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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

1,097 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,097
Hads: 2,975
Avg: 3.95
pDev: 18.99%
Wants: 167
Gots: 325 | FT: 11
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,097 | Hads: 2,975
Photo of mlockman
4.02/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 9/11 of 2014, drank in late August of 2015. I read some folks claiming a six month shelf-life per the Bell's website, but I'm seeing it's shelf-life listed as 12 months therein. That being said, not too forward on the coffee, I found this brew to be a perfect balance between roasted coffee flavors and mild malt sweetness.

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Photo of woemad
4.14/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle courtesy of LehighAce06.According to the label, this was bottled on October 17, 2014.

Poured into a St.Bernardus goblet, this was a viscousy, blackish color, with a decent-sized mocha colored head that dropped quite quickly. Spotty lace.

Roasted malts and somewhat bitter coffee notes greeted the schnozz, along with a subdued, molasses-ey sweetness.

The tastebuds are hit with an initial coffee and roasted dark malt blast, but there’s an almost immediate follow up of a subordinate, chocolaty and molasses-like sweetness that keeps the beer from being a one-dimensional, bitter coffee bomb. Good balance of coffee, char and sweetness, ending on a dry note.

Fairly full bodied, but with a slightly watery mouthfeel.

I had been wanting to try this for a long time, so I’m very grateful to have received this. This went well after a light breakfast, but would work equally well as a dessert or nightcap. It moves into my top 5 coffee stouts for sure. Thanks, Kevin!

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Photo of HorseheadsHopHead
3.74/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 bottle into a wine glass. Bottle is around nine months old.

LOOK: Black, but not quite pitch black; brown around the edges, with a half finger of tan head.

SMELL: Dark roast coffee, roasted barley with a hint of smoke, and dark chocolate sweetness.

TASTE: Dark chocolate, black coffee, and smokey roasted malt with notes of burnt wood, charcoal, and earth. A nice balance of sweet and bitter; very roasty. The coffee seems a bit faded, but that might be account of the age.

FEEL: Medium-bodied, finishes a little bit lighter than I would prefer, but at 7.5% abv that's understandable. Light carbonation.

OVERALL: A solid coffee stout. A decent alternative to Founders Breakfast Stout if you can't that. Worth drinking.

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Photo of JamesMN
3.47/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Packaged on 10/16/14.

Appearance: Very dark brown body with a dark tan head.

Aroma: Dark malt, coffee, cream.

Taste: Pretty much basic american stout territory. Roasty malts with a nice cream flavor coming through to soften the harsh char flavor. Just enough bitterness for balance purposes. Some brightness in the finish and an aftertaste of coffee and char. Slight metallic off-flavor. Decent depth for 7.5% ABV.

Mouthfeel: Just above medium in body with smooth carbonation and average drinkability for the style.

Final Thoughts: Unfortunate that this wasn't a fresher bottle. However, the beer was good and would probably be excellent fresh on nitro. Would I drink it again? Sure, if I ever find myself at the brewery.

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Photo of miguelager
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

this is quite delicious. It pours out of the bottle very dark...looks like motor oil. smell is kinda roasty. Obviously taste a lot of coffee, also pick up on some chocolate. Overall, I like it a lot.

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Photo of FaradayUncaged
4.63/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

As an avid coffee drinker this one blends two of my favorites: bold coffee and a rich, thick stout. I would go as far as say it's on part with whatever base beer is used for BCBCS. Delicious and quickly becoming one of my favorite non-barrel aged stouts. Well done, Bell's!

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Photo of MikeReserva
4.31/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A. Pours very dark brown / black. Beer has a nice thick head that dissipates slowly but not completely. lacing sticks around.

S. Lots of coffee, roasted malts, light licorice.

T. Lots of roasted malts up front, followed by a huge coffee kick. Little tobacco. Almost goes to being just too bitter, but stops at the edge. Very tasty beer, not too complex but very rich, big roast and lots of coffee, I like it a lot.

F. Thick mouthfeel, feels like a 10%+ beer, suits the style and bombastic taste very well.

O. A very stellar coffee stout, not for the faint hearted.

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Photo of Rutager
4.47/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cheers, buschbeer!

Just below cellar temp. Pours a very dark brown, pretty much black in the glass with half a finger of tan head. Plenty of coffee with a little milk chocolate and vanilla on the nose. Tons of coffee flavour with some nice dark chocolate and roasty dark malts underneath. Decent sweetness and a nice creamy feel. Fantastic stuff.

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Photo of drunkenmess
4.52/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Love coffee beers. Had to try this one even if it was bottled on 10/09/14. Found it at a local beer store.
Pours like a cup of Joe right out the pot... Dark, very hard to see thru this one. Light bodied, dark brown head that faded quickly as I drank. Minimal lacing. Smells like dark roasted coffee for sure with a hint of sweetness like a black cup of coffee with alot of Splenda in it. Also some burnt malt or even toast Yummm. Taste is superb! Even for a 7 month old beer sitting on the shelf. Definitely strong coffee taste at first with a bit of sweetness in there, finishes slightly bitter but not over drawn. Low carbonation. Not as thick as I was hoping but still very nice! Delectable Bells. Keep up the good work and I'll keep drinking Pure Michigan. CHEERS.

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Photo of BenwayPHD
4.51/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a cola brown around the edges. A one finger caramel head. The smell is good. Strong coffee up front faint caramel and vanilla notes. The flavor is more balanced than the smell. The coffee is there, but it has a good amount of sweet malt to smooth it out. The mouthfeel us a little smaller than i was hoping for at this abv. Overall a very good coffee stout.

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Photo of Brackh
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours dark with a small head. Smells malty and roasted. Taste like the smell. A bit bitter though on the back end. Picked up some vanilla as it warmed. Love me some Bell's.

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Photo of crob3888
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a viscous black that lets no light through with a toasted brown head. Minimal lacing. Nose is immediate with notes of coffee and chocolate. Flavor begins with coffee and actually a lot of chocolate, reminiscent of mocha. Ends dry and costs the mouth. A nice dessert beer.

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Photo of mchegash
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - 4/5
Almost pitch black, except for some hints of red-brown around the edges of the glass. Light to medium brown head, about 1 finger.

Smell - 4/5
Very strong ground coffee smell, maybe some hints of chocolate and smoke. Some sweetness to the smell as well.

Taste - 4/5
A combination of coffee and smoke is the predominant flavor. The taste is fairly sweet. There are hints of hops, chocolate, and malts as well. Overall the taste is similar to Founder's Breakfast Stout, perhaps a little smokier though. The taste is nice overall, but I would have liked a little more complexity. Basically all you get is the smoky coffee flavor.

Mouthfeel - 4/5
In between medium and full-bodied. Moderate amount of carbonation. Fairly crisp, yet quite smooth, besides the carbonation bit.

Overall - 4/5
This is a good coffee beer, it's definitely in the same league as Founder's Breakfast Stout in my opinion. Would have to compare them side by side to say which I like better.

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Photo of JLaw55
3/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not as good as I had hoped, I have had better coffee stouts. Also, the alcohol really comes through, which I do not care for.

Will not seek our or purchase again.

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Photo of mobrado
3.6/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Truth in advertising here. The coffee aroma and flavor is HUGE, it's just not a very interesting or complex brew. A sticky-sweet aftertaste lingers. It's priced in line with Bell's Expedition Stout which makes it horrible value in comparison.

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Photo of Catracho5
4.16/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a Bell's shaker pint

A: Black, nice mocha head, dissipated pretty quick, not a lot of carbonation, little lacing, looks good.

A: Right up front, fresh ground coffee aromas, some slight chocolate malt aromas, mostly coffee, not picking up any alcohol on the nose.

T: Fresh ground coffee bitterness up front, bitter chocolate, like a dark cocoa flavor, very dry finish, some alcohol on the back end, love it, taste great.

M: On the thin side, comes off like a cold cup of coffee, dry finish, not creamy smooth, good none the less.

O: I really like coffee stouts and this one is great. I have had better, it's a little high on the bitterness, but still really good for my taste. I like it to have a more creamy mouthfeel but overall this is good. This could be a regular in the short winters we have in CA. If you like coffee stouts, this is definitely worth a try.

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Photo of dbl_delta
3.91/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle "pkgd 09/11/14" into pint glass. Opaque, dark brown to black. Huge, coarse, tan head eventually reduces to nice lacing.

Strong roast malt and coffee predominate. Not sweet, no hops bite, thick and creamy without going overboard. Quite drinkable, although you probably wouldn't want to make a session of this.

Another excellent offering from Bell's.

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Photo of BlurryVisi0n
3.92/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Served in a pint glass.

Appearance: Dark black body, but pours thin with an initially thick tan head rising to at least two finger's length.

Smell: Hardcore coffee and cream, also might I note before even tasting it it feels like it has cocoa automatically in it.

Taste: Strong mocha coffee feel, almost like a liquid dessert... not bitter at all in the realm of some other coffee stouts that I have had. Deep sugars and sweet molasses.

Mouth: Smooth and sticky, more like a syrup. Carbonation is medium at best...you would think it would be higher considering how thick the head as but let's not assume.

Overall: Good brew, and better served with dessert than dinner or better yet make this 12 oz. your dessert. Salud!

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Photo of Tsar_Riga
3.94/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Black-brown, opaque, very little head, slight traces of lace.

S - Fairly quiet. What is there is roasted malt, in the form of toast (on the dark side), and a bit of ash. Coffee is way back in the mix...

T - ...until you get to the taste, where it is dialed forward. The coffee here is straight-ahead back, with a strong bitter bite. The malt softens things. By the close, the coffee drops back and you get hints of toast again.

M - Fairly thin for a stout, but very easy to tip back, with a soft close.

O - This is a stout made to drink, easy on the tongue, but not one to study. The elements are clear and present, and yep, coffee is at its core. Good. Very good.

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Photo of tedvr
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a very dark brown, almost black with a medium creamy head that lingers. Has a nice malt and coffee smell. Tastes of coffee with a little burnt chocolate in the background. Mildly carbonated but very well balanced. Overall, a nice stout that has a coffee lean to it, but is balanced.

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Photo of Vogie
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served in a pint glass. Bottled on 10/17/14.

Pours a dark brown almost black with a fizzy cinnamon colored head that leaves some nice lacing. Aromas of dark roasted coffee beans, roasted malts, and bakers chocolate. Tastes of smooth dark coffee throughout intermingled with roasted malts. Mouthfeel is medium in body and not overly bitter.

A pretty good straight forward coffee stout. Nothing overly complex here. A bit pricey for a sixer. Glad I was able to pick up one bottle to try. If you like black coffee give this one a try...

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Photo of ribby
3.96/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Very deep red color, but not completely black. Pours with very little head. (Bottled in Oct 2014.) aroma is malt and coffee.

The taste is really quite subtle for such a stout. The roasted/coffee flavor lasts a long time on the finish. Not sweet at all, but i have a hard time attributing that to hops, or to coffee, or to overroasted malt. Overall a very good stout, not sure it earns the elite stout price.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.53/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

This pours a solid black with a cocoa colored cap of foam
The aroma is coffee and roasty, with a definite coffee character. The flavor has a touch of the coffee astringency with a big shot of coffee taste. Sharp and bitter on the finish, with a thinner yet distinct body. I feel like this is a wake up call in a bottle.

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Photo of derekgw123
2.88/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Other than the Expedition stout, Bells has really disappointed me. This beer had a bit of a tinny after taste and was not as full bodied as I expected it to be. I usually love dark beers with choco/coffee notes, but this was a dud.

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Photo of StrongRepublican
3.87/5  rDev -2%
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.

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Bell's Java Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 1,097 ratings.