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Bell's Kalamazoo Stout - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Bell's Kalamazoo StoutBell's Kalamazoo Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,992 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2992
Reviews: 1406
rAvg: 4
pDev: 10.5%

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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bell's Kalamazoo Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,992 | Reviews: 1,406 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of badbeer


4.65/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out black with a nice tan head with very good retention. Smell is very complex, reminds me of Dark Lord, full of coffee, chocolate, and different dark fruits, very very good. Taste is awesome as well. Starts out deceiving, but then all of a sudden it hits you with an onslaught of taste. Beginning is green, then roasty, changing quickly into cherries, plums, other dark fruits, then adds some chocolate and coffee flavors to finish it off. If it didn't start off a little weak with the green flavor it would be an easy 5 for taste. Medium carbonation, medium to full bodied, slick on the tongue. If the very beginning of the taste was eliminated this would just be beyond a great beer, the green flavor isn't bad, but doesn't seem to fit with the rest of this beer. Seriously get this if you see it. Highly recommended. Oh, and criticize if you want, this reminds me of a baby Dark Lord, I love it.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2006 05:27:05 | More by badbeer
Photo of ColoradoBobs


4.65/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Darkest opaque brown/black with only the slightest hint of cola red-brown around the edges, under a tan thick 2 inch head that fades to a solid lid with moderate lacing.

Great smell of chocolate-coffee, toffee, bitter-roasted chocolate malt, darkest chocolate and more malted maltiness. Rich, wonderful, smooth aroma. The taste follows suit. Wow! Best stout I've had. I mean wowowow! So chocolatey-coffee-bitter-smooth you want to chew it rather than swallow.

Mouthfeel is decent, round and smoooth.

At 6.5%, this is just a bit on the strong side for a stout.

I have GOT to get me some more of this. I mean, this is great. The malt magicians at Bell's have done another magnificent job.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2006 04:23:41 | More by ColoradoBobs
Photo of mooseisloose


4.65/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Completing my Bell's Beer Slam of tonight with this stout brewed with brewer's licorice. Smell is chocolate, both milk and semi-sweet and cinnamon, some coffee, cookies and cream ice cream, wow. Pours to a jet black with a creamy tan head. Taste is roasted malts, sugars, chocolate milk and some coffee hints. Only slightly bitter at the end but overall sweet. This style is really starting to grow on me and this brew is definitely in the upper echelons of this style. Complex and delicious. A typical offering of Bell's in that it has a spectrum of flavors throughout. The mouthfeel is heavy but smooth. A little sweet to be a sessioner but these would be great rotated in with a hoppy brew.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2009 05:40:10 | More by mooseisloose
Photo of Duhast500

Rhode Island

4.65/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to freezedriedipa for this one.

Poured from the 12oz. bottle into a mug.

The color is a dark black with no highlights and a thin less then a finger brownish head with no lacing.

The smell is roasty with some coffee like flavors that are waking me up a bit. Some toffee flavor plays with me as I think of more coffee beans. Some sweet malt flavor is there just as I take a last sniff.

The taste is dark chocolate with some coffee bean flavor that was also in the nose. Some black licorice is there as well in the background with some malty sweetness and a small touch of a bitterness that is there as a stake in this beer holding it up.

The feel of this beer is hearty and full bodied. It is big but not heavy, going down with little effort it tickles as it goes down. A really delicious stout.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2010 06:17:38 | More by Duhast500
Photo of aracauna


4.63/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful pour. Deep black with dark tan head that looks almost sandy, but feels so creamy. It's a roll call of dark malt flavors and aromas: caramel and chocolate being dominate, but with an undercurrent and finish of burnt bitterness. Low to no coffee, though. Incredible stout.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2002 23:48:46 | More by aracauna
Photo of Gusler


4.63/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The pour as dark as they come with an extravagant head, a large olde frothy "Thang", long lasting and chocolate brown in color with the lace in voluptuous sheets. Nose, coffee, bitter-sweet chocolate, roasted malt, ah yes my friends one "Sniffable Beer". Front malt, sweet, the top portly, the finish is benignly acidic, stupendously hopped, lordly dry. It's a good thing that I have to beg borrow and steal these beers, as my total would be much less as why sample the rest, when you can have the best. #10 of their beers sampled, not a "loser in the bunch". Trust the olde spavined "Gusler", when I tell you this line of beers is phenomenal.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2002 17:25:54 | More by Gusler
Photo of nomad


4.63/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured damn dark with light mocha colored, very bubbly foamy head. Smell was a roast scent sweeter and less coarse in dynamic than most roasty beers - even still, it was a dark and heavy roast smell. Seemed like a milkier coffee – like coffee ice cream. Intensely dark and malty but intensely roasty, it was also almost rosy and oaky like a wine with dark fruit tones. Great balance.

Taste was dark and roasty, as it slowly coated my mouth with the tasty mouth-watering flavor: chocolate and coffee mixed together, fabulous balance of dark and sweet malts, bitter hops, and roasted barley. Not too thick a mouthfeel, this beer's flavor went everywhere in one setting while being equally centered and complementary. Deep without being an abyss, simple but presenting rich round flavors - such attributes are a rare find.

Much more a session than most stouts, and that’s the icing on the cake of milk stouts. An all-time favorite, no doubt.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2003 19:41:17 | More by nomad
Photo of sevineyes


4.63/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a brown bottle with a tan label.

A: Nice frothy dark brown head. Man this stuff is black. Light only gets through the very corners of the glass and there it's a rich brown. Leaves great lacing.

S: Dominantly sweet nose. Brown sugar. Milk chocolate.

T: Such a great taste. Thick fudge-like chocolates. Semi-sweet chocolates. Big roasty flavor. Burnt caramel. Toffee. In the finish it gets balanced by some deep bitterness that brings out some dry charcoal-like elements. Aftertaste is a great, but not overpowering, bitterness that lingers along with bits and pieces of the initial sweet. This lasts for minute after minute.

M: Big bodied, thick and creamy. Exceptionally smooth.

Overall: Ok, the smell seems like the odd man out for this beer. Everything else is so perfect that the aroma pales in comparison. Even at that, the aroma is still good. All I can say is: if you don't drink this beer, I'll pick up the slack..

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2006 02:08:27 | More by sevineyes
Photo of Iguana


4.63/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearence - Poured jet black with a beautiful 1 inch tan head, looked good from the get go.

Smell - Smells of coffee, roasted malts, dark chocolate. Smells great for a stout.

Taste - WOW, Coffee/roasted malt are massively strong in the flavor and I love it. Hint of dark chocolate. A must try for any stout lover.

Mouthfeel - Amazingly smooth, creamy, just perfect for the beer.

Drinkability- Glad my parents grabbed me 2 bottles when they were in Michigan, sadly I cant find this stuff locally but man is it good. It would be a regular in my mixed 6 packs if I could find it locally.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2006 01:42:10 | More by Iguana
Photo of phishgator


4.63/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Large creamy, thick, tan head that stays forever. The color is opaque and murky. The aroma is a nice roasted chocolate with a licorice twist. The taste follows suit. Big creamy, choclate, roasted highlights, slight astrigent bite once the beer is in your mouth (hop bitterness), and that licorice flavor pulls through. The body is medium and oooh so creamy smooth. A great brew that I can enjoy a couple in a sitting. Maybe my favorite stout.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2007 13:46:33 | More by phishgator
Photo of hellcatsjg


4.63/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Black with small tan head that mostly disappears quickly. Good looking stout here.

Smell: Chocolates and roasted coffee aromas mix with a good licorice smell. Also nice.

Taste: Very good tasting stout. You first get the chocolates and roasted coffee and toffee. After a moment, you get the licorice. Not overwhelming the other flavors but mingling well and sticking around long after the others. Very good.

Mouthfeel: Nice and thick, just what you would want from this style. Leaves a pleasant burnt licorice taste behind. May not sound that good but it tasted good.

Drinkability: Very smooth and tasty. That meants highly drinkable. Lower alcohol content makes this a beer you could have a few of. Will definitely be searching this out again. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2007 01:12:40 | More by hellcatsjg
Photo of DRjester


4.63/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'll say up front that normally I prefer a drier stout to the "Sweet Stout" style, but this beer is transcendent; it is at the same time both an excellent example of its style, and a fantastic stout to please a wider palate.

I had it as a 12oz bottle poured into a glass handled mug.

Appearance: The stout poured out of the bottle smoothly, like molasses, and settled into an inky near-blackness with nearly 2 fingers of thick, rocky head the color of good cappucino. No light could penetrate the brew, and the head settled slowly and left nice lacing on the glass. Overall, it looked exquisite.

Smell: The first scent of this brew is a shot of espresso-like dark coffee, followed by a rounded roastiness. Further investigation reveals bittersweet chocolate, hints of sweet dark fruit, and just a touch of earthy hop bitterness.

Taste: The taste follows well after the nose, with flavors of coffee, dark roasted malts, and chocolate predominating. The genius of this beer for me is that while it clearly has the milky sweetness that is the hallmark of the style, it is not so pronounced as to be overwhelming (as in Mackeson's XXX, for example), and the finish has just enough hop bitterness to balance out the profile.

Mouthfeel: Another strong point for the stout, it goes down smooth and creamy, almost luxuriously, but with just a hint of dryness to keep it from tasting syrupy.

Drinkability: I was actually astonished with how quickly I downed the first half-pint, and had to pace myself a bit on the second half. A bit of warming does this beer a good turn, and with it's good but not overly high abv, I can see this being a fantastic session beer.

All in all, the finest Milk Stout I've ever had.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2009 00:07:22 | More by DRjester
Photo of TheSupremeAJ


4.63/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Great head and dark body. Creamy roasty head. Excellent lacing,

S- Nice roasty malts with an approachable profile. Balanced.

T- Well balanced! The licorice, dark chocolate, and vanilla flavors melf perfectly.

M- Perfect carbonation and luxorious rich cocoa mouthfeel.

D- Very nice. This could be my new favorite stout.

This seems very comparable to the SN stout actually... however less hopped. This is a good go to beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2011 00:20:55 | More by TheSupremeAJ
Photo of timn


4.63/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours black as night, with a very small amount of brown foam on top. The head is thin, but has a nice, appetizing mocha color.

S: The licorice comes through above all else, along with some hints of raisin.

T: Hits with an immediate burnt, smoky wood flavor, with a hint of the licorice. The licorice actually is less prominent than in the smell, but melds nicely with the smoky flavor. Ends with a bit of coffee acidity.

M: On the thicker side of medium, but very nice mouthfeel. Creamy, smooth, great all around.

O: Teriffic. The nice smoky wood flavor is wonderful up front, and the licorice adds a nice touch. This almost reminds me of Dogfish Head's Chicory Stout, only better and more regularly drinkable. I really enjoyed this one, and will definitely be buying again.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2013 02:25:48 | More by timn
Photo of doubleipa


4.6/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Perfect big black, creamy head. I don't think it could be any more black. Great roasted coffee and chocolate. Nothing atypical with respect to sweet Stouts. Flavor was perfect. No bite or alcohol taste. Very, very smooth. This got even better as it warmed up. I wish more brewers would brew this type of stout.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2006 20:24:43 | More by doubleipa
Photo of alexgash


4.6/5  rDev +15%
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!

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2006 18:14:51 | More by alexgash
Photo of barleywinefiend


4.6/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured jet black with a nice mocha colored head which fades after a minute or so leaving some pretty nice lacing.

S: I spy...licorice, oh yeah, coffee and chocolate with a nice but very subtle dark fruit note

T: I initially receive a prominent coffee and roast note and then whammy..that licorice kicks in and shines. Love it. Some chocolatey undertones as well, then you get a licorice and some dark fruits. A good blend and balance on flavor.

M: Medium-full to full body, creamy and smooth with a dry finish.

O: Outstanding single American stout! This beer is very robust and complex for a single 6 ABV stout. It has more depth and flavor than many Imperial Stouts I have had. The licorice is well balanced as is this beer in general. Slam dunk for Bells.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2013 17:26:46 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of noahallington


4.6/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aromas of coffee and chocolate enticed as a thick, foamy head formed on the thick, dark black beer. The taste is very roasted malty and sweet, with notes of coffee and chocolate. The aftertaste is pleasantly sweet. This stout was so sweet to me that I could see myself drinking this as a digestif/dessert type beer. But the roasty stoutness complements the sweetness well.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2013 23:22:45 | More by noahallington
Photo of AllThingsNinja


4.58/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Peering out through its opacity, I was impressed by the depths of the k-zoo stout’s darkness. There wasn’t much head – but the color of the beer almost made up for that failing. The coffee and chocolate aroma drew me deeper in love with this black beauty. The strong flavors of roasted malt provided a foundation for chocolate, coffee, and a few hop notes. It’s a most excellent, full bodied and warming beer. The alcohol doesn’t play on the palate, but it contributes significantly to the mouth feel.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2004 19:02:30 | More by AllThingsNinja
Photo of SilentSabre

North Dakota

4.58/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured black as crude oil with a monster chocolate-milk coloured foamy head. Very chocolate/coffee like in smell almost like melted, warm chocolate ice cream, and extremely so in taste. Quite tasty! This is my favourite style of brew to begin with, but I'd have to place this one in particular in my top five. The mouth feel is nice and smooth and quite easy to drink. A bit heavy, but so is the nature of the beast. I have yet to have a brew of this style that wasn't a least a little bit heavy. I strongly recommend this to anyone who fancies porters/stouts.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2004 19:44:49 | More by SilentSabre
Photo of bigbubba


4.58/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This has a deep black color and a huge brown head. Almost as dark but not as oily looking as an imperial stout. The head leaves heavy lacing. There is a delicious sweet, malty, chocolaty aroma that is very appealing. The taste is great. It starts out sweet, then the chocolaty roasted flavor hits, and it finishes dry with a slight bitter aftertaste. The mouthfeel is also great. I hate thin tasting stouts but this one has some nice body and a very creamy texture.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2004 00:03:20 | More by bigbubba
Photo of irishmoss


4.58/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This pours black in the glass with a thick billowing root beer float kind of head that leaves nice patches of lace down the sides of the glass. The aroma is sweet malts, biscuits, and chocolate. The taste is sweet chocolate and caramel with some hop bitterness and roasted/burnt coffee flavors in the end. Absolutely smooth and velvety across the mouth, medium to full body…very drinkable. Wildly impressed with this stout…

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2005 05:28:24 | More by irishmoss
Photo of opwog


4.58/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Now listineing to: Jimi Hendrix - Stone Free

A- Deep dark brown...borders on pure black, with a surprisingly lighter tan head
S- mild aromas of coffee and candy sweetness
T- Awesome taste! Feels like heaven. All the best of this type of stout minus any of the potential overwhelming characteristics.
M- Again, this was perfect! I had had a meal of gamey venison, but followed it up with a bottle of this and it cleared everything away.
D- At 6%, this is one of the more perfect stouts that I have had. I normally go much higher; for imperials, but this had everything in it that I could ever ask for!

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2008 01:04:25 | More by opwog
Photo of Gyle41386

South Carolina

4.58/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Batch 9095, packaged April 16, 2009.

Opaque black pour. A rich, thick mocha head sits on top. Great head retention, sticks around until the very end. Sheets of lacing on the glass. Perfect.

Very nice mixture of sweetness and roast in the nose. The roasted barley and ground coffee bean aroma is front and center, while a sweet cream and chocolate brownie scent surrounds it.

The flavor follows suit. An initial sweetness from chocolate, black licorice and dark fruits gives way to a blast of roastiness. The roasted barley/coffee/hop bitterness is the lasting flavor. I'm not a big roast fanatic, but it's tastefully done here.

The texture and feel of this beer is perfect. Full bodied, rich and thick, much moreso than I'd expect from a 6% stout. This beer is an absolute joy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2009 03:41:32 | More by Gyle41386
Photo of BeerInReview


4.58/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - No light can escape black. 1 finger dark tan head when poured. This dissipated into a thin brown, with a tinge of red, ring of foam. Very little lacing left behind.

S - Roasted malt aroma.

T - My taste buds initially taste sweet malty goodness followed by a hint of chocolate and then a robust roasted malt flavor. The roasted malt taste lingers just long enough on the tongue to make you want to drink more.

M - Medium bodied and low carbonation. It's very smooth.

D - An overall satisfying taste and a very easy drinking beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2009 02:57:57 | More by BeerInReview
Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
90 out of 100 based on 2,992 ratings.