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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.

1,488 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,488
Hads: 3,938
Avg: 4.03
pDev: 17.37%
Wants: 176
Gots: 492 | FT: 11
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: 1,488 | Hads: 3,938
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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Photo of benmiliron
4.36/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Read inebrius' review below mine, it's a far better review than I could come up with.

I was born in Kalamazoo, and this was the first REAL stout I ever tried, this has always been a special beer for me. Thanks to my sis for getting me a 6-pack for xmas this year.

Pours black with a great brown head. Beautiful. Taste while it's in your mouth is a mix of sweetness and bitterness, the combo is like a freight train hitting your brain. Impossible to pick everything out, though fun to try. The aftertaste is rough on this one though, very bitter and lingers on the tongue. It feels great to roll it around in your mouth for a while. I could easily drink this beauty all night.

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

Scents of hazelnut-cocoa bread--a liquid loaf in my glass--drift lazily above the downy brown bun that sits atop the dark fluid I sipped and felt ooze hurriedly to the pit of my throat where I swallowed it and shuddered against the bullying chocolate truffle covered coffee bean flavors coarsing.

Then I sipped again.

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Photo of frank4sail
3.86/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 Oz bottle seems like it was not filled all the way... but onlt half way up the neck of the bottle. Slight roast nose but not huge. Thick rich milk cocoa colored thick airy head. Dark black opeque look in the pint glass. Rich slightly sweet roasty initial taste then gives way to layers of Expresso and dry cocoa powder in the slightly sour finish. Mediumish mouth. Not at all as good as the draft version I had quite a while ago.. but still a nice stout.

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

Dense tan head.

Good smell, with significant coffee notes.

Nearly opaque, almost black body with a few bubbles.

Well-balanced, with chocolate and coffee notes in the aftertaste.

Overall, a very good, quite drinkable stout - one of the best I've tried (and I've tried quite a few).

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Photo of FFudnam
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one at home, out of the 12oz bottle, same as pictured.

Gave it a rough pour, to test head retention, and get more aroma from the beer.


Smooth pour, fairly thick, but not syrup-y. Cappucino-colored head lasted for 2 minutes.


Black as can be, with aforementioned light-brown (cappucino) head, and no light transmission. Looks like a lot of black patent was used. Thumbs up!


Smells of Coffee, Chocolate, moderate hop punch-in-the-nose, more spicy than floral, malty backbone.


Again, more coffee, chocolate, some ripe fruit/date/raisin notes, somewhat sweet, smooth hop bitterness comes next, followed by a nice malty, dry-ish finish. Awesome stuff!


Silky smooth, with moderate carbonation. Accentuates the hops, but doesn't allow them to overwhelm the palate. Finishes strong. Nearly perfect. IMHO could be a little creamier.


Probably a little too "huge" to be a session beer, but I could knock a few back while hanging out at the bar or wherever.

Best stout I have sampled yet, with the exception of the Bell's Expedition, IMO the most interesting, complex beer they make. So there you have it.


Left a gorgeous, fluttery, creamy lace in my pint glass. Sweet.

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Photo of ngandhi
4.31/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Kalamazoo Stout is the most roasted of the Bell's line of stouts. The nose is of burnt walnuts and reduced soy sauce. Though charred, the palette isn't too bitter. The deep roast borders on smoke. This is an intense beer with gorgeous balance (if done even a hair differently, this would probably make you puke).

If you can't find this beer, chew on a handful of espresso beans soaked in beef fat.

The body is lush lactose, but never cloyingly sweet, thick, or chocolately. Milk stouts have a tendency to lose themselves in the creamy body and cafe mocha taste; by intensifying the roastiness beyond normal human cognition, Kalamazoo maintains a strong concentrated stout and earthy hop character without the sickening effects of noticeable milk flavor. Who would have ever thought burning could taste so good?

Relax, relax.

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

Appearance: Dark, dark brown and in direct light a rather deep red tone. The is a creamy caramel color about an 1-1.5in thick.

Smell: This beer has odors of coffee, chocolate and a slight scent of alcohol. Smells sweet but not overpowering. It is not very pungent at all.

Taste and Mouthfeel: This tastes similar to other stouts. It has a coffee taste along with a strong bitterness which is balanced by it's creamy texture. Despite the odor of alcohol there is little to no feel of it in the taste.

Drinkability: This is a very drinkable stout. I have enjoyed all of the Bell's beers I've tried and this is no exception.

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Photo of waughbrew
4.88/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

wow. just sniff this! in-your-face roasted grains, oat cream pie. sweet caramel covered strawberries. light maple molasses. earthy yeast and a hint of chemicalliness. flavors of nutmeg and anise are possibly just enduced psychadelia. leaves a nice burnt coffee bean character on your tongue after the sweetness has slid down. full body to say the least, yet it is rediculously drinkable. an amazing beer.

[mad props out to PaulB for the hookup]

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Photo of DrunkMcDermott
3.54/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On premise at KBC. Darkest of the stouts we had on our weekend pub crawl across Michigan. A deep coffee roast flavor and appealing body. I suspect this might have been better if we bought it bottled and let it age. Don't know why really, but I just wasn't as impressed by these beers as everyone else. Perhaps it was the somewhat cold serving environment at the Eccentric.

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Photo of beergeek279
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in the 12 oz. bottle. The color is a dark brown, with a nice tan head. The smell is roasted malt. The taste is very bitter on first sip, and there is a bit of chocolate sweetness in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is thick and creamy. As for drinkability, could have several of these.

The first Bell's stout that I've reviewed, and I'm quite impressed. A very nice and bitter stout, and one that I'll certainly have again.

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

Pours a dark chocolate brown and thick with a creamy dense head. Aroma is rich with roasted malts, notes of coffee and molasses . Body is creamy and smooth with modest carbonation. Flavor is a nice blend of sweet, bitter and dry. Really balanced out well. Sweet coming from roasted malt that reminds me of dry cocoa with a bitter finish. Overall one of the most even stouts I've had.

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Photo of budgood1
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours out an opaque dark blackish colour with ruby hued brown head which minimizes to a thin but endearing lace. lactic aroma...sweet and sour...milk chocolate and malted milk balls. very amusing. upon tasting...i'm pleasantly surprised by the dancing yeast induced tartness that lends itself to a chocolate covered cherry nuget middle. after getting a grip on the yeast profile of these bell's brews and the subtle differences of the stouts of november, these prolific stouts of yore, i'm hooked. the body is full...mouthfeel finishes on the dry side. the bitterness from the roasted malt lies low, letting the yeast and the impending malt and alcohol notes provide the majority of the flavour profile. this is a complex, yet very drinkable stout. absolutely delicious.

thanks to feloniousmonk for the offering!

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

Appearance: Dark ruby brown could easily be mistaken for black so full it pours thick from the bottle, the thicket of foamy moccha tan head is magnificant looks like bread rising has that texture very chunky and bubbly so nice forms collar of lacing as it slowly dwindles, quite the resiliency on this one. Aroma: Dark roasts create joy on multiple levels but the aroma here contains tones of mild cocoa, baking cookies, and an underlying tone of coffee beans very light but evident the oatmeal like tones are also very inviting toward my first sip. Taste: Such a beautiful balance of dark chocolate roasts and harsh bitterness from the dark roasts sweet robust flavor is just awesome solid all around, the ideal session stout. Mouthfeel: Fluffy yet medium to full bodied and smooth at the same time, unique quality to the mouthfeel can't quite describe it completely. Drinkability: A very tasty stout that helps me remember why I love dark beer so much, I once was stuck on the fact that only hops could suffice my beer sweet tooth but this is the type of brew that helps pull off a convert to stouts with still a great amout of bitter tones from the dark roasts so smooth and silky going down, just gotta love this one from Kalamazoo.

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Photo of Bruiser81
4.53/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ah I've been saving this brew for a while now.
The pour was solid black with a huge chocolate milk like head that lasted through the whole brew at about a half inch thick, wow. The lacing was also amazing. Looks like a delicious beer.
The smell was dominated by cocoa and roasted malt. Hints of coffee and light alcohol spices were also present.
Turns out this is a very tasty beer : ). Taste again was dominated by the roasted malt, can't say I'm surprised. Chocolate, coffee, and toffee were thrown in the mix. The spice from the alcohol was barely noticeable on the finish, along with a slight hoppiness.
The best part of the brew was the mouthfeel, very full and creamy. This is probably the smoothest beer I've ever had. I could drink this stuff all night. Too bad I only have the one. Not available here.
A huge thanks to feloniousmonk for sending this one my way.

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Photo of rabidawg
4.31/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Extremely dark, opaque body. Two-finger head the color of espresso froth, leaving irregular spots of lacing. Simply a gorgeous brew.

Smell: Initial café mocha notes, with a slight wisp of alcohol. Very roasty, and smells as if it will be slightly astringent. Diacetyl is present, with its warm, buttery, confectionery addition.

Taste: Heavy roasted coffee flavors up front, with a soda-like sweetness in the middle. An absolute explosion of flavor, this beer is. Carbonation is adequate but not overwhelming. Slightly thin, but still very creamy. Some definite astringent notes near the end that get chased away nicely by the slight residual sweetness, which in turn is dried out nicely by the moderately hopped finish.

A HUGE thanks goes out to feloniousmonk for this taste of midwestern goodness!

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Photo of clvand0
2.93/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This one pours a very dark color with a small brown head that leaves a small bit of lacing on the glass. The aroma was comprised of roasted malts and hints of coffee and chocolate. The flavor was much the same as the aroma: mostly roasted malts, coffee and chocolate with possibly a hint of caramel. I didn't find anything special about this brew and there are other milk stouts that better represent the style.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

“The” #1 Kalamazoo Brewing Co. beer I had on my shopping list, Kalamazoo Stout poured a light-defying obsidian hue with just the faintest ruby edging and a small, thick mocha colored head. The smell was ripe with roasted chocolate malt, dark fruits, and espresso coffee aromas. The taste was of roasted dark malt with some bittersweet chocolate up front. The somewhat bitter leadout was countered by a sweetness imparted by some dark fruit flavors. The finish was softly bitter and acidic. The feel was full-bodied, rich, smooth and lush.
An outstanding stout! Easier to drink than the Double Cream Stout thanks to a lesser %ABV, Kalamazoo Stout embodies what I love about a good stout - a smooth, creamy feel, rich taste and great appearance. This offering from Kalamazoo Brewing ranks right up there with Two Hearted on my “Bell’s Best” list. I brought four back on the plane with me.

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

Black, with a full tan head. Carbonation, which is on the low side, seems to fit a beer with such a creamy, luscious mouthfeel. The nose is slightly fruity, with hints of chocolate and cream. Roasted malt leaps forth in the flavor profile on this one, with a comforting chocolate backnote. A tad sour at the finish. Overall, a very impressive brew.

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Photo of Ave
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is everything you want from a quality stout, near black in color, big tan head, lots of trace. The smell is also classic stout, chocolate, coffee, beefy yeast. Solid flavor profile, nothing missing, nothing unwanted. Smooth & rich in every regard. a higher alcohol content than most stouts makes its way to the tongue at the end, that coupled with the beers overall heaviness make it not the most quaffable bottle on the shelf, but one that is to be enjoyed often. Would pair great with Carmel bread pudding.


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

Twelve ounce brown bottle. No dates.

Opaque black, looked thick during the pour. A pillowy tan head sits proudly atop its viscous majesty. Various size bubbles break the surface & shout: "Drink!"

Fresh ground coffe fills the nose with hints of cocoa lurking in the background.

Dark espresso, & bittersweet chocolate swirl around playfully. A roast grain flavour cuts in and leads towards the exit, drying things out along the way. The coffee flavour lingers, and is enjoyable, but it leaves me wondering - That's it? That's all? Full bodied, with prickly carbonation, make it quite drinkable, but I'm still left to wonder about its potential.

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Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
90 out of 100 based on 1,488 ratings.