Bell's Kalamazoo Stout

My second Bell's beverage, and the first was sensational. This particular beer says that it uses licorice in the process, and that really can't be a good idea. Seriously, just start brewing beer with good ingredients that are supposed to be there. Once you have established a fantastic regular stout, move onto more experimental beers. Nevertheless, this may surprise me. After all, their Two Hearted Ale was really damn good.

It's a deep brown with a sandy tan cap. Lacing is impressive, and the aroma is heavy. It is filled with chocolate and licorice and heaps of freshly brewed coffee. The effect is to make the mouth water, but there is a bitterness in both the chocolate and coffee that taints the smell, but it also makes the beverage more alluring.

First sip is very strong coffee. The coffee overwhelms pretty much everything else. If you told me that this was a version of iced coffee, I wouldn't argue with you. I have no particular love of coffee, but I have learned to appreciate the taste of it in a stout. This, however, is too much. Perhaps a swig with reveal something more...

Tip-in is smoky coffee and slight carbonation burn. The middle ramps up the carbonation to excessive proportions. The coffee taste is a dark roast that doesn't seem to change from the beginning. The finish arrives with a bite of bitterness and it ramps up the coffee. I taste no licorice or chocolate in the entire beer - the coffee overwhelms everything.

Bottom Line: It needs to be renamed to Coffee Stout. It doesn't have enough dimensions to be taken seriously.



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