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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

3,466 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,466
Reviews: 1,439
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 10.53%
Wants: 157
Gots: 290 | FT: 11
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bell's Kalamazoo Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,466 | Reviews: 1,439 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jwc215
3.4/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours nearly black with a thin, tan head.

The smell is of licorice, slightly burnt coffee and toast with chocolate notes.

The taste is of licorice and plenty of it. Reminds me of licorice candy. Coffee and chocolate notes mix in. Earthy bitterness balances out the sweetness. There is a mix of burnt, though not really smoky, (coffee?, or just "burnt...") that gets in the way, as well as some chalk, which is a shame, as it otherwise would be very good. Finishes with a balanced, though slightly awkward, finish.

Something seems "off" and astingent. I do like it, especially the way the licorice plays in, but too chalky and burnt to really enjoy.

jwc215, Jul 16, 2007
Photo of DrunkinYogi
4/5  rDev +0.3%

DrunkinYogi, Jul 04, 2012
Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +25.3%

Rochefort10nh, Nov 23, 2011
Photo of smcolw
3.83/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A light head but it sticks around, leaving ample spots on the glass. The color is near black where no light passes through.

A fairly mellow stout aroma. There are elements of darkened toast from black patent malt, but it is not harsh.

The flavor is closer to the classic dry stout profile. It has notes of espresso and faint nuttiness. There's a blend of hop and burnt toast taste in the finish which lingers long after the swallow. The body light to moderate and the carbonation is spot on. A good, but not great, stout.

smcolw, Jan 16, 2011
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A thick creamy brown head tops this deep brown almost black beer. Thick aromas of coffee, burnt malt, alcohol, and chocolate waft from my glass. Aaah, a thick creamy body that is quite satisfying and hits the spot after the weak porter that I just had. Finishes with an astringent roast malt character. The beer is so creamy that it balances the roast character, in the front and middle of this beer, quite well. Perhaps a hint of diacetyl, but it is barely perceptible. Not really sweet, despite the ample body. After a bit of time I can detect some buttery diacetyl in the aroma, perhaps a bit distracting, but not all that bad.

This beer would be something else if the diacetyl was cleaned up a bit. Having said that, if you don't mind a bit of diacetyl, this would be a really good beer for you.

Gueuzedude, Mar 19, 2004
Photo of kojevergas
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a New Belgium goblet at me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Acquired at Ramirez Liquor. I've been quite underwhelmed by Bell's in the past, so I'm hoping this is the one that shows me how truly great they are. Bottled 09/26/12. 6.0% ABV confirmed.

Served after a period of rest from the refrigerator. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Presentation: I dig the label and its artwork. Understated and classy.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger beautiful brown head of great thickness and cream, and good retention for the above average ABV. Body colour is a solid dark black. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Nontransparent. Opaque.

Sm: Dark malts are dominant. Chocolate. Cream. I search for roast but struggle to find any. Licorice. A moderate strength aroma. Not real complex or subtle considering the style, but pretty good.

T: Creamy up front and on the finish, with a lightly roasted dark malt foundation. Minimal hop presence, if any. Little licorice; it's very restrained. No yeast or alcohol comes through. Hints of caramel. Chocolate. No real coffee or toffee notes. Roast is also underdone. Well malted. A tasty creamy stout. Impeccably balanced. Quite subtle for the style. It's amazing how much they've done here. This is fucking delicious.

Mf: Smooth and wet - overly so on both counts. Should be more dry and coarse. Feels more like a porter than a stout. Still, the creaminess is fantastic, and the thickness is good. Good carbonation as well. Nice presence on the palate. Suits the flavours nicely.

Dr: A fantastic stout from Bell's. I'm starting to understand the hype a little bit; I like this a lot more than the Expedition Stout. At a better price than it is as a SoCal import, I could definitely see myself picking this up regularly. It's pretty much everything I want out of the style. Obscenely drinkable; I could easily down this all night. One of the best American stouts I've ever had.

A

Gets better as it warms, but I'd still serve it chilled.

kojevergas, Nov 19, 2012
Photo of XmnwildX12
4/5  rDev +0.3%

XmnwildX12, Nov 22, 2013
Photo of Halcyondays
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours dark brown/black with a full tan head with excellent retention, almost like a nitro beer, good lacing as well.

S: Smell has distinct notes of chocolate and coffee, a little bit of cream.

S: Stronger bitterness than I expected in a sweet stout, burnt malt and coffee form the main flavour. The beer ends with a long finish and aftertaste of dark cocoa.

M: Medium-bodied, mild carbonation, oily and slick, I thought it could use a bit more body, but still good overall.

D: A nice drinkable stout from Bell's. With it not being distributed here I don't think I'll have it for a while, but I'll definitely revisit it if given the chance.

Halcyondays, Oct 15, 2008
Photo of GClarkage
4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

04/18/05- Received as a gift from BA member Spinlock.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with no dates. Poured into my Reaper pint glass.

Appearance- Fairly black in color with a nice 1/2 inch head and average lacing.

Smell- Nice and sweet with a bit of roasted scent.

Taste- Yummy sweetness with a nice chocolate kick. Maybe a tiny bit of coffee and nicely rounded malt texture.

Mouthfeel- Mouthcoating chocolate as it warms. Lower carbonation.

Drinkability- One of the best stouts I have had. Creeping fairly close to Stone IRS. Wish I had easy access to these. I've been damn lucky with stouts and porters as of recent.

GClarkage, Apr 19, 2005
Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev +0.3%

imperialking, Jan 09, 2012
Photo of InspectorBob
4/5  rDev +0.3%

InspectorBob, May 20, 2013
Photo of woodychandler
4.4/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A fresh bottle (Batch 10232) came to me recently from local trader tone77, plus like cagocubs, I have an aged bottle (Batch 6666 (whoa!) that just turned up in my infamous cellar. This is as good a day as any to try them.

From the bottle: "Here's where we tell you about this full-bodied stout's delicious roast flavor. But really, you've already got the bottle in your hand so why not find out for yourself?"

Batch 10232

I went with such an aggressive pour that it initially looked like a chocolate milk shake in my glass until a cascading action took hold and the foam began to subside into beer. Thank goodness for surface tension or it might have overflowed my glass! As it was, I ended up with a dense foamy finger of deep-tan head with excellent retention in this heat. Color was an obsidian black, allowing zero light penetration, even at the edges. This was a black hole of a beer. Nose smelled roasty with notes of dark chocolate and charcoal. Mouthfeel was medium, approaching creaminess, with flavors of dark chocolate, smoke, charcoal and black licorice on the tongue. As the lacing began to appear, it was thick and sticky, looking as though it would need to be chiseled out later. Finish was very dry with the smoky charcoal flavor dominating and lingering. Phew! Give me this over a milk/sweet stout any day.

Batch 6666

Jeez, Louise, it looked like spent motor oil coming out of the bottle and into my glass! I briefly had a finger of deep-tan head before it disappeared. Color was solid black with zero light penetration. Nose was very smoky and charcoal-ish underlain by a dark chocolate scent. Mouthfeel was fairly full and the roasted bitterness had really come to the forefront with coffee initially and chocolate following. Finish was more like chocolate fudge than anything, rendering it a dessert beer. It held up extremely well.

woodychandler, Jul 22, 2011
Photo of drewone
4/5  rDev +0.3%

drewone, Apr 07, 2013
Photo of yourefragile
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Dark brown, nearly pitch black opaque liquid with a thick tan head that has nice retention and clumpy streaks of lacing.
S: Not quite as strong as expected, faint malty, fudge-like chocolate, nutty aroma. Slight hop bitterness as well.
T: Full bodied, very thick and creamy but not as cloying or lactose-y as some other milk stouts. Body has a slightly stronger nutty chocolate taste than expected and lots of rich, roasted malts. Aftertaste is more chocolate than milk. Throughout there is a subtle hop bitterness providing nice balance. One of my favorite easy drinking stouts, not just for milk stouts.

yourefragile, Apr 20, 2008
Photo of corby112
4.13/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving type: bottle.

Pours a dark brown/black with a thin coffee colored head. Aroma of roasted malts, chocolate and licorice. Roasted malt flavor with taste of chocolate, coffee, licorice, and dark fruit. Nice bitter dry finish with strong chocolate, roasted coffee and icorice aftertaste.

corby112, Nov 28, 2008
Photo of orangesol
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Hunger N Thirst.

A - Pours pitch black with a dense one and a half finger tall tan head, slowly dissipating down to a thin film, leaving thick sheets of lace on the sides of the glass.

S - Smells of coffee grounds, chocolate malt, toffee, vanilla and some smokey malt.

T - Starts off with a mix of coffee and dark roasted chocolate malt quickly being joined by the vanilla, light smoke, vanilla and a touch of bitter earthy hops. Finish is roasty with a touch of sweetness, lingering long after the finish.

M - Heavy body with moderate carbonation. Smooth, roasty feel usually wears on the palate but this one isn't as bad.

O - A very nice stout. I love that it is only six percent, allowing you to really enjoy the beer without fear of it messing you up too bad.

orangesol, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of weeare138
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a midnight, pitch black with a foamy, 1 finger tan head that slowly fades out into a collar. Scattered lacing is left around the tulip glass.
Smell is of deep, dark roasted malt, sweet cream, roasted chestnut, vanilla, and a hint of bitter coffee beans touched with bakers chocolate.
Taste is of the same aromas with a dark roasted malt that stands out above everything else and sticks to the tongue.
Mouthfeel is full bodied with a sugar sweetness and dark roastiness battling it out for supremecy with the fizzy roastiness lasting long after the swallow.
This one is pretty good. The roasted malt and slightly overcarbonated body makes it a bit uneasy to swallow easily but it doesn't take away from the great characteristics found in this brew.

weeare138, May 25, 2006
Photo of wrightst
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

wrightst, Jun 13, 2014
Photo of dbrauneis
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled on 11/21/2011

A: Pours an opaque jet black in color with some very faint hints of red when held up to the light. The beer has a half finger tall tan head that quickly reduces to a thick patch in the center with a slighter thinner ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate lacing is observed.

S: Aromas of burnt malts, licorice, light bittersweet chocolate, and just a little hint of coffee. There is some nice complexity to the aroma.

T: The taste pretty much follows the smell with perhaps a slightly more present bittersweet chocolate. The primary flavors are burnt/dark malts and licorice. There is a nice lasting bitterness but it is not agressive or intense.

M: On the fuller side of medium bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation. Creamy and smooth.

O: This is a pretty nice stout with lovely notes of licorice in it. There is an enjoyable flavor, aroma, and mouthfeel. Not exactly a sessionable beer but it is pretty easy to drink and you could probably enjoy a couple in an evening.

dbrauneis, Apr 03, 2012
Photo of Billolick
4.38/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ouncer with different art work then shown on this site, no freshness into be had. This one pours stout black, dark tan head, well knot, retentive and then leaves plenty of slippery and then sticky lace. Roasty/malty nose. Yummy, easy drinking stout, with notes of sweetened coffee, molasses, dark toast. Sweet and roasty, silky as it rides over the tongue and swirls in the mouth. Top notch in all ways, more fine suds from Bells

Billolick, Aug 29, 2008
Photo of tempest
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I've had this on tap and from the bottle and there's little to no difference. This beer was pitch black with a nice tan head. It smelled heavily of roasted malts with a bit of chocolate in the back ground. Taste is similar with a very dry, bitter bite to it. Appears to have a very clean yeast strain and the malts almost taste like you're chewing on the grains. I found it nice and interesting at first, but the dryness got to me after a couple bottles.

tempest, Jun 03, 2006
Photo of barleywinefiend
4.6/5  rDev +15.3%
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.

barleywinefiend, Feb 09, 2013
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.53/5  rDev +13.5%
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.

Georgiabeer, Dec 27, 2006
Photo of akorsak
4.28/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A bottle from a Bell's mixed case purchased at J Breski's in Middletown, PA.

A: The ale is a dark brown/black color with a thick head that has laced nicely in the glass.

S: The stout has a creamy sweet aroma punctuated by a nice roasted malt character.

T: The sweetness of the lactose is evident in the taste. The ale is silky soft and very sweet, providing a very long finish in the mouth. The roasted malts compliment the lactose, providing a chocolatey sweet flavor that finishes nicely.

M: The mouthfeel of this stout is very velvety soft. The stout does not pack a punch with deep vinous flavors but it does deliver a strong roasted sweet flavor that is very pleasing.

D: Very drinkable. I purchased the mixed case to try this and I am not disappointed.

akorsak, Oct 20, 2006
Photo of mothman
4.13/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 8432. Packaged on April 11, 2008.

Pours a thick brown/tan head. This beer is pretty much as black as the night sky (but really just a extremely dark brown). I was in awe when I first saw this beer come out of the bottle. The head stayed up almost the entire time, while the lacing was dominate. That's right dominate.

The smell is of roasted/chocolate malts, while the beer is amazingly balance between the hops and the malts. The presence of both were well represented. I could again taste the same roasted/chocolate malts and the hop flavor was grassy.

This is such an amazing beer and I would recommend this to anybody! I am so impressed with Bells on this one!

mothman, Sep 14, 2008
Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 3,466 ratings.