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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: 3,981
Avg: 4.03
pDev: 17.37%
Wants: 180
Gots: 517 | 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: 3,981
Photo of Billolick
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ouncer with different art work then shown on this site, no freshness into be had. This one pours stout black, dark tan head, well knot, retentive and then leaves plenty of slippery and then sticky lace. Roasty/malty nose. Yummy, easy drinking stout, with notes of sweetened coffee, molasses, dark toast. Sweet and roasty, silky as it rides over the tongue and swirls in the mouth. Top notch in all ways, more fine suds from Bells

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the House of Brews. Served in a snifter.

Appearance - Black. Small khaki head. Thin collar and a few stray streaks of lacing.

Smell - Roasty malt. Kinda ashy and burnt. Coffee.

Taste - A little more sweet than the nose suggested. Coffee malt. Roastiness builds into the finish. Very burnt and acrid in the back, but it's not excessive. Some sweetness lingers too.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Very drinkable. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Very roasty. Intense and flavorful.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A thick creamy brown head tops this deep brown almost black beer. Thick aromas of coffee, burnt malt, alcohol, and chocolate waft from my glass. Aaah, a thick creamy body that is quite satisfying and hits the spot after the weak porter that I just had. Finishes with an astringent roast malt character. The beer is so creamy that it balances the roast character, in the front and middle of this beer, quite well. Perhaps a hint of diacetyl, but it is barely perceptible. Not really sweet, despite the ample body. After a bit of time I can detect some buttery diacetyl in the aroma, perhaps a bit distracting, but not all that bad.

This beer would be something else if the diacetyl was cleaned up a bit. Having said that, if you don't mind a bit of diacetyl, this would be a really good beer for you.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle from Lone Hill Liquor, on to the beer:

Lighter colored tan head on top this jet fuel black liquid. Head retention is fair. Aroma...faint coffee grounds, milk-like sweetness, a pinch of cocao. As for flavor, this is very coffee-like. Roasted ground coffee. But there's a little more carbonation than I like here. Anyway, very roasted flavor. A slight sweetness akin to creamer keeps this beer in balance. If you like your stouts robust and roasty, this is one to grab.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received in a trade with Jay23 thanks for the chance to try this.

Pours a solid black with a tan head that dissipates quickly and leaves minimal lacing around the glass. Smells of roasted malts some dried fruit and a sweet milk stout smell. Taste is sweet lactose some more of the dried fruit and a touch of hops in the background. Has a creamy mouthfeel, but is a little thin. Great sweet stout, not over the top with sweetness like so many of this style tend to be.

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Photo of tempest
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I've had this on tap and from the bottle and there's little to no difference. This beer was pitch black with a nice tan head. It smelled heavily of roasted malts with a bit of chocolate in the back ground. Taste is similar with a very dry, bitter bite to it. Appears to have a very clean yeast strain and the malts almost taste like you're chewing on the grains. I found it nice and interesting at first, but the dryness got to me after a couple bottles.

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

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours dark brown/black with a full tan head with excellent retention, almost like a nitro beer, good lacing as well.

S: Smell has distinct notes of chocolate and coffee, a little bit of cream.

S: Stronger bitterness than I expected in a sweet stout, burnt malt and coffee form the main flavour. The beer ends with a long finish and aftertaste of dark cocoa.

M: Medium-bodied, mild carbonation, oily and slick, I thought it could use a bit more body, but still good overall.

D: A nice drinkable stout from Bell's. With it not being distributed here I don't think I'll have it for a while, but I'll definitely revisit it if given the chance.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.01/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Dark brown, nearly pitch black opaque liquid with a thick tan head that has nice retention and clumpy streaks of lacing.
S: Not quite as strong as expected, faint malty, fudge-like chocolate, nutty aroma. Slight hop bitterness as well.
T: Full bodied, very thick and creamy but not as cloying or lactose-y as some other milk stouts. Body has a slightly stronger nutty chocolate taste than expected and lots of rich, roasted malts. Aftertaste is more chocolate than milk. Throughout there is a subtle hop bitterness providing nice balance. One of my favorite easy drinking stouts, not just for milk stouts.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.31/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bells : Kalamazoo Stout

Appearance: Dark brown, pretty much black colored beer. Opaque but no sediment. Brown head forms and leaves some lace on the glass. Looks like a stout for sure.

Smell: Chocolate, charcoal, roasted malt, tobacco, and molasses. Appealing to the nose, this beer is on par with other good examples of the style with a strong aroma.

Taste: Big flavor of chocolate and black patent roasted malts. Chocolatey, hint if vanilla, molasses, iced coffee. Somewhat sweet flavor upfront but there are layers. Really nice flavors in this stout. Richly malty, but with enough sustaining bitterness to balance.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied ale that is as tasters say, chewy. This stout leaves quite a roasted malt impression on the palate. Well carbonated, fairly smooth and even between sweet, smokey and roasted.

Overall: One of the best American Stouts out there, period. This is definitely under rated, if given the time and opportunity I can drink these all day. Kalamazoo Stout can hold up well to an oily cigar.

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Photo of liamt07
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from AJ's Fine Foods in on North Central in Phoenix. Batch 10687, bottled September 14, 2011. 12oz bottle into a chalice. Notably low fill line on the bottle, doesn't even cover the label. Nonetheless...

Pours black and opaque, impenetrable to light. Cocoa brown coloured head of a finger or two, with light retention and some pretty good lace. Nose has some cocoa, licorice and a general sweetness, with a bit of roast. Taste has baker's chocolate, a bit of sugary dark fruits, licorice is more subtle and big kick of roastiness at the end. Good sweetness complements the roasty bitterness and balances it nicely. Pretty fullbodied, with a fairly low carbonation. An excellent stout, I wish I could stock this regularly.

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

Pours extremely dark, pretty much black. Nice thick head with great lacing.

Smells roasty with a nice astringency. Unsweetened licorice is there as well as some lactic sweetness as well.

Taste is magnificent, although a little dry for the style. Creamy and quite dry. Nice bitterness and beautiful balance between astringency, roastiness and sweetness. Fantastic. The licorice is noticeable and contributes a lot of body and bitterness, but not sweetness.

Very nice mouthfeel- quite creamy and dry, and good body.

Very drinkable. Has enough interestinf flavors to keep you going, but its dry enough to not at all be cloying.

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

Obtained in trade from Limesmut.

A clear deeply brown colored beer with a very tall light brown head.

This is one of those beers that you recognize the smell of long before you get it near your nose in a good way. Sweet chocolate with a trace of malt char and hops. Trace of coffee but not too much.

The taste starts out strong chocolate with a semi-sweet malt aftertaste. Immediately I noticed the smoothness of this beer, it is basically velvet on the tongue. Flavor doesn't develop much, just smooth mellow chocolate.

Mouthfeel is velvet.

Super easy to drink beer. Smooth and mellow are two things that this beer has in spades. Super drinkable beer that I will look forward to trying again.

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

Poured in to a Duvel tulip

A - Poured a thick dark brown, almost black with a finger of toffee-coloured head and some visible carbonation.

S - Sweet milk chocolate, roasted coffee and licorice. Somr dark fruit in the background as well.

T - Roasted malts. Not particularly coffee or chocolate up front but there is coffee in the finish with a hint of licorice. A nice flavour balance.

M - Light to medium body; lightly carbonated.

D - An excellent stout. Definitely worthy of being a staple.

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

Kalamazoo Stout has a java-like appearance which implies not only opacity but also a bubbly brown froth; it might look more appropriate in a tiny espresso cup than it does in my pint glass. Still, what sparse foam it manages seems intent on exploring the full space of the glass.

The fact that the beer is brewed with licorice is apparent in the aroma; it follows then, however, that this recipe must also use coffee, fireplace ashes, burnt toast crusts, and may or may not have been partly aged in oak barrels. It gives one a lot to smell.

Kalamazoo drinks like a mini Russian Imperial Stout. A number of steps lower on the richness scale, it nevertheless offers flavours of molasses, dark fruit, French roast coffee, dark chocolate truffles and, of course, hints of black licorice. Let's call it a RIS junior.

The mouthfeel has a splintery dryness almost akin to the kind you'd experience in a barrel-aged offering. Much of this, mind you, can be attributed to a considerably generous hop bill, one that's spicy florals go largely unnoticed thanks to the towering presence of roasted grain.

Owing to brands like Kalamazoo as well as Expedition, Double Cream, Cherry and Java, Bell's became an elder statesman for American craft-brewed stouts even before it could legitimately be considered an elder. Like so many others, this beer was one of my first forays into stouts not named Guinness or Murphy's and I still enjoy it now as much as I did then.

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Photo of weeare138
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a midnight, pitch black with a foamy, 1 finger tan head that slowly fades out into a collar. Scattered lacing is left around the tulip glass.
Smell is of deep, dark roasted malt, sweet cream, roasted chestnut, vanilla, and a hint of bitter coffee beans touched with bakers chocolate.
Taste is of the same aromas with a dark roasted malt that stands out above everything else and sticks to the tongue.
Mouthfeel is full bodied with a sugar sweetness and dark roastiness battling it out for supremecy with the fizzy roastiness lasting long after the swallow.
This one is pretty good. The roasted malt and slightly overcarbonated body makes it a bit uneasy to swallow easily but it doesn't take away from the great characteristics found in this brew.

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

This is my 400th review. Just absolutely delicious. Poured into a pint glass, a black color, nice carbonation, nice creamy tan head, some lacing afterwards. Scents of sweet roasted malts, and toffee/chocolate. The taste is a creamy sweet roasted malt, with a nice toffee finish. Medium body, slightly carbonated feel on the tongue. Very drinkable, glad to had a chance to checkout this fabulous brew.

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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 plaid75
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured an oily black hue with a finger and a half dark tan head. There was very good retention and sticky lacing.

The smell featured a deep burnt grain aroma with highlights of chocolate and black malts.

The taste was upfront burnt grain, reminiscent of burnt toast. Nice bitterness and touch of chocolate malt.

The mouthfeel was smooth and creamy.

Overall a delicious milk stout. Very smooth despite the burnt malts. Very sessionable.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.23/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz given to me tonight by trading partner.. SAS ... poured into my New Belgium snifter.

2 finger light brown head drops leaving lace collars.. brew is pretty much black.

Aroma is stuck in the mids.. Pronounced roasted grains .. Light creamy chocolate mocha notes. No hops that my untrained nose can pick out.

Flavor is much better... This is a great tasting stout. Dark malts and roasted grains without any distinct caramel to get in the way. Sweetness is spot on for the style .. makes all the different dark malt flavors play nice... Light chocolate and a nice French Roast Bitterness... very long finish... I can't believe I have only a little bit left.. I would pick this brew up regularly if it was available in Boise.

Mouthfeel is also pretty much perfect.. deep medium with creamy small bubble carbonation... Drinkability is very high.. I want another warming up right now just to make sure my review was spot on.

This is the first time I've had the pleasure of the Kalamazoo Stout.. very very good brew. Until now, I thought Widmer Snow Plow was the ultimate milk stout.. It would be a treat to try them side by side... but judging by my grin.. I would give the edge to Kalamazoo.

Thanks a bunch Steve.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.18/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A – Dark, almost black, with thin brown highlights around the edge of the glass. Trace amount of off-white head.

S – Hammy smoke, and mahogany wood.

T – Definitely get the salty, ham-like smoke from the nose up front. Burt toast and bitter roast coffee catch up to the smoke mid profile, and a dark, woody note rounds out the backend.

M – Thin, just a shade away from watery. Light roast character to the finish.

O – Roaster than I typically like in the style, and I feel like the smoke note is a little unbalanced, but not a bad beer.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.55/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured jet black with a nice mocha colored head which fades after a minute or so leaving some pretty nice lacing.

S: I spy...licorice, oh yeah, coffee and chocolate with a nice but very subtle dark fruit note

T: I initially receive a prominent coffee and roast note and then whammy..that licorice kicks in and shines. Love it. Some chocolatey undertones as well, then you get a licorice and some dark fruits. A good blend and balance on flavor.

M: Medium-full to full body, creamy and smooth with a dry finish.

O: Outstanding single American stout! This beer is very robust and complex for a single 6 ABV stout. It has more depth and flavor than many Imperial Stouts I have had. The licorice is well balanced as is this beer in general. Slam dunk for Bells.

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

A - Black stout body with a thin beige head.

S - Powdery chocolate notes and sweet dark breads and grains. A minor malt sweetness in the nose. Typical roasty aroma throughout.

T - The taste was milder than expected from the beer's smell. Mostly a toned back roasty profile with some bitter cocoa powder thrown in.

M - Light bodied, and mild dried finish. This beer was easy drinking, and had some charachteristics of a schwarzbier.

O - A less bold stout, a nice starter to your stout night.

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

Pours a five finger brown head that fades to a thin layer leaving a good lace. Black color. Light-medium carbonation and heavy bodied. Chocolate nose. Starts with a roasted/burnt chocolate flavor, some sweetness, nice stout. $1.89 for a 12oz bottle from Chalet Party Goshen, In.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(Served in an Imperial pint glass)

A-This beer pours a dark inky brown that is opaque with a dark tan head that is very creamy.

S- Tie smell of roasted sweet malt and some toasted malts make this aroma thick. A faint hint of coffee and some molasses are in the background.

T- The taste of earthy roasted malt and some slight sourness with a faint sweetness blend together. A faint hop bitterness finishes this beer. The sweet roasted malt lingers after the finish.

M-This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a very faint creaminess.

D- This milk stout has nice character but it is missing some depth that would really add to its flavor. I would like to see some more creaminess in the mouthfeel. Nice stout non the less.

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Photo of Tone
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black. 1/4 inch head with slight retention and lsight lacing. Smells of a dark rich malt and sweetness. Fits the style of a Milk/Sweet Stout. Mouth feel is sharp and slighty thick. There's a high carbonation level and an associated bitterness. Tastes very rich, of a strong malt, some roasted malt as well, and there's a slight hop bitterness. Overall, a very good rich stout - definitely couldn't drink more than a couple of these.

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