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

1,570 Reviews
Read the review
Bell's Kalamazoo StoutBell's Kalamazoo Stout

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

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: 1,570 | Ratings: 4,276
Photo of TripleSun
4.44/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow this is so relaxing for such a dark looking beer. I come from an almost only IPA background so this surprises me for how much I enjoyed it.

L - Tar black, almost couldn't see my glass container
S - Smoke, sweet licorice scent in the back
T - Has a tobacco flavor that hangs on the tongue, creamy consistency, and an initial sweetness
F - For being a stout it is incredibly light, probably for being such a low ABV. Very drinkable, would go good with a cigar!

 463 characters

Photo of PhilsPils
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Every time I have one of these luscious stouts I ask myself the same question: In light of how full-flavored and smooth this beer is, do I really need the 12% ABV of an Imperial to enjoy a great stout taste? I love it and can't wait 'til I can buy it here in Texas. C'mon Bell's...we be ready!

 295 characters

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

12 oz. bottle, bottled 04/06/16 printed on the back label. Finally getting around to reviewing this one from Bell's; acquired a single bottle of this stuff as part of a mixed six pack at the local Binny's. "Stout Brewed With Brewer's Licorice".

Poured into a Unibroue Maudite snifter glass.

A - Pours a thick black-brown body. Nearly opaque, with some brown hues showing near the surface when held to the light. One finger of frothy chocolate tan head that hangs on nicely, leaving some ok spotty lacing.

S - Good notes of dark roasty malts, chocolate, cream, and an underlying sweetened dark fruit note, likely imparted from the licorice. Maybe slighty musty? A pleasant aroma.

T - Taste follows the nose: good balance between dark malt roast, & notes of smooth cream and chocolate.
Underlying notes of sweetened dark fruits resembling figs, dates, cherries, dark berries, & plums. Mild notes of char, but mostly chocolate & coffee bean roastiness pervade. No overwhelming notes of anise or spice.

M - Feel is smooth & creamy, with some underlying dark fruit sweetness. Dark, bitter, roasty, & mildly ashy. Rich, dark, sweet, & roasty. Feels much more full-bodied than most 6.00% abv stouts out there. Medium-bodied with excellent carb.

Overall, a nice, flavorful, easy-going traditional American Stout. The licorice is imparted nicely and does not dominate the other flavors of the beer. Recommended stuff.

Bell's Kalamazoo Stout -----4/5.

 1,461 characters

Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark body, black with hints of brown, a tan head, tight, fading quickly to a film across the top, some mild lacing.

S - The licorice is present, offering a crisp clean counterpoint to the chocolate and dark bread notes of the malt.

T - Following the nose, but with the licorice flavor now backgrounded to the malts, primarily coming in a slightly snappier open suggesting mint or other clean herbal elements. Coffee hints with the chocolate. Bread and dough. A slightly bitter bite.

M - Full enough, but not sticky or heavy. Clean.

O - I do not like licorice, so I've delayed trying this one. It is clear the flavor here is used as a fresh counterpoint, and the result is delicious. Bells does stouts well, but this is a particularly solid effort.

 761 characters

Photo of tbryan5
4.26/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I am super stoked that Bell's finally made it to Louisiana. This is a solid stout that is very well balanced with Roasty tones and a slick mouthfeel that makes this a very well rounded brew.

 190 characters

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

33cl bottle. Pitch black pour with a tall tan head with good retention. Smells of roasted malts, milk chocolate and a bit of coffee. Roasty and bitter, with notes of dark chocolate, roasted coffee beans, licorice and a bit of cocoa. Medium body with medium carbonation,

 269 characters

Photo of Big_Neezy
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours dark with chocolate brown head. You get far more dark chocolate notes but the licorice smell is subtle. I was hoping for a more pronounce black licorice note. You get equal parts of sweet to bitter but is easy on the palette. Definitely not a chocolate cake flavor. Good example of a an American Stout.

Like others have noted, I probably won't buy a sixer of this but would easily order it on draft. Not a top 5 for me but rounds out my top 10 for Michigan stouts.

 477 characters

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

$ 1.79/12 oz bottle ($ 0.158/oz) at Meijer’s, Wyoming, MI
Bottle dated 03/16/16 at 42 degrees into a hand washed and dried JK snifter, allowed to warm to 50o F.
Aroma – roasted malt, last entire glass
Head average (Maximum 3.5 cm, aggressive pour), light brown, creamy with rocks, diminishes to an irregular two to five mm ring and partial layer
Lacing – good. Complete rings of tiny bubbles
Body dark brown/black, opaque
Flavor slightly bitter from roasted malt, some chocolate; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, creamy, soft carbonation

A decent stout at a decent price, slightly bitter for my taste and a little thin.

Appearance 4, Aroma 4, Flavor 4, Palate 4, Overall 4

 696 characters

Photo of BethanyB
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: The medium brown head starts off as a great big grizzly, then fades to a light tan as it slowly dissipates over an opaque mahogany body.

Smell: The aroma is light but appealing and moderately complex: fresh cacao and coffee bean notes sit on top of a soft layer of cold malted milk and vanilla extract.

Taste: Cocoa and coffee--medium roast to begin with, then French roast in the finish. The lightest pinch of black pepper and some lemony hop flavoring make the round profile more lively without disrupting the delicate balance.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy, with medium carbonation adding refreshment without overpowering the flavors.

Overall: A very good sweet stout. It lacks surprises and standout traits, but it's a strong crowd pleasing recipe, and while I may not pick up another six pack, I wouldn't hesitate to order it on draft.

 853 characters

Photo of bbtkd
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bell's Kalamazoo Stout, 6% ABV, 51 IBU. Pours thick and dark/opaque, 4 finger brown head that kept growing, excellent lacing. Nose is coffee and licorice. Taste is slight coffee, some chocolate, malty, very slight bitter close, and thankfully could not detect the licorice which I detest. Good mouthfeel, and overall and excellent stout.

 341 characters

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

Bell's Kalamazoo Stout

L: Jet Black, opaque. Tan head with great retention and tight bubbles. 4.5
S: Roasted malts, chocolate, caramel. 4.5
T: Roasty but smooth. Dark chocolate. A little mineral in the finish. Well balanced and great flavors. 4.5
F: Medium body but the dark malts gave a fuller feeling. Smooth and creamy. 4.5
O: This is a great bottled version of an American Stout. It has the aggressive American character but it's never edgy and offensive, rather it's composed and understands moderation. 4.5

Bottled 11/25/2016

 549 characters

Photo of LaurenZ
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer has a thick pour that is very dark. It has a thick brown head. Light does not come through the beer at all. There aroma a dominantly chocolate and some hints of coffee. Upon tasting the coffee and toffee flavors really come out. I think this is a well done stout. Very full bodied and flavorful The chocolate flavor lingers in the mouth with slight dryness too.

 371 characters

Photo of Angela1956
3.15/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Extremely dark brown, almost black. Interesting caramel colored foam. Smells extremely like coffee and chocolate. Perfect for those who love stouts. Personally, I don't enjoy the burnt coffee taste in my beer. The aftertaste lingers too long for me. I can't rate this beer much lower than a 3 because I feel that my preference against stouts shouldn't completely be my overall opinion. I think Bell's does a fine job on this stout and most people who enjoy them love it! It's a beautiful beer but not my preference.

 516 characters

Photo of hennin55
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: average head, good lacing, dark in color
Aroma: average in hops aroma, coffee and licorice notes
Palate: creamy texture but slightly bitter
Flavor: coffee, licorice and chocolate notes

 196 characters

Photo of Bruno74200
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L - Dark with a good beige head which doesn't last

S - Licorice, coffee, dark chocolate

T - Follow the taste plus cocoa powder and light hops

F - Above average carbonation

O - Good stout, very drinkable and not as much on the licorice side as you could expect. It's a lot about dark chocolate and I like it

 310 characters

Photo of stinewils24
3.74/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The color is a deep brown, looks like Coke. The smell reminds me of a chocolate coffee combination. The taste is of coffee and bitter chocolate; has a sour aftertaste. The texture is full bodied and well carbonated. Overall, this beer has a very different flavor; I am not a huge fan.

 288 characters

Photo of daweidavid
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A slightly sweet and spice smell. Regular stout dark appearance. The bitterness from the hops and slightly caramelized taste all mix together. Also a light roasted falvor in the aftertaste.

 189 characters

Photo of defilli2
4.58/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

This beer has a very dark, black, coffee color look. The smell consists of a strong malty chocolate. You can tell it is going to be a full flavored/bodied beer that is thick. Has a very good coffee taste with hints of chocolate. Not as thick as I thought it would be when I smelled it. I was weary about trying this one but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Definitely recommend.

 370 characters

Photo of tomakara
3.49/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This beer was very dark in appearance and tasted very malty. It had a chocolate aftertaste. This would taste good paired with dessert or with a later evening course. Not something you want to drink during the day.

 213 characters

Photo of Taybeh
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a single into a Darkness snifter, pours a dark tar black with a great tan head with excellent retention. Nose isn't huge, but is focused -- a lot of delicious and bitter coffee, a little black licorice, a little currant sweetness. Surprisingly light, with a roasty bitterness instead of a hoppy one. Taste follows, with more coffee bitterness...a hint of baker's chocolate sweetness at the end, with some earthy tobacco hoppiness. Mouthful is good, though a little thin, and not so creamy. Fairly dry.

 509 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 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 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 Motleydrunk56
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Anchor Steam glass.Smell is a coffee chocolate combo.Taste is coffee and a bitter chocolate.Overall not a bad beer.Just does not have that wow factor.Don`t know if I would drink this again.Too many better beers out there.

 248 characters

Photo of smanson56
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured a dark black color into my snifter glass. Nose is kind of week not showing the licorice that they state on the label. I didn't find much of the licorice in the taste either. A nicely blended stout but not with the licorice overtones that I had hoped for.

 261 characters

Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.03 out of 5 based on 4,276 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.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.