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

1,519 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: 1,519 | Ratings: 4,107
Photo of WesWes
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep dark black color with a thick frothy brown head that fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a rich dark malt scent that is dominated with chocolate and roasted barley. It is sweet to the nose and seems a bit creamy. The taste is good. It has a dry black malt flavor with some chocolate hints and a semi-sweet finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a fine stout. It has great aroma and flavor a good sessions ale.

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

I received a 'sixer' of this as payment for a favor I did for a friend; and was concerned because when I inspected the bottles, I could see some sort of deposit on the inside of the neck.

I store and drink stouts at cellar temp (66 deg. F in summer) I think this brings out the flavor better.

I could smell the toasted malt when the cap came off, and it pourde from the bottle with a lot of carbonation and foamy brown head that dissapated to almost nothing in a few minutes.

The taste is rich toasty malt - coffee - carmel - chocolate; with a lingering alcohol and hop bitterness in the aftertaste.

I will not have any problem drinking the rest of this sixpack !

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Photo of mattcrill
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours blacker than black. Ain't no light getting through that glass! Beautfiul chocolate brown head that settles in for a wonderful looking brew

Smell: Roasted coffee with cream. Finishes with some bitterness due to the hops

Taste: Complex with bitterness being more prominent than I expected. Espresso, chocolate, and vanilla are there but the hop bitterness and alcohol taste is suprisingly overpowering

Overall: A finely crafted beer but it wasn't what I expected. Good but not great.

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

Paid $8.99 for a 6pack...

The apperence on this is quite wonderful, let's start this off with a deep dark brown base with a huge fluffy and three-dimensional dark tanish head with great retention and some good lacing that is almost pure perfection... The aroma is nice, just nice... there was a few distinct "stout" ingredients in the smell such as chocolate and coffee, maybe a little cream as well?

The taste is fantastic on this one, first off it's smooth as hell... secondly it's all over the place with the roasty flavor, which isn't overpowering, but is quite nice... The mouthfeel is smooth on the palette, nothing stingy here. The drinkability is tough to judge, based on the fact that it's a 6.5% beer, I'd say it's really high... however it's quite sweet, so too many and you'll feel like you visited Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory, so it's overall good when you consilidate it all together...

Final Thought: The Bell's line is quite impressive with this being the best of the breweries stout line... tastes like a full flavored Guinness!

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Photo of RoyalT
4.73/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance – Beautifully black in color with a large, dark tan head that showed great retention and left a bit of lacing.

Smell – This is a nice combination of sweet cream, roasted malts, light espresso, and hints of chocolate.

Taste – Oh, this is good. It’s a lot bigger than it smells. Most Cream/Milk Stouts that I’ve had are heavy on the sweets and light on the malts, but this one is expertly balanced. The big, bitter, burnt toast malt just hits the nail on the head.

The other side of the coin is just as good. This doesn’t have a big milk flavor like most other examples of the style. This is true cream. It is good. It is luscious. It is right on without overpowering.

Mouthfeel – This is medium-bodied and will drive your saliva glands crazy. They got just the right combination of stouty roasted malts and fine, rich cream. This one also has a fluffy mouthfeel that will put you on cloud 9.

Drinkability – I wasn’t a huge fan of the Milk/Sweet Stout until trying this one. It is a great beer for introducing a stout lover to the style.

Comments – Big thanks to feloniousmonk for the hook-up!

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

A lover of all stouts, indeed I am. Generally the sweeter stouts are not my favorite of this breed, but there have been high praises for this one. Let's see what she got.

This beefy looking stout is utterly black with a short but very thick tannish head on top. Malty, dark chocolate nose with traces of nuts and what reminds me of strawberry shortcake. For a sweet stout, this is not so sweet, which is a good thing for me. Not smacking with flavor, but does show off some nicer milk chocolate notes than would, say, an Irish Dry. Mouthfeel is smooth and coating, leaving just the slightest tingle on the tongue with a touch of bitterness from the hops.

I think this would be my favorite sweeter stout to date; would make a very good session stout and would be perfect with dessert; preferably a heaping of vanilla ice cream.

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Photo of jayb
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured an ink black that allowed no light through even when held up to a lamp. good deal. a moderatly thick head that thinned out before i got through half of the glass. little to no lacing. last couple beers have been like that, maybe its me. aroma was of burnt malts, very roasty. taste was of expresso, with a ting of milk sweetnes peeking through. aftertaste was that of a sweetened coffee. mouthfeel was of a full bodied brew. this was a thicker brew and i dug it. a fine beer in my opinion. damn fine

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Photo of SilentSabre
4.55/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured black as crude oil with a monster chocolate-milk coloured foamy head. Very chocolate/coffee like in smell almost like melted, warm chocolate ice cream, and extremely so in taste. Quite tasty! This is my favourite style of brew to begin with, but I'd have to place this one in particular in my top five. The mouth feel is nice and smooth and quite easy to drink. A bit heavy, but so is the nature of the beast. I have yet to have a brew of this style that wasn't a least a little bit heavy. I strongly recommend this to anyone who fancies porters/stouts.

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Photo of euskera
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours out an oily, brownish black. Small head that clings to life ever so tenaciously.

Smell is smoky mocha roasted coffee beans.

Taste is much like the smell. Roasted espresso beans that have been dipped in cocoa powder comes to mind. Sweet creaminess in the mid-palate with a pleasant coffee finish at the end. Velvety smooth mouthfeel.

Simply one of the best sweet stouts I've ever tasted.

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Photo of DPMomutant
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This stout is the expected pitch black in the body. The pour riles up a creamy, two-finger head. About half of it sticks as the head goes down gradually.

The smell is nice, almost just like sweetened coffee with creamer but keeping the black coffee color.

The taste is mostly true to the smell. A very small hint of chocolate in the aftertaste.

I find the mouthfeel very good in both carbonation and body. Goes down very well. The carbonation is subtle, which I prefer in this style. The body was balanced to me allowing me to keep each sip in my mouth to enjoy it.

This stout is very drinkable for dessert and after. Might be a bit sweet for most dinners but starting with dessert and even a couple after it would be very enjoyable.

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Photo of AllThingsNinja
4.57/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Peering out through its opacity, I was impressed by the depths of the k-zoo stout’s darkness. There wasn’t much head – but the color of the beer almost made up for that failing. The coffee and chocolate aroma drew me deeper in love with this black beauty. The strong flavors of roasted malt provided a foundation for chocolate, coffee, and a few hop notes. It’s a most excellent, full bodied and warming beer. The alcohol doesn’t play on the palate, but it contributes significantly to the mouth feel.

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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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Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
90 out of 100 based on 1,519 ratings.