Kalamazoo Stout
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store

Kalamazoo StoutKalamazoo Stout
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Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Stout - American
Ranked #116
ABV:
6%
Score:
89
Ranked #7,245
Avg:
4 | pDev: 10.25%
Reviews:
1,664
Ratings:
4,624
From:
Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
 
Michigan, United States
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  222
Gots
  750
SCORE
89
Very Good
Kalamazoo StoutKalamazoo Stout
Notes: Named after the city where it all began, Kalamazoo Stout is one of our most classic recipes. This smooth, full-bodied stout offers a blend of aromas and flavors of dark chocolate and freshly roasted coffee, balanced with a significant hop presence.
Reviews: 1,664 | Ratings: 4,624 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by DenverHopHead:
Photo of DenverHopHead
DenverHopHead from Colorado

4.21/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle with a packaged on date of 9/20/18; into a pint glass.
Appearance- pitch black with some detectable bubbles along the side of the glass; head is a medium thick, frothy beige that leaves rings of lathered lacing!
Smell- an assortment of aromas ranging from vanilla, dark chocolate, roasted coffee bean and graham cracker malts!
Taste- follows along the nose for the most part with the coffee, graham cracker and dark chocolate standing out!
Feel - medium body, semi dry and with a pleasing dark chocolate and coffee bitterness!
Overall- this is a brilliant stout IMO, as it hits for the cycle without attempting to get too cute!

Oct 06, 2018
More User Reviews:
Photo of citizencane
citizencane from Pennsylvania

4.63/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Very dark appearance with decent head. Reddish tint, perhaps?

S: Smells of stout and licorice, though is not too fragrant. Smells damn good but the smell doesn't seem to carry far, and I found myself having to stick my nose deep into the glass to smell anything at all.

T: taste is where this beer shines. Solid stout flavor with a suitable amount of licorice. Delicious.

M: slightly too carbonated for my taste.

O: If you like stouts and licorice, get this. It's delicious.

Aug 22, 2015
Photo of jzeilinger
jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

4.24/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap.

A - Dark brown pour that's borderline black with a creamy layer of dark caramel hovering on top.

S - Roasted chocolate and toasted caramel dominate the nose.

T - Lots of warm toasty chocolate malt throughout, some moderate smokey char/charcoal, delicate coffee bean, dark cream, and ends with a lingering roasted chocolate char.

M - Thick and chewy for only 6% and bone dry on the back of the tongue.

O - Great finish on this beer, a ton of toasty chocolate char packed into 6%. Classic is perfect and this recipe is dialed in; another underrated beer from Bell's.

Jan 15, 2019
Photo of bmeehan
bmeehan from Pennsylvania

3.52/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

It tastes like black licorice, but not in a way that makes you say, "Aw, shit...no one likes black licorice." It's good. It pours with a big head, so do so as slowly as you can, but it's a fun beer to drink.

Dec 15, 2014
Photo of rex_4539
rex_4539 from Greece

4.63/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L: Jet black color, one finger brown head, superb lacing, no visible carbonation.

S: Coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla, sweet. Could sniff it all day long!

T: Roasted coffee, dark chocolate, sweet, slightly bitter and malty on the back end.

F: Really smooth and drinkable. Full flavored.

O: Probably the best stout I have tried so far. Delicious.

Nov 24, 2016
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MikeyMcD86 from New York

4.69/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Had this beer sitting in the fridge since September and just got around to drinking it. Drank out of a Teku.

Look: Beer pours pretty dark and is pitch black in the glass with a medium dark khaki head.

Aroma: Lovely roasted coffee note with just a little bit of licorice in the background.

Taste: Aroma translates to the palate. Licorice is a little more pronounced but not overpowering. Really nice roasty bitterness on the back end makes this beer super drinkable.

Mouthfeel: At 6% this beer is on the thin side for a stout.

Overall(style points): This beer is way better than people give it credit for. For some reason nobody gives low ABV stouts any respect but this beer is delicious. It delivers awesome roasted coffee flavor while being refreshing and drinkable. 92 points!

Jan 12, 2017
Photo of Benish
Benish from Wisconsin

4.14/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: very foamy pancake batter colored head. Color is translucent black with pouring and jet black in the glass.

Aroma: earthy and woodsy hops. Notes of black charred coffee, also bitter chocolate. Subtle aromas of anise.

Taste: starts out bitter. A combination of flavors from the earthy hops, bitter chocolate, and black coffee. Roasted malt comes in midway with just subtle sweetness. The finish leaves a charred and bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: smooth and medium bodied with just enough carbonation.

Overall: a very drinkable stout that I enjoyed. This is more bitter forward with very little sweetness.

Dec 16, 2016
Photo of SB2017
SB2017 from Iowa

4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This puppy's got some heat to it! Smacked me straight in the face on my first sip. Damn dude, it's somewhere between black ale and cream stout on the first sip, then balances out into a bitter coffee ice cream with some hop notes in the aftertaste. That's a whirlwind of flavors, and completely fits my impression of Bells as a brewing company. The nose is primarily coffee with a handful of banana candy. Typical stout stuff, nothing special. In looks, I'm not too impressed but mostly because my litmus test is Guinness extra stout. Warm black, opaque, with a thin foamy thing of beige pond scum on top. Not much lace. A solid, full-bodied and complex stout. Well done.

Jul 18, 2018
Photo of steve50
steve50 from New Jersey

2.5/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Just an average stout. Expected more,very little coffee and licorice .Disappointing

Feb 20, 2015
Photo of Bear1964
Bear1964 from Nebraska

4.15/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I've got to say this has some ups and downs for me, I found this a very nice American Stout that lacked a head but had great lace on the glass...weak aroma but a nice bitter roasted flavor and this brew was back as sin....then the aroma picks up as it warms...I have to say that overall I like this Stout and would pick up a 6 pack again...wow the flavor really gets a woody bitter as it warms...nice!

Dec 19, 2016
Photo of clager
clager from Michigan

4.58/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Jet black, opaque with lacy tan head

S: Roasted malt, coffee, a little bit nutty

T: Nice balance of roasted malt, coffee, cocoa. Did not notice the licorice that others have mentioned but wasn't really looking for it either. One of the best tasting beers I've had, and I am normally a hophead.

F: Very smooth, less carbonated than I am used to but perfect for a stout

O: Really well-done stout, makes me want to brew one myself and try more

Aug 20, 2015
Photo of michiganmatt
michiganmatt from California

3.81/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - 4.25/5
Very very dark brown, possibly black. A thin layer of light brown head

Smell - 3.75/5
Roasted malts, a hint of slight citrus hops, a little smokiness and maybe a little alcohol. I would have liked the roasty and smoky aspects of the malts to be stronger, still a decent aroma.

Taste - 3.75/5
Smoke, charcol, sweet roasted malts, sugary alcohol, the hops come up the most in the aftertaste. Overall this is a decent tasting stout. A nice amount of smokiness but not overpowering.

Mouthfeel - 4/5
Smooth, both creamy and crisp during different parts of the sip. Carbonation is medium. A nice feel overall

Overall - 3.75/5
This was a decent beer overall. Wouldn't be my first choice typically, but I'm glad I tried it.

Feb 05, 2015
Photo of BeerAdvocate
BeerAdvocate from Massachusetts

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

Review from Beeradvocate Magazine March 07.

A bit of a cult classic for Stout lovers, the label states, "Stout Brewed with Brewers Licorice." Okay, it's got our interest.

Pours out a thick brown with a tight, tiny-bubbled head. Head retention is above average. Pretty much pitch black in color--there is no light shining through this liquid. Charred-wood aroma with faint smoke, a hint of licorice, mineral and a kiss of black currant in the back. Primo smoothness sets the full-bodied tone. Big on char and burnt flavors, with just enough astringency to play off the malt underneath, and not so much that it ruins the palate. The licorice adds a complex top layer unlike any other beer we've had. Hints of fruit, burnt toffee, baker's chocolate and dark roast coffee in the middle. Finishes bittersweet with a long, lingering char flavor that the palate just can't shake.

Yeah, we can see why this beer has cult status. This Stout is so robust, you can almost chew it. Big thumbs up for the subtle and artful addition of licorice. For a pairing, try some rosemary beer-braised lamb lollipops, or even an old-fashioned pot roast.

Nov 04, 2008
Photo of pheurton
pheurton from Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours midnight black with a fine tan head. aroma is chocolate espresso. medium body with a good carbonation level, affording a good mouthfeel. the taste is dark roasted malts, with a cocoa-coffee finish. a very nice stout that gets better as is comes to room temperature. reminds me somewhat of rogue chocolate stout, just toned down a bit. very good.

Nov 30, 2002
Photo of trumick
trumick from Michigan

4.16/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The appearance is a deep dark color with a finger head that lasts for a while leaves a nice lacing.
The smell is of sweet malt and roasted coffee maybe a little chocolate.
The taste is incredible, deep roasted malt and chocolate expresso flavor with a very nice bittersweet finish.
The mouthfeel is soft and velvety just the right amount of carbination to compliment the feeling.
I could easily drink a six of these, nice and slow.
What a nice beer from Kzoo, this is the best beer I have had from Bells. The kind Kzoo brew.

Sep 02, 2004
Photo of Junichi
Junichi from Texas

3.96/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Jun 12, 2017
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OKCNittany from Oklahoma

4.25/5  rDev +6.3%

Oct 04, 2013
Photo of barnzy78
barnzy78 from Illinois

4.43/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. Pours pitch black with zero transparency. Nice tan head that coats the glass and leaves some sticky lacing. Aromas are of roasted malts, molasses, and anise. Mouth-feel is medium and silky smooth on the palate. Flavors are also of bold roasted malts, molasses, and espresso with notes of brown sugar, cocoa, and anise. Nice balanced finish - dry with a slight sweetness. This has always been a favorite of mine. Fantastic through and through - I wouldn't change anything about this brew.

It's funny how reviews and tastes can change over time:
12/19/2012
Pours black with a huge rocky tan head that holds great ret & leaves an explosion of lacing. Aromas and tastes are chocolate, roasty, espresso creamy, rich, dark bitter bakers chocolate, roasted barley, french roast coffee, anise, ashy. Mouth-feel is velvety smooth, creamy, full body. Overall, great to go back to this and reaffirm its awesomeness.

Apr 01, 2009
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Gotti311 from Wisconsin

4/5  rDev 0%

Jan 17, 2014
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Knapp85 from Pennsylvania

3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a deep black color, the head was thick and tan colored. The smell of the beer is roasted and has a light chocolate aroma in there too. The taste of the beer had heavy roasted malts, and hints of chocolate too. The mouthfeel of the beer wasn't as thick as I was hoping for. Overall this beer isn't too bad. I would gladly drink it again, I just feel there are better stouts out there.

Jul 20, 2011
Photo of BBP
BBP from Canada (ON)

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

A- Pours a little dark for a 6% and has a decent head which becomes a thin film that remains for the duration of the drink. Good carbonation as well and nice albeit slight lacing.

S- Chocolate, coffee, and bitterness came through from the beginning. There's loads and loads of dark malts that are balanced fairly well by the hop load.

T- While I usually find lighter stouts to be a little lacking in one flavor or another, this actually has a lot of everything. It's full of chocolate and coffee and has a ton of roastiness to it. There's more bitterness to it than in most stouts of it's caliber as well. If they took the recipe from this and made it an imperial stout, it would be up there as one of my favorite stouts. I love the flavor, but it could use just a few more units of intensity. The after-taste actually seemed just as powerful as the initial taste. With a stroke more flavor I'd give this a 5. Superbly balanced, but just a tad light. More like imp stouts flavor wise, but a bit weak in comparison.

M- Medium full and creamy. Carbonation is spot on. Leaves a slightly sticky finish.

D- A solid beer, especially for the ABV. It's a good near sessionable beer and I plan to get this again. Also, it's one of the best regular stouts in regards to character. Most stouts seem lacking in one way or another, but this one has all you could ask of a 6% stout.

Mar 11, 2011
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Jspriest from Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +12.5%

Jan 14, 2013
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Kmccabe33 from Georgia

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

A- Appearance is pretty standard, deep brownish black color, whiteish brownish head. Nothing spectacular here like you see on some other stouts, but still good looking.

S- Smell is very malty, quite roasty, and can definitely smell a hint of licorice that is mentioned it is brewed with. Great smell for a single stout, definitely enjoyable but not over the top.

T- Taste is quite the same as the nose, quite a malty and roasty brew, hints of licorice, coffee, faint malty bitterness on the finish. Quite well rounded for a single stout.

M- Mouthfeel is quite thin in my opinion, seems to be lacking in the mouthfeel department. That is my only beef with this beer, it is not a very full mouthfeel, yet is more on the thin watery side.

O- Overall I think this is a great everyday stout, lower abv, good balance, and something I would go for again if I wanted a low abv stout. I will get the higher abv imperial stouts next time though if I am looking for the stout flavor I love.

Sep 14, 2012
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gamecock74 from Illinois

2.75/5  rDev -31.3%

Apr 15, 2012
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Misanthropy_Sipping from Nebraska

4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Really been on a stout/porter kick lately. I've had this a few times while camping and remember being impressed. Decided to get a six pack to hold me over a few days.

Look: Pours a nicely, smooth and appearance is black, no light passing through. The head is a nice dark mocha tone. By the pour I can tell the body is on the weighty side.

Smell: It seems a bit soft but you do get a good roasted coffee and toasted grain scent. Some dark chocolate. A little bready.

Taste: Very nice, pretty bold. The coffee and dry dark chocolate are very present. It is a touch nutty at the end. I can pick out the undertone of licorice going on which is really good and I think helps tie all the flavors together. A touch herbaceous and resinous from the hops. Not too bitter, but just right in my opinion. A bitterness and dryness equivalent to an 85% or just above chocolate.

Feel: I would say, it is just as the label puts on, "full-bodied". It isn't heavy, it isn't exactly medium in my opinion. But it is full and well rounded and the carbonation is spot on. Not too bubbly at all. Creamy. Just about perfect.

Overall: It's a great six pack stout. My memory served me right and it really hits the spot during my stout/porter craving. If you have the chance to try it, grab it! It will not disappoint. A very well crafted stout overall.

Nov 25, 2017
Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery - Eccentric Café & General Store
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 4624 ratings