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: 4,297
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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Photo of rex_4539
4.63/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L: Jet black color, one finger brown head, superb lacing, no visible carbonation.

S: Coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla, sweet. Could sniff it all day long!

T: Roasted coffee, dark chocolate, sweet, slightly bitter and malty on the back end.

F: Really smooth and drinkable. Full flavored.

O: Probably the best stout I have tried so far. Delicious.

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

Deep blackish brown color with a one-finger tan head. Tons of sticky lacing. Aromas and flavors of dark roasred malts, with notes of cocoa and burnt coffee. Licorice is very understated, coming through on the palate and finish as the beer warms. A little lighter in body than its bigger brother Expedition Stout, but mouthfeel is nice and silky. Overall, an outstanding brew and highly recommended.

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Photo of josanguapo
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

From Labirratorium. In Teku glass. Playing Magic Duels. Perfectly balanced in all aspects. Tasty and not overwhelming roastyness. Well placed noble hops. No trace of alcohol nor of the licorice announced in the label.

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Photo of Roguer
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Head is slightly fizzy; great size and retention.

Aroma is slightly subdued, but carries lots of roast and noble hops.

Plenty of roast on the palate.

A touch thin for a stout. Lively and drinkable.

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

L: Almost pitch black, with just a tint of dark brown. The head is fat and very creamy tan with excellent retention and leaves sheets of lacing.

S: Milk chocolate candy, hints of light roast coffee, mocha, licorice, anise, a bit of smoke and umami.

T: Nicely balanced chocolate upfront, both dark and milk chocolate, a toasty pumpernickel bread malt base. Near the finish, you get the licorice and anise spice, but it is subtle, along with some molasses. Finshes dry and lightly roasty with a hint of black cherry, and the aftertaste lingers on long of bitter chocolate.

F: Medium-bodied, medium carbonation, smooth and well-rounded.

O: This is a solid and enjoyable average stout. Interesting malt and roast complexities, along with the addition of licorice. I would recommend this to any stout drinker.

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Photo of BloodSoakedAleMug
4.65/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a deep brown, almost black color with a one finger beige colored head. Leaves excellent lacing.

Aroma is of coffee, bacon, black chocolate, cinnamon, firewood and fresh baked cookies. Lactose is detectable on the nose.

Flavor is bitter upfront but not unbearably so, with a very pleasant - not charred or burnt- but browned and slightly darkened toast flavor. Lots of roasted malt character. Very clean and crisp midpalate with dry notes of floral hops and bittersweet notes of dark chocolate with black licorice. As the dark chocolate and black licorice flavor develops, it gets gradually sweeter shifting away from the taste of bitter chocolate to milk chocolate with hints of vanilla beans. Moderately sweet with notes of lactose on the finish, but it's well balanced by the dry, roasted, bitter flavors upfront.

Feel is perfect. Very thirst quenching and uncompromising on flavor. Mid-light body with moderate carbonation. Alcohol is not detectable.

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

Coffeed, toasted stout with licorice. Pours dark as night with tan head. Smells of toasted/burnt malts and coffee galore. Full-bodied, bitter and slick. Tastes as aroma smells. Solid stout.

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Photo of beergoot
3.86/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Black as coal body; dense, thick, rocky head. Roasted, slightly charred grain aroma; burnt toast; coffee grounds. Bitter and sweet flavor; bitter chocolate; coffee grounds. Heavy mouthfeel; slick and smooth; a bit harsh on the palate with a slight stingy quality.

A good stout overall though somewhat biting and harsh. No noticeable presence of licorice although the coffee quality comes through strongly.

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Photo of EHopkinsi
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured nice and dark, Beautiful, chocolaty one finger head eventually fades to a covering, but looks pretty all the way. The lacing is fantastic, starts out more like a curtain, and even by the end is still very pretty. And lasts the entire glass.

Nice stout aroma, but not as bold as I'd like.

Roastiness, cocoa, and thanks to rodbeermunch for identifying the anise in the bite. Unlike him, though, I enjoyed it. Edit- since it says LICORICE in the description, that anise taste shouldn't have been a surprise! ;)

A good feel, but if you love the chewy stuff, this just barely gets there. Probably more appropo for the style, though.

A nice, tasty stout. I tend to like my stouts huge, and even though it isn't huge, it is a very enjoyable beer.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This really looks like the archtype for a stout. Big black, but not sludgy. You get plenty of roast and chocolate malt in the nose.

Taste is standard, very good stuff replete with all that roast and two row to absorb the alcohol. There is just a slight dark fruit and anise edge in the mouthfeel I could prolly do without, but its not oppressive or anything.

Often overlooked, but this beer has been kicking butt for decades.

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Photo of Fear4Beer
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Cocoa, deep dark roasted coffee, low bitters, good ABV... not too high. I'm just not a huge fan of stouts I think. If you are a coffee drinker you will love this so much. I did like how it wasnt too bitter. The look of the beer is on point. Just blackness!

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Kalamazoo Stout has a medium, beige head, a dark brown appearance, with standard brown on the edges, as light hits it, and moderate lacing left behind. The aroma is of sweet brown bread and creamy malt, and the taste is of sweet brown bread, malt, cafe au lait, maybe some background licorice, and low-level bitterness. No char, really. Mouthfeel is low medium, and Kalamazoo Stout finishes medium dry.


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Photo of TripleSun
4.44/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow this is so relaxing for such a dark looking beer. I come from an almost only IPA background so this surprises me for how much I enjoyed it.

L - Tar black, almost couldn't see my glass container
S - Smoke, sweet licorice scent in the back
T - Has a tobacco flavor that hangs on the tongue, creamy consistency, and an initial sweetness
F - For being a stout it is incredibly light, probably for being such a low ABV. Very drinkable, would go good with a cigar!

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Photo of PhilsPils
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Every time I have one of these luscious stouts I ask myself the same question: In light of how full-flavored and smooth this beer is, do I really need the 12% ABV of an Imperial to enjoy a great stout taste? I love it and can't wait 'til I can buy it here in Texas. C'mon Bell's...we be ready!

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Photo of mfnmbvp
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, bottled 04/06/16 printed on the back label. Finally getting around to reviewing this one from Bell's; acquired a single bottle of this stuff as part of a mixed six pack at the local Binny's. "Stout Brewed With Brewer's Licorice".

Poured into a Unibroue Maudite snifter glass.

A - Pours a thick black-brown body. Nearly opaque, with some brown hues showing near the surface when held to the light. One finger of frothy chocolate tan head that hangs on nicely, leaving some ok spotty lacing.

S - Good notes of dark roasty malts, chocolate, cream, and an underlying sweetened dark fruit note, likely imparted from the licorice. Maybe slighty musty? A pleasant aroma.

T - Taste follows the nose: good balance between dark malt roast, & notes of smooth cream and chocolate.
Underlying notes of sweetened dark fruits resembling figs, dates, cherries, dark berries, & plums. Mild notes of char, but mostly chocolate & coffee bean roastiness pervade. No overwhelming notes of anise or spice.

M - Feel is smooth & creamy, with some underlying dark fruit sweetness. Dark, bitter, roasty, & mildly ashy. Rich, dark, sweet, & roasty. Feels much more full-bodied than most 6.00% abv stouts out there. Medium-bodied with excellent carb.

Overall, a nice, flavorful, easy-going traditional American Stout. The licorice is imparted nicely and does not dominate the other flavors of the beer. Recommended stuff.

Bell's Kalamazoo Stout -----4/5.

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Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark body, black with hints of brown, a tan head, tight, fading quickly to a film across the top, some mild lacing.

S - The licorice is present, offering a crisp clean counterpoint to the chocolate and dark bread notes of the malt.

T - Following the nose, but with the licorice flavor now backgrounded to the malts, primarily coming in a slightly snappier open suggesting mint or other clean herbal elements. Coffee hints with the chocolate. Bread and dough. A slightly bitter bite.

M - Full enough, but not sticky or heavy. Clean.

O - I do not like licorice, so I've delayed trying this one. It is clear the flavor here is used as a fresh counterpoint, and the result is delicious. Bells does stouts well, but this is a particularly solid effort.

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Photo of tbryan5
4.26/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I am super stoked that Bell's finally made it to Louisiana. This is a solid stout that is very well balanced with Roasty tones and a slick mouthfeel that makes this a very well rounded brew.

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

33cl bottle. Pitch black pour with a tall tan head with good retention. Smells of roasted malts, milk chocolate and a bit of coffee. Roasty and bitter, with notes of dark chocolate, roasted coffee beans, licorice and a bit of cocoa. Medium body with medium carbonation,

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Photo of Big_Neezy
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours dark with chocolate brown head. You get far more dark chocolate notes but the licorice smell is subtle. I was hoping for a more pronounce black licorice note. You get equal parts of sweet to bitter but is easy on the palette. Definitely not a chocolate cake flavor. Good example of a an American Stout.

Like others have noted, I probably won't buy a sixer of this but would easily order it on draft. Not a top 5 for me but rounds out my top 10 for Michigan stouts.

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

$ 1.79/12 oz bottle ($ 0.158/oz) at Meijer’s, Wyoming, MI
Bottle dated 03/16/16 at 42 degrees into a hand washed and dried JK snifter, allowed to warm to 50o F.
Aroma – roasted malt, last entire glass
Head average (Maximum 3.5 cm, aggressive pour), light brown, creamy with rocks, diminishes to an irregular two to five mm ring and partial layer
Lacing – good. Complete rings of tiny bubbles
Body dark brown/black, opaque
Flavor slightly bitter from roasted malt, some chocolate; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, creamy, soft carbonation

A decent stout at a decent price, slightly bitter for my taste and a little thin.

Appearance 4, Aroma 4, Flavor 4, Palate 4, Overall 4

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Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.03 out of 5 based on 4,297 ratings.
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