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: 1,570 | Ratings: 4,276
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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Photo of beveritt
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a standard pint glass. Batch #8874, brewed Dec 4, 2008. Label depicts a rough sketch of a rough looking old guy.

Appearance: Pours with 1 1/2 fingers of medium tan head. This settles slowly to a quarter inch coating, leaving behind nice lacing. The beer itself is black and opaque. Lots of sediment remains in the bottle.

Smell: Dark roasted barley with an ever so slight lactose sweetness in the finish.

Taste: Lactose sweetness is more prevalent in the taste than the aroma. Barley roastiness takes a back seat to the sweetness, but is still very noticeable. Slight acrid bite int he finish, maybe the brewer's licorice mentioned on the label?

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is a little on the low side, as would be expected from this style. Body is great, nice and creamy.

Drinkability: Another solid beer form Bell's. Not as sweet as some milk/sweet stouts, but maybe a little more complex.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

“The” #1 Kalamazoo Brewing Co. beer I had on my shopping list, Kalamazoo Stout poured a light-defying obsidian hue with just the faintest ruby edging and a small, thick mocha colored head. The smell was ripe with roasted chocolate malt, dark fruits, and espresso coffee aromas. The taste was of roasted dark malt with some bittersweet chocolate up front. The somewhat bitter leadout was countered by a sweetness imparted by some dark fruit flavors. The finish was softly bitter and acidic. The feel was full-bodied, rich, smooth and lush.
An outstanding stout! Easier to drink than the Double Cream Stout thanks to a lesser %ABV, Kalamazoo Stout embodies what I love about a good stout - a smooth, creamy feel, rich taste and great appearance. This offering from Kalamazoo Brewing ranks right up there with Two Hearted on my “Bell’s Best” list. I brought four back on the plane with me.

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Photo of flaminghomer
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

when i first saw this beer on the shelves of my local pharmacy my first words were "i've been dreaming about this beer" and i quickly grabbed two six packs when it usually takes me at least twenty minutes to decide on one six pack. so this review is surely biased.

the appearance is what i like most about this beer. (and the bottle with the wise man on the label) it's big and black with a slightly dark head that retains well. sticks very well to the sides of the glass.

taste is very good. first after taste is typical stout awakingness followed by smoooth sailing.(drinkability)

buy it, love it, buy it again. my new favorite beer.

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Photo of joekfsu
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle. Pours pitch black with a 2 cm foamy tan head that is lasting. Aroma of chocolate dominates the maltiness. Flavor is balanced between the bitter chocolate, mild malts, and a hint of sweet creaminess. Tons of lacing, no noted carbonation, and light on alcohol. Medium to full body. Drinkable and great for when you want a big tasting beer without the imperial alcohol.

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Photo of daweidavid
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A slightly sweet and spice smell. Regular stout dark appearance. The bitterness from the hops and slightly caramelized taste all mix together. Also a light roasted falvor in the aftertaste.

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Photo of numinorian
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A the color is an opaque black. The head is dark brown, and it is quite thick and full. The lace is beautifull and sticky, coating the glass with beautiful stars

S Petrol notes as soon as the beer is poured, that disipates after a bit of air gets into it. Bitter coco sting and a strong soy smell. Slight fruity smell

T Coco as expected and a dried apple or rasin. Malty and sweet. Absolutly perfect.

MF Thick and full, coating the mouth with a good residual on the finish. Easy to swallow for such a thick drink, but a lack of hopps makes it very approachable

Drinkability is high for a stout, but this is a stout no matter how sweet it is it's still a bit of a sipper.

Over all i'm very impressed with this beer. It's everything I look for in an american stout. Strong but not to hoppy and a great, lasting finish. I highly recommend it!

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Photo of Slowjamcdub
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Really good beer here, very dark. Safe to go ahead and say black. If your like me and love the chocolate notes and coffee notes then its here! One of my favs so far and I've had a bunch of beers. It gives a nice after kick of flavor that comes back into your pallet after each drink. Very nice and has a lot going on. A- beer here solid 8.8/10

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Photo of budgood1
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours out an opaque dark blackish colour with ruby hued brown head which minimizes to a thin but endearing lace. lactic aroma...sweet and sour...milk chocolate and malted milk balls. very amusing. upon tasting...i'm pleasantly surprised by the dancing yeast induced tartness that lends itself to a chocolate covered cherry nuget middle. after getting a grip on the yeast profile of these bell's brews and the subtle differences of the stouts of november, these prolific stouts of yore, i'm hooked. the body is full...mouthfeel finishes on the dry side. the bitterness from the roasted malt lies low, letting the yeast and the impending malt and alcohol notes provide the majority of the flavour profile. this is a complex, yet very drinkable stout. absolutely delicious.

thanks to feloniousmonk for the offering!

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Photo of Dogbrick
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a great flagship Stout from Bell's. Pours a a deep dark brown with a thick, somewhat foamy light brown head. Decent lacing. Nice chocolately and coffee bean aroma. Sweet flavor of roasted malt, coffee and chocolate. Slightly bittersweet dry finish. This is a great beer.

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Photo of Michelleluw
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer brings the best out of a stout. As someone who doesn't pride herself on a big stout drinker, I found the Kalamazoo Stout to be very approachable. The caramel and malt nodes leave you feeling relaxed and satisfied. This would be an awesome beer with some vanilla ice cream for a beer-float!

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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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Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.03 out of 5 based on 4,276 ratings.
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