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

1,537 Reviews
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Bell's Kalamazoo StoutBell's Kalamazoo Stout

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States | website

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: 1,537 | Ratings: 4,152
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


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

Simply excellent. As soon as I finished my first bottle, I was online looking up the brewery and how far it was from St. Louis. The aroma was sublime. The taste was warm, sweet, and urging me to take another sip. The color was black as a moonless night. The head was nice and thick with good lacing throughout the glass.

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Photo of Bierguy5
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the bottle comes a deep dark black liquid with a great tan creamy, fluffy head. The head on this beer was present for much of the beer, and there was a decent amount of lacing on the glass. What a great looking beer so far. Smells of milk chocolate, cocoa, maybe a hint of coffee, and slight dark fruit. Tastes are a nicely roasty malt, followed by some sweet chocolate flavors. Maybe just slightly smoky. Slight hop bitterness at the end. Low carbonation, and a creamy mouthfeel. This could probably be a little fuller, but that is about all I can complain about. Pretty drinkable, although it is slightly sweet. Another winner from Bell's.

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

It has been a while since I have sampled a milk stout. This one is quite nice. The head is thick and leaves an intricate lacing. The nose is quite varied with hints of chocolate and coffee. The hops are subdued but they compliment the sweet character very well. Tastes of chocolate combine well with a literally "bittersweet" character. The mouthfeel is quite dry which is suprising for this style of beer. Quite drinkable and tastey. Drink up!

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Photo of ramrod666
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a pitch black stout with a small saddle colored head that faded to a ring before long. smell eas of dark coffee and semi-sweet chocolate with a gentle acididty to the back. taste is slightly hoppy for a milk/sweet stout but, not imperial hoppy. chocolate malts with a slight sour coffee are dominant. slight pepper in the aftertaste. mouthfeel is nice and heavy. thick. very nice beer to break up an all day drink-a-thon. will try again.

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Photo of WesWes
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a deep dark black color with a thick frothy brown head that fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a rich dark malt scent that is dominated with chocolate and roasted barley. It is sweet to the nose and seems a bit creamy. The taste is good. It has a dry black malt flavor with some chocolate hints and a semi-sweet finish. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a fine stout. It has great aroma and flavor a good sessions ale.

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Photo of HopHeadKen
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I received a 'sixer' of this as payment for a favor I did for a friend; and was concerned because when I inspected the bottles, I could see some sort of deposit on the inside of the neck.

I store and drink stouts at cellar temp (66 deg. F in summer) I think this brings out the flavor better.

I could smell the toasted malt when the cap came off, and it pourde from the bottle with a lot of carbonation and foamy brown head that dissapated to almost nothing in a few minutes.

The taste is rich toasty malt - coffee - carmel - chocolate; with a lingering alcohol and hop bitterness in the aftertaste.

I will not have any problem drinking the rest of this sixpack !

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Photo of mattcrill
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours blacker than black. Ain't no light getting through that glass! Beautfiul chocolate brown head that settles in for a wonderful looking brew

Smell: Roasted coffee with cream. Finishes with some bitterness due to the hops

Taste: Complex with bitterness being more prominent than I expected. Espresso, chocolate, and vanilla are there but the hop bitterness and alcohol taste is suprisingly overpowering

Overall: A finely crafted beer but it wasn't what I expected. Good but not great.

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Photo of mobyfann
4.23/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Paid $8.99 for a 6pack...

The apperence on this is quite wonderful, let's start this off with a deep dark brown base with a huge fluffy and three-dimensional dark tanish head with great retention and some good lacing that is almost pure perfection... The aroma is nice, just nice... there was a few distinct "stout" ingredients in the smell such as chocolate and coffee, maybe a little cream as well?

The taste is fantastic on this one, first off it's smooth as hell... secondly it's all over the place with the roasty flavor, which isn't overpowering, but is quite nice... The mouthfeel is smooth on the palette, nothing stingy here. The drinkability is tough to judge, based on the fact that it's a 6.5% beer, I'd say it's really high... however it's quite sweet, so too many and you'll feel like you visited Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory, so it's overall good when you consilidate it all together...

Final Thought: The Bell's line is quite impressive with this being the best of the breweries stout line... tastes like a full flavored Guinness!

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Photo of RoyalT
4.73/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance – Beautifully black in color with a large, dark tan head that showed great retention and left a bit of lacing.

Smell – This is a nice combination of sweet cream, roasted malts, light espresso, and hints of chocolate.

Taste – Oh, this is good. It’s a lot bigger than it smells. Most Cream/Milk Stouts that I’ve had are heavy on the sweets and light on the malts, but this one is expertly balanced. The big, bitter, burnt toast malt just hits the nail on the head.

The other side of the coin is just as good. This doesn’t have a big milk flavor like most other examples of the style. This is true cream. It is good. It is luscious. It is right on without overpowering.

Mouthfeel – This is medium-bodied and will drive your saliva glands crazy. They got just the right combination of stouty roasted malts and fine, rich cream. This one also has a fluffy mouthfeel that will put you on cloud 9.

Drinkability – I wasn’t a huge fan of the Milk/Sweet Stout until trying this one. It is a great beer for introducing a stout lover to the style.

Comments – Big thanks to feloniousmonk for the hook-up!

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

A lover of all stouts, indeed I am. Generally the sweeter stouts are not my favorite of this breed, but there have been high praises for this one. Let's see what she got.

This beefy looking stout is utterly black with a short but very thick tannish head on top. Malty, dark chocolate nose with traces of nuts and what reminds me of strawberry shortcake. For a sweet stout, this is not so sweet, which is a good thing for me. Not smacking with flavor, but does show off some nicer milk chocolate notes than would, say, an Irish Dry. Mouthfeel is smooth and coating, leaving just the slightest tingle on the tongue with a touch of bitterness from the hops.

I think this would be my favorite sweeter stout to date; would make a very good session stout and would be perfect with dessert; preferably a heaping of vanilla ice cream.

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

poured an ink black that allowed no light through even when held up to a lamp. good deal. a moderatly thick head that thinned out before i got through half of the glass. little to no lacing. last couple beers have been like that, maybe its me. aroma was of burnt malts, very roasty. taste was of expresso, with a ting of milk sweetnes peeking through. aftertaste was that of a sweetened coffee. mouthfeel was of a full bodied brew. this was a thicker brew and i dug it. a fine beer in my opinion. damn fine

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Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
90 out of 100 based on 1,537 ratings.
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