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

Bell's Kalamazoo StoutBell's Kalamazoo Stout
Liked This Beer
3.98 w/ 4,345 ratings
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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,345 |  Reviews: 1,585
Photo of Tone
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black. 1/4 inch head with slight retention and lsight lacing. Smells of a dark rich malt and sweetness. Fits the style of a Milk/Sweet Stout. Mouth feel is sharp and slighty thick. There's a high carbonation level and an associated bitterness. Tastes very rich, of a strong malt, some roasted malt as well, and there's a slight hop bitterness. Overall, a very good rich stout - definitely couldn't drink more than a couple of these.

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Photo of NearerMyBeerToMe
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first ever product from Bell's has a slightly viscous, ebony-to-brown pour which results in a thin, dirty-tan head no more than 1/4" deep that dissipates quickly and spottily to nothingness, just a puny collar. Color is an opaque, inky black; evidence of a streamer or two is marked by bubbles popping up at surface of beer. Globs of yeast clinging to sides of glass are unappetizing as well. Aroma is roast, toast, and more roast toast, to a degree that I've only detected in Imperial Stouts up to this point. Nosefeel is dry and woody, with baking chocolate and coffee tones alongside a not-unpleasant taste of grain; yet behind all this, a plump, purple-fruitiness seems to be lurking. Flavor begins quite sweetly at the tip of the tongue, proceeding to huge roastiness in the midpalate. A slight cola-like sweetness lingers here, to the detriment of the overall feeling; then hops make their presence known in a bittery black coffee to dark chocolate aftertaste. And yet, again: a fruitiness almost like blueberry skins ghosts around in the background... and a woodiness more oaken than cedary. Mouthfeel is tingly and surprisingly delicate in manner; just approaching oily with a light cling that gracefully subsides. High drinkability considering the assertive flavor. A shame: if this beer only had a nice finger of head to top it off, I'd have given it a "4" in all categories. That said, I was sorry not to have a second bottle and I intend to seek this one again.

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Photo of Jesstyr
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Grabbed this one at Pete's Apizza in DC, a great spot for pizza and a legit craft beer list. Served in a pint glass.

Pours dark black with a good finger's worth of tan head. Nose is heavy on the burnt malt, but lacks any tremendous diversity.

Flavor is heavy on the smoke, malt and a bit of hops to add some balance. It lacks any overwhelming "flavor" per say, but its a good heavy balance. Body is big, and its a smooth beer going down, particularly with a reasonable ABV.

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Photo of uvachief
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Too thin in the mouth. Too low abv. Easy drinking stout with chocolate and coffee flavors. Only 6% abv. Not bad but not great.

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Photo of FogDishHead
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of stephens101
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my SA specialty glass (my favorite Stout container).

A full, dark tan head sits long atop a dark brown almost black brew. Smells of caramel, dark chocolates and roasted nuts. Tastes of dark chocolates, some grain, coffee beans, more nuttiness, a bit of black licorice and a slightly metallic aftertaste. A sheen of dark fruits are noticed later in the session. Has a medium body and a dry mouth-feel that softens as the beer warms. This beer is almost fluffy due to some great carbonation, but remember this is a stout we're talking about here, so the key word is "almost".

The Kalamazoo Stout is a straight ahead traditional stout that reminds of how good a beer can be when the fundamentals are well honed.

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Photo of vissai
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 12oz bottle in tulip glass.
A: little half inch head, looks very full bodied and rich. Very very black in color
S: Not too much popping out besides traditional stout traits. A little coffee and licorice in the back.
T: For its class it is a solid stout. A little charred wood and burnt chocolate. The licorice comes in on the finish. Leaving the mouth with a cooling afterburn. Very enjoyable.
M: good to slightly overcarbonated mouthfeel. But the carbonation helps all the flavors shine a little more. as it warmed the carbonation settled and I reall enjoyed it.
D: I have been too busy with BA stouts so this one went down very easily.

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Photo of Redwood21
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: I love it, its got a dark dark brown ti almost black appearance with a tan brown head. the head never dies and is just gorgeous.

S: you definitely pick up on roasted aromas and an almost buttery toast type finish. its hard for me to be sure

T: coffee, caramel, buttery toast some oats and a finish of alcohol bu not in the bad sense. for a milk/sweet stout, it reminds me more of a "sweeter" stout than the style mentioned previous. though i love it just the same.

M/D this is a great creamy beer that leaves a great sensation on the palate. i love it. good times.!!!

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Photo of GimpyCane
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearence: Poured dark brown w/ a light creamy brown head. Thoughout the drink the brew left little lacing and the head was mostly diminish.

smell: got a nice whiff of roasted coffee, small hint of chocolate and a moderate amount of hops

taste and mouthfeel: from start to finish the brew had a nice bittersweet taste. Medium body w/ a semi-creamy feel and soft on the carbonation.

drinkability: smooth and enjoyable

Overall, Kalamazoo is a good beer, heck I drank a six and enjoyed the flavorful roasted elements and the small hint of alcohol it left on my tongue.

 579 characters

Photo of ccarney2
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Spent oil black, completely opaque body with an finger or so of light tan head.

Smell - Toasted malt smell with a fade into a very sweet plum/chocolate aroma. Even with a 6% ABV you can smell the alcohol.

Taste - Sweet licorice/smokey start with a quick fade to a more bitter, not quite dark chocolate aftertaste. The taste lingers for quite some time.

Mouthfeel - A little more carbonated than some of the recent stouts that i've had. It works well, the body is not to thick, but has enough character to linger on the tongue.

Overall - "Good" is the best adjective to describe this beer in my opinion. It is good, but doesn't really have any qualities that really set me off or make me really think hard about the flavors. It is a solid beer, but not one that I will be thinking about for too long.

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Photo of wchesak
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into Spiegelau tulip glass

A - black, tan head almost 2 fingers worth, not much lacing

S - unsweetened cocoa, slight caramel, toffee, no hops

T - roasty malt, some sweet caramel and chocolate in the middle, dry slightly hoppy aftertaste

M - light side of heavy, slick, smooth finish

D - bell's certain has no problem with brewing stouts, very enjoyable, nothing out of the ordinary but its nice to see the basics being done properly

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A thick creamy brown head tops this deep brown almost black beer. Thick aromas of coffee, burnt malt, alcohol, and chocolate waft from my glass. Aaah, a thick creamy body that is quite satisfying and hits the spot after the weak porter that I just had. Finishes with an astringent roast malt character. The beer is so creamy that it balances the roast character, in the front and middle of this beer, quite well. Perhaps a hint of diacetyl, but it is barely perceptible. Not really sweet, despite the ample body. After a bit of time I can detect some buttery diacetyl in the aroma, perhaps a bit distracting, but not all that bad.

This beer would be something else if the diacetyl was cleaned up a bit. Having said that, if you don't mind a bit of diacetyl, this would be a really good beer for you.

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Photo of Ctruskey
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%

Photo of Wasted_Youth
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of SacoDeToro
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep coal black with a minimal off-white head.

The aroma was of roasted malts, chocolate, and earthy hops.

The flavor of the beer was malty, but not sweet. The darker side of the flavor spectrum was primarily bittersweet chocolate, not so much a roasty character. The hops were in a good balance and blended well with licorice accents.

The mouthfeel was medium and the carbonation was just right. I would've like a little creaminess in this beer. I think it would help round out the flavors more.

Still, a very solid stout from a solid brewery.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into my shaker glass a deep dark brown color with a healthy three fingers of fluffy ecru colored head. Smells of milk chocolate, roasted grains, coffee, and anise seed. Tastes like a mocha coffee with a shot of black sambuca added to it (minus the alcohol burn). Rather complex with a bitter finish. Medium in both body and carbonation. A nice bitter stout that I like to revisit from time to time.

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Photo of hozersr
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of TheMultiYeast
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very dark brown almost black. A light tan head leads the way to some lacing.

Smells like milk chocolate and toasted bread upfront. Figs and a touch of piney hops come through as well.

Dark fruits again in the taste with just a touch of licorice spice. Pleasant bitterness rounds it out with a little boozy aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is slightly thinner than some stouts with a smooth start and mild carbonation.

Overall I would try this stout again. Good stuff from Bell's.

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Photo of LuckySevens82
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle courtesy of feloniousmonk
Poured into a Stone Imperial Stout glass. Pours black as night. One finger, tan head. Good lacing.
Smell is very roasty, a little bit of chocolate, and some coffee in there as well. It smells a little bit like it might be a tad oxidized.
Taste shows no oxidation at all, so perhaps that's just me. Taste is very much focused on coffee, roasted malts, and a bit of hop bitterness.
This is a nice, full-flavored stout. I'm not disappointed with this one at all.

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Photo of nwhittin
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of airforbes1
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a thin beige head. The nose is mildly chocolatey. I don't smell any of the brewers licorice. This seems like a straightforward stout so far.

The taste has bitter coffee up front followed by some hints of cocoa on the finish. I didn't detect any of the licorice until I burped.

I was lukewarm on this beer at first but I find myself liking it more with each sip. It's flavorful and balanced. I wouldn't mind it if they cranked up the licorice, though!

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Photo of CNoj012
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BeerLover99
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: opaque, very nice tan cream head

S: roasted nuts, hint of licorice, and mild bitter cocoa.

T: sweet licorice, choc., roasted nuts with mild bitter finish.

M: creamy, medium body. goes down with ease.

D: nice stout, try this fine Bell's sample. could have more than a few.

 281 characters

Photo of leantom
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Have seen this in stores for a long time. Here goes:

A: Good. Pours a dark black with an ample head and decent lacing. No light gets through this beer.

S: Good, but nothing special. Smells of coffee beans and some chocolate. A pretty malty beer with no hop aroma. Just like a regular stout.

T: Taste follows the nose. Some chocolate and caramel giving way to plenty of bitter coffee in the aftertaste. Lactose sugar in the beer imparts a creaminess that softens the bitterness, however.

M: OK - somewhat watery.

O: A good beer with some flaws. Enjoyed the flavor but it was rather simplistic.

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Photo of colts9016
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thank to kels for the bottle.

Poured into a pint glass at 45 degrees

Appearance: A very dark oily brown almost black color. There is a light tan half finger head that has some retention to it. The clarity of the beer is opaque, except for the highlight on the bottom of the glass.

Nose: A rich roast malt with cream and anise. In the background of the beer there is a burnt sugar, citrus, molasses, and some floral esters.

Taste: A richly roasted malt with some anise as the main flavor. There are hints of cream, burnt sugar, coffee, chocolate, molasses, and some floral esters.

Overall: The mouth feel is medium full with some carbonation. The finish is medium to full and last for a few moments on the palate. This is a great full flavored beer that has a lot of wonderful characteristic in this stout. It is not overtly sweet, but well balance and very easy to drink. A very nice brew.

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Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Beer rating: 82.7% out of 100 with 4,345 ratings
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