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

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

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

1,479 Reviews
THE BROS
83
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,479
Hads: 3,878
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 9.38%
Wants: 177
Gots: 466 | 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
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Reviews: 1,479 | Hads: 3,878
Photo of dirtylou
4.53/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz single from Riley's, Batch 7061...an old favorite

appearance: for the style, this is perfection...Bell's stouts are all beautiful looking beers. this pours near black, with dark brown highlights...a beautiful and thick tan/khaki head with rim lacing

smell: coffee, sweet dark chocolate, toast malts...quite heavy on the espresso...incredibly impressive

taste: God, this stuff is even better than I remembered. This stuff is by far the cream of the milk/sweet stout class. Beautiful smooth dark chocolate on the tongue, nice coffee/espresso roastiness, some fresh hops, some dark fruit, some nice oats...just wonderful

mouthfeel: super creamy, medium bodied

drinkability: incredible (702 characters)

Photo of Bruiser81
4.53/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ah I've been saving this brew for a while now.
The pour was solid black with a huge chocolate milk like head that lasted through the whole brew at about a half inch thick, wow. The lacing was also amazing. Looks like a delicious beer.
The smell was dominated by cocoa and roasted malt. Hints of coffee and light alcohol spices were also present.
Turns out this is a very tasty beer : ). Taste again was dominated by the roasted malt, can't say I'm surprised. Chocolate, coffee, and toffee were thrown in the mix. The spice from the alcohol was barely noticeable on the finish, along with a slight hoppiness.
The best part of the brew was the mouthfeel, very full and creamy. This is probably the smoothest beer I've ever had. I could drink this stuff all night. Too bad I only have the one. Not available here.
A huge thanks to feloniousmonk for sending this one my way. (878 characters)

Photo of david131
4.53/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- The beer pours a beautiful pure black and forms a great brown head. The head settles down to a sheet that covers the top of the liquid. Hardly any light can get through the liquid.

S- Coffee, chocolate, caramel. Not a very powerful smell.

T- Awesome. A very powerful chocolate and coffee presence. A very good balance between the sweetness and the bitterness.

M- This is a pleasure to drink. It is so smooth and the carbonation is perfect.

D- This goes down like water. Very refreshing- for a stout. (515 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.53/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours extremely dark, pretty much black. Nice thick head with great lacing.

Smells roasty with a nice astringency. Unsweetened licorice is there as well as some lactic sweetness as well.

Taste is magnificent, although a little dry for the style. Creamy and quite dry. Nice bitterness and beautiful balance between astringency, roastiness and sweetness. Fantastic. The licorice is noticeable and contributes a lot of body and bitterness, but not sweetness.

Very nice mouthfeel- quite creamy and dry, and good body.

Very drinkable. Has enough interestinf flavors to keep you going, but its dry enough to not at all be cloying. (636 characters)

Photo of vishneda
4.53/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into a glass mug.

Love: Beautiful looking stout with seriously dark color. Solidly opaque. Strong chocolate colored head of foam on top. Rich and hearty beer with a slightly creamy feel. Great espresso-roast style aftertaste.

Like: Nice malted aroma with some yeast profile and a light floral pattern. Light anise notes in the flavor are great coupled with the roasted dark chocolate and fruit hints.

Needs Improvement: Not much to improve on this one, but I think I'd like it with a little sweeter profile. Lacing and as stronger aroma would make this amazing.

(From tasting notes dated 23 Aug 2009) (624 characters)

Photo of Kongquistador
4.53/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was consumed after a marginal extra pale ale, and the difference was a kick in the pants, a light in the tunnel. Except that no light comes through this dark brew, and the only sign of color was a faint ruby around the edges. Otherwise, it was completely opaque. The head was a nice light mocha color, with a nice texture and some holding power. A good layer of lace persists the whole way down. The nose is all coffee and chocolate blending together beautifully, tempting you to drink it even before it has been properly admired. Some faint roast malts linger in the background, but they are secondary.

This beer tastes mostly of chocolate and coffee, as promised by the aroma, but it also has distinct roasted and caramel note to offset and balance the flavor. A faint flavor of alcohol lingers in the sip, but it is nothing serious. The finish is a nice bitter hop, with some sweetness to balance it out. Perhaps my biggest complaint on this brew is that it doesn't hold any character to back, to be developed later in the drink. Still, it is a nice full flavor from the beginning, and that can't be overlooked.

All in all, this is a stellar brew, just lacking that special something to make it a 5. The mouthfeel on this is very nice, with a reasonable amount of carbonation balancing the thickness, and helping it go down easy. As far as drinkability goes, I do like this stout for its moderate alcohol content but full flavor. Definetly one to return to again and again for an evening stout, although I haven't experimented with mixing it with food yet. Overall, an excellent beer. (1,603 characters)

Photo of kenito799
4.54/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Duvel glass. From a mixed case dated 7/18/07. "Stout brewed with brewer's licorice"

Pours a dark coffee-black, nearly opaque, some chocolate-brown highlights appear when held to a strong light. The milky-brown, creamy head recedes but swirling brings it back to life. Nice rings of lace. Excellent-looking beer.

Poured cold, and prompted by the label, the first aroma I detected was licorice. This beer is much better cool, not cold, and the heady sweet aromas of mocha--coffee plus bitter chocolate--are complemented by that spicy hint of licorice, cinnamon, cola and root beer. Wonderfully complex nose for a stout.

Mouthfeel surprisingly crisp for a sweet stout, with carbonation that is not quite creamy, but that's really all to criticize with this brew. The flavors of dark roasted coffee and bitter chocolate form the backbone, with various spicy and hoppy notes dancing and fleeting. Just enough dextrinous sweetness to balance the bitters, but this is a remarkably refreshing dark inky black awesome beer. Longgg finish. Incredibly enjoyable stout, another great effort from Bell's. (1,122 characters)

Photo of DagenhamDavis
4.54/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A perfect example of the non-barrel aged, non-imperial American stout. The thing that's great about this beer is that it lacks a gimmick, and doesn't try to do anything that takes it away from being a great stout. The roasty burnt finish is divine. (248 characters)

Photo of DrDemento456
4.55/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Man whats with this brewer an licorice? I kind of hate the taste but here I go.

A - Jet fuel black with at least an inch of cocoa head. Looks pretty impressive.

S - Well you get slight coffee on the nose with chocolate. Can't really smell any licorice but I can't remember what the stuff smells like anyway since I have a cold.

T - The bitterness of the coffee seems to be subdued by the sweetness of the licorice but the bittersweet chocolate leaves the palate bitter at the end. Very solid brew.

M - Medium bodied and enjoyable.

D - Well I did like it and may pick up a six pack in the future but it defiantly treated me better than the batch 9,000. Soild stout. (669 characters)

Photo of Phatz
4.55/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours pitch black with a creamy chocolate brown head that lasts and lasts. Spectacular lacing.

Smell: A rich aroma of roasted malts and coco fill the nose. There is a subtle red berry or cherry suggestion and some sweet caramel as well. This is a very enticing aroma.

Taste: Bitter sweet chocolate; unsweetened coco powder, molasses -Karyo Syrup, and a hint of berries flood to my mind faster than I can type. It is roasty! Beautifully roasty; and oh so creamy smooth in taste and fee, followed by gentle earthy hops that make this beer perfectly balanced.

Mouthfeel: This beer is so thick and rich an full bodied creamy smooth it is a pleasure to swirl around the tongue. This is what a beer should feel like.

Drinkability: A beautiful looking sniffable great tasting beer the is the perfect texture in the mouth and a beer that leave you not just "wanting" but week in the knees for more after every sip, you better believe it is damn drinkable. OH MAN YEAH! This is what I love about stouts all wrapped up into a beer that has it all; even high drinkability! Sensational!!!

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers! (1,135 characters)

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.55/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours out of the bottle in a stream the reminds me of used motor oil. Once in the glass, it’s a glowing black with a dark and murky tan and copper head.

Smells of a great blend of dark, smoky barley, coffee and a creamy nuttiness. The dryness of the burnt elements are delightfully offset by a slight malty sweetness.

The flavor starts with a mild barley, toasted marshmallow and nut foundation that picks up dry elements with the onset of the carbonation. This releases the expected smoky elements and a touch of honey. This beer then finishes off with a smooth coffee and smoke.

The mouth feel is surprisingly glassy and smooth with a micro-bubble carbonation.

As far as the smokier stouts go, this one’s top notch. It’s charred, but still smooth and clean with a superb silky mouth feel. (816 characters)

Photo of Landfill21
4.55/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours into a opaque black and leaves a fingernail head that follows all the way down the glass.

Has a great smell of roasted nuts, coffee, and malt.

Tastes great and has a smooth finish. Would recommend another quality Bell's beverage.

Has a light mouthfeel which makes the drinkibility high. This is a highly complex brew. (327 characters)

Photo of keethrax
4.55/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Black. Very black. Tan head, decent lacing.

Smell: Roasty, coffee, licorice

Taste. Sweet. Licorice at first, fades into dark chocolate followed up by a mildly bitter coffee aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy, closer to medium.

Way back when this was my first stout that wasn't a Guinness. Still one of my favorites. (335 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.55/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pour s desperately black color with a rocky tan head that never quits and leaves plenty of lace to boot

Smell: Mocha cream, licorice and some smokey charred wood

Taste: Starts with a milk chocolate flavor that is joined by some charred undertones, coffee elements and lots of hoppy bitterness, mid-palate; after the swallow, the flavors break loose with a burst of coffee and undertones of sweet licorice through to the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and creamy with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Simply astounding (534 characters)

Photo of gford217
4.55/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of masonjer poured into a Bells snifter.

Pours dark, dark brown, almost black with very little light showing through even the edges. The head is two fingers and tan and lingers as a cap for a while leaving some sporadic lacing.

Wow, does this smell great - big roasted malt backbone with hints of coffee and dark, sweet chocolate. It all melds together so well as a single wonderful aroma.

The taste didn't quite live up to the aroma, with the sweet chocolate and dark roasted malts still dominating. The main reason it falls slightly short is the bitterness of the coffee which is a little overpowering in the finish.

The mouthfeel is as good as I have ever experienced for a stout of this style. It's so decadent and smooth with a perfect amount of carbonation that accentuates the taste. Beautiful feel on the palate.

Bells knows how to knock their stouts out of the park and this is no exception. This is a fantastic stout and one of the best of its style. Highly recommended. (1,001 characters)

Photo of gonzo46and2
4.55/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep inky dark black that allows only the slightest bit of light through. A dark tan head crowns this king nicely and laces all over the glass due to it's sugary sweetness.

Aroma is licorice, nuts, roasted coffee and other toasty flavors.

Taste is sweet and malty. Very drinkable and delicious. The beer is so mild on the palate, it's like drinking unfrozen chocolate ice cream. Soo yummy!

I'd put this stout in my top five for any variety. (RIS, Dry Irish, Milk Stout, Oatmeal, etc) (496 characters)

Photo of SilentSabre
4.55/5  rDev +12.3%
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. (560 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.55/5  rDev +12.3%
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. (766 characters)

Photo of northaustin
4.55/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

pours black with a fat finger of full, even brown head which has long retention and leaves thick stringy lacing.

smell is a very creamy coffee with notes of the brewers licorice adding an extra sweetness.

tastes exactly like the smell. well done.

mouthfeel: very frothy and your mouth is left very comfortable by the silkyness of the beer.

drinkability: highly recommended. thanks to jdv for this one. (405 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.55/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Glistening ebony with mahogany highlights. Even with bright sun behind the glass, light penetration is nil. Atop the beer is an impressive mocha colored head of dense, pitting foam that generously plasters itself to the glass in a further attempt to keep light at bay. Now this is what a stout should look like. Very well done.

The coffee-laced, fudge brownie nose is a pleasure to inhale. If the flavor follows suit, Kalamazoo will be one impressive stout. It does and it is! Bell's brewery continues to astound. Just as in the nose, gooey fudge comes to mind on the palate: rich, glossy, sweet, sticky, mouthfilling, decadent goodness in a glass.

The bitter coffee flavor is a bit too pronounced for me, but is easily overlooked because this is such delicious beer. The degree of roastedness is fairly high with a mild char that works well in the grand scheme of things. Bitter and sweet intertwine beautifully, even throughout the long, lingering finish. The body/mouthfeel is decidedly full and crushed velvet smooth.

Kalamazoo Stout is the best milk/sweet stout that I've had yet, surpassing Bell's own Special Double Cream Stout (although it's been a while since I sampled SDCS). It's one of the biggest and boldest 6.5% ABV beers that you're ever likely to drink and is truly one of the best. Kudos all around. (1,327 characters)

Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.55/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I love Bell's Brewing. I unabashedly state that they are the best brewers of stout in the country. So I am thrilled to finally get ahold of some Kalamazoo Stout, one of the few Bell's stout varieties I have not tried.

This beer is pitch black in the glass with a dense tan head that could support small coins. Smells sweet and chocolatey with light hints of mocha. Very nice.

There is much more coffee in the flavor than in the nose. More bitter than I was expecting but with a sweetness that offsets it. The bitter and the sweet lead to flavors reminiscient of dark chocolate.

A nice thick body that is just heavenly in the mouth. Drinks smooth as silk with some light smokiness in the aftertaste acconpanied by hints of coffee and a creamy sweetness.

It's money. I might drink nothing but stout if Bell's distributed to Atlanta... (837 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.55/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Color is deep, dark black, black as a licorice whip, and, we find, it tastes like one, too. Good, thick, boggy and bubbly brown head. And an aroma that is roasted flavors to gills, as charred and heady a stout this side of an Imperial. Full of flavorful connotations, chocolate, coffee, more rich flavors, mollasses, syrup, anise.
Hugely flavorful hop bitterness jumps right on board the palate and swims through the mouth. Full, thick, rewarding, delicious. This one sticks in the mouth like peanut butter, constantly abiding finish. Perfect balance, with massive amounts of everything, it contains certain essences of Imperial stouts, without going overboard in alcohol.
I'm not sure if the style milk/cream/sweet stout is appropriate here, but then I'm not sure what to call it, myself.
Who cares? It's delicious! (819 characters)

Photo of irishmoss
4.56/5  rDev +12.6%
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… (425 characters)

Photo of doubleipa
4.56/5  rDev +12.6%
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. (310 characters)

Photo of nkersten
4.57/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from bottle into pint glass. Thick black with a small tan head that turns into a cap with some great lacing. Smell is burnt sugar, roasted malts, sweet black licorice, spicy hops. Taste is spicy hops and roasted malts up front, some burnt flavors, coffee, and licorice in the background. Mouthfeel is medium body and rich, finish is slightly dry and clean. This is a delicious beer and easily my favorite american stout, right up there with Shakespeare stout. (466 characters)

Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
91 out of 100 based on 1,479 ratings.