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

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

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very good

2,849 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,849
Reviews: 1,094
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.7%
Wants: 157
Gots: 284 | 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:
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,849 | Reviews: 1,094 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of smcolw
3.57/5  rDev -9.2%
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).

Photo of bizzlebrew
3.35/5  rDev -14.8%
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.

Photo of tykees88
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
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.

Photo of birderbeerer
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

Photo of Thur123
4.14/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

Photo of TheHoppiest
4.72/5  rDev +20.1%
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.

Photo of zoso1967
3.93/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of Khazadum
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
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.

Photo of rivalrome
3.96/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a nonic pint glass at around 48ºF.

Pours a thick rich walnut color produces a thick light mocha two finger head. Almost complete opaque. The retention is quite nice; the lacing on the glass seems about medium, producing a spotted surface atop of the beer. Looks extremely inviting; I'm salivating just looking at the glass.

Smells of rich coffee and chocolate, slight hints of milk and nuts. This smells very sweet, almost like a cold cup of roasted fresh coffee.

Initially tastes sweet with strong notes of toffee malts then follows up with a bit of hoppy bitterness after the coffee flavor fades. The mouthful is thick, but not the chewiest I've ever had. Very little carbonation is present. The aftertaste almost tastes like burnt coffee.

Overall, this is a very good coffee-flavored brew, and I'd drink it again, however, I can't imagine drinking more than a few in a single sitting. I think if the coffee was toned back just a tad it'd be more ideal for drinkability.

Photo of zoso493
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Piraat tulip.

Appearance: Bell's Java Stout pours a deep midnight black that is extremely thick and opaque. No light is gettign through this one. A nice one-finger head emerges that looks only slightly thinner than the best imperial stouts. The head dies down quickly to form a ring around the glass, leaving only negligible lacing as it does.

Smell: Wow, there is a big, big scent of coffee to this one. This is probably the biggest coffee smell in any coffee stout I've had yet. Other smells, which are much less pronounces, include light hints of anise and civet.

Taste: As in the smell, the coffee is more than the dominant accent in the taste. In this regard, though, Java Stout is a bit one-dimensional, as there are few, if any, good tastes to complement the coffee. This beer does get points for bold flavor, however.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel of Java Stout is very adequate. It is very nice and thick, yet is nicely carbonated and remains pretty crisp.

Drinkability: This is definitely a nice drinking stout, as the alcohol is invisible, but it struggles a bit in terms of drinkability due to the overpowering coffee flavor. It is just a bit too strong to have more than one of.

Overall, Java Stout is just another good beer from the guys at Bell's. I would like to see a bit more diversity and complexity in the flavor for this to be a really good stout, but as it is this was a pretty enjoyable bottle.

Photo of AdamBear
3.62/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A-black with light tan head, looks very thick

S-smells like a strong coffee/mocha. very strong scent

T-a huge burst of clean coffee. its impressive because there are no real bad side tastes, its very clean. this also makes it sort of boring. the after-taste is of strong java. if you're not a fan of coffee, you will not enjoy this one bit.

M-very soft carbonation with a smooth finish

D-wow this is quite a heavy beer. it took awhile to get through because of this. picks up no weird tastes but i found no reason why i'd ever want to try this again.

Photo of Spider889
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Live review. Big thanks to my brother (non BA) for getting me this six-pack for Christmas. He guessed based on price (lmao) but it was certainly a good guess, and this beer has redeemed Bells a little after my tasting of Batch 10,000.

Additionally, this is my first review of a beer poured into my brand new over-sized Duvel tulip - another gift, this one thanks to my thoughtful wife.

After a tall rough pour I get a beautiful-looking pitch black beer with a one finger tall mocha head. The head is made up mostly of smaller bubbles, and recedes down to a minute ring around the edge of the glass after a couple minutes. There is a mild cascading effect after each sip. Once the beer has settled I get a heavy ring of foamy lace, and then some spotted lacing below that initial line.

The smell is rich with bitter dark cacao - like that of a chocolate bar over 75% cacao. Then comes the coffee. Ohh, lovely lovely coffee! Thick and heavy, strong black espresso. Notes of sweetened frappacino waft in and out. This is a coffee beer that is exactly what the name implies, and has no shame for it either. I love coffee beers done well, and this one is right near the top in that category. If you like a coffee beer with a more mild coffee flavor and aroma, this one might prove a bit strong for you. However, I say "bring it on!"

This beer is a heavy, thick stout. Rich coffee dominates the flavor profile. Bitter and acidic, slightly sweet as well. Espresso boldness meets the more restrained roastiness of a dark french roast. Overall a very well done coffee beer imo. It finishes with a slightly fruity hoppiness.

Moderate carbonation, the mouthfeel is chewy and dense. Goes down very smooth. Leaves a slick stickiness on the palate that lingers.

I blew through my six-pack and am wanting more. Sadly nearly all Bell's better beers are priced too high in my opinion. Nevertheless, this is the best regularly available coffee stout outside of the Founder's lineup. I'd give the second slot to Dieu du Ciel, but it's much more difficult to get my hands on even a single bottle of that beer.

A coffee lover's beer through and through, possibly my favorite from the brewery thus far. Hopslam is too limited, Oracle is even worse - and too boozy, Expedition is great but not as tasty as this!

Photo of southsider
4.7/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Spooned it out of a 12 oz bottle into a curved pint glass.

A-Poured like syrup into my glass with the color and density black walnut. A thick,toffee foam gently collapsed into a one finger spongey head and slowly dissappeared in the course of the sampling leaving tawny lacing around my glass.

S-A strong smell of strong coffee and nearly burned grains

T-The beginning is suprisingly smooth with a hint of dark chocolate.
The middle quickly takes over with a full city roast coffee,roasty grains, and a little bitterness at the back of the tongue,fading to a long mellowing dry coffee finish.

M-Very full and creamy.Outstanding

D-Very balanced for such a big beer which I like very much. Often the sweetness and bitterness fight for control and the coffee can seem like a sideline player. In this brew coffee is the star and she is a diva!

Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: A very dark mahogany color with bits of ruby appearing where some light can sneak through. A creamy, bubbly coffee color head forms on the pour and demonstrates nice retention. Gobs of lace stick on the glass.

Smell: Tons of espresso comes through in the aroma, just an incredibly robust and full aroma. Some sweet molasses, roasted malts, and a bit of chocolate are present as well.

Taste: The beginning of the sip has a soft molasses sweetness to go along with chocolate and roasted malt flavor. Strong espresso opens the eyes and really dominates through the rest of the sip. A light earthy hop presence at the end, but the finish is slightly sweet, mostly bitter, and all coffee. Simple, but enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: This has a big body and very viscous, and it drinks a bit larger than the 7.5% ABV. Very creamy, with a moderate level of carbonation. A little bit sticky on the lips.

Drinkability: As a coffee lover, this has a strong appeal for me, and I find it very easy to drink. People who do not enjoy coffee as much will not like this stout.

Photo of dbossman
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black with a brown steady head; beer is bubbly on pour but settles quickly; lacing is pretty good

S: Dark roasted malts with loads of espresso and coffee beans; also a touch of vanilla and cream but those coffee beans are strong and smell great

T: Roasted coffee beans on top of a bill of delicious dark malts; lots of creamy and roasty, toasty malts; a touch of milky sweetness

F: So creamy with near perfect carbonation

D: Wow! What a good beer; coffee + stout+ Bell's = awesomeness

Photo of Jadjunk
3.86/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

#29. I have a keen fondness for Bells Brewery and was fortunate to get a single bottle of this (a move I usually make as it is easier on the wallet). Of course, this review will dictate whether I should spring for more of them! ABV is on edge at 7.5%.

Poured from a 12oz. bottle to a Nonic Pint glass at room temp.

(Appearance) Excited pour produces a thick light tan chocolatey frothy head. It retains quite well and lacing is thin but plentiful as it recedes. Color is pitch black with deep ruby edges when held to light. I see very little carbonation, but then again, it's tough to see far at all into this beer. The appearance couldn't be much better than this. 5

(Smell) Very earthy pure coffee beans and medium-sweet cocoa are very pungent and bold in this beer. That plus some roasted toast malts and some slight hoppy high bitterness makes this beer smell strikingly wonderful. I can even gather slight scents of milk chocolatey cream and nuts. Smell is bold and inviting. 4

(Taste) This tastes strikingly similar to coffee with a very high bitter and sweet finish that hangs around for a long while. "Java" is pretty much right on key. This beer has a characteristic bitterness at the finish that comes from some hops in this brew. Ultimately the bitterness comes out on top and overshadows some of this beer's other qualities. It could sink further into the background so that the cocoa and coffee bean tastes can be easier to determine. Largely this beer is filled with bold taste characteristic. If you're into coffee, you're going to like it's flavor. Otherwise, the dominant coffee edge is going to turn you away. It does well regardless. 4

(Mouthfeel) Very very smooth and creamy. Full bodied of course, but nothing that would alter my enjoyment of this beer. Bitter finish leaves this beer quite dry. Carbonation is too low to interfere much with the consistency. Overall drinking textures are silky, creamy and smooth. 4

(Drinkability) For it's super heavy tones, easy to drink in moderation. A complementary dessert beer that comes off being incredibly bold and intense. That plus a slightly above average ABV makes this beer hard to go for more than another round. It is a taste bud overload and very filling, so I don't recommend drinking this much like coffee lovers might drink cup after cup of espresso. An average drinker for a fine beverage. 3

Verdict: One of the boldest most intense stouts that I have ever had, but impressive all around. If you enjoy java, coffee or espresso as much as you enjoy beer, there's no doubt that this will fill your cravings. Everything tastes pure and real and the end result is a well done coffee-heavy beverage. Definitely worth a try for everybody. Bell's Brewery did very well for this one. A- (4.1)

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by matt9875. Thanks Matt!

This coffee stout appears dark brown in color, with a thin, eighth inch layer of beige head. The aroma is primarily of coffee, with a bit of roasted malt lingering behind. This is a decent brew, but not as full-flavored as I would prefer. The coffee and roasted malt are certainly there, but could be fresher, zestier, more aromatic, flavorful. The feel is medium bodied with adequate carbonation. This was an OK beer, but not among the elite coffee stouts.

Photo of bernardus1212
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Yep! Love me a Coffee IS. Pours Jet black with a light brown head. You can smell the coffe as you pour it.

The smell, you guessed it, coffee, with a little sweet milk to it.

THis is one of the best Coffee Stouts Ive had. The problem is it drinks like coffee. A few cups and your done. If you are thinking about Coffee IS, Give this one a go. You wont regret it.

Photo of biglite351
3.23/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - very dart with a tight tan head.

S - strong coffee, old coffee. Maybe a little bit of malt and chocolate, but it is hard to get past the coffee.

T - coffee, but also a good bit of what I would call cigarette taste, actually cigar more than cigarette. Again, a bit of malt and chocolate but they are over powered.

M - very thick but just a mild tingle on tongue.

D - maybe two before moving on.

Photo of sprucetip
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks like a stout, but I didn't do any sort of detailed inspection of how it changes in different light. But certainly night thick, dark, impenetrable blackness. Modest mocha heads stays briefly and it gone. No lacing.

Coffee is faint, with black malts taking the lead and some malty sweetness vying meekly for attention. Had one earlier and though it had more going on. This one is plenty warm, and just really isn't showing alot of complexity.

Flavor has more going on. The coffee is clear, but in good proportion. Malty sweetness and roasty bitterness are prominent, and it is very balanced overall.

Good carbonation, rich medium/full body and viscosity, creamy, with some mild lingering roasty bitterness.

Drinks pretty easily, smooth, tasty, clean and moderately complex. I wouldn't go out of my way for it, but I'd certainly get it again sometime.

Photo of TheSupremeAJ
3.04/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle from Abe's of Bethlehem poured into St Bernardus chalice.

A- Nice dark black. Thin dark coffee crema colored head fades the edges only.

S - Sweet roasty malts and added coffee.

T- Very acidic and tangy... characteristic of a Latin American blend of coffee beans. Not as dark and smokey as I would have preferred. Just a tad too sweet.

M- Average to low carb. Not full enough for my tastes.

D- Low to average.

Will not buy again.

Photo of RunForYourBeer
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 9959, bottled 8/26/10.

A: Dark. Looks black with a thin brown head that quickly goes away.

S: Lots of coffee with some creamy sweetness.

T: All of the coffee from the smell right up front. Soon after some sweetness comes in to balance the coffee bitterness. The finish is roasty coffee bitterness.

M: A bit thinner than expected but the carbonation level is nice.

D: Somewhere between low and sessionable.

This is a nice, roasty stout. I don't like coffee but still enjoyed this. The only issue I could find is that the mouthfeel could be a bit heavier and creamier.

Photo of drabmuh
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Meridian Pint tonight in DC. Beer is black with a wispy head of tiny tan bubbles that leaves very little lacing on the glass. Carbonation low.

The aroma on this one is mildly roasty but with a nice coffee background, still could use a LOT MORE in the aroma.

Beer is medium to light in body with some malt leadoff and nice coffee flavors in the late/mid palate regions. The finish is nice and mildly dry and mildly bitter. No lingering aftertaste. Pretty decent beer.

Photo of adamette
4.37/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Live review. Poured from the 12 oz. brown bottle that I purchased as a single at Save-On Tobacco & Beverage in Mentor, Ohio a few weeks ago for $2.68 into my Cooperstown Beverage Trail pint glass. Batch 9959.

A Gushing creamy medium brown head over a very dark body that glows a deep mahogany in front of direct light. The slightest dark red hues come through in front of severe light. I had to clean up the slight spillage after pouring so be careful to pour carefully when you do so. 4.0

S Great dark roast malt and coffee combination the likes of which I have not encountered since Founder's Breakfast Stout. Really a nice smelling beer. 4.5

T Taste extends right from the smell. The dark roast malt and coffee tastes are there but there is also a pleasant, toasty sweetness. This beer loses nothing to Founders Breakfast Stout. 4.5

M The tastes are so big but there is a smoothness that I did not expect. Count me as impressed. 4.5

D Really quite good for the 7.5% ABV, the bigness of the beer. 4.0

Notes: A pleasant surprise that I have seen on the shelves for years and finally tried. Due to price and availability I would buy this ahead of Founders Breakfast Stout!

Photo of afksports
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to my sis again for this one from Michigan. Happy coffee cups make me happy to drink. And I'm celebrating the end of the semester - so there's that too.

This one pours pretty solid with a light tan head that fades to just lacing. It clings to the glass, and stays bubbly, while the base of it is pure dark. The smell is mostly coffee, but also has some burnt malts. Tastes a tad of chocolate bitter with a coffee tinge. Tasty, but not exceptional.

It feels about average going down and while it tastes good it's not great. Best part is the label. And the label is nice. Like a big nosed coffee cup.

Bell's Java Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
88 out of 100 based on 2,849 ratings.