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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

3,733 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,733
Reviews: 1,468
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.55%
Wants: 170
Gots: 395 | FT: 8
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
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 3,733 | Reviews: 1,468
Photo of corey0212
3.86/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received in a trade with chemmie!

Pours almost-black, shades of brown around the edges of the beer when held up to the light. Massive frothy mocha-colored head fades very slowly, and leaves behind big gobs of lacing. Sweet smell, almost a touch of cookie dough in there, some smoky aromas, mild coffee. Bitter coffee taste, some milk chocolate, charred background. Pretty active carbonation, medium-bodied stout, really smooth. I'd have this one again, a really solid brew.

Photo of leif86
3.77/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Black body that light cannot penetrate. The head is thin, coffee colored, and yields to lasting lacing.

S: Smells like sweet cocoa. Also a roasted nut aroma in the back. The best part about this brew.

T: It begins very malty and with caramel that gives way to a bitter coffee/bitter chocolate taste. This latter taste lingers for some time.

M: Well carbonated (a little too much for my personal taste) but still retains some creaminess.

D: A good overall stout, I've had better though. Could probably only have about 2 consecutively before my mouth was overpowered. I could definitely see myself buying more of this if it was available in my area.

Photo of roadhouse
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First off, this is NOT a milk stout. That's coming from Bell's themselves. They said "not even remotely". I mean, BJCP even lists it as an example for American Stout. I don't know why BA refuses to correct that.

Anyway, on to the review. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appears a nearly opague black, but when held up to the light red highlights are still visible. One and a half finger tan head dissipates to a thin coating on top.

Aromas of coffee, charred wood, bittersweet chocolate and some earthiness in the back.

Taste is first of the coffee and charred wood - that probably comes from licorice root - and some dark chocolate. I'm talking 90% cocoa type stuff. All these wonderful heavily roasted flavors meld together in a silky smooth creamy finish (from oats possibly?).

Mouthfeel is on the fuller side of medium. Finish is very silky, not quite as much as an oatmeal stout. Carbonation level is good.

This is probably one of my favorites in the American Stout category. Very tasty, very smooth, and quite drinkable. Another great beer from Bell's.

Photo of bbothen
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep black with a small tan head. Small ring around glass. No lacing to be found here.

Big roasted coffee aroma right up front. Slight sweet or sour aroma as well.

Sweet milk flavor with a nice smokiness & coffee flavors. Slight medicinal flavor, may be the licorice. Tastes nice.

Full bodied.Smooth & creamy. Taste lingers for quite awhile.

Drinks well as it's very tasty. Nice nightcap.

I really enjoyed this beer from Bell's. Can't wait to get me some more.

Photo of SirSketch
4.37/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Black as night in color. Pours a small, half finger, light brown head that goes away quickly leaving a small ring at the top. A nice ring of foam settles with every sip.

S - Smells like a dark roasted cup of coffee.

T - Initial taste is of coffee/espresso. Caramel notes come next. Very sweet malty aftertaste that stays with you.

M - Full bodied with little to no carbonation. Even has the consistency of a dark coffee drink.

D - Very, very drinkable. One of the only stouts I could continue drinking all night.

This is definitely not your normal stout, but I rather enjoyed it. I would recommend it to anyone wanting to try something new, or during a large, hearty meal.

3.38/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle into an 8 oz. taster.
A vigorous pour released a hearty, pillowy, 2 finger, coffee colored, foamy head. Almost like the top of a root beer float or similar to steamed milk foam. Black as tar....with a brief reverse cascade. Beautiful lacing rides the glass throughout & remains stenciled on the sides long after it's empty. This is how you want a stout to look.

Smells of dark black coffee or espresso, sweet, smokey roasted malt & a hint of black licorice(?)

The mouth is initially smooth & creamy. Nicely carbonated. Not too heavy. Sharp, peppery hops at the finish & through the swallow. A little hot on the back side for me. Alcohol presents after the swallow.

Taste follows the smell closely with a hint of licorice, molasses, milk chocolate, coffee & fresh baked bread. A dry, oily, astringent hop finish that lasts long after the swallow. Delayed alcohol warming.
The oily film on the glass sticks to the mouth as well.

Listing this beer as a milk stout is a little misleading. Creamy & smooth....it's a nice example but there's really nothing milky about it.
Worth trying if you can get it.

Photo of Getinthevan
4.02/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a bottle of this last night at the pub. I saw it in the glass case and it intrigued my interest. As a fan of Bell's brews, this was next on my list to try.

Appearance was very motor oily, but it did possess a nice, aptly thin head with a decent amount of lacing. It was very dark indeed.

Smell was very strong iin coffee and chocolate malts. This was a very rich stout indeed.

Taste was delicious. Although it possessed a nice strong taste at first, it somewhat faded quickly. Not bad, but it did fade rather quickly.

Mouthfeel was very rich in flavor and frothy with a nice thick finish. Certainly a good finish at the end of the beer.

Drinkability is pretty top notch. While the flavor does somewhat fade quickly, the overall brew as a whole is nicely done. A good Bell's beer!

Photo of Brad007
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a pitch black color with a thick brown head. Spot on.

The aroma is made up of roasted coffee and creaminess/sweetness that is defined by the style.

Taste is very sweet and creamy upfront with a hint of coffee and roasted malt at the back of the throat. Smooth. I can even detect a bit of smokiness here.

Mouthfeel is roasty goodness with only a slight hint of sweetness. Lingers quite a bit.Chewy.

Overall, a very drinkable example of the style that I feel falls a bit flat on mouthfeel and taste. I tend to lean more towards the Double Cream though. However, this is a good starting point for a stout and if you like it already, seek out the Double Cream for more of the goodness.

Photo of mgp80
3.53/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A likeable, fairly straightforward stout. Roasty aromas and flavors dominate, with some coffee and bitter chocolate and a solid licorice presence. Goes down smooth and easy, and the reasonable abv makes this a nice one to spend a quiet evening with. This isn't one of those stouts where every sip is a long flavor journey, but what's there is quite pleasant. Bell's seems to excel at making solid, yet approachable beers, and this is no exception.

Photo of otakuden
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

the stout itself is excellent. pours a dark brown, almost black, with a small bit of foam which settles out fairly quickly. it goes down smooth, not heavy at all, leaving a slight brussels lace trail on my guinness glass (sorry guinness) between sips. i can definitely taste hints of coffee and dark chocolate, along with licorice. very faint, but it is there indeed. i am not a licorice fan, in fact, i rather do not like it, which is why i was hesitant for so long to try the Bell's Kalamazoo Stout which is made partially with licorice.

i should know better by now - all good beers deserve a fair try. the first sips right out of the fridge where cool, which slightly masked the spectrum of flavor, but as the stout warmed a bit, more of the licorice and dark chocolate come into play. i definitely recommend giving the Kalamazoo Stout a few minutes to warm before having a quaff.

overall, a very drinkable interpretation of a stout.

Photo of maximum12
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Love Bell's, especially the Expedition Stout, so found myself eager to try this down-ABV ancestor of one of my favorite RIS.

Poured black but not thick, with a thin, persistent head, smelling faintly of roast & toast.

Taste is lighter than I expected from the nose & appearance, light coffee & burnt malets with a bit of sweetnes running down the backbone.

Nothing to set it apart from the pack, but a pretty good beer.

Photo of nrbw23
3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a nice black color with a tan head leaving a nice layered lacing.

S- Very sweet, roasted malts, chocolate and a hint of coffee and nuts.

T- Malty, with the same roasted, coffee, chocolate, and nutty flavors from the aroma. Very malty on the palate, with little to no hop presence.

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

D- Easy to drink, just don't think I could drink a lot of these.

Photo of Ragingbull
2.97/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Black in color with a mocha colored head after pouring from a bottle. Nose is so faint that I am not even able to place it. It teases, but doesn't make itself available. Coffee flavor is very strong and there appears to be a strong flavor of anise that I am guessing comes from the brewer's licorice. Heavy smoke flavor. I rated it a C but must admit that it varied from many of the "normal" stouts you might try so it almost dares you to try and pin it down.

Photo of Traquairlover
3.55/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12-oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A = Dark mahogany, small medium reddish brown head which quickly dissipates, light lacing.

S = Sweet chocolate, warm milk, light scents of bitter herbs.

T = Good taste of strong bitter coffee sweetened with condensed milk, sour essence of lemon hits at mid-palate, very light licorice flavor arrives in back of the mouth and there is a long bitter finish.

M = Medium bodied, little strong on the fizz and alcohol on the tongue, decent mouthcoating.

D = Drinkability is okay, but not much higher than other sweet stouts and I really didn't like the mouthfeel with the sting on my tongue.

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

Pours a very deep brown almost black in color. Big fluffy dark tan head, spotty yet decent lacing.

Aroma of roasted malt very defined up front. Some licorice and coffee smells noted.

Big roasted flavors are dominate. Malt and coffee mainly. Dark unsweetened chocolate flavors. Slight bitterness, pleasant bitterness.

Mouthfeel is rather full and dry. Not overly carbonated, but enough for style.

Enjoyable brew, as drinkable as you can get with a stout.

Photo of IronCitySteve
3.82/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My first try at a Milk Stout on tap.

A: Pretty dark and rich black. Head was quite bubbly and thick. Ample lacing.

S: Dark roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, toffee. A rather rich robust smell.

T: Good balance of taste. Lots of chocolate and coffee flavors. From what I have read about Milk Stouts, the flavors seem more robust than normal for this style.

M: Medium body beer. Coats the mouth with a creamy smooth taste.

D: Very drinkable, easy to drink. Not overly sweet.

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

A - A dark brown w/ a medium brown, fluffy head that fades slowly.
S - Roasted malt, licorice, and brown sugar.
T - The nose comes out on the palate w/ accents on the malt. There's also some smokiness and earthiness.
M/D - Smooth, clean, crisp. A great stout from a great brewery.

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

poured very nicely with about two inches of head. nice steady carbonation. smells of roasted malts. nice flavor with combonation of sweet roasted malts at first with a nice dry finish. a rather good stout beer. left nice lacing down the glass. thick enough to satisfy but smooth enough to go with food.

suckem up and movem out.


Photo of KeefD
3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 8364, is a Bell's Kalamazoo Stout. Your Bell's Kalamazoo Stout was packaged on March 7, 2008

Tried this year old bottle on March 12th, 2009. It's surprisingly aged pretty well. No signs of oxidation, still much to the smell, taste is even dryer than I remember. I'm not sure if this really is sweet stout, but the age wouldn't let me know otherwise. Pretty decent drinking stout, but the rating won't change.


Review from 6-18-08

Poured thickly from a bottle into an imperial pint. Darkest brown you can imagine, bordering on black, with an inch of chocolate milk colored foam, leaving moderate lacing.. Not getting much from the smell, just some graininess and roasted malts. Taste is slightly bitter and dry, with hints of burnt caramel, roasted coffee beans and bitter baker's chocolate. Very thick and full-bodied and light on the carbonation. As somewhat average representation of the style. I prefer their Special Double cream stout myself.

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

This certainly was my second favorite taste @ the Eccentric Cafe last night. This poured a dark brown almost black with a tan head. Once I smelled this beer I knew I was in love. Very complex with deep rich coffee smells, chocolate and other yummy things. The taste of this beer was just as delightful as the smell. VERY complex and extremely easy to drink. I was very impressed with the amount of flavor they were able to fit into this beer. VERY WELL done again another beer I will suggest to my local beer distributor

Photo of AMo
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bell's Kalamazoo Stout pours a medium thick black with a short tanish head. The smell is moderately strong of roasted malts with a slight hint of liquorice. Taste is very malty with just a touch of tart bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is silky smooth, light to moderately thick, and has a low amount of carbonation. The small amount of carbonation is just enough for a really nice feel. Overall drinkability is good, I wish this had more flavor, but the silky smoothness goes a long way and makes this one quite enjoyable.

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.37/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I got bottles of this brew in trades with johnnnniee and STLStoutAddict, Thanks John and Steve!

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - black color with a rolling tan head that settled to a layer, leaving spots of sticky lacing.

S - black licorice and roasted malt.

T - sweet malty taste with the flavor and bitterness of black licorice coming through near the finish.

F - full bodied, creamy mouthfeel.

D - good brew, drink two!

Photo of Natural510
3.91/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pitch-black pour from 12oz bottle without a hint of any other off-color. Thick, dense head which left a creamy layer & lacing on the glass.
Smells of dry, roasted malts with a faint cocoa character.
Charcoal roasted malt flavor with a kick of bittersweet chocolate and coffee bean. Hop presence comes through well. Leaves a slightly sweet presence on the palate as consumed.
Hops tingle the mouth with delight and trademark chalkiness of a dry stout remains on the tongue.
All in all a good stout selection. Not as sweet as milk stouts from England which I've sampled, but it is more subtle. If you don't care for the milk-chocolate quality of that variety, this may be more to your liking.
Another quality offering from the Bell's camp.

Photo of aubuc1
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from a 6 pack into an imp pint glass. Pours black black with a tan head. Sweet coffee and roasted malt smell. Coffee taste that holds in the mouth with licorice in the back. I rated it a 4 in taste, because I don't like coffee, but if I liked coffee I would rate higher. The mouthfeel is pretty light, and it is a smoothe stout.

Photo of Tbn2
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass.

A-Black. When back lit, no light shines through. Typical tan head settles to the top and stick around for the duration. Leaves some lacing.

S-Chocolate and sweet malts are there. Toasty/smoky smell is also present. The yeast make an appearance in this one as a major player as well. A little coffee in the back of the nose.

T-Coffee taste is much upfront now. Fades to a smoky/chocolate taste. Hops kindly remind you they are present with a piney taste at the very end.

M-I would have liked a little more body. Hops leave you with too dry of a taste I feel. I like my Milk Stouts to finish sweet.

Overall a good brew from Bells. Get it, you won't be disappointed. Thanks to lvnloud for this libation.

Drink em' if ya got em'

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Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 3,733 ratings.