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: 4,253
Photo of beveritt
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a standard pint glass. Batch #8874, brewed Dec 4, 2008. Label depicts a rough sketch of a rough looking old guy.

Appearance: Pours with 1 1/2 fingers of medium tan head. This settles slowly to a quarter inch coating, leaving behind nice lacing. The beer itself is black and opaque. Lots of sediment remains in the bottle.

Smell: Dark roasted barley with an ever so slight lactose sweetness in the finish.

Taste: Lactose sweetness is more prevalent in the taste than the aroma. Barley roastiness takes a back seat to the sweetness, but is still very noticeable. Slight acrid bite int he finish, maybe the brewer's licorice mentioned on the label?

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is a little on the low side, as would be expected from this style. Body is great, nice and creamy.

Drinkability: Another solid beer form Bell's. Not as sweet as some milk/sweet stouts, but maybe a little more complex.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

“The” #1 Kalamazoo Brewing Co. beer I had on my shopping list, Kalamazoo Stout poured a light-defying obsidian hue with just the faintest ruby edging and a small, thick mocha colored head. The smell was ripe with roasted chocolate malt, dark fruits, and espresso coffee aromas. The taste was of roasted dark malt with some bittersweet chocolate up front. The somewhat bitter leadout was countered by a sweetness imparted by some dark fruit flavors. The finish was softly bitter and acidic. The feel was full-bodied, rich, smooth and lush.
An outstanding stout! Easier to drink than the Double Cream Stout thanks to a lesser %ABV, Kalamazoo Stout embodies what I love about a good stout - a smooth, creamy feel, rich taste and great appearance. This offering from Kalamazoo Brewing ranks right up there with Two Hearted on my “Bell’s Best” list. I brought four back on the plane with me.

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Photo of flaminghomer
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

when i first saw this beer on the shelves of my local pharmacy my first words were "i've been dreaming about this beer" and i quickly grabbed two six packs when it usually takes me at least twenty minutes to decide on one six pack. so this review is surely biased.

the appearance is what i like most about this beer. (and the bottle with the wise man on the label) it's big and black with a slightly dark head that retains well. sticks very well to the sides of the glass.

taste is very good. first after taste is typical stout awakingness followed by smoooth sailing.(drinkability)

buy it, love it, buy it again. my new favorite beer.

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Photo of joekfsu
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle. Pours pitch black with a 2 cm foamy tan head that is lasting. Aroma of chocolate dominates the maltiness. Flavor is balanced between the bitter chocolate, mild malts, and a hint of sweet creaminess. Tons of lacing, no noted carbonation, and light on alcohol. Medium to full body. Drinkable and great for when you want a big tasting beer without the imperial alcohol.

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Photo of daweidavid
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A slightly sweet and spice smell. Regular stout dark appearance. The bitterness from the hops and slightly caramelized taste all mix together. Also a light roasted falvor in the aftertaste.

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Photo of numinorian
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A the color is an opaque black. The head is dark brown, and it is quite thick and full. The lace is beautifull and sticky, coating the glass with beautiful stars

S Petrol notes as soon as the beer is poured, that disipates after a bit of air gets into it. Bitter coco sting and a strong soy smell. Slight fruity smell

T Coco as expected and a dried apple or rasin. Malty and sweet. Absolutly perfect.

MF Thick and full, coating the mouth with a good residual on the finish. Easy to swallow for such a thick drink, but a lack of hopps makes it very approachable

Drinkability is high for a stout, but this is a stout no matter how sweet it is it's still a bit of a sipper.

Over all i'm very impressed with this beer. It's everything I look for in an american stout. Strong but not to hoppy and a great, lasting finish. I highly recommend it!

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Photo of Slowjamcdub
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Really good beer here, very dark. Safe to go ahead and say black. If your like me and love the chocolate notes and coffee notes then its here! One of my favs so far and I've had a bunch of beers. It gives a nice after kick of flavor that comes back into your pallet after each drink. Very nice and has a lot going on. A- beer here solid 8.8/10

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Photo of budgood1
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours out an opaque dark blackish colour with ruby hued brown head which minimizes to a thin but endearing lace. lactic aroma...sweet and sour...milk chocolate and malted milk balls. very amusing. upon tasting...i'm pleasantly surprised by the dancing yeast induced tartness that lends itself to a chocolate covered cherry nuget middle. after getting a grip on the yeast profile of these bell's brews and the subtle differences of the stouts of november, these prolific stouts of yore, i'm hooked. the body is full...mouthfeel finishes on the dry side. the bitterness from the roasted malt lies low, letting the yeast and the impending malt and alcohol notes provide the majority of the flavour profile. this is a complex, yet very drinkable stout. absolutely delicious.

thanks to feloniousmonk for the offering!

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Photo of Dogbrick
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a great flagship Stout from Bell's. Pours a a deep dark brown with a thick, somewhat foamy light brown head. Decent lacing. Nice chocolately and coffee bean aroma. Sweet flavor of roasted malt, coffee and chocolate. Slightly bittersweet dry finish. This is a great beer.

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Photo of Michelleluw
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer brings the best out of a stout. As someone who doesn't pride herself on a big stout drinker, I found the Kalamazoo Stout to be very approachable. The caramel and malt nodes leave you feeling relaxed and satisfied. This would be an awesome beer with some vanilla ice cream for a beer-float!

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Photo of Britton
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed by a fire in a 12 oz. Bottle from Bon Vivant in Smithfield, VA. I poured it into a nice tall water glass.

A: Dark brown-black with hazel hilights. ~3/4" tan head which dissipates to a frothy film in 1-1.5 minutes. Some retention. Lovely to behold.

S: Roasty toasty malts with some astringency. A hint of that licorice they keep talking about, too. Smells so inviting! Some chocolate?

T: Almost as good as the smell. And almost the same. The toasty sweetness is under a bit of water but there nonetheless. Some choco-licorice to be had too. A smooth, smooth finish keeps you sipping.

M: Creamy and thick. A joy!

D: Yes.


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Photo of MattyG85
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a stout glass.

Appearance: Dark black with a little brown color shining through the bottom. Decent two fingers of tan head fade into a patchy layer. Moderate amount of lacing.

Smell: Dark roasted caramel malts with big notes of dark chocolate and roasted coffee. Hints of nuts, milk, and liquorice. Smells very roasty and full.

Taste: A lightly sweet and fairly bitter mix of dark roasted malts, dark chocolate, and roasted coffee. Solid hints of chocolate milk, caramel, nuts, and liquorice. Bitter notes of coffee linger in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with a lower level of carbonation. Creamy and finishes slightly dry.

Overall: A very solid stout that is very full flavored and heavy for a non imperial stout.

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Photo of OStrungT
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours an iny black color letting no light shine through. It comes equipt with a thin brown head. The head fades a little too fast, leaving a decent lacing.

This beer has a roasted barley aroma. It smells malty sweet with hints of caramel. It has an ever so slight chocolate aroma. Some dark fruit is also present in the aroma. Mostly figs and raisins.

This beer tastes exactly like it smells. A nice robust roasted malt flavor. It has a nice sweet flavor also. Some caramel maltyness. A little bittersweet chocolate mix in also. Figs make a slight appearence in the flavor as well.

This beer goes down very smooth. It leaves a sweet and roasted malt aftertaste. Low carbonation. It is a little thinner than I would expect.

I think this beer would make a good session beer. It is mild enough to not become overbearing. Also, it is not too high in alcohol, so putting down a few is possible.

Overall: Thanks go out to HimerMan for this fine brew. You truely are great for hooking me up with a fine Bell's stash. Great beer.

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Photo of ImusBeer
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another I had on the first real College Football weekend.

I went to this brewery back during the time I lived in Michigan. It was called the Kalamazoo Brewery then and not Bells I think I had a bottle of this, not really sure. I got the bottle and poured it straight down the middle of the room temperature glass and beheld a glass full of black liquid with a tan head about 1-2 fingers tall. The aroma was very smokey with hints of chocolate. Tasting it revealed nothing more, still a lot of smokeyness and some roasted malt and a bit of coffee. The mouthfee was a little heavy but not too much considering you couldn't even see through the glass holding it up to a light.

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Photo of alleykatking
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a deep dark brown color almost black. One finger tan head shows good retention. Nice web lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- I picked up a lot of roasted malts on the front of the beer itself. Some light coffee like and chocolate notes comes in second with a hint of black licorice. I liked the nice light hopping in the end of this that brings it all back around for this beer. A very inviting aroma for sure!

T- Roasted malts come on out in full force on this one. A light licorice hint that dies out rather quickly. The roasted malts come out once in again rather big but this gets calmed down with a nice creamy chocolate smoothing effect. A light pine bite in the ending balanced this big offering from Bell's.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Big roasted malts left on the palate. Alcohol and light roasted malts with a hint of bitter hops left in the aftertaste. Overall flavors were balanced for this stout. No off flavors which I enjoyed very much. There does seem to be a light off in the actual feel on the palate that I can't shake.

D- This is a mighty taste explosion on the palate. The ABV is low enough to have a good number of these unlike most big huge stouts that pack as much flavor as this one. Nice job Bell's on this one.

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Photo of daythree16
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a dimpled mug. Dark brown to black in color with a very small amount of head.

The smell is very rich and sweet with toffee, some chocolate, and just a hint of licorice coming through. The taste has just a hint of licorice like the aroma, but it's not very strong. The main flavor I'm getting can only be described as chocolate covered nuts. There is a nice sweet dryness to it. There is also a really awesome caramel finish that provides a fantastic aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is medium and a bit dry, and the drinkability is way up there.

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Photo of StoutHunter
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a 5 ounce sampling mug.

A- This one pours an opaque pitch black with a fingers worth of creamy off white head that quickly faded to a ring.

S- The beer is dominated by strong roasted malts and chocolaty sweet coffee. This is what a good stout should smell like.

T- Pretty similar to the smell, the coffee tastes are balanced perfectly with the sweet roasted malts that weren't as prominent in the nose. This beer tastes damn good.

M- Thick, creamy, and chewy. Carbonated perfectly.

D- This is about as drinkable as stouts get, ran through my six pack faster then i thought, cant get enough of this stuff.

Overall this one damn tasty beer. Bells set the benchmark for stouts with this brew. This beer is great example of not going overboard, just a great stout overall and one of my favorites. A classic example of focusing on staying true to the style rather then breaking the mold.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter.

4.0 A: Black color. Two fingers of dense frothy, light brown head. Retention is average and a good sized ring of lacing is left.

4.5 S: Great nose on this. This has the coffee with creme thing going. Plenty of coffee with a vanilla like milkiness. Also lots of chocolate to accompany a moderate, though supple roastiness. Licorice adds yet another layer of complexity. Really pleasant.

4.5 T: Taste is much like the nose. Plenty of coffee, chocolate, vanilla creme, and licorice, which is a bit stronger in the taste. The roastiness if more aggressive, but still in a good range. Really tasty.

4.0 M: Lighter medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Creamy for the body, but I would prefer a bit more body and creaminess.

4.5 D: Really great beer. This one surprised me. I wasn't expecting it to be this stellar.

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Photo of SouthLoopSuds
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm so happy we have Bell's back in Chicago! It was sorely missed!

I've drank a few of these, and they always seem to satisfy. The hint of licorice sets it apart from other stouts, so it's a nice change of pace.

I like the color, it's nice and dark . The aroma is quite pleasant. And the feel is robust but not to thick.

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Photo of bunnyhustle
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark as can be (a little dark cherry color around the edges when held to the light) with nice, thick, dark tan head. Lacing is ok, retention isnt great but a very thin cream is left on the beer for the remainder. Smell is of dark sweet chocolate, some coffee grinds, and a tiny bit of black licorice. Taste is great, let this one warm up and it has a sweet milk chocolate-ness too it. Very pronounced chocolate flavor with some toasted grains as well. Very slight bitterness as it goes down but I dont detect any hops. Mouthfeel is very smooth and velvety, more on the fuller side. This is a great beer from Bell's I must say. This might be my favorite right up there with Two Hearted.

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Photo of chuuzetsu
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is my first beer review. Bare with me as I am still developing my taste and knowledge about beer. As my profile says, I am just a cub when it comes to beer.

A.) Dark black with a slight light brown-ish head.

S.) As I was smelling the beer I looked away for a moment and before I knew it I accidently inhaled some of the beer, haha! So I got a real feel for the smell. Almost smells like a fresh coffee.

T.) This is barely even bitter. Tastes of roast coffee and a slight chocolate aftertaste. Leaves a good feeling in the mouth.

M.) Slightly less thick than some of the other stouts I have had.

D.) If you have had trouble finding a good stout, milk/sweet stout, to drink, this is the one to start with to get into the type of brew. Excellent beer to have after a small meal, in my opinion.

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Photo of micromaniac129
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The color is that of black coffee deep tan head that is dense.
Smells sweet and a rich roasted malt aroma. I didn't really pick-up any coffee or chocolate that is common in some brands.
A nice roasted malt taste, maybe some hops for balance. it does have a drier finish.
Porter like.
Smooth and balance with some heaviness to it.
Good flavor for this style.
Drink well my friends

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Photo of pezoids
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was a very dark beer. Midnight black in color and topped off with a tan creamy head of foam. The aroma is malty and rich with chocolate syrup. Sweet and buttery with molasses and caramel. The taste is pleasantly rich and very smooth. Not overly anything, sweetness is right on and has just the right amount of roasted bitterness. Good malt body with some of that roasted bitterness coming through in the finish and lingering in the throat. Overall a very pleasant and an exceptionally drinkable dark beer.

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Photo of Robalypse
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Syrupy, dark brown body with a prominent, malty, chest nut colored head.

Faint hints of malt and licorice.

Medium-heavy with noticeable carbonation and plenty of fizz going down. Doesn’t feel heavy like the coloration and consistency might suggest.

Definitely a very slight licorice taste up front with a bit of grain, almost a hint of rye. Nothing very strong or dominating stands out, but a very sharp, tasty beer in its relative simplicity.

This a great, quality tasting stout, especially given the good price I picked a bottle up for on a whim. Often it seems stouts can be a little heavy on coffee or chocolatey tastes, but there was none of that noticeable to me in this beer which works to its benefit. Because of its fairly low profile, but all around crisp and relatively mild flavor, it’s definitely something I could drink with some regularity. I will certainly be purchasing it again in greater quantity in the future.

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Photo of DannyDan
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours into a black beer with a tan head that has very good retention, excellent lacing and moderate carbonation. The smell is of licorice, roasted malts, faint scent of chocolate and coffee. The taste is licorice followed by some floral hops, some chocolate, toffee, and coffee notes. The after taste is licorice balanced with a mix of bitterness and sweetness that is nicely balanced. The mouthfeel is a medium soft creamy feel that is also thick and chewy at the same time. This is a very drinkable beer and is now one of my favorites after trying it for the first time. This is a must try stout for any beer lover that likes a good beer.

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Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.03 out of 5 based on 4,253 ratings.
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