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

1,561 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: 1,561 | Ratings: 4,250
Photo of Catracho5
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a Bell's shaker pint

A: Black with a mocha head, some light coming through around the edges, lots of lacing, head dissipated after a few minutes, looks really good.

A: Coffee, roasted malts, no alcohol on the nose, nice dark chocolate finish, smells great.

T: Coffee bitterness up front, nice dark chocolate bitterness in the middle, roasted malts, semi dry finish, slight alcohol on the end, taste very drinkable.

M: Medium mouthfeel, sort of creamy, semi dry finish

O: This is a nice everyday stout, something I could drink regularly. It has a nice mellow coffee dark chocolate bitterness up front, some roasted malt flavors in the middle, a semi dry finish, definitely drinkable, worth a try if you love stouts but the price might keep me away as I can get a stout just as good for less than $10 a six-pack compared to that was well over $10 for the six-pack.

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

very nice creamy milk chocolate head.... roasty aroma. nice aroma. sweet roasted flavor. low end abv so more texture and flavor than some others.
yeah, I gave it a 5 in look. it's beautiful. most beer is. the flavor is nice but for some reason seems thin at the end. but it's good, nonetheless. like some of their other stuff, this is an easy going brew. reminds me of Modern Times' stuff in the way it appeals across the ranks, although Modern Times is quickly turning on my palate due to the ultra sweet malts and flavors ALL their brews have. sorry to get off track.... this one is very good.

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Photo of gshak
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Perfect blend of roasted grains, coffee, molasses and chocolate in a stout. Hands-down, this would be one of my top choices for an everyday stout if only it didn't cost north of 13 bucks a 6 pack.

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Photo of mchegash
3.81/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - 4.25/5
Very very dark brown, possibly black. A thin layer of light brown head

Smell - 3.75/5
Roasted malts, a hint of slight citrus hops, a little smokiness and maybe a little alcohol. I would have liked the roasty and smoky aspects of the malts to be stronger, still a decent aroma.

Taste - 3.75/5
Smoke, charcol, sweet roasted malts, sugary alcohol, the hops come up the most in the aftertaste. Overall this is a decent tasting stout. A nice amount of smokiness but not overpowering.

Mouthfeel - 4/5
Smooth, both creamy and crisp during different parts of the sip. Carbonation is medium. A nice feel overall

Overall - 3.75/5
This was a decent beer overall. Wouldn't be my first choice typically, but I'm glad I tried it.

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Photo of TX-Badger
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep black with khaki colored head. Coffee, roasted malt, chocolate, and some nice molasses notes on the nose; follows onto the palate. Finishes with some sweetness, more molasses and chocolate.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a pretty, completely opaque, pitch-black color with an eighth of a finger of caramel-colored head that quickly dissolved into a halo of foam that gripped the sides the glass and formed a few wispy cloud that settled over the top of the beer.

Aroma: I’m stuffed up at the moment (I know that being in that condition is not ideal for reviewing a beer) so I’m not getting much out of the aroma, but other reviewers have noted aromas of medium roast coffee, milk chocolate, some light licorice, roasted malt and caramel.

Taste: Even though I’m stuffed up, my taste buds aren’t messed up and this beer tastes delicious! Massive roasted malt flavors up front, imparting notes of toasted pumpernickel, freshly brewed coffee (including a slight hint of coffee-like bitterness), some dark chocolate, a little bit of cream, some strong notes of brown sugar-like sweetness, finished with some nicely balanced hops. However, I don’t get much in the way of licorice, though.

Mouthfeel: Medium to medium-thin, actually slightly disappointing, as I was expecting more chew. This beer is very smooth as there is practically no carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 6.0%, there is a surprising, slight hint of alcohol warmth on the palate.

Overall: This is a very good stout! Great flavors of roasted malt, dark chocolate, coffee and a hint of sweetness. The only thing keeping this beer from being great is the slightly this mouthfeel. Still, this beer is extremely drinkable and enjoyable.

Postscript note: The bottled date on the beer was 2/18/13, and I drank this beer on 2/17/14, which, if my math is correct, and I was never good at math, but I can do this math, the beer was almost a year old to the day. If this lower ABV beer was this good, aged (accidently) almost to a year to the day, I have to try a more fresh bottle to see if its better. That being said, if you happen upon an older bottle of this beer, up to and including a year old (though maybe even older would be good too), don’t worry, you’ll enjoy it!

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

Aroma is roast malt and dark cocoa dominant, with hints of licorice and tar adding complexity. Dark cherry and plum surface late.

Flavor is rich and roasty, with a charred character hitting mid palate and carrying into the finish, where there's a slightly sweet reprise of chocolate. Nutty malt offers strong support. A little more charred than I care for. Dark cherry emerges as it warms.

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Photo of Barnoloid
4.36/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The nose is toffee and cocoa with a sniff of drip coffee. Perfectly carbonated with a smooth mouthfeel. The liquorice back end dances with your tastebuds and gives this an extra element that elevates the beer to another level. Fantastic.

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Photo of WheelsPSU
3.24/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Not a fan. The malt tasted burnt and I didn't pick up too much licorice. The chocolate from the roast was the only redeeming quality I found.
Extremely light bodied for a stout. Carbonation was fine

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Photo of KevChiTown
3.04/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Not bad, a little disappointed with Bells lately. Kalamazoo needs a little something more to be better then just above average. I don't really pick up the licorice, but I do get a nice amount of dark coco. I would drink again, but I wouldn't go out of my way to search for it.

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Photo of Bone53
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance (4.25): Black with no light shining through. A finger of mocha head

Smell (4.25): Dark chocolate (cocoa), coffee, slight smoke and licorice.

Taste (4): Great chocolate character upfront with coffee and roasted malt in the middle and smoke and licorice on the finish.

Mouthfeel (4): Light bodied for a stout; Still smooth yet crisp with the right amount of carbonation and bitterness

Overall (4.06): This is just a good ol standard stout, nothing more or less. It has a good chocolate presence with a hefty amount of roasted malts and coffee character with undertones of smoke and licorice. It wont knock ur socks off, but it does hit the spot.

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Photo of bmeehan
3.52/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

It tastes like black licorice, but not in a way that makes you say, "Aw, one likes black licorice." It's good. It pours with a big head, so do so as slowly as you can, but it's a fun beer to drink.

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Photo of wedge6128
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

The smell made my mouth water and want a drink. The first drink was fantastic the flavor was deep and rich. It has a slight bite very slight. I Its a great beer. I have had better stouts like left hand brewing companies nitro but that being said this is still a fantastic beer.

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Photo of scotorum
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Another brewery whose products don't normally come to my state. Acquired one bottle in a mixed six while travelling through western Pennsylvania in October.

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Adams nonick.

a: Opaque black with the barest clear ruby hioghlight at the bottom when seen through light, topped by an inch and a half tan head which receded slowly to rocky surface foam and dense lacing.

s: Dark chocolate and cold coffee.

t: Same combo up front followed by a moderate balancing hop bite. Bitterness lingers at the sides of the tongue. Dry to bitter finish. Later the black coffee tends to become dominate and some ash taste builds in the back of the mouth, no doubt to match my own fat ash, which is building from drinking so many stouts without balancing them with enough exercise.

m: Medium, good body, carbonation tingle is light to moderate.

o: A great-looking stout which is a little lighter bodied than some but tasty.

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Photo of delta490
3.94/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an almost-black deep brown. There's a thin-ish medium-light tan head that mostly dissipates quickly but leaves some nice soapy lacing. The aroma is light roasted notes with a little alcohol sweetness. The taste is very good but not particularly complex, with a deeper roasted tone and maybe a hint of chicory. The body is thinner and smooth.

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Photo of brewskifan55
4.09/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. About 5 months old.

A: Black with a ruby rim. A tan half finger head that dissipates fast. Decent lacing.

S: Picking up coffee notes, anise, dark chocolate and vanilla. Very inviting.

T: Smooth, robust. Follows nose with a nice vanilla finish.

M: Medium with medium to heavy carbonation.

O: A terrific sipper. Great with cheddar cheese or something chocolate.

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Photo of Mo_fro
4.16/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Black and non transparent. The head is about a quarter inch thick and chocolate in color. Very little lacing around the glass as the head recedes.
S- Smell is sweet toasted almond and milk chocolate.
T- Not as sweet as it smells, has a nice smooth coffee and chocolate flavor to start followed by a toasted bread taste. It has a slight bitter taste at the end and no trace of alcohol.
M- Smooth and light with a crisp finish medium carbonation.
O- Drink ability is high, flavor is well balanced. Definitely a stout I will search for when craving one

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Photo of Vogie
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Served in a Sam Smith pint glass.

In honor of International Stout Day I thought I would try a Bell's classic stout. Pour is black as night with a slight but fading mocha head. Aromas of roasted malts, faint hint of milk chocolate, and very bitter black coffee. Taste follows the nose with dark roasted malts that hit the palate first followed by lingering notes of bitter black coffee and bakers chocolate. Not picking up any Brewer's Licorice. Full bodied and decent mouthfeel.

Overall this is a touch bitter for my taste but a good benchmark American Stout nevertheless. Nice job Bell's.


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Photo of MasterfulIdiot
5/5  rDev +24.1%

Poured into a Riedel tulip. The beer itself is pitch black and the pour kicks up a beautiful tan head that keep growing for a second after the pour, and leaves a ridiculous coating of lace throughout the duration of the beer!

Aroma is equally wonderful. Semi-sweet chocolate, perfect (slight) amount of roastiness, along with hints of coffee and dark fruit. Not a particularly strong aroma, but there are some really good smells in there.

Taste is absolutely incredible. Just the perfect mix of roasty bitterness, dark fruit, and creaminess. The semi-sweet chocolate, hints of coffee, and dark fruit all come through from the nose, with some nice grainy malt flavors thrown in. When I think about it, there's a hint of licorice that I probably wouldn't have noticed if it didn't say "brewed with brewer's licorice," but it really adds to the flavor. The finish is slightly, perfectly, bitter, with a glorious creamy, chocolatey, malty aftertaste. This has some wonderful desert beer flavors without being very sweet at all, which is exactly what I would want! Really amazing.

Mouthfeel is to die for - medium-bodied, but amazingly silky and creamy, with a light amount of carbonation. Perfect for the flavor!

Overall, I can hardly imagine a better stout. I feel like I could just knock these back one right after the other, and with the relatively low ABV, I probably could! Absolutely perfect flavors and feeling - they really hit this one out of the park!

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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 dmgeng
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Recommended by a friend and I wasn't disappointed.

A - Black color with a light khaki colored head with light lacing.

S - Nice roasty aroma with some malty, chocolate, and licorice tones. The roasty sweetness seems to be predominant but there is no mistaking the licorice with a good sniff. Possibly some hops but not prevailing.

T - Great roasty, cocoa, licorice, malt, caramel, and light hop flavors dance across the tongue. It's complex and almost muddled but still delicious and drinkable. Overall it is slightly sweet but it is balanced with the roasted character and bitterness. Not overpowering or cloying but enough flavors to make you really enjoy the drink.
M - Moderate to high mouth-feel but not cloying. Light carbonation which is nice since it doesn't have any acidic bite which helps smooth the mouth-feel. On the thicker side of a standard American Stout but very drinkable

Overall, this a great American Stout. This is a very delicious beer that gives you all the flavors of a stout with that little extra licorice flavor. I would still prefer an Imperial Stout but this beer is a stout that I could drink all night long if it was cold outside and I wasn't in the mood for hops. Better than any dry stout out there but if hate licorice I wouldn't recommend it. Dark beer fans met your new go-to beer.

Glass- Stout glass

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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 jmbranum
4.68/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

AR 4.5 AP 5.0 F 4.75 MF 4.5 OA 4.75

Bought in a bottle in Elkhart, IN. Transported home by bicycle, car and then train to get it home. Poured into a wine glass for sampling here in Oklahoma.

Pours a glorious almost black with a nice dark tan head.

Toasted coffish aroma.

The flavor is gloriously dry. Lots of toastyness but nothing is out of place. Lots of interesting spicy notes. The label mentions licorice but I can pick up some other root beer like flavors. 90% cocoa dark chocolate. A little of raisins maybe. Lingering roasted notes. Nice smooth finish.

Mouthfeel is smooth and full. Maybe a tiny bit too much carbonation but I'm really neatpicking here.

An extremely good beer. The best dry stout I've had in a while.

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Photo of kkleu357
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%

From notes on 10/7/2013

Bottle poured with little head. Dark black color with maybe a little red or brown color too. Smells, roasty chocolate. Nice full flavor.

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Photo of sheeley
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%

Appearance: looks great from the pour. Black and thick, with a brown, foamy head.
Smell: Not a strong smell. Notes of roasted coffee and malt present.
Taste: Coffee flavor is very present. Almost too strong. Pleasing taste overall; perhaps not one of my favorite stouts though.

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Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.03 out of 5 based on 4,250 ratings.
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