Bell's Kalamazoo Stout | Bell's Brewery, Inc.

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Bell's Kalamazoo StoutBell's Kalamazoo Stout

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Stout brewed with Brewer's Licorice.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-11-2001

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Reviews: 1,576 | Ratings: 4,294
Photo of Ferretferret
4.34/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

What an absolutely marvelous beer this turned out to be. It's difficult not to allow bias to tincture this review, given my strong affinity for molasses, but... What a glorious beer! A soft touch of molasses intertwines with a complex brew consisting of roasted malt, thick caramel, and a host of other flavors (not really coffee) for a taste with grand appeal.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

Pours a near pitch black color with a finger of khaki colored head. The head settles into a ring around the top of the beer, leaving minimal lacing along the way.

The aroma is a bit faint, but there are notes of dark chocolate, caramel, and coffee, with a subtle finish of hops.

The flavor is a bold punch in the damn face. Dark roasted malts and dark chocolate lead the way, followed by a wave of coffee grounds. Finishes with some leather and char, and a faint touch of piney hops.

The feel is medium bodied with moderately high carbonation. Very dry yet exceptionally smooth.

Overall, a very good stout that is robust and bold, but doesn't completely overwhelm you with flavor. It's a relatively simple stout, but it's very well made and definitely worth your time.

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Photo of OpenStoutLover
4.24/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hey this is pretty good. Friend recommended it. I was surprised it did not taste super heavy like your mom.

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Photo of jmarod7
3.72/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Very dark in color. Aroma of dark roast and a little bit of caramel. A bitter bite when swallowed but not terrible. I would drink again but would not order before an Oberon.

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Photo of mjurney
4.53/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black. Tan creamy head.

Dark roasted malts, caramel, coffee, dark chocolate, some dark fruit.

Dark roasted malts, charcoal, caramel, coffee, bitter dark chocolate, cream. Nice bitter bite towards the end. Finish is dry and smooth. Full bodied, creamy, smooth, easy drinking.

It's an outstanding Stout!

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Photo of TBoneJones
3.86/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours medium-rich black, with some decent lacing.
Smell is a nice mix of roasted chocolate/ coffee and hops.
Taste is a little more than I expected. Well-balanced stout flavors of roasted notes: char and coffee bean hints, burnt cocoa. The licorice is as a well-placed afterthought.
Feels creamy and full, with medium-low carbonation.
This is solid, tasty stuff.
Nothing complex, just good...
After sipping through nearly the bottle, my initial impression changes due to the lingering end note im picking up each time, which to me, borders on a soapy-char taste. Still a good try.

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Photo of StoutElk_92
4.57/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12 oz. bottle dated 11/28/2016

Pours black with a creamy tan foam head. Smells like deep dark roasted malts, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, smoky espresso coffee, ash, char, some dark fruits, plum, black cherry, dark berries, fig, toasted bready malt, caramel, molasses, brown sugar, vanilla, some licorice, with floral earthy herbal grassy pine. Tastes like dark roasted malts, chocolate, smoky espresso coffee, ash, char, some dark fruits, plum, black cherry, dark berries, fig, toasted bready malt, caramel, molasses, brown sugar, vanilla, licorice, with floral earthy herbal grassy pine. Feels medium bodied, creamy with moderate low carbonation. Overall a really nice stout.

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Photo of joaopmgoncalves
4.21/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured to a tulip glass. Bottled on 18th of May of 2016.

A: The body is pitch black and the head mid beige, mid brown, having just a 2mm thickness. There's minor lacing.
S: The aroma is very strong of caramel at first. Right after caramel, there's a big hint of coffee and only after this there's the roasted malts. It's very interesting this aroma.
T: The aroma is very balanced of coffee mixed with the roasted malts. The caramel is less present as it is in the aroma but it's still traceable.
M: Body is medium to medium high. Carbonation is perfect. Alcohol goes unnoticed. Bitterness is very low and sweetness is mild.
O: For a 6.0% ABV stout, this is a very cool and drinkable stout. Bell's is really good at brewing cool beers.

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

Poured from tap into tulip, minimal tan colored head, no retention, so so lacing. Pitch black in the glass, no light passes thru. Smells of roasted malt, chocolate, coffee maybe picking up a hint of anise. Taste is sweet roasted malt on the front, almost chocolate and coffee mixed together. Mild bitterness on the end with that twang of anise lingering on the palate. Nice mouthfeel for a 6%. Have been chasing that damned Two Hearted when I get into Bells distribution, and have let this one slip between my fingers

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Photo of princessbay710
3.37/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I like it's pitch black pour. Quickly diminishing head. Smell is light, general porter smell, but good. Weird flat carbonation, and taste that reminds me of iceburg lettuce. Sorry but it's hard to be a fan of this. It's not awful or undrinkable, it's just bleh.. and lacks any direction.

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Photo of HotDogBikeRide
4.31/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful black pour with a quickly disappearing brown/tan head, that laves a thin lacing all the way around the glass.

Smells light, not of anything but malt and maybe oates in particular. Clean smelling ale.

Taste is quite average but good, a really clean, lighter mouth feel than most stouts. Hints of licorice are mostly what I'm picking up and of course there is that malty goodness to the backbone.

Goes down extremely smooth and has an exceptionally warm quality to it. Goes to show that Bell's can make a few good ales, huh? Cheers!!!!

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Photo of Thankin_Hank
3.56/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle. Had a thick creamy head and a fairly light aroma. The taste is less remarkable than my beer guy described it. Mouthfeel is excellent. Goes down smooth. Overall it's average for a stout. I'll enjoy my six pack but I wouldn't buy it again.

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Photo of Agriverbear
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into pint glass. Typical dark stout appearance. Thin tan head but good lacing. Almost nothing on the nose. Taste is burnt chocolate,with a smokey undertone.

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Photo of ordybill
4.48/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the tap into a pint glass at Churchill's Pub in Savannah. The appearance is pitch black with a medium sized tan head. The aroma is roasted coffee and some black licorice. The taste follows the nose. An excellent brew.

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Photo of JJKBeerLvr
4.58/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into pint glass in February 2017. Drank it about 2 months after the packaged date on the bottle, and 4 months before the drink by date.

Appearance: Dark black with a thin tan/brown head. Head is thin, and has a little lacing on the glass.

Smell: Strong aroma of coffee and roasted malts. There is some hoppiness and a hint of sweetness like chocolate as well, but overall the roasted coffee is most pronounced.

Taste: There is a nice balance between the malts and roasted coffee flavors. There is some chocolate and hop bitterness to enhance the taste and add some complexity. This is a very smooth and balanced stout.

Mouth-feel: Thick, but with a smooth creamy bodied. Matched 6.0% on the label. Not as bitter as some other stouts.

This is a very good stout, and it has a variety of flavors that adds a nice complexity to the beer. It is smooth and really enjoyable to drink.

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Photo of Inpraiseoffolly
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a beer tumbler.Thick creamy tan head disappeared quickly. Even at room temperature had a very mild aroma of coffee and licorice. Pleasantly bitter up front but not from the hops ,tasted like the expresso roast you get in Italy . Chocolate notes too ,only a hint of the licorice everyone seems to notice. Thin mouthfeel no alcohol burn. Good American stout, another quality brew from Bell's

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Photo of ZebulonXZogg
3.49/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown with a small tan head that recedes quickly to a ring leaving a little filmy lacing.
Aroma is chocolate, roasted malts and licorice.
Flavor has a little bitter coffee upfront with a little chocolate.
A little thin and watery next to its big brother, Bells Expedition Stout.

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Photo of MarcusArvan
5/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is quite frankly the best stout (and maybe the best beer) I've ever had. Holy cow. A little bit of licorice, a little coffee, a little sweet, a little bitter, but not too sweet or too bitter. Just perfect in every way--complex and pleasant. Blows Samuel Smith oatmeal stout (one of my favorites) out of the water. I was so blown away by this beer that I (finally) signed up for Beer Advocate just to review it...and I drink a lot of beer. My wife, who doesn't even like beer much, was blown away too.

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Photo of Vader444
3.34/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottle poured into tulip.

Looks like most other stouts. Head doesn't hang around on this one. To be honest I'm a bit let down by this one. I adore Expedition but this is not in the same league. Granted, the ABV is obviously lower but the difference in intensity of aroma & flavour is remarkable. The mouthfeel is also markedly inferior to that of its big brother. Overall this is pretty bland stuff. I'll admit that it is superior to the majority of UK brewed stouts of similar style that I can obtain but that is hardly a commendation. One of the weaker US stout offerings that I have sampled. Maybe I've been spoiling myself of late. Cheers.

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Photo of KomodoDragon
4.37/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Aggressive pour yields a big tan head with ample lacing.

Nose of chocolate, raisin, plum, some smokey wood. And the taste mostly follows the nose. A bit sweeter than expected. There is a plum, maybe grape almost pinot flavor, But certainly full flavored with a nice bit of hops on the finish. And a warming from the alcohol.

Sweet, hoppy stout that pack a punch. Worth going back to.

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Photo of MikeyMcD86
4.69/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Had this beer sitting in the fridge since September and just got around to drinking it. Drank out of a Teku.

Look: Beer pours pretty dark and is pitch black in the glass with a medium dark khaki head.

Aroma: Lovely roasted coffee note with just a little bit of licorice in the background.

Taste: Aroma translates to the palate. Licorice is a little more pronounced but not overpowering. Really nice roasty bitterness on the back end makes this beer super drinkable.

Mouthfeel: At 6% this beer is on the thin side for a stout.

Overall(style points): This beer is way better than people give it credit for. For some reason nobody gives low ABV stouts any respect but this beer is delicious. It delivers awesome roasted coffee flavor while being refreshing and drinkable. 92 points!

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Photo of Dragginballs76
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours thin and black with decent tan head that dissipates fairly quickly with spotty lacing.

Aroma - Lots of dark bakers chocolate, vanilla, coffee nice roasted malts and coca powder.

Taste - very similar to the aroma, dark roasted coffee beans, dark chocolate roasted malts hint of vanilla.

Feel - Sort of thin, slightly bitter well carbonated.

Overall - Really solid stout great flavors just a touch thin.

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Photo of Bear1964
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I've got to say this has some ups and downs for me, I found this a very nice American Stout that lacked a head but had great lace on the glass...weak aroma but a nice bitter roasted flavor and this brew was back as sin....then the aroma picks up as it warms...I have to say that overall I like this Stout and would pick up a 6 pack the flavor really gets a woody bitter as it warms...nice!

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Photo of Benish
4.14/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: very foamy pancake batter colored head. Color is translucent black with pouring and jet black in the glass.

Aroma: earthy and woodsy hops. Notes of black charred coffee, also bitter chocolate. Subtle aromas of anise.

Taste: starts out bitter. A combination of flavors from the earthy hops, bitter chocolate, and black coffee. Roasted malt comes in midway with just subtle sweetness. The finish leaves a charred and bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: smooth and medium bodied with just enough carbonation.

Overall: a very drinkable stout that I enjoyed. This is more bitter forward with very little sweetness.

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Photo of Nicolaiw
3.84/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark brown, cola like. Half finger tan head.
Aroma is cold brewed coffee, little smoke, liquorice
Taste is lots of liquorice followed by lots of coffee and then huge liquorice again in the finish

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Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.03 out of 5 based on 4,294 ratings.
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