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.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
90
outstanding
1,538 Reviews
THE BROS
83
good
Read the review
Bell's Kalamazoo StoutBell's Kalamazoo Stout
BEER INFO

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,538
Ratings:
4,154
Avg:
4.03
pDev:
17.37%
 
 
Wants:
194
Gots:
600
For Trade:
8
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,538 | Ratings: 4,154
Photo of MiScusi
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle code on back is 7837 indicating it was bottled on Feb 21st, 2007. So it's a about 13 months old, perhaps past its peak or getting close. Has sort of a soy, or slightly sour dark malt smell to it. The taste has a little creaminess in flavor maybe from added lactose, some very mellow coffee in the background but not much else in terms of roasted flavor. Not bad, this one is probably better right when it comes out of the tanks.

 435 characters

Photo of tylernim
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark and rich. Thick head.

S - Typical stout. Chocolate and coffee.

T - Smokiness. Coffee, chocolate, and malts follow.

M - Chewy and Thick.

D - Drinkable, but I would probably move on to something else.

Good, but there is some better stuff around for sure.

 266 characters

Photo of exx
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours dark with a thin head that vanishes, leaving very little lacing. Appears almost entirely opaque, hold this up to a window and you can't see through it. Some caramel color, very little visible carbonation. Dark as a stout should be.

S- Heavy roasted malts and strong smell of licorice, molasses sticks out with a roasted coffee flavor lingering.

T- Coffee and charred malts, liquorice takes center stage with a nice coffee bitterness filling the mouth. Tastes like it smells.

M- Medium to full bodied, very little carbonation. Creamy, smooth, very nice.

O- Really goes down smooth. Very tasty. Robust, complex, would highly enhance any meal you drink a stout with. Worthy of the cult status? Why not.

Reviewed from 12 oz. brown bottle poured into pint glass. Bottle marked January 16th, reviewed August 17th.

 825 characters

Photo of pmatz2
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one has been in the fridge for a year.
Pours a dark brown with a thick tan head that slowly diminishes a ring a round the edge with sections still visible in the middle. There is plenty of lacing that lasts all the way down.

Aroma is predominantly roasted malt with a some hints of coffee and chocolate

The taste is of sweet roasted malts that reduces on the finish.

It has a medium to full body with a very creamy texture There is very little sign of carbonation.

I found this to be drinkable but it tasted better with food than by itself

 562 characters

Photo of robboyd
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Was at Bell's recently when they had 10 or so stouts on tap. I brought back a mixed six pack of mixed brews and this was one of them. The K-Zoo stout pours deep deep black with a caramel head. It smells sweeter than the tongue. It reminds me of baking brownies. Chocolate, a mild earthiness, and malt. I know the bottle says brewed with licorice but I smell berries. Could just be the cold I'm dealing with. Good smelling beer but not my favorite smelling stout out there.

Taste also was good but not great. Chocolate, malt, very mild bitterness, maybe from the licorice, which is mildly noticeable. Some toasted notes as well, I would almost call it smokey on the finish but toasty might be the better descriptor.

Overall a good beer. It feels a little lighter bodied out of the bottle than what I remember out of the tap but still robust and filling. Good way to start my day.

 882 characters

Photo of stinkydaddy
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

a - roasty chocolate, picking up dark fruit as it warms, a very small bit of floral could be hops

a - pours a medium tan head with tight creamy bubbles. Opaque. Light does not even show through the edges. Head dissipates to thin and laces nicely.

f - as it smells. dark malt. chocolate. roasty. hops are earthy and provide balance but this is all about the malt. a bit of yeast but this is a 8 month old bottle.

M - Creamy and thick. Oily. Exactly what you want from a stout. Low carb adds to body.

O - A very nice stout highlighted by an amazing body

 558 characters

Photo of da_beers
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Gainesville House of Beers - on-tap

A - black as night. Thin tan head. Looks beautiful, the way I like my home brewed stouts to look.

S - nice roasty/smokiness. Caramel malts evident. Some cocoa in there too.

T - starts out with this nice roasted maltiness. Has chocolate coming out next with some coffee as well. Not as impressive I guess as I had thought.

M - full body but not as oil thick as other stouts. Drinkable and not too heavy.

O - I like it, not even close to some of Bell's other stuff (can you compare anything to Black Note).

 549 characters

Photo of Boggdogg
3.67/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - pours a very dark mahogany color. Like the blackest red I have ever seen. Has a nice thick light brown head that leaves outstanding lacing all around the glass.

S - I smell roasted malts with molasses which I guess is the brewers licorice and not really molasses but I'm not sure. Semele good.

T- very complex with coffee bean, cocoa, roasted malt, tiny a bit of sweetness ending with bitter hops. It's a bitter stout which I prefer more balance of sweet and bitter.

M- full bodied which I like but it's a little too dry and bitterness lingers.

O- well brewed, amazing appearance but too one sided on bitterness and dry mouth.

 638 characters

Photo of mjrtoo
3.66/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours very dark black with about a finger think head that seems to quickly vanish leaving a fair lacing on the Imperial pint glass from which I'm drinking.

The smell is subtle and right after pour you get the typical roasted coffee aroma, but to me, this quickly dissipates after the head is gone, leaving not much scent at all...something there but hard to describe, very very light milk chocolate maybe?

Taste...you're immediately hit with 'coffee with a cube of sugar' and chocolate flavors. Not too long after, the hoppy bitterness kicks in and finishes with dry extra bitter, roasted malty goodness.

Mouthfeel is lighter and crispier than I would like for a stout, quite crisp on the tongue actually.

Drinkability is high for a stout, but don't think I could do a six pack, it does have a kick.

All in all, I think it's a pretty good brew, but strangely sweet for my taste in a stout.

 895 characters

Photo of tillmac62
3.66/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

BOD 2/22/14. Pitch black pour with a very good head. Lacing and retention are also very good. Surprisingly light nose of chocolate and roast over a mineral note. Rich heavy medium body with a nice creamy texture. Below average carbonation with almost no effervescence on the finish. The flavor profile is balanced, but lacks the complexity found in world class stouts. It begins with chocolate, fades to roast and flows into a mild sweetness with a licorice note. Hops and roast create a slightly bitter middle with just a hint of coffee and NO dark fruit. The finish is slightly astringent.

 599 characters

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.66/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 5/16/08. Bottle. Pours black with a beautiful dark brown head that left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma and flavor strongly of coffee, some roast, and chocolate. The palate was a little thin despite the big flavors in the beer. Some sweet richness in the finish, but not enough. The palate gets weaker as you continue to drink. This is just a weaker version of Expedition. It is good, but I am shocked that it is the #3 stout, as I would rate many other stouts over it.
8/5/7/3/14 (3.7/5)

 500 characters

Photo of devilben02
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark brown with a thin tan head that quickly dissipates. The aroma provides a hint of coffee, and the flavor is reminiscent of black coffee with a bit of fruity malt sweetness to balance. Heavily roasted malts are one thing, but the flavor of this one makes me think they went one step further and burnt some of the malt. Again, however, the malt sweetness brings some balance to this dark bitterness. This combination provides a nice crisp mouthfeel without giving up the distinctive flavor profile that makes this stout as easy-drinking as many of the year-round offerings from Bell's.

 601 characters

Photo of ScreamForMe
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Andrea for this bottle!

Well, I've had this beer on my Want list for a long time. Why I never pursued getting a bottle is beyond me.

Poured with an inch head and quite a bit of lacing.

Taste is good - not much to it - but good. At 6% I could see downing a few of these and getting myself right.

I like it - but there are other Bells brews that I like more.

Next review!

 381 characters

Photo of gatornation
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a licorice black color with a 1" head like all bells brews have.. it had a black cherry ring with some nice lacing,,smell was chocolate,molasses fig and plum the taste was a bittersweet chocolate with an over roasted coffee taste followed by some currant fruits and malts..overall a good stout allthough a little to bitter and not well balanced..not my favorite but worthy..bells is no longer a go to brew for all styles 4 me their quality in small batch brewery charm has taken a hit in their hopes to expand to quickly to many areas to fast and in turn has hurt them imo

 578 characters

Photo of DrummerDan
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm not thrilled, but I'll try draft when I get a chance to see if it was the carbonation that threw this beer off for me.

Nice dark brown almost black beer with a bit of head that is off white. The head has a nice consistency and lasted most of the glass. There is a dried fruit burnt chocolate smell at first. Unfortunately, the smell didn't translate well into the first taste. First the roasted chocolate flavor and then a hoppy bitter aftertaste overwhelms by mouth. As the beer warmed the balance between slightly sweet and bitter hops got better.

 554 characters

Photo of fscottkey
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Notes: Born on 11/21/13 (current date 6/15/14).

A: Dark brown/black with a nice 1 finger "stout" head (where the individual bubbles are barely distinguishable).

S: Mostly coffee and some toffee. A slight metallic scent too.

T: Hearty roasted malts. The roasted flavor is really present early. The late gives way to a bit of bitter coffee flavor.

M: Nice mouth feel - not quite coating but pretty rich and thick. Slight carbonation.

O: The word "licorice" in the description scared me (I hate licorice). But there are no discernible "licorice" flavors in the beer. I mark that as a big plus. Very nice roast flavor with a modest 6.0% ABV. There are not a lot of complexities of chocolate and coffee - but this is still a well made and good tasting stout.

 760 characters

Photo of ediaz
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured dark with a relatively thick, nitro like head giving off little nose. Smells of wood, chocolate, and toasted malts. Tastes of dark chocolate, malt, smoke, oak, coffee. Smooth mouthfeel with medium carb. Overall a ~decent stout but if it wasn't local I wouldn't trade for it.

 281 characters

Photo of jchow79
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Acquired through a trade with PSUKINGER

Appearance: Pours a dark dark brown with a orange head.

Smell: Smells like a cup of coffee with a liquorish stick.

Taste: Tastes the way it smells

Mouthfeel: Smooth and luxurious

drinkability: I could probably drink a few of these in a row.

I enjoyed this a lot. The licorice is not my favorite candy flavor but I enjoy it in small amounts. I actually pick up more coffee then licorice for some reaso.

 448 characters

Photo of Arithmeticus
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: black body with prominent head; nice lacing on the glass
S: hints of orange with molasses in the aroma
T: good solid stout with citrus notes; it is not as complex as Bell's Expedition, and lower in ABV, but it reaches a better balance in flavor
M: silky
D: not as challenging as some imperial stouts, so it's very approachable

 329 characters

Photo of Prufrock
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

pitch brown. an aggressive pour yields about a quarter-inch of brown head, which leaves small strings of lace.

decent aroma; raisins and roast coffee come out strongest. a touch of soy sauce and burning wood as well.

medium feel with a low-medium carbonation. sugary coffee, roasted bitterness and alcohol dominate the flavors; finish is bitter coffee and a touch of hoppiness. lighter in feel than many other stouts, but with a robust flavor.

 485 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.64/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to shrek086 for sending me this one!

Pours an opaque black with a 1/2 foamy khaki head that settles to a film on the top of the beer. No lacing on this one on the drink down. Smell is of uncooked bread dough, slight chocolate, and oddly enough a bit like playdough. Taste is of dark roasted malt, cocoa powder, and some mild coffee bean flavors. I am not getting licorice in either the smell or taste. A mild roasty bitterness quickly fades from the palate after each sip. This beer has a crisp level of carbonation with a nice bubbly mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good stout but nothing that great in the long run. I enjoy the way this beer smells more than the way it tastes.

 692 characters

Photo of ljdrinksbeer
3.64/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

L - small dark tan head, very dark, looks black
S - roasted malt, coffee
T - bitter, black coffee
F - thin to medium, low carbonation
O - bitterness is the main thing that stands out, drinkable but a little to thin for my taste.

 229 characters

Photo of JohnW
3.63/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured very dark & impenetrable in a pint glass, with fair head which stayed well. Aroma is very much dark chocolate and burnt grains, even a hint of smokeyness in there. Taste reflects the impression from the aroma, dark burnt chocolate, slight smokeyness, bitter finish - but more from the roasted grains than from hops. Texture is medium heavy, and powerful taste makes this a satisfying beer to sample, but never a session beer! Unfortunately the beer was served far too cold in my opinion, which may have muted any sweetness and hidden any other flavours, killing any subtlety I might have missed. Worth trying, though not an 'easy to drink' beer, and surely should not be served ice cold, for its a "winter warmer" type beer!

John W (written and tasted while in Tampa FL June 2007)
B'ham UK

 800 characters

Photo of SaltofOH
3.63/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle dated 9/2/15. Pokal glass.

Smell: Potent dark chocolate; licorice; savory note; perhaps some alcohol, but faint. Smells like a stout, alright. No off notes, but not really complex.

Appearance: Held up to a very bright light, totally opaque - no light penetrates. Around the edges, there is a slight dark red hue when held up to said very bright light, but in normal lighting, no reddish tints are visible. Formed a 2 finger, extremely frothy and thick light brown (darker than tan) head. Lacing was very good. Retained very well: a cap of tan skim all the way to the last sip.

Taste: Being a coffee lover, I would not say this tastes anything like coffee, but perhaps like dark or bittersweet chocolate. Not much sweetness to it, which I have observed in the past. That savory note is strong on the arrival. Sweetness builds across mid-palate, but is at most mild sweetness. Then it turns dry, bitter, and woodsy/herbal. Not as bitter as some stouts I've had lately, but extremely bitter relative to its perceived weight in the mouth and level of sweetness.

Mouthfeel: On the lighter side of full-bodied. Some residual slickness, but over all not slick. Very mild carbonation, but more present than many shouts I've had. Really, it is a perfect level of carb for a stout.

Overall: This is a lot like the last time I had it; it is very roasty and easy drinking as stouts go. The roast bitterness is quite strong, particularly in relation to the subdued sweetness. If you want a classic stout with very high bitterness but moderate alcohol, this is a go-to beer. I think my preference is to have beers of this style a touch sweeter, though. Not six-pack worthy for me.

 1,685 characters

Photo of travolta
3.63/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Black, no head retention to speak of. Very limited lacing.

Nose: Thick molasses, Cold black coffee, dark chocolate at the end.

Taste: Dry and nicely crispy, roasted malt, some hot alcohol at the end, a little smoke in the middle.

 247 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.
  • 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.

    Subscribe