Bell's Java Stout - Bell's Brewery, Inc.
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Ratings: 2,418 | Reviews: 1,047 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by LambicPentameter:
3.78/5 rDev -3.6%
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
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Bell's Java Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
88 out of 100 based on 2,418 ratings.