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Bell's Java Stout - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Bell's Java StoutBell's Java Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,877 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,877
Reviews: 1,097
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.7%
Wants: 157
Gots: 294 | FT: 12
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Stout |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 12-11-2001

Java Stout uses a custom blend of coffee beans, roasted locally for us by Water Street Coffee Joint, to generate its intense flavor. Possessing an unmistakable aromatic punch, Java Stout has long been one of our most popular stouts.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,877 | Reviews: 1,097
Reviews by 2Shaws:
Photo of 2Shaws
2/5  rDev -49.1%

More User Reviews:
Photo of Stevedore
3.99/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle. Dated 9/11/2014. Poured into a Bell's snifter 11/16/2014.

A- Dark black body. One finger dark mocha head with good retention time. Just enough to appreciate, and just enough that it doesn't get into your way. Medium-thin collar remains after the head dissipates. Not much lacing to be found. [4]

S- Aroma of a freshly opened bag of unground coffee beans. Deep, smoky, roasty, acidic, but coarse in the sense that is slightly different from freshly ground coffee. Very coffee-forward stout with a bit of milk chocolate and roasted malt. Solid depth and intensity but I wouldn't mind a bit more of the base stout to be present in the nose. [3.75]

F- Like in the nose, there is an ungodly amount of rich coffee bean flavours. The balance is more apparent on the palate- nice roasted malt, milk chocolate, cocoa stand out quite a bit more on the palate which nicely balances out the coffee bean flavours- otherwise I might as well suck on coffee beans, right? Nice rich chocolate goodness in the middle with a mix of bitter black coffee and milky sweetness on the finish. [4]

M- Medium bodied with a nice substance to it. Smooth, just the right amount of carbonation to keep the flavours at the forefront, with a nice bittersweet finish, combining black coffee and milk to make for a nice Cafe Americano. [4]

O- Very nice coffee stout from Bell's. In my opinion, this is a very good coffee stout overall; it delivers very nicely on the coffee intensity with a proper roasted malt backbone to balance out the astringency of the coffee. A must-try for coffee drinking craft beer aficionados. [4.25]

Photo of humuloner22
3.96/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love Bell's don't get me wrong. I have passed on this one for several rounds now. But I have begun to appreciate the coffee stout this year so I figure now would be the best time to evaluate this beer.

Look: Pretty much your standard stout. Very dark, very little if any light penetration and a mellow layer of head lingering over the top of the beer.

Smell: Coffee hits you immediately, more of a coffee grounds aroma than a fresh brew aroma. Some malts but pretty much a one hit note here.

Taste: Coffee, bland not much else going on really.

Overall: For the price this is not that good. If this beer was about the same is Two Hearted then I would consider it a better option. But, considering other breweries are putting out better beer in the same category for less money then this beer doesn't get the rating from me. I think price is what kills this one most of all, otherwise its an alright beer.

Photo of ClavisAurea
3.25/5  rDev -17.3%

Fridge temps in a snifter glass; bottle dated 09/2014.

Appearance: Blackish brown with little carbonation. There is a very small brown head that disappeared pretty quickly. It poured kinda thin, nothing like an Imperial stout but this doesn't claim to be one. You can see light through the sides and a dark brown hue.

Nose: Burnt black coffee similar to the kind you would get at church or a auto repair shop. Little dark chocolate, roasted black malts.

Taste: Very nice but thin like the appearance, very coffee forward, the burnt taste really comes out, this is almost like a dunkle rauchbier, harsh alcohol in the beginning that fades to a warming feeling, slightly fruity, dark fruit, dates but without the sweetness, I caught a bit of a milky tang for a second there but that could be a fluke.

Overall: Well, I have 5 of these left and the website says they can be cellared for a year. Hopefully they improve with a few months on them. I'll check this one out in the new year.

Photo of mr-jj
3.06/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter from a 12 oz bottle. Brought back from a friend on his trip to Ohio. Bottled date is 8/29/13.

Color is very dark brown with a one finger tan head. Good lacing. Smells like dark roasted, almost burned, coffee. Flavor follows the nose - lots of dark roasted coffee with a little roasted caramel malt. Finish is bitter coffee. Body is medium with good carbonation.

Overall, lots of coffee, not much stout.

Photo of StrongRepublican
3.87/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

9/14 bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours dark and viscous with minimal traces of head or discernible carbonation. After pouring a very thin tan head forms but quickly fades. A slight collar is left behind and a small amount of lacing.
S: Baker's chocolate and medium-roast coffee aromas dominate with some hints of acidity and roasted barley.
T: Roasted barley and deep roasted coffee take the forefront, dark chocolate and black patent show some pretense,slight acidity/tannins from the coffee.
M: Full bodied and fairly viscous, well carbonated, but not overly done.
O: A bit too roast-forward for my taste, but definitely a drinkable coffee stout.

Photo of oberon
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep brown with a mocha colored thin head,great aroma of chocolate with some nuttiness and a hint of earth.Very rich flavored beer like chocolate devils food with the coffee really coming thru in the finish and aftertaste its like drinking coffee with a nice rich chocolate cake.A great beer will bring some south with me.

Photo of RoyalT
4.87/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – The body is almost pitch black and hazy, if that makes any sense. The head is just right; moderate with a careful pour and darkly tanned. It even left some film as it slowly receded.

Smell – Brewed with coffee, or coffee grounds? This is good stuff. The dark, roasted stout aroma has found its equal in the huge, coffee ground notes. What I find so appealing about this nose is that these are basically the only two smells that I can pick up. They dance the dance of lovers, that’s for sure.

Taste – Oh, man, if you love coffee and if you love stout, you will love this beer. Living in Seattle they sell coffee everywhere, and all the peddlers have their own interpretations of what they think is good. Well, this is good.

Starbucks should be so good. This is some of the best-tasting coffee I’ve ever had, but of course that could be because it is equally mixed with some of the best stout that I ever had. Move over Reese’s, this is the next great combination.

Mouthfeel – Bigger than medium but not quite full, this is so smooth it makes me salivate. The mouthfeel is pleasant as can be.

What makes this a 5.0 Mouthfeel for me is the flavor blendings that create nirvana in between the cheeks. The huge bitterness of this Stout rounds things to perfection.

Drinkability – Hath a more drinkable coffee-flavored stout been made? Me thinks not!

Comments – One good Bell’s deserves another. Last night Kalamazoo, this night Java Stout. What a treat. A treat that was made possible by feloniousmonk, so I have to give him props for this killer trade.

Photo of aszatk01
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of braugon
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of DanGeo
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of tectactoe
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a soft, velvety black color with a tan colored head that appears to get darker and darker as the beer continues. Head is big, fluffy, and lasts forever, however it leaves little lacing to speak of. Aroma is thick and can be noticed as soon as you pop the cap off of this one - concentrated with sweet and creamy coffee beans, roasted malts, and some deep, dark espresso at the tail end. Taste is more of the same; huge roasted malt body infused with roasted coffee. Starts off light, creamy, and sweet, then transitions into a darker, slightly bitter version of its former self. Toasted and roasty, up and down with some slight alcohol warmth hitting the very back of my tongue. Hints of black licorice become more and more prominent the more I drink. Hops don't make their appearance until the very end, but they are surely there; leafy and a bit ashy in character, they leave a nice trail of bitterness in the aftertaste that fades out with the sweetness in great harmony. Medium, silky body with an overall pretty low amount of carbonation.

I had this on tap at Bell's a while ago. The bottled version is not quite as good, but it's still a decent brew when all is said and done. Little pricey for what you're getting, though.

Photo of t2grogan
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of OhioBobcat
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of brownbeer
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours slightly oily, pitch black with a thin brown head that doesn't last long.

S- Aroma is deeply roasted, wood, bitter chocolate, smokey tobacco, leather

T- A tad sweeter than the nose implied. Well integrated chocolate and coffee. Finish is earthy with espresso tones and a subtle hoppiness.

M- Medium-full, milky smooth.

D- Full and rewarding. Holds up against some of the better coffee stouts.

Photo of weatherdog
3.57/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle poured into a 25oz. snifter

Batch 9375

It pours a cola colored body with a small mocha head that dies too quickly and ends up with just a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.

The chocolate and bitter black coffee dominate the aroma. After that initial wave there is a heavy roastiness to the beer.

The flavor is all about a heavy bitter black coffee taste. There is also a little metallic flavor as well. The roastiness and bitterness is too much for my preference, similar to a cup of Starbucks coffee, the beans are over-roasted to hell and the end product suffers because of it. There is a little residual sugar to counteract the acrid coffee but not enough.

The mouthfeel is smooth for the level of roastiness but it hampers the drinkability for me.

Photo of ricksrealm
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of SIRIUS2
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours dark brown, near black, with a thin light brown head of only about 1/4" or so. No lacing.

S: Heavy coffee aromas - dark espresso and dark roasted malts. There is just a slight hint of alcohol on the nose as well.

T&M: Thick and chewy as it crosses over the tongue but not too viscous. Flavors are full and intense, with heavy coffee accents. There is a complexity that comes forth as it is difficult as both the dark roasted malts mingle with the actual coffee used in the brew. Making things interesting is the slightly more than subtle sweetness that comes through as well. Carbonation is light, adding to the overall creamy smoothness. Very nice. The finish is a bit sweet at first, with some coffee bitterness that lingers, mixing with a subtle warming.

D: This is a fantastic brew and it was highly enjoyable. The only reason I dinged it with a '4' is because one of these in a sitting is really plenty. I would highly recommend this to anyone interested in an impy stout or a Russian impy.

Photo of jose_alehouseSD
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of bdkucharski
2/5  rDev -49.1%

Photo of newk340
3.41/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

split w/ hu5om (received as a trade extra) in 6oz sampler glasses.

A: a nice black pour with a slight brownish hue, some slight carbonation and a tan foam ring.

S: burnt espresso beans/coffee grounds

T: a bitter espresso warmth permeates the mouth in a wave of fizzy deliciousness.

MF/D: a sizzle of flavor leaves a lasting tingle, carbonation offers a slight buzz on the tongue, though a little too coffee heavy for my liking.

Photo of skybluewater
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brownish black color. Smells better than some other Bell's beers I've had, but still seems off. Taste isn't bad at all, but not great (compared to, say, Kalamazoo or Expedition). Indeed it does taste of coffee, but (to me at least) it's that coffee that's been sitting in the pot with the burner on all day. Drinkable, recognizable as the good stuff you had that morning, but off tasting. Mouthfeel is nice, quite creamy.

Overall, this isn't a beer I'd buy again. While I'm glad I tried it, I think in the future, I'll stick to drinking Kalamazoo, Expedition, and Third Coast Old Ale if I want a Bell's brew.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.52/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 6624. The Bell's Java Stout pours from the bottle a deep dark onyx black with a full inch of dark tan foam atop the brew. No light is getting through thisn one!! Looks very appealing in the glass with some nice lacing. Aromas of freshly ground coffee beans are the first to hit my nose. Just like opening the can of beans in the morning. Underneath there's lots of dark, toasty, roasted malts and hunks of chocolate. Slightly smoky with a dollop of caramel. I just love the marriage of coffee and stout...I could sit and adore the aroma of this brew all day.

First sip brings a wave of viscous dark, roasted, smoky maltiness. It rolls over the palate with force, bringing along with it a healthy helping of freshly brewed black coffee. The tug of war between the sweet aspects of the stout and the bitter of the coffee work really well here. Rich and chocolatey, this is a damn fine coffee stout that is simply luscious and very enjoyable. So much flavor.

Mouthfeel is big and bold with a hefty body that's not at all afraid to assert itself. Small bubbly carbonation flows across the palate. Quite easy to drink. I really love coffee stouts but they are more of a treat for me. I don't think I could sit down to more than a few of these at a time. Had this on tap at the Great Lakes Brewfest and it's just as good in the bottle. Another Bell's stout...another wonderful experience. Well worth seeking out if you enjoy coffee stouts.

Edit: Just looked up this batch number on Bell's website and realized this was packaged on October 28, 2004. At almost a year old this brew is still amazing. I will have to try one fresh and then get some more to cellar!!

Photo of blitz134
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Half inch of tan head, fairly dense foam that tried to reduce to a thin layer but hangs out around the edges. This is pretty dark, basically black but some Coke colored liquid shows at the edges.

The aroma is pretty intense and I can catch wiffs of it from a couple feet away every now and then. The coffee is really evident and plays a key spot. It works in well with some dark roasted malts and even a bit of char. A bit of wood smoke even comes out. This is really nice.

Flavor has lots of the dark roasted malts again but doesn't present as much char as the aroma suggested. Coffee follows and the finish is the smokiness again. A little sweet malt plays a background role and peaks out every now and then. A touch of alcohol is noticable but you really have to look for it. Good flavor here though.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied. Not as thick as some stouts I've had but it still has a nice creaminess to it that coats the mouth well. Flavor lingers for a while. Maybe there is a touch too much carbonation that weakens the mouthfeel...hard to say.

Superb drinkability. Lots of coffee and dark roasted malts. All the flavors work well together and the aroma is really inviting. Pretty easy to put down a few if I wanted to and definately something I would pick up again. I find this somewhat similar to the Terrapin Wake-n-Bake stout I normally get down here. I think I'll try a side-by-side with my remaining bottle of this.

Photo of sabitu
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

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Bell's Java Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
88 out of 100 based on 2,877 ratings.