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

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Bell's Kalamazoo StoutBell's Kalamazoo Stout

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States | website

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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 1,540 | Ratings: 4,162
Photo of Roke87
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter at cellar temperature, batch number 9801.

Appearance - Pours a dark dark brown colour, and pretty much completely opaque even when held up to a light. A good one finger head that dissipates to thin lace in about a minute or so.

Smell - Is amazing! You get the roasted malts right away, coffee hits the nose followed by a faint smell of chocolate and also a very faint smell of the licorice. Love the smell of this stout.

Taste - Heavy roasted malts hit you right away and especially in the finish, some coffee taste paired with a slight chocolate taste, I didn't taste a whole lot of licorice but you can tell it's there.

Mouthfeel - Is a very typical stout, but maybe a bit on the lighter side, still very smooth and creamy, taste is robust and the roasted malts stick around for a while on the taste buds.

Overall - All in all a very solid stout, good carbonation, great smells, and a great taste that lingers, a definite go to for me as far as stouts/porters go.

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Photo of Evocatus
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark coffee color with a dark beige head, typical for a stout. Aroma was a mix of roasted malts, coffee, and dark chocolate. Taste was similar to the aroma, but with a little more emphasis on the roast and coffee rather than cocoa. Pretty good weight, one of the better stouts I've had.

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Photo of Justin23060
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

A - Black with chestnut edges. Fluffy light brown head took its time diminishing and clung well.

S - Roast sweet choc. malt.

T - Roasty chocolate again, with some nice slight nuttiness and smoke. I'm having trouble finding the brewers licorice advertised on the bottle. Not a problem though because everything else seems to be going right here and it's complex enough without it. Starts slightly sweet but ends dry with the perfect amount of linger.

M - Medium body with some mid to soft carb.

O - Well done indeed. Great example of the style. This is a must try. I will definitely be seeking this out again.

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Photo of jabocu
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to Brian700 for trade.

Pours a strong black coffee color with a medium tan cap with orange hues. A one finger cap quickly dissipates to lacings on top. Aroma is chocoloate, coffee, orange, and fusal hops. Flavor is maltose malt, toffee, chocolate, coffee, orange, and roasted barley. Mild citrus and fusal hops in background. Very good beer with lots of toasty roasted barley. Good blend of sweetness, hops, and burnt notes. Medium carbonation and medium body.

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Photo of bradford
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received this in a trade from davide169 and tasted on 7/28/07
Appearance: A dark brown, almost black beer with a nice tan head
Smell: Roasted barley and oats, black licorice
Taste: Sweet, roasty, a hint of chocolate malts
Mouthfeel: Smooth, above average stout feel
Drinkability: Pretty good. I could drink a few of these

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Photo of pasdachuri
3.81/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle with no freshness date.

Almost coffee black appearance with a dark tan head about 1 1/2 fingers thick.

Not a very strong aroma which is surprising. A faint coffee with a little roasted grain.

Very malty taste. Coffee and chocolate upfront which fades to roasty hop bitterness. Very nicely done.

Thinner mouth feel than expected from an American Stout but I like it. Makes for about as sessional (yet decent) a stout as you are going to find.

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

12 oz. bottle picked up from the absurdly good Lone Hill Liquor in Glendora, CA. Enjoyed in a nonic pint glass. The label indicates this is batch number 8652. I've been waiting to try this one all week.

Opaque, inky black in the glass, except at the edges, where there are attractive dark red-brown highlights. The head is a mass of thick, rich, dark caramel tan foam, made of tiny bubbles interspersed here and there with larger ones. Very attractive. Eventually it settles into a thin disk with a heavier collar. The foam leaves good lacing on the walls of the glass, and the beer looks slightly viscous.

Rich and roasty dark malts, with plenty of chocolate milk in the background. Reminds me of a chocolate Hobnob, really. There is also a mild nutty component like brazil nuts and pine nuts. Other notes include dark earth, a touch of campfire smoke, and a faint tartness that grows as the beer warms. I really don't get much of the brewer's licorice that the label says this is brewed with.

Starts off creamy and chocolatey, like a cooled-down cup of hot chocolate made with heavy milk. Roasty and bitter coffee flavors follow. In the complex middle, the milk chocolate gives way to dark dried fruits (raisins and figs), salted caramel, and the zesty licorice note I couldn't find in the aroma. Ends with dark chocolate and more coffee with a lingering herbal bitterness. A delicious light, piney smokiness comes through in the aftertaste.

Full-bodied, palate-coating, velvety, slightly sticky, and infused with a perfect level of carbonation. The carbonation and the lingering bitterness rejuvenate the palate and leave you ready for the next sip. Alcohol provides a little soothing warmth.

This is a gratifyingly rich and satisfying beer. It has as much flavor as some smaller imperial stouts, but with less alcohol and heaviness. An excellent beer to take you from fall into winter. I would love to try this one on tap. Or better yet, on cask.

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Photo of davidt
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dense, opaque molasses color. Brown head quickly dissipates, leaving a persistent ring. Aroma is of dark chocolate and coffee. The taste is a sweet expresso flavor, with chocolate. Some roasted bitterness. Mouthfeel is thick, slightly stick, with some tingling carbonation. A very nice sweet stout.

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Photo of Whiteweasel
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a seidel

Appearance: Motor oil black. Not THE blackest I've seen but damn close. Nice light brown head which leaves thick lacing on the sides. Completely opaque when held up to the light (except for on the edges)

Smell: Sweet and strongly coffeelike. Reminds me of chocolate covered coffee beans. Still a sweetness in the background

Taste: Very bitter with strong roasted and coffee flavours. Chocolate is underrepresented. This tastes more like roasted coffee than an actual beer. Bitter almost to an excess. The flavour onslaught doesnt stop once you've actually swallowed it, your mouth retains the taste well after its gone

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth, but leaves an extremely strong taste in your mouth. No alcohol warmth noticable.

Drinkability: Very good, and not too bad in terms of alcohol. I could have a few of these, but after a while, I think i would get sick of how ridiculously strong and coffeelike this is.

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Photo of LaCoursiere
3.76/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 10134 bottled on Dec. 3, 2010.

A - A soft pour into a snifter yielded a half finger tan head that dissipated to a thin covering. It has a very dark coffee color. No light comes through when held near a lamp.

S - Nose is not very big on this one. It has notes of roasted malt, black licorice and cocoa. A trace of alcohol is in the nose as well.

T - Caramel malt up front with a sprinkling of brown sugar, coffee, anise and vanilla with a slight hop bitter and slightly smoky roasted malt in the finish.

M - Smooth and silky with medium body and light carbonation. Slight alcohol warmth.

O/D - I would call this a good session stout. Not too heavy and the flavor is a good balance of sweet, bitter and trace smoke. I will be picking this up again.

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Photo of Atricapilla
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my pint glass. Very dark, coffee colored with a substantially sized, creamy, off white head. Smells of coffee, toffee and malt. Very roasted...Tastes like roasted malts with a very slight sweetness. Exceptionally smooth and well blended. Easy on the palate.

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Photo of mortarit
3.52/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A little confused here

This is class as a Milk Stout which I had one last night from Duck-Rabbit but appearance is alot different. This one is pouring like the porter I just had from Duck-Rabbit. I am going to have to take notice on this and see if there is similar across the industry standard.

Head is darker, light molasses tan, body is dark no see through

Not much lacing going on here

The taste is more mellow than the Duck, so better balance I would say with the increase of alcohol too.

As representation of the style, I don't know yet because the comparison is alot different.

The Take: I would get this again I have to for more fine tuning, Good Choice

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Photo of adammills
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I poured this 12 ounce bottle into a glass mug and took in its dark almost balck color and its dart tan head. I smelled and tasted sweet of coffee and dark hops. Its mouthfeel is full and well carbonated and easy to drink. I really like this stout, it is recommended.

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Photo of Dalem
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very dark in color. Almost black but not quite. You can't see through it-that's for sure. Half inch caramel colored head that melts away quickly leaving a cloudy cap a spotty lacing. Chocolaty malts and licorice are the prominent scents.
The flavor is slightly sweet and kinda milky when it first hits the tongue. It's followed a roasted malt warmness and a slight bit off coffee bitters. It then finishes with a complete turn around with the same characteristics that were found in the front. It's light carbonation and little less than medium body make it an easy drinker.

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Photo of rpardon7
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poure jet black from the bottle with a tight 1 inch tan head. Bottle says stout brewed with licourice, but the smell of this beer off the bat is coffee and roasted malt, maybe the licorice is in the taste. Taste is roasted malt, bitter cocoa and coffee with perhaps a small amount of licorice in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel was a bit thinner than expected but it finished dry do that helped the beer a bit. Drinkability is good, not my favorite stout from bells definately prefer the special double milk from them.

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Photo of bozebus17
4.72/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This one is as dark as beer comes, it is blacker than black, the same color as coca-cola. The head is toffee colored. It starts off full and rocky but thins out to about a quarter-inch. It lasts all the way down.

The beer has one of the strongest scents I have come across. As I swirled it in the glass a lady across the room who doesn't like beer complained that she could smell it. One whiff of this and you know you have a stout in front of you. Roasted malt and coffee pull through stronger than anything else. There is also a really sweet smell that I cannot put my finger on.

As soon as this beer hit my lips I was in another world. I am a stout lover and this is one of the best I have come across. I am hit with a sweet caramel flavor along with the roasted malt. It is perfectly balanced with just the right amount of bitterness. But beware, this beer has a lot of everything. As strong as the scent is the flavor has twice the potency.

The mouthfeel was luxurious. It was rich and creamy, is this a beer or a milkshake? After I swallowed each gulp I was left with carbonation dancing on my tongue.

For being as full as it is this beer is extremely drinkable. I had three of these in one session tonight and I had to resist the urge to open a fourth. The alcohol is not apparent, it might be easy to get in trouble with this beer. I found myself having a hard time taking polite sips. You'll want to gulp this one. A great offering from Bells stellar lineup.

I notice my review is higher than many of the others. Maybe being in Michigan I have the chance to get this beer a lot fresher than BAs out of state.

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Photo of william5586
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Pours a dark black with a tan head.

S- roasted malts and a bit of a sweet smell

T & M - Roasted/Burnt flavors dominate and are backed by some sweetness. Chocolate. There is also a hint of something else there that im going to assume is the licorice. Leaves me with a very coarse aftertaste. This was full bodied and smooth but i felt that there was a bit to much carbonation.

D- very good stout that you can have a few of due to the moderate ABV

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

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a deep brown, nearly black color with a thin caramel colored head forming at the top of the pour. No lacing on the sides.

S: Rich espresso, roasted malts, and chocolate are all present in the nose.

T: Sweet malts and cocoa begin the sip. Some roasty bitterness and coffee flavors enter in the middle followed by strong bitterness and espresso in the finish.

M: The beer is medium bodied with ample prickly carbonation.

Overall, this is an excellent stout. The roasty bitterness blends well with the slight sweetness to create good balance.

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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 thirtysixbelow
3.4/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a - very dark. a slight dark brown around the edges. The head on this beer is a joke. It maybe gets a half of a finger high and immediately disappears. Not much lacing. :(

s - sweet chocolate and coffee, as expected.

t - nice roasted character with a pretty powerful bite at the end. Not sure if it's hops or something else, but the bite of this beer makes it kind of hard to distinguish other flavors. This is supposed to be a sweet stout but it's more of a standard stout to me.

m - creamy with slight carbonation

d - not what I was expecting from a milk/sweet stout. It was ok. There are way too many other stouts out there that blow this out of the water to spend too much time here again.

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Photo of Getinthevan
4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a bottle of this last night at the pub. I saw it in the glass case and it intrigued my interest. As a fan of Bell's brews, this was next on my list to try.

Appearance was very motor oily, but it did possess a nice, aptly thin head with a decent amount of lacing. It was very dark indeed.

Smell was very strong iin coffee and chocolate malts. This was a very rich stout indeed.

Taste was delicious. Although it possessed a nice strong taste at first, it somewhat faded quickly. Not bad, but it did fade rather quickly.

Mouthfeel was very rich in flavor and frothy with a nice thick finish. Certainly a good finish at the end of the beer.

Drinkability is pretty top notch. While the flavor does somewhat fade quickly, the overall brew as a whole is nicely done. A good Bell's beer!

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Photo of airforbes1
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
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 davidbowers13
3.2/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A - Pitch black. Moderate to vigorous pour yielded one to 2 fingers of tan head.

S - Black licorice, coffee, chocolate and roasted malts.

T - Coffee and licorice dominate the front. The finish is smooth, but not much there. Kind of one dimensional.

M - Very thin for a stout. It leaves a coating, but not a overly powerful one.

O - Overall a good to average beer. A little one dimensional, but enjoyable. Not sure I'll rush back to it any time soon.

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

Stout pours a night dark color with small amount of beige foam. Foam subsides very quickly. Swirling the glass produces small legs as it falls.

Smell is nicely balanced with coffee, chocolate, and malt. Also nice notes of toffee and caramel. Maybe some hop smell?

Taste is primarily coffee. This stout has some great toasty marshmallow flavors. The brew has a very refreshing character for being such a big stout.

Overall, this brew is nicely balanced of traditional roasted malt flavors, has a nice aroma, and easily drinkable.

Great start to Thanksgiving!

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Photo of Pabs311
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a nice dark black with rich mocha head, settling to leave some spotty lacing on the glass.

S- Dark roasted malts manifesting in coffee, bittersweet chocolate, smoke, licorice and hints of dark fruit.

T- Same characteristics as aroma. with coffee, smoke and licorice being most prominant. nice taste.

M/D- Smooth silky mouthfeel. medium-full bodied, low carbonation. nice easy drinking stout, not overpowering of the senses.

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Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
90 out of 100 based on 1,540 ratings.
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