1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.
very good

2,426 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,426
Reviews: 1,047
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.99%
Wants: 130
Gots: 169 | FT: 12
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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bell's Java Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,426 | Reviews: 1,047 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jsprain1


3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Very dark brown. Two finger head, long lasting tan head.
S- The smell is really heavily of coffee. It's a touch sweet, but it is a coffee beer. Pleasing, but one-dimensional.
T- It's a touch more complex here. Coffee, with light chocolate, vanilla, roasted malt. Still overwhelmingly coffee though.
M- Medium full. Smooth, low-level, carbonation.
O- If you love coffee stouts, this is the place to go. It's one-dimensional, but I love the coffee aspect so I found it to be a tasty beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2011 01:58:23 | More by jsprain1
Photo of lisomiso


4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
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 JRed

New Jersey

3.43/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Black in body with off white head that dissipates. Aroma of chocolate, coffee with milk, cinnamon and some earth. Tastes of chocolate, dark coffee, some strong cinnamon, cola and booze. Heavy in body with medium carbonation. A mediocre coffee stout with unbalanced flavors.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2011 04:21:53 | More by JRed
Photo of dcloeren


3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a black coffee brown with no light penetrating when held up to the light. The head really exploded up while I poured this beer. Produced 3 fingers of creamy tan head. Thick sticky rings of lace.

The aroma of this stout is dominated by fresh, rich coffee. Smells like a fresh cup of joe. If you like the smell of coffee then the aroma given off by this beer is for you.

Taste follows the nose... completely dominated by rich coffee beans. So much so that I can't really pick up on any of the other flavors in the beer.

Medium bodied while drinking it, thick residue left after each sip. Drying aftertaste of bitter coffee.

This beer is as advertised. I don't know if I can really fault it on the taste for tasting like black coffee... I will say that I thought it was a little one dimensional but definitely not bad tasting. Its spot on as far as coffee goes... The rest of this beer was spot on. Definitely worth trying, especially if you are a coffee lover.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2011 15:28:15 | More by dcloeren
Photo of lurpy1


3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

My search for a damn fine Bell's stout continues with a revisiting of this beer I had 6 months ago. They've hit so many other beers out of the park, where's the killer stout?

Pours a deep brown towards black, decent head.

Smell is highly coffee, to be expected. I love the smell of coffee, so this is a good way to get on my good side.

Unfortunately, the coffee is way too forward in terms of taste. Slightly bitter, and it's hard to pick up of anything else, malt, hop, sugars, in the taste profile.

Bell's really does nail the consistency though. Beautifully thick and creamy with just the right amount of carbonation.

This is an almost beer. Almost great. It's like an ingredient away. I still recommend it, I will drink it when offered, I will even by it from time to time, but candidly this doesn't even scratch the surface of my great stouts list.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2011 13:22:10 | More by lurpy1
Photo of bramsdell


4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into an Imp pint glass. Full disclosure, last week I had my first FBS and CBS (on tap!), so I review this beer with those in mind.

A: A very solid looking stout. Nice dark body, but not the level of motor oil that some high ABV stouts have. The head is a very fluffy tan, very much like the head on an expresso.

S: Great. Unlike some coffee stouts, this smells very much like a beer brewed with coffee. Often, I find the coffee-heavy stouts smell like I'm about to drink 12oz of coffee with some malts added in. Not the case here; smells sweet and malty with a solid coffee back.

T: Very impressive. The coffee is definitely the first flavor present, but this is still a beer. The flavor is deep and rich, however it is not burnt or overly-roasted. It does not tastes like an intense expresso, but much more like a full, dark roast of drip-brew. There is no bitterness to the coffee flavor, but the sweetness of the malt, while certainly present, does not make this an overly-sweet brew. It is perfectly balanced between its rich coffee flavor and its malty sweetness.

M: Feels very nice on the tongue. Not too rich, but not something to pound down. The coffee flavor remains on the tongue for quite a time, but it is not the stale-coffee flavor of a cup drank 15 minutes ago. It is just as full and rich as FBS, but only 7.5% (as opposed to, I believe, 8.4%), so it gets the job done.

O: A very solid choice, one I wish I could have again. My only regret is that I have yet to find this on tap, as I believe it would be even better.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2011 00:48:05 | More by bramsdell
Photo of jale


3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a deep dark brown/almost black with a quarter of brown head.

S: Brewed coffee and more brewed coffee.

T: Fresh brewed coffee with a hint of sweetness upfront moving into bitter piney hop bitterness. Finish is a bitter coffee.

M: Medium body with aveerage carbonation.

O: A decent coffee stout.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2011 22:29:24 | More by jale
Photo of jtingue

New York

3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle dated 9/14/11. Poured into a snifter.

Appearance. Pitch black with no light getting through even around the edges. Pours with a finger of head that quickly dissipates to a thing layer around the side of the glass. Small blobs of lacing cling the side of the glass.

Smell. Large roasty character and some molasses sweetness. Of course, there is also some coffee on the nose. There is also a hint of yeasty esters, that I now notice in nearly every bells beer that I have.

Taste. Starts out with some roasty and coffee bitterness. This is followed by some nice roasty sweetness that again picks up a molassas like flavor. Bitterness returns that is slightly astringent. The finish is filled with coffee which lingers until the next sip.

Mouthfeel. Thick body with a moderate amount of carbonation.

For me a better than average coffee stout. I cant really pick out any aspect of it that blows me away.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2011 03:55:14 | More by jtingue
Photo of FanofHefe


4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 9-14-11 (thank you Bells for superior dating!). Pours a deep brown, nearly black body, that lets very little light through. Two finger mocha head that leaves very good lacing along the glass.

I'm afraid the word coffee is going to appear 900 times in this review, but the aroma is,... wait for it,... coffee. OK, I get a hint of chocolate and toffee as well, but mostly coffee.

The flavor consists mostly of, ummm, ummm, coffee. But, there is also a hint of toffee, chocolate and roasted malt, bringing a bit of bitterness.

The mouthfeel is a little thin for an Imperial Stout, but I almost feel like Coffee Stouts are a style unto themselves, with abv's all over the place. So, I won't hold this against Java. I'm a coffee lover so I like this one very much. Hope to get my hands on as many as possible while they're available.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2011 00:10:38 | More by FanofHefe
Photo of 57md


3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque dark brown, almost black color with a thin tan head. Oddly enough, I am getting both burnt and sweet notes in the nose. There is definitely no sweet flavor here - it is wholesome stout bitterness with a trace of coffee. The finish is a bit flat, but the overall flavor profile is robust. This fits my general feeling about Bell's beers - they are solid and well above average beers, but none are extraordinary.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2011 05:14:40 | More by 57md
Photo of trxxpaxxs

New York

2.7/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a rich and roasty black with a small tan head. The bubbles quickly disappear leaving only a thin tan ring around the top of the beer.

S: Smells mainly of roasted malt and coffee. Good thing considering its a coffee stout.

T: The initial hit is sweet, but the coffee notes quickly take over. Unfortunately that nice coffee doesn't last very long. The taste drastically changes to massive tartness. There is no bottled on date, so I have to assume this beer is well past it's prime. Refermentation perhaps?

M: Medium bodied, lots of thickness but nothing to chew down.

O: The refermentation (or whatever) makes this beer pretty undrinkable. After a few sips, the novelty of a sour coffee beer wears off. I tried this beer for the first time a few months ago and wasn't impressed. Now, the second time around, it's even worse.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2011 21:55:30 | More by trxxpaxxs
Photo of Duff27


3.38/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

No batch number indicated. This bottle is from 2010 though.

A- Half inch medium mocha head on a dark brown/black beer. Head recedes to a ring around the glass, minimal lacing.

S- Deep chocolate/coffee notes...chocolate is more noticeable for me.

T- Roastiness. Chocolate up front, somewhat bitter coffee on the tail-end...I just don't care for this specific flavor much. Well hidden ABV. "Starts off good but goes downhill quick."

M- Thick mouthfeel, I like that a lot. strangely overcarbonated, I don't like that so much.

D/O- I feel like Java Stout could benefit in using higher-grade java. Weird thing to say but I think I prefer my coffee stout homebrew better. It's really a like it or leave it, polarizing beer...as can be seen throughout these reviews.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2011 03:36:05 | More by Duff27
Photo of Gushue3


3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-pours very dark brown with a smaller, less than 1 finger khaki colored head. The head has little retention and retention while the body looks black.

S- big coffee bean scent that dominates all things scent. Some sweeter milk chocolate is there too

T- big coffee bean taste woth some roasty malt. Sweet chocolate malt and a tiny hint of vanilla are the too. Roasty, somewhat bitter coffee in the finish, pretty tasty stout.

M- definately a lighter than expected mouthfeel. While not a deal breaker, a nice thicker, fuller feel would help this brew so much. Smaller amount of carbonation with large sized bubbles.

O- not a bad stout at all, so i gave it a slightly higher overall to pick it up a little. Good brew, but pretty one dimensional

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2011 03:32:09 | More by Gushue3
Photo of avaldivia


2.88/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Nice very dark brown color. Off white head that dissipated very quickly. Decent lacing.

S: Coffe is definitely present and almost overpowering. Some roasted malts as well.

T: Tastes of stale coffee. I wa very disappointed with the flavor of this. It is ok but I was expecting more from the smell. The coffee just overpowers everything and not in a way I am all too crazy about.

M: Not particularly smooth. Lighter than I was expecting.

O: Reminds me of a stale French Press coffee. I was not crazy about this. I am looking at my past reviews and it looks as if I don't like coffee stouts, but I swear here are quite a few that I do like. This is just not one of them.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2011 02:32:50 | More by avaldivia
Photo of fastd03

New Jersey

1.95/5  rDev -50.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Most beers try to walk the tightrope between one flavor and the next, greatly concerned at the prospect of an overbearing flavor. This is not one of those beers! Although I generally like beers, I had no idea as to just how strong the java flavor of this one would be. I generally like milk and sugar with my coffee, admittedly, but I can tolerate coffee black from time to time. The Bell's Java Stout, however, has a stronger coffee flavor than coffee itself! So my recommendation: if you are a coffee fiend, this may just be your holy grail. If you are beer/stout fiend, though, you may want to give this order a second or third thought...

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2011 01:09:48 | More by fastd03
Photo of theghost3


4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark brown with a 2-finger khaki head. Lots of layered lacing.

Smell is fresh coffee with a hint of chocolate. The taste is toasty coffee with bittersweet dark chocolate and brown sugar. Mouthfeel is medium to full-bodied, smooth with balanced carbonation and not sticky.

This is a drinkable stout, especially if you love quality coffee. Goes well with desserts.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2011 03:18:14 | More by theghost3
Photo of claspada

New Jersey

2.53/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a nice dark black body with a lush light khaki-colored head.

Aromas begin with (to be honest) stale, day-old coffee. There's a little more roasted malt smell as well but it's really pretty much stale coffee. Fairly disappointing.

The taste begins with light dark chocolate (if that makes sense). Mildly sweet, chocolate flavor with some sugar laced stale bitter coffee again. The roastiness begins to build alongside an earthy bitterness. As it warms, the tastes shift to burnt malts and scorched coffee, long ago abandoned in a glass pot on the burner. Starts off good but goes downhill quick.

The mouthfeel is medium-bodied with medium carbonation. Silky mouthfeel; the only real highlight of this beer.
Overall, pass just a huge miss as far as coffee beers (or any beer for that matter) goes. I don't plan on finishing this even though it's already mainly gone. Wow, Bells continues to disappoint me beer after beer...

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2011 03:55:39 | More by claspada
Photo of Siggy125


3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass. Dark cola in color with latte colored head. 2 finger head, good carbonation. Small amounts of lacing.

Aromas of sour instant coffee, (I not proud to say I know what this smells like), and a unique earthiness.

Taste similar to smell. Black coffee bitterness, tart cocoa, mild ABV warmth. Sweetens a bit with temp, interesting charred dark sugars.

Smooth mouthfeels. Reminded me of an oatmeal stout as it warmed. Decent drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2011 01:39:07 | More by Siggy125
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2011 20:46:38 | More by Knapp85
Photo of patol8


4.78/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First review ever, this is one of favorite beers.

Appearance - Poured into pint glass producing a 2 finger dark tan head. The beer is pitch black with mild carbonation and lacing.

Smell - Smells of wonderful coffee and caramel, some possible vanilla notes

Taste - Wow, one of the better coffee stouts out there. The coffee taste hits you immediately and lasts.

Mouthfeel - I'm new to this, but I would say it was medium heavy stout and very smooth. It was what I would expect with any quality stout in terms of carbonation.

Overall - Like I said, one of my favorite beers out there right now and easily a top coffee stout. I would recommend this one strongly to anyone looking to try Bells or Coffee Stouts for the first time.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2011 00:18:38 | More by patol8
Photo of billshmeinke


3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reiew from notes.

Pitch black. 2 finger beige head. Dies down to a bubbly layer of foam on top. Some lacing left behind.

Smells of big bold coffee aromas up front as well as baker's chocolate, some roasted malt, and even a hint of graham cracker.

Taste follows suite. Big coffee notes steal the show up front, then a touch of baker's chocolate and that graham cracker like sweetness that presented itself in the nose which is then washed away by slightly acidic coffee notes and smoky roasted malt notes. The acidic and smoky notes become more and more pronounced as it warms which is slightly distracting.

Luscious and smooth with high carbonation and a refreshing bate at the end. Acidity is a bit high and somewhat distracting though.

One of the better Bell's beers I have tried, and a solid coffee stout in general. I have, however received an infect bottle of this before. Worth trying, not something to go out of your way for though.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2011 01:25:53 | More by billshmeinke
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2011 02:05:38 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of woodychandler


4.85/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I bought this a while back, had one before I really got into reviewing, decided it was too strong for my taste back then, shoved it into the BeerFrigerator and promptly forgot about it. Until now. I am not traveling this summer and since I cannot find summer employment, I am making a concerted effort to move some of the beer that has hung around for to long. Like this guy, although I would bet that it has hung in pretty well. Frankly, I am excited to try this as the dancing coffee cup on the label. I have reverted to Navy form, drinking coffee that could double as paint stripper, eating donuts/pastries at work, grits or oatmeal for breakfast with the occasional egg. All I need now is a gun. Never mind.

From the bottle: "An enchanting beer made from the marriage of a custom blend of fresh-roasted coffee beans with a dark and roasty stout."

My pour was even more impressive in its result than Bell's Extra Special Stout (the last one I reviewed prior to this)! Two dense fingers of deep-tan head with excellent retention. Color was an ebony black, allowing ZERO light penetration. Nose was REALLY roasty, reminding me why I shied away from it lo, those many years ago. It was somewhere between Colombian and French Roast in its roastiness and both of those are still ones that I add to a simple Original Blend. Either one on their own and I could be hooked up to a generator for the day. That is to give you an idea of intensity, on top of which, we are talking 7.5% ABV. This is not a beer for the faint of heart! Mouthfeel was unbelievably full and creamy and one of us had mellowed in terms of taste. Either it had come down or I have elevated or perhaps both, but it was still pretty intense in terms of its dark-roasted coffee flavor and the difference was that I found it very enjoyable. I think that I was really on a hops kick back then and this just did not taste "right" to me at the time. The lacing that was beginning to appear looked like it would take a jackhammer to remove later. Finish was like finishing a demitasse of cappuccino. I kid you not, you had really better like intense coffee, not just simply a cuppa joe or this is not going to be your cup of tea, so to speak. Oh, my heart ...

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2011 01:12:56 | More by woodychandler
Photo of beveritt


4.53/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into an Imperial pint glass. This is one of those regular beers I see all the time, but am just getting around to sampling and reviewing. This one is from a six pack my wife got for her birthday; managed to talk her out of 1. Label shows a happy, and borderline scary, coffee cup dancing as it holds a JAVA STOUT sign. Batch was bottled on January 6 and has a 12 month shelf life.

Appearance: Pours with 2 fingers of very dark tan head. This settles very slowly and still maintain a substantial cap of foam. Nice ring of thick lacing. The beer itself is midnight black with just the slightest hint of brown around the edges. Some well compacted sediment remains in the bottle.

Smell: Rich notes of chocolate and roastiness upfront; all the best of a strong stout combined with all the best of a rich cup of coffee.

Taste: Mouth-filling flavor of slightly sweet cocoa with a dry, roasty finish and oats smoothness.

Mouthfeel: Average carbonation level. Body is excellent, creamy and thick.

Drinkability: A readily available brew that has the depth and character to hold up the best of them. Great stuff!

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2011 23:11:54 | More by beveritt
Photo of HuskyinPDX


3.43/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.
Bottle code 9959
Bottled 8.26.10

A - Motor oil brown with a one-finger dark tan head. Good retention and lacing left on the glass.

S - Old coffee, some chocolate.

T - Coffee and nuts, bitter

D - Medium carbonation, bitter and lingering.

O - Ump, ok

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2011 06:01:11 | More by HuskyinPDX
Bell's Java Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
88 out of 100 based on 2,426 ratings.