1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.
BA SCORE
89
very good

3,395 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,395
Reviews: 1,432
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 10.53%
Wants: 149
Gots: 264 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bell's Kalamazoo Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,395 | Reviews: 1,432 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of domnalbrecc
4.75/5  rDev +19%

domnalbrecc, Jun 02, 2013
Photo of Peg2009
4.75/5  rDev +19%

Peg2009, Mar 17, 2013
Photo of Joe_Beer
4.75/5  rDev +19%

Joe_Beer, Jun 10, 2012
Photo of stephensinner
4.75/5  rDev +19%

stephensinner, Nov 05, 2012
Photo of hoppyboy69
4.75/5  rDev +19%

hoppyboy69, Aug 20, 2013
Photo of bozebus17
4.75/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This one is as dark as beer comes, it is blacker than black, the same color as coca-cola. The head is toffee colored. It starts off full and rocky but thins out to about a quarter-inch. It lasts all the way down.

The beer has one of the strongest scents I have come across. As I swirled it in the glass a lady across the room who doesn't like beer complained that she could smell it. One whiff of this and you know you have a stout in front of you. Roasted malt and coffee pull through stronger than anything else. There is also a really sweet smell that I cannot put my finger on.

As soon as this beer hit my lips I was in another world. I am a stout lover and this is one of the best I have come across. I am hit with a sweet caramel flavor along with the roasted malt. It is perfectly balanced with just the right amount of bitterness. But beware, this beer has a lot of everything. As strong as the scent is the flavor has twice the potency.

The mouthfeel was luxurious. It was rich and creamy, is this a beer or a milkshake? After I swallowed each gulp I was left with carbonation dancing on my tongue.

For being as full as it is this beer is extremely drinkable. I had three of these in one session tonight and I had to resist the urge to open a fourth. The alcohol is not apparent, it might be easy to get in trouble with this beer. I found myself having a hard time taking polite sips. You'll want to gulp this one. A great offering from Bells stellar lineup.

I notice my review is higher than many of the others. Maybe being in Michigan I have the chance to get this beer a lot fresher than BAs out of state.

bozebus17, Apr 17, 2005
Photo of MKRichey
4.75/5  rDev +19%

MKRichey, Sep 07, 2012
Photo of fountainofyouth
4.75/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased a six-pack after hearing so many good things! Poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a pretty big, two-finger light brown head. This could easily be mistaken for crude oil, no chance of light getting through. Good lacing.

Smell: Sweetish and almost oaty, despite no use of oat in the malt. There are also hints of caramel and sweet chocolate.

Taste: This beer is like having a piece of very dark, almost burnt toast -- I want to chew on it! The semisweet oat quality is also present. Virtually no hops.

Mouthfeel: There's a strange and unique duality -- a clean finish on the palate, but a heavy coating on the tongue. Light carbonation that doesn't interfere with the taste at all.

Overall: An excellent stout in all regards. Very hard to beat.

fountainofyouth, Oct 05, 2011
Photo of leeswagerty
4.75/5  rDev +19%

leeswagerty, Jul 18, 2012
Photo of Lukass
4.75/5  rDev +19%

Lukass, Oct 27, 2013
Photo of docrates
4.75/5  rDev +19%

docrates, Jun 06, 2012
Photo of beaker30
4.75/5  rDev +19%

beaker30, Apr 25, 2012
Photo of a6ladd
4.75/5  rDev +19%

a6ladd, Oct 05, 2012
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.72/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I haven't had a beer that approaches perfection in a while, this was a nice surprise. Pours an opaque black into a Belgian glass. One finger of head, reduces to a thin covering.

Very aromatic, big chocolate and roasted coffee nose (with 2 sugars, please), even some cinnamon coffee cake?

Tastes of dark roasted coffee beans, slightly grassy, turns bittersweet and charcoal. Good bitter aftertaste (maybe a bit much) with some smoldering, smoky roasted malts.

Fairly good body for a stout, Nice coating but not as oily feeling in the mouth as it appears on the glass. Good carbonation makes this a treat to drink.

Reasonable abv, tasty enough to be on the short list whenever a good stout or 3 is necessary. Deserves permanent shelf space in my fridge.

brewdlyhooked13, Jul 05, 2003
Photo of jeffmonarch
4.72/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle in a pint glass

A - Beautiful, nice dark brown with a hint of red, nice caramel brown head.

S - Good, chocolate, earthy

T - Chocolate, a hint of coffee. It has a nice smoky flavor to it.

M - Creamy smooth, flavors change as it moves through the mouth and leaves with a smoky after taste.

D - This is one of my favorite stouts. I could drink these all day.

jeffmonarch, Mar 16, 2007
Photo of kunzbrew
4.72/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours an opaque black with a monster tan head that when it reduces slowly leaves a rocky mountains in the glass. The lace that is left behind is almost poetic.

The smell of hops, robust malts and coffee fill the nose. The undertones of the malt hit the nose strong but the robustness of malt takes the cake.

This full bodied stout has a butter flavor that is nice to match the strong coffee and robust malt flavor kick ass. The twang of coffee is the strongest flavor that fills the palatte.

This is another great brew from this great brewery.

Cheers

kunzbrew, Apr 08, 2003
Photo of AudioGilz
4.72/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This stout is simply one of the best. It's pitch black, very opaque, and has one heluva roasted aroma. There is also a small hint of chocolate in the aroma as well. The mouthfeel is so smooth and creamy, with also a crisp carbonation if you leave a swig in your mouth for a little while. Taste is very much dominated by the roastiness and wow is it enjoyable. Chocolate comes through a little bit, more so in the finish along with the bittersweetness. The aftertaste lasts long and is burnt coffeeish. I can't find anything I don't like about this stout. It's one of my favorites and I could easily drink one for dessert, or even a few in a row if I really want to indulge.

AudioGilz, Feb 06, 2003
Photo of kbnooshay
4.72/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a black as he'll color with no head. Smells like a rich milk chocolate and roast roast roastiness. Tastes the same with rich chocolate flavor and coffee hints. Feel is super smooth and moderate to thick with the slightest carbonation. Creaminess and roastiness. Come on bells. Just fucking distribute to western ny already.

kbnooshay, Aug 07, 2011
Photo of sutcliff
4.72/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Simply excellent. As soon as I finished my first bottle, I was online looking up the brewery and how far it was from St. Louis. The aroma was sublime. The taste was warm, sweet, and urging me to take another sip. The color was black as a moonless night. The head was nice and thick with good lacing throughout the glass.

sutcliff, Sep 03, 2004
Photo of Shovelbum
4.7/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A robust mocha head over a black body. The head lingers to the bottom of the glass and a Smells of sweet and roasted malt and espresso. Sweet malt flavors upfront joined by vinous fruit. Notes of espresso, bittersweet chocolate and roasted grain as well. Balanced by a mild bitterness. Full-bodied and moderate carbonation. Smooth in the mouth with a slightly drying finish.

The sweetness of this beer might be a bit too much for some, but I like it and it is a “sweet stout” afterall. That being said the k-zoo stout is very well balanced and has an exceptional amount of complexity. This is a mainstay around our house.

Shovelbum, Feb 11, 2006
Photo of happy4hoppybeer
4.7/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A=Pitch black with thin head that fizzles away rather fast,leaving only faint,moderate lacing.

S&T=Roasted barley,toffee,cocoa, some natural dark flavors. Comes through fairly thick. Very impressive.

M=Medium to heavy body, ditto with the carbonation. Could use less carbonation,IMO.

Really good example of stout. Thick,creamy and bursting with rich dark stout flavors, highly recommended.

happy4hoppybeer, Jan 12, 2011
Photo of baos
4.7/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. into my smaller Trappist glass

A: Very dark pour with dark big bubbled head about one finger that dissipated to a thin ring around glass. Very nice lacing.

S: Coffee and Chocolate and a deep loamy greenhouse goodness. childhood wood-burning kit.

T: Super roasted malty-hoppiness. Starts sweeter than most stouts and ends bitterer. Nice blackened taste as well.

M: Nice and creamy not as full as some I've had but this beer is great.

D: I give her an A!

baos, Sep 15, 2007
Photo of elNopalero
4.7/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had on tap while visiting the hometown. Always a treat!

This pours a thick rich creamy chocolate color with a tight cocoa lace.

It has a smooth chocolate roast aroma to it. Flavor is wonderful—dark cocoa, dark roast—big, rich, and smooth. Great finish. As enjoyable as I remembered!

elNopalero, Jan 20, 2013
Photo of jmbranum
4.69/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

AR 4.5 AP 5.0 F 4.75 MF 4.5 OA 4.75

Bought in a bottle in Elkhart, IN. Transported home by bicycle, car and then train to get it home. Poured into a wine glass for sampling here in Oklahoma.

Pours a glorious almost black with a nice dark tan head.

Toasted coffish aroma.

The flavor is gloriously dry. Lots of toastyness but nothing is out of place. Lots of interesting spicy notes. The label mentions licorice but I can pick up some other root beer like flavors. 90% cocoa dark chocolate. A little of raisins maybe. Lingering roasted notes. Nice smooth finish.

Mouthfeel is smooth and full. Maybe a tiny bit too much carbonation but I'm really neatpicking here.

An extremely good beer. The best dry stout I've had in a while.

jmbranum, Yesterday at 11:20 PM
Photo of weasbri
4.68/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on St. Patrick's Day as my Guinness alternative. Not really a fair comparison though. I'm also not 100% convinced of the milk/sweet stout label either, but what do I know?
Midnight black color, the head has strong retention and laces the glass nicely. Nice roasty aroma, a tinge of something else chocolatey.
Full-bodied flavor, full of caramelly roast character, mixed with some bitterness, a bit hoppy and a bit coffee. Just a smidge of licorice flavor too. This is an interesting beer, as I found that the flavors would alternate while in my mouth, so there would be a bit of sweet roastiness, some bitterness, more sweet, then more bitter.
Solid stout, one I'll seek out again.

weasbri, Mar 27, 2007
Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 3,395 ratings.