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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.

1,484 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,484
Hads: 3,906
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 9.38%
Wants: 176
Gots: 476 | 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
Reviews: 1,484 | Hads: 3,906
Photo of sulldaddy
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This brew is another one of my purchases from Kclingers in PA. I pour a chilled sample into my pint glass. A tan creamy head foams up with some light cascading action going on. Head dissipates evenly but fairly quickly to a thin layer across the surface of the brew.
Aroma is mostly roasted malt, with hints of caramel and coffee buried in there.
First sip reveals, mild carbonation and a fairly thick body. Flavor is very roasty, coffee bitterness, and even a hint of twangy chocolate in the middle. The finish is all coffee and leaves a lightly sweet film on my teeth and gums. A nice reminder of the tasty brew I just tasted!
Overall, this is very drinkable for a thick beer. I would probably fill up on these if I had 3 or more, but could definitely have another if I had one. (785 characters)

Photo of benmiliron
4.36/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Read inebrius' review below mine, it's a far better review than I could come up with.

I was born in Kalamazoo, and this was the first REAL stout I ever tried, this has always been a special beer for me. Thanks to my sis for getting me a 6-pack for xmas this year.

Pours black with a great brown head. Beautiful. Taste while it's in your mouth is a mix of sweetness and bitterness, the combo is like a freight train hitting your brain. Impossible to pick everything out, though fun to try. The aftertaste is rough on this one though, very bitter and lingers on the tongue. It feels great to roll it around in your mouth for a while. I could easily drink this beauty all night. (682 characters)

Photo of inebrius
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Scents of hazelnut-cocoa bread--a liquid loaf in my glass--drift lazily above the downy brown bun that sits atop the dark fluid I sipped and felt ooze hurriedly to the pit of my throat where I swallowed it and shuddered against the bullying chocolate truffle covered coffee bean flavors coarsing.

Then I sipped again. (320 characters)

Photo of frank4sail
3.86/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 Oz bottle seems like it was not filled all the way... but onlt half way up the neck of the bottle. Slight roast nose but not huge. Thick rich milk cocoa colored thick airy head. Dark black opeque look in the pint glass. Rich slightly sweet roasty initial taste then gives way to layers of Expresso and dry cocoa powder in the slightly sour finish. Mediumish mouth. Not at all as good as the draft version I had quite a while ago.. but still a nice stout. (457 characters)

Photo of findlayfan
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dense tan head.

Good smell, with significant coffee notes.

Nearly opaque, almost black body with a few bubbles.

Well-balanced, with chocolate and coffee notes in the aftertaste.

Overall, a very good, quite drinkable stout - one of the best I've tried (and I've tried quite a few). (292 characters)

Photo of FFudnam
4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one at home, out of the 12oz bottle, same as pictured.

Gave it a rough pour, to test head retention, and get more aroma from the beer.


Smooth pour, fairly thick, but not syrup-y. Cappucino-colored head lasted for 2 minutes.


Black as can be, with aforementioned light-brown (cappucino) head, and no light transmission. Looks like a lot of black patent was used. Thumbs up!


Smells of Coffee, Chocolate, moderate hop punch-in-the-nose, more spicy than floral, malty backbone.


Again, more coffee, chocolate, some ripe fruit/date/raisin notes, somewhat sweet, smooth hop bitterness comes next, followed by a nice malty, dry-ish finish. Awesome stuff!


Silky smooth, with moderate carbonation. Accentuates the hops, but doesn't allow them to overwhelm the palate. Finishes strong. Nearly perfect. IMHO could be a little creamier.


Probably a little too "huge" to be a session beer, but I could knock a few back while hanging out at the bar or wherever.

Best stout I have sampled yet, with the exception of the Bell's Expedition, IMO the most interesting, complex beer they make. So there you have it.


Left a gorgeous, fluttery, creamy lace in my pint glass. Sweet. (1,277 characters)

Photo of ngandhi
4.31/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Kalamazoo Stout is the most roasted of the Bell's line of stouts. The nose is of burnt walnuts and reduced soy sauce. Though charred, the palette isn't too bitter. The deep roast borders on smoke. This is an intense beer with gorgeous balance (if done even a hair differently, this would probably make you puke).

If you can't find this beer, chew on a handful of espresso beans soaked in beef fat.

The body is lush lactose, but never cloyingly sweet, thick, or chocolately. Milk stouts have a tendency to lose themselves in the creamy body and cafe mocha taste; by intensifying the roastiness beyond normal human cognition, Kalamazoo maintains a strong concentrated stout and earthy hop character without the sickening effects of noticeable milk flavor. Who would have ever thought burning could taste so good?

Relax, relax.
ng (839 characters)

Photo of babyhobbes
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark, dark brown and in direct light a rather deep red tone. The is a creamy caramel color about an 1-1.5in thick.

Smell: This beer has odors of coffee, chocolate and a slight scent of alcohol. Smells sweet but not overpowering. It is not very pungent at all.

Taste and Mouthfeel: This tastes similar to other stouts. It has a coffee taste along with a strong bitterness which is balanced by it's creamy texture. Despite the odor of alcohol there is little to no feel of it in the taste.

Drinkability: This is a very drinkable stout. I have enjoyed all of the Bell's beers I've tried and this is no exception. (631 characters)

Photo of waughbrew
4.88/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

wow. just sniff this! in-your-face roasted grains, oat cream pie. sweet caramel covered strawberries. light maple molasses. earthy yeast and a hint of chemicalliness. flavors of nutmeg and anise are possibly just enduced psychadelia. leaves a nice burnt coffee bean character on your tongue after the sweetness has slid down. full body to say the least, yet it is rediculously drinkable. an amazing beer.

[mad props out to PaulB for the hookup] (447 characters)

Photo of DrunkMcDermott
3.54/5  rDev -12.6%
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. (372 characters)

Photo of beergeek279
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in the 12 oz. bottle. The color is a dark brown, with a nice tan head. The smell is roasted malt. The taste is very bitter on first sip, and there is a bit of chocolate sweetness in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy. As for drinkability, could have several of these.

The first Bell's stout that I've reviewed, and I'm quite impressed. A very nice and bitter stout, and one that I'll certainly have again. (426 characters)

Photo of BierReise
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark chocolate brown and thick with a creamy dense head. Aroma is rich with roasted malts, notes of coffee and molasses . Body is creamy and smooth with modest carbonation. Flavor is a nice blend of sweet, bitter and dry. Really balanced out well. Sweet coming from roasted malt that reminds me of dry cocoa with a bitter finish. Overall one of the most even stouts I've had. (383 characters)

Photo of budgood1
4.41/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours out an opaque dark blackish colour with ruby hued brown head which minimizes to a thin but endearing lace. lactic aroma...sweet and sour...milk chocolate and malted milk balls. very amusing. upon tasting...i'm pleasantly surprised by the dancing yeast induced tartness that lends itself to a chocolate covered cherry nuget middle. after getting a grip on the yeast profile of these bell's brews and the subtle differences of the stouts of november, these prolific stouts of yore, i'm hooked. the body is full...mouthfeel finishes on the dry side. the bitterness from the roasted malt lies low, letting the yeast and the impending malt and alcohol notes provide the majority of the flavour profile. this is a complex, yet very drinkable stout. absolutely delicious.

thanks to feloniousmonk for the offering! (816 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark ruby brown could easily be mistaken for black so full it pours thick from the bottle, the thicket of foamy moccha tan head is magnificant looks like bread rising has that texture very chunky and bubbly so nice forms collar of lacing as it slowly dwindles, quite the resiliency on this one. Aroma: Dark roasts create joy on multiple levels but the aroma here contains tones of mild cocoa, baking cookies, and an underlying tone of coffee beans very light but evident the oatmeal like tones are also very inviting toward my first sip. Taste: Such a beautiful balance of dark chocolate roasts and harsh bitterness from the dark roasts sweet robust flavor is just awesome solid all around, the ideal session stout. Mouthfeel: Fluffy yet medium to full bodied and smooth at the same time, unique quality to the mouthfeel can't quite describe it completely. Drinkability: A very tasty stout that helps me remember why I love dark beer so much, I once was stuck on the fact that only hops could suffice my beer sweet tooth but this is the type of brew that helps pull off a convert to stouts with still a great amout of bitter tones from the dark roasts so smooth and silky going down, just gotta love this one from Kalamazoo. (1,236 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 rabidawg
4.31/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Extremely dark, opaque body. Two-finger head the color of espresso froth, leaving irregular spots of lacing. Simply a gorgeous brew.

Smell: Initial café mocha notes, with a slight wisp of alcohol. Very roasty, and smells as if it will be slightly astringent. Diacetyl is present, with its warm, buttery, confectionery addition.

Taste: Heavy roasted coffee flavors up front, with a soda-like sweetness in the middle. An absolute explosion of flavor, this beer is. Carbonation is adequate but not overwhelming. Slightly thin, but still very creamy. Some definite astringent notes near the end that get chased away nicely by the slight residual sweetness, which in turn is dried out nicely by the moderately hopped finish.

A HUGE thanks goes out to feloniousmonk for this taste of midwestern goodness! (822 characters)

Photo of clvand0
2.93/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This one pours a very dark color with a small brown head that leaves a small bit of lacing on the glass. The aroma was comprised of roasted malts and hints of coffee and chocolate. The flavor was much the same as the aroma: mostly roasted malts, coffee and chocolate with possibly a hint of caramel. I didn't find anything special about this brew and there are other milk stouts that better represent the style. (411 characters)

Photo of Boilermaker88
4.41/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

“The” #1 Kalamazoo Brewing Co. beer I had on my shopping list, Kalamazoo Stout poured a light-defying obsidian hue with just the faintest ruby edging and a small, thick mocha colored head. The smell was ripe with roasted chocolate malt, dark fruits, and espresso coffee aromas. The taste was of roasted dark malt with some bittersweet chocolate up front. The somewhat bitter leadout was countered by a sweetness imparted by some dark fruit flavors. The finish was softly bitter and acidic. The feel was full-bodied, rich, smooth and lush.
An outstanding stout! Easier to drink than the Double Cream Stout thanks to a lesser %ABV, Kalamazoo Stout embodies what I love about a good stout - a smooth, creamy feel, rich taste and great appearance. This offering from Kalamazoo Brewing ranks right up there with Two Hearted on my “Bell’s Best” list. I brought four back on the plane with me. (892 characters)

Photo of jward
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black, with a full tan head. Carbonation, which is on the low side, seems to fit a beer with such a creamy, luscious mouthfeel. The nose is slightly fruity, with hints of chocolate and cream. Roasted malt leaps forth in the flavor profile on this one, with a comforting chocolate backnote. A tad sour at the finish. Overall, a very impressive brew. (348 characters)

Photo of Ave
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is everything you want from a quality stout, near black in color, big tan head, lots of trace. The smell is also classic stout, chocolate, coffee, beefy yeast. Solid flavor profile, nothing missing, nothing unwanted. Smooth & rich in every regard. a higher alcohol content than most stouts makes its way to the tongue at the end, that coupled with the beers overall heaviness make it not the most quaffable bottle on the shelf, but one that is to be enjoyed often. Would pair great with Carmel bread pudding.

ave (526 characters)

Photo of xgrigorix
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Twelve ounce brown bottle. No dates.

Opaque black, looked thick during the pour. A pillowy tan head sits proudly atop its viscous majesty. Various size bubbles break the surface & shout: "Drink!"

Fresh ground coffe fills the nose with hints of cocoa lurking in the background.

Dark espresso, & bittersweet chocolate swirl around playfully. A roast grain flavour cuts in and leads towards the exit, drying things out along the way. The coffee flavour lingers, and is enjoyable, but it leaves me wondering - That's it? That's all? Full bodied, with prickly carbonation, make it quite drinkable, but I'm still left to wonder about its potential. (651 characters)

Photo of UncleJimbo
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz, brown, longneck bottle, capped. No date.

This stout poured virtually black (dark brown near edges if held to bright light) wtih brown foam that settled but clung a bit to the glass. The smell was modest but good: dark malt, hints of coffee and oatmeal(?), and a light sweetness and even a trace of a vinous aroma. The taste was strong and sharp initially but the bitterness and tanginess subsided as the glass warmed or breathed. There was the typical Bell's yeast flavor as well as very dark roasted malt and barley, and light hints of caramel, chicory like hops, and bitter coffee. The mouthfeel was rich and smooth and creamy but with a bit of tang/sharpness in the finish. It was full bodied with low carbonation and nice lingering complex flavors. This was a very nice stout, not overly sweet, and definitely better at less cold temperatures.

Thanks to feloniousmonk for this one! (898 characters)

Photo of dmarch
3.01/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Man I was pumped up about this beer, my first from Bell's. Looks nice. Pitch black with a thick tan head. Roasted coffee and a little bit of chocolate in both the aroma and the taste. Very sweet. But then there is that off flavor. Tastes like a plum that's a bit stale. It adds a bit of sourness that I find quite undisirable. I know Bell's has a reputation for being inconsistant at bottling, but I haven't got one yet that blew me away. (438 characters)

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 ounce long neck bottle. A picture of an old geezer with no hair and an unkempt beard on the obverse blue and beige bottle label. The simple neck label has the words ‘Kalamazoo Stout’. No freshness date, or Strength indicated.

Appearance: The beer exited the 12 ounce bottle with a viscous slow ‘glugged’ pour. It had a dark body, not quite pitch black, but not far off. The lovely brown head formed after a short delay, but then rapidly expanded into an expansive frothy looking mass that exhibited characteristics of nitrogen dispensed beers as it settled. Lacing was quite thick at first but it slowly slid down back into the Glass, now that’s what I call proper Recycling. Nice levels of dissolved carbonation.

Nose: Roasted Malts are heavy in the nose, some currants, yeast and a very slight lactic-tartness in the back end.

Taste: Like a strong, fresh percolated coffee, the immediate hit is of a slightly bitter roast bean flavor. The malts linger, and they do help to take the edge off of the bitterness. Some dark chocolate liqueur in the latter part helps give the beer a sweet creamy ‘alcohol’ feel at the back of the mouth, whilst sometimes this aspect may be attributable to a light lactic feel mixed with a low level of tartness, which is intriguing. Smooth and *very* tasty, I like the way that the strong roasted characteristic is exceptionally balanced, and not too overpowering. Appears simple at first, but it does have some complex layers when closely examined.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, silky smooth, it laces and sits on the tongue well. Solid foundation, medium to high body. Nicely done.

Drinkability: No problems with this at all, highly drinkable, I was concerned about the quality problems at ‘Bells’, seems I got lucky with receiving a good sample here.

Overall: I had heard much about this Stout, and it was a very pleasant offering indeed, highly enjoyable, great balance, poise and Drinkability, just how I like it.

Big Cheers to BigHuge for a ‘good’ bottle of this one!!! (2,045 characters)

Photo of Jason
3.34/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

Appearance: The thick foaming light brown head leaves big sticky chunks in the glass, the colour is a shade or two from pitch black.

Smell: Yeasty aroma, dark fruitiness under a wild estery and buttery burnt caramel smell.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Full bodied, creamy smooth and on the sweet side ... the sweetness seems clouded though. Big yeast bite mixes it up with the roasted character. Ghost like beef broth and dark fruit. Bitter chocolate and some roasted coffee bean in there. A bit hoppy with some flavour middle to end, lots of soft charcoal flavour as well.

Notes: The minimal astringency does not get in the way yet the flavours just don’t meld well together … a little unbalanced some would say. I am not say it is bad, I enjoyed it but it certainly did not rock my world.

Thanks to sakaroo for the sample. (875 characters)

Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
91 out of 100 based on 1,484 ratings.