I poured a 12oz bottle into a nonic pint glass. The bottle was dated 11/26/12 making it just over four months old.
Appearance: Dark black color, completely opaque. Forms a huge, brown,
frothy head which is slow to dissolve and leaves plenty of lacing on the
Smell: Mild nose of milk chocolate and black licorice.
Taste: I’m so used to reviewing flavored and/or imperial stouts I forget
how good a "regular" or stout can be. Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout is
definitely one of the better examples of such a brew: plenty of flavor
and a perfect balance of sweetness and bitterness. There’s a slight
licorice taste to make it a tad unique, which is all the more
There’s a smooth sweetness at the start. Mild milk chocolate, roasted
malt and some dairy flavors are all prominent at first. There’s a strong
surge of bitterness at the apex of the swig. Dry, slightly salty,
coffee and nutty-like flavors and bitterness appear, though they
themselves quickly recede as a lightly sweet taste of black licorice and
the faintest hint of sour red grape appear on the finish. This is a
delectable tasting brew for sure, but not so robust or amazing as to be
among the upper echelon beers.
Drinkability: What really makes Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout a cut above the
rest is its drinkability. There’s a lot of flavor here, but the actually
deliver is remarkably drinker-friendly. The mouthfeel is smooth and
soft and goes down easily. Though there’s a slightly bitter aftertaste
it’s nowhere near cloying and is actually rather pleasant. At 6% ABV
it’s tempting to drink in large quantities since it doesn’t feel like a
heavy beer at all. The versatility makes it ideal to pair with food, as a
stand-alone beverage, or a dessert in a glass. You decide.