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

1,538 Reviews
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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:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,538 | Ratings: 4,154
Photo of tobelerone
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black color, very little head or lacing. Roasty aromas that continue in the mouth, with bitter hops, coffee and bittersweet chocolate flavors also present. Medium mouthfeel, not too thick or carbonated. Modest ABV allows for decent drinkability. Yummy and typical of the style. No surprises here, just delivers the goods. A very nice stout indeed. Not too big or over the top. Gotta find myself a bottle of their Imperial Stout next!

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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 GreesyFizeek
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle purchased from Nathaniel Square Corner Store. I don't really like licorice, and I didn't realize until after this was heavily brewed with it.

Pours a dark black, with a creamy mocha-colored head, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells of anise, licorice, chocolate, and some smoke.

The taste is similar. Very, very roasty, with lots of licorice, and a little bit chocolate. Slightly ashy and smoky, as well, this provides a little bit of bitterness.

Medium bodied, very creamy mouthfeel. Low carbonation.

Not my thing.

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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 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 ppoitras
4.83/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a big ol' 1" mocha-hued head above an opaque dark brown/black brew. Dense head has good staying power, and laced tremendously. Aroma is of coffee and choco malts, with a bit of milk sweetness that rounds it out nicely. The taste is follows the aroma's map, and the sweetness really rounds out the flavor on the palate. Don't know where that 6.5% is hiding, but it was cloaked with some artistic brewing. If I had to find a fault, I think the mouthfeel is a bit thin for such a hearty brew, but this is really nit-picking. One of the best stouts I've enjoyed, just wish it was more widely available.

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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 dar482
3.49/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

The beer comes in a black color with a gentle head.

The aroma has roasted malt and sweet chocolate.

The flavor has roasted malt, chocolate, slight licorice. It’s not overpowering and you’ll just that that flavor in the back end.

The body is actually a bit light.

The beer for me is too toned down. I prefer Deschuttes Obsidian Stout with its bigger roasted malt character and deeper flavors. In the end, it’s a well made beer and quite delicious. However, just a good stout.

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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 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 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 scruffwhor
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Poured a nice creamy brown head. Color made me think of waterd down motor oil. That may not be appealing to most, but I believe almost jet black is the way a stout should be.

Smell- Tart oat smell, with some creamy roasted malt notes.

Taste- Tart malt hits the palate first, then an odd mix of hop bitterness and half & half. The aftertaste left a suprisingly delightfully smoky malt flavor.

Mouthfeel- Medium palate but could still anjoy some french fried smiliy faces with my beer.

Drinkability- Even a stort that reimnds of motor oil deserves to take another glass to the lips.

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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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Photo of DrDemento456
4.55/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Man whats with this brewer an licorice? I kind of hate the taste but here I go.

A - Jet fuel black with at least an inch of cocoa head. Looks pretty impressive.

S - Well you get slight coffee on the nose with chocolate. Can't really smell any licorice but I can't remember what the stuff smells like anyway since I have a cold.

T - The bitterness of the coffee seems to be subdued by the sweetness of the licorice but the bittersweet chocolate leaves the palate bitter at the end. Very solid brew.

M - Medium bodied and enjoyable.

D - Well I did like it and may pick up a six pack in the future but it defiantly treated me better than the batch 9,000. Soild stout.

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

Black beer with brown edges and a dark tan stand of head composed of fine bubbles. Plenty of thick lace. Rich, malty, roasted aroma with some coffee and licorice character. Moderate bitterness that seems to be from both hops and dark grains plays nicely with the roasty malt sweetness that lingers into the finish. There's some chocolate, as well as leafy hops that contribute a bit of citrus. Light, well-integrated carbonation and a medium body produce a silky, creamy texture. A bit drying in the finish. An excellent beer with a big, roasty flavour. I'll definitely pick this one up again.

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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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Bell's Kalamazoo Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
90 out of 100 based on 1,538 ratings.
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