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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.
very good

3,387 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,387
Reviews: 1,431
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 10.53%
Wants: 149
Gots: 263 | FT: 11
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: 3,387 | Reviews: 1,431 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of circus_cat
4.03/5  rDev +1%

A: Motor oil black with a large, dark khaki head which dissipates slowly, leaving some nice lacing.

S: Wish the nose was a little stronger but it's nice. Licorice, dark fruits, baker's chocolate, espresso

T: Bittersweet baker's chocolate and dark coffee up front, licorice and dark fruits (mostly plum) through the middle, with a bitter, possibly hoppy finish reminding you it's a beer. Hints of walnut throughout.

M: Thicker than I thought--pretty full-bodied. Velvet-smooth with little noticeable carbonation,

circus_cat, Oct 03, 2012
Photo of swizzlenuts
4.03/5  rDev +1%

The nose on the beer has a sweetness that comes through with a great hint of roastiness. The beer is super black with a nice tan head, about a centimeter in height with good retention. Looks beautiful. Not much carbonation though. The flavour of this beer is pretty roasty and not very sweet; I don't think this is a sweet stout, but the flavours are quite strong. They have a good mixture of roasted barley with chocolate. The bitterness comes from the roasted malts, and the hops are far in the background. The beer is pretty creamy with a bite from carbonation. The beer is drinkable.

swizzlenuts, Oct 07, 2008
Photo of bnes09
4.03/5  rDev +1%

Deep black and completely opaque. Beautiful dark tan head with awesome frothy lacing.

Big roasted coffee and licorice aromas. Hint of smoke in the nose as well.

Taste follows suit with a bitter coffee roastiness that is hearty and satisfying. Licorice spice. Smooth molasses sweetness. Hint of bourbon and hickory smoke. Touch of herbal hop for balance. Well rounded and rich flavors.

Solid medium body. Moderate carbonation brings the flavors to your palate well. Even and smooth mid-drink with a crisp, dry finish.

Exceptional example of an American stout. Tons of flavor with excellent balance.

bnes09, Jan 19, 2011
Photo of giblet
4.03/5  rDev +1%

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.


giblet, Jun 23, 2008
Photo of youngleo
4.03/5  rDev +1%

Poured to a good two inch head. Head was light brown in color. Stout was black in appearance. Head hung around awhile and had some good lacing that left rings with every swallow. Smelled a slight sweet cream, coffee, and malt. Had a strong burnt coffee taste with again a slight cream. Had a slight burnt coffee bitter aftertaste that seemed to linger in your mouth. Felt good in the mouth. I thought the carbonation was right. Almost felt a little thicker. I would enjoy these on a cool October day like this one, but it wouldnt be my brew of choice on a hot summer day. Ill buy again and perhaps this fall once again.

youngleo, Oct 16, 2008
Photo of Roman5150
4.03/5  rDev +1%

bottle into tulip

appearance: black beer with slight off white head

smell: very coffee forward, bready chocolate, roasted malt, earthy hops, espresso, hot cocoa

taste: bready, upfront espresso and roasted coffee flavors, very airy and sort of light (think aerated chocolate vs. normal chocolate). Dark chocolate and some subtle hop bitterness makes a presence towards the end, but the flavor is pretty tame. Great drinkability for a lower abv stout.

mouthfeel: average carbonation, really thin

overall: This should be called the Session Stout. After drinking this immediately following an Expedition Stout, this is easily a sessionable beer and while on the light side for stouts, there is enough flavor complexity here to satisfy. A great well balanced brew from Bells.

Went to school in Kalamazoo, great beer town...

Roman5150, May 10, 2013
Photo of JohnnyDuvel
4.03/5  rDev +1%

Reminds me of Shakespeare stout with the combination of chocolate/coffee tase and hops bitterness. I think the Shakespeare has an edge in flavor, but this is a good stout (I liked it at least as much as the Victory Storm King). Pours a nice head with good retention, dark as night, with an appealing roasted aroma. Bitter, but not overly so. Fairly carbonated, with a medium body. I still prefer the smoothness of a Samuel Smith over the drier, more bitter micro-stouts, but this is an enjoyable beer, well worth trying.

JohnnyDuvel, Mar 08, 2003
Photo of brewcrew76
4.03/5  rDev +1%

A - Pours jet black with a thin brown head. Nice big bubbles cling to the side of the glass with some lacing.

S - Strong sweet aroma, expresso, milk chocolate, roasty malt.

T - Sweet milk chocolate, roasted malt, slight bitterness, hints of coffee.

M - Medium body with a nice creaminess.

D - A solid easy drinking stout. Nothing jumps out and grabs you about this beer but there are not really any flaws either. A great session beer to have on hand when you are looking for a nice stout.

brewcrew76, Mar 25, 2006
Photo of cagocubs
4.03/5  rDev +1%

Looked in my cellar and found this one towards the back, I'm glad it aged well...

Color: Opaque with small tan and very little to no lacing.

Smell: Roasted malt, coffee, and a nice liqorice tone.

Taste: Good bitter hops with tastes of chocolate, coffee/caramel, and slight black liqorice.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with perfect carbonation. Smooth and well balanced.

A nice stout, I would buy this one again.

cagocubs, Jul 14, 2011
Photo of yourefragile
4.03/5  rDev +1%

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Dark brown, nearly pitch black opaque liquid with a thick tan head that has nice retention and clumpy streaks of lacing.
S: Not quite as strong as expected, faint malty, fudge-like chocolate, nutty aroma. Slight hop bitterness as well.
T: Full bodied, very thick and creamy but not as cloying or lactose-y as some other milk stouts. Body has a slightly stronger nutty chocolate taste than expected and lots of rich, roasted malts. Aftertaste is more chocolate than milk. Throughout there is a subtle hop bitterness providing nice balance. One of my favorite easy drinking stouts, not just for milk stouts.

yourefragile, Apr 20, 2008
Photo of kbutler1
4.03/5  rDev +1%

Draft. Served on cask at Town Hall Tap. Poured into a nice nonic glass a dark brown color with a mocha tan head. Cask causes it to cascade like a nitro beer. Heavy roasted nose along with dark chocolate and slight leather. The head is intense and sticks around for quite a while. Medium mouthfeel, a tad light than expected. Very smooth flavors. Dark roast coffee notes upfront with some vanilla and chocolate flavors as well. Slight bitterness in the end.

kbutler1, Apr 11, 2011
Photo of Gatch
4.03/5  rDev +1%

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.

Gatch, Jun 24, 2008
Photo of BennyThon
4.03/5  rDev +1%

Poured from bottled marked 10774 PKGD 10/28/11 into a pint glass

Appearance - Pours as dark as a Coca-Cola with a small head that fades quickly. The lacing is good on both sides. Bubbles keep coming up from the bottom making the beer look almost like it's breathing.

Smell - Smells strongly of roasted coffee, with a hint of liquorice at the end.

Taste - There are strong coffee tones in the taste with a hint of bitterness, the best part is the lingering taste left in your mouth which based on the taste I would assume is the 'Brewer's Liquorice'

Mouthfeel - Creamy and thick but still refreshing, very enjoyable going down the pipe. As refreshing as an iced coffee on a hot summer afternoon.

Overall - This beer is tasty and goes down smooth. If you like stouts this one is well made and has some unique subtleties that might make it your favorite stout.

BennyThon, Sep 09, 2013
Photo of budsboy
4.03/5  rDev +1%

12 ozer. No dates.

Pours black and opaque with a tan head that runs away too fast.

Dark, roasty toasty malt aroma with bitter chocolate and hints of dark fruit. All very tempting.

Espresso, ash, sweet chocolate and a coffee bitterness. Bitter aftertaste hangs around. Malty character grows as it warms and it gets much better. The alcohol has a warming effect.

Somewhat chalky, full, yes, but a wee thin. Low carbonation.

A fairly straight-forward beer. Coffee flavors are most predominant, so if that's what you look for in a sweet stout, this is a great one. Otherwise, this is solid Bell's offering.

budsboy, Nov 03, 2005
Photo of Agold
4.03/5  rDev +1%

Kalamazoo stout pours with a deep black color with a nice tan head which quickly dissipates to a thin lacing on top of the beer. Aroma is very good. Lots of coco, roast, can get a touch of earthyness, and a very mild caramel note. The flavor is nice, but falls a bit short. The creamy chocolatey character that the aroma had gives way to more of a patent malt burnt roastyness with a bit of an earthy chalky coco flavor which is nice, but not as great as the aroma. Mouthfeel is a bit on the thin side. Not much creaminess, a bit sharp with a good level of carbonation for a stout. For me this is closer to a dry stout than a regular stout, but it is damn good anyway.

Agold, Oct 28, 2011
Photo of legalpete19340
4.03/5  rDev +1%

A: Poured very dark brown with a good thick two fingers of dark brown head. Laced well.

S: Great roastiness. Coffee, roasted malts, barley, baked raisins.

T: Comes out with a bit coffee, then strait to soft and not over powering roasted malts. Bit of dark chocolate. More coffee and bit of burnt bitterness at the end. As it warms I get the licorice which sort of floats across the top of all the other flavors.

M: A little on the chewy side but medium.

O: This is a solid refreshing stout. The flavors were solid roasted malt and dark notes. Nothing too adventurous. Delicious brew. Didn't blow my mind but very good and will certainly drink it in the future.

legalpete19340, May 13, 2011
Photo of cvfish
4.03/5  rDev +1%

A - This beer poured a very dark brown with ruby highlights that produced good sized fluffy tan head which had good retention and lace the side of the glass nicely

S - The aromas produced by this beer were chocolate, licorice, and some roasted coffee

T - The taste of this beer had roasted chocolate malts, licorice, and a bitter coffee mix which played nicely together

M - The mouthfeel of this beer had a medium body with a moderate amount of carbonation

D - I usually do not like licorice, but the addition of this to the Stout actually was welcome here and produced a good beer

cvfish, Jun 28, 2009
Photo of ThaBobfather
4.03/5  rDev +1%

Pours a deep, dark brown with a lacy rimming of brownish head.
Smells sweetly of latte, toasted malts, and a little cream.
Tastes almost like a chocolate milkshake with a small bitter twinge.
Finish is muddy, with a nice coffee bean after-taste.
Drinks very smoothly, the sweet/cream flavor makes it a great drinker.

ThaBobfather, Jun 15, 2009
Photo of meatyard
4.03/5  rDev +1%

Pours a large, tan head and leaves quite a bit of lacing as it dissapates. The color is basically black. The smell is of chocolate, coffee and figs. Tastes of dark roated malt and coffee with a slight bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium. Another very drinkable, quality beer from Bell's.

meatyard, Mar 10, 2007
Photo of drxandy
4.03/5  rDev +1%

From batch 8xxx, poured from 12oz to mini snifter
Pours a deep deep brown/opaque black, nice foamy tan head/bubble lacing

smells of chocolate, coffee, lactose, malt, spiciness

tastes of roasty bitterness, the licorice plays in nice creating a unique smokey flavor, lactose smooths things out and makes my mind think that oats are in play, chocolate, coffee, really well blended

mouthfeel is creamy with lots of texture, roasty, dry/bitter finish, delicious! one of my most favorite stouts from bells :D

drxandy, May 21, 2008
Photo of DPMomutant
4.03/5  rDev +1%

This stout is the expected pitch black in the body. The pour riles up a creamy, two-finger head. About half of it sticks as the head goes down gradually.

The smell is nice, almost just like sweetened coffee with creamer but keeping the black coffee color.

The taste is mostly true to the smell. A very small hint of chocolate in the aftertaste.

I find the mouthfeel very good in both carbonation and body. Goes down very well. The carbonation is subtle, which I prefer in this style. The body was balanced to me allowing me to keep each sip in my mouth to enjoy it.

This stout is very drinkable for dessert and after. Might be a bit sweet for most dinners but starting with dessert and even a couple after it would be very enjoyable.

DPMomutant, Jun 25, 2004
Photo of doughanson78
4.03/5  rDev +1%

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks to GCurlow for this one. Batch #9921

A: Very dark pour. Pitch black in glass. One finger head with retention that leaves a lot to be desired being only 6% ABV. Lots of carbonation bubbles on the side of the glass. Just alright lacing too.

S: Pretty big nose on this. Lots of dark fruits. Cherries, figs, raisins. A nice touch of anise. Light sweet chocolate. A very mild roasted coffee.

T: Taste in inline with the nose. Sweet upfront. Then all the fruits, chocolate, and light coffee. With lots of anise and a big roasty/burnt flavor coming in the finish. A very slight metallic note in the aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied, a tad light. Pretty creamy. A tad much on the carbonation.

O: Pretty good stout. More complex than some of the other non-Imperial stouts I've had. Maybe went a tad overboard but big kudos for doing something slightly different.

doughanson78, Aug 14, 2011
Photo of jrallen34
4.03/5  rDev +1%

I drank this from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

The beer pours a dark black with a light tan head rising about a finger. The head falls pretty quickly leaving not much but a little ring around the glass. The lacing is decent.

The aroma is light sweet malts, a little cherry with light coffee at the end.

The taste is light sweet to start but then has a pretty strong and bitter coffee finish.

The feel is medium bodied with a smooth and slightly dry finish.

Overall, pretty good, nothing crazy or overpowering, really reminds me of a sessional porter.

jrallen34, Feb 27, 2010
Photo of Pencible
4.03/5  rDev +1%

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.

Pencible, Mar 27, 2008
Photo of tlazaroff
4.03/5  rDev +1%

The roast holds true to this one, but its not a harsh roast - it's very smooth. Raisins and other dark strong fruits (dark cherry syrup) come through on the nose as well. A very nice aroma overall.

To the eye, the beer is incredibly dark with slight slight slight brown highlights where the light penetrates. The head poured out a mocha color at about a finger high, but dissipated quickly - never disappearing all the way.

Those wonderful aromas duplicate in a stringer fashion in the flavor. Again, big roast notes and dark fruit dominate with a nice espresso bean finish.

The mouthfeel is on the lighter side of full bodied, with moderate carbonation. The beer finishes dry. Overall, this is a great stout, even if I would only have one per sitting.

tlazaroff, Feb 19, 2012
Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 3,387 ratings.