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

4,334 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: 4,334 |  Reviews: 1,582
Photo of CrellMoset
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle (adorned with a rather unattractive gentleman) from Wine Warehouse, Charlottesville, VA. Poured into an Allagash flute.

Appearance: Pours a thick, murky brown, black maybe, sticky-looking. A mildly aggressive pour yields a two-finger chocolate head with above-average retention and great, huge swaths of sticky lacing. Great start.

Aroma: Milky cocoa and anise are dominant, as are hints of charred earth, coffee, and a truly, purely leafy hop presence. A nice balance, and an interesting, somewhat inviting one.

Taste: Dirty as hell. This beer is as close to eating scorched earth as I've ever come, and that's not necessarily a bad thing ... it's sort of like taking coffee with one cream, one cup of dirt. Plus one cup of tasty? Dark, burnt toast. Either way, not bad, though a little offputting at first - takes a while to get used to it. Which is not to say it takes significant alcohol consumption to get used to it, 'cause if there's alcohol in this sticky, sweet concoction, I'm not noticing it.

Mouthfeel: Medium-to-high carbonation, slightly smooth and even, creamy and milky.

Drinkability: Surprisingly good, given the concoction of flavors here. Alcohol's well-hidden and reasonably low, though perhaps on the high-end for the style ... but what it really comes down to are the flavors and aromas here. And though they're bizarre, they're strangely not as offputting as they should be. Anise, cocoa, heavily-roasted coffee, all wrapped up in a dirt bow - sounds weird, but give it a shot.

 1,514 characters

Photo of Jackalope1977
3.84/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of 13tido
3.84/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Appearance: dark brown almost black. opaque. a small amount of tannish foam. leaves a lacing behind.

Smell: sweet chocolate. bitter and roasty malts. good but simple

Taste: opens up with some sweet chocolate. moves towards a roasty malts. a bitterness hits at the end.

Mouthfeel: fairly light and drinkable and some lingering bitterness

Overall: a nice lighter stout. not super unique or complex but very well done.

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Photo of TheodorHerzl
3.84/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a very deep black with no highlights when held up to the light. I was a little disappointed on the head on this. A small swirl of tan head dissipated quite quickly, but did leave solid lacing on the glass. The nose is fairly classic for a sweet stout. Chocolate and coffee make way for molasses and roasted grain. The flavor profile's two strongest flavors are roasted coffee and bitter chocolate, but it also has a nice medium sweetness as well. Side flavor characteristics include black liquorice and toasted grain on my palate. The mouthfeel is full bodied and very creamy. An easy drinking stout that I would gladly have again.

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Photo of maxsound
3.84/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of ccg
3.84/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The look is quite good. Dense lacing and a persistent ring of foam.
Smells like roasted malt and dark fruit.
Taste is malt, chocolate, coffee, dark fruit, something almost like peanut butter, and a vague background spice. I assume the spice is the licorice mentioned on that label, but I wouldn't have been able to identify it as licorice.
Mouthfeel is about average.
It's an interesting stout, but the finish is a bit too bitter for my taste, and the licorice flavor that I thought would make it stand out doesn't really come through distinctly.

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Photo of Brian29
3.84/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Scrapss
3.84/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a cheater pint

A: Dark. Still. Thin and waif-like off-white head disappears to a 1 mm ring. Opaque and deep ruby at the edges.

S: Strong roasted malts with a touch of caramel, salt and campfire. That brewer's licorice does not overpower but it peeks around the edge and says "hi". hops are mild and secondary as is the yeast, but there is some musty grapefruit as it warms.

T: Follows nose perfectly. I am getting a blast of chocolate and roasted malt with smoothness. It is the sharpness on the initial uptake that surprises me the most. Very dry on initial quaff at the tip of the tongue and malty on swallow. Nice.

M: Creamy and medium-full bodied. It's strange. You get this musty pineapple/dark rum/whipped cream fleeting hint on outbreath. Malt takes over after swallow and this sensation.

O: pretty damn good overall with something interesting at every phase of the experience. Definitely opens into a different place upon warmed state.

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Photo of boudreaux
3.84/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours almost pitch black; only suggestion of color is in the head, which pours a slight red, coffee-beige color; little head retention, but nice lacing sits on surface throughout the session.

S: Roasted, roasted, roasted; not a strong aroma; leaves the nose wanting more; doesn't raise my expectations for the taste.

T: Better than the smell, but still lacking; it's roasted, malty, with just a hint of sweet (maybe from the licorice mentioned on the label?); dark chocolate also appears subtly as the beer warms to room temperature, with a touch of sweet at the end of each taste.

M: Very smooth, surprisingly so; just enough carbonation to tingle the mouth and remind you it's not flat.

D: Easy; didn't expect a stout with this flavor to be so smooth and chewy at the same time, but I could easily drink a few in one sitting.

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Photo of Monsta-beer-drinker
3.84/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of jmartinger
3.84/5  rDev -4.7%

Photo of Nerudamann
3.84/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Look - dark brown/black. Completely non-translucent. Maybe half a finger's worth of foam.

Smell - you can definitely smell the licorice, but also maybe blueberry and/or coffee.

Taste - I'm not at all a fan of licorice, but this works for me. The typical stout taste seems to balance out the licorice taste. Has a coffee-like aftertaste, but I'm not sure it's actually any type of coffee that I'm tasting, perhaps still just the licorice.

Mouthfeel - medium, but slightly more toward heavy. Definitely not a heavy stout, but still a stout.

Drinkability - Not bad at all, but as I would always personally do, I wouldn't drink this with food, at least not with anything very heavy or filling. I think you would do just fine drinking one or two of these by themselves.

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Photo of Furlinator
3.84/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thick, dark, grainy and somewhat smokey with a definite hop presence. The vegetal smell seems a little off.

107 characters

Photo of FleeVT
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz. brown bottle with no date, poured into a pint glass

A: Inky black without any light penetration. A thick, fluffy, chocolate milk head leaves a heavy lacing behind.

S: A very mild beer on the nose. Chocolate malt and currants are most distinguishable. As I drank, I began to pickup a smoky backdrop the deeper my nose got into the glass.

T: The currant sweetness fades quickly to leave a long roasted coffee bean aftertaste that just sticks to the back of the throat. A tad bit too long for me.

M: A heavy, creamy, medium carbonated stout. Good performance here.

D: This is a definite sipper that grew on me. I decided to hold off on tasting notes until I had a second later in the week. The aftertaste is a bit much, but the subtle nose and delicate palate made up ground for me. This would probably pair well with sweet desserts to help cut that bitter closing.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the House of Brews. Served in a snifter.

Appearance - Black. Small khaki head. Thin collar and a few stray streaks of lacing.

Smell - Roasty malt. Kinda ashy and burnt. Coffee.

Taste - A little more sweet than the nose suggested. Coffee malt. Roastiness builds into the finish. Very burnt and acrid in the back, but it's not excessive. Some sweetness lingers too.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Very drinkable. Medium carbonation.

Overall - Very roasty. Intense and flavorful.

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Photo of RnRManifesto
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

The beer is dark, black, with a very small tan head that goes away quickly. Not much lacing to speak of.

Smells is roasted malts, faint licorice, some fruitiness.

I don't really taste the licorice, which is a plus for me, as I never did like black licorice flavor. I'm tasting roasted malts, some coffee, chocolate and some malt sweetness. A small aftertaste similar to black coffee, but not unpleasant. All in all this is a pretty good tasting stout. Much better than I expected.

Pleasant mouth feel, not thick or syrupy like some stouts can be. Just enough carbonation.

I'm glad I tried this, though it would not be my first choice for a stout, it is interesting and good.

 724 characters

Photo of SeeingMeansMore
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of SupaCelt
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black. Ruby choco-head. Scant lacing. Not very populous from a bubble standpoint. Still looks stout yummy licious.

Smell. Not overly pungent. Stout smells. Milk stout impressions are visible in nose vision. Chococoffee. Go figure.

Tastes are not overly defined. Rather laid back and utterly drinkable. Fairly thick body makes the K-Zoo forceful, yet not bullying. This is fine, but it is not going to make headlines. I love stouts of imperial stature. I cannot remove them from my mind as I review this beer. As a common stout this one will do. I would prefer something more over the top though. Might as well go BIG.

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Photo of Markbienvenu
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of WanderingFool
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Kalamazoo stout pours black into the glass with a small light tan head on top. The foam fades away quickly leaving a few spots of lace on the glass.

The aroma is rich with roasted malt, plus a little chocolate and dark fruit.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is smooth and a little oily. The flavor has roasted malt, chocolate, and nuts. A bit astringent. It finishes a little tart with a taste of plum. Once gone the roast malt and chocolate lingers on the palate.

A pretty good stout. Middle of the road for the stouts I've enjoyed.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bauermj for this bottle.

12oz bottle poured into a snifter glass.

A - Brown, as close to black as you can get with a one finger dark tan head.

S - coffee, and chocolates.

T - Strong nutty taste, coffee.

D - Mild carbonation. not as sweet as many stouts. Nice.

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Photo of mportsch
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass completely black with a fizzy brown head that dissipates quickly into a fine film with good lacing. Beer looks thinner than I expected.

Smell: Odors are fairly subtle... roasted malts shine through.

Taste: My first sip made me think 'smoky', but as I drink I get a roasty flavor and a touch of sweetness that seems pretty balanced. Aftertaste is bitter, leaving your mouth feeling dry. Tastes very good!

Mouthfeel: This beer has a medium to heavy body that could be just a bit fuller.

Drinkability: Goes down very easy. Definitely could session if one were so inclined.

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Photo of Heavenisbeer
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours like molasses. Extremely fine head develops off the bat, but quickly shrinks to nothing. Rich, dark chocolate coloring. Around the edges is a softer caramel shading. Resembles a flat Coke. There is delicate lacing however.

S: Mild. Chocolate and vanilla aromas outline a sweet, roasted central character.

T: Chocolate cake, with faint hoppy undertones. A bit meaty. Roasted coffee aftertaste lingers for quite a while. I truly cannot catch the anise.

M: Syrupy and chewy, but not as dense as its look would suggest. A little oily, like other Bell's stouts I've tried. A surprise touch of carbonation cleans it up (seemingly absent in the appearance).

D: Not too bad for a heavy. This is one of the most drinkable stouts I've had. Drinking a few of these in succession around a campfire would be quite satisfying.

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Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.03 out of 5 based on 4,334 ratings.
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