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

1,561 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: 1,561 | Ratings: 4,250
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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Photo of iabeerbaron
3.41/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a really dark black with a medium tan head. Smell of roasted coffee and chocolate. Taste is the same as the smell; roasted coffee and chocolate. Great beer and on a winter day. Also a very good beer to pair with dessert. Highly enjoyable!

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Photo of HopHeadKen
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I received a 'sixer' of this as payment for a favor I did for a friend; and was concerned because when I inspected the bottles, I could see some sort of deposit on the inside of the neck.

I store and drink stouts at cellar temp (66 deg. F in summer) I think this brings out the flavor better.

I could smell the toasted malt when the cap came off, and it pourde from the bottle with a lot of carbonation and foamy brown head that dissapated to almost nothing in a few minutes.

The taste is rich toasty malt - coffee - carmel - chocolate; with a lingering alcohol and hop bitterness in the aftertaste.

I will not have any problem drinking the rest of this sixpack !

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

There is a dark ebony color to it in the glass. Light doesn't pass through at all. A thick viscous foam head forms when poured. The head fades slowly as the beer is drunk. Along the sides of the glass is a light lacing.

The beer starts with a rich coffee smell. Roasted chocolate malts are quick to follow along with a hint of caramel. The scent is strong, but not over powering. It's the smell that makes the drinker eager with anticipation to take the first sip. The flavor is a delicious combination of coffee and chocolate malts. The roasted malts present a combination of sweet and bitterness on the tongue. There is a slight bitter burnt taste. If one savors the flavor you can pick up the faint hints of sweet licorice. Not enough to overwhelm the taste, but just a touch to enhance to flavor.
This is a medium to full bodied beer. There is a creaminess to it that coats the mouth and helps hold the flavor in.

This is by far one of the best American Stouts that I've had the pleasure of drinking. This is a great beer to sit down with friends and enjoy with friends. I've had some really good stouts, but this is by far going to be one of my favorites.

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Photo of cpmichael
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The K-Zoo Stout when poured from the bottle is extremely dark. Pitch Black. Medium head. K-Zoo smells of malts mixed with coffee. As stouts go, K-Zoo is a pretty smooth one. Not too bitty, but this beer is no slouch. Has a hint of malts mixed with coffee. Pretty easy to drink and tastes great. adding to an already decent line of bell's beers.

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Photo of antlerwrestler19
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep brown to black with maroon highlights when the light barely shines through. One finger toffee coloroed head fades pretty quick leaving the thinnest webbed lacing. Smells of anise and black licorice, roasted chocolate maltiness with a faint smokiness. The flavor follows suit but it also incorporates a lot of bitter chocolate and a bitter hop presence as well. The mouthfeel is smooth and on the lighter side of full bodied. This beer didn't really jump out at me, I enjoyed it but the licorice characteristics are probably what hurt this stout's quality for me. Still a good somewhat low abv. drinkable stout.


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Photo of Blitzstyle
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black licorice in color nice one inch of head. Nice tan color on the head, with great lace.

mmm...Nice chocolate licorice smell.

Chocolate smoothness with the licorice on the back end. Hints of coffee as well dark roasted malty backbone. Nice

Medium body very smooth and easy to drink. Wish I bought more than one.

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Photo of srv33
3.94/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No glass, so unable to comment on color or head. Scent of coffee and milk chocolate. Excellent taste, likely my favorite of Bells stout's thus far, particularly pleasing aftertaste. Tasted slightly nutty, strong coffee taste, hint of licorice. Lingering coffee aftertaste, less herby than Expedition. A robust and well balanced stout.

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Photo of leif86
3.77/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Black body that light cannot penetrate. The head is thin, coffee colored, and yields to lasting lacing.

S: Smells like sweet cocoa. Also a roasted nut aroma in the back. The best part about this brew.

T: It begins very malty and with caramel that gives way to a bitter coffee/bitter chocolate taste. This latter taste lingers for some time.

M: Well carbonated (a little too much for my personal taste) but still retains some creaminess.

D: A good overall stout, I've had better though. Could probably only have about 2 consecutively before my mouth was overpowered. I could definitely see myself buying more of this if it was available in my area.

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Photo of mbudner
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle, batch 9210, poured into pint glass.

A- Solid black, but lets light through as poured becoming a medium brown (presumably not that thick). Frothy, 3-finger mocha-colored head that dissipated in 3-4 minutes.

S- Roasted malts, chocolate, slight amount of booze (a little surprising for such a low abv stout.)

T- Extremely bitter chocolate, slightly metallic aftertaste. Tastes very burnt, a sort of charred wood flavor (coincidentally leaving an ashy/chalky feeling in my mouth.)

M- Thicker than expected with a healthy dose of carbonation. Leaves the palate very dry and even a little chalky.

D- Drinkability is not bad, but not great, either. The burnt (and somewhat bitter) flavor makes it hard to drink quickly. The slowest-drinking low abv American stout I've experienced. I normally don't mind bitterness in a stout, but there's nothing really balancing this out.

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Photo of GoalieRon33
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty beer to pour. Resembles Coca Cola both in body appearance and head appearance. Head dissipates quickly, which was a bit upsetting.

Good hop aroma. Very smooth, somewhat burnt. Underwhelming, but in a good way.

Starts out like a guinness, but is much more complex. Burnt, slightly Chocolatey, but muted. Hoppy finish. Gloriously complex.

Nice body. Not too watery. Slightly syrup-like at colder temperatures.

Great brew overall. Fun to drink, easy to appreciate. Would definitely rec. to anyone.

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

Bell's Kalamazoo Stout pours a medium thick black with a short tanish head. The smell is moderately strong of roasted malts with a slight hint of liquorice. Taste is very malty with just a touch of tart bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is silky smooth, light to moderately thick, and has a low amount of carbonation. The small amount of carbonation is just enough for a really nice feel. Overall drinkability is good, I wish this had more flavor, but the silky smoothness goes a long way and makes this one quite enjoyable.

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Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.03 out of 5 based on 4,250 ratings.
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