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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

3,741 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,741
Reviews: 1,473
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.55%
Wants: 171
Gots: 398 | 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
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 3,741 | Reviews: 1,473
Photo of tai4ji2x
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, obtained in trade. batch number 8927. poured into tulip glass. tasted in early june 2009

nearly opaque black, with red brown tint under the light. 1-finger tan head fades to wisps and ring. a solitary, splotchy, 3-inch line of lace, and not much else.

aroma: light licorice is noticeable upfront, mixing w/ dark, malty caramel and light roast notes of coffee and roasted malt, plus hints of cherry and vanilla. mild, earthy hop accompanies the roasted tones.

taste: rooty, herbal licorice notes again upfront. malt is dark caramel and light roast, w fruity tones and coffee, mixing w/ leafy hops for moderate bitterness that lingers and mingles more with those hints of licorice.

light to medium body w/ momentary thinness, plus light acidity and astringency into finish. carbonation is slightly fizzy, tho can sometimes provide lift and fluffiness.

the licorice isn't as subtle as i hoped, but is nonetheless interesting and harmonized into the brew.

Photo of abrand
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into the Founders traditional pint glass. Pretty plain label covers the beer which set me back $1.84 at the local beer store.

The stout pours a jet black with a tan bubbly head that is about 2 fingers thick. Not much lacing lines the glass. Ah how I love the smell of a good stout. Big malty smell hits you up front with a sweet nutty finish. Taste is a little different than I am guessing it is the licorice that is giving the strange sweet quaff, but I can't quite pinpoint what is going on with this thing. Very good tasting none the less. Mouthfeel is nice and crisp. Drinkability is of course high, I don't think there is a Bell's brew that I couldn't handle a whole nights worth of drinking. Overall a great American stout from the brewers at Bell's.

Photo of rsquared59
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of biboergosum
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, a souvenir from a visit to a kick-ass liquor store in Dearborn, Michigan, a few weeks ago.

This beer pours a solid black, with slight cola highlights, and one fat finger of dense puffy pale beige head, which leaves a broad swath of a lace paint job around the glass as it settles. It smells of gritty, chalky baker's chocolate, caramel malt, earthy licorice, and leafy hops. The taste is still big into the chocolate - bittersweet, and enveloping, with a narrow coffee stripe. The licorice is there, a tight somewhat astringent natural black anise essence, cutting into the cocoa blanket, aided by some mild booze and underwhelmingly edgy hops. The carbonation is present, on a low-fi fizzy plane, the body damn-near full, expansive, and smooth, with a creamy predilection. It finishes with butterfly-imitating malt, bursting forth from below, finally joining the chocolate, middling licorice, and oafish hops, late to the party.

A decent, well-flavoured, dessert-adjacent Yankee stout. The extra point of ABV well-obfuscated, the licorice not overplayed - what's not to like?

Photo of engagechad
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I bought this beer as a single at Corks and Kegs in Richmond, VA.

batch nu: 9984 September 2010

This beer was everything I look for in a stout, and by "look for" I literally mean "look" for.. It was black as night, no light coming through this beer whatsoever when held up to a light source. The head was a mocha color but not too dark.

The smell was subtle of chocolate and dark malts, not a whole lot coming through the olfactory but delightful nonetheless

It tasted wonderful, it was smooth yet slightly bitter with a hint of coffee on the back

It's a heavy beer, but it's not thick as molasses. I could have a few.


Photo of GoalieRon33
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty beer to pour. Resembles Coca Cola both in body appearance and head appearance. Head dissipates quickly, which was a bit upsetting.

Good hop aroma. Very smooth, somewhat burnt. Underwhelming, but in a good way.

Starts out like a guinness, but is much more complex. Burnt, slightly Chocolatey, but muted. Hoppy finish. Gloriously complex.

Nice body. Not too watery. Slightly syrup-like at colder temperatures.

Great brew overall. Fun to drink, easy to appreciate. Would definitely rec. to anyone.

Photo of TylerKitchens
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of WJVII
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass this brew has a wonderful oil black color with a thick chocolate milk head. The head is short lived, but leaves a nice cap on the brew with sticky lacing on the glass. The smell is solid with strong tones of coffee, chocolate, roasted malts, but the burnt smell is a little overpowering. The taste is great. The chocolate rolls on your tongue and leads to a balanced coffee finish. This is a full bodied brew with a perfect amount of carbonation that makes the taste pop in your mouth. Extremely well put together brew.

Photo of Brabander
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Got this bottle in a trade with Cristopher. He got Westvleteren from me and i got some of the brews out of his region. This was one of them.

To start with; i had some high expectation but this beers let me down a bit at the first sip. But then i looked at the ABV and i understood why. The beer is too low on ABV to become a real stout.

Poured in my Struise small chalice the beer starts good. Pitch dark fluid with a very nive head. After some time very nice lacing in the glass. The smell is kind of fresh with some hints of coffee, not much though.

Taste is is ok but with the lack of alcohol the beer missen that something.

Photo of msubulldog25
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A 12 oz bottle, Batch 7785, poured to a pint glass.

A: Pours with a thick, creamy sandy head, about 2-fingers high and slow to recede.. Dark brown, impenetrable, but with a modest amount of floating yeasty funk. Lace sticks in long gobs of gooey cream; there's more lace than glass showing...

S: Smells lightly roasted and malty, a little charcoal , some roasted coffee beans and a little lemony/lactic souring. Something metallic and 'brown ale'-like in the finish...

T: Starts with a bit of grainy sweetness, burnt yet savory. Becomes more and more bitter, with a lingering astringency that's chocolate-y and dries the palate out. Coffee and a burnt, reduced caramel are the residual flavors.

M: Medium-full bodied stout, with moderate carbonation. Lasting burnt/roasted malt flavor and a creeping bitterness. Outstanding roasted-ness lingering for many minutes...

D: A mouthfull of flavor with a nice lingering bitterness. Not quite as sweet , but certainly full enough, for my liking. A bit strong for a sessionable stout, but a well-balanced one that I'd love to have again. thanks to CRJMellor for sending this one several months back...

Photo of barczar
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma is roast malt and dark cocoa dominant, with hints of licorice and tar adding complexity. Dark cherry and plum surface late.

Flavor is rich and roasty, with a charred character hitting mid palate and carrying into the finish, where there's a slightly sweet reprise of chocolate. Nutty malt offers strong support. A little more charred than I care for. Dark cherry emerges as it warms.

Photo of MbpBugeye
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- A nice, tall, dark and handsome head has a cascading effect on top of this deeply colored beer. Plentiful lacing.

S- A slightly disappointing nose. Its not very strong and it doesnt seem to have a whole lot going on. Its mostly just hops, wet grass like hops. Some of the usual coffee and chocolate found in most stouts is there.

T- Really darn good. Nice balance, but the beer leans towards bitter with roasted coffee and biting hops. Sweetness from figgy dark fruits and licorice rope dance across the tongue. The finish is bitter, hoppy and much like a cup of black coffee. Slightly oily.

M- Dry. Carbonation is a bit too high. It takes away this beers chances at smoothness. I think it would be phenomenally creamy for what it is if the prickliness was toned back.

D- This is one tasty brew. Im ashamed that it took me this long to try it.

Photo of malcontent
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A full two fingers of gorgeous tan head is the crown atop a jet black body. Lacing is sticky and copious. An absolutely astounding looking stout.

A whole lot going on in the nose: baker's chocolate, smoke, licorice and earth are the main components I'm detecting.

Wow, the brewers' licorice really makes itself known. At first, it leads into the bitter, roasted body. Then the beer opens up to reveal a mineral side buttressed by chicory and then concluded with an even stronger dose of licorice. The finish is actually quite dry. Unusual, complex and, dare I say, fun.

At first, the carbonation is almost a bit much. However, the beer quickly reveals a creamy body with a crisp finish.

As much as I enjoy the beer, I'm not sure that it's something I could continue to drink throughout an evening. Regardless, for me it's just another example of Bell's mastery of the stout universe.

Thanks to kryptic for the trade.

Photo of offandennui
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Shaw
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I used to drink a lot more of stouts, but have been spending the past several years really enjoying hoppy ales. But I like milk stouts and had to try Bell's.

A beautiful beer, inky black with a thick, brown head that doesn't disappear.

Nice aroma of chocolate and roasted malts.

The body is sweet and roasty, as expected. I don't taste the licorice that the label advertises, but the roasted flavors are strong enough to hide it.

The body is wonderfully thick and rich and creamy.

This a very good beer and another winner from Bell's.

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 bonk0076
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black in color with a boisterous brown head that leaves a decent lacing behind. Aroma consists of bubblegum, licorice, with hints of toffee, coffee, and roasted malt. Taste is bitterness of roasted malt and coffee up front, with sweetness of black licorice in the finish. A bit watery finish as well though.

Photo of russpowell
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this one from tpd975, cheers Greg!

Pours mahogany/ebony with 2 fingers of mocha head with molasses colored flecks. Above average lacing & average head retention

S: Mocha, charred grain &, a kiss of oaky vanilla & dark fruit once warm

T: Dark choclate & mocha & much cocoa powder dryness up front. A touch of grainyness, more chocolate, a bit of raisin, & coffee as this warms.

MF: Smooth, medium bodied with low carbonation

Drinks easy, a good, not great stout, middle of the road as Bell's offerings go

Photo of Hazer115
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours very dark and thick with a dark tan almost brown head one to two finger head.

A fairly clean and crisp mouthfeel, but not what I would call refreshing, it is a Stout after all.

Overall I think this is a good beer, it had a bit more of a smoky taste than I was expecting.

Photo of alexk100
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of tvv375ia
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass

A-dark brown/almost black with about a finger of tan head

S-first smell I got was smoke follwed by coffee and a touch of sweetness

T-roast coffee is the the flavor that comes through first with some somky malt balanced out with a little hops at the end

M-lgiht creaminess

O-this is a good resonably priced stout

Photo of eric5bellies
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank from my Duvel tulip glass.

A - Pours a deep Ebony colour with a large tanned head that reduces to a one fingered head.

S - Heavy roasted malt and molassis aromas, small hint of sweetness and cocoa and hop.

T - Up front some nice vanilla flavours, followed by nice roasted malts and finishes with a slightly sweet coffee flavour. Nice balance and the finish is long.

M - Medium to full body with low carbonation.

O - A very tasty brew with a nice balance. The coffee is very well presented.

Photo of troysoy2
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11/14/11 DOB, poured into a pint glass.

Opaque black, with just a hint of red to it. Bubbly, one and a half finger of light tan head quickly reduces to a thin covering. A bit of webby lacing.

Nice, but subdued raosty smell. A hint of bitter chocolate, and maybe even the faintest bit of a dark fruit to it. Definitely not to the degree of a Belgian, though. Still, interesting. The chocolate comes out even more as it warms up.

The taste is robust. A balanced bit of hop bitterness is definitely there, while the dark malt leaves an amazing roasty, bourbon-esque flavor in your mouth long after you swallow. The mouthfeel is chewy and only ever so slightly carbonated. I don't know how they pulled this off while keeping it at 6% ABV. I'm impressed. A good sipper.

Photo of LambicPentameter
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed out of a dark brown bottle stamped with "PGKD 01/24/13". Poured into a 16 oz tumbler glass.

Appearance - Aggressive pour yields a frothy raw umber head of thick, sudsy bubbles, two fingers thick. I got a little carried away and it seeped over the edge of the glass just a tad. Retention lingers for quite awhile as the bubbles gently burst, leaving pockmarks across the surface. I finally get tired of waiting for it to dissipate and dive in. Lacing is like cobwebs--thick around the top of the glass, but eventually fading to nothing as I drink the glass down.

Smell - Initially pungent roasty notes with dark bread toast as well as molasses and some woody characteristics as well. A hint of raw cacao seems to appear around the finish, hinting at an incredibly rich and tasty stout

Taste - Coffee, anise and fennel, with some light acidity that hints at currants and dark fruit. Mild sweetness accompanies the bitterness of burnt sugar. Bitterness eventually finishes dry, like charred bread.

Mouthfeel - Thick and creamy, with a heavy body and moderate carbonation. Viscous feel evolves into a lingering, syrupy mouthfeel. This is the only part of this beer that's really a letdown.

Other than the slightly unpleasant mouthfeel, this is a very good beer. The licorice seems to take a backseat to the more roasty, traditional notes of a good stout, so I would be curious to see how it changed with age.

Photo of chilly460
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours darker black with 1 1/2 mocha head. Dissipates quickly with marginal lacing.

S: Pick up cocoa and dark roast espcoffee. Definite hint of the brewer's licorice.

T: First shot is the roasted coffee flavor. Some chocolatey tones as well, then you get a licorice and some ripe plum as well. Pretty complex for an american stout, flavor is a bit muted.

M: Creamy and smooth with a dry finish.

O: Really solid, licorice is a differentiator. Flavors could be a little more bold.

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Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 3,741 ratings.