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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

2,837 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,837
Reviews: 1,091
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.7%
Wants: 156
Gots: 280 | 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: 2,837 | Reviews: 1,091 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tblfan04
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter

A: Nice Black color with little to no head could be because the way I poured it however a little disappointing

S: This brew has a very rich and nice coffee and chocolate aroma to it which I personally enjoy.

T: The Coffee in this really comes out in the taste also with a chocolate undertone and the flavor lingers in your mouth for quite awhile.

M: the Mouthfeel is decent with a pretty good carbonation to it

D: I like stouts however I don't believe I could drink more than one of these I bet it would taste better on tap

Photo of dfillius
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass

A: Aggressive pour yields 1/3 finger of tan head with poor retention. Head subsides to a thin ring. I'd like better retention. Nearly opaque dark brown liquid. Love the label.

S: Strong black coffee aroma with a hint of char, like black patent malt. Roasty!

T: Oh yeah, love the nice, sweet creaminess. Chocolate, and cream stand out. Great bitter roast with small hoppiness. Not perfect, but darn close. Another solid stout from Bell's!

M: Bitter, smooth, roasty.

D: Yeah! I'd order another and buy a sixer.

Photo of SpdKilz
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

New Beer Friday! A huge thanks to my buddy kzoobrew for this great extra from a long time ago. Cheers!

Appearance - Pours into my SA Perfect Pint with a dark chocolate color, obtaining over two fingers of dark mocha colored head that does not appear to be going anywhere anytime soon. The lacing is just sticking in thick clumps to the side of the glass.

Smell - Heavy roasted coffee (duh...) at the forefront followed by some sweet roasted malts, chocolate, and caramel.

Taste - Holy cow, this tastes exactly like a coffee chocolate (mocha) beer! This is much better than I anticipated it was going to be (not the "hugest" fan of these coffee beers). Some of these type of beers in the past taste like "day old coffee" that has been sitting there. This has a fresh, lively flavor to it. Honestly, this is extremely freaking good. The irony is I don't drink coffee (rarely mochas which is essentially a glorified hot chocolate) and I think this tastes good. This is partly due to its body (more on that later). Also, this is not a bitter coffee/chocolate beer. There is great aforementioned flavors, but not in the bitter sense. An extremely nice malt balance.

Mouthfeel - Extremely creamy...honestly this may be one of the most creamy/thick beers I've tasted. Oddly many people rate the "feel" not very high...for me this is what is making the beer for me.

Drinkability - I would certainly seek these out again in the future if I want an after dinner beer. Now that I've been on BA for over a year, and have tried my fair share of great beers...it takes quite a beer to "blow me away" and oddly this one totally did it. I really am enjoying this right now and glad I waited until I was in "the mood" to have a good stout (instead of forcing a new beer just to try it). Bells grows ever higher on my favorite brewery list!

Photo of phiberoptik
3.28/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I have been following the hop head movement lately so this was one of the first stouts I have had in a while so that might explain some of my thoughts on it.

I didnt catch much of anything except for roasted malts in the smell. The beer is dark as night with a small carmel head. Maybe it was too cold at first but my first taste reminded me of spent coffee grounds, rather than the taste of freshly brewed expresso. As it warmed up the taste developed immensely. Obviously expresso, some cocoa, and anise notes hit me.

I didnt find this the most drinkable beer, but I had no problem finishing it.

I wouldnt run out and get this again but it didnt hurt to buy a single bottle of it and I will probably try it again to make sure I didnt get a bad bottle.

Photo of urwithdave
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

A- Dark, dark brown, not quite black, but it's almost there. A 1/2'' tan head that quickly fades. Some moderate lacing left.

S- Big coffee, roasted malts, more coffee, and some milk chocolate.

T- The nose is right on here. Maybe a little more on the espresso side of coffee though. The roasted malts shine through and are not overshadowed by the coffee. Hints of milk chocolate are noticeable, however, they are in the backseat.

M- Pretty smooth and creamy.

D- I could def drink a few. Will I drink it all night...no.

Photo of OlRasputin989
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint...

A: Pours an opaque brownish black with a small, light brown head, which doesn't seem to last long at all, but fades to a thin, whispy, velvety layer. small amounts of lacing in tiny arches and spots.

S: loads of coffee, vanilla, licorice, and chocolate.

T: rich flavors of dark roasted coffee beans, milk chocolate, and vanilla. Finishes with sharp espresso, dark chocolate, licorice, and vanilla. alcohol becomes more noticeable as it warms

M: Full body, thick and oily. finishes dry, with a warm boozy finish.

Overall, if you're a coffee drinker you will enjoy this stout. However, for the price (16 bucks a sixer), I can't help but still feel I paid too much after having tried it. If you got the dough, sip this joe. If you desire something that pushes the envelope, look elsewhere.

Photo of BeerGodz
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Look: Nearly black color, medium tan head with decent retention & good lacing

Smell: It screams dark roasted coffee

Taste: Up Front: Slightly tart, and then a huge blast of espresso. Finish: Dark roast coffee, and earthiness

Mouthfeel: Medium body & carbonation, creamy

Drinkability: If you really like coffee, the score would be a little higher

Overall Impression: I DO like coffee, stouts, and coffee stouts, but this was just a bit over-the-top in the coffee department for me

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

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a light brown two finger head. Billowy head sticks around for a while and forms nice lacing. Fairly thick pour, dark brown, practically black with no light coming through.

S: Huge, strong notes of roasted espresso and coffee. Roasted malts as well. Smells like a canned up concentration of a local coffee house. Overpowering coffee smell to be expected in a Java Stout.

T: The coffee and espresso comes in but is mixed with chocolate and sharp bitter sweet taste. Roasted malts. The sweetness isn't from the malts and degrades the taste a bit - it's almost a sour sweet.

M: Very smooth and creamy. Moderate carbonation. Coffee sticks to the mouth for a while.

D: I like this for a coffee stout, but don't know how many I could have in a sitting. The sweetness noted in the taste discounts the drinkability.

Photo of rrski198
3.1/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Jet black and can't see through this beer at all. Nice tan colored head. Not red, not beige. Head disapeared quite quickly

S: It smells exactely like the coffee grounds left in the filter from the day before. Actually disapointing, as I would have thought the smell would have been of fresh coffee. Burnt, stale smell.

T: Ok so not bad. I have had better coffee stouts. Again, this beer feels like a stout was mixed with left over coffee. Bitter, but not in a good way.

M: Full bodied, which I enjoy. Coats the mouth nicely.

D: Bells produces some outstanding products. This one is not one of them. Average at best. Full bodied, which I enjoy, but I can't get past the smell and taste of old, soggy, day old coffee grounds.

Photo of goldbot
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 9451, bottled on 11/19/2009.

Deep, dark brown to black with a thick, light brown head. Pretty good head retention with modest lacing.

Roasted, dark chocolate aromas paired with rich coffee notes. Earthy, with roasted malt and a slight hint of herbal hops. Slight astringent or estery notes. Bitter coffee flavor with a pleasant, roasted character and some dark chocolate and malt. Finishes with a long-lasting, earthy and rich coffee flavor.

Medium to full bodied with a creamy feel and low carbonation. Almost drinks more like a milkshake than a beer. Not particularly big, bold, or complex but there is a good balance of flavors making this a very drinkable and tasty stout.

Photo of BamaBeerBuff
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Looks great. A gigantic head of whipped dark chocolate mousse over the top of motor-oil espresso. Thick sticky lace and excellent retention.

S: Strong roasted coffee scent with a hint of charred malt and some bittersweet baker's chocolate. Earthy and deep. Harsher than a standard RIS nose, but not quite as explosive and lush.

T&M: Loads of over-roasted coffee, a twinge of coffee malt, and a finish that showcases a high dose of burnt black malt--an earthy, almost ashy like flavor. It's close to being over-the-top, but the line isn't crossed. Body is silky and big-ish. A smooth stout.

D: Maybe 2 or 3 tops, but the abv and body are very coffee-freak friendly. An excellent coffee stout (one of many).

Photo of alcstradamus
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes

Black pour with two fingers of head. The aroma is an assault of coffee beans of a fruity variety. Some milk and creamer as well. This is blistering. The flavor is coffee forward, and it is a gourmet variety. Some chocolate and creamer seem to be at play in the background. Very clean tasting overall and not very bitter despite the huge coffee flavor. The mouthfeel is slightly fuller than medium and the carbonation is on point. This really is a fantastic coffee beer, and probably the first one to impress me in quite a while.

Photo of muttyd
3.43/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Dark black pour with little to no head.

S - Dominated by coffee/espresso. Not much else, but hints of roasted dark malts.

T - As expected, heavy coffee flavor with a slight hop bite. Roasted malts / dark chocolate also present.

M - Thick and sticky on the palate. Almost chewy.

D - Relatively low ABV for an imperial stout, and more drinkable than other heavy impy stouts. Very good beer.

Photo of SFLpunk
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz long-neck pry-top brown glass bottle. Proprietary number on back label. No freshness date.

Appearance is much like a freshly brewed espresso: black, impervious to light, with thin, brown/tan film along the surface. Leaves some tiny spotting. Nose is like oily coffee, maybe left on the burner too long. Roasted and oily is the best way to describe the smell. Palate is dominated by bitter coffee grounds. It's rather rough and chewy like french-press coffee that's brewed too long, oily slick like over-extracted coffee again. Lots of black and dark malt notes, freshly cracked grains, maybe something like cherry (not tart nor sweet), and some dried tree bark. Finish is long and evolving, switching from primary coffee flavors to earthy-woodsy notes.

Very tasty both cold and room-temp. It's much silkier at room-temp and not as bitter.

Photo of DIM
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: This was black bodied with a thick, sticky, tan colored head.

s: Balanced aroma of roasty milk chocolate and somewhat muted coffee. Appealing, but on the mild side overall.

t: Chocolate maltiness up front joined by a nice, coffee flavor at the end that isn't very bitter.

m: Slick bodied with creamy carbonation.

d: Very good, but there are many better coffee stouts out there.

Photo of sisuspeed
4.21/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass, Bell's Java stout is pitch black with a huge, fluffy, off-white head. Sticky webbed lacing works its way all around the glass. Looks great.

Upon cracking the beer there was a nice whiff of dark roasted coffee rising up from the bottle. Swirling the glass reveals a strong aroma of coffee grounds. Almost seems like i'm scooping out grounds to dump in the coffee filter. A little bit of roasted malt comes through as well, but coffee grounds are the dominate flavor.

Lots of coffee in this beer. Tastes like someone dropped a strong cup of joe in my stout. There were some metallic notes in the aroma, but they are mostly gone from the flavor, which is nice to see. Bits of chocolate and toasted malt hold up the coffee flavor. Bitter at times with some acidity, but this is a coffee stout. Dry on the finish.

Mouthfeel is good. The body is somewhere between a regular stout and an imperial, which is to say that I think it is right on for this beer. Carbonation is crisp and tingly. I wouldn't mind if it was toned down a bit, but overall its not bad. Somewhat creamy.

Drinkability is good, especially for an imperial coffee stout. Its great that Bell's bottles this in a regular 12oz bottle, which is the perfect size. I would say that this is a sipper, but a pretty quick sipper.

Overall, I was really impressed with this beer. Bell's makes some fantastic brews and this is another one of them. Lots of stiff, dark, coffee in a well brewed stout. The beer looks beautiful and has a good coffee aroma. This is an excellent pairing of beer and coffee. I wish I had more of this.

Photo of abuliarose
3.37/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter, revealing fluid black body with a tall and thick beige head. Solid lacing. Very pretty. Smells essentially like burnt coffee grounds with a little woodiness. For a coffee stout, it's ok.

Tastes sweet, but with an assertive burnt coffee flavor reminiscent of an Italian brew with grounds in. Not as balanced as I'd like and maybe something that would mellow out with a little age, but it has potential. Medium-bodied with a big astringency-dryness in the mouthfeel. Serious bitterness at the end. More sippable than drinkable, even for a coffee lover.

Overall, this one is not bad. I have had more well-rounded coffee stouts than this, but it'll do in a pinch.

Photo of Pabs311
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- pours very dark, almost black with a nice mocha colored head that sits for a while before settling leaving very little lacing.

S- Coffee, coffee, coffee. oh and some bittersweet chocolate. the coffee aroma is of fresh ground cofffee, nice. like i said alot of coffee in the nose which i like because alot of coffee stouts out there u have to hunt for the coffee aroma.

T- Alot of coffee up front like fresh ground coffee beans. a littlle bitterness due to this, but is rounded off by some malty sweetness. there's also some touches of chocolate her and there.

M/D- Medium bodied, low carbonation. very drinkab;e for 7.5% ABV. if i could getthis in CT, this would be one of my go-to's on a regular basis.

Photo of WeedKing4
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle pours a dark black with a decent amount of foam using the duvel tulip. Smells of dark roasted coffee. The flavour follows suit as you get hit by waves of coffee goodness. Very smooth drink and incredibly easy to drink. Almost wish there was more booze in this one. A decent offering, and way better then the Cup Of Joe from the same state.

Photo of bonkers
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I got this from Dunt in a BIF. I poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a standard pint glass. It pours an obsidian black with a thin white head. The aroma if full of freshly brewed coffee. The taste follows the nose. The coffee is the dominant flavor, overtaking any beerish flavors. It is a bit thin for a double stout, but not terrible, very well carbonated. A solid coffee beer, but not outstanding.

Photo of jeffthecheff
3.72/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Joe for the Bells hookup. Batch 9375.

The beer pours black with a dark tan head. It never foams up much despite a straight down the middle pour, and only amounts to a lace on the sides with a tiny bit of island forming foam on top. Good lacing.

The aroma contains some fresh coffee as well as vanilla ice cream and chocolate, all with solid intensity. The flavor follows with chocolate and roast flavors up front with a solid finish of coffee roast bitterness. The coffee flavor is solid but I'd like more chocolaty sweetness. Even though the mouthfeel is heavy up front, it finishes quite dry like a classic stout. A little high on the carbonation. Again, it could use a more full feeling.

This was an enjoyable stout. It's not my favorite as far as coffee beers go, but I thought it was solid. Good drinkability, but not great. I would pour another if I had it.

Photo of jwinship83
4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from batch number 9375 drank from a standard pint glass.

A- this one pours out a black colored body with a finger and a half of a dark brown colored head. the head fades after a few minutes and leaves behind small rings of lacing.

S- the nose on this one is very strong. lots of dark roasted malts upfront. after that comes the dark chocolate and a strong hoppy/coffee finish.

T- the taste isnt as intense as the smell. dark roasted malts like i could smell. the chocolate i could smell is subdued. the coffee at the end isnt quite as strong as i was hoping for.

M- medium to full bodied with a nice low level of carbonation. the alcohol is well hidden.

D- easy enough to finish. not the greatest coffee beer ive had, but certainly not the worst.

Photo of AleWatcher
4.09/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

On tap poured into snifter-

Pours real dark. Looks almost black til held up to light. Deep rich garnet and brown hues. Caramel head is small and lacing is light.

Smell hits heavy of coffee and it seems chocolate. I mean huge, massive amounts of coffee, not espresso, but fresh ground, rich roast, full-on coffee. Just massive amounts of coffee and chocolate. A little roasted malty goodness hits too, but certainly no whiff or indication of alcohol. 3 out 5 people in a blind smell test would probably think this genuinely WAS coffee.

Taste is roasted malts and fresh brewed coffee. Maintains a nice level of sweetness, that really balances the bitterness of the coffee and unsweetened chocolate. Finishes a tad dry, which is indeed rather pleasant.

Little on the lighter side of the body spectrum. Not sure this should be going up against imperial stouts... even seems a tad thin compared to a lot of regular stouts. The body reminds me more of a baltic coffee porter (if such a thing existed - and I'd bet somewhere it does!).

7.5% ABV makes this a not-so-good replacement for sitting at Denny's drinking coffee all night... But it really hit the spot after dinner. Would certainly buy again, but I won't be pounding 4 or 5 of them a night, and I won't be shipping any to my "I love imperial stout" trader friends!

Overall - very enjoyable beer. I have stopped drinking coffee for the most part, so this is a nice trip down tastebud memory lane for me. It really would get a higher rating if it weren't for the thinness of the body... but then again, that same thinness makes it so it doesn't fill you up. Hmmm. Interesting dilemma.

Photo of Bitterbill
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another brew courtesy of the bad boy from Oklahoma..russpowell. Thanks Russ!

Coded 9375.

It looks pitch black to me and it gives me about a 1 finger head of tannish foam. Checking on the lacing and yep. It's fine on that count.

The smell is bitter loaded with notes of coffee and roasted malt. I'm not sensing any malt presence ie sweet notes at all. Maybe in the taste?

The taste is big on the coffee and roasted malt, slightly smokie, with just a wee bit of sweetness that I can only describe as maybe some milk chocolate that Milk Stouts bring to the table? It's definitely there sandwiched between all of that bitterness that's going on and without it, I think this brew wouldn't be as good as it is and yes, it *is* a damn good brew.

The mouthfeel is fine for me, on the lower end of medium bodied with the carbonation about the same.

Drinkability? Good drinkability for the 1 bottle. Having another back to back wouldn't work for me but that's not a knock on the beer at all. The 7.5%abv, though not obvious, would sneek up on me and I try not to let beers get the better of me. Hey, I'd be posting jibberish in the forums if I did. ;^) Good solid brew.

Photo of angelmonster
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a 2 finger mocha colored head which resembles the creme from cappuccino. Body is pitch black. Head retention and lacing are pretty good

Smell is of rich roasted coffee beans. Smoky burnt malts are also present but really take a backseat to coffee. Hops are faint and alcohol isn't detected.

Taste is similar to smell, big on coffee which I love. Rich, roasted, burnt malts are also present. This beer definitely went all out to produce the coffee flavors. Hops and alcohol are on the low side.

Mouthfeel is good. Head stayed through most of glass and added a nice froth. Just wish beer was a bit more full bodied. Carbonation was also slightly on the aggressive side.

Drinkability was good. Overall this was a semi sessionable beer. Very rich and full of coffee goodness. I guess the only downside to this beer was that there was nothing to balance out the strong coffee flavors. My favorite beers in the world Peche Mortel and Espresso Yeti both have some sweetness to round out the beer and make them more complex. Java stout was just slightly rough around the edges but still extremely good, wish it was available in my state

Bell's Java Stout from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
88 out of 100 based on 2,837 ratings.