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.
BA SCORE
89
very good

3,256 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,256
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: 3,256 | Reviews: 1,424 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of frank4sail
frank4sail

New Jersey

3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 Oz bottle seems like it was not filled all the way... but onlt half way up the neck of the bottle. Slight roast nose but not huge. Thick rich milk cocoa colored thick airy head. Dark black opeque look in the pint glass. Rich slightly sweet roasty initial taste then gives way to layers of Expresso and dry cocoa powder in the slightly sour finish. Mediumish mouth. Not at all as good as the draft version I had quite a while ago.. but still a nice stout.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2004 03:20:43 | More by frank4sail
Photo of findlayfan
findlayfan

Ohio

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

Dense tan head.

Good smell, with significant coffee notes.

Nearly opaque, almost black body with a few bubbles.

Well-balanced, with chocolate and coffee notes in the aftertaste.

Overall, a very good, quite drinkable stout - one of the best I've tried (and I've tried quite a few).

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2004 00:27:04 | More by findlayfan
Photo of FFudnam
FFudnam

Michigan

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

Had this one at home, out of the 12oz bottle, same as pictured.

Gave it a rough pour, to test head retention, and get more aroma from the beer.

Pour:

Smooth pour, fairly thick, but not syrup-y. Cappucino-colored head lasted for 2 minutes.

Appearance:

Black as can be, with aforementioned light-brown (cappucino) head, and no light transmission. Looks like a lot of black patent was used. Thumbs up!

Aroma:

Smells of Coffee, Chocolate, moderate hop punch-in-the-nose, more spicy than floral, malty backbone.

Taste:

Again, more coffee, chocolate, some ripe fruit/date/raisin notes, somewhat sweet, smooth hop bitterness comes next, followed by a nice malty, dry-ish finish. Awesome stuff!

Mouthfeel:

Silky smooth, with moderate carbonation. Accentuates the hops, but doesn't allow them to overwhelm the palate. Finishes strong. Nearly perfect. IMHO could be a little creamier.

Drinkability:

Probably a little too "huge" to be a session beer, but I could knock a few back while hanging out at the bar or wherever.

Best stout I have sampled yet, with the exception of the Bell's Expedition, IMO the most interesting, complex beer they make. So there you have it.

Bonus:

Left a gorgeous, fluttery, creamy lace in my pint glass. Sweet.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2003 08:37:07 | More by FFudnam
Photo of ngandhi
ngandhi

Illinois

4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Kalamazoo Stout is the most roasted of the Bell's line of stouts. The nose is of burnt walnuts and reduced soy sauce. Though charred, the palette isn't too bitter. The deep roast borders on smoke. This is an intense beer with gorgeous balance (if done even a hair differently, this would probably make you puke).

If you can't find this beer, chew on a handful of espresso beans soaked in beef fat.

The body is lush lactose, but never cloyingly sweet, thick, or chocolately. Milk stouts have a tendency to lose themselves in the creamy body and cafe mocha taste; by intensifying the roastiness beyond normal human cognition, Kalamazoo maintains a strong concentrated stout and earthy hop character without the sickening effects of noticeable milk flavor. Who would have ever thought burning could taste so good?

Relax, relax.
ng

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2003 23:29:49 | More by ngandhi
Photo of babyhobbes
babyhobbes

Ohio

4.28/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark, dark brown and in direct light a rather deep red tone. The is a creamy caramel color about an 1-1.5in thick.

Smell: This beer has odors of coffee, chocolate and a slight scent of alcohol. Smells sweet but not overpowering. It is not very pungent at all.

Taste and Mouthfeel: This tastes similar to other stouts. It has a coffee taste along with a strong bitterness which is balanced by it's creamy texture. Despite the odor of alcohol there is little to no feel of it in the taste.

Drinkability: This is a very drinkable stout. I have enjoyed all of the Bell's beers I've tried and this is no exception.

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2003 21:39:21 | More by babyhobbes
Photo of waughbrew
waughbrew

Massachusetts

4.9/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

wow. just sniff this! in-your-face roasted grains, oat cream pie. sweet caramel covered strawberries. light maple molasses. earthy yeast and a hint of chemicalliness. flavors of nutmeg and anise are possibly just enduced psychadelia. leaves a nice burnt coffee bean character on your tongue after the sweetness has slid down. full body to say the least, yet it is rediculously drinkable. an amazing beer.

[mad props out to PaulB for the hookup]

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2003 02:05:22 | More by waughbrew
Photo of DrunkMcDermott
DrunkMcDermott

Illinois

3.53/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On premise at KBC. Darkest of the stouts we had on our weekend pub crawl across Michigan. A deep coffee roast flavor and appealing body. I suspect this might have been better if we bought it bottled and let it age. Don't know why really, but I just wasn't as impressed by these beers as everyone else. Perhaps it was the somewhat cold serving environment at the Eccentric.

Serving type: on-tap

12-08-2003 14:42:50 | More by DrunkMcDermott
Photo of beergeek279
beergeek279

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in the 12 oz. bottle. The color is a dark brown, with a nice tan head. The smell is roasted malt. The taste is very bitter on first sip, and there is a bit of chocolate sweetness in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy. As for drinkability, could have several of these.

The first Bell's stout that I've reviewed, and I'm quite impressed. A very nice and bitter stout, and one that I'll certainly have again.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2003 02:13:37 | More by beergeek279
Photo of BierReise
BierReise

Florida

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

Pours a dark chocolate brown and thick with a creamy dense head. Aroma is rich with roasted malts, notes of coffee and molasses . Body is creamy and smooth with modest carbonation. Flavor is a nice blend of sweet, bitter and dry. Really balanced out well. Sweet coming from roasted malt that reminds me of dry cocoa with a bitter finish. Overall one of the most even stouts I've had.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2003 14:38:17 | More by BierReise
Photo of budgood1
budgood1

Minnesota

4.43/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours out an opaque dark blackish colour with ruby hued brown head which minimizes to a thin but endearing lace. lactic aroma...sweet and sour...milk chocolate and malted milk balls. very amusing. upon tasting...i'm pleasantly surprised by the dancing yeast induced tartness that lends itself to a chocolate covered cherry nuget middle. after getting a grip on the yeast profile of these bell's brews and the subtle differences of the stouts of november, these prolific stouts of yore, i'm hooked. the body is full...mouthfeel finishes on the dry side. the bitterness from the roasted malt lies low, letting the yeast and the impending malt and alcohol notes provide the majority of the flavour profile. this is a complex, yet very drinkable stout. absolutely delicious.

thanks to feloniousmonk for the offering!

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2003 06:38:14 | More by budgood1
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

West Virginia

4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark ruby brown could easily be mistaken for black so full it pours thick from the bottle, the thicket of foamy moccha tan head is magnificant looks like bread rising has that texture very chunky and bubbly so nice forms collar of lacing as it slowly dwindles, quite the resiliency on this one. Aroma: Dark roasts create joy on multiple levels but the aroma here contains tones of mild cocoa, baking cookies, and an underlying tone of coffee beans very light but evident the oatmeal like tones are also very inviting toward my first sip. Taste: Such a beautiful balance of dark chocolate roasts and harsh bitterness from the dark roasts sweet robust flavor is just awesome solid all around, the ideal session stout. Mouthfeel: Fluffy yet medium to full bodied and smooth at the same time, unique quality to the mouthfeel can't quite describe it completely. Drinkability: A very tasty stout that helps me remember why I love dark beer so much, I once was stuck on the fact that only hops could suffice my beer sweet tooth but this is the type of brew that helps pull off a convert to stouts with still a great amout of bitter tones from the dark roasts so smooth and silky going down, just gotta love this one from Kalamazoo.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2003 09:13:49 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Bruiser81
Bruiser81

Kansas

4.55/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ah I've been saving this brew for a while now.
The pour was solid black with a huge chocolate milk like head that lasted through the whole brew at about a half inch thick, wow. The lacing was also amazing. Looks like a delicious beer.
The smell was dominated by cocoa and roasted malt. Hints of coffee and light alcohol spices were also present.
Turns out this is a very tasty beer : ). Taste again was dominated by the roasted malt, can't say I'm surprised. Chocolate, coffee, and toffee were thrown in the mix. The spice from the alcohol was barely noticeable on the finish, along with a slight hoppiness.
The best part of the brew was the mouthfeel, very full and creamy. This is probably the smoothest beer I've ever had. I could drink this stuff all night. Too bad I only have the one. Not available here.
A huge thanks to feloniousmonk for sending this one my way.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2003 20:43:32 | More by Bruiser81
Photo of rabidawg
rabidawg

Georgia

4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Extremely dark, opaque body. Two-finger head the color of espresso froth, leaving irregular spots of lacing. Simply a gorgeous brew.

Smell: Initial café mocha notes, with a slight wisp of alcohol. Very roasty, and smells as if it will be slightly astringent. Diacetyl is present, with its warm, buttery, confectionery addition.

Taste: Heavy roasted coffee flavors up front, with a soda-like sweetness in the middle. An absolute explosion of flavor, this beer is. Carbonation is adequate but not overwhelming. Slightly thin, but still very creamy. Some definite astringent notes near the end that get chased away nicely by the slight residual sweetness, which in turn is dried out nicely by the moderately hopped finish.


A HUGE thanks goes out to feloniousmonk for this taste of midwestern goodness!

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2003 02:58:47 | More by rabidawg
Photo of clvand0
clvand0

Kentucky

2.9/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This one pours a very dark color with a small brown head that leaves a small bit of lacing on the glass. The aroma was comprised of roasted malts and hints of coffee and chocolate. The flavor was much the same as the aroma: mostly roasted malts, coffee and chocolate with possibly a hint of caramel. I didn't find anything special about this brew and there are other milk stouts that better represent the style.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2003 15:00:44 | More by clvand0
Photo of Boilermaker88
Boilermaker88

California

4.43/5  rDev +11%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

“The” #1 Kalamazoo Brewing Co. beer I had on my shopping list, Kalamazoo Stout poured a light-defying obsidian hue with just the faintest ruby edging and a small, thick mocha colored head. The smell was ripe with roasted chocolate malt, dark fruits, and espresso coffee aromas. The taste was of roasted dark malt with some bittersweet chocolate up front. The somewhat bitter leadout was countered by a sweetness imparted by some dark fruit flavors. The finish was softly bitter and acidic. The feel was full-bodied, rich, smooth and lush.
An outstanding stout! Easier to drink than the Double Cream Stout thanks to a lesser %ABV, Kalamazoo Stout embodies what I love about a good stout - a smooth, creamy feel, rich taste and great appearance. This offering from Kalamazoo Brewing ranks right up there with Two Hearted on my “Bell’s Best” list. I brought four back on the plane with me.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2003 21:39:39 | More by Boilermaker88
Photo of jward
jward

Pennsylvania

4.4/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black, with a full tan head. Carbonation, which is on the low side, seems to fit a beer with such a creamy, luscious mouthfeel. The nose is slightly fruity, with hints of chocolate and cream. Roasted malt leaps forth in the flavor profile on this one, with a comforting chocolate backnote. A tad sour at the finish. Overall, a very impressive brew.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2003 22:58:50 | More by jward
Photo of Ave
Ave

Iowa

4.18/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is everything you want from a quality stout, near black in color, big tan head, lots of trace. The smell is also classic stout, chocolate, coffee, beefy yeast. Solid flavor profile, nothing missing, nothing unwanted. Smooth & rich in every regard. a higher alcohol content than most stouts makes its way to the tongue at the end, that coupled with the beers overall heaviness make it not the most quaffable bottle on the shelf, but one that is to be enjoyed often. Would pair great with Carmel bread pudding.

ave

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2003 16:52:42 | More by Ave
Photo of xgrigorix
xgrigorix

Michigan

3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Twelve ounce brown bottle. No dates.

Opaque black, looked thick during the pour. A pillowy tan head sits proudly atop its viscous majesty. Various size bubbles break the surface & shout: "Drink!"

Fresh ground coffe fills the nose with hints of cocoa lurking in the background.

Dark espresso, & bittersweet chocolate swirl around playfully. A roast grain flavour cuts in and leads towards the exit, drying things out along the way. The coffee flavour lingers, and is enjoyable, but it leaves me wondering - That's it? That's all? Full bodied, with prickly carbonation, make it quite drinkable, but I'm still left to wonder about its potential.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2003 14:13:32 | More by xgrigorix
Photo of UncleJimbo
UncleJimbo

Massachusetts

4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz, brown, longneck bottle, capped. No date.

This stout poured virtually black (dark brown near edges if held to bright light) wtih brown foam that settled but clung a bit to the glass. The smell was modest but good: dark malt, hints of coffee and oatmeal(?), and a light sweetness and even a trace of a vinous aroma. The taste was strong and sharp initially but the bitterness and tanginess subsided as the glass warmed or breathed. There was the typical Bell's yeast flavor as well as very dark roasted malt and barley, and light hints of caramel, chicory like hops, and bitter coffee. The mouthfeel was rich and smooth and creamy but with a bit of tang/sharpness in the finish. It was full bodied with low carbonation and nice lingering complex flavors. This was a very nice stout, not overly sweet, and definitely better at less cold temperatures.

Thanks to feloniousmonk for this one!

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2003 04:48:16 | More by UncleJimbo
Photo of dmarch
dmarch

Pennsylvania

2.98/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Man I was pumped up about this beer, my first from Bell's. Looks nice. Pitch black with a thick tan head. Roasted coffee and a little bit of chocolate in both the aroma and the taste. Very sweet. But then there is that off flavor. Tastes like a plum that's a bit stale. It adds a bit of sourness that I find quite undisirable. I know Bell's has a reputation for being inconsistant at bottling, but I haven't got one yet that blew me away.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2003 20:32:18 | More by dmarch
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
TheLongBeachBum

California

4.4/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 ounce long neck bottle. A picture of an old geezer with no hair and an unkempt beard on the obverse blue and beige bottle label. The simple neck label has the words ‘Kalamazoo Stout’. No freshness date, or Strength indicated.

Appearance: The beer exited the 12 ounce bottle with a viscous slow ‘glugged’ pour. It had a dark body, not quite pitch black, but not far off. The lovely brown head formed after a short delay, but then rapidly expanded into an expansive frothy looking mass that exhibited characteristics of nitrogen dispensed beers as it settled. Lacing was quite thick at first but it slowly slid down back into the Glass, now that’s what I call proper Recycling. Nice levels of dissolved carbonation.

Nose: Roasted Malts are heavy in the nose, some currants, yeast and a very slight lactic-tartness in the back end.

Taste: Like a strong, fresh percolated coffee, the immediate hit is of a slightly bitter roast bean flavor. The malts linger, and they do help to take the edge off of the bitterness. Some dark chocolate liqueur in the latter part helps give the beer a sweet creamy ‘alcohol’ feel at the back of the mouth, whilst sometimes this aspect may be attributable to a light lactic feel mixed with a low level of tartness, which is intriguing. Smooth and *very* tasty, I like the way that the strong roasted characteristic is exceptionally balanced, and not too overpowering. Appears simple at first, but it does have some complex layers when closely examined.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, silky smooth, it laces and sits on the tongue well. Solid foundation, medium to high body. Nicely done.

Drinkability: No problems with this at all, highly drinkable, I was concerned about the quality problems at ‘Bells’, seems I got lucky with receiving a good sample here.

Overall: I had heard much about this Stout, and it was a very pleasant offering indeed, highly enjoyable, great balance, poise and Drinkability, just how I like it.

Big Cheers to BigHuge for a ‘good’ bottle of this one!!!

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2003 03:34:39 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Photo of Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

3.35/5  rDev -16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

Appearance: The thick foaming light brown head leaves big sticky chunks in the glass, the colour is a shade or two from pitch black.

Smell: Yeasty aroma, dark fruitiness under a wild estery and buttery burnt caramel smell.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Full bodied, creamy smooth and on the sweet side ... the sweetness seems clouded though. Big yeast bite mixes it up with the roasted character. Ghost like beef broth and dark fruit. Bitter chocolate and some roasted coffee bean in there. A bit hoppy with some flavour middle to end, lots of soft charcoal flavour as well.

Notes: The minimal astringency does not get in the way yet the flavours just don’t meld well together … a little unbalanced some would say. I am not say it is bad, I enjoyed it but it certainly did not rock my world.

Thanks to sakaroo for the sample.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2003 01:39:53 | More by Jason
Photo of far333
far333

Connecticut

4.15/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep dark brown, just about black. The chunky, lumpy brown head sits an inch high, and doesn't sink at all. It looks like ice cream, I think I could float a quarter on it. Aroma is sweet chocolate and roasted malt. Flavor is big chocolate, caramel, and molasses. Finish is a burnt malt, and the lingering aftertaste is bitter coffee. Burnt malt and hop bitter sits in the back of the throat. Big, thick wads of lace hang onto the glass and slowly slide down. I'm more than halfway through the glass, and there's still a half-inch head. Everything about this one is great, but the flavor is very full and rich, which limits the drinkability a bit.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2003 03:58:59 | More by far333
Photo of Tballz420
Tballz420

Minnesota

4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer comes out with a great looking brown head rising out from the completely black beer under it. The smell of this drink is a roasted one. The same goes for the taste, only its REALLY roasted, with a chewy feel to it. This is a damn good beer i would say.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2003 17:12:19 | More by Tballz420
Photo of Bighuge
Bighuge

Minnesota

2.1/5  rDev -47.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours black with a creamy brown head. This beer has an off aroma. Smells like b.o. a little bit. A little rancid. Not pleasant at all. The flavor is off as well. Not enjoyable at all. It's stale tasting (but it's in their new packaging so I'm assuming it's actually relatively fresh). Off. Sour. Sour even for Bell's. Nothing enjoyable about this beer at all.

Damn, I wish Bell's would get their shit together already. I'm sick of getting "off" beers from them.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2003 05:04:13 | More by Bighuge
Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 3,256 ratings.