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

4,329 Ratings
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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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Ratings: 4,329 |  Reviews: 1,582
Photo of AaronHomoya
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jet black color with nice, dark-tan head. Creamy head with good retention.

Aroma is a wonderfully complex blend of roasty malts, sweet lighter malts, brown sugar, chocolate and root beer.

Roasty flavor with some coffee and hops bitterness at the finish.

Mouthfeel is creamy and medium-bodied. Very smooth.

A tasty stout with great aroma and complexity.

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Photo of purplehops
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Kalamazoo pours a rich red-black with a light brown head. The head leaves a nice lace pattern on the glass with a thin layer staying on top of the stout for most of the duration in the glass. The aroma is sweet with hints of cherries and roasted grain. There is also a hint of sour odors in the aroma but not to the point of being unpleasant. The taste starts out very malty and chewy with a pleasant effervescence to it. The finish is bitter black malt with notes of smoke and chicory and a faint background sweetness. There are no noticeable hops flavors here and they don't seem to be needed. The aftertaste is toasted grain blending with bitter black malt and still a subtle sweetness lingering. The mouthfeel is very smooth with a bit of a lip smacking chew to it.
Overall this is a very nice stout. A nice complexity of flavors and odors that make for an enjoyable drink. It is bitter and sweet and tart along with dry and wet all at the same time. My second Bell's product and my opinion of them is getting better.

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Photo of koopa
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Murky dark brown with red corners. A nice 1 finger mocha crown that shows a bit of retention and some lacing. Attractive.

Smell: Nice dose of coffee and dark roasted malt.

Taste: Creamy and milky up front opening to a strong coffee flavor and smooth finish.

Mouthfeel: A touch thin but I've had this bottle for about a year now and have never tried it fresh so can't say if its always like this or not.

Drinkability: Fairly easy to drink.

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Photo of EKahler17
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of claudialeshok
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

has strong coffee taste, almost black in color

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Photo of Tbn2
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass.

A-Black. When back lit, no light shines through. Typical tan head settles to the top and stick around for the duration. Leaves some lacing.

S-Chocolate and sweet malts are there. Toasty/smoky smell is also present. The yeast make an appearance in this one as a major player as well. A little coffee in the back of the nose.

T-Coffee taste is much upfront now. Fades to a smoky/chocolate taste. Hops kindly remind you they are present with a piney taste at the very end.

M-I would have liked a little more body. Hops leave you with too dry of a taste I feel. I like my Milk Stouts to finish sweet.

Overall a good brew from Bells. Get it, you won't be disappointed. Thanks to lvnloud for this libation.

Drink em' if ya got em'

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Photo of letsgopens
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This decadent stout pours a dark near black opaque with a creamy dark tan head that holds well and leaves nice lace.

The aroma is sweet and malty, with milk chocolate and a nice roastiness. Pleasant and very appetizing.

Sweet milk chocolate initiates the flavor followed by some welcomed roasted malt. A hint of dark fruit and some more bitter cocoa are present in the finish. Short notes of leafy hops round everything out.

The mouthfeel is heavy and creamy with a bit of natural carbonation. Very smooth and dessert-like throughout.

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Photo of naterock
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black as night, adly enough a purpleish head, good retention.

Smells of cherries like bing cherries and chocolate. but ever so slight I mean VERY slight.

Tastes of chocolate and slightly espresso, nuanced with cherries. bitter malt qualities

Nicely carbonated helps the bitterness make a comback from the chocolate sweetness.

Definitely a good stout worth the money you pay for it.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.15/5  rDev +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 AdmiralDiaz
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice dark pour and a decent sized head (finger or two) pretty good retention.

Pretty bold, smells of chocolate, coffee, and roasted malts just what I had expected.

Doesn't taste as strong as it smells but matches the scent very well. Nice roasted malt flavor with a little bit of hops. Bittersweet taste from the chocolate but overall more on the bitter side from the coffee flavor.

Great thickness and mellow-moderate carbonation which is just the way I enjoy my stouts. A very good drink overall and can't wait to buy again along with other Bell's brews.

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Photo of johnd513
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer tastes and smells of bitter chocolate/coffee, raisins and has a big malt profile. A bit on the sweet side. I absolutely love the carbonation and mouthfeel of this beer, very smooth. Drinkability is relativly high on this one. A great session beer even with the ABV being a little higher.

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Photo of mmva321
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter.

A: A very full, opaque stout body looms huge. A monochromatic blob with very very little khaki head that leaves quickly and leaves a thin lacing on top but very little on the glass.

S: A bit too faint, but it is still a beautifully rich and full aroma that is woodsy and roasted. Sweet, malty and full of cocoa.

T: Taste of dark, bitter chocolate. Sweet and roasted and very satisfactory.

M: A rich and full feel that leaves and dry and linger taste in your mouth. A perfect enhancement of the flavor.

O: An excellent American stout that balances its intended flavors very well without overpowering your senses.

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Photo of Benish
4.14/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: very foamy pancake batter colored head. Color is translucent black with pouring and jet black in the glass.

Aroma: earthy and woodsy hops. Notes of black charred coffee, also bitter chocolate. Subtle aromas of anise.

Taste: starts out bitter. A combination of flavors from the earthy hops, bitter chocolate, and black coffee. Roasted malt comes in midway with just subtle sweetness. The finish leaves a charred and bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: smooth and medium bodied with just enough carbonation.

Overall: a very drinkable stout that I enjoyed. This is more bitter forward with very little sweetness.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.14/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Revisting an old favorite tonight...

A - It pours a gloriously robust bowling-ball black, and is capped with a sturdy head of mocha froth which deposits copious lace upon the walls of my Sam Smith pint glass. As I poured it, the head filled over 50% of the glass initially, and showed a cascading effect a la Guinness, finally settling at about a finger's worth of tight head. This is an exceptional looking brew.

S - The nose is pleasant, but somewhat vague. The aroma is comprised of of roast and naked grain, herbal hops, fruity English Ale yeast notes and perhaps faint licorice if you search for it. Fruity English Ale notes stand out the most, as the glass empties.

T - There is a lot more dynamic to the flavor than there is with the nose. There are good doses of roast and caramelized grain, some hints of chocolate and graham cracker and some herbal bitterness on the finish. Again, I don't get huge licorice flavor, but I seem to detect it vaguely in the finish.

M - The feel is creamy, airy, almost fluffy...the body has some tooth, perhaps just about square-at medium, but has a hugely refreshing quality that adds a lightness that transcends the true weight.

O - I know why I used to love this stuff. I do not know why I haven't got back with this sooner. Now, some controversy: though different styles (and intents), Kalamazoo is a WAYYY better beer than Expedition. Yes I've had fresh Expedition. Yes I've had (x)-year-old Expedition. Kalamazoo FTW.

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Photo of Damian
4.14/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drank from a 12 fl. oz./355 ml bottle
Acquired in a trade with nathan15

Poured an inky black/brown with a wispy, coffee-colored film that faded to a thin ring. Oddly, as the beer was drunk, the frothy ring increased in size and short-lived blankets of lacing cascaded with each sip.

The aroma was rich and roasty yet sweet. Deep, roasted malts and coffee melded seamlessly with strong notes of milk chocolate, molasses, brown sugar, caramel and maple syrup. A more subtle, bourbon-like quality was also noticeable. As the beer warmed, the lactic-sugary milkiness really came forth and the chocolate notes seemed to become lighter.

The taste was similar to the aroma except that it was significantly darker. Roasted malts and dark chocolate were apparent as was a slight oakiness. Subdued milky, creamy notes came out as the beer warmed. Some mild hops (just enough for balance) appeared on the finish. Charred malt really dominated in the long-lasting aftertaste.

Mouthfeel was rich, full and smooth with a consistency of sweet cream.

This beer was a very pleasant and drinkable dessert beverage.

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Photo of Warren2621
4.14/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of NickSMpls
4.14/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pitch black and nice head with good lacing. Nice aroma of coffee, licorice and dark chocolate. The taste is classic stout with notes of expresso beans, roasted grains and good hop balance. It's one of our regular winter beers...we just don't do stouts in a midwestern summer.

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Photo of DrewSnyc667
4.14/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of meatmallet
4.14/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Super dark brown nearly black with a medium brown head made of thin tiny bubbles.

Smell: It has a yeasty smell with some dark fruits and a almost campfire like charred wood smell with a bit of smoke, maybe a bit of licorice and some burnt caramel smell.

Taste: Bitter chocolate and some roasted coffee beans and quite a bit of hops. You get some dark fruit, burnt toffee, and dark roast coffee in the middle. Finishes bitter and sweet with some hoppy bitterness to it as well as the bitter chocolate.

Mouthfeel/drinkability: Full bodied and creamy. A flavorful beer with a wonderful smell but I couldnt manage to drink too many of these.

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Photo of luke12345
4.14/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of far333
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep dark brown, just about black. The chunky, lumpy brown head sits an inch high, and doesn't sink at all. It looks like ice cream, I think I could float a quarter on it. Aroma is sweet chocolate and roasted malt. Flavor is big chocolate, caramel, and molasses. Finish is a burnt malt, and the lingering aftertaste is bitter coffee. Burnt malt and hop bitter sits in the back of the throat. Big, thick wads of lace hang onto the glass and slowly slide down. I'm more than halfway through the glass, and there's still a half-inch head. Everything about this one is great, but the flavor is very full and rich, which limits the drinkability a bit.

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Photo of gotweid
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of J2A2
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

A: Pours a deep browinsh black and topped with a thick and creamy sandy white one and a half inch head. The head bubbles down slightly to form a thin cap and leaves a good bit of lace down the side of the glass on the way down.

S: Nice roasted chocolate malt, mild hot chocolaty sweetness. Not too milky but still very sweet nonetheless.

T/MF: Rather roasty, bitter chocolate malt in the beginning, smoothing out considerably to a milky sweetness in both the middle and end of tasting and closes with a dark toasted chocolate and coffee bitterness that lingers for a bit on the tongue. Carbonation is mild and the mouthfeel is just the slightest bit too watery for my taste, but does a good job coming across as medium bodied otherwise.

D: Solidly drinkable, very very tasty and before I even realized it, my glass was empty. Nice and smooth couterpoint stuck between this beer and the Bell's Porter.

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Photo of klastinger
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.03 out of 5 based on 4,329 ratings.
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