Bell's Java Stout - Bell's Brewery, Inc.
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Ratings: 2,266 | Reviews: 1,041 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by LambicPentameter:
3.78/5 rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Apparently I've been on a big coffee stout kick lately. Part of the problem is that they share one thing in common with IPAs and other hop-forward beers: time passage is not their friend. IPAs lose hop characteristics with time, and coffee stouts see that amazing fresh-ground coffee taste fade over time. Therefore I want to try these before what I consider the best part becomes subdued. Enjoyed out of a brown 12 oz longneck bottle and poured into a 16 oz standard tumbler.
Appearance - As one would expect, the color is a deep, dark brown that borders on black. Little to no light gets through, even when held up directly in front of a light source. Some tree bark brown around the edges when in front of a light source. Atop the body sits a two-finger head of dirty tan with a mix of large and small bubbles, giving me the impression of the foam on a soft drink when you pour it a little too fast, but more dense. Foam slowly dissipates, eventually settling on a fog-like layer of foam across the top, with silky but short sheets of foam creeping up a little on the side of the glass. Lacing is sparse but sticky.
Smell - Fresh coffee grounds and roasted beans. Basically that overpowering roasted goodness that you associate with coffee being brewed. I can almost hear the *shoosh* of the coffee maker pulling the water up to push it through the filter. Bottom line is that this is a rather single-note aroma, but one that won't bother any coffee enthusiast. I enjoy it, but it lacks the complexity of some of my favorite coffee brews.
Taste - To my complete lack of surprise, the taste is very single-note as well, although in addition to the dominating iced coffee notes I get, there are some flavor profiles that I tend to associate more with the stout/porter style. Impressions of bittersweet chocolate and some subtle nuttiness, but again the predominant characteristic is that of fresh-brewed coffee. It really muscles everything else to the side, but also has the benefit of concealing the 7.5% ABV quite well.
Mouthfeel - Medium-to-heavy bodied and moderate carbonation with a semisweet finish.
Overall, a tasty coffee beer, but admittedly one-dimensional. Certainly one that I'll probably pick up a bottle or two each season, but nothing mind-blowing. There are other coffee stouts I'd gladly pick up first based on price and taste. Still a solid offering from Bell's.
Serving type: bottle
12-13-2013 17:54:08 | More by LambicPentameter
More User Reviews:
4.3/5 rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
The first Bells I've had was the Expedition Stout. I must say, that stout opened my eyes to this brewery, and I haven't been let down since, though I will say, the Expedition is the best thus far.
Look: Very little light can pass through. I just shined a bright flashlight through the opposite side of the glass and it turns only slightly red. A very dark stout.
Smell: Coffee right away. I'm not very sophisticated, so I don't smell much else. Just coffee.
Taste: Coffee. Probably one of the most up front coffee type stouts I've had. There is no mistake this stout is brewed with coffee. You won't think "is this brewed with coffee?" There is no question about it. I'm a big coffee drinker so I am very drawn to coffee stouts.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied at best. Maybe a little thinner feeling.
Overall: This is a very good stout. I would most definitely drink this again. I may buy it again if I see it. But I likely won't be on the hunt for it.
Serving type: bottle
04-15-2014 00:20:19 | More by EvoRich
Bell's Java Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
88 out of 100 based on 2,266 ratings.