aftertaste. The mouthfeel is also great. I hate thin tasting stouts but this one has some nice body and a very creamy texture.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2004 00:03:20 | More by bigbubba
Photo of benito


3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a VERY dark black, with little head. Coffee aromas are evident from the beginning.

What is most intriguing about this beer is the shortnes of the strong coffee punch at the beginning. By the time the beer is on the back of the tongue, it's java transforms into a very sweet finish. The mouthfeel is extrordinarily smooth throughout, and appropriately heavy for a milk/sweet stout.

The aftertaste is sweet and leaves one waiting for a second-go-round. A very drinkable stout overall.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2004 03:26:50 | More by benito
Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 3,258 ratings.