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

1,561 Reviews
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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: 1,561 | Ratings: 4,250
Photo of ThePeskyDingo
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch # 8886, packaged on December 10th 2008.

Poured with a nice milk chocolate colored 1 finger head. Beer itself is pure black in color. Seemed thick in the pour.

Smells of roasted malts, chocolate, and coffee.

Tastes like roasted malts and chocolate. I get a faint coffee taste in the aftertaste, a bit after its swallowed.

Mouthfeel is really good. Goes down very smooth, ending a bit sticky at the back of my tongue. Medium carbonation feels just right for the beer.

Very drinkable beer, it's so drinkable in fact that this glass of it may be going down slightly too fast.

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

Pours a wonderfully deep black with some very nice tan head and very good lacing throughout. Nice deep roasted malt scents with a nice bit of earthiness underneath. Wonderfully deep roasted malt flavors, with great chocolate taste and a hint of coffee, along with a nice semi-citrus and semi-earthy hoppiness at the end. Very rich, creamy, smooth, and thick.

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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 shaebs99
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque black with large frothy creamy tan head that holds. Ring of nice lace.
Aroma is of chocolate and roasted malts.
Good carbonation and creamy smooth mouthfeel. Taste is of dark chocolate with roasted coffee notes.
Nice and smooth beer. Will seek it out again

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

12oz brown bottle

Bell's Kalamazoo Stout was opaque black in color with a tan head. The head had good retention and left a sheet of lace behind. The smell was nice with coffee and chocolate aromas. The taste was roasted grain, dark malts, and chocolate with a nice balancing bitterness and long finish. It was full bodied and creamy with just the right amount of carbonation. Drinkability was very good. This is definately one of the better stouts out there and is worth seeking out.

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Photo of sully11277
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my snifter

A- Dark as night with a very light caramel head on it.

S- You get a lot of roast, coca, caramel, sweet, and coffee

T- It is sweet those coca and caramel taste hit you first then you get the roast/coffee towards the end of it.

M- Very smooth, malty, and sweet

O- It's a great stout with a lot of flavors going on that work well together. It's a great winter beer.

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Photo of TheBear11D
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle

Pours jet black with a thick dark brown bubbly head that lingered for a bit and left evidence of it's presence in thick layers of lacing.

Has a chocolate nose with plenty more going on that is difficult to distinguish. The chocolate is almost like a baked brownie smell.
There is also some dark coffee thrown into the mix.

Has the bitter coffee flavor up front that mixes nicely with the chocolate sweetness that oddly still resembles brownies somewhat...although I think it tastes a little like overcooked brownies.

Thick body and very smooth. You almost have to chew this beer and it is wonderful.

Quite enjoyable. Another great brew from Bell's, which I love is in my hometown!

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

Bell's Kalamazoo Stout
12 oz brown bottle
Bottle #8861
Served in a 20 oz tulip glass

Pours a jet black, completely opaque. Awesome head on top leaving complex trails of sticky lacings. The head is khaki colored.

Pleasant nose with whiffs of roasted malts, dark chocolate and some dairy notes.

Dark roasted malt backbone with espresso and chocolate flavors. A super intense and flavorful stout. Very well crafted with a juicy Hershey chocolate syrup sweetness. Dark fudge with nut flavors too. A snappy hop bite finishes the beer.

This is one of hell of beer. My first offering from Bell's and I'm impressed. A wonderful American stout.

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Photo of Bang34
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite stouts.

It pours dark, almost black with a thick brown head that sticks around for a while.

Smell is chocolaty coffee, with a hint of oats, the malt comes through.

Tastes pretty sweet and chocolaty but also has a dry hoppiness on the finish. Not as creamey as a chocolate stout but sweeter than a dry stout. Some may call it burnt, but I think that is going too far, I feel it is pretty balanced.

Medium body, though it isn't really a session beer, best enjoyed a couple at a time.

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

12 oz. bottle, brewed with brewer's licorice - batch 7715 (packaged 11/1/06). It pours into the chalice quite black with a medium-bubbled, yellow/khaki head that is thin, yet sustains, and leaves decent lacing. It smells of roasted/chocolate and burnt malts with dark fruits (figs?, plums?) and a little bit of a lactic character. The flavor is roasted and charred, almost acrid, with chocolate, coffee, green/piney hops, a medium to high bitterness from the hops and roasted malts, and licorice that makes a cameo after the beer warms a bit. The body is medium and smooth, with medium carbonation, and a long, roasted/coffee finish. Seems more like an American stout than a milk/sweet stout, but regardless, it is big, robust, and quite tasty.

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

Obsidian color with tree bark colored head, abundant aromas. Dark bakers chocolate everywhere, something alot like raisinettes too. Mildly roasted, a bit milky flavor. Licorice is hardly noticeable. Some minerality in there too. Very rich. Mouthfeel is very chewy. A moderate ABV makes it much easier to order a second.

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

As I have mentioned in a few other reviews, we don't get Bell's in New Jersey. I wish they would come here.

Kalamazoo was black with about one finger of tan head that drops down to some nice scum. The scum led to very good lacing.

The smell had light coffee with some hopping. I also pick up a little bit of sweetness. The flavor have better coffee flavor. It was really smoothe; not very harsh.

This is a very good stout. It has very clean flavor, and the aftertaste is really good. I wish I could get this in New Jersey. I would like to age a few bottles to try over time. Maybe I could find this in Pennsylvania.

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

the stout pours out black. produces a nice cappuccino coloured head, with some nice tight bubbles, and a few odd large ones, and even a few beads of liquid dancing on top of the foam. as the head shrinks down, it clings to the glass. a thin head sticks around until the very end.

aroma is all about sweet chocolate and coffee. smells clean and fresh, clear.

first taste sensation is coffee, followed by a ringing bitterness, which finally fades out to a nice chocolate bar flavour. as the beer warms and your palate adjusts (a couple swigs), the taste profile changes. the mouthfeel becomes less effervescent (it never really was) and heads towards creamy smoothness. the bitter bit in the finish metamorphosizes into a piece of chocolate that is melting on your tongue after sipping some espresso.

this beer is a solid quality representation of a sweet stout, and i find it always a pleasure to partake of, which is quite often.

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Photo of CHickman
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Bottled 6/6/2011: pours motor oil black with a tremendous 3 finger foamy tan head that faded very slowly, leaving caverns of foam like the Grand Canyon and then it left great foamy lacing sticking to the sides. Looks so thick that a straw may not move as it pierced through the foamy layer on top, which is very impressive.

Smells of charcoal, coffee, sweet malt, roasted grains, caramel, cocoa, mild citrus hops, licorice, chocolate and earthy tones like peat moss or dirt; grainy, roasted and cocoa linger and seem most evident from start to finish.

Tastes of charcoal or burnt wood, coffee, syrup or toffee, roasted grains, cocoa, mild citrus hops and some light bitterness, sweet malt, caramel, licorice, chocolate, peat moss, grass, and then back to burnt coffee beans that trails off bitter and astringent; after the swallow it tastes like cocoa powder is left coating your tongue – dry and chocolately, it’s a tasty residue.

Mouthfeel is thin and light with a light body, an almost watery overall feel, and a tasty bitterness that makes this a sessionable stout for me. Very smooth, full of flavor and easy to drink. This is a great, light stout that I could drink all night or pair with food.

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Photo of alcstradamus
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I'm not going to do a formal review of this beer because to be perfectly honest it doesn't warrant one. This is the perfect session stout IMO and judging it based on petty things such as appearance and mouthfeel is worthless. That stuff has its place, and this is not it.

Buy this beer if you want something good to drink. Nothing else needs to be said.

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Photo of Mojo
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Kalamazoo Stout pours up a nice black with a minimal tan head and lots of residual delicate lacing left on the glass. Smell is licorice, roasted nuts, coffee, bread, soy sauce, and floral. Mouthfeel is very full erring on the side of less carbonation. Taste is fantastic. Hops at the beginning, sweet in the middle, and hops in the end with a not so disagreeable coffee aftertaste. A magnificent offering from Bells!!!!

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Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

a: Black body with hints of dark brown around the edges. Frothy tan head settles leaving good lacing behind.

s: Roasted malt with notes of coffee, maybe vanilla.

t: Wonderful roasted flavor. Coffee and vanilla are still there. Molasses, prunes, and chocolate too.

m: Could be the best part of this beer. The definition of creamy. Full body, smooth and slick.

d: Best cream stout I have had. I love the complex roasted character and the creamy feel. Very easy drinking. Bold and delicious.

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Photo of elmocoso
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice finger and a half of head. Very dark with the pockets darker. Looks like speckled vanilla beans in a butternut toffee ice cream. Soon down to 1/2 finger or less. The beer is black as black, and as i swirl the beer, the head clings and laces.

Nose is awesome. Sweet dark roasty chocolate with hints of resin and stone fruits. like a dessert coffee, sweet and bitter balanced.

The smells are reflected in the taste. sweet and tasty (caramel and chocolate) in the front but when the beverage slides down, a lingering bitterness of cocoa powder and coffee aftertaste begs for another drink.
Mouthfeel is rich like a whipped cocoa. soft. rich. compliments the desert tones of the drink.

This is a rich and impressive drink. I enjoy it, but don't know if i could enjoy more than one at a setting.

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Photo of jslot38
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Yeah... my bottle looks different than the one on this page. Says its brewed with "Brewer's Licorice"... sounds interesting.

Appearance: I have to say, sometimes my pouring ability amazes me. Anyways, this beer poured a nice volumous head of a light tan colour. The head conceals a light black body. Head remains a top covering throughout and leaves behind a nice amount of lacing.

Smell: A very nice complex smell. Roasted nuts, coffee grounds, chocolate and earth tones. Has a noticable sweetness to it.

Taste: Wow, thats great. Defines what it means to be deep. The flavours meld to create a very roasted medly. Dark Coffee grounds, dark chocolate, roasted chestnuts. Some sweetness emerges just at the end, a bit of candi sugar and plums are hit by some very eathy hops.

Mouthfeel: Just sits on the tongue. Often stouts can be undercarbonated or over hopped and have an abbrasivness on the tongue. This beer shows no signs of either, sits perfectly between these two extremes.

Drinkability and notes: I could picture having two of these, but its in no way a session beer. Regardless, its too much of a pleasure to drink to take away points because of this. Well, the reason to celebrate the arrival of Bell's to Washington D.C. is this Kalamazoo stout, top notch stuff.

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Photo of AtLagerHeads
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Whoa! Talk about walking into a moonless night. Darkside to be sure. The brew is opaque and as black as peat; the head like nothing I've ever seen before, being darker than a chocolate malt, like frothed coffee; the lace is like a coat of dark beige paint. All roasted malt in the nose and full at that.

The look and smell lead to an incredibly rich, thick flavor of chocolate, molasses, coffee, and smokey grain; is that a flash of licorice? Maybe. This is one big flavor extravaganza. Thick and creamy mouthfeel with a strong bitter finish in the back and sweetness lingering on the lips. Warming and soothing, this is one with which to linger for a long while, hopefully at fireside with a nice companion at hand.

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Photo of Minkybut
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into tumbler at 50 degrees. Beer had a nice head that reeked of chocolate and smoked nuts. The tase was fantastic and was also rich with that nice malty rich coffee/toffee (but not sweet) chocolatey yummy taste. I really like this stout and will certainly purchase again.

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Photo of Atricapilla
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my pint glass. Very dark, coffee colored with a substantially sized, creamy, off white head. Smells of coffee, toffee and malt. Very roasted...Tastes like roasted malts with a very slight sweetness. Exceptionally smooth and well blended. Easy on the palate.

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Photo of blackenmn
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass:

Appearance & Smell- Poored fairly thick and left a thin, dense, dark brown head which unfortunately dissipated kind of quick. Basically no transparency whatsoever through the brew. Pretty pleasant smell a bit of licorice, and maybe some feint chocolate mixed in there someplace.

Taste & Mouthfeel-Really smooth taste for a stout. Definitely taste the licorice I mentioned in the smell, also some dark fruit and hopiness which lingers afterwards. Mouthfeel was good, not too thick at all. Went down nice and slippery and the hoppy finish kind of acted as a nice counterpart and kept it interesting throughout.

Drinkability-Could easily sit down and drink a few of these anytime. Really enjoyed the brew, a greatly balanced unique stout in my opinion.

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Photo of Justin23060
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

A - Black with chestnut edges. Fluffy light brown head took its time diminishing and clung well.

S - Roast sweet choc. malt.

T - Roasty chocolate again, with some nice slight nuttiness and smoke. I'm having trouble finding the brewers licorice advertised on the bottle. Not a problem though because everything else seems to be going right here and it's complex enough without it. Starts slightly sweet but ends dry with the perfect amount of linger.

M - Medium body with some mid to soft carb.

O - Well done indeed. Great example of the style. This is a must try. I will definitely be seeking this out again.

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Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.03 out of 5 based on 4,250 ratings.
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