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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 Radome
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle.

A - Color is an extremely dark brown, almost black. No light shows through it. The head is dark tan; it's thick, creamy and sticky. Huge sheets of lace. A great looking beer.

S - Classic porter aromas; roast coffee, light smoke, oak, chocolate. No defined hops aroma. The label mentions licorice, and I can sense it, but I'm not sure I'd recognize it without the hint. Very light yeast fruitiness in the finish.

T - Graham cracker malt, roasted coffee, chocolate milk. No licorice flavor I can detect. Medium hops bitterness on the tongue, but no distinct hops flavor. No overt yeast character.

M - Medium to heavy body. Low carbonation. Low alcohol presence. Fairly dry finish.

O - A very enjoyable and moderately complex porter.

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Photo of Jackson2014
4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Very tasty, light stout.

Pours with solid plus head and is very dark. Basically black.

Smells like a very chocolaty coffee.

Taste is mostly chocolate and coffee with some caramel.

overall there isn't a whole lot of upfront taste. But then it comes fairly heavy, not overwhelming. This is a really tasty stout but if I had one complaint it would be that the aftertaste builds towards bitterness.

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Photo of PaulyB83
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 08/13/14

A- Pretty black. Good medium brown one finger head.

S- Dark chocolate, coffee, slight amount of dark fruit, slight sweetness and bit of vanilla.

T- Similar to aroma. Dark chocolate, coffee, nice smooth roasted acidity, light sweetness.

M- On the fuller side of medium, nice silkiness.

O- This is a very nice lower abv stout. Really reminds me of Founders Porter in pretty much every way. There are some nice qualities that you usually find in a bigger imperial beer.

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Photo of Boggdogg
3.67/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - pours a very dark mahogany color. Like the blackest red I have ever seen. Has a nice thick light brown head that leaves outstanding lacing all around the glass.

S - I smell roasted malts with molasses which I guess is the brewers licorice and not really molasses but I'm not sure. Semele good.

T- very complex with coffee bean, cocoa, roasted malt, tiny a bit of sweetness ending with bitter hops. It's a bitter stout which I prefer more balance of sweet and bitter.

M- full bodied which I like but it's a little too dry and bitterness lingers.

O- well brewed, amazing appearance but too one sided on bitterness and dry mouth.

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Photo of lochef81
4.24/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Let me start by saying that this is my go to stout so I maybe a little bit partial in my judgment of this offering. It pours a very near black mahogany with a small tan head that leaves a great film and lacing. The nose is a robust blend of coffee, chocolate, black licorice, and dried fruit. Mouthfeel is rich and smooth yet still quite light for a stout. Definitely very easy to drink. The flavor is as deep and complex as the nose with the addition of a wonderful tobacco note and a chewy bitter finish that lasts long after last sip is taken. Sure I'd love to drink Founders Breakfast Stout, KBS, Big Bad Baptist, or Black Note every day but it's not available everyday, nor could I afford it. So I settle for this delicious and much more accessible stout. Pick up a six and enjoy.

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Photo of lundqu23
3.61/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.75

Very full bodied with complex tastes. Dark chocolate and coffee flavors with almost a hint of licorice. Balances the significant hop presence against the roast malt body. When poured, offers a big head of dark beige and very dark brown in color. Caramel and vanilla undertones as well. Solid beer.

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Photo of Antikythera
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

a: very dark almost purply stout, with a caramel-brown head.

s: rich and with unexpected layers of... something. Really complex. Almost chocolatey.

t: I was hoping to be able to taste a little bit of licorice or something different. As it stands it just tastes like a really excellent stout. Little bit tart on the finish.

m: solid and chewy.

o: slightly disappointed in the lack of a really distinct flavour, but this is going up on the list of all-around favourite stouts.

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Photo of da_beers
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Gainesville House of Beers - on-tap

A - black as night. Thin tan head. Looks beautiful, the way I like my home brewed stouts to look.

S - nice roasty/smokiness. Caramel malts evident. Some cocoa in there too.

T - starts out with this nice roasted maltiness. Has chocolate coming out next with some coffee as well. Not as impressive I guess as I had thought.

M - full body but not as oil thick as other stouts. Drinkable and not too heavy.

O - I like it, not even close to some of Bell's other stuff (can you compare anything to Black Note).

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Photo of MIchelle
3.39/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This is a good stout. I'm very fond of this brewery. It's a nice deep dark color, can't see thru it. A thin brown head, kind of classic of a stout. The smell is pleasant and very bold. Tastes of rich dark malts, has a heavy coffee malt flavor for me. It's surprisingly dry which really is a nice addition for the mouth feel and drinkability of this beer. It's the first i've had that i'm aware of brewed with brewers licorice. I can't taste it and I do enjoy licorice so I guess i'm slightly disappointed I couldn't pick it apart in that regard from any other dark stout. I picked it out thinking it would be a bit more unique. But if you're a dark beer fan chances are good you will like this beer. You can never go wrong with Bell's.

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Photo of Scrapss
3.84/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a cheater pint

A: Dark. Still. Thin and waif-like off-white head disappears to a 1 mm ring. Opaque and deep ruby at the edges.

S: Strong roasted malts with a touch of caramel, salt and campfire. That brewer's licorice does not overpower but it peeks around the edge and says "hi". hops are mild and secondary as is the yeast, but there is some musty grapefruit as it warms.

T: Follows nose perfectly. I am getting a blast of chocolate and roasted malt with smoothness. It is the sharpness on the initial uptake that surprises me the most. Very dry on initial quaff at the tip of the tongue and malty on swallow. Nice.

M: Creamy and medium-full bodied. It's strange. You get this musty pineapple/dark rum/whipped cream fleeting hint on outbreath. Malt takes over after swallow and this sensation.

O: pretty damn good overall with something interesting at every phase of the experience. Definitely opens into a different place upon warmed state.

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Photo of thecheapies
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Impressive two inch head from the bottle. Dark tan-colored with lots of sticky bubbles. The beer looks almost black. Really like the way she laces.

Dark roast, salty caramel, licorice, office coffee, and mineral earthiness. Sturdy stout nose with character. A little tangy on top of the big-time kilning.

Roastiness, weak coffee, licorice, char, mineral notes, and slight oxidized caramel. Astringent finish with a light juniper berry note. Earthy, but gritty. These are always hit-or-miss for me.

Meaty feel with good body. Carbonation is right on-point.

I will give it credit for the better drafts and bottles I've had before.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.06/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: black ale body with a few fingers of dark ice cream float head; great persistence, nice cap lasted throughout, lace and messy motes left behind

S: dark malt and roasty aromas, hints of sweetness and smoke

T: licorice came through on the very first sip; cocoa-esque malt flavors, some soy and some cola - very interesting and complex/compelling

M: smooth, medium body, not very coating, no palpable carbonation; super-drinkable; some bittersweet aftertaste that'll leave ya wanting another

O: whatta class act Bell's has proven to be - this is a quality stout that'll satisfy most fans of the style, dark ales, porters, and the like - licorice is showcased quite nicely - I suppose if you dislike licorice, this beer may not strike you the way it struck me.

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Photo of StuyBeerGuy
3.13/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

The beer pours with an enticing dark color and a thin purple head that fizzes off quickly

This beer has a soft aroma of fermented soy sauce and licorice.

The flavor underwhelms after a season of stouts to celebrate Saint Patrick's and the mouthfeel lingers, a characteristic of beer that I normally enjoy but in this case was unfortunate.

I will try some more of Bell's Brewery's offerings since I have heard positive comments about the beers but do not believe I will return to their stout.

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Photo of Duff27
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A- Inch tall mocha head on a dark brown body. Excellent head retnetion and splotchy lacing. Appearance is very inviting.

S- Whiffs of cocoa and hints of cola in the nose.

T- Chocolate is a lot more prominent in the taste compared to the aroma, especially as it warms. Slight coffee note. Drinks it's 6%abv.

M- Medium mouthfeel, medium carbonation.

D/O- A very balanced, drinkable stout. The chocolate/coffee combo grows on you with every sip.

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Photo of SLeffler27
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark, chocolate brown, but is black in a Dogfish Head snifter. A modest, creamy dark chestnut head quickly departs, leaving behind a fine coating of lace.

Deep roasted malt with chocolate and coffee beans. Some lactose and brown sugar comes out with warming. Perhaps some plum pudding can be detected.

The flavor is strong roasted coffee, with high cocoa and bitter chocolate. Nuts come out in a lingering finish and the roasted bitterness gives way to a light sweetness late in the sip.

A medium body and slick texture. Fine, ample carbonation and quite dry.

This is a fine dark beer. However, it lacks the mystery and intrigue I was seeking on a dark and dreary Halloween night.

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Photo of dank203
3.81/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

good balance between coffee bitterness and sweet chocoaltiness. when you're a jersey kid in a PA bottle shop, you get whatever bell's has. I only got two actually, two hearted and this one and this one's a pass, can't say i'm blown away by it. looking forward to 2 hearted

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Photo of Hopswagger
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

P: Pitch black abyss that shows no signs of light. Capped with a bubbly dark chocolate milk froth. Thick sticky lacing.

S: Chocolate syrup, biscotti, praline, brown sugar, prunes, melted chocolate ice cream, cinnamon and roasted dark grains.

T/M: Bitter dark chocolate, with hints of black licorice swimming around. Ground spices, tree bark, earthiness that reminds me of moss, cracked black pepper, spicy sting of what seems like chilies hits the tongue toward the end of the swallow. Finishes with an effervescent tingle and lasting medicinal notes. Alcohol is very subtle and is heard to seek out.

O: A smooth easy drinking stout that has sweetness and lots of earthy bitter notes to round out the taste. I was worried at first because I'm not a fan of licorice forward beers but it works well with this beer and compliments nicely. A great stout to stock up on.

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

Deepest black color with a dark caramel head with low retention.
Nice aroma of high quality coffee and chocolate with some licorice.
Intense flavor of roasted coffee followed by equally intense dark chocolate, with notes of earthy and citrusy hops, pepper, licorice and lactic acid.
Quite dry aftertaste with residual notes that keep mutating.
Full body with low carbonation.
Perfectly crafted Stout, likely more hoppy than it feels, but it is completely balanced by its bold malt profile.

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Photo of osant37
4.76/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

pours a used motor oil black that i cant see any light through. about 1 finger of a brown mocha colored frothy head that dissapates rather quickly. leaving good lacing on the glass. the smell is straight roasted coffee almost a milky chocolate ,lactose type note to the smell. i dont detect any of the licorice that used in the brewing process. the taste is pure coffee and creamy chocolate. nice bitterness & roastyness. i get the licorice on the back of the tounge just faintly after a sip. mouthfeel is medium bodied and creamy. this beer must be great on nitro tap if thats even available. overall a damn good stout! definatly something id pick up again. too bad the abv is a little to low for any real cellaring...cheers!

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Photo of Act25
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Stouts just get better & better, and I wonder sometimes if all the best ones are not all 4.5s?

Appearance: Beautiful body sports a rocky, persistence head and with tons of lacing.

Smell: Smoke, charred wood, licorice, grass.

Taste: Follows smell, with sweet and charred wood start, then coffee with lots of hop bitterness, and in the finish, the flavors burst with complexity: roots, sarsaparillas, burst of coffee, chocolate licorice, molasses, and a tempering tingling, bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Full and creamy with moderate carbonation, great feel.

Drinkability: Another top stout without too much ABV, one of my favorites.

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Photo of brutusmuktuk
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Dark brown ale with a slight tan head. Has a roasty aroma and a slight roasty flavor with a hint of coffee in the finish. The beer is smooth and has a nice full body feel. Nicely balanced. This is a beer that is just a pure joy to drink on any occasion.

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Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I'm so glad bells is in NYC now- I've been dying out here I'm the beer boonies.

Looks very dark with a slight tan head of one finger, good retention and nice lacing. Could be more but very nice looking.

Smells pretty normal but very good- nice full roasted malt notes and a hint of anise.

Tastes great- full flavored roasted malt body, a nice little licorice note and finishes slightly sweet. Excellent.

Nice mouthfeel- medium full bodied, moderate carbonation. I like this beer. You will too.

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Photo of BierJager89
4.11/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Beautiful black with a creamy brown head.

S: Nose is medium roast coffee milk chocolate deliciousness.

T: Milk chocolate, almost a bit earthy, with some nice mild, medium roast coffee. Akin to the nose. Delicious.

M: Medium bodied, not smooth.

O: This is a nice, mild, not so in-your-face, but definitely flavorful stout. I generally prefer milk chocolate flavor to dark chocolate flavor, which is what you'll find in this beer.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4.16/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: darker brown (high portion of roasted barley?), spongy foam.... super dark liquid.... no lace, steady but weak collar

S: roasted barley (mild char) with a clean herbal (dried leaves or wood) bent.... very light licorice and even lighter chocolate in the background.... warmer: dried flowers and licorice.... fairly potent smell altogether

T: smooth, slightly sweet, cookie malt flavor.... very mellow roastiness, slow-emerging, bitterness (neutral hop flavor) that lasts long past the finish.... mild, residual bitter chocolate syrup... not much discernible licorice flavor - it's there in the finish, but not in a candy-like way

M: mostly silky and an expanding sensation through the palate (effect from alcohol?)... bit of an after-spritz on the finish.... smooth, satisfying, and fulfilling

O: overall, bittersweet with a tiny hint of licorice in the aftertaste.... not terribly hoppy, if at all.... darn good stout - I would certainly try this again

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Photo of stinkydaddy
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

a - roasty chocolate, picking up dark fruit as it warms, a very small bit of floral could be hops

a - pours a medium tan head with tight creamy bubbles. Opaque. Light does not even show through the edges. Head dissipates to thin and laces nicely.

f - as it smells. dark malt. chocolate. roasty. hops are earthy and provide balance but this is all about the malt. a bit of yeast but this is a 8 month old bottle.

M - Creamy and thick. Oily. Exactly what you want from a stout. Low carb adds to body.

O - A very nice stout highlighted by an amazing body

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