Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout
Thursday beer review time with Father and Son Beer Love is once again upon us. This week we go back to one of our favorite breweries – Bell’s Brewery up in Kalamazoo, MI – and try the beer named after the city – the Kalamazoo Stout. You may recall we’ve reviewed several other Bell’s beers here including the Bell’s Two Hearted Ale and most notably, the Bell’s Expedition Stout. Loved ’em both.
Our Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout came in at a temperature of 55.6 F and poured an opaque black color into our English pint glass. We got a large 2″ frothy medium brown head that left a good amount of head lacing as it dissipated slowly. There wasn’t much carbonation in our 12 oz bottle which checked in at 6% ABV.
The aromas came in with chocolate, coffee, molasses, roasted malts, light toffee, light alcohol, black licorice and smoke. A really nice bouquet to get us started. The tastes came in pretty spot on to the aromas – chocolate, coffee, molasses, nutty, roasted malts, black licorice and smoke.
The initial flavor notes were a moderate sweet that evolved in the finish to a heavy sweet and a moderate bitter – that sweet though hangs around a good bit. The finish length was long, the mouthfeel was creamy and the tongue hit was in the middle. There is a fair amount of body lacing as well as we drank it down. On our patented malt to hop scale we come in 2.5 clicks to the left of balanced on the malty side – that’s pretty solidly malty, just like we like ’em.
For our bottom line notes we got a yes to drinkable, repeatable, balance, harmony, memorable and buy again. Our only no was to the wow factor.
Overall the Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout has a nice sweetness to it. It’s like a Bell’s Expedition Stout light, which is not a knock on it at all, but rather a compliment. The lower ABV makes it a bit more drinkable and repeatable than the Expedition Stout, though the aromas and flavors aren’t quite as complex. The bottle reads that it’s a stout brewed with brewer’s licorice, which sound like our kind of licorice, though we’re sure in reality it’s probably like the baker’s chocolate we begged for time and time again and when we finally got a piece of it we were completely unsatisfied, just like we were told we would be.
This is a really great basic stout. All told, we really love this beer. This is more than just a special occasion beer, it’s a good stout to have on hand at all times.
Bell’s Kalamazoo Stout Rating: 8 out of 10 (?)
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