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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.
very good

3,246 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,246
Reviews: 1,424
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 10.53%
Wants: 147
Gots: 230 | 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: 3,246 | Reviews: 1,424 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of 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


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


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


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


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


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


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.


Serving type: bottle

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

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

Pours a pitch black with rather big creamy almond colored head,the aroma is a mocha coffee and some nuttiness.Tastes sweet and roasted with some chocolate tones nice and creamy tasting.Its a beer to drink and savor for sure, this an Expedition are definently high quality stouts worthy of high marks.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2003 16:26:49 | More by oberon
Photo of Kongquistador


4.53/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was consumed after a marginal extra pale ale, and the difference was a kick in the pants, a light in the tunnel. Except that no light comes through this dark brew, and the only sign of color was a faint ruby around the edges. Otherwise, it was completely opaque. The head was a nice light mocha color, with a nice texture and some holding power. A good layer of lace persists the whole way down. The nose is all coffee and chocolate blending together beautifully, tempting you to drink it even before it has been properly admired. Some faint roast malts linger in the background, but they are secondary.

This beer tastes mostly of chocolate and coffee, as promised by the aroma, but it also has distinct roasted and caramel note to offset and balance the flavor. A faint flavor of alcohol lingers in the sip, but it is nothing serious. The finish is a nice bitter hop, with some sweetness to balance it out. Perhaps my biggest complaint on this brew is that it doesn't hold any character to back, to be developed later in the drink. Still, it is a nice full flavor from the beginning, and that can't be overlooked.

All in all, this is a stellar brew, just lacking that special something to make it a 5. The mouthfeel on this is very nice, with a reasonable amount of carbonation balancing the thickness, and helping it go down easy. As far as drinkability goes, I do like this stout for its moderate alcohol content but full flavor. Definetly one to return to again and again for an evening stout, although I haven't experimented with mixing it with food yet. Overall, an excellent beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2003 04:45:06 | More by Kongquistador
Photo of nomad


4.63/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured damn dark with light mocha colored, very bubbly foamy head. Smell was a roast scent sweeter and less coarse in dynamic than most roasty beers - even still, it was a dark and heavy roast smell. Seemed like a milkier coffee – like coffee ice cream. Intensely dark and malty but intensely roasty, it was also almost rosy and oaky like a wine with dark fruit tones. Great balance.

Taste was dark and roasty, as it slowly coated my mouth with the tasty mouth-watering flavor: chocolate and coffee mixed together, fabulous balance of dark and sweet malts, bitter hops, and roasted barley. Not too thick a mouthfeel, this beer's flavor went everywhere in one setting while being equally centered and complementary. Deep without being an abyss, simple but presenting rich round flavors - such attributes are a rare find.

Much more a session than most stouts, and that’s the icing on the cake of milk stouts. An all-time favorite, no doubt.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2003 19:41:17 | More by nomad
Photo of SheepNutz


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

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a deep black color with two fingers of medium tan head. There is some lacing left on the glass. The smell is a sweet mix of roasted malt with some caramel and toffee. The taste is full of burnt malt, chocolate, and coffee. It is fairly sweet, with only a little bit of bitter hops coming out in the finish. The mouthfeel is fairly strong and thick. The drinkability is also pretty nice. A good all-around stout.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2003 02:57:07 | More by SheepNutz
Photo of putnam


3.73/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The smell of heavy cream and plump sweet grains, broiled until black and sweating, emerges from the glass immediately. Very pulpy aromas force me to look for chunks floating in the black liquid. There are none. Patent leather, black rubber, and sweet, milky alcohol rule throughout the cadence of dank, charcoal, lunchpail, sex and truffle nuances that come at the margins only to be tossed aside by the strict carbon organization of this beer's flavor profile. It would be better if it weren't so reminiscent of boiled potatoes and charcoal dust. I'm looking for joy in this glass of beer and all I find is a grim prison of black dirt, milk and sweet white potatoes. Christy Brown could have written a better beer. But I suppose that's a credit to this beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2003 23:23:51 | More by putnam
Photo of jcalabre


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

I originally sampled this beer a year or two ago. I am writing this review from my notes.
Appearance: This pours jet black w/ a big tan head.
Aroma: Whiffs of roasty, malty flavors great you.
Flavor: it has a Nice roasted flavor. Very rich. Lots of chocolate on the palate

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2003 15:02:54 | More by jcalabre
Photo of sponberg

New York

4.47/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nearly opaque, brownish black with a tan head that dissipates rather quickly, but leaves lace to the bottom of the glass. A good, roasty, slightly coffeelike malt nose - mmmm!

Is the Michigan DEP hiring? I could drink this happily all day long. Bittersweet with a roast coffee and slightly chocolatey/toffeelike sweetness. Very creamy, almost oatmeal-oily like mouthfeel. Then it dries out towards the finish, with the alcohol making its presence known in the background. Beautiful. This could quite rapidly become a favorite.

Serving type: on-tap

07-22-2003 18:25:03 | More by sponberg
Photo of beerbill


3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a pretty damn good stout. The head is seriously lacking, and the mouth feel leaves a lot to be desired, but other than that this is a solid, standup stout. It has a nice flavor of burnt coffee that is really satisfying. This entry is better than most, but I would rather drink guinness.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2003 03:39:41 | More by beerbill
Photo of granger10


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

Bell's has made another terrific stout in this one. However I could see how some people that don't care for stouts might not like this. Strong coffee taste mixed with other malty flavors (chocolate, roasted barley, caramel). There's some bitterness but it's not a real hoppy bitterness and it's not real distinguishable, kinda mixed in with the malts. Very drinkable for a stout. I get this one often.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2003 03:05:59 | More by granger10
Photo of Realale


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

Almost impenetrable black, with only the slightest hint of ruby when held up to the light. 2" creamy mocha head settles to a rocky complete cap, leaving nice lacing.

Initial nose is roast barley and coffee with a firm underlayment of bitter chocolate. There's a faint floral hoppiness, that disappears with time. Slight yeastiness, and some plum/cherry notes add complexity. Strangely, the nose got a bit diffuse as the pint warmed - the initial nose is 4.5+ though.

Rich and thick in the mouth. A slightly bisquity malt hits first, followed quickly by the roasted and chocolate notes, which take over and lead to the long, bitter finish. The malt provides excellent balance to the bitterness throughout. Some nice fruity, nutty notes eventually appear, but as the pint warms the complexity decreases, and a hole develops in the mid-palate. Almost a touch of wood on the end of this one.

Carbonation level is just perfect in this one - enough to keep it from being heavy, but not so much as to distract. The bottle-conditioning gives a lovely softness while actually contributing something to the palate of the beer. Outstanding stout - I could drink an ocean of this stuff!

This sample purchased at the Brewery's General Store on July 3, 2003.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2003 20:00:56 | More by Realale
Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 3,246 ratings.