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

1,576 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: 1,576 | Ratings: 4,297
Photo of alarmclock314
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Huge smoked malt and char presence in this beer. Reminds me of a less potent version of Dark Horse's Fore Smoked Stout, but with more carbonation and a lighter mouthfeel.

 170 characters

Photo of lwillitz
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12-oz bottle into porter/stout glass

A - 2 fingers of dark tan over a pitch black body (red-orange highlights), decent web of lace

S - roast malts, smoke, licorice

T - caramel sweetness, lots of burnt flavor, dark chocolate, bitter coffee, licorice, burnt aftertaste

M - chewy, smooth, full body, moderate carbonation

O - This is a good stout. The licorice improves the flavor in a unique way.

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Photo of 12YEW55311
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

I really like this one. Tastes a bit like a bonfire.. Like burnt wood. Dark with tan head.. I'm not getting much licorice taste but I don't eat much licorice. Smokey and sip able.

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Photo of Gajo74
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A delightful stout! Pours apiece black with a creamy head. Strong coffee aroma. Taste of roasted malts and with a nice hoppy finish. Smooth and creamy. Another great effort by Bells Brewery.

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

The look was brown/purple. The smell was dark, dry, and with hints of licorice. l I did not like the smell or the look of the beer. Then, the taste was dry, roasted, hot, spicy, and bitter. Overall, the beer would be good for someone who enjoyed those flavors and aromas but for me I would never recommend this beer or try it again.

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Photo of KatieS5643
2.34/5  rDev -41.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Not a fan of this beer. But I do not usually like stouts. It is a dark brown beer with a strong scent to be expected. It tased dry, bitter, and had an overwhelming roasted flavor. It is not the worst Stout I've had

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Photo of Maiora13
4.37/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Moving past the strange artwork on the front. This stout has clearly been perfected for years from the Bell's family. Delicious and not overpowering, while simultaneously being full of flavor and easy to drink.

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Photo of Kirsten_Ann92
4.68/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer is the ideal stout. It comes out of the bottle very dark and coffee looking. It is bitter to the smell and reminded me of a great cup of coffee. It is really easy to drink and doesn't sit heavily in your stomach like a lot of dark beers. It also has subtle notes of coffee within. I personally love stouts and porters, so this beer holds a great place in my heart.

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Photo of partains
3.61/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Look: dark brown/black
Smell: roasted coffee beans
Taste: bitter, roast flavors with a hint of chocolate
Overall: unpleasant, I do not like dark beers and it was too bitter

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Photo of Sydney10
3.08/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Visual: Pours an attractive dark chocolate color.
Smell: Intense smell of coffee.
Taste: Burnt coffee overwhelms the taste of the beer. Light chocolate and black licorice flavors as well.
Overall: Very bitter and taste is too much related to coffee. I would not drink this again.

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Photo of MakenziMantey
3.44/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

The color of this beer is a dark brown. The aroma you get is a light coffee smell and is kind of weak. Tasting this beer is a lot like smelling it. It is strong and taste a lot like coffee and not much else.

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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!

 299 characters

Photo of Treyliff
4.24/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle, bottled 9/17/13, poured into pint glass

A- pours motor oil thick with a two-finger creamy khaki colored head that retains long after the pour, leaving a bit of short lasting lace behind

S- deep dark chocolate malt mixes with smoky charred aroma, notes of vanilla cream, caramel, licorice & coffee

T- layers of creamy dark chocolate mixes with caramel malt, charred wood, campfire smoke and sweet licorice, lingers of espresso and dark chocolate, with a hint of dark fruit

M- medium viscous body with low carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel and a smooth and creamy finish

O- I accidentally aged this one that got lost in the back of the cellar, but it ages gracefully! All of the flavors are meshed and mellow, good stuff

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Photo of Grant_Satterthwaite
2.79/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.25

Easily the worst stout I've ever had. Some guy at a local beer store recommended it to me over the Left Hand Milk Stout. What a poor brew. The taste was bland and it took forever to drink. One beer took me about 45 minutes to suffer through. I'm a big fan of Bell's brewery but this beer is simply pathetic. I would suggest avoiding this beer at all costs. It's simply not worth the time to drink it or the money to pay for it.

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

Appearance: Black, no head retention to speak of. Very limited lacing.

Nose: Thick molasses, Cold black coffee, dark chocolate at the end.

Taste: Dry and nicely crispy, roasted malt, some hot alcohol at the end, a little smoke in the middle.

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Photo of DagenhamDavis
4.54/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A perfect example of the non-barrel aged, non-imperial American stout. The thing that's great about this beer is that it lacks a gimmick, and doesn't try to do anything that takes it away from being a great stout. The roasty burnt finish is divine.

 248 characters

Photo of Catracho5
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a Bell's shaker pint

A: Black with a mocha head, some light coming through around the edges, lots of lacing, head dissipated after a few minutes, looks really good.

A: Coffee, roasted malts, no alcohol on the nose, nice dark chocolate finish, smells great.

T: Coffee bitterness up front, nice dark chocolate bitterness in the middle, roasted malts, semi dry finish, slight alcohol on the end, taste very drinkable.

M: Medium mouthfeel, sort of creamy, semi dry finish

O: This is a nice everyday stout, something I could drink regularly. It has a nice mellow coffee dark chocolate bitterness up front, some roasted malt flavors in the middle, a semi dry finish, definitely drinkable, worth a try if you love stouts but the price might keep me away as I can get a stout just as good for less than $10 a six-pack compared to that was well over $10 for the six-pack.

 895 characters

Photo of pkalix
4.37/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

very nice creamy milk chocolate head.... roasty aroma. nice aroma. sweet roasted flavor. low end abv so more texture and flavor than some others.
yeah, I gave it a 5 in look. it's beautiful. most beer is. the flavor is nice but for some reason seems thin at the end. but it's good, nonetheless. like some of their other stuff, this is an easy going brew. reminds me of Modern Times' stuff in the way it appeals across the ranks, although Modern Times is quickly turning on my palate due to the ultra sweet malts and flavors ALL their brews have. sorry to get off track.... this one is very good.

 595 characters

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

Perfect blend of roasted grains, coffee, molasses and chocolate in a stout. Hands-down, this would be one of my top choices for an everyday stout if only it didn't cost north of 13 bucks a 6 pack.

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Photo of mchegash
3.81/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - 4.25/5
Very very dark brown, possibly black. A thin layer of light brown head

Smell - 3.75/5
Roasted malts, a hint of slight citrus hops, a little smokiness and maybe a little alcohol. I would have liked the roasty and smoky aspects of the malts to be stronger, still a decent aroma.

Taste - 3.75/5
Smoke, charcol, sweet roasted malts, sugary alcohol, the hops come up the most in the aftertaste. Overall this is a decent tasting stout. A nice amount of smokiness but not overpowering.

Mouthfeel - 4/5
Smooth, both creamy and crisp during different parts of the sip. Carbonation is medium. A nice feel overall

Overall - 3.75/5
This was a decent beer overall. Wouldn't be my first choice typically, but I'm glad I tried it.

 739 characters

Photo of TX-Badger
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep black with khaki colored head. Coffee, roasted malt, chocolate, and some nice molasses notes on the nose; follows onto the palate. Finishes with some sweetness, more molasses and chocolate.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a pretty, completely opaque, pitch-black color with an eighth of a finger of caramel-colored head that quickly dissolved into a halo of foam that gripped the sides the glass and formed a few wispy cloud that settled over the top of the beer.

Aroma: I’m stuffed up at the moment (I know that being in that condition is not ideal for reviewing a beer) so I’m not getting much out of the aroma, but other reviewers have noted aromas of medium roast coffee, milk chocolate, some light licorice, roasted malt and caramel.

Taste: Even though I’m stuffed up, my taste buds aren’t messed up and this beer tastes delicious! Massive roasted malt flavors up front, imparting notes of toasted pumpernickel, freshly brewed coffee (including a slight hint of coffee-like bitterness), some dark chocolate, a little bit of cream, some strong notes of brown sugar-like sweetness, finished with some nicely balanced hops. However, I don’t get much in the way of licorice, though.

Mouthfeel: Medium to medium-thin, actually slightly disappointing, as I was expecting more chew. This beer is very smooth as there is practically no carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 6.0%, there is a surprising, slight hint of alcohol warmth on the palate.

Overall: This is a very good stout! Great flavors of roasted malt, dark chocolate, coffee and a hint of sweetness. The only thing keeping this beer from being great is the slightly this mouthfeel. Still, this beer is extremely drinkable and enjoyable.

Postscript note: The bottled date on the beer was 2/18/13, and I drank this beer on 2/17/14, which, if my math is correct, and I was never good at math, but I can do this math, the beer was almost a year old to the day. If this lower ABV beer was this good, aged (accidently) almost to a year to the day, I have to try a more fresh bottle to see if its better. That being said, if you happen upon an older bottle of this beer, up to and including a year old (though maybe even older would be good too), don’t worry, you’ll enjoy it!

 2,103 characters

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

Aroma is roast malt and dark cocoa dominant, with hints of licorice and tar adding complexity. Dark cherry and plum surface late.

Flavor is rich and roasty, with a charred character hitting mid palate and carrying into the finish, where there's a slightly sweet reprise of chocolate. Nutty malt offers strong support. A little more charred than I care for. Dark cherry emerges as it warms.

 390 characters

Photo of Barnoloid
4.36/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The nose is toffee and cocoa with a sniff of drip coffee. Perfectly carbonated with a smooth mouthfeel. The liquorice back end dances with your tastebuds and gives this an extra element that elevates the beer to another level. Fantastic.

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Photo of WheelsPSU
3.24/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Not a fan. The malt tasted burnt and I didn't pick up too much licorice. The chocolate from the roast was the only redeeming quality I found.
Extremely light bodied for a stout. Carbonation was fine

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Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.03 out of 5 based on 4,297 ratings.
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