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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

3,737 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,737
Reviews: 1,469
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.55%
Wants: 170
Gots: 397 | 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
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Ratings: 3,737 | Reviews: 1,469
Photo of Gehrig
4.83/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

After having sampled (or re-tried) some genuine duds lately, this was a breath of fresh air, and truly one of the best stouts I've had. Kalamazoo Stout wins one over from the beginning, announcing its presence with authority--two dense fingers of dark tan froth over a jet black body. It's a sight to behold, but there's much more. The aromas are excellent--lots of coffee, but rich chocolate, and hints of fruit. The taste is wondrous, rich in chocolate and coffee, nicely roasted with caramel occasionally intruding--just incredible. It stands up well, and I certainly didn't give it much time to wait, with balanced carbonation and creamy texture. I found it impossible to have just one, and intend to stock up on this and other wares from Bell's.

Close to a masterpiece, without a doubt.

Photo of SierraGS
4.27/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a 16-oz glass at Alibi's last week (enjoyed it so much on Wednesday, I returned on Thursday for two more!) There wasn't much of a head on this beer, but what was there made a nice creamy top to my glass. The color was very dark, but held to the light, a faint dark red came through the glass. The aroma was all about the roasted coffee bean, and this followed through to the flavor. The flavor was additionally complex with dark chocolate, and as others have mentioned, a slight licorice tang. The mouthfeel was a little thin, but the flavor burst made up for that! I was really glad to find this available two nights in a row.

Photo of NCSUdo
3.76/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle

A: Pours a deep black under a half fingers worth of brown head. Some lace, some retention along edges.

S: Smells of sweet cream and roasted malt, I've had this beer a few times and never been blown away by the aroma.

T: Tastes of a sweet cream, some brown coffee and a roasted malt. Finish is a roasted bitterness and some slight hints of a citrus hop.

M/D: Carbonation is slightly high, full and slightly creamy body. Drinkability is good, pretty easy drinking for a 6.5% stout.

Photo of younger35
3.21/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Received this brew from ClockworksOrange (along with about 143 other extras) and from TheodorHerzl. Bells is a great brewery and I haven't had a bad brew yet, I'm certain this will be no exception. Drank from my Sam Adams pint glass.

Appearance- Pours a dark brownish/black with hues of crimson around the edges. Great two finder dark tan head that leaves a thick cap and collar with loads of frothy, sticky lacing.
Smell- Loads of big bold coffee and espresso. Slightly sweet with a milk chocolaty presence and a little bit of very feint black licorice (although I might be stretching it a bit).
Taste- Very roasted with a super charred start and an extremely potent shot of espresso. Very slightly sweet with fudge brownie like character and a whipping cream vanilla smoothness. Bits of dark fruits show that there is some hop presence but not really all that much. Finishes with a semi lingering bitterness although I think it's more from the roasted malts than the hops.
Mouthfeel- Thick and rich with a super smooth feel and light prickly carbonation.
Drinkability- Not a bad brew but overall as much as I love my dark beers this one just wasn't what I was looking for. I don't think the flavors meld very well and something just seems misplaced. The best part of this brew is the mouthfeel. Thanks again to ClockworksOrange and TheodorHerzl!

Photo of joekfsu
4.41/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle. Pours pitch black with a 2 cm foamy tan head that is lasting. Aroma of chocolate dominates the maltiness. Flavor is balanced between the bitter chocolate, mild malts, and a hint of sweet creaminess. Tons of lacing, no noted carbonation, and light on alcohol. Medium to full body. Drinkable and great for when you want a big tasting beer without the imperial alcohol.

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

Bottle (batch ID 8237) poured into an imperial pint glass.

A- It poured a deep black color with red-brown tones and a 1 finger red-brown head that turned into a nice lacing that left some good sticky rings.

S- It's aroma was of the classic roast coffee and milk chocolate.

T- The flavor was the same as the aroma. It tasted of milk chocolate and coffee with some balance coming from a moderate hop flavor.

M- It was really creamy and smooth.

D- It had full flavor and still ended up being an easy drinker.

Overall- It's a great example of the style.

Photo of joepais
3.77/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Jay23 for the great extra and the opportunity to try this one
Batch number 8055 bottle poured into a large tulip glass. Jet black body with a tan head that goes into a nice layer of lace

Aromas of molasses and toasted grains fill your head

Medium creamy mouth feel

Taste is sweet malts with flavors of coffee and a slight hop bitter (where is the licorice?)

A very easy to drink stout a nice finish to the night if it was available I drink it again

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

Bottle Inspection: 6% abv. and brewed with brewer’s licorice.

Aroma: Almost a milk stout nose (sweet! I nailed the style without looking!), a real creamy aspect to it. Nice crispy toast edge, hints of chocolate malt and coffee.

Appearance: Seriously black with a solid one finger head of dark tan that holds and laces in spotty curtains.

Flavor: Full of roasted malt but very gentle and smooth. Again I get milk flavors, almost a malted shake aspect. Only a hint of hop flavor at the end, balance is toward the sweet end but only barely.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation leads to thirsty gulps. Body is rich and full, really creamy texture, and triggers a slight chew.

Overall Impression: This is a great stout! A full roasted flavor with a chocolaty smoothness that makes for easy drinking.

Photo of Shaw
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I used to drink a lot more of stouts, but have been spending the past several years really enjoying hoppy ales. But I like milk stouts and had to try Bell's.

A beautiful beer, inky black with a thick, brown head that doesn't disappear.

Nice aroma of chocolate and roasted malts.

The body is sweet and roasty, as expected. I don't taste the licorice that the label advertises, but the roasted flavors are strong enough to hide it.

The body is wonderfully thick and rich and creamy.

This a very good beer and another winner from Bell's.

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

Obtained in trade from Limesmut.

A clear deeply brown colored beer with a very tall light brown head.

This is one of those beers that you recognize the smell of long before you get it near your nose in a good way. Sweet chocolate with a trace of malt char and hops. Trace of coffee but not too much.

The taste starts out strong chocolate with a semi-sweet malt aftertaste. Immediately I noticed the smoothness of this beer, it is basically velvet on the tongue. Flavor doesn't develop much, just smooth mellow chocolate.

Mouthfeel is velvet.

Super easy to drink beer. Smooth and mellow are two things that this beer has in spades. Super drinkable beer that I will look forward to trying again.

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

Pours a dense, opaque molasses color. Brown head quickly dissipates, leaving a persistent ring. Aroma is of dark chocolate and coffee. The taste is a sweet expresso flavor, with chocolate. Some roasted bitterness. Mouthfeel is thick, slightly stick, with some tingling carbonation. A very nice sweet stout.

Photo of Floydster
2.68/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 ounce bottle acquired in a trade with MuenchenerKindl, thanks for providing this generous extra

Split with my friend tonight, poured into my Ommegang glass agressively

Color was pretty black but could faintly see through it in the light, light tan head that was about a half inch tall and stuck around for close to ten minutes surprisingly, not much lacing

Smell had black licorice unfortunately which was an immediate heads up for me, some dark roasted malt, faint chocolate aroma, also some small scents of caramel and milk

Taste was a little nasty in my opinion even though the licorice was not as powerful as it was in the smell, not enough chocolate to balance it still though, some hoppiness used in attempt to settle the malt down but it failed in my opinion, could not really tell what kind of hops were used either, thought this would be much sweeter but it was just a weird dry and funky stout overall

Body was pretty thin and highly carbonated, taste went away pretty quickly as well, definitely not a creamy mouthfeel like the Double Cream I drank before this

Could not drink more than another bottle of this if that, too heavy, alcohol is low but it is filling, the black licorice taste makes it hard to get down as well, not very drinkable, not smooth

Pretty disappointed with this one for the most part, do not think it measures to any of the other Bell's stouts I have tried, not worth seeking out if this beer is unavilable to you like it is for me, stick with some of the other Bell's brews

Photo of cichief
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased a case back in Pennsylvania.

Poured a deep dark, almost opaque black, with a thin brown head. Smells slightly of licorice and coffee. Starts of tasting sweet, with a coffee and licorice flavor, finishes somewhat drier than the start. It is very smooth on the tongue, little carbonation, medium to heavy in body. Very drinkable, no off tastes, very much in the style.

Photo of TheodorHerzl
3.84/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a very deep black with no highlights when held up to the light. I was a little disappointed on the head on this. A small swirl of tan head dissipated quite quickly, but did leave solid lacing on the glass. The nose is fairly classic for a sweet stout. Chocolate and coffee make way for molasses and roasted grain. The flavor profile's two strongest flavors are roasted coffee and bitter chocolate, but it also has a nice medium sweetness as well. Side flavor characteristics include black liquorice and toasted grain on my palate. The mouthfeel is full bodied and very creamy. An easy drinking stout that I would gladly have again.

3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This brew pours out of the bottle black and forms a white/caramel colored head that does not tops off and then disapates at a moderate rate. This stout has the true look of your american stout. I am enjoying this one in a Newcastle Brown Ale becker glass, don't have any idea where I snatched that one from.

A nose in the glass offers scents of chocolate, dark roast coffee, and sweetness. The sugars seem to jump out of the brew...

Tastes like it looks. A delicious traditional stout with a sweet, malty finish. Chocolate and coffee notes seem to be prodominant with a toasty sweet finish.

Not to thick for a stout, however it is a very drinkable classic american stout.

I very much have enjoyed my Bell's variety case, thank you beer god.

Photo of mjrtoo
3.66/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours very dark black with about a finger think head that seems to quickly vanish leaving a fair lacing on the Imperial pint glass from which I'm drinking.

The smell is subtle and right after pour you get the typical roasted coffee aroma, but to me, this quickly dissipates after the head is gone, leaving not much scent at all...something there but hard to describe, very very light milk chocolate maybe?

Taste...you're immediately hit with 'coffee with a cube of sugar' and chocolate flavors. Not too long after, the hoppy bitterness kicks in and finishes with dry extra bitter, roasted malty goodness.

Mouthfeel is lighter and crispier than I would like for a stout, quite crisp on the tongue actually.

Drinkability is high for a stout, but don't think I could do a six pack, it does have a kick.

All in all, I think it's a pretty good brew, but strangely sweet for my taste in a stout.

Photo of BucBasil
3.76/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. Pours a pure black color, that nothing shines through even when held directly to light. Head is dark tan, 3 fingers thick, slightly foamy to creamy, and sticks around for a surprisingly long time. All in all a great looking beer.

Smell: First impressions are of roasted malt and coffee, but upon second glance a slight chocolate note comes through as does a clean balancing aroma. The label says the beer was "brewed with brewers licorice." No licorice aroma is evident on the nose.

Taste: There's the licorice. It's just a kiss on the tastebuds for a fleeting moment as the beer hits the tongue. After that moment, the taste is quickly covered by black coffee and creamy semisweet/dark chocolate. Finishes very smooth with more of the roasted malts found throughout.

Notes: A very good stout, but I was expecting more of a unique flavor here. I might pick this up again. A good experience all around.

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

A- Very dark with a very nice, foamy head that forms.

S- Decently good aroma, maybe some coffe, or nutty aromas going on in there

T- Pretty rich, but good taste, hint of black licorice that is there but not overwhelming

M- Probably not as textured as you may think, but nothing to be ashamed about either

D- A good beer by itself, but probably not one to drink several at once. Certainly good to enjoy slowly and sip on.

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

A: Thank you NDPDuke for sending this to me to taste!

P: Pours black as coal with one finger of light tan head that settles to a scant cover and lots of lacing during the tasting.

S: Chocolate, coffee and touch of sweetness.

T: Creamy taste with chocolate, licorice and then bittersweet coffee that turns more bitter at the finish.

M: A real treat for the mouth and great flavor profile really makes this one an enjoyable drinking stout.

D: Would definitely love to have this as a constant beer in my fridge. A great one!

Photo of jackorain
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Dark brown, nearly black, no light gets through. Dark tan big bubbled head fell rather quicly to a nice lace and collar.

S-Roasted barley, charcoal and a hint of licorice

TRestrained licorice melds with a roasted barley and charcoal flavors. A though of hop bitterness comes through. There is a sour twang on the finish.

M-Light to medium body, creamy carboantion with a fizzy carbonation.

D-Not bad I could have two, but if there was other beers to choose I might switch after one.

Photo of bigdonniebrasco
3.99/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - VERY little head, very dark coffee color.

S - It is a little mettalic smelling, but still fine.

T - Once again metallic at first then dry. coffee, hoppy, and bubbly, bitter finish.

M - Maybe a tad too much carbonation for me.

D - Easy to drink..a step above the norm.
I liked it enough to drink it again, but I won't seek it out.

Photo of johnnnniee
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received in a trade with Jay23 thanks for the chance to try this.

Pours a solid black with a tan head that dissipates quickly and leaves minimal lacing around the glass. Smells of roasted malts some dried fruit and a sweet milk stout smell. Taste is sweet lactose some more of the dried fruit and a touch of hops in the background. Has a creamy mouthfeel, but is a little thin. Great sweet stout, not over the top with sweetness like so many of this style tend to be.

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

Beautiful opaque blackness. Nice tan head with great stickiness.

Mild sweetness hinted at in the aroma, otherwise the usual scents of roasted malt, a little bitter, full.

A little sickly sweet there towards the end. It's a fine ale, with nice thickness and very decent drinkability. Overall however I find it a hair lacking in some dimension of personality.

Definitely a good sweet stout; I much prefer the Expedition.

Photo of hckyfn9999
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pitch black with ruby hues around the edges when held to light. About one finger of brown, above average retention, and a touch of lace. Aroma is of dark fruit, cocoa, and roasted espresso. Wonderful aroma, sort of like an espresso brownie.

Taste is chocolately with rum soaked dark fruit. Nice roasted malt bitterness, but not overly done. Mouthfeel is smooth, and full-bodied, nice carbonation level. This is a beer I have seen at my local shop for a long time, and for whatever reason I had not picked up and I dont know why. This is a wonderful beer and will become a regular part of my rotation. Terrific stuff from Bell's.

Photo of oakbluff
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

typical looking stout- Got a good thick two finger head in a Duvel glass. Nose- some anise, bakers chocolate. Taste- very rich, and good balance of dry and chocolate/molasses sweetness. Great body and nice hoppiness on the finish. Drinks bigger than it really is. A lot of impy stouts probably wish they had the richness and flavour profile of this brew. One of the best non impy stouts I’ve had. great work!

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Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 3,737 ratings.