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

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: 1,575 | Ratings: 4,293
Photo of Zorro
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Obtained in trade from Limesmut.

A clear deeply brown colored beer with a very tall light brown head.

This is one of those beers that you recognize the smell of long before you get it near your nose in a good way. Sweet chocolate with a trace of malt char and hops. Trace of coffee but not too much.

The taste starts out strong chocolate with a semi-sweet malt aftertaste. Immediately I noticed the smoothness of this beer, it is basically velvet on the tongue. Flavor doesn't develop much, just smooth mellow chocolate.

Mouthfeel is velvet.

Super easy to drink beer. Smooth and mellow are two things that this beer has in spades. Super drinkable beer that I will look forward to trying again.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.01/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Dark brown, nearly pitch black opaque liquid with a thick tan head that has nice retention and clumpy streaks of lacing.
S: Not quite as strong as expected, faint malty, fudge-like chocolate, nutty aroma. Slight hop bitterness as well.
T: Full bodied, very thick and creamy but not as cloying or lactose-y as some other milk stouts. Body has a slightly stronger nutty chocolate taste than expected and lots of rich, roasted malts. Aftertaste is more chocolate than milk. Throughout there is a subtle hop bitterness providing nice balance. One of my favorite easy drinking stouts, not just for milk stouts.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.86/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours dark brown/black with a full tan head with excellent retention, almost like a nitro beer, good lacing as well.

S: Smell has distinct notes of chocolate and coffee, a little bit of cream.

S: Stronger bitterness than I expected in a sweet stout, burnt malt and coffee form the main flavour. The beer ends with a long finish and aftertaste of dark cocoa.

M: Medium-bodied, mild carbonation, oily and slick, I thought it could use a bit more body, but still good overall.

D: A nice drinkable stout from Bell's. With it not being distributed here I don't think I'll have it for a while, but I'll definitely revisit it if given the chance.

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Photo of Derek
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark, opaque black. Tan head, not much retention, but it leaves a little lace. I think a stout should have more of a head (that stands up!).

S: Roasted coffee, dark bitter chocolate, slight tangy-tartness.

T: Plenty of dark roasted flavour (not burnt), nice bitter chocolate, with a little coffee. Balanced by a pleasant sweetness, but surprisingly dry for the style (it's not overly sweet). As it warms, the fruity esters from the yeast become more apparant.

M: Thick & creamy like a stout should be. Light to moderate carbonation. Slight chalky acidity... but very nice.

D: Good.

Bell's stouts rock!

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Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a thick, almost pitch-black body with brisk carbonation that led to a two-finger tan head that died at a medium pace and left some spider lacing. A pleasant, thick malt smell of roasted, maybe toasted, maltsoats, something akin to bread and coffee malts and a little bit of chocolate and caramel. A medium-to-full bodied beer that mixes being extremely smooth and creamy with a burnt dryness. Goes down smooth, almost slick at times and has the drying sensation that a quality stout possesses. Taste is comprised of bread malt, some roasted/toasted and coffee malt notes (possible toffee), some chocolate and caramel, maybe molasses, there seems to be hints of heavy fruits in there. My pallete is all over the place trying to pick up the bits and pieces of everything in there. Even has a slight alkie kick on the backend to boost it up and some spices. A mildly warming, complex sipper that is great to relax w/ anytime, especially as a nightcap.

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Photo of rudzud
3.42/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Received as an extra in a trade and poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Poured a deep dark brown/oily black with a one finger fizzy khaki head that fades rather quickly leaving a light halo and thin wisps. No real side lacing.

S - Smell isnt bad, lots of roasted and sweet malts with some super faint licorice. Really wish there was more of this.

T - Taste is more of the run of the mill with roasted lightly smokey malts, faint sweetness. Some very faint almost burnt bitterness and light licorice. Again, expecting more licorice.

M - Mouthfeel is nice for a stout. Medium carbonation prevents this from being a creamy stout.

O - Overall, kind of disappointed by this beer. Was expecting more chocolate, coffee, something. Anything.

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

Pours a five finger brown head that fades to a thin layer leaving a good lace. Black color. Light-medium carbonation and heavy bodied. Chocolate nose. Starts with a roasted/burnt chocolate flavor, some sweetness, nice stout. $1.89 for a 12oz bottle from Chalet Party Goshen, In.

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

12oz Bottle - thanks zacs!

Appearance - The beer pours a black/brown colour with a large frothy light brown coloured head. I can't see much carbonation due the darkness of the beer and there is some great lacing on the sides of the glass. The head lasted for 6 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Chocolate, malts, coffee, smoke

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation and it feels slightly creamy on the tongue. I can taste chocolate, coffee, and some malts. There is also a nice amount of smoke/roasted notes and a little bit of a metallic flavour. The beer finished with a smokey and roasted bitter aftertaste.

Overall – Bell's is quickly becoming my favourite brewer. I've yet to be disappointed with any of their beers. The mouthfeel with this beer was amazing and it has a fantastic appearance in the glass. The taste was great and it was very easy to drink. I'd buy it again in a heartbeat.

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Photo of weeare138
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a midnight, pitch black with a foamy, 1 finger tan head that slowly fades out into a collar. Scattered lacing is left around the tulip glass.
Smell is of deep, dark roasted malt, sweet cream, roasted chestnut, vanilla, and a hint of bitter coffee beans touched with bakers chocolate.
Taste is of the same aromas with a dark roasted malt that stands out above everything else and sticks to the tongue.
Mouthfeel is full bodied with a sugar sweetness and dark roastiness battling it out for supremecy with the fizzy roastiness lasting long after the swallow.
This one is pretty good. The roasted malt and slightly overcarbonated body makes it a bit uneasy to swallow easily but it doesn't take away from the great characteristics found in this brew.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.99/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a dark black color with a thick creamy medium colored tan head that leaves lacing all around the glass. The aroma is dark roasted malt with some cocoa. The taste is roasted malts with a semi-sweet and bitter finish. Overall, this is a solid stout that is recommended.

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

Poured from 12oz bottle(room temp) a pitch black with a medium sized head of foam that dissipated slowly.

The smell is all roasty and malty sweet. Nice.

The taste is yummy.... Great roastiness up front offset by a sweet malty, almost chocolate milky flavour that has me saying, Milk stouts are good. :^)

Bottom line: This is quite the different stout and one I favour...I recommend it.

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

A: Pours a dark roasted color with a cherry tan head.

S: dark roasted malt, fresh coffee beans, dry chocolate and some black licorice.

T: The palate and flavor is very dark and rich coffee and roasted malt along with a nice hearty chocolate presence. Very grainy feel and dark roasted lacing on the tongue. There is a malt sweetness that balances the dark grains nicely. A nicely rounded beer and flavor making for a decent session stout. pretty decent all around but just falls short or being really impressive enough to bump this to the next level.

M: creamy with some bittering chocolate.

D: Overall a good stout with an easy drinking quality.

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Photo of corby112
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving type: bottle.

Pours a dark brown/black with a thin coffee colored head. Aroma of roasted malts, chocolate and licorice. Roasted malt flavor with taste of chocolate, coffee, licorice, and dark fruit. Nice bitter dry finish with strong chocolate, roasted coffee and icorice aftertaste.

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Photo of sweemzander
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into a snifter. Batch 9023 printed on the back.

(A)- Pours fairly thick and opaque black to dark brown. 3+ finger of light brown foam formed and slowly dissipated down to a frothy layer. Some light lacing present.

(S)- Rich roasted coffee malts with hints of bready raisin and carmelized brown sugar.

(T)- Tons of roasted black coffee. Just like drinking a strong cup o' joe, only with plenty of barley.

(M)- Thick, with almost bitter roasted malts. Mouthcoating with solid carbonation.

(D)- A good stout with very potent roasted components. Great for a fall/winter night beside the fireplace, or for an early morning pick-me-up. Rather simple and straightforward, but rewarding nonetheless.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.55/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured jet black with a nice mocha colored head which fades after a minute or so leaving some pretty nice lacing.

S: I spy...licorice, oh yeah, coffee and chocolate with a nice but very subtle dark fruit note

T: I initially receive a prominent coffee and roast note and then whammy..that licorice kicks in and shines. Love it. Some chocolatey undertones as well, then you get a licorice and some dark fruits. A good blend and balance on flavor.

M: Medium-full to full body, creamy and smooth with a dry finish.

O: Outstanding single American stout! This beer is very robust and complex for a single 6 ABV stout. It has more depth and flavor than many Imperial Stouts I have had. The licorice is well balanced as is this beer in general. Slam dunk for Bells.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This really looks like the archtype for a stout. Big black, but not sludgy. You get plenty of roast and chocolate malt in the nose.

Taste is standard, very good stuff replete with all that roast and two row to absorb the alcohol. There is just a slight dark fruit and anise edge in the mouthfeel I could prolly do without, but its not oppressive or anything.

Often overlooked, but this beer has been kicking butt for decades.

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

(Served in an Imperial pint glass)

A-This beer pours a dark inky brown that is opaque with a dark tan head that is very creamy.

S- Tie smell of roasted sweet malt and some toasted malts make this aroma thick. A faint hint of coffee and some molasses are in the background.

T- The taste of earthy roasted malt and some slight sourness with a faint sweetness blend together. A faint hop bitterness finishes this beer. The sweet roasted malt lingers after the finish.

M-This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a very faint creaminess.

D- This milk stout has nice character but it is missing some depth that would really add to its flavor. I would like to see some more creaminess in the mouthfeel. Nice stout non the less.

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

A- pours very dark black. Some light passes through the edges when held up to the light. 2 finger dark tan head that dissipates to a thin ring. Some decent lacing left behind.

A- roasted malts, dark chocolate, coffee, and some licorice.

T- same as the nose with the chocolate being most prominent. The licorice isn't as strong as I expected but I don't miss it either. The coffee and coco blends nicely with the other flavors. Nicely balanced.

M- nice and creamy. Not to chewy. nice level of carbonation. With a very nice finish.

D- really nice. I also drank this in a Stout tasting of 14 different stouts I setup. This beer was ranked #2 second only to Bells Expedition

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Photo of akorsak
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A bottle from a Bell's mixed case purchased at J Breski's in Middletown, PA.

A: The ale is a dark brown/black color with a thick head that has laced nicely in the glass.

S: The stout has a creamy sweet aroma punctuated by a nice roasted malt character.

T: The sweetness of the lactose is evident in the taste. The ale is silky soft and very sweet, providing a very long finish in the mouth. The roasted malts compliment the lactose, providing a chocolatey sweet flavor that finishes nicely.

M: The mouthfeel of this stout is very velvety soft. The stout does not pack a punch with deep vinous flavors but it does deliver a strong roasted sweet flavor that is very pleasing.

D: Very drinkable. I purchased the mixed case to try this and I am not disappointed.

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Photo of RBorsato
4.83/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pitch black with a full creamy brown/dark brown head, decent carbonation, lasting low head, and leaves nice lace sheets. Big rich roasty malt aromas. Big roasty malt flavors with a good bit of sweetness and dark chocolate tones. Full-medium bodied with a big smooth creaminess and a nice roasty sweet finish.

Big and bold... let it warm a bit.

Per Label: "Stout brewed with Brewer's Licorice"

Per Bell's website:
OG: 1.063
ABV: 6.0%

Batch # 7752 ('6286' lasered on bottom)
Bottled: 12/01/06 (per case box)
Tasted: 01/20/07

($8.49 / 6-pack)

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

355ml bottle poured into tulip 29/7/12

A not quite jet black with a large loose mocha head that retains very well and leaves several partial rings of lace

S fruity coco, faint smoke, nutty toffee and some faint molasses and chocolate covered raisins

T some coffee and char on top of what I smell, tastes great with more dark roasty complexity, for a 6%er its chalk full of flavor

M medium bodied, slightly creamy from the bubbles, long lingering aftertaste of burnt malt

O solid beer for sure, very dark roast, great taste and no issues in any other department

I'd be drinking this on a regular basis if it was available in my part of the world. went down easy even on a hot summer evening

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Photo of Stevedore
3.69/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle dated 8/13/2014. Poured into a Bell's snifter 9/30/2014.

A- Dark cola brown body, thick, brings out a short-lived brown head that nevertheless persists as a thin collar for quite a while. Filmy residue in the middle, a bit of lacing. [3.75]

S- Tons of dark chocolate, bitter cocoa, roast malt, a slight bit of smoke, licorice. A little coffee. Very rich aroma. [4]

F- Bitter cocoa, bitter dark chocolate, bitter roast, bitter licorice. As you can imagine, this is quite bitter. As it warms up, more of the toasted malt sweetness comes out, which rounds things out. Still, this is an extremely bitter stout so be prepared for that. [3.5]

M- Medium bodied, nearly full with a lot of substance to it. Oily, resinous and bitter roast finish. [4]

O- I was surprised by how bitter this beer is. It's definitely one that does well when it warms up a bit more which allows the sweetness to come out. [3.5]

Final score: 3.66

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Photo of Immortale25
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a D'achouffe snifter. No readable freshness date.

A- Pours a pitch black color with a 1/2 inch tan head that settles into an 1/8 inch head with nice stringy lacing.

S- Heavy malt nose with notes of caramel and cereal grain. Has an underlying smokiness to it. Dare I say it smells like burning? Ha.

T- Rush of roasty malts upfront with an abrupt metallic taste afterwards but doesn't spoil the fun. Wow, this is the first stout I've ever tasted that nails the burnt toast flavor to a T. One would think it'd be unpleasant, but it's not since the alcohol content isn't too high. A bit bitter with afterthoughts of coffee, nuts and yes, just a hint of licorice flavor that's not as prevalent as I was expecting.

M- Thick and oily with a pang of hop bitterness on the palate. Medium carbonation.

O- I must say, the apprehensive nature of this beer is impressive. Here you could have an extreme beer with a 9% ABV, loads of carbonation and a bunch of licorice dumped into it. Instead, it's a humble 6%, as much carbonation as is needed and doesn't have an overabundance of licorice, so you can actually drink more than one without being weighed down by unnecessary alcohol and intense flavors. Yet again, I say Bell's is the shiznit.

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Photo of TX-Badger
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep black with khaki colored head. Coffee, roasted malt, chocolate, and some nice molasses notes on the nose; follows onto the palate. Finishes with some sweetness, more molasses and chocolate.

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Photo of barczar
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma is roast malt and dark cocoa dominant, with hints of licorice and tar adding complexity. Dark cherry and plum surface late.

Flavor is rich and roasty, with a charred character hitting mid palate and carrying into the finish, where there's a slightly sweet reprise of chocolate. Nutty malt offers strong support. A little more charred than I care for. Dark cherry emerges as it warms.

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Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
4.03 out of 5 based on 4,293 ratings.
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