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 bluejacket74
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pint glass, the beer pours dark, dark brown with some reddish tints when held up to the light. There's also about an inch creamy tan head, and a lot of lacing remains on the glass. It smells like roasted malt, semi-sweet chocolate, caramel and some coffee. It tastes like dark chocolate and a bit of coffee, and there's a good roasted flavor too. The start is a little bitter, then the sweetness hits and then finishes bitter again with a lingering bitter aftertaste. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, with a good body to it. The Kalamazoo Stout is a very good beer, I'd definitely buy more of this in the future.

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Photo of PBRstreetgang
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours jet black, nearly opaque except for thin dark mahogany highlights. The brown sugar colored head is dense and creamy and reaches one and a half fingers in hieght. Shows good retention, and the epitome of spotty lacing. Roasted barley nose, with coffee notes, faint black patent and molasses. First sip is sweet with dark roasted malts and blackstrap, some dark chocolate, and bitter black patent. Semi-drying aftertaste, a tame hop bitterness paired with coffee and chocolate. Low-medium carbonation with a full body- this is less dry than expected and more syrupy; which I found quite agreeable. Finish is akin to the aftertaste with plenty of complex residual sweetness balancing the roasted flavor and mild hop bitterness. The drinkability would score better as an export stout, but will please fans of Russian Imperial Stout. An excellent bargain at $7-$8 a six-pack.

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Photo of trep
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle Batch 7289 brewed on March 9th 2006.

Pitch black body, no light whatsoever passing through. Creamy tan head leaves lacing down the side of the glass. Smells of roasted malt, chocolate, and vanilla, with a bit of alcohol and an earthiness to it.

Very smooth on the pallate. Creamy, medium bodied. Nice hop bitterness at first that steps aside to allow the soft chocolate and vanilla ice cream to come forth. Finishes coffee bitter with a bit of dark chocolate thrown in the mix.

Medium bodied with little carbonation. Nice creamy mouthfeel. Very easy drinking despite the bitterness. Very smooth and balanced.

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Photo of grub
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours a deep black colour with a half inch of dense brown head. the head slowly dissipates into a ring around the glass and leaves a fine lace down the glass.

aroma is roasty and slightly sweet. caramel. hint of coffee.

taste is good. really roasty. bittersweet chocolate. hint of coffee again. nice malty backbone, with notes of caramel. it's more roasty than i'd expect, which comes through as an overly bitter/charred flavour. it feels a little unbalanced as a result.

mouthfeel is thick and chewy.

drinkability is good. it feels like a big beer even though it comes in at 6.5%, so the lower alcohol makes it more drinkable but the mouthfeel lowers it some. the highly charred flavour lingers long after finishing the glass, which also serves to lower the drinkability. overall it's ok.

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Photo of Fuller
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours a jet black that no light gets through when held up to it. Small tan head that recedes quickly into a skim that stays until the last sip. Also leaves excellent lacing. Nose is of dark chocolate, coffee, and roasted malt sweetness. Taste is sweet and roasty. Flavors of coffee and dark chocolate, with some bitterness coming through at the end. Mouthfeel is thick, slick and creamy.

Overall a very enjoyable beer. A little thick to have more than just a couple though. A good sipping beer.

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Photo of ryantupy
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I foud this beer to be a very enjoyable and relaxing stout that I will definatly keep stocked in my fridge.
A - It pours a very dark bubbly brownish head that sticks to the glass the whole way down.
S - Sweet roasted malts, mocha, coffee, dark chocolate, and a smooth aroma.
T - Dark chocolate, mocha, coffee, smooth and smoky and all around great tasting.
M - Dry finish, chocolaty coffee finish
D - Very smooth and easy to drink with a nice finish.

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Photo of wcudwight
4.23/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to justcas and July Secret Santa BIF 2006.
Black Opaque color. Huge chocolate colored head. Excellent retention. Lots of lace.
The smell reminds me of Silk Milk, the chocolate soy milk.
Taste is sweet, heavy with the chocolate flavors. Roasted malts. All topped off by a raw coffee bean finish.
Mouthfeel is thick and chewy. IMO pushing the Imperial boarders but not crossing them
This is a delicious drinkable meal in a bottle.

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Photo of Enola
3.49/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Wcudwight shared his bottle.

Poured a deep brown with a thick head. The smell score is low just due to a soured smell. The taste is good. It has a oatmeal taste. The mouthfeel is smooth. This is a heavy bodied beer. Very filling. A meal in a bottle. A good beer for the style.

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Photo of Nero
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark as it could possible be with a reddish tan head that was thick and receeded nicely

Smell: coffee, chocolate, with some expresso hints in there

Taste: Wow very chocolatey, almost like a bitter sweet chocolate. slight hints of toffee, coffee and alittle expresso

Mouthfeel: thick with a creamy goodness. can be alittle much if drinken more then just casually.

Drinkability: Not too bad one of the better stouts I have had. Like I said it could be alittle over powering if your drink a few in a short period of time. But all in all a very nice stout.

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Photo of ColoradoBobs
4.64/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Darkest opaque brown/black with only the slightest hint of cola red-brown around the edges, under a tan thick 2 inch head that fades to a solid lid with moderate lacing.

Great smell of chocolate-coffee, toffee, bitter-roasted chocolate malt, darkest chocolate and more malted maltiness. Rich, wonderful, smooth aroma. The taste follows suit. Wow! Best stout I've had. I mean wowowow! So chocolatey-coffee-bitter-smooth you want to chew it rather than swallow.

Mouthfeel is decent, round and smoooth.

At 6.5%, this is just a bit on the strong side for a stout.

I have GOT to get me some more of this. I mean, this is great. The malt magicians at Bell's have done another magnificent job.

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Photo of Iguana
4.62/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearence - Poured jet black with a beautiful 1 inch tan head, looked good from the get go.

Smell - Smells of coffee, roasted malts, dark chocolate. Smells great for a stout.

Taste - WOW, Coffee/roasted malt are massively strong in the flavor and I love it. Hint of dark chocolate. A must try for any stout lover.

Mouthfeel - Amazingly smooth, creamy, just perfect for the beer.

Drinkability- Glad my parents grabbed me 2 bottles when they were in Michigan, sadly I cant find this stuff locally but man is it good. It would be a regular in my mixed 6 packs if I could find it locally.

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Photo of ElGordo
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to thefatkid13 for the trade. Pours a deep, dark black with garnet highlights, topped by an inch of creamy brown head that leaves some nice lacing. Aroma of coffee grounds, dark chocolate, dark fruit, and some fruity hops. Palate is rich, sweet malt, milk sugar, dark chocolate, and just a touch of bittering from the hops. Body is rich and velvety, damn near perfect. An excellent milk stout, and one that I wish I'd asked for more of in my trade.

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Photo of badbeer
4.67/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out black with a nice tan head with very good retention. Smell is very complex, reminds me of Dark Lord, full of coffee, chocolate, and different dark fruits, very very good. Taste is awesome as well. Starts out deceiving, but then all of a sudden it hits you with an onslaught of taste. Beginning is green, then roasty, changing quickly into cherries, plums, other dark fruits, then adds some chocolate and coffee flavors to finish it off. If it didn't start off a little weak with the green flavor it would be an easy 5 for taste. Medium carbonation, medium to full bodied, slick on the tongue. If the very beginning of the taste was eliminated this would just be beyond a great beer, the green flavor isn't bad, but doesn't seem to fit with the rest of this beer. Seriously get this if you see it. Highly recommended. Oh, and criticize if you want, this reminds me of a baby Dark Lord, I love it.

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Photo of dfried
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer looks great, it's dark as crude oil, just barely can see a hint of red and brown around edges. The head is a centimeter or so tall, but is a nice caramel/toffee color, and comes back quickly if you swirl your glass, I really liked the head of this beer. The smell is very roasted but sweet, with coffee and chocolate malts, but there are clear scents of dark, tart fruit as well. There are a lot of dark, tart fruit flavors in the beer as well, cherry and plum, but there is alway a strong noticeable roasted flavor that is bitter but not too. This should be a really chewy beer, it's so sweet and thick, but there is a good amount of carbonation as well that I thought gave this beer a great mouthfeel for a stout. This is a pretty heavy beer, average drinkability for a good stout. Bell's just plain knows how to make stouts.

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Photo of Prufrock
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

pitch brown. an aggressive pour yields about a quarter-inch of brown head, which leaves small strings of lace.

decent aroma; raisins and roast coffee come out strongest. a touch of soy sauce and burning wood as well.

medium feel with a low-medium carbonation. sugary coffee, roasted bitterness and alcohol dominate the flavors; finish is bitter coffee and a touch of hoppiness. lighter in feel than many other stouts, but with a robust flavor.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.76/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Close to black with deep brown hues. Small brown head settles to a quarter inch. Smokey as a Siberian chimney after a hard winter. Aroma of creosote, heavily roasted barley, coffee, roasted nuts. Taste is dominated by huge smoky roastedness. Slightly sweet with a thick, rich body. Low carbonation leads to easy drinking. I remember it being much better on tap.

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Photo of Fish113d
4.44/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass at room temperature, it pours a dirty motor oil color with a nice, hefty 3cm of tan, dense head on top. Absolutely no light gets through this one.

I can smell it at least 1 1/2 feet away! Huge billowing chocolate malts jump out at me along with some roastiness (roasted almonds or peanuts). I also get a bit of alcohol tickling my sinuses. Being as I live near Hershey, PA, I can say that this one reminds me of driving into town and smelling the roasted nuts and chocolate! Superb!!!

Sipping reveals a nice dose of roasted nuts and chocolate right away, with an almost beechnut flavor following this one across my palate and down my throat. I also get some hopiness helping to balance this out on the finish.

Body is medium to full with well-rounded qualities. Carbonation is not too heavy or tingly, and I can tell that there IS a bit of alcohol in there. Nicely done.

Overall, I don't know if this is one I could sit and drink all night, but it is one of the better well-rounded, blanced brews I've had recently. I could easily drink another bottle.

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Photo of kirok1999
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very nice!! I've liked most everything made by Bell's and this one is no exception. Nothing like the monstrous Expedition Stout.

Appearance- Pours a nice black with a tan/chocolate head. Clings nicely to the glass with each sip.

Smell- Roasty malts, hints of coffee and chocolate, caramel, toffee.

Taste- Same as the smell, very nice and smooth. Mild coffee and chocolate flavors balanced with a roasty malt backbone.

Mouthfeel- Super smooth and slippery. Almost oily. I love it.

Drinkability- One of the most drinkable stouts ever. I was very pleasantly surprised at this one.

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Photo of ultralarry2006
5/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Left an espresso foam colored one finger head with excellent retention and some spotty lacing here and there. Body was the deepest possible brown, almost an inky black.

Smell - rich roasted malt. Tones of chocolate, coffee, rich hearty dark bread, slight sweetness of caramel.

Taste - exactly like the smell. Rich roasted malt, rendering chocolate, coffee, and dark bread all slightly sweetened with hint of caramel. Also 6.5 abv is entirely obscured, amazing. Hearty, satisfying, and yummy (sorry) beer.

Mouthfeel - full, smooth, low cabonation, some chewiness at times.

Drinkability - this goes down great, and is excellent. Rich and hearty and satisfying. I could session this any time, but it may be too hearty for some.

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Photo of ski271
3.41/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very dark brown, almost black, with a medium, tan, pillowy head that slowly diminishes to lingering chunks. Lots of lacing all the way down. The aroma is fairly typical for a stout with the usual roasted malt characteristics. Coffee, chocolate, caramel and very light smoke. Also some moderate yeast and dark fruit. The taste is a little on the sweet side at first with the roasted malts again taking center-stage. On the finish it turns lightly bit, but there’s a sourness in the there as well that I wasn’t expecting and didn’t really enjoy. It has a medium-full body, creamy texture and soft carbonation. Not bad, but nothing impressive, especially coming from Bell’s.

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Photo of tempest
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I've had this on tap and from the bottle and there's little to no difference. This beer was pitch black with a nice tan head. It smelled heavily of roasted malts with a bit of chocolate in the back ground. Taste is similar with a very dry, bitter bite to it. Appears to have a very clean yeast strain and the malts almost taste like you're chewing on the grains. I found it nice and interesting at first, but the dryness got to me after a couple bottles.

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Photo of DuqTroops
4.23/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - dark and very cloudy. loved the color of this stout!

Smell - caramel, coffee, and chocolate aroma.

Taste - creamy and full bodied! great balance of bitters and sweetness.

Drinkability - I am glad I bought a sixer of this, this is an excellent beer!

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
4.55/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours out of the bottle in a stream the reminds me of used motor oil. Once in the glass, it’s a glowing black with a dark and murky tan and copper head.

Smells of a great blend of dark, smoky barley, coffee and a creamy nuttiness. The dryness of the burnt elements are delightfully offset by a slight malty sweetness.

The flavor starts with a mild barley, toasted marshmallow and nut foundation that picks up dry elements with the onset of the carbonation. This releases the expected smoky elements and a touch of honey. This beer then finishes off with a smooth coffee and smoke.

The mouth feel is surprisingly glassy and smooth with a micro-bubble carbonation.

As far as the smokier stouts go, this one’s top notch. It’s charred, but still smooth and clean with a superb silky mouth feel.

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Photo of beerphilosopher
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz'er into a standard pint glass. Appears almost opaque black with a massive, chocoate-colored head. Nose is sweet malt, oatmeal, and a bit of baker's chocolate. Palate is of roasted malt, oats, nuts, and espresso. Very rich. Mouthfeel is medium, with light carbonation. Finishes slightly drier than I would have thought for the style it's labeled under, but that's not a complaint. Good hop bitterness lingers here ... This is a very good stout, though I would hesitate to call it a milk stout. Really top-notch as is most of what Bell's offers. May I have another?

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Photo of PorterLambic
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew flows more than pours into the glass. It arrives pitch black with a dark tan head 2" tall consisting of tiny bubbles (cue Don Ho). For all appearances it could be Guinness without the "waterfall"
Smell is rich dark chocolate, coffee, smoked sausage, soy, peat. Nicely balanced and good complexity.
Taste is very similar to what was promised to the olfactory sense. Smoke, coffee, dark chocolate, soy, smoked meats. The last one seems weird when I read it but it was very much a welcome flavor. I like smoked beers and this was like a combonation of a rauchbier and a stout.
Smooth across the tongue, lightly carbonated, with a medium body - leaning to the full side - though I expected a chewier brew. A nice, alcohol-infused oak & smoke aftertaste. This is a really good beer. It went great with the homemade chocolate chip cookies I finished it off with. :-)

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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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