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

1,570 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: 1,570 | Ratings: 4,275
Photo of spelingchampeon
4.56/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured into a Spiegelau glass, it's what a stout should look like. Black with a reddish foam-pillow head, medium lacing.. settling into a nice rim.
S - Roasted malts, slight chocolate, coffee and licorice aroma. Well balanced.
T - Complex, yet simple.. it doesn't overwhelm me with anything in particular. Slight coffee, slight chocolate, slight licorice. Again.. well balanced.
M - A tad dry, but very smooth.
O - I've had Kalamazoo many times during multiple beer tasting sessions, before others styles, after other styles, and solo. No matter what the situation, it never fails to impress me. This stout is my favorite beer. Bell's has done a great job of fulfilling my wish of having a stout beer, that can handle a session-beer job. I'm a Bell-boy.

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Photo of ljdrinksbeer
3.64/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

L - small dark tan head, very dark, looks black
S - roasted malt, coffee
T - bitter, black coffee
F - thin to medium, low carbonation
O - bitterness is the main thing that stands out, drinkable but a little to thin for my taste.

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Photo of GilGarp
4.56/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle served chilled into a pint glass. Batch 14773 packaged 9/2/15.

Kalamazoo Stout is a deep dark brown, nearly black in color, with thin tan colored head.

Aroma is wonderfully bold even with a slightly stuffy nose.

Flavor is equally robust with big roasted malts, dark chocolate, and coffee. Currants and dark fruits add to the depth.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and nicely carbonated.

Overall one of the best American stouts I've had. Great aroma, flavor, and complexity.

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Photo of Motleydrunk56
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Anchor Steam glass.Smell is a coffee chocolate combo.Taste is coffee and a bitter chocolate.Overall not a bad beer.Just does not have that wow factor.Don`t know if I would drink this again.Too many better beers out there.

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Photo of smanson56
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured a dark black color into my snifter glass. Nose is kind of week not showing the licorice that they state on the label. I didn't find much of the licorice in the taste either. A nicely blended stout but not with the licorice overtones that I had hoped for.

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Photo of cbenson
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The beer pours jet black with a low, long-lasting head. The aroma nippy, sweet, and syrup-like. It smells and tastes very acidity. The taste has a medium malt character with intense flavors of coffee, chocolate, and caramel as well as the sweet, puckering taste of sour candy. The alcohol taste is present but mild. The mouthfeel is the best part. It is thick, textured, and carbonated like root beer.

I thought I was tripping the first time I tried this beer and tasted heaven but after a second go at it, I can confirm that this is my favorite beer. It doesn’t just throw in coffee for shits and giggles; it really brings out the roasty, creamy, sweetness that defines the stout as a genre. Maybe it could play up the bitters a bit more.

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Photo of Drinkzumbeer
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is one dark stout and it has a wonderful large tan head that stayed around for quite some time. This is an incredibly rich and creamy stout that has a nice helping of well balanced carbonation on each and every sip. With every taste I get a nice helping of darkly roasted malts, which transitions very nicely to a black coffee finish with some subtle hints of bitter dark chocolate throughout. This is a nice stout and another solid brew from Bell's line up of year-round beers.

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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 The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a tarry black with an almond colored 3 finger rocky head. 100% opacity as expected.

In the aroma I'm getting tons of malted milk balls, followed by snips of coffee bean and black licorice.

Taste is spot on. Very good, delicious all the way down. Lots of roasted character but strays from being burnt, and complimented by chocolate, molasses, and coffee bean. Finish is very chocolatey and coffee-like.

Feel compliments the taste with a creamy body and a buzzing carbonation. Dry parch keeps things interesting on the finish.

I may go back to buy more of these. I like this stout, and I feel nervous knowing I only have 2 more of them left.

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Photo of Raime
3.4/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Bell's Kalamazoo Stout.

I've wanted to try this beer out for quite some time but for whatever reason I never bought a sixer. Found a single bottle of it at a local store about a week ago and figured now was the time to give it a shot. Bell's makes some exceptionally stouts as I think everybody knows so I don't expect this guy to be any different. Let's drink it.

Look - From the twelve ounce bottle slowly poured a few times into a can style glass. Despite the lower nav and non-imperial status, this brew manages to pour as black as Charlie Murphy along side of an exceptionally dense and pillowy moderately mocha colored head. It still still and black like the void waiting to consume your life for all of eternity. Carbonation is unreadable given the depth of the creature sitting in the glass. Minimal stick after a finished glass.

Smell - Deep toasty bitterness with the licorice promised on the bottle being the most notable part of the initially scent. The hop presence is quite tame and the malts are surely roasted. Not a whole lot of chocolate to be mentioned but the cocoa nibs are for certain. Not a very big nose but just enough to remind you that it is in fact a stout. Smells a lot like their porter only a bit tuned down.

Taste - This really isn't that big of a beer from what I'm noticing. The flavor profile isn't as robust as you may expect but I did remind myself that this is only a regular stout and not something imperial. The cocoa nibs and licorice dominate the majority of the flavor but overall chocolate presence is quite low. Hops are a bit earthy. Also a small ash aspect comes through as the beer warms up. A true session stout flavor profile.

Feel - Even the body is rather thin by comparison to other in the style. It's actually quite watery with almost a gaping hole feeling as it sits around the mouth. Carbonation seems to be completely dead as well. Flavors remain much the same but seemingly die down. The only thing saving this category from not going below a 3is the fact that it is quite creamy and goes down smoother than a 1970's smooth talking black pump trying to pick up yo momma.

Overall - I'm rather disappointed with this beer. Definitely sessionable without a doubt and a sixer or even two sixers could be killed easily. But I expect more out of Bell's when it comes to their stouts, especially since they make the legendary Expedition and even the FANTASTIC 30th anniversary stout of theirs. Not a bad beer, just nothing worth returning to.

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Photo of Mexwald
3.89/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Very easy-drinking stout. I can't say that I tasted the licorice notes, though I believe it would require a more enhanced palate than my own to detect. The smell and feel are not really distinguishable from any other stout that I have had, though that isn't really a bad thing. Every sip is flavorful and I would call this a solid offering from Bell's. The aftertaste was enjoyable, but as a disclaimer, I drink black coffee. I got a sixer of this one and would recommend trying it out.

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Photo of The_Snow_Bird
4.01/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a dark beer with no light passing through. Very large dark head that goes away after a while. Has a dark chocolate smell along with roasted malts. Can taste the chocolate in it. Can't taste any licorice.

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

A decent stout from Bell's. Kinda tough to rate after having Expedition Stout last week. Would I seek this out? No, but a decent add-in to a craft your own six pack.

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Photo of HamdenHector
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: opaque; very deep brown with dark mahogany accents at the edges; with a fairly aggressive pour, a 4 finger dark tan head that receded slowly to a thick cap; very nice lacing;

S: roasted grain followed by spicy bittersweet chocolate;

t: deeply roasted grain up front, followed by spice from the licorice, followed by bittersweet chocolate; finish is mildly bitter with a combination of the licorice and bittersweet chocolate;

M: medium to full bodied; moderate carbonation; dry finish;

O: the licorice gave a nice twist to the aroma and flavor; very well done;

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Photo of BrokenEdge
3.56/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was just okay for me, which was weird because I love every Bell's beer I've tried, and I love stouts. It just didn't quite come together. As far as look and looks like a stout and it smells like a stout. Nothing too remarkable in either area. Not much of a head to it, but it left a persistent ring of foam; the beer was dark, dark brown in color with a tan head. Smelled of coffee, wood, and chocolate. The taste was just alright for a stout. I didn't pick up any of the licorice taste, but I got a lot of roasted qualities, beef broth, and dark coffee. I thought the finish was very dry and left a lingering bitter aftertaste, too bitter for me. Maybe more licorice flavor would have helped balance it more. Not bad, but not as good as some other Bell's beer I've had.

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Photo of atigerlife
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours dark brown with a thick creamy dark brown head. Good retention.

S: aroma of dark malts, marshmallows

T: Bitter dark chocolate and dark malts.

F: mouthfeel is medium bodied and medium cleansing

O: Very solid brew. Enjoyable. Robust.

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Photo of PicoPapa
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. PKGD 06/25/15. Pours a dark brownish black color with over an inch of frothy khaki colored head. Lots of lacing. The aroma is roasty with some dark chocolate, black licorice, and espresso. The taste is espresso, licorice, roasted malts, and dark bitter chocolate. Finishes with more roasted malts and bitter dark chocolate. Light mouthfeel with a good deal of carbonation. An easy drinking, lighter stout. Overall, solid all around. I'd buy this one again.

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Photo of ccg
3.84/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

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Photo of NateDyk47
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L- dark, almost black, thin tan head
S- coffee/espresso, not very strong
T- dark chocolate, slowly turning into a slightly bitter aftertaste
F- a little thin & more carbonated than usual for a stout, but still good

Good stout, but not the best I've had. About the quality I was expecting given the brewer, maybe slightly below.

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Photo of Marraybay
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Look: Dark black; 1 finger of tan foam; heavy lacing

Smell: Sweet roasted coffee

Taste: Mildly sweet roasted coffee that transitions to a slight
lingering bitterness.

Feel: Exceedingly creamy: Almost like a nitro, but with more carbo
and heat on the tongue.

Overall: This is a decent beer; A bit underdeveloped for me in terms of
sweetness and overall depth, but not a bad effort from Bell.

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Photo of q33jeff
3.87/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

"Bottle to snifter. Aroma is coffee, toasted barley,
Appearance: dark black, small off white head.
Taste: chicory, toasted barley. A little too bitter in the after taste.
Palate. Low carbonation. Smooth enough.
Good beer, though I am a little disappointed.

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Photo of dmgallag
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Has all the tastes previous reviewers have noted. Roasted chocolate, a nice balance to everything, and a clean aftertaste. My only issue...too thin a mouthfeel. Maybe I've been spoiled with too much oatmeal stout!

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Photo of spoony
3.74/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From a 355 ml bottle (packaged September 2, 2015) to a snifter. Reviewed from notes dated November 5, 2015.

A-The beer is pretty much black and opaque. A dense, pillowy head of roughly one and one-half fingers sits atop the beer. The foam is tan in color and retention is pretty good.

S-The aroma is nice mixture of roasted barley flavors, a little whiff of smoke, licorice (or anise), some prune, blueberry, and a bit of lactose. It smells like a stout should smell; not over-the-top with any one flavor.

T-The taste is less interesting. I get more earthy, dull, dusty flavors on the palate. There is still some licorice and roast flavors, but none of the fruit and the beer tastes a bit metallic. Odd.

M-The feel is medium in heft with a moderate carbonation for the style. Nothing off or inspirational here.

O-The smell had me hoping for more. The licorice is there, and I will not knock this beer for being subtle instead of in-your-face, but the taste left a little to be desired. Just kind of dull. On the plus side, it looks really nice and smells pretty nice too.

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Photo of SaltofOH
3.63/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle dated 9/2/15. Pokal glass.

Smell: Potent dark chocolate; licorice; savory note; perhaps some alcohol, but faint. Smells like a stout, alright. No off notes, but not really complex.

Appearance: Held up to a very bright light, totally opaque - no light penetrates. Around the edges, there is a slight dark red hue when held up to said very bright light, but in normal lighting, no reddish tints are visible. Formed a 2 finger, extremely frothy and thick light brown (darker than tan) head. Lacing was very good. Retained very well: a cap of tan skim all the way to the last sip.

Taste: Being a coffee lover, I would not say this tastes anything like coffee, but perhaps like dark or bittersweet chocolate. Not much sweetness to it, which I have observed in the past. That savory note is strong on the arrival. Sweetness builds across mid-palate, but is at most mild sweetness. Then it turns dry, bitter, and woodsy/herbal. Not as bitter as some stouts I've had lately, but extremely bitter relative to its perceived weight in the mouth and level of sweetness.

Mouthfeel: On the lighter side of full-bodied. Some residual slickness, but over all not slick. Very mild carbonation, but more present than many shouts I've had. Really, it is a perfect level of carb for a stout.

Overall: This is a lot like the last time I had it; it is very roasty and easy drinking as stouts go. The roast bitterness is quite strong, particularly in relation to the subdued sweetness. If you want a classic stout with very high bitterness but moderate alcohol, this is a go-to beer. I think my preference is to have beers of this style a touch sweeter, though. Not six-pack worthy for me.

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Photo of Wer34truh
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Large foamy head, with massive bubbles. The body is a brownish black, with a lot of still carbonation.

Smells of licorice, roasted coffee beans and chocolate.

A strong and immediate taste of roasted (or rather, burnt) malts, that slowly transitions into a delicate balanced taste of chocolate, with some stinginess courteous of the licorice. Great aftertaste, but the immediate shock of burned flavors leaves something to be desired for.

Feel is solid with moderate carbonation and a relatively light feel. Not a beer I am going to write love letters to, but I will have no problems downing a few of these. I must say though, that the taste grew on me as the beer warmed. A solid session stout.

Bought as a six-pack for $10.95.

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Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.03 out of 5 based on 4,275 ratings.
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