Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

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

Not Rated.
Bell's Kalamazoo StoutBell's Kalamazoo Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,495 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,495
Hads: 3,980
Avg: 4.03
pDev: 17.37%
Wants: 180
Gots: 517 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-11-2001

Stout brewed with Brewer's Licorice.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bell's Kalamazoo Stout Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 1,495 | Hads: 3,980
Photo of dmgallag
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Has all the tastes previous reviewers have noted. Roasted chocolate, a nice balance to everything, and a clean aftertaste. My only issue...too thin a mouthfeel. Maybe I've been spoiled with too much oatmeal stout!

 216 characters

Photo of spoony
3.74/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From a 355 ml bottle (packaged September 2, 2015) to a snifter. Reviewed from notes dated November 5, 2015.

A-The beer is pretty much black and opaque. A dense, pillowy head of roughly one and one-half fingers sits atop the beer. The foam is tan in color and retention is pretty good.

S-The aroma is nice mixture of roasted barley flavors, a little whiff of smoke, licorice (or anise), some prune, blueberry, and a bit of lactose. It smells like a stout should smell; not over-the-top with any one flavor.

T-The taste is less interesting. I get more earthy, dull, dusty flavors on the palate. There is still some licorice and roast flavors, but none of the fruit and the beer tastes a bit metallic. Odd.

M-The feel is medium in heft with a moderate carbonation for the style. Nothing off or inspirational here.

O-The smell had me hoping for more. The licorice is there, and I will not knock this beer for being subtle instead of in-your-face, but the taste left a little to be desired. Just kind of dull. On the plus side, it looks really nice and smells pretty nice too.

 1,078 characters

Photo of SaltofOH
3.63/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle dated 9/2/15. Pokal glass.

Smell: Potent dark chocolate; licorice; savory note; perhaps some alcohol, but faint. Smells like a stout, alright. No off notes, but not really complex.

Appearance: Held up to a very bright light, totally opaque - no light penetrates. Around the edges, there is a slight dark red hue when held up to said very bright light, but in normal lighting, no reddish tints are visible. Formed a 2 finger, extremely frothy and thick light brown (darker than tan) head. Lacing was very good. Retained very well: a cap of tan skim all the way to the last sip.

Taste: Being a coffee lover, I would not say this tastes anything like coffee, but perhaps like dark or bittersweet chocolate. Not much sweetness to it, which I have observed in the past. That savory note is strong on the arrival. Sweetness builds across mid-palate, but is at most mild sweetness. Then it turns dry, bitter, and woodsy/herbal. Not as bitter as some stouts I've had lately, but extremely bitter relative to its perceived weight in the mouth and level of sweetness.

Mouthfeel: On the lighter side of full-bodied. Some residual slickness, but over all not slick. Very mild carbonation, but more present than many shouts I've had. Really, it is a perfect level of carb for a stout.

Overall: This is a lot like the last time I had it; it is very roasty and easy drinking as stouts go. The roast bitterness is quite strong, particularly in relation to the subdued sweetness. If you want a classic stout with very high bitterness but moderate alcohol, this is a go-to beer. I think my preference is to have beers of this style a touch sweeter, though. Not six-pack worthy for me.

 1,685 characters

Photo of Wer34truh
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Large foamy head, with massive bubbles. The body is a brownish black, with a lot of still carbonation.

Smells of licorice, roasted coffee beans and chocolate.

A strong and immediate taste of roasted (or rather, burnt) malts, that slowly transitions into a delicate balanced taste of chocolate, with some stinginess courteous of the licorice. Great aftertaste, but the immediate shock of burned flavors leaves something to be desired for.

Feel is solid with moderate carbonation and a relatively light feel. Not a beer I am going to write love letters to, but I will have no problems downing a few of these. I must say though, that the taste grew on me as the beer warmed. A solid session stout.

Bought as a six-pack for $10.95.

 735 characters

Photo of MACrist
4.98/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Reviewed in consideration of the American stout style. This is not necessarily a sipper of a stout, though you may very well want to. The appearance is jet black. Nice 2+ finger head with a fairly aggressive pour. Nice lacing all the way down the glass while consuming. The aroma...this is, like most brews of it's kind, one that should be served not chilled below 50 degrees, imo. I have drank a few right out of the fridge at 40 degrees and you may as well grab just about any really cold beer at that point, well, just about :) Warmed up you get deep dark roasted malt, and lots of chocolate and coffee. Twirl the glass and it kicks the aroma up a notch and you can pick up the brewers yeast...that licorice like quality. Carbonation is fairly mild, if I pour very slowly at a tilt and drink cold, the carb is much more pronounced. The flavor has a nice bitterness, then sweetness, and then pleasant mild bitterness for the finish. You get all the chocolate and coffee notes in the taste that you get in the aroma. The mouthfeel really depends on the pour. If you pour more aggressively with most beers, you get less carbonation feel by the end of the beer. I'd say overall the mouthfeel is medium. It's not dry but not too sticky either. To me, this is kind of the working man's stout. You come home from work and want a great beer without over analyzing it. It's an American stout, it's exactly what it claims to be. It's a great thing

 1,440 characters

Photo of Shippy
4.01/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From a bottle. Pours black with a light tan head. Smoky malt aromas dominated by notes of coffee. Full bodied with an earthy, chocolatey flavor. Some mild bitterness. Malty aftertaste.

 184 characters

Photo of kbwalters
3.74/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured cold into a libby stout glass. Bottled on 4/7/14 consumed on 8/28.
Look = 4.0 Pours a deep black color, bubbly with 1 finger of brown head that fades to a cap. Dense sticky lace.
Aroma = 3.75 Roasted malts; sweet chocolate notes, coffee highlights and a little licorice.
Taste = 3.75 Roasted malt dominates. Coffee notes on the back end. Low bitterness on the finish. Roasted malt taste lingers in the after taste. Very roasty.
Feel = 3.5 Medium bodied but a little thin and watery. Medium to high carbonation, some fizz on the tongue.
Drinkability = 4.0. The roasted malt taste is strong, decreasing drinkability somewhat. Comes in at 6% ABV.
Overall = 3.775 Pretty solid stout all around, but not exceptional in any category. The heavy roasted malt flavors hid any chocolate or coffee that you’d maybe expect.

 831 characters

Photo of TheBeerMaster1
3.55/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was the most carbonated beer I've ever had. It was actually getting ridiculous on how much carb it had my buddies and I laughed at it for like five minutes straight. Some reviews are saying it was too carbed, some say not enough, I want to know what beers those who felt it is mildly carbed are drinking. But I digress. Wasn't strong on the coffee, but had a good bout of chocolate and dark fruit. Almost licorice like. Bells sold out on this one, I know they can do much better.

 484 characters

Photo of citizencane
4.63/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Very dark appearance with decent head. Reddish tint, perhaps?

S: Smells of stout and licorice, though is not too fragrant. Smells damn good but the smell doesn't seem to carry far, and I found myself having to stick my nose deep into the glass to smell anything at all.

T: taste is where this beer shines. Solid stout flavor with a suitable amount of licorice. Delicious.

M: slightly too carbonated for my taste.

O: If you like stouts and licorice, get this. It's delicious.

 486 characters

Photo of clager
4.58/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Jet black, opaque with lacy tan head

S: Roasted malt, coffee, a little bit nutty

T: Nice balance of roasted malt, coffee, cocoa. Did not notice the licorice that others have mentioned but wasn't really looking for it either. One of the best tasting beers I've had, and I am normally a hophead.

F: Very smooth, less carbonated than I am used to but perfect for a stout

O: Really well-done stout, makes me want to brew one myself and try more

 447 characters

Photo of larryi86
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, dated 5/30/15, poured into a snifter

A- Black with a small mocha head.

S- Roasted malts, some cocoa, coffee, licorice

T- Roasted coffee, licorice, bittersweet chocolate, nicely balanced.

M- Smooth, medium body.

O- A very nice easy drinking stout, worth picking up. I feel licorice stout are very hit and miss with me, but this one is good.

 358 characters

Photo of W_Des
4.16/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque black body. Got a lot of roasted notes to it and its a full flavored stout. I like it though I still prefer stronger coffee or chocolate stouts.

 160 characters

Photo of TH28
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle. 2/26/15 package date (5mths old). Appearance: Black, opaque, thick, creamy brown head. Aroma: Roasty malt, dark cocoa, hint of vanilla Taste: Starts with sweet rich maltiness, rich roast and coffee, and some dark cocoa. Moderately strong bitterness. Very smooth flavor considering the heavy roast. Mouthfeel: Medium body and moderate carbonation. Finish: Lingering bitterness and roast. Very dry. Overall: Good American style stout. Roasted malt flavor is dominant, but smooth instead of harsh. Complimented by some sweet base malt and chocolate. Drinkable considering the richness and alcohol.

 607 characters

Photo of Absolut
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark black pour with a thick tan head. Smells of roasty coffee and licorice. Smooth and creamy.

Really an excellent stout with a ton a flavor for 6%.

Bottled 2-15. Poured 7-24 into a pint glass.

 199 characters

Photo of Rootscipio
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Black as night stout with a creamy tan one finger head. Tasted of dark chocolate and coffee just a touch of liquorice lingers in the aftertaste. It has a nice silky creamy mouthfeel that is just a tad thin but is still good for a 6% abv.

Overall a fabulous low abv stout. this is really about as good as it gets for roasty stouts that are slightly sessionable abv wise.

 371 characters

Photo of Zaktcc
4.79/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Pours a dark brown, borderline black color with a 2 finger, toffee colored head. Good head retention and lacing is present.

S - The beer showcases a very robust and well defined aroma. Roasted malts and coffee are the most dominant aromas I can pick up on. A more underlying sweetness is present as well via chocolate aromas. Very appeasing to the nose.

T - One of the best stouts I've had regarding flavor. The flavors in the beer are very pronounced and well defined; living up to the aromas. Notes of coffee and "smoked" flavorings up front proceeded by the roasted malts and subtle hints of sugar. Leaves a subtle sweetness on your lips.

M - Medium bodied beer with mild carbonation that isn't too notable with each sip. Leaves a foamy/ frothy mouthfeel with each sip and a lingering aftertaste of roasted malt. Fairly dry beer, as to be expected with a stout. No complaints in feel.

O - Bell's has yet to let me down. A phenomenal stout overall with robust flavors and aromas. Personally I'm not a big coffee fan (aside from the smell) though I've come to start appreciating the flavor within beer. No complaints and happy I bought the six-pack!

 1,161 characters

Photo of Cheeseboo
4.7/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Another fantastic stout. I couldn't taste even a hint of licorice, even though it is mentioned on the bottle, but that is a plus for me as I cannot stand the taste of licorice.

 177 characters

Photo of DoctorZombies
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black pour with tan head; good lacing. Cocoa powder and roasted malt aromas. Chocolate malt with a hint of licorice on the back end. Smooth lite mouthfeel; toasty malty anise linger. Overall a lite easy drinking stout.

 218 characters

Photo of sammorito
3.45/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

pours a thick black color with a brownish head that sticks around for a bit and leaves a good lacing.smells malty with some brown sugar and caramel with a little bit of alcohol. burnt coffee flavors through out with a but of chocolate. malt underneath and some licorice that i had trouble finding till about half way through the beer. has char aftertaste that sticks around for a long while. nice a full bodied. its not a bad taste but i dont find the flavors to mix well i get hit by big flavors at different times and they start to be a bit over powering at times.

 567 characters

Photo of 44yrtaster
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This delicious stout could convince me to try more stouts! Smooth, warm and light on the tongue, this brew has a wonderful depth of flavor and gorgeous deep brown color with clear chocolaty notes. Further it made a wonderful 100% liquid in a crockpot pork butt & onion pulled pork recipe! Great versatility.

 310 characters

Photo of drunkenmess
4.29/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours very super dark with no chance of light passing thru. Nice frothy dark tan head. Sticky sexy lacing thru out.
Smellis slight boozy with hints of dark chocolate.
Taste is amazing. Not too heavy not too light. After taste is very prominent with hints of malts a bit of coffee, burnt or smokey remnants.
Good stuff. Always dig Michigan's brews.

 357 characters

Photo of alarmclock314
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Huge smoked malt and char presence in this beer. Reminds me of a less potent version of Dark Horse's Fore Smoked Stout, but with more carbonation and a lighter mouthfeel.

 170 characters

Photo of lwillitz
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12-oz bottle into porter/stout glass

A - 2 fingers of dark tan over a pitch black body (red-orange highlights), decent web of lace

S - roast malts, smoke, licorice

T - caramel sweetness, lots of burnt flavor, dark chocolate, bitter coffee, licorice, burnt aftertaste

M - chewy, smooth, full body, moderate carbonation

O - This is a good stout. The licorice improves the flavor in a unique way.

 399 characters

Photo of 12YEW55311
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

I really like this one. Tastes a bit like a bonfire.. Like burnt wood. Dark with tan head.. I'm not getting much licorice taste but I don't eat much licorice. Smokey and sip able.

 179 characters

Photo of Gajo74
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A delightful stout! Pours apiece black with a creamy head. Strong coffee aroma. Taste of roasted malts and with a nice hoppy finish. Smooth and creamy. Another great effort by Bells Brewery.

 190 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
90 out of 100 based on 1,495 ratings.