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

1,575 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

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Reviews: 1,575 | Ratings: 4,293
Photo of mdfb79
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

a - Pours a dark brown color with about 2 inches of tan head with great retention and lacing. Moderate carbonation evident.

s - Coffee, roasted and toasted malts, licorice, hints of cream.

t - Bitterness prevails here. Bitter coffee jumps out first, followed by licorice and roasted malts. No cream from the smell is evident in the taste.

m - Full body and little carbonation.

d - Not a bad stout. I enjoyed the smell much more than the taste; I thought the bitterness was a little too prevalent in the taste. I would drink this again.

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Photo of bmoney
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz bottled into pint glass.

A- Very dark almost pitch black. Head of about an inch that settles quickly to no more than a centimeter and thin to a thin film as you drink.

S- Very roasty aroma. Dark chocolate and hints of coffee are also there, like the coffee that has been sitting on the burner all day. My favorite!

T- Bittersweet, a little burnt. Also some dark fruits and licorice linger balancing things out a bit. The taste stays in the mouth for a long time.

M- Smooth to swallow but leaves the mouth tingling.

D- All around a very respectable stout. I wouldn't refuse another but I can think of some other beers I'd rather have.

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Photo of MeisterBurger
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Fresh bottle from the brewery. Pours opaque black with rust highlights topped by a mocha coloured head. Great lacing.

Aroma is roasty and metallic, like wet coffee grinds and a tinge of wet cardboard.

Taste is similar. Roasty with dark fruits and coffee grinds. Finishes dry. Hints of baker's chocolate. The label says it's brewed with brewer's licorice. First I have heard of such a thing. I can only guess it's a very mild form of licorice as I only get a hint of black licorice here.

Mouthfeel is a little on the light side, unfortunately.

Overall a pretty straightforward but decent stout.

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

reviewed from notes:

appearance: very dark brown almost black with 2 finger mocha head.

smell: caramel, malts,

taste: caramel, hints of chocolate, bitter finish,

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, smooth,

drinkability: Do to the smooth texture it's an easy drinker.



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

12oz poured into a snifter, bottle reads 9095.

We had quite the stout tasting this weekend, mostly seasonals, but a number of things from the stout mystery box sent by 7ways. This Kalamazoo was one such stout, and again, many thanks, this brought me back to Handelbar in Chicago, many years ago.

A: Deep brown, bordering on black. Decent half-finger of head, virtually no carbonation to speak of.

S: Surprisingly sweet, mild bitter notes behind that with licorice in the finish.

T: Sweet right up front, and then a bitter licorice, back into a sweet licorice finish.

F: Ridiculously thick and syrupy.

D: Damn good, drinkable and thick for a regular stout.

I miss you bell's ... a lot.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.69/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle dated 8/13/2014. Poured into a Bell's snifter 9/30/2014.

A- Dark cola brown body, thick, brings out a short-lived brown head that nevertheless persists as a thin collar for quite a while. Filmy residue in the middle, a bit of lacing. [3.75]

S- Tons of dark chocolate, bitter cocoa, roast malt, a slight bit of smoke, licorice. A little coffee. Very rich aroma. [4]

F- Bitter cocoa, bitter dark chocolate, bitter roast, bitter licorice. As you can imagine, this is quite bitter. As it warms up, more of the toasted malt sweetness comes out, which rounds things out. Still, this is an extremely bitter stout so be prepared for that. [3.5]

M- Medium bodied, nearly full with a lot of substance to it. Oily, resinous and bitter roast finish. [4]

O- I was surprised by how bitter this beer is. It's definitely one that does well when it warms up a bit more which allows the sweetness to come out. [3.5]

Final score: 3.66

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Photo of Roguer
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Head is slightly fizzy; great size and retention.

Aroma is slightly subdued, but carries lots of roast and noble hops.

Plenty of roast on the palate.

A touch thin for a stout. Lively and drinkable.

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Photo of MiScusi
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle code on back is 7837 indicating it was bottled on Feb 21st, 2007. So it's a about 13 months old, perhaps past its peak or getting close. Has sort of a soy, or slightly sour dark malt smell to it. The taste has a little creaminess in flavor maybe from added lactose, some very mellow coffee in the background but not much else in terms of roasted flavor. Not bad, this one is probably better right when it comes out of the tanks.

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Photo of tylernim
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark and rich. Thick head.

S - Typical stout. Chocolate and coffee.

T - Smokiness. Coffee, chocolate, and malts follow.

M - Chewy and Thick.

D - Drinkable, but I would probably move on to something else.

Good, but there is some better stuff around for sure.

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Photo of exx
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours dark with a thin head that vanishes, leaving very little lacing. Appears almost entirely opaque, hold this up to a window and you can't see through it. Some caramel color, very little visible carbonation. Dark as a stout should be.

S- Heavy roasted malts and strong smell of licorice, molasses sticks out with a roasted coffee flavor lingering.

T- Coffee and charred malts, liquorice takes center stage with a nice coffee bitterness filling the mouth. Tastes like it smells.

M- Medium to full bodied, very little carbonation. Creamy, smooth, very nice.

O- Really goes down smooth. Very tasty. Robust, complex, would highly enhance any meal you drink a stout with. Worthy of the cult status? Why not.

Reviewed from 12 oz. brown bottle poured into pint glass. Bottle marked January 16th, reviewed August 17th.

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Photo of pmatz2
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one has been in the fridge for a year.
Pours a dark brown with a thick tan head that slowly diminishes a ring a round the edge with sections still visible in the middle. There is plenty of lacing that lasts all the way down.

Aroma is predominantly roasted malt with a some hints of coffee and chocolate

The taste is of sweet roasted malts that reduces on the finish.

It has a medium to full body with a very creamy texture There is very little sign of carbonation.

I found this to be drinkable but it tasted better with food than by itself

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Photo of robboyd
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Was at Bell's recently when they had 10 or so stouts on tap. I brought back a mixed six pack of mixed brews and this was one of them. The K-Zoo stout pours deep deep black with a caramel head. It smells sweeter than the tongue. It reminds me of baking brownies. Chocolate, a mild earthiness, and malt. I know the bottle says brewed with licorice but I smell berries. Could just be the cold I'm dealing with. Good smelling beer but not my favorite smelling stout out there.

Taste also was good but not great. Chocolate, malt, very mild bitterness, maybe from the licorice, which is mildly noticeable. Some toasted notes as well, I would almost call it smokey on the finish but toasty might be the better descriptor.

Overall a good beer. It feels a little lighter bodied out of the bottle than what I remember out of the tap but still robust and filling. Good way to start my day.

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Photo of stinkydaddy
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

a - roasty chocolate, picking up dark fruit as it warms, a very small bit of floral could be hops

a - pours a medium tan head with tight creamy bubbles. Opaque. Light does not even show through the edges. Head dissipates to thin and laces nicely.

f - as it smells. dark malt. chocolate. roasty. hops are earthy and provide balance but this is all about the malt. a bit of yeast but this is a 8 month old bottle.

M - Creamy and thick. Oily. Exactly what you want from a stout. Low carb adds to body.

O - A very nice stout highlighted by an amazing body

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Photo of da_beers
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Gainesville House of Beers - on-tap

A - black as night. Thin tan head. Looks beautiful, the way I like my home brewed stouts to look.

S - nice roasty/smokiness. Caramel malts evident. Some cocoa in there too.

T - starts out with this nice roasted maltiness. Has chocolate coming out next with some coffee as well. Not as impressive I guess as I had thought.

M - full body but not as oil thick as other stouts. Drinkable and not too heavy.

O - I like it, not even close to some of Bell's other stuff (can you compare anything to Black Note).

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Photo of Boggdogg
3.67/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - pours a very dark mahogany color. Like the blackest red I have ever seen. Has a nice thick light brown head that leaves outstanding lacing all around the glass.

S - I smell roasted malts with molasses which I guess is the brewers licorice and not really molasses but I'm not sure. Semele good.

T- very complex with coffee bean, cocoa, roasted malt, tiny a bit of sweetness ending with bitter hops. It's a bitter stout which I prefer more balance of sweet and bitter.

M- full bodied which I like but it's a little too dry and bitterness lingers.

O- well brewed, amazing appearance but too one sided on bitterness and dry mouth.

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Photo of mjrtoo
3.66/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours very dark black with about a finger think head that seems to quickly vanish leaving a fair lacing on the Imperial pint glass from which I'm drinking.

The smell is subtle and right after pour you get the typical roasted coffee aroma, but to me, this quickly dissipates after the head is gone, leaving not much scent at all...something there but hard to describe, very very light milk chocolate maybe?'re immediately hit with 'coffee with a cube of sugar' and chocolate flavors. Not too long after, the hoppy bitterness kicks in and finishes with dry extra bitter, roasted malty goodness.

Mouthfeel is lighter and crispier than I would like for a stout, quite crisp on the tongue actually.

Drinkability is high for a stout, but don't think I could do a six pack, it does have a kick.

All in all, I think it's a pretty good brew, but strangely sweet for my taste in a stout.

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Photo of tillmac62
3.66/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

BOD 2/22/14. Pitch black pour with a very good head. Lacing and retention are also very good. Surprisingly light nose of chocolate and roast over a mineral note. Rich heavy medium body with a nice creamy texture. Below average carbonation with almost no effervescence on the finish. The flavor profile is balanced, but lacks the complexity found in world class stouts. It begins with chocolate, fades to roast and flows into a mild sweetness with a licorice note. Hops and roast create a slightly bitter middle with just a hint of coffee and NO dark fruit. The finish is slightly astringent.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.66/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 5/16/08. Bottle. Pours black with a beautiful dark brown head that left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma and flavor strongly of coffee, some roast, and chocolate. The palate was a little thin despite the big flavors in the beer. Some sweet richness in the finish, but not enough. The palate gets weaker as you continue to drink. This is just a weaker version of Expedition. It is good, but I am shocked that it is the #3 stout, as I would rate many other stouts over it.
8/5/7/3/14 (3.7/5)

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Photo of devilben02
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark brown with a thin tan head that quickly dissipates. The aroma provides a hint of coffee, and the flavor is reminiscent of black coffee with a bit of fruity malt sweetness to balance. Heavily roasted malts are one thing, but the flavor of this one makes me think they went one step further and burnt some of the malt. Again, however, the malt sweetness brings some balance to this dark bitterness. This combination provides a nice crisp mouthfeel without giving up the distinctive flavor profile that makes this stout as easy-drinking as many of the year-round offerings from Bell's.

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Photo of ScreamForMe
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Andrea for this bottle!

Well, I've had this beer on my Want list for a long time. Why I never pursued getting a bottle is beyond me.

Poured with an inch head and quite a bit of lacing.

Taste is good - not much to it - but good. At 6% I could see downing a few of these and getting myself right.

I like it - but there are other Bells brews that I like more.

Next review!

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Photo of gatornation
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a licorice black color with a 1" head like all bells brews have.. it had a black cherry ring with some nice lacing,,smell was chocolate,molasses fig and plum the taste was a bittersweet chocolate with an over roasted coffee taste followed by some currant fruits and malts..overall a good stout allthough a little to bitter and not well balanced..not my favorite but worthy..bells is no longer a go to brew for all styles 4 me their quality in small batch brewery charm has taken a hit in their hopes to expand to quickly to many areas to fast and in turn has hurt them imo

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Photo of DrummerDan
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm not thrilled, but I'll try draft when I get a chance to see if it was the carbonation that threw this beer off for me.

Nice dark brown almost black beer with a bit of head that is off white. The head has a nice consistency and lasted most of the glass. There is a dried fruit burnt chocolate smell at first. Unfortunately, the smell didn't translate well into the first taste. First the roasted chocolate flavor and then a hoppy bitter aftertaste overwhelms by mouth. As the beer warmed the balance between slightly sweet and bitter hops got better.

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Photo of fscottkey
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Notes: Born on 11/21/13 (current date 6/15/14).

A: Dark brown/black with a nice 1 finger "stout" head (where the individual bubbles are barely distinguishable).

S: Mostly coffee and some toffee. A slight metallic scent too.

T: Hearty roasted malts. The roasted flavor is really present early. The late gives way to a bit of bitter coffee flavor.

M: Nice mouth feel - not quite coating but pretty rich and thick. Slight carbonation.

O: The word "licorice" in the description scared me (I hate licorice). But there are no discernible "licorice" flavors in the beer. I mark that as a big plus. Very nice roast flavor with a modest 6.0% ABV. There are not a lot of complexities of chocolate and coffee - but this is still a well made and good tasting stout.

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Photo of ediaz
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured dark with a relatively thick, nitro like head giving off little nose. Smells of wood, chocolate, and toasted malts. Tastes of dark chocolate, malt, smoke, oak, coffee. Smooth mouthfeel with medium carb. Overall a ~decent stout but if it wasn't local I wouldn't trade for it.

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Photo of jchow79
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Acquired through a trade with PSUKINGER

Appearance: Pours a dark dark brown with a orange head.

Smell: Smells like a cup of coffee with a liquorish stick.

Taste: Tastes the way it smells

Mouthfeel: Smooth and luxurious

drinkability: I could probably drink a few of these in a row.

I enjoyed this a lot. The licorice is not my favorite candy flavor but I enjoy it in small amounts. I actually pick up more coffee then licorice for some reaso.

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Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.03 out of 5 based on 4,293 ratings.
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