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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.

3,563 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,563
Reviews: 1,443
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.55%
Wants: 156
Gots: 310 | 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
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Ratings: 3,563 | Reviews: 1,443 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of oakbluff
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

typical looking stout- Got a good thick two finger head in a Duvel glass. Nose- some anise, bakers chocolate. Taste- very rich, and good balance of dry and chocolate/molasses sweetness. Great body and nice hoppiness on the finish. Drinks bigger than it really is. A lot of impy stouts probably wish they had the richness and flavour profile of this brew. One of the best non impy stouts I’ve had. great work!

oakbluff, Dec 15, 2007
Photo of HoppyInfidel
3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours black, with about a quarter-inch tan head that settles fairly quickly, though some lacing remains. Aroma and taste are pleasant enough, with roasted flavors and hints of the brewers' licorice coming through in the taste. Finishes with a slight bite.

HoppyInfidel, Dec 10, 2007
Photo of rodrot
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours completely black with a nice 1 inch tan head of foam. Aroma was an enticing mix of roasted coffee beans, licorice and dark chocolate. Taste was very similar to the aroma. Lots of roasted coffee flavor, dark chocolate and a hint of alcohol. Drinkability was damn good, as I love a bold tasting stout. Mouthfeel was medium bodied in the palate, with a slightly sweet finish. Another great beer from Bells.

rodrot, Dec 09, 2007
Photo of ByTor2112
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured inky black with very little head even with an average pour. There was a small ring of brown foam around the edge.
Aroma-roasted malt, black licorice, some molasses and a warm bready aroma.
Mouthfeel-very tasty, a lower carbonation. The flavors run the stout spectrum. Bitterness from the dark roasted/black malts. Earthy hops are present and they linger with the finish. Bittersweet chocolate, robust with very little sweetness. A good froth on the palate releases some licorice flavor. Good stout and a solid offering from Bell's.

ByTor2112, Dec 09, 2007
Photo of morimech
3.6/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours black with a nice tan head that slowly builds after the pour then settles to a nice cap. A lot of lacing is left in its wake.

The smell consists of malt with coffee and chocolate hints. Nothing spectacular here but nice.

The taste consists of burnt coffee, chocolate, and other dark malt flavors. It has a dry finish and a bit taken back by how dry it is. It is medium bodied with excellant carbonation for the style. This is a strange milk/sweet stout. It is not sweet but has deeper flavors and heavier body than a dry stout and it is not as big as an imperial stout. A good stout overall but not really to my liking style wise.

morimech, Nov 29, 2007
Photo of CDBeerDisappear
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very dark in color with an inch of fine bubbled, tan foam. Plenty of lacing down the sides. Aroma of coffee though initially strong fades to subtle. Taste is dry to bitter. The taste is superior to the smell. Good mouthfeel with pleasant carbonation. A very drinkable beer. May I have another?

CDBeerDisappear, Nov 28, 2007
Photo of jasonjlewis
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to NCSUdo for the sample

Pours a huge head with insane retention. Nice dark brown color.

Smell is of caramel and chocolate and roasted malts with a nice undertone of cofee. Sort of a creamy and milky overtone as well.

Taste is delicious. Up front the sweetness from the caramel and pale malts comes out. Sweetness comes out and cuts the dryness of the stout. This beer finishes with a nice hop bitterness that leaves everything in a nice balance.

Mouthfeel is creamy and dry, it clings to the palate well and the carbonation is spot on.

This is one fine stout. I will have to trade for more bell's. If not, I'll have to visit my brother in Michigan sooner than expected.

jasonjlewis, Nov 26, 2007
Photo of timbro81
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very dark in the glass with an equally dark thin head that does some respectable lacing down the sides. There is alot going on in the nose and taste. Nose is Sweet, dark roasted malts. The taste is simply amazing. Bitter sweet in the begining that turns to a dark roasted chocolate maltiness and well balanced hops that finishes semi-dry but makes me salivate for more. Very smooth and silky in the mouth. I feel like there is more there but my brain can only comprehend so much. Highly Recommended!

timbro81, Nov 26, 2007
Photo of malcontent
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A full two fingers of gorgeous tan head is the crown atop a jet black body. Lacing is sticky and copious. An absolutely astounding looking stout.

A whole lot going on in the nose: baker's chocolate, smoke, licorice and earth are the main components I'm detecting.

Wow, the brewers' licorice really makes itself known. At first, it leads into the bitter, roasted body. Then the beer opens up to reveal a mineral side buttressed by chicory and then concluded with an even stronger dose of licorice. The finish is actually quite dry. Unusual, complex and, dare I say, fun.

At first, the carbonation is almost a bit much. However, the beer quickly reveals a creamy body with a crisp finish.

As much as I enjoy the beer, I'm not sure that it's something I could continue to drink throughout an evening. Regardless, for me it's just another example of Bell's mastery of the stout universe.

Thanks to kryptic for the trade.

malcontent, Nov 21, 2007
Photo of elricorico
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black in the glass, with a finger of milk chocolate milk coloured head on top. The head falls to a thin cap.

Smells of dark chocolate, liquor, licorice and figs. Quite inviting altogether.

Rich chocolatey coffee flavour with a bitter roast finish. Creaminess to the coffee. Slightly bitter roasted flavour and some licorice near the finish. Alcohol notable, but subtly so.

The body has some weight to it. Not as much thickness as an imperial, but more than most stouts. Carbonation is soft and pleasant.

This is an easy drinker as far as bigger stouts go, I quite enjoyed it. Thanks to orrshow for splitting the bottle.

elricorico, Nov 14, 2007
Photo of kkipple
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled in Jan 07, consumed 10 months later.

Even a hard pour only scares up a thin dusting of foam from this one. This is a dark stout, not deep brown that looks dark till ya hold it to the light, this really is super dark. Cool. The beer looks thick and chewy.

Smells wet and malty with a big earthy chocolate profile. Herbal and a little mineral-ly, but backed up by lots of roasted malt. Sweet and cool.

Mmm.... this is good... rich roasted malts that just avoid being burnt, chalky cocoa and a smooth sweetness with hints of raisins and coffee swirl in my mouth. There's an earthy flavor and a slight bit of licorice. The mouthfeel is creamy and finely fizzy, finishing dry and roasty milk-sweet. It's not too heavy, and the 6.5% means you could have a few of these.

Aftertaste is bittersweet coffee-roast with a delightful lingering lactose sweetness. This is an excellent stout. Reminds me of Mackeson's XXX but a little deeper.

I love a good milk stout, and Kalamazoo really hit the spot. Well done, Bell's. Now would you kindly sell your beer in my home state?

kkipple, Nov 10, 2007
Photo of DrummerDan
3.63/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm not thrilled, but I'll try draft when I get a chance to see if it was the carbonation that threw this beer off for me.

Nice dark brown almost black beer with a bit of head that is off white. The head has a nice consistency and lasted most of the glass. There is a dried fruit burnt chocolate smell at first. Unfortunately, the smell didn't translate well into the first taste. First the roasted chocolate flavor and then a hoppy bitter aftertaste overwhelms by mouth. As the beer warmed the balance between slightly sweet and bitter hops got better.

DrummerDan, Nov 08, 2007
Photo of Chsyhkr
3.78/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Milk Stout? A little strong for one, but quite good, none the less.

The beer pours black with hints of red when held to the light. A long tan head lingers. Aroma is chocolate, nuts, and dried fruit with a sweet maltiness.

This is dessert in a glass. Rich, dark, decadent chocolate roastiness screaming for a scoop of ice cream.

Enjoy this after dinner, before, but not with dinner. It is just too good to pair up with food, except ice cream.

Chsyhkr, Nov 07, 2007
Photo of nycjag
4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I really dug this stout. I am a big stout fan and this one did not disappoint. The aroma wafted up, revealing some hints of chocolate and licorice. The mouthfeel was silky. The taste was right there. Some roastiness to be sure, but a nice licorice undertone that came just shy of being too far forward. Finally, the hop presence was nicely aggressive for this style of beer, keeping it from being too sweet. If you want a stout, making yours a Kalamazoo wouldn't leave you crying in your beer.

nycjag, Nov 02, 2007
Photo of IPAcraig
4.47/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drinking this beer on Halloween whilst watching Halloween.

This beer was poured into my Guiness nonic. It has a deep black body with a medium dark brown one finger head. Not much lacing.

This beer as a great smell of creamy milk chocolate complimented by a nice roastiness. A very potent aroma.

A very big taste from a sweet stout, nearly on par with the strength of a Russian Imperial Stout. This is a sweet stout and it does have the that sweet chocolatey flavor, but it also has a substantial roasty flavor that was unexpected and adds a rich complexity. The sweetness really lingers. A slight medicinal astringent flavor and aroma emerges as the beer warms. I want to knock this beer for it, but I cant as this beer really has an exceptional flavor.

Thick, but not syrupy at all. Near perfection.

This beer packs a flavor wallop, but remains quite drinkable. This may be my favorite stout that is not a RIS, but much more sessionable.

IPAcraig, Nov 01, 2007
Photo of shaebs99
4.4/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque black with large frothy creamy tan head that holds. Ring of nice lace.
Aroma is of chocolate and roasted malts.
Good carbonation and creamy smooth mouthfeel. Taste is of dark chocolate with roasted coffee notes.
Nice and smooth beer. Will seek it out again

shaebs99, Oct 31, 2007
Photo of BeerSox
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into nonic.

Pitch black with a light brown one finger head that slowly settles to a thin cap leaving a thin wall of lacing behind. As the beer goes down the glass, some lacing stays behind.

The aroma is very deep and roasty, giving more of a chocolate aroma than a burnt bitter aroma. A little bit of licorice can be detected (as brewer's licorice was used, it says it right on the label). The aroma is sweet overall.

Thick burnt malt flavors with a little bit of chocolate. Toward the end a little bit of the licorice shows up. The taste isn't as pleasant as the aroma, it's a little more bitter, but it's a stout, and the flavors are pretty much what you would expect. The licorice seems to add a little bite to the flavor. Full bodied and a "chewy" feel, maybe from carbonation that's on the low end. The finish is mostly the burnt grain with a touch of the licorice.

I couldn't stop drinking this one. It's just outside of the range of a session beer, but a few of them can probably be handled with a good meal. The licorice adds a nice touch without being dominating and distracting. This one is more of a malt lover's beer, as the hops don't really come into play. Recommended.

BeerSox, Oct 28, 2007
Photo of AleYes
2.48/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

The label on the back not describing the beer should've been a good clue. Opened cold - tasted - wasn't much, but it is a stout, so of course I let it warm up. At cool still not impressive. Up to about 55 degrees and still a flat, slightly watery unimpressive stout. It poured dark, giving me hope. Head was flat and dissipated quickly. Had light milk chocolate and coffee flavors, and hints of more complex flavors, but it never got there. The flavors didn't meld, was unveven in the mouth. Light mouthfeel, neither sweet nor bitter. Would not recommend it to a serious stout drinker.

AleYes, Oct 24, 2007
Photo of BeardedSquash
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Motor oil with a sandy tan head that leaves no lacing. Also a little more retention would be welcome.

S: Big burnt chocolate with roasted malts. The liquorice and alcohol wend their way to the top of the glass together as the glass warms.

T: Bittersweet chocolate up front with a smokey charcoal backdrop. Anise is a bit more pronounced in the mouth, but it never demands the entire stage. A slight metallic swallow.

M: Thick and rich with low/medium carbonation. Good stuff.

D: I loved this beer, Bells has yet to disappoint me.

BeardedSquash, Oct 23, 2007
Photo of vtfan77
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The first in a line-up of four Bell's stouts that I just picked up (excluding the cherry stout, since I reviewed that earlier). I'll say that it's to celebrate the advent of cooler weather just so I have a good reason for doing this.

A- Extremely dark brown, pretty much black. I can't really see any light coming through. About half an inch of tan head forms but dissipates very quickly.

S- Lots of roasted malt which gives off a subtle chocolaty aroma mixed with burnt toast. Appealing.

T- More roasted malt flavors which are good but not particularly complex. There's also a decent amount of hop bitterness, although I can't really make out much of a hop flavor. The finish is fairly bitter due to the hops and the roasted malt, but there is a hint of sweetness (not a lot, but just enough to keep the beer from being overly dry). The burnt toast flavor lingers on the back of the tongue.

M- Medium-bodied, creamy, and silky smooth. Probably the best part of this beer.

D- Not too bad here. The ABV isn't terribly high, although too much to make this a session beer. I'd certainly have one more, though.

Overall a decent stout. I wouldn't have penned this as a "sweet" stout, although I guess it's not as dry or bitter as most "regular" stouts. It's good for the lover of roasted malt, and its silky mouthfeel makes it a pleasure to drink. Not my favorite, but certainly worth a try. Recommended.

vtfan77, Oct 20, 2007
Photo of ThatWineGuy
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is one fine stout, obtained from Merchants Fine Wine in Dearborn. Poured an oily, shiny black and sat that way in the glass with deep brown edges and a tan head that settled. Very nicely carbonated by fine bubbles. The smell is of cocoa, freshly ground coffee beans, cinammon sticks, dark wood furniture. A huge roast malt / burnt coffee taste, dark chocolate and expresso with a brazil nut astringency making itself felt from time to time. The finish is nutty chocolate, a lingering choco-bitter aftertaste, quite satisfying all around. Sufficiently complex yet highly drinkable; if I had access, I'd try always to have some of this on hand, a very nicely put together stout that succeeds on so many levels. Edited to add that it was Batch 8007.

ThatWineGuy, Oct 18, 2007
Photo of kenito799
4.53/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Duvel glass. From a mixed case dated 7/18/07. "Stout brewed with brewer's licorice"

Pours a dark coffee-black, nearly opaque, some chocolate-brown highlights appear when held to a strong light. The milky-brown, creamy head recedes but swirling brings it back to life. Nice rings of lace. Excellent-looking beer.

Poured cold, and prompted by the label, the first aroma I detected was licorice. This beer is much better cool, not cold, and the heady sweet aromas of mocha--coffee plus bitter chocolate--are complemented by that spicy hint of licorice, cinnamon, cola and root beer. Wonderfully complex nose for a stout.

Mouthfeel surprisingly crisp for a sweet stout, with carbonation that is not quite creamy, but that's really all to criticize with this brew. The flavors of dark roasted coffee and bitter chocolate form the backbone, with various spicy and hoppy notes dancing and fleeting. Just enough dextrinous sweetness to balance the bitters, but this is a remarkably refreshing dark inky black awesome beer. Longgg finish. Incredibly enjoyable stout, another great effort from Bell's.

kenito799, Oct 16, 2007
Photo of dbalsock
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

App: Pours a beautiful dark body with a nice roasty tan head. The head isn't a large as I imagined it would be, but it's still there and provides some nice lacing.

Smell: Caramel and sweet coffee with bread and butter. This is just what I want from my sweet stout.

Taste: Similar to the smell, but I think I pick up some anise (which is usually hard for me to distinguish) and some burnt chocolate. The burnt chocolate takes away a little bit from the rest of the taste.

Mouthfeel: Sweet with a slight bitterness from the dark malts. A hint of alcohol keeps it from becoming cloying.

Drinkability: Very easy to drink, but could be more so. I would drink this all the time if it was available.

dbalsock, Oct 15, 2007
Photo of k3n
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, courtesy Tangfoot

A: Poured a deep dark brown with reddish highlights at the edges. Little to no head that disappeared quickly.

S: Toasted malt and coffee beans. Bittersweet chocolate.

T: Follows the smell exactly. Coffee-beer, as it were. Perhaps, a mocha-beer?

M: Creamy body, with just a bit of carbonation to lighten it up.

D: Very! I'm not a big fan of black coffee, so the coffee bean aspect of some stouts/porters is sometimes a turn-off, but this one has done it very nicely for me. Well balanced, and supremely easy to quaff.

k3n, Oct 14, 2007
Photo of drseamus
4.18/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Just like a stout should look. Dark body with a thick mocha colored head.

S: Dark roasty chocolate with a pronounced sweetness. Some dark fruits are present but as usual, I can't figure out exactly which ones they are.

T: This isn't as sweet as a sweet stout usually is. There is a bit of roastiness and a great amount of chocolate. There is a bit of the licorice, but the balance is great.

M: On the heavier side of medium bodied; or the lighter side of heavy bodied.

D: Not a bad stout at all. Too bad Bell's isn't available around here.

drseamus, Oct 02, 2007
Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
90 out of 100 based on 3,563 ratings.