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

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1,549 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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 1,549 | Ratings: 4,205
Photo of Britton
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed by a fire in a 12 oz. Bottle from Bon Vivant in Smithfield, VA. I poured it into a nice tall water glass.

A: Dark brown-black with hazel hilights. ~3/4" tan head which dissipates to a frothy film in 1-1.5 minutes. Some retention. Lovely to behold.

S: Roasty toasty malts with some astringency. A hint of that licorice they keep talking about, too. Smells so inviting! Some chocolate?

T: Almost as good as the smell. And almost the same. The toasty sweetness is under a bit of water but there nonetheless. Some choco-licorice to be had too. A smooth, smooth finish keeps you sipping.

M: Creamy and thick. A joy!

D: Yes.


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Photo of MattyG85
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a stout glass.

Appearance: Dark black with a little brown color shining through the bottom. Decent two fingers of tan head fade into a patchy layer. Moderate amount of lacing.

Smell: Dark roasted caramel malts with big notes of dark chocolate and roasted coffee. Hints of nuts, milk, and liquorice. Smells very roasty and full.

Taste: A lightly sweet and fairly bitter mix of dark roasted malts, dark chocolate, and roasted coffee. Solid hints of chocolate milk, caramel, nuts, and liquorice. Bitter notes of coffee linger in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with a lower level of carbonation. Creamy and finishes slightly dry.

Overall: A very solid stout that is very full flavored and heavy for a non imperial stout.

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Photo of OStrungT
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours an iny black color letting no light shine through. It comes equipt with a thin brown head. The head fades a little too fast, leaving a decent lacing.

This beer has a roasted barley aroma. It smells malty sweet with hints of caramel. It has an ever so slight chocolate aroma. Some dark fruit is also present in the aroma. Mostly figs and raisins.

This beer tastes exactly like it smells. A nice robust roasted malt flavor. It has a nice sweet flavor also. Some caramel maltyness. A little bittersweet chocolate mix in also. Figs make a slight appearence in the flavor as well.

This beer goes down very smooth. It leaves a sweet and roasted malt aftertaste. Low carbonation. It is a little thinner than I would expect.

I think this beer would make a good session beer. It is mild enough to not become overbearing. Also, it is not too high in alcohol, so putting down a few is possible.

Overall: Thanks go out to HimerMan for this fine brew. You truely are great for hooking me up with a fine Bell's stash. Great beer.

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Photo of ImusBeer
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another I had on the first real College Football weekend.

I went to this brewery back during the time I lived in Michigan. It was called the Kalamazoo Brewery then and not Bells I think I had a bottle of this, not really sure. I got the bottle and poured it straight down the middle of the room temperature glass and beheld a glass full of black liquid with a tan head about 1-2 fingers tall. The aroma was very smokey with hints of chocolate. Tasting it revealed nothing more, still a lot of smokeyness and some roasted malt and a bit of coffee. The mouthfee was a little heavy but not too much considering you couldn't even see through the glass holding it up to a light.

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Photo of alleykatking
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a deep dark brown color almost black. One finger tan head shows good retention. Nice web lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- I picked up a lot of roasted malts on the front of the beer itself. Some light coffee like and chocolate notes comes in second with a hint of black licorice. I liked the nice light hopping in the end of this that brings it all back around for this beer. A very inviting aroma for sure!

T- Roasted malts come on out in full force on this one. A light licorice hint that dies out rather quickly. The roasted malts come out once in again rather big but this gets calmed down with a nice creamy chocolate smoothing effect. A light pine bite in the ending balanced this big offering from Bell's.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Big roasted malts left on the palate. Alcohol and light roasted malts with a hint of bitter hops left in the aftertaste. Overall flavors were balanced for this stout. No off flavors which I enjoyed very much. There does seem to be a light off in the actual feel on the palate that I can't shake.

D- This is a mighty taste explosion on the palate. The ABV is low enough to have a good number of these unlike most big huge stouts that pack as much flavor as this one. Nice job Bell's on this one.

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Photo of daythree16
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a dimpled mug. Dark brown to black in color with a very small amount of head.

The smell is very rich and sweet with toffee, some chocolate, and just a hint of licorice coming through. The taste has just a hint of licorice like the aroma, but it's not very strong. The main flavor I'm getting can only be described as chocolate covered nuts. There is a nice sweet dryness to it. There is also a really awesome caramel finish that provides a fantastic aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is medium and a bit dry, and the drinkability is way up there.

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Photo of StoutHunter
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a 5 ounce sampling mug.

A- This one pours an opaque pitch black with a fingers worth of creamy off white head that quickly faded to a ring.

S- The beer is dominated by strong roasted malts and chocolaty sweet coffee. This is what a good stout should smell like.

T- Pretty similar to the smell, the coffee tastes are balanced perfectly with the sweet roasted malts that weren't as prominent in the nose. This beer tastes damn good.

M- Thick, creamy, and chewy. Carbonated perfectly.

D- This is about as drinkable as stouts get, ran through my six pack faster then i thought, cant get enough of this stuff.

Overall this one damn tasty beer. Bells set the benchmark for stouts with this brew. This beer is great example of not going overboard, just a great stout overall and one of my favorites. A classic example of focusing on staying true to the style rather then breaking the mold.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter.

4.0 A: Black color. Two fingers of dense frothy, light brown head. Retention is average and a good sized ring of lacing is left.

4.5 S: Great nose on this. This has the coffee with creme thing going. Plenty of coffee with a vanilla like milkiness. Also lots of chocolate to accompany a moderate, though supple roastiness. Licorice adds yet another layer of complexity. Really pleasant.

4.5 T: Taste is much like the nose. Plenty of coffee, chocolate, vanilla creme, and licorice, which is a bit stronger in the taste. The roastiness if more aggressive, but still in a good range. Really tasty.

4.0 M: Lighter medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Creamy for the body, but I would prefer a bit more body and creaminess.

4.5 D: Really great beer. This one surprised me. I wasn't expecting it to be this stellar.

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Photo of SouthLoopSuds
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm so happy we have Bell's back in Chicago! It was sorely missed!

I've drank a few of these, and they always seem to satisfy. The hint of licorice sets it apart from other stouts, so it's a nice change of pace.

I like the color, it's nice and dark . The aroma is quite pleasant. And the feel is robust but not to thick.

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Photo of bunnyhustle
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark as can be (a little dark cherry color around the edges when held to the light) with nice, thick, dark tan head. Lacing is ok, retention isnt great but a very thin cream is left on the beer for the remainder. Smell is of dark sweet chocolate, some coffee grinds, and a tiny bit of black licorice. Taste is great, let this one warm up and it has a sweet milk chocolate-ness too it. Very pronounced chocolate flavor with some toasted grains as well. Very slight bitterness as it goes down but I dont detect any hops. Mouthfeel is very smooth and velvety, more on the fuller side. This is a great beer from Bell's I must say. This might be my favorite right up there with Two Hearted.

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Photo of chuuzetsu
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is my first beer review. Bare with me as I am still developing my taste and knowledge about beer. As my profile says, I am just a cub when it comes to beer.

A.) Dark black with a slight light brown-ish head.

S.) As I was smelling the beer I looked away for a moment and before I knew it I accidently inhaled some of the beer, haha! So I got a real feel for the smell. Almost smells like a fresh coffee.

T.) This is barely even bitter. Tastes of roast coffee and a slight chocolate aftertaste. Leaves a good feeling in the mouth.

M.) Slightly less thick than some of the other stouts I have had.

D.) If you have had trouble finding a good stout, milk/sweet stout, to drink, this is the one to start with to get into the type of brew. Excellent beer to have after a small meal, in my opinion.

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Photo of micromaniac129
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The color is that of black coffee deep tan head that is dense.
Smells sweet and a rich roasted malt aroma. I didn't really pick-up any coffee or chocolate that is common in some brands.
A nice roasted malt taste, maybe some hops for balance. it does have a drier finish.
Porter like.
Smooth and balance with some heaviness to it.
Good flavor for this style.
Drink well my friends

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Photo of pezoids
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was a very dark beer. Midnight black in color and topped off with a tan creamy head of foam. The aroma is malty and rich with chocolate syrup. Sweet and buttery with molasses and caramel. The taste is pleasantly rich and very smooth. Not overly anything, sweetness is right on and has just the right amount of roasted bitterness. Good malt body with some of that roasted bitterness coming through in the finish and lingering in the throat. Overall a very pleasant and an exceptionally drinkable dark beer.

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Photo of Robalypse
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Syrupy, dark brown body with a prominent, malty, chest nut colored head.

Faint hints of malt and licorice.

Medium-heavy with noticeable carbonation and plenty of fizz going down. Doesn’t feel heavy like the coloration and consistency might suggest.

Definitely a very slight licorice taste up front with a bit of grain, almost a hint of rye. Nothing very strong or dominating stands out, but a very sharp, tasty beer in its relative simplicity.

This a great, quality tasting stout, especially given the good price I picked a bottle up for on a whim. Often it seems stouts can be a little heavy on coffee or chocolatey tastes, but there was none of that noticeable to me in this beer which works to its benefit. Because of its fairly low profile, but all around crisp and relatively mild flavor, it’s definitely something I could drink with some regularity. I will certainly be purchasing it again in greater quantity in the future.

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Photo of DannyDan
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours into a black beer with a tan head that has very good retention, excellent lacing and moderate carbonation. The smell is of licorice, roasted malts, faint scent of chocolate and coffee. The taste is licorice followed by some floral hops, some chocolate, toffee, and coffee notes. The after taste is licorice balanced with a mix of bitterness and sweetness that is nicely balanced. The mouthfeel is a medium soft creamy feel that is also thick and chewy at the same time. This is a very drinkable beer and is now one of my favorites after trying it for the first time. This is a must try stout for any beer lover that likes a good beer.

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Photo of spointon
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured this one from a 12oz brown bottle into a pint glass.

A= This ale poured a nearly black color with a big 2.5 inch chocolate tan head. The head slowly dropped to leave serious sticky lace down the glass.

S= This ale had aromas of sweet malts, ripe fruitiness, toasted notes, treacle, caramel, and a hint of licorice.

T= This stout was definitely sweet in flavor. I picked up flavors of black licorice, heavy ripe fruit, chocolate, and even roasted coffee and caramel.

MF= This was a heavy/medium bodied stout with a nice creamy mouthfeel. Carbonation was soft and subtle.

D= A damn fine stout! Despite the ABV, its still a session beer. I really enjoyed this one and will drink again.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured into the glass clear black with a brown low head that was persistent enough to lace the glass.

The aroma was estery and lightly fruity with a strong chocolate and caramel presence. The aroma contained a roasty character and a dark chocolate note that had hints of smoke.

The flavor was fruity as it first contacted the palate and then the flavor immediately changed to chocolate and coffee. The coffee and chocolate were accompanied by a caramel impression, but more important was a grassy hop presence behind the roast and coffee. The balance was toward bittering, but was well achieved. The grassy hop flavor worked very well with the chocolate and coffee components.

The finish was dry with a lasting coffee and chocolate with a light roast and some grassy hops into the aftertaste. The body was just above medium full with a moderate carbonation. A truly great stout.

12 ounce bottle. Thanks BeerBeing!

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Photo of mickstepp
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark, almost opaque color with a thin tawny head. Aromas of burnt coffee and faint hints of chocolate. Some fruity and hoppy notes as well in the nose. Msdium bodied and smooth. The taste is consistnet with the aromas. Nice coffee bitterness. Chocolate and caramel and toffee even a little vanilla bean. Very easy drinking stout. Not at all heavy. Makes you want more than one. A very, very competent offering by a premier brewery.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a dark black color with just a hint of brown around the edges and a finger of frothy chocolate colored head. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some light lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of roasted chocolate and dark malts. There is just a touch of dark fruit, coffee, and smoke as well.

T - Starts off with a mix of roasted chocolate and dark malts with a touch of plum and other dark fruits. Through the middle, a bit of lactose sweetness comes through alongside some light smoke and a bit of coffee. The finish is a mix of lightly burnt chocolate, a bit of bitterness, vanilla, and a hint of coffee.

M - Medium-plus bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a dry and lightly sweet finish.

D - Very drinkable. Excellent example of an American Stout. Balance is spot on.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a Thomas Hooker pint glass.

A: Black body with medium ruby-brown, edged highlights shown in the light under a two-finger head of craggy and creamy brown foam. retention settles to a bubbly slick and lacing is good.

S: Nice, roasty aroma with a spicy, herbal hop essence. Smells of cocoa, caramel and a creamy, coffee drink and a bit of gingerbread too.

T: Smooth, creamy and bitter malts up front with a bittersweet, chcocolately, roasted malt body and a dry, herbal, burnt sugar finish. Malts range from smooth, creamy and cocoa to burnt wood, coal and tobacco resin. Slightly smokey and dry, herbal finish carries a bit of licorice, spiced fruitiness and a touch of alcohol.

M: Full-bodied, creamy and slick feel with a resinous middle and a dry, lingering bitter finish.

D: Quite the tasty American stout, complete with the herbal, semi-fruity bitterness of American hops married to a dark-roasted, creamy and bittersweet malt blend that warms with its 6% ABV. Full-bodied and roasted indeed, the Kalamazoo stout is a very good, traditional American stout.

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Photo of botham
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

pours opaque black with a single finger of brown head that remains for a couple minutes. moderate lacings.

aroma is roasted, with a sweet character, and notes of coffee, chocolate, and a nutty base that really gives the brew a rich profile, working very well with the aromas present.

taste is malty, with the same roasted, coffee, chocolate, and nutty flavors from the aroma. finishes with light residual roasted and coffee notes. very malty on the palate, with little to no hop presence.

mouthfeel is full bodied with a rich and silky smooth texture. a creamy finish with a nicely coated mouth make this one an excellent stout.

drinkability is great. this is a smooth and easy-going stout that does not overpower the palate, but provides rich and complex flavors at the same time. a solid offering from Bell's. cheers!

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Photo of khiasmus
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A- Almost opaque in blackness, with ruby highlights when held to the light, and a creamy light tan head.

S- Sweet, cream, strong malt, slightly burnt, light hops in the back.

T- Dark-roasted malts, sweet cream, coffee, chocolate, slightly bitter finish.

M- Perfect to style. creamy, thick, low carbonation, smooth.

D- Very drinkable for a sweet stout. So well balanced, and dry in the finish... leaves you wanting more.

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Photo of celticfutblclub
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks to aguirre for this!

12 oz bottle into hill farmstead glass

A - dark brown to black. one finger coffee colored head fades quickly but leaves a nice trail.

S - roasted notes, coffee, chocolate sweet malts and maybe some lactose in there as well.

T - big roasted coffee notes backed up with great hop presence (grassy with a twinge of pine). some milk chocolate in the back as well.

M - medium to full bodied with lots of carbonation. some astringency from the hops but not overpowering. coarse feel to the body with a dryish finish for the style.

O - superb stuff from bell's definitely need to get more of this in the future.

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Photo of mntlover
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a black on black no light thru this baby with a big fluffy chocolate colored head that leaves a good lace coat, looks great. Smell is lightly roasted malt with expresso and chocolate present some light fruits in background. Taste is great lightly roasted malt expresso flavors with some hints of chocolate . Moves from lightly sweet malt to burnt bitterness from malt aided by good dose of hop bite. A great stout wish I could get this down in TN. Mouthfeel is right side of medium not heavy enough to be creamy but still feels good. Drinkability is good, man this is one tasty beer, thanks go to merlin48 for this tasty treat. If I ever make it to the Liquor Barn in Lexington this will be on my list of must haves.

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Photo of ManekiNeko
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle served at cellar temp in a pint glass.

Appearance: Black as the abyssal depths topped by a hearty dark brown head that's thick, frothy and slightly rocky. It sticks around for quite some time before settling down to a smallish layer of foam and then finally a ring of bubbles. Healthy amounts of lacing are left on the glass.

Smell: Hearty and dark nose composed of high quality cocoa, toasted malts, and medium roasted coffee. Dark dried fruits and piney hops lurk in the background.

Taste: Bittersweet dark malts with cocoa and coffee highlights. Faint bitter hops, raisins, and cherries on the finish. A very compelling taste, overall.

Mouthfeel: A touch on the anemic side. I was hoping for something a bit thicker, so the slightly watery mouthfeel is jarring given the intensity of the smell and taste.

Drinkability: Almonst an imperial stout at times. Very enjoyable and well made. I would definitely get this (along with Java Stout and Expedition Stout) if it were available locally. I suspect my girlfriend would like this as well.

Other: Choose a good 'un for review 250. Thanks to feloniousmonk for directly making this possible and xlperro for indirectly doing it.

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Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.03 out of 5 based on 4,205 ratings.
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