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

1,527 Reviews
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Bell's Kalamazoo StoutBell's Kalamazoo Stout

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

User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,527 | Ratings: 4,130
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.

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Photo of bbtkd
4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | 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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of cbenson
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The beer pours jet black with a low, long-lasting head. The aroma nippy, sweet, and syrup-like. It smells and tastes very acidity. The taste has a medium malt character with intense flavors of coffee, chocolate, and caramel as well as the sweet, puckering taste of sour candy. The alcohol taste is present but mild. The mouthfeel is the best part. It is thick, textured, and carbonated like root beer.

I thought I was tripping the first time I tried this beer and tasted heaven but after a second go at it, I can confirm that this is my favorite beer. It doesn’t just throw in coffee for shits and giggles; it really brings out the roasty, creamy, sweetness that defines the stout as a genre. Maybe it could play up the bitters a bit more.

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Photo of Drinkzumbeer
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is one dark stout and it has a wonderful large tan head that stayed around for quite some time. This is an incredibly rich and creamy stout that has a nice helping of well balanced carbonation on each and every sip. With every taste I get a nice helping of darkly roasted malts, which transitions very nicely to a black coffee finish with some subtle hints of bitter dark chocolate throughout. This is a nice stout and another solid brew from Bell's line up of year-round beers.

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

Really good beer here, very dark. Safe to go ahead and say black. If your like me and love the chocolate notes and coffee notes then its here! One of my favs so far and I've had a bunch of beers. It gives a nice after kick of flavor that comes back into your pallet after each drink. Very nice and has a lot going on. A- beer here solid 8.8/10

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a tarry black with an almond colored 3 finger rocky head. 100% opacity as expected.

In the aroma I'm getting tons of malted milk balls, followed by snips of coffee bean and black licorice.

Taste is spot on. Very good, delicious all the way down. Lots of roasted character but strays from being burnt, and complimented by chocolate, molasses, and coffee bean. Finish is very chocolatey and coffee-like.

Feel compliments the taste with a creamy body and a buzzing carbonation. Dry parch keeps things interesting on the finish.

I may go back to buy more of these. I like this stout, and I feel nervous knowing I only have 2 more of them left.

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Photo of SometimesIfart
3.4/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Bell's Kalamazoo Stout.

I've wanted to try this beer out for quite some time but for whatever reason I never bought a sixer. Found a single bottle of it at a local store about a week ago and figured now was the time to give it a shot. Bell's makes some exceptionally stouts as I think everybody knows so I don't expect this guy to be any different. Let's drink it.

Look - From the twelve ounce bottle slowly poured a few times into a can style glass. Despite the lower nav and non-imperial status, this brew manages to pour as black as Charlie Murphy along side of an exceptionally dense and pillowy moderately mocha colored head. It still still and black like the void waiting to consume your life for all of eternity. Carbonation is unreadable given the depth of the creature sitting in the glass. Minimal stick after a finished glass.

Smell - Deep toasty bitterness with the licorice promised on the bottle being the most notable part of the initially scent. The hop presence is quite tame and the malts are surely roasted. Not a whole lot of chocolate to be mentioned but the cocoa nibs are for certain. Not a very big nose but just enough to remind you that it is in fact a stout. Smells a lot like their porter only a bit tuned down.

Taste - This really isn't that big of a beer from what I'm noticing. The flavor profile isn't as robust as you may expect but I did remind myself that this is only a regular stout and not something imperial. The cocoa nibs and licorice dominate the majority of the flavor but overall chocolate presence is quite low. Hops are a bit earthy. Also a small ash aspect comes through as the beer warms up. A true session stout flavor profile.

Feel - Even the body is rather thin by comparison to other in the style. It's actually quite watery with almost a gaping hole feeling as it sits around the mouth. Carbonation seems to be completely dead as well. Flavors remain much the same but seemingly die down. The only thing saving this category from not going below a 3is the fact that it is quite creamy and goes down smoother than a 1970's smooth talking black pump trying to pick up yo momma.

Overall - I'm rather disappointed with this beer. Definitely sessionable without a doubt and a sixer or even two sixers could be killed easily. But I expect more out of Bell's when it comes to their stouts, especially since they make the legendary Expedition and even the FANTASTIC 30th anniversary stout of theirs. Not a bad beer, just nothing worth returning to.

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Photo of Mexwald
3.89/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Very easy-drinking stout. I can't say that I tasted the licorice notes, though I believe it would require a more enhanced palate than my own to detect. The smell and feel are not really distinguishable from any other stout that I have had, though that isn't really a bad thing. Every sip is flavorful and I would call this a solid offering from Bell's. The aftertaste was enjoyable, but as a disclaimer, I drink black coffee. I got a sixer of this one and would recommend trying it out.

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Photo of The_Snow_Bird
4.01/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a dark beer with no light passing through. Very large dark head that goes away after a while. Has a dark chocolate smell along with roasted malts. Can taste the chocolate in it. Can't taste any licorice.

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

A decent stout from Bell's. Kinda tough to rate after having Expedition Stout last week. Would I seek this out? No, but a decent add-in to a craft your own six pack.

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Photo of HamdenHector
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: opaque; very deep brown with dark mahogany accents at the edges; with a fairly aggressive pour, a 4 finger dark tan head that receded slowly to a thick cap; very nice lacing;

S: roasted grain followed by spicy bittersweet chocolate;

t: deeply roasted grain up front, followed by spice from the licorice, followed by bittersweet chocolate; finish is mildly bitter with a combination of the licorice and bittersweet chocolate;

M: medium to full bodied; moderate carbonation; dry finish;

O: the licorice gave a nice twist to the aroma and flavor; very well done;

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Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
90 out of 100 based on 1,527 ratings.