Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings!

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

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

1,538 Reviews
Read the review
Bell's Kalamazoo StoutBell's Kalamazoo Stout

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States | website

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Stout brewed with Brewer's Licorice.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-11-2001

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,538 | Ratings: 4,154
Photo of Osiris9588
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Who's on this 12oz bottle? Is it Marx, Dostoyevsky, or some homeless dude? There's no freshness date. It pours a midnight shade of motor oil. The tan head is two fingers high, creamy, and leaves much lacing.

The aroma is pretty mild, wafts of malt, chocolate, and a titter of coffee. The taste is a mild blend of chocolate, caramel, cocoa, with hints of vanilla, brandy, some licorice, and patches of coffee/hoppy bitterness.

The mouth is medium-bodied and considerably complex. It's very drinkable and slightly sweet, yet still has some bite on the finish. It's not my favorite of the Bell's Stout family, yet it still a damn fine brew

 642 characters

Photo of seebus
3.33/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - clean, but slightly plain-looking bottle.

S - meh, not much of note in the smell. nothing wrong; there's just not much that sticks out

T - very mild stout taste, almost a mellow mollasses. at the end, there's a slight raw bite (but it's quiet)

M - a little on the thin side

D - actually not too shabby. the mellow taste is nice and that little bite keeps it interesting. i would drink this beer again

 416 characters

Photo of Magpie14
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: dark brown, almost black. Nice thick foamy head with big sticky chunks left on glass. When poured it looks very velvety and smooth

Smell: bursting with a sweet chocolate fudge and big husky roasted malts. It has some subtle dark fruits, I get subtle blueberry smells. This thing just smells sweet, thick, and sticky

Taste: charred bitter coffee wallows in some bitter melted chocolate with a light buttery aftertaste. Nice tasting! Sweetness pulls at chunks of caramel flavor. The bitter and sweet flavors are interlaced beautifully, even throughout the long, lingering finish

Mouthfeel: smooth as black velvet, slide's down way to smooth

Drink: a great flipping beer, a must try. Top notch baby!

 713 characters

Photo of Beaver13
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, batch 6485 (7/14/04). Another old Bell's. My Dad just bought this in MI last month. Pours a dark oily opaque black with some chunky yeasties. It has a thick frothy dark brown head that quickly recedes to a thin film that leaves some lacing.

The aroma is sweet lactic chocolate, some roasted bitterness, and some dark fruits.

The flavor is lactic chocolate, roasted coffee bitterness, and some slightly sour dark fruits. It has a decent bitter finish that balances well with the initial sweet creaminess. The mouthfeel is medium to full and velvety.

Overall, an excellent stout! It's up there with Yeti as my favorite. Even at a year old, this is excellent. I wish I could get this out in CO...it and Two-Hearted would be regulars in my fridge.

 766 characters

Photo of adammills
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I poured this 12 ounce bottle into a glass mug and took in its dark almost balck color and its dart tan head. I smelled and tasted sweet of coffee and dark hops. Its mouthfeel is full and well carbonated and easy to drink. I really like this stout, it is recommended.

 267 characters

Photo of onsite416
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a= Pours a dark amber color with a medium head that diminishes fairly quickly as far as stouts go.

s= burnt malts black berry, chocolate coffee.

t= initial taste is: burnt. Then cocoa, malts & coffee

m= creamy, the kind of beer you can roll on your tongue to get all the flavor out of.

d= a wonderful stout, creamy & enjoyable.

 340 characters

Photo of Graham21
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black and slightly thick. grat head retention nice lacing and the head is light brown in color. rich dark coffee smells, along with rich malts, and baking chocolate. Great tasting stout; bitersweet chocolate and roasted malt flavors relaly make this a good stout. on a cold winter day near a fire place you could really warm up with a few of these.

 354 characters

Photo of JohnnyM2002
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured from a 12 oz bottle into my Duvel glass at 45 degrees; pours a dark brown with a slight reddish hint and a very small head.

S - Roasted coffee with a hint of sweet cocoa. Smells very rich and bold.

T - Stronger chocolate flavor than expected...goes down like an iced mocha with a sweet aftertaste. The rich flavors mask the alcohol very well.

M - Little carbonation with a heavier body and a sweet kick feels great going down.

D - I drank this after dinner (well, in place of dinner.. ;-)) and it fared very well for a cool-weather, dessert beer. I drank this to commemorate the 1-year anniversary of my Jeep (running out of excuses..).

 659 characters

Photo of Phatz
4.55/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours pitch black with a creamy chocolate brown head that lasts and lasts. Spectacular lacing.

Smell: A rich aroma of roasted malts and coco fill the nose. There is a subtle red berry or cherry suggestion and some sweet caramel as well. This is a very enticing aroma.

Taste: Bitter sweet chocolate; unsweetened coco powder, molasses -Karyo Syrup, and a hint of berries flood to my mind faster than I can type. It is roasty! Beautifully roasty; and oh so creamy smooth in taste and fee, followed by gentle earthy hops that make this beer perfectly balanced.

Mouthfeel: This beer is so thick and rich an full bodied creamy smooth it is a pleasure to swirl around the tongue. This is what a beer should feel like.

Drinkability: A beautiful looking sniffable great tasting beer the is the perfect texture in the mouth and a beer that leave you not just "wanting" but week in the knees for more after every sip, you better believe it is damn drinkable. OH MAN YEAH! This is what I love about stouts all wrapped up into a beer that has it all; even high drinkability! Sensational!!!

Hope this is helpful.

 1,135 characters

Photo of SwillBilly
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A big huge thanks to Phatz for picking this up for me.
Served from 12 oz bottle

Appearance: Pours a deep, dark, opaque black with a small, tannish colored head that dissipates quickly to a wispy topping on the stout. A fine, tan lacing is left on the glass.

Smell: Hints of sweet chocolate and dark roast coffee and caramel.

Taste: Kalamazoo starts with a mild, bittersweet chocolate beginning then transitions to middle that is full of dark roasted malt with a mild lingering sweetness. The finish is full of dark roast coffee leaving a nice roasted coffee bitterness long on the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Medium mouthfeel with a creamy texture. Carbonation is on the money.

Notes/Drinkability: This is one fine stout. Richly dark in appearance with a subtle underlying sweetness. Full of bittersweet chocolate and dark roast coffee makes for a great combination. Alcohol never shows its head at 6.5%. Highly drinkable, I could see sitting down and putting these back all night. My first beer from Bell's and I'm very impressed. Definitely a must buy and one that I will try and aquire again. Glad I have 10 more left. Highly recommended.

 1,148 characters

Photo of peabody
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out very black with a slight dark tan head leaving a slight lacing around the rim of this St.Bernardus glass.
Smell is coffee and toffee and fruit. Mabey plum?
Taste is definatly coffee and a sweet caramel. The bitter doesn't come into play until the aftertaste and it lingers for quite some time.
Black bitterness!~!!!! I like it.
Not as good as the Expedition Stout but very good on it's own.
Mouthfeel is bitter and sweet with very little carbonation.
Drinkability is high cause it is so clean tasting.
All in all, Bells kicks major beerass.~

 560 characters

Photo of garymuchow
4.06/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Black, black, black with one of the darkest brown/tan heads I've ever seen. The head is thick and slowly recedes.
The aroma is tough to get, in that it's really quite light in quality. Seems largely dark malt, but it's hard to identify other characteristics.
Definitely dark malt with a high roast taste. Fairly bitter finish that is quite long lasting. The sweetness is soft and light and fairly brief. The roast provides a sharpness that takes away from smoothness and creaminess, thus not as creamy as I would expect. Rather thick and heavy mouthfeel. Seems like the abv would be higher with all that heaviness.
This is a tasty stout, just seems kinda' low on the creaminess and sweetness factors, with the creaminess (for me) being an especially nice characteristic for this style.

 788 characters

Photo of GimpyCane
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearence: Poured dark brown w/ a light creamy brown head. Thoughout the drink the brew left little lacing and the head was mostly diminish.

smell: got a nice whiff of roasted coffee, small hint of chocolate and a moderate amount of hops

taste and mouthfeel: from start to finish the brew had a nice bittersweet taste. Medium body w/ a semi-creamy feel and soft on the carbonation.

drinkability: smooth and enjoyable

Overall, Kalamazoo is a good beer, heck I drank a six and enjoyed the flavorful roasted elements and the small hint of alcohol it left on my tongue.

 579 characters

Photo of westweasel
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12-oz. bottle. A very dark brown, with a 1/4 inch tan head.
The aroma was dominated by roasted grains. I can also smell chocoalte, coffee, and a sweeter-licorice scent.

The mouthfeel is medium-full, with a lightly dry finish. The flavor is heavy with sweet roasted flavors and coffee, with a slight hop bitterness. It seems like more of the bitterness is from the burnt, roasted flavors then from hops.

The beer is very enjoyable, but I think I would tire from the roasted bitterness after a couple of these. It's a nice example of a sweet stout.

 568 characters

Photo of TechMyst
4.95/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

355 ml bottle. Consumed on 9-1-06 packaged on 6-15 (info available from website actually). No head, with thin lacing. Faint aroma. Very opaqe deep dark amber (no transmittance). EXCELLENT taste! No conditioning sting, this is bottle conditioned so it’a a REAL ALE. Bitter at start, malt and chocolate in middle, finish is sweet black licorice. Medium mouth feel. Suprising how high the alcohol content is actually. Somewhat filling. Excellently crafted beer!

 459 characters

Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured into the glass clear black with a brown low head that was persistent enough to lace the glass.

The aroma was estery and lightly fruity with a strong chocolate and caramel presence. The aroma contained a roasty character and a dark chocolate note that had hints of smoke.

The flavor was fruity as it first contacted the palate and then the flavor immediately changed to chocolate and coffee. The coffee and chocolate were accompanied by a caramel impression, but more important was a grassy hop presence behind the roast and coffee. The balance was toward bittering, but was well achieved. The grassy hop flavor worked very well with the chocolate and coffee components.

The finish was dry with a lasting coffee and chocolate with a light roast and some grassy hops into the aftertaste. The body was just above medium full with a moderate carbonation. A truly great stout.

12 ounce bottle. Thanks BeerBeing!

 934 characters

Photo of doubleipa
4.56/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Perfect big black, creamy head. I don't think it could be any more black. Great roasted coffee and chocolate. Nothing atypical with respect to sweet Stouts. Flavor was perfect. No bite or alcohol taste. Very, very smooth. This got even better as it warmed up. I wish more brewers would brew this type of stout.

 310 characters

Photo of gmfessen
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this beer out into a pint glass, beer is dark as night with a nice two finger head that quickly dies down to a slim rim with good lacing. The smell is of roasted and chocolate malts; not overly strong but pleasing. The taste is definitely of deep roasted malt but it is balanced nicely which makes for a drinkable beer. The mouthfeel is creamy and well bodied. Overall, I think this is a very good beer, and would recommend trying it.

 441 characters

Photo of egajdzis
4.23/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured opaque black with a small tan head that left nice lacing on the glass. Chocolate, roated malt, and light caramel in the aroma. Bakers chocolate, light smoke, roasted and toffee malts in the taste. This is a solid, lower gravity stout that can be sessioned as opposed to the Expedition.

 292 characters

Photo of WeymouthMike
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black liquid with a light brown/cream color head. Smell is weak but some roasted like smell. Taste is a sweet coffee with a somewhat metallic finish. Mouthfeel is exactly what I want in a sweet stout smooth with almost no carbonation. Drinkability would be high on a fall or winter day but this being mid summer I'll limit myself to two tonight.

 358 characters

Photo of kohoutek
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours an extra deep black with a nice brown head that clings the glass for the entirety of the experience. No light penetration.

A wonderful nose! It is definitely vinous, full of dark fruits, espresso, molasses and flinty minerals from the yeast.

This beer has a high bitter charge that slices through the residual sugars. Lots of rich roasted malt flavors, clean acidity and character suggesting it has some alcohol. It is not the least bit hot - instead it picks up some sherry qualities.

The mouthfeel seems to change from the beginning to the end. Initially, when the carbonation is higher, the viscosity is bouyed a bit by the bubbles. Later it becomes less fluffy and more wine-like.

An incredibly drinkable brew considering it's richness and alcohol content. The bittering hops cleanse the sugars from this big bad beer.

 850 characters

Photo of DaveFL1976
3.91/5  rDev -3%
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!

 428 characters

Photo of emerge077
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Kzoo stout is my go-to stout. Always satisfying, and consistently solid.

Pours an opaque jet-black. Head is present and lingers throughout. Roasted malt comes out first and foremost. Taste is rich and roasty without extra weight to burden it down. Very well balanced and smooth, cascades across the palate.

Must resist the urge to down 6 at a time...

Notes: Cellared 7289/March '06 bottle. Consumed 11-21-07, 20 months old.

Retains a good head of foam. Sweet brown sugar and chocolate malt in the nose. Ahh...that supreme roast flavor takes me back to the last Kalamazoo Stout I had almost a year ago. It builds up on the palate. Appropriately bitter with a hint of chicory or coffee in the aftertaste. Still vibrant and packs a punch after 1-1/2 years in the cellar.

 774 characters

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

12 oz bottle -> goblet
batch# 7244
packages 2/8/06 according to Bells website

Pours black with a nice dark tan head. Sparse dotted lacing.

Nose finds roasted coffee malts, dark chocolate and alcohol

Taste of thick roasted chocolate coffee with a warming roasty aftertaste with the slightest hint of alcohol.

Feels smooth with medium thickness in the mouth.

An excellent stout that i will visit again, after visiting with some of his brothers. Rye up next.

 475 characters

Photo of loren01
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark black, small tan head. Good lacing down the glass. Looks like motor oil.
S: Smells of roasted malt.
T: Wow, this is real good!! Slightly sweet, malty flavors. Bitter dark chocolate aftertaste.
M: Medium bodied with creamy mouthfeel
D: Very enjoyable stout. Very good flavor. Another awesome beer recieved in trade with nlmartin.

 349 characters

Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
90 out of 100 based on 1,538 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Quick Navigation

    Open the Quick Navigation

  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.