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: 4,276
Photo of Contagion
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

There is a dark ebony color to it in the glass. Light doesn't pass through at all. A thick viscous foam head forms when poured. The head fades slowly as the beer is drunk. Along the sides of the glass is a light lacing.

The beer starts with a rich coffee smell. Roasted chocolate malts are quick to follow along with a hint of caramel. The scent is strong, but not over powering. It's the smell that makes the drinker eager with anticipation to take the first sip. The flavor is a delicious combination of coffee and chocolate malts. The roasted malts present a combination of sweet and bitterness on the tongue. There is a slight bitter burnt taste. If one savors the flavor you can pick up the faint hints of sweet licorice. Not enough to overwhelm the taste, but just a touch to enhance to flavor.
This is a medium to full bodied beer. There is a creaminess to it that coats the mouth and helps hold the flavor in.

This is by far one of the best American Stouts that I've had the pleasure of drinking. This is a great beer to sit down with friends and enjoy with friends. I've had some really good stouts, but this is by far going to be one of my favorites.

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Photo of cpmichael
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The K-Zoo Stout when poured from the bottle is extremely dark. Pitch Black. Medium head. K-Zoo smells of malts mixed with coffee. As stouts go, K-Zoo is a pretty smooth one. Not too bitty, but this beer is no slouch. Has a hint of malts mixed with coffee. Pretty easy to drink and tastes great. adding to an already decent line of bell's beers.

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Photo of antlerwrestler19
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep brown to black with maroon highlights when the light barely shines through. One finger toffee coloroed head fades pretty quick leaving the thinnest webbed lacing. Smells of anise and black licorice, roasted chocolate maltiness with a faint smokiness. The flavor follows suit but it also incorporates a lot of bitter chocolate and a bitter hop presence as well. The mouthfeel is smooth and on the lighter side of full bodied. This beer didn't really jump out at me, I enjoyed it but the licorice characteristics are probably what hurt this stout's quality for me. Still a good somewhat low abv. drinkable stout.


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

Black licorice in color nice one inch of head. Nice tan color on the head, with great lace.

mmm...Nice chocolate licorice smell.

Chocolate smoothness with the licorice on the back end. Hints of coffee as well dark roasted malty backbone. Nice

Medium body very smooth and easy to drink. Wish I bought more than one.

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Photo of srv33
3.94/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No glass, so unable to comment on color or head. Scent of coffee and milk chocolate. Excellent taste, likely my favorite of Bells stout's thus far, particularly pleasing aftertaste. Tasted slightly nutty, strong coffee taste, hint of licorice. Lingering coffee aftertaste, less herby than Expedition. A robust and well balanced stout.

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Photo of MikeyMcD86
4.69/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Had this beer sitting in the fridge since September and just got around to drinking it. Drank out of a Teku.

Look: Beer pours pretty dark and is pitch black in the glass with a medium dark khaki head.

Aroma: Lovely roasted coffee note with just a little bit of licorice in the background.

Taste: Aroma translates to the palate. Licorice is a little more pronounced but not overpowering. Really nice roasty bitterness on the back end makes this beer super drinkable.

Mouthfeel: At 6% this beer is on the thin side for a stout.

Overall(style points): This beer is way better than people give it credit for. For some reason nobody gives low ABV stouts any respect but this beer is delicious. It delivers awesome roasted coffee flavor while being refreshing and drinkable. 92 points!

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Photo of leif86
3.77/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Black body that light cannot penetrate. The head is thin, coffee colored, and yields to lasting lacing.

S: Smells like sweet cocoa. Also a roasted nut aroma in the back. The best part about this brew.

T: It begins very malty and with caramel that gives way to a bitter coffee/bitter chocolate taste. This latter taste lingers for some time.

M: Well carbonated (a little too much for my personal taste) but still retains some creaminess.

D: A good overall stout, I've had better though. Could probably only have about 2 consecutively before my mouth was overpowered. I could definitely see myself buying more of this if it was available in my area.

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Photo of princessbay710
3.37/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I like it's pitch black pour. Quickly diminishing head. Smell is light, general porter smell, but good. Weird flat carbonation, and taste that reminds me of iceburg lettuce. Sorry but it's hard to be a fan of this. It's not awful or undrinkable, it's just bleh.. and lacks any direction.

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Photo of mbudner
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle, batch 9210, poured into pint glass.

A- Solid black, but lets light through as poured becoming a medium brown (presumably not that thick). Frothy, 3-finger mocha-colored head that dissipated in 3-4 minutes.

S- Roasted malts, chocolate, slight amount of booze (a little surprising for such a low abv stout.)

T- Extremely bitter chocolate, slightly metallic aftertaste. Tastes very burnt, a sort of charred wood flavor (coincidentally leaving an ashy/chalky feeling in my mouth.)

M- Thicker than expected with a healthy dose of carbonation. Leaves the palate very dry and even a little chalky.

D- Drinkability is not bad, but not great, either. The burnt (and somewhat bitter) flavor makes it hard to drink quickly. The slowest-drinking low abv American stout I've experienced. I normally don't mind bitterness in a stout, but there's nothing really balancing this out.

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Photo of GoalieRon33
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty beer to pour. Resembles Coca Cola both in body appearance and head appearance. Head dissipates quickly, which was a bit upsetting.

Good hop aroma. Very smooth, somewhat burnt. Underwhelming, but in a good way.

Starts out like a guinness, but is much more complex. Burnt, slightly Chocolatey, but muted. Hoppy finish. Gloriously complex.

Nice body. Not too watery. Slightly syrup-like at colder temperatures.

Great brew overall. Fun to drink, easy to appreciate. Would definitely rec. to anyone.

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

Bell's Kalamazoo Stout pours a medium thick black with a short tanish head. The smell is moderately strong of roasted malts with a slight hint of liquorice. Taste is very malty with just a touch of tart bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is silky smooth, light to moderately thick, and has a low amount of carbonation. The small amount of carbonation is just enough for a really nice feel. Overall drinkability is good, I wish this had more flavor, but the silky smoothness goes a long way and makes this one quite enjoyable.

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Photo of Tbn2
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass.

A-Black. When back lit, no light shines through. Typical tan head settles to the top and stick around for the duration. Leaves some lacing.

S-Chocolate and sweet malts are there. Toasty/smoky smell is also present. The yeast make an appearance in this one as a major player as well. A little coffee in the back of the nose.

T-Coffee taste is much upfront now. Fades to a smoky/chocolate taste. Hops kindly remind you they are present with a piney taste at the very end.

M-I would have liked a little more body. Hops leave you with too dry of a taste I feel. I like my Milk Stouts to finish sweet.

Overall a good brew from Bells. Get it, you won't be disappointed. Thanks to lvnloud for this libation.

Drink em' if ya got em'

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Photo of Zekezilla
4.11/5  rDev +2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up on a whim, so glad I did. An exceptional stout. Incredibly chewy in feel. Complex and warm. This stout is a little more smoky than chocolate or coffee but not an overwhelming smokiness. Dark fruits also come through. A little thinner than some stouts but it really works for this one. Also beautiful black appearance.

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Photo of PhilsPils
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Every time I have one of these luscious stouts I ask myself the same question: In light of how full-flavored and smooth this beer is, do I really need the 12% ABV of an Imperial to enjoy a great stout taste? I love it and can't wait 'til I can buy it here in Texas. C'mon Bell's...we be ready!

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Photo of runner440
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks so much to Marc for sending me this in an epic Michigan beer box! This was a great stout with big coffee and chocolate notes. It had a medium mouth-feel and is perfect as a session stout. I could drink this all night and never get old of it. It is also surprisingly refreshing. Great brew! Thanks again Marc!

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Photo of trumick
4.16/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The appearance is a deep dark color with a finger head that lasts for a while leaves a nice lacing.
The smell is of sweet malt and roasted coffee maybe a little chocolate.
The taste is incredible, deep roasted malt and chocolate expresso flavor with a very nice bittersweet finish.
The mouthfeel is soft and velvety just the right amount of carbination to compliment the feeling.
I could easily drink a six of these, nice and slow.
What a nice beer from Kzoo, this is the best beer I have had from Bells. The kind Kzoo brew.

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Photo of NYCWheatFanSC
3.57/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours deep black, but fades to a dark brown around the edges when held to light. Small light mocha head that recedes quickly to leave a nice collar with a dusting of microbubbles. Leaves a good amount of lace.

S - Sweet vanilla, roasted malts.

T - Burnt molasses is the most prominent flavor, with a hint of smokiness right alongside it. Milk, toasted coffee. A bit acred, almost charred to the point of being an ashbomb. The licorice is barely noticeable.

M - Almost a bit oily on the tongue, leaving a strange coating (dare I say a film) on the mouth.

D - Overall not that complex. Not one I would seek out again.

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Photo of adams82
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 7767, packaged on December 15th, 2006.

Pours black with a nice rocky tan head. Looks like a killer stout. Simple, huh?

Smells of the obvious: Intense roasted malt character, bittersweet chocolate blended with a nice subdued sweetness. Smells like a killer stout as well.

Roasted malts dominate the flavor profile of this beer and it finishes bittersweet with some coffe, chocolate and hoppy notes. While I wouldn't say it's an extraordinarily complex flavor, it is blended very well and is extremely tasty!

Mouthfeel is good, medium to full bodied and fairlysmooth.

I really can't say enough good things about this beer. I'd have to say this is one of my favorite stouts and I could easily drink Bell's out of this stuff given the opportunity.

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Photo of atremains
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours opaque with a small head. Cloudy cap and some good lacing. Smell is licorice malt and some vanilla. Taste is malty. Vanilla is great. My favorite aspect. Licorice and malt some coffee. Drinkable light mouthfeel. A little thin at times. Overall good brew

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Photo of Spiekerbox
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark brown-black with a coffee brown head on it that pours thin and recedes quickly

S- Roasted malts and some bits of dark sweet smell to it.

T- Large roasted malt flavor up front with a bit of a dark licorice sweetness to it. Actually has a decent hop presence which adds a pleasent bitterness and a finish of hops to mix with the dark toasted grains.

M- Medium-full bodied with low carbonation. Creamy texture that is easy to drink and doesn't linger for very long. As expected with a 6% beer there isn't much if any warming from the alcohol.

O- Good stout that is quite easy to drink. Would be a good stout for winter but is still drinkable enough to enjoy in the hot summer too.

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Photo of frenchblood21
3.61/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into Goose Island pint glass.

Appearance- Cola black w/ a one finger tan head. Tons of carbonation in the bottom of the glass. Great lacing.

Smell- Roasted barley and rootbeer come right at you. That's followed by the traditional chocolate and coffee.

Taste- A good roasted taste is the primary flavor. Not sweet at all...more of a bitter aftertaste. Some dark chocolate in the back.

Mouthfeel- Smooth and creamy...not much else to say.

Overall- Not the best stout in Bell's line-up. Coming in at only 6%, its a welcomed change from all the heavy hitters I've had lately.

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Photo of Vader444
3.34/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottle poured into tulip.

Looks like most other stouts. Head doesn't hang around on this one. To be honest I'm a bit let down by this one. I adore Expedition but this is not in the same league. Granted, the ABV is obviously lower but the difference in intensity of aroma & flavour is remarkable. The mouthfeel is also markedly inferior to that of its big brother. Overall this is pretty bland stuff. I'll admit that it is superior to the majority of UK brewed stouts of similar style that I can obtain but that is hardly a commendation. One of the weaker US stout offerings that I have sampled. Maybe I've been spoiling myself of late. Cheers.

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Photo of nouseforotacon
3.31/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark brown/black bottom with an extra creamy tan head that floats atop. Wonderful head retention. Foamy lacing on the sides of the glass. Not much light penetrating this one.

Sweet, rich, roasted malts wrapped in chocolate and coffee bean notes. As it warms the aroma opens up a bit, leaving some dark fruit esters. Overall weak nose.

Roasted malts and a strong, burnt, caramel profile is complimented by a milky, lactic sweetness. Malty and bready, with some nutty notes. A twang from the milk, and also, an undertone of dark fruits. Hint of coffee beans. Astringent. Decent taste, with a chewy mouthfeel and a satisfying amount of creaminess.

I had higher expectations for this brew coming from Bell's. I've also had better milk stouts. Not bad, but not great.

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Photo of Shippy
4.01/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From a bottle. Pours black with a light tan head. Smoky malt aromas dominated by notes of coffee. Full bodied with an earthy, chocolatey flavor. Some mild bitterness. Malty aftertaste.

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Photo of jlh8643
3.35/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into an Imperial pint glass. A very nice tan head sits on top of a near black body leaving fair lace on the sides of the glass. Dark coffee and roasted malts dominate the nose. Acrid and astringent, dark malts dominate the initial swallow. I can't find any lactic/milk sweetness. Full bodied and somewhat rich but I can't get around the roasted malt that sticks around to the end. Not a bad beer but not one that I would rank up near the top end either.

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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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