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

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

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BA SCORE
89
very good

3,842 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,842
Reviews: 1,504
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.8%
Wants: 172
Gots: 446 | FT: 9
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: 3,842 | Reviews: 1,504
Photo of allengarvin
3.79/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Dark ruby-tinted brown, with a small but dense head of tan foam.
S: Roast and black patent malt.
T: Roast is not as strong as I was expecting, but it's certainly a major flavor component, balancing out the natural sweetness of the beer. It's also lightly chocolately with a latte like flavor.
M: very smooth and creamy.

Photo of leantom
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Have seen this in stores for a long time. Here goes:

A: Good. Pours a dark black with an ample head and decent lacing. No light gets through this beer.

S: Good, but nothing special. Smells of coffee beans and some chocolate. A pretty malty beer with no hop aroma. Just like a regular stout.

T: Taste follows the nose. Some chocolate and caramel giving way to plenty of bitter coffee in the aftertaste. Lactose sugar in the beer imparts a creaminess that softens the bitterness, however.

M: OK - somewhat watery.

O: A good beer with some flaws. Enjoyed the flavor but it was rather simplistic.

Photo of Roxie_B
4.79/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout.
Serving: Bottle
Appearance: 1 finger of tan head that dies down to a creamy lacing.
Smell: Dark fruit, malt, coffee, chocolate covered raisins, chewy bread.
Taste: Sweet malty fruit, raisin toast, coffee.
Mouthfeel: Creamy, satiny with the slightest bit of carbonation.
Overall: I have a new favorite beer.

Photo of Chickenhawk9932
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Pours a deep dark black with a dark espresso colored head.

Smells of of dark fruit - raisin, plumb, fig, and coffee and chocolate notes.

Taste is bitter coffee and chocolate with sweet fig and plumb notes. It has a very thick mouth feel with a nice bitter roasted malt caramelized notes. This a a stout with big dark flavors, yet ii is surprisingly drinkable with a modest 6% abv.

Photo of EvoRich
4.67/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Look. Poured into a Pint, it pours very very dark. Basically black. About a finger of caramel head which dissipates after a few moments.

Smell: Deep, roasted, dark chocolate, hint of coffee and sweetness.

Taste: Very dark roasted flavors with just a hint of chocolate and coffee. Very little hop bitterness, but a lot of maltiness. Very good!

Feel: Full bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall: I'm liking this stout much more than I anticipated. Unsure as to why the ratings aren't higher.

Photo of Gear54
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a pilsner glass. 5/1/14 is the freshness date

A: Pours black with with thick tan foam and tons of lace

S: malts and chocolate and coffee. The aroma is a bit weak but I can pick out the individual notes.

T: sweeter than I thought. cocoa and malts mostly with sweetness on the finish

M: Middle of the road but very drinkable.

O: not my favorite from bells but I wouldn't turn it down if it was offered to me.

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the House of Brews. Served in a snifter.

Appearance - Black. Small khaki head. Thin collar and a few stray streaks of lacing.

Smell - Roasty malt. Kinda ashy and burnt. Coffee.

Taste - A little more sweet than the nose suggested. Coffee malt. Roastiness builds into the finish. Very burnt and acrid in the back, but it's not excessive. Some sweetness lingers too.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Very drinkable. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Very roasty. Intense and flavorful.

Photo of ZagZagg
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into goblet

A: Opaque, black and oily. One and a half finger beige head with a decent collar – appears like it has some nice body, low/no carbonation visible. Has that typical stout appearance.

S: Roasted malt with a blend of dark and milk chocolate. Caramel is prevalent with sweet esters of black cherry and date. Coco nibs contribute to the sweet aroma, but clash with a tangy profile provided by a light smokiness.

T: Follows the nose pretty closely. Roasted and malty upfront with more chocolate character than let on by the aroma – Sweet milk chocolate meets a subtle hoppy presence in the middle mouth. Mocha, caramel, and brown sugar are dominant on the palate – notes of wet coffee grounds, espresso, earth, and maple syrup are transient with only the sweetness persisting through the finish. The overall taste is bold and balanced, while being predominately sweet and roasted.

M: The body is too light in my opinion. I wish the body were more viscous. Carbonation is remote or absent. After taste is sweet and rather pleasant, mild coffee and mocha

O: This is a bold and superb stout. Lots of robust flavors, great balance and superb drinkability – something I would easily drink again. One gripe I have is the weaker than expected mouthfeel. The lacking mouthfeel is the one missing facet is an otherwise excellent beer. Recommended.

Photo of Flounder57
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle was poured into a nonic glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a small mocha head that reduced to a small layer. It is a pitch black color with no vision of anything. Spotty lacing down the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Milk chocolate, toffee, caramel, smoke, earthy, roasted coffee.

Taste: Toffee and caramel up front with milk chocolate ash, roasted coffee, earthy, and bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium to full bodied, medium carbonation, and a little ashy bitterness.

Overall: Solid stout from Michigan. This brewery puts out some stellar beers.

Photo of fscottkey
3.65/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Notes: Born on 11/21/13 (current date 6/15/14).

A: Dark brown/black with a nice 1 finger "stout" head (where the individual bubbles are barely distinguishable).

S: Mostly coffee and some toffee. A slight metallic scent too.

T: Hearty roasted malts. The roasted flavor is really present early. The late gives way to a bit of bitter coffee flavor.

M: Nice mouth feel - not quite coating but pretty rich and thick. Slight carbonation.

O: The word "licorice" in the description scared me (I hate licorice). But there are no discernible "licorice" flavors in the beer. I mark that as a big plus. Very nice roast flavor with a modest 6.0% ABV. There are not a lot of complexities of chocolate and coffee - but this is still a well made and good tasting stout.

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

12oz bottle, batch 10121 (winter '10/'11 I believe); since it's well beyond the intended drinking window, I've given it a score that won't affect its average rating. Consider the following notes more illustrative than evaluative.

A: Black body, brown highlights, and a full two fingers of frothy tan head. Great retention and lacing. Really excellent, particularly for being as old as it is.

S: Some unpleasant cardboard notes of oxidation, along with dark fruits, licorice, dark chocolate, and leather. Complex, but not all that enticing.

T: Follows the nose - old, musty, fruity, bittersweet, and roasty. There's a lot going on, but not all of it good.

M: Smooth and slick medium body with moderate carbonation. Just fine.

O: I drank this back-to-back with a similarly aged Double Cream Stout (I think they were both part of a mixed six-pack I put together a few years back and forgot about in the cellar), and I was a little surprised that the Double Cream held up far better. Neither was anywhere near as good as fresh, but the Kalamazoo really fell off.

Cheers!

Photo of mvanaskie13
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a 6 oz tasting glass: head was tan, presenting 1/2 inch thick then dissipating to a ring, color is black, deep nice color.

Smell is very pleasant blend of roasted malts and subtle caramel with a touch of licorice; hops are grassy.

Taste is blend of roasted malts, cleaner pale malt, hint of licorice; similar to the aroma the hops are earthy, subtle grass and hint of pine.

Mouthfeel is a touch on the sweeter side than expected, somewhat lingering and near cloying flavor on the cheeks.

Overall, i like the balance and touch of licorice in this brew, mouthfeel is a touch cloying but does not distract from the overall beer.

Photo of dave39
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Don't know why this beer is only rated at 89. I found it to be close to perfect, and I am not a stout guy.

Very subtle coffee, chocolate, and roasted notes hit the nostrils upon opening.

Very pleasant, very drinkable, and extremely well balanced.

A sessionable brew and every day drinkable. Great job, Bells.

Photo of JHubner73
4.09/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I love a good stout beer, and Bell's Kalamazoo Stout is a great one. I poured the chilled bottle into a beer mug that was in the freezer waiting for just the right brew. Perfect match for this stout. Not much of a head on this beer, but from my experience with stouts they're usually pretty minimal. The look as it pours from the bottle is a deep, dark color. Like coffee. Even the fragrance is that of a bold coffee brew. This made me extremely happy. I was worried when I read "licorice" on the label but I worried for nothing. There's a hint of black licorice in the aftertaste, but nothing too overpowering. It only adds to the overall aromatics and adds a dark sweetness. The beer rolls off the tongue nicely and as it goes down there's a nice dark finish. Overall mellow taste. Not overpowering or bitter.

Yesterday was a very brisk day for May, so I wanted a beer to match. Bell's Kalamazoo Stout didn't disappoint. A bold, fragrant heavy brew that matched the dark, overcast day. I highly recommend this beer to anyone who loves a classic, dark stout.

Photo of BeerWithMike
4.08/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampling right now on 5/13/14. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees in my beer cooler and poured into a classic 'Hamm's" 10 ounce glass.

This "Stout brewed with Brewers Licorice" pours black with a very small tan. Lots of lacing after each sip that sticks to the sides of the glass. The aroma is of chocolate, coffee and licorice with roasted malt. Very nice smell of the mixed flavors! Lots going on with the taste as would be expected. Not overpowering though. Perfect amount of carbonation. Very pleasant overall and would rate this a good solid '8' if not a '8.5'.

Photo of hopsputin
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

a: dark murky brown/black in color - kind of thin looking. fizzy beige 2 finger head that fades pretty quickly but holds solid around 1/2 finger

s: the smell is nice. rich toasted malts and chocolate. a hint of sweet toffee and brown sugar.

t: almost spot on to the nose. roasted malts right away, and they provide some bitterness that is then cut by that milk chocolate. a bit of dark fruit in here as well - fig and plum, then its back to the roasted malt and milk chocolate. a hint of herbal bitterness from the toasted malts rounds out the mouth

m: its a medium body with not much carbonation, but just enough carbonation to help the sweetnes cut the toasted notes

o: its pretty good. a nice balance of flavors that is really smooth in the mouth and makes for a nice drinker. body is just thin enough make it easy drinking a smooth sipper. really quite enjoyable!

Photo of Radome
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle.

A - Color is an extremely dark brown, almost black. No light shows through it. The head is dark tan; it's thick, creamy and sticky. Huge sheets of lace. A great looking beer.

S - Classic porter aromas; roast coffee, light smoke, oak, chocolate. No defined hops aroma. The label mentions licorice, and I can sense it, but I'm not sure I'd recognize it without the hint. Very light yeast fruitiness in the finish.

T - Graham cracker malt, roasted coffee, chocolate milk. No licorice flavor I can detect. Medium hops bitterness on the tongue, but no distinct hops flavor. No overt yeast character.

M - Medium to heavy body. Low carbonation. Low alcohol presence. Fairly dry finish.

O - A very enjoyable and moderately complex porter.

Photo of Jackson2014
4.02/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Very tasty, light stout.

Pours with solid plus head and is very dark. Basically black.

Smells like a very chocolaty coffee.

Taste is mostly chocolate and coffee with some caramel.

overall there isn't a whole lot of upfront taste. But then it comes fairly heavy, not overwhelming. This is a really tasty stout but if I had one complaint it would be that the aftertaste builds towards bitterness.

Photo of PaulyB83
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 08/13/14

A- Pretty black. Good medium brown one finger head.

S- Dark chocolate, coffee, slight amount of dark fruit, slight sweetness and bit of vanilla.

T- Similar to aroma. Dark chocolate, coffee, nice smooth roasted acidity, light sweetness.

M- On the fuller side of medium, nice silkiness.

O- This is a very nice lower abv stout. Really reminds me of Founders Porter in pretty much every way. There are some nice qualities that you usually find in a bigger imperial beer.

Photo of Boggdogg
3.67/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - pours a very dark mahogany color. Like the blackest red I have ever seen. Has a nice thick light brown head that leaves outstanding lacing all around the glass.

S - I smell roasted malts with molasses which I guess is the brewers licorice and not really molasses but I'm not sure. Semele good.

T- very complex with coffee bean, cocoa, roasted malt, tiny a bit of sweetness ending with bitter hops. It's a bitter stout which I prefer more balance of sweet and bitter.

M- full bodied which I like but it's a little too dry and bitterness lingers.

O- well brewed, amazing appearance but too one sided on bitterness and dry mouth.

Photo of lochef81
4.24/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Let me start by saying that this is my go to stout so I maybe a little bit partial in my judgment of this offering. It pours a very near black mahogany with a small tan head that leaves a great film and lacing. The nose is a robust blend of coffee, chocolate, black licorice, and dried fruit. Mouthfeel is rich and smooth yet still quite light for a stout. Definitely very easy to drink. The flavor is as deep and complex as the nose with the addition of a wonderful tobacco note and a chewy bitter finish that lasts long after last sip is taken. Sure I'd love to drink Founders Breakfast Stout, KBS, Big Bad Baptist, or Black Note every day but it's not available everyday, nor could I afford it. So I settle for this delicious and much more accessible stout. Pick up a six and enjoy.

Photo of lundqu23
3.61/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.75

Very full bodied with complex tastes. Dark chocolate and coffee flavors with almost a hint of licorice. Balances the significant hop presence against the roast malt body. When poured, offers a big head of dark beige and very dark brown in color. Caramel and vanilla undertones as well. Solid beer.

Photo of Antikythera
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

a: very dark almost purply stout, with a caramel-brown head.

s: rich and with unexpected layers of... something. Really complex. Almost chocolatey.

t: I was hoping to be able to taste a little bit of licorice or something different. As it stands it just tastes like a really excellent stout. Little bit tart on the finish.

m: solid and chewy.

o: slightly disappointed in the lack of a really distinct flavour, but this is going up on the list of all-around favourite stouts.

Photo of da_beers
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Gainesville House of Beers - on-tap

A - black as night. Thin tan head. Looks beautiful, the way I like my home brewed stouts to look.

S - nice roasty/smokiness. Caramel malts evident. Some cocoa in there too.

T - starts out with this nice roasted maltiness. Has chocolate coming out next with some coffee as well. Not as impressive I guess as I had thought.

M - full body but not as oil thick as other stouts. Drinkable and not too heavy.

O - I like it, not even close to some of Bell's other stuff (can you compare anything to Black Note).

Photo of MIchelle
3.39/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This is a good stout. I'm very fond of this brewery. It's a nice deep dark color, can't see thru it. A thin brown head, kind of classic of a stout. The smell is pleasant and very bold. Tastes of rich dark malts, has a heavy coffee malt flavor for me. It's surprisingly dry which really is a nice addition for the mouth feel and drinkability of this beer. It's the first i've had that i'm aware of brewed with brewers licorice. I can't taste it and I do enjoy licorice so I guess i'm slightly disappointed I couldn't pick it apart in that regard from any other dark stout. I picked it out thinking it would be a bit more unique. But if you're a dark beer fan chances are good you will like this beer. You can never go wrong with Bell's.

Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 3,842 ratings.