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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: 4,203
Photo of dfried
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer looks great, it's dark as crude oil, just barely can see a hint of red and brown around edges. The head is a centimeter or so tall, but is a nice caramel/toffee color, and comes back quickly if you swirl your glass, I really liked the head of this beer. The smell is very roasted but sweet, with coffee and chocolate malts, but there are clear scents of dark, tart fruit as well. There are a lot of dark, tart fruit flavors in the beer as well, cherry and plum, but there is alway a strong noticeable roasted flavor that is bitter but not too. This should be a really chewy beer, it's so sweet and thick, but there is a good amount of carbonation as well that I thought gave this beer a great mouthfeel for a stout. This is a pretty heavy beer, average drinkability for a good stout. Bell's just plain knows how to make stouts.

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Photo of Prufrock
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

pitch brown. an aggressive pour yields about a quarter-inch of brown head, which leaves small strings of lace.

decent aroma; raisins and roast coffee come out strongest. a touch of soy sauce and burning wood as well.

medium feel with a low-medium carbonation. sugary coffee, roasted bitterness and alcohol dominate the flavors; finish is bitter coffee and a touch of hoppiness. lighter in feel than many other stouts, but with a robust flavor.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.76/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Close to black with deep brown hues. Small brown head settles to a quarter inch. Smokey as a Siberian chimney after a hard winter. Aroma of creosote, heavily roasted barley, coffee, roasted nuts. Taste is dominated by huge smoky roastedness. Slightly sweet with a thick, rich body. Low carbonation leads to easy drinking. I remember it being much better on tap.

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Photo of Fish113d
4.44/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass at room temperature, it pours a dirty motor oil color with a nice, hefty 3cm of tan, dense head on top. Absolutely no light gets through this one.

I can smell it at least 1 1/2 feet away! Huge billowing chocolate malts jump out at me along with some roastiness (roasted almonds or peanuts). I also get a bit of alcohol tickling my sinuses. Being as I live near Hershey, PA, I can say that this one reminds me of driving into town and smelling the roasted nuts and chocolate! Superb!!!

Sipping reveals a nice dose of roasted nuts and chocolate right away, with an almost beechnut flavor following this one across my palate and down my throat. I also get some hopiness helping to balance this out on the finish.

Body is medium to full with well-rounded qualities. Carbonation is not too heavy or tingly, and I can tell that there IS a bit of alcohol in there. Nicely done.

Overall, I don't know if this is one I could sit and drink all night, but it is one of the better well-rounded, blanced brews I've had recently. I could easily drink another bottle.

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Photo of kirok1999
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very nice!! I've liked most everything made by Bell's and this one is no exception. Nothing like the monstrous Expedition Stout.

Appearance- Pours a nice black with a tan/chocolate head. Clings nicely to the glass with each sip.

Smell- Roasty malts, hints of coffee and chocolate, caramel, toffee.

Taste- Same as the smell, very nice and smooth. Mild coffee and chocolate flavors balanced with a roasty malt backbone.

Mouthfeel- Super smooth and slippery. Almost oily. I love it.

Drinkability- One of the most drinkable stouts ever. I was very pleasantly surprised at this one.

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Photo of ultralarry2006
5/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Left an espresso foam colored one finger head with excellent retention and some spotty lacing here and there. Body was the deepest possible brown, almost an inky black.

Smell - rich roasted malt. Tones of chocolate, coffee, rich hearty dark bread, slight sweetness of caramel.

Taste - exactly like the smell. Rich roasted malt, rendering chocolate, coffee, and dark bread all slightly sweetened with hint of caramel. Also 6.5 abv is entirely obscured, amazing. Hearty, satisfying, and yummy (sorry) beer.

Mouthfeel - full, smooth, low cabonation, some chewiness at times.

Drinkability - this goes down great, and is excellent. Rich and hearty and satisfying. I could session this any time, but it may be too hearty for some.

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Photo of ski271
3.41/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very dark brown, almost black, with a medium, tan, pillowy head that slowly diminishes to lingering chunks. Lots of lacing all the way down. The aroma is fairly typical for a stout with the usual roasted malt characteristics. Coffee, chocolate, caramel and very light smoke. Also some moderate yeast and dark fruit. The taste is a little on the sweet side at first with the roasted malts again taking center-stage. On the finish it turns lightly bit, but there’s a sourness in the there as well that I wasn’t expecting and didn’t really enjoy. It has a medium-full body, creamy texture and soft carbonation. Not bad, but nothing impressive, especially coming from Bell’s.

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Photo of tempest
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I've had this on tap and from the bottle and there's little to no difference. This beer was pitch black with a nice tan head. It smelled heavily of roasted malts with a bit of chocolate in the back ground. Taste is similar with a very dry, bitter bite to it. Appears to have a very clean yeast strain and the malts almost taste like you're chewing on the grains. I found it nice and interesting at first, but the dryness got to me after a couple bottles.

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Photo of DuqTroops
4.23/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - dark and very cloudy. loved the color of this stout!

Smell - caramel, coffee, and chocolate aroma.

Taste - creamy and full bodied! great balance of bitters and sweetness.

Drinkability - I am glad I bought a sixer of this, this is an excellent beer!

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.55/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours out of the bottle in a stream the reminds me of used motor oil. Once in the glass, it’s a glowing black with a dark and murky tan and copper head.

Smells of a great blend of dark, smoky barley, coffee and a creamy nuttiness. The dryness of the burnt elements are delightfully offset by a slight malty sweetness.

The flavor starts with a mild barley, toasted marshmallow and nut foundation that picks up dry elements with the onset of the carbonation. This releases the expected smoky elements and a touch of honey. This beer then finishes off with a smooth coffee and smoke.

The mouth feel is surprisingly glassy and smooth with a micro-bubble carbonation.

As far as the smokier stouts go, this one’s top notch. It’s charred, but still smooth and clean with a superb silky mouth feel.

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Photo of beerphilosopher
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz'er into a standard pint glass. Appears almost opaque black with a massive, chocoate-colored head. Nose is sweet malt, oatmeal, and a bit of baker's chocolate. Palate is of roasted malt, oats, nuts, and espresso. Very rich. Mouthfeel is medium, with light carbonation. Finishes slightly drier than I would have thought for the style it's labeled under, but that's not a complaint. Good hop bitterness lingers here ... This is a very good stout, though I would hesitate to call it a milk stout. Really top-notch as is most of what Bell's offers. May I have another?

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Photo of PorterLambic
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew flows more than pours into the glass. It arrives pitch black with a dark tan head 2" tall consisting of tiny bubbles (cue Don Ho). For all appearances it could be Guinness without the "waterfall"
Smell is rich dark chocolate, coffee, smoked sausage, soy, peat. Nicely balanced and good complexity.
Taste is very similar to what was promised to the olfactory sense. Smoke, coffee, dark chocolate, soy, smoked meats. The last one seems weird when I read it but it was very much a welcome flavor. I like smoked beers and this was like a combonation of a rauchbier and a stout.
Smooth across the tongue, lightly carbonated, with a medium body - leaning to the full side - though I expected a chewier brew. A nice, alcohol-infused oak & smoke aftertaste. This is a really good beer. It went great with the homemade chocolate chip cookies I finished it off with. :-)

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

A - Its a very black heavy pouring beer with a dense, tan head. Its lacing down the glass very nicely.

S - Strong hints of chocolate, roasted coffee, brown sugar, molasses, and quite possibly some bar-b-que sauce. Or maybe that is just the molasses.

T - I think this might be heading south of the border. The place I got it from has a ton of different beers, sitting out in the warm air, and has a heap of dust on it. But I'll do my best. The chocolate, coffee and molasses are strong on the palette. Strong bitterness wraps the tounge rather sharpley, and is folllowed up by a rather roasted coffee/cardboard flavor. Im assuming that is the age showing up.

M - Due to its age IM going to say that it is a little unpleasant to drink. If I take away the "age feel" i think its rather smooth. Slight carbination bite in the middle and a dry finish.

D - Im hoping I can get some of this fresh someday. I bet it is a million times better.

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

thanks to Brian700 for trade.

Pours a strong black coffee color with a medium tan cap with orange hues. A one finger cap quickly dissipates to lacings on top. Aroma is chocoloate, coffee, orange, and fusal hops. Flavor is maltose malt, toffee, chocolate, coffee, orange, and roasted barley. Mild citrus and fusal hops in background. Very good beer with lots of toasty roasted barley. Good blend of sweetness, hops, and burnt notes. Medium carbonation and medium body.

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Photo of weeare138
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a midnight, pitch black with a foamy, 1 finger tan head that slowly fades out into a collar. Scattered lacing is left around the tulip glass.
Smell is of deep, dark roasted malt, sweet cream, roasted chestnut, vanilla, and a hint of bitter coffee beans touched with bakers chocolate.
Taste is of the same aromas with a dark roasted malt that stands out above everything else and sticks to the tongue.
Mouthfeel is full bodied with a sugar sweetness and dark roastiness battling it out for supremecy with the fizzy roastiness lasting long after the swallow.
This one is pretty good. The roasted malt and slightly overcarbonated body makes it a bit uneasy to swallow easily but it doesn't take away from the great characteristics found in this brew.

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Photo of sinistrsam
4.37/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a very dark brown/black, foamy tan head and good retention. Decent lacing throughout.
Smelled of espresso and coffee, roasted and caramel malts. Very strong on the sweet dark fruits; definitely some cherry in there. Not as much chocolate as I expected.
The taste was bitter chocolate, fading into a creamier chocolate; add the cherry taste and it comes out something like a cherry cordial, or chocolate-covered cherry. Ok, the chocolate dominates, but that sweet fruitiness, even if its not all cherry makes an important contribution. Also we have malts, and brown sugar.
The motuhfeel started with a semi-fizzy carbonation, leading to a semi-sweetness, then finished dry but still somehow creamy. Very interesting.
I could drink this stout all night long. I didn't find it tough to drink after the first half of the glass as some "sweet/milk" stouts are. Very impressive all around.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark beige head with medium bubbles sits on top of a very dark brown body. By the pour appears a bit thin, we'll see. Head has fallen and will continue to fall until is just a minor wisp. Nice sticky lace across the glass though from top to bottom.

S: Smells of black and roasted malts, coffee and almonds. Very nutty aroma.

T: Starts off latte flavored then lends to bitter chocolate notes. Moves towards a roasted dry finish which thoughtfully lingers long past the swallow. Nice and gently complex.

M: A bit sticky and sweet.

D: Very nice stout, very nice. A low(er) alcohol content allows this beer to be enjoyable and not over the top. Another good stout from Bells.

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Photo of Brian700
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one pours a deep brown with a brown head that slowly disappears to a ring around my glass leaving some decent lacing going on.

The aroma is chocolate and malty sweet.

The flavor is malty sweet with a milky chocolate flavor. Not to much of a burnt flavor for how dark it is. It is more creamy and sweet.

The mouthfeel is full bodied with medium carbonation.
It is very creamy and it coats your mouth just right to leave you a nice flavor after the swallow.

This is a pretty drinkable beer for being a darker beer. I've drank a 6-pack of this on a few occasions with out a problem...or regret.

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Photo of SethB2
4.37/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a Tulip glass. Beer pours a very dark, deep brown color, nearing black. Not much head or lacing. Smells of yeast and malty sweetness. Taste is very good. Bready, with subtle fruit tones and a hop profile that is perfect. Mouthfeel is exceptional. Perfect amount of carbonation and such a smooth beer going down. Medium and nice. I'm thinking this must be a standard thing with Bell's stouts. Expedition is the only other stout I can recall feeling this good in my mouth. Drinkability is also very good. Too bad I can't get it in California.

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Photo of sevineyes
4.58/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a brown bottle with a tan label.

A: Nice frothy dark brown head. Man this stuff is black. Light only gets through the very corners of the glass and there it's a rich brown. Leaves great lacing.

S: Dominantly sweet nose. Brown sugar. Milk chocolate.

T: Such a great taste. Thick fudge-like chocolates. Semi-sweet chocolates. Big roasty flavor. Burnt caramel. Toffee. In the finish it gets balanced by some deep bitterness that brings out some dry charcoal-like elements. Aftertaste is a great, but not overpowering, bitterness that lingers along with bits and pieces of the initial sweet. This lasts for minute after minute.

M: Big bodied, thick and creamy. Exceptionally smooth.

Overall: Ok, the smell seems like the odd man out for this beer. Everything else is so perfect that the aroma pales in comparison. Even at that, the aroma is still good. All I can say is: if you don't drink this beer, I'll pick up the slack..

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Photo of gmcfarre
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into Sammy Smith pint.

A - Near pitch black with a 1/2 inch sticky brown head that falls to leave behind faint whispers. Lacing is pretty minimal.

S - Dark roasted malt with big coffee scents. "Roasted" dryness seems to be the most lasting in the smell department.

T - Dark malt, coffee hangs in there as well, with a nice sweetness following.

M - Smooth & full transitions to a nice roasted finish will a slightly dry, sticky aftertaste.

D - Refreshing stout with a lower ABV (which is not noticeable). Could definitely be a fallback beer if I wanted something familiar and heavy.

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

On the pour it looks like it has the consistency of a Russian Imperial Stout. Sort of like molasses. Some brownish head.

This beer has more boozy tastes than the average regular stout. The aroma is filled with chocolate malt, which makes sense since one of the primary malts used must be chocolate malt.

A nice and solid beer. I'm imagining that more complexity may show up on cask, but I'm not sure if I'll ever experience that.

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Photo of karst
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Two fingered brown sugar headover a black brew. Sharp, espresso & dark bittersweet chocolate aroma. Double crack - roasted coffee, roasted barley and balanced hop bitterness in flavor. Very strong chocolate flavor. Full bodied, viscous mouthfeel. Finishes w/ a lingering enjoyable hop and roasted unmalted barley bitterness almost an imperial stout. Put this together with my first beer at Bell's Ecclectic Cafe and I was in heaven

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Photo of Derek
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark, opaque black. Tan head, not much retention, but it leaves a little lace. I think a stout should have more of a head (that stands up!).

S: Roasted coffee, dark bitter chocolate, slight tangy-tartness.

T: Plenty of dark roasted flavour (not burnt), nice bitter chocolate, with a little coffee. Balanced by a pleasant sweetness, but surprisingly dry for the style (it's not overly sweet). As it warms, the fruity esters from the yeast become more apparant.

M: Thick & creamy like a stout should be. Light to moderate carbonation. Slight chalky acidity... but very nice.

D: Good.

Bell's stouts rock!

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle(room temp) a pitch black with a medium sized head of foam that dissipated slowly.

The smell is all roasty and malty sweet. Nice.

The taste is yummy.... Great roastiness up front offset by a sweet malty, almost chocolate milky flavour that has me saying, Milk stouts are good. :^)

Bottom line: This is quite the different stout and one I favour...I recommend it.

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Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.03 out of 5 based on 4,203 ratings.
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