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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.
very good

2,591 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,591
Reviews: 1,056
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.99%
Wants: 138
Gots: 210 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 12-11-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,591 | Reviews: 1,056 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AlexanderSelby
3.35/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Almost black. Thin head, no lacing, with a yummy mocha color. Smells of coffee but dark roasted malt is in there too, separate from the roasted beans. Tastes super robust, bitter, roasty, and a touch of sweetness and booze hit you on the back end. There's a whole lot of brewed coffee, but also a lot of the bean. It tastes a lot like those chocolate covered espresso beans, actually. That woody, acrid taste is right in there. The malts play around with the idea of sweetness, but it never gets fully fleshed out.

To compare with coffee, this is an espresso shot straight up, not a caramel mocha-chino latte. There are a lot of intense flavors being thrown around which is fun, but quite trying. The bitter roastiness, the coffee, the sweetness, the booze, it's all there and dancing around in some crazed circus. Overall, a lot of fun for your palate, but not an everyday-er.

AlexanderSelby, Feb 16, 2011
Photo of silentjay
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pitch black with a sizable mocha colored head that retains for a bit and laces okay.

dark roasted malts and some watery, yet burnt dark coffee.

burnt coffee, bitter chocolate, roasted malts. a bit charred.

a bit lighter bodied than would be ideal with decent carbonation and a charred finish.

drinks okay. nothing special, unfortunately, though its heavily charred/ash/burnt character sets it apart from some others of the style. pretty good.

silentjay, Feb 14, 2011
Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass from a 12oz bottle.
Stout brewed with coffee.

A - Pours a nice black liquid with a 0.5 inch head that is slightly tan and has some nice dense sticky bubbles. It does not seem viscous for a Double Stout.

S - Strong coffee bean notes, coffee grounds and even some fresh leafy coffee beans. Slight espresso notes that are quite roasted. Different coffee notes dominate the aroma. It seems a bit one-dimensional though.

T & M - Flavor starts off with some intense coffee notes all over. Bitter espresso with some slight, french roasted coffee as well. There is some slight dark grain notes but its hard to look past the fact that this is one coffee-centric stout. Still quite good as I am a lover of the bean. The mouthfeel is a bit on the light side but the roasted and burnt character of the beer does enough of a job to make this seem a bit heavier. Nice carbonation adds a bit of balance to it.

D - This beer drinks pretty good. The flavors are intense though so one is enough to give your buds a ride.

JoEBoBpr, Feb 13, 2011
Photo of kevinv
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into my New Belgium goblet. Bell's "Batch Finder" notes a packing date of January 6, 2011 for this batch, #10152.

A - Pours a deep black with no light shining through whatsoever. A thick and creamy 1-finger mocha colored head which faded slowly leaving behind a moderate lacing.

S - Big roasted coffee and dark chocolate scents with bitter espresso notes. Smells like the coffee flavors are going to be very prominent. Notes of smokiness.

T - Lots and lots of coffee and chocolate along with dark roasted malts. There's kind of an unpleasant smokiness in the finish that lingers. I can't quite put my finger on what it is... I enjoy the coffee flavors, but this one probably isn't for those that don't like coffee as the flavors are fairly strong. Only the slightest taste of alcohol. The taste would be a 3.75 for me, but I rounded up to a 4.

M - The mouthfeel is one of the best aspects of this beer, in my opinion. It's got a smooth medium body - very silky. Moderate carbonation.

D - This is a pretty drinkable stout. The flavors aren't too over the top, but the beer is filling. I'll definitely grab some more this winter.

kevinv, Feb 13, 2011
Photo of warbird07
4.6/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured from a bottle batch #9959 into my New Belgium Goblet

This beer combines my two loves, beer and coffee...very dark black in color, nice tannish head that stays around, lacing is average. Overall very pleasing in appearence. Wow..nothing pretentious about this beer...the nose is heavenly with tons of strong coffee..mouthfeel is spot on for the style and apv...taste is what I expected and wanted, burnt chocolate,coffee,nice bitterness, great finish...

warbird07, Feb 11, 2011
Photo of BB1313
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch#: 10152, poured into a standard pint glass. Pours a dark brown, almost black, with auburn hues. Small slight off-white head that fades, nice sticky lacing. Aromas are faint off the bat, but after taking a sip, the nose comes alive. Lots of coffee up front, with malts and grains in the background. Pretty bitter taste, not much sweetness going on. Tastes like coffee, straight up. Mouthfeel is fizzier than I'd like, I wish it was less carbonated. It's still smooth enough to enjoy. Drinkability is nice, no alcohol taste, bold flavors will keep you going. Nice brew.

Enjoyable offering from Bell's. If you're looking for a stout that has real coffee flavor that's not over the top, this is a good option.

BB1313, Feb 09, 2011
Photo of InebriatedJoker
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle -

Poured dark brown/black with one finger head that dissipated into a thin tan lacing,decent carbonation.

Smell - Roasted malts with coffee.

Taste - Coffee upfront with a good balance of roasted malts - slight chocolate hints.

Drinkability -Smooth creamy stout with and easy finish, may not be my favorite stout but would definitely drink again.

InebriatedJoker, Feb 08, 2011
Photo of superdedooperboy
3.43/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12-ounce brown glass bottle poured into a tulip glass. Served at approximately 45 degrees F.

Black as the blackest cup of joe, this one lets no light sneak through. A minimal head of light tan foam falls away fairly quickly, settling to a thin collar yet showing some nice rings and legs of stick as the glass empties.

Aroma is patently coffee, plain and simple, with a rich espresso character laced with notes of licorice.

Medium-full body with a moderate carbonation. Dark-roasted coffee beans and semi-sweet chocolate set the stage for a palate that really follows suit, showing dry, moderately bitter espresso character throughout, made even more intense by a bit of herbal/citrus hop twang in the middle, with some hints of chocolate rounding out the edges before leading into an intensely dry hoppy-espresso finish that lingers for what seems like forever.

Quite good, the dryness really seems to call for another quaff, but with each draught it leaves you feeling incredibly dissatisfied. Unlike intensely bitter pale ales and IPAs, the intense level of roasted character here detracts immensely from the drinkability, coming across more like an actual cup of Java than a beer that warrants drinking for any sort of extended period (in fact, a shot-sized serving might actually be more appropriate). The 7.5% ABV is incredibly well-hidden, though, which is certainly a plus.

Overall, this is a decent coffee-infused stout, but a bit more restraint with the coffee would do this brew much more justice.

superdedooperboy, Feb 07, 2011
Photo of harrymel
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Awalk1227 for this one. Cheers!
Batch 9436 - 11/10/09
Poured to SA Sig Glass

A: Opaque, dark, mahogany at the edges. Little latte head sticks around through duration of the bee. Little, rare spots of lacing.

S: Even over a year out, the beer has quite a bit of the java in here. Plenty of cocoa nibs, dry nose with dark malts and full breadness.

T: Bitter, coffee-tastic. Better than I had anticipated. Quite enjoyable flavor, albeit, very simple flavor. The called it Java Stout, I wouldn't call it anything else. Very much coffee.

M: low carbonation in a medium high bodied beer, this was thoughtful. Warm and velvety, the beer feels good in my mouth.

D: One at a time. This is a specific beer. Very nice, appropriate for the style. I can't imagine what it's like completely fresh....

harrymel, Feb 04, 2011
Photo of blammasterj
3.13/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours as black as coffee with a thin brown head that dissolves into almost nothing except a thin ring around the glass. The smell is almost all coffee: roasted beans, burnt grinds and cold coffee. There is also a little stout aroma in there: dark fruits, some almond and roasted malts. The flavor just accentuates all of these aromas. Espresso, black coffee, roasted malts, some leather, but also a bit of cinnamon and a vague sweetness. The coffee flavor is very strong, but not necessarily the best coffee flavor that I've had in a coffee stout: it tastes a bit like old, cold coffee. The finish is pretty mild with a faint roasted bitterness. However the aftertaste is really nice and creates some nice eructations. It's a pretty good coffee stout, but I've been spoiled on the likes of Breakfast stout and Berkshire Coffeehouse porter and this isn't quite in their league.

blammasterj, Feb 02, 2011
Photo of HosP
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up somewhere along the way. Perfect way to start an evening that will end with being snowed in.

A- Black with nice tan head.

S- Very strong mocha aroma. Maybe some roasted malts at the end, but mostly coffee notes.

T- Big coffee taste up front right out of the gate. Tastes very crisp, not like a burnt coffee flavor which is good. Has a mocha/java aftertaste that is nice. Good flavors through and through.

M- Medium body with little carbonations. Slightly dry.

D- Much better than I thought. Not a coffee drinker, but very easy drink. Great for a cold winter's night or early in the morning when standing in line for a beer release!

HosP, Feb 02, 2011
Photo of projectflam86
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a deep dark black color with a thin brown head that leaves a bit of lace.

S- Strong black coffee aroma with some burnt scents coming through as well.

T- Really dominant roasted charred flavor with a huge wave of espresso and coffee beans. A bit of sweetness in the finish but the black coffee bitterness overpowers it.

M- Medium/full bodied with low carbonation.

D- Overall a pretty decent brew that gets better as it warms.

projectflam86, Jan 31, 2011
Photo of Kkottonmouthkngz
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: jet licorice black, lackluster thin mocha colored head. couple specks of thin lacing, not a whole lot to talk about.
S: excellent. this is what i look for in a coffee stout. strong, potent and enticing. black coffee dominates, while dark cocoa and licorice play background.
T: the coffee backs off a little bit, but is still definitely here. it makes way for those background players to come in, better chocolate presence. its quite tasty.
M: its rather chewy at the right temperature, but i wish the carbonation backed off a little. it makes it a little sharp, but is by no means unappealing. the roastiness hits the back of your throat nicely, and doesnt linger for too too long.
D: its good, but im ready to move on. good example of the style, but i usially want to move on after having one.

Kkottonmouthkngz, Jan 30, 2011
Photo of JayS2629
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pitch black with creamy tan head, nice retention, and creamy rings of lace.

S- Coffee and chocolate with an earthy hint of hops.

T- Like coffee with chocolate taking the back seat. The coffee overtakes all the malt flavors. Its like cold coffee.

M- Creamy, medium body

D- Very easy to drink, but it just tastes like coffee.

JayS2629, Jan 30, 2011
Photo of EricCioe
3.2/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours a jet black with a small, khaki head that dissipates and leaves no lacing. On the nose it's got a pleasanter version of a coffee note that I hate, which is the backbone of Dark Horse Perkulator. I'm not sure if it's some commonality in their beans or the process, but it's very similar, though this is more pleasant. It's an astringent head. On the tongue that note dominates some more subtle, bitter ones. If the flavor of this dominant note were in a coffee I would not be very pleased. It might be body chemistry, and I love plenty of coffee and coffee stouts and sometimes I even do a coffee-ground rub on my steaks ... I love coffee ... but this beer and the Dark Horse Perkulator that shares the same particular coffee notes is offputting to me. In the mouth it's a pleasant, non-cloying, carbonated body that, if it didn't carry that coffee note, would be pretty great. That one note just sort of ruins this beer for me, and I'm sure I'd like it if the coffee aspect of it that I find so disagreeable were something else. Perhaps a different type of bean, or a different source? I don't know. I can see the quality, but it just does not sit well in my mouth.

EDIT - I always meant to try this again, and thanks to salukialum, I was able to get a bottle since I moved west. On 27 January 2012, almost a year to the date after having this the first time, I can't say I was wrong about it. The body still seems thin and the coffee in the nose just seems stale and musty.

EricCioe, Jan 29, 2011
Photo of katan
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz into a pint

A - Pours a deep dark brown to almost black color with some amber highlights. Head formation is strong, mocha in color. Well retained. Little lacing.

S - Strong roasted coffee grain note, almost spicy and peppery. A little bit of a yeasty note is present.

T - Starts off lightly malty, some chocolate. The coffee comes in big time with some roasted, with a hint of some jalapeños. Roasted and even somewhat burnt at times. Finishes with some coffee astringency - huge aftertaste.

M - Full bodied and strong carbonation. The coffee graininess really sticks to the tongue. Huge bitter aftertaste.

D - Moderate drinkability - this beer almost needs something to compliment or contrast it, perhaps some ice cream. On its own its just a little too direct. ABV is up there but well hidden.

katan, Jan 23, 2011
Photo of aepb1
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Black body with a small brown head and lacing

S- Very strong coffee and some dark fruits

T- Dark, earthy, roasted coffee and the dark fruits from the nose and linger to the end

M- Full-bodied, full-flavored and the coffee flavor sticks with you forever

D- Great coffee stout

aepb1, Jan 19, 2011
Photo of smcolw
3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Modest head but it leaves a thin blanket of lace on the glass. Settles to nearly Near black color. No light shines through.

Smells like burnt coffee beans. Very bitter--like charred toast. Very powerful.

I'm not a big fan of coffee, and this one has plenty of it. Very little malt or hop flavor. Rich bodied with a suitable carbonation. The aftertaste is like drinking coffee. Not my cup of tea (pun intended).

smcolw, Jan 16, 2011
Photo of bizzlebrew
3.3/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Thick pour with beautiful caramel/tan head. Head disappears quickly and leaves a strong "sweet coffee aroma".

Up front taste is strong coffee with a fairly bitter bite.

Lots of chocolate/coffee tastes with a very creamy/slippery mouth feel.

I love coffee and beer, but can't exactly say I like this beer enough to buy it again. To much of an odd bitter/chocolate/coffee combo.

Definitely worth a try (especially if you love coffee and beer), but its just not for me.

bizzlebrew, Jan 15, 2011
Photo of tykees88
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- coffee black, mocha colored head. great lacing throughout.

S- coffee overload. chocolate just a little bit. No essence of hops. The malts well just take a back seat to coffee. I love coffee though so it smells great.

T- Coffee and bitterness. It's tough to tell if we got the bitters from the hops or from the coffee itself. Who knows the answer Idk. There is a chocolate background doing a jig as well. It's a beer fantasy for me here. Coffee and chocolate.

M- Medium bodied. Nice carbonation.

D- I could and would drink it for breakfast lunch and dinner. Instead of my morning coffee at work just crack one of these. I love iced coffee so this cold works great. Heck it might be worth a try warm.

tykees88, Jan 15, 2011
Photo of birderbeerer
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep brown, mahogany, moving to black. Two finger tan head. Light but irregular lace.

Aroma is all coffee. It smells like a cup of strong, black coffee and only that. I like strong, black coffee, so I'm excited, but the scent alone could turn some people away.

Taste is the same. This beer is as advertised--coffee all the way. Rich, strong coffee flavor. Balanced well on the back end with sweet malts, which keep the coffee flavor from being overwhelmingly dry. This is a coffee beer in a major way, though. Bit of a dry finish, especially as it warms. But overall, there is a balance of faint caramel and toast flavor to tone down the coffee roast.

I love coffee and that's what this beer is. But it stays safely within drinkable bounds. But for those who sugar up their coffee in the morning, this stout will be too offensive.

birderbeerer, Jan 15, 2011
Photo of Thur123
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm picking up something like Tabasco pepper in the nose. The look is opaque brown/black with little head. The smell is kind of peppery and spicy with a robust coffee roast smell too.
Glug glug glug

The flavor is big coffee and roasted malt flavor. The coffee flavor is strong and bitter. Hits big up front then mellows considerably into more of a porter like beer. With a high drinkability. The nose is much stronger than the flavor which is nice because the nose is huge on this one and I think too much coffee would be overpowering. All and all a good beer.

Thur123, Jan 14, 2011
Photo of TheHoppiest
4.75/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a deep, dark brown/balck, with ruby glints coming through the glass at the bottom. A minimal tan head pools in the center of the liquid.

Smells malty, almost like biscuits, with strong (but not overpowering) coffee/mocha aroma. A bit of chocolate, toffee and smoke round the smell out.

Smokey, bready, and java, this coffee stout delivers strong. Nicely balanced, there's no "fakey" coffee toaste to this; the flavor is the real deal. Oats, mild toffee, and cream round this out. Tasting like black coffee mixed with malt-o-meal, this bad boy ends with mild bitter.

CReamy mouthfeel, this is a pleasure to sip and drink.

Perhaps my favorite coffee stout, this is truly a benchmark for this style. If you haven't has this, pick it up. And, it cellars well; this review is from a beer that cellared for a year and tasted every bit as good, if not slightly more mellow, than it did a year ago.

TheHoppiest, Jan 12, 2011
Photo of zoso1967
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bell's Java Stout pours a deep and oily black that appears to be completely opaque. A fairly hard pour yields a modest head that is a delicious looking mocha color and fades to leave nice, splashy lace.

The aroma is bursting with dark roasted coffee. In fact, I would say the smell that this beer most resembles is that of fresh coffee grounds. I also detect a bit of caramel and some yeasty esters, but that is about it. If it tastes like it smells, this is an aptly named beer.

The flavor, much like the aroma, is filled with tons of coffee flavor, though more of the stout aspect shows through. The astringent and charred character of the coffee blends with bitter cocoa and a nice caramel sweetness. There are also hints of cream and perhaps even a bit of fruitiness.

The mouthfeel is a nice full/medium with great smoothness. It is a bit sticky and charred on the finish, but really not too bad at all. Carbonation seems right on for style.

The first time I ever tried this beer I was much earlier on in my "good beer" journey, and I have to say I was not a fan. It pretty much just tasted like cold coffee and since I like my coffee to be 99% beer, I did not seek this out to buy it again. Having it now I can reach through and pick out the beer qualities and find it to be a nice complex coffee stout that should please coffee and beer lovers alike.

zoso1967, Jan 10, 2011
Photo of Khazadum
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Clean, two fingers head formation. Nice tight bubble packing. Creamy with some volcanic activity towards the center. Golden brown... wheat even. Settles, but doesn't froth away. Good retention. Lacing is fantastic. Very well done.

S- This is a nice coffee nose on this. Its pretty blue-collar in terms of grounds, but it has the potential to be organic blue-collar. It has burnt grains and roasted aromas along with that bitter coffee aroma. Folgers with some Starbucks thrown in. This is one of the better offerings of stouts brewed with coffee. As it warms, a tobacco like smoke and fire starts to emanate, but not the extent of a different stout I have slowly grown to enjoy more and more. Something sweet on the backend... sucrose, in a way.

T- Oh this is mind-blowingly good. For a Bell's offering like this, I would expect much less. Much, much less. The flavors are actually complex here. Opens with a malty sweetness, something milky sweet alongside it. Middle is bitter coffee ground flavor, nice balanced offering to the opening. Finish is a rising roasted grain flavor but it is too faint to counter-point the chocolate, milk chocolate to be exact final note. Very tasty, and well done. Flows exactly how I'd want it to be for this one.

M- Instantly creamy with a nice chewy body. Gives that wholesome feeling without being syrupy. Carbonation on the opening rises to give a burst of crispness to the bitter notes. Lingers well enough. Thick without being a tree trunk.

D- Easy as pumpkin pie... or is it apple pie? Cherry pie? For a seven a half you don't feel it. I love this beer. I wish I had been drinking this all season long instead of staring at the price tag. Hella worth it.. Lieutenant Worf it even.

Khazadum, Jan 10, 2011
Bell's Java Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
88 out of 100 based on 2,591 ratings.