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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

3,698 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,698
Reviews: 1,462
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.55%
Wants: 169
Gots: 373 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-11-2001

Stout brewed with Brewer's Licorice.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,698 | Reviews: 1,462 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jeonseh
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a rather fresh batch brewed on 4/3/08 and poured in my Duvel tulip.

A - Pitch black with a nice mocha colored head that sits on top. The head is covered with bubbles all around it and had a ton of lacing as well. Looks like it has a decent body and it has a nice reflective quality to and can see none of the carbonation as well.

S - Get a whiff of coffee and chocolate. Also mixed in with a hint of toffee. Has a hint of burnt malt in there as well.

T - At first, get a creaminess in the brew that really seems to impart a little bit of sweetness but not much taste. As it sits around in the mouth, get a huge hit of chocolate and coffee. The roasted flavors really hang around in the aftertaste as well. Get a bit of a bitterness in there as well that gives it a rough feeling but it is balanced out by the nice sweetness. Seem to have a light hint of smokiness in it as well. Actually seems to have a hint of blueberry flavor as well as I get a hint of tartness in it.

MF - Has an average body. The one thing that really stands out is that this beer has a nice bit of carbonation that helps to bring the bitter flavor and as it fades off, the roasted flavors just roll in as well. Finishes rather dry and astringent as well and the aftertaste is a bit tingly. Bit thinner than I would like as well .

D - Overall a stout that packs a lot of punch and is yet easy to drink. Reminds me a bit of the Expedition except I found this to be more balanced. One thing I have noticed about Bell's stout is that they seem to have some earthiness and some bitterness to it that you have to get used to. However, I was rather impressed by this one and it would be a great one to have as a session stout.

Photo of botham
4.42/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

pours opaque black with a single finger of brown head that remains for a couple minutes. moderate lacings.

aroma is roasted, with a sweet character, and notes of coffee, chocolate, and a nutty base that really gives the brew a rich profile, working very well with the aromas present.

taste is malty, with the same roasted, coffee, chocolate, and nutty flavors from the aroma. finishes with light residual roasted and coffee notes. very malty on the palate, with little to no hop presence.

mouthfeel is full bodied with a rich and silky smooth texture. a creamy finish with a nicely coated mouth make this one an excellent stout.

drinkability is great. this is a smooth and easy-going stout that does not overpower the palate, but provides rich and complex flavors at the same time. a solid offering from Bell's. cheers!

Photo of Lupe
4.36/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a magnificent brown head that is 2-3 fingers in size. Great head retention and sheets of lace are left along the sides of the glass.

Mild roasted malt aroma. Some chocolate fudge, graham cracker, a touch of anise, and a solid hop bitterness.

Bigger flavors than typical milk/sweet stouts. Lots of chocolate, dark and sweet, some nuttiness, and rich roasted malt. Nice balance between the roasted and sweet malt flavors. Solid hop bitterness is present as well. Cafe Mocha aftertaste lingers as it finishes dry. Did not get any licorice which was a little disappointing.

Big full body, smooth and creamy. Just a little chewy. Tastes and drinks much bigger than your typical 6.5% beer, which takes a notch away from the drinkability. The flavor and complexity does keep you coming back for more. Not quite a sipper, but not a session beer either. What ever it can be classified as, this is one damn good beer.

Photo of mwilbur
3.18/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 12 oz bottle into imperial stout glass.
A: Black with 1/2 inch dark tan head that quickly dissipates.
S: Slightly odd bready yeast aroma with roasted malt.
T: Oddly, taste is dominated by grain notes: wheat, rye, etc. Some dark roasted malt. I get no cream...which is odd for a purported milk stout. Unsatisfying, acidic, and dry finish.
M: Light body...uninspiring.
D: One is enough for this average brew.

Photo of GatorBeerNerd
4.01/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: I assume it is a dark brown, but I would call it black in the glass. You can not see any light through it at all. A 2 finger frothy thick tan head hangs around for quite some time. It is a very impressive looking beer.

S: It has a sweet chocolate smell with a good amount of hop aroma mixed in.

T: Much more smooth than I expected from the aroma. It has the taste of semi-sweet chocolate. It is sweet but not overly so. It is very balanced. In fact the after taste is rather dry. One of the better mixes of sweet and dry that I can recall.

M: A very full bodied creamy brew. It could be slightly more interesting with some in mouth carbonation or maybe some kind of spicing.

D: It has a slight drying after taste that makes you want to come back for more. For its style, its much more drinkable than most, but its far from a session beer.

Photo of yourefragile
4.01/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Dark brown, nearly pitch black opaque liquid with a thick tan head that has nice retention and clumpy streaks of lacing.
S: Not quite as strong as expected, faint malty, fudge-like chocolate, nutty aroma. Slight hop bitterness as well.
T: Full bodied, very thick and creamy but not as cloying or lactose-y as some other milk stouts. Body has a slightly stronger nutty chocolate taste than expected and lots of rich, roasted malts. Aftertaste is more chocolate than milk. Throughout there is a subtle hop bitterness providing nice balance. One of my favorite easy drinking stouts, not just for milk stouts.

Photo of Rootdog316
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with small cocoa head. Sweet aroma of chocolate, caramel and unknown spice, perhaps clove. Tastes of medium-sweet chocolate, roasted coffee, clove, with delicious slightly sour-bitter ending on back of tongue that lasts. Everything in perfect balance. Creamy, rich mouthfeel.

Photo of charlzm
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Consumed 04/09/08 from bottle that read 6.0% ABV.

Pours a deep, dark brown. A head of fine tan bubbles emerges just after the pour and rises to about two fingers' height before settling down over the next few minutes to a thin foamy skin.

Rich roasted sweet chocolate aroma: almost fudge! Coffee, slight sourness and a vague metallic note.

Flavor is a touch sour at first with roasted (burned?) malt character. Roasted flavor is muted and does not lean too far towards either coffee or chocolate. Touch of anise towards the end. Some modest bitterness at the end.

Texture is a little thick and slippery. A little astringency but very creamy.

Easy drinker, but not sure about sessioning this one. Nonetheless. it's a fine stand-alone beer. Should go well with red meat.

Photo of MiScusi
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle code on back is 7837 indicating it was bottled on Feb 21st, 2007. So it's a about 13 months old, perhaps past its peak or getting close. Has sort of a soy, or slightly sour dark malt smell to it. The taste has a little creaminess in flavor maybe from added lactose, some very mellow coffee in the background but not much else in terms of roasted flavor. Not bad, this one is probably better right when it comes out of the tanks.

Photo of Pencible
4.07/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This poured pitch black with a little bit of dark tan head. It smelled like a cappuccino, with dominant milk and coffee scents, and a bit of licorice that it was brewed with. It tasted stronger than expected, like bitter coffee and burnt chocolate mixed with the surprising presence of floral hops. It was slightly thick with no carbonation and a bitter coffee aftertaste. Overall this was a pretty good stout with some unique characteristics, but it wasn't the best of Bell's brews.

Photo of IBUnit63
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Looks like root beer. Tight, 2-3-finger head; good lacing. Thick, dark licorice color.

Smells like fresh-baked bread. Dark malt character with hints of hops and alcohol.

Clean, velvety vanilla- licorice is mild; alcohol makes itself known

Slight bitter aftertaste. Creamy, a little chunky.

Definitely something to sip and enjoy.

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

On Tap in my kegerator. Bought from Total Wine & More in Springfield, VA. Totally pitch black with a dark head. Tastes of anise, coffee.
Nice mouthfeel of heavy stout but not too chewy.
I hate when a porter or stout feels watery.

Not much ofr aroma but I probably had it served too cold.
It's a heavy stout but very drinkable. Medium alcohol level, but after a few you know you've been drinking it.

Photo of thirtysixbelow
3.4/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a - very dark. a slight dark brown around the edges. The head on this beer is a joke. It maybe gets a half of a finger high and immediately disappears. Not much lacing. :(

s - sweet chocolate and coffee, as expected.

t - nice roasted character with a pretty powerful bite at the end. Not sure if it's hops or something else, but the bite of this beer makes it kind of hard to distinguish other flavors. This is supposed to be a sweet stout but it's more of a standard stout to me.

m - creamy with slight carbonation

d - not what I was expecting from a milk/sweet stout. It was ok. There are way too many other stouts out there that blow this out of the water to spend too much time here again.

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

12 oz bottle from Dyan, consumed for lunch today with a couple of wheat thins. Can't think of a much better lunch.

Appearance: Pours the darkest of browns, opaque in my glass with a finger of dark tan foam. Retention isn't great, but there's a solid and persisting ring.

Smell: Brownies, the homemade dark chocolate variety, not the sugary sweet stuff you'd find at the corner store. There's a bit of spicy licorice present as well, along with a dash of light roast coffee. Malty sweetness is in perfect balance here; present but not overbearing.

Taste & mouthfeel: Dark chocolate and light roast coffee in even portions with a nice creamy backbone. The use of brewers licorice lends a spicy undercurrent, though it's subtle enough that it doesn't distract from the malt. Great mouthfeel, velvety and rich but not overly thick. The dryness of the finish really enhances the drinkability for me, as I'm generally not a huge fan of beers that are sweet from beginning to end. Great stuff here, probably a top example of the style.

Photo of PhageLab
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass.

A - Pitch black brew with a massive bit of brownish froth that sat around for a while, then reduced itself to scattered icebergs of head. Lacing was spotty.

S - Bitter chocolate malt aroma with some hints of burnt toffee.

T - Plums, licorice, dark chocolate, smoke, this is a smooth and sweet brew with a fine balance. Bitterness is fairly low.

M - Full bodied, smooth on the palate, low carbonation level, dry finish.

D - Very enjoyable, this stuff goes down way too easily. Great brew, if you see it, don't hesitate, recommended.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.23/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz given to me tonight by trading partner.. SAS ... poured into my New Belgium snifter.

2 finger light brown head drops leaving lace collars.. brew is pretty much black.

Aroma is stuck in the mids.. Pronounced roasted grains .. Light creamy chocolate mocha notes. No hops that my untrained nose can pick out.

Flavor is much better... This is a great tasting stout. Dark malts and roasted grains without any distinct caramel to get in the way. Sweetness is spot on for the style .. makes all the different dark malt flavors play nice... Light chocolate and a nice French Roast Bitterness... very long finish... I can't believe I have only a little bit left.. I would pick this brew up regularly if it was available in Boise.

Mouthfeel is also pretty much perfect.. deep medium with creamy small bubble carbonation... Drinkability is very high.. I want another warming up right now just to make sure my review was spot on.

This is the first time I've had the pleasure of the Kalamazoo Stout.. very very good brew. Until now, I thought Widmer Snow Plow was the ultimate milk stout.. It would be a treat to try them side by side... but judging by my grin.. I would give the edge to Kalamazoo.

Thanks a bunch Steve.

Photo of Monkeyknife
4.23/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle a very dark brown-almost black with a thin, foamy mocha head.

Aroma is light with hints of chocolate, vanilla, and dark fruit.

Smooth, sweet, and creamy with chocolate, coffee roasted malts, and that dark fruit.

Full mouthfeel, rich and creamy, and lightly carbonated.

This is a really nice stout, and easy to drink for sure. Highly recommended.

Photo of jettjon
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 12 oz bottle, no visible freshness date. Into a pint glass, it's a pitch brown color with no light penetrating. Creamy one-finger brown head fades at a moderate pace leaving some sticky lacing along the sides. Nose of rich toasted chocolate malt. Good toasted malt flavor with suggestions of dark chocolate. Dry in character with low hops presence. Dry and slightly bitter finish. Mouth is semi-viscous with mid- to low carbonation. Crisp on the tongue; goes down easily. Drinkability is quite good; it's tasty and easygoing despite 6% ABV.

Overall: An enjoyable classic stout with great chocolate/malty flavor. Recommended.

Photo of enfield249
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours black with some tiny ruby highlights in the corners of the glass. Has about 2 fingers of tan head, that fades to a ring of foam with no lacing.

S - I'm having a hard time getting the scent off of this, but what I do get is a nice roasted malt smell, and then some sweet smells.

T - This is where this beer really shines. The first flavor I get is the sweetness, then a really nice coffee/roasted malt flavor. There is also some really nice dark fruit flavors.

M - Very full, with a with a 7 out of 10 on the CO2 scale. Not very evident from the look, but it does leave your tongue very tingly.

D - This gets 3.5 only because it's a bit much to drink on a regular basis. Very good, once in a while however, and should be on anyones list who can get it.

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

Enjoyed on-cask at Elmer Sudd's in Wilkes Barre.
Served as a very deep brown colored beer with moderate white creamy head.
Smell has strong notes of chcolate, roasted malt and coffee.
Taste also demonstrates strong coffeee and chocolate notes, and a suprisingly strong hop bitterness that slowly makes itself known.
Very smooth in the mouth, as would be expected.
So easy to drink that this would be perfect to session. Nice tasty beer.

Photo of FleeVT
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz. brown bottle with no date, poured into a pint glass

A: Inky black without any light penetration. A thick, fluffy, chocolate milk head leaves a heavy lacing behind.

S: A very mild beer on the nose. Chocolate malt and currants are most distinguishable. As I drank, I began to pickup a smoky backdrop the deeper my nose got into the glass.

T: The currant sweetness fades quickly to leave a long roasted coffee bean aftertaste that just sticks to the back of the throat. A tad bit too long for me.

M: A heavy, creamy, medium carbonated stout. Good performance here.

D: This is a definite sipper that grew on me. I decided to hold off on tasting notes until I had a second later in the week. The aftertaste is a bit much, but the subtle nose and delicate palate made up ground for me. This would probably pair well with sweet desserts to help cut that bitter closing.

Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.4/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

a: Black body with hints of dark brown around the edges. Frothy tan head settles leaving good lacing behind.

s: Roasted malt with notes of coffee, maybe vanilla.

t: Wonderful roasted flavor. Coffee and vanilla are still there. Molasses, prunes, and chocolate too.

m: Could be the best part of this beer. The definition of creamy. Full body, smooth and slick.

d: Best cream stout I have had. I love the complex roasted character and the creamy feel. Very easy drinking. Bold and delicious.

Photo of BlackBearForge
3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark stygian brown almost black with a small but dense foamy brown head which leaves oily lacing which slides down the sides of the glass. Light will only penetrate the bare edges of this brew with a faint burgundy tint.

Aroma however is faint and I pick up some burnt malt aroma, and some sweet fruit like dried plums.

Taste is sweetish dark malts, with bitter chocholate and also a nicely bitter hop profile on the finish. It is tastier than I expected.

Mouthfeel is thick and chewy with a nicely slick feel as well. Carbonation is low but present and seems right.

A very drinkable stout, much better than I expected from some reveiws and I will certainly have more of these!

Photo of rbowser
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The second I poured it, you get hit by a toasty, chocolate, burnt aroma. It pours dark, dark, opaque black with a small head that dissipates quickly.

The taste is chocolate and coffee and roasted grain bitterness. It says it is brewed with licorice and it does have a subtle secondary flavor that could be licorice.

But this beer is a celebration of roasted barley, what many think is the essential element in a stout. As such it has a bitter bite in the after taste that some might find out of balance, but I find tasty.

In contrast to the bite from the grains it also has enough body and unfermented sugars left over to create a rough balance with the roast notes still prominent.

This is a stout for those who love that roasted barley bite.

Photo of Redwood21
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: I love it, its got a dark dark brown ti almost black appearance with a tan brown head. the head never dies and is just gorgeous.

S: you definitely pick up on roasted aromas and an almost buttery toast type finish. its hard for me to be sure

T: coffee, caramel, buttery toast some oats and a finish of alcohol bu not in the bad sense. for a milk/sweet stout, it reminds me more of a "sweeter" stout than the style mentioned previous. though i love it just the same.

M/D this is a great creamy beer that leaves a great sensation on the palate. i love it. good times.!!!

Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 3,698 ratings.