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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.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

1,508 Reviews
THE BROS
83
good

(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 ccg
3.84/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The look is quite good. Dense lacing and a persistent ring of foam.
Smells like roasted malt and dark fruit.
Taste is malt, chocolate, coffee, dark fruit, something almost like peanut butter, and a vague background spice. I assume the spice is the licorice mentioned on that label, but I wouldn't have been able to identify it as licorice.
Mouthfeel is about average.
It's an interesting stout, but the finish is a bit too bitter for my taste, and the licorice flavor that I thought would make it stand out doesn't really come through distinctly.

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Photo of jlh8643
3.35/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into an Imperial pint glass. A very nice tan head sits on top of a near black body leaving fair lace on the sides of the glass. Dark coffee and roasted malts dominate the nose. Acrid and astringent, dark malts dominate the initial swallow. I can't find any lactic/milk sweetness. Full bodied and somewhat rich but I can't get around the roasted malt that sticks around to the end. Not a bad beer but not one that I would rank up near the top end either.

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Photo of tprokop7
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got to try this bottle after a local BA got ahold of it via trade. Half a 12oz poured into a DFH snifter.

Dark and a bit thick with a little head. Smell is smoky and complex, and the taste follows that lead with notes of molasses and dark roasted malts. At the end of the glass, this is definitely a beer I wish I had more of... Bell's knows what they're doing with their line of stouts for sure.

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Photo of frenchblood21
3.61/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into Goose Island pint glass.

Appearance- Cola black w/ a one finger tan head. Tons of carbonation in the bottom of the glass. Great lacing.

Smell- Roasted barley and rootbeer come right at you. That's followed by the traditional chocolate and coffee.

Taste- A good roasted taste is the primary flavor. Not sweet at all...more of a bitter aftertaste. Some dark chocolate in the back.

Mouthfeel- Smooth and creamy...not much else to say.

Overall- Not the best stout in Bell's line-up. Coming in at only 6%, its a welcomed change from all the heavy hitters I've had lately.

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

the stout pours out black. produces a nice cappuccino coloured head, with some nice tight bubbles, and a few odd large ones, and even a few beads of liquid dancing on top of the foam. as the head shrinks down, it clings to the glass. a thin head sticks around until the very end.

aroma is all about sweet chocolate and coffee. smells clean and fresh, clear.

first taste sensation is coffee, followed by a ringing bitterness, which finally fades out to a nice chocolate bar flavour. as the beer warms and your palate adjusts (a couple swigs), the taste profile changes. the mouthfeel becomes less effervescent (it never really was) and heads towards creamy smoothness. the bitter bit in the finish metamorphosizes into a piece of chocolate that is melting on your tongue after sipping some espresso.

this beer is a solid quality representation of a sweet stout, and i find it always a pleasure to partake of, which is quite often.

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Photo of BigHead
4.52/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A really dark brew, with a nice thin quarter-inch head. Oh boy, the smell on this puppy is goooood, and good chocolate aroma with a deep roasted, freshly ground coffee. The taste is great, I mean it's goooood, chocolate robustly flourishes on the tongue which is then swept over by the coffee, wonderful coffee flavor. Hints of molasses come through as well. The beer is smooth and leaves a nice roasty aftertaste.

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

Reviewed in consideration of the American stout style. This is not necessarily a sipper of a stout, though you may very well want to. The appearance is jet black. Nice 2+ finger head with a fairly aggressive pour. Nice lacing all the way down the glass while consuming. The aroma...this is, like most brews of it's kind, one that should be served not chilled below 50 degrees, imo. I have drank a few right out of the fridge at 40 degrees and you may as well grab just about any really cold beer at that point, well, just about :) Warmed up you get deep dark roasted malt, and lots of chocolate and coffee. Twirl the glass and it kicks the aroma up a notch and you can pick up the brewers yeast...that licorice like quality. Carbonation is fairly mild, if I pour very slowly at a tilt and drink cold, the carb is much more pronounced. The flavor has a nice bitterness, then sweetness, and then pleasant mild bitterness for the finish. You get all the chocolate and coffee notes in the taste that you get in the aroma. The mouthfeel really depends on the pour. If you pour more aggressively with most beers, you get less carbonation feel by the end of the beer. I'd say overall the mouthfeel is medium. It's not dry but not too sticky either. To me, this is kind of the working man's stout. You come home from work and want a great beer without over analyzing it. It's an American stout, it's exactly what it claims to be. It's a great thing

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

12oz. brown bottle.

A: Dark brown with a tan head.

S: Aromas of roasted malts with a bitter character.

T & M: The smooth, creamy mouth feel leads to tastes of burnt malts that predominate over any underlying sweetness from this "Milk/Sweet Stout". I could sense this is a well made Stout, but I found the flavor to be no more than ordinary. Perhaps I was expecting more from the folks at Bell's, but for me this one lacked either a sweetness, or on the opposite end, a coffee flavor to bring it out.

D: Not bad, but just not great.

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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 senorscientist
4.21/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my go to beer when there are limited options.

A dark beer with the aroma of chocolate and a hint of coffee.

Easy drinking, smooth taste. I remember my first time drinking it after a night out, that it tasted like pure chocolate. Of course, in more of a sober state it doesn't taste exactly like chocolate, but it is pretty close.

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Photo of adkrogue
4.01/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: jet black, tan head. Good retention. Good lacing.
S: roasty, melanoidins, roasted marshmallow, no hops.
T: disclaimer: I hate licorice. Roasted malt, but not astringent or overly bitter, some bitterness in the finish which balances out the forward malty sweetness. Some smoke, some vanilla, marshmallow. I like it a lot.
M: to style, medium to almost heavy body, slightly velvety.

O: drink one.

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Photo of Roxie_B
4.79/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout.
Serving: Bottle
Appearance: 1 finger of tan head that dies down to a creamy lacing.
Smell: Dark fruit, malt, coffee, chocolate covered raisins, chewy bread.
Taste: Sweet malty fruit, raisin toast, coffee.
Mouthfeel: Creamy, satiny with the slightest bit of carbonation.
Overall: I have a new favorite beer.

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Photo of pmatz2
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one has been in the fridge for a year.
Pours a dark brown with a thick tan head that slowly diminishes a ring a round the edge with sections still visible in the middle. There is plenty of lacing that lasts all the way down.

Aroma is predominantly roasted malt with a some hints of coffee and chocolate

The taste is of sweet roasted malts that reduces on the finish.

It has a medium to full body with a very creamy texture There is very little sign of carbonation.

I found this to be drinkable but it tasted better with food than by itself

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

A - Opaque black. Good retention, small amount of lacing.

S - Coffee, chocolate, slight booziness. I took notes on this and they're pretty vague, but it was a lighter stout.

T - Roasted malts, chocolate, bitter coffee, strong but simple flavours.

M/D - Medium mouthfeel, smooth drinking

O - Solid but simple. I'd buy it again.

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Photo of hooligan
3.33/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Tan label with a curmudgeonly looking gentleman on the front.

Beer pours dark black with some red in the light, 1-finger head colored like dark coffee with cream which dissipates quickly to a soapy film.

Smell is clean with licorice, coffee, slight pepper, and a very faint subdued sweetness, cherry-like.

Big roasted kick upfront, scorched coffee and walnuts. Balanced bitterness with no outstanding floral notes of hops. A potent licorice flavor finishes the beer along with the ever-present coffee notes. Small notes of alcohol phenols keep hinting up but aren't overpowering.

Mouthfeel is ok, slightly fizzy almost like a porter, although I look for a bit more "chunk in the trunk" with stouts, I would like to see a bit more viscosity in this beer.

Pretty good, although after trying other Bell beers I was expecting something a bit more...

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Photo of GoldHorde
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Bell's beers are always a sound purchase; like Founder's, they rarely disappoint. Bell's offering of Kalamazoo Stout is a little light in body (mouthfeel) for me BUT I do really like the introduction of licorice accent and aftertaste.

POURS/HEAD: Opaque black with a dense tan head.

AROMA: Didn't notice a licorice scent in the aroma; smell was sweet malt and burnt caramel.

TASTE: Sweet edge with a high-hat cymbal and reverb.

I'll have this again for further thoughts.

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Photo of jwilli7122
4.65/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

dense reddish black with a chunky tan head which lasts long and fades unevenly. head size seems to vary by the bottle.

big malt and alchohol smells but it is more complex than that, and quite outstanding. i don't know the names for the aromas. check it out yourself.

taste is roasty and hopped for a stout. some fatty flavors in there too. very good.

full mouthfeel without a lot of carbonation.

one of the best stouts i've ever had.

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Photo of VoiceOfTheSoul
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had this sitting in the fridge for a few months. I was just waiting for the right time, I guess. I came home from work and picked up a few lighters beers at the store, but I was more craving something dark and roasty.

It poured a very deep dark brown, which was black most of the time except in a few spots where the light managed to get through. It had a short, dark tan head that managed to hang as a murky froth laying on top. It smelled bready and malty with a large amount of roast and some chocolate, with some tar-y, piney hops sprinkled around. It was big up front with the roast, burnt and espresso tastes, good amount of chocolate, but nothing too strong. It had a sweetness like marshmallows, all over a bready, malty bottom. I only found a slight licorice taste, and almost none in the nose. It was thick and smooth with a small amount of carbonation, as I had expected.

I found myself literally saying "mmm" without thinking after every few sips. I don't believe I've ever done that before. It was very hard to put down. I know I'll have to get my hands on some more of this. Luckily, one of my local places does get Bell's in.

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Photo of caresville
3.16/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a- pours jet black with a huge fluffy tan head that subsides quickly. nice lacing throughout pint glass, overall quite appealing.

s- smells sweet. coffee, chocolate, vanilla, molasses, brown sugar.

t&m- very thin, not overpowering. thats not necessarily a bad thing though. licorice pulls through, hints of dark dried fruits (plums, raisins, prunes, etc.) and chocolate chips. surprisingly no coffee taste is present on this one. nothing really stands out with this one.

d- velvety and smooth. easy drinking, but just not my style of stout. i like em big and real thick ;)

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Photo of iDrinknewglarus
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours nice and dark with a big beautiful frothy/pillowy tan head that leaves some very attractive lacing.

S: Smells uniformly sweet and roasted. Has a touch of licorice. I get a fair amount of chocolate, nearly milk chocolate.

T: Taking my first few gulps, its got everything that a good solid stout should have--roasted malts, caramel sweetness, coffee, and a hefty dose of chocolate. The aftertaste is starts with a slightly bitter hop bite and then fades into a dark chocolate layer that keeps building on itself the more you drink it. This is actually a decently bitter stout.

M: Medium, but feels sort of light for a stout, but it makes up for that with its creamy texture. Medium carbonation. Tends to dry you out with a layer of bitter dark chocolate in the aftertaste which I love so much in a stout.

This beer is extremely well executed and very drinkable. After having their sweet and luxurious Double Cream Stout, this one is kind of like that, but with a hefty dose of hops to halt the sweet malts in their place. It is really a toss up between them, and you can't go wrong with either.

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

Dark black brew with almost a finger of cafe au lait head that faded to a nice lacing on the glass. Smells of toasty malts with a hint of espresso. The taste follows the scent, but adds a hint of bitterness and doesn't have that cloying sweetness that some stouts have.

Overall, a slightly better than average stout. Too bad i don't see it around here often.

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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 k3n
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, courtesy Tangfoot

A: Poured a deep dark brown with reddish highlights at the edges. Little to no head that disappeared quickly.

S: Toasted malt and coffee beans. Bittersweet chocolate.

T: Follows the smell exactly. Coffee-beer, as it were. Perhaps, a mocha-beer?

M: Creamy body, with just a bit of carbonation to lighten it up.

D: Very! I'm not a big fan of black coffee, so the coffee bean aspect of some stouts/porters is sometimes a turn-off, but this one has done it very nicely for me. Well balanced, and supremely easy to quaff.

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Photo of mentaltraveller
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Had this one at the Fountainhead. Pours pitch black and smells of roasted malts and licorice. The taste is extremely roasty, but there is an astringent side that really balances this brew. I was disappointed that they did not have the Expedition Stout, so I tried this one instead. It ended up working out for me.

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Photo of TheStove
3.76/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into an appropriate sized snifter. Pours a nice opaque jet black with a generous mocha colored head. Head dissipates slowly leaving a nice bit of lace. Initial smell impart aromas of sweet malt a light of the mentioned brewer's licorice.

The sip is a nice rich delicious variety of malt flavors. The flavors give way to the licorice influence, which substitutes for a big hop presence with some bitterness. I enjoy the lingering interplay of malt and licorice that is left on the tongue between sips. The excellent carbonation leaves a little snap at the end. A burp makes this kind of taste like a buff version of a coca cola.

An excellent stout that feels more flavorful that it's abv might lead on.

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