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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

3,710 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,710
Reviews: 1,464
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.55%
Wants: 169
Gots: 379 | 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: 3,710 | Reviews: 1,464 | Display Reviews Only:
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 tegelaar
4.07/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a thick black with a tiny tan head. Smells rich and wonderful; notes of chocolate and vanilla with a hint of spices. Taste is also excellent - a bitter blend of cocoa and a hint of licorace. Not very sweet at all. Mouthfeel is thin and a bit overcarbed. Very drinkable despite the richness of this beer. Very nice.

Photo of Brenden
4.06/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a solid-looking stout, close to black, and it seems to have a good thickness. It forms a light brown head that, while tall, is also tight. Lacing is left in a good quantity on the glass, mostly in patches.
I don't know how similar brewer's licorice is to the garden variety black licorice, but I get a blast of something like anise both in the nose and on the tongue. There's also a touch of smoky wood. There's a nice, gentle sort of sweetness to boot. Some sort of berry something pulls into it and adds another dimension. Some char and bittersweet cocoa, along with a touch of coffee grounds, make this the complete package, while a light astringency that doesn't mar the flavor pulls into the finish.
The body is pretty full with a nice thickness, and pleasantly creamy off a bite of crispness.

Photo of theghost3
4.06/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown, almost black. There's a 2-finger, light brown head. The head decreases into just a thin layer that stays throughout. Average lacing.

The smell is mainly burnt coffee malts and licorice with just a hint of esters. The taste is overwhelmingly burnt coffee. There are hints of caramel along with herbal hops. Mouthfeel is creamy; just slightly carbonated.

This is a very drinkable stout. A little burnt tasting, but still excellent, and the 6 percent ABV makes it sessionable.

Photo of Greywulfken
4.06/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: black ale body with a few fingers of dark ice cream float head; great persistence, nice cap lasted throughout, lace and messy motes left behind

S: dark malt and roasty aromas, hints of sweetness and smoke

T: licorice came through on the very first sip; cocoa-esque malt flavors, some soy and some cola - very interesting and complex/compelling

M: smooth, medium body, not very coating, no palpable carbonation; super-drinkable; some bittersweet aftertaste that'll leave ya wanting another

O: whatta class act Bell's has proven to be - this is a quality stout that'll satisfy most fans of the style, dark ales, porters, and the like - licorice is showcased quite nicely - I suppose if you dislike licorice, this beer may not strike you the way it struck me.

Photo of JayS2629
4.06/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Beautiful black color with hints of red in the light, a thick tan head, nice retention, and delicate sea foam lace.

S- Bold roasted coffee, char, hints fo dark chocolate, earthy notes, adn burnt toffee.

T- Dark chocolates and robust roasted coffee, roasted malts, burnt toffee, earthy, herbal and coffee bitterness in the finish along with a mineral water and char that lingers. Mostly pleasant, with a subtly hint of licorice. Very complex and well done, I'm just not a fan of licorice so this one doesn't make my favorite list.

M- Medium bodied, creamy, dry and bitter finish

D- Not too thick, medium bodied, easy to drink but heavy.

Photo of JamieDuncan
4.06/5  rDev +2%

Photo of r3zim
4.06/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured chilled into a room temp pint glass with a full tan head that stays throughout the session. Carbonation appears medium to high. Color is black.

Smell is of coffee, roasted malts, and chocolate.

Taste is full of roasted and chocolate flovors. Finishes with a medium bitterness.

Smooth with a chalky aftertaste.

Very drinkable. Carbonation is just right.

Photo of cvstrickland
4.06/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a seidel yields an opaque mahogany body with ruby highlights at the edges... topped with three fingers of rocky tan foam that reduces to a chunky sheet and leaves patches of lacing.

Smells of licorice and buttery caramel and roasted barley; slight chocolateyness.

Sweet drink; dry dark chocolate milk and bitter coffee, chewy mild licorice with an alkaline cocoa finish.

Medium-bodied, dry and somewhat crisp up front, with a lingering sticky, chewy oily character in back. Lively carbonation.

Photo of rayjay
4.06/5  rDev +2%
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!

Photo of ahking
4.06/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Great drinkable stout! One of the best tasting and balanced stouts I have ever had. Smooth, malty, roasty with a hint of chocolate. These flavors really come out as it warms. A nice 6.50% ABV. Pours rather thick (but not too thick) with a creamy-tan head. Lacing goes all the way down the glass. Recommended!

Photo of garymuchow
4.06/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black, black, black with one of the darkest brown/tan heads I've ever seen. The head is thick and slowly recedes.
The aroma is tough to get, in that it's really quite light in quality. Seems largely dark malt, but it's hard to identify other characteristics.
Definitely dark malt with a high roast taste. Fairly bitter finish that is quite long lasting. The sweetness is soft and light and fairly brief. The roast provides a sharpness that takes away from smoothness and creaminess, thus not as creamy as I would expect. Rather thick and heavy mouthfeel. Seems like the abv would be higher with all that heaviness.
This is a tasty stout, just seems kinda' low on the creaminess and sweetness factors, with the creaminess (for me) being an especially nice characteristic for this style.

Photo of Jacurdy60
4.06/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A-Pours the typical impermeable black color of a stout with a creamy one finger toffee colored head with good retention. Foam coats the entire glass as I sip and leaves small patches of foam behind. Foam cascades slowly down the glass when i stir.

S-Roasted malts, toasted nuts, burnt oaky smell with touches of sweet licorice. I'm also picking up traces of a rubbery phenolic smell in the back of the nose.

T & MF-Toasted nuts and roasted malts make up the front of the taste as it fades into a bittersweet finish of licorice and a burnt oaked finish. Pretty tasty. Mouthfeel is thick but is crisp on the swallow but not too overcarbonated. Very satisfying as the thickness of a stout is present but is balanced well with a crisp finish

O-So far, my favorite Bell's brew. It's the only one that exceeded my expectations. Subtle, but the flavors all make a good presence. The body is thick and chewy but it finishes crisp. Very satisfying brew.

Photo of rye726
4.06/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, blackish brown with a silky tan head. Good lace and retention.

Nose has roasty malts, cocoa, molasses, floral hops and coffee.

Taste is also quite roasty, yet well balanced.

Medium body well carbonated.

Nice session beer to wash down a burger.

Photo of BeerResearcher
4.06/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown bottle. No Freshness date.
I used to change the oil of my old cars...way past the recommended 3k intervals and that's the color. The big tan head fades beat feet fast, but leaves a cluster of sticky, clingy lace in its wake.
The aroma is a bit subdued. Roasted barley, coffee and chocolate notes are backed by a faint floral hoppy smell.
The extra toasted malt is lightly smoky. Flavors of dark chocolate, coffee with cream and sugar, and light rye bread are all quite distinct and separate.
A potent grapefruity, sharp edged hop bitterness counters the independent malt flavors. A mild warming alcohol remains throughout
This Sweet Cream Malt is true to the style. Nice!
Thanks Feloniousmonk!

Photo of arizcards
4.06/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 9526 packaged 12-30-09, picked up at Total Wine in late February for $9.49.

Beer poured black with a nice two finger tan head that is long lasting. Nose is roasted malts. Taste is roasted malts with a coffee presence, finish is hoppy. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and very smooth. Drinkability is quite good. This is a nice roasty hoppy stout that is almost at a sessionable abv level. A beer definitely to put into the rotation!

Photo of cd34
4.06/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of allergictomacros
4.06/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pitch black. Huge, solid brown foam with fantastic lace.

S - Roasted grain and related dark, toasty aromas. Coffee.

T- Big astringent toastiness with a leafy backdrop. Very bitter. Not tasting any licorice - I guess it's been obliterated by other flavours. Quite dry, and acidic up front with a bit of an apple presence.

M - Medium mouthfeel with a moderate carbonation. Dry.

D - Easy drinking, tasty stout.

Photo of SIRIUS2
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass, producing sort of a thin layer of light brown bubbles that eventually went to thin ring. Light lacing. Color is a think inky brown.

S: Very faint chocolate malt aroma, not quite coffee in nature.

T: Robust heavy taste rich in bitter chocolate malts. The malts seem to have their own bitterness but there isn't much in the way of discernible hops.

M&D: Thick and chewy in the mouth with light but sharp carbonation that works to enhance the mocha bitterness. Heavy and satisfying.

Nice chewy stout. The flavors are complex and there is a struggle between sweet and bitter over the tongue. That bitter chocolate coffee taste wins out though with a similar linger that sticks with you way past the finish. I don't know that I necessarily agree with the "sweet stout" designation but I enjoy the beer just the same.

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

Nice and dark, notes of long lasting chocolate without a heavy or bitter expresso taste...medium body with slight glass adhesion...this is really good stout, akin in the bottle to many cask conditioned stouts...worth letting warm, taking advantage of its lack of carbonation -- its the next best thing to sitting over the British cellar in your living room.

Photo of glid02
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this from the Liquor Loft in Tallahassee.

Pours an opaque black with a two-finger light chocolate colored head. The head sticks around for a while, and there's not a whole lot of lacing.

Smells both roasty and chocolatey, with a faint hop smell. I tried really hard and could smell the licorice.

Tastes much more roasted in the taste than in the smell. There's a good deal of bitterness at the end.

Mouthfeel is very good. The thickness is good and I hardly even have to swallow for it to go down it's so smooth.

This is a pretty drinnkable beer. Nothing is too intense, and the fact that it's so smooth certainly helps.

Overall this isn't a great beer, but it is a very good one. Worth a shot.

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

Thanks to thefatkid13 for the trade. Pours a deep, dark black with garnet highlights, topped by an inch of creamy brown head that leaves some nice lacing. Aroma of coffee grounds, dark chocolate, dark fruit, and some fruity hops. Palate is rich, sweet malt, milk sugar, dark chocolate, and just a touch of bittering from the hops. Body is rich and velvety, damn near perfect. An excellent milk stout, and one that I wish I'd asked for more of in my trade.

Photo of strictly4DK
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into my Spinnerstown Hotel flute glass.

A - Pours black with ruby hues. 1 finger tan head recedes to a collar. Little lacing.

S - Upfront very roasty and notes of weak coffee. Slight hop presence, earthy. Certain whiffs give a sweetness that I just can't put my finger on.

T - Strong roasted malts, very nutty like a chestnut possibly. The next layer of flavor is bittersweet chocolate and faint coffee. Finishes with an earthy hop balance and roasted malts which purvey the entire sip. As the beer warms, the advertised licorice becomes noticeable. Sweet licorice upfront and black licorice lingers on the palate. Faint fruity dryness almost like a port.

M - Solid carbonation. Creamy and slightly chewy. Bitter malt and hops linger.

D - This beer is so complex it makes many an RIS seem simple. No element of this beer is even slightly offensive to the senses. This will be a staple in my fridge.

Photo of tone77
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has an inky black color with a 1/2 inch head, considerable lacing throughout. Smell is of roasted malts and chocolate. Taste is the same, chocolate and roasted malts, very little in the way of licorice. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall is a very enjoyable beer.

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

A: Dark brown color pours from bottle to glass. A finger of light chocolate colored head slowly dissipates

S: Rich coffee/cocoa smells. With a deeper sniff I catch more dark chocolate on the nose.

T: A sweet molasses start with some espresso tones in the middle. Some burnt oatmeal notes in the finish. I don't take the licorice in it.

M: Some carbonation up front but finish is slick/creamy

O: A very tasty brew. I would get it again it it was distributed to my state.

Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 3,710 ratings.