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

Bell's Kalamazoo StoutBell's Kalamazoo Stout
4,359 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,359 |  Reviews: 1,588
Photo of dnh2
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of SourNotes
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of funkel81
4.16/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of thebouch01
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of bpfrush
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of mater
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of tbeq00
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of ahq514
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into NB Globe glass.

Pours an extremely dark brown- near black. Has a relatively small head. Appears to be lightly carbonated.

Typical stout aroma. Tons of coffee and dry roast and chocolate. Maybe a dash of oats. Also get some subtle vanilla sweetness. Not much in the way of hops.

Taste matches the aroma almost identically. Dry and roasty up front with coffee notes. A little bit of chocolate follows complemented by a little bit of sweetness. Finishes dry and roasty with a slight amount of bitterness.

Medium to full body with low carbonation. Slightly creamy and pretty drinkable for a stout.

This is a good stout staple. Embodies what I think of as a regular non-imperial stout. If I wanted to introduce someone to the style, I might use this one.

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Photo of Dodo2step
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

P- Al's of hampden

A- pitch black and opaque. No light gets through. A dark tan head color that is about a finger. Nice circular lacing around the inside of the mug.

S- i do get a hint of the licorice but more of a charred wood or smokey smell. Nothing else but simplistic is good.

T- burnt toffee or charred woodsmoke and light licorice and fruit as well. The smoke really comes out in the aftertaste.

M- full bodied and charred smokey aftertaste lingers in the mouth.

O- One of my favorite stouts and one of my favorite beers from Bell's. There cherry stout still reigns supreme of this but it is decent.

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Photo of tdm168
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with 1/4" of cappuccino head that has good retention. The nose has notes of roasted malts, coffee, and a hint of chocolate. The taste is smooth, rich roasted malts, mellow coffee, and faint chocolate in the finish. There are some faint hops in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, smooth, and well carbonated.

This is a solid stout. It's fairly simple and to the point, but the simplicity works here. I've had this one several times and will probably have it again.

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
4.35/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured like used motor oil, and I mean that in a good way. About a 2 finger, foamy, light brown head, that stuck around a little while and laced very well.

S- Heavy in the coffee roast area. A darker chocolate smell is also prominent. A slight, sweet hint towards the end.

T- Right off the bat, the coffee roast and dark chocolate comes through. A little hint of sweetness, possibly the licorice mentioned on the label, despite the lack of an overall licorice taste. Finishes much the same way it started with the burnt roasts coming through and lingering on the palate a bit.

M- A little more carbonation than I've experienced in Oatmeal Stouts before, but it still works. Almost a milky texture that goes down very smoothly.

Overall, it's a brew like this that makes Oatmeal Stouts and stouts overall among my favorite styles. I will get this again, and soon.

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Photo of ShanePB
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle shared with some friends. Poured into three miniature 5 ounce snifter glasses.

A: Deep dark brown borderline black body with a creamy and frothy tan head. A few swirls in the glass and it looked as if it was on nitro. Very minor lace with a thin creamy retention cap. Nice looking regular stout, especially the head color which you don't always see.

S: Dark malts come through big, slightly roasted with a bitter caramel note. Faint coffee and anise is there, just enough to provide some complexity without dominating. A distant grassy element is in the background. Complex enough without going over the top.

T: High percentage dark chocolate, mildly roasted coffee beans, vanilla and lactose. Back of the palate has the anise but it's extremely faint, and personally I don't think enough comes through to warrant it being plastered on the label. Rich, robust and flavorful; nicely done.

M: Creamy and silky, a bit on the higher end of carbonation but I haven't come to expect an extremely chewy body on a regular stout. Pretty nice with a clean finish.

This was certainly a surprise as I tend to dislike anything brewed with anise/licorice. The good part is that it's not overpowering by any means, and really works as an addition to the base flavors. Again, put it on the label? I don't think so, unless you just want to say you're doing something different.

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Photo of HOPPYKC
3.9/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this right next to some of the founders breakfast stout that just became available.

I think that this has a lot going for a nice stout. Very drinkable and a great session-able brew for a stout. The smell is of chocolate and slight coffee and nice roasted malt. This is a bit slick on the tongue and didn't quite have the body that i would have liked. Light tan head with a bit of carbonation that seemed to be a nice tickle on the way down. I think that for me this just needed a bit more body to it and maybe a bit more alcohol to back it up. I do understand that this is not an RIS but i guess im spoiled. For an everyday stout this is great but i was expecting a little more with the great rating this has been given.

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Photo of MsRif
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've had this one on-tap as well as from bottles. Dark brown almost black color that is almost completely opaque. Moderately sized tan head with a small amount of lacing. Smells of roasty malts, coffee, licorice, cocoa and general sweetness that I can't quite identify. Taste is dry but drinkable. Cocoa, coffee, roasted malts, licorice...leaves a dry coffee taste on the plate.

Medium bodied with low carbonation. A little syrupy, but not overly so. Very drinkable and good! I get this once in awhile and I always enjoy it.

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Photo of Agold
4.04/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Kalamazoo stout pours with a deep black color with a nice tan head which quickly dissipates to a thin lacing on top of the beer. Aroma is very good. Lots of coco, roast, can get a touch of earthyness, and a very mild caramel note. The flavor is nice, but falls a bit short. The creamy chocolatey character that the aroma had gives way to more of a patent malt burnt roastyness with a bit of an earthy chalky coco flavor which is nice, but not as great as the aroma. Mouthfeel is a bit on the thin side. Not much creaminess, a bit sharp with a good level of carbonation for a stout. For me this is closer to a dry stout than a regular stout, but it is damn good anyway.

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Photo of Scotchboy
3.78/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from a recent trade with MarcatGSB, batch 10661, bottled August 16th. Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint.

A: Pours dark and opaque with about a fingers worth of medium tan/brown head...dark ruby and purple hues to the body when light hits the edges.

S: Prominent dark fruit...molasses, roast, coffee...chalky cocoa powder as it warms. You can definitely pick up on the licorice they used.

T: Pretty dry and bitter, lots of dark fruit & vinous characters, licorice, bitter dark chocolate, coffee, and earthy hop bitterness.

MF: Medium bodied mouthfeel, dry, bitter & slightly viscous.

O: Unique. A good, tasty stout...with the combination of sweetness, roast and dryness I probably wouldn't want more than one though.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Batch 9984.

Appearance: With a quick pour, my glass fills with a dark brown ebony liquid with a viscous look and a creamy tan head. Eventually it fades to a collar and leaves just a bit of lace.

Smell: Roasted malt, a bit of smoke, roast coffee, and a bit of unsweetened dark chocolate dominate the nose.

Taste: The taste has a little sweetness sneak through along with the mostly unsweetened dark chocolate and roasted malt. The malt has some light burnt character to it, and there is some milk creaminess to it. The finish has a bit of licorice and a bitter coffee flavor.

Mouthfeel: The creaminess to the mouthfeel is nice. Too often stouts on the lighter part of the ABV spectrum just seem watery to me, but this has some character to it. The carbonation has a mostly creamy nature, but there are a few stray bubbles that are noticeably fizzy. The body is medium to full, and there is a soft stickiness to go along with the chocolate in the flavor.

Overall: This is definitely one of the more enjoyable stouts I have had in this ABV range. I would definitely have a few of these while I sat at a pub.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

894th Review on BA
Bottle to Snifter
12 oz

2011 Bottle

App- A very deep rich brown with garnet edges. A nice fizzy 1-1/2 finger fast receding khaki colored head. Very little in way of cling or lace.

Smell- Roast, Soy, Chocolate, Nuts. A lot crammed into a little bottle and a bit boozy.

Taste- A nice bit of that licorice flavor with a little burnt malt and some dark chocolate. A little grainular but still pretty tasty.

Mouth- A bubbly spritzy medium body with a paired fizzy carbonation level.

Drink- I like the use of the licorice in this bottle the format works well as I don't think I could do a whole bomber or 750 of this stout.

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Photo of RnRManifesto
3.85/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

The beer is dark, black, with a very small tan head that goes away quickly. Not much lacing to speak of.

Smells is roasted malts, faint licorice, some fruitiness.

I don't really taste the licorice, which is a plus for me, as I never did like black licorice flavor. I'm tasting roasted malts, some coffee, chocolate and some malt sweetness. A small aftertaste similar to black coffee, but not unpleasant. All in all this is a pretty good tasting stout. Much better than I expected.

Pleasant mouth feel, not thick or syrupy like some stouts can be. Just enough carbonation.

I'm glad I tried this, though it would not be my first choice for a stout, it is interesting and good.

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Photo of comfortablynumb1
3.61/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received as an extra in a recent trade. Thanks again Joey...

Poured from a 12oz bottle into RR snifter...

A - Pours black with a two finger brown head that dissipates at fairly hasty pace. There is a good amount of sticky lace that clings to the glass...

S - Dark roasted malts, coffee, and a little chocolate...

T - Pretty much follows the nose with roasted malts and coffee. Bitter chocolate, and a nutty presence are also in the mix. Finishes with more roasted malts, and a little sweeteness. Roast is definitely the main focus here...

M - Nice and creamy. On higher end of being medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation...

O - A solid offering from Bells, but probably not something that would be in my rotation. A little to much on the roasted/charred side for my likings...


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Photo of TheMultiYeast
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very dark brown almost black. A light tan head leads the way to some lacing.

Smells like milk chocolate and toasted bread upfront. Figs and a touch of piney hops come through as well.

Dark fruits again in the taste with just a touch of licorice spice. Pleasant bitterness rounds it out with a little boozy aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is slightly thinner than some stouts with a smooth start and mild carbonation.

Overall I would try this stout again. Good stuff from Bell's.

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Photo of Forb
3.81/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep dark ruby / brown with the outer body showing a slight ruby translucence. Carbonation bubbling up to a minor coffee brown head.

Taste: Definitely roasted taste almost similar charred nut brown flavor... interesting... but the licorice that is said to be within only presents itself oh so subtly... is this on purpose? Fine with me. The burnt, charred, roasted flavors are clearly the main focus with this stout.

Smell: Nose for me on this one is quite minimal and faint. Roasted elements are noticeable but I don't gather much more.

Mouthfeel: This is where I feel the beer takes a big hold on me. It comes across so smooth and creamy followed by it's bubbly entourage as to allow me to take gulps rather than sip. Full body, full flavor, yet oh so drinkable!

Overall: A great stout for somebody who doesn't want to be overwhelmed by the 'big' that is so common of this style yet keep from compromising the flavor. Easily understood as a 'cult classic'. Ty Bell's!

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Photo of keethrax
4.55/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Black. Very black. Tan head, decent lacing.

Smell: Roasty, coffee, licorice

Taste. Sweet. Licorice at first, fades into dark chocolate followed up by a mildly bitter coffee aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy, closer to medium.

Way back when this was my first stout that wasn't a Guinness. Still one of my favorites.

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Photo of Ehrnstrom
4.07/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

appearance: pours a dark, chocolate color. mocha colored head that disappears very quickly.

smell: maybe the best aspect of this beer, roasted malts, chocolate, and coffee flavors are all present.

taste: rich chocolate that balances out the roasted malts and subtle addition of coffee

mouthfeel: could be a little more full-bodied, but for an affordable 6 pack, this is one of the better stouts you can get

overall: really the first beer that got me into craft beer. just an overall great beer.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.96/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, a souvenir from a visit to a kick-ass liquor store in Dearborn, Michigan, a few weeks ago.

This beer pours a solid black, with slight cola highlights, and one fat finger of dense puffy pale beige head, which leaves a broad swath of a lace paint job around the glass as it settles. It smells of gritty, chalky baker's chocolate, caramel malt, earthy licorice, and leafy hops. The taste is still big into the chocolate - bittersweet, and enveloping, with a narrow coffee stripe. The licorice is there, a tight somewhat astringent natural black anise essence, cutting into the cocoa blanket, aided by some mild booze and underwhelmingly edgy hops. The carbonation is present, on a low-fi fizzy plane, the body damn-near full, expansive, and smooth, with a creamy predilection. It finishes with butterfly-imitating malt, bursting forth from below, finally joining the chocolate, middling licorice, and oafish hops, late to the party.

A decent, well-flavoured, dessert-adjacent Yankee stout. The extra point of ABV well-obfuscated, the licorice not overplayed - what's not to like?

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Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 3.98 out of 5 with 4,359 ratings
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