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

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

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BA SCORE
89
very good

3,630 Ratings
THE BROS
83
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,630
Reviews: 1,450
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.55%
Wants: 159
Gots: 330 | FT: 9
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
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Ratings: 3,630 | Reviews: 1,450 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ejimhof
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.6/5  rDev +15.6%
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.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is a deep, dark brown with a half inch of beige head. The aroma offers molasses, dark roast, black coffee. Malty with dark roasted coffee. Rich and slightly sweet, finishing bitter. Molasses with a touch of dark chocolate. Medium bodied with moderately low carbonation. Another solid offering from Bell's.

Photo of mdaschaf
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours an inky black with a one finger mocha colored head. Decent retention leaving a little bit of foam in the center and ring on the outer edge. Moderate lacing.

S: Not overly strong smelling. A sweet smelling beer, coffee, licorice, some brown sugar, and molasses. I get a little bit of butter as well.

T: The predominant flavors are coffee and mocha, but the coffee is more like coffee ice cream than hot coffee. There is a roasted malt flavor in the middle a little bit as well as hints of chocolate, molasses, and oatmeal.

M: Creamy and chewy. Medium to full bodied, nice carbonation that seems to fit well. Has a surprisingly dry finish.

O: Quite happy with this beer. Glad that the coffee doesn't overwhelm the beer since I am not a fan of coffee beers. Not my favorite stout, but I wouldn't turn it away.

Photo of DoubleJ
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle from Lone Hill Liquor, on to the beer:

Lighter colored tan head on top this jet fuel black liquid. Head retention is fair. Aroma...faint coffee grounds, milk-like sweetness, a pinch of cocao. As for flavor, this is very coffee-like. Roasted ground coffee. But there's a little more carbonation than I like here. Anyway, very roasted flavor. A slight sweetness akin to creamer keeps this beer in balance. If you like your stouts robust and roasty, this is one to grab.

Photo of akorsak
4.28/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

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

Obtained in trade from Limesmut.

A clear deeply brown colored beer with a very tall light brown head.

This is one of those beers that you recognize the smell of long before you get it near your nose in a good way. Sweet chocolate with a trace of malt char and hops. Trace of coffee but not too much.

The taste starts out strong chocolate with a semi-sweet malt aftertaste. Immediately I noticed the smoothness of this beer, it is basically velvet on the tongue. Flavor doesn't develop much, just smooth mellow chocolate.

Mouthfeel is velvet.

Super easy to drink beer. Smooth and mellow are two things that this beer has in spades. Super drinkable beer that I will look forward to trying again.

Photo of afsdan
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(Served in an Imperial pint glass)

A-This beer pours a dark inky brown that is opaque with a dark tan head that is very creamy.

S- Tie smell of roasted sweet malt and some toasted malts make this aroma thick. A faint hint of coffee and some molasses are in the background.

T- The taste of earthy roasted malt and some slight sourness with a faint sweetness blend together. A faint hop bitterness finishes this beer. The sweet roasted malt lingers after the finish.

M-This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a very faint creaminess.

D- This milk stout has nice character but it is missing some depth that would really add to its flavor. I would like to see some more creaminess in the mouthfeel. Nice stout non the less.

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.34/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bells : Kalamazoo Stout

Appearance: Dark brown, pretty much black colored beer. Opaque but no sediment. Brown head forms and leaves some lace on the glass. Looks like a stout for sure.

Smell: Chocolate, charcoal, roasted malt, tobacco, and molasses. Appealing to the nose, this beer is on par with other good examples of the style with a strong aroma.

Taste: Big flavor of chocolate and black patent roasted malts. Chocolatey, hint if vanilla, molasses, iced coffee. Somewhat sweet flavor upfront but there are layers. Really nice flavors in this stout. Richly malty, but with enough sustaining bitterness to balance.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied ale that is as tasters say, chewy. This stout leaves quite a roasted malt impression on the palate. Well carbonated, fairly smooth and even between sweet, smokey and roasted.

Overall: One of the best American Stouts out there, period. This is definitely under rated, if given the time and opportunity I can drink these all day. Kalamazoo Stout can hold up well to an oily cigar.

Photo of jdhilt
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a five finger brown head that fades to a thin layer leaving a good lace. Black color. Light-medium carbonation and heavy bodied. Chocolate nose. Starts with a roasted/burnt chocolate flavor, some sweetness, nice stout. $1.89 for a 12oz bottle from Chalet Party Goshen, In.

Photo of smakawhat
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Big three to four finger light cocoa brown head with good retention, nice cap on this. Body is dark walnut brown with just a hint of red. A little soapy but manages a nice ice cream chunk while drinking.

Smell is a good mix of first chocolate then roast coffee. Good and simple, real solid. Chewy grain texture.

Taste is slight prickly licorice, and milk chocolate ovaltine finish. Just right on the wetness scale it seems, so easy drinking.

Overall solid good light stout, very nice and enjoyable easy drinking, good flavor and feel.

Photo of BillRoth
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of brandoman63
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of iL0VEbeer
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of Wasatch
4.38/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my 400th review. Just absolutely delicious. Poured into a pint glass, a black color, nice carbonation, nice creamy tan head, some lacing afterwards. Scents of sweet roasted malts, and toffee/chocolate. The taste is a creamy sweet roasted malt, with a nice toffee finish. Medium body, slightly carbonated feel on the tongue. Very drinkable, glad to had a chance to checkout this fabulous brew.

Photo of chinchill
3.81/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottled served in a pint glass. Code on bottle ("9612") MAY indicate best by date of 6 Sept. 2012 or 9 August 2012; anyway, this bottle should be plenty fresh.

This is a truly black and opaque beer; even held up to sunlight coming thru my window I can see no light, only the tiniest dark brown at the very edges. The head is a thick tan color, and starts ample (about 2 fingers) but quickly settles to a top coat and ring. It leaves moderate lacing on the glass.

Aroma is moderately strong and consists mainly of dark roasted malts and some alcohol phenols. Also present, some traces of hops and a hint of dried dark fruits.

T - While the flavor is dominated, as it should be, by dark roasted malts. Has a lasting and rich finish featuring dark roasted malts with a hint of hop spiciness, black licorice and bitter dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel: medium body with medium-low carbonation. Not bad, but I find the body a tad thin for style although the carbonation is near ideal.

O - I sampled this Bells immediately after a Sierra Nevada Stout. Overall, and in most respects, I found the SN superior. The Bells does have a slightly stronger aroma and flavor, with dark malts more dominant over the hops.
I note that the Bells Stout is "brewed with brewers licorice" which "Increases head retention while imparting slight flavor" according to a brewers' supplier.

(revisited and tweaked with a 2012 bottle in Nov. 2013 - paired with a Green Flash Double Stout which proved to have more flavor but otherwise was quite similar.}

Photo of tdm168
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with 1/4" of cappuccino head that has good retention. The nose has notes of roasted malts, coffee, and a hint of chocolate. The taste is smooth, rich roasted malts, mellow coffee, and faint chocolate in the finish. There are some faint hops in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, smooth, and well carbonated.

This is a solid stout. It's fairly simple and to the point, but the simplicity works here. I've had this one several times and will probably have it again.

Photo of biegaman
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Kalamazoo Stout has a java-like appearance which implies not only opacity but also a bubbly brown froth; it might look more appropriate in a tiny espresso cup than it does in my pint glass. Still, what sparse foam it manages seems intent on exploring the full space of the glass.

The fact that the beer is brewed with licorice is apparent in the aroma; it follows then, however, that this recipe must also use coffee, fireplace ashes, burnt toast crusts, and may or may not have been partly aged in oak barrels. It gives one a lot to smell.

Kalamazoo drinks like a mini Russian Imperial Stout. A number of steps lower on the richness scale, it nevertheless offers flavours of molasses, dark fruit, French roast coffee, dark chocolate truffles and, of course, hints of black licorice. Let's call it a RIS junior.

The mouthfeel has a splintery dryness almost akin to the kind you'd experience in a barrel-aged offering. Much of this, mind you, can be attributed to a considerably generous hop bill, one that's spicy florals go largely unnoticed thanks to the towering presence of roasted grain.

Owing to brands like Kalamazoo as well as Expedition, Double Cream, Cherry and Java, Bell's became an elder statesman for American craft-brewed stouts even before it could legitimately be considered an elder. Like so many others, this beer was one of my first forays into stouts not named Guinness or Murphy's and I still enjoy it now as much as I did then.

Photo of KAF
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%

Photo of rab53
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of ppoitras
4.85/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a big ol' 1" mocha-hued head above an opaque dark brown/black brew. Dense head has good staying power, and laced tremendously. Aroma is of coffee and choco malts, with a bit of milk sweetness that rounds it out nicely. The taste is follows the aroma's map, and the sweetness really rounds out the flavor on the palate. Don't know where that 6.5% is hiding, but it was cloaked with some artistic brewing. If I had to find a fault, I think the mouthfeel is a bit thin for such a hearty brew, but this is really nit-picking. One of the best stouts I've enjoyed, just wish it was more widely available.

Photo of Kelp
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of billab914
3.6/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Stone RIS glass. Poured black with a big bubbly mocha colored head. The head settled down eventually to a thin covering but it left some very good lacing on the glass.

The aroma has the strong presence of the brewers licorice with some sweetness and a little roastedness to it. The licorice is also very present in the taste and has an almost caramel like taste to it. It also has some roasted grains with notes of bitter coffee and chocolate coming through. The bitterness helps balance out the caramely sweetness of the licorice.

The mouthfeel is on the thicker side with below average carbonation. Drinkability is good, I've never been a big fan of licorice but it wasn't too overpowering in the beer.

Photo of dmorgan310
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 3,630 ratings.