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

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding
1,541 Reviews
THE BROS
83
good
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Bell's Kalamazoo StoutBell's Kalamazoo Stout
BEER INFO

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,541
Ratings:
4,164
Avg:
4.03
pDev:
17.37%
 
 
Wants:
195
Gots:
608
For Trade:
8
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,541 | Ratings: 4,164
Photo of SaltofOH
3.63/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle dated 9/2/15. Pokal glass.

Smell: Potent dark chocolate; licorice; savory note; perhaps some alcohol, but faint. Smells like a stout, alright. No off notes, but not really complex.

Appearance: Held up to a very bright light, totally opaque - no light penetrates. Around the edges, there is a slight dark red hue when held up to said very bright light, but in normal lighting, no reddish tints are visible. Formed a 2 finger, extremely frothy and thick light brown (darker than tan) head. Lacing was very good. Retained very well: a cap of tan skim all the way to the last sip.

Taste: Being a coffee lover, I would not say this tastes anything like coffee, but perhaps like dark or bittersweet chocolate. Not much sweetness to it, which I have observed in the past. That savory note is strong on the arrival. Sweetness builds across mid-palate, but is at most mild sweetness. Then it turns dry, bitter, and woodsy/herbal. Not as bitter as some stouts I've had lately, but extremely bitter relative to its perceived weight in the mouth and level of sweetness.

Mouthfeel: On the lighter side of full-bodied. Some residual slickness, but over all not slick. Very mild carbonation, but more present than many shouts I've had. Really, it is a perfect level of carb for a stout.

Overall: This is a lot like the last time I had it; it is very roasty and easy drinking as stouts go. The roast bitterness is quite strong, particularly in relation to the subdued sweetness. If you want a classic stout with very high bitterness but moderate alcohol, this is a go-to beer. I think my preference is to have beers of this style a touch sweeter, though. Not six-pack worthy for me.

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Photo of travolta
3.63/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Black, no head retention to speak of. Very limited lacing.

Nose: Thick molasses, Cold black coffee, dark chocolate at the end.

Taste: Dry and nicely crispy, roasted malt, some hot alcohol at the end, a little smoke in the middle.

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Photo of JEdmund
3.63/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance
Black with a tan, French press-esque small head

Aroma
A little sweet with hints of dates or prunes; overall not a big component of the beer

Taste & Mouthfeel
Wow - big upfront flavor of roasted malts followed by milk chocolate (reminds me a bit of Old Rasputin); a little thin in body

Overall
It's got a big imperial-like flavor but with the mouthfeel of a regular stout. I really enjoyed it as it opens with a nice roasted taste and ends with a sweet aftertaste.

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Photo of Anthony1
3.63/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

poured into a snifter

pours a dark black with a light head, tan in color. was no lace, but the head and color was great. smells a strong strong coffee and chocolate with roasted malt and hops. a very creamy feel with a full body and smooth carbonation. tastes mostly of coffee and chocolate.

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Photo of BeerDawgs
3.63/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pitch black, with a tiny bit of head, and not much lace retention

S - Licorice, deep roasted malts. Coffee

T - Pretty good. Roasted malts, slight chocolate and coffee flavors. Nuts. Licorice adds a slight sweet finish.

M - Very creamy and smooth mouthfeel.

O - A very good stout. Another well done beer from Bells

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Photo of bobsy
3.63/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Eric for sharing this well-regarded stout.

Very dark brown pour, bordering on black with a finger of tan head. Decent retention and a few spots of lace. On the nose the predominant aroma is wet coffee grounds with a subtle hint of anise.

I'm getting a lot of dark roast out of the flavour, and I don't know about brewer's licorice, but it sure feels like a coffee stout. Its complimented by some toasty notes along with chocolate and tobacco. The mouthfeel is a touch lighter than I think would be ideal - there's some decent flavours going on in here, but the lack of body is letting them down.

Not as good as I thought it would be, but still a pretty damn good stout.

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

A- Black in color and very inky. Head is slow to rise to the top, but is light brown and very spotty. It is actually going away quite fast, too.

S- Coffee, cream, chocolate, maybe some light toffee and vanilla. Digging deeper you will find a light roast and/or campfire aroma.

T- Roasted malt, black patent malt, coffee malt, and vanilla creamer. Midstream, you can actually feel a little bit of the bittering hop blend with some malt astrigency.

M- Somewhat milky with low carbonation.

D- I am not too crazy about it. Just a decent milk stout to me; definitely not standoutish but glad I could try it.

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

look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes while on vacation in Arizona. Beer reviewed 4/15/2011.

A - The beer was poured from brown 12oz bottle to pint glass. The beer pours a very deep brown with medium brown edges in the light. A small 1/2 finger tan head with some retention and lacing.

S - A pleasant mix of roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, molasses, and even a hint of butter.

T/M - Similar to the nose the beer starts out with a large roast flavor though a bit of charred oak as well. The middle of the beer brings the molasses, chocolate, and coffee tones from the nose, though rather subdued. The beer finishes a bit creamy with a lingering roast flavor. Full bodied and mildly carbonated. Hides the alcohol well.

O - A better than average stout but not mind-blowing. I found it to be a bit overbearing with smokey char and roast and didn't seem to blend well together. Glad to have tried it but likely won't be back.

Note: This review was a re-post from my former account, jmkratt, which was hacked and I lost all my reviews...sorry for the redundancy.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 04-18-2011 14:19:43

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Photo of frenchblood21
3.61/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into Goose Island pint glass.

Appearance- Cola black w/ a one finger tan head. Tons of carbonation in the bottom of the glass. Great lacing.

Smell- Roasted barley and rootbeer come right at you. That's followed by the traditional chocolate and coffee.

Taste- A good roasted taste is the primary flavor. Not sweet at all...more of a bitter aftertaste. Some dark chocolate in the back.

Mouthfeel- Smooth and creamy...not much else to say.

Overall- Not the best stout in Bell's line-up. Coming in at only 6%, its a welcomed change from all the heavy hitters I've had lately.

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Photo of Lnedrive14
3.61/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had in the bottle at Capital Ale House, Innsbrook. Pretty excited to see some Bell's stuff on the menu, since we can't get this back in Boston.

I don't know what to say about this brew. Came out of the bottle looking fluffy and delicious. Huge white head with great retention.

A fairly hoppy stout - i was a bit surprised by this. aside from that feature, i just found this to be a totally bland stout. absolutely nothing special about it, IMO. Sweet, little bit like chocolate milk. average level of malts.

coated the palate well - perfect level of carbonation. drinkable, but not something I would pound away constantly, since it just wasn't anything special to me.

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Photo of badboyrsl84
3.61/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours jet black with a nice tan head.

Smell - not alot if aroma. Some roasted malt and chocolate

Taste - starts off chocolatey with a huge almost roasted grain taste. Finishes with a little more chocolate.

Mouthfeel - this probably the best part about this beer. It's very creamy and smooth. Nothing else really stands out to me.

Overall - its a good but not great beer. I probably wont think to have to have this beer again.

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Photo of thekanna
3.61/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a pitch black with a light coffee-colored rim when held up to light. Head is merely an afterthought and leaves a thin, beige-colored coat on the side of the glass when swirled.

S: Mostly roasted malts and some faint dark chocolate.

T: Strong roasted malts with a very prominent burnt character. Black coffee, bitter hops, and dark chocolate round out the taste, with a hint of sourness.

M: Somewhat thin and watery, with a carbonation-induced bite at the end.

D: Nice example of the style, but I prefer heavier stouts.

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Photo of BeerCon5
3.61/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep black color with a thick, fluffy coffee colored head with very good retention.

The scent is of chocolate malt, notes of coffee and some caramel.

The taste is mainly of roasted chocolate malt, burnt coffee, and some notes of licorice.

Full body, very smooth and creamy, low carbonation.

I would say this was a slightly above average stout, it could have been more flavorful but overall not bad.

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.61/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter on 8/31/09

A - Transparent ruby brown on the pour, settling to near black. Billowy dark tan head riddled with pores. Good retention & impressive lacing.

S - The aroma strikes me as weak, but that may well be on account of the solid head retention. Regardless, roasted coffee is in no short supply.

T - Potent roasted coffee rests immediately on the tongue & is rounded out by a spicy, yet delicate, hop character. There is an underlying burnt taste. Hints of molasses & something tart.

M - Full-bodied with interesting carbonation interplay. This beer is fairly gritty & in no real hurry to leave - lingering mild bitterness & coffee dregs.

D - It's easily drinkable & I would like to see how it fares on tap. Other than that, I am in no hurry to drink it again. There are several other stouts I would turn to before this; several other Bell's offerings, too.

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Photo of comfortablynumb1
3.61/5  rDev -10.4%
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...

Cheers...

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Photo of lundqu23
3.61/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.75

Very full bodied with complex tastes. Dark chocolate and coffee flavors with almost a hint of licorice. Balances the significant hop presence against the roast malt body. When poured, offers a big head of dark beige and very dark brown in color. Caramel and vanilla undertones as well. Solid beer.

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Photo of t0rin0
3.61/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very dark, brown foam, no light gets through. Decent retention with alright lacing.

Smell is of alcohol and roast. Mildly complex but not much there.

Flavor is heavy on the roast. Theres a dry bitterness and a nutty aftertaste. The only sweetness that comes through is at the end of the aftertaste.

Body is medium/heavy and oily. More suited to a double stout but where does it say that milk stouts can't be thick? Definitely drinkable if you like roast and coffee flavors, I don't however.

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Photo of partains
3.61/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Look: dark brown/black
Smell: roasted coffee beans
Taste: bitter, roast flavors with a hint of chocolate
Overall: unpleasant, I do not like dark beers and it was too bitter

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Photo of billab914
3.61/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Stone RIS glass. Poured black with a big bubbly mocha colored head. The head settled down eventually to a thin covering but it left some very good lacing on the glass.

The aroma has the strong presence of the brewers licorice with some sweetness and a little roastedness to it. The licorice is also very present in the taste and has an almost caramel like taste to it. It also has some roasted grains with notes of bitter coffee and chocolate coming through. The bitterness helps balance out the caramely sweetness of the licorice.

The mouthfeel is on the thicker side with below average carbonation. Drinkability is good, I've never been a big fan of licorice but it wasn't too overpowering in the beer.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.6/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours very dark brown almost black. Not a whole lot going on in the nose. Very dark malt, molasses and bitter chocolate in the taste. Seems to be a bit reserved, the younger brother of the Expedition. A little thin, but smooth in taste. Decent beer, but there is not much that can hang with the Expo. I'll stick with it.

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Photo of biker30x
3.6/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

bottle poured into a tulip. very dark with a dense tan head that subsided quickly. smelled of bitter coffee and slightly burnt toast. surprisingly thin on the tongue and very carbonated for a stout. flavors of espresso and molasses strike first with a lasting feel of burnt caramel and over-boiled coffee (but in a good way). expected this to be an intense and robust stout, but was surprised to find it thinner and softer than I thought. well balanced but lacking some of the backing sweetness of a milk stout and somewhat dominated by the carbonation. the flavors blend well and offer a pleasing experience.

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Photo of AmeriCanadian
3.6/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Love the look and feel, not the smell and taste. Jet black and viscous with a thick and fluffy khaki head of big bubbles that lingers nicely but leaves minimal lacing. Smell is dominated by roasted malt, with strong yeasty notes, some espresso, a little licorice, and some faint, grassy hops. It's pungent, but not particularly pleasant or harmonious. Leaves what I can only describe as a "burnt" impression. Taste is slightly a more complex, but the harmony still isn't there. Dark, roasted coffee, maybe a little bitter chocolate (emphasis on the "bitter"), a little piney hops, a little sour molasses, and notes of licorice. It's not hoppy like a black IPA, but the flavor profile shares that element of roast for roast sake. The feel is silky, borderline thick, and smooth. But I'm not really loving the overall experience. It's certainly nowhere near their Expedition Stout.

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Photo of beersensei305
3.6/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- opague black with a nice foamy head thats tan in color. good lacing

S- Roasted Malts, Coffee, Chocolate, faint yeast

T- Roasted Malts and Cocoa, kinda coffee ish, bitter from char, the licorce is noticeable as it warms

MF- Char feeling in the mouth not that heavy

D- Good but i am not a licorce fan

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Photo of claspada
3.59/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aromas of dark roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, and just a hint of burnt wood/campfire.
The taste follows the nose but is somewhat subdued comparatively. Lots of dark and roasted maltiness and dark bittersweet chocolate, lesser notes of stale coffee.
Mouthfeel is smooth, with a medium body and moderate carbonation.
Overall this is a decent but slightly unbalanced stout. At 6% ABV this is quite sessionable but not overly flavorful enough that I need to revisit. Worth a go but not necessary to sample.

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Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
90 out of 100 based on 1,541 ratings.
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