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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:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,549 | Ratings: 4,192
Photo of evanackerman
3.79/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

well, this is a nice stout from Bell's, they seem to specialize in stouts, so far so good.

appearance is nearly black with a dark tan head that settles into an 1/8th inch layer. nice looking stout.

smell is typical stout smell, nothing spectacular.

taste is nicely balanced between roasted barley and an assertive hop character that provides a lingering bitterness.

mouthfeel is pretty good, not too thin, not overly carbonated.

drinkability is high, a very pleasant beer overall. a little expensive in my opinion.

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Photo of beermanbrian
4.11/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice black color with a big foamy dark tan head. A fairly heavy pour created huge lumpy head. The head falls to a fairly thick film that leaves some nice clumpy lacing. Hints of expresso, coffee, chocolate and roasted malt. The smell isn't as strong as i expected. Taste does come through with more punch than the smell. Again coffee, chocolate and roasted malt. Slight bitter chocolate aftertaste but very minimal. Mouthfeel is very smooth, almost a milk like smoothness. Overall a very drinkable beer. Not world class but certainly very good.

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Photo of brewcrew76
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours jet black with a thin brown head. Nice big bubbles cling to the side of the glass with some lacing.

S - Strong sweet aroma, expresso, milk chocolate, roasty malt.

T - Sweet milk chocolate, roasted malt, slight bitterness, hints of coffee.

M - Medium body with a nice creaminess.

D - A solid easy drinking stout. Nothing jumps out and grabs you about this beer but there are not really any flaws either. A great session beer to have on hand when you are looking for a nice stout.

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Photo of naderator55
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark black impermeable color. Head is very weak(partly due to my pour ive drank a couple of these before and had about a half inch head.
Smells are full of cocoa beans and chocolate.
Taste has hints of coffee and chocolate, this is a true sweet stout. The alcohol is fairly hidden. I want to say i taste a slight aroma of caramel.
This is a very drinkalbe and the texture is very smooth.
I rather enjoyed this beer it is a very high quality milk stout.

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

bought a bottle at world market in lansing, michigan.
pours jet black it has a thick consistacy it kinda looks like oil with how it pours.
the aroma is very rich and roasty, i get some chocolate, malt, hint of alcohol.
the flavor is roasty, coffee, chocolate, malt.
the mouthfeel is a little thick but nothing you would not expect from a milk stout, fills the mouth and coats the inside.

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

poured jet black with a beautiful thick brown 1in head that left some nice lacing. The aroma isn't too potent but whats there is nice. Subtle chococlate with mild roasted malts. When i take the first sip what immediatley comes to mind is frozen coffee drink maybe a coolata or something. Nice and sweet with a nice balance of a little bit of hops along with the malts. Mouthfeel is slightly thicker than medium body. Drinkablility is high as this one is very smooth and enjoyable.

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Photo of warriorsoul
4.48/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to CRJMellor for this one too...
Coal black in color with a full finger of dark brown head..sits on top and goes absolutely nowhere.
Great scents from this one...a boatload of dark chocolate with a subtle malt sweetness that pulls you in.
Taste is real nice...tons of chocolate, vanilla, caramel, a pinch of coffee. Sweetness is more apparent in the taste and adds just enough to make this brew quenching like no other stout I have tasted to date.
Mouthfeel is thicker than medium bodied and the carbonation is spot on.
Drinkability is through the roof as I plow my way through this one.

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Photo of Viggo
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque black, some red highlights, thick brown head forms, nice lacing and good retention. Smell is roasty, coffee and chocolate, with some cherry. Taste is the same, lots of roasty chocolate and coffee, with a little bit of dark fruits. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation. Excellent stout, thanks DrJay!

Review #400

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

A robust mocha head over a black body. The head lingers to the bottom of the glass and a Smells of sweet and roasted malt and espresso. Sweet malt flavors upfront joined by vinous fruit. Notes of espresso, bittersweet chocolate and roasted grain as well. Balanced by a mild bitterness. Full-bodied and moderate carbonation. Smooth in the mouth with a slightly drying finish.

The sweetness of this beer might be a bit too much for some, but I like it and it is a “sweet stout” afterall. That being said the k-zoo stout is very well balanced and has an exceptional amount of complexity. This is a mainstay around our house.

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

Black beer with brown edges and a dark tan stand of head composed of fine bubbles. Plenty of thick lace. Rich, malty, roasted aroma with some coffee and licorice character. Moderate bitterness that seems to be from both hops and dark grains plays nicely with the roasty malt sweetness that lingers into the finish. There's some chocolate, as well as leafy hops that contribute a bit of citrus. Light, well-integrated carbonation and a medium body produce a silky, creamy texture. A bit drying in the finish. An excellent beer with a big, roasty flavour. I'll definitely pick this one up again.

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Photo of aforbes10
4.69/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bought just a single bottle from a cooler at Bullseye liquors in South Bend. Batch 7051 packaged on september 6th, 2001.

Poured into a pint glass and was impressed with the look of this beer. dark, reddish brown color with a 1in. caramel colored head. head is creamy on top supported by large bubbles. Fantastic odor. like i expect stouts to smell. closest description i can come up with is cold, alcoholic chocolate chip cookies. Smotoh, coffee/chocolate flavors. bitter citrus-like hop taste on back of tongue. bitter roasted malt finish. tangy quality that is midly odd. mouthfeel is smooth going in. prickly going down. nice and thick. Great finish lingers and leaves me wanting more. this is a great stout.

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Photo of hustlemuscle
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Super black and opaque with a tan/brown head. Roasty nose, exceedingly dry roasted flavor. Lick smackingly dry. Smooth, slightly oily, again, so dry as to be almost tart. A very drinkable stout, but not overwhelming. From a batch in the 6700s, which would put it around a year old.

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Photo of hanco005
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle of batch 7128 into a pint glass

A---pours dark black with thick bubbly light brown head. 2 inch head fills the rest of the glass and caps it like a mushroom. Head reduces to nothing after a 10 minutes or so.

S—mild coffee and bitter sweet dark chocolate aroma

T—perfect! Strong dark chocolate malt flavor with a mild bitter finish of coffee

M—thick and creamy, heavy body with mild carbonation

D—a wonderful stout; I ‘d have maybe one more due to the thickness.

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

appearance: The pour creates a low beige head. The beer is very dark in color, with only a little brown light escaping from the edges of the vessel.

smell: Smells delicious. There's an interplay of roasted (coffee), smoky, chocolate, and dark sugar aromas that is satisfyingly complex. The aroma is not overly sweet, but just right. A light but obvious hop aroma is also found.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is medium, and the body is on the lighter side of the heavy range.

taste: A sweet chocolatiness dominates the flavor, but right behind it are plenty of roasted, smoky flavors to keep it interesting. Slight hop bitterness cleans up a little of the sweetness.

drinkability: A good beer, and too easy to drink.

Received a bottle from CRJMellor as part of SS '05. The batch ID# 7061 printed on the reverse lable indicates a bottling date of (not found in database).

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

Pours nearly black with a smallish tan head. The smell was not very pronounced, mainly bitter roasted malts and a bit of hops. The taste however was quite good, starting with sharp roasted coffee flavors and decent herbal hops, then with sweeter chocolate/toffee notes, finishing with some more bitter hop . Somewhat complex and decently rich. Mouthfeel is very well balanced with good carbonation and very slightly oily finish. High drinkabiliy and decent value.

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Photo of maddamish
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this at the Winking Lizard in Fairlawn.

Another good stout in my quest to drink the best stouts man has to offer. The body was average stout.

Coffee and expresso notes are present in the nose and the taste.

The only thing about this stout is that it did not separate itself well from it's brethren. Yes it is a good stout but it does not transcend the style like the Storm King.

With that being said, you could put this up against the Brooklyn Chocolate stout or the Rogue's and it would hold it's own. If you are a stout lover then please give this a try, just don't expect greatness.!

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Photo of nortmand
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Blackish red pour, half a finger of tannish head.

Chocolate, rich roasts, dark, ripe fruits. Very balanced aroma.

A bit of residual balancing sweetness, midtongue dark, not burnt malts. By the end of the toungue, there is some acrid burnt flavor.

Medium to full bodied, could throw back a couple. Not bad, not groundbreaking, but pretty good on tap.

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Photo of hero27
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle.

Strong musty aroma of roasted malt and dark chocolate. The flavors are quite robust for a single stout. Too many stouts fall on the thin side, and the rest of the brew falls apart, but this one is thick and creamy enough to help the rest of it out. The little brother to Expedition, this brew is very rich and flavorful, and a must-try if you haven't been able to sample it yet.

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Photo of PeatReek
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 7061: Bottled Sept. 2005.

Aroma: Subtle, a little sweet, wine-ish, with a hint of roasty chocolate.

Taste: Wow. Starts woody, a bit of a wine taste (but not very strong), resolving to a full, dry, roasty chocolate finish. A few sips later: the finish is very roasty! And chocolatey.

Appearance: 1/4 in. head dissolves pretty quickly to a rim. Beer is black, brownish around the edges where the light can get through.

Mouthfeel: a little thin for a stout, and kind of slippery. Light carbonation accents the roast flavor very well. No alcohol bite.

Overall, the more I think about it, the less my "taste" description does it justice. This beer is not especially complex, it's no imperial stout, but the balance of roast, chocolate, and woody flavors is sublime. Expedition may be the showpiece of Bell's stouts, but this one's definitely the bread and butter - I could drink Kalamazoo stout all night long.

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Photo of beerceller99
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle, batch # 6781. Black with a light brown head. A nice lacing is left behind on the shaker glass. Medium strong smell of malted chocolate and roasted grains. Medium heavy body with a smooth texture. Hearty flavor of blackened malts and sweetened coffee. Has a slight bitterness to finish from the blackened malts.
A pretty good stout.

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Photo of Vancer
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A quandary? Style listed is milk stout, but…..

The pour was an almost black brew, with an excellent dense and lacey tan head. I would have given this a 5, but the label was dateless.

Nice chocolaty malt aroma, then the quaff: a dry, burnt toast/charcoal, hints of anise. Almost porter-like with notes of sour ale.

Rich, creamy and robust, an exceptional sipping stout – but to me, more along the lines of an export stout versus milk.

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Photo of Oxymoron
3.97/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch #38. Pours a think, mostly cloudy burnt brown color with red (and slightly orange) hues around the edge. Decent head that is pretty creamy but some bigger bubbles remain. Good lacing as well.

The smell comes out nicely with malt and a touch of sweetness. A nice roast aroma with a hint of astringency and coffee notes. A lactic aroma that has a milky aroma (versus oatmeal). Some earthy and citrus hoppy notes a bit much for style but ok. Yeast is noticeable if not more so with the Bells yeast strain.

The taste has a woodsy taste with a good roasted flavor mixed with a light black malt at the end. A burnt after taste mostly. A creamy texture with touch of caramel and a sharp acidic taste that reminds me of sour apples. Noticeable esters come out. Some hop notes but not as noticeable as compared to the nose. A light yeasty note in the finish but also lighter.

The beer is smooth with a mild body. Very nice drinkability with a easy finish. The acidic aftertaste keeps the astringency down but still lets it come out. Overall a great stout but would like a bit cleaner fermentation.

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

Appearance- Poured a nice creamy brown head. Color made me think of waterd down motor oil. That may not be appealing to most, but I believe almost jet black is the way a stout should be.

Smell- Tart oat smell, with some creamy roasted malt notes.

Taste- Tart malt hits the palate first, then an odd mix of hop bitterness and half & half. The aftertaste left a suprisingly delightfully smoky malt flavor.

Mouthfeel- Medium palate but could still anjoy some french fried smiliy faces with my beer.

Drinkability- Even a stort that reimnds of motor oil deserves to take another glass to the lips.

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

Pours out a brownish-black with an inch or so of dark brown head of small, tight, glistening bubbles and brownish-red highlights on the edges.

Smell is burnt sugar, molasses, coffee/espresso, chocolate, and roasted malts.

The flavor is very similar to the smell: there's a big sweetness of chocolate and a roasted character as well, but there's also just a hint of vanilla and a little bit of sourness in the taste. The coffee flavors are not so pronounced, but they come through in the finish and linger a bit. Mouthfeel is rich and smooth, quite suitable for the flavor.

Overall: A nice stout, somewhat sweet but not cloying, with a big roasted chocolate flavor. One that I'll pick up again; Bell's never fails to impress.

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Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.03 out of 5 based on 4,192 ratings.
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