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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.

3,564 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,564
Reviews: 1,444
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.55%
Wants: 156
Gots: 309 | 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: 3,564 | Reviews: 1,444 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pmatz2
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one has been in the fridge for a year.
Pours a dark brown with a thick tan head that slowly diminishes a ring a round the edge with sections still visible in the middle. There is plenty of lacing that lasts all the way down.

Aroma is predominantly roasted malt with a some hints of coffee and chocolate

The taste is of sweet roasted malts that reduces on the finish.

It has a medium to full body with a very creamy texture There is very little sign of carbonation.

I found this to be drinkable but it tasted better with food than by itself

pmatz2, Dec 03, 2006
Photo of dogfooddog
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

received yesterday from MABZ. I have looked forward to trying bell's stouts, this is the first I have seen.

head is dark tan, large depending on pour.

nose is distinctly roasted barley (unmalted I assume), typical for style. while the bottle notes brewer's licorice is used, i cannot pick it up in the nose. pleasantly burnt (not smokey) odors.

taste is a mildly sour roasted taste, a lesser sense of bright hops on top of this provide some balance, though the roasted side dominates. the glass does become more bitter/sour as it warms up.

perfectly decent stout, certainly worth trying.

dogfooddog, Dec 01, 2006
Photo of Foxman
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It pours a deep, impassable black, though you know on some level it's actually an espresso brown, and fetchingly ruby at the very edges. A finger of cocoa brown head dips soon to clovers of froth. Blips of lacing blot the inside of the glass.

The aroma wafts dark roasted malt, lightly charred and quite caramelized. Earthy plum and a mildly spicy hop presence deal well with anise and a caress of yeast tanginess.

Upon tasting, there's briefly caramel sweet malt chased by a sharp nip of burnt grain. Strains of soy and sherry mix it up with dried plum and a hint of licorice. A tickly of spicy hops open for a burnt biscuit visitation. The finish is crisp, dry, and lightly lactic in lingering character. It's got a touch of edge and is quite enjoyable for it.

Medium bodied, it slides slickly across the palate and leaves a creamy lasting impression.

I got a gal in Kalamazoo...well, I got a beer NAMED Kalamazoo, anyway. And it's a tasty creamy, sassy stout. Everything about it comes across as crisp, refreshingly, and nicely drinkable. So maybe Kalamazoo is a state of mind, and if so, my mind is now a happy place.

Foxman, Nov 30, 2006
Photo of nouseforotacon
3.33/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark brown/black bottom with an extra creamy tan head that floats atop. Wonderful head retention. Foamy lacing on the sides of the glass. Not much light penetrating this one.

Sweet, rich, roasted malts wrapped in chocolate and coffee bean notes. As it warms the aroma opens up a bit, leaving some dark fruit esters. Overall weak nose.

Roasted malts and a strong, burnt, caramel profile is complimented by a milky, lactic sweetness. Malty and bready, with some nutty notes. A twang from the milk, and also, an undertone of dark fruits. Hint of coffee beans. Astringent. Decent taste, with a chewy mouthfeel and a satisfying amount of creaminess.

I had higher expectations for this brew coming from Bell's. I've also had better milk stouts. Not bad, but not great.

nouseforotacon, Nov 29, 2006
Photo of bjohnson
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to hoppymeal for the chance to try this great looking stout.

A: Pours a jet black color with a a caramel colored one finger head. Dissipates quickly and leaves slight retention.
S: Sweet chocolate or cocoa notes almost as if your smelling a powdered nestle cocoa tub. Milky sweetness to it.
T/M: Sweet milk chocolate notes blend into roasted cocoa/toffee malt like flavors. Slight bitterness and dry finish leads back into that cakey nestle cocoa like flavor. Extra smooth on the palate with a silky smooth feeling. Medium to above average body with a low level of carbonation makes this a good looking session beer.
D: Another amazing brew from Bell's. Have they a bad beer? Not sure they do. Very drinkable bordering ons session like. Smooth and silky makes this offering a must if you can try it.

bjohnson, Nov 28, 2006
Photo of maundythirsty
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown light trap of a beer with a modest dark tan head. Light, wet lacing. Smells of roasted, coffee-like malt and Cocoa Puffs.

Burned coffee and baker's chocolate bring some assertive bitterness to the taste, with that nifty sour character you get from a milk stout. It's a little loose in the mouth, but not at all watery. Alcohol isn't so high, but with the substantial carbonation this beer is a bit of a tongue biter.

A good stomach warmer. Easy going.

maundythirsty, Nov 26, 2006
Photo of Lnedrive14
3.6/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had in the bottle at Capital Ale House, Innsbrook. Pretty excited to see some Bell's stuff on the menu, since we can't get this back in Boston.

I don't know what to say about this brew. Came out of the bottle looking fluffy and delicious. Huge white head with great retention.

A fairly hoppy stout - i was a bit surprised by this. aside from that feature, i just found this to be a totally bland stout. absolutely nothing special about it, IMO. Sweet, little bit like chocolate milk. average level of malts.

coated the palate well - perfect level of carbonation. drinkable, but not something I would pound away constantly, since it just wasn't anything special to me.

Lnedrive14, Nov 25, 2006
Photo of rayjay
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Batch 7571, via trade with akorsak. I did not even know I was recieving this beer, and I'm very happy to have tried it. Average looking stout without too much of a head, but the nose really stands out. The licorice root is apparent as it melts in with the sweet malts. Lactose sweetness and chocolate roastedness. Hops are not featured, as per the style, but the depth of the malts keeps things exciting. Very drinkable and refreshing. The carbonation is a bit dull but it fits the style just fine. Great for anytime of day, and it's also a very accessible stout for the uninitiated. Recommended. Cheers!

rayjay, Nov 22, 2006
Photo of Darkale
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Um... wow.

Can you say "roasted"? Wow, indeed.

My olfactory sense has never been impressive, but I can speak to the appearance of this beer -- thick, impenetrably dark, and with that wonderful stout proclivity: you pour it, and you don't see a head, and then the head seems to emerge from within the beer. And definitely the most roasted tasting stout I've ever had -- charcoal and hops and chocolate and coffee all fighting together, with that charcoal, roasted taste predominant, but somehow just muted enough by its companions to make it pleasant on the tongue.

Marvelous. Chewy and sweet, then roasted... lingering... I love, oh how I love a beer that encourages you to slow down. Well done and highly recommended.

Darkale, Nov 17, 2006
Photo of pweis909
2.7/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Aroma – nothing strong, but smells remind me of molasses and chocolate, but also off aromas, like metal and rotten egg.

Dryer taste than the porter, no hops, dry finish. Bland

Texture seems thin, unimpressive.

Appearance is like porter, but with fuller head with large bubbles that are quick to dissapate.

My most disappointing Bells brew. I will give it another try sometime, as it seems like I had a bad bottle (see aroma). The Bells Porter beat this stout handsdown.

EDIT: Just read some other reviews and I don't seem to be the only one who has found the smell off-putting. Could be a more extensive problem

pweis909, Nov 16, 2006
Photo of EvilKeith
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Kalamazoo Stout poured from the bottle dark brown in color; in the glass it was nearly pitch black. Granules of yeast sat at the bottom of the glass. The head was a finger of sandstone colored frothy lather-like foam. The lace was intermittent, but remained sticky.
The smell was creamy and sweet with a significant roasted character, light chocolate notes and an almost camphor-like trace of anise.
The taste was dominated by roasted and toasty flavors. Bittersweet cocoa, dark fruits and a burnt caramel taste as it warmed. The charred flavors played nicely off of the green grassy hops and their bitterness. The finish started lightly sweet before turning powdery dry.
The carbonation was moderately active and the body was medium to heavy giving this one a smooth and creamy mouthfeel.
Very nice, flavorful, well balanced and highly drinkable.

EvilKeith, Nov 15, 2006
Photo of mjc410
3.33/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

The pour into my Fuller's nonic raises a sparse, dark brown cola-like head that dissipated very quickly into just a slight glass ring, over a virtually opaque body that lets just a little light through at the edges. Lacing is impressive considering the complete lack of head, but still pretty sudsy. The nose is very much filled with dark chocolate and roast, with definite espresso notes. Pretty straightforward. The flavor is quite bitter, but loaded with roast and coffee notes, with some very dark bready tones, as well. Leaves a pleasant lingering bitterness in the mouth. Bits of piney hoppiness, too. The mouth first struck me as being incredibly thick, but on second thought, it's only mildly thick. The carbonation seems to be quite high, but smooth. A hefty beer, but I now know I won't be hunting for this one.

mjc410, Nov 13, 2006
Photo of foureyedgeek
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle, batch 7571.

Black as tar with a tall milk chocolate head, this thing could have gone three fingers high if I had not poured more slowly. Head retention is good, it falls to craggy foam and then to a nice thin bubbles&cream. Moderate lacing beginning to end.

Smells of sweet, dark malts and coffee.

Tastes of dark chocolate, dark coffee, sweet in the front of the mouth, but with a slight bitterness on the finish. Complex without being too much.

Solid creamy mouthfeel, damn tasty and damn drinkable, this is a session beer that'll leave you feeling nice and warm.

foureyedgeek, Nov 12, 2006
Photo of pvsob
3.25/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

-Appearance - It poured pitch black with a one inch head that quickly disappeared and left little lacing.

-Smell - Roasted malt, dark fruits, coffee, and some hints of chocolate.

-Taste - It was a tad bit more astringent than I was expecting, but there was some sweetness up front followed by some chocolate and coffee at the end.

-Mouthfeel - Medium to full with steady carbonation.

-Overall - The astringency of this brew hurt the taste and drinkability scores big time. I had a hard time isolating the characteristics of this beer during my tasting experience. I'll probably pick up one more six pack just to make sure I’m not missing anything. Looking at the other reviews of this beer, I must be missing something. Oh well, cheers!

pvsob, Nov 11, 2006
Photo of cpmichael
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The K-Zoo Stout when poured from the bottle is extremely dark. Pitch Black. Medium head. K-Zoo smells of malts mixed with coffee. As stouts go, K-Zoo is a pretty smooth one. Not too bitty, but this beer is no slouch. Has a hint of malts mixed with coffee. Pretty easy to drink and tastes great. adding to an already decent line of bell's beers.

cpmichael, Nov 08, 2006
Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass. The liquid in Dark real Dark. The haed in a nice 2 fingers, dark tank and fluffy.Very nice. It leaves a moderate lace.

The smell is dark roasted malt with a bit af alcohol.

The taste is Great, dark roasted malt, Dark coffee, chocolate and liccorice. Mmmmm, mmmm, good.

The mouthfeel is medium to full, carbonation is good.

The drinkability is also good. This is quite a nice brew, Prosit, MK

MuenchenerKindl, Nov 06, 2006
Photo of terrabyte
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark black with a very little, brown head.

Aroma seems very tiny to me. There's a hint of cherries and chocolate, but I can't pick anything else up.

Flavor consists of dark fruits like cherries, raisins, dates. Dark roasted coffee and chocolate, but other than that, I found the flavor somewhat muted. It's similar to their Expedition Stout except no alcoholic bite or syrupy thickness. I wish I would have tried them in opposite order. I just find it lacking in comparison, and my senses have been dulled.

Mouthful was creamy and light in carbonation. Not sticky or thick at all.

Very drinkable. Smooth, delicious, and nothing here that slows down the enjoyment. I wouldn't say it's light, but it's not thick at all.

terrabyte, Nov 05, 2006
Photo of sacrelicio
5/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bell's Kalamazoo Stout. Long time drinker, first time reviewer.

Midnight in a glass poured into a Chimay Goblet. Tan, root beer float head, dense and creamy. Lacing like spackel to be chiseled off the walls of the glass. Perfect.

The aroma starts spicy and fruity, showing the generous hops that go into this masterpiece. Milk chocolate and clove fill out the graceful yet full aroma.

The taste has amazing complexity. Smoke, chocolate, cloves, graham cracker, almonds, hazelnuts, milk chocolate, oak, dark fruit, it's all together in a whirlwind of flavor.

Mouthfeel is thick and smooth, without being heavy.

The drinkability is great. All nighter, everyday.

sacrelicio, Nov 03, 2006
Photo of xav33
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bell's Kalamazoo Stout
12 oz bottle
Packaged 03/06, partaken 10/06
Medium pour in an English pint.

Poured black with a rocky mostly lasting light brown head with excellent lacing.

Smelt of moderate mild chocolate, dry nuttiness, mild coffee.

Flavor was upfront strong coffee bitterness with light sweet creamy chocolate tones, followed by a strong nutty coffee bitterness with light chocolate accents, on a long bittersweet molasses finish. Mouthfeel was medium to full bodied, creamy and silky, with soft carbonation and slight astringency.

Overall, a very comfortable easy drinking, flowing, tasty stout, that could use some work on the aroma.

xav33, Nov 01, 2006
Photo of JoeyHotrod
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Quite the stout here.

Deep Dark color, with a moderate sized head. Looks the part, though have to dock it a small amount for the head not being perfect. Still quite a lovely beer are the same.

The smell is of roasted malt and chocolate.

The taste is more of the same... roasted malt at the forefront, with more than a little chocolate to add complexity.

All in all this is quite the stout and I actually prefer this slightly over it's also excellent big brother Expedition Stout

JoeyHotrod, Oct 30, 2006
Photo of Melchizedek
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours like motor oil - the thickest, darkest stout I've seen aside from Yeti. Head is a cappuccino brown, builds respectably and holds on for dear life.

Smell is a nice nutty and toasted sweetness, with maybe a bit of dark fruit in for good measure. Rich, rich mouthfeel, with toasty malts and a well-calculated hop bitterness playing against the sweet caramel and hazelnut, all undergirded by a very subtle alcohol warmth.

This is about as balanced a sweet stout as I've yet encountered. It'd be a stretch to drink more than one at a sitting, but as a regular, especially in the winter months, it would be wonderful. Wish I could get this stuff here.

Melchizedek, Oct 29, 2006
Photo of kajerm
4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours deep, dark brown with a half-finger tan head that shrinks and hangs out for awhile. Opaque, the way a stout should be; hold it up to the light if you want to, there's no way in hell you're seeing through this beer.

Chocolate malt, a little bit of molasses, and a shade of yeast blend into a nice aroma. No coffee notes that I can smell, and that's a breath of fresh air. Too bad Bell's doesn't make scented candles, because I'd take this over vanilla-jasmine any day of the week.

And it tastes GOOD. Not nearly as malty as I might have expected from the aroma, and much less so than Third Coast, but that's a good thing. Malt is still dominant, but it's subdued a little by the texture of the beer and the lingering astringency of the finish. Now people will whine about this, but it's what gives this beer staying power. Without it, Kalamazoo Stout would just be another insipid malty beer with a nice noze and no promise. Hell, even Guinness is astringent on the finish.

The heavy, oily mouthfeel takes a bit away from the session potential of this beer-- but I don't generally go out and pound milk stouts anyway. On the other hand, for one or two beers to savor, the mouthfeel is ideal.

These drink great after dinner. Bells' just keeps giving me more and more reasons to be happy I moved to the Midwest.

kajerm, Oct 26, 2006
Photo of alexgash
4.6/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This may be my 50th bottle of Kalamazoo Stout, but this is the first time I have sat down to review it formally. Inky dark brown to almost black, as always, with a thick, yet soft looking, cocoa brown head. Nose is chocolate powder, dark-roasted coffee, a little molasses, a hint of tobacco and vanilla, and an herbal hop edge. Toasted, nutty bitterness up front. Slightly numbing herbal hops in the background, with sweetening dark chocolate and earthy peat. Sugary mocha, with extra shots of espresso and caramel try to nullify the roasted herbal bitterness. Finish is long and chocolatey. Full-body for the strength, with a spritzy, bottle-conditioned feel. Excellent, as always. Here’s to the next 50!

alexgash, Oct 25, 2006
Photo of Wasatch
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my 400th review. Just absolutely delicious. Poured into a pint glass, a black color, nice carbonation, nice creamy tan head, some lacing afterwards. Scents of sweet roasted malts, and toffee/chocolate. The taste is a creamy sweet roasted malt, with a nice toffee finish. Medium body, slightly carbonated feel on the tongue. Very drinkable, glad to had a chance to checkout this fabulous brew.

Wasatch, Oct 22, 2006
Photo of akorsak
4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A bottle from a Bell's mixed case purchased at J Breski's in Middletown, PA.

A: The ale is a dark brown/black color with a thick head that has laced nicely in the glass.

S: The stout has a creamy sweet aroma punctuated by a nice roasted malt character.

T: The sweetness of the lactose is evident in the taste. The ale is silky soft and very sweet, providing a very long finish in the mouth. The roasted malts compliment the lactose, providing a chocolatey sweet flavor that finishes nicely.

M: The mouthfeel of this stout is very velvety soft. The stout does not pack a punch with deep vinous flavors but it does deliver a strong roasted sweet flavor that is very pleasing.

D: Very drinkable. I purchased the mixed case to try this and I am not disappointed.

akorsak, Oct 20, 2006
Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
90 out of 100 based on 3,564 ratings.