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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.

1,508 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,508
Hads: 4,051
Avg: 4.03
pDev: 10.67%
Wants: 186
Gots: 549 | FT: 10
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States | website

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: 1,508 | Hads: 4,051
Photo of lackenhauser
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a distinctly opaque black.Nice slight tan head atop.Nice roasted aroma-hints of coffee and dark chocolate.Huge roasted flavor.Theresa great combination of mocha,licorice,roasted malt and chocolate.Really well done-not overly complex.I dont find the residual sweetness you get in some other milk stouts.Nice full mouthfeel-full bodied but not too big and "oily".Very drinkable beer.

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Photo of Rastacouere
3.24/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It pours opaque black with a very generous, long-lasting sticky tan head in my fin du monde glass (great with stouts I find). Aroma displays very creamy malt, I could have believed this was a milk stout. Roasted chocolate and burnt coffee grains complement the sweetness. Very round and full mouthfeel, creamy. Particularly low carbonation. Alcohol hint accompanies the restrained bitterness in the finish-> alcool which I thought should not be felt at all in a 6.5% beer with all that roasted malt. Once again, this stout got this milky aspect that I came to dislike when combined with an almost still mouthfeel. It feels, not unlike a wine, just dead in the mouth despite all the licorice, molasses, chocolatey flavors from the dark malts. Well done, but still severly overrated to my tastes and definitely nowhere near as complex as expedition. Smooth, yet ultimately close, but no cigar.

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Photo of koolkat
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a deep black with a very brown head. THe nose is mainly burnt and the dark roasted malts are very pronounced.

The first sip is nice with a rich roasted maltiness that lingers on your palate with a slight twinge of sweetness at the end. A nice low hop bite is present that is rather subdues by the roasted flavors.

The beer isnt thin yet it also isnt very thick also. It lacks the really heavy taste akin to a brooklyn black choc stout but it is still rather good on its own right. I'd pick up another sixer of this sometime for sure.

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Photo of Sammy
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

very roasted malts, sweet and bitter. The rich cream is an attributeand supports the Creamy head. chocolate malts, expresso coffee but not overpowering. Some anise and other oils. Before dinner, after dinner. Had a bottle after 20 months and enjoyed its pure roasty stout, but downgraded it a bit.
Had this again after three years and it really hits the spot, often imitated never copied. Bitterness is so well controlled by roast and malt, not overwhelming coffee either.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.83/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a big ol' 1" mocha-hued head above an opaque dark brown/black brew. Dense head has good staying power, and laced tremendously. Aroma is of coffee and choco malts, with a bit of milk sweetness that rounds it out nicely. The taste is follows the aroma's map, and the sweetness really rounds out the flavor on the palate. Don't know where that 6.5% is hiding, but it was cloaked with some artistic brewing. If I had to find a fault, I think the mouthfeel is a bit thin for such a hearty brew, but this is really nit-picking. One of the best stouts I've enjoyed, just wish it was more widely available.

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Photo of merlin48
3/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, no freshness date. Pours a deep, opaque brown, essentially black. Small tan head falls flat in seconds. No lacing.

Aroma is a bit subdued, with chocolate and roasty dark malts. A faint note of floral hops.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, but seems low on carbonation. A mild, peppery hops bite on the tongue.

Taste is dark roasted malts, with predominant coffee and cocoa. Alcohol is well hidden. There is a sour flavor noted midway through that is difficult to pinpoint. I wouldn't call it a fruity sour, and it is a definite distraction. There is very little carbonation in the taste. Smooth and rich, and quite drinkable, but this isn't up to par with other Bell's I've tried.

Somewhat disappointed in this one. Bottle appears to be fresh, and has been stored properly, to the best of my knowledge. Possibly, an off-bottle here, judging from other reviews. Lack of carbonation and the mysterious sour element in the taste are my reasons for wondering about this one.

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Photo of pezoids
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was a very dark beer. Midnight black in color and topped off with a tan creamy head of foam. The aroma is malty and rich with chocolate syrup. Sweet and buttery with molasses and caramel. The taste is pleasantly rich and very smooth. Not overly anything, sweetness is right on and has just the right amount of roasted bitterness. Good malt body with some of that roasted bitterness coming through in the finish and lingering in the throat. Overall a very pleasant and an exceptionally drinkable dark beer.

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Photo of soper2000
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Notes from my Bell's tasting:
Pours a jet black with almost no head at all. The aroma is a little different, i smell some butter and i'm not sure what else to be exact. It wasn't an awful aroma, just not the best either. Taste is full of roasted malts and yeast. Not very well balanced if you asked me. Mouthfeel is really nice as this is a nice, thick, creamy stout. This isn't my favorite stout by any means, but I wonder if i just got an off bottle.

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Photo of aaronbeach69
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Kalamazoo basic stout, while not exceptionally strong or earthy, I can sip it all night as slow as I want at whatever temperature I want and it never becomes overwhelming or lose its appeal. When you don't feel like you're up to handle an imperial stout but you still want that thick earthy feeling and full mouthfeel, look to kalamazoo as an easy drinking stout that has a taste that is simple and subtle.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A thick creamy brown head tops this deep brown almost black beer. Thick aromas of coffee, burnt malt, alcohol, and chocolate waft from my glass. Aaah, a thick creamy body that is quite satisfying and hits the spot after the weak porter that I just had. Finishes with an astringent roast malt character. The beer is so creamy that it balances the roast character, in the front and middle of this beer, quite well. Perhaps a hint of diacetyl, but it is barely perceptible. Not really sweet, despite the ample body. After a bit of time I can detect some buttery diacetyl in the aroma, perhaps a bit distracting, but not all that bad.

This beer would be something else if the diacetyl was cleaned up a bit. Having said that, if you don't mind a bit of diacetyl, this would be a really good beer for you.

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Photo of Morris729
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown color with some reddish highlights as well as a mountainous tan head that very slowly recedes, coating the walls of the glass as it does so. Nose is dark caramel and cocoa beans blended with fresh brewed butter-pecan coffee. Medium to full in body and quite smooth and creamy in texture. Taste begins with notes of French Roast followed by unsweetened dark chocolate and some spicy yeasts. Some faint smoky charcoal is present towards the finish as well as a touch of bitter hops. Probably not what I’d call a milk/cream/sweet stout, but quite enjoyable nevertheless. Thanks to feloniousmonk for the sample!

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Photo of BeerResearcher
4.06/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown bottle. No Freshness date.
I used to change the oil of my old cars...way past the recommended 3k intervals and that's the color. The big tan head fades beat feet fast, but leaves a cluster of sticky, clingy lace in its wake.
The aroma is a bit subdued. Roasted barley, coffee and chocolate notes are backed by a faint floral hoppy smell.
The extra toasted malt is lightly smoky. Flavors of dark chocolate, coffee with cream and sugar, and light rye bread are all quite distinct and separate.
A potent grapefruity, sharp edged hop bitterness counters the independent malt flavors. A mild warming alcohol remains throughout
This Sweet Cream Malt is true to the style. Nice!
Thanks Feloniousmonk!

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

Motor oil black, with a gingerbread brown head. Smells strongly of coffee, alcohol and molasses. Goes through an interesting flavor progression. Starts with a smooth coffee flavor, somewhat acidic. The alcohol is apparent, but not offensive. Mouthfeel is both smooth and carbonated at the same time. Very good, all around.

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

when i first saw this beer on the shelves of my local pharmacy my first words were "i've been dreaming about this beer" and i quickly grabbed two six packs when it usually takes me at least twenty minutes to decide on one six pack. so this review is surely biased.

the appearance is what i like most about this beer. (and the bottle with the wise man on the label) it's big and black with a slightly dark head that retains well. sticks very well to the sides of the glass.

taste is very good. first after taste is typical stout awakingness followed by smoooth sailing.(drinkability)

buy it, love it, buy it again. my new favorite beer.

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

This is a stout stout from a brewery with stout expertise. I had this one sitting in my fridge for weeks and I finally broke down and cracked it open.

Kalamazoo Stout pours 10W-30 black and forms a beautiful tan head. It also exhibits really nice lacing that resembles brick mortar. Normally, the glass looks worse as it's emptied of beer, but a glass of K-zoo stout is still a sight to see even as the beer is drained.

There's a bit of chocolate and coffee in the smell. These flavors show through stronger in the taste. You can also make out carmel, hops, and a bready-yeasty flavor. It's all very balanced and very enjoyable. The alcohol never shows through at all. Well done indeed.

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

Appearance - Poured out of the bottle with some nice, tan head. Some head still left on top as I drank my way down. Black body, typical stout. Nice!

Smell - Roasted nuts and coffee come out with guns blazing. I hate coffee, but this is a very pleasant aroma. Just dark, bitter, and all stout, baby.

Taste - Nutty, but the coffee flavor is the king of this castle. Some chocolate notes scattered in there as well. I loved every sip of this brew. The smell reminds me of the post-hangover coffee shop, but the taste is awesome. Full of body and flavor.

Mouthfeel - Very smooth and just a great overall palate. Nothing goes to extremes, and it is a very nice experience.

Drinkability - Very drinkable, especially for stout lovers. Quite an experience!

Overall - Drink this one. I loved this all the way. Very much a full-bodied stout with some great character. Enjoy!

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Photo of soilguy
3.11/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pint glass arrived with a nice, creamy, thick tan head. I must say that the appearance of that glass as the server brought it was the best part of the beer. A nice lace coated the glass from the top to the last drop. It has a slightly sweet, faintly licorice odor. It also had a fairly noticeable licorice flavor that I personally didn't care for. A nice roastiness tried to chase it away, and that is what saved the beer and made it drinkable. It did have a full, substantial mouthfeel. Overall, I thought it was adequate but unremarkable.

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Photo of Indybeer
3.31/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Poured out black as pitch, with a moderate head that slowly faded, leaving lacing on the glass. Aroma is muted roated grains, and malt, with a sweetness thrown in. Taste is that of roasted malt but in a very thin and weak way. Lingering bitterness in the finish. Carbonated more than a traditional stout. Not a bad drinking beer.

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Photo of stewart124
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a jet black with little head. The aroma is of a sweet chocolate and hint of coffee but isn't that powerful. The taste is a blast of chocolate and espresso that blend very well together. This taste lingered in my mouth for quite sometime afterwards. This is a very sweet mellow brew. Again the mouthfeel and aftertaste are outstanding. A very drinkable beer for any occasion and a must try for anyone who loves these types of stouts.

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Photo of winomark
3.23/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pithc black, witha slightly frothy brown head.

Aroma: Mild nose, with slight coffee and smoky tones.

Taste: Slightly meaty nad smoky. Rich and flavorful. Dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Coating up-front, but dry and slightly short on the finish.

Drinkability: A good, solid stout. Could drink this one wuite often.

Tasted blind at the Saint Loius BA tasting 12/14/03

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Photo of NearerMyBeerToMe
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first ever product from Bell's has a slightly viscous, ebony-to-brown pour which results in a thin, dirty-tan head no more than 1/4" deep that dissipates quickly and spottily to nothingness, just a puny collar. Color is an opaque, inky black; evidence of a streamer or two is marked by bubbles popping up at surface of beer. Globs of yeast clinging to sides of glass are unappetizing as well. Aroma is roast, toast, and more roast toast, to a degree that I've only detected in Imperial Stouts up to this point. Nosefeel is dry and woody, with baking chocolate and coffee tones alongside a not-unpleasant taste of grain; yet behind all this, a plump, purple-fruitiness seems to be lurking. Flavor begins quite sweetly at the tip of the tongue, proceeding to huge roastiness in the midpalate. A slight cola-like sweetness lingers here, to the detriment of the overall feeling; then hops make their presence known in a bittery black coffee to dark chocolate aftertaste. And yet, again: a fruitiness almost like blueberry skins ghosts around in the background... and a woodiness more oaken than cedary. Mouthfeel is tingly and surprisingly delicate in manner; just approaching oily with a light cling that gracefully subsides. High drinkability considering the assertive flavor. A shame: if this beer only had a nice finger of head to top it off, I'd have given it a "4" in all categories. That said, I was sorry not to have a second bottle and I intend to seek this one again.

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

Blackish, skirted by ruby but never losing its menace nor its depth.

The head is brown.

Nose of coffee shops, bakeries, and auto garages.

Begins with a greasy roastedness, leading into peanut butter. Hugely yeasty with bread hues that range from rye to sourdough. Dries out and become increasingly dirty and gritty. Charcoal. Mud. Soiled, charred wood. Coffee reforms at the end, doused with liberal cream. Hopping is insignificant.

Near full-bodied and coating. Limited carbonation.


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Photo of CortexBomb
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bell's 'standard' stout is yards beyond many companies best offering in the category.

Kazoo Stout pours out typically midnight black into a pint glass leaving a thick head which dissipates in due order leaving behind a carbonation ring. The scent is strong and quite balanced, a little coffee, a little malt, and a touch of fruit lurking in the background.

The taste is as balanced as the nose, with the malt and coffee sharing head billing with plenty of malt to go around as well. The flavour is bitter, but not excessively so, again, the ingrediants seem to have been blended just so with this beer leading to a delightful and effective combination of flavours which all add without stealing the show.

The main disappointment with this is that the mouthfeel is much lighter than one would expect for a stout from Bell's. More carbonation than I'm used to from them as well, not bad or good, just different.

Kazoo Stout is different from other stouts in another category as well though, drinkability. This is a surprisingly smooth drinking beer!

Overall a fantastic offering from Bell's though, and yet another reason I'm glad that I live in SW Michigan.

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Photo of ManekiNeko
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle served at cellar temp in a pint glass.

Appearance: Black as the abyssal depths topped by a hearty dark brown head that's thick, frothy and slightly rocky. It sticks around for quite some time before settling down to a smallish layer of foam and then finally a ring of bubbles. Healthy amounts of lacing are left on the glass.

Smell: Hearty and dark nose composed of high quality cocoa, toasted malts, and medium roasted coffee. Dark dried fruits and piney hops lurk in the background.

Taste: Bittersweet dark malts with cocoa and coffee highlights. Faint bitter hops, raisins, and cherries on the finish. A very compelling taste, overall.

Mouthfeel: A touch on the anemic side. I was hoping for something a bit thicker, so the slightly watery mouthfeel is jarring given the intensity of the smell and taste.

Drinkability: Almonst an imperial stout at times. Very enjoyable and well made. I would definitely get this (along with Java Stout and Expedition Stout) if it were available locally. I suspect my girlfriend would like this as well.

Other: Choose a good 'un for review 250. Thanks to feloniousmonk for directly making this possible and xlperro for indirectly doing it.

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

This brew is another one of my purchases from Kclingers in PA. I pour a chilled sample into my pint glass. A tan creamy head foams up with some light cascading action going on. Head dissipates evenly but fairly quickly to a thin layer across the surface of the brew.
Aroma is mostly roasted malt, with hints of caramel and coffee buried in there.
First sip reveals, mild carbonation and a fairly thick body. Flavor is very roasty, coffee bitterness, and even a hint of twangy chocolate in the middle. The finish is all coffee and leaves a lightly sweet film on my teeth and gums. A nice reminder of the tasty brew I just tasted!
Overall, this is very drinkable for a thick beer. I would probably fill up on these if I had 3 or more, but could definitely have another if I had one.

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Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
90 out of 100 based on 1,508 ratings.