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

Not Rated.
Bell's Java StoutBell's Java Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

2,496 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,496
Reviews: 1,050
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.99%
Wants: 131
Gots: 185 | FT: 10
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bell's Java Stout Alström Bros
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Ratings: 2,496 | Reviews: 1,050 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

Sammy, Feb 19, 2006
Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

t0rin0, Aug 22, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

UCLABrewN84, Oct 30, 2011
Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

djrn2, Jan 10, 2012
Photo of Thorpe429
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

Thorpe429, Oct 13, 2010
Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

zestar, Jan 05, 2014
Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +2%

nmann08, Dec 09, 2011
Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

acurtis, Jul 07, 2012
Photo of metter98
4/5  rDev +2%
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.

metter98, Dec 24, 2012
Photo of brentk56
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
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

brentk56, Feb 09, 2007
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.73/5  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.

BuckeyeNation, Nov 30, 2006
Photo of Phyl21ca
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
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.

Phyl21ca, Jun 19, 2007
Photo of BEERchitect
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

BEERchitect, Aug 04, 2005
Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +2%

Texasfan549, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of mikesgroove
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

mikesgroove, Jan 05, 2008
Photo of kjkinsey
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

kjkinsey, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of GRG1313
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%

GRG1313, Mar 06, 2014
Photo of womencantsail
4/5  rDev +2%
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.

womencantsail, Apr 30, 2011
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

ygtbsm94, Dec 27, 2011
Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev +2%

spycow, Jan 18, 2013
Photo of kylehay2004
4.43/5  rDev +13%
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.

kylehay2004, Jul 01, 2011
Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

jaydoc, Oct 21, 2013
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.38/5  rDev -13.8%
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.

ChainGangGuy, Jan 08, 2008
Photo of Knapp85
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
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.

Knapp85, Jul 19, 2011
Photo of oberon
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

oberon, Mar 21, 2004
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Bell's Java Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
88 out of 100 based on 2,496 ratings.