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

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

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3,625 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,625
Reviews: 1,450
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.8%
Wants: 158
Gots: 327 | 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: 3,625 | Reviews: 1,450 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Photo of Damian
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drank from a 12 fl. oz./355 ml bottle
Acquired in a trade with nathan15

Poured an inky black/brown with a wispy, coffee-colored film that faded to a thin ring. Oddly, as the beer was drunk, the frothy ring increased in size and short-lived blankets of lacing cascaded with each sip.

The aroma was rich and roasty yet sweet. Deep, roasted malts and coffee melded seamlessly with strong notes of milk chocolate, molasses, brown sugar, caramel and maple syrup. A more subtle, bourbon-like quality was also noticeable. As the beer warmed, the lactic-sugary milkiness really came forth and the chocolate notes seemed to become lighter.

The taste was similar to the aroma except that it was significantly darker. Roasted malts and dark chocolate were apparent as was a slight oakiness. Subdued milky, creamy notes came out as the beer warmed. Some mild hops (just enough for balance) appeared on the finish. Charred malt really dominated in the long-lasting aftertaste.

Mouthfeel was rich, full and smooth with a consistency of sweet cream.

This beer was a very pleasant and drinkable dessert beverage.

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

Pours an opaque black with a big light brown head that dies slow and laces. Smells roasty, chocolate, and expresso. All of the smells are in the taste along with a small hop bite. Balanced, delicious and subtle all around. Medium in the mouth and smoooth. Very drinkable on its own session or as a treat.

Photo of zeff80
4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a solid black color with a one-finger, chocolate-brown head. It left small traces of lace.

S - It smelled of caramel and chocolate. It had a very sweet nose.

T - Tasted of sweet chocolate at first sip. Also, some creamy caramel flavors. There is a slight bitter kick as it warms.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very good stout. Not a surprise that Bell's churned out another good brew.

Photo of pwoods
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle from Party Source poured into a pint glass.

A: Beautfil 2 finger wet sand colored head. Pours solid black. Good head retention and strong lacing.

S: Toasted malts and coffe hit you right up front. On a second smell, the milk(chocolate) comes out to rival.

T/M: Great mocha flavor withthe milk still evident. Bitter chocolate and toasted, bisquity malts. It has an almost woodsy or leafy background, reminding me of camping. Full bodied with lower carbonation.

D: Very easy to drink, but as with most stouts, Ill be stopping with one and saving the rest to be enjoyed later. Looking forward to trying the expedition stout.

Photo of baos
4.7/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. into my smaller Trappist glass

A: Very dark pour with dark big bubbled head about one finger that dissipated to a thin ring around glass. Very nice lacing.

S: Coffee and Chocolate and a deep loamy greenhouse goodness. childhood wood-burning kit.

T: Super roasted malty-hoppiness. Starts sweeter than most stouts and ends bitterer. Nice blackened taste as well.

M: Nice and creamy not as full as some I've had but this beer is great.

D: I give her an A!

Photo of Drew966
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bell's Kalamazoo Stout pours an opaque, dark brown/almost black with a tan head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. The aroma is sweet and malty. The flavor is nice and rich, chocolate notes, and especially coffe notes are noticeable, the coffee especially in the finish. The mouthfeel could be a bit thicker, but that's a minor quibble. An excellent stout.

Photo of MrBen
4.47/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is stout -- the way it should be: Big, black pour. Thick, stable head with the color of a lightly creamed coffee. Roasty n' toasty nose. Excellent balance between sweet and bitter.

Bell scores in a major way with this stout. Huge flavors with a slightly sweet background to complement the dark malts, and a long finish that leaves a good aftertaste. Smooth, coating mouthfeel. Easy to drink, and very interesting. Highly recommended.

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

Appearance: Dark brown allmost black color. Thick tan head. Consistent lacing.

Smell: Smoky chocolate, coffee. Very rich.

Taste: Smoky dark chocolate and coffee. There is a small presence of hops, but no presence of bitterness. The after-taste is sweet and creamy .

Mouthfeel: Medium/heavy body. Smooth and crisp on the tongue. Light carbonation.

Drinkability: Rich and full flavored. This is one you could drink for the long haul with it's lower ABV.

Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.55/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I love Bell's Brewing. I unabashedly state that they are the best brewers of stout in the country. So I am thrilled to finally get ahold of some Kalamazoo Stout, one of the few Bell's stout varieties I have not tried.

This beer is pitch black in the glass with a dense tan head that could support small coins. Smells sweet and chocolatey with light hints of mocha. Very nice.

There is much more coffee in the flavor than in the nose. More bitter than I was expecting but with a sweetness that offsets it. The bitter and the sweet lead to flavors reminiscient of dark chocolate.

A nice thick body that is just heavenly in the mouth. Drinks smooth as silk with some light smokiness in the aftertaste acconpanied by hints of coffee and a creamy sweetness.

It's money. I might drink nothing but stout if Bell's distributed to Atlanta...

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

Good looking brew pours a dark black with a big chocolatey head. Aroma is mostly cocoa powder and dark chocolate. Taste is sweet with dark chocolate but there is a nice coffee bitterness there to balance. Was hoping for some licorice (bottle says it is brewed with brewers licorice), but I can’t really detect any.

Despite the flavors, this brew is quite refreshing, light and very drinkable. Not my top stout, but a very good one. Would definitely re-visit this if given the chance.

Photo of jaxon53
4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jasonm for this treat. Sent to me in the jbif. Poured out a deep black with reddish hues into a pint glass, from a twelve ounce bottle. Beer was topped off with a nice thick, pillowy, coffee brown head. Pretty decent retention, with a bit of thin lace left on the glass.
Smell: Bitter espresso with some hints of chocolate up front, blended nicely with some hops and black licorice. Had a rather pleasant aroma to it.
Taste was equally as pleasing. Tons of dark chocolate and coffee hit the tastebuds first, with a little bitter kick to it. A nice touch of the brewers licorice was noticed, along with some roasty malt and a bit of nuttiness. Finishes a bit dry, with a little tingle in the throat from the ample carbonation. Leaves a very nice but soft flavor behind. A silky smooth mouthfeel leaves you wanting more. Very good drinkability thanks to the lower ABV. Overall a very tasty stout.

Photo of hellcatsjg
4.63/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Black with small tan head that mostly disappears quickly. Good looking stout here.

Smell: Chocolates and roasted coffee aromas mix with a good licorice smell. Also nice.

Taste: Very good tasting stout. You first get the chocolates and roasted coffee and toffee. After a moment, you get the licorice. Not overwhelming the other flavors but mingling well and sticking around long after the others. Very good.

Mouthfeel: Nice and thick, just what you would want from this style. Leaves a pleasant burnt licorice taste behind. May not sound that good but it tasted good.

Drinkability: Very smooth and tasty. That meants highly drinkable. Lower alcohol content makes this a beer you could have a few of. Will definitely be searching this out again. Highly recommended.

Photo of kguyty
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown/black. A tan head appears, then slowly disipates. Smells fairly sweet, of chocolate and butterscotch. A decent mouthfeel, a little thin, but nothing really to complain about. Taste is exactly what I look for in a stout. Great chocolatey/roasted/carmel taste. A little bitter at the end, but man oh man is this a good beer. This is my first from Bells, and I am sure it will not be my last.

Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
90 out of 100 based on 3,625 ratings.