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

Not Rated.
Bell's Kalamazoo StoutBell's Kalamazoo Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,496 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,496
Hads: 3,981
Avg: 4.03
pDev: 17.37%
Wants: 180
Gots: 517 | FT: 10
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Stout |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-11-2001

Stout brewed with Brewer's Licorice.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bell's Kalamazoo Stout Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,496 | Hads: 3,981
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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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

Black with a tan, French press-esque small head

A little sweet with hints of dates or prunes; overall not a big component of the beer

Taste & Mouthfeel
Wow - big upfront flavor of roasted malts followed by milk chocolate (reminds me a bit of Old Rasputin); a little thin in body

It's got a big imperial-like flavor but with the mouthfeel of a regular stout. I really enjoyed it as it opens with a nice roasted taste and ends with a sweet aftertaste.

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Photo of Anthony1
3.63/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

poured into a snifter

pours a dark black with a light head, tan in color. was no lace, but the head and color was great. smells a strong strong coffee and chocolate with roasted malt and hops. a very creamy feel with a full body and smooth carbonation. tastes mostly of coffee and chocolate.

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

A - Pitch black, with a tiny bit of head, and not much lace retention

S - Licorice, deep roasted malts. Coffee

T - Pretty good. Roasted malts, slight chocolate and coffee flavors. Nuts. Licorice adds a slight sweet finish.

M - Very creamy and smooth mouthfeel.

O - A very good stout. Another well done beer from Bells

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

Thanks to Eric for sharing this well-regarded stout.

Very dark brown pour, bordering on black with a finger of tan head. Decent retention and a few spots of lace. On the nose the predominant aroma is wet coffee grounds with a subtle hint of anise.

I'm getting a lot of dark roast out of the flavour, and I don't know about brewer's licorice, but it sure feels like a coffee stout. Its complimented by some toasty notes along with chocolate and tobacco. The mouthfeel is a touch lighter than I think would be ideal - there's some decent flavours going on in here, but the lack of body is letting them down.

Not as good as I thought it would be, but still a pretty damn good stout.

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Photo of MMAJYK
3.62/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Black in color and very inky. Head is slow to rise to the top, but is light brown and very spotty. It is actually going away quite fast, too.

S- Coffee, cream, chocolate, maybe some light toffee and vanilla. Digging deeper you will find a light roast and/or campfire aroma.

T- Roasted malt, black patent malt, coffee malt, and vanilla creamer. Midstream, you can actually feel a little bit of the bittering hop blend with some malt astrigency.

M- Somewhat milky with low carbonation.

D- I am not too crazy about it. Just a decent milk stout to me; definitely not standoutish but glad I could try it.

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Photo of twelvsies
3.62/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A dark typical looking stout with a bit of bubbly brown head floating around. Smells of chocolate milk, coffee grounds, sweet roasted malts. Taste is a bit off though. It tastes too much like coffee I think. It's a great flavor to have in a beer, but not when it overpowers everything else. I think that's the case here. Dry mouthfeel but a bit thick as well, strange. Not the most drinkable beer. It's a nice try, maybe it'd be better if they toned down the coffee taste.

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Photo of q33jeff
3.62/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

"Bottle to snifter.
**FROM OLD NOTES, 04/21/15:
Aroma is coffee, toasted barley,
Appearance: dark black, small off white head.
Taste: chicory, toasted barley. A little too bitter in the after taste.
Palate. Low carbonation. Smooth enough.
Good beer, though I am a little disappointed.**

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Photo of hopfacebrew
3.62/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes while on vacation in Arizona. Beer reviewed 4/15/2011.

A - The beer was poured from brown 12oz bottle to pint glass. The beer pours a very deep brown with medium brown edges in the light. A small 1/2 finger tan head with some retention and lacing.

S - A pleasant mix of roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, molasses, and even a hint of butter.

T/M - Similar to the nose the beer starts out with a large roast flavor though a bit of charred oak as well. The middle of the beer brings the molasses, chocolate, and coffee tones from the nose, though rather subdued. The beer finishes a bit creamy with a lingering roast flavor. Full bodied and mildly carbonated. Hides the alcohol well.

O - A better than average stout but not mind-blowing. I found it to be a bit overbearing with smokey char and roast and didn't seem to blend well together. Glad to have tried it but likely won't be back.

Note: This review was a re-post from my former account, jmkratt, which was hacked and I lost all my reviews...sorry for the redundancy.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 04-18-2011 14:19:43

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Photo of frenchblood21
3.61/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into Goose Island pint glass.

Appearance- Cola black w/ a one finger tan head. Tons of carbonation in the bottom of the glass. Great lacing.

Smell- Roasted barley and rootbeer come right at you. That's followed by the traditional chocolate and coffee.

Taste- A good roasted taste is the primary flavor. Not sweet at all...more of a bitter aftertaste. Some dark chocolate in the back.

Mouthfeel- Smooth and creamy...not much else to say.

Overall- Not the best stout in Bell's line-up. Coming in at only 6%, its a welcomed change from all the heavy hitters I've had lately.

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Photo of Lnedrive14
3.61/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had in the bottle at Capital Ale House, Innsbrook. Pretty excited to see some Bell's stuff on the menu, since we can't get this back in Boston.

I don't know what to say about this brew. Came out of the bottle looking fluffy and delicious. Huge white head with great retention.

A fairly hoppy stout - i was a bit surprised by this. aside from that feature, i just found this to be a totally bland stout. absolutely nothing special about it, IMO. Sweet, little bit like chocolate milk. average level of malts.

coated the palate well - perfect level of carbonation. drinkable, but not something I would pound away constantly, since it just wasn't anything special to me.

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Photo of badboyrsl84
3.61/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours jet black with a nice tan head.

Smell - not alot if aroma. Some roasted malt and chocolate

Taste - starts off chocolatey with a huge almost roasted grain taste. Finishes with a little more chocolate.

Mouthfeel - this probably the best part about this beer. It's very creamy and smooth. Nothing else really stands out to me.

Overall - its a good but not great beer. I probably wont think to have to have this beer again.

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Photo of thekanna
3.61/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a pitch black with a light coffee-colored rim when held up to light. Head is merely an afterthought and leaves a thin, beige-colored coat on the side of the glass when swirled.

S: Mostly roasted malts and some faint dark chocolate.

T: Strong roasted malts with a very prominent burnt character. Black coffee, bitter hops, and dark chocolate round out the taste, with a hint of sourness.

M: Somewhat thin and watery, with a carbonation-induced bite at the end.

D: Nice example of the style, but I prefer heavier stouts.

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Photo of BeerCon5
3.61/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep black color with a thick, fluffy coffee colored head with very good retention.

The scent is of chocolate malt, notes of coffee and some caramel.

The taste is mainly of roasted chocolate malt, burnt coffee, and some notes of licorice.

Full body, very smooth and creamy, low carbonation.

I would say this was a slightly above average stout, it could have been more flavorful but overall not bad.

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.61/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter on 8/31/09

A - Transparent ruby brown on the pour, settling to near black. Billowy dark tan head riddled with pores. Good retention & impressive lacing.

S - The aroma strikes me as weak, but that may well be on account of the solid head retention. Regardless, roasted coffee is in no short supply.

T - Potent roasted coffee rests immediately on the tongue & is rounded out by a spicy, yet delicate, hop character. There is an underlying burnt taste. Hints of molasses & something tart.

M - Full-bodied with interesting carbonation interplay. This beer is fairly gritty & in no real hurry to leave - lingering mild bitterness & coffee dregs.

D - It's easily drinkable & I would like to see how it fares on tap. Other than that, I am in no hurry to drink it again. There are several other stouts I would turn to before this; several other Bell's offerings, too.

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Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
90 out of 100 based on 1,496 ratings.