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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

1,119 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,119
Hads: 3,087
Avg: 3.96
pDev: 18.94%
Wants: 181
Gots: 375 | FT: 11
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Michigan, United States | website

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bell's Java Stout Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,119 | Hads: 3,087
Photo of RoyalT
4.87/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – The body is almost pitch black and hazy, if that makes any sense. The head is just right; moderate with a careful pour and darkly tanned. It even left some film as it slowly receded.

Smell – Brewed with coffee, or coffee grounds? This is good stuff. The dark, roasted stout aroma has found its equal in the huge, coffee ground notes. What I find so appealing about this nose is that these are basically the only two smells that I can pick up. They dance the dance of lovers, that’s for sure.

Taste – Oh, man, if you love coffee and if you love stout, you will love this beer. Living in Seattle they sell coffee everywhere, and all the peddlers have their own interpretations of what they think is good. Well, this is good.

Starbucks should be so good. This is some of the best-tasting coffee I’ve ever had, but of course that could be because it is equally mixed with some of the best stout that I ever had. Move over Reese’s, this is the next great combination.

Mouthfeel – Bigger than medium but not quite full, this is so smooth it makes me salivate. The mouthfeel is pleasant as can be.

What makes this a 5.0 Mouthfeel for me is the flavor blendings that create nirvana in between the cheeks. The huge bitterness of this Stout rounds things to perfection.

Drinkability – Hath a more drinkable coffee-flavored stout been made? Me thinks not!

Comments – One good Bell’s deserves another. Last night Kalamazoo, this night Java Stout. What a treat. A treat that was made possible by feloniousmonk, so I have to give him props for this killer trade.

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Photo of Shaw
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My friend and co-worker's girlfriend brought a sampler of Bell's to us Florida crackers to sample. Thanks Adam!

I think it's funny that I don't drink coffee but like this stout. But maybe true coffee drinkers find this beer's coffee flavors to be too obtuse. Whatever. This beer has a great coffee aroma and a very pronounced roasted coffee flavor. It is more like drinking a shot of espresso than regular coffee.

I lowered the drinkability score a half-point because this is one beer that you don't want to drink much of. It's good, but a little goes a long way.

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Photo of Todd
3.68/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A cheerfully labeled 12oz bottle pours a lifeless pint of thick black liquid. Absolutely no head. Aroma is cold 1-day old coffee with an earthy, roasty, nutty background. Light twang, full, watery body ... and nothin' but more cold 1-day old coffee. Some more nuttiness, char and a spicy / smoky linger. Hmm ... and chocolate brownies as the beer warms. Is this coffee or a beer? Where's the half-and-half and sugar? Finish is dry with coffee on the breath.

If you don't like coffee, move along. Otherwise, this is a coffee/beer geeks wet dream! And a very intense marriage of the two. Not the best coffee beer that I've had -- it lacks balance and is a bit overdone -- but it's worth a try for adventurous / coffee lover.

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Photo of beerluvr
4.79/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep and oily looking cream-colored head sits on opaque black liquid, very strong coffee ground nose smelling roasty beyond roasty, like a cup o' joe...and damn inviting! Bracingly strong coffee flavor dominates with some background roasty maltiness and hops. Coffee notes linger on and on to no end. The best coffee flavored brew I've had yet, I'm a big fan of the style & this one (as do most K'zoo beers) does not disappoint.
Thanks to CRJMellor for the bottles.

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Photo of ElGuapo
4.23/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very thick brew that oozes a bit during the pour. It is extremely dark brown, and it will just let a bit of light through it. The head is large and it likes to hang out for a while. The aroma is huge with a massive presence of coffee and burnt smells. Dark chocolate is there too. Some subtle sweet hints come in as well, but other than that, it is all dark and roasty.

This one is pretty rich and thick. It is full bodied with light carbonation, and it is a bit chewy. It is loaded with coffee flavors, and if you don't like a big roasty, burnt beer, this one may be a bit much. I would have liked a bit more balance with some sweet chocolate or some dark fruit, but I am not complaining. This is an intense beer, and I would have to say it seems to be at the level of 4 or 5 shots of espresso. It is unique and it still remains drinkable. I will search for this one again.

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Photo of pezoids
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The color of this beer teeters somewhere between dark mahogany brown and midnight black. The small creamy head of tan foam was short lived. Wonderful aroma of freshly ground and roasted coffee, cocoa butter and even a touch of tart caramel sweetness. The taste is rich with bittersweet roasted flavors. Espresso and cocoa blend into a smooth and dark stout. Medium bodied with a roasted bittersweet finish. This is a wonderful example of a beer and coffee blend. Very impressive.

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3.6/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer pours quite the tan head. Very little light can penetrate this brew.
Smell: this beer smells like my tent after a winter's storage. Exactly. And although i love camping, and the smell is reminiscent of many good times, i've never wanted to drink my tent.

In the beginning, there is a cloying sweetness to this beer that is quite out of place. After a few swigs, this disappears, and completely gives way to the coffee. It is like drinking a good cuppa joe with the body of a good stout. For me, that is THE taste i got of this beer, throughout, other than that aforementioned sweetness.
I thoroughly liked this beer. Aside from the smell, but a little musty tent smell is a small price to pay for this beer.

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Photo of Lupe
4.73/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black as night, no light or colored hues come through. Huge billowing tan head slowly recedes and leave excellent lace. Deep roasted aroma, coffee and grain, with a hint of dark chocolate. Flavor is pretty much the same. Black coffee, roasted grain, dark chocolate, and a touch of sweetness. Alcohol stays well hidden. Finishes dry with a nuttiness. Full bodied, smooth and creamy. Highly drinkable considering the richness of flavor and higher alcohol content. Goes nice with breakfast or would be good after dinner. I am not coffee drinker, but this I love this stout.

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Photo of joshlara
3.07/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

Pours tar black with a thick dark tan head with abundant lacing. One of the most impressive beers I have ever layed eyes on. The aroma is almost strictly coffee as you can smell it twenty feet across the room. Overpowering to say the least. There is a hint of oreo cookie in the aroma as well as the flavor but coffee grounds again dominate both. I personally think the flavor is better than the aroma but is still too much like stale coffee grounds. The extremely astrigent harsh coffee taste is unpleasant. I had high hopes for this beer as I like both stouts and coffee but this took it too far. It isn't too much that I can't finish the beer but it sure comes close to that threshold. The mouthfeel is silky smooth and creamy. This coffee stout does have some great characteristics but the coffee is taken too far. I can't drink caffeine as it gives me headaches and unfortunately this did give me one. Consequently, drinkability is way down for me. A definite beer to try for stout and coffee fans, and I am glad I did, but I am also glad I only bought a couple of bottles.

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Photo of merlin48
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours deep and dark, opaque, with a two finger tan head. Patch and sheet lacing appear all over the glass.
Good stout aromas, with dark, roasted malts, a hint of chocolate, and a pronounced, note of fresh coffee beans.
Mouthfeel is creamy and full bodied, with a mild hops presence.
Taste is heavy on the roasted coffee beans. A touch of dark chocolate, a hint of smoked almonds, and a vague floral hoppiness add a nice complexity.
A very solid stout, with a pronounced coffee character, as intended, with the use of fresh roast beans. Well done.

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Photo of Crosling
3.23/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Another Bell's Stout.

The pour is pitch black. The head is dark yellow, handsome, thick, creamy and mostly diminishing.

Intense coffee, vanilla, mocha and beans in the aroma.

In your face coffee notes, with nuts, burnt malts and more dry and bitter coffee.

Hmmmm. Maybe I'll have this again...if it is at about 6:00 a.m.

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Photo of Jason
3.86/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

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Photo of barleysangel
3.55/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The color was a dark-reddish brown with a beige head. No lacing really. It smells exactly like Starbucks coffee. It had a roasted coffee flavor; the aftertaste was bitter though (not unlike coffee). The mouthfeel was sticky and heavy. This beer was too bitter for my tastes, one was enough for me.

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Photo of sublimesipping
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

had this beer on tap on a rainy april afternoon. so enjoyable and perfect for the time, place, date, and circumstance. A William Trevoresque beer for the English major in you. Beautiful dark chocolate color, nice balance of malt and a even mouthfeel made this a silky experience descending down this gullet. My first impression of taste would be "fudgecicle" in a glass. Chocalate essence and full body combined with a creamy head made this an exceptional stout. It may be on my list of stouts that can hold a candle to my absolute favorite-Sam Smith's doulbe choccolate stout. a perrenial winner but what I expect from Larry Bell and Kalamazoo brewing comapny. A wonderful libation to get a buzz off life too. Cheers!

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Photo of ppoitras
4.75/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a dark brown 1 1/2" of thick, foamy head, and laced well. Thick, muddy, opaque brown that laughs at my desk lamp's 60 watts efforts to pass through. Deep, dark coffee malts dominate the nose, and I swear I smelled some smoke, but maybe not. Taste is all about the coffee, and works well. The alcohol of this big beer is well hidden by the coffee, and which makes it both dangerously drinkable and just plain dangerous. Not a big coffee fan normally, but if I'm going to have coffee, this is the form I want!

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Photo of 99bottles
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this fella sitting around for awhile. It's starting to get nice out, so it's time to get rid of this guy and look forward to the next beer season. What an arduous task ;-)
Java Stout pours a dark black pint with an inch head of light tan that quickly fades to a persistent 1/4" cover.
Smell is of coffee, obviously. But this REALLY smells like coffee. Like starbucks or something. That's strange. A deep whiff gives a hint of wet mold.
Taste: Wow. This isn't beer. It's coffee. Good stout taste, somewhat less choco than I'd expected. Coffee overwhelms and a really bitter note sticks out from the roasted malts and from the coffee it is apparently brewed with (so says the label). Bitter feel like a pot of joe thats been on the burner for about 5 or six hours, without the actual acrid taste. I really enjoy the aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is very smooth, and just the right viscosity. Stays on your tounge like an imperial, but without the big alchol/hop oomph. Very tasty. Very drinkable. I've always seen people say that a stout should be served with ice cream. That always sounded nasty to me. This guy would actually be a great compliment to something like that. Great stuff, and I'm going to have to find some next year.

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Photo of oberon
4.27/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

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Photo of SheepNutz
4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip-style glass. It pours a deep black color with two fingers of dark tan head. There is good lacing left on the glass. The smell is chock full of burnt malt and roasted coffee. Smells just like a quality cup of joe. The taste has lots of burnt malt up front and a black coffee bitterness. It has just a touch of sweetness, and the finish contains a small dose of hops. The mouthfeel is very thick, and super smooth. The drinkability is good as well. A coffee lover's dream!

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Photo of BeerResearcher
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle. No date.
It pours an impenetrable roofing tar with a small tan head and some sticky webby lace.
A strong espresso-like smell blends in with sweet malt and hops.
Big thick and rich sweet espresso flavors dominate at first. Anyone remember Maypo, a thick malt based hot breakfast porridge? Well, it's in here. Sweet and doughy!
Tart citrus bitterness and a mild metallic penny taste do little to counter the heavy malt and coffee flavors, but it's ok. This brew is all about coffee and stout.
Thanks Feloniousmonk!

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Photo of pheurton
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

i thought i'd seen black beers before. i was wrong. this baby is the deepest shade of black one might imagine...espresso black, topped with a creamy milk chocolate 1/4" head that recedes to an ever-present topping. huge aromas of brazillian coffe and roasted oats. it really smells like a cup of coffee...i can't get over it. slight chocolatey undertones. carbonation is just a little bit on the high side...still quite full and chewy in the mouth. big roasted oats and waves and waves of mocha coffe flavors. light blanacing hops in the end with a touch of signature bells sourness. a very full bodied and big beer, but still somewhat drinkable. one hell of an impressive stout, this one will stand out in my mind for quite some time.

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Photo of Billolick
4.12/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My wonderful wife returned from a trip to Michigan with an assortment of Bell's beers! We've never seen this stuff in NY, very exciting beerwise.

This one pours black with a dark beige head, leaving well established lace.
Aroma and Taste is of roasted malt and coffee, lots of coffee. Nicely bittered, dry and smooth, medium to heavy body. A different and well crafted brew.

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Photo of crookedhalo
4.12/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Let me just say right off the bat that I love coffee and espresso and I love beer and have tried the hybrid before but I was especially looking forward to trying this one because I've enjoyed everything I've tried from the Kalamazoo Brewery. Poured jet black with a thick brown head at 55 degrees. Obvious notes of coffee and black patent malts in the aroma as well as some dark chocolate. Quite enjoyable, but the coffee portion of the brew tastes a bit like Folger's or Eight o'Clock rather than Gevalia or even Starbuck's. Overall, quite a solid hybrid brew.

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Photo of abents
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Apperance: Pours a deep black color with a light tan head about 2 fingers high.

Aroma: Overwhelming aroma of dark coffee with a hint of chocolate. Reminds me of a chocolate mocha java coffee that I enjoy every day at work.

Taste: Very deep coffee notes with a hint of malts slipping into your mout towards the end. A very smooth drinking experience with the bitter coffee taste overpowering your taste buds. Yum!

Mouthfeel: This beer coats your tounge and warms your throat on the way down. Very rich, but yet extremly smooth tasting all the way down.

Drinkability: Very smooth beer, but I probably couldn't drink more than one in a night. I like coffee, but even for me the overwhelming coffee flavor in one bottle is enough for me. Can't knock it on drinkability however cause this is one deliciously drinkable beer.

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Photo of goindownsouth
4.39/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow. This is one really superb brew from what is coming to be one of my favorite microbreweries. This stout poured from the 12 ounce bottle with about a half-inch of a head, which was deep and rich looking in its own right. The aroma was a definite sign of things to come. The coffee aroma is impeccable. The first sip, much like the rest of them, was rich and smooth, with great roasted malt flavor and just the right amount of good high-quality coffee essence mixed in. This is one for the ages, in my opinion.


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Photo of GeoffRizzo
4.44/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown hue, dark tan head, sheets of lacing noted throughout. Some coffee, cocoa, roasted malts on the nose. Sweet, roasted malts, extremely thick, perhaps a full based body; definitive coffee beans, espresso notes, a touch carbonated; very creamy and rich texture. A mild bitterness, some chocolate should be noted towards the finish. Enjoyed a bit better when warmed to room temp; flavorful and unique, clearly a sipper to enjoy it's rich, creamy offerings. Bell's has yet to disappoint; once again they go outside the bottle with another fine dark brew!

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Bell's Java Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
89 out of 100 based on 1,119 ratings.