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

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding
1,542 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:
1,542
Ratings:
4,175
Avg:
4.03
pDev:
17.37%
 
 
Wants:
196
Gots:
612
For Trade:
8
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,542 | Ratings: 4,175
Photo of hellcatsjg
4.58/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Black with small tan head that mostly disappears quickly. Good looking stout here.

Smell: Chocolates and roasted coffee aromas mix with a good licorice smell. Also nice.

Taste: Very good tasting stout. You first get the chocolates and roasted coffee and toffee. After a moment, you get the licorice. Not overwhelming the other flavors but mingling well and sticking around long after the others. Very good.

Mouthfeel: Nice and thick, just what you would want from this style. Leaves a pleasant burnt licorice taste behind. May not sound that good but it tasted good.

Drinkability: Very smooth and tasty. That meants highly drinkable. Lower alcohol content makes this a beer you could have a few of. Will definitely be searching this out again. Highly recommended.

 780 characters

Photo of Gyle41386
4.58/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Batch 9095, packaged April 16, 2009.

Opaque black pour. A rich, thick mocha head sits on top. Great head retention, sticks around until the very end. Sheets of lacing on the glass. Perfect.

Very nice mixture of sweetness and roast in the nose. The roasted barley and ground coffee bean aroma is front and center, while a sweet cream and chocolate brownie scent surrounds it.

The flavor follows suit. An initial sweetness from chocolate, black licorice and dark fruits gives way to a blast of roastiness. The roasted barley/coffee/hop bitterness is the lasting flavor. I'm not a big roast fanatic, but it's tastefully done here.

The texture and feel of this beer is perfect. Full bodied, rich and thick, much moreso than I'd expect from a 6% stout. This beer is an absolute joy to drink.

 839 characters

Photo of sevineyes
4.58/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a brown bottle with a tan label.

A: Nice frothy dark brown head. Man this stuff is black. Light only gets through the very corners of the glass and there it's a rich brown. Leaves great lacing.

S: Dominantly sweet nose. Brown sugar. Milk chocolate.

T: Such a great taste. Thick fudge-like chocolates. Semi-sweet chocolates. Big roasty flavor. Burnt caramel. Toffee. In the finish it gets balanced by some deep bitterness that brings out some dry charcoal-like elements. Aftertaste is a great, but not overpowering, bitterness that lingers along with bits and pieces of the initial sweet. This lasts for minute after minute.

M: Big bodied, thick and creamy. Exceptionally smooth.

Overall: Ok, the smell seems like the odd man out for this beer. Everything else is so perfect that the aroma pales in comparison. Even at that, the aroma is still good. All I can say is: if you don't drink this beer, I'll pick up the slack..

 948 characters

Photo of clager
4.58/5  rDev +13.6%
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

 447 characters

Photo of nkersten
4.57/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from bottle into pint glass. Thick black with a small tan head that turns into a cap with some great lacing. Smell is burnt sugar, roasted malts, sweet black licorice, spicy hops. Taste is spicy hops and roasted malts up front, some burnt flavors, coffee, and licorice in the background. Mouthfeel is medium body and rich, finish is slightly dry and clean. This is a delicious beer and easily my favorite american stout, right up there with Shakespeare stout.

 466 characters

Photo of BeerInReview
4.57/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - No light can escape black. 1 finger dark tan head when poured. This dissipated into a thin brown, with a tinge of red, ring of foam. Very little lacing left behind.

S - Roasted malt aroma.

T - My taste buds initially taste sweet malty goodness followed by a hint of chocolate and then a robust roasted malt flavor. The roasted malt taste lingers just long enough on the tongue to make you want to drink more.

M - Medium bodied and low carbonation. It's very smooth.

D - An overall satisfying taste and a very easy drinking beer.

 536 characters

Photo of AllThingsNinja
4.57/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Peering out through its opacity, I was impressed by the depths of the k-zoo stout’s darkness. There wasn’t much head – but the color of the beer almost made up for that failing. The coffee and chocolate aroma drew me deeper in love with this black beauty. The strong flavors of roasted malt provided a foundation for chocolate, coffee, and a few hop notes. It’s a most excellent, full bodied and warming beer. The alcohol doesn’t play on the palate, but it contributes significantly to the mouth feel.

 506 characters

Photo of jeffboo
4.57/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A really nice stout from one of my favorite brewers. A very opaque black brew with dark brown head appears out of the bottle. it has a huge roasted malt aroma, espresso with bitter chocolate and a slight whiskey undertone in the nose. The flavor is a great balance between the roasted malt and sweet malt with a long roasty finish. It finishes dry with a nice espesso acidity and a hint of smoke. It has a great drinkable medium body that isn't too rich for another bottle. Highly recommended stout.

 499 characters

Photo of GilGarp
4.56/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle served chilled into a pint glass. Batch 14773 packaged 9/2/15.

Kalamazoo Stout is a deep dark brown, nearly black in color, with thin tan colored head.

Aroma is wonderfully bold even with a slightly stuffy nose.

Flavor is equally robust with big roasted malts, dark chocolate, and coffee. Currants and dark fruits add to the depth.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and nicely carbonated.

Overall one of the best American stouts I've had. Great aroma, flavor, and complexity.

 484 characters

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

This pours black in the glass with a thick billowing root beer float kind of head that leaves nice patches of lace down the sides of the glass. The aroma is sweet malts, biscuits, and chocolate. The taste is sweet chocolate and caramel with some hop bitterness and roasted/burnt coffee flavors in the end. Absolutely smooth and velvety across the mouth, medium to full body…very drinkable. Wildly impressed with this stout…

 425 characters

Photo of spelingchampeon
4.56/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured into a Spiegelau glass, it's what a stout should look like. Black with a reddish foam-pillow head, medium lacing.. settling into a nice rim.
S - Roasted malts, slight chocolate, coffee and licorice aroma. Well balanced.
T - Complex, yet simple.. it doesn't overwhelm me with anything in particular. Slight coffee, slight chocolate, slight licorice. Again.. well balanced.
M - A tad dry, but very smooth.
O - I've had Kalamazoo many times during multiple beer tasting sessions, before others styles, after other styles, and solo. No matter what the situation, it never fails to impress me. This stout is my favorite beer. Bell's has done a great job of fulfilling my wish of having a stout beer, that can handle a session-beer job. I'm a Bell-boy.

 761 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 DrDemento456
4.55/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Man whats with this brewer an licorice? I kind of hate the taste but here I go.

A - Jet fuel black with at least an inch of cocoa head. Looks pretty impressive.

S - Well you get slight coffee on the nose with chocolate. Can't really smell any licorice but I can't remember what the stuff smells like anyway since I have a cold.

T - The bitterness of the coffee seems to be subdued by the sweetness of the licorice but the bittersweet chocolate leaves the palate bitter at the end. Very solid brew.

M - Medium bodied and enjoyable.

D - Well I did like it and may pick up a six pack in the future but it defiantly treated me better than the batch 9,000. Soild stout.

 669 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.
Cheers!

 1,135 characters

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

This beer pours out of the bottle in a stream the reminds me of used motor oil. Once in the glass, it’s a glowing black with a dark and murky tan and copper head.

Smells of a great blend of dark, smoky barley, coffee and a creamy nuttiness. The dryness of the burnt elements are delightfully offset by a slight malty sweetness.

The flavor starts with a mild barley, toasted marshmallow and nut foundation that picks up dry elements with the onset of the carbonation. This releases the expected smoky elements and a touch of honey. This beer then finishes off with a smooth coffee and smoke.

The mouth feel is surprisingly glassy and smooth with a micro-bubble carbonation.

As far as the smokier stouts go, this one’s top notch. It’s charred, but still smooth and clean with a superb silky mouth feel.

 816 characters

Photo of Landfill21
4.55/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours into a opaque black and leaves a fingernail head that follows all the way down the glass.

Has a great smell of roasted nuts, coffee, and malt.

Tastes great and has a smooth finish. Would recommend another quality Bell's beverage.

Has a light mouthfeel which makes the drinkibility high. This is a highly complex brew.

 327 characters

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

Appearance: Black. Very black. Tan head, decent lacing.

Smell: Roasty, coffee, licorice

Taste. Sweet. Licorice at first, fades into dark chocolate followed up by a mildly bitter coffee aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy, closer to medium.

Way back when this was my first stout that wasn't a Guinness. Still one of my favorites.

 335 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.55/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pour s desperately black color with a rocky tan head that never quits and leaves plenty of lace to boot

Smell: Mocha cream, licorice and some smokey charred wood

Taste: Starts with a milk chocolate flavor that is joined by some charred undertones, coffee elements and lots of hoppy bitterness, mid-palate; after the swallow, the flavors break loose with a burst of coffee and undertones of sweet licorice through to the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and creamy with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Simply astounding

 534 characters

Photo of gford217
4.55/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of masonjer poured into a Bells snifter.

Pours dark, dark brown, almost black with very little light showing through even the edges. The head is two fingers and tan and lingers as a cap for a while leaving some sporadic lacing.

Wow, does this smell great - big roasted malt backbone with hints of coffee and dark, sweet chocolate. It all melds together so well as a single wonderful aroma.

The taste didn't quite live up to the aroma, with the sweet chocolate and dark roasted malts still dominating. The main reason it falls slightly short is the bitterness of the coffee which is a little overpowering in the finish.

The mouthfeel is as good as I have ever experienced for a stout of this style. It's so decadent and smooth with a perfect amount of carbonation that accentuates the taste. Beautiful feel on the palate.

Bells knows how to knock their stouts out of the park and this is no exception. This is a fantastic stout and one of the best of its style. Highly recommended.

 1,001 characters

Photo of gonzo46and2
4.55/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep inky dark black that allows only the slightest bit of light through. A dark tan head crowns this king nicely and laces all over the glass due to it's sugary sweetness.

Aroma is licorice, nuts, roasted coffee and other toasty flavors.

Taste is sweet and malty. Very drinkable and delicious. The beer is so mild on the palate, it's like drinking unfrozen chocolate ice cream. Soo yummy!

I'd put this stout in my top five for any variety. (RIS, Dry Irish, Milk Stout, Oatmeal, etc)

 496 characters

Photo of SilentSabre
4.55/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured black as crude oil with a monster chocolate-milk coloured foamy head. Very chocolate/coffee like in smell almost like melted, warm chocolate ice cream, and extremely so in taste. Quite tasty! This is my favourite style of brew to begin with, but I'd have to place this one in particular in my top five. The mouth feel is nice and smooth and quite easy to drink. A bit heavy, but so is the nature of the beast. I have yet to have a brew of this style that wasn't a least a little bit heavy. I strongly recommend this to anyone who fancies porters/stouts.

 560 characters

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.55/5  rDev +12.9%
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.

 766 characters

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

pours black with a fat finger of full, even brown head which has long retention and leaves thick stringy lacing.

smell is a very creamy coffee with notes of the brewers licorice adding an extra sweetness.

tastes exactly like the smell. well done.

mouthfeel: very frothy and your mouth is left very comfortable by the silkyness of the beer.

drinkability: highly recommended. thanks to jdv for this one.

 405 characters

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

Glistening ebony with mahogany highlights. Even with bright sun behind the glass, light penetration is nil. Atop the beer is an impressive mocha colored head of dense, pitting foam that generously plasters itself to the glass in a further attempt to keep light at bay. Now this is what a stout should look like. Very well done.

The coffee-laced, fudge brownie nose is a pleasure to inhale. If the flavor follows suit, Kalamazoo will be one impressive stout. It does and it is! Bell's brewery continues to astound. Just as in the nose, gooey fudge comes to mind on the palate: rich, glossy, sweet, sticky, mouthfilling, decadent goodness in a glass.

The bitter coffee flavor is a bit too pronounced for me, but is easily overlooked because this is such delicious beer. The degree of roastedness is fairly high with a mild char that works well in the grand scheme of things. Bitter and sweet intertwine beautifully, even throughout the long, lingering finish. The body/mouthfeel is decidedly full and crushed velvet smooth.

Kalamazoo Stout is the best milk/sweet stout that I've had yet, surpassing Bell's own Special Double Cream Stout (although it's been a while since I sampled SDCS). It's one of the biggest and boldest 6.5% ABV beers that you're ever likely to drink and is truly one of the best. Kudos all around.

 1,327 characters

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

I love Bell's Brewing. I unabashedly state that they are the best brewers of stout in the country. So I am thrilled to finally get ahold of some Kalamazoo Stout, one of the few Bell's stout varieties I have not tried.

This beer is pitch black in the glass with a dense tan head that could support small coins. Smells sweet and chocolatey with light hints of mocha. Very nice.

There is much more coffee in the flavor than in the nose. More bitter than I was expecting but with a sweetness that offsets it. The bitter and the sweet lead to flavors reminiscient of dark chocolate.

A nice thick body that is just heavenly in the mouth. Drinks smooth as silk with some light smokiness in the aftertaste acconpanied by hints of coffee and a creamy sweetness.

It's money. I might drink nothing but stout if Bell's distributed to Atlanta...

 837 characters

Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.03 out of 5 based on 4,175 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.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!