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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.

1,496 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,496
Hads: 3,983
Avg: 4.03
pDev: 17.37%
Wants: 180
Gots: 518 | FT: 10
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: 1,496 | Hads: 3,983
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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Photo of Judgie
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a very cold bottle dated 7/10/12 into a Bell's snifter.

Poured black as night with no head to speak of. Nice oily brown lacing that slid back into the beer quickly.

Licorice smell was prominent with slight hint of some fruit like prune maybe.

Nice amount of bitterness surrounding licorice sweetness. Very tasty!

Mouthfeel was smooth but much thinner than expected from the color & oily appearance.

The taste impressed me enough to want to try another one poured a little more aggressively.

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Photo of TheSeeker61
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this a couple of times and really enjoyed it. The appearance is jet black. Has a head that wasn't much but a ring kinda hung around.

The nose is of dark fruits, malt and coffee.

The taste is a malty coffee mix with some dark fruit emitting.

The mouthfeel is creamy and mild thick

Even though the ABV is not crazy high, it's not one that I'd have back to back. This is a one at a time as the coffee keeps me satisfied at one. Could certainly drink this another day. An overall good brew.

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Photo of irishmoss
4.56/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This pours black in the glass with a thick billowing root beer float kind of head that leaves nice patches of lace down the sides of the glass. The aroma is sweet malts, biscuits, and chocolate. The taste is sweet chocolate and caramel with some hop bitterness and roasted/burnt coffee flavors in the end. Absolutely smooth and velvety across the mouth, medium to full body…very drinkable. Wildly impressed with this stout…

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Photo of Kranders
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice deep black with a great tan head. Great deep aroma with a bit of chocolate and a slight hint of licorice. Fantastic tasting beer. Really deep complex flavor that has just enough licorice for you to taste but not to overpower the whole beer. Finishes strong and stays with you. Excellent beer.

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Photo of ShreddedThumb
4.29/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This particular beer has been staring at me on the grocery store shelf for quite some time (specifically last October 29th, when I turned 21), and I figure it's time to finally try Kalamazoo Stout.

The Dorm Room Review

Serving type: bottle.
Poured into a blue Solo cup. Glassware cleaning is cumbersome in a dorm.

Appearance: Very dark brown, almost black. There's a quite impressive head, and I noted it's expansion by counting grooves in the solo cup. The light brown head appears creamy throughout the experience.

Smell: Pleasant licorice wafts into my nose. Roasty, coffee notes.

Taste: The roasted taste is immediately apparent. Some licorice flavor in the back of my tongue, but it's roast, roast, roast. At 6% ABV, the alcohol is naturally masked by the very enjoyable, full-bodied tastes. There's no watery or weak flavors here.

Mouthfeel: It feels like a thin layer of coffee and licorice coats my mouth. A miasma of subdued roasted notes float around pleasantly. Not too heavy, and the alcohol is not present.

Overall: I am very glad that I finally tried this stout. Admittedly, I initially predicting this beer to suffer from common stout complaints (watery, thin-bodied, etc); however, this is easily one of the best stouts at this price point, and given its easy-drinking and enjoyable qualities, Kalamazoo Stout should never be overlooked.

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Photo of jkendrick
4.04/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark black with almost no head on an aggressive pour. What little head was there faded quickly

S: Aroma is dark roasted malt with sweet cream and vanilla.

MF: Medium-bodied with prickly carbonation leaving a dry cocoa like chalkiness.

T: I don't taste much licorice despite the label. This one is big on the roasted malt, but comes across more bitter than the sweet aroma would lead you to believe. The finish is a bit like an iced coffee.

Overall: These days its getting hard to find good stouts with bold flavors that come in at a relatively low abv (to my tastes at least). This is one is pretty good, But I wouldn't put it up with the likes of Obsidian, for example. It is a bit on the thin side and over-carbonated. The aroma is terrific, but the body and taste don't live up to that promise.

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Photo of sweett3k
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bell's makes another great beer in this Kalamazoo Stout. One thing great about Bell's is that they are not a one trick pony but put time and effort into all their beers to be one of the best hand crafted breweries. This stout pours jet black into my pint glass with a little creamy head. Chocolate and sweet smell either hops or alcohol is very pleasant. Hoppy chocolate taste to a bitter hazelnut coffee flavor. You can feels the hops on tongue and is an easy drinker. Love this Michigan beer.

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Photo of peck95
4.01/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

very dark typical stout, the large head from a moderate pour is refusing to dissipate
don't get much from the aroma a nice choc malt smell but very little hop aroma
taste is very different a nice rich chocolaty taste and a bitter hop background
mouth very smooth well rounded brew
drink is very good wish it was a little higher abv for its desert style taste

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

Was at Bell's recently when they had 10 or so stouts on tap. I brought back a mixed six pack of mixed brews and this was one of them. The K-Zoo stout pours deep deep black with a caramel head. It smells sweeter than the tongue. It reminds me of baking brownies. Chocolate, a mild earthiness, and malt. I know the bottle says brewed with licorice but I smell berries. Could just be the cold I'm dealing with. Good smelling beer but not my favorite smelling stout out there.

Taste also was good but not great. Chocolate, malt, very mild bitterness, maybe from the licorice, which is mildly noticeable. Some toasted notes as well, I would almost call it smokey on the finish but toasty might be the better descriptor.

Overall a good beer. It feels a little lighter bodied out of the bottle than what I remember out of the tap but still robust and filling. Good way to start my day.

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

Poured from bottle into pint glass.

A: Pours dark brown/black. Head is dark tan about 1 finger that quickly leaves leaving a decent amount of lacing.

S: Coffee, chocolate, and licorice. Not as strong smelling as it looked but that isn't bad. I just expected more.

T: A couple of types of chocolate - sweet, perhaps bitter chocolate with coffee and anice/licorice. Starts sweet and ends with a hint of bitterness.

M: Medium body. I expected more based on the appearance. Average carbonation.

D: Great drink with sweetness and bitterness combined. Sweeter beers tend to make me thirstier. Not always a bad thing. Good balance.

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Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
90 out of 100 based on 1,496 ratings.