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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.
BA SCORE
89
very good

1,095 Reviews
THE BROS
85
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,095
Hads: 2,965
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 12.41%
Wants: 169
Gots: 315 | 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: 1,095 | Hads: 2,965
Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A fairly thick stout with coffee grounds. Wake up and smell the coffee. Java and roast including burnt ground taste, Ok for some, but not my type of stout. Marvellous appearance, with the dark head. Creamy yet mouth numbing. Bitter and roasty aftertaste. (254 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to bastu for sending me this one!

Pours an opaque black with a 2 inch dark khaki head that settles to a small cap. Very thin rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, coffee beans, and cocoa powder. Taste is of dark roasted malt and dark chocolate and cocoa dusted coffee/espresso beans. A mild roasty bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a smooth mouthfeel with a nice light carbonation. Overall, this is a very good coffee stout and probably one of the best I have ever tried. I'm very glad I finally got to try this one. (586 characters)

Photo of kylehay2004
4.36/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Maybe my beer was defective! I had 3 millimeters of head which dissipated quickly with almost no lacing which seems differ as compared to recent reviews. Very dark brown/black. Like motor oil.

S: As a coffee lover I will have a hard time being objective as this smelled great, like coffee/java obviously, and it wasn't too overwhelming.

T: Very nice! Though the coffee part did take away from the stout taste, it was easy to drink. Initial coffee taste with chocolate finish. The bitterness is there but its coffee flavored, what else would you expect?

M: Moderate to high carbonation. Full bodied.

O: I really enjoyed this one. I tend to like beers that go along with their genre with maybe a little something extra and though this wouldn't necessarily be a go to beer, it was overall excellent. (803 characters)

Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is jet black in color and poured with a finger and a half high beige head that gradually died down but consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are moderate aromas of dark chocolate and roasted coffee beans in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, except that the flavors of coffee beans are more concentrated and there are additional hints of dark roasted malts.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little dry on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer tastes a lot like dark roast coffee beans so if you are a coffee lover you would probably like this beer. (636 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a vet dark brown with a tan mocha head and a faint bit of lace. Nose consists mostly of coffee and roasted malt with a bit of chocolate. Coffee takes over the flavor win some dy roast. Between the coffee flavor and bitterness, I really like the feel. Not one of the best coffee beers, but a solid offering. (334 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

an extremely pleasurable beer, rather heavy on the coffee. don't be subtle, go for it! the one pours real dark, but looks more like good rootbeer when held to a sunny window. the head is an inch tall, but fades to a thin film in about a minute. plenty of yeast particles settled out on the bottom of my glass. the nose is bitter acidic coffee and burnt barley, super robust. almost like a pot of cold coffee a few hours old, and there is a slight smoke character too. the flavor is balanced coffee until the finish, when its flavors and its acidity take over. normally I don't like acidity in coffee beers, but in this one it provides a nice contrast to the big pillowy soft body and rolling carbonation, its needed. the alcohol is maybe a little higher than it needs to be, burns slightly with the coffee, but this is your hangover maker and killer in one bottle, probably better as a first beer than a last beer in a session. another solid bells brew by all counts. (967 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.83/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a pitch black color with a reasonably thick dark tan head; spots of lacing

Smell: Dry tannic coffee tones; smells a bit charred

Taste: Starts out with a bitter, charred coffee flavor that fails to develop much beyond that

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Enjoyable, just like a decent cup of coffee is enjoyable; but it fails the complexity test (407 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
3.62/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This stout poured out as a deep rich brown color. The head was light brown on top. The lacing wasn't too great on this one. The smell of the beer had a good amount of coffee on the nose. The coffee was probably the entire aroma that this beer had in my opinion other than the roasted malts. The taste of the beer wasnt too bad but I felt that the coffee flavors were a little weak when comparing the nose. The mouthfeel was smooth and dry. Overall this beer was pretty good, I'd drink it again. (494 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.97/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hey, who put a pot of espresso in my beer glass? That is what it looks like, tastes like, and smells like. It has some high gravity sweetness and body, but the espresso flavors and ground bean texture overpowers it all. I don't know if the bittering is from intense flavor hopping or from grain astringency. It even has a bitter nose that is more reminescent of Itallian espresso than a stout yeast. Nicely earthy and nutty. Nicely alcoholic, something to cut through the body. Warming and intensely flavored into the finish. The aftertaste ligers like a fine cigar. (566 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of Plucier: Poured a deep pitch-black color stout with a nice big foamy head with great retention and great lacing. Aroma of medium dry coffee is well balance with roasted malt and light subtle dark chocolate. Taste of nice coffee without being too overpowering and some nice medium bitter roasted malt. Texture is quite creamy which is appreciated with a quite full body and some adequate carbonation. I thought this was a very well done and well balance example of a coffee stout. (498 characters)

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

Appearance - Black like espresso. A toffee-colored head retains for a minute or two and then settles into a ring, leaving behind a bit of spotty lace.

Smell - An incredible aroma of dark roasted, almost burnt, coffee is noticeable from a mile away. Closer inspection reveals hints of sweet toasted malt, dark chocolate and smoke.

Taste and mouthfeel - The burnt espresso flavor is very up-front, with notes of chocolate, toast and smoke taking a backseat. Body is about medium for a double/imperial stout, but this is right on the border between a regular stout and a double. A subtle sweetness is present in the background, providing a balance to what would otherwise be an exhausting dry coffee flavor. Notes of black coffee linger on the palate in the finish.

Notes - An awesome beer for people that enjoy coffee, but the coffee character is extremely prevalent. I personally like it. (890 characters)

Photo of emerge077
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Fresh batch #7768.

Pours black with tan foam, stays for a good half-hour.

Aroma of fresh-ground coffee beans, chocolate malt.

Medium acidic coffee bitterness, almost fruity and green. Rich and still approachable, a shade under Breakfast Stout and other "big" coffee stouts. Roasted malt in the middle, milld hop integrated with the coffee, bitter but not herbal or harsh. Fairly sweet, but mild with a residual caramel aspect.

Mouthfeel is ultra smooth, even carbonation that lasts. Very easy to have several in a sitting. My favorite session coffee stout. (569 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.76/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Impenetrable onyx with the merest suggestion of medium brown highlights along the bottom edge of the glass. The coffee-with-cream colored head looks to be milkshake thick and creamy, although I'm pretty sure it's lighter than that. Even without seeing any lace (yet), this how I believe an American double stout ought to look: big and bad. Given the torn curtains that are now beginning to decorate the glass, the score is a pretty easy call.

How one feels about the nose is probably directly related to how one feels about espresso, hugely roasted coffee beans, that sort of thing. I'm not a fan, but even I can appreciate that this is a coffee stout nose of prodigious power. An odd 'cigarette ash' character makes me a little uneasy though.

I like Java Stout, but I don't love it. There's a massive chocolate and roasted malt backbone that shares the stage with roasted coffee. The trouble is, from my standpoint at least, there's too much acrid, burnt ashiness for me to count this as anything but a well-brewed, 'java lovers only' curiosity.

I'd like at least a little chocolate or cocoa to peek through... but it doesn't. It's a fine line with beer of this sub-style. Do you add so many beans that it tastes like iced coffee or do you create a coffee-accented stout? It's a shame that Bell's chose to brew the former because I tend to like the latter. As always, your mileage may vary.

The mouthfeel is an unqualified success; no surprise to anyone who drinks Bell's beer on a regular basis; lucky bastards (oh wait, that includes me now). It isn't as full as the very best of this style, but it's medium-weight silky and as smooth as the day is long. For some reason, I'm not feeling quite as enamored with it as it loses carbonation.

For better or for worse, this a 'love it or sort of like it' kind of beer. It's the latter for me, a non-coffee drinker. If you have that java monkey on your back when you wake up in the morning, and if you have the day off, I can't imagine a better way to start the day than with a bottle of Bell's Java Stout. I'll stick with Kalamazoo and Expedition though, thanks. (2,126 characters)

Photo of zeff80
4.54/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a jet black color with a light brown, one-finger head. Left no lace.

S - It smelled of java and some sweet toffee.

T - Tasted of coffee and oatmeal. It had a strong roasted malt flavor, too. Not really bitter for a coffee stout.

M - It was dry and sharp. A medium-bodied beer.

D - I'm not a coffee drinker but this is a very tasty beer. (355 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle served at 50 degrees and poured into a pint glass

A – Poured a deep thick dark brown, essentially black and completely opaque with the color of oil coming to mind, although it did not pour as thick as there was some movement of this and it poured rather easily into the glass. A very nice three finger high head of brown colored foam quickly rose up over the top of it and gradually settled down into the glass. Once completely settled there remained a very nice half inch high layer of foam across the top which hung on until the very end of the session. Copious side glass lace was the norm with this one as the glass was almost completely obscured by the end of the session.

S – The aroma was rich with dark baker’s chocolate and an even dark French roasted coffee type of smell. This actually came to me very specifically and I could pick it out right away. Very nice deep smell as well, not overly strong or pungent as you had to get right on top of it to pick it out, but it was very deep and dark. As it warmed there was a subtle bit of sweetness that started to come out and was clearly evident in the overall aroma, a nice hint of caramel, and perhaps vanilla really serving to accent and bring out the rest of the flavors quite nicely.

T – The flavor itself was very good. An overtly coffee like tone took front and center stage on this one as you would have expected, but it was not terribly strong nor was it the sole dominating force in the profile. As it warmed up you could clearly make out lots of lactose sugar flavors and a definite hint of vanilla in the background. It was nice and decently complex in its overall presentation. The coffee notes merged into a dry finish that had the slightest hint of a bittering chocolate agent to it, but again was not overwhelming or dominant and a touch of a grassy like hoppiness to cap it off.

M – Very smooth and silky, I would have thought this would have been a bit thicker then it was to be honest. Now don’t get me wrong this was not thin in any capacity, but rather it was like a strong porter with a medium to full body instead of the thick as milkshake big stouts that I have been used to as of late. Very nice smoothness though and the carbonation seemed to really hang around for a good long time never letting it feel dull or watered down.

D – A very nice session stout would be the way I would categorize this one. The ABV was not terribly high and the flavors were rich but not over the top. It was just full enough to keep it interesting without being too much and having to make a meal out of it. I would have easily put down a few more of these during the course of the night.

Overall I would have to say this one was not terribly bad at all, and in fact was quite a nice little surprise. I really enjoyed that it was not too big and it was something I actually could enjoy without being overwhelmed. I would probably pick up one of these again sometime; it was definitely a good call. (2,985 characters)

Photo of oberon
4.27/5  rDev +8.1%
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. (330 characters)

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

Thanks to Jeff for sending this one to me.

A: The pour is just about black in color with a finger of light brown head.

S: Like you might hope for from a coffee beer, the nose is dominated by coffee aromas. Quite a strong coffee note with some roasted mlat and a mild toffee malt sweetness underneath.

T: Much the same on the palate. Lots of great, intense coffee flavors. A fair amount of roasted malt flavor which gives a mild bitterness. Not too much of the sweetness from toffee or caramel.

M: Medium in body with a moderate level of carbonation.

O: A solid coffee beer. Like many beers of this nature, you do have to enjoy the coffee flavor, but if you do, this is a winner. (683 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.36/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a black body with a lush, though brief, light khaki-colored head.

Smell: Lightly chocolatey aroma with a bit of molasses and the strong scent of stale coffee. There's a vague fruitiness there as well which doesn't really carry over into the taste.

Taste: Sweet, rich chocolate flavor with some sugar laced coffee. Then a roastiness arises and begins to build alongside an earthy bitterness. Eventually, the taste goes to burnt malts and scorched coffee, long ago abandoned in a glass pot on the burner. Starts off good but goes downhill quick.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Silky mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Decent enough, but outshone by some of the other coffee stouts available. (716 characters)

Photo of nickfl
4.17/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - One finger of tan head on a black body with ruby highlights. The foam has average retention and leaves nice lace.

S - Distinct roasted coffee aroma with some caramel and notes of toffee.

T - Sweet coffee flavor up front with spicy notes of cinnamon and clove. Maltiness in the middle with some caramel and chicory. The finish is malty with mild hop character and a bit of round malt bitterness.

M - Smooth, medium heavy body with moderate carbonation and a slightly sweet finish.

D - Easily drinkable. This has an excellent coffee essence without becoming overwhelming in the way that many other coffee stouts tend to be. The roasted character is complex and it exhibits all of the best attributes of good coffee. (721 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Gale Sayers shaker pint glass.

Finally getting down to re-trying this guy and putting my thoughts to words. Posterity? Maybe... Anyway, this stuff pours a very dark black-brown with very deep ruby highlights, all topped by a finger of dusty tan foam. The nose is primarily a playground for nutty coffee, though a touch of roast vainly attempts to peek through the bean-y fog. The taste continues this trend, though the roast, still relatively faint, stands a bit stronger than it once did (nasally speaking). The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a somewhat dry finish. Overall, a one-trick pony that has honed his trick decidedly well. Not necessarily top-tier, but close to it. (728 characters)

Photo of jlindros
4.07/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Got a slew of Bells lately and I've loved each one, so it's time to start going threw them. This one is thanks to Solomon420.

A: A smaller dark creamy head forms over the pitch black light imprisoning color. The head slowly dissipates to a light covering.

N: I could smell this from a mile away on the pour, with lots of coffee to start. Then some rich stout like aromas, creamy chocolate, rich roasted malts, dark chocolate, creamy goodness.

T: Very rich flavored, luscious and thick. A heavy stout taste hits first with bitter earthy flavors and charred malts. Thats accompanied with some coffee flavor, though not as heavy as I expected, pretty good coffee level. More roasted malt flavors come through. Rich dark bakers chocolate and some creamy milk chocolate blended.

M: Thick and creamy, luscious, good carbonation for the style.

F: Finishes bitter from the stout flavors and scorched malts. It dries off a little from the bittersweet start. A little spicy as well. It leaves a coating on the entire mouth, leaving you the rich coffee and roasted flavors for a while. A nice beer, pretty thick and rich, a little difficult to drink, a big sipper. (1,160 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.65/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Acquired via trade from northertimber so a big “Thank you” goes out to him.
Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a thin brown head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is strong and pleasant; the only words I can use to describe it would be “black coffee”.

T: Heavy, bitter-sweet roasted coffee/espresso flavor is the prime element here. Again, as good as it is, there really isn’t any other way for me to describe it.

M: Extremely smooth, medium body, light-to-medium carbonation, finish is a little sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, a little bit filling, this one is a perfect sipper but you can still knock a few back fairly quickly, another excellent Bell’s product. (800 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.39/5  rDev -14.2%
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. (556 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks to tenderbranson69 for sharing this bottle - poured chilled from the 12oz into a 1/2 pint.

A - coffee brown w ruby hues -thick, creamy head of beige which coats the glass w/ lace

S - The smell has lots of green un roasted bean notes -roasty w/ creamy sweet malt undertones. Slightly nutty and vanilla accents w/ modest earthy elements

M - The feel is rich and creamy w/ mild sweet tinges and dry tannic notes w/ slight spiced and alcohol edge. There is subtle residual sweetness in the finish

T - The taste has dark roasted coffee w/ mild vanilla and a slight dark sugar taste w/ mild toasted dark bread and mild pepper w/ a slight sweet creamy almost chocolate flavor in the finish. The taste of alcohol is mild and only noted as it warms slightly

D - The drinkability is very high, this is a fantastic stout and has plenty of coffee flavor, definitely recommended for those who like coffee augmented beer (918 characters)

Photo of Jason
3.86/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

Appearance: Fast to foam and slow to cascade, the big billowing tan head sticks all over the glass. Black as night with absolutely now light to come through.

Smell: Estery dark fruit alcohol, spent coffee grounds and roasted grain make for a slightly astringent aroma.

Taste: The alcohol stays hidden for the most part but there is a lingering dark fruitiness in the back which is pleasant. Lots of dark roasted coffee flavor, earthy and woody which complements the roasted grain character. Mild hopping provides just enough bitterness to balance some of the malt sweetness.

Notes: A solid coffee stout with just enough coffee flavor not to get in the way yet add something special to the palate. (766 characters)

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Bell's Java Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 1,095 ratings.