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

1,562 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: 1,562 | Ratings: 4,251
Photo of JJKBeerLvr
4.58/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into pint glass in February 2017. Drank it about 2 months after the packaged date on the bottle, and 4 months before the drink by date.

Appearance: Dark black with a thin tan/brown head. Head is thin, and has a little lacing on the glass.

Smell: Strong aroma of coffee and roasted malts. There is some hoppiness and a hint of sweetness like chocolate as well, but overall the roasted coffee is most pronounced.

Taste: There is a nice balance between the malts and roasted coffee flavors. There is some chocolate and hop bitterness to enhance the taste and add some complexity. This is a very smooth and balanced stout.

Mouth-feel: Thick, but with a smooth creamy bodied. Matched 6.0% on the label. Not as bitter as some other stouts.

This is a very good stout, and it has a variety of flavors that adds a nice complexity to the beer. It is smooth and really enjoyable to drink.

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Photo of Inpraiseoffolly
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a beer tumbler.Thick creamy tan head disappeared quickly. Even at room temperature had a very mild aroma of coffee and licorice. Pleasantly bitter up front but not from the hops ,tasted like the expresso roast you get in Italy . Chocolate notes too ,only a hint of the licorice everyone seems to notice. Thin mouthfeel no alcohol burn. Good American stout, another quality brew from Bell's

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Photo of ZebulonXZogg
3.49/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown with a small tan head that recedes quickly to a ring leaving a little filmy lacing.
Aroma is chocolate, roasted malts and licorice.
Flavor has a little bitter coffee upfront with a little chocolate.
A little thin and watery next to its big brother, Bells Expedition Stout.

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Photo of MarcusArvan
5/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is quite frankly the best stout (and maybe the best beer) I've ever had. Holy cow. A little bit of licorice, a little coffee, a little sweet, a little bitter, but not too sweet or too bitter. Just perfect in every way--complex and pleasant. Blows Samuel Smith oatmeal stout (one of my favorites) out of the water. I was so blown away by this beer that I (finally) signed up for Beer Advocate just to review it...and I drink a lot of beer. My wife, who doesn't even like beer much, was blown away too.

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Photo of Vader444
3.34/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottle poured into tulip.

Looks like most other stouts. Head doesn't hang around on this one. To be honest I'm a bit let down by this one. I adore Expedition but this is not in the same league. Granted, the ABV is obviously lower but the difference in intensity of aroma & flavour is remarkable. The mouthfeel is also markedly inferior to that of its big brother. Overall this is pretty bland stuff. I'll admit that it is superior to the majority of UK brewed stouts of similar style that I can obtain but that is hardly a commendation. One of the weaker US stout offerings that I have sampled. Maybe I've been spoiling myself of late. Cheers.

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Photo of KomodoDragon
4.37/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Aggressive pour yields a big tan head with ample lacing.

Nose of chocolate, raisin, plum, some smokey wood. And the taste mostly follows the nose. A bit sweeter than expected. There is a plum, maybe grape almost pinot flavor, But certainly full flavored with a nice bit of hops on the finish. And a warming from the alcohol.

Sweet, hoppy stout that pack a punch. Worth going back to.

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Photo of MikeyMcD86
4.69/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Had this beer sitting in the fridge since September and just got around to drinking it. Drank out of a Teku.

Look: Beer pours pretty dark and is pitch black in the glass with a medium dark khaki head.

Aroma: Lovely roasted coffee note with just a little bit of licorice in the background.

Taste: Aroma translates to the palate. Licorice is a little more pronounced but not overpowering. Really nice roasty bitterness on the back end makes this beer super drinkable.

Mouthfeel: At 6% this beer is on the thin side for a stout.

Overall(style points): This beer is way better than people give it credit for. For some reason nobody gives low ABV stouts any respect but this beer is delicious. It delivers awesome roasted coffee flavor while being refreshing and drinkable. 92 points!

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Photo of Dragginballs76
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours thin and black with decent tan head that dissipates fairly quickly with spotty lacing.

Aroma - Lots of dark bakers chocolate, vanilla, coffee nice roasted malts and coca powder.

Taste - very similar to the aroma, dark roasted coffee beans, dark chocolate roasted malts hint of vanilla.

Feel - Sort of thin, slightly bitter well carbonated.

Overall - Really solid stout great flavors just a touch thin.

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Photo of Bear1964
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I've got to say this has some ups and downs for me, I found this a very nice American Stout that lacked a head but had great lace on the glass...weak aroma but a nice bitter roasted flavor and this brew was back as sin....then the aroma picks up as it warms...I have to say that overall I like this Stout and would pick up a 6 pack the flavor really gets a woody bitter as it warms...nice!

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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 Nicolaiw
3.84/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark brown, cola like. Half finger tan head.
Aroma is cold brewed coffee, little smoke, liquorice
Taste is lots of liquorice followed by lots of coffee and then huge liquorice again in the finish

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Photo of rex_4539
4.63/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L: Jet black color, one finger brown head, superb lacing, no visible carbonation.

S: Coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla, sweet. Could sniff it all day long!

T: Roasted coffee, dark chocolate, sweet, slightly bitter and malty on the back end.

F: Really smooth and drinkable. Full flavored.

O: Probably the best stout I have tried so far. Delicious.

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Photo of dcotom
4.48/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Deep blackish brown color with a one-finger tan head. Tons of sticky lacing. Aromas and flavors of dark roasred malts, with notes of cocoa and burnt coffee. Licorice is very understated, coming through on the palate and finish as the beer warms. A little lighter in body than its bigger brother Expedition Stout, but mouthfeel is nice and silky. Overall, an outstanding brew and highly recommended.

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Photo of josanguapo
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

From Labirratorium. In Teku glass. Playing Magic Duels. Perfectly balanced in all aspects. Tasty and not overwhelming roastyness. Well placed noble hops. No trace of alcohol nor of the licorice announced in the label.

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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 HorseheadsHopHead
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Almost pitch black, with just a tint of dark brown. The head is fat and very creamy tan with excellent retention and leaves sheets of lacing.

S: Milk chocolate candy, hints of light roast coffee, mocha, licorice, anise, a bit of smoke and umami.

T: Nicely balanced chocolate upfront, both dark and milk chocolate, a toasty pumpernickel bread malt base. Near the finish, you get the licorice and anise spice, but it is subtle, along with some molasses. Finshes dry and lightly roasty with a hint of black cherry, and the aftertaste lingers on long of bitter chocolate.

F: Medium-bodied, medium carbonation, smooth and well-rounded.

O: This is a solid and enjoyable average stout. Interesting malt and roast complexities, along with the addition of licorice. I would recommend this to any stout drinker.

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Photo of BloodSoakedAleMug
4.65/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a deep brown, almost black color with a one finger beige colored head. Leaves excellent lacing.

Aroma is of coffee, bacon, black chocolate, cinnamon, firewood and fresh baked cookies. Lactose is detectable on the nose.

Flavor is bitter upfront but not unbearably so, with a very pleasant - not charred or burnt- but browned and slightly darkened toast flavor. Lots of roasted malt character. Very clean and crisp midpalate with dry notes of floral hops and bittersweet notes of dark chocolate with black licorice. As the dark chocolate and black licorice flavor develops, it gets gradually sweeter shifting away from the taste of bitter chocolate to milk chocolate with hints of vanilla beans. Moderately sweet with notes of lactose on the finish, but it's well balanced by the dry, roasted, bitter flavors upfront.

Feel is perfect. Very thirst quenching and uncompromising on flavor. Mid-light body with moderate carbonation. Alcohol is not detectable.

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Photo of NastyNorseman
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Coffeed, toasted stout with licorice. Pours dark as night with tan head. Smells of toasted/burnt malts and coffee galore. Full-bodied, bitter and slick. Tastes as aroma smells. Solid stout.

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Photo of beergoot
3.86/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Black as coal body; dense, thick, rocky head. Roasted, slightly charred grain aroma; burnt toast; coffee grounds. Bitter and sweet flavor; bitter chocolate; coffee grounds. Heavy mouthfeel; slick and smooth; a bit harsh on the palate with a slight stingy quality.

A good stout overall though somewhat biting and harsh. No noticeable presence of licorice although the coffee quality comes through strongly.

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Photo of EHopkinsi
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured nice and dark, Beautiful, chocolaty one finger head eventually fades to a covering, but looks pretty all the way. The lacing is fantastic, starts out more like a curtain, and even by the end is still very pretty. And lasts the entire glass.

Nice stout aroma, but not as bold as I'd like.

Roastiness, cocoa, and thanks to rodbeermunch for identifying the anise in the bite. Unlike him, though, I enjoyed it. Edit- since it says LICORICE in the description, that anise taste shouldn't have been a surprise! ;)

A good feel, but if you love the chewy stuff, this just barely gets there. Probably more appropo for the style, though.

A nice, tasty stout. I tend to like my stouts huge, and even though it isn't huge, it is a very enjoyable beer.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This really looks like the archtype for a stout. Big black, but not sludgy. You get plenty of roast and chocolate malt in the nose.

Taste is standard, very good stuff replete with all that roast and two row to absorb the alcohol. There is just a slight dark fruit and anise edge in the mouthfeel I could prolly do without, but its not oppressive or anything.

Often overlooked, but this beer has been kicking butt for decades.

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Photo of Fear4Beer
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Cocoa, deep dark roasted coffee, low bitters, good ABV... not too high. I'm just not a huge fan of stouts I think. If you are a coffee drinker you will love this so much. I did like how it wasnt too bitter. The look of the beer is on point. Just blackness!

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Kalamazoo Stout has a medium, beige head, a dark brown appearance, with standard brown on the edges, as light hits it, and moderate lacing left behind. The aroma is of sweet brown bread and creamy malt, and the taste is of sweet brown bread, malt, cafe au lait, maybe some background licorice, and low-level bitterness. No char, really. Mouthfeel is low medium, and Kalamazoo Stout finishes medium dry.


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Photo of TripleSun
4.44/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow this is so relaxing for such a dark looking beer. I come from an almost only IPA background so this surprises me for how much I enjoyed it.

L - Tar black, almost couldn't see my glass container
S - Smoke, sweet licorice scent in the back
T - Has a tobacco flavor that hangs on the tongue, creamy consistency, and an initial sweetness
F - For being a stout it is incredibly light, probably for being such a low ABV. Very drinkable, would go good with a cigar!

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Photo of PhilsPils
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Every time I have one of these luscious stouts I ask myself the same question: In light of how full-flavored and smooth this beer is, do I really need the 12% ABV of an Imperial to enjoy a great stout taste? I love it and can't wait 'til I can buy it here in Texas. C'mon Bell's...we be ready!

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Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.03 out of 5 based on 4,251 ratings.
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