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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

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Reviews: 1,549 | Ratings: 4,193
Photo of dcotom
4.48/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Deep blackish brown color with a one-finger tan head. Tons of sticky lacing. Aromas and flavors of dark roasred malts, with notes of cocoa and burnt coffee. Licorice is very understated, coming through on the palate and finish as the beer warms. A little lighter in body than its bigger brother Expedition Stout, but mouthfeel is nice and silky. Overall, an outstanding brew and highly recommended.

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Photo of josanguapo
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

From Labirratorium. In Teku glass. Playing Magic Duels. Perfectly balanced in all aspects. Tasty and not overwhelming roastyness. Well placed noble hops. No trace of alcohol nor of the licorice announced in the label.

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Photo of Roguer
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Head is slightly fizzy; great size and retention.

Aroma is slightly subdued, but carries lots of roast and noble hops.

Plenty of roast on the palate.

A touch thin for a stout. Lively and drinkable.

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Photo of HorseheadsHopHead
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Almost pitch black, with just a tint of dark brown. The head is fat and very creamy tan with excellent retention and leaves sheets of lacing.

S: Milk chocolate candy, hints of light roast coffee, mocha, licorice, anise, a bit of smoke and umami.

T: Nicely balanced chocolate upfront, both dark and milk chocolate, a toasty pumpernickel bread malt base. Near the finish, you get the licorice and anise spice, but it is subtle, along with some molasses. Finshes dry and lightly roasty with a hint of black cherry, and the aftertaste lingers on long of bitter chocolate.

F: Medium-bodied, medium carbonation, smooth and well-rounded.

O: This is a solid and enjoyable average stout. Interesting malt and roast complexities, along with the addition of licorice. I would recommend this to any stout drinker.

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Photo of BloodSoakedAleMug
4.65/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a deep brown, almost black color with a one finger beige colored head. Leaves excellent lacing.

Aroma is of coffee, bacon, black chocolate, cinnamon, firewood and fresh baked cookies. Lactose is detectable on the nose.

Flavor is bitter upfront but not unbearably so, with a very pleasant - not charred or burnt- but browned and slightly darkened toast flavor. Lots of roasted malt character. Very clean and crisp midpalate with dry notes of floral hops and bittersweet notes of dark chocolate with black licorice. As the dark chocolate and black licorice flavor develops, it gets gradually sweeter shifting away from the taste of bitter chocolate to milk chocolate with hints of vanilla beans. Moderately sweet with notes of lactose on the finish, but it's well balanced by the dry, roasted, bitter flavors upfront.

Feel is perfect. Very thirst quenching and uncompromising on flavor. Mid-light body with moderate carbonation. Alcohol is not detectable.

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

Coffeed, toasted stout. Pours dark as night with tan head. Smells of toasted/burnt malts and coffee galore. Full-bodied, bitter and slick. Tastes as aroma smells. Solid stout.

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Photo of beergoot
3.86/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Black as coal body; dense, thick, rocky head. Roasted, slightly charred grain aroma; burnt toast; coffee grounds. Bitter and sweet flavor; bitter chocolate; coffee grounds. Heavy mouthfeel; slick and smooth; a bit harsh on the palate with a slight stingy quality.

A good stout overall though somewhat biting and harsh. No noticeable presence of licorice although the coffee quality comes through strongly.

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Photo of EHopkinsi
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured nice and dark, Beautiful, chocolaty one finger head eventually fades to a covering, but looks pretty all the way. The lacing is fantastic, starts out more like a curtain, and even by the end is still very pretty. And lasts the entire glass.

Nice stout aroma, but not as bold as I'd like.

Roastiness, cocoa, and thanks to rodbeermunch for identifying the anise in the bite. Unlike him, though, I enjoyed it. Edit- since it says LICORICE in the description, that anise taste shouldn't have been a surprise! ;)

A good feel, but if you love the chewy stuff, this just barely gets there. Probably more appropo for the style, though.

A nice, tasty stout. I tend to like my stouts huge, and even though it isn't huge, it is a very enjoyable beer.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This really looks like the archtype for a stout. Big black, but not sludgy. You get plenty of roast and chocolate malt in the nose.

Taste is standard, very good stuff replete with all that roast and two row to absorb the alcohol. There is just a slight dark fruit and anise edge in the mouthfeel I could prolly do without, but its not oppressive or anything.

Often overlooked, but this beer has been kicking butt for decades.

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Photo of Fear4Beer
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Cocoa, deep dark roasted coffee, low bitters, good ABV... not too high. I'm just not a huge fan of stouts I think. If you are a coffee drinker you will love this so much. I did like how it wasnt too bitter. The look of the beer is on point. Just blackness!

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Kalamazoo Stout has a medium, beige head, a dark brown appearance, with standard brown on the edges, as light hits it, and moderate lacing left behind. The aroma is of sweet brown bread and creamy malt, and the taste is of sweet brown bread, malt, cafe au lait, maybe some background licorice, and low-level bitterness. No char, really. Mouthfeel is low medium, and Kalamazoo Stout finishes medium dry.


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Photo of TripleSun
4.44/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow this is so relaxing for such a dark looking beer. I come from an almost only IPA background so this surprises me for how much I enjoyed it.

L - Tar black, almost couldn't see my glass container
S - Smoke, sweet licorice scent in the back
T - Has a tobacco flavor that hangs on the tongue, creamy consistency, and an initial sweetness
F - For being a stout it is incredibly light, probably for being such a low ABV. Very drinkable, would go good with a cigar!

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

12 oz. bottle, bottled 04/06/16 printed on the back label. Finally getting around to reviewing this one from Bell's; acquired a single bottle of this stuff as part of a mixed six pack at the local Binny's. "Stout Brewed With Brewer's Licorice".

Poured into a Unibroue Maudite snifter glass.

A - Pours a thick black-brown body. Nearly opaque, with some brown hues showing near the surface when held to the light. One finger of frothy chocolate tan head that hangs on nicely, leaving some ok spotty lacing.

S - Good notes of dark roasty malts, chocolate, cream, and an underlying sweetened dark fruit note, likely imparted from the licorice. Maybe slighty musty? A pleasant aroma.

T - Taste follows the nose: good balance between dark malt roast, & notes of smooth cream and chocolate.
Underlying notes of sweetened dark fruits resembling figs, dates, cherries, dark berries, & plums. Mild notes of char, but mostly chocolate & coffee bean roastiness pervade. No overwhelming notes of anise or spice.

M - Feel is smooth & creamy, with some underlying dark fruit sweetness. Dark, bitter, roasty, & mildly ashy. Rich, dark, sweet, & roasty. Feels much more full-bodied than most 6.00% abv stouts out there. Medium-bodied with excellent carb.

Overall, a nice, flavorful, easy-going traditional American Stout. The licorice is imparted nicely and does not dominate the other flavors of the beer. Recommended stuff.

Bell's Kalamazoo Stout -----4/5.

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

A - Dark body, black with hints of brown, a tan head, tight, fading quickly to a film across the top, some mild lacing.

S - The licorice is present, offering a crisp clean counterpoint to the chocolate and dark bread notes of the malt.

T - Following the nose, but with the licorice flavor now backgrounded to the malts, primarily coming in a slightly snappier open suggesting mint or other clean herbal elements. Coffee hints with the chocolate. Bread and dough. A slightly bitter bite.

M - Full enough, but not sticky or heavy. Clean.

O - I do not like licorice, so I've delayed trying this one. It is clear the flavor here is used as a fresh counterpoint, and the result is delicious. Bells does stouts well, but this is a particularly solid effort.

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Photo of tbryan5
4.26/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I am super stoked that Bell's finally made it to Louisiana. This is a solid stout that is very well balanced with Roasty tones and a slick mouthfeel that makes this a very well rounded brew.

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

33cl bottle. Pitch black pour with a tall tan head with good retention. Smells of roasted malts, milk chocolate and a bit of coffee. Roasty and bitter, with notes of dark chocolate, roasted coffee beans, licorice and a bit of cocoa. Medium body with medium carbonation,

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Photo of Big_Neezy
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours dark with chocolate brown head. You get far more dark chocolate notes but the licorice smell is subtle. I was hoping for a more pronounce black licorice note. You get equal parts of sweet to bitter but is easy on the palette. Definitely not a chocolate cake flavor. Good example of a an American Stout.

Like others have noted, I probably won't buy a sixer of this but would easily order it on draft. Not a top 5 for me but rounds out my top 10 for Michigan stouts.

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

$ 1.79/12 oz bottle ($ 0.158/oz) at Meijer’s, Wyoming, MI
Bottle dated 03/16/16 at 42 degrees into a hand washed and dried JK snifter, allowed to warm to 50o F.
Aroma – roasted malt, last entire glass
Head average (Maximum 3.5 cm, aggressive pour), light brown, creamy with rocks, diminishes to an irregular two to five mm ring and partial layer
Lacing – good. Complete rings of tiny bubbles
Body dark brown/black, opaque
Flavor slightly bitter from roasted malt, some chocolate; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, creamy, soft carbonation

A decent stout at a decent price, slightly bitter for my taste and a little thin.

Appearance 4, Aroma 4, Flavor 4, Palate 4, Overall 4

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Photo of BethanyB
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: The medium brown head starts off as a great big grizzly, then fades to a light tan as it slowly dissipates over an opaque mahogany body.

Smell: The aroma is light but appealing and moderately complex: fresh cacao and coffee bean notes sit on top of a soft layer of cold malted milk and vanilla extract.

Taste: Cocoa and coffee--medium roast to begin with, then French roast in the finish. The lightest pinch of black pepper and some lemony hop flavoring make the round profile more lively without disrupting the delicate balance.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy, with medium carbonation adding refreshment without overpowering the flavors.

Overall: A very good sweet stout. It lacks surprises and standout traits, but it's a strong crowd pleasing recipe, and while I may not pick up another six pack, I wouldn't hesitate to order it on draft.

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Photo of bbtkd
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bell's Kalamazoo Stout, 6% ABV, 51 IBU. Pours thick and dark/opaque, 4 finger brown head that kept growing, excellent lacing. Nose is coffee and licorice. Taste is slight coffee, some chocolate, malty, very slight bitter close, and thankfully could not detect the licorice which I detest. Good mouthfeel, and overall and excellent stout.

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Photo of TTen
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bell's Kalamazoo Stout

L: Jet Black, opaque. Tan head with great retention and tight bubbles. 4.5
S: Roasted malts, chocolate, caramel. 4.5
T: Roasty but smooth. Dark chocolate. A little mineral in the finish. Well balanced and great flavors. 4.5
F: Medium body but the dark malts gave a fuller feeling. Smooth and creamy. 4.5
O: This is a great bottled version of an American Stout. It has the aggressive American character but it's never edgy and offensive, rather it's composed and understands moderation. 4.5

Bottled 11/25/2016

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Photo of LaurenZ
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer has a thick pour that is very dark. It has a thick brown head. Light does not come through the beer at all. There aroma a dominantly chocolate and some hints of coffee. Upon tasting the coffee and toffee flavors really come out. I think this is a well done stout. Very full bodied and flavorful The chocolate flavor lingers in the mouth with slight dryness too.

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Photo of Angela1956
3.15/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Extremely dark brown, almost black. Interesting caramel colored foam. Smells extremely like coffee and chocolate. Perfect for those who love stouts. Personally, I don't enjoy the burnt coffee taste in my beer. The aftertaste lingers too long for me. I can't rate this beer much lower than a 3 because I feel that my preference against stouts shouldn't completely be my overall opinion. I think Bell's does a fine job on this stout and most people who enjoy them love it! It's a beautiful beer but not my preference.

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Photo of hennin55
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: average head, good lacing, dark in color
Aroma: average in hops aroma, coffee and licorice notes
Palate: creamy texture but slightly bitter
Flavor: coffee, licorice and chocolate notes

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Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.03 out of 5 based on 4,193 ratings.
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