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

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Bell's Kalamazoo StoutBell's Kalamazoo Stout
Very Good
4,377 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,377 |  Reviews: 1,591
Photo of rpbisaillon
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of JArt
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of mattcrill
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours blacker than black. Ain't no light getting through that glass! Beautfiul chocolate brown head that settles in for a wonderful looking brew

Smell: Roasted coffee with cream. Finishes with some bitterness due to the hops

Taste: Complex with bitterness being more prominent than I expected. Espresso, chocolate, and vanilla are there but the hop bitterness and alcohol taste is suprisingly overpowering

Overall: A finely crafted beer but it wasn't what I expected. Good but not great.

 502 characters

Photo of Andrewharemza
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of thecheapies
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Impressive two inch head from the bottle. Dark tan-colored with lots of sticky bubbles. The beer looks almost black. Really like the way she laces.

Dark roast, salty caramel, licorice, office coffee, and mineral earthiness. Sturdy stout nose with character. A little tangy on top of the big-time kilning.

Roastiness, weak coffee, licorice, char, mineral notes, and slight oxidized caramel. Astringent finish with a light juniper berry note. Earthy, but gritty. These are always hit-or-miss for me.

Meaty feel with good body. Carbonation is right on-point.

I will give it credit for the better drafts and bottles I've had before.

 632 characters

Photo of unclecrappy
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a fall staple for me; I was actually surprised I hadn't reviewed it before.

A: A beautiful darkdarkdark brown with hints of red when you hold the glass up to a light. Nice tan head that recedes quickly, leaving just a little lace behind.

S: As it should be for the style: Roasted coffee, a little chocolate and something kind of sweet besides the chocolate -- hard to identify, at least for me.

T: I don't get any licorice at all, but the hints of sweet are just a touch more prominent than everything else that's going on with this stout. I also notice something bready -- a pleasant side note.

M: Rich. Yum.

D: I love this stuff, and I say that while admitting I like bigger, heavier stouts. I'll always be happy to bring it home.

 745 characters

Photo of beerphan
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle -> goblet
batch# 7244
packages 2/8/06 according to Bells website

Pours black with a nice dark tan head. Sparse dotted lacing.

Nose finds roasted coffee malts, dark chocolate and alcohol

Taste of thick roasted chocolate coffee with a warming roasty aftertaste with the slightest hint of alcohol.

Feels smooth with medium thickness in the mouth.

An excellent stout that i will visit again, after visiting with some of his brothers. Rye up next.

 475 characters

Photo of CrellMoset
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle (adorned with a rather unattractive gentleman) from Wine Warehouse, Charlottesville, VA. Poured into an Allagash flute.

Appearance: Pours a thick, murky brown, black maybe, sticky-looking. A mildly aggressive pour yields a two-finger chocolate head with above-average retention and great, huge swaths of sticky lacing. Great start.

Aroma: Milky cocoa and anise are dominant, as are hints of charred earth, coffee, and a truly, purely leafy hop presence. A nice balance, and an interesting, somewhat inviting one.

Taste: Dirty as hell. This beer is as close to eating scorched earth as I've ever come, and that's not necessarily a bad thing ... it's sort of like taking coffee with one cream, one cup of dirt. Plus one cup of tasty? Dark, burnt toast. Either way, not bad, though a little offputting at first - takes a while to get used to it. Which is not to say it takes significant alcohol consumption to get used to it, 'cause if there's alcohol in this sticky, sweet concoction, I'm not noticing it.

Mouthfeel: Medium-to-high carbonation, slightly smooth and even, creamy and milky.

Drinkability: Surprisingly good, given the concoction of flavors here. Alcohol's well-hidden and reasonably low, though perhaps on the high-end for the style ... but what it really comes down to are the flavors and aromas here. And though they're bizarre, they're strangely not as offputting as they should be. Anise, cocoa, heavily-roasted coffee, all wrapped up in a dirt bow - sounds weird, but give it a shot.

 1,514 characters

Photo of Jackalope1977
3.84/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of 13tido
3.84/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Nicolaiw
3.84/5  rDev -3.5%
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

 203 characters

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

Appearance: dark brown almost black. opaque. a small amount of tannish foam. leaves a lacing behind.

Smell: sweet chocolate. bitter and roasty malts. good but simple

Taste: opens up with some sweet chocolate. moves towards a roasty malts. a bitterness hits at the end.

Mouthfeel: fairly light and drinkable and some lingering bitterness

Overall: a nice lighter stout. not super unique or complex but very well done.

 420 characters

Photo of TheodorHerzl
3.84/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a very deep black with no highlights when held up to the light. I was a little disappointed on the head on this. A small swirl of tan head dissipated quite quickly, but did leave solid lacing on the glass. The nose is fairly classic for a sweet stout. Chocolate and coffee make way for molasses and roasted grain. The flavor profile's two strongest flavors are roasted coffee and bitter chocolate, but it also has a nice medium sweetness as well. Side flavor characteristics include black liquorice and toasted grain on my palate. The mouthfeel is full bodied and very creamy. An easy drinking stout that I would gladly have again.

 646 characters

Photo of maxsound
3.84/5  rDev -3.5%

Photo of ccg
3.84/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The look is quite good. Dense lacing and a persistent ring of foam.
Smells like roasted malt and dark fruit.
Taste is malt, chocolate, coffee, dark fruit, something almost like peanut butter, and a vague background spice. I assume the spice is the licorice mentioned on that label, but I wouldn't have been able to identify it as licorice.
Mouthfeel is about average.
It's an interesting stout, but the finish is a bit too bitter for my taste, and the licorice flavor that I thought would make it stand out doesn't really come through distinctly.

 546 characters

Photo of Brian29
3.84/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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

Poured from the bottle into a cheater pint

A: Dark. Still. Thin and waif-like off-white head disappears to a 1 mm ring. Opaque and deep ruby at the edges.

S: Strong roasted malts with a touch of caramel, salt and campfire. That brewer's licorice does not overpower but it peeks around the edge and says "hi". hops are mild and secondary as is the yeast, but there is some musty grapefruit as it warms.

T: Follows nose perfectly. I am getting a blast of chocolate and roasted malt with smoothness. It is the sharpness on the initial uptake that surprises me the most. Very dry on initial quaff at the tip of the tongue and malty on swallow. Nice.

M: Creamy and medium-full bodied. It's strange. You get this musty pineapple/dark rum/whipped cream fleeting hint on outbreath. Malt takes over after swallow and this sensation.

O: pretty damn good overall with something interesting at every phase of the experience. Definitely opens into a different place upon warmed state.

 976 characters

Photo of boudreaux
3.84/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours almost pitch black; only suggestion of color is in the head, which pours a slight red, coffee-beige color; little head retention, but nice lacing sits on surface throughout the session.

S: Roasted, roasted, roasted; not a strong aroma; leaves the nose wanting more; doesn't raise my expectations for the taste.

T: Better than the smell, but still lacking; it's roasted, malty, with just a hint of sweet (maybe from the licorice mentioned on the label?); dark chocolate also appears subtly as the beer warms to room temperature, with a touch of sweet at the end of each taste.

M: Very smooth, surprisingly so; just enough carbonation to tingle the mouth and remind you it's not flat.

D: Easy; didn't expect a stout with this flavor to be so smooth and chewy at the same time, but I could easily drink a few in one sitting.

 834 characters

Photo of Monsta-beer-drinker
3.84/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of jmartinger
3.84/5  rDev -3.5%

Photo of Nerudamann
3.84/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Look - dark brown/black. Completely non-translucent. Maybe half a finger's worth of foam.

Smell - you can definitely smell the licorice, but also maybe blueberry and/or coffee.

Taste - I'm not at all a fan of licorice, but this works for me. The typical stout taste seems to balance out the licorice taste. Has a coffee-like aftertaste, but I'm not sure it's actually any type of coffee that I'm tasting, perhaps still just the licorice.

Mouthfeel - medium, but slightly more toward heavy. Definitely not a heavy stout, but still a stout.

Drinkability - Not bad at all, but as I would always personally do, I wouldn't drink this with food, at least not with anything very heavy or filling. I think you would do just fine drinking one or two of these by themselves.

 770 characters

Photo of Furlinator
3.84/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thick, dark, grainy and somewhat smokey with a definite hop presence. The vegetal smell seems a little off.

107 characters

Photo of FleeVT
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz. brown bottle with no date, poured into a pint glass

A: Inky black without any light penetration. A thick, fluffy, chocolate milk head leaves a heavy lacing behind.

S: A very mild beer on the nose. Chocolate malt and currants are most distinguishable. As I drank, I began to pickup a smoky backdrop the deeper my nose got into the glass.

T: The currant sweetness fades quickly to leave a long roasted coffee bean aftertaste that just sticks to the back of the throat. A tad bit too long for me.

M: A heavy, creamy, medium carbonated stout. Good performance here.

D: This is a definite sipper that grew on me. I decided to hold off on tasting notes until I had a second later in the week. The aftertaste is a bit much, but the subtle nose and delicate palate made up ground for me. This would probably pair well with sweet desserts to help cut that bitter closing.

 874 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

 486 characters

Photo of RnRManifesto
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

The beer is dark, black, with a very small tan head that goes away quickly. Not much lacing to speak of.

Smells is roasted malts, faint licorice, some fruitiness.

I don't really taste the licorice, which is a plus for me, as I never did like black licorice flavor. I'm tasting roasted malts, some coffee, chocolate and some malt sweetness. A small aftertaste similar to black coffee, but not unpleasant. All in all this is a pretty good tasting stout. Much better than I expected.

Pleasant mouth feel, not thick or syrupy like some stouts can be. Just enough carbonation.

I'm glad I tried this, though it would not be my first choice for a stout, it is interesting and good.

 724 characters

Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 3.98 out of 5 with 4,377 ratings
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