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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 Nowhereman529
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: poured a very nice silky black from the bottle with just a film of brown head that was there and gone in no time at all.

S: Sweet chocolate is at the heart of the smell on this one. Also a considerable amount of roasted maltiness shines through as well.

T: Dark roasted malt and chocolate head up the flavors of this brew. Taste is somewhat sweet to start and finishes with a little bit of coffee bitterness.

M: Very smooth feeling going down. This has a nice heavy body for a stout, a good hearty beer.

D: Very good stout, one of the best I've had in a while. Would be perfect as an evening beer. Highly recommended, would drink again.

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

poured jet black with a beautiful thick brown 1in head that left some nice lacing. The aroma isn't too potent but whats there is nice. Subtle chococlate with mild roasted malts. When i take the first sip what immediatley comes to mind is frozen coffee drink maybe a coolata or something. Nice and sweet with a nice balance of a little bit of hops along with the malts. Mouthfeel is slightly thicker than medium body. Drinkablility is high as this one is very smooth and enjoyable.

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

This is a stout stout from a brewery with stout expertise. I had this one sitting in my fridge for weeks and I finally broke down and cracked it open.

Kalamazoo Stout pours 10W-30 black and forms a beautiful tan head. It also exhibits really nice lacing that resembles brick mortar. Normally, the glass looks worse as it's emptied of beer, but a glass of K-zoo stout is still a sight to see even as the beer is drained.

There's a bit of chocolate and coffee in the smell. These flavors show through stronger in the taste. You can also make out carmel, hops, and a bready-yeasty flavor. It's all very balanced and very enjoyable. The alcohol never shows through at all. Well done indeed.

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Photo of biker30x
3.6/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

bottle poured into a tulip. very dark with a dense tan head that subsided quickly. smelled of bitter coffee and slightly burnt toast. surprisingly thin on the tongue and very carbonated for a stout. flavors of espresso and molasses strike first with a lasting feel of burnt caramel and over-boiled coffee (but in a good way). expected this to be an intense and robust stout, but was surprised to find it thinner and softer than I thought. well balanced but lacking some of the backing sweetness of a milk stout and somewhat dominated by the carbonation. the flavors blend well and offer a pleasing experience.

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3.38/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle into an 8 oz. taster.
A vigorous pour released a hearty, pillowy, 2 finger, coffee colored, foamy head. Almost like the top of a root beer float or similar to steamed milk foam. Black as tar....with a brief reverse cascade. Beautiful lacing rides the glass throughout & remains stenciled on the sides long after it's empty. This is how you want a stout to look.

Smells of dark black coffee or espresso, sweet, smokey roasted malt & a hint of black licorice(?)

The mouth is initially smooth & creamy. Nicely carbonated. Not too heavy. Sharp, peppery hops at the finish & through the swallow. A little hot on the back side for me. Alcohol presents after the swallow.

Taste follows the smell closely with a hint of licorice, molasses, milk chocolate, coffee & fresh baked bread. A dry, oily, astringent hop finish that lasts long after the swallow. Delayed alcohol warming.
The oily film on the glass sticks to the mouth as well.

Listing this beer as a milk stout is a little misleading. Creamy & smooth....it's a nice example but there's really nothing milky about it.
Worth trying if you can get it.

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

A- Very dark with a very nice, foamy head that forms.

S- Decently good aroma, maybe some coffe, or nutty aromas going on in there

T- Pretty rich, but good taste, hint of black licorice that is there but not overwhelming

M- Probably not as textured as you may think, but nothing to be ashamed about either

D- A good beer by itself, but probably not one to drink several at once. Certainly good to enjoy slowly and sip on.

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Photo of BeardedSquash
3.99/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Motor oil with a sandy tan head that leaves no lacing. Also a little more retention would be welcome.

S: Big burnt chocolate with roasted malts. The liquorice and alcohol wend their way to the top of the glass together as the glass warms.

T: Bittersweet chocolate up front with a smokey charcoal backdrop. Anise is a bit more pronounced in the mouth, but it never demands the entire stage. A slight metallic swallow.

M: Thick and rich with low/medium carbonation. Good stuff.

D: I loved this beer, Bells has yet to disappoint me.

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Photo of bonk0076
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black in color with a boisterous brown head that leaves a decent lacing behind. Aroma consists of bubblegum, licorice, with hints of toffee, coffee, and roasted malt. Taste is bitterness of roasted malt and coffee up front, with sweetness of black licorice in the finish. A bit watery finish as well though.

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Photo of tetonka4kzoo
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark and thick pour in a snifter/chalice hybrid glass. Had a tan one-finger head.

Smells sweet and malty. A rich coffee and dark chocolate aroma.

A sweet chocolatey taste. Each after taste has a hint of coffee.

Well carbonated for a stout and has a silky feel. It has a soft roasty taste that makes it very drinkable. It is good on a cold winter's day or a warm sunny, day at Bell's beer garden.

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Photo of Graham21
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black and slightly thick. grat head retention nice lacing and the head is light brown in color. rich dark coffee smells, along with rich malts, and baking chocolate. Great tasting stout; bitersweet chocolate and roasted malt flavors relaly make this a good stout. on a cold winter day near a fire place you could really warm up with a few of these.

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Photo of withliterature
3.56/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a very dark brown that lets through not a single gleam of light; a small, medium brown head that reduces to a very thin layer of bubbles and steady lacing down the glass

S: coffee, soy sauce (this is all I know to call that savory scent that I get from some stouts and porters), and maybe some bitter chocolate; a very bitter scent--I'm excited!

T: molasses taste right off the bat, yet with no sweetness; malty and rich; coffee-like bitterness with a bitter aftertaste

F: fairly thick; a little bit sticky so that it does coat the mouth and leave that bitterness; moderate carbonation

D: the bitter aftertaste might be the only thing to diminish drinkability; you probably wouldn't drink this with food due to that; the stickiness and bitterness will leave you wanting water; however I could definitely drink two of these before moving on to a less dense and strong-tasting brew

I liked this quite a bit overall. I am a fan of bitter stouts, though.

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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 maggotbrain
2.97/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

The beer is a deep black color with a thick tan head, which has receded to a thin film. Each sip produces rings of lace down the sides of the glass. Attractive.

The beer has an odd sour smell, sort of like old milk.

In terms of flavor, this beer is okay. It has an odd mix of roasted bitterness against a mildly sour background. The flavor is a bit thin. This beer looks bigger than it tastes.

The mouthfeel is about right for a stout, a bit thick with low carbonation.

As far as drinkability goes, this beer is not the best. The flavor isn’t engaging enough for me to want another, and I have a feeling that the thickness of this beer would get to me after a while.

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Photo of ghostee
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours black with about 2 fingers of tan colored head. The head recedes fairly quickly, leaving a creamy layer on top and some lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell is predominantly roasted malts, with a bit of coffee and vanilla.

Tastes mostly follows the nose. Roasted malts are dominant, with some chocolate, coffee, and a hint of dark fruit. Alcohol is faintly noticeable. Taste is creamy and smooth.

Mouthfeel is lighter bodied for a stout, medium carbonation, and smooth. A bit bubbly on on the tongue.

Drinkability is high. The 6% ABV on this one along with the smooth taste make it easy drinking.

It's nice to have a tasty easy drinking stout of a lower ABV after drinking BCBCS and KBS lately. Would definitely buy this again.

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Photo of bigdonniebrasco
3.99/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - VERY little head, very dark coffee color.

S - It is a little mettalic smelling, but still fine.

T - Once again metallic at first then dry. coffee, hoppy, and bubbly, bitter finish.

M - Maybe a tad too much carbonation for me.

D - Easy to drink..a step above the norm.
I liked it enough to drink it again, but I won't seek it out.

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Photo of kenpo23
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Took one sip of this and said 'ooh, thats good' and then i got distracted and came back to it 10 minutes later. glad i did as i got alot more flavor from it after letting it warm up some.

A: nice roasted brown color but not quite black. decent lacing.

S: smells really nicely of cocoa/coffee with a little hidden licorice smell mixed in there. i almost wouldn't have noticed the licorice if i had had other brews first.

T: tastes pretty good...i was pretty surprised that i found myself liking it as much as i did. it just has that nice stout taste (stout lovers will understand what i'm talking about!). very very nice malty taste with just the right amount of roastiness.

M: medium body, could have been a tad thicker for my tastes but very smooth.

D: i could kill a few of these fairly quick due to the smooth goodness of them. i would absolutely drink this again.

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Photo of Frothboss
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours black, with a tan head about 1 finger high. Really dark in appearance cant see through it which is classy for a stout. Lacing quickly sticks to glass but falls away quickly too. Smells of sweet coffee, hints of licorice, stronger licorice on second sniff. Tastes good and solid like i would expect from a stout. Sweet coffee taste with undertones of licorice and caramel. This is very tasty. Has a thick mouthfeel with nice carbonation goes down solid. Tastes fantastic. I really like this stout, its a nice twist on this variety of beer. Tastey! would definitely drink this again...and i cant wait, i think i will have another!

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Photo of MeowTom
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Wonderful black color with a dark mocha colored head that is pretty solid and then goes to a medium lacing over the top of it.

S- Chocolate, coffee, and anise. That is really awesome how it's done in this beer. Very well balanced and just makes me want to dive into the beer.

T- Nice bitterness that isn't expected. I don't know if it is the smell of anise or actual taste, but I am getting some wonderful licorice notes.

M- Medium body, a little on the light side of stouts. On that note though it is great interaction with the carbonation.

O- Great beer over all. Another one of the many great beers brewed and enjoyed in my college town. This makes a great session beer for parties and tasting it brings back some wonderful memories. It has a lot of shocking parts with the medium/light body, anise, incredibly dark head, and it all works out wonderfully.

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

Brewed Oct. 2004

Pours a syrupy black/brown. Like a darker hershey's syrup. It has a velvety tan head that clings to the sides and won't let go - Almost like it is a meter saying - "beer was this full."

Smells of dark, roasted malts, chocolate and marshmallow. Some notes of alcohol are present.

Good Lord, this is tasty! Smokey malts, chocolate, and old coffee.

As it warms the coffee moves to the forefront. The lacing is still marking the starting line, while I hit the finish line.

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Photo of fairdinkum2
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Glad I finally got to try this stout. I have some Bell's Expedition Stout too, so I'm looking forward to the horizontral tasting.

Poured into a tulip glass. Nice, creamy dark tan head that dissipated fairly quickly, but left decent lacing and a lingering collar. Not quite midnight black.

Other efforts of this style I've tried taste like cold cups of bitter coffee. Not Bell's Kalamazoo. Rich aromas of roasted malts and dried fruits.

Rich coffee and dark chocolate flavors, mingle with roasted malt and alcohol sweetness. Touch of bitterness on the finish. Not as dry as some in this style, but that's not to say it's sweet either, because it's not. Nicely balanced.

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Photo of Cummins9110
4.09/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into glass, almost had to scrape it into the glass! this boy is THICK! ok thats a little exagerated but its pretty thick

A - dark black, with brown/carmel head, looks like coke held it up to a light and cannot see any light through it

S - rich robust, coffee/chocolate, chocolate

T - very chocolatey and cofee like, allergies are acting up so thats about all ii can taste

M - very thick, almost like milk or something very thick and heavy

overal this is a very good stout

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Photo of Cheeseboo
4.7/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Another fantastic stout. I couldn't taste even a hint of licorice, even though it is mentioned on the bottle, but that is a plus for me as I cannot stand the taste of licorice.

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Photo of ItsTheLimit
3.41/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a cool bottle into an Old Rasputin glass.

A.) This beer is pitch black and looks thick and super-heavy. Gorgeous tan head of about 2.5 fingers, really tight with great retention. Looks the way a serious stout should look.

B.) Mostly roasted malt, some bitter chocolate and something almost nutty in the nose. Maybe some sweetness mixed in from dry fruit or something of the like. Pretty standard stuff here.

T.) Mostly earthy-bitterness with a long dry finish. Lots of smoke and roasted flavors as well. As it warms it gets a little more complex and I can find some chocolate and carmel notes.

M.) Actually, I find this to be a tiny bit light, especially after it came out of the bottle looking more like motor-oil than beer. I think this is almost closer to a porter in body, than a true stout.

D.) Due to it's lighter body and only 6.0% abv, this is something you could have a few of and still keep your wits about you. This would be a great cold-weather beer. Unfortunately, I could never find Bell's beer when I lived in Syracuse, and I don't have too much time to drink big winter beers in the Florida heat.

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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 timmay41
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours an inky black color with dark tan head. Decent retention and lacing.

S: Big, sweet, inviting lactose & roasted aromas. Coffee, milk chocolate, toffee, a little espresso. Wonderful overall, esp. if you're a coffee drinker.

T&M: Some milky sweetness on the front end, with a hoppy bitterness, dry roasted malt/bark bite on the back. Excellent complexity. Medium mouthfeel, substantial carbonation. Leaves a great coating.

D: I'd love another. This is an excellent representative of the sweet stout style.

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