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

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1,549 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: 1,549 | Ratings: 4,204
Photo of jtw5877
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep dark brown with a foamy tan head, smoky roasted malt aroma. Nice malty taste with a prominant roasted malt flavor with dark coffee tones and maybe a little caramel thrown in, also a little bit of cracker maltiness Tastes really solid, not a watered down stout. A definate must for stout lovers.

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Photo of scalffd
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark black appearance with brown head, creamy on top and fizzy on the sides. Diminishes but lasts throughout the beer. Strong roasted flavor with average to long aftertaste. Smooth from beginning to end. This is a high quality, very drinkable stout and my choice over the expedition by Bells, which has too much of an alcohol bite for my taste.

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Photo of sponberg
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nearly opaque, brownish black with a tan head that dissipates rather quickly, but leaves lace to the bottom of the glass. A good, roasty, slightly coffeelike malt nose - mmmm!

Is the Michigan DEP hiring? I could drink this happily all day long. Bittersweet with a roast coffee and slightly chocolatey/toffeelike sweetness. Very creamy, almost oatmeal-oily like mouthfeel. Then it dries out towards the finish, with the alcohol making its presence known in the background. Beautiful. This could quite rapidly become a favorite.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque black (no highlights when held to the light, but the yeast sediment is clearly visible at the bottom of the glass) with a frothy light tan head that holds fairly well before dropping to a decent collar and whispy surface covering. A short creamy head can easily be brought back, however, simply by swirling the glass, and it leaves some nice as well. The nose is rich with a sharp roastiness and notes of bittersweet chocolate, but also offers some floral and lightly earthy hops in the background. The medium body is enhanced by an exceptionally fine carbonation from bottle conditioning that leaves it creamy and smooth in the mouth. The flavor is also affected by the creamy carbonation, softening it's bitterness and rounding it's sharp roasted edges. It starts with an underlying fruitiness and dark chocolate, but immediately becomes quite roasty. It warms to reveal some caramel sweetness as it crosses the palate but reverts to deep roastiness and a solid bitterness in the finish. A rich, dark roasted coffee flavor lingers in the mouth long after the liquid had gone and occassional flashes of hop flavor can sometimes be found. Rich, complex, and highly enjoyable. This makes a great after-dinner drink or nightcap. Highly recommended and well worth seeking out.

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Photo of FFudnam
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one at home, out of the 12oz bottle, same as pictured.

Gave it a rough pour, to test head retention, and get more aroma from the beer.


Smooth pour, fairly thick, but not syrup-y. Cappucino-colored head lasted for 2 minutes.


Black as can be, with aforementioned light-brown (cappucino) head, and no light transmission. Looks like a lot of black patent was used. Thumbs up!


Smells of Coffee, Chocolate, moderate hop punch-in-the-nose, more spicy than floral, malty backbone.


Again, more coffee, chocolate, some ripe fruit/date/raisin notes, somewhat sweet, smooth hop bitterness comes next, followed by a nice malty, dry-ish finish. Awesome stuff!


Silky smooth, with moderate carbonation. Accentuates the hops, but doesn't allow them to overwhelm the palate. Finishes strong. Nearly perfect. IMHO could be a little creamier.


Probably a little too "huge" to be a session beer, but I could knock a few back while hanging out at the bar or wherever.

Best stout I have sampled yet, with the exception of the Bell's Expedition, IMO the most interesting, complex beer they make. So there you have it.


Left a gorgeous, fluttery, creamy lace in my pint glass. Sweet.

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Photo of AUGRAD06
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

So I picked up the Bell's Kalamazoo Stout without really checking it out. I figured, "It's cold outside, a Stout sounds good." It wasn't till I got home that I realized it was brewed with licorice. I've been a huge licorice fan since my childhood. It poured dark and silky into my glass. A nice coffee scent with just a hint of licorice. The taste was the same with very light carbonation. A great stout. I will definitely get this beer again!!!!

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Photo of ocelot2500
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a near black color with a tight, mocha head that leaves a good amount of lacing.

Smells of solid roasted notes with a douse of sugar.

Tastes of the sweet, roasted malts. Mostly characterized by coffee, brown sugar, dark caramel, and some chocolate. Roasted bitterness kicks in at the end, but not before a wave of sweetness. Coffee notes linger on the end with the bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium-full with a smooth amount of carbonation.

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Photo of PeatReek
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 7061: Bottled Sept. 2005.

Aroma: Subtle, a little sweet, wine-ish, with a hint of roasty chocolate.

Taste: Wow. Starts woody, a bit of a wine taste (but not very strong), resolving to a full, dry, roasty chocolate finish. A few sips later: the finish is very roasty! And chocolatey.

Appearance: 1/4 in. head dissolves pretty quickly to a rim. Beer is black, brownish around the edges where the light can get through.

Mouthfeel: a little thin for a stout, and kind of slippery. Light carbonation accents the roast flavor very well. No alcohol bite.

Overall, the more I think about it, the less my "taste" description does it justice. This beer is not especially complex, it's no imperial stout, but the balance of roast, chocolate, and woody flavors is sublime. Expedition may be the showpiece of Bell's stouts, but this one's definitely the bread and butter - I could drink Kalamazoo stout all night long.

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Photo of Px2GrafX
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

presentation: 12oz. bottle with the bell's logo and an illustration of a bald bearded man on the old paper colored label. a teaser by bell's is printed on the back and what i assume to be a batch number or something is 6314. nice, simple presentation.

appearance: pours a black no highlight with a tan 1 inch tight thick head into a tulip glass. head drops to a thin capper and sticks and laces very well.

smell: sweet with an extreme caramel aroma. there's also chocolate milk. excellent caramel mocha. i absolutely love the aroma of this beer!

taste: sweet chocolate and milk with hop bitters and espresso. the dominant caramel aromas unveil a caramel flavor as well. more chocolate milk. there's also some faint mollases and nuttiness. finishes semi-sweet/dry and lightly bitter.

mouthfeel: nice carbonation, smooth swallow and medium body. creamy but just a tad light for my tastes. good for this style, though.

drinkability: very drinkable stout. lightly dry and bitter finish entices for another delicious sweet start sip. alcohol is well hidden.

overall: tastes wonderful and the aroma is to die for! very balanced milk stout, but the roasted flavors and sweet malts take charge. many thanks to skyhand for this brew!

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Photo of 44yrtaster
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This delicious stout could convince me to try more stouts! Smooth, warm and light on the tongue, this brew has a wonderful depth of flavor and gorgeous deep brown color with clear chocolaty notes. Further it made a wonderful 100% liquid in a crockpot pork butt & onion pulled pork recipe! Great versatility.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm astounded at the fact that I haven't reviewed this yet. Bottled 28th October 2011

Pouring black with dark brown highlights, this beer is capped with a creamy brown head with great retention and some lacing. The nose is pretty excellent. An excellent blend of roast, dark chocolate syrup, a blend of grainy bitterness and licorice, this is pretty excellent. Lactose sweetness is also present, as is some molasses. Exceptional balance IMO.

The palate opens with a wonderful blend of licorice, dark chocolate and an aggressive yet restrained roast. Fruity mid-palate with some dried figs, along with an excellent creaminess. Dries up on the finish with a rather exceptional balance of roast, licorice, dark chocolate and just enough sweetness to balance them all out, this is really nice. Medium-light in body with moderate but creamy carbonation, this feels really really good on the palate. Among the best stouts there is, highly recommended.

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Photo of bamadog
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Nice and dark, a fairly decent head of about one finger that really disappeared quickly. I would say quicker than normal with most stouts. But this one is a little different in other areas as well.

Smell: A little roasty, with a sweet candy type smell that's pretty powerful. The bottle says it's brewed with brewers licorice, so I wonder if that is it.

Taste: Excellent. A little roasty, but not overpowering, and bittersweet and a bite of alcohol in the back.

Mouthfeel: Lighter in the mouth than most stouts. Almost reminds me of some heavier porters that I've had. Smooth and creamy.

Drinkability: I thoroughly enjoyed this beer. It's a litlte more pricey than I prefer (although still very reasonable compared to a lot of other beers out there), and the taste and feel of it is a nice change-up. I rated it a little higher than I thought I would, but it's got a lot going for it.

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Photo of IPAcraig
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drinking this beer on Halloween whilst watching Halloween.

This beer was poured into my Guiness nonic. It has a deep black body with a medium dark brown one finger head. Not much lacing.

This beer as a great smell of creamy milk chocolate complimented by a nice roastiness. A very potent aroma.

A very big taste from a sweet stout, nearly on par with the strength of a Russian Imperial Stout. This is a sweet stout and it does have the that sweet chocolatey flavor, but it also has a substantial roasty flavor that was unexpected and adds a rich complexity. The sweetness really lingers. A slight medicinal astringent flavor and aroma emerges as the beer warms. I want to knock this beer for it, but I cant as this beer really has an exceptional flavor.

Thick, but not syrupy at all. Near perfection.

This beer packs a flavor wallop, but remains quite drinkable. This may be my favorite stout that is not a RIS, but much more sessionable.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thorpe gave me a holiday 5 pack of this beer, have to love the holiday 5 pack tradition. Thanks. Poured into a Bell's glass because I can.

Beer is dark black and completely opaque. I poured a little harder than I should be I coaxed a nice thick tan head out of the beer that slowly receded, leaving a little lacing on the walls of the glass. Carbonation is a mystery.

Aroma is nice though. It's a little sweet, some chocolate, some great mild roast, this smells really awesome.

Beer is medium in body and pretty creamy in the mouth with minimal carbonation on the palate. There is a nice chocolaty midpalate flavor, after the initial mild sweetness, the bitterness in this beer is practically perfect. A very good beer all around.

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Photo of seaoflament
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to SPLITGRIN for sending me this nice brew!

This review will be for a 12oz bottle with a batch number 7952.

I had not notice until now the statement at the bottom of the bottle claiming that this beer includes licorice. I like licorice, so on to the beer.

Wow, this beer pours pretty viscous. It is dark and thick. A minimal amount of head but retains a nice fluffy ring of foam. This beer has a nice roasted aroma and includes chocolate, toffee, mild coffee and I think I can detect a sweet wood aroma that might be the licorice. The taste is great. It has a clean, yet bitter, roasted malt profile upfront with the rest of the aromas: coffee, toffee, and chocolate. The beer maintains a good sweet/bitter balance and it has a pleasant smokey finish. The mouthfeel is very good indeed. I take my time with this one and let it warm up and it gets better and better.

Overall, this is a very well made stout and one I hope to run into again. Now I can hardly wait to open the Expedition Stout!

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Photo of warriorsoul
4.48/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to CRJMellor for this one too...
Coal black in color with a full finger of dark brown head..sits on top and goes absolutely nowhere.
Great scents from this one...a boatload of dark chocolate with a subtle malt sweetness that pulls you in.
Taste is real nice...tons of chocolate, vanilla, caramel, a pinch of coffee. Sweetness is more apparent in the taste and adds just enough to make this brew quenching like no other stout I have tasted to date.
Mouthfeel is thicker than medium bodied and the carbonation is spot on.
Drinkability is through the roof as I plow my way through this one.

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Photo of hotstuff
4.48/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This stout poured a long lasting small creamy tan head of fine-small bubbles. The lacing was just fair on the sides of my glass. It had a chocolate aroma to it and a good strong and bold coffee flavor. This was a smooth and creamy tasting stout. The more I drink stouts, the more I am taking a liking to them.

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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 MrBen
4.48/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is stout -- the way it should be: Big, black pour. Thick, stable head with the color of a lightly creamed coffee. Roasty n' toasty nose. Excellent balance between sweet and bitter.

Bell scores in a major way with this stout. Huge flavors with a slightly sweet background to complement the dark malts, and a long finish that leaves a good aftertaste. Smooth, coating mouthfeel. Easy to drink, and very interesting. Highly recommended.

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Photo of zoso1967
4.48/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served up deep, dark, nearly opaque black brown (like the Ikea wood tone) with a beautiful creamy tan head. Aroma of roasted malts, some coffee and a touch of bitter cocoa. Damn, this IS a tasty beverage. I had never had the K-zoo stout until now and am feeling major regret over what I have missed. The flavor is very well balanced between malt sweetness and the roasted coffee and chocolate character. Not too sweet or too dry, it really hits the target dead on. Full bodied, chewy and insanely smooth coming out of the cask. Nice, bittersweet finish that begs for another sip. I could drink this all day. Superman wears Larry Bell underpants.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
4.48/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Again, why can't I get Bell's in MA? I call shenanigans.

Kalamazoo pours black with a thick hot chocolate colored head. Lotsa lace.

Smells like pumpernickel bread and charcoal. Some vanilla.

Relaxing, super smooth stout. Licorice, charcoal, and dark, roasted malt all complement eachother and glide across the pallette. Creamy mouthfeel.

This is a sexy stout.

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Photo of twilight
4.48/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black as night with a dark brown head floating atop the beer. Aroma is of roastiness and this nice smoothness- I know, I'm surprised I can smell it. It smells good, like milk, a bit?

Taste is smooth and creamy- no, mouthfeel is creamy. Nevertheless, you get this nice roastybitterness in the aftertaste and very much a bit of that coffee/chocolate lingering. Tastes upfront are a bit of sourness, a bit of sweetness and this really nice creaminess, almost like a round feeling. Mouthfeel is good, bonus points for spilling over onto taste. Although this is a great beer, I'm not sure I could session on this one. Another excellent Bell's overall.

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Photo of elgiacomo
4.48/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle, batch 9801, bottled June 4, 2010. Served at around 50F.

Pours very dark brown/black with a massive foamy four-finger light brown head that slowly recedes and leaves plenty of foamy lacing behind.

Aroma features roasted malts, chocolate, licorice, coffee, some yeast and a touch of mustiness. Moderate to good strength.

Rich and robust flavor of milk and dark chocolates, licorice, some dark fruit, coffee, caramel, toffee, very malty with just a touch of hops on the finish. Delicious.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and quite creamy and velvety smooth, low to medium carbonation.

One of the most flavorful regular stout I've ever had...can't believe I hadn't reviewed it yet as I've gone through a number of sixers through the years and will continue to do so. Fantastic stuff!

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Photo of timbro81
4.48/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very dark in the glass with an equally dark thin head that does some respectable lacing down the sides. There is alot going on in the nose and taste. Nose is Sweet, dark roasted malts. The taste is simply amazing. Bitter sweet in the begining that turns to a dark roasted chocolate maltiness and well balanced hops that finishes semi-dry but makes me salivate for more. Very smooth and silky in the mouth. I feel like there is more there but my brain can only comprehend so much. Highly Recommended!

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.49/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with small off white head. Nose is heavy on chocolate with some beautiful roasty, earthy, spicy coffee in the background. Taste is full bodied with the big coffee and mocha standing out prominently, earthy, light coffee spice, roast, WOW. Not too sweet or syrupy, medium carbonation. What an excellent stout! This is probably the best non-imperial, non-sweet/milk stout out there. And you can drink it all day.

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Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.03 out of 5 based on 4,204 ratings.
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