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

1,576 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: 1,576 | Ratings: 4,297
Photo of Frozensoul327
4.71/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow. This one is really amazing. Poured out to a really nice black color. Really, it was totally black, couldn't see through it.Perfect carbonation and an nice 2 inch head ( I poured it with the intent of creating a large head). Some minor lace was noted around the glass. Aromas of sweet cream and earth are present, albeit very light. The flavor is phenominal; smooth cocoa and chocolate, caramel, coffee bean, raw sugar, and an earthy roasted taste. Very well balanced. Not much of an aftertaste, but this brew went down with a very creamy mouthfeel, making the glass quite hard to put down. Finished like on a roasted nutty note. This is a top beer for me, I just wish I had bought more. Highly Recommended for all BA's.

 724 characters

Photo of tjthresh
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle enjoyed at Waldo Pizza in KC,MO. Espresso, dark chocolate, and some hop aroma. Pitch black with a brown head. Some lace. Looks pretty think. Very sweet. Reminds me of like chewing on a coffee bean. Bitter enough to balance sweetness. Quite full bodied an silky smooth.

 281 characters

Photo of twilight
4.48/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black as night with a dark brown head floating atop the beer. Aroma is of roastiness and this nice smoothness- I know, I'm surprised I can smell it. It smells good, like milk, a bit?

Taste is smooth and creamy- no, mouthfeel is creamy. Nevertheless, you get this nice roastybitterness in the aftertaste and very much a bit of that coffee/chocolate lingering. Tastes upfront are a bit of sourness, a bit of sweetness and this really nice creaminess, almost like a round feeling. Mouthfeel is good, bonus points for spilling over onto taste. Although this is a great beer, I'm not sure I could session on this one. Another excellent Bell's overall.

 655 characters

Photo of burnstar
4.09/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with a very small brown head that dissipates quickly leaving a small ring of foam around the edges that sticks to the glass. Smells fantastic - dark chocolate, caramel, and fruit. Taste is dominated by the roasted malt. There are definitely some chocolate, molasses, espresso flavors lurking here too. They aren't quite as noticable as the wonderful aroma would suggest but they do emerge as the brew warms. Very tastey but maybe slightly off balance - not quite as delicious as it's aroma would suggest. It's medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation and definitely not a chore to drink.

 612 characters

Photo of Jacobob10
3.74/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Because of the ridiculously hot and humid weather here lately, I've been in the mood for lighter bodied beers. But, the temps have cooled down for a few days and I need to experience a good, solid stout. This one pours as black as midnight with a small dark head, but poor retention. Nice roasted nut aroma. Slight hops can be detected upon tasting, but nothing too hoppy, this was all about the malts. Black coffee overwhelmed the taste. Bitter aftertaste hurt the mouthfeel a bit, as well as the drinkability.

 511 characters

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

Another impressive stout by Bell's. This has a similar flavor, aromatic, and visual profile as the Expedition Stout--Just kicked down a notch. This is impressive with it's balance of roasted, chocolate, caramel, and barley malts. Hopped only for balance. Slight tartness. Creamy with sight bittering; no astringency or graininess. Present alcohol, but never dominates. Finishes slightly bitter with nice linger period.

 418 characters

Photo of RedwoodGeorge
3.59/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pour was pretty uninspired - nice deep amber/black in color but no real carbonation to speak of. Even with a moderately aggressive pour I got no head at all and little lacing on the glass.

Smell was quite promising - lots and lots of caramel malt notes, those sugars were well browned here. Mild fruit notes, mainly raisin and cherry.

Taste was good but far from exceptional. Dark malt notes predominate with very little burnt roasted flavors (a good thing). Strong caramel notes, very sweet flavors and a strong fruit component. A number of times I commented "this is quite pruney" while enjoying the glass.

With the low carbonation the mouthfeel was a bit lacking. This was a medium to heavy bodied brew (as per the style) which left an oily residue after each sip. The only saving grace was the mild hopping which gave a slight bitter finish to each sip to keep the taste from being overly cloying.

All in all an okay stout but not quite what I had expected. While it had some sweet components and a moderately smooth body I was surprised to read this is a milk stout. A drinkable stout but not what I would have called 'outstanding'

 1,148 characters

Photo of fisherman34
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black in colour with a fair amount of carbonation and a very dark head. The aromas are generally sweet and malty, with notes of milk chocolate and a bit of plum. The flavors are quite roasty, and suggest coffee, molasses, caramel, and a bit more chocolate. I could also detect a bit of hop flavor as well, but most of the bitterness comes from the roasted malts. Massive body to this one too

 391 characters

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(Served in an Imperial pint glass)

A-This beer pours a dark inky brown that is opaque with a dark tan head that is very creamy.

S- Tie smell of roasted sweet malt and some toasted malts make this aroma thick. A faint hint of coffee and some molasses are in the background.

T- The taste of earthy roasted malt and some slight sourness with a faint sweetness blend together. A faint hop bitterness finishes this beer. The sweet roasted malt lingers after the finish.

M-This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a very faint creaminess.

D- This milk stout has nice character but it is missing some depth that would really add to its flavor. I would like to see some more creaminess in the mouthfeel. Nice stout non the less.

 740 characters

Photo of Golden2wenty1
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a single from Riley's here in Madison, tried it just after Bell's Java Stout (which was amazing by the way). A tough act to follow.

Pours jet black with some sediment. Nice creamy tall head which stays for a while. Smells lightly malty sweet, with some bittersweet coffe/chocolate and also rather fruity. Taste, surprisingly reminded me of bittersweet apple cider, maybe some grapes. Not nearly as "roasty" as the back of the bottle might have implied. Quite interesting. Mouthfeel was thinish, but smooth. Quite drinkable, but not outstanding. Java Stout just blows this out of the water. Not bad by any means, a decent fruity, sweet stout and a solid offering from Bell's which has yet to disappoint.

 715 characters

Photo of SupaCelt
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black. Ruby choco-head. Scant lacing. Not very populous from a bubble standpoint. Still looks stout yummy licious.

Smell. Not overly pungent. Stout smells. Milk stout impressions are visible in nose vision. Chococoffee. Go figure.

Tastes are not overly defined. Rather laid back and utterly drinkable. Fairly thick body makes the K-Zoo forceful, yet not bullying. This is fine, but it is not going to make headlines. I love stouts of imperial stature. I cannot remove them from my mind as I review this beer. As a common stout this one will do. I would prefer something more over the top though. Might as well go BIG.

 623 characters

Photo of mynie
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark completely opaque black like a cloudless night just past 11. An insanely large, brown head fills the glass.

Very rich, dry smell. Coffee and roasted malt bitterness.

Sweet-stout sweetness up front. Sour and grainy, the zip of cream going back into sour chocolate, ending in roasted malt and coffee. Not that complex, but very tasty.

Another great beer from Bell's.

 378 characters

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

Pours a motor oil black with a small dark tan head. Smells of chocolate, cream, and toffee. Taste is sweet and creamy. Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied, and smooth. Overall, this is a very enjoyable beer. It is flavorful but not overpowering in the way most stouts can be.

 271 characters

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

Truly a black beer- just a tinge of red on the edges of the pour.
Tightly knit caramel colored head- darker than some beers by itself!

Chocolate and coffeee notes rise from this roasted malt brew.
Not nearly as intimidating to the taste as it might appear-.

Keep sippin- you'll find a nice even coating without cloying at the finish.
A different kind of drinkability.

 377 characters

Photo of Bang34
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite stouts.

It pours dark, almost black with a thick brown head that sticks around for a while.

Smell is chocolaty coffee, with a hint of oats, the malt comes through.

Tastes pretty sweet and chocolaty but also has a dry hoppiness on the finish. Not as creamey as a chocolate stout but sweeter than a dry stout. Some may call it burnt, but I think that is going too far, I feel it is pretty balanced.

Medium body, though it isn't really a session beer, best enjoyed a couple at a time.

 512 characters

Photo of santoslhalper
4.23/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearence: Pours darker than any milk stout I've ever had, with a nice, rich light chocolate colored head.

Smell: The smell is a semi-strong mix of sweet and roasted notes with a nice bitter backbone.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Wow. This is by far the strongest milk stout I've ever taste. Hugely complex with wonderful chocolate and roasted notes. The bittersweet flavor is killer and compliments the incredible depth and complexity of the coffee/chocolate taste. The mouthfeel is ruch and creamy.

Drinkability and Overall: This is a killer stout. One of the better offerings from Bell's. I like this much more than their double cream stout. This one offers more complexity and richness, while still being highly drinkable. Good stuff!!

 741 characters

Photo of silver0rlead
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to NeroFiddled for the trade, the beer pours an opaque black with a creamy tan head that retains well and leaves nice lacing on the glass. The smell is big coffe aroma (expresso or something strong), chocolate, cream and a roasted background, a very nice and complex aroma. The taste is very similar to the expedition but toned down alot (personally I thought the expedition was slighly overwhelming) which is definaetly a good thing because i can pick up the flavors more easily. The taste begins with a big coffee note which is followed by flavors of lightly sweetened dark chocolate, cream, a sweet molasses like flavor and a slightly bitter roasted malt and hops finish. Really a well executed stout, kind of like a mini expedition (or maybe the expedition stout is the giant kalamazoo stout) but really tasty, and complex enough to satisfy even the biggest beer snob, lightly sweet but the finish is bitter to balance the brew quite well. The mouthfeel is thick and chewy (appropriate for the style) and the drinkability if pretty high.

 1,048 characters

Photo of mportsch
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass completely black with a fizzy brown head that dissipates quickly into a fine film with good lacing. Beer looks thinner than I expected.

Smell: Odors are fairly subtle... roasted malts shine through.

Taste: My first sip made me think 'smoky', but as I drink I get a roasty flavor and a touch of sweetness that seems pretty balanced. Aftertaste is bitter, leaving your mouth feeling dry. Tastes very good!

Mouthfeel: This beer has a medium to heavy body that could be just a bit fuller.

Drinkability: Goes down very easy. Definitely could session if one were so inclined.

 618 characters

Photo of vladtheimpaler
4.68/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle. Deep dark brown, big tan head, bordering on brown. Decent lacing. Nice roasty coffee aroma, with hints of chocolate and lots of roasty grains. Nice full bodied roasty flavor. Hints of coffee and sweet dark chocolate. Roasty bitterness lingers on the palate. This is exceingly drinkable for a stout lover. Rich and satisfying. I think the best of the style.

 364 characters

Photo of whynot44
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Full bodied, very dark coffee color with a large dark tan head.

Aroma is dark roasted malt and coffee.

Taste is along the same lines, sweet smoky roasted malt, rich coffee, caramel and maybe some dark chocolate, finishing with a touch of hops.

Creamy smooth, very drinkable.

 286 characters

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

Poured from a 12 oz. longneck - no freshness date.

Beautiful light beige head sits on an opaque dark brown liquid with faint dark mahogony highlights. Gorgeous thick lacing all the way down.

Scent is of fresh real cream, nice rounded roasted malts. Scent is subtle but very fresh.

Flavors are round and very balanced first-off. Milky chocolate and fresh cream (again). The hops accompany the finish nicely with a calm, dry ending. Balanced, balanced, balanced.

Mouthfeel if fluffy with a moderate amount on cabonation. Medium bodied and gentle all the way through.

Drinkability is very good due to it's medium body and reasons to follow.

Overall this stout can be many things to different palates. What I mean is, this stout really 'breathes'. The flavors have enough 'space' between them that leave room for many interpretations. I love it for it's subtleties - soft, silky, fluffy and a tad dry - but never chalky. Not sweet but very creamy. Roasted malts but not burnt or coffeeish. Probably the perfect balance between a milk and dry stout - a marriage of the two styles, if you will. I most definitely will be trying this throughout the year to experience more nuances I might detect. A true flagship from Bell's.

 1,236 characters

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

Pours opaque black with a khaki colored head. Milk chocolatey aroma mixed coffee and roastedness. Very creamy bittersweet chocolately taste, with plenty of roasted character. Some hops bite out admist the huge malty smoothness. Finish is roasted dry, with a lingering coffee like aftertaste. Very pleasant to sip and admire the finish. Definitely another good stout from Bell's, who I have come to respect as talented in the stout field.

 437 characters

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

04/18/05- Received as a gift from BA member Spinlock.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with no dates. Poured into my Reaper pint glass.

Appearance- Fairly black in color with a nice 1/2 inch head and average lacing.

Smell- Nice and sweet with a bit of roasted scent.

Taste- Yummy sweetness with a nice chocolate kick. Maybe a tiny bit of coffee and nicely rounded malt texture.

Mouthfeel- Mouthcoating chocolate as it warms. Lower carbonation.

Drinkability- One of the best stouts I have had. Creeping fairly close to Stone IRS. Wish I had easy access to these. I've been damn lucky with stouts and porters as of recent.

 631 characters

Photo of beveragecaptain
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours out thick and dark with a dark brown head. Sweet malty aroma with some chocolate. The aroma is good, but not strong enough. The flavor is very strong, with a big malty flavor up front, followed by chocolate and a solid roasted flavor. Full mouthfeel, mikshake like in the consistency and the sweet flavor. Highly drinkable too. This is a very nice beer.

 359 characters

Photo of bozebus17
4.72/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This one is as dark as beer comes, it is blacker than black, the same color as coca-cola. The head is toffee colored. It starts off full and rocky but thins out to about a quarter-inch. It lasts all the way down.

The beer has one of the strongest scents I have come across. As I swirled it in the glass a lady across the room who doesn't like beer complained that she could smell it. One whiff of this and you know you have a stout in front of you. Roasted malt and coffee pull through stronger than anything else. There is also a really sweet smell that I cannot put my finger on.

As soon as this beer hit my lips I was in another world. I am a stout lover and this is one of the best I have come across. I am hit with a sweet caramel flavor along with the roasted malt. It is perfectly balanced with just the right amount of bitterness. But beware, this beer has a lot of everything. As strong as the scent is the flavor has twice the potency.

The mouthfeel was luxurious. It was rich and creamy, is this a beer or a milkshake? After I swallowed each gulp I was left with carbonation dancing on my tongue.

For being as full as it is this beer is extremely drinkable. I had three of these in one session tonight and I had to resist the urge to open a fourth. The alcohol is not apparent, it might be easy to get in trouble with this beer. I found myself having a hard time taking polite sips. You'll want to gulp this one. A great offering from Bells stellar lineup.

I notice my review is higher than many of the others. Maybe being in Michigan I have the chance to get this beer a lot fresher than BAs out of state.

 1,636 characters

Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.03 out of 5 based on 4,297 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.