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

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding
1,549 Reviews
THE BROS
83
good
Read the review
Bell's Kalamazoo StoutBell's Kalamazoo Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States
bellsbeer.com

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,549
Ratings:
4,203
Avg:
4.03
pDev:
17.37%
 
 
Wants:
197
Gots:
619
For Trade:
8
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,549 | Ratings: 4,203
Photo of gimmehead
4.37/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours inky black with a nice mocha colored head and decent lacing. The nose is smoky and bittersweet. Tastes much like the nose: smoky roasted malts, sweet sugar, bittersweet chocolate, and a slightly salty, hoppy balance. Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth. The perfect balance between bitterness and cloying sweetness. Best stout I've had in a while.

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Photo of bditty187
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes…

Black in hue, it is damn dark. When backlit there is a slight dark brown highlight around the edges. The color is beyond ideal. The head was brunette in color; the tightly compacted bubbles formed a head of two fingers in height. The head retention was excellent and the tight cap lasted forever. There was some spotty subsequent lacing, clingy. The appearance is good. The nose is soft and well-rounded, it smells like espresso with milk and a side of gourmet chocolate. Lightly acidic. The potency is moderate. I like what this beer is saying. It is fairly complex for they style but straightforward. It is pleasant to sniff. The palate matches the nose perfectly; softly roasty malts supply some coffee notes and kisses of chocolate. Milky sweetness. Dry finish with a long, roasted coffee bean aftertaste. I’m sure this beer would be killer with cheesecake. The palate is a bit straightforward but it is plenty tasty! Balanced. Medium in body, low but natural carbonation with a pleasant creamy mouthfeel, it feels right for this beer. This beer is very drinkable and quite sessionable if you’re a stout fan. Well, it should be noted that the 6.5% abv is not really conducive to drinking a six-pack at once. It if is any consolation the alcohol is hidden in the taste… maybe it would bypass your brain as well? Just a thought. It is no frills but good overall. It is more roasty and dry than say Mackeson Triple XXX Stout, both are good beers but both offer different interpretations on the Sweet Stout style. I obtained a six-pack of Bell’s Pale Ale and I drank five of them, I went to review the last bottle and this is what I pulled out! Bastards! Oh well, payback is a bitch as I’ve substituted beers before. This was purchased in Kansas City, MO. It is a solid beer.

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Photo of LuckySevens82
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle courtesy of feloniousmonk
Poured into a Stone Imperial Stout glass. Pours black as night. One finger, tan head. Good lacing.
Smell is very roasty, a little bit of chocolate, and some coffee in there as well. It smells a little bit like it might be a tad oxidized.
Taste shows no oxidation at all, so perhaps that's just me. Taste is very much focused on coffee, roasted malts, and a bit of hop bitterness.
This is a nice, full-flavored stout. I'm not disappointed with this one at all.

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Photo of ahking
4.06/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Great drinkable stout! One of the best tasting and balanced stouts I have ever had. Smooth, malty, roasty with a hint of chocolate. These flavors really come out as it warms. A nice 6.50% ABV. Pours rather thick (but not too thick) with a creamy-tan head. Lacing goes all the way down the glass. Recommended!

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

Served at Cellar temp, in an Imperial nonick Pint glass.

One inch to an inch and a half head on this dark beauty. Wonderful lacing as well. Toffee aroma. I'd expect a bit more roastiness in the aroma for a stout, but that's just me. Taste is okay, a bit of the bells yeast funk going on, roasted flavors are rather muted as well. Mouthfeel is good and coating. This isn't a bad stout by any streach of the imagination, but it fails to "wow" me.

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Photo of irishmoss
4.56/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This pours black in the glass with a thick billowing root beer float kind of head that leaves nice patches of lace down the sides of the glass. The aroma is sweet malts, biscuits, and chocolate. The taste is sweet chocolate and caramel with some hop bitterness and roasted/burnt coffee flavors in the end. Absolutely smooth and velvety across the mouth, medium to full body…very drinkable. Wildly impressed with this stout…

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Photo of twelvsies
3.62/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A dark typical looking stout with a bit of bubbly brown head floating around. Smells of chocolate milk, coffee grounds, sweet roasted malts. Taste is a bit off though. It tastes too much like coffee I think. It's a great flavor to have in a beer, but not when it overpowers everything else. I think that's the case here. Dry mouthfeel but a bit thick as well, strange. Not the most drinkable beer. It's a nice try, maybe it'd be better if they toned down the coffee taste.

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

Glistening ebony with mahogany highlights. Even with bright sun behind the glass, light penetration is nil. Atop the beer is an impressive mocha colored head of dense, pitting foam that generously plasters itself to the glass in a further attempt to keep light at bay. Now this is what a stout should look like. Very well done.

The coffee-laced, fudge brownie nose is a pleasure to inhale. If the flavor follows suit, Kalamazoo will be one impressive stout. It does and it is! Bell's brewery continues to astound. Just as in the nose, gooey fudge comes to mind on the palate: rich, glossy, sweet, sticky, mouthfilling, decadent goodness in a glass.

The bitter coffee flavor is a bit too pronounced for me, but is easily overlooked because this is such delicious beer. The degree of roastedness is fairly high with a mild char that works well in the grand scheme of things. Bitter and sweet intertwine beautifully, even throughout the long, lingering finish. The body/mouthfeel is decidedly full and crushed velvet smooth.

Kalamazoo Stout is the best milk/sweet stout that I've had yet, surpassing Bell's own Special Double Cream Stout (although it's been a while since I sampled SDCS). It's one of the biggest and boldest 6.5% ABV beers that you're ever likely to drink and is truly one of the best. Kudos all around.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this beer up a few days ago because I tried the Double Cream Stout a little bit ago, and wanted to see where this fell in relation to it. The beer pours a very black color with a half finger of head that falls to ring the beer. The nose is great. Balanced between the chocolate and the milky marshmellow creamyness. Wow. The flavor is not quite as creamy as the nose tells. There is a lot of chocolate that finishes coffee, with only a slight bit of the creamy milky tones. Not bad, but not as good as their Double Cream, but not a bad flavor. The feel is nice and thick with a velvety creamy smooth texture. Good feel. Overall, this is a really nice beer. I enjoy all the parts of it. I will have to have this again when I find it. Solid beer.

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Photo of mntlover
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a black on black no light thru this baby with a big fluffy chocolate colored head that leaves a good lace coat, looks great. Smell is lightly roasted malt with expresso and chocolate present some light fruits in background. Taste is great lightly roasted malt expresso flavors with some hints of chocolate . Moves from lightly sweet malt to burnt bitterness from malt aided by good dose of hop bite. A great stout wish I could get this down in TN. Mouthfeel is right side of medium not heavy enough to be creamy but still feels good. Drinkability is good, man this is one tasty beer, thanks go to merlin48 for this tasty treat. If I ever make it to the Liquor Barn in Lexington this will be on my list of must haves.

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Photo of necoadam
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured out a medium black color with a light tan head that left a good lacing around the glass.

Smell consisted of chocolate, coffee, along with some good undertones of roasted malts.

Taste was on the big side. Malts kick upfront along with some bittersweet chocolate and an undertone of coffee flavors. A little bit on the sweet side. It's quite creamy as well. Funny to call it a milk stout, but really it has more character of a cream than milk.

This was a good beer, but perhaps it needed a little balancing to make this a truly great beer. I enjoyed it for sure, but perhaps some tweaking could be used here.

Thanks to Pisskynights and Feloniousmonk for sending a bottle each, respectively.

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Photo of jwilli7122
4.65/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

dense reddish black with a chunky tan head which lasts long and fades unevenly. head size seems to vary by the bottle.

big malt and alchohol smells but it is more complex than that, and quite outstanding. i don't know the names for the aromas. check it out yourself.

taste is roasty and hopped for a stout. some fatty flavors in there too. very good.

full mouthfeel without a lot of carbonation.

one of the best stouts i've ever had.

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

12oz. bottle: This pours an inky, dark brown color. There was very little brown head to this one. The aroma is raosted coffee, with some sweetness also. Possible chocolate and caramel. The taste is quite rich. It is silky, sweet, and has roasted coffee, chocolate. Full bodied. Extremely nice!

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

Picked this up in Missouri. Not available here in Wichita.

Appearance: A very dark beer, to the point that light could just barely pierce it around the edges. The dark tan head rose up to two fingers and dissipated slowly, leaving a thin skin of bubbles on the top of the brew. Thin tendrils of lace were left behind. A decent amount of sediment could be seen on the bottom of the glass when viewed from below.

Smell: Right after the pour, this beer was heavily sweet with cream, cocoa, and sweet and roasted malts. After settling down, some dark cherries, plums, dark chocolate, and coffee rose up and balanced out the sweetness. Definitely gave the nose a bite with the sharpness of the aroma. No hops present at all.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and creamy smooth on the tip of the tongue. It became pretty rough as it hit the back of the mouth and the throat.

Taste: Heavily roasted malt, bitter chocolate, and coffee were the dominant flavors that kicked in from the start. Overlying this was an indistinguishable sweetness that helped to balance out the bitterness, but it didn't quite hold up its end of the deal (not that that is bad). On the finish was a nice smokey flavor and a hint of leafy hops.

Very straightforward and not overly complex, but still a fine stout.

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

This has a deep black color and a huge brown head. Almost as dark but not as oily looking as an imperial stout. The head leaves heavy lacing. There is a delicious sweet, malty, chocolaty aroma that is very appealing. The taste is great. It starts out sweet, then the chocolaty roasted flavor hits, and it finishes dry with a slight bitter aftertaste. The mouthfeel is also great. I hate thin tasting stouts but this one has some nice body and a very creamy texture.

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Photo of benito
3.87/5  rDev -4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a VERY dark black, with little head. Coffee aromas are evident from the beginning.

What is most intriguing about this beer is the shortnes of the strong coffee punch at the beginning. By the time the beer is on the back of the tongue, it's java transforms into a very sweet finish. The mouthfeel is extrordinarily smooth throughout, and appropriately heavy for a milk/sweet stout.

The aftertaste is sweet and leaves one waiting for a second-go-round. A very drinkable stout overall.

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Photo of LarryKemp
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very black beer with a medium dark tan hea that lingers for some time

The aroma is of mild roasted malt to start but as it warms the chocolate tones come out.

The flavor is of roasted malt again with the chocolate coming out well before the finish. The bittering is moderate and lingers in the rear of the mouth long after the finish. There is a semi sweetness that also lingers but on the tongue. The roast and chocolate and bitters with the sweet make for a great complex taste.

This beer sips with a medium body that is quite creamy and covers the tongue with a slick sweetness. There is no astringency or any off flavors.

This is a very fine drinking stout. I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a classic example of an American Stout.

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Photo of walleye
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

poured black small brown head with very little lacing. aroma was a very pleasant sweet chocolate, carmel, and molasses, my nose said thank you.got a nice coffee, chocolate taste with a taste of raisins. ended with the right amount of bitterness for me

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Photo of elmocoso
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice finger and a half of head. Very dark with the pockets darker. Looks like speckled vanilla beans in a butternut toffee ice cream. Soon down to 1/2 finger or less. The beer is black as black, and as i swirl the beer, the head clings and laces.

Nose is awesome. Sweet dark roasty chocolate with hints of resin and stone fruits. like a dessert coffee, sweet and bitter balanced.

The smells are reflected in the taste. sweet and tasty (caramel and chocolate) in the front but when the beverage slides down, a lingering bitterness of cocoa powder and coffee aftertaste begs for another drink.
Mouthfeel is rich like a whipped cocoa. soft. rich. compliments the desert tones of the drink.

This is a rich and impressive drink. I enjoy it, but don't know if i could enjoy more than one at a setting.

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Photo of trancefishy
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

the stout pours out black. produces a nice cappuccino coloured head, with some nice tight bubbles, and a few odd large ones, and even a few beads of liquid dancing on top of the foam. as the head shrinks down, it clings to the glass. a thin head sticks around until the very end.

aroma is all about sweet chocolate and coffee. smells clean and fresh, clear.

first taste sensation is coffee, followed by a ringing bitterness, which finally fades out to a nice chocolate bar flavour. as the beer warms and your palate adjusts (a couple swigs), the taste profile changes. the mouthfeel becomes less effervescent (it never really was) and heads towards creamy smoothness. the bitter bit in the finish metamorphosizes into a piece of chocolate that is melting on your tongue after sipping some espresso.

this beer is a solid quality representation of a sweet stout, and i find it always a pleasure to partake of, which is quite often.

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Photo of meathookjones
4.73/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a pitch black with a slow forming head that works its way up to about an inch and a half of brown foam. As the head recedes down to a smaller on that lasts throughout rings of lace are left decorating the glass. Picture perfect looking brew here nice head good lace, what more could you want. Strong aroma with roasted coffee and dark chocolate coming out the most. I was able to smell this as I was pouring it. Taste is similar with a bitter coffee flavor up front and a slight earthy hoppiness as well. Slight bit of cream to the flavor before it ends in a lingering bitter coffee aftertaste. Mouthfeel is slick with a medium to full body. Great drinkability as this went down very easy and I would have had another if I had it.

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Photo of Skidz
3.43/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Batch 6588

Pours out dark ruby brown and sits jet black in the glass with a large, fluffy brown head, nice lacings too.

Smells quite roasted, coffee and espresso abundant. Light, chocolate powdery aroma behind the overall blackend smell of the beer.

Tastes just lightly sweet up front and meanders its way into a load of sharp roasted flavors. Coffee grinds and blackened malt grit away at your toungue with light abrasiveness. Traces of bitter chocolate found within the almost sour taste to this beer. Nothing citrusy, but a bit puckering at the sides. Well bittered, hopping clean and efficient. Finished nicely bittered, but still has some of that sourness from the roasted grain.

Rich and smooth in the mouth with medium carbonation. Nice body, but doesn't quite match up with the heavy dose of roast. Not a bad stout by any means, but not one to be consumed in large quantities.

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

Black.

A truly exceptional aroma hits the nostrils and causes immediate drooling in the mouth. Notes of coffee beans, deep chocolate, roasted malts and cocoa in the nose.

Rich, full flavored, deep roasted malt profile, containing notes of coffee, molasses, a slight hint of anise, deep chocolate, cocoa along with a lingering finish of coffee and flowery hop bitterness. . Medium bodied and creamy as hell.

Can they make excellent stouts or what?

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Photo of rajendra82
4.36/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer came in a brown 12 oz. bottle. When poured into a standard pint glass, the body was black with brown tones. The head was rich and creamy and khaki in color. The aroma was very roasty with strong black coffee being the prominent smell. The taste was robust with bitter coffee, burnt toast, raisins, and unsweetened cocoa powder. The mouthfeel was smooth and creamy with a soft carbonation. The aftertaste was dry and slightly peppery. Very nice and drinkable stout that has an amazing depth of complexity to boot. Many thanks go to Ninjaworm for this bottle in trade.

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

Pours with a tiny and bubbley dark brown head. The smell is sour and acetyl with a woddy smell (oak?). The texture of this beer is fantastic on the palate. It has a frothy creaminess to is, but the beer is a bit empty of flavor. It is very roasty but not complex at all which leaves a lot to be desired.

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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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