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Black Majic Java Stout - Barley Island Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Black Majic Java StoutBlack Majic Java Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

51 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 51
Hads: 55
Avg: 3.72
pDev: 10.22%
Wants: 2
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Barley Island Brewing Company visit their website
Indiana, United States

Style | ABV
Oatmeal Stout |  4.90% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Indybeer on 10-23-2006

This is a kicked up version of the Oatmeal Stout. It has Black Majic Coffee beans added.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 51 | Hads: 55
Photo of BEERchitect
4.12/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An very solid Stout that wears intense coffee flavors and aromas on its sleeve.

Dark, dark brown (could be black) in color and with an opaque mirror-like quality, the beer carries a delicate creame through the majority of the session. Looks a lot like espresso.

The espresso comparisons continue thoroughout the flavor and aroma. In fact the boastful, roastful character stands well beyond the toffee malts and hop bitterness. Arguments can be made whether this beer is out of balance because of the intensity of coffee character. Mild creaminess can be found underneath the roast as the palate acclimates to the coffee flavor. In similar fashion, the hop flavor separates from the coffee bite as the beer warms.

A sharp dichotomy of creamy malts and oat contributions play against the coffee bitterness and mild astringency, particularly in the beginning. But the coffee bite lessens and the maltiness gives a somewhat full mid palate just before the acrid and powdery bitter finish.

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Photo of hopdog
4.12/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottles acquired in trades with Sephiroth & BigErn (thanks!).

Poured a dark black with a large sized tan head. Aromas of strong coffee grounds with roast, and chocolate. Tastes of coffee, roast, oats, and light vanilla. Now this is what I expect from a coffee beer - strong aroma and tastes of coffee!

Notes from 3/7/07

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Photo of jwc215
3.43/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to jcwattsrugger for bringing this back from Indiana for me!

Pours black with a thick light brown head that descends to a thin cover. Some trailing lace sticks.

The smell is of roasted coffee grinds - slightly burnt with something fruity/earthy vaguely mixed in.

The taste is of coffee grinds (though not really in a "java" way, if you ask me - more like medium dark standard coffee) - slightly burnt. Some frutiy solvent alcohol is in the back - a bit more noticeable than I would expect for an abv just shy of 5%. There is a malty sweetness, balanced by the roastiness until a bitter note kicks in in the finish. The slight burnt edges recede as it progresses.

Carbonation is at a nice level, lending some creaminess to the texture (resulting in the higher of two scores I had in mind for the feel). But, the body only reaches fuller side of medium body.

There is an astringency and enough minor detractors that hold back on its drinkability, for me. One was fine enough, but would doubt I would grab a second, if available to me. Also, doubt I would grab this one if available in my area, unless I really wanted a coffee-flavored stout and this were the only one on the shelves. Still, if you like coffee stouts, it's worth checking out.

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Photo of tiger88
2.83/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a good looking deep midnight color with a medium tan head that retreats early to form a thin tan ring around the glass. Smells of lightly roasted malt and the faintest of chocolates. Not much complexity there. Taste is almost non existant. The only thing I really get is a little bitter chocolate that hangs on for a few seconds afterwards. Coats the mouth with a creamy texture as advertised on the bottle but no lingering effect. Over all....eh. That's all I can say. Nothing stands out about this beer for me.

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Photo of sholland119
3.45/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A perfectly fine coffee oatmeal stout. A little too much burnt coffee flavor for my taste and maybe a little thin in color and taste. The oatmeal texture and flavor is either missing entirely or overpowered by the coffee. But if you expect a coffee flavored mild stout, it might seem better.


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Photo of aforbes10
3.47/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Came home from dinner and found this on my doorstep...you know you've arrived in life when people hear you haven't tried a beer and drive to your house to give you a bottle. Thanks, Janice! Pours extremely dark brown, but not opaque. Short, fast disappearing head. Looks more like a porter than a stout, imo. Odor is charred or burnt roasted coffee beans and dark cocoa powder. reasonably sweet smelling. Taste is of burnt chocolate bars and dark malts. Mild toffee quality. Finish is more of the burnt chocolate, but drier. A little bit of a one trick pony, but tasty enough. ON the thin side for the style, but im not one to expect every stout to be massive and thick.

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Photo of merlin48
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle pours dark and inky, very opaque. Small light brown head retains well and leaves some patchy lacing. Aroma is dark roasted malts, typical dark chocolate and burnt coffee notes. Body is medium with carbonation a bit lower on the scale. Taste is dominated by darl roasty notes. Burnt coffee and bitter dark chocolate. I don't notice any oatmeal character anywhere. Nevertheless, a pretty nice American stout.

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Photo of Oxymoron
2.61/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

How did they got all that majic in there? Pours a very black color with next to no color distortion when held to the light. Not much viscosity. A lighter brownish, almost tan colored head. A good pour left a pretty rocky head with good retention and limited lacing.

The nose is mostly coffee with a beer problem. Not java, coffee. Some hints of chocolate and roasted malts. Some astringency that heightens the coffee aspect. Not much beyond that.

The taste also is mostly coffee with a bit of beer tossed in. Cold coffee at that. Some astringency comes out with more of a roasty quality. Not much on the chocolate malts or oat flavors in general. Some lighter yeast esters, with a off cherry/mango combo. Some lighter vanilla but subtle. Overall needs more beer, less coffee.

The body is a bit watery which is opposite for style. Light slickness but lacks the depth for an oatmeal stout. Overall needs more magic (with a g). Too much coffee, not enough beer.

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Photo of DHGranstrand
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Lightindark for the excellent variety six-pack from the heartland of the USA!!

Pours a dark reddish brown with decent head and good lacing as head resides.

Smells of coffee and rasberries.

Tastes of coffee....

Feels a little weak for a stout... just a little watery.

Well, it really doesn't have anything offensive about it that would prevent me from drinking it for breakfast, but I want more than just coffee flavored beer for dinner.

Its just coffee. I can't taste anything else. Well, maybe a slight hoppy finish. But really, coffee at the forefront, coffee in the mid and coffee finish. Even a coffee burp.

Interesting, and even good at that.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to lightindarkness for the chance to try this beer. Pours black with a dark tan head that fades somewhat quickly. Smells of fresh ground cofee, chocolate, and a bit of roastiness. The flavor is well rounded with lots of nice coffee flavor up front, somewhat sharp, and a finish that is quite roasty. The chocolate gets a bit loast here, and it could be a bit creamier as it ends up a bit sharp in the mouthfeel as well. Definitely more of a black coffee with no cream experience, still, honest coffee flavors.

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Photo of JDV
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of tytoanderso
Pours black with a lasting creamy brown head. Smell is strong and of wet coffee grounds almost exclusively. Nice coffee flavor, and a bit of milk like creaminess as well, yet body is still a touch thinner than ideal. Very nice all around, with a strong coffee flavor. I'd recommend this for coffee beer lovers.

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Photo of DrDogbeer
3.4/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to lightindarkness for this brew! Poured into a shaker pint glass. Pours like syrup, little carbonation makes small light tan head. Smells lightly of coffee beans, then I pick up some fruity alcohol aroma. Taste is good with light burnt malt flavor finishes by a hoppy alcohol flavor that gives it a bit of a biting finish. I would like a bit more punch, though. Mouthfeel is oily. Love this style, like this beer.

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Photo of lightindarkness
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours like motor oil, only it tastes a lot better. Jet black with a nice tannish head and some hanging lace.

Smells strongly of coffee and darkly roasted grains. Hints of burnt wood, smoke, and chocolate.

Taste has notes of up-front bitterness and toasy bread. Great coffee presence with some additional malt coming through. Flavor drops out momentarily just before the finish, then a crisp dark roasted coffee flavor sets in and mellows after the sip. Great roasted grain and coffee balance. Nothing seems too intense or out of proportion. Only slightly weak on flavor toward the finish.

Feel is smooth and medium bodied. Plenty of carbonation, but well restrained, adds a nice feel. Stays sticky and mouth-coating from the finish on.

Overall drinkability is pretty good. Nice flavor and low abv make it extremely sessionable. A nice stout with good coffee character. Among coffee flavored beers this is the every day drinker. Not bold or exotic, just consistent and well balanced.

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Photo of bearrunner44
3.28/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Opaque black color; very little light manages to penetrate the dark void. A hard pour produced a one-finger, slightly filmy, brown sugar-colored head.

Aroma: Dark roasted coffee beans, with a purposeful yet subtle touch of hops.

Taste: Slightly sweet, smooth malt flavor up front. It becomes more and more roasty through the finish, eventually ending with some distinct coffee flavor. The coffee notes are somewhat bitter, though not overly so, tasting very much like your average dark roast coffee from a certain coffee megachain. The coffee flavor seems more genuine and less fake than many other coffee beers. The mouthfeel is a little thin for a stout.

Verdict: Although it gets a little too bitter in the finish, I like this beer overall. It seems like this type of beer is sometimes treated as a gimmick by other breweries, so it's nice to drink an example that delivers good coffee flavor without being overbearing or fake.

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Photo of iconoklaztor
4.35/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Ommegang Chalice a nice black color with a little tan head. The taste is a nice blend of stout and a good coffee. I enjoy the mouthfeel a lot. Its not to over powering or bold. I could get into trouble with this beer because its highly drinkable.

Overall, this brew is a nice cheap stout with a good amount of charm. Try the bourbon aged version of this brew also.

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Photo of pmcadamis
2.95/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - This oily black brew supports a brown one finger head that leaves some spotty wet lace on the glass. The head is creamy looking and the beer looks as black as coal tar.

S - Roasty cereal grains, dark coffee, and some woody notes. This isn't actually as coffee smelling as I thought it would be, but it smells really roasty and almost smoky.

T - More coffee focused on the palate. Big time coffee bitterness with some sweet creamy flavors added. It's also a little bit woody and barky. Smoky too. Some sour lactic acid flavors are a bit off-putting.

M - Smooth and creamy, but light bodied with a ridiculously dry finish and a long lasting aftertaste of bitter coffee and wood.

D - Nice enough. I'm not overly impressed, but it's not bad by any means. A pretty average coffee stout...great for breakfast!

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Photo of secondtooth
3.37/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Uhh, there's no mistaking the inspiration here. You won't find any hints of chocolatey-roasts, or any subtle floral accents. Noosirree. With the addition of real coffee beans, this blacker-than-thou brew is as thick and deep as a mug of chilled coffee itself. It tastes, rightfully, like coffee, which I normally wouldn't care for, but this one isn't half bad.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks go out to SPLITGRIN for this one.

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Pitch black, opaque beer. Topped with a light chocolate colored head of about two fingers in size. Sporadic lacing.

Aroma is pure coffee goodness. I have really been digging coffee/oatmeal/breakfast stouts lately. This one is no sloucher. Great coffee aroma and burnt grains. A touch of chocolate.

Not as much coffee in the flavor as the aroma would indicate. However, there is some coffee flavor. It is somewhat muted and quite reserved. Also, a bit of hazelnut and toffee. Some fruitiness as well; black cherries. No hops. A slight tang in the back, possibly due to hops, or more likely due to toasted and roasted grains.

Kind of thin on the mouthfeel and finishes somewhat dry. With a little more body, this could be a real classic. Easily drinkable. A good solid stout, just needs a bit more body.

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Photo of JamesS
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a great black color, although with very little head (tan!) and lacing that went away much to quickly. Nice stout scent with great coffee, tones, a nice mix of coffee, burnt grain, and a tiny bit of oatmeal. Nice taste, but the overall combination lacked a bit, as the tastes were all strong and all fought each other. Maybe a little less coffee, or try it with a regular stout. Still, really good overall. Good enough to help add Barley Island to my next Indiana trip itenirary.

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Photo of grub
3.67/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

got this one from BlackAngus as part of BC2. thanks josh!

12oz bottle.

pours inky black with a small ring of dense light brown head. no lace.

aroma is great. roast. dark chocolate and coffee dominate, with a bit of milk chocolate and espresso too. caramel. bread and biscuit malt. oatmeal chocolate chip cookies with a cup of black coffee.

taste is nice. fairly assertive roast. bittersweet chocolate. coffee. bready malt. medium-low bitterness level, more coming across as bakers chocolate than hops. as it warms more milk chocolate comes out and the body fills out a little.

mouthfeel is good. medium body. medium-low carbonation level.

drinkability is good. well balanced and enjoyable. a solid oatmeal stout with just the right amount of coffee.

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Photo of DrJay
3.57/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks go out to BlackAngus who sent this as part of BC2. This one poured a dark brown with light edges and a dark tan head that thinned quickly leaving behind a little fine lace. Very roasty aroma with a bit of caramel, but mostly lots of coffee and grounds. Moderate bitterness with dominating roast and coffee. There were also notes of sour cherry and fruit throughout. Light bodied with moderate carbonation, a bit dry. Not bad at all. Very drinkable, but the body was just a little thin.

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Photo of Bighuge
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black beer. Thick and creamy brown head. Very nice lacing capabilities. Aroma is heavy with used coffee grounds. Heavy black coffee smell. French Roasted dark grain coffee. Just what I'd expect in a beer like this. This beer has a pretty good taste from the onset, but it disappears into nothing rather quickly. And it's pretty one sided with heavyily roasted coffee characteristic. Also some burnt characteristics. Roasted malts seem to come out of hiding once in a while, but this is dominated by java. Which isn't a bad thing. But it's just not as complex and satisfying as say a Bell's Java Stout. The body could use a little heft. It sits about medium at best. Carbonation is appropriate. Overall, an enjoyable coffee brew.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.53/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a Pint Glass

A – Poured a very thick and inky black color with a very full three finger plus high head of rich chocolate tan colored head. The retention was great, lasting for a full five minutes or more before settling down to just a nice one inch across the top. The side glass presentation was great, and overall the look was just really fantastic.

S – The aroma itself was nothing short of spectacular. A really rich vibrant paring of chocolate and coffee that was mixed and interspaced with an equally full aroma of hops in the back. The two blended to really form a supreme dessert beer that was just really breathtaking to behold, I was blown away by how full the aroma was,

T – The flavor itself was equally as deserving of praise. Rich velvet like textures of chocolate and roasted coffee was seamlessly mixed together in a splendid cocktail of java stout bliss. A very nice and long lingering bitter finish was literally the icing on the cake as it just seemed to get better with each and every sip.

M – Super full bodied this was an ale that was soo creamy I thought a spoon would stand up straight in it. A virtually chocolate milk shake like in consistency, I had all I could do to just keep on sipping away, truly a great desert.

D – Perfect for sipping by the fire this was just a real treat. I was shocked again by just how good this was, a really full bodied stout that was so sweet and full of chocolate and coffee that it was just made for after dinner,

Overall this was easily one of the best RIS I have had in a long time. I was really enjoying this and was sad to reach the finish. This is something everyone should give a try to, a really fun and great brew. Definitely recommended.

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Photo of ZAP
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Brownish black colored....

S-Ground coffee beans...

T-Java is predominate but not overriding...a nice level of "coffee" taste....not extremely bold but still strong enough...also some mild roasted maltiness.

M-Smooth yet not creamy...medium to medium light bodied...

D-Not a bad little java stout....I'm not a big coffee guy so the level of Java is about right for me....others will want something a little bolder....either way you can't knock this effort....solid...

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Photo of tavernjef
4.18/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Impenetrable black liquid. Large tan head of thick foam that lies dense across the top for good length. Big stretched out inky blobs of lace coat the glass.

Aroma is rounded and roasty with a firm sensation of oaty sweetness with a bit of cocoa and fresh frappachino froth.

Taste is firm and semi roasty with an overall smooth, creamy oatyness thats got a light sweet tang of oatmeal mixed with chocolate cake. The coffee is light throughout until the finish where it picks up a nudge of slight burntish bitterness. Stays pretty favorable in the creamyness of chocolate and oat malts for most of its taste profile.

Nice smooth, creamy texture and body. Stays firm and medium with a nice silkyness and easy going roast and coffee bitterness that's favorably clean and kinda crisp.

This is a pretty nice Oaty stout with just a slight coffee kick that engages a solid drinkablility.

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Black Majic Java Stout from Barley Island Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 51 ratings.