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

Bell's Java StoutBell's Java Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,263 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2263
Reviews: 1041
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 12.21%

Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Stout |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 12-11-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,263 | Reviews: 1,041 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Immortale25

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at The Barleycorn Asheville. Served in a pint glass.

A- Pours a 99% opaque black color with a 1/2 inch tan head that doesn't retain long before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a full sheer sheet of surface foam. Non-resilient lacing slides quickly down the glass.

S- Mocha, caramel and burnt sugar is what most of the aroma is comprised of.

T- Iced black coffee with moderate sweetness. Also some chocolate and vanilla. Lingering bitter dark roast. Also some hop bitterness in there. Raisin aftertaste.

M- Nice and creamy with a thick viscosity. Medium-low carbonation and a full body.

O- I like this quite a bit better on-tap than out of the bottle. Not one of the best coffee stouts out there but it's worth going for if you've got a hankering for coffee and it's the only one on the list.

Serving type: on-tap

03-13-2014 16:57:35 | More by Immortale25
Photo of FLima


4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deepest black color with a thin head with low retention.
Very present and real aroma of home made coffee. Hard to tell this is actually beer.
Also, very intense flavor of roasted coffee, cocoa, licorice, caramel, cola, vanilla and earthy hops. Dry and bitter aftertaste.
Full body with low carbonation.
Very assertive Stout, if I had to describe with some precision with one word, it would be obviously coffee.

Serving type: on-tap

02-26-2014 21:04:22 | More by FLima
Photo of thecheapies


3.94/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Very dark brown beer. Very little head. Just a thin film. Not a looker.

Solid coffee and malt aromas with a black (no cream) vibe. Somewhat earthy with spent grounds, roastiness, and a hint of leather. Slightly citric hop reminds me of the sliver of orange peel I had served in a cup of Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee, the last time I had it.

Robusto coffee, smooth roastiness, vanilla bean, hearty maltiness, spicy citrus hops, chicory, and baker's chocolate. Slight hint of root vegetable. A very tasty and appealing stout.

Feels soft, and besides a light bristle from a light but coarse carbonation, almost velvety. Easy to drink due to relatively low alcohol presence.

Serving type: on-tap

11-24-2013 04:59:13 | More by thecheapies
Photo of GreesyFizeek

New York

3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the Old Toad, in Rochester, NY.

Pours a thick dark black. 2 inch almost as dark head, with good lacing down the glass.

Smells like roasted, almost burnt coffee.

Tastes include roasty coffee, used coffee grounds, earthy coffee flavors, espresso- you get the idea. This is insanely coffee forward. Some of the coffee flavors aren't entirely to my liking, but it's done well. Very bitter coffee flavor. Some milk chocolate rounds things out a little bit.

Full, creamy mouthfeel- low carbonation. This could be ok on nitro, might smooth out the acridity of the burnt coffee beans I'm tasting.

An extreme coffee stout in my eyes, needs some more flavors to balance it out.

Serving type: on-tap

10-26-2013 06:40:23 | More by GreesyFizeek
Photo of GR_Rick


3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at the cafe in Kalamazoo.

A: Pours a nice dark, coffee color - very little head in the pour I got. Looked like a coffee in the glass.

S: Strong, bitter, cold coffee. Smells pretty good overall.

T: Tasted like it smelled, strong, bitter (but not overly so) cold coffee. Better than drinking a cold coffee, of course, and definitely caught my taste buds at first, but didn't keep my interest. A little more roasty malts and a little less coffee actually would've been a good thing for this beer, I think.

M: A little thin for my liking for a stout.

O: A pretty good beer, strong, simple flavor. The problem for me (not being a huge black coffee lover) is that the coffee flavor was too strong and,while the first couple of sips were really good, it didn't have enough interest to keep me wanting to drink the entire glass.

Serving type: on-tap

07-19-2012 22:18:17 | More by GR_Rick
Photo of Darkmagus82


4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a 10 oz chalice glass

Appearance – Served a deep brown nearly black color with a billowy tan head. The head was rather persistent and lasted some time before fading and leaving some nice lacing.

Smell – Coffee aromas are strong. They are dark and roasty in nature. There is also an ever so light sweet chocolate aroma toward the middle and end of the aroma, but very light in comparison to the strong coffee.

Taste – Just as the nose forebode, the taste is quite heavy in coffee. The dark roasted flavor permeates the mouth in the initial taste mixed with a strong roasted malt backbone. Some bitter chocolate works its way in toward the middle of the taste. While the taste is roasty coffee and a bit of bitter chocolate in the beginning it is still very smooth on the tongue. Toward the end the taste sweetens ever sol slightly, giving a lightly sweet coffee and cocoa flavor. It is quite pleasant and a not the slightest bit harsh.

Mouthfeel – The body is rather creamy and the carbonation rather low. It coats the tongue allowing all the coffee and chocolate flavors to permeate the tongue; giving big flavors. It’s very pleasant and relaxing.

Overall – This is one nice affordable coffee stout. One to try over and over again and have on many of occasions.

Serving type: on-tap

02-29-2012 01:06:16 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of OWSLEY069


3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours jet black with a light tan head. In the aroma, sweet coffee and a nice roast. In the taste, dry coffee and nice bitterness. A coffee bitterness and a medium to bigger bodied mouthfeel with a dry coffee like aftertaste. Nice coffee presence, a bit sweeter in the nose, but very nice.

Serving type: on-tap

02-06-2012 19:46:16 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of blackcompg


3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed in a 5oz glass as part of a 6 beer flight at Bell's Brewery...

Appearance - Beer is a dark opaque brown, tan head with some nice lacing left behind.

Smell - Fresh rich ground coffee with notes of burnt toffee.

Taste - Dark black roasty coffee, with toasted dry breadcrust and dark chocolate. Finishes dry with lots of lingering black coffee.

Mouthfeel - Medium mouthfeel with medium carbthat leaves a dry clean palate. Very smooth and drinkable.

Overall - Really a nice and balanced java stout, lots of roasted coffee and perfect dryness to keep you sipping.

Serving type: on-tap

12-10-2011 16:46:51 | More by blackcompg
Photo of danglero


2.25/5  rDev -42.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

First review for me. Can't get over the overwhelming taste/aroma of generic coffee beans. Seriously, mouth feel appearance etc. are all put aside due to being a coffee snob as well. The taste was like drinking a mixture of some crappy coffee like "choc full of nuts" and carbonation. If you like drinking gas station coffee then you might enjoy the heartiness. The texture is actually what I would expect from a full-bodied brew, and low head with slow tracing would all be appealing if I didn't have to deal with aforementioned crap coffee taste and aftertaste.

Serving type: on-tap

12-06-2011 05:14:13 | More by danglero
Photo of Pintofbrown


4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was had at the Sanctuary, served in a pint glass.

Appearance- The beer reached the table sporting a half-finger of mocha head. It degraded to a slight ring around the glass, but left some sheet lace there. The body is, well, coffee black.

Smell- The nose is loaded with coffee and char. Period. It has a big nose, and smells nice. If coffee and char is your type of nose.

Taste- Right off the bat some sweet mocha hits the palate, but then the roasted coffee starts to roll over the tongue in waves. The finish is full on roast, char, and some brown sugar. It would be nicer if that creamer quality was not bowled over so fast.

Mouth feel- The feel is medium to full with nice coating in the mouth. Only a little dry and the creaminess of the beer could be done a little better. Still good for a Bell's beer.

Overall- This stout certainly delivers with what is promised. It may even be a little too one-dimensional for me. Some of the better coffee stouts I have had included a little more coffee creamer and mocha.

Bell's says damn it all and just loads you up on coffee. It is worth a try if you enjoy some stout with your coffee.

Serving type: on-tap

11-22-2011 22:24:39 | More by Pintofbrown
Photo of lisomiso


4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I rather like this one! When it was cold the roastiness was a little overpowering - almost smelled like burnt coffee - but as it is warming it's developing into something really delicious. Roast coffee, with an almost Kahlua-like richness. Really good.

Serving type: on-tap

10-21-2011 21:52:09 | More by lisomiso
Photo of AdamBear


3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A-black with light tan head, looks very thick

S-smells like a strong coffee/mocha. very strong scent

T-a huge burst of clean coffee. its impressive because there are no real bad side tastes, its very clean. this also makes it sort of boring. the after-taste is of strong java. if you're not a fan of coffee, you will not enjoy this one bit.

M-very soft carbonation with a smooth finish

D-wow this is quite a heavy beer. it took awhile to get through because of this. picks up no weird tastes but i found no reason why i'd ever want to try this again.

Serving type: on-tap

01-05-2011 19:04:21 | More by AdamBear
Photo of biglite351


3.2/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - very dart with a tight tan head.

S - strong coffee, old coffee. Maybe a little bit of malt and chocolate, but it is hard to get past the coffee.

T - coffee, but also a good bit of what I would call cigarette taste, actually cigar more than cigarette. Again, a bit of malt and chocolate but they are over powered.

M - very thick but just a mild tingle on tongue.

D - maybe two before moving on.

Serving type: on-tap

12-28-2010 02:57:07 | More by biglite351
Photo of drabmuh


4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Meridian Pint tonight in DC. Beer is black with a wispy head of tiny tan bubbles that leaves very little lacing on the glass. Carbonation low.

The aroma on this one is mildly roasty but with a nice coffee background, still could use a LOT MORE in the aroma.

Beer is medium to light in body with some malt leadoff and nice coffee flavors in the late/mid palate regions. The finish is nice and mildly dry and mildly bitter. No lingering aftertaste. Pretty decent beer.

Serving type: on-tap

12-22-2010 04:49:20 | More by drabmuh
Photo of aasher


4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours the darkest of browns on the verge of black with the lightest of light khaki heads. It smells of very, very rich roasted coffee beans and has chocolate aromas as well. The flavor essentially mirrors a chocolate influenced java coffee. It is very rich and very chocolaty. The flavor is exceptional. It drinks very smoothly, full bodied and rich. The content creeps up on you. It is very drinkable and a delicious beer. I'd highly recommend it.

Serving type: on-tap

12-08-2010 05:56:30 | More by aasher
Photo of TheKingofWichita

North Carolina

4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brownish black color with a thick off white head and a good amount of lacing. Smells of coffee and tasty black chocolate. Tastes a little of smoke, caramel, coffee, dark chocolate, sweet malts, a little hops and hints of vanilla. Mouthfeel is medium with a little carbonation. Drinkability is high.

Serving type: on-tap

11-16-2010 13:54:53 | More by TheKingofWichita
Photo of mactrail


3.38/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Rich and grainy powerful stout.

Opaque black in the glass without much head. Very aromatic in the nose; blackberry jam. A big mouthful of flavors. A hint of malt sweetness to offset the sour burnt malt and burnt oatmeal flavors. The coffee is quite evident, but reminds me too much of the bitter dreg from the old percolator. Without the coffee it might be great, but if you're a java fan you might love it this way.

This one is more like a jacked-up Irish stout than the smooth and mellow Imperial stouts and porters that are more akin to barley wines.

Serving type: on-tap

10-29-2010 00:51:02 | More by mactrail
Photo of decadance


3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Eccentric Cafe.

A - A lighter black body with a medium tan head.

S - Rich roasted coffees with other sweets involved. Hints of caramel.

T - It seems like a typical stout with a coffee background, nothing overly fantastic, but a solid taste.

M - Full body, with a mouth coating quality. Decent carbonation.

D - It is a good one off, but you likely won't want multiples.

Serving type: on-tap

07-12-2010 04:29:54 | More by decadance
Photo of AleWatcher


4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

On tap poured into snifter-

Pours real dark. Looks almost black til held up to light. Deep rich garnet and brown hues. Caramel head is small and lacing is light.

Smell hits heavy of coffee and it seems chocolate. I mean huge, massive amounts of coffee, not espresso, but fresh ground, rich roast, full-on coffee. Just massive amounts of coffee and chocolate. A little roasted malty goodness hits too, but certainly no whiff or indication of alcohol. 3 out 5 people in a blind smell test would probably think this genuinely WAS coffee.

Taste is roasted malts and fresh brewed coffee. Maintains a nice level of sweetness, that really balances the bitterness of the coffee and unsweetened chocolate. Finishes a tad dry, which is indeed rather pleasant.

Little on the lighter side of the body spectrum. Not sure this should be going up against imperial stouts... even seems a tad thin compared to a lot of regular stouts. The body reminds me more of a baltic coffee porter (if such a thing existed - and I'd bet somewhere it does!).

7.5% ABV makes this a not-so-good replacement for sitting at Denny's drinking coffee all night... But it really hit the spot after dinner. Would certainly buy again, but I won't be pounding 4 or 5 of them a night, and I won't be shipping any to my "I love imperial stout" trader friends!

Overall - very enjoyable beer. I have stopped drinking coffee for the most part, so this is a nice trip down tastebud memory lane for me. It really would get a higher rating if it weren't for the thinness of the body... but then again, that same thinness makes it so it doesn't fill you up. Hmmm. Interesting dilemma.

Serving type: on-tap

02-22-2010 03:41:17 | More by AleWatcher
Photo of thain709


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

A - Served with a black body...there wasn't any light shining through around the edges...a tight, brown, one finger head set a top the body and remained for the beer...nice lacing

S - Very inviting aromas of fresh ground coffee and roasted cocoa beans...would have been a 4.5 if the coffee aroma was bigger

T - The coffee flavor lingers over to the taste...a solid coffee flavor comes through and is very tasty...big and bold...a hint of vanilla adds a little sweetness to the beer...the chocolate flavor comes from a nicely roasted cocoa bean that adds that bitterness at the end of the beer...again I was hoping for fuller flavors

M - Medium bodied...but bordering on full...a great creaminess and a lingering roasted bitterness...smooth

D - This was a very good "coffee" stout from Bell's...the coffee flavors are nice and the chocolate pairs well too...but I was hoping for some stronger and fuller flavors...overall a nice drink

Serving type: on-tap

01-27-2010 22:51:15 | More by thain709
Photo of Lukafer


4.55/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A = Black as a coffee, head is about 1/2 a finger, and very, very dark tan (not quite black).

S = Smells like coffee and hints of cocoa, but predominately coffee. Delicious.

T = When I first tasted this, I could taste coffee and a hints of chocolate, with a little malt. I let the beer sit for 5 minutes, and once it warmed up just a little, it was all coffee. Really, it tasted like fresh coffee from a french press that was immediately put into the refrigerator so it wouldn't have any of the burnt aftertaste and would be cold. Exemplifies, to me, a true java stout.

M = Hardly any carbonation, which I think is perfect for this style of beer, and I though it was thick enough to be pleasant, but not so thick as to be a meal.

D - I had 2 imperial pints (20 oz. each), and they were both delicious, and then the beer got warm and it went from beer to pure coffee. I'd say stick to one.

Serving type: on-tap

01-16-2010 03:28:20 | More by Lukafer
Photo of MIbeerfan


2.83/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Notes from a bar napkin:

Sampled at HopCat's in Grand Rapids MI, Dec 12.

Thick brown head and very dark black beer. Heavy coffee overtones, coffee overpowers all flavors. Very bitter aftertaste.

Not high on my list of coffee stout's. The bitter was too much for me.

Serving type: on-tap

12-20-2009 23:27:40 | More by MIbeerfan
Photo of MbpBugeye


3.23/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Bodega in Columbus

A- Served in a normal pint. No real head. No lacing. The beer itself is pitch black.

S- BIG coffee smell. Thats really all I can pull out aside from some roasted malts. It smells like pure coffee grounds.

T- Similar to the nose. They dont call this java stout for nothing. Huge on the black coffee. The bitterness seems to come from the roasted coffee. The bitterness is mild but in all this is a well balanced beer.

M- Pretty smooth. Nothing special here.

This is a pretty good stout. Having sampled it once, however, I feel like I dont need to purchase it again. It was just a little too "coffee'd out" to make it an extremely good beer.

Serving type: on-tap

12-17-2009 06:57:03 | More by MbpBugeye
Photo of mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Stub and Herbs

Served in a goblet.

Tan head. Very black in color. Left some splattered lace.

Aroma: fresh strong coffee, chocolate, big roasted malt flavor.

Taste: Huge fresh strong coffee taste, roasted malts, fresh earthy hop profile, chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, smooth. I like it. Full bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Ends with a coffee flavored clean aftertaste.

Overall, A great beer and I will definitely be buying some bottles of this one if I have a chance. Very drinkable with an awesome coffee flavor.

Serving type: on-tap

10-28-2009 21:51:07 | More by mothman
Photo of drpimento


4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

wow. da bomb. extreme coffee stout. sitting at the bar sampling it and talking with another patron and we agree that while it's such a bold coffee stout there are no bad parts; indeed only good. The finish is like espresso. They have acheived a perfect balance for such a beer. Poured opaque black with tan head and good lace. Huge volatile nose of malt and dark roast coffee. Looong finish. Would go great with chocolate.

Serving type: on-tap

04-18-2008 00:41:59 | More by drpimento
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Bell's Java Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
88 out of 100 based on 2,263 ratings.