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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

2,572 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,572
Reviews: 1,054
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.99%
Wants: 138
Gots: 208 | FT: 10
Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Stout |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 12-11-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,572 | Reviews: 1,054 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of uwmgdman
3.1/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours jet black with a thick tan head. The aroma is moderately roasty, slight chocolate and some burnt coffee. The flavor is initially like a typical roasty stout but is quickly followed by a rush of coffee. The swallow has a prickly bittersweetness a combination acidic bite and hop bitterness. The mouthfeel is very smooth and full bodied with moderate carbonation. Overall an interesting, well crafted brew. Not something I would drink a lot of or drink very often; if you like coffee give it a try.

uwmgdman, Feb 23, 2008
Photo of ejquin
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Black, black and black with an off white head that fades quick and ends up just barely laying across the top of the beer.

S: Well, coffee of course, but a strong vanilla note, like vanilla yougury. Milk. Slight sweetness.

T/M: Cofee heavy, but not out of blance I didn;t think. Nice smooth mouthfeel, but a touch thin. chocolate and roast malt on finish with a hint of vanilla, bitter espresso notes, but pretty much straight forward. A little hop presence, but not much.

D: Very good for a 7.5% abv stout

ejquin, Feb 21, 2008
Photo of ewright
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A vigorous pour into a Duvel tulip didn't start off promising, but by the end, a huge three finger khaki head had formed on top of a pitch black brew. Half way through the glass, there is a thin ring of foam around the edge and nice layers of lacing on the glass.

S: A bit underwhelming. The coffee shows through, but there's little to no malty nose to complement it.

T: The coffee hits the tongue up front and malty notes come through a bit later. The hops are mild and only present later on. As much as I love coffee, I feel that it overwhelms the rest of the flavors that ought to be more noticable.

M: A bit thin for an impy stout, but maybe that's a good thing as the coffee shows through. This is the first coffee stout I've tried so far and I'm really able to appreciate what the coffee adds to this beer.

D: It drinks like a lower ABV stout with a jolt of coffee. Definitely something to enjoy over an hour or so.

ewright, Feb 13, 2008
Photo of Jwale73
3.15/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served in a standard pint glass. Poured an opaque dark brown. Quarter-inch coffee-colored head dissipated in a thin oily slick of beer algae; lacing was non-existent. Strong nose of roasted coffee and lots of it, but something else as well. If I had to describe it the secondary smell was a combination of something vegetal and dirt or sour coffee grounds. Taste similar to nose, with that funky flavor lingering at the end. Mouthfeel was very lively; surprisingly so considering the lack of a head. Drinkability was okay, but overall, I was a bit disappointed.

Jwale73, Feb 12, 2008
Photo of csmiley
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours opaque and almost black. No light comes through at all. Ended up with a little less that one inch of head that displayed average retention. Lacing was good.

S - Very light in the aromas for an American Double / Imperial Stout. First on the list was a sort of coffee and cream smell (which I rather enjoyed). Roasted notes show up in the background. Hints of chocolate linger on the end.

T - Coffee is definitely the main flavor in this beer. Just behind the coffee there is a good balance of roasted flavors and chocolate. There are only hints of the 7.5 abv. All the flavors mellowed out considerably once the beer started to warm.

M - Medium bodied. Carbonation was on target for my taste. It was really smooth with a slightly dry finish.

D - Very drinkable. One I will be picking up again. The higher alcohol is hidden very well in this one. Goes down very smooth and easy.

csmiley, Feb 11, 2008
Photo of findlayfan
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

In sorting out the stock in my basement "beer cellar" (actually a c.1920 coal bin), I ran across three beers that I'd nearly forgotten and had been down there for about three years. I decided to take them in ABV order, starting with the Bell's (the others were Flying Dog's Gonzo Imperial Porter and Weyerbacher's Blithering Idiot barleywine).

The java stout poured jet black with a slight purple hue (no kiddin!) and a medium brown 3/4" head. The body was nearly opaque - the only time I could see ANY light through it was when I held my pint glass up to a clear 60W bulb and the filament showed through VERY faintly.

Lots of malt on the nose.

Just a bit of sweetness up front in the taste, with lots of molasses and coffee (of course).

Some lacing left on the glass.

Dry finish, with not much aftertaste (just a hint of bitterness at the end).

All in all, a pretty decent brew. The "average" drinkability balances the minus of the strong coffee taste against the plus of the complexity and well-concealed ABV.

Not a staple of my cellar, but I'd be happy yto give it another try, perhaps with a fresher example!

findlayfan, Feb 11, 2008
Photo of oakbluff
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a dark cola, with minimal head. Nose if a mix of sweet malt and an dark espresso. Taste- sweet milk chocolate, medium roasted coffee and slight bit of lactic sourness on the finish. Hops are also noticeable on the finish. Medium bodied and moderate carbonation. Drinkability is high and overall a very tasty stout.

oakbluff, Feb 10, 2008
Photo of yourefragile
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter

A: Relatively opaque black liquid with chocolate tones around edges. Hard pour results in a thick, small bubbly tan head that sticks all over the glass in a stringy web. Dissipates to a film with some clumps of small bubbles.
S: Coffee grounds, dirt, slightly nutty. Not much else in way of malt of anything else. Slight pinch of alcohol. If you love coffee you'll love this smell, but it's not particularly interesting.
T: Starts with a slight sweet, (hop) bitter taste. Body is very earthy, roast coffee ground, surprising dark fruit flavor present throughout, but not very strong. Coffee is strongest in the finish. As it warms up, starts to resemble a sweet stout more. Slightly hot with taste of alcohol as well.
M: Medium bodied, but slightly thinner than expected. Chewy texture and medium carbonation. Light metallic taste in the finish makes this a little more unpleasant as well.
D: This is a good coffee stout, but something just seems off to me. A little too sweet for my taste and a little too one dimensional in the coffee taste and not much else. Alcohol is also a little unpleasant in this. Would have this again but wouldn't seek it out. Nowhere near Founder's Breakfast but I think I still prefer this over Wake n Bake

yourefragile, Feb 10, 2008
Photo of prototypic
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It's nearly black in color (no light coming through) with a thick, creamy tan two finger head. Retention and lacing were excellent.

Smell: Very rich espresso aroma. Chocolate malts blend well and give it a dark chocolaty aroma. Good bit of a roasted malt smell, as well. A faint hint of smoke on the tail.

Taste: It's very rich. Combination of espresso, dark chocolate and roasted malt flavors blend very well and virtually overpower everything else. In this instance, that's far from a bad thing. Hops and alcohol are unnoticeable. Slightly smoked flavor to it.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's medium bodied and well carbonated. I find it pretty drinkable despite the heavy coffee flavor. If you're not a coffee fan, it won't be near as drinkable. Nonetheless, I can't see myself drinking more than 2 in a sitting. Overall, this is a pretty fine beer. Highly recommended for coffee fans.

prototypic, Feb 08, 2008
Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- The body is jet black and is unforgiving even when held up to the light. An aggressive pour results in a very scanty head (less then 1/2 finger) that soon disappears. A very thin, dark tan collar is all that remains. No lacing is left behind in the glass.

S- Roasted malt is the first to hit the nose along with a ton off coffee. The nose basically says that I should be drinking this in the morning rather than past 11 PM.

T-The taste is much as the nose suggests. Initial flavor is medium strength and consists of rich roasted chocolate malt and coffee-with hints of a caramel sweetness. These flavors intensify for the finish and a sharp coffee bitterness is added. The bitterness soon subsides and what lingers is the taste of toasted malt, caramel,coffee, and the slightest hint of alcohol warmth.

M- Medium carbonation and mouthfeel is just a hair heavier than medium. The mouthfeel is not as thick as most from this style.

D- This is a nice, drinkable stout that I will have again. I was surprised that this wasn't a lower ABV stout-because it hides the alcohol well without being too rich. Job well done by Bell's

PittBeerGirl, Feb 07, 2008
Photo of SirChugsAlot
3.4/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to pimpp for this one

A- pours a pitch black with a finger width of tan head that leaves a generous lacing around the glass

S- well it is a java stout. Smells of java with hints of chocolate and barley

T- Coffee flavor is big in this one with a semi-sweet chocolate hint and a hoppy after taste

M- Smooth drink with decent carbonation. the flavor lingers in your mouth for quite some time

D- I think i would throw this on the "Once in a while" list. Not one of my favs but worth a try for anybody.

SirChugsAlot, Feb 06, 2008
Photo of DavidEddie
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 8216
Thanks to drunkmonk for this one!

Appearance - Black with a tan head and some sticky lacing.

Smell - Coffee, chocolate, and dark roasted malt.

Taste - Bitter chocolate, tons of coffee, and piney hops came out in the finish.

Mouth feel - Smooth and coating. Fair amount of carbonation.

Drinkability - Definitely good! Another solid brew from Bell's. Highly recommended.

DavidEddie, Feb 04, 2008
Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Black like espresso. A toffee-colored head retains for a minute or two and then settles into a ring, leaving behind a bit of spotty lace.

Smell - An incredible aroma of dark roasted, almost burnt, coffee is noticeable from a mile away. Closer inspection reveals hints of sweet toasted malt, dark chocolate and smoke.

Taste and mouthfeel - The burnt espresso flavor is very up-front, with notes of chocolate, toast and smoke taking a backseat. Body is about medium for a double/imperial stout, but this is right on the border between a regular stout and a double. A subtle sweetness is present in the background, providing a balance to what would otherwise be an exhausting dry coffee flavor. Notes of black coffee linger on the palate in the finish.

Notes - An awesome beer for people that enjoy coffee, but the coffee character is extremely prevalent. I personally like it.

largadeer, Feb 03, 2008
Photo of jbphoto88
3.35/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark chocolate brown with a quick head that foams fast and then pulls a Kaiser Soze. Like that, poof it vanishes.

The coffee scent is immediately apparent even during the pour. I am not a coffee drinker but I can best describe the smell as old stale coffee. The kind that emanates from a coffee pot thats been left on all day. Slightly scorched scent with a little chocolate and malts in the distant.

Dominate coffee taste again but there are some sweet maltiness and some dark fruits as well. There is also a slight metallic sourness as well as a bitterness. Not a good hop bitterness but more of a java bitterness that kind of ruins the aftertaste.

This is a good beverage to take camping with you and have with breakfast. I get tired of the coffee flavor real fast and would not like to drink anymore then one.

jbphoto88, Feb 03, 2008
Photo of zdk9
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a pure black with half a finger of cocoa tinted foam topping the lucious liquid. Some light pocodoted lacing.

S- Roasted coffee grounds, top the smell catagory, like I'm putting my nose in a bag of freshly ground beans.

T- The taste is equally dominated by coffee flavor, but is considerably more complex. There is some sweet milky malt flavor. Some vanilla and slight bourbony flavors in the middle of the tongue. Not too much hop flavor which might bump it up some points, but still delicious.

M- Smooth and coats the mouth. The alchol is present, but not harsh.

D- If I was more into coffee I could probably drink this all day long. As it is, the flavor and smell are complex enough to enjoy quite a bit.

zdk9, Jan 31, 2008
Photo of wagenvolks
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured on-tap at Village Draft House, Raleigh NC.

The waiter slid me a pint of stout with a seal brown body and a thick, creamy, burnt chocolate head. Retention was excellent, and lacing was everywhere...probably left some down my sides, too. The aroma was a bit faint, with some smooth notes of lactose, baker's chocolate, oatmeal, coffee, and earthy hops.

The flavor was more intense than I had expected. Abundant bitter, chocolatey, coffee notes paired with a boozy, warming alcohol presence that punished the palate. At first, the intensity was enjoyable, but the alcohol and bitterness began to wear on my senses. The body was uber-thick, viscous, and brought on a bitter, alcohol and coffee finish. Carbonation was almost non-existant. I imagine that if you poured a Dark Lord into a pint of Guiness, you'd end up with something close to Bell's Java Stout: thick & creamy, with an assault from the malts. Although I doubt I'll ever reach for one of these again, it would be interesting to see how a bottle of BJS holds up to a year of cellaring.

wagenvolks, Jan 30, 2008
Photo of EGledhill
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured in goblet

A. jet black with a 1 finger head that dissapates quickly

S. dark coffee and bitter chocolate. Very mild alcohol smell

T. the bitter coffee taste is prodominant with hints of chocolate malts. very good pick me up

M. thick, almost oily mouthfeel on this one

D. Delicious dessert beer though i'm not sure how many i could have in one sitting

All in all it's a very good beer worth the try coffee fans will love this. also recommend the fuel cafe if you like this one

EGledhill, Jan 28, 2008
Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.43/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to EGledhill for the chance to try this beer off my wants list.

Pours jet black, not light can get through, good size tan head that fades slowly and leaves lots of sticky lacing.

Smell has a heavy coffee aroma, pretty much masks anything else, not too complex but still inviting.

Much like the smell, the taste is highly dominated by a roasted coffee presence, malt and chocolate are more noticeable though. Very creamy taste and smooth, good amount of carbonation. Slight bitterness at the end, probably not from any hops but the coffee itself.

Never been a coffee drinker, but if coffee was like this, it'd make me a converter.

deltatauhobbit, Jan 27, 2008
Photo of MarkSCCOT
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle courtesy of stopbarking into an oversized wine glass.

A. Dark dark brown with rubylike edges. Tan head with minimal lacing. Carbonation hard to discern.

S. Beautiful rich coffee over a strong barley backbone. I was able to sit with this beer as it warmed from refrigerator temperatures to it's recommended serving temperature. As it warms some dark fruit character emerges.

T. Definitely a beer for the coffee lover. The malt is apparent in the finish and there are numerous complicated dark fruit tastes.

M. Very smooth and creamy. Thick chewy finish.

D. Hard to find here, but when Bell's comes to SC this will be a regular beer for me.

A Strongly crafted coffee stout well worth a try!!!

MarkSCCOT, Jan 27, 2008
Photo of HardTarget
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle Inspection: Brewed with coffee, no other information, no date, no abv. nothing.

Aroma: Dark roasted coffee bean, dark roasted barley.

Appearance: Black with some thick ruby edges, modest cover of dark tan that doesn't really give up much lace.

Flavor: Rich in coffee flavor, the stout roasted grain is supportive but really stays back and lets the coffee do the talking. There is a sweetness in the finish that has a bit of toffee.

Mouthfeel: Slick, a bit oily, and mouth coating, takes a minute to slowly dry off the chops. Lower carbonation level.

Overall Impression: Another really nice stout from Bell's. Coffee flavor is at a nice level, strong but not bittering or overwhelming the beer. No flaws noted, clean, if a bit simple and straightforward. I'd love a dry hopped Russian Imperial version of this! (oh, it is listed as an Imperial, hmm, a bit weak in that category then)

HardTarget, Jan 26, 2008
Photo of BeerSox
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into nonic.

Super dark with a one finger light brown head that lowly settles to a bubbly cap and rim, leaving behind a stringy wall of lacing.

The aroma contains roasty malts with a bit of an organic coffee aroma. A little bit of chocolate is also in there.

This is very similar to a strong coffee flavor, more than a beer. The Java flavor really comes through, as advertised. I feel like I'm drinking something from Starbucks (not that I go there that often). Full bodied. The finish is exactly like a strong coffee brew without a load of cream and sugar.

I guess if you're a coffee lover, or a java lover, then you're going to enjoy this one. Solid and complex. Everything in this beer seems to hit a good note. Recommended.

BeerSox, Jan 26, 2008
Photo of jscondon
3.05/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

pours a opaque brown with a head the foams like crazy then diminishes rapidly to a little ring. my nose is toast but i can get a strong coffee aroma plus some burnt wood. this beer smells very earthy. the flavor of this beer was a complex but a let down. it is sweet up front, foams to a used coffee ground flavor and finishes with a hint of toffee and sweetness. i like the thickness of this beer and thought that the mouthfeel was nice.

overall this beer is tough the first few sips, it took about 1/2 a pint to overcome the coffee ground flavor, which i found distracting to the overall flavor. once i drank this for a while my taste buds adjusted and i found this to be a decent beer. not sure if i would get more, but it was fun to try.

drank this at cellar temp.

jscondon, Jan 24, 2008
Photo of Floydster
2.9/5  rDev -26%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12 ounce bottle also received in a trade with pimpp, thanks for giving me the opportunity to try this one

Split with a friend tonight, poured into my Flying Dog glass slowly after seeing the size of the immediate head forming

Color was pretty close to black, small amounts of light did get through though, 3/4 inch light tan head that stuck around for about fie minutes, some nice retention, decent lacing as well

Smell had lots of freshly roasted coffee and ground up beans, super dark chocolate, burned malt, some maple syrup, and roasted barley

Taste was tons of coffee from the very beginning to the end, not much else going on until it got warmer, some rich chocolate flavors towards the end, needed some hops or sweeter malt to balance this out more, something just missing and I could not really put a finger on it, fairly one dimensional in my opinion, at least it did not really have an espresso-like bite, I would not have been able to finish my five or six ounces if that was the case

Body was thin, too much carbonation, taste disappeared quickly, coffee dominated the mouthfeel making it a little tiresome after a while

Could drink many more ounces of this stuff, tasted like I went to Starbucks and threw some stout in with a latte, maybe not the drastic but you get the point, ABV is fairly high but that is not as much as a factor than the heaviness of this beer

Usually a huge fan of coffee brews and this one was definitely not one of my favorites, needs to be more mellow, like to taste more beer than java if you know what I mean, not sure if I could recommend this anyone, glad I tried it for myself nevetheless

Floydster, Jan 21, 2008
Photo of GbVDave
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a 20oz imperial pint glass.

A: Pours a rich, dark-black color. A vigorous pour yields a 2 1/2 finger head of a creamy and bubbly consistancy that's dark khaki in color.

S: Nice aromas of espresso, dark chocolate, dark roasted malt, some cinnamon, green hops, and cocoa powder.

T: Dominating espresso and roasted malt flavosr. As the coffee and malt subside, subtle dark chocolate, spice, hops, cherry, brown sugar, dark fruit, and the aforementioned cocoa powder flavors emerge.

M: Bitter! Bitterness from the espresso, dark chocolate, and hops. All this bitterness is tempered by a creamy milk stout quality that pokes out as it warms.

D: Very good. Unlike some of the other reviewers, I thoroughly enjoyed the espresso bitterness and I thought that if it weren't for that this might be considered rather pedestrian. A great coffee stout.

GbVDave, Jan 15, 2008
Photo of sfoley333
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle (thanks weisguy)...Poured a black cola color with a thick tan head. Smells is an espresso, charred malt aroma with a little chocolate smell. It has a very bitter coffee flavor that not very well balanced. The mouthfeel is great and this beer is certainly drinkable for such a dark style.

sfoley333, Jan 13, 2008
Bell's Java Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
88 out of 100 based on 2,572 ratings.