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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.

2,997 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2997
Reviews: 1407
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
Ratings: 2,997 | Reviews: 1,407 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of mrasskicktastic

New Jersey

3.3/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A - Black brew with a large mocha brown head. Strong lacing in thick clumps.

S - Coffee and chocolate, faint licorice.

T - Coffee mostly. Faint licorice too. Aftertaste is mostly a faint chocolate malt.

M - Rather harsh, medium bodied, a tad drying.

D - Okay, I might have again, certainly worth a try.

Serving type: on-tap

04-16-2007 03:07:19 | More by mrasskicktastic
Photo of atsprings

North Carolina

4.2/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just had this on tap tonight at Flying Saucer and reviewed from notes. Poured a very opaque black with a thin darkish head that was mostly diminishing and left almost no lacing. Aroma was good and strong, abundant chocolate and black malt. This beer had a rich complex flavor; chocolate, molasses and just a hint of black licorice. There were subtle hops present as well, but you could tell they knew there job was just to balance. The beer had a decent carbonation and the alcohol was well hidden. Overall, this is a great stout, very enjoyable!

Serving type: on-tap

02-13-2007 03:12:49 | More by atsprings
Photo of cabsandking


3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black color and a firm tan head with excellent retention and heavy lacing to the bottom. The nose is primarily nutty, coffee, and roasted nuts. A lot of malt activity; hearty dark roasted espresso, roasted and charred malts, dry but not too bitter. Other balanced notes of some sour fruit and a strong hop addition that doesn’t detract from the flavor. Buttery caramel notes notes develop half way down bringing together the hop and malt characters. The mouth is chewy with a nice creamy smoothness. The finish is relatively clean with slight lingering nutty roasted malt notes. Solid brew and one that I could drink a few of.

Serving type: on-tap

01-24-2007 00:11:18 | More by cabsandking
Photo of DaveFL1976


3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's ard to describe something this black. But it's topped with a rather thick, super sticky tan head that lasts for a long time. The aroma is of roasted barley. Taste is not as dry as I would have expected given the dry nose. It's dry, but still has a bit of sweetness at the end. Mouthfeel is a bit heavy. Nice carbonation. It's a slow-drinking beer, but not because of the alcohol content. There's a lot of beer in this beer!

Serving type: on-tap

08-21-2006 13:36:18 | More by DaveFL1976
Photo of karst


4.13/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Two fingered brown sugar headover a black brew. Sharp, espresso & dark bittersweet chocolate aroma. Double crack - roasted coffee, roasted barley and balanced hop bitterness in flavor. Very strong chocolate flavor. Full bodied, viscous mouthfeel. Finishes w/ a lingering enjoyable hop and roasted unmalted barley bitterness almost an imperial stout. Put this together with my first beer at Bell's Ecclectic Cafe and I was in heaven

Serving type: on-tap

05-02-2006 00:12:25 | More by karst
Photo of nortmand


3.58/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Blackish red pour, half a finger of tannish head.

Chocolate, rich roasts, dark, ripe fruits. Very balanced aroma.

A bit of residual balancing sweetness, midtongue dark, not burnt malts. By the end of the toungue, there is some acrid burnt flavor.

Medium to full bodied, could throw back a couple. Not bad, not groundbreaking, but pretty good on tap.

Serving type: on-tap

01-13-2006 22:03:14 | More by nortmand
Photo of cubedbee


4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First Bell's Stout I've had the pleasure of trying, on tap at Klinger's in Hanover PA. Served in a pint glass, this beer is absolutely pitch black, no light at all coming through, a finger of beige head, nice retention and solid lacing. Smell isn't as strong as expected, a light roasted malt and some slight espresso. Taste is excellent, a nice roasted malt, cocoa, smooth milk chocolate, and a nice finish with some slight hops and a bitter lingering roast. Excellent balance between the sweet lactose and the bitter roast. Despite the thick chewey mouthfeel, I found myself downing this rather quickly. This is an amazing stout, I wish I could drink this more often.

Serving type: on-tap

11-19-2005 21:09:55 | More by cubedbee
Photo of battlekow


4/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Landmark 1850.

Starring Bell's Kalamazoo Stout as...Blacula! Big, rocky, determined chocolate-colored head--about as good as a stout can look. Smells fairly caramelly and lactose-sweet, but not really strongly of anything. Tastes strongly of toffee, a roasted, buttery sweetness, with a little hint of rotten prunes and raisins underneath. Yeah, diacetyl+roasted+caramel=toffee. Mouthfeel is nice and full, creamy. Overall, easy to drink, but not especially interesting. The Java Stout is better.

Serving type: on-tap

10-11-2005 04:32:21 | More by battlekow
Photo of ahking


4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Great drinkable stout! One of the best tasting and balanced stouts I have ever had. Smooth, malty, roasty with a hint of chocolate. These flavors really come out as it warms. A nice 6.50% ABV. Pours rather thick (but not too thick) with a creamy-tan head. Lacing goes all the way down the glass. Recommended!

Serving type: on-tap

02-01-2005 05:20:25 | More by ahking
Photo of soilguy


3.1/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pint glass arrived with a nice, creamy, thick tan head. I must say that the appearance of that glass as the server brought it was the best part of the beer. A nice lace coated the glass from the top to the last drop. It has a slightly sweet, faintly licorice odor. It also had a fairly noticeable licorice flavor that I personally didn't care for. A nice roastiness tried to chase it away, and that is what saved the beer and made it drinkable. It did have a full, substantial mouthfeel. Overall, I thought it was adequate but unremarkable.

Serving type: on-tap

02-10-2004 00:18:54 | More by soilguy
Photo of DrunkMcDermott


3.53/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On premise at KBC. Darkest of the stouts we had on our weekend pub crawl across Michigan. A deep coffee roast flavor and appealing body. I suspect this might have been better if we bought it bottled and let it age. Don't know why really, but I just wasn't as impressed by these beers as everyone else. Perhaps it was the somewhat cold serving environment at the Eccentric.

Serving type: on-tap

12-08-2003 14:42:50 | More by DrunkMcDermott
Photo of sponberg

New York

4.47/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nearly opaque, brownish black with a tan head that dissipates rather quickly, but leaves lace to the bottom of the glass. A good, roasty, slightly coffeelike malt nose - mmmm!

Is the Michigan DEP hiring? I could drink this happily all day long. Bittersweet with a roast coffee and slightly chocolatey/toffeelike sweetness. Very creamy, almost oatmeal-oily like mouthfeel. Then it dries out towards the finish, with the alcohol making its presence known in the background. Beautiful. This could quite rapidly become a favorite.

Serving type: on-tap

07-22-2003 18:25:03 | More by sponberg
Photo of TheDM


4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Good lacing on the pour. The head was a nice light color made up of small bubbles which quickly disappeared. Its body was a opaque black color. Its taste was that of some carbonation with a strong coffee and roasted caramel flavors. It went down very smoothly.

Serving type: on-tap

07-03-2003 09:10:14 | More by TheDM
Photo of goindownsouth


4.93/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Young's Double Chocolate Stout has been a favorite Stout beer, until I tried Kalamazoo Stout. This beer is the Stout of all Stouts. It has a very rich, black color with a brown earthy head. The exceptional smell of deep "roastyness" is unique. You get a slight burnt flavor, yet at the same time, a long lasting and residual chocolatey sweetness. This is not a bitter beer. I highly recommend!

Serving type: on-tap

12-28-2002 09:01:16 | More by goindownsouth
Photo of Wildman


4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

@ Bell's Eccentric Cafe

Another beer as black as sin. If formed a nice bubbly dark tan head and left some nice lace. It had an aroma of malt, burnt coffee and chocolate . The flavor was of malt, burnt coffee and chocolate. It had a medium body and a slightly bitter chocolate finish. Another Bell's that seems better on tap.

Serving type: on-tap

10-03-2002 17:15:13 | More by Wildman
Photo of Antikythera

New York

3.81/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2014 04:26:08 | More by Antikythera
Photo of MIchelle


3.36/5  rDev -16%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2014 23:04:17 | More by MIchelle
Photo of Scrapss


3.84/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a cheater pint

A: Dark. Still. Thin and waif-like off-white head disappears to a 1 mm ring. Opaque and deep ruby at the edges.

S: Strong roasted malts with a touch of caramel, salt and campfire. That brewer's licorice does not overpower but it peeks around the edge and says "hi". hops are mild and secondary as is the yeast, but there is some musty grapefruit as it warms.

T: Follows nose perfectly. I am getting a blast of chocolate and roasted malt with smoothness. It is the sharpness on the initial uptake that surprises me the most. Very dry on initial quaff at the tip of the tongue and malty on swallow. Nice.

M: Creamy and medium-full bodied. It's strange. You get this musty pineapple/dark rum/whipped cream fleeting hint on outbreath. Malt takes over after swallow and this sensation.

O: pretty damn good overall with something interesting at every phase of the experience. Definitely opens into a different place upon warmed state.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2014 00:49:29 | More by Scrapss
Photo of thecheapies


3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Impressive two inch head from the bottle. Dark tan-colored with lots of sticky bubbles. The beer looks almost black. Really like the way she laces.

Dark roast, salty caramel, licorice, office coffee, and mineral earthiness. Sturdy stout nose with character. A little tangy on top of the big-time kilning.

Roastiness, weak coffee, licorice, char, mineral notes, and slight oxidized caramel. Astringent finish with a light juniper berry note. Earthy, but gritty. These are always hit-or-miss for me.

Meaty feel with good body. Carbonation is right on-point.

I will give it credit for the better drafts and bottles I've had before.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2014 20:51:07 | More by thecheapies
Photo of Greywulfken

New York

4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: black ale body with a few fingers of dark ice cream float head; great persistence, nice cap lasted throughout, lace and messy motes left behind

S: dark malt and roasty aromas, hints of sweetness and smoke

T: licorice came through on the very first sip; cocoa-esque malt flavors, some soy and some cola - very interesting and complex/compelling

M: smooth, medium body, not very coating, no palpable carbonation; super-drinkable; some bittersweet aftertaste that'll leave ya wanting another

O: whatta class act Bell's has proven to be - this is a quality stout that'll satisfy most fans of the style, dark ales, porters, and the like - licorice is showcased quite nicely - I suppose if you dislike licorice, this beer may not strike you the way it struck me.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2014 01:34:56 | More by Greywulfken
Photo of StuyBeerGuy

New York

3.1/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

The beer pours with an enticing dark color and a thin purple head that fizzes off quickly

This beer has a soft aroma of fermented soy sauce and licorice.

The flavor underwhelms after a season of stouts to celebrate Saint Patrick's and the mouthfeel lingers, a characteristic of beer that I normally enjoy but in this case was unfortunate.

I will try some more of Bell's Brewery's offerings since I have heard positive comments about the beers but do not believe I will return to their stout.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2014 01:56:57 | More by StuyBeerGuy
Photo of Duff27


3.81/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A- Inch tall mocha head on a dark brown body. Excellent head retnetion and splotchy lacing. Appearance is very inviting.

S- Whiffs of cocoa and hints of cola in the nose.

T- Chocolate is a lot more prominent in the taste compared to the aroma, especially as it warms. Slight coffee note. Drinks it's 6%abv.

M- Medium mouthfeel, medium carbonation.

D/O- A very balanced, drinkable stout. The chocolate/coffee combo grows on you with every sip.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2014 00:35:29 | More by Duff27
Photo of SLeffler27

New York

3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark, chocolate brown, but is black in a Dogfish Head snifter. A modest, creamy dark chestnut head quickly departs, leaving behind a fine coating of lace.

Deep roasted malt with chocolate and coffee beans. Some lactose and brown sugar comes out with warming. Perhaps some plum pudding can be detected.

The flavor is strong roasted coffee, with high cocoa and bitter chocolate. Nuts come out in a lingering finish and the roasted bitterness gives way to a light sweetness late in the sip.

A medium body and slick texture. Fine, ample carbonation and quite dry.

This is a fine dark beer. However, it lacks the mystery and intrigue I was seeking on a dark and dreary Halloween night.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2014 22:42:40 | More by SLeffler27
Photo of dank203

New Jersey

3.8/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

good balance between coffee bitterness and sweet chocoaltiness. when you're a jersey kid in a PA bottle shop, you get whatever bell's has. I only got two actually, two hearted and this one and this one's a pass, can't say i'm blown away by it. looking forward to 2 hearted

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2014 17:22:23 | More by dank203
Photo of Hopswagger

South Carolina

4.39/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

P: Pitch black abyss that shows no signs of light. Capped with a bubbly dark chocolate milk froth. Thick sticky lacing.

S: Chocolate syrup, biscotti, praline, brown sugar, prunes, melted chocolate ice cream, cinnamon and roasted dark grains.

T/M: Bitter dark chocolate, with hints of black licorice swimming around. Ground spices, tree bark, earthiness that reminds me of moss, cracked black pepper, spicy sting of what seems like chilies hits the tongue toward the end of the swallow. Finishes with an effervescent tingle and lasting medicinal notes. Alcohol is very subtle and is heard to seek out.

O: A smooth easy drinking stout that has sweetness and lots of earthy bitter notes to round out the taste. I was worried at first because I'm not a fan of licorice forward beers but it works well with this beer and compliments nicely. A great stout to stock up on.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2014 23:53:00 | More by Hopswagger
Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
90 out of 100 based on 2,997 ratings.